by Josh Chernila
I had an enlightening experience yesterday, I thought I might share. It explains more to me about what Democrats just don’t understand about cultural conservatives than anything I’ve ever read.
A guy I work with has a middle school- aged daughter. He is a Republican, lifetime working man, and a Catholic. He is considering sending his daughter to Catholic high school, but is hesitant to spend over $10,000 per year for high school tuition.
“I’d rather save that money up and make sure she goes to a good college.”
An older guy from one of the companies we work with, begged to differ. “You don’t want her to come out of there some Hillary liberal. Give her a great high school education and then she’ll be good no matter what she does.
For me, college has always been the great engine of the American meritocracy. If you can get there and do a good job, you have a future.
Rick Santorum famously said of President Obama, “What a snob!” when the president suggested everyone should be able to go to college.
For conservatives, college is where liberals indoctrinate their children to abandon “real” American values. College is a place where perverts have sex all the time with whomever they please, and question the moral authority of the church. College is the home of Richard Nixon’s “pointy headed poindexters”, who ruin the perfect world of religious virtue with “uppity” ideas like liberal freedom: justice, opportunity, free thought. For them, this is war.
The problem for Democrats is, we don’t know what to do with all this. We can denounce their anti-intellectualism as dangerous and ignorant, but really we love the decency of the people, and want to lift them from ignorance to an informed approach to dealing with problems. They hate us for our intellectual freedom. They hate us for our class freedom. They hate us for our empathy to those suffering, and for our belief that it takes all of us to build a more perfect union.
Denouncing people of faith doesn’t help. Attacking people who care about their children and want only the best for them, doesn’t help. The left has failed, abjectly, to communicate the power and value of the liberal worldview in a way that includes people of faith. Until we do, the culture war will rage, and the anti-intellectual movement will become even more ingrained, but make no mistake, there is no place for you in their world.