By the books
By Thomas Lindaman
But that doesn't stop the faux left from "proving" how smart they are. A recent Associated Press-Ipsos poll shows that people who consider themselves to be liberal read more books than conservatives. And who does the Associated Press quote first in their story? Former Democrat Representative from Colorado and current president of the American Association of Publishers, Pat Schroeder.
Schroeder's point, much like her House career, falls short of relevance. I know it's cool to mention Karl Rove when attacking everything from the war in Iraq to having to pay an extra quarter for a Super Duper Quadruple Mocha Latte from Starbucks, but Rove didn't have anything to do with the number of books liberals and conservatives read. If he did, wouldn't you think he'd make it so conservatives read more books than liberals?
The whole notion behind the poll is silly to begin with. Does it really matter in the grand scheme of things that liberals read more books than conservatives? Not really, and it's not really explained in the poll or in the resulting story as to why there's a difference. Is it because liberals are unemployed, so they have more time to read? Is it because conservatives are tackling books like The Reagan Diaries while liberals are getting through the ever-so-tricky The Cat In The Hat? We don't know!
And here's the twist. Reading books doesn't make you smarter. True intelligence comes from the application of knowledge gained, whether it be from life for from the pages of a book. Then, it becomes a matter of testing that knowledge against changing circumstances.
This is where the faux left so often falls flat. Take global warming for example. Once Al Gore talked about the "fragile ecosystem," the faux left repeated it without asking essential questions. When Al Gore talked about the "hockey stick" model of warming, the faux left talked about it non-stop. When Al Gore came out with An Inconvenient Truth, the faux left fell asleep. After all, it is Al Gore we're talking about here.
Yet, as scientists who actually do research came out and said Gore was wrong, Gore and the faux left swung into action and proclaimed the people who disagreed with them "global warming deniers" and proclaimed "the debate is over." Another sign of intelligence is being able to intelligently debate those who disagree with you, letting the strength of your arguments win the debate. Last time I checked, declaring "the debate is over" when it's still going on isn't in the Lincoln-Douglas rules.
At its heart, the AP-Ipsos poll is an attempt to shore up liberal spirits, and let's face it, after the past few months, they need it. Air America is continuing to tank like Michael Dukakis. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have taken Congress in a new direction: down. And when you consider the great white hope of your movement is Cindy Sheehan, it's a wonder that we haven't had a major Prozac shortage in this country. So, they need something to help boost their spirits. And it's the Associated Press to the rescue!
Unfortunately for the faux left, the poll in question only affirms what they already believe about themselves without actually establishing that their beliefs are founded in reality. Of course, that's never stopped them before, but in this case it's a serious problem because it enables their addition to themselves. The first step to beating any addiction is to admit you have a problem, and you guys have a serious problem if you're buoyed by a poll that shows you read more books than conservatives.
But judging from Pat Schroeder's comments, it doesn't appear as though they're ready to take the first of the 12 steps they need to beat their addiction. Before I go, I did want to take issue with her comment about conservative writers merely repeating slogans. That's intellectual elitism at its finest, but it's absolutely not true. Conservative writers don't need to rely on slogans to make their points.