Opinion

Managing the Left-Wing Elite

By Jedediah Bila

Jedediah Bila

I remember the first time I dealt with a member of the Manhattan liberal elite. I was ten years old and had accompanied my mom to a salon on Madison Avenue in Midtown.

An older woman sitting under a hair dryer beside me had interrupted my studying to roll her eyes and laugh at an image of President Reagan on the paper I was holding. “Stupid man,” she had said. “And so common.” Mom had given her quite a lecture before we left.

Then there was my second encounter a year or so later. While in a dressing room on the Upper East Side, mom and I overheard a saleswoman talking about a “Republican out-of-towner” who had entered the store wearing a mismatched ensemble, including a “dreadful American flag sweater.” We never returned to that store again.

The truth is that I’ve been surrounded by the liberal elite my whole life. Although I resided in Staten Island until I entered grad school at Columbia University at the age of twenty-one, I had always spent at least two days a week in “the city” during middle school, high school, and college. I guess you could say that studying at Columbia, teaching at a private school on the Upper East Side, and living and working in Manhattan for many years solidified my experience with snooty leftists.

As a result, I’ve decided to offer some suggestions as to how to deal with them. Satisfaction guaranteed.

  •  Smile. Always remember to smile when refuting an argument. It makes them go completely bananas. Smiling conveys two things that liberal elitists are very uncomfortable with: happiness and confidence.
  •  Stick to the issues. Never resort to personal attacks. They will – and your refusal to take part will make them unhinged. What should you do? You got it: smile, refute, smile, refute, and smile some more. Kill them with kindness. (Relax lefties, it’s an expression.)
  •  Be real. Left-wing elitists revere pomposity, arrogance, and highbrow rhetoric. However, they fear humility, authenticity, and practical smarts. Those things disarm them and leave them reaching for baseless attacks. Don’t forget to keep smiling.
  •  Crack them up. Tell a joke that really, really makes them want to laugh. They will become angry at you for being funny, then angry at themselves for – heaven forbid – laughing with the enemy. The contortions of their faces alone are well worth it.
  •  Break the stereotype. Lefty elitists take pride in defining you as the caricature they’ve been taught you are. Prove them wrong and stand up for individuality in the process. Revealing that you’re an animal lover, that you adore clean air, or that you went to a snobby left-wing university will leave them bewildered.

 And, most importantly …

  •  Defend their right to disagree with you. The collectivist mind has been trained to see opposing viewpoints as deadly. By defending their right to disagree, you are doing something they never could. The more you stress that their differing opinions don’t bother you, the more discombobulated they’ll become. Why? Because you will represent the true herald of diversity they falsely claim to be.

So, the next time you visit San Francisco, Manhattan, or anywhere in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, have some fun. Oh, and don’t forget – all overt signs of patriotism will be viewed as excessive and ostentatious.

American flag sweatsuit? Perfect.

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Rathod
9 years ago

Posted on incredible, that was a very good read. In nusclocion, someone who actually thinks and understands what they are blogging about. Quite difficult to find of late, especially on the web . I bookmarked your web blog and will make sure to keep coming back here if this is how you always write. thank you, keep it up! .

Shivam
9 years ago

. Qo Ekamutn Internetum internet sibuness [email protected] iskapes bacarik hnaravorutun er boloris hamar . Ays mi qani shabatva @ntacqum mez aynqan proffesional ev kazmakerpvac kerpov matucvec nor informacian ,vor Internet sibuness [email protected] darcav miangamamayn harazat vayr indz hamar ev es patrastvum em hastatvel ev sharunakel aystex. Bolor nranq ovqer derevs tarakusum en masnakcel nor sksvox daserin te voch ,es mecaguin patasxanatvutiamb ev vstahutiamb erashxavorum em ,masnakceq ev dzer arjev kbacven nor drner ,hnaravorutunner ev iharke amboxjovin nor giteliqner Da dzezanic shat ban chi xli,ev ardunqum inch kunennaq anhamemateli e linelu !!! Mi hapaxeq !!!

tarek
9 years ago

Dear Dr. Kristi, I have this terrible fear of bald oelppe. Particularly bald old men. They seem to be everywhere these days! How do you suggest I deal with this issue?

flyer
10 years ago

Jededia is right on! It is difficult to have a logical discussion with someone who insists on positions that are detrimental to their own health. We, as a country, have forgotten that one of the basic principles our founding fathers held was that this is a country where it’s OK to disagree, but that doesn’t give the minority the right to impose their viewpoint on the majority. In short, you have a right to your opinion, even if it deffers from mine, but that does not make it my problem, nor does it mean that I must abide by it unless it is backed up by the constitution. The constitution is the law of the land, the social contract we agreed to abide by by accepting citizenship in this country. If you don’t like it, change it by convincing a majority of the voting citizens to agree to your porposed change. Until then, we must all live by it or we will have nothing.

Harold Hanley
10 years ago

One other thing I like to do, JB that really works with the lefties, and especially the atheistic ones is to wish them a Merry Christmas just before you part company when you are close to Christmas. They really hate that. If you are near an upcoming holiday of the religious type, Easter, Christmas, Good Friday, etc., remember to do this for that last laugh you spoke of.

Jack Lavelle
10 years ago

I try to practice a variation of these ‘tips’ when I have to deal with the guys I knew in college. These poor fellas haven’t examined their beliefs since they formed them in 1967. I try to be funny and Jedediah is right – it DOES make them nuts. I must admit, however, that I limit my contact with these poor folks. AND their wives, who tend to be the hardest lefties in the group sometimes.

Allen Pelc
10 years ago

Can’t wait until my subscription starts.
Amac has the honest facts unlike the “other publication” that supported Obamacare, etc.
You guys rock, like our talk radio media rocks!

Sissy Willis
10 years ago

I’ve linked your mahvelous piece in a new post of my own:

Sarah Palin, the GOP “blue bloods” and “The aristocracy of nature”

http://bit.ly/g3Gtrw

Get real
10 years ago

Get real “Jedediah.” You conservative wako.

Sissy Willis
10 years ago

Jedediah:

Forget about visiting the People’s Republic of Massachusetts! I am a bona fide red stater living behind enemy lines here in true-blue Taxachusetts.

LOVE your article. It explains with humor why they can’t STAND Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. :)

Citizen
10 years ago

There is no difference between a “Manhattan liberal elitest” and a country club consevative elitest. Everyone here thinks they have the market cornered on what the truth is, and would much rather stick with their particular ideological dogma than look at reality.

Albert Nets
10 years ago

Hey Mekhong Kurt
You obviously used too many words to check your spelling.

Harry Hagan
10 years ago

Man! There’s just no escaping the ubiquity of liberals! I thought I’d found a site of quiet, conservative, repose.
Anyway, I love Ms. Bila’s piece. I have no criticism. This is my first time here. I’m joining.
To bloody hell with libs and their idiotic ideology. They’ve ruined a terrific country. We can bring it back, but it’s straight uphill.

Mekhong Kurt
10 years ago

Ms. Bila,

There is some truth to the points you make, yet you yourself engage in some of the very behavior you rightly reject. Let’s look at just one of your tips to find examples.

Smile: In this one, you wrote, in part, “It makes them go completely bananas. Smiling conveys two things that liberal elitists are very uncomfortable with: happiness and confidence.” Logical fallicies here: the overgeneralization of “them” in the first sentence, taking it as a “facgt” that each and every person who is liberal is *also* an elitist, and that all of “them” are uncomfortable with . . . what should I call others? — let’s say “non-liberals” when those “non-leverals” smile. The same applies to your assumption that every liberal is uncomfortable with confidence when it is shown by non-liberals.

In this article you engage in what might be called “impersonal personal attacks.” That it, while you don’t single out a single individual, you do attack anyone who holds what you perceive to be a liberal viewpoint. I already mentioned the use of the word “elitists” as a negative, despite the fact that word is neither inherently nor solely negative (even if it has been perverted in recent decades in particular).

The use of the word “unhinged” is also a personal attack based on bias.

How is the stage set in the opinion article for your tips: — by your use of two examples of individuals you indetify as “liberals.” (I presume they must have been among those nasty elitists as well.) Their sins were, in the first instance, to call a sweater bearing the American flag “dreadful” and in the second instance to refer to President Regan as being “stupid.”

Well, let’s see. Is it beyond conception that a sweater that displays an American flag might look dreadful *despite* the presence of an American flag — and NOT appear dreadful BECAUSE of it? Now, had you said that the flag was sewn on or printed upside down, or perhaps with the international symbol of a red circle with a diagonal line across it imposed on it, or something along those lines, then many would be nonplussed, to say the very least. But neither of those nor something along their lines apparently applies. In any case, had you worn a sweater displaying either, that would have implied far more about you than about any observer renmarking upon it.

How might a sweater appear dreadful, even if it did not include an American flag? Well, I dislike certain colors or combinations of colors, dislike some of them greatly. No flag or other visual ornament will make such a sweater attractive — but the ugliness of the sweater — ugliness in MY eyes, that is, though the person next to me find it quite beautiful, which is fine — the ugliness is not BECAUSE of the American flag, but IN SPITE of it. As it so happens, I find the American flag one of the most beautiful in the world, and I believe I would feel the same about its visual appearance even if I (1.) were not American and (2.) had no idea what it represents. As a work of *art* I find it beautiful. Of course, as I *am* an American, it does indeed have many wonderful meanings that I love.

You’re on marginally stronger ground in your objection to the remark about President Reagan than you are in your comment about the sweater. Calling anyone “stupid” is useless in reasonable debate. It also shows intellectual laziness — at the moment, on that one subject.

Yet it is wild speculation to expand the use of that single word, “stupid,” into a statement of the speaker’s entire political and/or social philosophy. To do so is akin to saying, though not identical, It is the same as saying that because a person said, “That teacher is really stupid” then that person must believe ALL teachers are stupid, and that they are all stupid all the time.

Well, maybe he (or she) does think that. But there’s absolutely zero in a statement such as “That teacher is stupid” to support, let alone prove, that presumptive conclusion.

Another example is this. It happens I’m a university teacher. In my field, I’m reasonably well-educated, and I teach it what most of my students have dubbed to be reasonably well, on average, over the years. Someone could logically defend me against an allegation of stupidity. Yet in very, very many areas I am poorly infornmed, or entirely uninformed, so in any conversation I might have with others who are themselves very knowledgeable in a field about which I know little or nothing, an observer could be forgiven for concluding I must be “stupid.”

I am not stupid. I also am not brilliant. I am very well-informed on a few things, and very poorly informed, if at all informed, on a great many other things. No brilliance, no “brain-deadedness” there.

In short, I’m a pretty ordinary guy who happens to have a couple sheepskins.

I could go on, such as to delve into your use of the phrasing “collectivist minds” (shades of Stalinist communism).

As the old hamburger ad asks, Ms. bila, “where’s the beef?”

I should add that I am conservative in many ways, and liberal in many others, and moderate in both.

I suppose I must drive the liberal collectivist minds of anyone with any view mor to the left or right of mine nuts, and makes them become unhinged — right?

My bad! — making “them” most unfortunately “go completely bananas.”

ROBERT THEODORE
10 years ago

I’m tired of latte Liberals and Journalists, who would never wear the uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their entitlement-handicapped kids near a Recruiting Station, trashing our Military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad mouth better people than themselves.

Engineer Rick
10 years ago

My key disagreement is American Flag sweatsuit. Review the Flag Code and see that it is never to be worn as clothing. I suggest that if you have any clothing with significant portions of the US flag that you look for a flag retirement ceremony and dispose of them appropriately.

Rob
10 years ago

Person01…you sound intelligent but defensive (not meant to be a personal attack). Stereotypes are OFTEN true, as in all Blacks have the right to be treated as equal. Besides, if the vast majority act or portray themselves in a certain manner I believe it to be fair to stereotype them or to generalize about them regarding their behavior. In baseball, lefties hit righties better than other righties…so it is a fair statement that lefties hit righties better. Does EVERY lefty hit righties better? Of course not, and that’s not what the average person would think when they hear that statement. They would just think that, in general, that is the case.

Nicholas
10 years ago

I love the way lefties, and some “righties” who aren’t really as right as they might like you to think, always go with the “well there’s guilt on both sides” or some such retort. While there are times when that is true, The incomparable Miss Bila has the left nailed dead to rights on this one. When encountering someone from the left, especially the real hard core lefties, I just remember that to them EVERYTHING is political. If you keep that in mind, you can have all kinds of fun with them. If you’re lucky, you can get them to the point where they suddenly realize just how silly what they’re saying really is.

Person01
10 years ago

Who’s threatened? I’m just upset with the generalizations and fallacies, that’s all.

Fred M.
10 years ago

Great tips, Jedediah! I have subliminally used these to folks I encounter in and around the SF area. Surprisingly, these little points keep the libs off balance, wondering if their thinking is really what they perceive it is.

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