A new “nationally representative survey” has concluded that the number of Americans who still have free minds is now low enough to warrant intensifying the psychological warfare in order to finish them off for good.
In fact, if this study from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication can be trusted – and with unbiased names like those, what’s not to trust? – life will be getting hotter for those frustrating American holdouts who insist on thinking for themselves when there are so many qualified experts ready to provide them with all the pre-packaged thoughts they need.
The Yale-George Mason study, found in their joint publication, “Politics and Global Warming, Spring 2014” (hereafter PGW), is heralded in a mass e-mail, which I was so fortunate as to receive, under the headline, “Americans Prefer Candidates That Support Climate Change Action.” In case the implication of this announcement is too subtle for some, there is a subtitle to clarify things: “Conservative Republicans Outside the Mainstream of Public Opinion.”
If you thought a little forced laughter would get you through the truth underlying the story of a professor demanding that the funding of anthropogenic global warming “denial” be designated a crime; if you imagined it was just politics as usual when President Obama told graduating university students last month that congressional Republicans know global warming is real, but are silenced by the party’s “radical fringe”; or if you believed that Michael Mann’s lawsuit against Mark Steyn and National Review was just a sensitive scientist’s over-reaction to having his work questioned, perhaps this study will set you straight.
The study consists of a series of survey results allegedly indicating that the U.S. mainstream on global warming would be cozily uniform, and in step with the enlightened rest of the world, were it not for the persistent exception of conservatives. Its key finding, according to one of its spokesmen, is this:
“It’s long been obvious that Democrats and Republicans often disagree about global warming,” said lead investigator, Edward Maibach, PhD, of George Mason University. “This study finds, however, that liberal and moderate Republicans – about a third of the party – often have views relatively similar to Democrats, while conservative Republicans have very different opinions.”
To support this revelation, the communiqué highlights results such as the following:
88% of Democrats, 59% of Independents and 61% of liberal/moderate Republicans think global warming is happening, compared to only 28% of conservative Republicans.
Percentages like these, representing artificially and unequally segmented sectors of the population, are very deceptive, which is exactly why the researchers have chosen to frame their findings this way. If “liberal/moderate Republicans” (as defined by this survey) comprise only a third of the party, and among these, 61% “think global warming is happening,” then that only accounts for about 20% of total Republicans. Add to that number the 28% of the much larger group of “conservative Republicans” who supposedly agree, and that totals about 40% of all Republicans who believe global warming is happening. In other words, according to this survey’s own numbers, 60% of all Republicans do not believe global warming is happening.
By applying the survey numbers cited above directly to the 2012 Presidential vote totals, splitting this survey’s estimate of 9% Independents (after subtracting “leaners”) between the R and D tallies, we can approximate that there are thirty-seven million “conservative Republicans,” over twenty-six million of whom do not believe global warming is happening. Those twenty-six million are joined in their unbelief by roughly seven million “liberal/moderate Republicans,” nearly five million “Independents,” and over seven million Democrats. That gives us forty-five million Americans – over 35% of all 2012 voters, and more than Bill Clinton’s total popular vote tally in 1992 – who, if this survey is accurate, do not believe global warming is happening. Nevertheless, these “researchers” have made a rhetorical choice to isolate the conservative Republican portion of these forty-five million citizens, and designate them a marginal group “outside the mainstream of public opinion.”
In the real world of pluralism and political debate, such a judgment is nonsensical. It is nonsensical in the unreal world of propaganda, too, but that’s one function of propaganda: to make the nonsensical sound persuasive. These Ph.D.-wielding researchers have simply stipulated that the “mainstream” is wherever they are, which by definition relocates anyone who disagrees with “liberal Democrats” to a position “outside the mainstream.”
Consider this finding, not highlighted in the news release but detailed in the actual study:
Americans across political lines, except conservative Republicans, support federal laws to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy as a way to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. (PGW p. 24)
Since it is hard to conceive what it would mean to be a “conservative Republican” while supporting paternalistic laws restricting energy usage or forcing individuals to use undesired products, it seems that conservatives are being marginalized here simply for being conservatives. The obvious implication of this perspective is that the 89% of liberal Democrats who would support such federal controls (PGW p. 24) – roughly 20% of registered voters, according to this survey – are the reasonable and enlightened ones, representing the vanguard of mainstream opinion.
Also buried in the confused contours of the study is this striking tidbit: only 51% of all registered voters think global warming is caused mostly by human activities (PGW p. 34). This reveals why AGW propagandists habitually ask survey respondents two questions, first whether they believe warming “is happening,” and second whether it is primarily man-made. They want to use the first question’s higher (but irrelevant) number of “yes” replies to hoodwink you in their public statements, whereas the second number, the important one, gets buried in the details, is never discussed, and is included only to cover their backsides should anyone take the time to parse their public statements carefully.
Doesn’t this 51% destroy the whole “mainstream opinion” ruse? This is dismal news for the propagandists: after all these years of trying, they’ve barely persuaded half the American population that global warming is “mostly” man-made. Of course, as professional educators, these researchers know how to soften the blow of disappointment by presenting it within a “bad news sandwich.” Thus, having conceded that only liberal Democrats are largely on board with the fundamental claim of AGW, the survey immediately attempts to explain away this problem as painlessly as possible:
Though recent studies have shown that virtually all climate scientists (97%) have concluded human-caused climate change is happening, Americans, on average, estimate that only half of climate scientists think it is happening. On average, liberal Democrats are the only group who believe that a majority (76%) of climate scientists agree, although this is still well below the actual degree of scientific consensus.
The problem, you see, is that Americans just don’t understand how unanimous the peer-reviewed science is on this issue. (Or do they?) If they’d stop listening to anti-science knuckle-draggers like Rush Limbaugh, a mere radio host, or Phil Jones, a mere director of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (who grudgingly admitted in a 2010 interview that there hasn’t been any statistically significant global warming since 1995), they would know what every “peer” knows, which is that this planet stopped supporting life in 2012.
The press release repeatedly emphasizes that the researchers are Ph.D.s, and boasts that their study was funded by three private grant organizations dedicated to climate change issues. One of these, the V.K. Rasmussen Foundation, even shares facilities and personnel with the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Why would these highly educated or super-rich advocates of “social change,” “global governance,” and “sustainability” go to all this trouble to create a peer-reviewed fairytale about near unanimity among American voters concerning global warming? Surely not just to make themselves feel better. On the contrary, their purpose is to make their political enemies, conservatives, feel worse.
For this “study” is part of a propaganda campaign, brought to you by organizations that are dedicated in their very charters to persuading Americans to submit to the AGW political agenda, i.e., to hyper-regulation of everyone’s movements, living conditions, and choices. This study is meant to serve as leaflets dropped on enemy territory declaring that further resistance is futile. More precisely, it is analogous to telling a POW in solitary confinement that his comrades have already signed the confession and are now eating a delicious feast, preparing to fly home to their families.
And that really is the American conservative today: progressivism’s prisoner of war, trapped in an authoritarian world he did not choose, and continually prodded to surrender his mind and confess. From the point of view of the established ruling class, this man is an enigma, absurdly holding out in defense of a principle that his captors can only vaguely comprehend. A man whose unbowed existence in their midst is becoming an embarrassment, a poke in the revolution’s eye that history’s leading progressives would never have tolerated for so long.
They must break him at last. They are trying every technique they know: moles within the ranks, as with the disingenuous “conservative” labelling of establishmentarians such as Karl Rove and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; smear campaigns (racist, sexist, homophobe); bureaucratic-regulatory bullying (IRS, NSA, EPA, etc.). And now, the psychological warfare of flagrant propaganda: Give up, you’re outnumbered, no one agrees with you, we’re all laughing at you, even your friends are leaving you – you’re outside the mainstream.
So was Socrates. So were the protesters at Tiananmen Square. Being outside the mainstream is neither right nor wrong in itself – everything depends on the nature of the given mainstream. The one that the Yale and George Mason researchers are invoking to intimidate American conservatives is as much a creation of the ruling establishment as it is a genuine popular ethos. But this global progressive stream grows wider through erosion with each passing decade.
Its banks are steep and slippery to prevent easy escape, maintained as such by means of government schools, a progressive media apparatus, and a moral relativism that renders all “traditional” principles ridiculous and unfair. Beneath the obscure waters lies a rocky bed of regulation and political correctness to prevent anyone from finding a stable foothold from which to resist the current. And flying overhead, monitoring and admiring the progress of it all, are the vultures, the ruling elite – leading academics, millionaire “philanthropists,” and the made men of politics – with their exempt status, their convenient “causes” and “crises,” their sense of entitlement and impunity, and a feeling of natural superiority that obviates all qualms of conscience and self-doubt.
The vultures’ entire program of indoctrination is designed to produce dependence and conformity – from early childhood “socialization,” to the years of carefully orchestrated and legally-enforced aimlessness they call “adolescence,” to the sophistical, conscience-swallowing haze of university, and the mass-produced, mass-entertained, mass-informed ersatz adulthood of the compliant worker-unit. The program is working, but progress has been slower in the U.S. than in the rest of the civilized world, due in part to delays caused by the unexpected resilience of the substantial minority of Americans who continue to cling bitterly to their historical sense of their nation as a society of self-reliant men free to determine their own paths.
It is telling that an ideological movement which built its empire by dividing societies into artificially conflicting minority factions, and then claiming to be the true representative of the interests of each of those minorities against a reactionary mainstream, has now turned the tables completely. Today, American progressives are engaged in a systematic effort to redefine all those balkanized factions as a new collective mainstream, and to reclassify the former reactionary majority as an unstable minority which must be crushed to smooth the way for the great god, Progress.
In his exuberant youth, Bill Ayers reportedly speculated that twenty-five million Americans – ten percent of the population – would prove resistant to communist re-education, and would therefore have to be “eliminated.” Given the increase in the official U.S. population since Ayers made that estimate, and adding the millions of “undocumented” citizens-to-be, the thirty-seven million “conservatives” figure I calculated above is almost within range of Ayers’ prediction. No surprise, then, that a President from Ayers’ neighborhood is out there rallying students to despise conservatives as a “radical fringe,” and that academics are out to prove that a hateful conservative minority “outside the mainstream” is the only thing standing in the way of saving the planet.
The world is witnessing an important tidal shift in American politics, which means we are living through a world-historical event. Establishment voices in politics, academia, and science are openly redefining allegiance to the U.S. Declaration of Independence and Constitution – which means to America itself as a political idea – as part mental illness, part crime. In America, “conservatism,” or more precisely “constitutionalism,” is no longer to be regarded as a political label, but rather as a diagnosis and a verdict.
Propaganda, intimidation, and marginalizing rhetoric aimed at separating a group from the realm of acceptable discourse, are the normal progressive steps towards the elimination of an undesirable minority. In America, the supposed ideology of the downtrodden minorities is rebranding itself as the ideology of the mainstream. That indicates how close progressives think they are to achieving their ultimate goals. The question is what the new mainstream will do if the “radical fringe” proves courageous enough to resist the onslaught indefinitely.
For some time, progressives have counted on attrition to win the war against an aging conservative resistance. That makes education the key to the minority’s survival. The progressives hold all the cards in that department – for now.
(This article first appeared at American Thinker.)