Never give up! Never surrender!

by CynthiaYockey on June 17, 2009

Over at Rightwing Nuthouse, Rick Moran has some nice things to say about me and my quest to get David Letterman fired in his post, “It’s Important to Have the Right Attitude.”

Thanks, dude — now, activate the Omega 13!

Update: This is post of the day at Legal Insurrection — thank you, Prof. Jacobson! The dear professor asks, “Never? Ever?” Yes, professor. Never. Ever. And I will remind you that my beloved life partner was too disabled to work due to her multiple sclerosis when I told her she was the love of my life and we would spend the rest of our lives together, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death parted us. I know all about taking on a challenge that looks impossible and bringing it to a successful conclusion. (New readers: see my post, “Gay Marriage.”) So it looks like I have something positive to contribute to the party, after all.

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Kwakerjak June 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

First off, congratulations on your success thus far; getting one sponsor to pull their ads from Letterman’s show may not seem like much to you, but that’s a lot more than I honestly expected to see happen. You might actually be on to something with this approach.

However, there is a problem that you seem to be running into, namely the utter abhorrence that most conservatives have for victimhood. To put it simply, it is widely held on this side of the political spectrum that thinking of oneself as a victim will always, always, always lead to profound unhappiness, because it means acknowledging that someone else is in control of some aspect of your life. This is considered to be true even if the person in question really is a victim—some might say especially so. Thus, in the eyes of many on the Right, you are doing the Palins a disservice by encouraging them to think of themselves as victims.

(Sorry if that came off as talking down my nose at you—I’m fairly new to the blogosphere, and I’m still learning the rules, if you will.)

SYD June 17, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Never give up. Never surrender. Sounds like Johnny Mac!

I like that!!

Just to be clear….

Standing up for a fourteen year old girl does not make one a “victim.” It makes one a hero! No matter what a few fanatics on the Right may say. (Hell, they sound a lot like a few LW, new age, ” create your own reality” whackos if that is what they really think.

There is evil in the world. Pretending that it doesn’t exist won’t make it go away. That is the strategy of the Obots… and I dare say…. it’s not working so well in Iran or South Korea.

It won’t work on Letterman either.
.-= SYD´s last blog ..When is an Apology not an Apology? Dave’s War on Working Women and Harriet Christian’s Response. =-.

Kwakerjak June 17, 2009 at 10:45 pm

It’s not “a few fanatics” on the Right that believe that, it’s a core principle of conservatism. People who believe that they are victims tend to think that they are entitled to something that someone else has denied them; as a result of this, there is a tendency to focus on forcing someone else to “make” you happy, rather than improving one’s own lot in life (because why should I improve my own life when it’s somebody else’s fault that I’m miserable?). It starts a cycle of dissatisfaction: when you neutralize one oppressor, there is a tendency to find another, then another, then another, until one becomes mired in an obsession with correcting every perceived slight, instead of focusing on what can actually bring real happiness (family, friendship, religion—basically, any social institution that encourages one to place the needs and desires of others over those of oneself).

So what do those on the Right do when they are victimized? They gripe about it for a while, and then return their focus to those social institutions that produce real happiness and satisfaction—which, not surprisingly, is exactly what most on the Right want to do. In other words, they don’t want David Letterman or his employers to be the one who decides if they’re happy with their life, because that means giving up autonomy.

I’m not saying that this should apply in this instance; what I’m saying is that you’re going to have to convince conservatives that this is more than just an attempt to enable the Palins to feel sorry for themselves (the fact that they obviously don’t feel that way should go a long way towards helping in this). Basically, what I’m saying is that you’ve got to convince conservatives that this is a valid exception to the otherwise ironclad “victimhood = bad” rule, because to most of them, that is not self-evident.

SYD June 18, 2009 at 5:01 am

That’s an important point, Kwaker. And I think you may be on to something.

But, fact is… the Palins are happy. At least from outer appearances. Letterman never affacted their “happiness” did he? No more than an Iranian coup is affecting mine. I have a life, a family…. a job. Just as Sarah does.

BUT… being “happy” (whatever that actually means… and yes I have a degree in Family Science so I am quite familiar with “happiness scales”) does not absolve one of the responsibility to do what is right.

That is a major blind spot in the New Age community, as far as I am concerned. And I find the possibility that half of the U.S. thinks that way (as you indicate) to be disturbbing beyond belief.

What is this obsession that Americans have with being “happy?” Heroic actions aren’t born out of “happiness.” They are born out of discernment about what is right… and determination to make that happen.
.-= SYD´s last blog ..When is an Apology not an Apology? Dave’s War on Working Women and Harriet Christian’s Response. =-.

Duke June 18, 2009 at 6:21 am

Hi Kwakerjak,
I get your point and largely agree that the victimhood trope drains indivduals of the can-do attitude necessary to improving ones own lot in life. But it seems the case of getting Letterman fired is more in line with Syd’s post. We’re not crying about Letterman being biased. We say he’s crossed a line of decency, and Cynthia’s campaign is about enforcing that line in the public square. Standing up for Willow Palin (and necessarily covering Sarah Palin’s backside by protecting her family a bit in the process) is not the same as screaming ‘he’s being mean to conservatives’. No victimhoood mindset=no foul.

SYD June 18, 2009 at 7:00 am

Just letting you know…

This conversation is the subject of two of my blogs today. Both the PUMA blog, and the Palinite blog.

Getting some interesting feedback….
.-= SYD´s last blog ..The Nature of Evil, The Will to Take Action, and How New Age Thinking has Infiltrated the Right. (Day 8 in the Letterman Situation) =-.

Puma for Life June 18, 2009 at 9:36 am

Excellent discussion. I found a link to this site over at a blog by SYD on Team Sarah. I have been trying to figure out why the conservatives give up so easily and this explanation about victimhood does make sense. I for one do not accept Letterman’s apology as authentic and until he is fired the battle has not been won. For one thing, this is not just about Sarah Palin, it is about all women and girls; see my article on my blog “War on White Women.” (
Also, I have reported on the rally and let people know there is another one in Texas this Saturday.

Please Join The American Conservative Alliance for the following event:

Fire David Letterman Rally

Saturday, June 20th

10:00 AM till Noon

Meet in front of:
CBS affiliate KBTX-TV Channel 3
4141 E. 29th Street
Bryan, TX 77802
(Less than 5 minutes from the Texas A&M University Campus.)

For more information contact Mark Gillar

If you can’t make the Rally, at least log on to our Email Blaster
and let Letterman’s advertisers know how you feel:
.-= Puma for Life´s last blog ..Fire David Letterman rally in NYC today: Update: New Video: Harriet Christian =-.

Duke June 18, 2009 at 10:11 am

Cynthia linked to an excellent article by one Sebastian Gray (apparently also a former activist of the left) that shed much light for me as to why conservatives are often ineffective. Here’s Cynthia’s excerpt which has a link to Sebastian’s more extensive comments.

SYD June 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

HILLBUZZ is a favorite blog of mine. And I had read the Grey article. It is great, as to the way forward.

But what I am really wondering is… how did the party of my grandparents get so ineffective? What is the underlying belief system that renders them impotent?

I think Kwakerjak is on to somthing. And I also think the “no victimhood” mentality of the Right shares a certain kind of wishful thinking with the O-bot Left. I’ll hope for “Change” is, if you will, the mirror image of “I”ll decide who can oppress me.”

It’s kind of like they both listened to MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech and thought they could stop there… with the dream.

As if just dreaming it will make it so.
.-= SYD´s last blog ..The Nature of Evil, The Will to Take Action, and How New Age Thinking has Infiltrated the Right. (Day 8 in the Letterman Situation) =-.

I R A Darth Aggie June 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Hey, Puma…Gig ’em.

Or another thing we say…Beat the hell out of Letterman!

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