A humorous, albeit stacked, debate. The video does illuminate one facet of the American political scene. Educated conservatives tend to be more familiar with liberal arguments than educated liberals are with conservative arguments. The reason for this is quite simple. Conservatives who have been to college have exposed themselves to an institution that is overwhelmingly liberal. If they read or view the mainstream media, once again they are exposed to liberal ideas from an institution overwhelmingly liberal. Their entertainment comes to them from sources that tend to be liberal. Educated conservatives in our society can no more ignore liberal ideas and arguments than they can any other annoying and ubiquitous feature of modern life; like people having “private” conversations at the top of their lungs over cell phones, liberalism is a constant background feature.
The same is not true for educated liberals. If they choose, and a surprising number of them so choose, they can lead their lives without ever engaging with conservative ideas and arguments. The colleges they attend support their political beliefs, the mainstream media presupposes that their arguments are correct and entertainment, if it has political content, will usually flatter their predispositions. In short, liberals in our society can live their lives in an ideological bubble where conservatives need not be taken seriously.
President Obama is a product of just such a process. He came from a family oriented to the political left. He attended Harvard Law School where he was probably much more likely to encounter a convinced scientologist than he was a conservative. He then went to Chicago to launch his political career where Republicans have been on the endangered species list since the days of the last Republican mayor, Big Bill Thompson (one of the more corrupt politicians in a city ever noted for political corruption), in the era of Elliot Ness and Al Capone. He entered the US Senate in a farcial race against Allan Keyes who ran the worst political campaign I have ever witnessed. On the national scene, he became President in 2008 with overwhelming Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress. For his first two years as President, as for all of his life before then, Republicans and conservatives simply didn’t matter and he made his policies oblivious to their arguments and objections. 2010 demonstrated how well that worked out for Mr. Obama.
Conservatives often feel besieged in a society that fails to reflect they are 40% of the population while liberals are 20%, but, in the long run, they are better advocates for their positions as a consequence of the fact that the dominant organs of opinion in the country are in the hands of their ideological adversaries.