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The Party of Rich Old White Men Redux

Original post made by Lisa Rossetti, another community, on Jul 13, 2011

Author's note:

I posted the opinion piece below my note yesterday. I used the name SMGOP. The article was clearly attributed at the bottom of the piece and the contact information included SMGOP in the name so there should have been little confusion as to the source.

It appears that "Sam Sell" may habe found the information in the article so upsetting he needed to try and use the letter of the law to get it silenced. The complaint was that this piece was possibly being posted incorrectly ( he could have e-mailed to check and find out before making an unfounded accusation). [Portion deleted. Discuss the topic. Don't attack other posters.] Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer!

(For those who are unfamiliar with what a block warden or blockleiter is go here: Web Link)

And now - once again; some apparently threatening information:



"The belief that liberals care more about the poor may scratch a partisan or ideological itch, but the facts are hostile witnesses."
--Hon. Don R. Willett, Texas State Supreme Court Justice, Texas Review of Law & Politics

There are many arguments about perception and reality. Ultimately, perception is not reality but for all intents and purposes it might as well be. If you can get enough people to act on a false impression then the truth really doesn't matter.

We encounter this daily. When we read the news, whether it is good old fashioned newsprint or the hundreds of blogs available online, when we watch Jon Stewart, Chris Matthews, or Bill Maher, we all hear how Republicans are rich, old, white men. We learn that Republicans are greedy and selfish, that Republicans want to deny people jobs, healthcare, housing, and an education.

They must be very scary people! How can any sane thinking person identify as a Republican if those are their values?

As it turns out, the only thing truly scary is the fact that these notions, which are an outright fabrication and demonstrably false, are being touted as gospel by our "respected" news sources.

Let's start addressing these myths about Republicans by taking a look at the charitable donations of righties versus lefties.

A book by Syracuse University Business Professor Arthur C. Brooks, titled "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism," examines the data on this very topic, and while the book made a splash on both sides of the aisle a few years ago when it came out, it's findings have seemingly been forgotten and drowned out by the continuous, droning, and automaton-like repetition of the very incorrect ideas that it refuted.

Before we launch into the findings in the book, let's qualify Syracuse University a bit, just so nobody gets the idea that we are dealing with a professor from the Limbaugh Institute or the Heritage Foundation here. The University Chancellor, a woman, has a list of publications which include speeches such as, "The Value of Diversity in Higher Education" and "Women as Academic Leaders: Insider Voices with Outsider Values." Syracuse has a special program called "STOPbias," the "STOP" being an acronym for "Spot It, Talk About It, Open Your Mind, Prevent It." This is, as the righties would say, "Liberal Academia" at it's finest.

So what does this book have to say?

The findings include the following data:
-Income for liberal families averages 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, yet conservative families gave, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household.
-George Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.
-In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5 percent. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent of their vote, donated just 1.9 percent.
(Web Link)
-If liberals gave as much blood as conservatives do, the nation's blood supply would increase by 45 percent.

These are just a few of the conclusions reached from the data in the book.

Of course, the quote at the top of this column comes from Don Willett in his review of this book in a Texas Law Journal. "Come on!" you say. He's a right-wing Texas judge – his idea of fun probably consists of monster pickup trucks crushing rows of Priuses, and plinking gophers in his backyard with his .22 long barrel.

While that may or may not be true, and if it is true it may or may not matter to the validity of his review, the fact is that the data in the book has been openly acknowledged by the left as well, and has not, as far as we can tell, been disputed or called into question by anyone on either side of the fence.

In fact, the book was the inspiration for a piece in the New York Times by self-admitted liberal and Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist Nicholas Kristof, titled "Bleeding Heart Tightwads," wherein Kristof not only acknowledges the truth of the Brooks' data, but corroborates it by citing other sources which are consistent with it: A Google survey showed average conservative charitable contributions were double those of liberals, and the Catalogue of Philanthropy, a group of over 300 nonprofits nationwide, consistently finds that Red States contribute more, while Northeastern States (heavily democratic) contribute less.
(Web Link)

Incidentally, Kristof also found similar truths on the international scale – Americans give to charity far more than Europeans (read: more liberal/socialistic folks). Americans give 1.67 percent of their GNP. The stingiest group of people on Earth (his words, not ours!) are the French with 0.14 percent. (That's about one tenth of one percent- about 14 times less than Americans).

How about another shock to liberal sensibilities? In the United States, liberal millionaires actually outnumber conservative millionaires. Somehow the GOP has gotten stuck with the stigma that if you are rich, you must be a Republican and your gains are ill-gotten. Democrats play the class warfare card about the "rich getting richer," but as it turns out, it's those same liberal Democrat politicians who are getting richer, even during this down economy. (Note that Nancy Pelosi's wealth grew by 62 percent in one year from 2009 to 2010, as reported in The Hill newspaper). Somehow the policies they espouse fatten their wallets at the expense of the middle class. As for bad character, please note that Democrat Bernie Madoff gave $25,000 annually to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign.

Why, if this information is acknowledged as true by people on both sides and has gone unrefuted, and is out there for all to see and digest, does it seem to be constantly ignored and willfully contradicted in everyday political dialogue both at the national level in the mainstream media (MSM) and locally, among your own friends and neighbors in your community?

Could it be that everything the commentators say is not always true? Could it be that people with their own agendas are trying to mislead you into adopting their worldview, by misstating the worldview of their opponents?

Answering such questions is above our pay grade, but it wouldn't be the first time that a populace has been intentionally misled for purposes of political and financial gain. In fact, someone I think we all know once said: "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it."

Now, quoting Hitler may make us sound crazy, but to us, the total disregard for and drowning out of hard data by merely repeating the opposite of those facts is real madness. And it is exactly what we see today.

The truth is out there, and as the facts uncomfortably prove, the only way to truly make the Republican Party the party of the stingy is for a huge number of Democrats to re-register as Republicans and start voting for our candidates. I encourage you to consider it.

The San Mateo Republican Party will address more myths in future columns. If you want to contact us, you can e-mail us at info@smgop.org. Put "Rossetti-Evanns" in the subject line. The authors of this article, Lisa Rossetti and Richard Evanns, are proud Republicans.

Comments (28)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by san mateo
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:20 am

my first thoughts:

Want to know why the GOP brand is toast in California?

The local GOP spends time with posts (about how bible belt states give more to their church) ON THE SAME DAY that a special election is held in So Cal and the GOP gets beat again!

Why the heck wasn't dear little miss lisa down there doing gotv?

Lisa should, if she's not interested in actual ELECTIONS, have just posted a link to her lagoon article.

But why?

In the original, all she moans about is bible belt contributions and other generally worthless points, without any links, validation or proof, while Rome burns:

- Medicare

- McConnell debt capitulation

- GOP statewide office vacancies

- A friggin' SPECIAL ELECTION to the US House!!!!!!

At least bring Michelle Bachmann out here to rally the troops.

What's left of them, that still call themselves Republicans, as opposed to the chicken littles who call them selves "libertarians" or "independents".

Or get down to so cal and elect a congressman.

Post an article of gibberish about questionable unsubstantiated national level data on the alleged differences between libs and cons????

In an almost gossip column format????

Is that what we need?

No wonder the GOP is dead in California.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by san mateo
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:24 am

2nd thoughts: Since when does our GOP keep coming up with Hitler references???

"one of your neighbors who will make an excellent blockleiter when the Socio-Fascists"

"Now, quoting Hitler may make us sound crazy,"

Please, please, please stop! You are driving the sane ones away.

Does the state GOP know about what the San Mateo County GOP is doing here? The adults need to take charge.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sam sell
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:40 am

Is this really from a county level politcal operative?

Sweetie, I have a book suggestion for your next meeting: How to win friends....

You have no idea about my politcs and who I am, yet you slam me as a fascist?

Hank vouches for you, but I will ask around, see what Rick and the others have to say.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa Rossetti
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 10:53 am

Since San Mateo continues to c/p their comments - here is my response to that... - Apparently what I wrote was so upsetting that it blinded you to the source data I cited. Of course that would be too much work for someone who prefers personal insult as a method of communication. If you want to throw out personal insults enjoy yourself - facts are facts and the data is readily accessible... Let me give you one more time one of the central sources - from Nicholas Kristof (Pulitzer Prize winning and self admitted liberal the article "Bleeding Heart Tightwads" - (Web Link) ...

The GOP is very much alive and well despite your hopes otherwise. Personal attacks are such an admission of failure of your inability to respond to the substance of the article.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by WhoRUpeople
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 11:17 am

Ms. Rossetti - a very well written article, and one that I hope prompts some well thought out debate once all of those who simply choose to "jab" at a couple of words rather than absorb, think about, and then respond intelligently to content have finished ranting. Personally, I am going to read the book.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Watcher
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 11:21 am

I am always wary of people who wear their political affiliation, no matter what it is, as a badge of honor.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by bob
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Lisa would make a great investment banker very good at making the numbers support her point of view. Replubicans give more blood than Dems means nothing. Meaningless numbers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I find Ms. Rossetti's "evidence" as she linked to quite compelling.

Not.

Quite the contrary, from her own link:

"...conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn't helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires.

It's true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives.

Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google's figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do."

Great argument!

"San Mateo", despite being a rightie, had it correct. Fiddle on the old con v lib argument while Rome burns.

Thanks for the win yesterday while you were posting this!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa Rossetti
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Well Alfred - way to skew the message when you cut out the very important part about what the liberal donations are buying -
"It's true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives. Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google's figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do. But Mr. Brooks says that if measuring by the percentage of income given, conservatives are more generous than liberals even to secular causes.

In any case, if conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches, liberal donations frequently sustain art museums, symphonies, schools and universities that cater to the well-off. (It's great to support the arts and education, but they're not the same as charity for the needy. And some research suggests that donations to education actually increase inequality because they go mostly to elite institutions attended by the wealthy.)"

By the way - if you know anything about Catholic Charities - you would know that they - like many others - give without regard to one's race, religion, sexual identity or political beliefs. Not too many liberal organizations come to mind that can say the same. Most religious donations - like to St. Anthony's or say Glide Memorial end up feeding the homeless or tending to the sick - not supporting playgrounds for the well heeled.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa Rossetti
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm

As for all the despair about the Janice Hahn win in SoCal - I can chew gum and walk at the same time - GOTV calls and posting a previously written article are not mutually exclusive activities. And yes - San Mateo - California may indeed be a lost cause but while I'm living here I refuse to stop trying to discuss and inform in whatever area I am asked to do so... Your opinion of the futility will not change a thing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:15 pm

"And yes - San Mateo - California may indeed be a lost cause but while I'm living here I refuse to stop trying to discuss and inform in whatever area I am asked to do so..."

Really? Who asked you to post on con vs lib? On someone's opinion of charitable giving (with dubious evidence, as you pointed out.)

Seriously - who asked you to? Or was it an assignment?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

I ask who, because Rupert seems pretty busy these days rescuing his company.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2011 at 4:51 pm

What's Rossetti's agenda? Political office? Seeking Kool-Aid drinkers?

I think I'll stick to those other Rossetti's I like so much - Christina, Dante & the rest of their clan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

San Mateo -

If you're raising the victory banner because of Janice Hahn's win, you should remember that in the 2010 elections, California was about the ONLY place where Democrats survived.

Remember, Janice Hahn's seat was held by Jane Harmon, a Democrat. It is a seat that has been firmly Democrat for YEARS.

But congratulations for HOLDING it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Yum
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jul 13, 2011 at 6:59 pm

I prefer Rossatti's Alpine Inn & Beer Garden -- we can all agree best burgers ever!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

Ms. Rossetti:

Perhaps you missed the question earlier. Your quote: "And yes - San Mateo - California may indeed be a lost cause but while I'm living here I refuse to stop trying to discuss and inform in whatever area I am asked to do so..."

Really? Who asked you to post on the old culture war stereoypes, of conservative vs liberal?

Seriously - who asked you to? Or was it an assignment?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa Rossetti
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

Alfred -
It is your assumption that someone in particular asked me to write this particular piece. In a free society the exchange of information, ideas and viewpoints is welcome. I certainly intend to continue to write and inform in whatever way I see fit. If you want to address information in the opinion piece then by all means ask away, otherwise I have nothing more to share with you.

The real question is, why do you care who would encourage me to do so?

It is interesting to me that the substance of the comments do not address the facts in the article. Instead they grasp and create straw man issues/arguments rather than address what is obviously distressing information. You also state that I say the evidence is dubious when it is clearly the opposite.

As to "bob" the person who opined that the blood donation information was meaningless, I bet the many people who receive blood transfusions which save their lives would hardly share that opinion. In fact, that data leads one to conclude the obvious: there are many Democrats walking around with Republican blood in their veins... Hopefully it will improve their thinking!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 11:34 am

Lisa: Contrary to your assertion above, I did address the article, using claims from your link that directly counter your point:

"...conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn't helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires. It's true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives.

Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google's figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do."

My request was about who asked you to post the article, according to YOUR words: "and inform in whatever area I am asked to do so..."

Was just curious who asked you to do so. No straw man. You volunteered the statement that you were asked. If you don't want to reveal who asked you to do so, that's fine, but the more you ramble on and avoid the question, the sillier it all looks.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Waiting for you to come back (again) about how supporting schools and museums is bad for America, like you quoted above.

"In any case, if conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches, liberal donations frequently sustain art museums, symphonies, schools and universities..."

So in Lisa and the San Mateo GOP's mind:

Schools = BAD for America!!!

Universities = BAD for America!!!

Museums = BAD for America!!!

Music and the arts = BAD for America!!!






 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lisa Rossetti
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 12:10 pm

If you look back a thread to a previous posting - you will see my friend Hank asked me to post the article which he read elsewhere. He did not ask me to write. Maybe that is where your confusion lies.

Secondly - I refuted your point above about the nature of the evidence. The evidence is not "dubious" - the sources are credible. You may not like the information and would like to discredit it but you lack any facts to do so. And again you cut the quote so as to frame the argument in your favor and leave out the part about the people to whom the charity is directed. It is all well and good to give but giving to feed the homeless generally trumps giving to Harvard University on the "benefit to others" scale.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Lisa: from your link: "In any case, if conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches, liberal donations frequently sustain art museums, symphonies, schools and universities..."

I have nothing against institutions of higher education, in fact, I believe both the concept of advanced education and the actual institutions themselves are a national treasure for our great country.

Doesn't the San Mateo GOP feel the same way?

Especially opposed to "...conservative donations often end up building extravagant churches..." as you linked to, such as, for example, the extravagant spires atop Mormon temples, as beautiful as they are.

I find it odd you are framing this discussion as spires atop churches vs Harvard University.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thomas
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 15, 2011 at 2:04 pm

Gotta love these GOP women for at least trying...especially those in California. Marilyn Davenport (chimp e-mail) and Diane Fedele (Obama's face on a food stamp) are some of Ms. Rossetti's GOP counterparts in California that clearly made her assistance on the Hahn election last Tuesday unnecessary.

Then of course on a national level we have Christine O'Donnell (trying to figure out the 1st amendment and the separation of church and state), Sarah Palin (trying to figure out the 2nd amendment and Paul Revere's ride) and Michelle Bachmann (telling us that John Quincy Adams was one of our founding fathers) only furthers to dumb down the party when all they really want is to be a Girl Friday on one of the Fox shows.

I do agree with Ms. Rossetti that it would be absurd to think of Republicans as rich, old white men when the dems can count on John Kerry, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison. It would be an irrational fear to say the rich old white guys on the right seem more phobic when one thinks of the likes of Donald Trump, Karl Rove, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh as the "Bohos" get together this month at "The Grove" to plot party strategy by day and dress up in drag by night. Sorry gals, you're not invited to this gathering of rich old white guys.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

Thomas:

Don't believe the crap peddled about the Grove. It isn't like that. A bunch of mostly wealthy guys partying with there peers. Music all day, shows every night, copious drinking with the occasional relief benefiting a redwood tree. As far as your thought that it's part of the "vast right wing conspiracy"? Nope.

Is Lisa invited? Only if she's on the arm of one of a member or guest, and on an annual occasion, at that.

Bachmann, O'Donnell, and the half termer? You've got something there.

You forgot Sharon Angle, crowned as the great hope to unseat Reid.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

*their, not "there"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by San Mateo
a resident of another community
on Jul 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Lisa:

"Apparently what I wrote was so upsetting that it blinded you to the source data I cited. "

Sweetie: your article was not upsetting, don't flatter yourself. Your sources are a couple op-ed columnists without links to any real data.

If anything is upsetting, it's that with all the important topics that SMGOP can choose to educate readers about, you chose THIS?!?

If that's the BEST that SMGOP can do, then yes, it is upsetting.

Also - what ever possessed you to title a thread "The Party of Rich Old White Men"???

That is not the most flattering cliche for the GOP to keep alive. Even if your article laid that cliche to rest (it didn't) it was a dumb title to have every reader of this forum scan over and over every time they log on.

I hope you can do better. I hope SMGOP can do better.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by clowncity
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

San Mateo - your attempts to deride the SMGOP are lame. You think anyone believe you to be an offended supporter of the GOP? Give us all a break.
...I'm sure it will be a cold day in hell when you are brave enough to write something with your name attached rather than anonymously tear another down who has the willingness to do so.
The post is an opinion piece - not a book. If you want to honestly trash the information presented by Ms. Rossetti you ought to have read the actual source material. Hey - I bet you could go sit in B&N and just rifle through it so you don't have to purchase it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alfred E Newman
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

clowncity: (btw: great name, how's the weather down by the Styx?)

"San Mateo" needn't peruse the books, as Ms Rossetti already generously provided the money quotes:

"...conservatives look good only because they shower dollars on churches — that a fair amount of that money isn't helping the poor, but simply constructing lavish spires. It's true that religion is the essential reason conservatives give more, and religious liberals are as generous as religious conservatives.

Among the stingiest of the stingy are secular conservatives.

According to Google's figures, if donations to all religious organizations are excluded, liberals give slightly more to charity than conservatives do."

At best, it's a wash.

But San Mateo.... hush up about the title! Those of us who recognize that the new GOP is still The Party of Rich Old White Men enjoy the validation of her choice of thread title!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by R.Gordon
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

R.Gordon is a registered user.


Well, you can count your lucky stars that either Mitt or Michelle will bring back the kind of thinking which iss the credo of most of the formerly richer conservatives when they take over the White House.
All things in the world will be restored to a time when the life of SAN MATEO COUNTY is functioning before this invasion of Democrats.
Why, we may even find a new religion.


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