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Liberals and numbers

October 2, 2008

When you watch the video linked at the end of this column, keep in mind my personal theory about liberals. I believe you can explain the greatest part of their wrongheadness by understanding one simple point:

They Don't Comprehend Numbers.
(A way to put this more politely is to say they don't think in terms of numbers and then you can leave aside the question of whether it's an inability or a choice.)

In an online political discussion board, I watched the reception to a widely circulated email about taking the $80 billion dollars our government allocated to save AIG and simply parceling it out to every American citizen. The email takes the $80 billion and divides by the U.S. population and calculates an amount of $425,000 for each household. Everybody on this discussion board pretty much knows each other since we've been debating each other for years, so I know who is liberal and who is conservative. It was fascinating to watch the reaction to the email. Liberals immediately agreed that it was a great idea while conservatives immediately pointed out that the arithmetic was off—the check would be closer to $425 dollars than $425,000.

This type of thing doesn't take a calculator or math skills. Conceptually, if you think in terms of numbers you just know the $425,000 amount is whacked. Once your mind tells you it's wrong you can get out a calculator and make sure, but you know immediately.

Liberals don't have that ability to process and assign relative values to numbers. Numbers are just squiggly lines on paper and they're all filed in the same place in memory, never compared to each other with any degree of accuracy, and have no objective meaning.

Watch liberals in action and you will see this lack of comprehension show up in everything they say and do. In the link below, Obama isn't stuttering so badly because he's stupid or because he has a speech deficiency—it's because the teleprompter broke and he needs to quote a number and that number has no particular meaning to him. A person who does comprehend numbers could simply ad lib an estimate—"Approximately ten thousand!"—and be able to make his point. Obama can't do that, so he stammers and stutters waiting for somebody to fix the teleprompter and rescue him.

Think about some of his other mistakes. One day he was giving a speech after a tornado had ravaged a Kansas town. It was a bad tornado—something like twelve people died. If you grasp numbers you know that's a bad tornado. Obama, in the process of attacking the Bush Adminstration, said, "Yesterday, a tornado swept through a Kansas town and killed—what was the number?—over ten thousand people."

"Ten thousand?" Only a man for whom numbers have zero meaning could make that mistake.

Or how about the time he said he'd been to 57 states? "All but one state. Except they won't let me go to Hawaii and Alaska." Watch him say it. It's not a slip of the tongue. He thinks about it and talks slowly—he just doesn't know the number of states. It's a number. They all mean the same thing. 57 plus one plus Hawaii and Alaska is sixty, but who's counting? Who really cares?

When you watch the old videos of Republicans trying to tell Democrats that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are using dishonest accounting methods to inflate their profits, you see Democrat after Democrat getting angry and frustrated. Hey, Fannie and Freddie aren't bankrupt at this moment, and they're providing home mortgages for poor people, and nothing else should matter!

The numbers held no meaning for them. They did not comprehend the huge financial disaster bearing down on the nation.

Once you understand this simple thing—They Don't Comprehend Numbers—liberals and their nonsensical proposals and ideas will never be a mystery to you again.

Watch Obama grapple with numbers like they're greased pigs.


From Reno, Nevada, USA

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