The purpose of this column is to understand those liberals who cannot be reasoned with, the ones who wholly dispense of facts and logic, even when they've previously demanded it, and who would most likely discount the fact that the sky is blue, were it a part of a conservative platform. Understanding the reason for this absurd, yet all too common behavior, is the only way to truly know how to effectively dialogue with them.
Conservatives have long been amazed by liberals who ask, indeed demand, of every conservative they meet to give reasons for each and every of their views, yet when faced with logical answers that astound them, either retort with some jibberish that bears no relevance to the issue being discussed, make some snide remark, or immediately seek to change the subject that they themselves so insistently started.
In these situations the conservative ends up somewhat taken aback. He or she wants to tell the liberal counterpart: "You demanded logic and I gave it to you. It's clear that you have nothing to retort, yet you continue to be adamant not only that you're right and that I'm wrong, but that I'm the closed-minded one, even though I'm the only one discussing facts." Similarly, conservatives marvel at how the same liberals who seemingly decry bigotry will utter such sordid and untrue blanket statements about "the religious right." Another baffling matter is how almost all liberals in this category start fuming whenever the word "Bush" is mentioned, yet can speak civilly and at length (if not intelligently) about Bin Laden. Their refusal to analyze scientific data while discussing "science" is also quite puzzling and we can go on and on.
Like many others, I'm tempted to say "Who cares?" and give up on speaking about these issues with those who refuse to discuss the very facts that they themselves had demanded moments earlier, yet who somehow have the boldness to say that you're the one being obstinate . Yet we must not give up. To do so is to end all dialogue, give up hope of ever getting through to them on any issue, widen the already enormous divide and allow foolishness and absence of fact to promulgate.
THE REAL REASON WHY RADICAL LIBERALS DO NOT RESPOND TO DEBATE
The reason why so many (though again, not all) liberals act this way is remarkably simple. In fact, for all those who've become so baffled by their seemingly inexplicable conduct, you may wonder how it has escaped you all these years (probably because it's so easy to get so frustrated by their conduct that noticing the reason behind it becomes a matter not worth considering). The answer is bigotry. They're prejudiced. Am I being ridiculous? Is liberalism the new bigotry? No, and yes!
Think about it. What would cause a person to naturally and seamlessly find fault in everyone of a certain creed? What would cause someone to discount all facts and logic with a defensively offered snide remark? What would cause them to harp on every bad thing one member of the creed said or did and to ignore worse actions committed by the other side? What would cause someone to parrot the most illogical arguments of one side and to accept their talking points as gospel while reflexively seeking to attack even the most logically offered analysis of the other? Finally, what would cause someone to view everyone and everything belonging to one side as good and everything having to do with the other as bad? Deep seated bigotry, that's what.
A bigot seeks any way to back up his or her illogical assertions and does so reflexively and with strong emotion. At times, their whole being may seem to be caught up in defending their illogical creed. The kind of liberalism that gives way to such a reaction is no different.
For example, when bigotry is directed against a certain race, say against red freckled green people (an example given so that only a few Berkeley professors will take offense), the bigot will adamantly point out everything bad that anyone of this race has ever done. By contrast, everyone else is good. When one of them causes trouble, or gets into it, the bigot will yell "see how bad these people are" with a weighty air of "I told you so." Other members of the race or creed in question, who've done nothing, will be viewed as suspicious at best. "He can't be as good as they say. His father was a red freckled green person, after all." All non-emerald people, by contrast, are viewed as "nice," "good" or in this case, at least less jaded. (Kind of reminds you of those liberals talking about "those terrible conservatives," doesn't it? "How good can he be? He is a Republican after all." Indeed..)
This is also the reason that such liberals harp on everything bad that a Republican or a conservative has ever done, while making excuses for similar or worse acts committed by members of their creed. This is similar to racists pointing out the wrongdoings of a one member of the race or creed that's the object of their scorn. It resembles a bigot who looks to find fault in someone they'd otherwise like or agree with but who is of the "wrong" race or creed. Wouldn't anything that person says or does become the object of scorn? Wouldn't all their deeds be seen as sinister, albeit for no apparent reason? Would the preposterousness of it all still not be enough to stop the bigot from making up the most fantastic scenarios as to why this seemingly good person who happens to be green is anything but good? Would anything stop other bigots from believing the fancy tales that would naturally be made up about our emerald colored friend?
SO HOW CAN WE ANSWER RADICAL LIBERALS?
By understanding that the root causes of the radical liberal's predictable game playing while debating facts and their irresponsiveness to same are bigotry and a strong desire to hold onto their self-destructive hedonist lifestyle, we can know how to deal with these issue.
1) Don't take it personally. Remember that their rantings are those of a bigot, and one who thinks that he or she has a lot on the line.
2) Don't become frustrated. The radical liberal isn't trying to discuss facts or to discover another viewpoint. They're just trying to convince you of their "superior" ways because as long as you don't subscribe to them, they're reminded of the doubts they have in their own philosophy.
3) Keep the dialogue going. Just as racists can see the error of their ways over time, the radical liberal can become receptive to the truth, but it takes a while. In the meantime, you'll reach those who are open to logic and to discussion.
4) When debating specific issues, challenge the reason for their refusal to accept facts with a simple statement. If prior to debating them, say as follows: "I'd love to discuss this with you. But first, please understand and bear in mind that decisions on an issue as important as (the environment, the economy, tax policy, war and peace, educational proposals etc.) must be dealt with based on facts and logic, that only unbiased and thorough analysis of facts can lead us to a right decision and to a better society. With that in mind, I am willing to explore this issue." After they then renege on their commitment (as will happen 90% of the time), or if you've already delved head on into a debate and they keep playing the tricks that radical liberals so uniformly do play, simply state:
"This issue (the economy, etc.) is too important to decide other than based on facts. I've presented mine and you don't seem to have much to counter. When you're ready to commit to deciding these important issues based on facts and reasoning, I'll be happy to reexamine this with you. Until then I just don't see the point so we may as well agree to disagree."
The Left needs black anger
What the Left has done to black people in the last fifty years is a kind of emotional abuse -- a constant, obsessional reliving of the traumatic past. Fifty years after the Civil Rights Acts, Democrat politicians, professors and preachers are still intent on rubbing salt into those old, painful wounds. It has now become institutionalized. Reliving the past is a major reason for Black Studies Departments all over the country, just as Women's Studies are designed to perpetuate an everlasting cry of pain and rage about the fate of women throughout history. Those constant rehearsals of reasons for rage and resentment do not to help people; they just exploit their pain for political gain. As a result, the Left still gets the black vote more than 90% of the time, in exchange for fuzzy promises like "hope" and "change;" or worse, for welfare programs that undermine rather than strengthen black families and individuals.
It always works on at least some people when you rile up resentments That is why there was an NAACP TV commercial exploiting a dreadful hate crime in Texas to smear George W. Bush. It is why ethnic groups in the Balkans never stop hating each other. It is how the Rwanda genocide happened among Tutsis and Hutus. Around the world, demagogues exploit old grievances because they don't want them to be solved. That is why the Palestinian mess cannot be solved; it has turned into an billion dollar boondoggle for the elites. There's always a lot of money to be made off the poverty and resentment of large groups.
People who suffer from mental trauma have a right to our humanity and compassion. But we have no moral obligation to support a campaign to constantly revisit old grievances. Such campaigns just perpetuate the old abuse. The new abusers of black people are the leaders of the racial Left. That is why Senator Obama's siren song of hope and change is just another piece of hype, not a cure. For two centuries now we've been having a "conversation about race." The most deadly war in American history was fought over race. Fifty years after the Civil Rights Acts we constantly hear that even today, nothing has changed. Senator Obama's slogan that we must have yet another "conversation about race" is historically bizarre.
It is high time to move beyond racial games. You don't do that by running a race-based candidate for president with the promise of soothing the wounds. We have heard those promises before. Even if Obama were elected, the Al Sharptons and Jeremiah Wrights will be happy to keep those old wounds bleeding. They don't score any points by telling people that we have finally solved the conflict. And they and their allies are the beneficiaries of the ineffective programs of liberalism offered in to assuage the anger being constantly revisited.
The racial establishment hasn't done black Americans any favors by obsessively rubbing more salt into old wounds. The traumas of the past don't have to be constantly picked over. Instead, like Condi Rice, people need to acknowledge the past and still move beyond it. Every successful black person in the country has found a way to do that. So has every other ethnic and racial group.
If political parties could be sued for malpractice the Democrats would be in court for a long time to come. The fact that Senator Obama is steeped in the grievance culture of the Left (as his twenty years being the mentee of mentor Jeremiah Wright attests) is the biggest problem with his candidacy.
"Destroy the family, and you destroy society" (Lenin)
Why is the American family in crisis? Taken Into Custody argues that the most direct cause is the divorce industry: a government-run system that tears apart families, separates children from fit and loving parents, confiscates the wealth of families, and turns law-abiding citizens into criminals in ways they are powerless to avoid. Taken Into Custody explores:
* Why the "deadbeat dad" is not only a myth but a hoax, the creation of government officials and lawyers who plunder parents whose children they have taken away * How hysterical propaganda about domestic violence is destroying families, endangering children, and making criminals of innocent parentsTaken Into Custody exposes the greatest and most destructive civil rights abuse in America today. Family courts and Soviet-style bureaucracies trample basic civil liberties, entering homes uninvited and taking away people's children at will, then throwing the parents into jail without any form of due process, much less a trial. No parent, no child, no family in America is safe.
* The real causes of child abuse and how the abuse industry willfully ignores them
* What drives the rash of "parental kidnappings"
* How family courts operate as if there is no Bill of Rights, denying parents their constitutional legal protections
Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D., is assistant professor of government at Patrick Henry College and Earhart Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society. A graduate of the London School of Economics, he is the author of more than eighty articles on fatherhood and family issues and has appeared widely on national radio and television programs. Stephen Baskerville was recently interviewed by Albert Mohler. As he (Baskerville) points out (in Advice to Young Men: Do Not Marry, Do Not Have Children), the divorce industry
makes it very attractive for your spouse to divorce you and take your children. (All this earns money for lawyers whose bar associations control the careers of judges.) While property divisions and spousal support certainly favor women, the largest windfall comes through the children. With custody, she can then demand "child support" that may amount to half, two-thirds, or more of your income. (The amount is set by committees consisting of feminists, lawyers, and enforcement agents - all of whom have a vested interest in setting the payments as high as possible.) She may spend it however she wishes. You pay the taxes on it, but she gets the tax deduction.Source
The cultural "liberals" infesting Australia's public broadcaster are a mainstream unto themselves
There can be little doubt things have improved at the ABC since the appointment of Mark Scott as managing director and the appointment of Maurice Newman as chairman. A new broom has swept aside some of the egregiously obvious problems of bias and a more professional approach has supervened. There have been new programs that increase debate, including the ill-fated, experimental Difference of Opinion, to be replaced with a new question and answer program, based on the lively and controversial BBC show Question Time. Media Watch is not as politically partisan. Paul Chadwick has been appointed as director of editorial policies to try to ensure that the ABC fulfils its statutory obligations under the ABC Act to be accurate and impartial. In terms of balance, Middle East correspondents Matt Brown and David Hardaker are marked improvements. For anybody who believes that the taxpayer-funded broadcaster needs to be impartial and accurate, balanced and fair, this is all to the good.
The two main issues for the ABC are those of bias and genuine diversity. The culture of the ABC is clearly left of centre. Bias has not been so much party political as cultural. It is often not deliberate but bespeaks assumptions, mind-sets, that are far from the concerns of the mainstream Australia that pays for the ABC and that, in return, the ABC is supposed to serve and be fair to in its range and content. It is not the job of the taxpayer-funded national broadcaster to act as a counterweight to other media or mainstream ideologies perceived to be too right wing by a staff whose centre of gravity is way to the left.
Why is it that the only intentionally liberal-conservative program on Radio National is titled Counterpoint? It is a counterpoint to a way of thinking that dominates the culture of the ABC in the assumptions of the "people like us" who broadcast to other "people like us".
In 1968, German student leader Rudi Dutschke, drawing on the idea of hegemony of Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci and of Marxist critical theory, suggested "a long march through the institutions" of power to create radical change from within government and society by becoming an integral part of it; as critical theorist Herbert Marcuse put it, "working against the established institutions while working in them". The countercultural capture of cultural institutions meant the emergence of what Swinburne University sociologist Katharine Betts calls a "new class" whose object was not old wealth. Instead, Betts writes in her 1999 book The Great Divide, "the attack was concentrated on the Australian mass and its materialism, racism, sexism and insularity".
A noticeably homogenous class of inner city, tertiary-educated social professionals, often referred to as the chattering classes, has an identity that developed together with mass tertiary education. While the old Left emphasised economic reforms to help the working class, the new class focused on issues such as refugees, multiculturalism, reconciliation, civil liberties and so on. This new class of social professionals includes teachers, academics, public servants and welfare workers who adopt distinct ideological positions and values that serve as social markers for the new class. The "knowledge class", which includes ABC journalists, is an important segment within the new educated class that has more distinct values that increasingly set them apart from business and the general community.
I mention this not because I think the ABC has no diversity at all but because it's a trend embedded within the institutional culture that will take another "long march" to reverse, this time in the opposite direction towards the centre. It's a march that has begun from the top but needs to infuse its way to the bottom.
A Four Corners program, Dangerous Ground, broadcast on March 10, illustrates some of these issues. The program began with problems about setting up an Islamic school in Camden. Those against a Muslim school being set up are described in primarily racist terms. In the next suburb, according to the blurb, "Aussie-born sons of the Middle East bitterly complain of being treated like enemies in their own country. Now some community leaders", the program blurb continued, "are warning of a nasty backlash due to the hostility that young men like these feel is aimed against them. The program is concerned that counter-terrorism and security could actually be increasing the threat of breeding home-grown terrorists."
Erring on the side of aggression - just to be on the safe side - can radicalise and alienate the people who are targeted, analysts tell Four Corners. An expert suggests radicalisation occurs because of "young people feeling under siege from police and wider public. His fear is this could morph into an agenda for violent change", Four Corners asserts. Finally, it suggests, "defeating terrorism presents not just a policing issue but also a challenge to core community values of pluralism and tolerance".
No mention of Muslim cleric Taj Din al-Hilali and those more extreme than him or the effect of Muslim fundamentalism and propaganda, or the role played by police and security forces in protecting us from Muslim extremism. The only actors of any consequence for Four Corners are those who buy the narrative that the causes of Muslim extremism lie in the West. It is a problem of criminality, law enforcement, poverty and racist behaviour towards suspects of Middle Eastern appearance.
Of course, there are legitimate issues here to debate, but I am pointing to the one-sided narrative that suffuses this program and others that does not take Muslim extremism seriously in its own right but mainly as due to its exacerbation by us.
That the Labor and Liberal parties receive similar treatment on the ABC demonstrates that there may not be cultural bias towards one mainstream party rather than the other. It is true that the ABC has criticised both sides through the years, but that may be because it comprises cultural liberals who are to the left of both the main parties, in the direction of the Greens.
The ALP has been the victim of the ABC while in government. During the 1991 Gulf War, the ABC employed Robert Springborg, associate professor of Middle Eastern studies at Macquarie University, as its expert commentator for The Gulf Report. In an article in the Melbourne Sun, Springborg equated the modes of government of Saddam Hussein and Bob Hawke. Hawke's decision to send ships to the Persian Gulf was "every bit as much of a one-man show as is the country we may be fighting".
Eleven years of the Howard government, basically bipartisan estimates critiques in the Senate and an ABC board comprising conservative and centrist members have made some difference to all this. The much-mooted number of ideologically conservative members has not translated into a conservative agenda for the ABC.
However, I am pleased to note that this culture does not dominate all parts of the ABC. In news and current affairs, PM is fair, balanced, impartial and professional. I think Lateline casts a wide net and is generally fair and balanced, as is The World Today. The ABC should not advocate causes left, right or politically correct but should be a repository for a genuine diversity of views in addition to being accurate and impartial.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when blogger.com is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.