It's taken as a given, amongst many, that the right are more ignorant, violent, racist (and other ists), selfish, greedy; that the principles and ideas of the right are more grounded in ignorance, racism, selfishness, greed.
Now, this opinion, i.e. this thing which is taken as a given: cannot be proven or disproven. It is based on anecdotal evidence, and on faith. As such, this thing which is taken as a given is both like an undisprovable faith-based religious belief, and like an ism such as sexism or racism.
What is the difference between saying: "women are more unreasonable and unstable", vs. saying "the right is more violent and hate-filled"? Neither statement can be proven or disproven. Both statements are supported only by anecdotal observation. The only difference is the former is considered regrettably misguided; and the latter is considered - by many - to be a necessary given if a conversation is to be intelligent and reasoned.
What is the difference between saying "Black people are more lazy and dense" vs saying "the right is more selfish and ignorant"? Neither statement can be proven or disproven. Both statements are supported only by anecdotal observation. The only difference is the former is considered regrettably misguided; and the latter is considered - by many - to be a necessary given if a conversation is to be intelligent and reasoned.
Amongst many persons on the left - i.e. amongst neighbors in our workplaces, churches, schools, media - when political discussion arises: there is an always implicit, and sometimes explicit, demand for the other person to acknowledge the thing which is taken as a given. Inside this demand exists an assertion:
If my conversational partner refuses to acknowledge the thing which is taken as a given, then s/he reveals theirself to be either ignorant and/or deceptive; and then intelligent and reasoned conversation is not possible.It's a DEMAND: ACKNOWLEDGE this thing which is a given! I DEMAND IT!
Regrettably, I have often caved and acknowledged the thing which is taken as a given. I suspect I am representative of many persons. I didn't cave b/c I believed it. I do not believe it. At all. The assumption, in my opinion, is foolish, misguided, and often used as a ploy to gain power inside a conversation.
Rather, I caved to the pressure which seems, to me, still, to be so heavily in the air and in the culture. I assented, yielded, gave in - one way or another - to what was a lie. I thought I wanted to join certain conversations. I wanted to be thought of as an intelligent person: as a person on the inside, as a person in the smart set. I was weak.
No more. I'm not as weak as I once was. I do not care what opinions of me are held by those who believe the thing which is taken as a given. If I am excluded from their conversations because of my opinion, then they are doing me a favor.
If the right's ideas are grounded in ignorance, hatred, greed, et al: then these ideas can be handily discredited based upon lack of merit, and ought be. Can you imagine? Ideas based in ignorance?! So easy to shred such ideas! Ideas based in hatred? Shred them! Ideas based in greed? Shred them! With glee! With ease!
Therefore exists no necessity to discredit based upon accusation of ignorance, hatred, greed, et al which is grounded in anecdotal evidence, only. Rather, the stronger case to make, and the forthright and upright case to make, is about lack of merit of the ideas and reasoning which are laughably based in ignorance, hatred, greed, et al. It's perplexing, it seems a contradiction, when someone asserts the difficult-to-make anecdotal evidence argument, and thus ignores the easier option of shredding inferior reasoning.
The following clip of Ed Schultz is funny: Ed keeps walking into roundhouse punches directly to his nose. Heh. However, the clip is also germane b/c Ed displays the "demand" which I reference in the blogpost: Ed demands acknowledgement of a thing which is taken as a given (i.e. the right are more violent). Ed sets up acknowledgement as a precondition to having an intelligent and reasoned conversation with him. If you refuse to pay the price; refuse to acknowledge that which Ed demands, then poor Ed is forced to apologize to his viewers for having you on his show. Poor Ed is forced to declare: "this is how the righties operate: they can't even give good commentary without attacking". B/c I find quirky things amusing, and b/c of my experiences in the blogosphere: I find this perhaps funnier than it is. But it does get me laughing.
Richard Fernandez on adaptive optics.
Dr. Helen and Jeff Goldstein: How should conservatives deal with the Left's lack of empathy?