Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Marketplace of Ideas

I once gave a piece on welfare by Neal Boortz to a lifelong Democrat to read. Her reaction was, “Neal Boortz seems like a bad man.” That was it. Instead of thinking about the points he made, her mind thought something like, “Boortz is a rich white man who doesn’t care about poor people. He is bad.”

Calling conservatives bad people is an obsession on the left. They can’t escape it. All their arguments sooner or later get to how immoral their opponents are. On the issue of Iraq, for instance, they think the chickenhawk argument is profound and important. Neocon politicians do not do the actual shooting and dying -- stop the presses! From the beginning of time old men have sent young men off to die in wars, but liberals seem to think this phenomenon began with neoconservatism.

When they turn abstract political issues into matters of character, they simplify the argument. How nice it must be not to have to think about complex issues, but merely to point a finger and say, "Bad person!"

That same Democrat I mentioned in the first paragraph used to express the fear that Jerry Falwell and the moral majority would put her in a concentration camp because she divorced her husband. Now, if you think about this for 10 seconds, you see how absurd her fear is. Concentration camps for divorcees? Those would be some mighty big camps. Among the prisoners would be Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh. That 10 seconds of reason was effort she never spent analyzing her fear.

This might sound cruel, but I think any liberal over the age of 40 is beyond hope of persuasion by logical argument. After so many years of sloppy thinking a mind is rendered incapable of thinking well.

It’s amusing that liberals boast of being the “reality-based community” because conservatives believe in God. It is true that conservatives are out of touch with reality to the extent that they believe in supernatural beings, but liberals are even more out of touch. They have been cut off from reality by concepts formed by modern, irrational philosophy. The political concepts of the Old Left were shaped by Marxism; the New Left by multiculturalism, feminism, environmentalism. Old or New, their ideas are altruist-collectivist-statist. Their ideas are at war with reality.

Young people today don’t fall for leftist ideas to the extent they did in the past. In the 1930’s and ‘40s, there really were no alternative ideas. The left had ideas, the right had bromides. Today our culture is different. What ideas you hear come from the right; the left is now the side with worn out bromides.

The competing ideas makes it a little harder for leftists to use the argument from intimidation. In the past they could shout "Bad person!" and young people would go along with the left, terrified that if they think something different, they will be called bad. I hope that all the competing ideas make it a little harder to accept the sloppy thinking that atrophies a mind.

Again, this will sound cruel, but I think America’s best hope for the future lies in aging leftists dying off. Some will be replaced, but not all. That’s progress.

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