February 07, 2007
I enjoy talking politics with anyone. Unfortunately, many of my fellow Bay Staters, specifically those on the left, in fact disdain talking politics. Let me qualify. They disdain talking politics certainly in the way in which I enjoy that is, constructively. I enjoy discussing politics and political philosophy in an open, honest, and logical manner; a Socratic dialogue if you will. Sure, you can get a Massachusetts liberal to engage in a session of Bush bashing or religion bashing, but as soon as a logical obstacle arises in front of them on a substantive matter of political philosophy or policy, the conversation turns sour, perhaps even more sour than it previously was. At this point in the conversation, the person questioning liberal dogma becomes the focal point of animosity for even raising perhaps another point of view that say for example President Bush is correct on a given matter or that religious people deserve some respect rather than ridicule.
One thing I have found is that liberals are not very tolerant. They are not tolerant of those that do not agree with their ideology and/or their political philosophy. I have had much first hand experience with this phenomenon. I call it a phenomenon because it is rather surprising that a group who claims tolerance as one of their bedrock principles are in fact very intolerant of those whom they do not agree with. And, as I have suggested at the beginning of this blog in perhaps my most controversial and discussed post, Everything is Everything, liberals tend to rely upon emotion rather than logic as the foundation of their philosophy and the driving force behind why they believe the way they do.
There is nothing wrong with emotion. It should be seen as a source of strength for human beings. Emotion should not be wholly disregarded either, as human beings are not robots. However, as Aristotle believed, the highest pursuit of man is reflection. Reflection is the cognitive process that a human engages in either before or after taking action. Implicit in reflection is the use of logic. So in way, reflection is short hand for logical reflection or more precisely the application of logic to events, surroundings, and circumstances.
All of this is part of why it is my belief that it is predominantly liberals who disdain discussing politics in an objective, highly logical, and constructive manner. I can’t tell you how many discussions with left leaning individuals I have had where the liberal becomes upset or angry with me because I hold a different opinion than they do. Again, unchecked emotion bears its unruly and uncivilized head. It is my belief that liberal philosophy itself is heavily and predominantly influenced from the top down by emotion. There are countless examples of this ‘policy ruled by emotion’ phenomenon that are part of the liberal rhetorical arsenal. Let’s just take the one example of the left leaning, and by the way politically correct, desire to have more “diversity” in the work place and in schools. Now on the surface, without thinking particularly logically or deeply, it might seem like a good idea to artificially create a diversity of race in the work place and in public and private schools. There is an emotional desire to want to see many different types of races represented in all the institutions of society. On the other (logical) hand, the best person for the job or the most qualified person to fit a given position, by objective standards, is not determined by the color of one’s skin. Also as an aside, is it not condescending to minority races to lower the bar of admission or hiring criterion based on the color of one’s skin, something that President Bush has called the 'soft bigotry of low expectations'? But moreover, what liberals never seem to grasp in the matter of diversity is that diversity of thought is something that should be encouraged and sought out, not simply diversity of skin color. In the realm of logic, true diversity is based on diversity of background and diversity of philosophy. The liberal enclaves who shout down conservative speakers, on college campuses for example, should take a page out of their own supposed playbook and allow and encourage diversity, not simply of skin color, but of thought. Not to be negative, but I point this out to liberals whenever I can, that a policy based on skin color is in fact itself a clear example racism. So, the affirmative action programs that ham handedly attempt to rectify centuries of racism, by the use of quotas or any other race based criterion, are in fact racist themselves. The liberal response to do away with racism is in fact to encourage more racism. Only those who are governed primarily by emotion and who are not particularly logically well thought out can bring about this kind of paradox. If you were to confront a liberal on these matters of ‘racism to rectify racism’ they would most likely get angry and either personally attack you, or try to change the subject. If you could somehow get a liberal to be completely logical, truthful, and objective about the matter they would concede that many of the policies of affirmative action are yes racist, but they are examples of ‘good racism’. The result of any honest and scientific inquiry would surely be that liberals, or anyone else who believes that diversity of skin color should be artificially imposed on schools and workplaces, believe that there is good racism and bad racism. And how is it decided as to who should be a target of good racism and who of bad? Well, that all depends on the color of your skin.
The affirmative action paradox is one the most glaring examples of why I believe that Liberals are heavily influenced by and reliant on emotion (rather than logic) when conceiving of their political philosophy. The use of emotion in liberalism is not limited to the derivation of their political philosophy. Emotion, or more precisely emotional behavior, is also a favorite tactic of liberals when engaged in a debate. This can be characterized by raising the voice, shouting down, personally attacking, or even changing the subject when engaged in a debate. Now, raising one's voice et cetera is not limited to liberals. However, since liberals rely so heavily on emotion when constructing their overall philosophy, I suppose they find it a useful tool to employ when engaged in debate. On the other hand, It is also my assertion that, since conservatives tend to rely on logic when conceiving of their political philosophy, that the tactical use of logic in an argument is only natural to them.
Some may believe that the conclusions I'm making here are simply a matter of common sense and therefore not newsworthy, but perhaps they would be surprised to learn that many left leaning individuals would not be capable of agreeing with any of the points I have made here, even in the most general sense. In fact, I can imagine a scenario where a liberal reading this would come back and make the exact opposite argument, declaring that liberals are more logical than conservatives and it is conservatives who are influenced primarily by emotion. In this particular hypothetical situation, the use of this 'turning the tables' tactic would not be particularly logically sound or in the end rhetorically convincing. Therefore, the use of this tactic would serve as further evidence that what I have said here has the virtue of being true. I could continue almost endlessly about this and related topics but seeing as these thoughts are the thread that runs through all of my posts on this blog, no doubt these matters will be revisited and further fleshed out.