Friday, March 6, 2009

Why Liberals Can't Debate Rationally

I think that I have discovered a core difference between conservatives and liberals. (Yes, I am making a generalization. I have found that most of my generalizations are generally true.)

Liberals often shy away from reasoned debate. Perhaps that is why they are not successful at talk radio. Liberals like to be encouraged, validated and complemented by those who think like them. To a liberal, it is abhorrent, inflammatory and offensive to imply that their conclusions could be faulty. Liberals feel that they are being attacked when someone disagrees with them. When humor is used, they feel that they are being mocked. That is why they get defensive and make claims of being victimized by offensive and inflammatory remarks. To me, speaking the truth is never as offensive as being insincere.

When challenged, liberals often strike back emotionally, with name calling, character assassinations and discrediting anyone that disagrees with them because their feelings and self esteem are hurt when someone tries to prove that their opinion is faulty. Liberals often think that those who challenge their ideas are attacking them personally and they become combative. They would much rather discuss topics with like minded people who validate their opinions, rather than those who would challenge them. Liberal views are generally based on their own self esteem. They espouse opinions that make them feel good about themselves. This is why good intentions often outweigh unintended consequences. Liberals are easily duped into supporting those who articulate positions that make them feel better about themselves. Tough love is wasted on liberals. Liberals often dismiss the cold hard truth as mean spirited.

Juan Williams, NPR commentator and a liberal political pundit, recently said that although most of his views are quite liberal, sometimes his views are not liberal enough to please those on the far left. He said that the criticism that he receives from the far left is far more vicious and personal than the criticism that he receives from the far right. Dennis Miller, a left wing Hollywood comedian who turned conservative after 9/11, says the exact same thing.

Of course you will now dutifully tell me that I am being unfair by stereotyping liberals. You will take the high ground and claim that you never use such unfair tactics to describe conservatives. Well, if the shoe fits, wear it. What I am saying applies to most all liberals that I engage in debate with. To sum it up, liberals prefer to commiserate with people who validate their views, rather than debating those who disagree. Liberals find it offensive when someone else thinks that they are wrong. If a liberal can not convince you that he is right, then you are being narrow-minded, irrational, unscientific, bigoted, offensive or inflammatory. Those are the conclusions that liberals often come to about most of my opinions. Liberals do not seek to find common-ground. Liberals do not respectfully disagree. Liberals often consider my opinions and those who think like me as inferior. Often liberals will make excuses for not engaging into a debate in the arena of ideas. They will say that they don't want to lower themselves or they will discredit their opponent.

I base the above opinions on my personal experience.


Ben said...

Thanks for the article, Gary. It should be "outweigh", not "out-way". By the way, I'll take Jane Fonda. She's still hot in her 60's.

Mark said...

Gary, thanks for hitting the nail squarely on the head. What you wrote is a textbook example if exactly what I go trough almost every time when I disagree with far left liberals.

It doesn't matter if their in their 20's, 30's, or 40's. It doesn't matter if they are coworkers, cousins, or college roomates that I've known for 25 years.

What you have said here describes them all.

left-leaning moderates are rarely like this. I can have good conversations with them and we can debate on the merits of ideas. Those that are farther left simply will not debate any of the ideas. They feign victimhood, smear me as much as they possibly can, and accuse me of worshipping Limbaugh, Fox News, Michelle Malkin, and George Bush -- even when the topic we were discussing didn't even involved anything any of those people said or are involved with. They just want to drop a cluster bomb to divert attention away from the discussion so that they don't have to address the ideas. If they can convince themselves that my ideas don't have any merit because I'm a totally unreliable source, then they can feel that they have one the debate, even though they didn't defend a single position. And then they can return to their echo chamber full of like-minded friends where their self-esteem can get patched up again.

I had a 20-something family member proclaim her political viewpoints and asserted that she knew that she was right. I pointed out a few current events that I believed the current administration was fumbling, and asked her if she could defend the policies and if so, how would she.

She responded saying, "I don't have to prove anything to you. I am content and I stand behind my choice 100% [Obama]. I'm tired of my conservative relatives making me feel badly and being disrespectful to me. In fact, I have to say that I'm totally embarrassed by my family."

Then she said, "Stop sending me your political views. I don't care what you think."

I reminded her that she is the one who shared her political views with the rest of us, and that I hadn't shared my political views at all. I was merely asking her if she could defend the current policies which had been receiving wide-scale criticism and I had asked her a few pointed questions about them.

She then accused me of being an "obnoxious ass" and that I lived in a "pretentious bubble" and insinuated that I had nothing to do with my life except harrass her. I hadn't had an email discussion with her in over three months, but this goes to show you how quickly they will throw on the cloak of victimhood and how they will tear down somebody else to deflect attention.