Posted by: bkivey | 2 December 2015

No Thought Required

Every year prior to Thanksgiving various media outlets publish articles and guides purporting to give Progressives tips on dealing with their obviously deranged Republican relatives. The fact these guides even exist is disturbing. Shouldn’t people of a given political persuasion be able to hold their own in a discussion? Shouldn’t a person’s basic philosophy be informed by historical knowledge, analysis of prior forms of government, an awareness of human psychology and the fundamental laws of the natural world? Of course they should! But, all of that requires effort and some ability in critical thinking; not hallmarks of the Progressive movement.

What does pass for Progressive discourse can be found at this site paid for by the Democratic National Committee . A variety of hot-button political topics are presented. Clicking on a topic brings up the statement uttered by your Rush Limbaugh drone of an uncle bitterly clinging to his guns and religion. Your brilliant riposte is given underneath. For example:

“You had to show ID to buy this beer, why shouldn’t you have to show ID to vote?”

“Only 0.000000013 % of votes cast from 2002 – 2005 resulted in convictions or guilty pleas for voter fraud, so what problems are voter ID laws supposed to be fixing, exactly? All they do is make it harder for people of color, younger voters, women, and seniors to vote. That’s un-American.”

BAM! Your uncle has no possible response, and must slink away in defeat. Or you’d better hope so, because beyond the talking point, there’s nothing else. A person who takes their political tenants from a website isn’t likely to have thought the subject through.

If I was your uncle and you came at me with that crap, this is what would happen:

  • The conviction rate is never the same as the incidence rate, and is usually many times smaller. What you’re saying is analogous to suggesting that because only a very small number of speeders are convicted, we should do away with speed limits.
  • Why are you using ten-year old data from a very narrow time-frame to make your point?
  • Upholding standards safeguards the integrity of the system.
  • How, exactly, is it harder for women and minorities to obtain government ID than it is for White males?
  • Holding everyone accountable to the same standard (playing by the rules) is a defining American characteristic.

You get the idea. Generally speaking, social conservatives have a few bedrock principle based on an observational understanding of how the universe works, and develop political philosophy from those. Progressives (to differentiate from the social liberal), dream up ideas of how they want the universe to work, then cherry-pick data to support the construction. I can argue my points because my philosophy is internally and externally consistent. Progressive ideology is somewhat internally consistent, but does not integrate well with the external world.

Because Progressives can not argue, they really only have two means of defense: shouting people down and ad hominem attacks. How long do you imagine it would take before the above exchange devolved into shouts of “You’re a racist!”?

The fact that public organs should feel the need to publish these items should offend their intended audience. What these institutions are doing is insulting their readers to their face. “Here. You’re too dumb to think for yourself, so we’ll tell you what to think and what to say.” And, here’s where the ‘idiot’ part of ‘useful idiot’ comes in: people don’t even realize they’re being insulted. They think they’re being helped. This is the sort of ignorant populace you get after a half-century of dumbing-down education.

To be a Progressive is to be a child. No standards, no expectations, no responsibility, and no thinking required.

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