Monday, December 1, 2008

It's in the genes...,0,1009632.story


nathan3700 said...

Human nature is human nature regardless of your political affiliation. Scapegoating your opposition is what people do. I can produce all sorts of evidence that liberal democrats also engage in fear mongering and smear tactics. This article is somewhat breathtaking in its ability to weave a tale that pins all human foibles on one class of people while exculpating the author's favored class.

Sergey Solyanik said...

I'd like to call your bluff if I may :-).

Would you care to name a few recent cases where liberals would preach "morality" while privately transgressing their own pronouncements?

You can probably find an example or two, but there are few and far between.

On the conservative side, however, they are in the news all the time, a dozen a year. Ted Haggard, Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Rush Limbaugh, hell, John "swap your wife for a newer, richer model", George W. "drunk driver" Bush... the list goes on and on...

nathan3700 said...

I think you're asking me to point out liberal hypocrisy. Liberal values lead to liberal morals. Conservative values lead to conservative morals. I will take for granted, perhaps erroneously, that we agree on what conservative morals are. Liberal morals, just like conservative ones, assert that there are proper human behaviors and improper ones. Liberal do's and don'ts overlap with conservative ideals in some ways.

I must attempt to define liberal morality lest I be charging liberals with violating a code of conduct they don't believe in. Obviously, liberals often have loose social mores. So pointing out trysts, drunkenness, drug use, and the like will not count as hypocrisy. (In this regard the bar is higher for me to show hypocrisy because liberals set lower standards in areas that I care about...I suspect that is why you are confident to call my bluff) Liberals tend to care more about collective morality (what "we" as in the government should do) But I will attempt to outline a private liberal morality and then show you the hypocrisy.

My best guess at private liberal morals:
1) be educated
2) be open minded
3) love the environment
4) love mankind through government auspices
5) be egalitarian

Now for the hypocrisy:
* Al Gore's carbon foot print. While Gore can be seen as supporting item #4 above, he surely violates #3 on a personal level. And if he thinks his preeminent position gives him special dispensation, then he violates #5. He also violates #2. Gore's belief in catastrophic AGW (anthropomorphic global warming) is based on faith. No where in his presentation did I see an open minded attention to factors that detract from his message.
* Rich liberals. Going all the way back to Thomas Jefferson, liberals such as Soros, the Kennedies, Hollywood stars, etc are quite willing to support #4, but you never see them relinquish control over their power or fortunes in order to attain #5. They want the government to force #5 but will not do it on a personal level. Just compare the amount of charitable giving of Palin versus Biden.
* Bush hatred. Bush hatred is almost pathological. While loving thy neighbor is a conservative ideal, so I can't fault liberals for it on that basis, I can assert a violation of ideals #1 and #2. But that takes a long discussion and I'm running out of space.
* I also see it hypocritical that Obama would rise to the presidency on an anti-Iraq war platform and then turn around and appoint Gates as SecDef. I think he just played the political cards based on what played well and will now govern from the center (good for me I guess, but still hypocritical)

Now as to my original post, what I was saying about scapegoating doesn't necessarily mean I was charging hypocrisy. You'd have to hear a liberal profess to be against scapegoating for it to be hypocrisy. But consider that Obama won the presidency by scapegoating Bush for "failed policies of the last 8 years" as if Democrats (who BTW have been calling the legislative shots for two years now) had nothing to do with it. See my blogs for more info on that.

It isn't hard to find hypocrisy when you look for it. The harder part is looking for the best in others and being willing to forgive them their weakness. I don't know how high forgiveness ranks for liberals, but it ranks high for me and that is why I can support conservatives who set a higher bar but who aren't perfect themselves.

Sergey Solyanik said...


I don't think you understand what liberal ideology is based on.

We never preach that it is "moral" to (1) be educated, (2) be openminded, (3) love the environment, (4) love mankind, or (5) be egalitarian.

We're saying that it is smart, because it is utilitary. These "values" are not personal, but rather communal.

Allow me to demonstrate.

Because both myself and my wife are software developers, we make a fair amount of money. I support rolling back Reagan tax cuts, despite the fact that if this happens, our tax bill will at the very least double.

I don't do it because paying taxes is "moral", or because even helping poor is "moral".

I merely observe that as overall level of the well-being goes up, the quality and extent of every individual's life rises - myself included. So by paying more taxes, I increase probability that some poor kid that would otherwise have spent his time flipping hamburghers in McDonalds would instead get into a good college, get a PhD in bio-chemistry, and develop cure for cancer or heart disesas, which covers the 90% of the possible causes of my death (yes, I AM very sure I will not die from terrorism).

If paying more taxes were a "moral value", I could send a check to IRS, or donate the money to charity. However, just me doing this would not make anybody any good, so it is not smart.

Likewise, if Al Gore were to move to a smaller house, it would be "moral" from the conservative perspective, but wouldn't make any difference. I assure you that if the government puts out a law taxing household energy use, Al will vote for it.

Do you follow?

The key difference is this.

Conservatives preach morality for morality's sake, or because Bible says so. They don't think through why what they preach is really right (why exactly is it bad for gays to merry? How is it any more detrimental to the marriage institution than, say, Britney Spears?). Which makes it so easy for them to deviate from the very things that they are preaching. Their allegiance to their values is not informed.

Liberal "values" are not really values - they are things that, to the best of our knowledge, should make our lives easier. Of course we don't know everything, and some times we're wrong. But our consent is informed - the laws that we propose are proposed because they are useful, not moral. You cannot be a hypocrite because you believe in something that is the result of reasoning, and then you change your beliefs because the reason change (conservatives do not understand this, and call it flip-flopping).

So of course my challenge was a setup :-).

Sergey Solyanik said...

Couple of more points. Even if you ignore everything I have said above, and assume that your items (1)-(5) are really the liberal religion, you still have to admit that your examples of liberal misbehavior are far less sexier than mine :-).

And I'd like to take an exception to your statement about Bush. If you had a poll with the question: "Do you agree that Bush is a f*cktard (Yes/No)?", the percentage of positive responses will directly correlate with the level of education. This has been measured so many times that it is not controversial in the slightest. So are you saying that educated people violate the principle that it's good to be educated?

Let me explain the nature of Bush/Palin hatred to you. It's not that people hate them because they're so dumb. There are many dumb people in the world. It's the combination of stupidity, total lack of humility, and an unbelievable sense of entitlement that makes this particular brand of a moron so repulsive...