by Eileen | 2:53 pm, November 7, 2012 | Comments Off
I did not write anything last night because I really felt there was nothing to say. Also, someone brought a bottle of McCallen 12 Year to the election return party and I was correspondingly disinclined to work. Also, I was pretty far of the mark on the final electoral count and I chose to nurse my ego with another glass of that splendid single malt. Also, the ‘i’ key on my laptop was sticking and I wasn’t up to fixing it last night. But enough excuses.
Ah, but this morning! This morning, I will be writing to (or maybe about) the people who are so openminded they will do anything to learn about the world, short of reading a brief essay expounding a political opinion with which they disagree.
Now, harking all the way back to October, some leftist commentators were preemptively sneering at their opposing numbers just in case Romney won. Does this mean they were truly scared of losing or just that some people want to win while behaving like sore losers? Heck, maybe they were just like me – out of ideas but dodging calls from their editors.
Now, with the election said and done, I am a little alarmed at leftists who are still intent on playing the victim. Bloody hell, you people won; must you wear the martyr’s cloak so long as a single soul somewhere isn’t on your side? And I am, frankly, ticked off at Obama-fans who make lots of pious noise about seeking to ‘understand’ the other side when they are clearly not the least bit inclined to do so.
Cruising FB earlier, I came across a post from a left-leaning acquaintance who wondered why urban and rural Americans had differing reactions to the election. In and of itself, it was just a question. The comments were, alas, not at all surprising.
A cadre of smug city-dwellers proceeded to insult their de-urbanized brethren. Each item began with the ‘Look, I’m a tolerant sort and I have nothing against anyone who chooses to live outside the city, but…’ caveat. At which point, the writer descended into a hamfisted recitation of sweeping generalizations, snide jibes, and moral superiority dressed up as worldly chic.
Rural Americans, went the cry, are naïve and timid bumpkins who are “terrified of the unknown.” They’re small-minded and too stupid to conceive of, let alone show interest in, anything beyond their back garden. They live outside of cities because they’re so racist it would kill them to so much as share a ZIP code with a minority.
Wake up, kiddies. You don’t have a broad horizon because you once smoked hash in a non-Christian nation. You can’t even treat the rancher who supplies your table with anything approaching human decency. The Other is right here in the States and you’re the ones engaging in “othering.”
I want to make it very clear that I am not defending the staunch social conservatism that leftists have in mind when they vilify small town America. I am saying that it’s high time to grow up and stop seeing electoral politics as a pass to openly loathe your opponents.
Right off the bat, how on earth can the same person be simultaneously at fault for not taking the initiative to learn about the great wide world and for having rejected the same? Maybe your opponent is in the dark and maybe your opponent has made the wrong choice, but it can’t damn well be both.
Secondly, that some random guy disagrees with you is not proof, or even evidence, that he’s ill-informed or stupid or morally bad. It means the two of your disagree. Period. If you want to draw conclusions beyond that, you’ll need a lot more than your own wounded pride.
One one level, this variant on ‘Radical Chic’ is symptomatic of a real and worrying provincialism. Some people, and they do tend to the left, have enjoyed a comfortable life, have had the security and the income to travel, to study for marginally useful advanced degrees, to fritter away hours on the very cultural artifacts that were produced by an earlier generation of coddled dilettantes. They’re quite sure of having seen enough to pronounce on the state of civilization when they’re aren’t old enough to run for County Dog Catcher.
They’ll gladly recite the countries they’ve gone to, the variety of wacky religious ceremonies they’ve sat through, and all the weird food they’ve eaten. But that’s confusing outputs with outcome. They fell in love with a decidedly leftist view of the world, the state, and mankind, then did nothing to look at any diverging opinions, and had the gall to insist that sustained immersion in confirmation bias has somehow given them the authority to aver on all things.
Such people are a painful side effect of the material comfort brought about by free markets. Their basic needs are so easily provided for that they never consider, let alone seriously ruminate on, what has brought about their style of living. The very fact that some can dedicate all their time to periphery – nay, tertiary – pursuits and safely assume their basic needs will be met is a testimony to everything America and capitalism has got right.
They flatter themselves that, having done exactly what they felt like doing, having enjoyed things that are simply beyond the reach of many, they made some marvelous and difficult decision. At the same time, they deny freewill to anyone who hasn’t made the same decision.
Petulant declarations of “I backpacked in Malaysia! I majored in Womens’ Studies! I know all about the world!” don’t change the fact that these souls have a tremulous grasp of history, economics, sociology, or any other discipline that might lend itself to becoming some sort of authority on the human condition. Having had opportunities for travel and higher education and coming out of it more insulated and contemptuous of people who aren’t just like you than when you started ought to be a source of shame.
I ain’t saying you need to come to any one opinion. I’m saying you need to divest yourself of thinking you have any right to talk down to people who differ from you.
It’s grotesque determinism to believe there’s one acceptable viewpoint and that everyone must either arrive at that stance or be rightly degraded. Aspiring limousine liberals are conflating chance with choice if they hold that there is no way way an intelligent and decent person could demur on some point. And they are betraying their insincerity over their supposed ideals when they disdain free-thinkers who freely thought all the way to a heterodox opinion.
Maybe the people who live well outside the city, go to church regularly, and hew to marked social conservatism have made a choice, just like you did. Stop acting like it’s a deep personal insult that other people are happy living differently from you. Stop presuming that every single person had the same opportunities as you.
And please stop bragging about all the ways you learn about ‘other ways of experiencing’ when your behavior makes it plain as day that you don’t even remotely believe there can be any acceptable mode of life aide from your own.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to convert everyone to your opinions. You don’t need to browbeat and belittle anyone who disagrees with you. You don’t need to run your mouth from sun-up to dead-of-night about your own supposed sophistication. You don’t need to prattle on about tolerance and then gape in awe at the fact that other opinions actually exist. You need to ask yourself why you’re so damn terrified of people who disagree with you.
Praise for PPC From Our Lefty "Fan"
- "Zany-ass bombast-entertainment...Hackneyed weirdo communist pseudo-nostalgia" --Alan Franklin, ProgressNow
- PPC Training for Activists
UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
- Holder’s First Letter to Paul Precipitates the Best Filibuster Ever
- The Lamest Twitter Argument Ever Offered?
- Return of the PPC Re-Education Camps – You Know You Want to Be There
- Supreme Courts Blesses Warrantless Surveillance of Citizens in a Kafkaesque Farce
- GOP Elite and the Ruling Class
- Do We Now Get to Call Joe Salazar a “Rapist”?