Why Are Most Liberals Wholly Unable to Even Articulate Conservative Viewpoints?
I've long held that I could, if I wished to, convince almost any liberal that I was liberal myself. So versed am I in their arguments, thinking and style that I believe I could infiltrate an Occupy Wall Street or Code Pink rally without any other attendee suspecting my sincerity. Even in those rare thoughtful and civil exchanges with someone on the other side of the aisle, I think I understand well their position and can articulate that to their satisfaction. I don't share their beliefs, of course, but I can state them in a way that they agree with.
What I find interesting is that the opposite is almost never true. Ask even a thoughtful liberal to characterize a conservative position on a topic and you'll usually get some silly strawman. This is not about truth or falsehood. Rather, it's an observation I've made about the Left's inability to state conservative positions in a reasonable way. Even when they try not to, they almost invariably represent the Right's arguments as cartoonish, ridiculous or simply stupid.
Why is this? If I choose to do so, I could step into their shoes and make their arguments for them. But they -- even the serious ones -- seem almost universally unable to do the same for me. Even if they don't conform to it, why can't liberals simply grasp an opposing worldview?