Quote of the Day: Heretics and Converts

 

“As the old saying has it, the left looks for heretics and the right looks for converts, and both find what they’re looking for. The effect is no doubt subliminal, but people who treat you like crap are, over time, less persuasive than people who don’t. If people on the Left are so unhappy about how many former allies are changing their views, perhaps they should examine how those allies are treated.” – Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit)

Reynolds wrote this over a decade ago, during the early years of Instapundit. Yet I believe it remains true today, and is one reason I believe the Democrats will lose the 2020 election bigly. They are alienating too many people, and alienating them at an increasing rate. They are attacking their own allies, too, over minor differences in dogma.

And yes, the right is making converts. I think you can see that on this site, where we have liberals who joined to preach to the heathen, discovered we were willing to listen to their arguments and pick apart the flaws in those arguments rather than attack them personally. And eventually decided maybe we were better companions than their former allies of the left.

My fear is that conservatives, faced with this brand of crazy will decide to imitate the Democrats and hunt out “traitors” in our midst – a traitor being defined as anyone who does not rigidly adhere to the “proper” conservative values.

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  1. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    The Democrats are running a replay of the 1972 election.  The question is whether the country has changed. Reading the NY Times one would say it has but I’m not so sure.  The big difference from 1972 is that there is no war.  That radicalized the Democrats and made a difference but they still lost badly.  Does “Climate Change” and “The 1619 Project” replace the war as issues ?  Both are ahistorical and refuted by those who know better but the “anointed” to use Thomas Sowell’s term, seem immune to reason.

    I guess we will find out.  The education industry has been working hard the past 20 years to remove reason and history from the curriculum and that might be enough.

    • #1
  2. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    In business, it generally doesn’t work too well to insult one’s prospective customers.

    BUT, if you can insult the people who have chosen competitive products so viciously as to inhibit them from speaking out with favorable recommendations of those products…and create a social climate implying that anyone who chooses or recommends those products is a hopeless loser…then maybe it can work.  That seems to be what the Left is counting on, anyway.

    • #2
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge
    Phil Turmel
    @PhilTurmel

    I’m not terribly worried about it.  There’s only one faction within conservatism that is outraged about the traitors in our midst.  They are a tiny fringe, ignored by 90% of the right and engaged only by the tiny fraction of the electorate who pays any attention.  That faction still has an outsize presence in the media, but their contributions there are helping sink the media’s reputation.  If anything, that faction’s outspoken conduct is permanently marginalizing them.  All to the good, I think.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly
    @Misthiocracy

    “When you set out to demonize someone don’t be surprised if they start acting like a demon.”

    • #4
  5. Misthiocracy grudgingly Member
    Misthiocracy grudgingly
    @Misthiocracy

    David Foster (View Comment):

    In business, it generally doesn’t work too well to insult one’s prospective customers.

    BUT, if you can insult the people who have chosen competitive products so viciously as to inhibit them from speaking out with favorable recommendations of those products…and create a social climate implying that anyone who chooses or recommends those products is a hopeless loser…then maybe it can work. That seems to be what the Left is counting on, anyway.

    I don’t remember the Cola Wars getting quite that vicious.

    ;-)

     

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    I’m not terribly worried about it. There’s only one faction within conservatism that is outraged about the traitors in our midst. They are a tiny fringe, ignored by 90% of the right and engaged only by the tiny fraction of the electorate who pays any attention. That faction still has an outsize presence in the media, but their contributions there are helping sink the media’s reputation. If anything, that faction’s outspoken conduct is permanently marginalizing them. All to the good, I think.

    Well, I’m sometimes outraged about that tiny NeverTrump faction, and often feel that they are traitors and turncoats.  I now completely ignore a number of columnists and pundits that I used to respect and admire — Bill Kristol, Mona Charon, David French, and some lesser figures at the Bulwark (like Jonathan Last).  I find it often difficult to listen to others, including Jonah Goldberg, Kevin Williamson, Charles C.W. Cooke, and Jay Nordingler.

    OK, in fact, I don’t completely ignore French.  He is the one that I occasionally read, in order to criticize him.

    These figures seem to think that we’ve been taken over in an Invasion of the Body-Snatchers manner.  The Body-Snatchers analogy sometimes seems accurate to me, but in the opposite direction.

    In the latest Mad Dogs and Englishmen podcast, I was happy to hear Kevin Williamson make an important point about the Ukraine situation.  Williamson pointed out that investigation of legitimate cases of political corruption — such as the Joe Biden/Hunter Biden/Ukrainian prosecutor situation — is one of the most important functions of federal law enforcement.  There is nothing wrong with the President urging a foreign leader to take appropriate action in such cases, even if doing so works to the President’s political advantage.

    Most of the right-wing pundits who I still respect concede the alleged impropriety of the President’s action in the Ukraine conversation, improperly in my estimation.

    It is difficult, because we just endured over 2 years of a bogus, fraudulent investigation of alleged collusion with Russia.  The problem with the Russia investigation, however, was not the fact of an investigation.  It was the fact that the basis of the investigation was utterly fraudulent and contrived, manufactured by Democratic political operatives and then fed to their deep-state allies.

    If there is a legitimate basis for an investigation, it should be done.

    • #6
  7. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    In the latest Mad Dogs and Englishmen podcast, I was happy to hear Kevin Williamson make an important point about the Ukraine situation. Williamson pointed out that investigation of legitimate cases of political corruption — such as the Joe Biden/Hunter Biden/Ukrainian prosecutor situation — is one of the most important functions of federal law enforcement.

    This was an excellent point.  Systemic corruption is an existential threat to our nation.   Part of our reason to exist is to have a nation with limited corruption.  It is part of the infrastructure of limited government.  I find it very, very annoying that Milquetoast Republicans are silent on the blatant corruption and tyranny of the deep state and DNC.  They should step up or step aside. 

    • #7
  8. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    Seawriter: Reynolds wrote this over a decade ago, during the early years of Instapundit. Yet I believe it remains true today, and is one reason I believe the Democrats will lose the 2020 election bigly.

     I hope you’re right. I really hope you’re right. Not only because the Democrats seem to have gone completely crazy but because if they lose bigly (as you say), maybe it will quiet them down some. I’m tired of all the hysteria and narcissism. (And yes, that’s what a lot of it seems to boil down to, in my opinion – narcissism.)

    • #8
  9. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    The Steele Dossier and the “Schiff Dossier” deserve equal consideration.

    What we have, I think, is a massive advertising campaign by the media, including all of TV except Fox and they are slipping, plus movies and print such as The New Yorker.

    https://bipartisanreport.com/2018/01/08/this-weeks-new-yorker-cover-is-enough-to-send-trump-into-a-whacked-out-frenzy/

    The people who angrily demand that politics be kept out of sports, that attack Colin Kaepernick’s protest as “un-American,” are the same people who would have stood against the civil rights movement, or would have protested Jackie Robinson’s historic challenge to the status quo. They’re standing on the wrong side of history.

    In a move sure to anger modern day racists, the New Yorker just released a new cover telling it like it is. The cover shows Martin Luther King, Jr. kneeling next to Colin Kaepernick in his San Francisco 49ers uniform, with Michael Bennett in his Seattle Seahawks uniform on the other side. You can see the cover below:

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cover-story/cover-story-2018-01-15

    I’m not one to  “angrily demand” that politics be out of sports.  I am one that stops watching when it is politics.

    • #9
  10. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    the same people who would have stood against the civil rights movement, or would have protested Jackie Robinson’s historic challenge to the status quo. They’re standing on the wrong side of history.

     

    History is hard.  It is easy for  our miseducated youth to forget, if they ever knew, why the Republican Party was founded and why we fought the Civil War. They forget, if they ever knew, which party  founded the Ku Klux Klan and which party established “Jim Crow” in the south.  They forgot, if they ever knew, which party provided the majority for the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. My daughter, as a freshman at the U of Arizona in 2008, was taught that the “Silent Majority” of Richard Nixon, was made up of “White people who refused to support the Civil Rights Acts. This was a course titles “US History since 1877.”  There was no mention of the Vietnam War.

    She was also taught that the Plains Indians taught the pioneers how to farm. The Plains Indians were hunter gatherers. The Iroquois did farm but that was 100 years earlier.

    • #10
  11. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    the same people who would have stood against the civil rights movement, or would have protested Jackie Robinson’s historic challenge to the status quo. They’re standing on the wrong side of history.

     

    History is hard. It is easy for our miseducated youth to forget, if they ever knew, why the Republican Party was founded and why we fought the Civil War. They forget, if they ever knew, which party founded the Ku Klux Klan and which party established “Jim Crow” in the south. They forgot, if they ever knew, which party provided the majority for the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. My daughter, as a freshman at the U of Arizona in 2008, was taught that the “Silent Majority” of Richard Nixon, was made up of “White people who refused to support the Civil Rights Acts. This was a course titles “US History since 1877.” There was no mention of the Vietnam War.

    She was also taught that the Plains Indians taught the pioneers how to farm. The Plains Indians were hunter gatherers. The Iroquois did farm but that was 100 years earlier.

    • #11
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Seawriter: And yes, the right is making converts.

    I agree but one needs to understand the nature of the conversion. The left is driving out anyone who will not rigorously adhere to dogma. The driven will come to the right so long as they find the right more open to thinking than the left. If the right imposes a purity test as well, then a third party will arise.

    • #12
  13. Richard Finlay Inactive
    Richard Finlay
    @RichardFinlay

    Rodin (View Comment):
    The driven will come to the right so long as they find the right more open to thinking than the left.

    More likely, to gain recruits, the Right (-ish organization) will modify itself to accommodate them.

     

    • #13
  14. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    She was also taught that the Plains Indians taught the pioneers how to farm. The Plains Indians were hunter gatherers. The Iroquois did farm but that was 100 years earlier.

    The Iroquois were & are also in a completely different part of the country.

    • #14
  15. GrannyDude Member
    GrannyDude
    @GrannyDude

    Seawriter: My fear is that conservatives, faced with this brand of crazy will decide to imitate the Democrats and hunt out “traitors” in our midst – a traitor being defined as anyone who does not rigidly adhere to the “proper” conservative values.

    My instinctive response was “good luck with that!” The conservatives are much more varied in their approaches and understandings of Trump, and thus the Right has flexibility that the left has lost.  

    • #15
  16. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo
    @BossMongo

    Seawriter: Yet I believe it remains true today, and is one reason I believe the Democrats will lose the 2020 election bigly.

    Inshah’allah.

    • #16
  17. MichaelKennedy Inactive
    MichaelKennedy
    @MichaelKennedy

    David Foster (View Comment):
    The Iroquois were & are also in a completely different part of the country.

    My point.

    • #17
  18. MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam… Coolidge
    MACHO GRANDE' (aka - Chris Cam…
    @ChrisCampion

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The Steele Dossier and the “Schiff Dossier” deserve equal consideration.

    What we have, I think, is a massive advertising campaign by the media, including all of TV except Fox and they are slipping, plus movies and print such as The New Yorker.

    https://bipartisanreport.com/2018/01/08/this-weeks-new-yorker-cover-is-enough-to-send-trump-into-a-whacked-out-frenzy/

    The people who angrily demand that politics be kept out of sports, that attack Colin Kaepernick’s protest as “un-American,” are the same people who would have stood against the civil rights movement, or would have protested Jackie Robinson’s historic challenge to the status quo. They’re standing on the wrong side of history.

    In a move sure to anger modern day racists, the New Yorker just released a new cover telling it like it is. The cover shows Martin Luther King, Jr. kneeling next to Colin Kaepernick in his San Francisco 49ers uniform, with Michael Bennett in his Seattle Seahawks uniform on the other side. You can see the cover below:

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cover-story/cover-story-2018-01-15

    I’m not one to “angrily demand” that politics be out of sports. I am one that stops watching when it is politics.

    All that is is demonization, and re-characterizing people in the present against the past.  When Jackie Robinson changed everything, that sport was 100% (roughly) white.  Colin’s sport, the NFL, is majority African-American, by a lot.  Those two things are analogous.  Not even remotely analogous.  It’s easy and lazy to think it is, but it’s not.

    Nothing screams “I have no logical argument to make” when you slap The Sides of History into your writing.  Stalin had a right side of history; are we now on the wrong side of it?

    It’s stupid.  Insipid.  Laughably sophomoric (apologies to sophomores everywhere).   Yet it persists.  I’m assuming because it helps sell clicks and magazines.  But only to those people who will basically agree with whatever’s printed in those venues.

     

    • #18
  19. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Misthiocracy grudgingly (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    In business, it generally doesn’t work too well to insult one’s prospective customers.

    BUT, if you can insult the people who have chosen competitive products so viciously as to inhibit them from speaking out with favorable recommendations of those products…and create a social climate implying that anyone who chooses or recommends those products is a hopeless loser…then maybe it can work. That seems to be what the Left is counting on, anyway.

    I don’t remember the Cola Wars getting quite that vicious.

    ;-)

     

    That’s because the RC Underground were crap at making bombs. 

    • #19
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Weeping (View Comment):

    Seawriter: Reynolds wrote this over a decade ago, during the early years of Instapundit. Yet I believe it remains true today, and is one reason I believe the Democrats will lose the 2020 election bigly.

    I hope you’re right. I really hope you’re right. Not only because the Democrats seem to have gone completely crazy but because if they lose bigly (as you say), maybe it will quiet them down some. I’m tired of all the hysteria and narcissism. (And yes, that’s what a lot of it seems to boil down to, in my opinion – narcissism.)

    Hysteria can run its course, but narcissism is forever. 

    • #20
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    In a move sure to anger modern day racists, the New Yorker just released a new cover telling it like it is. The cover shows Martin Luther King, Jr. kneeling next to Colin Kaepernick in his San Francisco 49ers uniform, with Michael Bennett in his Seattle Seahawks uniform on the other side. You can see the cover below:

    https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cover-story/cover-story-2018-01-15

    Kaepernick was always a cartoon, but MLK used to be a real person. 

    • #21
  22. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    Weeping (View Comment):

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    the same people who would have stood against the civil rights movement, or would have protested Jackie Robinson’s historic challenge to the status quo. They’re standing on the wrong side of history.

     

    History is hard. It is easy for our miseducated youth to forget, if they ever knew, why the Republican Party was founded and why we fought the Civil War. They forget, if they ever knew, which party founded the Ku Klux Klan and which party established “Jim Crow” in the south. They forgot, if they ever knew, which party provided the majority for the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965. My daughter, as a freshman at the U of Arizona in 2008, was taught that the “Silent Majority” of Richard Nixon, was made up of “White people who refused to support the Civil Rights Acts. This was a course titles “US History since 1877.” There was no mention of the Vietnam War.

    She was also taught that the Plains Indians taught the pioneers how to farm. The Plains Indians were hunter gatherers. The Iroquois did farm but that was 100 years earlier.

    Bluto : “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

    Otter: “The Germans?”

    Boone: “Forget it. He’s rolling.”

    ( At least they called that comedy instead of education. But I wonder in this modern age, have comedy and education become synonymous?🤔🤔🤔)

    ( Then again, I don’t wonder)

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):
    She was also taught that the Plains Indians taught the pioneers how to farm. The Plains Indians were hunter gatherers. The Iroquois did farm but that was 100 years earlier.

    That first sentence is a new one on me. It’s hard to keep up with nonsense. 

    Besides the Iroquois, most of the Algonquian tribes of the Great Lakes region were agriculturalists, too, except where the growing season was too short. But their methods were not adopted by the Europeans. I’ve read several reminiscences of settlers who said they couldn’t have survived their first winter without help from their Indian neighbors, but have not read of any who learned agricultural techniques from them, much less than from the Plains Indians. And it wasn’t for complete lack of attention to how the Indians had farmed, though of course some pioneering settlers were more interested in that topic than others.  

    I’ve recently read Buffalo Bird Woman’s Gardena fascinating autobiographical account of agriculture as practiced by the Hidatsa along the Missouri River in present-day North Dakota. There are people, such as myself, who look for things we can learn from it. But I am not aware of any of the pioneers having adopted any of those techniques. 

    The United States government kept urging the Indians to settle down and farm like the European-Americans, using animal animal power and switching gender roles to those like the Americans. (Switching to animal power also meant switching from female to male labor for much of the farming, as the European methods were not so compatible with child-rearing while working.) But in the next county to the north of me in Michigan, there were some Indians who bought land from the government and tried farming in the style of the whites. It didn’t last long, for a number of reasons, some having to do with the incompatibility with Indian family values, and some because political pressure was brought to bear on the General Land Office to keep it from selling land to Indians. (I’ve gone through the GLO patent records to look for Anishinabe-sounding names, and then did a bicycle ride to look at some of the places where they had farmed. I should do more of that.)  

    The topic of Native American agriculture is fascinating to me, but to say Indians taught the pioneers how to farm is nonsense.  I wonder if other than pure fantasy, any of that claim is based on dryland techniques that were advocated Hardy Webster Campbell. My grandfather read one of his books when the family homesteaded in North Dakota in 1902, and kept on a running argument with his father about the need to adopt those techniques – an argument he kept up into the 1970s, decades after his father was dead. But if Campbell made any reference to Indian techniques in support of his case (and I don’t know that he did–I haven’t read any of it) that’s a long ways from saying the Indians taught the settlers how to farm.  It would be just as nonsensical as saying that Benjamin Franklin’s observations on Iroquois inter-tribal unity are evidence that the U.S. Constitution is derived from the Iroquois, which nonsense has been taught in our schools.   

    • #23
  24. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    MichaelKennedy (View Comment):

    The Democrats are running a replay of the 1972 election. The question is whether the country has changed. Reading the NY Times one would say it has but I’m not so sure. The big difference from 1972 is that there is no war. That radicalized the Democrats and made a difference but they still lost badly. Does “Climate Change” and “The 1619 Project” replace the war as issues ? Both are ahistorical and refuted by those who know better but the “anointed” to use Thomas Sowell’s term, seem immune to reason.

    I guess we will find out. The education industry has been working hard the past 20 years to remove reason and history from the curriculum and that might be enough.

    Well said. History  is not cyclic, but perhaps more of a spiral.

    “We’re coming back to X,Y.”

    Yes, but Z is different.

    • #24

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