Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I’ve often been amazed by how angrily leftists defend political arguments that they clearly don’t understand, and to which they clearly haven’t given a great deal of thought. There are many possible reasons for this, of course. They may have been taught that conservatives are evil, so if anyone says anything that doesn’t sound clearly leftist, that person must be evil, and should be loudly and publicly vanquished. And perhaps leftists can’t defend their arguments because they’ve never had to – they’ve lived in an echo chamber, and have never been challenged to back up their ideas. But still, I wonder, why do they care so much about stuff they clearly haven’t really thought about?
Imagine living in the world of academia. Is it possible that 95% of those who work in that field are leftists? That seems exceedingly unlikely, like flipping a coin 100 times and getting heads 95 times. It’s possible, I guess. But in every school in the United States? What are the odds? How could that happen? Well, one way that could happen would be to require any new hires to prove their liberal bona fides before offering them a job. Ok, so does that mean that they’re all liberal? Of course not – it just means that they want to teach chemistry or whatever. They may not believe in socialism or abortion, but they do believe in summers off, nice benefits packages, and relaxed office hours.
My point is that many of them probably don’t care about politics as much as they care about their job (a healthy attitude, in my opinion), but they understand what they have to say to get the job. Ok, fine. But why would someone who cares little about politics, and knows even less, defend his poorly considered views so viciously? Well, imagine how that conversation sounds to him. Imagine somebody like me approaching him at a party, in front of other people, and saying, “The leftist politics that you profess to believe in hurts people, removes hope, and destroys lives. But you don’t care, because you want some government money in exchange for doing not all that much work. So I suspect that you really don’t believe this stuff. You’re not that stupid. You’re just that amoral.”
Ok, that conversation will not go well. And of course, I would not say those things, but that is what he would hear when I started questioning his belief system. He would perceive my questions as a personal attack.
I’m not questioning his beliefs, because he really doesn’t have any. So I must be attacking him. And all his friends. Of course, he doesn’t like that.
Nobody likes having their belief system challenged. But I am not threatened by such questions, because I’ve arrived at my beliefs only after decades of careful study and uncomfortable challenging of my own presumptions. I know what I believe in, and I know exactly why. So ask me whatever you like, and I’d be happy to explain how I got here. And I’d be happy to hear your arguments. And I’d be happy to debate the topic with you. And if you make some good points, I’ll be happy to learn something. But if you make it obvious that you don’t even understand your own beliefs, I’ll also be happy to laugh at you.
But suppose you have someone who is somewhat insecure and has not given a great deal of thought to matters of philosophy. Like a child, for example. And suppose that child is immersed in the homogenous environment of academia for the first 18-25 years of their life – all the way to adulthood. That child is likely to say whatever they need to, to get along. Regardless of what they believe in, which they haven’t really worked out yet anyway.
And then one day, they’re 25 years old, and they have a few glasses of Pinot Grigio at a party, and they encounter Dr. Bastiat with a bourbon in his hand and a smirk on his face (real or perceived).
Again, that conversation will not go well.
And the more immature and the less secure that 25-year-old is, the worse that conversation will go.
The American left has built an empire through their control of the schools, the news media, the entertainment industry, social media, and so on. Many supporters of leftism don’t really understand or care about it all that much, and many conservatives view that as a weakness that could be exploited.
Not me. I think that only hardens their resolve.
If they understood their beliefs, they would be happy to debate them, so they could prove conservatives wrong.
But if they don’t understand their beliefs, they view any question as a personal attack. Add to that a weird mixture of narcissism, immaturity, and insecurity, and you have someone who will fight to the death over trans-sexual bathrooms. Their lack of a solid foundation makes them even more determined to defend whatever they’ve been told to believe in.
It’s true that the house of leftism is built on sand. But I think that gives it strength because it rules out rational debate, which is all conservatives have.
Without rational debate, leftists win. Every time.
As I so often say, I really hope I’m wrong about this.
What do you think?Published in