Category Archive 'Conservatives'
28 Jul 2018
“Who’s the cool kid now?”
Walter Kirin, in Harper’s (of all places), describes discovering that today, all the cool people, the rebels and outsiders, are the Trump supporters, while the sanctimonious, preachy types, the annoying conformist scolds are the liberals!
Puritanism, Mencken said, is â€œthe haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.â€ But liberal puritanism is slightly different. It fears that the wrong sort of people might be happy, or that their happiness might be of the wrong kind. Iâ€™d seen examples of it on Twitter, in snarling remarks about Trumpâ€™s porn-star mistress, his age difference with his wife, his multiple marriages, his rumored romps with Russian prostitutes. The ostensible charge was Trumpâ€™s hypocrisy and that of his evangelical supporters for pardoning such lewdness in their leader, but sometimes I sensed disgust in the attacks not only with Trump, but also with sex, in all its messiness. When Jimmy Kimmel recently referred to Trump as Pumpkin ÂMcPornHumper, the hint of sniffy distaste was unmistakable.
If Trumpâ€™s presidency is a national emergency and opposing it the equivalent of warâ€”though I prefer sticking with the political processâ€”then there isnâ€™t much room for liberals to be liberal in the ways I found so attractive as a boy. Indeed, I see evidence that certain liberal principles, the ones that impressed me in the Seventies, have eroded. Back then, for example, the CIA was understood to be a nest of liars and psychopaths who toppled democratically chosen leaders, lied to the public to start wars, and ran sick experiments on innocents using drugs and mind-control techniques. In Three Days of the Condor, a thriller from the period, Robert Redford plays a lowly CIA officer who discovers that the agency is nothing more than a crime ring. These days, however, with Trump playing the heavy, the CIA is revered by many liberals as a bulwark of integrity, its missions sacred, its conclusions unimpeachable, and its former director, John Brennan, worthy of a high-profile cable news job. The FBI draws similar adulation, never mind its history of spying on the likes of Ernest Hemingway, John Lennon, and Martin Luther King Jr.
This great liberal switch from skepticism to sanctimony about the most powerful arms of the Establishment is matched by a viral fear of Russia that reminds me of the John Birch Society pamphlets Iâ€™d come across now and then when I was young. Somehow, instinct told me then that they were crazy, exaggerating the cunning of the enemy, the depravity of the collaborators, and the vulnerability of America. The liberal comedians who lampooned such claims on shows such as Laugh-In were my idols. They dared to speak the most radical truth of all in a time of panic and paranoia: the sneakiest adversary is the mind. The Cold War was real, of course, and deadly serious, as are the tensions with Putinâ€™s Russia, but my liberal heroes of the Seventies discerned other dangers that were closer to home. Rigidity. Stridency. Shrillness. Self-righteousness. One way they answered the periodâ€™s harsh conservatism was to hang loose, not get uptight. Love, not war. Remember?
31 Jan 2017
Bird Dog & Ace:
I remember back in the old days, public conversations between liberals and conservatives usually went something like this:
1. liberal: says something
2. conservative: responds
3. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4a. conservative: I am not a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4b. conservative attempts to give evidence for statement 4a.
5. liberal: not good enough
6. Goto step 3
The new, Trump-era “honey badger conservative” playbook appears to be this:
1. conservative: says something
2. liberal: you’re a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
3. conservative: fuck you.
03 Aug 2013
James Delingpole has been arguing with lefies, and has learned a great deal about himself from them.
I think itâ€™s time you learned a bit more about me. Be warned, it isnâ€™t pretty.
Basically, my sex life is a mess. Iâ€™ve never had a successful relationship with women, owing to the fact that Iâ€™m misogynistic, immature and a braying right-winger with a face like a horse. And we havenâ€™t even got on to the size of my penis yet which, as you can well imagine, is minuscule.
Then thereâ€™s my unfortunate educational background. Youâ€™d think it would be an advantage having had an excellent private education at Malvern followed by a stint reading English at Oxford. But God, you couldnâ€™t be more wrong. From public school all I learned is arrogance and a sense of entitlement and a lofty disdain for the poor while my English degree, being a mere â€œhumanityâ€, is worthless and leaves me especially ill-qualified to comment on any issue which has to do with science.
And itâ€™s not just that Iâ€™m ignorant about science, either. Iâ€™m actually anti-science. Perhaps itâ€™s all the money Iâ€™m paid by Big Oil, perhaps itâ€™s because Iâ€™m mentally ill, or perhaps itâ€™s just because Iâ€™m plain evil but, would you believe it, Iâ€™m on a personal mission to disseminate ignorance by deliberately distorting the truth about issues like climate change because it doesnâ€™t accord with my selfishness and greed and refusal to alter my rapacious lifestyle for the common good.
Did I mention my mental illness? I think I did but it really canâ€™t be mentioned often enough. Iâ€™m sick, warped, perverted â€“ not to mention stupid, childish, puerile, irresponsible, silly, flippant, sexist, racist, disablist â€“ and totally wrong in the head. Itâ€™s all down to the lack of love I received as a child, which turned me into a rampant attention seeker. The kind of upbringing I have scarcely bears thinking about but what we can say with confidence is this: the values imparted to me by my parents were so perverse that they created the veritable monster I am today.
16 May 2013
Maybe if you libs worked out more…
The Daily Mail reports (what many of us already knew):
Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views
Weaker men more likely to support welfare state and wealth redistribution
Link may reflect psychological traits that evolved in our ancestors
Strength was a proxy for ability to defend or acquire resources…
Men who are physically strong are more likely to take a right wing political stance, while weaker men are inclined to support the welfare state, according to a new study.
Researchers discovered political motivations may have evolutionary links to physical strength.
Men’s upper-body strength predicts their political opinions on economic redistribution, according to the research.
24 Aug 2011
In the late Montague Rhodes James‘ memoir of his time at school and university, Eton and King’s (1926), James remembers in particular Mrs. Ann Smith, an elderly college servant at King’s College, who tidied up college rooms and made the students’ beds for them.
James describes her as “tall and austere in aspect,” but with a gift for “noteworthy speech” and prone to apply the mot juste. Mrs. Smith was also evidently capable of penetrating political acumen.
“Politics, I don’t think she studied much, but after a General Election she has said to me, ‘Well Sir, simple as I am, I’ve always heard there was never better times than when the Conservatives was in power.'”
M.R. James, in later years
29 Jan 2010
Osama is a warmist. I guess that figures.
Bad news for literature. Patrician Louis Auchincloss dies at 92 (WaPo obit), and Zen recluse J.D. Salinger passed away at 91 (London Times obit).
Bad news for scholarship. King’s College London is planning to eliminate Britain’s only chair in paleography. No money in that, you see.
Why so few conservative or libertarian academics? Two researchers propose “path dependence” as the explanation.
Five stages of democrat grief over the health care reform bill.
01 May 2009
Jonathan Haidt (Y ’85) is a Social Psychologist at UVA who focusses on the moral foundations of politics. He has made, what the left perceives as a breakthrough discovery: liberals and conservatives place emphasis on different moral values.
More interestingly, Haidt’s research finds that conservatives understand liberals much better than vice versa.
Jonathan Haidt is hardly a road-rage kind of guy, but he does get irritated by self-righteous bumper stickers. The soft-spoken psychologist is acutely annoyed by certain smug slogans that adorn the cars of fellow liberals: “Support our troops: Bring them home” and “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
“No conservative reads those bumper stickers and thinks, ‘Hmmâ€”so liberals are patriotic!'” he says, in a sarcastic tone of voice that jarringly contrasts with his usual subdued sincerity. “We liberals are universalists and humanists; it’s not part of our morality to highly value nations. So to claim dissent is patrioticâ€”or that we’re supporting the troops, when in fact we’re opposing the warâ€”is disingenuous. …
The University of Virginia scholar views such slogans as clumsy attempts to insist we all share the same values. In his view, these catch phrases are not only insincereâ€”they’re also fundamentally wrong. Liberals and conservatives, he insists, inhabit different moral universes. There is some overlap in belief systems, but huge differences in emphasis.
In a creative attempt to move beyond red-state/blue-state clichÃ©s, Haidt has created a framework that codifies mankind’s multiplicity of moralities. His outline is simultaneously startling and reassuringâ€”startling in its stark depiction of our differences, and reassuring in that it brings welcome clarity to an arena where murkiness of motivation often breeds contention.
He views the demonization that has marred American political debate in recent decades as a massive failure in moral imagination. We assume everyone’s ethical compass points in the same direction and label those whose views don’t align with our sense of right and wrong as either misguided or evil. In fact, he argues, there are multiple due norths.
“I think of liberals as colorblind,” he says in a hushed tone that conveys the quiet intensity of a low-key crusader. “We have finely tuned sensors for harm and injustice but are blind to other moral dimensions. …
Haidt is best known as the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, a lively look at recent research into the sources of lasting contentment. But his central focusâ€”and the subject of his next book, scheduled to be published in fall 2010â€”is the intersection of psychology and morality. His research examines the wellsprings of ethical beliefs and why they differ across classes and cultures.
Last September, in a widely circulated Internet essay titled Why People Vote Republican, Haidt chastised Democrats who believe blue-collar workers have been duped into voting against their economic interests. In fact, he asserted forcefully, traditionalists are driven to the GOP by moral impulses liberals don’t share (which is fine) or understand (which is not).
To some, this dynamic is deeply depressing. “The educated moral relativism worldview is fundamentally incompatible with the way 50 percent of America thinks, and stereotypes about out-of-touch elitist coastal Democrats are basically correct,” sighed the snarky Web site Gawker.com as it summarized his studies.
Hat tip to the News Junkie.
I think Haidt’s five foundational moral impulses are far from accurate.
Speaking as a conservative, I think liberal’s notions of fairness/reciprocity are both different from ours and are fundamentally inaccurate, constantly asserting exaggerated and unreciprocated claims to supposititious rights.
Example: liberals believe the US is obliged to award humane treatment in accordance with Geneva Convention standards to unlawful combatants who do not abide by that Convention.
Haidt overlooks the conservative “foundational moral impulses” pertaining to individual liberty, the right of the individual human being to think and act freely within his own private sphere, as well as those pertaining to the rights of society, the right of the people to preserve their own institutions and identity. Conservatives believe that change should be organic and voluntary. Liberals believe in the forcible imposition of their own superior moral insights.
24 Dec 2006
Wilfred McClay, in the Wall Street Journal, finds a new empirical study reaches counterintuitive conclusions, according nonetheless with his own life experience.
Back in my misspent youth, I helped manage a political campaign. My candidate was, like myself, an energetic liberal Democrat, and we ran a summer-long door-to-door campaign throughout the sprawling district. I accompanied the candidate on his daily outings, recording data about each visit on 3 x 5 cards that had been prepared in advance. They included the party registration of the voters, as gathered from Board of Elections printouts.
After a number of weeks of this ceaseless contact with our would-be constituents, both of us noticed something disturbing. There was a consistent disparity between what we expected and what we found in the people we met. Self-labeled liberals would, at most, dutifully proclaim their support for our candidacy, but they were often curt and ungenerous with their time and money. Conservatives, who looked upon our ideas with suspicion, nevertheless were quite willing to talk with us about them, not to mention offering us glasses of water, inviting us onto their porches and into their homes, and otherwise treating us with courtesy and respect.
The candidate himself mused to me one day, as we sat on a curb together, “If I’m ever hit by a car, I sure as hell hope that the next guy to come along will be a conservative.” I asked him why. “Simple. A liberal will blame the unsafe conditions of the highways, blame budget cuts and keep driving. A conservative will get out of his car and help.”
That was quite a concession for him to make, and at the time I thought it unwarranted. But I remembered it years later when I was serving as a vestryman for my Episcopal church and became privy to information about the stewardship commitments of my fellow parishioners. I knew all these people intimately, and yet I was stunned by the pattern that I saw: The most vocal, liberal and politically oriented members of the parish, even if they were in positions of leadership, gave almost nothing, while the most hidebound conservatives, even if they were unhappy with what was going on, gave much.
These two anecdotes convey, in a nutshell, the chief insight of “Who Really Cares.”
By consulting a wide range of metrics, ranging from rates of charitable giving to hours of volunteer work donated, Mr. Brooks concludes that four distinct forces appear to have primary responsibility for making people behave charitably: religion, skepticism about the government’s role in economic life, strong families and personal entrepreneurship. Those Americans who have all four, or at least three, are much more likely to behave charitably than those who do not.
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