Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Can Tell a Tree by its Fruit

American Thinker: The Civility Gap
    One of the unspoken truths of the political and ideological wars which rage around us is the civility gap between the left and conservatives.
    These leftists had the manners of Nazis, their Siamese twins ideologically. I would respond, always, politely -- much to their chagrin sometimes. I would also ask them, civilly, if there were any facts which I could present which would change their minds. In every single case, no facts, however well-documented, could sway their mind, which was marinated in noxious misology.

    Conservatives have criticized my articles more often than leftists, but their critiques almost never have personal attacks. They discuss legislative votes, public statements, and philosophies of government and society. Conservatives are civil, even when they strongly disagree with me.
    First, most conservatives are religious. They may be Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish, but within them burns real, living faith. Courtesy, kindness, and respect are ineradicably intertwined in the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. Treating people as you would like to be treated, among countless other rules the Blessed Creator has enjoined us to follow, simply prohibits the sort of savagery which pockmarks leftism.

    Second, conservatives believe in markets.
    Treating our neighbors decently, treating strangers decently, watching our language when around children, ladies, or the elderly -- these and countless other signal "transactions" in the marketplace of human interactions largely determine what sort of life we will lead.

    The left dislikes all forms of markets and believes instead in coercion
    [...] -- these people trust force and pressure more than liberty and choice.

    Third, conservatives believe in truth. Leftists like Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Mussolini, Howard Dean, and Al Gore believe that ideology is truth. There is no point in really looking beyond ideology, and any facts which contradict their ideological reality must be false.
    Those who seek truth behave entirely differently from those who seek to crush truth. We listen to the left because we want to hear what they have to say. Most of us can state the arguments of the left better than Howard Dean or Barack Obama could ever recapitulate conservative positions. When the left has a point, as with the corruption of Nixon, we agree with them (Nixon resigned when Republican leaders, including Goldwater, told him he must -- in stark contrast to Clinton when caught in a web of outlandish lies and perjury). Those who truly want the free flow of information do not invent "speech codes" for college campuses and do not try to create a climate in which the political or ideological impact of each word must be weighed before spoken. Conservatives, then, are like true Americans -- plain-talking, really listening, open-minded, but independent-thinking people.

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