This has been popping up on Instapundit, which I read, linked to The Other McCain, which I have not read for a long time. It’s an inadvertent illustration of something I have been thinking for awhile about how and why mainstream conservatives are ineffective idiots.
Outline of what little I have read of the story- I have read little because it is routine, boring and depressing. Brett Kimberlin is some kind of leftist terrorist, but gets money for some “educational” operation he is involved with from rich leftist celebrities. Yeah, you guessed the MC response- “LIBERALS ARE GIVING MONEY TO TERRORISTS!!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!!”
Isn’t giving money to convicted, imprisoned terrorists wrong? Obviously it is, but according to the rules of our society, it is not. We live in a leftist society, and the overarching value of leftism is The Good. Any method of achieving The Good is equally valuable and valid, only being more or less appropriate based on the situation. Leftist terrorism is just as valid, valuable and admirable as leftist political action.
Why has this insanity been acceptable for 50 years? The problem with our political discourse is how it is conducted. When you criticize something, you can either attack it as inherently evil, or offer some reason why it is not good. Leftists use the first method, conservatives the second. The second may seem to be more logical or reasonable. After all, if you are going to say something is bad, why not say why? But it is both logically and emotionally weaker.
It is logically weaker because if the reasons you offer why it is bad are struck down, your criticism has been struck down. The attack on your reasoning may be logical or emotional, but either way if it sticks you have lost. All mainstream conservative attacks on leftist policies come in one form- “we live under the Constitution, and/or should be governed by logic, so this is wrong.” The reason this falls apart is that it is obviously not the case, whether it should be true or not. Anyone can see that the Constitution is a tiresome formality and that people are ruled mostly by emotion and not logic. The more conservatives yell about the Constitution, the less in touch with reality they look.
Leftist attacks on human existence are based on attacking the thing as evil in and of itself, are completely honest on the surface and not based on logic, but on emotion that can only be attacked with emotion. The are logically spurious but emotionally very powerful, and the failure to address this directly, however difficult and painful is the failure of mainstream conservatism.
Let’s take civil rights of all kinds. The fundamental legal ruling of all civil rights, from a social if not necessarily legal perspective, is Brown v. Board of Education. Its point is that segregation makes blacks feel bad by telling them they are inferior. Gay rights, in the same way, is based on the idea that telling homosexuals that sodomy is bad and engaging in it makes them disgusting makes them feel bad and is thus wrong. Feminism, that saying women can’t or shouldn’t do some things men do is telling them they are inferior makes them feel bad.
Social harmony is an important thing for many whites. More for northern Europeans than southern or eastern Europeans, more for the English than other northern Europeans, but overall quite important. This is a strong elemental aversion, to disharmony caused by criticizing and attacking other people. Blacks don’t have it at all, quite the opposite they thrive on harassing others.
The problem with this is that blacks really are inferior, in any way that matters. (Football and basketball do not matter.) Gays really are disgusting. Women really can’t or shouldn’t do many things men do. Saying this is not natural or easy for whites, but assenting to idiocy is much worse than making someone feel bad about something they should feel bad about. Had we just said to blacks, “Look, you are dim and impulsive, and will never have a full share in a white society. Get used to being low and excluded in them, or go back to Africa.” They would have been very upset for a bit, and then dealt with it. Same thing with women and gays.
This is why humor is such an effective weapon against leftism. Humor attacks things in themselves, which is why people like Daniel Tosh and why SBPDL was such a success when it started out. (I think SBPDL like is kind of boring now that it’s mostly another “black people suck” blog, but he still gets way more traffic than me.)
This is also why simple news reporting- “Mob of black youth beat white man over nothing”- gets to people. You have simply stated a frightening and dismaying fact, without any need to try to explain anything, which isn’t even necessary. The leftist response to this of course is “Talking about black crime increases racism!” This has the beauty of being completely true. Talking about black crime does increase racism. It is implied, or may be stated outright, “Racism is evil!” This has the beauty of not being logical at all, only emotional. It’s a pure value judgment. What they are really saying is that the people in power will punish those who don’t submit to blacks. Submitting to blacks is the price to pay for being tolerated by the powerful.
It’s all about pure power and values, monstrously evil values versus human values.
Friday, May 25th is called to be “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day“. I declare Wednesday, May 23rd to be “Everybody Get a Freaking Clue About How Things Really Work Day.”