This morning I sent an email to David Horowitz ranting about one of my friends who was unhappy about me working for the DHFC. Specifically my friend didn’t care for my allegedly destructive, over-the-top, dogmatic rhetoric. He had to set me straight for how I was poisoning the world with my over-the-top denunciations of totalitarianism.
David responded with a link to this article in today’s Washington Post:
Gerard Alexander: Why are liberals so condescending?
By Gerard Alexander
Sunday, February 7, 2010; B01
Every political community includes some members who insist that their side has all the answers and that their adversaries are idiots. But American liberals, to a degree far surpassing conservatives, appear committed to the proposition that their views are correct, self-evident, and based on fact and reason, while conservative positions are not just wrong but illegitimate, ideological and unworthy of serious consideration. Indeed, all the appeals to bipartisanship notwithstanding, President Obama and other leading liberal voices have joined in a chorus of intellectual condescension.
It’s an odd time for liberals to feel smug. But even with Democratic fortunes on the wane, leading liberals insist that they have almost nothing to learn from conservatives. Many Democrats describe their troubles simply as a PR challenge, a combination of conservative misinformation — as when Obama charges that critics of health-care reform are peddling fake fears of a “Bolshevik plot” — and the country’s failure to grasp great liberal accomplishments. “We were so busy just getting stuff done . . . that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are,” the president told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in a recent interview. The benighted public is either uncomprehending or deliberately misinformed (by conservatives).
This condescension is part of a liberal tradition that for generations has impoverished American debates over the economy, society and the functions of government — and threatens to do so again today, when dialogue would be more valuable than ever.
David then suggested NewsReal have a contest: what is the most amazing example of leftist condescension you have ever encountered? Both NRB’s bloggers and readers are invited to respond in the comments to this post. Examples in the media are acceptable but personal, real life cases are preferred.
Whichever comment receives the most positive votes will be the winner.
And by leftist condescension I mean: how often have you been talking with someone on the Left and they’ve quite obviously, blatantly put themselves above you? Perhaps they’ve regarded themselves as a moral superior to you because of their opinions. They talk with you in an attempt to try and educate you about your bad behavior and bring you up to their level. (We get a lot of such condescending jackasses in NRB’s comment sections.)
Or perhaps they just think that you’re stupid. You have your opinions because you have not been educated and you just don’t know any better. You haven’t studied history at all so you don’t know how “progressives” are responsible for everything good in this world.
The worst though — and this is one that those of us doing this professionally especially get — is that we know full well that our conservative views are bunk but that we’ve been bought off by wealthy corporations. That is why we can say things that are so self-evidently false. We’re just whores peddling our goods on the corner who can be bought if you dangle a bit of cocaine in front of our noses. It gets no more condescending than that.
It’s rare when those on the Left actually approach the tenets of conservatism as legitimate philosophical propositions that intelligent, moral people could embrace. We’re not evil, dumb, or lying. We just have a different interpretation of the world. If you have a friend like that on the Left who can see your humanity in spite of your conservative affliction then be sure and hold on to them. And don’t regard them as you would a Chomskyite.
But while we’re waiting for more of such individuals to manifest, who’s got the best example of leftist condescension? Voting will remain open until midnight on Wednesday, February 10.