Thursday, December 08, 2005

Once again, I delve into the deluded world of James Taranto -- I just can't help it. I guess I find it irresistably amusing to keep up with the current thinking of those Walter Mitty-types on the right. As much as it's often frustrating and perplexing, the reward is frequent laughs and moments of howling disbelief.

The below is a recent item from the great Taranto:
Why Conservatives Are Smarter
Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Jonathan Rosenblum of Jewish Media Resources ponders the careers of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice-designate Sam Alito, and in the process makes an excellent point about Ivy League conservatives and liberals:
Because of their minority status it is far more difficult for conservative students to entertain the illusion that all smart people think like them. They are exposed to many obviously bright young men and women whose opinions on almost every issue vary radically from their own. . . .

Being forced to recognize that there are different points of view helps make bright young conservatives such good debaters. They learn early on the limited persuasiveness of shouting at someone with whom they disagree, "You're an idiot." Of necessity they have to develop the ability to cast their arguments in ways that appeal to those starting from very different premises. . . .

Liberals can be wonderful people, and boon companions, but they often have a hard time dealing with people of opposing views--especially when they cannot dismiss them out of hand as idiots. Too often they have spent their entire adult lives surrounded almost entirely by those who think just like them, and it comes naturally to dismiss those of other views as intellectually or morally challenged.
This is true beyond the Ivy League, as we noted just after the 2004 election. With liberalism the dominant ideology in the news and entertainment media, it is virtually inescapable to any American who doesn't go to great lengths to insulate himself from it. Big-city liberals, by contrast, can easily filter out conservative ideas, and thus need contend only with their own prejudices. Thus conservatives are smarter than liberals--not necessarily in terms of native intelligence, but of understanding the world around them.
The above is absolute horse crap written by a complete idiot! But seriously, even before my days in college right up to the current day, it's my experience that the "you're an idiot!" crowd is MUCH more populated by right-wingnuts than liberals. In fact, if anything, I often find fellow liberals trying too hard to swallow or make sense of right-wing arguments that clearly fall apart on their face.

Just look at right-wing talk radio and FOX news -- who's doing the yelling and dismissive name-calling here? (And as part of their wonderful debate training, to adeptly persuade the opposition they simply create "facts" from thin air -- that'll work! Who bothers to look anything up these days, right?) Compare that to the more sober -- and quiet -- NPR, Air America, and even Ralph Nader.

"Big-city liberals, by contrast, can easily filter out conservative ideas." Oh really? Last time I looked such urban papers as the NY Times and LA Times had several right-wing columnists. (Might I mention that the WSJ and NY Post nary have a one.... Talk about filtering out!).

The fact is those on the right are far more close-minded and intolerant of how others think than are those on the left. Just recall VP Cheney telling Sen. Pat Leahy to go f*ck himself -- a gesture that spoke symbolic volumes. Need I say more?

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