Tuesday, February 21, 2006

A very close right-wing friend of mine helps to keep me clued in as to how the mind operates on the other side. I am frequently perplexed by how he and I can laugh and agree on so many things in life, and yet look at a given political issue in such starkly different ways.

The following are some questions I've asked him over time which he seemingly refuses to answer; you may understand my frustration when you read them:

1) Regarding the fairly recent Supreme Court ruling in the Oregon case, to the surprise of many conservative backers, Scalia ruled against states rights and a smaller, more limited federal government role. My friend's knee-jerk response was to halt any premature judgment towards Scalia until one actually read his dissent. When I emailed him the entire text of the dissent, expecting to hear from him soon once he digested it, I was instead met with many days of silence.

It's been weeks and I have yet to hear a thing regarding this dissent. Trust me, I won't hear a thing. It was a classic dodge, one I've been treated to many times before. The right wing stalls and then never delivers, hoping everyone has just moved on, banking on the poor memories of most Americans. The problem is many liberals have excellent memories and do a very good job of connecting the dots.

2) I will cite a news item (a recent example being Ken Starr's forged documents) and yet it never fails, my friend denounces the news source as liberal and untrustworthy. Thus, he dismisses any and all of the story, period. Pulling my hair out, I've asked him what info or news source(s) he in fact endorses. FOX News? Limbaugh? O'Reilly?? I get no answer. I suppose the strategy is to just dismiss and badmouth every news source out there without providing favorable alternatives. It makes you wonder if they read any news at all, choosing instead to be uninformed, living in their own carefully manufactured reality.

3) Like many right wingers, my friend is a big-time global warming skeptic. Let me say that he's by no means an uneducated yokel; he's a very intelligent working professional. Yet, any climate change that he does admit to gets relegated to the "it's a big mystery" category, or that it's the earth going through some kind of natural mega-cycle. More to the point, by no means does he believe man necessarily has anything to do with it.

In response I've asked him a very simple question: where do man-made air pollutants go? Do they just rise and escape into outer space? Assuming "no" to this question, and assuming they don't just magically disappear, then where do they end up? As with the above points, he has yet to answer this question. Another dodge.

If the right-wing professes to know so much about what's good for this country, then why don't they have answers to so many questions?

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