Debate With a Liberal

A humorous, albeit stacked, debate.  The video does illuminate one facet of the American political scene.  Educated conservatives tend to be more familiar with liberal arguments than educated liberals are with conservative arguments.  The reason for this is quite simple.  Conservatives who have been to college have exposed themselves to an institution that is overwhelmingly liberal.  If they read or view the mainstream media, once again they are exposed to liberal ideas from an institution overwhelmingly liberal.  Their entertainment comes to them from sources that tend to be liberal.  Educated conservatives in our society can no more ignore liberal ideas and arguments than they can any other annoying and ubiquitous feature of modern life;   like people having “private” conversations at the top of their lungs over cell phones, liberalism is a constant background feature.

The same is not true for educated liberals.  If they choose, and a surprising number of them so choose, they can lead their lives without ever engaging with conservative ideas and arguments.  The colleges they attend support their political beliefs, the mainstream media presupposes that their arguments are correct and entertainment, if it has political content, will usually flatter their predispositions.  In short, liberals in our society can live their lives in an ideological bubble where conservatives need not be taken seriously.

President Obama is a product of just such a process.  He came from a family oriented to the political left.  He attended Harvard Law School where he was probably much more likely to encounter a convinced scientologist than he was a conservative.  He then went to Chicago to launch his political career where Republicans have been on the endangered species list since the days of the last Republican mayor, Big Bill Thompson (one of the more corrupt politicians in a city ever noted for political corruption), in the era of Elliot Ness and Al Capone.  He entered the US Senate in a farcial race against Allan Keyes who ran the worst political campaign I have ever witnessed.  On the national scene, he became President in 2008 with overwhelming Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress.  For his first two years as President, as for all of his life before then, Republicans and conservatives simply didn’t matter and he made his policies oblivious to their arguments and objections.  2010 demonstrated how well that worked out for Mr. Obama.

Conservatives often feel besieged in a society that fails to reflect they are 40% of the population while liberals are 20%, but, in the long run, they are better advocates for their positions as a consequence of the fact that the dominant organs of opinion in the country are in the hands of their ideological adversaries.

6 Responses to Debate With a Liberal

  • what ever became of that online test that was supposed to measure how well the other side understood their opponents arguments by trying to pose as one of the others? I think that it was one for Christian vs. Atheist, but this comment reminded me of that – certainly there is one for Lib v. Con.

  • That was a sexist video! ;-)

    Loved the dude’s hairdo. :-)

  • “That was a sexist video!”

    Wait until you see a post I do about Civil War historian Amanda Foreman later this week Don! I will probably have to ban myself from TAC for a time because of it!

    “Loved the dude’s hairdo.”

    Now coming close to looking like Mr. Clean myself, I tend to refrain from casting aspersions on male hairdos (I learned long ago never to say anything negative about a woman’s appearance if I wanted to remain hale and hearty), although his hair does have a certain resemblance to a black candle flame.

  • Excellent insights, Donald. In the late ’80’s and early ’90’s, when I began having doubts about liberalism, it took some effort to ferret out conservative books and magazines in Washington, DC. After digging through magazine racks, I’d find a lone copy of National Review tucked in behind 10 copies of Mother Jones – and when I paid for it at the counter, the clerk frequently would shoot me the same sort of look a good Catholic mom would give a son caught with a Penthouse magazine. Indeed, I soon got tired of the hunt and the accusatory glances and ended up subscribing to NR, the American Spectator, and, later, the Weekly Standard. The Internet has made accessing material that is not the usual secular, liberal “conventional wisdom” so much easier and for that we should all be thankful.

    That’s why I have little patience for complaints that the Internet has created polarizing ideological and religious “ghettoes” I have noticed that the people who do the most complaining about it are those who benefited hugely from a liberal near-monopoly of news sources. They hate the “polarization” because they are not used to being challenged and fact-checked.

  • A humorous, albeit stacked, debate.

    I especially enjoyed the reference to What’s the Matter With Kansas? early in the first minute.

    “But I thought Democrats were in favor of empowering the working class.”

    “It was before the working class became anti-intellectual and began voting against their self-interest.”

    It’s not that the debate is stacked so much as shot full of truth serum.

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