Every Point A Strawman

I’ve long held, correctly, that Red America understands Blue America – its culture, society, ways, mores and the like – better than vice versa.   Red America gets New York and LA in a way that neither of them gets, and I’d suggest don’t believe they need or care to get, the rest of the country.

And it seems it’s not merely geographic:

In his remarkable book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Haidt recalls a telling experiment. He and his colleagues Brian Nosek and Jesse Graham sought to discover how well conservative and what Haidt terms ‘liberal’ (ie: progressive) students understood one another by having them answer moral questions as they thought their political opponents would answer them. “The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold.

That would explain why liberals are so very prone to arguing the straw man; it’s the only way they perceive conservatives.

To put it bluntly, Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives. This he calls the ‘conservative advantage,’ and it goes a long way in explaining the different ways each side deals with opinions unlike their own. People get angry at what they don’t understand, and an all-progressive education ensures that they don’t understand.

It’s been my observation that liberals, at large, can not effectively debate conservatives, because at no point in their education have they ever had to see conservatism and conservatism as anything other than cartoons.

I’ll urge you to read the whole thing.

11 thoughts on “Every Point A Strawman

  1. Progressives are prone to arguing the straw man because the straw man IS their ideal of manhood and, for them, prone is the only acceptable position for a man!

  2. Dennis Prager makes this point occasionally; conservatives are exposed to leftist (NOT liberal) ideas constantly, but lefties are rarely exposed to conservative and/or libertarian ideas.

    They really do think we are bad people.

  3. It is not necessarily that leftists do not understand, but rather often that they will not understand. My brother happens to be one, and I vividly remember challenging him to consider the possibility (per The Millionaire Next Door) that rich people generally don’t inherit their wealth, and to ask what the consequence would be. He refused to even consider the possibility, which was odd for the former debater he is–someone trained to consider the possibilities of ideas with which he disagrees.

    It’s a huge problem, and one that I dare say has a lot to do with a lot of people objecting to Trump without considering the character of the lady he was running against.

  4. Put another way, I have very little interaction with real Communists, but because I read the papers, I am familiar with their concepts and can expound on them and even say what the consequences would be if true. It’s simply that I disagree with the original premiss. Liberals don’t seem to be willing to extend even that courtesy a lot of the time.

  5. BB
    the problem is faith. Leftists, responding to the great need everyone has in their life for faith, adopt a political ideology in lieu of faith. Currently the fashion is socialism, previously it was the democracy of revolutionary France, the Monarchy, or the opposing sides of the 30 years war. The ideology changes but the fervor doesn’t and rational discourse is always an early casualty.
    Most leftists would benefit from a return to church as a means of getting the sense of virtue and social validation they seek. They could also benefit from a sense of humility that faith offers.

  6. The world around me is not satisfying, not fulfilling. It requires effort and even then, the results do not meet expectations. Nobody cares about me, about my ideas, my opinions.

    I have constructed a more satisfying, more fulfilling world, in my mind. There, virtue is recognized, effort is rewarded, justice is fair. There, my opinions matter. There, I am somebody.

    You want to argue facts and logic? You want me to give up my beautiful world to come live in your cruel one? You are either stupid or wicked.

    I reject your world. I live in my own little world. And all the facts and logic in the world can’t stop me.

    I am a Liberal.

  7. bb,

    Coincidentally, I’ve had that same conversation (most Republicans didn’t inherit their wealth) with my wife and sister in law, who are both progs. I point out all of the trust funders that did, who are just like them. This usually sends my wife to Google the first leftist misinformation source to attempt to prove me wrong. She hasn’t succeeded yet.

  8. A friend from high school likes to share memes and outrages in the news about evil Republicans. A little while back she shared one about the billionaires getting more tax breaks, when any one of them could solve healthcare crisis (if they weren’t evil Republicans, was the implication).

    I did a quick check of the Forbes list of billionaires, and 8 of the top 10 U.S. billionaires are Democrats, or “progressive”. I shared this with her. “What’s your point?” was her response. “You just made it,” was mine.

  9. I think Joe has perfectly and succinctly described the fever dreams churning in most leftist brain pans. But where does the racial and cultural self loathing come from?

    Pig, that fop looks like he just ate a bag of dicks. If that’s not Librell’s brother I’m a little teapot.

  10. Boss, my wife was left leaning when we met.

    I didn’t mind too much because she wasn’t a dedicated leftist, she did not approve of abortion, and I spot females a couple points due to the natural, and desirable empathy hard wired into women.

    I encouraged her to fact check the things I told her in discussing politics, and over a very short span of time, her politics swung right. Today, I’m happy to report she is thoroughly red pilled.

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