April 21, 2010
Leaving LiberalismBy Chuck Rogér
With the classroom lights down low, our teacher Julie asked, "Feel that?"
I looked at my empty hands and, echoing the class, I responded, "Oh...yeah."
Julie whispered, "Move your hands closer together. Feels like you're squishing a ball."
Yep, an invisible purple ball. Assuming the I-know-this-to-be-true look common to enlightened teachers in enlightened schools, Julie informed us that we were sensing the "body's natural energy." We partnered with other students to feel their energy.
A very pleasant female student took an enthusiastic approach, and I felt energized. A guy sporting ear, nose, and lip rings headed my way, and my energy vanished.
By the end of the "Polarity Therapy" course, most students swore that they'd learned to detect people's energy with hand gestures resembling a priest giving absolution. Never did I experience anything that I couldn't explain. But people believe what people want to believe. Weak correlations prompt weak minds to preach weak theories to anyone who'll listen.
"I believe what feels good to me," proclaimed Mr. Twenty-Something. A tiny bat darted from my physiology student's ear as he added, "The full moon's powerful gravity makes people behave weirdly." I explained that our moon's gravity is unaffected by how much we see lit by the sun. Briefly dazed, the student retreated to the protection of an air of superiority. "That's your science."
Suddenly, mini-bats filled the room. I saw students' eyes glaze and heads nod, all-knowing smiles filling self-assured faces. From basic enlightened swaggerers to lost wanderers, students and instructors in the alternative health care school where I taught for three years exhibited the most irrational thought process I'd ever encountered.
What drew me into "alternative" health care in the first place? Why did I take polarity classes? The answers -- perhaps another time. Suffice it to say that the polarity and moon gravity affairs were two of many odd encounters in the course of my journey through strangeness. I learned a great deal about liberals during my liberal period.
Imagine a worldview that licenses the student to claim to be "different" while hanging on every pronouncement by self-important gurus. The student (and the teacher) get to espouse "critical thinking" while succumbing to emotion. Neither can resist calling attention to contrived virtuousness and proclaiming, "I love new ideas. See how the echo-chamber embraces me?"
Picture yourself radiating intellectual and moral superiority. You burst with inspiration on how to run government and society -- or more accurately, how you should run society. Feel how easily you brush aside reality and seize moral high ground on issues about which you know nothing.
My insight into high ground-grabbing amoral liberals leaped when I studied eighteenth-century philosopher Immanuel Kant, who declared that "devils" can productively rule nations "so long as they possess understanding." The philosopher was right. Moral rascals make strong leaders. Kant reasoned that reality holds no relevance toward conceiving morals, which must evolve from pure thought. Only when we apply morals must we consider what's happening around us. I know. Confused me too, until I nailed the liberal modus operandi: Ignore truth when spouting theory, but embrace truth that favors your agenda. Ah, the liberal "thought process."
During my liberal period, I accepted a thought process that it now pains me to admit: "I think, therefore I am...always right." I remember a teacher in the alternative health care school -- a psychologist, of course -- claiming that simply by choosing to attend the school, the men in class were "more evolved than most men." Yes, evolved. I felt proud, giddy -- which is what liberalism is about: finding a way to feel good about myself no matter what was happening around me.
Liberals vigorously guard the feel-good. And so we find that rational people who methodically weigh evidence are shouted down by virtue-flaunting ideologues. Take the global warming hoax. Pope Al, Bishop Boxer, and other Church of Global Warming officials still preach the doctrine even though their cathedrals are burning down. The grand scam marked a first: Mainstream media adopted a religion other than liberalism. The media and the Church perpetuated wacky beliefs based on bogus theories that created bogus projections derived from bogus studies. The world witnessed liberals playing in top form.
You've seen the liberal game face: anger suppressed by enlightened arrogance wrapped in confusion. Were you to try to live the liberal's hell, you'd seek relief the same way that liberals seek relief. You'd ignore reality and act as though your theories were reality. Clear thinking would serve no purpose because logically weighing data, facts, and evidence risks exposure to two nightmarish conclusions that liberals won't accept: There are bad people who do bad things, and most "victims" victimize themselves. Liberals cannot abide unpleasant realities.
My echo-chamber mates' inability to grapple with unpleasant realities startled me when I dwelled among liberals. I discovered that I wasn't supposed to let data, common sense, or a scheme's likely failure stop me from falling in love with the scheme. I was supposed to let the misplaced love make me feel good about myself.
I should expand the feel-good angle.
If during your youth you had gotten little worthwhile moral guidance from Mom and Dad but enjoyed plenty of marginally-deserved stroking, how would you behave as an adult? You'd flit from cause to cause, thriving on smiles and applause, groping for childhood's defining feeling. You'd push any scheme, speak any nonsense, and feign any emotion that might impress people with your wonderfulness -- and to hell with consequences.
Looking back, I know that I could have taken a heck of a ride had I not recovered from liberalism. Surfing the global warming scam's bow wave alone might have been worth relinquishing my respect for truth and giving up my sanity, my ability to judge right from wrong, good from bad, and success from failure. The wild time might have made up for sacrificing my integrity. I probably missed a lot of fun.
A physicist, former high tech executive, and writer, Chuck Rogér invites you to visit his website, http://www.chuckroger.com. Email Chuck at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Immanuel Kant, "Critique of Pure Reason," in Basics Writings of Kant edited by Allen W. Wood, The Modern Library, 2001, pp. 3-115.