We’re Not the Crazy Ones
Long gone are the days when “politics as usual” meant Democrats and Republicans quibbling over policy preferences. Today’s divide is more existential than political, between two sides -- left versus right, progressives versus conservatives, statists versus classical liberals, however you want to phrase it -- who see the world in fundamentally different terms, almost as if they live in two separate realities.
Okay, never mind the “almost.”
Since a good pocket definition of “insanity” is “out of touch with reality,” each side thus thinks the other is literally insane. You can see this play out daily on social media, as both sides shake their heads in stunned disbelief at the other’s inexplicable antics, which to them seem “crazy.” In this context, that’s not merely a pejorative.
Given this state of affairs, how can conservatives be sure we’re not the crazy ones? How can we know our version of reality is correct, reflecting the world as it really is?
That’s a legitimate question. We conservatives tend to be naturally reflective and introspective, recognizing a moral and intellectual obligation to be honest with ourselves and avoid self-delusion. Moreover, about half the country is now arrayed against us, including the corporate media, Hollywood, the sports world, legions of bureaucrats, and even many of our own (former) friends and family members. Under such constant bombardment from the left, it’s natural to occasionally question ourselves. Are they right? Are we insane?
The short answer is: No, we’re not. They are.
Let’s start with the “postmodern” left’s repudiation, several decades ago, of the entire concept of absolute truth. That, of course, is illogical on its very face, because even if the only thing that’s true is that nothing is true, then there is still such a thing as truth. But apparently, they can’t see that. Nor are they self-aware enough to recognize the irony in insisting that their beliefs are true and ours are false when they refuse to accept the basic premise. It’s really quite rich to be accused of lying by people who don’t even believe in truth.
The idea that reality is malleable goes back at least two centuries (and probably more). Yet for the left, it is a thing ever shiny and new, cropping up again and again in our public discourse, couched in the latest buzz-phrases. Consider, for example, the Smithsonian Institution’s recent declaration that objectivity, rationality, and “linear thinking” (i.e., logic) are tools of “white supremacy.”
Basically, here’s how the argument between left and right has been going for most of my lifetime:
Right: Your assertion is illogical and contra-factual.
Left: No, it isn’t.
Right: Yes, it is. (Supports position with facts and logic.)
Left: Well, facts and logic are racist.
How do we even debate people like that? The answer is, we don’t. We have to defeat them politically.
But I digress. Beyond the fact that they don’t believe in truth (so how can their arguments be true?), there are a number of other clear indicators that they are actually the crazy ones, the ones whose perception is divorced from reality. Recent examples include their science-denying insistence on wearing masks outdoors, masking the already vaccinated, masking young children, and mandating lockdowns in an attempt to mitigate a pandemic; calls to defund the police, which would be catastrophic if successful; and the Green New Deal (ditto).
But the best and most definitive example is “transgenderism,” which I put in quotation marks because it’s not actually a thing. The word itself is meaningless. If by “gender,” we mean “sex,” and by “trans” we mean change, then by any rational standard this is incoherent nonsense. It is literally impossible for a human being to change their sex -- of which, contrary to the left’s reality-defying narrative, there are only two, male and female. No matter what drugs they take or how much self-mutilation they undergo, an individual will still have either an X and a Y chromosome or two Xs.
Sure, that individual can live as whatever gender they wish, which for the most part isn’t particularly disruptive to society. What do I care if some guy wants to pretend to be a woman? That’s his business. (Unless maybe he plans to run for governor of our largest state -- but that’s another column.)
But when the left asserts as “truth” obvious falsehoods, such as “a man can have a uterus” and “some women have penises,” and especially when they demand that the rest of us embrace those untruths by using “the appropriate (read: inaccurate) pronouns” -- well, now we have a problem. For those of us in the right -- excuse me, on the right -- belief in objective reality is central to our rational world view. Rejecting reality, we understand, is the road to societal madness.
The bottom line is this: We conservatives may not be right about every single issue -- but the other side thinks men can have babies. Case closed.
Image: Public Domain
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