An example of liberal thinking: My recent conversation

I recently had a conversation with a liberal whom I have known for about ten years.  We disagree on politics, but we are capable of having civil and sometimes interesting conversation.

The conversation started with my referencing the challenges that the economy has faced this year — inflation, high fuel prices, and a struggling stock market — with a mention that COVID is still hanging around in the background.  His response was to blame the unvaccinated: if they would just get vaccinated, and get the new "custom-made" boosters, then all would be well was his paraphrased opinion.  Sadly, so many still believe that the vaccines are indeed what they were sold to us as.

I typically try to steer away from political conversations at work, because they are not productive, and I am very limited by my own professionalism as to how much I will say.  But this time, it seemed unavoidable.  About his vaccination comment, I only mentioned that the vaccines haven't quite lived up to what they were touted as, despite wanting to say much more.  I could see he was not going to stop.

From there, he went on to mention several other liberal talking points, like January 6, racism (by Republicans, of course), tearing down of statues (see racism) and the pending slim Republican majority in Congress.  In his mind, January 6 was a deadly insurrection, and the Summer of Riots in 2021 was not even worth a (dis-)honorable mention.

The first of his two biggest affronts to logic and truth were his allegation that Civil War generals like Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson were the equivalent of Nazi leaders like Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, and Hermann Goering, and thus deserve to have their statues torn down.  Hard no.

As far as the statues themselves are concerned, I don't disagree that having a statue to someone who was arguably at least superficially fighting "to keep slavery" (which is debatable) is offensive to some.  However, we are still a nation of laws (for now), and there is a process in place for discussing and voting on such things, and public tantrums by over-privileged, perpetually-offended-on-behalf-of-others snowflakes are not part of that process.

But more egregious is the false equivalency drawn between Civil War generals and Nazi war criminals.  I have read about and studied extensively the entire era of World War II for the better part of thirty years, with a lot of time spent on the Holocaust, so I feel qualified to once again offer a resounding no to that comparison.

I am currently re-reading a book by Holocaust survivor Eugen Kogon titled The Theory and Practice of Hell that was originally published in 1950.  It is a dispassionate and detailed description of his time spent in the Buchenwald concentration camp.  His story by itself leaves no doubt or room for discussion about the ridiculousness of the claim laid before me.

For starters, the Nazis were trying to literally eliminate an entire race (several, really) of people, and they succeeded in killing more than six million over a relatively short time.  The depths to which the Nazis went toward this goal are nearly incomprehensible; men, women, and children left to freeze to death, starve to death, be worked or beaten to death...shot, poisoned, gassed, drowned, boiled alive, thrown off cliffs; babies held by their ankles and dashed against trees; people torn apart by dogs or captive bears for sport; tortured in ghastly medical "experiments"; and more such atrocities than I can recount.

The second amazingly unaware thing he said was to talk about how great the Southern States — Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, etc. — are now compared to what they were during the Civil Rights movement and the Jim Crow era.  One has to agree that the South is a much better place now than it was then.  That is not up for debate.  The problem with his assertion was his belief that it was somehow accomplished because of Democratic leadership.

This claim is absurd on multiple levels.  For one thing, Democrats fought Civil Rights legislation tooth and nail, and it passed only because Republicans voted for it.  For another, the Southern states were heavily dominated by Democrat politics for nearly a century!  All during Jim Crow segregation, the South was governed by Democrats, and it has only been in the last two decades or so that it has swung over to Republican leadership.  It is finally a decent place to live and work, and American businesses have been relocating there in droves because of Republican policies that make those states business-friendly. 

Sadly, Logic and Truth (read: facts) mean absolutely nothing to people who live their lives based on feelings and victimhood.  When your reality has been built on a foundation of sand, you can't allow even the smallest amount of truth to erode it away.  Today's liberals are so incredibly out of touch, because they've been fed a steady diet of lies and narrative from the media, which they dominate, that they're no longer capable of discerning fact from fiction.  Their sources of information have been peddling said fiction as fact for decades, and it's only getting worse.

This is what we're up against, not even as conservatives, per se, but as thinkers. Thank goodness for the small rays of light we get from independent journalists, those who seek the truth (and the reawakening of Twitter).

Image: Thijs Paanakker via Flickr.

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