Chat with a Leftist: Bigotry

Into a social media discussion about the growing intolerance of the Left, an apparent representative of that side of the political spectrum noted:

How can you look at teabillies and the lockstep gop [sic] congress who are killing Americans and complain about intolerant conformity on the Left. 

To which I responded (fairly reasonably, I thought):

The point is that there are intolerant idiots on both sides of the American political centerline, just as there are intelligent, thinking, and well-meaning people on both sides. I think many of us would agree that the problems we see reflected across the aisle are manifestations of minority extremism, not of the less shrill, less visible majority.

I really thought that would end the discussion. Alas, this gentleman was having none of that, choosing to take a Pelosian “only they are evil, we are pure” stance.

The difference is we make bigots resign and teabillies kill and starve Americans.

At that point, there was nothing to do but to point out exactly how incredibly ahistorical his statement was.

You make bigots resign? Would you like me to start with Lyndon B. Johnson and work forward?

How about Joe Biden, who said “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking!”

We are not going to fix the problems in this country if we insist on categorizing our side as uniformly good, and the other side as purely evil. That kind of ideological warfare will sunder this nation, not make it the place we all want to live.

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

5 thoughts on “Chat with a Leftist: Bigotry”

  1. Certainly Joe Biden’s notorious command of the art of making a faux pas out of just about any statement, no matter how well intentioned, is *exactly the same* as blowing up family planning clinics, aiming loaded rifles at federal agents, and reckless opposition to even the most sensible reservations about giving crazy people guns.

    C’mon David. This is a straw man combined with an almost unbelievable level of false equivalence. There *are* crazies on the left. They are not, however, even a pale fraction of the chronic malaise that currently plagues your great nation.

    And you know this. This entire blog is a call to the kind of “conservative” who is actually far, far to the left of today’s Democrats. And I applaud you every step of that painful journey. This particular post is radically retrograde.

    1. Shannon, my primary point in this post was that bigotry exists on both sides, and that trying to pretend differently is the same as Nancy Pelosi telling Jon Stewart that the corruption in Congress exists only on the Republican side. It is factually incorrect and gratuitously divisive.

      You should know that his blog has never shied from taking my fellow conservatives to task for words or actions that have played so large a role in fomenting the national malaise. Those on the Left who return like-for-like may think they are helping to fix the problem. In reality they are making it worse, and they will not get a free pass for doing so.

      Let us not get into a debate in comments about the comparative harm of Left crazies vs. Right crazies. I don’t hold truck with anyone who would bomb an abortion clinic or shoot at a federal officer, regardless of politics. But I’ll see your Eric Rudolf and Clive Bundy and I’ll raise you the Animal Liberation Brigade (lab bombers), the radical arm of PETA, and Ted Kaczynski.

      Finally, as to where this blog falls on the American political spectrum, I can only surmise that either you are not reading all of what I write, or you believe that the American polity is further to the right than it really is – an understandable mistake, given what gets covered in the media. I can tell you that, on either coast of America my writings are considered the rants of a knuckle-dragging Goldwater rightist. And if that doesn’t convince you, watch this space. No doubt in the coming months you will see more here to stoke your ire. Be well.

  2. I still don’t think you’re as far right as you claim here! Your recent admonition on RINOs is a case in point. I’d be intrigued to know what you think of tools like this:

    http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012

    Which, IMO, cut through the name-calling to reveal that the US (along with most of the developed world) has two pretty indistinguishable major parties — both on the right, and both waaaay to the right of previous decades. I’d love to see what you yourself scored, if you took the test…

    1. Thanks, Shannon. I never claimed that I was “far right.” Just that I am somewhere to the right of the historic American centerline, with Ike Eisenhower, Earl Warren, Teddy Roosevelt, John Huntsman, Olympia Snowe, etc.

      Yes, the US is to the right of where it was. We cannot expect that to last: the national pendulum has not stopped swinging, and if history is any guide, we are about to witness a significant lurch to the left in the coming years.

      What I am trying to do is chart a course for what I would call “the thinking right” to retake the helm of the party that we started to lose in 1964. That does not necessarily make a lot of sense in the context of the 2014 mid-terms, or even the 2016 election, both of which look to be dominated by the Wall Street Democrats and the Social Agenda/Corporatist Republicans. Instead, what I’m trying to do is define a foundation of principles that define the GOP for the coming decades, and return it to the role of the party of solutions.

      Taking some sort of test that uses the current state of American politics as a guide would miss the point.

      If you want a litmus test, toss me an issue and I’ll tell you my stance.

  3. As I said before: I can only stand and applaud the goal you’ve set. If the (short, not always functional) history of democracy has taught us anything, it’s that effective government needs and requires effective opposition.

    I think “litmus tests” miss the point, too. Too many people from your great country, in my opinion, allow their political views to be set on “litmus” issues — particularly social ones. This is a path, alas, that my own country seems now to be eagerly following. Fixing your flag to social issues — whether they are “left” or “right”, “progressive” or “conservative” at any given moment, ignores the history of history in that what is socially acceptable is constantly in flux.

    There is so much useful to be done to face issues on which we all agree: concentration of more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands is a failure of *capitalism and markets* long, long before it’s a failure of even the most mild form of redistribution. Just as a single example…

    Anyway. Unlimited good wishes to you and yours and I always enjoy what you’ve got to say — long may you have the passion and energy to say it publicly as you do.

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