michadelic questioned my assertion with the following:
They are very open minded on the subject of abortion. Hey, it’s a big tent, right to lifers are so very welcome in those lefty circles. War in Iraq. Huge open-mindedness, any Dem who supports the war effort is welcome at the party of the open mind. Just ask Joe Lieberman. Global warming. Those lefties welcome all points of view. Anyone who thinks that it’s a naturaly occuring phenomenon is practically celebrated by the left and their open-minded good nature.
In reverse order.
1. If you think that human activity is not effecting Earth’s climate, you (in general, not you specifically) are either a colossal idiot or you have an ulterior motive. Regardless of the growing evidence, just anecdotally, when you pump billions of cubit feet of shit into the air every day, it is impossible for it to have no impact. But science has weighed in, repeatedly, and the only people who don’t get it are…on the Right!
2. The Left was against this war before it started and has been consistently against it, for reasons that should now appear obvious. The Left has also been consistently appalled by virtually every act of President Bush. Yes, people who claim to be on the Left and support this President in one of the most ill-advised military actions in history will lose our support. Is that close-minded? I don’t know, it’s just logical to me.
3. So-called pro-lifers want to criminalize, i.e. imprison, doctors and women who have abortions. They want to put the government in the bedroom and the doctor’s office with you. Should we be open minded towards this? Fuck no. For a party that claims they want less government, it is wildly inconsistent to intrude in our personal reproductive decisions.
In a nutshell open minded people have no duty to be open minded towards close minded people.
You want to debate when an unborn child should gain the rights of citizenship? Let’s do it! You want to debate how or if we should apply military force to the troubles of the Middle East? Let’s do it! You want to debate the extent of climate change or the ability for the Earth to equalize our impact? Let’s do it!
But if you have made up your mind like the Right has, for example, that climate change is somehow an impossibility, it’s not a debate. I’m willing to consider that with climate change, as an example, there may be complexities that Greenpeace may not want to consider. I’m willing to consider that, at some point, an unborn child should gain protection from the state. I’m willing to consider that there may be times when we do need to protect ourselves and our allies in the Middle East with military force. Not so with the Right Wing. They have the answers and they are at war with anyone that disagrees.
The moral high-ground of open-mindedness does certainly not belong to the Right.
6 thoughts on “Are Liberals Open Minded?”
I don’t really care about getting the last word but thanks. I do respect your views, enjoy reading them, and take them into consideration.
I’m not necessarily trying to set up a dichotomy but I just find it interesting that the hard-core Christian right is so defiled but hard-core radical Islamists seem to be somewhat defended by the left. I think the hard-core elements of both are vile, the abortion doctor killers and the suicide vest jihadi.
I also do not believe that the common Palestinian or Arab wants to kill Americans or Jews. That is why I choose my words carefuly, I say Hamas, or Hezbollah, or radical Islam, or Islamo-fascists. These radical elements of those societies do need to be taken out and I think that the only possible way to take them out is through force. I believe this because I take them at their word that they want to eliminate Israel, take down the US, and install a worldwide Islamic theocracy. I believe these people are a worse enemy to the common Arab, Palestinian, etc. than the US will ever be. So, just as I would advocate for the death penalty for any wacko christian who blows up an abortion clinic or assasinates a doctor, I advocate for the destruction of evil Islamic fascists that kill with even less discrimination.
Yes, the modern state of Israel is only 58 years old but the League of Nations called for it’s creation back in the 1920s. Plus, the Jews feel it was their homeland back into antiquity but they were driven out (the land has changed hands through war and conflict many times, the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians conquered the area at least once each!). So we have at least two peoples who both lay an arguably legitimate claim to the same parcel of land. Therefore the ONLY real solution is a two-state solution. Problem is, in my view, is a faction of one of the sides (radical Islam) will never be amenable to this solution. Moderate Arabs/Palestinians will be, and are amenable to that solution but the evil that lives among them is preventing that from happening. Eliminate or degrade the asshole fascists enough through force and maybe then that two-sttate solution we all long for will be possible.
I wanted to give you the last word (and I will if you respond again) but I have to address some of that.
You said: “I can’t understand why the left is so fearful and critical of the Christian religious right but they defend radical Islam as either oppressed, misunderstood, or forced to behave like this because of US policy towards Israel.”
I don’t think these things are related. I’m not defending Islam at the expense of Christianity. It is a false dichotomy. It scares me that Christians want to see it this way. I am pro-Christianity and pro-Islam. While I agree with you that some radicals will never be happy as long as there is an Israel, I don’t believe the common person in Palestine, Lebanon or Iraq, even, wants to kill Americans and Jews. They may not like us but they are aching to just live their lives in peace. I think we have taken a step towards demonizing millions of people when we assume they are all at war with us. It is a war of radicals, radicals on their side and radicals on our side.
Recall that Israel is younger than my Dad. The anger that some Arabs have about that situation IS understandable. I don’t agree with their methods, but it should not be a mystery why those people are pissed off. Throw in the oppression of the Palestinians by the Israelis and the occupation of Iraq by the US and it should be bloody fucking obvious why they are pissed off. I do not support Hamas or Hezbollah. I do support the government of Israel. But I do not support, in any way, shape or form, the notion that we can achieve our objectives in the region militarily. You guys think it is possible, I think it is not only impossible, but a huge step back in our national security.
I am not, at all, denying the existance of global warming. I am not saying that human activity is absolutely not responsible. All I am saying is that there actually is a debate on both points. There are all kinds of arguments about how you measure (satelite vs. surface), where you measure and what you measure and then how that compares to measurements taken earlier in the century when their equipment was not as accurate or sophisticated. Remember, I think we’re talking about overal average warming of less than 1 degree farenheit. Anyway, all I am saying is there actually is a debate no matter how vehemently you insist there is none.
See previous post. I support the war, I think we were right to go in and I think we’re the good guys. Are all my thoughts and opinions debateable and possibly wrong in the long light of history? Possibly, I’m willing to entertain the notion I may be wrong. I don’t think so and I hope not but I am not so arrogant to believe I am absolutely and unquestionably right about it!
I am not religious and I am not stupid. I do however have sympathy for the agument that life begins at the precise moment of conception. This is not a religious belief, to me it seems like common sense. Otherwise, where do you draw the line? 2 cells, 4 cells, 16 cells, heartbeat, brain wave activity? All those things seem blurry to me where conception is a pretty definitive event. Anyway, there is a debate in my view and why can’t a fetus become an interest of the state at that moment?
Why the fuck don’t I hear one Right Wing voice say — guys, delicate situation here, how about we consider something other than ass-kicking?
Because most of us on the right believe that sometimes there is a difference between right and wrong and good and evil. And I’m sorry but sometimes asses need to be kicked. The left seems hard pressed to make any moral judgments. It’s all about moral equivalency. I don’t think there is moral equivalency between the Israelis and Hezbollah or the US and the Islamo-fascists. I don’t care if you believe in a god or not, I think you have to make judgments on what is right/good and what is wrong/evil. Sorry, I’ve picked a side here and the side I pick is the side that doesn’t want to flat out eliminate another country. The side that actually wants a two-state solution. The side that tries very, very hard to not kill innocent people. The side that gives up their tactical element of surprise to try and get innocents out of harms way. The side that doesn’t put it’s own freaking people in harms way in order to score their victories in the press and in the court of public opinion. That is flat out wrong, barbaric and evil and I’m not afraid to call it what it is and say that any barbarian that does shit like that needs to die. Oh, and by the way, I pick the side that didn’t start this conflict (at least the latest chapter of it). Hezbollah and Hamas picked this fight.
I do not believe the Hezbollah, Hamas, Radical Islam crowd will ever, ever, ever agree in good faith to a two state solution. They will say they do and when the truce is called, they’ll spend all their time and resources (as they have for the last 6 years) building up there military by getting more and more arms from Iran and Syria, digging bunkers, plotting until the next time they decide to take a run at Israel. They will do this at the expense of building businesses and an economy, educating their young (except for the “religious” education), and participating in the world marketplace of ideas and commerce. Why do I think that’s what they will do? Because that’s what they always do. Plus, when I hear the leader of an actual country say that he fully intends to wipe Israel off the map, I tend to take him at his word.
I can’t understand why the left is so fearful and critical of the Christian religious right but they defend radical Islam as either opressed, misunderstood, or forced to behave like this because of US policy towards Israel.
As far as open-mindedness in this situation, I would love them to cease hostilities over there. I hate any situation that leads to innocent kids, women, old men dying because they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wish they could negotiate a solution diplomatically and I’m all for them trying to do that. I just don’t trust the other side to negotiate in good faith or actually comply with the negotiated settlement.
I’ll get to the rest of your post later.
Well, to rewind to my original point, I am surprised that Right Wingers are 100% on the pro-Israel/kill-Arabs side of things. I am pro-Israel but I’m pro-Palestine, too. Why the fuck don’t I hear one Right Wing voice say — guys, delicate situation here, how about we consider something other than ass-kicking?
To your post above, let’s try this:
Are you open minded if you see that some people might believe very strongly that this is true and we should be respectful of that? No. There are these funny “fact” things.
1. (I think we’ve argued about this before.) The evidence for global warming is increasing. The amount of scientific resistance to it is decreasing. I am trusting the science. There are also a few scientists who believe in creation over evolution. You could probably find some to say the world is flat. The last bastion of people who don’t accept global warming is the Right. I was open minded on this issue for a long time. But the science keeps coming in. This is very literally a math thing now. You seem like an intelligent person, but you have to be in very deep denial to discredit the growing body of evidence of global warming.
2. The Democrats, as I said, are barely liberals at times. The true left vehemently opposed this war from the get-go, mostly because we could see how volatile the region was and the destabilizing effect that American boots on the soil would have. Oh, big surprise, we have an anti-Zionist war going on in Lebanon. I do read George WIll and very rarely I agree with him. I do respect him even though he is wrong a lot. Still, the point, which you brought up, is that the Left is being close minded to Lieberman? Hmm, he opposes the Left on the most serious issue that has faced him in his tenure. Is it open-minded to support someone who opposes you on one of the most important debates that we have had in the last 30 years? I personally don’t think so. On the war in general, it is hard and there is plenty of room for debate. I do not have all the answers on Iraq and the Middle East.
3. I am open minded to the debate on abortion. We don’t have and we need a bright-line definition of when a fetus becomes the interest of the state. If the Right was rational, that would be the debate we’d be having. The people you describe are religious and they expect our legal system to criminalize that which they think is a sin. They are precluding debate by their unjustified insistence that a fertilized egg should have the rights granted by the Constitution. There is a real debate to be had but it is much further down the line than conception. Yes, let’s debate. You can’t debate with people whose argument is it is a sin.
I’m just tempted to say, “I rest my case” as you have proved my point quite eloquently for me. Your close mindedness is achingly obvious.
1. I am open minded, I believe that we have experienced a period of warming over the past century but I’ve seen research and read articles that state that the rate of warming has actually moderated since 1998. I believe if you do a little research you will see that global mean temps have not risen in nearly 8 years. There are actual real scientists at places like MIT that think this pre-1998 warming was almost, if not all, attributable to solar cycles and other factors and have nothing to do with greenhouse gases. There are also credible scientists who surmise that the amount of particulates that we have put into the air has actually slowed warming from what it would be without it. This is due to the fact that these particulates actually diffuse light and/or reflect it back into space. I don’t know if you remember but 20 years ago or so we were being warned about global cooling due to this phenomenon. All of those scientists that had a “consensus” back then must be shaking there heads a little. Anyway, there is a debate lolife and the only people in my view who have an agenda are the close minded lefties whose agenda is to convince the populace that the only way out of this coming global warming catastrophe is to elect them into office so they can save us through overreaching and Orwellian government regulations. So, I must be a colossal idiot.
It’s a pretty nifty way to defend your “open-mindedness” by declaring that folks with an opposing view are “colossal idiots.”
2. Oops, I forgot, the left was against this war. Oh wait, almost all of them that matter (congress, the senate) voted for it (I know, I know, under false pretense, etc. I know your arguments). I do support this war effort and there are actually a few Dems that do, even otherwise lefty Dems. Lieberman has a 90% rating when it comes to voting the lefty agenda. There are also many on the right who even though they support the war effort and the reasons behind it, are highly critical of the way it has been prosecuted. Please read a little George Will when you get a chance. He is very much right-wing and he says this war is the worst tactical blunder this nation has ever made. I think the administration has made lots of mistakes but I also think that war is hell and war is unpredictable and its way easier to criticize and find fault than it is to lead. So yes, you are close minded on this account. But again, to just flat out declare that this has been “the most ill-advised military action in history” and there’s no debating the point is another nifty way to “win” the debate. Generally, history decides these arguments and I don’t think it’s fair to declare the success or failure of this policy quite yet.
3. The pro-life one is a tough one for me. I understand that some people (I know they’re mostly complete morons in your view) have a heartfelt belief that human life begins at the moment of conception. If they have that belief, it follows that terminating that life at any point is murder and the people who do it should be prosecuted for that murder. Now, I’m not saying I agree, but I am saying that I understand this point of view and I am somewhat sympathetic to it. I am also sympathetic to women who want the government to keep their laws of their body, I totally get that too. So, in my mind, there is a debate. Should you be open-minded to that, fuck yes.
Please compare your post to mine and let me know who you think is truly more open-minded.