liberalism and the double standard
heard a great essay on ultra right-wing hate radio this morning, although i missed who wrote it. it had to do with the double-standard liberals tend to apply to everything, and how ineffective the typical conservative response is.
example: a democratic politician is caught in an affair with a young intern. liberals dismiss the matter as purely personal. conservatives respond that if it had been a republican politician, they would have been firing up their irons to brand him with a scarlet A.
i've said the same thing a million times myself, quite correctly, and, if i gave the source of the double standard any thought at all, i would normally chalk it up to the other side's lack of principle.
what this guy said--and it's so darn obvious it makes you want to kick yourself for not seeing it sooner--is that the libs aren't being unprincipled, they are, in fact, being perfectly consistent with their core beliefs.
what we think of as a liberal, he continued, is really a "cultural socialist," the great principles of traditional middle-class liberalism having been subsumed by hard leftism. if you think about the economic characteristics of socialism, this becomes easier to see.
to a socialist, "equality" has to do with outcomes. everyone must end up at exactly the same place, and this in spite of the fact that people are unequally intelligent, thrifty, hard working, creative, and so forth. now inherent in this ethos is big, oppressive government, because since there will always be hard working, industrious people who excel far beyond the lazy and stupid, some agent of force, i.e., government, will have to take their "surplus" wealth away for redistribution. it cannot be any other way.
take that same paradigm and slide it from the economic to the cultural and what do you see? once more, there are two classes, the haves and have-nots. but in this case the breakdown doesn't occur on economic lines (although cultural socialists will always argue that wealth mirrors this trend) but along socio-political ones. if you are a white Christian male gainfully employed heterosexual, you, they say, have all the power. if you are a black pagan female unemployed lesbian, you have none. and just as in economic socialism, the goal must be the tearing down of the powerful and the elevation of the weak to achieve "equality."
seen in that light, the liberal double standard makes perfect sense. why shouldn't jesse jackson get a free pass if he bangs five thousand ho's a day while parading as a reverend even though he's got no more formal training in religion than al gore did? and if a bob packwood or newt gingrich were to act along similar lines, why shouldn't he be ripped to shreds? the important thing to a cultural socialist isn't that everyone is treated equally, it's that everyone ends up at the same place. i've heard some radical academics go as far as to say that blacks could never be racist because they have no power. as long as a power inequity exists, only the white man can be guilty of bigotry. i mean it's not like these people are trying to hide who and what they are. they're practically flaunting it.
the writer went on to say that cultural socialists use government in exactly the same way economic socialists do, to right the perceived inequalities by force of law. he gave several examples from the cultural realm, all of which had to do with the tearing down of traditional american values, and their replacement with the left's "empowerment" versions. anyway, you get the gist.
once you grasp this whole cultural socialist/double standard thing, you see what has to be done. whining about the existence of the double standard is pointless because the liberal is simply doing what he needs to do to maintain his belief system. instead, his beliefs need to be attacked at their core:
justice demands unequal results for unequal efforts. any other form of "equality" is a perversion.
if anyone knows who came up with this stuff, clue locdog in
sure God wanted bush to be president
originally posted in response to this slate article.
to every thing, turn, turn, turn, there is a season turn, turn, turn...
sing along! you know the words!
for waldman, the criteria for good religion isn't theological truth, it's how "responsible, inspiring, and poetic," it is. frankly i prefer an atheist. at least they're capable of recognizing a claim on objective truth for what it is. there's greater dignity in telling someone they're flat wrong than on patting the world's great faiths on their heads and telling them to play nice.
but i digress. sure God wanted bush to be president. if you believe the Bible--or more of less any of the world's main monotheistic faiths--then one of the jobs clearly ascribed to the Deity is the assignment of earthly potentates. whether that was in the monarchic, God-appointed-me-to-rule sense, or the more nebulous sense of God calling a certain man out and leading him to a leadership roll, it's clear that God elects the world's rulers. if you believe in a God that's personally knowable or in the slightest bit concerned with humanity, it would be difficult to believe that He takes no interest in those few members of humanity tasked with determining how the rest of us will live our lives.
as a conservative Christian living through the clinton years, i often found myself reflecting on the numerous Biblical passages that reinforce this notion, especially when another believer would ask why God would appoint someone who so thoroughly flouted His law--that's not a reflection on clinton as a president, simply on his personal moral character. the Bible shows that God appoints leaders for all sorts of reasons. sometimes because they were needed to pull a nation through trying times, sometimes because they were exactly what the nation deserved, and sometimes we just don't know why.
if a conservative Christian believes that God blessed our nation with a strong, morally upright president then that no more invalidates the notion of divinely determined human leadership than a liberal secular humanist who thinks that God--if there is such a thing--was punishing us. nor does the fact that george w. bush believes he was divinely called to be president mean that he's necessarily wrong. seems silly to state it like that, but millions, perhaps billions, of people pray for God's guidance in their lives, and out of fairness to them, it needs to be said. rare is the president who doesn't claim to seek divine counsel in trying times and implore the nation to do the same. are we simply more comfortable with the hypocrites than with someone who's actually sincere in his beliefs--who truly believes that God can and does take an interest in the course of an individual life and is willing to make His will known if we're willing to seek Him out?
i think our discomfort stems mainly from the fact that if bush claims God wanted him to be president, that must mean that bush thinks he's God's gift to america. but generally those who feel God's call upon their lives are humbled by the experience. moses arguing with God at the burning bush is perhaps the best example, but there are others. now by way of contrast, think jonah: the arrogant ones run the other way. those with a vocation to the priesthood don't believe they're there because they are somehow more worthy than the next guy--if anything, they're more acutely aware of their sins. even in the professional realm, believers will often tell you that they feel as though God called them to a task that was beyond their capabilities so that they would be forced to rely on Him--this is what many athletes have in mind when they thank God for their great accomplishments. it's not that kurt warner won the super bowl because he sucked up to God, it's that kurt honestly believes he could not have accomplished what he did without God giving him the strength and wisdom to do it, and he's sincerely grateful.
lastly, i don't think waldman proved what he set out to. he didn't show that the fact that many people on the religious right (including, apparently, bush) believe that the president was God's man for the job means that they believe that God wants him to win again. in virtually every quote waldman himself gives, people are recalling their feelings at a specific time, "at this moment," as one of them puts it. as a Christian, i am perfectly willing to accept that God may have wanted george w. bush in 2000, but not in 2004. whatever God's reasons for voting bush 2000, they surely weren't simply to award the office of the presidency to a nice guy. if God calls you to be a plumber, He wants you to fix pipes, and i find it hard to believe that He wouldn't have had some specific tasks in mind for george w. bush in 2000. might those now be accomplished? might there not be something He wants kerry to do?
it's certainly possible. fact is, we don't know, and we have know way of knowing. as believers we must vote our conscience in accordance with our faiths and let God take care of the rest.
locdog won't say that bush is God's man in '04, and he doesn't hear those waldman quoted saying that, either
getting to know you
the latest WaPo/ABC news poll has kerry's favorability rating at an astonishing 36%, the result of a six-month, 18-point plummet that surely has his preppyness yanking out those lustrous locks in big, bloody hunks.
just how bad is 36%? well, how white is rice? here, courtesy of matt drudge, are a few people with higher favorability ratings than JFK v 2.0:
John Ashcroft: 49 (2003)
Michael Dukakis: 47 (1988)
Prince Charles: 45 (2003)
Herbert Hoover: 43 (1944)
Jesse Jackson: 38 (2003)
Vladimir Putin: 38 (2003)
kerry ties martha stewart and--get this--beats joe mccarthy by one point. dukakis has him by eleven.
now i know you democrats out there think i'm just gloating, and, i will admit, you're partly right. but as a matter of practical politics, you must admit that this is fascinating stuff. how, for instance, could that other great horse-faced jackass coasting on his naval record, prince charles--a man who many americans, albeit unfairly, fault with the death of one of the most beloved figures in modern history--have kerry beat by nearly ten points?
sure, sure: it's the GOP attack machine. lies and distortions. smear and slander. the politics of personal destruction.
this is presidential politics folks, it's hardball. there hasn't been a presidential candidate yet who didn't get third-rate rectal exam from the opposition--read the catty remarks that got alexander hamilton shot by veep candidate aaron burr. in 2000 the NAACP practically had george w. bush driving the truck that drug james byrd to his death.
and the swiftees? don't even talk to me about the swiftees. bush's military service record has undergone ten times the amount of scrutiny that kerry's has, including a wave of new DNC-sponsored attacks and media driven hysteria based on what almost certainly is nothing but lies and distortion, and, guess what, no one cares. didn't hurt bush in 2000, hasn't hurt bush now. looks like mr. koosh-ball hair just can't take a punch.
--and i'll do you one better: slick willy. here was a man who in all probability was a rapist, who was certainly guilty of multiple instances of sexual harassment, and who was beyond a shadow of a doubt a shameless philanderer...and so what? it's not that the republicans didn't try to use this stuff to their advantage, it's that no one cared. people liked clinton. they thought he would do/did a pretty good job. and they didn't care.
end of story.
are you beginning to catch on, my little pinkos? are you beginning to see the problem here? it's not about hate speech and the vast right wing conspiracy, it's about an over-coiffed bitch who thinks the green bay packers play on "lambert field".
let's go back to the swiftees for a sec. sure they've taken their toll, but clinton was a flat-out draft dodger and it never hurt him. now kerry on the other hand...his sanctimonious grandstanding at the national convention, his holier-than-thou recollections of combat derring-do, his whole you'd-better-love-me-because-i'm-a-damned-war-hero shtick...what americans love is to see guys like that fall flat on their faces. love to see them exposed as hypocrites. watch reality t.v. for five minutes and i dare say we love nothing better.
in the national lampoon's farce that is the 2004 presidential election, john kerry is the omega house snob who can't get it up for his debutante sweety while george w. bush is swinging from the street signs with a saber in his teeth like john belushi. people don't like john kerry. they don't like his kind because his kind doesn't like them and they know it.
locdog is loved by all