The deep irrationality of the Left

The lack of interest in rational argument that pervades the Left is one of the most striking things about them. As Jeff Jacoby points out, even such senior Leftist figures as Ted Kennedy seem to think that a constant spew of hate-speech suffices as an argument. And, as Jeff Jacoby also points out, the hate speech usually has no rational basis either. If I were to refer to Ted Kennedy as "The fat man from Chappaquiddick", that would be similar abuse to what the Left dish out but everything in such a description would have a factual basis. He IS fat and his conduct at Chappaquiddick IS notorious. But factual underpinning is usually too much to ask of Leftist abuse. Let me illustrate by giving a recent example of Leftist abuse and by then pointing out a few things about it. The following comment is from a review of an "antiwar" film of the Michael Moore genre:

"This film illustrates in crystal clear detail why the U.S. military needs to recruit very dumb, totally uneducated, and mostly southern cracker soldiers who are already racist bastards who have never left their hometowns and believe all the garbage they are taught in school about how we are the good guys, and everything we do is just and right. The Army can then brainwash them to treat other human beings in such a grotesque and inhuman manner. Anyone who had any previous education, intelligence or just plain decency, would never consent to treat people in the unbelievably harsh manner in which these prisoners, most of which were just swept up in raids and had nothing to do with the Taliban, were treated.

I would normally not waste any time on such a spew of hate but for once I will make a few notes. Note for a start that the derogatory term "cracker" implies that the soldiers are white. He skates over the fact that a large part of the U.S. army is comprised of minorities. And would he refer contemptuously to black soldiers as "niggers". Hopefully not. But why is it OK to use a term of contempt for white soldiers? And Southerners are "racist bastards"? I guess they may have been in North/South war days but even Abraham Lincoln wanted to send the blacks back to Africa so was he a racist too? Or were racial views simply universal at that time? And what of today? I constantly hear that black/white relations are in fact more cordial in the South than they are in the North. Has our Leftist ever looked into that possibility? He offers no basis for his assertion at all.

And the idea that the army recruits dumb and totally uneducated soldiers is simply and demonstrably false. Our Leftist author can have no basis for that careless assertion. As a former army psychologist, I can vouch for the fact that no modern Western army does that. Dumb and totally uneducated would-be soldiers are simply knocked back. No modern Western army wants them. The army does careful psychological assessment of each volunteer, using psychological tests, biography etc., to ensure that all recruits measure up in terms of education, intelligence and emotional stability. Putting deadly weapons into the hands of anyone other than that would make him more of a danger to his buddies than to the enemy.

And as for the idea that the army wants its men to treat anybody in a "grotesque and inhuman manner", has our Leftist ever heard of publicity? The army comes under sustained attack on the home front if ever its men lapse from the most ideal behaviour so to say that the army wants brutal behaviour of its men is not to credit them even with pursuit of their own self-interest.

And the idea that preventive detention of terrorists captured in the field would not be consented to by anyone with education or intelligence is again counterfactual. The officer corps is even more highly educated and intelligent than the foot soldier. To get into officer school, you have to be a very high quality person on almost any criterion and officers graduate with at least the equivalent of a university degree. And it is the officer corps that runs the prisons.

So even disregarding the hatred and abuse in the extract above, there is nothing in it that even resembles the truth. That the author is contorted by hate is all that one can reliably conclude from it.

Another comment:

Sowell on Leftist indifference to the facts: "Despite the warm glow of self-satisfaction that the liberal vision confers on liberals, ugly facts keep intruding to undermine that vision.... Research dealing with innate biological differences are of course anathema to those with the liberal-left vision. Even research that turns up cultural or other behavioral differences between groups is almost as great a danger. Both kinds of research undermine the notion that there are "solutions" that government can impose to eliminate differences, gaps, disparities or "inequities" that liberalism claims to be able to eliminate. Scientific research into differences in the way male and female brains function is denounced by radical feminists, who are calling for a ban on such research. No matter what the MRIs say, the radical feminists say all differences are due to "society." ... That the black family, which survived centuries of slavery and generations of discrimination, has disintegrated in the wake of the liberal welfare state is only one example. Liberals have been driven to the desperate expedient of attributing this and other social pathology in today's ghettos to "a legacy of slavery" -- even though black children grew up with two parents more often under slavery than today. Blacks only a generation or two out of slavery also had higher rates of employment and lower rates of crime than today."


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