The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace.
I have to admit I got a chuckle out of that. As a libertarian, I couldn't agree more with his point. I've always wondered, given the basic truth of what Klavan writes here, how the left has managed to brand themselves as the 'reality based' community. Their beliefs, as outlined, are anything but reality. However when when you think about it, and as Klaven points out, their claim is just another among many little white lies they tell themselves.
This is leftism’s great strength: it’s all white lies. That’s its only advantage, as far as I can tell. None of its programs actually works, after all. From statism and income redistribution to liberalized criminal laws and multiculturalism, from its assault on religion to its redefinition of family, leftist policies have made the common life worse wherever they’re installed. But because it depends on—indeed is defined by—describing the human condition inaccurately, leftism is nothing if not polite. With its tortuous attempts to rename unpleasant facts out of existence—he’s not crippled, dear, he’s handicapped; it’s not a slum, it’s an inner city; it’s not surrender, it’s redeployment—leftism has outlived its own failure by hiding itself within the most labyrinthine construct of social delicacy since Victoria was queen.
Klavan goes on to point out that those who attempt to argue that reality doesn't, in fact, reflect the left's claims are branded as "uncivil" and the language of political correctness is then wielded by the left to dismiss such criticism without having to consider it. That, of course, is the entire reason political correctness exists:
This, I believe, is the reason conservative politicians so often lose their nerve, why they back down in debate even when they’re clearly right. No one wants to be condemned as a brute—especially not conservatives, who still retain some vague memory of how worthy it is to be a lady or gentleman.
And because we’ve allowed leftists to define the language of political good manners—don’t say women are less scientific; don’t remark that black people bear the same responsibility for their actions as whites; don’t point out that the gunman was a Muslim, it’s not nice—the sort of person willing to speak the truth isn’t always the sort of person you want to be seen with. It sometimes takes, I mean, a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity to withstand the obloquy attached to stating the facts of the matter. If these people in their public personae seem harsh to more genteel conservatives, it may be because it requires that extra dollop of aggression to shatter the silence created by the Left’s increasingly elaborate sensitivities.
The point: it is well past time to point out what reality really means to the "reality based community" and not let them "define the language of political good manners".
That means aggressive and spirited debate. It doesn't have to mean profane and rude language. But what it certainly doesn't mean is "losing" your "nerve" and withdrawing from the debate because you might be criticized, but standing your ground and repeatedly confronting these myths they base their 'reality' within.
Read the whole article. The blogosphere has given a better voice to those who are willing to fight that sort of fight. A word of caution though - don't expect politicians to do so. This, for whatever reason, is something well outside the comfort zone of people whose entire future is defined by popularity. Finger firmly in the wind, they will do what is necessary, with few exceptions, to maintain their position.
Nope, this is a cultural fight which has to be waged outside of the realm of politicians (but not outside the realm of politics). We have to get the language back and not apologize for pointing to reality as it exists instead of how the left wants to pretend it exists.
UPDATE:Jonah Goldberg makes a point that supports my argument about why you can't rely on righty politicians to stand up to the left:
We all love to tout the glories of democracy and denounce politicians who just follow the polls. Well, guess which politicians follow the polls? The popular ones, that's who. And guess why: Because the popular ones get elected. Bucking public opinion is the quickest way for a politician to expedite his or her transition to the private sector.
And in the era of the professional politician, they're simply not willing to risk becoming unpopular and losing their power. That's one reason you see more and more convoluted reasoning and absurd rationalization trotted out in political speech in an effort to play CYA.
Why question is always "Do Leftist actually and truely believe what they say?"
I don’t think they do. I think it’s just "Will to Power" using language. It’s a fact that more African-Americans murder other African-Americans than any other people...but no Leftist will ever talk about it out loud...because they need the "black vote." Do Leftists really deny this fact inside their skulls, or do they just pretend this ignorence show (wink, wink) solidarity against "racism"?
To quote Theodore Dalrymple:
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same [intentional] effect.
What is the argument against term limits for all elected officials? Personally, I’d like to have a point system. 15 total points and you can no longer seek a position. Some positions accrue more points than others.
What is the argument against term limits for all elected officials?
1) That unelected staffs and bureucrats become ever more powerful as they will the only ones that have any long-term experience in a given field/agency 2)The Legislature will always be "learning on the job" as no one will be in office for very long. 3) They will have to steal the public blind in a very short time as they will only have a finite time to loot the public treasury. 4) Long-term planning and thinking will go out the door as all officials will have only "X" years in office, if YOU want to rely on the "inate goodness" of officials to see past their short term needs, Ok, but I wouldn’t bet much money on it. 5) Voters have less incentive to turn out incumbents, after all s/he is only going to be there another 4 years any way. 6) Finally it deprives me of effective, capable leadership that I prefer, as just as Ronald Reagan is Speaker of the House, he has to step down and I have to vote for someone new. If I like my Representative/Senator why the He!! shouldn’t I get to keep sending him/her to the statehouse or D.C.?
So there you have it. Term Limits are a silly mechanistic way proposed by people force more turn over in government. Want more turn over, run for offfice yourself. Campaign for good candidates you like, contribute to candidates you like, be a "playuh" not a "complain’uh"....
I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God.
Unfortunately for him to do business with those cultures requires taking a pose of respect. Also you need votes of as many of those everyones as possible, you need to pay for your government by upsetting as few people as possible and frankly to tell people that they are going to hell is not going to make you popular.
Proportional representation would be a better reform than term limits. Opinions not stamped with the approval of the MSM and Big Money could be voiced in the legislatures. Third Parties are today futile endeavors(unless you can find another eccentric billionaire like Ross Perot to self-finance a major campaign), but PR could change that.