Thursday, March 22, 2012
- Liberalism: A Contagious Mental Illness
I’ve always seen the political opinions of liberals as a form of self validation. “I’m a good person because I care about racism/the environment/gay sex/illegal immigrants/the poor etc. But in truth they don’t really care about any of those things. What they care about is what ‘saying they care’ about those things tells others about them. They really only ‘care’ about making others see them in a more favorable light.
So when it comes time to draft policy to address the problems that they ‘care’ about, they consistently choose options which are less likely to solve the problems at question, and more likely to allow the solver to feel better about themselves. This is an all but universal phenomenon. It’s a rare liberal ‘solution’ that actually solves anything.
But for me, the key has always been that self validation. It always seemed to me that if you could find a way to explain the consequences of their policy choices in a way that didn’t involve making them feeling defensive or threatened, then you might be able to get through them somehow.
Every time I’ve tried I ended up sounding like I was explaining particle physics to a 10 year old, and very often they only ended up clinging to their original views in spite of any evidence offered. That insecurity can be awfully resistant to reason. But I always figured that it was me – that if I was smart enough about how I phrased things and careful enough about the delivery, then there might be a way for at least some liberals to open their minds.
So far, that hasn’t been the case. So far, the only people I’ve ever met who were persuaded by reason in any amount were conservatives. And at this point I’m beginning to think that it might forever be thus. Liberals simply aren’t persuaded by facts – they find them to be immaterial to the question at hand.
Sentiment is important to them, and they are persuaded by that. Scream into their face that you think they’re a horrible disgusting person for denying those poor starving Japanese fishermen a livelihood by protecting the whales and they’ll find that persuasive. But until the majority of the people they know are doing the same thing to them, they won’t actually change their mind.
That’s the real key to liberal “thinking”. For them, every question is decided exclusively on what will optimize their perceived popularity in the context of their overwhelming personal insecurity. “What will make me feel like a good person, and in the process make others think I’m a good person too?” And it’s that question which transmits their views to the broader group in the form of an expectation of their behavior. Liberals assume that since they are only making decision to placate their egos, that everyone else is always doing the same. So if liberalism is a mental illness, this is how it’s spread.
To those of us who are un-phased by the opinion strangers hold of us or have conquered our insecurities, that’s exactly what Liberalism looks like – a mental illness. The fact that liberals are only protecting their egos is apparent to us, even at a distance. They seem to us like children who haven’t quite managed to mature to adulthood, and still need the approval of a parent. The only difference is that instead of a parent, they expect that reinforcement from the mob other liberals.
But the reverse is absolutely not true. Liberals don’t understand conservative at all. Since our opinions aren’t a product of insecurity, we are as foreign to liberals as a tiger would be to a tuna. The very framework of the conservative mind operates on dimensions that are beyond the ken of liberals, because they don’t involve placating the ego in any way. To a liberal this is as unheard of as breathing underwater.
As conservatives we all know this. It’s really no big deal. But to liberals I could write this in Mandarin and it would communicate the principle just as effectively. Every time I’ve tried, it’s been like talking to the wall. But apparently some guy has written a book which takes another shot at it.
I’m betting liberals ignore it.