Sunday, November 26, 2017


The subtitle to Republican Is Not a Synonym for Racist says that "Conservatives must reckon with their policies’ discriminatory effects. That would be more likely if liberals stopped carelessly crying bigot."

Yeah. Good luck with that. The two broad political persuasions that are considered to make up most the American political spectrum don't come with governing bodies that can enforce a mandate against calling the other side out as perverse. Or, for that matter, seeing being called out as perverse as a cover for the other side's perversity. This is simply part and parcel of an understanding that right and wrong are objective facts about the world, independent of time or place.

I think that the author, Peter Beinart makes a slight misstatement when he notes: "Progressivism is progressive. It seeks ever-greater moral advance." Perhaps I'm misreading it, but this implies to me the Progressivism has no theoretical end state: the advance of morality is never-ending. But I think that what many modern self-described Progressives are after is moving the world closer and closer to what they understand is the correct understanding of proper thought and behavior. What keeps Progressivism moving "forward" at time marches on is the movement in that understanding. As one problem is solved, another moves in to take its place. When I was younger (not that I considered myself a Progressive), the idea of "microaggressions" would have struck us as not worth bothering with - mainly because we had bigger fish to fry at the time. But now that those fish have been safely cooked, younger people have determined that there are new issues to be dealt with. Such is simply the way of things.

And once one arrives at an understanding of what one considers objective reality, it's easy to come to the expectation that everyone recognizes it - or should recognize it. The liberally-applied (pun intended) term of "bigot" is nothing more than a charge that conservatives have already reckoned with the discriminatory effects of their policy choices - and decided that, if those effects aren't the whole point, that they're fine with them. Because one can't possibly look at the world and not realize what's happening.

Despite the stereotype that concepts such as cultural relativity are mainly embraced by the Left in America, the fact is that both sides accept or reject the concept based on how much they feel that their own position is one that every thinking person should hold. Getting people to walk away from that idea is going to be a difficult lift, given how deeply it's ingrained in the way people see the world and their place in it.

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