Thanks to Oluseye Bassir and his great seed here, I've decided to write a rebuttal to "The Loony Liberal Chronicles" written by Phillip Ellis Jackson. Just a few paragraphs into his "essay", I am thus far unimpressed.
The piece begins honestly enough with an explanation of its origin, but quickly falls off the rail with this:
As the Clinton era came to an end, these email exchanges transformed from polite conversation to a vigorous debate, then to political diatribes by the Left, and then as Bush was re-elected into something close to near lunacy as the far-Left crazies lost all contact with reality.
Jackson doesn't waste anytime demeaning and dismissing the liberals in his email exchanges, but it's not immediately clear if this is just posturing to cover up for irrational assumptions and stark misinterpretations, bias, or just a general lack of respect for others. A fool I am for thinking such things would remain oblivious forever, the answer is revealed in Chapter 1 in very short order.
I think it was Rush Limbaugh who said that, "Liberalism is the most gutless choice a person can make." Instead of addressing hard problems with real solutions, today's Liberals spew forth a stream of self-serving, high-minded platitudes and slogans designed to make them appear loving, caring, generous (with other people's money), and above all enlightened. It's better to be seen as Progressive in the face of a failed policy than support a program that actually works, but diverges from Liberal orthodoxy.
Immediately retreating to the extreme right-wing of conservative ideology to quote from one of the GOP's most reliable sensationalists that make even Rick Santorum blush, is hardly a good sign that Jackson is interested in exposing the differences between two opposing ways of thinking and living. Though some thought must be given to personal research and writing styles, I'm not certain my first quote would be from the lips of Michael Moore, or Cindy Sheehan, though I often share the same mess hall with these people, we are fighting different battles. At least not unless I was simply writing a hit piece, that is.
I could probably spend an entire story discussing just what was written in the quote above, but I'll run short and simply say that whether or not you agree with these statements, it's immediately obvious that Jackson is a hard-liner that doesn't simply disagree with liberalism, but has an innate disdain for it. Already we have a condemnation of liberalism and a judgment rendered before a single email exchange has been posted. I suppose this is what you end up with when you mix an essay that espouses your own personal views while lacking any significant intellectual content like supporting evidence and logical conclusions with select quotations from other people that, out of context, would seem to support your views.
Of course, the portrait picture of Bill O'Reilly on Jackson's website probably would have led to such conclusions in far fewer words.
Rather than continue my soliloquy about the amoral, a-historical corruption of American Liberalism and its most prominent spokespeople, I'll let the exchange with my Liberal friends tell that story. In one sense the rot at the top of the Liberal hierarchy can be understood in purely political terms. A party consisting of single-issue constituencies based on race, religion (or to be more accurate, the absence of God and religion as a legitimate factor in political discourse . . . unless of course it's a black church or a Buddhist temple where money and votes are to be collected), unrestricted and unlimited abortion, and the myriad of other transgender, transsexual, redistributionist, or generally out-of-the-mainstream ideas, can hardly be expected to serve up a leadership of statesmen.
More biased condemnation and hatred and still nothing of substance can be found. The liberal faults construed here can often be applied to conservatives in the same breath, where religion is an overwhelming priority that for some reason can't be left in the home, in the church, and in the heart, but must be injected into the daily lives of everyone in the country, whether they like it or not.
Race has always been an issue for conservatives, only it is often accusations of racism that bring the issue to the front, rather than equating race issues with equal rights. Senator Trent Lott was shamed into surrendering the powerful position of Senate Majority Leader when he said that he supported uber-racist Strom Thurmond's presidency, and believed the country today would be better of had Thurmond ascended to the highest office in government on his agenda of segregation. This day, he was once again elected to a position of leadership, as Senate Minority Whip. Hardly a shining beacon in the fight for equality in race.
While I am certain that religion will take a prominent role later in his writings, I can fend off the attacks preemptively by stating unequivocally that liberalism ultimately stands for the freedoms that the United States of America was founded on. Most prominent of those is the freedom to choose ones religion (or lack thereof) while not having somebody else's forced upon you.
You are free to pray and practice your religion as you see fit, and in exchange for that right, you cannot as an official representative of government force such things on others. It is a simple and fair compromise between the two sides. I don't really care if everyone in the Senate prays to God on the steps of the capitol if they so choose, just so long as I don't have to join in if I don't want to.
There is little point in talking about abortion, except to say that the issue tends to fracture both parties equally. There are a number of prominent Republicans in Congress that are pro-choice, and many Democrats that are pro-life. It is not an argument to be won by pundits, but a problem to be worked out by societal cooperation and understanding.
The claim of ownership over what is and what isn't mainstream is also typical of a conservative that thinks no one else other than themselves can be right, but the fact is the mainstream is dissolving these days into a muddy soup. South Dakota, one of the most conservative states in the nation recently passed a law that outlaws abortion, in direct violation of Supreme Court precedent which amounts to the same weight as congressionally passed law. Despite the overwhelmingly conservative nature of the region, voters put the law down during the most recent mid-term elections, taking it off the books in a way that cannot even be challenged in a court of law. When South Dakota voters say abortion is something we're going to have to live with, it's probably time to stop preaching and start working together to make sure it's never necessary in the first place.
I can even understand why a former member of the Ku Klux Klan can be regarded as an elder statesman of the Democratic Party. I can recognize and appreciate why Michael Moore is at home among these people. But what I could never grasp, and still don't to this day, is how decent, "average" people can overlook the demonstrated harm liberals in general, and the Democratic Party in particular, have done - and are still doing - to this nation.
You could begin by admitting that there are former KKK members in the GOP as well, including the recently defeated Senator from Virginia, George Allen, whose association with Christian extremist hate groups has been verifiably documented. You could also recognize that most of the people in the Senate are old white men who grew up in a world very different from the one we live in today, probably did not have as good an upbringing as you and I did, and are simply relics of the past that would best serve their country by retiring. Those among that group who have generally had a change of heart and mind deserve to have such acts recognized -- where unlike Lott who openly supported segregation less than four years ago -- have moved on to better things.
Note: Harry's actual words aren't as critical here as they became later, so you're mostly going to see my response below rather than his original questions or observations.
The first email exchange, as you can see, isn't even provided. In fact, all that is presented at first are Jackson's replies to his "liberal friends" emails. More conservative narrative, some new logical fallacies, and in general this is shaping up more and more as a selective hit piece where the author uses his "liberal friends" as targets at a shooting range; nothing more than fodder for him to attack and articulate his own views without looking like a complete shill.
Phil: I think, down deep, when it comes time to pull the lever, you'll vote for Gore because he's a liberal. And I think almost all liberals (Jews and Christians) will do the same. That's the real difference between liberals and conservatives. Liberals will find a way to excuse or ignore bad behavior [lying under oath, misusing FBI files, accepting illegal campaign contributions, etc.]. Conservatives will not.
This is circa 2000, and mildly amusing in the light of todays political climate where Conservatives were recently routed in both houses of Congress, mostly for their bad behavior (bribery, lobbying scandal, underage-sex scandals, infighting, refusing oversight of illegal presidential programs, creating record spending deficits, spying on Americans illegally by misusing the FBI, CIA, and NSA all in one shot.) As it turns out, these are precisely the things conservatives ended up doing.
Now I'm not entirely certain, but is Jackson saying here that all liberals are Jews and Christians? If so, that's pretty damn offensive and hugely ignorant. Almost as bad is saying that people will vote for Gore because he too is a liberal. During the general election, that may be entirely true of both parties. You vote for your sides guy when the primaries has been decided, so again, we have intellectual dishonesty from the intellectualconservative.com. Big surprise.
Unfortunately we can't see what Phil's side of this debate is, because he is censored by his conservative "friend". After that "exchange", we just get more from Jackson and nothing from another of his "friends".
Phil: I’ve continued to ask you why you support Gore in light of the things he’s done to facilitate Clinton’s abuse of office by refusing to condemn it, as well as in light of the positions he himself has taken (or refused to take).
Without seeing Phil's response, I can answer for him. President Clinton didn't abuse his office, so it's a fallacy on its face. Why specifically Phil did support Gore I cannot say, each persons reasons are his or her own and cannot be reduced to something as simple as ideology, at least not in primaries. And beyond this, I reject the contention that supporting a person because they are liberal alone is disingenuous; it is not.
I’ve also asked you why you support Lieberman, who has changed or modified almost every core position he’s held since he became Gore’s running mate; not just by toning things down around the edges, but by the outright repudiation of his former positions.
We all blew it on Lieberman, but once he was selected as Gore's running mate, he became essentially irrelevant. People support the man running for President, not the backup. But the knocks on Lieberman are mostly true, so at least he hit the mark once.
I don’t support a candidate — or any person for that matter — who’s a Christian, simply because they’re a Christian.
I mostly take people at their word, but I don't buy that for a second. There is no way someone as hard line as Jackson would ever support say an atheist for the office. No way that happens.
The diatribe goes on for some length, yet the author still flatly refuses to actually show what the other people are saying. Instead, we get his view on what the email said, and his view on what it meant, filtering it for us and in no way allowing us to see the other side of the discussion.
At this point I'm starting to wonder if any of the "liberal emails" are even provided, or if this is just a conservative using others in the cheapest ways possible to express his view, his views on others views, and only those things.
1. To be a Good Democrat, you have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
Liberal reply: How about some federal funding to research a cure, even awareness on how AIDS is contracted and not misinform such as homosexual conduct? Does the writer care about slowing down the spread and finding a cure?
Phil: Republicans aren’t opposed to research. They just think that there are other priorities that deserve more research — like cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Deaths from AIDS occur all over the planet in instances where the population is too ignorant or destitute to avoid spreading the disease, not to mention the fact that sexual contact is not the only means of contracting the disease.
Many of the diseases listed by Jackson such as juvenile diabetes and Alzheimer’s are having their research curtailed by conservative Christians in the government that oppose the most promising and logical branches today: stem cells. You can't work on one front against AID's research and then also work against the alternatives as well.
As of 1998 estimates, 1 in 300 Americans were infected with the HIV virus, and 22,000,000 worldwide. It killed 2,800,000 people in 2005 and today there are between 33 and 40 million people infected with HIV. Compare this to the cancer death rate which is just about half that and dropping due largely to fewer people smoking.
Call me old fashioned, but I’d like to see more of society’s resources devoted to curing diseases beyond our control, than pouring massive amounts of money into removing the consequences of recreational sex.
Conservatives won't tolerate stem cell research, or condom usage. Call me old fashioned, but I'd like to see conservatives contributing something positive the discussion instead of trying to act as the hall monitor for the rest of us. If you want to pour more research money into cancer instead if AIDS, then you better start supporting true sex education that includes condom use. If not, then we're getting our AIDS money and you need to shut your yap. Respectfully, of course.
2. To be a Good Democrat, you have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.
Homicides by firearms in 2003 (most recent data available): 30,136. Deaths due to Chinese nuclear war (for all time): 0.
A nuclear war with China would destroy both countries and a fairly large part of the planets ecology, just like it would have had with the Soviet Union. They know this, we know this. There is so much more to gain with China being a stubborn but smart player in the world than getting themselves all killed along with us.
Firearms that people don't need to have are killing us at the rate of tens of thousands per year, and again with the logical fallacies. Democrats couldn't really care less about firearms in the hands of supposed "law-abiding citizens" so much as the criminals that can buy them like hot cakes and shoot up entire schools with them for fun and profit. Jackson is making up a stance, attributing it to us, and then attacking it. That's called a straw man fallacy, and I'll have nothing to do with it.
I'm skipping federal funding for the arts because both sides arguments on the issue are patently stupid.
There is just so much wrong with this knee-jerk reaction that I have to pause for a moment and point a couple of things out. The Republican characterization of Democratic ideas has always centered around a policy issue: the amount of funding for AIDS research; the sale of sensitive technology to China by the Clinton administration; the natural cycle of Earth’s weather as it relates to global temperatures, etc. The Liberal response never addresses these points, but instead talks about the insensitivity of Republicans to finding a cure for AIDS; how gun ownership equals “teaching hate;” and how questioning Liberal orthodoxy about the cause-effect relationship of global warming translates into a desire to see more leaded gasoline sales.
The sale of whatever that technology may be pales compared to the continued supply of weapons of war by all administrations to the Israeli's that are used on a daily basis to murder innocent civilians in their Jihad against supposed terrorists. I'll take sensitive sales to China any day over selling cluster bombs that only end up blowing to hell and little pieces Palestinian and Lebanese children.
The overwhelming consensus in science is that global warming as we are seeing today is not even close to part of Earth's global weather cycle. You can tell because nobody has presented peer reviewed evidence that this is the case, nor have they gained the backing of any significant scientific institutions around the world. In fact, they are in direct contrast to miles of literature and papers that support human-caused global warming at hundreds of the nations best institutes of understanding.
I've already addressed the research for AIDS cures and prevention as a shell game by conservatives to not spend money on something that they don't perceive has having a direct effect on themselves.
Debunked, debunked, and debunked.
The "response" continues on, and still no sign of the other sides words. I'm half way through this thing and could go all night, but instead, I scrolled to through the rest and imagine my surprise when I didn't find a single actual quote, much less an unedited response from any of Jackon's "liberal friends." Jackson provided his plain views, paraphrased the other sides response filtered through his own bias, then provided his own response to that verbatim, never allowing the other side the same courtesy.
In the final analysis, I think it's good that Jackson opted not to do this as a book, as it would have been a boring read that didn't deliver on its promise to provide a look and analysis into a debate amongst equals and intellectuals. It is in fact nothing but a massive ignorant conservative rant, the likes of which you can find in any Limbaugh or Coulter archive, hardly worth the read at all.
Jackson embodies the very flaws, ignorance and arrogance that he attributes to the opposition, only we can't make that decision for ourselves since the other side has been completely censored. We can however, and I do now determine that Jackson may as well have been talking to himself in a mirror, for the failures he illustrates are his own.
Like this post? Subscribe to RSS, or get daily emails:
Got something to say? Post a Comment. Got a question or a tip? Send it to me. If all else fails, you can return to the home page.