The Hyperventilating Left

Not that long ago, it was the right that was angry and the left that was, at least comparatively, polite.

Hahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha…

*whew* I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Since when has the Left ever been polite?!? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not patting the Right on the back here. In case you’ve forgotten, both sides piss me off. However, what I’ve noticed in my blogosphere travels, is that while both sides can be rude, obnoxious, and insensitive, it’s overwhelmingly those on the Left that use crude, filthy language to make their points.

"But after years of being the targets of inflammatory rhetoric, not only from fringe groups but also from such mainstream conservative politicians as Newt Gingrich, the left has gone on the attack. And with Republicans in control of Washington, they have much more to be angry about."

[…]

"To what, effect, though? Do the hundreds of thousands of daily visitors to Daily Kos, who sign their comments with phrases such as ‘Anger is energy,’ accomplish anything other than talking among themselves?…How about the 125,000 or so daily visitors to Eschaton? Or the thousands who visit Rude Pundit, the Smirking Chimp or My Left Wing?"

"Put another way, can one person sitting alone in a living room, typing her fingertips numb on a keyboard, make a difference?"

Not to me they can’t. They can’t change my mind on any issue if I won’t listen to them, and I won’t listen to them until they stop foaming at the mouth and cursing every other word.

"…O’Connor [of My Left Wing] describes a trip she took to Washington last September for a rally against the Iraq war. It was a ‘buoyant’ experience, she says, ‘exuberant,’ right up until the moment that the speakers onstage began yammering about things that had nothing to do with why they had gathered."

"Free Palestine? Free some death-row inmate? End global warming? ‘That was when I just freaking lost it,’ she says. ‘Shut up! Shut up!’ she remembers screaming into a bullhorn."

Now, there’s some anger I can identify with. It drove me nuts when the anti-war protest of ’03 in Pittsburgh was hijacked for women’s reproductive "rights". I hate mission creep.

"Meanwhile, over on Eschaton, Dave is writing, ‘As a matter of fact — I do hate Bush!’ On Rude Pundit: ‘George W. Bush is the anti-Midas. Everything he touches turns to [expletive].’ On the Smirking Chimp: ‘I. Despise. These. [Expletive]!’"

That kind of purile ranting might be good for rallying other Lefties, but it’s not going to help them change minds or motivate folks (like me) in the middle. Give me intelligent, reasoned explanations of your points and I’ll listen. Go all Exorcist on me and you’ll get plonked.

If any of you frequent Lefty blogs whose authors aren’t rabid, let me know.  Don’t worry about plugging blogs on the Right.  Being a Christian blogger already puts me into contact with more Righty blogs than I can stomach.

Comments 11

  1. Rob wrote:

    Gee thanks.

    Posted 15 Apr 2006 at 10:13 am
  2. Funky Dung wrote:

    Huh? I don’t think anything I wrote describes you. If you consider yourself hard Left, you’re certainly in the minority in terms of politeness. I don’t see you as hard Left, though. You’re left of center, but you seem to be close enough to it to be centrist on the whole. Maybe you’d think centrist doesn’t fit, but I don’t think moderate would be a poor description, at least from what I’ve read.

    Posted 15 Apr 2006 at 10:39 am
  3. Rob wrote:

    Maybe I’m only radically left in comparison to a lot of the right-wing blogs I read. Come to think of it, you’re pretty left-wing yourself, at least on that basis.

    Then again, not many left-wingers would have posted High School, Jesus Week, and the Freedom of Speech. Nor the right-wingers. Maybe I’m not on that continuum. A lot of people do consider me irrational.

    (Note to the people who don’t remember their math: the use of the word “irrational” is a pun, but you really don’t want me to explain it.)

    Posted 15 Apr 2006 at 12:16 pm
  4. Edey wrote:

    this lady reminds me a lot of “environmental policy” majors who want to improve the condition of the environment: they do a lot of complaining but offer no solutions. personally, the reason i went into science originally was to offer solutions to environmental problems. what good does it do to tell a company “you shouldn’t pollute” if you don’t offer them alternative, lower polution means of production? they are going to go on using their polluting methods until an equally cost effective alternative is provided.

    she says “”If I can’t rant, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”. ranting doesn’t solve any problems. as ghandi said “be the change you wish to see in the world.” now, while i disagree with her positions on some things, at least she was doing something before “She signed petitions. She boycotted veal. She canvassed for Greenpeace. She donated to Planned Parenthood. She read the Nation, the New Yorker, the Utne Reader and Mother Jones. She agonized over low wages for overseas workers every time she bought a $40 leather purse.” does she think her ranting is going to accomplish anything?

    Posted 16 Apr 2006 at 11:48 am
  5. advogado de diabo wrote:

    I usually find lefty’s to be far more polite in person.

    Posted 16 Apr 2006 at 11:48 pm
  6. advogado de diabo wrote:

    My view of Daily Kos is so different than yours I don’t know where to start. I found it to be almost like group therapy after the 2004 election, and for a year or so I read it 2 or 3 times a day. I found the exchange of ideas stimulating, motivating, etc.

    As kos started working on his book and guest bloggers posted more, the quality seemed to go down and now I check it once a week at most.

    With 100,000+ readers or whatever it is now, it would be difficult to have a real discussion in the comment section and it has devolved. It seems to be the downside of attracting so many readers.

    Posted 16 Apr 2006 at 11:49 pm
  7. Peter wrote:

    I usually find leftyís to be far more polite in person.

    Not I. More than once I have elicited jaw-drops of horror from leftists because I dare to suggest something they don’t want to hear and had it suggested that I didn’t know what I was talking about (even though I did, since I try never to speak or write unless I know what I’m talking about). As well, my stepfather was once treated to a letter from a leftist that included threats of physical violence for his critical views. We sat around and had a good concerned laugh over that one.

    A few times I attended the Unitarian Universalist church in Fresno, which is populated by all of Fresno’s most outspoken lefties. If I was stupid, I would have thought they were polite, but since I am more perceptive, I recognized their posturing as that cocky, bullheaded passive aggressiveness that only leftists can affect so well.

    Posted 17 Apr 2006 at 2:13 pm
  8. Tom Smith wrote:

    I have generally found leftist/progessive types to be more obnoxious than conservatives, though that may be a function of the fact that the conservatives I interact with are part of a definite minority in the places I’ve lived. Being greatly outnumbered, they are unable to enunciate their positions loudly. Wherever one finds a liberal bully pulpit, one will find outspoken, loud-mouthed liberals. Perhaps in a more generally conservative area, say, the South, liberals would be less obnoxious.

    However, I do think that a lot of the knee-jerk leftist reactions one sees can be chalked up to the general intellectual vapidity of liberal positions. That’s not to say that liberals are stupid, merely that they suffer from a lack of scholarly backing. Because liberalism is an orientation inherently ordered toward change and renewal, new liberal causes are rarely fully backed by reason prior to their initial enunciation — basically, liberals take up new causes before anyone has come up with thorough philosophical justifications, whereas conservative positions tend to be intellectually well-constructed, if for no other reason than that there is already a supply of tried-and-true literature backing up conservative stances.

    Posted 17 Apr 2006 at 2:43 pm
  9. advogado de diabo wrote:

    Perhaps in a more generally conservative area, say, the South, liberals would be less obnoxious.

    Interesting, since I grew up in the South. Perhaps you are correct and that is why I find conservatives so obnoxious.

    Although now I live in DC (I’ve been here on and off since 1993). DC is a unique city, not the South, North, Midwest or anything else. Here with the mix of people from around the country I still find conservatives far ruder, even when I agree with them.

    Now you all have me really thinking about this. Is it that I don’t notice if a liberal says something rude because I probably agree with them? Is it that the negative experiences stick out in my memory? Naturally less rude people are not going to make as much of an impression.

    Now I’m ramblying, but why stop. I can’t get past my experiences growing up in the South when most people (myself included) regularly made gay jokes, often loudly and in public. Many (perhaps most) of my conservative friends were downright hostile to the poor, and a few (not friends) were openly racist.

    One more random thought,

    Peter please elaborate on this:

    Not I. More than once I have elicited jaw-drops of horror from leftists because I dare to suggest something they donít want to hear and had it suggested that I didnít know what I was talking about (even though I did, since I try never to speak or write unless I know what Iím talking about).

    Try to pick a typical (not extreme) example of something you found rude. I want to see if I also find it rude. My hunch is that my personality is simply more inclined to be comfortable around liberals and I also just find conservatives ruder.

    Posted 17 Apr 2006 at 11:46 pm
  10. edey wrote:

    “However, I do think that a lot of the knee-jerk leftist reactions one sees can be chalked up to the general intellectual vapidity of liberal positions. Thatís not to say that liberals are stupid, merely that they suffer from a lack of scholarly backing. Because liberalism is an orientation inherently ordered toward change and renewal, new liberal causes are rarely fully backed by reason prior to their initial enunciation ó basically, liberals take up new causes before anyone has come up with thorough philosophical justifications, whereas conservative positions tend to be intellectually well-constructed, if for no other reason than that there is already a supply of tried-and-true literature backing up conservative stances.”

    i partially disagree. yes, liberalism is based on the idea of change, but, while the solutions that are proposed by liberalism may or may not be grounded in reason, the fact that there are problems that need to be solved very much can be grounded in reason. conservative stances may have philisophical arguments over time to support them, but it doesn’t mean they are necessarily sound philisophical arguments. while change for the sake of change is silly, a bad status quo (which is what i’d say we have right now) necessitates change. granted, it might not be the change that “liberals” are proposing, but change is still needed.

    as chesterton said, “The only intelligible sense that progress or advance can have among men, is that we have a definite vision, and that we wish to make the whole world like that vision…Now here comes in the whole collapse and huge blunder of our age. We have mixed up two different things, two opposite things. Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean (just now) that we are always changing the vision. It should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy: a wild page from any Prussian sophist makes men doubt it. Progress should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does mean that the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us. We are not altering the real to suit the ideal. We are altering the ideal: it is easier.”

    i would argue there is philisophical basis for change when it’s changing to work towards the ideal. however, many times liberals aren’t working towards an ideal. they just want to walk away from the status quo rather than towards anything.

    Posted 18 Apr 2006 at 2:23 pm
  11. Peter wrote:

    advogado — My favorite example of a leftist being rude was when one passed by the window display of the bookstore where I work, saw the patriotic-type books arrayed for Independence Day, then came in demanding to know why Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States was not among them and asking, before I could answer, “Is he not American enough for you?” I found that profoundly rude.

    Conversely, when a very religious, very conservative customer once came to the bookstore and asked for books about archaeology as relates to Christianity, I pointed him toward something whose name I forget now, but which suggested that perhaps the Hebrew god YHWH originally had a wife. He looked at it, read the brief description, did not open it, put it back on the shelf, and said, “With all due respect, that author doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” I didn’t find that rude at all.

    I have found that when I occasionally go out in public wearing my jaunty white cap that has the word “ATHEIST” emblazoned across the front, people who I know to be conservative and religious tend to be very deferential, perhaps because they’re afraid that the evil atheist will bite their heads off or something. However, when out wearing my usual garb (which is about as boring as it gets — jeans or casual slacks with button down shirts), I have several times received unsolicited comments from bohemian liberals in full costume asking if I am a republican, which I consider not so much rude as just breathtakingly stupid and immature.

    In fact, as I reflect on my experiences, I would re-characterize many liberals not as “rude” but as “breathtakingly stupid and immature.” For instance, while I can see the brilliant simplicity in the conservative rallying cry of “God Bless America,” I find the slogans sported by leftists (e.g., “No one is free while others are oppressed”) to convey a kind of down-the-nose preachiness that even the most religious of the conservative, theocratic ilk seem to lack. Could just be my perspective, though.

    Posted 18 Apr 2006 at 3:49 pm

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