Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Moral Categories

Dennis Prager observes that those who are miffed with the tea party folks who oppose expnsive government power regularly note that tea partiers are overwhelmingly white. This criticism, Prager claims, is intended by opponents to disqualify the tea parties from serious moral consideration (MSNBC's Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann come immediately to mind in this regard.). In the course of explaining his case Prager notes something about the way lefties often think that's helpful to those who wish to understand how the liberal mind works.

He writes:

The fact that the Left believes that the preponderance of whites among tea partiers invalidates the tea party movement tells us much more about the Left than it does about the tea partiers.

It confirms that the Left really does see the world through the prism of race, gender and class rather than through the moral prism of right and wrong.

One of the more dangerous features of the Left has been its replacement of moral categories of right and wrong, and good and evil with three other categories: black and white (race), male and female (gender) and rich and poor (class).

Therefore the Left pays attention to the skin color -- and gender (not just "whites" but "white males") -- of the tea partiers rather than to their ideas.

As a Leftist rule of thumb -- once again rendering intellectual debate unnecessary and impossible -- white is wrong or bad, and non-white is right and good; male is wrong and bad, and female is right and good; and the rich are wrong and bad, and the poor right and good. For the record, there is one additional division on the Left -- strong and weak -- to which the same rule applies: The strong are wrong and bad, and the weak are right and good. That is a major reason for Leftist support of the Palestinians (weak) against the Israelis (strong), for example.

Presumably, then, in the eyes of many on the Left if you're a rich white male you're automatically suspect (despite the peculiar fact that so many Lefties are themselves rich, white males). If a powerful nation has a grievance with a weaker nation then the powerful nation is assumed to be in the wrong until they prove themselves innocent. If a largely white American legislature passes a law that would prevent poor, dark-skinned people from pouring across the border, it's the white legislature that's assumed to be wrong, not those who break the law to enter the country.

I can see why some people would find this an attractive formula. It has a number of advantages, not the least of which is that it relieves those who embrace it of the responsibility of having to actually think.

Read the rest of Prager's column at the link.


O Brother Where Art Thou?

A lot of folks in the conservative media are wondering where the President has been while Nashville suffered through a major disaster last week.

Mr. Obama was quick to send aid to Haiti and to claim that the government is doing all it can to force BP to clean up the Gulf oil spill. Yet a once in a century flood has devastated Nashville, and it doesn't seem to be prominently featured on his radar screen. Some cynics think that the reason the man who was quick to criticize President Bush for waiting a day or two too long to rush aid to New Orleans has been dilatory on Tennessee is because Tennessee is a red state and not likely to vote Democratic. I don't know if that's true, but I hope it's not. I don't like to think that our president is that small-minded and vindictive. Such a motive would, moreover, be counterproductive for the president since administrative indifference is a good way to insure that Tennessee never votes Democratic.

I think, though, that the reason for the lack of apparent concern for the people of Tennessee in the administration and the media may be something that is at once less political and more subconsciously sinister. Perhaps, as with the Mississippi river floods a couple of years ago, people just assume that the victims in these regions don't need government help to cope, that they're a self-reliant, proud breed capable of taking care of themselves, which may well be true. But if this is what's in the back of the minds of administration officials what does that say about their attitude, no doubt subliminal, toward the victims in New Orleans and elsewhere as a result of Katrina? Were those people helpless to do anything to help themselves? Why, with fleets of school busses available couldn't the local authorities evacuate their people? Why couldn't the citizens of the city provide care for each other? Were they so lacking in initiative, so dependent on the federal government, that they just sat around in their City Hall offices and their houses waiting for the government to come in and rescue them?

If that's so, then we need to ask why it is so. Is it because the New Orleans victims were poor, or is it because they've been behaviorally conditioned by a paternalistic welfare state to accept a permanent lassitude, indolence and child-like dependency that the proud people of Nashville and elsewhere disdain? Just wondering.