Friday, December 17, 2004

Left2Right: A Critique

Left2Right is a new blog that was started by several Left professors in the aftermath of the election. Their stated purpose is to communicate Left ideas to the "common folk." You can well imagine how it's going for them.
This critique of the postings so far was a great read. The reviewer states he's not a conservative but a libertarian. Nevertheless, he seems to have a good grasp of conservatism. Here's a small excerpt:
So, if you want to be listened to in Washington, your problem (one which is general to left-wing intellectuals) is how to falsify conservatives' belief that you hate America and want to destroy it. This is not going to be possible at all as long as you express contempt for the values and reasoning ability of the majority of Americans that voted for George Bush.

But your problem runs deeper than that. To be listened to, you will need to demonstrate that you share what present-day American conservatives think of as their core beliefs,including but not limited to:

The practical and moral superiority of free-market capitalism over socialism and all other competing visions of political economics.

American exceptionalism — the belief that the U.S. is uniquely qualified by history and values to bring liberty to the oppressed of the world.

Islamic terrorism is an unqualified evil which cannot be explained or excused either by "root cause" analysis; further, that laying it to past failures in U.S. policy is a form of blaming the victim.

(Note that I am not endorsing these beliefs, simply pointing out that conservatives generally hold them.)

As long as conservatives believe that you do not share these core beliefs with them, they will conclude that your policy "help" on Iraq or the War on Terror would be an active detriment. And — here's the hard part — they will be justified in that belief (which, as you doubtless know, is not the same as the assertion that the belief is confirmably true).


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