It is Anti-Intellectual

Conservatism Manifesto.

Conservatism Manifesto. (Photo credit: mmoneib)

Following up on an editorial about guns and politics published last week in the Star Tribune, I need to point out the absurdity of trying to be bipartisan about the strengths and weaknesses of today’s political arguments.  The editorial unnecessarily goes out of its way to call out liberals for criticizing conservatives as anti-intellectual.  Well, if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck, some times it is a duck.

(I’d compare today’s conservative talking heads with ducks, but that wouldn’t be fair to ducks.)

It simply isn’t true that left and right share equally in failure of intellect and doesn’t serve people seeking truthful guidance any good to foster inappropriate myths about intellectual parity in political arguments.  Sometimes and idiot is simply an idiot and today we have a lot of those idiots steering political discourse with disasterous results.  Very simply, not all ideas are equal before the facts

Republicans do not like facts and logic because facts and logic do not support their beliefs.  When, for example, a non-partisan agency like the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) backs up the benefits of government economic stimulus, conservatives disregard that assessment and appeal to emotion instead, drawing false analogies with family experience and business budgets.

Government is not a family and it is not a business.  Government, especially the United States government, can serve the people better.  In fact, the United States is uniquely positioned to use monetary policy like no other nation to manipulate economic trends in its favor.  Republicans oppose this because they the economy is secondary to their priorities.  Republicans strive to dismantle government as we have known it for generations.  Crisis serves that goal well.   Therefore economics is not a priority for the GOP, it is a tool.  And it only works if it is broken.

Even when the CBO seems to align with conservative policy, they cannot get the facts right.  A year ago, for example, the CBO released a report showing that Obama‘s 2013 budget proposal would hurt the economy in the long run.  Conservatives, even in an election year, remained surprisingly quiet about this.  Why?  Well, a large part of the problem relied on too little stimulus and too little revenue.  It was a milquetoast budget.  By proposing to maintain policy like the Bush tax cuts, for example, the Obama budget maintained a struggling status quo.  In essence, Obama was conceding policy to conservatives.  Still, the inherited economic crisis was and is Obama’s fault, not at all — and I mean not at all — the fault of anything any conservative has done.  They take no responsibility for mistakes at all.  None.

It isn’t paranoia to point out the weakness of an opposing argument, especially when the opposing arguments are easily dismantled by reason and fact.  On the contrary, one should take responsibility and call out the faults of misleading rhetoric.  What is the benefit of giving credit where credit is not due, especially in situations so dangerous to our future?

Liberals lose because they go out of their way to seek balance and compromise.  That is an approach to politics that doesn’t fit the current era, unfortunately.


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