Hypocrisy or Maturity?

Another silly article by an immature creature who doesn’t see a difference between hypocrisy and maturity:

In a YouGov poll of 1,000 voters last August, [political scientist Michael] Tesler found significantly more support for targeted killing of suspected terrorists among white “racial liberals” (i.e., those liberal on issues of race) and African Americans when they were told that Obama supported such a policy than when they were not told it was the president’s policy. Only 27 percent of white racial liberals in a control group supported the targeted killing policy, but that jumped to 48 percent among such voters who were told Obama had conducted such targeted killings.

There is nothing hypocritical in the phenomenon it describes. If people accept that they don’t have the requisite knowledge to understand certain issues and prefer to leave them in the hands of professionals they elected, that’s not hypocritical. Just like it isn’t hypocritical if I trust the opinion of a doctor I have chosen and whose qualifications I like and don’t trust the opinions of an illiterate quack.

Or let’s say, a qualified plumber who has demonstrated on various occasions that he knows what he is doing tells me my pipes are shot to hell and need to be replaced. I will trust him and agree it’s a good idea. But if a person who has no qualifications and who has already messed up the pipework of every neighbor in the street tells me the pipes need to be replaced, I will simply shoo him away.

Division of labor is not hypocritical. It is normal. Mature individuals have no problem with letting qualified professionals do their job.

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43 comments on “Hypocrisy or Maturity?

      • That’s the main point of this post. And I don’t think Repubenrons are way less in favor of this practice with Obama in office. So this is not all on the specialization of labor. (which is clearly normal, as you said)

        So voting for Democrats could be an even worse thing for anti-militarists, because of a potential better popular support for militarist policies.

  1. I don’t think this is a fair characterization of the issue.

    Liberals at the time of Bush said that they opposed targeted killings because they were against targeted killings on principle, not because they were carried out by a government they didn’t trust. I don’t think there was ANY liberal who said ‘I’m OK with targeted killings because republicans are carrying it out’. Their opposition was supposedly based on morals principles, respect for the constitution, etc.

    Turns out it was all bullshit and they’re absolutely fine with these policies because they’re being carried out by Obama, who’s on their ‘team’. This is the hypocrisy.

    It would’ve been a sign of maturity and consistency had they claimed their opposition was due to their hatred of Bush, and they’re fine with it now because they trust Obama to do the right thing.

    You won’t find a single liberal who said that during 2000-2008.

    • “Their opposition was supposedly based on morals principles, respect for the constitution, etc.”

      - Morality that is divorced from real-life circumstances is kind of childish. I can be opposed to targeted killings of political protesters in Tibet, for example, but in favor of a targeted killing of Hitler.

      “You won’t find a single liberal who said that during 2000-2008.”

      - I don’t remember drone strikes and kill lists being a huge subject of discussion at all in those years, so I can’t comment.

  2. “Only 27 percent of white racial liberals in a control group supported the targeted killing policy, but that jumped to 48 percent among such voters who were told Obama had conducted such targeted killings.”

    You usually end up with people supporting one policy, and a few years later, when the other party supports it, suddenly opposing it. (Or vice versa). Basically, this sort of tribalism leads to people supporting what their own ingroup is doing.

    For example, the left wing group Common Cause supported the filibuster in 2005, but now that the Republicans are using it, they filed a lawsuit to have it declared unconstitutional, which was correctly dismissed. Likewise, consider the insurance mandate. It was invented by the Heritage Foundation and first put into practice by Mitt Romney, but as soon as Obama and the Democrats supported it (in Obamacare), the insurance mandate suddenly became the ultimate evil.

    I am, however, surprised to see so many people change their minds (on the issue of drone strikes) that quickly.

  3. “I don’t remember drone strikes and kill lists being a huge subject of discussion at all in those years, so I can’t comment.”

    I really find it hard to believe that you can’t imagine the liberal response to drone strikes and kill lists during Bush’s time.

    Here’s something that may help you. Think about the current liberal response to warrantless wiretapping, torture, and the prosecution of whistleblowers and contrast that with their response to the same policies during Bush’s tenure. It’ll be easy to extrapolate their response to drones and kill lists after that.

    Look, I think you have a wonderful point about people trusting their chosen leaders to carry out specific policies, but I don’t think that point is valid in this situation.

    Here’s an analogy. Let’s suppose someone claims to be health-conscious rails against McDonalds burgers, saying that they’re horrible, junky food, that will make you obese and give you heart attacks. Turns out that person is a shareholder of Burger King, and actually loves burgers but hates McDonalds’ market dominance.

    So yeah, it’ll be hypocritical of him to criticize McDonalds’ burgers on the basis of nutritional value, because this asshole was never interested in nutrition anyway!

    • “I really find it hard to believe that you can’t imagine the liberal response to drone strikes and kill lists during Bush’s time.”

      - I can imagine anything but I’m simply confessing that I have no recollection of such discussions so I can’t judge. It is nobody’s fault but my own since I wasn’t very knowledgeable about politics at that time. If you say such discussions took place, I believe you.

      “Think about the current liberal response to warrantless wiretapping, torture, and the prosecution of whistleblowers and contrast that with their response to the same policies during Bush’s tenure. It’ll be easy to extrapolate their response to drones and kill lists after that.”

      - The current liberal response to warrantless wiretapping, torture, and the prosecution of whistleblowers is extremely negative. The Nation keeps writing incensed pieces about it. It’s a favorite claim of Republicans that Liberals approve Obama’s wiretappings and the rest of it. Where are those Liberals for I can’t see any.

      “Here’s an analogy. Let’s suppose someone claims to be health-conscious rails against McDonalds burgers, saying that they’re horrible, junky food, that will make you obese and give you heart attacks. Turns out that person is a shareholder of Burger King, and actually loves burgers but hates McDonalds’ market dominance.”

      - This is EXACTLY what I was saying in my post on Kill Lists!! Every American Liberal who enjoys the US standard of living yet claims to somehow not benefit from the US world dominance is just such a person.

  4. I didn’t read the article, but once again, from past Internet engagements, I learned that many Americans (along with some Australians) associate “maturity” with a one-eyed view of life. One is to launch forward in an over-committed state to achieve whatever goals, values or ambitions one has in mind. Considering the nature of countervailing forces, or weighing up the probability of achieving one’s goals is to be considered “immature”. One has only to move forward unquestioningly. The charge of the light brigade.

      • Oh, this is your argument that we should have the drone strikes and guzzle oil, not caring that by 2025 we will be at the ecological point of no return? I am immature and do not believe in destroying the planet like that!

      • Are you serious? You really found such an argument of mine? Are there actual quotes where i said anything of the kind ? Or is it more convenient to pretend that this is what I said to avoid facing what I actually did say?

        What wouldn’t people say and whom wouldn’t they blame to avoid facing the truth. . .

      • Honestly, I thought that had been your expressed view — either we make sure we get more resources than is our share by continuing to have these colonial wars, or we turn into a 3d or 4th world country and live as in China. And since if we are honest we would rather have the drone strikes, the black CIA sites, and all the rest of our military apparatus than we would face any decrease in the variety of available goods (at low prices) in stores … so either we are honest and admit we want the drone strikes, while being mature and owning up to the fact that we do not care who dies so we can shop, or we are unrealistic / hiding from the truth in some way. Perhaps I misunderstood.

      • I will now repeat my question for the 4th time. Just in case somebody answers:

        Do you believe that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies?

  5. “this is your argument that we should have the drone strikes and guzzle oil, not caring that by 2025 we will be at the ecological point of no return? I am immature and do not believe in destroying the planet like that!”

    But if you love your consumerist capitalo-statist lifestyle, you have to accept that!

      • I was hoping that people would at least find it in themselves to admit that the US standard of living – which is higher thann that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies. But no such luck.

        I thought this was a well-known fact but everybody is so shocked.

  6. “Do you believe that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies?”

    Yes, absolutely.

      • If we agreed that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies, can we also agree that it logically follows that the cancellation of such predatory foreign policies will bring about a drop in the standard of living?

        This is just a simple cause and effect question.

  7. “Do you believe that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies?”

    Yes, of course. What’s your point?

  8. On common US definitions of maturity, I would be considered more mature if:

    – I agreed to abolish the Golden Age position in Spanish, which the French want to do on the grounds that it is antiquated; they are more powerful than I am so if I just acquiesced that would be “mature” of me

    – I agreed to allow excecutive committee of academic senate change the constitution without consulting the membership (as the consitution requires): the rest of the executive committee thinks that is fine, so it would be “mature” of me to just accept majority will

  9. “Do you believe that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies?”

    I do not understand why you think this is controversial or in doubt. I also do not understand why you do not accept it would be beneficial to lower so called standard of living in the interest of sustainability and also quality of life — not to be the person bombing people. I do not agree that the choice is to either drive a Cadillac here — what you have said you want to do — or be a sweatshop worker in China, which is what you have said the alternative is. I do not think that the “mature” view is to believe these are the only two possibilities.

    • “I do not understand why you think this is controversial or in doubt.”

      - Because nobody has found the courage to give me a straight answer to this question. Note how you keep avoiding that, too.

      ” I also do not understand why you do not accept it would be beneficial to lower so called standard of living in the interest of sustainability and also quality of life ”

      - My friend, I have lived with such a low standard of living, that I’m not scared by this possibility. So I’m not the problem here. But do you really believe the majority of your compatriots will welcome relinquishing their standard of living to any degree for the sake of not bombing other countries, the countries they barely know exist?

      “I do not agree that the choice is to either drive a Cadillac here — what you have said you want to do”

      - I don’t even have a driver’s license. It is a little weird that people who do have cars blame me for contributing to the destruction of the environment.

      “I do not think that the “mature” view is to believe these are the only two possibilities.”

      - We just agreed that the drop in the standard of living is inevitable, right? Let’s not go in circles. Let’s start with listing which specific things you are willing to sacrifice in terms of your standard of living. Or is driving something other than a Cadillac is the only “sacrifice” you are willing to face? :-)

  10. “Do you believe that the US standard of living – which is higher than that of most of the planet – is at least partly due to the country’s predatory foreign policies?”

    American born and raised (though not living there now or, long term, probably ever again).
    I would qualify it a little, and say that less predatory foreign policies would not necessarily lower standards that much (just more than most people want). The secret of living well is to live below your means but most Americans strive and long to live beyond their means.

    I’ll also add that one of those predatory policies is immigration – the US has benefitted from steady stream of economically productive adults whose uprbringing cost the country nothing (and source countries bear the expense of turning children into potentially economic adults only to see them produce elsewhere).

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