More Differences Between the Sides

Another thing that I hate on my [former] side is the obsession with always seeing the absolute worst in everybody. You are always guilty by default.

The moment we got news of coronavirus, some campus busybody immediately sent out a message telling professors not to make racist comments about China. The whole idea that we are such shits that we need to be told not to say racist things is deeply bizarre. It comes from the same extremely dark view of the human nature as microaggression trainings and diversity seminars. Everybody, even a colleague you see every day, is evil and is about to aggress! Everybody who said something that was widely accepted until 3 minutes ago must be driven by hatred and bigotry! There can’t possibly be any other explanation. Everybody is horrible and out to get you. It’s tiresome.

Contrast that with the widely accepted conservative narrative on, say, Obama. I’ve seen and heard this narrative a million times in my journey through conservative media. Obama is “the most gifted politician of our generation, brilliant, an intellectual, a profound thinker, an amazing public speaker. But Obamacare was a disaster and the economic recovery was sluggish when he was in office.” We can debate whether it was or wasn’t sluggish but the point is that there’s something to debate here. It’s not just constant name-calling. Obviously you can find all kind of unhinged name-calling on Tumblr or whatever but I’m talking about the mainstream, the respectable people who write books or appear on TV.

Or contrast the way Tucker Carlson talks about Bernie supporters with the way absolutely anybody on the left talks about Trump supporters. And it’s, again, the differences in the basic vision of the human nature. It’s “they disagree with me so they are scum” versus “I won’t vote as they do but I understand why they feel this way, and they are actually right in many ways.”

10 thoughts on “More Differences Between the Sides”

  1. What you describe doesn’t seem like a political point of view, though. It just sounds like workplace aggression weaponizing HR talk – and also a bunch of people being rather false, for I am not sure what reason. (I do often wonder why I’m the only one willing to question the transgender fad AND the only one with transgender friends, etc. — I get the feeling all the haranguing is self-directed, people are afraid that if they don’t control themselves they will say something REALLY cruel.)


    1. I don’t get the feeling the haranguing is self directed. I think it’s overreaction and over correction because they let somebody run their mouth in the past and it cost the company money. Therefore we all get to suffer through the assumption we’re dumb assholes who failed kindergarten. Because everything is pitched to that level.


      1. Or because they ran their mouth in the past. I know people who go around correcting everyone else on language when they are themselves well known to materially discriminate. Then, if investigated, they learn to crank their language even further up on the over-correction scale.


  2. “telling professors not to make racist comments about China”

    I’m pretty sure that’s for legal protection, if someone ends up feeling offended and sues then the university wants to have a paper/electronic record that they’re not responsible.


  3. The conservative commentator Dennis Prager insists that it is the opposite. He says Conservatives think humanity is mostly bad and that is why they emphasize law and order and religion to keep bad impulses in check. Liberals think humanity is mostly good and thus think utopian social systems could work.


    1. This Prager guy must be pretty old. The last time any of this was true was the 1960s. Since then, the left hasn’t had anything remotely approaching a utopian program.


      1. I still see this utopian mindset among the young. Some people seem to have an idea we don’t need prisons or police (yes, “prison abolition” is a thing.) Or that in the next, perfected “phase” of society, whatever lofty political ideas they have will actually work (at least these people acknowledge that humanity as it is is not ready for whatever dumb utopian ideal they have in mind.) These people would benefit greatly from internalizing the concept of original sin. They definitely think we’re all born good and are only corrupted later on by society’s evils. If only we perfect society, we perfect humanity. The reality is that shitty people are going to continue to exist forever. That’s life.


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