Saturday, November 26, 2016

Make Liberalism Great Again!

Dear Liberals,

We need to talk about some of the problems we have.

I think it's more important now than ever that we figure out and address the problems within much of liberal thinking today. I say this because if we don't it could be the downfall of liberalism that enables people on the Right to continue having their political and social victories. And we don't want that. So we have to get real with one another and talk among ourselves about the problems within liberalism and the way liberals behave, because there are plenty. And don't you try and deny that there are problems in liberal thought today. Thinking like that is exactly part of the problem. You must first acknowledge that there are problems with how liberals think and behave, and force yourself to be open minded. OK. So how do we do this? Well, I don't pretend to have all the answers, but here are some important things we can do to correct what I see as an influx of too many irrational ideas and behaviors threatening the progress of liberalism.

Know that there is a difference between liberals and liberalism. Liberals are people who in one way, shape, or form, have liberal views on various issues. The way they behave in relation to their views can take on a variety of forms, from informed and respectful to down right nasty and fascistic. Liberalism is the general philosophy of liberal views that liberal people hold, and it too comes in a spectrum that can take on a variety of forms. As such, "liberalism" acts more like an umbrella term that can cover many ideas some liberals will disagree with. So when listening to the criticism of the Left, keep that in mind. You can maintain your liberalism while disagreeing with the tactics used by some liberals and with ideas that exist under the umbrella of "liberalism." We don't all have to always agree. So don't feel the need to always defend everything liberals do and every idea liberals have when a conservative is criticizing them.

We need to divorce ourselves from identity politics. When we focus too much on gender, race, sexuality, and other identifying labels, we tend to alienate those that are outside those labels while implying that everyone inside the label thinks alike. I've heard many liberals aghast at how Trump could win 30 percent of the Latino vote given his stance on immigration and what he said about Mexicans. But I like to kindly remind them that Latinos are not a monolith. I know several Latinos who are OK with a border wall and are OK with deporting at least the criminal illegal aliens. And liberals are also too obsessed with the idea of merely having a woman president. Yes, I'd love to have a female president, but it has to be the right female president. It can't just be any woman. Hillary was a terribly flawed candidate but many too many liberals overlooked this and were drawn to her primarily because she could make history as the first female US president. But that didn't work because not everyone is obsessed with merely getting a female president. And when she lost I heard many liberals blaming sexism as the main reason (or the only reason) why she lost — as if her hypocrisy and scandals meant nothing and it was only her gender that caused her to lose. This is the kind of close mindedness that results when you give into identity politics and all you see is a person's gender. Stop thinking people vote based on their gender or race or sexual identity and focus on the issues that transcend these labels.

People who think different from you should be allowed to speak openly. I agree with some of the criticisms of the Left that many liberals are increasingly becoming authoritarian in their tactics such that unless you agree with them and hold the most liberal positions on every issue, you are denied the right to speak and organize, especially on university campuses, and are labeled a bigot, a racist, a sexist, or a xenophobe. Respect the freedom of speech you claim to support. We liberals need to respect diversity of opinion, in additional to racial and gender diversity. Liberals need to begin actually engaging people with opposing views and debate them with reasoned arguments, not try to prevent them from speaking. The Left is giving up on intellectual argument because they feel they've won the culture war and don't have to debate anymore. Bad ideas will inevitably develop and will flourish under a system where free and open criticism is shunned, and that's exactly what the Left is allowing more and more.

Stop overusing terms like "racist" "sexist" and "bigot." We need to refrain from the overuse of these terms. When everyone's a racist, no one's a racist. When everyone's a sexist, no one's a sexist. The Left is overusing these kinds of terms to the point where they're becoming meaningless. That enables real racists to brush off charges of racism more easily, and it makes people not care when others are accused of racism even if they happen to be actual racists. You can be a moderate or a conservative and not be a racist, sexist, or a bigot. And the Left needs to be willing to call out real racism, sexism, and bigotry in the Islamic world where these things are rampant. By not doing that you allow critics to point out a legitimate area of hypocrisy that you cannot defend and it makes all liberals look bad.

Recognize the absurdities of extreme political correctness. Political correctness has gone too far, and even liberals are turning away from it. This doesn't mean that you have to be against it in principle, but you should recognize that at some point PC dissents into absurdity. On university campuses we're actually having the debate on whether or not you should ask everyone what are the proper gender pronouns to address them by every time you talk to them, because their mental gender identity might switch. And those on the far PC Left feel empowered to call anyone who dissents from this view a bigot. This is utter madness. I understand the need for a kind of basic PC in certain areas like school and work where we refrain from racism and sexism and the like, and most of us want to live in that society. But we cannot have a safe space everywhere. We cannot have a situation where certain facts are banned because they embarrass or contradict liberal narratives. And we need to stop being overly sensitive to things like "microaggressions" and "cultural appropriation" because all it does is make liberals look like sensitive pansies who want to control language like fascists, which creates a backlash. That's one reason why Trump will be president.

Seek out the best criticism of your views. This is a hard one for many, but we must get out of our echo chambers. For the most part, ignore the trolls and loud mouths who scream and write in all caps. They are the low hanging fruit. But do some honest research into the best and brightest minds that are critical of your views and be open to the possibility that they might have a point. Seek out those people in person or online. You might actually find that they raise some legitimate flaws in your thinking and tactics. I do this all the time and it has absolutely made me a much more informed person. So when I debate conservatives I will tend to agree with them on some of their legitimate criticisms of liberals and liberalism and that has the interesting effect of disarming them. And don't be so arrogant to think that liberals and liberalism have got it right on every single issue. We need to stop blindly defending our teams at the expense of sanity.


If we did all these things we liberals would be more rational and better informed to defend our views and that would (hopefully) increase the number of liberals out there and stop the backlash against liberalism. If we aren't open to these things and we stay mired in the echo chamber, liberalism could be in jeopardy. We need to embrace a more classical liberalism before the era of nonsense ultra PC and extreme identity politics — and dare I say it, make liberalism great again!

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...