Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Catalogue of Feelings

Dennis Prager, who has previously called for a second civil war, writes a catalogue column. Basically he takes a simple theme (Liberals make decisions based on their feelings, instead of relying on the Bible. That's a very pleasing thesis (if you are a Conservative), but it's also pretty stupid. Let's look at a few of his examples.
The liberal preoccupation with whether America is loved or hated is also entirely feelings-based. The Left wants to be loved; the conservative wants to do what is right and deems world opinion fickle at best and immoral at worst.
The left doesn't want to be loved out of some neurotic fixation; the left wants to get along with those nations whose support we need to effectively fight the war on terror and accomplish other international goals. Conversely it is just as accurate to say that the Bush administration and its supporters are trying to live out fantasies inspired by G. I. Joe, while the Liberals of America are trying to rationally figure out the most effective way to fight terrorism.
Sexual harassment laws have created a feelings-industrial complex. The entire concept of "hostile work environment" is feelings based. If one woman resents a swimsuit calendar on a co-worker's desk, laws have now been passed whose sole purpose is to protect her from having uncomfortable feelings.
Frankly this paragraph I find morally reprehensible. Any abusive or nasty treatment towards woman is the women's fault for taking offense. If she would just take tasteless jokes at her expense, there would be no problem. Here's a model for her to consider (from the Simpsons Episode "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy"
Lisa: Is the remarkably sexist drivel spouted by Malibu Stacy intentional, or is it just a horrible mistake?
Tour guide: [laughs] Believe me, we're very mindful of such concerns.
Man: [wolf whistles] Hey Jiggles, grab a pad and back that gorgeous butt in here.
Tour guide: [laughs good-naturedly] Oh, get away, you.
Man: Aw, don't act like you don't like it.
I don't know about my readers, but I don't think that the solution to harassment is for the harrassee to just accept it.
Very often, liberals are far more concerned with purity of motive than with moral results. That's why so many liberals still oppose the liberation of Iraq -- so what if Iraqis risk their lives to vote? It's George W. Bush's motives that liberals care about, not spreading liberty in the Arab world.
Actually they are two separate issues. The first issue is whether or not President Bush did the right thing in leading us into war on false pretenses. The answer, for liberals, is that that wasn't the right thing to do. That doesn't mean we begrudge the fact that President Bush's blunder has lead to Iraqi's being able to vote (the second issue). Although even that has to be placed as part of a whole. What will the election mean in the long term? Is it an aberration or is it the first step towards a democratic Iraq? Or, as many are now wondering, is it the first step towards a Shiite Theocratic Iraq, along the model of Iran?

But I suppose asking more complicated questions and not accepting simplistic answers is a symptom of Liberalism's reliance on feelings. Or is it?

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