07 February 2010

Liberal Prejudice

Gerard Alexander, an associate professor of politics at the University of Virginia has an opinion piece in today's New York Post entitled, "Why are liberals so condescending?" In it he describes four basic attitudes liberals have toward conservatives. Conservatives must be

  1. Stupid. They just don't know how to think critically and reasonably.
  2. Liars. They know their ideas are wrong, but they crassly manipulate large fractions of the voting public out of nothing more than a lust for power. When they succeed it is by "vast right-wing conspiracy techniques of media manipulation.
  3. Racists. They seek to maintain white privilege in an increasingly diverse society.
  4. Cowards. They fear change and therefore seek to stop progress.

Prof. Alexander goes on to explore and debunk all of these misconceptions in the light of the last forty years of American history. He laments that these attitudes on the part of those now called liberals or progressives prevents genuine dialog with conservatives.

But he doesn't call these attitudes by their correct name. Prejudice. Overwhelmingly, liberals whom I know are prejudiced. That's why I parted company with them. Or should I say, they parted company with me.

Entertaining doubt of one's opinions is good for both science and religion. If we are going to have meaningful bipartisanship, then we're going to have to try it in politics.

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