Thursday, August 31, 2006

There is a Difference...

Guest Post by Ron Goodwyne

All of us have heard someone at some time say something like, "I don’t vote because all politicians are alike." Or perhaps you’ve heard someone say, "I don’t read political blogs, they all sound the same." Whether talking about elected officials or bloggers, there is a marked difference between conservatives and liberals.

Take politicians first. I am as disillusioned as anyone about the rampant spending that has taken place in a GOP Congress in order to buy votes or the disinformation disseminated by some on the right regarding illegal immigration and characterizing those of us who disagree with them as anti-immigrant or worse. Seeing these things it is easy to see why someone might believe there isn’t any difference. Yet the differences are glaring if you only look.

Does anyone believe Democrats would have enacted the Bush tax cuts? Does anyone seriously think the Democrats would be prosecuting any war against Islamo-fascism? What about the courts? Would we have two new conservatives on the Supreme Court if a Democrat had been in the White House or Democrats controlled the Senate? The answer to these and a whole host of related questions is a resounding NO.

All politicians are subject to the same temptations of office, regardless of political persuasion. The primary temptations are to get re-elected and gain power and influence as a result. Spending is one of the primary ways to do this. Another is to pander to certain groups. But while a politician may be likely to betray some aspects of his moral philosophy, he isn’t likely to abandon it altogether. After all, it is what got him elected in the first place. And the result is things like tax cuts and conservative judicial nominations that would not occur under Democrats.

In the blogosphere the differences are more pronounced. While no one is standing for election, we all want to attract readers. No one wants to put their heart and soul into writing only to find that no one is reading. In order to attract readers we need to have something to say and we must be able to say it in a way that others will be interested in reading. For conservative bloggers that typically means reasoned conservative arguments presented in either a logically irresistible way or in an entertaining way. ALa is a great example of an entertaining conservative blogger and she often times engages in serious irresistible logic. Other examples can be found in ALa's blogroll and my blogroll at www.rongoodwyne.com. What we say, however, is generally governed by what we perceive as the truth. We may vary in style but the underlying truth tends to be the same.

On the left there are some pretty whacky writers (affectionately referred to by bloggers on the right as moonbats), not to mention whacky thinkers (if thinker can even be applied to some of these people). While conservative bloggers are, at times, less than complementary to liberals, we do not generally resort to abject hatred when talking about them. They, on the other hand, can’t seem to resist personally attacking us rather than dealing with our arguments in a substantive way. I’ve personally dealt with this sort of thing many times both before starting my blog and since.

Lefty bloggers tend to be conspiracy theorists as well. Just look at the claims from the left that, for example, George W. Bush either knew about or planned the 9/11 attacks or that Bush and Rove were somehow behind the British terrorist arrests and that they did it because of Joe Lieberman. I’ve certainly seen some things from the right that I disagreed with but nothing remotely on the level of these kinds of delusions.

What drives these people to such obviously ridiculous conclusions? I think first and foremost it is hatred. The far left is consumed with hate for conservatives in general and George W, Bush in particular. They believe that the 2000 and 2004 elections were stolen, consequently any action necessary to unseat Bush is justified. I’m convinced that many of these left wing bloggers don’t actually believe the stuff they write. They simply see it as an effective way to stir up the liberal masses. We on the right have a difficult time understanding such reasoning because we believe the truth is the best defense. On the left, however, truth is relative to begin with.

Take the recent edited photos from Israel’s war that came from Reuters. Many on the left have taken the position that, while the photos were doctored, they accurately reflected the truth on the ground. That sounds amazingly like Dan Rather’s position regarding the forged documents purporting to "prove" Bush’s bad military record. The bottom line for them is it is okay to falsify evidence so long as you are doing so to convey the truth. What they don’t get is that no one else ever has the chance to see for themselves what the truth really is. They become the sole arbiters of what is truth and what is not. The rest of us are not privy to the actual evidence.

All this applies directly to the left wing bloggers. They don’t care whether they are reporting the truth or not. Their larger "truth" is that Bush should be removed from office and Democrats should be in control. All else is subjugated to that.

Bloggers on the right, rightly malign such approaches because we recognize the value of the truth. We recognize that the truth suffers when evidence is falsified. We understand that truth is not served by agonized, emotionally charged fakery employed for the "right reasons". Truth is truth!

We are not always right on the right. But when we are wrong, we tend to move that to the top and make corrections. The left makes excuses and engages in cover-ups.

I have, of course, engaged in some rather broad generalizations. I freely concede that there are bloggers on the left and on the right that defy these characterizations. But on both the left and the right those who defy these generalizations are the exceptions and not the rule.

So the next time someone says there isn’t two cents worth of difference between the left and the right, point them to some of the liberal blogs. Show them the whacky stuff coming from DNC Chair Howard Dean. Get them to listen to a little bit of Air America. And make sure you’re there to help them see just how whacky each of these is.

((You can find Ron daily at Ron’s Musings))

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