You can always tell on campus who the conservative professors are. They’re the ones not attempting to indoctrinate their students. When I had the opportunity to teach several courses at a local college a few years back, I became a conspicuous example of this phenomenon.
I stuck to the facts but could not prevent students from occasionally politicizing discussions as established practices are not easily abandoned. Their interjections always unnerved me. On one occasion, a young lady replied, in response to a mundane comment from a peer, “Well, I’m not surprised. We’re all Democrats in here with the exception of one person.”
I looked up and assumed she was talking about me. I thought, “Googling really has reached epidemic levels.” However, I soon discovered that she was addressing the previous student who spoke, an individual who then promptly turned red.
I defended my ideological compadre, urging, “Why don’t you folks just respect her diversity?” Unfortunately, my suggestion immediately confirmed to every observer that there were, in fact, two Republicans in the room.
Attempts to ostracize, like the one described above, tell us much about the way leftists operate in America. The Democratic Party includes all kinds of regular folks but its activists and media representatives want nothing to do with peace, love, or understanding.
They seek to control and dominate the lives of the citizenry via inflation of government and the erection of a heaven on earth. The “liberal” is a liberal in name only and will not allow reality or a respect for individual rights to derail his or her utopian endeavors.
For this reason, the leftist bon mot “respect diversity” is but a twisted joke. The radical’s concept of diversity is limited to encountering someone of a different sex or hue who feels exactly the same way about politics as they do.
To the left there is no such thing as a loyal opposition. Any contact with conservatives must be avoided. We are morally unclean and they fear contamination via exposure to our speech.
Their malignant mindset poses serious obstacles for those who work alongside them. Political correctness and the sanctimoniousness of Democrats have made interactions with them a truly nauseating experience.
In Chicago, there’s no getting around all the pseudo-liberals. Despite dwelling in a city and state rendered broke and dysfunctional by a corrupt Democratic Party machine, statists remain as ubiquitous as broken glass on the sidewalk.
The same can be said about New York City, a place in whose environs Harry Stein, a contributing editor at City Journal, has lived the majority of his life. Perhaps a desire to commemorate his fellow sufferers is what caused him to pen his latest book, I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican: A Survival Guide for Conservatives Marooned Among the Angry, Smug, and Terminally Self-Righteous.
Of course, leftists replicate wildly not only in geographic locales but in entire professions, including primary and secondary education, the professorate, journalism, the arts, and within the vast bureaus that (wo)man our federal, state, and local governments.
Once ensconced in a non-productive redoubt, the leftist seeks to marginalize his conservative peers and ensure that his workplace is no more challenging to his inappropriately inflated self-esteem than the tests, mandates, or regulations he constructs during the course of lucrative business hours.
Stein makes use of a qualitative approach to elucidate the emotional and aggressive methods by which leftists colonize our public square. He interviews endangered conservatives like those inhabiting San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin, along with brave souls at our universities or in one of the “caring professions.”
The author wonders whether such an animal as a conservative social worker even exists. Luckily, I can ease his fears. I met one of them in the flesh six years ago and also know of the existence of one other.
One of the central themes of I Can’t Believe I’m Sitting Next to a Republican is that we know the left but they don’t know us. For those ensconced in leftist geographic enclaves and/or those who toil in progressive (read: regressive) vocations, we absorb the emotion-based reasoning and gratuitous, anemic observations of the other side as if by osmosis.
However, in juxtaposition, the author notes that “among the many things of which we are frequently reminded is how astonishingly little they know about us. What they think they know, they’ve picked up by innuendo, or, very nearly the same thing, the commentary in their preferred media. It can be boiled down to this: Conservatives are greedy, hard-hearted, evil bastards, and are, by definition, wrong about everything.”
The pseudo-liberal — as a product of his or her dominance in a setting — never has the impetus to examine our ideas or comprehend that conservatives are real people as opposed to caricatures to be summed up with tired riffs involving sexism, racism, and homophobia.
The hypocrisy and self-deception of the leftist is acute. They pretend taxes are patriotic and that government itself is a charity but prove scofflaws if their own IRS returns are examined. Pseudo-liberals contrast themselves with the right by proclaiming a love for minorities and the poor, but curiously choose to live in exclusive suburbs and eschew contact with the general population whenever possible.
Their weltanschauung is entirely Manichean; a mundane discussion turns into a battle between good and evil. Any reduction in the rates of taxation is akin to robbing from the mouths of the poor. Moreover, should one insist that the law treat felons in an equitable manner rather than prosecute them in a politically correct fashion, they will soon find the left accusing them of being in favor of hate crimes.
On the other side of the hill, psychologizing has replaced argumentation. Those who disagree with or criticize a statist’s policies quickly discover that there is something wrong with them. Leftists diagnose in a predicable manner. They condemn the afflicted with a variety of conditions that inevitably end in “ism,” “phobe,” or “ist.” Sure, it’s all nonsense, but combating straw men waifs is all the statist is equipped to do.
That we dare question activists is proof of our bad faith and also that we are bad people. The mental health angle greatly entertains because your average radical is so self-absorbed that they can never quite be certain that others exist or are not, instead, apparitions gracing their dreams. How absurd it is to believe that they could ever understand another’s psychological functioning given that they know so little about the outside world.
To the less malignant type of Democratic Party supporter, it all comes down to the misbegotten notion of “we care; you don’t.” Only they don’t care because nobody who refuses to acknowledge the failed experiments of socialism cares about anything apart from preserving their own delusions.
Sadly, engaging the left in debate is fruitless. As Mr. Stein observes, “The vast majority of my neighbors are too busy living their lives to waste much time on politics. They vote Democratic for the same reason they watch their diet and floss their teeth — it’s what smart, responsible, healthy, forward-thinking people do.” With such persons, “what will not happen is an actual exchange of ideas, since, by definition, your ideas (even if they were to be accorded that lofty status), are bad and dangerous.”
In light of Senator Arlen Specter’s recent defection to the Democratic Party and the mainstream media’s resultant and irrational advice to the GOP that it should move philosophically to the left, Pajamas Media readers should remember the words of Indira Gandhi: “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”
Conservatives who know the left realize that our foes will never come around to our way of thinking. There is only one method by which to deal with them: defeat them in elections. We must follow the example of Ronald Reagan and present voters with a choice and ideological clash in November 2010.