Monday, February 06, 2017

Charles J. Sykes: Why Nobody Cares That The President Is Lying; Also, A Characteristic Rant

This is ok.
   Two points I've harped on:
First, this is all Rush Limbaugh's fault. No need to go through that rant again.[1]
Second, I think it's really important--and I don't mean this to be a mere tu quoque--to remember that the left is approximately as bad as the right in this very respect. Hell, it's kinda worse. Look...just to take the most absurd example...the left is insisting that men become women by putting on dresses. In terms of flat-out, 100%-politically-motivated-denial-of-obvious-facts, there is just nothing on the right that can compare to that. Everyone with at least half a brain and at least one eye to see knows that it is false. I know it's know it's false. Everybody who is not blinded by the doctrines of the cult of the left knows it's false. It is clearly, obviously, unequivocally false. Even Trump's crowd-size howler is less obviously false than that. If you haven't seen the pictures, or have doubts about the accuracy of the pictures that showed up in the papers, you might have some defense for believing Trump. The left is asking us to believe something that you have to basically be insane to believe--that a person with Y chromosomes and an unequivocally male physiology who says the words "I am a woman" thereby becomes a woman.
   Bald-faced denial of facts is the cardinal sin. You suck if you do it. Therefore Trump sucks. And Kellyanne Conway sucks. And Sean Spicer sucks. And all kinds of folks on the right suck. But the left sucks too...and, come to think of it, it probably sucks worse in this respect. Trump is merely kind of a nut. He's got some kind of compulsion to say that he's always the best. Everybody knows he's full of shit. Conway knows it, Spicer knows it. They're just saying the words and moving on. They don't expect you to believe it, they're just trying to weasel out of blame for saying it themselves. They're greedy shits who are saying false things that they know are false. For money.
   The left on the other hand...they say they believe their nonsense...and, frighteningly, maybe they even do... And they're not trying to just dodge your objections and move on...they're telling you that you have to believe it too. And if you don't believe this obvious falsehood, they proclaim you a bigot. The left is insisting that you say--and believe--that Bruce Jenner putting on a dress and saying he's a woman makes him a woman. Now...we're not talking about whether or not it would be polite to go along with this if you knew him... We're not talking about whether or not he ought to be able to use the ladies' room. We're not talking about any of that stuff. We're talking about whether or not Jenner is actually, in fact, an actual woman, no bullshit, what's the truth? If the space aliens came down and were going to destroy the world if you didn't answer the question correctly...if no one were around to call you a bigot for giving the politically incorrect answer, and only, y'know, actual correctness mattered...if you...and just go with me here on this one...if you, just for a moment, pretended that the truth actually mattered here....  Is Jenner literally a woman?
   Well, you know the answer as well as I do.
   Sure, it matters that Trump is the damn President. And is crazy. I'm not saying that doesn't matter.
   But if you're going to berate the right for its subjugation of the truth to politics...well...fairness demands that you at least recognize that the other side has the exact same vice. That side may not run the administration...but it runs the culture. And that probably matters more.

[1] Ok, if you insist: I'm damn still damn inclined to think that damn talk radio is largely damn responsible for the damn madness we see on the damn right. I've mostly blamed Limbaugh for starting it all off, but who knows? And the real problem isn't this or that false belief, it's the acceptance of a politically-motivated, free-associative form of "reasoning." Bad habits of reasoning are worse than particular false beliefs. Teach a man a falsehood and he's wrong for a day; teach him to reason badly and he's crap thinking forever. Limbaugh's M.O. is: grab some news item off the wire. It almost doesn't matter what it is. Free-associate for twenty minutes or so--he's got a lot of airtime to fill--and then finally start circling around, tightening up the baroque epicycles, until they "lead" to some variation on his single, constant, pre-ordained conclusion: liberals are bad. (In fact, liberals are evil. They are intentionally trying to destroy the country.)


Blogger Pete Mack said...

You are missing one salient point of who sucks more. At the moment, the people you describe on the left are denizens of various universities and various others with little actual power. On the right, they are residents of the white house--including the President--and a significant fraction of the people who voted for him.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...


5:41 PM  

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