Right vs. Left: debate and monolithicity

June 22, 2006 at 9:52 pm (Blogs, Leftist idiocy, The Left, The United States)

I don’t usually spend time on Leftist blogs. There’s so much to read on the the blogs I like that I really see no reason why I need to waste my time on blogs I won’t like. Nevertheless, enough bloggers I read do visit Leftist blogs so I have an idea what that world may be like.

I have noticed one interesting difference between rightists and leftists when it comes to blogging and, for that matter, debate and discussions: on the right there is a lot of debate and discussion, on the left this is not so true. I have seen many bloggers I respect debate and disagree. On a variety of issues, there is no consensus. But the debate occurs and usually this has no affect on relations among bloggers. They’re all united in a single endeavor. However, the discussion on the left seems to be very one-sided: there’s a lot of chatter but not a lot of it is debate. I don’t know if this is a characteristic of the left or of a political party in the opposition (to put it in parliamentary terms).

But there are precedents. Granted, American leftists are not Communists or Socialists (well, most aren’t) but the lock-step-edness reminds me of the Communist world. At one point, all Communists had to be in complete agreement. Apparent inconsistences were to be ignored. Stalinist Communist was very different from Leninist Communich which was different from Marxist Communism – yet the prevailing interpretation had to be sustained, defended, and declared to be the eternally correct interpretation of Communism. If Communists disagreed with the Soviet line from Moscow, as Yugoslavia, Albania, and China did, they are declared to be heretics and apostates, and are cast out from the Communist communion, as it were. This is most evident when one observes Stalin’s policies regarding Trotsky and how they were justified: Trotsky was a traitor to the Communist cause and had to be eliminated. He was, like Christian heretics of old, executed. (All the way in Mexico of all places: Mother Russia’s arms are very long indeed.)

Another difference is how each side handles scandals. When Clinton was caught blatantly lying to the nation, Democrats rallied around Clinton and accused the Republicans of manipulating the system to oust a president they did not like. Republicans just wanted to get rid of scum. Any time a Democrat is “compromised,” the first instinct of the Left is to defend him/her. Compare this to the Right, where if someone, regardless of affiliation, is suspected of doing something inappropriate, the Right itself demands an investigation. Even though Hastert is our guy, when he opposed an independent investigation into Congressional corruption, the Right soundly chastized him. The Right chastized Abramoff and those sullied by him, and so on and so forth. The Right doesn’t like impropriety, regardless who may have done it. Democrats tend to be very partisan: if a Democrat may be guilty, they rally around him; if a Republican may be guilty, they want the maximum damage and, in addition, pronounce him guilty before any investigation comes to an end. In this regard, Republicans tend to pay attention to the facts. Leftists (such as McKinney recently) are well-known for weaving a web of deceptions to cover their acts. Rightists tolerate no such nonsense. (Rightists also tend to believe less in conspiracy theories, which the Left seems to love to tout. Nevertheless, what with the Right’s correct attention and focus on Communist (in the past) and militant Islamism (now), the Left routinely accuses the Right of either believing in ridiculous conspiracy theories or deliberately creating false conspiracy theories to get their way.)

As Ace mentioned,

PS: Notice no one on the right tried to enforce a code of silence with regard to Ben “The Nech” Domenech. Charges were made that right bloggers felt they had to acknowlege and weigh in on, and so we did. Even the tenor of the earliest posts was along the lines of “I hope this comes to nothing, but it doesn’t look good.” The charges were dealt with honestly, not embargoed.

Another excellent example is Harriet Miers. The Right lashed out ferociously against Bush over his pick. Some defended her, many rejected her, some stayed in the middle. But differences were very apparent. The Left was very pleased with this, but what the Left failed to realize is that rather than this (being in disagreement) being something novel, this is quite routine.

The Right is in agreement on things that matter. Most of the Right is pro-life, very strong on national defense, supportive of capitalism and free enterprise, disapproving of taxes, and usually supportive of a robust, assertive foreign policy. Details are usually debated, and on other issues there is no wide consensus. After all, the Right is made up of two somewhat opposing groups: social conservatives and social libertarians. Both are economically conservative (although there are still plenty of disagreements on economic issues), though.

Whereas the Left can be characterized by a herd mentality, the Right (almost ironically, considering it is accused of demanding people’s unquestioning and unquestionable blind obedience) values integrity and discussion. There’s always discussion and debate going on. For some reason, the Left feels that it must be unified and monolithic (even though it is made up of even more disparate groups), not tolerating open debate or dissent as much as the Right does.

Regarding the Kosola issue, I am very disappointed that Kos feels the need to shut down the debate (starve it of oxygen) rather than engaging in debate. Any Rightist who did so would be excoriated and even abandoned (and correctly so). He who runs away from an issue, or hides from it, seems to be afraid or desirous to hide something. If one is not guilty, one would not fear from discussing it. After all, we are adults, intelligent adults even, who would be capable of understanding any nuance his situation may involve, if there is any such mitigating nuance.


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