Now define the condescending attitude. Oh, you just did. :D
Fran would be well advised to review the following old quote:
I may not start a lot of fights, but if somebody else does, I'll damned well finish 'em.
Economike - your own posts are learned, and thoughtful, same as those from Viking and several others. There's nothing wrong with displaying one's accumulated wisdom and learning. To me, the difference is that you're not condescending, and you don't snipe at people without good cause.
And you certainly don't snipe at other people for doing exactly the same obnoxious things you're doing your own self.
What a viper, I mean, sniper I am. Does my character get to have a great French name with a title? Marquess?
That, dear Domino, was NOT condescension, that was sardonic humor drizzled over rapier-sharp wit, with a dollop of sardonic humor on top. Condescension would be mean-spirited. And I'm never mean-spirited. Hardly ever. Okay, sometimes... but not this time.
Fran - when you get some character, we'll worry about what to name it.
JustaMainah, why is it when I use sarcastic, sardonic humor when talking about politics and religion people think I am being patronizing and condescending? If these things are are totally different, then liberals HAVE been getting a bad rap.. :D
Domino, it's obvious to me that you're a victim.
Do raging conservatives wear seat belts?
I mean, the law says cars have to have them, and the law says drivers have to wear them in many states. If conservatives had been in charge all these years, would cars even HAVE seat belts?
Doms, not everyone understands or correctly reads sarcasm. Seldom do people who truly embrace their faith find humor in even the most tongue-in-cheek teasings... it's one of those things like calling someone's mama a fat, ugly prostitute... it's poor form and frankly some things just are not fair game. Of course, if you have a long history of actually BEING condescending, then folks will naturally assume that you default to that position... human nature...
Since conservatives have not been in charge for all these years we will never know the answer Bob. Did you need a law to make you wear a seat belt? Were you not able to figure it out on your own, did you need big brother to tell you? How have the liberals done running Maine, do we have lots of jobs, little debt, low taxes. Maybe they should pay more attention to running the state than running our lives.
My father, a conservative, installed seatbelts himself in the 1962 Chevy Impala before one summer trip to the lake. I recall standing there while he drilled the holes.
I suspect that if conservatives had been in charge, you would be able to buy cars with or without airbags, seatbealts, and other features which have become mandatory. A number of kids and small/old people might still be alive in the case of airbags, seeing as how the government forced carmakers to put airbags in, and the first generation airbags were killing people who would have otherwise survived crashes. I still mistrust the damn things; how is it that when you're having a traffic accident (you already have a Bad Thing happening to you) someone decided that setting off a bomb in your face was a helpful thing?
Anyhow, the carmakers were blamed for something they said wasn't ready and didn't want to put in cars in the first place, and the bureacrats who forced this change avoided accountability for the deaths of people that they caused.
Voters expressing outrage at the federal government might not be the most politically aware, Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) suggested Monday .
Kaufman, in an apparent shot at the so-called Tea Party movement, asserted that the group of angry conservatives may not understand the complexity of many problems facing the U.S.
Reading through this thread, I picked up on two consecutive posts that to me highlight a divergence of understanding not previously addressed.
Both are on page 1.
First, from Claude:
"Why are liberals so condescending?"
Because they truly believe they are smarter than everyone else. Because of this, they don't trust the average person to be able to make their own life decisions. This is why they support every government program or piece of legislation that will make those decisions for the average person.
I will admit it, here is what I tend to get "condescending" on people.
The idea that the "average guy" with no clue to law and politics will be able to govern effectively. We want the best of the best to lead.
Claude says liberals mistrust the average person to make good decisions in their own lives. Domino, a proud liberal, mistrusts the average person to govern, that is, to be in charge of making the rules that we all have to live by.
But Domino is silent on Claude's point, that liberals don't think the average guy is up to making good decisions for himself.
Claude, the conservative, can simultaneously believe it best to leave the average guy to make his own decisions in life AND prefer the "best of the best" to be in charge of government. (I certainly do, though I scoff at the thought that there is ever one indispensible man for the job).
Now, if Domino says, well, I believe both those things, too, than we have a breakthrough, at which point I would have to ask Domino, then why do you and other liberals support public policy that relies on state-directed (state defined as central government) force, manipulation, and control to replace or influence decision-making by individual Americans (acting alone or in association with others)?
Is what I presented conservative or libertarian? I had a recent commentary about why the U.S. should modify Don't Ask Don't tell to allow homosexuals who want to serve and meet the standard qualifications to openly do so. That's probably not a conservative stance; in my view it definitely wasn't a liberal argument. It was more libertarian.
I think the essence of the arguments in this and other threads is what you believe the nature of man, the qualities of Americans, and the proper role of government. If you come down on the side of the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, then you probably believe people can't be trusted with their own decision-making and prefer an encroaching, powerful government. If you're on the side of John Locke, then the basic functions of government are safety and security that protects individual liberties; those tend to have both conservatives and libertarians.
For what it's worth...
Now, if Domino says, well, I believe both those things, too, than we have a breakthrough,
Actually, Mainemom, I don't think there is a breakthrough - what I meant earlier in my post about signaling identity, is that the designation means more than the principles or ideas that would (ideally) determine that designation. The idea of belonging to a certain group, of wearing the worldview as a badge of identity becomes more important than holding, defining and examining the ideas and assumptions that characterize the worldview. Not to condescend, not that I would think of such a thing, but in the vernacular, it's ass-backwards.
Maybe I'm wrong in this particular case, but chances are a good number of people are more inclined to change their ideas and principles (particularly if they are superficially held and haven't really been cultivated to begin with) than they are to change their chosen group identity. I find that depressing, but there it is.
Yes Claude I get all that. A better term for you (and me for that matter) is "classical liberal" but for obvious reasons that term won't fly.
I have also referred to myslef as a libertarian leaning conservative, to distinguish myself from the anarcho-libertarians.
But here the terms are getting in the way of the substance of my reaction to your and domino's posts, perhaps bolstering francsiz's point.
As to francisz's last comment, I stand before you as one whose principles, etc. did change over time and whose self-identification with a label (and even political party) changed accordingly. My transformation from liberal Dem to libertarian leaning Repub occurred between 1985 and 1995. My inspiration was Milton Friedman's Free to Choose . After that I read Ayn Rand which propelled me to go back and review the thinkers who inspired Jefferson, Madison, et al. At that point I could no longer be a "liberal" or a Democrat. Then I got hooked on Reason magazine for its relevance to public policy issues and current events. All the while I looked for cogent books by liberals to refute what I was learning on my own: an intellectual case for conservatism (again the weakness of a label) that I had not been exposed to in a big way at the very fine college I attended.
I'm not exceptional; there must be large numbers of people who have a similar story to tell.
It's okay, Mainemom. What you did is certainly "depressing," but the fact that you did it through reading philosophy will definitely grant you a pardon from execution.
Our trajectories are similar, Mainemom, and not exceptional, as you note - but I do think the orientation is oppositional to those for whom the group identity matters more than the principles. Characteristically, Naran misreads this opinion - I think principles and ideas demand constant examination and re-evaluation, the benefit of strengthening well-held beliefs (meaning here, beliefs long-established and examined by others and not just myself). To subject your long held principles to examination is the practice of prudence - honest, deliberative and objective - or at least not self-determined - thought. It never ends, nothing is set in stone until you are six feet under that stone - and, hopefully, not even then.
The larger (and unanswered) question for me is: why would a prudent person choose a group identifier? What benefit is there is so doing?
Considering your level of thoughtful exploration, you might want to consider this series. It explores both the "good" and the "bad" of Conservative philosophy beginning in the 17th Century.
Claude Berube wrote
Because they truly believe they are smarter than everyone else.
Who is the "we" in Domino's last sentence?
Here's a mystery: if the average guy is clueless, how can the aggregate choice of average people result in good governance?
The conservative calculus is historical. Conservatives judge what works well based on what has worked well. The conservative (or consequential libertarian, if you prefer) finds an accumulated wisdom encoded in society's emergent order, an evolved wisdom that is greater than the sum of its (average) parts. For the conservative, institutions and traditions - as they have evolved - solve the problem how average people get better-than-average governance. A good constitution is a matter of convention, not social engineering.
The leftist (social liberal) calculus is ideal. The leftist compares existing arrangements to an ideal of social justice. These existing arrangements are inevitably found deficient, for the real can never measure up to the ideal. The same institutions that, for the conservative, function benevolently to preserve the social order are the same institutions that, for the leftist, serve to confound and oppress.
(For example, accompany Thomas Frank to Kansas and observe how traditions operate against the rational polices Kansans ought to prefer.
...the country we have inhabited for the last three decades seems more like a panorama of madness and delusion...: of sturdy patriots reciting the Pledge while they resolutely strangle their own life chances; of small farmers proudly voting themselves off the land; of devoted family men carefully seeing to it that their children will never be able to afford college or proper health care; of hardened blue-collar workers in midwestern burgs cheering as they deliver up a landslide for a candidate whose policies will end their way of life....
Does anyone else sense that Frank thinks he's a whole lot smarter than a Kansan?)
Tradition is irrational. The leftist reflexively pursues his animus against tradition with a lopsided reliance on rationality. For the leftist, good governance - the effective coordination of the individual efforts of average people - requires the direction of smart people. As we have seen, average people are befuddled and oppressed by tradition and, therefore, they are unable to recognize their own interests. For the good of average people, smart people ought to rule.
Easy answer - voting in primaries.
Not the only answer, but it's a start.
The larger (and unanswered) question for me is: why would a prudent person choose a group identifier? What benefit is there is so doing?
In a precious discussion we noted that rationality is not a gift given to all humans.
I suspect that underlying the gloss of reason on the surface of social relationships is a set of hard-wired tribal responses.
Look, I am all about personal responsibility concerning seatbelts and helmets. Minus the kids.. Minors should have to wear them. (for the same reason we don't let them smoke and drink...) Past that, if you are reckless, that is so fine with me. As long as you don't expect the state to pay your hospital bills, or pay for any disability you have thereafter from not wearing one. That is between you and your insurance company. It could be a form of urban Darwinism. :D
Were not our FOUNDING FATHERS the brightest of the bright? I suppose they should have been unschooled and perhaps they would have had the same insights? :D
As long as you don't expect the state to pay your hospital bills, or pay for any disability you have thereafter from not wearing one.
Just as an aside, Domino, would you be in favor of amending the mandatory seatbelt law to exempt persons with acceptable proof of private insurance?
Speaking of the connection between liberalism and excessive reliance on rationality, here's a timely link.
But in substance, there is a striking similarity between social democracy and the most utopian socialism. Whether through piecemeal regulation or central planning, both systems share the conceit that modern societies are so legible that the causes of their problems yield easily to inspection. Social democracy rests on the premise that when something goes wrong, somebody -- whether the voter, the legislator, or the specialist regulator -- will know what to do about it.
I can't imagine the insurance premiums for those that really didn't want to wear their seatbelts if the law was changed... I see that akin to people driving around with open-scissor necklaces.. While it IS their right, it doesn't sound smart. :D
How about if we have national health care Domino, then would it be all right not to wear a seat belt? Or would big brother now run our lives because they are paying for our health care? And if we had national health care and I was not wearing my seat belt per the law, would I be denied care if I was in an accident?
Of course, you're not obliged to answer, Domino, but the question I asked wasn't "Do you think that non-seatbelt wearers can get insurance?" Insurance, after all, could be health and/or disability insurance.
Let's assume we're talking about persons who have arrangements to pay for their own care and support after a car crash.
Would you be in favor of amending the mandatory seatbelt law to exempt such persons?
"Would you be in favor of amending the mandatory seatbelt law to exempt such persons?"
If there were a whole bunch of very stupid wealthy people that could prove that they can afford the insurance, and had it, yes, I wouldn't see a problem with it. I am saying that wouldn't be AGAINST it. Would I go out of my way for it? Probably not. As long as I don't have to pay for it, I don't care what other adults do to themselves. :D I also support the idea that if you are terminally sick and want to die, you should be able to.