These are the rants of an anonymous Left-leaning Libertarian. Libertarian views are generally socially liberal but fiscally conservative. I view George Bush as the anti-Libertarian, he is socially conservative and fiscally irresponsible. Unless you are a very wealthy person, religious fundamentalist, or a racist redneck, I cannot understand why a person would support George Bush.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Think outside the box: A psychological/philosophical difference between the left & right.

There are many differences between the right & the left . . . but let me bring up a very high-level psychological/philosophical difference that I have noticed: The left-wing tends to look at all the evidence and consult experts in order to reach a logical conclusion. The right-wing tends to already have their conclusions and looks for evidence and experts to support their pre-existing view.

Granted, this itself is a broad generalization and there are many exceptions on both sides. But let me give a few examples by looking at a few issues.

Global warming/climate change: The left-wing largely believes that there is climate changing occuring and that is due in part by man made greenhouse gases. This view has come into being over many years of scientific research by scientific experts. Although this issue has received a lot of attention in the last few years, the science behind climate change goes back many many years. There has been over 20 years of study of this issue. The right-wing has been dismissive of this issue. They don't want to believe it, so they seek out what ever evidence & experts they can find to dismiss the issue.

So what is behind this? Well . . . it is the grand-daddy of all dogmatic issues: religion. Most religion basically say "Here is the book of what is true. Don't bother trying to examine the world and try to reach logical conclusions, just believe what is in this book and do what it says. And if you want some 'scientific' support, then just seek out the evidence & experts that agree with this book."

So many people on the right have picked a religion and dogmatically stick to it. They do the same with their politics. Fundamentalist Christians, Jews, and Mormons all tend to be right-wing. They just believe what they are told and stick to it no matter what. Even Muslims were strong backers of the Republican party back in 2000 before the Bush administration started killing so many Muslims. Religion is the backbone of much of the current conservative movement. Most of the big polarizing issues can be tied to religion. Gay marriage?. . . fundamentalist Jews, Christians, Mormons, and Muslims all hate it due for religious reasons. (Never mind that Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality.) Abortion . . . fundamentalists Christians, Mormons, and Muslims all oppose abortion for religious reasons. (Oh . . . Jesus never said anything about abortion either.) Even the Iraq war . . . if you really probe the views of the minority that still support the Iraq war, you'll see that they still support the war largely due their view of it being a war against Islam . . . a religious war. (Who was that 'prince of peace'?) I know that the Bush administration denies that this is a 'war on Islam' . . . but if you look at the few remaining war supporters, it is clear that the reason they support the war is because they view it as a war on Islamists. Fundamentalists Jews, Christians, and Mormons all support the Iraq war with this rationale. The sad/ironic thing is that this stupid war has strengthened the Islamists. Only after the Iraq war began did the Hamas Islamists win the Palestinian elections, the Muslim brotherhood Islamists gained seats in Egypt, and Ahmedinijad won election.

The powers of denial and rationalization in hardcore conservatives are amazing. Despite the Iraqi Survey Group finding nothing, a very large proportion of conservatives still believe there are unfound WMDs hidden in Iraq or that they were shipped off to Syria. (Never mind that this is completely illogical . . . if they really had WMDs, don't you think they would have used them by now?!?!) With the climate change issue, many conservatives have finally come to agree that climate change is occuring and that it is at least partly man-made . . . they now just think "So what?" So why don't they turn against the people who had been telling them for years that "global warming is a myth"? No respectable conservative will (publically) defend racism these days . . . yet they still support/admire people who defended racism until the bitter end (Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, Joseph Smith, Trent Lott, etc.). The cognitive dissonance is amazing. If Ann Coulter was true conservative, she would shut up and get into the kitchen to start cooking for her husband & kids (I know she has neither . . . that is my point.).

An exception to this view are the big biz conservatives . . . they are just happy to go along with all the social conservative crap in order to keep getting their tax cuts & regulation cuts. One big irony is that the hardcore laissez-faire capitalism conservatives have been able to get these fundamentalist religious zealots to go along with their laissez-faire policies. Because when you really thing about it, laissez-faire capitalism is basically an economic version of evolution by natural selection . . . something the religious fundamentalists do not believe in! But even the laissez-faire capitalist conservatives suffer from denial & rationalization. If we continue to follow their policies, America will eventually become bankrupt due to endless budget deficits.


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