Thursday, July 23, 2009

“I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican”

An interesting interview with Harry Stein about the reasons of liberals being so “tolerant” of their conservative brethren. His main point is that when a liberal hears someone is a conservative, he does not think the conservative is wrong, he thinks the conservative is evil.

I myself had an experience of being asked “So, you are a conservative?” in the same tone as “So, your sister is a prostitute?”

I also remember how my rabbi once heard from someone that he would never even consider Orthodox Judaism as having any truth and would not even research or think about it, because Orthodox Judaism apparently limits one’s freedoms, disregards scientific evidence, is outdated, and in general it is close-minded to believe all the things that Orthodox Jews believe, which is why this person would not waste time learning even a little about them. My rabbi’s response was: “So… you closed your mind to stay open-minded?”

You get the same ‘tude in other illuminated places. In this Gizmodo article, the author makes fun of an Orthodox couple who sued a building owner for placing a motion-sensitive light near their apartment and refusing to allow them to pay for it being replaced with a normal light (or something or other). Now, some of the criticism is about people pushing their religious views on others, but most of it is about how ridiculous the idea of not turning light one day a week seems to everyone, how superstitious and outdated. (More particularly, the idea that turning light constitutes creating fire or building something is even more ridiculous to them.)

When one person was accused of disrespecting other people’s beliefs, he answered: “I am all for respecting other people’s religious beliefs, but not crazy superstitions such as these.”

So, with liberals being appaled at someone being a conservative (I am not even talking about being a libertarian — that’s not just a reason for disgust, but grounds for calling 911 and screaming: “There is a devil in my living room”) it’s the same thing.

There is a degree of accepted disagreement within their zone of comfort (e.g., you may disagree with me that Obama is the best candidate and Hillary is not — fine, I disagree with you but respect your opinion), but outside of this zone, you have drifted out of the definition of a normal human being, and no facts, arguments or supporting evidence help. You are either evil (if you are a conservative), nuts (if you are an Orthodox Jew not merely believing in G-d and wearing a white scarf on “Sabbath”, but actually practicing Jewish Law) or both (if you are a politically conservative Jew, who does not like Obama and eats properly shechted chicken on Shabbos with his sons who are circumcised and daughters who are dressed modestly).


le7 said...

AHHH it's so true. In fact when I was liberal, hearing the word Republican I would instantly think evil.

It's true. I was convinced they hated poor people, were greedy, close-minded and were generally bad bad bad people.

That article is disgusting. The couple is not forcing their religious beliefs on others: what different does it make already to the other tenants?

Crawling Axe said...

Are you a recovering liberal? :-o

le7 said...

I was a brainwashed liberal until I read the book "Why Jews Shouldn't Be Liberals"

Sef said...

Yeah, it's all true here.

I remember being told by one of my old friends that since I became religious I was "limiting myself" and she called herself a "free radical". Then the conversation went into how she admires Hitler and how he helped save Germany (??) and of course if I don't agree with her, I'm brainwashed and closed minded.


Sebastion said...

I think the idea of liberal or conservative is conjecture anyway. The terms have changed coloqulal definition so many times that they might as well be meaningless. They exist mostly as voting terms. But yes leftist people are every bit as close minded or more as their hated enemy.

Crawling Axe said...

Sebastian, today the best way to make sense of the political terms is just by looking at a Nolan chart.

Crawling Axe said...

I remember being told by one of my old friends that since I became religious I was "limiting myself" and she called herself a "free radical".

Hmm… Too many free radicals in a cell cause cancer.

Dovid said...

“So… you closed your mind to stay open-minded?”
haha, my cousin always says, you're so open minded that your closed minded

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

you're so openminded that whatever was in there fell out.

You would not believe what it means to be a libertarian at a college community service club.