At this writing, the nexus of talk radio and the Tea Party is making life miserable for “establishment” Republicans, who for the most part consider themselves to be staunch conservatives in their own right. The party is deeply divided over social issues. Abortion, for example, may be a politically useful issue to Republicans, or at least a neutral issue, when the subject is parental notification or late-term abortions. But if the party persists in nominating candidates who would ban abortion in cases of rape or incest, the political costs will be high. It doesn’t matter that realistically speaking, such candidates have no chance of their views on abortion prevailing nationwide. It’s the thought that counts. The theological justification for the position makes no sense to anyone not already operating within the same theological framework. Democrats in conjunction with Left 3.0 will be unsparing in holding the entire Republican Party to account for such views.
The Left’s contention, however, is not typically that blacks deserve special consideration because they are black, for example, but that an individual black candidate applying for a job may deserve special consideration because white applicants have benefited from improper privileges in the past. You could say that the unselected white applicant was denied on the basis of his or her race; but you would then be obliged, in the view of the Left, to take into consideration all the ways in which being white has provided and still provides advantages. Special consideration for minorities or women in employment or admissions is not, in this view, the point at which discrimination starts, but the point at which broader social discrimination begins to be remedied.
The Left also has long held a low opinion of critics of the Left, not least as impediments to the improvement of society the Left wants to engender. The Left regards its evolving egalitarian agenda as self-evidently reasonable. Few on the Left are willing to grant that their critics are likewise reasonable — in other words, that the Left has anything to gain from taking its critics seriously. That leaves the Left in search of an explanation for why it hasn’t won over its critics. The Left has three main explanations. The first is ignorance, in the sense that its critics lack sufficient knowledge of how society could be improved and why what the Left seeks would constitute improvement. For this category, there may be hope in the form of remedial education. The second is stupidity; its critics are simply unable to understand superior wisdom when they face it. There is little hope for them, alas. The third is venality — that its critics know better but seek to defend their position of personal privilege anyway. The only way to deal with these critics is to defeat them politically.
The Left’s contention, however, is not typically that blacks deserve special consideration because they are black, for example, but that an individual black candidate applying for a job may deserve special consideration because white applicants have benefited from improper privileges in the past.
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