Thursday, July 9, 2015

Shutting Off Debate -- Thou Shalt Think Like Us - Or Else

I am really, really sorry to start of a piece with an unattributed quote, especially when it is necessary to confirm the point I'm going to make and, in fact, is what got me thinking about it.  But at least believe me when I say that I tried hard to find it online and even Al Gore's Amazing Internet didn't help me.

On Tuesday I was driving back from picking up a birthday cake for my Best Girl, when the news came on at 1pm.  This was the day that the South Carolina legislature voted to decommission the Confederate battle flag from official positions on its flagpoles.

The news snippet concluded with a clip from a female South Carolina legislator that scared the heck out of me, innocuous as the words might have been.  While I can't quote her precisely, and sorry, I can't find a clip or a copy online, what she said was essentially this -- that this was all well and good, but unless we changed the hearts and minds of a lot of people, it was just a symbolic act.

I don't know about you.  I don't pretend to know about you.

But I would like to think that when someone with the imprimatur of being an elected legislator feels the need to change hearts and minds, we are in a heap of trouble.

It's like this.  People think the way they do because of the environment they grew up, the things they have been exposed to, and a genetic underpinning that predisposes them to certain reactions.  You can't just tell them to be different; you have to accept their differences from you and create an understanding of each others' views that leads to tolerance.

Aside -- I find it ironic that it is demanded of us, by the left, that we accept the differences of people who are of different races, ethnicities, creeds, religions, handicaps, sexual orientation, age, education, number of freckles and hair color, but God forbid they accept people who actually think differently from them -- or at all.

I don't know the word for it, maybe "totalitarianism", but it is frighteningly wrong when we take the leap from having won an argument in the legislature (as here) or the courts, to having to change the opposition, and mandate that they now think that your position is right, darn it!  I'm scared.  I really didn't have much of a dog in the Confederate flag fight, and I only happened to be listening to the radio, which I rarely do.  But I was frightened by the notion that, having won the legislative fight to remove the flag, this lady with power was saying that now she needed to force people to agree with her!

Here's the analogy.  I have friends from India; there are many in my profession who live in northern Virginia.  I like them, the same I like most people.  But every once in a while I would get dragged with them and other friends and colleagues to one Indian restaurant or another, it matters not which.  I simply don't care for Indian food.  I don't care for it a lot.  I don't like leaving a restaurant with my clothes smelling of curry that I dislike (nor from Mexican salsa and chili, which I really do)

I have lost the battle there.  I think it is impolite to impose my views on where to eat. on a majority who were dead set on curry.  They won.  My friends barely know my views on Indian food, because I'm a gentleman and don't complain, and they like it.  But can you imagine them trying, seriously, to argue me into liking Indian food?  I mean, it isn't like I dislike the stuff because I dislike Indians since, well, I don't dislike them.  How could they possibly change my mind about curry?

More to the point, they wouldn't want to change my mind, at least not very much.  Who does that?  They might joke with me, "Hey, our food is good, you just have an American palate", but not seriously.

Not so the left.  The Supreme Court squeaks through a gay-marriage ruling on a 5-4 decision, and the left bathes the White House in rainbow colors, and we are told -- I heard it today, on a talk show -- that anyone who disagrees with the ruling needs to be morally fixed, because they (we) are wrong.  Presumably, that includes the four Supreme Court justices who dissented.

I, frankly, don't want to hear that kind of thing.  When you win in the legislature, or you win in court, you have to remember that there was an opposition that was equally convinced its view was right and, when there's a 5-4 SCOTUS decision, it's about as likely that they actually were right.

It is a clear tactic of the left, whether the left in the USA, or the leaders in North Korea, China or Nazi Germany, not to let a favorable court decision or legislative victory stop there -- no, the hearts and minds of the losers have to be changed, and they must think like we do, or else.  And our wrath will be upon you otherwise.  They would readily trot out Cambodian-style reeducation camps from the 1970s (another gift to history from the determined left).

Today it is the Confederate flag, that I don't really care that much about (but don't try to tell me how I should feel about it; I'm a grown-up and can figure it out myself just fine).  Today it is the Supreme Court seizing authority to make law from the States and deciding for them what "marriage" is in their State.  Today it's the White House trying to get me to believe that Obamacare is "settled law" even though it was passed unconstitutionally; I'm supposed to accept that and believe in it being a wonder (as I shell out double the premium I paid last year).

Is it any wonder why it's the schools that the left wants to control first?  Why the teacher's unions are pushed so far left of the actual teachers?  They want to control thought, and that starts with the mushy minds of youth.

Who knows, tomorrow they'll make me think curry is palatable.  Good luck.

Copyright 2015 by Robert Sutton
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