Republican sophistry

[by Ryan Noble]

Conservative talk radio hosts (Limbaugh excluded) and some conservative politicians have taken the Anti-Trump riots and Orlando shooting as an opportunity to simultaneously go “full retard” and “manipulative bitch”. Their reactions and commentaries to these events seem to be more the product of PR boardroom meetings than critical thought. As a “small C” conservative libertarian I need periodic reminders to hate the Republican party and their mouth pieces. I think this last salvo of intellectually insulting talking points will do that quite nicely.

Conservative radio hosts and politicians, eager to take the violence at Trump rallies and remove any appearance of being any more honorable than rioting savages, crafted the following narrative.

“Why, oh why, are these people so upset at a simple political difference? Can’t we do what good democratic citizens do and discuss our preferred candidates in a passionate and peaceful exchange? We are always going to have disagreements, the winners of these debates need to be gracious and the losers need to accept that they won’t get their way for now”

“Preferred candidate”, “disagreement”, “simple political difference”, and phrases like this are pure manipulative virtue signaling. They are also a desperate attempt by so called small government types to prop up pro-government narratives.

Do these people really think that anti-Trump leftists don’t think trump is evil? Leftists have moral feeling and ideas, and courageous people fight for what they think is right and against evil. A large group of people think that Hitler 2.0 is about to be elected, followed by mass displacement of Mexicans, maybe war, oppressive discrimination of Muslims and a further erosion of civil liberties. Are we supposed to expect them to sit quietly and ask permission not to be ruled by an evil man? Obviously their riots are stupid, but so is their interpretation of reality.

Some conservative commentators have (temporarily) removed any moral consideration out of politics in order to condemn these people for being scared of the government and acting based on that fear. Yes, the riots tantrums. Yes, they are organized by psychopathic leftist organizers. Yes, they actually help Trump. But we cannot be surprised that delusional people are pursuing their interests in counterproductive ways. That is a natural consequence of being wrong.

Conservative statists and leftists will always have one thing in common. They will always agree that government is a noble attempt to organize society or at least our best option. Occasionally these conservatives have to break from their pro-freedom* message to make sure their followers still believe in the sanctity of the state. Their sophistry is nauseating, and their atrophied philosophy of freedom shows its hypocrisy. The evil of politics is apparent when you realize that violent action is a justifiable, natural outgrowth of coercive government. Violence is self-defense when used to prevent or react to violence done on you. Would we condemn Americans for violently reacting to a repeal of the first amendment? No? Than why would we condemn leftists for violently reacting to what they perceive as aggression?

This specific “holier than thou” reaction is highly dishonest and disordered thinking. It is either a planned sophistic deception, or a product of unconscious bias run amok. I cannot tell which. Whichever it is, it seems clear to me that if the truth were told, the truth which I just laid out, people might just start realizing the larger truth about government. That just isn’t acceptable for anyone that likes the status quo.

Mainstream conservatism missed an opportunity to speak the truth about political rioting than without missing a beat, repeated this abdication with the shootings in Orlando. The big lie that resurged after the Pulse Nightclub shootings is nowhere near new but it resounded with renewed energy in the days afterword. The big lie is this; Islam isn’t a problem per se, but we need to start recognizing the truth about Radical Islamic terror. This is the Republican party line, and it is rarely deviated from. This is a heinous position to hold for two reasons; it clearly isn’t true and those that hold it pretend to be brave anti-PC trailblazers.

Here is the template that invites you to never judge anything ever. It is an exemplar of leftist style intellectual dishonestly.

“There are millions of peaceful ______ all around the world. We should not demonize and generalize all _______ based on the action of a few claiming to be _______.”

Try plugging in some of the following: Muslims, Christians, Fascists, Communists, Pacifists, Libertarians, National Socialists.

Hopefully the red herring is apparent after trying some of those out. The train of thought steers us away from doing the one useful thing when looking at or judging groups of people; Looking at what their beliefs are! Pretty much all religion has unclear or conflicting instruction, however, if you think that the teaching of the Quran and Islam is at least in some way compatible with western culture or morality, you simply don’t know enough about Islam. To demonstrate this, consider the tenants of the following made up religion.

  1. Respect and honor your fellow man
  2. Consuming cheese is forbidden while the moon is out
  3. Always try to help your neighbors in need
  4. Work for the glory of God

That seems compatible enough with western culture (and libertarian ethics), but what if we add one of the following rules?

  1. Unbelievers must be converted, killed, or subjugated.
  2. You may take and own slaves
  3. The penalty of apostasy is death

How many good or admirable religious tenants would this religion need to counter balance even one of these beliefs? What about all three? If a religion has a sanction or commandant for aggressive action, their compatibility with our culture is dependent on them being bad adherents of their religion. Everyone is morally imperfect, but a fully faithful Muslim has a fruit salad of justifications and commandments for murder, slavery, and oppression. Organizations and people that profess evil to be good are ostracized every day in our society. What is preventing people from recognizing that Islam deserves this treatment? A supporter of Islam is on roughly the same moral ground as a supporter of NAMBLA.

Experiencing this disappointment in Republican and conservative representatives is a potent reminder that consistent rational thought is extremely rare. Those that engage in sophistry are trying to accomplish something other than truth. The truth is a dangerous, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly thing. So few are oriented towards seeking it fully. Whenever you (like me) start to sympathize or root for Republicans, just imagine their answer to this question: “Is taxation theft?”

 

Thumbnail source [https://www.flickr.com/photos/donkeyhotey/6262122778/in/photolist-axn1W7-799frQ-mCmhJa-bUSbvG-dne4Sz-6ntdGc-4KTAYj-5k4E2k-4KTz5w-q4cTcY-4KPocV-4KTBwN-PQyKm-bpJLN4-7To8Rq-g1ZgAE-atEqx4-dne7rQ-4KTz2b-4tFjQr-5i6tbY-68etwc-a5LyEz-ackRZA-99QoWe-79AbKd-4KTE13-bry4ux-EBv5i-79yuQK-79vK2K-bUSbLE-a7Az6P-6opbMS-bUSbxq-cmp9xY-bUSbP3-5EoDic-79vC4r-5nGN6u-79vXyM-eaSwp3-5THZPQ-dWEewQ-bq9kft-8yKSrq-7NLxdW-aci6br-4pYHvp-db148D ]

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