Political logic 101

Liberal Logic 101 is an interesting site. As with any political site of this nature, a lot of the pictures and comparisons are just dumb: comparisons picked to make the enemy look bad with no context provided, or outright just stating “liberals boo, conservatives yay” without even trying to offer any kind of justification. But seeing somebody of a different ideology pass these kinds of pictures around as self-evident does help realize how many of the pictures you agree with and see passed around with are similarly vacuous and serving no purpose for any useful debate.

The idealist in me wishes that everyone was made to study lots of these kinds of pictures from a variety of ideologies, to see how silly they all were and to stop passing them around. The realist thinks that most people would just end up thinking “wow, people of [any group I don’t agree with] are really stupid”.

And then there are some pictures that genuinely are clever and funny, in that they point out something inconsistent – or at least something that seems inconsistent if you’re inclined to accept certain premises, such as fetuses being people. Maybe if people looked at these kinds of pictures, they’d see how much of our reasoning depends on accepting various premises (or moral intuitions), and how an argument that seems silly if you reject one premise becomes insightful once you accept it, and there’s no objective reason for accepting or rejecting any particular one. Then again, maybe not…

Also interesting are the “Furious Liberal Friday” pictures. I don’t know whether these are genuine quotes from people or just made up, but many of them do sound like ones that people would make in real life. E.g. here’s the text of one of the Furious Liberal Friday pictures on that page:

“‘I don’t tolerate intolerance. I know that’s a hard concept to grasp, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too.’
(Actual comment left on LiberalLogic101 Facebook page)
(I suppose it would be funny if it weren’t so sad that the person who wrote it still does not get it.)”

I’m not sure how well one can emphasize with that without being part of a frequently misunderstood (political?) movement, but having a lot of experience with being told that political pirates just hate artists and went to get everything for free, this certainly struck a chord. The feeling of frustration-combined-with-hopeless-amusement when somebody makes a claim about you that you feel is completely off-base is certainly very familiar. And I can certainly imagine that most conservatives won’t feel like they’re intolerant, and instead feel that they’re motivated primarily by altruism and rational thought. Just like most liberals feel like they are motivated primarily by altruism and rational thought.

2 comments

  1. Nice post. My views tend to irritate liberal _and_ conservative friends, soft humanities _and_ hard sciences friends who, from whichever perspective, seek simple and “objective” answers to inherently complex and perspectival problems.

    Thank you for your characteristically more nuanced explorations.

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