Wake up, conservatives: you are as hypocritical as the leftists whose hypocrisy you denounce

The British moderate leftist Nick Cohen, who differs from his fellow leftists in being concerned about the Islam threat, is quoted at the Corner characterizing the Democrats’ response to Sarah Palin:

But instead of protecting their precious advantage, [the Democrats] succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska. For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was ‘the other’—the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. They might have soberly examined her reputation as an opponent of political corruption to see if she was truly the reformer she claimed to be. They might have gently mocked her idiotic creationism, while carefully avoiding all discussion of the racist conspiracy theories of Barack Obama’s church. But instead of following a measured strategy, they went berserk‚ĶHatred is the most powerful emotion in politics. At present, American liberals are not fighting for an Obama presidency. I suspect that most have only the haziest idea of what it would mean for their country. The slogans that move their hearts and stir their souls are directed against their enemies: Bush, the neo-cons, the religious right. In this, American liberals are no different from the politically committed the world over … When a hate campaign goes wrong, however, disaster follows … when the politically committed go on a berserker you should listen for the sound of their own principles smacking them in the face.

Journalists who believe in women’s equality should not spread sexual smears about a candidate, or snigger at her teenage daughter’s pregnancy, or declare that a mother with a young family cannot hold down a responsible job for the pragmatic reason that they will look like gross hypocrites if they do….

Well, gosh. Everything Cohen says about the American left—that they are appalling hypocrites who don’t really believe in anything but are mainly motivated by hatred of the opposing party and will drop their supposed principles on a moment’s notice for partisan advantage—could be said about the American establishment “right” as well. For example, we could change two words in one of Cohen’s passages and end up with this true statement:

At present, American conservatives are not fighting for a McCain presidency. I suspect that most have only the haziest idea of what it would mean for their country. The slogans that move their hearts and stir their souls are directed against their enemies.

Or how about this paraphrase of Cohen:

Social conservatives who believe in natural sex differences and in the resulting differentiation of social function between the sexes, should not celebrate a female politician with a five month old baby who runs for vice president, and should not seek to silence all questions concerning whether women with small children can adequately perform in high level government positions, for the pragmatic reason that they will look like gross hypocrites if they do.

- end of initial entry -

Carol Iannone writes:

Very good. Your post made me think of the last scene in Animal Farm, when the animals peer into the farmhouse and see the pigs looking more and more like the once-hated humans. For the sake of immediate electoral advantage, the conservatives have forfeited ever again being able to point to natural sexual differences as explanatory of anything. The world grows gray with the sameness that they objected to when it came from the left but that they suddenly found useful in this instance.

To continue your reversal of Cohen’s argument, the conservatives could have found ways to defend Palin’s having young children and being vice-president, and possibly president, without making it sound utterly illegitimate and outrageous and “sexist” to have any doubts whatsoever, to have the utter audacity—“how dare you”—even to raise questions about her being potentially president of the United States and having a young family with special needs and issues.


Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 08, 2008 12:32 PM | Send
    

Email entry

Email this entry to:


Your email address:


Message (optional):