From WeirdDave at Ace of Spades:
Of all the pathologies that the Left engages in, I know that the inability to simply accept reality as it is is one of the things that can drive conservatives nuts faster than anything else. It’s easy to see why: conservative politics are based upon reality and are focused on finding the optimal solution to any given problem, and as such establishing the reality of any given situation is fundamental to the process. Proggy politics are based upon emotion, reality isn’t so important as long as the proposed course of action makes them feel good about themselves. The welfare state is a perfect example of this. To a conservative, it’s a disaster. Generations of institutionalized poverty and soul crushing dependence on government, the destruction of the nuclear family, cycles of poverty that continuously worsen while costing more and more money every year. They rightly demonstrate that reality proves the welfare state an utter failure and want to change it.
To a prog, however, the welfare state is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Crime, poverty, hopelessness, despair and all of the rest of the myriad disasters that come with a modern welfare state….who cares? The welfare state makes them feel good about themselves, and allows them to pat themselves on the back about how “kind” they are, and the best thing is they don’t have to do anything themselves to feel this way! THEY don’t have to meet any icky poor people. THEY aren’t forced to interact with minorities. Let the government do it and observe how benevolent they are, sailing along smugly, secure in their unearned moral superiority.
I was out in California this past weekend and it suddenly occurred to me that the California legislature was recently debating two proposals:
1. Allow doctor-assisted suicide.
2. Raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.
So, Progressives are so deeply concerned about your well being that even though you’re an adult who can fight in a war, marry (anyone you like!) and sign contracts, they won’t let you smoke. On the other hand, once you get a little along in years – or have a budget-busting chronic disease – they’ll “help” you into the hereafter. The Progressive world is a world in which a Nanny watches over your every move – and then kills you when you become too troublesome (oh, sure it’s all voluntary…and there won’t be any chance that family members, doctors and bureaucrats will kinda nudge you in the direction they want you to go…)
Maybe its because I’ve been smoking for 35 years (sorry, liberals – still astonishingly healthy: even with the bacon-double-cheeseburgers and the smoking…and if I do quit then I might be here to annoy you for 4o more years or so…muhahahahaha!…on the other hand, that does mean I might have the depressing duty of writing about the Chelsea Clinton/George P. Bush Presidential contest…), but I don’t care if people smoke. Certainly not anyone 18 or older. I also don’t want to off people because they are sick or old; I’d rather try to help them. There are things we can do besides kill them, after all. The bottom line is that my world view is 180 degrees out of sync with the Progressive world view…and I believe that goes for all of us on the right. We just don’t see things the same way.
And it does have a bit to do with cold, hard facts – our Progressive friends in the Reality-Based Community do seem to have a problem with facts. Facts such as policing the smoking of people 18-21 is rather impossible (I think that younger folks are not smoking so much lately is not due to laws against it, but because smoking is just going out of fashion). Facts such as human nature is unchanging and if you give people a chance to get rid of an inconvenient person, some people will take advantage of it.
There is no real bridging of the gap between left and right. We can’t work across the aisle. I won’t agree to a compromise where the smoking age is raised to 19 years, 6 months and 4 days. I won’t agree to a compromise where we can help the sick commit suicide as long as everyone pinky-swears it is what the sick person wants. Our way out of this is that ultimately facts emerge triumphant – you really can’t keep borrowing money forever. You really can’t have open borders forever. You really can’t sustain an education system which wants “safe spaces” and to stop “micro-aggression”. It all falls apart – with the good news being that we on the right, who live on facts, will come back on top eventually.