…in the minds of the left, that is.
When I was a kid, I believed things. No, I knew things. I knew them.
Phase 1: People were good and noble and idealistic just like me. They needed only a chance to prove it. Women were way better than men. Books, medicine, food, shelter and education ought to be free. Furthermore, people who believed differently were evil. I was kind of a Christian-anarcho-trotskyite-buddhist. I just knew I was right.
Then I grew some and thought some and grew some more and thought some more and grew some more and thought some more…
Phase 2: People were bad and ignoble and cynical just like me. They proved it in spades all the time. Women were much worse than men. Books, medicine, food, shelter and education ought to be completely subject to the unrestricted, untrammeled, unmodified, unrestrained free market. And you know what? People who believed differently were evil. I was kind of a Christian-anarcho-libertarian-buddhist.
Then I grew still more and thought still more…
Phase 3: The black and white frequently has shades of gray. There are eternal truths, but sometimes our interactions with them are less easy to place on a good-bad, or black-white, or right-wrong continuum. But — and it’s a big one — some things are good and some things are bad — really good or bad. It’s just that there is a lot of less-sure -less-easy-to-categorize-categorically stuff in-between.
Quick example: I had a girlfriend whose ex-husband once beat her badly enough to blacken her eye, and knock her down. It’s why he was her ex-husband. Over the months we were together, she spoke often of her time with him, and she told me that they had a volatile relationship, largely fueled by alcohol. She told me further that she often hit, punched, kicked or bit him. One day, apparently, he’d had enough and he hit her back. She divorced him and took their child. Who was wrong? Who was right? Both. Neither.
The point being that it’s just not nearly as easy, or as clear, or as obvious or plain as it was when I was a lot younger…and a lot stupider.
Now I realize that I don’t know everything. I’m a “Christian Conservative.” I’m definitely a Christian. That part’s easy. I’m a conservative who’s perfectly willing to hear alternative points-of-view. And that is Phase 4…where I am now.
More importantly, I know how one gets from there to there to there to here…without necessarily being a bad person.
Am I in a better intellectual place? I think so. I’ve given up certainty and knowing for greater understanding. Certainty and knowing are good only if what you’re certain about, what you know, is actually right. I’m pretty sure that my early, much-less-baked thoughts and beliefs were not right. In retrospect, they were pretty stupid.
So, why are we Conservatives so evil and racist and homophobic and sexist and cruel and mean and greedy and bad and vile in the eyes of the left? Because the American left, and its political champion the Democrat Party, are stuck in Phase 1. People who believe differently from them are evil. They just know it.
It’s what allows the left to deal death wholesale in supporting abortion…it’s not killing a baby — even though it really pretty obviously is — it’s giving a woman her choice; it’s not stealing money from those who earned it, to give it to those who didn’t, it’s compassion; it’s not racial discrimination, it’s “affirmative action”; it’s not theft, it’s “fairness.” It’s not soul- and morale-sapping handouts that purchase more poverty, it’s welfare. And if you believe differently, you’re evil. Or racist. Or sexist…Etc. You know the long, sorry, stupid, brainless litany.
In Phase 1, you have to know things, because if you don’t and the “thing” you “abort” is really a baby, you can’t take it back. You can’t make it alright again. You can’t fix it.
By the way, “Stuck in Phase 1” is what allowed Hitler and Stalin and Lenin and Mao and Castro and Pol Pot and Osama bin Laden, and other assorted scum-sucking whores to be the scum-sucking whores they were.
They just knew it was ok to kill all those people. It’s what allows people to support abortion, the death penalty, “tax the rich,” Obamacare, communism, socialism, welfare, affirmative action, and a whole host of things that are simply not self-evidently good…things that, in fact, have very dubious justifications for existing. But, Boy! If you disagree? Well, you know what you are.
And that’s why Republicans and Conservatives argue that “the policy will be harmful for people and it’s not right to implement it.” Democrats argue that “we’re right and you’re evil (sexist, racist, homophobic, greedy, etc.) if you believe differently.”
By the way, we also call Phase 4 “maturity.”