Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Response

There is an article that is being shared via Facebook that is titled 20 Obvious Truths That Will Shock Liberals.  I'm not a liberal but I guess to most Republicans I would be considered a far left liberal.  So we'll go through each "truth" and see how many are actually truths and how many are this person's opinion being touted as truth.

Truth- a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like.

1) "The Founding Fathers were generally religious, gun-toting small government fanatics who were so far to the Right that they'd make Ann Coulter look like Jimmy Carter."

So, where to start?  Any time you quote the Founding Fathers as saying something you are approaching dangerous territory.  This is because there is no set definition of what any one person means when they say the "Founding Fathers."  So, I will steer clear of arguing along that point. 

Yes, originally the Founding Fathers were all about small government.  They drafted the Articles of Confederation.  This failed fairly quickly and was replaced by the Constitution.  This created a much stronger central government.  The Articles of Confederation did not have the chief executive, established courts, or even taxing power.  So basically, the experiment with such a small central government failed when it was first tried out and was replaced with a much stronger version of the central government.

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, was the one who originally used the phrase separation of church and state when he was discussing this in a letter.  He was the one who also said that the best government is the one that governs the least.  Except, when he was president he decided to go through with the Louisiana Purchase despite nothing being expressly written in the Constitution about the President being able to do anything like that.  He also argued against having the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution.  He argued that the Constitution itself, would have enough of a safeguard against people's liberties that we wouldn't have to put that in.  He also wrote about Jesus of Nazareth but took out all of the miracles and all of the supernatural elements.  He was more often referred to as being a Deist.

If you are to argue that the Founding Fathers are only about small government, you would have to have an explanation about the Articles of Confederation and why they failed so quickly.  You would also need to talk about Thomas Jefferson and how he was not religious, coined the phrase separation of church and state, and that he did not think the Bill of Rights should be in the Constitution.  Further, you would need to define the term "Founding Fathers" and actually prove that the Founding Fathers thought what you're attributing them to think.

2. "The greatest evil this country has ever committed isn't slavery; it's killing more than 50 million innocent children via abortion."

Well, that's a subjective claim in the first place.  When you are ranking how much more evil is over another, you are making a relativistic claim.  I could argue that slavery is the greatest evil.  Neither of us are communicating any truth but rather making claims that neither of us can prove or disprove.  I'll indulge you with the key components of epistemic relativism.

1. There are no absolute facts about what belief a particular item of information justifies.
2. If a person, S's epistemic judgments are to have any prospect of being true, we must not construe his utterances of the form "E justifies belief B"as expressing the claim E justifies belief B but rather as expressing the claim: According to the epistemic system C, that I, S, accept, information E justifies belief B.
3. There are many fundamentally different, genuinely alternative epistemic systems, but no facts by virtue of which one of these systems is more correct than any of the others.

According to the epistemic system of conservatism, the information about the number of abortions performed justifies the belief that abortions are the greatest evil.
According to the 3rd component of epistemic relativism, we would all have to accept that we are all going to come up with a different belief of what the greatest evil is.

3. "Conservatives are much more compassionate than liberals and all you have to do to prove it is look at all the studies showing that conservatives give more of their money to charity than liberals do."

The link sends you to a place called rightwingnews.com.  I wonder if that's a biased source.  I'll concede this point.  Their study shows that the poorest people give a lot of their income to charity noting that they are more likely to need charity.  Over the past 10 or so years we have seen an increase in the amount of poor people joining the Republican party.  But the middle class is the one group that gives considerably less compared to the rich and poor. 

But the biggest single predictor of donating money to charity was to find out whether or not they were religious.  Which political party has more people openly identifying themselves as Republicans or Democrats? 

4. "When the Founding Fathers were actually around, there were official state religions and the Bible was used as a textbook in schools. The so-called "wall of separation between church and state" has absolutely nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with liberal hostility to Christianity."

Thomas Jefferson was the one who used that phrase in a letter.  So, he was actually around.
The Supreme Court did not rule on how this was to apply to the states until 1947.  In 1947, when they finally ruled on it, all nine of the justices found that there was a wall of separation between church and state.
The phrase for the separation of church and state could be attributed to John Locke.  He argued that the government lacked authority in the realm of individual conscience. 

I'm getting a headache from how angry I am getting from this.  We're only a fifth of the way through.

5) "The biggest problem with our economy today is Barack Obama. His demonization of successful people, his driving up gas prices, his regulatory overload and threats to increase taxes have terrified businesses into hunkering down, refusing to spend money, and declining to hire new people. Replacing him would do more than any government policy to spur economic growth."

So many wrong statements.  How is he driving up gas prices?

6) "Not only are conservatives more patriotic than liberals, but most American liberals "love" America in about the same way that a wife-beater loves his wife."

Let's take the case of Pat Tillman. Pat Tillman was a football player for the Arizona Cardinals when the 9-11 attacks happened.  He volunteered to join the Army soon after.  While serving, he wrote in his diary openly questioning the reason for him being there.  He was killed in friendly fire.  The government tried to cover it up, including George W. Bush.

This is yet another statement of opinion.  I am just going to claim that liberals are more patriotic than conservatives. Sweet.

7) "Out of every 100 cries of “Racism” you hear these days, 99 are motivated by nothing other than politics."
This is especially true of white people calling out racism for when they fail to get something accomplished because of affirmitve action.
White people are pulled over less often than blacks and Hispanics.
I'm going white with rage.

8) "Anyone paying income taxes is certainly paying his “fair share" -- and then some -- compared to the people who pay nothing."

Whatever.

9) "You don't have a "right" to anything that other people have to pay to provide for you"
So if you make the claim that Americans have fought for our rights or have otherwise paid for our rights with their lives then we have no rights.  We do not have any of these rights.  Thanks. Glad to know.

How do we have a right to bear arms?  My head hurts. This is so fucking messed up.

10) "If we can ask people to present an ID to buy alcohol, drive a car, or get on an airplane, then asking them to present identification to vote is a no-brainer."

I would be fine with this but minority voters are less likely to be able to have an ID to present to be able to vote.  The Department of Justice agrees with me.

11) "There's absolutely nothing that the government does smarter, better, or more efficiently than the private market with roughly equivalent resources."

I don't think that's necessarily true.  When you speak in absolutes, you leave youself vulnerable.  If I find one thing, then I disprove your point. 

12) "The biggest problem with education in this country is liberals. They fight vouchers, oppose merit pay, refuse to get rid of terrible teachers, and bend over backwards to keep poor kids trapped in failing schools."

I don't even know what this means.  It's not as if Rick Perry cut spending for education in Texas.  No worries.  Rick Perry = liberal.

I'm getting bored and frustrated.

13) "Fascism, socialism, and communism are all left-wing movements that have considerably more in common with modern liberalism than modern conservatism."

Typically fascism is listed to the right on the left-right political spectrum.  Fascism generally talks about having a shared national identity through connections such as blood, ancestry, and culture and seeks to destroy anything that tries to get in their way especially if it's a foreign influence.  Fascism opposes both socialism and communism.

Socialism is the social ownership of the means of production and a cooperative management of the economy.

Communism is a hypothetical classless, moneyless, stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production. 

I may have had a rage stroke.

14. "The Democratic Party was behind slavery, the KKK, and Jim Crow laws. It was also the party of Margaret Sanger, George Wallace, and Bull Connor. It has ALWAYS been a racist party. Even today, white liberals support Affirmative Action and racial set-asides because they still believe black Americans are too inferior to go up against whites on an even playing field."

I support Affirmitive Action because African-Americans and other minority groups are discriminated against.  Further, the money spent on education for African-Americans is significantly lower than the money spent on whites.  If we make it a level playing field and not incarcerate more African-Americans maybe than we can get rid of Affirmitive Action.
The KKK was founded by white protestants.  Unless you want to say all liberals are white protestants, they have very little in common.
Those living in the South during the Civil War time advocated for the states to have their own rights.  This sounds like conservatives.

15. "A man with good morals who falls short and becomes a hypocrite is still a far better man than a liberal who can never be called a hypocrite because he has no morals at all."
This is a value statement.  This is a relativistic claim. See earlier.
Are we ever going to be done?

16. "The most dire threat to America's future and prosperity in the last 150 years hasn't been the Nazis, the Soviets, or Al-Qaeda;, it's the spending and overreach of our own government."

Let's set aside the fact that you just followed a semi-colon with a comma.  How much of the spending and overreach of the government was because of the Nazi's, the Soviets, and Al-Qaeda?
Let's take a quick look.
Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare.  Vietnam War. Korean War. PATRIOT Act.  Guantanamo Bay. Spending on the defense sector.  Military spending because of the wars in the Middle East.  I could keep going on and on and on.
The spending and overreach of the government looks like a direct response to each of these threats. 
Also, we don't have any rights.

17. "Greed isn't someone wanting to keep more of what he earns; it's people demanding a greater share of money that someone else earns."

Greed- excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or posessions.

18. "Most of the time in American politics, the liberal "victim" is really a bad guy who is absolutely delighted by the opportunity to pretend to be "offended.""

This statement is full of nonsense. I don't know where to begin.

19. "Jesus Christ was not a conservative, a liberal, or a politician. He was also not a capitalist or a socialist. Still, you can say this: Jesus drew sharp lines about what's right and wrong, he wasn't tolerant of what the Bible categorizes as sinful behavior, and there's absolutely no question that he would adamantly oppose abortion and gay marriage."

He also stated that the greatest commandment was to love your neighbors as yourself.
I get tired of arguing about the Bible with people because you can find a verse that contradicts itself later. 

20. "When you demand that other people fund your sexual escapades by buying your contraception, your sex life becomes their business."

We were already funding most of these "sexual escapades."  The fact that you're so opposed to paying for contraception for others proves how much you're really not pro-life.  A true pro-life person would argue that we want as few unintended pregnancies, as possible.  
I would argue against this for awhile but I'm just tired. My head hurts and I want to punch this guy in his jaw.

Stop passing off your opinions as truths.  These are your opinions.  This is just a statement of his core beliefs as a Republican. 

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