Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Bumper Sticker Left

Someone - I can't remember who - said that conservatives think, while liberals feel. Rarely do so few words capture so much. The Naked Dollar tried to explain this phenomenon in an earlier post called Conservatives Are from Mars, Liberals from Venus. The reason it's so hard for us to talk to each other is that we have completely different mental processes.

Feeling is way easier, of course, because you get to skip the whole critical analysis bit. You just...feel, and that's sufficient to get your ticket stamped with fellow travelers of the left.

Since an emotion doesn't need to be explained - or even justified - a good liberal finds it's easy to distill their views down to a very few words. So few, that bumper stickers frequently do the trick. Let's take a critical look at some my favorites...

Ah, you know this one. It comes with drivers sporting a mien of smug self-satisfaction, wrapped not merely in the aluminum body of their Prius, but in the knowledge that they are a good, open-minded, people. 

I think that six out of the seven letters are perfectly happy to coexist, there's just this teensie problem with the first one. In fact, when an artist, who goes by the name of "Combo," recently painted this sign in a Muslim suburb of Paris, a mob of open-minded sorts pummeled poor Combo after he refused to take the sign down. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, bruises, and a black eye.

But, you see, the Prius driver isn't telling Muslims to Coexist. No, the message is aimed squarely at the rest of us, who no doubt commit culturally insensitive acts every day. That's why I constantly need to control my impulse to introduce a two-by-four to this bumper sticker and its attendant vehicle. Coexist this.

We saw a lot of these around during the Bush years, didn't we? I once traced them to a particular bookstore in my neighborhood, and about a month after Obama was elected I went in and asked for one. They didn't have them anymore, I was told. "Why not?" I asked. "Isn't dissent still patriotic?" I got a blank stare. Move along.

The fact is, this bumper sticker makes little sense. Dissent, of itself, isn't patriotic. It can be courageous, sometimes noble. But it can also be stupid, idiotic, or even racist. Were the Senators who fought the Civil Rights Act being patriotic? I'm sure they thought so, but I'm also sure that the people who sport this bumper sticker don't. 

I would also point out that in the precincts of the left, particularly college campuses, dissent (of the conservative kind) is now dealt with quite harshly. Just check out the latest atrocities at Wesleyan. No matter: figuring out that particular hypocrisy would involve thinking more than feeling, and that might involve some cognitive dissonance, so why bother.

Oh, come on. Sometimes it is. Like when it stopped, say, Hitler, or ended slavery. 

And then there's this one...

I'm not sure what it means, but it scares the hell out of me.

1 comment:

  1. Quite right, Scott. Another way of looking at it: Liberals tend to focus on goals, while conservatives focus on actual resuts.