24
Jan
09

I used to be a (insert right-wing political profile here), but then…

Many WordPress readers I’m sure have notice one blog posting that’s been on the “Hawt Posts” list for a few day now. It’s from the unreasonable faith  site. The author of that site claims he used to be an evangelical Christian, but has since seen the light–or the darkeness as it may be–and has become what I would call a mini-antichrist.  I’m loath to post a link to his Hawt article, the title of which states: How To Stump an Anti-Abortionist With One Question. The question:

If abortion was illegal, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions?

I see absolutely no brilliance or significant insight in this question, but given the Nature of the WordPress audience, people are flocking to this posting like it was a pile of Barack Obama’s dirty underwear waiting to be sold on ebay.

My article is not about abortion. It is about people who lie about past political or religious affiliations in order to gain a moral legitimacy. I first noticed this phenomena while listening to Rush Limbaugh. People would call in, identifying themselves as former Republicans, or former conservatives. They would then proceed to plaster Limbaugh with a tirade of left-wing rhetoric as if they’d memorized the writings of Voltair and Rosseau. And in only a few months! Because it was only as recently as that horrible right-winger, GW Bush had invaded Iraq that these oh-so-introspective former “right-wing-nutjobs” had found their Damascus Road–or in most cases–its antithesis.

Limbaugh could pick these folks out immediately, and he always called them on it. An immediate giveaway was a male–if slightly effeminate–using overly verbose and academic language. Yup–what we have here is a spy for the intelligentsia.

Well, I pick up on these liars pretty quickly myself. They try to use people’s innate desire to get along and become one with the masses, in order to circumvent these people’s logic. “See, I was where you are, and I’ve changed my mind. I can see things from all perspectives because I’ve looked at all perspectives–and I found what was best. You should follow me.”

I remember having a debate about the Bush administration with one fellow. He told me that he used, to be a conservative but now, after Bush dashed all of his hopes by lying to get us to go to war, in order to smash all of the poor, brown-skin people living in Iraq, he had lost faith in the conservative agenda and was now a liberal. And an atheist. Hmmm. I was suspicious. Then I took a look at his book case. I found some writings by Gore Vidal. Gotcha. No person who was a conservative a few years after the Iraq war began goes from thinking we should kill Saddam Hussein to reading Gore Vidal. Also, this person had videos about how the New Testament was written by a bunch of hucksters. Wow, George Bush really did a number on this fellow, didn’t he? Dashed his belief in God. Bush would surely burn for that one…

It seems to me, that the normal events to occur after one loses faith in a political or religious belief, would be a kind of sullen, grey neutrality. One would begin to question everything and be unable to go on crusades against one’s former views. Most of these people would start to see that the world is a difficult place to decrypt, not that the world is the exact opposite of how one saw it before.

Always be careful when someone tells you that they used to be one thing, but then by a not-so-devine intervention, became the exact opposite. Many times these people are using a subtle psychological ploy to force others into seeing things their way.

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4 Responses to “I used to be a (insert right-wing political profile here), but then…”


  1. 1 kernunos
    January 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Did somebody say Obama’s undies? No seriously though I used to be a part time Liberal myself in the past myself as you know. It was more out of laziness and the easy way out when discussing issues with people. The Liberal view was always easy and non-confrontational, well at least Liberalism set on 2 out of 10 on the volume knob. Then I started thinking.

    What is interesting is that I have found many Conservatives who had been Liberals and less the other way around. I feel this has to do with the educational system. Noam Chomsky, a mostly Liberal guy himself, has numerous interviews and writings talking about the educational system as been a left-wing programming machine. At least he can see the world past his own nose.

  2. 2 Daniel Griffin
    January 24, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    You cannot assume that most people switch from liberal to conservative or conservative to liberal because of some rational mental process that was geared towards discovering the truth. There are reasons, surely, but not wonderful syllogisms of deductive reasoning, nor even inductive wonderings. It is rarely ever the logical/rational rebuilding from nothingness that you mention. Descartes laid the foundation for what to do, and the fact that so few follow, and I sadly do not fully, says wonders about human rationality (this is not to say that people are not rational, oh they are supremely so, they just do not often direct their rationality-to-the-truth). When Rene realizes that a belief of his is actually false, he becomes concerned. Rene is concerned because something else must also be false or faulty, either other beliefs that supported that belief or the belief-forming-function in his mind, his capacity to induce and deduce. This is something to be concerned about, discovering that your grip with reality is not so firm… But most people do not actually concern themselves with Reality, but instead invent their own reality…

    You can see this is so if the next time you discover such a person, instead of asking them to defend their current stance (that is all memorized dogma), ask them to explain how it actually happened with them. They might provide you with a couple of sappy syllogisms, but you will discover there is no foundation, at least not one they are aware of. There were reasons, just not ones in their head.

    As to Chomsky, this machine turns out widgets in their making for a period, but then the widgets are usually slapped upside the face by reality five or ten years later…

    As to the question that started it all: If abortion was illegal, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions? (Did he write “was illegal,” because that is only the first flaw in the question itself…”were, condition contrary to fact,” I had that nailed into my head in a Le Carre novel, a wonderfully pedantic character…) I did not go to the site, because I do not wish to excite myself…but I will give it a shot.

    The question makes any attempt at an answer awkward, but only because the question is awkward…’tis but letting a fly out of a bottle…

    The premise, “If abortion were illegal,” is a statement about a fact about a law or legal ruling. Whereas the question itself asks about “should” and therein something about right/wrong. One can hope the law has to do with right and wrong, but in this case half of the population might disagree because of their private conceptions of right and wrong. Perhaps it would be better formulated, “If abortion were immoral, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions?” Well, how immoral might it be? Stealing twinkies is immoral, as is genocide, but I wouldn’t attempt to have a human government levy identical punishments.

    What is necessary to answer the question is to fill in the blank: “If abortion were as immoral as ________, what should be done with the women who have illegal abortions?” The questioner is confusing the human consequences with the severity of the act itself. No one will agree on the punishment until we can agree on the severity of the crime, or at least I hope. This silly question is ridiculous, a pathetic obfuscation.

    If abortion were as immoral as infanticide, which the act is identical to on the surface, the punishment for women who have abortions should be a charge of manslaughter (at the least). Now, “not guilty for reasons of insanity” may actually sway me here, if the insanity can be shown, but this would not remove the layers of state ordered protection for future innocents. The women should receive counseling and perhaps even a medical procedure performed to stop them from having children. Steps initiated to prevent further harm, not as punishment. Punishment only being deserved when a rational human being disobeys some propagated law aimed at the betterment of all of society. As much as I want to punish the act, I must be honest and recognize the irrational individual involved…but it is important to also recognize that “for reason of insanity” does not free the individual, but treats them. But the “doctor” who conveniently, for reasons of his pocketbook, “forgets” the Hippocratic Oath? If it were immoral? Because this so has to do with society’s conception of the crime, I will reword it. If a doctor were to commit infanticide, conveniently removing troublesome infants, what should happen to the doctor? Is in not clear, now, why abortion is such an issue? Can one not understand the motivations of the abortion clinic bombers? There are people that see abortion as unsightly and others that see it as murder, this is not merely an intellectual problem, this is a chasm…ever widening? Might those abortion clinic bombers be viewed in 2200 as the first in a new line of freedom fighters? I do not know.

    …imagine this question being asked in 1700, “If slavery were immoral, what should be punishment be for slaveholders?”

    The wording of the question, though, is just so completely pathetic and attention garnered repulsive. The question itself is a question of the times: The untold story of murder of millions? The freedom of women? The oppression of women? (The later being the intellectual feminist’s conception of abortion…another tool for men to convince women it is just fine to go to bed together…)

    Hmmm…

  3. January 25, 2009 at 9:37 am

    kernunos,

    I really wouldn’t have considered you a liberal, at least not the type that I rant against on here. I really do believe that to argue against something, we have to at least have a good idea of what we’re arguing against. When we are young, our minds have very little experience to work with and we naturally go through a process of elimination. We find that what sounds good, isn’t always good.

    I’m surprised that Chomsky made those statements about the educational system. I thought he was extremely left-wing himself.

  4. 4 kernunos
    January 25, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Chomsky is obviously Liberal but he is, oddly enough, semi logical at the same time. I can respect the fact that he actually thinks these things are true instead of just taking the opposite viewpoint just to take a political stance. Most people think that to lose an arguement with the opposite ideology is to lose the war. There are many videos of Noam Chomsky interviews on youtube as well. You can tell he puts much thought into everything. We have lost him to ‘man made global warming’ though. Too bad, he’s a smart guy.


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