Saturday, April 28, 2007

On speaking to children

In the past I've devoted a number of posts to responding to various movement conservative figures such as Michelle Malkin, David Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, and Bill O'Reilly. For the most part, I've tried to remain civil and to concentrate on explaining the deficiency in their arguments and what not. But I'm not going to do that as much anymore.

Here is why. (h/t Orcinus)

That level of argument is not worthy of a response. It's so childish and pathetic that one need only look at it to see that the person has nothing of intellectual merit to contribute. And that is coming from someone who is a leading pundit within the conservative movement. She has one of the most popular blogs on the internet, is a regular contributor to Fox News, being a back-up host for the O'Reilly Factor and even groomed recently for her own show (which apparently did not do well enough to get picked up.)

And the intellectual circles that Malkin travels in are littered with this level of argumentation. I will treat it with the same level of respect that I treat Young Earth Creationism or some such other nonsense.

This isn't to say that I won't be responding to these figures in the future in the way that I've done in the past, but its just that from this point forth I'm going to take for granted that it has been established the Rush, Boortz, Malkin, Coulter, etc. are people of whom debate with is futile. They are fundamentalists for their political ideology, and will always find a way back to their original principles (e.g. "liberals" are the root of all evil) much like religious fundamentalists will always find a way to "prove" that evolution is atheist fantasy (you even get to see the overlap between these two groups with Coulter's latest bit of hate-literature Godless: The Church of Liberalism.)

Yet for point of reference, if anyone wants to be able to cite a specific source to demonstrate that these movement figures have been definitively refuted, I would direct your attention to The Angry Right: Why Conservative Keep Getting It Wrong by S.T. Joshi. Without vitriol or insult, Joshi very calmly, casually, and authoritatively focuses his attention on leading figures of the conservative movement and absolutely picks them apart.

So in the future I'd like to spend more time focusing on not so much the actual arguments made by figures like Malkin, but on the tactics that they employ and the style of thought that animates the movement.


Anonymous said...

I guess you missed her discussion of global warming in which she skips rope and jumps on a trampoline.

Hume's Ghost said...

Yes, actually I did. But I have been aware the her Vent pieces reveal her intellectual shortcomings more than anything else she does.

Sheldon said...

"but on the tactics that they employ and the style of thought that animates the movement."

This is important. I have made it a small hobby to listen to various conservative propagandists and analyze the way they manipulate the national conversation.

One particular prominent meme is "they hate America" meme, which is used in response to criticism of American foreign policy. They manipulate people's feeling of defensiveness, and tell them that these criticisms are wrong because the American people are good people. Of course, the average American doesn't decide the country's foreign policy anyway. Thus confronting real arugments is avoided.
Glad I refound you. I will be checking in again.