Monday, June 07, 2004

Liberal Insanity About the Reagan Era (and Dubya)

On Saturday I had a very heated debate with a close friend and her husband. My friend claimed that the 1980s were "the worst decade for black folks ever!" She then went into a tirade about Reagan and linked it to the current Bush, saying they were the worst presidents ever for black folks.

Of course, I brought sanity into the conversation. I asked if that included our 30 decades under slavery, the 1870s when we were sold out in the Hayes-Tilden Compromise which ended Reconstruction, or the 8 decades suffered under Jim Crow. Surely significant black progress since Jim Crow's end -- including the '80s -- where most blacks today aren't enslaved, poor, or denied education trumps these horrible decades? Surely the presidents of these horrible decades were far worse for black folks? I then rattled off stats comparing various decades. She said no! "Because they didn't have as much power as Reagan and Bush, and they weren't nearly as hypocritical. We haven't made much progress and those fuckers owe us. Yet they cut social programs."

I brought up Thomas Jefferson's "I hate slavery but I still own and rape my slaves" stance as a key example of hypocrisy which trumps modern presidents. I brought up how liberal social programs have harmed black communities, and that we must return to our old-school personal responsibility ethic. My friend then proceeded to shout me down (can liberals ever have a civil discussion, I asked her?), called me "classist" and then abruptly ended the conversation saying that we should never discuss politics again. It got so heated that she pulled rank when I calmly disputed her points, saying "This is my house and I won't tolerate such crazy comments in it (she did apologize yesterday).

I put stuff in context and surely being free and middle-class (which is most black Americans) beats being enslaved and poor. I thought conservatives were over the top when they said that liberal thought is totalitarian when it comes to other viewpoints, but more and more I'm seeing it. Mind you, I have mixed opinions about Ronald Reagan (which I'll outline later) but liberals just can't allow common sense to overcome their hatred.


  • Irrationality ferments in the minds of people who think thay way. Their intense dislike (dare I say hatred?) for Republicans, as opposed to conservatism itself, causes them to say unreasonable things. For instance, this morning I was interviewed for a story on Republicans going after "the black vote." The interviewer, a black liberal, just couldn't grasp why I was a conservative even after my detailed explanation.

    I added that a paradox (sloppy thinking, self-destruction?) exists when people know what's good for them (school choice) but vote for people who vehemently oppose it (Democrats). It's irrational. But their fear/distrust/hatred of white conservatives is so intense as to outweigh destructive liberal policies they embrace.

    By Blogger La Shawn, at June 11, 2004 at 11:31 AM  

  • Totalitarianism is not restricted to liberals. I heard the depreciative and dismissive word "unpatriotic" applied very frequently to liberals by conservatives.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 13, 2004 at 4:22 AM  

  • My friend, what you need is a Liberal-to-Conservative translator.

    For instance, when your friend said:
    "We haven't made much progress and those fuckers owe us. Yet they cut social programs"She meant:
    "We're not a socialist country yet, and they need to get out of the way and let us have what we want."

    Part of the problem in communication is that as conservatives, we think along the lines of personal freedom and responsibility. We acknowledge the wrongs perpetrated against us in the past, but we refuse to use it as an excuse for our own failure. We are more likely to examine ourselves if we fail at something rather than blame the government or corporate America. We don't rely on the state to care for us or provide the services we need, nor do we want to.

    Leftists/Socialists have done an excellent of positioning socialism as the cure to civil rights issues. Until black folks wake up and realize that they've been sold a faulty bill of goods, you will have many more of these types of conversations I'm afraid.

    By Blogger Robert, at June 16, 2004 at 1:39 PM  

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