12 November 2004
We have our reasons
It is no more rational to vote based on a desire to do "good" than it is to vote based on a desire to do God's will. Indeed, for millions of people this is a distinction without a difference as it was for so many of the abolitionists progressives and civil-rights leaders today's liberals love to invoke but never actually learn about.
They drop names to obtain street cred. Here in Oklahoma, the number of people who invoke the name of Ralph Ellison seems to exceed the number of people who have actually read anything Ellison wrote by a factor of two, maybe three.
Love, in fact, is just as silly and superstitious a concept as God (and for those who believe God is Love, this too is a distinction without a difference). Chesterton's observation that the purely rational man will not marry is just as correct today, because science has done far more damage to the ideal of love than it has done to the notion of an awesome God beyond our ken. Genes, hormones, instincts, evolution: These are the cause for the effect of love in the purely rational man's textbook. But [Bill] Maher would get few applause lines from his audience of sophisticated yokels if he mocked love as a silly superstition. This is, in part, because the crowd he plays to likes the idea of love while it dislikes the idea of God; and in part because these people feel love, so they think it exists. But such is the extent of their solipsism and narcissism that they not only reject the existence of God but go so far as to mock those who do not, simply because they don't feel Him themselves. And, alas, in elite America, feelings are the only recognized foundation of metaphysics.
Being the INTJ type myself, I obviously have no future as a postmodern metaphysician.
I might add that this disdain for the divine does not equal an insistence upon the concrete: it's perfectly respectable to concern oneself with, even to obsess over, the supernatural, so long as it's clearly divorced from that icky "religion" stuff.
This is not to say that no religion exists on the left, and I'm not about to say, for instance, that John Kerry's Catholicism is somehow bent and twisted because his official position on abortion is in opposition to that of the Vatican. I know not the man's heart; for all I know, he may be horrified by the very idea but suppresses that horror because it wouldn't sit well with the Democratic base. But another can of worms awaits an opening: whether voting against what you perceive as your spiritual interests constitutes hypocrisy, or something much worse.
(Poached from Justin Katz.)
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PROEM: This post is rather long, so it might make for easier reading to click "Turn Light On" at the top of the left-hand column. By now, everybody has or should have read Wretchard's famous post on Belmont......[read more]