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  • The Left’s Problem

    Posted by Seth Tillman on July 25th, 2003 (All posts by )

    Senator Clinton said this yesterday about the assassination of a distinguished NYC Councilman: “a tragic, terrible irony.”

    Notice the cognitive dissonance. She can’t call it an actual tragedy — something shared. The situation here is something she observes as an outsider looking in, like reading a book — the situation is ironic or tragically ironic. Literature can be ironic, but an assassination? And even if in some abstract sense her analysis is correct, aren’t her words shameful? Her words don’t comfort the grieving — they just rub in the waste as useless. The proper words at such a moment would be: “A good man was wrongly struck down, we share in his family’s and friends’ grief. It is a tragedy of the first order.” Her commenting about the situation’s irony shows a real disconnect from the common fate of her constituents.

    The Left’s problem is not that they see the world differently or in a socially constructed way at odds with facts. But rather that they think they are observers to a reality that mere plebeians (like you and me and the person next door) are content to live in. We are mice in a maze and they are the social scientist running some experiment. But when the mice don’t cooperate, they are exasperated because we don’t notice that they are our social betters.

    And they wonder why they lose elections.

     

    7 Responses to “The Left’s Problem”

    1. Lex Says:

      Seth, your ghostly presence in the list of contributors has haunted us for so long without any manifestations. Is this the foreshadowing of a more-than-annual appearance?

      I sure hope so.

    2. freddie Says:

      All of us see things things not as they are but as we are…Why a blanket condemnation of so many who vote and don’t view things as you do? After all, the Dems do not always lose elections (sometimes the Supremes lose ilt for them); and the GOP and conservatives hardly always have truth and beauty on their side! Address the issue and not some bias you have.

    3. Lex Says:

      Freddie, let’s cut to the core of what Seth is saying. Senator Clinton referred to a man’s death as “ironic”. Irony is a rhetorical device whereby the literal meaning and the actual meaning are not the same. A man’s murder is not ironic, unless you think that life is a big game in which other people are little plastic pieces, or that it is a made-up story in which you are the author and other people are characters whom you can manipulate. That is Seth’s point, and it is a criticism which is properly directed to leftists of a certain sort, including Mrs. Clinton and Chairman Mao, who see the world and other people lives as a blank page on which they can express themselves by means of government action. That is a false and evil view, and it leads to destructive consequences. And it is not a criticism which applies with equal force to conservatives or libertarians or even to a lot of more practical-minded liberals. Mrs. Clinton’s comment betrays something very basic, and very dangerous, about her view of the world.

    4. Seth Tillman Says:

      Dear LEX:

      Yes, quite possibly, I will blog occassionally. Sorry for the long lull. Your defense of my words is far better than I could do, but I will try.

      Dear Freddie:

      Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

      Here is why I think you are wrong. The proper response, as I see it, for every thinking left-of-center person of goodwill was to call, write, or e-mail Senator HRC’s office in response to my post. Had you done so, then you could tell me that it is wrong for me to stereotype those on the left. And by the way, this is precisely what the right-of-center conservative-libertarians (particularly on the blogosphere) did to Lott. And it worked. So what is your excuse?

      Your failure to do so speaks volumes. Your failure to do so with a concomitant swipe at me for stereotyping proves my underlying point. Responsibility on the left would mean taking your own to task in order to prove the opposition’s stereotype wrong. Rather than do the heavy lefting involved, you just want to say stereotyping is wrong per se. (“All of see things not as they are but as we are” — please, in the future, spare me the pap) How convenient for you.

      Maybe this would help. If a relative or friend (or even a constituent) of the late assassinated councilman saw our series of posts, would it not be fair for that person to conclude that in effect your words are a defense of HRC? After all you responded against my post, not against her words — not at all. Nice. huh. And if that is the case, that makes you just another calloused sort, sticking the sword in just a bit deeper and twisting it on the way. I’m sure with every post like yours the GOP picks up a few votes. But who is counting?

      Sorry, friend, the best response to your post — is simply for me to repost it. It is its own response.

    5. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      Freddie’s position is based on another axiom of the left, namely that everything is “relative”. Nothing is good, or bad, it all depends on your point of view. The interesting part is when it comes to applying this grand cosmic law to their own reasoning and views. And get offended by alleged “blanket” statements for the right, but take claims of ‘vast right-wing conspiracy’ seriously. It’s silly really. It’s called politics.

      And one bit of info for Freddie. Since we do not know whether Gore won the popular vote, the Supreme Court did not lose or win anyone anything. The problem is that the number of uncounted absentee votes was much larger than Al’s margin of victory; in fact it was one order of magnitude larger. This is a rather large flaw of the US electoral system. All votes should be counted. Or you can end up in the 2000 situation where the number of uncounted votes dwarfs the margin of victory of one candidate, making him no more legitimate than the other guy. Guess it had to happen some day.

      But given the result of the mid-term election, the George W.’s legitimacy is not exactly an issue anymore (except for Michael Moore and the dweebs who worship him). Time to stop beating the dead horse and move on.

    6. Omnibus Bill Says:

      The only thing ironic about it was that a pro-gun control politician (who was licensed to carry) was shot down by another pro-gun control politician.

      That is deeply ironic, I don’t care how badly it offends the families of the deceased.

    7. Gary Farber Says:

      “And they wonder why they lose elections.”

      Perhaps Senator Lazio has a comment on that.