Friday, October 24, 2008

By their words..

A columnist in Australia reports on some of the vitriol directed at Sarah Palin. I'm wondering if some of the hate-mongers who attack her know they are alienating people,
arousing sympathy for the ones they attack.
Since I don't live in the United States, it's not my place to say who the nation's elected leaders should be. That is for Americans to decide. What I'm talking about is the spite involved in a bumber sticker saying 'Abort Sarah Palin', or the comment from one Australian feminist that Sarah Palin was 'very, very dangerous. There's something wrong with her....she's post-feminist'. The point here is, the people who say that would no doubt insist that they support freedom of speech and belief; rights and freedoms for all; and then savagely attack those who exercise their freedom to believe something they disagree with. It's as stupid and obvious as a person calling themselves a vegan and then eating a beef-burger.It makes mockery and hypocrisy of the fine words they speak when they want to win friends and influence people. One feminist hard-liner was quoted as saying 'My head almost exploded from the incandescent anger boiling in my skull,' when hearing what Palin had to say.
The same sort of thing goes on in Australia. A certain Professor Wayne Sawyer apparently said that English teachers in Australia were not teaching critical thinking, because John Howard kept getting re-elected Prime Minister. In other words, he claims that anyone who thinks clearly would not vote for Howard's party. That is straight out argumentum ad hominem: attack the person instead of their argument. It is an intellectually dishonest way of contesting with someone. Rather than present arguments that rebutt their arguments, attack them personally. When being taught about flawed ways of contesting an argument, that was one of the classical examples shown to me. You can't beat their argument fairly, so attack them instead. A professor of English of all people should know that. And here's the irony. The people calling Sarah Palin dangerous are themselves dangerous. That they harbour such vicious spite against her for saying what she thinks, reflects on them. That a senior academic can forget all his own training to lash out at those he disagrees with, shows the frailty of human learning, and the unreliability of education as a way of making people 'good', whatever you consider that to be.
I've seen this before, too. The political left throw terms like "fascist" at people whose views are unlike their own. In so doing they exhibit a fascist attitude themselves: they deny freedom of thought and demand obedience to their own ideology, which is the classic tenet of fascism with its demand for complete obedience.
Some time ago now, I realized that one reason I looked to Christianity for answers was that the humans who most loudly claimed to be good were often the ones with the most hatred inside them. And there goes that irony again! A frequent attack directed at Christians is that they pretend to be better than they are. Nothing beats a 'progressive' political activist, with all their self-righteous claims to social conscience, for harbouring malice while claiming to care so much about humanity.
I've forgotten who it was who said: "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him", but that says it all. When human beings try to run something relying entirely on their own wisdom and supposed goodness, the results are like disastrous. Feeling that they must get their own way, people resort to the bitterest rage when opposed. God and Jesus Christ be with us. We're doomed otherwise.
Speaking of words, which is the title of this post, here's an example of the misuse of language. A person is a traitor if they pretend to believe or do something, and then do another to attack those they pretended to side with. Sarah Palin has been called a traitor to women, by feminists (claiming to speak for ALL women, which is an arrogant presumption) because they say she is letting them down. Did she in fact ever claim to believe the things the feminists believe? Or was she always right upfront about what she believes? If so, she is NOT a traitor, she is an honest advocate of her own beliefs, which she has a perfect right to. Misuse of a term is the classic example of intellectual dishonesty - and betrayal of the principle that we should all speak the truth. The attackers are condemned out of their own mouths.
It must be a bitter disappointment to put your hopes in politics and politicians. They will always only be human. The more I hear angry people demanding my support or obedience, the more I know I can not trust or aid them.


~*~toni~*~ said...

WELL SAID!!!!! I, for one, am sick of all the mud-slinging going on here! I mean.....why can't people work together and concentrate on helping the people intad of attacking the other candidates!

Randi Jo :) said...

well said as always!!!!!!! :) thanks Andrew!! have an awesome weekend!

Marshal Art said...

Once again you display keen insight. And as far as I'm concerned, I welcome your opinions on for whom we Americans should cast our votes. What the heck? Everyone else in the world does. I've heard as much as 85% or more in favor of Obama from some of our European friends.

But you hit the nail upon the head with regard to the attacks on Palin. They are indeed vicious and, of course, mostly baseless. One that continues to vex me is the charge of her inexperience to step in should, God forbid, McCain dies in office. Well, of course as a former mayor and current governor of Alaska, she indeed has executive experience woefully lacking in the person of one Barack Obama. He, in fact, has never presided over anything that has resulted in success.

But I must cop to one thing, and that is calling supporters of Obama stupid. The difference is that I've spent quite a bit of time listing the myriad reasons why supporting him is indeed stupid. In other words, if one makes a case for a particular move, and the listener still chooses the opposite, stupid is indeed what the listener is. The Obama supporter has no real basis for their support. Could he be a good president? Not likely considering his policy positions and their almost guaranteed results. Can the nation survive an Obama presidency? We survived Jimmy Carter, and we have a knack for rising to challenges, so it remains to be seen. I speak for many when saying that I'd rather not take that chance. How ironic that when Italy, France, Germany and now Canada are moving to the right, that the liberal left no longer wants to follow. Pray for us. We'll need it.

Farrah said...

Mr. Clarke, I can always depend on your blog to say something I agree with. Well said. Once again, I am so glad you are out there.


Unknown said...

I must put in oar here, I would claim that so-called feminists who have encouraged sexual freedom, abortion and the free use of contraceptives are traitors to the cause of women. All these things work together to make women into nothing but objects to be used by anyone and everyone and then the women must pay the awful emotional consequences.

Sarah Palin actually would, if given a chance further the cause of women by her uncomprimising ability to be a strong Christian witness in this morally bankrupt world, and by speaking the truth boldly. She is an excellent role model for young women today. I hope and pray that my daughter can be such a brave and loving witness to this world that takes advantage of the weak and the poor.

Thanks Andrew for speaking boldly from the heart.

Andrew Clarke said...

I entirely agree! Some of the most awesomely admirable women I've known, and really felt deep respect for, are not feminists. They rise above the kind of angry self-interest that so many feminists get into!