Inside the Liberal Mind
Today the Columbia, Missouri branch of the National Organization for Women (NOW) is picketing a local radio station, KFRU, as part of their “Kick Rush Off KFRU” demonstration. This “Flush Rush” movement follows in the wake of the Sandra Fluke kerfuffle of several months ago. The Missouri chapter of NOW has a webpage where one can sign the petition to “Kick Rush Limbaugh off the air.” The signatories listed on the page this morning were from all over the country. Only one is from Missouri and nowhere near Columbia.
We of course have no problem with anyone disagreeing with Mr. Limbaugh. But we want to take this opportunity to discuss a few characteristics of the liberal mind, which to us is always puzzling. We note the telling propensity to twist language to our own purposes in a manner that is at least disingenuous, if not deceitful. Take the name “National Organization for Women.” The NOW website describes itself as “the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States.” Feminist activists can hardly be considered representative of American women in any sense, so the name makes a false claim.
The NOW website claims as goals “promoting diversity” and fighting intolerance. On the page dealing with talking points for homosexual marriage, we read this: “Allowing same-sex couples to marry shows our commitment to diversity, equality, tolerance, and respect.” It appears to us that this commitment is highly questionable. Clearly they are not committed to diversity of thought and tolerance of those who disagree with them. If their slogan “Flush Rush” and their page devoted to his crimes labelled “Sexist Piggery” betray “respect,” then they have turned ordinary language upside down. The website characterizes Limbaugh as a “bigoted bully.” Mr. Limbaugh should treat them with respect, but they do not have to return the favor. What should we call their picketing of a radio station, a respectful act of tolerant unbullying?
Redefining terminology in this way is a common tactic to win arguments. Its use by liberals appears to us as egregious bad faith, if not inherently deceitful. We are reminded of an all-too common human trait, that of projecting our own faults onto others. As a thought experiment, let’s pretend we are liberal, progressive, even radical. Now if we are intolerant of those we disagree with and want them silenced, we can simply proclaim them bigots undermining diversity, tolerance, and all the other values we progressives choose to make our positions sound good. After all, how can those who disagree with our pet notions of diversity and tolerance themselves be tolerant? Rather than question our own views, we’ll just project our own problems onto those who disagree, then universalize our notions so that differing notions of toleration of course become intolerant. And if those who think differently – now our enemies – are intolerant, then – res ipsa loquitur – we are not being intolerant in opposing them with the vehemence they deserve. For how could it be intolerant to oppose intolerance, we ask (quite illogically?) The vehemence of our reaction, throwing everything on our enemies and emptying ourselves of any hint of self-criticism, betrays and allays our inner turmoil. After all, as Lenin notet, to make an omelette one has to break some eggs. Just so long as we do not become Humpty Dumpty.