Conservatives and Liberals are not Equal

The few thoughts below were first aired on my Facebook.

I spend an interesting afternoon with another French speaker the other day, an author from a poor country. (More on him later.) He is a thoughtful, creative and energetic man. Then, I had a brief conversation with well-off typical Santa Cruz liberals at a pleasant dock event in the harbor.

The thought crossed my mind that in the world today, leftism and conservatism are not symmetrical intellectual or moral positions. In most of the Third World, in much of Europe, and increasingly, in the US, if you are able to read a newspaper you become almost automatically a leftist. It’s in the air and on the ground. Speaking of air, the position often allows you to put on airs without having to read any books. Leftism is the default option for the semi-educated and for many of the formally educated but lazy.

Because there are so few guides to it, conservatism, by contrast, requires intellectual initiative, even occasional heavy lifting. The asymmetry is also found in the baggage each side carries: Conservatives are well informed about liberal programs because they cannot help but be. Few liberals however avoid being pathetically dependent on gross stereotypes of conservatism as a political doctrine. Few even know that it’s a political doctrine based on a well-defined moral stance. I think most of my former colleagues, university professors, know that. Of course, it’s not reasonable to expect their students, your kids, to know any better.

We are not equal. Conservatism requires effort. Liberalism is passive. (“Progressivism” is the label of those who want to sound cool and vaguely dangerous without taking risks.)

Below is a comment o to the original Facebook posting by an American artist who lives in Japan.

The U.S. is now experiencing one of those tectonic shifts of political sentiment that typically befall presidents midway through their second term (if they are unfortunate enough to be elected to a second term). With the U2 incident Khruschchev made a fool of Ike. Johnson fumbled Vietnam, Nixon, with Watergate, after declaring himself not to be a crook, was forced to resign, Clinton was neutered by Monica, and Bush Jr watched cluelessly as the house-of-cards financial system came down around him. Obama’s downfall is already upon him, rather early as these things go, but unmistakable. And with him the entire politically-correct project is discredited. This avatar of liberal values has been exposed by this moment of glasnost as a serial violator of the Constitution, a snoop of the lowest order, even worse than Nixon. For the first time, his rhetoric is unable to mask the statist agenda. These massive violations of the Fourth Amendment (barring ‘unreasonable searches and seizures’) are utterly indefensible in law or policy, and — here’s the big difference now — everyone knows it. The ‘consent of the governed’ is evaporating before your eyes. Those who have placed their faith in the current statist ideology are about to experience another ‘god that failed’ moment.

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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42 Responses to Conservatives and Liberals are not Equal

  1. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Few even know that it’s a political doctrine based on a well-defined moral stance.”

    Total nonsense. We’ve known the moral stance of conservatism for a long time. J.K. Galbraith nailed it:

    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    Jacques: anyone with eyes & some minimal capacity for cognition knows what conservatism is and how it’s practiced. Even if I didn’t have the antics of conservatives elsewhere to instruct me I have you and your blog.

    • Terry: My blog is a good start, an elementary step in the right direction. I am glad if I can help you on the right path.

      I am surprised because, so far, you have only showed me stereotypes that are quite far from my world.

  3. Pingback: Rational Ignorance, Fairy Dust and Pissing Away the Future: Libertarians are Selfish and Stupid | FACTS MATTER

  4. Terry Amburgey says:

    Apparently there is one way that conservatives and liberals are equal: both were inappropriately targeted for scrutiny by the IRS.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/24/politics/irs-targeting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    • Absurd! Do you really believe the “equally,” implied in your sentence, Terry?

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        My understanding is that more progressive groups were inappropriately targeted than conservative groups but I may be wrong. Shall we look at the empirical data to see who got screwed over the most?

        As an aside, it seems curious that this didn’t come out in the report by the IRS inspector general. I wonder whether he was a Bush appointee. What’s your guess?

      • Terry: This is too strange for me. Feel free to continue without me.

  5. Terry Amburgey says:

    Since the prospect of actually looking at data has scared away Jacques I’ll continue my musing in a piecemeal way.

    Is the IRS inspector general a Bush appointee? Why yes he is. It’s clear he put together a politically partisan report on inappropriate targeting of political groups since he neglected to mention any groups other that conservative groups. I can’t help but wonder if he’s guilty of perjury…

    “At the May 22 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing “The IRS: Targeting Americans for Their Beliefs,” Chairman Darrell Issa asked George point-blank about “be on the lookout” orders: “Were there any BOLOs issued for progressive groups, liberal groups?”

    “Sir, this is a very important question,” the courtly George replied. “Please, I beg your indulgence …. The only ‘be on the lookout,’ that is BOLO, used to refer cases for political review were the ones that we described within our report.”

    “There were other BOLOs used for other purposes,” he added — such as “indicators of known fraud schemes” and, for “nationwide organizations, there were notes to refer state and local chapters to the same reviewers.”

    He did not mention the one now revealed for progressive groups.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/the-new-front-in-the-irs-scandal-the-inspector-generals-office/277189/

  6. Terry Amburgey says:

    “The Treasury inspector general whose report helped drive the IRS targeting controversy says it limited its examination to conservative groups because of a request from House Republicans.
    A spokesman for Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, said they were asked – by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) – “to narrowly focus on Tea Party organizations.”

    Interesting. In my opinion, not much of a defense for his obvious perjury. However the same @sshat that directed him to only examine the teapublicans would have to charge him so nothing is going to happen.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/domestic-taxes/307813-irs-ig-says-audit-limited-to-tea-party-groups

  7. Terry Amburgey says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to point out the reason that Jacques & I have such a different reaction to the recent revelations about the IRS inappropriately targeting progressive groups. It infuriates me because the scale of IRS misbehaviour is even larger than we were initially led to believe.
    It was atrocious when it came out that IRS functionaries were targeting reviews based on ‘keywords’ such as Tea Party. It’s even worse when we discover the ‘keywords’ covered both ends of the political spectrum.

    Jacques, on the other hand is dumbfounded & flummoxed; he is simply incapable of processing information that is inconsistent with the scenario he’s learned in the teapublican echo chamber where he lives.

    • Jacques is quite capable of processing information that does not conform with some imaginary party line. (He does it often with conservative positions on immigration, for example ; he has also done it in connection with homosexual marriage.) Jacques, on the other hand, thinks there is little reason to trust the media in general or some unexamined Internet source. Jacques waits for alleged information to appear in reliable sources, such as the Wall Street Journal to treat it as real information.

      Jacques’ attention span has also become deliberately limited because the misdeeds of the Obama administration come so quickly on the heels of a one another and time is limited and life is short.

  8. Terry Amburgey says:

    Here’s an interesting insight into the conservative ‘mind’. And it comes from an impeccable source, one of Jacques’ favorites.

    “Well, I would rather be correct, than politically correct. And it is time for people to read “Industrial Society and its Future,” by convicted serial killer Ted Kaczynski. His work, despite his deeds, deserves a place alongside “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley, and “1984,” by George Orwell.
    Dr. Keith Ablow is a psychiatrist and member of the Fox News Medical A-Team.”
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/06/25/was-unabomber-correct-about-horrors-technology-combined-with-government/

    • You all: I have never heard of Dr So-So (Ablow?) before. I don’t know what the citation means. I don’t really care. It’s OK for Dr Terry to pursue his fixed idea though.

      PS I spend more time each day on the average with National Public Radio than with Fox News. I guess that makes me a masochist.

  9. Terry Amburgey says:

    “PS I spend more time each day on the average with National Public Radio than with Fox News. I guess that makes me a masochist.”

    No, if you were a masochist you’d listen to the CBC.

  10. Terry Amburgey says:

    I just ran across an area where conservatives and progressives are not equal…Not really any surprise but it’s good to get some numbers: 79% bigots among republicans.

    “Supporting the Tesler-Sears findings, Josh Pasek, a professor in the communication studies department at the University of Michigan, Jon A. Krosnick, a political scientist at Stanford, and Trevor Tompson, the director of the Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, use responses from three different surveys in their analysis of “The Impact of Anti-Black Racism on Approval of Barack Obama’s Job Performance and on Voting in the 2012 Presidential Election.”

    Pasek and his collaborators found a statistically significant increase from 2008 to 2012 in “explicit anti-black attitudes” – a measure based on questions very similar those used by Tesler and Sears for their racial-resentment scale. The percentage of voters with explicit anti-black attitudes rose from 47.6 in 2008 and 47.3 percent in 2010 to 50.9 percent in 2012.

    Crucially, Pasek found that Republicans drove the change: “People who identified themselves as Republicans in 2012 expressed anti-Black attitudes more often than did Republican identifiers in 2008.”

    In 2008, Pasek and his collaborators note, the proportion of people expressing anti-Black attitudes was 31 percent among Democrats, 49 percent among independents, and 71 percent among Republicans. By 2012, the numbers had gone up. “The proportion of people expressing anti-Black attitudes,” they write, “was 32 percent among Democrats, 48 percent among independents, and 79 percent among Republicans.”

  11. Terry Amburgey says:

    One of the many canards spread by Jacques & his ilk is that blacks never talk about or worry about black-on-black violence. If they pulled their heads out of their……..teapublican echo chamber they might notice things like this

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-urban-violence-summit-20130727,0,4242714.story

    • Terry:

      I never said “never.” This is your canard.

      What I said or should have said is that there would have been no nationalized Zimmerman trial with full-time television coverage if Zimmerman had been black. I doubt there would have been any trial at all.

      As for my “ilk,” I don’t know what they have done, the bastards!

      The reason for your rage about tea party (so-called) adherents is that they are finally saying aloud the obvious. They violate the canons of political correctness (but not enough yet) by which you have lived most of your life. You can’t stand the indecency of truth.

      Blacks generically are less to blame for the comparative silence regarding black on black violence than are white liberals (and their media) and their black pimps such as Reverend Jackson.

      The massacre of blacks by blacks has reached such proportions that if anyone else did the killing it would be called an attempted genocide. The Democratic Party – where “progressives” reside mostly has been an active accomplice of African-American gangster politicians who are responsible for the conditions that exist in the killing zones.
      Take Detroit for a random example….

  12. Terry Amburgey says:

    @Jacques
    “…the comparative silence regarding black on black violence…”

    Lol. You repeat the canard even as you deny spreading it. If you have ANY real evidence of ‘comparative silence’ produce it (hearing Sean Hannity say it doesn’t count).

    • It’s going to be tough to demonstrate silence.

      Don’t be so prettily elusive:

      Do you think any of the usual tribunes of the black people would have become involved if Zimmerman had been black?

      If you can’t answer such a simple question, talk to yourself.

  13. Terry Amburgey says:

    “The massacre of blacks by blacks has reached such proportions that if anyone else did the killing it would be called an attempted genocide.”

    I won’t say you’re lying, that presumes intentionality. As is typical, you don’t know what you’re talking about but spread the BS anyway. First let me introduce a concept you should learn….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data

    The Uniform Crime Reports developed by the FBI have methodological problems but they are a good starting point.

    “•Black on black homicides have decreased by 67% in 20 years, a sharper rate of decrease than white on white homicide.
    •According to FBI statistics 7361 Blacks were killed by fellow African-Americans in 1991. In 2011, it dropped dramatically to 2447 African-Americans
    •Among black youth, rates of robbery and serious property offenses are the lowest in more than 40 years.”

    • Terry: I used the same source you use.

      You are right, I need to correct myself:

      “Although on the decrease, the massacre of blacks by blacks is so great that if….”

      You are nipping at the edges of an astonishing fundamental truth: An extraordinary level of black violence. And I have not even begun discussing the obvious African-American tolerance of criminal behavior.

      I am just guessing but I suspect your level of anger is commensurate with your realization that the worst generalizations of your enemies turn out to be correct. Honest observers are slaughtering liberal sacred cows: the pre-eminent victims of American history turn out today to not be lambs but wolves. I am referring of course to the half of the US population with African ancestors who also have ancestors who were slaves in the US.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “And I have not even begun discussing the obvious African-American tolerance of criminal behavior.”

        Calling liars liars is verboten, does the same proscription apply to calling racists racists?

  14. Terry Amburgey says:

    “It’s going to be tough to demonstrate silence.”

    Amazing. YOU introduce the notion of ‘comparative silence’ then whine about it’s limitations. Let me help you out; I already have to do your research for you I might as well start doing your thinking for you as well. It would be a big improvement.

    The key here is the word ‘comparative’. You and your ilk argue that there is a discrepancy beteween the proportion of public speech by “…the usual tribunes of black people…” devoted to crime against blacks by non-blacks compared to the proportion crimes against blacks by non-blacks. In the teapublican “mind” [using the term very loosely of course] if X% of blacks are murdered by blacks then no more than 100-X% of public speech by “…the usual tribunes of black people…” can be devoted to the murder of blacks by non-blacks.

    Use the UCR developed by the FBI for the most recent data to get the proportion of the murders of Blacks by Blacks. That gives you one proportion. Use your unique, in-depth knowledge of what black people say to determine the proportion of speech about the murder of Blacks by Blacks. Compare the proportions. What would the French say? Voilà?

    I applaud your new-found interest in comparing proportions and percentages. Here are some to consider….

    “•African Americans were 2 times as likely to be arrested and almost 4 times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.
    •In the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10% longer than white offenders for the same crime.
    •5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
    •African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of Whites
    •African American juvenile youth are about 16% of the youth population, 37% of their cases are moved to criminal court & 58% of convicted African American youth are sent to adult prisons.
    •Controlling for other factors, including severity of the offense and prior criminal history, white men aged 18-29 were 38% less likely to be sentenced to prison than their black male peers
    •African American women are 3 times more likely than white women to be incarcerated
    •African American defendants are 21% more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than Whites and are 20% more like to be sentenced to prison”

  15. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Terry: And ?”

    And I await your data based substantiation of your absurd claims about ‘comparative silence’.

  16. Bruce says:

    How about the horrific murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom in Knoxville, TN back in 2007 as an example of comparative silence? What if the victims had been African-Americans?
    Here are some details of the case:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murders_of_Channon_Christian_and_Christopher_Newsom

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      @Bruce
      Here’s another horrible case. What if the races of the victim and perps had been reversed? Jacques is in the mood for rampant speculation. I’ve done my part, now it’s your turn. Let your imagination run wild.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd,_Jr.

      • Bruce says:

        Terry- The James Byrd, Jr. case you mentioned was widely reported and continues to be brought up by the media. This was not the case with the Knoxville murders. Stay focused or Jacques will send you to the Principal’s office to join me.
        Let’s just get practical for a minute. Whether or not you are willing to admit it, there are predominantly black neighborhoods in every major American city where you will be physically attacked just because you’re white. “You should have known better than to go there, what were you thinking?” Now, tell me how in 2013, the same would hold true if you were a black man in a predominantly white neighborhood. Jus sayin.

      • Terry: Where is the race reversal? Where the killers Hispanic? Or is that pseudo-ethnic category invented by liberals only to be used when it serves a liberal purpose?

      • James Byrd was murdered by drunken bums who were white. I seem to remember that two of the murderers were his drinking buddies.

        Of the three murders, one was given a medal by the governor of his racist state, another is, as I write, happily bouncing his grandchildren on his knee; the third moved to another state while muttering that he would like to “get himself another n…..”

        Or am I wrong on the facts? Again?

  17. Terry Amburgey says:

    @Bruce
    “What if the victims had been African-Americans?”

    That’s a counter-factual. We can speculate to our heart’s content but it is only speculation. Speculation is a lot of fun but I’d prefer something more empirical. Jacques used to think that facts matter, I still do.

    From looking at the link, I think you may be confounding 2 different things: what the black communities say & do and what the mass media says & does. Let me remind you what I posted to start this section of the thread…

    “One of the many canards spread by Jacques & his ilk is that blacks never talk about or worry about black-on-black violence.”

    Your comparative silence seems to refer to the media, i.e. the media under-reports black-on-white crime. Correct me if I’ve mis-interpreted your point.

    Media bias would certainly be a good topic to pursue. I’d suggest going to one of a number of media research organizations to see what’s been done. You could do your own original research but, from what I’ve seen, you’d be stuck with doing only the print media. Good luck finding that research showing that the mass media under-reports black-on-white crime.

    • Terry: You often use your high horses to avoid telling us what you think.

      If Zimmerman had been black do you speculate that there would have been no big deal?

      Or do you never speculate?

      Or do you only speculate when it serves a cause you blindly serve at great cost to your credibility?

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        I’m quite willing to speculate; speculations, like opinions or tastes, can’t be proven wrong. Since you insist on some speculations…

        In the alternate universe of black-george-zimmerman things would’ve been much different. First, black-george-zimmerman would’ve been gunned down by the police when they arrived. Armed black dude standing over a body in Florida. Dead on police arrival. Faux News would run specials covering black-on-black crime and denounce the silence of the usual tribunes of black people. Internet racists would raise a clamor about the obvious African-American tolerance of criminal behavior. The NRA would run a series of commercials pointing out that if the young Mr. Martin had been armed with something more that candy and tea he’d still be alive.

        Well, that was fun but I’ll leave the make-believe to you. There’s a concept called ‘comparative advantage’ (you should read up on it). It suggests that you deal with the make-it-up-as-you-go-along while I focus on empirics.

      • Terry: Significant amounts of inventiveness, silliness and genuine innocence are waste trying to avoid telling us what you think, even what you really speculate.

        The question was: Has Zimmerman been black would there have been a nationally famous trial?

        Making up police execution on the sidewalk does not answer the question. It side-steps it.

        Nevertheless, good point about a possible alternative outcome if Martin had been armed. You are beginning to get it.

  18. David says:

    I have a brief anecdote regarding black men and propensity for criminality. (be it drugs or violence.) During my relatively short working career I’ve worked with four black men. I’ve also served thousands more. At this point in my working life I work in fast food as a manager and as a delivery driver at a pizza place. All four of of them were constantly under the influence of marijuana. Those that I worked with in fast food actually exchanged food for marijuana out of the drive thru window. Outside of the fact that they broke the law by stealing from the company and engaging in drug dealing, they didn’t display any hesitation doing it. People using marijuana occasionally are far less likely to be caught and thrown in jail than those who buy marijuana at a drive thru window with a company’s resources. Is that necessarily representative of the black community? No, but it is curious that all four black men had similar propensities. Keep in mind that the recreational white users that I’ve worked with also demonstrated similar propensities, but the odds of them going to jail for their offenses are much lower because of the differences in their propensities.

    More recently I was delivering a pizza, when I arrived the person who ordered it wasn’t there. The person who answered the door said he was going to get change. I was kept waiting for 10 minutes before the man arrived back. He was black, he apologized for being late. walked into the house and declared (quite proudly) that he has just gotten in a fight and had knocked his opponent down twice. (I changed the description because of the vulgarities involved.) Apparently his family didn’t think much of it. Then he went to his room and grabbed the cash to pay me. He gave me a little extra and said it was for my time. The extra was $.94. The guy being a bad tipper aside, the fact that he left his house to get into a fight after ordering a pizza and exclaiming his victory when he returned was very disturbing to me. To put a little perspective on it, had I done the same thing when I was living at home my dad would’ve given me “wall to wall counseling” and told the ER that I slipped and fallen down the stairs. Then I would have never done the same thing again. Ever. Once again that one black man isn’t representative of the black community, but it is a disturbing anecdote. And incidents such as those is how many people judge whole peoples. For example, black people who saw the Rodney King beating had their opinions of all police changed, and were more likely to be predisposed to thinking that all police are the same. A small child that gets bit by a dog is much more likely to distrust all dogs than a small child that doesn’t get bitten by a dog. Would that be fair to all dogs, no, but is it natural to feel that way, yes.

  19. Terry Amburgey says:

    @David

    The very first time I was turned down for a date (also the very first time I asked a girl out for a date) it was by a moderately cute blue-eyed blonde. To this day I have a strong preference for brunettes. Oddly enough the blue eyes don’t seem to matter; my wife has black hair and blue eyes. It isn’t fair to make these generalizations but it is natural. Try not to let a ‘bad apple’ ruin your view of all apples though…I can assure you, for example, that there are some really nice French people.

    @Bruce

    Jacques wants speculations. If you don’t do your homework you’ll get detention. Do you really want to write a post detailing the chasm between what the pre-election President Obama said about government surveillance and what he presided over after being elected? Think about how long it would be.

  20. Bruce: Good idea for a posting about Obama surveillance regime.

    And I forgive you for your extremely cruel ethnic slur thought it hurts, it hurts, IT HURTS! It is so insensitive.

  21. Terry Amburgey says:

    I want to post this link. Jacques has a peculiar blind spot when it comes to comments by blacks about black crime. Must be some sort of age related macular degeneration.

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/22/opinion/granderson-criminal-kids-responsibility/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

    • Thanks to Terry, I have learned of one conscientious black CNN commentator who wrote a thoughtful and honest piece about black crime and its possible causes. Good start.

      I hope that soon, he Civil Rights aristocracy lodged in the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus will launch massive inquiries about this massive problem.

      I call it “massive” because I am guessing that black homicide causes more American deaths than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan put together.

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