Thursday, March 30, 2006

Anti-Americanism: The Other World Superpower

What do terrorists, fashion elite, Euro-socialists, communists, the U.N. all have in common? They all hate America. So goes The Futurist's argument. He further explains crafty ways to expose this cowardly "Superpower" through logic. Logic doesn't work in some conversations though. I include a couple examples below.

While engaged in argument with a very nice, sincere, socialist/liberal/utopian/feminist at a party during Chiropractic college, we disected one of her very deeply held beliefs about the benefits of some social program. When we got to the bottom though, (and I can't remember the substance here, if I remember I'll tell you) and coming to the conclusion that her position had been misguided all along, she started sobbing. Honest-to-pete, I did not expect this tough broad (her husband hasn't taken a bath in years, a habit he picked up living in France, I kid you not, and he stays homes with the children while she supports the happy tribe) to bawl right then and there.

"What should we do then?" she wailed.

"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry." I mumbled looking around in consternation. Everyone at the party, besides my husband and me were staunch socialist/liberal/utopian/feminist New Yorkers as opposed to us conservative/christian/semi-feminist/utopian/somewhat libertarian New Yorkers who were moving out of New York as fast after graduation as our little fat legs would carry us. I wasn't worried about being beat up exactly, but I didn't want to be booted from the party either. Oh, how had I allowed myself to get engaged thusly? My specialty, while living there, was to nod politely and enjoy the company, because they were nice company.

My response was highly evolved (sarcasm), I didn't want to further the sorrow by offering a solution that would result in a psychic-break, the sobbing was bad enough, so I said: "I need a beer. Do you want one?" To which she just shook her hanging head mournfully while her smelly boyfriend/husband-to-be glared at me as I slunk away.

It should be noted here, that I had often parried with the Smelly Husband-To-Be over politics. He got so mad at me once that (I was right, he later admitted on the phone) he stomped out of my apartment and slammed the door when I said he was in no position to offer criticism of Rush Limbaugh when he had never listened to him, while I was qualified to argue the merits of Howard Stern versus Rush since I had listened to both. His door slamming amused me. I had seen people slam doors and leave in movies, but no one had actually slammed a door in my face mid-argument. Fascinating. It frustrated him, though. Because our apartment doors were in a dorm building built at Eisenhower College which was bought by New York Chiropractic College, they were unbelievably heavy and spring loaded (precisely so they couldn't slam and bother all the other residents). So he had to drag the door shut to make it slam. Very funny.

In another discussion, he put forth the argument that marriage is slavery. So tired. So incredibly tired. Since I was married, and he had never been, and he still nursed a broken heart from an "open relationship" that went horribly wrong because he actually loved the girl he was with but was too gutless to ask her to MARRY HIM, I proceeded to explain to him the freedom of marriage. He evidently took the point because he is now married and to a nice girl, too. Domesticity no doubt agrees with him.

So there are few of my experiences arguing with people who govern their life by emotions. Their sincerity and empathy always impresses me. But my experience has been that devout Christians tend to be more oriented to doing something about the problems. The faith-based institutions lead the clean-up and rebuilding and continue to do so on the Gulf. In New York, my friends (all of them poor college students, I might add, who had yet to make a dime or pay taxes--this distinguished Steve and I from them since we actually worked and paid taxes before going back to grad school) believed the State should solve this or that problem. They believed taxes should be raised.

I said to my friend, well if taxes should be raised, "Why don't you take the lead and put extra money in your taxes? Why do you work hard to minimize your tax bill?"

"Well, I'm poor," he said.

"Yeah, so, people who are working have families, and responsibilities, what makes your money more valuable to you than their money valuable to them? And besides, there are people poorer than you who could use the help."

He had no answer. I think every person should be exposed to beliefs different than their own. It makes you smarter and more fully developed. Hanging out with people who didn't believe like me didn't bother me at all. In fact, it was enjoyable.

Part of the problem today is that socialize exclusively with people who believe, think, have the same background, worldview etc. I see this in liberal circles and conservative ones, too. No one can even entertain an opposing viewpoint or argue it for that matter because they accept their own authority because everyone believes just like them.

This my friends is called in logic Ad Populum. Or Appeal to Popularity--everyone approves of it, it must be true.

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