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Of prejudice and projection

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 5:05 pm - February 22, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Intolerance,Liberals

What remains striking about the LA Times Op-Ed that I linked and critiqued earlier today is that the paper’s editors chose to publish it.

Now, to be sure, its author is representative of a certain type of liberal, she is not representative of American liberals in general. Indeed, many of us on the right have left-leaning friends who hold political views similar to the columnist, yet don’t shun people merely because of their politics.  As our reader sonicfrog relates in the comments:

My partner in the duo band Taylor Martin is a Socialist… No, not the socialist lite that many consider Obama to be, but a real card carrying Socialist / Communist. And he’s not quiet about it either. He’s a political hot-head and talks about how evil capitalism is all the time. Yet, we get along just fine.

I would dare say that he’s not the only GayPatriot reader (nor indeed the only right-of-center American) to have such friends.  By the same token, many (if not most) liberals have conservative friends with whom they continue to associate (and whose company the often enjoy) despite their political differences.

With that in mind, I ask agin, “What were the Times editors thinking when they accepted this piece of publication?”  Did they want to discourage liberal readers from befriending conservatives? Did they think she could serve as a role model? Or did they just want to make excuses for their own ideological isolation, explaining away their paucity of conservative friends and associates?

In reading this woman’s piece, we can see that, boy, she does have her issues, projecting her prejudices onto conservatives, contending we lack empathy– even as she provides evidence that they are.  And saying we’re not kind.

She assumes that should her conservative neighbor fall on hard times, he might well question his feeling “that the government shouldn’t be helping anybody out” as if he had never factored bad things happening to people into his political calculus.  Many of us righties do.  And that’s why most of us donate generously to charities.  (Is she aware of surveys showing conservatives to be more generous than liberals?)

One wonders why this woman refused to take the time and attempt to empathize with her conservative neighbor.  It does seem a kind person would at least consider his neighbor’s opinions.

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