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Why intelligent liberals often fail to make strong arguments

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:26 am - November 28, 2012.
Filed under: Academia,Liberal Intolerance,Liberals

In the thread yesterday to a college classmate’s Facebook post on supposed GOP voter suppression in Florida*, I made the case for voter identification laws.  When I provided evidence of voter fraud, including linking articles, he dismissed such notions as “claptrap,” with another classmate chiming in to tell me to ” Learn to actually think”.  Fascinating how educated liberals oftentimes refuse to acknowledge the facts conservatives present or to address the arguments we make.

And when we don’t agree with their arguments, they accuse us being narrow-minded — or not thinking.  Gee, wonder if he faults former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens for not thinking, given that that liberal jurist defended the constitutionality of voter ID laws in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board.

Almost at the same time that I was reading my classmates’ attempt to dismiss my arguments with quips, I caught an explanation for the behavior of this very bright men who attended a very good college on Instapundit:

I’ve always believed that academia’s liberal bias uniquely advantages conservatives and libertarians because it guarantees that such students do not grow up in an intellectual echo-chamber. Instead, they are challenged every day to communicate clearly, order their thoughts with care and sharpen their arguments.

What is sad is that so many of our liberal peers think they are making the better argument when they’re not making arguments at all.

They’re just so used to their liberal opinion being validated.

*he linked this article.  Would Yahoo! feature an article by an ex-Democrat (under indictment) alleging that his (former) party was engaging in vote fraud, with party leaders denying that he attended the meetings in question?

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74 Comments

  1. ‘When I provided evidence of voter fraud, including linking articles, he dismissed such notions as “claptrap,” with another classmate chiming in to tell me to “ Learn to actually think”.”

    Your mistake. You are empowering them.

    A) UNFRIEND
    B) call him homophobe

    Comment by susan — November 28, 2012 @ 3:50 pm - November 28, 2012

  2. And if it getting ID is so difficult, maybe the logical response is to change it so that it is easier to get ID. That way, the integrity of elections is preserved while it cannot be claimed that there is any voter suppression.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 28, 2012 @ 4:08 pm - November 28, 2012

  3. Look, the Democrats run voter registration drives all the time. Would it really be that hard for them to run Voter ID drives? Of course not. Their opposition has nothing to do with voter suppression and everything to do with keeping the fraud going.

    Comment by V the K — November 28, 2012 @ 4:13 pm - November 28, 2012

  4. Jesus rattlesnake, why do they let you stay in Canada?

    Huh?

    Conservatives hate turnout.

    Maybe that is because we think low-information voters shouldn’t be voting, becuase they have a way of screwing everyone else by voting for what benefits them at the expense of everyone else and hence undermining the economy and society in general.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 28, 2012 @ 4:13 pm - November 28, 2012

  5. A better question is why do Democrats want to maximize the voting participation of idiots and felons?

    Personally, I think people should have to pass the same citizenship exam administered to immigrants before they are allowed to vote.

    Comment by V the K — November 28, 2012 @ 4:25 pm - November 28, 2012

  6. And if it getting ID is so difficult, maybe the logical response is to change it so that it is easier to get ID. That way, the integrity of elections is preserved while it cannot be claimed that there is any voter suppression.

    That’s only logical if voter fraud is a real problem. Solutions are only logical if you’re solving problems that exist, and that’s not the case in this situation, because voter fraud does not exist in any significant amount.

    I would add that it’s a very un-conservative position to advocate for more government and more bureaucracy and more identification programs and cards and departments. Not only are you trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist, you’re contradicting all of your bluster about small, limited government.

    Comment by Levi — November 28, 2012 @ 4:31 pm - November 28, 2012

  7. Now back to my point, can we not look objectively and see the similarities?

    Just because similarities might exist doesn’t imply they are both equally wrong. From my perspective, it is obvious that there is no question which side is right, but I’m sure I can’t be objective because my bias is deeply ingrained. I think I’m right, and if I were interested I could try to build a solid argument as to why I’m right, but until then I can’t be completely certain (even though I have sort of been doing that since I started my blog, and that has built on what others have done, although none of it is exhaustive).

    And again, why are the Democrats’ voter fraud schemes centered on cities, where they don’t need any help?

    To increase their margin in the state as a whole.

    Because some people work hard but still can’t improve matters for themselves or their children.

    Not to mention that hard work isn’t the only component. Good decision making is also necessary.

    I enjoy debating over issues, which is how this thread started with me attempting to show the hypocrisy of the article.

    And the premise for your comment is flawed, because this isn’t an echo chamber (as The_Livewire pointed out).

    I thought this site would be a little more center of the road because it is desinged for the gay community, who I thought would be a little more accepting of different ideologies.

    You’re making the assumption that homosexuality has something to do with political views. I certainly don’t think it does. And given the experience many gay conservatives have with extremely hostile gay leftists, it actually makes sense that gay conservatives are less trusting.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 28, 2012 @ 4:47 pm - November 28, 2012

  8. That’s only logical if voter fraud is a real problem. Solutions are only logical if you’re solving problems that exist, and that’s not the case in this situation, because voter fraud does not exist in any significant amount.

    There is a possibility that it exists. Every fraudulent vote cast cancels out a legitimate vote. It is worthwhile to make such a small sacrifice (as requiring ID to vote) in order to ensure the integrity of the elections.

    I would add that it’s a very un-conservative position to advocate for more government and more bureaucracy and more identification programs and cards and departments. Not only are you trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist, you’re contradicting all of your bluster about small, limited government.

    Government is necessary to ensure, to the greatest possible extent, that everyone’s rights are being equally protected (which is, by the way, why Somalia is a failed state). Voter ID is necessary to accomplish that.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 28, 2012 @ 4:52 pm - November 28, 2012

  9. “58.That’s only logical if voter fraud is a real problem. Solutions are only logical if you’re solving problems that exist, and that’s not the case in this situation, because voter fraud does not exist in any significant amount.”

    This is idiocy as everything written by the retard levi

    Obama won with 300,000 votes. I can see democrats bussing people in relevant precincts and having people with no voting rights being granted fake identities to commit fraud.

    Someone should explain this royal retard that in a nation of laws (as opposed to the lawless nation that brain dead leftiests wants where laws are adapted according to status) even 1 fake vote is a crime.

    Again usually leftist idiots are so enamored with European sophisticated ways, none of them here contested what I wrote.

    Even random tax cheating does not damage much after all so I guess levi is fine with semi wealthy and billionaires that vote Republican cheating the tax code?

    Comment by susan — November 28, 2012 @ 5:31 pm - November 28, 2012

  10. As we’ve seen time and time again susan, Levi’s answer to facts is to scream his lies louder.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 28, 2012 @ 5:49 pm - November 28, 2012

  11. Just so we’re clear:

    1. Levi knows voter fraud is real.
    2. Levi knows voter fraud benefits Democrats.
    3. Levi wants voter fraud to continue.

    Once you accept the Levi does not argue in good faith, you’ve taken another step on the path to enlightenment.

    Comment by V the K — November 28, 2012 @ 6:04 pm - November 28, 2012

  12. There is a possibility that it exists. Every fraudulent vote cast cancels out a legitimate vote. It is worthwhile to make such a small sacrifice (as requiring ID to vote) in order to ensure the integrity of the elections.

    So the standard for creating laws is now based on the possibility of crimes being committed? That’s absurd.

    You know, it’s posssible that people are shaving their pubes on the city bus. I don’t have any evidence for that, but it’s possible! You can’t argue with that! Does that mean we should pass laws against it?

    The answer is no, because even though the possibility exists that people are shaving their pubes on the city bus, it doesn’t happen, or happens extremely infrequently, because people don’t behave that way. If you just shut your brain off and forget everything you know about human nature, there are any number of possible crimes that people could commit. But how is that productive? You have to take into account what motivates people, what compels them to do things like cheat and break the rules. If breaking a law carries a penalty but confers absolutely no benefits, people generally avoid breaking that law.

    And the scale that would be required. You’d have to have millions of people doing this in order for it to affect an election, this would presumably require a massive effort on the part of Democratic officials, and still there’s no proof. 10 cases of voter fraud in the last 10 years? And you’re willing to pass laws that effectively disenfranchise millions of people. It’s also very easy for you to dismiss Voter ID as a small sacrifice, considering that it exclusively affects Democratic constituencies. What if I suspected rich people of committing voter fraud? What if my proposal to address this problem that possibly exists was to have rich people verify their identity by bringing 10 years of tax returns to their precinct to be fully audited before they were able to vote? You know, to confirm their identity. Would my law, so obviously designed to minimize the turnout for a reliably conservative constituency, be justified in your opinion?

    Government is necessary to ensure, to the greatest possible extent, that everyone’s rights are being equally protected (which is, by the way, why Somalia is a failed state). Voter ID is necessary to accomplish that.

    No it isn’t. The idea is that citizens get a vote, not citizens WITH AN ID get a vote. There are people that live in the woods and have never stepped foot in a government building in this country, and they still get a vote. Voting should not be hard. Voting should not be complicated. Voting should not take 12 hours. Everyone has the right to vote in this country, and the Republicans’ fake voter fraud stories and their voter suppression efforts interfere with that.

    Comment by Levi — November 28, 2012 @ 6:48 pm - November 28, 2012

  13. So the standard for creating laws is now based on the possibility of crimes being committed? That’s absurd.

    You know, it’s posssible that people are shaving their pubes on the city bus. I don’t have any evidence for that, but it’s possible! You can’t argue with that! Does that mean we should pass laws against it?

    This argument is absurd. Even if people were doing that, why would there be a law against it? Wouldn’t it be covered by laws against indecent exposure anyway?

    Voter fraud violates laws that already exist (whether they are written or not).

    If you just shut your brain off and forget everything you know about human nature

    I’m not sure what human nature has to do with anything. Anyway, you can’t just use “human nature” to try to predict what people will and will not do.

    And the scale that would be required. You’d have to have millions of people doing this in order for it to affect an election

    So? One fraudulent vote is good enough, considering the minimal effort that would be needed to require ID when voting.

    And you’re willing to pass laws that effectively disenfranchise millions of people

    Millions of people who shouldn’t be voting anyway, if they aren’t even competent enough to obtain some identification.

    What if my proposal to address this problem that possibly exists was to have rich people verify their identity by bringing 10 years of tax returns to their precinct to be fully audited before they were able to vote? You know, to confirm their identity.

    The problem with this is that it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

    Everyone has the right to vote in this country,

    I’m sure there are a lot of people who would argue with that.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 28, 2012 @ 7:19 pm - November 28, 2012

  14. Meanwhile, ten years of tax returns to be allowed to vote? Fine by me.

    Now watch as the desperate Levi screams and cries that he and his fellow Obama supporters shouldn’t have to follow that standard.

    Again, it’s pure hypocrisy. Levi and his Obama Party need voter fraud. Period.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 28, 2012 @ 7:30 pm - November 28, 2012

  15. Hey Levi! Try thinking for a change, will ya!

    Blue areas have higher voter fraud because that is where folks living on the dole have the time and want/need the extra cash to vote more than once. Or the poll workers will cheat by throwing votes away.(cash – there’s your incentive)

    Red areas – more rural and suburban will not tolerate such crap and will turn in suspected cheaters.

    In the cities? Turn in suspected cheats? Ha! that is not likely to happen there. Too busy with other “real” crimes to worry about a little fishy stuff at the polls.

    It comes down to culture – folks who respect the rule of law will have less cheaters; areas where there is less respect for the law will have more folks willing to take a few extra dollars to cheat.

    CASH – it can allow a politician to do almost anything.

    Comment by Charles — November 28, 2012 @ 11:56 pm - November 28, 2012

  16. “They’re just so used to their[conservative liberal/libertarian] opinion being validated.”

    Comment by Passing By — November 29, 2012 @ 12:31 am - November 29, 2012

  17. Again, the vague, disconnected satisfaction of knowing your political candidate won an election is not something that motivates people. There are tens of millions of people in this country that don’t vote at all. And yet, supposedly there are legions of people out there who are spending all day double and triple voting because they think they’re going to get something meaningful in return? It’s unbelievable.

    I realize that being a resident of The District can give one a skewed sense of our electoral process, particularly when an elector of said locale is only accustomed to voting for a) POTUS; b) city council members; c) board of education members; and/or d) giving Eleanor Holmes Norton an electoral landslide attagirl for her outstanding committee work and occasional media appearances for the previous two years.

    But in the America outside of the Beltway (hereinafter referred to as The Real World—and not to be confused with a cable TV reality show), there are many more races which are relatively easy to skew via electoral fraud; and let’s be clear here: “voter suppression” is voter fraud, so let’s stop treating one as something that rips the very fibers of the medium the Constitution is printed on and the other as something akin to unicorns and virgins in Hollywood.

    In my state, in 2012 alone, there were several legislative races (for residents of The District, that would be members of the state legislature, the governing statewide body) which were decided by less than ten votes—and in once instance, three votes—in either the primary or general election. It doesn’t take a Nate Silver or a Larry Sabato to see where voter fraud would be relatively easy to undertake and pull off, particularly if you had an inkling that the race would be close—or knew that the number of candidates running would make a victory for one particular candidate easier.

    That’s just one instance. In races for smaller offices, like county commission (that’s the governing body of what we in The Real World know as “counties”—kind of like a large area comprised of several cities and/or towns), it could be even easier, since there tends to be a more homogeneous voter base [whereas legislative districts often cross county lines]. If you get your guy (or gal) elected to a county commission slot—or just prevent someone you don’t like from garnering a position, you are one step closer to getting your will imposed upon the governed class. (Hence the allegedly non-existent motivation—no exchange of funds required.)

    Here’s another rub: in another lifetime, I was once an election judge—one of those people who works on election day at each locale in which votes are cast (and often—usually derisively, IMHO—referred to as a “poll worker”). After the 2000 election debacle, in which the election operatives of one state and primarily one county were unable to run a competent election, the entire nation was made to pay for those sins via the Help America Vote Act [or as I call it, The Helpless Americans Voting Act]. Aside from borrowing money from China to give to the states to purchase allegedly cutting edge voting technology, one of those provisions required states to adopt ‘provisional ballots’ to be used in cases where clear voter right to access the ballot box cannot be immediately determined. Every state has provisions for the provisional ballot and the instances in which it may be used.

    Yet, in the election training after HAVA was enacted, my local county elections official essentially said there were to be no provisional ballots used, and, if an election judge was caught distributing such ballot, she would basically beat the hell out of said judge. (While those exact words weren’t used, the same intent was conveyed.)

    So subsequent to that statement, when I questioned what prevented someone from voting in a neighboring county in the morning and coming into my county and voting in the afternoon (and registering at the polls in the later instance, as my state allows same-day voter registration), the answer was essentially “nothing”. In my mind, that set off alarm bells, as it showed that even in my allegedly evil very Republican state and very Republican county, the right to vote would not be impeded—even if the right was exercised illegally. This, again, in a very red county in a very red state. I can only imagine what occurs in blue counties in blue states. (“Your name is Fido Brown? You’re on the list, here’s your ballot! I see your brother Rover is also registered at your address. Don’t forget to remind him to vote today!”)

    I shouldn’t have to explain why this could be an issue, but as a favor to our low-information commenters, let’s use an example and say that there is an evil corporation (an oxymoron, I know—:eyeroll:) out there whose activities are being impeded in a local political subdivision and they wanted to see those activities unrestrained. Why not find a candidate willing to do your bidding (with or without renumeration) and back them, up to and including having a few extra votes go their way? In elections in which single-digit outcomes between winner/s and loser/s are not only likely, but common, this would be quite easy to achieve. Now can you see why voter fraud is not only a concern, but quite possible in the right (and not necessarily rare) instances??

    Comment by RSG — November 29, 2012 @ 5:40 am - November 29, 2012

  18. Voter ID should be required. To say that it is racist or discriminates in any way is a non sequitur. Why is it not racist or dicriminitory to provide a picture ID to buy a reduced rate bus passes for seniors or students in Los Angeles County? In other counties and states there is probably a requirement of a picture ID for access to various services. Opposition to voter ID smells like keeping the door open to voter fraud. Vote early and vote often.

    Comment by Roberto — November 29, 2012 @ 1:13 pm - November 29, 2012

  19. I notice that playing dumb has become part of Levi’s standard operating process. IIRC, he also couldn’t figure out what Obama would have to gain from covering his Benghazi debacle. (Or, maybe that was lower case mike.)

    He now wants us to believe that he finds it impossible to imagine that Democrats would manipulate the electoral process for their own benefit. And he is shocked… SHOCKED… that anyone would suggest that they would do such a thing.

    Anyway, in large urban centers under the hegemonic control of the Democrat Party, the chances of being caught, much less prosecuted, for voter fraud are nil. So, contra Levi, there is no risk to committing voter fraud.

    Second, the Democrat Party (as Levi well knows) benefits immensely from vote fraud. The Democrat vote fraud from large cities like Detroit, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia can easily flip a close election for Governor or Senator; (and very probably did for Al Franken and Christine Gregoire). And doubtless those who participated are rewarded by the party, one way or another.

    A corrupt political machine with monopoly control of the levers of Government and access to the public treasury can give out much in the way of favors.

    So, the question is, is Levi stupid enough to believe that inner city Democrat machines are models of propriety and lawfulness, or is he just lying?

    Comment by V the K — November 29, 2012 @ 1:42 pm - November 29, 2012

  20. let’s be clear here: “voter suppression” is voter fraud, so let’s stop treating one as something that rips the very fibers of the medium the Constitution is printed on and the other as something akin to unicorns and virgins in Hollywood.”

    Thank you

    Comment by Passing By — November 29, 2012 @ 1:48 pm - November 29, 2012

  21. Irony: Someone makes a blog post about how liberals are incapable of argument because they can only repeat talking points from their echo chamber. Then, a liberal proves the point by posting talking points from their echo chamber.

    Comment by V the K — November 29, 2012 @ 1:50 pm - November 29, 2012

  22. “Irony: Someone makes a blog post [comment] about how [conservative liberals] are incapable of argument because they can only repeat talking points from their echo chamber. Then, a [conservative liberal] proves the point by posting talking points from their echo chamber.”

    Comment by Passing By — November 30, 2012 @ 12:50 am - November 30, 2012

  23. Ah, I see Passing By is acknowledging that V the K is superior and able to live up to standards that Passing By, being a liberal, is incapable of reaching.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 30, 2012 @ 3:05 am - November 30, 2012

  24. Passing By is an idiot savant minus the savant part.

    Comment by V the K — November 30, 2012 @ 9:17 am - November 30, 2012

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