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Manufacturing Liberals


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American Thinker:

Manufacturing Liberals
By Larrey Anderson

Liberals are not insane, as many conservatives believe. Most liberals (I am not speaking here of the political or intellectual class) are ordinary human beings pursuing everyday human lives -- just like the rest of us. Here is a brief summary of why most liberals are liberal and what we can do to help at least some of them understand conservative thought:
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1) Indoctrination, not education

Polls consistently find that over 70% of college professors identify themselves as liberal. The percentage of liberal faculty members is even higher if one removes responses from those teaching the "hard" sciences. In our prestigious universities, the figure approaches 90%. Both of these reported percentages are probably lower than the real figures .

The fact is that America's universities and colleges are no longer institutions that offer their students various political, social, and economic perspectives. There is no exploration of competing concepts, no real debate. Students are not taught how to think, but what to think. Our universities are indoctrination camps (and our public primary and secondary education systems are not much better) -- not campuses for learning and critical discussion.

Almost all of the students who emerge from these indoctrination camps have attended, for years, classes based upon moral, scientific, and epistemological relativism [ii]. Many of those students have never seriously considered, or even been exposed to, alternatives to the propaganda they receive during school. A person cannot change from position L to position C if that person doesn't know that position C is an alternative -- or if the student has been brainwashed into thinking that "C" stands for greed, racism, homophobia, etc.

Yet the hard truth is that conservatives far outnumber liberals in America. It is our fault that we have allowed our educational systems to become indoctrination camps run by the left.

2) Imagination, not intelligence (or possibility, not probability)

One of the most egregious errors that our educational systems dish out, and that the students ingest, is that the imagination is more important than the intellect (or, from a slightly different angle, that possibility is more important than probability). In The Passions of the Soul, Descartes contended that the passion of imagination should be used to employ newly discovered mathematical principles (essentially what is now the calculus) and the scientific method to rule the intellect [iii].

Today's intellectual elites agree with Descartes that the imagination (and, thus, the possible) is more important than reason (and the probable). For instance, a favorite philosopher of intellectual left, Friedrich Nietzsche, claimed, "Art is worth more than truth" [iv].

Here is an extreme (but typical) example of how far out of hand this thinking has gotten in our culture: Many programs that deal with absurd legends on the Discovery, History, and various "science" channels will close the episode by playing spooky music while the narrator says something like this:

Even though we still lack hard evidence, the search for Bigfoot goes on. [Narrator's sonorous voice becomes deadly serious.] Too many questions remain unanswered. And no one can deny that the existence of Sasquatch is ... [momentary pause during musical crescendo] ... possible. [End scary music. Roll credits.]

This approach is banal, but it keeps the viewers coming back to see the next production on Bigfoot that, once again, proves nothing. These programs demonstrate that in our popular culture, imagination is more important than rational thought and possibility is held higher than probability.

Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth is the prime example of (bad) art masquerading as the truth. The movie is filled with factual errors and outright lies. But these distortions count for little in a society where "art is worth more than truth." (Commence creepy music. Roll credits. Stay tuned [v]!)

In making real-life decisions, probability is much more important than possibility. It is possible that I might win the lottery if I buy a ticket. It is more than 99.999% probable that I will not. Life tutors us in this truth -- this is one of the reasons why people tend to become more conservative as they grow older.

Because of our educational system, most liberals are never taught this basic fact of life. It is part of our job to help our liberal friends understand the simple and crucial truth: Just because something is possible does not make it probable.snip
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