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                   Sunday, January 29, 2017

On politics, science and current US division

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I'll start by saying first, I am neither Republican or Democrat. I do not associate with any party, I vote for whoever I think is best for the job and who best represents my values and concerns. I did not vote for either Trump or Clinton. I felt that either would be divisive and inflammatory to the half of the country they didn't represent.

I can understand the frustration of the election of a government that opposes ones values, it's happened to me before. But the displays from the Left, both after the election and after each of Trump's actions in office, are appalling.

The Left suffered an utter routing in the November 8 election. They lost not only the Presidency, but control of both the House and the Senate. On that day and in the weeks and months following, the Left has shown that they have done absolutely no introspection as to why they lost. Rather, they are doubling down on the very tactics that they seem to not realize helped get them into this predicament: 1.) maintaining their echo chamber, surrounding themselves only with viewpoints to which they already agree, and 2.) screaming profanity and calling anyone who disagrees with them a racist, xenophobe, bigot, nazi, etc.

Until the Left recognizes that:

  • their perception (and the media's perception) of their level of control of society, culture and law has been faulty. The most glaring example of this is how blindsided they were by the election results.
  • they haven't won the culture war
  • people with opposing views have legitimate concerns (and those make up as much as half of the population of this country)
  • co-opting the most vile insults (racist, nazi, bigot, etc) and using them to label all who disagree is alienating even moderate classical liberals from the Left
  • whatever extreme actions they take in protest of the current administration legitimizes those same actions against themselves if and when the pendulum of political power swings back in their direction.
  • they mischaracterize anything and everything they disagree with with pejoratives/falsehoods and paint with euphemisms their side of controversial issues (for example, why not just come out and say you are for unrestricted immigration, and give your reasons for believing so?)
..then they can only expect a further erosion of their influence on US politics and society. One only has to look at recent political events around the world - namely Trump's election in the US, the shift of control to the Tories and Brexit vote in Britain - to see that the Left has been suffering a series of catastrophic failures that desperately call for their internal reform. But so far, I see no evidence that this self-evaluation is in progress - only a louder screaming of the insults and even threats of violence by many people I previously held in high respect.

The crisis of scientific consensus

In a related topic: the choice of many in the science enterprise to associate with virulent anti-religion and the politics of the Left has resulted in science itself being highly politicized. It should come as no surprise, then, that the ones being told that their beliefs are delusional by self-appointed pop-culture frontmen of science are now very skeptical of what science is saying. Science, like the Left, needs to undergo some introspection as to why they are having so much trouble getting their consensus accepted by the general public - that is, stop blaming the "deniers" for the problem. If science is to be accepted by all, its facts must be presented with political and philosophical neutrality.

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