Saturday, October 20, 2007

Rankled

I made the mistake of going to Free Republic yesterday. I couldn't help feeling shocked at the vitriol being spewed over there. I felt like I was a kid again, when all the adults around me disparaged the bleeding heart liberals and the homosexuals. It's all rampant condemnation and self righteousness over there. It made my blood boil. And I woke up this morning still rankled. So of course, I won't be going to that site anymore.

I kept thinking about the study they recently did comparing the brains of left wing and right wing individuals. Apparently the right wing brain is prone to knee-jerk reactions, while the liberal brain tends to take time before decision making. I read two editorials on the subject, one by a liberal and one by a conservative. The conservative lauded his knee-jerk reaction brain (when decision making in a life threatening situation is required, only quick thinking will do), while the liberal praised his brain's tendency to mull things over before coming to a decision. The study itself indicated that liberals' decisions were correct more often. It is all very fascinating. And it explains why the two will never see eye to eye.

What I don't understand is this. If it has been shown that our brains are wired differently, then condemnation is really not useful. It's like condemning a dog for the color of its fur. I might not agree with much of the conservative platform (though I must admit that I DO agree with some of it) but the worst I say about "them" is that they are cold-hearted. And I'd just like to say to them that it feels better to have a warm heart than a cold one. It is sad to live your life filled with hard feelings for others. There is so much to be happy about in life, it seems like such a waste (hi Anne , Rush et al) to spend it spewing hate.

18 comments:

Ed said...

The conservative right have tried to make the word liberal a dirty word but i'm proud to be one.
The Gay brain is wired differently than the straight brain as well.
We need a live and let live attitude but the Right have a live and make die attitude.
As bush vetoed the bill giving more health insurance to children he remarked, "We've helped the lower middle class enough." I say you can't help them too much so how could you help them enough?

Doug said...

And our "leaders" do their very best to stir up hatred, rather than promote understanding and cooperation. Hatred, after all, is good for ratings.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Hello, i'm back in blog land :>)

Sounds like things have kept you ranting, good to keep the soul alive with something to get your goat.

A:>)

Lemuel said...

I'm tuned in with Doug - I fear a lot of the hatred spewed is partially for the purpose of "ratings". People seem to love what is sensational and entertaining - whether it is correct or truthful or rational.

Gregory said...

yeah...there was a time when that site would have bothered me. now i just find it laughable. it's so terribly biased and one-sided that it's just a lesson in what "journalism" is NOT (if i were teaching a class on newswriting, i would use that site as an example of how not to write). of course, there are liberal equivalents, too. these are equally laughable (though i tend to agree with their analysis heheh).

but now you've got me curious: what aspects of conservatism do you agree with? (don't answer that, we don't want to start a firestorm of knee-jerk conservative rants when people call you down for your ideas).

;)

Cooper said...

I don't really understand how such lack of compassion and empathy is created in a person. Don't we all grieve our losses in the same way under our skins? I think maybe it all comes down to fear. Fear of any kind of difference. Fear is the ultimate form of self-protection.

Anonymous said...

Any chance there's a link to that article?

Chunks said...

I think I am liberal and conservative. I am a bleeding heart but I'm a knee-jerker too. Except my knee-jerkedness comes from a place of compassion. Well, maybe not TODAY, but generally.

Anne Coulter is the devil's spawn.

Laverne said...

was thinking about this last night... in regards to my father. To me, it's all about power and fear. Lose the power? In comes the fear.

No conservative thinks he or she is fighting for hatred, nor does a liberal. The loud voices on either side mask the issues. Oh, they said what? Good god, how horrible they are. Good thing we're better than that. Poor narrow-minded thinkers.

Liberals and conservatives... both are guilty of this kind of talk. Instead of focusing on the issues at hand, it's easier to just bad mouth the "other" and all they've done to fuck up the world.

Argh.
Can't we just get along?

GayProf said...

I like to believe that everybody can be brought around to think about things more throughly.

em said...

I don't know. I think it is important to point out when an idea is wrong headed. Even though there is not racial equality, at least there isn't slavery any more. There may be a glass ceiling, but women have the vote. Gay marriage is legislated against in many US states, but the Conservatives and Republican operatives who used that issue as a wedge to GOTV, are dying in the polls.

Snooze said...

I think that most conservatives (true ones) are just as quick to distance themselves from Anne and Rush, and Bush for that matter.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

Oh where, Oh where is this study. I must see it.

David said...

I'm not sure I believe this study. I find it hard to believe that a liberal-leaning mom will mull things over if she sees a rabid dog lunging at her child. I don't think a conservative adult would have a knee-jerk reaction when making health care decisions for an elderly parent.

I believe these are learned behaviors that may influence the brain and its structure, but at our core, we are the all human beings.

Mark in DE said...

"If it has been shown that our brains are wired differently, then condemnation is really not useful. It's like condemning a dog for the color of its fur."

I couldn't agree more! If only people could be comfortable with diversity, and not think that those who are different are wrong.

Mark

P.Brownsey said...

Doesn't this run together two distinguishable distinctions, that between knee jerk and pondered on the one hand and that between conservative and liberal on the other? It's not obvious that knee-jerk reactions have to be right-wing. Can't there be knee-jerk compassion?

Perplexio said...

But see that puts everything in a liberal/conservative perspective. I believe most folks tend to be moderates who lean to the right on some issues and to the left on others.

I believe I read in one of Dinesh D'Souza's (an excellent right wing thinker and former Reagan speech-writer) books that liberals will ask "What do you believe?" whereas conservatives tend to ask "Why do you believe that?"

In a somewhat more moderate article shortly after the 2004 US Presidential election (and I wish I could remember who wrote this) that liberals tend to exhibit an intellectual superiority whereas conservatives tend to exhibit a moral superiority and that the US would never get past its divisiveness until both sides got over themselves and stopped acting so superior with each other.

Patricia said...

i can't even go places like that anymore, it just makes my blood boil. i'd seriously like to get the v-chip thing, just so that i could block my television from showing fox news.