David Frum and Kenneth Silber - Conservatives and Science

August 1, 2011

Host: Chris Mooney

When it comes to the U.S. political right, it often appears that the opposition to science-and reason in general-is everywhere. From climate change denial to anti-evolutionism; from debt ceiling denial to, that's right, incandescent light bulb availability denial; conservatives today have plenty to answer for.

Fortunately, some conservatives know it. And given how much he has blasted the "Republican War on Science" in the past, on this show Chris Mooney wanted to hear their take.

So he invited on David Frum. Frum is the editor of the group blog Frum Forum, a former speechwriter for the George W. Bush White House, and a widely published author, most recently of Comeback: Conservatism that Can Win Again. In recent years, Frum has become a leading critic of today's GOP and its allegiance with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.

Joining Frum is Kenneth Silber, a frequent contributor to Frum Forum. Silber is a science writer based in New Jersey who contributes to Research Magazine, Scientific American, and other outlets. He calls himself a "center-right dissenter, a deviationist apostle of the Frumian Heresy" and these days, a RINO (Republican in Name Only).

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

FrumForum.com

Related Episodes

Dan Kahan - The American Culture War of Fact
February 14, 2011

Comments from the CFI Forums

If you would like to leave a comment about this episode of Point of Inquiry please visit the related thread on the CFI discussion forums

Is this really the best the right can offer in terms of people who don’t outright reject “facts” and “reason”?  David Frum?  David Frum was on relatively good behaviour in the podcast with Chris Mooney, but ultimately, he’s still pretty divorced from reality.

Did I not hear him say that denialists were bolstered in the past by the fact that scary scenarios about human population didn’t come to fruition?  What?

At the start of the 60s, when his anecdote was based, the world’s population was a little over 3 billion.  Now, it’s over 6 billion. It took millions of years to get our first 3 billion people (at the same time), and half a lifetime to amass the second 3 billion.  Something like 6% of the “humans” that have ever lived are alive right now.

Current projections are for population to crest at about 9.2 billion in 2050.  That’s, of course, an educated guess.  Even if population growth does stop there and then, is that what Frum considers a crisis that never materialized?  What was he considering a bad outcome?  100 billion people?  So many people that we literally were packed in like New York subway riders?

Seriously.  If you acknowledge that climate change is a problem, or that hunger is a problem, then you must also acknowledge that world population has already become a problem, and that another 50% tacked on would be extremely bad for humankind. 

Although Al Gore won’t generally admit it (thanks partly to southern Baptist upbringing), climate change is a direct result of population explosion.  With only one billion humans, consuming at the same rate as we are today, this isn’t nearly the issue that it looks like it is now.  Don’t like oil prices?  That’s overpopulation, too.  There are not economies of scale in all natural resources, out to infinity. 

I know Chris Mooney is a generally agreeable guy, who probably doesn’t want to scare away his conservative guests, but listening to this episode was like listening to Rachel Maddow talk with Meghan McCain or Michael Steele.  Politeness taken to an absurd extreme, with me screaming into my iPhone, “Jesus, just expose this rodeo clown’s flimsy argument, already!”.  (yes, I know my iPhone isn’t actually listening and that David Frum isn’t officially a rodeo employee)

Otherwise, an interesting episode.

Posted on Aug 03, 2011 at 4:51pm by n8r0n Comment #1

My takeaway: If you want to make scientists and also the huge flow of oil and gas money happy, accept climate change but say we can’t do anything about it.

The problem with that is that you open the issue up to discussion, and then you have to empirically analyze what will work.  You have to say, “there’s nothing government can do” about something that’s the matter with a huge sector of the economy.  If you say, “let’s do <insert token gesture>”, immediately everyone can talk about how fast their plan would fix things compared to yours. 

You find that great ideas like fining fossil carbon and moving that money back into the entire economy via universal tax cuts equal to the collected fine (entire economy, not just non-fossil energy, because efficiency is a non-fossil energy source) are actually rational and efficient! 

In order to not do anything, you have to endorse a fully religious, true-believer libertarian view of the world—one that hopes to see its views vindicated maybe at the end of time, and certainly is not dissuaded if some present facts disagree.  It’s exactly like the crazy hazy uber-philosophical libertarian worldviews exposed by the debt ceiling debate.  The problem with rationalism is that it opens up the floor, while blind or misguided faith stops all discussion.  The latter is in charge now and the only thing left to talk about is stupid crap like Area 51.

Posted on Aug 05, 2011 at 12:44pm by anderlan Comment #2

I am Canadian, as is Frum.  When I moved to the US I noticed and paid attention to him for that reason.  His mother Barbara is famous in Canada for, some say, being the best radio and TV interviewer that Canada has ever produced.  I was a fan of hers.  I wasn’t a fan of David. 

When I lived in Canada and heard Frum there I found him to be among the “very far right” in the Canadian spectrum of political opinion.  But in the US, he is the most reasonable voice I have heard from someone of his generation who would call themselves “conservative”.  I don’t know if Chris is aware of this, but when Frum brought up “the real consequences” for conservatives if they’re on “the wrong side” in internal debate,  it is fresh in his mind that the AEI “think tank” dumped him for that.  I respect him.  It is difficult to put yourself forward attempting to define a political position in a movement, even as almost all others competing in the same space reject you.

I left a comment on Frum’s FrumForum page.  http://www.frumforum.com/can-conservatives-and-scientists-get-along-2#comment-323545  One thing I brought out there was that the population problem is very much still with us.  Climate change is just a big problem caused by the wastes of too large of population.  Although few might be able to see exactly how, the projected 9 or 10 billion population might be sustainable, but certainly not as long as “conservatives” adamantly insist we ignore whatever warning signs come in, such as the accumulating GHG and the beginnings of climate change our scientists observe, as the wastes of that number of people affect the life support systems of the planet. 

I wondered at the way Frum mostly avoided comment on climate change even as Chris Mooney described it in this way: “If there was one number one topic where we have a complete divide over reality between the two parties, and I would go further as to say one of the parties is right, its global warming”.  Although Chris did address that remark to Silber, Frum’s silence on climate as the interview went on became deafening for me.  I visited FrumForum and searched there for something current, written by Frum, on climate.  I found nothing.  If I am to go by what Frum said to Chris Mooney during this discussion, I can’t distinguish between Frum’s position on climate and anyone spouting the typical denier talking points he brought up, for instance, Lord Monckton. 

Here’s what I mean.  Frum actually tried to say conservatives have played a traditional role, performing the “service” to the “world of ideas”, by putting a “check on liberal enthusiasms”.  After declaring that one of those liberal enthusiasms was an attempt to do something about population growth back in the 1960s and attributing to conservative skepticism the fact that little was done and declaring that doing very little has proven to be the wisest course of action because things worked out in the end, Frum suggested that conservatives could continue on with this “traditional service” to the “world of ideas”.  But then all he did was spout climate science denier talking points. 

These were:  “do we KNOW that its going to be so bad, do we KNOW that its effects are going to be so large, are we QUITE SURE some of its effects won’t be benign”. 

Then he apparently declared himself to be a “conservative scientific intellectual”.  And that was it, the end of Frum saying anything about climate change during the entire discussion.  He used to talk policy.  He once advocated that Republicans ought to stake out a climate position by arguing the merits of a carbon tax as opposed to the Democratic Party’s “cap and trade” policy.  That’s why I searched his forum for something he’s written recently.  It seems he’s backing off any position on climate other than there should be a conservative position as opposed to denial, but since all he said here amounted to denial, I don’t see that his position makes any sense at all.  Perhaps courage to oppose what happens to be a “conservative orthodoxy” du jour only goes so far. 

I can’t imagine how Frum expects us to take him seriously on this “service” to “the world of ideas” by stopping “liberal enthusiasms” thing.  This is the man who coined the phrase “Axis of Evil” for Bush as they told Americans the best way to strike back at Al Qaeda was to invade Iraq.  Might we call that the “conservative enthusiasm” that believed they could thus produce a lower price for oil? 

I wondered at Frum when he waxed enthusiastic about what attracted him to the “conservative” movement in the first place.  Had I been part of the conversation, when Frum brought up the “shocking” proposed headline Peters was joking he’d run one day around 1975, i.e. “Criminals belong in prison” saying that one joke “sums up the mood of the time” for his generation of Republicans, I would have asked him why there are so many in that movement today who want to put our best scientists in jail.  How could anyone today have anything like the enthusiasm for conservative ideas the younger Frum had? 

When he brought up Thatcher’s quote:  “the facts of life are conservative”.  I thought no,  its “conservatives deny the facts of life”.  Today’s conservatives are so far from Frum’s “we were not afraid of the facts” they have created what Frum calls “this terrible industry” which Frum could not bring himself to call by its rightful name, of perpetrating lies.  The euphemisms he used, “pretend information, pseudo facts, and knowledge subtraction” are just ways he tries to shield himself, even as he critiques, from what the movement that so excited him in his youth does and has become. 

I think its important to have discussion such as what you did on this show.  People have to start talking to each other in this country no matter what side of the political divide they are on.

Posted on Aug 05, 2011 at 1:02pm by David Lewis Comment #3

PS.  it was a hoot to listen to Frum talk about “magical thinking” as well.  He was referring to various beliefs he says the “left” had, such as not believing that jails are the solution to crime, General Motors cannot go bankrupt, etc.  As a Canadian he must be aware of the position of judges there that they’ve had a front row seat looking on as the US put more of its citizens in jail than in almost any other country and they just don’t see the evidence for the Frum position on jails, to the extent the US actually implemented it.  But never mind.

If the conservative supposed position that reducing taxes actually increases revenue isn’t “magical” in a similar way Frum intends the word to mean when he applies it to the beliefs of “the left”, what evidence would he accept that could finally counter their argument?  Taxes have been cut since Reagan’s time, especially the Bush cuts while he committed the US to two wars, and the result is conservative international opinion such as voiced by The Economist talks about “useless” US politicians unable to cope with the financial problems the US faces.  Meanwhile a country like Germany that has far higher taxes as a percentage of GDP is debating how they can loosen their immigration laws to allow bringing in the highly skilled workers their expanding economy requires to keep blasting along. 

The only sense I can make of the position is that conservatives don’t believe lowering taxes actually raises revenue, that’s just the lie they use to sell the tactic.  What they want is to reduce the size of “government” which, because what the US government does basically is maintain the armed forces and provide the social safety net, means they want to reduce the size of the social safety net.  Rich people don’t need it.  So get rid of it.  The “nanny state” is their buzzword which must be cut, which means Frum’s generation isn’t willing to pay the proportion of taxes that his mother’s generation did when they looked after their mothers, because Frum’s generation don’t mind if more of the geezers, for instance his mother, are just left to die without care, and pensioners are forced to live on a lot less than people of his mother’s generation did.  Its winner take all they want, whatever they can get, and ordinary Americans are fools to support their bankrupt ideas and lies.

Posted on Aug 05, 2011 at 4:08pm by David Lewis Comment #4

Only a small amount of the information I act on is certain from personal experience and intensive study. Most of it is based on who I think I can trust. The same is true for all of you.
  I don’t trust the left. In my youth, I made it a point to get close and inside the burgeoning New Left and listen, and read. No one can escape reading and hearing leftist material throughout life because it is so dominant. I’ve also known a lot of people and read a lot of material on the right. The left is composed of people who range from besotted to unhinged by their sense of superiority, importance, and entitlement. It certainly shows in this blog.
  The left cares little if any about the fate of the world or curing global warming. Leftists do care about feeling like important members of a vanguard and they care about achieving control over people’s lives so that is all the argument is really about. I don’t care what sophistries of language or logic you use to deny it, but I know that when the left and the law get their hands on light bulbs, light bulbs will be more expensive, less convenient and practical, and especially my range of choice will be reduced.
  I work in a museum. Light is our worst enemy. Incandescent light happens to be the least harmful of all light sources. Just maybe if the law is going to be bad for us, it might be bad for some other people too. Just maybe if other forms of light are more harmful to artifacts they might be more harmful in other ways too. But I’m damned well sure that people who don’t care are determined to do the deciding.
  The current left shares with Marxists the quasi-religious delusion that their ideology is the master of all knowledge.
  Christianity is to the right what Marxism is to the left. (Really, this should be stated in the converse except for the fact that the perspective of people here is so left based..) Neither has compunction about sacrificing truth when its emotional foundation is at stake. Creationism is the right’s worst self inflicted wound. It also is a powerful weapon handed on a silver platter to the opposition – an opposition which has not been slow or hesitant in using it. All conservatives get lumped with every scientifically ignorant or superstitious crackpot. All dissenters are now branded “deniers.” The calculated name calling, mob-mentality proclivity of the left is one of its most ugly and terrifying aspects.
  I’m a social and fiscal conservative and I’ve read a few logic books. I’m an atheist but favor religious tolerance. I also favor a strong government sponsored space program. I was for the Superconducting Supercollider. I think state governments, and to a lesser extent even the federal government, should sponsor folklore, archeology, and geology programs and support science museums. It is apparent to me that the wedding of liberalism with science and logic is a metastable patchwork characterized by public exhibitionism and private abuse. Conservatism is far more congenial to the logical mind and the well adjusted human soul (and, no, I don’t believe in a literal soul. The word does have metaphorical meanings).

Posted on Aug 06, 2011 at 6:40am by rg21 Comment #5

... that’s just the lie they use to sell the tactic.

Over the last few years, I’ve reached the conclusion that ‘conservative’ does not mean what it says in the dictionary. Modern conservatism has become synonymous with a flight from reality in order to justify sociopathic self-interest and greed. There’s also a large dose of “whatever those lefties and eco-loonies are for, I’m against”.

Whether its denial of climate change to protect their consumption of ‘cheap’ fossil fuels or denial that government and controls on the ‘free market’ are necessary for a functional society, they appear to be driven by nothing other than what they believe will benefit them most in the next few months or years. And to protect these beliefs they will accept any source that tells them what they want to hear, while rejecting all of modern science if it is inconvenient.

Modern conservatism is in denial of reality - and reality does not compromise or negotiate. Fun times ahead!

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 6:14am by Davito Comment #6

There’s a measured response for you. It wouldn’t take much tweaking to create an inverse that would crudely describe liberals. I remember when the still unrepentant SDS-left was planning and mobilizing for genocide so I love it when they call us sociopaths. We used to think the pot calling the kettle black was bad. Greed - no liberal has greed in his soul. He hasn’t sold all he has to give to the poor but he has worked to take from everybody else and give to his causes. That’s much better. So the right doesn’t trust the left and has figured out that as a short cut, most things the left is for it better be against if it doesn’t share the goals and assumptions of the left. I wonder how that ever happened. Cheap; guilty as charged. I prefer inexpensive to expensive and that’s why I like capitalism. As for regulations, I always wonder where the regulators are going to acquire the information, intelligence, wisdom, integrity, and incentives to make their superior decisions and I’m just a little cynical about it. I’d leave the next to last sentence alone in my inversion and change just the second word of the last.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 6:37am by rg21 Comment #7

I remember when the still unrepentant SDS-left was planning and mobilizing for genocide….

And there’s a perfect example of a ‘conservative’ making claims that are completely detached from reality. A peaceful student anti-war movement from the ‘60s has magically morphed in to a genocidal cult in the rightwing version of history.

Thanks for proving my point and providing an excellent example of the kind of crazy that rational people are up against.

P.S. Rachel Maddow did a great piece that describes how the rightwing alternative ‘reality’ is propagated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJPL-tU7ueY + http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VucDt3T3Jao

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 6:57am by Davito Comment #8

I sat in a room of about 150 students at an official, registered SDS meeting. In came Mark Rugg and a mulatto companion. “The purpose of The Revolution is to kill all of the white people,” the mulatto solemnly announced to the audience which was all white except one Japanese-American. Rudd of course was white and this speaker was at least half white. The purpose of this meeting was to sign people up right now to go to Chicago and start that Revolution. So don’t talk to me about peaceful student protests or peaceful anything and don’t talk to me about delusional realities. Leftists are sociopaths and lying sons of bitches.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 10:42am by rg21 Comment #9

That’s Rudd. Mark Rudd, still alive and unrepentant, still “respected” tolerated and successful in a world where the left won without the blood despite themselves. I still hate them.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 10:44am by rg21 Comment #10

In came Mark Rugg and a mulatto companion. “The purpose of The Revolution is to kill all of the white people,” the mulatto solemnly announced to the audience which was all white except one Japanese-American.

That’s the argument settled then. Some anonymous nobody on the internet makes an evidence-free claim (with a bit of causal racism thrown in) that someone once said “kill all the white people” in a room full of white people.

Leftists are sociopaths and lying sons of bitches.

Embrace your rage! ;)

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 11:02am by Davito Comment #11

It certainly settled it for me. I had followed the campus left for years and this was not exceptional or out of the blue. The record is public and ample and we all know it. I don’t think Rudd denies it even today. I filed a report with the FBI and I testified later under oath. I went with a group to Washington for the Nixon inauguration riots. We stayed with a very rich liberal couple outside of town. My companions said, “Come the Revolution, boy is this cat going to get it!” I think William Ayers is on record talking about killing 25 million Americans. The left did and does engage in bombings, murder, blackmail, arson, and destructive rampages. They all adored the Communists, the world’s champions at murder and genocide. I’d like to see you call me a liar to my face.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 11:28am by rg21 Comment #12

I’d like to see you call me a liar to my face.

lol. Thinly-veiled physical threat. You’re ticking all the nasty little rightwing boxes! ;)

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 11:50am by Davito Comment #13

rg21, the rhetoric in this thread has gotten out of hand. And certainly any sort of physical threat, veiled or not, is completely against the rules. Please tone it down. Failure to do so can lead to banning. Thanks.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 11:54am by dougsmith Comment #14

It isn’t called violence until we fight back.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 2:26pm by rg21 Comment #15

rg21, you come off as one who see’s himself in the light of some forthright realist (as opposed to romantic), one who sees thing’s for what they truly are and isn’t misled by sentimentality. Not so. You sound more like a cynic (if not sadist) in disguise - one who takes cover under the banner of realism in order to stall the stride of progress.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 6:04pm by Pambania Comment #16

Unfortunately, rg21, you have demonstrated that you are severely non-functional in the areas of critical thinking, recognition of the difference between data and calumny, and rational discourse.  I’m not certain, but I believe you should serously consider psychiatric therapy.

Occam

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 6:55pm by Occam. Comment #17

rg21, you come off as one who sees himself in the light of some forthright realist (as opposed to romantic), one who sees thing’s for what they truly are and isn’t misled by sentimentality. Not so. You sound more like a cynic (if not sadist) in disguise - one who takes cover under the banner of realism in order to stall the stride of progress.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 7:23pm by Pambania Comment #18

I’ll bet you have a cell in one of those emptied Soviet psychiatric prisons reserved for me, with a little plaque on the door about tolerance. That’s what the left characteristically does with people so “dysfunctional” as to base conclusions on actual experience above political lies.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 7:47pm by rg21 Comment #19

P.S. I forgot to link to the ‘genocidal cult’ that rg21 is frothing at the mouth over: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_for_a_Democratic_Society_(1960_organization) - looks like they were totally incompetent at genocide… they didn’t even kill one person - just protested the Vietnam war and police brutality.

Posted on Aug 07, 2011 at 7:51pm by Davito Comment #20

The link to SDS doesn’t bring up anything. Is anyone denying that the left practiced bombing, arson, murder, blackmail, and destructive rioting? Does anyone claim the Weathermen were not planning a revolution more bloody than any in history? The other two links are intended to prove what – that some conservatives are mistaken or careless, or irresponsible about truth, therefore all are liars and all liberals speak absolute truth?
  Both the Communists and the Alinsyite contemporary left revile honesty as a bourgeois weakness and advocate deception and lying as important and effective weapons. I know of nothing remotely comparable on the right. You show trivial exaggerations and comic buffoons. I’ll mention just a few major and calculated deceptions: Walter Duranty, “I, Roberta,” “Baseline Essays.” Let’s go contemporary. The Democrats are presenting “tax the rich” as a measure to alleviate the federal budget deficit when, in fact, that would do little if anything to alleviate the deficit, and all of us here know it. We already have a steeply graduated tax structure. I like to ask Democrats how much more steeply graduated they want it. They never say anything but “more.” What is the ultimate goal here? Whatever it is, it is not a balanced budget or even a reduced deficit.
  Homosexual legitimization: presented as an equal rights issue. Homosexuals always have had the same rights as the rest of us. None of us can marry anyone we want or anyone we love. We have restrictions, all of us the same restrictions. Equal. What is being sought is special privileges for special people. What is being accomplished is defining deviance down to redeem one, but only one group of deviants despite a presentation much more broadly applicable, but not equal rights. Anyone with logical thinking capacity, and certainly judges should grasp this instantly, but the left deliberately and shamelessly uses the endlessly repeated lie as a strategy.

Posted on Aug 08, 2011 at 3:54am by rg21 Comment #21

The link to SDS doesn’t bring up anything. Is anyone denying that the left practiced bombing, arson, murder, blackmail, and destructive rioting?

I suggest checking out the SPLC’s hate map; there are over a thousand hate groups in the US alone; most or all of them could be classified as ‘right wing’, including the KKK, the Aryan Resistance and other neo-Nazi organizations. These groups have committed murder, bombings and other terrorist threats, and advocated for racist ideologies and racial genocide.

See also wiki’s list of white nationalist organizations in the United States.

Both the Communists and the Alinsyite contemporary left revile honesty as a bourgeois weakness and advocate deception and lying as important and effective weapons. I know of nothing remotely comparable on the right.

Er, what about Joseph Goebbels? Not to mention Roger Ailes and Fox News, or GWBush’s Karl Rove and his disdain of the “reality-based community”.

Let’s go contemporary. The Democrats are presenting “tax the rich” as a measure to alleviate the federal budget deficit when, in fact, that would do little if anything to alleviate the deficit, and all of us here know it. We already have a steeply graduated tax structure. I like to ask Democrats how much more steeply graduated they want it. They never say anything but “more.” What is the ultimate goal here? Whatever it is, it is not a balanced budget or even a reduced deficit.

Um, this is all incorrect. I suggest checking out the posts HERE and following, not to mention Buffett’s oft-cited observation that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary. Fact is that the highest tax bracket in the US is now back down to where it was before the Great Depression, and there is no correlation between the top marginal tax rate and economic growth. There is little doubt that the US could bring its economy back into balance over the longer term by ratcheting the top marginal tax rate up to where it was, say, in the 1970s, not to mention the 1960s.

  Homosexual legitimization: presented as an equal rights issue. Homosexuals always have had the same rights as the rest of us. None of us can marry anyone we want or anyone we love. We have restrictions, all of us the same restrictions. Equal. What is being sought is special privileges for special people. What is being accomplished is defining deviance down to redeem one, but only one group of deviants despite a presentation much more broadly applicable, but not equal rights. Anyone with logical thinking capacity, and certainly judges should grasp this instantly, but the left deliberately and shamelessly uses the endlessly repeated lie as a strategy.

This is simple bigotry: hatred of others for being different, even when their difference makes no difference to you. What’s the point of all that anger?

There are violent radicals on the left and on the right. IMO they’re equally bad, and indeed I see little to distinguish them. They feed on hatred and insecurity, and foment the lie that the only way to deal with our problems is to kill or harm people with whom we disagree. All of them together are equally the problem, and all of them are enemies of any workable democracy.

Posted on Aug 08, 2011 at 5:44am by dougsmith Comment #22

@Doug,

Thanks for the links. They confirm what most of us knew - the right thrive on violent rhetoric and often violence, while imagining ‘the left’ (in actuality, anyone who does not agree with their obnoxious beliefs) want to round them up in to internment camps.

I just did a few searches for current far or extremist left organisations that espouse hatred or violence - but found nothing. Did I miss something? The far, far left seem intent on simply damaging property that represents social inequality.

rg21 is one of the clueless and angry who have chugged down the Koch Kool-Aid -  a turkey voting for Christmas:

* Growing Income Inequality in the USA. http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

And that largely describes ‘conservatives’ - a group who will consistently vote against their own interests based on what billionaires tell them.

P.S. I saw this link while searching which made me laugh: ‘Southern Poverty Law Center officially declared “left-wing hate group”’ http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/mbarber/100325

Posted on Aug 08, 2011 at 7:10am by Davito Comment #23

For God’s sake, I thought the people here were supposed to be more intelligent or at least more rational. The vast majority of conservatives have nothing to do with Nazis (who were socialists. What the Hell is your justification for suggesting any association? I hate those lying tyrannical bloody demons just as badly as I do the communists. For years I’ve been active in my local Wallenberg Committee.)
  Look. Can we keep on point here. Whatever you may like about the graduated tax, it isn’t going to solve the budget deficit. It isn’t even going to touch it. It probably isn’t even going to bring in more money to the government. No matter how much you like it for other reasons. I said presenting a higher tax on upper income people as a solution to the deficit was a deliberate deception. That’s what I said and I am right.
  I seem to win every argument about homosexual legitimization. All the opponents ever do is call me names and whine about what a socially unacceptable person I am.
  Here’s the difference right and left you don’t want to see. The violent people and hate groups the left ever so conveniently lumps with political conservatives such as myself are outliers and deviants in the view of leading thinkers as well as the average conservative. The leaders of the left are graduates of and apologists for the extremists, the Marxists, the SDS and New Left, unrepentantly. William Buckley, George Will, even Rush Limbaugh, were never members of any group that advocated murder, lying, violent revolution, or genocide nor did they ever act as apologists or enablers for them. You can make believe the left is all flower children, but I was there and I know you are liars or damned fools if you do.
  We still hunt down and punish 90 year old Nazis. In the 70’s I met a self righteous woman from the Hudson Valley who ran a home for old Communists. “They have suffered enough.” And now the broken down old radicals run the country.  What is wrong with this picture?

Posted on Aug 08, 2011 at 7:27pm by rg21 Comment #24

While you are ignoring and denying radical left violence on the basis of incompetence or because you can close your eyes tightly enough, you might stop to consider the long and consistent history of union violence, vandalism, bullying, threats, and corruption that the main stream left winks at and overtly condones. There is nothing comparable on the right.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 at 4:50am by rg21 Comment #25

I seem to win every argument about homosexual legitimization. All the opponents ever do is call me names and whine about what a socially unacceptable person I am.

No, you don’t win the arguments, you are just too wrapped up in your bigotry to see reality. Homosexuals do not need “legitimization.” Your opponents resort to calling you names out of exasperation after realizing their attempts to reason with you have failed. They tell you that you are socially unacceptable because bigotry has become socially unacceptable to most people. The world is passing you by, and most of us are glad for that.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 at 5:43am by DarronS Comment #26

Well said, DarronS.

Here’s an excellent analysis from Dave Roberts: http://www.grist.org/climate-skeptics/2011-08-04-how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-conservative-white-men

It’s about climate change denial, but his underlying thesis applies to all those things that radicalised ‘conservatives’ are in denial of or opposed to. Whether it’s gay rights, pro-choice for women, renewable energy or protection of the environment, the right have become increasingly detached from reality and decent society. They are unreachable with rational discourse, science and facts - as rg21 clearly demonstrates - so we need to accept that and move ahead without them. There are more sane people than wingnut Teabaggers.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 at 9:42am by Davito Comment #27

While you are ignoring and denying radical left violence on the basis of incompetence or because you can close your eyes tightly enough, you might stop to consider the long and consistent history of union violence, vandalism, bullying, threats, and corruption that the main stream left winks at and overtly condones. There is nothing comparable on the right.

Correct. The the right wing does not have to resort to civil disobedience. They have armies to do their bullying.

Posted on Aug 16, 2011 at 10:09am by FreeInKy Comment #28

For God’s sake, I thought the people here were supposed to be more intelligent or at least more rational. The vast majority of conservatives have nothing to do with Nazis ...

And the vast majority of liberals have nothing to do with nutters like the Weather Underground and the vast majority of Muslims have nothing to do with Al Queada or the Taliban.

I suppose I could go on and on but I hope you get the point. Just becuase terrorists pay lip service to an ideal doesn’t mean that the people who genuinely advocate a set of ideals agree with their methods. A few do but the vast majority do not.

Posted on Aug 17, 2011 at 11:45am by Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon Comment #29

For God’s sake, I thought the people here were supposed to be more intelligent or at least more rational. The vast majority of conservatives have nothing to do with Nazis (who were socialists...

Thanks, that’s all I needed to know about your level of education.  No need to read further.

Posted on Aug 18, 2011 at 6:17pm by Ron Obvious Comment #30

When it comes to the U.S. political right, it often appears that the opposition to science-and reason in general-is everywhere. From climate change denial to anti-evolutionism; from debt ceiling denial to, that’s right, incandescent light bulb availability denial; conservatives today have plenty to answer for.

Fortunately, some conservatives know it. And given how much he has blasted the “Republican War on Science” in the past, on this show Chris Mooney wanted to hear their take.

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/david_frum_and_kenneth_silber_conservatives_and_science/

I finally got around to this one—I think Chris is doing a great job bringing in a variety of guests and topics.

Like the speakers I became a Republican back in the 70s when it was the ‘left’ that was anti-science and less reality-based.
The speakers brought up post-modernism and ‘new age mysticism’——these are not ‘conservative’ anti-science examples—-

I think the speakers might have argued for a clearer distinction between the poles of “left-wing” and “right-wing” where in both cases the facts are interpreted to fit the ideology.
The middle ground of conservative and liberal should include those who are open to reason, debate, and logical arguments.

We don’t hear from reality-based conservatives and need more folks like these guys.

Posted on Aug 31, 2011 at 4:08am by Jackson Comment #31

WORD! :D

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:58pm by christanimus Comment #32

I sat in a room of about 150 students at an official, registered SDS meeting. In came Mark Rugg and a mulatto companion. “The purpose of The Revolution is to kill all of the white people,” the mulatto solemnly announced to the audience which was all white except one Japanese-American. Rudd of course was white and this speaker was at least half white. The purpose of this meeting was to sign people up right now to go to Chicago and start that Revolution. So don’t talk to me about peaceful student protests or peaceful anything and don’t talk to me about delusional realities. Leftists are sociopaths and lying sons of bitches.

Mulatto is considered a racist and derogatory term these days unless used in a historical sense. A little out of touch, are you?

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:24am by asanta Comment #33

  Homosexual legitimization: presented as an equal rights issue. Homosexuals always have had the same rights as the rest of us. None of us can marry anyone we want or anyone we love. We have restrictions, all of us the same restrictions. Equal. What is being sought is special privileges for special people. What is being accomplished is defining deviance down to redeem one, but only one group of deviants despite a presentation much more broadly applicable, but not equal rights. Anyone with logical thinking capacity, and certainly judges should grasp this instantly, but the left deliberately and shamelessly uses the endlessly repeated lie as a strategy.

AHA, things become much clearer! Of course someone who calls gays ‘deviant’ would call blacks ‘mulatto’.

Posted on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:28am by asanta Comment #34