Monday, April 18, 2011

The left simply doesn't engage our actual arguments

I was reading an article on why the left indulges in horrible behavior such as happened during Sarah Palin's speech in Madison, WI, and found an excellent comment by Thomas D:
The left simply doesn’t engage our actual arguments..

This is exactly what's been frustrating me with what I've been reading of the dialog between partisans.

There was an Ithaca Tea Party event today in downtown Ithaca, in front of Hinchey's office across from the library. There was a "counter" event across the street in front of the library. At least part of the crowd seems to have filed down after demonstrating against Bank of America for not paying enough taxes. There were lots of signs saying "Pay Your Fair Share".  Lots of "Tax the Rich" signs. One saying "Tax the Rich, Feed the Poor".

The thing about Bank of America I find just plain silly. If Bank of America isn't paying enough taxes--and it does seem pretty hard to swallow that they are paying zero--then the fault is almost certainly *not* with the Bank of America. Their fiduciary duty to their shareholders requires them to get the best tax treatment they can. If the rules allowed them to legally arrange things so they didn't have to pay taxes, then the rules are bad. The Congress that passed the laws or the bureaucrats that wrote the regulations are wrong. People should be demonstrating against the source of the wrong.

But leftists seem addicted to casting corporations as the evil super-villains that they're struggling against. There has to be a villain. When the source of the "evil" is poorly constructed rules, laws, regulations, systems that allow people to game the system. I guess it's not nearly so much fun to struggle against things like that. It reminds me of really bad fiction, where people have cookie-cutter villains who do evil things because they are Evil. Mustachio-twirling evil-doers. Real villains almost always think that what they are doing is right, unless they are broken in some fundamental way, like sociopaths.

The "Pay Your Fair Share" signs seemed really bizarre when applied to the Tea Party, because the people in the Tea Party are usually hardworking taxpayers. So maybe they were just left over from the Bank of America idiocy.

The "Tax the Rich" signs....Sigh. Such knee-jerk leftist silliness. Even if the government confiscated 100% of the money of the "rich", it would barely make a dent in the deficit. Can these people do math? Do they know even basic economics? It certainly doesn't seem so. I guess it's more of the "underdog" story they love so much. Also known as class warfare. And Envy. Wasn't Envy one of the seven deadly sins? I guess to some big section of the country envy has now become a virtue. That's sad.

So the left has constructed these "straw dog", false characterizations of the people who oppose them, and they demonstrate against that. Which pretty much guarantees that no actual learning will take place. Where are the left's ideas about how to deal with the crushing deficit we're driving into? They seem to just avoid that one, like they think their opponents are just making it up. Or maybe they think it will just go away. Countries all over the world are dialing back spending on the social safety net, because without some brakes on the system it could easily absorb every single dollar produced. It's really hard to find the left involved in discussions about that. Instead they focus on the "evilness" of anybody who disagrees with them.

It's odd that the left likes to think of themselves as the open-minded, tolerant segment of society. From where I'm sitting, they look pretty narrow-minded and bigoted. Not to say that there aren't narrow-minded and bigoted people among those who oppose the left, of course. My guess would be that in any large segment of society the number of narrow-minded, bigoted people probably stays about constant.

Dave Nulle took his sign "Honk if you pay too many taxes" and stood on the corner over next to the leftists on the library side of the street. It was pretty funny, because people driving up Green Street probably saw him first, and if they didn't have time to read the other signs may have gotten the mistaken impression that those people were anti-tax protesters. Hehe.

A bunch of sixteen wheelers driving by honked. I guess truck drivers think they pay too many taxes :)

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