There’s arrogance on all sides of the political divide. Just as there are arrogant liberals, there are arrogant conservatives and arrogant libertarians.
So even the most ardent Leftist should be able to sniff out the arrogance in a recent post at the Huffington Post titled: “Bad Ideas Aren’t Worth Debating.”
Lamenting The Atlantic‘s hiring of right-leaning Kevin D. Williamson, Noah Berlatsky writes: “Tressie McMillan Cottom, Julia Serano, Safiya Umoja Noble, Laura Agustín — the left has an embarrassment of thinkers with unique perspectives and valuable knowledge who could enrich the public discourse. And the right has … Kevin D. Williamson, a longtimer in the right-wing media bubble whose brilliant, provocative ideas include the suggestion that we should name rape accusers.”
Williamson is a talented, intelligent writer who has delved into controversy primarily because he absolutely refuses to play the political correctness game. Williamson says things Berlatsky doesn’t like, and Berlatsky doesn’t think such a person is worth his precious time.
“The issue is not left intolerance. The issue is that conservative intellectuals make bad, often nonsensical arguments, and spout opinions that are hateful and harmful on their face,” Berlatsky writes.
Of course, the issue is left intolerance.
Berlatsky writes this in an era when pointing out the catastrophic failure of the welfare state or agreeing with the 80% of Americans who demand Voter ID laws is called “hateful and harmful.” Berlatsky simply wants a world where he doesn’t have to work so hard trying to convince people that his own nonsensical arguments are sensible.
One of Berlatsky’s reasons for despising Williamson so much: Williamson refuses to use a transgender individual’s preferred pronouns. Maybe Berlatsky should examine the outcomes of transitioning — he might find that Williamson’s rejection of the concept is the most compassionate advice one could give to such struggling individuals.
The issue is left intolerance, just as it has always been. While we on the right view progressives as misguided and irrational yet deserving of their natural rights, the Left seems to universally view the right as hateful, evil monsters who need to be purged from society. Berlatsky’s op-ed reinforces that observation.
Every idea deserves debate, even the ones you find “hateful.” If you can’t refute an argument itself but can only pass judgment on its bearer, then you are the hateful one.