Fwd: FW: This helps explain it

Subject: FW: This helps explain it

Where does the asymmetry come from? American conservatives tend to be Christians or Jews. Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics. (Yes, there are exceptions-to nearly everything, always; but that doesn't mean we can stop thinking.) Almost all human beings need religion, as subway-riders need overhead grab bars. The religious impulse strikes conservatives and liberals alike. But conservatives usually practice the religion of their parents and ancestors; liberals have mostly shed their Judaism or Christianity, and politics fills the obvious spiritual gap. You mightmake football, rock music, or hard science your chosen faith. Some people do. But politics, with its underlying principles and striking public ceremonies, is the obvious religion substitute.
Hence the gross asymmetry of modern politics. For most conservatives, politics is just politics. For most liberals, politics is their faith, in default of any other; it is the basis of their moral life.

-- David Galernter in What Explains the Vicious Left?


gruaud said...

That is a flat-out ridiculous premise.

Sorry DG, you have no idea what a liberal is or what constitutes faith. Stick to computer science.

Not so fun fact: Galernter was a victim of anarchist Unabomber Ted Kaczynski -- who had his own warped ideas about liberalism.

Anonymous said...

Ha! David Galernter in the "Weekly Standard", the official journal of bankrupt neoconservative thought.

"Liberals tend to be atheists or agnostics."

You know, there this well-know liberal in Rome.... Been in all the papers. He's truly a liberal, but I don't think he's an atheist or agnostic. Call it a hunch.

"For most conservatives, politics is just politics."

Total. Bullshit. For conservatives politics is definitely a religion - a cult, a Reich-wing peyote-inspired cult that you can find outside of any sweat lodge in New Mexico, where the triumph of belief overrides reason.

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