April 29, 2012

FREEDOM VS SECURITY IS ETERNAL:

Real Time (William Deresiewicz, American Scholar)

Some of the responses to What's the Matter with Kansas? pointed out that an analogous argument could be made about the Upper West Side. Well-to-do liberals vote against their economic self-interest just as surely as poor conservatives do (the only difference being that no one on the Upper West Side would go broke before they gave up their moral beliefs). Are only the wealthy entitled to ideals? Are progressive ideals the only authentic ones?

There is a massive failure here: of imagination, empathy, curiosity, humanity. Maher did acknowledge there was something noble about some of the sentiments expressed in the video, but he moved immediately back to the "Kansas" argument (as well as to making fun of poor people). He simply couldn't take the information in--couldn't recognize that there are good reasons why working-class white Southerners might be opposed to everything that someone like Bill Maher stands for, that their opinions are just as legitimate as his. Nor could he perceive, in the course of denouncing their inability to "see past their prejudices," that he is no more able to see past his own--that is, the ones he was directing, at that very moment, toward them.
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Posted by at April 29, 2012 7:26 AM
  

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