Required Reading

by Brad Nelson   7/20/14

Didn’t you always hate it when your teacher — usually at the last minute — gave you a homework assignment? Yes, I can see by the show of non-hands that there are a few of you nerd and teacher’s-pet types out there who probably liked it. But for most of us, it was a chore…something to be gotten through because we knew there would be a test the next day. And back in those days, failure was a possibility. The substitution of gold stars for actual performance hadn’t commenced in full yet.

I found two exceptional articles on American Thinker this morning (not to mention Patricia’s which will soon be forthcoming). One of those articles is a very long one. And perhaps for many of you, little in it will come as news. Even so, this is such a complete, Horowitzian evaluation of the Left that I am indeed assigning this as required reading:

Ten Reasons Why I Am No Longer a Leftist by Danusha V. Goska.

To be fair (to you, dear reader), I think Danusha is probably leaving out some of the crucial circumstances of her conversion. Surely this was more than just an intellectual conversion. This was the case with David Horowitz, for instance. All the things he says now make great sense and seem obvious. But he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, see them until a friend of his was murdered which shocked him and opened him up to the possibility of change. I believe there was probably some watershed emotional moment that opened Danusha’s eyes and then, because all Leftists are indeed not stupid (speaking in terms of latent brain power), she retroactively was able to put the pieces together.

And in this lengthy article, she does so expertly. She’s so good she leaves you wondering if such an intelligent person could ever have been a Leftist at all. That is, this sounds as if it could be a fake article written by a conservative who knows the Left well. But I do believe it to be genuine. But it just shows you how blind a person can be. And when the light comes on, it can really come on.

If you make it through the above, then I’m going to assign the next article as optional reading. But it’s a good one too:

Genetic Determinism or Free will? by Timothy Birdnow. His excellent article regards the care that conservatives need to take regarding the idea of genetic determinism. Yes, genetics play a huge role in human behavior. But it’s not the entire story. In fact, it’s not even the most important story (unless one actively wishes to remain a dumb animal, as many do). As Timothy writes eloquently and clearly in a concluding summation paragraph that all of us article-writers can aspire to match:

All of this stems from the belief that we are slaves to our genes and neurons, and that free will is an illusion. Conservatives should think carefully about this; it is the very root of the Progressive Left’s agenda. Are we free men, capable of charting our own destiny, or are we wards of the State, slaves to our bodies, men and women who must be governed by force of law? This is an absolutely critical issue. Our Founding Fathers believed the former, that Man can make a moral choice, and indeed must do so to remain Men. The Progressives promote the concept that we are mere beasts. The future will be decided by how this question is answered.

And if you can’t find time to read either of these article, I’ll give you an out. Just donate some money in that little PayPal thingie at the far bottom right of the page. Editor needs a new pair of shoes, as they say. 😉


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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.

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One Response to Required Reading

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Well, I read the Goska article all the way through. There was little new in it (I already had observed the iniquities of modern leftism), but it’s always interesting to see what it’s like for a decent person who comes to realize the error of her ways (as I suspect Orson Scott Card increasingly is). It’s so much easier for us, who already disagree so strongly with nearly every aspect of liberalism, to notice how monstrous it is. But I do have a few observations.

    As for the reference to her degree from UC Berkeley demonstrating her credentials as a leftist, I will note that when it comes time to figuring out which judicial candidates to support based on the limited information available in the Curious Journal, one thing I consider is where the person went to college. UC Berkeley is one of those that I consider a definite contra-indicator.

    James Carville’s sneer at “trailer park trash” like Paula Corbin Jones is one reason I detest him more than most such liberals. A good friend of mine (one of those I also sent the Robert Kennedy piece to) lived with his parents in a trailer park at the time (he finally moved out, after they were dead, because the trailer broke down too badly to remain livable). So, as far as I was concerned, Iago Carville (as I call the villain, Iago being Spanish for James), Carville had just called his mother a whore.

    I doubt the left ever truly cared about the working class, but the old fashioned ones at least didn’t hate them or probably even feel contempt for them. But when the New Left came along, made up of spoiled children from upper-middle-class families, it was easy to despite workers who were too busy living their lives to be ideological zealots. I might add that one reason I’ve opposed immigration “reform” for over a decade is precisely what effect it would have on the working poor (especially after the welfare reform of the 1990s).

    Finally, I will note that Jonathan Haidt reported in The Righteous Mind (which I haven’t read, though I read a 2-page excerpt in The Week) on an experiment in which he asked people a series of questions about social/political attitudes — to be answered as themselves, as a typical liberal, and a typical conservative. He found that conservatives and moderates well understood how typical liberals thought, but the reverse wasn’t true — and the more liberal people considered themselves, the worse they understood conservatives. This was no real surprise to me, though it’s nice to be able to point out that there is now scientific proof of the political bigotry of liberals.

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