Sunday, May 29, 2005

A cool conservative is a dead one

In a great post by Don Arthur at Troppo Armadillo, this comment by by Ken Parish at May 25, 2005 01:19 PM appeared;

The apparent "preachiness" of much political debate from a social democratic direction is mostly a matter of rhetoric and form rather than substance. Social democrats (and liberal democrats as opposed to conservatives) by and large favour choice, diversity, tolerance and acceptance. They DON'T prescriptively preach in the sense of trying to impose their values on others (although one can think of exceptions to that general proposition, in that there IS a marked intolerance of conservative opinion in parts of the arts and academic establishment).

By contrast, the conservatives have mastered the rhetoric by framing the lefties as "preachy" etc (i.e. the rhetorical trick James and Sophie just pulled) while simultaneously pursuing policies that ARE prescriptive and preachy in a substantive sense. That is, they DO want to tell you what you can and can't do in your private life and public choices. They DO want to impose their own religious and cultural values on everyone else, in everything from abortion to sexuality, marriage, what you see and read, and so on. The straighteners and punishers are audaciously attaching the straightener and punisher label to the forces of tolerance, acceptance and freedom. The latter don't seem to know what to do to combat such radically dishonest rhetoric, and the cool, disengaged crowd neither know nor care enough to realise that it's a classic three card trick.

If I had a bigger brain, I'd write stuff.. and junk.. like above.