Elias presents ... a worm!    Thoughts on family, philosophy,
and technology


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Political commentary in the age of unreason

The Intellectual Activist has a brilliant article this month (unfortunately not on their web site quite yet, though here's a precursor) of how the choir of the left has withdrawn from any ambition to high intellectual standards, to the barbarism of openly irrational and emotionalistic appeals as exemplified by the "intellectually unkempt" Michael Moore. (My own observations confirm this: I've recently discovered that I can listen to Air America during my commute, and I've been shocked at how consistently petty and anti-intellectual the "commentary" is there, certainly not a whit better than the conservative radio programs it mocks.) This has been so clarifying for me as I listen to liberals making their anti-Bush and anti-war arguments, because up until a few days ago I had been assuming that the left is still, somehow, more intellectually responsible than the Bible-thumping right. Robert Tracinski has cured me of that illusion.

None of this is good news for the right, of course, because the conservatives have never been consistent fans of reason: their Original Sin, if you will, is choosing faith over reason, Aquinas notwithstanding.

So the thing that impresses me about this post is not so much the content, but the dedication to making a rational argument. There's no ad hominem to be found, and just that makes such political commentary unusual these days.


  • At 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thanks for the complement. I'm as capable of the ad hominem argument as the next polemicist, and if you looked farther on the site you could probably find some, but they don't advance discussion or convince anyone of anything, and what this country needs right now is more discussion.

    There is more that unites us than divides us, and there is a hunger for unity, as our country's reaction to 9-11 showed, but our system is currently designed to demonize, since that is more entertaining.


    P.S. congratulations on being a new father -- it's the best thing in the world.


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