Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Left Nut...

So...there's a book out called The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. If you want a more reputable link, look here.

While it isn't new, I just saw it and after seeing such titles as Liberal Fascism gracing the shelves of late, I figured I had to at least poke into one of these books to see what's going on.

Dr. Lyle Rossiter's book conveniently has an official webpage devoted to it, and on it are several convenient excerpts.

I will be quoting liberally (uh oh) from the provided excerpts in an attempt to figure out how anyone with an M.D. can conclude that a difference of opinion can be classified as a mental illness.

The first segment is from the preface and it begins promisingly. It is generally well-written and lays out some of the author's generalized credentials and attempts to establish his authority. Good.

Then it goes on to this jewel: "Although I have made strenuous efforts to follow where reason leads, I have not written this book out of intellectual interest alone. My intent has been more “generative” than that, to use one of Erik Erikson’s terms. It has, in fact, grown out of a deep concern for the future of ordered liberty."

So he makes a nod toward objective reasoning while also telling us he threw it out in favor of an agenda. Now, having an agenda isn't problematic at all. I generally prefer to know the author's and he has conveniently informed us what his is. Problematic is when that agenda is little more than confirmation bias wrapped in scholarship.

Well, he goes on to discuss the madness of Liberalism in quite a bit of rather dogmatic language. Clearly generalizing what he calls the liberal mind, he makes absolutist claims about what a liberal thinker does and does not believe, painting in stark shades of black and white, a misrepresentative picture of a large, vibrant, and diverse group of people. It is absolutism at its worst.

But the best part of all is this little gem:

"Like a child molester, the liberal politician grooms his constituents until their natural cautions against yielding power in exchange for favors dissolves in reassurance."

This passage is pure gold.

In it, he has carefully crafted the sentence for maximum buy-in from his target audience and maxiumum outrage from the left. You see, while he deftly avoids actually calling liberal politicians child-molesters and instead draws a mere parallel in strategy, the comparison is included to plant that subliminal seed that liberal politicians are as evil as child molesters and in the best case scenario, the reader should perhaps believe that they are.

He successfully calls liberal politicians child-molesters without actually doing so.

I salute you, Doctor Rossiter, bravo! For an encore, perhaps he could do like Jonah Goldberg and invoke what amounts to Godwin's Law to further stir up hysteria.

FSM knows we don't have enough of that running amok these days.