You Can’t Persuade a Liberal

Some years ago I had a neighbor who was a classic modern liberal (a Smith college gal). We were good neighbors to each other: always cordial, even friendly. But political discussions were tough to say the least–she would become very frustrated with my libertarian views and arguments.

It’s notable that we were always respectful when we talked politics–never a raised voice, which is rare today. I suppose it’s that willingness to listen to the other guy that led to a real honesty of views.

Anyway, at some point I asked Jane (not her real name) what she saw as good in our nation. Her answer was enlightening:

“The only real good I see in America is the potential to become a decent nation.”

Now a lot of folks will fall into the puerile statement that we aren’t perfect. That is a trivial axiom–completely meaningless since by definition, nothing can be perfect. But what most liberals who shout that mean is that the US is far less perfect than many other nations. So I asked Jane if she thought that this was the case.

She replied, “I believe many, if not most other nations are morally superior to the US. Even, or rather specifically, socialist and communist countries are superior, though they may be less desirable to live in, because their stated goals are ones with which I identify.”

And there you have it–when the measure is one of intent rather than result, there can be no legitimate argument. It’s a sad situation to me. I’m a pretty strong libertarian, but told one leftie friend that if the early claims about Obamacare were to hold true, I would have to give it my support–pragmatism should override ideology. But I also told him that I had little hope for anything but a disaster in general quality, availability, and cost, all heaped on top of government inefficiency.

Time will tell who is predicting accurately. If the left has called it right–I’ll concede. But if I’ve called it correctly, you can bet the farm my friend will not.

Funny that.

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