[Actually, a lot of conservatives I know have trouble with this one, too. It’s a symptom of the modern narcissism epidemic. But since the leftist worldview actually requires it, let’s talk about them].
In case you don’t follow the NFL: that guy up there is Johnny Manziel, a.k.a. “Johnny Football,” a rather polarizing young quarterback from Texas A&M who was just drafted by the Cleveland Browns. Debate over which team should draft him, and why, went on for some months.
The sides in the debate were quite interesting. It seems that there’s quite a few folks out there who can’t separate these three propositions:
- 1) I think a team should / should not draft Manziel
- 2) I think that team will / will not draft Manziel
- 3) Boy oh boy, I sure hope that team drafts / does not draft Johnny Football!!!!
They’re not mutually exclusive, of course. I could be of the opinion — and lots of folks were of the opinion — that drafting / not drafting Manziel is simultaneously their team’s best move, the most likely outcome of events, and the most emotionally satisfying result. What’s really fascinating, though, is when they conflict.
Fr’instance: I thought the Browns should take him, but wouldn’t. When I expressed this opinion to some fellow sports fans down at the bar, some folks nodded in agreement… but others gave me blank stares, and still others got quite upset. Talking to those two latter groups, I realized with growing shock that they really couldn’t separate the three in their minds. If I think they should take him, that must mean I want them to, which means – swillogistically — that I believe they will. Should-but-won’t is unpossible. It’s the law of the excluded middle or something.
[And it works the other way, too. I was really, really hoping the Cowboys would take him, because all decent people hate the Cowboys and the endless clown show of Manziel in Dallas would be more fun than a barrel of monkeys. But I thought they shouldn’t, and wouldn’t, and those same folks didn’t grok that either].
All this is meaningless, because hey, it’s football. Whether this particular kid is any good as the Browns’ quarterback means nothing — the earth keeps turning, the national debt keeps piling up, and he’s a millionaire either way.
But the emotional logic is fascinating, isn’t it? And, naturally, it applies to politics too. I can’t seem to convince people that I don’t want American fascism, no matter how many times I state it. Any time I express my opinion that I think it’s coming, I immediately get accused of pulling for the Nazis. Or accused of calling Barack Obama / Mitt Romney / Hillary Clinton / pick-your-GOP-’16-nonentity a Nazi.
So, too, with “Enlightenment values.” I’m a big fan of representative government, for instance, as are all conservatives of my acquaintance. Heck, a lot of liberals are. The difference being, the conservatives of my acquaintance realize that lots of people aren’t. That the default setting for a great big honkin’ slice of humanity is to knuckle under to a (hopefully benevolent) dictatorship. It’s hard to look at, say, Chechnya and conclude anything other than: they don’t want their “freedom,” if that word actually means anything in that context. Ditto Latin America and Africa. There’s lots of chatter on the “dissident right” that e.g. Nigeria is a squalid, terrorist-plagued shithole because of genetics. But cf. the Balkans above. They’re white as you please — they’re literally Caucasians — and it’s just as bad.
Or consider the left’s endless race/class/gender tripe. It’s not self-aggrandizing in any material sense; most proggies are lily-white heterosexuals and their expressed ideals would, if implemented, actually screw them over. It’s easy — and fun! — to write that off as liberals being notso-hotso with the logical reasoning, but I don’t think so. I see it as yearning for the Middle Ages. If you’re not sure what you are — if you have no core identity, but must constantly define yourself negatively against some public example — then the feudal pyramid is the ultimate in psychic security. Everybody is exactly what they say they are and nothing else, and you can tell in a glance where anyone fits in.
And that’s ok. All of us want something like that sometimes. Lots of people join the military for precisely that reason. It’s a natural human impulse, and it’s the default setting for quite a few people.
It’s only the proggies, though, who feel the need to shoehorn it into some kind of “logical” political agenda. They like policy X, and they like group Y, and therefore policy X must be good for group Y. That would be bad enough, but it gets so much worse when you try to conduct foreign policy that way. They like protests, and they like “democracy,” and wouldn’t it be great if the Arab Spring led to democracy? Therefore it does; it’s unpossible that they could “vote” for a bunch of Islamist butchers who are worse than the previous thugs. Or: they like Twitter, and they don’t like Russians in the Ukraine, and since they can be tweeted into conformity, so too can the Russians. They want it, and they think it’s the right thing to do, and therefore it must happen.
Personally, I’m hoping Johnny Football works out in Cleveland. God knows they need something to get excited about. But they aren’t in a position to screw over the globe if their wishcasting is wrong.