education and "extremism" 8.04.2005

Robers and His Pro Bono Work on Romer
I find the discussion of John Roberts' pro bono work on Romer interesting because it shows one or both of two things: either Roberts favors sexual liberty or he really does approach legal issues as a lawyer, able even to offer his very valuable time without pay to helping a client take a position at odds with conservative political views.
People should not discount Roberts' ability to decline to work on a hot-button case, if he were too careerist to take on a controversial case or so morally opposed to gay rights that he did not want to lend his help.

... So I wouldn't discount the importance of Roberts' mooting and advising on Romer v. Evans, though I have no idea whether it means that he is inclined toward recognizing sexual liberty in the Constitution or whether it means that he approaches even hot-button political issues according to the role he should play in the legal scheme.

Either way, the more I read about Roberts the better I like him.

... This is a bit like highly educated bloggers: while supposedly "conservative" bloggers might support Bush's court nomineees and the War on Terror, such "conservatives" often take the liberal side on some issues, such as perhaps abortion rights, gay rights, assisted suicide, and stem-cell research, and they might also believe in evolution, oppose mandatory school prayer, or favor the right to burn flags. Such a diversity of views among the highly educated left is much more rare.


Personally I'm pro-choice, but hope that women choose no--I do not believe it is the business of the Government to pass laws and enforce morality about a question which is not settled outside the realm of Faith. (That is, it isn't even an article of Faith consistent amongst all religions that a foetus has a soul, and is thus a human being prior to birth.) I'm also sexually more libertine than most conservatives: again, I think sexual preference and sexual behavior must be a matter of personal conviction and personal morality and not one of Federal guidance. I'm against teaching "Intelligent Design" as "science" in high schools--I think such a thing is intellectually dishonest, and the last thing we need is for schools to become a battleground for intellectual dishonesty. (Which is also why I would like to see a gutting of the current feel-good "social sciences" curriculum which stresses the current political fad of the week for good-ol' fashion history teaching, and which is why I'd like to ban calculators from math classes until at least high school.)

But on the other hand, I'm well educated enough to understand not just the value of the people who disagree with me, but the weight and thrust of the counter-arguments to my beliefs. The highly educated right in this country are constantly subjected to the attitudes and convictions of the left--and to arrive at my conservative views means having to arrive at them essentially against a massive tide pulling left.

And that means I'm more likely to appreciate the counter-argument because that was the argument I was taught.

The intellectual left, on the other hand, having taken what they were taught in junior high school and high school at face value and went on to college to reinforce these teaching fads with nihilist deconstructivist theory, are often left completely ill-equipped to even start to understand the counter-arguments. Deconstructionism essentially posits that language itself is the motivator of comprehension--and that certain language constructs are inherently bad in that they lead us away from a utopian ideal. So the intellectual left, encountering the counter-arguments, will by their very training refuse to appreciate or understand the arguments--because the language itself contains the seed of evil, which must be roundly rejected.

And the intellectual conservatives amongst us laugh at the left as they recoil in horror in the same way Scientologists recoil against the name "Xenu", and go off for a beer.

posted by William Woody at 10:56 PM

Good one. I am often swayed by arguments from the Left. I try not to let it on, though.

Sometimes I think I am simply being contrarian. Then I check out what the Left is really saying.

So thanks Lefties. The opposition we experience does make us form our arguments with more rigour and vigour, one way or another.

Anonymous Anthony VanWagner at 12:55 AM  


You know what: one of the things that irritated me the most about the Democratic Party's performance during the 2004 election cycle is how poorly they framed their arguments. I remember sitting through a number of debates thinking "you know, I could do a much better job here than any of these bozos--and I don't even agree with their arguments!"


Blogger William Woody at 7:28 PM  

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