HotAir.com is my daily, go-to site for political news and opinion… I’ve been a habitual reader there for at least 6 or 7 years, and an occasional commenter for a year or two… I’m just too busy to be a frequent commenter, but I highly recommend this website. Not only are the contributing bloggers outstanding, but many of my fellow commenters are amazingly insightful thinkers as well. Several of these commenters have their own blogs, and there is a rich vein of brilliant thinking and provocative writing to be mined in the comments sections of HotAir’s articles.
So I came home from work tonight and was unwinding with a cold beer and skimming HotAir, and I read a comment that struck me as one of the most insightful things I have read in a very long time. Short. Crisp. Succinct. Conceptual bedrock. A razor-sharp analysis of the way the left and the right think, and what they think about their fellow man.
In a post regarding the recent verbal shootout between Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Dianne Feinstein over her pending assault weapon ban legislation, a commenter named Rogerb made a post that I won’t forget for a long, long time. I don’t know this guy, other than I have read his posts in the past and generally agreed with his commentary. If he had a blog, I’m pretty sure I would read it.
[EDIT] Damn… did I really just use the metaphor “shootout”…? Jeeeeeez… I’m sure that a sensitive, liberal, democrat-voting, $200 per hour shrink could explain that to me in eight or ten sessions… [/EDIT]
Anyway, here is Rogerb’s comment, slightly edited for clarity here in this context of right and left, or gun control nuts and people that value liberty. You can view the entire thread and original context here
By the way, dear readers, we rarely get a thread that manages to sum up the differences in how the two sides think of you (not the general “you”, but you specifically as an individual) any better than this one has.
People believe other people are like themselves.
A cruise missile, if I could afford one, would be no more dangerous in my hands than the paring knife in my kitchen drawer. I don’t lose my temper easily, and I have no desire to harm other people when I do. I assume you, like me, are moral, considerate, level-headed, and have an overwhelming aversion to violence, and I have no reason to believe it would be inherently dangerous in your possession, either.
In other words, I think you’re basically just like me until you show me otherwise.
The progressives believe that you obviously have a tendency to violence and lack the desire or self control to keep yourself from inflicting knee-jerk harm on others to get what you want, and, in order to keep you from being a danger to yourself or others, people who are smarter than you should be allowed to decide what is best for you.
In other words, they think you’re basically just like them until you show them otherwise.
― Rogerb, Commenter at HotAir.com, March 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Beautiful… just fucking beautiful… and what struck me about this comment is how it dovetails so nicely into another quote that I have loved for years…
“Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”
― Robert A. Heinlein
Yes, Rogerb, I just lumped you in with the likes of Heinlein… hope you are cool with that.
But consider that analogy of yours stolen. I think I will be using that a lot in the future…
Stolen, but attributed…