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June 2, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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The Unteachables
Jonathan Pait
November 8, 2004

The election has peeled back the smiling and condescending mask of our liberal neighbors in the MSM and liberal intelligentsia. They are exposing themselves as they are. No longer do they see the need to mince words. A full frontal assault is underway.

Where before the disdain they feel for "red state" dwellers was well oiled to avoid the resulting friction, they have pushed themselves to the red line and the lubricants are breaking down. Unfortunately for them, there is still plenty of laps left to run. Soon they'll be leaving engine parts all over turn three (a little NASCAR lingo that only hicks will understand).

After reading the plethora of explanations from the liberal left as to why they lost the election, I caught a glimpse of an idea that I think may help explain part of their problem. Of course, it isn't the only push rod that broke, but it is one weakness in the liberal machine.

As we know, the liberals are claiming that "moral values" cost them at the polls. They further narrow that down to dastardly evangelicals. Suddenly, there are 60,000,000 Bible-thumping fundamentalists in America!

Here is what I am reading and hearing since November two: These red state people are ignorant. They are simplistic. Above all, they hate. How exactly do they hate? Is it through beating people up? Is it through libel and slander? No. It is because they say there is a right and a wrong. They believe that there are absolutes. They do not condone certain behaviors or accept every other belief as equal to their own. That is hate. Hate! HATE!!

Because they are ignorant - without nuance and not willing to admit that we must always search to learn more because it is impossible to know anything with certainty - they are the unteachables. If they are such then they are hopeless. It isn't that they need to learn anything. It is that they need to realize that they must open their minds to ever-changing mores and standards. It isn't the destination that is important. It is the journey.

If you are left scratching your head at the above paragraph, you are probably a "red state" dweller. You are one of the unteachables.

Where the liberals make their mistake is that they think that people think the way they do. Specifically, they believe that because people disagree on issues that they hate each other. They also think that those who act on their belief systems do so out of hate for those who disagree with those beliefs - rather than out of a love or respect for those beliefs.

This would be a common conclusion if you hold that the individual defines beliefs. If you are a relativist, you don't believe that there are any standards outside of yourself. Your standards come out from within. There certainly isn't anything wrong with having your own beliefs as long as you keep them within yourself. The only sin you can commit is to question another person's self-developed beliefs or to actually make decisions in your life based on those beliefs that would restrict your own passions.

So, when people say there is a standard outside of them and voluntarily place themselves under those standards, the post-modernists just can't understand. They jump to the conclusion that because these red state dwellers disagree with them so completely and are unwilling to listen to their sound reasoning, then it follows that those ignorant people are unwilling to listen to anyone and tolerate people with divergent views.

This is not so.

While these red state dwellers may not be as intelligent and cosmopolitan as our liberal neighbors, I think we show more maturity. The mature person realizes that it is possible to have differing beliefs - even opposite beliefs - and still see a common goal. Bottom line is that the red state dwellers are not all Bible-thumping fundamentalists. As a matter of fact, I would say the minority fit this description (as if that caricature was accurate). There are any number of religious and non-religious people who had the maturity to realize that we can disagree and still see some common standards for society, a need to secure our country and a realization that the government is not the answer to all of our ills.

We are Protestants. We are Democrats. We are Catholics. We are Republicans. We are Jews. We are Libertarians. We are Muslims. We are agnostics. Shoot, I'm sure there are some atheists in there as well. We disagree on any number of things. However, we are also Americans. We know we disagree, but that doesn't mean we hate each other - it just means we disagree (sometimes vehemently). America has given us the freedom to believe something - not the freedom just to believe nothing. It has given us the freedom to make those beliefs a part of our lives in a tangible way - even the way we vote.

We see in the ideas of the post-modernists, the relativists and the secularists a threat to that culture. Yes, we are unteachable - at least to these liberal doctrines. So, go ahead and scream. Call us ignorant. Say we are haters. We will just look at each other and shrug. If these liberals are the example of intelligence -- ah, blessed ignorance!

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"Specifically, they believe that because people disagree on issues that they hate each other. They also think that those who act on their belief systems do so out of hate for those who disagree with those beliefs - rather than out of a love or respect for those beliefs. . . .

Read the rest.

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