My Uncle again. He is, I remind you, a real person, who lives in San Luis Obispo. Despite his considerable intelligence, he remains entirely swayed by the social smoothness versus yahooness of political figures as portrayed in liberal media (the New Yorker, Huffington Post, and Truthout are particular favorites), and draws intellectual conclusions from this. He believes that though their probably is no God, Jesus would support government health care because it is generous, just as an example.
It was an interesting exchange today, which I include apropos of my distinction between how liberals and conservatives go wrong. Please feel free to offer refinements or corrections.
Uncle: ...the difference between Con and Lib media
is about belief vs teaching The first inspires passion , he second option does not
To use Limbaugh as an extreme example, his audience likes to shout "Ditto"
Limbaugh himself is charismatic; his listeners are loyal to him They are "fans" as in Red Sox
I know of no "liberal" who can match any of this.
AVI: The misunderstanding of the use of "ditto" is one of the most profound difficulties liberals have in discussing Limbaugh. They all assume, because they have not actually much listened to him and know him only through spoon-fed quotes of media they trust, that the word is used to mean "I agree with you completely, Rush. Little or no deviation whatsoever. I sign on to your POV because you explain things so well!"
Liberals therefore congratulate themselves that they are not like that. (As you just did.) They are thinkers, and skeptics, and questioners, and don't accept what their leaders tell them. It just proves how superior they are to those idiot conservatives saying "ditto."
Except that people who actually have listened to the show know that this is not what the reference is. It has a specific meaning in context. It is not completely divorced from agreeing with Limbaugh of course, but it is not synonymous. It would be entirely possible for a caller to say "Dittoes, Rush! But I disagree with you about Rand Paul..."
Therefore, when "liberals" criticise dittoheads, as you just have, and clearly get it wrong, conservatives know immediately that they have no idea what they are talking about. The field reverses completely, and the liberals are the ones who are revealed as those who simply accept what their leaders tell them. You don't know what "ditto" refers to, but you believe you do, because other trustworthy liberals have told you this is what it must mean. And you have believed them.
This is why leaving liberalism is always a personal journey that requires painful self-observation. It is not a set of intellectual principles, but a religious faith. It is impossible to leave liberalism without personal struggle.
(Addition, not in the email.) This is why conservatives have trouble abandoning even one part of the whole culture. They believe somewhere in there that it is all intertwined, and giving up one piece will ultimately result in the entire wall collapsing. That is both a strength and a weakness. Liberals don't have that problem. They change views as the fashion changes all the time without worrying about it in the least. And the wall doesn't crumble, even when conservatives observers feel it should because of logical consistency. All walls are and boundaries are unimportant. The tribe sticking together is what matters.