Democracy Dies in Darkness

The Huffington Post ran an article by Kayla Chadwick on political discourse.  The article is a perfect microcosm on why discourse is so contentious in America:

Personally, I’m happy to pay an extra 4.3 percent for my fast food burger if it means the person making it for me can afford to feed their own family. If you aren’t willing to fork over an extra 17 cents for a Big Mac, you’re a fundamentally different person than I am.

If I have to pay a little more with each paycheck to ensure my fellow Americans can access health care? SIGN ME UP. Poverty should not be a death sentence in the richest country in the world. If you’re okay with thousands of people dying of treatable diseases just so the wealthiest among us can hoard still more wealth, there is a divide between our worldviews that can never be bridged.

I don’t know how to convince someone how to experience the basic human emotion of empathy. I cannot have one more conversation with someone who is content to see millions of people suffer needlessly in exchange for a tax cut that statistically they’ll never see (do you make anywhere close to the median American salary? Less? Congrats, this tax break is not for you).

I cannot have political debates with these people. Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society, how to be a good person, and why any of that matters.

Read the whole thing.

This post is an excellent example of why political discourse is dead in America. The author refuses to discuss matters with anyone who disagrees with them.

This is an insult. It’s an insult to me, and insult to you, and an insult to every other person who doesn’t share this woman’s POV of the world. We are “fundamentally different.” We don’t “experience the basic human emotion of empathy. ” This sort of commentary is dehumanizing by demonizing those of us who dare disagree.

Did it ever occur to her that maybe, just maybe, we have the same goals? That maybe, just maybe, we disagree not because I lack “basic human emotions” or I think children don’t deserve an education or people deserve to die if they don’t have government mandated medical insurance, but because I think there may be better solutions out there?  That maybe, just maybe, my opposition to minimum wage comes not from the fact I don’t want to pay more for a Big Mac but from the mountain of evidence that it doesn’t work?

By assuming my motives to be evil, by assuming me to be less-than-human simply because I disagree with her, shuts down any hope of compromise, any hope of cooperation.  What’s more, it shuts down an avenue for gaining knowledge.  Ali bin Abi Talib once said: “There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.”  The attitude of Ms. Chadwick will only lead those who share it into poverty.  There’s a big, beautiful world out there to be discovered, but unfortunately they will not explore it because they think it is filled with demons

8 thoughts on “Democracy Dies in Darkness

  1. David Burge summed it up it this way

    “To help poor children, I am going to launch flaming accordions into the Grand Canyon.”
    “That’s stupid.”
    “WHY DO YOU HATE POOR CHILDREN?”

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  2. From the article that you posted:

    “Our disagreement is not merely political, but a fundamental divide on what it means to live in a society.”

    I see a lot of “progressives” use words like these. The disagreement is political. The comment is merely an insult.

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  3. “It’s true that [James[ Buchanan’s comparisons of politics with markets led him to conclude that imperfect markets outperform imperfect politics more often than most people suppose.”

    And, that is why “progressives” have to resort to insults. Logic and facts support that imperfect markets outperform imperfect politics.

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  4. This following are quotes from a response by Russ Roberts to Nancy MacLean, a “progressive” professor of history and public policy:

    “The essence of a constitutional republic is to have a democracy, yes, but a democracy that is not subject to the potential tyranny of the majority. The Constitution and the complex system of checks and balances that make up the American system of governance are designed to limit the ability of a majority of the American people to decide how I speak, how I practice or choose not to practice a religion, how I behave in my bedroom, who I marry and so on.”

    “James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, F. A. Hayek, the modern intellectual leaders of classical liberalism . . . wanted power to be less concentrated so that no one’s hands are decisive in how we live our lives. They want more bottom-up and less top-down control. They want decisions made by the many and not by the few.”

    Russ eloquently describes classical liberalism or libertarianism as I know it. Most of us think that Murray Rothbard was a poor economist and disagree with his views about anarcho-capitalism. We also disagree strongly with today’s “progressivism” or “liberalism.” I am confident in saying that today’s classical liberals would agree with the work done by our founders and would like to see a return to those founding principles.

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  5. I wonder if Chadwick has any idea that the extra 4.3% she is happy to pay for a Big mac so the person that makes it will be able to feed their own family means that some other person will now NOT be able to feed their own family because she spent 4.3% LESS somewhere else?

    There is no free lunch.

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      • That “spent less somewhere else” is what our birthday boy Freddie would call the “unseen”. It’s easy for most of us to think that an extra 17 cents is such a small amount of our budget that it’s the same as 0, but it’s not. It must come from somewhere. In the case of a min wage increase, that somewhere it comes from is usually the pocket of another low wage worker.

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