Blind to their Liberal Biases
I think it's very difficult for any of us to be objective about any subject, especially something we care deeply about, but my objective observation is that liberals tend to be less aware of and less willing to admit their biases.
We see this often, which I'll get to, but first, let me relate how this phenomenon most recently came to my attention.
In a conversation with a saleswoman for online college courses, I expressed my disappointment that the professor of a religion course I was considering for purchase is an avowed atheist. I said that if I were going to spend time studying the subject, I'd prefer the professor share my Christian worldview.
Don't misunderstand. I think it can be profitable to learn what nonbelieving "scholars" teach about the Bible, but the point I want to discuss here is the woman's response.
She maintained that it is preferable, for this largely secular course on the Bible, to have a professor who can approach the subject from an objective, critical and historical perspective, as if a believing professor would be incapable of that approach. But is that true?
Her error is assuming that nonbelief equates to objectivity. In fact, every human being -- and thus every professor -- has a worldview, and that worldview will inevitably influence his perception of the material. Every professor will have made critical intellectual decisions on a multitude of issues in the material, all of which will be influenced by his worldview.
For example, if you don't believe in miracles, you'd be more inclined to discount those verses of Scripture describing miraculous events, from the Virgin Birth to Jesus' converting water into wine to the bedrock Christian belief: the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Nonbelievers might be more receptive to "higher criticism" and the "documentary hypothesis" and thus less skeptical of the theory that Moses didn't write the first five books of the Old Testament. They might be quicker to focus on apparent contradictions in Scripture that critical examination often reveals are not contradictions at all.
A believer in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture will certainly bring his biases into biblical exegesis, but so will a nonbeliever. We cannot escape our biases.
But the woman insisted the secular professor is only interested in presenting the material from a critical and historical perspective. A noble aspiration, I concede, should the professor actually possess it, but nevertheless unattainable. Historians and critical readers have biases, too. They can't help it.
It's just wrong to assume that a nonbelieving worldview is more objective than a believing one. We are all blessed (or burdened) with our presuppositions, and they accompany us wherever we go.
It occurred to me that the woman's argument is analogous to the political liberals' legendary denial of bias. Indeed, many liberals don't even view themselves as liberals. Rather, they are reality- and fact-based creatures. Only conservatives allow their biases to taint their objectivity. Liberals will admit that some conservatives are rational, but to be both rational and conservative, they must be evil. They know the policies they support are wrong, objectively, but they choose to do so anyway -- or something like that.
Evidence abounds: Scholarly studies show that mainstream journalists are overwhelmingly liberal, yet many deny it, and many honestly don't even see the biases they bring to their selection and reporting of the "news." ABC's Christiane Amanpour, for example, denies her liberal biases, saying she "remains in the realm of fact." The Bush haters who deceived themselves about Bush's alleged WMD lies claimed they were reality-based when in "reality" their hatred made them stark-raving mad on the subject. A liberal college professor touting open academic inquiry banned "conservative" materials from class because she refused "to tolerate the intolerable." Members of the man-made global warming cult dogmatically proclaim a consensus despite strong dissent. Environmentalists extrapolate this mindset in their approach to scores of issues, traveling utterly quixotic paths and pursuing devastatingly expensive larks while dismissing skeptics as flat-earthers. Obama constantly refers to his ideas as self-evidently reasonable and Republicans' as driven solely by partisanship, because how could they possibly oppose his reality-based proposals?
As a conservative, I believe that many liberals proceed from good intentions, though I think their consistently horrendous results entitle us to some skepticism after a while even as to their intentions -- or at least to their ability to see past their oppressive biases. I don't believe, for example, that they are racists because their policies harm minorities, though they often do. I don't believe they automatically lack compassion just because their policies spread misery.
Yet many liberals do believe that conservatives are evil, uncompassionate racists because our policies don't fit their self-serving, narrow, shallow parameters of "good intentions." Many leftists are so possessed by a need to be morally superior that they can't abide the possibility that conservatives also have noble intentions. So it is that many who believe they are objective, fair and reality-based are far less so than the objects of their scorn.
The Wrong Kind of Minority
Leftists hate successful minorities. It's part of their compulsion to level everyone else down
The Washington Post proclaimed in a recent headline another historic "first" for the United States -- the first female usher-in-chief at the White House. Stop the presses! The accompanying story reveals that the nominee hails from Jamaica, so it's probably a two-fer. Oh, boy.
The Post and other liberal organs are obsessed with firsts. The first female letter carrier to handle the Capitol Hill route will get a mention in the press. The first African-American anything is guaranteed at least a nod. You don't even have to be first to get "first" treatment. The last two Supreme Court nominees have been women, joining a court that had already seated two women (one retired). Nevertheless, the femininity of the candidates was cheerily chatted up. When Barack Obama became the first black nominee of a major party and then the elected president, dignified notice of an historical milestone would have been appropriate. But you know what happened -- the media went on an inebriated, extravagant first binge.
Funny how the first-effect only works for some. If Mitt Romney is nominated and elected, he will be the first member of a highly persecuted American minority group to be so honored. Yet no one is celebrating the possibility of the first Mormon president. Anti-Mormon bias, which has proved remarkably persistent over decades, is scarcely ever condemned.
It isn't that Mormons have not suffered. Following the religion's founding in upstate New York in 1830, the Mormons faced immediate hostility from their neighbors. Hounded by New Yorkers, the growing community moved west to Ohio, Missouri and Kansas. In Jackson County, Missouri, Mormon leaders were tarred and feathered, Mormon homes torched and Mormon property brazenly stolen.
County after county drove the Mormons out, sometimes threatening to kill even the children if they did not evacuate, culminating, in 1838, in an "extermination order" issued by Gov. Lilburn Boggs. Instructing the state militia, Boggs wrote, "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace--their outrages are beyond all description." Thousands of Mormons were forced to flee, some with just the clothes on their backs, in the dead of winter. Illinois offered sanctuary for a time, but it was in that state that the religion's founder, Joseph Smith, was imprisoned and murdered by a mob.
The Mormons attempted to defend themselves and committed an atrocity of their own, the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857 (for which the militia leader in charge was tried and executed by the Mormons). But most of the time, the group was on the defensive. Throughout its first seven decades, the sect was harried, persecuted, expelled, reviled and chased across a continent.
The practice of polygamy stirred hostility. As a Jew though, I cannot help noticing that Mormons were also hated because they seemed to prosper economically, because they rose to the top of organizations they joined and because they were so loyal to one another.
Outsiders can surely be fair-minded enough to acknowledge that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gets results. Utah has the nation's lowest levels of welfare dependency, child poverty and single parent homes. Its students are among the top scorers in the nation, despite relatively low levels of education spending. It ranks highest for contributions to charity by the wealthy and among the lowest for incarceration and cancer rates. Prominent Mormons established the Marriott hotel chain, Jet Blue and Bain Capital (of course). Mormon Americans invented the television, word processing and the hearing aid, among other things. Mormons have distinguished themselves in entertainment, sports and politics -- where they have risen to prominence in both parties.
Polygamy having long since been discarded, anti-Mormon bias today, ironically, often focuses on the LDS Church's opposition to same sex marriage. During the contest over California's Proposition 8, which limited marriage to the bond between men and women, opponents sought to intimidate Mormons who contributed financially or otherwise to the initiative. While there has been speculation that Mitt Romney's faith might suppress support among Republicans, a recent Gallup survey found that Democrats(27 percent) were more likely than Republicans (18 percent) to say they would not vote for a Mormon candidate for president.
Mormons are obviously the wrong kind of minority. Oh, they've been persecuted. But through a strong work ethic, self-discipline, traditional morality (Yes, there's an irony there, but get over it) and group cohesion, they have triumphed for themselves and for the country. The first Mormon president would be a milestone. But don't hold your breath for the applause.
Recess Appointments To NLRB Tantamount To Declaration Of War Against Employers
While President Obama is taking a break in Hawaii, the conversation in Washington, D.C. has not stopped regarding his National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Business is furious with a purported new rule ushered in just days before Christmas with labor radical Craig Becker at the helm that allows Big Labor to ambush employers with rushed elections and forcibly unionize workers who will be denied an informed choice.
Next, there is growing concern that Obama will once again bypass Congress and recess appoint Richard Griffin and Sharon Block to the board as he did Craig Becker after his nomination was the subject of bipartisan opposition for views considered outside the mainstream. Griffin would have the distinction of being the second nominee in history to be nominated for a full term on the NLRB who came directly from a labor union, with Becker being the first. Griffin is the general counsel for International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) and serves on the board of directors for the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) Lawyers Coordinating Committee. He would not be a neutral arbitrator of labor-management disputes, but would continue in the mold of Craig Becker.
The AFL-CIO has been at the forefront of efforts to politicize the NLRB and use it as a vehicle to gain payback from government bureaucrats. Stewart Acuff, an official with the AFL-CIO wrote in 2010, “It [sic] we aren’t able to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, we will work with President Obama and Vice President Biden and their appointees to the National Labor Relations Board to change the rules governing forming a union through administrative action...”
Sharon Block’s nomination raises independent concerns. Most recently, Block has served as deputy assistant secretary for Congressional affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor. She reports to former Congresswoman and current Secretary Hilda Solis who is one of the fiercest partisans in Big Labor’s camp in the nation’s capital.
Solis has supported the Employee ‘Forced’ Choice Act which would have done away with the secret ballot election and has gone out of her way to cater to the union bosses who have been given free rein in the Obama Administration.
Under her direction, the Labor Department is considering a rule change on “persuader” activity that would change the public disclosure requirements for employers, law firms, consultants and trade associations that provide services regarding labor relations and union organizing. Current law requires reporting by employers, consultants and law firms, when they directly “persuade” or interact with employees. The law provides an exemption; however, when a law firm or consultant simply provides advice without directly interacting with employees. The proposed change virtually eliminates this “advice exemption,” so that businesses would have to provide detailed and confidential data, including possibly proprietary information about business operations and details about contracts for services with their attorneys and outside consultants.
The effect of the rule will be to restrict business’ ability to secure legal and other advice during a union organizing campaign which will be detrimental to employers who want to fairly address the issue of unionization with their employees and to employees who would be not be provided necessary information on the pros and cons of unionization before they vote....
And this brings us to the end of 2011 with widespread anticipation that this President, who has demonstrated little care for orderly process and the rule of law, could recess appoint new labor allies to the NLRB. This would enable that agency to continue its assault on workers and small businesses while rewarding the President’s largest campaign supporters, Big Labor bosses who spent nearly half a billion dollars to put him in the White House.
As Politico reported recently in an article titled, “It’s World War III at the NLRB,” the American business community would view NLRB recess appointments as tantamount to a declaration of war. It would be the end to any Obama legislative agenda for 2012 and put to rest any argument that he wants to bring Americans together to overcome the severe economic challenges we are confronting.
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)