Conservatives close their minds to other ideas

Distressingly to me, this demonstrates a lack of grace

Dear Sir:

Monty Python got it right. You remember that sketch where the guy goes for an argument and ends up with a contradiction?

An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.”

No it isn’t!”

Yes it is! Isn’t it just a contradiction.”

Look, if I ‘argue’ with you, I must take up a contrary position!”

Yes but it isn’t just saying ‘no it isn’t’.”

Yes it is!”

No it isn’t!”

Yes it is!”

No it isn’t!”

Yes it is!”

No it isn’t.”

Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

It seems that this is some of the most profound and prophetic prose ever written, because it now represents the state of public discourse the way it is practised by our government.

You may try, go ahead and try to engage in an intellectual process with Stephen Harper or any of his minions. You cannot. You will fail. Your efforts are doomed to failure, because they are not interested in intellectual processes. They are not interested in establishing a proposition.

They have no interest in opinions, or attitudes or even facts that do not fit with their view of the way the world should be.

Conservatives think that this attitude makes them strong, intellectually pure. Of course, the problem is that this actually makes them stupid, because when you cut yourself off from ideas, intellectual challenges you abrogate your ability to understand the world.

And as a result, you reduce, drastically, your ability to make educated, informed decisions. If that is not actually important to you, you may perceive that as a good thing.

The problem is, actually, it’s a bad thing. Most especially when we are talking about public policy. And most unfortunately, the Conservatives adopt this view all the time. It seems they are almost genetically (certainly intellectually) incapable of considering an opposing view on its merits, or even respecting it’s right to exist.

Distressingly to me, this demonstrates a lack of grace. This was egregiously demonstrated by James Moore (who I have dealt with personally) who attended the NDP leadership convention this year he lacked the simple grace to say something like “We wish to congratulate Mr. Mulcair on his achievement and we look forward to seeing him in his new role in the House.”

No. He could not say that: He is so well programmed by Stephen Harper that all he could do was be disdainfully dismissive of the people who are in fact his co-workers in democracy. All he could say was “it doesn’t matter who their leader is; their policies are laughable.”

Arrogance, disdain, these things are never attractive. Truth be told Mr. Moore, those attitudes belie intolerance and intellectual laziness.

Mr. Moore is fond of waving his hands and saying “That’s just politics.” It may be politics, but it is not democracy.

Dave Menzies, Terrace, BC


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