From Pine View Farm

Invalid Syllogism 0

I was busy yesterday, but I stored this to come back to because it is stunning in its irrationality.

George Will starts with rude behavior in a parking lot and concludes that, therefore, since persons behave badly in parking lots, standing up for rights is a bad thing:

Rights talk is inherently aggressive, even imperial; it tends toward moral inflation and militates against accommodation. Rights talkers, with their inner monologues of preemptive resentments, work themselves into a simmering state of annoyed vigilance against any limits on their willfulness. To rights talkers, life — always and everywhere — is unbearably congested with insufferable people impertinently rights talking, and behaving, the way you and I, of course, have a real right to.

He must think that those folks who wrote the Declaration of Independence were truly insufferable rabble.

Though I seldom use the term “villagers” favored by some of my friends to refer to what passes for an intelligentsia amongst the established commentariat, this illustrates better than anything I have seen in a long time why that term came to be.

“Villagers” refers to those who see politics as a game, who concentrate on who wins and loses while honoring civility above all else, rather than honor what is true, what is right, and what is good, while despising what is mendacious, what is wrong, and what is evil.

And in the “free market place of ideas,” there are such things as mendacious, wrong, and evil ideas.

Politics is not entertainment for the three-piece suit crowd; politics is the messy process of protecting the well-being of the polity–that is, of all of us.


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