The “Emotional Left Rail”

I have to confess that I had never heard that peculiar expression before its employment by “Blogging Tories” beefy head honcho Stephen Taylor in a piece outlining why he feels that Omar Khadr shouldn’t be repatriated to Canada for trial. Oops, I’m sorry. Did I say “feels”? I should actually have said, “why Taylor thinks with cold, hard logic”… Good gravy, not feels! Perish the thought.

Irrational emotionalism is, of course, the hackneyed, condescending framework in which Taylor attempts to characterize the attitude of “left-wingers” regarding this contentious issue in order to trivialize it:

As a conservative, I have for the most part found intellectual solace in logic on issue tracks where my bleeding-heart friends usually hug the emotional left rail. The broad-arching free markets help rise more people out of poverty than knee-jerk social and emotional reaction to give hand-outs to sustain a substandard of living is but one example where cold right-wing logic is a better and more constructive end that short-sighted albeit well-meaning emotionalism. I have always believed that right-wingers act upon what they know to be true, whereas left-wingers act upon what they feel to be true.

There’s so much wrong with this bogus tripe that it’s hard to know where to begin, but let’s consider Taylor’s phony “example” for starters. Here, “broad-arching free markets” are pitted against “hand-outs to sustain a substandard of living” as the best means of helping “rise [sic] more people out of poverty” thereby conclusively demonstrating the triumph of conservatism over liberalism, one presumes.

Unfortunately, the comparison is a patently false one for obvious reasons. It supposes, for instance that “liberals” are somehow opposed to the free market, which is clearly not the case. The sort of programs that are alleged to be the result of a “knee-jerk… emotional reaction” aren’t even defined at all beyond having their motivation and objectives cartoonishly mocked, so how can one even attempt to make a comparison? The simple answer is that you can’t make any sense at all out of this slovenly, wooly-headed fluff — which is somewhat ironic given that Taylor purports to be a champion of “cold right-wing logic” that he hilariously claims is a “hallmark” of his ideology. How refreshing it would be to see some actual evidence of this assertion in practice. Alas, scan the gamut of “The Blogging Tories” and scarcely a shred of it will be found.

A little added comedy bonus comes in the last sentence above where Taylor states that he’s “always believed that right-wingers act upon what they know to be true, whereas left-wingers act upon what they feel to be true.” This fatuous, faith-based claim might possibly have some validity if what so-called right-wingers “know to be true” was actually based on facts rather than is more frequently the case, specious rubbish that stubbornly lodges itself in the space between their ears.

As for Taylor’s actual point about Khadr, I’ll address that in a later post.

40 Replies to “The “Emotional Left Rail””

  1. Too bad he didn’t mention the simplistic, black/white, dualistic thinking attributed to the right. That is one stereotype found in spades here.

  2. I have always believed that right-wingers act upon what they know to be true, whereas left-wingers act upon what they feel to be true.

    Yes, that’s why non-“conservatives” are always calling for due process and insist on rules of evidence.

    Honestly…one minute, non-“conservatives” are being derided as “reality-based” and the next, we’re being accused of delusion.

    I can’t believe Stephen Taylor is taking himself seriously. This the exact opposite of what all evidence demonstrates is reality; not an hour goes by without some “conservative” loudly and forcefully asserting something when it is clear he or she has no way of knowing.

    Something is seriously and dangerously wrong with these people.

  3. I have always believed that right-wingers act upon what they know to be true, whereas left-wingers act upon what they feel to be true.
    -Stephen Taylor

    “Canadians feel less safe than they once did … Some try to pacify Canadians with statistics. Your personal experiences and impressions are wrong, they say; crime is really not a problem. These apologists remind me of the scene from the Wizard of Oz when the wizard says, ‘pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.’ But Canadians can see behind the curtain. They know there’s a problem.”
    Stephen Harper

  4. Re: Talk Radio Addiction Center Lobe

    …here’s an example of the right wing talk show radio addiction:

    Release: Top Radio Host: Autism is “A Fraud, a Racket”

    Savage on autism: “A fraud, a racket. … In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out”
    On his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is “[a] fraud, a racket. … I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron.”

    ….Mike Savage, one of the leading right wing radio talk show hosts, as known and popular as Rush Limbaugh…

    …speaks volumes doesn’t it?

  5. “As a conservative, I have for the most part found intellectual solace in logic on issue tracks where my bleeding-heart friends usually hug the emotional left rail.”

    Oh, brother. Using the adjective “bleeding heart” should be a red flag right there. Here is someone who resorts to an emotionally driven epithet to “prove” he relies on logic alone. Yikes.

    Excellent deconstruct, RT!

  6. RT,

    I must admit I skipped over all the verbiage and went for the cartoons.

    The rest was just filler.Loved the cartoons. Hard to pick a best, but the

    -“common sense particle (need electron microscope to view)” in the lefty brain was certainly worth a chuckle.

    The:

    – “molecule of guilt (for being male/white/healthy/well-fed/employed/happy/enjoying life)

    for the righty was also a bit of a highlight.

    A little useless advice; next time don’t mess the post up with all that blah blah blah in the middle.

    Some of us are better with pictures than words. It’s probably that nutty right hemisphere of mine.

  7. “I have always believed that right-wingers act upon what they know to be true, whereas left-wingers act upon what they feel to be true.
    -Stephen Taylor”

    It’s just too bad that the current crop of right-wingers online know so little, then.

  8. next time don’t mess the post up with all that blah blah blah in the middle.

    Your teasing would be less tedious if you were 20% smarter.

  9. Thank God I’m at least your equal.

    Ouch.

    Notice how Tomm has no reaction to “conservative” irrationality, especially that bit from Herr Harper.

    How did it come to this? How did an advanced society like Canada end up with a demographic this deluded, irrational and worst of all…mean?

  10. Ti-Guy,

    I find it curious too. All of you guys see a smarmy, nasty, fascist streak in Harper, yet I just don’t. I really don’t.

    Truly, I think the guy has an amazing sense of humor. He stands up in the House and literally owns it. Very Trudeauian.

    He has been faced with issues, or faced with thorns in the bureaucracy, and simply made decisions. He gave an explanation and walked away. No time for committee’s, doublethink, or the media rubbing their worry beads (e.g. Khadr).

    Best PM in my lifetime.

  11. Have you finished your Harper-gasm or do you need a little more time?

    You obviously like Harper because he’s belligerent; your aggression can only expressed passively, since you’re, at heart, a coward.

    It’s not an issue of simply not liking Harper. He’s irrational, as this…

    “Canadians feel less safe than they once did … Some try to pacify Canadians with statistics. Your personal experiences and impressions are wrong, they say; crime is really not a problem. These apologists remind me of the scene from the Wizard of Oz when the wizard says, ‘pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.’ But Canadians can see behind the curtain. They know there’s a problem.”

    …amply demonstrates.

    Anyway, you guys better clean up your act because payback is going to be a bitch.

  12. Ti-Guy,

    I love that quote too. The CPC may have had their 2 years, and defeat is just around the corner. If so, Canada will still be better off for this government to having existed for this long. Some things just can’t be put back in the box.

    Payback may well be a bitch. But please remember, guys like me have been taking it up the backside for quite a few years already. We’re kind of use to it.

    On the bright side, Dion has tied his can to a country dividing policy on wealth distribution that is likely just not sellable. Meaning, we could get another 2-3 year CPC minority government before the next attempt by the LPC to storm parliament.

    As you can see, not quite over my Harper-gasm.

  13. This where I’m supposed to engage in lengthy research to challenge all of Tomm’s baseless assertions.

    Unreachable and unteachable.

    But please remember, guys like me have been taking it up the backside for quite a few years already.

    And just who are guys like you? And how has exactly has your anal rape been so much worse than anyone else’s?

    You have a bitter divorce in your history, don’t you?

  14. Tomm:

    Dion has already committed to reversing several of the CPC’s regressive policies if elected, so don’t get too comfortable thinking that the box can’t be opened and stuff put back in it.

    Chretien was able to reverse the damage wrought by Mulroney and company after 8 years of him.. so I’m confident a 3 year interregnum by Harper can also be reversed, even if he’s worse then Mulroney was.

  15. Better off Tomm? Exactly how are Canadians better off? Give us some facts.

    Also, Harper hasn’t been PM long enough to make a judgment on his tenure as PM….usually takes serveral years after the fact to weigh in.

    Historians usually wait many years to analyse…to see how a PM has affected government, economy, peoples lives, changes, etc.

    You’ll have to wait to find out kiddo.

  16. Tomm — Regarding your “blah, blah, blah” comment, while funny, it makes me ask why it has to be an either/or proposition? I realize that some people are more visually oriented (heck, I’m one of them!) so that’s why I include a lot of graphics and videos. Geez, you get the best of both worlds and still find an excuse to complain… Typical “right-wingers”! 😉

  17. Ti-Guy,

    “guys like me” is referring to people with my ideological bent. Every time money went to some social justice issue, and somebody “like me” asked for the explanation, they were considered some sort of vicious zoo animal. There is much in society that is better accomplished by individuals, corporations, service organizations, and grass roots community. Government should often be the mechanism of LAST resort.

  18. Scott,

    Absolutely true. There is certainly some of what Harper has done that would be undone by an LPC government, especially since the opposition will be more or less united in making the changes.

    But even those things that are undone, I think we can expect a greater public scrutiny on what’s under some of these rocks.

    For example, people will not go back to a complacency about their military for a long time. People will not see the north the same way again. The relationship between Ottawa and the provinces may well be changed in a permanent way.

    There are probably quite a few more examples of things that cannot be undone. Many more returns to the past will be difficult. For example the re-introduction of a consumption tax (green shift, carbon tax, etc.) may be understood as a reversal of the GST cut.

  19. Sandi,

    You asked about how Harper has made this country “better off”. This is one of my pet topics. Canadians under the previous governments were slowly being being lulled to sleep.

    The government was taking care of everything. If you were for Israel, so was our government, you just had to listen to them speak of their support. If you were against Israel, you just had to listen to our government and they told you about our “nuanced” policies in the Middle East.

    If you were for the US, you just had to listen to our government explain how they are our biggest trading partner and our friend. If you were against the US, you just had to listen to our government and they smirkily talked about how politically our relationship was quite cool, and the nasty softwood dispute that the government found was a useful flag to fly, and certainly did not require resolving.

    Harper woke everybody up and is making the government become accountable and enforcing some a greating sense of the rational.

    For example, Some nuclear regulator decided to cause the stoppage of the production of isotopes because 95% safety isn’t as good as 98% safety.
    Wake up time.

  20. RT,

    No complaints, love the post. Sorry I told you about jumping over the big words. Just being honest.

    Criticizing Stephen Taylor is probably just something that is less attractive to me than pretty pictures and shiny objects.

  21. Every time money went to some social justice issue, and somebody “like me” asked for the explanation, they were considered some sort of vicious zoo animal.

    That’s because guys like you sound like zoo animals whenever you ask for explanations….which is rarely, by the way. Most of you just go around smearing, defaming, making baseless assertions, holding inquisitions and not bothering to inform yourselves even minimally.

  22. Tomm doesn’t know just how much being a Liberal sucks. You have to actually understand policy, you have to argue quite often with co-partisans, and you have to criticise witless Liberal politicians when they behave badly.

    It’d be so much easier if I could just turn off my brain, disengage my conscience, lose my sense of humour and just nod my head and clap my hands furiously along with everyone else while other people tell me what opinions I should have.

    But nothing in life worth having is easy…

  23. Harper woke everybody up and is making the government become accountable and enforcing some a greating sense of the rational.

    Ummmm…. that’s actually not a reason. Exactly how is he making it become more accountable?

    Oh riiiight, it’s isn’t more accountable.

    For example, Some nuclear regulator decided to cause the stoppage of the production of isotopes because 95% safety isn’t as good as 98% safety.

    Ummmm…. Isotope shortage? A manufactured crisis completely and utterly manufactured by the (supposedly ‘more accountable’) Harper government.

    Sorry, Tomm, you actually haven’t made any sort of argument at all. Your just wrapping your lips around your Big Daddy’s shaft again.

  24. frankfrink,

    I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make it take a bath. I guess you remain stinky.

    RT,

    In regards to Liberal ROI, I’m surprised too. I guess the party just wasn’t ready for the changes made to the fund raising rules (excepting Joe Volpe, of course).

    Ti-Guy, I feel your angst. Luckily I don’t need to think or lead. Its all pretty much black, white, and complete clarity of thought where I sit.

    …pass the kool-aid.

  25. I can lead a horse to water but I can’t make it take a bath. I guess you remain stinky.

    Does anyone remember the movie Sybil? This is what the mother sounded like.

  26. I have read, and re-read the snippet of Taylor’s prose and I can’t make heads or tails of it. Somebody should tell poor Stephen that just because you know some neat-o 50 cent words doesn’t mean you are a good enough writer to try and use them. Somebody needs to take a copy of Orwell’s essay on Politics and the English Language, roll it up and beat Stephen Taylor over the head with it a few times.

    http://www.george-orwell.org/Politics_and_the_English_Language/0.html

  27. “For example, Some nuclear regulator decided to cause the stoppage of the production of isotopes because 95% safety isn’t as good as 98% safety.”

    can you make that dead horse drink?

    KEvron

  28. “This is what the mother sounded like.”

    “you can beat a dead horse to water, but you can’t make that dog hunt….”

    KEvron

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