Morality over facts

Morality over facts. By the Z-Man.

The two most important features of the long-running culture war in the United States are that the left has won every fight and the right has never learned from failure.

The reason that the right never wins is they insist that facts and reason are the solution to the conflict. The typical conservative is an objectivist. He assumes there is a right answer to every social issue. If you study the problem long enough the options will emerge, as well as the benefits and liabilities of each option. Since there are no perfect solutions to the ills of society, you pick the least bad option.

Further, the conservative mind must assume that the point of politics and meta-politics is to flush out these options. That means everyone engaging in public debate sincerely wants the correct answer. Conservatives will acknowledge that some people come to the debate in bad faith, looking to profit from the conflict, but they assume most, especially those on the left, truly seek the best solution to the problem at hand.

As a practical matter, this means the conservative side comes to every dispute festooned with facts and logical arguments based on those facts. They assume that if they can make their case just the proper way, the left will have no choice but to accept their conclusions. At that point, the left will throw down their weapons, thank the right for enlightening them, and embrace them as brothers.

This never happens because the left is not motivated by facts and reason, at least not the facts and reason so pleasing to the right. Their social and political positions are rooted in the deeply held belief that they are on the side of angels or, as they prefer to put it, the right side of history.

For the left, political opinion is a positional good. They hold political and social opinions to signal their moral virtue.

For example, immigration:

Here is a post from the immigration website VDare making the case against immigration on economic grounds. The author uses Marxist economic and political reasoning to make his case against immigration. Reading it, you can almost hear him saying, “There is no way they can argue against this. Even by their own economic theories immigration is bad for the proletariat!” …

Bernie Sanders … is a classic old-school Marxist, but he abandoned those economic claims in favor of the moral claims around immigration. The reason is the people on the right side of history support open borders, so he supports open borders.

What support for immigration does for the progressive is establish her membership in the group, but also tell her coreligionists how much she cares. Open borders could be killing millions of people, but that does not matter. What matters is she cares about those poor, downtrodden people trying to cross the border. Caring about strangers is a first-order virtue on the left, so all progressives support open borders.

This is why clever arguments like the one from Mr. Horowitz are doomed. No matter how accurate his presentation, it can never force someone to abandon what she believes to be the moral position. …

The lesson:

If there is to be an alternative to the prevailing orthodoxy, it must make better moral claims. If the conservative mind is incapable of framing right-wing arguments in moral terms, then there can be no such thing as a conservative in a liberal democracy. They are condemned to be nothing more than a shadow that follows the progressive around from cause to cause.

Especially as the world dumbs down, reverses the enlightenment, abandons rationality and becomes more tribal again. The golden age where evidence and facts won arguments is passing.

Ben Shapiro is looking more like a dinosaur with each passing day.