I loved R. Emmett Tyrrell’s column today about the angry liberals — particularly this wonderfully and appropriately sarcastic passage about their purported “openness to experience”:
You will recall how open to experience liberals have been when we attempted to introduce vouchers, charter schools, missile defense, and supply-side economics. Liberals are wildly curious about conservative positions on all manner of issues, and as for openness may I suggest you light up a fat cigar, say in an outdoor café, or ride your bicycle without a helmet. See how open our liberal friends are then.
It reminded me of a story a lifelong friend told me years ago. This friend of mine just kinda sorta follows current events, but isn’t particularly political. Well, he was walking across his campus at Dartmouth one day with a friend of his, and the friend, a self-professed “liberal,” was explaining how things are. “You,” the liberal said to my friend, “seem pretty open-minded about [subject X], so I don’t understand why you are so close-minded about [subject Y]. On the other hand, you really are open-minded about [Z], but that’s why I can’t figure out why you are so close-minded about [A, B, and C]….”
“After a few minutes of this,” my own friend later told me, “it was sort of like a light bulb went off in my head. If I agreed with him, I was open-minded, but if I disagreed, I was close-minded — even though it is the same mind in my head involved in every case.” So… “He’s the one with the rigid orthodoxy, not me.” And: “Basically, since he was being so judgmental and the only way I qualified as open-minded was if I shared his position, and since all his positions are liberal, and since he judged me to be close-minded far more often than I was open-minded — well, I guess that makes me a conservative! Although it does seem like it’s more work to be a conservative, because that means that instead of accepting ‘open-minded’ orthodoxy, I actually have to think for myself!”