In my last post, I told you I could write a whole post on the times I have tried to have an honest, formal dialogue with a liberal. I am going to lay out my experiences for you here, and maybe it will make sense to someone.
As you all know by now (because I repeat it endlessly), I like clarity. For this reason, I have tried on three occasions over the past two years to have fruitful exchanges with self-professed modern-day liberals. All with the same result.
Here are the terms I proposed to each of the gentlemen before we began: I told them that I was not trying to convert them to my way of thinking (I knew that was unlikely with these particular men), but that I was truly, sincerely trying to understand the liberal mindset. I find no logic in modern liberalism, and I admit that it drives me crazy. I actually spend time wracking my brain, trying to understand.
(Small aside here, for context: When I took the GMATs for graduate school admissions, I scored in the 99th percentile nationally in the logic section. I mention that not to brag, because who really cares, but so that you might understand how my mind works and why I must have things make sense! It's in my DNA, I guess.)
I love social and political commentator Dennis Prager (a Jewish conservative), who always makes the point: "I prefer clarity to agreement." Me, too. I assured these liberals that I didn't need them to agree with me. I only wanted to have clarity about what they believe.
I told them I wanted to ask them one question at a time, about things that I really, truly didn't get. If they could answer me as honestly and clearly as possible, I would appreciate it. I told them that I had had no luck getting any clear answers from liberals before. They would be the first.
First far-left guy I approached via email was a university professor (what else), teaching political science and law (of course). A friend of my husband from dh's days as a Democrat. He agreed to my ground rules, but, after I proposed that we start with the issue of abortion, he warns me that I won't like what he has to say (he is so far left that he has no problem with partial-birth abortion).
No problem, I said, and we're ready to go! I shot him an email with my first question:
"When I was homeschooling my sixth-grade daughter a few years ago, her secular Harcourt science book began its chapter on human biology with the following sentence: 'You began life as a single cell.' Do you agree with that statement?"
He never answered. Oh, he did write back once or twice after my promptings, saying he was busy working on the Obama campaign, but would definitely get back to me. I reminded him that it was a yes or no question, and that if he just answered yes or no, we could move on or pick up later, after the election. I never heard from him again.
Second far-left guy was a law student (what else) atheist (of course), son of friends. He agreed to all the same terms, we had a friendly exchange about our backgrounds, and then I emailed him my first question:
"I keep hearing liberals in the media and elsewhere say that conservatives today are increasingly radical, and that we keep moving further and further to the right on issues. Can you tell me on what specific issues conservatives keep moving significantly to the right?"
I never heard from him again. I emailed him a couple of times, and I never received a response. (Was that a difficult or offensive question?)
Third far-left guy. An old, dear friend from college who had "come out" some years later (it was no surprise). A great guy, and when we met up again on facebook, we had a very positive and honest conversation about our differences. He seemed excited about the dialogue I proposed, chose the topic himself ("gay marriage"), and I then sent him my first message of the dialogue. You can read it here, in my previous blog post. He answered me with excitement and said that he liked where this was going. And yet, I never heard from him again.
Fast forward to now. After my last blog post, I was pleased to see that a liberal reader, Gwen, commented. She addressed several issues, but not the specific question I posed about manipulation of language. When I asked her again, in the comments section, she again did not answer the question directly. I also asked Gwen another direct question twice (a yes or no question) and still, no answer.
I admit to frustration. I don't get it. I am not asking her, or any liberal, to agree with my conservative positions. But I wonder why I can't get any answers to simple questions? For example, maybe the first guy doesn't believe that he began life as a single cell. Maybe he disagrees with the science book. Fine. I don't care. I just want to be clear that that is indeed his position. At least then his rabidly pro-abort position makes more sense to me, and we can have clarity on that issue and move forward in understanding each other.
Same with the question of language manipulation. Perhaps some people think it's okay to change the definitions of words in order to promote a political agenda. Okay. I accept that. Just be honest, and then at least I'll know where you stand. Again, we can have clarity then, and move forward.
It would bring so much comfort to my crazy little logic-loving brain if an honest liberal could just answer my questions instead of ignoring them or dancing around them. Anyone?
**Disclaimer for Ann: I promise, on my honor, that my next post will be about something light and non-controversial, like rainbows, butterflies, or bubbles. Maybe little Catholic bubbles.
(Also, my recent IVF post was reprinted at Catholic Exchange.)