[lg policy] OPINION: LEFTISTS MUST ENGAGE BETTER WITH THE RIGHT
haroldfs at gmail.com
Fri Apr 5 10:44:10 EDT 2019
Canada: OPINION: LEFTISTS MUST ENGAGE BETTER WITH THE RIGHT
April 4, 2019
Aydin Karasapan <http://charlatan.ca/author/aydinkarasapan/>
*The Charlatan* recently published an op/ed accusing Maxime Bernier, the
leader of the People’s Party of Canada, of “being too comfortable with
white nationalism.” I attempted to write a rebuttal, as this is a falsehood.
However, the article advanced no coherent argument against Bernier.
Instead, it poses moral condemnations and half-truths framed in the wake of
the vicious Christchurch, New Zealand shooting. Responding to the
conjecture-based accusations of the previous article would not be
Instead, this seemed to be a good opportunity to call out this tired
bullying tactic of the left that is grossly opportunistic, exploitative,
and worse: passive towards solving the problem.
Referencing Christchurch set the stage for the author’s accusations in the
article. A brief scan over the reported facts of the Christchurch shooter
makes it clear that he was not on the right at all. He was an eco-fascist
who hated both conservatism and liberalism, favouring the totalitarian
regime of China.
His attack intended to increase polarization between the right and left, to
cause political decay across the democratic world. Many on the left took
his bait, and used his heinous atrocity to bully conservatives on their
language and policy.
A tragedy of this scale on a national stage provokes a reaction that is
more traumatized than rational. The left has taken advantage of the rage
and terror across the globe to silence their dissenters on gun control in
New Zealand and on immigration and language in Canada.
Following this tragedy, it is reasonable to examine the changes we can make
in our governance and in our language when dealing with each other. But, it
is curious that the left-wing has a monopoly on that conversation.
Many on the left attack and condemn anyone who dares to disagree with their
suggested changes to the other politicians’ language and policies. They
defame conservatives like schoolyard bullies. And, they get away with it,
because the public accepts the idea that the left has moral authority.
The real failure here is not the attempt to root out those corrupt elements
of our culture or government, or our use of speech. The failure is the lack
of epistemological humility. Our neighbours, friends, and family on the
left assume their policies and language are morally superior to those on
I implore them to hear us out, to let our voices be heard, and to contend
with us on the basis of ideas, instead of defaming our character and
integrity by grasping at straws to link us to terrorists and racists.
Perhaps then, both sides engaging in debate and refining each others’
arguments will lead us both to improve.
In a calm, centred debate, whoever prevails in the realm of policy and
language will be the ones with the most sound and logical arguments. It
stands to reason that the most factual, logical position is the one to best
address the problem at hand.
This is a gold standard for political problem-solving that gives no quarter
to the political reality show of defamation and gossip that feeds into the
chaos the Christchurch shooter aimed to cause. Conservatives abhor these
racist, murderous individuals.
Yet, we are associated with them by a left-wing that would rather discredit
us than contend with us. Many conservatives support reducing immigration.
Racist piles of human garbage support these conservative policies to leech
credibility towards their own vile agenda.
Conservatives condemn those racist people and will never support anyone who
supports them. But, instead of condemning, it is more productive to debate
how supporting a reduction in immigration rates is racist and unreasonable.
On that day, I will happily nuance my position.
However, as long as we simply focus on unfounded condemnation, we do our
culture and governance no favours—while adding fuel to the fire of those
who seek to exploit the widening gap between the left and right.
Harold F. Schiffman
Professor Emeritus of
Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
Phone: (215) 898-7475
Fax: (215) 573-2138
Email: haroldfs at gmail.com
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