Thursday, July 08, 2010

Prager on "Leftist" World Opinion.

Dennis Prager sets out in Townhall to show that world opinion and left wing opinions are really one and the same thing. He then sets out his examples.

Here are examples of major world issues and what is deemed "world opinion." They happen to all be Leftist views as well.

-- hatred of President George W. Bush and admiration of President Barack Obama.

President Bush was found to be considered the worst ever president by 61% of historians, so it is to be expected that Obama, by reversing many of the policies which made Bush's time in office so unpopular, would be greeted in precisely the opposite manner.

-- Manmade carbon emissions lead to global warming and devastation of the environment. Therefore, the world's nations must tax carbon-based energy.

A majority of scientists agree that global warming is real and is the result of human activity. That's not a left wing position, that's the position held by people who study this stuff.

-- The American invasion of Iraq was morally wrong, motivated by desire for oil.

The invasion was morally wrong as the reasons for invading - that Iraq was developing WMD - turned out to be utterly bogus.

-- Israel is bad, as exemplified most recently by the Turkish flotilla incident.

I am not aware of anyone, other than religious extremists, who take the position that "Israel is bad". However, Israel is carrying out the longest military occupation in modern history and, whilst doing so she is "pilfering" Palestinian land, according to a new report by B'Tselem.

And Israel's own reluctance to submit to an international inquiry into the storming of the peace flotilla certainly suggests that she is less certain of being cleared of wrongdoing than her public statements would suggest.

-- The American health care system is inferior to that of all other wealthy countries (see last week's column).

The American health care system is inferior to that of most other wealthy countries and that is a matter of public record.

Note that Prager doesn't attempt to prove that world opinion - and leftist opinions - are wrong. He merely states a collection of facts which he thinks proves that leftist opinion and world opinion are indistinguishable; but he makes no attempt to disprove what both are saying.

Instead he states this:

A vigorous conservative part of the American population has contempt for "world opinion," rightly regarding it as useless against real evil and as a mere reflection of Leftist views. Equally important, and almost unique to America, there is a vigorous conservative news and opinion media. Compared to the Leftist domination of virtually all mass news media -- newspapers, magazines and television -- the conservative media are almost tiny. But talk radio, the Internet, Ronald Reagan and his ideological heirs in the Republican Party, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal editorial page have made an impact that belies their numbers.

But they are only powerful in America. And even there, it is often difficult to overcome the United Nations, the Left, the universities, the media and "world opinion."

So, Fox News helps counter the heap of leftist garbage coming out of "United Nations, the Left, the universities, the media and "world opinion".

And yet, it has been proven that people who watch Fox News are more inclined than viewers of other channels to believe things which are factually false.
For example, 72% of Fox viewers believe that universal healthcare gives coverage to illegal immigrants, whilst only 41% of CNN/MSNBC viewers think the same.

79% of Fox viewers believe this is a government takeover, whilst only 39% of CNN/MSNBC viewers think the same.

69% of Fox viewers think healthcare will pay for abortions, compared to 40% watching other channels.

75% of Fox viewers feel that universal healthcare could result in stopping care for the elderly, while only 30% watching other channels feel this way.
But I don't get the feeling from Prager's column that these facts would bother him very much; certainly he didn't bother to fact check any of the examples he gave of where the left and world opinion coincide.

Indeed, he rather astonishingly seems to have come to the conclusion that the more people believe in something around the world, the easier it is to dismiss such a thing as left wing thought.

If politics is the promotion of ideas then Prager appears to be conceding that the American right are losing the argument; certainly in how the rest of the world conceive things.

But his answer isn't that the right needs to come up with better arguments, it is to express "contempt for 'world opinion'" and to dismiss it as "leftist".

I didn't agree with Reagan and Thatcher's opinions, but at least they set out their arguments and beliefs in a cogent fashion. Prager, instead of formulating an argument, is instead simply dismissing world opinion as "leftist". As if attaching that label means that world opinion can be safely ignored and dismissed. It's about as lazy an argument as it's possible to manufacture.

Click here for Prager's column.

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