Flipping on Assange

342px-Julian_Assange_August_2014Not long ago, conservatives condemned Wikileaks leaker Julian Assange.  After all, Assange exposed U.S. intelligence operations, possibly endangering the lives of CIA agents.  Donald Trump even said he deserved the death penalty.  But now, after Assange released e-mails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton in support of Trump, some of those same conservatives are all for him.  In fact, they believe him over the CIA!

Conversely, liberals used to praise Assange for revealing the sinister secrets of the militaristic, imperialistic CIA.  Today, now that Assange is supporting Trump and the CIA is saying the Russians were responsible for the e-mail hacks (something Assange denies), the left is vilifying Assange and praising the CIA!

Do you see some inconsistency here?  Michael Gerson does.  After the jump, read his accusations of unprincipled tribalism.  On the other hand, there are civil libertarians on both the right and the left that can make a case for Assange and his exposure of government secrets.

What do you think of Assange now? [Read more…]

The Cubs didn’t really win the World Series

The_Cubs_celebrate_after_winning_the_2016_World_Series._(30709972906)The Chicago Cubs didn’t really win the World Series over the Cleveland Indians.  Actually, both teams scored 27 points.  So the series was really a tie.

That’s the same kind of reasoning that insists Donald Trump didn’t really win the election because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.  So says Mollie Hemingway in a column about how liberals can learn from conservatives in accepting disappointing outcomes. [Read more…]

Data on conservatives being psychotic actually referred to liberals!

Remember the study, still cited by liberals, that found that a correlation between “psychoticism” and conservative political beliefs?  It said qualities such as “dogmatism,” “intolerance of ambiguity,” the “fear of threat or loss”  manifest themselves in conservatives, who “are more uncooperative, hostile, troublesome, and socially withdrawn,” as well as less conscientious, less agreeable, and more “manipulative.” Conversely, liberals have low scores on “psychoticism,” making them “altruistic, well socialized, empathic, and conventional.”

Well, in what has been called “one of the most humiliating academic mistakes ever,” the journal that printed the study has posted “the mother of all corrections.”  It turns out, the researchers exactly reversed the results!

Psychoticism actually correlates not with conservatism but with liberalism!  The study found that liberals have the traits of “dogmatism,” “intolerance of ambiguity,” and the “fear of threat and loss.”  Liberals were found to be “more uncooperative, hostile, troublesome, and socially withdrawn,” as well as less conscientious, less agreeable, and more “manipulative.”  Conservatives are the ones who are “altruistic, well socialized, empathic, and conventional”! [Read more…]

When liberals were pro-life and conservatives were pro-abortion

We’ve blogged about the book by Daniel K. Williams, Defenders of the Unborn:  The Pro-Life Movement before Roe v. Wade, which shows how opposing abortion used to be a liberal issue.  The Religion & Politics site features a fascinating interview with Prof. Williams, who goes on to observe that conservatives were often the ones supporting legalized abortion.

[Read more…]

Confessing the intolerance of progressives

Nicholas Kristof, himself a progressive, castigates the intolerance of his fellow progressives when it comes to conservatives and their ideas.

[Read more…]

Both sides are too nostalgic about the ’50s

Today’s political problems come from both liberals and conservatives being too nostalgic about the 1950’s.  Liberals miss the dominance of unions, job security, and good wages.  Conservatives miss the strong families, social stability, and conservative values.  None of that is possible anymore, and yet both sides are fixated on bringing part of that back, while still opposing the other part.   So argues a new book by Yuval Levin, reviewed by Michael Gerson after the jump.

I would just add that both sides are also nostalgic for the ’60s.  Now even conservatives are anti-establishment, and the left is nostalgic for the good feelings of the civil rights movement and is seeking to replicate that by championing other groups.

I would also propose developing policies that restore what was good about the 1950s from both sides:  economic security for ordinary workers plus conservative social values, two areas that might themselves be related to each other.  Being sure to include minority groups in both the prosperity and the values.  Do you think both sides could rally to that cause?

[Read more…]