Monday, August 14, 2006


We Love to Hate

An editorial headline in today's Star-Bulletin declares Findings should quell immigration rancor, but the second paragraph proclaims the opposite:
Though the study could find no evidence to support that assertion [that foreigners who arrived in the United States in the last 15 years took jobs away from native-born workers], the clash over immigration issues won't be quelled by statistics as long as economic and racial divisions engulf the discussion.
I think the editor has it right. They could use a better headline writer, though.

The Right in our country has learned to play to the baser motivations of the people. If you wanna succeed, appeal to those economic, racial and other divisions. It works. The Left, on the other hand, often appeals through logic, debate, and argument. It's the honorable way to hold a discussion, but I wonder if it works.

The trouble is, when you strip away the reasons why people are acting the way they are (as for example by proving their arguments are wrong via a study), you strip them of their rationale for their behavior. Far from bringing about a switch to your point of view, this incurs their wrath and they harden in their position. Why? Because without that rationale, all that is left to them is their bigotry. Yes, the proof that their reasoning is wrong exposes them as bigots, and they hate it. So they dig in.

It's a paradox that we face in confronting many critical issues of the day. A war is raging on several fronts in the mid-East, for example. War crimes are being committed. These are based on hate, not on logic, though they are justified by logic. But we don't know what to do to turn the situation around. Military might won't work, it's even worse than publishing studies. At least studies don't kill people if they fail to convince.

French bigotry was exposed when immigrants rebelled and burned cars to bring home their point. US bigotry is exposed as our government attacks immigrants whether from Mexico, the mid-East, or elsewhere. We refused to demand a cease-fire in Lebanon until somewhere between 800-1600 innocent civilians were killed. Underneath it all is that we didn't care that they were killed enough to stop it. And it was in our power to do so. Nor can we separate ourselves as a people from the actions of our government. Our elected representatives voted almost unanimously to allow the killing to continue.

We simply love to hate.


Post a Comment

Requiring those Captcha codes at least temporarily, in the hopes that it quells the flood of comment spam I've been receiving.

<< Home


page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Newer›  ‹Older