Apologies for the length of this. It always takes more words to respond to a position than it does to state the position itself:

It’s true, of course, that not all conservatives are anti-contraception Catholics, but 20 states have no sex education statutes in place - more than would be predicted by the number of Catholics in the US. So, non-Catholics are voting for the people that keep these laws out.

You said, “We didn't need a sex education class to know what [condoms] were for,” but went on to say, “an unfortunate side effect of "I'm on the pill" was leaving the rubber in the wallet and STDs.” In other words, you didn’t know what condoms were for, because they are also for the stopping of STDs… that’s why sex education is necessary. States that don’t have sex education have higher rates of STDs as well as unwanted pregnancy and abortion.

You say that you find the left more prone to authoritarianism, I hear this a lot, but I think that it is often due to a misunderstanding of what an authoritarian is. So, can you explain to me what you mean by authoritarianism? And then give me an example of a left-leaning person that exhibits authoritarian tendencies? My working definition of a right-wing authoritarian is that they exhibit submission to their preferred authorities, aggression in service to those authorities and conventionalism/traditionalism. Obviously that last element excludes most lefties, so, by all means exclude that one. That said, the research into left wing authoritarianism uses entirely different definitions and, to me at least, seems to be finding libertarians rather than liberals. See a discussion, here: https://www.newstatesman.com/international/2020/05/there-such-thing-left-wing-authoritarian

I certainly agree that “Left and right both are guilty of seeing whole groups as the extremes,” however, 75 million Americans just voted for a proto-fascist, who lied close to 30,000 times in his presidency. If that’s not indicative of submission to a preferred authority, I don’t know what is.

It’s certaonly a far cry from “Honest Abe”.

We have repeatedly seen aggression in service to him, and right-wing paramilitary and terrorist groups are proliferating, so there seem to be a lot more people on the extreme right who are indeed prepared to enact violence in service to their preferred authorities. Indeed, the GOP must know this as they keep trying to paint the Dems as radicals, which they’re not, and as socialists, which they’re definitely not. Why try and paint a centre-right party with a small — albeit vocal — left wing as “far left” when they’re actually moderate? Indeed, for most liberals the Dems are too moderate and frustratingly afraid to establish themselves as anything but Republican-lite.

What you call a liberal blindspot, vis-a-vis the woman’s body vs. the foetus isn’t a blindspot, it’s you misrepresenting the position. A significant number of abortions take place whilst the pregnancy is at the embryo stage, so not even a foetus. You talk about the heart stopping, but the point in development at which a heart starts beating, the foetus is more like a tadpole or a newt, so to call it assisted suicide is a gross misrepresentation of the facts (and an appeal to emotion, a standard tactic of so-called pro-lifers). All abortions, bar those done out of medical necessity, occur prior to 21 weeks, before a foetus is viable.

The issue here is the religious concept of ensoulment at conception. This is a non-medical, non-scientific claim to justify the anti-abortion position and it didn’t exist 40 years ago. Note that anti-abortionists are almost all pro-death penalty, so they’re not pro-life at all, but pro-birth.

Did you know that 18 years after the Roe vs. Wade that crime took a significant dip? That’s because lots of unwanted pregnancies didn’t grow up being unwanted children that turned into young men from low Socio-Economic backgrounds and non-nurturing environments. Many conservatives are strongly for the ‘traditional family’ and ‘Law and Order’, but being anti-abortion creates single-parent families and increases the likelihood of children growing up in an unstable environment (mostly because of how single mothers are punished for being single mothers).

So, again, it’s a conservative position creating the very thing it despises.

As I say, not a blindspot, and if you’re not anti-abortion, you are surprisingly unaware of what constitutes the pro-choice position… not least of which the fact that it’s pro-choice, not pro-abortion.

Onto your next misrepresentation. Show me anywhere that biological males are forced into girls showers and sports. There are some few cases of mishandled situations, that is true, but there is no consistent forcing of anyone to do anything. It seems to me that, whilst you’re prepared to note that “Left and right both are guilty of seeing whole groups as the extremes” here you are, highlighting a handful of cases of people doing the wrong thing and pretending it’s the whole position. For the record, I think the IOC have mishandled the integration of trans-women into women’s sports. This, however, is policy being made up as they go along and trying to cope with new information, it's not an established or even common[pl;ace occurence. It’s interesting to see that trans-men perform better at sit-ups than biological males after a year of testosterone treatment. In other words, it's complicated.

And, finally, “Racism is holding a low expectation of people based upon their race.” Yes, it is, but what I believe you’re saying is that liberals want to give Black Americans a pass for being poor or ill-educated. What IS true is that black Americans have, on average, one tenth the accumulated familial wealth of white Americans due, in part, to the ongoing repercussions of decades of red-lining. It’s also true that you have to have money to make money. Yes, there are a handful of rags to riches stories, but they are well-known because they are the exception. I don’t agree with Affirmative Action, but I do agree with levelling the playing field, and that means spending more on education in under-served areas that are often majority (or at least disproportionately) black.

I’m not sure what “fake definition” you’re talking about, but it is a psychological truism that in a population with a single race being the majority of people, all people of that race will have more expectations of “people” that are mostly true for people of that race and thus are more likely to be surprised by norms that are true for people of other races. It’s no different than people who speak one language having expectations of other languages that don’t hold true for those languages.

I didn’t say that my examples were true to all conservatives, I explicitly said what “my experience” was… and I have spent a lot of time debating with conservatives, from the US and elsewhere in various political and philosophical forums, so these are generally people that have really thought about their position (I assume).




Psychology graduate with interests in values and morality, cognition and executive function, and High Functioning Depression. Kiwi living in London, UK.

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Alan Duval, MBPsS

Alan Duval, MBPsS

Psychology graduate with interests in values and morality, cognition and executive function, and High Functioning Depression. Kiwi living in London, UK.

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