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I have touched previously on the role of piety in the zombie-like consistency with which “progressives” adhere to the cause of socialized medicine, but it occurs to me that there is more to the story. Having considered the matter further, I think social pretension is also an important factor.
If one observes how “the reality-based community,” as they have ironically dubbed themselves, responds to dissenters, much of their verbiage can be distilled down to the following sentiment: Oh dear, how gauche!
Consider the following passage from Matthew Holt. In response to Peter Chowka’s review of SiCKO, he sniffs:
And then into my email box the other day plopped this review from someone called Peter Chowka … I have no idea who you are, Mr Chowka …
Note how important it is for Holt to point out that he doesn’t ”know who” Chowka is (almost certainly a lie, BTW) and to insinuate that the latter’s e-mail constitutes a kind of social blunder.
Another single-payer advocate whose health care positions are apparently contingent on whom he “knows” is Joe Paduda. In a THCB comment regarding Stuart Browning, he says:
Not knowing Mr. Browning, I’m somewhat confused as to his point. It appears he is …
Odd that he must “know” Browning in order to comprehend his point. Then again, the intellectual quality of Paduda’s blog suggests that reaching beyond such considerations would overload his forensic equipment:
Yet another “progressive” health care wonk, Ezra Klein, insinuates that dealing with the socially inept commenters that frequent his blog is a necessary but rather distasteful task:
As of late, we’ve had some commenters hanging around demanding we redefine the word “uninsured,” …
Oh dear, how gauche!
Examples of this sort of thing are numerous enough in the “progressive” blogosphere to suggest that social pretension is nearly as important as moral superiority in forming “progressive” opinions about health care reform.
For these people, deviation from the party line on socialized medicine is not only morally suspect, it’s a kind of faux pas. Advocacy of free market reform is just not the done thing.
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+ May 2007
July 30th, 2007 at 12:51 pm
Pretentiousness has long been a hallmark of the left. That’s why they’re called “elitist” and “politically correct.” It’s as though politics were a part of etiquette. If you speak the unvarnished truth (e.g., “socialism is a failure in all its forms”), then you must be a bumpkin who has no concern for other people’s cherished beliefs.