Encountered an aggressive left-winger who gave the following two statements (paraphrased):
“People are not tolerant. Just look at the last election.”
“The statistics show that the educated voted against Bush. And Europe is with them.”
I was too dumbfounded to respond, even though my response did not seem to be desired… understandably so given the charged nature of the question.
Well, what’s wrong with this:
1. The deciding factor in the last election was not tolerance. It was foreign policy.
2. Actually, if you look to CNN statistics, as Ilya pointed out, Kerry won Post-Grad (55% of the votes) and No High school (50%), while Bush won HS Graduate (42%), Some college (54%), College Graduate (52%).
So the statement “educated people voted against Bush” is pretty much false. And I am not arguing foreign policy, but only statements with regard to the results of the election. Moreover, people in Europe, just like people in the US, are subjects to political and societal pressures, which explains both existence of Anti-Americanism in Europe and radical Right-Wingers in the US. Mediocrity in Europe is no different from mediocrity in the US or anywhere else… or at least I have seen no indication thereof. And most mediocrity is clueless – on both left and right. The left are screaming “the voting machines have been rigged”, while the right calls for nuking the Middle East. And that’s ok – except when these people get to vote or influence other people’s opinions.
My biggest problem with all this is that the academia (and the individual who made the statements above) are supposed to be the rational part of our society that does not jump to conclusions on an emotional basis. Yet, so far, I have yet to meet a single individual from the left part of the academia, let alone the rest of the left, who has a solid grasp on the situation and is able to explain their hatred for Bush in terms other than “daddy’s boy” and “warmonger”. At best, they concede that their position is relatively weak and they do not have suffecient information to turn me to their cause (provided I am a rational human being, of course). Perhaps I am meeting the wrong ones?
But really, my position is only as strong as my foundation. But, as it is 4:52am, I am tired and am debating skipping the shower ritual, I think that will have to wait till tomorrow.
Update: check out my reasoning here.