Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why I [Heart] Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart isn't always the best debater, but he caught Bill Kristol in a mess of twisted logic the other day.


Kristol was, as usual, trotting out some tired old conservative talking points, maintaining that the evil government will ruin health care. He made the following statements:
  1. Government-run health care is expensive, inefficient, and ineffectual.
  2. Our soldiers have a government-run health care system.
  3. Our soldiers deserve, AND HAVE, the best health care system in the world.

    Stewart got a little distracted by Kristol's point that soldiers' deserve better health care than the general public, but he soon put all the pieces of Kristol's argument together to come up with the following conclusion:

  4. The best health care system in the world is government-run.
Kristol tried to backpedal from this, but he'd already realized his mistake. Stewart then pinned him down that it's not so much that the government can't deliver good health care, but that it's just too expensive for the unwashed masses. A common conservative point of view, but one they don't like to admit in public.

Why is it that whenever I hear a conservative pundit, they have to resort to such twisted logic to get their point across? Either that or they appear to be trying way too hard to hide their true agenda. When they do show glimpses of their true agenda, they come across as monsters, like when:
  • Rush Limbaugh made fun of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's, or
  • Glenn Beck, dispensing with an pretense that minorities watch his show, decried the fact that whites will be a minority in 50 years and encouraged whites to start making babies, or
  • Bill O'Reilly told the son of 9/11 victim to shut up because he disagreed with his politics.
Not all conservatives are illogical monsters, but it does seem to me that the conservative point of view requires a lot more mental gymnastics to justify itself. When you have to really consider the nuances of every issue, and thoughtfully include alternative viewpoints, conservative ideals eventually lose out. It's no coincidence that intellectuals lean toward the left and there are more bullies on the right. After all, slavery, segregation, denial of voting rights-- these were all conservative ideals at one time.

Like Steven Colbert says, reality has a liberal bias.

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