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Monday, August 19, 2013

Why I Am No Longer a "Liberal." The Hypocrisy, Arrogance, Hostility and Contempt

A limousine driver looks back at his passengers. Source
I recently reviewed the new Matt Damon Sci-Fi film "Elysium" on Amazon. The review is here.

A couple of Amazon users didn't like my review and said so. They called me stupid, a liar, and brainwashed by Fox News.

Normally I don't respond to negative feedback like that, but I had to respond this time. These comments exemplified for me why I no longer call myself a "liberal" or a "leftist."

I don't like the hate, the hypocrisy, the arrogance, or the divorce from consensus reality that I encounter among too many liberals.

Here's the reply I posted on Amazon.

Robert L. Gauthier's and S Duke's responses to my review of "Elysium" are exemplary of what is wrong with what is currently called "liberalism" in America. Their posts drip with arrogance, hostility, contempt and their own profound inability to connect with consensus reality. Their posts reveal their authors to be hypocrites, and their posts are factually wrong.

Gauthier and Duke object to my review because I note that "Elysium" is a boring lecture on Obamacare. Gauthier and Duke reject this association. Their rejections contain no facts; rather, their rejections rely on petty ad hominem insults – the review must be wrong because the review's author – me – is a watcher of Fox News.

Gauthier and Duke are factually incorrect on every point.

First, I do not own a television and am unable to watch Fox News.

Second, the association between Elysium and Obamacare is not limited to my review. A quick google search finds hundreds of thousands of hits. The association is made by both left and right wing sites.

Third, Gauthier's and Duke's central assertion is beyond being simply false. It is idiotic. Gauthier and Duke assert that a filmmaker from South Africa could not possibly make a film about an American topic.

Billy Wilder was born in Sucha, Poland. He made the quintessentially American films "The Apartment," "Sunset Boulevard," "The Lost Weekend," "Double Indemnity," and "Some Like It Hot." Charles Laughton was from England. He made the very best Southern Gothic film ever, "The Night of the Hunter." Roman Polanski was from Poland and he made "Chinatown," a film noir about the California water wars and "Rosemary's Baby" about Satanists in New York City. Otto Preminger, born in Ukraine, made "Porgy and Bess," about African Americans with music written by the Gershwins, of Russian Jewish heritage.

It is extremely uninformed to insist that a director who was not born in the US could not make a film about US themes.

In order to better understand Gauthier and Duke, I had a look at their reviews. Gauthier reviews expensive toys like "outdoor barbecue assistants" and titanium coated $75 earphones. Oh, but he also owns $449 earphones. And many other luxuries that simply do not exist in the neighborhood I live in.

It looks to me like Gauthier is a limousine liberal. From the Urban Dictionary: "Limousine liberal a rich liberal who considers themself a champion of the poor and downtrodden, but lives a lifestyle of wealth and luxury. Limousine liberals can usually be identified by any combination of the following behavior: - They support gun control, but they go everywhere surrounded by armed bodyguards. - They have a soft-on-crime stance, but they live in gated, private communities where there is no threat of crime."

In one of S Duke's reviews she (or he) refers to capitalism as a "specter" and praises Maoists. Maoists, of course, murdered tens of millions of people to enforce their ideas.

In an irony typical of limousine liberals, Gauthier and Duke mouth support for leftist views while embodying the very me-first thuggery they imagine themselves as opposing

It would have been easy for Gauthier or Duke to address me in a respectful way, "Danusha, did you know that the director is from South Africa? And, if so, how does that affect your assessment of the film?" A post like that would have been collegial and could have lead to an interesting communal discussion in which every participant was treated equally, and every participant received and accorded respect to others.

Instead both Duke and Gauthier took a hostile, arrogant, zero sum approach. Gauthier and Duke wanted to be on top, and they wanted the person with whom they disagreed to be on the bottom. They wanted to be the good guys; they wanted the person they disagreed with to be the bad guy. They wanted to be the smart ones – Duke's comment especially is rife with the need to be the smart person in the room of stupid people. They wanted to be the exclusive winner of the exchange with me, and they wanted me to be the loser.

In their conversational style, Gauthier and Duke display the qualities of their own caricature of capitalists. They approach other human beings not as respected comrades, but as contemptuous opponents. They approach other people as things, as the commodities they will dominate in order to establish their own superiority. They want war, not peace, as the method of interaction. They want to win; they want everyone else to lose.

This zero sum, "I must be the exclusive winner and I must damage and humiliate my opponent" approach to discourse is all too typical of "liberals" who insist that they are the real champions of the poor.

I know my comment here is very long but Gauthier and Duke so thoroughly epitomize everything many of us have come to despise about limousine liberalism and the damage it is doing to the very people they claim to help – the poor.

Look, limousine liberals, we, the poor, don't need you, and we don't want you. We don't need your expensive outdoor barbecue assistant, your $449 earphones, and your delusional support for mass murder and your hatred of capitalism, a system that provides jobs and services. We don't need your arrogant contempt for us. Take your Obamacare and go away.

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