Posted on | September 27, 2012 | 22 Comments
More than 15 years have passed since I first read Thomas Sowell’s brilliant book, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy. Few things have ever made such a profound impression on me as Sowell’s analysis of liberalism as a philosophy rooted in the liberal’s narcissistic desire to believe he is the moral and intellectual superior of ordinary people.
One of the consequences of this is the liberal’s quick resort to insults when confronted face-to-face by conservative arguments. Merely by disagreeing with liberalism, you see, you are categorized in the liberal mind as inferior, and if you should ever start winning an argument, this provokes the liberal to begin shouting insults: By calling you names, the liberal expects to discredit you, so that the merits of your argument can be ignored.
See, for example, how Whoopi Goldberg reacts to Ann Coulter.
Or consider a person calling himself Seth Eben Shapiro who, for some unknown reason, reacted to something on my blog by sending me an e-mail full of insults. It is not exactly clear to me what I’ve said or done to offend Mr. Shapiro. His e-mail didn’t bother to say what it was about my politics or my journalism that he disagrees with. Yet he evidently felt an overwhelming compulsion to insult me, found my address and sent me an ugly e-mail, to which I felt obliged to reply succinctly:
Who the hell are you, and why are you sending me this e-mail? Do you have nothing better to do with your life than to scour the Internet, looking for people you disagree with, so that you can send them insulting messages?
What manner of foul hatefulness or psychiatric disorder inspires your antisocial habits? Are you addicted to dangerous drugs or in the thrall of some bizarre sexual perversion?
Seek professional help, before it’s too late.
Let me stipulate that I have no direct evidence that Mr. Shapiro is mentally ill, addicted to drugs or a sexual deviant because, as I say, I don’t have the faintest idea who he is.
Yet the indirect evidence — his unseemly vehemence toward me — is certainly suggestive of a twisted mind far gone in the helpless decadence typical of liberals everywhere. One of the symptoms of this degenerative disorder (colloquially known as the Andrew Sullivan Syndrome) is a grim humorlessness that impairs the individual’s ability to comprehend irony or sarcasm, and diminishes self-awareness to the point that he is unable to realize that he is a laughably pompous douchebag.