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  • Liberals' Lack of Civility Dooms Discourse Among Youth

    5/24/2013 2:51:21 PM Posted by Adam Tragone

    TolerantLiberals by Gabriella Morongiello

    I recently traveled to Washington with some immigration policy reformers. For three days, she and I trekked all over Capitol Hill discussing the controversial immigration reform bill with legislative aides and members of Congress.

    Responses were varied: some listened intently as we expressed concern, while others simply nodded their heads apathetically.

    However, none of these responses compared to the reaction of a young woman in the hotel elevator who caught site of the "Stop Illegal Immigration" pin I wore proudly on my blouse. During our short ride, I had become the recipient of a distasteful stare and murmur of disapproval. Although the icing on the cake was her unwarranted smear. "Racist," she muttered as she exited the elevator.

    This type of cowardly attack on my political views is something I have grown accustomed to as my encounters with the left are frequent. Liberals tend to make little secret of their distaste for my conservative ideology. I've been labeled a close-minded bigot and sexist. I have even been branded "naive" by a professor in the presence of a filled lecture hall. But racist? That was a first.

    Having spent hours debating government spending, immigration reform and Obamacare, I've noticed, with few exceptions, that my liberal friends offer opinions derived from emotion and hyperbole.

    "You oppose Obamacare? You must not care about poor people." "You think global warming is a sham? You people who believe in creationism just reject science."

    These are just a few of the ignorant and reactive arguments I have heard from my peers. They use them because they are effective, because it is much easier to utilize emotion in an argument than evidence and reason. They use them because they put me, a young conservative, on the defensive. Rather than having an informed debate rooted in logic, I am put on the defensive, allowing them time to search their brains for more platitudes, bumper sticker phraseology and incendiary labels; anything, but actual facts to back up their argument.

    It is difficult to be a young conservative, because it requires one to develop a sound and fully vindicated argument. Supporting an argument with relevant facts and sources takes memorization, research and confidence. It is much easier to argue for big government as the solution to all of society's inequities than to avail yourself to hours of YouTube lectures with economist Milton Friedman, the archived writings of our forefathers and the Constitution, or to study historical data that now delineate the failures of Johnson's Great Society and FDR's New Deal.

    In her book Slander, Ann Coulter writes, "If it were true that conservatives were racist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, stupid, inflexible, angry, and self-righteous, shouldn't their arguments be easy to deconstruct?"

    A recent example of liberals' emotionality versus conservative's reasoned approach became evident when the tragedy of Newtown gripped our television talk shows. Liberals screamed for more gun control, universal background checks and a total ban on assault weapons. Yet, when I posed the simplest question to a progressive friend he was flummoxed and unable to combat simple reason. I asked him the following:

    "In front of my home there is a sign stating 'Nothing inside is worth dying for.' The words are written above a human silhouette with bullet holes through the cranium and chest cavity. Next door, there is a liberal with a sign on his mailbox saying 'Gun free zone.' Wait a minute," I stopped.

    I continued, "He doesn't really have that sign on his mailbox even though he lobbied our city council to put that sign at the entrance to our city... Why do you think that is?"

    Gabriella is an intern this summer at the National Journalism Center and attends Oregon State University.

    • Readers' Comments

    • 1
      Posted by on 05/24/2013
    • How did you come to the conclusion that this young woman is a liberal? Correct me if I am wrong, but that fact that she called you a racist has does not prove or pinpoint the fact that she is a liberal. It is clear that this woman was making a wrong assumption about you, but you too are doing the very same thing. Just some food for thought.
      Posted by on 05/24/2013
    • Gabriella, I beleive that the liberal mind is very different than the one you posess. I have worked within higher education since obtaining my Ph.D in 1967 and have made a transition of my thinking, an evolution when I came to American campus to complete economics studies. I was initially so shocked to hear of the other graduate students and professors defending Castro, stalin. Marx etc. I couldn't beleive my ears. Well, it has only become worse over all of these years as a full professor at a prestigious university. I see the liberal mind as still a child's mind. One attached to instant gratification, emotionally charged and very self-centered. Good job I hope you become a strong advocate for free market principals as the writer that you are aspiring to be.
      Posted by Judith Zevileskin on 05/24/2013
    • Bravo Prof. Z. Ms. Gabiella: Keep up the good work. You have already figured out the thought process of the Libtard mind. Be prepared in your travels and don't be surprised when you find the most interesting rocks that the Looney Left can hide under. As you will see, ironically, they are those who have seemingly benefited most from our economic system yet they demand that the rest of us pay for it all.
      Posted by paul G. on 05/25/2013
    • "How did you come to the conclusion that this young woman is a liberal?" Because only a 'liberal' would come to the conclusion that "illegal" has something to do with race.
      Posted by DilloTank on 05/26/2013
    • Keep on truckin'!!! When a 'liberal' call you a racist, you know you are doing the right thing. Or, that you have one the argument.
      Posted by DilloTank on 05/26/2013
    • In summary of Gabriella's article: "I really hate it when EVERY liberal use generalizations, emotions, and arguments without facts because conservatives NEVER use those tactics on liberals. This makes conservatives BETTER than liberals, because the ONLY facts that liberals posses are the ones that are generalized, emotion-based and void of facts." Gabriella, your blatant hypocrisy is comical at least. Every thing you said about liberals, including all the comments that followed your post, were utterly generalized, based on emotions (since you encountered a rude woman at an elevator), and completely void of facts. Where is your evidence that liberals choose to use emotion-based attacks against conservatives because they are afraid to use reasoning and research? Many of your liberal peers have also devoted much of their life to studying, researching, and immersing themselves into different political issues. They might not have come to same conclusions as you, and may end up with different opinions, but that does not mean that every liberal is scared of evidence and reason. Yes, there are always those who will use emotionally-charged attacks as a shortcut, but that occurs on both sides of that issue. Your failure to understand that, as well as your failure to accept the fact that conservatives are not the only ones who research their issues, only proves that maybe you're the one that needs to learn a lesson on crude generalizations and fact-less attacks against those who think differently than you.
      Posted by on 05/29/2013
    • IT IS SO, SO TELLING THAT THE ONE WHO IS SO ANGRY AT THIS AUTHOR WAS TOO MUCH OF A COWARD TO POST THEIR IDENTITY! Case closed. Liberals are confused by the facts as they have a funny way of interfering with their childish emotions and ever present dream of Utopia.
      Posted by charlamain on 05/30/2013
    • LOL thank you so much charlamain! You're only further proving my argument from my previous comment and making my job easy :) Here is, once again, another immature, fact-less, emotion-based, generalized attack against liberals on this page: "I AM SO ANGRY THAT THIS RANDOM COMMENTATOR ON THE INTERNET DID NOT DISCLOSE HIS/HER IDENTITY.....THAT MEANS THAT EVERY LIBERAL IS A CHILD AND A COWARD AND CONFUSED OF FACTS!!" Gabriella, these commentators are really hurting the validity of your article. If I were you, I would tell these ranting trolls to really put a sock in it - they're not doing much to uphold your argument that it's conservatives, not liberals, that "lack civility" and are "dooming discourse among youth". I mean, here is a article about how liberals lack civility in their argument, are rude, use generalizations, attack based on emotions, don't use facts in their argument, etc....and EVERY comment following her article made by a conservative used every single tool that Gabriella described against liberals. The hypocrisy is hilarious at least! Case closed: there are immature MORONS void of reason among both liberals and conservatives, and all these comments on these articles only further prove it :) Once again, thanks for making my job easy, guys!
      Posted by Who cares! :) on 05/30/2013
    • I think the only person helping to validate my point is you, sir. That being said, thank you for your remarks. I do appreciate your opinion.
      Posted by Gabriella on 05/30/2013
    • Gabriella, if you want to promote civil discourse among youth, start by respecting those who think differently than you. Because you had a negative, emotional encounter with a rude woman - and you're right, she was completely wrong for assuming that you're a racist based on a pin on your shirt - you generalized liberal's opinions as "ignorant" and "reactive" and claimed, without using any evidence or facts, that liberals use these tactics because "it is easier to utilize emotion in an argument than evidence and reason". This is highly disrespectful to your liberal peers, who spend just as much time as you do watching YouTube lectures from economists, reading archived writings of the founding fathers, and studying historical duty. Do you honestly believe that it is only conservatives that like to study? Unfortunately, it's this kind of tendency - to bash those who think differently than you as just plain stupid, ignorant and immature - which is in actuality plaguing attempts to have meaningful and productive discourses. Of course there will always be those types of people, like the woman you encountered in the elevator, who without knowing you, will call you a "racist", a "conservative pig", "war-hungry", or whatever other crude insult there is out there targeted at conservatives. But look at the comments that was written under your article by conservatives. Judith generalized the liberal's mind "as a child's mind". Paul called liberals "the Looney Left" and gave a sensational claim that liberals are trying to rob everybody in the economic system so they could benefit from it. Charlamain called a commentor a "coward" because they didn't disclose their name, and continued to conclude that liberals live in a delusional, childish mind. All of these comments were rude, insulting, generalized, emotionally-charged, and absolutely void of facts. Browse the internet a bit, and you'll unfortunately find a lot more of such type of comments. I appreciate you sharing your experience you've had with the liberals that you know, and you desiring for civil discourse among youth, but I would've respected your article a lot more if you acknowledged the fact that civility, tolerance, and respect is something that needs to be improved among both conservatives and liberals. By not doing this, you only feed the flames of extreme hatred between political parties, hinder bipartisan support, and promote uncivil discourse.
      Posted by Meg on 05/31/2013
    • Hello Meg! I wanted to point out that this young woman was writing a commentary piece for a blog that caters to young conservatives. In that endeavor I see nothing in her piece that is intellectually dishonest and she cannot be held accountable for those who drop comments annonymously or otherwise, like me. Our son and daughter, both raised as conservatives, have come home from their campuses spewing similar platitudes to me over our dinner table when i tried to discuss current events with them pre-ceeding the 2012 election. My daughter tried to argue for Obamacare by quoting SANDRA FLUKE and telling me " you must not care about women , mom". I almost threw her across the room I was so disgusted with her lack of intelligent thought. My point is this...gabriela has a job to do in writing for a conservative blog, as i see it, her job is to not only inform, but to entertain and that requires some humour, fairly short and too the point so kids take the time to read the letter in the first place. Finally, at least for me it has become obvious after watching the entire convention weeks on TV for BOTH PARTIES that the conservatives were eager to discuss topics involving our country with great civility and thought where as the left did exactly as she dipicts- smart ass retorts when interviewed, ridiculous speeches by one speaker after another ( including FLUKE) saying " oh poor little me, give me some more free stuff" , insults and outright lies about the presidents agenda pushed by hate mongers such as debbie wasserman shultz. On the other side we had a dignified, experienced executive and former governor who truly wanted a dialogue about important challenges the country was/is facing. None of the necessary discussion of how to address our nation's problems was aptly explored because of the left's media puppets covering over that need with hyperbole, incendiary labels etc. JUST LIKE GABRIELA WAS POINTING OUT. Bravo to her.
      Posted by Charlamain on 05/31/2013
    • I think one sentence sums up this girl's point ..." you can't have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed".
      Posted by oneamongmanypatriots on 05/31/2013
    • I'm sorry Charlamain, but if there was a point you were trying to articulate in that message above, I don't think you did so successfully. Of course Gabriella has every right to write whatever she desires on a conservative blog. But by sharing her opinions on a public forum, which invites comments from readers, she will inevitably be subject to feedback, may it be praise or criticism. Are you trying to suggest that unless you agree with a blog writer, you shouldn't offer any comments? Are you not in favor of free speech, then? I am offering my opinion, and rightfully so, that demonizing those with liberal ideological stances does nothing to promote civil discourse, which is what this blog writer was allegedly advocating for. And of course she is not responsible for the comments underneath her article, but by pointing to those comments, I was able to show Gabriella how emotion-based, rude, immature and fact-less comments is not some phenomenon that only happens with liberals. Read your comment that you posted on May 30, Charlamain. It's a comment one would expect from a hyper-emotional, angry, ranting school child. Finally, I can give you a thousand other experiences I had, both personally, and from watching public events, such as the convention you were referring to, where both liberals AND conservatives were victims to hyperbole and incendiary labels. For example, there are still hundreds and thousands of organized groups, primary in the South, who identify as conservative that unapologeticaly promote hatred towards all African Americans and other non-white, non-Christian minority groups because they fear that these groups are damaging the traditional values of America. So although I know that racism is still unfortunately occurring in this country, I'll be damned if you ever hear me make a generalized, fact-less statement that "all conservatives are racist", because I know that of course this isn't true. THOSE conservatives happen to be racist, but it will be utterly ignorant of me to make a generalized statement that all conservatives are racist. And that's the difference between you and I - despite the fact that whatever personal experiences you encountered with liberals does not account for every liberal in this country, it just won't matter, you will ALWAYS believe it to be a God given truth that those that think differently than you are just plain "cowardly", "confused by facts" "childish" and "hate-mongering". And even though I'm probably half your age, I truly feel sorry for you. It's hard to live a life consumed by hate for others. Good luck and may peace be with you.
      Posted by Meg on 05/31/2013
    • Dearest Meg, my little peaceful warrior. The author didn't claim at any point in her piece that all liberals are devoid of fact based reasoning. READ IT AGAIN. She says that among her PEERS, with whom she has political discourse, she is shut down while attempting to debate using fact , logic and reason by their tendency towards ugly hyperbole. She never says ALL LIBERALS , she is speaking of those with whom she has interacted as peers. She does not deserve some self righteous rant , therefore, from you nor anybody else about generalizations or " having your point proven" or " her hypocrisy". I would love to suggest a book called " The Republican brain" written by a self described elitist Liberal, his words, not angry , mean old mine... This is written by a man with an advanced degree who spends a couple of hundred pages making the exact opposite claim that this girl is. The difference...he did over generalize for 11 chapters and when he tried to establish a scientific basis for why conservatives arrive at different conclusions than liberals when presented with the same data...the experiment failed and he essentially wrapped up the book by stating, I know what I know about the inability of the conservative to follow logic and reason regardless of the data so I'm going to design a different experiment to prove it. Go read that book and write to that author with the same observations you made here as then they will actually apply. With age , comes wisdom sweet pea.
      Posted by charlamain on 05/31/2013
    • Sigh....here you go again, Charlamain, with your random rants on random pieces of utterly pointless, irrelevant, piece of information and facts. How can I say this politely and respectfully? I really don't care about this random book by this random author that you devoted 10 sentences of your life to...because I ALREADY KNOW that books like this exist by liberals. I'm starting to believe that you're not really at the "wise old age" you claim to be, because even a 12-year-old would understand this by now. OF COURSE there are books out there, like the one you ranted about, by liberals. The point I have been making is that, even though I am (supposedly) half your age, I have the maturity, education, and enlightenment to understand that those types of books have been written by both liberals AND conservatives. The problem here is people like you, and Gabriella, who try to address the problem of false information, distorted scientific data, uncivil discourse, etc, by creating it into a "one-political-party-only" phenomenon, when in reality, it is a HUMAN phenomenon. I mean, look at what you just did again on your last comment. You literally went on the most random rant/tangent about this irrelevant book to further prove your point that "IT'S JUST LIBERALS DOING IT/THEY ARE EVIIL!" How much hate do you have buried inside your chest to feel the need to let all that loose? Here, let me try explaining it in a much more elementary way: Tommy is a red-headed kid at school and he steals an apple. The teacher wants to teach kids that stealing is bad, so she starts preaching about how red-headed kids are the root of the problem. This makes all the kids at school hate the red head, and instead of fixing the problem, all the teacher accomplished was fueling hatred and animosity at her school. In reality, the problem is stealing, not red heads. It just so happens that in this particular case, it was done by a red-head; in another school it might have been done by a blonde. In this scenario, you would be the school teacher: yelling a lot, pointing fingers, but at the end, accomplishing nothing. Do you get it now, Miss "Old & Wise" Charlamain? Or let me guess, are you going to respond by posting another comment about some random article you found on the internet from some crazy liberal. Or maybe another convention, or another book? Whatever makes you sleep softly and soundly, sweetheart. I understand that with some people, once you hit a certain age, you just refuse to learn, so I'll let you dwell blissfully in your sweet ignorance. And one last thing before I stop coming to this website (I am an independent voter, interested in both liberal and conservative opinions, but I have come to learn that this website offers absolutely no intellectual stimulation): the title of this article is "Liberals' Lack of Civility Dooms Discourse Among Youth", and there is a rude, offensive, and completely immature picture accompanying this article. So...what were you saying about this article having no intents on generalizing? Exactly.
      Posted by on 06/03/2013
    • I've been following, with great glee, the back and forth between you two angry broads, Charlamain and Meg ( btw..the peaceful warrrior comment was funny charlamain) that's a great book , haven't met many people who've read it. Regardless, just wanted to let our young moderate, meg, know the old platitude that indpemdants and moderates seem to ignore but I've found in my 72 years to be more and more valid..." one who stands for nothing , will fall for anything" I was a starry eyed bleeding heart as a young man until I started a business in 1969 and began to deal with regulators, taxes, employees, leases, inventory, banks etc. etc. then I woke up and evolved into a hardcore Libertarian which puts me a little to the right of atilla the hun and just as free!
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