My friends often wonder why I identify as a conservative in light of the existence of loons such as Pat Robertson. The problem from where I stand is that lunacy is found to your Left and your Right. My friends to the Left are often indulgent or ignorant of their loons to their Left, though they have a laser-like focus on the loons of the Right. Consider this piece in The New York Times Magazine, Oakland, the Last Refuge of Radical America. The “right-thinking” liberal often decries the know-nothing sentiments of the Creationists and their ilk, but what about the heads-in-the-sand attitudes of these “radicals”:
It is, in a word, gentrification, and what’s most striking about its arrival in Oakland is that it’s just now getting there — that the city has existed for so long as a kind of living museum of 1970s radicalism, its culture of militancy, poverty, crime rates and dysfunctional government all conspiring to delay what now seems inevitable. “For years, Oakland has been the black hole in the middle of the great galaxy of Northern California as it shimmered its way into the electronic age,” says Richard Walker, an urban-geography professor who recently retired from the University of California, Berkeley.
Oakland is not representative. Economically dynamic cities such as Palo Alto are moderately Left-Democrat in their orientation for cultural reasons. But there is part of the Left-coalition which is simply in denial about the reality that the activism, protest, and frankly parasitic lifestyles which they choose to lead are dependent on the market economy which they decry. This is no different from the social conservative who is wary of science in their rhetoric, but will always avail himself of the newest gadgets and best medical care.
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