In a post just the other day, I remarked that I had been looking for a “left-wing blog that had a sense of intellectual honesty”, and defined intellectual honesty as “a willingness to concede that the other side might be right in a debate — a willingness to use debate as a means to genuinely seek the ‘true’ answer, as opposed to simply trying to ‘beat the other guy’.”

My first introduction to blogs was when a good friend emailed me a link to a post on Steven Den Beste’s “USS Clueless“. Den Beste is basically credited with pioneering the “essay blog” as his blog (now retired) consisted of extended in-depth discussions on any number of topics. Despite having stopped blogging* he still stands as one of the best standards of good blogging the Internet has yet seen.

At the core of my political belief, I am a philosopher. I spend a lot of time thinking about the nature of human society, and vote (and argue) according to who I think will best fight for what I believe is the best government. I am also a realist, and try to not allow what I wish were true to blind me to human nature and what is possible.

It has occurred to me over time that the more I hear left-wingers accuse right-wingers of various wrongs, the more often it appears that the accusations reflect the accusers more than the accused. To put it another way, the only way they can actually believe their accusations is if they are projecting their own malfeasance on their opponents. The first keystone example of this in my memory was when Hillary Clinton defended her husband by (infamously) claiming that the growing mountain of evidence against him was due not to any of it being true, but because of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” that was out to get him. At the same time, it was the Democrats in Congress — all of them — who were forming a regulated phalanx to defend him, (each trying to act as though they were acting independently, and after half of them had earlier stated that “if” he were guilty he should be impeached).

Now Brian over at Peeve Farm has a new post that takes this gut feeling and turns it into another rather firm example. It focuses more on the blogosphere than politics in general, but among repeated assertions from leftists that right-wing bloggers “take their marching orders from Karl Rove”, it is a telling story indeed.

Regarding the difference between the political right and left blogospheres, I like (from the updates section of Brian’s post) Michael W.’s “simple, high quality metric”:

Yes, the blogosphere is split into unequal parts that are not mirror images of each other.

I decided that this viewpoint is going to stick until I can find, on the left, equivalents of:

Steven Den Beste
Victor Davis Hanson
Bill Whittle

[…]truly eloquent, brilliant people who speak for their side who will also have the cojones to disagree with their party line and exercise independent thought.

Well, hey. There’s that intellectual honesty I was talking about again!

* Actually, Steven does still blog — about anime — but his main blog, “USS Clueless”, closed up shop a couple years ago. The archives are still available though, and I strongly recommend checking it out, especially the “essential library”.

Comments are invited and encouraged

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