I certainly agree with Peter’s post that Piers Morgan is a first-class jerk. His vicious, insulting tirade against Larry Pratt should, at the least, have gotten him severely reprimanded by CNN. If you invite a guest into your house, you don’t treat him that way. But Peter makes an interesting point:
Morgan embodies an attitude that we’re seeing more and more on the left. It’s a nasty combination of supreme self-righteousness and reflexive demonization. Piers Morgan can’t accept that people of good will and decency might hold views that are very different than he does on gun control. And so it’s not enough to say Pratt is wrong; he has to be portrayed by Morgan as moronic and a moral monster.
This intellectual rigidity and moral preening, of course, is characteristic of a religion in decline. Think of the Catholic Church at the beginning of the 17th century as the Scientific Revolution was just getting underway. They burned Giordano Bruno at the stake in 1600 for asserting that the sun was a star and there might be many worlds in the universe, not just one. Galileo—too famous to be burned—was forced to abjure his belief in a heliocentric universe and was under house arrest for the last years of his life. The Soviet Union could never tolerate dissent for fear that the whole Communist political cosmology might come crashing down, which, of course, it did.
If liberals could win the argument with facts and logic, they would do so. But they can’t so they have to fall back on, in Ring Lardner’s immortal phrase, “Shut up, he explained.” Today the “thought” of liberals consists almost entirely of looking in the equivalent of Mao’s little red book to find out what they’re supposed to think and vilifying anyone who disagrees. The solution to gun violence? Gun control. Global warming? It’s “settled science” (a phrase as moronic as it is oxymoronic). Federal deficit? Tax the rich.
But just as the Catholic Church was soon forced to deal with reality (the Vatican Observatory can trace its origins back to 1774) and the Soviet Union ended up on the ash heap of history, the left will have to adapt or die. It is spitting into the wind and has been for decades. It’s just too bad the spit has to land on so many people trying to express a contrary opinion.