Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Liberal Objectivity

In talking to liberals of the political bent, I've asked them at times to be objective about issues. Curiously, it seems as though the opinion that I hear prior to their being "objective" and their opinion when being 'objective' are often the same. They also frequently believe that the government should work the same way that they believe they should live their lives (but that's another blog). So, I've developed a working theory about liberal objectivity.

Another place that you can see liberals being "objective" is your typical newspaper. While I'm sure that they would claim to be objective, a review of a number of items would indicate otherwise. When reading the paper, take notice of the pictures used and remember that they have many different pictures from which to choose. So why did they choose the ones that they did. The placement of articles in the paper is another option that they have. The number of articles about a topic in a given paper or throughout the week can show their opinions. Finally, the way that they craft the article, how do they describe the situation, which facts do they highlight. All these factors can indicate a bias.

By assuming that these people truly believe that they are being objective, I've derived the following theory. Liberals believe that they are objective because they are liberal. They conclude that by definition they are open to all ideas, so any belief or idea that they have must be objective. Thus, if they dislike a person or an idea, their perspective must be objective.

Then, since their perspective is obviously objective, they no longer have to apply self-evaluation in order to determine if they are biased or not. This belief provides immediate feedback in that they save time in that they no longer have to apply any additional filters or reviews to anything that they say, think, or do.

Unfortunately, they are neither objective nor unbiased. Neither are they open to the idea of discussing their 'bias' as this would rock their core belief of being a liberal.

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