Bring It On!

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

March 15th, 2005 | by Dr. Forbush |

I met an interesting woman yesterday who would qualify as a "Real Loonie Leftie." Not that I didn’t appreciate my award last week as "Loonie Leftie of the Week", but there are many more qualified and more deserving Lefties than myself. The woman I met was a self proclaimed Environmental Activist. She has been an activist for many years, and she told me how she has lobbied Congress both in Sacramento and in Washington. She has done many activities to "get the message out."

I was curious as to what her message was. Well, it just so happened that she had a tape of a TV show that she produces and sends out to Public Access TV stations all over the country. The show that she showed me was on the clubbing of baby harp seals in Canada. According to her tape the Canadian Fishermen have resumed clubbing baby Harp Seals again, because the public outrage has died down.

Now, I watched the tape she had made, and it was very convincing, but I had some questions. I asked her some and I listened to her talk to another young environmentalist and I learned quite a bit. I learned that they didn’t mind jumping to conclusions. I learned that she supported ideas that had no Scientific foundation. I learned that she used emotional appeal to win over the people who were not willing to think about the problem in a logical and reasonable way.

She talked about a lot more than just the clubbing of baby Harp Seals, and I felt like I was listening to a modern right wing extremist. In fact, there were more similarities than differences. The only real differences were the particular issues each group chooses to use to evoke the emotions of the audience.

For example, the right wing extremists chose Abortion as a major issue. The claim many ideas without scientific foundation, but use them for emotional appeal. There is a famous poster of a fetus with it’s mouth open, and the banner headline claims this is the "Silent Scream." This Left wing extremist told us of how the cows scream in pain as the are put to death. And, for exaggerated emotional appeal she tells us that every cell in the cows body is screaming in pain, so how could that stressed out meat be good for you?

Well, after hearing this explanation for why eating meat can’t be good for you I began to doubt other assertions that she made. I have no way of knowing what she said about the Harp Seals was true, because I only have her words and they lost a tremendous credibility after this explanation. Suddenly I felt like I was talking to a right wing extremist like George W Bush telling us how he was going to preemptively attack a Iraq to spread Democracy.

She started talking about how the Canadian Fishermen were killing these baby seals because they believe that the seals are eating all of their fish. It is true that the fishermen are over-fishing the oceans, and it is quite difficult to control those who take more than their fair share. Fishing used to be a profession that prided itself on bringing in the biggest catch. When the government tells you that you are not allowed to work as much as you once did in order to protect the environment one has to wonder how the fishermen can survive. But, how could I know the fishermen’s plight if I don’t hear his side of the story? She tells of the collapse of the ecosystem, but she doesn’t back it up with studies, facts or figures. It was like hearing about the emanate collapse of the Social Security system from the administration without the numbers to prove it.

In the final analysis I find myself in the middle looking for facts. When I group using emotion to win your support alarm bells should go off in your head. "What facts are they trying to hide?" should be the questions everyone asks. It is as if neither the far left nor the far right want you to know the truth. They both want strict controls on what one is allowed to do. They are both afraid that if the average person were to speak their minds, then their cover would be blown. If the argument centers on the facts and the goal is the "common good" for Americans then America will win every time.

  1. 7 Responses to “Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right”

  2. By Maddie Dog on Mar 15, 2005 | Reply

    Think if I ever saw someone clubbing baby seals I’d go over and club them - in the very same manner they club the helpless seals - until their brains oooooz out of their broken skulls.

  3. By Airman Blogger on Mar 16, 2005 | Reply

    Now THAT was a great commentary! We must all come together, left, right, centrists alike. Our government has become separate from we, the People as the D’s and the R’s supposedly argue with each other in front of us… but they have grown to become one and the same.

  4. By sally on Mar 16, 2005 | Reply

    There is more that binds us than seperates me…I do believe that is true!

    Facts are facts…anyone using emotion to drive a point we need to look at for what it is. We may agree with their underlying cause but, we need to use critical thinking to decipher whether we support them or not or how much to support them.

  5. By Mrs Bastard on Mar 16, 2005 | Reply

    I too, would club the man. While your point is salient that emotional arguements are dirty pool and extreme points of view are a dividing factor in this country you never did address the inhumane, mindless cruelty of harming a defenseless creature. Humankind is FAR TOO argorant about his/her place on the food chain. Show a little respect for Mother Nature.
    Maybe we should all adopt a seal for the sake of unity.

  6. By The Bastard on Mar 17, 2005 | Reply

    I just wanted send out a heart felt thank you to you Dr. Forbush, thanks to you article it looks like I’m getting another pet — not like three cats (one of which I hate) and a dog are enough, now you’ve got my wife considering adopting a baby seal. Will you watch it on the weekends?

  7. By ken grandlund on Mar 17, 2005 | Reply

    Nicely said. Once you recognize that neither the “right” or the “left” is interested in reason but rather the power, it becomes easier to cut through the nonsense. Unfortunately, they suck too many in with their emotional ploys.

    My solution- shed your party loyalties and register non-partisan. vote for the person who makes the most sense from an overall perspective and then share your views with others and bring them on board. the parties- the left and right- derive their power from our support, active or in name only. Withdraw your support, reject the nonsense.

  8. By Alice Brown on Jun 1, 2005 | Reply

    When people feel passionate about a cause it is difficult to become disentangled emotionally. There are many causes available to us and unlike the focus of these causes we have the luxury of choosing which one to support. Every piece of documentation comes from a bias, and before making an informed decision we research every aspect and base our decision on what appeals to our own personal values; in other words, what affects us intellectually and emotionally. You may be interested to know that information is freely available on all of the issues surrounding the Canadian seal ‘hunt’ - from the Canadian government, sealers and animal welfare organisations. This should cover the political and scientific angles for you. If you try to comment on a subject without knowledge you come across as ignorant and self-indulgent. Unlike the ‘Environmental Activist’ who at least has the courage to follow her convictions and raise awareness of a cause she believes in.

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