02 October 2009

Moot Points

Any leftist can relate to the following type of conversation with "sensible" liberal types: you are asked about a topic, such as school choice, and when you respond with a pretty defined view (you know, what is called in some circles an "informed opinion"), then you are beset with a series of clarification questions. It's as if the question asker can't accept that you are not for school choice, so they try to negotiate you into postmodern confusion. They typically also have to insert that they like to remain 'open minded,' which is a not-so-subtle way of saying that you should do some rethinking because "there are good ideas in anything."

With school choice, I'm often asked if I would be for it if charter schools removed their admissions criteria to support open enrollment. I respond that it's a moot point- choice proponents will NEVER remove the ability to regulate who gets to go to their schools- that's the way they can exclude kids and raise test scores! If you made admissions 100% open AND, at the same time, provided reliable, federal funding to make these schools absolutely accessible, again, moot points. School choice would collapse. At that rate, you might as well fully fund and support public education- oh the horror!

Same for NCLB. People will ask me, "would you be for NCLB if there wasn't the standardized testing?" Are you kidding? Moot point! NCLB IS standardized testing- it's the center of the entire concept of the law! Get rid of the testing, and there is no NCLB. It has to be fully opposed and scrapped...unless you support testing. But the "sensible liberals" don't like having to clarify their views- instead, they want you to not be so "closed minded." They want to continue to hide behind their false neutrality and a leftist response doesn't allow them to do so for once. It is also a rare occurence so when they do encounter it, they often aren't sure how to proceed and then their whining can ensue: "How can they be so unreeeeeealistic?!!!" and so forth.

Take health care. Would I be for allowing the private sector to remain a "partner" in the scheme if they were regulated for the pre-existing condition thing and escalating costs? Moot point! Those are the two things that make private health care profitable! They will never get rid of those things.

After a while, these kinds of conversations hit rhetorical dead ends. I half expect to hear next:

"Slavery- would you be for it if it didn't involve the forced extortion of someone's labor?"

"Death penalty- would you reconsider it if it didn't involve the state-sponsored cessation of someone's life?"

Something needs to be done about this postmodernism run amok. Maybe if postmodernists would consider that there are some ideas that have to be opposed in order to preserve the notion of human rights. Oh wait. Moot point.

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