I often put up links on Facebook to political stuff I find interesting. I also get into discussions about politics around campus. Most of my friends are libertarians, conservatives, or neoconservatives. They kvetch that I pick on Republicans too much. The refrain runs something like this:
"You liberals are always promoting these double standards against conservatives. For example, you're always making such a macha'ah about FOX News. Ribono shel Olam, you think CNN isn't biased against Israel? You think MSNBC isn't biased to the left? Hello! The media in general is biased and if it's other networks are more subversive than FOX, that makes them more pernicious. And then you kvetch about certain Republican people in government. Buddy, the Democrats are in the majority and they're the ones who have been doing out-of-control spending and who haven't been able to properly reduce the deficit. Even the president's partisan supporters who know about Wall Street are disappointed by the lack of progress. And you complain about birthers, religious fundamentalism, and other Right-wing nuttery, but surely you realize that the Left has its own nuttery? Look at the truthers, look at the anti-Semitism, look at the Marxists, the hardcore Chomskyite anti-imperialists (and their hatred of Israel), look at Peter Singer's philosophy of animal rights, look at the radical global warming alarmists! They've made fundamentalisms, religions, out of these causes! Surely, if you are to be consistent, you must equally deplore their wacky ideas! Both Left and Right have craziness involved, but I believe that it is through a small market economy and small government that small businesses can thrive the best, so I think that this philosophy justifies my support of the Republican party or the Tea Party, as opposed to the Democrats."
I agree with much (although not all) of the above paragraph. So why am I not stronger against ideas of the Left which I ought to consider crazy? Quite simply, I don't really know any of the people who promote them. I have made it my business to stay far away from truthers and anti-Semites. Somehow, until recently, I had never encountered 20th and 21st century Western promotions of Marxist thought. The area where lchora I would have had the best chance to challenge crazy Lefties would have been on Israel. But while there was one fellow I had a correspondence with over the flotilla event, I try to stay away from topics I haven't researched fully -- and because there is so much propaganda out there, it is a topic which takes a bit of time to properly research. I hoped (and still hope) to learn more about the many variegated aspects of the political discourse in Israel at a later date; my focus was on learning about frumkeit, about how to get closer to the Ribono shel Olam. In order to understand frum derachim, I met and talked to all kinds of Orthodox Jews, but mostly, due to circumstances, Right Wing Orthodox Jews. I thus became much more personally familiar with Right Wing silly ideas regarding science and the world through interactions with people who had very different worldviews than I.