Richard Hanania wrote a good post about how the Right, since 2020, has succumbed to the same sort of victimization-culture and pearl clutching as seen on the Left. Neither side is immune to being easily offended. It’s just that the left gets offended by different things compared to the right. He writes:
Moreover, talking about dissidence and heresy strikes me as melodramatic. One of the things I’ve always hated about the identity left is the way that it encourages self-pity and a sense of victimization. But the more I listen to right-wingers, the more I realize that they make Al Sharpton look like Ayn Rand. The word “dissident” appears to have taken off with the establishment of the Soviet Union, as it referred to those exiled, imprisoned, or killed for their beliefs.
This sense of victimization is particularly grotesque coming from the side that supposedly believes in the virtues of masculinity. Few things are as unappealingly feminine as exaggerating your personal problems.
Based on the totality of evidence, it would seem as if conservatives and right-learning beliefs are more likely to be censored or de-platformed compared to left-wing ones, or at least anything to the right of Jordan Peterson or Ben Shapiro. The very democracy that the Left insists is always on the precipice of its demise, doesn’t allow for debate or compromise about vaccines, quarantines, or masks. Or disagreement about the outcome of the 2020 election.
But to Hannia’s point, the right’s tendency to catastrophize, even justifiably so, possibly means overlooking bigger problems that may be less partisan in nature and thus precludes the possibility of point scoring and easy applause. Pelosi is a favorite target, who has come to embody the sclerosis and indifference of the entrenched Washington bureaucracy, that like Hillary or Biden, any support from the left is only in contrast to worse alternatives. But while everyone on Twitter in 2020-2022 was focusing on Pelosi’s stock trades, which are relatively small, Sam Bankman-Fried looted investors/clients for $8 billion. Or AOC, whose infectiveness and attention-seeking antics has garnered criticism from progressives too, not just the right. Public servants are implicitly held to a higher standard than regular people, but way more regular people were hurt by SBF’s fraud than hurt by Pelosi’s trades.
Same for alarmism about Covid-related learning loss. Yes, because before Covid kids were learning so much in school, and then Covid ruined everything. It’s like schools are supposed to be left-wing indoctrination factories, and then when the quarantines hit, suddenly school is good? Or fears over sex offenders, convicts, etc. being in society, which are perfectly reasonable concerns, yet at the same time jeremiads about helicopter parenting or how kids are too overprotected compared to “when I was growing up”.
As an example of counterproductive point scoring, I saw this:
2. You see, Jeff is a “Fact-Checker” for Politifact and gets paid to discredit Covid misinformation. So one might ask what are Jeff’s qualification?
1) Is Jeff a Doctor? No.
2) Is Jeff a Scientist? No.
3) Does he have a PhD? No.
4) Does he have medical experience? No. pic.twitter.com/qixq4QBSku
— TexasLindsay™ (@TexasLindsay_) January 1, 2023
Let’s be honest: if Mr. Cercone had those qualifications, would that change your opinion? Likely not. This would imply you would have to agree with Anthony S. Fauci, being that he does have a doctorate, medical experience, and is a scientist. But the left’s scolding exhortations to ‘trust the experts’ or to ‘trust the science’ understandably led to pushback by the right, but this has nothing to do with expertise or lack thereof.
It is said that holding mutually conflicting beliefs is the sign of a superior intellect, but the need for ideological point-scoring and peer approval means overlooking outcomes which are possibly beneficial, such as remote learning and school closures possibly attenuating the left’s cultural influence.