Are you White? Asian? Male? A stay-at-home mom? Or maybe your family earns too much? Or your parents did? If any of those are “yes”, you just might be disqualified to engage in debate with those who self-proclaim their big-heartedness. You won’t be disqualified if your views are deemed “correct”, but then “debate” won’t really be an issue. If your views are “incorrect”, your privileged-group status is the stain of original sin, as Warren Meyer would say. Not only are you disqualified; you are an appropriate target for ad hominems.
I wrote about this phenomenon after experiencing it first-hand a few months ago in “Privileged While Males May Not Comment“. Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog just got me excited again when he expressed his amazement in “The Left and Original Sin“:
“… the sins of past generations somehow accrue to individuals of this generation. If you are male, you are born guilty for the infractions of all past males.“
Meyer mentions the recent incident involving Ben Affleck, who asked the host of a PBS documentary to omit any mention of a slave-owning Affleck ancestor:
“So an ancestor held opinions about slavery we all would find horrifying today. But given the times, I can bet that pretty much every relative of Affleck’s of that era, slaveholder or no, held opinions (say about women) that we would likely find offensive today.
Congrats to Affleck for achieving some negative alchemy here. He took an issue (his ancestor’s slave-holding) that did not reflect on him at all and converted it via some “I am a star” douchebaggery into something that makes him look like a tool.”
In addition to the demographic origins of sin mentioned above, you are likely to be stained if you believe in the profit motive, gun rights, or any number of other individual liberties. If you can’t be marked as a sinner by some privileged-group identity, the Left will find another label. If you are a black conservative, you will be called an “Uncle Tom”. Dealing with your arguments is just too inconvenient. As Meyer mentions in another recent post, Leftists are particularly unlikely to pass Bryan Caplan’s Ideological Turing test. They simply don’t listen to, or understand, other points of view.