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Conservapedia:Liberal Style

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Conservapedia (and religious fundamentalism to an extent) was a major focal point in the early history of RationalWiki, but long ago ceased coming up with new ways to appall and amuse.
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Another RationalWiki user attacks the same essay, by Andrew Schlafly, here. Check it out too!

In 2007, Andrew Schlafly, owner and founder of Conservapedia, wrote an essay listing what he perceived as being liberal traits. Despite "opinion piece" nature of the content, the essay was later converted in to a supposedly encyclopedic article.

Our analysis was originally based on "Liberal Style", as accessed on July 30, 2007. Both the Conservapedia article and this commentary have, over time, evolved. We reproduce their text verbatim - with links and citations preserved. Our analysis of the original version can be found here.

The article is split in to two sections. The first purports to describe basic characteristics often exhibited by liberals, "which include techniques to mislead or simply advance self-serving goals". The second is claimed to provide additional characteristics. The second section is particularly interesting, since many of the points raised appear based on isolated incidences in which Schlafly has been annoyed by someone on his blog. Once one "liberal" commits a sin in Schlafly's eyes, it becomes a trait of all liberals. It will become clear that many of the claims are presented without context, making it difficult to effectively rebut all points.

Basic characteristics of liberal style[edit]

Conservapedia: Examples of liberal style RationalWiki's responses

The style of a liberal often includes these basic characteristics, which include techniques to mislead or simply advance self-serving goals:


1[edit]

a never-ending need for attention (e.g., Hollywood types and politicians Bill Clinton and Chuck Schumer)

There are absolutely no conservatives who started in the movies before turning towards politics.


2[edit]

a high word-to-substance ratio, as in using many words to say little of substance (e.g., Obama and the 90/10 rule here)

Schlafly considers conciseness to be a pillar of effective communication, and at a superficial level he is correct. In reality, some things cannot be discussed or resolved through simple soundbites and sweeping generalisations. It is quite easy to say that the the universe is less than 10,000 years old, citing Genesis as evidence for this claim, but it will require far more words to effectively refute this and provide the correct explanation for the origin of the universe.

Another example of Conservapedia's over-simplification can be found in their habit of neatly dividing the entire world in to a conservatives versus liberals dichotomy. In reality the world is far more nuanced than that.

Brevity is certainly important, but it should not be at the expense of important and relevant information. We have some articles that explore Conservapedia's obsession with conciseness:

  • 90/10 rule (used to restrict discussion in talk pages)
  • Ed Poor (Conservapedia's resident master of short and useless articles)

3[edit]

obsession with the media, and even with the few conservatives in the media

This from the site obsessed with so called Hollywood values, to the point where one could not stub a toe in the greater Los Angeles area without Schlafly leaping in to blame it on liberal lifestyle choices. Conservapedia is also home to Ken "Hey guys, someone on the Internet mentioned my evolution article" DeMyer, a sysop obsessed with homosexuality, random YouTube videos in which Conservapedia gets the briefest of mentions,[1] Google ranking, Alexa ranking, Google ranking and pretty much anything else that'll give him exposure on the Internet. DeMyer, writing under the name "Conservative" has recently embarked on the hilarious Richard Dawkins Project. During one such session he spent a full twelve hour period churning out content in support of this obsession.[2]

It's interesting that the author used the qualifier "few". It's true that the entertainment industry does tend to be more liberal in the same sense that religious fundamentalists are under-represented in the field of evolutionary biology, but the comment seems indicative of the persecution complex common among Christian fundamentalists.


4[edit]

feign offence as a way to silence criticism, or censor prayer and conservative viewpoints (e.g., ACLU)

There's no mention of a concrete example of a liberal feigning offence, nor does the author explain how one could determine the sincerity of perceived offence. As is often the case, claims of censorship are typically in response to fundamentalists complaining that they are no-longer able to take away the rights of others.

On the subject of prayer censorship, the ACLU has and would assist Americans who were having their right to pray suppressed. However, Schlafly has regularly expressed support for teacher-led school prayer, and to forbid such a thing is not censorship - more a defense of constitutional rights and fighting for the freedom to avoid having religion imposed by the state. The latter is quite amusing when noted that Schlafly and his ilk will complain about "socialized medicine" when the state attempts to involve itself in the provision of healthcare, yet is happy to see the state interfere with his relationship with God. One would think that the latter is far too important to entrust to the state.


5[edit]

pretend to know more than he does; Isaac Newton admitted that he knew almost nothing, yet a liberal pretends to know much (e.g., Al Gore)

As this essay was created by Andy Schlafly himself, it's worth noting that he is guilty of this as much as anyone he criticizes. Though he is trained as an electrical engineer and lawyer, he feels qualified to teach courses in history (American and world), current events, evolutionary biology, English, social sciences and other topics which he has no expertise in.


6[edit]

use a double standard: racial remarks by liberals (e.g., Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton) are just fine, but extreme abuse greets any conservative for that

In the absence (once again!) of a concrete example, it's hard to comment on this, besides saying that any racial remark made by anybody, especially those in the public's eye, would draw criticism. Naturally, Conservapedia can't see why phrases such as "affirmative-action President" would attract criticism (which equates to abuse in their world).


7[edit]

insist that theories a liberal likes (e.g., evolution, man-made global warming) are somehow objective and indisputable, while what a liberal dislikes (e.g., conservatism) is subjective

Conservatism and evolution are not comparable. Evolution is a scientific field of study, heavily backed by evidence. Conservatism is a political philosophy, subject to many differing interpretations. Some conservatives may consider it odd that some guy would attempt to rewrite the Bible to conform to his own personal conservative ideology.


8[edit]

unjustified praise of atheists and other liberals as "geniuses", despite little achievement

Take this with a grain of salt from the site with the page Affirmative Action President. Theres no amount of discoveries a Liberal can make that'll make a Conservative think a Liberal is a genius (See Lenski Affair). Just like theres no amount of achievement a minority can gain without someone on that site screaming Affirmative Action.


Additional characteristics of liberal style[edit]

Conservapedia: Examples of liberal style RationalWiki's responses

Liberal style also includes these additional characteristics:


1[edit]

support of greater bureaucratic control rather than more competition to address problems

This isn't necessarily a liberal style, and the converse (greater competition with less bureaucracy) is a more libertarian viewpoint than conservative. That said, liberals tend to favor reasonable controls over industries that have the potential to dramatically affect the economy. Conservatives tend to favor unreasonable controls over who people have sex with.


2[edit]

demands answers to questions, but after receiving answers then the liberal himself tries to avoid answering similar questions.[3]

Switch out the word Liberal with Conservative, and that will describe just about every talk page on Conservapedia.


3[edit]

refuses to admit the truth in debate, even if a conservative compromises in a conciliatory manner

This is presumably in response to one of the many situations in which Schlafly has been frustrated by peoples' inability to be open minded with regard to his unsupported and baffling claims.


4[edit]

like to use the phrase "reflects poorly on the site" when talking about the liberal articles on Conservapedia[4]

The original link is a search that will fail, but if their intention was to show instances of liberals using the phrase on talk pages, then try this corrected version.

There are many examples of this phrase being used, and normally by people attempting to bring Conservapedia back from the brink of madness or crassness.[5] The phrase is by no means indicative of liberal leanings, and it should be judged based on the context in which it used.

One would expect that a more thoughtful conservative could use that very phrase when commenting on Schlafly's rather insane claims with regard to abortion and breast cancer rates. In this instance, Schlafly, a man of questionable statistical ability and certainly no medical background, refused to accept that his claims appeared to be based on no scientific research and certainly a fundamental misunderstanding of statistical analysis. For added points, he questioned the credentials of a medical intern who queried some of Schlafly's assertions and later solved the problem by blocking him. Would a conservative not be justified in commenting that the abortion/breast cancer incident would reflect poorly on the site and conservatives as a whole?


5[edit]

uses the term "controversial" to describe what he opposes (e.g., classroom prayer), but not to describe what he supports (e.g., theory of evolution)

Neither evolution nor school prayer are controversial, except in the minds of fundamentalists who wish to see their religious views adopted by all. Evolution is a well evidenced and accepted scientific field, and there is a certain irony in the point claimed here, given that creationists have repeatedly used the slogan, teach the controversy, in their efforts to bring religious indoctrination in to the classroom.[6] Evolution is endorsed by the vast majority of scientists working in a relevant field - the only dissent being in how evolution occurs, but no serious scientist would doubt that evolution occurs. This controversy is comparable to that of the Flat Earth Society who would certainly, if they had better lobbyists, be pushing to have flat earthism taught in schools.

School prayer is protected by the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but only as a personal expression of faith. Children can pray on their own, and form prayer groups at school. What they cannot do is have compulsory prayer or prayer led by teaching staff. School prayer is uncontroversial, but teacher-led school prayer is controversial because it's an unconstitutional intrusion of government in to the private lives of citizens.


6[edit]

a lack of originality and a predominance of copying and imitating

This is highly amusing when considered in light of Conservapedia's long history of borrowing content from Wikipedia. See our article Conservapedia:Conservapiracy for an overview of Conservapedia's illegal use of images misappropriated from various sites. Further reading can be found in Conservapedia:Copyright Images and Conservapedia:Blatant_Plagiarism. One could unkindly point out that Conservapedia is surely guilty of copying Wikipedia's idea to create a collaborative online encyclopedia.


7[edit]

virtually never criticize hateful comments or behavior by a fellow liberal

No citations and no examples of this. Schlafly frequently defends conservatives to the nth degree, long after sensible people recognize that the behavior is indefensible.


8[edit]

like to use the phrase "Silence Speaks Volumes"[7]

In June 2009, Schlafly commented "The silence by liberals about it is deafening.."[8] On the same page, TK claimed "There has been a deafening silence by liberals about the items Coulter discusses".

Silence may well be an indication or justification for a point being made. For example, the founder of a right-wing blog once claimed that he had reported vandals to the FBI. Many commented that the FBI would not likely consider the editing of a publicly available wiki to be a serious crime, but he pressed on with threats of jail-time for the vandals. Despite initial bravado, the matter was eventually dropped on the site. Later visitors have posted questions to ask if there had been an update on the legal situation, but these were met with silence and blocks. This could be an example of silence speaking volumes, in the sense that the initial enthusiasm may have yielded to the cold reality that the FBI have more important things to do, and that the site founder cannot comment without admitting that he was actually wrong, and that his fantastical claims of FBI agents sweeping in to action to protect his publicly open wiki were insane hubris. See our article FBI Incident.

Thankfully not everyone is as insane as the man in the above story, and it is indeed wrong to assume that silence alone is sufficient evidence of guilt.


9[edit]

call something disliked a "conspiracy theory," but don't use that term against wacky liberal theories like global warming

There is no such thing as conservative or liberal science. Although philosophies can vary, political ideologies do not alter physical facts. Global warming is backed by strong evidence, and the main point of contention is in determine the level of impact that humans are having. There is no doubt that the average global temperature is rising and the increase is in correlation with green house gasses. The standard Conservapedia line is that of global warming denial.

Liberals regularly dismiss conspiracy theories, as is evident in critiques of the 9/11 conspiracy theories that have been propagated by people from all ends of the spectrum.


10[edit]

respond with "sigh" when presented with repeated examples of harm caused by liberal culture, yet persist in denying the harm despite overwhelming evidence

Once again, Andy confuses a political ideology with a nonpolitical field, such as local culture.


11[edit]

thinking in terms of what someone likes or doesn't like, or has or doesn't have, or belongs or doesn't belong

This is a bit too esoteric. Are Conservapedia suggesting that liberals have a black and white world view? This would seem odd given that Schlafly's conservative versus liberals worldview is as nuanced as the morality of a children's cartoon.


12[edit]

declaring that one is insulted as a response to an argument[9]


13[edit]

unjustified claims of expertise, authority or knowledge

This is very rich coming from a man who frequently discards the claims of credentialed experts in favor of his own expertise in pretty much everything. Our article Andy Schlafly, Renaissance Man documents a fraction of the fields in which Schlafly has claimed or asserted expertise.

Schlafly has an anti-intellectual bent, as evidenced in his hilarious Best of the Public theory, in which he claims that "The best of the public is better than a group of experts." Anyone with the brain power to operate a spoon would realize that the best of the public in this case would by definition be experts, but Schlafly explained that an expert isn't really an expert - instead it's someone with a fancy title or a qualification.


14[edit]

insistence on talking more and having the last word in a discussion or debate, or last wordism

Schlafly's responses to 'debate' are generally patronising, insulting and imply that you don't understand the topic that is being debated. Sane people will generally defend themselves from these comments, and Andy will block them with a claim of one of his pet phrases, last wordism. It's simply unreasonable for him to give his ridiculous responses (often accusing you of a certain belief which has nothing to do with the conversation, like 'censoring classroom prayer') and then call it 'Liberal Style' when you respond to his claims.


15[edit]

attempting to portray conservatives as callous or uncaring; bait them into making insensitive remarks; falsely describing them as angry

How can anyone bait you into saying ANYTHING? If a Conservative makes an insensitive remark, its the Conservatives fault. You cant blame a Liberal for somthing He/She didn't say.


16[edit]

calling others "extremist" or "racist"

The issue is not that such labels can be applied, more the justification for such an action. It's not difficult to understand why these labels have been applied to various people at Conservapedia. Perhaps it's the Affirmative action president article, or the claim that Obama is a Muslim. After all, it's obvious that a black Muslim could never have achieved such high office if not for white guilt, and who wants a Muslim in charge? Perhaps it could be related to Schlafly's comment made in support of the BNP, a UK political party that would like to encourage dark skinned people to "return home", and whose leader is not only a Holocaust denier, but is also buddies with KKK bigwig turned politician David Duke.[10] [11]


17[edit]

an obsession with and exaggeration of artificial scarcity, such as wealth, rather than focusing on creating more

"caring about people poorer than oneself"


18[edit]

ignoring or failing to recognize abstract concepts and denying obvious correlations between liberal beliefs and destructive behavior


19[edit]

deny the obvious and embrace the implausible; see examples of liberal denial

Yet more irony when one considers that Conservapedia speaks well of Young Earth Creationism, buys in to the birther movement and many other Obama related conspiracies, denies the existence of relativistic effects, and has a clear and strong bias towards a particularly esoteric and extremist version of Christianity. Essentially Conservapedia is the polar opposite of the left-wing truther movement, being equally outlandish and willing to accept crazy theories and "facts" that would support their ideology.[12]


20[edit]

attempting to appear smarter than others, when often the opposite is true

Some people undoubtably do make false claims to expertise, and this is certainly common in the online world in which a fourteen-year-old child could, while hiding behind an online avatar, claim to be an elderly professor. The reader can rest assured that such a thing would never occur at RationalWiki, since our writers are all proven long-tenured professors with impressive histories of peer reviewed papers and Nobel Prizes.[citation NOT needed]

This is another manifestation of Conservapedia's ongoing war against intellectuals and education. While accepting that some liberals would indeed inflate their expertise, the same appears to be true of people who've received strong support from Conservapedia:

  • Andy Schlafly, Renaissance Man describes Schlafly's many incidences of claiming expertise. Perhaps the greatest example of this is found during the Lenski Affair, in which Schlafly, with his alleged background in engineering and law, decided to rather brusquely challenge the work of a well regarded microbiologist. Schlafly has also claimed expertise in statistics, physics, biology, and pretty much every subject he's waded in to. It is noteworthy that Schlafly signed his letters as "Andy Schlafly, B.S.E., J.D. Conservapedia", while Lenski closed his with a simple and modest "Richard Lenski". The correspondence from the Lenski Affair can be found here. It is worth reading the entire discussion, and the questioning which man appears to be making unfounded claims to expertise?
  • Kent Hovind, proudly wears his doctor title, going so far as to have it appended to his entry in the phone book,[13] yet his doctorate was earned from Patriot Bible University - an unaccredited source of affordable and comedic qualifications that are as academically prestigious and rigorous as a t-shirt bearing the slogan "I'm plenty clever, me!"

21[edit]

attempting to appear more reasonable than others, when often the opposite is true

This is so childish as to not warrant a response. In fairness though to Schlafly and his sysops, no-one could possible accuse them of attempting to appear reasonable.


22[edit]

overreliance on hearsay, such as the false claim that most support evolution

On the subject of hearsay, Conservapedia's President Obama article would be pretty short if all the hearsay were removed from it. Here's just a short list of the things that a reader may "learn" while reading the article:

  • Obama is allegedly Kenyan
  • He is likely a Muslim (in part because he doesn't dance often enough)[14]
  • Obama received fraudulent funding during his campaign
  • People voted for Obama because he is black
  • Michelle Obama, the First Lady, wore expensive shoes while volunteering at a food bank
  • Obama is a communist/Marxist/socialist

Their Richard Dawkins article is equally strange, with accusations of him being a fake professor, and reports of Dawkins' support for pedophillia and Hitler. On a more tragic note, Conservapedia claimed that Dawkins was implicated in the suicide of Jesse Kilgore. How was Dawkins implicated? Heresay that the presence of Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, among the possesions of Kilgore was what led to his loss of faith and subsequent suicide.[15]

In truth, people on all sides of the political spectrum rely on hearsay, and it's certainly not the preserve of liberals. The birther and Tea Party movements are built almost entirely on hearsay and confabulation, both of which receive positive write-ups from Conservapedia. On the left, 9/11 conspiracies sprung up to suggest that the Bush administration had orchestrated the attacks so they could invade Iraq to steal all their oil. In fact, some segments of the left forget to consult Hanlon's Razor, which would suggest the incompetence is a far more realistic explanation for many failings of the Bush administration.

The trick is to source reliable evidence for claims, but that is just not something that Conservapedia typically does. Evidence often gets in the way of a rather good ideological rant.


23[edit]

denial of accountability


24[edit]

believing that bureaucratic honors or appointments are meaningful achievements, as fights over political office

Some of the "bureaucratic honors" refered to here include the Nobel Prize and being elected President of the United states. On the part of Schlafly, this is simply sour grapes by a closeted, Harvard educated low-brow school marm. Our Obama-Schlafly comparison article helps explain the strangely divergent lives of Obama and Schlafly. Hint: One of them is highly motivated leader with a strong interest in education, and the other is some white guy from a rich family who appears to have devoted his life to ranting on an increasingly esoteric and irrelevant blog.


25[edit]

insisting on a mindless equality, as in "if you have an entry for Beethoven, then you must allow entries for vulgar rap artists!"

i.e. someone probably tried to write to write an article about a rapper, so Andy chastised them before coming to add yet another odd item to his list of things he hates. Without the context it's difficult to fully address this, but the author would indeed be correct if the rapper in question is little-known. However, a rapper such as Eminem would certainly warrant a mention.


26[edit]

concealing one's liberal views rather than admitting them

Schlafly has a habit of finding liberals wherever there are people who disagree with him. In this regard, it would become normal for him to encounter lots of secret liberals in the same way that McCarthyism led people to see reds under every bed. From Schlafly's perspective, acceptance of General and/or Special Relativity is indicative of a concealed liberal agenda.[16] As well as relativity, acceptance or support of any of the following is regularly cited by Schlafly when accusing ostensibly conservative editors of being secret liberals:

  • Mathematics (specifically opposition to irrational numbers and proof by contradiction, among many other areas deemed controversial by Schlafly)
  • Reality (As Colbert said: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias")

By Schlafly's standards, pretty much anyone who disagrees with him is a liberal - thus leading to his belief that people are concealing their liberalism from him.


28[edit]

calling conservative humor "unprofessional and meaningless, and degrades the quality of your encyclopedia." [17]

The link provided in this text is broken, but the comment can be read in its original context. The news item in question is available at the Internet Archive.

The "news" item described the Democratic Party National Convention schedule of events, which was as follows:

  • 7:00 pm ~ Opening flag burning
  • 7:15 pm ~ Pledge of Allegiance to the U.N.

It's difficult to understand why an entirely "humorous" item belongs in the news section of a site that claims to be a legitimate encyclopedia.

The most amusing aspect of this is how it's incredible specific. Aside from Tmcfulton, are we to believe that a significant percentage of liberals would specifically visit Conservapedia to say what Tmcfulton did? The reality is that a tiny minority of Americans are even aware of Conservapedia's existence, and even fewer still bother to register in order to post comments. This demonstrates Schlafly's process for creating entries for this list. As mentioned earlier, someone annoys him and then he comes to the article to complain about whatever it was that person did. In a nutshell, a once-off occasion in which an Asian guy cuts Schlafly off in traffic would lead to the odd assumption that everyone in Japan enjoys reckless and aggressive driving.


29[edit]

resistance to quantifying things, such as liberal bias or openmindedness

Bias and open-mindedness are clearly quite subjective things and, as such, they are impossible to quantify in a meaningful way. The links Schlafly provides lead to typical Conservapedia perversions of statistical methods. In the case of the open-mindedness link, it leads to an invented scale of Schlafly's own, which he apparently regards as unassailable. Furthermore, "evolutionists," also known as scientists, pretty much like quantifying "things."


30[edit]

preference for obscenity and profanity[18]

The link is to a liberal bashing blog. This is hardly an authoritative source. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Richard Nixon are each famous to some degree for their outbursts of profanity.


31[edit]

over-reliance on mockery [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

It is unclear what an appropriate amount of reliance on mockery might be. Perhaps the popularity and influence of John Stewart's Daily Show informs this point. It would seem likely that the amount of mockery Schlafly has been subjected to on Conservapedia has made him sensitive about the subject.

It should also be noted the Conservapedian authorities, including Schlafly, use mockery quite frequently. Given the way in which the term "liberal" is only ever used in a perjorative sense at Conservapedia (this article itself being an introduction to Conservapedia's take on liberals), Andy's habit of accusing editors of being liberal is as much an insult as a Christian accusing another Christian of being a heretical apostate. The latter does actually happen at Conservapedia, with Christians and conservatives regularly accused of lying about their claimed convictions. Some mockery is quite mild by the standards of many sites on the Internet, but it it's difficult to reconcile Conservapedia's self-claimed family friendly Christian stance with one of their sysops describing a new editor as being an ass. [24]

This points to the double standard rampant at CP which allows favored editors to use any nastiness they can think of while blocking or banning those that disagree with them - seemingly on a whim. CP's style is thus something like over reliance on cowardice and contempt for editors.

To close, Conservapedia's liberal use of mockery is aptly demonstrated by viewing their images used to represent Barack Obama in articles and news items hosted on the blog. The Barack Hussein Obama image category consists mainly of mock-up posters bearing slogans such as "fraud", "liar", and "snob". Of twenty nine images, only one was a plain picture taken that could not be twisted as a weakly humorous insult. Perhaps the most horrific image is that of Obama painted up in the style of The Joker, from the Batman series, depicting Obama's healthcare reforms as the national socialist "Final Solution". Some Jews may consider it slightly insensitive to make light of the miserable and tragic deaths of millions in order to score cheap points. The holocaust image isn't being used in any articles, as is the case for quite a few of the images, but the sheer volume of such content uploaded by senior sysops is indicative of a certain comfort with ridicule and mockery.


32[edit]

over-reliance on accusations of hypocrisy [25]

An article called "liberal hypocrisy" on Conservapedia has been quite actively edited of late. The thrust of this article is that liberal actors who take roles in which the characters don't share the actors' beliefs amounts to hypocrisy. A good portion of the article is devoted to cases that are neither liberal nor hypocritical. It should also be noted that Schlafly himself is often accused of hypocrisy, so there may be a personal motive for this point.


33[edit]

hostility to faith

Schlafly believes that liberal Christians aren't really faithful and that certain parts of the Bible, "judge not lest ye be judged," are not really officially received pieces of wisdom from the creator. And what, exactly, is meant by "faith?" Conservapedia is certainly no friendly place for Muslims. Is Islam not a "faith?"


34[edit]

insistence on censoring certain speech, such as a description of The Flood or even teaching children about a massive flood, despite its acceptance by a majority of Americans

This is Schlafly's opinion that Christian doctrine should be taught in public schools, and more of his wacky statistics. Considering Conservapedia's instantaneous deletion of anything that shows homosexuality, evolution, atheism, or any other things that are "wrong" in a positive light, the insistence that this is somehow a "liberal" trait is laughable.


35[edit]

believing that the education of children is for liberals to control

Schlafly, who is employed as a home school teacher and involved in the Eagle Forum, a for-profit enterprise involved in home schooling, frequently rails against what he sees as the godless and immoral public school system. Not a surprising opinion from the Harvard-educated son of a wealthy elitist. Presumably only kids whose parents are affluent and educated enough to teach them at home deserve education.


36[edit]

believing that conservatives will fail, and refusing to accept when they succeed, as when George W. Bush won in 2000

This is just a silly reaction to doubts that have been raised about the long term viability of Conservapedia. Much of what Schlafly writes is a reaction to a perceived slight. He began the Conservapedia project supposedly as a disgruntled Wikipedia editor.

In the case of the 2000 election, the result was very close, with the election being decided by the results in Florida. It's difficult to imagine that conservatives would not have called for a recount if Bush had lost to Gore by less than 1000 votes. Perhaps it's interesting to contrast this with the Birther and Tea Party attacks on President Obama - both of which are heartily endorsed by Conservapedia. Most memorably, a Newsmax (a right-wing news source used as a reference by Conservapedia) published an article that appears to be endorsing a military coup against President Obama. The article was later removed, possibly since the Secret Service tend to take an interest in such thinly veiled threats against the president, but is reproduced here.

In fairness, we would not try to claim that anything but a wingnut minority of conservatives would express the views mentioned above.


37[edit]

reluctance to admit that anything is morally wrong

Schlafly's opinion is that the only valid morals are Christian morals - as he interprets them. However, there exist many viable humanist systems of ethics, for example, the U.S. Bill of Rights; it should be noted that this system of ethics is taught in public schools, thus Schlafly's point is invalid and, in as much as this very thing has been pointed out to him, dishonest.

There is a very simple way to discredit the claim made here. Visit some liberal forums (online and elsewhere) and ask people if they consider it morally wrong to have rape babies. It doesn't take a genius to understand that most people, conservative and liberal alike, will agree that such an act is morally indefensible.


38[edit]

Bullying conservatives who disagree with liberal views

This is a case of transference. He practices bullying on Conservapedia and it stings when he is accused of it, so he claims that it is really the liberals that do the bullying, i.e. "Do as I say, not as I do." Anyone disagreeing with Schlafly's distinct form of conservatism is denigrated and accused of commiting a multitude of liberal traits ("Last wordism", "cluelessness" or "atheism") before being banned.


39[edit]

draw an analogy between opponents and racists, no matter how illogical

Very ironic, coming from the people that insist on drawing as many insane links as possible between Hitler and anything they disagree with (Evolution, Atheism, Liberalism, Barack Obama).

And Conservapedians have made racist statements. It is not great leap of logic to say that people who make racist statements might be racists themselves. That is really all there is to say. Doesn't it seem odd that Conservapedia have eagerly embraced the claim that Obama is America's first Affirmative action president? They're not being racist. They're just saying that Obama is unqualified and could only have achieved office by people pitying the poor black man.


40[edit]

claim that science supports their position, and ignore any evidence that shows their position to be false

This is sweet irony coming from a confessed young earth creationist and flagrant abuser of statistics.


41[edit]

often declare that an adversary should be "ashamed of himself," while rarely saying that about a supportive co-liberal (such as Ted Kennedy)[26] [27]

It is religious conservatives rather than liberals who have been generally been proponents of shaming people, as evidenced by the reference to Kennedy and Clinton.


42[edit]

willing to give away everything held dear by the majority to avoid serious conflict (such liberals who wish to pull our troops out of Iraq, and embolden the terrorists).

Never mind the fact that Chamberlain was leader of the Conservative party - one can hardly call continued armed occupation of a foreign country something that we hold dear. Not most of us, anyway.


43[edit]

using hyperbole instead of fact-based logic in an attempt to tug at people's emotions rather than appealing to their sense of reason.[28]

Wow. Just wow. "Terrorist fist-jab."[29][30] That's all we really need to say here.


44[edit]

often long-winded and verbose, and in debates liberals often consume more than their fair share of the alloted time, leaving less time for the other side.

Sometimes (often) it takes many words to make a fact-based logical point. Sure, Andy prefers "I'm right, you're wrong," (very concise, and far from verbose) but it only illustrates why Andy is incapable of winning an argument except on Conservapedia where he and his sysops are able to censor and ban people who'd question his insights.

In a "formal" debate, time for each side to speak is strictly regulated. In informal debates, responding to such simplistic assertions as Schlafly tends to make will, of course, require more words than he used. This is a common problem when debating creationists, and is perhaps best demonstrated by the Gish Gallop


45[edit]

attempting to control the rules of evidence used in a debate. For example, claiming that Young Earth Creationism is false, and then refusing to allow supporting evidence by claiming that the scientists are religiously motivated.

There is no evidence supporting YEC, so the "religious motivation" assumption is a fairly safe one.


46[edit]

attempting to control the definitions of words through political correctness. For example, referring to Israel as "occupied territories" or suggesting that Al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq are not part of Al-Qaeda.


47[edit]

Dismissing legitimate criticism as "a joke" [31]


48[edit]

Denying something widely known to be true but difficult to prove, such as observing that men are far more likely to work in gas stations than women.

Simply meaningless without examples of what liberals deny to be true which is difficult to prove. Note that it most certainly is not difficult to prove that men are more likely to work in gas stations than women... but hey, he's the master of statistics.


49[edit]

Will often deny being a liberal, or will claim to be a "true conservative", while spouting liberal and democratic talking points and criticizing basic conservative beliefs and principles.

Andy Schlafly simply cannot understand the difference between social and fiscal conservatism. He believes solely in his own brand of highly religious, anti-science conservatism, and as soon as somebody disagrees with him on one or two topics (anything from classroom prayer to the reality of climate change), he declares them to be a liberal, then begins to rant about liberals denying being liberals.


50[edit]

using non sequiturs in argument, such as responding to the point above that liberals over-rely on accusations of hypocrisy by citing an example of conservatives' observing liberal hypocrisy. But their example does not help their argument. Quite the contrary, use of that example tends to prove that liberals do over-rely on accusations of hypocrisy (relativism). Think about that.

You're average CP sysop has 3 go to counter-arguments:

  • Liberals don't build hospitals
  • Read the bible

51[edit]

selectively citing the Bible when convenient, even though they hold much of it in disdain.

This is rather rich coming from the site that has taken cafeteria Christianity to its ultimate conclusion through its Conservative Bible project; rewriting the Bible in an effort to purge liberal bias and transform the oddly socilialistic and non-dogmatic Jesus in to a conservative champion of laissez-faire capitalism - more resembling Gordon Gecko, of the movie Wall Street, than the conciliatory and egalitarian savior worshipped by millions of Christians.

Opinions on the Bible vary greatly, even among Christians, but certainly there is no honest way to say that liberals would generally hold it in disdain. Non-believers may still regard the Bible, particularly the King James Version, as being one of the most important works of English literature - of comparable cultural importance to the works of Shakespeare and Chaucer, but certainly not a guidebook for life. Some however see the Bible as a silly old collection of myths, and such people may also dismiss A Midsummer Night's Dream as a bunch of greeks mincing around a forest.

Selectively citing Bible verses (or Cherry-picking) is both a problem for conservatives and liberals alike. The Bible is a complex collection of books, and it's important to understand the context of the verses and the way in which the books were intended. For example, an atheist may cite Job as an example of God behaving really badly, but this book was not intended to be a literal depiction of a day in the life of God and Satan. Scholars would generally agree that Genesis too is not intended to be taken literally, but Schlafly, being a Biblical literalist would not accept such a reading.


52[edit]

silly demands for apologies.[32]


53[edit]

can't understand the difference between identity (e.g., color of one's skin), perspective (e.g., Judeo-Christian) and bias (e.g., Bias in Wikipedia).

Liberals can tell the differance. They just don't subscribe to the theory that these differences should detirmine how someone is treated

54[edit]

inability or unwillingness to differentiate between genuine conservative arguments and parodies of conservative arguments.

This can be very difficult when Conservapedia is FULL of years of parody, and some of the nonsense spouted by it's most prominent editors, such as Conservative, TK & ASchafly is very difficult to differentiate from parody.


55[edit]

"Contrariness is creativity to the untalented" - Dennis Miller's general observation about liberal behavior.


56[edit]

calling the use of the term liberal when used in a derogatory context "stupid"[33]


57[edit]

denial that people can grow out of a liberal viewpoint, such as atheism


Footnotes[edit]

  1. As an example of the YouTube obsession, Conservapedia proudly announced that some Christian had made a video entitled "Conservapedia is better than Wikipedia". See here a screen capture from the day that Conservapedia shared this amazing even with the world. The news item could have been more concisely written as "Somebody on the Internet says that we're good", and the three exclamation marks used to close the "news" item certainly help leave readers with an impression of childish desperation.
  2. Here's a screen capture of a day in the life of Ken: twelve-hour Dawkins-binge.
  3. See, e.g., the stunt pulled by Clarence Darrow in the Scopes Trial.
  4. do a search on "reflects poorly"
  5. pre-teen children wouldn't be scared by images of the holocaust if they'd been taught to fear Hell! HSMom, one of the more sane regulars at Conservapedia, attempts to talk Schlafly down from the ledge.
  6. National Centre for Science Education: Teach the "Controversy?
  7. Note that these links were originally part of the main body of text, but a formatting issue requires us to move them in to the footnotes: [1] [2] [3]
  8. Schlafly on recruitment center shootings
  9. "One of Hillary Rodham Clinton's most prominent black supporters [Bob Johnson] said Sunday he was insulted by the characterization by rival Barack Obama's presidential campaign of her remarks about the civil rights movement." [4]
  10. I'd vote for the BNP! This was a very odd discussion, and Schlafly to his credit did eventually ease-up on his praise for the BNP after other editors at the site responded effectively to Schlafly's claim that the BNP were unfairly accused of racism. Schlafly did visit the BNP website prior to commenting though, and has a keen interest in British Politics. One can assume that either Schlafly is happy to argue assertively about topics of which he knows little, or he's a deeply racist man. For his sake it would be charitable to assume the former, and the evidence rather handily supports that conclusion.
  11. [5] Footage on YouTube
  12. Anyone who can write a biographical article about Obama, describing him as having "allegedly born in Honolulu" is certainly somewhere out there on the fringes of sanity. Read Conservapedia's article on Barack Hussein Obama for a clearer understanding of how Conservapedia entertains some very implausible claims.
  13. The Dissertation Kent Hovind Doesn't Want You to Read This essay documents Hovind's rather unusual habit of being listed as "Doctor Kent Hovind", which may be normal for medical doctors, but atypical for people who hold a Ph.D. He's a doctor, trust him.
  14. Schlafly explains that he is 99% certain that Obama is a Muslim. See Schlafly Statistics for more examples of Schlafly's astonishing adventures in statistics. One reason cited for Obama's Muslim faith is his apparent lack of enthusiasm for dancing. Islam frowns upon dancing, ergo Obama is a Muslim! See this screen capture from Conservapedia: [don't dance].
  15. Conservapedia's hearsay linking Dawkins to a suicide
  16. Schlafly's baffling conflation of relativity with liberalism and opposition to school prayer is illustrated [Talk:Theory_of_relativity&oldid=727917#Reply_to_Johanan_Raatz here]
  17. --Tmcfulton 17:36, 13 November 2007 (EST) [6]
  18. When It Comes to Profanity, the Left Can't Help Itself by Matthew Sheffield at NewsBusters
  19. Your use of the first amendment sounds like liberal logic. Careful, you're on thin ice trying to utilize that amendment. The only amendment that counts is the second. For the rest of the Constitution, just refer to the Ten Commandments for everything you need to know. --Jdellaro 14:18, 20 February 2008 (EST) [7]
  20. "adolescent berating of Liberals" User:Graham 07:47, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
  21. "I would appreciate a little less paranoia Graham 09:07, 23 September 2007 (EDT) [8]
  22. "IN fact, this should be regarded as 'idiot's style'" Graham 08:26, 23 September 2007 (EDT) [9]
  23. "The toilets overflowed at school today...if only the liberals had allowed religion in school, this never would have happened." BillOhannity on October 1, 2007
  24. TK, instead of explaining why a new editor is being harangued by the Conservapedia leadership, calls him an assimg before banning him for two days for being a "Troublemaker / Prevaricator".
  25. God and the Presidential Election, Bill O'Reilly, Human Events, December 29, 2007
  26. http://www.conservapedia.com/Talk:Main_Page#I.27m_Done Porthos on 27 September 2007
  27. [10] RidiculouslyLiberal, November 3, 2007
  28. Anti-evolution teachings gain foothold in U.S. schools
  29. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/09/fox-anchor-calls-obama-fi_n_106027.html
  30. Although there are many, many other examples.
  31. http://www.conservapedia.com/index.php?title=Talk:Essay:Liberal_Style&oldid=266960]
  32. Senate Condemns "General Betray Us" Ad
  33. "Stop candying Liberal around like that... It just looks stupid." Graham 19:55, 22 September 2007 (EDT) [11]