Who Will Advise the Advisers?

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

An otherwise entertaining -- if disgusting a couple of times; you have been warned -- roundtable about what it's like to write an advice column begins in part as follows:

Ask a Progressive? (Image via Pixabay.)
The best modern advice columns are kind, practical, progressive, funny, deeply empathetic, and just righteous enough. They teach all of us -- not just the LWs -- to do a better job of showing up for each other, and ourselves. [link omitted]
Progressive? (!)

I know that there was not an etiquette columnist in the mix, and it is Buzzfeed, but still... Since when did the admonition to save controversial topics, like politics, for appropriate times and contexts go out the window? Do note further that many "Progressives" favor "safe spaces" from dissenting views -- and disrupt or work to preempt non-leftist speakers at college campuses. I follow two of the columnists in this roundtable and sometimes read a third. One of these pretty regularly shows a non-grasp of the idea that someone thoughtful can end up not being a "Progressive". This blind spot is particularly shocking coming from an advice columnist: Part of the nature of the job is to mentally walk a mile in someone else's moccasins, as some of my Amerindian forebears might have put it. (The offending party relates a personal anecdote which suggests that compartmentalization is partly to blame.)

I do not have time to speculate much on why the same people who claim to favor inclusion and oppose bullying would start off a piece this way, but such self-congratulation cum thoughtlessness (at best) towards dissenters is becoming shockingly common. For example, I recently was treated to being called a "climate denier" by someone in a social setting in the first sentence of a conversation he initiated. But here's a start: Our culture is so dominated by altruism-collectivism that those who agree hardly realize they even have an opinion. This situation is greatly exacerbated by the fact that our government runs or regulates so much of our lives that we almost constantly have to think about politics on some level.

It is a sad day when even advice columnists participate in smearing people with different political opinions. Someone who can't tell an actual capitalist from a Nazi is probably beyond help, and I know of at least one such person who does lots of helping.

-- CAV

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