Denis Prager explores how to query a friend, relative or colleague to see if they are open to discussion, or locked into a fixed ideology. His article is Questions to Determine Whether a Friend or Relative Is a Liberal or a Leftist. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and images.
The great tragedy of our time is that liberals vote left.
Virtually every value liberals have held for a century is now held by conservatives and scorned by leftists. Therefore, America, in serious jeopardy of being lost, will be saved when people convince the liberals in their life that the left, not the conservative, is their enemy.
This process begins by establishing whether a friend or relative is a liberal or a leftist. If it turns out that he or she is a liberal, it is worth engaging in respectful dialogue on the issues of the day. If the friend or relative is a leftist, you can probably only talk about innocuous subjects such as the weather (though not about global warming) or sports (though not about players taking a knee during the national anthem). If you talk about the great issues of the day with a left-wing friend or relative, that could be the last time you talk to each other. He or she is likely to unfriend you not only on social media but also in life. Leftists generally do not dialogue; they dismiss.
Here are questions you might want to pose to friends/relatives to determine—as much for them as for you—whether they are liberal or left.
- Many universities now have all-black dormitories, and some have all-black graduation exercises. Do you support these developments?
- The University of California has declared this statement racist: “There is only one race—the human race.” Do you agree with the University of California, or do you agree with the statement?
- Is the goal of being “colorblind”—doing one’s best to ignore a person’s color and concentrating only on the person’s character and personality—a noble goal or a racist one?
- Do you believe the color of a person’s skin tells you anything of importance about that person?
- Do you agree that all white Americans are racist?
- If your answer is yes, would you tell the millions of blacks in Africa and the Caribbean who wish to emigrate to America that they would be making a poor decision? If not, why not?
- Is it possible for a black person to be a racist?
- Is it racist to claim that Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the greatest music ever composed?
- Is the national anthem racist?
- If your answer is yes, what would you like to put in its place?
- The English department at the University of Pennsylvania removed its painting of William Shakespeare because he was a white European male. Do you agree with that decision?
- Do you agree with The New York Times’ “1619 Project” that America was not founded in 1776 but in 1619 with the first arrival of black slaves in North America, and that the Revolutionary War was fought in order to preserve slavery?
- Should statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln be taken down?
- Has the United States, overall, made the world a better place?
- Would America be better, worse, or the same as now if all Americans dropped their religion and became secular?
- Has capitalism been a net-plus for America and the world?
- Everyone would like to improve America. Some would like to, in their words, “fundamentally transform” it. Would you?
- Could a good person have voted for Donald Trump in 2020?
- Do you believe that CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and the rest of the mainstream media are biased toward the left or try to present the news as accurately as possible?
- Should America have full control over its borders to prevent illegal immigration?
- There are between 11 and 30 million people in America who entered the country illegally. Should they all be put on a path to citizenship?
- Should those who enter America illegally be called “undocumented immigrants” or “illegal immigrants”?
- Do you believe police departments should be defunded, or at least have their budgets severely cut?
- Should the government provide vouchers to enable parents to choose what school their child attends?
- Which school do you believe is more likely to be attacked by a gunman: one that has a sign in front that reads, “Gun-Free Zone” or one that reads, “This School Has Armed Personnel”?
Men and Women
- Should it be legal for a teenage girl to have her breasts surgically removed because she identifies as a male—or should there be a minimum age of 18 or 21?
- Schoolteachers have been told to stop calling students “boys and girls” because a student might not identify as either male or female. Do you agree with this policy?
- Should biological males who identify as females be allowed to compete against biological females in sports?
- Is the statement, “Men give birth” science-based?
- Do you agree with the practice of inviting a drag queen into public libraries and elementary school classrooms to conduct a “Drag Queen Story Hour”?
- Do you believe that free speech allows for hate speech, or should hate speech be banned?
- If you believe hate speech should be banned, who do you believe should determine what is hate speech?
You might want to send these questions to the people in your life whose views are to the left of your own.
At best, you (and they) will realize that you have more in common than either of you previously thought. At the very least, their answers will bring you both clarity. And at worst, they will explain why there is a rift between you—and why you might want to restrict communication to weather, sports, recipes, and warm memories.
“Is it racist to claim that Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed the greatest music ever composed?”
Humm, maybe they would not know about such people as Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799).
Composer, one of the finest virtuoso violinist, and conductor of the Concert des Amateurs, a leading symphony in Paris. Was also a colonel in the French Revolution and, master swordsman and competition champion fencer.
He has often been very favorably compared to the great composers of his day, referred as ‘The Black Mozart’ such was his talent.
Later in history there is Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Coleridge-Taylor). Of mixed race birth, Coleridge-Taylor achieved such success that he was referred to by white New York musicians as the “African Mahler” when he had three tours of the United States in the early 1900s. IMO his music is easily some of the best composed during that era.
Also see John Thomas Douglass (1847–1886) was an accomplished American violinist who composed Virginia’s Ball, which is the first known opera written by an African American, copyrighted in 1868 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Thomas_Douglass ).
There are many more if people can be bothered to look. I suppose it is just as logical to suggest white people are useless at composing modern music like jazz, reggae, ska, R&B, or rap.
The point is music is art, and is therefore a matter of taste. Claiming that you prefer some music over other is a matter of opinion. Accusing such judgments of racism is attempting to take away personal freedom in the name of political correctness. As your examples show, music appreciation comes from the quality of the performance not the identity group of the artist.
Your comment is appreciated and worthy of a liberal.
Thanks Ron I’ll have to inform my sister who has been utterly captured by the idiocracy of California where she lives. She believes I am an antivaxing, racist, mysogonist, etc., because of my admiration of Trump when he was in office, and his tactics that would often out-flank the media. I’ve tried to inform her of the dangers of the COVID vaccines being so much greater than catching the virus itself (especially for the young). She believes that feelings and being part of a consensus are more important to base decisions on than logic, data, measurements and their verification.
Oh-humm, such is the world of people.