Sunday, December 14, 2003

Liberals "Blowing smoke" and Conservatives "Full of Hot Air"

By: Michael Akerman

Now for my scathing rebuttal:

Well, Smith, I must say, I actually do partially agree with you. It is not true that Liberals base all of their decisions on emotion. Nor is it true that Conservatives base all of our decisions on logic and fact. Nor is it true that Liberals base all of their decisions on logic and fact. Nor is it true that Conservatives base all of our decisions on emotion.

My belief is that the actual reasons (on both sides) and the stated reasons (on both sides) are entirely different. The leaders of both parties base their decisions on highly logical principles, such as "appealing to the emotions of the public will get me reelected." Luckily, this demagoguery appeals to about equal portions of voters on both sides, and has little impact on actual voting (Special Note: This does not mean politicians can stop appealing to emotion, because competition dictates that if both sides stop doing something beneficial, one side will start again, and then both will). So both sides must also appeal to logic. Objective observation will reveal that both sides, in fact, use their logic to make decisions, with little or no emotion involved (in my opinion, of course, liberals' logic is wrong, but that's just me).

Now, let's take the death penalty again as our example. The Conservative logic is that the death penalty decreases capital crimes, is thorough and precise in its application, and allows few enough mistakes that it is justified in its use. The Liberal logic is that the death penalty does not decrease capital crimes enough (they'll never say "enough." It's always left unqualified. Demagoguery, remember?), is not applied precisely, and executing even one innocent is worse than a vague possibility of a few other innocents being murdered.

Most of this is hard to prove or based on morals (note: not necessarily emotions. Morals are more logical and rigid), but there are some facts that have been distorted by that can be put in a more proper light. First, the statement that the death penalty has not benefited the South: frankly, this is crock. While the South's murder rate is higher than the national average, this has always been this way, especially after the migration to the Sun Belt. The South has a younger, more minority-based population than the North, as well as lower education on average, and a greater level of poverty. Of course the murder rate is higher. Statistics don't lie, and all major studies have shown that these demographics exhibit higher murder rates.

The true question in this case is not the level of capital crimes, but the effect of the death penalty on that level. Since the early 1990s, when Bush really kicked capital punishment up a notch in Texas, Texas' murder rate has dropped 66%, compared to a national 33%. In that time, the difference in minority population between the South and North has, in fact, increased. Difference in poverty and education is essentially unchanged. The only reason for the large decrease is the death penalty.

Turning to statistics again, it has been proven that minorities are executed at a higher rate than whites, compared to their populations. However, minorities also commit capital crimes at much higher rate than whites, compared to their population. Why? I have theories, but that would be another post. Regardless, the disproportionate executions are the result of... well... disproportionate crimes.

Regarding executing innocents, there has never been a case in which someone who was executed was later proven innocent. I can't say anything justifying the possibility of this happening. All things have risks that must be taken.

My personal opinion has little to do with emotions. The death penalty is alright in my eyes because the felon has not only stopped contributing to society, he has been detrimental. I believe in second chances for everyone, but on the second capital conviction, the murderer is a waste of resources. His death is fully justified.

My reason would never appeal to the masses, and this explains the "emotion" theory on political ideals. If I were a politician, I would say that the felon has hurt people and that he has played God. This is how it works on most, if not all, political ideals.

My death penalty reaffirmations (I had assumed they were true, but I checked) are from Sam Francis' article at

~Michael, have to appeal to the gun-totin', hootin'-hollerin' rednecks...