Tag Archives: Arrogance

Romney won the presidential debate – according to left-wing MSNBC hosts

From the left-wing Politico, no less.

Excerpt: (links removed)

Left-leaning commentators hit President Barack Obama hard on TV and the Internet after the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night, saying GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney handily defeated his more experienced opponent.

MSNBC hosts were “stunned” by Obama’s performance, suggesting the president was rusty for not having debated in four years.

“I don’t think he explained himself very well on the economy. I think he was off his game. I was absolutely stunned tonight,” Ed Schultz said.

“Where was Obama tonight?” Chris Matthews asked.

Matthews said Romney addressed Obama “like the prey. He did it just right. I’m coming at an incumbent. I’ve got to beat him. You gotta beat the champ, and I’m gonna beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy moderator, whatever he thinks he is, because I’m going to ignore him. What was Romney doing? He was winning.”

“It does remind you that the last debate Mitt Romney had was seven months ago and the last debate that Barack Obama had was four years ago,” said Maddow.

The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan called Obama “tired,” “bored” and wrote that he might have even lost the election.

“He choked. He lost. He may even have lost the election tonight,” Sullivan wrote, later adding, “Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there. He was entirely defensive, which may have been the strategy. But it was the wrong strategy. At the wrong moment.”

Sullivan, an Obama supporter, was even more vicious on Twitter, calling Obama’s performance “terrible” and “political malpractice.”

“This is a rolling calamity for Obama. He’s boring, abstract, and less human-seeming than Romney!” he wrote. “He’s throwing the debate away.”

Another Obama supporter, liberal comedian Bill Maher, went on a similar Twitter rant, firing off such comments as, “Obama made a lot of great points tonight. Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney.”

A post-debate CNN poll found that:

According to a CNN/ORC International survey conducted right after the debate, 67% of debate watchers questioned said that the Republican nominee won the faceoff, with one in four saying that President Barack Obama was victorious.

“No presidential candidate has topped 60% in that question since it was first asked in 1984,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While nearly half of debate watchers said the showdown didn’t make them more likely to vote for either candidate, 35% said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney while only 18% said the faceoff made them more likely to vote to re-elect the president.

More than six in ten said that president did worse than expected, with one in five saying that Obama performed better than expected. Compare that to the 82% who said that Romney performed better than expected. Only one in ten felt that the former Massachusetts governor performed worse than expected.

[…]The sample of debate-watchers in the poll was 37% Democratic and 33% Republican.

[…]Debate watchers thought Romney was more aggressive. Fifty-three percent said Romney spent more time attacking his opponent. Only three in ten thought Obama spent more time taking it to Romney. By a 58%-37% margin, debate watchers thought Romney appeared to be the stronger leader.

The problem with Obama is that he had four years to run the economy, and he ran it into the ground. You can’t defend failure like that by shifting blame and pointing fingers. He failed because his ideas are wrong. We need new ideas – a different approach. But that doesn’t explain why Obama performed so poorly. Obama performed poorly because he has been totally isolated from any disagreement or critical evaluation for the last 4 years. In his mind, it’s not just the private sector that’s fine. The unemployment rate is fine, the national debt is fine, the budget deficit is fine, the terrorist attack in Libya is fine, socialized health care is fine, poor education outcomes is fine, taxpayer-funded abortion is fine, Iran having nuclear weapons is fine, and gay marriage is fine. He just has complete and utter contempt for anyone who disagrees with him – he has been indoctrinated to think that anyone who disagrees with him is not just wrong, but evil. And maybe even that all disagreement with him is motivated by racism. He came across as a whiny, petulant child, because of his ideological rigidity and lack of humility.

The mask came off Wednesday night, and it was all Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers underneath. The media and the teleprompter could not protect him from his real self.

Thomas Sowell and the New York Times agree on why Obama fails

Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell

An editorial by famous economist Thomas Sowell at Right Wing News. (H/T Doug Ross’ links)

Excerpt:

After reading Barack Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father,” it became painfully clear that he has not been searching for the truth, because he assumed from an early age that he had already found the truth — and now it was just a question of filling in the details and deciding how to change things.

Obama did not simply happen to encounter a lot of people on the far left fringe during his life. As he spells out in his book, he actively sought out such people. There is no hint of the slightest curiosity on his part about other visions of the world that might be weighed against the vision he had seized upon.

As Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago Law School has pointed out, Obama made no effort to take part in the marketplace of ideas with other faculty members when he was teaching a law course there. What would be the point, if he already knew the truth and knew that they were wrong?

This would be a remarkable position to take, even for a learned scholar who had already spent decades canvassing a vast amount of information and views on many subjects. But Obama was already doctrinaire at a very early age — and ill-informed or misinformed on both history and economics.

[…]Barack Obama is one of those people who are often wrong but never in doubt. When he burst upon the national political scene as a presidential candidate in 2008, even some conservatives were impressed by his confidence.

But confident ignorance is one of the most dangerous qualities in a leader of a nation. If he has the rhetorical skills to inspire the same confidence in himself by others, then you have the ingredients for national disaster.

He gives a few examples, but he’s not the only person to have noticed this. Consider the following article from the radically left-wing New York Times, of all places. (H/T Forbes)

Excerpt:

But even those loyal to Mr. Obama say that his quest for excellence can bleed into cockiness and that he tends to overestimate his capabilities. The cloistered nature of the White House amplifies those tendencies, said Matthew Dowd, a former adviser to President George W. Bush, adding that the same thing happened to his former boss. “There’s a reinforcing quality,” he said, a tendency for presidents to think, I’m the best at this.

[…]He may not always be as good at everything as he thinks, including politics. While Mr. Obama has given himself high grades for his tenure in the White House — including a “solid B-plus” for his first year — many voters don’t agree, citing everything from his handling of the economy to his unfulfilled pledge that he would be able to unite Washington to his claim that he would achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Those were not the only times Mr. Obama may have overestimated himself: he has also had a habit of warning new hires that he would be able to do their jobs better than they could.

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Mr. Obama told Patrick Gaspard, his political director, at the start of the 2008 campaign, according to The New Yorker. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m going to think I’m a better political director than my political director.”

Though he never ran a large organization before becoming president, he initially dismissed internal concerns about management and ended up with a factionalized White House and a fuzzier decision-making process than many top aides wanted.

What you have in Barack Obama is a man who governs based on his own intuitions and sense of superiority. He’s not grounded in facts, and he’s not willing to listen to anyone else’s view if it disagrees with those intuitions. He wants to be praised without having achieved anything praiseworthy. Where did this attitude of ignorance coupled with arrogance come from? Would you hire a person like that to work with you?

UPDATE: Stuart Schneiderman answers the question I asked about where this attitude comes from:

Obsessed with perfection and fixated on his own prowess Obama is suffering from vainglorious self-puffery, self-esteem to the nth power.

He is the reductio ad absurdum of a culture of self-esteem that does not reward achievement but that teaches people to keep telling themselves that they are the best, regardless.

When the most powerful leader of the free world needs to compete and win at making chili or playing pool he is trying to find a sliver of evidence that would protect him against the encroaching suspicion that his greatness is just a bunch of media-drive hype.

Is Mark Driscoll afraid to hold women accountable for their own choices?

Watch this video.

Who is to blame for this woman’s troubles? Well, I agree with Driscoll that her family, the church and other Christians were to blame for not telling her the truth about sex. On that we all agree. Christians do a lousy job of explaining sex to young people, because they don’t want to talk about “dirty” stuff, and they don’t want to use arguments and evidence, and they don’t want to go outside the Bible to give real reasons and evidence. But thumping the Bible is a poor response to peer pressure and pop culture.

But she and Mark Driscoll also seem to think the man is to blame. Is the man to blame?

Well, the man certainly did bad things, but I think that none of these bad things could have happened to this woman in particular if this woman had not first chosen this man from all the other men that she knew, and then given him the opportunity to do these bad things. Without her own free choices, she would never have been harmed. So her own bad choices played a part in her suffering but she didn’t mention her own choices at all. So, let me take a look at how she could have made better choices below.

Can women expect a non-Christian man to act like a Christian man?

Women need to be careful to realize that they should avoid being alone with non-Christian men, especially when they are not even old enough to be dating men at all. That’s what courting is designed to prevent, by the way – the man has to go through the father to get to the woman, and they need to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. And in any case, a woman can get love without touching a man just by listening to the man’s words, reading his writings, letting him serve her, washing a car together, and accepting gifts from him.

Women: you don’t go to a deserted beach with a non-Christian man. Don’t take risks like that. Especially when you have probably already done a lot with the guy. And don’t drink alcohol, it impairs your judgment. The purpose of men is to marry them, not to have a good time with them. No alcohol is allowed!

Paul says that you cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians, which is exactly what many Christian women do.

1 Cor 5:9-13:

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

And, 2 Cor 6:14-16:

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Christians should not pursue non-Christians romantically – it’s disrespectful to God to leave him out of your romantic operations.

Women can stop a lot of the bad behavior of men just by choosing authentic Christian men by using rigorous objective criteria to evaluate men. If a woman chooses a non-Christian man, then she cannot complain if he acts like a non-Christian man. And there is more to a man being a Christian than just saying that he is, memorizing Bible verses and singing praise hymns in church. Christianity is a worldview. It has to be applied across the board. Christian women need to study to develop a Christian worldview of their own so they know how to evaluate the worldviews of candidate men.

What else can we learn from the video?

Here are a few more things that stood out to me in the video:

  • She should take more responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others
  • She should study these things (not just the Bible!) on her own before she starts dating, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • Her parents should have studied these things (not just the Bible!) more, and helped her more by being more convincing, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • The church she grew up in should provide her with extra-biblical arguments and evidence from the objective external world so that she could resist ideologies like atheism, postmodernism, liberalism, feminism, etc. – she can’t act morally unless she believes that God exists and that morality is real

Women should also know that the decision to have sex before marriage with a man who isn’t a Christian doesn’t magically change him into a Christian. Sex isn’t magic. It doesn’t cause a man to like a woman, or to fall under her control.

Women go to school for 4 years to learn a trade and they need to put some effort into studying courtship rules so they can be wise about their own choices with men. Jumping into a car and trying to drive it without lessons is a good way to get killed. And emotions, intuitions, peer-pressure and pop-culture don’t help you to know how to drive a car. Be careful, think for yourself.

I also recommend that young, unmarried women  become informed about anti-family, anti-father policies. If women don’t want to be hurt by men, then vote for stronger families, lower taxes, and policies that promote good husbands and good fathers. Girls need to see love modeled between a husband and wife as they grow up, and they need to have fathers in the home. Good public policies encourage men to marry and stay married.

Women need to get better criteria for choosing men

A while back, I posted on some of the criteria women have for choosing men, and here are a few:

  • Being tall
  • Being aloof and disinterested
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Well-dressed
  • Stylish shoes
  • A deep voice
  • Handsome face

What do women expect when they choose men based on criteria like that? It makes no sense to blame a bad man for being bad. He’s BAD! Don’t go near him, he’ll be bad to you, too!

Shouldn’t women judge themselves first, before judging a man?

Shouldn’t women begin by removing the plank in their own eye before removing the speck from the man’s eye?

I think an excellent first step would be for Christian women to take a good look at the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and also what they read. Are they listening to Melissa Etheridge, watching “Thelma & Louise”, and reading Margaret Atwood? Are they informing themselves about truth in many areas, like economics and cosmology, so that they can make informed choices of men? Are they building resistance to cultural trends?

What is wrong with the woman in that video?

Shouldn’t this woman have put some effort into testing out the claims of her parents and the church by reading the Bible itself? I mentioned reading extra-biblical stuff but even the Bible doesn’t ground anything that she was doing or anything the church was telling her to do that was wrong. Driscoll seems to think that women are not obligated to read the Bible, and that if someone in the church tells them a lie, then the church is to blame. But shouldn’t we expect people who attend church to test these things out for themselves? I realize that she wasn’t a Christian, but in order to take responsibility, she could have said “I should have checked things in my Bible and so I share the blame”. She doesn’t say that because she doesn’t blame herself at all for anything that happened. Well, probably she went to church for the singing and never read what the Bible had to say – or didn’t take it as an authority. But she never blames herself for either one of those.

I noticed that she claims that if the church tells her something and she does it, then the church is to blame. Well, the church (or at least her parents) undoubtedly told her not to have sex before she was married, but she didn’t mention that in the video. Why not? Well, she only mentions things that other people tell her to blame them. When they tell her the right thing and she doesn’t do it, she doesn’t mention what they told her. Because she won’t blame herself for any reason. And Driscoll has nothing to say about that, either.  Any time the church tells her something bad and she does it… it’s the church’s fault. Any time the church tells her something good and she DOESN’T do it… she just doesn’t mention it because she isn’t responsible for anything she does – it’s always the fault of someone else.

I don’t mind if she explains the circumstances surrounding WHY she made bad choices. I don’t even mind the bad choices, because I make bad choices. I just don’t like her blaming other people, I especially don’t like her blaming bad men. Bad men are bad. Don’t blame them for not being good – it’s your fault for choosing them. There are other men who are good who get no attention from women at all.

We need to learn from Theodore Dalrymple

Remember this post?

Excerpt:

With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments.

And again:

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Read the whole thing, you young women. And judge men hard. It’s good to judge them beforehand so that you don’t have to condemn them for being bad later.

Related posts

60 Minutes edits out Obama’s claim to be the fourth best President in US history

Newsbusters has the 60 Minutes transcript. (H/T ECM)

Excerpt:

KROFT: Tell me, what do you consider your major accomplishments? If this is your last speech. What have you accomplished?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we’re not done yet. I’ve got five more years of stuff to do. But not only saving this country from a great depression. Not only saving the auto industry. But putting in place a system in which we’re gonna start lowering health care costs and you’re never gonna go bankrupt because you get sick or somebody in your family gets sick. Making sure that we have reformed the financial system, so we never again have taxpayer-funded bailouts, and the system is more stable and secure. Making sure that we’ve got millions of kids out here who are able to go to college because we’ve expanded student loans and made college more affordable. Ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Decimating al Qaeda, including Bin Laden being taken off the field. Restoring America’s respect around the world.

The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln — just in terms of what we’ve gotten done in modern history. But, you know, but when it comes to the economy, we’ve got a lot more work to do. And we’re gonna keep on at it.

Here are the facts:

Obama Economic Record November 2011
Obama Economic Record November 2011

Is that the record of the 4th best President in U.S. history?

Is Mark Driscoll afraid to hold a woman accountable for her own choices?

Watch this video.

Who is to blame for this woman’s troubles? Well, I agree with Driscoll that her family, the church and other Christians were to blame for not telling her the truth about sex. On that we all agree. Christians do a lousy job of explaining sex to young people, because they don’t want to talk about “dirty” stuff, and they don’t want to use arguments and evidence, and they don’t want to go outside the Bible to give real reasons and evidence. But thumping the Bible is a poor response to peer pressure and pop culture.

But she and Mark Driscoll also seem to think the man is to blame. Is the man to blame?

Well, the man certainly did bad things, but I think that none of these bad things could have happened to this woman in particular if this woman had not first chosen this man from all the other men that she knew, and then given him the opportunity to do these bad things. Without her own free choices, she would never have been harmed. So her own bad choices played a part in her suffering but she didn’t mention her own choices at all. So, let me take a look at how she could have made better choices below.

Can women expect a non-Christian man to act like a Christian man?

Women need to be careful to realize that they should avoid being alone with non-Christian men, especially when they are not even old enough to be dating men at all. That’s what courting is designed to prevent, by the way – the man has to go through the father to get to the woman, and they need to be accompanied by a chaperone at all times. And in any case, a woman can get love without touching a man just by listening to the man’s words, reading his writings, letting him serve her, washing a car together, and accepting gifts from him.

Women: you don’t go to a deserted beach with a non-Christian man. Don’t take risks like that. Especially when you have probably already done a lot with the guy. And don’t drink alcohol, it impairs your judgment. The purpose of men is to marry them, not to have a good time with them. No alcohol is allowed!

Paul says that you cannot expect non-Christians to act like Christians, which is exactly what many Christian women do.

1 Cor 5:9-13:

9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—

10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.

11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.

12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

And, 2 Cor 6:14-16:

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?

15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?

16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Christians should not pursue non-Christians romantically – it’s disrespectful to God to leave him out of your romantic operations.

Women can stop a lot of the bad behavior of men just by choosing authentic Christian men by using rigorous objective criteria to evaluate men. If a woman chooses a non-Christian man, then she cannot complain if he acts like a non-Christian man. And there is more to a man being a Christian than just saying that he is, memorizing Bible verses and singing praise hymns in church. Christianity is a worldview. It has to be applied across the board. Christian women need to study to develop a Christian worldview of their own so they know how to evaluate the worldviews of candidate men.

What else can we learn from the video?

Here are a few more things that stood out to me in the video:

  • She should take more responsibility for their actions, instead of blaming others
  • She should study these things (not just the Bible!) on her own before she starts dating, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • Her parents should have studied these things (not just the Bible!) more, and helped her more by being more convincing, to know why God puts these boundaries in place to protect her from harm
  • The church she grew up in should provide her with extra-biblical arguments and evidence from the objective external world so that she could resist ideologies like atheism, postmodernism, liberalism, feminism, etc. – she can’t act morally unless she believes that God exists and that morality is real

Women should also know that the decision to have sex before marriage with a man who isn’t a Christian doesn’t magically change him into a Christian. Sex isn’t magic. It doesn’t cause a man to like a woman, or to fall under her control.

Women go to school for 4 years to learn a trade and they need to put some effort into studying courtship rules so they can be wise about their own choices with men. Jumping into a car and trying to drive it without lessons is a good way to get killed. And emotions, intuitions, peer-pressure and pop-culture don’t help you to know how to drive a car. Be careful, think for yourself.

I also recommend that young, unmarried women  become informed about anti-family, anti-father policies. If women don’t want to be hurt by men, then vote for stronger families, lower taxes, and policies that promote good husbands and good fathers. Girls need to see love modeled between a husband and wife as they grow up, and they need to have fathers in the home. Good public policies encourage men to marry and stay married.

Women need to get better criteria for choosing men

A while back, I posted on some of the criteria women have for choosing men, and here are a few:

  • Being tall
  • Being aloof and disinterested
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Well-dressed
  • Stylish shoes
  • A deep voice
  • Handsome face

What do women expect when they choose men based on criteria like that? It makes no sense to blame a bad man for being bad. He’s BAD! Don’t go near him, he’ll be bad to you, too!

Shouldn’t women judge themselves first, before judging a man?

Shouldn’t women begin by removing the plank in their own eye before removing the speck from the man’s eye?

I think an excellent first step would be for Christian women to take a good look at the music they listen to, the movies they watch, and also what they read. Are they listening to Melissa Etheridge, watching “Thelma & Louise”, and reading Margaret Atwood? Are they informing themselves about truth in many areas, like economics and cosmology, so that they can make informed choices of men? Are they building resistance to cultural trends?

UPDATE: Two more things I thought of.

1) Shouldn’t this woman have put some effort into testing out the claims of her parents and the church by reading the Bible itself? I mentioned reading extra-biblical stuff but even the Bible doesn’t ground anything that she was doing or anything the church was telling her to do that was wrong. Driscoll seems to think that women are not obligated to read the Bible, and that if someone in the church tells them a lie, then the church is to blame. But shouldn’t we expect people who attend church to test these things out for themselves? I realize that she wasn’t a Christian, but in order to take responsibility, she could have said “I should have checked things in my Bible and so I share the blame”. She doesn’t say that because she doesn’t blame herself at all for anything that happened. Well, probably she went to church for the singing and never read what the Bible had to say – or didn’t take it as an authority. But she never blames herself for either one of those.

2) I noticed that she claims that if the church tells her something and she does it, then the church is to blame. Well, the church (or at least her parents) undoubtedly told her not to have sex before she was married, but she didn’t mention that in the video. Why not? Well, she only mentions things that other people tell her to blame them. When they tell her the right thing and she doesn’t do it, she doesn’t mention what they told her. Because she won’t blame herself for any reason. And Driscoll has nothing to say about that, either.  Any time the church tells her something bad and she does it… it’s the church’s fault. Any time the church tells her something good and she DOESN’T do it… she just doesn’t mention it because she isn’t responsible for anything she does – it’s always the fault of someone else.

I don’t mind if she explains the circumstances surrounding WHY she made bad choices. I don’t even mind the bad choices, because I make bad choices. I just don’t like her blaming other people, I especially don’t like her blaming bad men. Bad men are bad. Don’t blame them for not being good – it’s your fault for choosing them. There are other men who are good who get no attention from women at all.

We need to learn from Theodore Dalrymple

Remember this post?

Excerpt:

With increasing frequency I am consulted by nurses, who for the most part come from and were themselves traditionally members of (at least after Florence Nightingale) the respectable lower middle class, who have illegitimate children by men who first abuse and then abandon them. This abuse and later abandonment is usually all too predictable from the man’s previous history and character; but the nurses who have been treated in this way say they refrained from making a judgment about him because it is wrong to make judgments.

And again:

Why are the nurses so reluctant to come to the most inescapable of conclusions? Their training tells them, quite rightly, that it is their duty to care for everyone without regard for personal merit or deserts; but for them, there is no difference between suspending judgment for certain restricted purposes and making no judgment at all in any circumstances whatsoever. It is as if they were more afraid of passing an adverse verdict on someone than of getting a punch in the face—a likely enough consequence, incidentally, of their failure of discernment. Since it is scarcely possible to recognize a wife beater without inwardly condemning him, it is safer not to recognize him as one in the first place.

This failure of recognition is almost universal among my violently abused women patients, but its function for them is somewhat different from what it is for the nurses. The nurses need to retain a certain positive regard for their patients in order to do their job. But for the abused women, the failure to perceive in advance the violence of their chosen men serves to absolve them of all responsibility for whatever happens thereafter, allowing them to think of themselves as victims alone rather than the victims and accomplices they are. Moreover, it licenses them to obey their impulses and whims, allowing them to suppose that sexual attractiveness is the measure of all things and that prudence in the selection of a male companion is neither possible nor desirable.

Read the whole thing, you young women. And judge men hard. It’s good to judge them beforehand so that you don’t have to condemn them for being bad later.

Related posts