Rosie, Al, the Acceptance of the Rise of Relativism, and the Death of Liberalism (Part I)
Well, it is time to get down and dirty with popular culture for a few moments this evening. There is an eerie growth of silencing in the world which I have experienced personally and have seen out in the popular culture. In my own life, I have often been told to "cool it" with my opinions because they were contentious in comparison with those of others. Ironically, this pugnacious young man has never attempted to silence those whose viewpoints differ from his. Instead, I (shift from 3rd to 1st person, please) have always enjoyed intellectual sparring, even if (much to my chagrin) I end up with egg on my face at times. If anyone means a damned thing by liberalism, that is it, my friend. Oh yes, I just labeled myself within the box of liberalism, at least insofar as liberalism is an affirmation of the liberty of the individual to find the Truth (with a capital "T"), wherever it may be.
Now, what does this have to do with Rose and Mr. Albert Gore? Both are explicit examples of the greatest threat to liberal thought: relativism. At its core, relativism proclaims that there are no absolutes by which actions, objects, experiences, etc. can be evaluated and judged. For the relativist, the relative view of the individual, his or her lens on the world, is the absolute standard. This means that nothing can be held in common, for all is relative to the lonely individual. The only means by which an accepted "truth" can be declared are: (1) Power; (2) Apathetic Acceptance.
In the case of Rosie number one is blatantly obvious, particularly in an exchange on the show The View on March 20. Now, Rosie is quite known for making her opinions known on the show, spouting off on a variety of topics and making claims that are unfounded (and often uninformed). Without a doubt, she has her right to free speech, and her pontification does not bother this pontificator one bit whatsoever. In the final analysis, our arguments are placed under the scrutiny of the Truth and will be judged by others in that light (except to the relativists…) Anyway, on said episode, Rosie silenced her co-host, Elizabeth Hasselbeck, telling her that she was not to be blathering on her opinion, an ironic bit of advice from the pontifex maximus of opinions. However, Rosie, by means of her overbearing personality, has silenced the opposition on this matter.
Notice that it is not the Truth which is invoked in this matter but instead merely the power of her to overcome Elizabeth. This is indicative of the first path to a “truth” in relativism: Power. For Rosie, there is no absolute measure by which to ascertain the Truth… except for her own opinion. Although everything is relative to her, the opinion which she holds is “higher” than Elizabeth’s because she holds the power to assert it.
On Monday, I will continue with this reflection mini-series. Until then, enjoy life! :-)