Arguments in the real world involve the expenditure of finite resources: time, attention, good will, among other things. This is one reason people are reluctant to get into them. It’s not worth arguing with Uncle Dewey at Thanksgiving, because nothing will be achieved. Sure, this runs counter to our Millian intuitions–that every crappy view, (even uncle Dewey’s unrepeatably racist theory about Detroit) deserves a hearing, if only so we can strengthen our views against it–but time is short here on earth, and we need to get stuff done.
For these reasons, I find it puzzling that Andrew Sullivan, British expat blogger famous in years past for suggesting the moderate American left would mount a fifth column (he has since repented, I think), labored to point out, in substantial detail, that Rush Limbaugh doesn’t know anything about Christianity. I think the saddest thing about this, is that it gives way too much credit to Limbaugh. Sullivan writes:
And in the Church of Limbaugh, market capitalism is an unqualified, eternal good. It is the ever-lasting truth about human beings. It is inextricable from any concept of human freedom.
Maybe Limbaugh might have said something along these lines once, but it’s giving too much credit to this guy to attribute a doctrine (or anything similar) to him.
Who, I wonder, is traversing Sullivan’s site in need of such a rebuttal in the first place? If Uncle Dewey doesn’t drop by for Thanksgiving, you don’t need to take his place.