Anyone who proclaims themselves and their fellow-travelers as "right-thinking" and any and all others as inherently wrong are immediately suspect in my eyes.A willingness to doubt is nice and all, and I'm the first to say there's a theoretical possibility almost any of my beliefs could be wrong. Still, we must not lose sight of the fact that some beliefs are far less reasonable than others. It is far more reasonable to believe in racial equality than to believe blacks ought to be slaves of whites. No one who denounces racism should have to stop first and remind themselves that blacks could turn out the be inferior after all. Racism, don't forget, once once the moderate position. Lincoln at first only wanted to stop the spread of slavery and said blacks could never be equal to whites. The people who went so far as to support abolition deserve our admiration, not head shaking at their excessive confidence in their position.
For me, "right-thinking" equates with an inwardly focused group that only feels powerful by excluding and oppressing others, for that is what I saw first-hand when I was a child, and in some respects that attitude still exists in the region where I grew up.
Even now, half a century since the defiance of Rosa Parks against an injustice that seems obvious today but was widely accepted as a fundamental truth at the time (and in some circles is still advocated), there are those who proclaim that their method of thinking is the absolute truth, completely unwilling to even consider even the possibility that they might be wrong, just as those five decades ago who thought of themselves as "right-thinking" were wrong.
This thinking is not limited to racists, neo-Nazis, or other seemingly insane cults.
As a matter of fact, this thinking is reflected in the vast majority of weblogs I read.
In other words: If you do not doubt yourself, can you truly consider yourself intelligent and thoughtful?
I have written repeatedly upon what it means to be a moderate. I repeat it here:A moderate is one who acknowledges that their beliefs are not absolute, that there is room for doubt, that at least some of what they believe just may be wrong, and they are willing to consider that possibility.
Similarly, the problem with Ann Coulter is not that she's certain her opponents are wrong, but that she's certainly wrong on a lot of things (the First Amendment among them).