I got the rule from my friend Peter Smith. Everyone follows that rule, unconsciously or not. For us conservatives, it means that anyone who seems to side with the left on key issues can no longer be trusted in discussing other issues.
For those of us on the right, the rule does not mean that we never get to hear what the left believes and what its latest delusions are. Not only do we know what these beliefs are, it’s essential to understand pretty well all of what they believe if for no other reason than just as a means to protect ourselves from whatever forms of madness is their latest fad belief.
For the left, that is all they know and are never allowed to hear what their critics say. Living in a world populated by conservatives seldom harms the lives of anyone on the left. In fact, it is all that protects them from their own idiocies and beliefs. Living in a world as they conjure it would plunge them, along with everyone else, into deep pockets of misery and destitution, as has happened often enough.
Here is the basic truth: everyone is conservatives about things they know something about, especially about things which will affect their lives and livelihoods. It is actual personal knowledge about some subject that makes one a conservative, but for those without a conservative disposition, only about that particular subject, tending to limit wild flights of unrealistic conjecturing about things they know from personal experience. I think this quote expresses the same sentiment quite well:
Like Aristotle, conservatives generally accept the world as it is; they distrust the politics of abstract reason – that is, reason divorced from experience.
And more fully, there is a quote from John Stuart Mill that was first stated during a Parliamentary debate in 1866, which given the re-branding of various political inclinations in today’s world, is now best stated in this way:
I did not mean that people on the left are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally on the left.
Anyone who genuinely tries to think about the problems of society and how to solve them cannot base their solutions on more than a handful of people ever acting other than in their own interests, with the subtext being that people acting in their own interests are not likely, when acting in a social setting, to lead a community into chaos and ruin, political leaders aside. They may wish to do good but all to often do not. But even without doing good being their intention, they usually cannot go too far because in the end everyone else will stop. Or at least they usually will, but unfortunately not always.