Fr. Perrone addresses what he calls the "ever-growing problem of failure in attempts to dialogue with liberals, that is to say, leftists." Here is what he writes (my emphasis in bold):
You have no doubt noticed the difficulty, even with your relatives of a more freewheeling kind. As our culture (a euphemism here) becomes ever more unmoored from the Christian faith and even from the norms of right reason, we find ourselves confronted by people whose only creed is their own opinion. Discussions with them on topics such as abortion, contraception, cohabitation, assisted suicide and gay marriage on the one hand, and on religion, especially the Catholic Church, on the other, tend to become fruitless exercises, no matter how civil, how irenic the adopted tone. The thought occurs to us, Why can’t they see what’s so obviously reasonable? The problem is this: liberals have now actually got to thinking of themselves as conservatives. In their minds those who uphold moral norms, who pledge adherence to religious faith and Church, these are the dangerous ones, the radicals, while they are traditionalists. You protest this reversal instinctively. The ‘author’ of this grand deception can be none other than the Archdemon, the one our Lord referred to as the Deceiver.One thing I remember from my debates about "presuppositionalism" back at Westminster many years ago, is the insight that even where epistemological common ground fails with those who do not share our faith, ontological common ground persists insofar as all of us share a common human nature and are created by God in His own image. While that has to count for something, it's slim pickings for 'dialogue.'
Unless we come to realize that there has been this seismic shift of thought in many minds and thus in culture, efforts to win over those on the opposing side are going to be useless. They will not get it because ‘it’ cannot be comprehended by them. To such persons, it is we who are the radicals, the oppressors, the cause of human suffering, the intolerant ones, the unreasonable, the inhibitors of a happy and free society–we, the religious types, the moralists, who insist on Church, family, marriage, discipline, restraint, received rules and regulations. For liberals, life is whatever they wish it to be, and the meaning of life is determined solely by their passions and desires.
You may recall the early words of Pope Benedict’s pontificate to the effect that there is a growing “dictatorship of relativism” in world consensus. The formation of this new governance over life means that relativism has now the status of dogma. The result is that for liberals this new thinking is the right and ‘traditional’ one, a pragmaticism that’s irrefutable. The only recognized value for them is no value other than the limitless freedom to do anything at all that one pleases and by whatever means will ‘work.’ You say, “It’s like talking to a wall,” referring to your frustrating experience in dealing with such folks. You can’t really talk sense with them precisely because there is no ‘sense,’ that is to say that reasons or truth for them do not make for right. Now that’s a formidable, if not insurmountable problem in trying to ‘dialogue’ or discuss differences with people on the left. It’s a doomed enterprise.
I know this last statement is bleak, hopeless, but I don’t know a way out for such closed minds apart from a special illumination from above. But, come to think of it, there might yet be another way, though I tremble to mention it. The way back to sanity and faith may have to come through suffering. Acute suffering alone may be able to reawaken reason. There is a danger in this, however, that if suffering be not rightly bourne, it may quickly lead to despair–and despair, when complete, leads to self-annihilation. Such is the logical end of meaninglessness leftism.
The culture of death is now entrenched in our politics and we seem poorly able to change it. When people of faith and traditional morality become the enemy of the political powers, we know that we’re in serious trouble. If one asks, What can be done about this? I have no better answer than ask you to pray perseveringly for our country. Certainly it would be ironic for us to despair since that’s the very same final outcome of those committed to the left.
How much we need your rosaries, your holy hours in church, and the witness of your good lives in public. God is not through with us. Neither then should we be hopeless. I wrote for you what is here only to motivate you so much the more to fruitful spiritual action and to try to explain to you why you may have been having such rotten luck in your efforts to evangelize and reason with your wrong-headed friends.