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Good diary, thanks for the link.

I recall your phrase from a previous thread. And honestly, I have to say that the American left is quite disappointing in my view, and I'm quite willing to express that disappointment.

For one thing, there are no ideological moorings. Folks who call themselves "left" or "liberal" in America are quite often as distrustful of the rightful and efficient role of the state in society as anyone on the right side of the spectrum - in Europe, or in America for that matter. Government is not a critical and efficient provider of services in the view of many. Rather, government is simply how income gets redistributed and the army gets funded in their view.

A similar dynamic is at work viz foreign policy as well. Sure, there are high profile lefties in positions of power, take Kucinich for instance. But he is the exception which proves the rule, which is why a guy like Kos calls him unserious. The lefties have been completely marginalized in the political arena, and it shows in the results.

Unsurprisingly, not one piece of fundamentally progressive legislation has emerged from Washington since Nixon was president.

Now, I know there is a left in the US which has ideological moorings, but as a percent of the electorate, you can count them on one hand, two of them tops. The average joe Democrat, and this goes for self-described "liberals," has no such moorings, his or her ideology is more a set of attitudes about what it takes to be a nice guy or gal than a governing program of guided by progressive principles. He or she might today say "Dubya is a bad guy, so everything he does is bad. Why? Well, because he screwed up the war (ie, not because the war was an ill-intentioned imperial folly, but because it was poorly executed). Because he's trampling on my civil rights. But decidely not because the poor are getting an ever greater shaft - that's not government's fault, that's walmart's, and I try not to shop there, though it's true their pool supplies are cheaper than anywhere else..."

I suspect you are one of the good guys or gals in America, I do know a few. If so, accept my apologies. If so, I think you'll have to agree with me that we are a very very small segment of the vox populi in America today. We're not the problem - it's the smallness of our numbers which is.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Thu Jan 11th, 2007 at 05:07:33 PM EST
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