Tuesday, June 28, 2005

'All Together Now, America'

Many readers have accused me of being too hard on the left. Maybe I am. But it’s not because I have animosity towards liberals. It’s because I spent many years as a pretty staunch member of the left and it kills me to watch that once noble movement stumble and falter, morphing from an ideology of progress into an ideology of, well, hindrance—defined more by what it is against than what it is for.

But don’t take my word for it. Author of The Radical Middle and Centrist thinker/writer Mark Satin has recently posted his review of the Take Back America Conference held by liberal activists earlier this year. Satin knows liberal ideology. He spent decades, beginning in the 1960s, fighting for the causes of the left. And he still has great affection for the hope and community that is (or at least once was) at the heart of liberal thinking. In short, Mark Satin is as credible an observer of liberal politics as you’re likely to meet.

I can’t hold a candle to Mark and I won’t attempt to paraphrase him here. Read his thoughts in full on Take Back America. And read the second part of his piece which discusses what the positive lessons we can learn from the origins and heart of the socialist movement.

He concludes:

We don’t need to “Take Back America.” We need to find honorable roles for everyone here, and then ask or encourage or induce them to play their separate parts. Even Wal-Mart executives. Even far-left activists.

Anyone up for an “All Together Now, America” conference?

Satin knows what he’s talking about. Read what he has to say.


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

"All Together Now, America," sounds like a liberal idea that that right would love to ridicule. The right is benefitting from the division.

Please give me a moment to set up a point: People love to say that "Americans are smart." But that's not a smart comment. Half of Americans have an at or above average level of intelligence, the other half at or below. If you will agree with me that people of average intelligence can't really be called "smart," then the majority of Americans are not smart.

People on the far right are taking advantage of this fact by simplifying complex topics to a ridiculous level, then setting up false choices for people -- choices that are "no brainers." People feel good about themselves because they can make the "right" choice so easily, and they can ridicule the idiot leftist commies.

The right is in power because they have become so good at this. Who in the world wants to be an idiot leftist commie? The right wants to stay in power -- they are not going to try to make peace with the left.

Just to be clear, I am not saying that Democrats are smarter than Republicans -- just that the far right is successfully manipulating a lot of people.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Alan Stewart Carl said...

Must Americans are smart. But I don't mean most Americans have high IQs. I mean, most Americans think for themselves and actually base their opinions on more than what they're told by people in power.

The "sheep" line of argument is a long-standing way to explain why the other side has supporters. In today's context, many on the left think those voting Republican are doing so because they're being tricked by Republican strategists into believing falsehoods. Of course, those on the right think people voting Democrat are doing so because they're being tricked by the media into believing falsehoods.

Both sides have propaganda and there are people who fall for it hook, line and sinker. But most don't.

It's a fallacy to believe your opponent is just being fooled or would otherwise agree with you. Even if on the off chance it were true, where does that leave you? It is better to treat people as smart human beings and win them over with real ideas than try to approach them as if they're brainwashed suckers in need of rescue. (not that that's what you're arguing should be done, but that does seem to be the strategy of people like Howard Dean on the left and the bloggers of Powerline on the right)

At 11:00 AM, Blogger amba said...

Jennifer - circular argument about intelligence. The definition of "average" is that half the people are above it and half below. The question is, where IS the average?

But you're certainly right about the Right's success at simplistic manipulation. They know where the average American's buttons are.


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