Monday, June 13, 2005

Liberals of the Future

Responding to Boomr's letter on Barking Dingo, Pedro at The Quietist's essay raises useful doubts:
I agree, on the policy level, with so many Democratic issues, like the environment, same-sex marriage, tax cuts, etc. So why haven't I voted (D) in 4 years (I voted for Gore in 2000)? Because they have sold their dignity in return for the short-term benefits of the 19th-century rhetoric of class, race, and gender warfare. What a turn off! I would welcome a third party that offers sound policy without all the leftist nonsense that appeals to rich 19-year-old teen-angsty campus "revolutionaries," and speaks to the voters like the (generally) intelligent people that we are. (By the way, that's another reason I dislike leftism -- one of its fundamental premises is the assumption that "the masses" is big drooling mass of idiots. That's why it so easily turns totalitarian. Leftism --> philosopher-king (rule of the intelligent and qualified) --> benevolent dictatorship --> despotism.)
I'm less liberal than Pedro, but he captures many of the reasons I quit the Dems and became a neo-con before the label was invented.

I've long argued that liberals and conservatives agree on goals but not means. But few liberals agree. And, in view of America's winner-takes-all elections, plus the Electoral College, no third party could ever succeed.

Still, Pedro's right about the centrality of the vote. But MaxedOutMama's correct in distaining either Constitutional amendment or referendum (referendum--so, you know, "euro"). All that's necessary is returning to the 10th Amendment.

I doubt today's Dems could do it. My hope lies in a transformation of the left to a party that rejects nihilism, distrust of the Constitutional process, post-modernism, intolerance in the name of tolerance, preferring pointless demonstrations while opposing use of force, averting their eyes to fact, ignorance, dogmatic secularism, prejudice toward the faithful, paternalism, isolationism--and, most crucially, anti-Americanism. What's the timeline for all that?

SC&A think Boomr's seeking a middle ground. Boomr does turn down the rhetoric and avoids demonization. But discriminating against the faithful isn't the middle. Nor are his mooted restrictions on speech and political campaigns. (Dutch blogger Steeph has similar, concrete, but hugely overbroad, ideas.)

I genuinely believe I, and the majority of my fellow Republicans, are reasonable and moderate. I think the Dems aren't. That doesn't preclude debate. It doesn't imply I'm opposed to change. It does mean I'm unlikely to vote for any third party. And it means I favor the existing Constitutional process--especially against rule by "oligarchy" or "elites."


MaxedOutMama said...

But how do we get to the position where the 10th once again means something?

I don't think our present judiciary is willing to go along with that. The only way I can see to do it is to amend the constitution to reassert the rights which have been judicially bargained away. This seems weird and radical, even to me, but what other option do we really have?

@nooil4pacifists said...


Responding to an earlier plea to respect the 10th Amendment, reader Michael Y had this suggestion:

"If you must have an amendment to preserve the states as laboratories . . . I propose something more general: 'The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people, AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT!'"

Dingo said...

"I genuinely believe I, and the majority of my fellow Republicans, are reasonable and moderate. I think the Dems aren't."

This is why nothing will ever get done. People can't see past their own noses.