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View Full Version : What the "Tea Party" is really about


blacbird
10-06-2010, 12:32 PM
In case you were still wondering:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39522464/ns/politics-more_politics/

Zoombie
10-06-2010, 12:54 PM
For the five or six nanoseconds before the theocons took over, it was looking semi-promising.

leahzero
10-06-2010, 02:06 PM
For the five or six nanoseconds before the theocons took over, it was looking semi-promising.

A bunch of malcontents with no clear, unified policies or platform were promising?

Well, I guess in this country, yeah.

Diana Hignutt
10-06-2010, 03:48 PM
I didn't click the link...is it about the tea? I like tea, but prefer coffee.

DoomBunny
10-06-2010, 04:17 PM
As I'm not American I might be wading in shark-infested waters here, but I thought the US Constitution was emphatically clear about freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. What's with all this theocratic revisionism? I imagine there's some sort of anti-Islam backlash there but surely there's more to it, as it seems to run pretty deep.

Apologies if I'm pushing sensitive buttons, but I'm genuinely curious.

Diana Hignutt
10-06-2010, 04:38 PM
As I'm not American I might be wading in shark-infested waters here, but I thought the US Constitution was emphatically clear about freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. What's with all this theocratic revisionism? I imagine there's some sort of anti-Islam backlash there but surely there's more to it, as it seems to run pretty deep.

Apologies if I'm pushing sensitive buttons, but I'm genuinely curious.

Actually, the separation of church and state isn't as emphatically enshrined in the US Constitution as one might think.

Add to that the rising tide of Puritanical or Evangelical thinking, the attempts of groups like the C Street Brotherhood (an now the Tea Party) to affect a theocratic takeover of the government.

And don't forget that nowadays the Constitution says what those in charge say it says and not what it actually says.

All that equals the day when I leave this country for less Puritanical lands with the election of Sarah Palin or equivalently religiously motivated candidate in high office.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
10-06-2010, 04:52 PM
I suppose a true wonk could give you a detailed explanation of the waxing and waning of the Christian Right in the US since its rebirth in the late 1970s, but I think there are more fundamental issues (and when I state them I will be right there with you surrounded by the sharks).

One, is that there has always been a sort of theme about manifest destiny woven into the American cultural mythos, that lends itself to a national sense of being God's chosen. Since the pilgrims, there have been those among us who have declared our nation the New Jerusalem.

Two, as a crazy guy once said: "Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes." I think not long after the formation of the Moral Majority back in 1975, the Right realized that people could be convinced to vote against their own best economic interests through the use of religion. (I assume many on the Left also realized this, but a more natural symbiosis evolved between religion and the Right.) I think the Republican party in particular (after Reagan's election) saw that by co-opting the social agenda of the religious right, they could advance their own agenda. (In furtherance of this theory, I believe that most of the megarich and powerful in this country believe they can adopt a sort of feudal oligarchy that places them above the theocratic strictures imposed upon the masses—which is why there is so much hypocrisy regularly being exposed on that side of the political spectrum.)

I also think that an anti-Islamic backlash is being fostered by the Right, but, as stated, were that not the case they would just find some other hot-button issue to exploit.

Wow, I sound radical and just a bit crazy—and I’m a moderate!;)

Diana Hignutt
10-06-2010, 04:59 PM
Wow, I sound radical and just a bit crazy—and I’m a moderate!;)

Actually, that sounds like a carefully reasoned analysis, and I agree with it.

robeiae
10-06-2010, 07:00 PM
Here's the actual "survey": http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=386

It's as biased as the story on it, imo.

Don
10-06-2010, 07:30 PM
Here's the actual "survey": http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=386

It's as biased as the story on it, imo.
Gee, rob, you think a survey by the Public Religion Research Council could be biased? :sarcasm

Maybe next time, MSNBC can report on a survey from StormFront that proves all the tea partiers are white supremacists.

They're certainly working hard to prove their new "Lean Forward and Bend Over" motto isn't just empty promises.

robeiae
10-06-2010, 07:37 PM
Maybe next time, MSNBC can report on a survey from StormFront that proves all the tea partiers are white supremacists.

They're certainly working hard to prove their new "Lean Forward and Bend Over" motto isn't just empty promises.Well you know, judging by this "story," the one on the rich/poor income gap, and a host of others, MSNBC is really becoming the least trustworthy news source out there.

If we accept the auto-criticism for Fox, I think it's no leap at all to accept the same for MSNBC. Agree? We can make it a new rule...

Haggis
10-06-2010, 07:41 PM
A bunch of malcontents with no clear, unified policies or platform were promising?

Well, I guess in this country, yeah.
Yeah. At least at one time.

http://www.wired.com/images/article/full/2008/07/declaration_630px.jpg

rugcat
10-06-2010, 09:07 PM
Here's the actual "survey": http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=386

It's as biased as the story on it, imo.Do you think the conclusions of the survey are inaccurate?

robeiae
10-06-2010, 09:21 PM
Do you think the conclusions of the survey are inaccurate?

Well, here's one of it's conclusions: They are largely Republican partisans. ["members" of the tea party]
Now, look at the actual questionnaire: http://www.publicreligion.org/objects/uploads/fck/file/AVS%202010%20Topline%20FINAL.pdf

Scroll down to questions 5 and 6.

Is that how you'd characterize people? If someone says they lean toward the dem or repub candidate, then they're a dem/repub "partisan"?

Zoombie
10-06-2010, 09:22 PM
As I'm not American I might be wading in shark-infested waters here, but I thought the US Constitution was emphatically clear about freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. What's with all this theocratic revisionism? I imagine there's some sort of anti-Islam backlash there but surely there's more to it, as it seems to run pretty deep.

Apologies if I'm pushing sensitive buttons, but I'm genuinely curious.

Actually, I'd argue that the Constitution is pretty clear cut on the matter: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

We won't help you, but we won't hurt you, because it's not our place to choose what you believe.

However, the real thing about the United States that I think is truly why this country is great, even if people constantly ignore it in favor of the easier method of crawing about this or that or whatever...

Our history is shaped by the constant struggle to try and reach the ideals laid down by our Constitution. It shaped the suffrage movement, the racial civil rights movement, the sexual and gender civil rights movement, the Civil War...and it's going to keep on shaping our history into the future.

The thing is, not everyone wants to have our country run under all the ideas of the constitution. And as a BIG NOTE: THIS IS NOT (inherently) EVIL.

So our political discourse is, as always, a series of people who have their own vision of the future. Now, I do argue that some people's vision of the future are evil. Specifically, theocons and other oligarchs.

Don
10-06-2010, 09:22 PM
Well you know, judging by this "story," the one on the rich/poor income gap, and a host of others, MSNBC is really becoming the least trustworthy news source out there.

If we accept the auto-criticism for Fox, I think it's no leap at all to accept the same for MSNBC. Agree? We can make it a new rule...
Works for me. Their agenda is as transparent as Fox's.

Zoombie
10-06-2010, 09:24 PM
Eh, they all suck. The only news I trust is the news biased towards my political axis.

backslashbaby
10-06-2010, 09:25 PM
Yeah, I can't see anything surprising in any of it.

I wish the Tea Party hadn't tapped into those theocracy-lovers' psyche, but it did. When do we get to stop pretending that 'the Tea Party' is full of liberals, too, and that it is socially liberal -- in line with 'small government' thinking in all subjects? It's not. These folks seem freakier than your garden-variety far-righter, imho.

I believe there is a minority there that might be socially liberal, but y'all might want to think up a new name or something. I don't know. It sucks.

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 09:26 PM
Eh, they all suck. The only news I trust is the news biased towards my political axis.

There you go. The death of Journalism explained in a nutshell. Factual objective reporting could never overcome that.

Zoombie
10-06-2010, 09:28 PM
You know what is becoming an increasingly relevant film to this whole situation? Rashomon

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 09:35 PM
Well, you don't need a reason to watch a Kurosawa movie. IMO. It should be done anyway. Often.

Zoombie
10-06-2010, 09:37 PM
True.

Om nom nom Kurosawa.

But yeah, most politically savy kids I know these days know to get their news from multiple sources and compare and contrast them to try and glean out the truth.

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 09:46 PM
But, you're still right. Rashomon is an excellent illustration of the problem of audience and broadcaster.

rugcat
10-06-2010, 10:22 PM
Well, here's one of it's conclusions:
Now, look at the actual questionnaire: http://www.publicreligion.org/objects/uploads/fck/file/AVS%202010%20Topline%20FINAL.pdf

Scroll down to questions 5 and 6.

Is that how you'd characterize people? If someone says they lean toward the dem or repub candidate, then they're a dem/repub "partisan"? It's clear you think the survey is flawed. My question is, do you believe that the basic conclusion is incorrect -- that there's a significant overlap between tea party members and the conservative Christian right?

Don
10-06-2010, 10:24 PM
Yeah, I can't see anything surprising in any of it.

I wish the Tea Party hadn't tapped into those theocracy-lovers' psyche, but it did. When do we get to stop pretending that 'the Tea Party' is full of liberals, too, and that it is socially liberal -- in line with 'small government' thinking in all subjects? It's not. These folks seem freakier than your garden-variety far-righter, imho.

I believe there is a minority there that might be socially liberal, but y'all might want to think up a new name or something. I don't know. It sucks.
The first contemporary tea party was December 16, 2007 at Faneuil Hall in Boston in support of the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, who was campaigning on a platform of smaller government, anti-war and social liberalism. The resurgence of the tea party meme after the election was essentially populist, but Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other theocrats and teaocons jumped out in front of the parade and have been "leading" it ever since... right over a cliff and back into the arms of her BFF Bill Kristol, the neocon's neocon.

The smaller government/anti-war/socially liberal movement is dead, a victim of SID.

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 10:32 PM
The Tea Party Goes After Ron Paul (http://washingtonindependent.com/76049/the-tea-party-goes-after-ron-paul)

So much for the Tea Party's libertarian credentials, I guess.


Tea Party associations aside, many of the challengers’ criticisms echo concerns of Paul’s past opponents: that he is too focused on his national ambitions; that his views are too extreme; that he doesn’t support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; that he votes “no” on everything, including federal aid for his district after Hurricane Ike.

robeiae
10-06-2010, 10:36 PM
It's clear you think the survey is flawed. My question is, do you believe that the basic conclusion is incorrect -- that there's a significant overlap between tea party members and the conservative Christian right?You asked if I thought the conclusions of the survey were inaccurate. So, I addressed one of those conclusions, making it fairly clear, I think, why it was inaccurate. Do you agree or disagree?

Don
10-06-2010, 10:49 PM
The Tea Party Goes After Ron Paul (http://washingtonindependent.com/76049/the-tea-party-goes-after-ron-paul)

So much for the Tea Party's libertarian credentials, I guess.
Well, three primary challengers, all from the tea party, pretty well indicates the reasoning behind the 2007 tea party is dead and buried. I thought this part of the article was noteworthy too.

Almost nothing that Paul does cuts against the rhetoric of the Tea Party movement that is mentioned most in the press: responsible spending and adherence to the Constitution. But some of it does cut against the priorities of national security conservatives and partisan Republicans.

See also my comments in post 25.

I'm not betting on anything changing for the better in DC... but I sure wouldn't bet against them getting much worse.

Amadan
10-06-2010, 10:52 PM
The first contemporary tea party was December 16, 2007 at Faneuil Hall in Boston in support of the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, who was campaigning on a platform of smaller government, anti-war and social liberalism.

And keeping women and colored people in their place.

The resurgence of the tea party meme after the election was essentially populist, but Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and other theocrats and teaocons jumped out in front of the parade and have been "leading" it ever since... right over a cliff and back into the arms of her BFF Bill Kristol, the neocon's neocon.

The smaller government/anti-war/socially liberal movement is dead, a victim of SID.

Here's the problem -- you talk about how the rapture cultists took over the Tea Party as if this was some sort of unforeseeable external power play, a bunch of interlopers intruding into the movement and taking it over for their own purposes.

It is not a coincidence that there's such a strong overlap between people spouting ostensibly "libertarian" principles ("I hate taxes") -- i.e., people who think the only purpose of the government is to cater precisely to their needs and nobody else's -- and people who pine for the golden days when only white male property owners counted as citizens because that's the way Jesus said it should be in the Bible.

The right-wingers have been cynically exploiting libertarians (and vice versa) for decades. These political wings share one thing in common: a festering core of resentment at lost entitlements, and the general sense that people who aren't like them are responsible for all that's wrong in the world. So of course the religious fanatics and your "statist" conservative friends found fertile ground in the Tea Party. Maybe you imagined it was going to remain some sort of pure Randian movement untainted by anyone else's pet interests and obsessions, but it should have been predictable to anyone else.

rugcat
10-06-2010, 10:57 PM
You asked if I thought the conclusions of the survey were inaccurate. So, I addressed one of those conclusions, making it fairly clear, I think, why it was inaccurate. Do you agree or disagree?I was just curious about whether you would give an opinion on my question. Instead, you're avoiding the question, answering instead the question you wish to concentrate on -- the methodology of the survey and the phrasing of one question.

Again, I think the tea party is basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor. Do you disagree? A simple question.

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 11:04 PM
It is not a coincidence that there's such a strong overlap between people spouting ostensibly "libertarian" principles ("I hate taxes") -- i.e., people who think the only purpose of the government is to cater precisely to their needs and nobody else's -- and people who pine for the golden days when only white male property owners counted as citizens because that's the way Jesus said it should be in the Bible.


What are you on about?

Shadow_Ferret
10-06-2010, 11:11 PM
Again, I think the tea party is basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor. Do you disagree? A simple question.

I think this. They seem like the Christian Right that Bush cultivated as his power base. THey've just retooled, renamed, and reemerged using the veil of a historical action to hide their true identity.

However, maybe I'm confused on what a Libertarian is. I thought they believed in individual liberties, rights, and freedoms. These Libertarians seem to want to curtail our rights and liberties. They're more Anti-Libertarian than anything.

Amadan
10-06-2010, 11:12 PM
What are you on about?

I'm on about American libertarianism. I don't care if libertarians are different in Europe, 'kay?

Don
10-06-2010, 11:17 PM
I think this. They seem like the Christian Right that Bush cultivated as his power base. THey've just retooled, renamed, and reemerged using the veil of a historical action to hide their true identity.

However, maybe I'm confused on what a Libertarian is. I thought they believed in individual liberties, rights, and freedoms. These Libertarians seem to want to curtail our rights and liberties. They're more Anti-Libertarian than anything.
Yep. Libertarian philosophy is the antithesis of what these pretenders preach, which is simply another form of collectivism wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.

Maxinquaye
10-06-2010, 11:36 PM
I'm on about American libertarianism. I don't care if libertarians are different in Europe, 'kay?

I would ask you to follow the only rule that's here on AW. RYFW. I don't care if you despise libertarianism and libertarians or not.

Your opinion is not fact. Your opinion does not elevate to truth.

And while there is - due to historical and cultural reasons - differences between my left-libertarianism, which comes ultimately out of socialism, and his American one they are more the same than different.

Amadan
10-07-2010, 12:15 AM
I would ask you to follow the only rule that's here on AW. RYFW. I don't care if you despise libertarianism and libertarians or not.

That's good, because I'm free to express my disdain for libertarianism just like you're free to express your disdain for liberals and Don is free to express his disdain for, umm, everyone who's not a libertarian. If we couldn't criticize politics we dislike without being accused of disrespecting everyone who holds those political views, it would be hard for the P&CE forum to exist.

Gretad08
10-07-2010, 12:23 AM
And keeping women and colored people in their place.





It is not a coincidence that there's such a strong overlap between people spouting ostensibly "libertarian" principles ("I hate taxes") -- i.e., people who think the only purpose of the government is to cater precisely to their needs and nobody else's -- and people who pine for the golden days when only white male property owners counted as citizens because that's the way Jesus said it should be in the Bible.

The right-wingers have been cynically exploiting libertarians (and vice versa) for decades. These political wings share one thing in common: a festering core of resentment at lost entitlements, and the general sense that people who aren't like them are responsible for all that's wrong in the world. So of course the religious fanatics and your "statist" conservative friends found fertile ground in the Tea Party. Maybe you imagined it was going to remain some sort of pure Randian movement untainted by anyone else's pet interests and obsessions, but it should have been predictable to anyone else.

So, libertarians are mysoginistic bigots who pine for the days of slavery and opression? Oh, and also religious zealots?

Somebody tell Don if he wants to claim to be a libertarian, he better start acting like one.

shawkins
10-07-2010, 12:34 AM
As I'm not American I might be wading in shark-infested waters here, but I thought the US Constitution was emphatically clear about freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. What's with all this theocratic revisionism? I imagine there's some sort of anti-Islam backlash there but surely there's more to it, as it seems to run pretty deep.

Apologies if I'm pushing sensitive buttons, but I'm genuinely curious.

I think America has always had sort of an uneasy relationship with that whole separation thing. It goes way back. Dave Barry had a good line:

"In 1621 the pilgrims came to America. Their hope was to start a new society based upon a greater degree of religious oppression than was permissible under English law at the time."

or words to that effect. I couldn't find the exact quote.

Amadan
10-07-2010, 12:44 AM
So, libertarians are mysoginistic bigots who pine for the days of slavery and opression? Oh, and also religious zealots?

I'm sure most of them wouldn't define themselves that way, just as Ron Paul (who is "pro-life" and against the 1964 Civil Rights Act) I'm sure doesn't consider himself a misogynist or a bigot. I know what the libertarian justification is for opposing anti-discrimination laws, and I know how at the extreme ends of libertarianism you'll find people who think selling yourself into slavery is consistent with libertarian principles. Does that mean they all actively hate minorities? No, but the outcome is the same when you're trying to reinforce a world view that just happens to favor white, mostly male, property owners over everyone else.

As for the religious zealots, I said there's a strong overlap. I believe most libertarians are probably atheists or agnostics, but they and the religious fanatics are perfectly willing to get in bed together when it comes to uniting against their common enemies. To that end, they'll pretend they share values while the libertarians overlook the zealots' desire to criminalize lifestyle behaviors they don't approve of, and the zealots overlook the libertarians' tolerance of drugs and porn and gay marriage.

Don is consistent, I'll give him that, since he recognizes the irony in "libertarians" being willing to support candidates and political positions that are fundamentally anti-libertarian, but no libertarian has ever failed to meet my expectations about the inherent prejudices and resentments of the movement itself. If they weren't so overwhelmingly a group of privileged white wankers, I'd be more sympathetic (as is often pointed out, the majority of the libertarian platform is fairly common sense stuff that most people would probably agree with), but when you get down to specifics about what laws they think are okay and what laws aren't, it inevitably comes down to "ME and MINE!" over all else, with the Objectivists being the most visible outer fringe.

ChronicSelfEditor
10-07-2010, 12:44 AM
I admit to not being the most politically savvy person in the room, but does anyone see this situation more as the Republican party wanting to engulf the Tea Party? I think it was in the Rollingstones magazine article someone shared that I read any sort of standout group is always eventually absorbed into either of the main parties so that there will only ever be two real political parties.

Don
10-07-2010, 12:56 AM
So, libertarians are mysoginistic bigots who pine for the days of slavery and opression? Oh, and also religious zealots?

Somebody tell Don if he wants to claim to be a libertarian, he better start acting like one.
Well, I don't claim to be a libertarian anymore, although I consider them fellow travelers. I guess you'd have to call me an agorist or an anarcho-capitalist if you wanted to be precise. As Diane said one day, libertarians are just anarchists who haven't finished their education. :D

I kinda wondered what the mods thought about lumping me and Max, among others, in with the mysoginists, pro-slavers, and religious zealots, but I guess they thought it was OK. Much hilarity has ensued from seeing left-libertarians and an-caps painted with the same broad brush, too. I just know it's brought me and Max much closer together. :ROFL:

As an aside, the religious zealot bit was the best, because I've admitted to both agnosticism and atheism at various times here. OTOH, having had my head cracked at both civil rights and women's movement protests, I think I've earned a pass on misogyny and slavery too.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 01:04 AM
I was just curious about whether you would give an opinion on my question. Instead, you're avoiding the question, answering instead the question you wish to concentrate on -- the methodology of the survey and the phrasing of one question.
No, I'm concentrating on the conclusions of the survey. Again, one of those conclusions was that "They are largely Republican partisans," the "they" being people that consider themselves part of the tea party movement.

Here's another conclusion, from the actual survey: "Nearly half (47%) also say they are part of the religious right or conservative Christian movement. Among the more than 8-in-10 (81%) who identify as Christian within the Tea Party movement, 57% also consider themselves part of the Christian conservative movement."

So, what we have in this instance is a nebulous group--the tea party movement--that anyone can claim to support or claim to be a part of analyzed with regards to its membership make-up by the introduction of other nebulous groups. And when such analysis was applied to a less nebulous group--Republicans--those that leaned that way were called "partisans."

No reasons to suspect an agenda...

Regardless, I provided a link to the actual survey and offered an opinion re the trustworthiness of that survey. You did nothing but ask me about my opinions on the survey's conclusions (there are a number of them, you know). I hardly think that puts you in the catbird's seat, here. How about actually looking into the data yourself, instead of having conclusions spoon-fed to you?
Again, I think the tea party is basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor. Do you disagree? A simple question.Oddly enough, the conclusion I just noted from the survey doesn't mesh with that generalization, does it? So I guess you disagree with that conclusion, too...

blacbird
10-07-2010, 01:04 AM
The smaller government/anti-war/socially liberal movement is dead, a victim of SID.

Or maybe Munchausen's By Proxy.

SPMiller
10-07-2010, 01:08 AM
And don't forget that nowadays the Constitution says what those in charge say it says and not what it actually says.Before the ink dried on the US constitution, it was already a matter of interpretation. The document never said what it "actually" says.

Don
10-07-2010, 01:09 AM
libertarianism arose during an era when white male property owners were essentially the only people recognized by any of the political systems extant. Damned if the democrats and republicans didn't arise from the same ground. AAMOF, democrats enacted most of the Jim Crow laws in the south; Woodrow Wilson (democrat) was a racist and misogynist of the first order, and FDR locked up thousands of US citizens based entirely on their race. All those events are way more recent than Thomas Jefferson inheriting some slaves.

OTOH, I challenge anyone to find anything in the writings of any mainstream libertarian philosopher that allows for discrimination against anyone for race, creed, or sex. libertarianism is the sole champion of the individual against collectivist creeds of all stripes; discrimination is contrary to its core philosophy, a philosophy sadly lacking on either wing of the Republicrat turkey.

So folks can make up any shit they want and claim it's true, but I'll be waiting for that cite.

SPMiller
10-07-2010, 01:15 AM
libertarianism arose during an era when white male property owners were essentially the only people recognized by any of the political systems extant. Damned if the democrats and republicans didn't arise from the same ground. AAMOF, democrats enacted most of the Jim Crow laws in the south; Woodrow Wilson (democrat) was a racist and misogynist of the first order, and FDR locked up thousands of US citizens based entirely on their race. All those events are way more recent than Thomas Jefferson inheriting some slaves.

OTOH, I challenge anyone to find anything in the writings of any mainstream libertarian philosopher that allows for discrimination against anyone for race, creed, or sex. libertarianism is the sole champion of the individual against collectivist creeds of all stripes; discrimination is contrary to its core philosophy, a philosophy sadly lacking on either wing of the Republicrat turkey.

So folks can make up any shit they want and claim it's true, but I'll be waiting for that cite.The realignment of the major political parties in the 1960s makes the application of those labels to politicians active before that period useless in a modern context. But you can make up any shit you want and claim it's true.

Don
10-07-2010, 01:21 AM
The realignment of the major political parties in the 1960s makes the application of those labels to politicians active before that period useless in a modern context. But you can make up any shit you want and claim it's true.
Yep, just as useless as claiming that libertarianism is the philosophy of rich, white male property owners because early libertarian philosophers were rich, white male property owners.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 01:22 AM
We can still call FDR a progressive, right?

blacbird
10-07-2010, 01:24 AM
The realignment of the major political parties in the 1960s makes the application of those labels to politicians active before that period useless in a modern context. But you can make up any shit you want and claim it's true.

Southern Democrats prior to the Civil Rights Era were nought but socially conservative Republicans in all but name. Up into the 1970s there still were people known as "liberal Republicans", who came at least within sniffing distance of Don's lofty "small-government socially-liberal" tag. Then the GOP willingly allowed itself to be hijacked by fundamentalist Christian Right moralists, in exchange for votes. It was a successful electoral strategy, helped get Ronald Reagan into the White House, and it hasn't diminished since.

Amadan
10-07-2010, 01:28 AM
libertarianism arose during an era when white male property owners were essentially the only people recognized by any of the political systems extant. Damned if the democrats and republicans didn't arise from the same ground. AAMOF, democrats enacted most of the Jim Crow laws in the south; Woodrow Wilson (democrat) was a racist and misogynist of the first order, and FDR locked up thousands of US citizens based entirely on their race. All those events are way more recent than Thomas Jefferson inheriting some slaves.

Wow, where shall I start? I don't particularly condemn Jefferson for being a man of his time, but he doesn't get a pass for it, either. So if you want to hold him up as a patron saint of libertarian ideals, his obvious blind spots are not beyond criticism. But no, I don't think Thomas Jefferson's choosing to continue owning slaves is particularly relevant today.

So, we all know about how white Southerners used to be Democrats and therefore the Democrats were the party of Jim Crow. Some of us have actually heard of something called the Southern Strategy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy) as well, but conservatives do love to continue pretending that this polarity flip never occurred. Since you're not a conservative, though, I don't know why you're bringing it up.

Today, most people, conservatives and liberals alike (though not all conservatives) think that the Japanese internment was a horrible crime and black mark in our history. What's your point, again?

OTOH, I challenge anyone to find anything in the writings of any mainstream libertarian philosopher that allows for discrimination against anyone for race, creed, or sex. libertarianism is the sole champion of the individual against collectivist creeds of all stripes; discrimination is contrary to its core philosophy, a philosophy sadly lacking on either wing of the Republicrat turkey.Is Ron Paul, who has pretty explicitly explained why he thinks property rights trumps civil rights (http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul188.html), a "mainstream libertarian philosopher"? How about Ayn Rand?

Yep, just as useless as claiming that libertarianism is the philosophy of rich, white male property owners because early libertarian philosophers were rich, white male property owners.

No, I call it that because it still appeals today primarily to white male property holders. (Yes, I know, I've met black women who were libertarians, too. I've also met black women who are Republicans. Doesn't change the truth of who the movement primarily caters to.)

rugcat
10-07-2010, 01:31 AM
This is pretty simple. I offered an opinion about the make- up of those who identify with the tea party. I asked for your opinion. Your response:How about actually looking into the data yourself, instead of having conclusions spoon-fed to you?In other words, you have no intention of taking a position or giving an opinion of your own. All you're interested is talking about the failings of this particular poll. I'm not.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 01:50 AM
This is pretty simple. I offered an opinion about the make- up of those who identify with the tea party. I asked for your opinion.It is pretty simple. And you're misrepresenting it.

My first post (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5394613&postcount=9):
Here's the actual "survey": http://www.publicreligion.org/research/?id=386

It's as biased as the story on it, imo.
Your response (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5395089&postcount=13) (and first post): Do you think the conclusions of the survey are inaccurate?
You offered no opinion, just wanted mine.
In other words, you have no intention of taking a position or giving an opinion of your own. All you're interested is talking about the failings of this particular poll. I'm not.An opinion on what, exactly? The conclusions of this survey? That's what you asked for, no? I think it's pretty obvious by now that I don't find them trustworthy.

Or do you mean my own opinion, with regards to the make-up of the tea party movement? Of course I disagree with your subsequent opinion, that the tea party "is basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor." Why? Because:

1) There is no "tea party." It's a movement that anyone and everyone can claim to support or oppose.

2) This very survey claims less than half of supposed tea party types are also religious right types. That means more than half are not. The math is simple.

3) But even that's an overstatement, imo. The people that actually represent the initial impetus of the movement--smaller government, less spending, etc--are still there. And they're the ones that will--or will not--turn the tide at the ballot box.

Of course, the Republican party and other conservative-oriented groups want a piece of that action. So, I'm not surprised to see conservative Christians--the nasty ones--try to worm their way in and claim leadership, when possible.

But it's incorrect to suppose these later folks represent the genesis of the movement and incorrect to suppose they make up anything close to a majority of it. Imo.

Michael Wolfe
10-07-2010, 01:58 AM
Is Ron Paul, who has pretty explicitly explained why he thinks property rights trumps civil rights (http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul188.html), a "mainstream libertarian philosopher"? How about Ayn Rand?

I wouldn't really consider either of them libertarian philosophers. The most important libertarian philosopher (at least if we're talking about modern libertarianism) would probably be Murray Rothbard, followed by Ludwig von Mises (at least imo). More contemporary ones (just to throw some names out there) would be Hans Hermann-Hoppe, Jan Narveson, and Walter Block, among others.

But I'm not entirely sure who Don has in mind when talking about "mainstream" libertarian philosophers. The term sounds a bit oxymoronic to me. :) *

* (OK, OK, I know what he meant, generally speaking.)

blacbird
10-07-2010, 02:00 AM
But it's incorrect to suppose these later folks represent the genesis of the movement and incorrect to suppose they make up anything close to a majority of it. Imo.

On this contention, now finally expressed (and dang wasn't that hard to drag out, though), I will disagree, especially in regard to the second portion:

http://pewforum.org/Religion-News/RNS-Values-voters-see-common-cause-if-not-agenda-with-tea-party.aspx

Vince524
10-07-2010, 02:01 AM
I think, and I could be wrong so please don't body slam me if you disagree, but I think one of the problems here is that when the Tea Party 1st came out, they were about smaller government and against the politicians who never listened to what the people want. They were your average Joe, people who complain about stuff we all do all the time. They had always felt this way but got fed up and someone started to get them oorganized. I think those people are still there.

But somewhere along the way, pretty early on, the left decided they were loons and racist, ect. That left it wide open for people on the right to come in and identify with them and try and co opt them.


There are radical elements there, but thats in every movement. I think the thing about the tea party is that since there is no one central group, its hard to pin them down. So you can have a group of them that are a nutty as all the lost fruitcakes of Christmas past, and of course they make the news, but others are just normal people.

Goes back to what I said in another thread. Labels throw everyone in a tail spin. I would be considered a liberal by some people's standards. A conservative by others. Whatever I am, I'm still me.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 02:07 AM
On this contention, now finally expressed (and dang wasn't that hard to drag out, though), I will disagree, especially in regard to the second portion:

http://pewforum.org/Religion-News/RNS-Values-voters-see-common-cause-if-not-agenda-with-tea-party.aspx

That story doesn't seem to undermine my position at all, from what I see. What about it makes you think that it does?

robeiae
10-07-2010, 02:12 AM
I think, and I could be wrong so please don't body slam me if you disagree, but I think one of the problems here is that when the Tea Party 1st came out, they were about smaller government and against the politicians who never listened to what the people want. They were your average Joe, people who complain about stuff we all do all the time. They had always felt this way but got fed up and someone started to get them oorganized. I think those people are still there.

But somewhere along the way, pretty early on, the left decided they were loons and racist, ect. That left it wide open for people on the right to come in and identify with them and try and co opt them.


There are radical elements there, but thats in every movement. I think the thing about the tea party is that since there is no one central group, its hard to pin them down. So you can have a group of them that are a nutty as all the lost fruitcakes of Christmas past, and of course they make the news, but others are just normal people.

Goes back to what I said in another thread. Labels throw everyone in a tail spin. I would be considered a liberal by some people's standards. A conservative by others. Whatever I am, I'm still me.Well, some labels work better than others.

But I essentially agree with you. The real problem with the tea party is that it's still too loose. And media types--and politicians--aren't good with such things. They very much want a neat little box to put all the tea party folks into, so they can be easily criticized or praised. But it's not working, imo.

One of the consequences--imo--of the attempts at demonization, via labels like "racist," is that some people are not gonna be public with their support. After all, who wants to be called a racist? But I think they'll show their support where it counts. And that's why the House is slipping away from the Dems.

The Senate? Bigger nut. I still don't see a switch, but it may be close.

Maxinquaye
10-07-2010, 02:12 AM
I wouldn't really consider either of them libertarian philosophers. The most important libertarian philosopher (at least if we're talking about modern libertarianism) would probably be Murray Rothbard, followed by Ludwig von Mises (at least imo). More contemporary ones (just to throw some names out there) would be Hans Hermann-Hoppe, Jan Narveson, and Walter Block, among others.

But I'm not entirely sure who Don has in mind when talking about "mainstream" libertarian philosophers. The term sounds a bit oxymoronic to me. :) *

* (OK, OK, I know what he meant, generally speaking.)

There's actually a lot of confusion here, since Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek (who studied under Mieses), are exponents of the Austrian school of liberalism, and would be called liberals over here. If you study he texts and the videos of, say, Hayek you'll find that he consistently calls himself a liberal (http://vimeo.com/4063439).

Much of the confusion arises in the adoption of the word 'libertarian' in the United States, which has leaked over here.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 02:14 AM
Classical liberal v. modern liberal.

rugcat
10-07-2010, 02:20 AM
Or do you mean my own opinion, with regards to the make-up of the tea party movement? Of course I disagree with your subsequent opinion, that the tea party "is basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor."
Now, was that so hard?1) There is no "tea party." It's a movement that anyone and everyone can claim to support or oppose.Of course there is. If you google tea party you'll get 123 million hits. Why they even have a Wikipedia page!

No movement is a monolith. Even the dems run from pro life gun rights supporters to Code Pink protesters.2) This very survey claims less than half of supposed tea party types are also religious right types. That means more than half are not. The math is simple.So is that logic. If a large percentage. almost half, comes from a group with a much smaller proportional representation in the general populace, that's significant.

If 47% of a movement were avowed racists, would you claim it to be not a racist group, because more than half weren't?
3) But even that's an overstatement, imo. The people that actually represent the initial impetus of the movement--smaller government, less spending, etc--are still there. And they're the ones that will--or will not--turn the tide at the ballot box.So far, the tea party backed candidates who have enjoyed the most success at the ballot box have been right wing Christian conservatives -- Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, etc. It's the ability of the Christian Right to get their people to the polls that will determine the success or failure of tea party candidates.
Of course, the Republican party and other conservative-oriented groups want a piece of that action. So, I'm not surprised to see conservative Christians--the nasty ones--try to worm their way in and claim leadership, when possible.

They've succeeded.But it's incorrect to suppose these later folks represent the genesis of the movement and incorrect to suppose they make up anything close to a majority of it. Imo.They certainly don't represent the genesis, but they took over very quickly, and now have the major influence. Imo.

Michael Wolfe
10-07-2010, 02:20 AM
There's actually a lot of confusion here, since Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek (who studied under Mieses), are exponents of the Austrian school of liberalism, and would be called liberals over here. If you study he texts and the videos of, say, Hayek you'll find that he consistently calls himself a liberal (http://vimeo.com/4063439).

Much of the confusion arises in the adoption of the word 'libertarian' in the United States, which has leaked over here.

You're right, and even in the U.S. I've heard von Mises called a "classical liberal".

But at the same time, wouldn't you consider both Hayek and von Mises "libertarian philosophers", in the sense that they contributed deeply to the Austrian School, which is associated with "libertarian" economic theory?

Don
10-07-2010, 02:23 AM
I wouldn't really consider either of them libertarian philosophers. The most important libertarian philosopher (at least if we're talking about modern libertarianism) would probably be Murray Rothbard, followed by Ludwig von Mises (at least imo). More contemporary ones (just to throw some names out there) would be Hans Hermann-Hoppe, Jan Narveson, and Walter Block, among others.

But I'm not entirely sure who Don has in mind when talking about "mainstream" libertarian philosophers. The term sounds a bit oxymoronic to me. :) *

* (OK, OK, I know what he meant, generally speaking.)
Snark aside (:D) that covers it pretty well. I'd also include Robert Nozick. Let's not forget the distaff side, though. Although not contemporary, Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel Paterson also had a serious impact on the philosophy.

Ayn Rand was an objectivist, and didn't much care for libertarians, or actually anybody who didn't walk in tight goosestep with her. The gulf between her writing and her actions was huge. Ron Paul is a politician, not a philosopher.

Don
10-07-2010, 02:30 AM
You're right, and even in the U.S. I've heard von Mises called a "classical liberal".

But at the same time, wouldn't you consider both Hayek and von Mises "libertarian philosophers", in the sense that they contributed deeply to the Austrian School, which is associated with "libertarian" economic theory?
I think classical liberal and libertarian are synonyms, depending on your side of the big pond. There's no doubt the Austrian School and libertarian thought are closely intertwined. It's hard to imagine a libertarian arguing for fiat money and the Federal Reserve. Mises.org (http://mises.org/), on the other hand, often features libertarian philosophy.

On their front page I note The Praxeology and Ethics of Traffic Lights, which I'm sure has little to do with austrian economics, but much to do with libertarian philosophy, for example.

Amadan
10-07-2010, 02:38 AM
Ayn Rand was an objectivist, and didn't much care for libertarians, or actually anybody who didn't walk in tight goosestep with her. The gulf between her writing and her actions was huge. Ron Paul is a politician, not a philosopher.

Okay, but you're taking issue with my claim that (modern, American) libertarians are primarily a movement of entitled, resentful white dudes who care more about their guns and their money than the rights of women and minorities. It's all well and good to cite Mises and Rothbard and shy away from Ron Paul and Ayn Rand, but more of those modern American libertarians are following Paul and Rand than have ever heard of Mises and Rothbard.

Christians can point out that modern fundamentalist Christians, particularly the ones running the GOP, have little in common with Jesus Christ, but rebutting criticism of the fundamentalists with "That's not what Christian believe because that's not what Jesus said" is a disingenuous argument that misses the point.

I know some very nice, thoughtful Christians who actually try to follow what they understand Jesus to have preached. They don't represent political Christianity. Show me a broad libertarian movement that's intellectual and thoughtful and doesn't prize property rights over civil rights and doesn't think that women's rights are an optional rider, and I'll reconsider my disdain.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 02:46 AM
Now, was that so hard?Maybe if you actually asked the question you wanted an answer to...
If you google tea party you'll get 123 million hits. Why they even have a Wikipedia page!

No movement is a monolith. Even the dems run from pro life gun rights supporters to Code Pink protesters.
So, the tea party has a membership roster? I'd like to see it.
So is that logic. If a large percentage. almost half, comes from a group with a much smaller proportional representation in the general populace, that's significant.

If 47% of a movement were avowed racists, would you claim it to be not a racist group, because more than half weren't?
You claimed it was "basically the recycled Christian right, with a few libertarians sprinkled in for flavor." Are you now arguing that the "Christian right" is only half Christian right? Perhaps you could take this opportunity to expound on your own opinion, in this regard.

The problem with your thinking is as I noted to Vince: you need a box. You'll force fit people in if you have to, but there has to be a box.

We had a previous poll in here that showed there were more women than men in the tea party movement. By your logic, it would make the movement a "women's group," right?

If 47% of a group are avowed racists and 53% are avowed anti-racists, what does that make the group? You're all over the place.So far, the tea party backed candidates who have enjoyed the most success at the ballot box have been right wing Christian conservatives -- Sharon Angle, Christine O'Donnell, Joe Miller, etc. It's the ability of the Christian Right to get their people to the polls that will determine the success or failure of tea party candidates.Disagree. The overlap is significant, no doubt. But just because a candidate attracts support from various groups, it doesn't mean those groups are all about the same thing. In that same light, just because someone supports various groups--that are fundamentally about different things--it doesn't make turn those groups into one all-encompassing group. Except in the minds of those not given to actual analysis.

They've succeeded.They certainly don't represent the genesis, but they took over very quickly, and now have the major influence. Imo.I'm not sure how you prove it one way or the other.

blacbird
10-07-2010, 02:49 AM
I wouldn't really consider either of them libertarian philosophers. The most important libertarian philosopher (at least if we're talking about modern libertarianism) would probably be Murray Rothbard, followed by Ludwig von Mises (at least imo). More contemporary ones (just to throw some names out there) would be Hans Hermann-Hoppe, Jan Narveson, and Walter Block, among others.

In the context of the OP, what percentage of people who identify with the "Tea Party Movement" would you say have ever read anything any of these philosophers has written? Or even heard of them?

(Which, in case anybody missed it, gets back to the real point of my starting the thread.)

Maxinquaye
10-07-2010, 02:51 AM
You're right, and even in the U.S. I've heard von Mises called a "classical liberal".

But at the same time, wouldn't you consider both Hayek and von Mises "libertarian philosophers", in the sense that they contributed deeply to the Austrian School, which is associated with "libertarian" economic theory?

Yes, sure, since the words are pretty much interchangeable. We got into this tangent really because Amadan thought libertarians are disdainful of liberals, which is strange because libertarians are liberals. The word 'libertarian' was just adopted for the US because the word 'liberal' is fairly tainted on your side of the pond in the political discourse, and mean things that liberalism doesn't mean.

Other writers (historial ones) are Jean-Baptiste Sey that was instrumental in creating Industrialsm, which is pretty much the cornerstone of classic liberalism. You also have Augustin Thierry. In England you had John Locke and Adam Smith, of course.

On my side of the spectrum you have people like Peter Vallentyne, Hillel Steiner and Michael Otsuka which are active now.

Michael Wolfe
10-07-2010, 02:56 AM
In the context of the OP, what percentage of people who identify with the "Tea Party Movement" would you say have ever read anything any of these philosophers has written? Or even heard of them?



97.3 percent. *


* OK, not really, but I thought it would be fun to not supply the obvious answer.

Don
10-07-2010, 03:01 AM
Okay, but you're taking issue with my claim that (modern, American) libertarians are primarily a movement of entitled, resentful white dudes who care more about their guns and their money than the rights of women and minorities. It's all well and good to cite Mises and Rothbard and shy away from Ron Paul and Ayn Rand, but more of those modern American libertarians are following Paul and Rand than have ever heard of Mises and Rothbard.

Christians can point out that modern fundamentalist Christians, particularly the ones running the GOP, have little in common with Jesus Christ, but rebutting criticism of the fundamentalists with "That's not what Christian believe because that's not what Jesus said" is a disingenuous argument that misses the point.

I know some very nice, thoughtful Christians who actually try to follow what they understand Jesus to have preached. They don't represent political Christianity. Show me a broad libertarian movement that's intellectual and thoughtful and doesn't prize property rights over civil rights and doesn't think that women's rights are an optional rider, and I'll reconsider my disdain.
No, I'm taking issue with your claim that people who call themselves libertarians are libertarians and are representative of the results of adopting libertarian philosophy. You're willing to recognize the dictotomy between Christian philosophy and actions, yet condemn libertarianism because of the actions of those who claim the title.

I'm no more happy with the actions of these self-professed libertarians than you are. Your assumption that I support their actions because I support libertarian philosophy is no different than treating your nice, thoughtful Christian friends as pariahs because of the actions of Westboro Baptist Church.

Gregg
10-07-2010, 03:16 AM
Here's my take on the Tea Party-
The "originals" are still there, pushing for smaller government, adherence to the Constitution, concerned about the economy. They deliberately put social issues on the back burner.
The Religious Right has lost lots of influence and power over the last dozen years or so and many of their flock see the Tea Party as a way to get back in the game. I imagine that some of these folks dominate some individual Tea Party groups.
since there is no central Tea Party leadership, its hard to know who really sets the tone or agenda for them - perhaps nobody.
If the O'Donnell's and Angle's win, the Religious Right faction of the Tea Party will have a much more visible voice.
There was a reason why the Religious Right went flat. I suspect that might happen again and that the Tea party might eventually split into two groups.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
10-07-2010, 03:19 AM
In the context of the OP, what percentage of people who identify with the "Tea Party Movement" would you say have ever read anything any of these philosophers has written? Or even heard of them?

Well, a quick perusal of Christine O'Donnell's bookshelf finds Atlas Shrugged sandwiched right there between Zen and the Art of Broomstick Maintenance and The Good Wife's Guide to Self-Stimulation.

Williebee
10-07-2010, 03:23 AM
Mod Note:
And keeping women and colored people in their place.

Amadan - Do you have something to support this blanket assertion? If not, you might want to pack that paintbrush away.

I kinda wondered what the mods thought about lumping me and Max, among others, in with the mysoginists, pro-slavers, and religious zealots, but I guess they thought it was OK.

Don- Nope, I'm not real happy about it. Wish I'd been here sooner. I believe Greta was just being humorous and tacking on to Amadan's post, but I'm a bit slow today.

Folks - There's some good discussion here, to go along with the crap. Please tread consciously. Thanks -- Williebee

SPMiller
10-07-2010, 03:24 AM
In the context of the OP, what percentage of people who identify with the "Tea Party Movement" would you say have ever read anything any of these philosophers has written? Or even heard of them?

(Which, in case anybody missed it, gets back to the real point of my starting the thread.)Well, I hate to defend libs of any stripe, but how many conservatives have read documents written by conservative thinkers? What about liberals? I don't think reading political philosophy is a pastime for many people.

So, if your point was to argue that the views of philosophers have little to do with the views of those who align with the associated label, then okay. But otherwise, if you had intended to suggest they're not educated or informed in general, I wouldn't necessarily agree.

blacbird
10-07-2010, 03:27 AM
No, I'm taking issue with your claim that people who call themselves libertarians are libertarians

"We are what we pretend to be. So we have to be careful about what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut.

You can argue your version of semantics of what is and what is not a libertarian, but for all practical purposes, if you call yourself a libertarian, everyone else is free to judge that label by what you do and what you espouse, especially if you are aspiring to political office. It's not my job to split hairs about that label on the basis of what I think it should mean.

Don
10-07-2010, 03:35 AM
Yep, Westboro Baptist Church members are free to call themselves Christians, too. Painting all Christians with the same broad brush based on the actions of those people is a form of bigotry, IMO, and I fail to see a logical disconnect between that case and the one under discussion.

Maxinquaye
10-07-2010, 03:42 AM
I'm enjoying reading that radical tea partier Michael Bakunin.


The State has always been the patrimony of some privileged class or other; a priestly class, an aristocratic class, a bourgeois class, and finally a bureaucratic class…. But in the People's State of Marx, there will be, we are told, no privileged class at all … but there will be a government, which will not content itself with governing and administering the masses politically, as all governments do today, but which will also administer them economically, concentrating in its own hands the production and the just division of wealth, the cultivation of land, the establishment and development of factories, the organization and direction of commerce, finally the application of capital to production by the only banker, the State. All that will demand an immense knowledge and many "heads overflowing with brains" in this government. It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant, and contemptuous of all regimes. There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and pretended scientists and scholars.

robeiae
10-07-2010, 03:46 AM
I'm enjoying reading that radical tea partier Michael Bakunin.
He's a dirty, stinkin' commie (Glenn Beck taught me that).

Don
10-07-2010, 04:01 AM
I prefer Rothbard (http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard133.html). :)

I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of an individual. Anarchists oppose the state because it has its very being in such aggression, namely, the expropriation of private property through taxation, the coercive exclusion of other providers of defense service from its territory, and all of the other depredations and coercions that are built upon these twin foci of invasions of individual rights.

Nor is our definition of the state arbitrary, for these two characteristics have been possessed by what is generally acknowledged to be states throughout recorded history. The state, by its use of physical coercion, has arrogated to itself a compulsory monopoly of defense services over its territorial jurisdiction. But it is certainly conceptually possible for such services to be supplied by private, non-state institutions, and indeed such services have historically been supplied by other organizations than the state.

To be opposed to the state is then not necessarily to be opposed to services that have often been linked with it; to be opposed to the state does not necessarily imply that we must be opposed to police protection, courts, arbitration, the minting of money, postal service, or roads and highways.

Amadan
10-07-2010, 05:15 AM
Yep, Westboro Baptist Church members are free to call themselves Christians, too. Painting all Christians with the same broad brush based on the actions of those people is a form of bigotry, IMO, and I fail to see a logical disconnect between that case and the one under discussion.

That would be fair if the Westboro Baptist Church was being used as representative of Christians in general, despite the fact that everyone knows that they are an extremist and very small fringe group that horrifies most other Christian groups, even the most conservative, and is only famous because they're so vile and so eager for media coverage.

Characterizing libertarians as mostly white guys whose top priorities are paying less tax and keeping their guns, and who range from indifferent to actively hostile to issues of civil rights, poverty, and equality is not unfair when talking about the majority of self-identified libertarians and libertarian voters in this country. Are there exceptions? Sure. But the sort of libertarians I have described do not represent some small extremist fringe who are making "real" libertarians look bad.

Torrance
10-07-2010, 06:53 AM
On the far right we have theocrats willing to surrender government to God. On the far left we have neo-socialists that think they are gods. I don't think either provides an attractive future where it concerns governance.

SPMiller
10-07-2010, 06:55 AM
It will be the reign of scientific intelligence, the most aristocratic, despotic, arrogant, and contemptuous of all regimes. There will be a new class, a new hierarchy of real and pretended scientists and scholars.That actually sounds pretty damn great. Was that supposed to turn me off? If so, is that just because the "common man" is butthurt that he's neither a scientist nor a scholar? What about the common woman?

QQQQQQQ I'M NOT A SCIENTIST WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHhh MOMMY

robeiae
10-07-2010, 07:03 AM
I never figured you for a hard-core Platonian.