They have always been with us

E.J. Dionne is an observant and thoughtful guy. In this morning’s column he looks at the Tea Partiers and reminds us all of some history:

“Something else is going on in the Tea Party movement, and it has deep roots in our history. Anti-statism, a profound mistrust of power in Washington, dates all the way to the Anti-Federalists who opposed the Constitution because they saw it concentrating too much authority in the central government. At any given time, perhaps 20 to 25 percent of Americans can be counted on to denounce anything Washington does as a threat to “our traditional liberties.”
. . .
Understanding the principled anti-government radicalism that animates this movement explains why its partisans see the conservative Bush as a sellout and the cautiously liberal Obama as a socialist. For now, their fears of Obama are enough to tether the Tea Partiers to the GOP. In the long run, establishment Republicans are destined to disappoint them.”

This bit of history doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue to seek ways to bring that 20% into reality. We should. And as long as they are anti-Washington, they are dissatisfied and angry and vulnerable to demagogues-to-come. Which, unlike dissent, is NOT good for a nation.

42 responses to “They have always been with us

  1. For now, their fears of Obama are enough to tether the Tea Partiers to the GOP. In the long run, establishment Republicans are destined to disappoint them.”

    I suspect this is true. Only now does it feel to the Liberal that the Tea Party is Conservative. IN time, when the Repubs win back control –at some point who knows when–the same core group of Tea Party folk may very well strike back against the now Republican Washington.

    How ironic that the then Tea Party would have the support of the Democrats!

    And as long as they are anti-Washington, they are dissatisfied and angry and vulnerable to demagogues-to-come. Which, unlike dissent, is NOT good for a nation.

    You can be anti-Washington, dissatisfied, angry and full of dissent and still think and act like a rational adult, though, right?

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    • I have thought almost from the beginning – when it started to be clear the the Tea Partiers were far from being on the same page – that the movement might grow to enclude some Democrats, maybe even some liberals.

      It seems to me that the anger we see now can only coalesce around a ‘Washington is broken’ theme. And with that message, we could see it become a new voice.

      I will add, though, that if Palin continues to be the perceived ‘leader’, the base can’t expand.

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  2. Moe this was the first time I read your post and it got my blood boiling. I think what people fail to see is that this movement has been boiling for a long time. It has nothing to do with Obama. This is the same beast that reared it’s head when George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security. Only now it has a name. If you honestly can’t say that the “system” is broken then I feel bad for you and your readers. This is not about parties. We know it’s just a game played by the elites to get us to do all the work and be happy with the scraps from the table. This system is broken in every way imaginable way. We are bankrupt. Our children in the Democrat controlled school systems fail at an alarming rate. We can’t secure our borders. We don’t export anything worthwhile to the rest of the world except for weapons. It’s horrible. We are slaves to a Communist China. The Republicans lost ALL morale ground with the way they spent money. The Democrats now have the power and it’s their turn to spend. The system is so broken. There is no free lunch in the world. Everybody want this and that but nobody wants higher taxes. I respect the Tea Party people. Yeah the media picks out the loons and shows them on TV or CNN reporters fight with protesters. Why? They are scared of people CARING. That is it! They don’t want people to CARE because once they do they know the game is over. The powers that be stole 700 Billion dollars out of our treasury and no one said anything. Not the media. No one! But when it comes to people fed up by government they get treated like the criminals. America is Alice in Wonderland. And it has to stop. I could go on but I won’t. I don’t want to write a post on your site. And the Teapartiers are rational and angry and anti-Washington but you know what Moe, they have every right to be. That is why this country is the best. You can say how much you hate the government til your blue in the lungs. Let’s never lose that. Thanks for the space to vent and I respect the loudspeaker you provided. Thanks Moe.

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    • [I think what people fail to see is that this movement has been boiling for a long time. It has nothing to do with Obama.]

      JP, if you reread Dionne’s words, that is exactly what he was saying. There is a deep strain in the American character that will always oppose the central authority of DC (mostly). In other words, there’s nothing new about the Tea Parties.

      Over time, that strain expresses itself in different causes (the late 60’s anti war movement was about much more than the war – it was full of anti-gov’t idealists). And many of them did succumb to demagogues – think the Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. A dozen dangerous groups.

      And it could happen again. I’m not saying that the Tea Partiers we see out there today are dangerous – they aren’t at all. They are doing a very American thing. What I said is they are vulnerable to dangerous voices. And I say that because I’ve seen it before.

      And I think you know that I agree with you about the fact that government is broken. What you may not agree with me on is that Bush/Cheney pushed that process along disgracefully. They had utter disdain for government and showed it by not even bothering to do an honest job at it.

      Other than two wars and a collapsing economy, I often wonder what Bush added to our national progress. And I don’t say that because I’m partisan – I say that because he was a terrible president. And for all I know, you feel the same way.

      I’d like to have seen some of these protests when we went to war on borrowed money and cut taxes at the same time – a guarantee of debt for our grandchildren to deal with.

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  3. I’d like to see the Tea Partiers solidify themselves a little more. Ditch the costumes – they make you look like clowns. Ditch the conspiracy theorists – they make you look like loons. Leave everyone to their own opinions about things, but have “official” spokespeople who officially speak for the “Party”. Take a strong Libertarian stance that is educated and lucid.
    Unfortunately, we’ve proven that the free market cannot solve our problems because Government is not in the way to protect us where we need it, and not out of the way where we don’t (just the opposite). We’ve proven, in turn, that Government can’t solve our problems either. A strong argument from the SANE far right would hopefully give Americans a good reference point and a healthy perspective on how much Government (and wasteful spending) we need to tolerate.

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    • Do you really think there’s any possibility of that happening? I agree that what you describe would vastly improve actual dialogue on what we face and what we need and how to get there. And we would all learn from it.

      When we hear how the left or the media treat Palin, I think of Ron Paul. He is a real Libertarian and has real ideas. He is usually treated as the adult he is, and not as someone whose ego overwhelms whatever political philosophy they adhere to. Ahem.

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  4. Hey Moe, I’ve been reading your comments and others, wanted to make a couple of points. Sarah Palin is NOT in no way shape or form a LEADER of the Tea Party or anything in that respect! The TEA Party used her for the media attention and she used the TEA PARTY for the $100,000 speaking fee. I’m sure if you came up with 100 grand she would talk at your birthday party! The media knows how much people hate her so they are trying to tie them together. The next day I put up 2 questions on a Tea Party site asking 1) What is the appeal of Sarah Palin? I just didn’t see it.- Suffice to say 85% percent did not see her as Presidential material. And the next day someone started a thread of “Get Sarah Palin out of the Tea Party”. It had over 300 comments. Tea Partiers do not like her! Or want her!
    My 2nd question was would you vote for a fiscal conservative DEMOCRAT as opposed to a Republican who spends, is tied in with Lobbyists etc… Every single response was that they would! They are not Republican lovers. It’s just the lesser of 2 evils. They want good government. Does not matter from who.
    I know how you and everyone LOVES to say Bush/Cheney and I will not defend Bush’s decisions. I will leave history to judge that. BUT where is the Senators or Capitol Hill’s role in these decisions. People who call Bush dumb and stuff like that make me laugh because he got EVERYTHING he wanted from Capitol Hill. Except privatizing Social Security. Did Bush and Republicans hide behind the soldiers for funding? Yes they did. I don’t understand how they could cut taxes the way they did but we are paying for that.
    Finally I just “discovered” Ron Paul last week. I saw him in the 08′ debates but thought he was so radical. I think he is perfect Tea Party material and possibly good/great for America. The sad part is I read in the Hufington Post that the Tea Part in Texas is gunning for him. Why? I don’t know.

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    • [They want good government. Does not matter from who.]

      Amen brother. A lot of anti tax sentiment is because there is not much perceived value from what people are paying. I don’t think it’s as much WHAT we pay as WHAT we are getting from that.

      For me, to live in a country where children aren’t hungry and veterans aren’t homeless would be perceived value. So of course would health care.

      [I don’t understand how they could cut taxes the way they did but we are paying for that.]

      Plus of course, Bush never vetoed a single spending bill in eight years. I think he stands alone among modern American presidents in that regard. He really didn’t care.

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  5. The tea party is a joke. Many claim to be “Libertarian”, who are supposed to believe in absolute personal liberty, yet, as far as Sarah Palin goes, she does not even believe that a woman should have the right to choose, even though it is her own body! How a woman can be so anti-female is beyond me. That is a hypocrisy that is blatantly obvious. Also, the reason why things are bad now in Washington, is that people are more partisan now, then ever before. And until we rally behind our president, trusting his judgement, things will worsen. I expect things will get even worse after the mid-terms, and the president may be rendered totally obsolete by a divided congress. My hope is that perhaps, tea-party/libertarian candidates will steal votes from the GOP in the mid-terms, as us committed liberals already vote democrat. In any case, smaller government is definitely not the answer. If anything, we need MORE Federal assistance in our State programs. People are starving, and there are no signs things are improving.

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    • ” as us committed liberals ” how about being a committed American?

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    • Many claim to be “Libertarian”, who are supposed to believe in absolute personal liberty, yet, as far as Sarah Palin goes, she does not even believe that a woman should have the right to choose, even though it is her own body!

      Libertarians DO believe in personal Liberty; in fact, it’s where we get our name. We just extend that Liberty to all people. Including the child living inside your body. Don’t throw your anti-liberty rhetoric on us; you own that all yourself.

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      • This liberal believes government has no standing in a woman’s decision about abortion. It is not a government decision. It is a personal, moral or religious decision.

        I would think that would be a Libertarian position as well, since the idea of ‘unborn’ seems to be a religious construct. I certainly don’t see a fetus as having the rights of a person.

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  6. Hey pino: I am a 28 year old, white MALE, for your information. A baby would not be in my body. And that is precisely why I am pro-choice. It is their body, not mine. It is not ours to control. And in all fairness, I am a christian. I hate the way abortion is encouraged, so profit can be made on baby-parts. And I believe abortion is, for the most part, wrong. However, the personal liberty one has over one’s own body transcends moral opinion. We may not like it, but a woman has the right to govern her own body. And anyway, we can always get a vasectomy. 😉

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    • the personal liberty one has over one’s own body transcends moral opinion

      I agree. Individual Liberty allows you to decide what to do to your body.

      Individual Liberty also prohibits you from taking away that same Liberty from the child. This does not mean there aren’t cases where choice shouldn’t be extended; victim of crime and health of mother/baby. But abortions of convenience certainly with hold the individual Liberty from that child.

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      • [abortions of convenience ]

        Always left out of that argument are women who choose because they are not in a postition to feed or support a child. Or – as is usually the case – yet another child.

        It’s not a matter or rape or convenience. It’s not black and white.

        And if rights are extended to a fetus, why is a fetus resulting from rape without those rights?

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        • women who choose because they are not in a postition to feed or support a child. Or – as is usually the case – yet another child.

          The don’t have sex. Or, have protected sex. Or adoption.

          And if rights are extended to a fetus

          In certain cases, rights have been extended to those children. Criminals who take the life of a pregnant woman can face double homicide charges.

          why is a fetus resulting from rape without those rights?

          That is a very VERY good point. I have been wrestling with that specific case for quite some time now.

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          • [The don’t have sex. Or, have protected sex. Or adoption.]

            We always seem to leave the man out of this equation. Is he supposed not to have sex either.

            And what if she’s Catholic? Her priest tells her contraception is a sin. As do many Christian ministers.

            It’s a confusing place for many women – especially the young and the uneducated.

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            • Pino: [The don’t have sex. Or, have protected sex. Or adoption.]

              Moe: We always seem to leave the man out of this equation. Is he supposed not to have sex either.

              The feminist terminology that describes the situation is ‘slut-shaming’. How dare women have a say in consensual sexual behaviour. ? They need to be punished for their wrongheadedness.

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            • We always seem to leave the man out of this equation.

              You’re right. I think that the man should have a voice in the “choice” just like the woman.

              Is he supposed not to have sex either.

              Correct. If he can not afford to have a child, he should not have sex either.

              And what if she’s Catholic?

              I see. So, because she is Catholic, she can’t use a rubber. But she can kill a child. Nice.

              How dare women have a say in consensual sexual behaviour. ?

              Whoa Nellie. No one is saying that she HAS to have sex. No one is saying she CAN’T have sex. No one is saying she has to or can’t get pregnant. Or who she has to get preggo with.

              WHAT in the hell are you talking about, consensual?

              We’re just saying that you can’t kill a child.

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          • It’s interesting that until the 20th century, under US law, common law, even the laws of Puritan America, a fetus had no standing until the ‘quickening’ – usually that meant the third trimester.

            And just to be confrontational here – while our recent accomplishments with pre-viable premature births are indeed amazing,f I never know who pays for these things. It’s usually a few million dollars to get from pre-viable to able to survive without the hospital.

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  7. Good point, Moe. Things are never just black and white, that is why the law should stay the way it is, as to allow the mother the liberty to call what’s what. Every situation is different. To try and sum every possible scenario up within the confines of a single law, would be madness. And Pino: If I am not mistaken, you are also a christian. You know according to the Bible, a baby is not “a living being” in the same capacity that we are, until it breathes. Read Genesis. Adam’s body was already formed, but it was not until he received the “breath” of life, that he became a living being. And through out the Bible, God clearly equates life with breath. And in the Old Testament, the penalty for accidentally destroying a woman’s fetus was much less severe than it was for killing the mother… So you see, it is really not the same. And even if it is, it is none of our business. We cannot get pregnant, anyway.

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  8. Pino: [abortions of convenience ]

    Moe: Always left out of that argument are women who choose because they are not in a postition to feed or support a child. Or – as is usually the case – yet another child.

    But Moe, there would be less government and therefore more freedom to make healthy choices for you and your new child. Nasty redistributive government policies, welfare/childcare/socialized medicine et cetera would not exist. The child has the freedom to die quietly in abject poverty.

    It’s not a matter or rape or convenience. It’s not black and white.

    And if rights are extended to a fetus, why is a fetus resulting from rape without those rights?

    Well, we would be getting the right to be birth vessels of that state, regardless of our opinion or our wishes as to the goings on in our body.

    Of course, to be consistent with libertairian principles you could spend billions on creating fertilization hospitals in which women could, at their discretion have the fetus removed and then every potential liberty loving fetus could be artificially gestated to maturity. That would be a lot of capital outlay just to keep fetal freedoms alive and well at no detriment to the reproductive rights of women.

    The scenario, like libertarianism, is hypothetical and far fetched.

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  9. The Arbourist, even though he is a hateful, cynical, pompous ass, is right. Libertarian ideology certainly is hypothetical and far-fetched (although he would say the same about religion). The thing that really gets me about libertarians, is how downright selfish they are. I mean, I hate to start talking basics, but Liberty without Equality is oppression most foul. They couldn’t care less about minorities or women or the handicapped. Leave them to the mercy of greedy rich people. Hey, Libertarians, News Flash. WE ALREADY TRIED THAT! For like, the first 5900 years of civilization. People starved to death. Without health-care, disease spread. People begged in streets, panic ruled. Libertarians propose that we be put at the mercy of the rich white man, again. Libertarianism=regress Communism/Socialism=progress

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    • but Liberty without Equality is oppression most foul.

      You can not have true Liberty unless it is distributed equally.

      For example, if your Liberty is removed in favor of mine [an example of unequal] that is not true Liberty.

      They couldn’t care less about minorities or women or the handicapped.

      Why would women or minorities or the handicapped need special care more than anyone else? UNLESS, some non Liberty loving person took away some portion of their Rights..

      Libertarians would argue that before the Rights of women and minorities were taken away, they were equal.

      Communism/Socialism=progress

      The poorest most oppressed peoples on earth are found in socialist/communist states.

      If man, all man, were “better” people, then Socialism might work. But we’re not. Man is inherently a “selfish” creature. Like ALL forms of life. Each animal will seek to act in a manner that affords him maximum advantage. Birds fly to where they can eat. Wolves fight for the right to be Alpha. Fish act in such a manner that will act in manners that gives them maximum chance at life.

      If you accept that we are what we are, then you need to adjust how you would govern such a society.

      Remember, true freedom includes the freedom to fail.

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      • Typical Texan said: but Liberty without Equality is oppression most foul.

        Pino said:You can not have true Liberty unless it is distributed equally.

        That presents a problem, as what seems to be the economic system of choice for many libertarians is capitalism. Capitalism fundamentally promotes a disequilibrium of wealth, and therefore liberty.

        I would take libertarianism more seriously if it would actually address how it would deal with the inequalities that rise from a free market system. It seems that a lot of libertarian thought glosses over this important issue, and in some instances blames the underclass for their situation. I perceive these to be a series of faulty assumptions.

        1. The poor are poor because they made the wrong choices.

        (Poor people are poor for a myriad of reasons, being poor also limits the choices they can make which is attack on their personal liberty as poverty tends to limit ones choices.)

        2. Because they could not/did not compete they deserve to be poor.

        (The social darwinian aspects of libertarianism theory are potentially quite horrific. But, before we go there, as advanced animals we have learned to cooperate and collaborate together as a species. It is our collaborative nature, not our competitive one that has allowed the progress we see in our civilizations of today.

        Returning to the social darwinist angle, it seems that doctrinally speaking, it is the poors’ fault they are in the state they are in (personal responsibility does play a role, but an not an exclusive role in poverty). In a society with little state intervention the prospects of the poor are not particularly sunny. Vilifying the poor as lazy and worthy of contempt does not solve the problem of the unequal distribution of resources in society.)

        3. Therefore, as long as they have the opportunity to better themselves it is therefore their fault they are poor.

        The assumptions this conclusion is based on are faulty, therefore one can deduce that there are some problems with some of the ideas libertarians espouse.

        Communism/Socialism=progress

        The poorest most oppressed peoples on earth are found in socialist/communist states.

        Some of the most well of people are found in socialist states as well. Advanced industrial states in Europe, and to a lesser extent, Canada have founded very successful society based on the principles of socialism.

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        • how it would deal with the inequalities that rise from a free market system.

          We hope to create an equal opportunity situation. Not an equal results situation.

          being poor also limits the choices they can make which is attack on their personal liberty as poverty tends to limit ones choices

          Your silly President proves that the poor can become the most powerful of all people in the whole of the world.

          You really insult yourself when you make such nonsensical arguments.

          Because they could not/did not compete they deserve to be poor.

          Is being poor mean that your life sucks? If someone chooses a simple life, than so be it. Don’t then get mad at me because I have a 50″ plasma.

          it is the poors’ fault they are in the state they are in

          No, the fault is reserved for the Statist.

          The assumptions this conclusion

          Were made up by you……

          Advanced industrial states in Europe, and to a lesser extent, Canada have founded very successful society based on the principles of socialism.

          None of them. NONE. Have the quality of life found in the United States.

          Those listed as “poor” in America live in homes that offer more square feet than the average EU nation.

          Socialism is working right now in the current global context. Norway, Sweden, Finland are all prime examples of successful socialist states.

          If those countries were made a State of the United States, they would be some of the poorest in our nation.

          Being right can be soooo… tiresome somedays.

          I am still trying to figure out you might think you know?

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      • Pino said: If man, all man, were “better” people, then Socialism might work.

        Socialism is working right now in the current global context. Norway, Sweden, Finland are all prime examples of successful socialist states.

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      • Pino – it’s true we’re animals. Very social animals. And unlike a great deal of the rest of the planet’s fauna, we cannot survive without cooperation.

        It’s also true that we’re often selfish when we act individually for ourselves. But that doesn’t work when we act as a group. Cooperation rules. And we overcome – or at least try constantly – to overcome our lesser natures.

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    • Typical Texan said: The Arbourist, even though he is a hateful, cynical, pompous ass, is right.

      Being right can be soooo… tiresome somedays. 🙂

      Condescending remarks aside, being rigorous in arguing can come across as a personal attack, but in fact, it is not. It just means that your argument is weak and in need of revision (see religion).

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  10. Can someone explain how communism/socialism is progress? It appears to me that in that type of system that there is no true “equality”. The top tier of people eat well and have the luxury goods and do none of the physical labor. Millions starved under Stalin yet he looked well fed. Millions starved under Mao yet he had those cute chubby cheeks. Breznev and Kruschev looked pleasantly plump. Even Kim Jong Il appeared to never miss a meal before his illness. How can proponents of socialism/communism see these images and not see that ALL politics and economic systems have a “pecking order”. The pantry’s of the richest capitalists most likely appear to be the same as the top tier of communists. How can you justify that?

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  11. Communism is progressive in that it calls for team work and unity, rather than the constant struggles and clashes brought on by Capitalism. Communism as it has been demonstrated is not real Communism. Most have been dictatorships where a ruling class dominates the lower class. It is important not to rush Communism, as a Socialist transition phase should take a minimum of 50-75 years. Evolution has taught us that human beings adapt. As a previous poster alluded to, people have a selfish nature. That has no doubt been accentuated by Capitalism. Read The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx for a better idea of what pure Communist ideology is. Do not reference past dictatorships.

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  12. Oh, and The Arbourist, I take it back about you being cynical. You seemed to be somewhat misanthropic based on your earlier posts. And I was wrong about you being hateful. My Bad. But you are rather pompous…and an ass. ;~P

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  13. Communism in theory sounds great. in actuality, it never works. you said it yourself – “Communism as it has been demonstrated is not real Communism.”

    communism as it has been demonstrated proves that communism in practice is not all its cracked up to be.

    For you to say “Do not reference past dictatorships” is laughable. That is Communism in practice.

    To make this easy I love to play X-Box. If you and your communist friends can send me $50 dollars a week each so I can continue playing X-Box. I’d appreciate that becasue I had some hardships in my life and never went to college. I will pay back to society by being an artist. I write poetry. So I agree with this communism stuff once I get a check in the mail. Thanks Typical Texan. Now don’t back out! Practice what you preach. Let me know if your in. I will give you my address.

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    • Communism in theory sounds great. in actuality, it never works.

      The type of authoritarian dictatorships evidenced by Stalin/Mao are not good examples of what communism is. Like authoritarian regimes in general they fall apart after the strong man/ruling junta is deposed.

      I suggest though that you do not conflate Communism and Socialism. Socialism is working in ‘real world’ situations today and is not a failure.

      […] Thanks Typical Texan. Now don’t back out!

      Constructing a straw man argument to beat down in order to ‘augment’ your position only takes away from what you are trying to say.

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    • This Communism vs Capitalism is a false argument. We are not true capitalists and I’ve never seen pure communism.

      Most of the developed world is a mix of socialism and capitalism – as are we – the differences are in how much of either. We’re more capitalist than most and as a result we fail in many areas.

      The 20th century’s communist regimes were really just despotism dressed up as another ism. And their ruling classes lived large. As ruling classes always do.

      Here, where something like 10% of the population owns more of the wealth than the other 90% of us, I don’t even know what to call that. It’s a form of capitalism not seen in this country since the 1890’s, the old Gilded Age. It’s certainly neither a just nor a sustainable situation. And we better fix it.

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  14. Send me 10 dollars to cover the postage, and I will send you 50! Trust me! Anyway, I love X-Box! Dude, I am a gamer, that is my hobby. Gears of War rocks. Do play live?

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  15. The problem is, Moe, that the cancerous tentacles of capitalism is too far engraved in our “societal psyche” to be corrected merely by reform of a diplomatic nature. The Capitalists are a dog with a bone, and they surely will not let it go without a fight. They already show their teeth. And unless Obama pulls a Robert Mugabe and overturns the injustices that have been done in the name of “freedom”, then we must do it ourselves. If we don’t, make no mistake, our country will continue to spiral into oblivion. “But the nature of Man”, you retort. “People are selfish…” Has it ever occured to you that perhaps our selfishness is caused in part by our current system? Evolution has taught us that people adapt. One of the reason that Socialism failed to usher in pure Communism in the past, is that people had little time to adapt. People can adapt. Complacent attitudes that concede to the current nature of Man, rather than strive to create a better future for our children, have no place in the progressive movement.

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    • Texan – I simply don’t believe anythng approaching communism is possible for a nation. Maybe for a small communal group that lives outside of the larger society. But for a nation? Can’t work and will inevitably devolve into what happened in Stalinist Russia.

      As for capitalism, it’s actually my preferred economic system. But NOT unregulated. It’s essential to regulate capitalism or it will find ways to damage the larger society.

      I think most of Europe has got it figured out – but they’ve been around longer than us and fought foreign wars on their own soil, so they’;ve had time to figure out what works best. Theyre not immune to the same problems we have, but they seem to have more functional governements. (and Italy doens’t count!!)

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  16. Arb:how it would deal with the inequalities that rise from a free market system.

    Pino:We hope to create an equal opportunity situation. Not an equal results situation.

    Ah, so we can get the disadvantaged and the unable straight to the cardboard boxes and dumpsters. Under the current system, inequality creates differing opportunities. No one class has the same opportunities of the other.

    Saying you are going for a equal opportunity situation, not equal outcomes situation is the cold grey specter of social darwinism. This sort of barbarism is becoming less frequent as we progress with strong state structure. You fail to flesh out your idea of how you would provide for equal opportunity for all within the context of a realistic economic system. The utopian nature of libertarian reasoning shines through once again.

    Arb:being poor also limits the choices they can make which is attack on their personal liberty as poverty tends to limit ones choices

    Pino:Your silly President proves that the poor can become the most powerful of all people in the whole of the world.

    Firstly, he is not my president. Being Canadian preempts that. Secondly quickly referring to Obama’s wiki entry, he was born into privilege and exercised it throughout his life.

    It may be difficult for you to go through such assiduous fact checking, but it may help you make less risible claims in the future.

    You really insult yourself when you make such nonsensical arguments.

    Let’s take a look at the ‘nonsensical argument’ in question.

    1. Economic status is a major contributor to the choices one has available in life.
    2. The poor having limited economic means have access to less choice.

    Therefore, the being poor limits choice and concomitantly personal liberty.

    So, how rational people argue is they choose one premise of the argument and say what is wrong with that one premise, because if you can bring forth a valid objection it would infer that the conclusion is wrong in some substantive way.

    Waving you hands about and simply stating that the argument is nonsensical without actually taking the time to refute can indicate a lack of critical thinking and a proto-understanding of how debate actually works.

    Arb:Because they could not/did not compete they deserve to be poor.

    Pino:Is being poor mean that your life sucks? If someone chooses a simple life, than so be it. Don’t then get mad at me because I have a 50″ plasma.

    Your argument reeks of privilege and the wrong assumption that everyone has equal opportunity to get that 50″ plasma.

    This actually goes back to your first unsupported claim of establishing equal opportunity, but not equal results. Equal opportunity is a function of economic status, without an economic system (which remains unnamed because it is a central piece of the libertarian Utopian ideal) that promotes a more equal distribution of wealth there cannot be such a thing as ‘equal opportunity’.

    The assumptions this conclusion

    Were made up by you……

    Yes, they were assumptions in a syllogism. It is a basic method for constructing a coherent argument. You should try it sometime.

    Arb:Advanced industrial states in Europe, and to a lesser extent, Canada have founded very successful society based on the principles of socialism.

    Pino:None of them. NONE. Have the quality of life found in the United States.

    Correct, in a sense, as one way to measure quality of life is the UN human development index, in which the US is ranked 8th. So no other country shares 8th place, which the the US as of 2006 was in.

    Then again it may be another of my ‘nonsensical arguments’.

    Arb:Socialism is working right now in the current global context. Norway, Sweden, Finland are all prime examples of successful socialist states.

    Pino:If those countries were made a State of the United States, they would be some of the poorest in our nation.

    It is so very easy just to dismiss things based on the size of particular country. Hmmm… I think that libertarian principles just would not work in the US because it is just too darn big.

    You’re right, that is a great way to argue, just throw up a baseless conclusion and let that sucker ride. Evidence, supporting assumptions? No need for those there, but my canard sure fits nicely with my ideological views so it must be right.

    I’ll have to work on that tactic, as well as tightening up my ‘nonsensical argumentation’.

    So really, past the name calling and your provably wrong assertion of ‘fact’ I think we can safely conclude that the libertarian option is still, like utopian socialism, a merry flight of fancy.

    Like

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