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Understatement of the decade

Chris Hedges:

A society is in serious trouble when its political pariahs have at the core of their demands a return to the rule of law.

Yeah, well.

Fortunately, the Ds reversed all that lawbreaking stuff when they took over from the Rs and threw the perps in jail. Oh, wait...

NOTE Great article by Hedges, The March of the Trolls. Read it all; that statement just jumped out at me.

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lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

The liberal trolls, as they do in every election cycle, are beating their little chests about the perfidiousness of the Democratic Party and Barack Obama. It is a gesture performed not to effect change but to burnish their credentials as moralists. They know, as do we, that they will trot obediently into the voting booth in 2012 to do as they are told.

All cloying appeals to the Obama administration to use stimulus money to build public works such as schools, libraries, roads, clinics, public transit and reclaiming dams, as well as to create jobs, are about as effective as writing heartfelt appeals in the era of the old Soviet Union to Uncle Joe Stalin.

Then he refers to "our anemic left."

His solution? "We have to turn our backs for good on the Democrats, no matter what ghoulish candidate the Republicans offer up for president."

By his definition, that makes him a liberal troll, too. But I guess he has to do that so his article can appear fair and balanced? I'll never get why people espousing a liberal viewpoint feel compelled to insult it.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

I‘m not sure but I think the “liberal trolls” are those who “trot obediently into the voting booth in 2012 to do as they are told. Presumably, they're not “effecting change” because, come hell or high water, they'll still vote for President Obama. (It's not that dissimilar from the critique you see every day here on Corrente.) Chris Hedges doesn't seem to be placing himself in that category.

It doesn't scan well and it's a bad framing device, especially given that “troll” has a different connotation nowadays. It kind of muddies up an otherwise excellent piece.

And that sentence you highlighted in the initial post, lambert, definitely struck me as well. Arguing for the “rule of law” is the fringe, deviant, way outside-the-“consensus” position.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

But I'm not inclined to trust his judgment that it's our time to wander in the wilderness. This is the man who wrote that he didn't believe in atheists, and used some pretty lazy-minded reasoning to do it.

We're clearly not in a good position, though, and I don't see any ways out of it in the short run.

And yes, that's a very apt quote. It's a sad thing when the most progressive announced candidate for President is Ron Paul.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

He is not the most progressive person in the race. Since when are racism and sexism progressive values? To the extent his anti-war on terror, anti-drug war, etc., makes him "progressive", I'll see your Ron Paul and raise you Gary Johnson. Who is just as good as Paul on these issues while being unapologetically pro-choice and, to the best of my knowledge, without Ron Paul's racial baggage. If all the people on the left would quit talking about Paul and would start talking about Johnson, then maybe he could replace Paul as the libertarian choice or at least poll high enough to put pressure on the GOP to include him in debates.

Both are sideshows, neither are going to win in 2012. But if moved to sell one of these guys, at least sell the guy who doesn't have such a racist, sexist record.

Sorry. The Ron Paul stuff just drive me nuts.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Which nomination is Gary Johnson running for? Oh, the Republican one. OK, he might be more progressive than Paul, but I think the difference is hardly worth arguing over.

Since when are racism and sexism progressive values?

From what I've seen of the newsletter fiasco, Paul made the mistake of pandering to racists and bigots. While he probably deserves to be mistaken for a racist after doing that, I see no reason to think he actually is one. Racists are people who want to advance their ethnic group at the expense of others. But that's almost a side issue here.

The real questions, though, are:

- Is further expanding the security state a progressive value?
- Is never-ending war over nonsense a progressive value?
- Is a wasteful war on drugs a progressive value?
- Is a government that sees no reason to obey its own laws a progressive value?

I think the answer to those questions is also "no". We aren't buried up to our armpits in presidential candidates who represent progressive values. At least Paul stands for ending those things. Perhaps Johnson does, too, but I've seen so little about the man it's hard to tell. None of the other candidates do, though, including the incumbent. You had to look pretty hard back in 2008 to find a Democratic candidate who actually had a track record of opposing those things.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Supremacists are people who want to advance their ethnic groups over others.

Racists are anyone who grew up in our racist culture who has not taken the time to examine their racist assumptions

Bigots are people who have an irrational fear of another class/group.

Paul has shown himself willing to pander to racists and bigots, which leads to supremacy, so whether he is personally a racist is a no consequence, because he supports supremacy.

You also totally failed to address the sexism complaints, I guess treating 51% of the population as subhuman doesn't qualify as a "real" question for you.

But to answer your "real" questions, yes Johnson does stand against those things, so if you MUST go around talking up a Repub candidate as progressive, go with that one, instead of Paul who is an odious human being who has spawned an odious son that I have the misfortune of being represented by.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

You also totally failed to address the sexism complaints, I guess treating 51% of the population as subhuman doesn't qualify as a "real" question for you.

In the 2008 primary, when it got down to a choice of a black man or a white woman did Democrats celebrate that they had finally managed to have a contest that wasn't between two white men? From where I was watching, it sure was hard to hear that for all the charges that one had to be either a racist or a sexist to support one or the other of them. For the record, in that dichotomy I was a racist, albeit a reluctant one.

If it pleases you to assume I'm a sexist, too, go right ahead. I am so sick of this kind of petty ass-biting nonsense that I am not going to explain myself to you.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

And you explain yourself well enough, when you dismiss the legitimate racism complaints, by claiming surely someone as sophisticated as Paul is ONLY pandering to racists(as if that excuses it) and ignore the legitimate sexism complaints entirely, only to turn around in the very next sentence to talk about what you claim are the "real" questions(your words).

For me personally, it's hard to get worked up about the security state, when I'm being denied my bodily autonomy left and right.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

is that the GOP has essentially blocked him out of everything even as it lets people with less standing like Cain into everything. Paul is old. He isn't going to win. He's of absolutely no threat to the GOP. Johnson is younger and doesn't have a lot of Paul's baggage. And he also doesn't have a bunch of progressives pushing him in blog comments even though his position on all those issues you mention are the same as Paul's, if not stronger (he would actually decriminalize most if not all drugs, for example) and is one of the strongest pro-choice candidates running, if not the strongest from either party. And he has exactly the same chance of becoming the GOP nominee or the next President as Paul has, which is zero. So that's what's so frustrating - why do "progressives" try to sell the less progressive Paul over Johnson? Because the GOP and media prefer Paul? That's not, IMO, a very good reason.

As for the racist baggage, Paul may or may not be a racist personally, but his past behavior makes him completely unacceptable to most of the African American community. Since that community is an important part of the left, I'm not going to support a candidate that has Paul's history or try to tell them that Paul's attempt to appeal to racist voters wasn't really racist.

Of course, it should be said that Johnson, like Paul, would fuck us all economically, but then so has Obama.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Well, yes, there has been very little about the guy, that's for sure. There was a positive op-ed about him in The Economist, but their POV is pretty libertarian. They do make a good case that excluding him from the last debate was pretty arbitrary. Too bad, too, at least for the GOP - he's the kind of candidate who might appeal to moderates.

nasrudin's picture
Submitted by nasrudin on

He calls himself a socialist; he's much too antiwar, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-police-state, etc to support "liberal" politics or politicians.