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View Diary: Just Believe? A Response to "Liberals are supposed to believe in government." (23 comments)

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  •  No. I'm trying to explain why there is a debate. (4+ / 0-)

    And as I said at the end of the diary, the debate on the left is pretty much going to come down to these questions:

    1. Whether to focus more on trying to advance progressive politics at the national vs. state/local politics, based on which is going to be more effective in creating real change for the people.

    2. Whether progressives should make stronger alliances with socially liberal corporatists, or with libertarians who disagree with us on a lot of bread-and-butter economic issues but who share our views on issues of privacy, the security state, drug law reform, opposing militarism, opposing corporate bailouts, etc.

    I can honestly say I am currently undecided on both points. I can see both sides. But I am pretty well convinced that this is going to be the new big debate on the left, and I look forward to participating in exploring the pros and cons on each side and seeing how it plays out.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:01:51 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  It seems pretty clear to me. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Stetson, Words In Action
      Whether progressives should make stronger alliances with socially liberal corporatists, or with libertarians
      It can only be libertarians.

      Corporatists are not an option -- they are the biggest reason these problems exist. Don't make the mistake of believing that their support for government aligns with what you believe the role of government should be.

      Corporatists become involved with politics for one reason -- to bend laws in a way which furthers their interests. For christ sakes, they invented crony capitalism. How can they be trusted?

      I'm sure you're asking -- well how can libertarians be trusted? It is true that many libertarians have views on economic policy which conflict with that of the liberal viewpoint.

      But, many libertarians, I believe, are ready and willing to compromise. Domestic spying, Obama's ramped up war on drugs, mass deportation, drone killings, mass incarceration -- THOSE are the things libertarians are focused on.

      Those are the greatest threats to our country, and most libertarians will probably be happy to set aside quibbling over economic issues for the chance to make real change and real progress in the areas that matter the most.

      IMO, aligining with corporatists will just be more of the same.

      •  If libertarians are willing to compromise (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valar Morghulis, Words In Action

        on economic issues, then a progressive-libertarian alliance could work. I think the key would be whether libertarians would be willing to accept the continuation of a basic safety net for all Americans, to prevent people from starving or becoming homeless, etc. Libertarian ideologues often argue for eliminating programs that help the poor, the elderly, the disabled, etc., such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. The progressive response, of course, is that eliminating or significantly cutting such programs would cause great suffering.

        I think if the libertarians would be willing to accept the continuation of a basic safety net (perhaps with some reforms), then many progressives would seriously consider the possibility of shifting from the current liberal-corporatist alliance to a new liberal-libertarian alliance.

        The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

        by Eric Stetson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:05:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seems like an easy choice for libertarians. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eric Stetson, Words In Action

          It's either:

          a. Make progress on many important issues while maintaining status quo on others.

          b. Keep the status quo on everything.

          •  Logically, yes. But the question is, if you or I (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Valar Morghulis, Words In Action

            showed up at meeting of the Libertarian Party or a Rand Paul fan club or whatever, and made this exact same argument, would most of the people there go for it? Or would they stick to their guns on slashing the safety net to the bone?

            I belonged to the LP when I was in college (roughly 15 years ago). Back then, it seemed to be pretty extreme and unwilling to compromise on anything.

            But it's possible that a more pragmatic type of libertarian might emerge and be willing to ally with the radical left. I have some libertarian friends -- I guess I'll ask them. What do you think, based on the libertarians you know?

            The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

            by Eric Stetson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 10:34:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think it depends on how you frame it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Words In Action

              I'd focus on the issues where there is ideological overlap and avoid points of contention. Libertarians are like any other political animal -- upon being challenged, they'll argue.

              And if/when a point comes up where there are sharply contrasting views, my response would be something like, "I understand, but we have bigger problems to worry about at the moment. We can fight that one out another day. But today, let's fix the problems that cannot wait any longer."

              Libertarians have evolved a great deal in last 15 years. I participate in some online forums which have a wide range of political viewpoints, and it seems that many libertarians have come to the realization that refusal to compromise has not and will not be a successful strategy.

              I think the prospect of a real, significant win will be very appealing. Libertarians are growing tired of purely symbolic wins.

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