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View Diary: My Liberal Principles (34 comments)

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  •  IOW, we need to discard one-sided pragmatism (0+ / 0-)

    Liberals, and especially Democrats, have gotten pulled into citing pragmatic reasons for advocating what they advocate, i.e., "if we do this thing, it will make things better." And that means defining "better" in some abstract way, by looking at the non-human entities for which they think need things to work better (usually, "the economy," or "the unemployment rate," or whatever. Never making things better for unemployed PEOPLE, you know. Because the unemployment rate doesn't distinguish between crappy exploitative jobs and good sustaining jobs.) But here, look, we're data driven so we have authoritativeness.

    I suspect the reason they've done this is in pursuit of the mythical "smart pragmatic independent voter" who supposedly doesn't care about "ideology" and only cares about "getting results." Those people may not exist in the numbers that are assumed, but when they do exist they are the people like my trader relatives who grouse about all the problems that "Obama has caused" by messing with things, completely ignoring the fact that their little micro-world swimming in mega-money is completely dependent upon a society that allows it to operate and is willing to put up with the real costs it extracts from the rest of the participants in our social world.

    In the process, the Very Serious Liberal People courting these Smart Pragmatic Independent Voters have gotten away from articulating any values at all, except maybe on the Democratic party website, which no one reads, least of all "independent voters."

    So you get wonks trying to refute David Brooks when he says drily that "central planning doesn't work, and vibrant markets do." Yawn. Angels on the head of a pin.

    And in the meantime, the current crop of conservatives trumpet that they are the only ones who care about values, which they are all too willing to provide - in the form of prejudices and smears about vast swaths of the population. Which is why I want to suppress a gag reflex whenever I hear the name "Values Voter Summit." So let's run purely on what WE believe. Not what we believe will work, or what we believe will "make this better." But that we believe because we're god damn HUMAN BEINGS, for crying out loud.

    Oh, and those Smart Pragmatic Independent Voters are probably more mythical than real, and the people who actually decide the vote are too often the low-information voters you mention. Who decide based on who looks better, or who they'd rather have a beer with.

    •  Not either/or but both/and (0+ / 0-)

      I think we run on our moral values AND our pragmatic solutions. We need to show that our solutions flow FROM our values.

      "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War. http://www.kynect.ky.gov/ for healthcare coverage in Kentucky

      by SouthernLeveller on Wed Nov 20, 2013 at 03:31:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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