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View Diary: David Brooks to GOP: Turn Left (28 comments)

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  •  Dream on. (3+ / 0-)
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    xanthe, SheriffBart, surferal

    David Brooks isn't saying that Republicans should move to the left;  Brooks is promoting Nationalistic Fascism.

    Glenn Greenwald spells it out:

    Deceitfully purporting to speak on behalf of what he calls "normal, nonideological people" (the dishonest tactic he constantly uses), Brooks says:

       In short, in the 1970s, normal, nonideological people were right to think that their future prospects might be dimmed by a stultifying state. People were right to believe that government was undermining personal responsibility. People were right to have what Tyler Cowen, in a brilliant essay in Cato Unbound, calls the "liberty vs. power" paradigm burned into their minds — the idea that big government means less personal liberty.

       But today, many of those old problems have receded or been addressed. Today the big threats to people’s future prospects come from complex, decentralized phenomena: Islamic extremism, failed states, global competition, global warming, nuclear proliferation, a skills-based economy, economic and social segmentation. . . .

       Normal, nonideological people are less concerned about the threat to their freedom from an overweening state than from the threats posed by these amorphous yet pervasive phenomena. The "liberty vs. power" paradigm is less germane. It's been replaced in the public consciousness with a "security leads to freedom" paradigm. . .

       The "security leads to freedom" paradigm doesn't end debate between left and right, it just engages on different ground. It is oriented less toward negative liberty (How can I get the government off my back?) and more toward positive liberty (Can I choose how to lead my life?).

    That is exactly what the right-wing movement in this country is now -- an authoritarian movement animated by the Orwellian slogan that "security leads to freedom" which embraces and seeks ever-expanding government power based on the claimed need to protect people from all the scary, lurking dangers in the world -- dangers which are constantly stoked and inflammed in order to maximize the craving for "security," derived by vesting more and more power in the hands of our strong, protective Leaders.

    And it's notable that Brooks specifically cites the limited-government views of Cato to disparage, since Cato itself has amply documented that there are few, if any, factions more hostile to limited government principles than the Bush-supporting right-wing movement that has dominated our country. As Cato's comprehensive report concluded:

       Unfortunately, far from defending the Constitution, President Bush has repeatedly sought to strip out the limits the document places on federal power. . . . President Bush's constitutional vision is, in short, sharply at odds with the text, history, and structure of our Constitution, which authorizes a government of limited powers.

    But neoconservatism -- which is really what the right-wing pro-Bush movement has become -- doesn't believe in any of that, and Brooks' column demonstrates that they are admitting that more and more explicitly. Instead, it touts a radical and authoritarian nanny-statism that seeks, at its core, to provide feelings of protection, safety, and moralistic clarity -- "security leads to freedom" -- all delivered by political leaders using ever-increasing federal government power and limitless militarism. Whether one believes in that radical and warped vision of the American federal government is, more than any other factor, what now determines one's political orientation.

    "You have to keep your knee on [Bush's] windpipe until the danger is past." -- Garry Trudeau

    by tbetz on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 09:54:25 AM PDT

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