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View Diary: Fox 'News' vs. Ron Paul and the tea partiers (244 comments)

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  •  Yes, I do think there is consensus there! (0+ / 0-)

    but "we" do not live in the "same damn country" except as a matter of geography. We live in a country deeply divided along racial, economic, and religious lines. These division are not figments of the imagination and they are reflected in our politics.

    Now who is it that seeks to divide? I grew up in the north but have extended family in the south. Shall I have Samurai Divorce Court cut me in two from head to pelvis?

    These divisions of which you speak are your own prejudices.

    It's ridiculous to talk about a consensus around the rule of law when there is no consensus about what that would mean. Is secession lawful? How about the civil rights legislation of the 1960's? Are income taxes and public schools legal? Do you think that there is a consensus between progressives and the followers of Ron Paul on these questions?

    Now to specific issues. These are the policy debates that must be shunted off to the side for a strategic alliance. Because - as you note - progressives and conservative populists disagree on the proper outcomes. Which is fine. In a working democratic republic we'd have our respective outcomes satisfied by a transparent legislative or judicial process. As our founders intended.

    I don't see many Tea Partiers re-fighting civil rights, but if they want to bother - let 'em. Many in the Tea Party movement have expressed concern over corporate rule, bribery of elected officials, warrantless wiretapping, detention without due process...

    That's the kind of real unifying goals to which I refer. All one need do is take the ideals inherent in both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers (that initial ideological fusion which formed our republic) and seek some common ground with our political rivals. It's there. At least, I believe so. The republic would never have formed otherwise.

    •  "Seeks to divide?" (0+ / 0-)

      Stating facts requires no defense. Asserting that unwelcome realities reflect the desires of the person who points them out is simply juvenile where it isn't dishonest. FYI, I happen to be a southerner whose family was here long before the civil war, which is precisely the reason why I am aware that political divisions are a reflection of social realities rather than simply the product of the machinations of the powerful. Would that it were otherwise.

      Now to specific issues. These are the policy debates that must be shunted off to the side for a strategic alliance. Because - as you note - progressives and conservative populists disagree on the proper outcomes. Which is fine. In a working democratic republic we'd have our respective outcomes satisfied by a transparent legislative or judicial process. As our founders intended.

      In other words you aren't really talking about a consensus at all. You're proposing a temporary alliance of convenience based on nothing more than a shared opposition to corporate/political malfeasance on the part of the powerful. Plausible in the abstract, sheer fantasy in political reality. What you misidentify as mere policy differences are in reality fundamental conflicts that go to the heart of the divisions between right and left.

      This is one area in which the far right possesses greater acuity than many on the left. They understand that these aren't questions of policy but the dividing line between conflicting visions of what the US is or ought to be. Hence the apocalyptic character of their politics. Are you seriously suggesting that questions such as secession and civil rights are minor details that may be deferred to later debate? If so I suggest you take a refresher on US history.

      That you treat such profound matters in so cavalier fashion indicates that you have little appreciation for their importance to a vast number of your fellow citizens. This underlines the gulf between your own complacent assumptions and the realities of other's experience. Because you do not find these issues compelling you make the assumption that others will, or should, share your view. Nothing could better illustrate the divisions that I described above than the fact that you could hold such an attitude.

      That's the kind of real unifying goals to which I refer. All one need do is take the ideals inherent in both the Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers (that initial ideological fusion which formed our republic) and seek some common ground with our political rivals. It's there. At least, I believe so. The republic would never have formed otherwise.

      Further evidence of the "hothouse" nature of your views. The US wasn't formed out of an "ideological fusion". It was the result of an awkward and ultimately unworkable compromise between conflicting interests. It was the absence of any such fusion as you imagine that led directly to a bloody civil war, the legacy of which the US has struggled with ever since. It is no accident that the tea baggers have resurrected a notion of states rights virtually indistinguishable from that articulated in 1860. They have their faces set resolutely towards the past and view those looking forward as the enemy.

      You may find all this inconvenient to your desire for an alliance between antagonistic forces but wishful thinking is no sound basis for political action.

      •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

        I'm on an iPhone and can't respond in detail. But YES! I propose a limited conservative / progressive populist alliance for the singular purpose of ... 'throwing the bums out.'

        I'll respond in detail when I have a chance. But at least now you understand my purpose. Have a fine evening.  

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