Friday, October 26, 2012

"How Sarcasm and Insult Took Over the Democratic Party"

"Obama, whom National Journal ranked the most liberal senator in 2007, exemplified movement progressivism. But he also had a talent for conveying liberal ideas in an inoffensive, positive way.  Obama took pains to avoid ideological conflict. He was about hope and change, not insult and blame...His first Gallup approval rating as president was 68 percent...The untold story of the last four years is President Obama’s squandering of that good will...The Obama coalition, piece by piece, has been disassembled. All that remains is the antiwar, anti-Republican core of the Democratic Party...The most important part of the story is the gradual unmasking of Obama—not as a Kenyan Marxist, but as a thoroughly typical liberal Democrat who believes there is no trouble in the world not created by George W. Bush.  The Obama team came in thinking United States foreign policy could be fixed simply by doing the opposite of whatever Bush had done. What they found instead is that Bush’s policies are difficult to overturn because they are not as unreasonable or as superfluous as his opponents had thought...It turns out the people who supposedly knew better did not, actually, know better."

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Voices of Moderation

I just posted this at Washington Square News where it is awaiting moderation.

"Do values of free speech override the values of equality and of preventing profound personal offense to any singular group?"  Yes, I think it's pretty clear that they do, and should.  Leaving aside any other issues with this article -- for example, it is the writer of this article, not the writer of the advertisements, who explicitly assumes that "Jihad" is synonymous with all of Islam -- I will simply point out that if we outlaw any speech that causes "profound personal offense to any singular group," then this article itself would be outlawed, because there are people (including myself) who feel profoundly offended by it.

Perhaps the author should clarify what, if any, other criteria ought to be met in order for something to qualify as "hate speech" that can legitimately be outlawed.  And then she ought to discuss how those standards would apply to, say, calls for eliminating the existence of the State of Israel.

BTW, I'm Jewish, and I'm also libertarian, so I believe the United States government should be neutral in the Middle East, and not supply government aid to any country there.