Has the President Done It? Or Screwed the Pooch?. by Michael Wolff
I’m always exploring the media on the web. Most of it is ‘establishment’. Much of it is proudly rightwing. Much of it claims to be liberal or progressive. The Nation, for example, is liberal and would claim to be progressive. It’s not progressive.
Americans use the term ‘liberal’ to mean ‘leftwing’ or center-left, if I’m not mistaken. (*edit, Jan 4, ’10: I find this so confusing. Liberals here wouldn’t claim to be rightwing, but they aren’t keen on identifying themselves as leftwing, let alone socialist. In fact, They are rightwing.) Certainly they use the term a lot. I’m guessing that that usage is going to continue to creep into Canadian conversations more until we are using it just as much as Americans do and in the same way. (*edit, Jan 4, ’10:I’m not sure, but I think it would be Americans who self-identfiy as rightwing who label ‘liberals’ as socialists, while those who self-identify as liberal would say they are centrist and would agree with the definition of liberal that I offer below.)
What would the meaning of ‘liberal’, as used in the States, be? I believe that it’s users would say it means (something like) ‘tolerant’. In other words, Liberals believe in freedom, or liberty, for all. But then, What do you call those who actually have freedom, who would deny it to others? Yes, I’d call them Republicans. But you could also call them liberals, if the definition of ‘liberal’ is someone who believes in freedom. Republicans just don’t believe in freedom for everyone, even if they don’t always bluntly say so.
There’s another meaning to ‘liberal’ that the Right urges us to think about. The thing is, The Right is not altogether wrong about this. I often refer to the liberal-left-anything goes Left. Those are people who believe in moral (if I’m using a good term here) liberation, although they would not claim to be immoral. But their position would be that anything goes, as long as it doesn’t harm others. And politically, any position (lifestyle, ideology) should be tolerated, as long as it’s not harmful. It sounds good. But the real test is: Is there really that tolerance by liberals for all views and lifestyles, even when they are harmless?
How about the anti-religion streak on the Left? I think most religion – including evil Christian tv religion that pushes a rightwing ideology and rightwing propaganda, especially in regard to the U.S.-Israel association – is pernicious. But not absolutely everyone who is religious is brainwashed or evil. Also, There’s freedom and then there’s freedom. For example, We’d all love to be free from taxes, like (deficit-addicted) rich people. Does that make it right?
As the Christian Bible points out, ‘Wide and spacious is the road leading to destruction and many are those entering onto it. Whereas narrow and cramped is the road leading to life and few are those entering onto it’. With the wide and spacious road of anything goes, it may be just too tempting for those taking it to honestly admit that their morality is no good. But that’s the kind of behavior that human imperfection allows for. Imperfection doesn’t guarantee it, but it certainly allows for it. As for the narrow, cramped road leading to life (which is what ‘everyone’ wants) that few find, What those who enter onto it also find is rules. They can’t do this and they can’t do that, which cramps their lifestyles, if you like. But if the things they can’t do, if the freedom they’re denied, is actually for their benefit, then they will actually, eventually, find freedom. You have freedom if you have life the way the Creator meant us to have it.
I personally think the term ‘liberal’, as used in the States, is unhelpful if so many popular, successful organizations that claim to be liberal do things like push the idea that Democrats will save us from Republican evil. There just isn’t any real difference between the two parties. They are, as Noam Chomsky plainly states, both business parties supported by the same people and groups (with little variation) and supporting the same people and groups (with little variation). They come from and serve power and have no interest in taking that away from themselves and the special interests they are allied with and giving it to the people. And orgs like Newser and The Nation know that.My irreverant online comment in response to Michael Wolff’s spinny piece:
== = “Here’s the puzzle: Does imminent passage of a health care bill, however sorely flawed, mean the president is a failure or a success?” Feel free to frame the question any you want Michael. Seriously, Are you suggesting that after all the blood that was spilled in Afghanistan (for profits), the cynical clampdown on torture in the U.S. but not elsewhere (via rendition and wonderful extraterroritarialtiy), the Honduran atrocity (ongoing), the great rape of Iraq (ongoing), that this additional evil may or may not make Obama a good guy?!!! = ==