Posted by: Dan | January 6, 2008

Conscience of a Liberal

Following on the Sagan quote from Demon-Haunted World, a link to why Krugman is right, and Obama is wrong seems appropriate. The punchline, in response to Obama’s conciliatory stance of bipartisanship:

Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

Put another way – we need liberals and progressives with backbones, not liberals who compromise their principles. If the conservatives wish to change their stance, and listen to reason, liberals and progressives will be there to listen.

On the other hand, for whatever reason, those on the left tend to be more tolerant of alternative ideologies. It’s in our nature to try to cooperate, be inclusive, etc. Acting like fascists is a right-wing authoritarian trait.

Do we really want a progressive politician to be non-inclusive, just so he can be inclusive?? It’s a paradox that we might just need.



  1. I had a similar conversation with my daughter the other day. She’s sixteen, and starting to come into her own a bit. I had always tried to emphasize that she is free to come to her own conclusions on politics and religion.

    She expressed concern that since I push so hard against conservatives and religion that I am becoming doctrinaire, and it intimidates her and her friends a bit. So, I told her I will attempt to tone down my delivery method, but not my deeply held beliefs.

    Around here. I still think that with progressives and with atheists our delivery method is very calm and measured compared to those we push against; and I am not just speaking of Coulter and Limbaugh.

    I am thinking of the entire Conservative Christian movement and takeover attempt in our politics; the patronization that they use to tend their followers and address issues such as gay marriage, global warming, energy strategies, health care and the lot. Those preachers do it with a smile on their face, a prayer in their hearts and a “Daddy knows best” attitude, and that is just as offensive and strident to me as anything any liberal or atheist may say.

    It’s not the delivery that causes offense, it’s the entire message. The Democrats in their majority have adopted the play nice strategy of giving up a foot to gain an inch; and they have been finding that this inch is still hard-fought.

  2. She expressed concern that since I push so hard against conservatives and religion that I am becoming doctrinaire

    Does your daughter understand the reasons for your outrage against conservatives, and religious conservatives in particular?

    That’s the key here I think – understanding (of the reasons for the Bill of Rights, the Scientific Method, etc.) and information (of the affronts to such reasons) lead to the ‘left-leaning reality,’ as Stephen Colbert might say satirically.


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