Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pandering

"liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other Democrats, but from Americans as a whole."--Galston and Kamarck

The wankers attached to the Democratic Leadership Council have come out with yet another strategic study arguing that the Democratic party must continue to move farther to the right. Normally, I wouldn't pay much attention to what they had to say except for the fact that a) one of the authors, William Galston, was a professor I studied under and used to respect and b) they actually admit that they don't consider the left to be real Americans.
    In one of their more potentially controversial findings, the authors argue that the rising numbers and influence of well-educated, socially liberal voters in the Democratic Party are pulling the party further from most Americans.

    On defense and social issues, "liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other Democrats, but from Americans as a whole. To the extent that liberals now constitute both the largest bloc within the Democratic coalition and the public face of the party, Democratic candidates for national office will be running uphill."
Where to start? Even though they admit that "liberals" now constitute the largest voting bloc in the Democratic party, they argue that their views should be unrepresented. This follows from the fact that they are not part of America as a whole. What are they then, French? Further, there is no argument for what is right or what is ethically defensible here. The goal is simply to pander to the base views of the majority in an effort to gain power. And for what? For the slightest of differences in policy represented by a coterie of politicians who have no real value commitments but move with the winds of political opinion polls, and always to the right.

And they seem to think that the reason Kerry lost was that he was too liberal. Perhaps, but couldn't it also be that he was such a wanker with no clear values or policies who couldn't even get up the courage to oppose the war, campaigning instead on an ever more ridiculous patriotic posturing.

Now far be it from me to argue that the American people are not by and large consumerist drones, raving fundamentalist lunatics, smug jingoistic know nothings, and devotees of the most savage dog eat dog capitalism. But even the slow witted and ethically challenged American majority has gotten a little sick and tired of the Republican party's imperial wars and a bit disgusted with the Republican invasion of their privacy.

The first course I took with Galston was titled Ethics and Politics. We read Plato's Gorgias, which is in large part a criticism of orators who pander to the public, ignoring what is good or just. Here is a little summary from Wikipedia:

    It is in this dialogue that Plato offers one of the most famous critiques of rhetoric, calling it a "ghost or counterfeit of a part of politics" and a form of "cookery." In labeling rhetoric a form of cookery, Plato draws an analogy between care for the human body and the management of politics in a society. Just as a doctor uses medicine to heal and protect the body, philosophers can utilize dialectical reasoning to arrive at just decisions that benefit the entire polis. Like a tasty but unhealthy dish, rhetoric delights the common people (or "demos") into pursuing short-term desires at the expense of long-term justice.
I think professor Galston needs to revisit his own damn class.

1 Comments:

At 10/29/2005 11:24 AM, Blogger theseeker said...

Excellent blog! Puts mine to shame. You are obviously very well informed and quite a bit more educated than myself. I really enjoyed your insight and writings. Sometimes I feel as if I've woken up in an alternate universe. Great to see a kindred soul willing to spend so much time writing about the issues that concern me. You should run for office! Really. I'm putting a link to your blog on my crappy blog site. Hope that's ok.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home