Sunday, January 04, 2004

From Where I'm Sitting...

Michael Totten relates Tim Blair's column in the Australian Daily Telegraph and speculates where his own true political leanings are:

" I’m not really a part of the sane left anymore. I’m either an independent, a moderate, a centrist, or an objectively pro-Bush yeehaw flag-waving nationalistic warmonger, depending on where you sit."
A commenter makes a generalization:

"The so-called insane left know that they can't defend their stance on either Iraq or the war on terror. It doesn't matter to them. Their hatred for the US and the international capitalist system takes precedence over all else.

Since both Saddam Hussein and al-qaeda are enemies of the US, they are friends of the insane left. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. How else can you explain the insane left?"
I think this is a popular view of the anti-war leftists mentality, but in common practice I don't think it's the majority. I would assume the majority of American anti-war leftists hate Saddam and Al-Quaeda but love America just fine. It just seems to me - especially from reading various farther-left blogs - that a big reason for opposing the war was that it was "trendy". The actual politics of it aren't important, but being noticed (and linked to) is.

I'd even be willing to bet the majority of protesters don't understand why they oppose(d) action in Iraq - it's just what all their cool friends were doing.

That's why it defies such description, especially coming from liberals who are supposed to take up for the little guy, the downtrodded (i.e. the Iraqi people).

Still another reason Liberals opposed the war is one big word: Payback. Payback for enduring 8+ years of Clinton-bashing and Payback for stealing the 2000 election. A lot of anger has been seething since 1992, and that's where a lot of the "oiiiiiil" mentality comes from.

Unfortunately, I agree with them in principle: I thought what the Republicans did to discredit Clinton while in office was much more heinous and disrespectful than anything he did himself, and I've never been quite convinced everything was done to verify the results of the election in Florida - however, many who feel the same way can't let go of the hatred, and the hurt, and the pride to see what their vendetta is doing to themselves and the integrity of the philosophy they're supposed to be representing.

It's up to people like Michael, to stay true to your principles when those who claim to represent you ignore them. I hope to do the same.

UPDATE (01/05/03): Michael continues this theme by offering a general description of the difference between liberals and leftists. These broad definitions obviously contain room for sub-groups, and cross-groups but I think it's very accurate from what I've encountered. I'd love to see a counterpart slightly-right-of-center blogger offer a similar look at different types of conservatives....

And I don't want to turn this site into an "InstaMichael", but I find myself agreeing with his viewpoint quite a bit - and saying it much better than I could - and I want to make sure I bring it to everyone's attention.

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