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Old 02-07-2011, 11:43 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Counter-Enlightenment Edition (David Corn & James Pinkerton)

Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I'm reasonably sure you see the difference, but I'll point it out anyway.

popcorn karate is responding to Ray's actual posts. If Ray thinks he is misunderstanding, Ray is free to try to correct him. Ray has certainly suggested that he thinks there is something different about Arabs when it comes to democracy, a point that I found a bit odd given that we were talking about US policy generally (and support for authoritarian governments in particular) that most certainly is not limited to Arab authoritarian governments (or even Middle Eastern or Muslim ones, as I'm sure the Iranians, not to mention the Pakistanis and Afghanis and so on, would prefer not to be lumped in as Arab).

Ray, however, is not responding to actual opinions expressed by liberals here when doing what Brendan (and I) have called him on. He's saying that he assumes that liberals think something silly or extreme or even something else taken from outside the board and then assuming that's the opinion posters here (posters he knows very little of, including how "liberal" people are, really) are expressing. He then proceeds to argue against what is inherently a straw man, rather than trying to understand the actual opinions here.

If he did the latter and misunderstood, even misunderstood in a way that seemed unjustified, that would be one thing, but he's been upfront about the fact that he's making assumptions (rather silly-sounding assumptions, IMO) about what "liberals" must think. I doubt anyone here actually holds the views that Ray seems to want to argue against, but in any case the notion of some "liberals" foreign policy view is just odd in context, when the people usually classified as liberals on this board don't agree on foreign policy questions in various respects.

(Similarly, I don't talk about "conservative" foreign policy views or assume that conservatives or rightwingers more generally won't share my basic goals or analyses of foreign policy problems. Don't know why they wouldn't.)

And to make a broader point with all this, I think one of the problems with this board lately is that there seems to be a desire for clubbiness among some of the right of center posters that manifests in an "us against them" posting style and desire to break down all questions into the most boring and simplistic "liberals think this, conservatives think this" way of posting. I suppose that might be fun in giving one a team to root for (or to mourn for lost members of, such as the occasional "bring back Whatfur" efforts), but it's not terribly conducive to a well-working discussion board or interesting conversation. I see lots of differences between and among the liberals here, as well as between and among the conservatives. I don't see why anyone would want to pretend we were in DenvilleSteve's America, where people are first and foremost culturally Democratic or culturally Republican (his version of hypenated American). Surely the rest of us can acknowledge that as foolish, as foolish as the desire for a break-up of the USA.
Good answer.
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