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Relax, liberals. You've already won

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/06/10/liberals/index.html

    ...

    For 40 years, the radical right tried to destroy the domestic and international order that American liberals created in the central decades of the 20th century. The people who are known today as "conservatives" are better described as "counterrevolutionaries." The goal of Barry Goldwater and the intellectuals clustered around William F. Buckley Jr.'s National Review was not a slightly more conservative version of the New Deal or the U.N. system. They were reactionary radicals who dreamed of a counterrevolution. They didn't just want to stop the clock. They wanted to turn it back.

    Three great accomplishments defined midcentury American liberalism: liberal internationalism, middle-class entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, and liberal individualism in civil rights and the culture at large. For four decades, from 1968 to 2008, the counterrevolutionaries of the right waged war against the New Deal, liberal internationalism, and moral and cultural liberalism. They sought to abolish middle-class entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, to replace treaties and collective security with scorn for international law and U.S. global hegemony, and to reverse the trends toward individualism, secularism and pluralism in American culture.

    And they failed. On every front conservatives have failed, completely, undeniably and irreversibly. The failure of the right has left the structure of 20th-century American liberalism standing, battered and cratered but still intact.
     
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I guess it depends on your definition of "winning", doesn't it :rolleyes:
     
  3. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Good thing it was written in Salon.
     
  4. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    Interesting that it defines great accomplishments of liberalism in the 20th century as including internationalism and social security/medicaid. Really? Is anyone here going to defend the UN as a successful organization in light of how they've handled world crises in the last 20 years? Rwanda anyone? Somalia? Darfur? Never mind the fact that modern day liberals hate parts of internationalism (NAFTA would qualify as an example, right?). Then Social Security and Medicaid which are bankrupting this country (look at spending on those 2 programs as a % of the total). Then it mentions individualism. Now, nobody will argue that the left did well for the civil rights struggle, but what about other facets of individualism/secularism? How about the fact that those trends towards individualism and secularism have coincided with higher divorce rates, more children born to single parents unprepared for parenthood, and the general decline of the family unit in this country?

    Hmm, yeah, sounds like a rout of conservatism to me, the UN, medicaid, and broken families, liberalism at its finest!
     
  5. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    There is definitely a dichotomy.

    The UN definitely fails when it comes to conflict resolution in the "3rd World".

    However, in the 60 years since its inception in 1948, how many wars between nations in the "Developed World" have taken place? Zero. How many in the 300 years before the UN? I'd venture to guess one every 20 years or so.

    Without the UN as a contact forum, the earth could have been blown to smithereens in October 1962. It serves a purpose for diplomatic contact. I don't believe it serves much of a "world police" purpose, however.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    According to polls, most people actually seem to like these programs as they are. Maybe because old people vote and participate in polls more. I don't know, but that's what I meant by "depends on your deginition of winning". Does winning mean getting your way or doing what's best ?
     
  7. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Is it that, or simply the realization that no one can possibly win? Deterrance is a pretty good...er...ah...deterrent, after all.

    :D:D

    Oh...it's been one of those days.

    So I went back and read that, and I sound like Yogi Berra in his aflac commercial.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  8. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Just as long as you're not that frickin' duck.
     
  9. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hmm, yeah, sounds like a rout of conservatism to me, the UN, medicaid, and broken families, liberalism at its finest![/QUOTE]The UN, within its limitations, has done a very good job on a number of issues -- ongoing immunization of children, eliminating smallpox, helped bring down Apartheid, played a major role in making drinking water safer in third world countries, organizing Democratic elections in several third world countries, promoting women's rights and childrens rights, played a major role in the Egypt Israel peace treaty, and has played a major role in numerous other peace treaties. It has some failures, too, of course, but its strength is derived from its members, and on some issues its members simply do not agree. I think the lack of knowledge of the UN's accomplishments really has more to do with American parochialism than anything else.

    Where liberals disagree with internationalism is where it appears to be dictated by corporate interests, not human interests. Liberals want to be sure that both American and foreign workers are treated fairly. They don't want wages driven down because China pays people far less than we pay people.

    Tax hikes on the wealthy and an end to spending recklessly on false wars will solve that problem.

    I think the family unit is quite strong. Of course, we could go back to the days when women had little access to jobs and property and it was socially unacceptable for a woman not to be married. Would you want that?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  10. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What is the exit strategy for the failed 40 yr old War on Poverty. We were promised by Libs an end to poverty what happened?
     
  11. otis p. driftwood

    otis p. driftwood Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Why is everything a "war on" anyway? It's a good thing we didn't fight WWII the same way we fight the war on drugs or poverty.
     
  12. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a wee bit of cherry picking I think. Korea, Vietnam, maybe even the soviets in Afghanistan, and now Iraq. There are still wars, although not worldly ones. The difference can also be attributed to nuclear weaponry, and mutually assured destruction, just as it can the UN. Simply put, there were only two super powers post WWII. The Soviets, and the USA. The destructive ability of nukes made world war improbable, since no one would survive. Instead, we had the Cold War, along with numerous actual by proxy.

    I do agree with the latter portion of what you said. It certainly does act as a contact forum, which is an important benefit of it's existence.
     
  13. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    That depends on who wins, and what's best. :D
     
  14. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Read my post carefully. None of those wars/conflicts you list pitted G-8 (developed world) combatants against each other, whereas those countries fought each an average of once every twenty years for the 300 years preceding 1948. That was my point. There was no France v. Germany. No Japan v. US. No Russia v. France, etc.

    In each of the conflicts you mentioned (except for Iraq), the possibility existed for the US and USSR to get pulled in to combat against each other. Never happened - - and I believe the UN was a factor in helping to keep it that way. I'll even throw in the 1970 War of Attrition and the 1973 Yom Kippur War, both presented the opportunity for wider conflict that could have brought the US and USSR into battle.

    Sure MAD had plenty to do with it, but the UN does serve a purpose in allowing a one-stop "clearinghouse" for diplomacy.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  15. Stokes

    Stokes In the Starting Line-Up

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    I would give our nuclear weapons a lot more credit for keeping Russian tanks from rolling through Germany than I would the UN. Truth is we've been fighting proxy wars at just as high a rate since the inception of the UN. We don't fight against other superpowers because it would mean the end of civilization.
     
  16. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    It didn't pit them publically, sure. They still faught by proxy, taking turns in wars with one side involved directly, while the other hid behind the curtain. The UN succeeded in getting the civilians in 3rd world countries killed, instead of those nations who were doing the killing. Couldn't I say that then? The US & Russia, or Nato and the warsaw pact, weren't going to openly fight a war, since there was no guarantee it would remain conventional. Niether side was willing to take a chance on that, since one didn't trust the other. I'm not trying to say the UN isn't a benefit, or hasn't been. It clearly is. I agree it acts as a place for dialogue between the different nations in the world. I just wars by proxy for what they are.
     
  17. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reaganomics.

    If Obama wins, the war on poverty will be back on track. Don't worry.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2008
  18. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Bingo. Nato knew that if a war broke out, they weren't likely to repell a Russian offensive into Western Europe. A tactical, or all out nukes strike on Russian positions and cities would have been a serious option. The Russians weren't stupid, and understood that. Hence the Cold War, where the spread of ideologies became the focal point for victory. I do think the UN was factor in the end result though.
     
  19. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sorry the programs were started years before Reagan came into office, Reagan has a period of great economic growth after the Johnson/Nixon-Ford/Carter disasters.
     
  20. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Reagan's economic growth was largely based on deficit spending, just like Bush's. It's sort of like improving your quality of life by maxing out your credit cards. Not a good strategy. From the standpoint of economic growth, I think JFK and Clinton were best. Johnson's Great Society programs were in many ways ill-conceived, and should certainly not be implemented in the same way in the future. At the same time, they worked better than Reagan and Bush's shop 'til you drop model, which relied on deficit spending rather than sound economic policy:

    http://wcpc.washington.edu/images/charts/povertyUSChart1.gif
     

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