Right Question

Asking the right question is usually more productive than trying to prove the right answer.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Liberal Cyncicism

The flip side of the rise in idealism on the right has been the increasing cynicism and visceral hatred on the left.

The problem has become so widespread, it's hard to know where to start. The new DNC chair is Howard Dean, who spent years mocking Bush's claim to be a "uniter, not a divider" and claimed in his campaign that he would actually be a "uniter not a divider", now gives us: "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for.". President Bush frames a world view in which America is called to be a force for the good of freedom against the evil of tyranny and oppression around the world. The new DNC head finally embraces the terms good and evil, but only to apply them to domestic politics -- in a world with genocide, a nuclear North Korea, and slavery, the evil Dean identifies is the Republican Party. While it's understandable that he's focussed on the struggle immediately before him, it's a very small vision.

But the problem seems endemic in the Democratic Party today. It's not just Howard Dean. It's hard to find more than a handful of prominent Democrats (perhaps Lieberman and Clinton?) who have managed to stand aside from the expressions of visceral hatred for Republicans, calling them evil or nazis. Victor Hansen's recent piece in the National Review (via Decision '08) surveying these expressions makes depressing reading for anyone hoping for a return to two-party politics at the federal level any time soon.

Scary thought for the day. Do you suppose that Democratic strategists take seriously the idea that the Republican leadership is pushing hatred and bigotry, and is responding to electoral defeat by trying to outdo them at it?


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