Why I Parted Ways With The Right

nogendavid11/30/2009 8:42:31 pm PST

Reminds me (if I recall correctly) of a passage in Gore Vidal’s biography of Lincoln, where the narrator character is so offended by the fanaticism and intolerance of an abolitions that he become antiabolitionist.

But the question for the narrator remained what affirmatively to think and do about slavery and secession.

Fair enough to identify nuttiness on the right, but the fact that a position is held by a right wing nut does not in itself show it is mistaken. Obama’s views on foreign policy are misguided and mistaken. Beating up on allies (UK, Israel, Czech Republic, Poland) and deal gently with enemy regimes, apologzing constantly for the US’ past, failing to present a credible moral or military threat to Iran’s nuclear regimes…these are more than serious problems. The prospect of a final Holocaust, launched by the genuinely insane regime in Iran is not vitiated by the lunacy of populist “right wing” nutbars. It is not irrational to have oncerns about whether Obama is an abject failure in dealing with any of it - by genuinely supporting t he democracy movement and convincing Iran there is a real price to be paid.

And is not wrong either to be extremely concerned about the consequences of t he fiscal reckleness of the current Democratic regime, which outruns by orders of magnitude the irresponsibility of the Republicans over the last decade - which in itself was deplorable.
American cannot survive as a great power - and historically it has been a great power for good - when it is debilitated fiscallly and dependence on the kindness of foreign debtors.

Strangely enough, C harles, I mostly stopped reading and posting on LGF for a while because at times there seemed to be too many posts that were moving in a Beckian direction. But with genuine respect, which you may not reciprocate, there remains an abiding truth to many LGF’s values: among them opposition to religious intolerance, concern for rationalism and accuracy in reporting, support for an existentially threatened Israel.

The only point on your list that I disagree with — and no doubt th is will bring on the usual splay of downdings and ad hominen attacks - is that I do think a reasonable person, and not only irrationalists, can have serious questions about the reliability and precision of projections concerning climate change and the role human activity has to play in it. I have read your comments seriously, reviewed more of the the literature, and even if my non-expert assessment turns out to be mistaken, I do think agnostics like me deserve to be typecast and dismissed on an ad hominem basis rather than responded to on the merits. And it is in my view important to be concerned about excessivel climatic pessmisim, because the measures we take to address global warming can have their own consequences. Growth has more t han material advantages - it prolongs life, diminishes misery and creates societies that are more sympathetic to environmental protection.

Sorry if I flunk the 10/10 purity test, Charles, and respond as you wish, I will continue to be grateful for what LGF has already accomplished. I am not a purity tester myself, and intend to keep checking in.