Patterico's Pontifications

6/4/2013

Kling on The Three Languages of Politics, or, How to Talk to Progressives

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:02 am

As I have said, I am a fan of the Russ Roberts podcast Econ Talk. His latest guest was Arnold Kling, who advances an interesting theory about the way that progressives, conservatives, and libertarians approach the world. Kling’s theory is designed to help us all understand one another, and make it harder to demonize one another and easier to communicate.

I’m not positive a blog is the best place to bring this up, as blogs tend to be exercises in tribalism, but I find Kling’s hypothesis both interesting and so full of common sense it seems obvious. Kling says that, basically, the three groups look at issues along different axes:

  • Progressives look at issues along an axis of oppressed vs. oppressors
  • Conservatives look at issues along an axis of civilization vs. barbarism
  • Libertarians look at issues along an axis of freedom vs. (government) coercion

The idea is that it is easier to understand how a person from one of those groups looks at an issue if you better understand what axis they jump to.

Kling gives as an example the Boston Marathon bombings. He notes that the Weekly Standard had a piece titled “Civilization and Barbarism.” A perfect example of the conservative world view.

Progressives sought a way to view the bombings in the prism of a struggle between oppressed and oppressors, the most famous example of which was David Sirota’s piece Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.

Libertarians became concerned about the lockdown of an entire city by the police department.

Similarly, with immigration reform, you have progressives who see illegal immigrants as an oppressed group who would benefit from reform (but also see low-income Americans as an oppressed group that might be hurt); conservatives who are upset about laws being broken; and libertarians who don’t believe in “artificial” borders limiting freedom.

If you understand these axes, then when you are arguing immigration reform to a progressive, you won’t bother arguing that we need to enforce our laws. You’ll concentrate on how reform will take jobs away from poor citizens.

Regardless of where you come from politically, Kling’s paradigm is interesting and worth a look. Kling has a new Amazon single that looks at these different “languages” of politics. I have bought it and encourarage readers to check it out.

122 Responses to “Kling on The Three Languages of Politics, or, How to Talk to Progressives”

  1. I generally boil down any discussion with a liberal to a simple question, “who owns you?” The point being, since liberalism is akin to a religious belief you can’t argue facts or use reason with someone who is blinded by ideology. So, I cut through the spin and outright lies to a simple core question, one with an answer that most Liberals and Conservatives/Libertarians would agree on, but short-circuit a liberal’s arguments.

    Sean (a4178b)

  2. As far as political insights go, Kling’s insight isn’t half bad. I’ll have to ponder.

    Semper Why (c8cf70)

  3. This is not a completely hacktastic formulation by this Kling fellow, but it leaves much to be desired.

    The most obvious initial elephant in the room is the faux dichotomy between conservatives and so-called “Libertarians.” Conservatives also view political items along an axis of freedom vs. government coercion. That’s one of the very hallmarks of conservatism.

    The other obvious point is that to give “Libertarians” a separate category is nonsensical. Capital-L Libertarians are in politics the equivalent of a lunatic fringe. They’re a tiny fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the voting public. They’re not even one-half of one percent of the electorate. If Libertarians are a separate category then so too are the Greens, the Constitution Party, and the CPUSA. Let’s not get trapped in our own silly cocoon.

    Then to have this discussion without any direct reference to the core economic and fiscal differences among the groups is frivolity. Yes, of course, liberals view matters only along an axis of putative oppressors vs. the allegedly oppressed, and that permeates all of their thinking. But that’s because leftism is the politics of irrational emotions, not logic. It’s a simpleton approach to politics. To properly categorize conservatives, on the other hand, there need to be multiple axes.

    The civilization vs. barbarism dichotomy would apply to foreign policy and to a material extent law enforcement and related policies. The freedom vs. government coercion axis would apply to economic policies, fiscal policies, regulatory policies, at least to some extent law enforcement policies, land use policies and gun rights.

    Lastly, for actual conservatives, there would be an opportunity vs. dependency axis. That would apply also to economic and fiscal policies, along with education policies, social welfare policies and (wait for it….) immigration policies.

    William Scalia (89a442)

  4. as long as we’re clear that neither the fascist progressives or the dopey smarmy conservatives give a damn about individual freedom I think we’ve clarified things a bit about why our little country is in such an increasingly pitiful state

    the libertarians aren’t really players

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. “Kling on languages”?

    Mr. Spock to the white courtesy phone, please.

    Chris J. Breisch (a042ad)

  6. First of all, the use of “progressive” instead of the more basic and fundamental word “liberal” makes me wonder if the observer in question truly wants to go to the heart of the matter. “Progressive” still has a euphemistic ring about it, and so if a person favors that label, I wonder if he or she is subtly, unconsciously trying to place a gauzy veneer over liberalism and its biggest adherents.

    In far more simple terms — beyond “oppressed versus oppressors” — I theorize most people on the left are mainly animated by a belief in their mind that they’re imbued with kindness, caring, compassion, generosity, open-mindedness, do-gooderness and populist accommodation. Most crucially, a sense that anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their set of biases and values must therefore be just the opposite of those qualities.

    It wouldn’t be quite so bad if far more of such people not only talked the talk, but also walked the walk. But the fact many of them are, in essence, “limousine liberals” (and one doesn’t have to be wealthy to be guilty of that) is what makes them so pathetic, if not outright grotesque.

    Mark (6e8726)

  7. Roberts and Kling discussed how certain issues might tend to cause more people to see that issue along a particular axis. For example, the terrorism issue tends to be seen along the “barbarism/civilization” axis even by progressives and libertarians, especially right after a big event like 9/11. Still, progressives will often make noise about the oppression of groups leading to terrorism, and libertarians will remind us not to forego civil liberties.

    When one looks at the issue of slavery, it’s tough not to view it through the prism of oppressed and oppressor.

    It often depends on the issue, in other words.

    William Scalia, my guess is that you see different issues along different axes, and assume that others who think the way you do use the same axes for the same issues. My guess is that many people are similar to you in that they do not fit neatly into one category or another. Kling’s paradigm obviously doesn’t fit every person neatly. However, to say “Conservatives also view political items along an axis of freedom vs. government coercion” is also a broad generalization. Do you think John McCain and Lindsey Graham are worried about the axis of freedom when it comes to drones? Me either.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  8. as long as we’re clear that neither the fascist progressives or the dopey smarmy conservatives give a damn about individual freedom I think we’ve clarified things a bit about why our little country is in such an increasingly pitiful state

    the libertarians aren’t really players

    Spoken like someone viewing issues along the freedom/coercion axis.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  9. i feel pigeon-holed

    i am oppressed!

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. No progressive is the correct perspective, of course Sirota was wrong, but then that is sort of beside the point,

    narciso (3fec35)

  11. Why then when you point out to a liberal that the new immigration bill will hurt (oppress) poor blacks and young first time workers, they stomp their feet, call you names, and question your motives (ad hominem attacks)? The black and youth unemployment rate is much higher than the rest of the population, especially among the black youth.

    Oh I forgot, the liberal acts on feelings not facts.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  12. i feel pigeon-holed

    i am oppressed!

    Comment by happyfeet (8ce051) — 6/4/2013 @ 7:42 am</You are oppressed, Mr. Feets. :-)

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  13. Very interesting.

    Do you think there’s potential for axis overlap? For example, groups who see people (for instance) along the oppressed/oppressor axis but see goals (for instance) along the freedom/coercion axis?

    Leviticus (b98400)

  14. Whoops. Never mind, missed your comment #7.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  15. Interesting theory and probably has merit as far as how to argue in accordance with the psyche of people.

    Knowing this might win a policy debate, but will never win an election because it will never change anyone’s view of the parties. The two parties in this country operate in a very basic way. It’s fundamentally about people’s perceptions of economic opportunity — about being able to put food on the table. No matter how many ideological/polar axes breakdowns we can come up with, people align with either party according to their perceived interest on that level.

    Democrats have always operated on the basis of protecting the ‘worker’ who has voting power, and will elbow and strongarm policy to make sure groups who feel they need protection from the free market will still get theirs.

    Republicans have always operated on the basis of providing the space for a playing field that allows everyone to participate, and succeed or fail according to their merit in a free economy.

    The unfortunate fallout of this is that we now have a society wherein Republicans, having fought for the inclusion of women and minorities against the will of old Democrats, find that women and minorities generally feel better under the Democrats’ protective operation. Different groups, according to the time, demographics, and progress of civilization have fallen under this umbrella — Democrats of course adjust according to these — and it’s only going to be when a group feels the free market meritocracy favors them that they’ll come around to favoring Republicans. That may never happen. It should naturally happen, but it may not if efforts to persuade of the benefits of the free market are not made, and it would be a shame and would necessarily reorient the core essence and operation of the parties entirely, especially the Republicans, if it doesn’t happen when the demographics evolve over the next generation or two.

    Joseph D (acc4de)

  16. Why does anyone let the petty fascist “happyfeet” stain their site with comments?

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  17. Spoken like someone viewing issues along the freedom/coercion axis.

    Except happyfascist is all about coercion. Don’t believe me? Express something negative about his beloved gays.

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  18. The thread about the kid signing his name raises an interesting case: do you think conservatives see the issue of Political Correctness more as one of freedom/coercion, or more as one of oppressors/oppressed (i.e. do you think conservatives feel oppressed by the PC paradigm)? The civilization/barbarism axis doesn’t really seem applicable to an issue like that.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  19. Democrats have always operated on the basis of protecting the ‘worker’ who has voting power, and will elbow and strongarm policy to make sure groups who feel they need protection from the free market will still get theirs.

    Sorry, but no.

    Democrats are about making sure criminals — inside and outside of government — are free to act and to violate everyone and anyone.

    Rob Crawford (e6f27f)

  20. Help, help, Rob Crawford is being repressed!

    Come see the violence inherent in the system!

    Leviticus (b98400)

  21. happyfeet could stain my site with comments anyday, if I had one.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  22. Hey Rob, what makes you think that’s mutually exclusive? :) Lighten up — this thread is about giving some credit to each position. Pretty sure Dems don’t try to win elections with the kind of platform you describe.

    Joseph D (acc4de)

  23. thank you Mr. Levi

    I will tell you guys a secret which isn’t really a secret it just doesn’t come up much

    way way more than pedestrian issues like the gay marriage and the abortion what crystalized my thinkings about politics was experiencing the arrogant and snotty way Meghan’s sniveling coward daddy banned ephedra

    it showed me clear as day what a petty petty man he is and what a petty and haughty non-freedom oriented party the Republican one had become

    maybe this seems like a long time ago to some people but when our pig senators are first and foremost committed not to America but to dying gloriously in office at some point almost everything they do is a long time ago

    but anyway things have gotten much worse since then not better – you can tell cause of how Team R nominated the guy what invented obamacare to be their (losing) nominee

    And this happened just recently. In 2012 I believe.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  24. The thread about the kid signing his name raises an interesting case: do you think conservatives see the issue of Political Correctness more as one of freedom/coercion, or more as one of oppressors/oppressed (i.e. do you think conservatives feel oppressed by the PC paradigm)?

    That is an interesting question. I won’t purport to speak for all conservatives (since a lot of them probably think I’m a squish anyway), but while I do see a kernel of oppressor/oppressed in the sign language controversy, I also mostly see it as a freedom/coercion situation; i.e., the kid ought to be free to make the signs that suit his self-description, while the state wants to coerce (dictionary definition: “to force to act or think in a certain way”) him into complying with their hysteria-driven views on “appropriate language.”

    In other words, while the unfair power structure plays a part, I am more offended by the idea that the people in power are trying to force their own silly belief system on to the student.

    JVW (23867e)

  25. Happyfeet, in 2010 I became more confident about the GOP’s future. All these Tea Partiers who were interested in balancing the budget and the concept of limited government, instead of just using the government to do what republican politicians want.

    Some republicans were even booed, and not infrequently.

    Then that all seemed to fizzle away. There weren’t many Tea Party groups organizing anymore. True the Vote, which is not far from me, was no longer making headlines.

    The beltway GOP somehow had an even tighter grip on the GOP for reasons I could not understand. This was the political party of Chris Christie and Mitt Romney.

    And of course, this is not enough. A Republican version of Obama is not enough. People who want to use the government to scratch every itch, but have ‘conservative values’, do not get the fundamental problem.

    I can see now that I’m more and more on the ‘freedom vs coercion’ axis intellectually, thoughy my heart wants me on the civilization vs barbarism axis. It’s just that the coercion has become so bad that I’m alarmed by the burden on our kids and the endless stories of the ‘federal’ government shutting down things it shouldn’t be concerned about.

    btw, I am with Leviticus that I value your comments. You have annoyed the crap out of me a few times though, so I always grin knowingly when someone is mad at you.

    Dustin (303dca)

  26. Leviticus,

    As a Conservative who most definitely sees things along an axis of civilization vs. barbarism, I would argue that refusing to recognize actual difference weakens civilization. Also, PC is regularly used to give cover to barbaric actions, like the acts of various “youths” or acts of “workplace violence”.

    The Conservative sees himself as a guardian of the strongholds of civilization, where mankind can reach its highest potential. When a conservative sees overbearing state power, he sees either a suffocating nanny state that drains the lifeblood from civilization, or the return of the dark days of the 20th century, where Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc. turned civilization into a prison. State power is not the enemy, but not really a friend either. Oppression, for the conservative, is the height of barbaric cruelty. While not central to the conservative worldview, oppression is viewed as something to get beyond.

    Now, my only problem with this three-way split is environmentalism. How is that under oppressed vs. oppressors?

    OmegaPaladin (833eff)

  27. My 2 cents, not planning to read the fellow in depth, is that there is some helpfulness in the description.
    But the problem with descriptions, like analogies, is that their helpfulness is limited to a certain sphere.

    I can see the description of liberalism as oppressed vs oppressors,
    but I can’t say that conservatives are any less worried about oppressed and oppressors

    One difference I think is that liberalism thinks that oppressors are a limited number of “them” and they can be eradicated by…oppression
    any income redistribution that is not voluntary is a form of oppression, and that is what socialism has become in its worst examples
    conservatives recognize that all are prone to be an oppressor as well as oppressed, and the answer is not in oppressing the oppressors so there are none, but having all people constrained by principles outside of themselves
    hence the rule of law, that all are subject to, is something these days that conservatives are distressed over when it appears that some people can get away with some things that others can’t- I guess based on who is defining who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed
    Libs can say conservatives are the oppressors, hence it is OK for them to oppress the oppressors and there is nothing wrong with it

    Libertarianism in it’s farther from conservative forms is great if you have no society and no neighbors, but unfortunately once you start living in some sort of community, society, your behavior affects other people, even if it is only deciding when and where to go to the bathroom.

    And yes, this has not been more of a statement of opinion and thought than a contribution to dialogue, but I did say it was only my 2 cents on the topic.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  28. Another thought, FWIW, that I’ve said before
    I think the liberal mindset/instinct starts off in a basically good direction, but has an element of utopianism that is corrupting.
    Utopia is not possible, that would be “getting ourselves back to the Garden” as it were,
    and you can’t get there directly from here
    So those in power end up coercing people to do what they think is good, and get more entrenched when resisted.

    So, if the goal is finding a way to communicate and try to negotiate mutually acceptible public policy, it may be very useful, which is a good thing in many instances.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  29. Hey Rob, what makes you think that’s mutually exclusive? Lighten up — this thread is about giving some credit to each position. Pretty sure Dems don’t try to win elections with the kind of platform you describe.

    Comment by Joseph D (acc4de) — 6/4/2013 @ 8:55 am

    But look at where letting the liberal position be the majority position has led us. Many people have been hurt by liberal policies. Not just the black youth because of immigration, but look at what has happened to farms and farm workers in California because th EPA without facts to back up their position shut off their water because of the delta smelt which turns out not to be endangered at all. Look at any city where they are in controll. Detroit, Chicago, Washington DC. The poor get poorer, crime and murders go up.

    If we go with a big L libertarian way, we get anarchy. There need to be some laws to protect the weak.

    So it looks like the best thing for the United States is somewhere in the middle, with a little less oppression and a little less coercion. Oh! That would be the conservative position. It turns out the conservative position based on actual facts really is the compassionate position. To state a liberal position, it’s for everyone’s good.

    As I’ve stated before, my experience with liberals if you argue with them based on compassion for the oppressed, you’re still the racist hater who doesn’t really understand the complexity of the matter. I think we need to constantly shame them by showing them the truth that their policies hurt people and the environment (their two gods) as much as possible, then turn the argument back on them by saying they really don’t care for people, their position really isn’t compassionate, and why are they racist haters? After all that’s how they shut up any dissenting position and it’s worked for them up to this point of time.

    Realize that liberals believe that what they’re doing is good and don’t mind lying to bolster their position. Because to them the ends justify the means. Look at the oil leases in the south, the number of people who died of back alley abortions, the number of deadbeat dads, the Mann hockey stick on global warming, the number of deaths by law abiding gun owners, the talking points of trolls who frequent the comments of this site, … I could go on for a long time. It’s like the story of the scorpion and the frog, they just can’t help themselves.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  30. Some republicans were even booed, and not infrequently.

    Then that all seemed to fizzle away. There weren’t many Tea Party groups organizing anymore. True the Vote, which is not far from me, was no longer making headlines.

    Comment by Dustin (303dca) — 6/4/2013 @ 9:12 am

    That’s because the IRS was doing their best to systematically shut them up, and succeeding too.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  31. Wise words from MD in Philly, and an accurate encapsulation of the historically persistent problem with Leftism.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  32. BTW, to give credit where credit is due, my thinking along these lines was heavily influenced by C.S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man,
    which interestingly enough I read in a standard textbook of writings in the English language in a secular university
    A few years ago I saw an updated edition of the same text, and Lewis was nowhere to be found. Sad.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  33. “while I do see a kernel of oppressor/oppressed in the sign language controversy, I also mostly see it as a freedom/coercion situation; i.e., the kid ought to be free to make the signs that suit his self-description, while the state wants to coerce (dictionary definition: “to force to act or think in a certain way”) him into complying with their hysteria-driven views on “appropriate language.”

    - JVW

    That’s how I see it too – personally and empirically. I think some conservatives feel victimized by political correctness, but most are just annoyed/disturbed by overkill bordering on hegemony.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  34. Interestingly, though – now that I think about it – I don’t see how you can have oppression without coercion, or how one can feel coerced without feeling oppressed.

    Are the axes sufficiently distinct, at that point?

    Leviticus (b98400)

  35. “my only problem with this three-way split is environmentalism. How is that under oppressed vs. oppressors?”

    - OmegaPaladin

    I think by the (counterproductive) dichotomization of Man and Nature, or by conflating environmental degradation with corporatism (which allows nominal environmentalists to bring the debate back to the haves/have-nots discussion with which they are most comfortable).

    Leviticus (b98400)

  36. Well thank you, Leviticus.

    To be frank, I put in polite and positive terms.
    In a more blunt and less friendly way, the liberal is following the steps of original sin, thinking a human/s can run the universe better than God can. This is obvious in the extreme forms of what liberalism slips into, and certainly much less obvious in the form of religious/Christian leftism, which tries to use Jesus’ teachings on grace and mercy to individuals and voluntary society to make an economic system to be enforced on others to promote “fairness”/=”justice”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  37. Mr. Dustin thems what think we can mosey along the civilization vs barbarism axis at this late date in our little country’s death throes do not understand that to the extent they’ve been able to do that in the past has been a luxury.

    A luxury afforded by those what for so long and against impossible odds valiantly defended freedom against the suffocating stultification of government coercion.

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  38. In my thinking, things get summed up along the Axis of agreeing and submitting to God’s plan, or not.

    God’s plan puts a premium on personal responsibility to live up to the role of being made in God’s image and to have dominion over the earth. Since Man blew it, the next step is to humbly rely on God’s grace to achieve what we failed to do on our own.

    Not cooperating with God’s plan leads to things like:
    - an emphasis on rules, if everybody else does what they are supposed to, then life will be good
    - humans are just a form of animal, and like any form of animal too many in one place causes a problem, like too many buffalo in one valley, but humans are too many on the entire planet

    So, for example, the liberal environmentalist sees humans as oppressing the earth with their DDT, so everybody must stop using DDT and let the eagles be
    ignoring the fact that judicious use of DDT was possible and would have saved millions of lives from malaria
    but since people are oppressing the earth, fewer people on earth is ok (as long as the “fewer people” are someone else)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  39. Interestingly, though – now that I think about it – I don’t see how you can have oppression without coercion, or how one can feel coerced without feeling oppressed.

    Are the axes sufficiently distinct, at that point?

    Comment by Leviticus (b98400) — 6/4/2013 @ 10:01 am

    Coercion is a form of oppression but when liberals talk about oppression they mean it in terms of groups. In general they don’t think of government coercion or really any coercion as oppression. For example if whites make more on average than blacks, then blacks are oppressed. Where’s the coercion there?

    Gerald A (82a59d)

  40. “the liberal is following the steps of original sin, thinking a human/s can run the universe better than God can.”

    - MD in Philly

    Yup.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  41. “For example if whites make more on average than blacks, then blacks are oppressed. Where’s the coercion there?”

    - Gerald A

    That’s an interesting distinction, and it seems like an apt one. I’ll have to think about that.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  42. feets- victory of civilization over barbarism is what gives the illusion of luxury
    then people give in to the illusion that what they have requires no sacrifice
    and barbarism returns in one form or another
    until people have had enough of barbarism to sacrifice what is necessary to overcome it
    apart from divine intervention and the renewal of a society, that trip into barbarism and back is very long and very painful
    luxuries are things one can live without just fine, thank you
    civilization is not a luxury

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  43. Interestingly, though – now that I think about it – I don’t see how you can have oppression without coercion, or how one can feel coerced without feeling oppressed.

    Very true, very true. I suppose there can be such thing as oppression by neglect rather than by coercion, but in almost all modern cases it is more likely to be oppression by coercion.

    JVW (23867e)

  44. That’s because the IRS was doing their best to systematically shut them up, and succeeding too.

    Comment by Tanny O’Haley (f5fbfe) — 6/4/2013

    Absolutely. In hindsight, it’s clear this was the reason that bright light in American politics dimmed in such an untimely and strange way. It’s the reason the 2010 triumph did not continue through the 2012 primaries and 2012 general election. It’s the full weight of the bureacracy leaning on real reform. And there are plenty of citizens in this country who are happy to learn of that. While it has sharpened many on the right to ‘strongly disapprove’, Obama’s approval totals aren’t changed much. All those foaming mouths in Madison and Occupy sloths likely believe it is only justice that the IRS treated ‘tax reform and limited government’ like a crime. This is simply punching back twice as hard at those who resist the revolution Bill Ayers envisioned.

    It will get worse.

    Dustin (303dca)

  45. civilizations what are not founded on and nurtured by a healthy respect for individual liberty are doomed to devolve into the unholy barbarism of one baroque and bloody varietal of totalitarianism or another Mr. Dr.

    you’ll see

    you’ll ALL see

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  46. hegemony.

    Hate that word. Hate it.

    JD (20406c)

  47. feets- the promise of security on the cheap has and always will be the whisper of the false prophet, including the last and greatest one as well as all of the other pretenders in the meantime.
    No one takes over a country by promising to lead the country to ruin or the people to tyranny.
    They take over a country promising to “make things better”, often by diverting attention and blame to someone else, be that someone else the Jews, the foreigners, the landowners, the aristocracy, the capitalists, the educated westerners, the infidels.
    Always easier to get a following by promising free stuff and blaming problems on someone else.
    Such as president “foodstamp” as you call him.
    Jesus found it easy to attract a following when He was giving away free stuff, but when He said people had to take responsibility for their own condition
    kind of separated out the wheat from the chaff.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  48. feets, it seems your idea of personal liberty is the right for a person to behave however they want sexually without being criticized
    personal liberty in a civilized society does not mean you get to coerce me to approve of another’s private behavior
    not too many people are interested in monitoring bedrooms for non-prefered behavior between consenting adults
    some of us just don’t like being coerced to say, “Hey, that’s great!” when we don’t think so

    it goes back to the oppressed and oppressor view, some think homosexuals are oppressed and the straight must be doing it
    so to correct it you “unoppress” the homosexuals
    and in the process oppress the straights
    but, since the intention was to unoppress the homosexuals it’s ok if someone else gets oppressed as an unintended consequence

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  49. Wouldn’t liberals see coercion in the process that enabled white income to exceed black income, or in the policies that help it to stay that way?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  50. we are paying far more taxes to live in a little country what has far less opportunity Mr. Dr.

    this is what fascism and boehnerism has wrought

    happyfeet (c60db2)

  51. Very good post. I love to think about things like this, and this is very thought-provoking.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. As a former liberal, I have to agree with Kling. The language and culture of conservatism was so off-putting to me I never thought of looking deeper into its principles. They did not speak my language. The ugliness on the left after 9/11 and the obvious fiscal mess of statism led me to read and learn.

    So either the right has to find new language or wait until the welfare state’s collapse (a dangerous option) and try to convince people then.

    Patricia (be0117)

  53. Patricia, if you have the inclination and opportunity, i think many of us would like to hear what you found off-putting in the language and culture of conservatism, and how much of it is really embedded in conservatism and how much was your perception of conservatism as viewed from outside.

    Both are important, though the latter is more of an issue of communication, not ideas; the former calls for a reexamination of ideas, or at least how they are formulated and described at a deeper level than “PR”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  54. Is Kling saying we have to find a new conservative language? I thought his point was we need to tailor our language to the audience we want to reach. I agree with that but if we change our core conservative language, we change the meaning of conservatism.

    Take Bush and compassionate conservatism: It appealed to liberals because it was “compassionate” but, in the process, it embraced entitlements that were not conservative. In other words, rhetoric can be more than just words. It can impact policy.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  55. It can impact policy.

    And not in a good way.

    JD (20406c)

  56. Progressives look at issues along an axis of oppressed vs. oppressors

    The problem with that is that most of the time, it’s not true – or they’ve got the sides wrong.

    Try this maybe:

    Progressives look at issues along an axis of a bizarro version of oppressed vs. oppressors

    Neo-conservatives look at issues along an axis of oppressed vs. oppressors

    Conservatives look at issues along an axis of what’s the opposite of what progressives think is right or wrong There may be also some of civilization vs. barbarism but they are not limited to that, and it’s more pragmatism.

    Libertarians look at issues along an axis of freedom vs. (government) coercion But that’s really the same as the first two.

    Libertarians have a wider definition of oppression.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  57. You’ll concentrate on how reform will take jobs away from poor citizens.

    Except that’s there’s not an iota of truth to that. And why would a progressive favor some people over others, anyway?

    This is the lump of labor theory.

    Now the truth is, when population increases, the average wage increases too.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  58. Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 6/4/2013 @ 10:35 am

    No one takes over a country by promising to lead the country to ruin or the people to tyranny.

    Facism justified tyranny in principle, and now the jihadists have come along and justified ruin as well maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  59. “Hate that word [hegemony]. Hate it.”

    - JD

    Hahahaha… sorry. I kinda hate it too, but I couldn’t think of a better one.

    I’ve lapsed into grad-speak gibberish.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  60. MD in Philly,

    How exactly do you go from God’s Plan for Humanity to politics? I am a Christian, and I know that you can’t make Heaven on Earth, but I am not sure about how to move that into politics. You can’t just give up on trying to improve the human condition because perfection is unattainable.

    OmegaPaladin (4ba63b)

  61. That wasn’t intended to be a barb directed at you, just an observation. My first instinct when I hear that word is to kick a cat.

    If there are 3 distinct languages, which one is Sammy speaking?

    JD (b63a52)

  62. So his writing always struck me as fatuous and clueless,

    http://theothermccain.com/2013/06/04/damn-you-josh-barro/

    that doesn’t Erickson doesn’t have his penchant for shoeleather.

    narciso (3fec35)

  63. Jihadists are in favor of polio, also, or against polio vaccine anyway, and lying about it, and also willing to kill to stop polio vaccinations..

    Now it has re-spread around the Moslem world through the annual pilgramages to Mecca.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  64. ==hegemony.
    Hate that word. Hate it.
    Comment by JD (20406c) — 6/4/2013 @ 10:33 am==

    Heh, JD. That brought back memories of my High School world history teacher, Mr. J. It was one of his favorite words. We all know if we fit in that word somehow someway in our essay test answers we’d do well gradewise.

    elissa (00d7a7)

  65. One of the late great Ric Locke’s rules was to avoid oversimplifying anything. People aren’t progressive, conservative or libertarian so much as some of their political views are progressive, conservative or libertarian. People swing political orientation from issue to issue and trying to lump someone in by saying “he’s a libertarian, therefore he thinks this way” only works when you are dealing with extremists in any camp. Most human beings have never really put any thought into why they hold a certain position on an issue and whether that issue jibes with their positions on other issues. NO human being (excepting Walter Block) has ever tried to fit every political position so that it agrees with a single defining philosophy.

    In our society, we substitute political party for political philosophy in conversation. Democrats are progressive/liberal. Republicans are conservative. Libertarians and Greens are cuckoo, etc. But none of those statements is entirely true.

    Historically, Conservativism was the political philosophy that stood for the tyrannical wisdom of the past. The gods of the copybook headings. Liberals were advocates of change in the vein of John Stuart Mill’s “greatest good” theory. In practice, this put conservativism on the side of royalists and good government types and liberals on the side of merchants and the self-made, meaning liberals were the first to advocate freer markets and decentralization of power. Our constitional republic was shockingly liberal when it was founded.

    There is very little of Burke’s advocacy for control from the plutocrats left within the “conservative” movement. There is even less of Locke or John Stuart Mill left in “liberal” politics.

    Yet, those vestiges of the philosophical underpinnings complicate the political philosophies of the major parties. Both parties are schizophrenic if examined on an individual issue basis in an attempt to determine a guiding philosophy. Republicans advocate simultaneously for traditional marriage (Burke) AND the power of the individual to make economic choices for himself(adoption of liberal market policies). Democrats advocate simultaneously for government control of individual choices in healthcare (Burke) and individual choice in family structure.

    The reality is that the “conservative” movement encompasses a wide variety of people with vastly different ideas of what “conservatism” means. Ditto “liberals/progressives”. And

    For most of the casual voters and even many of the politicos, the political labels we attach to policy ideas mean exactly what we need them to at that moment. “Government intervention in healthcare is bad, except for Medicare part IV,” say Bush conservatives. “American intervention in arab lands is bad, except for Libya” says Obama/Clinton liberals. We excuse our own inconsistencies while not allowing the other team to excuse theirs.

    The bottom line is that politics are incoherent, therefore there cannot be a coherent rubric through which you can view political actors and their followers.

    Hadlowe (33cc56)

  66. By the way, wall of text incoming for those who read from the bottom up.

    Hadlowe (33cc56)

  67. Great comment, Hadlowe. I attribute the incoherence to both parties making so many short term decisions to for short term political benefit. Each time politicians do that, they betray their principles and their party by mucking up its purpose.

    Dustin (303dca)

  68. “That wasn’t intended to be a barb directed at you, just an observation. My first instinct when I hear that word is to kick a cat.”

    - JD

    I know, I didn’t take it as a barb. I thought it was funny, because it really can be a loathsome catch-all whiner-word in grad school circles.

    The one redeeming quality of the word is being used to good effect by Orson Scott Card.

    Leviticus (b98400)

  69. Great comment, Hadlowe. I attribute the incoherence to both parties making so many short term decisions to for short term political benefit. Each time politicians do that, they betray their principles and their party by mucking up its purpose.

    That may be part of it. The other part is the natural human tendency to root for the home team. I hated Dwight Howard during the 2009 NBA Finals, but when the Lakers announced that they had traded for him, I was ecstatic. He was the same man, only the laundry was different. If he is in a Rockets uniform next year, I will go back to hating him.

    So it is with politics. I identify myself as conservative. Republicans are conservative. My default reaction is to like Republican ideas just because they are my team. It takes effort to distinguish my own ideals and principles from those of the Party.

    So, when your uncle on Facebook posts a rant saying that teabaggers deserve what they get or your congressman does the same on the floor of the house, it makes more sense if you view their antics as those of a deranged fan who just learned that his team bought off the referees.

    Hadlowe (33cc56)

  70. I think conservatives should look up the phrase ‘packing the court’ before they use it any more and completely beclown themselves any further. Morons.

    pumpkin head (05f7c7)

  71. I couldn’t remember what my screen name was. I guess the last time I was here I used the name right_reddy. I don’t want to be accused of sock puppeting simply because I make a valid argument. I know that *some* people are quick to that accusation here.

    right_reddy (05f7c7)

  72. I’m trying to figure out what #70 is talking about.

    Gerald A (82a59d)

  73. You should look it up, Gerald. Current events. Isn’t that what this little site is all about?

    right_reddy (05f7c7)

  74. Great post, interesting ideas.

    You could also say that progressives see conditions as weak vs. strong (and self-identify as weak?), conservatives see actions as rule-following vs. rule breaking (and self-identify as obedient?), and libertarians see decisions as individual vs. group (and self-identify as moral.)

    Similar yet different.

    Changing the language you use to talk about something probably doesn’t help the other side agree with you as such, but recognizing the differences and addressing them may lead to more understanding.

    The example that comes to mind (although it’s doing rather than speaking) is taking the anti-gun liberal to the range and after she’s sent a hundred rounds down range, helped clean the guns, pack things away, and you’re walking back to the car, she says “That was fun! When can we do it again? OMG, what did I just say?” I don’t think she’s become a solid pro-gun voter … but I have seen her shaking her head at the anti-gun rhetoric, especially their “no use but killing” line.

    Before you can change someone (something that’s extremely difficult to do, even if they want to change) it helps a great deal to understand them. If you show that you do, they will listen much closer to what you have to say.

    htom (412a17)

  75. Did one of our perennial trolls sneak in here in the last half dozen comments?

    SPQR (768505)

  76. Patrick,

    Here’s my problem with that, and maybe this is just me.

    Like take why I hate islamofascism.

    Well, first they are barbarians. They stone women to death for adultery. They pull down walls on gay people (Taliban did, at least). They chop off people’s hands for theft. Even if you disapprove of all the conduct they are punishing, even if you think some kind of state-sanctioned punishment is justified for all three (and I don’t) this is still fraking barbaric.

    Second, they are opposed to freedom. There is no freedom of speech. There is no freedom of religion. Women are forced to wear burqas. Heck in Saudi they can’t even drive as idiotic as that is.

    Third they oppress women. And Jews. And Christians. And Buddhists. And Sikhs. And Muslims they disagree with.

    So in case you missed it, I hate them for all three reasons that are supposed to be attributable to conservatives, liberals and libertarians. And if I wrote an essay entitled “why I hate the islamofascists” that is the kind of thing you are likely to see me say.

    But it goes deeper than that. Like that bit about oppressing women? Well, truthfully, that is another way I consider them barbarians. And their oppression of the jews and other religious dissenters? Well, its anti-freedom, too.

    See for me, I define civilization as having a certain modicum of freedom. I don’t care if all the babies are cared for, if you have squelched dissent you are a barbarian. And I consider oppression of others to be a form of barbarism. And I consider it to be a limitation on human freedom, too. It is triangular. What is barbaric is often oppressive and/or a limitation on freedom. What is a limitation on freedom is often barbaric and/or oppressive. What is a oppression is often a limitation on freedom and barbaric.

    Racial segregation, for instance, was oppression. It was also a limitation on freedom. It was also fraking barbaric. You might think it could be gentil, but Martin Luther King showed that racism that deep was rooted in anger and hatred that quickly became violent.

    The Nazis? Oppressive, freedom hating, fraking barbarians.

    The Soviet union? A system of oppressive, freedom hating, fraking barbarism.

    So not only do I concern myself with all three, but I don’t even consider them to be neatly segregated. It’s hard for me to think of a situation where someone would inappropriately limit someone’s freedom, and I wouldn’t also call it oppressive, possibly even barbaric.

    Maybe that means I am uniquely capable of seeing where other people come from. I actually like to think I am good at that, so it seems facially plausible in my mind. So maybe that’s one explanation: I am weird.

    I mean seriously anyone who knows me know that “Aaron is weird” is usually a plausible theory. :-)

    Or maybe NO ONE separates it out that neatly. Maybe everyone really mixes the impulses together.

    I guess the test is to see what happens when one value is pitted against another, but I can’t even think of a clean example of that where one bad is only bad one way and another bad is only bad a different way and they conflict. Maybe something will hit me later.

    But my guess is there is nothing particularly neat that can explain political division. I believe there are factions of many kinds, even factions of one, but this explanation not even a good rule of thumb with liberals, conservatives and libertarians.

    Or maybe I am just weird. :-)

    Aaron "Worthing" Walker (23789b)

  77. Aaron, that’s a great point, but don’t forget that freedom is a very open concept. One person’s freedom is another person’s barbarism.

    Regardless, I can easily see you writing an essay laying out your criticism of radical islam on all three axis, and then someone object to each of the three explanations, but with a different axis. That would be a very poor way to argue, but that’s what I see all the time.

    I’m still thinking about the ‘three languages of politics’, but I think it would be useful for good faith disagreement so that we can get to the real disagreement, which is often a difference in priorities (ie, civilization over freedom) rather than a disagreement of values.

    Dustin (303dca)

  78. Well not exactly, freedom has to operate within institutional boundaries, btw Aaron your review of ‘Into Darkness’ illustrates this category error,
    that is the larger distinction, conservatives believe in individuals operating within institution
    sans government intervention, for the most part.

    narciso (3fec35)

  79. MD, all we were shown of conservatism was the extremes and the outliers, iow, the Footloose theory of conservatism. They are repressive and no fun! They talk family values and then hire prostitutes!

    No one talked about the history of progressivism, how it originated in fascism, how collectivism always necessarily leads to tyranny. No one talked about the 99% of the well meaning followers and the 1% that wants to destroy capitalism.

    Dennis Prager talks about how he changes college kids’ minds in one seminar. I am going to read more from him, but he knows how to talk to them.

    Patricia (be0117)

  80. They used to teach that in school, Patricia. Those days are gone, except in home-schooling and some charter and private schools.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  81. Well Charles Beard early in the 20th century, started with the economic deconstruction of the founding fathers, this was parallel to the work of
    Appleman Williams and later Howard Zinn,

    narciso (3fec35)

  82. From the link at Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 6/4/2013 @ 3:06 pm
    … Sebelius replied. “The medical evidence and the transplant doctors who are making the rule — and have had the rule in place since 2005 making a delineation between pediatric and adult lungs, because lungs are different that other organs — that it’s based on the survivability [chances].”
    This is so incredibly freaking ignorant and arrogant at the same time. She is basing a life and death decision on the edge of medical knowledge based on rules made in 2005 from data pre-2005. It’s now 2013. It’s like outfitting her office with Windows Vista on 2005 computers. If you want a medical decision in 2013, talk to a specialist in 2013.

    How exactly do you go from God’s Plan for Humanity to politics? I am a Christian, and I know that you can’t make Heaven on Earth, but I am not sure about how to move that into politics. You can’t just give up on trying to improve the human condition because perfection is unattainable.
    Comment by OmegaPaladin (4ba63b) — 6/4/2013 @ 12:19 pm

    Very good question, and it is easy to make general pronouncements.
    To begin, I would say that in James it says that arrogance and selfish ambition lead to all sorts of evil, and being humble is a good thing. I think if one approaches government with a humility that says I will do my best to love my neighbor as myself, and help others to do the same, then one is spared the consequences of trying to make grand schemes that claim to save the world.
    For example, most people would be happy to acknowledge there are problems with health care in the United States and we should do something about it; but “they” would also be spared the folly of thinking they somehow know better than anybody else and are going to redo the whole thing all at once.
    Even more directly, p-o-l-i-t-i-c-i-a-n-s would tell the (are you sitting down?) truth.

    Adressing a couple of things at once. Gun control. The central issue is whether the populace is better off having the ability to defend themselves from criminals and a tyrannical government or not. Call yourself a dem, repub, conserv, lib, whatever, that is the question. If the dem spokesman Obama wants to say there is never a need to fear a tyrannical government, then have that discussion.

    Yes, Bill Bennett and others would day they have not really changed their views since 1960′s but that the Dems have, and what “Liberal” meant in the past is not the same as it does now.

    But I have to go.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  83. Thanks patricia, I’ll reply more later, chores to do (not hiring…oh never mind!)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  84. Sometimes, it feels like no language seems to reach them;

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/04/3433405/review-firing-of-ex-lapd-cop-dorner.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  85. The child is on a ventilator at Children’s of Philadelphia with end stage cystic fibrosis.
    her doctors at Children’s and other MD officials in the organ procurement system are supporting the request.
    And Sebelius like the consumate administrative bureaucrat leans on an out of date rule to justify her nondecision.

    She should be sued, arrested, and thrown in jail for practicing medicine without a license.

    Any comments from Sarah Palin on the 10 o’clock news?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  86. Thanks for all of your comments, MD. I think you are on a roll.

    Now for my 2 cents:

    What Arnold Kling is pointing out, in my opinion, is a symptom of the gnosticism which pervades our world. The deconstruction of ideas and the redefinition of words that everyone relies on to communicate. What we must remember is that in each axis, the words don’t even mean the same thing to different ideologues.

    Each “language of politics” is nothing less than a gnostic construct meant to take the “high ground” in a debate by “owning” (pwning, if you will) the language in use. This is a very polite way of saying that the “truth” is no longer pure.

    –DISCLAIMER—

    I am an independant through and through. I have both liberal (generous) and conservative (restraint) views. I see a lack of truthfullness from both D and R politicians. I hold the electorate of each party responsible for this sorry state – that is why I remain an independant.

    felipe (3243af)

  87. I don’t know about the 10 o’clock news, but she wasn’t going to let this one slip;

    The government will bend the rules left and right to harass targeted taxpayers, conservative patriots, selected journalists, etc., but it will strictly exercise inconsistent and subjective rules to deny a child a shot at life. And they called us liars when we spoke of “death panels” – faceless bureaucrats coming between you and your doctor to make life and death decisions about a loved one’s survival. It doesn’t sound so far fetched anymore, does it?

    narciso (3fec35)

  88. No, it doesn’t, narciso.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  89. well they succeeded in shutting down discussion of nuclear power, including in Germany, that’s the important thing;

    http://www.theage.com.au/comment/japans-radiation-disaster-toll-none-dead-none-sick-20130604-2nomz.html

    narciso (3fec35)

  90. Somebody else who needs that lung will die if the child gets it instead of him or her. Some people may get pleasure from picking one over the other, I doubt Sebelius does. I know that I would not. Sebelius is deferring to “the rule of law”, a practice established mainly by the medical community for the doling out of scarce organs. It may be arbitrary and archaic under the present state of medicine but it is better than what is being requested — that one person, Sebelius, exercise her “discretion” to choose that the child should live and another person die. She is being wrongly maligned in my opinion. Whether she is doing the right thing? It’s hard to be a god.

    nk (875f57)

  91. Thanks for the link to theage, Narciso.

    felipe (3243af)

  92. I don’t know if we can say that, nk. You’re assuming that any adult lungs that come available will go to an equally needy adult, but that’s only true if (1) the potential adult recipients are as sick as this little girl, and (2) the donor lungs are an equally good or better match for the potential adult recipients (as opposed to this little girl or one of the other children).

    What if the donor lungs are a better match for one of the children, but they have to go to an adult recipient (who isn’t a very good match) under the rules? Or what if the adult recipients can taken stronger medicines that can help prolong their lives while they wait for a transplant? Or what if the adult recipients aren’t as sick as one or more of the children?

    There are a number of other variables I’ve observed from having a sick child in a room on the transplant wing of a major medical facility for several weeks (my child was there for a related condition, not for a transplant). In other words, all transplant candidates are not equal — even in a large facility, where there are many people awaiting transplants.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  93. Granted, it is a judgment call to say who should get available organs for transplants but transplant units do this all the time. They are better able to evaluate who needs an organ than Sebelius, but she’s refusing to let them put this little girl on the list. If adult lungs can’t be transplanted to someone her age, why would her doctors even want to try?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  94. If there are 3 distinct languages, which one is Sammy speaking?

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 6/4/2013 @ 12:25 pm

    Uhhhhhhhhhh……
    Gibberish?

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  95. The bed of Procrustes. (The present organ priority procedure.) Yeah. But Sebelius cannot be blamed for not being Theseus. I, for one, would not want her to be anyway.

    nk (875f57)

  96. Sorry, DRJ, missed your following comment. I thought Sebelius was deferring to the established protocol, as draconian as it may be, and refusing to bend the rule or make a new one. My entire argument is based on that.

    nk (875f57)

  97. I think DRJ is describing the situation pretty well. No one is asking for an exception for this one child, this one child happens to be the immediate example for a request in a change of policy, based on the current state of medical care.
    The fact that she has been on a ventilator does put her quite high on the list, if she is allowed to be listed, and she will get an organ only if she matches as well as being on the list.
    I think Sebelius is content to be a bureaucrat who says, “The rules we made in 2005 are just fine, because they are the rules, and I don’t need to listen to no bunch of medical experts who know what they are talking about.”
    And don’t tell me that someone in an office pushing papers knows more about life and death decisions than a surgeon in the OR, and for her to claim any such standing is presumptuous.

    I guess I will need to apologize if the story turns out to be different from my current understanding.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  98. Take Bush and compassionate conservatism: It appealed to liberals because it was “compassionate” but, in the process, it embraced entitlements that were not conservative.

    His take on ideology really irked me because it further conflated conservatism with a lack of compassion. If Bush truly understood the history of human nature and socio-political sentiment, instead of worrying about conservatism as lacking a touchy-feely gloss, he would have been far more interested in highlighting the way that liberalism — when it comes to do-gooderness — apparently has just the opposite effect on what many of its biggest followers most admire about themselves and their belief system.

    I guess a leftwing variation of George W Bush would have been a Democrat coming out and wanting to promote the phrase “logical liberalism.”

    BTW, when it comes to ideological biases through the eons, I remain fascinated by the fact that the famous ancient Greek philosopher Plato originally judged those opposed to homosexuality as, to paraphrase, being philistines or whatever people back then would have labeled as “rednecks” or “hicks.” Then later in life he began to repudiate homosexuality.

    When it comes to human nature, as much as things change, some things never change.

    Mark (cda46a)

  99. Sorry, nk, I was busy typing while you were posting.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  100. Mark, I agree with you. When I heard the phrase “Compassionate Conservatism” I thought he was going to highlight how conservative policies are often more compassionate when you actually look at the results of policies.

    One place where he really did try that was in HIV help and prevention in Africa, where the “ABC” approach, more consistent with a “conservative” moral basis, was also shown to be the most effective-
    but all of the AIDS folk fought that idea.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  101. No apologies necessay, MD, not to me and not for your position on this question. It’s a heartrending story.

    I have done a 180 on organ transplants myself, lately. I refused to let them harvest my parents but now, for myself, they can have whatever they can use (my liver is in good shape believe it or not) and the rest is going to a medical school. And with funerals costing $25,000.00 these days, it makes money sense too.

    nk (875f57)

  102. Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 6/4/2013 @ 4:10 pm

    So, what I’m hearing you say is that you were repelled by the caricature of Conservatives and the pointing out of bad examples, rather than being repelled by Conservatives themselves when their views were fairly described.
    If that is not what you meant, please correct me.

    Yes, from what I have heard from Prager he is about as good as it gets in presenting conservative ideas in a manner that is “palatable” to the non-conservative.
    I heard about a movie involving prager: http://baseballdennisandthefrench.com/home/

    One of his choice comments is to the effect that “some ideas are so stupid that you had to go to graduate school to believe them”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  103. You’re correct, MD. And DRJ too–kids are not taught much of anything about history and political philosophy.

    The course taught by IRS victim Mr. Kookogey and his list of books sounds like a great primer.

    http://www.linchpinsofliberty.org/linchpins-library/

    Patricia (be0117)

  104. Speaking of government coercion, has anyone else noticed that the dive team which recovered TWA800 was SEAL Team 6? Pres Clinton specifically wrote an EO to remove them from whistleblower protection then… apparently Obama is using the Stalin solution now?

    Concerned (16a20f)

  105. Somebody else who needs that lung will die if the child gets it instead of him or her. Some people may get pleasure from picking one over the other, I doubt Sebelius does. I know that I would not. Sebelius is deferring to “the rule of law”, a practice established mainly by the medical community for the doling out of scarce organs. It may be arbitrary and archaic under the present state of medicine but it is better than what is being requested — that one person, Sebelius, exercise her “discretion” to choose that the child should live and another person die. She is being wrongly maligned in my opinion. Whether she is doing the right thing? It’s hard to be a god.

    Comment by nk (875f57) — 6/4/2013 @ 7:05 pm

    They aren’t asking for the girl to be put at the top of the list, just that she be put on the list. There are currently over 1,600 people on the list, so she may die before a lung becomes available, but not being on the list at all is a death sentence.

    Tanny O'Haley (f5fbfe)

  106. man this thread got really really

    dark

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  107. Well that’s what happens when Klingon is spoken anywhere! That race is full of nothing but violence and bloodlust.

    After all they believe that Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam !

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  108. This admenstruation believes DaHjaj ‘oH a QaQ jaj SoHvaD Hegh!

    peedoffamerican (ee1de0)

  109. Aaron,

    I’d say it is actually a matter of primacy. Which of the axes is most important to you? Also, I would suspect that being a lawyer in private practice, you develop the skill of approaching an issue from multiple angles. After all, in your line of work it is less about what is objectively true as what needs to be true for my client to win the case.

    OmegaPaladin (f4a293)

  110. So as a libertarian I suppose I am a liberal who has figured out that once government gets too large it becomes the chief oppressor.

    Oh wait, I am a conservative who has figured out that big government leads to barbaric behavior on the part of that big government. Gee, which am I?

    {^_^}

    JDow (1a2024)

  111. I tend to try to avoid letting myself be pigeonholed into a specific “tribe,” for lack of a better word. I simply believe that right v. wrong is a fairly common sense notion, and that as long as whatever choice I make as an adult doesn’t infringe upon anyone else, I should be left alone.

    I’m 47, reasonably successful, albeit not as financially secure as I’d like, and loathe big government. I’ve voted Republican in every election since 1984, save for the occasional lesser-of-two-evils Democrat mayoral candidate in Chicago or Los Angeles, and count Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness, Barry Goldwater’s The Conscience of a Conservative and FA Hayek’s works as the most influential books I’ve ever read.

    That said. I also enjoy smoking pot on occasion, and purchase my weed only from CA-sanctioned growers. I also see no problem with gay marriage. This, needless to say, doesn’t really endear me to SoCons, but you’ll never find me compromising my beliefs in order to align myself with those who think the Obamapocalypse is an “overreach,” just so I can continue to smoke weed and eat Cheetos.

    I actually prefer Tostitos and sour cream.

    Simply put, I’ve never gotten so stoned that I’ve failed to recognize fascism when I see it, and brother, if what we’re seeing (especially McDerpmott’s abhorrent behavior yesterday) isn’t fascism, then maybe the weed is more dangerous than I believed.

    Just my .02.

    My Sharia Moor (59f74c)

  112. Indeed we are living fascism. People think it won’t happen. It’s here.

    Joseph D (acc4de)

  113. This is of course the whole death panel thing.

    Like it or not, Kathleen Sebelius in her position as Secretary of Health and Human Services has been given the personal power of life and death.

    Over every case. “As the Secretary shall determine.”

    Every case like this, no matter how wise or stupid, crosses her desk because she’s the final appeal. Just like every death penalty case gets sent to the Supreme Court (usually to be denied cert).

    Don’t like the heat? Get out of the kitchen.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  114. Actually, laugha, I think it is more like “Don’t like the chef? Get out of the kitchen”.

    felipe (3243af)

  115. My Sharia Moor,

    That sounds like a libertarian approach if I ever heard of one.

    OmegaPaladin (833eff)

  116. It’s easier than Kling allows.

    Conservatives are the disciplinarian father figure. Suck it up. Save, work hard. prepare. Stop whining.

    Liberals are the nurturing mom, always looking for a boo boo to fix, vicious in their anger to anyone that might hurt their child.

    Libertarians are like, “Get off my back, mom and dad. I’m freaking 30 years old, own my home and a business. I don’t need you in my bedroom, fixing my booboos, buying my insurance, approving my lifestyle, etc.” We need a new age of youthful, libertarian philosophy spreading across our country. Mom and dad have become a royal pain in the ass.

    FreeUlysses (96e903)

  117. I prefer Thomas Sowell’s Constrained versus Unconstrained axis, from A Conflict of Visions.

    Smashmaster (8976f7)

  118. I think this is (merely) a practical application of Jonathan Haidt’s more encompassing work: The Righteous Mind. Strongly recommended for anyone interesting in these types of questions.

    Robert (97403b)

  119. Obama is about to reverse policy on Syria. Or maybe not. Because in practical terms, his policy is to keep the war going.

    He wants neither side to win, and Assad to retain control of the chemical weapons and missiles but never use them. After a stalemate is established, he wants Assad to leave office peacefully and go into exile, while under indictment by the tr.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  120. tribunal in the Hague.

    I mean that’s his policy if you add it all up. Not really because he wants it but because he doesn’t like all the other alternatives.

    U.S. Military Plan to Arm Rebels Includes No-Fly Zone in Syria – Wall Street Journal MIDDLE EAST NEWSUpdated June 13, 2013, 5:02 p.m. ET

    It’s not final, but this will be speeded up or slowed down by how much if any Assad is winning.

    Also:

    AP: White House close to approving lethal aid for Syrian rebels Hot Air June 10

    Syria Has Used Chemical Arms on Rebels, U.S. and Allies Find By MARK MAZZETTI, MICHAEL R. GORDON and MARK LANDLER New York times Published online: June 13, 2013

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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