Friday, December 03, 2004

Democrat's Next Move

I have been avoiding this issue, mostly because I'm getting bored with it. But this article is getting a lot of attention and so I read it.
It is so worthwhile. It is more of an essay really, by Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic. He spends lots of time comparing the liberal response to 9/11 to the liberal response to communism in the 1940s and 1950s. What he found is that liberals 50 years ago confronted the issues and redefined what they were about. They didn't give up their ideals, but they recognized that the Soviets and worldwide expansion of dictatorial communism was something they needed to fight. (And no.. values was not the defining issue that won the election for Bush)
There are so many good quotes from the article, I can't possibly take the space to put them all here. I'll just leave you with the summary paragraph and let you know that if you are interrested in what the Democrats need to do to find themselves again this article is a MUST READ.
Of all the things contemporary liberals can learn from their forbearers half a century ago, perhaps the most important is that national security can be a calling. If the struggles for gay marriage and universal health care lay rightful claim to liberal idealism, so does the struggle to protect the United States by spreading freedom in the Muslim world. It, too, can provide the moral purpose for which a new generation of liberals yearn.
Oh, yeah, and there are two pages, so when you get to the bottom of this one find the "2" link for the second page.

Armed Liberal points out this part of the article:
Like the softs of the early cold war, MoveOn sees threats to liberalism only on the right. And thus, it makes common cause with the most deeply illiberal elements on the international left. In its campaign against the Iraq war, MoveOn urged its supporters to participate in protests co-sponsored by International answer, a front for the World Workers Party, which has defended Saddam, Slobodan Milosevic, and Kim Jong Il. When George Packer, in The New York Times Magazine, asked Pariser about sharing the stage with apologists for dictators, he replied, "I'm personally against defending Slobodan Milosevic and calling North Korea a socialist heaven, but it's just not relevant right now."
And then points out that the democratic party is "They are also mobilizing a base of activists and functionaries - really the bones of the party - who are consciously taking the party to a place where it will be unable to speak intelligently about defense for a generation." And he quotes some comments from liberal blogger's websites to prove it, by noting that some of the readers of those sites claim that there is no war on terrorism at all.
The Dems are going to have to solve this in the next 4 years or the result might be the same.

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