October 16, 2008

The Illusion of the “Netroots Movement”

Filed under: Politics — PolitiCalypso @ 5:21 pm

There are some very good reasons why I have never chosen to identify with the “netroots” movement or the politics thereof. One such reason is the “movement”‘s eagerness to take credit for anything good that happens to the Democratic Party in elections, when the simple truth of the matter is that outside circumstances shape elections. If I were superstitious, I’d worry that the onset of crowing about the apparent coming Obama win would jinx it. However, that would be the ultimate in assigning undeserved responsibility to these characters.

The political pendulum swings back and forth. As a liberal, I think that the more liberal party should be the natural governing party of the U.S., because we need to move forward continuously. However, there is a place for a more conservative party, a loyal opposition, that keeps the metaphorical feet of the liberal party firmly on the ground, and sometimes gets rewarded with power when the liberal party becomes corrupt or goes off on some kind of crazy utopian scheme. A big reason why politics in the U.S. have been so messed up is because the party charged with keeping everyone’s feet planted on the ground was emphatically not the “conservative” party. It was the “conservatives” who had pie-in-the-sky visions of using force to instill democracy in people and being thrown flowers for it. It was the “conservatives” who believed that the sheer beneficent nature of the rich would lead to a pretty unicorn world of unregulated markets promoting widespread wealth. The “hard realist” party, the one attempting to put the brakes on these kinds of ideas, was the Democratic Party. Traditionally, liberals were supposed to have optimistic ideas of human nature and conservatives were supposed to be more pessimistic and cynical, but, despite the slogan of the Obama campaign, that has been reversed. Liberalism is traditionally, and classically, not supposed to be the check on conservatism run wild, but that’s what has happened now.

What we are seeing right now in the U.S. is that natural cycle, albeit in an upside-down world. (Read more…)

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