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February 24, 2005


rilkefan, ditto thanks for the Philosoraptor pointer.

Reading it, it strikes me how close the description is to the adversary system in legal proceedings. Oh, sure, there are rules of evidence and a presumptively impartial judge but the analogy often tossed around is that of single combat. The very term "trial" evokes that history.

I think that "win at any cost" and "if you're not with us, you're against us" have seeped much too far into all of life. I too believe we must resist the urge to demonize the other side. I do think, though, that we must point it out when it occurs.

"How many more Americans were killed during...."

Lincoln's terms? FDR's terms? Is this truly a useful metric of any sort?

Hilzoy said: "LJ -- you did? Me too!"

I couldn't vote for John Anderson in 1980 in the primary sense, because there were no primaries in Washington State in those days; instead I went to the Republican caucus for my precinct and voted for Anderson, and since the representation for our precinct in Seattle's Capitol Hill consisted of about five classic blue-haired elderly traditional Republican women, my sweetie, me, and Dave Horsey, the editorial cartoonist of the Post-Intelligencer, the editorial page cartoon the next day was a clearly recognizable caricature of me and said sweetie (of whose recent death I've written muchly about), with hippie-ish looking characteristics considerably exaggerated, signing in to one of the Bluehairs saying "Why, yes, ma'am, we're lifelong Republicans."

Then in 1984, a photo of me (along with eight or so others at the caucus) at the Dem caucus where I voted and spoke in favor of Gary Hart (and was promptly made delegate to the county convention) was on the front page of the P-I the next day (we were the closest caucus, in the Denny Regrade, to the P-I building); just lucky, I guess.

Okay, so I've now read this thread, and the Philosoraptor link.

If you thought that a large section of the American population would willingly see these groups, or intersections of them, rounded up and detained indefinitely, tortured, or shot:
(in order of most vilified)

Gays, lesbians, and transgenders
Blacks and Latinos
Non-Christians (except Jews, possibly)
Leftists (not identical with liberals)
Democratic voters (not identical with liberals, as we know from Lieberman)

I don't think that this scenario is likely -- except maybe for the Muslim-Americans, if there was another terrorist attack -- but it is enough to give you nightmares if you belong to one or some of these groups.

I would say that the LGBT group is most vulnerable, after the Muslim-Americans, because they are a relatively small proportion of the population. Sen. (State) Patrick Johnson, of Ohio, maintains that homosexuals should receive capital punishment. We're talking genocide here, even if only in the state of Ohio.

It isn't just blog commenters, or even bloggers, you see. It isn't even just Rush and Hannity. It's politicians, in conservative communities.

Dave, many liberals aren't isolationist. the head of Human Rights Watch, for instance, wrote a great piece last year discussing when we should go in (genocide) and when we shouldn't (oppression). You can debate his standards but he's hardly isolationist, and neither are many others I know. My complaints with Bush is that he's done very little to actually advance democracy in the region, though he is at least making more of the right noises lately.

As for Carter conducting diplomacy, the governor of my state (Jeb) went down to El Salvador prior to its last election and suggested that if they put the Wrong Person in the presidency, we might cut back on the number of El Salvadorians allowed to work here and send money home. Curiously, nobody on the right (that I'm aware of) is complaining about his meddling in foreign policy.

But the main point of this: Hilzoy, marvelous post, very, very thought provoking (including on some of my more negative attitudes, I fear). And a good CS Lewis quote; he's a great thinker, even though he never convinced me. And Katherine, you said something in the comments that I'm also going to save for musing(I forget the exact text now, but I'll find it)

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