Over the past several weeks, I’ve been getting lectured to by various members of the purity left. According to them, I’m not really a progressive, I’m actually a Blue Dog, or some other worse name they’ve come up with. Why? Because I’m a pragmatic liberal, not a hardcore liberal like they are. Somehow, they’re under the assumption that they are the majority of the party (they’re not), and they are the base of the Democratic Party (they’re not). I’ve been chastised for explaining why “real progressives” don’t – and can’t – win in many areas, which according to them, is only because our candidates aren’t “exciting” enough. All of which falls under “the usual” stuff when dealing with them, but here’s the thing that’s truly infuriating: They’re also saying that if their preferred candidate doesn’t get the nomination, they’ll stay home or vote for the other party’s candidate, and encourage others to do the same. What that shows me? They either don’t care about the consequences, or they don’t think there will be any.
Tag Archives: logical fallacy
Over on Salon, there’s an opinion column by a self-described “leftist feminist” who spends a lot of words justifying her “principled stand” for not voting. Seriously? It’s all the same garbage I’ve ever heard from every so-called leftist who thinks that not voting sends a message, and that will lead to changes and conversations. Why is it garbage? As I’ve said often here, if you don’t vote, you don’t matter. No politician or political party will care about your principles, no one will be “starting a conversation” with you. You have removed yourself from any conversations. It’s only by voting that you get to do all that. But in reading through numerous screeds over the past few years touting making a “principled stand” by not voting, I notice that they’re taking certain things for granted. They shouldn’t.
As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a pragmatic liberal. Some of that pragmatism comes from my experiences in various situations, while the rest of it comes from my background in science. Get involved in enough projects that end up being of the “up to your ass in alligators” type, finding out that the plans you were given won’t work or don’t do what they were supposed to, and you become a fan of “what works.” From the sciences, it was the times spent coming up with a great hypothesis, only to have the actual experimental data totally destroy it. The result is that I tend to be not quite cynical, but definitely willing to question things. I want to see the data, and I want to see if or how something works. If the data doesn’t back it up, or it’s not working, I’m willing to chuck it and go with something else. The opposite to that is … faith.
In the previous post, I discussed “predictable outcomes” when it comes to regulatory weakness or lax enforcement in creating man-made disasters. I said they were due to political ideology or short-term economic concerns. There’s another type of disaster which can happen, when problems from a natural event end up being magnified into a man-made one. These stem from political ideology. Recently, a polar vortex moved south, and created winter storm conditions in the South. The result? Atlanta, Georgia became a parking lot. It wasn’t the only area in the South affected, Birmingham, Alabama had similar issues.
A day after up to 3 inches of snow in parts of Georgia caused horrific gridlock on ice-covered streets — particularly in metropolitan Atlanta where thousands were trapped on the roads overnight — several major thoroughfares remained a mess due to lingering accidents and other problems.
In neighboring Alabama, there was a similar scene playing out. “There are still four or five areas on our interstates that are still treacherous. The traffic is still proceeding very slowly, but we are making progress,” Gov. Robert Bentley said.
I’ve spent a while reading statements from various right-wing politicians – Rand Paul being one of the more prominent – that extended unemployment benefits are a bad thing. You see they may increase the deficit, and (gasp!) they may cause people to put off taking low-level, low-paid jobs! There seems to be two major core assumptions: That the extension of the benefits decreases people’s willingness to look for work; and that there are plenty of jobs available, if only those lazy unemployed would just take them. To back up their case, they’ll come up with an apocryphal business owner whose minimum wage jobs are just going begging, because the unemployed won’t take them.