The pro-war sentiment is a little unfair of a comparison since this was the biggest attack on american soil in history and everyone was rallying behind the nation.
And I think the point is that with Bush at least the left knew that they had to fight. With Obama they assume he has similar interest but he often caves or even proposes legislation that cuts social safety nets and intrudes on civil and human rights. Meanwhile the left can place the blame on the right without fighting where responsibility lies, in part at least.
Of course it's unfair, but it instantly refutes the idea that the left were somehow "bitterly fighting" against war and now they’re supporting or ignoring it or something because Obama took office. And I understood what he was saying, which is why I took the point to its logical conclusion.
Let it be said that studies have been done to demonstrate that Nader did not cost Al Gore the election. Rather, it was the Supreme Court and the lack of enthusiasm on the part of democrats to speak for the disenfranchised voters in the state of Florida. They did need a scapegoat and Nader served that purpose. The other purpose it serves is, as you say, a warning of what can happen when we do not vote for democrats. There is something to be said about strategy, but the question then arises: if this is the strategy, and the focus is on that strategy, then what room is there for debate of the DNC's policies, about third parties and at what point it is time to walk away from the DNC. There is a point at which the strategy becomes an end unto itself rather than a means to achieve anything broader.
There is definitely a point at which we must walk away from the Democrats, assuming their policies don't change significantly, that is. Was it this election? No, I don't think so. Even in non-swing states third-party candidates get paltry support. The left (I mean the left as distinct from the Democratic Party, here) has no strategy, and so they have nothing to implement. I see nothing good, however, resulting from a strategy that allows the Republicans to gain power and momentum.
|Or, alternatively, there can be change with republicans in power over democrats. To use Nixon as an example again, he was to the left of Obama in domestic policy. This was not because he had a fundamentally different view of the world than Obama, rather, it was because the social upheaval had produced a political context favorable to left-of-center policies.|
Yes, social upheavals can change the political context, and this could happen while either a Democrat or Republican is president. But what reason is there to think that such an upheaval, in favor of the left
, is somehow more likely under a Republican? It could just as well cause a more massive Tea Party-like movement.
|I don't expect most Americans to have a familiarity with The Communist Manifesto. However, if we were to take a poll with regard to, say, the strength of unions, the availability of health care, their opinions about war, whether civilian deaths are acceptable, or whether social programs should be on the table, and so on, I think one would be surprised with the overlap between the views of someone like myself and the general public.|
It would depend on how you frame the question. Put it broadly enough--should healthcare be available to everyone, should there be extensive social programs, etc.--then the left and the right will agree. They just differ about where those things should come from. Although, mention anything about raising taxes, and I think people will show where their loyalties lay.
|I would argue that this is a product of the dichotomous political system. Bush advocated war, the democrats acquiesced and the boundaries of acceptable discourse were therefore set.|
I don't think the dichotomous political system helped, but I would more agree with jawstheme here.
|Those which thrived are those who saw the movement as outside of the electoral politics. There is a reason that the anti-war movement failed, while the immigrants rights movement fundamentally changed the debate: one was wedded to the electoral system, the other was outside of that realm and forced both to concede.|
Well gay marriage was a part of Obama's platform, and that overwhelmingly succeeded. Marijuana legalization was outside electoral politics and that succeeded. I see confirmation bias in your position and the continued untenability of single-variable, unilateral causation.
|And I think we need to examine why people do not vote. I would say it is because the system has become ossified and like myself and others, they do not see a genuine pathway to make their lives better.|
Which is no doubt partially true. But, although it's a cliché, there are a lot of people who don't vote because they literally don't follow politics and just don't care, among other things. According to the 2010 Census Bureau survey
, reasons people give for not voting are "Too busy" (26.6%), "Not interested" (16.4%), "Illness or disability" (11.3%), "Out of town" (9.2%), and "Forgot to vote" (8.0%). "Don't like candidates or the issues" and "Other" came in at 8.6% and 9.0%, respectively. I repeat my conviction that every social phenomenon necessarily involves more than one variable.
Anyway, I feel I've said my piece, and have reached my critical threshhold for multi-quotes, so you may respond to my replies, but I'll likely read it and be done.