Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Rational Liberal Cont'd

To clarify a distinction that a few dissenting emailers had regarding my previous post:

While both Peretz and I both seem to be engaging in the same inter-party struggle of claiming the Liberal Title as our own, there is a significant difference between his article and my post. In my post, I claim that my position is the true Liberal position, and that Peretz's is best described as Neo-Conservative. But I am by no means label obsessed, and will happily take any other label, as long as it properly reflects my beliefs. My main point was that we are both rational people with a difference of opinion and that because his ideology is not the same as mine, we shouldn't be lumped together.

Peretz's attitude is different. His main point was that we are all liberals who agree with what we want, but that one side is Rational, while the other is Irrational. For him, there is no difference of opinion; but rather that our side is unwilling to overrule our emotional hatred towards Bush. And once we regain our rationality, he believes, we too will rejoice in Bush's successful policy.

So unless Peretz was only addressing Neo-Conservative Bush-Haters, and not liberals, we were not engaging in the same activity. Mine is an open discussion among equals who disagree, and his is as a teacher insulting his undisciplined pupils to make them shut-up and learn. He believes no rational debate is possible, and precludes any debate from occurring as he sees nothing to debate.

And as I said before, a key problem is that he wrongly pretends that he has adopted Bush's policy, while encouraging us to do so; when in fact, it was Bush who adopted Peretz's policy, and this is merely an extension of the same debate we've had for years. When he taunts us for Bush-hatred, he is actually showing bitterness that we aren't finally congratulating him for his own policy success. And he refuses to accept any arguments which might suggest that success isn't already self-evident. The "Bush Hater" rhetoric is nothing but a mask used to stifle his own critics, and coax the weak-minded into believing that their disagreement is irrational and stupid.

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