Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Blindness of the Left

Matt Taibbi has written a piece examining how liberals have come to embrace war.  For example (emphasis and color in original):

Earlier this month, onetime fierce Iraq war opponent Rachel Maddow went on TV to embrace John Bolton in a diatribe about how the poor National Security Adviser has been thwarted by Trump in efforts to topple Maduro.

“Regardless of what you thought about John Bolton before this, his career, his track record,” Maddow said. “Just think about John Bolton as a human being.”

He concludes his piece (emphasis and color in original):

A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran an exposé about Guantanamo Bay that should have been a devastating piece of journalism. It showed site officials building a hospice, because prisoners are expected to grow old and die rather than ever sniff release. One prisoner was depicted sitting gingerly in court because of “chronic rectal pain” from being routinely sodomized in CIA prisons.

Ten years ago, Americans would have been deeply ashamed of such stories. Now, even liberals don’t care. The cause of empire has been cleverly re-packaged as part of #Resistance to Trump, when in fact it’s just the same old arrogance, destined to lead to the same catastrophes. Bad policy doesn’t get better just because you don’t let people talk about it.

Let me get a minor thing out of the way – maybe not minor, but in relation to Taibbi’s piece: I have been wondering “why Trump?”  Like, what’s the point?  What’s the purpose?  I am not speaking of why people voted for him – this I understand; but why was he allowed to win?  Toward what end?  Taibbi’s last paragraph might have captured it for me.

What little resistance that there has been to war and empire – on both the left and right – perhaps Trump has neutered.  Resistance to war and empire on the left – see Maddow’s comments above – is gone, the final nail in this coffin being driven by Trump Derangement Syndrome. 

Resistance to war and empire on the right – one of the reasons Trump received votes a Republican wouldn’t normally receive – is also gone, driven by Trump Infatuation Syndrome…or something like this.

That’s the minor thing.  Now the other thing.  Taibbi writes, regarding the obscenities performed by Americans and the American government in places like Guantanamo Bay: “Ten years ago, Americans would have been deeply ashamed of such stories. Now, even liberals don’t care.”

Who is Taibbi trying to fool?  Ten years ago, Obama was president – the darling of the left.  He was doing all of these same things.  Almost everyone who was “ashamed” of these things during Bush II were nowhere to be found during Obama.

Obama’s role – the “why” of why he was allowed to win when he was a complete unknown and Hillary was a shoe in – was to fool the left into making statements like Taibbi just made.

We can go further back if we like: every major war in which America was involved was driven by a president of the Democratic party – a president of the left: Wilson, Roosevelt, Johnson – just for a few examples.

We can go into the longer history of the United States – it is a country born in war and has only known war.  As of 2017, the US has been at war 222 of 239 years.  So, we can now call it 224 out of 241.

We can go into the philosophy: the left is the side of revolution – revolution means war, if not as the first resort, always as an option to keep on the table.


The left has always been for war; this is not to say that the right has been innocent.  But let’s not be fooled.  Essays like this by Taibbi only serve to fool.

Obama did a great job of neutering the anti-war left.  Trump is just the clean-up man.

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