For Dad Mostly…

by Nathan Hamm on 7/9/2004 · 3 comments

I try to be much politically fairer on here than I am in meatspace.

However, and this is mostly for Dad because he hears this most often, I wish I recorded the things that people I work with say. Nothing is more revealing of the level of thought among Democratic partisans (and here, I’m talking about people who honestly believe that the sun would actually shine brighter if Bush was out of office) than to hear F911–every last innuendo and conspiracy–compressed into 60 seconds. Poorly argued and defended just with “I don’t want to talk about it.” Keep in mind, I don’t either, but I also don’t want to allow the workplace to be a safe space for ideological tyrrany (the amount of political email I get…).

For me, it’s very telling that the hardcore Green Party member in here hated F911. Why? Not necessarily because she disagrees with what it suggests but because it leaves out the larger picture (including what hurts her case) and that the cheap argumentation is sucking people in and revealing that critical thought is in short supply.

Again, my bias is that I’m an ex-Democrat utterly disgusted by the behavior and rhetoric of the party during the Bush presidency. It was wrong when it was done to Clinton and it is wrong now. I know there are dimwitted Republican partisans, but their rhetoric is far from acceptable in polite society.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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upyernoz July 9, 2004 at 12:40 pm

the funny thing is, i totally agree with this sentence:

“Again, my bias is that I’m an ex-Democrat utterly disgusted by the behavior and rhetoric of the party during the Bush presidency.”

i too am an ex-democrat, but my disgust comes with the fact that the democratic party did not challenge the president at all during in the first two years or so after 9/11. today, they’re acting almost like a real opposition party, but just barely and not nearly enough.

but what you seem to be upset about is not the party leadership per se, but rather the liberals you meet at your job. maybe you just need a new job. not all liberals are ignorant about foreign policy, there are plenty of reasons to be legitimately upset about the iraq war, erosion of civil liberties, etc. (at least in my opinion). of course there are people who hold strong, yet uninformed, opinions. but (as you acknowledge) being an uninformed partisan is not the exclusive provence of the left. i don’t even think it’s most of the left. you seem to have a different impression from the people you work with. but just remember you’re not necessarily dealing with a representative sample.

nor are you dealing with the democratic party. your anectdote about the green party member you work with isn’t really relevant to that issue, though it may be relevant to the atmosphere at your job.

Mark Hamm July 9, 2004 at 1:23 pm

I agree with your frustration with people that only acknowledge the facts (or sometimes nonsense)that supports their views. But we all do it to some extent. In polite atmospheres people will agree to disagree and not discuss it further.

Like upyurnoz I am frustrated with the Democratic parties softness. I think in the 2000 election they rolled over because there was a concern that not doing so would threaten our countries stability. In other words Gore may have taken one for the good of the country. That ‘softness’ may be an attempt appeal to the majority of Americans that simply don’t like stridency in their politicians. The republicans have been great in having ‘attack dogs’ to do their hard work while they maintain dignity in their demeanor. The Dems just don’t have any. THis is why F911 is so widely liked by the democrat constiuency, it may be crap but its our crap for a change.

For some reason it is better if your parties attack dog is a fat white dude and not some skinny white chick with a nose piercing (god I hate those) arguing that there is a conspiracy to keep tofu out of the school lunch program. I think the leftist hippies of my day were much easier to take then from your days in EUgene. They’re just not as fun anymore.

Nathan July 9, 2004 at 2:39 pm

I agree that the Dems didn’t really challenge the first few years, and that bothered me. Now, they are challenging in the “as long as it’s the opposite of Bush” vein.

I know the people I work with aren’t representative, but that’s what prompted this.

The Green is to illustrate what I’m seeing a lot of–mainstream democrats fawning over F911 because it’s telling them what they want to hear. The Green knows her guy’s not winning and she’s not so hellbent on ripping Bush at every opportunity. She dishes it out to both parties. I respect that a lot even if I really disagree with her.

I know there are thoughtful liberals, I’m just not meeting them at work or around town. On the 4th, I was at a party that, to almost the last person was bloviating in disgust over Bush’s personality and accent, saying how moved they were by F911 (one cried), and engaging in an escalating and subtle pissing match to flaunt their liberal superiority. Not once was larger context or policy in general brought up.

I want the Democrats to be a real opposition, but one not in the grips of hysteria (and I’m saying this because the leadership is paying altogether much lip-service to the hysterical).

I kind of lost my train of thought before that last paragraph… I had an hour meeting.

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