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Friday 05 November 2004

Why I Am Glad George Bush Was Re-Elected

My political position can probably be best described as knee-jerk libertarian. By libertarian I mean that I believe that people’s best interests are best looked after by the people themselves, individually. And by knee-jerk I mean that I don’t just believe that the drug war is wrong, or that welfare is a boondoggle; I mean that public schools, public roads, public parks, and just about anything else done by the government is a bad idea.

For example, I don’t think that parks, or even the very parks owned and operated by the government are necessarily a bad idea: I just think that the government (or any government, with very few exceptions) is uniquely ill-suited to the role of owning and operating them. I’ll concede that there are some things that are done well — and some things that might be done best — by the government. But not only am I a knee-jerk libertarian, but I’m also (really) from Missouri. And so far nobody’s shown me anything that the government does uniquely well.


So I’m not a fan of that statist George Bush — yet I’m glad he’s won. And why is this? Because among his opponents are people like this:


Presumably by ‘Middle America’ this guy doesn’t mean Nebraska, Kansas, and so forth, but rather those parts of the country that voted for George Bush.

In which case, what he really means is “Fuck Everything But The Cities” — and fuck some of them, too. Here’s the county-by-county breakdown of the vote. A few places hadn’t been tallied when this map was produced. I believe that most of those places eventually went to Kerry:


So we’ve shifted from the Noisy Left complaining that Bush had been ‘selected not elected’ to the Noisy Left complaining that everyone that disagrees with them is stupid. I am glad that Bush was re-elected primarily because I fear the consequences of people like the young gentleman with the sign thinking that their philosophy is at all persuasive.

Isn’t one of the complaints of the Noisy Left that the GOP metaphorically says ‘Fuck You’ to whatever victim group is currently fashionable? If that’s true, at least it’s metaphorical. It would appear that there’s no room for such nuance from the Noisy Left.

But all kidding aside, I really do fear the Noisy Left, largely because they appear not to stand for any specific thing, but rather for any anti-American position, regardless of how absurd it might be.

In a thread on Slashdot yesterday a number of people even sighed wistfully when thinking about living in the People’s Republic of China instead of the evil, repressive United States. The mind boggles.

I think that most of these people have just not spent much time outside the United States (or, for those who are foreigners, not much time inside the United States). They all seem to be either enamored of ‘free’ health care or worried about jackbooted thugs hauling them off to jail for ‘dissent’. No amount of argument will convince them that socialist health care isn’t free at all, or that the real damage to civil liberties in the United States took place in the 1990s, under Clinton, as part of the drug war. No, it’s all about the Patriot Act, and in Europe somehow they convince physicians to work for no pay.

It’s entirely possible to be well-informed and still in favor of socialist health care and against George Bush, of course. I don’t think that socialist health care and high rates of taxation are a good idea, but someone else, with different priorities and experiences might look at precisely the same evidence and come to a different conclusion.

I don’t see evidence of this in too many of the arguments I’m reading lately, though. The Noisy Left readily understands that people who get all their information from the 700 Club are likely to be badly misinformed; but they don’t seem to really understand that Indymedia, The Guardian, etc. is the same thing but with a different bias. To them, Indymedia is bravely telling the Truth that the Corporate Media won’t let out of the bag.

And so they want to live in China, or at least a few of them do, to escape the repression.

dailymirror-bush-sm.jpg I think that the difficulty I’m having here is that the Noisy Left talks, noisily, a great deal about Tolerance and Diversity and Freedom and Civil Rights, when in reality they’re not for any of these things at all, at least as I understand them. They’re in favor of their own agenda, and little else. When their agenda is rejected, they assume that it’s not because people simply disagree with them (i.e. they do not Tolerate Diversity), but rather because the people on the other side are stupid, or malicious, or would-be theocrats, or whatever. The Noisy Left talks about the Bush administration’s supposed stifling of dissent while supplying no real evidence of same, but in fact they show, time and again, that they are themselves unwilling to tolerate dissent.

And so I think that the reason why I’m glad the Republican George Bush was re-elected is because the people on the other side are, by comparison, control freaks. Dare I say it? They are incipient Fascists. They’d reject this, of course, because they like to characterize their opposition as Fascists; but the truth is that the GOP is actually far less concerned with social control and homogenization than the Noisy Left. And that’s saying a lot, because the GOP by and large is very much in favor of government control of society.

I think that the Democratic Party will actually profit from this experience, will come to understand that Michael Moore and his ilk are in fact fringe players. This lesson might not be fully assimilated by 2008, but by 2012 I believe that there’s a good chance that the Democratic Party will be more in tune with reality. I hold out no similar hope for the Noisy Left, who are even now promising a civil war. That the Noisy Left is largely anti-gun will mean that this civil war is likely to be one of words, but I still don’t look forward to it.

Posted by tino at 20:14 5.11.04
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While I do agree you have some very valid point about the Democrats and the political left I think you are going a bit overboard here. You are using fringe elements of the political left as examples of what the entire left thinks and beleives. Come on you use a slashdot thread as some evidence of you point. And you point to Indymedia and The Guardian as proof of the political left being poorly informed? I’d guess that 80% of the political left in the US has never heard of either these sources of misinformation.

Come on you can do better than that in making your point.

Posted by: Paul Johnson at November 8, 2004 10:23 AM

This is why I use the term ‘Noisy Left’: to distinguish between ordinary liberals and the serious nut cases.

The problem, as I see it, is that the Noisy Left fringe is far, far more readily embraced by and able to influence the mainstream left (i.e. the DNC) in the U.S. than their right-wing counterparts are able to influence the GOP.

The young man standing in the street in San Francisco holding up a ‘Fuck Middle America’ sign really isn’t all that different than Fred Phelps holding up a ‘God Hates Fags’ sign — except that Fred Phelps is (rightly) roundly denounced as a hatemonger and a lunatic, while the ‘Fuck Middle America’ crowd is seen by too many as merely expressing their justified Righteous Anger.

Posted by: Tino at November 8, 2004 12:33 PM

Tino has some exposure to the noisy left that you don’t — XM Radio. The attitudes heard on Air America, those espoused by Randi Rhodes in particular, are very much like Tino describes. This is her schtick to a T: “When their agenda is rejected, they assume that it�s not because people simply disagree with them (i.e. they do not Tolerate Diversity), but rather because the people on the other side are stupid, or malicious, or would-be theocrats, or whatever. “

The democrats are not the “noisy left” per se. John Kerry isn’t the “noisy left” either. If he were, he would be suing for a recount in Ohio. I’m only painting the whack-jobs with this brush, and I think that’s what Tino intended to do also.

I find it impossible to consume any of the media that’s full of left-wing barking moonbats. I just get too angry. Lucky for me, the I find the right-wing crazies to be a source of entertainment more often than not.

Posted by: Nicole at November 21, 2004 10:19 AM

John Kerry isn’t himself of the Noisy Left, but the Dems are suffering from the same trouble that the GOP used to — they’re listening too much to their fringe.

But that fringe is getting more exposure via things like Air America, Michael Moore films, etc., and what Nicole says is correct — these people are nuts. You can listen for yourself via podcast versions of their shows. The level of paranoia, in particular, is startling.

Posted by: Tino at November 21, 2004 12:36 PM