American Elephants


A Conversation With A Liberal. by The Elephant's Child

If you are a conservative and you have ever had a conversation with a liberal on the subject of current affairs, or politics, or just life in general, this will be a familiar scenario.  Painful, but all too true.


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If you are a conservative and you have ever had a conversation with a liberal on the subject of current affairs, or politics, or just life in general, this will be a familiar scenario. Painful, but all too true.

Since one of your tags is “A Liberal Speaks”, I presume you really believe this kind of cartoon portrayal. People of any political persuasion can be made into cartoon characters. (Some, like Sarah Palin, don’t need to be.) So what else is new?

If your experience is always like this, then I can only guess that you must either be an undergraduate poli-sci or sociology student or have reason to spend most of your time among such students.

Otherwise, this cartoonish depiction certainly does not ring true for me. Do you really think that Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Barack Obama or even Ed Schultz would be as simplistic and clueless as the woman depicted in this cartoon? (I’ll concede on Nancy Pelosi.) I’m not saying that their ideas will always be the best ones, but they will certainly be able to hold up their ends of the argument.

What I don’t understand is why you waste your time with this kind of stuff, EC. Most of your posts are either thought-provoking or fun. This kind of thing just plays to people’s prejudices. Dumb.

P.S., It is interesting that the cartoonist always uses a guy to depict the conservative and a woman to depict the liberal.

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

If you spend any time reading conservative blogs, almost all will report conversations with liberals that are similar to this one. It is, of course, of exaggerated length. Do I think any of those you mention could be as simplistic as the cartoon character shown in the video? No, but as clueless, certainly. Thoroughly demonstrated.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

I am catholic (small “c”) in my reading of blogs, and I can report on totally clueless contributions from across the political spectrum. By, I presume, liberals I have been likened to a Nazi for supporting the World Trade Organization; by, I presume, conservatives my patriotism has been called into question for being critical of biofuel subsidies (which, of course, go “to support home grown fuels made by Americans instead of radical Muslims who want to kill us!”).

I have read columns by editorial writers for the Washington Times, especially former rocker Ted Nugent, that makes my hair stand on end. I have read comments from readers on his column that are even scarier because of their bigotry and ignorance. (By the way, the few contributions by people who disagree strongly with what Nugent writes usually make their case in a well-reasoned way and usually, though not always, are much more polite.)

I have also, out of curiosity, listened to conservative pundits on Fox. I think this video by Ed Schultz says it all — people on Fox lie:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Paul Krugman clueless? Hardly. He may start from different premises than conservatives, but he is hardly clueless. (If you have in mind George W. Bush, or even worse, Nancy Pelosi, then I agree.) Dick Cheney is not clueless, but I would not want to be locked in the same room with him and told to debate foreign policy … at least not if there are any movable objects in it.

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

Paul Krugman used to be an economist, then he started writing a political column for the NYT, and descended into political hackery. I have never read anything by Ted Nugent, and don’t really know who he is, though I’ve heard the name. Nancy Pelosi badly needs an extensive course in economics.

What you intended by your links, I don’t know. I’m not getting it. Do not confuse Fox News with talk show people who have programs on the channel. I like some, and ignore others. But to say Fox lies is just silly. I see clips of people on MSNBC, but never go there. I’m very put off by the extreme and loony partisanship. I have only so much time to spend on the news, and by the time I listen to the people whose opinions I respect, visit the environmental sites, consult with my economists, and read all of the above, I don’t have a lot of extra time to listen to people for whom I have no respect. I am fully aware of the ideas and policies of the current “progressives” and oppose them with all the strength I can muster. I have never seen such pure incompetence. I believe in evidence, history, and in the experience of others, not in wishful thinking.

Dick Cheney and George W. Bush are two of my heroes. George Bush is hardly clueless, and few presidents have had to put up with such bile from the other party. History will treat him well. I don’t expect perfection from anyone, because there is no perfection in human nature, but I do expect honesty–even from politicians — and respect for the American people and for the welfare of the country.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

Whoops, bad link. Here it is:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/40442260#40442260

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

What you intended by your links, I don’t know. I’m not getting it. … I have only so much time to spend on the news, and by the time I listen to the people whose opinions I respect, visit the environmental sites, consult with my economists, and read all of the above, I don’t have a lot of extra time to listen to people for whom I have no respect.

That makes two of us. You don’t have time to listen to people for whom you have no respect, but you have time to listen to cartoonish portrayals of “liberals” and then invite others to do the same.

You call Krugman and his ilk “hacks”, yet the main “liberal” people I see you attacking here are politicians, not the ideas of those who are the opinion makers.

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

Check the links in your comment, Subsidy. It simply took me to reportage on the weather. You were apparently offended by the “conversation with a Liberal”, I thought it was funny and typical of a lot of liberals, including some in my own family. I do regard Paul Krugman as a political hack. Many economists regard him as a political hack. By that, I mean that his partisanship has become more important to him than his economics.

You say “the main ‘liberal’ people I see you attacking here are politicians, not the ideas of those who are the opinion makers.” Yes, the people I object to most are liberal politicians who have the most unwelcome influence on my life. I’m not sure who you consider the “opinion makers.” Media personalities? Talk show hosts? Columnists? Professors? All of the above? The list of those to whom I do pay attention is very long, and includes very,very few partisan Democrats/progressives/liberals. There are lots of Republicans that I don’t pay much attention to as well.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

I believe in evidence, history, and in the experience of others, not in wishful thinking.

That’s good! Yet you keep ignoring the historical evidence I provide you as to the depths to which Republicans have been involved in pushing biofuels, choosing time again to blame it on environmentalists. Are there two (or more) of you writing this column? The purely political EC and the rational, analytical EC?

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

You want to attach blame. I don’t care about blame. I want to see correct information get out there. Politicians from corn states, or politicians who need the votes of corn states will push biofuels until enough information gets out there to change ideas. Politicians will go with trying to get votes until they understand that it is against the interests of the country. Not many politicians are going to stand up against something that voters want until they KNOW it is wrong. When they accept fully that what the voters want is the wrong thing to do, but go with getting the votes anyway — it’s time to get rid of the politician.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

From your other post:

busy-body, command-and-control “progressives” have … caused countless more deaths by starvation by driving up the costs of food by getting farmers to grow crops for gas tanks instead of kitchen tables.

If that isn’t attaching blame — blaming “progressives” — then I don’t know what is.

Midwest politicians have known that mandating and subsidizing corn ethanol is wrong for a long time, yet still they do it. So does this mean we can look forward to a purge of the Farm State Republicans who keep voting for these policies, not to mention bloated Farm Bills as well?

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Comment by Subsidy Eye

And farm state Democrats don’t? It is pretty much “progressive” policy to vote for biofuels, in general they support Obama’s “clean green energy” takeover of the energy sector of the economy. There are Republicans who believe in that environmental view — Schwarzenegger would. No, you can’t look to a purge of those Republicans until they are defeated in the primaries, and biofuel is not the only policy. What do you do with the politician who votes for everything else you believe in, but against you on biofuel policy? Is that your only issue? It is complicated, and you have to change the mind of the public, so they change the mind of the politician.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child

And farm state Democrats don’t? It is pretty much “progressive” policy to vote for biofuels, in general they support Obama’s “clean green energy” takeover of the energy sector of the economy.

Of course farm-state democrats support any policy that transfers money from the rest of the country into their region. (Not all: there is one brave Democrat from Wisconsin who bucks the trend: Rep. Ron Kind.) But it is not Democrats who are lecturing the rest of the country about eliminating government waste — much as I wish they were — but Republicans. So in terms of being outliers from the official plank of their party, Midwest Republicans stand out.

But that’s the whole point: the dividing lines are regional, not left-right, or anything else. Yet you keep trying to yoke biofuel policy to a “green agenda”. At the same time you say you put emphasis on history. READ THE HISTORY OF BIOFUEL POLICY, FOR CRIPES SAKE! The policies trace back to the late 1970s, and were justified as a way to reduce the country’s oil dependence while boosting farm-state incomes. What states do Obama and his agricultural secretary hail from? The nation’s top two corn states, Illinois and Iowa!

The greenwash given to the policy was an afterthought, something that some (not all by any means) in the environmental community endorsed, for a few years. But environmental groups turned against corn ethanol several years ago!

Yet you continue to merely accept the greenwash and label the policy as environmentally motivated, or “progressive”. Environmentally justified and environmentally motivated are not the same thing!! The motive is pure geo-political, serving special interests, especially traditional generous campaign contributors (to both parties), like Archer Daniels Midland.

The cause of reforming these policies would be much better served if you were more realistic and less ideological — i.e., attacking the real problem, not one that fits your own partisan narative.

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Comment by Subsidy Eye




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