Monday, August 30, 2010

HuffPo vs. Beck Rally

No surprise, HuffPo has a lot of MB devoted to trashing the Restoring Honor Rally on their site, much of which read as though they had actually been written before the rally. There are so many articles, I won't bother linking to any but my favorite, a photo gallery entitled Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor Rally: The Most Ridiculous Messages. Unfortunately, this morning the article boasted 30 photos, but as of right now, that number has been culled to 20. I wish I'd thought to grab them all, just to show how non-ridiculous many of them were. For example, one missing photo depicts a pleasant, likely octogenarian lady, wearing a stars and stripes scarf and smiling for the camera. Totally ridiculous, right? Even though the folks at HuffPo have culled their selection to the most "ridiculous" I don't think they even hold a candle to The Best Anti-Glenn Beck Signs At The 'Restoring Honor' Rally.

Anyway, I perused and participated in the flood of comments accompanying the article, and I wanted to preserve some of my thoughts as they are already being deleted by the HuffPo moderators.

Full article after the jump »

3 comments:

tryanmax said...

I replied: Politically, left and right are perspective-based terms, just as they are literally. What is to the left or the right is dependent on where you stand. To be fair, the terms weren't even popularized until the French Revolution, so they don't... exactly apply to the Framers. But, since the French revolutionaries were considered to be the left, and they were inspired by the American Revolution and US Constitution, I think it is right to say that the Framers espoused the leftist philosophy--Classical Liberalism--OF THAT TIME.

Of course, to have any meaning, there must be some consistent aspect to the terms, and it is this: The original French leftists, as I've already stated, were the revolutionaries. Therefore, the original right wing were those in support of the king. From this, it has been handed down that "right" represents the established order while "left" represents opposition toward that order. For this reason, while they may have been leftists by Old World standards when they crafted the Constitution, upon it's ratification the Framers instantly became right-wing under the order they created.

In the present political discourse, we can observe that these rather loose definitions still apply. The present political right has claimed the mantle of preserving the Constitution. The left, while not overt about opposing the Constitution, makes a point of ridiculing the opposition over that very point.

Of course, in a two-party political system (and even in systems with more), people often make the mistake of assigning right and left between them and assuming they represent the outer limits of each end. This is not so. One party may be more right or left than the other, but they are not defined in respect to one another, but in respect to the status quo. When viewed from this perspective, one can begin to realize that both factions hold some leftist and some right-wing positions, dissolving the illusion of party dichotomy.

With fear of convolution, I should also point out that one can readily swap status quos where they overlap to redefine left and right. One can see the example in world politics following the American Revolution. Left and right were defined by which side of the ocean you happened to be on. Even at present one could argue that the Constitution is status quo and another could just as validly argue that corrupt Washington DC is the status quo. In the former situation, the Tea Party movement is right-wing, in the latter situation, the Tea Parties are left-wing.

So where does this leave us? Hopefully not descended into an argument over semantics. No, it just means that reasonable people, in discussing these things, need to agree to terms in order to debate them.

tryanmax said...

On Facebook, Benjamin Boll said: The founders were not really leftist. What the founders fighting against was statism. Statism can either be in form of a King or Communist government. The founders were true Classic Liberals.

tryanmax said...

And I responded: Politically, left and right are perspective-based terms, just as they are literally. What is to the left or the right is dependent on where you stand. To be fair, the terms weren't even popularized until the French Revolution, so they don't... exactly apply to the Framers. But, since the French revolutionaries were considered to be the left, and they were inspired by the American Revolution and US Constitution, I think it is right to say that the Framers espoused the leftist philosophy--Classical Liberalism--OF THAT TIME.

Of course, to have any meaning, there must be some consistent aspect to the terms, and it is this: The original French leftists, as I've already stated, were the revolutionaries. Therefore, the original right wing were those in support of the king. From this, it has been handed down that "right" represents the established order while "left" represents opposition toward that order. For this reason, while they may have been leftists by Old World standards when they crafted the Constitution, upon it's ratification the Framers instantly became right-wing under the order they created.

In the present political discourse, we can observe that these rather loose definitions still apply. The present political right has claimed the mantle of preserving the Constitution. The left, while not overt about opposing the Constitution, makes a point of ridiculing the opposition over that very point.

Of course, in a two-party political system (and even in systems with more), people often make the mistake of assigning right and left between them and assuming they represent the outer limits of each end. This is not so. One party may be more right or left than the other, but they are not defined in respect to one another, but in respect to the status quo. When viewed from this perspective, one can begin to realize that both factions hold some leftist and some right-wing positions, dissolving the illusion of party dichotomy.

With fear of convolution, I should also point out that one can readily swap status quos where they overlap to redefine left and right. One can see the example in world politics following the American Revolution. Left and right were defined by which side of the ocean you happened to be on. Even at present one could argue that the Constitution is status quo and another could just as validly argue that corrupt Washington DC is the status quo. In the former situation, the Tea Party movement is right-wing, in the latter situation, the Tea Parties are left-wing.

So where does this leave us? Hopefully not descended into an argument over semantics. No, it just means that reasonable people, in discussing these things, need to agree to terms in order to debate them.

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