To draw a parallel between Latin American victimization and Islamic anti-semitism is sort of an apples and oranges situation, no? After all, Ortego ranted about America being the devil in a largely cliche speech (for a socialist Latin American leader, at least) whereas Ahmadinejad demonized an ethnicity and nation currently fighting for its very existence. Keyword there being currently. I think making that comparison is a tad intellectually dishonest, considering the vastly different circumstances.Comment Posted By Lukas T On 21.04.2009 @ 04:50
Mr. Stuck -
This is a good, albeit slightly dated, article on Chavez by Foreign Policy:Comment Posted By Lukas T On 20.04.2009 @ 14:46
I disagree with Comrade Stuck when it comes to the labels you put on these "leaders," but I do believe he is right when it comes to the "pissing matches."
The fact is, what they are ranting about is history, and instead of getting into a fight about - literally - nothing that is relevant today, Obama just chose to sit down, and move on. Everyone of any inform on the issue of these leaders knows they're crazy. We know who we are, and there is certainly honor to be found in silently disagreeing while dealing with the issues that matter today, not the ones that mattered last decade. To respond to their claims, to defend the US, only reminds us of something we already know: these guys are narcissistically whack.
But, considering that whackness, Obama also knows that these people still hold considerable influence in South America. He's not the type of leader who will exert influence by covert CIA operations to overthrow governments (at least his release of the torture documents wouldn't suggest that) and instead hopes to exact change through public means. It's possible that those types of attempts are futile in a place as corrupt as South America. But the fact is that his best chance at doing that is to avoid fights over historical fiction and instead to talk about what's happening today. I'm not sure that this path is the best one for change, but I am sure that the way he's doing it maximizes the possibility of success. America's honor has always come from it's ability to change the world in decent ways - and in that way Obama not only wishes to protect our honor, but to enhance it.Comment Posted By Lukas T On 20.04.2009 @ 09:04
I almost nearly completely agree, but I think that there is an element to the alienation of the middle that isn't being recognized, namely, the lack of a rational, intellectual leader for the conservative movement. After all, every movement has had its wackos and fringe voices - Beck, in this case, isn't really anything new abstractly speaking - but what is new is that there isn't really anyone else to look at as a contrast.Comment Posted By Lukas T On 12.04.2009 @ 09:00
Beck is the conservative equivalent of Bill Maher, but what we lack as conservatives is an Obama to look to as the rational, realistic and relatable (call it the 3 R's) spokesperson for the movement. Where someone who is intellectually uncommitted can look at the left and say, "Bill Maher is presumptuous, pretentious and a dick, but Obama really seems to understand what he's talking about and how it relates to me." they look at the right saying, "Glenn Beck is a crazy conspiracy theorist that makes the insane look even-headed but... Bobby Jindal sounds like that guy from 30 Rock?" The rational layman is pushed to side with the left, and can we really blame them? Unless you are familiar with conservatism's history and ideological basis it's sort of hard to take it seriously these days.
Point is, Glenn Beck wouldn't be a problem if conservatism knew what to do with itself and had someone to make its argument. But at a time when it's been beaten down both by Bush conservatism and a resurgence of lefty ideas, Glenn Beck (and the other's mentioned) are doing the movement a huge disservice by broadcasting craziness on national television, for the reasons you've already addressed.
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