It is unfortunate that more complex arguments inevitably become compressed into the unsatisfactory term "patriotism". In most cases the discussion is really about value systems, and whether the other side of the argument shares sufficiently in the same value system to coexist comfortably.
Both sides in an argument may love "America" and be "patriotic", while having very different and perhaps incompatible conceptions of what America is and should strive to be.
I fear there is no way to condense the discussion sufficiently without it degenerating into a battle of symbols, and those symbols then take on completely different meanings by each camp.Comment Posted By Seppo On 5.05.2008 @ 09:51
The most important question, Rick: Will you be regularly using one of the PJM Gulfstreams? Or are you senior-tier and get to fly the Boeing?Comment Posted By Seppo On 3.04.2008 @ 08:26
In a two-party America the parties must necessarily be evolving coalitions, the makeup of which change with the social and demographic shifts within the country.
Most of our history the parties have not followed rigid right/left comprehensive ideologies. The GOP in particular has shared some values with an emerging conservative movement, but has not always been closely mapped to conservatism. The Democrats have had their liberal periods with FDR and LBJ but often had uneasy coexistence with disparate elements of its coalition.
Really what you are seeing is the trailing off of a conservative-based Reagan era, based largely on Goldwater's true believers. The GOP may return to a different type of coalition after some time in the wilderness.
Of the three legs of the stool, it is hard to dispute that the Social Conservatives have most outworn their welcome and pushed their advantages beyond the point of marginal utility to the general public. American society is evolving in ways not consistent with the Socons' vision.
It's often hard to remember that much of the American public goes about living their lives, not concentrating on partisan or ideological issues. They either don't care about a comprehensive framework for understanding politics and governance or are brutally utilitarian in their choices.
Win or lose in November, I think only Thompson's nomination could hold together the remnants of the GOP's Reagan coalition. Any other candidate will result in a faster split. Whether a faster resolution is in the best interests of the party and the country is debatable.
America needs two healthy and competitive parties, and this cycle it looks like the weaknesses are greater on the Republican side. But this too shall change.Comment Posted By Seppo On 2.01.2008 @ 20:04
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