Archive for the ‘Token Libtard’ Category
Aw, damn. Looks like Big Hollywood has filled the position I have long been angling for: token LIBTARD. But despite failing to secure a place on Big Hollywood‘s (metaphorical) payroll, I persevere.
His first piece is rather bizarre, though, and, unsurprisingly, betrays the attitude of an Althousian concern troll who constantly self-identifies as “liberal,” but does nothing except take critiques from the right to heart and point out ways every other liberal is doing it wrong.
I’m one of the last liberal believers in American Exceptionalism
So, in his first sentence at BH, he’s 1) repped for a narrow vision of American exceptionalism, and 2) questioned the patriotism of every other liberal in the country. Awesome. I don’t know what sort of crack this guy is on; every major politician in both parties has spouted some version of the “greatest country in the world” truism.
Expressing our culture matters. Look, at the end of the day, this war won’t just be won killing those who would kill us. It will be won by converting those who would join them to join us instead. But what do we offer to make it worth joining us, exactly? What makes our side worth joining? Who are we, and what are we trying to do in the world? Why can’t we talk about that?
I thought we were talking about American exceptionalism? Anyway, Danziger has a simple solution for Winning Hearts and Minds: Propaganda! Woooo!
That’s leftist professor John Schaar, from his essay on patriotism – ‘The Case For Patriotism.’ Schaar was one of my professors in college – sadly, on that I didn’t pay enough attention to back then – and one thing about his teaching was that it was largely based not only in texts – the Federalist Papers and Mill and Locke – but in novels that he felt encapsulated a greater truth about America and American politics – novels like Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby.
Because he understood that what it takes to understand America is to understand myths.
And I’ve got to tell you that everywhere I look in popular culture – movies, television, books, music – the only myths I see are ones that define themselves in opposition to this unstated myth, and leave it to be defined as a negative – defined by where it isn’t.
Where are our American myths today? How can we prevail in this conflict, except by brute power, without them? How can we refashion them, with proper reverence to the myths that brought us to this place and with relevance to a wider world that suddenly connects us to cultures far outside our own? What American myth can a young Palestinian child find to compete with the hateful death-embracing myths that he is being force-fed today?
We need to make up some shit so people will like us! Or we could, I don’t know, use our power on the world stage justly and conscientiously. The problem with American exceptionalism is not the idea that America is a great country by historical standards; that’s pretty self-evident. The problem with the version of American exceptionalism usually pushed by the right (like BH’s Doug TenNapel) is the idea that America is inherently great (or worse, perfect), and not made great by its actions and mode of governance.
The only people breaking that near silence today are those on the left who seem to believe that our national goal should be to provide redress to the masses of the world who have been wronged by the power relationships in the past century, and those on the right who simply seem to believe that national power – in and of itself – ought to be our goal. And that, having kicked down opposing powers and established our primacy, that the people of the world would simply stand with us.
So in Token Libtard’s formulation, the left is a bunch of hippies, the right is a bunch of warmongers, and the Glorious Third Path is being propagandists. Awesome. You’ll do well, here, dude.