Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Damn Blinders!

Aborting project! Not that anyone was really reading my lofty goal of reconstructing the “isms” in politics, but I find I must abort the project for the moment because I am not equipped to finish writing it yet. After conducting a lot of research, I found that I was, and have been, wearing “blinders” that eschewed some of my original research. This happens to all of us, of course, the important thing is not to dwell on it but to accept it and then try to sort out the myths one holds. Although I stand by most of my two previous posts, I must admit that separating modern liberals from neo-liberal economic policy is misleading. What would have been more accurate would have been to say that modern liberals want us to believe they are not part of the neo-liberal agenda when, in fact, many of them push through neo-liberal economic policies. Clinton did this a lot—just remember him signing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Like many people, I wish to see my political party as the “right” party to be in power—we have a tendency to glorify our affiliations—becoming blind to their shortcomings. We become trained to see in a certain ideological light and it is not until we attempt to research our “assumptions” that we have an opportunity to question those assumptions. As I question my own assumptions, I am finding part of what I considered my foundation, being a bit shattered. This is not a bad thing and I think I was already there before this project happened, as I have been terribly disappointed in the democrats for a very, very, long time. But now, I just might not be as forgiving as I once was. The most disturbing finding occurred for me when I started researching the roots of the neo-cons. Here too, I came to the table with assumptions. The largest assumption was that the neo-cons could find their history directly back to the conservative party. Not so. My research took me to the early 70s (and earlier), to democrats, to socialists, to Zionists, to Communism and to democrat/liberal Henry “Scoop” Jackson. Most of the original neo-cons including Irving Kristol (William Kristol’s father) and Norman Podhoretz, as well as others, were all at one time liberals. Irving was a Trotskyist at one time and left the liberals for the conservatives in the late 1960s. Podhoretz was also a liberal until the early 70s and Wolfowitz, a key player in the Iraq war, co-writer with “Scooter” Libby of the 1992 draft Defense Planning Guidance, and now president of the World Bank, worked with and admired the democrat “Scoop” Jackson. A matter of fact, many key neo-cons worked for and loved “Scoop” including: Frank Gaffney, William Kristol, Elliott Abrams, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Charles Horner and Douglas Feith all worked for Scoop in one capacity or another. Scoop is credited with having a great influence on neocnservatism because of his belief in American Military might and his belief that America should be the only superpower that controls “world peace.” With all of this said, I have made links for myself, but few conclusions. I could go and read what others think is the significance of these findings, as I am sure many people have been here before myself, and formed their conclusions. I don’t like to do this. I do not enjoy pre-formed answers to complicated questions, in my opinion it is best to look at the history and then start to form answers of your own. This might lead to a new paradigm or it might lead to the same conclusions that others have arrived at. Regardless, it is a long journey and one not to be hurried. If I find new and interesting information, I will share it, but I do not wish to make conclusions hastily. The only conclusion I can offer at this time is that our status-quo of democrat vs. conservative is no longer sufficient. Both parties have worn blinders for so long that they cannot see outside the box. They can not think on new paradigms. And they are, of course, not willing to change in fear that it will erode what power they now hold. The box is broken, but most of them have their heads so far up lobbyists $$$ that they only have tunnel vision. We need new paradigms, new view points and we need to toss the blinders. All of us. R

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