Sunday, August 07, 2016

WARNING: Politics Ahead....

WARNING: POLITICAL POST (in which I may confuse minds looking for tweet-friendly nuggets)

I break with the left on four issues: international trade, GMOs, Israel, and the military and political role of the USA in the world, in which we must actively engage as both partner and leader. International trade hurts some industries while seeming to help the economy as a whole, and must be pursued with an eye to protecting and/or retraining workers as needed. GMOs may have risks but I find arguments for them to be unempirical and overblown (I do remain open to the debate, though). Israel has a right to exist and I find arguments against Zionism to be straight-up antisemitic (no other national movement in the world is decried by the American left); that Israel's Prime Minister, Netanyahu, may destroy international and US support for Israel through his arrogant and criminal disregard for the co-equal right of the Palestinians to their own state, breaks my heart and enrages me, but the left too often doesn't appear able to hold two thoughts--rage at Israel's government and acceptance of Israel as a state--at once. Our mistakes as military and political leader are real and deadly, and the most recent Republican administration did its best to erase our moral, legal, and political legitimacy in world affairs--for which George Bush, Jr. will go down in history as maybe the worst US President ever--but the world is a dangerous place and it looks to the US for partnership and, at times, leadership.

In every other way I can think of, I'm pretty damned left. I agree with Bernie Sanders' principles on just about every domestic economic and social issue. I'm what some evidently would call a "left libertarian," with a still-healthy respect for the role of government in furthering the American project, which requires furthering the civil and human rights and economic prospects of all its citizens. I may go further than Bernie on the subject of racial injustice in America: I believe that American blacks have a right to policies that may be called "reparations" for the history of slavery and institutionalized racism (e.g., in redlining and access to education). I also believe that we need aggressive policies--e.g., a well-funded infrastructure rebuilding program, free access to higher education, affordable health care--for all citizens.

Where do you stand?

(Please share your views. If you attack me in the thread, your comment will be deleted. If you say anything vitriolic or overly rhetorical, your comment will be deleted. Please feel free to state your principles in broad--but not overly broad--terms. I want to be able to see the chain of reason you might pursue if going further in depth.) Also please feel free to utterly ignore this post!

Democracy is a contact sport, but let's not make it a blood sport.

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