Keith Thompson is a big fat idiot
Surely by now you've heard that San Francisco Chronicle columnist Keith Thompson has announced, with a dramatic flair, that he is 'leaving the left'. Now, before all of us lefties get all broken up about losing one of our most important allies who we had never fucking heard of before this article, I should point out that Thompson is an undeniable idiot who is talking out of his ass.
His complaints about the Left? The stupid wingnutty bullshit we've been hearing for years now:
Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom.You know what would be nice? A single example of a 'leading voice' of the anti-war movement 'cheering against self-determination' for Iraq. Just one will do. You'd think if the Left were teeming with people who are rooting against Iraqi democracy, Keith would be able to offer, I don't know, one example of this? But Keith is obviously already adept at one of the most important skills a blossoming wingnut can possess--attacking your opponent based on bullshit strawmen that have no connection whatsoever with reality!
A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the pre-eminent source of evil in the modern world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan's use of the word "evil" had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we might not make it to dessert.As Josh Buermann points out, who, exactly, reacts with a 'bemused smile' when someone suggests raping children for sport? And as for the U.S.S.R.--if Thompson bothered to look beyond his obviously deranged group of friends, he'd see a long tradition of Leftist condemnation of the Soviet Union.
When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find "evil'" too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.
Two decades later, I watched with astonishment as leading left intellectuals launched a telethon- like body count of civilian deaths caused by American soldiers in Afghanistan.Yes, how awful of us to want to keep track of just how many civilians US foreign policy is leaving dead.
These days the postmodern left demands that government and private institutions guarantee equality of outcomes.This, of course, is the idiotic lie that the Left is dominated by 'postmodernism.' Are there postmodernist Leftists? Maybe--are there any postmodernists, any more? Regardless, the most prominent Leftist today is, arguably, Noam Chomsky, who (as Buermann also notes) is anything but a postmodernist.
Leftists who no longer speak of the duties of citizens, but only of the rights of clients, cannot be expected to grasp the importance (not least to our survival) of fostering in the Middle East the crucial developmental advances that gave rise to our own capacity for pluralism, self-reflection, and equality.Hey, I'm all for fostering such advances in the Middle East. If you see an administration that's interested in doing that, let me know, OK?