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The blind spots of progressives

Glenn Greenwald has a comprehensive must-read election piece about the problems with progressives who put all criticism of Barack Obama off-limits and dismiss Ron Paul out-of-hand.

Progressives and the Ron Paul fallacies

Whatever else one wants to say, it is indisputably true that Ron Paul is the only political figure with any sort of a national platform — certainly the only major presidential candidate in either party — who advocates policy views on issues that liberals and progressives have long flamboyantly claimed are both compelling and crucial. The converse is equally true: the candidate supported by liberals and progressives and for whom most will vote — Barack Obama — advocates views on these issues (indeed, has taken action on these issues) that liberals and progressives have long claimed to find repellent, even evil.

Greenwald also mentions the war on drugs numerous times in this powerful piece. For example, on Obama:

He has vigorously prosecuted the cruel and supremely racist War on Drugs, including those parts he vowed during the campaign to relinquish — a war which devastates minority communities and encages and converts into felons huge numbers of minority youth for no good reason.

And he explains why some progressives react so vehemently against Paul…

The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years.

Excellent critical analysis in an election season of sound-bites and partisan politics.

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15 comments to The blind spots of progressives

  • darkcycle

    I had my blind spot surgically removed by a three year old.

    • claygooding

      Did he use his spoon or his finger?

      I agree on the forcing issues to be faced is why RP is being slammed by progressives,,as America has become a place where the definition of freedom changes by the hour and by whatever the forces in charge of this shit decides,when they wake up in the morning..

      Obama signed in the law that removed habeus corpus and a right to a trial,,,how long before marijuana legalization advocates are declared domestic terrorists for attacking a federal agencies very existence by removing there main justification for their budget?

  • primus

    If the Repuplicans choose any other candidate than Ron Paul, they will lose to Obama because they will not offer an alternative to the progressives, and diehard conservatives will not be enough votes. If they choose Ron Paul he will pull some disgusted progressives to their side and just might win. I have no optimism they can look past their own biases to choose him, so I predict Obama wins in ’12.

    • Duncan20903

      There hasn’t even been a single primary yet. It’s never too early to throw up your hands and just give up?

      My cousin always liked to say “never borrow sorrow from tomorrow. There will be plenty of time to cry if things go wrong afterward.” He was the happiest guy I knew, right up until the day of his suicide. Well you know, sometimes when things go wrong, they go really really wrong and crying just isn’t enough.

      • SubAuspiciisMrBrainwash

        Is that the same cousin who used to tease his cannabis plants by watering them with ice cubes?

        • Duncan20903

          .
          .
          Actually he was very “anti-drugs” because he thought them very dangerous to people’s mental health.

          You do know that optimally the root zone should be kept at 55°? Using ice would be a pain in the ass but it would work.

  • HappyDaze

    This is the 2nd article I’ve seen praising Greenwald’s article. It really is a must read for progressives, but only if they have some integrity.

  • pfroehlich2004

    “Progressive” is a rather vague label. In this case it seems to be interchangeable with “partisan Democrat”.

    I consider myself a progressive and supported Obama in 2008, because he seemed to be the most progressive candidate. If Paul makes the ballot in 2012, I will be voting for him as he is more progressive than Obama in the areas which I value most highly (civil liberties and foreign policy).

  • I'mhowold

    Excellent piece by Mr Greenwald and he’s right on target. I’ve been a Gary Johnson advocate for years though and he really does bring RP’s ideas to the forefront without the baggage. Unfortunately, our “kingmaker” media never chose to include him in any of the debates.

    I’m an independent and will never again vote for our lying President as i did in 2008. The only other candidates I’d vote for would be Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

  • Paul

    Great article, particularly the link to the Ron Paul advertisement about foreign occupation. The man has the courage of his convictions, and all the rest of the candidates do not. The system is extremely hostile toward him because he represents genuine change, not just an empty slogan of change.

    As a libertarian, I’m delighted that he’s gone this far and has a real chance, albeit small, of winning the nomination. To my progressive friends, I urge you support him. The Democrats have given you little of what you hope to get. With Paul you would be guaranteed to get an end to the war on drugs, an end to foreign wars, and an end to the outrageous sums of cash flowing to the banksters.

    Yes, he would also cut social programs. But without a cure for the economy, those programs are as doomed as old Soviet pensions.

    Weigh your options carefully. We’re not going to get another chance for real change again in our lifetimes, at least not peacefully.

  • kaptinemo

    “Weigh your options carefully. We’re not going to get another chance for real change again in our lifetimes, at least not peacefully.”

    A point which I have been trying to make for many years. We are closer now than we have ever been to our goal, with 50% of the population standing with us, and fewer standing against, which is why the opposition is fighting us harder than they have ever have.

    Like a combination lock, the last tumblers are about to fall into place. The economy’s a mess. Mass numbers of people are out of work and need the money being wasted on the DrugWar for groceries and rent. People are fed up with the corp-rat-ly run political system and are willing to try almost anything to improve matters.

    The social tipping point has already been achieved. That was about 2009. The fiscal one arrived right on its’ heel, thanks to the Meltdown. Now, it’s the bureaucratic and political ones that must be passed…and with the advent of Dr. Ron Paul and his supporters having an actual shot at the Republican Primaries, that will be shortly forthcoming. Even if he loses, it will become evident to the dimmest pol the numbers for reform are out there.

    We’ve been stalled at the cusp between the third and the final step of Gandhi’s Progression (“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”) for a long time, and this Election may cause all the pent-up pressures behind reform – and society, itself – to finally break the impasse. If the pols don’t want to deal with it, then…‘We The People’ just might not want to deal with the pols who won’t do their damn jobs. Recall elections and impeachments would be the least they’d have to worry about, with an angry and increasingly restive population wanting real change, not ‘old wine in new wineskins’.

    Buckle up; it’s gonna be a bumpy 11 months…

  • Dante

    Kaptn said:
    “If the pols don’t want to deal with it, then…‘We The People’ just might not want to deal with the pols who won’t do their damn jobs. ”

    Exactly. People, stop voting for a political party, or some partisan ideology. That makes you their tool.

    Vote the incumbent out this November. Both parties.

    Let’s all “send the right message” to the idiots in DC.

  • Paul

    Dante,

    Trouble is, there are a few good apples among all the bad. In the vote on the outrageous indefinite detention bill singed by our oh-so-liberal president, there was a short list of about 13 senators who voted against it. I don’t have it handy, but the ones voting against were the ones you already know are decent people. The rest are scum.