Sunday, April 23, 2006

40 Years Out of Date, They Call Progressives Hippies

I have found that, the more angry a comment about this blog is, the more incoherent it is as well. That combination of qualities is represented well in the following message, left here yesterday:

"Why don't you resurrect Abby Hoffman or some other major old hippy to run because that is the only type of person who would satisfy you reactionaries anyways. Then we could all dance in the street together naked."

I've seen comments like this in many places around the Internet recently, calling progressive Democrats "hippies". Wherever such comments as this are made, they make as little sense as this one.

Consider the way that the commenter uses the term "hippy" in the very same sentence as the insult "reactionaries". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines a reactionary as: "An opponent of progress or liberalism; an extreme conservative." You may not have liked hippies back in the Sixties, but it just doesn't make sense to link hippies with reactionary politics. No one ever criticized the hippies for their extreme conservatism.

Beyond such ideological confusion, it's hard to understand why this person is bringing up dead hippies anyway. The last time there were hippies around was almost 40 years ago. When was the last time anyone saw hippies in the 24th District? Using the term "hippy" is as out-of-date as insulting progressives with the term "pinko". It's a sign of someone who is not in touch with the political times.

The person who left the comment appears to be a Democrat who is resentful at the renewed voice of progressives in the Democratic Party. The complaint that we progressives will only be satisfied with a candidate if that candidate were someone akin to a resurrected hippy zombie is a pretty big tip off in that direction.

Really, now - are any progressives in the 24th District calling for anything like "dancing naked in the streets"? No, here's what progressives want:

- We want Democrats in Congress to vote against unnecessary wars
- When the President of the United States is caught lying and breaking the law, we want the Democrats in Congress to hold the President accountable
- We want to be able to vote in primaries, so that the chance to choose our own party's candidates
- We want economic investment in local communities in ways that will truly build up our communities in the long run, not just through wasteful pork barrel spending and tax breaks for corporations
- We want health care
- We want good schools for our kids
- We want our government to stop spying against us
- We want our government not to torture people
- We want the development of alternatives to fossil fuel energy systems to be taken seriously, so that pollution and global warming can be brought under control
- We want all people to be recognized equally under the law, without discrimination
- We want politicians to speak with us, not speak for us
- We want our candidates to stop being afraid to talk about the issues

We progressives are not hippies. We working people and professionals who advocate a sane, sustainable way of life that is in tune with the best of the American tradition.

What we want is not unreasonable. But no, we are not about to sit back and be quiet "good Democrats" when we see Democratic candidates caving in to the politics of the true reactionaries: Those on the right wing who have run America into the ground.

This isn't about the old fights of the Sixties. This is about the issues that matter today.


Anonymous said...

I like when you point out how stupid some of these rude bloggers come across. It would be nice to see some of your detractors comment on substance and not comment about you.

Good blog.

Anonymous said...

I applaud your voice of reason through these continual person attacks. Thank you for sticking with it.

Norway said...

I think this says something about the age of the bloggers/campaign workers that probably doesn't reflect the age of the electorate. As usual, we've got a bunch of barely post-teens trying to sound smart. It's easier to throw words around than to analyze real-life issues (jobs! energy! deficit spending!) that affect us grownups.

Anonymous said...

5:23---Real PROGRESSIVE post...

Anonymous said...

I'm new to this blog and don't have a real preference in the campaign. But from what I've seen here and elsewhere, it looks like the real issue dividing Arcuri supporters from Roberts supporters is not a substantive divide on the issues. Rather, it looks like the real divide is class, both economic and social. The Roberts people strike me as among the intelligentsia of the Democratic party. They favor issues above all and place great stock in Les's elite institution credentials and experience. They also seem to look down on Arcuri and his supporters as "too local." That probably translates as not smart or polished enough.

The Arcuri people seem to be more scrappy, more in your face, and more concerned with winning rather than the issues.

My guess is that the Roberts people probably have higher education levels, make more money, and are less likely to have been born and raised in the district. Just the opposite for the Arcuri folks. One more thing. I'm guessing that the Roberts folks don't place much emphasis on their own ethnicity.

I guess the question for you folks is which approach is most likely to win the election in November?

Anonymous said...

Yup you Les folks are so cmart, well heeled and prosperous, you couldn't even help him come up with enough money to keep him from embarrassing himself on disclosures. He had to go out of the district to get most of what he did get. Things must be going REALLY well for all of you high class geniuses. Besides, you call yourselves Democrats? Making fun of lower socio-economic people in order to slam somebody who doesn't agree with you? I thought you Progressives were supposed to have compassion. I find that more than a little amusing, considering I'm fairly certain I could put 9:22's house inside of mine.

Anonymous said...

9:22 and 4:31 - You too are putting way too much of your own bias into your analysis.

First, there aren't that many well heeled people in Cortland County and that is where Roberts campaign is headquartered. While it might be cute to claim Arcuri's lawyer supporters are uneducated, they do have to get substantial education to get a law license. It might be cute to claim Roberts supporters are better educated, but it's probably a result of his location in the heavily college populated western side of the CD.

Roberts and Arcuri both did the same thing in fundraising this past report which was to contact friends and family and business associates for money. Roberts are mostly out of the district, Arcuri's are mostly around Utica.

Neither candidate reached out actively to the other 10 counties in this CD for money. And frankly, neither appears to be reaching out for organization either.

Both will need to reach out of district for subdtantial money since a million to a million and a half dollars cannot be raised in this distict on both sides of the aisle.

I'll tell you that the two of them and Brad Jones were featured in a Cortland Standard article last week on a discussion on Medicare Part D that took place in Whitney Point. There were no insightful statements from any of them and not a one of the three differentiated themselves on the subject. There is a big difference between "having a shot at winning" and actually doing what it takes to win.