When I first got on the internets on Netscape back in the 90s, my first go-to blog (pre-Daily Kos, even) was Eric Alterman’s space on MSNBC.com when it was actually still 50% MS. Alterman is best known for the seminal debunking of the liberal media myth “What Liberal Media” which he should update. After bouncing around a bit Alterman is blogging where he writes columns at The Nation.
For the 150th anniversary issue he issues “A Wake Up Call for US Liberals” in which he says pretty much what I say all the friggin’ time but better and with more economy.
Our political dysfunction has many sources, but one way to describe our problem is this: we have allowed conservatives to define the terms of debate at a time when conservatives have lost all sense of moral, intellectual and especially practical responsibility.
Right. But the part that made my heart sing is this:
The primary difference between liberalism and conservatism, at least in theory, is that the latter is an ideology and the former isn’t…liberalism, at bottom, is pragmatism. Conservatives desire low taxes and small government because this is how they define freedom. They like to pretend that liberals prefer the opposite in both cases, but the truth is that liberals are OK with whatever works.
I’ve been trying to formulate that paragraph for years. Thanks Eric. Or as my twitter bio says:
The right are ideologues. Libertarians are ridiculous. Only the left is trying to MAKE THINGS WORK.