How a thoughtful conservative views the American left. (1 Viewer)

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Archies Ghost

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There is an extreme disconnect between what American leftists say they believe and what their actions betray as their true motivation.

Without a basic common belief in the foundation of this country and the Constitution that embodies that foundation, there really is no room for discussion.

We are seeing evidence of this here.

George Will put it very well today.

Unfortunately, however, O’Rourke, Warren, and Silver demonstrate the tendency of too many progressives to cut constitutional corners, to despise and bully adversaries, and to practice theatrical but selective indignation about attacks on fundamental American principles, some of which they themselves traduce. Just what we did not need in our dispiriting civic life — additional evidence that there really is no such thing as rock bottom.

 

LA - L.A.

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There is an extreme disconnect between what American leftists say they believe and what their actions betray as their true motivation.

Without a basic common belief in the foundation of this country and the Constitution that embodies that foundation, there really is no room for discussion.

We are seeing evidence of this here.

George Will put it very well today.
There's never anything thoughtful that follows labeling a broad swath of people with a broad stroked label. There's nothing civil, civility promoting or unifying to what he wrote. He's doing the same thing to "others" that he says those "others" are doing to "others." The piece is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

It was an opinion piece, and although George will is considered by some a thoughtful person, I found his piece to be devoid of any real thought or insight. I also found that it engaged in the very same exaggerated political theater that he lamented in the piece.

There's nothing definitively unconstitutional about any of the politicians or policies he claimed were unconstitutional.

That's my opinion of his opinion.

Please elaborate on what you mean by this:
Without a basic common belief in the foundation of this country and the Constitution that embodies that foundation, there really is no room for discussion.

We are seeing evidence of this here.
Is the "here" you are talking about this forum?
 
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V Chip

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I like George Will, and agree he is a thoughtful conservative (even if many conservatives want to exile him now). I disagree with him on many issues, but his voice is the type of conservative voice that brings intellect and reason and gravitas to arguments, so I thank you for posting this column.

I agree with Will on the point of taxing churches simply because of a political thought or position that is anathema to progressives (or conservatives, if that were the case). If a church is against gay marriage, for instance, that is their right to not perform the weddings, it is their right to state their opinion on the matter, and the government should have no say whatsoever in that.

[A spokesperson for Beto O’Rourke claims his statement was taken out of context and meant religious institutions that engage in discriminatory behavior, but he answered a question that didn't ask that and he didn't specify that in the debate.]

I do agree, though, that churches who act more like a political organization and spend their tax-exempt money in political arenas financially supporting ballot initiatives or amendments or lobbying should be subject to taxation the same as other organizations that do these same types of activities. At times I even lean to the removal of tax-exempt status for churches in general, preferring to leave the tax exemptions for the amount of charitable work they do instead of their entire income.

I agree with him on the NBA but mostly because I think the NBA is hypocritical. I don't care if they decide to not call the owners "owners" (although I believe that is silly, because they own a business/franchise). I support their their taking the All-Star game away from Charlotte, for as a business it is their right to do business with whoever or wherever they wish within the confines of law. But like Will mentioned, they are hypocritical to court Chinese business and hold a training camp in China when their record on human rights abuses is far worse than any US State, and the NBA is hypocritical for apologizing to the government in response to the tweet by Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey.

I'm less with him on Warren's proposal to tax lobbying. Citizens United was a ridiculous ruling, and no matter how many people make the argument that money is a "form" of speech, it absolutely is not speech. Limiting lobbying and lobbyists and unfettered money in elections is paramount to taking back our government from the oligarchs. To decry this as denying someone their first amendment rights is absurd. Buying politicians shouldn't be seen as a First Amendment issue by anyone, much less someone like George Will.

I will criticize his piece as labeling "progressives" very broadly in his piece, yet using three people as examples and not a big movement for any of the three things he mentioned (in fact, he didn't mention that most progressives in the Democratic election disagree with Beto O'Roarke's statement, including the same Elizabeth Warren who he criticized later).

And the idea by the OP that the "American leftists" are the ones who don't believe in the Constitution while the right defends the actions of a President who ignores it or attacks it nearly every day is laughable.
 

JimEverett

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Citizens United was about a film - namely whether a film that talked about a candidate during an election period could be shown.
Besides what I think are the obvious implications on free speech rights that denying such a film to be shown would produce, it also brings into question this weird distinction between "money" and "speech." If someone were to say that they didn;t want to ban books (speech) but only wanted to prohibit the spending of money to write, print, publish, and distribute books the idea would be absurd - of course you want to ban books.
 

Beach Friends

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The NBA loved demonstrating how virtuous and brave it was, right up until the point it needed to be virtuous and brave.
 

yuyi64

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The NBA loved demonstrating how virtuous and brave it was, right up until the point it needed to be virtuous and brave.
Nowadays is not about what you actually do, it's about what you say you do and what others think you do.
 

V Chip

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There is an extreme disconnect between what American leftists say they believe and what their actions betray as their true motivation.

Without a basic common belief in the foundation of this country and the Constitution that embodies that foundation, there really is no room for discussion.

Not here to argue purely on semantics -- but as someone who is fairly far 'left', I can assure you that these candidates aren't "leftists".

Conservatives could conceivably call anyone who's a Democrat a "leftist" and I think we really need to all agree who is and isn't and make sure if we're going to put up labels, we do it in accordance with the facts.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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Citizens United was about a film - namely whether a film that talked about a candidate during an election period could be shown.
Besides what I think are the obvious implications on free speech rights that denying such a film to be shown would produce, it also brings into question this weird distinction between "money" and "speech." If someone were to say that they didn;t want to ban books (speech) but only wanted to prohibit the spending of money to write, print, publish, and distribute books the idea would be absurd - of course you want to ban books.
we've gone at this before, but books can't buy votes - campaigning money can
Citizens United undermines the one person/one vote cornerstone of democracy
i know i'm not going to convince you, i just hope we're both here when a legit SCOTUS is seated and we can redress this attack on democracy - but until that time, i will cede that money has bought this ruling
 

JimEverett

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we've gone at this before, but books can't buy votes - campaigning money can
Citizens United undermines the one person/one vote cornerstone of democracy
i know i'm not going to convince you, i just hope we're both here when a legit SCOTUS is seated and we can redress this attack on democracy - but until that time, i will cede that money has bought this ruling
How can political speech undermine one person/one vote?
Or, more specifically, how does a movie that criticizes a candidate undermine one person one vote when it is broadcast?
 

LA - L.A.

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A movie is money? Since when?
Movies, television and radio always have and always will be subject to government restrictions and censorship which are justified by serving the public good. The same is true in the world of publishing. There is not any medium of free speech that is not restricted and regulated by the government. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the government has a right to restrict free speech when it serves the public good. Only on the issue of equating money to "political free speech" has the Supreme Court ruled that the government has no right to restrict or regulate that specific free speech for any reason.

There's a strong argument that restricting the amount of money each individual and each organization can spend on political speech serves the public good, therefore the government has a right to restrict that free speech in that way.

There's also a strong argument that limiting campaign donations to biological people serves the public good, because it's the only way to truly have transparency and full disclosure of who is saying what. It serves the public good to not allow any political free speech to be anonymous free speech, if for no other reason to prevent foreign nations from anonymously interfering in our election process by using money.

Free speech never has been and never will be an absolute and completely unfettered right. That is already true for political free speech and it should be true for the use of money in paying for political free speech.
 

JimEverett

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Movies, television and radio always have and always will be subject to government restrictions and censorship which are justified by serving the public good. The same is true in the world of publishing. There is not any medium of free speech that is not restricted and regulated by the government. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the government has a right to restrict free speech when it serves the public good. Only on the issue of equating money to "political free speech" has the Supreme Court ruled that the government has no right to restrict or regulate that specific free speech for any reason.
Again with this weird argument against "equating money with speech"
What exactly do you mean?
If the government banned reporters from being paid would that be violative of a free press? If so, aren't you equating money with a free press?
 

LA - L.A.

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I wrote what I meant as clearly as I can and think it's pretty easy to follow and quite self explanatory. I don't know how to make it any clearer or easier to understand.

It's not a "weird" argument just because someone doesn't agree with it or doesn't understand it.

Banning reporters from being paid is not the same as, or relevant, to placing spending restrictions on political donations and campaign spending. The answer to the question is still a resounding, no, it is not a violation of free speech or a free press.

There's a legitimate public interest served by restrictions on political speech spending. The Supreme court has repeatedly upheld that the government can restrict free speech in the interest of serving the public good. Therefore, even if one equates money with free speech, people do not have an absolute right to spend money on political speech completely free of government restrictions.

There's a strong argument that restricting the amount of money each individual and each organization can spend on political speech serves the public good, therefore the government has a right to restrict that free speech in that way.

There's also a strong argument that limiting campaign donations to biological people serves the public good, because it's the only way to truly have transparency and full disclosure of who is saying what. It serves the public good to not allow any political free speech to be anonymous free speech, if for no other reason to prevent foreign nations from anonymously interfering in our election process by using money.

This is off topic, so I'm no longer going to discuss this in this thread. I'll discuss it in it's own thread if someone starts one.
 
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JRad

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Not here to argue purely on semantics -- but as someone who is fairly far 'left', I can assure you that these candidates aren't "leftists".

Conservatives could conceivably call anyone who's a Democrat a "leftist" and I think we really need to all agree who is and isn't and make sure if we're going to put up labels, we do it in accordance with the facts.
I’m with you on this, though. I really don’t like the “the left” and “the right” labels (if you’ve noticed me put them in quotes before, this is why). It’s such a broad stroke of a label to apply, and I don’t think it’s fair to anyone to apply such a broad label based on (simplistically) who they vote for. We have several posters who are closer to conservative/Republican, but won’t back Trump so they get the “the left!” label from some*. Some programs we think of as “socialist left!!!” here are basically the center in other countries.

A slight aside to the OP, but I wanted to +1 your thoughts.

*edit: not necessarily here
 

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