This is one of the most interesting threads that I’ve ever been on in my time here.
18 posted on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 8:32:05 PM by hoosiermama: “Hope you keep in touch. Maybe a small group representing each group could appear on a couple of networks together. Wouldnt that make the establishment nervous.....”
Could be interesting. As Blue Collar Republican said, at the absolute minimum the two groups can agree on their right to protest, and while that may not be a big deal for liberals to grant, it would perhaps reduce the “stop hate speech” screams from the left and reduce the “shut up, pinko” screams from the right.
The First Amendment recognizes that people have rights to advocate views with which we may strongly disagree. As conservatives, we are hypocrites if we ignore the original intent of the Constitution's plain language, just as liberals are hypocrites if they claim free speech rights for themselves while denying free speech to people whose speech they dislike.
Perhaps the most important benefit I see from this is recognizing that Blue Collar Republican is definitely right about the history of the American Revolution being disparate groups with a common enemy but not much else in common.
The liberals and libertarians are not entirely wrong when they point out holes in the typical conservative narrative of America as a Christian nation founded on God and limited government. Franklin and Jefferson were among the Founding Fathers, too, and while their radical views on human freedom were either modified or muted by the subsequent excesses of the French Revolution, it is a misreading of history to draw a straight line from Plymouth Rock and Massachusetts Bay all the way to the American Constitution as if there were no differences between North and South; between urban manufacturers, mercantile shippers, southern planters, and frontiersmen; and between even the founders of the different colonies on key issues of culture and religion.
The Constitution is a compromise document. It works. Following it is a really good idea.
A note for Sal: I'm not saying much because I think we agree, at least on the main points.
The fights between “rank and file” union members and the leaders of their unions used to be a much bigger deal. That difference was a key to the rise of the “Reagan Democrats.” Much could be said about that, but it's now less relevant than it used to be because much of our American manufacturing capacity has been exported to other countries, and much of what remains in the United States is now in Southern states with “right to work” laws allowing workers who don't like their union leaders to vote with their feet by leaving. We can debate whether those two developments are good or bad things, but what can't be debated is it's led to a radicalization of union leadership in ways that have not been helpful to unions, their members, or their companies.