Attacking the false alternatives offered to us by Republicans, Gottfried constructs his own

Paul Gottfried makes an interesting point at Alternative Right, that the conservative response to the Ann Coulter dust-up at the University of Ottawa is exaggerated, and part of a Republican game:

[The political shock jocks] turn everyday politics and partisan maneuvering into a battle of Good against Evil; and they foster the illusion that differences between the sides are far more dramatic than they actually are. They also prevent real change, at least on the right (which is where I’m coming from) by engaging in empty name-calling and by grandstanding about the yawning gulf between the Red Team and the Blue.

In this country “conservatives” like Ann Coulter should be setting forth alternatives to the political status quo, which both parties have worked to create and perpetuate. Serious debate from the Right would begin by noticing the shared blame of the two parties that monopolize our electoral system, and not by assigning white hats to one party and black hats to the other. Attacking Democrats as “atheists,” as Coulter does in a recent best-seller, or demonizing their personal lives does not advance real political discussion. But getting rebuffed by a Canadian university should add to her personal fortune by exciting her fan base into buying more of her anti-Democratic diatribes.

There is a lot of truth in this. But Gottfried goes too far and into deep error when he says that there are no differences between Republicans and Democrats. I guess he hasn’t noticed that the Democratic party has just executed a socialist coup in this country, while the Republicans were doing everything they could to stop it. And this is where paleocons such as Gottfried, as I said recently in another thread, reveal themselves as practical nihilists. They are so invested in denying any value to the current governmental and social system of America they will not defend it even when it is attacked by something infinitely worse. Not only will they not defend it, they will actively tell other people that they should not bother defending it.

Thus, according to Gottfried, we have two choices: (1) buying into the Coulter-style politics of one-dimensional attacks on evil Democrats and one-dimensional celebrations of good Republicans; or (2) seeing that the Republicans are just like the Democrats, a belief that leads us to deny and conceal the profound differences between Republicans and Democrats.

The choice he offers is between idiot rah rah Republicanism, and the nihilism that denies the existence of moral differences.

We can do better than Gottfried’s false alternatives.

- end of initial entry -

Phantom Blogger writes:

I think the problem with a lot of these people in their failure to criticise their own side stems from the fact that they are scared of supplying ammo to the left. In the past, people have used your statements in this manner (James Wolcott quoting you on Sarah Palin), and the liberal media loves nothing more than when conservatives attack each other (Barry Goldwater attacking the Republicans) because they can then hold the attacker up as the reasoned moderate and make the party look like irrational extremists.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 27, 2010 03:23 PM | Send

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