The Left Does It Again

January 5, 2009

[First Published January 12, 2005]Conservatives and libertarians just don’t know how to fight the ideological war against the left. Again, the conceptual prize goes to the left.

This time, it’s the red-blue election map, of course.

Traditionally, red is the communist color of revolution. Red flags, red arm bands, red stars, and the like, all denote communism, communists, and their supporters. We once even had a very useful color that denoted a communist fellow traveler (now also discarded by the media) or sympathizer, which is “pinko.” I think I’ll start using it again.

Blue used to stand for the anticommunists, freedom loving, pro-American good guys.

Stupidly, then, libertarians, conservatives, and moderates have been conceptually bamboozled. They let the major media establish, now so deeply imbedded in the news it can’t be blasted out even by tactical nuke, the red-blue electoral map. Who are the reds and pinkos on the map—conservative and Republican states. The blue is then the leftist, left leaning, and Democrat states.

Just stop and think how appropriate it would be if the two coasts were colored red instead of blue. And how well this would communicate their politics. That’s why the major media colored them blue to begin with.

Amazing. What states should be red are blue and what should be blue are red. How could this happen? I suggest the anti-left talk radio, blogs, and other media realize we are involved domestically and abroad in a conceptual war and put together a blue watchdog group. Its mission would be a forward strategy of freedom’s concepts, and an early warning defense against invading pinko concepts and phrases.

Keep in mind that this is a mental war as well as a physical one, and what orders the mind and behavior is our language, which is our interpretation of reality. Why let the left interpret it for us? Why let them impose militants or insurrectionists for terrorists, suicide bombing for genocide or murder bombing, killing for murder, Marxist for communist, progressive for the far left, right wing for socialist (as for the Nazis), unilateral for coalition, lie for truth, and red state for blue state and blue for red.

Link of Note

”’Red state, blue state, purple state’ voted top phrase 2004 (1/9/05)

“(AP) – “Red state, blue state, purple state” was deemed the phrase that most colored the nation’s lexicon in 2004, a panel of linguists determined Friday.”

Of course.

U.S. Not A Democracy?

January 5, 2009

[First published January 11, 2005] I’ve gotten many emails informing me that the U.S. is not a democracy, but a republic. Libertarians especially assert this, such as the following: “The U.S. is a republic, not a democracy. The Constitution does not even mention ‘democracy,’ while Article 4, Section 4 of the Constitution, ‘guarantees to every state in the union,’ a republican form of government. Yet, you keep calling the United States a democracy. Why?”

This is another confusion over terms whose meaning over the centuries has morphed into something different. For example, the word “liberal” once meant what “conservative” stands for today.
The view that the U.S. is a republic and not a democracy comes from the 17th-18th century understanding, and those of our Constitution writers, when democracy was much feared by classical liberals. Democracy that was then limited in meaning to pure democracy (people vote directly on issues), has now evolved to mean both parliamentary (the closest to traditional democratic institutions) and republic. In present political science writing, democracy means any government, whether a parliamentary democracy, majority rule democracy, or a republic, that has open, fair, and periodic elections for the highest offices, near universal franchise, and secret ballot. A liberal democracy would be one with not only such elections, but also civil rights, such as freedom of religion and speech. (See my chapter on “What is Democratic Freedom”) What can be said about violence and democratic freedom applies to all forms of democracy, and best to liberal democracies.
Whatever, no democracy, a republican form or any other, makes war on another democracy.
Then I’ve been asked, “Why, if the United States is a democracy, have we had ties to tyrannies such as Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, and Chile at their worst. Does this mean the U.S. is not a democracy?” Hardly. Such ties were a function of the Cold War. The American foreign policy was that of containing the Soviet Union and communism. As part of this attempt to prevent the spread of communism, the U.S. allied itself with many unsavory anticommunist regimes. There has been much criticism of this, but strangely, there has been no similar criticism of the American alliance with Stalin to defeat Hitler. Yet, of all regimes, Stalin’s was worse than any military or authoritarian regime we supported after the war, and on par with Hitler’s. Why the unhappiness with our support of, say, Chile (after the coup) during the Cold War, and not of the Soviet Union in World War II?