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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eric Alterman "Hearts" Dinesh D'Souza

I picked up Eric Alterman's new book "Why We're Liberals" a few days ago from my local library. I know that he is a critic of the mass media and his previous book "What Liberal Media" was quite good, so I thought I'd give this one a chance. But only after 38 pages, I've decided not to bother.

In the first part of the book (at least up through page 38) Alterman attempts to explain why The Left/Liberals have lost their hold on the American population. Some of his points include "Permissive social morality", "Forced integration schemes" and "Welfare payments - particularly to minorities". Now I'm not sure that Alterman thinks that these things are completely bad ideas, but it is implied that we should at least rethink our stance on such things that piss off Red State America.

But then we move on to his next point: "The use of the courts, rather than the electoral process". His first example is Brown v Board of Education. He writes "Desegregation decrees were quickly followed by barely less sweeping orders demanding institutionalized tolerance and often favorable treatment not only for blacks and women but also for gays, Hispanics, endangered species, and any other group with the ability to pursue a political agenda by class-action lawsuit". Oh the horror, people were forced to treat minorities and women and gays equally!!!

And he continues, "Such victories opened liberals up to the politically powerful -- and not entirely unfair -- charge by the likes of right-wing provocateur Dinesh D'Souza that these massive social changes had been imposed on Americans without regard for political process or the strongly felt preferences of significant majorities of Americans." In other words, if the majority of Americans are racists or homophobes or misogynists, then the victims of their discrimination should just grin and bear it.

And he finally concludes with a quote from D'Souza: "the left has relied on the courts to declare a 'right' and then enforce the right against the will of the American people and their elected representatives. In this sense, the biggest victories of the cultural left in the past few decades have all been achieved undemocratically". One word: Bullshit.

We have three branches of government. They all serve their important purpose. Using the courts to protect the rights of those who are discriminated against by the majority is just as democratic as using the initiative process to keep gays from getting married. It's called "checks and balances" Alterman, you might want to look into it. It forms the foundation of our government.

And using Dinesh D'Souza to support your argument? Giving that man even one iota of respectability is too much. The guy is a shill for the bigoted hard core Conservative Right. I'm sorry, but that's where I have to stop reading your book. I'm sure you make some great points after page 38, but I don't want to waste any more time on you. I've got way too many books to read by authors who won't look to the likes of D'Souza to support their arguments. I hope you really don't believe that using the courts for remedy against discrimination is undemocratic. If you do, then I won't bother reading any of your other books either.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your comments about Gov Sarah Palin encourging the teaching of creationism and evolution. May I ask you a question? Where will you be in year 2095? I am very interested in your answer. If you would send your response to my email dekim@bellsouth.net. Thanks, Kim

Fri Aug 29, 07:08:00 PM 2008  

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