Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

Related Post Roulette

6 Responses

  1. Avatar Bob says:

    “I admit I’m drawn to bloggers (like Chris) who wear their conservative pessimism on their sleeves.”

    I found the following at “Hysterical fear afflicts the right” by Jaime O’Neill. It really fits into your “pessimism on their sleeves” description.

    “For right wingers, the sky is always falling: the commies are under every bed, the “liberals” are gonna get us all, the environmentalists are bent on driving us into the poor house, the French are going to impose their hated lifestyle upon us, the wimps are going to make us register our firearms, the gays are going to turn our kids into homosexuals, the atheists are going to take Christmas away from us, the unions are going to bring down the capitalist system, the illegals are going to deprive us of our hoped-for careers as lettuce harvesters, the global warming scientists are going to put an end to the free enterprise system, the do-gooders are going to force us all to drive dinky little cars, the welfare recipients are going to drain away the hard-earned money of defense contractors, the politicians are going to put bureaucrats in charge of our health care while denying us the right to choose our own doctors, the peaceniks are going to dismantle the Pentagon, and the terrorists are on their way to blow up our shopping malls with the active collusion of our newly-elected Muslim president, the most dangerous threat to the Republic we’ve ever seen, if you don’t count Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Jimmy Carter.”Report

  2. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:

    I’ll cop to some pessimism (at least in the short/medium range) but it’s not of the hysterical right-wing variety. Bob I don’t think your comment is particularly relevant here since I basically agree with it–i.e. I don’t think “lefties”, non-whites, and assorted (so-called) evildoers are close to eviscerating America. I don’t think gay marriage is going to destroy moral civilization. I agree that there is no war against (X,Y,Z group) that threatens Western civilization.

    What I am more concerned about is the structural inability of large nation-states to respond to the increasing speed of life, technology, and change. It doesn’t have to be apocalyptic destruction, Road Warrior style. It might just get gummed up. Like really gummed up.

    I think nation-states are facing pressures from above (unregulated global finance) and below (sub-national actors). Also in many places there is not a sufficient nation-state apparatus (Lebanon, Afghanistan, Palestine, to name a few) which causes a whole other set of series problems. I just haven’t seen yet a party/platform deft enough to argue that different problems require different solutions dependent on the context of the location itself. What I generally see are one size fits all solutions (of whatever political stripe).Report

  3. Avatar Will says:

    Chris –

    All valid concerns (a bit reminiscent of Kaplan’s “Coming Anarchy), but I’m not sure we need a lock-step political consensus to deal with them. Indeed, I’d argue one-size-fits-all solutions are more likely to develop in a world where our political discourse is dominated by stultifying establishment thinking.Report

  4. Avatar Chris Dierkes says:


    I think we are using consensus in slightly different ways. I mean more in the Habermas style. I agree that establishment thinking qua consensus is stultifying. I mean something more like conscious reflective consensus not unconscious, unquestioned common thought.

    I’m thinking less of a lock-step consensus and more of a mediated, dialogical one. How to do that is the bugger.Report

  5. Avatar Will says:

    Chris –

    I’m a big fan of communicative rationality – I just don’t think our political class is equipped to initiate that dialogue. Too often, “consensus” is code for an extremely narrow spectrum of acceptable discourse.Report

  6. Avatar Bob says:

    “Bob I don’t think your comment is particularly relevant here since I basically agree with it….”

    Think what you like Chris.

    The selection from smirkingchimp was not written with you in mind, at least I have no reason to think it was. So don’t put on your sackcloth and ashes just yet. The comment was directed at the likes of Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh and others.

    I thought it relevant, still think it relevant, because it encapsulates the hysteria and fear spread by the population of Wingnutia, the phenomena Will described as being worn on sleeves.

    (But I’m happy you “basically agree with it.”)Report