I apologize for not having gone through all the posts yet, but one of my many responses to that opinion piece has to do with the rhetoric of "freedom." Let's make this clear: "freedom" is an illusion and a conceptual wasteland devoid of any coherent meaning; it is a word variously used to defend selfishnesses all sorts.
We are all interconnected environmentally (share ONE planet), economically (!!), culturally and, increasingly via the Internet, we have become, functionally, one global culture; we are all citizens and have all the rights and responsibilities attendant to that status. We are not 'free' in the sense that we ALL depend upon a reciprocity with others (both locally and globally).
To play the "I love freedom" card is another way of saying that I abrogate my responsibility as a local, national and, indeed, global citizen. To put it in other words, "freedom's just another word for nothing else to lose." [thanks, Janis]
Yes, of course, we need certain freedoms ( from religion, of expression, etc.) but I do not believe these are the freedoms being referred to by that opinion piece writer.
People like to invoke the word "freedom" when they feel their power's being encroached upon, and when they aren't getting their way. In many ways, the people who fling around the word most are the people who are irresponsible, reckless and utterly childish.
Why is this article so offensive? I voted for Obama, but what has he done so far that could be called "change" or "progress". Anyone can spend money, and he's done that.
However, it takes a leader to shut down Guantanamo, withdrawl from Iraq and Afganhistan, persecute the criminals of the Bush administration, punish companies like AT&T for being complicit in the Patriot Act, stop compromising with Republicans enough to push through something better than the Baucus bill and prevent the cap and trade laws from being neutered before they are even born, or even redistribute income along more egalitarian lines.
During the Bush administration we saw one of the greatest redistributions of wealth to the highest earners sense the gilded age. How have the past 9 months been anything other than more of the same? As someone who used to self identify as a socialist I feel compelled to warn my fellow leftists to be wary of the same dogmatism and identity based ideology that we hate so much in our opponents. Indeed, I've frequently found the political "right"(economically speaking) to have a more malleable ideology than much of the "left".
I don't even see this from a leftist perspective. Just the sheer logic of the article pissed me off royally.
If you take a gander at some earlier replies, you'll see why the article is considered to have some fightin' words. If you focused on economics, I can't really say very much because my understanding of current Administrative policy is weak. However, I know enough to say all the bitching and moaning about Obama spending more than Bush and trying to restrict the free market is unfounded.
I still agree with you in that we don't have a leader right now. He's very eloquent, but we keep getting banana cream rather than mince pies.
Right, I think you meant to say "...the sheer illogic of the article...", which I would agree with.
And Tom perhaps overstates the case, but I think it's fairly clear that when Libertarians and Republicans talk about freedom, they basically mean the freedom to be greedy and irresponsible to their fellow citizens.
I also think that Obama needs to take a harder line and use the bully pulpit to fight for what's right more than he has been doing. I'm disturbed that he has failed to curb many of the abuses of the Cheney/Bush administration. This was always the most dangerous thing about Cheney/Bush--their horrible precedents allowed greater latitude for future administrations. That Obama has not utterly repudiated every unconstitutional action of the previous administration is deeply disappointing.
That said, Mr. Padovano's article in The Collegian was pure drivel. Railing against Obama for being a socialist is just stupid, considering that he's fairly centrist. The only reason he thinks Obama is so far left is because the fascists have done such a great job at moving the US to the right in the last 30 years. And if thinks working hard gets you nowhere in a more socialist environment, maybe he should read Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. In a viciously free-market economy like we had in the 1920s, working hard not only got you nowhere, it frequently got you killed. Laissez-faire economics have never worked for anybody except those at the top, and even then, an unregulated economic system inevitably crashes, wiping out many of the haves, along with most of the have-nots. People who work against a social safety net are committing economic suicide.
The problem is this is that the current state of the Republican party is going to get in the way of any progress Obama tries to make, especially because they have such a hold on much of the US American public. It will utterly difficult to make headway on health care with that lot of prattish, xenophobic sore losers that call themselves conservatives. The old GOP, I could have respected. The new party? UGH no. But the Democratic party has been watered down as well, with people that are oh-so-spineless.