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McCain/Palin/Plato vs. Obama/Biden/Aristotle?

Posted on 2008.09.08 at 14:05
Current Music: Neutral Milk Hotel - The King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1
I came across this thought-provoking blog post which links to an interesting article, but which has a kicker of a conclusion:

“The left still has faith in the actual, in experience, in competence, is some kind sober relationship with the facts. The Republicans, on the other hand, are pure idealist in the sense that the illusion (be it God or voodonomics) is always more real than the real. The Republican party is Plato’s party; the Democratic party is Aristotle’s.”

What do you think of THAT?

edit: I would grant that this has not always been true of these respective parties, but I think it pretty well sums them up at the moment.


(Anonymous) at 2008-09-08 19:25 (UTC) (Link)
I pretty much agree with the basic statement. The thing is, he misrepresents Palin here. Being an idealist is pretty much a mixed bag in terms of policy. Her idealism really seems to lead her to fight corruption and excess spending, to keep her campaign promises, etc. It also leads her to believe in the importance of a divine morality, and to act on that as well, such as her abortion stance, which even I (a non-pro-choice right-winger) can readily agree is disturbingly extreme. I, on the other hand, think the popular, left-wing, pro-choice position that abortion should be provided on demand and unregulated, is also extreme.

The thing is, left wingers like to think their policies are more 'rational' and objectively verifiable than right-wing policies. But it's not true. They just have different, subjective views of right and wrong.

So, as more of a Platonist than an Aristotelian (I specialized in Plato in college), I would say the left is like Aristotle in this way as well. They may be better at describing and recording what they see, but their vision of it's meaning is ultimately rather shallow, and lacks meaning and purpose beyond self interest (even if it's a broad self interest). The right believes in Truth above and beyond the empirically verifiable reality, which is both inspiring and dangerous. That places them firmly with me in the platonic camp.

Funny how the left used to be the starry eyed idealists, and the right used to be the cold, hard, self-interest calculators, huh?

Anyway, I just made that all up on the spot, so, open to discussion, though I'm usually too busy to respond. :)
theservant at 2008-09-08 19:46 (UTC) (Link)
Except, anonymous stranger, that she hasn't been against corruption and excess spending. She just SAYS she is.Or perhaps she HAS been against it, but in reality has engaged in it lavishly.
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-08 19:48 (UTC) (Link)
yeah...AND she thinks she has the power over the national guard. even the head of the national guard is like..."uhhh, no."
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 05:27 (UTC) (Link)
Well, not that it really matters, but in a state of emergency all state governors are commanders-in-chief of the local national guard. Luckily Alaska hasn't been attacked in the last few years, so Palin has never acted in that capacity.
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 05:29 (UTC) (Link)
E.G. In the race riots in LA, it was the governor of California who sent in the National Guard.
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-09 05:29 (UTC) (Link)
BUT...she talks like she commands them to go to fucking IRAQ. which just emphasizes how much she really isn't paying attention to the war.

jesus tapdancing christ...if they somehow win this...we are solidly fucked.
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 05:42 (UTC) (Link)
You may be under the impression that I'm a left-winger and/or Democrat. I'm not. I'm still undecided on who I'm going to vote for. If you want to convince me I need actual arguments about issues. I don't really care about made-up political jabs. In other words, I don't care about the experience issue, one way or the other. That's a campaign issue made up by the Mccain camp to delegitimize Obama. It has nothing to do with policy. It's obvious that statements about commanding the national guard are media maneuvers meant to assuage concerns on this issue which I could not care less about. And don't get high and mighty about that. Both sides pull this crap. All I care about is if she'll do a good job and enforce policies I agree with (more or less than the alternative).

But really, I wish the discussion could get back to the Mccain and Obama, or at least to policy. The media feeding frenzy about how much they hate Palin is rather distracting from any meaningful discussion of issues. Feh. Everybody is just yelling at each other. It's barely worth paying attention.
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-09 06:10 (UTC) (Link)
i was under the impression that you were jonathan...since he uses that same icon! haha.

i disagree that it's just people yelling at each other. There ARE issues being discussed.

also, i think it's lame to blame the media for the Palin frenzy. And as much political stuff as i watch.......holy cow, i see mostly praise for her. I think maybe even a heaping amount based on her poise in the face of such pressure. Peggy Noonan was caught unawares with a live mic, and she called Palin a 'gimmick' and 'political bullshit.' but you can blame THAT on the 'liberal media.'

As for the electorate, nobody has heard of her, and she is potentially next in line for leader of the free world. We should expect our media to scrutinize such a person...THAT'S THEIR JOB.

It's not fair to expect people to NOT be in a frenzy. People (me) are panicked...and others, from what i can see are jumping for joy because they see her as some kind of SIGN that the GOP is back on track, which is absurd.

I made up my mind about Obama more than 18 months ago. And in our house, we eat, sleep and breathe the issues all year. I don't get "high and mighty" generally, but sarah palin has a lot against her. So if i think she is a bad choice, it's safe to assume that i feel that way for more reasons than some bullshit internet joke.

in short, don't confuse passion for politics with me having too much time on my hands. I care about this stuff 365 days a year.
theservant at 2008-09-09 11:25 (UTC) (Link)
I'm with you on this one!
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-09 06:12 (UTC) (Link)
also...i don't respect the GOP strategy here...which is to HIDE Palin from the media and call everyone racists who dare try to scrutinize this woman in any meaningful detail. They are hiding her for as long as they can get away with it.

they think this election is a culture war. I disagree, and hope people will vote in their best interests.
(Anonymous) at 2008-09-09 10:52 (UTC) (Link)
"Racists?" But... she's... uh... white.
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 10:54 (UTC) (Link)


that was me again.
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-09 14:42 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Sorry

yeah, i meant sexist.

lol, it was late and i was into football.
theservant at 2008-09-09 11:28 (UTC) (Link)
Also, the idea is that the VP pick is a method of examining the judgement of the candidates; McCain showed bad judgement here. That is a legit and important issue.
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-09 14:41 (UTC) (Link)
i just realized i said "racist" instead of "sexist."

i was up LLLLLLLATE, man.
theservant at 2008-09-09 22:16 (UTC) (Link)
That's funny.; to me the media frenzy is about how much they LOVE Palin!

a Rashomon thing!
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-10 05:29 (UTC) (Link)
Huh. I wouldn't have pegged you as a FOX-News viewer. :P
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 05:18 (UTC) (Link)
Could you provide me with a source for that?
theservant at 2008-09-09 11:24 (UTC) (Link)
A cursory search of current news will show how she supported huge amounts of earmarks for Alaska and Wassila; by far the highest per capita in the nation. The city government expanded greatly while she was mayor, and spending increased greatly.
eitanhalevy at 2008-09-09 05:18 (UTC) (Link)

I am the anonymous stranger.

Oops. :)
suzermagoozer at 2008-09-08 19:47 (UTC) (Link)
while i agree with that...i am LOATHED to believe that sarah palin has worked out an intellectual philosophy.

they want it to be an election that is about everything except the issues.
Chevalier St. Odhran, Abbot Saint of Waterford
weishaupt at 2008-09-08 21:18 (UTC) (Link)
Does this make Dubya a Philosopher King?
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