James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Either/Or Box

On the neocon backlash against possible Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel, Paul Gottfried writes, "The neocons have gone after Hagel for being anti-Israeli and by implication anti-Semitic."

This is right out of the Statist playbook.
  • Disagree with affirmative action? You're a racist.
  • Oppose tax-subsidized contraceptives? You're against women's health.
  • Disagree with the Welfare State? You hate the poor.
  • Oppose business regulations? You don't care about worker safety or the consumer, and you're pro-pollution.
  • You want to end Drug Prohibition? You're pro-drugs.
  • Oppose a war against Country X? You must be a fan of its dictator.
  • Want due process and checks and balances in the President's surveillance, detention, and war powers? You support the terrorists.  
Either you think one way, or you think the opposite. No middle ground. No third (or fourth, or fifth) option. No nuance.

But it's more than fair to use this playbook and throw it right back at the Statists.

For we have seen the "logical conclusion" of Right-Statism and Left-Statism over the past dozen years. Scores of millions voted for Obama and Romney, both of whom fervently believed three things...
  • The power to eavesdrop on your e-activities without a search warraant.
  • The power to have the military, on U.S. soil, detain you indefinitely without charge or trial
  • The power of the President to attack countries that don't threaten us, without any Congressional approval.
So let's use the nuance-free Statist playbook against the Statists: If you are for warrantless eavesdropping, indefinite detention, and undeclared wars, then you believe America should be a military dictatorship.

If that offends you - if you claim that your vote for the likes of Obama or Romney does NOT indicate that you're for a military dictatorship, that it's more complicated than that -  then YOU have the responsibility  to move out of the either/or box when attacking other people's positions.

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