Originally posted by addabox
Well, since you linked to it, let me just quote the blurb for Carter's book:
I'll be happy to deal with that. First I'll deal with the nonsense.
I suspect that virtually every person on these boards, besides you, would read that and say "Eliminationist? WTF? Is he even trying to make sense?"
I could really care less about what percentage of the people on this board come to the same conclusions as me.
As far as I can make out, you've just locked yourself into some kind of "I know you are but what am I" cul de sac and since that's pretty much all you've got you're going to grimly play it out, sense be damned.
Actually that is the nature of the question of this thread. The question was that certain books from authors on the right appear to have an eliminationist tone. Are there "mainstream" books on the left that have this tone as well?
Still, I'm curious. Since you regard speaking out against preemptive wars, torture and blurring the line between church and state to be "eliminationist", would you therefore hold that preemptive war, torture, and blurring the lines between church and state are so deeply intrinsic to American conservatism that to criticize the former is to call for the utter destruction of the latter? I'm having trouble getting any other read off your remarks, and yet that would be, you know, completely nonsensical and all.
I really don't care to address all the nonsense you ascribe to me. My view simply put is that when you declare a group to be dangerous and thus they need to be excluded from political discourse, then that is eliminationist. I don't think any of the books pointed to on the right are calling for interment camps or mass exterminations, so I consider that to be the "eliminationist" bar we are attempting to measure.
Unless you suspect that Carter is suggesting that rank and file conservatives, i.e. "conservatives" as a class of people (which after all is what this whole thread is about) are in the habit of launching preemptive wars and using torture to extract confessions from their neighbors?
Carter is arguing that a class or group of people are a threat or danger to our values and country. He doesn't suggest they be killed, put in camps, etc. However I do not see any of the rightist books mentioned here doing that either.
I'll quote BRussell as to what he thought about the tone and nature of the books he mentioned...I don't think you'll see mirror-image mainstream rhetoric from liberals defining conservatives as treasonous and with the same kind of "eliminationist" tone, as addabox so aptly phrased it. But it's clearly the game plan from conservatives. I'd even bet there's some handbook from 1992 written by Frank Luntz and Newt Gingrich on exactly how conservatives should define liberals.
In that manner of reasoning, I do believe Carter's book does indeed attempt to take an entire group of people and define them as dangerous and treasonous.
Or is it just that anytime anyone remarks that efforts by a powerful, dominant evangelical Christian/Republican alliance to remake the country as overtly Christian run counter to the express intent of the founders it strikes your ear as "genocidal"? Like the real agenda is to close down the churches and burn the bibles and ban prayer everywhere and forbid the wearing of crosses?
Because, you, that would be completely nonsensical and all.
You know.. the whole sarcastic "this must be your inner-monologue and how this works against it" thing just doesn't fly well because in my case it isn't even close. All it does is show your own knee-jerk thinking because you would rather argue against a caricature of what you think I would think or say instead of dealing with my own words and thoughts. It actually shows more of a closing of your own mind and that to me is a very unpersuasive argument.
Now on to the actual Carter words...
"In the last 5 years there's been a dramatic and disturbing and radical change in the values of this country,"
Obviously radical changes call for radical solutions. Carter can leave them to the reader but very few intelligent people ponder meeting radicalism with incrementalism.
For example, he says peace is an American value, not pre-emptive war: "we don't wait until our country is threatened," Carter said, "we publicly announced our new policy is to attack a county, invade a country, bomb a county."
The peace/war bit is not a direct quote, but rather a conclusion of the reviewer which you seem to support. So I will address it in that context. When you claim an absolute for yourself and declare the others an enemy working against it, then that is a very eliminationist tone in my view. It is no different than "you are either with us or against us." Carter is claiming that if you don't meet his criteria for going to war, then you are against "peace."
He says another American value is human rights. For decades the US has supported the Geneva convention saying we won't torture prisoners, but he says now "our senators are voting to keep torture. It's inconceivable this would happen in the United States of America."
These votes have had the support of both Republicans and Democrats. So since it is "inconceivable" that the majority would support such a view, some evil group must be distorting the values and process of the majority. Who are these evildoers?
Carter also says American politics is being infused with what he calls "fundamentalist" religion. Carter, who is a born again Christian, says blurring the line between church and state is dangerous.