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I'll admit I'm not a moderate or a pragmatist, but you know what? Neither was Thomas Paine.

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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:09 PM
Original message
I'll admit I'm not a moderate or a pragmatist, but you know what? Neither was Thomas Paine.
"A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice." -Thomas Paine. That quote sums up my feelings on the moderate vs left debate.

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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Constitution Itself Is A Product Of A Grand Compromise Between Large and Small States
The Constitution that liberals and conservatives alike purport to uphold from Tea Partiers to Glenn Greenwald to the ACLU was the product of a grand compromise between the large states and the small states resulting in a House and a Senate. The Bill of Rights was a further compromise designed to entice states to ratify the Constitution. Of course, now, compromise is derided as antithetical to American ideals, and the Bill of Rights would be derided as the product of a backroom deal.

In a nation as diverse as ours, with a system of government that has stuctural checks and balances, you need to compromise. The Ronald Reagan that Tea Partiers hold up as an inspiration is a myth. Reagan raised taxes and increased spending and the deficit. Yet, the left and right alike seem to hold him up as this strange ideal of rigid idealogy when all he did was offer talking points that he often did not adhere to.
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. People sure do seem to forget that. nt
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. Which is probably why you are constantly disappointed that your wishes are not enacted.
Edited on Sun Apr-24-11 11:30 PM by BzaDem
When it comes to actually governing, pragmatists (not necessarily ideologically moderate, but who at least recognize reality) generally set policy. "Anti-pragmatists" are usually pretty irrelevant, and this goes for their entire lives (at least until they figure out the above and change).
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. How important is that
when we are not legislators? As a citizen when does it make sense for me to become a "pragmatic" in a debate? Seems it'd be more useful to persuasively articulate my stance and then to remain open to feedback.
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It's more about what one is willing to accept.
I'm not saying a single payer supporter should not support single payer, in the name of pragmatism. I'm just saying that the legislative result will always be very different than single payer, and complaining that this result is not single payer (aka complaining the sky is blue) does not do much good.
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themadstork Donating Member (797 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:43 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. Do you know that it doesn't?
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 12:44 AM by themadstork
Complaining is sometimes effective, even whining. Why do we assume it would not help the single-payer dude to complain? Complaints are sometimes heard.

Now, comparatively, it's probably not nearly as effective as prolonged reasonable debate in favor of single-payer, sure. Or big donations to pols sympathetic to single-payer. But I do think it's more effective than saying nothing, or tuning out.

If people are whining like brats (worst case) for causes I support instead of acting like politically sophisticated pragmatics. . . what's the downside? I don't think it's reasonable to expect all voters to be of a certain moderate temperament. And the tea baggers right now demonstrate that inflexibility can cause change.

I suspect both the prags and the unbenders are of more benefit to each other than either expects.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. Single payer IS the pragmatic point of view.
It's the current system that leads to disaster.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Yes, it's actually the middle road between a completely
government run health system and a completely privately run one.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. Pragmatist=Ideological Corporatist and/or lackey for multi-national corporations.
The word has no other functional meaning in American politics.
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bluestate10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Oh my. Why use gasoline when bombs work? Your post seems intended to
piss off. But how does putting up that post help your purported cause?
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. His post is right. Every time a politician says they are being pragmatic
you can guarantee a corporation will profit in some way and usually the poor and middle-class will be hurt.
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crickets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Yep. -nt
Edited on Mon Apr-25-11 12:31 AM by crickets
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AlabamaLibrul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. ......
Notice anything?

Yeah, it was that good.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
18. you know bernie sanders thinks of himself as a pragmatist
I've heard him say so at more than one town meeting. he's such a sell out, right?
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. It helps communication to understand what words mean in context.
"Pragmatic" always seems to roll against the people. It is what it is.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. +1
n/t
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #2
17. Untrue. It's those with the most money to buy
the lawyers and the politicians to set policy that get things enacted that are beneficial to a few and detrimental to the way things should run. Sure sometimes if we get out in the street in big enough numbers and withstand being hosed or having peaceful protests disrupted by paid operatives, or even being shot, we might get them to throw us some crumbs. It took us a lot of protests, a certain amount of anarchy and being harmed and even killed to get civil rights and the end of the Vietnam war. I guess getting laws passed to rein in the corporate powers now running our government at federal and state level is going to take more of that because they have the money, the politicians and the lawyers on their side. We just have our willingness to stand up to them and hope they don't shoot us for doing so.
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tekisui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #2
29. Such hostility for having high standards.
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freshwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-24-11 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
7. K & R
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:39 AM
Response to Original message
12. Paine is one of the greatest American masters of rhetoric. He's not a master of political
analysis, but his rhetoric is brilliant:

O ye that love mankind! Ye that dare oppose, not only the tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth! Every spot of the old world is overrun with oppression. Freedom hath been hunted round the globe. Asia, and Africa, have long expelled her; Europe regards her like a stranger; and England hath given her warning to depart. O! receive the fugitive, and prepare in time an asylum for mankind
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. Paine wasn't American; he was English.
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nomb Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. He was also almost killed by the French revolutionaries with feminist Mary Wollstonecraft
Must have been a hell of a ride through the arc of history, there at the center of the storm. :)
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nomb Donating Member (884 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Weren't all the colonists at the very least British subjects, and most actually Englishmen? n/t
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. He became a citizen of Pennsylvania during the American revolution. And later when
he was imprisoned in France during the Terror, diplomacy finally managed to get him released on the grounds that he was an American citizen


... In thus employing myself upon the formation of a constitution, I certainly did nothing inconsistent with the American Constitution. I took no oath of allegiance to France, or any other oath whatever. I considered the citizenship they had presented me with as an honorary mark of respect paid to me not only as a friend to liberty, but as an American citizen. My acceptance of that, or of the deputyship, not conferred on me by any king, prince or state, but by a people in a state of revolution and contending for liberty, required no transfer of my allegiance or of my citizenship from America to France. There I was a real citizen, paying taxes; here, I was a voluntary friend, employing myself on a temporary service ...
Thomas Paine
Memorial to James Monroe
10 Sept. 1794
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_...
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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #24
27. actually, Morris, the ambassador to France, rejected that he was an American citizen.
Edited on Tue Apr-26-11 09:39 PM by provis99
Paine appealed to Washington, who also denied he was an American citizen.

It was a sad fate for Paine, who was only American by sympathy, apparently, because America rejected him.
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white_wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. That is a great quote.
Sadly, though it seems now as if we are the ones giving freedom warning to depart.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:41 AM
Response to Original message
20. but so called radicals have to work with so called moderates
to achieve their goals. Essentially though, I think all this simplistic labeling is rather... simplistic.
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Spike89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-25-11 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
26. So, what is moderate/pragmatiist?
I get that on a scale of left vs right, one type of moderate sits in the middle. However, many moderates advocate moving significantly to the left, just not in the lurches and fits that tend to provoke swingbacks to the right.
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Imajika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-26-11 10:17 PM
Response to Original message
28. Aren't you a communist?
I thought from some of your previous defenses of marxism that you were into the whole communism thing?

If so, I got bad news for you, communism has failed everywhere its been tried and it isn't going to catch on here in the US. Even Cuba is beginning to move away from it, so all that's really left is North Korea and Laos as the ideologies standard bearers - and I don't think anyone is going to want to emulate those countries anytime soon.
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