I made some comments on YouTube last week concerning a video Michael Moore uploaded and where he supports Julian Assange (from WikiLeaks) even going so far as donating money. Most comments on that video were positive but there were also a number of Moore detractors making themselves known. I decided to reply to some comments and rather quickly rubbed someone the wrong way. When I criticized the Bush administration for plunging the U.S. into an unjust war in Iraq I was branded a leftist (and a number of other things which I wont mention here).
Not an unfair accusation since I've often voted for the Dutch Labour Party, but if you have some degree of knowledge of Western European socialist parties you would know that these organizations aren't exactly communist or unsupportive of American policy. In fact, the Dutch and British Labour Parties supported the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, even sending the troops. Labour Parties in the aforementioned countries are still capitalists. Maybe that is something some Americans forget. While they have the workers rights high on the agenda - they wont interfere with business mechanics (that much).
What's more interesting to note is that blame is put on leftist politics like that is the cause of all the problems. I've seen this many times in my own country where left wing politicians are often blamed for failed policies. That's an outright falsehood since in the last 40 years in Holland there was always a right wing party who also sat in the government. That argument, blame the left, is blatantly false. In the U.S. the conservative Republican Party often ruled the country and from 2000 till 2008. How you can blame 'the left' for that era is beyond me.
Of course American politics differs from European. It might interest the reader to know that the Democrats in the U.S. are more right wing than the right wing party VVD here in Holland, but have you seen us in Holland dressing up in red and yell 'comrade?' With politics and parties you need a thorough understanding of what they actually stand for. The Nazis weren't socialists. Communist China aren't exactly communists, they are doing fine as an economy with their capitalistic approach. Even Cuba is taking China's approach. It's in the details and by their actions they show their true colors.
Which brings me back to the argument I had with an American who defended the Bush administration and was offended since by criticizing that administration I had also hurt the people that voted for it. Here's an excerpt of what he wrote to me;
The American people elected Bush twice so we must have liked him. Our Give is elected so when you slam Bush and the American Gov then it is perceived as slamming us as well. Plus it is well known that Americans are treated badly is some parts of Europe. One of our problems is that the newss you see coming from America has been decidedly partisan mostly to the left...but only 20% of Americans are far left types...which is most of what shows up on U Tube running off at the mouth. The vast majority of Americans don't think like them at all. On Iraq...the real reason for that war was to create a Democracy as an example in the Middle East and to drive a wedge between Iran and it's prozy armies in Lebanon.
There are a number of issues I could go into but I wont do that right now. The one I will address now is the (false) perception that 'left wing ideology' is somehow at fault here. Even news organizations are branded as partisan. Quite strange since from what I've seen real journalism and objective reporting has gone largely missing in American media. If I can be a bit straightforward and rude, I think the person I had a discussion with doesn't realize how fascist his thoughts have become. I think that person doesn't want his motives to be questioned nor does he wants to examine them and instead acts defensively.
Maybe we need to be careful where we put the blame and give it much more thought. Nowadays I'm not even a 'lefty' anymore. I've come to the realization that left and right wing policies actually don't differ that much in a democracy because it's all about the money and GDP's anyway. Money rules, not some political party. Lightbulb! See beyond superficial politics will you?