Friday, June 27, 2014

A More Nuanced Political Spectrum in the US?

America's Ideological Splits Aren't As Simple As Left, Right And Center from the Huffington Post
"The report divides the American public into eight groups, many of which defy the traditional liberal/conservative boundaries. Of those, the three most consistently partisan are also the most over-represented in the political sphere, making up just a combined 36 percent of the public, but 57 percent of the politically engaged Americans who regularly vote and pay attention to the news."

I took the online test and came out as a solid liberal, as I expected. But where I am in a distinct minority (5%) is my view that peace comes from military strength more than diplomacy. I believe that the mere threat of overwhelming force is enough to cause most states to carefully consider the consequences of their actions. The Dayton Accords that successfully ended the Bosnian War were held at a massive U.S.A.F. base, not a Vancouver cannabis café. If civility and comity where more critical to world peace than arms, New Zealand would be known more for the arbitration of world affairs than as the filming location of the Hobbit.
Posted by: hopeandespair

The big caveat I would add here is that you have to do both the military and diplomatic pieces, and you have to do both of them well!  Looking back on the 2nd Bush administration, they did the military part with gross incompetence and ... simply didn't do diplomacy at all.  While I could be wrong, looking back on W's eight years in office, there were zero (0) diplomatic breakthroughs at any of the world's hotspots (or even lukewarm spots).  Based on the hysterical invective being directed at Obama for the last six years around his diplomatic missions, I've concluded that the core of the Republican Party and the far right foreign policy "establishment" right now simply don't believe in diplomacy.  Period.  The thing that is most concerning to me around this development, is that it has been SO LONG since Republicans actually caused anything diplomatically, that the how-to-do-it-effectively chops are beginning to pass out of their institutional memory.  Think about it. Bush 1 did this stuff pretty effectively.  That was twenty-two years ago!!  When was the last time you saw Brent Scowcroft, James Baker, or even Colin Powell (on a foreign policy matter)?  The "effective ones" are persona non grata while the authors of a "total fail" approach get ALL the air time! -- Nuggetsman

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