Who are the nice liberals with big egos?
This is kind of a footnote diary. I suppose that, given my last commentary on the Presidential election, I need to explain my use of the term "nice liberals with big egos." This is the group that thinks they're really doing something substantive by getting all panicked about Donald Trump in front of Left audiences.
That last point, about the audiences being from the Left, is really important. They wouldn't be "nice liberals with big egos" if they were trying to heap scorn upon Donald Trump in front of swing audiences from the swing states, the people who will choose the actual victor in next month's Presidential election.
One thing I've noticed about the nice liberals with big egos is that they're oh-so-often citing Noam Chomsky as evidence for the righteousness of their cause. But I don't really think of Noam Chomsky as a nice liberal with a big ego, not because I don't think he's a liberal (he's kind of a weak anarchist who might as well be a liberal), but rather because I don't think he's terribly earnest about his position. No, it's the people who cite Chomsky all the time that merit our attention. And we know who Chomsky's audience is.
Take for instance this interview of Chomsky, from last Sunday, conducted by David Masciotra. We'll skip to the interviewer's last question:
Forgive me for closing with what is by now an obligatory and predictable question, but I think I am forever banished from journalism if I don't ask. How do you respond to the irresponsible leftist purity that discourages voting for Biden because of his limitations as a candidate, and the troubling aspects of his record?
Oh but it's so obvious and predictable for interviewers of Noam Chomsky to frame a question about the Presidential election in a way that is so concerned with "irresponsible leftist purity that discourages voting for Biden." It's clear that what is important for Masciotra is not that Biden wins, but rather that the Left be seen as not discouraging voting for Biden. Priorities y'know. Here's part of Chomsky's response:
All of this for the left shouldn't even be discussed. It takes a few minutes. Politics means constant activism. An election comes along every once in awhile, and you have to decide if it is worth participating. Sometimes not — there were cases when I didn't even bother voting. There were cases when I voted Republican, because the Republican congressional candidate in my district was slightly better. It should take roughly a few minutes to decide, then you go back to activism, which is real politics.
Chomsky, then, doesn't really think voting is all that important. What's important for Chomsky is Left activism. Sure, he doesn't address the little matter of whether or not the Left will just go back to bed once a (D) is in the White House, nor the related matter of whether or not in the future there will really be anyone to vote for, when there are basically two Republican Parties dominating America while a third party struggles to exist. But he's got a distinct philosophy, and he's not Masciotra.
Does this explanation make the idea of "nice liberals with big egos" any clearer?