Long-time readers of this Web site know that I used to think of myself sometimes as a liberal, sometimes as a leftist.
These days I think of myself sometimes as a liberal and increasingly as a centrist.
Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. I don’t know how you will react to these images from anti-war.us, but I find them viscerally repulsive. I just don’t think of my country in this way, and I feel no solidarity whatsoever with people who do.
UPDATE: I wonder what would happen if Andrew Sullivan wrote a little post where he said he felt no solidarity whatsoever with the Ku Klux Klan. Would conservatives give him a hard time? Somehow I doubt it. So why must certain liberals give me a hard time now?
Oliver Willis says in the comments:
What I can’t understand is why liberals like Michael tend to do the dirty work of the right for them.
This sort of thing just alienates me from the left even more. I’m a “Bush Tool” now because I won’t stand with those who think America is a nation of bloodthirsty psychotic imperialists? Give me a break.
As to Oliver’s next question:
why are there more liberals bashing fellow liberals while the right-wingers sit back and laugh at us?
First of all, I don’t think the pictures above are from “fellow liberals.” They are from anti-war leftists. But either way, the reason I do this is because any liberal movement that I will belong to must draw a clear line in the sand between itself and the hateful bigots at the core of anti-war activism. Or I will walk. There is no tent big enough for us all.
The Republican tent isn’t big enough for me, either. These days I keep asking myself if I need to belong to either group. The reactions to these posts of mine are helping me make my decision.
Independence is looking awfully enticing these days.
The bottom line is this: I need to feel there is some daylight between myself and the radicals. And if I have to move all the way to the center to make it happen, then that’s what I’ll do. There needs to be a clean break somewhere, either between the liberals and the radicals, or between me and the liberals.