Day By Day

Monday, December 04, 2006


Pajamas Media has come up with an excellent term to designate people like me:
Freerangers are the significant number of Americans who do not identify themselves as liberals or conservatives....
and who are,
uncomfortable with the conventional left-right, liberal-conservative dichotomized pigeonholes of the mainstream media.
Check out their "Freerangers Central" forum here.


Jonah Goldberg in NRO argues against the idea of non-partisanship. He feels that it masks an unwillingness to debate principles, an unwarranted assumption of moral or intellectual superiority, and is fundamentally undemocratic because it assumes that the non-partisan's position is not arguable, simply right, and should be immediately implemented. He also notes that the argument is usually deployed by people of the Left. Read it here [behind subscription wall], or for a fuller discussion of the points argued in the article go here. The latter discussion notes that this non-partisan pragmatism emerged as an important feature of American politics in the 1960's and was ushered in by the "new politics" of JFK. I think that's about right, and the assertion of moral and intellectual superiority voiced by many non-partisans is an all-too-familiar trope of boomer rhetoric.

But what, then, can those of us who cannot stomach many aspects of both the Republican and Democrat Party positions and resist identification with either camp do? If "non-partisan" or "free-ranger" is too abstract a term, and "Republican" or "Democrat" problematic, Goldberg urges us to adopt more specific terminology.

OK, then! I hereby declare myself to be a Dubya Republican. I think that on nearly every major issue President Bush has been far more right in his judgments than his Democrat opponents or his critics within the Republican Party or the permanent government. That locates me fairly precisely. The only trouble is that the term will become obsolete in two years, and then I shall have to choose among a number of fairly unpalatable alternatives.

It's too early to tell, but right now I'm tending toward Mitt in 08.

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