Defending the homeland
: The intermittently reasonable Harry Hatchet takes me, among others, to task for what he paints as right-wing grandstanding.
My sin? I defended my countrymen against grandstanding attacks from two turncoat Americans — not surprisingly Michael Moore and surprisingly a Newsweek bureau chief who should at least be trying to act less biased — who went to European media — the Guardian and Die Zeit — to attack their fellow Americans as everything from stupid to amoral.
What, I’m supposed to sit here and take it? I’m supposed to say, you’re right, we’re all a bunch of idiots and losers and we’d be so much better off if we’d never declared independence so we’d have Prince Chuck giving us an example of character and intelligence?
No, Harry, you’re the one grandstanding. You lump anyone who disagrees with you or dares to defend himself against attacks with which you obviously agree under the “right-wing” umbrella. Well, Harry, the only reason I’m ever called right-wing is because I supported the same war you did. If I’m one, you are two, mate. I would say that what you’re doing shows little consideration of the complexities of the relationship between Europe and America, an unwillingness to seriously engage in the arguments of critics or doubters. It’s all grandstanding, point-scoring, playing to the gallery stuff. It is, on the whole, totally tedious.
Oh, right, that’s precisely what you said about me.
Well, I’m sure we’ll see the best of consideration of complexities of the European-American relationship from your side of the pond when our President shows up. I’m sure we won’t see a moment of grandstanding from you and your media. Sure.
UPDATES: Well, I have arrived. I’ve been attacked by the Guardian. It’s online. But it’s a start.
Neil McIntosh says:
A morning of surfing through the rapidly expanding political weblog scene takes me to Harry’s Place, where there’s been some good stuff on the diminishing quality of debate on some US political weblogs. It’s a thought that had been forming since reading Jeff Jarvis denounce American dissenters as “cultural traitors” a few days back, and Harry’s does a nice job of articulating what’s happened, and bringing together some supporting linkage….
That shrill, extremist voices are more likely to bring in the punters than moderate, reasoned ones is not a new notion for “old” media. But that, and the hard-nosed drive for pageviews which has always been “a-list” blogging’s biggest dirty secret, will still likely disappoint the more idealistic bloggers who hoped their brave new world would nurture a different kind of debate.
Well, I would call both Moore and, these days, the Guardian “shrill and extremist.” I’m just an middle-aged American liberal who got tired of seeing Americans attacked. I will remind you: A bunch of shrill, extremist people tried to kill me two years ago just because I am an American. Now I read Americans attacking Americans as a people and I defend my fellow citizens. Shrill? Fine, whatever you like. Extremist? Well, I suppose these days daring to defend America is extremist. So be it. Make up whatever shrill and extremist labels you like, Neil. Takes one to know one.
I didn’t say what I said for traffic, boys. I said what I said because I believe it. Before I became an executive, I used to write for millions. Now I write for thousands. I don’t do it for the traffic.
: And now we see Harry trying to backtrack — skinback, as we call it in the trade — in the comments:
I didn’t call you “right-wing” and while I share the general feeling about Michael Moore I thought it was intolerent to describe the Newsweek writer as a “cultural traitor”.
If a British conservative came to the USA and said he was embarassed to be British because of Tony Blair, the BBC’s coverage of the war and the level of anti-Americanism in the country would that make him a “cultural traitor”?
Well, Harry, I thought it was intolerant of the Newsweek bloke to call all his fellow countrymen amoral. Read his piece again. Then defend it. Unfisk it: Take it line by line and tell me how he’s right and I’m wrong. Yes, you bet, I’m intolerant of his intolerance. No apologies for that, my friend.
And as for your question: If a Brit of any stripe came to America and said he was — your words — “embarrassed to be British because of Tony Blair,” I would say he was an idiot and a horse’s rump. If he wants to come and say he disagrees with Blair and Blair’s policy’s and actions, dandy. If he wants to discard the value of his own people and heritage and tradition and nationality as a result, well, that’s patently stupid and spiteful and, yes, it makes him a turncoat — my word: traitor — to his own people, his own culture, his own land. That is the “love-it-or-leave-it” level of thinking I rejected in my youth — just the other side of the coin. That’s precisely the point.
: UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: Harry comes back in the comments and calls me “illiberal” because I attacked Moore and the Newsweek guy.
Glad Harry is the keeper of the cloak of liberalism.
Let me ask you this, Harry: If a liberal — by your definition — came to America and said that because Blair supports Bush and because Britons elected him, Britons are then clearly ammoral and stupid and dangerous and ignorant, would you (a) agree with that fellow liberal or (b) defend the honor of your countrymen? That’s what this is about, pure and simple.
Pardon me, but I’m going to take a very dangerous and contrarian and by some views shrill, right-wing, illiberal stance and I’ll take your barbs and the Guardian’s with pride:
Let me say that again, because I am one and because I was attacked and damned near killed because I am one (and yes, that matters):
I am pro-American.