I continue to be impressed with Nate Silver, and not just because of his number-crunching skills. His post on the “two progressivisms” speaks to why some progressives find other progressives annoying. Go take a look.
Of the two types I’m clearly more rational than radical. I’m not nearly as credulous as I was, um, eight years ago (wonder why?) and I’m also much less of an incrementalist, but I identify more with the rational side.
Rational progressives sometimes regard radical progressives as impractical, self-righteous, shrill, demagogic, naÃ¯ve and/or anti-intellectual. Radical progressives, in turn, regard rational progressives as impure, corrupt (or corruptible), selfish, complacent, elitist, and too quick to compromise.
I don’t think I identify the radicals as anti-intellectual. It’s more the case that they seem to have an emotional need to stay in attack mode. One wonders if events arranged themselves to give them every policy change they wanted, would they still find something to attack? I suspect so.
In my case, my ultimate goal is not so much to enact progressive policies (although that would be nice) as it is to create a nation in which the people received factual information and could have rational, substantive debates about issues. And then if well-informed voters, after a thorough airing of a problem, express a preference for conservative solutions, so be it. I am just damn tired of living in a nation in which it’s a near-impossible task to lift facts over all the bullshit and demagoguery.