William D. Lindsey 
Member since Jun 4, 2010

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I'm a Little Rock native who grew up in both Little Rock and El Dorado. Went off to study theology in Toronto, then taught and… More »

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Recent Comments

Re: “Fiat Flux

Observer, I am very grateful for your kind review of my book about Wilson Bachelor, and I very much agree with you about his attractiveness as a writer and thinker.

I did want to point out that you have my middle initial slightly wrong, though. It's D. for Dennis and not B. for, well, the many things B. might stand for. Thank you again for your kind remarks about the book and for recommending Dr. Bachelor's work to others.

Posted by William D. Lindsey on 09/04/2013 at 3:30 PM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

Fine, Eureka. That's fine.

You win.

You've proven to me yet again that there's not any point trying to engage you. It's always an entirely one-sided conversation in which you want the pontiff's chair and you expect everyone to whom you pontificate to be silent. Even when I told both you and Outlier that I share your misgivings about A. Sullivan--though I read him and profit from doing so, for reasons I stated above--you continued to snipe away.

Succeeding, both of you, in doing the work of the GOP admirably well for them.

I posted what I did only to try to initiate a conversation before someone like Saline Republican, to whom I had responded at a previous thread this morning, jumped in and did so. I never dreamed (though I should have done so) when I posted that it would not be Saline, but you and Outlier, who decided go on the attack.

Proving precisely my point about the inability of many progressives to create a strong, boundary-crossing movement that permits a diversity of viewpoints.

I relinquish this conversation space to you, and won't be posting any further at this blog site. Too much else to do to try to assist with the work of various groups trying to build a really VIABLE AND EFFECTIVE progressive movement in our country right now, since it's very sorely needed.

I feel sure Saline and his friends are laughing heartily at what the two of you have managed to accomplish for them in this conversation space. They didn't have to lift their fingers to tear away at the bonds of solidarity; you both accomplished it very well for them.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 5:34 PM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

Sorry I just misspelled Eureka in my last posting, ES. It was surely not intentional.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 1:11 PM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

@Eurkea: "It's difficult to follow your use of purist without specifics."

But I've given you those specifics in previous discussions of this issue. You simply discount them. Since they don't meet your purist criteria, which winnow in advance what counts as testimony and what can't count--and always in a very narrow way.

In this thread you say, of Andrew Sullivan, AFTER I had replied to Outlier by noting the ways in which I find his journalism defective, "He's a one percent gossip columnist.... a windsock. What's amazing is anyone reads him at all."

That's the very quintessence of purism. You won't even read a widely read and influential commentator with whom you've decided to disagree on purist ideological grounds. You can't, therefore, critique him, since you're not reading him.

You only push away.

As you're implicitly doing with me, deciding in advance that anything I have to say is without merit and should simply be ignored.

I don't respond to you in the same way at all. I come here and read LOTS of material I find objectionable, ill-informed, of not much interest.

Still, I keep reading. I take seriously what you say even when I disagree strongly with you. I sometimes respond to you (though I feel I'm talking to a broken record in most cases).

You, by contrast, have established your purist political boundaries in such a way that only a tiny percentage of true believers belong inside your boundary lines.

And to my way of thinking, this inability of people on the left (or people who claim they represent progressive positions while they're really right-wing wolves in progressive sheep's clothing) to form broader coalitions that dispense with the silly insider-outsider tactics, which are always around absurd points of ideological purity, assures our marginalization in American politics.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 12:57 PM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

Outlier, you're right: it will definitely be too late--unless the election of Romney-Ryan could provoke such a backlash that we really did begin to wake up and realize how close we've come to losing our democracy.

I am by nature a pessimist, but I also do my best to muster hope, always, and so I'm already preparing myself for the possibility that the Republicans will prevail in the elections by hoping against hope that this would then begin to wake people up to our situation--and perhaps even spark the kind of third-party options for which people like Eureka Springs keep calling, with sound reason, it seems to me.

Even as I try to hope, though, I ask myself how it's possible to build viable structures to change a society where citizens now let ourselves be led through the nose routinely, where we casually accept the outrageous suppression of minority votes in election after election, tampering with voting machines, election-stealing, and the vacuousness of our media, which do nothing at all to expose or challenge any of this. And where a lot of us are just--let's be honest--so dumbed down that we lack any critical capacity at all or the knowledge base to know we're been fed a bill of goods (and, yes, I'm talking to you, younger voters).

Still: hope. The nation is shifting demographically, and the determination of the rabid right to control things wouldn't be so strong if they didn't see that they're on the losing side of history.

I can't agree with you about Sullivan, Eureka. I find him still worth reading, though I've outlined very clearly what I don't like about him.

When we reduce our political coalitions to purist options, we end up with tiny little turned-inward enclaves that have about as much effect on the world as a group of religious cultists living in some isolated place they think of as paradise.

2 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 11:39 AM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

Outlier, I surely can't disagree with you about Sullivan.

He was altogether too willing to beat the war drum after 9/11. His economic philosophy has, in many instances in the past, cozied right up to Paul Ryan's libertarian ideas. Sullivan has written about how he once thought Dick Cheney (!) was a nice fellow and rubbed shoulders with him at parties.

Sullivan has long struck me as a quintessential beltway creature, insulated by privilege that came his way due to his Harvard boys'-club experiences. I also think his view of what the U.S. is really like is wildly inaccurate and very starry-eyed, since he grew up in the British Isles and has spent his time as an American on little elite islands on the East Coast.

But it could also well be argued that when someone with such a lineage begins to blow the whistle on those with whom he's been chummy as an insider, we should all the more perk up our ears and listen.

This is one of those reasons I keep arguing that purism is self-defeating in politics, and that we on the progressive end of the spectrum tend to be tainted by it above all--to our destruction as a viable political force in the U.S. We draw way too many insider-outsider lines, to my taste, and often for absurd purist ideological reasons.

I doubt I'd like Andrew Sullivan much at all if I knew him personally. I know for certain I don't agree with some of his key ideas.

But I'm still willing to learn from him and listen carefully to him, because 1) he's intelligent, 2) he seems to have a conscience, and 3) he's honest enough to admit he's been spectacularly wrong about some important issues.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 11:13 AM

Re: “New Yorker makes the case for Barack Obama

Andrew Sullivan on Mitt Romney's apparent lack of any coherent moral center at all, and how chilling and alarming this should be for anyone who thinks that a moral center might be a requisite quality in the leader of a viable democracy:

"Politicians change - but not so completely and back again without even a hair out of place. I find it chilling. And how, as president, in those inevitable moments of crisis will anyone be able to believe you? Because you could simply etch-a-sketch into another argument just as swiftly. I think the strategy to pull the Etch-A-Sketch just as vast numbers of low information voters tune in to the first debate was a stroke of cynical genius. But because it's so obviously pure cynicism, the great initial taste begins to have a bit of a bitter after-taste. Who on earth is this man, and what would he do in office? I thought he had effectively remade himself into the leader of the Tea Party GOP. But since October 3, I'm just bewildered. And alarmed."

Sullivan's writing at http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/20….

5 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by William D. Lindsey on 10/26/2012 at 10:26 AM

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