Stating the Obvious

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by Conor Friedersdorf

In the course of American history, if either liberals or conservatives disappeared entirely from the American scene, leaving the right or left to pursue their best ideas and most flawed excesses alike, this country would be in far worse shape than it is today.

And anyone who thinks that completely vanquishing "the other side" in American politics would produce good results for very long is naive at best.

It is to our collective benefit that the competing ideological factions in the United States operate as the best versions of themselves. Criticism that helps them get there is the most useful. On individual matters, one or another faction occasionally ends up being definitively right (or catastrophically wrong). Still, on the whole our ideological opponents are more help than hindrances compared to a world where they didn't exist. This seems obvious to me, but I thought I'd state it since a lot of people disagree, or at least talk and act as if they do.

Coalage's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm


This can be funtionally true, but if one side is driven by extremists (like the party of No) advocates for annihilation of the other, there are simply not enough cheeks to turn.

Rodger97321's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Income Inequality Has Gone Up

The chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Jason Furman, recently wrote in the Washington Post that "Last year saw the largest single-year reduction in poverty since the 1960s."

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