I have written before of how one failing of our politics is that it focuses more on how we feel about the people who are on the side of the issues, and less on the issues themselves. Here is another example of that phenomenon, with a contributor to the liberal website Balloon-Juice smacking down Noam Chomsky.
The guy hasn’t been relevant to pretty much anything in about three decades, and hasn’t said anything different or original in that time either. To say nothing of the fact that his understanding of actual living people and what motivates them has never been any deeper than the superficial academic level as we all know. Isn’t it precious how much the right wing, generally populated by people with the same 1/4-inch deep intellectual understanding of actual human beings as Chomsky himself is so excited about this?
This is a remarkably dismissive critique of one of the world’s leading public intellectuals, who has inspired and energized and educated many generations of people all over the globe for half a century with his untiring work on behalf of the poor and oppressed and his exposure of right-wing, military-corporate-media, oligarchical, neocolonial structures. So what did Chomsky say that was able to generate this diatribe? Brace yourselves because he praised something that Sarah Palin said! Here is his ghastly transgression, made in an interview on Democracy Now:
Noam Chomsky, who’s written over 100 books, has said the former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee was right about Barack Obama’s 2008 election slogans.
“I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was right,” the noted linguist told Democracy Now.
Yes, he actually agreed with Palin that Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogans were just ‘marketing pablum’. Heresy! Surely Chomsky is smart enough to realize that politics means taking sides around people and not around issues, and at the current time the organizing principle in the liberal wing is ‘Obama=good, Palin=bad’. You must never, ever violate that maxim. If you do, you will be banished. Didn’t he get the memo?
Actually, if you read the other comments he made in the link that was given, you see that what Chomsky said was consistent with his long-time views of the toxic nexus between politics and marketing in the US.