Monday, January 26, 2004

I usually like to read Josh Marshall when he puts on his "academic pinhead" hat. However, his latest piece in The New Yorker seems like he's getting in touch with his inner imperialist.

Yeah, I know that Mojo and Sean think I'm being a bit hyperbolic in my anti-imperialism— and they probably think I'm jumping at my own shadow sometimes— but I really did get the sense reading this latest article from Mr. Marshall that he really isn't all that opposed to the idea of American imperialism, as much as he's just critical of the way the current occupants of the seats of American power have played their hand.

I'd really like to believe that liberalism implies anti-imperialism, but I'm afraid I just don't see it that way. I've come to believe that the major faultline of division between the factions of liberalism is the one between the imperialists and the anti-imperialists. At times like these current days, these divisions can become very deep indeed.

I'm thinking what happened a century ago in America when The Anti-Imperialist League was at odds with the rest of American liberalism. Back then we had debates about whether "the Constitution should follow the flag, or the flag should follow the Constitution" when we [inevitably, of course] exported them overseas.

I guess I'm just peeved that Mr. Marshall seems to think that debate is settled. We made our bed: the flag goes everywhere, and the Constitution stays in a glass case at a museum where it belongs.

I'd like to know why imperialists think patriotic Americans should concede that debate. I really would. Every time I ask them, though, they just roll their eyes and call me an idiot. (I can't use enough invective to convey how frustrating this is for me.)

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