We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Strict as the authoritarian Governments are, they look after their people well. Their powers are so greatthat any measure of public welfare is put in force directly the need for it appears."
"The democratic countries must ask themselves whether, with their easy-going ways, they can hope to compete, even in the ursuits of peace, with these highly disciplined nations whose spirit has been steeled in the fire of adversity."
- G. Ward Price
Ward Price was a British journalist who wrote for the Daily Mail. The quotes above came from his 1937 book "I Know These Dictators". The dictators in question were "Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini".
Price was an ass and a pre-war apologist for the Nazis and the Fascisti. After all, they made the trains run on time, didn't they?
I agree with BD. He's not stupid and he's very rich. Have you seen a picture of his house? (http://www.mnftiu.cc/2009/01/16/thomas-friedmans-house/). Nobody gets one of those if they are stupid. One can get one if they are corrupt, manipulating, pandering, or "in with the right crowd". One can also have one if he is very honest and successful. Friedman reminds me of Joseph Kennedy who as the ambassador for England was an apologist for Hitler while he was invading France. He is an elitist snob hypocrite who is, as they say, "often wrong but never in doubt". He is also a symptom of the fascist attitude of the left.
RE: Friedman - not an idiot, he's not stupid and he is knowledgable about Arab/Israel conflict. And I agree with BD - he is an arrogant putz with an answer for everything not just the area in which he has written well and often.
Then again, he is from the monied class and reflects that attitude directly. His family at one time held something like $3 Billion in real estate holdings until the real estate collapse when his father's company had to declare bankruptcy. He had his own fortune by then so it was a wash.
Friedman reflects the attitude of the "intellectual elite" in that he is totally out of touch with the reality that most Americans find themselves in. This isn't unusual for folks like him - everything is an intellectual exercise that does not take into account how it plays with the heartland. He's playing for a completely different audience - those of his own "class" and not those of us who spent a few years in the trenches and appreciate where we are now. He has always been where he is now - at the top. He can understand from a concept standpoint certainly, but never having experienced it and always having operated at the highest levels of his professions, he has no real feel for normal everyday life.
Lastly, these type of arguments are the stuff of university sophomore drunk bull sesssions in the dorm. These arguments largely ignore the realities and practicalities of the real world - thus you get statements like his about "being China for a day".
I agree with you, but I don't think it has anything to do with being out of touch, but rather that he knows better than the rest of us. It's that arrogance thing. It's the same with all progressives.
You're right, of course, that he's playing to a different audience - other progressives and "useful idiots". The fact that the rest of us think he's an idiot or even disagree with him just feeds his own arrogance and delusion that he's the smart one and the rest of us are the dolts.
I'm not sure there is really any hope for him and those like him because if they are shown to be wrong, it shows to them that we really don't understand the real problem.
Gee, if Friedman had his way, government could not not only implement the "right solutions", it could finish the job and implement the "final solution".
I wonder if Friedman's final thought, after being rounded up, shipped on a cattle car to one of Sibelius' "reeducation" camps (why stop at health care reeducation once you have a dandy camp set up?), and gassed to death with and environmentally correct poison (non-persistent, doesn't harm fish when washed into the river), would be, "Gee, maybe totalitarian government isn't the best way to fix the world's problems". Nahhh... too late for him.