So-called "Liberal Elitists" are just extreme-left activists, equivalent to PETA or similar. The Right-wing equivalent have so often been more extreme that no-one has ever considered the idea of a Liberal extremist: a Right-wing activist will condone races they consider inferior, censor the media, and feed their own pockets: in contrast, Liberal extremists will be in favor of human, animal and workers' rights, and will campaign for environmental protection, support anti-pollution measures and alternative energy source developement. In their own way, Liberal Elitists could be just as dangerous as Right-wing activists: take the Animal Welfare Front, the group of madmen who have attacked and sometimes killed in the name of animal welfare. They take Liberal ideals of fairness and equality and push them too far.
I'm not sure if calling PETA "extreme left" is correct; while they're obviously extremists, the trouble is that people have trouble wrapping their brains around the idea that extremism has absolutely nothing to do with where you fall on the political spectrum, and everything to do with how extremely you hold the positions you are at. You can be an extremist moderate, or be an extremist conservative without actually holding extreme far-right positions. This is particularly true of single-issue folk; for example, there are many "gun nuts" whose overall social positions are not actually all that remarkable, but if you even imply guns are bad they go ballistic (pun fully intended).
There is an elitist strain to American liberalism at least, but that's not particularly a bad thing. If you start feeling smug about your own opinions you probably fall under this category. Then again, it's not unjustifiable. Some people just can't deal with an attitude that doesn't assume automatic respect toward the opinions of others. They get an inferiority complex. Of course the liberal elite think they're better than you. After all, aren't they? Morally? Intellectually? If you're conservative, of course they are.
Conseratives actually like folk like bankers and industrialists, so I think its somewhat more complicated than this.
The other thing that's different is that in the US I believe the term 'Liberal' basically has a different meaning than what I would understand it to mean. In the US it seems to me the 'Liberal' basically means socialist, with all the accompanying connotations.
Not really. Someone in the US who is liberal is often not a socialist, or at least the only way they're really meaningfully socialist is regarding healthcare and public goods. Personally, they aren't really for socialism - they like business and free enterprise.
Sometimes both sides of the spectrum can be blind. For instance, there is no justification whatsoever, and there never has been, for the prohibition of drug use. Indeed, President Nixon thought it would be quite the declaration during the disgraceful Vietnam war. Ron Paul seems to be the only presidential candidate in America who I am aware of make an explicit stance against the drug war, and the right for people to take whatever substances they like in their own private lives. I would not support him, however, due to his stance on other issues. But for a Republican, the promise to end the war on drugs was very impressive.
Ron Paul is not really a Republican; he's a Libertarian who runs as a Republican because its hard for third party candidates who are not independently wealthy to garner much attention.
And sometimes the left can be very immodest, or unwilling to see through some of their double standards. What happened in Iraq and Iran during the 80s was stupendously imperialistic and insane on the count of the US, and some are still criminally living scot free from any accountability. However, that said, if you were to ask most people on the left why they were against the 2003 intervention in Iraq, they will point to this imperialism, when it could be argued that leaving Iraq to fall apart would have also been imperialistic. They will say that the war was motivated by profit, but at the same time complain about the large debt it put the US in. Not many people on the left are even aware of the people of Kurdistan's long struggle against fascism and anti-secularism of the worst kind in the form of Saddam Hussein and his crime family, which is no doubt liberally motivated. Chances are that if Saddam were still in power, the country would have been given to his sons, and the Sunni/Shia sectarianism would have erupted regardless. Saddam ought to have been taken out in 1991, and the act of leaving him in power even after his annexation of Kuwait was baffling in itself. Iraq will definitely go down as one of the US's greatest blunders ever.
You have to understand that the Kuwaiti war was a mistake to begin with. Kuwait was drilling horizontally into Iraq's oil; Iraq told them to knock it off. Kuwait didn't; Iraq invaded. The main reason we got involved in the war was a lie - the Kuwaitis lied, claimed the Iraqi soldiers were killing babies in hospitals, dressed up a government official's daughter and had her come forward to lie to Congress.
The truth is that the right thing to do is to let their governments rot on the vine; Saddam wasn't particularly worse than anyone else in the Middle East, and it is far better to wait for an organic pro-democracy movement to emerge to help out rather than trying to force it on them when they aren't ready for it.
The reason I oppose it wasn't imperialism, because the war was not, in truth, imperialistic. Rather, the reason I oppose it was because just having a bad guy in charge of a country is not sufficient justification for an invastion when you don't have any structure to replace it with. There weren't any "pro liberal" forces at work there.
I am kind of wondering though why you guys are trying to bitch about semantics when they're completly irrelevant to the issue at hand, or even anything really.
I suppose it is too much to ask for people to ask whether their political opponents might have a reason (however flimsy) for percieving them in a negative fashion.
I personally think it's not that deep. I feel it's more of a shitty cop-out remark people make when they have nothing else to say and can't seem to defend themselves. So they instead pick at the confidence of the arguer, like being confident about your stance is wrong.
"You're so elitist, why can't you just sit down and take my opinion as valid??"
(Because for the most part an opinion does not need to be seen as valid. Contrary to popular belief, you can actually have pretty misguided opinions.)
While it is true they often use namecalling in the place of actual arguments, I don't know that that is particularly valid. Why call them liberal elitists and not something else? There has to be a reason why they've latched onto that particular insult, as opposed to something else.
This post has been edited by Titanium Dragon: 11 March 2012 - 03:40 AM