“I wrote about him before the primaries in 2008, simply using his webpage — the way he was presenting himself — and he seemed to me like an opportunist,” Chomsky said of Obama, according to WND News.I'm going to try to be as clear as I can about this. I have zero problems with Chomsky disagreeing with President Obama about things like drone strikes, health care reform and TPP. I don't expect people like him to agree with the President on everything. What I DO expect from people who call themselves liberals is to have enough respect to avoid demonizing each other.
“His portrayed idealism could not be taken seriously,” he added of the president.
Call me naive if you wish, but I always assumed that part of what it meant to be a liberal was to demonstrate tolerance and respect for each other...to be able to disagree on the merits of the issue rather than fall back on personal attacks. If we can't do that, I don't see a big difference with the approach we so often condemn on the other side.
Of course Chomsky's not the only one. We've been hearing this kind of thing from liberals about the most progressive president in my lifetime since before he was inaugurated. That's not my idea of what liberalism is all about. This is:
I firmly believe that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, or oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. A polarized electorate that is turned off of politics, and easily dismisses both parties because of the nasty, dishonest tone of the debate, works perfectly well for those who seek to chip away at the very idea of government because, in the end, a cynical electorate is a selfish electorate.And so what I've learned during this Obama era is that when people resort to personal attacks to make their case, it is often because their position lacks merit. My response, then, has been to look a little deeper and question - not our shared goals - but their inadequate strategies for reaching them. In other words...I've become a pragmatic progressive. Thanks, Obama.
Barack Obama, 2005