To answer charlie (but I speak only for myself): Yes. I got my political education protesting against Lyndon Johnson. I don’t let Democrats off the hook. But right now we’ve got a serious problem who happens to be a Republican—a Republican who is opposed to much of what traditional Republicans stood for. Will they let him off because he’s a Republican?
I agree, it’s way too long. But worth reading. I do have some questions—Pinker seems too willing to accept the world as it is rather than trying to change it. I don’t doubt his motives, but I guess his desire to make a case that things have generally gotten better (and I think he’s generally right about that) has made it harder for him to say And they need to keep getting better. For instance, his discussion of income inequality seemed a little complacent. But the overall point of the book is still encouraging.
The defenses of Trump are just pathetic.
I bought “Savage Wars of Peace” maybe ten years ago, and I learned a lot from it. I don’t agree with his position, which is fundamentally in favor of an American Empire, but (a) he makes a good case which has to be considered seriously, and (b) he’s a good historian, and his argument never gets in the way of the facts. I’ve also read “The Road Not Taken”, and again, I disagree with his argument, which seems to be that the War in Vietnam could have (and presumably) should have been won if it had been pursued differently. Again, I think he’s wrong, but it’s a serious argument. I am eager to read serious conservatives, but there aren’t a lot of them around these days. I like to have my own positions face a challenge. If I feel I can meet Boot’s arguments, then I feel my own position is stronger. And if I can’t meet his arguments, then I should change my position.
Have you read his books? I don’t always agree with him, but he is smart and well informed and he has integrity.
The history is interesting and not really all that complicated, but almost always the people who make this point are not interested in history, they are just trying to score a stupid ideological point.
Why would Trump want to stop Russia from meddling in US elections? They were on his side. So now he’s on their side.
When someone says “Don’t forget, the KKK was an arm of the Democratic Party”, I just walk away. There’s no chance of a fruitful discussion.
I’ve been active in the left since 1966 and I’ve never thrown a bag of flaming feces at anyone and I’ve never blown up anything. I’m a pacifist, so I wouldn’t support that kind of action. But the sit-ins, those were a good idea, and very effective.