Which is why I often say that many--not all, but many--of the people we wrongly label "liberals" today should most properly be thought of as today's reactionary class. As John Stuart Mill would say, they don't have ideas so much as irritable mental gestures that vaguely seek to resemble ideas. And their arguments almost inexorably degenerate into ad hominem attacks and assumptions about others' motives. Everything becomes about what the other guy is "really" saying (i.e. he has a Secret Agenda), what he is "really" trying to do (i.e. he has a Secret Plan).
This is a quote from Dean's World. Please see all of it here.
I disagree. You can't just take everyone at face value. If someone says "Well, we're trying to help the Iraqi people", but all their actions seem to be against it, you can say that something is up there. And sometimes there is a subtext to things. For example, a lot of the anti immigrant sentiment has a semi racist subtext. We can't just ignore that. Then again, maybe Dean comes from a place with more plain speakers without detailed plans, but here, I think folks on both sides will do anything to get their man in, whether it is trying to pretty up racist assumptions just enough to not lose the racist vote, but also not sound racist to people who are kinda against racism, or to make an increase in taxes sound better to those who howl over the idea of even a fifty cent increase in taxes, so I can't just trust their words, especially if I am 'reactionary' and don't want the strides of the past erased.
People who were much smarter and braver than me worked really hard to get the freedoms I have today. Some even died. So I feel that it takes a little more than just being not 'reactionary'.