I don't think so. I live in a pretty liberal community and I went to a pretty liberal school.
This post from David Friedman just took me by surprise:
"My guess is that Americans who consider themselves left wing tend to approve of Hugo Chavez, as they have, traditionally, tended to approve of Fidel Castro. I would also guess that, like most other people, they tend to disapprove of Bashar Al-Assad and his violent suppression of opposition in Syria.
Chavez, however, is one of the few national leaders to support Assad. Assuming my guesses are correct, how do American (or, for that matter, European) leftists deal with the situation?"
Where are these pro-Chavez and pro-Castro Americans he's talking about? I mean, I'm sure there are some really left-wing socialists types that might veer into what Friedman might be thinking of as "pro-Chavez" territory, but a lot of them are of the anti-Stalinist/anti-totalitarian style socialists, so I'm not sure they're genuinely "pro-Chavez". I think what's more common is that people say "Chavez and Castro have popular support, despite their heavy-handedness, and they're no threat to us - so we really shouldn't be acting so belicose toward them". But I wouldn't call that "pro-Chavez", and I would think that would be something David Friedman could agree with.
But maybe I'm just sheltered - I just feel like I've never come across anyone who is "pro-Chavez". Perhaps less anti-Chavez than anti-Assad. But pro-Chavez? That just seems strange to me. Whoever Friedman is thinking of seems like it's a very small minority. And maybe he is thinking of just a very small minority of hard-core leftists. But he doesn't seem to be treating the group that specifically.
This is of the same character as that old Arnold Kling post where he talked about how the Soviet Union was a good real-world test of what liberals want. WTF?!? was my response at the time, and it's my response here too.
Then again, I've never thought of myself as a leftist or even really a liberal, so perhaps I'm projecting on "liberals". But I can't think of any genuine liberals I know who've really been pro-Chavez.
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