Kyle Kulinski is a progressive Democrat who runs a political channel on Youtube called “Secular Talk” where he gives his opinions on current news and political rhetoric. I sometimes tune into his channel and agree for a while, but except when he takes a utopian position on how we should speak kindly with dictators.
“Female Trump Voters Say Silly Things on CNN”
At 12 minutes in Kyle Kulinski says he wants to have a good relationship with Russia “to prevent world war 3.” I see this as a slippery slope, and find it rather disgusting. No matter what happens, there would still be a red telephone, just as there always has been. We can afford to take more confrontational stances than we already have, and to not appease thuggish dictators with gentle rhetoric without causing another Cuban Missile crisis.
Liberal democracies shouldn’t get along with Putin, anymore than liberal citizens should get along with fascists. I want condemnation of Putin, and I feel proud when my leaders do it. Furthermore, I consider it necessary and useful for America to lay out our ideological opposition to totalitarianism all the time, because our country believes in democracy and self-determination. It is in also in America’s geopolitical best interest to speak that way, as a voice of moral clarity, and then to strive for a liberal world order.
Appeasement can be just as dangerous of a slippery slope as saber-rattling. Our politicians can manage to criticize Russia or North Korea honestly, and even put sanctions on them without worrying that it’s going to bring about a war. Russia deserves to be credited with some trust; after all, they did possess enough rationality to not start WW3 during or since the cold war!) Kulinski doesn’t have to be so dogmatic about pacifism. He is free to position himself as an isolationist who opposes American intervention abroad, and who still expects his leaders to stand up for democracy abroad by criticizing Russia–which is the minimum liberal politicians can do.
While Kulinski has not been consistent about standing up for liberty throughout the word, he has been consistent over time about taking a cultural relativist position on liberty. I mean to say that he has been too willing to compromise his “liberal” principles for my liking, like when he had to attack Christopher Hitchens, (something I’ve already rambled about earlier.) At one point in the video titled “What’s Your Take On Christopher Hitchens?,” he accused Hitchens of “losing his mind near the end and siding with the Neo-cons,” which he emphasized as though it were a swear word. To me it sounded almost like an ad-hominem attack, and like something you’d say to appeal to partisan viewers. (The fair thing to do would be to approach Hitchens’s position in the spirit of charity, avoid cheap attacks on his association, and to more directly attack his position.)
It’s very difficult to argue against Hitchen’s idealism. You can oppose the war in Iraq for many pragmatic reasons, but Hitchens’ position is the more moral one because its foundation is universal liberalism, which Kulinski still hasn’t realized.
Sorry Kulinski, but the best interests of America’s citizens requires moral idealism, and not just fluid diplomacy and free markets. If you want there to be good countries even if America falls then you have to fight for democracy everywhere you can. I say this under the presumption that “the veil of ignorance” should be a principle guide for how all citizens on Earth consider politics.
I have mixed feelings about Kyle Kulinski’s Secular Talk. He sometimes leans in directions I’m often not comfortable with, and as Sam Harris pointed out, he sometimes invites people onto his show who are dishonest and doesn’t push-back enough. Maybe he’ll get better when he’s older.
Anyway, between Kyle Kulinski and Joe Rogan, I think the people who call themselves anti-establishment social libertarians tend to believe in a lot of ungrounded conspiratorial speculation which make me uncomfortable. I don’t like how Kyle Kulinski downplays Russia’s interference in our elections, and the attacks on our intelligence agencies. I also think he’ll waste 9 minutes rambling because he wants to have it both ways, and on a lot of issues he hedges his bets, perhaps to avoid criticism.
I also disagree with Kyle’s views on foreign policy, since he calls Hitchens his least favorite author among the atheist writers, and then says, “He lost his mind and went full neocon.” He also thought Galloway won his debates versus Hitchens, while I ended up agreeing with Hitchens after I watched that debate. Galloway is an Anti-American apologist for Muslims and dictators. I really wish Kyle will someday grow up and embrace Hitchens views about bringing democracy to the world–this is something the establishment is often right about, and something Steven Pinker would be more likely to support. You can believe that the Iraqi war was justified while wanting more social democracy.
Kyle’s podcast isn’t useless, can have insights, and his pantomiming can be entertaining, but I wish he would stop harping about our need to pull out of the all foreign wars in every single episode. He’s actually too nativist for me, and I care about what happens beyond our borders. You might disagree with how the Iraq or Afghanistan wars were conducted, but attacking those autocratic countries was infinitely better than doing nothing and letting them stay regressive shit-holes. Afghanistan launched terrorist attacks, and Iraq murdered its own people, but Kyle just wanted to sit back and watch. He has an insane level of moral blindness.
Incidentally, I can understand why someone like Dave Rubin would leave TYT once he realized they had gone SJW, but it’s insanely illiberal to support Trump and Rubin had she would support him over Sanders in 2020. He just went from one extreme to the other and has created another stupid conservative talk radio agenda of putting on conservatives, and not pushing back against them. Why is he considered part of this intellectual dark web, and why are they are left hating centrists and crazy conservatives who forgive Trump? I think Rubin is taking advantage of Harris to gain credibility for putting on a few center lefts, and to expand his base.