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jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 11/12/20 9:07 pm    ::: jammer's View of American politics Featuring the Democrats Reply Reply with quote

Let's do this. So we all hear and know the story of corporate control of our political system. Most of you have heard me rant about private individual wealth and influence. Let's talk about the actual national political mechanism itself and I know there are many smart and smarter people here who basically know all this. And usually those types will speak up and tell me something like "We know all that, jammer, jeez." But let's not assume that everyone knows these things and especially because maybe those of you who do know them don't ever really open up about them here on Rebkell's.

Let's talk about something that I will call the Political Industrial Complex. Let's call that PIC. Wink (I'm sure someone has already done all this. It's just too obvious.)

Centered in DC and surrounding areas. The myriad think tanks, political consultant and lobbying firms, do-gooder and not so much non-profits, foreign policy think tanks and national security and military consultants, economic councils, pollsters, private foundations, etc. etc.

And the revolving door between all of that private political infrastructure and elected officials and their staff, the millions in all the federal agencies and departments. In and out of the previously mentioned private or off the public doll payrolls from those groups and then endlessly back and forth in and out of government. And let's not, then, forget private business and individuals, Wall St., the banks, the mega-donors, and their foundations.

Add to that the perpetual election industry. Massive now and with an influence that you can't even call outsized but certainly outsizing whatever the expectations would be of regular Americans in considering it... if they ever were even to be introduced to the idea of its existence. This is a machine that has become almost all-powerful in our political system. And it is entirely self-serving.

The perpetual election industry, let's call it PEI, is, of course, VERY closely associated with the two major political parties. They handle just about everything that a political party or a politician in DC would need.

And then, there is the revolving door between all of that and the media. And when I say revolving door I mean solid contracts with any of the networks, frequent guest spots, etc. People work for a candidate, or a party, make a name for themselves, then move to work for a political consultant firm, and then find themselves on television and their stars rise from there. Book deals, breakfast speeches, etc. Think Steve Schmidt or Nicolle Wallace but you can go back to Chris Matthews who worked for the Carter administration or Pat Buchanan or David Gergen who both worked for Nixon. Joe Scarborough, etc.

All of this, over time, has blurred what has always been somewhat of an illusion of ideological distance between the parties. Except, IMO, what is there for sake of The Show. Or The Game. Or the scam. Whatever you want to call what constitutes our two party political system.

But being in this world as a professional means that you're certainly paid well, you have opportunities to move up in the system, you're a player in the game, you have professional job security EVEN AS YOU MOVE from one place to another. You will always land within the system. It's a great life for elites who have the right backgrounds and went to the right schools and knew enough or were guided enough to navigate themselves into this world.

This previous paragraph is IMPORTANT in understanding what has been happening in the Democratic Party these last few cycles, because that's pretty much what it's all about, IMO. And I'll get to that in a minute.

The most visible aspect of all of this is the media. The national press. And if you delve into the realities of what and who exactly constitutes the national political press in this country you're going to find the children of great privilege, private schools, etc. No surprises there. And when school is out they can afford to work in unpaid internships that go on for years and NEVER miss a payment on the rent.

Then you have the Parties. And the parties are probably the most powerful groupings of human beings ever to coalesce around any topic area ever in human history. On the national level the parties are comprised of hundreds of insiders who have supported or worked with elected officials or candidates or for the party and the DNC, just to focus on the Democrats, sees near hundreds of millions of dollars pass through its coffers every year which pays top people in the party very handsomely just as it provides expense and travel provisions. And their relationships with huge donors requires them to seamlessly fit in with some of the most wealthy and privileged individuals in the world. Again, more on that in a second.

To say that there would be a disconnect between this culture of political power in Washington in all of its many forms and... regular Americans and their problems out in the country is an understatement.

To try to understand it as in the way that we on the left often describe it... as "our politics are controlled by corporations" is not really accurate any more. Our political system is controlled by the political system and those thriving within it and upon it. The Parties, the Political Industrial Complex, the perpetual election industry, the national mainstream media.

Knowledge of this is not new. I don't know anyone who saw it sooner or described it more clearly than Joan Didion when she was hired by the New York Review of Books to observe and write about the Bush/Dukakis election in... '89?

There was this thing that the Dukakis camp did that went like this. The candidate would get on the tarmac at whatever airport they were at and toss a baseball with a staffer. The press corps ate it up. They thought it made the candidate look genuine and down to earth. Joan Didion, however, is like half a fucking lizard. So, big surprise, she didn't see it that way. And she also didn't see the press that passed along those kinds of cloying pre-packaged moments to the public as being genuine either.

The piece she wrote about all this, Insider Baseball, is legendary. Not nearly as well known or talked about, however, as it should be. Gee I wonder why. Here is an excerpt.

When we talk about the process, then, we are talking, increasingly, not about “the democratic process,” or the general mechanism affording the citizens of a state a voice in its affairs, but the reverse: a mechanism seen as so specialized that access to it is correctly limited to its own professionals, to those who manage policy and those who report on it, to those who run the polls and those who quote them, to those who ask and those who answer the questions on the Sunday shows, to the media consultants, to the columnists, to the issues advisers, to those who give the off-the-record breakfasts and to those who attend them; to that handful of insiders who invent, year in and year out, the narrative of public life.



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin


Last edited by jammerbirdi on 11/13/20 1:47 pm; edited 1 time in total
jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 11/12/20 11:20 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

My Democratic Party Analogy.

So let's use some other kind of pair of 'competing' organizations.

Hospitals. Let's pick someplace far away. Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Two hospitals and I'm just going to make up some names. Monte Carlo General Hospital (Democratic Party) and National Hospital of Monaco (Republican Party.)

Let's say that these two hospitals long ago dropped any pretense amongst themselves of being hospital systems available to the general population of resort and service workers, etc. They are both well funded by the affluent of Monaco and cater to that class of patients and access by regular folks to either of them is minimal.

Let's also pretend that every four years there are internal elections that determine who the executives are at the top of each organization. But... as things turn out... a long established regime hangs onto power no matter the results of any particular election.

What that looks like is that the names are always familiar at the top and all the support staff stays the same or is interchangeable, down to the office staff. Everyone is well paid and happy and that's just the way things are.

Then, one day, at Monte Carlo General, a hospital that, coincidentally was founded by and for the workers of Monaco, a faction starts to take hold that wants to bring the focus of the hospital, at least to some degree, back to its original mission of providing more and better health care to the working class of Monaco.

And they start to run their candidates for c-suite positions from other offices in the hospital system. They complain about the influence big money donors have in determining who gets the top notch care that their hospital provides.

Everyone knows, of course, that should this new faction actually win the election that they would oust all those who currently hold power and replace everyone with those who feel as they do that the mission of the hospital should be to provide care of equal quality to everyone who needs it.

This is a threat, actually, to more than just the current team of execs and support staff. It's a threat to the power and influence of the donors. They pay for the hospital as it is currently structured. But it's also a threat even to the current structure of the other hospital, The National Hospital of Monaco. Because should a more egalitarian faction take over Monte Carlo General it might pressure their hospital to make similar changes to their business model.

So I have a question. Who and what do you think the executives and everyone at Monte Carlo General would be more focused on? Making sure that the internal threat to their hold on power and their positions at their own hospital is defeated and ALWAYS held at bay, or do you think they would be more concerned with the everyday business as usual of out-competing their tradition competitor the National Hospital of Monaco?

That's my analogy of what is and has been going on in the Democratic Party these last few election cycles. I have said and so have others, they don't really care as much about winning elections as they do about holding onto the reins of power in their own party and pushing back against everyone from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren to the Squad or Tulsi or whomever threatens their grip on the Democratic Party. And it's not just them, it's the donors who get the party they want. Etc.

All of that is threatened by this encroachment from the Left. (Or whatever Tulsi is.)

If you really think about this on a human level. That this party is made up of real humans who really like being where they are doing what they do... you would understand how much more concerned and committed any of them would be to hanging onto this massive powerful thing called the Democratic Party, funded by corporations and defense contractors and Hollywood and Wall St., and all the percs of power and the quite lavish enough lifestyles... how much more they would be concerned about losing all of THAT than losing to any Republican candidates anywhere in some little election cycle or two and yes even a presidential candidate as noxious and dangerous as Donald Trump.

The Democratic Party is one of the most powerful organizations the world has ever known. lol. At any time they control roughly half of the government of the most powerful country in the history of the world. They dictate domestic and foreign policy according to what their donors indicate they want. So much of what constitutes this one political party is unelected, sitting just slightly outside of the the elective offices, outside of the control of the American people. Maybe on the government payroll, maybe off of it. Sitting in between the elected officials and the donors who pay for them. This part of it, the DNC, the fundraisers, the party infrastructure including all the friendly above mentioned extra-governmental pro-Democratic groups is one giant powerful incestuous political machine.

Now think of the reach of that power. Down into the state and local governments around the country. State houses and governors' mansions. Mayors and city councils. Everything that has a 'D' after its name answers to the powers that exist far above it.

Think of all the familiar names associated with the Democratic Party, the Obama administration, to a much lesser degree, Clinton people. Think of how powerful their voices are as enforcers of their brand of neo-liberal politics. You know who I'm talking about. The Pod Saves America crowd. Etc.

It's a political machine. That's what we used to call them in the old days. Back in Beaver County local politics was controlled by the Democratic Machine. My mother was a part of it. Last time I checked, and it's been a while, you could find familiar names still there. Grandchildren of the names that were in power back in the 1960s. This is American politics.

If the Dems should lose the White House they just tango on essentially. All that infrastructure is still there. Nothing is going to unseat this level of entrenched power. At least nothing I can imagine. The only thing is a takeover from inside the party that is carried on the wave of a populist voter uprising. Everything else will amount to nothing. Business as usual. Nothing will really ever change except incrementally and never delivering economic or education reform or equality for the citizens outside of the political process.

NOTHING demonstrates any of this more clearly than what just happened in the Democratic Primary. The party orchestrated the leapfrogging of the two weakest candidates to the top of the ticket. Joe Biden is demented. They didn't care. Kamala Harris's mercifully brief primary run was one of the most humiliating examples of an empty vessel politician being exposed as such under the increased scrutiny of a national election process as I've ever seen. The Democrats certainly would have preferred that this ticket win the presidential election, but it wasn't essential. They could not have demonstrated this any more clearly given the alleged importance of defeating Donald Trump was said to be. Political losses on election day are not an existential threat to the Democratic Party. Avoiding a loss to Donald Trump wasn't the primary goal, no matter how much they squealed about it. Yeah, they really wanted to beat him but defeating Trump was a secondary consideration.

The primary goal was stopping Bernie Sanders and stopping Elizabeth Warren from ascending to the leadership of the party. Sanders/Warren is the only true existential threat as far as the Democratic Party was concerned. Defeating this threat from within was the most pressing matter for the party and it would have been under pressure from all of its major donors, Wall St. etc. defense contractors, to do precisely that, first and foremost.

Losing control of the Democratic Party to a crowd that actually wanted to focus on helping the people and pulling it away from the control and influence of its rich donors? That was simply not an option. Ever.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Richard 77



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
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PostPosted: 11/13/20 8:56 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Interesting read. Against my better judgement, I'll be the first lamb to slaughter.

No.

Had Sanders or Warren been the nominee for President this year, I would have voted for Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian party. Or the Green party. Or I would have stayed home and not voted.

Those who claim to be "Democratic Socialists" will never get my vote. No matter what adjective you put in front of the word, socialism is still socialism and it doesn't belong in the United States of America.

Not now, not ever!

It has failed in every country in the world and despite Sanders claim, socialism is not running Scandinavian countries. And just because we are Americans, we are arrogant to believe that we can control socialism rather than having socialism control us. "Socialism? Not a problem! We are Americans! We is smart!"

If these progressives want some sort of Democratic Socialism, let them form their own political party. Then maybe it will show how unpopular their opinion of this form of socialism is.

I may be old, and my opinion may be unpopular, but as long as I have a mind and a vote, it will never go to Sanders, Warren, and/or AOC should I ever live long enough to see her possibly run for President.

And as long as the mere idea of socialism is floating around, the Grand Old Party will stop at nothing to flood the American public as to how evil socialism is. They'll stop at nothing to keep socialism out of America.

I am a Centrist. I believe America runs best when when Democrats and Republicans work together and compromise as best as possible for the bulk of the American population and American Values and Ideals. The far left and far right can just go away if they don't like that idea.

Sorry if some don't like what I've written. It's how I feel. And I can only hope its respected.



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If you cannot inspire yourself to read a book about women's basketball, or any book about women's sports, you cannot inspire any young girl or boy to write a book about them. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/Richardstrek
jammerbirdi



Joined: 23 Sep 2004
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PostPosted: 11/13/20 12:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

First, thank you! And No back at ya!

Please don’t read what I wrote as an endorsement of socialism or that I believe that the answer to our country’s problems does not lie in Americans who identify as Democrats and Americans who identify as Republicans coming together.

Come together we MUST and in first understanding and formulating a unified front to take back our political system from the professional political class who now controls every aspect of it purely for the sake of its own enrichment and hold on power.

So I agree with you in spirit, Richard. And of course I respect what you have to say.

Of course I’m half awake right now.

I don’t believe Warren is a socialist. I don’t believe that fighting back against the most wealthy and powerful interests in this country makes someone a socialist and I’m not even certain that Elizabeth Warren would have been a sincere and honest fighter for the positions she espoused. But she did espouse them and like a Trump voter would tell you, I am going to vote for the person who is at least telling me the things I want to hear. At least speaking to my concerns. Whether she would have actually walked the walk is anybody’s guess.



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
readyAIMfire53



Joined: 20 Nov 2004
Posts: 5795
Location: Durham, NC


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PostPosted: 11/13/20 5:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richard 77 wrote:
Interesting read. Against my better judgement, I'll be the first lamb to slaughter.

No.

Had Sanders or Warren been the nominee for President this year, I would have voted for Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian party. Or the Green party. Or I would have stayed home and not voted.

Those who claim to be "Democratic Socialists" will never get my vote. No matter what adjective you put in front of the word, socialism is still socialism and it doesn't belong in the United States of America.

Not now, not ever!

It has failed in every country in the world and despite Sanders claim, socialism is not running Scandinavian countries. And just because we are Americans, we are arrogant to believe that we can control socialism rather than having socialism control us. "Socialism? Not a problem! We are Americans! We is smart!"

If these progressives want some sort of Democratic Socialism, let them form their own political party. Then maybe it will show how unpopular their opinion of this form of socialism is.

I may be old, and my opinion may be unpopular, but as long as I have a mind and a vote, it will never go to Sanders, Warren, and/or AOC should I ever live long enough to see her possibly run for President.

And as long as the mere idea of socialism is floating around, the Grand Old Party will stop at nothing to flood the American public as to how evil socialism is. They'll stop at nothing to keep socialism out of America.

I am a Centrist. I believe America runs best when when Democrats and Republicans work together and compromise as best as possible for the bulk of the American population and American Values and Ideals. The far left and far right can just go away if they don't like that idea.

Sorry if some don't like what I've written. It's how I feel. And I can only hope its respected.


OMG. So easily manipulated! I am surprised you didn't bring in Hitler's party into your argument. The #1 problem of experiments in socialistic policies fell because they were all authoritarian, rather than being democratic.

The US Democratic Socialists do want a true democracy with an economic mixture of regulated free enterprise plus programs that don't allow people to suffer and die due to lack of health care, housing or food. Just like the Scandinavian countries.



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/13/20 6:08 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Way to sell it, rAf. Rolling Eyes



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
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Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:16 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Richard 77 wrote:

Those who claim to be "Democratic Socialists" will never get my vote. No matter what adjective you put in front of the word, socialism is still socialism and it doesn't belong in the United States of America.
Not now, not ever!

Then why do you (and millions of others) ENJOY socialism's benefits so much? I don't know of one single American that refused to take the $1200 stimulus check the government handed out. OR turned down their unemployment checks. We already enjoy many elements of socialism right now in America.

Richard 77 wrote:
It has failed in every country in the world and despite Sanders claim, socialism is not running Scandinavian countries. And just because we are Americans, we are arrogant to believe that we can control socialism rather than having socialism control us. "Socialism? Not a problem! We are Americans! We is smart!"


(I'd be most interested to learn exactly in WHICH countries socialism has failed. Name names, please.) "WE" can't control socialism any more than we can control Democracy....or they are equally controllable....and cannot exist without our involvement.

Richard 77 wrote:
I may be old, and my opinion may be unpopular, but as long as I have a mind and a vote, it will never go to Sanders, Warren, and/or AOC should I ever live long enough to see her possibly run for President.


That's okay. You have your beliefs in place, guided by various principles and experiences. We all have 'em. BUT. As an adult American we owe it to ourselves to get Truly Educated about what it is we decry, or are afraid of.

And yes, socialism is alive and well in Scandinavia. And other places where life is just peachy, too. Cool

Just remember: Socialism AT ITS BEST is composed of many functioning parts, rolling along like a finely-tuned machine. It is multi-faceted, and involves good leadership from the ground up. Much like Democracy AT ITS BEST.

Now, think for a minute: WHO in all of God's Green America MOST wants you (and all Americans) to despise socialism? And why?



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tfan



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:39 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Nothing that gets called socialism in current political discourse is mentioned in the Wikipedia article on socialism or in the dictionary definition. Sanders screwed up by calling himself that. And he should have pointed out that free healthcare for everyone is not radically different than free healthcare (although it is not entirely free) for people 65 and up. And free school through 4-years of college is not radically different than free school through high school. And "Bringing jobs back" is not socialist. I think that covered his 3 long pole issues in 2016 although I think he only had one long pole in 2020 - Trump is bad and must be defeated. So the 2016 election had two candidates on both sides vigorously calling for "bring jobs back" and the 2020 election essentially had none.


jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 10:16 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don’t think ideology is the issue in American politics anymore. When things get to a point that the hoarding of political power and the opportunity to participate in the process is such that it becomes a massive industry uniquely impervious to the will or best interests of the people, made up almost exclusively from an oligarchical segment of the population in which membership within that group is unattainable to the vast majority of the population, then those inside that industry sitting at the pinnacle of power have already long ago cast aside ideological and political differences except as they might serve their interests as wedge issues to move voters to one side or the other.

Socialism as an ideology is a non-starter even within the Democratic Party. Beyond the party the word itself would be high on the there forever list of ‘fighting words’ in our American culture. Richard is spot on in both his opinion of the word and in demonstrating the ingrained resistance to it as an ideological flashpoint in America.

But tfan put it well that there are ways to package policies that the American people need and polls show they overwhelmingly want while easily avoiding packaging your ideas around the word socialism.

Anyone, an organized group or party or an individual, who would embrace or attach themselves or their policies and ideas to the word socialism is doing so because they’ve read some books and have been swept up in the romance of the ‘struggle,’ found others like themselves, pride themselves on being part of a long tradition of leftist “provocateurs” who do what they do for the sake of how it makes them feel about themselves.

We’re not even talking about people who merely and foolishly take the bait and step up to defend socialism when their policies are attacked as being such, never a good idea, but people who actually embrace the word itself, use it in the name of their party or organization, and actually seek out discussion and debate about the word socialism itself. The either ego driven or blind followers.

What’s happened to our political system and the citizens of this country’s inability to affect any practical influence upon that system on their own behalf is so so far beyond any ideological subject areas. To borrow some political catchwords from Joan Didion’s piece, we aren’t even to the point of facing an issues problem. Whatever the will of the people is, it’s being deliberately smothered under a process problem.



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
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Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 11/14/20 10:57 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Richard is spot on in both his opinion of the word and in demonstrating the ingrained resistance to it as an ideological flashpoint in America.


I take it you're meaning 'spot on' to imply he's correctly modeling The Average American's understanding of socialism....?

jammerbirdi wrote:
But tfan put it well that there are ways to package policies that the American people need and polls show they overwhelmingly want while easily avoiding packaging your ideas around the word socialism.


Indeed, this might imply that we Americans -- ever influenced by *packaging* -- aren't capable of understanding the reality that socialism is a complex and viable approach. #1: Americans aren't that bright, on the whole, and #2: America's propaganda machinery has been ever effective. Obviously, the Propaganda Packaging is perpetrated by the 1%, the Capitalists for whom The System is highly favorable, and are terrified of any changes to their personal cash cow.

jammerbirdi wrote:
Anyone, an organized group or party or an individual, who would embrace or attach themselves or their policies and ideas to the word socialism is doing so because they’ve read some books and have been swept up in the romance of the ‘struggle,’ found others like themselves, pride themselves on being part of a long tradition of leftist “provocateurs” who do what they do for the sake of how it makes them feel about themselves.


You might validly substitute any number of other words for 'socialism': capitalism, communism, libertarianism, environmentalism, Christian, etc. Certainly, that applies to any NEW idea that, on its inception, is in opposition to the existing status quo. Your idea doesn't render socialism any less valid, imo. This IS how ideas become reality, no?

From History Hub:
Quote:
In President Harry's Truman's remarks in Syracuse, New York on October 10, 1952, he said this:

Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years.

Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security.

Socialism is what they called farm price supports.

Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance.

Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations.

Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.

When the Republican candidate inscribes the slogan "Down With Socialism" on the banner of his "great crusade," that is really not what he means at all.

What he really means is "Down with Progress--down with Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal," and "down with Harry Truman's fair Deal." That's all he means.



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 11:40 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”

How does articulating that, not only embracing the word socialism, but in promoting it pointing a finger at the people of the country you purport yourself to be thinking on behalf of and coming off with the idea that they “aren’t that bright” and “aren’t capable of understanding” how does doing that get us to where you want us to be?



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Howee



Joined: 27 Nov 2009
Posts: 13115
Location: OREGON (in my heart)


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PostPosted: 11/14/20 12:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”

How does articulating that, not only embracing the word socialism, but in promoting it pointing a finger at the people of the country you purport yourself to be thinking on behalf of and coming off with the idea that they “aren’t that bright” and “aren’t capable of understanding” how does doing that get us to where you want us to be?


It's merely stating a simple, causative FACT. And it's not just Americans....we can apply that to ALL societies in all places and time. But having travelled across far-flung places like, I dunno....Canada, Britain, France, Italy, etc., I can assure you that Americans rank highly among the less discriminatory/more apt to NOT examine alternative ideologies than most foreigners I know.

I believe that Americans have become lost in a propagandized "We're The Best At Everything" mentality, a society less capable/less ENCOURAGED to engage in critical thinking. That, imo, constitutes the definition of "aren't that bright" and/or "aren't capable of critical thinking."

If you'd like to propose evidence that directly contradicts my theory, I'm all ears. Wink



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jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 12:40 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

You didn’t answer my question. How does articulating all of that as you do get us to even just where you might want us to be? Putting aside completely for a second what other people might want.



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:42 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:


I believe that Americans have become lost in a propagandized "We're The Best At Everything" mentality, a society less capable/less ENCOURAGED to engage in critical thinking. That, imo, constitutes the definition of "aren't that bright" and/or "aren't capable of critical thinking."

If you'd like to propose evidence that directly contradicts my theory, I'm all ears. Wink


When people have been abandoned, they know it, and they know it first, before anyone else. They feel it and they live it and they watch their famous live it. The Democratic Party and the affluent elites who control its platforms and emphasis over the last many decades has abandoned, region by region, demographic by demographic, the working people of this country. And they know it.

You sound like you may have been to college. I’m recalling I believe the fact that you are gay. I have been to college. There’s more than a few like us and you here on this board. You have most certainly not been abandoned by the Democratic Party in terms of their focus on some of your most pressing concerns. Some of us may have even traditionally been part of the voices in the Democratic Party demanding that it abandon the parts of the country and the people who live there that we find to be representative of a lot of criticisms that you make towards Americans in general.

So you don’t feel what those people feel and what their parents and grandparents felt going back to the 1960s. They’ve been abandoned by the only party that could possibly represent them economically. They’ve been humiliated and scorned in the process. They’re never going to forget any of that or get over it and agree or like people who think and say the the things that are said here and by the Democratic Party.

And had Trump simply behaved himself more or better in even just this last six months, after every thing else he’s done and said, as small of a man as he had demonstrated himself to be, he would have won a second term. That’s how bad a job the Democratic Party has done, and the people who like to speak up on behalf of the party and against red state America, in representing an alternative to a Donald Trump to the people of this country.

I said this last week here. I’ve been saying things like it for my entire politically aware life. And I’m hardly the only one saying it. In fact, it is a wave of Americans who aren’t those you disparage and are more like in terms of education and political awareness who are accurately deconstructing this election and 2016 and what the overarching lessons and realities are in America at this decisive moment in our history.

People on our side have created a very very unattractive political climate that exists around Democratic politics and the approach to it. That would be the woke social justice aspect and I don’t need to describe that or point out whether that mindset is present or holds sway here on Rebkell’s. We all know what’s what.

Just last night, Bill Maher, who I genuinely don’t like and don’t agree with in so many areas, patently nailed the issue. I don’t recall if he added a warning about the ‘next Trump’ being smarter and more dangerous. But I’ve been saying that here since Trump announced in 2015. He’s only the first. This is all basically what I’ve been warning my side about my entire life. Seriously. And I’ve always been right about this slow political suicide my side is insistent upon and now we have reached the point where we are on the verge of self destruction as well as taking down the entire country.

And it is all largely because of what the Democratic Party has become. Completely ideologically neutral except on the issues that matter to those within the power structure itself its social justice constituencies. Outside of the grasp of the working and middle classes and firmly ensconced and self-reliant on a ruling class of oligarchs.

As much as it pains me to say this, Bill Maher has actually said it much better than I could.



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
pilight



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:44 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”


It's a way of puffing himself up, saying that he's ever so much smarter than those dumb Americans (as if he wasn't one of them).



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:53 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

pilight wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”


It's a way of puffing himself up, saying that he's ever so much smarter than those dumb Americans (as if he wasn't one of them).


^



_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 1:54 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

As I said, as much as it pains me to say this, Bill Maher, ladies and gentlemen.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SgrZAPUvKyA" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>



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Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
Howee



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 3:31 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:
You didn’t answer my question. How does articulating all of that as you do get us to even just where you might want us to be? Putting aside completely for a second what other people might want.

Well....yes, I DID.

Howee wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”

How does articulating that, not only embracing the word socialism, but in promoting it pointing a finger at the people of the country you purport yourself to be thinking on behalf of and coming off with the idea that they “aren’t that bright” and “aren’t capable of understanding” how does doing that get us to where you want us to be?

It's merely stating a simple, causative FACT.


FACTS are important. Always.

jammerbirdi wrote:
pilight wrote:
jammerbirdi wrote:
Where exactly is the political utility in saying “Americans aren’t that bright” and Americans “aren’t capable of understanding that socialism is a complex and viable approach?”


It's a way of puffing himself up, saying that he's ever so much smarter than those dumb Americans (as if he wasn't one of them).

^

Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Yes, *puffing* is such fun. Razz
(You apparently failed to notice that, in my o.p., I DID say *we* Americans....I have been one of them longer than you ) Wink

However. Let's try to NOT see a *puffed up* Howee that you may disagree with, but rather, an experienced career educator. Yes, I will be not ashamed that I hold advanced degrees, and am a qualified Mensa member. I have never lorded that over anyone, here or in my personal life.

But it is my life experience that leads me to my originally stated conclusions. Our American educational system is sorely lacking in the teaching of critical thinking skills. And through decades of teaching kids in various settings and of various socio-economic backgrounds, I have witnessed first hand how Americans are, collectively, ruled by selfism and greedy consumerism. 'They' tend to not care about The Big Picture, especially in the governmental/political arena.

As a gay man, I have also traveled a life pathway of self-examination, self-denial, and spiritual evolution that has afforded me a distinct level of empathy that, I'm afraid, is not common in society at large. I can't really prove this to anyone here, but those who know me best would concur.

Remember.....nowhere have I ever declared that Democrats are the Flawless Solution to all that ails us. I HAVE been one of The Sheeple, at times, and can feel an empathy for those who might think differently than me. But these days, as I diplomatically engage various acquaintances who do think differently than me, I find it's mostly Republican-aligned folks who just wanna hold their ears and declare, "Fox said so!".



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readyAIMfire53



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PostPosted: 11/14/20 4:10 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Howee wrote:
[ I find it's mostly Republican-aligned folks who just wanna hold their ears and declare, "Fox said so!".


And now, when Fox dared to call Arizona for Biden, they are dropping Fox like lemmings. Most cited media darling at today's maskless rally in DC is "OAN - One America News" as being the new "truth tellers."



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tfan



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PostPosted: 11/15/20 10:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

readyAIMfire53 wrote:
Howee wrote:
[ I find it's mostly Republican-aligned folks who just wanna hold their ears and declare, "Fox said so!".


And now, when Fox dared to call Arizona for Biden, they are dropping Fox like lemmings. Most cited media darling at today's maskless rally in DC is "OAN - One America News" as being the new "truth tellers."


I saw discontentment with Fox News by Trump and Trump supporters before the election. The hiring of Donna Brazile in March of 2019 did not go over well. And it appears that these days Fox has on more Democratic "pundits" than CNN or MSNBC have on Republican (MSNBC did get in bed with some Never Trumpers including a former Bush White House Communications director who they gave a 2-hour afternoon show). The Democratic pundits are still in the minority but I think viewers on both sides of the aisle want to hear only the positions and arguments of their party at this point in time. There are/were also a few people on Fox who will disagree with or criticize Trump: Shepard Smith (on CNBC now), Judge Andrew Napolitano and Neil Cavuto.

Back in early July Trump tweeted that people should watch OANN and NewsMax instead of Fox News.


jammerbirdi



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PostPosted: 11/16/20 7:11 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yes, of course someone beat me to the phrase Political Industrial Complex.

Can We Escape the Political-Industrial Complex?

What can we do?

Worthy initiatives like ranked-choice voting and gerrymandering reform may help; however, the first step is for each of us simply to become aware of the ways our passions are being inflamed and manipulated for profit and how the political-industrial complex feeds off our basest fears of one another. Our experiment in democracy has worked when it appeals to the best in us, as opposed to the worst.


That bolded part needs a SERIOUSLY honest unpacking for the liberal side. You know, the side that thinks they're right, utterly fearless, and impervious to any sort of political manipulation.




_________________
Falsehood will fly on the wings of the wind, and carry its tales to every corner of the earth; whilst truth lags behind; her steps slow and solemn, she has neither the vigour nor activity to overtake her enemy. - Thomas Francklin
readyAIMfire53



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Location: Durham, NC


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PostPosted: 11/16/20 10:46 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

tfan wrote:
readyAIMfire53 wrote:
Howee wrote:
[ I find it's mostly Republican-aligned folks who just wanna hold their ears and declare, "Fox said so!".


And now, when Fox dared to call Arizona for Biden, they are dropping Fox like lemmings. Most cited media darling at today's maskless rally in DC is "OAN - One America News" as being the new "truth tellers."


I saw discontentment with Fox News by Trump and Trump supporters before the election. The hiring of Donna Brazile in March of 2019 did not go over well. And it appears that these days Fox has on more Democratic "pundits" than CNN or MSNBC have on Republican (MSNBC did get in bed with some Never Trumpers including a former Bush White House Communications director who they gave a 2-hour afternoon show). The Democratic pundits are still in the minority but I think viewers on both sides of the aisle want to hear only the positions and arguments of their party at this point in time. There are/were also a few people on Fox who will disagree with or criticize Trump: Shepard Smith (on CNBC now), Judge Andrew Napolitano and Neil Cavuto.

Back in early July Trump tweeted that people should watch OANN and NewsMax instead of Fox News.


Nicole Wallace is the best one not named Rachel Maddow. She cuts through the bull.



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Howee



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PostPosted: 11/18/20 12:17 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

jammerbirdi wrote:

What can we do?

Worthy initiatives like ranked-choice voting and gerrymandering reform may help; however, the first step is for each of us simply to become aware of the ways our passions are being inflamed and manipulated for profit and how the political-industrial complex feeds off our basest fears of one another. Our experiment in democracy has worked when it appeals to the best in us, as opposed to the worst.


That bolded part needs a SERIOUSLY honest unpacking for the liberal side. You know, the side that thinks they're right, utterly fearless, and impervious to any sort of political manipulation.


....unlike the *conservative* folks, who pretty much think they're wrong, are utter cowards, and always give in to any and all political manipulation....right? Rolling Eyes Laughing

Identifying -- and really comprehending -- how one is manipulated via the countless manipulations afloat is NOT easily done. Even for those with good critical thinking skills. And it's a universal/human problem, not beholden to any particular political or ideological belief.

Re: The Media? I can only wish they'd cut off his OXYGEN: stop the coverage of the inane and absurd (94% of his utterances). Report on anything of relevance he says, no face time, etc. (oh, and watch ratings plummet Razz ) He's a media whore and we are media 'johns'. We've gotten exactly what we've allowed-encouraged-fostered.



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