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Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going
(09-06-2018, 11:57 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(09-05-2018, 09:48 PM)Cynic Hero Wrote: Trump seems to be bogging down in partisan politics, his actions so far have energized hardcore supporters (and opponents) but not much else, the improving economy might be in his favor. As for the progressive side, at best they could get temporary gains in the house and senate that would probably be reversed in the next election or two; The progressives would be incapable of acquiring any gains that are bigger than that even in the best case scenario for them unless they abandon SJWism. Neither the Liberals or the Conservatives are trusted by the citizenry at the moment. At this point the only pillar of governance and the only political force in the Country that has not been discredited by the last 20 years of US politics, the only remaining fully credible force in America is the Military.

Trump is embracing the swamp and using the Tea Party.  Of course he is bogging down in partisan politics.  He will be the incumbent as well as a probably healthy economy on his side, but he won a minority victory and proceeded to make a bunch of people on the fence mad at him.  I suspect the see saw is tipped.

But he might not last four years the way he is going.  But if he last just a little over two years, Pence could be the incumbent in 2020 and again in 2024.

Add a self-righteous theocracy to the plutocratic agenda Donald Trump kept hidden from the masses in 2016, and you have Mike Pence. Pence can offend even more people by pushing his fundamentalist Christianity as public policy.

Quote:Or maybe not.  The Republicans are rejecting their Establishment.  They could well nominate someone in the Palin / Trump scheme, but more sane and competent, rejecting their incumbent.

They are creating a new potential Establishment, one even more rapacious, intolerant, and ruthless. Will that go well? It will be more effective if it can intensify punishments for dissent or faltering, but it won't make people happier. To twist FDR's "We have nothing to fear but Fear itself" into a totalitarian mode, harsh rulers make sure that people know that they have nothing but fear to motivate them. Never mind that fear eventually breaks people down and strips them of any initiative.

Quote:As a progressive, I am apt to see the SJW opponents as the racists and sexists, as the leftovers of Nixon's Southern Strategy.  There were large steps forward on social issues during the Obama years, encouraging the racists and sexists to step out in the open again.  The SJWs are generally fighting for equality, one of the classic Enlightenment and American values in the past.  The Democrats have taken up the banner, are unlikely to let it down.  Me, I have my arrow of progress, and suspect strongly that the equality side will come out eventually on top.  This does not mean that the next few years will be quiet ones.  The bad guys will have their innings.

...Nixon's Southern Strategy exploited what was already there -- racists and people with sentimental attachments to a sick social order. That's nostalgia for the pig wallow. Some people have it. Nixon thought that he was creating a new alliance for himself and successors like him, He started forming such an alliance that would serve a reactionary demagogue such as Donald Trump and whoever might follow in our current President's footsteps. Ironically, Trump shows much the same anger at what he considers America's intellectual elites as did the leftist Sixties radicals at what they saw as the rapacious warmongers. Trump is no more civil than those who chanted "Hey, hey LBJ! How many boys did you kill today!" or who as the Vietcong took over Saigon shouted "Bring the victory home!" Mocking a reporter with visible autism is similarly crude and offensive.

This said, social equity has its attractions. It smooths the nastiness out of life. Equality also means that more people get viable chances to participate in creating prosperity and happiness for themselves. We are not rich because our elites can build palaces with opulent furnishings and have veritable armies of domestic staff to indulge their whims. We are rich to the extent that those who do the work to create prosperity themselves prosper.

We are in a Crisis, and good and evil will contest practically everything. We will see much destruction and tragedy. We will see good people giving up on life itself as they find futility in its struggle as bad people get into temporary ascendancy. I can tell you that in my bleakest moments that I considered Death welcome as an end to a life that I came to hate. One such time was when Donald Trump, a man who stands for nothing that I believe in and with whom all I have in common is that I am white, male, American, and about half-German in ancestry, a vulgar barbarian (or is it 'barbarous vulgarian'?) devoid of any evident virtues, was elected.

But I live in relative pampering in contrast to someone like the late Elie Wiesel, who saw a Crisis Era at its worst and came out of it competent to challenge anything promising to be in the same direction, if not as monstrous in scale and intensity, as the Holocaust that he knew. Am I an ingrate or did I simply have things too good in the past to face what I now know -- simply being poor in a culture and political system that values only wealth and institutional power. Suffering for plutocrats who know no constraints on their indulgence yet want most people to survive in misery is not the same as trying to buy a little time by doing back-breaking tol on starvation rations. With a bad back all my life, I would have never have lasted long in a Nazi labor camp at any age -- not even as a teenager or young adult. With a bad back and Aspergers I would have been seen as crazy, lazy, and useless, someone to be given a lethal injection of carbolic acid in the "euthanasia" program.

Quote:This is one place where the red complaint that the blue never listen can be reversed.  Many blue sincerely and with emphasis believe in equality.  They have seen a history of equality overcoming past prejudice.  I do not see the blues backing down to the racists and sexists, though they might not see it as the dominant issue in the upcoming elections.

I have my prediction: Trump policies will hurt many who fell for the idea that he could "make America great again". As one very good at analyzing language for fraudulence (read Nineteen Eighty-Four a few times, a decade or so apart, over fifty years, and you will know enough), I could look at such a bumper sticker or yard sign that reads "Make America Great Again" and think of snide rejoinders.

Better? For whom? How was America better at some time? Maybe easier (as with real estate costs) or having opportunities (cheap farmland on the western frontier) that have all been snapped up. But 'easier' isn't better. 'Easy' crossword puzzles bore me. I prefer our crowded expressways to the blood-alley blacktop roads of the 1920s and 1930s. Even if I would be privileged just for being white, I cannot imagine anyone in good conscience resurrecting Jim Crow practice. I don't have to understand homosexuality (there but for the grace of God go I) to believe that we are all better off that it is in the mainstream. I have no desire for a return of deadly 'childhood diseases'. I would rather have to live with the technologies of the 1920s than give up the social progress since then.

I pity people who fell for Trump and got burned. At least I knew what was coming to an extent. If something went well, I would be delightfully surprised, which is the one good thing about being a pessimist on anything. People who voted for him and get burned get my pity. Sure, I didn't expect Trump to get cozy with dictators, promote environmental degradation for quick bucks, or impose tariffs that would put seven years of economic recovery at risk. I can ask some 'Red's what they would like to do about such. Sometimes what they say disgusts me while giving me some political hope. The tariffs and the resulting trade war will hurt people who never saw it coming, including people who will lose more than I ever can through reduced income (lower commodity prices), endure higher costs of doing business (even casualty insurance will become more costly), and a higher cost of the consumer society. Remember: tariffs are basically sales taxes on imports. Many who voted for Donald Trump out of habit or hope have been burned as I have not been.

For them I can tell them that they don't have to vote for the same Mistake again or for that Mistake's enablers in Congress.

Quote:But ignoring racism and sexism will not be easy.  I believe that in part racism and sexism are behind much of the red economic approach.  Independence over a strong community?  A small government with low taxes?  Favoring a strong division of wealth over attempts to spread money more evenly?  All can make a wonderful surface sense and attract legitimate voters.  They also get in the way of taking away red money and spending it on disadvantaged people with skin pigmentation.  LBJ redistributed wealth too much in his Great Society.  Conservatives killed American greatness, the notion that America could do anything it put is mind to, created the National Malaise, in part to fight that trend, a trend based in part on racist and sexist motivation.

Racism and sexism at most offer the perverse attraction of Schadenfreude. Someone else for which one cares little gets hurt. Poverty is not freedom, inequality is not community, and regression is not ease. We can no more get small government with low taxes than we can recover the low real estate costs of San Francisco in the 1920s. Heck, I am priced into the dreary hick town in which I was born, a place that I did not want to return to in which to live. It is not living. But such is how things happen when a few things go wrong and do not get undone. It is far easier to achieve one's nightmares than to achieve one's dreams.

Quote: I would like to see a non establishment candidate, or more than one, take over one or both parties.  That trend is real.  One element of the upcoming conflict is the division of wealth, and both rural and urban populations could benefit by non traditional anti establishment candidates.  This wave is growing, but so far the establishment is hanging on to power.

I would be satisfied with the Establishment of both side of the political spectrum starting to show compassion for the common man at the least out of concern that the common man can strike back in a revolution that destroys the Establishment. In return for the survival of a little class privilege the economic elites start making the world better for people not themselves.

Quote:But the wave against the establishment is growing.  I am not seeing it breaking yet.  I am not seeing new values triumphing soon.  I could be wrong.

I don't want to see anything like Russia in 1917, China in 1949, or Cuba in 1959. Just because the Establishment  gets exiled, decimated, or ruined does not mean that things get better. I'll take incremental reform over blood-sodden revolution any day.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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RE: Thoughts On Where We Are, and Where We're Going - by pbrower2a - 09-06-2018, 06:51 PM

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