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The GOP Has Been HIJACKED!
(07-02-2016, 07:55 AM)Anthony Wrote: You know that I am not a Nazi - or a Communist; yet I concede that both were onto something with their Five Year Plans, etc.

Those were desperate times.  Different nations with different ideologies were trying desperate measures.  In America, there were the Alphabet Soup agencies and programs.  Germany's re-armament program was bigger and sooner than most, brought the economy around quickest, but it had disastrous side effects as the government was looking to use all those weapons.  The Communist economic policies must have angered Mother Nature, who apparently goes out of her way to cause famines whenever Communists institute their extreme farm policies.   Rolleyes   Yes, people and governments everywhere were trying extreme plans that varied by ideology and had very mixed results.

I wouldn't want to be entering the work force these days.  Job availability, college loan policies and other factors make this a far worse time to be starting out than when I came out during the 1970's National Malaise era.  We thought we had it bad then?  Well, compared to the 1950s and 1960s, sure, but not compared to today.  Still, the situation isn't anywhere near as desperate as when Fascism and Communism were considered viable philosophies.  Today, the Unravelling Reagan memes are still relevant, saying that the government is so incompetent, so corrupt, so inefficient, that big government programs to help the People don't work and should be shunned.

I just wonder how much long the Reagan memes can linger before we revisit the 'Good Old Days', the heyday of tax and spend liberalism.

What is Hillary's key one liner message, the equivalent of her husband's "Hope" and Obama's "Change?"  Is she going with honesty in advertising?  "More of the same!"
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(07-02-2016, 01:58 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(07-02-2016, 07:55 AM)Anthony Wrote: You know that I am not a Nazi - or a Communist; yet I concede that both were onto something with their Five Year Plans, etc.

Those were desperate times.  Different nations with different ideologies were trying desperate measures.  In America, there were the Alphabet Soup agencies and programs.  Germany's re-armament program was bigger and sooner than most, brought the economy around quickest, but it had disastrous side effects as the government was looking to use all those weapons.  The Communist economic policies must have angered Mother Nature, who apparently goes out of her way to cause famines whenever Communists institute their extreme farm policies.   Rolleyes   Yes, people and governments everywhere were trying extreme plans that varied by ideology and had very mixed results.

I wouldn't want to be entering the work force these days.  Job availability, college loan policies and other factors make this a far worse time to be starting out than when I came out during the 1970's National Malaise era.  We thought we had it bad then?  Well, compared to the 1950s and 1960s, sure, but not compared to today.  Still, the situation isn't anywhere near as desperate as when Fascism and Communism were considered viable philosophies.  Today, the Unravelling Reagan memes are still relevant, saying that the government is so incompetent, so corrupt, so inefficient, that big government programs to help the People don't work and should be shunned.

I just wonder how much long the Reagan memes can linger before we revisit the 'Good Old Days', the heyday of tax and spend liberalism.

What is Hillary's key one liner message, the equivalent of her husband's "Hope" and Obama's "Change?"  Is she going with honesty in advertising?  "More of the same!"

To modify a wise witticism of Benjamin Franklin to fit modern times, those would sacrifice some essential freedom for economic gain lose their freedom and get no gain.

Communism is in part a promise to get even faster economic growth than capitalism can offer because the Communists will invest more because they will cut out the profit of entrepreneurs and big land owners. Nazism promised work and (allegedly) the pay top go with it.

Obviously we have much to sort out, including the debasement of our political process to turn Congress largely into a means of deciding which elite gets what, a business culture that defines the enrichment and pampering of elites as the sole objective of economic life, a mass low culture that stupefies and debases people, and an educational system that at best offers little more than training for narrow roles in an inequitable economy. We need to re-learn, whatever our economic status, that there is more to life than sex, booze, material indulgence,. bureaucratic power, and accessible (if empty) entertainment. We can make all of the bounties of technological and scientific achievement into pearls before swine -- should we be swine.

In an analogy that I used on the old Forum, in a 3T we collect and stash oily rags, and they smoulder. In a 4T the oily rags ignite and begin a fire. In the early stages of a 4T we might be lucky to leave an endangered building by our means of entry. Well into a 4Twe need to break an exit for escape, and we might not be so fussy about where that exit leads.

The exit from this 4T is now a 1T, a time resembling the late 1940s and the 1950s. In the meantime we are going to see further regimentation of the economy, higher taxes, more travel controls, rationing, and far less consumer choice. We be expected to put our surplus earnings into public savings. When the Crisis is over we will be unable to return anything like the previous 4T.
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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(07-02-2016, 03:19 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Communism is in part a promise to get even faster economic growth than capitalism can offer because the Communists will invest more because they will cut out the profit of entrepreneurs and big land owners. Nazism promised work and (allegedly) the pay top go with it.

That's the promise.  That's the theory.

In practice, the communist party is just another set of ruling elites, no better and in some ways worse than the capitalists.  The Nazis in practice weren't that different.  They did what they felt like doing and didn't stop short of the Allies wiping them off the map.  No checks and balances.  You want checks on the power of the ruling elites, which Communism and Fascism do not provide except for violence.  Democracies have the ballot box, bills or rights, independent judiciaries and such like, which are better than nothing but quite arguably not truly effective.

The basic principle is that without firm and functional checks on the ruling elites, they will siphon off far too much of the wealth and power, crippling their own culture.  It's easy, I would think, to see this in Communists and Nazis.  I see much the same thing happening with the Reagan Unraveling memes.  If the elites dominate a culture, no matter what style, philosophy or excuses that they spew, they will exploit the culture to death.
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Both Germany and Russia had strong government which were able to institute decisive solutions to the great depression. The success and prowess of all the belligerents in WW2 was directly proportional to their level of non-establishment government. Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, Both of the primary Chinese factions, and even to an extent the US under FDR had these conditions. Britain and France floundered in WW2 because their elites refused to allow substantial reform.
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(07-02-2016, 09:01 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(07-02-2016, 03:19 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Communism is in part a promise to get even faster economic growth than capitalism can offer because the Communists will invest more because they will cut out the profit of entrepreneurs and big land owners. Nazism promised work and (allegedly) the pay top go with it.

That's the promise.  That's the theory.

In practice, the communist party is just another set of ruling elites, no better and in some ways worse than the capitalists.  The Nazis in practice weren't that different.  They did what they felt like doing and didn't stop short of the Allies wiping them off the map.  No checks and balances.  You want checks on the power of the ruling elites, which Communism and Fascism do not provide except for violence.  Democracies have the ballot box, bills or rights, independent judiciaries and such like, which are better than nothing but quite arguably not truly effective.

The basic principle is that without firm and functional checks on the ruling elites, they will siphon off far too much of the wealth and power, crippling their own culture.  It's easy, I would think, to see this in Communists and Nazis.  I see much the same thing happening with the Reagan Unraveling memes.  If the elites dominate a culture, no matter what style, philosophy or excuses that they spew, they will exploit the culture to death.

It's remarkable that the Stalin Constitution is heavily a plagiarism of the Constitution of the USA, even to the point of having a weak formal government. The Soviet Union is often understood as the epitome of big, bad government to the extreme -- but of course it was the Party and its boss that held all the power. The Soviet Constitution had its bill of rights, but gutted all those rights with such clauses as that speech contrary to Socialist progress was to be excluded. Just imagine how little freedom of speech or expression we would have if we had clauses prohibiting people from exercising speech, assembly, or protest that might prove contrary to "capitalist progress".

Marx saw ownership as the basis of power, ignoring the power of bureaucracies when those bureaucracies have no capitalists to contest them or when those bureaucracies are fully in collusion with the financiers and industrialists (as in America). I see a big problem in the growth of power of unelected lobbyists over the legislative process at both federal and state levels. Government by lobbyists is potentially a new form of tyranny; indeed I see our system having gone from representing constituents of districts to representing economic interests. The latter is the theoretical basis of Mussolini's stato corporativo, something quickly recognized as grossly undemocratic but not before Mussolini established his own absolute power.

Can a military elite be the oppressors despite not owning the assets? Sure. Chile under Pinochet, a political order nearly as repressive as the Soviet Union at the time. Can an intellectual elite? Sure -- shamans and witchdoctors were like that in the hunter-gatherer era; that is how Iran is undemocratic with clerics collectively holding complete veto power over anything. Can bureaucrats in charge of the functioning of the economy? Just look at the Soviet nomenklatura and the executive elite in the USA.  The fellow who owns a small shop often has less power over me than does a supervisor in a giant business.

Even if they adopt the style of the Founding Fathers, America's economic elite can make the concept of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" a farce for all but themselves. Workers can live at the whim of ownership and management, getting to survive only through unqualified submission to the elites. That is no 'life'. If the only happiness that we are allowed to pursue is the enrichment and indulgence of elites, then freedom is a fraud as a concept.

I love my country and I admire the Founding Fathers (except mostly on slavery). I can never love exploiters and oppressors just because they are American.
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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(07-02-2016, 10:15 PM)Cynic Hero Wrote: Both Germany and Russia had strong government which were able to institute decisive solutions to the great depression. The success and prowess of all the belligerents in WW2 was directly proportional to their level of non-establishment government. Germany, Russia, Japan, Italy, Both of the primary Chinese factions, and even to an extent the US under FDR had these conditions. Britain and France floundered in WW2 because their elites refused to allow substantial reform.


Benjamin Franklin: Those who would surrender their essential Liberties for the Sake of temporary Safety get neither Liberty nor Safety.

Modern variant (mine): Those who would surrender their essential liberties for economic gain lose their liberty and get no economic gain.

We can learn much from Benjamin Franklin. I suggest that you study him. I'd rather have been in America in 1936 than in Germany in 1936 even if Germany had started to solve its problems of unemployment faster. At least Americans with industrial jobs got real pay on those jobs.
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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(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Marx saw ownership as the basis of power, ignoring the power of bureaucracies when those bureaucracies have no capitalists to contest them or when those bureaucracies are fully in collusion with the financiers and industrialists (as in America).

Many of us on the Left consider the Soviet regime to be State-Capitalist, the economy run as one huge corporation under the control and effective ownership of the party bosses and the bureaucracy underpinning the party bosses.

Russia had effectively no democratic tradition, it was an absolutist monarchy with a highly centralized bureaucracy. The party bosses essentially took over that bureaucracy and made it their own, and given Russia's poor level of development at the time there was very little of an actual industrial working class, let along an industrial working class with any developed traditions of participatory civil society like existed in the US, Germany, and the UK in 1917.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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(07-03-2016, 02:20 PM)Odin Wrote:
(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Marx saw ownership as the basis of power, ignoring the power of bureaucracies when those bureaucracies have no capitalists to contest them or when those bureaucracies are fully in collusion with the financiers and industrialists (as in America).

Many of us on the Left consider the Soviet regime to be State-Capitalist, the economy run as one huge corporation under the control and effective ownership of the party bosses and the bureaucracy underpinning the party bosses.

I see Stalinist economics as a new serfdom in which the State is the official lord, with the pretense that those who do the work own the economic system through a state that represents the working class. The representation is of course an empty formality. As a new form of serfdom, Stalinism is as reactionary as fascism. its nastiest variant in North Korea is effectively an absolute monarchy that makes the House of Saud look liberal by contrast.

Quote:Russia had effectively no democratic tradition, it was an absolutist monarchy with a highly centralized bureaucracy. The party bosses essentially took over that bureaucracy and made it their own, and given Russia's poor level of development at the time there was very little of an actual industrial working class, let along an industrial working class with any developed traditions of participatory civil society like existed in the US, Germany, and the UK in 1917.

Ironically, Russia was rapidly developing as an industrial society before World War I. But the first stage of industrial development is always harsh on the workers who endure long toil for near-starvation pay under brutal management in dangerous conditions. There is usually no safety net except for "Lord Almighty". Industrial workers crippled on the job go from near destitution to starvation. Industrial accidents that kill can push children into the "great satanic mills" if not into prostitution. The slums are disease-ridden firetraps.

I contrast Russia to India, the latter developing a civil society before it industrialized  heavily. Tsarist Russia put its emphasis on resource extraction and heavy industry; India put its emphasis on consumer goods. India started with cottage industries that made the break from rural life to industry less abrupt. Even at a lower level of development, India made sure that children got elementary education.

In contrast to the great authors Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, who wrote largely of the elites who could have as easily been British, or the marginally-readable works of Maxim Gorki, the clearest impression that I get of the social reality of Imperial Russia comes from the tales of the village Anatevka by Sholem Aleichem, best known by most Americans in Fiddler on the Roof. Imperial Russia was of course a horrible place in which to be a Jew.  It was generally also a horrible place in which to be a Russian unless one was an elite.
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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(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: It's remarkable that the Stalin Constitution is heavily a plagiarism of the Constitution of the USA, even to the point of having a weak formal government. The Soviet Union is often understood as the epitome of big, bad government to the extreme -- but of course it was the Party and its boss that held all the power.

It's fashionable for the West to be smug in our victory over Communism, but when the party bosses and those who handle the means of production have their system of winks and nods, it is dismaying how little power can result from even a fine Constitution.  I can pretty much agree with your portrayal of the Soviet experiment.  I'm not sure, though, that we sufficiently value our own piece of paper.
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(07-03-2016, 06:41 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: It's remarkable that the Stalin Constitution is heavily a plagiarism of the Constitution of the USA, even to the point of having a weak formal government. The Soviet Union is often understood as the epitome of big, bad government to the extreme -- but of course it was the Party and its boss that held all the power.

It's fashionable for the West to be smug in our victory over Communism, but when the party bosses and those who handle the means of production have their system of winks and nods, it is dismaying how little power can result from even a fine Constitution.  I can pretty much agree with your portrayal of the Soviet experiment.  I'm not sure, though, that we sufficiently value our own piece of paper.

The contradictions within Soviet Communism destroyed the Soviet system before those within capitalist orders could destroy capitalism.

I predict that this 4T will at best (in America, that is) result in Constitutional Amendments that close the seams. In the old days, people who knew where the seams were were scared to exploit them out of a legitimate fear that others would go further. Now that the politicians are ruthless enough to see only the benefits of political ruthlessness and not the dangers we see the consequences of powerful people exploiting those seams. Maybe our system of geographic representation that allows gerrymandering to select the electorate for whatever people are in power at the time may have been reasonable in 1787, but not now. People know how to play the game. Proportional representation might serve the people of some states far better.

In any event we are approaching the end of the era of necessary scarcity. If Americans are working harder and longer it is not for consumer goodies (which themselves are getting dirt-cheap) but instead for costly, mandatory add-ons like loan-shark interest and economic rent.

Should we have a thoroughly-nasty and destructive war, then the last things to be rebuilt will be the pointless costs (practically private taxes) that will get in the way of physical and institutional reconstruction.
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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(07-03-2016, 02:20 PM)Odin Wrote:
(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Marx saw ownership as the basis of power, ignoring the power of bureaucracies when those bureaucracies have no capitalists to contest them or when those bureaucracies are fully in collusion with the financiers and industrialists (as in America).

Many of us on the Left consider the Soviet regime to be State-Capitalist, the economy run as one huge corporation under the control and effective ownership of the party bosses and the bureaucracy underpinning the party bosses.

By that definition all industrial societies are capitalist by, since they involve leveraging labor with capital.

And by that definition, the Cold War was between state capitalism and free market capitalism, and the latter won by virtue of being the more efficient system.

Unfortunately today's left in the U.S. wants to move away from free market capitalism and toward state capitalism, and the right is fighting its own internal war on the issue and can't resist.
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Most of today's "left in the U.S." is quite moderate. There's no strong left wing in the USA. Even the best the Green Party can do with two unpopular major party candidates is 3 or 4% for its candidate.

What does "the left" (actually mostly center-left) want in the USA? A mixed economy, with taxes that are fair and progressive, but not over-bearing, and regulations that require business to do what it should and needs to do anyway, assuming that capitalist bosses had any sense (which they largely don't). The environment, climate, consumers and workers need to be protected from abuse. Investments in infrastructure are needed, such as physical and transportation resources, education, and support for new industries that are in the national interest (such as clean energy and the space program). And a meaningful safety-net welfare, health and social insurance system is needed, since capitalism does not provide for the disadvantaged, nor can capitalism survive without stimulus when needed for the less wealthy to spend and keep the economy going. With computer automation continuing, much more such safety nets and income supports are the only alternative if capitalism wishes to stay in business. This includes higher minimum wages. Anti-trust and economy protection laws need to break up banks and other big businesses that are too big to fail, regulate the investment companies, and stop lots more mergers. Employee ownership needs to grow. Foreign trade needs to be better regulated, without allowing corporations to evade protection laws and fair wages. We need a military, with a good defense if/when attacked and multi-lateral peacekeeping, but we don't need imperialism and projects for new American Centuries.

There also needs to be regulations on human behavior, such as crime, gun ownership, smoking, etc. This would not go to prohibition, in the liberals' view, of such personal behavior; but to outlaw or regulate it when it threatens life and safety. Although criminals should be caught and put away as needed, and the law and police respected and supported, our justice system needs to be much more fair to defendants than it is now, and without any racial profiling or racial shootings by police. Civil rights and liberties need to be protected, discrimination outlawed, and affirmative action continued as long as needed. Immigration needs to be allowed, with fair paths to citizenship for the undocumented. Suitable compromises have already been passed by the US Senate on this issue. Our elections need to be democratic, without laws aimed at preventing people from voting (or for politicians to choose their voters instead of vice-versa), and without allowing money to rule politics. Public financing and free open media access for all political advertising is needed.

None of this is state capitalism. The state would not own or run most industry; it would and should be free, but responsible; and not trusted to be responsible without government oversight. The state can own and run some businesses, such as public education, libraries, mail, roads, criminal justice, etc., and possibly energy companies run by cities. Some other businesses are utilities that are regulated by commissions. Most others are corporate or proprietorship, open to people to start and run them as entreprenuers and innovators. Government can encourage this, but should not stifle it.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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(10-07-2016, 01:21 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(07-03-2016, 02:20 PM)Odin Wrote:
(07-03-2016, 10:44 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: Marx saw ownership as the basis of power, ignoring the power of bureaucracies when those bureaucracies have no capitalists to contest them or when those bureaucracies are fully in collusion with the financiers and industrialists (as in America).

Many of us on the Left consider the Soviet regime to be State-Capitalist, the economy run as one huge corporation under the control and effective ownership of the party bosses and the bureaucracy underpinning the party bosses.

By that definition all industrial societies are capitalist by, since they involve leveraging labor with capital.

And by that definition, the Cold War was between state capitalism and free market capitalism, and the latter won by virtue of being the more efficient system.

Unfortunately today's left in the U.S. wants to move away from free market capitalism and toward state capitalism, and the right is fighting its own internal war on the issue and can't resist.

The Left wants to move away from Reaganism, not free market capitalism. The New Deal and Great Society were great starts toward what the Left wants. Reagan and Bush interrupted this progress and sent our nation back toward unregulated free market capitalism, and libertarians want to go even further. The result of Reaganism is ever-grosser inequality, increasing poverty and lower social mobility. Because many victims of Reaganism reflexively and out of prejudice blame the Left for their plight, the Right is in turmoil now because of a demogogue who is exploiting both the victims' plight and their ignorance about the real causes.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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Joe Lansdale is an awesome author, both fiction and non-fiction.

He's native-born Texas Boomer, and he hits it out of the park on what motivates Trump supporters in his East Texas --- and likely everywhere else -

Why My East Texas Neighbors are Voting for Trump


Quote:It’s not because they’re stupid rednecks.


Voting for Trump is about being part of a large reality show. Really.

The general view of the non-Trump supporter is that those who have chosen to vote for him are rednecks with 12 teeth, six of them in their coat pocket, and it’s possible those teeth might be on loan from someone else. The majority of these Trump supporters are listed primarily as White Uneducated Voters, which is code for “stupid redneck.” The kind of folks who kept their first grade report card because they’re proud of the D they made in conduct. (I made a C.)



However, I know a large number of people who make good money, are well-educated, appear to have a dental plan, and yet, they too are voting for Trump. To me this is as baffling as trigonometry, which until recently I thought had to do with Roy Rogers’ horse.


Thing is, the support of Trump in Texas — and I speak specifically of my region, East Texas — goes beyond the smart and the not so smart, the educated and the uneducated. It is more a result of what I like to call the happily stupid; the ones who hold stupid views by choice, not due to lack of intelligence, but due to a kind of tribalism. Facts that interfere with their version of the world are there to be ignored. It’s like putting a hat on a pig and insisting the porker is your Uncle Frank, contrary to all other evidence.

 Trump has provided a dark, dank hole into which these folks can dump whatever it is they’re mad about. Even contradictory views, since Trump frequently changes viewpoint in midsentence, can happily nest there, swelling and breeding like poison fungus.

Most of what Trump is selling shouldn’t convince a distracted 12-year-old, and certainly it’s hard to see how a conniving real estate tycoon represents the average person, but those are the people he has made the greatest inroads with. It certainly isn’t due to his sterling personality. He always seems like the mean little boy whose last fun moment was beating his pet hamster to death with a chair leg.


He has said horrible things about women, people who are overweight (no mirrors at his house?), folks with disabilities, LGBT folks, POWs, Hispanics, African Americans, and the Muslim parents of a decorated soldier who died in defense of his country. He may as well have insulted ice cream and apple pie. He is a tax dodger, and has somehow tried to spin his financial losses and abuse of the system into proof that he’s a genius because he knows how to game the system. He has a false charity, a false university, and, due to his concern about the size of his sex organ, may well be filling his pants with a stuffed sock.


But his supporters don’t care what he says or does. Trump could have unhealthy relations with a dying donkey on the White House lawn and they would see it as him being refreshingly politically incorrect, and isn’t there a chance that donkey could have illegally crossed the border from Mexico and got what it deserved?



They have decided to hear what they want to hear and dismiss the rest. But this isn’t as new as some suggest. What appeals to the Trump supporter is what has long appealed to the Republican Party. Before, it was thinly concealed, like a cheap coat of whitewash over bathroom graffiti. No longer. Now we know for certain what’s written on the wall, and what has been going on in the basement.


Trump is the Frankenstein monster Republicans have been tinkering with all these years, and now [i]It’s Alive! and running amok. Seems to me, the only thing left now is for Trump to divorce his current wife and marry the proper Bride of Frankenstein, Ann Coulter. That way, if he wins the Republicans will have their perfect first lady.

[/i]
The idea that Yankees and liberal opinions are destroying the South, and in this case Texas, has long been at the core of conservative politics, for as William Faulkner once said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.” For many, the Civil War might as well have been yesterday.


Republicans since the ’60s have run elections on hatred of the outsider, imagined hordes of freeloaders, or merely those who are different, working up fears of roving gangs of negro youth prowling the streets in search of mischief, along with invading Mexicans who want nothing more than to drive drunk and unlicensed and run over innocent white children. Another fear that seems rampant is women wanting to have a say over their own reproductive organs, and you might as well throw in negativity toward transgender folks who would like to use public restrooms: Hard-shell Republicans prefer they go pee-less.



It’s a jungle out there. At least, to hear the Republicans tell it. But what it’s really about, in earthier conservative circles, is a chance for people to feel important, to think they are standing on the lines of freedom, fighting back the zombie hordes. What drives these folks is fear; but for many, it’s a delicious fear.


It’s a chance for the bored and disappointed to play army, a way to justify having tons of guns and ammunition. They feel that if not for their vigilance, dead-eye aim, and concealment due to camouflaged pants and a [i]Duck Dynasty cap, we would be standing on the edge of a precipice looking into the bowels of hell.

[/i]
This view, well sold to many, has contributed mightily to the current rabid gun culture. People I know, this is all they talk about: stopping power, how far you can sight a target, and having a stock sturdy enough to crack a skull at close quarters when you run out of about a zillion bullets.



Guns are a symbol of fear, but they are also a symbol of power, a way for the everyday person to feel important and potent, to be a participant in the great game show of life. Guns have replaced the previous religion of Texas, which was football, and Trump is the high priest. Fear sells, and it stimulates. Trump and his cronies constantly tell us, without actual facts, how bad crime is and how evil all foreigners are — especially if they dress funny — and they repeat over and over the false information that the economy is on the verge of collapse and you better build that bunker and stock up, because if you don’t, all you’ll have for protection from the certain rise of crazed liberals is harsh language.


This is a world so many conservative Republicans feel they can control. A frightened world. A world where the happily stupid, bless their little hearts, can thrive within their own fear-based mythology. A place where those with and without teeth, with and without educations, will happily pull the lever for the Great Pumpkin come Election Day.
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(10-12-2016, 08:41 AM)playwrite Wrote: Joe Lansdale is an awesome author, both fiction and non-fiction.

He's native-born Texas Boomer, and he hits it out of the park on what motivates Trump supporters in his East Texas --- and likely everywhere else -

Why My East Texas Neighbors are Voting for Trump


Quote:It’s not because they’re stupid rednecks.


Voting for Trump is about being part of a large reality show. Really.

The general view of the non-Trump supporter is that those who have chosen to vote for him are rednecks with 12 teeth, six of them in their coat pocket, and it’s possible those teeth might be on loan from someone else. The majority of these Trump supporters are listed primarily as White Uneducated Voters, which is code for “stupid redneck.” The kind of folks who kept their first grade report card because they’re proud of the D they made in conduct. (I made a C.)...  (Snip)


This is a world so many conservative Republicans feel they can control. A frightened world. A world where the happily stupid, bless their little hearts, can thrive within their own fear-based mythology. A place where those with and without teeth, with and without educations, will happily pull the lever for the Great Pumpkin come Election Day.

The above is of course exaggerated for humor and impact, but does not lack a core element of Truth.

I have been seeing more serious reflections of the same perspective in the main stream media.  Trump supporters (and Trump) are denying the accuracy of the polls and pushing the notion that the liberal main stream press is biased.  Now, I'm not going to deny that any given media outlet is apt to have a political agenda that routinely gets converted to spin. Still, CNN and others are alleging with good cause that Trump and his supporters are living in an alternate reality.

November 9th seems likely to bring worse political hangovers than usual.
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The Civil War never ended, it just went underground. Too bad the Radical Republicans weren't given a chance to completely tear Southern culture out by the roots, Reconstruction was left half-finished, much like how a disease comes back if you don't take the full course of antibiotics, now antibiotic resistant.
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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And socialism/communism was left half-destroyed too - and now has come back, in the form of the Bernie Sanders candidacy; and come 2020 it is going to topple Hillary and her establishment Democrats, the same way Donald Trump and his "racist" Malthusians toppled the Republican establishment this year.
"It was better with them that were slain by the sword, than with them that died with hunger, for these pined away being consumed for want of the fruits of the earth" - Lamentations 4:9
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Ben Morris of 538 came up with a way the GOP could hijack the election back.  It requires that Evan McMulin win Utah, which if everything else falls just right could conceivably cause an electoral college tie.  This throws the presidency into the House, where the Republicans could well have control.  The way Trump has been burning bridges with the Republicans, it does seem plausible that McMulin could win the presidency with 6 electoral votes.

The chances of this happening are very low...  absurdly low.

If it does happen, do you think Trump will say the system is rigged against him?
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