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Thread: The 2016 Election will be awful. - Page 20







Post#476 at 01-12-2015 03:26 PM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Unfortunately, it appears to me that the Democratic party may have abandoned the working class white dude, who lives all over the country. These are the "religious, gun-owning" folks. They are the folks who didn't want to go to college, who prefer working with their hands, who once went to work on railroads, in steel mills, in auto factories, in a time when there was plenty of relatively un-skilled work to do.
Yes, but that was then, this is now. And you're also mixing two unrelated things together: blue collar workers, and "religious, gun owning" folks. My father was a blue collar worker. He was also an atheist.

The loss of well-paying union jobs for the unskilled is definitely a problem, but it's one without a solution, or at least no solution that depends on bringing those jobs back. Increasingly, that sort of work is being done by machines. Even semi-skilled white collar work is increasingly being automated. At some point, we're going to have to divorce income from work and put a guaranteed income in place, so that the machines do the work and everyone reaps the benefits. Otherwise, what we'll have is a situation where the machines do the work, the machines' owners reap the benefits, no one else makes any money, and the economy collapses for lack of consumer demand.

Meanwhile, the shortcomings of the Democratic Party are obvious enough. But as presently constituted, the Republicans just can't mount a credible challenge.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#477 at 01-12-2015 03:56 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Encouraging election in VA, from democracyforamerica.com

"WE WON!

On Tuesday, Kathleen Murphy -- a cornerstone candidate in DFA's Purple to Blue project to take back state legislatures as part of the 50-State Strategy -- won her special election for the Virginia House of Delegates by just over 400 votes.

This crucial swing seat in northern Virginia was held by an extremist Republican, but its now in blue hands for the first time in years -- and Kathleen could not have won this race without you.

In 2013, Democracy for America was one of the largest direct contributors to progressive candidates working to end Republicans' veto-proof majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. DFA members helped raise over $23,000 for Murphy, starting with her first campaign in 2013.

Murphy lost a very close race that year. But neither she nor DFA members gave up. Members like you doubled down, helping her raise more money as well as volunteering for her campaign. Thanks in part to DFA members, she was able to pull off an incredible victory -- made even more remarkable by the fact that it was a special election just a week after the winter holidays.

This huge win, in the immediate aftermath of the disappointing midterm elections, gives us some amazing momentum and hope for the next two years. It shows that we can win -- but only if we start investing now to support candidates from the Elizabeth Warren Wing of the party who can energize the grassroots army it will take to win in 2015 and 2016."
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#478 at 01-12-2015 04:16 PM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Unfortunately, it appears to me that the Democratic party may have abandoned the working class white dude, who lives all over the country. These are the "religious, gun-owning" folks. They are the folks who didn't want to go to college, who prefer working with their hands, who once went to work on railroads, in steel mills, in auto factories, in a time when there was plenty of relatively un-skilled work to do.

Now they've been put out of good-paying work, have been convinced by the Republicans that trade unions are the spawn of Satan, have been convinced by the Republicans that it's the immigrants and folks of color who "get all the breaks". AND, the Democrats have encouraged this sort of thinking with their various causes, including environmental stuff, programs for poverty that appears to be limited to folks of color, etc.

Yeah, sure, these guys now vote against their own interests, because the Republicans sure as hell don't have their backs. But the Democrats now have this image that's been in part created for them, but in part they have shot themselves in their own foot, of elitist, intellectual, anti-military, anti-good-old-USA, hyper-feminist, anti-religion, anti-gun. Mind you, not that any of these things are bad, but where are the initiatives for the good-old-boys? What does a guy do with himself after getting out of high school? Join the military? That's about the only thing left for someone like that.
It's too bad that's the only opportunity for some of these folks, and the Democrats can make clear that their program would help open up other opportunities for them. They need to remember that "it's the economy stupid," and not make the social issues front and center.

I don't know what the Democrats can do to get back old white dudes all over the country who are determined to be hyper-militarists, anti-feminists, traditional religionists, gun totin', anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant Archie Bunker types. Like Strother Martin says, some men just can't be reached, and communication fails. Let them go; don't pander to them. But as Brian pointed out, not all old white dudes are of that persuasion, and there's a reservoir of libertarian opinion that doesn't want the government to promote religious and racial intolerance. Some of them even voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964. And if they are younger than that, maybe they can be reached.

Of course, given the fact that Democratic politicians regularly end their speeches with "God Bless America" and do similar things, I think they are already committed to counteracting their anti-american image. And the people aren't necessarily on board with unnecessary wars.

The trickle-down economics, race-baiting, super-patriot ideologies need to be countered head-on, to show that these ideas are using people to make them blame folks who are really more like themselves-- ordinary working folks--- than they are like the corporate CEOs who benefit from Republican policies.
Last edited by Eric the Green; 01-12-2015 at 04:39 PM.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#479 at 01-12-2015 04:42 PM by TimWalker [at joined May 2007 #posts 6,368]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Unfortunately, it appears to me that the Democratic party may have abandoned the working class white dude, who lives all over the country.
The Democrats would have to down play Culture Wars issues (hard to see Boomers doing that) and emphasize economics (hard to see Boomers doing that).

At most, I see Boomers adding economics to the bottom of the to do list, while keeping Culture Wars issues the highest priority. And then denigrate the voters when their party loses the election.
Last edited by TimWalker; 01-12-2015 at 07:38 PM.







Post#480 at 01-12-2015 05:34 PM by TnT [at joined Feb 2005 #posts 2,005]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
Yes, but that was then, this is now. And you're also mixing two unrelated things together: blue collar workers, and "religious, gun owning" folks. My father was a blue collar worker. He was also an atheist.
Not totally unrelated. Sure, my descriptive features are not all-inclusive. Sure, my dad too, was at least an agnostic, but he was still a blue-collar railroader without a college education.

I may be old, and I may be semi-retired, but I'm not a recluse. And I get around among "regular" folks. I remain dismayed at the Democratic party dismissing this demographic, because I think it is simply not smart.

Your "coulda-woulda-shoulda" about a guaranteed income, replacing productive work concerns me. What it leaves out is something that is central to my life, and based on my studies, central to most people's lives - namely some sort of meaning, some sort of self-actualization. To say nothing about the shriek of outrage that would go up when such a program is suggested. AND, I'd bet that much of the outcry would come from these very folks! They don't WANT a guaranteed income! They want a fucking JOB, something that gives them the sense that they are doing something. They want what I want, what you probably want for yourself.

It's easy for those of us who do have some education to chat on about all these things in this rarefied intellectual atmosphere on The Fourth Turning. But what about the kid who just doesn't have it in him to study philosophy or math or astrology, or Austrian economics or whatever? He just wants to DO something, to make a living, to drive a nice car, in other words to simply live an ordinary life? We can't just dismiss these folks. They are all around and they aren't going away.

The Republicans have figured out some of the dark side to all this. They have been able to generate an occult, and sometimes not so occult, racism to our present situation that appeals to those white males who may not think as deeply as the country's intellectuals. The Repubs have figured out that religion and other nostalgic features of the past are still attractive.

When I lived in western PA in the '90's there was a significant bunch of ex-steel workers who believed fervently that the good old steel mills would re-open any day now! Despite the fact that the big ones were being broken up right before their eyes and hauled away as scrap.

People like to make fun of "ordinary" folks. Some of my liberal friends call them the "sheeple." Well, they can do all that they want, but when the rubber meets the road, these folks will still be there, and I'm not looking forward to the day when some charismatic leader with a bright new vision of the future emerges. That charismatic leader could well be a new, very nasty tyranny, largely based on the white, regular, non-intellectual under-employed folks who still go to church, who still believe in angels, who still want to be "patriotic" Americans.

There needs to be a concerted effort, a plan, a strategy ... something that finds a place for the guy that just wants to farm a couple hundred acres, who just wants to run wiring through new construction, who just wants to lay a fine line of brick and look back at it with pride and maybe tell his kid, "I built that building!" The guy who doesn't give a shit about converging or diverging mathematical series, or the difference between nihilism and existentialism, or whether Protestant bloodshed is better or worse than Islamic bloodshed a thousand years ago.

Being a minimum wage orderly in a nursing home full of senile Baby Boomers doesn't cut it for these folks. Flipping burgers doesn't cut it. Night shift guarding rich dudes' gated community gate for 8 bucks an hour doesn't cut it.

Massive infrastructure repair and construction cuts it. The right kind of technical training of the sort that trade unions used to provide, that leads to jobs in solar, wind, geothermal, et. al. could cut it. It takes some innovative thought to provide work, tasks, meaningful engagement, and I think we'd best find that, or else.
" ... a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."







Post#481 at 01-12-2015 05:54 PM by millennialX [at Gotham City, USA joined Oct 2010 #posts 6,597]
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Quote Originally Posted by '58 Flat View Post
Money didn't win tonight. Age did - just like I predicted it would.

I hereby propose a new name for the generation born from (roughly) 1981 through 1998:

The Passive Generation.
Ouch. Well me and my cohorts voted progressive so I'm not sure who you're describing.
Born in 1981 and INFJ Gen Yer







Post#482 at 01-12-2015 05:55 PM by millennialX [at Gotham City, USA joined Oct 2010 #posts 6,597]
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Quote Originally Posted by Kepi View Post
Not so much. We sent a pretty thorough message to the democratic party: Engage us, or be destroyed. It's really that simple. The partisans who like to whine like this is a team sport won't ever understand. If you don't do what we want, we won't show up. TV news is feeling that now, too. The Republicans will feel it as well next cycle when they get some B-lister democrat in the White House because we all show up to give Hillary the boot in the primary, vote for the president, and guarantee gridlock until all eyes are on us, the voters.

The Democrats had 8 years in power in congress, and they pissed it right away. 4 years of total congressional control, 4 years partial. Want to win in Washington? Do stuff for Millennials, want to fail? Do anything else.
This is true.
Born in 1981 and INFJ Gen Yer







Post#483 at 01-12-2015 06:06 PM by millennialX [at Gotham City, USA joined Oct 2010 #posts 6,597]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
What this gives the lie to, is any attack on "boomers" by Kepi or anyone else. Millennials have failed to live up to the civic archetype. They are no better than Boomers in the way they are blowing their responsibilities as citizens, and falling for the blatant lies of the big shot wealthy power guys and their unrestricted money.

These days Millennials and X/Y cuspers fall for the idea that tech can fix anything. That is just as bad as Boomers being "emotionally immature" and living off their undisciplined feelings. Hey, feeling is what life is all about. Millennials and many Xers apparently cannot feel in their hearts (which they probably deny even exists, due to their materialism) what the powers that be and their Republican lackeys are doing to society and their lives. They'd rather just escape into their ipads and iphones, and just be slackers and lazy beneficiaries of what they are given.

No, millennials and Xers now have no basis whatever for their claims of superiority over Boomers, or any right to blame boomers for their plight. They have failed, decisively. First on Nov.2, 2010, and now on Nov.4, 2014, they have made their bed, and now they must lie in it. They have pulled the wool over their own eyes and gone to sleep. They must face the consequences for their own economic situation. They have created it as fully as boomers or anyone else. So they can now stop blaming boomers and look in the mirror when unhappy with their economic situation, not to mention the fact that the planet will soon be unlivable. It is now your own damn fault, millennials. Face up to it, and act on it.
Hilarious, Eric. All I see is an image of an elder speaking ill will over the young folks. What have you done in regards to cultivating the young generation? As one spiritual person speaking to another, put some positive energy and words in the air, please.

Goodness sakes, you do know you are basing your view of a generation based off how they act in their 20s and please name one generation in their 20s, not known for being entitled, materialistic and wandering?

My cohorts who are crossing over the 30s mark are already showing the sort of pragmatism and drive that Kepi is talking about. Thats what life does to anyone.
Born in 1981 and INFJ Gen Yer







Post#484 at 01-12-2015 07:11 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,115]
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Some of this is misinformation/propaganda too. The other day I had a conversation with someone, not a Republican btw, who wanted to know why the Keystone pipeline was being held up. They believed that it would create thousands of permanent jobs and keep American gas prices cheap more or less forever. I explained to hi that the Keystone oil was not for us, it was for China. I also pointed out to him that if the aquafer under Nebraska gets contaminated it means higher food prices for everyone. These important facts had never been expressed to him before.
Also, on charter schools a lot of blue collar America thinks that the Republicans are going to give their children an elite quality private school education in a charter school.
Are people passively consuming the propaganda? Of course. But I bet a lot of so called well connected Democrats don't even know that the party has such a massive communications problem.
This is part of the reason why the so called blue wall is weaker than thought.
Last edited by herbal tee; 01-12-2015 at 07:15 PM.







Post#485 at 01-13-2015 12:31 AM by Brian Rush [at California joined Jul 2001 #posts 12,392]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Your "coulda-woulda-shoulda" about a guaranteed income, replacing productive work concerns me. What it leaves out is something that is central to my life, and based on my studies, central to most people's lives - namely some sort of meaning, some sort of self-actualization.
I'm going to address this, because it's the main point of disagreement that we have. Go my way on this question, and everything else drops into place.

People do need some sort of meaning and self-actualization, but that does NOT mean they have to be doing work that gets paid for in money. You know what the most important bit of self-actualization is in my life? The novels I write, followed closely by my blog on spirituality and fantasy fiction. (Links to the blog and my most recently-published novel below.) I get paid very little (so far) for the novels, and nothing at all for the blog. I write articles, ghostwrite books, and do editing for freelance clients to make money, but if I had a guaranteed income that met all my needs, I'd stop doing that work except for editing for other book writers, and I'd probably do that for free.

Most of the work that people do for money isn't very good in terms of self-actualization or meaning. You do what you have to do to survive -- hopefully it won't violate your values too badly, but expecting it to provide you meaning is unrealistic unless you get very lucky. If people didn't have to work for a living, they'd be able to spend their time doing what seems meaningful to them. Sure, for some of them it would amount to nothing but constant TV watching and video games, but I suspect those would be in the minority.

I expect you're right about the howl. But we've seen howls go up when other social changes were proposed, too. You're old enough to remember how controversial interracial relationships used to be. You're NOT old enough (none of us are) to remember how the change TO paid work for most people was received, a shift from most people being self-employed farmers or craftspeople. It was just as controversial.

Fact is, the more work is done by machines, the less has to be done by people, and so the less valuable work done by people becomes, except for those highly involved and creative jobs that can't be automated (yet). But there are robots and software programs out there that can do everything a lawyer does except appear in court, and everything a doctor does except a bedside manner. It's a reality, and we can't rage and fume against it. We have to adapt to it.
"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"

My blog: https://brianrushwriter.wordpress.com/

The Order Master (volume one of Refuge), a science fantasy. Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZZWEAS
Smashwords link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/382903







Post#486 at 01-13-2015 01:35 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by TimWalker View Post
The Democrats would have to down play Culture Wars issues (hard to see Boomers doing that) and emphasize economics (hard to see Boomers doing that).

At most, I see Boomers adding economics to the bottom of the to do list, while keeping Culture Wars issues the highest priority. And then denigrate the voters when their party loses the election.
I disagree. Bill Clinton didn't do that; he railed against trickle-down economics and remembered that "it's the economy, stupid." I haven't heard other presidential candidates do this either. Some Senate candidates relied on the culture wars in 2014. But Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich are Boomers who aren't doing what you say either.

I denigrate the voters when they do wrong, but I am not a politician.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#487 at 01-13-2015 01:46 AM by Eric the Green [at San Jose CA joined Jul 2001 #posts 22,504]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Not totally unrelated. Sure, my descriptive features are not all-inclusive. Sure, my dad too, was at least an agnostic, but he was still a blue-collar railroader without a college education.

I may be old, and I may be semi-retired, but I'm not a recluse. And I get around among "regular" folks. I remain dismayed at the Democratic party dismissing this demographic, because I think it is simply not smart.

Your "coulda-woulda-shoulda" about a guaranteed income, replacing productive work concerns me. What it leaves out is something that is central to my life, and based on my studies, central to most people's lives - namely some sort of meaning, some sort of self-actualization. To say nothing about the shriek of outrage that would go up when such a program is suggested. AND, I'd bet that much of the outcry would come from these very folks! They don't WANT a guaranteed income! They want a fucking JOB, something that gives them the sense that they are doing something. They want what I want, what you probably want for yourself.

It's easy for those of us who do have some education to chat on about all these things in this rarefied intellectual atmosphere on The Fourth Turning. But what about the kid who just doesn't have it in him to study philosophy or math or astrology, or Austrian economics or whatever? He just wants to DO something, to make a living, to drive a nice car, in other words to simply live an ordinary life? We can't just dismiss these folks. They are all around and they aren't going away.
Certainly a plausible statement. But, what you are in effect saying is, that the corporations and businesses have automated, and destroyed jobs that way, and that therefore, these CEOs and corporate board members should be allowed to keep all the benefits of automation because other folks want to work.

Not quite sensible. I think automation is going to be a challenge to our aversion to the welfare state.

The Republicans have figured out some of the dark side to all this. They have been able to generate an occult, and sometimes not so occult, racism to our present situation that appeals to those white males who may not think as deeply as the country's intellectuals. The Repubs have figured out that religion and other nostalgic features of the past are still attractive.

When I lived in western PA in the '90's there was a significant bunch of ex-steel workers who believed fervently that the good old steel mills would re-open any day now! Despite the fact that the big ones were being broken up right before their eyes and hauled away as scrap.

People like to make fun of "ordinary" folks. Some of my liberal friends call them the "sheeple." Well, they can do all that they want, but when the rubber meets the road, these folks will still be there, and I'm not looking forward to the day when some charismatic leader with a bright new vision of the future emerges. That charismatic leader could well be a new, very nasty tyranny, largely based on the white, regular, non-intellectual under-employed folks who still go to church, who still believe in angels, who still want to be "patriotic" Americans.

There needs to be a concerted effort, a plan, a strategy ... something that finds a place for the guy that just wants to farm a couple hundred acres, who just wants to run wiring through new construction, who just wants to lay a fine line of brick and look back at it with pride and maybe tell his kid, "I built that building!" The guy who doesn't give a shit about converging or diverging mathematical series, or the difference between nihilism and existentialism, or whether Protestant bloodshed is better or worse than Islamic bloodshed a thousand years ago.

Being a minimum wage orderly in a nursing home full of senile Baby Boomers doesn't cut it for these folks. Flipping burgers doesn't cut it. Night shift guarding rich dudes' gated community gate for 8 bucks an hour doesn't cut it.

Massive infrastructure repair and construction cuts it. The right kind of technical training of the sort that trade unions used to provide, that leads to jobs in solar, wind, geothermal, et. al. could cut it. It takes some innovative thought to provide work, tasks, meaningful engagement, and I think we'd best find that, or else.
The Republican program is to eliminate small businesses and independent farmers and craftsman. The Democrats need to point out the pro-corporate program of the Republicans, and offer alternatives. They already propose the work you mention in your last paragraph. It will be up to the ordinary folks to understand what's happening and vote accordingly. Also, if ordinary folks are going to continue to deny the intellect, that may be a problem for them, since most of the new jobs will require more mental skill and education than in the past. I suspect as the old white church-going patriots die out, they will be replaced by younger folks who naturally gravitate toward the learning and skills they need for the new economy.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive,

Eric A. Meece







Post#488 at 01-13-2015 01:54 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
It's too bad that's the only opportunity for some of these folks, and the Democrats can make clear that their program would help open up other opportunities for them. They need to remember that "it's the economy stupid," and not make the social issues front and center.
The Republicans have an ambiguous message on the economy -- that the only people whose economic success does any good for America is for the economic elites, and that economic hardships for the rest do not matter because there will be Pie in the Sky When You Die for those who accept a mindless, joyless, regimented, insecure, inequitable, impoverished, environmentally-ravaged world on behalf of their betters. For people who no longer have hope for well-paid jobs as miners and assembly-line workers, such could be a valid trade and the Republican promise is the best available. For those who want better or who can't believe that exploitative brutes have any wisdom about the Judgment of God upon politics, the Republican promise is absurd. Such makes all the difference in the world.

I don't know what the Democrats can do to get back old white dudes all over the country who are determined to be hyper-militarists, anti-feminists, traditional religionists, gun totin', anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant Archie Bunker types. Like Strother Martin says, some men just can't be reached, and communication fails. Let them go; don't pander to them. But as Brian pointed out, not all old white dudes are of that persuasion, and there's a reservoir of libertarian opinion that doesn't want the government to promote religious and racial intolerance. Some of them even voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964. And if they are younger than that, maybe they can be reached.
If I really believed what the Right promises --- suffer for my greed and go to Heaven -- I would chain-smoke, pig out on junk food, guzzle lots of beer, and vegetate on the couch while watching television, probably alternating between televangelist programs, FoX Propaganda Channel (helping create the personality cults of Republican politicians and demonizing liberals), and maybe sports. I would also be dead by now of cancer, heart disease, cirrhosis, or alcohol poisoning. I would probably also be at best in Purgatory for a wasted life.

Of course, given the fact that Democratic politicians regularly end their speeches with "God Bless America" and do similar things, I think they are already committed to counteracting their anti-american image. And the people aren't necessarily on board with unnecessary wars.
A free America with opportunity for anyone with a good work ethic and even modest talent is worth defending against foreign enemies and against Americans who would turn America into a nightmare. So,

GOD BLESS AMERICA -- SMASH FASCISM!

Could anything be more patriotic? If so many could face the nightmares of the fascism of three thug empires of Germany, Italy, and Japan as soldiers in the last 4T, then why can't we do so against those who would transform America into a fascist nightmare if they could do so? An American fascism will be no less ugly because it uses Sousa marches than because it uses old Prussian marches.

The trickle-down economics, race-baiting, super-patriot ideologies need to be countered head-on, to show that these ideas are using people to make them blame folks who are really more like themselves-- ordinary working folks--- than they are like the corporate CEOs who benefit from Republican policies.
A good America is a just America. We will need to make some sacrifices -- use energy more judiciously, buy things for durability and multiple use instead of buying junk that ends up in the landfill, allowing opportunities for people who are superficially dissimilar to ourselves, dedicate more resources to education, strengthen the social safety net, reform corruption away, and improve the public infrastructure -- and of course val;ue rational thought. If we fail at that we will face even greater sacrifices and for far fewer earthly rewards.
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" (or) even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered... in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by (those) who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern."


― C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters







Post#489 at 01-13-2015 10:43 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
That was also true in 2008. She isn't guaranteed the nomination. Even she probably doesn't think so.
Yes, the trip to the convention is still long, but the time to start the journey is now. Who else is in the running? I 'm ecstatic that Jim Webb decided to enter, because he is truly a different candidate than the typical Democrat of recent history. I doubt he can win, and I'm not sure he would be a good President if he did. So who else is in?

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
Don't go by someone's wishful-thinking opinion piece, particularly if it happens to agree with your own fearful thinking. I'm quite certain he's wrong.

At some point he'll be right, though. (Either that or the GOP will disintegrate and the Democrats will hive, and it will get truly messy for a while.) How will you tell when he's right? When the Republicans run a candidate who doesn't scare you. When they run a candidate who could conceivably win YOUR vote, or at least make you think about it. See any Republicans in the front ranks that you might conceivably vote for?

Neither do I. And that's how I know he's engaging in wishful thinking.
The GOP is morphing, and the Dems are going sclerotic. I'm mad at the latter, and not overly encouraged by the former. I'm not typical, and neither are you. Joe and Jane Voter are less engaged, and more open to superficial positives. Joe and Jane out number folks like us by orders of magnitude, so they are the target audience that needs to be reached and romanced. Show me one Democrat who is trying.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
Dude, sometimes you seriously remind me of Eeyore.
Maybe,m but I've been right far more often than wrong. I don't like the current stat of things, but I don't pretend things are better.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
Obama can't run, of course, but if he could and did, he'd win. I agree he's "spent." It wouldn't matter. Hillary Clinton disgusts me. I know exactly what you mean about her. She'd still win. I doubt that Warren will run, and her winning the nomination would be iffy if she did, but if that happened, she'd win the election.
Why is winning a good thing, in and of itself? An impotent winner is still impotent. It's not Obama's fault ... not entirely anyway. The game is rigged. Until the numbers change dramatically, the GOP either wins or fails to lose. In either case, they prevent much if any contrary movement.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
See, here's where I don't think you're up with the times. "Modern politics" is now -- as of right now -- undergoing a sea change, and coming to resemble late 19th and early 20th century politics in terms of party alignment. Then as now, one of the big parties was a regional party that had a very hard time winning national elections. The regions were about the same, too. There were only two differences. One, it was the Democrats who were the regional party and the Republicans dominated the national scene, and two, the Empty Quarter seems to have stuck with the Republicans, making for a bigger red swath on the map, not that that matters much.
It matters fully in the Senate. It matters even more when the default is doing nothing. You vastly underestimate the amount of sea-change needed to move the country in a Progressive direction long enough and definitively enough to establish a new norm.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
During that period, the Republicans:

1. Won four elections 1868-1880, the lost '84, then won '88, then lost '92.
2. Won '96, 1900, 1904, and 1908, then lost 1912 and 1916 (but would have won both except for Theodore Roosevelt's 1912 spoiler run).
3. Won 1920, 1924, and 1928.

The presidency belonged to the Republicans barring something weird happening like in 1912. The reason why it did, was because the Democrats were the party of the South, and the party of the South can't win nationally except with the help of a miracle, or self-destruction by the other party (again as in 1912).Today, the Republicans are the party of the South, suffering from the same problem. What you're calling "modern politics" is actually the years of transition from the Democrats in that role to the Republicans in that role, which started in 1932:

1. FDR put together a winning coalition, kept the South in the party, but began to move away from positions Southern whites could stand.
2. Truman integrated the armed forces and lost the South to a third party in 1948.
3. LBJ abandoned the South by signing the Civil Rights Act. The South went Republican in 1964 for the first time in like forever.
4. Nixon, although he governed like a typical progressive Republican, began the "Southern strategy."
5. Reagan ran on it and won with it.
6. Since Reagan, the GOP has become more and more committed to it, while the Democrats have become more and more comfortable without the South. The party roles have completely switched.
You mentioned the one thing that changed: regional affinity. The one thing that hasn't changed is focus: the GOP is still the party of business. Given that, the the post-ACW period could just as easily be considered the pro-business period. There was little appetite for Populism until the economy crashed. Then the Populists were finally able to emerge from the shadows, and the post-WWII miracle was able to occur.

But now, the business elite are back in force. That's the challenge - especially so now. Both parties are captured, albeit to different extents. The GOP is buried to its eyeballs, except for the Tea Party types. The Dems are split between the DNC types, like Hillary, and the neo-Populists like EW. Given that, tell me how an HRC Presidency is progressive.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
The only way for the GOP to become nationally competitive again is for them to abandon the Southern white vote (in its classic patterns). I don't see that happening in 2016, although it probably will eventually.
As I noted, they don't have to win the big prize to run the show. They don't want to do much of anything, and doing nothing is easy. The few things they want, primarily benefits for their patrons, can be bargained in exchange for a few crumbs for their opponents. Unless you have a way to overcome the inherent power of 'no', I don't see that changing.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#490 at 01-13-2015 10:55 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
Yes, but that was then, this is now. And you're also mixing two unrelated things together: blue collar workers, and "religious, gun owning" folks. My father was a blue collar worker. He was also an atheist.

The loss of well-paying union jobs for the unskilled is definitely a problem, but it's one without a solution, or at least no solution that depends on bringing those jobs back. Increasingly, that sort of work is being done by machines. Even semi-skilled white collar work is increasingly being automated. At some point, we're going to have to divorce income from work and put a guaranteed income in place, so that the machines do the work and everyone reaps the benefits. Otherwise, what we'll have is a situation where the machines do the work, the machines' owners reap the benefits, no one else makes any money, and the economy collapses for lack of consumer demand.
This is the challenge, and the Dems are failing. The GOP may be an entire party of cynical hypocrits, but they have an answer: the work is going to the "others". This is a shabby and deceitful scheme, but it's working. The progressive response had better be as simplistic too, because the audience isn't interested in sophistication. I would go with massive public works programs, bu that needs to be sold before the elections. It's not possible later.

Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush ...
Meanwhile, the shortcomings of the Democratic Party are obvious enough. But as presently constituted, the Republicans just can't mount a credible challenge.
H-m-m-m. They just did.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#491 at 01-13-2015 11:00 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
... I don't know what the Democrats can do to get back old white dudes all over the country who are determined to be hyper-militarists, anti-feminists, traditional religionists, gun totin', anti-intellectual, anti-immigrant Archie Bunker types. Like Strother Martin says, some men just can't be reached, and communication fails. Let them go; don't pander to them. But as Brian pointed out, not all old white dudes are of that persuasion, and there's a reservoir of libertarian opinion that doesn't want the government to promote religious and racial intolerance. Some of them even voted for Lyndon Johnson in 1964. And if they are younger than that, maybe they can be reached...
To reach people, offer them something they want. Today, that something is a job ... a GOOD job. Restore America is the theme, and massive public works projects are the method.

This isn't all that hard.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#492 at 01-13-2015 11:02 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by TimWalker View Post
The Democrats would have to down play Culture Wars issues (hard to see Boomers doing that) and emphasize economics (hard to see Boomers doing that).

At most, I see Boomers adding economics to the bottom of the to do list, while keeping Culture Wars issues the highest priority. And then denigrate the voters when their party loses the election.
Exactly!
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#493 at 01-13-2015 11:10 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by TnT View Post
Not totally unrelated. Sure, my descriptive features are not all-inclusive. Sure, my dad too, was at least an agnostic, but he was still a blue-collar railroader without a college education.

I may be old, and I may be semi-retired, but I'm not a recluse. And I get around among "regular" folks. I remain dismayed at the Democratic party dismissing this demographic, because I think it is simply not smart.

Your "coulda-woulda-shoulda" about a guaranteed income, replacing productive work concerns me. What it leaves out is something that is central to my life, and based on my studies, central to most people's lives - namely some sort of meaning, some sort of self-actualization. To say nothing about the shriek of outrage that would go up when such a program is suggested. AND, I'd bet that much of the outcry would come from these very folks! They don't WANT a guaranteed income! They want a fucking JOB, something that gives them the sense that they are doing something. They want what I want, what you probably want for yourself.

It's easy for those of us who do have some education to chat on about all these things in this rarefied intellectual atmosphere on The Fourth Turning. But what about the kid who just doesn't have it in him to study philosophy or math or astrology, or Austrian economics or whatever? He just wants to DO something, to make a living, to drive a nice car, in other words to simply live an ordinary life? We can't just dismiss these folks. They are all around and they aren't going away.

The Republicans have figured out some of the dark side to all this. They have been able to generate an occult, and sometimes not so occult, racism to our present situation that appeals to those white males who may not think as deeply as the country's intellectuals. The Repubs have figured out that religion and other nostalgic features of the past are still attractive.

When I lived in western PA in the '90's there was a significant bunch of ex-steel workers who believed fervently that the good old steel mills would re-open any day now! Despite the fact that the big ones were being broken up right before their eyes and hauled away as scrap.

People like to make fun of "ordinary" folks. Some of my liberal friends call them the "sheeple." Well, they can do all that they want, but when the rubber meets the road, these folks will still be there, and I'm not looking forward to the day when some charismatic leader with a bright new vision of the future emerges. That charismatic leader could well be a new, very nasty tyranny, largely based on the white, regular, non-intellectual under-employed folks who still go to church, who still believe in angels, who still want to be "patriotic" Americans.

There needs to be a concerted effort, a plan, a strategy ... something that finds a place for the guy that just wants to farm a couple hundred acres, who just wants to run wiring through new construction, who just wants to lay a fine line of brick and look back at it with pride and maybe tell his kid, "I built that building!" The guy who doesn't give a shit about converging or diverging mathematical series, or the difference between nihilism and existentialism, or whether Protestant bloodshed is better or worse than Islamic bloodshed a thousand years ago.

Being a minimum wage orderly in a nursing home full of senile Baby Boomers doesn't cut it for these folks. Flipping burgers doesn't cut it. Night shift guarding rich dudes' gated community gate for 8 bucks an hour doesn't cut it.

Massive infrastructure repair and construction cuts it. The right kind of technical training of the sort that trade unions used to provide, that leads to jobs in solar, wind, geothermal, et. al. could cut it. It takes some innovative thought to provide work, tasks, meaningful engagement, and I think we'd best find that, or else.
Tim, you are on a roll today! This is exactly the problem many in the more prosperous areas miss completely. In far too many places, and for far too many people, there is nothing to do to get a toe-hold in this world. If you try and fail, get up, try agian and fail, eventually, you'll be looking for a boogieman. The right has one ready to go.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#494 at 01-13-2015 11:14 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Yes, the trip to the convention is still long, but the time to start the journey is now. Who else is in the running? I 'm ecstatic that Jim Webb decided to enter, because he is truly a different candidate than the typical Democrat of recent history. I doubt he can win, and I'm not sure he would be a good President if he did. So who else is in?



The GOP is morphing, and the Dems are going sclerotic. I'm mad at the latter, and not overly encouraged by the former. I'm not typical, and neither are you. Joe and Jane Voter are less engaged, and more open to superficial positives. Joe and Jane out number folks like us by orders of magnitude, so they are the target audience that needs to be reached and romanced. Show me one Democrat who is trying.



Maybe,m but I've been right far more often than wrong. I don't like the current stat of things, but I don't pretend things are better.



Why is winning a good thing, in and of itself? An impotent winner is still impotent. It's not Obama's fault ... not entirely anyway. The game is rigged. Until the numbers change dramatically, the GOP either wins or fails to lose. In either case, they prevent much if any contrary movement.



It matters fully in the Senate. It matters even more when the default is doing nothing. You vastly underestimate the amount of sea-change needed to move the country in a Progressive direction long enough and definitively enough to establish a new norm.



You mentioned the one thing that changed: regional affinity. The one thing that hasn't changed is focus: the GOP is still the party of business. Given that, the the post-ACW period could just as easily be considered the pro-business period. There was little appetite for Populism until the economy crashed. Then the Populists were finally able to emerge from the shadows, and the post-WWII miracle was able to occur.

But now, the business elite are back in force. That's the challenge - especially so now. Both parties are captured, albeit to different extents. The GOP is buried to its eyeballs, except for the Tea Party types. The Dems are split between the DNC types, like Hillary, and the neo-Populists like EW. Given that, tell me how an HRC Presidency is progressive.



As I noted, they don't have to win the big prize to run the show. They don't want to do much of anything, and doing nothing is easy. The few things they want, primarily benefits for their patrons, can be bargained in exchange for a few crumbs for their opponents. Unless you have a way to overcome the inherent power of 'no', I don't see that changing.
I'm going to limit my butting-in to what is proving to be a pretty good exchange of viewpoints between you two.

Just two things:

1. Jim Webb - his populism seems to lean a little too much to the Right for me, but I would really enjoy him as the VP to HC. I could really see him offering to stick his Marine boot up the ass of anyone trying to flank HC on Benghazi - it would be great theater and depending on what chick[shit]hawk's ass he stuck his boot up could win his ticket considerable number of military votes at both the top and bottom rungs.

2. Joe/Jane voters less engaged - I think your letting the 2014 mid-term elections cloud your perceptions (particularly perhaps Robb's NASCAR strategy in VA?). There is going to be over a billion dollars spent by both sides in 2016 on just the Presidential race - you will not be able to escape the issues and messaging even in the remotest places in America. Regardless of the money, the emotional level on both sides is going to be at full tilt, every word by each candidate is going to be analyzed and dozens of utterances enshrined into popular culture instanteously. It is going to be one of the highest, if not the highest, turnout election in our history. As much as they want to avoid it, the GOP Congress can't help themselves avoid it and is already giving most people real reasons to hate their brand (see GOP setting up to take on SS, de-regulating the banksters again) and there is now a very articulate Progressive voice in the Congress that is going to very visible in calling them out on it and handing their heads back to them - by the time, the GOP's Prez candidate can grasp the reins and shut them up, it will be far far too late - he'll be on the defensive throughout his election (I'm persuming a male GOP candidate, but would love to donate big bucks to Fiorina to see that disaster unfold!).
Last edited by playwrite; 01-13-2015 at 11:37 AM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#495 at 01-13-2015 11:16 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Brian Rush View Post
I'm going to address this, because it's the main point of disagreement that we have. Go my way on this question, and everything else drops into place.

People do need some sort of meaning and self-actualization, but that does NOT mean they have to be doing work that gets paid for in money...
For many folks, this is true, but for most folks of a less intellectual bent (i.e. the vast majority), being paid for doing good work is the only value system they know and appreciate. Whatever your plan, it better accommodate that.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#496 at 01-13-2015 11:19 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
I disagree. Bill Clinton didn't do that; he railed against trickle-down economics and remembered that "it's the economy, stupid." I haven't heard other presidential candidates do this either. Some Senate candidates relied on the culture wars in 2014. But Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich are Boomers who aren't doing what you say either.

I denigrate the voters when they do wrong, but I am not a politician.
... then he killed Glass-Steagle, signed NAFTA and basically climbed the rest of the way in bed with the oligarchs. It worked ... for a while.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#497 at 01-13-2015 11:22 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by Eric the Green View Post
... The Republican program is to eliminate small businesses and independent farmers and craftsman. The Democrats need to point out the pro-corporate program of the Republicans, and offer alternatives...
People don't need alternatives. They need jobs. If the economy can't or won't provide good jobs for good people, then the State needs to step in and provide them directly.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#498 at 01-13-2015 11:27 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
To reach people, offer them something they want. Today, that something is a job ... a GOOD job. Restore America is the theme, and massive public works projects are the method.

This isn't all that hard.
This is exactly right. The economy is starving for demand - keeping employment and income in check while threatening deflation.

All it will take is more govt spending. And all that will take is destroying the deficit fear mongering.

The GOP Congress is now going to help destroy the myth; they can't help it, they have to try to cut taxes. They're trying hard to do it with the voodoo again (see forcing the CBO to use dynamic scoring). The likelihood of them getting away with it is even less likely than in the 1980s - the Progressive in the Congress and the Krugman megaphone is going to out them big time.

If Progressives are smart, instead of blocking their tax cuts, get a "grand bargain" that targets those cuts to the middle class (kill off the payroll taxes) and increase spending. If the GOP doesn't go along, it will show that they are not only hypocrites but a-hole hypocrites that hate the middle class - I can live with that going into 2016.
Last edited by playwrite; 01-13-2015 at 11:34 AM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#499 at 01-13-2015 11:30 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
Tim, you are on a roll today! This is exactly the problem many in the more prosperous areas miss completely. In far too many places, and for far too many people, there is nothing to do to get a toe-hold in this world. If you try and fail, get up, try agian and fail, eventually, you'll be looking for a boogieman. The right has one ready to go.

Why not circle back to your earlier response that govt spending could actually make all those concerns of Tim go away???
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#500 at 01-13-2015 11:33 AM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Marx & Lennon View Post
... then he killed Glass-Steagle, signed NAFTA and basically climbed the rest of the way in bed with the oligarchs. It worked ... for a while.
So he's exactly the right guy to do a mea culpa for all of us (at the time, most people thought these were good things - afterall, gave us govt surpluses, and ya know how wonderful that is for an economy ).

What, you don't think he would do this for HC and another stay in the WH? Silly you!
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite
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