Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bowser, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    As practical as any, since alt-right treated as a broad category (with better origins) should have also referenced "alienation from Republican party establishment", with plug-in details for any specific applicable group. What alt-left is supposed to be, is semantically amorphous and freer at this stage -- compared to the accumulated history that devours alt-right.

    As a potential generic label, "alt-right" seemed hopelessly constricted and damned because of Richard Spencer coining it and having once had the website. Till the more heterogeneous lot of Trump supporters / voters came along and muddled up that broad paint brush. Even when going back to the super-negative usage of "alt-right" and narrowing it down as an active movement, there's the irregular skepticism of it being regarded as rude theater as much as a legitimate monster.

    In context of that interpretation... The alt-right is a media bogeyman created by the online activity of blasphemous, slowly maturing 15 to 68 year olds behaving like frat-boys. Kind of like the more unruly members of '60s and '70s counterculture poking everything sacred in the eye ("Just give me a superficial ideological excuse to do something crazy!"). Only this time the establishment that's having its totems urinated on (by these inverted-spectrum hipsters) is a grown-up descendant of that earlier era of rebel reformers. As well as the conservative mainstream being part of the target.[*]

    Similarly, the embryo stages of a "far-out" movement for the alt-left (AKA metamodernism and other tentative attempts to fill in the placeholder) are equally open to the question: "Is this for real or just more online antics (either facetious, bizarre or extreme)?"
    -->Left Reality -->Left Reality Groups

    - - - - - - - -

    [*] Andrew Marantz: The alt-right has no consistent ideology; it is a label, like “snob” or “hipster,” that is often disavowed by people who exemplify it. The term typically applies to conservatives and reactionaries who are active on the Internet and too anti-establishment to feel at home in the Republican Party. --Trolls for Trump

    Benjamin Wallace-Wells: [...] One way to understand the alt-right is not as a movement but as a collective experiment in identity, in the same way that many people use anonymity on the Internet to test more extreme versions of themselves. Moldbug, when he stepped out from behind his pseudonym, turned out to be a Silicon Valley computer programmer who had started as a commenter in the factional circles of libertarian message boards. CisWhiteMaelstrom, who convened the pro-Trump hordes that swallowed the politics sections of Reddit, turned out to be a law student in his early twenties who was looking forward to a job in which he could make the most money possible.

    [...] as an ideology, it can be hard to take the alt-right seriously. When [Richard] Spencer named the movement, he was the managing editor of *Taki’s Magazine* [...] Its own propagandists often say they are joking. The right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, of Breitbart, himself a leading fellow-traveller, claimed that some “young rebels” are drawn to the alt-right not for deeply political reasons but “because it promises fun, transgression, and a challenge to social norms.” The alt-right exists mostly online, and so it is shrouded in pseudonyms.

    The strains that run through the alt-right [...] are in their essence not matters of substance but of style. They share with the Trump movement a haughty success theatre that complicates their populism: the alt-right’s defense of the white working class [...] is not an instance of self-preservation but of “noblesse oblige.” The two also share the instinct for provocation. “If you spend 75 years building a pseudo-religion around anything—an ethnic group, a plaster saint, sexual chastity or the Flying Spaghetti Monster—don’t be surprised when clever 19-year-olds discover that insulting it is now the funniest fucking thing in the world,” the blogger Mencius Moldbug wrote to Yiannopoulos.

    The alt-right often seems to be testing the strength of the speech taboos that revolve around conventional politics—of what can be said, and how directly. --Is the Alt-Right for Real?

    Chava Gourarie: [...] it’s unclear that the alt-right “movement” even qualifies as one. Because of the nebulous nature of anonymous online communities, nobody’s entirely sure who the alt-righters are and what motivates them. It’s also unclear which among them are true believers and which are smart-ass troublemakers trying to ruffle feathers. [...] The nature of such communities is that it is almost impossible to know whether they are actually ideological, or making noise for the thrill of the response. [...] Shapiro says the vast majority of alt-righters are motivated less by ideology than by an itch to instigate. They like Trump because of his ability to get away with the kind of speech they revel in. [...] On the internet, whoever is loudest or best at animating the Twitter hordes wins for the moment [...] The media has to respond to the alt-right’s antics, but by responding we’re playing directly into their hands. [...] if the primary purpose of the alt-right is to provoke, then attention is their life force, and media attention their fuel. [...] “Getting a journalist to repeat a racist meme is part of the game,” says Whitney Phillips, the author a book about 4chan and troll subcultures called *This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things*. “It’s part of the goal.” --How he ‘alt-right’ checkmated the media
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The "alt right" is just the latest rebranding of the dittohead / tea party / crowd - the yap dog squad of the Republican Party core support. They have to move around a lot to get away from the smell of what they said last year, and need new aliases regularly.
    There is no such thing. Like the often referred to but never seen left wing equivalent of Fox News, or the mythical leftwing equivalent of the cabal of rightwing "think tank" propaganda backers (American Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, etc), it does not and never will exist.

    The term is necessary so that news media figures can say the words "both sides" when reporting on the latest bedshitting by somebody in the alt right.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Briefly, it seems to me that as with so many other things, the more conservative one's framework gets on these questions, the more general and less useful the purported equivalence becomes. An example is the word hit. Like being kids, that punch on the arm between friends. Okay, so ... you hit me. And if I run you over with a Buick, I hit you, so don't complain. See, just like when you were being friendly and hit me. As long as we stop at "hit", I get to at least try to assert equivalence.

    I know, I know.

    I think if we can find, within the Democratic structure, a similar population as proportion to influence body politic ... well, okay, I doubt we can. Even still, though, I just don't see how they would be similar to the alt-right except by the most general descriptions: X number as a proportion of Y participants demonstrate Z influence is one, but like I said I doubt it's there. Still, though, when we get down to function, the ideological and behavioral (supremacist and selfish) equivalent on the Left are the people we keep chained in the library. Seriously, the occasional fits of anti-Semitism and internecine class (ethnoracial and sexist) warfare among industrialized-world leftists are embarrassing enough―the days of the union boss' last name indicating who gets the jobs are supposed to be over, &c.―that it's hard to imagine why we might wish to showcase our errors, omissions, and failures.

    But that's the other thing: If I'm a cynical, Machiavellian capitalist who thinks I can sell people a bunch of shit while pitching ethnoracial and sexist deviltry, why wouldn't I?

    The idea that it's possible doesn't mean it's happening. It is extraordinary watching people pretend they are morally acceptable while scrambling to invent a pretense that their moral unacceptability is everybody else's fault.

    They need an alt-left, just like they needed a liberal media conspiracy and mass gay bestial rape fantasies.

    The challenger, Calvin, versus the champion, Christ. The American conservative tradition wants an easier, more profitable, more personally empowering path to justification. These bogeymen they project are merely the produce of their increasing neurotic necessity.
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  7. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    From my understand on 4chan/8chan it is a term relegated to all out communist.
  8. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    You acquire "understanding" from 4chan and 8chan?

    But set that aside: you can't name a single "all out communist" in American public life, without a Google search. If it were applied to "all out communists", there would be no use for the term. Meanwhile, the man who provided the main media platform for that latest rebranding of the KKK as the new! not at all thuggish! freedom loving! independent! "alt right", Steve Bannon, is consigliore to the President Elect of the United States.

    In the world of the major media, politics, and public discourse in the US, there are no "all out communists" or anything remotely similar to them. In real life, this is how the term "alt left" is used and will continue to be used:

    The "alt right" exists, self described and self named and self-identified, as the yapdog branch of the familiar faction-of-many-names that traces its political lineage to the Confederacy and currently embodies its political future in the Republican Party, over which it has gained control.

    The "alt left" is a fictional creation of the rightwing propaganda generators, for use in "bothsides" meme applications. It does not otherwise exist. Period.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  9. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I have heard of the alt-right, they gave themselves that name. Haven't heard of the alt-left.
  10. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    And now that the term has been recognized for what it is, Republicans are trying to create a left wing equivalent for which none exists. This is yet another case where Republicans have blindly stepped in their own shit.
  11. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    If you want to understand the mind of a troll those are the places to go.

    Generally the term communist would work, I think alt-left is simply not a term to take seriously. All the communist I have met IRL simply say they are a communist, I have only seen alt left used by people that are highly questionable they are stating their real opinions, but I can say that of much of the alt-right as well.

    I don't disagree with most of this, I would say much of the alt-right are simply tea party types, and the previous incarnations of the ridiculous right, what percentage of them are simply trolls is impossible to say but if you meet one in real life they clearly are what they claim.

    I just think the alt-left is less a fiction of rightwing propaganda than simply a term created by trolls. I think you got the order backwards, it is trolls first than right wing propaganda, trolls come up with the memes and then right wing media amplifies it, and the lowest "deplorable" ranks of republicans regurgitate it rapidly producing a feed back cycle. Do the trolls that wag the dog believe their own bullshit or not, who known, who even can know, poe's law. Either way their intent is to offend and outrage, best to ignore or laugh at them, actually fight back when they do something tangible.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If you take their word for anything, you don't understand them. The "alt left" never was, and never will be, comprised of "all out communists" - or any other category of people defined in advance of its use.
    It's clearly a fiction of rightwing propaganda - it's being used by Sean Hannity and other mainstream media types, in their propaganda delivery.
    That's my order. Except I include the role of the think tanks and rightwing media operatives - the people who created the "Tea Party" in its mainstream usage, for example - at troll level. They feed the trolls, often, in the first place. Also, those "lowest ranks" of Republicans include quite a few of the mainstream media pundits and news delivery folks, White House and Congressional media reps, and so forth. They aren't "lower" than some other "higher level" we can deal with instead.

    From 8chan to Fox at prime time is one step, one level.
  13. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, the "Alt-left" is a new one for me too. I picked it up on a video. It wasn't being used by a conservative but by, I guess, a Liberal. The guy was advocating communism and white genocide--some professor at a university. I do believe there are differing degrees of radicalism on the Left. Maybe they should define who they are.
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Liberals do not advocate communism, at least not at the State level. Neither do they advocate genocide, of anybody. That's by definition, btw - you've been misled somehow.

    Liberals have long ago defined who they are in their varieties, and discussed such matters at some length for several decades now. So have most of the factions of the Left.

    There is no "alt left". That's a propaganda term with no real referent, currently employed to support the "bothsides" meme being promulgated by the media minions of the authoritarian rightwing militaristic family values political faction whose standard, technical name is not allowed on mainstream media.

    You have cooperated fully in the nameless faction's repeated relabeling of itself, each time adopting their own choice of new label and obediently agreeing to never refer to them by their old labels with the unfortunate connotations. Why not extend the same courtesy to the regular old liberals and lefties and so forth? At least you won't have to learn a new name every few years - liberals are often proud of their past associations.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    I hear he eats babies, too. And worse, says "happy holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    If I created a new word for gay, and a segment of the population was to use this word, would it not mean gay? Look some trolls use the term alt left instead of communist, get over it.

    Do you ever listen to yourself and notice that you are a left wing conspiracy crack pot, a mirror image of the right wing ones?

    Oh that reminds me of the good old days.

    Anyways fox's demographic have not drop from an average age of 68, get with the times: fox is not the center of conservative media anymore, it is like the farthest end of the human centipede feeding the elderly at the back end.
    Ophiolite likes this.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    They don't use the term "alt left" to refer to communists, however - "all out" or any other kind.

    And they don't define the term "alt left" by their use of it - Sean Hannity does, by his use of it. This week Brian Stelter is a member of the "alt left", and so are most of the other people on CNN. Next week, who knows? Not 8chan.
    A simple and obviously accurate description of the rightwing media and Republican media operations is now a "left wing" crackpot conspiracy? Hey - I must be in the alt left! Along with MSNBC and CNN and the NYT and Scientific American magazine and everybody else who noticed that the guy who provided the "alt right" with its main platform currently sits at the right hand of the incoming President, and has his ear.

    But I'm not a communist. Are you sure?

    You must have an actual, reality based refutation of something I posted there, to talk like that - maybe you could, say, point to those "higher levels" or "higher ranks" of Republicans who aren't in direct contact with Breitbart and 8chan and so forth? Just as couple of names would do - someone in the Republican media world who is a full level removed from Breitbart and Limbaugh and Hannity, who has no direct contact with anyone who has direct contact with 4chan or 8chan.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Thinking People: In Two Parts

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    How are you treating the term "thinking people"? Because there are two obvious retorts at this point, and applicability depends entirely on you.

    Either thinking people just lost the election despite winning the popular vote, or else thinking people just elected a president according to political creed that cannot justify the claims they make.

    In either case, well, we might wonder what's up.

    There is actually a political reality involved by which we acknowledge the proposition that what you and I might choose to discuss under a pretense of logic or rational consideration means nothing to certain blocs of voters.

    To wit: Anti-identification against Hillary Clinton. Accuse corruption? Elect Donald Trump. Accuse entrenched interests? Elect Donald Trump. Accuse alarming hawkishness? Elect Donald Trump. Accuse divisiveness? Elect Donald Trump.

    As we watch our conservative neighbors flail through the manufacturing process↑, it seems worth pointing out the disparity between your rhetoric and the operating reality.

    That seems more an irrational projection than supportable observation. It's not that it doesn't happen, but I would also point out that, in the American context, you use the word "Left" as a Republican would.

    And again, we see that in conservative terms: How is the individual mandate, conceived by the Heritage Foundation and first introduced to Congress by nineteen Republicans and a conservative Democrat a leftist or liberal concept? Ask the people whose civil rights Democrats have been bargaining from a tower of privilege just how leftist or even liberal the crime policies of the nineties were. Ask how many people whose life's work has been virtually destroyed by economic collapse just how leftist or even liberal Bill Clinton was in signing the Glass-Steagal repeal, or the Democrats in helping pass it. The welfare "reform" package.

    There is no active "Left" in American federal politics, and very little of it anywhere else in elected office throughout these United States. Warren and Sanders are as close as we get; Democratic voters just chose the centrist.

    You forget that the "Left fails on this score" by failing to get elected and pass the laws. That is to say, that "the Left fails on this score", includes the implication that by failing to convince people right of "the Left" to join "the Left", "the Left" drives those people rightward.

    Attend the last thirty-six years of American politics. Or even further back, the last forty-eight. And then I would invoke a critique I postured against my Sanders-supporting friends and neighbors: Convince me that Americans would vote for it. One of the reasons the Democratic Party runs so centrist is that it gets its ass kicked whenever it breaks leftward. Over the long term, the response―centrist moderation―has proven problematic in its own right, and one of the challenges going forward in the wake of this disastrous cycle is figuring out what to do about that. Because if you've attended the last half-century of American politics, and especially the Reagan period and after, you will find it very difficult to argue that what Democrats should have done is break hard left.

    So to your larger point: If a conservative accuses a Democrat of being extreme for refusing to expand state-sponsored discrimination, and the voters elect the discrimination-advocating Republican instead, then how did "the Left" fail?

    The narratives we hear at this point about why people voted for Trump don't add up except for the alt-right and other supremacist arguments. Voters in Kentucky, over the last two elections, have chosen anti-ACA candidates and then freaked out at the prospect of losing their Obamacare; when asked why they voted that way, we get two answers: They either say they didn't think the candidate was serious about repealing the ACA, or tell us they were voting against marriage equality. And remember, Democrats backed up for years; Bill Clinton not only signed DoMA, he did so when he could have made a principled stand and said, "Override my veto". And it's very likely Congress would have, with plenty of Democratic participation; the bill that landed on Clinton's desk already had an overide margin, so the only hope would have been that a veto might shame a sufficient number of Democrats into rolling leftward, and there was exactly no reason under the sun to expect that would (A) happen, or (B) hold even it somehow did.

    Historically, these "Left"/Right electoral narratives don't hold. Consider 2010, a right-wing midterm triumph. Voters ostensibly rewarded Republican intransigence by electing more Republicans to further subvert the nation's economic recovery. Except what voters tell us is that they voted for jobs and economy. Which is what Republicans tell us, too. Which is why we with Democratic Party sympathies have a joke that goes, "Jobs, jobs, jobs, j'abortion". Because the next thing state Republicans did was spend their time aiming to subvert the ACA by essentially doing nothing while passing record numbers of anti-abortion laws while Congressional Republicans did everything they could to foil Obama for the fact of being a Democrat, a black man, and President of the United States―how dare he!

    Conservatives, whether they know it or not, increasingly depend on ego defense. The idea is that conservatives are somehow exempt from double-effect. Like I say of Trump voters, it's either what they want or else they're okay with it.

    The scale of Trump's betrayal of his voters is beyond belief, but only if we take these voters' post hoc pretenses at face value. To the one, sure, I get that some might be a bit surprised at Mnuchin in particular, but the idea that a real estate man would put a real estate banker in an important financial position shouldn't be surprising at all. One can only feel betrayed according to their previous expectation:

    But the prospect of Mnuchin leading the Treasury Department prompted Colebrook and other OneWest borrowers who say they unfairly faced foreclosure to contact The Associated Press. Colebrook wishes she could meet with Trump to explain why she feels betrayed by his Cabinet selection after believing that his presidency could restore the balance of power to everyday people.

    "He doesn't want the truth," she said. "He's now backing his buddies."

    (Boak and Horwitz↱)

    It's a difficult question: What does that paraphrase actually mean, "restore the balance of power to everyday people"? Still, though: Really? Donald Trump? He is an emblem of vapid sales pitch and Amerocapitalist greed and corruption.

    How does that work, then?

    Or the Kentucky ACA operative who helped push her county's uninsured rate from twenty-five to ten percent, who voted for Trump because she didn't think he would actually go after Obamacare↱; did she really think Republicans won't hand him a bill, or that he wouldn't sign it when they do? Even harder to understand is the family with immediate looming need↱; that latter is a painful interview to read: "You're scaring me now," explains voter Debbie Mills, "on the insurance part."

    Unfortunately, it's kind of a scary situation; as Reuters↱ put it earlier this month: "Obamacare repeal could take months; replacement, years".

    "I always just thought," Mills explained to Vox, "if he changed it, it would be that it would be some other form of health insurance that he would have". And as reporter Sarah Kliff assured her: "During the debates, Trump was the one saying, ‘I'm going to cover everybody.’"

    Debbie Mills is "afraid now that the insurance is going to go away and we're going to be up a creek".

    Yeah. That's kind of the problem. Tell me about it.

    Or, rather, tell her. Or did the reporter drive this voter rightward, somehow, simply by asking?

    ―End Part I―
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Thinking People: Part the Second

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    Meanwhile, this wasn't a question of interpretations even in the tenuous context American conservatives have relied on for a quarter-century, at least. This time everything was front and center, and supporters either backed it or did everything they could to look, listen, and talk around it. And those latter aren't driven rightward by "lazy generalisation" that isn't specifically lazy and does, in fact, have significant historical corroboration. If they believe in right and proper ideas, then why are they ashamed? That is to say, they are offended by the question of supremacism either because they know supremacism is wrong or else they simply aren't offended and are putting on a pretense for the benefit of those who will still afford them such credibility. The credulous aside, these voters are most likely aware of just how strange it sounds when the proud bigot acknowledges his bigotry and asserts it proudly. As a general rule, human beings in civilized society are capable of discerning certain obvious valences of antisocial behavior. Politico, for instance, calls the supremacists in my region, the Pacific Northwest, "America's worst racists"°, and therein you can find a proud bigot; and, no, I don't think it extraordinary to suggest that most people can perceive antisocial aspects about such behavior.

    And that's why ego defense, an observable psychological process that is, indeed, perfectly human and normal in and of itself, comes into it.

    For instance, if I propose to you a rural heterosexual-identifying male engaging sexual intercourse and, subsequently, "dating" behavior with another rural heterosexual-identifying male as an affirmation of their heterosexual masculinity, and, furthermore, the language of "internalized heterosexism, participation in other-sex marriage and childberaring", as well as "cultural incentives" that leave them feeling "incapable or fearful of honestly answering questions about identity" keeps coming up in the data, would you suggest the conflict―

    Whatever else is going on here, clearly these men are getting some companionship out of these relationships. It isn't just about sex if you make a point of getting coffee, and especially if you spend nights together, go shopping or out to dinner, and so on. But there are sturdy incentives in place for them to not take that step of identifying, or identifying fully, as gay or bi. Instead, they frame their bud-sex, even when it's accompanied by other forms of intimacy, in a way that reinforces their rural, straight masculinity.


    ―arises from liberal or conservative, progressive or traditionalist, societal values? Do you think the appearance of contradiction has more to do with ego defense or "lazy generalisation"? In which case, the question becomes what lazy generalization? Are lazy Leftists being too general about the idea that two men dating and fucking counts as homosexual? Here's another one: Are lazy Catholics being too general about the proposition of fundamental contradiction and the question of a square circle?

    What I'm getting at is that your generalized rhetoric might sound good from afar, but it doesn't match the living detail of what is actually happneing. And that's where ego defense comes in. It is, for instance, a far cry from the equivalence of racism and domestic violence, but when we get into the question of ego defense, displacement such as the question of why do you make me do this, or intellectualization, rationalization, and projection in order to skip the question and simply argue that you force me to do this therefore I am doing good, it is true that much disdainful, antisocial behavior starts to look very, very similar. Perhaps you are familiar with a particular bit of machismo that predates my youth, and, even if you're older than I am, yours as well: One guy wants a fight with another so he picks him out. They square off, the other does not back down. The one then says, "Okay, go ahead. Throw the first punch." And if you're the other, you're standing there thinking, "Uh, dude, you wanted this fight. What gives?"

    Toward which point I would remind of the last eight years, Obamanoia, and how all the right-wing demonstrations of firearm force―can you imagine how poorly Trump and his supporters will take it if they arrive at an event to be greeted by thousands of liberal protesters bearing rifles and signs about refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of revolution?―and insurrectionist rhetoric was predicated on absurd presumption of government violation? The whole point is that traditional supremacy is over, these people are disenchanted, and now they want out, but they're patriots, so their revolt must be forced on them by everyone else.

    When it was anyone else acting that way, society just called them crazy.

    But these people don't want to be treated the way they treated other people, so now everyone needs to redefine words in order to make them comfortable.

    Pointing to the American history of supremacism in conservative ideology is not some lazy generalization, and the thing about ego defense is that it's what wrongly-decided people do when they know they're wrong but don't want to change course.

    And, quite honestly, just like I would suggest it isn't liberal values compelling rural men having gay relationships with one another to desperately seek some way to describe such behavior as an affirmation of heterosexual masculinity―which it is in a way that will make them feel no better about themselves, because it makes the question of their hetero- or homo-sexuality exactly irrelevant―I honestly don't think it's lazy leftist generalization compelling people who want racist outcomes without being labeled as racist to adopt justifying rhetoric.


    ° Casey Michel↱ of Politico:

    To be sure, the Northwest Front represents a fringe campaign, a minority of a minority seeking to expunge the Pacific Northwest of any color but white. According to Harold Covington, the group's leader, the union of Washington State, Oregon, Idaho and western Montana would be "kind of like the white version of Israel. I don't see why the Jews are the only people on Earth that get their own country and everyone else has to be diverse." Covington knows precisely what he's gone in for: "Of course it's racism. What's wrong with racism? It's the purist form of patriotism" ....

    .... But don't think Covington's claims—that he can flip the vertiginous Northwest into an autarkic ethno-state—are novel. Rather, Covington tapped into a racist longing that has long festered in this part of the country, a tide of American history that's never been properly addressed. From its earliest American outset, the Pacific Northwest was long meant to be a land for the white caste. "Whites Only" writ large.

    Boak, Josh and Jeff Horwitz. "Trump voter lost home, blames incoming Treasury secretary". The Big Story. 2 December 2016. 29 December 2016.

    Kliff, Sarah. "Why Obamacare enrollees voted for Trump". Vox. 13 December 2016. 29 December 2016.

    Kliff, Sarah and Byrd Pinkerton. "This Trump voter didn't think Trump was serious about repealing her health insurance". Vox. 13 December 2016. 29 December 2016.

    Michel, Casey. "Want to Meet America's Worst Racists? Come to the Northwest". Politico. 7 July 2015. 29 December 2016.

    Singal, Jesse. "The Phenomenon of 'Bud Sex' Between Straight Rural Men". Science of Us. 18 December 2016. 29 December 2016.

  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Since 1980, the Democratic Party breaks rightward because it gets its ass kicked whenever it tries to hold the center. Then the center moves to the right. Rinse and repeat.
    Not at all. It's a common observation, with a hell of a lot of support, and made by people whose track record otherwise was very good:
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Fair 'nuff; I can meet you on that one.

    I'll disagree with you, there, because I pay attention to electoral outcomes. For some reason, all that allegedly liberal sentiment doesn't translate to votes. I've long espoused a thesis having to do with the idea of liberalism being more complicated, and therefore conservative appeals to emotion are that much more effective―e.g., they're coming for your ... wallet? Bible? guns? children? I know, it doesn't sound right, but even this year we have evidence of it. Just like last year, Kentucky voters are fretting over the ACA because they didn't really mean to vote against it, they were just all fired up about supremacism.

    Just for shits and giggles: Do you think I would be any more satisfied if we had sent Bernie and he actually lost the popular vote?

    Because I don't understand what miracle you're thinking would have occurred compared to the history of electoral outcomes. Think of it this way: Voters in my state complained about insurance networks; the discourse raised an "any willing provider" initiative that would "let you keep your doctor"; insurance companies directly threatened to jack rates if voters supported this initiative, not even bothering with the usual business pretenses―this was a threat of retribution.

    Naturally, voters hesitated: Well, if it's going to raise our rates ....

    So we voted against it.°

    We just did it again, a couple years ago, with the idea of an income tax on wealth. People who wouldn't be paying an income tax voted against the income tax because they didn't want to pay an income tax. And our tax fairness is among the nation's most regressive; it's freaking abysmal how we're running the state on money from the hand-to-mouth crew.

    Gay marriage, remember, went something like four for thirty-eight at the ballot box, with only three outright wins and two half-victories, one of which was undone at the ballot box and the other pushed to outright victory in the legislature.

    Right to work laws in Indiana didn't just materialize ex nihilo.

    And so on. The Blue Dog Caucus wasn't just for a lark, and Ivins is as wonderful as many bright lights in our literary history, but the intervening years have reminded a few things about polling sentiment and what happens at the polls.

    Problem is, I don't know what to tell Democrats about the market dynamic. To the other, President Obama checked in on local elections, so, yeah, I'm rather quite relieved to hear someone of influence discussing the issue.


    ° I think that was the same year voters in the county where I lived canceled Emergency Medical Services funding. The next morning those triumphant voters got angry and demanded the public trust let them take a mulligan, so that's what we did, and I think it was in early February that we held another vote.
  22. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    It hasn't been tried since Reagan, and hasn't been tried seriously since Lyndon Johnson bowed out.

    Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale were both conservative, center-right candidates, for example. So was Kerry. So was Gore.

    As Ivins pointed out, both Parties are solidly to the right of the polling center of the US public on most major issues.
    And that, of course, was in the context of the Dems trying to sell a rightwing kludge first proposed under Nixon, formalized under Dole in 1993, and jacked into the Democratic Party by the ever-beloved Clintons.

    That is not a penalty for breaking left. That is getting beat on the side issues after breaking right on the main show, and partly because the Dems look like corrupt and compromising weasels when they do that.
    And corrupt, compromising weasels are not trusted to defend people against insurance companies making threats.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
    ElectricFetus likes this.
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    ... and I give a fuck about Sean Hannity why?

    Yeah except rightwing media is not some coherent single minded operation. Breitbart for example is not Fox News. You assume malevolence when stupidity and greed does well enough. People like Alex Jones don't spout their crazy because he is working for some single minded conservative group, no he is just spout crazy to make a buck off the gullible. Do you honestly think the rightwing intended for the likes of Trump to take over? No their creation, the former tea party has grow out of their control and now they are simply along for the alt-right ride.

    I was not asking if you are, nor do I care.

    You know the people on /pol say the same thing about jews, "Show me a area of power that does not have jews in it! The jew is connect to everything!" Connections mean nothing unless you can prove maleficence, for example Russia to Trump, sure we would like their to be a connection, but without proof, we got nothing. Obama kicking out all the Russian diplomats better have something to show for it!

    I think what your pointing out, and I remember Al Franken making this comparison in one of his books, is that when it comes to economics both parties are pretty far on the right, social issues is where the divide is.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

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