Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Where the hell is Informant? Now I have to do his job for him.

I identify as liberal. That said, never have I been more aware of the massive gulf between holding liberal views and being a Democrat. It'd be easy to consider Republicans and anyone who's conservative to be men's right activists and neo-Nazis who are so delusional loyal to alt-right dogma (while denying any of those labels, goodness) that they make scam artist Donald Trump their standard bearer, a man who makes Chevy Chase seem well-adjusted. That said... liberals (Democrats?) are in no way immune to this.

I found a Trump/Russian coordination plausible myself given how Russia seemed determined to support the Trump campaign. But Mueller's report has come in and it hasn't been released, but if it didn't offer evidence or an indictment to collusion, then it indicates another likely truth: that (a) the Russian government had no need to coordinate their assistance with the Trump campaign in order to assist it (b) the Trump campaign passively benefiting from Russian interference is not a crime and (c) that maybe Russian agents wouldn't be so foolish as to make any sort of agreement with Trump, a man notorious for being unable to stop from bragging about affairs that should be kept secret.

Rachel Maddow in her Trump exposes (which didn't expose much) looked like a shining beacon of resistance; now she continues to bleat that the Mueller report has been censored and she just looks ridiculous. If there were a smoking gun in there, it would have come out in the indictments of the probe and because Mueller isn't the sort to permit his work to be misrepresented.

It would have been awesome to expose Trump as a Russian agent if he actually were one, but if he isn't, then this isn't an avenue worth pursuing and it makes Democrats look as deranged as their FOX News/Alex Jones counterparts for continuing to chase after something that clearly doesn't exist. Men are often declaring that no one should ever acknowledge defeat, but knowing when you are beaten isn't a weakness. Actual weakness would be continuing to contribute time, energy and resources to a route that has proven unproductive no matter how worthwhile it seemed at the outset. There's no shame in knowing when you're beaten and finding another battle.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Where the hell is Informant? Now I have to be here to express my frustration with Joe Biden, a potential Democratic nominee for 2020. If he runs and wins the nomination, it will be another indication of how Democrats aren't really liberals at all. I don't think Biden is a rapist, but he is a harasser. And I don't think it's with malice: he, like me, was born to a culture that commodifies women's bodies as possessions for men's pleasure.

Like Biden, I grew up thinking that it was flattering to women to lay hands on them to indicate appreciation, that it was acceptable to touch hips and shoulders and legs and hair and backs without permission because, in this asinine belief system, it indicated regard for the female form.

Unlike Biden, this only lasted from age 18 - 24 for me at which point I started to befriend a lot of women who described their rage and violation from such behaviour; how it made them feel like their permission and autonomy didn't exist; how it made them feel powerless and furious with the world around them declaring them insane or easily offended for wanting control of their own bodies and the power to decide who touches them and who doesn't. I heard and understood and mended my ways.

I imagine that, like Biden, at some point, women whose space I've invaded will come out with their accusations. Unlike Biden, I wouldn't offer a meaningless ramble about lack of malicious intent in response. The best thing to do in these circumstances is confess, apologize, admit our lack of concern and respect for others, directly acknowledge the harm we’ve caused to women and their self-esteem and sense of self-ownership, note our upbringings and how such behaviour is not inherent to our natures and we can change, indicate that upbringings aren't excuses for mistreating others, accept whatever professional and personal consequences will result and hope that friends and co-workers and employers will understand that we're not who we used to be except Biden remains exactly who he used to be and should not represent liberal values, wokeness, democracy, democrats or the Democratic Party. Ugh.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Where the hell is Informant? Now I have to be him and I have to be him in my way.

So, it looks like Joe Biden is on track to win the Democratic nomination. Dear God.

I think that as human beings and politicians go, Biden is better than the worst. However, his electoral message and vision is naive, flawed and stupid. Biden declares that Trumpism is an aberration, a temporary shift in the culture of the American identity. That is simply not true: Trumpism arose because Americans are suffering from some of the worst health care and education systems in the world, a horrific inadequacy of social services and the overall collapse of the middle class with severe income inequality.

Americans are ensickened by pollution and burdened with bankruptcy-inducing medical bills and disappearing jobs that, even when found, are insufficient to pay rent and buy food. Trumpism tapped into this agony by proposing that all these social, economic and environmental ills be blamed on anyone who isn't Caucasian.

Biden may put a friendlier, kinder face on a broken system, but he would simply mark time until the next Trump-esque figure emerged and consolidated discontent into power. If Democrats aren't prepared to address the ills of society that led to this situation, then even a Biden victory over Trump is simply a palliative that doesn't treat the underlying causes.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

ireactions wrote:

Biden declares that Trumpism is an aberration, a temporary shift in the culture of the American identity. That is simply not true: Trumpism arose because Americans are suffering from some of the worst health care and education systems in the world, a horrific inadequacy of social services and the overall collapse of the middle class with severe income inequality.

Americans are ensickened by pollution and burdened with bankruptcy-inducing medical bills and disappearing jobs that, even when found, are insufficient to pay rent and buy food. Trumpism tapped into this agony by proposing that all these social, economic and environmental ills be blamed on anyone who isn't Caucasian.

Biden may put a friendlier, kinder face on a broken system, but he would simply mark time until the next Trump-esque figure emerged and consolidated discontent into power. If Democrats aren't prepared to address the ills of society that led to this situation, then even a Biden victory over Trump is simply a palliative that doesn't treat the underlying causes.

The most upsetting part of it to me is the complete lack of empathy for the other side (from either side).  When Trump was elected, one of the things I was hoping for from our society was that the Democratic Party (certainly the party that cares more about people) would realize that they'd been ignoring a big part of their base (lower income white people).  While Trump's campaign strategy was certainly racially motivated, I think one of the things he did was tell lower income white people that the Democrats didn't care about them.  And it worked because, for the last few elections, the Democrats haven't.

The Democrats took lower class white people for granted.  They assumed that, since they're in a similar situation to minorities, they'd always be a reliable part of their base.  And since it was more "cool" to campaign to minorities, to women, and to Hollywood elites, the Democrats essentially ignored the lower income white people in the Rust belt.  And Hillary lost all those states.

Unfortunately, the Democrats didn't learn.  They haven't spent the last three years trying to understand what they did wrong, re-evaluate their strategy, and get the low income white Democrats back.  Since Trump was elected, they've done....nothing?  They've been angry at Trump.  They've made some gains in Congress.  But they haven't done much else.  I don't know if they learned anything from 2016 except to blame outsiders like Russia and the GOP.

There was someone on Twitter (I think Jason Alexander) who said something like "The GOP are going to trick us into another war.  Why do they do this?  And why do we let them?"

A ton of people responded.  Almost every one of them answered the first question.  No one focused on the second one.  I think Democrats have a problem of self-reflection.  I think they're on the right side of history, but they're a little too interested in playing the victim card.  No one focuses on the fact that the Democrats didn't have a real primary in 2016 - they had a coronation (and that's not even about Bernie Sanders.  Since he was an Independent, that means zero Democrats ran against Hillary in the primary).  No one focuses on the mistakes that were made in 2016 and how to fix them.  It's all about Trump.  It's all about Russia.  Democrats might've had their house broken into and vandalized, but they haven't gone through the trouble to fix the broken door or the broken windows or paint over the graffiti.

Even with impeachment, Democrats are essentially ignoring their party's part in things.  Tons of Democrats scream "IMPEACH HIM." No one seems to be asking Democrats to do it.  There seems to be some sort of hope that Republicans will simply change their minds and impeach him themselves.  If Democrats wanted impeachment, it could be done whenever.  The Democrats don't seem to want it.  I sorta agree with them, but the people that scream "IMPEACH HIM" aren't screaming it at their own party.  They're screaming it at Republicans.

The whole thing sorta drives me crazy.  There's no empathy.  There's no real debate.  There's two sides that *hate* each other that have left the other side to burn.  And, honestly, I don't see anyone trying to recruit moderates or independents.  The Democrats and Republicans are running to their fallout shelters, requiring a loyalty oath for admission, and they're getting ready to launch their nukes.  The rest of us be damned.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

The Erica Thomas Stuff:

PREFACE - I think the "send her back" stuff is abhorrent, and I don't think any human should ever tell any other human to go back where they came from.  It's important to make all immigrants, especially minorities, feel welcome and American. 

(I shouldn't have to have this preface but I felt it necessary).

If he told her to go back to where she came from or her original country, then roast him.  We don't have room in our society for that, and if you want to say that in public, you get whatever blowback comes at you.  My problem is with two aspects of the story:

1. She's walked back enough of her statement that it might be possible that it wasn't racial at all.  It may just be an asshole who wanted to make a scene at a grocery store.  I'm almost more mad at him for yelling at her because she's pregnant than yelling at her because she's black.  If he didn't say "go back to your country" or "go back to where you came from" then I don't think that's okay either.  You can't yell fire in a crowded room for a reason.

2. Finding the truth these days is exceptionally hard.  When you have to throw out 90% of all publications because they're clearly biased one way or another (#IStandWithErica or #HateHoax), it's hard to find your center.  There are so many different versions of the story out there.  Does he not identify as being white?  Does that matter?  Is he actually an Anti-Trumper and a hardcore Democrat?  Does that matter?  Would he use Trumpy language if he hates Trump?  Does that matter?

There are real, vile, horrible racist things being done and said.  We don't need to make anything up or even give the impression that stuff is being made up.  It's way too volatile.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

This is why I like to wait. Just wait. Let the information come. Reflect upon it. Otherwise, you end up being one of those people ranting about how BATWOMAN is a disaster when it hasn’t even aired.

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Oh no, BATWOMAN IS A DISASTER???

Re: American Politics: Discuss and Debate

Yeah. I figure that anyone saying such things is clearly predisposed to dislike content without bothering to see it.

And the sad truth is, the world is not split into Republicans and Democrats and while Republicans tend to be of the "BATWOMAN will suck even though I've never seen a frame" persuasion, Democrats are just as likely to jump on a bandwagon and sometimes, those bandwagons are headed to good places and just as often, they're headed for a brick wall.