Discussion in 'The War Room' started by Trotsky, Mar 10, 2018.
Who voted serious? Winner!
Well, half winner, I was being a little OTT there. This has the same feel as the "democracy against superdelegates" thing. There is no denying that you're advocating for a populist uprising on the left, when in fact the left is doing everything it can to wrest control from a serious threat to this country, and part of that is not giving in to the proles. Yeah, elitism is a necessary evil at times. I'm not interested in some goddamn game of evenly-matched ping pong against the dipshit rednecks. I want Democratic political establishment restored and I don't want it to come at the cost of an intellectual plummet.
Assuming that those of us on the far left represent an intellectual plummet is asinine.
I figured you were somewhat serious, I remember you as one of the anti-populist center left guys during the election.
I think his gripe is more with the populist left and populism can have anti-intellectual undercurrents to it.
I don't love "the poorly educated," Homer. Not when it comes to who puts the public stamp on our values. We saw the rise of the Tea Party and what it did to the Republican party. Holy shit. I was never a GOP fan but they took something already bad and made it purely evil. That's what's coming for the Democrats too. It's not like just half of the country threw an anti-intellectual, anti-news, anti-satire tantrum. That's what America is doing as a whole. Sowing class-based distrust in the left is like sowing fact-based distrust in the right. It plays to the fringe and turns cynicism against us.
It's ironic imo that the OP acknowledges the truth about how policy favors the people who would distrust it. But it's the sort of irony that just breeds more cynicism and divide, because what is a person to do with the apparent fact that Mommy Dearest, who only wants what is best for you, thinks you suck?
Which was also a obsequious partisan argument on your part. The idea that a single member district plurality system, which is already constrained to a two-party duopoly that is coalitionist in name only, should further yet be able to hedge itself against democratic organization by picking its own representatives is ludicrous. This isn't a parliamentary system where abuse of discretion can be curbed by loss of electoral market share: it's a captive market.
I have advocated for populist uprisings before, but this is not one of those times: this topic is advocating for an end to counterproductive classist dialogues that have been the bane of the Democratic message for at least two decades. This is distinct from the corrupt bureaucratic inflexibility of the Democratic Party which you seem to be inserting into the discussion as well.
As far as what "the left" is doing, I think your appraisal is spurious. The left as in socialist organizations, pro-labor organizations, and the like have been operating at full capacity for three years, both outside and within the Democratic tent. Meanwhile, the Democrats have undermined those grassroots organizations and tried to insulate the Party from them every step of the way, opting instead to throw their lot in with pro-business candidates and keep touting the "OMG Trump" platform instead of honestly confronting the populist concerns that made Trump viable.
It may be necessary to you, but it sure as shit isn't necessary in any utilitarian sense if recent history is to show us anything. The Democrats just got their asses handed to them by the Trump GOP. At what point was that outcome mitigated by only a necessary dose of elitism?
What defines the restoration of the Democratic political establishment? A return to the neoliberal consensus that made Trump and his band of merry assholes palatable in the first place?
And what defines an "intellectual plummet." Is highbrow condescension really that central to your standards of intellectualism?
What if I think everyone sucks, though? Not equally, of course.
The worst part about the centrist types is the total inconsistency in their approach. They shit on principle (be it pro-democracy, pro-equality, or pro-transparency) in the name of expediency, and then turn and shit on expediency when it threatens private capital or, as they would term it it, some illusory intellectual standard.
I mean, how many times has it been shown that the "center left," the great arbiter of civil discourse, will resort to the exact same tactics as the far-right when equity is threatened? And we're supposed to defer to their paternalistic dictates?
@Trotsky smacked off @Fawlty's kufi in this thread
@HomerThompson as well
I agree that @Fawlty misread the OP, ie you are correct that the arrogance of the left is a mistake.
I think you have it wrong here though. It’s not a question of dismissing your values in the name of expediency. Not one bit.
Why is an avid pro market person like myself squarely aligned with the Democrats? Because I am supportive of the values around rational policy making that aims to maximize the utility of a nation’s citizens.
And by any reasonable interpretation of reality that requires govts as mandated by democratic power to have activist policies that both shape, alter, and at times, work in direct opposition to market forces.
Republicans want to cut taxes and regulation while hiding behind identity, which is a form of crass populism.
While not wanting to speak for Fawlty, I believe he is talking about the dangers of left populism, which although much more intellectual that the right, still falls down due to similar reasons. The policy solutions will appeal to the masses but ultimately be counter productive.
To be certain this is not “bothsideism”, I certainly think the far left has much more to contribute to the discussion, and in the context of where we are today, they can push things in the right direction. But the far left solution and even at times, tactics, still fall prey to ideological populism.
I think @Jack V Savage said it well, when he said right now the culteral right wing bias was leading to really bad nonrational decision making, but that he could see a set of circumstance where the left had the same impact.
Anyway I know we won’t agree on my interpretation of the far left, but it’s not a question of expendiaency, at least not for me, so I wanted to clear that up.
What populist concerns do you think made Trump viable, and what should be done to confront them? I suspect a big mistake coming here.
To avoid right-wing libertarian-style argumentation, I'll say upfront that any major-party candidate is viable in a general election (the real indication of rot was Trump winning the primary, and the reason for that is that right-wing thought no longer has any coherent content--it's just anger) and that the primary concern that vote switchers had was a rising minority population. If you want more pandering to populists, what that entails in practice is veiled appeals to racial resentment. The other approach is to take the short-term hit while speaking the truth (not classicism, but confronting backward, dumb cultural ideas head on).
What's the connection between neoliberalism and Trump in your mind? Is neoliberalism also to blame for Reagan, Quayle, and W?
Not one person shits on principle in the name of expediency. That's a completely dishonest way to frame the disagreement. Other people think that it violates their principles to tolerate putting people like Trump or Ryan in power in order to win some minor internal struggle. I said it to rich leftists in 2016 that *you* may turn out fine amid the chaos, but a lot of real people are going to be hurt while you think that your political allies learn a useful lesson, and it's pretty damned callous to say that that's an acceptable price to pay.
Of course they're elitist, and successfully so. There's a reason that "redneck" is the last acceptable slur.
Without the giant smug cloud, I could become a democrat.
But that's kind of like saying I'd play pro basketball as long as no black people are on the court.
Stagnant wages, expropriation of rural capital and decline of rural living standards, loss of employee voice in the workplace, growing personal debt eclipsing savings, extinction of defined benefit plans and reallocation of retirement burdens onto employees, continued escalation of healthcare costs, massive exportation of tax dollars in the form of privately-equipped trillion-dollar wars, deterioration of post-industrial neighborhoods.These are phenomena of the neoliberal era.
The mere equation of right-populism to racism, as reductive as I might well believe it to be, is nevertheless entirely irrelevant to what is being discussed: classist rhetoric that is distinct from any racial animus.
See: liberals trying to excuse figures like Clinton and Schumer furthering objectively illiberal policies or positions like that abhorrent anti-BDS bill or failing to take a stance on the corporate, environmental, and police abuse aspects of the NODAPL events, and claiming it's pragmatism without ever explaining the pragmatic end. Or excusing violent international policies on some vague policy of deference to the knowledge of political office. The entirety of the conservative Democratic faction is stonewalling criticism of inexcusable policy.
This only holds if "rich leftists" had led the downfall of the Democrats' chances. But they demonstrably didn't (showing more than twice the percentage of Clinton primary voters defected to McCain (25%) than Sanders supporters defected to Trump (11%)). What you want to unqualified subservience and wholesale immunity of criticism, lest you thereafter leverage revisionist moral criticism for your centrists' failures.
The right has a monopoly on internet memes. The left can't meme worth a shit.
The left has a monopoly on Hollywood and news organizations, but the right has Fox news which is the most watched news channel. Probably because it has no competition.
And none of those things can be tied to support for Trump, who is pushing all of them in the wrong direction. This whole line of thought appears to just be an exercise in confirmation bias. All the bad things in politics from your perspective aren't linked to each other.
What I'm saying is that if you want Democrats to pander to uneducated whites in the Midwest and South, what it entails in practice is playing to racial resentment. As others have said, this is not a new issue; it's just a matter of finding trade-offs you can live with.
Some of what you're referring to is just differences of opinion. But the broader point is that the argument is more about whether pushing too far will cause a loss and a backward movement or whether it's more likely to lead to victory. Tactical rather than a matter of differing end goals, and there is principle on both sides of it. As I see it, deliberately supporting putting Trump and Ryan in power to send some kind of a message to their opponents that they should be more extreme reflects a disgusting set of principles.
It holds if any of that is a difference maker (and are you counting stay-homes?). You recall that McCain didn't win the election.
@HomerThompson Ford dog this man.
For real, though, the left is much better at memes, by virtue of the fact that the left is younger and smarter.
Also, academics, scientists, economists, musicians.
Also, the "leftist news organizations" shit needs to stop. No such monopoly exists to any reasonable extent.
It's incredible how right-skewing news in America is, and yet still the American right cries foul because outlets are blatantly propagandizing and editorializing like Fox News.
Are you serious? All of those tie into Trump's support and all stem from neoliberalism.
You summarily writing off it off as "an exercise in confirmation bias" shows that your solicitation of the reasons in the first place was not made in good faith
What I'm saying is that you can delouse your message of classism without engaging in racism and without pandering to racial resentment. I do not understand why "don't be classist pricks" must translate to "be racist" to you.
You'll have to clarify "deliberately supporting putting Trump and Ryan in power."
Also, you could say the same ("disgusting set of principles") for those who would leverage the retention of marginal gains for persons they otherwise don't care about and scantly consider just so that attainment of more meaningful gains for more persons (domestically and abroad) doesn't jeopardize their own economic or political power. For those on the left that could have made a moral judgment on the humanitarian distance between Clinton and Trump, and decided it was modest enough to be worth reforming the Democratic Party away from neoliberalism, I hold no ill will.
Memes from the left just aren't funny. Check the meme thread as evidence.
Try seeing beyond your U.S. bias. The Canadian media, for example, is basically a left-wing echo chamber. The CBC, which is funded by tax-payers, is constantly pushing left-wing propaganda. The left has Canada by the balls.
I am not Canadian, so I have no concept of Canadian news.
But LOL @ "the left has Canada by the balls." Harper was basically GWB and Trudeau is GWB wrapped in a rainbow flag.
To the extent the left-right spectrum only concerns being nice to brown people and LBGTQ citizens, I believe you that it's an echo chamber.
To the extent that that identity politics obsession is about 1% of what should reasonably define leftism, I call bullshit. I'm sure if you guys had a strong social democratic candidate, she or he would get the same shitty treatment from the corporate media that Corbyn got in the UK and Sanders got in the US.
Separate names with a comma.