Closing Thought–04Oct17

Who Is The Alt-Right?

A new term that has appeared on the American political landscape…..alt-Right.

Basically is an attempt by some to give the hate mongers like KKK, Neo-Nazis, skin heads, et al a more respectable title.

Call them what we may a hate filled douche is a hate filled douche.

But if you are interested then I have a source for you…..

With the rise in public visibility of far-right-wing militants in the U.S. following the events in Charlottesville, much of the public is scrambling to understand just what this movement is and what forces are driving it. With much of the public discussing strategies for how best to fight right-wing extremism, the need for constructive solutions is greater than ever.

First and foremost, it’s important to point out that public support for far-right extremists is miniscule. The vast majority of Americans reject this movement’s violence and hatred. According to a Marist survey from the summer of 2017, just 4 percent of Americans said they support “white supremacy movement” or “white nationalism.” Similarly, just 6 percent embraced the term “alt-right.” Still, there is a legitimate concern that support for right-wing bigotry may grow in the future if left unchecked.

Source: Who Are the “Alt-Right”? – The Unz Review

Hopefully that filled in some blanks for people that were not sure what the Hell was meant when alt-Right is used.

Advertisements

The American Left: Wrong About Everything?

Since my early days in politics I have been what some call a “Lefty”…..but that by NO means implies that I am a liberal……and since they are equating liberal with progressive then I am not one of them either.

I have had harping that the Left has done many things wrong in the last 50 years and the problem is they learn nothing by each of their failures.

I read a good article in the LA Progressive about this feeling of mine…..

For lots of people like me, the world has been turned on its head over the last few years. In fact, the whole damn century thus far has been pretty puzzling.

We started out by electing the village idiot as our leader, a rich man’s kid who had demonstrated little in the way of intelligence or competence in anything he’d ever done up to that point. Then we re-elected him despite the fact that he had, in his first term, invaded the wrong country in response to a big terror attack he’d neglected to prevent, having been on vacation the entire month preceding those assaults on New York and the Pentagon.

He bungled another more natural disaster in New Orleans and nearly oversaw the tanking of the global economy before he was sent on his way to retirement.

Then we elected a black guy, telling ourselves that we were, by so doing, turning ourselves into a “post-racial” society, at last. What happened instead, however, was that the ugly racist underbelly of the nation rolled over exposing that obscene white belly to the light of day.

Source: The American Left: Wrong About Everything? – LA Progressive

The Left needs to find a niche, there is one there, they just do not want to embrace it.

It is time for the US to have two distinct parties not two entities that are merely the different sides of the same coin.  We need a battle of ideas not a slap fight of slogans.

Both parties are a mess…..and yet we will elect another troll from within their ranks….weep for the country!

Trumpocracy

I realize that there are some that will refute stuff about Trump….they will come to his rescue whenever something negative is written or uttered.

But put hero worship aside and one will see clearly the creeping authoritarianism 0f the Trump admin……

Below is a long piece but it does track all the moves made by the Trump admin….bears reading in full…..

Is Donald Trump a threat to democracy? From his executive orders targeting immigrants to his personal attacks on federal judges and his demonization of the media as the “enemy of the American people,” the 45th president’s actions and behavior have alarmed political observers of allstripes. Below is a running timeline (in reverse chronological order) tracking Trump’s numerous displays of authoritarian tendencies, beginning from the day he was sworn in. Check back regularly for updates.

Source: Trumpocracy: Tracking the Creeping Authoritarianism of the 45th President – Mother Jones

I am not positive that American will be great again under this administration……so far everything done has been for the benefit of the Trump empire and not this country.

You Really Want Change?

Every election the news is that the people of this country are looking for change in DC…..and yet they vote for the same tired people that do nothing of value in governing….

In the early days of this blog….well it was titled “Studies and Observations” back in those days…..I was writing a lot about politics and elections….I even wrote about what I saw as the need for a successful third party……(from 2006)

The US there has been lots of third parties and candidates, but most have been unsuccessful because many reason. The following is, in my opinion, a recipe for a third party to be used if it wants to be successful in its endeavors. For years these parties have been plagued by a one issue platform, or a weak leader or other problems that have help it be defeated in the polls.

Source: Successful Third Party – In Saner Thought

So far the necessities have not been met for a successful third party…..so I thought I would approach it from a different slant….

Most Americans want change….can we agree on that?

Then maybe a little research into our past would give us an idea how to achieve that change.

Maybe a good place to begin would be the election of 1912……

The 1912 presidential election showcased four impressive candidates who engaged in a remarkable debate about the future of American politics. Besides William Howard Taft, the incumbent Republican president, the campaign was joined by Eugene Debs, the labor leader from Indiana, who ran on the Socialist Party ticket; the irrepressible Theodore Roosevelt, who bolted from the GOP and ran as the champion of the Progressive Party; and Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic governor of New Jersey, who was elected president. All four candidates acknowledged that fundamental changes were occurring in the American political landscape, and each attempted to define the Progressive Era’s answer to the questions raised by the new industrial order that had grown up within the American constitutional system.

Source: Why the Election of 1912 Changed America

If you read the above reference then you will see that all candidates saw the changes coming in this country…..and changes are occurring in this country again……

What we need is more independents winning elections…..if they could get into the Senate and deny a 50 majority then there would be room for compromise…all it would take is 5  true independents…..then the House…..25 or 30 independents could make a difference in the voting and this could possibly break this damnable cycle of partisanship.

A third party would make a difference but since that is a far-fetched plan….why not just run as an independent?  I am not talking about some party member that got beat in a primary….I am talking about a true independent….a person that can see the good in liberal ideas as well as conserv ones.

If enough independents are elected in both the House and the Senate then they could control both houses….if an agenda needs to be passed then there would have to be working together….compromise would once again be in the line-up…..thus returning this country back to sanity.

Was He A Commie Spy?

I feel I must throw some history in today….to some this is a waste of time (to them I say….Sesame Street is on at 3  pm)……there have been lives ruined by the accusation of being a “Commie”…..a popular accusation from the days of the Cold War….now it has been replaced by socialist or Marxist….even liberal.

Sorry I digress.

Ever heard of the Manhattan Project?

In case you have not…it was a secret program during WW2 to develop an atomic bomb…..some of our brightest minds were part of this program and even a few old Germans that fled prosecution for crimes by working with the US under the handle of Operation Paper Clip….

One of the great minds in this program was Robert Oppenheimer, a physicist…..the reason I bring this up is because he was accused of being a communist spy during the witch hunts of McCarthy and his band of inquisitors….

But was he as accused….a spy?

The relationship of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer to communism and Soviet espionage has been a controversial subject since 1954, when the decision of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to decline renewal of his security clearance put the issue firmly into the public arena. Journalists and historians addressed the issue repeatedly in the decades that followed. Nothing fueled the liberal/left critique of the so-called “national security state” more than the supposed excesses of the US government in the Oppenheimer case, save the cases involving Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs.[1]

But while the emotional level, even shrillness, of the debate continued, the substance of the argument became increasingly stale and repetitive; there was little new evidence to clarify the ambiguities of the matter. In the last two decades, however, new evidence has emerged that, while not resolving all ambiguities and still leaving a number of details unclear, nonetheless allows confident answers to the question of whether Robert Oppenheimer was a Communist and a spy. It demonstrates that he had, indeed, been a Communist but had not been a spy.

Source: Washington Decoded: J. Robert Oppenheimer:

Many lives were ruined by the mere accusation of being a communist sympathizer…..especially when the Congress led the charge for awhile….but was he, Oppenheimer, a spy or not?

The “Fearsome” Return

The 20th century gave rise to a wealth of democratic movements….but in the last couple decades it appears that it is waning…..at first just a bit…but it seems to be getting stronger every year…..

In his brief time in the White House, US President Donald J. Trump has made a point of bestowing praise on the world’s leading autocrats. He repeatedly called Vladimir Putin a “strong leader,” described Xi Jinping as “a very good man,” said Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was doing a “fantastic job,” and lauded Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his triumph in a referendum that greatly expanded his presidential powers.

Trump’s new friends represent a rogues’ gallery of modern authoritarians.  These 21st-century strongmen are responsible for introducing an arsenal of new tactics to use against their domestic opponents, and have gone on the offensive in an effort to subvert and replace the liberal international order.

Source: Surging Autocrats, Wavering Democrats

As democratic movements wane the authoritarian movements gain strength…..and with that new found power the tactics must be fought to preserve democracy wherever it exists…..

After the spread of democracy at the end of the 20th century, authoritarianism is now rolling back democracy around the globe. In the US, supporters of democracy disarmed themselves by imagining an “end of history” in which nothing but their own ideas were possible. Authoritarians, meanwhile, keep practicing their old tactics and devising new ones.

It is time for those who support democracy to remember what activists from around the world have paid a price to learn: how to win.

Source: Authoritarianism is making a comeback. Here’s the time-tested way to defeat it | Maria J Stephan and Timothy Snyder | Opinion | The Guardian

We must attack authoritarianism where it exists……democracy must prevail.

Where Have All The Centrists Gone?

In the 11 years that I have been writing a blog I have done a series of post on….”Where Have All The _____Gone?”

The series covers many issues and topics…like antiwar protests and conservatives and so on….to illustrate my thinking there was one after the rise of the Tea Party that I wrote about conservatism…..

Source: Where Have All The Burkeans Gone? – In Saner Thought

Since the rise of the Tea Party the centrists of the past are just that…in the past….because there is no noticeable center in political thinking we have dysfunctional political system.

American politics is seeing the death of centrism — and it may be having disastrous effects.

Centrism.

It’s not a term you hear a lot in American politics today. Consider President Donald Trump. Though he’s refusing to work with Democrats, the #resist movement is demanding that Democrats don’t work with him either.

But a CNN/ORC poll from March found that 72 percent of Americans would prefer for Trump to forge bipartisan compromises on major legislation in order to bring about positive change, while 69 percent want to see Democrats work with the president. Yet statistics notwithstanding, centrism can be a death sentence for a politician

Source: Where have all the centrists gone? A look at why American politics is so dysfunctional – Salon.com

The dysfunction is because there are few centrists….people that can look at both sides of an issue and do what is right for the country….not the party.

This country needs its centrists back if we are to ever move this nation forward…..if not then we will be stuck in this endless cycle of dysfunction and sluggish opportunity.