The Political Slide Is Almost Complete

I have been watching our political system for decades and always saw some chance for a more representative government that was until 1980 and the election of Reagan wedge issues started sneaking into the discourse…..then in 1992 and the election of a corporate stooge made the slide more easily achieved…..and then 2010 arrived and the rise of the wedge issue dominance…and the slide gained momentum…..and here we are today…..a system in chaos.

Some ask why has this been allowed to flourish…..

Political inaction is the key to this devastation of our political system….

Speaking to Salon’s Chauncy de Vega about how the United States is mired in a crisis of democracy that shows parallels with Germany’s descent into Nazism during the 1930s, Norman Ornstein recently noted that “Most people don’t pay close attention, day to day, to what’s going on” in the political sphere.

Speaking just anecdotally, my guess is that Ornstein is correct.  In my experience, most people I talk to outside of my pre-existing left circles have only the foggiest notion about the specifics and meaning of current events. “The news” holds little real interest and significance for everyday Americans. And the notion of doing the work to “pay close attention, day to day,” is simply beyond the pale of imaginable life activity for most ordinary citizens in the nation that absurdly claims to be the world’s greatest democracy.

This is a problem – at least it is a problem for those who would like to live in a polity rooted in popular sovereignty and a society committed to the common good. It is an appropriate longstanding truism that democracy is impossible without an informed citizenry paying informed attention to political developments. Public knowledge is a matter of life and death, like when people learn on the radio or television that they must evacuate because a major hurricane. The political hurricane of white nationalist authoritarianism – fascism, American-style – is bearing down on the United States today (anyone who thinks it has gone away because Joe Biden is president is living in denial.)

On Mass Political Inattention

Militant ignorance is our biggest answer….

With apologies to Paul Simon, and despite all of the information available to the mortal man, there are still millions of Americans who currently believe they’re gliding down the highway when in fact they’re slip slidin’ away.

It is the root cause of our problems with China. It’s why some people don’t want to get vaccinated. It’s why some people still gleefully follow Donald Trump. It explains why Congress can’t get together in a bipartisan fashion to deal with infrastructure, health care and gun control. It’s why we have problems understanding climate change. It explains voter suppression. It’s why “critical race theory” has become controversial, why elements of our population on the left and right are at war with each other and why some believe the earth is flat and the Holocaust didn’t occur. It’s why some of us believe we’re still the “No. 1” nation in the world when — other than having the largest military — we clearly lag behind other major nations in many critical factors. More than anything else it explains why we fail.

https://www.salon.com/2021/10/28/dumbass-nation-our-biggest-national-security-problem-is-americas-vast-and-militant-ignorance/

Until the voter backs away from Facebook and Twitter this slide will continue until there is nothing left of this country but division and hatred….and we are well on the way today.

Is this the future you want?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Closing Thought–29Jan20

Ever wonder where your state fits on the graph of the smartest or the dumbest?

Well I do have an answer for you….

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maryland
  3. Colorado
  4. Vermont
  5. Connecticut
  6. Virginia
  7. Washington
  8. New Hampshire
  9. New Jersey
  10. Minnesota

Next: the 10 least educated states.

  1. Mississippi
  2. West Virginia
  3. Louisiana
  4. Arkansas
  5. Alabama
  6. Kentucky
  7. South Carolina
  8. Nevada
  9. New Mexico
  10. Tennessee

Check out how other states fared here. (These are the states with the best and worst economies.)

Sad to see that my state is once again the top of some awful societal thing…..we are the fattest, the least healthy, most littered, and now the least educated…….

WAIT!

Are not those states the ones that support Trump the the least educated that is?

Damn what a coincidence.

Just wondering

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Those Empty Slogans

Since I started this blog I have been writing about just how much I hate a politician’s empty slogans and promises.

The GOP candidates have, in the past, been the worse at silly slogans….Make America Great Again is one such bizarre and silly slogan (America has always been a great country just not so much as a society).

But since the Dems won the House I have noticed that they are starting to sling a slogan or two…..(this quote is from the WaPo that will do what it can to sabotage any progressive agenda this op-ed is a prime example)…..

Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post thinks Democrats are starting to look like the Republicans of 2016, and she doesn’t mean that as a compliment. They’re “emphasizing empty slogans instead of evidence-based policy, rejecting experts in favor of cranks, handwaving away questions about implementation, and promising that an expensive policy will magically ‘pay for itself’ through economic growth,” writes Rampell. And one of those she calls out is a fellow millennial, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, specifically over the Green New Deal championed by the new congresswoman. That policy promises to save the environment by achieving carbon-emission targets that far exceed anything on the table so far, but the plan skips over the details on how to get there, along with any sacrifices that Americans would have to make.

AOC dismisses this kind of criticism by saying the plan will pay for itself by creating jobs, but that’s not nearly good enough, writes Rampell. She finds the same kind of “lazy sloganeering” present in “Medicare-for-all,” and thinks it’s a mistake because it comes at the expense of “vibrant, nuanced debate” on health care, tax policy, and climate policy. As for the 2016 comparison, it’s true that President Trump won the White House with some “empty slogans” of his own, writes Rampell. But “right now, Democrats still retain a monopoly on expertise and evidence-based policy,” she writes. “They should not relinquish it easily.” Click for the full column, in which Rampell takes issue with the Modern Monetary Theory that’s been gaining in popularity

I agree with the main point….that with silly slogans the Dems are slowly becoming the GOP……(could it be that they also think the American people is easily swayed by moronic slogans as does the GOP?)

The with this op-ed is that to have a rigorous debate you need a willing opponent and the Dems do have have such an opponent…all they have is the GOP and their silly slogan and lies.

I suggest the WaPo needs to call out one then call out all.

In The Age Of The “Idiotarian”

The 2018 Mid-Terms are just days away and the nation is focused on the election…..the media is drumming their particular political lean on its viewers and the country keeps sliding into the abyss of tribalism.

It has been a long time coming…..the way that Repubs have divided this country along tribal lines…..and yes I blame the GOP and their hit man Newt…..he started this country’s citizens along this avenue of self-destruction.

The truth is division has always been with us…..

Hate, blame, greed, bigotry and fear have always been part of our politics.  If you doubt that, consider these statements from our second Presidential campaign in 1800, which pitted Adams against Jefferson for the second time.

Jefferson’s camp accused President Adams of having a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

In return, Adams’ men called Vice President Jefferson “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.”

As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward. Even Martha Washington succumbed to the propaganda, telling a clergyman that Jefferson was “one of the most detestable of mankind.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/11/02/haters-and-partisans-have-always-been-us-different

First it was appearance of the “Ignorati”…..a person or group that is willfully ignorant, or woefully uninformed and forces their ignorant view on others regardless of fact.

This was fed by sites, thanx to social media, like Infowars and then fed by FOX News as a willing culprit to the misinformation (call it what it is Fake News)…..

As the “Ignorati” gained in prominence a new political ideology came into being…..the “Idiotarian”……political views are replaced by ignorant  name calling in absence of any real evidence based argument.

The GOP because of its silence on the antics of Our Dear Leader is becoming the party of the “Idiotarian”….now let a true conserv. ex-Congressman, Joe Scarborough explain the death of the GOP to the “Idiotarians”……

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is blasting the Republican Party over its support of President Trump, calling the GOP “a dying party I can no longer defend.”

Scarborough, a former GOP lawmaker from Florida who announced last week that he is leaving the party, said in a Washington Post op-ed published late Sunday that Republicans who are working with Trump are “making the majority of Americans regret” voting for the party.

“The political movement that once stood athwart history resisting bloated government and military adventurism has been reduced to an amalgam of talk-radio resentments,” Scarborough wrote. “President Trump’s Republicans have devolved into a party without a cause, dominated by a leader hopelessly ill-informed about the basics of conservatism, U.S. history and the Constitution.”

http://thehill.com/media/342296-scarborough-i-left-the-gop-because-trump-is-destroying-the-republican-party

As an old radical I can say that I would be happy to see the destruction of the GOP….but the truth is that would leave the Dems and they are not much better than the GOP…….for there is NO republic without political discourse and as it is now that is sadly missing….and destruction could be eminent if we do not pay attention.

By the way, this election will change little….the dramatics and theatrics will increase but the actual governing process will be lacking.

So I Have written!

Turn The Page!

QAnon?

Closing Thought–02Aug18

What the f*ck is this all about?

A few nights ago I watched a Florida rally that was given by Our Dear Leader…..and as usual he gave a litany of his usual points (I would call them high points but they were scraping the bottom of the barrel) and as usual he had something derogatory to say about the news media in attendance…..and the usual response by those in attendance was to yell obscenities and gestures toward those in the press area.

In the low IQ audience I saw several Tees and signs with QAnon….and thought I had missed something…..and apparently I have……

“Q WWG1WGA Trump 2020 Keep America Great! MSM is the enemy,” read the sign spotted by the AP at President Trump’s rally in Tampa on Tuesday night. There are plenty of letters on it, but one stands out: Q. NPR reports that other signs and T-shirts read “QAnon,” a reference to a conspiracy theory that’s picking up steam on the far-right and beginning to garner enough attention that it came up during the White House press briefing Wednesday. What you need to know:

  • There actually is a Q: “Q” began posting to 4Chan in October 2017 and then shifted to “the even more fringe” 8Chan as well, per the Daily Beast. “Q” happens to be a type of high-level government security clearance, which Q claims to have. The “Anon” part is apparently a reference to both the anonymous Q (who uses the plural “we”) and doubles as a reference to Q’s fans: the Anons.
  • The lingo doesn’t stop there: Q is purportedly disseminating top-secret info via “breadcrumbs,” which the Daily Beast characterizes as “part poem, part ransom note”; “bakers” follow the crumbs. “No name” is John McCain, “clowns” are those who try to undermine Q.
  • A breadcrumb: The Beast gives this example, posted in June: “Think SC vote to confirm (coming). / No Name action. / Every dog has its day. / Enjoy the show. / Q”
  • The conspiracy theory: Thanks to that government clearance, Q claims to know about a “worldwide criminal conspiracy,” which NPR reports revolves around Robert Mueller—who, per Q, isn’t investigating Trump’s campaign or the 2016 election at all. Rather, he was put in place by Trump to investigate Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other Democrats, with some (like Huma Abedin) supposedly being tracked via secret wearable location devices in advance of the coming “storm”: when they’ll all go to prison for crimes Q followers believe could be anything from participating in a pedophile ring to having a secret pact with Vladimir Putin.
  • The conspiracy theory, II: To show how wide-ranging things get, the AP writes, “filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, the Rothschild family, and Satan also make appearances in discussions.” Another element: the belief that JP Morgan was behind the sinking of the Titanic. The Tampa Bay Times cites one Q proponent as saying Trump’s misspellings in his tweets are clues. CNN adds that the fact that Trump used the number “17” on a number of occasions in his speech Tuesday night fired up clue-seeking Anons, who noted Q is the alphabet’s 17th letter.
  • Background on “the storm”: In an October 2017 meeting between Trump and military leaders (who, per QAnon thinking, urged Trump to run for president in order to go after the aforementioned criminals), Trump made reference to “the calm before the storm.”
  • The high-profile follower: Roseanne Barr is an “Anon,” just not an anonymous one: She’s tweeted about QAnon a number of times, including this in late June: “we r the army of truth-wwg1wga.” The “wwg1wga,” stands for “where we go one, we go all.” (Side note from the AP: Valerie Jarrett, the subject of Barr’s now infamous tweet, plays a role in some QAnon theories.)
  • Why QAnon is getting more press this week: The Washington Post says Tuesday’s Tampa event highlighted the fact that QAnon isn’t just relegated to the corners of the internet at this point.
  • The White House response: CNN reports QAnons have been pushing for the press to ask Sarah Sanders about Q, which apparently happened Wednesday. Her reply: “The president condemns and denounces any group that would incite violence against any individual.”

There is more for those interested……..

http://nymag.com/selectall/2017/12/qanon-4chan-the-storm-conspiracy-explained.html

This bullsh*t is getting tiring…….the fact that there are morons (I apologize to verified morons) who cannot differentiate between reality and crap smeared across social media.  But then where would Dear Leader be without the mental midgets that worship the ground he walks on?

The “Dear Leader” Phenom

Closing Thought–26Jul18

For those of us with a full functioning brain have always tried to make sense of the voting habits of our fellow citizens……sometimes it is forefront another times it is more covert.

These days covert that needs explaining.

It amazes me….I said amazes…..for nothing about the Rights fascination with Our Dear Leader surprises me.  You see the GOP in Congress have been a spineless pack for decades…just their true colors finally came through.

Then his supporters…..they can see nothing about the man that irks them…..even when he screws Veterans…..or the farmers with his tariffs….or when he is caught with a hooker and then a tape of his conversation about covering it up with his lawyer….they say it is alleged.  Trump was right when he said he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue on TV and get away with it….at least with the slugs that support his brand of authoritarianism.

Can there be anyway to explain why these people are so enamored with a slug of a person?

Some say neuroscience could explain it……

In the past, some prominent psychologists have explained President Donald Trump’s unwavering support by alluding to a well-established psychological phenomenon known as the “Dunning-Kruger effect.” The effect is a type of cognitive bias, where people with little expertise or ability assume they have superior expertise or ability. This overestimation occurs as a result of the fact that they don’t have enough knowledge to know they don’t have enough knowledge. Or, stated more harshly, they are “too dumb to know they are dumb.” This simple but loopy concept has been demonstrated dozens of times in well-controlled psychology studies and in a variety of contexts. However, until now, the effect had not been studied in one of the most obvious and important realms—political knowledge.

new study published in the journal Political Psychology, carried out by the political scientist Ian Anson at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, not only found that the Dunning-Kruger effect applies to politics, it also appears to be exacerbated when partisan identities are made more salient. In other words, those who score low on political knowledge tend to overestimate their expertise even more when greater emphasis is placed on political affiliation.

https://www.alternet.org/neuroscientist-explains-how-trump-supporters-are-easily-hoodwinked-because-one-psychological-problem

WAIT!  That is science and we know what those mental midgets on the Right think of science……don’t we?

Further Reading:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5171729/Doctor-claims-Donald-Trump-symptoms-predementia.html

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/lev-raphael/is-donald-trump-mentally_b_11296232.html

Is Donald Trump suffering from Pick’s Disease (frontotemporal dementia)?

https://carbsyndrome.com/donald-trump-has-carb-syndrome/

This is the one that I would read if I were you:

https://www.statnews.com/2017/12/07/donald-trump-should-be-tested-for-brain-disease/

After Note:  According to all these experts Dear Leader’s brain should be melted and running out his ears…..let Congress pass a bill that states that all presidents to be tested for mental disorders before they are sworn in….HAhahahaha!  Sorry I just realized the anything like that would take courage and the Congress has shown that courage is in short supply among the spineless we elect.

Thoughts?

Closing Thought–26Jul17

In The Land Of “True Believers”!

I have a couple of friends that are supporters of Trump…they are die hard believers.

I ask why and usually get the same answer ….”he has done what he promised on the campaign trail”….

Then I ask what exactly has he done?

The first reaction is….”he beat Clinton”……(really?  A good sled dog would have beaten Clinton)…..

So I got to wondering just what makes one a Trump “true believer”…..and Salon provided me with an answer so I did not have to give myself a migraine trying to understand…..

When Donald Trump gave the commencement address at Liberty University this spring, he told the graduates that “America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers.” Trump argued that, in America, “we don’t worship government; we worship God.”

Source: Inside the minds of Trump’s “true believers” – Salon.com

After reading the article I still do not completely understand the blind obedience of his supporters.

Maybe if we can understand why the country is so divided……

In research that should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the current political climate in the US, a new study discovered that supporters of either candidate in the last Presidential election were more likely to accept new data if it agreed with their desired outcome.

They recruited more than 800 individuals and had each indicate who they wanted to see win the 2016 Presidential election, as well as who they believed would win. Afterwards, each participant was presented with new information that was either consistent or inconsistent with their desired outcome, and again asked which candidate they believed would ultimately win the election.What they found, the authors explained, is that the participants were more likely to update their predictions if the information was consistent with their desired outcome, and were less likely to change their beliefs if the data was inconsistent with their preferred result.

Source: New study discovers why American politics is so divided – Redorbit

It is all so confusing…..

Could it be as simple as American politics is just screwed up?

Off I go……a cold beer and some cheese dip awaits…..have a day and please come back tomorrow…..be well, be safe…..chuq

Voting Against One’s Own Best Interests

There has been a disturbing trend in America….that is voters actually voting against themselves….how very American of them.

Take my state…in 2010 we had a Dem rep in DC…he was pro-life, pro-gun, pro-military, pro seniors…..he voted the way that the conservative majority in my area wanted him to vote…but for all his good deeds for the people of Mississippi he was voted out in favor of a Tea Party douche, Palazzo…..Taylor’s only crime was he was a Dem, a Blue Dog Dem…..in essence the people voted against their own best interests because of rhetoric….the perfect example of what our politics has become….petty and pathetic.

After Taylor’s loss I tried to interview locals to see why he would lose the election to a no nothing loser…..there were lots of reason but most of them made little sense but the one thing that most agreed on was the GOP tied him to Pelosi…..the man was more conservative than some Repubs…so their reasons made little sense to me….

I have tried to understand how people could do this sort of thing to themselves and a good reason escapes me at every turn.

But now the Atlantic has published an attempt to explain the phenom…..

Governing is often a cause-and-effect business. Give workers a tax break on retirement accounts? More people save for life after the working world. Offer a rebate for old cars? Drivers scrap their gas-guzzling Explorers in favor of sensible Corollas, and average fuel efficiency goes up.

It’s easy to sell something to voters when the costs and benefits are immediately obvious. But that’s not how most policies work. Many look downright terrible in the beginning—what, pay more taxes?—and deliver a payout only if people collectively change their future behavior. Take a carbon tax: Industry would pay more to produce energy, making stuff more expensive, but the price pressure might prompt an eventual shift to alternative fuels, which could deliver an overall benefit to society.

Source: Why People Enthusiastically Vote for Counterproductive Policies – The Atlantic

This phenom does not appear to be going anywhere….the American people will continue to vote against their own best interests….

Trump Makes Me Yearn For My Syndicalist Days

It is less than 4 days before America goes to the polls and picks their next president…..and their choices are still a mystery….at least to me.

I have been asking myself that question for over a year.  I have seen people that under normal circumstances are level headed and rational…..and then they hitched their fate to the Trump bandwagon.

It has been a mystery…not even the totally committed supporters have any idea why they are a supporter……..they offer up some diatribe about speaking his mind or having balls or other such simplistic dodges…….

But why?

And it’s not gender, age, income, race or religion.

If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated?

You’d be wrong.

In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism.

That’s right, Trump’s electoral strength—and his staying power—have been buoyed, above all, by Americans with authoritarian inclinations. And because of the prevalence of authoritarians in the American electorate, among Democrats as well as Republicans, it’s very possible that Trump’s fan base will continue to grow.

Source: Donald Trump 2016: The One Weird Trait That Predicts Whether You’re a Trump Supporter – POLITICO Magazine

I am sure this will not be a popular explanation….especially for his most ardent supporters…..but if one takes the time to look at it in a rational manner (yeah that will happen) then it does…..it makes perfect sense…..just listen to the rhetoric coming from the mouths of those ardent supporters.

A few thoughts on nationalistic fervor……

“All of nationalism can be understood as a kind of collective narcissism.”
“I distinguish, between nationalism and patriotism.”
“I don’t believe in nationalism. I think it’s a bunch of slogans. It’s a bunch of poor attempts at creating pride. My problem with nationalism is that it becomes exclusionary. We start to exclude people.”
“Nationalism is power hunger tempered by self-deception.”
Just a few thoughts on nationalism……..

Issues like “if I win then my opponent will be jailed” or “if I lose then it is all rigged and therefore not acceptable”……the cries of many 3rd world dictators……

Is the country ready and willing to give up rights/freedoms for security?

Have we been condition to make this all possible?  If so, by whom?

Globalists?  Now that is a subject for a later day….too intense for this one….an insult that could replace “apologist” or “bleeding heart” even “socialist”……

I am old now but the direction of the country makes me yearn for my Syndicalist days……..

Demographics And The Vote

The election is sliding into the national thought process (finally)……we are bombarded daily with a wealth of polling and each one has little to do with the eventual outcome…..but it helps drive the conversation by the media……but not the people that will have to make a choice.

This time around the cultural wars are playing very small in the campaigns….nationalism is on the rise……so far the only divide that is making sense (at least to me) is the education of the voters……

It has been widely reported that Donald Trump’s strong appeal to elements of the white working class (especially males) endangers Republican support among women, minorities and the more-educated in the current presidential campaign. What has had less attention is that these shifts, if they persist after this election, endanger long-term Republican control of Congress and state legislatures.

The less-educated tend to vote less often: they are less reliable. That’s one of the most fundamental realities of voting behavior, not only in the United States, but across the world wherever free elections are held. Now, it may be that enthusiasm for Trump will elevate turnout among this sector in this election; we will know more about that in the weeks after November 8.

Source: Demography and Doom: Trump’s White Working Class Base – LA Progressive

This brings us to millennials (18-34)…….this demographic is not as predictable as the media would have us believe……

Polls indicate that Donald Trump is going to be crushed by Hillary Clinton this November when it comes to millennials, who could make up the nation’s largest voting bloc. But in reality, the GOP nominee may do much better with young voters than we have been led to believe.

A real-time Electoral College tracking map published by Mic shows Clinton dominating among millennials, with Trump ahead in only five states. Given that there are 69 millennials who are currently eligible to vote, this forecast appears devastating for the GOP.

But there is one critical factor that most of the polls and tracking maps are not taking into account: voter turnout.

In the 2008 and 2012 elections, President Obama mobilized minorities, women, and young people. There was even a record turnout of young voters in 2008, when a large majority of them voted for the then-Illinois senator.

Source: Trump and millennials: He might do better than we think | TheHill

Personally, I think this election will be closer than most anticipate……Trump will most likely lose….but he will fare better than the polls that the media loves to quote….keep in mind how wrong these polls were in 2012…..

Just saying!