Populism–What’s It Good For

The election of 2016 brought about the use of the term populism….it has been around for many many years but not used so much by the media when reporting on an election…..and the 2016 arrived and not knowing exactly what to do about the whole popularity of Trump and Sanders….viola the term “populism” found a new home……

Populists abhor restraints on the political executive. Since they claim to represent “the people” writ large, they regard limits on their exercise of power as necessarily undermining the popular will. Such constraints can only serve the “enemies of the people” – minorities and foreigners (for right-wing populists) or financial elites (in the case of left-wing populists).

This is a dangerous approach to politics, because it allows a majority to ride roughshod over the rights of minorities. Without separation of powers, an independent judiciary, or free media – which all populist autocrats, from Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Viktor Orbán and Donald Trump detest – democracy degenerates into the tyranny of whoever happens to be in power.

Periodic elections under populist rule become a smokescreen. In the absence of the rule of law and basic civil liberties, populist regimes can prolong their rule by manipulating the media and the judiciary at will.


Populism is a dangerous thing….the whole “voice of the people” is good cover but a dangerous trend in a democratic country.


What Fate The Republic?

How many times have you heard some political wannabe tell you that the US is not a democracy but rather a republic?  Most times it some well meaning Rightie that wants to point that out when others write about the things that is going wrong with this country.

I will admit that they are right (you do not know how hard that is for me to admit for I dislike most Right wing dullards)…..and since they are right and this is nothing more than a republic …..is there an expiration date?

Whither the American republic? It is worth remembering that no one founds a republic believing the republic will last forever. To believe such a thing automatically negates one’s conservatism. Like all living things, a republic must experience a birth, a middle age, and a death. The question is never if a republic will die, but when. The stronger its soul, the healthier its body. Conversely, the less a people have a purpose, the faster will they decline. A republic, American or not, is a res publica—a common good, a good thing, a public thing. Whether our government still resembles the republic of the American founders is yet another question, and one for another post.

It is also worth remembering that in the long history of western civilization, no political arrangement—with only the rarest exceptions—has lasted more than a few centuries. Political bodies come and go. The two longest lived institutions in the West are not political, but, ethnic and religious. The oldest sustained cohesive people in the world are the Jews, and the oldest institution in the West is the Latin church. We can conservatively date the first at 4,000 years old and, the second, at roughly 2,000 years old. Not a single political body that existed during the time of the Pentecost still exists today. Indeed, even the very form of government that so predominates in the world—the roughly 200 nation states of the world—did not exist until the fifteenth century.


When is our expiration date?  Are we living that day now?

On The Road To Authoritarianism

There is a trend going on here in the US that is not something to be proud of…..I know we are according to the slogan “Making America Great Again”…..but the only thing that we are doing to our country is making it more authoritarian….

What does it feel like when a liberal democratic country turns the corner into authoritarianism?

America is changing. It isn’t always obvious and flagrant — like Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announcing that some opposition parties will not be allowed to take part in the country’s 2018 elections, or the Polish government changing the way the courts oversee the nation’s laws in order to advance the agenda of those currently in power. And neither are these changes necessarily all things that have happened only since President Trump’s election last year. Even if the authoritarian drift accelerated with Trump’s rise, it didn’t begin with him. He is its expression. We need to do everything we can to ensure he doesn’t end up being its culmination.

Doing that requires keeping our eyes open for and taking note of longer-term trends and signs of authoritarian drift that are sometimes difficult to detect.


What started off as a positive thing….the generals in the Trump cabinet would keep Trump on an even keel…..that has yet to materialize….if anything they are traveling the authoritarian road…..

An article yesterday at NBC focusing on Trump and “his” generals got me to thinking on this subject again.  Its author, Suzanne Garment, suggests that Trump likes generals as obedient alpha males.  They lend him credibility without directly threatening his delicate ego.  And there’s truth in this.

But I want to focus on other reasons for Trump’s preference for generals in high positions.  A year ago, I wrote an article for TomDispatch.com on “All the President’s Generals.”  That article focused mainly on the potential impact of these generals on America’s foreign policy and domestic culture.  As I wrote last December:


It is not looking good for the country…..the American people need to stay informed and stay alert……we have a country to lose.

Is Conservatism Dying?

The GOP won the last election and Donald Trump was swept into the White House.  The “conservatives” rule the roost…they control all government…..all 3 branches.

I still think of conservatism in the classical sense….what we have today is more neo-liberalism than conservatism…..but we can argue the points of this philosophy….but the point I want to make is that Trump is NO conservative……our politicians, conserv ones, abandoned the philosophy decades ago….but look at the Trump White House……

If someone who paid little attention to American politics were to quickly survey congressional activity and presidential rhetoric since January, he might be excused for thinking that the Democratic party is firmly ensconced in both Congress and the White House. Very little has been accomplished so far this year, and that, along with the poor quality of the few supposed “successes,” can be ascribed to the dysfunctionality of the ruling Republican party and the inability of its leadership to achieve results amid general chaos. This week alone, congressional leaders reached a “compromise” on a $1 trillion budget deal that consisted primarily of concessions made by the GOP majority and points scored for Democrats. These include the continued funding of Planned Parenthood and so-called “sanctuary cities,” nearly $300 million for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program, and language preventing the funding of any border-wall construction. The $1.5 billion apportioned for border security does not permit any funding of a deportation force.

Source: Donald Trump’s White House & GOP Have Abandoned Conservatism | National Review

In 1956 my grandfather was a strong supporter of the GOP and Ike….but that party has long since slid into the abyss of political craziness……back 60 years ago the GOP stood with workers, women, education and so forth….and look at them today….
I am sick of the toads that claim to be conservative…they are not.  A real conservative holds to tradition…I am not talking about the crap they call “tradition” from 25 years ago….a real conservative is for the traditions set forth in the Constitution…..a document that few know or have actually read.
Real conservatism is dying if not already dead and being replaced with the putrid issues of neo-liberalism.
And that is sad because as atrue radical, progressive if you like, we need a true conservative party….it makes for great political debate…today all we have is a rant between Right leaning neo-liberals and left leaning ones…..
We need true Conservatives!

Is Obama A Socialist?

Have you noticed that some things never change when it comes to the “Ignorati”?

This is one of my favorite pieces of manure from the Right….Obama is a socialist…or is it Marxist….or ……..what it is is total fabrication from loonies that would not know a socialist if one walked up and bit them in the ass.

Months after Obama has left office the dog whistle idiots on the Right are still going on about Obama as some sort of “socialist”…..I understand why they do it…..it is because they will not bring themselves to admit that their man in the White House is incompetent fool….so they are still stuck on Obama and anyone that will not agree with them as some sort of “socialist” conspiracy….FYI….do not compare Trump to a fascist or they, the Right, will go batcrap crazy for only they can make shit up about a president past of present.

But let’s look at Obama being a socialist.

The easy answer to the question is NO….but that is not good enough for the chin wagers on the Right…..so let’s look deeper…..

Barack Obama, the 44th president of the United States, is not a socialist. While varying theories and approaches exist among socialists, all of them advocate for some form of social or state ownership over the means of production. Obama proposes none of this

While Obama has argued for enhanced and even structural regulation of certain industries, including health care, this in no way suggests a move toward all-out socialism. In contrast, Obama received widespread support from Wall Street interests during campaigning and, as of 2014, continues to receive only muted approval of his policy decisions from self-identified American socialists.

The term “socialist,” as applied to Mr. Obama, may have become a fear word or pejorative deployed by some conservatives convinced of its ability to shock the public and create ideological rifts among the electorate, according to CNBC. This, the same source suggests, possibly results from the weakening shock value of words such as “liberal” in American political discourse. While Mr. Obama may support some socialist-inspired policies when applied to social justice issues and public protections, a broad coalition of American statesmen and women have supported similar policies for generations, both Republican and Democrat. Some such policies have become essential features of America’s capitalist democracy, policies such as government regulation of food and workplace safety, social security, Medicaid and Medicare, along with publicly supplied protections for veterans and their families.

With all that said…..cut it anyway you slow mental midgets like…the answer is still….NO!

BTW….being black does NOT make a socialist either….contrary to popular belief.

Closing Thought–10Apr17

These days I am not posting much on domestic situations…the world is getting close to the ignition stage and there is just too much happening for me to ignore….after all that is what I was trained to do…..ANALYZE.

But I will post from time to time on stuff that is out of my field…..

I have had several op-eds posted in Ace News Room….I try to “Press” them here so that others can read them that may not be regulars over at Ace.

It is no secret that I am a bit radical…in my younger days I was a hardcore radical…but I have mellowed a bit with age….but the concerns and desires are still there…..

First op-ed is a small look into my younger days of rebellion…..

“I Was A Teenage Socialist”…….

Personally, I think that is a capital idea for a title for an RKO feature film….right? (I knew I could get a movie reference in if I just tried)…but I am sure that if we let the major studios film it it would be along the lines of “Reefer Madness“.

Source: I Was a Teenage Socialist | Ace News Room

After the last election I saw what is needed in the US…a strong Left movement…and please do not say Dems….they are nothing more than a flip side of a Repub…..then I hit on an idea……

The voting is over and there is something that I wanted to share……I waited before posting this because I was a afraid that too much would be read into the subject……. By now …

Source: America Needs A Good Strong A.R.M. | Ace News Room

Back in 2010 I floated an idea along with a few others of a new Bull Moose Party……

Source: How About A “Bull Moose Party”? #1 – In Saner Thought

Source: How About A New “Bull Moose Party”? #2 – In Saner Thought

My point is that it is time for a real “progressive” party to arise in the US….but will it?

The day is finished for this puppy…but tomorrow is another day and I will be here writing and ranting…..as usual.  chuq

The Rise of Global Authoritarian Populism

In the last couple years there has been a rise in authoritarianism…..across Europe far Right is making head way…France, Greece, Hungary and even England…….the US is not immune from the ravages of authoritarianism.

The big question is will this trend continue or will thew world come to its senses?

If populism’s need for an ”apocalyptic confrontation” proves accurate, it might lead the Trump administration’s ”systemic revolutionaries” far beyond even their most extreme rhetoric.

In 2016, something extraordinary happened in the politics of diverse countries around the world. With surprising speed and simultaneity, a new generation of right-wing populist leaders emerged from the margins of nominally democratic nations to win power. In doing so, they gave voice, often in virulent fashion, to public concerns about the social costs of globalization.

Even in societies as disparate as the affluent United States and the impoverished Philippines, similarly violent strains of right-wing populist rhetoric carried two unlikely candidates from the political margins to the presidency. On opposite sides of the Pacific, these outsider campaigns were framed by lurid calls for violence and even murder.

Source: The Bloodstained Rise of Global Authoritarian Populism: A Political Movement’s Violent Pursuit of “Enemies”

Does history dictate that a rise in authoritarianism has to occur every 50-100 years?