A Bit of U.S. Political History

Many of my readers are already aware of Heather Cox Richardson and subscribe to her newsletter, so the information in this post may essentially be a repeat of what you have already read.

Nonetheless, for those who are not familiar with her or perhaps only occasionally read her newsletter, her latest edition (February 8) contains some valuable history of U.S. politics. Now this topic may not seem all that earth-shaking, but for anyone who has been following current political activities, you may be surprised to discover how the influence of past administrations is affecting the current one.

History, as they say, repeats itself. But in the current climate, it is not only repeating itself but expanding and affecting many U.S. citizens who are least equipped to handle many of the proposed modifications.

OK. I’ve said my piece. PLEASE, if you haven’t already, go here and educate yourself on what’s really happening.

If you disagree with Ms. Richardson’s perspective, I encourage you to share your reasons why. However, I do ask for civility and will take necessary steps to maintain it.

56 thoughts on “A Bit of U.S. Political History

  1. Heather Richardson’s evaluation of our nation’s current social, political, and economic climate could not be overstated or more correct! She is profoundly accurate about the slashing-model and precedent made by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge handed over our government and economic policies “to businessmen in the belief that they alone truly knew what was best for the country.” What’s 100-times worse is that tRump has NO EXPERIENCE whatsoever in government legal, diplomatic, or well-established proper affairs and protocols, on any level! Add to his MASSIVE ignorance of governing, the “business man(?)” has filed for no less than SIX BANKRUPTCIES!!!

    What is beyond belief now, after four years of this bumbling idiot in the White House is that the American voters KNEW all of the above before the 2016 Presidential Campaign and still got him elected via the Electoral College! What does that tell you about the American voter and modern politics?

    Nan, though this current horrendous predicament we find ourselves are dominoes tipped over by Presidential maneuvers or complacency over 90-years ago and more falling dominoes continue today… Richardson’s February 8th Letters from an American is an excellent appraisal of how, why, and when this country has f*cked up. Thank you for sharing it. Richardson definitely knows what she is talking about!

    I follow two Nobel Prize Winning Economists regarding our national economy, Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz, and they both have MUCH to say and warn about this current climate and ignorant President. From a Feb. 2019 Business Insider article:

    Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz: It’s time for Congress to do something about the economic mess that private-equity giants have created

    And from Dr. Krugman who predicted (wrongly) a global recession under Trump:

    …the reason the economy is doing so well is that under Trump, Republicans decided to abandon fiscal restraint and allow $1 trillion deficits. Had Republicans not sabotaged efforts to deficit spend more during the Obama administration (when the federal debt nearly doubled), then the economy would have had a much more robust recovery sooner.

    However, we all know that just because the national economy “is strong,” does NOT mean it is benefiting all Americans, in all sectors, for the long-term. Even more Americans today are living on the edge of financial ruin if one, at the most two, unexpected financial blow hits them, like sky-high medical emergencies or any number of devastating costly event(s). The great majority of Americans cannot achieve a necessary safety-net of 6-12 untouched paychecks in savings. They cannot unless the cost-of-living and housing-costs goes down significantly. But if those two sectors go down, tRump’s and Stiglitz’s “Private-equity giants” would suffer. They would come nowhere NEAR financial ruin, not in the least, but they would certainly whine, cry, and fund exorbitantly their state and federal Republican lobbyist groups.

    Great stuff Nan! Thanks again for the Richardson link. 🙂

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    • One of the mind-boggling things is how Trump followers are so quick to defend his statements related to the economy … just because he says so.

      I’m not all that versed in the subject, but doesn’t a trillion-dollar deficit play a role in determining how “great” the economy is? And what exactly IS “the economy”? When I read up on it, there are several terms in use that essentially mean nothing to me … they’re fiscal-talk.

      Also, who exactly receives the most benefits from “the economy” being good? Seems to me it’s those folks that Heather was talking about.

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      • As the apropos satire points out, those “tRump defenders” are merely YES-men, YES-people who if not in tRump’s Administration and loyal, hard-line federal Repubs… are people who do not or cannot think for themselves. The reasons for their blind loyalties are many.

        I was never well-versed in economics, fiscal-talk and terms, tax-laws, etc, etc, either Nan. Because it is so critically paramount, as an informed(?) voter, I took it upon myself to at least have a BASIC understanding of it all by reading two of Stiglitz’s books and two of Krugman’s books. Ugh, admittedly I had to DRAG myself thru some of the chapters. 😄 But now? Oh, it was so worth it!

        And Nan, your questions are excellent questions! You are trying to get past all the public (campaigning) rhetoric that sadly much of Americans don’t understand, then lazily and irresponsibly default their ignorance to their party-line politicians. Now look where the LAZINESS has gotten us. 😞

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      • And what exactly IS “the economy”?

        I maintain that the real economy consists of wage levels and unemployment levels, period. That’s the economy most people exist in. All the other stuff like the stock market and the gross national product and whatnot only directly impact a small, wealthier segment of the population. They don’t actually matter unless they have some potential impact on wage levels and unemployment levels. Same with the deficit.

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        • That’s pretty much how I see it as well. But politicians are quite adept at making things “sound good” for their constituents — most of whom have no clue what they’re talking about.

          IMO, what most people really care about is the size of their personal paychecks … and how much they’re going to get back at tax time.

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  2. Not much to disagree with in Richardson’s analysis. I’d also say most of it has been apparent for a long time. The Republican party is the instrument through which the financial parasite class loots the rest of society, via tax cuts for themselves and cuts in essential services and benefits for everyone else.

    From the practical viewpoint of electoral politics, the thing to emphasize is the Republicans’ threat to Social Security. Democrats need to be hammering away at that point, and the fact that the deficit which “necessitates” such cuts was caused by tax cuts for the wealthy. I’m now counting down the months until I can start collecting the Social Security I paid into for 40 years. If anybody threatens to cut that, I’ll crawl over broken glass to vote against them, no matter who they are or what their reasons are. And there are a lot of others who feel the same way.

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  3. I read her everyday…sometimes it’s all the news I need on politics to keep me current.

    I wonder how trump will spin his cuts in social security and Medicare to his base, who often are the very ones who depend on it. I guess it’ll be the Democrat’s fault or Obama’s.

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  4. The accumulation of wealth, social and political power to certain individuals through capitalism is a form of “redistribution of wealth”. Wealth created by the accumulation of value for products by the work done, not only by the company management, but by the actual workers and most often not at all by the owners of the companies to whom most of the wealth thus produced is being redistributed to.

    The question that remains is: Should the society exist to provide a form of competition platform for people, or to benefit everybody in it? People who are ahead of this race often think, that it is a competition, and that is how it should remain, so that they could enjoy their priviledged position in the lead of this competition, wether they themselves have actually done anything to earn their position or not. It is an ideological base to think, that competition in itself provides for better future, while in reality better future for more people comes from co-operation, not from competition. The problem of the ideology of competition is, that for how many, and what about the losers? It is Fascism, pure and simple, to think, that those who did not make it, or are the losers in such a competition somehow deserve to suffer. This sort of thinking is reflected in religious notions, like the idea, that some people deserve better in their afterlives and some others (by magical rules varying from religion to religion) somehow deserve to suffer in theirs. To me, at least, it seems this is one of the pitfalls, that lead to misunderstanding of evolution, and why it is so hard to accept it, because when Fascistical values are projected to the survival of the fittest, it suddenly seems like it said the survival of the strongest, or the richest. A grave miscomprehension projected to the society that leads to much suffering.

    Trickle down economics is a lie, unless it is forced by political power of the majority in a democratic system upon the rich, who by their wealth often have more social power than any elected political bodies within any societies. For example, they can afford to pay for their message to get through to the poor people so much so, that the very people who suffer from the system that exploits their work, start to think it is an exeptionally good system, and that somehow they should give support to the rich. It is propaganda the rich themselves believe, even though it has no bearing in the reality. The accumulation of wealth for the inidividual does not produce more empathetic and charitable people, but on the contrary it seems to produce more and more fascistic values as the super rich are far more detached from the suffering of the poor and the so called middle-classes are often just enough removed from the poor to fear their own possible demise just enough to become denialists about that possibility. Add in ignorance and you have a ready mixture of human misery at your hands.

    The populist, such as dear Donald, fits himself perfectly into this disparity of despair and frustration felt by the poor and ignorant masses and their super rich exploiters, by appealing to the hatred the ignorants feel for the social elite, and then redistributing that hatred to some minority, such as immigrants, or a particular religious group who supposedly demand a change in the society for the worse. Because for the poor the change is always potentially for the worse and the poor can simply not afford to have it. They cling on to any priviledges – imagined or real – by the skin of their teeth.

    This is not the natural state of humankind, but a form of culture we have allowed to be built around us, by accepting the lies of greedy men, whose humanity was the first victim of their own greed.

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  5. Nan, I found this article, The Great Affordability Crisis Breaking America, by Annie Lowrey of The Atlantic to reinforce my above point about insane housing-costs in most 50 states of the U.S. She writes:

    The price of housing represents the most acute part of this crisis. In metro areas such as the Bay Area, Seattle, and Boston, severe supply shortages have led to soaring prices—millions of low- and middle-income families are no longer able to purchase centrally located homes. The median asking price for a single-family home in San Francisco has reached $1.6 million; even with today’s low interest rates, that would require a monthly mortgage payment of roughly $6,000, assuming that a family puts down the standard 20 percent. In Manhattan, listings for sale now ask an average of nearly $1,800 per square foot.

    Another aspect that most Republican politicians FORGET in their distracting rhetoric of the economy is Child-care:

    Finally, child care. Spending on daycare, nannies, and other direct-care services for kids has increased by 2,000 percent in the past four decades, and families now commonly spend $15,000 to $26,000 a year to have someone watch their kid. Such care is grossly unaffordable for low-income parents in metro areas across the country, causing many people to drop out of the labor force. But one in four American mothers returns to work within two weeks of giving birth, so heavy are the other cost burdens of living in this country. The whole system is broken.

    And hence, this is why most Americans can ill-afford ANY sort of financial crisis or devastation! It would utterly wreck their well-being, let alone living at a decent-to-risky lifestyle… ESPECIALLY if 2 or more children are involved!!! 😵

    These reports, articles, and confirmed data-sets are the REAL economic health of the vast majority of Americans… NOT what tRump and hard-line Republicans always brag about! Any of these factual stats and data can be easily confirmed IF Republicans would just come out of their Ivory Towers and neighborhoods and investigate themselves the lower-income neighborhoods they secretly don’t give a shit about.

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  6. Just as a quick aside, note what Heather says is an essential part of the solution against today’s political insanity (something I think of as TDS -Trump Derangement Syndrome:

    “But we are in a new political moment, in which people’s ballots matter for the survival of American democracy. Now is the time to reject the idea of politics as transactional and instead talk about principles…”

    I don’t think she’s nailed the subject of the rising problem yet: it’s not transactional politics that fuels today’;s dysfunction; it’s the rise of populism in place of principles. Heather calls out the Movement Conservatives as the problem but I think this is one half of the problem. This ‘group’ is in direct contrast against its opposite: the ‘group’ ideology sweeping the West that is destroying both liberal institutions and the very core of Enlightenment values. Group-based ideology is the same ideological rot and is as profoundly disastrous to sustaining secular enlightenment principles as the Movement Conservatives use through populism.

    So I don’t see any reconstituting of the principles – the founding principles for the US Constitution – she suggests is necessary until both sides of the group ideology/Movement conservatives coin is retired from the public square altogether. As long as Movement Conservatives can point a legitimate finger at the idiocy that lies at the heart of the Left and its core socialism predicated on group-based ideology, our public direction of the political sphere will continue to be ever downwards away from the very principles she recognizes as our saving grace.

    Looking hard at the core principles reveals this and we can’t support them without utterly rejecting group-based ideology. That’s as big a problem as any, so simply getting out to elect someone else does not, in fact, fix anything.

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    • Tildeb,

      If I might, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions and have you elaborate on your answers in adequate (liberal? 😉 ) detail so I can thoroughly understand distinctions, terms, context, etc. Perhaps Nan’s readers would benefit as well. I hope so. 🙂

      As long as Movement Conservatives can point a legitimate finger at the idiocy that lies at the heart of the Left and its core socialism predicated on group-based ideology, our public direction of the political sphere will continue to be ever downwards away from the very principles she recognizes as our saving grace.

      […]

      …so simply getting out to elect someone else does not, in fact, fix anything.

      My first question is Do you think most Americans today fully understand “Socialism” of the late 19th and 20th centuries—especially our old guard, American Cold War generation—versus today’s evolved (expanded?) term of Socialism incorporated say by the Nordic Economic models? Those Nordic nations are among some of the happiest, stable, and most cared for (in healthcare) people in the world, according to the World Economic Forum and the 2019 World Happiness Report for almost two decades straight. Yes, WELL ABOVE the U.S. It’s not really a contest at all.

      Secondly, in your conclusion/summary there at the end about merely voting falling well short, as you noted it is the fight between rising Populism and declining Principles. I wholeheartedly agree with you! Unfortunately, I am daunted by (my own) perceived solution to somehow re-establish strong principles into the American social fabric without getting into circular, annoying, frustrating ethical fights/debates with our religious zealots and the “Movement Conservatives” that often turn into never-ending, spinning hamster-wheels. Suggestion(s)?

      Thank you.

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      • In this age of soundbites, the Left can be accurately described as ‘socialist’ with a very strong negative connotation diametrically opposite to small L liberalism. In other words, more conservative voters tend to be aligned more closely with liberal values than the bulk of candidates and their supporters the Democrats put forward.

        This is a legitimate problem of vast importance in attracting the majority of voters to defeat a populist like Trump.

        It doesn’t matter how much or little this average voter understands the difference between social democracy and democratic socialism when Bernie himself goes out of his way to switch between the two when convenient to the applause of many partisan voters. They don’t care. They don’t get it. Anti-Trump is not enough. The real problem, then, is recognizing that any voting based on partisanship is itself a hallmark feature or framing necessary to give rise to populism… regardless of which side of the political spectrum this may arise. And that’s exactly what we have today. The Left is completely blind to the fact that digging a deeper hole will not fill in the hole. That’s what this slate of candidates is doing and what the party and their supporters think is the way forward.

        In other words, many on the Left who vote Democratic are unaware of just how culpable they are in advertising and promoting their own partisan bent in solidifying the liberal voter from the vast middle ground away from the regulated capitalism that serves the public interest that defines post war public socialist policies… like old age pension and medicare and protecting the environmental and food safety and safe skies and so on. Theses kind of policies is what most ‘socialists’ in today’s political arena support. So, to answer your question about voter understanding of Nordic socialism, I don’t think it matters a tinker’s damn. And it’s very easy to find compelling evidence that policies about equity from countries like Sweden or language laws from Canada or social welfare from Britain are very real dangers most liberal Americans will reject out of hand and prefer a populist like Trump in spite of severe personal dislike. Voting against one’s best interests is, after all, the Old Faithful result from red states in just about every category you can imagine and the reason is that progressive policies are seen by most liberal voters as even worse. And the evidence for that is closer to home and vast; voters see the real Nazis of antifa operate above the law – riot and burn and censor and bully year after year – and so they side with a populist to fight against this rising tide of infringement. That’s what many liberals do – vote for a populist rather than grant power to those who would take away their individual freedoms – and the last election proves its role. It’s not going away just because people make fun of Trump or he can’t string a coherent thought with another.

        So my suggestion is the same answer I gave to Nan who found it very unhelpful: more of us need to return to secular liberal Enlightenment principles and fight just as hard against antifa as one would against white supremacists or black Panthers or the Muslim Brotherhood or any spokesperson who would ask for public support to enable and empower group rights over individual rights, cultural respect over individual respect, religious privilege over individual status, race-based exceptionalism over e plurubus unum. When Progressives (and the media that blindly follows the ideology of group-based rights) begin to attack and keep on criticizing anyone of any race, any creed, any colour, any culture, any fame, who would reduce our rights and freedoms no matter which side of the political spectrum they are on, no matter on what social ground they think themselves virtuous promoting group-based rights, only then will common ground become available for all small L liberals regardless of partisan affiliation and only then can populism be defanged as a potent political force.

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        • Thank you Tildeb. 🙂

          I had to read up a bit on Antifa, or Anti-fascists. I went to the Anti-Defamation League (pro-Jewish) website, read their info, and also read this article on The New Yorker website:

          https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/an-intimate-history-of-antifa

          It seems all extremist groups quickly acquire a label/title, huh? Had not heard the term Antifa before. You’ve sparked another question I have…

          Are you opposed to, indifferent, or advocate political pacifism (stoicism?) along the lines of Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.? Or perhaps something else?

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  7. My husband is a Trump fan. We do not discuss him, nor is his name mentioned in this house. He listens to every freaking rally. I think he knows, if he buys one of those dreadful Maga hats it will be kindling by morning.
    I see that our beloved President is slicing through medicare and suchlike, with a very sharp blade. As older folks, we depend on Medicare and Blue Cross to get us over the doctor bills when they arise. Last year I managed to rack up nearly 150 grand in hospital bills, and between Medicare and BC, we managed to pass on most of it. Granted, we pay a huge amount to get that kind of coverage, but at this age it starts to show returns.
    The point is, if Trump starts tinkering with Medicare, it’s going to hit older people right in the wallet.

    I had one unsettling thought: if Trump managed to tinker with the numbers to win the last election, thank-you-electoral-college, and got away with it, who is to say he won’t pull the same crap this time?

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    • Read the recent HARPERS’ magazine profile of voter purging and electoral shenanigans underway right now. It may not matter if “we” get out the vote-our voters won’t be allowed to vote.

      One stat I thought was interesting was that the governor of Georgia, a fascist tool who was also Secretary of State and thus in charge of the elections in that State, won by almost exactly the same number of votes as the number of voters he purged from the roles!

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  8. How can one guy who is a candidate at the same time be running the election? How is that not an unsolvable conflict of interest?

    They are not even pretending anymore. The only thing that matters is OLD, WHITE, CONSERVATIVES retain their power.

    (I am old and white, so although I actually think tileb continues to make a point w/r/t the excesses of group identity politics, in this aspect of modern American politics is it all about group identity…from the right wing. )

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    • Oh look, a new book from two of the three authors who pulled the kind of Sokal hoax against many grievance study journals (I especially like the Mein Kampf work with certain terms switched out with ‘woke’ terminology to make it academically acceptable) used in academia that continue to teach students how to be properly ‘woke’.

      From Amazon’s review:

      “In this probing and intrepid volume, Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay document the evolution of this dogma, from its coarse origins in French postmodernism to its refinement within activist academic fields. As Pluckrose and Lindsay warn, the unchecked proliferation of these anti-Enlightenment beliefs presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but also to modernity itself. Only through a proper understanding of the evolution of these ideas can those who value science, reason, and consistently liberal ethics successfully challenge this dangerous and authoritarian orthodoxy.”

      Sound familiar?

      And that’s why simply voting for someone else other than Trump isn’t the solution to this creeping partisan rot. Trump is just a symptom.

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      • I would agree that Trump is just a symptom. I would not agree that the main problem with American politics today is the wokeness of the left, though. Even though I often find it….annoying.

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      • It may not be “the solution” but IMO, letting him stay and continue his rotten “authoritarian orthodoxy” only leads us further away from any movement towards equality and “liberal ethics.”

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        • We in the West have been doing a fine job moving towards equality in law by both the Left and Right following liberal values. Those liberal values have been held by the majority of people from across the political spectrum for a century now. That’s who need to be motivated to return to them and demand representatives from both sides of the political spectrum follow these principles rather than populists like Trump. That means those on the Left are just as culpable of moving away from them with this idiotic and totalitarian ‘woke’ culture as anyone on the Right who has done the same. That expectation and advocacy, to me, is an example of equality in action.

          But to support anything that isn’t Trump does not bring aboard and together this necessary majority and so this increase the likelihood of his second term, of the continuation of the Movement Conservatives as Heather calls them. Until people on the Left recognize this real problem – the move away from liberal values in the name of some other ‘virtue’ – the Democrats and liberal conservatives have no hope of addressing the real problem brought into legislation by the dismantling of our real social progress of those who like to think of themselves as progressive with real liberal policies.

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          • No. From my perspective you’ve offered general observations, not workable solutions. What would YOU do to in practical terms to bring about the changes you envision.

            Is voting our only choice?

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            • We can only do what each of us can do constrained by the scope of how our lives touch others. That means each of carries the same burden.

              Become a strong advocate and practitioner in every way for secular enlightenment values. That means we have to stop using the framework of partisanship, the framework of group-based ideology, the framework of group hierarchies, the framework of moral virtue as defined by the woke culture, the framework of tribalism, the framework of group-based victimhood, the framework of race and gender, and so on. Criticize these contextual frameworks when you encounter them regardless of source and stop supporting those who do in the name of something other than classical liberal values. Support the individual – all individuals – by defending your rights they share. That’s a lot harder than it may seem. But it is necessary.

              Content over context.

              Always operate from bedrock principles of enlightenment values that define classical liberalism and then dare to set an example for others to follow regardless of cost. Demonstrate the superiority of these equality values in action in all ways foreign and domestic and don’t accept incompatible ideologies that produce false judgments, false equivalencies, false narratives, false truths, false news, false virtue, false diversity, false respect, false tolerance, false justice, false equality.

              Be the change you seek… to coin the phrase… and by doing so be ready, willing, and able to invite others to become allies in what Lincoln called the Great Experiment… if they are willing to share and support the same principles of enlightenment values no matter what their other lesser differences may be… differences like their tribe, their religion, their culture, their race, their language, their gender, their sex and so on. Treat people as you yourself would like to be treated regardless of such differences and don’t buy into the excuses ideologues use to justify promoting anti-enlightenment policies of privilege in the name of morality and tolerance and respect and equality. Recognize the upside down language needed to sell anti-enlightenment ideologies and don’t buy into them under the false banner of virtue and justice. They are anything but. These are the real differences every individual possesses even from every other member of the fictitious group to which they have been assigned and it is these differences that create real diversity, create the need for real tolerance, real respect, real equality, real justice but differences that are always subordinate to the fundamental unifying principle of e pluribus unum that defines the shining city on the hill. Treat ideas regardless of source by their content rather than their context and use the principles of enlightenment values to compare and contrast these accurately to find out if they comport or conflict with furthering classical liberal values. Reject and criticize those ideas and ideologies that fail in this vital task, a task that defines what responsible citizenship in a Western secular liberal democracy is and demand that others account for their failures – especially politicians eager to cash in on the populist sentiment – to be such a citizen if they wish to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

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            • tildeb, you offer lofty suggestions and if I read them correctly, I would say most “liberal thinking’ readers agree with them. In fact, I would go even further to say that most do their best to put them into practice.

              But in “real life,” many “liberal-minded” are up against an angry, unregenerate crowd who prefers to use gutter-language to express their viewpoints. In such cases, it’s a bit difficult to display “real tolerance, real respect, real equality, real justice” to express the “fundamental unifying principle of e pluribus unum that defines the shining city on the hill.”

              I do feel you often write from a more elevated perspective and thus, it can be a bit difficult to bring your thoughts down to where most of us “live.” Nevertheless, I do appreciate your contribution and, in essence, I (think) I agree. 🙂

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  9. Trump may be ‘just a symptom” but he is also laying about him with his theoretical hammer and destroying everything that opposes him. My sense is, if you have a fire in the middle of the kitchen floor, the first thing you do is put the fire out and then figure out what caused it. AFTERwards. Then you see if you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

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  10. But the problem tiledb, with your prescription is that The Right is NOT going to stop the tribalism, the group identity , etc. etc. etc. You talk as if “the left” invented these tropes, when, if anything, Left Wing group identity is largely a reaction to generations/centuries of conservative, wealthy group identity politics. It is not “The Left” that is purging voter rolls. It was not “The Left” that invented Jim Crow.” It was not “The Left” who invented the “pro-life” movement as a reaction to the Civil Rights Act expansion (temporary?) of voting roles to include black people.

    I share your dislike for every more fine parsing of “identity” by some on the Left, but you seem blind to the realty that this is at least partly (largely, I say) what politics has always been! Look at post-Independence Africa: rampant tribalism in almost every state, exploited by authoritarian “Big Men”. Listening to Saudi-funded far right Islamic clerics does not seem like a good thing to do, but few really oppose far right homegrown evangelist leaders whose prescriptions are little different than those of the Imans.

    Of course, the ironic thing about left-wing identity politics is it provides yet more language, conceptual frameworks, excuses for Far Right excesses.

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    • The reason why I point to today’s Left rather than the Right is that this totalitarian bent is becoming mainstream in the Left and that this is where the tipping point that brought us Trump is. These centralist voters are the same pool that can get us out of this morass. This majority of centrists includes many who lean towards typical secular liberal values espoused by most Conservatives – values like free speech, capitalism, and individual autonomy in law.

      You are talking about those from the Right who support more authoritarian policies, more authoritarian governments, and I think you will find many Conservatives who also see this fundamentalism as a bridge too far. What drives these folk into the more extreme Right wing camp when voting is a fear-based response to the extreme Left wing camp that now holds the majority of people on the Left hostage, so much so that today’s wokeness is presumed to be and then presented as if the middle, as if liberal, as if progressive and tolerant and respectful and diverse when, in fact, it is the opposite; today;s wokeness is deeply anti-enlightenment, deeply anti-American, deeply anti-liberal. And we know this because such woke people carry out anti-liberal actions, call for anti-liberal policies, try to censor and censure, try to stop free speech, riot and bully and vilify anyone who dares speak contrary to the woke assumptions. We see this infect campuses, infect multinational corporations, infect the rank and file of the Democratic party apparatus, infect the speeches of Democratic senators and congresspeople. They have effectively removed the reasonable middle ground.

      So my call is for the middle ground to be retaken by real classical liberals and kick the extreme Left wing back into the political fringe where it belongs rather than give in to its totalitarian demands, go along with wokeness, and guarantee the tipping point for the vast majority of voters lean firmly towards another Trump victory not because they like Trump but because they fear the Democratic party more.

      If you hope the Right wing is going to do this shift to the middle on your behalf while you advocate for repackaged Marxism believing yourself enlightened, progressive and liberal, I suggest you are betting incorrectly. I think we need to get rid of the ground from which populists like Trump will continue to spring by getting rid of the Marxist push by a growing number of fanatical ideologues to rebrand everything they touch with words that mean one thing but accomplish the opposite. We need to divest ourselves first from such rebranded organizations, divest ourselves from the rebranded religious fanaticism called wokeness shown by students at the most prestigious universities and Colleges, shown by spokespeople for once liberal organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center, shown by major media like the NYT and CNN, shown by and implemented in equity policies by major businesses like Apple and Google, from the platforms like FaceBook and Twitter and stop clicking on its promoters like HuffPo.

      To give but one exampel of why it falls to the Left to do this housecleaning, look at Bernie as the winner of the Democratic ticket. We find that such a candidate will appeal to fewer than a third of the electorate. Over two thirds say they will not vote for him nor want his policies put into effect. That’s not my opinion. That’s the latest polling. So what options will the vast majority of voters have? Yup… Trump. Why doesn’t Bernie appeal to more voters? Because of his far Left wing political views delivered to the electorate as if reasonable and liberal and in opposition to Trump when they are none of these things.

      This is why I put the problem of a Trump reelection not on the Right wing fundamentalist voter who will vote against their best interests like night follows day (expecting a different result from doing the same thing is not reasonable and I don’t recommend it be a part of the ‘solution’ to Trump) but on those who can and should present a reasonable alternative rather than a mirror candidate of extremism.

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      • I support your 5th paragraph, beginning with “To give but one example …”

        My question then becomes, how do we get around this? Bernie has made a convincing argument to a certain segment of society. How do we help people focus on the real policies that will defeat Trump?

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        • I think, to some extent, tiledb exaggerates how radical Bernie is. He buys into the mainstream neoliberal perspective of what policies are “acceptable” and what are “beyond the pale”. The use of “Marxism” as a buzzword to describe much of the left seems questionable to me as well. Is there really a “Marxist” anywhere on the modern left? And by Marxist, I mean committed to the program, not someone tarred with the epithet by the right and the conservative mainstream media.

          And, no… I am actually not a Bernie Bro. He is simply….too OLD and too FRAIL and too incoherent for me to support. Not because he is some kind of Rosa Luxembourg.

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        • Nan: I am not sure what the answer is. Because, contra tiledb, a lot of the Trump support is due to the very group identity he condemns. Trump supporters are WORRIED because they feel their privilege (ooh…can I use that word without being a SJW?) is threatened. And, it IS. iT PROBABLY

          Given that the Trump supporters are actively working to disenfranchise non-white, non-old, non-wealthy people, how does tiledb propose to overcome these actions-which are a lot more consequential than a university not allowing a fascist troll to speaking in favor of oppression at the local junior college? As a gay male, I am not sure how I as a traditional “liberal” would even reach out to THEM.,

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          • But, right now as a whole aren’t people of color economically and in terms of low unemployment doing better than ever. I can’t see that all the Trump supporters are against anyone who is non-white, non-old or simply middle class. Recently Trump has instituted prison reform which benefits people of color. His approval rating in the minority community is actually rising.

            I also think it sets a dangerous precedent for universities to attempt to block the speech of those with whom they disagree. How do we decide? It’s one thing if someone is advocating for violence or murder, but because someone is espousing conservative views does not mean they are a fascist.

            Also, base, there are many gay and lesbian people who are politically conservative or libertarian. For instance, look at Jerry Rubin of the Rubin report.

            I personally feel that people are not evil because they share different perspectives. We should treat each other with dignity and respect regardless of political affiliation.

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        • I know I sound like a broken record here, but we use the founding enlightenment principles and do our individual bit to use these to defeat the attraction of anti-liberal policies whenever we encounter them, to not stay silent, to not go along to get along, to risk offending people by standing firmly and unwaveringly on these principles… earning the respect of the silent majority who also favor them. Eventually, we find common ground with the great unwashed from Left and Right in upholding mutually beneficial principles more so than the partisanship and identity differences used to separate us into politically digestible bits.

          I think there is a growing appetite for a middle ground… if the example of a Jordan Peterson can be used here. Widely vilified for his principled stands (not all of which I agree with, obviously as an atheist) in every facet of media and many online forums and threads, there is a striking popularity on the street especially by many of the young and silent who understand better than most the danger of criticizing the current Post Modernism hierarchy of blame and victimhood and who are sick and tired of so much self-censorship. They are drawn to Peterson’s articulate defense of liberal values and they come form both the Left and the Right. There is also growing academy of highly respected scholars in this heterodoxy together withstanding the vituperation from so-called ‘journalists’ and finding growing audiences online and at town hall discussions they advance. Who are attending these in the audience? Mostly Conservative voters who are also drawn to those who promote the same liberal values they do but who are also able to condemn this rising tide Marxism fro the Left and who shut down these kinds of discussions in the name of ‘tolerance’ and ‘respect’. That’s why I think there is a large swath of people across the middle of the political spectrum who want to vote for someone who is not Trump but who is capable of promoting these shared values first and foremost, front and center, regardless of partisan labeling from both sides and who is unafraid to take on the grievance guardians on behalf of the quiet majority of Americans who are fearful of the current situation, someone whose reasonableness and respect for these values that are still widely shared will drive a populist like Trump into openly having to go to anti-American extremes to combat it and be revealed even to the most stalwart ‘patriot’ for the anti-American fascist he is.

          This deplorable state has been in the making for three decades tolerated but never directly challenged and will not be dismantled any time soon. Rather, it will take a process of using the same principles that made America great back home to its government exercising these principles in law and policy to beat back the rise of populism by removing its main motivator: the false allure of identity politics over and above principled politics.

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  11. But tiledb:

    You are overemphasizing totally one threat (the mythically monolithic left). Petersen is a troll, by the way.
    At heart, your argument, crudely put, is “If them queers and n$#@ers would just shut up, Democrats could get the vote of Uncle Rufus, who spent every Thanksgiving Dinner muttering loudly and darkly about the Muslim Communist Gay N-Word President and his plans to bring Muslim terrorists into the National Parks and closed Walmarts. Forgive me if I do not see how the Campus Crusade for Intersexual Rights is as big a threat as I do the now-elected Governor or Georgia.

    Group identity is not a new thing. It is not a left wing thing. To state that marginalized groups basically should just “shut up”, which is at heart what your position is, is suicidal. I am not sure Uncle Rufus will ever again vote Democrat given that RIGHT WING group identity politics is out of the closet and loud and proud.

    Bear in mind that your vaunted Enlightenment, the Pinnacle of Human Achievement, also gave us The Terror. Those universal rights did not help the revolting sugar plantation slaves in Haiti very much.

    Petersen is a right wing troll, not an ally of any kind of liberal values.

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    • For a troll, Peterson has a remarkable number of people come up to him in public and personally thank him for some of his work and how much his ideas have improved the lives of others. For a troll, Peterson has a remarkable ability to speak to large numbers of attentive young people and have his message heard. For a Right wing troll, Peterson is remarkably liberal in the principles he espouses.

      My point is that by discarding compelling evidence from reality in order to align one’s imported ideology with a favoured narrative, you are very much a small but important voice as any that will get Trump re-elected by those who respect reality enough to listen to it in political matters and choose his version of insanity over today’s progressive delusion.

      To test your own narrative, try listening to the facts presented in this hour long interview, one hosted by that supposedly alt-Right gay fanatic Dave Rubin with that supposed alt-Right homophobic Heather MacDonald. I hear your ideology in a bunch of the topics covered and I recognize it in the examples raised. My challenge to you is to see if you are even able to listen to a fact-based data-driven description of certain problems without rejecting this contrary narrative outright. Furthermore, can you recognize your systemic assumptions and appreciate why leaving out individual behaviour – like the behaviour of a Peterson that simply does not align with your accusations for dismissing his ideas – is a fatal thinking error that rejects reality’s arbitration of your ideology a priori?

      I think what you are doing is identical to how a religious person maintains extraordinary confidence in the most ludicrous of superstitious claims about reality that are in direct conflict with how we know through evidence and data how reality operates. It’s the same error you are making here and it comes with the same difficulty extracting one’s self from continuing to do so. Sometimes it is very difficult to actually wake the mind up and return to respecting what’s true when it’s in conflict with what you believe to be true. Returning to the principles of enlightenment and rejecting the ideological narrative that has seeped into every nook and cranny of of our public square, one assumed to be true by the vast majority of people who think they populate the Left when it is not, is not a small ask but this is how populism has to be defeated: by defeating our own desire to believe stuff that isn’t true but makes us feel good, makes us feel as if we’re the Good Guys even when we know our actions are bad, are unprincipled, are opposite to the enlightenment principles we presume to represent.

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    • Other than aligning with what’s true, your comment here fits your ideology perfectly. Bummer. But then, why think or pay attention at all to contrary facts when you can espouse what you insist must be true?

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    • I don’t agree with everything Peterson shares either, Base, but I can’t see him as a right wing troll. Can you share what has caused you to think in this way? From what I know, he has quite a following even among non-theists.

      Peterson is going through a very bad time right now, BTW, dealing with a reaction to an anti-anxiety medication and the diagnosis of his wife with terminal cancer. Very sad.

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  12. tiledb: You are ignoring my main point: group based ideology is being used by THE RIGHT for generations and right now and is a far bigger threat than the campus activists you disparage. That is a relaity that you seem to be ignoring.

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    • I’m not ignoring it at all. But I don’t think any amount of reason or discussion of facts is going to alter the core beliefs of Tea Party supporters who make up the bulk of Trump supporters. The topic of the post was the usefulness of Heather’s daily updating of her historical perspective in today’s political events and the comments have been about getting rid of Trump. I think the key to doing so is to get the central portion of voters to unite – voters from both the Left and Right who support the founding principles of liberal secular democracy. The greatest shift that brought Trump into power was voters who consider themselves liberal but chose Trump in the last election, which reveals to all of us just how profoundly shifted has been this vast the center towards the extreme Left, so much so that even the insanity that is Trump is preferable to these voters.

      Think about that. Mainstream voters by their millions upon millions chose Trump.

      My question is why?

      And my answer FOR THESE VOTERS is that what passes for the Left these days is very far removed from the unifying principles upon which the United States was founded and has thrived in spite of significant challenges and change. I feel the explanation is because these principles are being systematically dismantled BY THE LEFT whenever and wherever democrats are elected, making them unelectable to much of this vast middle majority.

      So when you use the, “But what about-ism…” argument, I think you are failing to address the real problem here, the why and how so many people could vote for Trump… not once but twice. Blaming the Right is like answering any question with Godidit; it’s not an answer because it doesn’t address the condition but rails against the symptom.

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      • MANY voters (mostly those who spent little time thinking about politics) chose Trump because (a) they did not like Hillary (for various and sundry reasons which have been presented innumerable times in the past), and (b) he was a political unknown so they figured, what the heck. He’s gotta’ be better than Hillary. AND, I believe, they were swayed by the rhetoric about him being a “successful” businessman … so what could go wrong?

        Of course, my explanations are much less sophisticated than yours, but nevertheless, I do think they played a role because this is what I heard “on the street” — not in the political think tanks.

        One other thing … you would be worthy of a medal if you were ever able to “get the central portion of voters to unite – voters from both the Left and Right who support the founding principles of liberal secular democracy.” Especially in the current climate.

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        • I wonder how your reasoning here will evolve when Trump nearly or does win the next election. I still say the fear most voters have for the Democrats will outweigh the obvious lunacy from Trump. I don’t think this is a ‘sophisticated’ observation at all but one almost every Left voter simply refuses to address – or even grant any attention at all – in the delusional world of assuming identity politics – aka repackaged Marxism – accurately describes our society.

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    • Base, in the same way creationists by definition do not understand why evolution is true, so too today’s ctrl Leftists do not understand why they are by definition anti-liberal. Claiming as you do that the Right has used group-based ideology first and so the Left is just playing fair is the same as creationists claiming evolutionary biologists are just as religious. It makes no sense but is such a warped framing of reality that it ends up just a word game where up means down and white is another kind of black.

      The Right and Left of the liberal secular democracy political spectrum embraces a slightly different set of values, all of which have a home in classical liberalism (like respect for tradition on the Right vs respect for reform on the Left, but where the autonomy of the individual in law is upheld by both). One reaches the extremes in both cases when this fundamental value of individual autonomy is rejected in favour of something else. The extreme Right where, say, White Supremacists live replaces individual autonomy with race-based rights is the same rejection of the liberal principle as is, say, the extreme Left where social justice warriors live replaces individual autonomy with gender-based rights. The one does not justify the other. Both are anti-liberal.

      Today’s take-over of the Academy and mass media by the extreme Left is producing anti-liberal results. The idea that society is compromised only by a hierarchy of groups with varying degrees of power and privilege is an extension of an extreme belief. This IS the core principle of Marxism – that groups are real and people are described by their group membership (or memberships in intersectionality) – which is why I make reference to it. We know every historical example of Marxism when implemented results in either a failed state or a place of terrible abuse. The only difference with today’s version is the switch in terminology away from the bourgeois and proletariat and capitalism into the terminology of victims and victimizers and socialism. But it’s the same anti-liberal idea with the same anti-liberal results when acted upon.

      Under liberalism, the West has advanced in every category of social well-being. Sure, equality in law once meant white males, then it included white and black males, then it included minority males, then it included women. Equality in law once meant the rejection of primogeniture law (eldest male inherits) but has morphed into equality of opportunity (like public school for all). In all cases, the political progress has been towards establishing in practice a truly liberal understanding of advancing individual autonomy for all where any other affiliations or identities were secondary. Interracial marriage, gay marriage, gender neutral employment, and so on, where the usual culprits of discrimination were tackled in court and defeated one by one. Not completely, of course, because liberal values always need to be defended by each generation like a rising tide.

      Under today’s version of Marxism often called ‘social justice’ we see a reversal of this rising tide of equality and a return to hierarchy. We see group-based ideology playing an ever increasingly legal way to bring back race as a defining feature in law, such as Harvard’s use of racial quotas for denying Asian students equal access. We see gender being brought back as a defining feature in law, such as the firing of James Damore at Google for his memo on how sex-based preferences of employment decreases the hiring pool to obtain 50-50 gender parity he was ordered to fulfill. We see the return of status for victimhood where men and women who hook up the night before both launch a sexual assault case against the other the next morning. We see a Right wing example of violence on the front page or leading a news report but either no mention of Left wing examples of equivalent violence or a litany of published excuses why Left wing violence should be justified against the supposed representative of the alt Right.

      We see the Marxist principle of equity replacing the liberal value of equality one policy at a time, in the public domain of government, in the business domain eager to avoid confrontation with and vilification by the Twitter mob, and throughout academia where people who try to use the liberal value of equality and respect for what’s true in reality are hounded out of these careers for blasphemy against the group-based equity ideology. One needs to look no further than Evergreen State College or Oberlin College to see the extent post secondary institutions have caved to this new Left’s totalitarian bent. Even professional organizations and oversight colleges have also submitted to their new Overlords like CERN’s reaction to the idea proposed by Alessandro Strumia that 20% female PhDs does not indicate a bias in the profession but the reality of sex-based preferences by individuals. He was fired. As Peterson and others of the heterodoxy point out, where the gate-keepers of gender and racial bias are missing (like voluntary Wikipedia editors, for example), we see the strongest examples of sex-based differences in preference in action. This is especially true in Sweden where we see the largest inequity where equality of opportunity is most supported. This demonstrates the incoherence of today’s SJW who presumes equality is represented by equity when, in fact the two are diametrically opposed! In other words, no amount of government bureaucracy can overcome what’s true in reality even though today’s eager virtue signallers insist they can by forcing others to comply.

      So when you suggest group-based ideology’s home is with the Right without grasping just how anti-liberal and in fact anti-American is today’s social justice warrior’s ideology, you are missing the point why so many people have and will vote for a despicable populist like Trump over and above any candidate the ctrl Left’s Democrats could field.

      The point here is that not understanding a problem will not ever lead one to finding a solution that works in reality. Reality has to be respected first. The very first step is to understand the problem to Trump’s election lies with the Left’s inability to recognize its central illiberal assumptions and broken ideology and how this makes a significant contribution to ensuring his reelection. If you want to defeat Trump, stop supporting illiberal politicians and their illiberal parties and start supporting those who do.

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  13. “The greatest shift that brought Trump into power was voters who consider themselves liberal but chose Trump in the last election, which reveals to all of us just how profoundly shifted has been this vast the center towards the extreme Left, so much so that even the insanity that is Trump is preferable to these voters.”

    This is the core of our disagreement, You think leftist group thought drove people AWAY from Trump.

    I think Trump’s appeal to CONSERVATIVE (read: racial and cultural fears) group thought is the reason for the shift.

    Note that I agree that for some people your argument may have played a role. But partly because conservative/white privilege group thought played upon these fears and emphasized them. But such is politics.

    Unfortunately, the other reason is that the Democratic Party HAS abandoned the working class. But I am not sure what the answer is for a largely unskilled workforce that cannot compete with better educated (and more thoroughly cowed and controlled) workforces in Asia-who are also much cheaper. The Democratic Party seems to believe we can all be programmers designing Aps to let us see what a (Chinese-made!) couch looks like in our living room-and we can run an entire economy on that. Trump’s answer has been incoherent and inconsistent and hypocritical-and designed to fatten the wallets of his supporters in dinosaur industries. But people still heard his appeal, even if it is ultimately futile and feeble.

    Heck, you yourself offer little on this issue other than dark mutterings about “Marxism” straight from the GOP playbook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This reads exactly like a fully indoctrinated True Believer unwilling and perhaps unable to revisit core beliefs no matter what evidence is raised that will not comport with the embraced ideology.

      For example, in almost every county (and I’m thinking it was unanimous but I could be wrong) that borders Canada – including many counties that have voted both democratic and republican in the past – they elected Trump. The people in these counties are quite familiar with the policies north of the border and are under no mass delusion about what this kind of social democracy looks like but but still voted for Trump over the democrats. Why? Because the schizophrenic democratic party scares them with their group-based ideology that does not track with reality.

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    • Base, I’m kinda like one of these people that Tilbed is talking about. Ok, I’ll come clean. I struggled greatly in the last election, and almost didn’t vote at all. I’m more libertarian or some might say, “classic liberal.”

      I voted for Trump because at the time, he seemed the lesser of the evils, and I didn’t feel right not voting at all. I was weeping as I cast my ballot.

      Actually, Trump has done better than I expected. I don’t like certain aspects of his background, his temperment, and these god awful tweets. And, I truly wish there was an even better third alternative.

      As it stands, given the current croup of popular democratic nominees, I will probably vote for Trump again.

      But, base, I am nothing like the person you envision as a Trump supporter. I don’t fear cultural shifts or people of color. I support the rights of gay and lesbian people to marry. I want us to accept legal immigrants and asylum seekers into the country. I care about prison reform..

      Well, I suppose I could go on and on. But, my positions, I feel are well thought out, and I’m open to dialogue and other input.

      But, take it from me, if you accept the stereotypes of all the Trump voters as being these uneducated, racists, gun-totin homophobes, xenophobes, you name it….It’s not true, Base.

      I have to admit to something else. I don’t always share my views with people. Often because of my persona and work with immigrants, my conviction toward things like a plant-based whole foods diet, love of the natural world, etc., people naturally assume I’m progressive politically. Yet, I”m not.

      People will mock Trump supporters, and claim that “you can’t talk and reason with these people..etc.” There are times when I do try to engage in dialogue, but other times I just don’t want to get into an argument or face being stereotyped and rejected out of hand. I mean in some places, people could face even lose of employment. And, I think well their minds are made up anyway.

      But, of course, when we remain silent, these stereotypes can take hold, and we’re not building bridges across the divide, either. So, I’ve become more committed to speaking up. It’s not always easy.

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      • Bravely said, Becky.

        I think you speak for a rather vast, self-censoring silent portion of the voting public. In the same way many typical Left wing classical liberal voters are not represented by the extreme socialist/Marxist progressive wing that is now the Democratic Party, so too are many Right wing classical conservative liberal voters not represented by the extreme Tea Party authoritarian Trump wing that is now the Republican Party.

        Voting Democrat is not a solution to this Great Divide. I suspect when the Democrats lose again to Trump there will be an internal revolt and the party will split into two… with the Bernies and AOCs sliding into one side and the Bidens and Klobachurs into the other but dropping all the ‘progressive’ identity hierarchy nonsense.

        Until a party arises that can attract you and what I think is the vast middle swath of reasonable liberal voters, I can’t see anything changing. I sincerely think the typical academic Left wing True Believer (and not just the anyone-but-Trump) democratic is absolutely clueless about the typical liberal voter and is unable to grasp how to politically attract this voter outside of classroom indoctrination centers; instead, we see a doubling down of regressive, fascist demands for increasing self-censorship, censuring of non believers, and deer-in-the-headlights tolerance to have their individual autonomy stripped away in the name of public virtue and wokeness.

        As Peterson points out, any American can imagine becoming wealthy and so is not completely put off by belonging to a party that has various political leaders and business people having great wealth. But most Americans cannot imagine becoming ever more intelligent and so ARE put off by belonging to a party that has various political leaders and business people having such great intelligence that they alone can make sense of the social hierarchy of victims and victimizers into which each of us are being slotted… with white, ‘privileged’ males regardless of character and actual history being placed at the bottom. Gee, I wonder why this assignment isn’t so attractive to a voting base made up of about 35% of exactly this. Obviously I’m not smart enough to know why this should be attractive enough to vote in support of its proponents. But then, some people actually don’t think of themselves as guilt-ridden mewling voters who need to apologize to everyone for everything. Go figure.

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  14. Just an observation or two: have you ever noticed how unpleasant all those jowly wobbly-eyed Presidential attendants look? There’s not one of them I would want to be in an elevator with.

    It seems to me that the furor over this is self-imposed: when Clinton was accused (and don’t get me started on that one) by Ms. Innocent, the entire procedure was quietly played out and then done with. He admitted what he admitted, and said, unequivocally, “I did not have sex with that woman.’. Being a southerner, if she had tried to stab him, he would have probably said he accidentally poked himself with a carving knife.

    When Nixon (and his own gang of jowly wobbly-eyed thugs) got caught, the evidence was presented, it played out, and he resigned.

    Trump, on the other hand, admits everything and then says “Because Im the president, I can.” and fires everyone.

    And quite frankly, Trump got elected because someone futzed with the electoral college. Go back and look at the popular vote. Not exactly a close contest…what that does, to my mind, is negate the entire idea of a popular vote, and Im just afraid too many people are just going to not bother to vote either way, because he’ll just do it again. If the Dem. contender won hands down by 10 Million votes, be sure that Trump will be reelected. That’s the discouraging thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I definitely think that Heather has some really valid and insightful points. I completely agree with her analysis of how the Republican party came to be.

    However, I was a bit concern with how she characterized socialism. She wrote, “It was not socialism, of course; socialism is a system in which the government owns the means of production.”

    Communism is the system in which the government owns the means of production, not socialism. Socialism, private property can still exists. Socialism simply means that the means of production are owned by society, not the government. Socialism is a collective movement, where institutions are all made public for the people and community.

    That bit concerned me. Perhaps it’s just semantics, but it definitely shows how the American propoganda has succeeded in equating both socialism and communism as one term.

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    • Hi (pen name) Nat! Welcome to my “notebook!”

      I appreciate your last remark on how the “American propoganda” (sic) has succeeded.

      Interestingly, Merriam-Webster defines socialism thus: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods. Perhaps the use of “governmental ownership” creates the confusion.

      On the other hand, Britannica.com states socialism is social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources.

      In any event, I do thank you for stopping by and offering your thoughts on this. I hope you’ll comment more frequently.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm! Merriam-Webster defines it like that! Communism is actually a branch of socialism if I recall correctly from my political theories class.

        According to the Oxford dictionary, socialism is “A political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.” So, this was my understanding of it from my professors and classes.

        It’s interesting how even the dictionary definitions can deviate!

        Will be looking forward to browsing more posts!! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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