The Dark Places

darkness

I’m sure I don’t need to repeat myself, but I’m going to anyway … I’m a fan of Heather Cox Richardson. 😊 I read every newsletter she writes … and recently started reading some of the comments as well.

Awhile back, I posted the comments of an individual who had written what I was thinking … and today, I found another person who expressed my thoughts. And maybe yours as well. In any case, for the benefit of those who might have missed it, following is a portion of Eric O’Donnell’s remarks in response to Heather’s most recent newsletter where she talks about recent and upcoming elections.

Trump touched the dark places in tens of millions of American souls. He awoke and aroused those who hate and fear cities, hated a black President, hated the smug entitlement of Hillary Clinton, hated being preached to about climate, hated the speed with which the new economy had trashed their towns and workplaces. Above all they felt looked down upon by others whom they perceived to be riding a higher horse.

The podcast “S***Town” opened millions of eyes to present day life in the poorer regions of the South. The characters in this extraordinarily interesting true saga live lives bereft of meaning. Their expressed philosophy, uttered before they do anything illegal, dangerous or profoundly anti-social, is “Fuck it.” Meaning this will probably bite me in the ass, but I’m going to do it anyway. How much worse can my life get?

Those are the people Trump galvanized. They’d been waiting decades for someone to spit on those whom they perceived to be elites and Trump did that and then some.

They followed him and gradually the movement became larger and larger, spreading like wildfire, propelling Trump to an election win that shocked everybody, including those who felt they were just along for a good ride.

Trump became a god to many of them. They would criticize nothing he did, twisting every evil word and deed around until they could make it sound moral or at least, justified in the opportunity to give “the elites” another well-deserved kick.

The movement became a cult. It is now fully engraved in the psyche of half – give or take – of America. Their fealty is limitless. “I’d walk behind Trump and clean up his shit”, one proud to be a Trump serf declared to the media just before the 2020 election.

These people are not going away. Democrats are going to lose key elections to them if the candidate makes the slightest error. And so, McAuliffe last night.

Here is the link to O’Donnell’s complete comment.
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Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

67 thoughts on “The Dark Places

  1. Truer words can not be spoken. And yet, Trump is an entitled, elite, wealthy, little crybaby who does nothing to help his followers EXCEPT to feed their basest and most ugly feelings and beliefs about those in America they perceive as “the other.” Scary, scary stuff.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Yes it is, Jeff. VERY scary. Especially when there are foreboding signs that the Repukes may once again gain control. IMO, Biden is failing to vitalize the Dems and it’s going to show in the upcoming elections. I hope I’m wrong, but …

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yep. IMO, he’s, Biden’s, weak! He needs to knock Machin and Sinema’s heads together and get his agenda passed! I’m so sick of the Dems being weak! The GOP will NEVER give up power once they re-seize it. They’ll rule until America is driven into a dust spot. So very, very sad. Especially for future generations. What will be left of the planet and the country for them once the GOP is done chewing these things up and vomiting them back out? Sad.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Know your enemy, but do not become him. Too many people have drunk the Kool-Aid, and now liberal Americans are going to suffer for it. America is dying. It needs a life saver. Biden was never going to be a life-saver. Maybe Kamala needs to take over.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Because a change is necessary, and Harri is in the best legal situation to do something. Whether she is capable or not, I have no idea. But Biden is wishy-washy. He is showing no signs of strong leadership, which is exactly what I feared and commented about during the primaries. But he was chosen, so I hoped he could get the job done.
        I haven’t heard all the election results from last night, but for a demagogue like Youngkin to get elected in Virginia, something is terribly wrong. Texas was a warning that none listened to, or the wrong people listened. The more states that take the Texas route, the worse things will become for everyone. Someone has to do something. Biden is not capable.

        Liked by 5 people

        • I agree about Biden … I’m just not all that comfortable with Harris. Of course, as you say, she’s “next in line” should something happen to Biden so we’d have to take what we get.

          Yes, there’s something “terribly wrong” because Youngkin did get elected. And that “terribly wrong” has been growing almost daily. As Jeff said … if the Repukes get a foothold, they’re not going to relinquish any of their power — and the U.S. will go downhill fast.

          I think for many of us in the U.S., we’re seeing the beginning of the end. I truly, truly hope not, but …

          Liked by 3 people

        • It looks that way from out of the USA also. What is fearful is if the Republicans decide to do some real empire-building, considering all the weaponry you have. Canada and Mexico would be their first targets. Canada would be a pushover.

          Liked by 1 person

    • “Biden was never going to be a life-saver. Maybe Kamala needs to take over.” I’d certainly agree with that statement. Biden is and always was a member of the ‘good ole boy’ network. He is by no means progressive. Heck, not that long ago he would have been classified as a mainstream Republican before that party went raving extremist.

      I’m very, very tired of a government by OWM (Old White Men). We badly need younger voices and more people of color and more women in government.

      Liked by 3 people

      • We won’t know that until she tries. But as I suggested to Nan, she is the legal favourite to replace Biden after he is assassinated by Trump”s MAGAts. Though why they would do that is beyond me. He is paving the way for Trump’s triumphant return, with help from Manchin and Senema.

        Liked by 1 person

        • She’s the natural successor, I agree, but it doesn’t have to be her. I don’t think she is strong enough just like Biden.
          Trump definitely will be the nominee, unless he dies a natural death and no democrat has a chance against him. And our democracy will be gone. The writing is on the wall and it’s just the way history repeats over and over.

          Liked by 1 person

        • If Harris is as weak as Biden, definitely the USA is doomed. But I think part of that weakness comes from party leadership — the powers ae behind the throne, and those powers are holding her down — maybe, if she were President, she could tell the powers-that-be to go screw themselves. Maybe!
          If not Harris, then who? Buttegieg sounded like he might have a chance, but no way did those powers want to risk having a gay presidential candidate. “Middle America would never put up with that!” It actually seems to me that the Democratic powers want the Republicans in the Oval Office, because they sure are not supporting Biden. Are they all wealthy themselves, and like having lower taxes and Corporate Welfare? It certainly seems that way!

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        • Of course the “background” powers play a major role in any president’s decisions and actions. But that’s all the more reason why the U.S. needs a leader that’s skilled in negotiation and has strong leadership qualities. IMO, Biden fails at both. There were a couple of individuals who were in the running that, I think, would have filled the bill, but alas, “the people” chose otherwise.

          As much as I hate to say it, I think part of the reason Trump continues to hold a spell over some people is his strong “presence.” Plus, he knows how to “work a crowd.” Of course, politically, he’s disastrous … but he says what (some) people want to hear. On the other hand, Biden has a tendency to “mumble” and so the country seems to be in a rowboat floating in a very big ocean.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Eric O’Donnell opened his lengthy comment saying:

    I’m really not in agreement that lack of education causes people to coalesce around Trump and Trumps in sheep’s clothing.

    Then O’Donnell states in his next sentence:

    America is profoundly, irreconcilably split. That is an absolute rock solid, take it to the bank certainty.

    And then at the very end, after broadstroking (correctly I might add) a microcosm of America’s last 2-3 decades politically “split” to the point of SEEMINGLY irreconcilably split, he concludes:

    Two things are certain. President Manchin woke up this morning feeling the wind behind his sails and he will be further persuaded not to yield an inch. It is to weep.

    The other is, and I occasionally have made this point in the past, it’s way past time to arrest some people with name recognition.

    Where O’Donnell sees overwhelming errors and mistakes by the DNC to assess appropriate, critical ‘High Profile, High Value’ targets inside their metaphorical Barrett M99 .50-caliber sniper rifle cross-hairs—i.e. “one shot, one kill”—seemingly placing the USA on the endangered species list (nearer extinction than ever before)… I don’t quite see the distant future so glumly or “irreconcilable.”

    What took actually 4-7 decades to dismantle or destroy prior to WW2 and briefly the wonderful 1980’s and 1990’s (yet not in all respects, of course) will indeed take AT MINIMUM 4-7 decades to salvage, repair, and rebuild stronger! But only if ONE key component(s) is/are present throughout this present-day, barely whole by a few threads, nation. What is it? A more UNIFIED, general national spirit at the very LEAST compromised by Centrist Secular principles! Why not? If for no other reason than BOTH polarized radical ideologies to concede, to find available common ground which is exactly as our six (6) Core Founding Fathers of this nation intended AND which is easily verifiable as such in not just their Library of Congress final drafts of our country’s hallowed Founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers—but found aplenty all throughout their PERSONAL handwritten letters to each other, to other friends/compatriots, and family members! It is all very well documented that our nation was indeed created as a NEUTRALLY SECULAR nation favoring no one or two ideologies, religions, or faiths, BUT… BUT simply one basic principle: Humanity only, and on equal terms by Laws alone. Period!

    Yes, I know what you are thinking regarding my last sentence, which is no easy task by ANY MEANS. But honestly, what is the alternative? Business as usual in the direction we’ve been heading the last 30-75 years? HAH!

    If this doesn’t happen, an unwavering Centrist POV that all Americans agree upon and uphold by their very life & lifeblood, then this country WILL NOT stand as our six (6) Core Founding Fathers designed it and put into a framework of Laws. Period. THAT you can take to the bank O’Donnell. 😉

    So yes, it actually IS A LOT about education; the RIGHT education! 🎓

    Liked by 3 people

    • Sorry Nan, typo I made. My sentence “What took actually 4-7 decades to dismantle or destroy prior to WW2 and briefly… should’ve read:

      “…4-7 decades to dismantle or destroy post-WW2…” and briefly the good decades of the ’80s and ’90s. My apologies Ma’am. 🙂

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  4. This may explain why McDonald’s oft-repeated mantra ‘the teaching of CRT in schools isn’t happening’ and why vilifying those who vote Republican as idiots and racists is nothing more and nothing less than an admission of failure to understand reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • IMO, there is way too much hullabaloo on CRT. There are FAR MORE important issues that need to be discussed and resolved.

      Of course, at its core, politics is all about appealing to the masses using whatever means/cause that will bring the desired results.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Remember the list you offered on how the various professions and trades tended to vote? I think this offers real insight how and why Americans as a whole are so incredibly dysfunctional politically. Vilifying the ‘other side’ is truly the national sport.

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      • From Heather’s latest newsletter:

        Meanwhile, the Republicans continue to focus on culture wars like the manufactured Critical Race Theory crisis, claiming that educators are destroying America.

        So are you saying in your various remarks on this subject that the Dems should spend more time counteracting this? It seems to me there are more important issues for them to focus on. Or maybe I’m missing your point? (I often do.)

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  5. The democrats are their own worst enemy at times and the republicans are our own worst enemy. I’m afraid the writing is on the wall…glad I’m old.
    Right wing mania is growing all over the world, not just the US. We knew it wouldn’t last forever.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The Democrats drive away centrists by insisting highly divisive ideas like critical race theory practices aren’t taught and implemented in schools when they are. Then the Democrats vilify anyone who disagrees with this lie, those who think divisive and unsafe group identity ideology is bad public policy especially in education, and calls them bad people, racist, stupid, are ignorant, while people like Sears are elected by these ‘stupid and ignorant racists’. What’s being described by Democratic apologists is the vast center of voters who have exactly one political alternative to this hostile takeover of the Democratic party, those who are gob-smacked when people actually vote Republican. The working class in general has been abandoned and vilified by the Democrats if they speak up against this takeover, if they dare to criticize their ‘betters’, if they don’t go along with dismantling the very institutions and laws that implement and protect liberal values. And then these ‘betters’ blame Trump for their own political seppuku!

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    • But who the F cares about CRT theory being taught in schools? I mean … I’m 61 years old, I went to school in the 60s & 70s. We read “Black Boy” in high school … they would call that being taught CRT theory NOW, where it’s just a good book by a black writer. There’s absolutely no reason why kids shouldn’t be taught all kinds of literature by all kinds of people.

      You can teach kids about America’s racist past without calling people racists, without calling them stupid, without calling them names AT ALL. JUST TELL THE FUCKING TRUTH ALREADY.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Who cares? Enough people to swing elections to the Republican side and that entails… not that that seems to matter to so many Democrats determined to support the circular firing squad and pretend someone else is to blame for pulling the trigger. CRT is not a course; it’s a way of thinking, of seeing the world. As David Frum pointed out earlier this week and that I think is on target, “What a weird thing it will be if Donald Trump has done less harm to the Republican brand than Robin DiAngelo has done to the Democratic brand.” That’s the power of CRT to swing elections and why it matters to anyone who gives a crap.

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        • So in order to assuage the feefees of white old suburban voters we have to sugar coat everything? “America is the purest shining light of civilization and black people should be happy we enslaved them because that way they came to Jesus” There….I have outlined in one sentence the tiledb educational curriculum for our mainstream “sensitive” voters!

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  7. tiledb: There is a bit of frustration involved. How is my snark really inaccurate as to what you are repeatedly saying here when you return from (I assume) one of your Cletus Safaris? The constant mantra of the sins of the left. Nowhere is there any demand for the Trump voters to understand City residents, Biden voters, heck Bernie supporters. I actually share some of your frustration with the new fundamentalist religion which is dominating some of the left (Wokeism). But you are too willing to indulge the right, as well as being unwilling to admit that many of the, for example, January 6 rioters are hardly impoverished victims of society. Those awful blowing coal trucks driven by Trumpalo blowhards cost over $70,000. You accept their self definition and self indulgence without any real critique. Sure, that makes it harder to win elections, but….if Americans cannot accept certain realities of their history and society, I am not sure we deserve to be a republic?

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    • Elections are won or lost by relatively small shifts at the center of the political spectrum. My concern is that far too many typical and moderate voters of the ‘Left’ – not the extreme Leftists but the average and moderate person close to the center who usually does not vote for the Right – stupidly and repeatedly and myopically pushes this center towards voting for the alternative, namely the ‘Right’, with growing appeasement for the idiocy of the woke movement in all its forms (everything from BLM to defund the police to transactivism to CRT to rewriting history to offense archeology to renaming birds to moving rocks to Israeli condemnation to championing hijabs to open borders to academic purges to mandatory RightSpeak to excusing antifa rioting to… well, the list is long and keeps on growing).

      Taken together, all of these ‘Left wing’ allowances and appeasements pushes enough moderate and centrist voters into voting for an alternative – any alternative – REGARDLESS of how bad the alternative is or might turn out to be. These voters find the ‘Left’ bad enough, thank you very much. And growing worse all the time.

      I think the ‘Left’ – meaning anyone who understandably and for really good reasons wants to keep the ‘Right’ out of power – should stop doing this, stop going along to get along, stop pointing out and blaming the ‘other’ side as somehow worse because that isn’t the push; the push is from the Left by the Left through this lack of much needed criticism and growing vilification and viciousness against anyone who dares to push back. I think people on the ‘Left’ need to wake up and realize how destructive this going along to get along is and stop handing political power to the Right. We don’t need to fight the Republicans on this; we need to get the Left’s house in order and get back to supporting liberal democratic principles first and policies based on them second. That will welcome home those in the center, those moderates, and guarantee political power stays in the hands of the sane.

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      • Well … whaddaya know? I got it! Points well made. EXCEPT … you didn’t offer suggestions on ways that your projected goals might be accomplished. And I’m talking about real-life solutions, not just comments made on blogs or letters to the editor or participating in marches.

        IOW, what do you suggest the average citizen can do to “stop going along.”

        Liked by 1 person

        • As someone wiser than I said, “We got here through cowardice; we get out of it with courage.” Another said, “Do not lie.” Both are personal. Both require individual action.

          I think the great strength and virtue of Western civilization are liberal principles. So it’s important to learn what these are and why they matter. To each and every person on the globe. That’s personal. I’ve said this before about the importance of such principles, of applying these principles to one’s behaviour, to one’s positions and opinions and actions. Implementing and defending liberal principles is the difference between holding off both anarchy and authoritarianism and always makes one part of the solution, a part of serving the greatest number of real people in real life with maximum opportunity and freedom in the endless quest to try one’s best to do one’s part and work towards obtaining the greatest common good. These principles are the measuring stick for supporting or criticizing all public policies and law. These are the benchmark to vote accordingly. Speak accordingly. Do accordingly. Criticize accordingly. Support accordingly. Praise accordingly. I put money and effort into organizations that meet this standard. No matter how small that effect may be, I know in my heart I am helping move myself, my family and friends, my acquaintances, my communities, and my country in the right direction. And it always comes at a price but one that lets me sleep at night knowing I’m doing the best I can.

          When I combine these – liberal principles, courage, and not lying – I think it’s good advice to keep in mind for everyone. I think this triad is the source of being able to stand against the crowd, of not turning our backs on real people in real life when convenient or when it seems like the easier path or more popular one or the one that receives the most applause or reward. I will never bomb the village to save it because I am never foolish enough to believe that groups or words or ideas are real but people are not. Most importantly, this is where we find the courage to not lie, to not go along with a lie no matter who says it, in whatever context, for whatever loftier goal that may be promised. Staying true to these liberal principles when others are not and living by them with courage in spite of costly consequences sets the example that others will definitely respect and often try to emulate. I guarantee this principled stand – sometimes with and sometimes outside one’s various tribal affiliations attracts people from both the Left and the Right… especially the Right. And that creates the necessary common ground – of honest respect and caring concern – for real dialogue, real compromise, finding a real middle path in action that benefits all. I will not lie.

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        • This is the way other movements have overcome authoritarianism in whatever form it comes. This is the solution Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn talks about. This is the solution people who survived various kinds of authoritarian oppression talk about, from religious persecution to resistance fighters in occupied Europe during WWII to Lech Wałęsa and Václav Havel. This is the way the diaspora keep united.

          It is not simple. It takes courage. It takes individual choices to keep on the path, to keep at it, to keep going.

          For example, when someone suggests segregation by race is bad but ‘affinity’ housing by race on campus is good, you hear the lie. When someone tells you a male can be a female, you hear the lie. When someone insists your silence is violence, you hear the lie. The choice each of us must make is whether or not we go along with it. How courageous are you to withstand the consequences of not doing so, of confronting the lies, of criticizing them, of refusing to participate in their spread? Are you more obedient to authoritarianism or to your principles not to lie?

          Multiply this refusal to lie by millions of everyday people over time and you defang this totalitarian ideology and it dies a well deserved death. Divide this refusal by going along to get along by millions and we find ourselves right here right now. What do you do, what will you do next? You provide the answer; not me.

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        • “As a first step we can start by defending each other based on the principle that a woke attack on one is an attack on all.”

          “Our weapons in this war of ideas are simply the belief in the old ideals of the American revolution: equality under the law, our freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, the power of reason and reasoned debate, the scientific method.”

          Princeton mathematician Sergiu Klainerman, an immigrant to the US and refugee from Nicolae Ceausescu’ Communist Romania. (Source)

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        • So you write long whining essays, mostly addressed to people who already share those ideals.

          In short, you have nothing. You have no ideas that would actually help with the problem. You just repeatedly bullshit about it.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Unlike you, Neil, I actually listen, read, and follow the advice of people who have lived through the ‘problem’. Unlike you, Neil, I don’t just classify their advice as ‘whining’ and I don’t wave it away as ‘bullshit’. Unlike you, Neil, I don’t add to the problem but do what little I can to help.

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        • tildeb — you talk a good talk, but it seems apparent you aren’t “getting” Neil’s feedback. You say you “don’t add to the problem but do what little I can to help.” WHAT are those little things you’re doing? WHAT are things you might suggest that others do? Don’t dance around the question by offering long dissertations on principle. Get down to brass tacks and give examples. Try to take off your teaching cap. Recognize that, as Neil said, most of us already share the ideals you present.

          The person that wrote the response to Heather talked about the “cult” of Trump and laid out what its people are all about. Most of my blog readers are repulsed by the things they do … but short of emulating them, what can WE do to bring progressive/democratic ideas to the forefront?

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        • But I’ve said it repeatedly: don’t support wokism, don’t vilify critics of it, don’t go along to get along, challenge those who advocate anti-liberal policies like censoring, deplatforming, canceling, firing, disinvesting, for the authoritarian actions they are, and stop pretending that this support, this excusing, this willingness is acceptable because it’s ‘progressive’. It’s not. All all of this is authoritarian. Take people to task regardless of political membership for advancing authoritarianism in the name of ‘tolerance’, who advocate racist policies in the name of ‘diversity’, who excuse loss of freedom of expression as battling ‘harm’, and so on. This is your civic duty if you are a supporter of liberal principles. Not doing so makes you something else. Criticize this something else and hold people accountable for doing so, no matter how ‘nice’ someone wants to paint their illiberal actions.

          I lump all of this under the individual responsibility of refusing to lie, of being courageous against the faceless mob of anti-liberals in the liberal ranks that demands equity rather than equality. Of sticking to principles rather than appeasing mob mentality on display, a display throughout media – historical as well as social – that shifts enough centrist voters to the right to guarantee enough Republican victories to bring back Trumpism into full destructive power. That is the ‘solution’ and its personal and ongoing.

          So when Neil addresses none of this but pretends some magical solution must be nice and neatly packaged by others and presented to him gift wrapped for his convenience before he will deign not to wave it away out of hand and classify it all as ‘bullshit’ and ‘whining’, his mindset is EXACTLY the problem rotting the Left while he goes back to pretending today’s partisan dysfunctional situation it’s all the other guy’s fault, the fault of those stupid and ignorant racists. Like the Church Lady would say, “How conveeeeniant” to blame the Devil.

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  8. In the article … We are quietly voting with our chequebooks and our direct debits

    THIS is what I’m talking about. Real-life actions! Not a bunch of lofty suggestions like “refusing to lie, being courageous, sticking to principles, hold people accountable.”

    And no, Neil is not “whining.” He’s asking for the same thing I am.

    Liked by 2 people

    • All real life actions come from individual decisions to act. What I have been advocating is why the decisions matter, why they need to be acted upon individually. And hey, if you’re considering a sizeable donation or endowment to your alma mater, by all means reconsider. But the point in the specific is the same for the general: stop supporting woke idiocy in every way.

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    • Oh, and that CRT that doesn’t exist to affect elections like Virginia’s?

      From Loudon County, Matt Taibbi reports,

      “I met people who didn’t care about “Critical Race Theory,” if they even knew what it was, but were still offended by the existence of a closed Facebook group — the “Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County” — that contains six school board members and apparently compiled a list of parents deemed insufficiently supportive of “racial equity efforts.” Still others were troubled by a controversy involving the process by which an outside consultancy called the Equity Collaborative came to be hired, at a cost of roughly $500,000, to conduct an “equity assessment” based on a report of racial insensitivity at one school.”

      Yup, just another figment of what Obama calls the “phony culture wars,” involving really angry parents that Attorney General Merrick Garland calls “domestic terrorists” voting against now ex-governor McAuliffe who insisted parents shouldn’t have a say in the matter.

      This is how Republicans are getting elected: by what I call the circular firing squad that is today version
      of ‘progressive’ liberalism running for public office. Claiming it’s all Trump’s fault does not address the problem here.

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    • I urge everyone here to read Andrew Sullivan’s The Weekly Dish commentary if they are able (The Woke Meet Their Match: Parents). If not, here the heart of the matter:

      “And if the culture war is fought explicitly on the terms laid out by the Kendi left and the Youngkin right (edit governor-elect Youngkin of Virginia) and the culture war is what determines political outcomes, then the GOP will always win (my emphasis). Most Americans, black and white, simply don’t share the critique of America as essentially a force for oppression, or want its constitution and laws and free enterprise “dismantled” in order to enforced racial “equity.” They understand the evil of racism, they know how shameful the past has been, but they’re still down with Youngkin’s Obama-‘08 impression over McAuliffe’s condescending denials and the left’s increasingly hysterical race extremism.”

      And these facts:

      “Look at recent polling. A big survey from the Manhattan Institute of the 20th biggest metropolitan areas found that the public, 54-29, wants to remove CRT concepts such as “white privilege” or “systemic racism” from K-12 education. That includes black parents by a margin of 54-38 (my emphasis). And that’s in big cities. A new Harris poll asked, “Do you think the schools should promote the idea that people are victims and oppressors based on their race or should they teach children to ignore race in all decisions to judge people by their character?” Americans favored the latter 63-37.

      And when the Democrats and the mainstream media insist that CRT is not being taught in high schools, they’re being way too cute. Of course K-12 kids in Virginia’s public schools are not explicitly reading the collected works of Derrick Bell or Richard Delgado — no more than Catholic school kids in third grade are studying critiques of Aquinas. But they are being taught in a school system now thoroughly committed to the ideology and worldview of CRT, by teachers who have been marinated in it, and whose unions have championed it (my emphasis).

      And in Virginia, this is very much the case. The state’s Department of Education embraced CRT in 2015, arguing for the need to “re-engineer attitudes and belief systems” in education. In 2019, the department sent out a memo that explicitly endorsed critical race and queer theory as essential tools for teaching high school. Check out the VA DOE’s “Road Map to Equity,” where it argues that “courageous conversation” on “social justice, systemic inequity, disparate student outcomes and racism in our school communities is our responsibility and professional obligation. Now is the time to double down on equity strategies.” Check out the Youtube site for Virginia’s virtual 2020 summit on equity in education, where Governor Northam endorsed “antiracist school communities,” using Kendi’s language.

      Matt Taibbi found Virginia voters miffed by “the existence of a closed Facebook group — the ‘Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County’ — that contains six school board members and apparently compiled a list of parents deemed insufficiently supportive of ‘racial equity efforts.’” He found Indian and South Asian parents worried about the abolition of testing standards, as well they might be. And at school board meetings, in a fraught Covid era of kids-at-home, parents have been treated with, at best, condescension; and at worst, contempt. Remember how the National School Boards Association wanted the feds to designate some protests from these angry parents as “a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes” — and then withdrew that request?

      So do you still buy into Heather Cox Richardson’s assertion that CRT is not taught in public classrooms?

      “And during Covid, with nerves frayed by zoom-schooling, many parents have had their eyes opened about teachers’ unions. No surprise that one of the last campaigners for McAuliffe was Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers. At the AFT 2021 Conference, guess who was the keynote speaker? Ibram X Kendi! The other big teachers’ unions, the National Education Association, has explicitly called for teaching children CRT, pledging to publicize “an already-created, in-depth study that critiques white supremacy, anti-Blackness, anti-Indigeneity, racism, patriarchy … capitalism … and other forms of power and oppression.” They back The 1619 Project as a teaching tool. So all the unions, the governor, the Virginia education department, the paper of record, and the federal government think CRT is obligatory for teaching children. But absolutely none of that ever, ever reaches into the classroom. Please.”

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      • But what is your point (if you actually have a point)?

        “And if the culture war is fought explicitly on the terms laid out by the Kendi left and the Youngkin right (edit governor-elect Youngkin of Virginia) and the culture war is what determines political outcomes, then the GOP will always win (my emphasis).

        I already don’t agree with Kendi’s view of America.

        What do you want me to do? Should I become very authoritarian, and demand that the publisher withdraw his book?

        A big survey from the Manhattan Institute of the 20th biggest metropolitan areas found that the public, 54-29, wants to remove CRT concepts such as “white privilege” or “systemic racism” from K-12 education.

        Are those concepts actually being taught? I have not seen any evidence that they are.

        Again, do you expect me become all authoritarian, and demand that the state spy on individual teachers to make sure that they only teach what is acceptable to tildeb?

        Matt Taibbi found Virginia voters miffed by “the existence of a closed Facebook group — the ‘Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County’ — that contains six school board members and apparently compiled a list of parents deemed insufficiently supportive of ‘racial equity efforts.’”

        So do you want me to become all authoritarian, and demand that the particular facebook group be shutdown? Maybe those anti-racist parents deserve a voice, too. And maybe the six school board members are there as a way of giving them a voice.

        You just don’t get it.

        You keep posting about the benefits of being anti-authoritarian, but you manage to come across as very authoritarian. And you repeatedly post your authoritarian diatribes as comments to Nan’s blog posts.

        It is the nature of being anti-authoritarian, that we have to tolerate some things that we don’t like. We cannot shut them all down without becoming authoritarian.

        The woke brigade look authoritarian, because they have public tantrums. And institutions that should know better are sometimes going along. You are doing much the same, except that you are having your tantrums as comments on Nan’s blog.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Okay, Neil. See if you can follow this… it has length, so I’m not hopeful…

          Nan reblogged a comment that assigns Virginia’s election of the GOP win to the results from ‘the Dark Place’. The Dark Place is caused by Trump, in that ” He awoke and aroused those who hate and fear cities, hated a black President, hated the smug entitlement of Hillary Clinton, hated being preached to about climate, hated the speed with which the new economy had trashed their towns and workplaces. Above all they felt looked down upon by others whom they perceived to be riding a higher horse.”

          So far so good? Virginia voted GOP, we are assured in this comment, because of Trump and because of ‘those’ people who support him because he has appealed to their Dark Place.

          I think this is incorrect. I think is is very badly mistaken. I think this misses the boat completely. So I explain why. ‘Why’ explanations require a lot more words, even multiple paragraphs. Gird thy loins.

          I think what the commentator does, what many people here do, is shift the blame away from why Virginia actually elected a GOP governor. I think this shift has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any Dark Place. I think the consequence of being this badly misguided and incorrect in evaluating how the GOP gains these think electoral victories means the GOP will continue to win elections BECAUSE so few Democrats seem to grasp that THEY are to blame, not Trump.

          This is a hard pill to swallow. So I try to explain why it is actually the case.

          Democrats are to blame because, as I’ve explained, the large central portion of those who make up the middle of political spectrum – the moderates, the people who once upon a time would usually vote Democrat – has been PUSHED into voting for the GOP.

          I can’t just leave this notion here. I have to explain why I think this is the case.

          So I then explain HOW this push is CAUSED by the Democrats. Notice that I’m covering both the ‘;why’ and the ‘how’? Lots of words, I know.

          I say I worry about this push happening over and over and into the 2024 election that will reelect Trump, not because of some ‘Dark Place’ but because of what I think is overwhelming evidence from reality, from voters who have told us they’ve been pushed by Democratic policies into the GOP camp. They tell us they’ve done so because of idiocy of Democrats – the rank and file like most liberals are – to not address the elephant in the room, namely the policies deriving from the extreme Left called The Woke. The Woke have caused this election swing, have caused ENOUGH moderate voters to back the GOP rather than the Democrats. Unlike many, I happen to believe them. The problem of losing close elections if this is the case – and there’s overwhelming evidence from these voters who tell us exactly this – belongs not to Trump, not to some Dark Place, but to the Democrats who allow these woke policies oxygen.

          Are you following this at all? Do you even grasp the issue here? Trump isn’t the reason these elections are being lost; the Woke and all those idiots who go along with woke policies and woke demonstrations and woke censoring and woke framing of issues are the cause. You know, the people who believe that implementing woke policies equals social progress. Au contraire; it equals losing political power.

          I’ve ‘whined’ about this next part before, many times in fact to obviously zero effect on some readers, that defining the correct problem precedes implementing a meaningful solution. In this case, the problem are the Democrats who refuse to acknowledge reality that the polices of the woke are pushing moderate voters to vote GOP and not, as the comment tries to convey, the ‘dark place’ in these same voters. It’s not a ‘dark place’ to be concerned parent when woke policies and woke ideology are used as part and parcel of daily education indoctrinating their kids while all the authorities insist doing so is really bad. That’s why these moderate voters voted GOP – the only party that is listening to their honest concerns – not because they have activated some ‘dark place’ in their characters but because they actually believe such woke indoctrination harms their children and are willing to stand up to it.

          Now rather than just say this stuff, Neil, I offer evidence to back it up. Again, more words. Disgruntled parents swung that Virginia vote. That’s what Sullivan’s article is all about. And they did it because the Democrats go along with the lie that CRT is not being taught. It is. Every day. In every subject. (Yes, I was a teacher and I know perfectly well that wokeness is ubiquitous in every conceivable facet of education and all the activities associated with schooling.) Wokeness really does permeate absolutely every aspect of education and every teacher, every administrator, every school board trustee, every superintendent know it. I’ve offered a few testimonials of teachers. I’ve mentioned some of the most egregious examples. I’ve quoted many many many sources used by various education districts and associations and unions and boards that ALL do this.

          Yet, like Heather Cox Richardson, you actually say, “Are those concepts (white privilege and systemic racism) actually being taught? I have not seen any evidence that they are.”

          Umm, yeah… did you miss all those references I provided? Or do you – like so many Democrats and religious fundamentalists – simply know better than what reality is showing you?

          If so, then you are deaf, dumb, and blind on just this commentary thread alone.

          So it doesn’t surprise me in the least that you cannot grasp any of the solutions I’ve mentioned, or how they may be any solutions at all, when you can’t even grasp the problem that exists right before your eyes: Democrats are losing these close elections BECAUSE of their alliance with policies of the woke. You simply deny this could ever be the cause because ‘Trump’ and then think demeaning me and what I’ve offered here (as ‘whining’ and ‘bullshit’) is right and proper because I don’t offer you what you want to hear, namely ‘Trump’.

          That’s why I say your attitude on display here really is part and parcel of the much wider problem: your denialism – like the same denialism that CRT cannot possibly be commonplace in education espoused by Heather Cox Richardson – is on the one hand one part of the problem that then inevitably leads on the other hand to be unable to be part of the solution. That solution is for the DEMOCRATS to stop wokism in their public policy… including CRT in education. That’s what all those poll numbers show unequivocally. Wokism loses elections. To then compound being part of the problem of losing elections that should be won, rather than understand what the argument is about how the Democrats are causing their own defeat, you then demonstrate the willingness to deride someone who presents a cogent counter argument.

          Well done, Neil.

          Like

        • Virginia voted GOP, we are assured in this comment, because of Trump and because of ‘those’ people who support him because he has appealed to their Dark Place.

          Somebody expressed an opinion. So what? I don’t know whether that opinion is correct. I’m not able to read minds.

          Democrats are to blame because, …

          Why are you blaming Democrats? You seem to have a habit of blaming Democrats.

          Let me first go on record: I consider myself an independent. I’m not a fan of either Democrats or Republicans.

          There’s an old saying “you cannot herd cats”. Well you also cannot herd Democrats. It’s just the way that they are. Learn to live with it.

          You still come across sounding very authoritarian. You want the Democrats to act in accordance with your ways, and you are frustrated that they don’t.

          As an anti-authoritarian, I try to manage with the hand I am dealt. I don’t tell Democrats what they should do and I don’t tell Republicans what they should do.

          So I then explain HOW this push is CAUSED by the Democrats.

          That’s you opinion. That it is your opinion does not make it fact. I am still unable to read the minds of voters, so I am not sure why they voted the way that they did. But somehow you seem to think it is all my fault.

          The Woke have caused this election swing, have caused ENOUGH moderate voters to back the GOP rather than the Democrats.

          Again, that’s your opinion. And again, that does not make it fact.

          But even if your opinion happens to be correct, that doesn’t tell me anything useful. Yes, I could go around trying to persuade my woke friends. But I do not have any such friends, so nothing useful there.

          The problem of losing close elections if this is the case – and there’s overwhelming evidence from these voters who tell us exactly this – belongs not to Trump, not to some Dark Place, but to the Democrats who allow these woke policies oxygen.

          There, you have done it again. You have said that the Democrats should become very authoritarian. And, all the time, you pretend to be anti-authoritarian.

          Trump isn’t the reason these elections are being lost; the Woke and all those idiots who go along with woke policies and woke demonstrations and woke censoring and woke framing of issues are the cause.

          From what I see of public opinion surveys, somewhere around 30% of Americans support the big lie that Trump won the last election. I don’t know the size of the woke brigade, but my guess is that is more like 1-2% of Americans. Where I learned mathematics, 30% was considered a lot larger than 2%. I wonder how they teach mathematics in Canada.

          And they did it because the Democrats go along with the lie that CRT is not being taught.

          So you say. But I have still not seen any evidence that CRT is being taught in K-12. You have come up with a few things that fall far short of being such evidence. Yes, some parents believe that CRT is being taught, perhaps because FOX is telling them to believe that.

          Umm, yeah… did you miss all those references I provided?

          No, I didn’t miss them. They were evidence that some parents believe CRT is being taught in the schools. They were not evidence that CRT is actually being taught.

          Like

        • Listen for yourself.

          I have first hand experience with exactly this. I know literally dozens and dozens of teachers across several provinces who have first hand experience at exactly this. It’s not a ‘belief’ I have; this is how education is delivered. Fact. Inside and through this insidious race-based ideology. This is how all education including STEM is delivered. Fact.

          So for people to insist CRT is not taught throughout education across all levels including and especially teacher colleges is to literally deny reality. This indoctrination which really is a hot button issue really does turn many parents towards voting for whatever alternative puts the breaks on this. I know, because for decades now I’ve talked to these concerned parents over this very issue. It’s not just real; it’s pushing people to vote a particular way. And in enough numbers, this shift in the center really does determine election results. Reality demonstrates this.

          Like

        • I’m getting confused.

          As far as I know, CRT (Critical Race Theory) is a technical theory taught in law schools and sociology departments. I do not know whether it is taught in teacher colleges. I doubt that it is taught in elementary or high schools.

          The link you provided does not seem to be about the teaching of CRT. Rather, it appears to be about ideological indoctrination in schools. I don’t know to what extent that happens, and it needs to stop. But you don’t help you case by calling it CRT rather than ideological indoctrination.

          Like

        • Neil, please reread the comment November 5, 2021 at 1:03 pm that included Sullivans’ addressing exactly this point your raise here. The relevant paragraph is this:

          “And when the Democrats and the mainstream media insist that CRT is not being taught in high schools, they’re being way too cute. Of course K-12 kids in Virginia’s public schools are not explicitly reading the collected works of Derrick Bell or Richard Delgado — no more than Catholic school kids in third grade are studying critiques of Aquinas. But they are being taught in a school system now thoroughly committed to the ideology and worldview of CRT, by teachers who have been marinated in it, and whose unions have championed it.

          What is being practiced are the key concepts of Critical Race Theory, namely that the entire culture of the Western world has been built on and maintains a power imbalance that is systemically racist caused by white racism. The mandatory solution isn’t ‘not to be racist’ like the Civil Rights Act supports. No, no, no. The mandatory solution is to be anti-racist. But isn’t that the same thing?

          No. That’s why CRT matters and why this framing IS being widely taught and used as if a fact in all education.

          What is taught in the classrooms across the nation isn’t the theoretical underpinnings of Critical Theory – a university based philosophy program. What is being practiced is antiracism. That’s the core of CRT. As Kendi explains, “One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an antiracist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an antiracist. There is no in-between safe space of “not racist.” The claim of “not racist” neutrality is a mask for racism.” (Kendi, How to be an Antiracist p 9).

          Notice that individuals have no place in this framing. At all. Race is everything. Racial groups are the base unit. In this framing, ONLY groups are the ‘real’ things, you see. Individuals are not.

          And that’s the lie.

          Like

        • This is CRT in action – lock, stock, and barrel – as signed on to by 53 of the top university senior administrators at this year’s Universities Canada meeting last week. This is the blueprint that is being implemented across the entire university spectrum. This is what all the universities are aiming for in all their policies, all their courses, all their academic faculties, delivered by all their teachers, defended with this common voice.

          I’m not making this shit up. Those who think CRT is not going on, not being widely implemented and not practiced daily throughout education at all levels are simply ignorant of reality. And continuing to refuse that it is going on is denying reality. Reality denial, just to be clear, is not ‘one side of an argument’ or a legitimate difference in opinion. It’s delusional.

          And yes, I know this comment too will be removed. As I said, we wouldn’t want to alter a good fictional narrative (“It’s not CRT.”) with contrary facts. And correcting the narrative with facts is Bad Form I know because it causes a ‘verbal battleground’ apparently. Sure, others can malign me freely and with your tacit approval but should I respond in kind, well clutch my pearls, but that’s going too far with too many words.

          Like

        • Jeezus H. Christo! You’re like a dog with a bone! (Seems I’ve accused you of this before.) I’m letting this last comment stand but if ONE MORE WORD is written on this subject … by ANYBODY!! … it will be deleted.

          Liked by 1 person

  9. While I welcome active discussions on my blog … and I recognize there are often differences in opinion on some topics … I do NOT like it when the topic becomes a verbal “battleground.”

    ‘Nuf said?

    Liked by 1 person

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