Big messages to deplorables ???

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Mantrik
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Mantrik » Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:01 am

President Accuses Himself of Fake News.

He mis-spoke on his latest tour, apparently, except when he said NATO countries were delighted when he left the meeting.

Time to wheel in the psychiatrists, surely. Isn't it the obvious way to get rid of him? No need to find evidence of criminal behaviour, just that he has become mentally incapable of performing the role and need to retire. Now.
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Rick
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:22 pm

Mantrik wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:01 am
Time to wheel in the psychiatrists, surely. Isn't it the obvious way to get rid of him? No need to find evidence of criminal behaviour, just that he has become mentally incapable of performing the role and need to retire. Now.
Ain't got a chance of working. He'd just yell Fake News! Conspiracy! Left-wing mania! And his cheerleaders (Reps and voters) would back him up.

No, I'm afraid we're not gonna get off the hook that easily.

Perhaps dharma-tically we have a lesson to learn before things move towards sanity?
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Simon E. » Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:44 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:10 pm
Rick wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:17 pm
In psychonational terms ... America's shadow is coming to light under Donnie. This could be a good thing, there is a huge amount of creative energy in the shadow. Destructive too. Getting in touch with one's shadow is never easy, so we shouldn't expect that. And it's dangerous, for obvious reasons. What we need is a Secretary of Therapy in the cabinet, my vote is for Mooji, he'll bliss everyone into being best friends. :twothumbsup:

Image
Secretary of (Blissful) Therapy :: Mooji
Are you familiar with how Osho was received in Oregon?

Can't imagine the average American being receptive to a brown dude talking about peace.
Lets see. A delusional orange guy with a strong feelbad factor, or a delusional brown guy with a blissed out feelgood factor.
Neither thanks.

Its the 'delusional' that is the common factor.
Back to fishin' folks... :namaste:

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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:18 pm

JD et al,

It might be as Chomsky says that America is effectively a one-party system now: centrist Republicans (i.e. Democrats) and extreme-right-wing loonie Republicans (i.e. the Republican party, pretty much). And it might be as JD says that the truly "progressive" move is not to support the Dems but the outlier quasi-indies who are not (as egregiously) pawns of the corporate overlords.

But what in c'hell to do now?! We don't have the luxury of huddling in coffee houses and playing political theory. THE FRICKIN' HOUSE IS ON FIRE! If a non-pawn of Corporationworld Dem has a 10% chance of becoming president and a centrist with some heart and soul Dem has a 50% chance, can we afford to back the 10%-er? I honestly don't see how Yes could be a responsible answer to this.

America is clearly not ready for a Bernie Sanders. Things move very slowly in the politico-cultural realm. Baby steps ... :-)
Last edited by Rick on Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:25 pm

Simon E. wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:44 pm
A delusional orange guy with a strong feelbad factor, or a delusional brown guy with a blissed out feelgood factor.
Neither thanks.

Its the 'delusional' that is the common factor.
I'll take a delusional brown blisser any day over a delusion orange rager.

Not that I think Mooji is delusional, but brown and blissy fer sure. ;-)
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:18 pm
JD et al,

It might be as Chomsky says that America is effectively a one-party system now: centrist Republicans (i.e. Democrats) and extreme-right-wing loonie Republicans (i.e. the Republican party, pretty much). And it might be as JD says that the truly "progressive" move is not to support the Dems but the outlier quasi-indies who are not (as egregiously) pawns of the corporate overlords.

But what in c'hell to do now?! We don't have the luxury of huddling in coffee houses and playing political theory. THE FRICKIN' HOUSE IS ON FIRE! If a non-pawn of Corporationworld Dem has a 10% chance of becoming president and a centrist with some heart and soul Dem has a 50% chance, can we afford to back the 10%-er? I honestly don't see how Yes could be a responsible answer to this.

America is clearly not ready for a Bernie Sanders. Things move very slowly in the politico-cultural realm. Baby steps ... :-)
Again this assumes there are a bevy of of corporate dems who will be distinctly preferable to Republicans..outside of the last presidential election, I think that's a much less common occurrence than you do. IN some places they are hard to tell apart. And once again, this is exactly the logic that continues to move the dems rightward, "baby steps". I think if people are going to vote Democrat, they should demand more of the party. In fact, demanding more of the party and/or building some alternative to the corporate dems is in m y opinion the only thing that will really stand against Trumpism in the long term. It could take a number of forms, and I actually didn't say anything about voting third party other than defending myself against Malcolm's comment on me voting for Nader, it's complex and there are arguments in both directions with merit.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:05 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 pm
I think if people are going to vote Democrat, they should demand more of the party.
Agreed. Definitely! But carefully and with political street smarts. The Reps have succeeded largely because they are a hive-mind monolithic block; Rep Congresspeople who don't play by the rules get axed, political careers ended. If Dem supporters start to get too fussy and fractured with their demands, they can splinter the party and risk getting squashed by the monolith.

It's a really tough Art of War kind of challenge: If you have two sides (which, realistically, is our situation) where one side is willing to use ANY means to achieve their desired ends (immoral, unethical, vicious) while the other is only willing to go so far (certain means are unacceptable) ... how can the latter side ever "win?"

If you say (as I think you might!) "I don't want the Dems to win back the presidency/Congress" then can I assume that you consider 8 years of Trump to be an acceptable consequence?
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:25 pm

Rick wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:05 pm
Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 5:35 pm
I think if people are going to vote Democrat, they should demand more of the party.
Agreed. Definitely! But carefully and with political street smarts. The Reps have succeeded largely because they are a hive-mind monolithic block; Rep Congresspeople who don't play by the rules get axed, political careers ended. If Dem supporters start to get too fussy and fractured with their demands, they can splinter the party and risk getting squashed by the monolith.

It's a really tough Art of War kind of challenge: If you have two sides (which, realistically, is our situation) where one side is willing to use ANY means to achieve their desired ends (immoral, unethical, vicious) while the other is only willing to go so far (certain means are unacceptable) ... how can the latter side ever "win?"

If you say (as I think you might!) "I don't want the Dems to win back the presidency/Congress" then can I assume that you consider 8 years of Trump to be an acceptable consequence?

I disagree that the Democrats are substantially more moral on an individual level than the republicans (that they're "only willing to go so far"). I think the only thing that holds them to any kind of standard is their constituency. Additionally, they have shown themselves in some areas (foreign policy, war, surveillance as examples)to be every bit as terrible as the Republicans are. They are definitely preferable to me on most domestic issues, but that's a s far as it goes. Most liberals I know simply refuse to acknowledge all the terrible pies they have their fingers in and play ostrich when you bring them up, just like the vat majority of my friends did through all the awful stuff that Obama did, only being willing to see the few, vaguely progressive bits of legacy, and completely ignoring the ghastly ones.

I don't know how I feel about them winning back the presidency. I guess I feel that if they did in their present state, it would only be delaying the next Trump, and probably only for four years, given the mood of the country. That might be a laudable goal in the extreme short term, but in the long term it might actually be worse than simpling building something better. The idea that a corporate Democrat even -can- win back the presidency seems rose-colored to me anyway.

Basic message man: The status quo simply does not play politically the way it has in the past, failing to recognize this and act on it could actually mean that one of these guys can't win against Trump anyway - which would be my contention, they simply will not energize the Democratic base enough to provide the decisive win needed. So to my mind, in today's shifting environment, there is no point in supporting such people, they will probably lose where it is most important anyway.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Wed Jul 18, 2018 7:27 pm

Gotcha. Must ponder ...

Good talk, making me think.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Mantrik » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:44 am

I wonder how Comrade Trumpnik will pass this one off as 'fake news' when the names of the Russian Novichok murderers are revealed, especially if there is a direct link back to his master in the Kremlin:

https://news.sky.com/story/suspected-pe ... d-11441349
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Rick » Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:10 pm

He'll probably say that Putin told him it wasn't true ... and that, ya know, why would an ex-KGB autocrat lie?
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:27 pm
I'm not a student of history, but I have read that it was the actions of the non-ruling class that actually forced the issues of democratic ideals after the American revolution. Having been told we fought for such ideals, but not seeing them enacted by the ruling, class drove common people to make demands.
1. Nit picking here - In a democracy, all voting citizens are the ruling class, for better and for worse. Worse, in a nation where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated and the powers that be make it hard to be educated adequately. But is our condition a cause or effect? I'm afraid education is not widely valued in this country.

2. I heard an anecdote that I've never been able to confirm... one of the Founding Fathers was making a tour of Appalachia recruiting for the Continental Army when he heard someone remark that they were fighting so they would never have to pay taxes again... the Founding Father thought to himself, "Oh, is that what we're fighting for?"

3. I wonder if you're thinking about the Whiskey Rebellion. That was about taxes, or rather, not wanting to pay taxes enacted by the new United States. That rebellion was put down, and moonshiners have been dodging the law since.

:cheers:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:05 pm

Kind of relevant to the turn of the discussion the past couple days...

You may have heard of this young woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat a big time Machine Democrat, Joe Crowley, in the Democratic primary for a district that spans parts of the Bronx and Queens.

Arguably, this can be analyzed as a matter of changing demographics - Queens and the Bronx are more Latin than Irish these days, so it makes sense that something like this might happen... but...

Ocasio-Cortez ran on a straight forward, working class platform. She whooped Crowley and it wasn't close. They're calling her platform "Socialist" and she identifies as Socialist, but that term gets in the way of seeing her message, I think. Crowley, on the other hand, ran on the typical DNC national platform - tired old crap artificially flavored with People Power (tm).

That was some news.

But then there is a weird twist where Crowley is still going to be on the ballot in November under the Working Families party. This story is NUTS. Typical New York State political dysfunction. The Working Families party doesn't even want Crowley on their ticket anymore and has endorsed Ocasio-Cortez. But they can't drop him at this point. So, Crowley is still running. And here's where this relates to the discussion we are having about the Democratic Party.

Joe Lieberman has come out endorsing Crowley and urging people to vote for Crowley.

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise primary victory over Rep. Joe Crowley seems likely to hurt Congress, America and the Democratic Party... the policies Ms. Ocasio-Cortez advocates are so far from the mainstream, her election in November would make it harder for Congress to stop fighting and start fixing problems.”

This shit.

He wrote this in the Wall Street Journal, no less.

Anyone who has any doubt about JD's point about the Democratic establishment has all the evidence they need to see what a stinking pile of poo the "mainstream" Democratic leadership is.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Jeff H » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:40 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm
Jeff H wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:27 pm
I'm not a student of history, but I have read that it was the actions of the non-ruling class that actually forced the issues of democratic ideals after the American revolution. Having been told we fought for such ideals, but not seeing them enacted by the ruling, class drove common people to make demands.
1. Nit picking here - In a democracy, all voting citizens are the ruling class, for better and for worse. Worse, in a nation where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated and the powers that be make it hard to be educated adequately. But is our condition a cause or effect? I'm afraid education is not widely valued in this country.

2. I heard an anecdote that I've never been able to confirm... one of the Founding Fathers was making a tour of Appalachia recruiting for the Continental Army when he heard someone remark that they were fighting so they would never have to pay taxes again... the Founding Father thought to himself, "Oh, is that what we're fighting for?"

3. I wonder if you're thinking about the Whiskey Rebellion. That was about taxes, or rather, not wanting to pay taxes enacted by the new United States. That rebellion was put down, and moonshiners have been dodging the law since.

:cheers:
It's true, I can't argue the point too well, so I probably shouldn't have mentioned it. My reference is to Sean Wilentz' book, The Rise of American Democracy (which I never finished). (CAVEAT: I am giving my rather sketchy take-away from what I read; no one should assume I'm accurately reporting Wilentz' position.)

However, I think he makes the point that the fomenters of the revolution considered themselves elite and recruited the underclasses just to fight (the usual scenario in revolution and war alike). Then when the war was over, they wanted to limit voting, secure power among themselves, and impose the laws they saw as fit. That's what I meant by ruling class.

He gives a lot of details about grass roots groups -- including those connected to the Whiskey Rebellion, but many others as well -- who felt that the resulting government was not delivering on their promises of democracy, and by their independent actions essentially forced more democracy into the republic than the founders ever intended.

My bigger point was that now we find ourselves in a situation (regardless of causes and effects) in which voting is all but meaningless, as explained in the Paul Street article JD posted Rotten to the Heart. It's fueled and perpetuated by many things, including apathy, ignorance, distractedness, fear, and what amounts to a ruling class rescinding the effectiveness of democratic action in the form of voting and lobbying.

I'm just saying that voting appears to be our least effective tool for democracy right now, and I'm expressing the hope that actions arising in response to this crisis will ultimately favor the ideal of true "commonweal" rather than elitist power- and fear-mongering.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Wilentz:
Wilentz wrote:This book's simple title describes the historical arc of its subject. Important elements of democracy existed in the infant American republic of the 1780s, but the republic was not democratic. Nor, in the minds of those who governed it, was it supposed to be. A republic -- the res publica, or "public thing" -- was meant to secure the common good through the ministrations of the most worthy, enlightened men. A democracy -- derived from demos krateo, "rule of the people" -- dangerously handed power to the impassioned, unenlightened masses. Democracy, the eminent Federalist political leader George Cabot wrote as late as 1804, was "the government of the worst." Yet by the 1830s, as Alexis de Tocqueville learned, most Americans proclaimed that their country was a democracy as well as a republic. Enduring arguments had begun over the boundaries of democratic politics. In the 1840s and 1850s, these arguments centered increasingly on slavery and slavery's expansion and led to the Civil War.

The changes were astonishing, but neither inevitable nor providential. American democracy did not rise like the sun at its natural hour in history. Its often troubled ascent was the outcome of human conflicts, accommodations, and unforeseen events, and the results could well have been very different than they were. The difficulties and the contingencies made the events all the more remarkable. A momentous rupture occurred between Thomas Jefferson's time and Abraham Lincoln's that created the lineaments of modern democratic politics. The rise of American democracy is the story of that rupture and its immediate consequences.

Democracy is a troublesome word, and explaining why is one of my book's goals.
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Jeff H » Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:48 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:05 pm
Kind of relevant to the turn of the discussion the past couple days...

You may have heard of this young woman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who beat a big time Machine Democrat, Joe Crowley, in the Democratic primary for a district that spans parts of the Bronx and Queens.

Arguably, this can be analyzed as a matter of changing demographics - Queens and the Bronx are more Latin than Irish these days, so it makes sense that something like this might happen... but...

Ocasio-Cortez ran on a straight forward, working class platform. She whooped Crowley and it wasn't close. They're calling her platform "Socialist" and she identifies as Socialist, but that term gets in the way of seeing her message, I think. Crowley, on the other hand, ran on the typical DNC national platform - tired old crap artificially flavored with People Power (tm).

That was some news.

But then there is a weird twist where Crowley is still going to be on the ballot in November under the Working Families party. This story is NUTS. Typical New York State political dysfunction. The Working Families party doesn't even want Crowley on their ticket anymore and has endorsed Ocasio-Cortez. But they can't drop him at this point. So, Crowley is still running. And here's where this relates to the discussion we are having about the Democratic Party.

Joe Lieberman has come out endorsing Crowley and urging people to vote for Crowley.

"Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise primary victory over Rep. Joe Crowley seems likely to hurt Congress, America and the Democratic Party... the policies Ms. Ocasio-Cortez advocates are so far from the mainstream, her election in November would make it harder for Congress to stop fighting and start fixing problems.”

This shit.

He wrote this in the Wall Street Journal, no less.

Anyone who has any doubt about JD's point about the Democratic establishment has all the evidence they need to see what a stinking pile of poo the "mainstream" Democratic leadership is.

Yes. That was my point about the "ruling class" ... it is not "all voting citizens" because -- with the complicity of the majority of potential and actual voters -- our votes have come to mean little or nothing.
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm
1. Nit picking here - In a democracy, all voting citizens are the ruling class, for better and for worse. Worse, in a nation where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated and the powers that be make it hard to be educated adequately. But is our condition a cause or effect? I'm afraid education is not widely valued in this country.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:38 pm

Jeff H wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:48 pm
Yes. That was my point about the "ruling class" ... it is not "all voting citizens" because -- with the complicity of the majority of potential and actual voters -- our votes have come to mean little or nothing.
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm
1. Nit picking here - In a democracy, all voting citizens are the ruling class, for better and for worse. Worse, in a nation where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated and the powers that be make it hard to be educated adequately. But is our condition a cause or effect? I'm afraid education is not widely valued in this country.
I've worked on political campaigns - I actually was campaign manager for a family friend.

Politicians are terrified of voters. That's why they spend so much time polling and message testing. Its why Republicans try to limit voting. Politicians do everything they can to control voters. That's what these gerrymandering cases are about.

That tells you how powerful the vote is.

Being given a choice between rotting liverwurst and spoiled milk is a different issue and says more about our impotence as voters. We've abdicated government and that's given rise to the professional political class. Whose fault is that? Its nice if you have someone to blame. It takes balls to man up and admit you're the architect of your own demise, and that's what we are.

I think a lot of the obstacles to more democracy are diminishing. With the fight in the DNC, we are witnessing institutional obstacles under siege. There are obstacles like raising money but in the age of social media, donor money is losing its edge. No doubt it still is overwhelming, but Trump himself is proof that you can tweet your way to the White House. Bernie is proof that you can raise small donations and compete with big money. You don't need to control media to get your message out. Retweeting can be as or more effective than campaign commercials in getting out messages.

Look at the candidates that are not just challenging incumbents in the Democratic party, but are actually winning primaries. On the other side of the political spectrum, look how the Tea Party upended the Republican party and arguably won the party. Something is definitely afoot where institutional politics is collapsing, fast. It seems long, but we're talking within 3 or 4 presidential campaign cycles, the face off between the GOP and Democrats is nothing like what it looked like in 1999.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Jeff H » Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:53 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:38 pm
Jeff H wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 7:48 pm
Yes. That was my point about the "ruling class" ... it is not "all voting citizens" because -- with the complicity of the majority of potential and actual voters -- our votes have come to mean little or nothing.
Queequeg wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 6:23 pm
1. Nit picking here - In a democracy, all voting citizens are the ruling class, for better and for worse. Worse, in a nation where stupidity and ignorance are celebrated and the powers that be make it hard to be educated adequately. But is our condition a cause or effect? I'm afraid education is not widely valued in this country.
I've worked on political campaigns - I actually was campaign manager for a family friend.

Politicians are terrified of voters. That's why they spend so much time polling and message testing. Its why Republicans try to limit voting. Politicians do everything they can to control voters. That's what these gerrymandering cases are about.

That tells you how powerful the vote is.

Being given a choice between rotting liverwurst and spoiled milk is a different issue and says more about our impotence as voters. We've abdicated government and that's given rise to the professional political class. Whose fault is that? Its nice if you have someone to blame. It takes balls to man up and admit you're the architect of your own demise, and that's what we are.

I think a lot of the obstacles to more democracy are diminishing. With the fight in the DNC, we are witnessing institutional obstacles under siege. There are obstacles like raising money but in the age of social media, donor money is losing its edge. No doubt it still is overwhelming, but Trump himself is proof that you can tweet your way to the White House. Bernie is proof that you can raise small donations and compete with big money. You don't need to control media to get your message out. Retweeting can be as or more effective than campaign commercials in getting out messages.

Look at the candidates that are not just challenging incumbents in the Democratic party, but are actually winning primaries. On the other side of the political spectrum, look how the Tea Party upended the Republican party and arguably won the party. Something is definitely afoot where institutional politics is collapsing, fast. It seems long, but we're talking within 3 or 4 presidential campaign cycles, the face off between the GOP and Democrats is nothing like what it looked like in 1999.
Well, I consider that a hopeful message. And, yes, I remember also the Christian right before the Tea Party. They got onto school boards and into a lot of local governments and got a lot of their stuff enacted. I certainly hope you're right, and that the Trump fiasco can ignite enough of a genuinely democratic (with a small "d") upsurge to take back the party of the people, for the people.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:09 am

Important analysis in Slate today. Double-Decker Narcissism
The New York Times’ Wednesday story revealing Donald Trump was fully and meticulously briefed before his inauguration about direct Russian interference in the 2016 election solves the mystery once and for all: Trump simply cannot permit his own brain to accept any evidence that he didn’t win the presidency by millions of votes. That’s it. No matter how many Russian emails and texts the nation’s intelligence apparatus show him, no matter how many times he is reminded of what is incontrovertibly true, Trump’s mind cannot reconcile reality with his own truth: that he is the most beloved and cherished leader in American history. Even when he was forced to walk back his Helsinki comments about trusting Russia more than his own intelligence agencies, in a performance arguably more horrifying than the original press conference with Vladimir Putin, Trump couldn’t manage to stay on message. Within hours of his clarification, he had reverted back to “no” when asked whether Russia was still targeting the United States.

This isn’t an intelligence problem or even a political problem. It’s an epistemological problem. This president is never going to allow himself to believe something that is abhorrent to him, and he will therefore dismiss, deflect, and contradict any information that doesn’t confirm his pre-existing beliefs.
Then goes on to say that this attitude ripples through to the so-called 'Trump supporters':
Given that so many Trump supporters can no longer be swayed by objective provable facts, the next logical step after conceding that for every fact there is an “alternative fact” would be to concede that nobody can really know anything for certain anymore, so just believe in what you want. Or better yet, believe in whatever truth Trump believes, even if those beliefs seem to shift by the hour. This is the famous Hannah Arendt formulation about authoritarian government leading people to give up altogether on the pursuit of truth. It’s also a fantastically powerful form of double-decker narcissism: I believe the guy who believes only what he wants to believe. And that double-decker narcissism is working. As Karen Tumulty notes, “regardless of how many ‘double negatives’ he spins, his base stands by him.” Tumulty cites polling that shows his approval rating within his party—87 percent in June, per Gallup—is “a near-record among modern presidents, second only to George W. Bush’s 92 percent in the wake of 9/11.”

....Trump used to at least make a show of hewing to some coherent narrative, even if it wasn’t accurate. But this week, he’s barely trying to square his Helsinki statements with his correction of his Helsinki statements. And he won’t try to square his correction with what he says in tweets and press conferences. He doesn’t have to. He knows what he believes and that is that his voters revere him, and they revere him for demanding that what he believes be accepted as true, regardless of accepted reality. If the denialists can believe in nothing else, they can still put their faith in the denialist in chief.
Truly broken.
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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Queequeg
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Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Queequeg » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:56 am

Jeff H wrote:
Thu Jul 19, 2018 10:53 pm
Well, I consider that a hopeful message. And, yes, I remember also the Christian right before the Tea Party. They got onto school boards and into a lot of local governments and got a lot of their stuff enacted. I certainly hope you're right, and that the Trump fiasco can ignite enough of a genuinely democratic (with a small "d") upsurge to take back the party of the people, for the people.
Just being contrarian, I suppose. The cynicism is justified, but people are trying. I hope left populism takes off. People need to cut themselves a break and have a government run for ordinary people.

Trump is a triumph of anti-establishment democracy - setting aside the electoral college detail (you have to play the game as the rules are written; it's otherwise just spilled milk). Democracy actually does work. This does not save us from our own bad choices. It actually just holds up a mirror to who we are.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Jeff H
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Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Big messages to deplorables ???

Post by Jeff H » Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:36 pm

Interestingly (to me anyway), there is an opinion piece Sean Wilentz wrote for Newsweek in October 2016: We Are Witnessing the Degradation of Democracy. It's a visceral response to the debate where Trump stalked Clinton across the stage. Not a great essay, but interesting from a prominent historian who dearly loves democracy as well as politics itself, and who has studied and taught the American experiment all his life. As I quoted above, he begins his book, The Rise of American Democracy, with the statement, "Democracy is a troublesome word, and explaining why is one of my book's goals." And here he says,
Wilentz wrote:This is not an election we are engaged in. It is something abnormal and abscessed. It is a national emergency. What we saw on Sunday night was not a display of partisan politics. It was a display of the destruction of partisan politics, and its replacement by a spectacle of psychopathology.

What we saw on Sunday night had nothing to do with positions or ideology or maneuvering or the roughest rough and tumble. It was an attempt at rupture and degradation by a twisted would-be tyrant.

What we saw—or what I saw, anyway—was the attempted rape of something fragile and precious, something I dearly love.
When that was published, Wilentz had no idea how successful the "attempt at rupture and degradation" was about to be. I hope he's wrong about democracy's fragility.
We who are like children shrink from pain but love its causes. - Shantideva

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