History is Written, But You Are Writing.
During some of the darkest hours of his Presidency, the President who we just re-elected consulted with some historians about how his own situation compared with those of other President’s of American History. He didn’t necessarily always get the answers he was looking for, but often times, you need more and better than what you were looking for.
The Republicans today have no problem with maintaining a losing system, just to keep from having to admit that time, history, and having to carry water for unpopular interest groups is slowly and steadily leading them towards overall defeat.
They don't want to admit that the graph goes down as well as up. That, I think, only compounds their misery, as they waste effort trying to make things or people popular that people really aren't up to supporting.
The President did himself a favor by asking for outside perspective. Why? If I could sum it up in a word, "incompleteness".
What do I mean by that?
We are ignorant, as our knowledge of the world is incomplete. We are limited in our comprehension of the world, and our ability to precisely predict outcomes. Our descriptions and theories about systems, both natural and man-made, heck, about ourselves, are often oversimplified, even where the nuances matter.
We are all biased, to one extent or another, believing certain ways of doing things are better, and certain ways worse. Question is, how far does our perspective skew from reality?
Our culture has gotten pathologically hung up in the notion that you can endlessly morph your public image and persuade people, without appealing to some bedrock reality. The reality, of course, is that reality is always there, self-generated, constrained by rules that persist whether we understand it or not. We have to come up with our theories, our explanations, and the quality of our mapping of our theories and explanations to the real world are a critical part of getting practical matters consistently right.
By asking outsiders what they thought, by availing themselves of points of view beyond his fellow insiders, Obama could see where his own perspective did not match with reality, with history.
Because he could register that discrepancy, he could do something about it, and that is my fundamental point here.
Your point of view, no matter how special and wonderful it is, is wrong in some way. We're all fallible. We're born divorced from the God's eye view of things- perfect and totally objective, the knowledge of no grain of sand lost. We have to learn, evolve towards a better, but still imperfect understanding of the world.
Part of that is registering the difference between what is true, and what we want to believe. The Republicans were flooded with all kinds of optimistic appraisals and self-serving narratives, which while wonderful for morale, blinded Republicans to the fact that fewer people were translating that morale into votes in the right places.
Though many Republicans registered an appropriate level of shock to this break from reality when the results came in, Karl Rove included, it hasn't taken long for the lessons to not sink in.
Dean Chambers, the man who helped sell the incredibly unhelpful idea that all the polls were skewed, is now launching a website claiming that Obama stole the election. That's right, this crap again.
Rather than face that Obama won, and the implications of that, Republicans are taking defeat, once more, from the jaws of defeat. They're going to re-elect the political leaders, like John Cornyn and Reince Priebus, who failed them this last election. And why? So they don't have to admit defeat.
It's going to be the fault of the people who like free stuff. It's going to be the fault of non-traditional (read: not white) America. It's going to be the fault of voter fraud and the fact that it's too damn easy to register and vote, rather than a matter of the adult decision that millions of Americans made to keep our President in office.
You know what it is? The leaders of the GOP are afraid to lose power, and telling you the truth about where things are headed, how things really are, and what things really mean might just inspire you to seek out different leaders, to empower a new movement, rather than maintain the cushy establishment of the old guard. The rigidity and the increasingly hardline tack towards policy, the double standard on what constitutes a mandate, and the unwillingness to acknowledge where most Americans want their country to go is the Republican Party's defensive reaction to it's failures.
And you? If you're a Republican voter, you'll probably get more appeals along the lines of "we didn't nominate a real conservative." and "Conservative principles need to be reaffirmed." No moderation here! Just more scandal mongering and resistance to the Socialist in Chief! Despite the fact that Mitch McConnell's attempt to keep the President to one term has failed, he's saying that he's going to keep on stonewalling.
Folks, I don't care if you become more like me, the Democrat. Really, politics doesn't have to be a one-dimensional sliding scale. The truth is, because we all have similar needs and we're pretty much in the same boat (the United States Ship of State) together, our interests can and often will be held quite in common. Hell, even Tea Partiers like Medicare and Social Security, for example. So this notion that we'll have to be on different sides of every issue is just partisan, political stupidity.
My contention, though, is even where there are philosophical differences, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
Republicans need to give their political system a buzzcut, cutting off the tangled mane of confused, corrupted, and overwrought positions that have grown out of the old conservative movement, and getting back to the original thinking and attitudes of the movement. Once there, the GOP can regrow its policy sensibilities, regrow its connections to the rest of America. It can take what it really believes, and rework the manifestations of it to change the party's fortunes for the better.
Or, it can continue to slide down the slippery slope, growing more irrelevant and disliked as time goes on. History's already been written, and what's happened has happened. There's not much good for the Republican Party that can be done by pretending the nation hasn't changed, and its attitudes with it.
The Republicans, if they want to write a new chapter in the party's history, rather than the epilogue of it, need to start getting creative, start getting more sympathetic to people in a real way, now.
Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2012 1:20 PM
Dean Chambers tried the truth after the election. Apparently he found out quickly that stating crazy theories is what bubbles him to the top in right wing circles.
Stephen, first of all, thanks for the link. Very interesting article.
Outside perspective though? From a “largely left-tilting group?” A group that believes the Tea Party is all about fear and resentment (read: racism), instead of the individual rights and lower taxes they proclaimed?
I don’t think it was as deep and illuminating as you are attempting to make it seem.
As for your own words though, just more of the same: Republicans are bad and must compromise their core beliefs if they wish to continue.
How about some examples of their beliefs on some issues and how them moving left would not compromise those beliefs?
If you had to ask me about the tea party, I would say that “individual rights” is more slogan than reality. After all, how many times and in how many ways have these Republicans gone after the right to organize in labor, the right to have an abortion, the right to healthcare coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, and so on?
You talk about individual rights, but for my money, the discussion soon turns to how we can give the big corporations a big sloppy kiss, all papered over with rhetoric that pretends that this reduction of obligations represents the liberation of most Americans in some fashion.
As for fear and resentment, why shouldn’t the Tea Party be identified with it? The movement onstensibly was born when some jackass on CNBC had his “rant of the year”, in which he decried, with the help of a bunch of traders on the floor the notion that people might gets some help on their mortgages in order to stay in their homes.
And what are the constant refrains of the Tea Party, hmmm? Complaints about socialism, when even the most minor regulations are proposed to undo what brought us the great recession! Complaints about government overreach, accusations that the President didn’t earn his degrees, that his election was based on voter fraud, and accusations that he wasn’t even born in the country!
Who’s been stocking up on ammunition in advance of an Obama Junta that’s never materialized? Who’s been warning of a Greece-like descent into monetary collapse, despite continued purchasing of Treasury bonds at historically low yields, yields that can even be said to be negative when measured by inflation?
Every fiber of the Tea Party movement is a raw nerve of resentment for the fact that Republicans were no longer in control, that the liberals were going to ruin the nation, destroy its Democracy, and that Obama was the biggest tyrant since Hitler.
Individual rights and lower taxes is what you say the movement’s about, but if the leaders don’t even realize that the tax rates are at record lows, don’t even acknowledge how many rich people and corporations barely pay taxes, then there’s not much to this Tea Party besides its hatred of anything liberal or different from its beloved golden age of conservatism.
As for your standard claim? Look, I once was a Republican, and I had no trouble in being educated at one of the most conservative colleges in the nation. You just want to invoke your personal victimhood on this matter.
Republicans aren’t bad, they’re different. However, their leaders are doing quite a few things to make things worse for Republicans.
1) Social isolation. Rather than let Republicans feel comfortable mixing with folks outside the party, outside the party faithful, Republican leaders have stoked anger and resentment in their followers towards their more leftward peers, and cultivated a strongly adversarial vision of the world, with those who don’t agree with them on the other side.
Any political party that wants to keep real influence has to be able to reach beyond its faithful, or else it will act something like a magnetic trap in physics experiments, flinging away people who can’t live in their confines, while enclosing them within the party’s social shell.
2) Epistemic Closure. Not everything Republicans say is wrong, but the Right Wing Media promiscuously misleads its people, and the incestuous amplification of all its various sources means that folks on the right all too often have no way to check their facts, check the assumptions of their conservative peers.
You might think this is concern trolling, but let me be blunt: if you want Conservatives to do well, they have to have accurate information, and reliable theories. If you don’t, then the expression of conservatism will be a farce, a parody of real conservatism. Real conservatism depends on real facts. The alternative? Administrations and Congresses whose incompetence creates hellish problems for the credibility of the conservative movement.
When Republicans don’t or can’t get things done right because of their politics, because of what they believe to be the facts, they blacken their own reputation, and believe me, your opposition is paying attention.
The other problem is, after a while, Republican viewpoints have evolved so far away from the mainstream that many people listening to conservatives wonder what the hell they are on. When you talk about UN conspiracies, and Obama coming to get your guns, they’re not laughing with you at your boldness, they’re laughing at you for how far gone your views have become.
I’m telling you guys, “Reconnect!”
Start realizing that you are not the whole affair when it comes to Constitution loving, America loving, well-intentioned citizens. Start realizing that you cannot expect everybody to simply catch up to you as you keep running to the right, and that your movement has has considerable failures over the last few years, not to mention an image problem you should realize is not externally imposed.
You can disdain the mainstream, believe it corrupt and stupid, or you can reach out to people and try to get past the various problems. But you can’t really elegantly do both at the same time. People will notice what you think of them.
Republicans have decided, all too often, that its the world they need to change, in order to win the next election, rather than changing something in themselves. They tell themselves they need to be better salesmen of the same political products, but they miss one important fact: that there are products people are not interested in, and that salesmanship can only do so much to change that.
My late Grandmother was a sensitive old fashion old lady. I could never talk about the ugly stuff, the violence or the belligerence on the news without making her cringe and try to change the subject. She wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the darker, edgier subjects, and trying to force that on her wouldn’t work.
Similarly, no matter how you package it, many people are coming around to a view on LBGT issues which is far more permissive than certain folks on the Religious Right would like. They’ve made up their mind that it’s a right, rather than the abomination that some would have it.
It’s not impossible to push or pull people in a different direction, but at some point, you’re concentrating a lot of effort to move few people not so far.
And you know what Republicans have decided to do? Keep on doing that. The philosophy seems to be predicated on tiring out people’s resistance to changing things. However, the problems we face remain, and act like rechargeable batteries for people’s motivation to seek change.
The world changes, people change, the culture changes whether you like it or not. The past washes away like sand beneath your feat, even as you stand firm. You can either reconsider your footing, or you can fall over. You don’t have to be a lite version of a Democrat, but I think Republicans will have to be different versions of conservatives, updated and upgraded, than they have been. they have been sold a suit that fit the old owners, but which sags over their arms and trips up their feet. Republicans need to re-tailor the legacy they’ve been handed, and fit it better to their times, and I dare say to themselves.
More of Stephen’s “we good; they bad” in a tedious read.
The Dem’s do have a fairly cohesive group of voters who all have one thing in common…single women, minorities, union members, young people. They were all afraid that the Repub’s would take an entitlement away from them. The O campaign reminded them of this repeatedly. It was true. They probably would. We can’t afford current spending.
I agree that Repub’s cater too much to the Big’s, but why would anyone, like the Neck Nuzzler’s here, think that the Dem’s don’t? As I’ve stated before, both parties feed at the same trough.
Look, for instance, at Ocare. Why is it that we did not see insurance companies, physicians, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and med device manufacturers raising hell about O’s plan? It’s because they helped design the plan and knew they were going to make a killing. Forced participation will put billions more into their pockets, but, in return, they are not required to pass any cost savings on to the patient. When this becomes obvious to America, O will be long gone. We have no idea how far Ocare’s tentacles will reach. I don’t know that anyone does.
Continued entitlements, cost of war, unfair tax loopholes, inflated military budget, pork spending, ridiculous federal grants, unregulated Wall Street, etc. are not characteristics of just one party.
Young Stephen is right about biases. We all have them. Mine were formed early on by knowing that I did not want to be part of a labor union that protected slackers and thieves at the airline I worked for…by working as a junior manager in a large public company run by elitest twits and an egotistical, know it all CEO who ran it into the ground. I left before this happened and went to work for myself. That was 30 years ago. This is how my biases have been formed. How about yours, Stephen? What life experiences have molded you? Where have you been; what have you done?
“They were all afraid that the Repub’s would take an entitlement away from them.”
Even the conservatives don’t want their entitlements taken away from them.
Have you heard anyone over the retirement age step up and say they would voluntarily give up their SS, or Medicare?
Where are all the civically minded conservatives that claim they would help make up the deficit in any way possible?
I guess that would make them all “neck nuzzlers” as well now wouldn’t it?
I will also state again that reading or having some tenured, career professor tell you that “German Shepards are guard dogs; German Shepards are trained to be vicious; I was once bitten by a German Shepard; all German Shepards are all vicious dogs” is not a sound means of reaching a sound conculsion.
I read this sort of stuff all the time here, but often in a long, rambling, wordy, prosthelytizing format.
Come on, Rocky. More generalized statements from you?
Some Republicans want to hold on to what they’ve got in the form of tax breaks and loopholes. Other, older Repub’s have been scared into voting for Obama because of the changes in Medicare that the Dem’s convinced them was coming with an administration change.
But the major difference in the Dem party and the Repub party is that the Dem’s, across the board, no matter the group…ethnic, age or gender…voted based on something they were going to lose if the Repub’s took over. The entire O platform was based on this.
The Repub’s on the other hand, are broken into groups with different agendas. For the wealthy, it is about having to give up some of that wealth when they see entitlements growing on the other end of the spectrum, and wonder if their contributions are going toward more entitlements or to debt reduction. For the middle class Repub’s, it is about knowing that we cannot sustain the current amount of spending going toward entitlements and pie in the sky grants and giveaways. I think that this group is willing to do without some things, and are willing to pay a bit more if the tax code was totally overhauled, loopholes plugged and everyone shared equally in the pain.
More and more people are throwing up their hands and saying I quit. I am going to get it from the government instead of working for it. Jobs are there, but I don’t want to do it. Jobs are there, but they don’t pay enough. I have a choice, and I choose to get rent, food, phone and some throw around money from the government. If I didn’t have a choice, I guess I would have to take the job I don’t like. Everyone else is doing it, so there is no stigma attached. People, in fact, brag about how many cell phones they have been able to get and tell others how to do it. The system is F’d up.
The Canadians closed the door on runaway entitlements and people went back to work.
I look forward to your next, “Yead, but”.
“More generalized statements from you?”
Nothing general about this at all then, right?
“…Dem’s, across the board, no matter the group…ethnic, age or gender…voted based on something they were going to lose if the Repub’s took over.”
You make all of these vast assumptions based on your half vast opinion.
You might as well say that anyone to the left of Paul Ryan is a screaming socialist, and that would be just as true as the above statement. Conservatives can’t seem to make a point without belittling those they feel beneath them, and that would be anyone not a conservative.
Where are you pulling your information from? I have my suspicions, but saying so would be rude.
First of all…I am just going on exit polls I read and statements all over the place since the election about why different groups voted for O…and these aren’t garnered from FOX or Rush. One peice I read was by a woman on the Huffington Post. It went down the list about why single women went with O, and surprisingly enough, abortion rights were a ways down the list.
Certainly, not everyone in each select group was motivated by something that was going to be lost to them if the Repub’s won, but would you agree that the majority of Dem’s did?
As an independent, I voted for Romney because of the way Dem’s spend money; not because I was looking forward to losing something or having something taken away. I am willing to pay more, but want it to go toward more of the same. I want us to pay our way and not have our kids servicing our debt…that means getting rid of anything and everything that is not absolutely necessary. The trick is having everyone agree on what is necessary and what is not.
“…but don’t want it to go toward MORE of the same.”
You are always telling Republicans what they should do.
“It’s going to be the fault of the people who like free stuff. It’s going to be the fault of non-traditional (read: not white) America.”
So Stephen, you are a racist who thinks that all non-whites are deadbeats. You should be ashamed of your racist tendencies and work hard to overcome them.
I like being a conservative. I think our ideas are often better than those of liberals. I am not a racist, nor do I hate anybody in general. I am sick of the accusation. You are the guys who constantly bring up race. I think liberals would truly hate it if racism disappeared. Liberalism is racist in its group assumptions. I believe in what Martin Luther King said about judging by character not color. You guys do nothing but bring up race.
I voted against Barack Obama because I didn’t like his policies. I also voted against Kerry for the same reason. I assume you did not vote against Romney because of race and I demand the same consideration from you.
Republicans need to re-tailor the legacy they’ve been handed, and fit it better to their times, and I dare say to themselves.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 21, 2012 7:37
I find it interesting that Doughboy strives so hard to make the Republican Party ascendent again. He gives us all his liberal advise to supposedly defeat, or at least, match his political philosophy. As a Conservative I don’t adhere to any party philosophy; only to the person running for office having conservative principles.
Many voters do indeed vote for what government can provide in the way of free “stuff” and ever more lax morality. If that were not true, dems would not be successful. The obvious conclusion of this is national financial and moral bankruptcy…we just don’t know for certain when that will happen. Every election the libs must offer more to keep their voters in line and there is a point at which there is nothing and no one left to pay for the free “stuff”. When this point is reached liberalism is finished.
In my opinion, this is what worries Doughboy. He needs the Republicans to place some brakes upon the liberal desire to give away too much too quickly and thus hastening the “end” times. His desire is for his own future and when his life ends I don’t believe he gives a damn what follows.
Unless Doughboy is an absolute dullard he can see the handwriting on the wall. Winning elections require ever more government largess and moral decline. Everything has a limit…an outer boundary beyond which all is chaos and darkness. Without opposition the limit is reached more quickly…perhaps within his lifetime.
The fallback position for this country has always been conservatism; both political and moral. We still have room to keep the liberal bubble afloat but the smarter libs, like Doughboy, know that without resistance; their own lifestyle is threatened to collapse.
I don’t fear the collapse of liberalism as does Doughboy and a return to conservative government. He wants and desires his free “stuff” but not to the point of killing the goose laying those ever golden eggs. Others are more greedy and would kill the goose given the chance for just a little more free “stuff” now.
The really greedy ones are true takers and have no intention of earning anything. Some are willing to work if government gives them an edge or advantage over those willing to work harder or smarter. And still others yearn for the day with their own diligence, efforts, and risks earn them greater rewards.
Flushed, you are still as block-headed and narrow-minded as you’ve been all along. Your target just keeps changing on you so you have to make all those calculated adjustments. The anger and the ignorance still over-load everything else, however. It bites to get beaten by a factor you can’t formulate the right way.
Your hate and resentment won’t allow you to concede in any way, and your bad-mouthing has picked up in volume. Why don’t you just climb down from your high-horse, go off and lick your wounds and quit pummeling all of us in here with your rants.
I grew up in a middle class in decline with a father who mainly just got emergency care. In the end, he had to go on Disability, not because he wanted to, but because having had a stroke, there was no other choice. I’ve seen my own life, my own progress towards getting out on my own stifled by this.
Since then, I’ve seen Medicare and medicaid deal with that burden, with my Father and other family members finally getting the help they needed. It’s not perfect, but my Father lives on that account, where otherwise he would certainly have died. I’ve also seen how expensive and problematic the Advantage program is, dealt with its bureaucracy. Privatizing doesn’t necessarily simplify things.
As a person with a disability myself, I’ve benefitted from much of the help the government gives, much of the anti-discrimination measures that ensured that despite my problems, I wouldn’t be denied a fair chance at an education. Given that I’m a Baylor Graduate now, you can’t argue I didn’t use the opportunity I was given.
I’d be hypocritical to buy into the GOP’s assumptions, stupid even, given the fact that my education went further, and my Father is alive on the account of healthcare He now gets. I saw the business my father used to work for, for which he was a top salesman, absolutely neglect his healthcare, only providing with a pittance of coverage. I’ve seen what the need to rely on emergency rooms does. I’ve seen the financial strain it causes.
As a person who has continually studied about science and technology, I’d also be dumb to support policies that assume that it’s all a socialist conspiracy. I know better.
As a person who underwent an intense period of torment from my peers, I can’t abide the cruelty and prejudice, especially towards gays, that the Republicans have sided with, in the name of fighting political correctness and opposing liberal policies. I might not be gay myself, but the brutal manner that people treated a person who could not help what he was convinced this particular individual that any such hatefulness had no place in our society.
That’s my personal experience.
I work with and for folks who aren’t white, or aren’t straight, or aren’t male. My immediate boss is black, his boss is white, the boss of the organization I work for is a black woman, and the head of the ultimate organization I work for is a Lesbian.
A few years ago, a white male was the head of that ultimate organization, a white woman was in charge of the organization I worked for, the boss of my division was a black man, and my immediate boss was hispanic.
You call me racist. I call you a sensationalist lacking a reasonable argument.
I don’t see deadbeats among the minorities that work around me. African Americans, East African, Chinese, Vietnamese, Caribbean black, a young woman whose name is as African in its sound as Barack Obama’s, five latinos… I don’t see them waiting around for their gifts. Unlike you or I, they’re having to build the new foundations of their communities. So, I’ve got greater respect for them than you could know or understand, walled up behind your fortress of rhetorical spin.
(That’s my personal experience, too, John Johnson)
The Republicans are not all racists, but the party’s gotten to the point where it simply doesn’t have the political courage to shut up those who aren’t, or to reject assertions that are.
Look up the Southern Strategy. Listen to the language your party uses about “nullification”, “states rights”, and whatnot. Face it: If not outright racism, your party in recent decades got ahead by playing on racial resentments, or social resentments that began from racist assumptions, and what’s worse, it’s assimilated to itself the old, beknighted political faction in America which used to represent the obstacles to civil rights in my party.
And that old faction is losing power, as the success of civil rights legislation has had people like me raised in a world where segregation is a distant memory.
We had to exorcise the legacy of Jim Crow. Why can’t the party of Lincoln do the same, come back to itself, rather than continue to act and sound like a sanitized version of the pre-civil war or pre-civil rights Democratic Party?
I don’t believe in all this crud you think I do. I want a Republican Party I can actually have adult discussions with, where every difference of opinion isn’t made into this inseparable chasm.
I’m sick of this political war, but of course, I’m not going to take a sucker’s resolution to it. And I think a lot of Americans agree with me. The election, where majorities voted to, and did in fact increase Democratic numbers, demonstrates that in a substantive manner.
But does that mean conservatives stop being conservative?
I just got back from seeing Lincoln great movie. One part of that movie concerned Thaddeus Stevens, a Radical Republican who wanted to go full steam ahead with creating equality between the races at an even greater rate than Lincoln did. The Democrats in the movie tried to provoke him into a full-throated and likely vote-alienating statement of the things he said he wanted, basically racial equality in a time when they were just trying to get past Slavery.
In the movie, Stevens, to the shock of even his fellow Radical Republicans held back, so that the 13th Amendment would pass. He explained himself to a shocked aid by saying, more or less, he wanted the effect, more than just the political statement.
Republicans say they want a return to fiscal balance, but won’t let go of the fiscally ruinous Grover Norquist agenda. They say they want a great America, respected as a world power, but they do and say things that undermine its prestige. They say they are the party that can bring back the economy, but the forecast for the fiscal cliff which their radical negotiations have forced guts growth and undermines the recovery.
Republicans say a lot, but what they do nowadays seems counterproductive.
I’d say the real question is, does getting more ideological, more committed to only doing and saying certain things actually help create the kind of world the Republicans want, or does it undermine that?
Good intentions have paved a road to hell for the Republicans, and they seem committed to following it. But it would be hardly rational to say that this is where the Republicans want to take their party or their policies.
Republicans need to develop a faction willing to try new things, to moderate where moderation would help, to recloth old ideas in new policies more likely to achieve the desire behind the principle.
You are the guy always bringing up race. You must think about it a lot. Presumably a less racist person would not have it always on his mind. Like Martin Luther King asks, you would just judge people by the content of their characters and not make their ethnicity such a big deal.
I would assume that ethnicity wouldn’t be such a big deal if it wasn’t continually brought up that these “slackers” were the cause of the America’s failures.
That the 47% that would vote for Obama “no matter what”, that Obama won because of what he would “give away” to people.
Perhaps then we could relegate “ethnicity” to the dust bin of History.
Perhaps if Romney had received more than 47% of the vote (now that’s the real irony here)…
Stephen, you and your family have experienced some hard knocks. I empathize with you. We need to do more for people like your Dad, but please don’t blame it on the company he worked for. Why are they responsible for your father’s well being? If it’s not in a contract or work agreement, don’t expect it. Chances are, it’s not going to be there for you.
I beleive we (taxpayers through the government) should do more to ease the pain and suffering of those truly disabled. We could if our government would quit allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to get approved for Medicaid. We could if our fed government made qualifying tougher and policed the system better. The scofflaws who game the system, laugh in our faces, and share how to do it with all of their slacker friends. The new “free cellphone for everyone” program is a case in point.
As far as your being gay goes…my brother is gay. I love him. He and Danny are an integral party of every family gathering….but I think that the term “marriage” should be reserved for the legal union of a man and a woman. I want gays to have all the rights and priviledges of a married couple, but I want it to be called something else. I don’t care what. Pushing for using the term “marriage” when gays legally bind is like waving a red flag in a bull’s face to those of us in a heterosexual union.
And my final comment, now that I know your background, is this…quit trying to be a columnist/commentator when you do not have the real world experiences (other than how disabilites have affected your family) to have any credibility. Your biases are based on books, broadcasts, professors, periodicals and the web.
I use this analogy. In sports you have a play by play annouoncer who is responsible for the who, what, when, where and why. The guy next to him is called the color commentator and he is the analyst. He is a former player and/or coach who knows the game from an insider’s perspective and has the creds to offer opinions that are meaningful, insightful and educational to those listening. He has been there; seen it; done it.
You do not have the experience to be an “analyst”, Stephen. I am sure that my words won’t change your future submissions one iota, but I speak the truth.
I am an oldtimer, with biases, that have been based on 30+ years of self employment and ownership in businesses dealing with travel, food production, heavy equipment exporting, nuclear power plant construction, and the clean up of production water from oil/gas fracking operations.
My father was a Chief in U.S. Navy for 20 years. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood. I have four years of college, but no degree. I was diagnosed as having A.D.D. when I was in my late 40’s. Maybe that explains why I have such varied interests and have never been afraid of taking off in new directions. I enjoy working… just not for someone else. I do not like having employees. I have gotten too close to several of them in the past and they have disappointed me.
My biases have been formed by real life experiences…not by a book I read. There is a difference, Stephen.
Most of the slackers are probably white. In my post, I used as an example the big Lebowski, a Pole like me.
Daugherty concedes…”The Republicans are not all racists…”
Wow…aren’t you just soooo gracious. The most prominent racists I see are usually black and some even call themselves ministers.
SD has a mind of convenience. Never an original thought, but rather; a mere sifting and regurgitating liberal crap and then applying it to his limited experience.
SD writes; “As a person with a disability myself, I’ve benefitted from much of the help the government gives, much of the anti-discrimination measures that ensured that despite my problems, I wouldn’t be denied a fair chance at an education. Given that I’m a Baylor Graduate now, you can’t argue I didn’t use the opportunity I was given.”
Yup…true to form he gives all the credit to government. Some folks simply can’t understand from where government money comes. It would shake Doughboy’s entire political foundation to admit that someone pays the taxes for government to spend. Without the taxpayers government wouldn’t have money to spend; yet…he gives no thanks for those who actually pay the bills.
Just typical ungrateful, greedy, selfish socialism.
“Most of the slackers are probably white. In my post, I used as an example the big Lebowski, a Pole like me.”
So then all of the folks that voted for “free stuff” were white?
Surely the 47% are not all Polish.
Of course not all the people seeking free stuff are white … or black or any other group. That is the whole point. Simply pointing out that the numbers of slackers is growing is certainly not racist. And I am getting tired of people always trying to insert this. That is why I think people like Stephen are racist. They make such a big deal of it because it is always on their mind.
Perhaps it is lost on those constantly screaming “racist” when confronted with critical comments regarding fed freebies that the majority of people signed up for these programs are Caucasian.
“Perhaps it is lost on those constantly screaming “racist” when confronted with critical comments regarding fed freebies that the majority of people signed up for these programs are Caucasian.”
However the caricature being sold isn’t that of the doddering retiree, or the poor in Appalachia, but that of the welfare queen, the bling covered thug, the Latinos taking up all the space at the emergency room, or the longing for a Ward Cleaver, white bread “good old days” that never really existed.
These stereotypes may come to your mind, but I keep thinking of the Lebowski types or those occupy Wall Street little shits, mostly white.
Wanting less funding for government programs is in no conceivable way racist except to racists.
The accusation of racism has become very facile on the left. They are usually full of crap and I believe sometimes intent on perpetuating racist ideas to hold onto their power. Liberal Democrats trade on resentment. The last thing they want is contented people of color.
All of us know that a disproportionate number of those on freebie programs and in prisons are black. Maybe this is why some of you scream “racist ” when freebie fraud and choosing gov checks over taking an undesirable job is concerned. Ethnicity might not have anything to do with comments made about fraud and freeloading, but it is your subconscience that knows the facts, and you respond to the facts.
Speaking of racist people, The and I use the term losely, Rev Al Sharpton said on Friday, that the high rate of unemployment among Blacks is the fault of the GOP.
Limited government and lower taxes are not slogans, they are the principles that this country was founded on. You lose no rights by having the freedom to chose to be union or not, paying for your own abortion or taking responsibility for your own healthcare coverage.
Corporations cannot take away your individual rights, the only entity powerful enough to do that is government. The “big sloppy kiss” you lather upon government is far worse than the supposed kiss to corporations you talk about.
IF you were to listen to people who cherish their individual rights though, you would notice that our talk is ALL about our rights, not giving corporations some kind of unfair advantage over us.
“As for fear and resentment, why shouldn’t the Tea Party be identified with it?”
Because preaching the ideals of our founders is not, and should not, be associated with fear, resentment or extremism.
“And what are the constant refrains of the Tea Party, hmmm?”
Limited government and lower taxes.
Aside from the birther argument, everything else you mentioned are the exact same things your people said about Bush, and used against Romney.
Obama’s hard left record and the hard left shift of our government, is what leads to gun and ammo purchases.
Your people sing songs and march, people on the right prepare. That is the difference between those upset about not being given things, and those upset about things being taken from us.
Your interpretation of what is said is formed by a desire to forward a political agenda, not out of concern for the country.
“Every fiber of the Tea Party movement is a raw nerve of resentment for the fact that Republicans were no longer in control,”
This is where your people make a huge mistake. It has nothing to do with who’s in control, it is ALL about losing rights.
I know it is hard for you to comprehend Stephen, but there are still people left who would rather be poor and free than to be “provided for” and controlled. Losing those rights does destroy the Republic we were given and it most certainly does ruin the nation.
“Individual rights and lower taxes is what you say the movement’s about, but if the leaders don’t even realize that the tax rates are at record lows,”
Record lows only if one ignores all of our nations history and all other taxes we pay.
“then there’s not much to this Tea Party besides its hatred of anything liberal or different from its beloved golden age of conservatism.”
Anything liberal, as you say, involves the taking of individual rights, so of course those of us stuck on the Constitution are going to fight that from happening.
“As for your standard claim? Look, I once was a Republican…”
I once was a Democrat. I too went to college. I have been dirt poor and I struggle. But I have been educated by real life experiences. Not by books, emotions or the opinions of others.
“1) Social isolation…”
As have the liberal Democrats that now control your Party. For Gods sake, your people have people living in fear of being labeled a racist if they dare disagree with Obama or your policies. You have effectively labeled our founders beliefs as extreme. And you say it is us who are adversarial?
I agree in a way though, the Republican Party has flung away people, but it is because they have been slow to move further left, not because they have imposed some kind of Puritan rule over us as your people claim.
“2) Epistemic Closure…”
The even larger left wing media does the exact same thing and folks on the left are just as guilty. Their information is no more accurate, you just agree with it more because it suits your personal views.
The Conservatives biggest problem is that it has allowed your people to define what conservative positions “really” mean. Case in point: limited government and lower taxes equals extreme radicalism.
“I’m telling you guys, “Reconnect!””
By talking about Big Business conspiracies? By claiming Republicans are going to kill you? Enslave you?
Give it a break Stephen. No matter how much you wish it not to be, your rhetoric is no different than those on the right.
“…as you keep running to the right…”
To the right of what, Stephen? The current belief that government must provide for and control us, that your people have imposed on the people?
Republicans are already caving in and accepting that larger government is the answer. They will give you your higher taxes. They will agree with rewarding those who enter this country illegally. They will agree that having a right to something means having it provided for you.
They always do, and they always will.
The truth is, no matter how much fear and propaganda your people promote, our nation is constantly moving left. Todays Democrats are tomorrows Republicans.
Face it Stephen, you’re not upset and always ranting because Republicans don’t compromise their beliefs, you are upset because they aren’t doing it fast enough.
Republicans in general don’t talk about Lebowskis or anything like that. They speak of urban populations. They slap up Willy Horton’s darkened image. They put out pictures of Welfare Bucks with fried chicken and Obama’s face on it.
Face it: you lost the last two Presidential elections.
As far as low taxes, those are not founding principles, and nothing in the constitutions says it. The argument was “no taxation without representation.” Yes, limitations on government are integral to our nation’s founding, but so are clear delineations of power that allow the nation to work rather than wallow in dysfunction like too many utopias. Rather than go for absolute decentralization or absolute centralization, the Constitution creates a rougher, more fractal structure that allows local and state governments say in how they deal with their part of the country on many matters, but at the same time allows for strong central leadership where it’s needed.
You think too much in absolutes, and that is why you fail both at governing and at convincing people your way is best. You translate your politics into this ridiculously naive agenda that has no hope of functioning because it translates your impulses rather than deal with the real world problems.
Take tax policy. There is a reason the big tax cuts conservatives force are inevitably followed by bigger deficits. The plain fact is, you don’t have the political wherewithal amongs the people to get the kinds of cuts you’d need to compensate, and the system works against you if that is true. So what happens is that the taxes get cut, but not the spending. You could have left the taxes uncut and had a better fiscal situation, but you don’t do that.
I don’t believe government should provide everything, control everything. That’s just your paranoia and propaganda steeped assumption, and it’s time you take what I say about it at face value. You’d realize that I wouldn’t stand by and allow a relentless raising of taxes, that I have a moderated view of things, and that on many subjects, I’m not too far to the left.
But since you insist on believing everything I stand for leads to a slippery slope to communism, you will miss common ground with me. You will blind yourself with an absolute, just as the party leaders want you to be so they have their room to pull things endlessly to the right.
As far as epistemic closure? I can find the disagreements. News organizations like those I watch regularly bring in other points of view, and I have no problem with reading center right or right wing views that are well reasoned and fact based.
I got news for you: on Daily Kos, every day, I see people disagreeing with the President, taking other points of view. Unlike with Republicans/Conservatives and Bush, Democrats not unlike me have seen fit to disagree with him in public. Some folks accepted the mandate structure on the grounds that it might encourage more bipartisan voting, and help surmount the conservative challenge within the party. But others still favored the public option, or even single payer.
If we were more like you, 2010 would have been impossible.