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adultswim
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I'd vote for a Burger King manager if they promised to appoint leftists to their cabinet.

10/17/2018 4:28:15 PM

bdmazur
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"John Madden, "the team that scores the most points usually wins" style prose."


It's not prose, it's fact. People who vote for Trump have proven they're willing to not care about a ton of things. And the left won't win trying to play his game, so instead of calling him unintelligent and inexperienced let's put someone against him who is the opposite.

10/17/2018 10:05:29 PM

dtownral
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clinton is intelligent and experienced -- she lost to him

10/17/2018 10:51:23 PM

Cabbage
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But Clinton also carried the baggage of over 20 years of right wing hate.

10/17/2018 11:02:22 PM

UJustWait84
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Can we also mention Russian election interference? Because it definitely mattered.

10/17/2018 11:05:08 PM

rjrumfel
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^That depends on what Mueller finds I guess. If his report comes out with no links to Trump, Trump will tout this endlessly in 2020.

10/18/2018 7:51:15 AM

dtownral
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no, we already know that russian interference is real and happened, and continues to happen. the intelligence community has stated this clearly several times, we don't need mueller's report to confirm that interference happened.

10/18/2018 9:33:13 AM

rjrumfel
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I understand that, but Trump's involvement in it was what I thought he was talking about.

10/18/2018 9:57:33 AM

Exiled
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Pretty sure it was, but you know dtr likes to be intentionally obtuse to start pointless diatribes.

10/18/2018 10:02:27 AM

dtownral
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the comment is about things that influenced the election against clinton - which russian election interference did and we already know that it was real and ongoing without needing mueller's report

if it was about trump's involvement does that mean that cabbage's post, "But Clinton also carried the baggage of over 20 years of right wing hate." is implying trump was behind that too?

10/18/2018 10:09:35 AM

Exiled
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10/18/2018 10:19:58 AM

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Quote :
"we already know that russian interference is real and happened, and continues to happen. the intelligence community has stated this clearly several times, we don't need mueller's report to confirm that interference happened."


+1

The report might establish some collusion from members of Trumpland or even outside Trumpland, but the the focus isn't squarely on POTUS like rjrumfel is suggesting. Focus is on Russia and any signs of collusion from our side (and anything else they happen to dig up apparently)

10/18/2018 10:34:12 AM

rjrumfel
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But I just don't see how reports of Russian interference will affect the hearts and minds of voters in 2020 unless it comes up with Trump collusion. That's all I'm saying.

10/18/2018 10:45:54 AM

Pupils DiL8t
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I'm not sure if you're making a new point, but I believe that the original points were that Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump partly because of 20 years of right wing hate and partly because of Russian election interference.

I inferred from those points that a different intelligent and experienced candidate could Donald Trump, assuming that the candidate didn't also carry similar baggage and that Russian interference has less influence in the next election.

10/18/2018 10:50:45 AM

UJustWait84
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^ correct

The point was that even having an intelligent and experienced candidate wasn’t good enough, since she wasn’t likeable AND Russia interferes with the election.

There is ZERO a debate about whether Russia did it, and the Mueller investigation wasn’t what I was talking about

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 10:57 AM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 10:57:29 AM

adultswim
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"I inferred from those points that a different intelligent and experienced candidate could Donald Trump, assuming that the candidate didn't also carry similar baggage and that Russian interference has less influence in the next election."


This is a set-up for failure. Russian interference and political baggage aren't why she lost. People don't want another boring centrist who doesn't care about them. Trump pretended to care (and still does, and people are desperate/stupid enough to fall for it).

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 11:00 AM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 11:00:01 AM

dtownral
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it's not one thing, russia and political baggage (especially in the form of the FBI investigation) impacted the campaign. the far left has been the target of intentional disinformation from these same actors to ignore and downplay the impact of russian interference.

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 11:05 AM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 11:01:46 AM

adultswim
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So assuming Russian interference is why she lost, what makes you think it won't happen again? Or that billionaire Trump supporters won't play the same role?

10/18/2018 11:12:02 AM

dtownral
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well i'm not sure why you glanced over "it's not one thing" before starting with "so assuming [it's] why she lost [...]"

we know russian interference is ongoing, and we know little is being done to change or protect our elections, so it's reasonable to assume it will also be a factor in both the midterms and 2020 elections.

10/18/2018 11:17:29 AM

bdmazur
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"clinton is intelligent and experienced -- she lost to him"


She didn't campaign on intelligence and experience. She campaigned on a fake folksy charm no one bought.

10/18/2018 1:12:59 PM

dtownral
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she also ran on the claim of literally being the most qualified candidate ever, complete with coordinated media push

Quote :
"And the left won't win trying to play his game, so instead of calling him unintelligent and inexperienced let's put someone against him who is the opposite."

i mean this is just such a meaningless statement, trump beat multiple candidates in both the primary and general who are smarter and more experienced. being smart and experienced is not enough to win an election, there are countless people who are smarter and more experience than trump who would have absolutely no chance beating him in an election. there are countless examples of intelligent and qualified people who couldn't win any election. there are plenty of examples of the more experienced and intelligent candidate losing elections.



[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 1:18 PM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 1:14:19 PM

UJustWait84
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This entire page is proof of how fucked left leaning folks are.

10/18/2018 1:20:09 PM

adultswim
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Btw beating Trump at his game means having someone intelligent and shrewd, not running a "Trump of the left". Experience in office is nice, but not necessary.

10/18/2018 1:22:24 PM

Bullet
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^^how so? (btw, you really come across as a total jerk)

10/18/2018 1:41:40 PM

rjrumfel
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^He's the same guy that said to me "At least he's not beating his wife" or something to that nature so yea, he has that track record.

10/18/2018 2:18:37 PM

UJustWait84
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How so? Because democrats/liberal/progressives/neverTrump folks can't agree on anything, so Trump doesn't even have to win on popularity or likability. Unless someone who's charming, intelligent, progressive, and lovable person drops from the sky, we are all doomed.

^ dude take a chill pill. it wasn't serious, but i apologize for being hyperbolic on TWW.

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 2:52 PM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 2:51:43 PM

dtownral
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no one has to agree on a candidate right now, that's why primaries exist

10/18/2018 3:04:58 PM

JesusHChrist
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Russian interference happened, and it didn't help.

But Russian interference doesn't explain why Democrats lost almost 1,000 seats in state legislatures. It doesn't explain why Hillary got decimated in the midwest (which Obama won, and Bernie led in the primaries). It doesn't explain the insurgency of left-leaning popular candidates like AOC defeating establishment candidates, either.


Focusing on Russian interference as the sole or leading cause of Democratic under performance completely absolves the Democratic Party from its responsibility to actually have a substantive message that clearly articulates the material gains that it offers the working poor, and its failure to resist right-wing voter disenfranchisement.

Republicans shape elections by narrowing down the voting pool, and Democrats lose elections by trying to win within those decreasing margins because they're too fucking stupid to offer solutions that would energize and expand the voting base.

10/18/2018 4:03:52 PM

TerdFerguson
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All I know is that, whomever the nominee is, they should adopt my views and policy preferences if they want to win.







*said every voter in the USA that isn’t a card carrying republican*

10/18/2018 4:25:52 PM

Pupils DiL8t
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"trump beat multiple candidates in both the primary and general who are smarter and more experienced."


Is it possible that we may be conflating the outcome of the 2016 Republican primary with that of the 2016 (or, potentially, 2020) General Election?

Donald Trump defeated a number of individuals, some of which were more intelligent and more experienced than him, within the Republican primary; however, Republican primary voters made that decision.

General Election voters were only able to choose between two of the least favorable candidates in American presidential history and a few third party candidates.

10/18/2018 4:27:23 PM

dtownral
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i am not conflating them, he beat more intelligent and more qualified candidates in both the primary and general. i mentioned that in response to someone saying that democrats should pick an intelligent and qualified candidate as if that had meaning or was sufficient by itself to win.

are you trying to claim that clinton isn't more intelligent and more qualified than trump?



[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 4:36 PM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 4:33:17 PM

Pupils DiL8t
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My claim is that a candidate with more intelligence and experience than Donald Trump who is also more likable than Hillary Clinton could defeat Trump.

10/18/2018 4:48:07 PM

UJustWait84
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^ maybe in a popularity contest, but that doesn't matter. Trump could win the Electoral College the exact same way he did last time. The Dems need to run a candidate that will blow him out in swing states.

10/18/2018 5:28:05 PM

GrumpyGOP
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There's a train of thought in this thread that is quite old. I think Bill Clinton said "Democrats want to fall in love, Republicans want to fall in line." And sixty years before that, there was "It Can't Happen Here" by Sinclair Lewis. I read that book a couple of months ago; it wasn't the easiest read, but it struck me as being surreally prescient in a lot of ways (right down to the Secretary of Education needing bodyguards because they are so reviled).

One of the things that stood out to me was the division on the left-leaning side: the Socialists don't get along with the Communists, neither of them like the merely Liberal, and the feeling is mutual. Because they can't get along, the Trump-like stand-in rolls roughshod over everybody until his own people betray him.

Same shit in this thread. "Wah, wah, so-and-so isn't progressive enough!" You might as well substitute "Socialist" there, which I don't use as an insult. But the side of the angels is riven by an infinite kaleidoscope of goals and ideologies. The opposing side, meanwhile, unites disaffected former Union men with Capital and the Far Right.

Some of you evidently think that moving left will bring the people in. Nah. People in the rust belt didn't elect Donald Trump because they thought Hillary Clinton wasn't leftist enough.

I hate to say anything that sounds like Mitch fucking McConnell, but for the Democratic Party and the country as a whole, the number one priority must be ending the Trump presidency. This is what matters more than anything. Anybody would be better, even Mike Pence. The Republic can survive a conservative president (let alone the dreaded "centrist"), but Trump erodes the foundations of the country every day he remains in office. The United States is a solo cup. Donald Trump is hydrochloric acid. Even diarrhea would be an improvement if your goal is preserving the country, and if it isn't, I don't really give a shit what you think anyway.

So from all that, sure, if Elizabeth Warren is the nominee, I'll vote and canvass for her (to the best of my ability in practically-voteless and so-blue-it's-indigo DC). But I don't think she's the best way to achieve the goal. She's too much like Clinton. Clinton lost.

I think we're better served by someone young, to contrast with Trump's visibly sagging decrepitude. Progressive would be good, though I'm leery of going too far to the left - not because I disagree with those positions in principle, though I often do, but because I don't think we're well-served in the long term by radical pendulum shifts between pseudo-fascist and socialist-adjacent. But young, and at least moderately interesting, and just left-enough to be recognizable as a real Democrat...it can be done. I know the bench is thin, in spite of the sheer number of people who seem to be running. But I think Harris or Booker could fit the bill (haven't seen enough of the former, and the latter needs to work on his sincerity factor). There maybe others out there. But Warren and Sanders ain't it.

10/18/2018 7:06:23 PM

TerdFerguson
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All I know is that, whomever the nominee is, they should adopt my views and policy preferences if they want to win."

10/18/2018 7:13:00 PM

adultswim
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^
I expect the Democratic nominee to care more about people than corporations. Shouldn't be a hard ask.

Quote :
"I don't think we're well-served in the long term by radical pendulum shifts between pseudo-fascist and socialist-adjacent"


The entire pendulum is off balance. We need a radical shift to the left if only to even it out.

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 7:37 PM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 7:35:19 PM

dtownral
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Lol, grumpyGOP making a long post about what Democrats should do

10/18/2018 8:10:28 PM

rjrumfel
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I can't remember the last time he has made a pro-GOP post. He abandoned them long ago I believe.

10/18/2018 8:11:34 PM

synapse
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"Some of you evidently think that moving left will bring the people in. Nah. People in the rust belt didn't elect Donald Trump because they thought Hillary Clinton wasn't leftist enough. "


Depends on the candidate. Bernie would have got a lot of those votes.

Quote :
"I don't think we're well-served in the long term by radical pendulum shifts between pseudo-fascist and socialist-adjacent."


In modern times, it seems to swing pretty wildly from administration to administration...I'm not advocating for a socialist-leaner (supported one in 2016), but wide swings seem to be the new normal.

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 8:50 PM. Reason : Good post by GOP. I'm onboard with nearly all of it.]

10/18/2018 8:49:57 PM

GrumpyGOP
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"Lol, grumpyGOP making a long post about what Democrats should do"


I left the Republican Party in 2012, voted for Barack Obama that year, and officially became a Democrat when I moved to a jurisdiction where "Independent" didn't fly, last year. Just now I'm not sure I could name a Republican that I could even call human.* Humans have backbones.

*-I'm sure this is an exaggeration, and somewhere there are a handful of Republicans who aren't disgusting bipedal lampreys. And then there are people who just haven't done the paperwork yet. My own mother is still registered Republican, but she voted straight-ticket Democrat right beside me in 2016.

Quote :
"The entire pendulum is off balance. We need a radical shift to the left if only to even it out."


No, it isn't. Most Americans, on balance, are not politically radical in either direction, as evidenced by the fact that most people don't bother to vote. A radical shift to the left would only put the government radically out of touch with the large majority of voters (including plenty of erstwhile "leftifsts" who would suddenly find that their policies are actually kinda expensive).

Quote :
"In modern times, it seems to swing pretty wildly from administration to administration"


Is it, though? Not that long ago, the swings were pretty calm, and the country did OK. George H.W. Bush was not a far-right populist. Bill Clinton was a pretty damn centrist Democrat. For all his faults, George W. Bush was within normal parameters as far as conservatism goes. Barack Obama talked a good game, and was transformative by his very nature, but he hardly governed as a Democratic Socialist. These guys were all different, sure, but the fibers of American democracy weren't strained by any of them.

Donald Trump, though - that's a radical departure from all his recent predecessors.

Now I'm sure one of the far-leftists here is going to take this to mean that I think any liberal or progressive President would be bad, which is simply untrue. But some of these guys seem to want Leon Trotsky 2020, which would be bad enough in normal times, but which I think could represent an existential threat to American democracy under these circumstances.

10/18/2018 9:26:13 PM

adultswim
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"No, it isn't. Most Americans, on balance, are not politically radical in either direction, as evidenced by the fact that most people don't bother to vote. A radical shift to the left would only put the government radically out of touch with the large majority of voters (including plenty of erstwhile "leftifsts" who would suddenly find that their policies are actually kinda expensive)."


These are all assumptions on your part. When polled, and the questions are phrased correctly, most Americans are for ideas that would be considered "socialist". And majority of Americans want a third party.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/219953/perceived-need-third-major-party-remains-high.aspx

Quote :
""leftifsts" who would suddenly find that their policies are actually kinda expensive"


They're only expensive because our tax rates are half of what they were 50 years ago and we spend more and more on defense every cycle. And expensive is a loaded term because most of these policies will actually save us money and help the country grow in the long run. The problem is the growth would be for all segments of the population and not just the very rich. Can't have that!

[Edited on October 18, 2018 at 11:07 PM. Reason : .]

10/18/2018 11:07:01 PM

moron
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"No, it isn't. Most Americans, on balance, are not politically radical in either direction, as evidenced by the fact that most people don't bother to vote. A radical shift to the left would only put the government radically out of touch with the large majority of voters (including plenty of erstwhile "leftifsts" who would suddenly find that their policies are actually kinda expensive).
"


I don't believe this is true. Not that populism should prevail, but for a good few decades now, many studies have shown politicians are much farther to the right than their constituents.

Voters as a whole then to have a majority support for leftist policies when they don't know they're "socialism" or whatever.

10/19/2018 12:27:39 AM

GrumpyGOP
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"When polled, and the questions are phrased correctly, most Americans are for ideas that would be considered "socialist""


"When the poll gets the results I want, the poll is correct."

Meanwhile, they always say they want a third party, then proceed to mock and deride third parties in every election, then blame the third parties for every election that doesn't go their way.

Quote :
"And expensive is a loaded term because most of these policies will actually save us money and help the country grow in the long run. The problem is the growth would be for all segments of the population and not just the very rich. "


No, the problem is that upper-middle-class, college-educated young people who consider themselves leftists will do a rightward two-step as soon as their taxes go up. I agree with you that there are many socialist or quasi-socialist policies that would save us money in the long term. They will cost more money in the short term. You know which one people are better at thinking in.

This happens with every generation anyway - it's easy to be a pinko in college when you're broke and living on somebody's dole. You might even keep it up for a while after. But sooner or later you have a real job paying real money, with kids and a mortgage and shit, and suddenly every dime feels hard-fought and very important. Then here comes the government, and they want half your dimes. Some will stay true to their youthful convictions. A hell of a lot don't.

(This problem is not a condemnation of socialist policies, some of which I favor; I've been a single-payer supporter for a long time. But don't delude yourself about the problems they will face.)

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 7:56 AM. Reason : ]

10/19/2018 7:55:00 AM

adultswim
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""When the poll gets the results I want, the poll is correct.""


What I mean is that socialism has a messaging issue. When every news outlet frames socialism with a negative connotation, including supposed lefty outlets like NPR, WaPo, and Politico, that trickles down into the polls. Something as simple as using the word "provide" vs. "control" is enough to influence the results.

Quote :
"Meanwhile, they always say they want a third party, then proceed to mock and deride third parties in every election, then blame the third parties for every election that doesn't go their way."


I agree with you here, that's a problem. But the point is, people want more choice, and overtly corporatist party vs. slightly less corporatist party is not much of one.

Quote :
"No, the problem is that upper-middle-class, college-educated young people who consider themselves leftists will do a rightward two-step as soon as their taxes go up. I agree with you that there are many socialist or quasi-socialist policies that would save us money in the long term. They will cost more money in the short term. You know which one people are better at thinking in.

This happens with every generation anyway - it's easy to be a pinko in college when you're broke and living on somebody's dole. You might even keep it up for a while after. But sooner or later you have a real job paying real money, with kids and a mortgage and shit, and suddenly every dime feels hard-fought and very important. Then here comes the government, and they want half your dimes. Some will stay true to their youthful convictions. A hell of a lot don't."


Idk dude, I'm 10 years out of college, and the more money I make, the more socialist I become. And I don't know anyone who hasn't moved further left, including most people on this forum.

It happens, yeah, but I think it's mostly a generational shift. Most people lock in their views around age 25-35, so when compared to younger, more liberal generations, they become the conservatives. There was a poll this month that I can't seem to find, but it said most young people on the left now consider themselves Democratic Socialists, and somehow 20% of the right? This is the age of information, corruption is much more difficult to hide, and people are catching on.

And again, this is a messaging issue. The vast majority of people should not have to sacrifice their standard of living, including the upper middle class.

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 11:07 AM. Reason : .]

10/19/2018 11:02:44 AM

Shrike
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What does going rightward mean? Do I no longer believe that Ralph Nader would be a good President or disbanding the military is a good idea? Sure, but I don't think that's going rightward so much as shedding idiotic beliefs.

I mean, I'm pretty sure there are a lot of college libertarians who also one day realized that maybe interstate highways are important. Goes both ways.

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 11:49 AM. Reason : .]

10/19/2018 11:44:43 AM

UJustWait84
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" it's easy to be a pinko in college when you're broke and living on somebody's dole. You might even keep it up for a while after. But sooner or later you have a real job paying real money, with kids and a mortgage and shit, and suddenly every dime feels hard-fought and very important"


adultswim already commented on this, but the older I get, the more I lean farther to the left on pretty much everything. I paid my own way through college, and I've always had a job since I was old enough to drive, so I think your generalization of people with "real jobs" turning into misers sounds more like how you view yourself or the people you choose to associate with.

Part of it is that I consider myself to be pretty fortunate and I wouldn't wish my struggles on other people, but I also I realize that society works better when people look out for each other, as opposed to looking out for themselves.

I filled out my ballot for the election last night, and I had a really hard time voting YES on some of the state props that allocate funding for infrastructure, because I know how piss poor the state of CA can be at managing money, but then I remembered all of the problems the can happen later down the road if we don't spend the money NOW. Yeah, it sucks to have to pay more taxes to pay for things like roads, bridges, protecting the environment, etc and I'd rather spend the money on myself, but shit happens. CA is just an earthquake away from being in the same position as other parts of the country that decided to cheap out on infrastructure.

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 12:27 PM. Reason : .]

10/19/2018 12:26:46 PM

GrumpyGOP
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"What I mean is that socialism has a messaging issue."


It has that, but even more fundamentally, Socialism doesn't know what it is. There's a wide gulf between Sweden and Cuba, between Bernie Sanders and Hugo Chavez.

Then there's that pesky Liberal habit of making the perfect enemy of the good. Same thing I was saying earlier. A Christian conservative will put up non-religious serial adulterers, as long as they are conservative non-religious serial adulterers. A fiscal conservative can deal with profligate government waste, as long as it's not the liberal kind. They're willing to accept wide variations. Liberals and leftists, sadly, demand more rigid adherence to their ideal standard, which is why you had Bernie babies pouting during the general election while Ted Cruz's former supporters turned out to vote Trump.

Quote :
"But the point is, people want more choice, and overtly corporatist party vs. slightly less corporatist party is not much of one."


I don't think this is fundamentally true. People want their beliefs to be a choice. They'd be happy with two parties, as long as one of them represented what they want. Failing that, they'll say they want a third party, with the unspoken subtext that it is either (a) their third party, or, if they're slightly clever, (b) a third party that will split their adversary's vote so that their existing party can win easier.

Quote :
"It happens, yeah, but I think it's mostly a generational shift. Most people lock in their views around age 25-35, so when compared to younger, more liberal generations, they become the conservatives."


Absolutely, I agree, the tendency has been toward each generation being more liberal than the one before it was at any given stage in its life; a 25 year old now is probably more liberal than a their parents were at the same age, and so on. In my lifetime, I fully expect to see politics drift leftward - but not as far left as the youthful extreme, which will be moderated with time.

But again, we're talking about the short term, when the cost of policies does matter to those that pay for them. And more pointedly, I'm talking about this particular short term, when tensions and mistrust are running so very high, and where a radical departure in a new direction might create an irreparable breach. I favor a bold, firm return to normality for a term before we start taking unprecedented strides to the left. Start patching up the cracks in our institutional foundations, then build on top of them.

Quote :
"What does going rightward mean?"


Well, I guess a lot of things, and politics is not a linear spectrum. It's easier to be pro-taxpayer-funded programs when you aren't really paying any taxes. And funny how home ownership makes people become deeply concerned with home values, or how people with kids are less enthusiastic about bussing their kid across town for integration purposes. And it's the damnedest thing, once you quit buying drugs and start having property and children you'd like to be protected, the cops suddenly feel like your friends. (Well, if you're white, anyway.)

But I guess to your other point, there's more college kids with idiotic liberal ideas to shed than there are with idiotic libertarian ones.

Quote :
"I think your generalization of people with "real jobs" turning into misers sounds more like how you view yourself or the people you choose to associate with."


And I think your constant mischaracterization of my argument and reliance on your own personal anecdote are reflections of your ideological blindness.

You, adultswim, and myself are three guys who have appear to have drifted leftward as adults. We are not the trend. We are exceptions to a trend that is old and established. What happened to the hippies and protesters of the late 1960's?

You think I'm saying, "Everyone turns into Republicans when they get a paycheck." I'm not. I'm saying that you have to do better than "It's cheaper in the long term!" because in the long term we're all dead and in the short term people have mortgages and kids to feed.

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 1:07 PM. Reason : ]

10/19/2018 1:00:26 PM

adultswim
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"I favor a bold, firm return to normality for a term before we start taking unprecedented strides to the left. Start patching up the cracks in our institutional foundations, then build on top of them."


Can you elaborate on this? What is “normality” and what are the cracks in our institutional foundations?

[Edited on October 19, 2018 at 1:18 PM. Reason : .]

10/19/2018 1:14:36 PM

JesusHChrist
All American
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The older I've gotten, the more left I've become (and I make more money now than I ever have and my salary is still on an upward trajectory.) You don't have to be broke to be a pinko. Literally every employee who has gotten an email from their boss at 11:00pm or been asked to stay late for a deadline or work a weekend has the seeds of class consciousness in them. Lower class people understand this workplace imbalance much more intuitively than petite bourgeoisie middle class cul-de-sac fucks who think their property taxes are more exploitative than the demands of their bosses.

10/19/2018 1:17:13 PM

GrumpyGOP
yovo yovo bonsoir
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"Can you elaborate on this? What is “normality” and what are the cracks in our institutional foundations?"


The administration is built on undermining the press, the legitimacy of elections, rule of law, and trust in our own government. Someone will now say that our own government had done plenty to merit mistrust, thereby missing the point. If half the country believes that the bureaucracy is filled with "deep state" political hacks trying to overthrow or undermine elected officials, then there's no basis for anything like the American system of government. (And if you believe that to be fair, I don't know why you're in here talking about primaries)

It is also built on far more flagrant lies and dismissals of fact that we've seen before. It routinely hints that extrajudicial violence might be acceptable, makes no bones about religious discrimination, and actively attempts to undermine our reliability and credibility around the world. This last is an accusation that's probably been thrown around a lot, particularly at George W. Bush. But Dubya tried to find ways to justify his shit in international fora and work within the deals to which the U.S. was party. This administration doesn't bother, generally just pulling out of deals or demanding their renegotiation, sending the signal: don't bother making deals with us, they're only good for as long as the administration that signs them.

Normality could be any of the last several governments, and given the choice I'm sure everyone in the conversation right now would prefer the Obama years. The Obama years weren't great, particularly if you're poor or black or undocumented or any of the other things it has always sucked to be in this country. The Obama years are not a long-term aspirational goal. But to govern like that again would be a step in the right direction, and most importantly it would be a total repudiation of what this administration stands for (which is, in no small measure, simply "being a repudiation of the Obama years"). It would establish the consistency and reliability of the good and important things, so that we can begin working on our long-lasting problems.

But that repudiation is key, and it's what I mean by "a bold, firm return to normality." The new administration should miss no opportunity to expose the corruption and ineptitude of this government, nor any opportunity to drive home that the Trumpist experiment failed. Where possible, give his voters the opportunity to say that they were duped. Don't skimp on available prosecutions, though; if someone in this government did something illegal, throw the book at them. One of the old normal things we don't need to keep is the squeamish official reluctance to talk shit about former presidents.

10/19/2018 1:39:27 PM

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