June 27th, 2017

Some Democratic soul-searching

An interesting article in the Atlantic by Franklin Foer entitled “What’s Wrong With the Democrats?”:

If there’s any consolation to the realization of terrible fears, of worst-case scenarios springing to life, it’s that they are invigorating. Donald Trump’s presidency has rocked a long-complacent Democratic Party like nothing in recent history.

True. However, he follows that with a claim that is as laughable as it is common among the left:

Liberals, with their confidence that the trajectory of the country points in their direction, never had quite as much practice as conservatives in expressing their anger. That’s what makes the “Resistance”—the many marches, the seething hostility at town-hall meetings, the anti-Trump placards shouting at passersby from bungalow windows—a transformational break in the pattern.

Sure, Franklin, sure. I guess you haven’t been paying much attention to liberals or the left for the last fifty years, or 100 years, or even more.

But once Foer gets that absurdity out of the way, its back to business again:

Resistance has given the Democrats the illusion of unity, but the reality is deeply conflicted. Two of the party’s largest concerns—race and class—reside in an increasing state of tension, a tension that will grow as the party turns toward the next presidential election.

To produce a governing majority, the party will need to survive an unsettling reckoning with itself. Donald Trump didn’t just prevail over the Democrats; he called into doubt their old truths.

Foer goes on to describe the problem as Clinton’s—and the Democrats’—failure to appeal to the white working class. This is an analysis that is commonplace, and probably largely true. And when Foer writes this sentence, I wonder if he understands that there’s an inherent contradiction there, and it’s not just Hillary’s fault:

She never fully met her most important political challenge: the need to both celebrate multiculturalism and also cushion the backlash against the celebration.

I don’t think there’s any way to do that. What’s more, I think Foer makes the typical liberal’s mistake of thinking that Trump support is a backlash against some sort of celebration of multiculturalism. We’re not talking about “celebrations” here—not about ethnic restaurants or dress or diversity. We’re talking about immigration policies that let in significant numbers of people who do not believe in our form of government, and who are given benefits at the expense of the white working class Foer’s talking about, and a Democratic Party that supports economic measures that hurt that same white working class as well.

Foer does understand that the Democratic Party seems to be in trouble: “Clinton’s defeat reflects badly on her candidacy, but also exposes the limits of the Democratic Party, which has sustained failures at nearly every tier of government over the past eight years.” But then he goes on to cite an analysis from the Reagan years that studied why the white working class living in the Detroit suburban area of Macomb had turned from the Democratic Party to the GOP, and the reason given is that they were bigots:

Many political analysts who puzzled over Democratic losses described how the backlash against the civil-rights era had propelled white voters away from liberalism, but none gave racism quite the same centrality as Greenberg did. He found “a profound distaste for black Americans, a sentiment that pervaded almost everything” that Macomb residents thought about government and politics. Denizens of Macomb—the county was 97 percent white—did little to disguise their animosity. African Americans, they complained, had benefited at their expense. Their tax dollars were funding a welfare state that plowed money into black communities, while politicians showed no concern for their own plight. (That plight was real: The auto industry, which provided the undergirding for middle-class life in Michigan, had collapsed in the face of foreign competition.)

But was it “A profound distaste for black Americans…that pervades everything,” as in racism, or was it a “profound distaste” for the fact that yes, indeed, black Americans had “benefited at their expense”? What were the residents of Macomb county to feel, but that what was happening was unfair to them, and that therefore the party in charge of the redistribution was no friend of theirs?

And funny thing, Obama carried Macomb county in both 2008 and 2012. Some racists! But Foer goes right back to the possibility of that “racist” explanation when many of those very same voters veered to Donald Trump just four years later:

Not only did Trump reclaim Macomb for the Republicans—trouncing Clinton by 12 percentage points there—but he turned the Democratic establishment back to Greenberg’s central question about working-class whites: Did racism put many of them beyond reach?

The “racists” of Macomb would have to be chameleon-racists, apparently. One moment they’re voting for Obama, the next they’re voting for “his racist successor.” Greenberg (and Foer) were so stunned by this that they went back to Macomb to study those Obama-turned-Trump voters, and what did they find? No overt expressions of racism against blacks. But hey, now Greenberg says the group is bigoted against Muslims, and here’s the evidence:

Prejudice, however, remained very real. The old complaints about African Americans had affixed themselves to immigrants. Dearborn, which has a thriving Muslim immigrant community, is a short drive away. Just as Macomb’s whites had once accused African Americans of prospering at their expense, members of Greenberg’s focus groups spoke openly about being displaced by immigrants. “We need to take care of home first,” one participant said, as if the immigrant neighbors weren’t also living at home…

It’s one thing to know that nativism exists; it’s another to hear it espoused so casually in the presence of strangers. Many of the voters Greenberg had gathered seemed beyond the grasp of any plausible Democratic appeal, their hatred of immigrants racialized, paranoid, and unshakable.

If Foer and Greenberg really want to suggest how Democrats can appeal to such voters, I have a few suggestions to make: stop condescending to them, and stop accusing them of racism, bigotry, and hatred when they are only describing what they observe and what has actually happened to them as a result of Democratic policies on immigration. But I think that Democrats right now are incapable of doing such a thing; it would threaten too deeply ingrained a belief. After all, it’s seen as a tautology that racism is behind such attitudes on the part of people voting Republican (even temporarily). The idea of an article such as Foer’s is to help the Democratic Party to victory by appealing to the white working class despite their racism. I think that most working class people can see through that sort of ploy.

Democrats could certainly win back the presidency in 2020 or 2024; Trump’s victory was paper-thin, there’s a lot of time for things to change, and the GOP won’t always be facing a candidate as repugnant to so many people as Hillary Clinton was. But sentences like one this from Foer are part of a mindset that’s the problem for Democrats:

A decent liberalism, not to mention a savvy party, shouldn’t struggle to accord dignity and respect to citizens, even if it believes some of them hold abhorrent views.

You wouldn’t—you couldn’t—respect someone who holds “abhorrent views.” Maybe instead the Democrats should strive to understand that their cries of “racist” and “bigot” and “hater” might actually be misplaced, and that there are fact-based reasons that Trump voters might feel displaced and ignored at the expense of new immigrants. But to do that would rob Democrats of one of their most cherished (and useful) beliefs—the idea that Republicans, and those who vote Republican, are evil racists. If you don’t want to be an evil racist too, vote Democratic!

130 Responses to “Some Democratic soul-searching”

  1. I'm with Decius Says:

    I had exactly the same reaction as you did when I read that article. The elites seem to think their prejudices don’t show.

  2. Conrad O'Connor Says:

    I think the Democrats’ dilemma is insoluble. They can’t acknowledge that the white working class might have non-bigoted, fact-based objections to mass immigration, because who knows where such a subversive thought might lead. Maybe there are non-bigoted, fact-based objections to gay marriage, transgender bathrooms, affirmative action, Black Lives Matter, the whole leftist agenda. Better to enforce doctrinal purity than risk letting that genie out of the bottle.

    Once you understand that, Foer’s approach makes sense. Basically the view is that, well, the GOP Establishment hates the white working class as much as we do, but they still find some way to trick them into voting Republican. Maybe we can do it too.

  3. huxley Says:

    Franklin Foer btw was the editor at The New Republic who published the repugnant fake soldier diaries by Scott Thomas Beauchamp designed to make the Iraq War look bad.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/146884/laffaire-beauchamp-jonah-goldberg

    For months Foer fought against accusations of journalistic fraud before finally acquiescing. One would think this would put a dent in his career. A few years later he was fired from TNR for other reasons and is now a staff writer at The Atlantic.

  4. expat Says:

    How about the Dems who gave in to the BLM types who wouldn’t allow them to say “All lives matter”? How about the attacks on white privilege when so many whites came from poor backgrounds, never owned slaves, and are still working their tails off to feed their kids? It was the connected whites like Leonard Bernstein who made it cool for the Panthers to become the voice of all blacks. It was the black mayor of Baltimore who wanted to give BLM types room to riot. Are white deplorables really racist or are they just reacting to behaviour they find abhorrent? Do we really have to support gangsta rap to prove we aren’t racist?

  5. n.n Says:

    Democrats; he called into doubt their old truths

    Political myths perceived as real through reinforcement and expert (“mortal god”) testimony.

    The Democrats’ problem is that their many interests and solutions can only be reconciled with a twilight faith and Pro-Choice religious/moral/legal philosophy. Thus the need to marginalize any individual or class of individuals that may challenge their minority hoofprint.

  6. huxley Says:

    expat: There is nothing conservative whites can do to prove they are not racist.

    See Kafkatrapping @ http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=2122/

    It’s a beautiful thing.

  7. huxley Says:

    I have often wondered how I might have a constructive conversation with someone on the left. I think it’s just about impossible these days.

    Part of the reason, I would say, is that liberals are incapable of speaking honestly among themselves, as neo lays out in this topic.

  8. huxley Says:

    Yesterday I reviewed the Intelligence Squared debate: “Global Warming is not a crisis” from March, 2007. The Michael Crichton parts are excellent.

    http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/global-warming-not-crisis

    The IQ2 debates use the Oxford debate model. There is a referee and the audience is polled before and after on the debate question.

    Amazingly the skeptics stomped the orthodox, moving the audience 15% against the orthodox. The skeptics jumped from 30% to 45% while the orthodox dropped from 57% to 42% with undecided remaining roughly the same.

    I bring it up now to note that was ten years ago. Since then the orthodox climate scientists have refused any high-level open debates with skeptics, preferring instead to name-call those scientists and laypersons as “deniers” and “skeptics.”

  9. huxley Says:

    >> “deniers” and “heretics.”

  10. AMartel Says:

    They know they’ve grown “complacent” and are operating with an “illusion of unity” and that there needs to be an “unsettling reckoning.” They still just can’t face the underlying reasons. They know they’ve failed but they don’t want to face the why.
    Too unsettling for complacent and delusional people.
    So after the brief reality drive-by (“we screwed up somehow”), back to complacency and the denouncing of others as racists.
    The truth is too hard. The truth is that they are the greedy, racist/sexist/homophobic power abusing money grubbing whores.

  11. AMartel Says:

    huxley, above, points out “Franklin Foer btw was the editor at The New Republic who published the repugnant fake soldier diaries by Scott Thomas Beauchamp designed to make the Iraq War look bad.”

    What a surprise that he’s still committing fraudulent journalism.

  12. Big Maq Says:

    “Maybe instead the Democrats should strive to understand that their cries of “racist” and “bigot” and “hater” might actually be misplaced, and that there are fact-based reasons that Trump voters might feel displaced and ignored at the expense of new immigrants. “ – Neo

    This is probably the crux of how the dems lost some voters to trump.

    Since many would-be GOP and dem voters evidently stayed home, it was these former dem voters that put trump over the edge with his “paper-thin” win in the mid-west.
    .

    There are a great many folks who are not feeling the supposed “privilege” of being “white”, given the nature of racial discussions on the left.

    One need only look at college campuses to see how far this thinking of privilege goes… e.g. Evergreen University … it is to the point of eating their own. (One could argue that is a logical consequence of their argument).
    .

    IMHO, it is not even really about multiculturalism, immigration, etc., but rather it is probably all on how these people are feeling that they are “forgotten” or “abandoned” by the dems – especially these last eight year since the traumatic 2008 crisis.

    They certainly agree with many of the dem economic policies. They don’t want to be cut out. And, right now, they think they have been squeezed out in favor of these other groups.

    From that point of view, anything that emphasizes some other groups over them becomes an issue.
    .

    Once the dems figure this out, and find a fresh leader who re-emphasizes “fair” economic outcomes (traditional dem territory) over all other aspects of their messaging, they will be rolling.

    It almost worked for Bernie.

  13. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    “There is nothing conservative whites can do to prove they are not racist.” huxley

    Socrates, “When the debate is lost, the loser resorts to slander…” and Thatcher had the right of it, ” if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

    “I have often wondered how I might have a constructive conversation with someone on the left. I think it’s just about impossible these days.” huxley

    You cannot have a constructive conversation with a closed mind.

  14. Oldflyer Says:

    I suppose I should search out, and read, some of the fact based, intellectually honest, arguments that the Left are making to support their positions, because it seems that all I come across are name calling diatribes–quite often using gutter language at that. I mean there must be more, if I only look. Then again, why bother? If they cared what I thought, they would bring their arguments to me.

    I will confess to this. In every way, in every interaction I treat the individual with courtesy and respect, except in the rare instance when it is demonstrably unwarranted. (People who leave their dog mess on the sidewalk, or their shopping cart in a parking spot, for instance.) But, I suppose that it is true that I am racist, homophobic, and Xenophobic because I am disgusted by those who trample the rights of others while claiming special special treatment and rights for themselves based solely on group identity. In that vein, like many others, I am also unapologetic for my alleged “white privilege”. I am a (legal) American, and from that blessing flows the privileges of freedom enjoyed by one and all, along with the opportunity to improve one’s circumstances.

  15. Mac Says:

    Neo refers to “…the idea that Republicans, and those who vote Republican, are evil racists. If you don’t want to be an evil racist too, vote Democratic!”

    This might seem a bit satirical, but for zealous Democrats it is simple, literal, plain-as-the-nose-on-your-face fact. I encounter it occasionally in a couple of liberal acquaintances. They have said, and they don’t mean it hyperbolically, that the Republican party is the political arm of the KKK. A few years ago the presence of the Tea Party had barely registered before they denounced it as racist. In their moral universe there simply can be no non-racist explanation for any variance from Democratic rhetoric and policy on race, multiculturalism etc. An ontological impossibility.

  16. Big Maq Says:

    “I have often wondered how I might have a constructive conversation with someone on the left. I think it’s just about impossible these days.” – huxley

    Depends who you target and in what venue.

    Also, if our expectation is to go for a “win” right off the bat, chances are that is wildly optimistic, and one will walk away gravely disappointed.

    Like selling anything, we have to bring folks through the cycle.

    Hope the links below work, as they give the idea of the process…
    http://www.cmswire.com/~/media/703aeebe0c454e5993424fac2601de44.jpg
    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/1b/39/4a/1b394afa70204aebf925bfe9ed0491f2.jpg

  17. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: I’ve got my debate-fu chops and I’m willing to deploy them, but I’m also good at looking for common ground and trying to understand the other’s view and arguments. It’s the latter discussion I have in mind here.

    Usually I’m not looking to persuade the other to my position but to exchange views and demonstrate my position is reasonable given my premises.

    Generally progressives are unwilling to settle for understanding my side but feel required to defeat me or, failing that, attack me personally.

    It seems to me that a true left-right discussion would require patiently working through levels and levels of conflicting beliefs, values and facts.

    I find psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s work and the Heterodox Academy interesting.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterodox_Academy

  18. huxley Says:

    Frank Foer, simply put, is one of the finest magazine journalists of his generation, and his writing will help Scott Stossel, the editor of the magazine, reach our goal of publishing stories of truly global reach in every issue.

    –Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief, “The Atlantic”

    Goldberg is a liberal big cheese as a journalist and editor. He interviewed Obama numerous times among others.

    Clearly Foer’s sponsorship of Beauchamp’s fake stories was not a problem for Goldberg in declaring Foer “one of the finest magazine journalists of his generation.”

  19. Somebody Says:

    Huxley,

    I’m a liberal! I’m open to a good faith conversation. I lurk quite a few conservative sites like this, because I tend to believe that most of our disagreements take place within a vary narrow slice of the political spectrum (the “Liberal Consensus” that has mostly prevailed since WWII) and that a lot of the rancor is a product of talking past each other, not talking to each other.

    Cheers!

  20. huxley Says:

    Hi Somebody,

    If given the chance to explain, I’ll still say I’m a liberal — of the classic school or like Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I agree much of the problem is people talking past each other, though there are serious disagreements which shouldn’t be minimized.

    Feel free to speak up more here. You will be speaking from a minority position, which can be a challenge, but while you will meet with disagreement I don’t think you will be shouted down.

    Best!

  21. huxley Says:

    There was a guy, Mitsu, largely a progressive, who parachuted into the blog, now and then, to dance a dance with us.

    I thought it was a good thing, though I hear he hasn’t been around in a while.

  22. Big Maq Says:

    “Generally progressives are unwilling to settle for understanding my side but feel required to defeat me or, failing that, attack me personally.” – huxley

    Must depend on whom you are talking.

    Gotta say that I’ve encountered a wide spectrum of folks, some hard left, others support trump, many / most are not so hard in either direction.

    Most of the time the discussion is around specific issues, say minimum wage.

    Now, asking anyone if they know what the profit margin is, say a typical restaurant (<10%), what percentage expense is labor (~40%), usually they don't. But, when told, and then ask as an owner how would they deal with a 20%-50% increase in their labor.

    Usually a rather interesting discussion with everyone but the hardest leftist.

    Even then, the seed is planted.

    Perhaps they are destined to be the next Neo?

  23. huxley Says:

    Big Maq: I’ve lived mostly in hard blue worlds (Boston & San Francisco) since 1980. Online I’ve dealt with outspoken people who are red or blue.

    I wouldn’t say it’s a representative sample for the 320 million people in the US, but those are the people with whom I’ve had political discussions.

  24. Big Maq Says:

    And, as Somebody put nicely, it is not only one side that is unwilling to settle for understanding.

    No doubt many progressives encounter the same in their good faith attempts.

    If we all feel it hopeless to even try, then all that anyone will do is devolve to personal attack or similar when encountering a differing view.

    I look at this as a forever debate.

  25. huxley Says:

    I would also note I specified “progressives.”

    That’s not a label embraced by mainstream, vaguely liberal Americans.

  26. huxley Says:

    No doubt many progressives encounter the same in their good faith attempts.

    Big Maq: Not in my experience. Progressives are practically by definition people who cannot make a good faith attempt to hear someone else unless it is a strategy to build rapport and convert their opposition.

    Really. I have lived in progressive enclaves almost all of my adult life. And I was progressive/leftist for much of it.

  27. Somebody Says:

    So I’ll start by saying: I’m fascinated by conservative blog discourse about progressives vs liberals vs whatevers. I’m over a decade removed from my undergrad days, and it’s been about ten years since I spent any significant amount of time on a regular college campus, the sort of place I could imagine finding insufferable, pedantic conversations between liberal
    college kids about whether they were liberals or progressives or socialists or whatever. And I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever encountered someone who made a point of referring to themselves like this, or argued for a meaningful distinction. I think you’re parsing a phenomenon that doesn’t really exist. I mean, I’m just one person, but, speaking on behalf of all liberals everywhere, this just isn’t part of my lived experience.

    If I had to guess–and this is just a guess–then the people you’ve encountered who are unwilling to consider your side of the argument are the liberal equivalents of, say, Huxley! Who earlier asserted that liberals are unwilling to be honest about themselves! That’s kind of a jerk thing to say about a lot of people you’ve never met, the sort of thing you might say if a lot of your discourse takes place in a self-reinforcing bubble of an ideological blog’s comments section.

    I suspect politics, for probably all people to varying degrees, satisfies some deep seated human need for tribal identification and belonging. I chalk most rigid, angry disagreement up to policing of politically tribal shibboleths–sort of like Neo converting to conservatism and then getting mad about Chappaquidick. (Did I spell that right?)

  28. Ymar Sakar Says:

    What is Wrong with Demoncrats… let us see. Is there anything particularly good about rule by demons for demons?

  29. Ymar Sakar Says:

    That’s kind of a jerk thing to say about a lot of people you’ve never met, the sort of thing you might say if a lot of your discourse takes place in a self-reinforcing bubble of an ideological blog’s comments section.

    Is that why Leftists on campuses are smashing in heads of dissidents, because they want to penetrate that self reinforcing bubble?

    That’s kind of a jerk thing to do, ain’t it, against people they have never met. The sort of thing demons do.

  30. Ymar Sakar Says:

    There’s no point talking to the sales representative, they don’t set the prices. Stop talking to Leftist zombies as if they have any authority about what to believe or not. It is their necromancers and masters that decide this.

    Get your manage on the line.

  31. Big Maq Says:

    @huxley – you might like this link. It represents a liberal view in response to the idea that the left hates markets.
    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2017/06/yudkowsky_on_my.html

    It talks about minimum wage, which incidentally just happens to be an example I discussed above.

    What is most interesting is not the merits of the argument, but the view point being represented – it is instructive.

    This is how we can easily slip into talking past one another, even in good faith efforts.

  32. Somebody Says:

    Minimum wage is another good place to start too!

    There’s a pretty strong consensus that markets are good and that distorting markets is good too as long as the distortion produces more utility than not distorting it. That’s the Liberal Consensus I keep harping on. Virtually all American politics takes place inside this fairly narrow band.

    What I mean by this is something like: everyone agrees that markets are good, but Adam Smith taught us a long time ago that a completely unregulated market tends towards monopoly, which diminishes competition and creates inefficiencies like rents. So we accept some regulation, anti-trust laws, and maybe we quibble over just how big is too big but then we’re arguing over details, not theory.

    The same goes for minimum wage. It absolutely distorts the market. But there’s a pretty strong consensus that we should have one–it exists pretty much everywhere in this country and it survives under either party. People seem to like it. So when we argue about $5 or $15 am hour, we’re doing so in the context of details, not theory.

    I suspect that there are people here who might advocate for getting rid of it entirely, but that seems like a political impossibility–there’s too much of political consensus across the spectrum that it’s ok to distort the labor market by some amount. (It’s like the NHS in the UK–for all its faults, it survives under conservative and liberal governments, suggesting a pretty strong consensus in its favor.)

    So yeah, $15 is probably way too high, and probably has way too negative effect on employment and small businesses. But we’re quibbling over an incredibly small range of values here. I’ll never understand why there’s so much rancor over such a small disagreement.

    I suspect, though, that the push for $15 an hour probably stems from the same impulse as Trump’s pledge to–he literally promised this–fix every problem. There are obviously a lot of people hurting in this country today, or else Trump’s populist promise of change wouldn’t have resonated so strongly among all those voters who went from Obama (another politician who campaigned explicitly on change). Raising the minimum wage is just one possible policy prescription for dealing with that; it causes its own problems and costs, but so does every solution.

    (I suspect that, in the long run, you’re going to hear more and more about universal basic incomes, which basically seeks to do the same thing but shifts the burden from employers to the government.)

  33. Somebody Says:

    Double PS:

    –Yudkowsky is something of a clownish quack.

    –Ymarsakar is someone who’s mental health has troubled me for a long time. I mean that 100% honestly and without irony or ill intent. He’s gone from isolated young man obsessed with politics and violence and resentment to all that and now he’s literally talking about literal demons. I just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone had good rapport with him and knew of a way of suggesting help.

  34. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone had good rapport with him and knew of a way of suggesting help.

    That’s up there with Hussein, declared your Messiah by people like you, you know.

    It’s also up there with Hussein’s “you can keep your doctor if you want line”.

    The hypocrisy of this Lucifer worshipping cabal isn’t directly seen in the line members, but it leaks out every once in awhile.

    That is how they fooled many Americans, with this seemingly saccharine sounding voice of reason and compromise. Meanwhile the evil hiding their mask, they don’t talk about.

  35. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I just wanted to throw out, PS, that you know you can’t face me directly, not even with words. It’s why you passive aggressively throw rocks from the sidelines. You cannot Contest me and get away with it. Even you should have figured out that by now, shadow commenter and stalker wannabe.

    There’s a reason for that, you should ask the Leftist alliance’s faith pastors and your Messiah Hussein about that one. They might know even if you are ignorant.

  36. Ymar Sakar Says:

    I thought it was a good thing, though I hear he hasn’t been around in a while.

    At one Mitsu was wavering in his belief in national healthcare and O care after facing various responses here. He said he would consult and go on vacation, presumably to his mentors and Leftist masters.

    After a week, he came back talking about the wonders of O care again. Like he had completely forgot and been brainwashed of the last time he was here talking about how he was losing faith.

    Very telling incident.

  37. Ymar Sakar Says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp3iceous4g

    The problem with opening a salvo against me is that it gives me range finding data on where your weakness is.

    And for the Demoncrats, it is indeed the demons. A secret even the line faction zombies don’t know about, or at least refuse to admit.

  38. Sean Says:

    The Democrats hate flyover whites so much that they’ve defined the discourse such that any white who doesn’t hate himself and isn’t willing to let himself be replaced is a racist.

  39. Sean Says:

    People say eight years of Obama have been bad for the Dems because they lost all these elections, but the real reason they’ve been bad for the Dems is because he made them too comfortable. They let the mask fall off. HuffPo, WaPo, the Grey Lady, Salon, Slate and everybody else in the echo chamber let fly with their fashionable hatred of flyover whites.

    What none of them counted on was that the internet allows us to read their articles now, without digging for them. Thirty years ago, if the NYT had written stories attacking whites, most people in my neck of the woods would never have seen them. Now we just have to go on Instapundit or any of a million other sites and BOOM, there they all are.

    The best part is that the masochistic pseudo-sophisticates at HuffPo, et al. don’t even realize how bigly they contributed to the God-Emperor’s triumph in 2016. They still blame us for reacting naturally to their work.

  40. Somebody Says:

    You know, as a well known liberal, I struggle to recall any anti-white stories in the NYT. (Salon, which lost its goddamned mind, might be another story, but I haven’t read them inyears.) on the contrary, I think it was the Washington Post’s series on the opioid crisis’ impact on working class white Americans, which ran last April, was the first serious investigation into the crisis I had seen. The gist of the series was: there’s a crisis and people are desperate! But the message was largely lost on a party that thought it was a good idea to nominate an atrocious candidate whose message was, to the extent she had one, everything’s ok and we should keep doing things pretty much the way they are. Which obviously didn’t fly amongst a pretty significant segment of the population that was desperate for anyone to take its seriously.

    Which suggests that if Bernie had been the candidate, we’d probably be talking about the appeal of left wing populism, not Donald Trump’s populism. But anyway, I think there absolutely was a stream of dismissal of poor white Americans and their problems, but there was also a parallel populist movement and another parallel stream of criticism of the first stream (start with “The Smug Style of American Liberalism.”) now, in fairness, Clinton’s bland non-messages was enough to win her a decisive majority among American voters, but it also represented a tremendous dereliction for a party that should have been, at its heart, the champion of the people in those Washington Post articles.

  41. parker Says:

    Off to the north tomorrow to spend two weeks with the kinfolks by the lake. All I can add is I don’t trust the left to engage in an honest conversation. Thus, I distrust them after years of trying.

    Happy 4th to all, never forget your enemy hates life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Never give uo, stay locked and loaded. Learn to reload. No wifi on the lake, so stay focused you folks in the rest of within the modern world.

  42. AesopFan Says:

    Sean Says:
    June 27th, 2017 at 10:59 pm…
    What none of them counted on was that the internet allows us to read their articles now, without digging for them.
    * * *
    Indeed.
    How long before Google starts side-stepping all those articles because it’s bad for poor deluded people to read such old stuff and get confused?

  43. AesopFan Says:

    huxley Says:
    June 27th, 2017 at 7:51 pm…

    Clearly Foer’s sponsorship of Beauchamp’s fake stories was not a problem for Goldberg in declaring Foer “one of the finest magazine journalists of his generation.”
    * * *
    It’s not a high bar these days: maybe he IS the finest.
    Lookin’ atcha, CNN.

  44. AesopFan Says:

    Excellent fisking of Foer’s article. It’s interesting to see how deeply embedded are the assumptions that keep pushing him back to the Party line.

    VDH has another theory.

    “If they weren’t trying to destroy the president, Democrats would have to focus on an agenda most Americans don’t support.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/448992/trump-derangement-only-alternative-democrats-have-no-agenda

  45. Sean Says:

    ou know, as a well known liberal, I struggle to recall any anti-white stories in the NYT.

    Surely you’re kidding. All you have to do is google the times and “white privilege” or “whiteness” to see tons of articles on it. They talk about it all the time. And nearly all of them written by white people, or Jews identifying as white for purposes of self-incrimination.
    And as anyone with a training in deconstructionism will tell you, “white privilege” is liberal code for “white moral inferiority.” Just insert the phrase “moral inferiority” after the word “white” in every article on white privilege that you see from now on, and you’ll see my point.

    I’m not sure how the race would have gone if Bernie’d been the Dem nominee. He might have won, he might have gotten blown out. A Jewish socialist with a thick Brooklyn accent, who couldn’t even be bothered to brush his hair half the time would have been a much harder sell off-campus. Our guy’s hair may be ridiculous but at least he tries…
    The Left looks at Bernie and by some rule of inverted charisma says, “He looks goofy and talks blunt, therefore he must be right.” We on the Right look at him and say, “He may believe what he’s saying but that doesn’t mean he’s right about any of it.”

    Maybe it’s an America vs. New York thing? Your half hates our Queens goy, no doubt our half would have despised your Brooklyn Jew, both of them quintessential New Yorkers.

    Anyway, the problem the Dems have isn’t the dismissal of poor whites, it’s more complex than that. You’re still looking at it from the perspective of the liberal journalist who wants to understand why she lost, and explaining it in terms of benighted flyover whites who don’t understand our own interests, i.e. What’s the Matter With Kansas.

    I’m telling you right now, as one of the people you’re talking about (not an opiate addict from a poor county, but a flyover white nonetheless), we see what you guys write about us. We know what you think of us and we’ve rightly concluded you do not have our interests at heart. We’ve been seeing it for eight years, and talking about it amongst ourselves in blogs like this one, as you yourself have seen. Contrary to all of those lib echo chamber articles claiming that Trump’s victory was the result of 40 years of coded Republican racism, we did *not* think in tribal terms before this election. Obama made us see tribalism in American politics like we never saw it before. Academia made us see it. Remember, we’re the ones who tried to be racially color-blind per MLK’s “not by the color of their skin” rhetoric, and *you’re* the ones who have been excoriating us for that over the last ten years, “now it’s racist not to see the color of my skin.”

    Left-wing tribalism has begotten the right-wing tribalism that the Left has feared all along, and which largely didn’t exist prior to 2008. One of the worst mistakes you guys ever made was marginalizing Christianity as a political and cultural force in this country, because Christianity was the one universalist belief system that could have convinced white conservatives to even give a man like MLK a hearing. Christianity gave us a common moral rhetoric with which to try to deal with our differences. What value would a black preacher’s call for Christian brotherhood have in a 21st century America where Christianity is a laughingstock to our cultured despisers? As we’ve taken off our universalist-religious blinders, we see the tribalism inherent in your politics, and have responded in kind. You all have created the nationalism you feared.

    What’s going on in the Right is far more complex than any diagnosis you on the Left have come up with. Like Douthat said, if you hated the Christian Right, you’re really going to hate the post-Christian Right.

  46. AesopFan Says:

    Along the same lines.
    http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2017/06/another-soul-sucking-disappointment.html

    Dowd contacted Rahm Emanuel, to learn how to win elections:

    “We congenitally believe that our motives are pure and our goals are right,” Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, told me. “Therefore, we should win by default.” But, he added dryly: “You’ve got to run a good campaign. In elections, politics matter. Oooh, what a surprise.”

    Apparently, Rahm has forgotten the other rule of politics: when you have power you have to govern effectively. The man presiding over the killing fields of Chicago, within a state that has been bankrupted by years of Democratic governance, does not serve as a role model for effective governance.

    If Democrats do not think that it matters, they are living in their own fairy tale.

  47. Somebody Says:

    Sean,

    I think the term you’re looking for is “dog whistle.” Deconstruction as literary critique, that thing Heidegger and Derrida did, is pretty different. But I think that you’re mistaking your own biases for someone else’s; I googled and still didn’t come up with anything that fits your bill.

    My suspicion about Bernie–and I say this as someone who wasn’t enthusiastic about either candidate–was that the party would have rallied around him (as parties do, such as Republicans rallying around someone as odious and un-ideologically conservative as Trump), and he would have been able to siphon off enough of the protest votes that Trump captured this time around. Again, the key for me is the number of counties, especially in the Midwest, that went for Obama twice and then flipped for Trump. Race obviously wasn’t a factor, but discontent with the status quo was.

    I’m not a big fan of “white privilege” as an analytical concept, because I think it elides more important class divisions and because it has been weaponized by a small and marginal but really loud branch of the left that is most active on campuses and tumblr (seriously what is wrong with tumblr?). The one time I experienced it viscerally was right after the election, watching actual Nazis like Richard Spencer ride Trump’s coat tails to public prominence, and I thought, well, at least they won’t come for me first, because I am not obviously a target, unlike my black neighbors or Jewish family members. And then I thought, oh! That sense of relief that my identity affords me protection? That’s what they’ve been talking about.

    I’m flattered that you’d lump me in with the guys who marginalized Christianity but I promise that I’m way too lazy to have participated in a project to defeat a religion that is still the majority faith and wildly over-represented among elites (especially if you believe Trump’s claim to believe in anything that is not himself.)

    I’ve got to ask–your use of the painfully nerdy “God-emperor” formilation, your unprompted taxonomy of Jewish writers as masquerading as whites, your repeated references to Sanders’ Jewishness, your emphasis on white tribalism (esp as a necessary reaction to hostile outside forces), your ominous threats about future mobilization, your reference to taking off the blinders–full on Richard Spencer neo-Nazi or just run of the mill alt-right?

    But I think there’s a pretty simple explanation for what happened, that marginalized and esp. rural populations experiencing significant distress tend to support anti-incumbency parties and candidates, anywhere in the world. There’s an Israeli scholar, name escapes me, who argued that Ahmadinejad won his elections in Iran because he represented an anti-clerical establishment movement; we in the Westbfixated on his flamboyant, odious statements about the US and Israel but Iranians viewed him through the lens of anti-establishment. I think something very similar happened here and I strongly suspect that when Trump utterly fails to improve their lives in any way, then the next anti-establishment figure has a strong chance of siphoning off that support.

  48. Bryan Lovely Says:

    Somebody–

    Seriously? I googled “white privilege site:nytimes.com” and came up with the following titles, sorted and deduped:

    ‘White Privilege’ Essay Contest Stirs Up a Connecticut Town
    At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the …
    Behind 2016’s Turmoil, a Crisis of White Identity
    Bill Maher Returns to ‘Real Time’ on HBO After Use of Racial Slur …
    Bill O’Reilly and White Privilege
    Dear White America
    Death in Black and White
    Judge’s Sentencing in Massachusetts Sexual Assault Case Reignites …
    Looking at White Privilege Under Apartheid
    Mandela Eases His Criticism of White Privilege
    Michael Eric Dyson Believes in Individual Reparations
    My Lesson From White America
    Popcast: Macklemore on White Privilege and Sparking Conversation …
    Research Shows White Privilege Is Real
    Review: ‘White Girl,’ a Tale of Cocaine, Sex and Privilege
    The Identity Politics of Whiteness
    Trans Deaths, White Privilege
    Trump Reflects White Male Fragility
    What ‘White Privilege’ Really Means
    What Whiteness Means in the Trump Era
    When Whites Just Don’t Get It
    White Debt
    White Rappers, Clear of a Black Planet
    White Students’ Unfair Advantage in Admissions
    Whiteness and Race, Between the Storms
    Why Rural America Voted for Trump
    Women’s March on Washington provokes heated debate on class and …

    and that’s just from the first four pages of results, of which Google tells me there are 15,600.

    It’s late, or I would do the same for the Washington Post and the LA Times, but I suspect I’d get the same profusion of articles.

  49. Sean Says:

    Somebody,

    Deconstruction as literary critique, that thing Heidegger and Derrida did, is pretty different.

    Deconstructionism is a technique for exposing the power strategies behind all narratives, not just literary ones.

    I googled and still didn’t come up with anything that fits your bill.

    Are you sure you tried google and not yahoo? Because I googled it before writing that post and came up with tons of articles.

    My suspicion about Bernie–and I say this as someone who wasn’t enthusiastic about either candidate–was that the party would have rallied around him (as parties do, such as Republicans rallying around someone as odious and un-ideologically conservative as Trump), and he would have been able to siphon off enough of the protest votes that Trump captured this time around.

    Yes, the party would have held its nose and rallied around Bernie (like we did with Trump), but I’m not so sure he would have won in the end. How many people would have been repelled by the prospect of electing a socialist?

    Again, the key for me is the number of counties, especially in the Midwest, that went for Obama twice and then flipped for Trump. Race obviously wasn’t a factor, but discontent with the status quo was.

    As somebody who voted for Obama in 2012, I can tell you that race was very much a factor in my vote and a lot of others’ (on both sides). Race was a factor in the Midwest to the extent that the “we’re being replaced by cheap peasant labor from the Third World” narrative has coalesced in people’s minds there.

    The other big factor in our politics today that nobody’s talking about is the destabilizing effect of large numbers of unmarried males in their twenties. How many people at the Berkeley riots were married? How many people in Antifa are married? How many people on /pol are married? These are the folks pushing our political boundaries further out in every direction, most in their twenties, many out of college.

    I’m not a big fan of “white privilege” as an analytical concept, because I think it elides more important class divisions and because it has been weaponized by a small and marginal but really loud branch of the left that is most active on campuses and tumblr

    The real problem with white privilege is that it’s an attempt to de-normalize whiteness, as if it would be a good idea for blacks or browns to be the default race in this country.

    The one time I experienced it viscerally was right after the election, watching actual Nazis like Richard Spencer

    He’s just the white version of BLM or La Raza.
    But while I admire your desire to see things in a strict class-conflict paradigm, the truth is that classes all take place within tribes, and there are tribes within each class, and classes themselves are tribes, and the perennial Left desire to make people focus on their class conflicts and ignore their tribal interests has never worked and never will. Tribes are concrete and visible, whereas class is an abstraction.

    And then I thought, oh! That sense of relief that my identity affords me protection? That’s what they’ve been talking about.

    Privilege is contextual. Wander into a poor black neighborhood and see how much protection your identity affords you.

    I’m flattered that you’d lump me in with the guys who marginalized Christianity but I promise that I’m way too lazy to have participated in a project to defeat a religion that is still the majority faith and wildly over-represented among elites (especially if you believe Trump’s claim to believe in anything that is not himself.)

    Well, your man Obama wasn’t too lazy, he did yeoman’s work on legally marginalizing it. As for being wildly over-represented among our elites, you’re kidding, right?

    I’ve got to ask–your use of the painfully nerdy “God-emperor” formilation, your unprompted taxonomy of Jewish writers as masquerading as whites, your repeated references to Sanders’ Jewishness, your emphasis on white tribalism (esp as a necessary reaction to hostile outside forces), your ominous threats about future mobilization, your reference to taking off the blinders–full on Richard Spencer neo-Nazi or just run of the mill alt-right?

    Come on, “God-Emperor” isn’t nerdy.
    National Socialism is a combination of identity politics with demands for affirmative action and socialism. It’s a lot closer to BLM and La Raza than me. I don’t actually follow Richard Spencer, he seems a bit quixotic to me.
    As for my naming the Jew, that’s just natural in a political climate where pointing out other people’s ethnicity is a standard rhetorical technique for contextualizing (i.e. marginalizing) them. If there’s nothing anti-white about pointing out people’s whiteness for purposes of critiquing them, then there’s nothing anti-semitic about pointing out people’s Jewishness for purposes of critiquing them. Probably something that the Jewish academics who invented whiteness studies should have thought of when they created the field.

    But I think there’s a pretty simple explanation for what happened, that marginalized and esp. rural populations experiencing significant distress tend to support anti-incumbency parties and candidates, anywhere in the world.

    Again, I think you’re focusing too much on this narrative about the poor and dispossessed. That’s your class focus narrowing your perception, and I have to say that’s a narrative we on the Right predicted would happen within 24 hours of the God-Emperor’s victory. Yes, he won handily with whites who don’t have a college education. But he also won a majority of whites who do have a college education (54%). That’s something you need to explain.

    There’s an Israeli scholar, name escapes me, who argued that Ahmadinejad won his elections in Iran because he represented an anti-clerical establishment movement; we in the Westbfixated on his flamboyant, odious statements about the US and Israel but Iranians viewed him through the lens of anti-establishment.

    I’d buy that. Trump = Ahmadinejad = Duterte, etc. Sounds reasonable.

    I think something very similar happened here and I strongly suspect that when Trump utterly fails to improve their lives in any way, then the next anti-establishment figure has a strong chance of siphoning off that support.

    This is wishful thinking, and again, a sign of how little you all on the Left understand us. If you look at polls of Republicans, the percentage of us who expect him to make our lives better was never high to begin with. We white conservatives had a choice: vote for the obnoxious billionaire who churns out promises as fast as any politician and who will keep maybe 1/4 of them, or vote for the party that explicitly hates us, as their press has made clear. Which would you vote for?

  50. Sean Says:

    I mean, seriously, Somebody. Go read, ‘Shattered,’ it states repeatedly that Hillary’s campaign was all about race – black, brown, Muslims, etc. Bill pleaded with her for 18 months to focus more on flyover whites but she and her campaign chose to antagonize us instead, on the assumption that demographic changes meant she didn’t need to concede anything to us.

    Do you guys really think we don’t see this stuff? https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2016/03/18/hillary-clinton-doesnt-need-white-men/?utm_term=.399a9b3053c0

    There’s reams of it out there.

  51. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Democrats will believe the sun rises in the west, if their self proclaimed Messiah Hussein told them it did.

    For them to search their soul, first the zombies must have a soul. Which is quite debatable.

  52. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Like Douthat said, if you hated the Christian Right, you’re really going to hate the post-Christian Right.

    The funny thing is that people on the Alt Right, specifically VoxDay school of state Christianity, think I’m a cuck or compromise, because I refuse to join their band wagon whenever it circles to pick up initiates.

    What they have yet to figure out is that some people think Trum is a compromiser, and criticize Trum because Trum isn’t fighting and killing enough people in DC. They think the criticism is always from the Left, so they Shoot Towards the left. Which in marksmanship just means they rotate 360 degrees as they shoot their allies, thinking they are always shooting Left.

    The Post Christian Right isn’t all that extreme. It was designed as a counter to the Leftist alliance, an anti Left coalition, and uses much of the Left’s own methods and Alinsky-Luciferian doctrine. Even the Alt Right coalition members have noticed this and criticized it, such as on John C Wright’s blog.

    But there’s a slim fraction of individuals in America that was preparing for Civil War 2 before the pick up artists even realized they had a political party they could hijack and repurpose. And those are “extreme” beyond the definition of merely “distasteful alt Rightists”.

    As for the sauce, http://www.scifiwright.com/2017/06/objectivism-and-alt-right/

    Trum is a joke because he over sold himself and hasn’t done even 5% what a Ymar would have done with the same power in DC. Americans are desperate enough to put power to a Trum, but I wonder if they will ever be desperate enough for the final solution. There’s more layers going on here than a bunch of humans fighting over power. The Alt Right have realized this, with their crusaders, their churchian rhetoric, and their talk about material evil. I fight not against the politicians of this human world, but against the forces of darkness, the spirits, and the gods.

    Soon the rest of humans in this world will be the same. Just as they now try to copy cat the early prophecies concerning civil war 2.

    Unfortunately, some boy isn’t doing well in the debates here, partially because my comment there burned him and slapped the boy across the face so hard his head is still spinning. http://neoneocon.com/2017/06/27/some-democratic-soul-searching/#comment-2226559

  53. Somebody Says:

    Bryan and Sean,

    Asserting that there are many articles that reference the term “white privilege” doesn’t prove anything about the content of those articles. One was about a controversy surrounding an essay contest about white privilege. One was about apartheid South Africa. These have nothing to do with what you’re taking about. I can’t find any that do; if you want to read into them a systemic case for a code worded project of…something? then I think you’re going to find what you’re looking for whether it’s really there or not.

    But again, I think it’s a telling distinction: BLM, for all its odious street protests and rhetoric, has–to the extent that it’s a coherent project–offered a fairly sensible proposal for police reform that most people–left and right–should be pretty comfortable with. I mean, armed agents of the state killing innocent citizens with impunity? We fought a revolution over stamp taxes! We should be grabbing the pitchforks! So comparing the two–one that’s obnoxious but advocates reform, vs Richard Spencer who openly advocates racial separation through murder and openly adopts Nazi symbology–and coming up with the milquetoats critique that Spencer is too “quixotic”–suggests more about you than it does abou Spencer or BLM.

    And yes, as a super nerd, God-Emperor is painfully nerdy. You’re incorporating a reference either to Dune or…Pratchet? Is he the other one? the same impulse that led a lot of nerds to adopt a Matrix reference at the core of their empowerment-through-resentment discourse on red pills. Super nerdy. And no, Deconstruction still doesn’t mean what you think it means. Suggest starting with Derrida’s Sign, Sttucture, and Play. Stay away from Heidegger, he’s dense to ththe point of near-incomprehensibility.

    But yeah, I feel you. Things are tough and they’re not getting better and no one in power is doing anything to fix it.

  54. JuliB Says:

    Somebody:

    “And I can’t recall a single time I’ve ever encountered someone who made a point of referring to themselves like this, or argued for a meaningful distinction. I think you’re parsing a phenomenon that doesn’t really exist. ”

    Just because you don’t classify yourselves this way doesn’t mean it’s not a real thing. I’m thinking along the lines of fish not realizing that they exist in water – they’re in too deep, so to speak.

    We see the differences between the groups. From your vantage point, it’s probably just a continuum, but from this side, we can see distinctions. And since we’re in a cold war, we’re interested in understanding how to defeat you and your ideas. By that, I mean keep them from spreading. (If we can sow some seeds of doubt within the various individuals of any group, all the better.) Different tactics work with different groups of arguments and those who argue. So it behooves us to carefully analyze your side.

    I find it surprising that you think that there isn’t a lot of self-identification that occurs. I think we have a lot of it on the right. But then again, as Rush said, words mean things. So it means a lot to me to determine what I consider myself.

    As far as BLM is concerned, I think that they are ignoring the real problem – black men are more likely to be killed by other black men. We have a serious cultural problem (don’t snitch, anti-law and order, etc) and by they are focusing on a side effect of the real problem. By and large, the police are NOT gunning down people in the streets. The ones that are doing bad exist in every society – bad apples. Doesn’t mean that it’s a structural problem whatsoever. Now if we/you/them fixed the cultural problems, and it was still happening at a statistically significant rate, then I might agree with you.

  55. Big Maq Says:

    “Jews identifying as white for purposes of self-incrimination.” – Sean

    Didn’t know that being Jewish was a racial distinction.

    But then again, along with your other comments elsewhere, a certain pattern is certainly emerging.

  56. Brian E Says:

    Big Maq, where are you in this conversation? Here’s you’re chance to have a meaningful dialogue with a liberal.

    I was going to ask Somebody about his views on open borders (what should be the limits on immigration, or should there be any) and single payer health care, do you support it and how much would it cost? But then I saw this comment:

    “I mean, armed agents of the state killing innocent citizens with impunity?”

    Seems a bit extreme.

  57. Somebody Says:

    Brian,

    Strongly in favor of single payer, both from the perspective of “we’re a rich enough country, in aggregate, that it’s getting harder and harder to make a moral case for NOT covering everyone” and from an efficiency perspective (which is a big discussion that would be better served in a separate discussion, so I can focus on that if you’d like). But, in general, I don’t like a) our previous system, which was not a market system at all but was instead heavily distorted and produced mediocre outcomes at exorbitant prices, or b) the ACA, which was a step in the right direction but was probably only feasible as policy through the remarkably inefficient measure of passing virtually all health care spending through the hands of health insurance companies, a huge government subsidy of private corporations.

    On borders, I’m generally fine with high rates of immigration/low rates of enforcement, both because a) I think that letting people move here is the single most efficient method of helping people around the world improve their lives (way more efficient that most foreign aid spending) and b) I’m a big fan of labor market liquidity, and think that free trade advocates who don’t address labor market liquidity are hypocrites. I also suspect strongly that most of the arguments against immigration are the same ones that were made about previous groups and that few of the dire predictions about the effects of letting in, say, the Irish bore fruit, and that similarly those costs are not going to bear out over the long term. But I’m also not surprised that we’re re-encapsulating the same nativist backlash, since people are pretty predictable.

    On the police shooting thing: this is an area where I’m genuinely, honestly surprised that there’s not a broad consensus that this is a bad thing and that we should stop it. The vast majority of police are, of course, doing their difficult jobs without problem. But there is a persistent thread of overuse of force with impunity that Americans are struggling to figure out. Highly recommend everyone read Radley Balko, staunch libertarian who has been writing about this for years. To wit: Dillon Taylor, unarmed white man who had committed no crime shot in the back by police because they determined he was a threat when he didn’t respond to their verbal commands because he had his earbuds in, listening to music; the police faced no repercussions. If you’re worried that, say, a 1% increase in the top marginal tax rate represents nascent tyranny, then here’s a real example of real government employees killing a real American citizen, who ostensibly had real rights, with impunity. I think there’s a real issue, which by all rights should be a broadly bipartisan issue, that has somehow gotten caught up in a left/right divide that completely elides the real issue.

    Happy to dive into any of those!

  58. Somebody Says:

    JuliB,

    Agreed that’s a major societal problem, but it’s entirely separate from the issue that BLM is trying to address. Asserting that people can’t make cogent demands for police reform until they first address a separate, unrelated problem is, to put it mildly, something of a straw man, I think BLM has done an extraordinarily poor job explaining itself in a cogent, consistent way, and I think it has lost its original thread (as when it brought in reparations), but as far as I can tell, it is not:

    a) an argument that other lives matter, or
    b) an argument that other lives matter less, or
    c) an argument that black lives only matter if they’re killed by the police.

    Most police aren’t running around killing people on a daily basis, as you noted, but there is a consistent thread of violence in American policing that strongly suggests systemic rather than individual problems. (My general rule of thumb is: if one person does something, you might be able to chalk it up just to that person, but when a lot of people all over start doing that same thing all of a sudden, something systemic is happening.) Again, Radley Balko is your best source on this; I don’t have stats off the top of my head, so I’ll point to anecdotes like that of Dillon Taylor (unarmed innocent man shot in the back because police are trained to treat anything less than total, immediate noncompliance as a threat) or Tamir Rice (police shot him within two seconds of arriving on the scene because police are taught to aggressively introduce themselves into potentially dangerous situations and then rely on lethal force to protect themselves) or Bounkham Phonesavanh (a 19 month old nearly burned to death when police threw a flashbang grenade into his crib because police are trained to use military grade weaponry on residential homes without first determining the risk to innocent babies being burned nearly to death in their cribs).

    So BLM’s initial list of demands was eminently reasonable: police reform focusing on limiting the use of force, community oversight, body cameras, independent investigations of police misconduct, demilitarization of police, etc. These are all reasonable! These are all things that every American should demand of public servants who are empowered to use force only insofar as they’re serving and protecting their communities! Imagine if a DMV employee shot you in the back: you’d presume there would be repercussions. If there weren’t, you might assume something is systemically wrong with the way the government uses force against its citizens via the DMV.

    So you might excuse the people behind BLM for assuming that they have to make a case that their lives SHOULD matter to a system that gives them mountains of evidence that their lives don’t matter to that system. Why did the NRA only make a late, milquetoast complaint about Philando Castile’s killing, when he had a legal right to carry his firearm and committed no crime that warranted lethal force and made no threat that warranted a lethal response and was killed within seconds of truthfully answering the police officer’s question? Can you blame them for at least wondering whether the lack of outrage stems from his race, rather than the facts of the case, which are something that every American should be mad about?

  59. Somebody Says:

    Sorry, that first line in my bulleted list should have read “an argument that other lives DON’T matter.”

  60. Ymar Sakar Says:

    BLM is a tool of Nation of Islam agents and Soros clones.

    It takes a fool to fall for their propaganda.

  61. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Some boy is still running away from this question.

    http://neoneocon.com/2017/06/27/some-democratic-soul-searching/#comment-2226559

    Some people like to over inflate themselves by pulling a Messianic 1 person in the den of conservative neo neocon lions here.

  62. AMartel Says:

    Somebody may or may not be interested in soul searching.
    I can’t tell. I’m thinking the interest is not very intense.
    Doubling down on and attempting to defend the same old same old (class war and BLM) does not seem like a good faith effort. BLM is clearly not interested in black lives in general or black lives in encounters with police. It has been dishonest Dem rabble-rousing from the get-go. And class war is Dem/Prog 101.
    Also this googly-eyed faux innocence about the white privilege racism systematically promoted by the NYT and the MSM is just not credible. Did you read the excerpts in the post (above)? It’s a prime example.

    Good luck with your search.

  63. Brian E Says:

    “To wit: Dillon Taylor, unarmed white man who had committed no crime shot in the back by police because they determined he was a threat when he didn’t respond to their verbal commands because he had his earbuds in, listening to music; the police faced no repercussions.”

    This case isn’t as simple as it seems and certainly not a good example of BLM complaints since this was a white man shot by a black police officer.

    This may have been a tragic mistake, may have been suicide by cop, but isn’t an example of police shooting with impunity.

    Here’s a facebook post by Taylor apparently shortly before his death:

    https://localtvkstu.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/s-sl-shooting-dillion-facebook-post-2-explicit-copy1.jpg?quality=85&strip=all

    But making policy by anecdote is never good policy.

    It would be nice if police weren’t put in situations that split second decision need to be made. I’ve had this conversation with my nephew, a retired police officer, and while I wish these incidents didn’t happen, I have to side with the police– we’ve tasked them with a nearly impossible job in some instances.

    Our choice may be reduced to less policing– which is what a believe was happening in Baltimore.

  64. Somebody Says:

    Brian,

    I offered the example of Taylor specifically because I think this is an issue for all Americans to care about, regardless of race. Police violence happens disproportionately more often to minorities but happens absolutely more often to white Americans. BUT ALL RACE ASIDE, there’s a more important question about our relationship as citizens with rights to our police as public servants and government employees.

    Keeping in mind that I explicitly said I was offering anecdotes only by way of illustration, since I don’t have access to numbers off the top of my head (but strongly recommend you read people who do, like Balko–I’m not going to make as good a case as he would, I’m just trying to convey my perspective as asked), I am genuinely baffled that Americans, people who have enshrined the right to armed rebellion over tea and stamp taxes, would even be having a debate over this. If you watch the footage (I misremembered, Dillon was shot while facing the cop), you’ll note that Dillon was killed within 20 seconds of the cop exiting his vehicle and within about 2 seconds of noticing a screaming man standing behind him, pointing a gun at him. This is hardly enough time for most people to process what’s happening–either Dillon or the cop–but it’s pretty absurd to suppose that Dillon might have been trying to attempt suicide by cop when he died about 2 seconds after he noticed the presence of a cop. And it’s that 2 seconds that represent the systemic problem I’m trying to get at–in what moral universe should we accept, as Americans, that cops should be able to do this?

    Agree that cops have a tremendously difficult job to do, and I’m always grateful for the professional service I see from my local police (who are, fortunately, mostly free of anything even remotely like this–which belies the notion that the alternative to deadly policing is less policing). But policing has absolutely gotten safer for police at the same time that police have been using more lethal force more rapidly against more Americans, which suggests a) it’s unrelated to the actual danger they face and b) it’s something systemic, not personal.

    I recall, again anecdotally, a cop explaining that if he hesitated on pulling the trigger during a training exercise, he would be reprimanded for not using lethal force as a measure of FIRST resort. I can point to examples of cops being disciplined for successfully defusing situations without using lethal force. These are systemic issues–cops trained to resort to lethal force in a span of time that few reasonable people could respond to in an appropriate manner (hence situations like Dillon’s, or Tamir Rice’s, or Castile’s). If we accept that police are capable of making mistakes, but expect absolute and perfect compliance from citizens, then we’re going to end up with these. And, again, if you think Obamacare is socialist tyranny because it imposes a new tax (I’m being a little facetious, but you get my drift), then here’s a visceral example of every-day government abuse of its citizens that I’d expect every Don’t Tread on Me type to be up in arms, but they’re not. Why not? Is it unreasonable for black people to at least wonder if there’s no outcry because it happens disproportionately to black people?

  65. Dave Says:

    why it happens disproportionately to black people but not Chinese or Indians or Japanese or even Muslims when they are all minorities? it happens disproportionately to black people because black people has a cultural problem the other minority groups don’t have that still hasn’t been addressed because democrats keep making excuses for them not refuse to solve the problems at their root. Even if you make laws that prohibit cops from shooting blacks it will not help black, it will only create more dead cops.

  66. Brian E Says:

    “But, in general, I don’t like a) our previous system, which was not a market system at all but was instead heavily distorted and produced mediocre outcomes at exorbitant prices,” – Somebody

    I agree that this thread isn’t the best one to revive the debate about government run medical care, but your assertion here is flawed. Yes, previous government policies have grossly distorted market forces in medical care (and I’m willing to stipulate that American compassion wouldn’t allow a true laissez faire approach to health anyway), but there are some things we could do to lower costs.

    But to say our outcomes are mediocre at exorbitant prices is just plain wrong.

    Anyway, on to immigration.

    “a) I think that letting people move here is the single most efficient method of helping people around the world improve their lives (way more efficient that most foreign aid spending) and b) I’m a big fan of labor market liquidity, and think that free trade advocates who don’t address labor market liquidity are hypocrites.” – Somebody

    a)- That’s wrong without even getting out a pencil and napkin to do the math. Once here, these new residents will be eligible for your spiffy government run and paid for medical system, your spiffy welfare system, and your spiffy education system.
    No doubt all paid for by the rich.
    No it’s much more efficient to help people and raise their standard of living in their home country. And raising the standard of living of the poorer countries to a level that we would still find barely tolerable in this country, you would find the happiness quotient quite satisfactory.

    The reason it often doesn’t work at the government level is the intractable problem of systemic government corruption and the caste system that often segregates societies along tribal and ethnic lines.

    To the extent we can improve the lives of people around the world, it will most efficiently be done by privately funded humanitarian efforts.

    b) At one time I was an advocate of free trade. I supported NAFTA because I thought the loss of jobs here would be offset by a better standard of living there and we could avoid or stem the influx of the illegals here. That didn’t work out so well.
    What you’re advocating is a double whammy on the working class– freely exporting industries to the cheapest labor markets and then divvying the remaining service jobs with all this extra cheap labor.
    No thanks.
    It’s interesting that the one remaining policy that could attract those rust belt democrats was abandoned– first by Clinton in the 90’s and then another Clinton last year. At least Bernie talked like a democrat– whether or not he would have actually done anything about the hemorrhaging of factory jobs is another matter.

    I’ve never figured out, and this is a problem with both leftist and rightist globalists, how we’re supposed to sustain a consumption economy with minimum wage service jobs? The problem was hidden while we racked massive amounts of personal debt. Sure, there’s still debt to be had, but it comes with a hefty price for low wage workers.

    Eventually, more Americans are going to recognize that borders are there for a reason, and exporting jobs while importing cheap labor isn’t sustainable.

  67. Somebody Says:

    I honestly think race is something of a red herring here. (I’m using that term because I’m not sure what else to call it, so bear with me.)

    Remember when Henry Louise Gates was arrested in his own home when someone thought he was breaking in? The general consensus was “that cop was a racist” and then Obama had them over for beers and they saw each other as people and no one was racist anymore and the day was saved. And I kept thinking, no! Racism is a red herring!

    Racism might have played a role in the cop’s response, might have “intersected” with other systemic problems, but for me the bigger issue was: there’s an armed agent of the state, with the legal authority to use lethal force, in the home of a private American citizen where no crime has been committed. That cop should have left that house and never looked back. Gates said some mean things to the cop, and the cop got mad and arrested him for it. That’s an entirely human response–I would love to be able to do that to people who daily piss me off in traffic. But we give cops that authority with the expectation that they will use it only in the execution of their duties to serve and protect, not to retaliate against some asshole who pissed him off. I desperately wanted someone to say “the problem is that we’re not holding cops to the highest of standards, the only reasonable standard we can hold cops to, not racism.”

    Because racism lets us say “the problem is one of bad apples, the racists.” It lets us say “the question of police reform is an issue for black people, who somehow bring it on themselves in an unspecified way.” When we really should have been saying, holy shit! An armed agent of the state in a private citizen’s home arrested a man for the crime of being a jerk. We fought a revolution over stuff like this!

    Because that’s a real, visceral example of someone actually Treading on Me, but instead of a broad national consensus on it, there were beers and everything was fine and now it’s a Black People Thing, when it should have been an American thing.

  68. AMartel Says:

    I have cases against public entities for excessive police force. I know it happens because I’ve seen video of it. It’s real and I have no issue with helping my clients get their due compensation from a bad cop/force. I do not require a lecture on the topic. To the extent that black people are disproportionately affected by excessive police force (and excessive policing/revenue generation) this is due to longstanding Dem policies and presumptions which keep them poor, ignorant, and dependent. There is personal, individual responsibility as well, and community responsibility (those damn preachers) to be sure but the disgusting drumbeat of “not good enough to hack it out there amongst the scary white folks” is a huge factor. It’s not the Republicans sending that message.

  69. Somebody Says:

    Brian,

    Quick note on healthcare spending vs outcomes, just pulled this from the New England Journal of Medicine:

    “…in 2006, the United States was number 1 in terms of health care spending per capita but ranked 39th for infant mortality, 43rd for adult female mortality, 42nd for adult male mortality, and 36th for life expectancy…Comparisons also reveal that the United States is falling farther behind each year…”

    I think there’s strong, objective evidence that we do not spend our healthcare dollars efficiently. We could cut costs, of course, but we’d never get around the underlying distortions caused by tax breaks for employer-funded plans that stemmed from a WWII-era workaround of wartime wage caps. We’re saddled with a hodgepodge system that was never designed for a modern era. You can tinker with it, but I think the better outcome–number 1 spender, number 1 healthcare outcomes, USA number 1!–would be scrapping it and starting over with single payer.

  70. Somebody Says:

    AMartel,

    Do you think you could explain the Democratic policies that led a police officer to shoot Philando Castile within seconds of Castile truthfully informing the police officer of his carry permit and legal firearm?

  71. Dave Says:

    I have a simpler explanation. black kids are more likely to confront the cops during a routine stop because they all have a chip on their shoulder being incited by democrats 24/7 that they are being targeted by the cops and they need to fight back to protect their pride? Institutional racism is a conspiracy cooked up by the democrats to make black hate white so they will never vote for republicans.

    There are zero incentives for republicans to want more police shooting unarmed black kids since such incidences will only increase the voter turnout for the democrat base. If there is a group of people who wants more police shooting black kids it is the democrats since they get a surge of support when ever it happens. Call me a conspiracy theorists or something I think democrats intentionally create this toxic environment to promote more police shootings black kids for political gains since they are the sole beneficiaries of these incidents, most of these shootings happen in blue states/cities.

    For a party like republicans who hate big government it makes no sense that they want to keep blacks down and be the burden of society. If anything shouldn’t they want all black people to become productive citizens to ease the burden of the country in turn decrease the entitlement spending.

  72. AMartel Says:

    Somebody’s changing the topic from the topic s/he previously raised (disproportionate numbers of black people shot by police).
    Somebody’s deflecting blame. Much too busy for soul searching. I suspected you were a fraud.

    BTW, on the topic of excessive policing, prior to being shot, Philando had been stopped by the police for minor traffic infractions 52 times. Now maybe he was an unusually bad driver but this sounds like Ferguson, MO to me. Maybe had a matching police department generating revenue off the locals and whacking them upside the head when they got out of line.

  73. Brian E Says:

    Somebody, in 2015 there were an estimated 928 deaths by police. Let’s assume the vast majority were not justified. Since apparently neither of us knows the actual statistic of unjustified deaths (police blatantly overreacting, etc.) let’s say all of those deaths were not justified. Is there any possible way that all of those could be avoided? Would the recommendations of Campaign Zero, even if they were all enacted, avoid all those deaths or even most of them?

    In contrast, there were nearly 4,000 innocent deaths by drunk drivers. It is estimated that there are 100,000 deaths by avoidable medical errors annually. Some estimates double or quadruple that amount.

    Would the results of changes made to policing to avoid those 928 deaths result in greater risk in some other area?

  74. Somebody Says:

    I literally never once argued that Republicans have done this! I have wondered why Republicans haven’t taken it up as an issue, but I don’t think Republicans as a party or more broadly as a social group are responsible for this.

    I’d point instead to things like police training (which emphasizes first resorts to lethal force and demands for immediate and total compliance), lack of oversight (police investigating police), legal immunity (nearly impossible to actually punish someone who does something obviously wrong), and a broader culture of deference to policing that accepts not just the good parts but also the bad parts with virtually no question. Remember, cops are government employees!

    I think that if you want to make a case as convoluted as “Democrats create a toxic environment SO THAT there will be lethal confrontations SO THAT blacks (who already vote Democratic, as a general rule) will keep voting Democratic (because…not really clear on the causal mechanism that would link a hostile reaction to police abuse to voting patterns),” then you’re going to need some empirical evidence. I don’t think you can intuit your way to that position.

    Just this month, in Cincinnati, a white cop shot a black cop. The black cop, off duty, responded to a police chase that ended right outside his home with his service weapon. Cops on scene ordered him to the ground, he complied, identified himself as a cop, and was let up. Then another cop, just arriving on the scene, immediately ascertained a threat and immediately used lethal force against the cop.

    Maybe racism played a role, and I sure wouldn’t blame black people for assuming that in the face of people like you who would say “black people have it coming because of their culture of being rude to cops who are, of course, public servants to whom we have every legal right to be rude as citizens of a free country.” But the more salient question for me is: why did this cop (like so many others) resort immediately to lethal force when confronted with even the slightest hint of danger? Where does that come from? Why are cops being trained this way? I really don’t know! But that’s a more important and more solvable problem than your underpants gnome theory of incitement->???->votes!

  75. Somebody Says:

    Oh man! Since I’m literally the only person explaining this position against multiple questions, you have to cut me a little slack. I’ll happily try to explain everything! But it’s a little unfair to treat that as deflecting. Look how much I’ve written!

    I think there absolutely IS a problem of minority overrepresentation in police violence, but I don’t think that’s the most salient point. If you want to argue that Democratic policies that keep black people “poor, ignorant, and dependent,” then you have to also account for someone like Castile, who did everything right and was still killed for it. (And I’d love, as an addendum, an explanation for the lack of reaction from anyone who even remotely cares about gun rights-as-rule of law.)

  76. Brian E Says:

    “I recall, again anecdotally, a cop explaining that if he hesitated on pulling the trigger during a training exercise, he would be reprimanded for not using lethal force as a measure of FIRST resort. I can point to examples of cops being disciplined for successfully defusing situations without using lethal force. “– Somebody

    I suspect the training is to overcome the natural reaction to hesitate before firing. I would think that the natural reaction would be to delay firing, rather than the opposite. Once that natural hesitancy is overcome, it then becomes a matter of training to make quick evaluations.

    This might be the issue that we might find agreement. There are some people that just can’t make split second decisions accurately. People process information differently. Those that consistently make poor instantaneous decisions (and I image that could be tested for) might make better animal control officers.

    As to your second statement that you can give examples of police being reprimanded for defusing situations without using lethal force, I’d be interested in reading about those.

  77. Somebody Says:

    Here’s a good one:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2016/09/12/west-virginia-cop-fired-for-not-killing-a-man-with-an-unloaded-gun

    There are, of course, counter examples:

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/officer-refuses-resort-deadly-force-i-wanted-be-absolutely-sure-n344011

    This obviously isn’t a universal thing, and the second example reinforces my point that it’s a false dilemma between lethal policing and less policing.

  78. neo-neocon Says:

    Somebody:

    About whether minorities are overrepresented in police violence and/or shootings, see this and this as well as this.

  79. Richard Saunders Says:

    That’s amazing, Somebody — a cop is supposed to know when a gun is unloaded! Do they issue the cadets X-ray vision at the police academy?

    Responding to one of your earlier posts: it was, in fact, the stated position of BLM that “all lives matter” is a racist statement, and that position was officially adopted by at least one, possibly more, of the Universities of California. You keep stating that blacks are shot disproportionately by police. Black women are not. Older black people are not. It is young black men who are disproportionately shot by cops — disproportionately less than one would predict from the number of crimes they commit.

    You also stated that Hillary won a decisive popular vote victory. Had it not been for New York City and Los Angeles, she would have lost the popular vote as well. I hardly consider that a decisive popular victory.

    Finally, as to health outcomes in the US, if you exclude homicides, US life expectancy is right up there with the other industrialized nations. (That’s not to say we don’t have a homicide problem in this country — but it’s not a healthcare problem.) If you use the same definition other western countries do for infant viability, our infant mortality rates are about the same as theirs.

    As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the last great liberals in the Democratic Party said, “You are entitled to your own opinions. You are not entitled to your own facts.”

  80. Sean Says:

    Somebody,

    Asserting that there are many articles that reference the term “white privilege” doesn’t prove anything about the content of those articles.

    Sure it does. The term ‘white privilege’ is intrinsically hate speech.

  81. Sean Says:

    Big Maq,

    Didn’t know that being Jewish was a racial distinction.

    Really? Did you think it was a distinction they don’t make?

  82. Somebody Says:

    Richard,

    Not that relitigating thr election is necessary for offering a cogent argument for why a liberal would believe in liberal positions, but Clinton’s popular vote win is pretty incontrovertible. (Not that it matters, since she lost, but please tell the president, who seems to spend an inordinate amount of time as our most important public servant thinking and talking about this.) Suggesting her win only happened because she won NYC and LA is the equivalent of saying “she won because she won the votes of a lot of people.” Yeah. That’s how numbers work. Unless you think those votes are illegitimate because of where those people live, which is sort of as trashy as, say, suggesting Trump only won because he won the support of the sparsely populated but undifferentiated mass of the mountain west and Midwest.

    I take your point on life expectancy–it’s an important healthcare outcome–but on an array of other indicators–infant mortality!!!–we’re mediocre at best, and in vast disproportion to how much we spend.

    And I’m not really sure what the black men point is about but, as I’ve repeatedly said here, the disproportion is only relevant with regards to why there’s a BLM in the first place, an understandable reaction to a problem that no one else wanted to address, and that racism itself is something of a red herring re: the bigger problem of our collective acceptance of police misconduct in general.

  83. Somebody Says:

    Sean, even if that were true–that it’s intrinsically hate speech (which is nonsense, but ok), it remains insufficient to point to the number of articles without reference to their content as evidence of an ideological position. As I’ve repeatedly noted, one of the first results was on apartheid South Africa, where white privilege was explicitly written into law and defended through extensive state violence. Did you bother to read any of them or just assume?

    But, again, you think Richard Spencer, an actual Nazi, is merely “quixotic,” so…yeah. I don’t think there’s much value in continuing to engage you.

  84. Richard Saunders Says:

    Somebody– I suggest you look at the Wikipedia article on infant mortality —

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_mortality

    under “Differences in Measurement.” (Yes I know Wikipedia is not guaranteed accurate, but it will get you started.)

    Of course, it’s a matter of opinion, but to me, winning the popular vote only because you won in two tiny little parts of the country does not give one a “decisive victory.” YMMV.

  85. Richard Aubrey Says:

    various points:

    Wrt white privilege: Used by the left in all kinds of places where there may be a white person. It doesn’t need to be the point of a MSM article to have an impact when we see it reported to be used on campus, in demonstrations, in comment sections.
    Ten years ago, NBC’s Dateline sent a crew to a NASCAR event to trigger islmaophobia juiciness for the smug Dateline audience. They fronted the money in the belief they’d get the response they wanted to please their audience. Nothing happened, of course, which means they invested money on a false stereotype, although their view of their audience is likely correct.

    WRT minimum wage: I have never heard any argument from the left having to do with the market. It’s always they should have it because they deserve it. The implication is that the wage is the employer’s view of an employee’s personal moral worth. Cost of doing business? Going out of business? Getting into automation? Two responses: The employer, or I, am greedy bastards. Or, why do I hate poor people. No facts, no discussion.

    Mitsu whom Somebody may remember, seemed to be doing the Alinskyite thing of pretending to discuss in order to get lots of people to waste time and energy. Nothing penetrated his falsehoods.

    I reiterate: I have never had a discussion with a liberal which had more than two back-and-forths about facts before it went to ad hom, or the subject was changed.

  86. Somebody Says:

    But, just to be clear, you understand that there’s a difference between geographically tiny, which those cities are, and tiny in terms of population? Because our system generally cares about citizens who enjoy the vote and not how much land they live on.

  87. Sean Says:

    Somebody,

    then I think you’re going to find what you’re looking for whether it’s really there or not.

    Absolutely. And this is how racism works in our current discourse – people always finding what they’re looking for. For my part, I have never seen anyone on the Left say “white privilege” or “white male” or “white girls” (often, just “white”) without it being in the context of an insult or accusation. My white feminist friends say it that way all the time. So I feel perfectly free to define “white privilege” as itself a racist phrase.

    But again, I think it’s a telling distinction: BLM, for all its odious street protests and rhetoric, has–to the extent that it’s a coherent project–offered a fairly sensible proposal for police reform that most people–left and right–should be pretty comfortable with.

    No, actually, they haven’t. Their entire platform is based on a racist narrative that falls apart the moment it’s scrutinized.

    I mean, armed agents of the state killing innocent citizens with impunity?

    Right, except that’s not what’s happening.

    So comparing the two–one that’s obnoxious but advocates reform, vs Richard Spencer who openly advocates racial separation through murder and openly adopts Nazi symbology

    I’m going to go you one step further here and say that not only is BLM and La Raza’s ideology a lot closer to National Socialism than I am, but socioeconomically and educationally the people who make up those groups are identical to the people who made up the German nationalist movement in the first decades of the 20th century. The only difference is the skin tone. In any case, the Nazis were socialists, it’s right there in the name, and as a conservative I abhor socialism. They’re on your end of the political spectrum, not mine.

    –and coming up with the milquetoats critique that Spencer is too “quixotic”–suggests more about you than it does abou Spencer or BLM.

    I was being milquetoast on purpose to tweak you, and also because I’m not going to genuflect before your opinion. Spencer’s larping at revolutionary, I couldn’t care less.

    And yes, as a super nerd, God-Emperor is painfully nerdy.

    THIS JUST IN: SUPER-NERD SAYS SOMETHING IS SUPER-NERDY. NEWS AT ELEVEN.

    Yawn.

    You’re incorporating a reference either to Dune or…Pratchet?

    It’s Dune. I’ve never read sci-fi other than Ballard, so I don’t know who Pratchet is.

    Suggest starting with Derrida’s Sign, Sttucture, and Play. Stay away from Heidegger, he’s dense to ththe point of near-incomprehensibility.

    Thanks, I’ll get right on that.
    Actually, I’ve already read enough unreadable French theorists on semiotics to last a lifetime, thanks.

    But yeah, I feel you. Things are tough and they’re not getting better and no one in power is doing anything to fix it.

    I don’t even know that they’re tough, at least not for me, I just happen to be of the mind that those who want to use the government as a vehicle for their savior complexes tend far more often to undermine the folks they mean to save. Don’t need it.

  88. Sean Says:

    Somebody,

    then I think you’re going to find what you’re looking for whether it’s really there or not.

    Absolutely. And this is how racism works in our current discourse – people always finding what they’re looking for. For my part, I have never seen anyone on the Left say “white privilege” or “white male” or “white girls” (often, just “white”) without it being in the context of an insult or accusation. My white feminist friends say it that way all the time. So I feel perfectly free to define “white privilege” as itself a racist phrase.

    But again, I think it’s a telling distinction: BLM, for all its odious street protests and rhetoric, has–to the extent that it’s a coherent project–offered a fairly sensible proposal for police reform that most people–left and right–should be pretty comfortable with.

    No, actually, they haven’t. Their entire platform is based on a racist narrative that falls apart the moment it’s scrutinized.

    I mean, armed agents of the state killing innocent citizens with impunity?

    Right, except that’s not what’s happening.

    So comparing the two–one that’s obnoxious but advocates reform, vs Richard Spencer who openly advocates racial separation through murder and openly adopts Nazi symbology

    I’m going to go you one step further here and say that not only is BLM and La Raza’s ideology a lot closer to National Socialism than I am, but socioeconomically and educationally the people who make up those groups are identical to the people who made up the German nationalist movement in the first decades of the 20th century. The only difference is the skin tone. In any case, the Nazis were socialists, it’s right there in the name, and as a conservative I abhor socialism. They’re on your end of the political spectrum, not mine.

    –and coming up with the milquetoats critique that Spencer is too “quixotic”–suggests more about you than it does abou Spencer or BLM.

    I was being milquetoast on purpose to tweak you, and also because I’m not going to genuflect before your opinion. Spencer’s larping at revolutionary, I couldn’t care less.

    And yes, as a super nerd, God-Emperor is painfully nerdy.

    THIS JUST IN: SUPER-NERD SAYS SOMETHING IS SUPER-NERDY. NEWS AT ELEVEN.

    Yawn.

    You’re incorporating a reference either to Dune or…Pratchet?

    It’s Dune. I’ve never read sci-fi other than Ballard, so I don’t know who Pratchet is.

  89. Sean Says:

    Suggest starting with Derrida’s Sign, Sttucture, and Play. Stay away from Heidegger, he’s dense to ththe point of near-incomprehensibility.

    Thanks, I’ll get right on that. 😛
    Actually, I’ve already read enough unreadable French theorists on semiotics to last a lifetime, thanks.

    But yeah, I feel you. Things are tough and they’re not getting better and no one in power is doing anything to fix it.

    I don’t even know that they’re tough, at least not for me, I just happen to be of the mind that those who want to use the government as a vehicle for their savior complexes tend far more often to undermine the folks they mean to save. Don’t need it.

  90. Ymar Sakar Says:

    The Democrats keep saying “I feel your pain”. Have people figured out that this is in fact a deception, even a self deception…

  91. Sean Says:

    Somebody,

    Oh man! Since I’m literally the only person explaining this position against multiple questions, you have to cut me a little slack. I’ll happily try to explain everything! But it’s a little unfair to treat that as deflecting. Look how much I’ve written!

    Just wanted to say, I admire your positive attitude (and intestinal fortitude) at taking on an entire conservative blog by yourself. Kudos, brother.

  92. Sean Says:

    “But, again, you think Richard Spencer, an actual Nazi, is merely “quixotic,” so…yeah. I don’t think there’s much value in continuing to engage you.”

    Oh, I hadn’t even read that part when I wrote the last post. lol

  93. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Some Boy says he isn’t deflecting because he is responding to many people. Except I wonder who actually began those responses, the boy or the others here.

    As for police shootings, the dot that connects them is Democrat police unions. They militarize and train the police to execute on sight against things like a gun, similar to military training but without the safety guards. In military you are trained to pull the trigger without hesitation and accurately shoot the target, but the safety is that you have to be ordered to do so by the chain of command and you have to refuse to fire on blues. This safety mechanism is so strong that rape victims in the Army have refused to use the firearms they had available, against their rapists, because they were all Army and thus blue. No superior officers were there to order the woman to shoot on sight their fellow, so absent authorization, they could not go into combat mode.

    What the police unions did was strip out the safety mechanisms. Civilian training also has safety mechanisms, normally legal issues and conscience issues. So a police force based around serving civilians, always had a safety function. The Demoncrats removed it when the unions adopted military style training. So all these LEOs out of the academy, are trained to kill on sight, like child assassins, and they themselves don’t realize what their triggers are.

    This is why the police refuse to punish them. When you punish a behavior, the behavior tends not to repeat itself as much later on. So they want to promote this type of trigger conditioning.

    What BLM and Leftist alliance members do is to use the atrocity of one of their own, to blame their enemies, and to force their enemies to compromise. They blamed Vietnam on conservatives, or neo cons, like you all here, even though it was the Leftists that betrayed America in Vietnam. Yet it was your fault veterans had PTSD and so many died for nothing. Does that make sense?

    In the Leftist Alinsky mode of breaking you by your own rules, of course.

  94. Sean Says:

    Do we have any reason to believe blacks behave towards cops who have pulled them over that whites do? The assumption on the Left is that they behave identically to middle and upper-class whites when pulled over, but get treated differently because racism; but middle and upper-class whites don’t have the oppositional culture that blacks do (rednecks may), so there’s no reason to buy that assumption.

    About a year ago, I got pulled over by a cop for speeding. I hadn’t meditated that morning so was in a pissy mood. I started mouthing off to him and he immediately lit in to me. Tore me a new one and doubled my fine. I was super pissed but that shut me down. Nothing more maddening than the machinery of the state clamping down on you and you have no recourse.
    I talked to my boss about it a few weeks later. Her husband is a cop with 20+ years on the force. I told her I mouthed off and before I could even finish, she goes, “Oh nooo, that’s a bad idea. The department has a saying: ‘We will always be the bigger asshole.'” And it’s true. Their training is to ratchet up the situation to the point where it’s intolerable for the person they’ve accosted. Some groups seem to fight that more than others.

  95. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Just happened to see something our prolix visitor said above.
    The US is thirty-ninth in infant mortality.
    Usually, you think people who say this actually believe it, having been fooled by someone who knows better.
    In our case, I am certain, we’re cutting out the middle man.
    Somewhosits knows better.
    In US medical statistics, any infant who draws even one breath is a live birth, no matter how hideously challenged. If, after heroic efforts, the child dies, this is a count for infant mortality.
    In other countries, a child below a certain birth weight, more than so many weeks preemie, or having some other difficulty, is not counted as a live birth and, when the child dies–sometimes because of not being eligible for care–this is a still birth for statistical purposes.
    Our visitor knows better, but like some other liberal visitors, hopes we don’t.
    Plus the thrill of insisting the US isn’t as neato as the dumb redneck patriots think is pretty cool.

  96. Somebody Says:

    Richard,

    That is interesting information and I didn’t know anything about it! So I did some research!

    And I found the 2009 CDC study that’s the source of that information, which corroborates your assessment that there is a difference in the way that we count stillbirths in our statistics.

    The CDC did identify confusion over preterm births under 22 weeks of age. However, the CDC also assessed unambiguously:

    “The U.S. infant mortality rate was still higher than for most European countries when births at less than 22 weeks of gestation were excluded.
    When births at less than 22 weeks were excluded, the U.S. infant mortality rate dropped from 6.8 to 5.8 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 2004. The U.S. infant mortality rate of 5.8 was nearly twice that for Sweden and Norway (3.0), the countries with the lowest infant mortality rates. Infant mortality rates for Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia were higher than the U.S. rate.”

    So even accounting for that effect, our infant mortality rate is dramatically higher than it should be for what we spend on our healthcare system.

    But EVEN THAT ASIDE, the US lags behind on adult mortality (male and female). Not all of that is due to healthcare, of course, but drilling down, we lag behind on premature deaths from non-communicable diseases, deaths from infectious diseases, and women surviving childbirth.

    I genuinely don’t know why this is a partisan or ideological issue. Don’t conservatives care about how we spend our money? Don’t you want to spend our money effectively? Don’t you want, you know, more babies to survive infancy? I would like all of these things and I strongly suspect you would too! These are simple numbers. There’s no need to try to handwave them away, or find fault with the data collection so you can strike aha! Everything is actually fine! There’s a problem, let’s identify it with clear eyes, and then figure out a solution. We can disagree over solutions! That’s how democracy works! But it’s silly to deny that there’s a problem in the first place.

    I also struggle to understand this idea that identifying a problem somehow relates to a critique of the United States, or an attempt to undermine anyone’s confidence in our country. Wouldn’t my determination that we absolutely have it in our power to be number one suggest otherwise?

  97. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Some.
    Identifying a problem, especially, when you have to make it up, is a matter of virtue signaling. I went around with some history teachers on the question of why more colonists showed up for independence than as loyalists. They had some dumb answers, loyalists were older, loyalists were high church. Eventually, they settled on the answer. I was a PATRIOT, and unworthy of further conversation.
    Yeah, and George Washington, the first guy in history to lead an army to overthrow a government and then….go home….owned SLAVES.
    You see?
    A good deal of US mortality has little to do with heath dollars and more to do with life choices. Gangbanging is a high risk proposition. Eberstedt discovered that, if illegitimacy were a disease, it would be the most deadly to children. True even in Europe with its varying methods of allocating health care.
    We have more drivers covering more miles than other countries. I’ll be taking a trip in the fall, using expressways. It seems as if I’ll be covering about 3000 miles at 70 mph and above. Not a train. Not a plane.

    So there’s more to it than the US is not as good as us PATRIOT rednecks like to think it is.

  98. Somebody Says:

    Look, if you want to be sufficiently thin-skinned as to believe that a factual observation that George Washington was both a heroic revolutionary leader and president AND owned slaves reflects somehow poorly on you, then that’s your jive. But it’s only a left-right thing. It’s an historical fact. I’m comfortable believing that humans and history are complicated, and I don’t think that reflects badly on me or you or anyone living today.

    But this is, of course, politics of some unspecified resentment and I don’t really know where it comes from, and I think it’s a tremendous obstacle to meaningful dialogue about remedies for real problems. Yes, of course, more goes into mortality rates than just healthcare dollars spent or policies written, but it’s silly to argue that there’s no causal effect at all or that we can’t do anything about, and it’s beyond absurd to argue that we shouldn’t do anything about it because it’s not a real problem and that to assert there is a problem is to critique your intelligence or your patriotism.

    You brought those up, not me, and I suspect that particular baggage is yours alone to carry.

  99. Brian E Says:

    The U.S. infant mortality rate of 5.8 was nearly twice that for Sweden and Norway (3.0), the countries with the lowest infant mortality rates. Infant mortality rates for Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia were higher than the U.S. rate.” – Somebody

    Canada’s infant mortality rate (4) is 33% higher than Sweden and Norway along with most of the other EU countries.

    Did it occur to you that infant mortality rates aren’t correlated to spending? It’s related to pre-term births according to this report from Stanford. The US has twice the rate of pre-term births as most of Europe. Reducing the rate to that of Sweden would also reduce the rate of infant mortality close to that countries levels.

    “Some causes and risk factors for preterm births are well-established: smoking cigarettes or drinking during pregnancy, infections, high blood pressure or diabetes. But even when studies take these risk factors into account, there are still unexplained differences in infant mortality between different populations. Women on Medicaid, for example, are more likely to deliver preterm, as are women in lower income brackets. And single women, those who induce labor, as well as women with a husband deployed with the military, are more likely to have a preterm baby.”

    http://sm.stanford.edu/archive/stanmed/2013fall/article2.html

    What do those disparate groups have in common? Understanding that is key. I suspect that stress may play a large factor.

    And the reason this is a partisan issue is because the left has made it so. The infant mortality rate is trotted out as an excuse to promote socialized medicine, even though countries with socialized medicine all have higher infant mortality rates than Sweden or Norway (or Finland).

    The fact is that the homogeneous racial makeup of the EU countries along with cultural differences (compare the obesity rates of Sweden and Norway with the US) makes direct comparison of healthcare outcomes more complex than just money or healthcare delivery systems.

  100. Somebody Says:

    Brian,

    I take all your points, but they don’t add up to sufficient weight to convince me that universal healthcare/socialized medicine/single payer/whatever is a worse option than the one we have now, or Obamacare either.

    By which I mean: I’m aware of the complexities involved, and I’ve never suggested that it would be a panacea that would solve every problem. Every solution carries with it its own new problems, and most solutions just involve shifting around costs and benefits within a system. I just think it would a) in aggregate, produce better average healthcare outcomes for less money, and b) generate greater economic freedom than our current system. I don’t think it would do these things perfectly in all instances without any problems, I’ve just judged the critiques and found them wanting.

    And, as I said, I’m not trying to convince you, though that would be wonderful if it happened! My goal was simply to introduce the idea of a non-terrible motivation to advocate for this position.

    (Many of the causal factors behind higher pre-term rates might be addressed through universal access to health care at every level of society, at every age. Might people be less stressed if healthcare were cheaper, easier to access, and produced better outcomes?)

  101. Brian E Says:

    (Many of the causal factors behind higher pre-term rates might be addressed through universal access to health care at every level of society, at every age. Might people be less stressed if healthcare were cheaper, easier to access, and produced better outcomes?)- Somebody

    Short answer. No. Their stress level isn’t because of their access to healthcare, it’s because of the circumstances of their lives.

    Are you suggesting that wives of soldier deployed overseas don’t have access to healthcare? Are you suggesting the Medicaid recipients don’t have access to healthcare?

    You’ve got to think these things through Somebody.

  102. Somebody Says:

    Dang, you caught me! There’s some aspect of an enormously complex issue that I haven’t considered, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down!

    Jk. Again, that’s not really how this works. “Everyone has access to healthcare” is only true insofar in that–at least before the ACA pushed for universal coverage through a grab bag of measures–literally millions of Americans had access to healthcare only through incredibly inefficient emergency treatment, or only through enormous and sometimes crippling personal expense, or only intermittently. I really struggle to understand how you might not be unaware of the effects that healthcare access can have on people–the people who live in the “oh shit” economy, one “oh shit” moment away from disaster at all points in their lives, and the toll this takes on them, including in terms of their health.

    Anyway, I think we’re running in circles here, but if you don’t think access to healthcare IS one of the most critical circumstances of our lives, then I understand better one of the roots of our disagreements.

    PS — it’s not just wives of servicemembers anymore! Now it’s husbands too. Sexist troop hater.

  103. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Some. I never suggested there was no causal effect. The point about Washington and slaves is that, to liberals, slaves are all that matter. Been said the idea is to discredit the founding fathers so as to discredit the Constitution.
    Some years ago, there was a Thing in Detroit about the black kids drowning. Dark implications of racism. Detroit doesn’t have any lakefront. It has damn’ few municipal pools and about seven months of the year you don’t want to go there.
    Turns out almost all the drownings were in the bathtub. Okay. Never mind.
    The point about infant mortality is that you used unadjusted figures in order to tell us how bad the US is. You didn’t have to, but as others have said, using adjusted figures doesn’t help your point.

  104. AMartel Says:

    Somebody’s soul searching is like OJ searching for the real killers.

  105. Somebody Says:

    I guess my point is: I’m a liberal, and I can honestly attest that the things you believe are not true. But when the accusation is as wildly horrible as it is implausible, like “to liberals, slaves are all that matter,” then I strongly suspect that there’s literally nothing I could say because you have already settled on a crazy conclusion and I don’t know how to argue with crazy.

    But look, Washington owned slaves, right? It’s an incontrovertible historical fact. I’m sure there’s someone out there who still thinks this can serve as an “aha! gotcha” kind of thing, but most people have moved past that, I think, and are capable of understanding that humans and history are complex and messy. If you think that asserting an incontrovertible historical fact could ever invalidate the Constitution, then you have significantly less faith in the Constitution than I do.

  106. Somebody Says:

    “Somebody’s soul searching is like OJ searching for the real killers.”

    Oh no you didn’t zing snap!

  107. Somebody Says:

    PS — the CDC absolutely DID adjust for preterm births, which represented the bulk of the difference in reporting between the US and other industrialized countries. And EVEN WHEN the CDC adjusted the numbers, the US STILL lagged behind where our spending should put us.

    That’s not me! That’s the CDC!

  108. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Some. Among other things, it’s not 39th. But you knew that.
    Secondly, infant mortality is not always a matter of inadequate health care. See drowning in bathtubs. See Nicholas Eberstedt on the subject of illegitimacy and infant mortality.
    No, people aren’t letting the slave issue wrt Washington, Jefferson and others go. It’s a big deal with the liberals. It makes them out to be awful people.

  109. Somebody Says:

    I mean, I’m a liberal and I’m not making a big deal out of it. An actual liberal! You’re the one who keeps bringing it up.

    There’s a reasonable argument to be made that the vast majority of historiography on Washington, et al, completely ignored the unsavory aspects for, well, pretty much all of our history, and an open acknowledgement of slavery’s pervasive effects on American institutions had been a critically missing component of our own efforts towards an ever more perfect union. I mean, we have an electoral college in large part due to slavery, and much of the American south existed for centuries as a slave state in which virtually all institutions and laws reflected the central role of slavery.

    So if it sounds like liberals only want to talk about slaves, it’s possible that you’re simply hearing the historically appropriate amount, to accurately reflect the historical importance of slavery to the development of our country, and it only sounds like too much because you’re habituated to a popular understanding of history that nearly completely negelected slavery.

    But, I don’t know. Like I said, I’m a liberal and you’re the one who brought it up repeatedly, so it’s a little weird to keep hearing you accuse liberals (of which I am one) never stop talking about it.

  110. Big Maq Says:

    “I’m a big fan of labor market liquidity” – Somebody

    I don’t think Brian E addressed this, yet, but at least he’d be consistent in Somebody’s eyes as he’s not for free trade either.

    Nevertheless, that doesn’t seem like a typical “liberal” position, unless one is talking about “classical liberal”.

    This “liquidity” position seems rather counter to the proposition with the aims of a supposedly desirable minimum wage policy.

    Brian, take it from there.

  111. Somebody Says:

    Yes! You’ve got it! I’m a modern American liberal and I’m an advocate for free markets!

    **Mind Blown**

    And, as I said in one of my first posts, you can support free markets AND a minimum wage AND advocate for a slightly higher top marginal tax rate, because, as noted by The Most Classical Liberal Of All, Adam Smith, a perfectly unregulated market tends towards inefficiency, so we trade some economic freedoms (such as the right of firms to form monopolies) for the greater freedoms produced by those interventions.

    So if liberals and conservatives both agree that markets should be free with some interventions that produce greater freedoms–like taxes on incomes that fund defense spending–then we’re really disagreeing over matters of degree! That’s my entire thesis with this project! That’s it!

    Which means: if we both agree there should be some taxes and disagree about what percentage would produce the most benefit at the least cost, then we’re trapped within the narrow confines of…THE LIBERAL CONSENSUS!

  112. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Some. Missed again. I didn’t say that slavery was the only thing libs talk about. But it’s the first, last and middle thing they say about Washington and his peers.
    The other stuff is….THEY OWNED SLAVES!!
    Now, I figure that people who refuse to judge other cultures in the world today–call it horizontal multiculturalism, ought to do the same to earlier cultures. Call it vertical multiculturalism. And, in fact, they do. Except if it’s the west and/or the US.

    Canada’s supreme court, some years ago. made it legal for Canadians to take their benefits–ie get paid–to US hospitals if they couldn’t get a necessary procedure prior to their funeral.

    The UK isn’t that generous. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/04/03/terminally-boy-denied-potentially-life-saving-treatment-nhs/
    The UK death panel is called National Institutes for Clinical Excellence” Nice, huh? They are so short of resources that various procedures are refused to smokers and the obese. You can die of dehydration in a hospital, in your own waste, but it’s free.

  113. Somebody Says:

    Richard,

    it sounds a lot like you’re making an argument for compassion in our healthcare system, to avoid anecdotes like that! And I am very sympathetic! A great deal of my motivation to find a better health care system is compassion.

    In 2009, the American Journal of Public Health published a stud, relying on CDC data, that concluded about 45,000 deaths annually were attributable to lack of access to health care. The study is unfortunately behind a paywall, but you can find abstracts online.

    So: our system is not as compassionate as it could be! The NHS in the U.K.–which I have repeatedly said is not at all my preferred model–has bureaucrats who determine things like caps and rationing. Our system rations too, and the people who bear the brunt of that rationing are the tens of millions of people who weren’t poor enough to receive means-tested Medicaid but weren’t wealthy enough, or lacked benefit-offering employment, to buy into the employer-based insurance market.

    I can’t offer anecdotes for all 45,000 a year, but I’m sure many of those 45,000 people per year experienced tragedies that would sound just as awful if written up in the Telegraph.

  114. Ymar Sakar Says:

    He doesn’t need the zing snap against Some Boy, because after my words smacked his head around so fast he became afraid of dueling with me.

    He can talk to all of the rest of you, but he knows I’m not someone he should deal with. He has No Authority. Propagandists don’t usually waste time people who are immune to their tricks.

    As for infant mortality, Leftist zombies that call themselves liberals, are only liberal about how many children they want to see dead. They deceived people into thinking that they are for good things.

    They are not for good things. Unless you voted twice for Hussein and think Hussein was a good thing…

  115. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Some.
    I don’t do paywalls, as a general rule. My question in any study is the methodology. That includes definitions.
    In the UK’s NHS, people die of health care, so they wouldn’t be part of the “lack of access” cohort. When, as in the UK, Canada, New Zealand (all of which involve a national health care policy), procedures are delayed due to lack of resources, some deaths are likely due to lack of access to health care. Unless you define access as including appointments and procedures dated for post mortem as “access”. As you may recall, the opening festivities in the London Olympics involved a music/dance paean to the NHS. It’s unlikely that such an institution, with the power of the government behind it, can be trusted to be honest about its numbers, much less its methodology.
    This is such a partisan issue that I trust nobody’s position unless I have either direct experience or have the resources to check it out.

  116. Somebody Says:

    Yes, I think it’s reasonable, conceptually, to treat both care that is rationed, in universal systems, and care that is effectively unobtainable, in our system, under a single category. Call it rationing or call it lack of access, but it amounts to the same thing. In our system, we means test Medicaid and we give tax breaks to employer-provided grhalth insurance, both bureaucratic decisions to cut off care to a large segment of the population that should absolutely be understood as a rationing of resources. The ACA expanded coverage by expanding Medicaid to cover more people at the top and shifting around subsidies to expand employer-based coverage for the middle class, providing de facto universal coverage. If the Senate bill passes and comes into law, then its Medicaid clawback will have exactly the same effect as any “death panel” (that is, a bureaucratic decision to ration public dollars to limit care for some people) could have in the U.K.

  117. Big Maq Says:

    LOL No mind blown, as you presume.

    “And, as I said in one of my first posts, you can support free markets AND a minimum wage AND …” – Somebody

    Indeed, and…

    “I think that free trade advocates who don’t address labor market liquidity are hypocrites”

    Sorry, but that is called having your cake and eating it too.

    It is why the question was asked in the first place.
    .

    So, in your view, what IS the motivation of “liberals”?

    That was the topic of this article, after all.

  118. Somebody Says:

    Ok, let me back up and try to clarify something.

    In your understanding, does “advocate free markets” necessarily connote “oppose ANY intervention in markets”?

    Because it seems like that’s your understanding–you seem hung up on the idea that advocating free markets and a minimum wage are incompatible.

    Which is silly–it’s a maximalist position that even Adam Smith himself rejected, and which has no serious place in American politics.

    I mean, do you think ANY level of taxation is ok? For any purpose? If yes, then you’re an advocate for government intervention in markets.

    Do you think any minimum wage is ok? If yes, then you’re an advocate for government intervention in markets.

    Do you think antitrust laws are ok? If yes, then you’re an advocate for government intervention in markets.

    If your answer to all of those is “no,” then I salute your principled, maximalist stance. I have considerably more respect for people who take crazy positions and live as if they actually believe them than I do for milquetoast positions of convenience.

    But if your answer to those questions is “yes,” then we both agree that some level of government intervention in markets is an acceptable cost for the benefits we receive from those interventions, and we’re just dickering over matters of degree at the margins. That is to say, taking a position of “I like free markets” is in no way incongruent with “some government intervention in markets is ok,” and we almost certainly share the exact same framework but disagree over degree.

  119. Brian E Says:

    In 2009, the American Journal of Public Health published a stud, relying on CDC data, that concluded about 45,000 deaths annually were attributable to lack of access to health care. The study is unfortunately behind a paywall, but you can find abstracts online.

    ——–

    Lack of access can mean many things. If it means that in rural parts of the country, getting to specialists and specialized treatment is difficult or non-existent, Medicaid for All isn’t going to help.
    If it means not getting care that’s already available– in our town we have a Community Health Center that charges based on income and a public hospital that can’t refuse treatment through the emergency center.

    Could these people also be put in this category when the reality is they either through ignorance or mental incapacity didn’t see out treatment that might have been available?

    Now back to that French property website that you dismissed. They most likely were honest in their assessment. They’re trying to sell or rent property to foreigners (mostly British) and their criticism of the state of the French system certainly isn’t a selling feature for their business.

    But here’s some information from NPR:

    Last year, the national health system ran nearly $9 billion in debt. Although it is a smaller deficit than in previous years, it forced the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy to start charging patients more for some drugs, ambulance costs and other services. Debates over cost-cutting have become an expected part of the national dialogue on health care.

    Now this is an old article (2009), but I doubt the situation has improved since the French population is aging similarly to the US.

    Here’s an article from The Economist from 2013:

    THE French are steeling themselves for yet more tax increases when the finance minister, Pierre Moscovici, unveils the 2014 budget on September 25th. The government is planning an extra €3 billion ($4 billion) of taxes next year, which will push up the overall tax take in the economy to 46.5% and make 2014 the fifth consecutive year that the tax burden in France has grown. François Hollande, the Socialist president, was elected last year on a promise to tax the rich, with a scheme for a top income-tax rate of 75%. But the tax bill is now wearing holes in the pockets of not just the rich but the rest, too. Why do the French put up with paying so much tax?….
    …Only half of households have to pay income tax, but everybody pays social charges…..This social contract, however, could be on the verge of breaking down…..

    Here’s how the system is funded:

    To fund universal health care in France, workers are required to pay about 21 percent of their income into the national health care system. Employers pick up a little more than half of that. (French employers say these high taxes constrain their ability to hire more people.)

    Since we’re dreaming of a new system (and adopting some for of public/private scheme would, by reason of imbedded influence, contain all the pathologies of our current system– i.e. AMA guild influence, drug company influence, union influence, existing regulatory influence) I would not make the funding subject to increased payments by employers part of it.

    To make American companies competitive worldwide, we need to decrease the overhead that adds to the cost of their products compared to cheap labor countries. Separating healthcare costs, SS costs, and reducing corporate income taxes would certainly help our competitiveness.

  120. Somebody Says:

    “Now back to that French property website that you dismissed. They most likely were honest in their assessment.”

    I have no way of knowing whether they’re honest or not because it’s an unsourced, undated article (was there even a byline?). You have no way of objectively evaluating the analysis. This is an entirely separate point from the issue of healthcare and gets at an issue of epistemology: you told me yourself that you rejected several sources as invalid because they concluded something you didn’t want to hear and then presented an article as evidence solely because it made points that agreed with your a priori conclusions, and are looking for arguments to explain why it’s a valid assessment (“they MUST be honest because…”) without any actual way of testing its validity.

    You see the problem with this, yes? Rejecting assessments that disagree with yours because they disagree with yours ensures you will never seriously review your own beliefs critically and will never be challenged by conflicting information or assessments because you have already prejudged them as inaccurate. This is what you told me, not something I’m making up, something you actually told me. I believe the popular term for this on college campuses is “special snowflake safe space.”

    But man, I would LOVE to disconnect health insurance from employment. It’s a holdover from wage controls put in place to control inflation in the WWII era, when employers started using benefits to entice scarce workers without busting the wage caps, and somehow we’re still stuck with this system that was never meant to be permanent. My solution is single payer! If there’s a viable alternative, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe complete deregulation of healthcare? Even with all this talk about freedom, I never hear anyone seriously arguing for that!

  121. Brian E Says:

    Whoops, my previous post should have been on the other thread concerning the Senate healthcare bill.

    Somebody,
    If you’re prescription of free markets (multinational corporations) and labor liquidity (unlimited illegal immigration), minimum wage laws (forced support for the consequences of the previous two policies) and increased top marginal tax rate (to pay for the social benefits of all those liquid laborers) has become the default liberal position, the consequences of those policies and the attendant decline of a middle class will insure the solidification of a national populist movement as a new and potent political force.

  122. Brian E Says:

    OK, Somebody this is getting too confusing.
    Since you object to the honest opinion of some French property website, how about this story:

    France’s Health-Care System Is Going Broke

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-01-03/frances-health-care-system-is-going-broke

    Here’s the links to the other stories, one from NPR, the other from The Economist:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92419273

    https://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/09/economist-explains-13

    I think you’ve misunderstood my motives, regarding why I’m seeking out stories critical of the French Healthcare System.

    You’re going to tell me all the nifty things about the French model. That’s your job. You’re the advocate for the model.

    I’m looking for the counterbalance. What are the problems with the system? What are warts? What are the issues that this country would face if it adopted something similar.

    It has nothing to do with my biases. Look, I used to be a reporter in a previous life. That’s what a reporter does. Provide a balanced view of an issue– there was a time when the job of a reporter was that of a neutral observer.

    Now as an advocate of the French model, your job is to provide evidence why these sustainability issues can be overcome.

  123. Somebody Says:

    This is starting to get exhausting (not a criticism of you, it’s just the nature of the process), but:

    Do you think there should be immigration? A minimum wage? Taxes? Free markets?

    If no, then I think you’re crazy! But in a respectable way.

    But if yes–if you think there should be some level of immigration, some minimum wage, some taxes, and free markets, then….

    Liberals and conservatives are not so different as to warrant some of the nastier things said here about liberals and their motivations (and vice versa with liberals).

  124. Brian E Says:

    My solution is single payer! If there’s a viable alternative, I’d love to hear about it. Maybe complete deregulation of healthcare? Even with all this talk about freedom, I never hear anyone seriously arguing for that!

    When I hear the phrase “single payer”, I think of the Canadian model, not the public/private model you say is your preference.

    Which looks like a means tested Medicare for All with private supplemental insurance to fill in the gaps.

    How about if we opened up the VA system to everyone. Wouldn’t that be closer to the single payer model?

    Since we’re looking at alternative systems, I think a national High Deductible Insurance model with an HSA component might be a workable solution. I think that having the patient involved in paying for routine care will help control costs.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/03/31/how-republicans-can-escape-their-health-care-dilemma-part-i-universal-catastrophic-coverage/#588e03bc193e

  125. Brian E Says:

    Do you think there should be immigration? A minimum wage? Taxes? Free markets? – Somebody

    Immigration? Yes, there should be legal immigration based on GDP growth.
    While the Visa Lottery system has appeal to would be immigrants, it makes little sense. The people that win the lottery still have to fund the costs of coming here.
    Is 1,000,000 annual green cards the right number? or 500,000?
    I think basing it on some growth metric makes sense. As to asylum seekers, that’s a different category and I would continue to support that.

    Minimum wage? I don’t think a federal minimum wage helps. Or the federal minimum wage should be the lowest state minimum wage. If we’re going to have a minimum wage, it needs to exempt certain classes of workers.
    What’s the best way to raise wages? Stop the flood of cheap labor. Because tight labor markets raise all wages, which is what we should be seeking– a vibrant and growing middle class.

    Taxes? No, I’m personally against taxes. OK, we probably need some. I would like to see a balanced budget amendment passed. I know John Kasich is working to that end and I think we need about 5 more states to ratify an amendment.

    Free markets? I was a proponent of NAFTA when it passed. We know have a history of what happened with that and subsequently when China joined the WTO and the results haven’t been good for many Americans. I support free trade with countries that have similar labor markets.

    This article does a fairly good job expressing my sentiments.

    We should not lose sight of the fact that while free trade is important, fair trade is far more so and should be the main issue.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4042855-free-trade-fair-trade-distinctly-different?page=2

  126. Brian E Says:

    We do need temporary immigrant labor in the ag industry and that is being addressed with H2-A visas.

  127. Brian E Says:

    “Liberals and conservatives are not so different as to warrant some of the nastier things said here about liberals and their motivations (and vice versa with liberals).” – Somebody

    This thread is soon to disappear into the ether, but you’ve tried to make that point multiple times.

    As they say, the devil is in the details and the cumulative effect of the progressive/leftist approach to society has been crippling.

    So, no, I don’t buy that we’re on a continuum and it’s just a matter of degrees. It’s a chasm.

  128. Somebody Says:

    Ok

  129. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Stop using your own facts against Some Boy’s Facts. It wasn’t supposed to be this way under the Faith of Hussein Obola’s Mystery Babylon religion.

  130. Big Maq Says:

    “As they say, the devil is in the details and the cumulative effect of the progressive/leftist approach to society has been crippling.

    So, no, I don’t buy that we’re on a continuum and it’s just a matter of degrees. It’s a chasm.” – Brian

    Well said!

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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