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  1. In the past it was said that Republicans were the party of the rich and Democrats were for working people. Now the political Right has successfully managed to portray Democrats as the party of media, academic, and entertainment elites who are hostile to ordinary Americans and their values. In reality both parties are dominated by the wealthy and corporate interests who give large sums of money to elected officials and candidates for office. This is especially problematic for liberal and left leaning Democrats who believe in a fair economy built on shared prosperity that benefits working people. Who are some of the wealthy donors backing Democrats ? They include billionaire hedge fund managers like Tom Steyer and George Soros. Steyer who founded Farallon Capital in 1986 gave $ 90 million dollars in 2016 and planned to spend $ 30 million on House races in 2018. Steyer who founded Next Gen to initially address climate change and environmental issues opposed the Keystone pipeline. Meanwhile George Soros, who founded Soros Fund Management in 1969 has given $ 30 million to Democrats since 2011. He also backs liberal groups like the Center For American Progress through his foundation called Open Societies. Other wealthy backers include people whose fortunes were made in the tech industry like LinkedIn cofounder and former CEO Reid Hoffman who gave $5 million to the Senate Democrats superpac Senate Majority, and Facebook cofounder Dustin Moskovitz who also gave Democrats $5 million dollars. Furthermore companies in the media, entertainment, and tech industry give Democrats money. Walt Disney, Time Warner, and Microsoft all give most of their political contributions to Democrats. Why does this matter ? Candidates need money to get elected especially Democrats. Be realistic - right ? Well no. Many of these people are social liberals who support gay rights, diversity, reproductive freedom, environmental protection, and gender equality. At the same time they oppose regulated markets, organized labor, increasing the Minimum Wage, higher taxes on the wealthy, and corporations. They also tend to oppose Single Payer Healthcare. This makes it difficult to even nominate more liberal and left Democrats. And if they get elected they find it difficult to shape policy or legislation even when Democrats control both houses of Congress. There can be no real discussion or progress on reducing income inequality, breaking up big banks, stopping the suppression of unions, or enacting single payer healthcare as long as big monied interests dominate the Democratic Party. Liberals like Elizabeth Warren and leftists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will remain marginalized until we break the hold of rich donors whether they be George Soros or Mark Zuckerberg. Does this mean that centrist Democrats should be utterly defeated and purged ? No. Such a thing is neither possible or desirable. However rich Democrats and the centrists they back shouldn't control the party either.
  2. kfbvoice

    Ballots or Bullets

    This may be leftist but it's not liberal. Liberalism is about individual freedom and democracy. It can't be true to itself if it harms or suppresses it's opponents. Rather liberalism works within the system and uses the democratic process to achieve it goals. Moreover the liberal recognizes the existence of many different and conflicting values, lifestyles, and views in society and politics. This pluralism rests on tolerance which means we can't kill or coerce one another. Liberals value persuasion and voluntary action. Moreover we know that we can't always win debates or elections. We won't get everything we want exactly how we want within the democratic process. Being true to ourselves requires us to continue trying to win people with better ideas, arguments, and policies because the only alternative is violent strife and tyranny. We had better recognize that there are extremists and people with bad motives on all sides. No matter how much I disagree with conservatives they are human beings, citizens, individuals entitled to life and liberty. They are my countrymen - fellow Americans. I don't want to kill or censor them.
  3. kfbvoice

    what does the word liberal mean to you?

    Literally the word connotates generosity and openness. Flexible rather than ridged. As a political tradition it has and continues to evolve over time and circumstance which makes defining liberalism difficult. But it's basic commitment is to ensure individual liberty. I think this is very important to political and social life.
  4. It was a thought provoking and insightful article. Far too often diversity and tokenism are substitutes for policies that address the economic dimension of racial inequality. At the same time the corporate elite can be any race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation it doesn't matter. The aim is keep all working people down.
  5. kfbvoice

    Devastating News

    I always enjoyed him for focussing on the economy and telling it like is unlike most progressives on television. RIP Ed.
  6. kfbvoice

    Questions About Fighting Plutocracy

    I don't have a problem with all moderates. Some are better than others and living in a red state like Kentucky I've voted for plenty of them. At the same time I'm a liberal who wants to see the party do big bold things that lead to shared prosperity and freedom for all. Far too often the moderates seem to be against policies that ensure these goals. While many think the center is safe. The Republicans have ran far right while falsely portraying centrists as extreme leftists and beating them with conservative voters who are Democrat in name only. These centrists who form the big money donor class will stifle liberals whenever possible. I want a big tent party but it's not easy. Plutocracy is here and the damage it's doing to the economic and political system is real. Yet I wonder if we can have a discussion with centrists and find any common ground.
  7. Here's what I hope more Democrats will start saying : 1. Work should pay enough to live and improve your life. Right now it doesn't do this. That must change. 2. You can't tout the virtues of individual freedom and responsibility in an economy where working people lack paid leave, adequate retirement benefits, or they get crushed by high healthcare costs. 3. Too much money and power for the wealthiest people shrinks the middle class and increases poverty. 4. We are losing our political freedom and democracy is being eroded by the ability of rich people and Corporate America to control elected officials through campaign contributions. It's government of the moneyed elites not the people. We need to put an end to this ! 5. No working person should be left behind or hindered because of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin.
  8. kfbvoice

    Questions About Fighting Plutocracy

    This is a really good point. I continue to believe that liberals and leftists within and outside the Democratic Party must connect and work with ordinary people at the local/state level who are fighting. It will take years but the payoff will be tremendous not only for a more progressive party but people all over the country.
  9. kfbvoice

    Questions About Fighting Plutocracy

    Thanks so much for responding. I was wondering if you have a Democratic Moderate who you see as promising to confront plutocracy ?
  10. Moderate Democrats tend to favor less market regulation and oppose redistribution. Can we really expect them to fight plutocracy ? Moreover their social conservatism on things like guns and abortion must compete with GOP Conservatives so are they viable ? A lot of Liberals are for gender equity, LGBT Rights, protecting the environment, and fighting climate change. Political Liberalism the kind that tames capitalism, moderates economic inequality, and deals with social issues is lacking. Can we get it back ? Big money is deeply entrenched within the Democratic Party. It opposes labor unions, progressive taxation, and things like Single Payer. Can this be fought by people like Bernie Sanders or the candidacy of Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez within the party ? Do we need outside groups to push the party in a left/liberal direction to stop plutocracy ?
  11. kfbvoice

    What makes a Liberal?

    As Wolfe notes, liberals want equality to extend beyond the aristocratic class or the business elite via equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. “Liberals,” he writes, “believe that the freedom to live your life on terms you establish does not mean very much if society is organized in such as way as to deny large numbers of people the possibility of ever realizing that objective.” In contrast to conservative claims that liberty can best be achieved via free markets and the absence of state intervention, liberals believe in a “positive liberty,” which holds that human flourishing should not be reduced to a series of monetary exchanges. Thus, it is not enough for a free person to be merely “left alone” by the state; a free person should also have the capacity to realize her own personal goals, and liberals are “prepared to accept state intervention into the economy in order to give large numbers of people the sense of mastery that free market capitalism gives only to the few.”* https://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2013/11/17/on-liberalism-its-faults-and-its-historical-necessity/#more-1410
  12. kfbvoice

    So Who Are We Going To Support In 2020?

    Thanks for the links... A few things do concern me about educated people being more liberal leaning. Are these people liberal only on social and cultural issues rather than economic and political issues ? If less educated lower income people are voting to the right for the GOP that's a problem because they have the most to lose from rightwing policies that exacerbate economic inequality. Liberals should be concerned about these voters because they have so much to gain from Single Payer Healthcare, a Minimum Wage increase, fair trade policies and the like. Meanwhile social liberals might oppose these things while being pro choice on abortion, supporting LGBTQ Rights, and stopping global warming. We need educated people to support a left political and economic agenda as well as social issues. We also have to reach less educated lower income people who have the most to gain from left economic agenda. This bright liberal future is not assured unless we fight for economic and social issues both around a message of common ground.
  13. kfbvoice

    So Who Are We Going To Support In 2020?

    Really ? Most of what I read suggest that more people identify with Conservatism than Liberalism or the Center. Are there stats with links showing your claim ? Thanks.
  14. kfbvoice

    What makes a Liberal?

    While I think there are differences between Liberalism and Progressivism there are also many areas where they come together. And too many Liberals are unwilling to take a strong stand against big money and corporate interests. Good point.
  15. kfbvoice

    What makes a Liberal?

    ​For those who might find my take on Liberalism unsatisfactory consider the following insights from an article online that cites Alan Wolfe and Edmund Fawcett : As Alan Wolfe writes in The Future of Liberalism, the liberal philosophy is best summed up in the notion that, “As many people as possible should have as much say as is feasible over the direction their lives will take.” For liberals, liberty and equality come before markets. Liberals, Wolfe continues, believe that all people “should be free to exercise their full capacities: minds, through open societies that allow everyone to develop their intellect, and bodies, through societies that guarantee sufficient economic security to individuals so that they are not dependent upon the arbitrary will of others for the basic necessities of life.”* Without liberty and equality, market freedom is one more tyranny dressed in Liberty’s robes. You can’t be free if you’re stuck in the choking cloud of ignorance, and you can’t be free if you’re stuck under the thumbs of those with more money and power. In his book Liberalism: The Life of an Idea, Edmund Fawcett outlines why the liberal tradition endures to this day: Liberalism offered means to adapt law and government to productive new patterns of trade and industry, to hold together divided societies from which familiar organizing hierarchies and overarching creeds were disappearing and to foster or keep hold of standards of humanity, particularly standards for how state power and moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power.* It’s the last line, “how state power AND moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power,” that especially stands out. Here, Fawcett highlights where liberalism differs from conservatism, which tends to only see concentrated power in the state, when, in fact, powers always collude, and moneyed interests have always tried to control the state for their own ends, even if they have to run roughshod over democracy in the process. http://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2016/02/19/why-liberalism-matters-in-the-2016-election-and-beyond/