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I Think We Will See a Rise in 'Militant' Liberalism


QuantumPhyzx
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Maybe this is just a prediction I'm making out of naivete: I think the next wave of the Liberal agenda will be much more vehement/propagandist after this election loss. "Fight fire with fire" -- we were shown that the current political landscape favors rhetoric, character assassination, and emotional manipulation through demagoguery more than it favors a frank and open discussion devoid of partisan bitterness, where rational decisions are based on empirical data and NOT on kneejerk prejudices.

 

Breitbart's poster boy, Milo Yiannopolous, just had a television interview where he said we're living in a "post-fact world: it's not enough to have facts. people don't care too much about them. they care about how you say it." [my paraphrase]

 

Here's the interview:

-- he makes the above comment within the last 45 or so seconds of the video. I think the campaign trail of the last year, and all of the incendiary scandals involved, definitely shows that his idea has merit.

 

So how do we maintain our rational, intelligent approach to the world and political arena without devolving into nutjobs and character assassins ourselves? This type of behavior will become normalized the more that Trump scandal train continues, and he skates by. In fact, he just settled a Trump University lawsuit for $25 million -- part of the settlement agreement is that he faces no possible criminal charges. And his supporters are all smiles, already struck by amnesia at the fact that he committed some very serious offenses. This is dangerous and it makes me think that no one on the right side of the aisle will attempt to hold Trump accountable.. it'll be up solely to the newly galvanized Democrats.

 

PS. I also wanted to add that I believe for the Dems to be truly successful in 2020, the party must be MUCH more eminent on the internet/social media. Twitter and Facebook were some of Trump's most powerful weapons against Hillary. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-16/hillary-clinton-s-twitter-chart-of-doom Trump supporters were inundated with non-fact-checked information and propaganda on a minute-by-minute basis at a much higher rate than Hillary supporters were.

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Breitbart's poster boy, Milo Yiannopolous, just had a television interview where he said we're living in a "post-fact world: it's not enough to have facts. people don't care too much about them. they care about how you say it." [my paraphrase]

 

Trump himself proves this. The man often can't string together a simple sentence. When he tries to say something again, in a different way, he ends up repeating himself. Clearly, there's something terribly awry in his brain. But he's developed a way of talking and a persona that comes across to many as charisma. Evidently his followers are more than willing to overlook his cognitive deficiency in exchange for being charmed. To many of Trump's followers, the facts are secondary in importance. What counts is personality and the illusion that their cultural values will be enforced. To a large extent, the Trump following is a cult of personality.

 

But an ignorant populace, eager to be fooled about reality in order to reinforce their own cultural fantasies, is nothing new. The Republicans have been using wedge issues to fool people into defeating their own best interests, for years. And their constituents continue to lap it up, all the time becoming poorer.

 

I agree that the left must learn to use the internet and media better. But more than that, we have to take steps to become the party of the economic left again. Too many people distrusted Hillary because of the damage done to the Middle Class during the Clinton years. By emphasizing and following through on economic justice, the left can avoid the red-meat type of irrationality that characterizes so much of the Republican agenda. And at the same time, push a very popular platform.

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I'm beginning to hate this world.

 

I've been a mathematics professor and a software engineer. A lifetime adherent of science and progress. I've lived my life based on logic, precision, practicality, reason and reasonableness. I've made a good living based on my ability to think rationally about logic and mathematics and physics. I believe in kindness to people you know, and charity to the unfortunate.

 

Everything about the way the world is going reminds me of the world that put my grandparents in concentration camps; instead of the bright future I've been envisioning for the 40 years since my 20th birthday.

 

In my mother's Yiddish words, "sollen die verstinkene antisemiten ligen in der erde" ... i.e. may the stinking antisemites lie in the ground.

 

This is what Trump has done to me: resurrected the ugly past, the past of gas chambers and crematoria.

 

Jewish-victims-of-the-Nazi-genocide-duri

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Trump's election and his appointments are causing stress for all minorities. Hispanics and .Muslims might be feeling it the worst. Blacks know that rogue cops will get even more of a break and Jim Crow could make a return. Older people fear for their financial security. And Jews also have reason to fear .... Jared Kushner, Trumps trustee son-in-law, notwithstanding. Each group feels targeted in its own unique way. It's a bleak situation but over half the Country opposes this odious regime.

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I'm beginning to hate this world.

 

I've been a mathematics professor and a software engineer. A lifetime adherent of science and progress. I've lived my life based on logic, precision, practicality, reason and reasonableness. I've made a good living based on my ability to think rationally about logic and mathematics and physics. I believe in kindness to people you know, and charity to the unfortunate.

 

Everything about the way the world is going reminds me of the world that put my grandparents in concentration camps; instead of the bright future I've been envisioning for the 40 years since my 20th birthday.

 

In my mother's Yiddish words, "sollen die verstinkene antisemiten ligen in der erde" ... i.e. may the stinking antisemites lie in the ground.

 

This is what Trump has done to me: resurrected the ugly past, the past of gas chambers and crematoria.

 

Jewish-victims-of-the-Nazi-genocide-duri

 

There are cycles in history. I agree with your overall assessment that we're currently headed in the wrong direction. Freedom, compassion, logic, understanding, truth, selflessness...all good qualities are losing ground. However, your leap from that to Holocaust is much too far. This world is still orders of magnitude better than the one that produced Buchenwald. We may sink to that level, or we may not. We're still creating our future.

 

I sadly agree with the OP's prediction. Where the GOP leads, Democrats are likely to follow. That's not a good thing. If you 'fight fire with fire', you destroy the house. Instead, if you really care, you fight fire with water. Oppose hatred with kindness, bigotry with compassion, lies with facts. If you take on the characteristics of those you oppose, you have already lost.

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Oppose hatred with kindness, bigotry with compassion, lies with facts. If you take on the characteristics of those you oppose, you have already lost.

I'm not sure.

The strategy you propose is virtuous, almost to the point of being heroic; speaking of heroes, remember that Jesus ended up crucified. I'm not keen to be that heroic.

 

Kindness, compassion, and facts are good ways to deal with good people. I believe that KKK, neo-Nazis, and their ilk only understand the reasoning that comes from the fat side of a baseball bat.

 

Not that I can do that myself ... but I hope the police would treat that kind of bigotry with more force than they treat innocent black people accidentally shot in the back.

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I'm not sure.

The strategy you propose is virtuous, almost to the point of being heroic; speaking of heroes, remember that Jesus ended up crucified. I'm not keen to be that heroic.

 

Kindness, compassion, and facts are good ways to deal with good people. I believe that KKK, neo-Nazis, and their ilk only understand the reasoning that comes from the fat side of a baseball bat.

 

Not that I can do that myself ... but I hope the police would treat that kind of bigotry with more force than they treat innocent black people accidentally shot in the back.

 

Do we not agree that virtuous is a good thing? Heroes are more desirable than villains? I don't claim to be a hero, but I will at least steer my ship in that direction, regardless of which way the wind blows.

 

Your logic reminds me of the Bush administration trying to justify torture. It's similar to the line of thought that leads to drone strikes and invasions. They just want to keep us safe. There's no harm in doing bad things to bad people, right?

 

If the KKK wants to march in their pointy hoods, you would address that with "the fat side of a baseball bat"? If the neo-Nazis publish their hate-mongering antisemitism, you would address that with "force"? Trump hasn't commissioned any gas chambers. He has not fired up a single crematorium that I'm aware of. If he tries to, we will stop him.

 

This practice of demonizing the 'enemy' is part of our problem. Once you've equated your adversary with Hitler (or the Devil, or whatever), then any evil action can be justified.

 

We don't need exaggeration and hyperbole...the simple truth is enough.

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If the KKK wants to march in their pointy hoods, you would address that with "the fat side of a baseball bat"? If the neo-Nazis publish their hate-mongering antisemitism, you would address that with "force"? Trump hasn't commissioned any gas chambers. He has not fired up a single crematorium that I'm aware of. If he tries to, we will stop him.

 

I'm for proportional response. Marches and publishing can be countered by marches and publishing. Violence should be punished by police action: arrests and prosecution.

 

I'm not worried that Trump will build gas chambers. I'm worried that this administration will turn a blind eye to local violence if that violence is done by their supporters. The response will be, as he's done, to look at a camera and say 'stop it'.

 

If the police are infiltrated by the ugly extreme right, then we have a problem, like in the early 60s when there were many KKK members in the police force and local administrations.

 

States rights is a euphemism for local people to murder and lynch, unencumbered by federal civil rights enforcement.

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Do we not agree that virtuous is a good thing? Heroes are more desirable than villains? I don't claim to be a hero, but I will at least steer my ship in that direction, regardless of which way the wind blows.

 

Your logic reminds me of the Bush administration trying to justify torture. It's similar to the line of thought that leads to drone strikes and invasions. They just want to keep us safe. There's no harm in doing bad things to bad people, right?

 

If the KKK wants to march in their pointy hoods, you would address that with "the fat side of a baseball bat"? If the neo-Nazis publish their hate-mongering antisemitism, you would address that with "force"? Trump hasn't commissioned any gas chambers. He has not fired up a single crematorium that I'm aware of. If he tries to, we will stop him.

 

This practice of demonizing the 'enemy' is part of our problem. Once you've equated your adversary with Hitler (or the Devil, or whatever), then any evil action can be justified.

 

We don't need exaggeration and hyperbole...the simple truth is enough.

 

That's simply not true. The 2016 campaign trail proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. And that undermines the rest of what you said.

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Do we not agree that virtuous is a good thing? Heroes are more desirable than villains? I don't claim to be a hero, but I will at least steer my ship in that direction, regardless of which way the wind blows.

 

Your logic reminds me of the Bush administration trying to justify torture. It's similar to the line of thought that leads to drone strikes and invasions. They just want to keep us safe. There's no harm in doing bad things to bad people, right?

 

If the KKK wants to march in their pointy hoods, you would address that with "the fat side of a baseball bat"? If the neo-Nazis publish their hate-mongering antisemitism, you would address that with "force"? Trump hasn't commissioned any gas chambers. He has not fired up a single crematorium that I'm aware of. If he tries to, we will stop him.

 

This practice of demonizing the 'enemy' is part of our problem. Once you've equated your adversary with Hitler (or the Devil, or whatever), then any evil action can be justified.

 

We don't need exaggeration and hyperbole...the simple truth is enough.

 

 

That's simply not true. The 2016 campaign trail proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. And that undermines the rest of what you said.

 

What part(s) of it are you referring to as untrue ..... That the last sentence undermines the rest?

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sink, sunken through, belittled, fretted about,

take the liberals away, send them and their messages

far far far off, into space

 

where they always were and still remain

on the cheeks of the workers concerns

on the bloated bellies of the dead soldiers laying

in the fields

 

in the coal mines that collapsed

on the counter of Woolworth's where

the negro were not allowed

 

and don't you forget the folks

who built this country with their difficult

struggling lives

 

they live nearby and they ain't

migrating to Mexico or Canada

anytime soon

 

no man, they teach engineering

work in hospitals

fight in all the stupid illegal wars

produce all the food

 

they are You, yes they are!

 

Peace!

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sink, sunken through, belittled, fretted about,

take the liberals away, send them and their messages

far far far off, into space

 

where they always were and still remain

on the cheeks of the workers concerns

on the bloated bellies of the dead soldiers laying

in the fields

 

in the coal mines that collapsed

on the counter of Woolworth's where

the negro were not allowed

 

and don't you forget the folks

who built this country with their difficult

struggling lives

 

they live nearby and they ain't

migrating to Mexico or Canada

anytime soon

 

no man, they teach engineering

work in hospitals

fight in all the stupid illegal wars

produce all the food

 

they are You, yes they are!

 

So I used the N word which as a white guy

I find deplorable, but I find more deplorable

all the people who have power and pontificate

 

a positively hateful serenade

in disguise without telling any truth

 

stop all the lies, wouldn't that be so nice

Oh am I so leftest believing in all the socialist cries

many might at least at a minimum understand

as only common sense /

excluding of course the super rich.

 

 

So the financial system we now have finances

all the houses, and the people who buy those houses

use the same financial system, so to do all the small

businesses, and so surely to our regret

we spend a lot of money making bombs

to be dropped on people we know nothing

about in hopes we can fix

all their pain and suffering somehow

 

 

Peace!

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It is not about facts or lies, or hate ot love, or protests, or guns, or rights.

 

It's all about economics - everywhere on the world. And how government is used, by the Elite Class, to transfer money from the working class to the top 1%. Unfortunately, liberals, who somehow cling to the belief in a Benevolent Government, are entirely complicit in the largest wealth transfer and concentration of wealth inn the top 1%, since the 1920s.

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I'm for proportional response. Marches and publishing can be countered by marches and publishing. Violence should be punished by police action: arrests and prosecution.

 

I'm not worried that Trump will build gas chambers. I'm worried that this administration will turn a blind eye to local violence if that violence is done by their supporters. The response will be, as he's done, to look at a camera and say 'stop it'.

 

If the police are infiltrated by the ugly extreme right, then we have a problem, like in the early 60s when there were many KKK members in the police force and local administrations.

 

States rights is a euphemism for local people to murder and lynch, unencumbered by federal civil rights enforcement.

 

If you're not worried about gas chambers, then why bring it up? Why the concentration camp imagery? You may incite others to extremism. Some folks really believe what they read on the internet. If you convince someone Trump is the next Hitler, they just might act on that belief. Please don't tell me you would be OK with that.

 

If you're really worried about federal protection of our civil rights, then why not say that? I don't mean to pick on you in particular, but you seem to be one of the most level-headed and responsible folks here. If you start spouting stuff like this, then how can we ever hope to restore normal political conversation? We say 'the right' resorts to emotional hate-filled lies. They do. We shouldn't join them.

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Maybe this is just a prediction I'm making out of naivete: I think the next wave of the Liberal agenda will be much more vehement/propagandist after this election loss. "Fight fire with fire" -- we were shown that the current political landscape favors rhetoric, character assassination, and emotional manipulation through demagoguery more than it favors a frank and open discussion devoid of partisan bitterness, where rational decisions are based on empirical data and NOT on kneejerk prejudices.

 

Breitbart's poster boy, Milo Yiannopolous, just had a television interview where he said we're living in a "post-fact world: it's not enough to have facts. people don't care too much about them. they care about how you say it." [my paraphrase]

 

Here's the interview:

-- he makes the above comment within the last 45 or so seconds of the video. I think the campaign trail of the last year, and all of the incendiary scandals involved, definitely shows that his idea has merit.

 

So how do we maintain our rational, intelligent approach to the world and political arena without devolving into nutjobs and character assassins ourselves? This type of behavior will become normalized the more that Trump scandal train continues, and he skates by. In fact, he just settled a Trump University lawsuit for $25 million -- part of the settlement agreement is that he faces no possible criminal charges. And his supporters are all smiles, already struck by amnesia at the fact that he committed some very serious offenses. This is dangerous and it makes me think that no one on the right side of the aisle will attempt to hold Trump accountable.. it'll be up solely to the newly galvanized Democrats.

 

PS. I also wanted to add that I believe for the Dems to be truly successful in 2020, the party must be MUCH more eminent on the internet/social media. Twitter and Facebook were some of Trump's most powerful weapons against Hillary. http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-16/hillary-clinton-s-twitter-chart-of-doom Trump supporters were inundated with non-fact-checked information and propaganda on a minute-by-minute basis at a much higher rate than Hillary supporters were.

That's what Bernie Sanders campaign was.

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If you're not worried about gas chambers, then why bring it up? Why the concentration camp imagery?

 

Because I was writing, in the first post, about what I was feeling. In the next post, about what I was thinking.

 

And as to why I was feeling that, here's why: First of all, I'd had a couple of strong homebrewed beers. It was Friday and I'm taking the week off.

 

Secondly, my wife is German (from Germany, still has an accent) and I'm Jewish. There's history, and we both know it well. We were looking at the many swastikas that Trump supporters had drawn next to racist slogans. Our blood ran cold. We both know how these things escalate. It starts with grafitti, or anonymous violence, like burning a black church. Eventually there are people in positions where they can exonerate the criminals: police and judges. (Like in the 60s, when many police were in the KKK. Police wouldn't shoot innocent black people in the back, would they? If police were all racism-free, there would be no BLM movement.)

 

In any country, everywhere, 20% to 30% are angry racists, restrained by law. If they can turn another 10% to their side, then they can use fear of violence to take over the country.

 

It starts small. Grafitti, random violence, organized violence, then repressive laws. You know the rest.

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Every member of an ethnic, racial, sexual and even religious minority is feeling some level of fear at the election of Trump .... Each from their own point of view. Even many women feel threatened. All rightly so. It's scary to hear that the likes of the KKK and David Duke and white supremacist groups celebrated when Trump won the election. And Trump's bigoted rhetoric is likewise, cause for alarm.

 

We are in uncharted territory because, now, Trump is walking back many of his more extreme positions; Yet appointing some extreme people like Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions to his inner circle. It sends a set of mixed and anxiety-producing signals . Trump has been contradicting himself from the beginning, and people don't know what to think.

 

Many in the targeted groups see a crazy man who might do anything at all.

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The primary focus should be to reverse concentration of wealth and economic repression. Wealth inequality and economic desperation are breeding grounds for increased racial and ethnic militancy. This is a worldwide phenomenon and it mirrors what happened in the 1920s and 1930s. It is much easier to oppose racism than it is to understand the underlying economic policies that have begath the racism. What people need is a better understanding of how neo-liberal ans neo-con policies such as the repeal of Glass-Steagall and NAFTA were critical to the current economic, social, and political situation. Both Sanders, Rand Paul and even Trump have called into question these economic repressive policies.

 

Attempting to fight racism during times of critical economic repression of tens of millions of families is hopeless.

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I agree RichF. Economic inequality and a steadily lowered standard of living tend to make the victims more vulnerable to division by scapegoating of "the other". Conversely, during times of widespread prosperity, bigotry tends to recede.

 

I was just attempting to explain to myself, as much as anyone else, why minorities feel singled out so viscerally, by Trump's contradictory speech and appointments .... A feeling that is hard for many mainstream whites to identify with.

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I agree RichF. Economic inequality and a steadily lowered standard of living tend to make the victims more vulnerable to division by scapegoating of "the other". Conversely, during times of widespread prosperity, bigotry tends to recede.

 

I was just attempting to explain to myself, as much as anyone else, why minorities feel singled out so viscerally, by Trump's contradictory speech and appointments .... A feeling that is hard for many mainstream whites to identify with.

It has been researched and pretty much confirmed that economic repression creates "job warfare" as people desperately attempt to figure out how to survive. Racism is just one manifestation. It is absolutely impossible to reverse the trend without addressing the underlying economic causes. Concentration of wealth is now greater than it had been in all of our history with a concomitant rise in racism. Such conditions are much worse in Europe which is experiencing much worse economic repression but from exactly the same causes.

 

There are people in this world who spend all of their time figuring out ways to transfer more and more money from the working class to the top 1%. If one listened closely to Sanders and Rand Paul one would easily understand which specific policies must be reversed. I believe Trump is relatively innocuous compared to what may follow if current trends are allowed to persist.

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I'm not sure.

The strategy you propose is virtuous, almost to the point of being heroic; speaking of heroes, remember that Jesus ended up crucified. I'm not keen to be that heroic.

 

Kindness, compassion, and facts are good ways to deal with good people. I believe that KKK, neo-Nazis, and their ilk only understand the reasoning that comes from the fat side of a baseball bat.

 

Not that I can do that myself ... but I hope the police would treat that kind of bigotry with more force than they treat innocent black people accidentally shot in the back.

Now you're starting to get the hang of this whole political thing.

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There are cycles in history. I agree with your overall assessment that we're currently headed in the wrong direction. Freedom, compassion, logic, understanding, truth, selflessness...all good qualities are losing ground. However, your leap from that to Holocaust is much too far. This world is still orders of magnitude better than the one that produced Buchenwald. We may sink to that level, or we may not. We're still creating our future.

 

I sadly agree with the OP's prediction. Where the GOP leads, Democrats are likely to follow. That's not a good thing. If you 'fight fire with fire', you destroy the house. Instead, if you really care, you fight fire with water. Oppose hatred with kindness, bigotry with compassion, lies with facts. If you take on the characteristics of those you oppose, you have already lost.

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