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31 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

I apologize if I put words in your mouth.   I said  "it seems like you are saying" a couple of times if that is what you are talking about but I didn't mean it to be an accusation.   

 

From my perspective, what I hear you saying is that there is a system that is superior to all others,  called liberalism, but in practice it seems somewhat undefinable whereas all other systems are easily definable and are all tyrannical and authoritarian.   Is that somewhat correct?   

 

Two things are being conflated here, and I will accept my own part in the lack of clarity.

 

One is "liberalism" as a political ideology. The other is liberal democratic-republican forms of government (as in the United States) which doesn't presuppose that all who favor this institutional arrangement are political "liberals." 

 

It is the institutional form of "democratic-republicanism" that limits the power of demagogues to seize complete control of a state that in my estimation puts the strongest break on authoritarianism/totalitarianism, irrespective of whether the chief executive is a Democrat or a Republican (in ordinary circumstances). Trump--IMO--was an aberration. I think he has zero respect for the norms of American democracy and would  have gone further with his authoritarian impulses if he could have.

 

Neither liberal democracy (as a political system) or liberalism (as a political ideology) is "indefinable," they are just not reducible to one's specific stance on an issue of something like gun control or the ideal tax rate, or any other single issue.

 

Bill

 

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19 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

Two things are being conflated here, and I will accept my own part in the lack of clarity.

 

One is "liberalism" as a political ideology. The other is liberal democratic-republican forms of government (as in the United States) which doesn't presuppose that all who favor this institutional arrangement are political "liberals." 

 

It is the institutional form of "democratic-republicanism" that limits the power of demagogues to seize complete control of a state that in my estimation puts the strongest break on authoritarianism/totalitarianism, irrespective of whether the chief executive is a Democrat or a Republican (in ordinary circumstances). Trump--IMO--was an aberration. I think he has zero respect for the norms of American democracy and would  have gone further with his authoritarian impulses if he could have.

 

Neither liberal democracy (as a political system) or liberalism (as a political ideology) is "indefinable," they are just not reducible to one's specific stance on an issue of something like gun control or the ideal tax rate, or any other single issue.

 

Bill

 

That makes a lot more sense.   Forgive me if I'm wrong, but with this now being the case, Im assuming that what you are saying is that in practice any other form of government other than one such as what we have in the US is destined for authoritarianism, regardless of its origins.   Essentially the system is a backstop against ideology.   Is that correct?

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18 hours ago, crazyhole said:

That makes a lot more sense.   Forgive me if I'm wrong, but with this now being the case, Im assuming that what you are saying is that in practice any other form of government other than one such as what we have in the US is destined for authoritarianism, regardless of its origins.   Essentially the system is a backstop against ideology.   Is that correct?

 

You seem to be a slow learner. Don't make "assumptions" and then post what you "assume" I mean or the experiment that I've indulged will come to a very abrupt end.

 

Societies and political systems that don't don't have mechanisms for checking power are obviously at a greater risk of falling into absolutism that ones that have strong means of limiting power.

 

Bill

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42 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

 

You seem to be a slow learner. Don't make "assumptions" and then post what you "assume" I mean or the experiment that I've indulged will come to a very abrupt end.

 

Societies and political systems that don't don't have mechanisms for checking power are obviously at a greater risk of falling into absolutism that ones that have strong means of limiting power.

 

Bill

I was just trying to understand your point so I was asking for clarification.   

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42 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

I was just trying to understand your point so I was asking for clarification.   

 

Asking for clarifications is absolutely fine, saying "I assume you mean X" is not.

 

I don't want words put in my mouth that I then need to de-bunk. See the difference? Pretty basic.

 

Bill

 

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On 12/2/2020 at 12:10 AM, crazyhole said:

I get what you are saying about how populism and statism in practice can lead to the same outcome, but to me that is just an example of moving vertically up the Y axis.   

 

They're not really separate ideas.

 

Populists can be statists and they can be anarchists.

Populism is simply a narrative about the current society or state.

 

For example, one populist can think that toppling the elites means seizing power and creating a strong state that outlaws anything considered to be part of the elitist agenda, while another populist might think that elitism is the inevitable product of ANY state and embrace anarchy as a means of depriving would-be elites of the means of dominating the people.

 

These two forms of populism are why you can have left-wing anarchists cooperating with right wing white supremacists to kidnap Whitmer. The immediate goal of toppling the state and striking back at the elites is the same, even if the long-term goals are not.

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On 12/2/2020 at 2:02 AM, SpyCar said:

No. The opposite of populism is a type of politics that seeks to unify a society, to seek justice, to balance the rightful claims of different groups within a society, that promests domestic tranquility, and the general welfare, protects human and civil rights, and embraces rationality and rejects demagoguery.

 

What you have outlined--in contrast--is just flipping the tables on which groups are "the people" and which are the "out groups." It is mirror-image populism. 

 

No populist with sincere convictions wants to divide society. Populism promises to unite the people and improve society by disposing of the elites. Once that goal is achieved, they claim, society will flourish. Anyone who believes in actively dividing people in perpetuity is not a true populist, they're merely using populism to further some other agenda (like Trump).

 

And what you're talking about isn't an opposite, it's the middle ground between populism and elitism... but it actually seems to be leaning more towards elitism. You only want it to be the opposite of populism because of how much raw hatred you seem to have for populist figures like Sanders and Trump.

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4 hours ago, Toldya said:

 

No populist with sincere convictions wants to divide society. Populism promises to unite the people and improve society by disposing of the elites. Once that goal is achieved, they claim, society will flourish. Anyone who believes in actively dividing people in perpetuity is not a true populist, they're merely using populism to further some other agenda (like Trump).

 

And what you're talking about isn't an opposite, it's the middle ground between populism and elitism... but it actually seems to be leaning more towards elitism. You only want it to be the opposite of populism because of how much raw hatred you seem to have for populist figures like Sanders and Trump.

 

What do you mean? Populism is predicated on the idea of "dividing" society into two camps. 

 

"Disposing of the elites" means doing what Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot, and innumerable other populists did, which is to engage in mass-murder, genocides, "disappearances," or dispossession/re-education/internments.

 

Populists with "sincere convictions" are scary motherfuckers. Genocidal maniacs. They make Trump--who is an absolutely loathsome human being--look good in comparison. 

 

What I'm talking about--call it liberal democracy as a shorthand term--is the opposite of populism. Populism (in reality) isn't an anti-elitist movement, it is one the aims to change "who" is among the elite. It is simply a way to grab power and change one boss with a new boss, without other effective differences (other than more blood being spilled).

 

I hate populism because I understand the nature of populism very well. Heck, you outlined the problem here quite well in your post.

 

People who promise to "improve society by disposing of the elites" are scary. We have witnessed the deaths of 100 million people or so in the past century or so at the hands of "sincere populists" who have used power to liquidate those who they've branded as enemies of their societies.

 

Damn right that I hate leaders who expose populism. It is an evil ideology that is soaked in blood. I reject it thoroughly, absolutely, and completely.

 

Populism is the opposite of liberalism. It is a pox on humanity.

 

Bill 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

What do you mean? Populism is predicated on the idea of "dividing" society into two camps.

 

The way they see it is that the divisions have already been created by our current society and they're going to eliminate or at least narrow them by doing something about the elites. That doesn't always mean killing them... as I said, it could also mean eliminating the 'systems of oppression' that allow them to exist as elites.

 

I mean, come on... do you think populists are responsible for the current wealth gap? For racial inequality? For the hyperpartisan political climate? Do you really think that the unspeakably rich don't see themselves as separate or even better than everyone else? Or are you trying to say that these things don't actually exist, everything is fine and anyone who says that there are divisions in society is just a lying populist trying to seize power for himself?

 

The only reason we have populist movements now is because the leaders of 'liberal democracy' have failed to prevent divisions from forming. When these divisions are obvious to absolutely everyone, you're going to get movements like Trumpism... because nobody can listen to the populist message, then see the elitism and the rot and the sadism taking place... and know for sure that they don't have a point.  

 

13 minutes ago, SpyCar said:

What I'm talking about--call it liberal democracy as a shorthand term--is the opposite of populism. Populism (in reality) isn't an anti-elitist movement, it is one the aims to change "who" is among the elite. It is simply a way to grab power and change one boss with a new boss, without other effective differences (other than more blood being spilled).

 

LOL... since when does any politician ever really live up to their campaign promises? And populism isn't always extreme.

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32 minutes ago, Toldya said:

 

The way they see it is that the divisions have already been created by our current society and they're going to eliminate or at least narrow them by doing something about the elites. That doesn't always mean killing them... as I said, it could also mean eliminating the 'systems of oppression' that allow them to exist as elites.

 

I mean, come on... do you think populists are responsible for the current wealth gap? For racial inequality? For the hyperpartisan political climate? Do you really think that the unspeakably rich don't see themselves as separate or even better than everyone else? Or are you trying to say that these things don't actually exist, everything is fine and anyone who says that there are divisions in society is just a lying populist trying to seize power for himself?

 

The only reason we have populist movements now is because the leaders of 'liberal democracy' have failed to prevent divisions from forming. When these divisions are obvious to absolutely everyone, you're going to get movements like Trumpism... because nobody can listen to the populist message, then see the elitism and the rot and the sadism taking place... and know for sure that they don't have a point.  

 

 

LOL... since when does any politician ever really live up to their campaign promises? And populism isn't always extreme.

 

Populists don't create "divisions" (or classes) in societies, what they do it to turn various groups in a society into mortal enemies by fomenting political rage/resentment and using the "out group" as the scapegoat to blame for all "the people's" (ie members of their cult's) problems.

 

"Eliminating" so-called elites usually means to kill off large parts of a society and it always involves dispossession and violations of basic human and civil rights whan populists gain total political control."

 

The idea of "erasing" all differences in a society is a totalitarian concept that's compatible with liberalism and notions of diversity. It is an ideology that promises bloodshed, misery, and abuses.

 

"Eliminating 'systems of oppression'" is a code term for eliminating a liberal capitalist economy and free markets and replacing it with a state run command economy that that's on either a fascist or socialist flavor, but is totalitarian either way. As I've said, that's the opposite of liberalism.

 

No where did I state that "populists are responsible for the current wealth gap? For racial inequality?" I will ask the same thing from you that I asked of Crazyhole--do not try to attribute words to other posters in this room that they did not make. It is not a respectful form of discourse.

 

Populists are not responsible for wealth inequality. Some populists--like Sanders--are guilty of using a legitimate concern as a bully stick to fuel his populist movement. His record on racial inequality has been exceptionally poor, so I wouldn't bring it up if I were you.

 

Liberal and left-wing populists can share concerns on issues such as growing wealth inequality without accepting common solutions. "Eliminating" so-called elites isn't a liberal response, it is a demagogic/reactionary one.

 

Political liberal have never held the goal of having a faction-free society, quite the opposite--in fact. he ideal has always been to find the right balances between promoting freedom and securing the general welfare.

 

Not in insuring weath (or better said "poverty") equality via totalitarian means. 

 

That's not to say that liberals today don't look at growing wealth and wage inequalities today and see a problem there for the future of a free society. We just look towards different solutions that lining people up against a wall or promising "the people" that these nasty elitists are going to pay for everything while the cult members are responsible for nothing but enjoying a work-free life and smoking free dope paid for with the fruits of other people's labors. That's not sustainable.

 

And, yes, populism is ALWAYS extremist.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Toldya said:

 

The way they see it is that the divisions have already been created by our current society and they're going to eliminate or at least narrow them by doing something about the elites. That doesn't always mean killing them... as I said, it could also mean eliminating the 'systems of oppression' that allow them to exist as elites.

 

I mean, come on... do you think populists are responsible for the current wealth gap? For racial inequality? For the hyperpartisan political climate? Do you really think that the unspeakably rich don't see themselves as separate or even better than everyone else? Or are you trying to say that these things don't actually exist, everything is fine and anyone who says that there are divisions in society is just a lying populist trying to seize power for himself?

 

The only reason we have populist movements now is because the leaders of 'liberal democracy' have failed to prevent divisions from forming. When these divisions are obvious to absolutely everyone, you're going to get movements like Trumpism... because nobody can listen to the populist message, then see the elitism and the rot and the sadism taking place... and know for sure that they don't have a point.  

 

 

LOL... since when does any politician ever really live up to their campaign promises? And populism isn't always extreme.

Exactly.    There is always some level of power struggle between the elites (what i call statists) and the proletariat (the populists).   Just because the populists push back when the elites get out of hand doesn't mean they're just gonna kill the rich people.   It doesn't have to lead to demagoguery like Bill suggests, nor does elitist rule have to mean brutal dictatorship.   

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50 minutes ago, crazyhole said:

Exactly.    There is always some level of power struggle between the elites (what i call statists) and the proletariat (the populists).   Just because the populists push back when the elites get out of hand doesn't mean they're just gonna kill the rich people.   It doesn't have to lead to demagoguery like Bill suggests, nor does elitist rule have to mean brutal dictatorship.   


Populists have murdered members of their societies—and often in genocidal degrees—every single time that populists have managed to take total political control in the very unfortunate counties where they’ve gained power.

 

Populism is’t about advancing the interests of poor people, it is a way for demagogues to gain political control. 

 

Trump has pursued power as a populist, a guy who shits in gold toilets (when he’s not crapping in his pains). Populism is phony. And he is not atypical.
 

The “common man” is never the beneficiary of this horrible blood-soaked ideology. 
 

Populism is con-job of the worst kind. Death, misery, and human rights abuses are the price of falling for this fraud.

 

Bill

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, SpyCar said:

Populists don't create "divisions" (or classes) in societies, what they do it to turn various groups in a society into mortal enemies by fomenting political rage/resentment and using the "out group" as the scapegoat to blame for all "the people's" (ie members of their cult's) problems.

 

The bad policy decisions and the divisions themselves are what foment the rage and resentment. They made it so all that Trump had to do was to repeat what the people themselves had already been saying.

 

23 hours ago, SpyCar said:

"Eliminating" so-called elites usually means to kill off large parts of a society and it always involves dispossession and violations of basic human and civil rights whan populists gain total political control."

 

You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

23 hours ago, SpyCar said:

No where did I state that "populists are responsible for the current wealth gap? For racial inequality?" I will ask the same thing from you that I asked of Crazyhole--do not try to attribute words to other posters in this room that they did not make. It is not a respectful form of discourse.

 

That's why they were questions.

You're really touchy, aren't you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, crazyhole said:

Exactly.    There is always some level of power struggle between the elites (what i call statists) and the proletariat (the populists).   Just because the populists push back when the elites get out of hand doesn't mean they're just gonna kill the rich people.   It doesn't have to lead to demagoguery like Bill suggests, nor does elitist rule have to mean brutal dictatorship.   

 

In Trump's case, he helps the people by giving the rich elites tax breaks and forcing 'the people' to pay for it a few years later.

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7 hours ago, Toldya said:

 

The bad policy decisions and the divisions themselves are what foment the rage and resentment. They made it so all that Trump had to do was to repeat what the people themselves had already been saying.

 

 

You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

 

That's why they were questions.

You're really touchy, aren't you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not saying that Populists aren't clever about seizing on real issues as a way to amplify rage. I'm saying that fomenting rage and laying blame on a scapegoat is rarely a good pathway to solving problems.

 

Populists are not "problem solvers," but rage creators. Angry mobs don't make rational decisions.

 

Instead they are "reactionaries" who lash out at those within their societies who are painted as the problem group by their demagogic cult leader as a class that needs to be "eliminated."

 

Populism is a well-trod path to political mass murder, human misery, and tyranny.

 

Don't not make false accusations such as:

 

"You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

This is false and highly disrespectful. This is NOT NHB and this sort of insulting posting WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Nor will attempting to put words in other people's mouths. Read the board rules.

 

You posted that the goal of populists was to eliminate the offending classes (permanently) as opposed to fostering a long-term division of a society--which is true and deeply chilling, especially when one looks at the historical record of populism (which is drenched in blood).

 

And for the record, the Democratic Party is NOT a populist party (thank goodness!).

 

Bill

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Don't not make false accusations such as:

 

"You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

This is false and highly disrespectful. This is NOT NHB and this sort of insulting posting WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Nor will attempting to put words in other people's mouths. Read the board rules.

 

I hope you see the irony in this, considering the topic of this thread.   

 

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4 hours ago, crazyhole said:

Don't not make false accusations such as:

 

"You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

This is false and highly disrespectful. This is NOT NHB and this sort of insulting posting WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Nor will attempting to put words in other people's mouths. Read the board rules.

 

I hope you see the irony in this, considering the topic of this thread.   

 

 

There is no irony here. I have not put words in your mouth or done anything like that with Toldya.

 

I fundamentally disagree with the idea that there is any virtue to populism. Populism has a bloody and anti-liberal legacy and I despise this ideology. 

 

I am a lifelong liberal Democrat and know that our party is the only non-populist party that the USA has left at the moment and we are not about to turn this country into Venezuela.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, SpyCar said:

I'm saying that fomenting rage and laying blame on a scapegoat is rarely a good pathway to solving problems.

 

Except sometimes, for example in the case of Occupy Wall Street, the people being blamed actually ARE responsible for the problems that are making people so angry. 

 

And when the government repeatedly fails to solve the problem, either by design or by corruption, then they don't leave the people with a lot of options.

15 hours ago, SpyCar said:

Populism is a well-trod path to political mass murder, human misery, and tyranny.

 

Any political system can lead to that.

 

Quote

Don't not make false accusations such as:

 

"You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

This is false and highly disrespectful. This is NOT NHB and this sort of insulting posting WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Nor will attempting to put words in other people's mouths. Read the board rules.

 

You're going to ban one of the 4 people that still has even a passing interest in visiting this board over some (in my opinion, apt) comparisons and an instance of 'putting words into your mouth' that isn't even true?

 

Hope it turns out well for you.

 

Quote

You posted that the goal of populists was to eliminate the offending classes (permanently) as opposed to fostering a long-term division of a society--which is true and deeply chilling, especially when one looks at the historical record of populism (which is drenched in blood).

 

No, I didn't say that they would all LITERALLY eliminate the PEOPLE, I said that they (might)seek to eliminate the STRUCTURES and CULTURAL CONVENTIONS that create elites.

 

In other words, you're putting words in my mouth, Bill. This is an outrage! An outrage I say!!! It is so highly disrespectful and offensive and I think it's probably racist and sexist and ageist and classist too. I am seriously in shock over what has just happened and demand not just an apology, but also that you atone for this grave, grave trespass which you have committed. It is literally unforgivable.

 

5 hours ago, crazyhole said:

Don't not make false accusations such as:

 

"You sound like one of those people in the NHB forum who thinks that the Democrats are going to turn the US into Venezuela.

 

This is false and highly disrespectful. This is NOT NHB and this sort of insulting posting WILL NOT BE ALLOWED. Nor will attempting to put words in other people's mouths. Read the board rules.

 

I hope you see the irony in this, considering the topic of this thread.   

 

 

I'm sure we're both starting to figure out why this part of the forum is even more of a ghost town than it used to be.

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6 hours ago, SpyCar said:

 

There is no irony here. I have not put words in your mouth or done anything like that with Toldya.

 

I fundamentally disagree with the idea that there is any virtue to populism. Populism has a bloody and anti-liberal legacy and I despise this ideology. 

 

I am a lifelong liberal Democrat and know that our party is the only non-populist party that the USA has left at the moment and we are not about to turn this country into Venezuela.

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

The irony is how you have decried practically every system out there other than the one you like because they all end up being authoritarian, and the 2 people who have even mildly disagreed with you, you've insulted and threatened with being banned.   

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3 hours ago, crazyhole said:

The irony is how you have decried practically every system out there other than the one you like because they all end up being authoritarian, and the 2 people who have even mildly disagreed with you, you've insulted and threatened with being banned.   

 

There is nothing remotely ironic in recognizing populism for what it is: an anti-liberal ideology that is violent in nature and that has been embraced by the worst political mass murders in human history.

 

I have not "insulted" anyone here. I must as the moderator of this room insist on the board rules be followed. Those include posting respectfully.

 

Trying to put (false) words in other member's mouth or suggesting they believe things that are the opposite of reality violate the ground rules here.

 

Nothing "ironic" there either.

 

I've stretched to allow you to post in this sub-forum as an "experiment," so I want you to know the limits of what's acceptable. If you find polite discourse too confining there is always NHB. 

 

Bill

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Toldya said:

 

Except sometimes, for example in the case of Occupy Wall Street, the people being blamed actually ARE responsible for the problems that are making people so angry. 

 

And when the government repeatedly fails to solve the problem, either by design or by corruption, then they don't leave the people with a lot of options.

 

Any political system can lead to that.

 

 

You're going to ban one of the 4 people that still has even a passing interest in visiting this board over some (in my opinion, apt) comparisons and an instance of 'putting words into your mouth' that isn't even true?

 

Hope it turns out well for you.

 

 

No, I didn't say that they would all LITERALLY eliminate the PEOPLE, I said that they (might)seek to eliminate the STRUCTURES and CULTURAL CONVENTIONS that create elites.

 

In other words, you're putting words in my mouth, Bill. This is an outrage! An outrage I say!!! It is so highly disrespectful and offensive and I think it's probably racist and sexist and ageist and classist too. I am seriously in shock over what has just happened and demand not just an apology, but also that you atone for this grave, grave trespass which you have committed. It is literally unforgivable.

 

 

I'm sure we're both starting to figure out why this part of the forum is even more of a ghost town than it used to be.

 

Occupy Wall St did squat to advance positive change. A perfect example of futility and generating heat rather than light. The energy that came out of occupy helped undermine the Democrats in 2016 and helped propel Donald J Trump to power in 2016.

 

Political movements based on rage and demagoguery never turn out well.

 

Bill

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think we all underestimate the success of 'dumbing-down'.   I've heard from college graduates who are as fooled by social media lies as those who can barely think at all. 

Tragically, how can we legitimately argue for the elimination of the Electoral College when faced with this incredible level of stupidity and insanity?

So, don't overthink it, and don't expect a recovery in the future.   I believe the U.S. is headed for an inevitable crash with massive loss of life.

Just look at the corruption on every level of government and every agency, most likely, along with the financial and environmental crimes committed by corporations, etc.  Republican voters are to blame for it all.   Liberals fight back, but they can't carry tons of dead weight.   

Several decades ago, I called the Republican treason The Republican Civil War, and I predicted that they will never stop, but when liberals finally wise up and fight back, Republicans will turn and claim to be the victims of liberal hatred and violence, and the public and media will side with them.   We just can't win.      

 

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  • 7 months later...
On 11/29/2020 at 5:53 PM, SpyCar said:

 

The only way forward on Cuba--to my mind--if to be constructively engaged. The old exile community is dying off, as are the "revolutionaries" in Cuba. 

 

Cuba will open up, we should be engaged in the transition.

 

Bill

I think you're on to something there. I would love to carry on with this, but I think the topic is D team funding. And seeing as I want is to cripple both parties, can't really add much to the discussion. I do think the D team needs to lean on social media more. I see more spam ads on my FB page for R teamers complaining about being censored than I do D teamers of any sort. Y'all NEED to go that route more. Just stay away from the half baked conspiracy theories, OK?

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