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  #51  
Old 03-07-2019, 06:48 AM
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Trump lies constantly (not to mention acting funny around Putin) and is mostly defended by the entire GOP caucus.
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Painting a realistic picture of the current situation, identifying problems and devising solutions is the point, not scoring everything on a left-right or conservative-liberal scale, or preemptively derailing everything by stressing the bare assertion that government is evil and hapless.
I'm responding to your entire post, but picking out two parts specific to my reply. Are you advocating that in 2020, the Democratic Party should adopt a platform that 1) is anti-Trump, and 2) is pragmatic and centrist?

As a point of focus, letís consider US/Mexico border security. The Trump/far-right position is to build Trumpís wall. Obviously, the Democrats are going to oppose that. IĎd consider a policy of going back to Bush IIís border strategy to be a right-leaning centrist position. Similarly, a policy of going back to Obamaís border strategy would be a left-leaning centrist position. I personally wouldnít consider either of those positions particularly left-wing.

(Iím quite happy to leave it up to a left-wing Democrat to define what the leftís position is, and will defer to them.)
  #52  
Old 03-07-2019, 11:02 AM
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.

Extreme left simply won't fly in this country. For all the publicity surrounding AOC, she would not get elected dog catcher anywhere in the South or Midwest.
Offhand I can think of two self-identified Socialists representing Midwestern districts in Congress, Chuy Garcia and Rashida Tlaib.
  #53  
Old 03-07-2019, 08:48 PM
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I'm responding to your entire post, but picking out two parts specific to my reply. Are you advocating that in 2020, the Democratic Party should adopt a platform that 1) is anti-Trump, and 2) is pragmatic and centrist?

As a point of focus, letís consider US/Mexico border security. The Trump/far-right position is to build Trumpís wall. Obviously, the Democrats are going to oppose that. IĎd consider a policy of going back to Bush IIís border strategy to be a right-leaning centrist position. Similarly, a policy of going back to Obamaís border strategy would be a left-leaning centrist position. I personally wouldnít consider either of those positions particularly left-wing.

(Iím quite happy to leave it up to a left-wing Democrat to define what the leftís position is, and will defer to them.)
Anti-Trump? Well, yeah, but I would like to focus more on pro solutions and pro good government. But obviously the Dems are running against Trump.

Pragmatic? Yup, I am a pragmatist. Centrist? I wouldn't say that. I'm pretty disenchanted with the idea that there is a specific part of the political spectrum where all the good policies are, and elsewhere lie bad policies. In fact, I think that notion has become a culturally poisonous mania over the past couple decades, especially the febrile obsession with "liberals", to the exclusion of the details of any given issue. It is thought-terminating to the point that one can't have a reasonable discussion with Trumpers at all, among other reasons. Every discussion gets derailed into "libruls bad" or "conservatives bad" under the influence of strong partisanship. I don't think the wall is the best issue to illustrate this, so let's look at guns instead.

I don't like the thousands of gun deaths every year. Almost half a Vietnam War's worth of casualties die in this country every year via shootings. Universal background checks seem like a pragmatic solution- you can catch criminals before they get their hands on a gun, and they aren't supposed to have them anyway, so there is no real violation of rights with this policy IMHO. Red flag laws? Yeah, probably. People who get violent or make terroristic threats and so on are reasonably considered dangerous IMHO and there is no Constitutional crisis in taking their guns away on a short term basis. I think people would consider these "left" ideas.

Okay. What about assault rifles? They are scary and have been known to be used in mass shootings. How about we ban them? Um, I dunno. I want policies to solve a problem, and I'm not convinced banning assault rifles would significantly reduce shootings. Seems more like a symbolic, feel-good move for some that would royally skeeve off a lot of others, plus it raises 2nd Amendment issues. While we're on the 2nd, that amendment is going NOWHERE as I see it (I don't think even AOC thinks so), so a broader gun ban to really stop shootings just wouldn't be legal. These would be considered "right" ideas.

Then there is the notion that the murder rate (in DC) is ~15 per 100,000. Meanwhile, the suicide/drug overdose death rate is ~45 per 100,000. People killing themselves is a bigger problem than people shooting each other, and may be lower hanging fruit to address. That's pragmatic. Is it centrist or leftist or what? Who cares? Solve the problem!!
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Offhand I can think of two self-identified Socialists representing Midwestern districts in Congress, Chuy Garcia and Rashida Tlaib.
Also, Kansas elected a Democratic governor and Alabama elected a Democratic senator. I doubt either are "radical left", but it isn't what you'd expect.
  #54  
Old 03-08-2019, 01:15 PM
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...Also, Kansas elected a Democratic governor and Alabama elected a Democratic senator. I doubt either are "radical left", but it isn't what you'd expect.
Alabama was an unusual situation so I would consider Kansas to be the more significant victory. In other words, there may indeed be a shift toward the Democrats in Kansas but not likely in Alabama.
  #55  
Old 03-09-2019, 11:36 AM
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Oh I don't know. Democrats are now favored over pedophiles by a 1% margin in Alabama. Used to be, NOTHING was worse than a Democrat. The times, they are a changin'
  #56  
Old 03-11-2019, 11:39 AM
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Rahm Emmanuel offers his viewpoint in a column in The Atlantic, How Not to Lose to Donald Trump:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/ar...p-2020/584512/

I particularly liked this paragraph:
Quote:
Earth to Democrats: Republicans are telling you something when they gleefully schedule votes on proposals like the Green New Deal, Medicare for all, and a 70 percent marginal tax rate. When they’re more eager to vote on the Democratic agenda than we are, we should take a step back and ask ourselves whether we’re inadvertently letting the political battle play out on their turf rather than our own. If Trump’s only hope for winning a second term turns on his ability to paint us as socialists, we shouldn’t play to type.
  #57  
Old 03-13-2019, 11:19 PM
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It's a thought-provoking article. He suggests removing the word "deplorable" from the political vocabulary this cycle, spot on with part of the message of my OP. But I'd say the paragraph you quoted goes with the one I'm going to quote, at least in terms of the point I want to make.
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Thatís not to say Democrats should abandon our priorities. We should work hard to combat climate change. We should fight to expand health-care coverage and reduce costs. We should find ways to make the tax code more progressive. But we shouldnít fall for Trumpís sucker punch. By a margin of 56 to 33 percent, Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents would prefer us to nominate ďsomeone who would be a strong candidate against Trump even if they disagree with that candidate on most issues.Ē In other words, this campaign is going to be less about ideological purity and litmus tests, and more about how voters size up the candidatesí personal qualities.
Less about ideological purity, more about candidates' personal qualities.

Let me talk about the fear inspired by this. Yeah, the Green New Deal, as presented, is pretty much DOA. Why is climate change being tied to Universal Basic Income again? Fine, point scored. Moving on to Medicare for all. It is going to be painted as a socialist takeover, and we'll see how much the public really objects to it, but that one has become a fairly mainstream idea. Maybe it won't carry the day, but it isn't fringe anymore either, and attempts to paint it as such seem obvious. Taxing the wealthy? Again, maybe it won't win, but that will be because maybe math can't win in America, not because this is a fringe idea. Is 70 the right number? Maybe, maybe not. One shouldn't gallop through the whole D agenda starting from the Green New Deal in an attempt to paint every point of it as loony fringe stuff.

The whole thrust of your quote, in the context of the pivot to candidates' "personal qualities" instead of their positions or ideologies, seems like an effort to turn the Democrats' primary deliberations into a concern for what Republicans will want or care about so as not to turn them away, pretty much the diametric opposite of the purpose of the Northern Strategy, which regards them as not reachable from the start. You can almost see the gears of the nefarious donor set turning, seeking a way to corrupt the Democratic platform into something that will benefit them instead of the public.

Is Emmanuel right? Well, if this message board is any indication (and who knows if it really is), the answer is no. I'll cite my own recent interest in Tulsi Gabbard's "personal qualities". Yeah, she did seem to promote the right platform in my first impression of her. But what my impression was really about was her "star quality". I found her to be the most charismatic candidate of them all, so far. She makes audience members cry, she hits notes of soldiering and selflessness and fighting for the minority, and she does it all with that special sauce quality... I've tried to make this case on this board over the last week, and it has been fully sincere, but dopers aren't biting. They think she's compromised, or untrustworthy. She has held bad positions in the past. One guy said he wished she'd get kicked out of the Democratic Party altogether, for being a homophobe, among other things.

Maybe they're right. Maybe there are Democratic candidates who are compromised by the donor class or bad ideology or whatever and will betray the base if elected. I think Democrats and the public in general know what they want, and this time I don't think they are going to want to temper their wishes to please a GOP minority. The point of the Northern Strategy is to more or less disregard the GOP on the grounds that, whatever the explanation, they are full of crap and can't be reasoned with. IMHO nobody has better "personal qualities" than Tulsi Gabbard, and the Dems on this board are distinctly not interested. They don't believe she will advance the agenda, "personal qualities" notwithstanding.

So, I attempt to refute your point thus. Good debate point though, thanks, it made me think.
  #58  
Old 03-14-2019, 01:47 AM
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... to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it....
It's legitimate to expect high income earners to pay a high amount of taxes. However, to presume that high income earners are evil, simply because they succeed in the current capitalist system is ridiculous.
Do you have a cite for any Dopers outside a lunatic fringe demonizing the wealthy?

There's a tendency to demonize Shkreli or Madoff; is that what you mean?
  #59  
Old 03-14-2019, 11:06 PM
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... to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it. ...

It's legitimate to expect high income earners to pay a high amount of taxes. However, to presume that high income earners are evil, simply because they succeed in the current capitalist system is ridiculous.
Do you have a cite for any Dopers outside a lunatic fringe demonizing the wealthy?

There's a tendency to demonize Shkreli or Madoff; is that what you mean?
No response from Wrenching Spanners. Anyone? We hear repeatedly that liberals presume high income earners are evil, but the claim strikes me as ... exaggerated. Is it a FoxNews meme?
  #60  
Old 03-15-2019, 04:47 PM
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No response from Wrenching Spanners. Anyone? We hear repeatedly that liberals presume high income earners are evil, but the claim strikes me as ... exaggerated. Is it a FoxNews meme?
That's a fair guess, inasmuch as the claim "liberals presume high income earners are evil" insults liberals. 'Liberals are incapable of being fair' and 'liberals make foolish assumptions due to being stupid' would be underlying assumptions that would be received by FoxNews viewers with gleeful agreement.
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Old 03-15-2019, 05:57 PM
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Liberals do not characterize the rich as evil, Leftists do. And the criticism isn't so much that there is some innate immorality or sociopathy that all rich people share, it's a characterization that hoarding wealth is effectively hoarding both power and depriving resources from people who need it (especially with forms of wealth that are not numbers in a bank account such as owning multiple homes when there are so many homeless people).

The thread of it is: it's pretty easy to fix, give up your money (and this means direct it and a large portion of your income to other places, not just "buy/invest in more things"). Not all of it obviously, you can live comfortably! Nobody is going to bash you for being comfortable or providing for family, but IMO it's a moral imperative to use wealth beyond what you need to be comfortable to help others. I realize this is thorny because people have different definitions of "comfortable" and for some people that may be a yacht, so yes, there is some prescription of what "comfortable" means (general it's thought to be in terms of someone who can live without any real fear of a sudden financial emergency), but I feel it gets the gist across.

Note that the likes of, e.g., Bill Gates do do some of this, giving a significant portion of wealth to good causes as more than just a tax writeoff, but in the end Gates is still hoarding a lot of wealth, and his charity foundation is, while well meaning, is more than a little colonialist. I don't think he's a bad person, nor do I think it's bad his charity is sending the money where it does, but the way it grades communities and tries to shape them in a direction that the foundation deems as "correct" is in essence not much different from John Stuart Mill declaring the Indians should not be allowed to run India until the British teach them how to run it "properly".

Last edited by Jragon; 03-15-2019 at 05:59 PM.
  #62  
Old 03-16-2019, 01:49 PM
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I know I will often refer to "the wealthy" as a kind of shorthand, but of course there is a difference between benign successful people and the kind of people who use their influence to ensure that Congress never acts or even speaks about climate change, force tax cuts for themselves regardless of what is best for the country, push laws that allow dangerous pollution at the public's expense, push massive disinformation, and so on.

I get the feeling that there is a set of malevolent wealthy/corporations that manipulate and pervert the system for their own ends. That's different from the guy with the successful internet startup who maybe has an extravagant wealthy life but doesn't behave much like a public menace. When I make offhand comments about "the wealthy" though, that distinction probably doesn't come through. Maybe I should start saying "malevolent wealthy" or something to be more clear.

And Septimus, Wrenching Spanners is averaging something like 9 posts a year. Give him more time to respond.
  #63  
Old 03-16-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
I know I will often refer to "the wealthy" as a kind of shorthand, but of course there is a difference between benign successful people and the kind of people who use their influence to ensure that Congress never acts or even speaks about climate change, force tax cuts for themselves regardless of what is best for the country, push laws that allow dangerous pollution at the public's expense, push massive disinformation, and so on.

I get the feeling that there is a set of malevolent wealthy/corporations that manipulate and pervert the system for their own ends. That's different from the guy with the successful internet startup who maybe has an extravagant wealthy life but doesn't behave much like a public menace. When I make offhand comments about "the wealthy" though, that distinction probably doesn't come through. Maybe I should start saying "malevolent wealthy" or something to be more clear. ...
One possible expression: "dark-money donors."

I'm thinking of Jane Mayer's 2016 book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (an excellent read).

'Dark-money donors' would distinguish between the types of people you mention.
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