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Old 03-02-2019, 04:45 PM
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The Northern Strategy


This thread is largely inspired by a couple of posts in the How Big A Scandal to Not Vote for the Dem thread of a few weeks ago.

This:
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To lose the 2020 election, the Democratic candidate will have to make herself/himself less popular than Trump. A way that could happen is if the Democratic candidate listens to only a portion of the American public. If the candidate and party decides that Trump can't win and 2020 is the time to energise the left and go bold with lots of big, liberal policies, then they could end up turning off lots of voters. The Democrats need a candidate that appeals to all of America and not just the far left. Being stupid enough to just pay attention to the left and ignore the rest of the country would cause the Democratic candidate to lose. And losing to Trump twice would indeed be scandalous.
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How about open hostility towards rednecks? If a candidate makes it through the primaries, and then is caught multiple times making derisive statements about pickup trucks, trailer parks, and ďGod, Guns and GutsĒ bumper stickers, it would anger quite a few people. It would also bring into question his/her competence as a politician. I think some of the current Democratic candidates could be labelled as urban liberal elites, or even champagne socialists. If a candidate with that profile makes a few anti-redneck gaffes, she/he is going to be unpopular. And popularity wins elections.
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So what is something scandalous and within the bounds of likelihood that a Democratic presidential candidate could do that would make them more unpopular than Trump? I think being hostile to a segment of American society fits that bill. And white American urban poor, aka rednecks, who apparently are frequently Trump supporters is my guess as the most likely target segment for Democratic hostility.
And this:
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A liberal elite who punches down and scorns a section of society would certainly create a backlash. Dealing with the backlash would take time, and would be a distraction from the candidate's main message. If the backlash was strong enough, it could move centrist voters from the Anybody But Trump camp, to A Pox on Both Their Houses.

For an example from the UK, Gordon Brown had a gaffe where he called an elderly woman a bigot. It certainly hurt his campaign and arguably cost him his prime ministership.
Let me give some context of my perspective on next year's elections. I think most Trump supporters are not reachable. I feel like the winning Dem strategy is to court their own base while also motivating some of the tens of millions of apathetic non-voters to vote. The conservative base is best jettisoned altogether, hence "The Northern Strategy": seek victory without even trying to convince the conservative demographic. So, when it comes to reaching out to and actively courting Trump supporters, I disagree with Wrenching Spanners (though I want to talk about it, obviously).

There's an important distinction to be made with the original Southern Strategy, however. The idea is not that we intend to discriminate against this demographic. We aren't going to make second-class citizens of them, we aren't going to segregate them or provide this and that benefit to everyone but them. Not at all. The Northern Strategy derives from the practical insight that compromising with or negotiating on policy grounds with today's conservative right is effectively engaging in a conversation with nonsense.

Is there a middle ground between "Mexicans are racists" and an evidence-based narrative of the border? I don't think so.

Is there a middle ground between "Climate change is a hoax" and an evidence-based response to climate change? Not if you care about future generations, there isn't.

Is there a middle ground between "Democrats hate America and want to turn us into Venezuela" and looking at the evidence on the distribution of health care, education, the revenue-to-spending balance? We can come to a decision to tax at a spectrum of rates, or act or not act to provide health care to a variety of degrees, and so on for every policy, but we can't really even have a conversation at all with people who only bring fantastical accusations, and won't look at, let alone respond to, solid evidence.

In a lot of ways, the best way to help conservatives is to ignore them. Let them scream bloody murder about how socialist higher taxes on the wealthy are, how Soviet to provide health insurance. The obvious fact is that they don't understand the issues, their heads have been filled with false fears because that serves the interests of the wealthy. Their lives and the prospects for the country's, and the world's, future will be better under sensible public policy, uncompromised by a bunch of hysterical nonsense.

That's the first aspect of the discussion: is this Northern Strategy approach really a good idea? Should we really pretend to curb imaginary socialist inclinations, humor the idea that there is an invasion and an emergency at the border, and so on? Feel free to change the way all of this is framed if you think I am being unfair or clueless or what have you.

The second aspect of this discussion: Democratic candidates personally attacking this demographic aka "punching down". My very first reaction was to reject that. I thought that maybe calling out the deplorables for all their bad ideas and bad behavior would be a great way to motivate the apathetics. Have a muscular campaign and take the fight right to the opponent. Bright lines, clear arguments, a clear choice between better and worse.

Well, on second thought that seems pretty divisive. Conservatives may have a lot of what I consider dumb ideas, but when it comes down to it I would much rather help them than attack them. They're citizens, they have jobs, they take care of their families and generally contribute to the country. The idea isn't to isolate them and wreck their lives. The idea is to make theirs, and everyone else's, lives better. The only issue with them is that their dumb ideas are counterproductive to most people who aren't wealthy.

So ok, maybe back off the personal attacks somewhat. Stick more to the substance and address it to reachable Dems and apathetics. Ok. But then I read Mencken's coverage of the Scopes trial. I had never studied this one very closely, I went googling around for a transcript of the actual trial and wound up reading that instead.

At first it might seem like the writing of a guy with normal 1925 prejudices. By the end (and I know it is a lot to ask to read 13 old newspaper articles) I was convinced that it was such a hateful screed that it couldn't even be considered journalism. It is one long, and fairly eloquent, hit piece and smear job. It is so full of snobbish, sneering mockery and insults that it overwhelms the question of which side was right or wrong in the court case the articles are ostensibly about. Nope, by the end I felt quite sympathetic for the evangelicals of Tennessee, and even for (apparently sick and dying) William Jennings Bryan. Quite a feat.

To really get the full effect you would have to read the whole thing, but here are a few samples:
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The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does, and so gets more out of life. Certainly it cannot have gone unnoticed that their membership is recruited, in the overwhelming main, from the lower orders -- that no man of any education or other human dignity belongs to them. What they propose to do, at bottom and in brief, is to make the superior man infamous -- by mere abuse if it is sufficient, and if it is not, then by law.
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During the whole time of its delivery the old mountebank, Bryan, sat tight-lipped and unmoved. There is, of course, no reason why it should have shaken him. He has those hill billies locked up in his pen and he knows it. His brand is on them. He is at home among them. Since his earliest days, indeed, his chief strength has been among the folk of remote hills and forlorn and lonely farms. Now with his political aspirations all gone to pot, he turns to them for religious consolations. They understand his peculiar imbecilities. His nonsense is their ideal of sense. When he deluges them with his theological bilge they rejoice like pilgrims disporting in the river Jordan.
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The Baptist preachers ranted unchallenged.

Their buffooneries were mistaken for humor. Now the clowns turn out to be armed, and have begun to shoot.

In his argument yesterday judge Neal had to admit pathetically that it was hopeless to fight for a repeal of the anti-evolution law. The Legislature of Tennessee, like the Legislature of every other American state, is made up of cheap job-seekers and ignoramuses.

The Governor of the State is a politician ten times cheaper and trashier. It is vain to look for relief from such men. If the State is to be saved at all, it must be saved by the courts. For one, I have little hope of relief in that direction, despite Hays' logic and Darrow's eloquence. Constitutions, in America, no longer mean what they say. To mention the Bill of Rights is to be damned as a Red.

The rabble is in the saddle, and down here it makes its first campaign under a general beside whom Wat Tylor seems like a wart beside the Matterhorn.
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The old gladiator faced his real enemy at last. Here was a sworn agent and attorney of the science he hates and fears -- a well-fed, well-mannered spokesman of the knowledge he abominates. Somehow he reminded me pathetically of the old Holy Roller I heard last week -- the mountain pastor who damned education as a mocking and a corruption. Bryan, too, is afraid of it, for wherever it spreads his trade begins to fall off, and wherever it flourishes he is only a poor clown.

But not to these fundamentalists of the hills. Not to yokels he now turns to for consolation in his old age, with the scars of defeat and disaster all over him. To these simple folk, as I have said, he is a prophet of the imperial line -- a lineal successor to Moses and Abraham. The barbaric cosmogony that he believes in seems as reasonable to them as it does to him. They share his peasant-like suspicion of all book learning that a plow hand cannot grasp. They believe with him that men who know too much should be seized by the secular arm and put down by force. They dream as he does of a world unanimously sure of Heaven and unanimously idiotic on this earth.
He goes on, and on, and on, and on. Nearly every line is a twisting of the knife. I'm sorry to even link to such a thing, but it is important to make my point: this kind of insulting, vitriolic attacking really ought to be avoided. I went in agreeing with Mencken's basic opinion of the Scopes case and came away thinking him to be pretty much a monster with which I would not want to be associated. Read it- I doubt I am the only one who feels this way.

Point is, the Dems could have the better information, the smarter policies, the right answers for what ails America and still lose by pushing people away, even people who basically agree with them. Wrenching Spanners was right on this point- "punching down" or generally being derisive of the opposition can make you very, very ugly. It can make you lose.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:23 PM
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Point is, the Dems could have the better information, the smarter policies, the right answers for what ails America and still lose by pushing people away, even people who basically agree with them. Wrenching Spanners was right on this point- "punching down" or generally being derisive of the opposition can make you very, very ugly. It can make you lose.
Got it. So "fuck your feelings" is ok, but "some of these people hold truly abhorrent beliefs" is bad.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:25 PM
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A lot of Democrats running in last year's mid-terms strategically made a point of avoidance of insulting average citizens and sinking to lower depths of discourse. This worked well for Tammy Baldwin, granted her opponent did not have great appeal and there were other factors of momentum in play. As for citizens and online provocateurs, there is venom and there will be more. A Democrat's challenge is to stoke interest without doing things that a reasonable person would conflate with adding to the bad blood. If we're talking about a presidential candidate, I just don't know, maybe you can throw some of that out the window, because the media will run with sound bytes in ways that reasonable explanations can't always fix.
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Old 03-02-2019, 05:32 PM
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..."punching down" or generally being derisive of the opposition can make you very, very ugly. It can make you lose.
Yes. The better path is to talk about the policies that will make life better for all Americans (even the Trump fans).

There is always a tug toward "us versus them," though. Democratic candidates will feel the urging to clearly separate themselves and their followers from those who feel it's fine to cage children on the southern border.

Rallies are particularly likely to bring this urging to the fore. "Us versus them" is wildly popular when large groups of humans gather. It's the way our brains work.

Kudos and honor to those candidates who are able to resist the urging. It won't be easy, even though Democrats by nature are less tribal than are their opponents. (Or so the brain science tells us).
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:05 PM
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Got it. So "fuck your feelings" is ok, but "some of these people hold truly abhorrent beliefs" is bad.
No, not at all. "Fuck your feelings" is bad- just look at how that stuck in everyone's craws! But in the context of the Northern Strategy, it is the Dems who want to avoid stepping in that poo.

And "some of these people hold truly abhorrent beliefs"- I am suggesting rejecting their beliefs on the political level, but not rejecting the people themselves. No need to put too fine a point on beliefs being "abhorrent", especially if it is about things that don't matter.

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There is always a tug toward "us versus them," though. Democratic candidates will feel the urging to clearly separate themselves and their followers from those who feel it's fine to cage children on the southern border.

Rallies are particularly likely to bring this urging to the fore. "Us versus them" is wildly popular when large groups of humans gather. It's the way our brains work.
But really it is these ideas vs those ideas. The "Us" should remain the whole country. I'd like to move away from the Warring States model of politics. Yeah, there are political parties and people are working hard to win, but there is a more fundamental category that includes the whole system. Let's not poison that in the quest to "win".
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:30 PM
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I have no data to cite (since this is inherently hard to find data on) but it seems that conservatives generally rally tighter when they feel attacked than liberals do.

The flip side of that, though, is that it's also easier to butter them up with the right soothing words and make them miss the big picture. A Democratic candidate could say the right things to butter up Trump voters while in hard actuality pursuing policies that are liberal.

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Old 03-02-2019, 07:42 PM
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I have no data to cite (since this is inherently hard to find data on) but it seems that conservatives generally rally tighter when they feel attacked than liberals do.
IOW, all the time. That they are perpetually being victimized by those godless (or Muslim) libruls is an essential part of the right-wing creed.
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The flip side of that, though, is that it's also easier to butter them up with the right soothing words and make them miss the big picture. A Democratic candidate could say the right things to butter up Trump voters while in hard actuality pursuing policies that are liberal.
I doubt this. In a society whose divisions have become as deeply entrenched as ours, Trump voters aren't going to even listen to a Dem in numbers worth chasing.
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Old 03-02-2019, 08:29 PM
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<snip>
... I feel like the winning Dem strategy is to court their own base while also motivating some of the tens of millions of apathetic non-voters to vote. The conservative base is best jettisoned altogether...
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Yes. The better path is to talk about the policies that will make life better for all Americans (even the Trump fans).

There is always a tug toward "us versus them," though. ....
Possibly it matters who you mean by "the conservative base". The die-hard Trumpsters are maybe 30 to 35%. That is a pretty hard floor. You don't reach them but denigrating them pushes away some who are not in that group.

I see two possible most effective tactics to take.

The economic populist approach. Us v them is the easiest sale, and this approach just substitutes a different them. In this approach the them is the very wealthy who have gathered up disproportionate wealth and power, in reality not the 1%ers but the 0.1%ers. That leaves 99% plus as "us" to that small (but powerful) "them". This one works best if there is an explicit expression of empathy for the problem that the various members of "us" have. There is no question that several candidates will play that approach, even if few have the skill to pull off that last part of it.

The other one takes more oratory skill. It's the one Obama played and Kennedy as well for that matter. Appeal to a unifying positive vision that has no them (at least no domestic them, threat of Russia, etc. is potentially allowed). Appeal to how we want to think of ourselves, in service of a greater good.

Making the "them" be a group that most rural Americans and a sizable number of working class ones feel they are part of is not IMHO a best possible option. Don't forget that there were a good number of Obama-Trump voters. Those are the Trump voters worth chasing. And you want the Obama-stayed home ones back too, while keeping the Romney-Clinton ones.
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:26 AM
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Possibly it matters who you mean by "the conservative base". The die-hard Trumpsters are maybe 30 to 35%. That is a pretty hard floor. You don't reach them but denigrating them pushes away some who are not in that group.

I see two possible most effective tactics to take.

The economic populist approach. Us v them is the easiest sale, and this approach just substitutes a different them. In this approach the them is the very wealthy who have gathered up disproportionate wealth and power, in reality not the 1%ers but the 0.1%ers. That leaves 99% plus as "us" to that small (but powerful) "them". This one works best if there is an explicit expression of empathy for the problem that the various members of "us" have. There is no question that several candidates will play that approach, even if few have the skill to pull off that last part of it.

The other one takes more oratory skill. It's the one Obama played and Kennedy as well for that matter. Appeal to a unifying positive vision that has no them (at least no domestic them, threat of Russia, etc. is potentially allowed). Appeal to how we want to think of ourselves, in service of a greater good.

Making the "them" be a group that most rural Americans and a sizable number of working class ones feel they are part of is not IMHO a best possible option. Don't forget that there were a good number of Obama-Trump voters. Those are the Trump voters worth chasing. And you want the Obama-stayed home ones back too, while keeping the Romney-Clinton ones.
I think this is a good summary of the messages the Ds need to project. Emphasize a positive empathetic message. This is why I'd like to see a candidate from the Rust Belt (Brown, Klobuchar, perhaps Biden) rather than a candidate from the "Coastal elites."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But I'm not running for office, and I feel free to vent my ire against the sub-literates we allow to vote. While Mencken's invective, linked to above, is NOT the message we should project, I still appreciate his writing enough to quote the first few paragraphs:
Quote:
Such obscenities as the forthcoming trial of the Tennessee evolutionist, if they serve no other purpose, at least call attention dramatically to the fact that enlightenment, among mankind, is very narrowly dispersed. It is common to assume that human progress affects everyone -- that even the dullest man, in these bright days, knows more than any man of, say, the Eighteenth Century, and is far more civilized. This assumption is quite erroneous. The men of the educated minority, no doubt, know more than their predecessors, and of some of them, perhaps, it may be said that they are more civilized -- though I should not like to be put to giving names -- but the great masses of men, even in this inspired republic, are precisely where the mob was at the dawn of history. They are ignorant, they are dishonest, they are cowardly, they are ignoble. They know little if anything that is worth knowing, and there is not the slightest sign of a natural desire among them to increase their knowledge.

Such immortal vermin, true enough, get their share of the fruits of human progress, and so they may be said, in a way, to have their part in it. The most ignorant man, when he is ill, may enjoy whatever boons and usufructs modern medicine may offer -- that is, provided he is too poor to choose his own doctor. He is free, if he wants to, to take a bath. The literature of the world is at his disposal in public libraries. He may look at works of art. He may hear good music. He has at hand a thousand devices for making life less wearisome and more tolerable: the telephone, railroads, bichloride tablets, newspapers, sewers, correspondence schools, delicatessen. But he had no more to do with bringing these things into the world than the horned cattle in the fields, and he does no more to increase them today than the birds of the air.

On the contrary, he is generally against them, and sometimes with immense violence. Every step in human progress, from the first feeble stirrings in the abyss of time, has been opposed by the great majority of men. Every valuable thing that has been added to the store of man's possessions has been derided by them when it was new, and destroyed by them when they had the power. They have fought every new truth ever heard of, and they have killed every truth-seeker who got into their hands.

The so-called religious organizations which now lead the war against the teaching of evolution are nothing more, at bottom, than conspiracies of the inferior man against his betters. They mirror very accurately his congenital hatred of knowledge, his bitter enmity to the man who knows more than he does, and so gets more out of life. Certainly it cannot have gone unnoticed that their membership is recruited, in the overwhelming main, from the lower orders -- that no man of any education or other human dignity belongs to them. What they propose to do, at bottom and in brief, is to make the superior man infamous -- by mere abuse if it is sufficient, and if it is not, then by law.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:04 AM
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So septimus by your love for that quote we are to understand that you like being able to think of yourself as part of the intellectual "betters" ... the elite who knows more, resented by "the great masses of men" a.k.a. the "vermin". Got it.

Meanwhile I think the op has it wrong when he shorthands it Northern and Southern:
Quote:
"The Northern Strategy": seek victory without even trying to convince the conservative demographic.
There is a definite argument to made for "The Northern Path", which accepts that Sunbelt states are likely not yet ripe to be picked and that the key states to invest most in are just a few states in question: PA, MI, WI in particular with maybe MN added in.

But a shoving Trump supporting conservatives as "Southern" as opposed to the enlightened folk of "Northern" abodes is really very misleading.

Rural v Urban is a bit less inaccurate with Southern states being more rural ... but even that fails. As does no college education v college educated ... even though that captures more of the divide. Highly religiously observant v secular? Nope, even though there is some trend.

Enlightened v ignorant? Arrogant elite v common working man and woman? No question that when one parses it as the former one is also indulging in the latter.

This does not btw mean that anti-intellectualism is not a real and even growing threat. It is. But placing "us" as the intellectually superior betters and "them" as the ignorant mob, the vermin, is an intellectually inferior train of thought. IMHO.

OF COURSE one should not waste ones breath on those who cannot be won over no matter how much effort you spend, just as it would be wasteful to spend lots of money on CA or NY. But it is a huge mistake to cede an entire demographic to the other side. Losing a demographic less poorly than you otherwise would can be the deciding factor in elections. Think in converse: if a GOP presidential nominee kept their other support but picked up Black share from 8 to 15%, well that's the election. You cannot cede to your opponent's strength; you have to try to undercut it ... but in ways that do not undermine your own strengths ... and that is a tricky thing.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:16 AM
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So septimus by your love for that quote we are to understand that you like being able to think of yourself as part of the intellectual "betters" ... the elite who knows more, resented by "the great masses of men" a.k.a. the "vermin". Got it.
Here are some Trump supporters. I feel intellectual superior to them. You don't, I guess. Got it.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:51 AM
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I am with Dseid where that quote is concerned. The campaign should not be one long self-congratulatory celebration of superiority over the vermin. The article is titled "Homo Neanderthalensis"- literally dehumanizing from the word go. If one group is really superior to the other, why do they behave like such jerks? Seems instantly self-contradictory to me.

A major cause of political turmoil these days is that the goodies are not evenly distributed. I got something of an education, and I worked hard for it, but if I had been born elsewhere I probably would not have. I was able to escape the Midwest and get to a place where I could find a decent job. Not everyone gets out of places where the jobs are drying up- those left behind end up poorer and probably pissed off. If I had been born a Hutu, I would probably hate the Tutsis.

For those if us lucky enough to be able to take a perspective above it all, well, a lot of it is luck. From this vantage, it is just wrong to take a side in Hutu vs Tutsi and help one kill off the other. No, the truly superior thing to do would be to help the whole lot of them escape the cycle of murderous madness.

Same with demagogued Trump supporters. Maybe they are ignorant/uneducated, but they are also having that ignorance taken advantage of by powerful forces. If all you can do is point and laugh and insult them, you aren't accomplishing anything. They need help, and the Mencken attitude is the opposite of helping.

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Old 03-03-2019, 11:03 AM
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I don't think the message I projected is so different from yours:

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But I'm not running for office, and I feel free to vent my ire against the sub-literates we allow to vote. While Mencken's invective, linked to above, is NOT the message we should project, I still appreciate his writing enough to quote the first few paragraphs:
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:28 AM
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It seems kind of twisty to at once admire dehumanizing sentiments and also not want to project them. Which is it?
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:03 PM
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... Don't forget that there were a good number of Obama-Trump voters. Those are the Trump voters worth chasing. And you want the Obama-stayed home ones back too, while keeping the Romney-Clinton ones.
This is the key in a nutshell and is why the idea of a "Northern Strategy" makes sense. If the future nominee of the Democratic party makes it their mission to keep the base while at the same time bringing back the Obama voters who stayed home in 2016 or went to Trump then this electoral map should not be too difficult for them in 2020.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:19 PM
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Here are some Trump supporters. I feel intellectual superior to them. You don't, I guess. Got it.
I feel intellectually superior to people who post blind links to youtube.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:59 PM
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Here are some Trump supporters. I feel intellectual superior to them. You don't, I guess. Got it.
So you self-identify as an elitist?

SPOILER:
Welcome to the club!
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:10 PM
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It seems kind of twisty to at once admire dehumanizing sentiments and also not want to project them. Which is it?
The attitude of some seems to be, "We know we're better than those Trumpers, but for the sake of elections let's not make them sense that."

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Old 03-03-2019, 01:21 PM
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This is the key in a nutshell ...
Nice avatar post combo!
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:46 PM
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Here are some Trump supporters. I feel intellectual superior to them. You don't, I guess. Got it.
Half of all Americans are below average. Hell almost all of us are below average on at least more than one dimension. Certainly I am. Personally I have great appreciation that I know more about some things and others know more about other thing. That which I am ignorant of will always exceed that about which I have great knowledge about. I happen to get better compensated for my knowledge base and skill set. Not complaining!

Am I better educated? Yes. Was I raised in an environment that did more to foster an open mind and intellectual curiosity? Probably. These are privileges I have.

Am I, by virtue of those privileges, being one of the "men of the educated minority", superior to the masses, one of "the betters"? No, of course not.

Again this in no way excuse willful and arrogant ignorance, especially when such is coupled with intolerance and lashing out at one or more "others." But I know quite a few who are well educated (men and women) and guilty of that. Some of the biggest idiots I know are very well educated idiots. (And they generally think they know much more than they do; they are fools and they consider themselves one of "the elite.")
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Old 03-03-2019, 02:01 PM
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In terms of total votes Hillary didn't do that much worse than Obama and trump didn't do that much better than Romney. We've got to remember to get the votes in the "right" places or come the morning after we will, once again, be asking ourselves "what the F happened".

It's that pesky Electoral College. And while I'm on that subject, just a brief aside. The EC is, at its core, based on the fundamental assumption that the votes of some of the people are, and ought to be, of greater value than the votes of others of the people. Now that's a perfectly defensible position to take, but you don't get to take it and call anybody else an "elitest" ever again.
  #22  
Old 03-03-2019, 03:16 PM
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The economic populist approach. Us v them is the easiest sale, and this approach just substitutes a different them. In this approach the them is the very wealthy who have gathered up disproportionate wealth and power, in reality not the 1%ers but the 0.1%ers. That leaves 99% plus as "us" to that small (but powerful) "them". This one works best if there is an explicit expression of empathy for the problem that the various members of "us" have. There is no question that several candidates will play that approach, even if few have the skill to pull off that last part of it.
Since this is a discussion of election strategy, I think it's not a hijack to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it. When I think of the wealthy elite, I think of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett; Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and the guys who founded Google; Michael Bloomberg, Jamie Dimon, Marianne Lake, and Robert Iger; and for that matter, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Peter Jackson. I think it's bizarre to demonise high achievers solely because they've pursued and achieved wealth, especially if they've created products or driven investments towards industries that have improved society. And I'm fairly sure that noone I've listed came from a billionaire family.

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. Suppose the Straight Dope had turned into some incredible combination of Quora, Reddit and Wikipedia. Would you be condemning the billionaire Ed Zotti on his Internet success?
  #23  
Old 03-03-2019, 05:12 PM
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Since this is a discussion of election strategy, I think it's not a hijack to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it.
...
<snip>
... However, to presume that high income earners are evil, simply because they succeed in the current capitalist system is ridiculous. Suppose the Straight Dope had turned into some incredible combination of Quora, Reddit and Wikipedia. Would you be condemning the billionaire Ed Zotti on his Internet success?
First off let's clarify that what is effective as an election strategy does not have to be what is "right" ... but let us assume we are not quite that cynical and want to not only win but to do it while also being right and fair.

An economic populist us v them does not need to demonize the group. It need to make the argument that their extreme and increasing disproportionate wealth and power is a problem. It should be noted that some of the extremely wealthy personally believe that as a group, as a class, they are being allowed to keep too much. Warren Buffet for example makes that case over and over again. Soros too.

The argument does not necessarily demonize the very wealthy as individuals or argue that they should not be generously rewarded by society, albeit not to the obscene degree that is the current state; it argues that the system which is rigged such that the very wealthy are becoming the black holes for wealth in our society, sucking it all in past its event horizon and leaving less and less wealth (and power) for everyone else, is a problem that must be addressed. Wealthy individuals are invited to agree out of informed self-interest for the good of the society overall. Many will so long as all other extremely wealthy individuals are also paying their fair shares without being allowed to cheat. Clearly not all will and those who actively fight against it are the ones who get demonized.

Mind you I think many of those who run the economic populist play DO demonize the wealthy as it is easier to do in a sound bite.
  #24  
Old 03-03-2019, 05:28 PM
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Here's my crazy election strategy:

1. get rid of the electoral college
2. get rid of dark money and gerrymandering
2. focus on independents, minorities, and women

The Republican Party has become, as far as I can tell, the American Fascism Party. They are not any more amenable to civic discourse than any other fascists.
  #25  
Old 03-04-2019, 08:16 AM
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First off let's clarify that what is effective as an election strategy does not have to be what is "right" ... but let us assume we are not quite that cynical and want to not only win but to do it while also being right and fair.

An economic populist us v them does not need to demonize the group. It need to make the argument that their extreme and increasing disproportionate wealth and power is a problem. It should be noted that some of the extremely wealthy personally believe that as a group, as a class, they are being allowed to keep too much. Warren Buffet for example makes that case over and over again. Soros too.

The argument does not necessarily demonize the very wealthy as individuals or argue that they should not be generously rewarded by society, albeit not to the obscene degree that is the current state; it argues that the system which is rigged such that the very wealthy are becoming the black holes for wealth in our society, sucking it all in past its event horizon and leaving less and less wealth (and power) for everyone else, is a problem that must be addressed. Wealthy individuals are invited to agree out of informed self-interest for the good of the society overall. Many will so long as all other extremely wealthy individuals are also paying their fair shares without being allowed to cheat. Clearly not all will and those who actively fight against it are the ones who get demonized.

Mind you I think many of those who run the economic populist play DO demonize the wealthy as it is easier to do in a sound bite.
Iím mostly agreeing with you.

Coincidentally, there was a feel-good article in the BBC website about two billionaires.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47301446

The two men are Australian, so their story isnít relevant to US elections, but it did remind me that there are similar stories throughout the US. One parallel success story is Dan Gilbert.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dan_Gilbert

There are similar stories of successful start-ups throughout the American Midwest. Hereís a sample from Forbes.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesm.../#7d6cacdd18cb

I donít know the politics of anyone mentioned, but the Democratic party should try to get these people, and their employees, onside, not shut them out with anti-rich or anti-business platforms.
  #26  
Old 03-04-2019, 09:29 AM
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The attitude of some seems to be, "We know we're better than those Trumpers, but for the sake of elections let's not make them sense that."
I don't want the thread to be some kind of trap where people get labelled as villains for this and that. I know when I was younger I was a lot more interested in questions like "I am smarter than this guy" or am I better at this or that. Now I am just not insecure much anymore and don't feel the need to pounce on every weakness as proof of my betterness.

Now, I think Trumpers really are misinformed about some important things. There has been what might as well be a misinformation campaign going back decades, and people who are steeped in it can't seem to see past it. This whole conspiracy theory about "liberals" to blame for every problem- how many people are really motivated by "liberalism"? C'mon. Liberals are just a handy catch all boogeyman and rhetorical device that makes it easy to skirt around the substance of any question. Liberals are to blame and always the answer. Simple.

That people are susceptible to this Could be viewed as evidence of inferiority, but what is the point? They may be misled but I don't think they are entirely to blame for that. There is a very good team of think tanks and so on that regularly update the bs they are fed. If we're looking for someone to denigrate and villainize, how about the people who spread all the bs? They are the ones taking advantage of people's ignorance and getting them all excited about imaginary enemies and distracting them from more concrete concerns... for the sake of tax cuts for the wealthy that will eventually cost all of us our Social Security and Medicare benefits. You want a villain? Look there.
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:34 PM
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Since this is a discussion of election strategy, I think it's not a hijack to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it. When I think of the wealthy elite, I think of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett; Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and the guys who founded Google; Michael Bloomberg, Jamie Dimon, Marianne Lake, and Robert Iger; and for that matter, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Peter Jackson. I think it's bizarre to demonise high achievers solely because they've pursued and achieved wealth, especially if they've created products or driven investments towards industries that have improved society. And I'm fairly sure that noone I've listed came from a billionaire family.

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. Suppose the Straight Dope had turned into some incredible combination of Quora, Reddit and Wikipedia. Would you be condemning the billionaire Ed Zotti on his Internet success?
This. This tendency by the left to vilify those who have achieved economic success is one of my biggest issues with the Democratic Party and (more commonly) my fellow members of said party and D politicians running for office. I 100% agree that those with high income should pay a higher amount of taxes. Although I am nowhere near rich or wealthy, by most measures we are within the top 5% when using our combined household income. Neither my wife nor I come from wealthy backgrounds. I consider myself a success story, I came from nothing and have done okay for myself and my family. First to get a college education (lots of loans), first to own a home, etc. I acknowledge I had opportunity that perhaps others do not. I also had the deck stacked against me and I think most people with a similar background do not achieve the same results. I am comfortable with the amount of taxes we pay as it is our obligation to society and I would not begrudge a reasonable increase in my taxes if necessary.

This rhetoric that those who have achieved success are evil, that they are immoral, etc., just turns me off in a very big way. I have a lot of friends from earlier in my life as well as current family who are still to this day Republican/Conservative and let me tell you they hear this rhetoric loud and clear. "Democrats hate people who achieve the American dream" is the message they take away. Whomever gets the D nomination this year had better have an economic populist message that can reach these people that can be reached (the former Obama voters in the rust belt?). If they fall back to the same old-same old then I fear we'll be subject to another term of President Trump.
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  #28  
Old 03-04-2019, 12:47 PM
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Here's my crazy election strategy:

1. get rid of the electoral college
Requires a constitutional amendment, which means it is dead in the water. The big hurdle is getting 38 states to sign on and that is just not ever likely to be feasible. Not in our lifetime and probably not in your grandkid's.

Your other proposals are either possible( if very difficult )or just strategy, which I don't entirely agree with, but certainly doable. But you're going to have to let the electoral college thing go because it is just not going to happen. Or don't and continue to agitate for change - just realize you're fighting for posterity and not something that will actually be implementable in your lifetime.

It's not a viable "win now" strategy.

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  #29  
Old 03-04-2019, 02:14 PM
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Requires a constitutional amendment, which means it is dead in the water.
There is an alternative, although considering how hard it has been just to get it to where it is, it probably won't get to the point where it is viable either.

There's even (at least) a SDMB thread about it
  #30  
Old 03-04-2019, 04:05 PM
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This. This tendency by the left to vilify those who have achieved economic success is one of my biggest issues with the Democratic Party and (more commonly) my fellow members of said party and D politicians running for office. I 100% agree that those with high income should pay a higher amount of taxes. Although I am nowhere near rich or wealthy, by most measures we are within the top 5% when using our combined household income. Neither my wife nor I come from wealthy backgrounds. I consider myself a success story, I came from nothing and have done okay for myself and my family. First to get a college education (lots of loans), first to own a home, etc. I acknowledge I had opportunity that perhaps others do not. I also had the deck stacked against me and I think most people with a similar background do not achieve the same results. I am comfortable with the amount of taxes we pay as it is our obligation to society and I would not begrudge a reasonable increase in my taxes if necessary.

This rhetoric that those who have achieved success are evil, that they are immoral, etc., just turns me off in a very big way. I have a lot of friends from earlier in my life as well as current family who are still to this day Republican/Conservative and let me tell you they hear this rhetoric loud and clear. "Democrats hate people who achieve the American dream" is the message they take away. Whomever gets the D nomination this year had better have an economic populist message that can reach these people that can be reached (the former Obama voters in the rust belt?). If they fall back to the same old-same old then I fear we'll be subject to another term of President Trump.
I've got no problem with folks being rich. I wish more people were rich. I think this would be a far better country if for every billionaire you had a thousand millionaires instead. But hey, paper your bathroom with hundred dollar bills. Fill a storage facility with every car you've ever wanted. Jump stark naked into a vat full of Roosevelt dimes. But when you start using your money to manipulate the political process to facilitate you making more money, I do have a problem with that and so should we all. And it doesn't help their cause when some of these folks are majorly Bondvillainesque.

I recognize that economic growth is not a zero-sum game but these days, thanks to the kind of behavior that I've described above, it sure seems like one.
  #31  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:29 PM
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Why is it always our side who has to be nice?

The gop is hostile to non whites, immigrants, non Christians, feminists, democrats, liberals, the non rich, etc.

They still get 60-65 million votes.

Why does our side have to be super nice? Will that actually matter?

Not all Trump voters are a lost cause. But most are. However the people on the fence can be brought over hopefully.

We don't need to win whites without college. We just need to lose them by smaller margins. If we can lose them by 30 points instead of 39 points, we will be much more competitive in the Midwest.
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  #32  
Old 03-06-2019, 01:56 PM
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This is a recipe for disaster. It's basically the same strategy Hillary used, and it cost her the election. Liberals need to get over this ridiculous notion that they are morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives. You're not, never have been, and never will be. People that disagree with you are not evil, stupid, or corrupt. They just disagree with you. You are not the sole arbiters of all that is right and just. This kind of smarmy, condescending crap is why your candidate lost in 2016. Repeat it, and Trump will get re-elected in 2020.
  #33  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:07 PM
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This is a recipe for disaster. It's basically the same strategy Hillary used, and it cost her the election. Liberals need to get over this ridiculous notion that they are morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives. You're not, never have been, and never will be. People that disagree with you are not evil, stupid, or corrupt. They just disagree with you. You are not the sole arbiters of all that is right and just. This kind of smarmy, condescending crap is why your candidate lost in 2016. Repeat it, and Trump will get re-elected in 2020.
Sean Hannity and the RNC thank you for fully buying into their propaganda about liberals and Democrats.
  #34  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:09 PM
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Sean Hannity and the RNC thank you for fully buying into their propaganda about liberals and Democrats.
Bullshit. This is probably the dumbest thing posted here today. Why must you attack any dissenting voice?
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:29 PM
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This kind of smarmy, condescending crap is why your candidate lost in 2016. Repeat it, and Trump will get re-elected in 2020.
For many of us, this argument is akin to an abusive partner saying "why do you make me do this?"
I realize this may sound like an exaggeration or hyperbole. It's not. It's a decent representation of how I feel, and an even better representation of how more vulnerable people than me feel.
Since you, Oakminster, are asking for empathy and recognition for your point of view, I thought I would return the favor. We who view Trump as an extreme danger don't think we're stupid, or hysterical, or whatever. Many of us view opposition to Trump as, at least in part, basic self-preservation. And telling us that complaining will lead to (what we see as) more abuse is the opposite of a convincing argument To us, it just proves the point.
So if you want respect, give it -- please.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:34 PM
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We who view Trump as an extreme danger don't think we're stupid, or hysterical, or whatever.
I didn't say you were. Hell, I despise Trump, and have posted so here frequently. I did say the OP's strategy is not good. It will lose.
  #37  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:34 PM
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Bullshit. This is probably the dumbest thing posted here today. Why must you attack any dissenting voice?
So when you made a sweeping negative statement about millions of Americans who identify as liberal, that's fine and dandy... But a single criticism of your post (and a TV blowhard and political committee), that's over the line?
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:43 PM
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So when you made a sweeping negative statement about millions of Americans who identify as liberal, that's fine and dandy... But a single criticism of your post (and a TV blowhard and political committee), that's over the line?
I did nothing of the kind. Re-read my first post. I said you are not morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives--this thread is full of assertions to the contrary. Also said that people that disagree with you are not evil, stupid, or corrupt. And I said that this sort of smarmy condescending crap lost the 2016 election, and may lose the 2020 election.
  #39  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:46 PM
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I did nothing of the kind. Re-read my first post. I said you are not morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives--this thread is full of assertions to the contrary. Also said that people that disagree with you are not evil, stupid, or corrupt. And I said that this sort of smarmy condescending crap lost the 2016 election, and may lose the 2020 election.
You implied that this is something liberals, as a group, believe. If you only meant some non zero amount of liberals, then okay, but that's such a trivial and meaningless statement that it could apply to any group.
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Old 03-06-2019, 02:50 PM
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You implied that this is something liberals, as a group, believe. If you only meant some non zero amount of liberals, then okay, but that's such a trivial and meaningless statement that it could apply to any group.
No I fucking did not. Stop putting words in my mouth. Stop "implying" I said any goddamn thing beyond what I actually fucking typed and posted.
  #41  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:52 PM
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I didn't say you were. Hell, I despise Trump, and have posted so here frequently. I did say the OP's strategy is not good. It will lose.
My apologies for misreading your comment -- and not remembering your history of opposing Trump. My memory for names is bad enough -- add usernames, I'm often at sea.
I think, however, you are misreading the OP's strategy. (Or am I?) It may be rooted in disagreement with or even contempt for the ideas of Trumpists, but the OP was pretty explicit about how important it was not to alienate them and people who sympathize with any of their ideology. Like:
Quote:
Point is, the Dems could have the better information, the smarter policies, the right answers for what ails America and still lose by pushing people away, even people who basically agree with them. Wrenching Spanners was right on this point- "punching down" or generally being derisive of the opposition can make you very, very ugly. It can make you lose.
It seems to me that this is along the lines of your criticism. So I don't get the hostility towards the OP, unless talking shit about Trump on a message board is enough to "bring the pain."
Anyway, glad you despise Trump -- hope you are committed to voting Democratic in 2020, because he's unlikely to be removed from office before then. Power to the people!
  #42  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:03 PM
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It seems to me that this is along the lines of your criticism. So I don't get the hostility towards the OP, unless talking shit about Trump on a message board is enough to "bring the pain."
Anyway, glad you despise Trump -- hope you are committed to voting Democratic in 2020, because he's unlikely to be removed from office before then. Power to the people!
My criticism is that the OP, at least as I read it, is supporting Clinton's losing strategy of playing to the coasts and urban centers while ignoring "flyover country" and the South, and dragging the Dems to the extreme left.

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.

I'm largely irrelevant in national politics. I voted Libertarian in 2016 because Trump and Clinton are both horrible people who do not deserve to be POTUS. If whoever the Dems nominate supports gun control, they forfeit my vote. Trump will not get my vote. I'll likely write myself in, or pick another 3rd Party.
  #43  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:09 PM
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The Trumpists today (as a subset of "conservatives") remind me of a crowd of people busily stoning someone to death for being "the devil". And while they do that, they moan, and complain that they are the ones suffering here, because all that stone-throwing is causing dust to float around, and someone got a bit of grit in their eye.

You can't convince someone that your party will make their economic lives better when they know, KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are a child-kidnapping devil who hates America and wants to destroy the county.

You can't convince someone to vote for you when they have been told by the highest authority possible that you and your party actively want to kill newly born babies. They know this is true, because they have been told this. By the president. By the highest authority in the land, who they believe has been PERSONALLY chosen by GOD HIMSELF to lead.

These are the Trumpers. You can't talk to them. They are beyond all hope or reason. And there are a LOT of them. Fox News is actively creating more of them as we sit here typing.

What to do? Ignore them at your peril.
  #44  
Old 03-06-2019, 04:48 PM
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No I fucking did not. Stop putting words in my mouth. Stop "implying" I said any goddamn thing beyond what I actually fucking typed and posted.
You said "Liberals need to get over this ridiculous notion that they are morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives."

So that's millions of your fellow Americans, including me and many other Dopers, that you're accusing of believing that we "are morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives". These are your words, and they're a sweeping negative statement about millions of Americans, and I think such statements are worth criticizing.

Your exact words. If I'm interpreting them wrong, feel free to correct me. But when you use words like "liberals" without qualifiers, then it's entirely reasonable to assume that you're talking about the group of millions of Americans who identify as liberal. If I say "conservatives believe X", then it's entirely reasonable to believe that I'm saying that this group of millions of Americans believe X. That's why I generally don't use such sweeping statements, and try to only criticize the statements of individuals.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 03-06-2019 at 04:49 PM.
  #45  
Old 03-06-2019, 07:12 PM
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For all the publicity surrounding AOC, she would not get elected dog catcher anywhere in the South or Midwest.
Well, maybe Florida.
  #46  
Old 03-06-2019, 07:28 PM
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Why is it always our side who has to be nice?

The gop is hostile to non whites, immigrants, non Christians, feminists, democrats, liberals, the non rich, etc.

They still get 60-65 million votes.

Why does our side have to be super nice?
I feel basically the same way whenever I hear whining about how we need to make sure not to offend the delicate sensibilities of the angry white male. I think the reason is basically two fold.

1) Since we are still a majority white country, unlike the Republicans who can win with only whites, we can't win without whites. So while they can offend all the groups you mentioned and still win so long as they win enough whites, we can't offend all whites and still win.

2) As the party of multiculturalism, it is in our nature to view all different cultures as having value with the hope that if we all just understood each other we would have a kumbaya moment where we could all get along. So when there is a conflict we tend to blame ourselves for just not being understanding enough. For the Republicans if there is a conflict the solution is to hit back harder. Now as the Republicans, and Trump in particular, have become more and more vitriolic, our attitude has started to change. You can only turn the other cheek so much before you start striking back. But I think there still is the under current that its not the Republicans fault that they are the way they are, we just didn't treat them right. This means that going to far on the attack might start hurting us with our base. Sort of like asking how come Democratic politicians can sleep with members of their own sex but Republican politicians can't.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 03-06-2019 at 07:31 PM.
  #47  
Old 03-06-2019, 08:01 PM
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My criticism is that the OP, at least as I read it, is supporting Clinton's losing strategy of playing to the coasts and urban centers while ignoring "flyover country" and the South, and dragging the Dems to the extreme left.
The trouble is, "extreme left" has changed definition in the past decade.

Extreme left now means:
- someone who feels that it is a bad thing that the government deported almost 500 people, while keeping their children. And then such poor records were kept that the government does not even know where these children are. It's "extreme left" to disagree with that.

- Someone who thinks that it's important to investigate whether or not Russia interfered with a national election. Putin is now our friend, and it's "Extreme Leftism" to say anything otherwise.

-Someone who thinks that healthcare should be available to all citizens, and that one should not go bankrupt to fill the coffers of a for-profit healthcare system.

These things are now EXTREME LEFT.


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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.
.
You are certainly correct. Part of that is because she is EXTREME LEFT, and thinks that people deserve better. This is dangerous thinking. But there is ANOTHER reason why she would not be elected in many areas of the south or midwest. Can you think of what this would be? Hint- it does not reflect well on the moral integrity of the voters in these areas.
  #48  
Old 03-06-2019, 08:04 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
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Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
This is a recipe for disaster. It's basically the same strategy Hillary used, and it cost her the election. Liberals need to get over this ridiculous notion that they are morally, intellectually, or otherwise superior to conservatives. You're not, never have been, and never will be. People that disagree with you are not evil, stupid, or corrupt. They just disagree with you. You are not the sole arbiters of all that is right and just. This kind of smarmy, condescending crap is why your candidate lost in 2016. Repeat it, and Trump will get re-elected in 2020.
But, in many ways liberals are morally superior.

Medicare, medicaid and social security is morally superior to letting the people suffer without a safety net.

Abolition of child labor is morally superior to child labor

Abolition of slavery is morally superior to slavery

Feminism is morally superior to locking people into traditional gender roles

Treating LGBTQ with dignity and respect is morally superior to oppression of them

etc.

Liberals, generally, believe in protecting minority groups from the majority, and in protecting disadvantaged groups. That is morally superior to what the right wants to do which is at best, let them suffer and at worst, be the cause of their suffering.

Granted on the right they feel morally superior for their own reasons (usually abortion and religion).

But moral relativism is bullshit. Saying slavery, racism and oppression of gays is wrong is not an equal moral value with supporting slavery, racism and oppression of gays.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 03-06-2019 at 08:05 PM.
  #49  
Old 03-06-2019, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Try2B Comprehensive View Post
In a lot of ways, the best way to help conservatives is to ignore them. Let them scream bloody murder about how socialist higher taxes on the wealthy are, how Soviet to provide health insurance. The obvious fact is that they don't understand the issues, their heads have been filled with false fears because that serves the interests of the wealthy. Their lives and the prospects for the country's, and the world's, future will be better under sensible public policy, uncompromised by a bunch of hysterical nonsense.
My bold. I like it.

But I do not think it is possible for anyone with bold public policy ideas to reach people who reflexively dislike big government programs, no matter how tactfully presented. Fortunately I think anti-Trump sentiment combined with climate change and health care concerns overcomes this group, and delivers the bulk of the unaffiliated voters to the Democrat side. JMO.

/independent
  #50  
Old 03-06-2019, 11:32 PM
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Meanwhile I think the op has it wrong when he shorthands it Northern and Southern:

There is a definite argument to made for "The Northern Path", which accepts that Sunbelt states are likely not yet ripe to be picked and that the key states to invest most in are just a few states in question: PA, MI, WI in particular with maybe MN added in.

But a shoving Trump supporting conservatives as "Southern" as opposed to the enlightened folk of "Northern" abodes is really very misleading.

Rural v Urban is a bit less inaccurate with Southern states being more rural ... but even that fails. As does no college education v college educated ... even though that captures more of the divide. Highly religiously observant v secular? Nope, even though there is some trend.

Enlightened v ignorant? Arrogant elite v common working man and woman? No question that when one parses it as the former one is also indulging in the latter.

This does not btw mean that anti-intellectualism is not a real and even growing threat. It is. But placing "us" as the intellectually superior betters and "them" as the ignorant mob, the vermin, is an intellectually inferior train of thought. IMHO.
Yeah. I only called it that to echo Nixon's Southern Strategy. Really it is Trumpers and the rest of the R base that we are going to stop taking seriously. It doesn't have anything to do with geography or other demographic factors, real or ad hominem. It is because some people's ideas are so consistently and demonstrably crappy.
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Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners View Post
Since this is a discussion of election strategy, I think it's not a hijack to discuss the demonisation of the wealthy, and to disagree with it. When I think of the wealthy elite, I think of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett; Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison, and the guys who founded Google; Michael Bloomberg, Jamie Dimon, Marianne Lake, and Robert Iger; and for that matter, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Peter Jackson. I think it's bizarre to demonise high achievers solely because they've pursued and achieved wealth, especially if they've created products or driven investments towards industries that have improved society. And I'm fairly sure that noone I've listed came from a billionaire family.
Right. Me, I'm not an "eat the rich" kind of guy. We need to look at revenues as well as expenditures and ask if we can bring them into better balance, and where the money can come from. To focus exclusively on cutting spending as the only deficit solution is a demonstrably misleading view and slated for indifference.

However, when it comes to discussing policy I would take wealthy republicans more seriously than maybe any of the rest. They're the most likely to benefit from tax cuts, and so they aren't either fooled or being paid by wealthy people to say they support that. And obviously all wealthy people aren't republicans, or even nefarious. But this idea that tax cuts for the wealthy will increase revenues has been debunked by precedent three times now, each example farther down the wrong direction on the Laffer curve than the last, and only remains relevant because of propaganda. I predict a high degree of indifference to this defense of tax cuts this cycle.
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Originally Posted by Wesley Clark View Post
Why is it always our side who has to be nice?

The gop is hostile to non whites, immigrants, non Christians, feminists, democrats, liberals, the non rich, etc.

They still get 60-65 million votes.

Why does our side have to be super nice? Will that actually matter?

Not all Trump voters are a lost cause. But most are. However the people on the fence can be brought over hopefully.

We don't need to win whites without college. We just need to lose them by smaller margins. If we can lose them by 30 points instead of 39 points, we will be much more competitive in the Midwest.
I don't mind exploring the idea that this Northern Strategy is actually a bad idea. That's part of why I posted it. But, I am not approaching this as being "super nice". I think of it as indifference. Trumpers especially and most republicans are simply not reachable voters. Have you noticed real-life conservatives talking about politics like they're spam bots, spouting a lot of nonsense and dominating a conversation and not responding to or really even accepting demonstrably relevant and factual evidence? I have. People really do just repeat what the angry man on the TV says.

I don't see the point in adopting their fallacious and abusive tactics (did you read those Mencken articles? Isn't that guy a total asshole?). They have to do that, their platform is so shot that they are never going to win on policy and need demagoguery. Trump lies constantly (not to mention acting funny around Putin) and is mostly defended by the entire GOP caucus. I have to conclude that the GOP is not sincere, and therefore I am not going to take them seriously, nor am I going to waste my energy and good faith trying to win their votes. The discussion is with the D base and last election's non-voters. (unless I change my mind, this thread is pretty new)

That probably won't seem very nice. I think it will make some of them madder than an Alabama black guy during Nixon's Southern Strategy campaign. But I promote indifference to that, and anyway messing with their feelings is not the point. Honesty is the point. 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. Conservatives can listen if they want. I won't care if people are poor, or Midwestern, or white or not, or country or urban, or even smart or not. I think there are common intellectual tools that just about anyone can use to separate fact from nonsense, yet conservatives seem committed to false and fallacious nonsense. So let 'em talk to each other, I'm not going to bother.

Ironically, I'm on their side more than the people they vote for, as I don't want to take advantage of anyone through public policy.
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