The Comfortable Classes Remain Comfortable

I’m constantly reminded of the comfortable classes because of my personal situation. I’m a working class guy, but I live in a prosperous middle class town of middle class professionals. I see these people every day on my job and I visit my parents’ middle class neighborhood on a regular basis.

The world of these comfortable people has remained unchanged since Trump was elected. In fact, their world hasn’t changed much in their entire lives, unless they’re old enough to have lived through World War II. Even the 2008 recession didn’t have a major impact on most who were economically well off, other than maybe taking a hit in the stock market.

The Iowa Republicans took away bargaining rights of unions, but most comfortable people aren’t in unions (as I am; because of this change, I can now be laid off for no reason and with no notice). If the Republicans dismantle Obamacare, it won’t effect most comfortable people who already have good insurance from their employers or that they can afford on their own. And Trump’s childcare plan would actually benefit many of these comfortable people, as “70 percent of the benefits go to people making over $100,000 a year” (PolitiFact).

Most of them aren’t Muslims who will be targeted or immigrants who will be deported. Most of them didn’t grow up in poverty and so they have no family and friends that are still in poverty. The majority of them are white, US-born citizens who have spent their entire lives economically secure, maybe not always rich but comfortable. It’s all they’ve known and it is all they assume they will ever know.

They have little to fear, in any fundamental way. For most of them, their lives will go on as before. They will still be employed with good pay and good benefits. Everything happening in politics is simply melodrama to them. It might make them feel a bit anxious, but it has no personal reality to them. And if it ever does get bad enough, most have the means and opportunity to get citizenship and employment in other countries, as one person recently admitted to me. They won’t be going down with the ship and so they have no reason to fight as if their life depended on it. The lifeboats will be reserved for them.

Part of why this is possible is that over this past century, the US has become a highly segregated society. Most Americans in the upper classes (including upper middle class) and the lower classes literally live in different worlds. This has happened because of suburbs, bedroom communities, gated communities, gentrification, etc.

A large part of the population lives around people who share the same class, race, ideology, and party affiliation. This is particularly true for the comfortable upper classes who can afford to buy into expensive communities that isolate them from the rest of society. And the town I live in is a fairly expensive, especially for housing (a large part of my paycheck goes to rent alone, which I can afford only by not owning  a car).

These comfortable people live in nice houses that are located in nice neighborhoods and nice communities. They send their kids to good schools, either well-funded public schools or well-funded private schools. They attend wealthy churches, their local infrastructure is maintained, their kids don’t have high rates of lead toxicity, and they have nice parks to visits. Life is good for them and will continue to be good for the foreseeable future.

Trump and the GOP are annoying. But none of this is a personal threat, at least not for now. When these comfortable people begin to feel seriously uncomfortable, then they will all of a sudden start caring about the public good and societal wellbeing, assuming they don’t simply escape so as to leave the problem for others to deal with. Until then, they can’t or won’t understand. In fact, they have a vested interest in not understanding.

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99 thoughts on “The Comfortable Classes Remain Comfortable

  1. “After WWII, psychologists were keen on analyzing why normal people (like German citizens) were so willing to follow nasty dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. Adorno developed the F-scale), or Fascism scale, to help define the personality traits. The research has advanced much since then, and long-time participants on this sub will groan because I will yet again mention Altemeyer’s work (PDF warning) on this topic.
    Authoritarian followers exhibit three main behaviors:
    submission to authority – authoritarian followers grovel and fawn before their chosen leaders. The leader can do no wrong, everything the leader says is correct.
    aggression in the name of authority – authoritarian followers are for some reason more eager to aggress against members of the targeted out-group when their leaders call for such action.
    conventionalism – authoritarian followers abhor deviations from established social norms. Conforming to them ensures the in-group is well-defined.
    Research has shown that ardent followers have greater trouble with formal logic and spotting fallacies than the general population; engage in stark moral reasoning (everything is black and white); tend to ignore, discount, or deflect evidence that disagrees with their world-view, especially if it is critical of their leader. Cognitive dissonance and compartmentalized thinking are also common symptoms. Authoritarians are exceptionally good at fooling themselves.
    A lot of this can be traced back to tribalism and fear of a dangerous world. Isolated communities of a single culture or ethnicity are hotbeds for this type of behavior, whereas more urban areas with a healthy mix of cultures and ethnicities tend to minimize it. Exposure to different people in higher education has also been found to be a factor reducing authoritarianism, not the “Marxist” professors.
    The leader offers and represents social strength and unity, from which followers derive a sense of pride, belonging, and safety. The moral clarity and lack of ambiguity means there’s no sweating the little stuff. All of this makes authoritarian followers a little happier than the general population, hence the appeal.”

    [–]PerfectSocietyAnarchist, Participatory Economics 2 points 17 days ago
    Any stats on what proportion of the human population falls into “fascist-inclined” category so to speak?
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    [–]mentatmookie 3 points 17 days ago
    It varies a lot, but often in response to events. Social upheaval especially when accompanied by violence encourages distraught citizens to seek out a strong leader to fly in and save the day. There is some relation to personal violence in childhood and authoritarianism later in life as well. Because isolated, rural areas are so much better an environment for the required conformity, I would think some proportion of that in a country would be a good indication of the percentage of people strongly-inclined to authoritarianism.
    Altemeyer’s books have some figures, though they might be too old to be relevant – they were written before 9/11. The PDF link might have some.
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    [–]SomeAsshatOnTheWebsSpace Expansionist 1 point 16 days ago
    This, when I was going through a lot of adversity in my life I definitely had a “I SHALL CLEANSE THE EARTH AND RIGHT HUMANITY’S PATH TO THE STARS” and “PURGE THE FILTH” type of thinking going on but now that I’m a bit more comfy I’ve definitely calmed down. Honestly I’m starting to develop some more authoritarian sympathies now just as a kneejerk disgust reaction to the crazy shit going on now.

    • I’m not worried about the minority of poor rural whites turning to authoritarianism. What really fucks up a society is when the liberal class turns to authoritarianism, as happened in Nazi Germany. Once that happens, it is game over because those people have immense resources and influence. In a society like ours, everyone is carrying around a lot of stress and trauma. The moment the comfortable begin to feel slightly uncomfortable they become highly prone to authoritarian measures justified on maintaining or regaining social order.

  2. Convincing someone to change a position requires that you truly understand what is motivating them. There’s a reason, for instance, that most of Hillary Clinton’s attacks on Trump, during the election, fell flat even though she wasn’t wrong. She was essentially talking to HERSELF, what would convince HER – not what would convince people who were leaning toward Trump. It wasn’t the policies – more progressive policies than hers test overwhelmingly positively with voters. But if you don’t speak people’s language, you won’t win.

    • These people still don’t understand. BGH, from the other post, is a case in point. He is so caught up in his ideas about the world that he can’t even see what concerns so many of his fellow citizens. He can’t comprehend why the majority of Americans, not just ‘rednecks’, disagree with people like him and Clinton. It’s a total disconnect.

  3. I’m going to be the first person here to say: expect to be spammed by angry leftists hollering that The Democrats aren’t left wing, I’ll elaborate in an edit after this.
    EDIT:
    The “Left” (really they vast array of Socialists and Communists who believe that Leftism can only be Socialism or Communism) has fundamentally given up any attempt to organize or act along sane lines except when it comes to destruction and tearing things down: they’ve essentially decided they are not going act, no matter what political gain they can get from a situation, because the situation is not already made for them in such a way that all they have to do is take credit.
    Take Bernie Sanders, Democrats first tentative steps towards “Socialism”, but the vast majority of far leftists on this Sub, I feel, would say that none of what he did matters because he wasn’t waving a hammer and sickle around and hollering about how he was going to destroy Capitalism. They don’t care about The Democratic Party’s impending implosion and just what is going to fill the void it left, because in their mind The Democrats “are not Left Wing” and so even though the opportunity is there for them to theorize a decent enough Left Wing replacement to The Democratic Party, they wont act because The Replacement is not already there.
    In a sense they do not care about whether you’d vote “blue” or “red” because they have already in a sense completely given up on politics, they eagerly await some Socialist “Revolution”, some even think its an inevitability, yet they never seem to care about progressing things from point A to point Z, instead they feel that since A is not Z, then they can ignore progressing along from B through Y because they simply expect people to reach “point Z” on their own.
    It’s also why The Far-Right, online “Alt-Right” groups are running circles around them. They’re in a sense out-memeing them, they’re actually getting involved in politics and in spite of people screeching that Trump is a “Jew Puppet” or that Milo Yiannopolus is/was a “filthy racemixing faggot” they at least realize that they are valuable to “the cause” as it were.
    That’s simply because The Right knows what it means to be ideologically persecuted in The Modern West, The Left have been so institutionally privileged, in Western Society, that they do not grasp any kind of Political Complexity or tactics. Whilst The Left throws resources away like they’re candy, The Right has learned to act according to scarcity and have emerged smarter for it.
    In short: don’t expect any response you’d want from The Left other than “Democrats/Progressives are not really Left Wing.”
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    [–]PatronaughtOpposed to the Capitalist Murder Cult 3 points 14 days ago
    Bernie Sanders wasn’t “tentative step towards socialism”, he was an appropriation of the term. His actual policies are no different than FDR.

  4. Degenerates, Communists, and The Left make Fascists.
    That’s what I absolutely adore: the utter idiocy and inability to avoid the same mistakes over and fucking over again. People have gotten so obsessed with painting Hitler as the Ultimate Evil and obscuring any actual in-depth analysis of his Rise To Power that even the same people who whine about being “doomed to repeat history” are ironically dooming history to repetition.
    Firstly the Communists: they go out of their way to hurt as many people as humanly possible and get giddy at human misery, period. We have quotes of Lenin celebrating the fact that his “fellow” Russians were dying of famine because it would weaken the Tsar’s grip and get people to abandon their faith in their King and Country. We have Peter Hitchens admitting when he was a Trotskyite that his and his companions constant haranguing for more immigrants wasn’t out of any kind of “solidarity”, but rather the desire to see his country and the traditional institutions within it destroyed.
    You even have people on this very subreddit admitting that they support mass-immigration ultimately to undermine the electoral process by getting a horde of voters in to blindly pass whatever the fuck they want.
    Then you have the violence. Communists in Spain murdered innocent Catholics, they killed civilians and butchered businessmen. In Germany they launched a bloody “revolution” at the worst possible moment, thereby ensuring that Germany was that much more weaker at the bargaining table.
    Germany is honestly the most ironic example, given we’ve got this idiotic narrative pushed by anti-fascists that Hitler was essentially “unopposed” in his rise, as if he could say whatever the fuck he wanted and no one would raise their voice: in truth their predecessors, the various red militias in Germany, were wreaking enough habit and threatening him enough that the SA could form fairly easily, and the narrative of the omnipresent “red menace”, the violent thugs seeking to destroy Germany, was only reinforced.
    And so today you have the far-right rising again; though unlike what the whining left says so far, they aren’t fascist–at least not yet.
    Fascism is ultimately born when the humiliation, the degeneration, the utter soulless materialism and corruption grows too much for society and it needs an intensive chemo treatment in the form of a dictator.
    As for the rise of the alt-right, which is Fascism-lite in my opinion, all you have to do is simply look at the news and come to understand that a not-insignificant group of White Men realized that they had to argue for their peoples continued existence.
    The media successfully painted a narrative that White men are evil, and whilst that might be fine for non-whites, many Whites realized that their government has been acting in the best interest of this amorphous blob called “The Nation” rather than simply for “The White Race”, and in fact has been catering to Non-Whites for decades in spite of those various minority group’s continued failure to reach economic parity with Whites.
    Not only that, but The Left is quite honestly the most institutionally privileged “group” (for lack of a better term) in The West: their radicals can attempt to murder people with no legal ramifications, they can destroy property, they can ruin peoples lives and laugh at it whilst being lauded as heroes while their moderates can spew their disgusting ideology on the news, in the classroom, and at work without having to fear the slightest ramification.
    Let me ask everyone here why the fuck would anyone want to be some meek little “Conservative” or “Republican” in this environment? If you’re moderate you’ll be met with violence, expelled, called Racist, Fascist, be humiliated, and if you raise your voice the same institutions which privilege The Left will try to annihilate you.
    It reminds me of an old story in the death throes of the Qing Empire: essentially two generals would be late to a meeting due to flooding. One general turned to the other and asked “What’s the penalty for being late?” “Death.” Replied his peer. The first general pondered for a moment and asked, “What’s the penalty for rebellion?” “Death.” His peer replied again, and so they weighed their option and decided rebellion was the better choice.
    The Left expects The Right to be smeared as hate mongers, as pure evil, to be willingly attacked, to have no sense of job, social, or educational security, and to do all that while being bashed for not grovelling enough… and then its shocked when The Right turns to fascism.
    Can anyone provide any decent fucking argument for why Whites shouldn’t turn to racial identarianism and race-based hatred? Can anyone provide any single reason why anyone on The Right should give a fuck about Fascism?
    “Democracy”? The Left undermined it for centuries, it decided it wasn’t going to work for votes, just drag in a bunch of minorities and give them free shit. You have people on this sub openly admitting that.
    “Equality”? That quite honestly just means chasing the last white person down and murdering them.
    “Treat others the way you wish to be treated”? Why is that always used as a one-way street? Blacks have been howling for blood constantly. Muslims murder people out in the streets. The Left has been treating The Right, even the moderate right, as Satan, and then they sputter and claim that The Right should treat others the way they want to be treated because…? Are we meant to imply that they have been treating us as not the way they wished to be treated themselves?
    “Because its Fascism”? Fascism, Racism, Sexism, these words have been abused so-fucking much that Racism means anything from telling a Black chick her hair is curly to lynching blacks in the 60s, what’s the worst that can happen if someone actually becomes a Fascist? They’re a “double-fascist”?
    The Far-Right is on the rise, and The Left has thankfully wrapped a noose around their own neck.
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    [–]WhoIsPeterBot 1 point 15 days ago
    Who?
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    • The far right isn’t on the rise. Trump is strangling it in the crib through his incompetence and the GOP’s overreach. That isn’t to say the far right couldn’t all of a sudden seize power, but it probably wouldn’t be because most of the population supports it. Far right authoritarians don’t wait around hoping to gain majority public support.

  5. I feel like looking at altright too much is distorting my reality. Like I’m seeing greater ethnonationalism and race based tribalism than is actually the.m case

    • That kind of thing can distort your views. Alt-righters are extremely vocal. It makes them appear larger than they are, especially with Bannon in power and the corporate media suddenly giving them attention. But they aren’t even the majority of those on the political right, much less in the entire country. Just remind yourself that most Americans are to the left of Democrats on many major issues.

    • In the US, there isn’t any clear distinction between (right-)libertarians and the alt-right. They are just two labels that the same kind of person uses. It’s like how some people identify as liberal or progressive. Same difference, as few people use labels with any precision. Besides, there is so little agreement about what these labels refer to.

    • That is impressive when you consider the massive population that lives in Chicago. But it’s not exactly shocking. Cities on average have lower homicide rates than rural areas, in terms of per capita. It’s just rural areas are smaller populations.

    • What is this constant haranguing of Assange as a Russian agent or as Anti-American. For one, he isn’t and never has been a US citizen. Besides, Wikileaks has released info on other countries as well. The only reason the US has any greater relevance than those other countries is that the US government has so much power and influence over the entire world, more power and influence than any empire in history. Why would Wikileaks refuse to release info given to them about the US? As far as I know, they simply release what info is given them.

    • “I agree, but I also think there’s a valid point in saying Hillary spent her entire career getting shit on by the press and everyone, and her steeled resolve was effective at keeping her from being personally insulted by Trump, but not enough to get fence sitters and “she’ll win, anyway” types out to the polls.
      I’d guess she has a quite fiery resolve, even, considering her tenure as Sec. of State, but decades of being called a harpy predisposed them to being soft. Great against policy people, great against someone like Cruz maybe, not great against a man with no shame.”

      I personally think the Democrats trope that ‘we lost because we’re so niiice’ that they’ve been dragging out the last 20 years is tired. Trump was agressive, yes. But it what he was doing was considerably more sophisticated than just being aggressive.
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      [–]pilot3033 47 points 4 days ago
      See, I don’t know if it was sophisticated, though. It’s the debate style my sister employed as a 7-year old which was to just scream louder and always try and get the last word.
      In the video in the article, there’s a moment that illustrates this and another point I was going to make. Trump kept harping on this idea of manufacturing when nothing he said had a basis in reality, but it “felt right.” Hillary never really took those words head-on, I can’t recall a moment where she said, “no, the real problem is increased automation compounded by outsourcing and here’s my plan to keep people working.”
      She was trying to out qualify him when she needed a multi-pronged approach.
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      [–]amaxen[S] 36 points 3 days ago
      The guy seemed plastic and corporate and shifty. The Gal came across as a real person. A lot of that is body language. In fact, there was some studies done somewhere where subjects were able to predict 90% of the winners of debates without the audio on.

  6. I have no issue with effeminate guys lol. Not put off by it when dealing with it. If anything I lot of effeminate guys are chill. Though I don’t find it sexually attractive, but I also don’t find macho attractive either.

    “[–]IKilledLauraPalmer 1 point 3 days ago
    I was particularly struck by the post-performance discussions about effeminacy. People felt that the male version of Clinton was feminine, and that that was bad.
    I feel like this was the most complicated part of the story. It’s not sexism in the obvious sense–looking female or male–but it may be the behaviors that are the source oft he sexism. People don’t like the way the woman is. I don’t know to feel better or worse about this, but it is problematic.
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    [–]damadamagoyolur 12 points 3 days ago
    Keep in mind they don’t like the way this particular woman is, to extrapolate that as a dislike of women kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing.
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    [–]Ekaterinburg 2 points 3 days ago
    What they didn’t like was the man acting in a feminine manner, I think. And I had the same impression, as I instinctively have everyday when I deal with effeminate men – it’s just spontaneously disturbing and infuriating in a sense.
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    [–]IKilledLauraPalmer 2 points 3 days ago
    Yes, this is the point I was trying to make.
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    [–]Ekaterinburg 1 point 3 days ago
    I think I answered the wrong comment :/
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    [–]IKilledLauraPalmer -2 points 3 days ago
    Maybe, but read the quote. The audience said they had a problem with how “feminine” the actor was. That’s the part I find problematic. The perception of femininity is the bad part. Is this why lot of people are bullish for Warren? She is much more aggressive. Less what is traditionally thought of as feminine in her sometimes fiery demeanor.
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    [–]Infammo 7 points 3 days ago
    I feel like this is the switch-a-roo that often comes up when men are shown to be disadvantaged. If there’s a stigma against women doing something it’s misogynistic because women are unfairly restricted. If there’s a stigma against men doing something it’s misogynistic because the behavior is associated with women and therefore implies women are inferior. It seems like the narrative gets restructured in order to arrive at the conclusion of being sexist against women.
    If this experiment had gone the way they expected it to and the female Trump came off as an obnoxious bully, nobody would be saying how misandric it is because of the negative perception of masculine traits.
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    [–]funwiththoughts 1 point 3 days ago
    If we were just guessing why people hated the male Hillary even more than the real thing, then I would agree with you. The thing is, in this case, many audience members specifically cited the male Hillary being “effeminate” as one of the reasons why they found him offputting.”

    • I’m not sure why an effeminate guy would bother me. Living in a college town, a guy acting effeminate isn’t exactly a big deal. Things like that don’t seem all that relevant. It only bothers me if it seems somehow fake.

      I guess that is the difficult someone women can have. They may feel like they have to act masculine. But if they aren’t naturally masculine in their personality, it comes off as an act and so is perceived as unnatural. There are plenty of women who are naturally masculine and pull it off well because it is just who they are. I’ve always liked slightly masculine women, the tomboy type.

      And I’ve never personally worried about my own masculinity to any great extent. I one time put on my girlfriend’s bra. She took a picture of me and jokingly threatened to send it to my parents. I honestly didn’t care what she did with the picture. My parents already know I’m a bit weird in the head. It wouldn’t likely shock them. I’ve had a hard time caring about my masculinity at any point in my life.

      I am a fairly masculine guy in many basic ways. I’m athletic and impervious to pain. And I was a boy’s boy growing up. So I’ve never felt any need to defend my masculinity. But I’ve never put much value in my masculinity either. It’s simply what it is.

      That is how I see it. People should simply be who they are. I’ve never understood trying to be something else in order to be successful in life. If what I am isn’t good enough for others, well then fuck them.

  7. You talk about hillary’s laugh and smiling. It’s interesting how how that one person also noted male hillary’s smiling and how “I made me wanna punch him” lol

    • I never paid much attention to her before this election. But once I started paying attention to her, something about her laugh in particular irritated me. And the more I noticed it the more that something about it seemed wrong. She would laugh at extremely inappropriate moments, in a way no professional politician should ever do.

      When Trump mocks the disabled, he is just being an asshole rich white guy who never grew up, but no one ever expected anything else from him. I despise Trump with my entire being. But he is batshit crazy. And he isn’t a professional politician. Just a pampered playboy who has no fucking clue about anything resembling reality. I’ve speculated that he probably doesn’t even wipe his own butt. He is a pathetic man-baby.

      Clinton is better able to act like a normal person and so one expects better from her. She has been in professional politics this long. How can she not know what is appropriate behavior? Maybe it is nervous laughter that covers something up, as it does seem like she is always avoiding answer questions honestly and forthrightly. Her laughing and smiling doesn’t convey confidence. It just seems fake, like you’re never seeing who she really is or what she really thinks.

      The one thing about Trump is apparently you get exactly what you see. That is disturbing in another way.

  8. That’s really quite obvious when you think about it. My mom voted for Matt Gonzalez (Green) when he nearly won the SF mayoral election in 2003 and she loves Bernie Sanders. But she’s a 60 year old second-wave feminist and DAMMIT she wanted a woman president. I probably know half a dozen women who pretty much took that rationale to the voting booth, some of whom were much younger than my mom.
    I’m genuinely empathetic towards that idea, especially for older women like my mom. She’s got no health problems, but when you’re 60 you’re probably concerned enough about your mortality to think that this might be your one chance to see a woman president. She might be dead 8-16 years from now.
    I don’t blame a lot of those women. The Amanda Marcottes and the ones talking about BernieBros can kiss my ass, but a lot of those people were let down by Hillary and her people. My mom knew Hillary had her baggage but the spectacularly ineffective way she tried to transcend that baggage, which was by denying it ever existed and saying you’re a sexist for even suggesting not everybody loves Mother Hillary which is what they call her in Africa, was on the candidate and her ego and not her rank-and-file supporters who are generally pretty decent people.
    If we’re talking Bro Pair/Michael Moore-style predictions, one of my favorites was from Dan Carlin in about March or so when he said if Bernie Sanders’ platform had been transmuted into a 40 year old woman’s body, that woman would be wiping the floor with Hillary. That Bernie was doing so well wasn’t some sort of WTF entitlement from millennials, it was clear, solid evidence that Hillary was a much, much, much weaker candidate than the establishment believed. And that was clearly, obviously true.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 42 points 15 hours ago*
    I don’t blame a lot of those women.
    I don’t blame anyone who votes for a non-white/non-male candidate because they’re aching to get someone like them in the white house. That is 100% understandable. But that’s why the dems literally publicly told Warren she wouldn’t get a dime from them if she ran, because they knew splitting that vote would mean their candidate of choice wouldn’t have stood a chance. There is a weird thing though where 60ish year old women like you said really really felt obligated to vote for Clinton and many conversations I had reflected their feeling of “Well this is my one chance.” Mind you many of these women wanted Warren but didn’t get her. What’s interesting is I never heard that rhetoric with Obama in 2008, everyone was ECSTATIC that he’d be the first black man to actually run in the general in a major party.
    There is also the gender dynamic of younger and middle aged women who really really felt like Clinton represented their mothers and grand mothers and they had genuine feelings like that towards her, which is obviously something no politician has offered them. 30 ways Clinton is like your abuela is totally pandering, but there is a genuine portion of her as a stand in for your family matron that that many people loved. They saw her as an every woman who people only hated because she was a woman, and I think that’s a large portion of the hyper vitriol you see in people like Doyle, Marcotte, Albright, and Palmieri. You’d see tweets and people on tv saying stuff like “I can just imagine her as my grandmother, taking me to Dennys” and while it’s cynical and easy for me to say “HRC wouldn’t be caught dead in a chain restaurant unless she was campaigning”, the genuine desire to see someone like you is definitely something that’s worthy of respecting because it’s something white men like me just get as a given.
    If we’re talking Bro Pair/Michael Moore-style predictions, one of my favorites was from Dan Carlin in about March or so when he said if Bernie Sanders’ platform had been transmuted into a 40 year old woman’s body, that woman would be wiping the floor with Hillary.
    Not 40, but the vast majority of Sanders voters when polled said that they wanted Warren initially.

    • I suspect most Americans, like me, had little opinion of Clinton. She always seemed like a standard professional politician and technocrat. But what was revealed during her campaign showed that there was much more to her than that and it wasn’t inspiring to voters.

      f there had been no leaks and no investigations, she probably could have beat Trump. But that means that the only way she could have won is if voters were completely ignorant about the most important aspects of who she is. That is troubling.

  9. I wonder if Clinton has aspergers or some other condition that makes her socially inept. Or she’s just too sheltered in rich land


    [–]mugrimm[S] 25 points 14 hours ago*
    Yeah, I can see some similarities between Hillary and my mom. Of course, I’m pretty sure my mom couldn’t win a national election because she has a lot of unlikeable things about her.
    While HRC was the second least liked candidate ever, Trump was the most unliked.
    Being unliked doesn’t stop you, however you DO need to make a case for your vision of the future. It is entirely possible if your mother had great name recognition magically she would have won.
    I suspect that people thought Hillary would see off a young Obama pretty easily and that he would maybe end up as her running mate and the 2016 candidate. They obviously underestimated him and his campaign.
    Oh it goes beyond underestimating it. HRC literally doesn’t know how to run a campaign. As someone who’s done FO work forever, she just literally does not know what it means to run. She’s never won a real contested election in her life, as opposed to Obama who beat someone who was an incumbent AND super well liked over and over. If you have not read Game Change, unlike the HBO show about Sarah Palin, 3/4’s of the book is about Clinton v. Obama and it’s written in collaboration with everyone who ran, and Clinton is spectacularly inept by all measures. The audiobook on audible is really solid, but it if you have cash, or buy a used copy for 4 bucks if you don’t.
    Here are some choice facts the book brought out,
    Bill tried to sway superdelegates to vote against their states winner by convincing them that the US is not ready for a “Coke head president” and that “years ago this Obama guy would have been serving US drinks”.
    Speaking of that, Ted Kennedy was the one who openly stated he got that call while many others anonymously claimed they did too. Clinton failed to secure Kennedy’s vote because she both pissed him off by running in NY and not a purple state, and because when she asked for him and his wife to be delegates, she literally had an intern make the call and ask. Ted Kennedy was apparently not enough of a big deal to warrant a personal call unless it was to sway his superdelegate vote.
    Hillary wanted to win Iowa without having to do too much stuff in rural areas. Her base was rural whites so the campaign was miserable for her. She also repeatedly called her base ‘working whites’ which was a clear dogwhistle.
    Hillary’s initial campaign headquarters was literally a mansion in martha’s vineyard.
    Clinton had trouble understanding why anyone would take her statement that she’s in the race until June followed by “RFK was shot in june you know” as a declaration that she had to stay in in case Obama was assassinated.
    Clinton also had trouble understanding why anyone would think she was racist when she was asked “Is obama a muslim?” and she said “No, I take him at his word”.
    Hillary wanted to create a TV ad where Obama changes his skin color like a chameleon to show how he changes himself to fit in a room, and when her staff told her ‘no’, she had trouble understanding why that was a bad idea.
    Clinton was an awful leader on the campaign trail and anytime her staff came to her with completely differing opinions on how to move forward she would just tell them to figure it out without making a decision, leading to one of the most intense internal campaign conflicts I’ve ever even heard of.
    Her own staff leaked tons of their emails mid election because her campaign was so shittily run, they wanted proof it wasn’t them for when they go job hunting later.
    She refused to apologize for her Iraq war vote and said internally she would never apologize for it because it was the right decision.
    And tons more. Seriously, it’s one of the best books centering around a campaign ever. The authors are lanyard wearing horse race obsessed dicks, but the picture it paints of her campaign is bleak.
    And of course this year she did the ultimate Clinton move. After being accused of having too many ties to lobbyists, she made one of the heads of her campaign someone who’s entire family are lobbyists who lobby for the rights of lobbyists.
    I’d forgot some of the background to Warren, yeah that makes a lot of sense in hindsight in terms of why she didn’t run and Bernie did. Being an independent and a bit of a left-wing darling for a long time, he had a certain independent supporter base outside of the party that Warren doesn’t. So he wasn’t going to piss into the tent but he wasn’t dependent on establishment money to run his campaign. Of course, he didn’t expect to become the most popular politician in the country either.
    Yeah, they realized after 2008 that if there’s more than one real threat on the table she can’t win. In 2008 Edwards stole a ton of her votes. They made sure that wasn’t a thing in 2016.
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    [–]manbearkat 20 points 14 hours ago
    God she really is a moderate conservative at best. How does anyone think she’s progressive at all?
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 22 points 14 hours ago
    Because they’ve literally never seen one in office.
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    [–]redwhiskeredbubul 6 points 12 hours ago
    Social issues. She’s genuinely good on stuff like abortion and mental health. The Reagan stuff aside her actual record on LGBT issues wasn’t all that different from Sanders.
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    [–]TyrannosPyros 16 points 11 hours ago
    She openly opposed gay marriage until 2013.
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    [–]Mister_DK 12 points 11 hours ago
    she was to the right of Trump on abortion until they both swapped last year.
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    [–]manbearkat 8 points 9 hours ago
    I don’t consider supporting abortion and mental health as progressive though. Maintaining things we already have is like the bare minimum.
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    [–]Melser 14 points 13 hours ago
    Fuck, I wish she made that chameleon ad; that may have destroyed her politically forever.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 8 points 11 hours ago
    I highly doubt it. I think openly saying you’re staying in the race in case the first black person that won the primary might get killed would be enough.
    Or fuck, anything else. If an active FBI investigation doesn’t tank you nothing will.
    This is why she’s running in 2020.
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    [–]Melser 6 points 10 hours ago
    Yeah you’re probably right, she got by with the Super Predators comment and that didn’t slow her down.
    Still it would have ruled to watch her weasel her way out of another racial misstep.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 11 points 10 hours ago
    The thing she’s best at is selling narratives about her competence and qualifications, which is honestly impressive how well she does it.
    In 2008 she sold herself as the more experienced candidate and everyone bought it. While she had been in the senate a few years longer than Obama, he was actually a legislator 3 years longer than her and he had a valid argument. She tried to portray herself as a much better politician than Obama as well as allusions to her ‘legal knowledge’ because she worked as an attorney for a decent firm and did child cases for various charities. Obama was both a constitutional law teacher at UC and the first Black Editor ever of the Harvard law review, meanwhile Clinton failed the Bar in one of the easiest places to take it with 25 years less caselaw to study. Pretty much everything she portrayed herself as he had done already and better, the only real ‘advantage’ she had over him was an extra few years in the senate during which time she voted for Iraq which pretty much washes out that experience.
    In 2016 she returned and sold herself both as the most qualified candidate to ever run as well as more experienced and most electable. Sanders has been in Congress since before Bill Clinton was a president, and he was mayor of a decent sized town since the 80’s. Somehow her complete lack of a real election made her electable compared to not only winning without federal name recognition but also doing so as an independent like 8 times.
    In 2020 she’s going to convince liberals that she’s the most anti-banking anti-corruption pro-transparency candidate of all time. Transparency will be the foundation of her criticisms (and she’ll be so grateful for that to be the focus) and it’ll link into her campaign slogan of “hindsight IS 2020!”
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    [–]savardfaire 11 points 14 hours ago
    It is entirely possible if your mother had great name recognition magically she would have won.
    Haha, funny you should say that, she actually does have the same name as a famous jazz singer.
    Great post, and you make a good point in reminding people that her political career might have died on the vine had Giuliani not gotten prostate cancer in 2000 and pulled out of the race.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 15 points 14 hours ago*
    I think she would have barely beaten him, but that wouldn’t have made her field tested by any stretch. Your average senator had like 2-4 elected positions prior to running for senate. Sanders is not a bad approximation of what most go through, first city council or mayor, then hopping to the house or local state seat, then to the senate. In those more local races you learn the basics of actually working a ground game and the value of a dollar while campaigning. Hillary in 2008 notoriously blew through like 3/4ers of funds for Iowa and New Hampshire and ended up personally owing millions in debt. She hated “That Man” (Obama) for refusing to pay off the money she personally promised to her campaign. She wanted him to use his election funds to save her failuires. According to Game Change, at some point she saw a budget and asked “Where is all this money going?!”, which is the kind of question someone who’s run an actual race before would never have because they’d be fully aware of how their dollars were spent.
    Hopping straight into a senate seat with a president campaigning for you is not normal and about as close as you can get to straight up nepotism in a senate election.
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    [–]was_gate 7 points 12 hours ago
    Her performance in elections has been consistent. She starts off 20 or 30 points ahead, then loses 1 or 2 points a month. The more the electorate gets to know her, the less they like her, but she starts off floating on a cushion of media inevitability.
    Giuliani is a natural garbage fire (of course at the time a media darling for disneyizing NY), his cops had just murdered a guy, he was secretly dating while married (which shows that he didn’t even want to win that much), and karma attacked his prostate. If any of those three hadn’t happened, he probably would have won.
    The seat had been in the hands of the same Democrat for 20 years, and she almost managed to lose it.
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    [–]MrTallSteve 4 points 12 hours ago
    anytime her staff came to her with completely differing opinions on how to move forward she would just tell them to figure it out without making a decision
    This is exactly how I think we got Emailgate, too.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 7 points 11 hours ago
    Yeah. What’s amazing is she really thought there was a scenario where she wouldn’t have to say “I fucked up” but where the investigation would stop. She had a window of a few months where she could have laid it all out and it wouldn’t be the death trickle it became where she’s actively saying she’s never been under investigation and the FBI is forced to say “Yeah, we don’t do ‘checks’ we only investigate”
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    • “I wonder if Clinton has aspergers or some other condition that makes her socially inept. Or she’s just too sheltered in rich land”

      You’d think she should know better. Unlike Trump, she wasn’t born into vast wealth. It’s easy to understand why Trump is so clueless as he lives in a bubble and has never experienced normal reality for a moment of his life. But at an earlier time in her life, Clinton would have known what normal reality was like.

      Maybe she has been in Washington politics so long that she has forgotten. But even that doesn’t explain it, since there are other professional politicians don’t seem as clueless.

  10. I know that this may fall on deaf ears and isn’t a terribly popular opinion, but every professional woman I know in my age bracket (older millennial) identified strongly with Hillary (regardless of politics) and took her loss personally.
    Women who identify with her don’t do so just because she’s a woman, but because they feel, on a very personal level, that her struggles are their own.
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    [–]mugrimm[S] 8 points 9 hours ago*
    Women who identify with her don’t do so just because she’s a woman, but because they feel, on a very personal level, that her struggles are their own.
    That’s totally fair and I kind of talk about that a bit later in this chain, many see themselves, their mothers, and their grandmothers in her. It’s also why she squeezed Warren out first thing though, because she very cynically realized how important that was to her campaign and Warren would have muddied the water. If anyone doubts that, they should study up on the PUMA party in 2008 and how tons of democrats switched to republicans
    To many Clinton inherently symbolized every woman who’s been told not to and tried anyway because on the surface that is essentially what has happened. It’s really easy to ignore the context of what is happening and focus on the narrative. It doesn’t help when dumb shit like “Most qualified candidate ever” is whipped out by the president, only reinforcing that mindset.
    Edit: I had a conversation about it with a person who’s been a long friend who was very much in this camp. She would repeatedly tell me about how the Email was a ‘nothingburger’ and should just be ignored. This same friend does FOIA requests for the ACLU on police brutality, it’s how I met her back in the day. I asked her point blank “If you subpeonaed a police chief’s emails and were straight up told the police chief did not have any emails, and then when you dug further they were doing all their department business on a private server, would you not sue them to get an injunction? If they kept refusing to hand it over, would you seriously not ask the state to seize their shit and investigate them?”. She was still a Hillaryfan and probably will be in 2020 when she runs again, but she did acknowledge that it’s an issue and instead focus on her being more ‘electable’ than Sanders which while I don’t agree with is at least a valid idea compared to the idea that evading FOIA is not a problem.

    • Why doesn’t it bother Hillary supporters this kind of compelling evidence of immorality, deceit, lies, corruption, and criminal activity? Everyone knows those emails were destroyed on purpose and done so at the direction of Hillary.

      For anyone who cares even slightly about democracy, that is unacceptable. I just don’t get people who want to win at any costs, even in further sacrificing democracy. We have too little democracy as it is. We better hold onto what little scrap of democracy we have and not give it away so easily, especially not to elect someone who will further harm democracy.

  11. I mean, is this entirely wrong?
    Qualification is more than just “held title”. It is the level of skill with which the duties were executed.
    And the thing is, looking at the sweep of her career, Clinton consistently makes disastrous decisions and then refuses to back down, admit error, or change. It is what sank her efforts to be more visible in 93, it is what sank her in 08, it is what handed the country to Trump in 2016
    She got handed spots as a Senator and SecState because she was connected. Ok. Doesn’t change the fact that the decisions she made there were frightfully wrong and had catastrophic consequences.
    Besides, even on the face of it, it is wrong. Any president who ran for re-election was more qualified when they did, because they had already sat in the chair and carried the burden.
    painful Hillary’s loss was to many working women, and how tremendously shameful it is that she should lose to a buffoon like Donald Trump, no matter how bad her campaign was.
    I get it, but at the same point, rub some dirt on it. Look we are in a terrible spot, and if folks want to continue to insist that there weren’t gross, completely avoidable mistakes, that much of what was said and done were poor choices that damaged our coalition and our ability to fight back, all because they are ashamed, well then what the fuck. We are still fighting stupid, splintering narratives because Clinton, like always, made a terrible decision, and so dropped millions of dollars to attack the left rather than co-opt and neutralize. And now, all those fucks who did that, AND THEN drove us off a cliff can’t let go, so we are fighting ourselves while locked in freefall. And we could at least start doing better if people would admit the mistakes and trying a different approach instead of doubling down. But nah, we are in this hell spiral because people don’t want to admit they were wrong because of their pride. Well holy shit.
    Because of the consequences of her loss we tend to exaggerate her failings, but at the end of the day she’s a boring, uninspired technocrat and not the antichrist.
    How many people do you know, friends, teachers, people you served with, died either in the Iraq War or lost themselves to the consequences of the war after it?
    The consequences of her personal failings and incompetence are much vaster than you want to admit.

    • “Because of the consequences of her loss we tend to exaggerate her failings, but at the end of the day she’s a boring, uninspired technocrat and not the antichrist.”

      I’ve never exaggerated her failings. I’ve had a clear sense of what she is. She is dangerous not because she is the Anti-Christ but because she is a highly effective professional politician within a dangerous political system that is causing great harm to the world.

      It’s hard to exaggerate her support of dog whistle politics, tough-on-crime policies, war on drugs, militarized police, and mass incarceration that has harmed millions of Americans along with, because of the Latin American drug wars, harmed millions of non-Americans. And it’s hard to exaggerate her supporting wars of aggression and toppling governments that has killed millions of innocent people, made millions others into orphans and refugees, and contributed to the strengthening of theocratic movements.

      That isn’t even to talk about her neoliberal corporatism nor the endless scandals, such as the pay-to-play Clinton Foundation. The Clintons and the plutocrats like them aren’t kindhearted people, much less inspiring leaders. They are ruthless powermongers, just like the Bush dynasty. Hillary has the added weakness of lacking a charismatic personality and relaxed confidence, as most professional politicians have who become elected president. But her personality issues are the least bad part of who she is.

      I’m not sure why any of that should be hard to understand by anyone who isn’t simply ignorant of the issues. Of course, many people are ignorant of the issues. Or else they’ve become so cynical that they’ve stopped caring, the argument being that all politicians are evil and so compared to the likes of Trump she is at least a lesser evil. In fact, she is so lesser evil that she is boring.

      It never occurs to these people that maybe we should fight for a political system where we have other choices besides evil. Anyway, all those harmed by Clinton’s policies would not consider that harm to be lesser evil. Suffering is suffering, no lesser about it, especially when we’re talking about millions of people.

    • What infuriated so many people was this. For once in my entire lifetime, I felt like I actually had a real choice for something other than evil. If Sanders hadn’t been running against Clinton, her evil wouldn’t have stood out so much and it would have been easier to argue that she was a lesser evil. But the point many people couldn’t ignore was that she was the greater evil by far compared to Sanders. Why should people settle for any kind of evil when they could have the greater good?

    • This is why weak liberals are dangerous.

      You have to be willing to fight hard and give voice to harsh truths. You have to be willing to debate the issues, even when it’s not campaign season. You have to find potent ways to speak honestly and passionately, and you must never tire of defending what matters. You must never concede an inch of ground.

      Basically, you have to act like you actually believe what you claim to believe. People respond to sincerity. But first you have to stop telling yourself BS before you can learn to speak from the heart and speak truth to power.

    • “That’s not the way most Americans see it or the way most organizations and officials see it. Not to mention, not the way most whites see it. There’s very little credit to the idea that the US was organized across racial lines more than it was across cultural and political lines. I mean, virtually no credit to that idea. I mean, a pretty significant number of the alt-right are fascists and monarchists and I assure you the founders would have been far more disgusted with them than they would be confused as to why all the blacks are free.
      But I suppose the more important question I’m asking is what do you value more? American citizenship or a white ethnostate?”

    • Well, we either have democracy or its opposite, authoritarianism. Those are our only two choices.

      Trying to have a mix of democracy and authoritarianism is impossible. And if we attempt to create such a mix, we just get some variety of authoritarianism with a superficial layer of pseudo-democratic rhetoric, symbolism, etc.

      Either we figure out how direct democracy is possible or we give up on democracy altogether and embrace authoritarianism. Let’s be honest with ourselves about this.

  12. BTW, it seems like believing Bernie was screwed over by the DNC (or more broadly, that the DNC was gonna have Hillary no matter what, so basically any other candidate was kind of screwed) is actually the mainstream opinion of people other than the very partisan democrats and hardcore Hillary lovers. Even people that don’t like Bernie think so.

    Even my dad who is economically too “right” for Bernie and dosen’t think his policies would work in the USA and almost never votes, commented at how the DNC and media was unfairly biased towards Clinton and treating Bernie unfairly. And he’s not particularly political

    • My parents are conservative Republicans. They thought Sanders was treated unfairly by the DNC and MSM. As far as I can tell, this is a common view across many demographics. Among Trump supporters, this seems to be a common view.

      Many people would have voted for Sanders, if he had been nominated. It probably would have been a landslide victory for Sanders. Voting for Sanders, as with voting for Trump, would have had little to do with agreeing with all of his stated positions.

    • From now on, I’m just going to call them all racists. Sure, there are meaningful distinctions between racists. But they still are all racists. If your entire worldview is defined by race, then you are a racist.

      I don’t think it is helpful to call passive prejudice internalized as racism. I’d rather not label people as racist simply for having been born into a racist society. Instead, I’d put the focus on the racist social order itself and anyone who actively defends it.

    • It was an impossible position to be in.

      Many of these people were still too poor to be helped much even by Obamacare. Healthcare insurance costs still were high. Someone who got insurance under Obamacare might still not be able to afford to pay the premiums. They might be able to get to a doctor for a checkup and maybe get a prescription for their health condition, but then they might not be able to afford actually buying the drug from a pharmacy. Doctors can only give out so many free samples until they run out.

      Obamacare was hardly saving these people. What it did is give these people a hint of what it might be like, if real healthcare reform ever happened. Simply getting a basic healthcare checkup probably gave many of these people a sense of hope, that maybe things were finally changing for the better. Still, it was far from the amount and kind of change they desperately needed.

      They knew Clinton would be useless. If anything, she would ensure that the ACA would increase even further the profits of insurance companies. There was no way in hell she was going to do anything to make ACA workable for the poor. Given a horrible corporatist as the Democratic candidate, what realistic option was left? If I had my guess, most poor whites didn’t vote at all. The few who did vote only did so because they saw it was better to gamble on someone who they hoped would challenge the status quo, better than supporting the status quo.

      I doubt those who voted for Trump actually felt hope. It was more an act of desperation. That is what was made clear in that Vox video I wrote a post about. The lady who signed people up for Obamacare said voting for Trump was like pulling the lever on a slot machine or else like pulling the trigger in a game of Russian Roulette, neither of which indicates a sense of confidence that good results were probable.

  13. It’s not about anything except maintaining the status quo.
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    [–]snallygasterFUCK_MOD$_420 74 points 19 days ago
    It’s not, though. Republicans were so successful during this election cycle in large part because they tapped into deep concerns about the current state of affairs. It’s doubtful that the average Trump supporter in Heroinville OH working two min wage jobs to pay off a tiny dilapidated house and support family who gave up and dropped out of the workforce voted because they want things to stay the same.
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    [–]youdidntreddit 99 points 19 days ago
    That’s not the average Trump supporter though.
    Trump supporters are the wealthier people in Heroinville, OH who spent decades voting to lower taxes and cut services, and now that their town has gone to shit blame everyone but themselves
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    [–]Oceloctopus 19 points 19 days ago*
    As someone who spent some time in methlenburg Nebraska, this succinctly describes the dysfunction of the town. The town was built around a Union Pacific rail supply depot, had this gorgeous little downtown area.
    UP came in and said, “we’ll pay half the price of putting in these viaducts so you can get rid of the at grade crossings. We can go faster and you get less train noise win win”
    But no, the thing was shut down by upper middle class folks who didn’t want to spend money and businessmen who feared that easier travel over the rail line would mean having to compete more with businesses across the tracks. Now the little downtown is a ghetto in everything but name. The very people who rallied against the viaducts now moan and groan about the death of their small town while failing to recognize their hand in it.

    • There are many factors. Defending to the status quo is a major part. But this is part of a larger culture of fear. It’s hard to imagine anything new because so many are trying to hold onto what little they have left.

      When things are getting worse, people don’t always act wisely. This is as true for the business class in a dying town as for the poor who have lost hope. In a culture of fear, everyone becomes a potential threat, the people who are in another class, race, ethnicity, religion, etc; or simply on the other side of the tracks.

      One might argue this is the inevitable result of capitalism. People become isolated as individuals, redefined as consumers and competitors. This does not create the conditions for a culture of trust: community, cooperation, and compassion. Everyone against everyone else, in a race to the bottom.

    • “[C]orrelations across countries and American states between trust and all sorts of measures of diversity were about as close to zero as one can imagine… [L]iving among people who are different from yourself didn’t make you less trusting in people who are different from yourself. But that left me with a quandary: Does the composition of where you live not matter at all for trust in people unlike yourself? I had no ready answer, but going through the cross-national data set I had constructed, I found a variable that seemed remotely relevant: a crude ordinal measure (from the Minorities at Risk Project at my own university, indeed just one floor below my office) of whether minorities lived apart from the majority population. I found a moderately strong correlation with trust across nations – a relationship that held even controlling for other factors in the trust models I had estimated in my 2002 book. It wasn’t diversity but segregation that led to less trust.”

      Segregation and Mistrust
      Eric Uslaner
      Kindle Locations 65-73

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/weve-been-here-before/#comment-25685

    • “In addition to discouraging new people, hypersegregation may also discourage new ideas. Urban theorist Jane Jacobs has long held that the mix of peoples and cultures found in successful cities prompts creativity. An interesting study by sociologist William Whyte shows that sundown suburbs may discourage out-of-the-box thinking. By the 1970s, some executives had grown weary of the long commutes with which they had saddled themselves so they could raise their families in elite sundown suburbs. Rather than move their families back to the city, they moved their corporate headquarters out to the suburbs. Whyte studied 38 companies that left New York City in the 1970s and ’80s, allegedly “to better [the] quality-of-life needs of their employees.” Actually, they moved close to the homes of their CEOs, cutting their average commute to eight miles; 31 moved to the Greenwich-Stamford, Connecticut, area. These are not sundown towns, but adjacent Darien was, and Greenwich and Stamford have extensive formerly sundown neighborhoods that are also highly segregated on the basis of social class. Whyte then compared those 38 companies to 36 randomly chosen comparable companies that stayed in New York City. Judged by stock price, the standard way to measure how well a company is doing, the suburbanized companies showed less than half the stock appreciation of the companies that chose to remain in the city.7 […]

      “Research suggests that gay men are also important members of what Richard Florida calls “the creative class”—those who come up with or welcome new ideas and help drive an area economically.11 Metropolitan areas with the most sundown suburbs also show the lowest tolerance for homosexuality and have the lowest concentrations of “out” gays and lesbians, according to Gary Gates of the Urban Institute. He lists Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Pittsburgh as examples. Recently, some cities—including Detroit—have recognized the important role that gay residents can play in helping to revive problematic inner-city neighborhoods, and now welcome them.12 The distancing from African Americans embodied by all-white suburbs intensifies another urban problem: sprawl, the tendency for cities to become more spread out and less dense. Sprawl can decrease creativity and quality of life throughout the metropolitan area by making it harder for people to get together for all the human activities—from think tanks to complex commercial transactions to opera—that cities make possible in the first place. Asked in 2000, “What is the most important problem facing the community where you live?” 18% of Americans replied sprawl and traffic, tied for first with crime and violence. Moreover, unlike crime, sprawl is increasing. Some hypersegregated metropolitan areas like Detroit and Cleveland are growing larger geographically while actually losing population.”

      Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension Of American Racism
      by James W. Loewen
      pp. 360-2

      https://benjamindavidsteele.wordpress.com/2016/05/08/what-kind-of-trust-and-to-what-end/

    • Obviously, some white parents choose black schools. I went to some public schools that were about half black, which is to say they were about half white. My parents never considered sending us to private schools to avoid the blacks. I doubt it ever crossed their mind. And my parents are upper middle class conservative Republicans.

      When my mom first started teaching in public schools, my dad was stationed in the Deep South. She worked at some black schools and she apparently was the only white person willing to teach there. My parents do have racial prejudices in certain ways. But that kind of thing never phased them.

      I wonder why that is. It’s not as if my parents are particularly enlightened about race. They both grew up in a state that was the headquarters of the Second Klan. And they grew up in or surrounded by sundown towns. They would have breathed racism from a young age. Yet somehow they didn’t turn into bigots.

      In my mom’s case, their might be a certain kind of social obliviousness, something I inherited from her. She remembers having one black girl in her elementary school. She brought the girl home and her father was angry. I doubt my mom ever understood that kind of racism. There never would have been a problem about me bringing a non-white kid home and I did have non-white friends in school.

      The white girls who lived across the street, though, did go to private schools their entire life. Still, plenty of white people, including from the middle class, went to public schools in South Carolina. I don’t remember mixed race schools ever being an issue. No one talked about it. And I had no sense of how the schools once were segregated.

    • If not actively and sometimes violently suppressed, left-wing populism likely would be a much more powerful force. But ever such politics has existed, especially since the beginning of the Cold War, the Western ruling elite has almost always preferred to allow right-wing populism come to power than to risk the demands of left-wing populism. This has forced left-wing populists to simultaneously fight against both right-wing populists and the ruling elite, which is a hard fight to win even with broad support from the general public..

  14. Honestly- why should any person of color feel compelled to vote for a candidate that has never adequately earned their vote or respect? Hillary at best has condescended to people of color. There is video footage of her telling black lives matter activists how to do their activism. Bernie was a little better, in that he released a platform on racial justice after being interrupted by black lives matter activists. But not until after- that matters. Being proactive and self motivated as opposed to reactive and shamed into action matters. There is a difference. I have never seen Hillary adequately engage on racial justice or really have a platform on it. Not to mention like her imperialist policies and racism towards Palestinians.

    And I know trump is much much worse and they can’t be compared. But still. Candidates need to earn the vote.

    • Neither did Sanders put out a platform on any other specific group that has experienced major problems. He didn’t put out a platform for Muslims, for Hispanic immigrants, for Native Americans, for poor whites, for single working mothers, or anyone else. That is because his platform was for all Americans, not limited to specific groups.

      It’s noteworthy that Black Lives Matters activists never bother to declare Muslim Lives Matter or Native American Lives Matter or Immigrant Lives Matter, all groups that have suffered badly under US actions. There is much suffering and oppression in the world. The entire political system shouldn’t revolve around the interests of one special interest group.

      Maybe Sanders understands something that too many Black Lives Matters activists don’t understand. It’s something that MLK understood and some early Black Panthers understood. When speaking of allies, it’s a two way street. The best way to advocate for your own interests is to fight for those others who can also help fight for you. Treating potential allies as enemies is stupid, self-destructive, immature, and lacking in basic human decency.

      If someone can’t see the basic humanity of others, then what kind of justice do they think they’re fighting for?

    • I see people like that as being as disconnected as establishment Democrats. It’s just she is disconnected in a different kind of way. It’s the sad problem of American society. It is such a vast society and built on centuries of often intentional segregation: reservations, ghettos, sundown towns, redlining, walled communities, private schools, etc.

      Too many people complain that others don’t understand them while they don’t bother to understand others. This isn’t just a moral issue. When you have no comprehension about your fellow citizens, you are at a great disadvantage and your cause easily undermined. Attacking those who would be your allies is immensely stupid. But that is what angry, isolated people do in a culture of fear and mistrust.

      It’s just sad.

    • This administration continually becomes more authoritarian. In its vague declaration of authority, this would give the executive the power to eliminate any agency that threatened executive power.

      What we have to understand, though, is that the growing power of the executive has been going on for the past two administrations. Trump (or rather Bannon) is acting on the basis of numerous precedents.

      Many people warned both parties that grabbing such power was a dangerous strategy, as one day someone might get elected who could use it in ways that are highly dangerous and destructive. This is exactly what Bush and Obama had been warned about, but both ignored these warnings.

  15. https://theestablishment.co/your-calls-for-unity-are-divisive-as-f-ck-3d6584bca72f#.y8qbnkcwg

    http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_58a339efe4b080bf74f04114

    “I see both sides, though, as a poor woman. I was angry when Keith Ellison was pushed aside in the DNC by the white establishment. I am angry, too. I am here to listen. Absolutely! I am here to shut up and listen and not assume I know the answer. Yes! But.. I am angry, too. I am angry at many of the same things At some point there has to be common ground, a common interest, a common fight. Personally I can not always be the enemy because that is what the people in power want. They want divisiveness because that will keep them in power. If there is no unity, there is no progress.”

    • The problem I have is how simplistic everything gets portrayed.

      All whites are either poor rural neo-Confederates, the hypocritical liberal class, or privileged plutocrats. Apparently, there is no other category of white person. Of course, blacks get categorized in simplistic ways as well. So, it is various stereotypes being lobbed from all sides.

      It doesn’t seem to be serving any good purpose, other than venting anger and outrage. I’m fine with venting of all kinds, but most of it ends up feeling pointless.

  16. “I agree that a facilitated discussion would be helpful for those who want to participate. The only thing I’ll say is that I agree with pretty much everything that people on this board (particularly Emily–she has been by far the most frequent commenter) have said about white privilege, the systemic, ingrained nature of racism, the need to listen to POC, etc. I’m on board with the substance of the message. We discuss these issues (as well as gender, class, & other forms of inequality) in the grad classes I teach. I know much more about these topics than your average white person (I’m not saying this to get kudos or portray myself as a white savior, but to point out that I’m not a newbie to this topic, that I’m not expecting POC to educate me, and that I care deeply about social inequality, including racism). That said, I will not be posting any honest, well-intentioned questions or offering any other observations (especially about how messages are delivered) because I get the sense that to do so would be labeled tone policing, racist, being a fake ally, etc., inaccurate assumptions would be made about my motivations, perspectives, life experience, and so on, and it would just devolve from there. On the other hand, I had a great convo with a POC colleague yesterday about tone policing and communicative norms in groups like this one. Having a relationship with someone and talking face-to-face make all the difference. I’ve concluded that a virtual environment is not conducive to having these difficult conversations.”

    • That seems simpleminded. It doesn’t disprove that Britain is an immigrant nation. All that it proves is that the various immigration waves have been more or less evenly mixed up in the English population. Besides, the author can only make this argument for genetic homogeneity by ignoring the genetic populations in Scotland and Ireland. I’m pretty sure Scotland and Ireland are part of the British Isles.

    • That is one of those topics that seems unhelpful. The entire frame of debating the issue of tone policing is probably the wrong way of thinking about it. I have no problem with emotional expressions, even angry outrage. I’m all for emotion. Express it! But that applies for everyone. Still, that doesn’t stop individuals from being responsible for their words.

  17. This is why governments are untouchable — at least by lawsuits. I know this isn’t Trump’s doing, but this is an example of why all these complaints and petitions and lawsuits today will not matter in the end. It was a “shot that was heard around the world,” not a strongly worded letter. Yes, we brought down Al Capone with tax evasion, but a Chicago gangster ain’t the same thing as all 3 branches of US government. If the state of Michigan can do this, imagine what the federal government can do, at this rate, without even making the news.

    http://latest.com/2016/04/woman-leading-flint-lead-poisoning-lawsuit-found-shot-dead-in-her-home/

    • This is why we are getting close to revolution. It’s not just that reform isn’t possible within the system. Those who push for reform, like this woman, can end up with very bad consequences such as being killed. With problems that are having massive harm and without the possibility of reform, what other options are there?

  18. [–]txgypsy 16 points 9 hours ago
    The pendulum swings back and forth. ….left to right. ..back to the left…..back to the right…
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    [–]DeucesCracked 14 points 8 hours ago
    It seems this is a truism of all mass psychology events and states. Unreasonable optimism leads to unreasonable pessimism. Unreasonable laxity leads to unreasonable tension. And then right back the other way.
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    [–]Typhera 4 points 5 hours ago
    Pretty much, and seems to become more extreme and polarised each time until it hits a level where it requires a reset (generally war, or horrible policies that result in mass starvation etc). then its a slower pendulum, gaining speed once more.
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    • There actually isn’t much pendulum swing among the general population, at least in the US. Most Americans have been getting increasingly liberal/leftist for generations now. Where you see pendulum swings of power is among the elite, but the pendulum swing seen is between center-right and reactionary right-wing.

  19. While I think the US has the worse system of the two, the Dutch system is without its flaws. The higher representation of parties a Parliament/Congress has, the more unstable the government is.
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    [–]SiberianMousePTHC [score hidden] 5 minutes ago
    It’s a pretty great system though. It prevented the alt right from assuming control and definitely is better than the electoral voting system that as a statistical inevitability has only two huge political parties, both very extreme and very similar in their views. The sole reason the US is so fucked is the electoral voting system. Any country with such a voting system tends to be prone to government corruption. Introduce a direct voting system and most of Murica’s problems will resolve themselves within two decades.

    • For certain, the problems in the US can’t be blamed on functioning democracy. First, let’s get a functioning democracy. And after that, if it makes people happy, they can criticize that functioning democracy all they want. But it is plain sad to see something get blamed when it doesn’t even exist.

  20. Also thankful that all of you European countries have multiple parties. Trump should be a wing that no one would form a coalition with 😦
    Instead we just have an entire political party that’s gaslight and a bunch of apathetic non-voters vs corporate and far left.
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    [–]KindVanDieWind [score hidden] 19 minutes ago
    Thank our electoral system to be honest. Remember, most Americans didn’t vote for Trump either.
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    [–]skymind [score hidden] 10 minutes ago
    That’s part of my point. We have a binary system. If you tossed in let’s say the top front-runners from both parties and then the top 3rd party candidates you have something like…
    Clinton 26% Sanders 24% Trump 21% Cruz 11% Kasich 8% Johnson 7% Stein 3%

    • There is an incorrect statement in the last sentence. If Clinton and Sanders were both running simultaneously, she wouldn’t have a chance in hell. She’d probably be down there in single digits with third party candidates.

  21. In 2001, the Bush administration (at the urging of the PNAC members of his cabinet) wanted to take a harder line against Iraq, even before 9/11. After 9/11, a war was probably inevitable, simply because Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, et. al. strongly wanted it. They pushed US intelligence agencies to find evidence of WMD activity. When they weren’t getting the results they wanted, they literally created a new intelligence agency inside the Pentagon to get the WMD evidence, which was then hyped in the media. Experienced military and intelligence experts, including Brent Scowcroft, Norman Schwarzkopf, David Hackworth, Wesley Clark, and Larry Johnson, criticised the politicisation of intelligence, but were ignored. Ambassador Joseph Wilson and general Carlton W. Fulford Jr. made separate trips to Niger to investigate the claim that Hussein procured uranium from there, and found no evidence of it. Wilson became a vocal critic of the Iraq War, and subsequently his wife Valerie Plame was outed as a CIA agent.
    Iraq did indeed have and used chemical weapons in the 1980s, both against Iran during the Iran-Iraq war that ended in 1988 and against its own Kurdish citizens. Back then, Saddam was allied with the US so the US turned a blind eye towards this, and in fact went as far as to try to pin the blame on Iran for Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds. When Iran complained about Iraqi chemical weapons use at the UN, the US instructed its diplomats to pressure other nations to make “no decision” with respect to the Iranian claims.
    Now obviously the question is why the US didn’t find any when they got there.
    Because afterwards after the First Gulf War Iraq had gotten rid of them pursuant to demands by the UN. In fact, Iraq filed a 12,000 page report on Dec 7 2002 detailing how they had gotten rid of their WMDs.
    However, since the US was merely using the “WMDs in Iraq” as a pretext for an invasion they had planned to carry out anyway, Secretary of State Rice simply dismissed this and accused the Iraqis of lying. The US also made sure to remove the pages from this report that implicated US companies in Iraq’s WMD program. However copies of the report were leaked to the press anyway. Instead the US promoted more lies: Colin Powell accused the Iraqis of having since built “mobile biological weapons units” and obtaining “high strength aluminium tubes” for enriching uranium — all of which turned out to be a lie.
    After the Second Gulf War, which toppled Saddam, the US itself finally conceded that there were in fact no WMDs in Iraq.
    No one was ever held accountable for lying about this, which is quite amazing, considering it resulted in the aggressive invasion of another sovereign country.
    Instead, a variety of theories were floated in the media to try to justify the invasion anyway, usually by trying to blame the US invasion of Iraq on Iran — for example, it was claimed that Saddam inadvertently fooled the US into invading Iraq by pretending to have WMDs in order to deter Iran, and so the US was fooled into thinking he had WMDs and so invaded the country. This of course is contrary to the fact that Iraq filed a 12000 page report specifically stating that they no longer had WMDs.
    Another way they tried to blame Iran for the US invasion of Iraq was to claim that Ahmad Chalabi, an Iraqi dissident who had been cooperating with the US, was actually an Iranian spy who somehow manipulated the US into invading Iraq.
    In reality the Bush administration knew that there were no WMDs in Iraq — and both Bush and Powell had specifically been told that the intelligence he was citing was based on forged documents, but they continued to promote it because “WMDs in Iraq” was always just a pretext anyway.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niger_uranium_forgeries)
    Years later, when some old and discarded shells containing chemical weapons that had been left over from the 1980s were found in Iraq, some of the media in the US proclaimed that WMDs had been found in Iraq in an effort to justify the invasion.

    • It was a war of aggression based on a lie. That is both illegal and unconstitutional, a war crime in fact. Worse still, the US attack and invasion killed more than a million Iraqis who were innocent non-combatants. Plus, all the depleted uranium weapons have made the entire country toxic for at least generations. All combined, it is political evil on a grand scale. But in the US, this is standard politics.

  22. It’s bullshit. Ending unequal privilege starts with solidarity and ends with true social mobility. Making sure all primary and secondary education is of similar quality and tertiary education is cheap and available to all who are smart enough to enroll in their program of choice. This is but one thing. Another would be universal healthcare. But the way Americans are tacking on classist attitudes to identities and fighting each other over that axis is very harmful.

    • What I’ve found shocking is how so many in the liberal class are willing to fight in class war to keep the poor oppressed. When it comes to a threat to their lifestyle, they will fight by any means necessary to guarantee their class privilege and their right to continue externalizing costs onto the rest of the population.

      The liberal class isn’t just morally wrong and psychologically disconnected. When threatened by the real problems of the world, they can be downright dangerous. This is how authoritarianism comes to power. The liberal class wants to maintain the social order and, if it comes to that, they will support an authoritarian to ensure that the status quo isn’t disturbed. It is quite scary.

  23. No they don’t. Demonizing people is not social justice. Repairing communities and establishing social mobility is Tikkun Olam. Saying white people have privilege does nothing to help people. Making their community better through volunteering(habitat for humanity is a good example as some famous college and professional athletes were helped by them instead of turning to crime as their only option. This gives people a role model and inspires more charity but also it took one lesson person away from destructive behavior). When your entire policy is white privilege is bad then you are closer to a Nazi than a liberal. Nazi version is Jewish privilege destroying our country(Ring a bell?). And liberalism is about the individual so identity politics is anathema to it.
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    [–]aggie1391Reform-ish/Humanist-ish 2 points 3 hours ago
    When your entire policy is white privilege is bad then you are closer to a Nazi than a liberal
    Holy shit no. Recognizing privilege (and it does undoubtedly exist) is a necessary step in removing the inequalities that exist. Privilege is not a Nazi concept, what on earth are you talking about?
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    [–]Axds123 1 point 3 hours ago
    The demonization of a group based on a characteristic tied to success is what the Nazis did. Jews had jobs in Great Depression so they attacked them. They were “privileged” at the expense of the German. If you don’t see the similarities then you are not paying attention. The ideas of a white tax or a cismale tax are out there in the mainstream. Privilege is not an issue. Broken communities and families is an issue. Single parent households having an elevated rate of poverty. African Americans have an elevated rate of single parent households. That has nothing to do with white privileged. That has to do with systemic racism which was brought into play on the national level by FDR with housing policies that prevented minorities from leaving cities. So privilege is nonsense except when used against a population group as a method of demonization. The real issues such as the war on drugs are not looked at, at all.
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    [–]aggie1391Reform-ish/Humanist-ish 2 points 3 hours ago
    The ideas of a white tax or a cismale tax are out there in the mainstream
    No, no it isn’t. Seriously, where do you get that? You clearly don’t have a real knowledge about this topic other than the false claims from the right. As a proud ‘social justice warrior’ (and not the boogeyman type you falsely believe in), I’ve literally never seen anyone at all advocate for anything even remotely like that.
    Privilege is not an issue
    For one example, when resumes are identical except for the name, the person with the ‘black’ name gets called back half as often as the person with a ‘white’ name. Some minorities have literally resorted to ‘resume whitening’, and have seen results. In hiring, as in many areas of life, white people are privileged. That’s not a Nazi thing, at all. Its a simple fact.
    The real issues such as the war on drugs are not looked at, at all
    ….that’s looked at a ton. And the people most likely to support ending it are the so-called ‘social justice warriors’ you compare to fucking Nazis. I’m active in social justice and activist circles, and we look at it a ton. In fact, that’s what all the legalizing marijuana is part of, looking at the problems in the drug war and trying to work to end it.
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    [–]Axds123 [score hidden] 3 hours ago
    I have had professors at university call for those.(boogeyman right). And the war on drugs is not mentioned by that many comparatively. And there is also a liberal privilege at universities in regards to social studies. So liberals who are dominant in a a field(95% +) study their biases and it’s empirical?
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opinion/sunday/a-confession-of-liberal-intolerance.amp.html (op ed links to studies though)
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    [–]aggie1391Reform-ish/Humanist-ish [score hidden] 3 hours ago
    Please, cite them. I don’t believe for a second that anyone calls for those.
    If conservatives want to be more represented at universities, they should become more educated. Only 24% of people with post-graduate degrees identify as conservative, so of course there will be less in academia. So you want affirmative action for conservatives? Academia wasn’t always like that, either. But when one side keeps insisting climate change isn’t real or that we should teach young earth creationism, then the educated people tend to flip over.
    Nonetheless, I’ve still had numerous conservative professors. In fact, they’ve been more aggressive with their viewpoints than the liberal ones, at least in my experience. But if you are concerned about that, go and get your PhD or EDD or something and get involved in academia.

    • The problem is this. SJWs tend to be of the liberal class and tend to be partisan Democrats. I’ve come to the realization that too many liberal class Democrats are willing to talk about all kinds of things, but in the end they will almost always support neoliberals/neocons like the Clinton New Democrats. What good may come of their activism never offsets the harm caused by the politicians and political system they support.

    • That was so silly that it was amusing. It’s like all of reality revolves around their racist ethno-nationalist identity. When white supremacists gather with their families on Christmas, do they spend their whole time making arguments about Jesus being white and how only a white Jesus will be able to save the white race from dangerous non-whites and liberal race traitors?

  24. “”I just read an article about how some POC feel deeply betrayed by the democratic party. Republicans never made promises to them but democrats did. They felt that democrats were happy to get their vote but democrats didn’t follow through. They feel lied to and used. As a democrat, I try not to feel defensive but it’s hard. Democrats arent perfect but the alternative is worse. At least most democrats want to try to listen and understand and progress. I don’t know. Progress is slow. Change is slow. It’s slightly faster with democrats, I think. Maybe the best course of actions is to try to encourage POC to become politicians and for allies to get out and help them get elected. I’m tired and probably babbling at this point. Sorry if I am…””

    As for feeling defensive of the democratic party, minorities feel betrayed and our feelings are not unfounded. We can’t just accept the whole “change is slow” or “we’re trying” narrative when we show up and say exactly what we need. People aren’t listening, which forces us to be louder. Trust me, I have better things I could be doing than have the argument that’s going on in this group for what I can assure you is my hundredth time. But I still show up because I think this is how we can make a difference. But it is not intrinsically my responsibility to jump through hoops just to be heard on issues that affect me

    • The time for Democratic excuses and rationalizations ended decades ago. It could have been argued in the 1960s that the Democratic Party could at least sometimes be influenced to do the right thing for the oppressed and needy. But that hasn’t been true since then.

  25. I’ve been in touch with some young nonwhites on campus. In reality, nonwhites don’t vote much both due to voter suppression, but also lack of faith in the system in general. Many even if they can vote just don’t think votings worth it. They feel democrats use them and take them for granted

    • According to polls, the majority of Americans of all races don’t trust government and don’t think we have a functioning democracy. Basically, most people see our country as a banana republic. If you came to the correct realization that your vote doesn’t matter as research has proven, then why would you necessarily bother voting other than just to voice your opinion? The majority of eligible voters of all races don’t vote in most elections. It’s not just a minority issue.

  26. So you know how I was complaining that hardcore Hillary supporters (the ones still blaming everyone but democrats) are so fucking rude and terrible?

    Since they love their identity politics and used it to beat sanders and other opponents over the head with, positioning themselves as the nonwhites and female candidate, I wondered if being nonwhite and various disadvantages like LGBT and poor and such would make them less shitty to the messenger, but..

    When their critics are actually part of the identity groups they claim to represent, they’re even ruder! They’re even more terrible

    • There is plenty of Democratic shittiness, no doubt. It is simply partisan groupthink and nothing else. You won’t find any morality-based rationality involved. And as the failure of Democrats becomes more obvious, the partisans will become ever shittier.

  27. k
    If you watch the whole documentary, you will see that the black man is a translator who speaks 4 languages, chinese among them, and is just being used by the chinese man as a way to vent his frustration over the terrible planning his company have done. The chinese did not come great off in this movie.

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