Puritanical liberals really piss me off

The following was posted today in a closed Facebook group in response to a post I made about an NBC News/WSJ poll that shows that 81% of Republicans support Trump.

Original Coffee Party post

I have to say that I’ve grown pretty sick and tired of this sort of bullshit from my fellow liberals.

The following is my response to the OP.

Thought it was worth sharing with a broader audience than just the closed FB group. Would like to hear what you think.

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Man, that is some tortured reasoning in the face of the facts, <NAME REDACTED>.

Look, I’m as liberal as anyone, and I want what you want, but when are you going to give up the purity tests, give up blaming the Democratic Party, and realize that on election day you can’t always get what you want?

The Democratic Party prefers losing elections? That’s absurd, and I suspect you didn’t mean it literally. Besides, I know you know that Clinton beat Sanders and Trump by 3million votes each. I know you know that nationwide Democratic Senators and House Reps tallied more votes than Republicans.

And, you want to blame the Democratic Party for not fielding candidates you want?

Voting Americans were very clear in 2016 about whom they preferred. Democrats.

Yes, yes, the two party system is corrupt and beholden to big money. Yes, yes, campaign finance and electoral processes are rigged.

And, what you complain about is a, “….Democratic Party <who> is unwilling to put forward candidates for public office that will serve the American people.”

The American electorate – a majority of the American electorate – doesn’t see it that way.

Yes, yes, what about all the voters who have given up and don’t vote? I say fuck ’em, just like I say fuck off to Flake and Corker. They aren’t courageous, they’re cowardly. If they had any balls and were truly committed, they’d campaign against the buffoon and his flavor of Republicanism even if it meant losing reelection, but I digress.

Of the many reforms we both (I think) want to see is the elimination of the electoral college. I’ve sent Lessig some money. He’s actually doing something about it. And even though they’ve hit their fundraising goal, here’s the link. Hope everyone reading this will kick in and pitch in however they can.

https://equalvotes.us/

<NAME REDACTED>, I believe you to be a thoughtful, intelligent, and caring person, but this demanding that the Democratic Party apparatchiks……what??……meet up in their secret mountain lab to stitch together pieces of candidates to create some kind of pure-enough politician that you can support really is maddening.

What, exactly, do you want from them? Even better, who would make you happy running as a Democrat? Who would be pure enough for you? Elizabeth Warren? Bernie again? Who? And, what are going to do if you don’t get your way again, throw in the towel? Throw away your vote so a Republican vote isn’t canceled out. Yeah. That’s what has to happen in the end. Republican votes need to be canceled out.

As for this endless lamentation about the two party system, I’m with you, but I have to ask again, what do you want and from whom do you want it? You think the Democrats aren’t doing enough? Why would they, and have you seen the other side? Shit, the GOP is literally setting ballot access and voters’ rights back 50 years!

And corporatist Democrats are too distasteful?

Honestly, man, the 2016 election has opened my eyes wide in lots of ways. One of them is why conservatives hate us and mock us.

What we collectively seem to be really good at is whining and complaining about all kinds of injustices while we collectively refuse to basically take one for the team – meaning, society at large.

We refuse to actually do what is pragmatic and possible. Instead, what we seem to be really good at is shaking our self-righteous fists at “the system” from the comfort of our laptops and middle class homes while all the groups of causes and people we are supposed to care about – the environment, economic inequality, refugees, immigrants, the poor and working poor, LGBTQ, women, minorities, and on and on – all get left to Republicans because we can’t bring ourselves to vote for those so-called “corporatist” Democrats until they give us the perfect politician.

Who’s perfect? If that’s the standard, then get used to conservatives running things while liberals do what we seem to do best; hold fast to our ideological purity regardless of the consequences to others.

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This isn’t about being politically correct or less of a man. #DearDaddy

Everyone needs to watch this video so that the next time someone – almost invariably a man – tells “a harmless joke” or makes even a vaguely derisive comment “only in jest” about women and girls, perhaps you’ll remember this video and muster the courage to tell that guy that that’s not acceptable. Not to you. Not to half the human population.

I don’t know how, but some people might watch this video and not be moved. Others may watch it (and read these words) as just more liberal bullshit about being politically correct.

They’ll be wrong.

The issue of violence against women isn’t about being liberal or conservative. It’s not about political correctness. It’s about how we raise our boys into men, and how we men then think about and treat girls and women. It’s about the example we men set for our boys and the rest of society. It’s about whom we choose to be our political leaders, and whom we choose to follow as cultural and spiritual leaders.

It’s about how we men want to influence and to help shape a world in which our daughters, our sisters, our wives, and all women must also live.

I don’t know how anyone can deny that violence has at least some of its roots in the morals, values, and ethics we as adults use in raising our children. If that’s true, then violence against women, therefore, must also be rooted to some degree in how we adults – again and in particular, we men – teach our boys right from wrong.

Given that, doesn’t it seem reasonable to conclude then that what our society ultimately values comes from adults who once were children, and that what those adults come to value has its roots in some significant way from what was learned as a child? After all, that is the influence we as adults hope to have on our kids, is it not?

That’s why I think it’s important to acknowledge that it’s not just what we try to teach our boys when it comes to their thinking and attitudes about girls. It also is about the actual examples we men set in our day-to-day lives.

I say with complete confidence that we men want to believe that we’re doing our best. We teach what we think and believe to be right; however, we need to be even more cognizant of the fact that what we *show* our boys everyday through our words and our deeds has a huge influence in what they learn as acceptable and admirable traits and behaviors.

Now, some men may complain (as certain kinds of men all too often seem to do these days) that they are being put upon yet again by society and by liberal ideals of political correctness. They may complain that they’re being told what to do and what to say and what to think.

They may even watch the video and think, “That isn’t me.” They’ll say to themselves. “I wasn’t that boy growing up, and I’m not that guy now.”

That may, in fact, be true on varying levels, but the experience of 50-plus years tells me that all of us men have at least some measure of responsibility, at the very barest of minimums, for giving cover to misogyny by staying silent in its presence.

I don’t personally know any men who have physically abused a woman. What experience tells me, though, is that it would be the rare male indeed who hasn’t made a joke or used an ugly pejorative like whore or cunt when referring to a girl or woman. Sadly, that includes me, and so to all of the girls and women I’ve hurt with my words, I am sorry for the pain I caused.

To any men chuckling at the idea of issuing this kind of public apology, let me say this. It can’t possibly make up for the harm caused, and it doesn’t make me any less of a man. In fact, I believe that what it does is to make me more human. To those men who may still be snickering, I hope you’ll rethink your reaction. I don’t care if you laugh at me. I just hope you’ll think more about changing your attitudes and behavior going forward toward women.

I truly think that we men need to abandon our antiquated notions of “manhood.” We need to reconcile how we deal with human emotions that cultures the world over have been intent on breeding out of us over millennia; emotions like kindness, empathy, compassion, tenderness.

Young men like my son give me hope. His recognition and understanding of problems like violence against women is proof that men of the 21st century are looking at things differently. That’s good news because, honestly, I don’t have nearly as much hope for my fellow Baby Boomers. Not enough of us seem willing to acknowledge our faults, our responsibilities, and the need to evolve and grow in our thinking about so many things.

And, I hate to say it like this, but the other good news is that we Baby Boomers won’t be around and in charge much longer. I say that because I see it with my own eyes on a daily basis. Say what you will about the Millennials, but they didn’t fuck things up. We Baby Boomers have done that.

When it comes to questions about violence against women – and so many other issues that affect women, like a woman’s right to have an abortion and that laws should require women to be paid the same as men – the men of the Millennial Generation are showing that they have a far greater and stronger grasp on the source of our problems and what to do about them than we Baby Boomers. They have the courage to acknowledge the reality of cultural misogyny that previous generations have created. To their great credit, they aren’t willing to accept it as the norm.

Look, it’s simple reality. Women don’t attack themselves. Women don’t rape themselves. Women don’t brutalize or ridicule themselves. Men do that to them.

Yes, and to be sure, it’s not all men. I’m not saying that it is. I’d like to think that it’s the tiniest percentage of men, but it’s men nonetheless, and any percentage above zero is too many men.

What the rest of us men must do is stop giving them cover.

Unless we start when our sons are young; unless we set good examples for them to follow as they grow; unless all the rest of us men who aren’t physically abusive and violent to women are willing to speak up against written and spoken words that are misogynistic and the first possible steps toward violent behavior, then we’re really not doing enough to reduce the risks that some men represent to our daughters, our wives, our sisters, and to all women.

This isn’t about being politically correct or less of a man.

It’s about us being real men in ways that make women safer and which help to make us a more modern and peaceful society.

What Costco has to teach the 99-percenters who think they’re Republicans

It’s not complicated. Every retailer, restaurant, and corporation in America can do what Costco is doing, but they don’t.

Costco

Why is that?

I think it’s because the people who own and run these businesses refuse to look beyond next quarter’s financial statements. Their thought processes, their vision, and their values don’t include ways to share their wealth with their workers.

They are greedy, selfish, sons-of-bitches who want us to think that’s just how capitalism works.

That also seems to be how today’s conservatives who are outside the 1% think, too. What other explanation can there be for why they think they are Republicans?

Conservatives Don’t Seem to Understand Reality

Costco clearly has leaders, a board of directors, and shareholders who are visionary and courageous enough to implement ethical and moral business strategies that are profitable AND which include a more equitable distribution of those profits to workers in the form of livable wages.

Contrast that with the lies we’re told by Wall Street, by Big Business shills like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the National Federation of Independent Business, by libertarian mythologists like Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute, and by Republican politicians who keep claiming that trickle-down economics works, that we should abolish a minimum wage and leave compensation to market forces, and that government interference and over-reach are stifling business and our economy.

How is it that conservatives don’t get that all of that is, of course, complete and total bullshit?

How is it that conservatives who make less than $340,000.00 – what it takes to be in the 1% – insist on voting for Republicans and their failed policies which have ALWAYS been designed to benefit the rich and powerful first and foremost?

Liberals: Time to “Welcome Their Hatred”

We need leaders like Bernie Sanders who welcome the hatred of Wall Street and Big Money.

Compare Bernie

 

We need people like Lawrence Lessig as politicians who represent us and who are willing and eager to confront Big Money for their lies and their failures.

 

As individuals, we also must welcome the hatred of the rich and powerful. We need to find the courage to band together. We need to shine light on the fact that conservatism and Republican policy is to blame for where we are now as a nation and as a society.

More than anything, we liberals need to stop surrendering to the all-too-common liberal weakness of always wanting to find compromise.

No more compromises. It’s how we got to this sorry state of affairs. We let conservatives move the center further and further to the right by acquiescing to their demands and our own desire to avoid confrontation and conflict.

No more.

Liberals didn’t elect Reagan and two Bushes. Liberals didn’t cause banks to fail. Liberals didn’t demand that government shrink and corporations become less and less regulated. Liberals didn’t funnel all of the recovery and wealth to only the absolute richest among us.

We liberals need to continue to point out these and all the inconvenient truths that stem from conservatism (and its absurdly juvenile and greed-driven stepbrother, libetarianism).

Our fellow citizens who self-identify as conservatives need to hear from us whether they want to or not. They need to hear the truth; that they are also part of the ever-shrinking middle class and the ever-growing class of working poor.

They need to hear from us liberals that they are wrong – plain and dead wrong – for voting for ANY Republican anywhere and at any level of government.

They need to keep hearing it. Conservative (and much of libertarian) ideology that informs and drives Republican policies have unequivocally been proven to be dead wrong for everyone on every issue, and that includes economic issues. That is true, of course, for everyone except for the rich and powerful.

The Parties Are NOT The Same

It’s pretty simple and absolutely obvious. The GOP is the party of big business and the rich.

For those who are tempted to trot out the b.s. false equivalence that, “Both parties are the same,” save it. As far as I’m concerned, you’re second in line as the greatest obstacle to making real progress in this country. You give Republicans cover, and you need to stop it.

Number one on the list of obstacles are actually those Americans living in households with adjusted gross incomes of less than $340,000.00 per year who insist that they are Republicans and who vote for Republicans. I have news for them. They are not in the 1%. The conservatives in the 99% mean precisely nothing to Republicans except as useful fools who can be counted on to vote for them.

Organized Labor Is the Path to Prosperity

It’s absolutely stunning that conservatives aren’t banding together with the rest of us in the middle class in support of organized labor. History proves that stronger unions are the path to better and higher standards of living for everyone.

It bears repeating.

If you make less than 340-grand and think unions are somehow the problem and Republicans are the answer, then you not only don’t understand reality, you’re the biggest obstacle to prosperity we have right now in America.

So, how about it, conservatives?

How about you wake up and stop voting against yourselves and the rest of us?

You’ll thank yourself and, more importantly, so will future generations.

95 percent

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Additional Reading:

Strengthen Unions

Wealth Inequality in America

Top 1 percent: How much do they earn?

Capital Eye Opener, March 8: The Fight Over Minimum Wage, and Rand’s Partisan Appeal

New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Major Minimum Wage Increase

Activists Around the US Fight to Raise the Minimum Wage

 

Main Street: Your recovery will come from the left, not the right. #GetMoneyOut #NeverForget915

The American public got played (again) for chumps back in 1999 when we weren’t in the streets protesting Slick Willy’s signature of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

It wasn’t the first time. It undoubtedly won’t be the last time, either, unless we’re willing stand up once and for all time against the failed ideology of conservatism.

So, what has GLBA wrought? The ’08 crash, for one thing.

Now there’s hope for us and for Main Street:

As it happens, a trial just ended in Sacramento in which a jury was convinced that “executives intended to make fraudulent loans.” Here’s the thing, though: It wasn’t the government that made the case against the financiers; it was the defendants.
“Finally, Wall Street gets put on trial: We can still hold the 0.1 percent responsible for tanking the economy”; Thomas Frank, Salon, Sept 7, 2014.

The real estate bubble that Wall Street executives knowingly manufactured while knowing they’d escape unscathed is finally coming to some justice.

It’s about time. Their crimes and the travesty they created turns 6 years old next week.

NeverForget915

Now, I know some of you still believe the libertarian fantasies of Invisible Hands and “free market” solutions. Wake up, please. Those are fantasies conjured up in the imagination of a sub-par Russian novelist and then perpetuated by the likes of big business propagandists like Milton Friedman and the Koch Brothers. It’s not the real world, and you have been duped.

I know lots of you like to mix in large doses of Wall Street hero-worship, too. You think people like Jamie Dimon, Dick Fuld, and  Lloyd Blankfein are people of admirable character with great and endless ambition who make for exemplary role models because of the wealth and power they have amassed.

Again, you have been duped. Open your eyes. They and people like them play you for a fool. They are the ones who drove the economy right off the cliff. They have never paid a dime of recompense and, with extremely rare exceptions, have not done a minute of time behind bars for their crimes. What’s worse is that they’re still in charge.

Finally, there’s this. I know you hate hearing it because you know it’s true. Reaganomics.

Too many of you insist on believing the lie that is trickle down economics. The economy has been slow to recovery because the government bailed out Wall Street instead of Main Street. The rich got paid off for their mistakes and then took their money offshore. Banks have been operating at a federal funds rate of effectively zero for how many years now, and still no money seems to be reaching anyone except the largest and most profitable corporations.

Do you not get it yet? The government didn’t do enough 6 years ago and it still hasn’t done enough to stimulate true growth and real prosperity at its source – the MIDDLE CLASS AND THE POOR WHO ACTUALLY DRIVE THE ECONOMY WITH OUR SPENDING!

Please look at the facts. Please stop telling yourself that less regulation is always better.

Please stop voting for people who think money is speech and corporations are people.
(Does it surprise anyone that the 18 Senators who voted today against an amendment to overturn Citizens United were all Republicans?)

Please stop ignoring the fact that all the gains in our rigged economy are going to the top, that none of it will ever trickle down to you, and that all the gains are privatized while all the losses are socialized because too many of YOU insist on voting against YOUR OWN economic self-interests.

Please stop voting for Clintons and Bushes and Ryans and Pauls and Romneys.
(Yes, Clintons, too, and any other corporatist Democrats. They are part of the problem, too, just not to the same degree as Republicans and their pesky little brothers and sisters in the libertarian and tea parties.)

I get it. It’s your choice. You’re free to vote for whomever you like. You’re also free to keep playing the role of the rich person’s chump.

Just know this. There’s a growing number of people who will keep revealing the truth while you believe the lies. We will keep working to get money out of politics while you continue to vote for Big Money, whether you realize it or admit it, or not.

We will keep doing this in the hope that you’ll one day come to your senses. We will keep doing it with the certainty that if you don’t come to your senses, well, at least there’s hope for your (and our) children and grandchildren. Remember this. It’s their eyes we’ll all have to look into someday.

One more thing you must know. It’s the only logical conclusion anyone can come to in light of the last 35 years or so, and that’s this. Conservatism is a failed ideology.

Whether its ISIS or Westboro; whether its bin Laden or McViegh; whether it’s Bibi or Cruz, conservatism in all its forms and flavors is a failed ideology.

In political and economic terms, it has failed everyone except for the very rich and the very powerful who wish to go on subjugating and oppressing workers and ordinary citizens.

No society has ever advanced by being conservative, or by looking inward or backward, or by concentrating more and more wealth and power into fewer and fewer hands. This is the very definition of conservatism today in America. Make no mistake about it. There is one and only one political party embracing the failed ideology of conservatism. One.

Main Street, your salvation is not going to come from ideologues who want to conserve the status quo of unequal power and unfair capital distribution. You must see by now that nothing is going to trickle down to you. There’s nothing for Big Money to gain by pressing politicians for policies that help you to thrive.

Remember this. It wasn’t liberals and progressive who drove you and your fellow business owners to the brink of extinction by bribing or threatening local zoning boards in order to get sweetheart tax deals for the likes of Walmart. It wasn’t liberals and progressives who put Main Street out of business by driving down prices for goods and services by moving manufacturing overseas and then importing cheaply made products back to store shelves. It wasn’t the poor or the disenfranchised or the liberals and progressives who, once they had forced you out of business, continued to pass tax reforms that further enriched the rich, tried to kill unions, and who caused your standard of living to stagnate and decline by ensuring that the only jobs left in your communities were the ones paying minimum wage.

These are not liberal and progressive ideals, but they are at the very core of conservative ideology and it’s evil offspring, Objectivism – a perverse euphemism for a degree of vile greed and selfishness to qualify as a psychosis.

Look, it’s time we all became progressives. It’s how society will progress.

More than that, it’s time we all took the fight directly to conservatives and libertarians using the facts and history they cannot deny and which proves, once and for all time, to Main Streets everywhere that, on election day and with extremely rare exceptions, a vote for a Republican or libertarian is a vote against yourself, our economy, our society, and our future.

Stop Beating a Dead Fox

The conservative news channel’s only real power is in riling up liberals, who by this point should know better.

Source: nymag.com

I missed this in January. I’m so glad I found it.

Thanks to the facts presented here, I’m going to be making a concerted effort to do what everyone but the 68-and-over-all-white crowd is doing – ignore Fox. This is a must-read for everyone not fitting the aforementioned group.

Everyone is, of course, welcome and encouraged to read it, but as Frank Rich puts it so perfectly…

“The million or so viewers who remain fiercely loyal to the network are not, for the most part, and as some liberals still imagine, naïve swing voters who stumble onto Fox News under the delusion it’s a bona fide news channel and then are brainwashed by Ailes’s talking points into becoming climate-change deniers. They arrive at the channel as proud, self-selected citizens of Fox Nation and are unlikely to defect from the channel or its politics until death do them part. (As Sherman writes, “Ailes’s audience seldom watches anything” on television but Fox News.)

“The Fox News membership is more than happy to be cocooned in an echo chamber where its own hopes and fears will be reinforced by other old white “people like us.”

“Rather than waste time bemoaning Fox’s bogus journalism, liberals should encourage it. The more that Fox News viewers are duped into believing that the misinformation they are fed by Ailes is fair and balanced, the more easily they can be ambushed by reality as they were on Election Night 2012.”

See on Scoop.itDidYouCheckFirst