Hey, #liberals and #progressives, Republicans are not our allies. Stop playing the fool.

John McCain? John Kasich? Lindsey Graham? Now, Peggy Noonan?

Peggy-fucking Noonan? Now she’s being lauded for her WSJ piece as some sort of voice of reason because she found some modicum of self-serving political courage to criticize Trump and the GOP???

Oh, she’s so brave.

(Side note: For those who don’t know her, Noonan’s claim to fame was putting only slightly more intelligent words into St. Reagan’s and GHWB’s dimwitted heads than either of those two intellectually challenged conservatives could come up with on their own.)

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”So, I issue this plea with all due respect and humility to my fellow liberals and progressives; please stop with the, “Oh, he’s/she’s one of the good ones,” bullshit. PLEASE!

Noonan, McCain, Graham, Kasich, and all these newly minted “good ones” fall into the same who-gives-a-fuck-what-they-have-to-say category as Rick Santorum who, unlike these new Republican “reasonables”, proved once again and just yesterday on CNN that he is an unmitigated sycophant happy to say and do anything, including defending Trump, just to get air time. Why the fuck he is paid any attention at all by any media outlet is a mystery.

Which brings me to this question. Can you guess what media strategy so-called reasonable Republicans are starting to use? (Hint: It includes criticizing a certain someone they all helped to get elected.)

Me? I’ll start taking Republicans at their word when they start acting more and talking less.

As for my fellow liberals and progressives who are starting to turn a warm and welcoming smile toward some Republicans, this is your cue to stop willingly playing the fool.

I write this because I’m starting to see this in too many places and from too many liberals and progressives. There seems to be a drift by some lefties toward wanting to make room for and to even extolling the all too obviously disingenuous virtues of people like Kasich, McCain, and Graham.

We must resist their siren song. We can’t be so eager for reasonableness and sanity that we allow ourselves to fall for their politically calculated appearance of reasonableness.

ArsonistConservatives are the very people who set the world on fire. They and their actions going back to Reagan are what made a cretin like Trump possible. Now that the Earth is being scorched, they want us to believe they are in the fight to put out the flames with us?

Bullshit. They are doing what they do best; playing Americans for the fools we all too often are.

If we on the left agree to set the ethical, moral, and intellectual bar at a president who is now seemingly half a step away from flinging his poo at press conferences, we are allowing right-wing, empty-headed, narcissists like Noonan, soft-spoken ex-Lehman Brothers directors like Kasich, and hack politicos like McCain and Graham to try to appear as reasonable and to be more appealing to Americans generally.

And, that’s commendable? Laudable?

That’s no accomplishment at all. It does nothing to move this country to the left if we start giving credit to anyone for anything when it’s Trump they are compared against. It’s not just meaningless, it’s ridiculous.

We must give Republicans and conservatives no quarter nor any credit for doing anything more meaningful than serving their own ends by criticizing the horror of a person that they put into office.

The bar for me is still set where it always has been; liberal and progressive values that put people, the planet, and peace above the backward, destructive, and discriminatory ideology that is conservatism and Republicanism.

So, again I say to my fellow liberals and progressives, don’t be fooled, and stop playing the fool.

This country is where it is now because of conservatism, because of Republicans and their failed policies, and because of people like McCain, Graham, Kasich, and many who, yes, are far worse.

Every conservative and all of the right-wing own some part of Trump. For any of them now to try to convince us that they, too, are upset, angry, and concerned about Trump is like the arsonist now claiming to be worried about the neighbors’ houses.

They now want us to believe we’re all on the same side; unified against Trump.

Perhaps they even want us to believe that they are coming to their senses.

They may even want us to start thinking and believing they have agreed with what all of us Trump detractors have been saying since that idiot man-child came out from behind his failed businesses to be their candidate and the candidate of the hateful, the uninformed, and the aging white conservative voter.

Well, I’m calling bullshit on all of them. So should you.

What I see happening now just proves that they are nothing more than self-serving hypocrites and lying political hacks.

All they want now is to keep turning this country in their favor, and all they may need to realize that is to win a few of us liberals and progressives to their side.

Don’t do it. Don’t start complimenting them for pretending to care when all they are doing is being politically savvy.

Call them out for their culpability. Call them out for their guilt in helping to set this country on fire.

All conservatives and all Republicans are not equally guilty. Not all of them threw equal amounts of gasoline on the fire. But, they all threw some.

The conflagration that is Trump is on them.

Every conservative and every Republican owes this country and the world an apology. Then and only then can they have any credibility in helping the left to take down this abomination that is Trump, and only if they work with us to replace it with a progressive and liberal agenda.

If what we do is to once again move to the right by once again compromising and even embracing the right, then we truly are the fools.

 

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How is it possible that I agree with Goldwater while today’s conservatives don’t?

I realize that this will make some people uncomfortable and perhaps even angry.

It needs to be talked about.

Goldwater

Every thinking person regardless of political persuasion, party affiliation, or religious leaning knows (or should know) the following to be true.

Religion has no place in our politics.

The Founders enshrined that ideal into the Constitution.

Today, there is one and only one party ignoring this. One.

The Republican Party.

Goldwater warned us about American Evangelicals usurping the GOP. They have spent the last 5 decades convincing American conservatives that somehow Christians are being persecuted and discriminated against in America.

That, of course, is nonsense.

Now we have Republican presidential hopeful, Ben Carson, openly talking about how Muslims should be excluded from the presidency while The Donald openly mocks Carson for his Seventh Day Adventism.

Even *some* at Fox News get this. (Most, for sure, do NOT!)

This is why I firmly believe that today’s Republicans – both the politicians and those Evangelical Americans who support them – must be called to account publicly for wanting to violate a fundamental aspect of our democracy.

I never thought I’d say it, but I agree with what Goldwater said on this issue and with this passage in particular:

“I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.'”

Wouldn’t it be great if Republicans everywhere took the same stance as Goldwater?

Imagine that.

Me, a dyed-in-the-wool liberal yearning for a Goldwater Republican.

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

——

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

 

The Banana Republic and Baby Boomers

The rampant corruption of our political system is masterfully distilled by Lawrence Lessig to the barest elements in this video.

 

America truly has become a Banana Republic operated by and for the benefit of the rich.

We let that happen.

And, when I say ‘we’, I’m looking at you, fellow Baby Boomers. We did this, and now it’s up to us to fix our screw-ups.

It’s time for some of you to change the way you think and how you vote; otherwise, I don’t know how you’re going to look future generations in the eye and tell them, “I was thinking of you when I voted for corporatists, banksters, and wealthy elites.”

It’s time for you to stop voting against your own – and our collective – self-interests. It’s time to stop electing the liars who tell us that trickle down economics works, that government needs to shrink, that defense spending needs to increase, that we need to drill and dig more for our energy, and that corporations and banks must be allowed to do whatever they like without regulation and oversight because to do otherwise would hurt their (historically high) share values and profits as if that were the only measure of a vibrant, thriving, sustainable, and inclusive economy and society.

It’s on all of us, but it’s mostly on you Baby Boomers who somehow turned into 21st century conservatives who reject science, facts, your social responsibilities, and any compassion you may have once had for your fellow human beings and the planet we all live on.

To my fellow liberals, you’re almost as much to blame as conservatives. Enough already with the pandering and compromise; enough with the disengagement from politics and silence on critically important issues; enough with not calling your representatives and not calling people out for being wrong and wrong-headed; most of all, enough with staying home on election day.

There are more of us than there are of them. We can move this country back to the left if we get off our asses and do something – anything – to affect change.

Which brings me to this. A reality too many of my fellow liberals refuse to accept.

It is ‘Us’ versus ‘Them.’ It’s time we stopped pretending it’s not.

When you refuse to acknowledge that conservatives hold values, beliefs, and policy positions that only hurt society and which block any possibility for progress, then you have surrendered the fight. We must be ready, willing, and eager to make the distinctions and reinforce everything that distinguishes Us from Them.

We need to stop wasting precious time and energy by going into every issue and every debate thinking there’s some sort of mythical middle ground. That’s the naive and juvenile fantasy that has allowed our society to devolve. Conservatives know there is no middle ground, and they know they can get liberals to keep giving ground because that’s what liberals do. They compromise.

That’s why we have to take our measure of blame for the world we live in; a world where to be a conservative and a member of the Republican party has come to mean that you want to live in a Christian theocracy in which corporations operate with impunity while the state discriminates against women, minorities, LGBTQ, and immigrants…..and that seems not only normal but desirable to conservatives

We liberals have allowed conservatives to keep moving whatever middle used to exist farther and farther to the right. Hasn’t it gone far enough?

We liberals let the center move so far to the right because we either stayed silent or we compromised. We’ve always been the ones to compromise. That must stop, and it must stop now.

No more compromises with the right. You liberals who insist on compromise are the ones who now are actually allowing conservatives to go on ruining this country and what was once a great society. Not one without its flaws, but at least one in which the wealth and power gaps were not as obscene as they are now and not one in which it seems perfectly reasonable to some people that the likes of Trump and Carson are taken seriously as presidential candidates.

It’s time for my fellow liberals to quit being such pansies and push-overs. It’s time you started fighting – not physically, but intellectually and politically, in the public square, on social media, and out loud. It’s a fight for the future, and it’s time to fight like there is no tomorrow because unless we fight and win, conservatives and conservatism in its current form most assuredly will keep us from bequeathing any sort of bright and peaceful tomorrow to future generations.

Rich conservatives rule us because we liberals let them

This meme set me off this morning.

BernieonbankCEOsHow is it possible that no one of consequence from Wall Street is in jail?

The answer is simple.

Too many Americans over the last 35 years have bought into the lie of trickle-down economics, the ridiculous fantasy of The Invisible Hand of markets, and the utterly perverse and abject moral bankruptcy of Objectivism.

Those people are called conservatives, libertarians, and Republicans, and as far as I’m concerned, the gloves are off.

If those labels – yes, labels – are how you describe yourself, you’re the problem. Unless and until you wake the eff up, you will be called out as the reason and the source of our problems because it is YOU who have been and continue to vote against YOUR OWN self-interests and the interests of EVERY American outside the 1%.

No, Democrats are by no means perfect or immune to this criticism. Anyone following this page knows this, but also know this. Both parties are NOT the same, not even close, and we need to stop acting like and talking about the political realities as if they are.

Yes, we get to feel better about ourselves when we say “Both parties are the same,” because it allows us to feel pure and untouched by petty, dirty, corrupt partisan politics.

But, the truth is simple. Both parties are not the same, and Bernie Sanders proves that. As an independent, he could have decided to run as one or as a Republican or as a Green or as a Justice Party candidate. He didn’t because he understands the reality that if we’re going to get this country back on track as a progressive nation that leads the world on social, economic, and environmental fronts, then we must stop kowtowing to conservatives and Republicans. The only way to do this at this point in time is through the Democratic Party.

One more unvarnished bit of reality as I see it.

The only other Americans more culpable for our problems than Republicans, conservatives, and economic libertarians are LIBERALS WHO STAY HOME ON ELECTION DAY.

If you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch, and you are part of the problem.

If you aren’t registered, get registered (https://registertovote.org/index.html) and vote in the primaries and general elections for Bernie Sanders and anyone but a Republican.