Tag Archives: dnc

Oh progress…..

26 Dec

A lot of wind was taken out of my zealous sails the other day during a talk with my girlfriend on politics. She got me thinking about some of my positions and my initial gut reactions to them. I was furious about the healthcare bill because it was not liberal enough, but I guess she’s showed me that it was the best pragmatic solution possible. So perhaps I’m becoming more of a pragmatist. I don’t really have energy anymore for long, drawn out ideological fights over politics anymore.

With the progress on healthcare in mind, I wanted to sit down and examine my thoughts on where liberals and conservatives fall within the fight for progress.

For starters, I guess I should define what I think of as “liberal” and “conservative”. Conservatives, in my mind, are concerned with maintaining the status quo. This is to the benefit of their majority, or primarily White, Anglo-Saxon Protestants. Conservatives dream of the “good old days” of the past, and seek to return America to an idealistic version of the 50’s.

Liberals on the other hand are constantly fighting the status quo. The liberal base is made up of not just WASP, but of all types of minorities, be they racial, religious, or sexual minorities. This heterogeneous nature of liberals sometimes leads to in-fighting, and a lack of cohesion, which the conservatives exploit.  For liberals, the “good old days” were only good if you were a WASP male. It was back then that only men could vote, women were excluded from the workplace and equal education, and racial minorities were brutally kept in their place with violence and Jim Crow laws. Liberals fight the “good old days” of total WASP male domination in an effort to make the country’s laws more just for all. (It will be interesting to see what happens in 2050 when WASP becomes the minority)

To this end, when I look at U.S. history I can get a sense of progress towards the liberal goal of a more just and equal world. Sure there have been setbacks before, but progress eventually steamrolls through the resistance. Progress usually comes slowly, it’s a generational thing. A black man would by lynched if he was seen holding a white woman’s hand in the 50’s. Today nobody thinks twice. Each generation is slowly more and more tolerant than their parents, and so progress continues.

But if this progress is inevitable, then conservatives only act to retard it. They might want to completely reverse all the progress made, but being unable to change the mindset of entire generations, they fail to do this. My question is, if the social change is inevitable, why fight it? You’re just going to lose, like you always have in the past.

“The world is not ready yet” is what I would expect in response, which leads into the idea that if we changed, society would collapse. This is ridiculous. Society is not going to collapse. The only time a society collapsed in US History was when the south lost the Civil War. Their society based on the enslavement of an entire race of people collapsed, and in turn was replaced by a new society that had to undergo the growing pains of the civil right’s movement.

Lets pretend for a moment that when we wake up tomorrow, all the liberal dreams for society come true. The economy would not crash because women were being paid equal money for equal work. Straight marriages would not be worthless and destroyed because Bob and Dan down the street got married and now receive the legal benefits of marriage. God would not come down and smite the country if the various racial and ethnic groups lived together in mutual respect. No, the conservative fears about liberal social progress are unfounded. It just means that WASP males would no longer have privilege above all others, they would be equal, just like the rest of us.

It just frustrates me when conservatives slow the inevitable, because while we’re here arguing, people are suffering in an unjust country.

Should terrorists get fair trials?

9 Dec

In this short clip, FOX’s Judge Napolitano argues with Bill’O over whether the 9/11 conspirators should be given a fair trial in a NYC civilian court, or prosecuted in a military tribunal.

(I especially love the part where Bill’O admits he doesn’t care about the constitution)

From good ol’ Bill’O’s point of view, Bush declared a war on terror, therefore terrorists are enemy combatants, therefore the rights in the constitution do not apply.

If the government declares a war on terror, and that means “terrorists” are enemy combatants and thus subject to military tribunals, regardless of what the constitution demands, the extreme danger is that anyone the government declares a “terrorist” would be immediately stripped of all their rights. Bill’O has no problem doing this to some Arabs, but what if the government started prosecuting white supremacists and abortion clinic bombers in the same way? “Terrorism” does have a legal definition, and it applies to these groups as well.

Napolitano sees this, but Bill’O will have none of it. After all, Bill’O and his mindless followers are infallible, patriotic, god fearing Americans. They don’t need to be bothered by some document written hundreds of years ago.

But let me ask this: Suppose we adopted Bill’O’s view, that combatants in a war on an idea or condition (not a country) should be stripped of all rights, what would we have? What about the war on poverty? Are poor people enemy combatants? What about the war on hunger? Drugs? Crime? What about the war on Cancer?

This is where conservative readers will object: “Oh that’s ridiculous. This would only apply to terrorists! Don’t you hate terrorists?”

Yes, I hate terrorists, but if you disregard what separates us from them out of fear and hate, namely the rule of law and the constitution, then they have already one. You destroyed yourself without them firing a shot. Congratulations. No, as horrible as terrorists are, we must be better than them. We must abide by the constitution we claim to defend, even when it is most difficult and painful.

Reality doesn’t matter

3 Dec

I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that reality doesn’t matter to my opponents, religious and political. I’ve realized that they have their minds made up, and they don’t give a shit about the facts. If need be they will make up their own facts out of thin air, like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, etc.

If that doesn’t even work they will just vehemently deny reality until you faceplam yourself to death. I think they get pleasure out of watching intelligent people explode after they spend all this time presenting them with evidence and reasons, etc. Kirk Cameron and other religious fundamentalists love this!

It doesn’t matter that evolution is back up by mountains and mountains of evidence. It just doesn’t fucking matter. They know the truth and everything else must be the work of Satan.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it is useless to waste my energy talking to these people. It’s like talking to a brick wall, and I’m only hurting myself. They have no interest in a rational debate where the facts matter. It’s like trying to play a game within a set of rules, and they don’t give a fuck about the rules, and run all out of bounds and still declare themselves victorious. It would be easy to ignore these people if they didn’t have real world impacts, but unfortunately I’m starting to worry that much of the worlds population is just as retarded as them.

Why do conservatives hate Obama so much?

7 Oct

I remember the liberal protests of Bush when he was in power. We were all really angry. We felt he purposely mislead the American people and got us into another never ending war, that vice president Dick Cheney was a war criminal under the Geneva Convention for allowing torture, and that they shredded our right to privacy by wiretapping our phones without court oversight. Cheney even tried to create a secret death squad! I really hated these guys, but never did I say they should be assassinated like some conservatives say of Obama. (there was even a facebook poll on this)

What I see now is something different, something more violent, more venomous. This goes beyond just calling Obama Hitler. (Which was wrong when the liberals called Bush Hitler, just as it is wrong when the conservatives say it of Obama)

A recent poll of New Jersey conservatives showed that %18 of self identified conservatives believed Obama to be the anti-christ, a further %17 were not sure. Also among that self-identified conservative group, %14 think he has the numbers “666” hidden under his hair. (wtf?)

There is even this video on youtube trying to make the case the Jesus identified Barack Obama as satan:

Now I understand that many conservatives feel very strongly that Obama is destroying America, but the liberals felt the very same way about Bush, and the liberals never brought guns to rallies holding signs saying “the tree of liberty needs watering”.

I think Rush Limbaugh epitomized the view of many when he said “I want Obama to fail!”.

It certianly feels like many conservatives want America to fail, as long as it all happens on Obama’s watch. Take this reaction from the “Americans for Prosperity” (a conservative group) upon hearing that America was eliminated in the first round of hearings to determine the location of the next Olympic games:

Yay!!! Something bad just happened to America on Obama’s watch!!! Really? Do you really hate him more than you love America? This just blows my mind.

I really have to wonder how much race and religion play into this. I know the conservatives would have hated any liberal president, but I somehow doubt they would have hated as much as they hate a black man with muslim heritage. Just watching the tea party parades on Washington last month, there seemed to be something different, scarier, more militant than the liberal protests I remember.

Congressional republicans want everything to fail

9 Sep

I want to first make the distinction between congressional republicans and your average citizen republican. I think they are two different groups of people.

I can’t help but get the feeling that the republicans that hold elected office just want everything in the country to fail while Obama is in charge. Ever since he got elected they have turned into the party of “no”. They shoot down every idea the democrats come up with, and in turn they offer no ideas.

I feel Obama has gone out of his way to try and include the republicans in the healthcare debate, but so far it has only been to his detriment. The republicans see that he is trying to reach out to them and so they halfheartedly offer up ideas nobody in their right mind would agree with. When the democrats naturally veto the bad ideas, the republicans cry foul and say Obama isn’t being bi-partisan. If Obama DID accept their ideas, when he implemented them they would fail (the republicans know this) and then the GOP would point and shout “Look! Look! Obama’s ideas are failing! Vote Republican!” It’s a win win situation for them.

So the republicans bide their time pussy-footing around, stalling, all to the country’s detriment. They don’t care that their constituents are suffering, that America is swamped with problems. To them they only have to wait it out 4 years, and try to make those 4 years as horrible as possible. As long as they can point out that Obama is in charge during all the problems.

It really makes me feel bad for the republicans who voted for them. The average republican doesn’t want Obama to fail, for if Obama fails the country suffers. They have jobs and families to worry about. They can’t just sit around on $165,200 congressional pay checks for 4 years. They need help now, and their representatives don’t want to give it to them.

I hate spineless democrats

18 Aug

This makes me furious. Obama might back off of the public option for healthcare even though 72% of the population want that option!?!?! Excuse my language, but what the fuck is it with spineless democrats! A few grumpy old white men in congress get mad at you and you go belly up despite having 72% of the population behind you?

Who gives a fuck what the conservatives in congress think? Last time I checked people had had enough of them ruling the country and ran them out of power in BOTH branches of government. They don’t even have enough seats in the senate to be able to stand up and whine forever. Despite all this the democrats cower in front of them?

I’m sorry, but the democrats make me furious. They have ever since 2006 when I felt betrayed by them. I used to be an extremely passionate supporter of theirs until the 2006 elections. They took congress and I suddenly felt the dark reign of Bush would be stopped, but it was as if the republicans were still in charge. They just fell over in fear every time the republicans got angry. It’s like they secretly feel in their hearts that the republicans are right, and America is an extremely conservative country. Why the fuck they’re in politics I haven’t a clue.

No, I wish we could just fire all of them. I want someone in there who won’t betray us and the change we voted for. Someone who will have the balls to stand up to the grumpy old men and tell them to go to hell. They no longer have the power, and after 8 years it’s time we start fixing the country.

American Anti-intellectualism

28 Jun

Anti-intellectualism is a big movement among conservatives in the United States. This is movement that completely baffles me. Apparently they disagree that being smart and informed is good. Whaaa? Why would you think that being knowledgeable and informed is a bad thing?

People seek to be smart and informed because doing so improves their ability to make good decisions. The more you know about reality, the better you can plan to make thinks happen the way you want them to. Knowledge improves your quality of life! Knowledge is power!

The sick thing is that the people who started this movement are extremely smart and intellectual. They knew that by convincing the less intelligent people in America that being smart was a bad thing, they could better control and manipulate them. All they had to do was play on the idea of “smart people think they’re better than you”. Angry insecure idiots would keep the ball moving after the initial push.

This whole anti-intellecualism stems from an anti-elitism movement. Sam Harris wrote a wonderful article defending elitism here.

“Ask yourself: how has “elitism” become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities [government], we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn’t seem too intelligent or well educated.”

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