Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Twisties

Ok, Conservatives....

Recommended Posts

Twisties

This lays it out in stark terms, and lays it squarely at your feet.  It will challenge your world view, and so it will be harder for you to read than it was for me... and I found it hard reading.  I suspect most Progressives would at least largely agree with what's said here.  Your challenge is to read it, all of it to the last word, then critique it. 

 

Members from other nations, please feel free to comment.  This perspective is from a Canadian.  How does it sit with the view from where you live? 

 

The Unraveling of America

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
terryofperry

WOW!

 

Terry

Share this post


Link to post
mickeym3

As a conservative it is indeed a hard read, and one that I find no fault in.  If those who would repudiate the points brought forward by this article then I'd like to hear it because it simply rings too true for me. The basis of our constitution was put immediately into a state of conflict with the institution of slavery and it has never been resolved.  Perhaps the biggest lie ever perpetuated is that we somehow are not equal.  Dred Scott reaffirmed it and to this day the black people are indeed consistently shoved to be bottom of the social scale.  This one basic lie supports the majority of our nation's ills. It was the basis of how thousands of Jews were marched into death chambers.  It continues unabated by thousands of the unborn, some of them full term being sacrificed (or harvested) every day.  Abortion is the only litmus test there is for Evangelicals, and how else can you explain their support for such a morally bankrupt president.  While Obama's mission to level (or even castrate) America's ability to influence the fate of other nations was largely successful it has ironically been advanced by his antithesis  Trump.  A Biden and presumably Rice presidency will only continue us on that path.  We will fumble our way on toward a social democracy of sorts, with no resolve to solve anything, as morally bankrupt as Trump is.  But as he said, "it is what it is"; prothetic words like those and Hilary's famous "at this point what difference does it make?" Perhaps we can never be the "shining city on a hill" because it is beyond the ability of man to create such but I cannot give up hope for that very thing.  I only know that our nation will undoubtedly sink very low indeed before it can ever aspire to climb to that peak. The largest challenge will be our complete rejection of the big lie. 

Share this post


Link to post
Rougarou

Hmmmm,.

 

Quote

Those who flock to beaches, bars, and political rallies, putting their fellow citizens at risk, are not exercising freedom; they are displaying, as one commentator has noted, the weakness of a people who lack both the stoicism to endure the pandemic and the fortitude to defeat it.

 

Why no mention of "those that flock to protests, looting, rioting" of doing the same thing.   While it is a choice to go to the beach, bar and political rally, it is easily a choice to attend a protest, looting and riot. (oh, wait, protest, looting and rioting do not either 1) fit the narrative 2) don't spread COVID :rolleyes: )

 

Why no mention of those that do live the American Dream, those that do hike up their pants and work hard to go from poor to successful or extremely successful?  Not every soul can be solidly successful, but with determination, one can overcome their circumstances and live comfortably.  The CEO of my company's father legally immigrated to this country with less than $25 in his pocket, raised a "daughter" that became the CEO of a $32billion dollar a year corporation,.......hmmmm, if ye be poor, ye should remain poor is what the article alludes to in that one cannot succeed in 'merica.

 

These current events will pass (yes, I'm a positive thinker), the America we know will have changes, but the America I know adapts to changes and will still be the greatest country to live in,......if you live here and do not think so, there's 194 countries that you can take up residence in,.......I suggest China.

 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
mickeym3

Richard I’m fuzzy on your definition of success.  I know this is the greatest country in the world, and that we should and can aspire to be greater. 

Share this post


Link to post
Rougarou
4 minutes ago, mickeym3 said:

Richard I’m fuzzy on your definition of success.  I know this is the greatest country in the world, and that we should and can aspire to be greater. 

 

Are you paying your bills on time, do you have the minimums necessary to survive (food, clothing, shelter (anything above is a luxury).  For most, even those that are considered "poor", many have more than the minimums.  How many have cell phones, how many have internet, how many have name brand clothing, how many have newer vehicles, but yet, do not prioritize the necessities.

 

I once had to deal with a wife while here husband was deployed that was behind on her bills.  After laying out how much income she was receiving while he was away and comparing it to the bills she had (the Marine was only getting $40 a payday while deployed), it showed that her income far outweighed her bills.  When I asked her where the money was going,......"well, I had to buy cigarettes" was the response,.........flabbergasted, I simply told her to go to Navy-Marine Corps Relief and "see" if they would help her stupidity.

 

For me, success is living within your means and doing it well.  If you only make minimum wage, you don't need to fund anything above the necessities, not the luxuries.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Twisties
1 hour ago, Rougarou said:

Why no mention of "those that flock to protests, looting, rioting" of doing the same thing.   While it is a choice to go to the beach, bar and political rally, it is easily a choice to attend a protest, looting and riot. (oh, wait, protest, looting and rioting do not either 1) fit the narrative 2) don't spread COVID :rolleyes: )


I thought those protests were political rallies in this context.  No?  But, that said, 1. The experts did warn against them, 2. The contact tracers have not, last I read, found much spread from them.  3. It is surmised that because mask use was highly prevalent and events were outside that transmission was low.  

I was very surprised they weren't worse, in terms of covid. 

All of that considered, one can still wish they happened in another time, and yet perhaps the frustrations of our failed covid response added to the George Floyd moment....  The very points that article (or others) have made about our failure to truly support our people and businesses through this crisis, based on the ideological state the author explores probably led in part to the underlying anger that caused them to break out now.  Blacks are being disproportionately affected by covid, too it seems.  I really don't think anything more could have been done to stop the protests, given the moment.

To contrast to the Trump rallies, indoors or in stadiums, masks eschewed, done intentionally in hot spots (the AZ one),  spacing  signs torn off and people crowded together for long periods of time does seem to have resulted in some degree of spread...  probably nothing too much in the overall scheme of things.  But, rather than being a spontaneous outpouring given a pivotal moment, these were planned in defiance of the science by our leader whose influence on people's attitudes is profound.  

One closing thought:  The dynamic in this nation has now changed.  You last saw Progressive outrage in the 60's.  From 1980 until now our politic has been dominated b Conservative outrage.  Well, guess, what?  I think Progressive outrage is finally back.  We'll see where this leads.

Share this post


Link to post
lawnchairboy

So much to address.  

 

we got serious issues, no doubt.

 

 

as someone with 27 years of federal healthcare experience as a provider, I would say be VERY careful what you wish for on the healthcare front.    I would advocate single payer, if someone other than the federal government could handle it.   
 

 

Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as I recall.   No guarantees on outcomes.   Liberty allows choices to be made, choices have consequences.   
 

this president , as for most, has been disappointing on several fronts for most conservatives I’d imagine.  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
BendBill

Hi, Jan,

We missed you at Weaverville this last May.  I hope you’re enjoying your new home.

Some thoughts after belatedly reading the Davis article:

1—A number of conservatives will agree with his points.  Poll after poll has shown the majority of Americans are unhappy with our Covid response, and know we’ve bungled it.  Other countries have also blown it, but we stand out for incompetence, lies, and the distrust of science by the ignorant and the perpetually aggrieved.

 2—HIs topic relates to my older thread about conservatives trying to burn down the GOP along with Trump.  Frankly burn it down sounds catchy but it’s . . . um . . . incendiary.   A nicer analogy comes from home remodel shows: before the renovation comes the demolition.  Two new articles below from a conservative website have differing ideas on rebuilding  a center-right coalition.

https://thebulwark.com/whats-left-to-conserve/

https://thebulwark.com/what-if-its-all-burned-down-already/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Twisties

Thanks Bill.  I just read What's left to Conserve, and I agree with most of what they have to say.  I'd go a little further, and say that I'd hope that any new Conservative rebirth would get it's head out of the habit of denialism that has overtaken the party.  Once we get coronavirus under control, and start settling the social issues they discuss, we are going to need to put the regulatory state back together and deal with global warming. 

 

On police reform, another area of agreement between nearly everyone is reforming civil forfeiture.  It fuels much of the militarization and overreach, is regularly abused, and runs afoul of our norms for due process and rule of law.  Conservatives should see it as an affront to Liberty and as an overreach, just as I do.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Twisties

What if it's all burned down already is harder for me to make sense of.  I agree with some points, see others as wrong.

I would argue that both Liberals (in the current US sense of the word) and Conservatives value Freedom and Constitution.... but Liberals have emphasized individual Freedom while Conservatives have valued unfettered business, except for gun rights....  but even on gun rights they see the one issue to the exclusion of other rights.

 

The piece suggests free marketers have not had much to crow about....  I would suggest that is because the idea of free markets is outdated in modern society and can not be reconciled with prosperity or quality of life.  Free markets work when people have knowledge of production techniques and equal power in business relationships/transactions.  Those prerequisites are not satisfied in a modern industrial or post-industrial 1st world state and the regulatory state must stand in it's stead.  Granted, though, that eternal vigilance is required.

 

As for the religious right, the idea of turning the government into their enforcers has been opposed on the left, and should have been opposed on the right.  It's anathema to the American Dream.  Unfortunately, now we have a court system packed with adherents and are seeing the wall against Establishment crumbling.  As well, the very concept of what it is to be a business has been stood on it's head in service of this evil.

Share this post


Link to post
Selden

I don't always agree with Thomas Friedman, but this piece points to what could happen here if incivility and tribalism continue along their present path: Beirut’s Blast Is a Warning for America

 

I traveled to Beirut in 1966, when it seemed like the Geneva of the Middle East. How things have changed since then.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Twisties

Thanks Selden.  More insight there, for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Hosstage

The link won't let me read without signing in or subscribing.

Share this post


Link to post
chrisolson
2 hours ago, Selden said:

but this piece points to what could happen here if incivility and tribalism continue along their present path

 

we are already there  ....  (from the article)

 

"  To put it differently, when everything is politics, it means that everything is just about power. There is no center, there are only sides; there’s no truth, there are only versions; there are no facts, there’s only a contest of wills. "

Share this post


Link to post
Selden
1 hour ago, Hosstage said:

The link won't let me read without signing in or subscribing.

 

Here is the text:

 

When I first heard the news of the terrible explosion in Beirut, and then the rampant speculation about who might have set it off, my mind drifted back some 40 years to a dinner party I attended at the residence of Malcolm Kerr, then president of the American University of Beirut.

 

During the course of the dinner, someone mentioned the unusual hailstorms that had pelted Beirut the previous two nights. Everyone offered their explanations for this extreme weather event, before Malcolm, tongue in cheek, asked his guests, “Do you think the Syrians did it?”

 

Malcolm — a charming man and brilliant scholar, who was tragically murdered a few months later by unidentified assassins — was being both humorous and profound. He was poking fun at the Lebanese tendency to explain everything as a conspiracy, and, in particular, a conspiracy perpetrated by Syria, which is why we all laughed.

 

But he was also saying something profound about Lebanese society — that, alas, also applies to today’s America — the fact that in Lebanon then, and even more so today, everything, even the weather, had become political.

 

Because of the sectarian nature of Lebanese society, where all the powers of governing, and the spoils of the state, had been constitutionally or informally divided in a very careful balance between different Christian and Muslim sects, everything was indeed political. Every job appointment, every investigation into malfeasance, every government decision to fund this and not that was seen as advantaging one group and disadvantaging another.

 

It was a system that bought stability in a highly diverse society (between spasms of civil war) — but at the price of constant lack of accountability, corruption, misgovernance and mistrust.

That is why the first question so many Lebanese asked after the recent explosion was not what happened, but who did it and for what advantage?

 

The United States is becoming like Lebanon and other Middle East countries in two respects. First, our political differences are becoming so deep that our two parties now resemble religious sects in a zero-sum contest for power. They call theirs “Shiites and Sunnis and Maronites” or “Israelis and Palestinians.” We call ours “Democrats and Republicans,” but ours now behave just like rival tribes who believe they must rule or die.

 

And second, as in the Middle East, so increasingly in America: Everything is now politics — even the climate, even energy, even face masks in a pandemic.


Indeed, we in America are becoming so much like a Middle Eastern country that, while the Lebanese were concluding that the explosion was truly an accident, President Trump was talking like a Beirut militia leader, declaring that it must have been a conspiracy. “It was an attack,” he said his generals had told him. “It was a bomb of some kind.”

But a society, and certainly a democracy, eventually dies when everything becomes politics. Governance gets strangled by it. Indeed, it was reportedly the failure of the corrupt Lebanese courts to act as guardians of the common good and order the removal of the explosives from the port — as the port authorities had requested years ago — that paved the way for the explosion.

 

“For a healthy politics to flourish it needs reference points outside itself — reference points of truth and a conception of the common good,” explained the Hebrew University religious philosopher Moshe Halbertal. “When everything becomes political, that is the end of politics.”

To put it differently, when everything is politics, it means that everything is just about power. There is no center, there are only sides; there’s no truth, there are only versions; there are no facts, there’s only a contest of wills.

 

If you believe that climate change is real, it must be because someone paid you off with a research grant. If you believe the president committed an impeachable offense trying to enlist the president of Ukraine to undermine Joe Biden, it’s only because you want power for your party.

Illiberal populists like Trump — or Bibi Netanyahu in Israel, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey and Vladimir Putin in Russia — deliberately try to undermine the guardians of facts and the common good. Their message to their people is: “Don’t believe the courts, the independent civil servants or the fake news generators — only trust me, my words and my decisions. It’s a jungle out there. My critics are killers (which is what Trump called his press corps on Friday), and only I can protect our tribe from theirs. It’s rule or die.”

 

This trend is not only hurting us, it’s literally killing us. The reason Trump has utterly failed to manage the Covid-19 pandemic is that he finally met a force he could not discredit and deflect by turning it into politics — Mother Nature. She is impenetrable to politics because all she consists of is chemistry, biology and physics. And she will do whatever they dictate — in this case, spread a coronavirus — whether Trump affirms it or not.

 

The leaders of Germany, Sweden and South Korea asserted just the opposite, saying: “No, there are scientific facts independent of politics and there is the common good, and we will bow to those facts and we will serve the common good with a public health strategy.”

 

The other day Trump told a G.O.P. audience in Cleveland that, if Biden won, he would “hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns, he’s against energy, our kind of energy.”

Our kind of energy?

 

Yup, it turns out there is now Republican energy — oil, gas and coal — and Democratic energy — wind, solar and hydro. And if you believe in oil, gas and coal, you are also supposed to oppose abortion and face masks. And if you believe in solar, wind and hydro, you are presumed to be pro-abortion rights and pro-face mask. This kind of thinking, in the extreme, is what destroyed Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen and is increasingly eating away at Israel.

 

But if you listen to the street demonstrators in Beirut, you can hear how so many Lebanese are starved for a government that represents the common good. Here in America, too. Who are the leaders many of us still respect and yearn for — even when we disagree with them? asked Halbertal.

 

“They are the leaders,” he answered, “who believe that there is a realm of the sacred — of the common good — that is outside of politics and who make big decisions based on their best judgment of the common good — not their naked power interests.’’

 

These leaders will do a lot for their parties; they are not averse to politics. They engage in it intensely — but they recognize where it has to stop and start. They won’t subvert the Constitution or start a war or play down a public health hazard to save their own power.

 

In the Middle East, those people are rare, and usually get assassinated — but we remember their names: Yitzhak Rabin, Anwar Sadat, Rafik Hariri and courageous Lebanese journalists like my colleagues Gibran Tueni and Samir Kassir.

 

It is why many of us admire Justice John Roberts when he occasionally sides with the liberals on Supreme Court decisions. It is not because the decision is liberal, but because he seems to be acting on behalf of the common good, not his political tribe.

 

It is also why we still admire our military, the guardians of our common good, and are appalled and alarmed when we see Trump dragging them into “politics.”

Think of the dignity of Al Gore gracefully submitting to a highly politicized Supreme Court decision giving the 2000 election to George W. Bush. Gore put the common good first. He took a bullet for America.

 

Trump would have torn America apart over that, and trust me, if he loses in November, there is no way he will put the common good ahead of his own and go quietly into this good night.

“When you lose the realm of the sacred, that realm of the common good outside of politics, that is when societies collapse,” said Halbertal. That is what happened to Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq. And that is what is slowly happening to Israel and America.

 

Reversing this trend is the most important project of our generation.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Red

We have career civil servants.  Even though most are ofishully executive branch employees, they are career and not appointed.  As such there is a semblance of separation between political influence and execution of mission for those below the senior executive service level.  Additionally, OPM has some pretty good authority to terminate folks for violation of the Hatch Act as well as gerymandering performance evaluations based on non performance based criteria.  That said, nothing from current administration from changing current safeguards through administrative acts and legislation.  We could go there.

Share this post


Link to post
BendBill
9 hours ago, Twisties said:

 

On police reform, another area of agreement between nearly everyone is reforming civil forfeiture.  It fuels much of the militarization and overreach, is regularly abused, and runs afoul of our norms for due process and rule of law.  Conservatives should see it as an affront to Liberty and as an overreach, just as I do.

 

 

Actually, libertarian conservatives have long opposed civil forfeiture of criminals' goods and money. All the years I was in police work, I considered them Pollyannish, though in my gray hairs I see their principled stand on the issue.  I still find many libertarians odd: Besides their hands-off approach to drugs, I remember several Orange County, CA, folks who hated the idea of tax-payer ambulances attempting to stop suicides--any suicides.  In their reductive individualism, any 14 year old girl or 20 year-old PTSD type who threatened suicide should be given full rein.  They were examples of Emerson's dictum: " A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

 

Finally, a 3-day old article by another principled conservative, David Brooks, on how the different sub-types of Republicans from Reagan to present will have to come up with a new GOP to supplant  populism. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/07/opinion/sunday/republican-party-trump-2020.html

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
RPG
On 8/7/2020 at 8:16 AM, mickeym3 said:

As a conservative it is indeed a hard read, and one that I find no fault in.  If those who would repudiate the points brought forward by this article then I'd like to hear it because it simply rings too true for me. The basis of our constitution was put immediately into a state of conflict with the institution of slavery and it has never been resolved.  Perhaps the biggest lie ever perpetuated is that we somehow are not equal.  Dred Scott reaffirmed it and to this day the black people are indeed consistently shoved to be bottom of the social scale.  This one basic lie supports the majority of our nation's ills. It was the basis of how thousands of Jews were marched into death chambers.  It continues unabated by thousands of the unborn, some of them full term being sacrificed (or harvested) every day.  Abortion is the only litmus test there is for Evangelicals, and how else can you explain their support for such a morally bankrupt president.  While Obama's mission to level (or even castrate) America's ability to influence the fate of other nations was largely successful it has ironically been advanced by his antithesis  Trump.  A Biden and presumably Rice presidency will only continue us on that path.  We will fumble our way on toward a social democracy of sorts, with no resolve to solve anything, as morally bankrupt as Trump is.  But as he said, "it is what it is"; prothetic words like those and Hilary's famous "at this point what difference does it make?" Perhaps we can never be the "shining city on a hill" because it is beyond the ability of man to create such but I cannot give up hope for that very thing.  I only know that our nation will undoubtedly sink very low indeed before it can ever aspire to climb to that peak. The largest challenge will be our complete rejection of the big lie. 

I fear our only hope is is the often repeated phrase in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Who is John Galt?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...