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Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:15 PM

Message to the Left-Wing

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to who prepares for it today.”
-- Malcolm X

The current tension on DU:GD, between the pro-Hillary Clinton and the anti-Clinton groups, can actually be superimposed over other longer-term tensions within the Democratic Party. That, of course, comes as little or no surprise to most people in this internet community. What has changed, I believe, is that a growing number of people on the left are becoming convinced that -- due to the undemocratic effect that “big money has upon elections -- that the Democratic Party is becoming too much like the republican party, and that they are powerless to change it.

We can trace the negative influence that “big money” has back to Richard Nixon. In both 1968 and ‘72, the combination of legal and illegal contributions to the Nixon cause allowed him to be elected twice to the highest office in the land. The simple fact that money could so influence elections -- to the point that as repulsive a human being as Nixon could be elected -- demonstrates its unhealthy influence on democracy.

Perhaps the biggest change since then is that the US Supreme Court has ruled that money is speech, and has simply made what previously was illegal attempts to buy elected office legal. That this was a partisan decision is beyond question; indeed, it is as part as the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v Gore.

This comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with, for example, Injustice Antonin Scalia’s interpretation of the Constitution. Speaking at a 2002 Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Scalia said that the 1787 version of the Constitution was inspired, divine law. “That consensus has been upset by the emergence of democracy,” he told the crowd. He added that “the reactions of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but resolution to combat it as effectively as possible.”

There you go: God wanted George W. Bush to be President, but was unable to influence the final outcome, because of democracy. Thus, Scalia & Company had to do for God what he couldn’t do for Himself. Big money in politics? Again, God’s will to promote the divine authority of the dollar.

For a variety of reasons, the tensions that we see here are being played out in direct association to Ms. Clinton’s campaign. For many here (and nationally), Ms. Clinton is an outstanding candidate. Not “perfect,” as no one is; but exactly who is needed at this time. They are confident that she will win. And that’s not only okay -- it’s a good thing.

For many others, she is representative of too many of the problems with politicians in general, if not the very personification of very specific political vice. They view her as working for the same corporate interests as the republicans, rather than the common people. They resent that they may not have a serious alternative choice in the primaries. And they believe that even if she wins the White House, it will not translate into positive gains in their daily lives.

How well do these two groups get along? Well, if we look at DU:GD -- which has been a rather tough neighborhood in past primary seasons -- the name-calling and other insults would suggest “not to well.” That’s not to say that there are not plenty of good contributions from both pro- and anti-Clinton people here. There are. And some people -- again, from both sides -- also raise some interesting questions for those on the opposing side to consider. Now, that’s the way it should be.

However, there is also a semi-organized “neighborhood watch group,” that coordinates attacks on many of the anti-Clinton Ops. I’m sure they believe the opposite is true, too; I haven’t seen evidence of it at anywhere near the same level, though. By no coincidence, this cluster identifies itself as The Democratic Party -- not part of it, but the established party itself. Likewise, they frequently point out the word “democratic” in the Democratic Underground, and express a belief that it indicates support of the party as they define it.

Again: this is a description of some, but definitely not all, of Clinton supporters. By no coincidence, if you are active in your local and regional Democratic Party committees, you will encounter similar atmospheres. There are a lot of good people who fully support Ms. Clinton; not as a “perfect” candidate, but as one capable of winning the election, and dealing with the reality of the dysfunction and corrupt reality that is our federal government. (There are others who are undecided, or who do not feel comfortable supporting Hillary Clinton.) And, among the Clinton supporters, there are always some who are bitter, or histrionic, or closed-minded, who project their personality traits upon the candidate.

In the end, politics is always about power. Those running national campaigns look to harvest two things from the public: financial contributions and votes. They are not primarily concerned with your thoughts or problems; rather, they seek to frame issues in a way where the largest number of voters will identify their thoughts and problems as being addressed by the campaign.

If you want your thoughts and concerns to be recognized, you need to start at the local level. To really have them taken seriously, you have to demonstrate that you can harness local power -- that means expanding your base of support within the community and surrounding area. To be successful, you need like-minded people, ready and able to invest in the effort to spread your position in the next town, city, and county. When you are able to do that, then those at the state level begin to pay attention to you.

Since human beings tend to be human beings, if you are able to do this, you will find the already established folks will take one of three positions: [1] they will want to join with you; [2] they will want to access your votes, money, etc, for their agenda; or [3] they will view you as their competition, and oppose you.

I agree with establishment Democrats who note that there are important differences between the two parties. I also agree with those who note that -- especially at the top -- the two parties have way too much in common. And I fully appreciate the beliefs of those who feel that we need a third party. What I do not believe is that, with a major investment of effort from the grass roots -- and I do not mean in one election cycle -- the Democratic Party can be made to accommodate almost everyone ….excepting only, perhaps, those Democrats who are most like their republican counterparts.

In my opinion, based upon decades of experience, that requires the left-wing of the party to engage in an organized outreach to the Democratic Left; identify as much common ground as possible; and, when possible, work as a coalition. Obviously, that does not mean that you’ll all vote exactly the same, all of the time. But it does mean that when there are good progressive-liberal Democratic Party candidates, that you will increase their chances of victory. That’s power.

When you start doing that, those at the next level up begin to take notice. They will notice a pattern emerging. And even those moderate-to-conservative Democrats who really don’t have that much in common with you, will come to understand that they can no longer take you and your vote for granted. They’ll stop thinking that you have “no where else to go,” because you’ll be making a stronger left-wing of the party your political residence. They won’t be able to treat you like they are your landlord in the Democratic Party any more. In fact, they’ll have to take a whole different approach, when they come knocking on your door, asking you to help them.

I’m not suggesting that this is the “only” way, but rather, just one possibility.

Peace,
H2O Man

147 replies, 7544 views

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Arrow 147 replies Author Time Post
Reply Message to the Left-Wing (Original post)
H2O Man Apr 2015 OP
99th_Monkey Apr 2015 #1
H2O Man Apr 2015 #3
99th_Monkey Apr 2015 #7
H2O Man Apr 2015 #14
G_j Apr 2015 #41
H2O Man Apr 2015 #44
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #76
H2O Man Apr 2015 #78
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #82
H2O Man Apr 2015 #85
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #90
H2O Man Apr 2015 #94
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #96
H2O Man Apr 2015 #98
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #100
msanthrope Apr 2015 #125
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #19
RobertEarl Apr 2015 #11
H2O Man Apr 2015 #16
RobertEarl Apr 2015 #108
H2O Man Apr 2015 #109
Sherman A1 Apr 2015 #2
H2O Man Apr 2015 #5
JaneyVee Apr 2015 #4
H2O Man Apr 2015 #8
boston bean Apr 2015 #9
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Apr 2015 #126
tblue37 Apr 2015 #6
H2O Man Apr 2015 #12
tblue37 Apr 2015 #24
H2O Man Apr 2015 #25
mmonk Apr 2015 #10
H2O Man Apr 2015 #13
mmonk Apr 2015 #15
H2O Man Apr 2015 #17
mmonk Apr 2015 #18
jwirr Apr 2015 #49
mmonk Apr 2015 #56
jwirr Apr 2015 #60
mmonk Apr 2015 #92
L0oniX Apr 2015 #20
liberal_at_heart Apr 2015 #21
H2O Man Apr 2015 #23
AuntPatsy Apr 2015 #29
H2O Man Apr 2015 #58
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #35
H2O Man Apr 2015 #62
heaven05 Apr 2015 #43
H2O Man Apr 2015 #22
mmonk Apr 2015 #30
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #34
RoccoR5955 Apr 2015 #50
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Apr 2015 #127
orpupilofnature57 Apr 2015 #26
sadoldgirl Apr 2015 #27
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #28
sadoldgirl Apr 2015 #31
H2O Man Apr 2015 #40
msanthrope Apr 2015 #33
H2O Man Apr 2015 #45
H2O Man Apr 2015 #37
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #39
H2O Man Apr 2015 #42
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #53
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #61
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #64
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #65
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #73
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #84
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #103
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #111
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #117
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #122
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #119
sabrina 1 Apr 2015 #91
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #32
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #47
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #115
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #118
cui bono Apr 2015 #123
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #131
cui bono Apr 2015 #141
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #142
cui bono Apr 2015 #143
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #145
cui bono Apr 2015 #146
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #147
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #139
cui bono Apr 2015 #140
H2O Man Apr 2015 #52
daredtowork Apr 2015 #102
DeSwiss Apr 2015 #36
H2O Man Apr 2015 #68
JDPriestly Apr 2015 #38
H2O Man Apr 2015 #69
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2015 #46
H2O Man Apr 2015 #70
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2015 #71
KoKo Apr 2015 #48
H2O Man Apr 2015 #72
KoKo Apr 2015 #89
daredtowork Apr 2015 #106
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #120
lovemydog Apr 2015 #51
H2O Man Apr 2015 #75
lovemydog Apr 2015 #77
H2O Man Apr 2015 #79
lovemydog Apr 2015 #80
liberal_at_heart Apr 2015 #86
lovemydog Apr 2015 #112
Thinkingabout Apr 2015 #54
H2O Man Apr 2015 #81
PBass Apr 2015 #55
longship Apr 2015 #57
H2O Man Apr 2015 #83
liberal_at_heart Apr 2015 #99
H2O Man Apr 2015 #101
liberal_at_heart Apr 2015 #107
ND-Dem Apr 2015 #121
Bluenorthwest Apr 2015 #59
H2O Man Apr 2015 #67
Bluenorthwest Apr 2015 #95
H2O Man Apr 2015 #105
Rex Apr 2015 #63
KoKo Apr 2015 #74
H2O Man Apr 2015 #88
whereisjustice Apr 2015 #66
H2O Man Apr 2015 #97
whereisjustice Apr 2015 #104
YOHABLO Apr 2015 #87
H2O Man Apr 2015 #93
Fumesucker Apr 2015 #114
mmonk Apr 2015 #110
Jefferson23 Apr 2015 #113
H2O Man Apr 2015 #128
burrowowl Apr 2015 #116
H2O Man Apr 2015 #129
eridani Apr 2015 #124
H2O Man Apr 2015 #130
malthaussen Apr 2015 #132
H2O Man Apr 2015 #133
malthaussen Apr 2015 #138
Beartracks Apr 2015 #134
H2O Man Apr 2015 #135
JonLP24 Apr 2015 #136
H2O Man Apr 2015 #137
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2015 #144

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:29 PM

1. Thanks for the thoughtful OP, but I'm confused about this piece

 

"...that requires the left-wing of the party to engage in an organized outreach to the Democratic Left"

Aren't these the same thing?

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:34 PM

3. The Democratic Left

does include some progressives and liberals who are registered Democrats; it also includes many people who register as independent, and/or identify themselves a Greens, socialists, etc.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:38 PM

7. OK. Thanks for that clarification. nt

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:01 PM

14. Thank you.

By uniting local Democratic Party and Democratic Left people -- here in a three county regional of rural, republican upstate New York -- we've been able to change the balance of political power. The biggest question, in my mind, is if we will be able to maintain that effort, or if it will fracture, and allow the republican machine to regain full power.

Too often, we see some folks here saying DU doesn't reflect the larger reality. I disagree. While the two are obviously not exact, to the same general extent we find people able to identify common ground within this internet community, it can be found outside of it. And the same forces that fracture agreement here, tends to fracture it outside, as well.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:42 PM

41. agree

Also, I think the Moral Monday movement here in NC is a beacon. It takes a lot of time, stamina and resilience, but grass roots is the way.

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Response to G_j (Reply #41)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:53 PM

44. The Moral Monday

movement is one of the most encouraging things in the United States these days. I thought highly of the Occupy movement, too. Add them together with other related actions across the country, and it provides fertile grounds for the left.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #14)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:31 PM

76. Just want to say that I agree with you regarding the Left building a power base within the Party.

For too long, the Left has been marginalized, even to the point where right wing 'epithets and phrases have been used by so called Dems against them from within this party.

And yet, the party cannot win without the Left.

So yes, it's way past time for the Left to organize and rather than being taken for granted, then cast aside, use that power to get more of what they want.

Bernie Sanders, eg, bargains for his state with Dems all the time. They need his vote but since he's not a Dem, they can't take it for granted.

And I do believe that is exactly what is happening. It's getting harder for the Conservative Dems to force the Left to simply accept their decisions. There is much more action at local levels now (see the last two midterms eg) and much less willingness on the part of the Left to go out of their way for non-Progressive candidates, while they DID go out of their way for Progressives and in such cases, won most of the time.

I hope we have a lot of candidates in the primary races, not just the WH election, but the Senate and Congress also.

Thanks again for a thoughtful post as always.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #76)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:41 PM

78. Thank you!

I always enjoy reading your contributions to various discussions on this forum. There is nothing I respect more than a person who is passionate about social justice, and who is willing to speak her/his mind, and take a position.

Those very characteristics can, of course, make some of our friends uncomfortable. Hence, the marginalization of the left that you speak of. Too often, it is so rude that you can question if you are really all on the same team.

I like to try to put things in this context: Who owns the problem.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #78)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:48 PM

82. 'Sticks and stones' but names, well I've been called just about everything since I first began

posting on political forums, if anything, it confirms my opinions when I see people resort to such tactics.

Lol, I remember being told that Homeland Security would be paying me a visit since I 'loved Saddam' so much! Made me laugh, but my response was 'I better hide my Barbara Streisand CDs' (she was a huge target of the Right at the time)

People who are informed, don't need to resort to those measures, so when they do, I know I have the advantage!

And as I've said many times, you were one of the reasons for my being here in the first place, among some others, a few still here, others who have moved on.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #82)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:06 PM

85. If you & yours

are ever in this area, I'll show you the board that a gentleman broke over my head, years ago when I was marching in a rally on Oneida Territory. I've always said that it was a good thing that he slammed the board on my head! I could have been hurt, otherwise. As it was, I suspect it was his hands that were most seriously injured!

Around that same time, Chief Waterman was able to secure a large number of "security files" that a government agency kept on those of us involved in burial protection and repatriation. The funniest thing about mine was that the fellows mistook my oldest brother for me quite often. Yikes!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #85)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:18 PM

90. Lol! I don't know where this saying came from, but I think it was Dionne 'there is nothing so

dangerous as stupidity in action'. I'm glad you came to no harm but that is a funny story.

So they couldn't even spy properly, the government I mean. Well that's a consolation I suppose.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #90)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:30 PM

94. Had it been my

normal brother, I'd have been fine with it. But they mistook me for my aggressive, extremely hostile brother. Gracious. (It did help explain why, one evening after writing me a ticket for a blown headlight, a police officer thanked me for not attacking him. Seriously. I couldn't figure that one out for a while!)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #94)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:34 PM

96. Lol, that cracked me up.

'thanked me for not attacking him'!

Lol, that is hilarious!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #96)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:37 PM

98. Oh, it was strange.

He didn't come across as sarcastic, or hostile. I believe that he really meant what he said, even though he might have said more than he intended to.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #98)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:49 PM

100. All I can say is you are lucky he wasn't the 'shoot first ask questions later' type.

The poor man was probably terrified. I wonder if he ever figured it out? Lol!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #100)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 06:21 AM

125. I sent you a PM. nt

 

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:23 PM

19. +1. n/t

 

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:49 PM

11. The establishment hates the left

 

Last edited Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:37 PM - Edit history (1)

Because the left makes them feel uncomfortable.

The establishment is conservative... they don't want change. Obama crammed it down their throats because bush was such a damned killer. People reacted and got off their sorry asses and voted, in 2008, for change. Then they went back to sleep. H> is like a sleeping pill so don't expect people to wake up and vote. Besides that, the election at this stage is BORING! So the petty squabbles are entertainment for those whose lives are BORING!

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:04 PM

16. I have to say

that while I have read and enjoyed your contributions here for several years, that in the past six months or so, I've come to have a great(er) respect for you. I really appreciate your insight, and value your opinions.

Thank you very much.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:33 PM

108. That was a nice thing to say

 

Thanks.

Used to be I would react to the opposition, learned to just act, lately.

Too, it is a heretofore little known fact that old men, if they remain progressive, get more progressive as they ripen. Eh?

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Response to RobertEarl (Reply #108)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:36 PM

109. True, that.

Old men are a funny bunch!

Also: I said it, because I absolutely meant it. I think very highly of you, your opinion,and the wonderful way that you express it.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:32 PM

2. You know,

there is only tension if one accepts it. I have absolutely no tension what-so-ever. If HRC is the candidate in the General Election, she will get my vote, if not the Democratic Candidate will do so. In the primary in my state well, we will see who is on the ballot when that comes about. Beyond that I am tuning this election cycle out as much as humanly possible. It's pretty much..... to me.

If others choose to do otherwise, in whatever form that might take, that is up to them to do as they please.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:36 PM

5. That is true.

Hence, there are tensions on DU:GD, though that certainly does not mean everyone is worked up, etc.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:35 PM

4. How dare you bring a reasoned and rational analysis to DU:GD?!

 

I disagree with "neighborhood watchgroup". One could literally list 10 anti-Hillary posts to every 1 pro-Hillary posts. It's not even close. But, good OP.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:38 PM

8. Thanks!

I have no problem in saying that my perception is based 100% upon what I read here on DU:GD. And there is surely more that I don't read. I know that other folks have very different views of the dynamics here, that are just as real and accurate as my own.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:42 PM

9. The reasoned??

One who sees a organized effort by Clinton supporters to go on the attack and hasn't really seen evidence of the same from the other side.

I am truly laughing my ass off.

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Response to boston bean (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 06:28 AM

126. The other side isn't organized. It's more of a shotgun sorta deal.

(Edit: I suppose I better add to that to clarify. Clintonians are all well aligned behind a single candidate, moving well in harness with one another in her defense and support. Non-Clintonians are scattered all over the map, wanting different candidates, caring about different policies, etc.)

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:37 PM

6. H20Man, this passage confuses me:

What I do not believe is that, with a major investment of effort from the grass roots -- and I do not mean in one election cycle -- the Democratic Party can be made to accommodate almost everyone ….excepting only, perhaps, those Democrats who are most like their republican counterparts.


Did you mean that you do not believe that, with sufficient effort, the party cannot be made to accommodate everyone?

Also, this passage seems confusing: "that requires the left-wing of the party to engage in an organized outreach to the Democratic Left." Did you mean the Dem center? Or perhaps the Dem establishment?

Otherwise, great post. KnR.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:51 PM

12. Sure -- glad to try

to clarify -- and I apologize for not being clearer.

First, the "Democratic Left" includes the left-wing of the Democratic Party, as well as many smaller groups (and individuals) on the political left (Greens, socialists, independents, Working Families Party, etc) who are not registered with our party, but share many common values.

Second, it may be that most of the "undecideds" on Ms. Clinton are centrists. Hence, both the pro- and anti-Clinton folks will be attempting to gain their support. For me, the 2016 Democratic Primary is important, but not so important as to be my single issue above all. I am far more interested in strengthening the Democratic Party for the benefit of the shrinking "middle class," and providing avenues for low-income people to access that middle class.

Many years ago, when I was an angry, though politically-active teenager, my mentor Rubin "Hurricane" Carter suggested that I find ways to hold tightly to my values; work to assist others; and become part of the establishment, by stretching its boundaries to include more of those -- like he and I -- who inhabited society's margins.

Does that clarify it? If not, please feel free to ask me anything.

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:50 PM

24. Thanks. nt

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:53 PM

25. Thank you, tblue37 !

I know that I frequently do not express myself clearly. I appreciate that you took the time to ask me to clarify parts of the OP. I'm sure that others were not clear what I was attempting to say, too.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:48 PM

10. I will suggest that the tensions and reality of our current situation

revolve around abandonment of the traditional Democratic Party coalitions for a somewhat softer version of trickle down and Wall Street. Until I see evidence otherwise, that is my position and dilemma, especially as the Republican Party has move to John Birch Society extremism. Seems we should be moving left, not saving that which moved right and helped create the Great Recession. Just my two cents as a victim of it all which others do not understand yet.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 01:56 PM

13. As I was writing

this OP, I was thinking about you, your efforts, and the group effort that you are organizing and a part of, in your region. I was tempted to include you and your people's efforts as part of my OP, because I am convinced it illustrates the positive potential so well. More, of course, we are able to coordinate some efforts, on the grass roots level, simply by way of having become acquainted on this forum.

I hope that you will consider expanding here on your efforts. You are, in my opinion, exactly the type of grass roots activist this country needs.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:04 PM

15. Are you trying to make me blush online?

I do need to post more about fusion politics. Kind of grumpy today as I'm fighting a lot of "alligators" (problems) which I have to work through. I still believe a bottom up gathering of steam is necessary before politicians take an adequate accounting of their actions.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:06 PM

17. Ha!

I hadn't thought of that! But now that you mention it, I'll keep it in mind.

I meant exactly what I said, of course. I have long had the highest respect for you.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:13 PM

18. And me of you, of course.

Susan just left your state after a conference she had there this weekend. Hope to come back soon. One problem I'm having lately is addressing some of the anger or frustration of it all. The marches and gathering here help but the resolutions are tough. Maybe you can help me level in the upcoming year. Thanks for the post.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:08 PM

49. In this post and the one following it you both express my beliefs but what you are suggesting takes

time to establish. Do we have time? Many of the issues we face today are vital. The SCOTUS, TPP and climate change comes to mind.

Much of my tension here is related to the need to move left as fast as we can. I do not know how to deal with that.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #49)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:21 PM

56. I'm with you completely. I'm fighting on a lower level at the time.

What I mean is at the local and street level to make our position strong. To recreate what gave us the New Deal and 50 or 60 years of governance. But I am as impatient as you are. I'm starting now on all levels including backing Bernie Sanders.

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Response to mmonk (Reply #56)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:40 PM

60. Thank you. I am located in MN and on the local level we are still pretty union and FDR Dems. So

when I donate and campaign it is often for the higher lever candidates and even many out of state candidates.

And you are right I am impatient. Or scared. Or both.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #60)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:24 PM

92. I'm both. Join the club.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:25 PM

20. Nothing really matters. The 1% have already won. You all just don't know it yet or won't believe it.

 

The fact that they are putting Hillary up in our faces is all the evidence I need.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:32 PM

21. Oh, I believe it. I have no doubt that a 1% candidate will win the Presidency, but they will do it

without my vote. Also, I believe in cycles. The rich are hoarding the money. That is true. But all through out history are examples of people uprising to take the power and the money back. It will happen again. I just don't know when.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #20)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:50 PM

23. Agree & respectfully disagree.

The 1% is certainly well ahead. And they are currently firmly entrenched in their positions of power.

Yet, so long as some of us are still fighting the Good Fight, I don't think it is over, yet. I could be wrong. But I still believe that people can change the outcome.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:04 PM

29. I do too"....

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Response to AuntPatsy (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:35 PM

58. Thanks, AuntPatsy!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:18 PM

35. from your lips to god's ears. i'm increasingly discouraged; i hope you're right.

 

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #35)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:43 PM

62. Thank you.

I have times when I get discouraged. That is usually ties to the numerous industrial toxic waste dumps site in the town where I was born and raised, and the sky-rocketing levels of cancer and other diseases there. The amount of human suffering, be it in my home town, or anywhere on earth, gets discouraging. The way our culture causes suffering can be depressing to really think about.

But I still see people as having the goodness and intelligence to turn things around -- despite what is considered "leadership" these days.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:50 PM

43. yep, never throw down your weapon and run

 

as it seems the one you're responding to has, you will just get shot in the back. Keep fighting and voting. I have to take off, but bookmarked for later and K&R....

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:46 PM

22. If 6 were 9 ....

I want to make clear that I did not ask, nor offer to pay for, one of the pro-Clinton people to react to my OP with the bitterness that unfortunately seems to define a group of them. That post appeared -- like magic, I tell you.

In recent weeks, I’ve noted that one of the biggest factors in turning people off to Hillary Clinton will likely be the unhappiness of some of her supporters. This is not a blanket statement, in any way. For many very good people support Ms. Clinton’s aim to become President of the United States. And they communicate very solid reasons for their support. I count some of my best friends, be they here on DU:GD or in “real” life -- whatever that is.

In my life’s experience, I have lived in a context where there is a social role that is known as “water men” or “water women.” The prime example that I’ve known was the Onondaga Nation’s Chief Paul Waterman. His role was, in large part, to help people think in new ways. Not to convince them what to think, but rather, to try to put things in a way that they might understand them in new ways. He was, of course, my father -- not in the biological sense, but in the far more literal sense of that word in the Onondaga language.

Like many other things, I may not be expressing those concepts clearly. I do try, but am far more limited in my ability to do so. Likewise, on something such as the issue of Hillary Clinton running for President, I try to communicate ideas such as though we might have what appear to be very different beliefs on that -- if she is a good choice or not -- it is also possible to see that we aren’t necessarily that far apart on other, often closely-related issues.

Again, my efforts are limited, as my abilities are limited. But I try. And I’ll take it a step further: if and when I might endorse Hillary Clinton -- no big deal if I do or not -- I’m confident that I could get far more undecided and/or currently anti-Clinton people to vote for her, too, than the harsh, bitter, and dehydrated comments by a sub-group of DU’s Clinton supporters.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:05 PM

30. +1

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:17 PM

34. +100. Speaking for myself alone, anything but vapid cheerleaderism seems often met

 

with the equivalent of "well, fuck you then, who needs you?"

It's like no one's interested in coalition building or election winning.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:09 PM

50. I couldn't agree with this more.

 

As someone who has been banned from the Mrs. Clinton group for "criticizing" her stance on certain issues, I believe (no reason was given why I was banned), I see that there are people who cannot take, what I call, "constructive criticism." They just want to have supporters of their candidate in the group, and anyone who says something that is not praising the candidate is felt to be negative, and thus banned.

If one does not have someone of a different view who can steer the candidate in a direction that is more for the general population. Some topics that may seem very important, may not even be on the radar.

I have seen this sort of effect in my local Democratic Party. They don't want to have anyone talk negatively about anything that the Party is doing. If they do, they are ignored as being too mean. They do not want to "fight" with anyone, because they believe that the public will not like it, and will not vote for them. I do not see this as being true. I see it as not being assertive, and not fighting for what is right for everyone, will result in giving the RepubliCONs what they want. It has led to my being ignored here, and will lead to my being not involved locally until either they change, or I leave the area.

In the 45 years that I have been politically active, I have not seen much that has gone the way for WE THE PEOPLE. It is all for the benefits of them, the corporations. Even something like healthcare here in the US. In my opinion, it was a giveaway to the insurance companies, which lobby and fund so many candidates. I have seen even the Democratic party move so far to the right, that it would be unrecognizable from what it was in earlier times. Everything that I have been fighting for has been compromised away to nothingness.

I want to fight for the environment, because we only have one planet. I want to see that there is a real program to eliminate poverty. I want to see that there is universal care for all. I want to see that people who benefit more from taxes, pay more. I want to see that the US is NOT the police of the world, and spends as much on its military, as most other countries. I want to see financing on campaigns cut to ribbons. Yes, there are conditions here, and it seems that the steps that have been taken have been very little, ones, and then taken back by the Right.

I do not feel that I have the ability to fight this fight any more, and am considering leaving the US all together. If things get much worse, I am out of here. I gave it my best, but it was not good enough. Oh well.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 06:35 AM

127. In 2008, I had to remind myself, off and on, that candidates are not nevessarily a reflection of

supporters, because a lot of the Obama supporters were very similarly annoying, and I had to remind myself that I was voting for a candidate, not for the idiots who acted like they wanted to turn lefty voters away from voting for their supposedly preferred candidate.

There will always be 'supporters' who sneer at people to the left of them and act in ways that push voters on the left away. With 'friends' like those...

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:55 PM

26. + 1000 !!!

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:58 PM

27. Nice OP!

However, I think that when FDR democrats are called the
fringe, then the Party has changed to such a degree, that
sooner or later an open split will occur.
The party cannot be everything to everybody. So the
question comes up: Who is a Democrat and what does
s/he stand for?
Looking at Bernie's 12 points I would call him a Democrat.
But then again, I prefer to be a democrat to being
a Democrat.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:59 PM

28. I think this ...

 

If you want your thoughts and concerns to be recognized, you need to start at the local level. To really have them taken seriously, you have to demonstrate that you can harness local power -- that means expanding your base of support within the community and surrounding area. To be successful, you need like-minded people, ready and able to invest in the effort to spread your position in the next town, city, and county. When you are able to do that, then those at the state level begin to pay attention to you.


Is what many have been saying, all along.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:08 PM

31. That sounds too rational, and it does not

work necessarily. In my state we had great interference
from Washington as far as our candidates were concerned.

In many ways the volunteers are just being used for
the DC's purposes. By now, I am too old to engage
anymore nor to believe in this democratic system.

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Response to sadoldgirl (Reply #31)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:40 PM

40. It's hard.

There is a NYS Senator, Tom Libous, who was recently re-elected. He had recently been indicted on corruption charges in federal court. But he is pro-fracking, so he gets big donations from the Koch brothers, and the votes of the republican faithful.

I had wanted to run against him, but more of the local PTB went with a different candidate. I had no problem in supporting her. However, I think that I would have been a better candidate. Our's refused to talk about fracking and the corruption charges. I sure would have. Still, it would be very hard to beat him.

But that just shows that more organizing needs to happen. More public education on how issues impact people, and what people need to do, to protect their families and communities.

Still, I understand and appreciate why many good people feel frustrated, or even hopeless in the face of the machine. I am an old man, and have to take breaks these days -- something I never had to as a young man!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:16 PM

33. Indeed.....the Left needs to show up at the meetings. nt

 

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #33)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:59 PM

45. Right.

In our area, we've had several years now of the left attending local Democratic Party meetings. And a lot more Democrats have started attending other meetings with the left -- on environmental issues, for example. And one of the fun things is we have get-together's at various people's homes, from moderate Democrats' to far-leftists'.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:20 PM

37. I'm sure that you

remember Malcolm X's saying that he'd rather have a work horse he could depend upon, than a race horse that he couldn't. People need to direct their energies into organizing, and registering voters. That's power. It is not the same power as big money, but it can be used to counter that money.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #37)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:36 PM

39. Yes I do ...

 

and it is absolutely true in just about every human activity that cannot be accomplished by one's self.

People aren't typically listened to, without their first having proved ready and willing to put in the work. It was once called "paying dues"; but apparently, that is no longer necessary ... we have this expectation that anyone walking in off the street should be handed the reins of the/an organization because they tell you they are convinced there is a better way.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:49 PM

42. Great points.

I've been both the "new" and the "old" guy in organizations. It's a fact that some people join to disrupt on purpose; some disrupt because that's just who they are; and that even the most sincere, capable new person needs to be patient.

I believe in the Power of Ideas, but that includes the need to put the energy behind all of those good ideas. That is not to be mistaken for having a good idea, and expecting other people to do it for you. It means doing things yourself, and showing what you are qualified and capable of doing.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #42)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:13 PM

53. Absolutely! ...

 

I have been there, as well ... on both sides of the divide. In my youth, I had, and expressed, great frustration with the "old heads" (because of course, my ideas were "RIGHT", dammit!). In my later years, I watched some really bright "kids" get frustrated with me (as an organizational leader).

I, now, know and accept that all organizational influence starts with work, patience, persistence and work.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #39)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:40 PM

61. I did a lot of volunteer work when my kids were still minors, mostly with the schools

The observation I made over and over was that there were the "doers" and the "talkers", one group would be doing the actual physical work, be it setting up before or cleaning up after the gathering and putting the tables and chairs away or chaperoning the kids or any number of other physical chores that needed doing. The other group would be standing around talking to each other and schmoozing the higher ups in the various organizations, PTA, Band Parents, Football Boosters, Soccer Boosters and so on. When it came down to setting the agenda it was invariably the talkers who had the most influence because they were the ones who had the ears of the powers that be, we doers were too busy getting the needed physical work done to have much influence with the upper levels of the heirarchy.

I see almost all politicians as being the "talkers" rather than the "doers", the way you get your voice heard is by schmoozing and chatting up TPTB, not by doing the thankless and often difficult but very necessary physical tasks that are required in any organization of any size.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #61)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:47 PM

64. My experience differs ...

 

Yes, there were "doers" and "talkers" ... in my experience the "Doers" were heard, when they talked (heard, does not mean agreed with), and the "Talkers" were ignored, unless they put in work (unless they were financing the activity).

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #64)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:52 PM

65. It's a class thing..

The doers were usually blue collar and often not all that articulate, the talkers were almost always white collar.

And I wouldn't expect a talker to notice that the doers were being ignored.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #65)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:13 PM

73. You're kidding right? ...

 

The doers were usually blue collar and often not all that articulate, the talkers were almost always white collar.


blue collar = inarticulate?

And I wouldn't expect a talker to notice that the doers were being ignored.


Nice passive aggressive dig.

While I have been, and currently serve in, organizational leader ... I have never been a "talker", and I understand that because an organization does not follow/support my position, doesn't mean my position hasn't been heard ... it just means the organization is going in a different direction. At that point, I can either, re-frame my argument (addressing those points the majority opposed), or leave that organization, or do the far worst option of going whiningly into a corner complaining that no one will listen to me.

The first is effective; the second can be satisfying; but the third course of action is typical these days.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #73)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:00 PM

84. Americans like to think they are egalitarian when they are almost anything but that

In the Soccer Boosters (a smaller organization) for instance we had the local District Attorney, a bank president, a surgeon and a pediatrician, we also had a guy who owned (one) garbage truck, a plumber, a couple of carpenters, a warehouse order picker, a tanning salon manager and several retail salespeople. This was a couple of decades ago and those are just the ones I can remember.

Now I can talk to anyone from a garbageman to a nuclear physicist on something close to their level because I'm basically a blue collar worker whose lifelong hobby happens to have been reading everything from Dickens, Twain, Marx and Shelley to Scientific American, Smithsonian and National Geographic but if you think the average garbageman can talk to a District Attorney on his level then perhaps you are deluding yourself a little.

Contempt for manual labor practically oozes out of DU and it's less prevalent here than in much of the rest of American society, as a society we worship power and money. A remark was made to me just a day or so ago here about how we shouldn't listen to the concerns of the Domino's Pizza worker because they don't know anything.

The DA, the physicians and the bank president were talkers, do you really think they were going to assign an equal weight to the opinions of the garbage truck owner or the tanning salon manager as to those of their own class?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #84)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:05 PM

103. Is it possible that ...

 

The DA, the physicians and the bank president's ideas were, in fact, better ideas ... even though you may have liked the ideas of the salon manager?

It has been my experience that good ideas get picked up on, wherever they come from, even they are not articulated well (now, to whom the credit goes is different story).

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #103)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:44 PM

111. The point I'm making is that the thoughts and concerns of the lower class were never even heard...

Pretty much just like the rest of American society, if you aren't wealthy your ideas aren't worth listening to, if you were so smart you'd be rich and upper class also. Everyone has the same motivations and the same drive to climb the social and economic ladder and if you haven't done so then of course you must be unintelligent.

Remember, you were the one who gave the appearance of claiming that blue collar folks are as articulate (a term strongly associated with intelligence) as upper class ones.

I'm starting to think you don't even notice how incongruous and inconsistent some of your arguments are.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #111)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:57 PM

117. This ..

 

Everyone has the same motivations and the same drive to climb the social and economic ladder and if you haven't done so then of course you must be unintelligent.


Seems to be your argument ... that the blue collar folks are unable to articulate a god idea. I have seen innumerous times where a lesser educated, "lower class" person's idea was adopted.

I'm starting to think you don't even notice how incongruous and inconsistent some of your arguments are.


My arguments are/is consistent with a belief that "class" does not determine the efficacy of an argument.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #117)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 10:33 PM

122. Are you incapable of grasping sarcasm?

That was a sarcastic comment, people differ a lot in what they want out of life, some people want to climb the economic and social ladder as far as they can while others are less driven or even turned off by social status.

Of course class doesn't determine the validity of an argument but social and economic status determines who gets listened to and taken seriously far more than anything else does. There is an entire minor industry built around that in Washington, The Very Serious People, people such as Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks and Tom Friedman, Friedman even has a period of time named after him he's been wrong so often, the Friedman Unit. Those people are listened to not because they have a good track record of predictions, they are listened to and taken seriously because they say what the high income high status people want to hear.

I can't think of a more class conscious western society than the USA despite the whole "All men are created equal" bullshit. The US has one of the most unequal Gini Coefficients of the industrialized world..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality




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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #61)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 09:44 PM

119. my experience mirrors yours. the schmoozers put in a minimal amount of actual work &

 

in general seemed more interested in advancing themselves than the organization. If they actually worked to advance the organization, it was typically with an ulterior motive of self-advancement. And they typically chose "work" that put them in contact with means to their self-interest, rather than just plain "work" (like setting out chairs or sweeping floors, washing up, etc.)

In general I found most of the schmoozers kind of off-putting & transparently self-interested, but some folks ate that stuff up. I've never understood it.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #28)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:23 PM

91. And that is what many on the Left are doing now, across the country. It is exciting actually

to see them no longer waiting for DC to take care of their interests. There are so many local groups across the country and so many Liberal Organizations doing the fund raising, not for DC appointed candidates, but for grassroots candidates and they are winning.

Bush kept the Left from doing what the OP suggests, they were like everyone else who were horrified by that criminal administration totally focused on getting rid of him in order to begin the process of overturning the awful policies he managed to inflict on the country.

But we still have the Partiot Act, still at war in so many places, criminals not held accountable etc.

So the people realize now they have to get organized and they are.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:13 PM

32. KR

 

I think it's a good prescription. Problem is, does the "left" know how to do grassroots politicking anymore? Seems to me there's been a 30+ year campaign to keep the "left" on the sidelines and the generations coming up think everything's about opinion pieces on the internet. People didn't learn from their elders much, now they may need to reinvent the wheel.

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:01 PM

47. I have no doubt "the Left" knows how to do grassroots organizing ...

 

in fact, they/we have never stopped.

The "problem" as I see it, is there is a disconnect between "the Left" and those, most loudly, claiming the mantle of "the Left", calling themselves "the base" of the Democratic Party (despite being in the vast minority) and making demands of/on the Democratic Party on the internet.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #47)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:28 PM

115. Based on your own definition of what "the left" is as well, & your own perceptions.

 

Just as I am not the ultimate arbiter, neither are you.

And again, as typical at DU, you dismiss a contingent of folks with a wave, as though they were of no significance, & the "establishment" wing of the Democratic Party were the "true left".

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #115)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 09:00 PM

118. What? Well ... okay. n/t

 

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #47)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 10:38 PM

123. With all due respect, you are not "the Left". You said in a post to me days ago that the left

was "welcome" in the Democratic Party but not to "control" it. Those were your words.

This post of yours shows you to not believe those that are the left are actually the left, or that you have disdain for them and want to marginalize them. I'm really not trying to pick a fight, but those were your words, and by a lot of other posts (or even silence) on other policy topics it is clear that you are not the left. If we are really going to discuss this we have to keep it real.

I'm not sure why a lot of centrists want to consider themselves - or have us consider them - the left. I'm proud to be of the left and never claim to be a centrist. If you really do think you are left I'm curious what your stances are on NSA spying, TPP, offering up cuts to SS etc... because if we're going to discuss these things then the words we are using have to mean something, and have to mean the same thing to everyone. Otherwise the discussion will just go in circles without accomplishing anything.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #123)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:32 AM

131. No. I'm pretty certain I said "progressives ...

 

Last edited Mon Apr 20, 2015, 10:32 AM - Edit history (1)

are welcome in the Democratic Party but not to "control" it." And the word progressive was in deliberately placed in quotations because that snippet was part of a larger conversation about the characteristics that set DU "progressives" apart from the progressives of the political left.

I'm not sure why a lot of centrists want to consider themselves - or have us consider them - the left ... If you really do think you are left I'm curious what your stances are on NSA spying, TPP, offering up cuts to SS etc...


Because I hold political views/opinions that are left of center ... and therefore, I fall on the Left of the political spectrum.

Now to answer your curiosity:

My position on the NSA: I recognize the importance, and necessity, of the NSA, as a branch of the nation's security apparatus. I believe we must be vigilant to maintain an appropriate balance between the security of the nation (and its peoples) and the freedom rights of the people. And this security requires a measure of "spying" ... I have no problem with the NSA "spying" on other countries, even our "allies"; I have more of a problem when they "spy" on the people of the USA. In general, I am of the opinion that the NSA, on occasion, has over-stepped that balance; but, largely, has gotten it right. I am, also, of the opinion that much of the "concern" in the media is over-blown and the NSA's "spying" doesn't register among my top 10 of priorities.

My position on TPP: I have no opinion of TPP; nor, will I until the final agreement is made public. I have no problem with Fast Track, and even less, now that the deal provides for the 120 and 60 ... that is plenty of time for the public to engage in an INFORMED debate, that will end in an up or down vote. At this point, TPP doesn't rate among my top 1,000,000 of priorities ... though, that will change once the final agreement is made public.

My position on offering up cuts to Social Security: I oppose all cuts to Social Security, and support increases to beneficiaries (though would limit any increases to those earning under the current cap). However, to speak directly to your question, I have no problem with President Obama's offering a CCPI formulation in the debt ceiling/budget battles, as I recognized it (hell, even the republicans recognized it) as a tactic that, given the conditions he placed on the offer, was in no danger of being accepted.

if we're going to discuss these things then the words we are using have to mean something, and have to mean the same thing to everyone. Otherwise the discussion will just go in circles without accomplishing anything.


I agree; now ... do you recognize yourself in this:

Do you find yourself, advocating income equality AND championing sacrificing the poor and working classes (i.e., "Let's go over the fiscal cliff!"; and/or, advocating income equality AND willing to sacrifice PoC, women, and the LGBT community (i.e., "Income Equality IS the most important issue of our time"; and/or, advocating a set of policy goals that begins with "IF" (and that "IF" involves a series of unlikely occurrences) AND criticizing Democratic policies (established in the current political environment), as inadequate; but, in their imperfection, do benefit the majority of the poor and working classes (i.e., the ACA, Executive Orders, etc.); and/or, spending the vast majority of your posts (especially during election season), criticizing Democrats, Democratic candidates, and "other" Democrats for supporting Democrats and/or Democratic candidates?

You know, so we can just keep it real and ensure that the words we are using mean something. Each of these positions have been struck by DU "progressives" (including by you); I offer that NONE of the above are progressive, nor do they fall within the mainstream of the Left, let alone the Democratic Party.


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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #131)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 01:24 AM

141. Okay, sorry for the delay. As I mentioned, back at work. Also recovering from strep throat!

I recommend you avoid that if at all possible. Not the recovering part, just the strep throat part.

As to your always using quotations around progressive and liberal. I really don't understand it. I saw another post of yours where you explained it as basically saying that DU progressives aren't real progressives. I don't get that at all and think you are completely wrong about that. What makes DU progressives not real progressives? How do you define progressive?

As to your positions:

NSA - So you aren't that concerned about the 4th amendment and our civil rights and privacy? That's really one of the cornerstones of our constitution and democracy. Very sad to hear that. And that's not a left position. The left is extremely concerned about it. Have you read what Chomsky has to say about it? He is definitely left.

TPP - Again, I would argue that you are not holding a very leftist position on that. The left is pretty set on needing transparency from their govt. It is supposed to be, after all, a govt by, of and for the people. How can it be that when things are negotiated in secret? The only reason there is even knowledge of the TPP negotiations is due to leaks. Remember how mad the left was when Cheney had secret energy meetings? The left was also mad about Obama having secret meetings with insurance companies when he was working on the ACA. The left is also very concerned about the TPP being a corporate give away and that it will override government's regulations.

SS - The left was appalled that SS was put on the table by a Dem President. That was unheard of before Obama did it. It was the third rail. Just because you believe it was certain that the deal would not be taken, do you really think POTUS should gamble with our SS? That isn't a left position either.

Fast Track - There's so much wrong with this. Here's what it allows. Do you think this belongs in a democracy? The left doesn't.

Fast Track handed the executive branch five key congressional powers - steamrolling key checks and balances in the Constitution by seizing authority vested in our congressional representatives:

Power to select trade partners,

Power to set terms and sign sweeping "trade" agreements before Congress votes on them,

Power to write legislation to change all U.S. laws needed to conform with the agreements, skirt congressional review and amendments and directly submit this legislation for a vote,

Power to force votes within 60-90 days of submitting the implementing legislation to Congress,

Power to override normal voting rules. All amendments on Fast-Tracked FTAs are banned and debate is limited, including in the Senate.


Left of center does not define you as left. It may make you center-left or left-center, but with those positions you are not left. And the president whose policies you consistently defend is a self described moderate Republican. I have never seen any criticism of him from you. The left has quite a few policies and actions of this POTUS that they are unhappy with, very unhappy, shocked by even.

As to me... I don't think I've ever said social issues are not important. Search my posts and you'll find plenty of them speaking about sexism, white privilege, LGBTQ rights. Do I think one can ignore economic policy? Absolutely not. Why can't we fight all of it?

Do I criticize Dems? Of course! If they aren't doing a good job I'm going to criticize them. Especially since today's Dem Party is center. I'm left, so of course they leave me wanting. In the old days the Dems were left and the GOP was right. Today the GOP is batshit crazy extreme right and the Dems are center. Based on your last sentence you seem to think the Dem Party is solidly left, but that just isn't true.
nor do they fall within the mainstream of the Left, let alone the Democratic Party.

You worded it as if the Dem Party is farther left than "the mainstream of the Left". I don't think that was even true when the Dem Party actually was left. There is a lot of left out there... Social Democrat, Democratic Socialist, Socialist, Communist...

So, I have to say, I think you are mistaking the current Dem Party as left and using that as your yardstick for what the left is and that is why you think DU progressives are not the real left. In fact, from what I can see, what you think of as left is closer to center than left.

There are a lot of centrists on here who say they are liberal or progressive and based on their positions and what policies they defend it's clear that they are not close to left. I'm not sure why that is.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #141)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 07:25 AM

142. Think you ... but you do not get to define whatis or is not left "enough."

 

I'm glad you are back to work. And hope the Strep passes quickly.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #142)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 12:36 PM

143. Thanks.

I'm not defining it. History has already defined it. The Dem Party of today is nothing like the Dem Party of FDR days. History shows that.

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Response to cui bono (Reply #143)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 02:39 PM

145. HRC has defined nothing ...

 

her political positions relative to other Democrats defines her.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #145)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 03:02 PM

146. And she is not a liberal nor a progressive based on the actions of other Dems in history. n/t

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Response to cui bono (Reply #146)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 03:11 PM

147. Not true ...

 

look at HRC's political rankings (there have been posted here, numerous times.

And further, have you really convinced yourself that HRC has opposed/would oppose anything FDR did, or anything in the Democratic platform or in the Progressive Caucus' platform?

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Response to cui bono (Reply #123)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 11:24 AM

139. No response to my response (#131)? n/t

 

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #139)

Tue Apr 21, 2015, 07:19 PM

140. I will... I'm back at work and just peeking in on tiny breaks... n/t

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:12 PM

52. Thanks!

You bring up some very interesting points. It reminds me of one of the things that I believe has potential .....and that is working to get more low-income individuals and communities registered to vote. And that includes things such as going door-to-door; to meetings in their neighborhoods, often at someone's apartment with a small group; and related activities.

It also requires an open mind. One shouldn't assume you are delivering better values, for example. The poor, like every group in America, includes its fair share of intelligent, capable people. We find common ground; we work together; we learn from one-another.

That's power.

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Response to ND-Dem (Reply #32)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:58 PM

102. There's also the whole "diversity of tactics" issue

During the #BlackLivesMatter protests here there were many incidents/events that the participants regarded as organizing, creating a "grassroots movement", and pressuring the system.

However, I argued with my housemate about their tactics endlessly. He kept insisting that they "should organize" instead of making a scene or a symbolic gesture. I asked him what he meant by that. I pointed out that they were meeting, showing up at Council meetings, petitioning, etc. What else were they supposed to do? However, he had it firmly in his head that protesting alienated the middle class and therefore wasn't proper organizing.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:18 PM

36. K&R

 

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #36)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:01 PM

68. Thanks!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 03:33 PM

38. Thanks. Politics is one vote, one voter at a time.

All the money in the world tries to leverage that fact, but they can't change that fact. A strong and well organized on-the-ground movement can overwhelm money. But we haven't done it very often.

I've seen it done in California especially when the teachers fought Schwarzenegger's attacks on their profession. I supported the teachers, registered and talked to many voters.

So a grass-roots campaign can be effective but it takes a lot of volunteers willing to give a lot of time. It's rewarding work.

And if you are willing or able to do that work, then you have to ask yourself how genuine your belief in democracy is.

I took my children with me to walk my precinct when they were just old enough to walk with me but too young to vote. I think it helped make good citizens of them.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #38)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:06 PM

69. Right!

My kids all came to numerous meetings and public hearings. I think they are more socially and politically aware, than most people.

I think that public education is a valuable system that s under attack. I am very much in favor of teachers unions playing a significant role in left-wing politics.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:00 PM

46. Let me add a little view from the streets

 

mostly we cover social justice and shit like that.

Here is the view from many of my sources. They do not trust, or care for electoral politics anymore, partly because of what they have seen at both national and local levels.

Some, my local taxi drivers, will be out and vote democratic no matter what, since they know a democratic city council member (they are non partisan but whatever), got them medallions. But on the other hand, great majorities of workers do not trust democrats, or republicans. They hold the same level of distrust for both parties.

The, they are the same, or very similar, is especially present with the top of both parties. But even on a few of the local issues people are starting to lose trust in the whole electoral process. People are pissed. And I mean the pissed part. They are also increasingly feeling hopeless.

The challenge is not to get many former voters to vote for one party, the other, or a third party, it is to get them to vote. Though... and I know that patrol you speak off will get pissed, those who come from other places around the world, who are now US Citizens get this very well. This goes beyond voting anymore, and just voting is not going to get anything.

And labor... well, I hear this regularly, but they all consistently say that their members are all but enthused about HRC, getting them to vote for her will be a challenge, and many of their members want to concentrate on local races, and to hell with the national... so take that for what it is, a warning.

Now back to water issues. I really need to get back to the drought... and the water board document. Those are NEVER easy reading.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #46)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:07 PM

70. Thank you.

It's made me mighty happy to see you around here!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #70)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:09 PM

71. You welcome, I am hitting my head against the wall though

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:01 PM

48. In all fairness to your observation....I see things a bit differently

Last edited Wed Apr 22, 2015, 08:37 AM - Edit history (1)

I feel you are focusing on what goes on in DU "General Discussion" and the battles there...which don't seem unusual to me having been here since the aftermath of the Supremes Shut Down of the Florida recount vote which was still in process to make their ruling. Every election since has had many disagreeing factions over candidates. This is the first election where we only have one Declared candidate and on the Democratic side and its an unusual situation since it's the first time a spouse of a former President of U.S. has declared as a candidate.

What is an interesting transformation for Election 2016 for those of us here on "Democratic Underground" is that there are now more interest "Groups" available for those of us who are concerned about what we see as urgent policy issues facing our Democratic Party after eight years of a Democratic Presidency. Policies of our Party can be discussed in depth and information shared absent the bickering, infighting and snark of the "General Discussion Forum" Battleground.

If one only visits DU to see the latest "GD" post or battle then one would get the impression that people who post are not involved in their communities and are wasting their time focusing on petty political differences rather than being out running for local office or finding candidates they agree with to do so and pounding the pavements to make sure that they get out the vote. Yet there are many of us who do post in GD who have done or are doing exactly that local grassroots activity but they long gave up discussing their candidate or what they did between the General Elections in in "GD" because there wasn't really any interest when so much fun is to be had by poking sticks at each other.

Now here are the issues:

TPP/TPIP:Are Democrats all for it because President Obama supports it and is out campaigning for it now in MSM

FOREIGN POLICY:
When Obama came into office we were in Iraq and Afghanistan. How many countries are we involved in Now? Is a new Cold War with Russia wise policy?

DRONE STRIKES in FOREIGN COUNTRIES:
Without Declaring War should the U.S. be involved in these actions?

WALL STREET GIVEAWAYS:
Shocking Lack of Prosecution of the Wall Street Bankers, Hedge Funds and Crooked Real Estate Powers that caused the Housing Crash due to the Financial De-Regulation that took place in former Administrations (Reagan through Clinton) causing a Financial Crash which which caused hardship for Americans caught up in it who lost their homes due to faulty and illegal title transfers and caused such a financial crisis that the Treasury Secretary had to beg Nancy Pelosi to get Congress to act to Bail them out! The costs to US Taxpayer and Now windiit's way into Austerity for the Eurozone members like Greece, is still ongoing.

None of those responsible for this were Prosecuted. They were Bailed out with our Tax Payer Dollars, Pension Funds and Savers and they continue to profit while Austerity and Zero Interest Rates for Savers and Retirees is now the New Normal. Some of the very people responsible for this disaster were picked to serve in our new Democratic President's Administration. The policies of that great Swindle on the American People caused by Deregulation of most of FDR's Banking reforms which served us well since the Great Depression were dismantled and not replaced by tougher regulation because both DINO Dems and Republicans were comfortable with policies that allowed this to happen. And in fact there are those, on both sides, who want MORE De-Regulation and to go after Social Security and Medicare to pay for it. Will another Crash or Disaster caused by these Hedge Funds, Venture Capitalists and Banksters be Funded by the Rest of Us?

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY:
"Drill Baby Drill" as Fracking has increased under a Democratic President despite reports of drinking water hazards/earthquakes and depletion of our natural resources. Our President has opened up our East Coast and Part of Alaska to Drilling while saving a few other places he's declared off limits.

NSA SPYING and PRIVACY ISSUES:
Still needs to be addressed.

WAR on WHISTLEBLOWERS:
Our Democratic Policy seems to be to not tolerate Whistleblowers who reveal Government Programs, waste, fraud or abuse in Govt. Agencies or outsourced to Private Contractors which could be harmful to the people.

MILITARIZATION of OUR POLICE DEPARTMENTS:
We allowed military equipment (Helicopters, MRAPS, Assault Weapons, Night Vision Hardware, etc. ) used for War to be given to Police Departments all across the country. We are training our heads of local police departments in Israel and this includes even small police departments such those in Ferguson, Mo. Huge Weapons Conventions are staged in CA. to show off even more innovative Military Hardware to prospective buyers encouraging even more misuse of these weapons on our citizens. Minorities and Women are being abused and killed by badly trained police who then try to cover up their actions and there doesn't seem to be anyone in authority wanting to discuss how the Militarization of our Police is still growing even if it started under Bush II.
.................

These are issues that need to be discussed and hopefully rationally as we move forward with a possible Hillary win or even if one of the Repubs gets back in. I don't think that this is just about what you call the "Left and the Left of the Left" when our Democratic Party seems (with much evidence) to have drifted towards the Right and those very people we worked so hard NOT to ELECT.

Many of us here, myself included, have and still do work with Democratic Party issues locally. We just don't talk about it as much because the internet is not as open a place as it was in the past where people innocently felt free to talk the specifics of who they associate with and what they are doing. Others, here, work with groups for change by donating, calling, writing their Representatives. And, many were engaged in the past but because of health reasons, age or other reasons can't be as active and DU is a place for them to keep involved and up on issues that are important to them.

I guess you could call me a "Left of the Left" Democrat. I wasn't always but its not me that has changed. It's the Party that has changed. I remember strong labor unions, fight for women's equality, Consumer Advocacy/Protection of the Nader Days, the Fairness in Media Doctrine, Action for Children's Television and Ant-War Demonstrations across America. I remember much more....but, I've said enough.





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Response to KoKo (Reply #48)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:11 PM

72. Thank you!

Yes, I am aware that a large number of people here are experienced activists. Any person here with an open mind can learn a heck of a lot, from what others' share -- and obviously not just on DU:GD!

I absolutely love your list of issues. Well done!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #72)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:18 PM

89. How do YOU feel about the Issues I posted as you are a Dem/Dem?

What is your opinion about issues many of us feel are core issues that need to be addressed to get our vote?

We've had eight years of a Democratic President...what should we ask our current contender to address. I didn't see you address those issues with how you feel on any of them. And, your opinion is always valued....as should be the rest of our opinions.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #89)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:22 PM

106. As long as you are leaving out the evisceration of social services

and the housing crisis as part of your "core" issues, it's hard for some of us lefties with "unreasonable expectations" to focus on your core issues. Too many people have been left treading water for too long through multiple Republican administrations and then through an Obama administration that failed to deliver Hope and Change to the people who needed it most. How can people who are worried about getting food and shelter focus on "higher" matters like drones and the environment.

The truly insulting thing about the over-confidence of the "moderate" position is that they don't take the needs of people whose stakes are life-and-death seriously. From your comfortable seats at the table you know there are not enough people in a desperate position to "persuade" you to address their issues. And if they threaten to pull a Nader or refuse to vote, you have a pack of snide, patronizing replies just waiting.

H20Man's remarks about organizing make sense, and I thank him for that. Perhaps at the ground level human desperation will eventually trump numbers. But this constant dealing out of Democratic "core" issues which leave these most crucial matters out is a constant smack in the face. I hope people come to realize that's why Hillary's cause comes across as corporate, privileged, and *the same as the GOP* in the way that matters the most to people facing homelessness and relentless deprivation.

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #106)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 10:06 PM

120. +100

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:10 PM

51. These are my thoughts as well H2O Man.

Thank you for your eloquent posts. They expand my mind.

As a democratic socialist, I believe we need to move forward with creativity toward reducing the great imbalances of wealth and power, to make our society better for all. Like you, I believe it begins locally. Individually, expanding outward.

As a humanist, I believe the social dynamics of inclusiveness and addressing race, gender and sexuality issues are essential to that struggle. I've learned and appreciated a lot of what's shared here at DU as well.

I vote, but haven't yet decided for whom to vote. It's not a huge deal to me. I always vote for the most progressive candidate available, in every election. Voting is the least I do to affect positive change - not the most. In a similar fashion, I believe posting at DU is the least I do. What I do offline is much more meaningful. I come here for refreshments and enjoyment. It's a time to relax, expand my mind, say hello to others who I've never met who I know I'd also enjoy in real life.

Alternative dispute resolution attracts me very much. I enjoy trying to bridge gaps, and find common ground. We on the left can find a path forward by examining techniques than enable us to bring a positive economic shift that our country now needs. We'll accomplish it best by realizing it's a life-long task and taking pleasure in that. I'm proud to be part of that struggle.

I'm not much interested in party politics or in moving up through any political ranks. It's just not my style. I just can't stand group meeting about politics, lol. So I find my niche so to speak on a more casual and personal level that more involves filmmakers and artists. I respect those who are involved in that world. I've also seen firsthand how the coalitions you discuss can and do work effectively with more mainstream groups while preserving their integrity & artistic individuality.

Ideologically I support leftists and socialists with a human side to them. Mainly artists and filmmakers who aren't directly involved in party politics and for whom party politics is more of a sidelight to how they actually live their lives on a day to day basis.

I've found that gradual changes in my personal life have had the greatest effect toward enriching my life and helped make me more available and more helpful and compassionate toward those around me. These include leaving the corporate world, volunteering at a horse shelter, getting rid of credit cards from big banks, bartering for services that I provide on a sliding scale, having pot lucks at home (like I did last night - it was great fun!).

I come back to DU for folks who understand & relate to what you're talking about.

And to share some laughs and good times with many who I perceive as committed to making our lives more fun, more enjoyable, and expanding opportunities for ourselves and those around us. I've never met anyone from DU offline. I've 'met' some wonderful folks at DU here online, their humanity comes shining through like sunlight. Most of them, I met in the African American group, the feminist groups, the lounge, the Barack Obama group, the progressive groups. I see us all striving toward making an often painful and lonely and difficult world, one which is more enjoyable to inhabit for ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #51)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:20 PM

75. Great post! Thanks!

There is a wonderful group of artists in our area. I have to say that, for many decades, if I've needed help in their specialties -- and art is essential for human growth -- they've always been downright generous.

One of the things that has bothered me while I've served on a school board is how the financial crunch impacts the art department. There are students who really only come to school for the art classes. And while their numbers may be lower than some other classes, our art students get more scholarships for college for students, than any other area of school.

I am biased, perhaps, as a result of being alive in the 1960s and early '70s. I am convinced that art is not only essential, but it brings pleasure. It helps make the often difficult work of social-political activism fun.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #75)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:34 PM

77. Artists & musicians provide healing balm for our souls.

They speak a universal language - one that words don't express. They're often the first to help others in times of need.

If anyone wants to make their life more enriched, befriend artists & musicians. Invite them out for coffee or food. Take an interest in their musical performances or group art shows or whatever. Talk to them about their work. Ask them why they do it. How does it express their social & political goals?

I'm heading out tonight to a piano & gamelon performance by some neat folks. Of course they are political. Just not with words. It's a prayer for peace.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #77)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:43 PM

79. Have a great time!

I hope that you & yours have a wonderful evening! And I really appreciate your kind words, and having the opportunity to talk with you here!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #79)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:46 PM

80. Thanks H2O Man!

Hope you & yours enjoy a wonderful evening too!

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #51)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:07 PM

86. You are absolutely right about it being a life long task. The Labor Movement did not happen

over night. Neither did the Civil Rights Movement or the Women's Suffrage Movement. As for enjoying it, that's a little more difficult. I do find joys in life such as my family and personal interests, but watching my family suffer economically is not fun. But life is both joy and pain, and we must accept that we will suffer some along the way and find joy along the way as well.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #86)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:07 PM

112. Yes, suffering economically and all the setbacks are extremely painful.

The setbacks are real and hurt very much.

I've been thinking about it in an existential sense, in terms of finding family and personal interests that help you get through them when and if at all possible. Kind of like Camus said about Sisyphus finding some happiness in pushing that rock up the hill. Sometimes it feels hopeless and often times it feels ridiculous that even after we've pushed that rock almost all the way to the top and it comes rolling back down again.

Thanks for your kind words liberal_at_heart. I'm heading out to a short concert now. I will think of them on the way. Hope you enjoy a good evening!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:16 PM

54. One of my first thoughts after Citozens United was passed in the SC, the GOP probably thought

We got them now, the GOP will get all of the money and the GOP could starve the DNC into submission. Corporations may have been smarter in donating money to Democratic candidates because if they are elected we will need to establish our connection with all candidates.

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Response to Thinkingabout (Reply #54)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:47 PM

81. Yeah.

I remember that Malcolm X used to say that the most powerful of the "-isms" was "dollar-ism." And that it could cause the greatest of temptations, for even good people.

We see daily the negative forces unleashed by dollar-ism among the worst of people. It can be more difficult for many to see its destructive force upon some -- even many -- Democrats.

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:16 PM

55. Coalition building is a two-way street, and I mostly see

sentiment from the far left saying that they refuse to vote for Hillary.

There are elements on the left who will settle for nothing less than a complete makeover of our system of government and economics (basically, they want to leapfrog all the slow incremental successes that result from hard work, and skip right to the unicorns and rainbows).

If the far left cannot influence even the moderate Democrats, they have no hope of ever being successful on a national level. And it seems like many on the left don't even see a value in building alliances with moderate dems. And yes, coalitions are a two-way street. But right now, moderates control the party in a convincing way. So the far left's refusal to build bridges means they will continue to mostly operate in the political wilderness. And their political gains will be slow. And their place at the Democratic table will not be one of the most prominent ones.

What the far left talks about (sit out the general election, run a 3rd party candidate to challenge Hillary) will potentially fracture the Democratic Party the same way that the Tea Party has fractured the Republicans (which created a disarray guaranteeing that Republicans cannot win a national election in the forseeable future). That's not coaliton building, that's flipping over the entire card table when you can't win more than a couple of hands.

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Response to PBass (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:33 PM

57. I concur.

And one might call me a left of the left. I just am possibly a pragmatic one.

Oh, and R& for the thread.

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Response to PBass (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:00 PM

83. Interesting.

I know that I don't see everything on DU. I suppose that would be impossible, even if one tried. But, besides that, I do admit that there are a handful of individuals here, who I simply never "read." I never look at their OPs, and almost never read anything they post on a discussion, even if it is in response to one of my OPs.

A few are people that I last communicated with during the 2008 primary season; a few are people that I just consider bitter. And very comfortable in their bitterness and victim-hood. That's not a comment on their intelligence -- most are smart, informed, and good Democrats. I just don't like them, or find any benefit in listening to them any more.

Hence, it is possible, perhaps likely, that I miss most of the negative "I won't vote" posts that you refer to.

There are odd and silly people within every large group. There are some in both the pro- and anti-Hillary Clinton groups. (I do not see as many in the "undecideds," which is the group that I am part of.)

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #83)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:44 PM

99. I have to admit, I am pretty much done with the whole thing. I am no longer a Democrat. That does

not mean I will never vote Democratic again. If there is a progressive Democratic candidate to vote for I will vote Democratic. I have voted straight Democratic ticket for 19 years and have seen nothing but bad things economically in those 19 years. There have been times I have held my nose and been a good Democrat and did what I was told do, but no. I can't do it anymore. I consider myself a Socialist Independent now. If a Democrat wants my vote, they have to earn it. I will not simply vote for someone just because they are a Democrat. I don't think those that vote Democratic are out to get me, but it sure seems like the ones who do vote straight Democrat think I am out to get them if I don't vote the way they tell me to. Is that really they way it is suppose to work? It doesn't seem right to me. I am not out to get anybody. I simply have certain beliefs and want to vote for a candidate that aligns with my beliefs. For some social issues such as women's rights are their top reason for voting. For others, it is Supreme Court nominations. For me, it is economics. The middle class is disappearing. Those who used to be in the middle class are now either upper low income, low income, or below the poverty line. I don't want my children to be poverty stricken. That is my main reason for voting, and that is why I will only vote for a progressive candidate. So, am I one of the ones that says I won't vote for Hillary? Yes I am. Because I simply don't believe she will fight for economic equality. That's it. It's that simple. I'm not out to get anybody. I just want my children to have an education and a good paying job. Is that such an evil thing?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #99)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:51 PM

101. I respect that.

I have no problem with anyone who votes based upon their values. I think that people should vote as their conscience dictates. And, even as a member of the Democratic Party, I do not think others are "wrong" for holding different points of view.

More, I agree with you 100% that it is a candidate's responsibility to convince each voter that they should vote for her/him. I don't see how any rational person can view that as a problem -- although in the republican party, they have long voted exactly how they are told to vote. And, to an extent, we see a bit of this mentality among some Democrats.

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Response to PBass (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:26 PM

107. See, why the insults? I just don't get it. Did the Labor Movement want unicorns and rainbows?

We don't want to skip the hard work. We want to put in the hard work. We just want someone who will actually put up a fight. We have been losing ground for over 30 years now. Incremental successes are not enough anymore.

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Response to PBass (Reply #55)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 10:09 PM

121. Define "far left". I hear this phrase used so often here; it seems to me a way of dismissing

 

Democrats who aren't down with the establishment/corporate Party agenda, the agenda of the big money. Dismissing those folks by in effect, claiming there's something wrong with them, that they're tainted somehow and thus not worthy of attention.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:35 PM

59. Your mindset is that 'all the world is like a boxing match' so of course you see and thrive on

 

conflict, which you will see as binary and carefully circumscribed. I think also that I am getting tired of these posts about 'the left' that seem to suggest LGBT people, women and minorities are not 'the left'. Fuck that noise. I have people on DU telling me they voted for Reagan, don't think civil rights matter much, they are concerned only with money, they support anti gay preachers and a candidate who was a Republican from Nixon through Bush claiming to be the definitive progressives. They are not.

Respecting others can be hard for those who see only fists and fights. The straights of the 'progressive left' were sadly far behind some of the more centrist politicians in matters of civil rights. Pat, we held massive demonstrations the rest of you could have joined. But the rest of you did not. The 'left' did not come to help on our darkest days. Many of us tried to get that support. I did.
Currently on DU all I hear is that 'social issues' are unimportant compared to 'economic issues' and straights seem to think gay people don't know about economics. In 1987, ACT UP NY had it's first action. On Wall St to target Pharma. 'No More Business As Usual'. Sounds pretty lefty friendly. And so it went for years. We demonstrated at Insurance Companies and Airlines, Governments local and federal, and the papers would say 'Homosexuals arrested in protest' not 'activists' or 'protesters' because it was all homosexuals. The rest of you stayed home.
The first Straight Politicians who treated LGBT people as part of America were Bill and Hillary. Sorry if that angers you. It could have been otherwise, but no one showed up.
The LGBT movement was of the left and from the left, but we were segregated from the rest of you by the rest of you.
Today on DU some folks who claim they are very progressive tell me they voted for Reagan because AIDS was not really a big deal and it was all about the markets, then they say they don't like Hillary and everyone needs to vote for Warren, who voted for Reagan too. Well aint' that something. First they kick us in the balls, then attack our protectors, then ask us to vote for the ball kickers.

You should get your cohort to stop saying civil rights don't matter.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #59)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:00 PM

67. I think that you

have again mistaken me for a projection of yourself. No wonder you are confused. I can say that I do not have a single friend or associate that has said, "Civil rights don't matter." However, if it will put your mind at ease, I suppose that I could tell them not to do what they weren't going to do, anyhow.

On your other point that upsets you so: Science has proven what Ikhnaton, Moses, Confucius, Lao-Tse, Buddha, Isaiah, Socrates, and Jesus have said for thousands of years: "All of life imitates the sport of boxing." There is nothing to fear. Learn to accept this sacred, universal Truth. And purchase the May 2 pay-per-view of Mayweather vs Pacquiao. You'd like it.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #67)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:32 PM

95. And there is the dismissive stuff with no mention of the points made.

 

The 'progressive left' did not stand with the LGBT community when it should have. The potential was great, the invites were sent. Maybe you guys were all busy boxing.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #95)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:21 PM

105. It's a curious sport.

No question about it, boxing is unique. While there are a wide range of people involved in the sport, I have found boxers to be, as a group, the most intelligent and sensitive human beings that I have encountered. That, quite obviously, means outside of the ring. The depth and complexity of their character is why -- exactly why -- so many great American authors are drawn to them. Fascinated by them. There is a shared philosophy about the experience and meaning of life that I honestly think is superior to any other group of people.

I do understand that you dislike boxing, and can't get past the fact that, from time to time, boxers bleed. Indeed, in 329 bouts, I did get a bloody nose. Once.

As to your other "points made": I don't think you are scoring any points. And I'm not talking about your responses to my OPs. Rather, in general, I've notice you posting the same tortured stuff over and over. I do not think it really exists outside of your mind. Not the specific issue, which is real and both deserves and demands our attention. No, I mean you interpretation, which has become all too predictable and sad.

Boxing is art, you know. In your life, you've never seen anything that compaed with Muhammad Ali's footwork (re: dancing) in the ring. You can refuse to admit that, but it is true.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:46 PM

63. You will never start off by yourself to build up enough support to overturn gerrymandering

 

or the inherent problems that money can buy for a fair price. We've allowed commerce, politics and religion to fuse together into this mess we have now called Disaster Capitalism. You want people to vote in mass, you have to give them something to hope for.

Obama gave a lot of people hope, that he would do a million different things. Thankfully he has delivered in large part on pushing progress forward despite having the GOP try and thwart his every move.

You need to find someone that can be pragmatic and charismatic and always aware of their environment at all times. That is a hard one to come up with and we will regret it when the POTUS is no longer running the country.

Hopefully someone will come along and have his drive and passion.

Not going to happen in Texas, we have a Rush clone as Lt. governor.

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Response to Rex (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 05:14 PM

74. Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts State by State is a Huge Problem

"Common Cause, ACLU, League of Women Voters, AARP, Food and Water Watch " and others are doing the background work on fighting this...State by State with the help of other Grassroots and, of course they always need money because money is hard to get these days for People's causes. Thanks for bringing that up. We are working hard on that issue with Legislation in my state with a coalition of others who care about this. And huge work on Votiing Right.....Pushing Legislation to a recalcitrant DOJ who seems to always have some other legislative action more important...even when their action on litigation could have helped us in the 2014 Mid-Term Elections.

Won't be talked about in GD here on DU...and if the issue is brought up it would sink like a stone as past posts have. But there are those of us involved and working on these issues who still post and are active on DU.

It was the RW ALEC Groups...State by State who pushed this. There have been many ignored Posts here on DU about ALEC's influence (hidden, behind the scenes efforts) that were ignored to our Democratic Peril. But we have to remember there are "Democratic-in-Name Only Reps elected in states (now all over the USA and not just Southern States) who are controlled by the money that ALEC brings in.

No matter how hard DU'ers who woke up and saw this influence posted about it...because we had a Democratic President....few if any wanted to deal with it and Obama...really didn't work hard to BUILD THE DEM PARTY after he won. Instead henchmen like the Chicago Mayor were sent out to TRASH THE LEFT of the Dem Party who worked hard to Support Obama. And, that is the "Left of the Left" that H20Man is talking about. We were TRASHED when we were the very people worked our butts off to give Nancy Pelosi "Madame Chairman" and take back the House/Senate in 2006.



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Response to Rex (Reply #63)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:11 PM

88. Huge problem.

You nailed it. Of course!

Have you read John Paul Stevens' "Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution"? (Little, Brown, & Co.; 2014) Chapter two focuses on "political gerrymandering" (pages 33-57).

I consider the book essential reading for all Democrats.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 04:54 PM

66. The difference between yesterday and today? Corporate run government.

Good essay. For different perspective, here are my thoughts.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/12776878

Getting back on track is going to take more national leaders like Sanders and Warren speaking the simple truth about how power and wealth have corrupted our lives. That is the needed catalyst for change.

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Response to whereisjustice (Reply #66)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:35 PM

97. You are absolutely right!

Great OP that you linked to, also. Thank you very much for that.

It is corporate-run, for sure. Add the technology, and it truly is a machine, void of human qualities. We are in a tough struggle, no doubt about it. In strangely unique ways, it is as tough as situation as any nation has faced.

Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #97)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:21 PM

104. You are welcome and thank you for the thought provoking essay.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:08 PM

87. We live in a county of very ignorant people. A country where people will not vote.

 

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #87)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 06:25 PM

93. Yes, you are right,

and that's an enormously important point. But take it a step further -- for to deal with problems such as that, we must understand both the "how" and "why" so many people do not vote. Tell me why you think that is, please?

I see several reasons: some people are lazy (sad but true); some people can be brats, and intentionally not vote, in a mistaken attempt to express displeasure; some people are stupid; and many, many people are literally unable to connect "voting" with the day-to-day realities of their lives.

That last group is of most interest to me. I include the social sub-group of the poor in this group. Many if not most of their life experiences have taught them that they are of little or no value to the larger society. They do not include "politics" as among the efforts that might improve the lives of their family, much less themselves. Politicians inhabit a realm that is distinct from their's, and while they might like to venture into that other world, they have been taught that they are not welcome. And they know that politicians and other "important" public figures never enter their neighborhoods.

It is possible to help organize these populations, and create allies. After all, much or most of the middle class is finding themselves in the working poor these days,

I'm curious about you thoughts on this. Thanks.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #93)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:11 PM

114. The last thing I want to do is venture into politics in real life, I've had more than enough of that

One of my kids married into a family that is powerful and connected in local politics and without even trying I learned a great deal about what I consider corruption while they simply thought of it as business as usual if it even occurred to them to think of it at all. Traffic tickets went away, county jobs were procured for friends and family outside of proper channels, all kinds of things that made me really uneasy.

I really liked my daughter's in laws and husband at first but the more I learned the more I came to distrust them and then after about a decade the marriage fell apart and the husband tried to use his connections in order to get sole custody of my grandchildren. Thankfully my daughter is not only smart but very stubborn as well and his machinations were eventually unsuccessful but it was a close thing. If it hadn't been for the testimony of my grandkids he would have succeeded but by that point they didn't like their father all that much. You might be able to hide your true self from the outside world but your kids and spouse will see it eventually.

Even at that relatively low level I got the impression that everyone was wearing a persona, no one was actually genuine and hidden agendas were the order of the day.

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Response to YOHABLO (Reply #87)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 07:40 PM

110. And people that do vote but against their own interests due to unchallenged propaganda.

If I had to choose, I'd take those that don't vote and do no harm over those.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:11 PM

113. Wonderful articulate OP, thank you.

I tend to look at our approach as somewhat backwards. No doubt, the elephant in the
room for a long time has been undue influence through lobby money. One of the aspects
of Bernie Sanders I appreciate is that he speaks to that issue all the time..like a broken record. When
you connect the dots, as he does so well, you see a pattern language and it becomes
less difficult to answer why we have so many ills before us as a society.

The part I see as rather backwards, is waiting for anyone in particular to support us..I feel
the people need a platform of their own..this is what we expect, our objectives, our goals,
and only then does the individual become vetted for the position..we always seem to be
desperate to concede to someone else..who might give us what we want.

I work as hard as I can on the local level where I live too..it is essential to get
support from like minded and those who are on the fence..so many voters are
overwhelmed and do not feel they have any power to make a change.

Best regards,
J23

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Response to Jefferson23 (Reply #113)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:03 AM

128. Thank you.

It is by the investments of people like yourself that change can come, first to the Democratic Party, and then to the nation.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Sun Apr 19, 2015, 08:33 PM

116. As always

very good analysis.

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Response to burrowowl (Reply #116)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:04 AM

129. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 04:39 AM

124. I live in a heavily Democratic state legislative district

--consisting of West Seattle, Vashon Island, part of the small suburban city of Burien, and some unincorporated areas. Our counterpart Republican chair has said that he couldn't win the district even by running Abraham Lincoln. You have a major uphill battle running for state representative or Seattle City Council without the endorsement of our local Dem organization.

Yet--fewer than half of our precinct committee officer positions are filled! If left oriented people who are not party members yet were to till them, they could take over the district party apparatus. Third party advocates (to be distinguished from non-electoral issue-based mass movements) constantly complain about how much time it would take to take over the Democratic Party at state and national levels. But building an entire new party structure from scratch? Easy-peasy! Go figure.

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Response to eridani (Reply #124)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 07:18 AM

130. Right.

The ability to gain influence within the Democratic Party is here and now. By simply becoming active in it at the local level, one influences the party. It can work; indeed, it has worked.

That does not mean that by people joining in,things at the state and national level will change overnight. But it presents the opportunity to effect change .....and, as Rubin Carter often reminded me, small doors sometimes open into large rooms.

I'm certainly not opposed to people wanting to create a third party,or not wanting to be a registered Democrat. I understand that. But I think that the way that is described in this thread presents the option that provides the greatest chance for success.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 11:40 AM

132. I'm getting tired of telling you how much I like your mind.

Can't you rape a sheep on the courthouse steps or something? Give me something to complain about!

Seriously, another fine post. I think there is a reason why ancient wisdom lists politics as among the subjects that should not be discussed. But without such discussion, politics becomes meaningless.

Historically, in areas of great passion such as politics and religion, it seems the only people the believers hate more than the opposition are the heretics. How many times have politcal and social and religious movements been tainted with exclusivity, hatred, and back-biting. I remember Huey Newton (I think it was) saying "The only position for women in the Movement is prone." Allies who do not toe the party line -- whatever the party is -- are intolerable to some people. And there is a reason for that, since faint support can be worse than no support at all.

But what I like most about your thoughts here is how they are grounded in the reality of power relations. No one is going to pay attention to an opinion if it doesn't have some muscle behind it. I am far more concerned that the Democratic Party cannot muster a reasonable turnout to oppose candidates that have made it clear they want to destroy the nation and remake it in their image, than I am about how much money the Koch brothers have, or which rabbit the GOP is going to pull out of its hat for the 2016 Presidential race. We live in a country where Ted Cruz can be elected Senator and Scott Walker win election to governor by good margins. That is alarming to me, not because Mr Cruz and Mr Walker are reprehensible, because whoever is chosen in their role will be reprehensible, but because the electorate doesn't seem to care that they are reprehensible. That we cannot muster sufficient votes to even do the most basic of damage control is a botheration to me. And I suspect that unless we can persuade the electorate that there is a real alternative to the reprehensible ones, they will continue to make themselves scarce at the polls.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #132)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 12:06 PM

133. Talk about timing!

I just spoke with a Good Friend here -- using DU e-mail -- about my just getting home from a pre-trial hearing for the fellow who shot my cousin and his son. So I was indeed on the courthouse steps this morning. Alas, I was on my best behavior.

It is difficult for my family members to sit and listen to the things coming out of the defense attorney's mouth. My family deals with the raw emotions that come to the surface at every such hearing. I understand that, and wish that somehow, it could all just go away. But it can't.

I focus on the court process. Knowing that the unpleasant features are simply an unavoidable part of that process allows me to separate from the emotional parts. As much as I dislike this guy, and resent what he did, I do believe that everyone -- including those who are guilty as sin -- deserve a fair trial. Including legal representation.

Now, knowingly at risk of sounding like I am trying to wrench the long arm of coincidence out of its socket, I also try to take an emotionally-detached approach -- at times -- to social - political issues. I try to focus on the process: how things are done, including how "good" might best be accomplished.

Democracy and social justice are not states of being; rather, they are on-going processes, that always require both attention and effort. And that includes everyone having a say. Even those who I dislike, or consider to be the opposition.

Thank you for your kindness.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #133)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 01:44 PM

138. I know that attitude well.

I even have a mantra for it: "There's just a little unpleasantness to go through." In situations where if you could have your way there'd be mass murder, it is very useful to concentrate on the process, and see how one might manipulate it to best advantage. Which probably sounds a lot colder than it is meant to. Passion can be very effective in moving mountains, as history has shown, but solid engineering is more likely to get the job done. Myself, I reserve my passion for intimates, who have been warned. In public, I try to be as straightforward and emotionless as possible. Even if I would like to tear somebody's still-beating heart out of his chest. I do, however, too-often succumb to irony or sarcasm in such situations.

Unpleasantness is very like grief: there are steps to it, and there are no shortcuts, although it can be held in abeyance by redirecting attention. But redirecting attention works best in public venues surrounded by other people. In the deep watches of the night, the process still has to be endured. Fortunately, about anything that isn't terminal can be borne if one knows there is an end to it eventually. Unfortunately. there are too many things that can happen in life that lack that assurance.

I doubt there can be any satisfactory result to the court case, because nothing the court can do will make it didn't happen, and the fact that it did happen is the thing that hurts. All that can be hoped is that the perpetrator doesn't gaily go off without paying some kind of a price for his own indulgence of emotion. The family should be reassured that, yes, totally uninvolved people think they have been wronged, since about all that can help to heal the wounds is validation. If I had my way, the guy would be leaving the courthouse in a basket, but fortunately or un, it's not my call.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 12:38 PM

134. "Divine authority behind govt"?? Scalia describes kings.

And getting out from under the rule of kings is precisely why the United States was founded.

Seriously, the philosophy that democracy screws with the divine right of kings should preclude one from a seat on the Supreme Court.

====================

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Response to Beartracks (Reply #134)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 12:43 PM

135. Right.

I think that statement demonstrates what thinking was involved in his decision-making in the Bush v Gore case. He believes that democracy -- people electing their representatives -- is a bad thing. That it is against god's divine plan for the republican elites to rule as kings and queens.

He is simply not qualified to be on the US Supreme Court.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 12:45 PM

136. Great quote from Malcolm X 100%

When it comes to my local level it is massively uphill battle. I live in Mesa, AZ



I'm not involved with a local political organization but I wonder if one exists as I never see Democrats on a city or local state legislative ballot. Its always Republicans running against each other in the general. On a personal level I do my best whenever the topic comes up, while I'm quite critical of whatever actions from nationally known Democrats at a local level this Molly Ivins quote sums it up best

On Bill Clinton: "If left to my own devices, I'd spend all my time pointing out that he's weaker than bus-station chili. But the man is so constantly subjected to such hideous and unfair abuse that I wind up standing up for him on the general principle that some fairness should be applied. Besides, no one but a fool or a Republican ever took him for a liberal."

That is the way it is around here as I often defend Obama against slams that are simply untrue. While this was a conversation I overheard from a McDonald's employee it is an example of what I mean when right after Obama was re-elected she expressed doom & worry that everyone's taxes will be sky high & she worried about poor old people in front of "death panels". Another was while waiting at the SNAP/food stamp lobby there was two people in line, one said to the other that she wasn't going to participate in "ObamaCare" because she doesn't want to give all her information to the federal government in the Food Stamp line of all places.

Finding common ground is the easy part as all of this are struggling economically & where ever they get their info from has them convinced as I find people are set in their ways & tend to become rigid on politics so I just stay out of the fray most of the time. Plus many are racist so the anti-Hispanic rhetoric is quite effective (my former State Senator Russell Pearce sponsored SB1070, he lost recent elections to another Mormon Republican who didn't differ on policy, only on rhetoric) & this "raise your taxes" seems to sell well & the economy hasn't improved for middle & lower classes around here much so a lot just blame the people in the White House (exit polls of Landrieu from '08 & '14 show the economy was the leading interest that got her elected & those who claimed economy voted here)

Though I'd love to turn this area around but I'm not sure how. In public, I'm no where near as articulate as someone like yourself or anyone influential & it is difficult to summarize a response quickly without going to bookmarks or sources but too many people trust the propaganda or even aware of common logical fallacies.

As far as Hillary Clinton. It is mostly her foreign policy views that scare me away & also doesn't seem like she would reform the civil liberties' erosion from the Bush administration since she did vote for the original 2001 "Patriot Act"

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #136)

Mon Apr 20, 2015, 01:13 PM

137. Right.

I believe that Hillary Clinton is 100% sincere and dedicated to trying to improve the public's access to quality health care, at an affordable price. Likewise, I think she is strong on women and children's issues -- which, in my opinion, is equally good for men, as well.

However, she is an advocate for hydro-fracking, which is an extremely damaging process for the environment. Contaminated air, soil, and water pose serious health risks to women, children, and men, among other living things.

That is the type of contradiction that puzzles me. In order to believe that fracking is "safe," one must be willing to suspend questioning of the information provided by the top dogs in the energy industry. That includes people such as Dick Cheney. Call me paranoid, if you will, but I do not trust the Dick Cheneys of the world to be honest and accurate.

Ms. Clinton's international positions are the result of a belief system that was known as neoconservatism. In that, she is much like the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who is a good example of the type of Democrats who made up most of the early movement: liberal on social issues,and a hawk on military issues -- and favoring one Middle Eastern country above all others. (It is in this area where I think Rand Paul could potentially be a problem for Ms. Clinton in the general election. Some people might view his positions on American involvement in the Middle East as far superior to her's, and thus mistakenly believe that he is more "liberal" on foreign affairs. But he is assuredly not a friend of the anti-war people.)

On economics, it seems fair to say Ms. Clinton's ties to Wall Street are an issue. Intelligent people can view her very differently in this area.

I do think her positions on the public's constitutional rights to privacy need more attention. I have not seen the pro-Clinton people on DU address these concerns in a meaningful way. Thus, I'm interested in hearing what they, and Ms. Clinton, have to say.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri Apr 24, 2015, 12:39 PM

144. If I may, for multiple reasons

 

I do not think this is needed by the so called left wing.

I get to hear this from people on the lower tier of society, the working poor. They have completely given up on the system, or politicians caring about their needs. They really have.

It is so bad I almost expect low turn out rates in the general. I think the only people who still believe voting matters, are those who still believe in the myth.

I tend to argue that they need to vote, not becuase they listen, but to cynically remain in practice. But elections is not where it is. The last to finally accept it will be those who really have the most at stake in the myth.

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