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Wed Nov 22, 2017, 01:45 PM

Lion-hearted



“We're all counting on Robert Mueller to set them straight. Remove the cancer from our country's body. And I believe he will. But once the balance of power is restored to sane people we all need to think hard about how many insane were exposed by Trump's rise to power. 

“How will we deal with them in the future?
coeur de lion; 11-11-2017


On a recent OP/thread, my Little Sister posed the above question. Rather than attempt to answer in that thread, I thought that the point she raised required another OP. For while parts of the answer are easy to identify, other areas demand a more well-rounded response.

Let's start with the relatively easy part, one we see becoming a factor in Alabama. And it is simple division. Allow your opposition every opportunity to divide against itself.

There is a fissure within the republican party that threatens to divide the rabid right-wing from the “moderate” wing. An important example of this is found in Alabama today. A year ago, despite expressing “concern,” moderate republicans were willing to vote for Trump. And make no mistake: his behaviors in the dressing room of teenagers at “beauty contests” is not entirely distinct from Roy Moore's molesting a 14-year old. It's much more closely related than the actions of Al Franken.

The “me, too” campaign, and related shifts in social consciousness, have begun to put pressure on the republican fissure. Thus, “moderate” republicans are no longer comfortable ignoring Moore's past offenses. It's created a situation where the DC republicans are unable to identify what path to take to remove Roy, yet where they understand they may have to take action if he happens to win.

As that fissure grows – but before it fractures completely – we have the opportunity to separate some of the moderate republicans from the party. It may be temporary, of course, and specific to one election. And that's fine. If we think in the context of Moore in Alabama, the Democrats there have already peeled away some of his support. It's not enough to say that it's now certain that Doug Jones will win. Thus, the Alabama Democrats should focus their message to some specific groups.

It is safe to say that the Evangelical women in Alabama have at least the same rates for being subjected to sexual assaults, as anywhere else in the nation. In Alabama, our party's state and local groups should target them. Obviously, some still will prefer any republican to any Democrat (oh, how I wish Christopher Hitchens were alive to speak to this!). But a significant portion can be reached, and encouraged to think of their daughters and granddaughters. Thus, that election is definitely up for grabs.

In 2018, we will be facing similar – if not so stark – circumstances in states across the nation. That is why all of us should be laying the groundwork to build our foundation upon today. That's no different, really, than my son training now, for the 2018 Golden Gloves. Every state is unique, something we must recognize in order to have an effective 50 state strategy. There are places where we can and should run candidates who are either progressive, liberal, moderate, or conservative Democrats. It's not a “one size fits all” situation. A candidate that can win in California, for example, is not going to be the type that can win in Alabama.

This brings us to the topic of resources. There are obvious advantages accrued in splitting the republican party's resources, as we witness happening in Alabama. By splitting the rabid-right from the “moderate” republicans, it isn't just groups of people dividing, it's their financial resources. This is a good thing. So good, in fact, that we must continue to do it in 2018. Even in states where republicans normally feel safe, we need to make them expend the maximum financial and human resources. Again, we do this by exploiting the fissure in their party.

Now, in order to accomplish this, we must understand that all social and political movements have rhythms, much like tides. The republican party, particularly the rabid-right, holds certain cards to play when it is both beneficial and necessary. We've seen that last week, in the case of Senator Franken. And there are times when it's essential to fight the in-coming tide, and others where it's best to role with the tide. Does that make sense? In other words, we respond to their rat-fuckers, rather than react to them. This is something that intelligent activists learn with experience.

At this point, you are likely asking, “Okay, Patrick, but how exactly does this relate to Michelle Obama's saying that when they go low, we go high?” Good question, speaking of tides. In the context of the republican party versus the Democratic Party, let's consider a model. This is not exact, of course. But if we think of two long-time high school football rivals ….let's say Hatfield High versus the McCoy Centrals (their song being “Hang on, Sloopy”). It's not only the teams on the field competing, it's the fans who despise each other, holding on to rancid grudges from the past. And this can only reinforce anger and tensions. So what might change those dynamics?

Malcolm X often said that before you can get a people to act differently, you must first get them to think differently. Reacting with hostility towards non-Democrats (republicans, independents, etc) is not going to open their minds. That only appeals to the negative. But putting forth our best side, while appealing to their best side – in the case of Alabama, to reject sexual predators who prey upon children – has the potential to reach some republicans. For it is only the sickest among them who can justify Moore's behaviors.

And that brings us to that group – the most diseased among us – that you asked about. I apologize for taking a rather long route to addressing them specifically. While I believe that individuals can change, it is unlikely that, as a larger group, they are going to transform into non-hating citizens. Hence, we must make a conscious effort to remove them from having power within our society, and system of government. Then, though we can't change their minds, we can reduce their opportunities to act upon their illness.

A final thought: just as we cannot afford to “normalize” Trump's behaviors, we must take care to not normalize the idea that republicans have the same general value system as we have …..even those who do wonderful jobs of identifying Trump's pathology. Nor should we normalize the reversal of civilian authority overseeing the military, despite hoping the generals can control Trump's threatening outbursts. And with that said, I will soon continue our discussion on Michael Collins and that other fellow, and how it applies to the current political situation. (My great-grandfather's cousin worked with both.)

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Reply Lion-hearted (Original post)
H2O Man Nov 2017 OP
coeur_de_lion Nov 2017 #1
H2O Man Nov 2017 #2

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed Nov 22, 2017, 02:27 PM

1. Divide and conquer I get that

How specifically do we accomplish our next goal? This one?

Malcolm X often said that before you can get a people to act differently, you must first get them to think differently. Reacting with hostility towards non-Democrats (republicans, independents, etc) is not going to open their minds. That only appeals to the negative. But putting forth our best side, while appealing to their best side – in the case of Alabama, to reject sexual predators who prey upon children – has the potential to reach some republicans. For it is only the sickest among them who can justify Moore's behaviors.


I just wonder how many of them are willing to cross the aisle now that they realize Trump only endorses the lowest common denominators among his followers -- namely the neo-Nazis and sexual predators.

If any are willing how do we reach them?

BTW, thank you for the dedication to the Lion Heart! Lovely. And appreciated.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 23, 2017, 09:58 AM

2. Another thing:

It's not just the republicans' duty to change, and to confront Trump. Obviously, they should.

The majority of Americans -- including here -- have not had major changes (yet!) in their daily lives since Trump took office. They may well have more anger and anxiety, especially while watching the news. And spend more time expressing hostility towards Trump. But there hasn't been a major change in daily life's circumstances. And that is a significant part of the problem we are confronted with.

It's not that we "need" for things to get worse, though they surely will if we continue upon this path. Rather, it's that we need to change the focus and concentrate upon doing our best to make positive change not only possible, but inevitable. And that requires that we do nothing less than our best, individually and collectively. This must include in opposition to Trump and every elected representative who fails to confront his illegal and unethical behaviors, including in Alabama today, and across the nation in 2018.

Real change is, of course, difficult. Yet remaining the same will prove to entail far more hardships. Perhaps today, before writing the Michael Collins bit, I'll post an essay about John Conyers circa 1975. For only a mad man would consider that to be an important part of "the answer," and as you well know, I am a mad man.

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