What is Our Recourse? Or, Punching Down is American Tradition

Debbie from Sane Progressive posted a 2 hour long rant which she soon deleted. From the half-hour I was able to catch before then it was obvious she was....tired. She wasn't the only one. Many other activists have thrown up their hands and quit because they feel like they have no way to fight back.

We can't protest because the paramilitary police will gun you down while using the corporate media to vilify the protesters. Strike? Same thing. And in both cases, because this entire shit country is so polarized, there's no way in hell anyone would be able to rally enough people to participate.

We can't vote either because the bourgeoisie control the scope of opinion, the candidates, the parties, etc. Not to mention that despite the fact that only 25 percent of the voting population identifies as D or R, too many people still make the 'choice' between the turd sandwich and the diarrhea soup for any meaningful change to take place. Boycott? Again, no one could ever get enough people to participate, at least in 'Murica.

But what about that lawsuit against the DNC? Please. Their fuckin' lawyer pulled a literal Donald Trump/Mitt Romney when they said 'Oh yeah, we could decide the nominee in a back room over cigars and the voters can't do shit.'

I don't have any solutions of my own and my frustration exhausts everyone around me, so why bother? After all, the only time anyone in this shit country seems to do anything is when the shit hits the fan...no, wait, I take that back. The 2008 crash happened and all people did was whine about big gubmint and 'freeloaders and illegals on welfare' while their savings, pensions and wages were looted to bail out the bourgeoisie.

The same thing happened with the installation of Dipshit Trump by Billary Clinton and friends. Oh sure, there were plenty of astroturf divisive identity protests led by old guard board room 'feminists' like Gloria Steinem and Madeline Albright (Hell, I'm surprised Christina Hoff Summers didn't join them on stage) and the like while real leaders like Kshama Sawant were outright ignored. And don't forget the continued vilification of Bernie Sanders as a white male only candidate despite multiple studies and polls now saying the exact opposite (Actually, Sanders had a bigger coalition than Billary ever did).

Oh yeah...I'd almost forgotten about Bernie. I'm glad I mentioned him because I'd love to scream right in his face too. He refused to contest the blatant fraud. He refused to walk away and join up with Jill Stein and the Greens. He would have taken plenty of voters with him as well, more than enough to be a threat to the ClinTrump corporate war machine, I'd wager. But now we have him running around on the Subjugation...I mean, Unity tour with that slimeball Tom Perez because 'we have to take them down from within' he says. Oh, and 'RUSSIARUSSIARUSSIA'. Right. And I'm Ulfric fuckin' Stormcloak.

The people of this idiot shit country will never see decent governance or living standards unless they're willing to fight and die for them in some cases. And too many are too damned comfortable to care. Too many have forgotten about the struggles, suffering and death that happened over centuries to get what little has been whittled away by Reagan and friends.

So, since we can't work and fight alongside each other in solidarity, I guess we'll all just hang separately.

See ya around,

Aspie

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how wrong you are!
And can't.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@on the cusp That's OK. I did. Smile

We tend to misinterpret data because we aren't facing the facts about how Americans think about politics.

Don't get me wrong, there's a lot that's wrong and bad and discouraging about the way Americans deal with politics; I've been in the worst despair of my life since those big anti-Trump marches happened. But, to my mind, we never really get around to the real problems with how Americans view and practice politics. We just flip back into the assumptions we built in the 80s and 90s, which can be summed up as "stupid sheeple" or "bad evil right wing" or both. It all comes down to "Why aren't you in the streets like we were in the 60s and early 70s?" and we don't even bother to make a practical or logical assessment of why: we don't take the data we actually have and apply it to the question (for instance, the CIA decided to help the Reagan Administration prevent just that result in 1983, using techniques they'd perfected overseas; they have been fucking with the culture ever since).

Most simply, if American culture and the politics that arises from it were so intrinsically, hopelessly bad, they wouldn't need to spend billions every year manipulating it.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

PriceRip's picture

          Everyone seems to be getting there, but all the collisions are occurring asynchronously. I keep thinking, maybe someday some survivors will initiate a conversation wherein they all agree to focus on one attainable goal that will in turn create an opportunity for the next and the next and ...

          In the meantime I wonder is that particular wall has a characteristic frequency or perhaps more appropriate to the metaphor a characteristic wavenumber.

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@PriceRip
is meant as a barrier to we the 99percent. It's constructed of wealth that's mortared with the blood sweat and tears of the working class.

The base of the wall aligns horizontally, whereas we confront and tear at each other in a linear fashion upon collision, as it is intended.

Frustration's relief lies upon the apex of the wall, in a vertical fashion. Upwards. Or breached.

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@JtC understated elegance in a reply.
I like it and think you Are correct.

peace

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

@Tall Bald and Ugly
as to how well the plan is working. Instead of grabbing siege ladders to mount the class wall, the hoi poloi tear at each other over identity politic scraps at the base.

When a critical mass has determined the crux is longitudinal, then maybe that wall can be scaled.

When will we wise up?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC The issue is how to reach the people who are already there. My guess, based on what data I've got, is that there are a lot of them.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

was that it showed how ready the country is to go in progressive/populist direction.

unfortunately Sanders sank his own ship with us in it.

that movement with an honest person at top & we are in business.

we can't seem to find a suitable standard bearer, which is a very tough comment on our gutlesss and corrupt political class.

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@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
to reach them, the internet.

The question is how to break through the echo chambers that people inherently seek out. Our nature is to flock with like minded folks, to box ourselves in, vehemently rejecting differing thoughts or ideas. Online communities are perfect examples of compartmentalization and we all know how hard it is to swim against an ideological current.

Perhaps a first step would be a manifesto. A horizontal alignment manifesto, if you will, aimed across party lines, targeting folks that are ready to unite in a common cause but are having difficulty dropping the party dogma. A simple explanation that the problem is vertical, not horizontal and our efforts through party lines are futile unless we unite.

Said manifesto could be disseminated across the net, Facebook, Twitter, posted on various boards, and most importantly sent to blog admins of various flavors, requesting the manifesto to be published for their readers.

I'm not naive enough to believe this would have much legs, but the idea is to plant a seed.

An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.
– Buddha

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC Difference between us is that I don't believe the first step is persuasion of those still caught in the partisan trap. I believe the first step is finding the people you don't have to persuade, who currently have no voice and next to no infrastructure/vehicles to even converse in. They have us, and Sane Progressive, and Black Agenda Report, and a handful of other podcasts, and Jimmy Dore (though JD is on TYT, which network is, IMO, not actually on the right side of this fight.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
many folks are unreachable, although some may still be plastic enough to be moved.

My thoughts are along the line of a large nonpartisan bloc with a lazer-like focus on the oligarchy (I back away from designating it as a voting bloc as it may need to be more than that). In other words, a caucus of the 99%. I hate to use it as a reference, but the Tea Party comes to mind, minus the identity issues that cause most of the external hatred. Economic inequality is the binding force, that which is felt across the political spectrum.

IMHO, we must shy away from much of the identity politics as they are the issues that keep the masses from uniting, identity politics is the solvent that breaks the glue. The common cause with the various political factions is the boot on our throats, ie: the squid and the MIC, as intermingled as the two are.

If the goal is to unite then we need to downplay that which divides.

Pie in the sky? Maybe, but what else is going on?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC @JtC I totally agree with you. I just think we're more likely to find them NOT in the parties than still in there.

Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to organize without spending hours on the "should we work through the Democratic party or not?" argument?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

gulfgal98's picture

@JtC @JtC Many folks who are unreachable are simply not informed by why their current partisan beliefs are wrong. We (all of us on every side of the divides that have been created by the oligarchs) need to find the common issues that we can agree on.

I keep coming back to my anecdotal experience with the Peace vigil and how we were able to find common ground with so many self described conservatives.

BTW, JtC, I am so glad that you are weighing in on this discussion.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

smiley7's picture

@JtC
lifting up that which joins us, moves us, keeps us from sleeping and moves forward...

Spot on, my friend!

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@JtC

-Nobody wants to end net neutrality.
-Nobody wants profiteering with healthcare
-Nobody wants global warming

I'm sure there is a whole list of things that everybody wants:
- Green economy
- Free, open internet
- Peace

Making such a list and prioritizing could help create that manifesto.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC The folks I'm talking about don't need to be persuaded of what the problem is, who is primarily to blame, and which tactics have spectacularly failed. They need to be persuaded that there's any point in coming together and building something new.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

earthling1's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
But share the same concerns as we do.
They are a hole in that wall. We can speak to them through Caitlin Johnstone. Or directly through that hole. We have much in common with them and that hole poses a major threat to the deep state.
Could this be why they are revisiting net neutrality?
We haven't much time before that hole is sealed back up.
Forget your trepidations about Johnstone or the sane voices on the right, this is the chance we have been waiting for.
Lets not squander it.
IMHO.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@earthling1 I have no worries about the sane voices on the right. I have newly-minted concerns about Johnstone, but mainly because she's (perhaps unwittingly) using a DLC argument on me.

I'll work with honest right-wingers, just like I've heard some on the right say they'd work with honest "liberals" (pretty much one of two words they have for us, the other being "socialists.") We have some things we will have to at least set aside in order to work together. I think we probably can do that--probably.

My problem with Caitlin is--well, here it is:

So far I’ve been talking here about collaborating with the political right, but really progressives have been failing to collaborate against the deep state among their own ranks as well. Some people from TYT endorsed Hillary after the primary. Bernie is a sheep dog. Tulsi Gabbard isn’t far enough to the left on some issues. Jill Stein said something weird about GMOs. Are you fucking kidding me?? Guys, we don’t even have the luxury of refusing to collaborate with the libertarians and Trumpsters against the deep state, much less the anti-establishment lefties who aren’t on our exact wavelength on every single issue.

Here was my original response to her article:

[Caitlin is] fine on the subject of working with right-wing 99%ers. Working with Democratic politicians? Um, no.

I feel like the Dems keep showing up, through the media, even through the left wing sometimes (like Caitlin), knocking on my digital door and saying "Please can't I work for the establishment and still be friends with you? Can't we be establishment and be revolutionaries at the same time? Can't we keep the establishment in place and radically uproot the corruption at the same time?"

No. No, we can't.

See 5:40 of the following Jimmy Dore video--or here, here's the gist:

"We're not united. I'm not united with your corporate bullshit. That's not happening, Keith! So this idea that you can slap your fucking face on the Democratic Party, and somehow that means we're all going to come together, because now your face is there, is bullshit! That's not happening; I'm not coming around to corporate bullshit. If you want to get me to "buck up" and support the Democratic party, become fucking progressives and try to win a race. Try to win a race by appealing to the people you're supposed to represent: not Silicon Valley, not Wall St, and not the military industrial complex. Where's your fucking platform, Keith? Where's your platform for ending the seven wars Barack Obama got us in and investing that money back home? Where's your platform for free college or $15 minimum wage? Where's your platform for ending fracking? Where's your platform for a Green New Deal? Where's your fucking platform, Keith? You ain't got one except telling people like me to shut up. I'm telling you to shut the fuck up, get your head out of your ass, cause you're a loser, and so's the goddamned Democrats, and the whole country's going down the toilet because people like you keep telling people like me to "buck up." I'm telling you to buck up, and speak out against those corporate Democrats, and don't take their crumbs, cause I ain't taking their crumbs. I'm asking you to buck up, and be a fucking man, and stand up."

Just to make the connection to Caitlin's essay explicit: putting Bernie's face, or Our Revolution's face, or Justice Democrats' face, or Kyle's face, or Cenk's face, on the Party is no more use than putting Keith Ellison's face there. And I'm not going to ignore--nor should anyone--the obvious ways in which all these individuals and groups are connected to the Democratic Party, which is currently agitating to start World War III, and which has been allied, at least since December, with the CIA against Trump. The CIA is as "Deep State" as it gets; I'm not working with people who are two degrees of political separation removed from the CIA. If you're connected to Hillary Clinton or the current version of the DNC, or if you spend time defending or normalizing her, or the DNC, then you are defending and normalizing the Deep State. Caitlin acts like this is some kind of snotty purity-test bigotry. It's not. It's a sensible caution about working with people who are enmeshed with your enemies, the same people who ensured that Bernie Sanders did not win last year. I won't work with Hillary, I won't work with people who spread the Russia/election hacking/WWIII talking points, I won't work with people who ignore or deny election fraud. Why won't I work with them? Is it because my purity is a fragile flower that can't stand contact with the dirty imperfect real world? No. It's because, if you're intending either reform or revolution, it's incredibly stupid to work with people who are doing business with the very tyrants who have been screwing you over for 30 years.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
AMEN!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Wedge issues are a huge tool used against us. They are played up by the corporate media and used to get us fighting each other. Let's not play their game. Let's not talk about those very personal issues that are used to rile us up. We need the opposite of wedge issues.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

@JtC

could we not organize about a platform?

six or seven points that say what we want clearly. I believe sanders campaign showed the people respond to our message.

the question seems to be how to turn that fact into a force.

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PriceRip's picture

@JtC

          We out number them at least 99 to 1. I have faced much worse odds in my life. This is something we can do.

          Correction: This is something we must do. There is too much at stake.

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@PriceRip
the compartmentalized chambers we build for ourselves, or maybe more accurately, have been built for us. It will take all hands on deck, the left, center, and the right, the horizontal alignment.

It's late, folks are waking up.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@JtC The people I believe to be unpersuadable, unless something changes: hyper-partisans and right vs left ideologues. They're busy fighting a different war, one which is at least in part a fabrication of the establishment, so there's no use trying to work with them to fight the war we're in.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

They're busy fighting a different war, one which is at least in part a fabrication of the establishment,

IMO, this is exactly what Debbie was trying to convey--that until we can reconcile the facts surrounding the Dem Party primary, as well as the implications, we'll just keep spinning our wheels.

In short, "it's time to move on."

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal @Unabashed Liberal No shit. The question "move on to where?" is, of course, where the rubber hits the road.

EDIT because I realize this sounds hostile, and I didn't mean it that way!
I meant only to be emphatic.

Sheesh, even emoticons don't make this talking-at-a-distance much easier...

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

comment wasn't at all offensive.

I'm not sure where Debbie is wanting to go from here, except, that I believe that she clearly wants to work outside of the Dem Party because she no longer has faith that politicians--who are necessarily a part of the status quo--can, or will muster enough independence to lead a successful 'progressive' (whatever that means) movement. (No matter how well-meaning they may be.)

I'm keeping my eyes peeled on her YouTube Vlog and her Twitter account, to see where she plans to go from here. I'm curious as to whether her video [that was accidentally erased] addressed any of the issues that she brought up on the 30th. But, more importantly, I hope that she soon clarifies what she thinks is the best path forward.

I am very concerned about what's coming down the pike, regarding entitlements. Later today I'll try to post an excerpt for a piece that came to my phone just hours ago. What I can say is--either we'll soon be treated to one of the biggest displays of 'Kabuki Theatre' that's ever been staged in the history of the US, or the Dem Party Leadership is cynical beyond belief. It has to be one or the other.

(BTW, Chris Wallace caught Schumer in a bold-faced lie this past Sunday on his news program, regarding DT's tax reform proposal. So, I tend to 'think' it might be Dem cynicism, not a bipartisan plot. But, it's hard to tell, at this point. I'll be watching/listening to members of Leadership very carefully over the next weeks. And, as I can, I'll post transcripts of their interviews, here.)

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@PriceRip We have got to change our assumptions/views about the people we're trying to persuade to join us, or nothing will change. IMO.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@JtC

Hate is the building of walls, love is breaking them down.

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Beware the bullshit factories.

@JtC

over the horizontal tearing at each other.

Some other group is getting hurt? "They should have" something. Even here, sometimes, there's a horrifying lack of empathy for victims who are in different categories. You even see "market forces" thrown in to justify some other group's misfortune.

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Big Al's picture

That's two things. Organizing, which means a lot of people. And something, which means a goal or demand.

I guess there's one more thing, agreeing on that goal or demand. We have to keep this simple.

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@Big Al
Monopoly=Bribery=Corruption=War
I have no idea if it'll play, anyone else?
It's getting close to high impact lead poisoning time, fuck old school pitchforks.
But, as always,

peace

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

Big Al's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly @Tall Bald and Ugly Rule by the Rich. Or end the oligarchy. Or boycott the duopoly and end oligarchy.
As I've said before I think we need to go for the jugular and not let them have a say in the matter. Just say, it ends now, mofo's, your game's up. Course that's me.

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@Big Al
That's all they say it takes, but 10% of three hundred million? Well, you know. . .

peace

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . .

@Big Al

It's a means to an end. How about focusing on the good beneficial end? What improvements in people's lives do we want to see? I think that might grab them more easily.

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PriceRip's picture

@Tall Bald and Ugly

          I like this, in part, because it doesn't have the veneer of politics. I like it particularly if it is presented as "Monopoly→Bribery→Corruption→War" to suggest a manageable agenda.

          This pattern so very well matches themes presented in a majority of articles published here, I wonder how this would match other similar sites "out there"?

          As presented it could produce a campaign that avoids the "us versus them" pitfall (particularly at TOP) that destroyed the most recent primary that could have produced a decent president of the USofA.

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"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@Big Al

or someone.

does seem to be need for a focus of some kind.

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@Big Al

to push for first going on now on Naked Capitalism:

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/05/war-morality-get.html

Right now there's a case being made for starting by focusing on universal benefits, to unify a large enough group. A positive might be more effective to start with than a negative.

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Big Al's picture

@Sunspots Still more to read, but I might respond to it here.

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The New Deal is completely dismantled. The Democrat Party is fully under functional control of the oligarchs. Wonder why the Bernie movement did not succeed? And, even worse, the Party poobahs refuse to budge. Why? Because the formula that put them in power is still functional and any other organizational scheme threatens their power .. which they "earned" ...right?

The irony waiting in the wings is that the current economic dichotomy is unsustainable. You can't keep the economy going by bleeding off wealth from the 90% to the .1%. The economy needs the power of the broad based consumer. It has worked like this: The oligarchs steal all of the productivity gain of the economy and become fabulously wealthy. Middle America then can't support their middle class lifestyle, so they turn to debt in one form or another. The Oligarchs are more than happy to loan them some of their wealth, since they now demand a return on the immense wealth accumulated through theft. That's why we live in a continual real estate bubble, it's the available capital accumulated by stealing your income driving the whole thing. The Achille's heel in all of this is that to continue to consume middle America needs to borrow more money and accumulate more debt. This describes an unstable system. Debt accumulates until the middle class can't afford to borrow any more so that the consumer economy crashes. That is catastrophic, since it is entirely constructed on projected returns to service business debt. The economy has a nasty instability built in, we engineers refer to it as a positive feedback loop. And that is not positive in terms of result, but in terms of rate of collapse. As the economy falters, people lose jobs, income to spend and default on their debts, and private capital withdraws. To me as an engineer it is truly astonishing that we rely on free market Capitalism to run something as important as the economy. We are about to find out what a huge mistake that is. Meanwhile the crisis will spawn either Fascism or Socialism. The argument should be made that we currently have Fascism, at least according to Mussolini's definition, and it failed. So how are we going to sell Socialism? At what will our unique American version of this look like?

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Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Wizard Selling it isn't the problem. Half the people were ready for it last January, before the Sanders campaign even happened.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@The Wizard Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@The Wizard

To me as an engineer it is truly astonishing that we rely on free market Capitalism to run something as important as the economy.

Or infrastructure.

Or healthcare.

Meanwhile the crisis will spawn either Fascism or Socialism.

And sooner or later, Socialism will prevail, as Fascism isn't maintainable over time. Witness western Europe: even Spain, the last Fascist country in Europe, is now Socialist by American standards.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@The Wizard

and maybe very soon:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-03/they-know-something-we-dont-%E2...

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gulfgal98's picture

I am heading out of town this morning and do not have the time to write a long response, but JtC's comments are so eloquent that they pretty much say what I was going to say about this issue.

Two things for me. First is a social movement based upon common interests that span beyond the normal left/right spectrum is the way we need to organize. It must occur outside the normal political framework. But we can take a lesson from the fact that Trump was elected by people economically harmed by previous administrations and who supported Obama in 2008 and 2012. These people either voted for Trump out of desperation, voted third party, or stayed home. It shows that this country is ripe for a vastly new direction.

It is personal economics above all else for most people. So where is the biggest portion of our discretionary budget going? It is going into the defense/security sector. What is the return on this money to the American people? Nothing, nada, zilch. In my personal experience with a local Peace vigil, this is an area in which we can create alliances. People are beginning to understand that this money goes into a never ending black hole of war and overseas operations instead of being spent here at home.

The second area in which we can form alliances across the political spectrum is in the area of entitlements. Social Security and Medicare are two very popular programs that are being threatened daily. These programs touch nearly every family in this country.

I hope to be able to write more later today once I reach my destination.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

This is A problem but it's not really THE problem:

We can't protest because the paramilitary police will gun you down while using the corporate media to vilify the protesters. Strike? Same thing. And in both cases, because this entire shit country is so polarized, there's no way in hell anyone would be able to rally enough people to participate.

The problem is, of course we can protest and take the risk of getting hurt or thrown in jail and then hurt, but when's the last time that actually changed the course of human events?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Somehow the "because this country is so polarized" comment flew by me. No, the country is not "so polarized." More than half the country despises both Hillary and Trump, and nearly 60% of the country favors Bernie. How to interpret that data? Well, the best way isn't an autopsy of Bernie Sanders' character and motives, because the American people use politicians as shorthand for the policies and morality they actually care about. "Bernie" is the only shorthand available for the suite of policies and positions he repeated over and over in his speeches.

What I'm seeing is that a little more than half the United States is not polarized against anything; they dislike both Hillary, Trump, the Democratic Party, and the Republican Party. They like Bernie, while continuing to dislike the Democratic party (so the Unity Tour's not working). A little more than half the people are NOT either pink-hat wearers or Trumpeters (those are the polarized people, by the way, and there's nothing to be gotten out of any of them till they wake up.)

If we had an effective movement, I'd say up to 55% of the population is absolutely persuadable; the only thing keeping them from action, other than the assault on time, is their own despair. Not because "they believe in 'Murica;" not because they are polarized against the right or left.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal "when's the last time that actually changed the course of human events?"

Exactly! Why risk serious personal consequences for zero return?

Sad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

the old unions got us the 40-hour week and many of the other benefits we still (more or less-all-the-time) have. People got killed for every advance.

Taking power never has been safe or pretty.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Sunspots Correct. But we had a government then. Not a very good one, but we had one.

Can you imagine that Teddy Roosevelt actually MADE the coal companies sit down with their workers, because he didn't want to deal with the social consequences of having people freeze all over the northern U.S. just because the coal bosses couldn't sit down and make a reasonable deal with their employees?

He threatened to actually nationalize their companies if they didn't make a deal.

And he was a Republican!

That's not where we are now. I'm not saying, don't take risks, but I am saying that asking people to go out and wave signs like it's the 60s or 70s under the assumption that that will do something, and having people take the risk of getting hurt for little or nothing, may not be the best way to go.

They've adjusted the society so those tactics don't work very well.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

People will go seriously out on their own when they decide that conditions are unbearable and they have nothing left to lose.

Our asking them won't do it, unless it's only a safe matter of pussy hats.

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lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

when's the last time that actually changed the course of human events?

Sometimes it does work.

To such an extent that when, in Dresden in eastern Germany in 2014 and 2015, Pegida (“Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West”) started holding weekly marches, the establishment was disturbed enough by their success that it has been pulling out all the stops to undermine and discredit them, ever since.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard That's a different country and a long time ago.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Again, no one could ever get enough people to participate, at least in 'Murica.

That's just not true. If we are going to do anything, we have to stop letting our frames re-activate and cover over history.

These beliefs we have just march over whatever actually happened. FFS. We had a large movement against the Iraq War, we had tens of millions of people during the Dean movement which apparently everyone has flushed down the memory hole, we had a 48% approval for Occupy after only 2 months, which is unheard of for a street movement, especially one that uses tent cities as its dominant metaphor; people rallied to Bernie Sanders with such numbers and enthusiasm that it clearly took him and his campaign aback.

Bitterness comes from the fact that nothing we do seems to work. Then we re-activate the frame. The John the Baptist frame. The voice crying in the wilderness. The missionary position (heh). Here we all are among the unregenerate heathen. Our message doesn't get across because they're damned. Or because we're damned because we aren't holy saints willing to risk martyrdom.

Why we can't have a sensible, face-to-face discussion about the truth, which is horrible enough as it is, and then make our choices based on facts, logic, and a truly pro-life (not anti-choice) position I don't know.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness LMAO--no personal insult was intended. Smile

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal You are exactly right. hence my handle.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

we need to "have a sensible, face-to-face discussion about the truth, which is horrible enough as it is, and then make our choices based on facts, logic . . ." as you say.

That's the challenge, alright.

And, we need to beware of MSM framing of issues--they really have become 'fake news.'

Help

Sadly, I think we're finding out that this is 'much easier said, than done.' But, we've got to keep trying, no matter how difficult it may be.

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

gulfgal98's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal It takes more than one attempt for a social movement to succeed. I actually tend to be on the optimistic side of this idea because we have had a number of social movements that have attracted a large number of people before they were put down. This country is ripe for a social revolution which hopefully will lead to a political revolution. Recent town halls by both Democrats and Republicans have shown that there is a growing interest in overthrowing the status quo. And politicians are the guardians of the status quo which is why we cannot put our faith or trust in politicians.

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Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@gulfgal98 Correct on all counts, gg.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

After all, the only time anyone in this shit country seems to do anything is when the shit hits the fan...no, wait, I take that back. The 2008 crash happened and all people did was whine about big gubmint and 'freeloaders and illegals on welfare' while their savings, pensions and wages were looted to bail out the bourgeoisie.

Everybody acts (now) like the American people did nothing and just sat on their hands when the shit hit the fan in 2008. They didn't do nothing. Scores of millions of them rallied around Obama.

The reason they didn't act is that they thought they had elected someone to take action, which is how the culture had dealt with such problems in the past. They were expecting Obama to be FDR. Instead, he was another Reagan.

Once it became clear he was going to do nothing, the loyalty oaths came out, and the accusations of racism, and that worked really well, and yes, some people have some shit to answer for on that account, but more important than settling those accounts is the related problem: we don't have anything built, no infrastructure, no culture, no economy, no political economy, for people to turn to if they leave the system. This is why continuing to pour energy and effort into the Dems is political suicide; the point of the Dems is to keep capturing our money, energy, faith, and time so it doesn't go anywhere else. It's like a massive political bug zapper.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Call it a shit system and they will agree. Else you sound like a traitor to the average person.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness Well, right. Sort of like it's hard to be a populist if you despise most of the people.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal of the people, blame their “privilege” for most social evils, and can’t wait for them to be displaced by a coalition of minorities?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard Those are the New Democrats. Fresh, lemon-scented, and without a trace of that nasty plebe smell.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

She posted something on FB about how two of her videos disappeared, including the one about Saudi Arabian defense contractors.

She doesn't sound like she's giving up to me. I actually went onto FB, which I almost never do, to message her, and found her video about how two of her videos disappeared.

She said at least one of the videos disappearing is her own technical difficulties, not government censorship, though weirdness happened around the Saudi Arabian one and she doesn't know what's going on with that.

She didn't sound like she was about to throw in the towel to me, but we'll see if she responds to my message.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

at her Twitter feed,

I also don't think that she was signaling that she is 'giving up.' I believe that she was simply laying out the parameters within which she is willing to fight, so to speak.

Have a good one!

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Unabashed Liberal I'm waiting for her response, but I'm not actually too worried.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Unabashed Liberal's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

her a couple of 'links' via Twitter.

I'm thinking that more 'characters' are now allowed, so maybe it would be feasible. It couldn't hurt to have someone with her visibility tackle so-called 'entitlement' reform.

IMO, we need all the help that we can get!

Mollie

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

enhydra lutris's picture

cooperative enterprise. The 99% needs to form one.

Throughout the history of labor and labor unrest in this country, the elites were only truly terrified by one, so terrified that they pulled out all stops to cripple and destroy it. Instead of coal miners, steel workers, carpenters, electricians, etc, a strike from any of which, especially if geographic, is easily suppressed and survived, but one big strike by one big union, that is scary shit. That's why they had to kill the IWW. That's why we need one big movement, not hispanics, asians, blacks, women, glbtq, labor, small businesses, etc, but One Big Fucking Movement.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

to go to Scandinavia, to the the Nordic countries, to Finland, to France and Italy, and personally ask the people, the local administrators, the legislators, the neighbors, how exactly they managed to get from post WWII devastation to social democracy, and how exactly they manage to budget healthcare, equitable education, environmental awareness, and accountability in their governments.

I know those countries are small, relative to the U.S., but each of them has an equivalence to states in our country. I know they're up against the lenders too and the razzle dazzle of debt, booze, drugs, wealth and materialism. They're still in this struggle. But they definitely have the experience of making the huge transition from oppression to democracy that we, somehow, have taken 200 years to approach and slide back from, over and over.

I think we need actual lessons. I mean, by taking our notebooks and pens, sitting down, and listening to how they did it, step by step.

What I think it will come to is facing our local representatives in person with demands that are foundational and that are built on resource reality, saying what we will and will not pay for.

NO MORE DEBT FOR WAR.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Linda Wood This sort of thing is likely to turn up in my "something borrowed" section of my Open Thread in coming weeks.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Aspie Corner's picture

via Jimmy Dore

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

Guerrilla Liberalism won't liberate the US or the world from the iron fist of capital.

which follows the ideas of many others, some posted on this thread.

1. Compose a "People's Declaration" addressed to the political class which contains a simple progressive/populist platform.

2. The "Declaration" is a pledge to support any candidate who endorses the entire platform and to oppose any candidate or politician who refuses.

3. Ask politicians to endorse the platform.
This means they will give full support to the program. Refusal is noted.

4. Set up a website, perhaps run through c99, on which the platform and pols' responses are posted. The site has a signup list for the declaration so that the number of people onboard is visible to all. Organizations would be welcome to sign and to publicize that fact.

If millions signed on and then followed through, they would take control of the system. (If a pol makes the promise and then wavers, he must be attacked unsparingly and never forgiven. To break that promise must be a political death sentence.)

Is there anything in this proposal that can't be done easily and cheaply?
That can be answered here, I think. Is it worth trying? That is another thing and not my call.

Details on platform, etc. could be worked out here if this were to be a c99 project.
Or perhaps as a joint effort with some other groups. For example-

1. end the war
2. address climate change
3. $15/hr.
4. medicare for all
5. quality education for all
6. justice for all

If you can't say that to me as a politician,then save your breath.

Por las llanuras corre un caballo loco.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@irishking @irishking

but, if there were an attempt to involve politicians in this process, I think that it would be wise to make them pledge to very specific stances.

IOW, don't allow politicians the opportunity to use 'weasel words.'

Wink

Mollie


"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went."--Will Rogers

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Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.

@Unabashed Liberal

the platform has to be specific enough so that wafflers
can be held to account.

pull our troops off foreign soil, $15/hr, medicare, are all pretty clear. But yes,we must be ruthless with those who promise "hope and change" and don't deliver.

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k9disc's picture

Is it a Flood Issue?

An Infectious Issue?

Seems to me that there might be some value in nailing a metaphor down, both in terms of content and distribution of a message.

A Flood or an Infection of value ladened messaging would be solid moves against Identity & Wedge Issues.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

k9disc's picture

This discussion is bringing up some ideas that are seemingly unrelated, but they are where the splits are in our body politic. I think these are Wedge Issue Catalysts:

Do People Serve Politicians or Do Politicians Serve the People?

Constitution as Contract or as Living Document?

Positive Liberty or Negative Liberty?

Corporate or Government Malfeasance?

The answers to these questions are major hurdles to overcome or avoid in political discussion if they are not the main point of your argument. Lumping these things into our communication throw up blockers and warning lights for no reason at all.

These are very important questions, but they're reflexive tertiary processes based upon smaller chunks of ideas.

In learning theory there is a phrase "be a splitter not a lumper". It's a powerful, powerful phrase with great range of application. I'm still getting epiphanies from this phrase 20 years since I heard it.

If we're talking about issue X, stick to issue X. If Issue X runs afoul of one of these questions or runs into a pitfall or serious challenge, outside the scope of the focus of the discussion, let it go -- bookmark it and come back to it when you're done with this lesson or when you have a lesson prepared.

I don't think those of us on the Left do that very well. The impact and strength of the message from the Left requires a Big Picture overview. We can't leave a key dot unconnected or connected to the wrong concept. It ruins the big picture.

It doesn't though. It's just a matter of focus, and we need to realize that. If we stick to Issue X, avoiding a pitfall or sidebar discussion about how corporate really does it, we can paint a very clear picture of Issue X -- a picture that points directly to, and can easily be airbrushed into, the Big Picture.

Sticking to the issue at hand and the focus of the argument in the first place is Splitting the message behavior into discrete parts. Diving into a sidebar discussion because a different issue shows itself means that the focus of the lesson is weakened and the sidebar is hamstrung by a lack of success on the focus.

Be a splitter, not a lumper. Learn to avoid pitfalls and unintentional attacks by avoiding background, or even foundational arguments, and sticking to the task at hand.

Sorry if this is a bit like word salad. I'm just kind of thinking aloud.

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

Daenerys's picture

The point that people now need to understand is the government is actively trying to kill us. Immigrants aren't the enemy. Foreign terrorists are a negligible threat at worst. It's the rich fuckers and the government leaders that protect them that are the enemy.

We can't change the system by voting. Peaceful protesting doesn't work. The Bundy idiots were armed and they didn't do jack shit to them. If we could somehow get the people hoarding all the guns on our side, there are more of us than there are of them. Time to tear the whole thing down, top to bottom. I'm afraid violence is the only thing that will work, and that's where we are now.

(BTW Aspie thumbs up for your Ulfric Stormcloak reference. I can talk about Skyrim till the cows come home.)

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This shit is bananas.