Liberals must not say: "liberal," "left," "progressive" or "populist."

First, of course, liberals must not say "liberals." (Duu-uuh!) Remember the BCTYAI (Big Club That You Ain't In), including, of course, the PPC (Politician Pundit Complex)? Well, the BCTYAI launched an attack on "loony," "moonbat" liberals (as distinguished from "pragmatic" liberals). That Luntz-like maneuver seemed relatively effective: In the U.S., which is more conservative in some ways than many other nations, "liberal" became a slur word. Even many liberals treated the word "liberal" as though it were the ebola virus. Then, the BCTYAI divided all politics into conservative or liberal, which pretty much concealed the existence of two very different factions within the Democratic Party.

Your foreign policy can make neocons salivate; you can tell unions to take a walk (without comfortable shoes); and you can put "entitlements" "on the table," from which you just cleared impeachment and prosecution of war criminals. You can even offer a Constitutional amendment to overrule Roe v. Wade, provided the health of the mother is an exception. (IOW, a woman without enough money to get to Canada would avoid prison if her court-appointed lawyer convinces a jury that carrying to term or giving birth would have killed her. Yeayyy!) You can even expressly state on national TV that your policies are those of a moderate Republican of 1980s. (Note: Not a moderate Republican of the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, but of the 1980s, after the Republican Party had looped to right of Goldwater.) As long as you stick a (D) after your name, Baddaboombaddabing! (Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo? Coocoocachoo?) You're "a liberal!" Easy peasy, Sleazy!

Recently, no less a wordsmith than Harvard Law School professor, Alan "Flies with Wolves" Dershowitz, oxymoronically dubbed himself a "centrist liberal," demonstrating just how much meaning centrists had sucked out of the word "liberal." (http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/national-party-news/321040-i-will-...) Same for "left," BTW. After all, if you are not technically right, you are technically left. Right? And "leftist" may soon go the way of "left."

One good reason to lose "liberal:" It's too easily confused and conflated with "neoliberal," a word likely destined for obsolescence as neoliberals morph into neocons. Another good reason: Describe yourself as a liberal to Europeans and they may assume you to be a corporatist.

Next, liberals must no longer say "progressive." Whaaa? Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Wallace? What was a liberal to do, after the word "liberal" was off the table for...reasons? "Progressive!" Hmmm. Originally, the "progressive idea" was that humans could control their destinies, as opposed to being ruled by monarchs claiming Divine Right and the appointees of those monarchs, such as colonial Governors. The US declaration of independence is a prime example of that kind of progressive idea. (As it happened, the Constitution of the United States replaced Divine Right with White Monied Male Right, but that's a different issue.) Then, "progress" came to mean scientific and technological progress and social progress as well. What's not to like? Isn't that how we got from quill and parchment to laptops for everyone with money to buy?

Well, for one thing from what does being a political progressive distinguish you? The opposite of progress in even one area would be either standing still in all areas, or going backward, things promised by no politician, ever. (Obama's 2012 slogan was "Forward." However, Romney's was not "Backward.") Also, using "progressive" in that sense tends toward members of the BCTYAI's claiming victory upon passage of any bill that includes an incremental improvement of any kind.

An environmental provision in the TPP that will likely never be enforced anyway is an example of progress. Perhaps a better example: the delusional claim of Dembots that Obamacare was but the first step in what would be an ever-improving national health care system that would ultimately give us Medicare for All. Ta Da! (Had Obamacare given us Medicare for All effective 2011, with sensible sliding scale premiums, do you think anyone could repeal it? But again, it's all because of liberals, not New Democrats, that we can't have nice things anymore./sarcasm)

The Progressive Party, of course, was comprised of members of the left wing of the Republican Party who broke away to run former Republican President Teddy Roosevelt for President against incumbent Republican President Howard Taft, Democrat Woodrow Wilson, and newer party candidates who did not have a prayer. The schism, however, handed Woodrow Wilson a historic win (and a watershed Democratic victory in the Northeast). Only four years later, TR endorsed the Republican nominee, Charles Evans Hughes. Not only did the Progressive Party then implode immediately, but the entire Progressive Era drew to an end. Not especially inspiring, even if one does not mind being associated with the left wing of the Republican Party. (And this one, unlike New Democrats, does mind.)

Next, take Al From, the creator of the Democratic Leadership Council (Please!). The DLC, of course, was the organization that ate the Democratic Party from the inside, like a tapeworm stupidly consuming its host. The results were that (a) 1994, the first midterm under the first New Democrat President, marked the end of an era during which Democrats had held one or both Houses of Congress most of the time since the New Deal; and (b) the still-worsening state of affairs in which we've been since the midterm election of 2010, the first midterm under the second New Democrat President. Of course, centrists blamed liberals, but do the math.

From claimed that he had tired of having the DLC described as conservative (IOW, poor baby had tired of the truth). Consequently, when time came for the DLC to spawn ideological progeny, Al chose the name "Progressive Policy Institute" because referring to it as "the conservative Progressive Policy Institute" would have been difficult. (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10027191121) In other words, the cluck deliberately confused an issue that affects all Americans and was proud enough of that to write about it!

PPI's home page used to read something like, "The Progressive Policy Institute, home of pragmatic liberals," a term that (rightfully) became a laughingstock among liberals after Tom Tomorrow's "Chuckles, the sensible woodchuck." For a while, PPI boasted no subtitle. Now, it's "Progressive Policy Institute (subtitled) Radically Pragmatic." IOW, the intentionally misleading (oxy)moronic woodchuck replaced the "sensible" woodchuck. (It's nearly impossible to deal with PPI's calling itself progressive, liberal and/or radical without resorting to the No True Scotsman logical fallacy, which, of course, is precisely why PPI calls itself those things.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman)

From acolyte and beneficiary, Hillary Clinton, shuddered visibly when Chris Matthews referred to her as "liberal." However, the Democrat proudly described her political self during the primary variously as (a) rooted in her father's (Republican) conservatism; (b) a moderate; and (c) a progressive. The combination outraged those who equate progressive with classic liberalism. However, if a progressive is one who favors progress, regardless of kind or quantity, no contradiction inheres in claiming to be all three simultaneously.

Obama, who equated his policies with those of a 1980s moderate Republican, also referred to himself as a progressive. Yet, some people who refer to themselves as progressives intend "progressive" to be understood as a synonym for classic liberalism. Hence, I consider "progressive" to be the Chance the Gardener of political terms. (While this may not be a popular view, it has been, is, and likely always will be, my view.)

As for "populist:" Reviving that term was, I think, intended to convey having a heart, mind and wallet for those who are not plutocrats, without the baggage of internment, de facto segregation in the federal workforce, including the military, etc. Centrists, of course, attached that baggage to the New Deal and FDR as soon as "the left of the left" began comparing FDR and the New Deal favorably with President Obama. (Remember things from 2009 like, "We needed FDR but we got Hoover?")

Similarly, as soon as "populist" began enjoying a renascence of sorts, the BCTYAI got busy associating populism with racism, as though one cannot and would not pursue both economic justice and social justice. The claim was that the New Deal worked only because it excluded so many--as if the entire pie can never be cut differently than it was in 1934. While cynically cloaked in justice to women and minorities, it's really always about the Benjamins of the plutocrats.

Bottom line: We may need to choose, or invent, a new word for ourselves. Preferably, it will be a word whose meaning will withstand the inevitable slings and arrows of those with outrageous fortunes. Any nominees or neologisms?

Musical "tribute" To Al From, though he deserves none

Read the lyrics while listening to the song: http://www.songlyrics.com/abbey-lincoln/brother-can-you-spare-a-dime-lyr...

Read the lyrics while listening to the song: http://www.songlyrics.com/paul-simon/you-can-call-me-al-lyrics/

Read the lyrics while listening to the song: http://www.songlyrics.com/paul-simon/mrs-robinson-lyrics/

Read the lyrics while listening to the song: http://www.songlyrics.com/verna-felton/bibbidi-bobbidi-boo-cinderella-or...

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Comments

riverlover's picture

I crafted (limpingly) True Left as opposed to Fauxgressive. Somewhat like North Star. Does that make me a purist?

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11 users have voted.

Hey! my dear friends or soon-to-be's, JtC could use the donations to keep this site functioning for those of us who can still see the life preserver or flotsam in the water.

dance you monster's picture

@riverlover

Today, European leftists aren't all that leftist anymore, either. At least not the parties that claim(ed) to be leftist. Looking at you, "Socialists." You too, "Labour."

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12 users have voted.

@dance you monster

In 1998, with First Lady Hillary Clinton, From began a dialogue with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other world leaders, and the DLC brand – known as The Third Way – became a model for resurgent liberal governments around the globe.[18]

In April 1999, he hosted an historic Third Way forum in Washington with President Clinton, Prime Minister Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Prime Ministers Wim Kok of the Netherlands and Massimo D'Alema of Italy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_From

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10 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@dance you monster I like Corbyn pretty well.

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3 users have voted.

"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@riverlover

It was not that I did not like one or two things Hillary had said or done in career. I didn't like most of them. However, unless I jumped on the Dembot bandwagon anyway, I was a purist. Bull doo!

The claims of the Dembots have nothing to do with my being a purist. They have to do with hurling accusations of some kind or another at anyone and everyone who does not get on board with the choice of the Party's PTB. In 2008, that was Obama; in 2016, that was Hillary.

The very same Dembots who had called Hillary everything but a child of God in 2008, including a crypto-facist and a racist, were in love with her in 2016 and hurling epithets and shaming at anyone who wasn't. Riddle me how that happens, if you (generic you, not meaning riverlover) have any kind of principles at all. And if you don't have any kind of principles at all, why in hell would I care what soulless, unprincipled bot calls me?

During the primary, BLM approved Sanders' racial justice platform, but not Hillary's; and everyone acknowledged his economic justice platform was a good one. But, when he first ran for Congress, the NRA had endorsed him because it felt his Republican opponent had betrayed the NRA. In 25 years, he had had nothing but F or D-ratings from the NRA. However, he had voted against the Brady Bill. So, Dembots claimed that made him unacceptable. Now that's being a purist.

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13 users have voted.

@HenryWallace @HenryWallace @HenryWallace

To which I'd like to add that they also left out the reasons Bernie voted against the Brady Bill; that's getting beyond purist and into propaganda smearing.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Bernie-Sanders-vote-against-the-Brady-Bill...

Walid Nasrallah, thinks for a living
Updated Feb 19, 2016

He answered that question in the (October 2015 CNN) debate.
He was for most of the provisions of the Brady Bill, but he felt that it held a potential for abuse that would punish the wrong people.

"For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't."
-from: The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated

He was for a bill that distinguished between manufacturers and sellers who KNOWINGLY or NEGLIGENTLY sold weapons to criminals, but not those who accidentally sold weapons that were used in crimes.

There would also seem to be other transcription 'errors/(edit:omissions)' not yet corrected, even though shown (edit: clearly) by context.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/13/the-oct-13-dem...

The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated
By Washington Post Staff October 13, 2015

Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said, "And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." This version has been corrected. ...

... Senator Sanders, you voted against the Brady bill that mandated background checks and a waiting period. You also supported allowing riders to bring guns in checked bags on Amtrak trains. For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering that. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Let's begin, Anderson, by understanding that Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating (ph) from the NRA. Let's also understand that back in 1988 when I first ran for the United States Congress, way back then, I told the gun owners of the state of Vermont and I told the people of the state of Vermont, a state which has virtually no gun control, that I supported a ban on assault weapons. And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level in dealing with the straw man purchasers. Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said that he has "strongly supported" instant background checks.

Also I believe, and I've fought for, to understand that there are thousands of people in this country today who are suicidal, who are homicidal, but can't get the healthcare that they need, the mental healthcare, because they don't have insurance or they're too poor. I believe that everybody in this country who has a mental crisis has got to get mental health counseling immediately. COOPER: Do you want to shield gun companies from lawsuits?

SANDERS: Of course not. This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't.

On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action. ...

Here, as well, an evident error as yet uncorrected:

'... There were provisions in it that I (My interjection: where's the missing 'don't'?) think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't. ...'

Damn, lost a filling while eating toffee - time to sue the manufacturer!

Re-edit: please note that Bernie always thinks in terms of increasing good for the people and democracy without creating additional opportunities for harm.

Whatever he's doing now, I assume is something he considers causes more potential for/actual good than harm, knowing well that the informed will not fall for any of the corporate propaganda and counting on the people to help make themselves aware and active, while doing what he can to keep the notion of democracy Berning and alive in the public mind, even within the corporate media to which so many people are restricted.

Just got the error page again; dunno if this went through already or will be a dupe...

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1 user has voted.

@Ellen North

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0 users have voted.

@HenryWallace

To which I'd like to add that they also left out the reasons Bernie voted against the Brady Bill; that's getting beyond purist and into propaganda smearing.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Bernie-Sanders-vote-against-the-Brady-Bill...

Walid Nasrallah, thinks for a living
Updated Feb 19, 2016

He answered that question in the (October 2015 CNN) debate.
He was for most of the provisions of the Brady Bill, but he felt that it held a potential for abuse that would punish the wrong people.

"For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't."
-from: The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated

He was for a bill that distinguished between manufacturers and sellers who KNOWINGLY or NEGLIGENTLY sold weapons to criminals, but not those who accidentally sold weapons that were used in crimes.

There would also seem to be other transcription 'errors/ommissions' not yet corrected, even though shown up by context.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/13/the-oct-13-dem...

The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated
By Washington Post Staff October 13, 2015

Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said, "And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." This version has been corrected. ...

... Senator Sanders, you voted against the Brady bill that mandated background checks and a waiting period. You also supported allowing riders to bring guns in checked bags on Amtrak trains. For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering that. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Let's begin, Anderson, by understanding that Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating (ph) from the NRA. Let's also understand that back in 1988 when I first ran for the United States Congress, way back then, I told the gun owners of the state of Vermont and I told the people of the state of Vermont, a state which has virtually no gun control, that I supported a ban on assault weapons. And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level in dealing with the straw man purchasers. Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said that he has "strongly supported" instant background checks.

Also I believe, and I've fought for, to understand that there are thousands of people in this country today who are suicidal, who are homicidal, but can't get the healthcare that they need, the mental healthcare, because they don't have insurance or they're too poor. I believe that everybody in this country who has a mental crisis has got to get mental health counseling immediately. COOPER: Do you want to shield gun companies from lawsuits?

SANDERS: Of course not. This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't.

On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action. ...

Here, as well, an evident error as yet uncorrected:

'... There were provisions in it that I (My interjection: where's the missing 'don't'?) think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't. ...'

Damn, lost a filling while eating toffee - time to sue the manufacturer!

@HenryWallace @HenryWallace @HenryWallace

To which I'd like to add that they also left out the reasons Bernie voted against the Brady Bill; that's getting beyond purist and into propaganda smearing.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-Bernie-Sanders-vote-against-the-Brady-Bill...

Walid Nasrallah, thinks for a living
Updated Feb 19, 2016

He answered that question in the (October 2015 CNN) debate.
He was for most of the provisions of the Brady Bill, but he felt that it held a potential for abuse that would punish the wrong people.

"For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't."
-from: The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated

He was for a bill that distinguished between manufacturers and sellers who KNOWINGLY or NEGLIGENTLY sold weapons to criminals, but not those who accidentally sold weapons that were used in crimes.

There would also seem to be other transcription 'errors/(edit:omissions)' not yet corrected, even though shown (edit: clearly) by context.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/10/13/the-oct-13-dem...

The CNN Democratic debate transcript, annotated
By Washington Post Staff October 13, 2015

Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said, "And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." This version has been corrected. ...

... Senator Sanders, you voted against the Brady bill that mandated background checks and a waiting period. You also supported allowing riders to bring guns in checked bags on Amtrak trains. For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering that. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Let's begin, Anderson, by understanding that Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating (ph) from the NRA. Let's also understand that back in 1988 when I first ran for the United States Congress, way back then, I told the gun owners of the state of Vermont and I told the people of the state of Vermont, a state which has virtually no gun control, that I supported a ban on assault weapons. And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level in dealing with the straw man purchasers. Correction: An earlier version of this transcript misquoted Bernie Sanders as saying, "And over the years, I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole." He actually said that he has "strongly supported" instant background checks.

Also I believe, and I've fought for, to understand that there are thousands of people in this country today who are suicidal, who are homicidal, but can't get the healthcare that they need, the mental healthcare, because they don't have insurance or they're too poor. I believe that everybody in this country who has a mental crisis has got to get mental health counseling immediately. COOPER: Do you want to shield gun companies from lawsuits?

SANDERS: Of course not. This was a large and complicated bill. There were provisions in it that I think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't.

On the other hand, where you have manufacturers and where you have gun shops knowingly giving guns to criminals or aiding and abetting that, of course we should take action. ...

Here, as well, an evident error as yet uncorrected:

'... There were provisions in it that I (My interjection: where's the missing 'don't'?) think made sense. For example, do I think that a gun shop in the state of Vermont that sells legally a gun to somebody, and that somebody goes out and does something crazy, that that gun shop owner should be held responsible? I don't. ...'

Damn, lost a filling while eating toffee - time to sue the manufacturer!

Re-edit: please note that Bernie always thinks in terms of increasing good for the people and democracy without creating additional opportunities for harm.

Whatever he's doing now, I assume is something he considers causes more potential for/actual good than harm, knowing well that the informed will not fall for any of the corporate propaganda and counting on the people to help make themselves aware and active, while doing what he can to keep the notion of democracy Berning and alive in the public mind, even within the corporate media to which so many people are restricted.

Just got the error page again; dunno if this went through already or will be a dupe...

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0 users have voted.

@Ellen North

That would make such a good essay.

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0 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@riverlover

I get it that much of our Left is Right of European Leftists.

Much of our Left is to the Right of the European Right, as well!

Yes, it's a shock to hear the likes of Marine LePen etc., advocate for pro-labor things which no American politician dares back for fear of being seen as a "leftist".

??!!??

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6 users have voted.

"When I go to the grocery store and see a choice between crap cereal and shit cereal, I'm not buying cereal. It's not my problem, it's the cereal makers' problem." -- Kossack Puddytat on low voter turnout

@thanatokephaloides

automatically read it differently than riverlover typed it.

Realizing that I do things like that without being conscious of it is a good life lesson for me.

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3 users have voted.
Alligator Ed's picture

Then, "progress" came to mean scientific and technological progress and social progress as well.

That was my old habit and still can't help but think that way even though decades have elapsed since that was true.

The S & G song "dear Mrs. Robinson" needs to be updated: "Heaven has a place for those who PAY".

I think, coocoochacoo, you slighted the Beatles by not including one of their songs. This one aptly describes the coming state of affairs

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8 users have voted.

@Alligator Ed

it means.

Interviewer: Are you mods or rockers?
Ringo; We're mockers.

I think this song is mocking those saying they want a revolution (or even a Constitutional amendment!). (The last verse is the clearest.)

Genre: Pop
Beatles, The
Past Masters - Volume Two
Revolution

You say you want a revolution
Well you know we all wanna change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know we all wanna change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out

Don't you know it's gonna be
Alright, alright, alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know we'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know we're doing what we can
But if you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don't you know it's gonna be
Alright, alright, alright

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know we all wanna change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know you better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow

Don't you know it's gonna be
Alright, alright, alright

Alright, alright, alright, alright
Alright, alright, alright, alright

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/beatles-the/revolution-lyrics/#lcK5zQq90BgXlWX...

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@HenryWallace I remember that Lennon said in the first version of the song, he said "count me in," but that he changed it to "out" because he didn't want to die right then.

Actually, given how things turned out, that's really sad.

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2 users have voted.

"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

it does not change the rest of the song. Which is why I have to wonder if Lennon was not misremembering about that one word.

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2 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

confuse the populace. Forgive my cynicism, but I've seen too much not to feel this way.

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15 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady

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9 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

@Lily O Lady with so few Ds left in federal and state offices, we might be better off voting all Republican in 2018 just to completely cleanse the Party once and for all. What more damage could the Republicans do leading up to 2020 that they can't do now?
The thought of an antiseptically pure party is alluring. And seems the only way we can knock the entrenched phonies off our true name, Democrats.
IMHO.

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9 users have voted.

@earthling1

but I was trying for a name for an existing political philosophy.

Of the names I know of, I'm probably a populist, although I tend to self-describe as "liberal" when I am not being very thoughtful about it.

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4 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

@HenryWallace but as lily o lady has indicated, they will attack and redefine or otherwise corrupt any name we try to give ourselves. Especially a name that has been used already.
Consider; how could they corrupt a party called "The Disinfectant Party" with and obvious bent?
My comment wasn't necessarily tongue in cheek (well, a little bit I guess), but my own effort to point up the fact that there is a huge roadblock of DAPL proportions at the top of the current Democratic Party. And backed with heavy weaponry, big money.
Sometimes bold measures produce bold results. We've never tried bold before.
Just food for thought.

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8 users have voted.

@earthling1

the Disinfectant Party, of course, but we have tried new parties.

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3 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@earthling1 They'd call you purists. They might even talk about fascism, if you gave them half a chance.

But you're right, they wouldn't appropriate it for themselves. Probably.

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2 users have voted.

"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@earthling1
Old-fashioned soap and water!

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10 users have voted.

native

earthling1's picture

@native full steam ahead.

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8 users have voted.
SnappleBC's picture

And I've watched closely the tactics of the enemy. What I've decided is that they have a specific tactic involving a war on labels. It hardly matters what the label is. Call the US an oligarchy and they'll debate the fine nuances of "oligarchy". The same is true of "liberal", "progressive", "populist", or any other label you can name. If they don't want to just denature it, then they'll simply claim it as their own.

For me, I see it as a losing battle so I stick with "populist" because it's the word that most rings true for me for exactly the reasons you described. The bottom line for me is that I need to get people to look past a label and see the actual implications of the decisions being made.

I don't want to play an endless label war with them. It's only a distraction... which is in my opinion exactly why they have this tactic.

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14 users have voted.

Just to get this out of the way, Yes, I'm a plant from DKOS paid for by the DNC

@SnappleBC

I am going to make more of an effort to self-describe as populist, when I have a real need to self-describe. But, discussing positions on issues is better than trying to squeeze myself under a label. You're absolutely correct that it is only distraction and deflection anyway.

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@HenryWallace No, it isn't only distraction. It's of vital importance. If we intend to ever take political action with more than one person at a time, that is.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

a liberal or a populist or some other word? Why?

ETA: Okay. I see you posted more on this elsewhere, so no reply to this is necessary.

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@Cant Stop the Signal

Exactly; NewSpeak, the reallocating of different and often contradictory meaning to language, confuses not only communications but concepts. We have language for communication; they use it for obfuscation, this incidentally, a term I have never used so frequently in my life except in such discussions...

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

earthling1's picture

@SnappleBC but any name with an ideological bent IS what the opposition is ready and waiting for. The Disinfectant Party oozes single purpose, total cleansing.
Perhaps I AM thinking pie in the sky, but you have to admit, we are at the end of our rope.
One step back sometimes provides a giant leap forward. IMHO.

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@SnappleBC It's not a distraction. They're trying to make it impossible for us to identify ourselves by rewriting the dictionary. If you can't name a political movement, if you can't identify it to friend, foe, and uncommitted fella alike, then you will have no political movement.

Political movements are about what people believe. When a lot of people believe the same thing and are willing to act on it, that's a political movement. But how do you get a lot of people to make a decision on whether they believe in your political movement, whether they're for or against or neither, if your political movement can't be identified?

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

That is what I believe in. It's not a good name for a new party, because of the Justice Party. However, it's okay for a movement. Then again, what ultimate good is persuading someone to your movement, unless you offer them one or more candidates to vote for?

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@HenryWallace Lack of candidates is not our problem, IMO.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

Not many I wish to vote for are on the ballot--and I live in a blue state.

Back to my point, though: Let's say we persuade millions of people to our cause, as Sanders did. Then what? We don't seem to have a lot of direction and those who do cannot agree with each other on how to proceed. If you can't point people to a course of action or someone to vote for, then what?

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@HenryWallace

If there's a solid, binding platform to which a political Party must adhere, identity politics become less central, since the Party policy itself has a predictable, determined direction.

When a Party's platform (not to mention people's Constitutional rights and Oaths of Office required for qualifying to hold these public offices) become(s) viewed by the leadership as a meaningless prop, it is not what I'd consider to be an actual political party because having no stated purpose, direction or policy to which it must adhere - at least in public admissions. The Dems, for example, stand behind nothing but money and unrestrained, pathological greed, as shown by their behaviours, something about which the other half of the Two-Faced Corporate Party Trade-Off, the Republicans, are somewhat more honest about, in their long-running attempts to justify their abuses of the people and environment via propaganda.

The important factors in leadership within a Party with a binding Progressive (or whatever term) platform involve such things as far-seeing common sense, the capacity of critical thinking and consideration, (in both senses) integrity, humanity and the ability to see - and not side-step out of expediency - the obvious, something sadly missing in the general run of North American corporate politicians.

Beyond this s/he has to adhere to the stated platform, except where the people/area/situation demands positive change to better benefit the people and area.

Politicians exist to serve the people and we had better start demanding truth in advertising and start getting what we pay for. In the current situation, it seems that we now realize that we have to supply this ourselves, in order to achieve governments actually of, by and for the people.

That, and start dealing with the co-opting of language and movements by objecting where we can and mocking the illiteracy of the propagandists.

The propagandistic alteration of terminology alters perceptions and distorts once-universally-shared meanings - it's a crime against language-dependent civilization and humanity, even if only one of many such ongoing crimes.

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@Ellen North

Maybe my second try is better: http://caucus99percent.com/comment/248760#comment-248760

Of all the posters I've read, I think I am the least hung up on personalities (identity politics being something else entirely). For example, I supported Sanders, but never idolized him.

But, I don't think there will ever be such a thing as a party platform to which candidates must adhere. There is no way to enforce that and they will always make excuses about why exceptions were necessary. Think Obama and his unequivocal insistence during the campaign that a strong public option was the only way to keep down costs. A friend of had just died at 30 because he had AIDS and could not afford treatment. So, while I am not a single issue voter by any stretch of imagination, health care was a very important issue to me 2008.

Oh, what do you know? Joe Lieberman, an independent who wasn't going to run again supposedly blocked the whole thing singlehandedly. What a farce, true. However, I've had dembots argue me to the ground over how the only choice was between the Obamacare we got and nothing at all. And, with a system in which either the Republican or the Democrat will win the next election, did it matter that I voted for Jill Stein in 2012?

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into the old political categories. As the good book says -

"And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins."

I think what we're dealing with now, is split wineskins and a lot of spilled wine. The words "liberal" and "conservative" have both lost most of whatever ideological meaning they might once have had. Neither of them accurately describes a logically coherent set of beliefs and policies, yet our dualistic political system continues to mandate fealty to one or the other of these two categories. It seems to me that the language we are using is distorting the picture of reality we are creating, to the point where we are not seeing one another at all clearly.

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native

@native

and your Biblical reference impresses me. I never would have thought of that one and certainly not for this purpose!

Reminds me, though this is really OT: I read that drinking a glass of red grape juice provides the same benefits as drinking red wine. So, I have started drinking red grape juice every morning as booze gives me an awful headache as soon as I down a few very small sips.

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@HenryWallace
can be found in the Bible. Of course there's lot of of horsepucky in there too, so you need to kind of pick and choose and not get all dogmatic about it. Seems to me that dogmatism in general was the curse of the 20th century, and it would be a good thing to move away from it, if we can.

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native

@native

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@HenryWallace

Reminds me, though this is really OT: I read that drinking a glass of red grape juice provides the same benefits as drinking red wine. So, I have started drinking red grape juice every morning as booze gives me an awful headache as soon as I down a few very small sips.

There was no such thing as "non-alcoholic grape juice" before the great Docteur Louis Pasteur made his scientific discoveries. The optimum yeasts for the fermentation of grape juice live on the surface of all legacy varieties of grape, i.e., the ones which have seeds in them.

It is my understanding that the first commercial product of non-alcoholic grape juice was created and marketed by a gentleman named Welch. And there's still a product of that nature bearing the Welch's name today.

And, of course, the name of the process Welch used to enable the existence of transportable non-alcoholic grape juice is..... pasteurization.....

Wink

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"When I go to the grocery store and see a choice between crap cereal and shit cereal, I'm not buying cereal. It's not my problem, it's the cereal makers' problem." -- Kossack Puddytat on low voter turnout

@thanatokephaloides

that red grape juice has the same health benefits as red wine.

BTW, white wine does not provide the health benefits. I think I read that it's bad for you, too, but I am not sure.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@native

I think what we're dealing with now, is split wineskins and a lot of spilled wine.

Or, in the case of Her Heinous and the supporters of the same, spilled whine!

Wink

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"When I go to the grocery store and see a choice between crap cereal and shit cereal, I'm not buying cereal. It's not my problem, it's the cereal makers' problem." -- Kossack Puddytat on low voter turnout

@thanatokephaloides

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native

Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@native The problem is not so much the split wineskins as it is the fact that the establishment can prevent us getting any new ones.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal @Cant Stop the Signal

Yup, can't get fair American elections until the State and Federal corporate Party reps and their corrupt agencies are dislodged, and can't do anything about getting the corporate/billionaire/Likud and any other rabid foreign politicians (don't think there are any others than Bibi/Likud types and some Saudi's?) out of policy until you get the corporate/billionaire/Likud and any other foreign politicians out of policy and dispose of the politicians in their pockets.

Speaking generally, I'd say go after the corporations and billionaires, as they form the root of the Two Evils Americans get to vote for or against; boycott, divest, refuse to buy GMO-containing/contaminated Monsanto-monopoly-building toxic foods and hammer your grocers on this at every opportunity.

Refuse to support the corporate/billionaire abusers killing us, the very concepts of democracy and civilization and life on the planet and do a reverse of what the American people did for Bernie Sanders; show them what happens when we begin to refuse to allow them to force us to feed their power with the pittance of millions of The People in every country.

Do it for your health, your freedom, your life and what still remains of survival hope for the planet.

And in the meantime, work on a Party of the people worth voting for, so that if/when the corporate/billionaire monstrosity is brought down, there will be sane and reasoning people ready to take the governmental helm in a sustainable and democratic fashion and no dog-fights over a choice only of corporate fascists trying to move back in.

If this doesn't work out, we're all toast in the near future... all we can do is to live until we die. My theory, at any rate.

Edited to replace a mis-struck 'r' with the intended 'e'.

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Not Henry Kissinger's picture

We already have plenty of artwork:

And lest anyone think we're just a bunch of Lebowski Bros...

And finally ... the winning election slogan!

Or alternatively...

It's a Party of Unity!

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I am waiting for you, Vizzini.

@Not Henry Kissinger

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Creosote.'s picture

n/t

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earthling1's picture

@Creosote. @Creosote. they'll smear it into; the Independents are just confused as to which way to go and who could listen to them anyway?
It was one of my first thoughts though.

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SnappleBC's picture

@Creosote. I don't recall which state but in either Washington or Oregon the Republican party started up an "independent party"... completely coopted from the outset.

That's why I think my only hope is to get people to care enough to look past labels. It's simply too easy to mess with them.

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Just to get this out of the way, Yes, I'm a plant from DKOS paid for by the DNC

@Creosote.

People who are registered to vote, but who are not registered with any political party are called independents in many contexts. Say a pollster calls you and asks: Are you a Democrat, a Republican or an independent? Do they mean you are registered to vote as a member of the Independent Party? Or do they mean that you are registered to vote but have not affiliated yourself with any political party?

I think when most people speak of the independent vote, they mean the vote of people who registered to vote, but did not affiliate themselves with any political party when they registered.

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@Creosote.

I don't think that Homeland Insecurity believes that Indies count - or that their votes should. But all electoral information will be Top Secret under their care from here on in, to be shared only with private interests in security meetings, so I'm only guessing here.

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jobu's picture

...late for Breakfast...or Dinner...

...and no one calls me Francis....

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Is very bad to steal Jobu's Rum, is very bad...

@jobu

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I think the need for a name is even more urgent--because it's impossible to discuss the most commonly held positions of Afterberners even as a social or political trend, much less a party. Every time I criticize Trump, I hear "You Democrats..."

But what will it stand for?

If you say populist, you've got to mean populist. Saying we're populist, but we still want a strong tumblerina presence and we still forbid "problematic" language is just going to be instantly recognized as the horseshit it is. If you say populist, then you've got to recognize there are already lots of people calling themselves the same thing. Some of them are racist. Most of them believe in color-blindness as a goal. None of them are SJWs. So that is something to be dealt with and not hand-waved away.

I really like what the Pirate party has done. Their original focus was on an issue that was not even part of the debate. And they tried to retrain from adopting the language or terminology of any existing party. I'm not exactly recommending the same name--just the same approach.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cassandrus

I really like what the Pirate party has done. Their original focus was on an issue that was not even part of the debate. And they tried to retrain from adopting the language or terminology of any existing party. I'm not exactly recommending the same name--just the same approach.

I do advocate "the same name". I think America needs its Pirate Party now more than ever!

I still need to show up in person at my County Board of Elections so I can get registered Pirate. (Colorado's online voter registration page doesn't accept "Pirate" as a Party affiliation!)

Arrrrr!! Smile

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"When I go to the grocery store and see a choice between crap cereal and shit cereal, I'm not buying cereal. It's not my problem, it's the cereal makers' problem." -- Kossack Puddytat on low voter turnout

boriscleto's picture

We don't have to be afraid to re-invent
We've got to start to build
Progress and implement
For when we take our fill
And never pay the price
We only build ourselves
A fleeting, false paradise
You can live in staunch denial
And mark me as your enemy
But I'm just a voice among the throng
Who want a brighter destiny
They say with me
We are the new america wo-oh!
This is the new america? wo-oh

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" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

https://youpic.com/photographer/boriscleto/

@boriscleto

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orlbucfan's picture

Rec'd!! Smile

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“If you don’t have the guts to face your constituents, then you shouldn’t be in the United States Congress,” Sanders said. “That’s what you’re elected to do.”

@orlbucfan

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Next, take Al From, the creator of the Democratic Leadership Council (Please!).

But just who would take him? And where?

I hate neither the Saudi deserts nor the central Antarctic wastes that badly! Hell, the inside of a well-used cat box doesn't deserve that!

The DLC, of course, was the organization that ate the Democratic Party from the inside, like a tapeworm stupidly consuming its host.

LOVE it!!

Diablo

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"When I go to the grocery store and see a choice between crap cereal and shit cereal, I'm not buying cereal. It's not my problem, it's the cereal makers' problem." -- Kossack Puddytat on low voter turnout

@thanatokephaloides

to have noticed Alan Dershowitz's First Nations name, though. Too soon?

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

You can even expressly state on national TV that your policies are those of a moderate Republican of 1980s. (Note: Not a moderate Republican of the 1950s, 1960s or 1970s, but of the 1980s, after the Republican Party had looped to right of Goldwater.) As long as you stick a (D) after your name, Baddaboombaddabing! (Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo? Coocoocachoo?) You're "a liberal!" Easy peasy, Sleazy!

Goo goo g'joob!

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

Cant Stop the Signal's picture

with the early-twentieth-century progressive movement, which was primarily a movement against corruption, and the corruption of the duopoly in particular.

I don't actually care that they were followers of Teddy Roosevelt rather than Emma Goldman; I've read what they had to say, and it was sound, at least as far as domestic US politics goes. As for giving that bastard Wilson a victory, that's the same argument that's always made against third parties. Under the conditions we've had here since the death of the populist movement in the 19th-century, that's always going to be the first result of any non-duopoly party. It's a cost of challenging the system.

The problem with the progressives was that they trusted TR, and he, of course, betrayed them, because although he actually had something approaching a moral core when it came to internal US politics and corruption, he was still a politician and part of the establishment and he stabbed them right in the back, as contemporary political cartoons showed rather bluntly.

However, more to your point, the establishment can destroy any word they want to using their echo chamber.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

That was not an argument against TR's running. That issue was moot a century ago. It was simply a statement of irrefutable fact

TR was running against both an incumbent President and a former, very popular President. Had it been either one of them, he would have lost. The only shot he had was them running against each other. It was the only reason he won the northeast, too,

I will never not tell the truth about something because someone else uses the argument in a way that is inconvenient for my goals. Nor do I think denying reality does anyone any good for any reason.

As far as progressive, since no one agrees on what it means, it's not a useful word for communication. Having the speaker use a word that the speaker understands very differently from the listener is worse for communication than using a word whose meaning no one knows. Communication is not going to occur as long as some people understand the Progressive Policy Institute, Hillary and Obama to be progressives while some people understand "progressive" to mean something like classic American liberalism. Moreover, we really should aim higher than the left wing of the Republican Party of a century ago.

Besides, TR was the raison d'être of that party and he was reportedly racist. That was why, when Obama compared himself to TR, Obama was careful to say that he did not agree with all of TR's positions. And, while TR was anti-monopoly, he was a plutocrat whose circle consisted of plutocrats. Just as I would not identify myself with reference to FDR because of some of his acts and omissions, I would not identify myself with TR. But again, being identified with a group of Republicans of a century ago is not okay with me.

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@HenryWallace Back to choose a term they find loathsome, or break their monopoly on political thought, which would, as you point out, involve building alternatives.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

Cant Stop the Signal's picture

@HenryWallace That's exactly what our third party, if it ever gets off the ground, is going to do. Split the vote and let someone loathsome get elected. In the early stages, given the laws and customs we're facing electorally, that's what's going to happen. And they will blame us for it early and often.

It's just a thing. We can back away on that account, or accept that it's going to happen.

Unless someone can figure out a way to Kobayashi Maru their way out of this, Kirk-style. Reprogram the computer, change the conditions. It's what the other side did in the 70s. And, basically all the way up to 9/11. But the electoral conditions are controlled by the laws which are controlled by people who want our elections to stay the way they are, so I don't know how to reprogram the computer on this one--we don't exactly have access to it. Write-ins and other potentially disruptive acts won't work either, because in many places they've made it legal to ignore them.

We need a different approach.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

Cant Stop the Signal's picture

should not preclude a person from pointing out a historical change in an organization or team or community. Nor should it preclude pointing out hypocrisy by same. I'm really sick of us getting bullied by things like "no true Scotsman" and Godwin's so-called Law, which is used in a manner rather different from its initial conception.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal
that applies to the weakness of a certain type of argument in all contexts. (Please see the link in the essay.)

Godwin's "Law" is fake nonsense and relevant only to the length of a message board thread. (I've been meaning to do a short essay on it. Maybe this weekend?)

"No True Scotsman "

should not preclude a person from pointing out a historical change in an organization or team or community.

Who said it should anything remotely like that? However, arguing, for example, that Hillary is not "a true Democrat" or "not a true progressive doesn't buy me much, even if I knew what "progressive" actually means in 2017. There are other and more effective and productive ways to point out that the Democratic Party has changed. (Simply saying the Party has changed and pointing out some specific changes is one of them.) I don't see much point in defining myself today with what the Democratic Party once was, anyway.

Aside from wording, many people who reached maybe their early teens after in January 1977 or January 1981 probably don't see much of a change anyway. They would be at least 50 today. I know that includes you, but I don't think political message board posters are typical of the political perceptions or information of US voters in general. http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics

Moreover, I am not at all sure the Democratic Party once was what many people believe it once was. You and I have had that discussion at least once before. Were the New Deal and the Great Society really what the Democratic Party once was, or were they almost isolated attempts to ward off a popular uprising that plutocrats were fearing at the time? And does deflecting to that sort of discussion help a nascent movement anyway?

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Cant Stop the Signal's picture

The goal here, for the establishment, is to make it impossible for us to identify ourselves. They're trying to make our political positions unspeakable.

So we can choose a term that is loathsome to them, like "socialist," and hope that they won't come for it. Or we can choose to challenge the machine that they're using to appropriate words. Or both.

Challenging the machine, or challenging both at once, would require that we actually convince larger and larger numbers of people to, as we said in the 80s, "Kill your television." On the up side, most Americans already loathe the media and believe that they're lying (ditto for politicians). On the down side, most Americans continue to view the mainstream media and accept what they say as truth even though they know they're lying--for reasons similar to those of the man who, dying of thirst in a desert, drinks tainted water.

Humans want narratives. If there's a monopoly on narratives, held by the PTB, rather than be utterly without a story, many humans will accept the story they're given even if their reason objects to it.

We need a movement of withdrawal from the media machine, and a people's communications network. We've needed that for a long time. But there are obvious obstacles, the most obvious being corruption of the indie media, as we've recently seen with Cenk Uygur and the Young Turks.

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"VOOM"?!? Mate, this party wouldn't "voom" if you put forty million votes through it! It's bleedin' demised!
--Not Henry Kissinger

@Cant Stop the Signal

You have to fight over a century of bias against newer parties and a boatload of propaganda about voting for lesser of two evils or being responsible for the victory of the more evil candidate. And you can't just tell people msm is the propaganda machine of the establishment. You have to tell them who they can rely on. Let's face it. It's bigger than all the issues we've cited.

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