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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #361
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    AR,

    Turkey Fan,

    I lay this ignorance at the feet of the complete lack of civics education in our schools. We are reaping the harvest of our pivot to everything STEM and dropped civics/history/poli sci from our school curriculums. Our public school textbooks across the nation are designed and approved by the Texas State School Board...Texas gets to do this because they buy so many books they skew the market.

    We have raised 2 generations of citizens who do not know what that word means.
    haha, showing your age there! not just one, but two generations of get-off-my-lawnism! :-)

    frankly i think the one-third of dumbasses have always existed. the only reason why they're getting louder is because 1.) the system itself is badly broken and in constant paralysis, 2.) the Internet gives every dumbass a huge loudspeaker.

    much of our current-day issues simply stems from the fact that it now requires supermajorities in Congress + the executive for -any- legislative movement. this is prime space for populists and fascists promising to sweep all the deadwood away.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  2. #362
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    The term Fascist is way too overused these days by people who don't remember and don't care what it originally meant. It has become de rigueur to delegitimize the opposition by terming them fascist/bigoted/nationalist/far right etc. by the supposedly liberal left. Trump is a despicable person and a clown who shouldn't be anywhere close to power in my opinion, but he is not a fascist. Victor Orban who has been fighting democratic elections and has spent time in power as well as in the opposition in parliament and continues to abide by Hungary's democratic rules is also not a fascist. Erdogan's case is different since he has become the de-facto dictator of Turkey having stamped out the opposition in an un-democratic manner. Lumping Orban, Bolsonaro or Trump with him is immensely problematic. The left-liberals these days believe that anyone who holds nationalistic or socially/economically conservative views must be a fascist/far right/ultra-nationalist by definition!

    I'm sure we'll soon reach a point where anyone to the right of Sanders and AoC will be termed a fascist and erstwhile liberals will find themselves as targets too. Gabbard is already persona non-grata as far as "liberals" are concerned and I wouldn't be surprised if Biden is termed too right wing in the not too distant future.
    An interesting question. I am certainly no 'fascist' though anyone who opposes Muscovy and is in Ukraine or has Ukrainian citizenship (and husband and children) have labelled "fascist" by Moscow.

    First I do not think Mussolini's 'fascism' was the same as the Nazi form for starters - or at least not in the start. Nor was Franco's Spain the same as either Italy or Germany. So defining 'fascism' by examples is difficult. For me it is an idea derived from Hegel's Theory of the State which says the state is the supreme form of social existence - the identity of 'the people' personified as it were. I very much doubt Trumpkin has Hegel (he is not easy to read) and very much doubt the Orange man child has any 'theory of state' so in general I very much doubt his intellectual capacity to 'fascist' in the ideal sense, that is to say believing in the Hegelian idea or a variant of it. Nor would I have called Hitler or Franco idealistic fascists though; Mussolini possibly.

    None of what we see today is 'fascism' (and many that consider themselves 'fascists' today are deluding themselves) it is more opportunism - and in some cases opportunism with self enrichment. Orban was bought long ago. Erdogan has enriched himself and his family - Putin well he is said to be really the richest man in the world. Trumpkin is just following their example - defeating the law and any 'norms' "it's just not done old chap" stuff for his own profit. There is absolutely no doubt that Moscow has the dirt on him as Nancy Pelosi noted "All roads [with Trump] lead back to Moscow" from the Syrian debacle to Ukrainian dirty business.

    To be a 'nationalist' I equate with some form of racial favouritism; Dmowski in 1920s Poland for example who wanted a sort 'purely' Polish state - everyone speaks Polish and is Catholic sort of thing. Trumpkin is possibly a nationalist and has definately enacted racist policies. So have been Orban's policies. But a nationalist and fascist are not the same necessarily - though often they go together. I do not think I can qualify as a nationalist as I have coloured cousins whom I love no less than my Polish cousins.

    A patriot is just someone who wants what they think is best for their country - I can be Polish Ukrainian patriot in both senses because while my family home is now in Ukraine and I live and work for Ukraine I believe that by and large the victory of Ukraine in the war against the aggressor, every reform we can take here to help prosperity here is also beneficial to Poland.
    Last edited by snapper; 12 Nov 19, at 16:52.

  3. #363
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    snapper,

    To be a 'nationalist' I equate with some form of racial favouritism; Dmowski in 1920s Poland for example who wanted a sort 'purely' Polish state - everyone speaks Polish and is Catholic sort of thing. Trumpkin is possibly a nationalist and has definately enacted racist policies. So have been Orban's policies
    yes, this is a very European, and indeed very mittel-European, construct of nationalism.

    and very unfortunately it's infected a significant portion of the American right, which used to define nationalism in terms of American pluralistic ideals.

    i am very, very, glad that the whole Trump-Zelensky call was blown into the open. from what I read, Zelensky was on the verge of capitulation to Trump's demands, which would have badly hurt Ukraine's cause in the long run.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  4. #364
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    AR,



    haha, showing your age there! not just one, but two generations of get-off-my-lawnism! :-)

    frankly i think the one-third of dumbasses have always existed. the only reason why they're getting louder is because 1.) the system itself is badly broken and in constant paralysis, 2.) the Internet gives every dumbass a huge loudspeaker.

    much of our current-day issues simply stems from the fact that it now requires supermajorities in Congress + the executive for -any- legislative movement. this is prime space for populists and fascists promising to sweep all the deadwood away.
    Yeah, I'm an old. But I have seen the appalling lack of civics knowledge on the rise for 25-30 years. It started whenb I started teaching survey American History in college in 1991. It has continued right on up to this time.

    My point is better educated voters make better informed decisions. If you can argue with me but from a place of knowledge then we can get along even if we disagree.

    But if you can't even give me a reason for your disagreement beyond "librul" then it's a loss.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

  5. #365
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    definitely there with you on the lack of civics knowledge...i doubt half of US high schoolers can pass the civics test we administer to naturalizing immigrants.

    My point is better educated voters make better informed decisions
    this is the tricky part. I used to think that way for sure. it's become more clear to me though that better educated voters (on both sides) use that education to simply create more sophisticated justifications for their political beliefs.

    the crux here is the system, which needs major reform. take away the incentives for pushing for extremes, and people will push for moderation instead.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  6. #366
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    The lack of teaching history, makes it easier to push the Socialist agenda! They dumb the kids down on purpose!

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    "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

    quick history test, who said this?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #368
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    The lack of teaching history, makes it easier to push the Socialist agenda! They dumb the kids down on purpose!
    I need to have a talk with the Texas State School Board about their choices of textbooks for allowing that to happen...

  9. #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

    quick history test, who said this?
    Probably some GOPer ... ha!
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  10. #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    "Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

    quick history test, who said this?
    16th President of the United States

    Used that quote myself when I taught history.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    yep, and that quote was in Teddy Roosevelt's famous New Nationalism speech. he followed up that Lincoln quotation with: "If that remark was original with me, I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln's."

    TR added another statement here as well: "We grudge no man a fortune in civil life if it is honorably obtained and well used. It is not even enough that it should have gained without doing damage to the community. We should permit it to be gained only so long as the gaining represents benefit to the community."

    in short two of the four Presidents immortalized in Mt Rushmore have openly made comments that anyone would construe as "part of the Socialist agenda"....so I think a lack of historical knowledge has nothing to do with this.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  12. #372
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    history aside, and back to current day politics:

    what is surprising in the last few days is how Nikki Haley essentially took her reputation as one of the two people coming out of the administration with her honor/dignity intact, and burned it at the altar of Trump by throwing Tillerson and Kelly under the bus.

    meanwhile, John Bolton came off the top rope and accused the President of selling out to Turkey.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/don...sions-n1080651

    Bolton told the gathering of Morgan Stanley’s largest hedge fund clients that he was most frustrated with Trump over his handling of Turkey, people who were present said. Noting the broad bipartisan support in Congress to sanction Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan purchased a Russian missile defense system, Bolton said Trump’s resistance to the move was unreasonable, four people present for his speech said.

    Bolton said he believes there is a personal or business relationship dictating Trump’s position on Turkey because none of his advisers are aligned with him on the issue, the people present said.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  13. #373
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Yeah, I'm an old. But I have seen the appalling lack of civics knowledge on the rise for 25-30 years. It started whenb I started teaching survey American History in college in 1991. It has continued right on up to this time.

    My point is better educated voters make better informed decisions. If you can argue with me but from a place of knowledge then we can get along even if we disagree.

    But if you can't even give me a reason for your disagreement beyond "librul" then it's a loss.
    It wasn't the youth that got the Orange Idiot elected,nor are they the ones supporting him. It was/is the people of "back In the good old days"
    Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper

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    Deval Patrick to throw his hat into the Dem ring. he strikes me as a better option than any of the frontrunners, but that doesn't mean he will win. In theory he should be able to take bites out of all the major players and possibly end the runs of a few more, but that assumes a bunch of stuff that may not happen. Wish he had been in from the start, though that might not have helped.

    SIGH!


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  15. #375
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    The lack of teaching history, makes it easier to push the Socialist agenda! They dumb the kids down on purpose!
    Reportedly George W. Bush lost a debate when he was young, and said later that he would never be "out-bubba'd" again.
    Talk about dumbing down ... the GOPers are the masters of that realm!
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