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Ian McColgin
11-10-2016, 08:48 AM
[IMc - Nothing new here but sometimes it's good to go over the basics of the self-discipline and commitment it takes to be a responsible adult in our civil society.]

GROUND RULES AND TIPS FOR CHALLENGING THE RIGHT

By Political Research Associates, on November 8, 2016

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Recognize that the Right is a complex movement.

No one organization “controls” the Right. No single funder is “behind” the Right. Some large organizations are important, but many others appear to be more influential than they really are. Recognize that there are multiple networks of organizations and funders with differing and sometimes competing agendas. Find out as much as you can about the groups you see. Incorporate this information in your educational work. It is helpful in organizing to know a great deal about your opponents. Be alert to evidence of the Right’s “new racism.” The Right has replaced simple racist rhetoric with a more complex, “colorblind” political agenda which actually attacks the rights of people of color.

Decode the Right’s agenda on your issue.

The Right often attempts to pass laws that take rights away from groups or individuals. Under the guise of addressing some compelling societal need, they often frame the issue by appealing to prejudice, myth, irrational belief, inaccurate information, pseudoscience, or sometimes even by using outright lies. Further, right-wing organizers often appropriate the rhetoric of the Civil Rights and civil liberties movements to portray themselves as victims of discrimination. Actually, they most often are seeking to undermine the existing protection of individual rights, increase their freedom to accumulate profit, and undermine the wall of separation between church and state.

Be careful to respect people’s right to hold opinions and religious beliefs that you may find offensive.
Everyone has an absolute right to seek redress of their grievances. This is equally true when those grievances are based on religious beliefs. In an open and democratic society, it is important to listen to the grievances of all members of society and take them seriously, even when we might be vehemently opposed to them. They do not, however, have a right to impose those beliefs on others.

Distinguish between leaders and followers in right-wing organizations.

Leaders are often “professional” right-wingers. They’ve made a career of promoting a rightist agenda and attacking progressives and progressive issues. Followers, on the other hand, may not be well-informed. They are often mobilized by fears about family and future based on information that, if true, would indeed be frightening. This so-called “education” is often skillful, deceitful, and convincing. These followers may take positions that are more extreme than those of the leaders, but on the other hand, they may not know exactly what they are supporting by attending a certain organization’s rally or conference. To critique and expose the leaders of right-wing organizations is the work of a good progressive organizers, writers, and activists. In the case of the followers, however, it is important to reserve judgment and listen to their grievances. Do not assume that they are all sophisticated political agents or have access to a variety of information sources.

Rebut, Rebuke, Reaffirm.

It’s important to remember that while the tactics of the Right may be obvious to you, they are not necessarily obvious to others, even though they might be part of the political process. The ways in which the Right distorts and misleads the public must be carefully explained. Use a three-step process. 1) Rebut false and inaccurate claims. 2) Rebuke those who use scapegoating or demagoguery. 3) Reaffirm what a progressive goal or agenda would accomplish for the betterment of society.

STAY COOL IN PUBLIC

Use the opportunity of public forums to present your position.
Approach any public event as a chance to state your case. Come fully prepared to explain why you are right. Although your audience may be unfriendly, remember that you are often an invited guest at such events. Audience members are expecting you to represent your group, even though they may not expect to agree with you. Your task is to convince these listeners, not the representatives of the Right who may be your debating opponents or fellow panelists. Do so using short, clear sentences, not long, abstract paragraphs. Many audience members are your potential supporters, available to join your ranks. Provide them with reasons and ways to do so.

Demand documentation.

Common tactics of the Right include distorting the truth and manipulating facts and figures in order to deceive the public. You can often expose false charges and baseless claims by demanding that their sources be cited. The leadership of an organization can and must be held fully responsible for every spoken or written word that comes from him or her or the organization they represent. If you are thoroughly prepared, you will know the weaknesses of these sources and be able to refute them publicly. At the same time be prepared to document your sources in order to maintain your credibility.

Address the issues, not just the actors.

Try to avoid personalizing the debate or focusing entirely on the presentation by the Right’s representative. Take time to clarify what the real issues are, what tactics are being used, why these issues are important to the Right and what the implications of the debate might be.

Criticize the outcomes, not the intent, of the Right’s agenda.

If you focus only on exposing the purpose of a particular campaign, you may find yourself locked in a circular argument about who knows better what the Right seeks to accomplish. It may be more productive to look at the implications of the issues at hand and to explain that the logical outcome of adopting your opponent’s position will be a serious threat to the goals of your group.

Avoid slogans, name calling, and demonizing members of the Right.

Slogans and sound bites have their place, but they are not sufficient as an organizing strategy. Simple anti-Right slogans do not help people understand why the Right sounds convincing but is wrong. And responding in kind to being called names weakens your position with some of the listeners you are trying to convince. Phrases like “religious political extremists” are labels, not arguments, and often will backfire on the neighborhood and community level.

Expose who benefits from right-wing campaigns.

One of the most common ways the Right advances its policies is to argue that they will benefit the “average” person, though that most often is not the case. It helps in exposing this deception to point out who actually stands to benefit and who stands to lose from the policy being proposed. Exploring whose self-interest is served can help organizers as they seek a clearer picture of the forces behind a particular campaign. Sometimes, the greatest beneficiaries of a right-wing campaign are the organizations conducting it. Campaigns are recruitment tools. So if potential new members can be reached by a certain position, that is sometimes in and of itself the reason the campaign is mounted.

KEEP ORGANIZING

Keep your supporters informed.

Signing up supporters is a good start, but your job includes keeping your supporters well informed. Often the Right will switch tactics or redirect its energy. If you are in the middle of an attack, these changes may be puzzling. Keep in mind that the deep agenda of the Right remains unchanged despite these apparent shifts. Persist in explaining this to your colleagues.

Involve clergy and other respected community members in your organizing.
Since so much of the Right’s rhetoric has been influenced by the Religious Right, progressive, faith-based organizations and their representatives have great potential for increasing your chances for successful organizing. Sympathetic religious leaders can present an alternative interpretation of scripture and often have access to large congregations who may be interested in your work.

Be patient.

Change takes time. Your organizing today is laying the groundwork for tomorrow’s successes. Patience, optimism, and a sense of humor are key ingredients in opposing the Right.

- See more at: http://www.politicalresearch.org/2016/11/08/ground-rules-and-tips-for-challenging-the-right/#sthash.XjXqsber.dpuf

CWSmith
11-10-2016, 10:13 AM
These are good suggestions.

I think it is particularly important to illuminate the actions of people in public office. Obama caught a lot of heat for being ineffective when it was the Republican Congress that was responsible. Democrats have not done a very good job of educating the public, or the public does not want to be educated. That has to change as the world grows only more complex.

bobbys
11-10-2016, 10:55 AM
Ians motive is to attack the right not heal nor do anything to bring Americans together.

This sort of STINKIN Tinkin. Was rejected this election..

There are plenty of street protests you can march in..

pkrone
11-10-2016, 11:33 AM
Don't mourn, yes. And stop crying in public and rioting too. And grow up while you're at it and stop being so emotionally fragile. Is this the "everybody gets a trophy" generation we've created? I mean, I was really surprised yesterday morning and actually a little fearful for a minute or two. But then I went to work and carried on. Life goes on. Get over yourselves.

Sky Blue
11-10-2016, 12:15 PM
As Ian knows, there are a good many hippies in the Northern California Mountains and post-election, their anger and embitterment is uniquely palpable here. There is no joy in seeing this. And I sympathize with them. They're good, decent people concerned about justice and have always dreamed idealistically and believed that in some ways they did change the world and so a Trump Presidency, bought with demagoguery, is no doubt a very painful slap in the face to these people. I don't disagree with them so much. They're not wrong. But Progressives should remember that they are not entitled as a matter of right to a strictly linear ideological progression. If the people won't fight for those values, then they lie in repose, or die. Cynically foisting Mrs. Clinton, the quintessential machine politician, on a bunch of disenfranchised young people in the US, indeed, "allowing her to run" (in the words of Mr. Trump), might be the most costly political decision the Democratic Party has made in the last 50 years. The party is out of power in Washington and even more so among the governorships and in the statehouses, but never has it been less about the public's acceptance of a peculiar Republican vision. Think about that for a moment.

Another very costly decision was to embrace identity politics rather than stewarding the interests of the working people in this country. Doing so may have doomed the Progressive movement as it has caused 40% of the electorate (the white working class) to come together to vote its racial and cultural identity. It was inevitable when one considers the decline in that specific demographic. The old hippies were the truly inclusive bunch, teaching Americans how to do it. They fought for all people. It was what their moral voice was grounded in. This new bunch? Not so much. And it has cost the Democrats dearly, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

bobbys
11-10-2016, 01:01 PM
bobbys, we used to live in the USA, the United States of America. But a transition is taking place thanks to the internet and TV, and it won't be about right or left anymore. The USA is becoming the OK, the Oligarchy of Kardasia.

Donald Trump is the first president of Kardasia, the first Kardasian.

To outside observers there are only two main groups in Kardasia, the Kardasian elite and the Vulgarians. Actually, there are three groups, but the third groups, the Oligarchs, is very small, private and mostly unseen. Donald Trump is unusual because while being an Oligarch, he also moved into the Kardasian elite by way of his reality TV series.

The Kardasians, for their namesake Kim Kardasian, are made up of the Paris Hiltons, the Kanye Wests, actors, actresses, sports figures, etc. All the rest of the people, bobbys, you and I, are Vulgarians. We are one and the same brother, Vulgarians. We envy and lust after Kardasians, we watch them every day. We want to be Kardasians too, but it's unlikely that we will ever achieve that status.

So we have no conflicts, you, me, Ian, we're all Vulgarians, or will be eventually. No right, no left, just TV and internet, and our common and collective attentions frozen on the Kardasians. We are united! What channel are you watching right now dear friend bobbys?
.

Pretty good post, I have to dwell on it a little more.

I'm watching Daniel Tigers neighbor hood and teen titans ad my grandson is here.

He will NOT let me watch CNN and FOX.

NickW
11-10-2016, 03:21 PM
Just a few quotes from the referenced article
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37930473

US Election 2016 Results: A Democratic Party in disarray

Anthony Zurcher (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/correspondents/anthonyzurcher) North America reporter

As Hillary Clinton loyalists queued in the drizzle outside the downtown hotel where their candidate would formally concede the presidential election, they tried to wrap their heads around what had just happened to them and their party.
"I'm pretty heartbroken," said one young woman, brushing back a tear. "They hated more than we loved, and that's on us. That's how they won."

"I think they have to try to get back some of the working class people they lost," says Karen Ubelhart. "We've been so focused on minorities, we've totally missed the disenfranchised white people. A lot of these people used to vote Democratic."

"We need to regroup and figure it out," says Eve Harmon. "Maybe party politics is not even the way to talk about. What do we want to see this country be?"

She says the party should prioritise education reform - although she does have an ulterior motive, given that white voters without a college education were some of Mr Trump's most loyal supporters.
"Education really does matter because what I think we're seeing here is a lot of really uneducated people voting for somebody that they think will help them - and they're misinformed," she said.

I've emboldened the points that I consider to be important. And it's not just an American thing, the same thing is happening here with both the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties.

In both countries we have a left leaning Elite that considers itself to be superior to mere ordinary mortals; that it can ignore their feelings and opinions; that it can disparage them with any label that ends in "-ists"; and assume that because they don't have college or university degrees they are uneducated!

Nick

Osborne Russell
11-10-2016, 03:36 PM
As Ian knows, there are a good many hippies in the Northern California Mountains and post-election, their anger and embitterment is uniquely palpable here. There is no joy in seeing this. And I sympathize with them. They're good, decent people concerned about justice and have always dreamed idealistically and believed that in some ways they did change the world and so a Trump Presidency, bought with demagoguery, is no doubt a very painful slap in the face to these people. I don't disagree with them so much. They're not wrong. But Progressives should remember that they are not entitled as a matter of right to a strictly linear ideological progression. If the people won't fight for those values, then they lie in repose, or die. Cynically foisting Mrs. Clinton, the quintessential machine politician, on a bunch of disenfranchised young people in the US, indeed, "allowing her to run" (in the words of Mr. Trump), might be the most costly political decision the Democratic Party has made in the last 50 years. The party is out of power in Washington and even more so among the governorships and in the statehouses, but never has it been less about the public's acceptance of a peculiar Republican vision. Think about that for a moment.

Another very costly decision was to embrace identity politics rather than stewarding the interests of the working people in this country. Doing so may have doomed the Progressive movement as it has caused 40% of the electorate (the white working class) to come together to vote its racial and cultural identity. It was inevitable when one considers the decline in that specific demographic. The old hippies were the truly inclusive bunch, teaching Americans how to do it. They fought for all people. It was what their moral voice was grounded in. This new bunch? Not so much. And it has cost the Democrats dearly, and will continue to do so for some time to come.

Ouch! But thanks, I needed that. Especially . . .


Another very costly decision was to embrace identity politics rather than stewarding the interests of the working people in this country. Doing so may have doomed the Progressive movement as it has caused 40% of the electorate (the white working class) to come together to vote its racial and cultural identity.


You want working class, then talk working class.

I thought about the bolded part, but I don't see it. I don't see what else it could have been about.

You mean Trump voters don't really want to build a wall and put Hillary in jail?

Ian McColgin
11-10-2016, 07:05 PM
I will take comfort in imagining that sooner or later some here will remember my primary support of Sanders exactly because he was trying to move the Democratic party away from both identity politics and establishment thinking. Sanders, along with folk as diverse as Michael Moore, Al Frankin, and Tammy Duckworth have been bluntly pointing this out. Once the primary was done my support for Clinton was always "she's going to need pressure."

I am not at all like the congressman who said on the floor during a presidential, "You lie." These pages have often had my riffs about the difference between conflicting views that use actual facts and that's not lying, deliberate misrepresentation of fact which really is lying, and total indifference to fact which is sociopathy.

Even on facts, just because a statement is factually wrong does not mean the person making the statement was a liar. He or she could simply be wrong. The problem is that most of us continue to hold significant notions based on untrue facts even after we learn the truth. It's human nature. And that's part of why proving someone factually wrong does not just fail to change a mind. What one might call the tyranny of factuality leads many to harden in factual falsehood, leading to an escalating blizzard of actual facts often delivered in condescension that harden error more deeply.

The virtue of this Forum is its wild diversity. We stay here knowing there is a real risk that we will learn from each other.