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Keith Wilson
04-25-2019, 09:21 AM
Some excellent points, methinks. (Source (https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/25/what-democrats-can-learn-from-pete-buttigieg/)) 'Men', of course, meaning 'people' in modern usage.


What Democrats Can Learn From Pete Buttigieg
The upstart candidate is showing liberals how to reclaim the language of freedom.
by Joel Dodge April 25, 2019

The surprising momentum of Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has given a boost to an important but overlooked liberal project: taking back the rhetoric of freedom from decades of conservative domination. In his official campaign launch two weeks ago, Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said: “Our conservative friends care about freedom, but only make it part of the journey. They only see ‘freedom from.’ Freedom from taxes, freedom from regulation … as though government were the only thing that can make you unfree. But that’s not true,” he insisted. “Your neighbor can make you unfree. Your cable company can make you unfree. There’s a lot more to your freedom than the size of your government … Consumer protection is freedom, because you’re not free if you can’t sue your credit card company even after they get caught ripping you off.”

By staking out a liberal version of freedom that focuses on the economic barriers to individual liberty, Buttigieg is reclaiming important rhetorical ground for a left-leaning agenda. If he succeeds, it will be in part because it’s ground that Donald Trump has all but abandoned in favor of raw nativism. That gives all liberals, not just Buttigieg, a rare opportunity to articulate their own positive—and uncontested—vision of American freedom.

Freedom has never been far from the rhetorical center of gravity in American politics. But its political valence has shifted over time. In the aftermath of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt wielded the rhetoric of freedom for liberal ends. He spoke about “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear,” demanding a new set of economic rights that called for affirmative government interventionism. “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence,” Roosevelt told the nation. “Necessitous men are not free men.”

Since FDR’s era, however, and especially following the civil rights movement, conservatives have gradually taken over the mantle of freedom in political discourse. Beginning in earnest during the Cold War, the right successfully appropriated the concept as rhetorical draping for don’t-tread-on-me libertarianism and deregulatory free-market capitalism, casting liberal government programs as genetic cousins of totalitarian Soviet ideology. At the close of the 1964 presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan famously framed the race between Barry Goldwater and Lyndon Johnson as a choice between “man’s age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order” and the “ant heap of totalitarianism . . . [by] those who would trade our freedom for security.” And so conservative standard-bearers from Goldwater through Reagan through Paul Ryan defined freedom as the absence of government intervention: the unencumbered consumer putting his dollars to work as he sees fit; the family left alone by government to peaceably live behind a white picket fence.

Yet for nearly three decades now, with the Cold War long behind us, that pitch has been running on fumes. By the Great Recession, it had truly outlived its usefulness. Conservatism was vulnerable to an insurgent who would come along and challenge its dusty rhetorical trappings. That insurgent turned out to be Donald Trump. Trump rarely talks about freedom. Instead, he talks about “winning”—a politics of brute domination, supercharging the status of “his people” by attacking the status of everyone else. Yet, at the same time, Trump’s lack of interest in the actual work of governing has compelled him to outsource much of his administration’s policy agenda to the Republican old guard. That has produced the standard fare of wildly unpopular GOP policies: tax cuts for the wealthy, relentless attacks on health care, and Ryan-esque budgets that take from the poor to give to the rich.

That combination—the GOP’s ultra-stale plutocratic agenda aggravating economic inequality, and Trump not even bothering to dress up that agenda in a thin veneer of freedom—gives liberals an opening to go on offense by arguing that true and meaningful freedom requires some baseline of economic security.

Where the traditional conservative narrative around freedom focuses on preventing the tyranny of government, liberals worry about the tyranny of markets in everyday life. You’re not free if your employer is allowed to act as a mini-dictator controlling your personal choices. You’re not free if you can’t afford to have children because of the prohibitive cost of childcare. You’re not free if you don’t have access to quality education that expands your opportunities. You’re not free if you can’t switch jobs without losing access to health care—or if your employer prevents you from going to a competitor, or if one company controls all the employers in your field in your region. When people are serving the needs of the economy more than the economy is serving the needs of the people, freedom can feel like it’s in distressingly short supply.

The financial constraints and dependencies of modern American life have left many rethinking what real freedom means and seeking a reprieve from the grind of the unforgiving economy. It’s no coincidence that the institutions many Americans cherish most are those that we’ve shielded from the market, like schools, churches, parks, and libraries. Those are spaces of life where, to one degree or another, all comers are free to pursue enjoyment, enlightenment, and salvation, regardless of their wealth or income. The question that liberals now raise is which other spaces of life—like health care, family life, higher education, decent work, and a clean environment— ought to join those ranks and be wholly or partially freed from the market, too. When government steps up to take care of those essentials, people are freer to live the lives they want. For instance, as Buttigieg put it, “Health care is freedom, because you’re not free if you can’t start a small business because leaving your job would mean losing your health care.”

With the deepened corrosion of conservative politics under Trump, the idea of freedom is now up for grabs. To truly control our own lives, and to have real liberty, government must tear down barriers that get in the way of our pursuit of happiness. Buttigieg has started reminding voters of that truth. Other liberals should, too.

David G
04-25-2019, 09:23 AM
Like

Garret
04-25-2019, 09:42 AM
The more I hear from him, the more I'm liking.

He's now in what they call the top tier in NH polls - with Sanders & Biden. Well ahead of all the others.

oznabrag
04-25-2019, 09:46 AM
Some excellent points, methinks. (Source (https://washingtonmonthly.com/2019/04/25/what-democrats-can-learn-from-pete-buttigieg/)) 'Men', of course, meaning 'people' in modern usage.

Buttigieg needs very much to hire Trae Crowder, the liberal redneck.

Crowder's hands-on knowledge of what makes Southern Rednecks tick would be invaluable.

I am NOT kidding.

I watched an interview with Crowder, and he is saying a lot of the same things that Buttigieg is saying, but in a way that Southern Rednecks will immediately understand and agree with.

If Crowder becomes one of Buttigieg's campaign advisors, the solid, red South will crumble.

Keith Wilson
04-25-2019, 10:21 AM
The more I hear from him, the more I'm liking. He's now in what they call the top tier in NH polls - with Sanders & Biden. Well ahead of all the others.Me too. I'd better learn how to pronounce his name.

Oznabrag, you should contact both of 'em. Seriously. Southern whites in the lower 50% of income have been voting against their own self-interest (economic, self-interest, anyway) since before the Civil War, and you'd think they'd get tired of having their fears manipulated and their pockets picked. If anyone can make a dent there, I'll shake his hand. OTOH, fundamentalist religion is a big hurdle to overcome, particularly by a married gay guy - but OTOH, theologically conservative religion hasn't always been in favor of capitalist exploitation.

oznabrag
04-25-2019, 10:28 AM
Me too. I'd better learn how to pronounce his name.

Oznabrag, you should contact both of 'em. Seriously. Southern whites in the lower 50% of income have been voting against their own self-interest (economic, self-interest, anyway) since before the Civil War, and you'd think they'd get tired of having their fears manipulated and their pockets picked. If anyone can make a dent there, I'll shake his hand. OTOH, fundamentalist religion is a big hurdle to overcome, particularly by a married gay guy - but OTOH, theologically conservative religion hasn't always been in favor of capitalist exploitation.

I already have.

Seriously.

:D

Keith Wilson
04-25-2019, 10:32 AM
Good. Y> You really think there's a chance that a significant number of Southern white folks could vote for Pete Buttigeg? I'd put that in the sparkly pink unicorn class, but I'd love to be wrong.

oznabrag
04-25-2019, 10:41 AM
Good. Y> You really think there's a chance that a significant number of Southern white folks could vote for Pete Buttigeg? I'd put that in the sparkly pink unicorn class, but I'd love to be wrong.

I posted this interview http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?253301-If-Buttigieg-Hires-This-Man-Every-Southern-State-Will-Turn-Blue&highlight=

It's nearly 20 minutes, but it's all laid out to see.

Believe it or not, a bunch of Scots-Irish dirt farmers would vote for Pete.

Keith Wilson
04-25-2019, 10:59 AM
I'll listen to it tonight. Actual Scots-Irish dirt farmers are rarer than they used to be, but their grandchildren . . .

Osborne Russell
04-25-2019, 01:06 PM
Poverty can be borne with dignity. Economic inequality destroys dignity. Destroying dignity destroys stability. Stability is in the common interest.

oznabrag
04-25-2019, 01:38 PM
I'll listen to it tonight. Actual Scots-Irish dirt farmers are rarer than they used to be, but their grandchildren . . .

Scots-Irish Dirt Farmer Culture is alive and well.

You still don't have to go very far back in them thar hills to hear what might pass for Elizabethan English, either.

Say, can you tell me how you know you're really off into Appalachia?

You start hearing 'you-uns' instead of 'y'all'.

Keith Wilson
04-25-2019, 01:43 PM
Scots-Irish Dirt Farmer Culture is alive and well.No argument there. I'm descended from a fair number of them myself.


Poverty can be borne with dignity. Economic inequality destroys dignity. Destroying dignity destroys stability. Stability is in the common interest.And thus does underregulated capitalism commit suicide.

oznabrag
04-25-2019, 01:57 PM
Poverty can be borne with dignity. Economic inequality destroys dignity. Destroying dignity destroys stability. Stability is in the common interest.

I disagree strongly.

Being broke is very different from being impoverished.

Impoverishment includes loss of dignity by definition, IMO.

John of Phoenix
04-25-2019, 03:06 PM
And thus does underregulated capitalism commit suicide.But it takes a few million people along with it.
------------

"You wanna get rid of this dumb**** wall? Have Obama come out in favor of it. BOOM! DEAD!" - Trae Crowder

Love the guy. :)

johnw
04-25-2019, 03:43 PM
I disagree strongly.

Being broke is very different from being impoverished.

Impoverishment includes loss of dignity by definition, IMO.

That's what Adam Smith said.



“A linen shirt … is, strictly speaking, not a necessary of life.The Greeks and Romans lived, I suppose, very comfortably though they had no linen. But in the present times, through the greater part of Europe, a creditable day-labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt, the want of which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed, nobody can well fall into without extreme bad conduct.”

Got that from the World Bank blog: https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/what-does-adam-smith-s-linen-shirt-have-to-do-with-global-poverty

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 08:31 AM
That's what Adam Smith said.

". . . that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed, nobody can well fall into without extreme bad conduct.Ē

Got that from the World Bank blog: https://blogs.worldbank.org/developmenttalk/what-does-adam-smith-s-linen-shirt-have-to-do-with-global-poverty

Good article about relative poverty.

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 08:34 AM
I disagree strongly.

Being broke is very different from being impoverished.

Impoverishment includes loss of dignity by definition, IMO.

It often has that connotation. Does it always? Why is it necessary that it should? Does "below the poverty line" imply that the persons described are morally inferior?

David G
04-26-2019, 08:39 AM
It often has that connotation. Does it always? Why is it necessary that it should? Does "below the poverty line" imply that the persons described are morally inferior?

Sure. Just ask John Calvin...

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 08:48 AM
No argument there. I'm descended from a fair number of them myself.

And thus does underregulated capitalism commit suicide.

Yep, and monarchy too. "Let them eat cake!"

I wish I could remember where it was, but I read something to the effect that there is a world view in which society is only the sum of individual desires being brought into roughly peaceful co-existence, i.e. that no society can be dedicated to anything greater, in any sense; and that any attempt to establish such dedication is delusional and doomed to failure.

A couple million years of the history of religion dispels it instantly. Where did it come from? Bastardized Adam Smith?

Even the most conservative (?) libertarian (?) interpretation of the Enlightenment has to either admit the possibility of a wider self-interest, or reject the Enlightenment . . . which would mean going back to government that doesn't care much for what individuals want, in view of the pursuit of a higher goal.

Keith Wilson
04-26-2019, 09:04 AM
. . there is a world view in which society is only the sum of individual desires being brought into roughly peaceful co-existence, i.e. that no society can be dedicated to anything greater, in any sense; and that any attempt to establish such dedication is delusional and doomed to failure. . . . A couple million years of the history of religion dispels it instantly. Hmmm . . . Maybe not. Individual people's' desires aren't always narrow self-interest; we just aren't built that way. A lot of people voluntarily do things against their own immediate interest because of ideas they hold. When religion is incorporated into individual desires, people behave differently. If I genuinely believe that I'll go to heaven if I behave in a particular way, that can override a lot of practical considerations.

Paul Pless
04-26-2019, 09:06 AM
oznabrag please pass the bong

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 09:28 AM
Hmmm . . . Maybe not. Individual people's' desires aren't always narrow self-interest; we just aren't built that way. A lot of people voluntarily do things against their own immediate interest because of ideas they hold. When religion is incorporated into individual desires, people behave differently. If I genuinely believe that I'll go to heaven if I behave in a particular way, that can override a lot of practical considerations.

I would say we agree. But this libertarian thing claims that some narrow category of individual desires is real -- the practical considerations, as you say -- in a way that other supposed individual desires aren't.

oznabrag
04-26-2019, 09:30 AM
I disagree strongly.

Being broke is very different from being impoverished.

Impoverishment includes loss of dignity by definition, IMO. It often has that connotation. Does it always? Why is it necessary that it should? Does "below the poverty line" imply that the persons described are morally inferior?

Have you ever been homeless?

Sleep in abandoned cars?

Cruise the parking lot at the church on Sunday looking for unlocked cars?

People who are broke can figure out what's next.

Poverty will break your character down to nothing.

There is very little else so degrading.


oznabrag please pass the bong

Explain yourself, son.

Keith Wilson
04-26-2019, 09:33 AM
I would say we agree. But this libertarian thing claims that some narrow category of individual desires is real -- the practical considerations, as you say -- in a way that other supposed individual desires aren't.And that is one of very many things the libertarians get wrong.

Paul Pless
04-26-2019, 09:37 AM
If I genuinely believe that I'll go to heaven if I behave in a particular way, that can override a lot of practical considerations.what's the stronger motivator? heaven or hell??

David G
04-26-2019, 09:45 AM
what's the stronger motivator? heaven or hell??

Carrots and sticks typically bolster each other synergistically.

Keith Wilson
04-26-2019, 10:03 AM
what's the stronger motivator? heaven or hell??Depends on the religion and the person, I guess. But my point was that pure materialistic self-interest is only a fairly small part of the things that motivate human beings. Maslow's hierarchy, dude.

Paul Pless
04-26-2019, 10:31 AM
maslow's hierarchy is a pyramid, the bottom two 'materialistic' areas equal the area of the top three other areas. . .

oznabrag
04-26-2019, 10:33 AM
Well?

Paul Pless
04-26-2019, 10:36 AM
well? what??

Keith Wilson
04-26-2019, 10:40 AM
maslow's hierarchy is a pyramid, the bottom two 'materialistic' areas equal the area of the top three other areas. . .Sure. If one is hungry or in danger (or more urgently, really have to pee), that tends to override more sophisticated motives, at least in the short term. But my all-too-obvious point is that human motivation is a LOT more complicated than economic theory or libertarians allow.

oznabrag
04-26-2019, 10:41 AM
well? what??

Don't be a Bogart, dude.

Paul Pless
04-26-2019, 10:47 AM
the old red south will crumble. . .

oznabrag
04-26-2019, 11:25 AM
the old red south will crumble. . .

It's been wobbling for a long time.

If someone orchestrates the basic decency of the South, that construct must fail.

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 01:19 PM
Have you ever been homeless?

Sleep in abandoned cars?

Cruise the parking lot at the church on Sunday looking for unlocked cars?

People who are broke can figure out what's next.

Poverty will break your character down to nothing.

There is very little else so degrading.

I see all that but I don't see why it requires a narrow definition of poverty. It's like saying only cannibals are hungry. They're hungry, for sure. So are a lot of people.

mdh
04-26-2019, 02:22 PM
Thanks to FDR, most of the necessitous men of the ‘30s remained necessitous till the we entered the war.

Osborne Russell
04-26-2019, 02:50 PM
Thereís a lot more to your freedom than the size of your government Ö Consumer protection is freedom, because youíre not free if you canít sue your credit card company even after they get caught ripping you off.Ē

By staking out a liberal version of freedom that focuses on the economic barriers to individual liberty, Buttigieg is reclaiming important rhetorical ground for a left-leaning agenda.

Man, the Democrats used to own economic populism. They let Republicans take it away from them.

Defeat Trump with the issue of mandatory arbitration in contracts that Joe the Plumber actually enters into -- health care, cable TV, credit card, computers, the whole rotten monopolistic mess. Then make them "come out" -- does Jesus hate gays, yes or no? Can a homosexual love Jesus? Say it, S birds.

Plus, Navy veteran, midwestern, never in fed govt. Ran for Democratic National Committee and lost. A walking, talking wedge.

Keith Wilson
04-26-2019, 04:19 PM
Thanks to FDR, most of the necessitous men of the ‘30s remained necessitous till the we entered the war.Thanks to Hoover, and worse yet, Andrew W. Mellon, the depression continued to get worse and worse from October '29 well into 1933. The idea that Roosevelt's policies hindered recovery from the depression is in the same class as vaccines causing autism, bigfoot, and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion; total and complete bullsh!t. Sometimes the nonsense mdh comes up with can still surprise me.

mdh
04-26-2019, 11:14 PM
Itís widely agreed, and well documented, that the U.S. didnít pull out of the depression until it entered the war. Studies also show that FDR didnít get much bang for the bucks he spent. The unemployment rate for 1938 was 19%; 1939-17.2%; 1940-14.6%.

Duncan Gibbs
04-27-2019, 03:35 AM
what's the stronger motivator? heaven or hell??

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8d85DsKjvU8

Duncan Gibbs
04-27-2019, 03:43 AM
Itís widely agreed, and well documented, that the U.S. didnít pull out of the depression until it entered the war. Studies also show that FDR didnít get much bang for the bucks he spent. The unemployment rate for 1938 was 19%; 1939-17.2%; 1940-14.6%.
Without the New Deal the damage would have been much worse. The figures you refer to are from the 1937 Recession that was proceeded with much lower unemployment figures than the peak of the Great Depression, as well as higher rates of GDP growth.

So please don't cherry-pick figures as if they're somehow painting the whole picture, since they don't, and all you do is appear to be a liar by only telling half truths.

mdh
04-27-2019, 06:54 AM
What ‘proceeded’ it was five years of New Deal policies and spending billions in debt.

Duncan Gibbs
04-27-2019, 08:53 AM
No. What proceeded it was two years of very good jobs and GDP growth compared with the previous five starting at 1931, as well as the beginnings of fiscal tightening in 1937.

Eisenhower built upon the New Deal when he was elected.

The "bang for the buck" as you so crudely put it, was the fact that millions of Americans didn't starve, huge nation-building infrastructure was constructed that still is working today, and whose cost has been well and truly amortised; that the Dustbowl crisis was eventually contained by the vast remediation works carried out by agencies that are still in existence today, albeit with different names, although I'm sure your Tang Tinted Turd would love to do away with them; and so on and so forth. The list of achievements of the new deal is longer than you could begin to imagine, since you imagination appears to be so badly shackled and decrepit. Instead you're limited to pulling a tiny set of figures out from the middle of a vast story of figures that are still at work today, as if these two can somehow crystallise the success of FDR's work.

It's quite pathetic that you'd even think that you had the merest semblance of a cogent argument. Really.

Ted Hoppe
04-27-2019, 09:42 AM
Hmmm . . . Maybe not. Individual people's' desires aren't always narrow self-interest; we just aren't built that way. A lot of people voluntarily do things against their own immediate interest because of ideas they hold. When religion is incorporated into individual desires, people behave differently. If I genuinely believe that I'll go to heaven if I behave in a particular way, that can override a lot of practical considerations.

It is said, no good deed goes unpunished. the fact is those who altruistically begin, work on and finish good deeds are punished if they are not outwardly compensated. People as they are, relish in taking down those working on good deeds because they find their own time too valuable to ask what can they do, the waiting for the passing becomes tedious, and within short order distrusting of those who take actively engage to leave a situation better than they started.

Freedom is not earned, it is granted. Freedom from worry and want is sold to highest bidder - people would gladly buy and sell other people to be granted some extra freedom and comfort from worry.

As an experiment, go out of your way today and help without compensation a complete stranger with a task they are struggling with - watch their facial reaction as you do begin to offer and help them. The stranger will have to suspend their own mistrust of you, struggle for a moment on why & how you are helping them and finally reconcile in their own thoughts your motivation. It is my contention - those rich in wealth and relationships would not weigh this act of kindness as heavy an act as one with less means or freedoms of worries and want.

Keith Wilson
04-27-2019, 11:06 AM
Roosevelt took office at the beginning of 1933. On this point, mdh is so full of it his eyes are brown. GDP didn't reach pre-depression levels until 1936 because it was such a damn big hole to climb out of. The fact that he's still trying to defend Andrew Mellon's economics in 2019 is nothing short of incredible; sort of like claiming that the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air, are the real basis of all chemistry; and this new-fangled periodic table stuff is all nonsense.

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/unemploy.jpg

https://static.seekingalpha.com/uploads/2009/9/21/saupload_09_09_20_1930s_gdp.png




Ted, I think you're being too cynical by half. Not enough time to do this justice, but one point: the single thing that human beings do VASTLY better than any species on the planet, the reason we've taken the place over, is cooperate and work together. It ain't opposable thumbs or even big brains; it's cooperation.

David G
04-27-2019, 11:06 AM
Without the New Deal the damage would have been much worse. The figures you refer to are from the 1937 Recession that was proceeded with much lower unemployment figures than the peak of the Great Depression, as well as higher rates of GDP growth.

So please don't cherry-pick figures as if they're somehow painting the whole picture, since they don't, and all you do is appear to be a liar by only telling half truths.

'... appear to be'

When does he 'appear to be' anything but?

Ever? Can you point out once? Ever? If so - what would you estimate the ratio of noise to signal to be?