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Thread: It Was All a Lie

  1. #1
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    Default It Was All a Lie

    We Lost the Battle for the Republican Party’s Soul Long Ago
    Only fear will motivate the party to change — the cold fear only defeat can bring.

    By Stuart Stevens

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/29/o...ty-racism.html

    After Mitt Romney lost the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, commissioned an internal party study to examine why the party had won the popular vote only once since 1988.

    The results of that so-called autopsy were fairly obvious: The party needed to appeal to more people of color, reach out to younger voters, become more welcoming to women. Those conclusions were presented as not only a political necessity but also a moral mandate if the Republican Party were to be a governing party in a rapidly changing America.

    Then Donald Trump emerged and the party threw all those conclusions out the window with an almost audible sigh of relief: Thank God we can win without pretending we really care about this stuff. That reaction was sadly predictable.

    I spent decades working to elect Republicans, including Mr. Romney and four other presidential candidates, and I am here to bear reluctant witness that Mr. Trump didn’t hijack the Republican Party. He is the logical conclusion of what the party became over the past 50 or so years, a natural product of the seeds of race-baiting, self-deception and anger that now dominate it. Hold Donald Trump up to a mirror and that bulging, scowling orange face is today’s Republican Party.

    I saw the warning signs but ignored them and chose to believe what I wanted to believe: The party wasn’t just a white grievance party; there was still a big tent; the others guys were worse. Many of us in the party saw this dark side and told ourselves it was a recessive gene. We were wrong. It turned out to be the dominant gene.

    What is most telling is that the Republican Party actively embraced, supported, defended and now enthusiastically identifies with a man who eagerly exploits the nation’s racial tensions. In our system, political parties should serve a circuit breaker function. The Republican Party never pulled the switch.

    Racism is the original sin of the modern Republican Party. While many Republicans today like to mourn the absence of an intellectual voice like William Buckley, it is often overlooked that Mr. Buckley began his career as a racist defending segregation.

    In the Richard Nixon White House, Pat Buchanan and Kevin Phillips wrote a re-election campaign memo headed “Dividing the Democrats” in which they outlined what would come to be known as the Southern Strategy. It assumes there is little Republicans can do to attract Black Americans and details a two-pronged strategy: Utilize Black support of Democrats to alienate white voters while trying to decrease that support by sowing dissension within the Democratic Party.

    That strategy has worked so well that it was copied by the Russians in their 2016 efforts to help elect Mr. Trump.

    In the 2000 George W. Bush campaign, on which I worked, we acknowledged the failures of Republicans to attract significant nonwhite support. When Mr. Bush called himself a “compassionate conservative,” some on the right attacked him, calling it an admission that conservatism had not been compassionate. That was true; it had not been. Many of us believed we could steer the party to that “kinder, gentler” place his father described. We were wrong.

    Reading Mr. Bush’s 2000 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention now is like stumbling across a document from a lost civilization, with its calls for humility, service and compassion. That message couldn’t attract 20 percent in a Republican presidential primary today. If there really was a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, we lost.

    There is a collective blame to be shared by those of us who have created the modern Republican Party that has so egregiously betrayed the principles it claimed to represent. My j’accuse is against us all, not a few individuals who were the most egregious.

    How did this happen? How do you abandon deeply held beliefs about character, personal responsibility, foreign policy and the national debt in a matter of months? You don’t. The obvious answer is those beliefs weren’t deeply held. What others and I thought were bedrock values turned out to be mere marketing slogans easily replaced. I feel like the guy working for Bernie Madoff who thought they were actually beating the market.

    Mr. Trump has served a useful purpose by exposing the deep flaws of a major American political party. Like a heavy truck driven over a bridge on the edge of failure, he has made it impossible to ignore the long-developing fault lines of the Republican Party. A party rooted in decency and values does not embrace the anger that Mr. Trump peddles as patriotism.

    This collapse of a major political party as a moral governing force is unlike anything we have seen in modern American politics. The closest parallel is the demise of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, when the dissonance between what the party said it stood for and what citizens actually experienced was so great that it was unsustainable.

    This election should signal a day of reckoning for the party and all who claim it as a political identity. Will it? I’ve given up hope that there are any lines of decency or normalcy that once crossed would move Republican leaders to act as if they took their oath of office more seriously than their allegiance to party. Only fear will motivate the party to change — the cold fear only defeat can bring.

    That defeat is looming. Will it bring desperately needed change to the Republican Party? I’d like to say I’m hopeful. But that would be a lie and there have been too many lies for too long.
    Stuart Stevens is a Republican political consultant and the author of the forthcoming book “It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump,” from which this essay is adapted.
    Last edited by Dave Lesser; 07-29-2020 at 01:18 PM.

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    The notion that Republicans will change is fanciful.

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Bump... because this is a terrific op-ed.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    The notion that Republicans will change is fanciful.
    That was a great article.

    But R's really CAN change. We just need to tilt the playing field back toward equity and social mobility. Take away the support engendered by the angry plebes who rightly grok that they're being shafted, but have swallowed the propaganda about how & by whom.

    Again... history. Political parties morph. Just as today's R's are most assuredly NOT my father's R's. Or even the ones I used to vote for occassionally.

    What IS true is that it takes time.
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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Very good article. I'm trying to find Buchanan and Phillips' original memo. The New Yorker article has a dead link, and a couple of others are getting blocked by my office filters ('Pornography'?? Really?) Any ideas?
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    They had numerous chances to pull some switches on Trump but at each time they let him pass.

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    The boil needs to be lanced, before there is any chance of healing. A humiliating repudiation at the ballot box of everything trump stands for, and losing Mitch McConnell, would be an excellent start to the pus draining that needs to happen.

    Pete
    I have seven trolls on ignore

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    Very good article. I'm trying to find Buchanan and Phillips' original memo. The New Yorker article has a dead link, and a couple of others are getting blocked by my office filters ('Pornography'?? Really?) Any ideas?
    Keith, I wonder if it is referenced in Phillip's book "The Emerging Republican Majority" ISBN 0691163243 ISBN 978 - 0691163246 ( per Wiki )

    Rick

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    The GOP no longer exists. Hasn't since donald made a successful hostile takeover at the convention.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skuthorp View Post
    The GOP no longer exists. Hasn't since donald made a successful hostile takeover at the convention.
    McConnell is the bigger issue. He was a huge unyeilding thorn in Obama's side and he continues to support The Donald no matter how unconstitutional he gets. If not for that man, we would not be in the place were we are today.
    "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito"

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeeG View Post
    They had numerous chances to pull some switches on Trump but at each time they let him pass.
    Yup, they are all complicit. The die has been cast for future ones as well, anybody who has ever said anything positive about Trump on the internet or TV will be stained for life.

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Stuart Stevens lays the current state of affairs at the feet of the Republicans in "It Was All A Lie", but Kurt Anderson looks at the culpability of the Democrats and the culture at large in his new book. He also outlines a plan of action to extricate ourselves from this mess.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/11/b...-geniuses.html


    EVIL GENIUSES
    The Unmaking of America: A Recent History
    By Kurt Andersen

    It used to be called the New World. Now it’s run by a man who wants to make it great “again.”

    Sometime between then and now, the writer Kurt Andersen argues in his essential, absorbing, infuriating, full-of-facts-you-didn’t-know, saxophonely written new book, America lost one of its “defining” traits: “openness to the new,” its gee-whiz tendency to “try the untried and explore the uncharted,” its “innovative, novelty-seeking, risk-taking attitudes,” its “new conceptions of freedom and fairness and self-government and national identity” — built, it must be said, atop tyrannies new and old.

    Andersen traces this “cultural U-turn” to the 1970s. (Reading this book will disabuse you of any notion that hair was the biggest problem of that era.) In those years, Andersen writes, America swerved away from the new on two distinct but intersecting levels. In culture, it fell into a “mass nostalgia” that became a “cultural listlessness,” a slowing of the rate at which life looked, felt and sounded new — Americans from the 1950s and 1970s appearing as if from different planets, but Americans from the 2000s and today looking not all that dissimilar. Meanwhile, in political economy, America was hijacked by capital supremacists, who preached and enacted, as Andersen details with wallets-full of receipts, a return to a pre-New Deal order: “everybody for themselves, everything’s for sale, greed is good, the rich get richer, buyer beware, unfairness can’t be helped, nothing but thoughts and prayers for the losers.”

    To begin with the conclusion of “Evil Geniuses,” Andersen, the author of several books and an accomplished magazine editor and radio host, argues that this double reversion threatens the endurance of the country he has long chronicled. America, he says, risks being “the first large modern society to go from fully developed to failing.” In an illustration of his gift for connection-making and framing, he suggests that what could save the country “is a transformative pivot almost as radical for us as the one China made” when it abandoned Communism for capitalism, while, Andersen notes for our benefit, more or less preserving the chassis of its political system.

    Starting here at the end is one way of revealing the immensity of Andersen’s project, which is to explain everything that went wrong. Andersen sets out to narrate a complex, many-layered history of how a band of rich people, corporate executives and political right-wingers, aided and abetted by gullible “useful idiots” in the media and the political left, transformed the nation into a casino where only they ever win.

    Now, this is one of those situations where the book is better than the review, so you should read it, but let me give you a sense of the many dimensions of the hijacking Andersen details. He makes a definitive, exhaustive and only very occasionally exhausting case that life changed profoundly in America starting in the 1970s and well into the 1980s, in ways that trap us still.

    Thanks to a series of secret and not-secret memos, corporate America got organized to pursue political power in a way it hadn’t before. Through policy changes like corporate and high-earner tax cuts, society was reorganized. Just as important — Andersen is very useful here — the rising capital supremacists ruled through “countless nuts-and-bolts changes so dweeby and tedious, and so often bipartisan, that they appeared inconsequential and were uncontroversial,” as well as by even stealthier “screwing-by-inaction” or “malign neglect,” changing things by letting things expire, failing to index things. Year by year, continuing into the present, through these policy changes explicit and subtle, American life was turned upside down — in a way that many people seemed not to realize. Pensions were gutted. The minimum wage was effectively slashed. Companies started spending much more money buying back their own stock than on research and development. Wall Street took over the management of companies. Antitrust enforcement largely disappeared. An app-guided, app-stiffed servant class was born.

    The rich and the right correctly understood what they were seeking as a cultural project with economic benefits. They acted accordingly. In territory that has already been reported by Jane Mayer, in her must-read-if-you-care-about-your-country-even-just-a-little book “Dark Money,” they reserved a fraction of the spoils of widening economic inequality to invest in the yanking open of political inequality, so as to widen the economic inequality yet further. Obviously, this meant political giving. But it also meant funding universities, think tanks and nonprofits. It meant ensuring that cause-boosting thinkers like Charles Murray were well tended. It meant developing new academic fields like “law and economics” and new campus organizations like the Federalist Society. It meant buying up media so that the capital-supremacist viewpoint could reach ordinary people through Fox News and elites through The Wall Street Journal.

    Rigging pays. Members of the Koch family are, Andersen reports, 20 times richer than they were 40 years ago (maybe you’re the same way). And the wealthiest 1 percent of American households have gained $12 million on average since the 1980s (maybe same with you).

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    continued. . .

    Now, Mayer and others — Robert Reich, George Packer, Jacob S. Hacker — have told versions of this story before. And at first, while reading “Evil Geniuses,” that annoyed me. Until I understood what this book really is: Andersen’s retrospective on the bigger themes and trend lines and power grabs that he, and so many others, missed, even as he was writing magazine stories about the people and institutions in question. The book is an intellectual double take, a rereporting of the great neoliberal conquest, by a writer who kicks himself for missing it at the time.

    At one point, he says, revealingly, that he admires Elizabeth Warren “because I identify with her middle-aged illumination concerning the political economy.” Warren was famously a Republican until she became a vocal progressive. Andersen also seems to see himself in Walter Lippmann, the early-20th-century writer who was “pragmatic, in many ways conservative, in no way a utopian,” but came, through reporting, to plead with gusto for social reform.

    Andersen’s sense of culpability and his permeability to new facts give his book its particular power. It is a radicalized moderate’s moderate case for radical change. Andersen is unambiguous about where America needs to go; he is honest about what it took to get him to his current views; and he writes not as a haranguer who presumes you’re with him but as a journalist who presumes you’re not, that you might even think as he once did. So, carefully, meticulously, overwhelmingly, he argues through facts.

    And with his own complicity in mind, one place Andersen does break some new ground is in the portrayal of the shameful liberal complicity that was essential to the long plutocratic hijacking. For someone of my age, gray but elder-millennial, for whom polarization has been the oxygen in the air, it is head-spinning to be reminded how much of the nation’s turn to the right and to the rich the Democrats enabled. The Democrat-controlled House voted to cut taxes on the richest Americans, to a rate lower than at any time in the previous half century. Ronald Reagan couldn’t do it without them and, in the Senate, one Joe Biden voted for the cuts, too. As the tide turned against antitrust regulation, writers in The New York Times (oh yeah, this newspaper) and Newsweek cheered. When Gary Hart sought the Democratic nomination for president for the second time in 1988, he actually enlisted as a tax policy adviser Arthur Laffer, the clownish economist who invented the hokum of supply-side economics (and who once asked me, before a television debate, if “the Indians” still brush teeth with twigs).

    Voting for cable deregulation? Hiring Goldman Sachs bankers as advisers? Praising Charles Murray’s advocacy of punishing mothers on welfare? Each time, Democrats were #OnIt. With Democrats like these, do we even need a second party representing the plutes?

    As he makes this wide-ranging case, Andersen never loses the texture of actual human beings. He flies his plane over vast territory, but he flies at low altitude so you’re always able to see real people sowing this future, going down these roads. He is a graceful, authoritative guide, and he has a Writer-with-a-capital-W’s ability to defamiliarize the known. He also isn’t afraid to play around. He even manages to work in the word “wankerish,” on Page 69 — nice.

    “Evil Geniuses” is not a perfect book. At certain moments, more than a few times, there is a broad-brush characterization of the American spirit or temperament or enjoyment of liberty that clearly did not apply to Black Americans, a caveat Andersen omits. (“Almost anybody was unusually free to give any business (or religion) a go”; “Ours was a nation built from scratch meant to embody the best Enlightenment principles and habits of mind.”) It is also a long book that occasionally loops back on itself. And, to my taste at least, it didn’t need the brief history of Covid at the end. I like my books like I like my exes: at a remove from my current situation.

    As he works his way to the end, Andersen actually does the thing I once told my editor I would do and then just didn’t: propose solutions on the heels of his criticisms. Some are basic, unoriginal to him: stronger unions, a universal basic income. But there is a more foundational piece of advice he offers the political left at this moment, and I would like it if everyone who so identifies would hear this:

    At this moment of five intersecting crises — health, economic, racial, democratic and climatic — things can feel hopeless. The rich and the right did it. We all live in their world now, and while in their world it keeps getting warmer the consolation is you should avoid the outdoors anyway, because the defunding and defanging and delegitimizing of government has left the virus rampaging.

    Into this depressing thought Andersen jumps. Do not despair, for the hijacking that got us here is evidence of what is possible today: “If you need proof that ideas have power and that radical change is possible, it’s there in the rearview mirror. Evil genius is genius nonetheless. In the early 1970s, at the zenith of liberal-left influence, an improbable, quixotic, out-of-power economic right — intellectuals, capitalists, politicians — launched their crusade and then kept at it tenaciously. The unthinkable became the inevitable in a single decade. They envisioned a new American trajectory, then popularized and arranged it with remarkable success.”

    Andersen argues that this moment of crisis on multiple vectors is precisely the kind of hour known through history to occasion great change. But only if those who seek change know how to play the game. He offers the left two pieces of counsel of particular note: to focus relentlessly on the amassing of power, the building of institutions, networks, societies, associations — the long game. And to embrace the power of evil genius. He says the mainstream left has been too nice, too nonideological, too pragmatic, too nuanced. Winning back America as a country that works for Americans will be the battle of a generation, and this book raises the question of whether the left should seek to achieve that country by embracing the cabalistic power-building, linguistic cunning, intellectual patronage and media stewardship the right has employed.

    “For Americans now, will surviving a year (or more) of radical uncertainty help persuade a majority to make radical changes in our political economy to reduce their chronic economic uncertainty and insecurity?” Andersen writes. Or, he wonders, “will Americans remain hunkered forever, as confused and anxious and paralyzed as we were before 2020, descend into digital feudalism, forgo a renaissance and retreat into cocoons of comfortable cultural stasis providing the illusion that nothing much is changing or ever can change?”

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    The Republican Party's soul?
    Do they have one?
    Without the letters 'as' in front anyway.

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    I have doubts that the party can change by choice. Certain thoughts have become so ingrained in their collective values.

    They will change the politicians that run once the current group gets voted out. Self-interest is central to GOP values. The new crowd may see the need for change in order to do well in the elections, but there will be that force within the party that pushes it back to where it is today. I wonder if the future isn't a matter of the GOP dying away and a new conservative party rising up without the baggage of the recent past?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I have doubts that the party can change by choice. Certain thoughts have become so ingrained in their collective values.

    They will change the politicians that run once the current group gets voted out. Self-interest is central to GOP values. The new crowd may see the need for change in order to do well in the elections, but there will be that force within the party that pushes it back to where it is today. I wonder if the future isn't a matter of the GOP dying away and a new conservative party rising up without the baggage of the recent past?
    American conservatism AKA Redness is a moral stance. Why do people adopt it? Why did you?

    The history is plain enough. A wonk or political professional -- odious concept -- wants to get into historical detail only to tweak policy around the edges, fix the boo-boo's. But it wasn't mere policy, it was a lie, remember?

    It won't work, because Redness is a moral stance. You accept it, or not. If you don't, you must have an alternative, and if you can't say what it is, then you don't have one. Without one, your "conversion" is mere expedience. You just bet on the wrong horse.

    At this moment of five intersecting crises — health, economic, racial, democratic and climatic — things can feel hopeless.
    It's one crisis, a moral crisis, from which the five or six, or whatever, spring.

    So write another book.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    American conservatism AKA Redness is a moral stance. Why do people adopt it? Why did you?
    I have been a registered Democrat since I was old enough to vote.

    For the record, not that you bothered to ask, I am a Catholic who lives a truly conservative life (not to be confused with the "welfare makes them lazy" version of American conservatism), but I vote liberal because people have the right to do stupid things (like smoke dope).

    In the future, you would appear more thoughtful if you ask before you assume.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    American conservatism AKA Redness is a moral stance.
    pass the bong dude.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I have been a registered Democrat since I was old enough to vote.

    In the future, you would appear more thoughtful if you ask before you assume.
    I meant the author "you", not the you you. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    For the record, not that you bothered to ask, I am a Catholic who lives a truly conservative life (not to be confused with the "welfare makes them lazy" version of American conservatism), but I vote liberal because people have the right to do stupid things (like smoke dope).
    There are a lot of things people don't have the right to do, under the most liberal liberalism. The most liberal liberal can say, with complete justification, you (in general, not you you) have no right.

    To deny the justification one would have to be not a liberal, but an anarchist, communist, or some such.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    pass the bong dude.
    Is tribalism a moral stance?
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    I think the Republicans will double down yet again even if they lose. All the energy of rage is on that side of the equation with nothing to countervail it.
    “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs."

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    I'm afraid people don't get it yet. Trump is not stupid. He knows exactly what he's doing.

    He's totally co-opted the Republicans. He's managed to fire almost everyone in our government that presents an obstacle to him. He's gotten an AG who does Trump's bidding. He's gotten intelligence heads to fudge reports. He's using the power of the federal government to get himself re-elected.

    And he may well succeed.

    His interest is in himself. Period.
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    I'm afraid people don't get it yet. Trump is not stupid. He knows exactly what he's doing.

    He's totally co-opted the Republicans. He's managed to fire almost everyone in our government that presents an obstacle to him. He's gotten an AG who does Trump's bidding. He's gotten intelligence heads to fudge reports. He's using the power of the federal government to get himself re-elected.

    And he may well succeed.

    His interest is in himself. Period.
    Yes, it's an interesting dichotomy. He's quite ignorant about a surprising range of things. And he's stupid about some others. And he's limited by his pathology. OTOH, when it comes to being a con-man? He's a genius. Manipulating systems & people in order to get his way? He has super-powers. He IS truly dangerous.
    David G
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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    There are a lot of things people don't have the right to do, under the most liberal liberalism. The most liberal liberal can say, with complete justification, you (in general, not you you) have no right.

    To deny the justification one would have to be not a liberal, but an anarchist, communist, or some such.
    I do appreciate the distinction. Thank you.

    I do not believe that anarchy is the extreme limit of liberalism. Our founding fathers were revolutionaries who invoked a form of government that was designed to facilitate personal responsibility, but they also recognized the need for law.

    Communism isn't the permitting of personal liberty. It is conformity in the early stages and the absence of personal responsibility in the latter stages. Shared ownership for all is not an expression of personal liberty. It carries HUGE responsibilities. I think you will see that if you ask anyone who lives a monastic life which is the only true functioning form of communism. (Ironic, don't you think, that Marx banned the one thing that has ever led to true communism?)

    Liberalism recognizes that you don't have the right to leave a flaming bag of poo on my doorstep, but you do have the right to make yourself better within the limits that serve us all. That means you don't get all the money or all the power no matter how successful you are, but you can become the best heart surgeon if you work hard enough and have the talent without regard for being born into money. That's liberalism. Liberalism also says you have the right to smoke a joint, but if you drive stoned we will lock your @ss up because you don't have the right to endanger others.

    Liberalism is not hedonism and communism is not the opposite of conservatism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Is tribalism a moral stance?
    An immoral stance. In very, very small doses, not too harmful.
    "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations,
    for nature cannot be fooled."

    Richard Feynman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    An immoral stance. In very, very small doses, not too harmful.
    Carl Sagan wrote a great piece on the morality of tribalism with regards to sport. His conclusion was that, as a competitive (and generally peaceful) alternative to tribal small-scale warfare, clearly answering 'us' versus 'them' issues, it was morally ok.

    Personally, I've thought long and hard about tribalism and its relation to Scottish Nationalism. There are those (particularly down south) who see that N-word as a synonym for 'fascism'. I disagree. The form of Nationalism here is inclusive: it has nothing to do with colour, religion or ethnicity - it's purely a desire for regional self-determination in order to make the best choices for the population at this end of the island. Tribalism? Perhaps: but it's tribalism with a morally positive intent.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    An immoral stance. In very, very small doses, not too harmful.
    Is liberalism a moral stance?

    Of course. We hold it to be self-evident that governments derive their just powers from . . . the tribe? Not.

    There is this thing on the left, better described as the non-right, that because liberalism was born in the midst of slavery and all kinds of bad things, and hasn't yet erased them, liberalism cannot claim to take a moral stance. But that's bull S. It must. A moral stance is what liberalism is.

    Because it must, tribalism must also. Tribalism must reject the moral stance of liberalism because liberalism rejects the moral stance of tribalism. Historically liberalism developed later and in reaction to tribalism. That changes nothing; no more than which boxer stepped into the ring first. There is going to be a fight between two opposing claims.

    Because one rejects the moral stance of the other camp doesn't mean they don't have one. That is erroneous. A consequence, which compounds the error, is the failure to develop one's own moral stance. That's why Trump is President. People like to call themselves liberals, but they don't want to do the work or take the risks.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    I do appreciate the distinction. Thank you.

    I do not believe that anarchy is the extreme limit of liberalism. Our founding fathers were revolutionaries who invoked a form of government that was designed to facilitate personal responsibility, but they also recognized the need for law.
    Anarchism is beyond the limits of liberalism. We hold it to be self-evident that government is necessary. Anarchism holds that government must cease to exist. Then they go into their defund-the-police dance where they say, it doesn't go that far, and when you ask them how far, they can't say, because each of them says something different, will commit to nothing, and that's supposed to be a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    Communism isn't the permitting of personal liberty. It is conformity in the early stages and the absence of personal responsibility in the latter stages.
    Communism by its very name denies that personal liberty is the prime moral value. Marxists claim that it's a delusion. They say history is an unending dialectic, which will nevertheless be ended by . . . Communism!

    The slob left thinks the same way but is too ignorant or cowardly to say so. Groping toward a re-construction of a system that has long since been flushed down the toilet of history. They want something where the welfare and the liberty of all is defended by policy, which is to be guided by certain firm principles of the liberty of the individual, without all the authoritarian communist stuff. I suggest: liberalism.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    Shared ownership for all is not an expression of personal liberty. It carries HUGE responsibilities. I think you will see that if you ask anyone who lives a monastic life which is the only true functioning form of communism. (Ironic, don't you think, that Marx banned the one thing that has ever led to true communism?)
    Not really. Marxism is a different view of reality altogether. They could give a S about what anybody else says is the true this or that.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    Liberalism recognizes that you don't have the right to leave a flaming bag of poo on my doorstep, but you do have the right to make yourself better within the limits that serve us all. That means you don't get all the money or all the power no matter how successful you are, but you can become the best heart surgeon if you work hard enough and have the talent without regard for being born into money. That's liberalism. Liberalism also says you have the right to smoke a joint, but if you drive stoned we will lock your @ss up because you don't have the right to endanger others.
    That's all policy.

    Smoking a joint can be made illegal without violating any of your rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    Liberalism is not hedonism . . .
    Hear, hear. People want it to be, and that's why they resist speaking of its moral foundation. It's a limit, and that cuts into the limitless enjoyment they believe is their right. But what I want is to tell them, Liberalism is not hedonism, and if you don't like it, it's just too F ing bad. Be a communist and see if they limit your enjoyment. Don't want that either? Nor a tribalist? Then WTF?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWSmith View Post
    . . . and communism is not the opposite of conservatism.
    Communism is tribalism with an elaborate rationalization. Let's make humanity into the one true tribe! The only true liberty!
    Last edited by Osborne Russell; 08-13-2020 at 11:13 AM.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Is liberalism a moral stance? ...
    Were this a student essay, I'd return it as 'incoherent'.

    At best.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Were this a student essay, I'd return it as 'incoherent'.

    At best.

    Andy
    Is liberalism a moral stance?
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post

    Smoking a joint can be made illegal without violating any of your rights.
    That's just crazy talk.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Is liberalism a moral stance?
    Do you post anything that isn't a troll?

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by AndyG View Post
    Do you post anything that isn't a troll?

    Andy
    It's a very simple, very important question.
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Is liberalism a moral stance?
    Of course it is.

    Just as conservatism is, as well.

    Unfortunately, in the US these days, what used to pass for conservatism has now morphed into an Amoral stance.
    Rattling the teacups.

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    Default Re: It Was All a Lie

    The article refers to "the Republican Party’s Soul". That's the author stating that it's a moral question.

    Two people can have two moral standpoints as different from each other as can be. Each is immoral to the other. Each still has a moral standpoint. Otherwise, on what basis would they judge each other?

    One may be reluctant to judge, which is sometimes good, which means, sometimes it's bad. The author, like many who have left the Reds, remain reluctant to judge their former comrades or themselves. But it's unavoidable. One questions what they mean by "I've changed."
    Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.

    -- James Madison, Federalist 55

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