The central weakness of our political system right now is the Republican Party

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  flynavy1  •  one week ago  •  43 comments

By:   MSN

The central weakness of our political system right now is the Republican Party
A political scientist explains why the GOP has to reform if we want to fix American democracy.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



"The central weakness of our political system right now is the Republican Party"

After the US Capitol was stormed by insurrectionists last week, American democracy is teetering on the precipice.

Democratic politics, at its core, has always been about navigating the tension between stability and progress. If a society resists change for too long, it becomes inert; if it changes too quickly, it becomes unstable. Traditionally, conservative parties have privileged stability and left-leaning parties have privileged change. That's an oversimplification, but you get the point.

But what happens to democratic societies when conservative parties became radical in their defense of the status quo?

It's a question we have to ask given the current state of the Republican Party. Even after the events of last week, even after at least five people were killed at the seat of American democracy, nearly 150 Republican lawmakers formally objected to the results of the 2020 election anyway. And even if that vote was performative, that so many GOP officials are still willing to play chicken with American democracy in this way speaks volumes about the state of the party.

Harvard political scientist Daniel Ziblatt (most recently co-author of How Democracies Die) argued in a 2017 book that the importance of conservative parties in democratic systems has been largely underappreciated. Democracies tend to evolve in the direction of more equality, and how a society responds to those changes determines how healthy and stable it is over time. Since it's often the conservative parties that dictate this response, how they're organized and what they do (or don't do) is hugely consequential.

I reached out to Ziblatt to talk about his level of concern and how he views the GOP in historical terms. We discussed why democracies have buckled when conservative parties were too weak to control their more radical elements, why the Republican Party has become such an outlier, and why major constitutional reforms might be the only way to fix the problem.

Much of this conversation occurred before the US Capitol was besieged, so I contacted Ziblatt again after January 6 to get his thoughts on what transpired and what it means for the future of the country. After processing the attack, Ziblatt says it's become clear that we're facing "a regime-threatening moment" and a real tipping point for American democracy.

You can read a lightly edited transcript of our entire conversation below.

Sean Illing


Well, here we are, just a few days after the riot at the US Capitol. What were you thinking when you watched this unfold? Do any historical analogues spring to mind?

Daniel Ziblatt


I think what was so striking for everyone watching this is just how unfamiliar it all felt and looked — to American eyes. There is a record of these sorts of uprising across US states in recent years and in the past, but having this happen at the seat of power was so disorienting. Hence the proliferation of names to describe it: "coup," "putsch," "riot," "insurrection," and so on. We just don't know how to make sense of it.

But in the days since, it has become clear this was a regime-threatening moment. Not only because of the violence but also because the aim was to disrupt the constitutional transfer of power. This is serious business, and most worrying is that it has, at the very least, the tacit support of some leading figures in the Republican establishment.

As I saw the video of Sen. Lindsey Graham being harassed at the Washington, DC, airport for having failed to sufficiently support President Trump, I was reminded of Churchill's definition of an appeaser — as one who feeds a crocodile, hoping he will be the last one eaten. We have a rotten sore in the midst of our political system, infecting the whole system, that isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Sean Illing


Why are properly functioning conservative parties so essential to the health of democratic systems?

Daniel Ziblatt


I'm not sure if they're more important than liberal or progressive parties, but their importance is definitely underappreciated by most liberals and progressives.

If you look at the history of democracy in Western Europe, and the US, to a degree, a pattern emerges: When economically powerful groups aren't well-organized into parties that can compete and win in a democratic process, then those groups tend to go outside of the political process and undermine democracy. In places where you've had strong center-right parties, like Britain in the 19th century, there was a much more stable constitutional order, and in places where conservative parties were weaker, like Weimar Germany, democracy was much less stable.

Sean Illing


Can you clarify what you mean by "well-organized" conservative parties? Because in the case of the Republican Party, they're still winning elections but they're not strong or organized by your standard.

Daniel Ziblatt


The key thing is that conservative parties are governed by professional politicians who have a stake in the continuation of the political system. That's more important than whether conservatives win elections or not. So you can imagine a situation like late 19th-century Spain or late 19th-century Germany where conservatives do really well in elections, but it's because the elections are rigged, and you have state officials tampering with the election and repressing the vote so that conservatives win. That's a strong conservative party but not in the sense that I mean it.

It's critical that conservatives discover the power of political organization within the democratic context. Sometimes people will say, "Well, what about the Nazi Party? This was a strong party. This wasn't good for democracy." And that's certainly the case, but that's sort of the end of a long process under which conservatives hadn't been particularly well-organized. And what happens when conservatives aren't well-organized is they can't control their most radical base — and that might be the clearest parallel to our current period.

Sean Illing


If you look across the democratic world today, how much of an outlier is the GOP?

Daniel Ziblatt


I don't really have to guess at this. There's an organization called Varieties of Democracy that we used in our book to categorize parties as abiding by democratic rules or not. And they've taken that and applied it to every major political party in almost every democracy since 1970. And what you see, based on the expert evaluations, is that in the mid-1970s, the Republican Party is basically in the same grouping as other major center-right parties throughout Europe.

Beginning in the 2000s, however, it goes dramatically off course in terms of its commitment to democratic norms. The American Republican Party now looks like a European far-right party. But the big difference between the US and a lot of these European countries is that the US only has two parties and one of them is like a European far-right party. If the GOP only controlled 20 percent of the legislature, like you see in a lot of European countries, this would be far less problematic — but they basically control half of it.

So I think the central weakness of our political system right now is the Republican Party. We had what was basically a center-right party and over time it's become more ideologically extreme while still doing well electorally, and that opens the system to further extremism and risks a kind of spiral in which both parties become more radicalized in response to the other.

Sean Illing


There aren't any perfect historical parallels, but what are the most instructive examples in your mind?

Daniel Ziblatt


It's a tough question, but I'll go back to the German example. When I wrote the book on German conservatives, I was writing between 2010 and 2015 and I saw the Republican Party losing control in ways that reminded me of 19th-century Germany. It kind of freaked me out.

I remember Romney running for the GOP nomination, and so many people assumed he would win the primary because the party has all the control and he was the establishment incumbent guy. But I kept thinking, "Yeah, that's true right now, but historically there are lots of cases where the grassroots gets control of the party, and when they do, it's bad news for democracy." Fast-forward to 2016 and Trump and you can see how that played out.

I do want to be cautious about this comparison, because there are a couple major differences. One is that Germany had a proportional system, so it was much harder to hold the conservative base together in a highly fragmented system. Also, the conservative party in Germany was very young, didn't have deep roots or a deep history. We're not talking about the party of Lincoln going back 150 years or whatever. The Republican Party is more substantial as an organization than the German conservative party ever was.

So there are real differences, and I'm always careful when making these Weimar comparisons. But as dangerous as it is to go wild with the Weimar comparisons, it's just as dangerous to foreclose that comparison because it ended so badly.

Sean Illing


There do seem to be problems today that are unique to our time, or maybe it just seems that way. I'm thinking of the media landscape and the fact that so much of the GOP base has been captured by misinformation and false narratives.

Are there any examples of parties being subsumed by alternative realities in this way, or is this something that wasn't really possible until the digital age?

Daniel Ziblatt


One of the most uncanny parallels to the Weimar era is that the leading figure in the German nationalist scene in the mid-1920s was this guy named Alfred Hugenberg, who had no political career. He was an adviser and a businessman. But slowly, he built up a media empire. He owned movie theaters and newspapers and even the official German wire service, which provided news to local newspapers.

As this new media infrastructure was developing, he was pushing a total nationalist agenda, infusing nationalist themes into newspaper stories. And he then got himself selected as the head of the German Conservative Party in 1928. He was uncharismatic and a failure as a politician, but he helped turn the political debate in a more nationalist direction.

Today, it's more complicated because the media infrastructure is so all-encompassing. But I've seen people draw parallels to the end of World War I where you had this narrative emerge in Germany that basically said that Germans were stabbed in the back by liberals and Jews and communists, that they didn't really lose the war. This myth was perpetuated after 1918, and it slowly spread throughout the political system. You could say that as people retreated more into mythology, they started to believe what today we'd call "alternative facts."

But I do think our situation is much better because in the case of Germany, the entire national political system had experienced this humiliating defeat. The country was decimated by a major war. We're not there. So whatever we're dealing with here, it's on a much smaller scale.

Sean Illing


Given everything you've said here, how alarmed are you not just about the Republican Party but the overall trajectory of American democracy?

Daniel Ziblatt


The need for major institutional reforms has become much clearer in my mind. The Republican Party is supposed to moderate in order to win votes. You're not supposed to be able to go too far to the extremes and keep winning votes in a two-party system. That's the puzzle in front of us. Two-party systems are supposed to be self-correcting. When it goes too far away from an average voter, you get punished and you moderate and go back to the middle.

This isn't happening because our constitutional system is filled with all of these counter-majoritarian crutches (like the Electoral College) for any party that does well in rural areas, and that allows Republicans to win office without winning a majority of the electorate. So we have to reform our institutions to compel the GOP to compete in more urban, more diverse areas — that's the path to moderation.

Sometimes people will say to me, "Well, we can't engineer our way out of this problem. There needs to be deep societal change." They say it's naive to think we can reform our institutions. I say it's naive to think we can get out of this without reforming our institutions. We simply have to change the basic incentives governing our political system.

It's hard to imagine a realignment like the one that eliminated the Whigs in the 1850s. And that didn't end well. The big dilemma is whether it makes more sense to keep the white nationalist anti-system elements within our system outside of the party. But that only works if their isolation can be accompanied by their weakening. My concern is that the electoral base for Trumpism is, at this point, real, broad, and deep.

More broadly, we should begin to think about the idea that Germans in the postwar period called "wehrhafte Demokratie" — this is a "defensive democracy" — one that embraces the inclusion, competition, and civil liberties of liberal democracy but one that doesn't take democracy for granted.

In Germany, the theory of "defensive democracy" had two main thrusts — one is the attempt to bolster a democratic political culture through education, and the other is an aggressive willingness to isolate and exclude from political debate those views that endorse violence and that actively engage in violence. This doctrine was invented in the 1930s in response to Nazism. We may, ultimately, need a "wehrhafte Demokratie" for the social media age.


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FLYNAVY1
1  seeder  FLYNAVY1    one week ago

Very interesting read no matter if you are left or right of center.  Normally I would stay away from Vox, but I found this one as being useful to all sides given where we are today as a country.

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
1.1  Right Down the Center  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    one week ago

It is a well written explanation (not necessarily factual)as to why the problem is the "other guys".  I have seen similar well written explanations (not necessarily factual)by Republicans as to why Democrats are the problem.  The problem as I see it is both sides are too busy blaming it on the "other guys" to look and see what their side could do better and any compromises that could be made.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Right Down the Center @1.1    one week ago

Very valid point of view..... As I said, I usually stay away from Vox as they are too left leaning for my taste.

If you think about it, if both sides are closer to the center, compromise is easier. 

And as always..... position in politics is relative.  One can view someone is too far left, only because they themselves have moved to the right while the other remained stationary.  

 
 
 
Right Down the Center
1.1.2  Right Down the Center  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.1.1    one week ago

Agreed.  Unfortunately right now it seems the extremes have hijacked both parties (partially because the media is helping them with air time) and the moderate politicians are cowering in the corners trying to keep their jobs.  My guess is most Americans are someplace toward the center and they would rather watch TV (other than cable news) and just be left alone so they are not yet in the fight.  That may change when they finally look up and decide enough is enough and the adults need to go back in the room.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.1.3  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Right Down the Center @1.1.2    one week ago

I'm pretty much there with you..... The talking heads get paid by the syllable, and what better way to laugh all the way to the bank than in monetizing out our differences

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2  Greg Jones  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1    one week ago

Sorry to burst your bubble, but most of the problems of our country right now rest squarely on the heads of the Democrats. Take a look at all they espouse and support such things as:

Unlimited immigration, unlimited abortion, a weakened military, and appeasing out enemies like China and Russia.

It's the Democrats who support usurious taxation, the registration and confiscation of firearms, and who sneer and scorn at the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

It's the Democrats who don't believe in the presumption of innocence and due process as the Kavanaugh hearings so clearly showed.

Don't think for an instant that the Republican Party is going away or it's objectives are going to mellow...the name will stay the same, but the direction has changed forever

If it hadn't been for the exploitation of the Covid pandemic by the lefties, and Trump's own stupidity of being a blabber mouth and a super tweeter, he would have easily gotten reelected.

With him gone, the Republicans will have a more than adequate chance to undo the damage he caused. The electorate didn't shift that far left, it simply grew weary of Trump, and rightfully so.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.2.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    one week ago

Nice regurgitation of a Hannity diatribe Greg...... 

Feel free to comeback when you find some open mindedness to do something other than read from Tucker Carlson's daily script.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2.2  Greg Jones  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.2.1    one week ago

I don't watch Carlson, but you can't deny the truth of what I'm saying. The history of the corruptness of the Democrats is well known and documented, including their ongoing racism

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.2.3  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.2    one week ago

You don't even realize that you are depicting exactly the traits outlined in the article...... Simply charming.

Using your own words.... please supply data and facts to support your statements in both 1.2, and  1.2.1.  Take your time, we'll wait.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
1.2.4  Greg Jones  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @1.2.3    one week ago

No, it's your job to refute what I say. You also have the option of ignoring my comments, instead of making personal swipes. The public record is clear, and everyone knows it.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
1.2.5  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.4    one week ago

So in other words..... as usual, you got nothing.

And.... No... It is upon YOU to support your statements when challenged on this forum.  You made the claims... now support them for peer review.  Them's are established debate rules, and always have been.

"Everyone knows"  Just doesn't cut it.  

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.2.6  JohnRussell  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2    one week ago

Trump was never, for one second, fit to hold office in America. He is a lifelong pathological liar, crook, bigot, moron and cheat.  If such a person is deemed fit to hold office in America then America isnt worth a damn. 

He won office because he conned so many people. 

Greg, a list of policies he had does not make him fit to hold office. Half the country, at least, does not agree with those policies. 

Fitness for office is separate from policies held or enacted.  You needed to find someone else to propose those policies, not this scumbag. 

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
1.2.7  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  Greg Jones @1.2.4    one week ago
‘…it's your job to refute what I say.’

original

FlyNavy1 rightly indicates that it falls to YOU to establish your own assertions. Yet you have raised a critical point that requires further attention. That's why you're getting this.

You are a subjective idealist.

Your subjective idealism led you into a solipsistic world where 'thinking' something makes things 'real.’ You equate reality with what you think/prefer. What you don’t believe or can’t imagine is granted no reality in the objective world.

Children everywhere do this. It is called ‘make-believe.’ You play it like this: You want a world of this or that nature, and which functions in this or that way. You begin with ‘that’ and construct the world as you want it around that. Then you reject all evidence to the contrary. When adults do it, it is called solipsism or subjective idealism.

You think/imagine a world where you have all the ‘facts’ and any who disagree have none. Since you ‘imagine’ that, it becomes objectively ‘true’ – real in an ontologically substantive sense. Again, you reject all evidence to the contrary.

You want a world where you [if not others] make things real by imagining them. Since what you imagine is ‘true,’ you also imagine that the rest of us are obligated to ‘prove’ otherwise. That’s how you imagine/make-believe your reality.

In your make/believe world, the Democratic Party membership [let’s use their last President, OK] implemented an open-borders ‘unlimited immigration’ policy.

Obama deported more than all earlier presidents together. Refugees called him ‘the Deporter in Chief.’ But that record is ‘inoperative’ since you don’t BELIEVE it.

Why does it matter? The same process drives the narrative which brought us to where we are.

IF you believe that there is imminent danger of a ‘socialist take-over,’ then that is real. Most Democratic Party members couldn’t articulate Marx’ theory of labor, the extraction of surplus value, the tendency of profits to fall proportionately to Capital’s development, dialectical historical materialism etc. with a gun pointed at their heads. But it doesn’t matter.

You imagine that think the Democratic Party is a socialist party, and your thinking that constitutes it a socialist party. This process forces the whole political spectrum to lurch ever more and more rightward. This is in response to ‘on the ground facts’ which are real because you IMAGINE that they are.

In objective material terms, there IS no genuine ‘left’ to oppose the ongoing shift to the right. The absence of an ‘anchor’ [philosophically speaking] in the material world allows the whole spectrum to shift ONLY to the right. The rightward turn can NEVER stop because in your make/believe world, we are ALWAYS on the brink of catastrophic collapse from the left.

This same process underlies every development, every question, every issue and every campaign.

Meaningful dialogue is impossible where conceptual frameworks are organized around imagination-driven narratives.

Solipsism excludes legitimate discussion by centering every question on imagined assertions which we are ‘obliged’ [it’s your job] to answer. When answered, it is ‘imagined’ that the evidence is fudged, or a fallacy or false premise represses the ‘reality,’ that the responder’s orientation invalidates the conclusions even if they are otherwise legitimate, etc.

No one is ‘obligated’ to reply to whatever subjective machinations your tortured mind can ‘imagine.’ We have every right to refuse to be held hostage to this madness. We have the right to engage issues directly on the basis of material realities. You are welcome to imagine whatever heaven or hell you wish. But we are not obligated to live in either.

And it’s time we refused to allow the solipsist’s subjective imaginations to define our existence or place in the world. The way ahead is complete detachment and disengagement.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.2.8  TᵢG  replied to  JohnRussell @1.2.6    one week ago
He won office because he conned so many people. 

Correct.   And the very nature of that con was illustrated in a grand fashion by his extraordinary behavior after losing the election.   Trump has demonstrated that nothing — even the refutation by the entire system — will dissuade him from perpetuating his chosen lie.  

Trump has demonstrated a level of lying that is an order of magnitude worse than even career politicians.

 
 
 
JBB
2  JBB    one week ago

Is it any wonder that the once Grand Old Party of Abraham Lincoln is now known merely as the gop?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3  TᵢG    one week ago

Trump infected the R party.   Once the epicenter of the infection is removed on the 20th, the party will need time to recover.   So, at the moment, the R party is indeed sick.   The question is how long the effects of Trump will linger and what future ills might emerge as a result of this infection.

At the very least, Trump leaves behind an ugly stain; arguably worse than Nixon's.

 
 
 
devangelical
3.1  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @3    one week ago
At the very least, Trump leaves behind an ugly stain; arguably worse than Nixon's.

most of the republican presidential exits have left wreckage behind, of one type or another.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.2  Greg Jones  replied to  TᵢG @3    one week ago

After next week, the Democrats and Libs have the option of simply letting go of the daily Trump bashing. But I expect it to continue on the MSM and forums like this one.

It seems like that if the left wing true believers don't have someone to blame and bitch about all the time, they are very angry and unhappy

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.2.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    one week ago

Tell me Greg..... How many Benghazi investigations were there?

You may as well take a seat, because there are going to be many investigations as to what happened on 6JAN21, and even more related to the Trump crime family over the next couple of years.  Police were attacked by MAGA last week.  What happened needs to be rooted out.   

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    one week ago

You are complaining that I noted the damage Trump has done to the R party.   That suggests you do not see this reality.   Is that the case?   Do you not see the damage Trump has done to the R party?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.2.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.1    one week ago
olice were attacked by MAGA last week.  What happened needs to be rooted out.   

Remember the good ole days when you supported BLM rioters attacking  police on an almost daily basis? You were bragging about your plans to go and defend rioters from the police, right?

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.2.4  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.2.3    one week ago

Remember the difference Sean.......

BLM attacking government and LEOs in an effort to gain some justice related to the killing of black people under the constitution and rule of law.

MAGA attacking government and LEOs in an effort ignore the constitution because they didn't like the result of a free and fair election.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
3.2.5  Greg Jones  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.2    one week ago

I understand completely how he severely damaged the party. He did indeed by foot in blabber mouth, and a never ending tweet fest, do himself in and is directly responsible for the losses in Georgia.

I can't stand the guy and hope he fades into well deserved obscurity. I simply stated that the stupid daily attacks on Republicans will continue unabated.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.2.6  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.5    one week ago

I simply stated that the stupid daily attacks on Republicans will continue unabated.

You mean those that stood by as he tweeted and blabbed  his way into a twice impeached single term?

Greg, I've admitted on multiple occasions that if Trump had stayed away from the Tweet machine and dealt more seriously with Covid, that he would have gotten a second term.  So how should we deal with those that enabled him to ignore Covid, and didn't take him to task for his tweets?   Are they not part of the same problem?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.5    one week ago
I simply stated that the stupid daily attacks on Republicans will continue unabated.

Then your comment did not follow from what I wrote.   I was talking about the damage Trump did to the party and you were talking about partisan attacks.

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.2.8  Sunshine  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.4    one week ago
BLM attacking government and LEOs in an effort to gain some justice related to the killing of black people under the constitution and rule of law.

So you are one of those who believe that violence is necessary.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.2.9  Sean Treacy  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.4    one week ago
and LEOs in an effort to gain some justice related to the killing of black people under the constitution and rule of law.

SO you support violence against the government and innocent police officers, with the right made up narrative.  

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.2.10  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Sunshine @3.2.8    one week ago

Is the use of deadly force by the police against people of color necessary at higher rates than used against white people?

When peaceful protest does not change the status quo of law enforcement to meet the civil rights under the constitution for all, the method of protest needs to change to change the status quo.

Do I take it that you believe that losing a free and fair election is a valid reason to violate the rule of law and the rules of the US Constitution?

To both of you..... We are talking about people trying to get some accountability of LEOs in the use of deadly force that results in death vs those that lost an election.  If you can't see the difference, I feel sorry for you.     

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2.11  Tessylo  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2    one week ago

It seems to me that it is the 'right' who are always so angry and unhappy.  

You're a master in the art of the projection like most of your colleagues.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
3.2.12  Tessylo  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.2.3    one week ago

tenor.gif?itemid=17208968

Good Lord I'm tired of that shtick! The whataboutism and deflection - your standard MO.

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.2.13  Sunshine  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.10    one week ago
Is the use of deadly force by the police against people of color necessary at higher rates than used against white people?

Any unnecessary use of deadly force is unacceptable. 

When peaceful protest does not change the status quo of law enforcement to meet the civil rights under the constitution for all, the method of protest needs to change to change the status quo.

So you do feel that violence is necessary regardless of any innocent bystanders that are killed and you condone it.  You believe in vigilantism and not the rule of law.

Do I take it that you believe that losing a free and fair election is a valid reason to violate the rule of law and the rules of the US Constitution?

No, you do not take it.

To both of you..... We are talking about people trying to get some accountability of LEOs in the use of deadly force that results in death vs those that lost an election.  If you can't see the difference, I feel sorry for you. 

I have not condoned any violence.  That you can rationalize and justify the use of violence is truly disturbing.  I feel sorry for those who are affected by the violence you condone, not you.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.2.14  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Sunshine @3.2.13    one week ago

Same conservative think/speech that just prolongs the issues related to issues related to civil rights.  Pretty normal that conservatives say the use of deadly force is unacceptable, but continue to offer no solution while turning a blind eye to dead people of color at the hands of law enforcement.

The rest of your strawman statements are just deflections from the real issues that you are happy to maintain as they are.

 

 
 
 
Sunshine
3.2.15  Sunshine  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @3.2.14    one week ago
The rest of your strawman statements are just deflections from the real issues that you are happy to maintain as they are.  

They are your words that is undeniable.

 
 
 
Gsquared
3.3  Gsquared  replied to  TᵢG @3    one week ago

Trump is an acute and significant symptom of the disease that has been infecting the Republican Party for years.  Eliminating one symptom, albeit a major one, does not cure the disease.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
3.3.1  seeder  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Gsquared @3.3    one week ago

Look no further than Johnny Mac and Mitt.  I almost voted for Johnny, right up to the point to where he added Caribou Barbie to his ticked.  I found John acceptably moderate.  By today's conservative standards, both Mitt and John McCain are traitors to the republican party.  

 
 
 
evilgenius
4  evilgenius    one week ago

The problem is populist partisanship and a lack of critical thinking skills. It's infected both parties and will not be rooted out anytime soon. This is a problem of a two party system of it's own making. To keep control candidates make appeals to those most fired up during the primaries. The last few years it's been the populists - Tea Party and Bernie bros. Once they get elected they can't give those factions what they want and that makes them more angry and fires them up even more. Now we reap what we've sown. Joe got elected, not because he was the best candidate, but because the left felt he had the broadest appeal to moderates to beat Trump. It seems to have worked, for now. If progressives don't get their promised bones - green new deal and police reform - you'll see how fast Dems lose seats during the mid-term. 

Right now Trumpism is rocked back on it's heels politically speaking. I don't think the blow back from last week's activates is a knockout blow. I just listened to a half hour of the House floor debates and Matt Gaetz and company are still spouting outright lies and whataboutisms to deflect from the MAGA Messiah's actions. Until the party holds those idgits accountable and successfully primaries them they inmates still run the asylum.  

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
4.1  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  evilgenius @4    one week ago

The House floor is such a shitshow.  Jordan is reserving left and right while Republicans scramble to try (and fail) to scrap together something coherent to say.  I just heard a Representative defend Trump by claiming that he had 600 violence free rallies.  Man, you incite one mob to assassinate your VP and multiple members of government and the other side lets it color your whole record of cordial rallies.  So unfair.

 
 
 
evilgenius
4.1.1  evilgenius  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @4.1    one week ago
The House floor is such a shitshow.

How about McCarthy's call for a "fact finding commission and letter of censure"?

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
4.1.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  evilgenius @4.1.1    one week ago

Ugh.  Fla. Rep. just spent his minute in silence, waiting for an answer to the question “has any one of the insurrectionists been brought here to be asked if they did it because of our President?”  Lol.  Then he was applauded for his brave ... uhh ... silence?  This is what they’ve got to work with.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
4.2  Sean Treacy  replied to  evilgenius @4    one week ago
he problem is populist partisanship and a lack of critical thinking skills

I don't think it's necessarily   populists as simply radicals who cater to the extremes. Politics, thanks to social media, pervades our lives as never before.  Where you eat, who you date, what you watch have become political issues.  You like Chick Filet? You are no different than a Nazi.  Politicians have capitalized on this by creating a sense of urgency and  building up of the electoral stakes, every election is the most important ever.  People equate "winning" in politics with their own happiness and consider  losing in apocalyptic terms.  Every election is an existential threat. To many, we are one election away from communism or fascism  The more the other side is demonized and turned into the "other" who stands in the way of personal fulfillment, the better radical politicians do.  There's no need for any self awareness or critical thinking, because the other side is objectively evil and the ends always justify the means when fighting evil. "How can anyone justify compromising with evil?" is the mindset that dominates both parties right now. 

 
 
 
evilgenius
4.2.1  evilgenius  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.2    one week ago

Populism is what happens when radicalisms infects enough people to become... well... popular. That can't happen without lack of critical thinking skills which you point out well in the rest of your post. I can't argue with that as I do agree. It's been pointed out time and time again in the last 12 years or so that the way we've been using modern technology (social media, news apps, etc) has created bubbles where people can choose to hear only those (I'll not call it news) opinions they only want to hear. This walks into another point I often thing on - what's called the "cancel culture". Again this demonstrates a shocking lack of critical thinking skills and how people over react to any slight on social media and pile on demanding any given poster should be shunned and never heard from again. It lacks nuance and context. 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
5  Greg Jones    one week ago

The last few years it's been the populists - Tea Party and Bernie bros. Once they get elected they can't give those factions what they want and that makes them more angry and fires them up even more. Now we reap what we've sown. Joe got elected, not because he was the best candidate, but because the left felt he had the broadest appeal to moderates to beat Trump. It seems to have worked, for now. If progressives don't get their promised bones - green new deal and police reform, you'll see how fast Dems lose seats during the midterms 

Agree absolutely. It's past time for the Dems to get over Trump and show us what they can....or can't do. The world will be watching and waiting. One of your best posts in a long time.

 
 
 
Ozzwald
5.1  Ozzwald  replied to  Greg Jones @5    6 days ago
It's past time for the Dems to get over Trump and show us what they can....or can't do.

1st of all, Trump is still POTUS for just under 5 more days.  Not time to get over him yet but rather time to watch him closer than ever for the shit he is going to try to get away with.

2nd, even after Trump has left office, there are going to be a lot of actions that Trump has done over the last 4 years to be dealt with, the consequences of which will still be affecting us.

3rd, when it is discovered that Trump had violated laws during his time in office, the new administration will still have to deal with them.

So "getting over" Trump does not happen at noon on the 20th.  The consequences of the Trump administration policies and actions will probably stretch beyond the time of the next administration.

 
 
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