Showing posts from November, 2016

Reaction to Hillary Clinton’s loss exposed the impotent elitism of liberalism

Donald Trump in February 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) You vowed to leave if Donald Trump won the White House. Leave. Please. Go. Be gone with you and all of your snobbery, your condescension, your identity politics.

The rest of us have work to do!

People from marginalized communities cannot pick up and leave the United States. And where would they go? Where would you go? France, where head coverings are banned? Germany, where anti-Semites are out in public again? Where is this mythical better place?

A progressive friend posted that people struggling should move from places like Youngstown, Ohio, or rural West Virginia. Let me understand how that works. You have no money. You lost your job, might be on public assistance, have minimal technical skills.... Surely you can move to an expensive city with no problem.

No. Most of us have to stick around. We have to gather up our resistance to a Pres. Trump and develop a more coherent strategy to salvange what moderates exist in two politica…

The End of Identity Liberalism - The New York Times

When you group people and make everything about race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and a checklist of other "differences" you are also creating and reinforcing the "Working-Class White Male Christian" grouping. That really is not helpful.

Even a few of the New York Times' writers are starting to understand this. Create groups at your own peril, progressives. You might find it doesn't help create a national identity or unity.
The End of Identity Liberalism - The New York Times:   By MARK LILLA — NOV. 18, 2016 The whitelash thesis is convenient because it absolves liberals of not recognizing how their own obsession with diversity has encouraged white, rural, religious Americans to think of themselves as a disadvantaged group whose identity is being threatened or ignored. Such people are not actually reacting against the reality of our diverse America (they tend, after all, to live in homogeneous areas of the country). But they are reacting against the…

Standing Up to the President-Elect

English: Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Republicans in the House and Senate, especially the leadership of the GOP, must at least symbolically reject the president-elects choices for his inner circle of advisors. Though some of these posts do not require Senate confirmation, the Senate should and must demand that Donald Trump remove some members of his transition team and his "kitchen cabinet" of conspiracy nuts.

I never imagined as a libertarian that my worst nightmare might be a Republican president. The following individuals should be nowhere near the White House: Stephen K. Bannon and Frank Gaffney. This should not be open to debate. The Senate should refuse to confirm any cabinet secretary until these two men are shown the door.

Yes, I understand that Bannon and Roger Ailes advised and helped control Trump during the campaign. I don't care. These are not the sorts of people with whom the GOP should be associated.

The GOP - Stuck in the Middle

Warren Buffett speaking to a group of students from the Kansas University School of Business (Photo credit: Wikipedia) "A review of the 20 richest Americans, as listed by Forbes Magazine, found that 60 percent affiliate with the Democratic Party, including the top three individuals: Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Larry Ellison. Among the richest families, the Democratic advantage rises even higher, to 75 percent."

Just think about that and the paradox of the top of the top (the 0.1%) typically voting for and sometimes running for office as Democrats (FDR, JFK). The GOP holds the $75,000 to $187,000 range and starts to lose ground quickly at $200,000 -- the same line that marks most people with graduate or professional degrees.

The Democrats have been, since about 1948, the party of the elites and the poor. The GOP has had a narrow window of voters in the white, high-school graduate and non-elite university bachelor's degree holder categories.

It's al…

Election 2016 Thoughts

The election is over, thank goodness.
I see social media posts suggesting we "relax" - but that's not what anyone should do, no matter who is in office. Both parties need vigilant voters to ensure there are checks and balances.

Do things. Write. Blog. Create art. Criticize the powerful. Engage in dialogue with your neighbors and beyond. Get out of whatever bubbles you might be in, and we are all in bubbles, to find common ground with people of other ideologies.

When I read some of the claims about Pres. Obama, I remind friends I side with socialist Cornel West and libertarians against extra-judicial use of drones, expansion of wire-tapping, the selling military "surplus" to police forces, the highest rate of deportations in U.S. history, and many other policies we have had during this time. How many bankers went to prison?

I respect Pres. Obama more than I will ever respect a Trump or Pence. But I'm not going to waive my moral and ethical compass on issues …

Lousy Choices

Do we vote our consciouses? Do we vote pragmatically? Do we vote for our "cause" (party) even when the candidate falls short of our ideals? Why and how to vote are serious questions we should consider. Yet, I'm unconvinced there are "right" answers philosophically.

Myself, I cannot vote for a person with whom I disagree or distrust significantly. That's a moral centering I cannot violate, even when it proves to be less than pragmatic. And in this presidential year, I disagree with and distrust all four major-minor candidates. That's depressing.

David Frum offered "A Guide for Undecided Republicans⁠⁠: Choosing a president isn't easy in this election, but here are three ways a principled conservative might vote."

It isn't a satisfying read, if only because it reminds us how lost the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party are. It reminds us that we h…

Election Depression

One good sign from this election year: none of my close friends has made a stink and defriended me for not agreeing with X, Y, or Z and not being a vocal supporter of Candidate A, B, or C.

I never felt embarrassed to have this president and his family represent the United States, despite not agreeing with him on several core issues. For eight years we've had a president with whom I disagree but consider a decent father, good role model, and generally well-intentioned human. (Foreign affairs, generally disappointed by both parties since 2001.)

For eight years, the big change was health care. Did anything else change? I'm not sure. I wish we had seen some Big Bank CEOs in prison (capitalism without the rule of law doesn't work), a reworking of corporate and personal tax systems (simplify, close loopholes, end "targetted" breaks), and a willingness to confront long-term infrastructure issues while interest rates are low.

We need an educated, moral, persuasive,…