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DirkGently

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Orlando
Home country: USA
Current location: Holistically detecting
Member since: Wed Jan 27, 2010, 04:59 PM
Number of posts: 12,002

Journal Archives

If people thought the DNC's partiality "didn't matter"

They wouldn't be trying so hard to defend it.

Transparent rationalization is transparent.

Part of the NRA calculus has always been *who* has the guns.

The Black Panthers supposedly inspired Reagan to support gun control. Someone needs to start the Young Muslim Rifle Association or the Black Lives Matter Militia.

We'd have airtight gun regulations across the board in a week or so.

And the discussion continues. Through elections. Through platforms.

Through ongoing debate. No one has it all nailed down or all in the bag. We don't know, even among supporters of a given candidate, who was with them on what basis, although polling tells some of what people support and don't support.

None of that goes away at any point. Shall we sign on to the TPP? Is fracking okay sometimes, all the time, or never? How interventionist shall we be in our foreign policy? How shall we regulate the finance industry? What should we do about student debt or the costs of healthcare?

No one stops pushing. No one stops arguing. No one has a mandate for the minutiae of their individual personal policy, ever. It's why we have freedom of speech, of the press, of the right to assemble and petition the government.

We have picked a candidate. We have not decided everything that the party stands for or what everyone wants to do.

That never happens, and it never should.

What a party stands for is an ongoing discussion.

This year's Democratic Party is not what last year's was. Next year's will be different still. In the meantime, issues will be argued and discussed and fought over.

The American political process is not a static series of electing individuals and adopting whatever it is they do. That would be fascism, and it's not what we do here in America, or in the "Democratic" Party.

Leaders are nice, but we support them because and to the extent they reflect the will of the people who permit them to hold office. For that matter, even elected leaders do not always agree, nor do Democrats vote in a unanimous block, as we all know quite well.

Is the hope here that Progressives in general will somehow now go away and stop trying to have any input in the party of which they are a part?

Because that's not going to happen. And it shouldn't, and you shouldn't want it to.

"Ideological purity" is a red herring though.

It was just argued here that ideas don't matter at all, just "winning." That's very silly.

I haven't seen anyone in American politics running on a no-compromises platform, nor any real right or left "wingers" running for President. Cruz was pretty far out on the Christian Right, but no one could fairly be called anything like a "purist."

I see this argument trotted out by conservative Dems who just don't like progressive Dems and prefer to imagine their own ideas are " the best we can do."

That's just posturing though. The truth is everyone even remotely in the running -- Trump perhaps being the exception -- has been a thoroughly modern, compromising politican with no overweening ideological fervor.

The better ones though would never make a nihilistic argument that "winning" matters more than the right ideas and policies.

And Trump will never be the Republican nominee.

The one group of thinkers that has been completely wrong this election cycle are the "sure bet" folks. Literally nothing has happened the way they thought. Even Nate Silver got blown out repeatedly in the primaries.

The thing about elections is that anyone can win one. Nothing is ever in the bag.

And the fact that candidates once separated by miles draw closer together before a big vote is not an illusion. Sometimes the underdog catches up. Sometimes the pundits are wrong.

It's not "handwringing." It is a reflection of the reality that elections are uncertain, shifting things. Ask Britain.

I've yet to see anyone defend "radical Islam."

Nor do I see anyone "ignoring" this attack or any other.

I think what bothers conservatives -- what they consider "ignoring the problem" -- is that we don't go a step further, and draw some conclusion about Muslims or Islam in general. A conclusion they hold very dear, which is that their own version of the Abrahamic religion is the "good" one.

I think they want everyone to "admit" that what we really need is a religious war, where valiant Christians, who stopped slaughtering people in the name of their religion a while ago (save for your sporadic Eric Rudolphs killing women and doctors here and there) finally "do something" about Islam itself, or Muslims themselves, rather than engage in what they see as a foolish attempt to distinguish violent lunatics from millions of people that actually do practice their religion peacefully.

I'm consistently glad they are frustrated about that.

Feckless authoritarianism is feckless.


So, we're not going to do anything about dangerous people: Heavily armed, angry conservative men of one stripe or another, swimming in an ocean of paranoia and a belief system where a "good guy with a gun" is the solution to every conceivable problem. They can rant and rave, and make sidelong threats all day long, riiiiiiight up to the line of actually doing something horrendously violent, at which point someone will nicely ask them to leave the bird refuge.

But we're going to make damn sure a confused brain surgery patient COMPLIES RIGHT THE HELL NOW in the baggage line, because who knows what an ailing girl might be up to.

We've got shampoo-free airplanes, aspirin-free schools, but guns in national parks and college campuses.

We're nailing every non-issue right to the wall, while the blood pools at our feet.



It doesn't matter who's in power if they don't stand for anything.

Hard to understand how people become so partisan they literally think nothing but "winning" matters. What matters is getting the right things done. That's why we have these discussions about "platforms" and "integrity" and "principles."

Trump's a perfect example of this backward thinking. It's hard to tell what he really thinks, because he just plays to the crowd. Used to be a Democrat. Used to support a woman's right to choose. Sometimes wants to ban Muslims; sometimes isn't so sure.

If he were right, and could elected simply by making whatever noises people want to hear, we'd elect that kind of person every time. An indecipherable concoction of crowd-pleasing chants and slogans, with no predictable policy behind it. Policy would therefore be a random crapshoot of whatever the most successful strategist really thought, which no one would know beforehand because it would all be about, "winning."

It's not all about "winning." That kind of winning is for the Trumps and Charlie Sheens of the world.

Nobody thinks that.

We are supposed to be smarter.

Guns convey zero personal power.


... unless you find yourself needing to kill someone.

Or that zombie apocalypse finally arrives.

That's got to be very frustrating for people invested in the part of gun culture trading on the idea that guns make them "safe" from criminals, terrorism, and intrusive government. Or, as a T-shirt I saw on a skinny kid in the airport security line of all places claimed "a citizen, not a SUBJECT!"

What if you have all these guns and the government still doesn't do what you want? What if your gun doesn't confer respect or ensure you can be more belligerent in your daily life without fear of repercussion?

Wouldn't you end up looking for a way to somehow extract that personal power that was promised to you?

Isn't that exactly what is happening more and more?
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