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Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:32 PM

What is the "hard left"?

I read a response that talked of the hard left in the context of US politics, and I wondered what constitutes this hard left.

And if there is a hard left, what influence does it have in a country where both major parties embrace capitalism?

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Arrow 194 replies Author Time Post
Reply What is the "hard left"? (Original post)
guillaumeb Sep 10 OP
gopiscrap Sep 10 #1
shanny Sep 10 #25
ananda Sep 10 #32
gopiscrap Sep 10 #33
beachbum bob Sep 10 #42
Ken Burch Sep 11 #88
beachbum bob Sep 11 #112
Ken Burch Sep 11 #147
Major Nikon Sep 12 #191
zentrum Sep 11 #139
Trumpocalypse Sep 11 #101
Demsrule86 Sep 11 #106
uponit7771 Sep 11 #119
zentrum Sep 11 #138
OKNancy Sep 10 #2
NurseJackie Sep 10 #4
exfthings Sep 11 #94
OnDoutside Sep 10 #6
guillaumeb Sep 10 #7
JustABozoOnThisBus Sep 10 #12
guillaumeb Sep 10 #45
InAbLuEsTaTe Sep 11 #96
paleotn Sep 11 #108
uponit7771 Sep 11 #120
Skidmore Sep 12 #157
Warpy Sep 10 #3
guillaumeb Sep 10 #8
BzaDem Sep 10 #14
Warpy Sep 10 #16
guillaumeb Sep 10 #46
InAbLuEsTaTe Sep 11 #97
shanny Sep 10 #74
Expecting Rain Sep 10 #69
Ken Burch Sep 11 #89
Expecting Rain Sep 11 #122
Ken Burch Sep 12 #152
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #166
Ken Burch Sep 12 #170
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #171
Ken Burch Sep 12 #172
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #173
Ken Burch Sep 12 #174
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #175
Ken Burch Sep 12 #178
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #180
Ken Burch Sep 12 #185
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #186
Ken Burch Sep 12 #188
Expecting Rain Sep 12 #189
Ken Burch Sep 12 #190
NurseJackie Sep 13 #194
exfthings Sep 11 #95
VermontKevin Sep 10 #10
Ken Burch Sep 12 #160
tammywammy Sep 10 #15
Warpy Sep 10 #17
Voltaire2 Sep 10 #22
Warpy Sep 10 #27
bettyellen Sep 10 #30
Warpy Sep 10 #31
bettyellen Sep 10 #34
Warpy Sep 10 #35
bettyellen Sep 10 #37
GulfCoast66 Sep 10 #47
Warpy Sep 10 #63
GulfCoast66 Sep 11 #93
Ken Burch Sep 11 #90
bettyellen Sep 11 #113
Ken Burch Sep 11 #148
bettyellen Sep 11 #149
Ken Burch Sep 12 #156
bettyellen Sep 12 #167
Ken Burch Sep 12 #168
bettyellen Sep 12 #169
Ken Burch Sep 12 #183
LongTomH Sep 10 #38
Chasstev365 Sep 10 #28
Warpy Sep 10 #29
Expecting Rain Sep 10 #67
Trumpocalypse Sep 11 #102
Warpy Sep 11 #146
Trumpocalypse Sep 12 #161
Warpy Sep 12 #176
Trumpocalypse Sep 12 #184
Are_grits_groceries Sep 10 #5
guillaumeb Sep 10 #9
Trust Buster Sep 10 #11
guillaumeb Sep 10 #48
Trust Buster Sep 10 #52
BzaDem Sep 10 #13
dhol82 Sep 10 #18
ProudLib72 Sep 10 #19
Voltaire2 Sep 10 #21
leftstreet Sep 10 #43
ProudLib72 Sep 10 #49
guillaumeb Sep 10 #50
ProudLib72 Sep 10 #60
guillaumeb Sep 10 #62
ProudLib72 Sep 10 #65
guillaumeb Sep 10 #76
Demsrule86 Sep 11 #107
Trumpocalypse Sep 11 #103
Voltaire2 Sep 10 #20
leftstreet Sep 10 #44
guillaumeb Sep 10 #51
mahina Sep 10 #23
guillaumeb Sep 10 #53
nycbos Sep 10 #24
guillaumeb Sep 10 #55
BainsBane Sep 10 #84
LWolf Sep 10 #26
bettyellen Sep 10 #40
guillaumeb Sep 10 #56
LWolf Sep 11 #115
Expecting Rain Sep 10 #71
LWolf Sep 11 #116
Expecting Rain Sep 11 #121
Post removed Sep 13 #192
Expecting Rain Sep 13 #193
roscoeroscoe Sep 11 #110
LWolf Sep 11 #118
stonecutter357 Sep 11 #111
LWolf Sep 11 #117
Not Ruth Sep 10 #36
The_Casual_Observer Sep 10 #41
guillaumeb Sep 10 #57
marylandblue Sep 10 #39
guillaumeb Sep 10 #58
applegrove Sep 10 #54
guillaumeb Sep 10 #59
Akoto Sep 10 #61
guillaumeb Sep 10 #64
Expecting Rain Sep 10 #78
guillaumeb Sep 10 #80
Expecting Rain Sep 11 #86
guillaumeb Sep 11 #130
Expecting Rain Sep 11 #142
guillaumeb Sep 11 #143
Expecting Rain Sep 11 #144
karynnj Sep 11 #123
Not Ruth Sep 11 #127
karynnj Sep 11 #134
shanny Sep 10 #66
dembotoz Sep 10 #68
shanny Sep 10 #72
QC Sep 10 #70
InAbLuEsTaTe Sep 11 #98
Ken Burch Sep 10 #73
guillaumeb Sep 10 #77
melman Sep 11 #100
BainsBane Sep 10 #75
guillaumeb Sep 10 #79
BainsBane Sep 10 #83
Ken Burch Sep 11 #92
MrsCoffee Sep 11 #104
Ken Burch Sep 12 #158
Ken Burch Sep 12 #159
guillaumeb Sep 11 #129
Not Ruth Sep 10 #81
Not Ruth Sep 10 #82
DetlefK Sep 11 #105
BainsBane Sep 11 #85
Willie Pep Sep 11 #87
yuiyoshida Sep 11 #91
guillaumeb Sep 11 #131
Stellar Sep 11 #99
annabanana Sep 11 #109
grossproffit Sep 11 #114
guillaumeb Sep 11 #132
grossproffit Sep 11 #145
guillaumeb Sep 11 #150
Not Ruth Sep 11 #151
Bradical79 Sep 11 #124
MineralMan Sep 11 #125
guillaumeb Sep 11 #133
MindPilot Sep 11 #126
guillaumeb Sep 11 #135
MindPilot Sep 11 #137
guillaumeb Sep 11 #141
zentrum Sep 11 #140
WinstonSmith00 Sep 11 #128
guillaumeb Sep 11 #136
Warren DeMontague Sep 12 #153
Abu Pepe Sep 12 #154
guillaumeb Sep 12 #163
DemocraticWing Sep 12 #155
guillaumeb Sep 12 #164
alarimer Sep 12 #162
guillaumeb Sep 12 #165
Not Ruth Sep 12 #177
obnoxiousdrunk Sep 12 #179
grantcart Sep 12 #181
guillaumeb Sep 12 #182
Spider Jerusalem Sep 12 #187

Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:40 PM

1. the hard left is what we used to call

real Democrats!

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:36 PM

25. Bingo

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:57 PM

32. Hear hear!

I yearn for those Dems ... the ones who created laws and
policies that really helped our country and its people.

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Response to ananda (Reply #32)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:58 PM

33. exactly

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:52 PM

42. hard left did not create EPA or did civil rights.....

Nixon created the EPA and moderate republicans spearheaded the civil rights laws ...they were "real democrats" at all, more like pragmatic american politicians

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #42)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:38 AM

88. The civil rights movement spearheaded the civil rights laws.

Those laws were only passed because of massive grassroots activism, in which many good people lost their lives.

The civil rights bills passed because mass pressure from below forced the politicians of the day to pass them.

And Nixon only set up the EPA because of the popular support for environmental protection built by grassroots organizing, including organizing by radicals.

Without the impatient, without the impolite, without the "unrealistic", without those who kept fighting when others claimed that what they proposed could never work in "the real world", no social, economic or political change would ever have happened in this country.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #88)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:45 AM

112. the civil rights laws WERE only PASSED because of the GOP leadership under Evertt Dirksen

the democratic party was split in the 1960's and LBJ turned to republicans

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #112)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:54 PM

147. Were it not for the movement, there wouldn't have BEEN any legislation.

Congress would never ever have addressed that issue without the massive grassroots mobilization-most of the politicians of the era didn't care(some did-I give full due to people like Hubert Humphrey and RFK on that, among others), but most of them didn't care that people were being killed while marching for freedom.

And even allowing for the involvement of moderate Republicans then, there aren't any moderate Republicans now. And Democrats in thi era have nothing to gain from not going any further than the moderate Republicans of today.

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #112)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 09:41 PM

191. Not really historically accurate

The best the Dixiecrats could do was delay the inevitable. Dirksen helped to put the final nail in their coffin a little sooner than it would have anyway, but to give him most of the credit makes for a good Hollywood story line and that's about it. Most Republicans were already for civil rights and it was just a matter of time before a bill passed.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #88)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:14 PM

139. ++10000

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:41 AM

101. Please don't rewrite history

The democratic party was long been a big tent. Even during the days of the New Deal it was a coalition of northern labor and southern conservatives & segregationists. The party has historically been moderate to liberal. It was never hard left.

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:25 AM

106. A real Democrat would not elect a Republican (especially Trump) by saying the parties are the

'same', they are not. These are the folks that gave us Bush, Trump and betrayed Obama and all Democrats during the 10 and 14 midterms. The hard left have become bff's with Republicans while giving Democrats the middle finger. They are the reason the DACA kids may be deported and the courts packed by the GOP for a generation. They are not left and do not call them progressive as they are no such thing.

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Response to Demsrule86 (Reply #106)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:50 AM

119. +1

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:13 PM

138. Perfect definition.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:44 PM

2. so-called progressives who pitch out the good for the perfect

who won't compromise or respect that a lot of what they want is absolutely not going to happen.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:50 PM

4. Yep. The arrogant and vain ones who'd boast and brag and take pride at...

... remaining still or going backward for the sake of "no compromise". The ones who'd rather "send a message" about their personal purity than find common ground. The ones who can afford the luxury of letting it burn.

Is that it? Are those the ones? Am I getting warmer?

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Response to NurseJackie (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:35 AM

94. So true

 

We can never unite if we only have a single vision of the future. People are far too diverse to fit any such mold, and working toward the greater good common ground is the key to future success. Agree 100%

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:50 PM

6. 100% right. That is the defining feature, a blanket

unwillingness to compromise, even though that compromise might be quite radical. With the hard left it is all about purity, the struggle. That's why they have been so fragmented for so long. "Progressive" gives them cover from media exposure.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:51 PM

7. So the hard-left is unrealistic?

I agree. And I always vote for the better of the available candidates. Perfection is an illusion.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #7)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:59 PM

12. It's still a good goal, a target, ...

... but not realistic. We're not going to get single-payer health care anytime soon.

"vote for the better of the available candidates". This sounds suspiciously like voting for the lesser of two evils, the idea that took a lot of flak during the general election period. But, yes, that's the thing to do in the primary. In the general, I don't have to think real hard, just vote D.

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Response to JustABozoOnThisBus (Reply #12)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:29 PM

45. As to single payer,

look how fast marriage equality moved from the " We're not going to get to..." stage to a fact.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #45)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:02 AM

96. Yup, proud to have stood for marital gay rights before it was "cool"... same with single-payer.

Glad we have all these bandwagoners, don't get me wrong, but the politicians who are "late to the party" or part of the "me too" crowd are not exactly what I would call "leaders."

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #7)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:29 AM

108. Just as unrealistic as the hard right.

Those who cling to ideology in the face of evidence that doesn't support their world view. That defines both far ends of our political spectrum.

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:50 AM

120. +1

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Response to OKNancy (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:28 AM

157. +1

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:47 PM

3. That's what conservatives call New Deal Democrats

who remember when this country was a lot fairer and want to get back to that.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:51 PM

8. We need a New Deal.

But the New Deal was possible because of Demcorats controlling Congress.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:01 PM

14. Indeed. Furthermore, there was a hard left at the time that opposed the literal new deal. n/t

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:02 PM

16. It was partially that and partially because Republicans had finally been completely disgraced

because of their complete inability to deal with an economic meltdown that had paralyzed much of the country. Their focus, as always, was on preserving the assets of the richest.

I'm afraid we'll need another meltdown before we can finally get rid of them again.

Republicans are great at getting elected. They just can't govern.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:30 PM

46. My point also. The GOP is not truly a governing party. They have no plans

for anything other than making the rich richer.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #46)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:04 AM

97. Pretty much sums it up... why we need to put up a true progressive in 2020...

The only way to win.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #16)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 10:19 PM

74. Unfortunately we just had one of those

and failed to capitalize on it. In my view that is what caused the bulk of the losses we have suffered since.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:52 PM

69. Yes we need internationalists like FDR who knew there were times...

Last edited Mon Sep 11, 2017, 09:55 AM - Edit history (1)

for America to use her military might to oppose evil. A guy who expanded free trade against the cries of the nativist-populist of his day (who were FDR's political enemies).

A return to unifying optimism that rejected the demagoguery, scapegoating, pessimism, fear-mongering, and class-warfare tactics of the populists of FDRs time.

And the embrace of a free-market economy as being essential to avoiding the twin economic evil offered by the populist right and the populist left. Which is why FDR embraced reforms designed to save capitalism.

Yes, we Democrats should embrace the values of FDR (most of already us do).

The problem is with those who confuse their neo-isolationist/neo-nativist/populist ideologies with those of FDR--a guy who utterly rejected this sort populism on both the left and the right.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #69)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:42 AM

89. But the time for U.S. military intervention is over-especially in the Arab/Muslim world.

War is never a cause for optimism(btw, none of us are anti-optimism) and can never liberate anyone or lead to anything progressive again.

It can only be justified for defending ourselves from external attack.

BTW, do you not see the irony in writing a post defending war when your avatar is the author of "Masters of War" and "Hard Rain" and "Blowin' In The Wind"?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #89)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 09:52 AM

122. Neo-isolationism is the surest path to war.

Are you suggesting FDR was wrong to fight fascism in Europe and Asia?

You agree with the isolationists of FDR's day that we should have stayed out of WWII?

War is a terrible thing. Neo-isolationism makes war more likely. FDR knew that. Had Hitler been challenged when he marched troops into the de-militarized-by-treaty Saar Valley, he'd have been overthrown by his own generals and a catastrophe would have been avoided.

Neo-isolationism is a pro-war ideology. To avoid wars the US must be positively engaged with allies on the world stage.

To retreat into fortress America is to give a big nativist FU to the rest of the world who we leave to mercy of those bad-actors who will happily fill the power vacuum.

FDR understood this. The isolationists of his day did not.

Today we have neo-isolationists attempting to claim FDR's mantle, when their program is diametrically opposed to his. It's pretty bizarre.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #122)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:40 AM

152. Of course not. World War II had nothing in common with any later U.S. war.

No use of U.S. force since that conflict has been about anything but projection of power for the sake of projection of power.

We don't have to have a perpetually massive war machine to avoid war, and the war machine we have doesn't prevent any wars.

And I'm not a neoisolationist-it's not as though the only way we can be part of the world is to either be killing people or threatening to kill people. It's not a choice of eternal warfare in Afghanistan or Chamberlain in Munich. There are many other options than that.

We can engage the world through dialog-through actually making a real effort to set up international dispute resolution mechanisms, through being willing to negotiate and compromise with other nations rather than making our approach to diplomacy always be "surrender to us without a fight or we'll invade".

We need to start accepting that our country isn't always right, that countries in disputes with us aren't always wrong, and that the Fp wealth of the world doesn't exist solely or even primarily for THIS country's benefit.

We should stop insisting on being "the world's only superpower" or referring to ourselves that way. To be a superpower is to be institutionally arrogant-to work on the assumption that the world is ours to shape and, essentially, ours to command.

For once, let's reach out to the world, instead of trying to effectively rule it. Let's be of the world, not above it.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #152)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:57 AM

166. We don't have a large military to avoid wars?

I'd try telling that to the people of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, and the Ukraine. Do you believe they (or the rest of the former Warsaw pact) would have escaped reoccupation by Putin's Russia without US military might and that of NATO allies?

Look at what's already happened in the Ukraine with the annexation of the Crimea and the Russian occupation of Eastern Crimea. Look at what's going on in the Caucasus.

Look at the threat from North Korea. Think of the power vacuum we'd open in Asia with an expansionist China if we unilaterally de-militarized.

How do you think dialogue without military power would work with the Taliban, Da'esh, Putin, or Lil Kim?

You say you want to "negotiate and compromise" but from a position of weakness that how the western powers got Munich.

Diplomacy should always be the first choice, and the second choice, and the third choice. War is something to avoid.

Diplomacy, as Teddy Roosevelt understood, works best when you "talk softly and carry a big stick."

Neo-isolationists, like their predecessors in the 1930s who formed the opposition to FDR, want to give up the big stick. That is a well-proven pathway to conflict and war.

Neo-isolation isn't a pro-peace ideology. It is nativism and an abdication of our role in the world.







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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #166)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 01:05 PM

170. I'm not a neo-isolationist.

As to North Korea, their attitude towards us has become more belligerent as our military posture towards them has become more aggressive, and even though their leadership is horrible, it is also legitimately informed by the memory of how brutal the 1950-53 war was.

As to Russia, Putin likely wouldn't have ended up in power if we hadn't basically taken a "nothing has changed" attitude towards them in the 1990-maintaining a massive nuclear stockpile aimed at Russia even when Gorbachev had done everything the West ever asked, even when Communism had ended and even when Boris Yeltsin, the most pro-Western Russian leader in history, was in power.

We can't just never reduce the war budget for the rest of eternity.

We can't just never break with the post-World War II approach towards the world

And it can't be progressive to ever again increase war spending.

It's not a choice between militarism and neo-isolationism.

And no, it' not as simple as saying we have a big war machine to prevent wars. We equally have a big war machine to basically make the rest of the world do what our leaders want...and what our leaders want is not intrinsically morally superior to what all other leaders want simply because it's our leaders wanting it. What our leaders want is pretty much always just as cynical as anybody else's leaders.

Vietnam proves that. What we've done in Latin America proves that. Much of what we've done in Africa proves that as well(not all, but much).

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #170)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 01:31 PM

171. We could have had a non-brutal war with North Korea, or no war at all, back in the 50s...

but then we'd no longer be referring to it as "North" Korea.

If you think a unilateral denuclearization would have resulted in the emergence of liberals in Russia, I think you are kidding yourself. Yeltsin was an erratic drunk with populist tendencies and he was no friend of liberalism. Not to mention he was despised by the Russian people.

I agree that it isn't a choice between militarism and neo-isolationism. There is a middle course that puts an emphasis on constructive engagement, diplomacy, strong alliances and other acts of internationalism with the US in a leadership position. Such an option requires a strong military to back diplomatic efforts.

Talk softly AND carry a big stick.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #171)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:00 PM

172. We've basically got all the major weapons we need for that.

And there are things we do now that we really don't have to do...like continue to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia, a regime that is morally indistinguishable from Saddam's Iraq in terms of the way it treats its own people.

As to Russia, I didn't say we had to get rid of ALL nukes in Europe...but did we essentially have to keep them all and to act as though, even under Yeltsin, nothing had changed?

The connection between our hardline policies on Russia in the Nineties was that those policies led to Yeltsin appointing Putin as his successor. DO you really think there's any chance Yeltsin would have done that if we'd begun to pull back, if we'd accepted at that point that Russia was simply another country rather than simply being a weakened enemy?

Why couldn't we say "The Soviet Union is gone...let's just let work together now in an equal global partnership for prosperity and freedom"? Why did our message to Russia have to be "we won-you lost-you're nothing now and we won't ever let you forget it"?

Those choices put Putin into the situation he is in now, and in so doing, they created much of the current world situation.

The big stick was the cause.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #172)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:34 PM

173. Yetsin's embrace of Putin make my point that Yeltzin was not to be trusted...

to be some sort of "liberal democrat."

Yes, I do think he'd have advanced Putin under different circumstances. I'm not sure you understand the depths of Russian nationalism.

If we'd denuclearized unilaterally or de-militarized Europe we'd be in a worse position now with Putin in charge.

Without a big stick, the Baltic countries would likely have been absorbed along with the Ukraine and the puppet-state in Belarus.

The situation in Saudi Arabia is more complex topic than I care to take on at the moment.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #173)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:51 PM

174. Yeltsin chose Putin after the U.S. spent most of his term disrespecting him.

And really, the U.S. should never have preferred Yeltsin over Gorbachev. Gorbachev had done everything we ever asked and all we gave him and his country in repayment was humiliation. We destroyed both of those men and gained nothing worthwhile in doing so.

It's extremely unlikely that Yeltsin would have chosen Putin to succeed him if the U.S. hadn't spent Yeltsin's entire term putting him in his place and making a show of pushing him around, after doing the same to Gorbachev.

There was no reason to treat post-1991 Russia more harshly than we treated post-1945 Germany-or to insist that they play the role of the vanquished nation. And people all over the world, particularly democrats, LGBTQ people and women in Russia, are paying the price for our shortsidedness.

We should have let it go at saying the Cold War was done. We didn't have to make an arrogant display of claiming victory. "Victory" was a meaningles term in that conflict.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #174)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:26 PM

175. I'd suggest you are making a argument that conflates correlation with causation...

with regard to Putin's rise. Post-Soviet Russia had a collapsed economy and largely did feel humiliated by the collapse of their empire. The rise of a nationalist was predictable.

We agree on Gorbachev over Yeltsin. It is always a bad decision to back populists. Gorbachev was head and shoulders better than Yeltsin. But Russians blame Gorbachev for the loss of their empire. I wish the United States had the power to "save" him. We did not.

I don't know why you'd believe a nationalist-populist wouldn't turn to a strong man. That's par for the course with such movements.

We didn't treat Russia like a vanquished nation. You are blaming the United States for the former KGB officer's human rights abuses in Russia, and suggest if we were softer on Putin that he'd relax? Do you really believe that?

I think it is naive (and insulting) that the captive peoples of Eastern Europe and those who pulled down the wall should have contained their feelings of liberation from Soviet Communism. The end of that empire was a victory.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #175)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:42 PM

178. You can't just use the term "populist" for every leader you dislike.

And "populism" is not a synonym for demagoguery, bigotry, or evil.(

It can sometimes simply mean listening to the people, ALL of the people, and working for what they want.

Jim Hightower and Jesse Jackson can be called populists-neither deserves to be lumped in with Trump or Nigel Farage or the all-but-fascist governments of Hungary and Poland.

I'm not personally a populist, but I think we need to be a little more precise in how that term is used.

Left-populism is not the same as right-populism.

And I'm not sure what you would posit as the alternative to populism. It's not as though we're better off keeping the people at a remove from power and letting disinterested, dismissive "experts" have most of the say. There needs to be some sort of a real form a democratic accountability unmediated by money.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #178)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:54 PM

180. No populist movement that has gained power, has turned out well...

and their embrace of an Authoritarian (or worse) leaders tends to be the rule and not the exception.

Yeltsin was a populist. It was how he defined himself and how he was defined in the press. And how he acted.

There have been (and continue to be) plenty of left-wing populist strong-men. Ask the Columbians. Or the Cubans.

Both right-wing and left-wing populist movements tend to turn authoritarian and neither are friends of liberal democracy.

Populist don't put people in power. That is something no populist movement in history has ever done.

I would posit the best alternative of populism is liberal democracy.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #180)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 07:58 PM

185. I'm for democracy. I just don't want it to be an arrangement in which...

...there are strict limits on the spectrum of permissible possibilities...

Liberal democracy doesn't have to mean, for example, that nothing to the left of Obama's policies is to be allowed.

Democracy and radicalism are not mutually exclusive.

And the goal of pretty much everyone on the left nowadays is to give the currently disempowered a greater say in what is done, both politically, socially, and economically-which is an intrinsically democratic objective.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #185)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 08:10 PM

186. This is why you get push-back.

You suggest you don't want "limits on the spectrum of political possibilities" as if anyone here supports such a thing. There have been calls for universal healthcare since Truman. Obama was the first to really make progress for working age people.

No one has called for policies seen as to the left of Obama's to be disallowed. Suggesting that such sentiment exists here is insulting. You must understand this, no?

It comes off as sanctimoniousness, since you've asked.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #186)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 08:29 PM

188. In that remark, I wasn't SAYING anyone HERE had called for such limits.

I meant the way "liberal democratic" politics in this country works tends to arbitrarily impose them.

Which is why there have been calls for universal healthcare since Truman(actually, they started when FDR was still in) and the ACA, after all that time, is the closest we've come to that.

And it's part of the reason why Jim Crow lasted from 1876 to 1964.

We need to finally get rid of the Electoral College, so that no one has to run to be president of the white South in order to be president of the United States. It's finally time that the vote of every American carries the same weight in presidential elections as does the vote of every OTHER American. There's no good reason to give small states or the South or the Mountain West a veto over who sits in the Oval Office. The people in those states deserve no greater say than anybody else.

We need at least a real modification of the filibuster-perhaps something like the constraint they put on the power of the British House of Lords to block legislation-the Lords had repeatedly blocked Irish home rule bills passed by the House of Commons-that might say the Senate could delay a piece of legislation for one or two months, and only delay it once.

We should make it a requirement for Senate Democratic candidates that, if nothing else, they agree not to block any cabinet or judicial nominees and that, while they are free to vote against any legislation, that they must not put a hold on any bills or filibuster them. it's enough to be able to vote against them.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #188)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 08:38 PM

189. It is fine to say "we have to do this," but unless one can make it happen...

we've got sloganeering and not substance.

It would take a change of the Constitution to rid of of the Electoral College.

Getting rid of the filibuster might not be the best time in with us in the minority.

For a guy that wants "no limits" on the spectrum of policies it seems starge and ironic that you'd remove limits on Democrats trying to block bills. This seems antithetical to your earlier position.



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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #189)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 09:07 PM

190. I was referring to Democrats blocking bills introduced by a Democratic president.

Which simply shouldn't happen.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #186)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 10:07 AM

194. So glad I'm not the only one who sees the same things that you do.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #69)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:36 AM

95. Agreed

 

Couldn't have said it better myself

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:55 PM

10. Yeah. You should ask interned Japanese Americans, Jews, Blacks, and women

how the 1930's and 40's was "a lot fairer" for them.

While I respect the goals of the New Deal, without the social justice fights that followed to secure those promises for all the vision promulgated by FDR was a limited one. I'm guessing you are of a group that benefited without restriction from the New Deal.

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Response to VermontKevin (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:18 AM

160. Nobody who calls for a new New Deal supports the return of 1930s racial values.

Obviously a revival of the New Deal today would be totally free of racism, sexism and homophobia.

We're all united in our commitment to defeating social oppression.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:02 PM

15. When exactly was this country "a lot fairer"? n/t

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:05 PM

17. Mostly before the oil shocks of the 1970s

Conservatives blamed labor instead of OPEC and that ushered in a 40+ year policy of wage suppression and union busting.

That's when.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #17)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:30 PM

22. See for example many recent studies of inequality

most famously :Capital in the Twenty-First Century" by Piketty.

We are at levels of economic inequality not seen in the usa since the late 19th century.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #22)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:41 PM

27. Exactly, his figures are very depressing

especially since it has happened pretty much worldwide, labor being strip mined to fatten the richest. They are now so unimaginably rich and unimaginably powerful that only a total economic disaster will allow anything else to be rebuilt.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #17)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:51 PM

30. So when women couldn't get mortgages or credit in their own name...

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #30)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:53 PM

31. Apples and oranges

and you know it.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #31)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:00 PM

34. Not at all, women and POC have been undervalued and used for free labor for centuries....

We're still much more deeply exploited to this day.
It adds up,lifetime of being cheated. Single mothers and babies are the highest percentage of the impoverished and I don't see much concern for them. That's not progressive.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #34)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:05 PM

35. What you don't seem to realize

is that women and POC who had dead end, minimum wage jobs back then had enough to live on.

In no state today does the minimum wage allow one to afford housing and adequate food.

While domestic service was exempted from the minimum wage, other jobs were not. If you got minimum wage, you were not only above subsistence, you were also above the poverty line.

And that has nothing to do with institutionalized racism or sexism and YOU KNOW IT.

Buh-bye.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #35)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:12 PM

37. All of women's jobs were serverly underpaid, not sure why you thinks that's by sexist...

It is by definition institutionalized sexism. Waiting tables also pays under minimum wage, teachers and retail workers are severely underpaid. Meanwhile men who didn't graduate from HS could pay for houses with their salaries. Women were routinely denied those opportunities.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #35)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:31 PM

47. What you do,t seem to realize

is that racism is at its core is economic oppression.

And in my opinion this is the heart of the divisions in the Democratic Party. Some of us know it is impossible to achieve the economic equity we all want without dealing with historical racism in the country. Others seem to want to pretend they 2 are not two sides of the same coin.

I remember driving through the delta to visit my grandparents and seeing African American living in shacks on the side of the road with outhouses and looking they could fall down anytime. They were not basking in FDR's economic paradise.

I remember when lots of whites in the South had house ------- ,yard ------ cooks and Nannies and they sure as hell were not living in FDR's paradise. Oh, and the people they worked for were good FDR democrats.

So when many of we Democrats, especially those of us from the south hear 'progressives' carry on about economic reform and then, in our opinion, poo-poo social justice concerns with a parting sentence about how, yeah, we support that too some of us get concerned. Because we have seen it before. The fact is that most of FDR's reforms left American American in the past.

My dad left the rural south because he could not stand the injustice African Americans were undergoing.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #47)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:50 PM

63. Of course it is, I've stated so repeatedly

but it greatly predated the New Deal.

I'm sure anything looked better than sharecropping, nobody ever got rich or even well fed sharecropping some white guy's land. Even at last hired/first fired up north, POC generally did better, especially once the New Deal had come in and a paycheck would support the family, at least when they weren't on layoff. They educated their kids, they started businesses and rich white men hated it. It's one reason they hated the New Deal.

Again, the New Deal was the best deal labor ever had and was responsible for increasing wealth at all levels of society. Women and POC didn't see the advantages white males did, but that is part and parcel of unfairness that had predated the economic deal by millennia for women and centuries for POC.

Cart/horse.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #63)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:11 AM

93. OK. you obviously know nothing about sharecropping.

Or racial oppression in the south. But I do because my family participated in the oppression and also fought against it.

The the majority of sharecroppers were white. White share croppers were considered poor white trash. I am old enough to remember my grandfather calling whites 'croppers' as an insult. But black share croppers were considered elite rural blacks. And that should tell you something. Because most Blacks were farm hands living in quarters really not much changed from slave days. You really think southern whites would give many blacks the ability to manage their land without direct supervision, which croppers could do? Hell, in he 1927 flood, Mississippi called out the militia to keep black farm hands from fleeing to the north where they could find better jobs. Oh, but not jobs basking in FDR's workers paradise. The jobs they were given were not as safe, good or well paying as the jobs as whites had. Even in the Auto industry there was a pay differential between blacks and whites. Mainly the types of jobs blacks were eligible for.

If a upper middle class white guy from the south can school you on racial history in the south, wait till some of our African American members get going on you.

Take your shit about increasing the wealth level for all people and shove it up your privileged modern refrigerator. And I notice you have not once mentioned LBJ who really improved the lives of African American. Simple oversight?

FDR 'Progressive' Democrats oppressed African Americans as much as Southern republicans do today. More actually. I know because I saw a little of it and my father grew up with it.


If you want to make social justice a minor plank of the Democratic platform you will lose the true base of our party...African Americans. Plus a few privileged whites like me.

Have a nice evening

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #34)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:47 AM

90. Agreed. And we need to change that.

Why do you keep acting like there's a large group on the Left who wants to abandon the fight against racism and sexism? Nobody on the Left is arguing for that at all-all some of us are saying is add a general fight for economic justice and against greed to that struggle.

We can fight for that without abandoning any part of the antioppression struggle.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #90)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:00 AM

113. Because were conspicuously omitted from this OP- treated as lesser yet again.

And it's far from the first time. Others have said our struggles are secondary- or okay to put on the back burner. They have been disparaged as "identity politics".

You already know all that. You read the OP. It's more of the same divisive crap.

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #113)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:08 PM

148. I think women and people of color should have been included in the OP.

If I'd written it, they would have been(and my OPs usually referenced the need to fight social oppression and economic oppression at the same time(economic oppression being something that affects the vast majority of people in this country in some ways).

The only explanation I can think-and this is just a guess on my part-of was that the OP didn't mention any demographics at all. They probably figured if they didn't mention any one groups, they didn't need to mention any groups at all.

But I accept that the wording is problematic if you have that response to it.




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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #148)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:21 PM

149. Now we're demographics, LOL. No, it's about civil rights and equal treatment under the law!

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #149)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:21 AM

156. I agree that it's about civil rights and equal treatment under the law.

I fully support that and I'm pretty sure the person who wrote the OP does. Nobody on the left is indifferent to sexism or white supremacism.

I truly had no idea that the term "demographics" was offensive to you and wouldn't have used it had I known. I won't use it in that context again and apologize.

What I'm confused about-and I truly want to, because I fully respect and also share your anger about how women and people of color are treated-is why you see it as betrayal that women and people of color weren't mentioned in the OP when nobody else was mentioned and no other causes were mentioned in it, either.


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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #156)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 11:57 AM

167. Fully support literally treating as an afterthought? Not even close.

I'm not sure why you mean "no one else" and no other "causes" are mentioned? Who and what are you referring to?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #167)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 01:00 PM

168. I'm referring to the OP.

As I understand it, you were claiming that the wording of the OP was as sign that the author of it didn't stand with women and people of color.

I agree that racism and sexism should always be fully addressed.

Pretty sure the author of that OP does as well.


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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #168)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 01:03 PM

169. "Nobody else was mentioned" - who did you expect to be mentioned? Ask "no other causes"? What are

These "causes" that you say we're left out?

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Response to bettyellen (Reply #169)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:52 PM

183. No, I didn't expect to. And I didn't expect any other issues other than civil rights

and social justice to be mentioned.

The sole focus of the OP was asking why some people were called "hard left". Why was it necessary, just to ask that question, to make specific reference to women and people of color just to prove that the OP wasn't dismissing the need to fight for justice for women and people of color.

How could they have been mentioned, in the space of a two-line on that subject.

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:13 PM

38. Before Ronald Reagan!!

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:41 PM

28. Well said! So many just don't get it.

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Response to Chasstev365 (Reply #28)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:51 PM

29. Yes, too many think the world popped into existence at their birth

and don't realize things used to be very different. They think it has always been the way it is now.

No one wants to go back to the regimentation or division of race and gender back then. The economic system was both stable and superior and probably the greatest thing liberals achieved.

ETA: It should be pointed out that institutionalized sexism predated the New Deal by thousands of years and institutionalized racism predated it by several hundred years and in no way was the New Deal responsible for either. Yes, some posts on DU are just that thick, apparently.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:40 PM

67. Citation please...as this is pure nonsense.

What's with the false narratives?

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Response to Warpy (Reply #3)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:43 AM

102. New Deal Democrats also embraced segregation

and the internment of Japanese-Americans. Don't try to white wash history.

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Response to Trumpocalypse (Reply #102)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:36 PM

146. How silly of me, segregation only came into being because of the New Deal

No one had ever excluded women or blacks from the economy before then!

Buh bye.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #146)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 06:39 AM

161. Never said it did.

So don't dishonestly put words in my mouth.

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Response to Trumpocalypse (Reply #161)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:26 PM

176. Yes,you did.

And you missed things like the desegregation of the military and the civil rights fight that was ongoing afterward, All you can see is that a fairer economic system was burdened with social problems that had been there for a very, very long time, longer than the US had been a separate nation.

It was a shamefully ignorant post.


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Response to Warpy (Reply #176)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 07:23 PM

184. It was an honest post

that reflected the history. Sorry that facts offend you.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:50 PM

5. Turn one at Daytona. nt

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Response to Are_grits_groceries (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:52 PM

9. Too windy at this point.

What if I am coming from the North? A hard left will put me in the water.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 05:58 PM

11. They share the same uncompromising unreality of the far right.

It is not the ideology that leads the far right and left to their positions IMO. I believe it is their personality makeup that predates and directs the ideology. I am uncomfortable with extremes by definition. America has succeeded by staying in the middle of the road and eschewing the polar extremes on the right and left. Needless to say, I'm not a Bernie fan......LOL

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Response to Trust Buster (Reply #11)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:36 PM

48. Who determines what i considered realistic?

At one time in the not too distant past, an 8 hour work day was not considered realistic. Nor was the vote for women and non-whites. What is considered realistic changes constantly.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #48)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:39 PM

52. The masses determine that. That is why the polar extremes never succeed.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:00 PM

13. Political groupings do not have to be large in order to be destructive.

Of course both major parties support capitalism. That doesn't mean there aren't large differences in how the two parties feel about inequality, and what they propose to do about it.

At the very least, the hard left includes people who do not vote for the left-most major party in the general election, due to said party not meeting their standards. This group is numerically small, but that doesn't stop it from being destructive. After all, the German hard left in 1932 was not thrilled that the major left-of-center party supported capitalism, and refused to form a government with them under any circumstances. As a result, the Nazis were able to form a minority government. The rest is history. The hard left of the time didn't need to be large to be able to cause so much death and destruction through their actions.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:07 PM

18. For me, hard left is so far left that it becomes hard right

Communists that segue to fascism.
Bizarre, but weirder things have happened.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:20 PM

19. When I hear "hard left" I think "Our Revolution"

So how does the Democrat party absorb the hard left like the GOP did with the tea party? I guess the tea party people already had an R next to their names and realized they would have more influence working within the rethug party. If there were some way for Democrats to coopt Our Revolution, that would be ideal.

I keep thinking of parliamentary governments like Britain and Ireland that must form coalition governments to gain a majority. Maybe this is naive of me, but I keep wondering why we can't do the same with independents and hard lefters in our own party. It seems so obvious, but no one seems willing to compromise.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #19)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:27 PM

21. any organization advocating reform is not "hard left".

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #21)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:54 PM

43. +1

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #21)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:36 PM

49. Are you sure they are only advocating for reform?

Before Nina Turner I would have agreed with you, but now I'm not so sure.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #19)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:37 PM

50. I do not see "Our Revolution" as far left.

I see it as more of a European social-democratic affair.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #50)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:48 PM

60. You are probably correct

It's really Turner that I'm reacting to. She has some hard line rhetoric that seems to disparage the Democratic party. I see her as separatist even though she was originally on HRC's crew.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #60)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:49 PM

62. What do you disagree with?

Assuming you are speaking of Nina Turner.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #62)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:58 PM

65. Here is a HuffPo article that sums up my frustration

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/nina-turner-our-revolution-president-from-democrat_us_595a4413e4b0c85b96c66373

One main takeaway from the interview she did:

She said “And for me, I’ve also heard the senator (referring to Sanders) say this lately too: Let’s put the political affiliation to the side. If there is a Republican or a Libertarian or Green Party person that believes in Medicare for all, then that’s our kind of person.


I will admit that this is one journalist's view, but his conclusion seems to make sense:

One is forced to assume what Ms. Turner is now doing is more for self-aggrandizement and less about getting anything done. I met Nina Turner once at a Ready for Hillary event in New York City. She spoke passionately about Hillary and why she would make a great president. She is a good speaker and excited her audience. The next time I heard of her she had gone through some personal epiphany and became a rabid anti-Hillary Sanders supporter. It might be in the Clinton campaign she would have been one of thousands and with the Sanders campaign she was special.


It's not so much that I disagree with the aggrievement the people in Our Revolution feel toward the party. It's that I simply do not trust Turner.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #65)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:11 PM

76. Understood. eom

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #50)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:28 AM

107. I see 'Our Revolution' and Turner as traitors to our cause... I will support no candidate that comes

out of that group...and they have said they will support Republicans...instead of going after Republicans ...the work to unseat sitting Democrats thus helping the GOP.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Reply #19)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:45 AM

103. It's name is the Democratic party. nt

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:26 PM

20. Once upon a time it meant the CPUSA and other marxist-leninist parties and anarchist

organizations like the IWW. They were all "hard left" as they advocated revolution rather than reform.

The Socialist Party of America was probably the most politically successful marxist reform party of the same era and is an example of what is not the "hard left".

But that was a long time ago. There was a revival of the hard left in the 60's and 70's, with new marxist and anarchist organizations advocating for revolution rather than reform. There are still hard left organizations, but they have little influence. There are also obviously many leftist organizations and factions advocating reform - the Green Party, the progressive caucus in the House, Bernie Sanders and his supporters within the Democratic Party, etc.

Here on DU "hard left" appears to simply be a derogatory label with no particular meaning (like the revolution vs reform distinction I proposed) used to insult people one disagrees with.

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #20)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:55 PM

44. another +1

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Response to Voltaire2 (Reply #20)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:39 PM

51. An excellent response.

I wish I had written it. But labels are useful in politics as a negative or a positive thing.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:31 PM

23. I'm guessing that would be us.

You know, Democrats.

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Response to mahina (Reply #23)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:39 PM

53. To the GOP, yes indeed.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:34 PM

24. The hard left are people like this in Monty Python.




They think if you do not agree with them on 100% of the issues that you are a right wing sell out. The allegedly "progressive" white men who couldn't vote for Hillary "because of their conscience." They believe they were making a noble statement.

Now we have Nazi's on the march and a POTUS who will appoint SCOTUS justices who will overturn Roe, Marriage Equally, gut unions and environmental regulations to name a few things and they are still proud of not voting.


They can't bring themselves to support someone who would be with them 80% of the time.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #24)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:40 PM

55. An excellent movie.

And an excellent response as well.

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Response to nycbos (Reply #24)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:55 PM

84. I think that is more a function of

Attitude and personality than leftist ideology.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 06:40 PM

26. I don't think

"the hard left" really exists in the U.S. That would be the most extreme versions, and the U.S. is too far right to have a functional "hard left." What passes for "far-left" in the U.S. is pretty moderate, politically speaking. As with so many other things, Americans seem to assume that their "uniquely American" version of "left" is the ultimate definition; who needs to include the rest of the world? There is abundant evidence for that assumption in the responses to this thread.

There are nations that have been, are, "hard-left" economically: Cuba and Venezuela come to mind. They also, though, are authoritarian, which supports the idea I've heard some express that the far extremes eventually curve around to meet each other. I've also heard it said that "the left" is about change and "the right" is about tradition; one is populist, one establishment. That seems to be playing out here at home and other places in the world right now.

In reality, I don't believe that people, or nations, or politics, are that linear. The left/right continuum is always going to break down because it just doesn't fit human reality. One of my favorite "placements" is the political compass, which does not use U.S.-centric definitions or placements. Politicians are placed according to what they do, not say, and those placements change when they change direction. Here is one placement, which backs up my assertion that there is no real "hard left" in the U.S.:



The text that goes with that image is of interest:

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016







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Response to LWolf (Reply #26)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:31 PM

40. Wait- Trump is a bigger lefty than HRC?!?! What the ever loving fuck?

So this graph represents the acceptance of a whole load of bullshit, I guess. Who drew that mess?

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Response to LWolf (Reply #26)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:42 PM

56. This graph will, I am certain, cause some responses.

I agree that US politics basically ranges from center right to far right at this point.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #56)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:35 AM

115. It obviously did.

Of course, this is not the first time it's been here, and the political compass has been posted and discussed here at DU for well over a decade, making the responses ludicrous (and entertaining).

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Response to LWolf (Reply #26)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:55 PM

71. This graph is totally bogus.

This group places Barack Obama was to the right of Adolf Hitler.

Not to be taken seriously.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #71)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:36 AM

116. To understand,

you have to be able to see beyond the one-dimensional, linear thinking of the American political masses. The political compass has been posted and discussed here at DU for well over a decade; it's not new, and it's not restricted to American politicians.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #116)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 09:06 AM

121. So, it has been a propaganda tool for a decade. So what?

Time doesn't add legitimacy to a website as biased as Political Compass.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #121)


Response to Post removed (Reply #192)

Wed Sep 13, 2017, 09:56 AM

193. Double WOW

Where the hell do you get off with this?

A website that ranks mainstream liberal Democrats (like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) as being far to the right of Adolf Hitler is broken.

Share me the TOS violating insults.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:39 AM

110. nonsense

If Stein hadn't been flirting with Putin, if Trump wasn't to the left (?!) of Clinton, might be worth a look. But, no. Not spending 30 seconds on that one.

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Response to roscoeroscoe (Reply #110)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:41 AM

118. Not nonsense,

but please; don't waste your time on it. Just keep making my point for me.

The political compass has been posted and discussed here at DU for well over a decade. FYI, most DUers identify right about where you see Stein, and almost all Democratic politicians are to the right of that center line; some more than others, and at various points above and below the horizontal divide.

It's always embarrassing when a Democrat acts like the other side; you know: the side that says, "Climate change? Nonsense. Not spending 30 seconds on that one."

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Response to LWolf (Reply #26)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:39 AM

111. #fakenews.

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Response to stonecutter357 (Reply #111)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:37 AM

117. Way to "Trump"

the rest of the world; after all, we don't need to include them, do we?

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:09 PM

36. Antifa

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #36)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:52 PM

41. Anarchists are "Hard Left"

Hahahah.

According to who? Hannity?

Hahahahahah

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #36)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:43 PM

57. Basically planted by the police to discredit the left, in my view.

COINTELPRO redux.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 07:17 PM

39. Jill Stein voters nt

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Response to marylandblue (Reply #39)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:43 PM

58. I would call them ineffective at best.

Foolish at worst.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:40 PM

54. Probably invented by republicans hoping to split Democrats.

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Response to applegrove (Reply #54)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:44 PM

59. An interersting idea.

Like the antifa menace, which I believe is directed by the right.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:49 PM

61. Uncompromising and unreasonable, would be my guess.

People who are so determined to pursue ideas which are politically unrealistic at the time, they're willing to divide the party and ultimately endanger our odds. The right has its own version of this, too.

I know we all want to believe that we can pull off great ideas in short order, but we ultimately end up accepting that the political atmosphere defends at least some pragmatism. Small steps ultimately get us to where we're going, with the occasional big leap of opportunity.

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Response to Akoto (Reply #61)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 08:50 PM

64. Small steps are good as long as the direction of travel is clear.

Single payer in Canada started with one province. If one US state starts the process, I am certain others will follow.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #64)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:20 PM

78. Like Vermont?

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #78)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:22 PM

80. A good question.

Apparently California could not advance the measure. Perhaps this is due to the heavy influence of campaign contributions from industries with a financial stake in continuing the present, for profit system.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #80)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:02 AM

86. Nah, it's because no one has figured out how to pay for it.

If we wish to advance healthcare expansion we'd be better off building first-class think tanks that develop plans, run simulations on various models, and analyze the numbers instead of just relying on sloganeering.

Posturing without plans gets us nowhere.

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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #86)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:51 AM

130. The plan already exists in many other countries.

It involves tax dollars and eliminating the middle man of Insurance companies. The problem is not, as you suggest, figuring how to pay for it. The problem is overcoming political inertia and the financial interests of the 1%.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #130)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 01:24 PM

142. You are making my points for me. That other counties have a variety of government...

sponsored healthcare plans does get people's attention, but it isn't a substitute for a well-vetted plan for a radical overhaul of the American healthcare system.

Blaming complex problems on the 1% is just a demagogic response to real problems.

To get progress we need to get beyond cheap sloganeering and develop real plans that can be scrutinized, studied, and refined. Advocates of single payer have thus far failed to move beyond ideological appeals unsupported by evidence beyond "other countries do it."

When even Vermont couldn't pull it off, it makes people who might otherwise be convinced by a successful American model skeptical over the lack evidence and the lack of concrete plans.



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Response to Expecting Rain (Reply #142)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 01:31 PM

143. Money is speech in the US, and much money is spent to convince US voters

that single payer is impossible.

The concrete plan exists as close as Canada, where spending is lower and health outcomes are better. What is lacking is not a realistic plan, but political will. Which is my actual point.

One way to build political will is continued public pressure. But if we tell ourselves that the battle cannot be won we are conceding the battle and the arena to the GOP. And that leads to voter apathy.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #143)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 01:45 PM

144. Canada isn't the United States.

Proponents of single payer have failed to develop a plan that could be analyzed and put under scrutiny.

You keep making my point for me. Saying Canada does it or [insert name heree] does it, while it raises interest in the concept, doesn't make up for the lack of a plan.

So it is unsurprising that many people don't want to get behind a radical overhaul of our healthcare system that appears based only on sloganeering.

Tiny Vermont failed. CA passed.

Proponents need to show that have a plan worth fighting for as opposed to an appeal to ideological purity.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #80)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 10:00 AM

123. Vermont couldn't either

Even at the federally level, there is the big difficulty of the entire history of how people have been and now are insured. Unlike the other industrialized companies, we had a history where a large, but steadily declining portion of the population had employer paid or highly subsidized health insurance. Our government made this an attractive benefit by letting companies include this in their costs reducing their profits and what they paid in taxes. In essence, the government subsidized that cost. For employer's the cost of giving the benefit was less than the value to the employee.

If we tried to switch to single payer at the federal level, we would need to convince the large chunk of people with employer health insurance that they would not be big losers. Remember the huge outroar against the Cadillac tax? That tax was designed to remove the tax deduction for the excess cost of very generous plans. The first step for single payer would be to eliminate the deduction completely. Remember, you can keep your plan - not in a shift to single payer. Note, you COULD keep your doctor.

Companies would have reasons to do something in their compensation packages to keep them competitive enough.

At the state level, you have to create a very complex plan that credits people who have insurance from an employer or former employer. I know that the VT plan that did not work dealt with this. The plan also had to work with the various federal programs, ACA, Medicaid etc - so some funding came from that.

The simple fact is that if they were working from a blank canvas, it would be much easier and I doubt anyone would design what we have.

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Response to karynnj (Reply #123)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:23 AM

127. Employer health insurance is a stranglehold that the corporations use to retain you

Keep you from whistleblowing, and turn you into a wage slave. Single payer fixes that

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #127)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:58 AM

134. It is more complicated than that - unions fought for those employer plans

My dad's union job in the 1950s/1960s provided the healthcare insurance that allowed our family, with 9 kids, to get medical, dental and vision insurance. I can not imagine how much tougher life would have been without that - even though none of us had any serious medical problems. Years ago, the two things that labor unions took the most credit for were getting these benefits AND getting a standard 40 hour week with overtime beyond that.

In hindsight, I guess the unions should have instead lobbied the government to provide healthcare as all other industrial countries now do rather than tying healthcare and employment. However, that is not what happened. The government agreed to count insurance costs of companies as costs and companies and unions found that they could get a higher valued compensation package for the same cost to the company if it included insurance than if it was purely wages. The cost to the government was the business tax money lost because the insurance was a business expense. I am sure at the time it seemed to be a win/win. In the glossy brochures of the late 1950s/early 1960s, companies were good for the community caring about the quality of life of their employees.

However, if you wanted to leave a corporate job to start a small business or consult or retire early, loss of that insurance was a very big hurdle - especially if you had any pre-existing conditions.

One thing that many help to push the country to single payer is that the corporations were greedy enough to restrict benefits. This means that a much smaller percent of people over time have employer benefits and what many have is far less generous. In addition, companies in recent decades have given insurance to an ever decreasing percent of the population. Some companies hired people as "independent contractors", which meant that they not only did not provide benefits - they avoided the FICA taxes. Others purposely set a criterion that only full time employees got benefits -- and then hired almost all their employees as part time.

There should be a tipping point where not just a majority of people are for single payer, but an overwhelming majority.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:06 PM

66. anyone further to the left

than DLC / Third Way / New Democrats / or whatever they are calling themselves now.

what they would call an actual commie I have no idea

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Response to shanny (Reply #66)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:40 PM

68. Believe the old term would have been Rockefeller Republican

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Response to dembotoz (Reply #68)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:57 PM

72. that sounds about right

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Response to shanny (Reply #66)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 09:54 PM

70. Yep, that's what I was thinking. n/t

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Response to shanny (Reply #66)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:07 AM

98. In their minds, yes.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 10:15 PM

73. Apparently, anyone who questions anything the party leadership has ever done

I agree that there shouldn't be harsh rhetoric used, and no one should be spoken of disrespectfully, but it shouldn't be anathema simply so suggest new ideas and different strategies.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #73)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:17 PM

77. Well understood.

It is obvious that 2016 is still far from over. If the current strategy is not working, it makes no sense to do more of the same.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #73)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:37 AM

100. Yes

And personally I question the motives of those who demand nothing is ever questioned. Why would people be so insistent on continuing failing strategies? Who would do that? Certainly not people who want to win.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 10:22 PM

75. There is no left in the US

They were systematically arrested, deported, and blacklisted, from the 1910s through the 1950s. Universities were purged so that Americans would not be exposed to leftist ideologies like Marxism.

We've seen self-interest for the privileged and disregard, even contempt, for the poor and marginalized proclaimed as leftist. We see proposals addressing systemic inequality savaged in lieu of those directed toward the upper-middle class. We see people earning 2-6 times the US median income and the 0.3-0.1% of global incomes claim they are oppressed, all while expressing resentment that any politicians or political party seek to represent the poor and marginalized. Leftism, in such a political ethos, means "me" and what serves "my" interests, with a willful determination to ignore the concerns of others. There is no ideological fulcrum or sense of responsibility toward the nation's most vulnerable citizens; in fact we are more likely to see resentment of them.

We see a rise of nationalism, but that is not leftism.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #75)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:20 PM

79. The politics of anger and resentment?

In the US, there is a far right and a center/moderate right.

And there are vanity candidacies, such as those of Nader, Stein, and Johnson. The candidates show no interest in building any organization or any infrastructure at a local level to support a run for national office.

And when both major parties support capitalism as the only viable philosophy, individual rights must always be subordinated to profits.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #79)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:50 PM

83. And even when opposition arises

It doesn't critique capital but rather seeks to regain the halcyon days of US empire and the benefits it reaped for the white middle class.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #83)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:10 AM

92. Look, I agree with some of what you've said there.

In fact, your last two posts sound like an argument for a candidate to the left of Bernie.

I'm not following how you got from those to supporting who you did support-especially with the foreign policy perspective that person has.

And I think you and I agree mostly when it comes to the actual issues.


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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #92)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:46 AM

104. And you're back to fighting the primaries.

Just stop already. No one cares that you are never gonna get it.

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Response to MrsCoffee (Reply #104)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:09 AM

158. I'm not. I'm about the future.

It's nor fighting or refighting the primaries simply to say something non-hostile about Bernie.

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Response to MrsCoffee (Reply #104)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:14 AM

159. The message of the primaries was simply that Bernie as a candidate was rejected.

If his ideas had been rejected, you wouldn't have seen half of them end up in the platform.

The primaries were not a rejection of everything to the left of HRC.

No one is obligated to stop fighting for the ideas just to be welcome in this party.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #83)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:40 AM

129. A longing for an imagined past?

And a tiny middle class that. like the rich, depended on a huge working class.

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #81)

Sun Sep 10, 2017, 11:27 PM

82. Position on NK

http://www.workers.org/2017/08/14/self-defense-and-the-dprk/

Home » Global » Self-defense and the DPRK
Self-defense and the DPRK
By Editor posted on August 14, 2017
We live in a world where there are oppressors and there are the oppressed.

Inevitably, those who are oppressed and exploited will rise up and fight for liberation, will try to get the boot of their oppressor off their backs.

Right now the small country of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is trying to keep from being crushed by the immense force deployed by U.S. “capitalist democracy.”

What should we, who live in this most powerful imperialist country in the world, do when the DPRK decides it needs a nuclear deterrent to keep the U.S. from trying to overthrow its government?

Because that’s what the world has seen the Pentagon do to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and is still trying to do to Syria.

Some governments as well as peace groups are calling on the U.S. to step back from its threats to attack the DPRK. But they are also saying the north Koreans should “freeze” their nuclear weapons program.

If the DPRK were to agree, would they guarantee its safety? What if the U.S. attacked anyway? What would they say — “Sorry”?

War is very, very real to the Koreans. They don’t need to be lectured about its horrors. Some 5 million died during the Korean War, most at the hands of U.S. forces.

It has taken them years to rebuild their country, not only because of all the devastation but also because of continued efforts by the U.S. imperialists to ruin their economy through sanctions and other measures.

It is the right of oppressed people to choose the form of their struggle. As the Black Panthers put it, they have the right to resist “by any means necessary.” It is up to the oppressed to decide what tactic is best suited to their conditions. Those who come from the oppressor nation must not dictate how it should be done.

And the same is true on the international arena. If the people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have decided that the only way they’ll be safe from another U.S. attack is to have a nuclear deterrent, the best thing we in the U.S. can do is try to make sure that such an attack by the U.S. never happens.

Those of us who live “in the belly of the beast” cannot put conditions on those living in countries oppressed by imperialism. Our job is to defend their right to liberate themselves.

We need to explain to our fellow workers how U.S. foreign policy, including the war machine, is crafted to set up the superexploitation of workers in other countries. The billionaires who run Washington, including Trump and his cronies, can then reap untold profits from war industries and by cutting wages to the bone for workers here.

We need to explain how class oppression, where the bosses exploit workers and small farmers across the world, is interlinked with national oppression under U.S. imperialism. Racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia — all are ideological tools used to justify the brutal subjugation and robbery of whole peoples. This is true of the oppression of people of color inside the United States as well as whole nations abroad.

Workers have a way to fight back. It’s called solidarity. We can rid the world of oppression and exploitation, but only if we realize our own strength by rejecting every form of bigotry and uniting with all those fighting for liberation from capitalism.

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #82)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:50 AM

105. What a bunch of pretentious bullshit and rewriting of history.

1.
NK does not need nukes to fend off the US. NK needs nukes to fend off EVERYBODY and stay an isolated outcast forever. They WANT to be isolated pariahs.
Why?
The answer is very simple: What would happen to NK if the North Koreans were able to watch foreign TV, read foreign books, exchange ideas without censorship... They would get ideas.
Unbecoming ideas like that it should be the people who pick the ruler of the DPRK.
Unbecoming ideas like how socialism is not meant to enrich the aristocracy of the Kim-dynasty.

Kim Jong Un needs to stay in power, because he knows damn well what happens to socialist dicators who get overthrown by their own people:
The libyan dictator Gaddafi was beaten to death by a mob. By his own people.
The romanian dictator Ceasescu was unceremoniously lead into a backyard and shot. By his own people.


2.
Please stop spreading the anti-american bullshit that the US somehow destroyed Yugoslavia. The yugoslavian civil war of the 1990s was the finale of a complex ethnic conflict that began in WWII. The Serbs commited genocide and ethnic cleansing and NATO bombed the shit out of them to stop them from killing civilians. Yugoslavia was broken up into smaller countries to prevent the ethnicities from going to war against each other again.
Read a FUCKING history-book.


3.
Why would the US attack North Korea?
I have seen the warning over and over again that the US somehow wants to attack North Korea, but how? And why? Why would the US give a fuck about a tiny, worthless, impoverished country? And risk angering China AND Russia in the process, as both border on North Korea.


4.
Counter-question: If the US and everybody else were okay with NK having nukes, what guarantee will they have that NK will not use them?
Is NK willing to sign international treaties that regulate the proliferation of nukes?


5.
The country with no free press, no democracy and regular imprisonment of political dissenters is fighting against "oppression". Just wonderful. Whatever pills you are taking right now, I want some.


6.
The people of NK decide jack shit. Are you really so delusional to believe that a person's vote or opinion is actually worth ANYTHING in socialism? And especially in a socialist dictatorship?
Here's an example of real-life socialism:
Here's how "democratic elections" in the socialist German Democratic Republic worked:
* There were a bunch of parties... and it was written in the constitution how many seats each party gets in parliament.
* On election-day, you got a ballot to decide WHO moves into parliament. If you didn't make a cross and handed in an empty ballot, that counted as a "Yes to all of these".

Imagine that it's written in the US Constitution that the Republicans get 60% of the seats in the Senate and 51% of the seats in the House. And on election-day you have the grave responsibility of selecting which Republican you want to rule you. That's how democracy in socialism works.

Don't come with the bullshit that "the people" of North Korea decide anything.

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Response to Not Ruth (Reply #81)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:01 AM

85. What I meant by that

Is not that no Marxists exist within the US, but that there is no sizable leftist movement. Anarchists and communists were purged from unions decades ago and have never returned. Much of what we see proclaimed as leftism is restorationist, a desire to turn the clock back to a time of greater inequality.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:06 AM

87. I would think any group that wants to eventually replace capitalism with some other system.

But even that is pretty broad and would include everything from some social democrats to left-wing anarchists and Marxist-Leninists.

EDIT: I should add that by "some other system" I mean some type of system that purports to be more egalitarian than capitalism. I don't want to confuse the hard left with the hard right which also includes some people who want to replace capitalism with something else, like some kind of neo-feudalism for example.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 02:59 AM

91. A hard left is what happens when you drive down

Lombard Street...in San Francisco.

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Response to yuiyoshida (Reply #91)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:56 AM

131. Some humor was definitely needed.

Now I am dizzy.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 06:17 AM

99. Hard left (hard right) is the same as Alt left...(alternative lie)

which is something we should ask Trump about. The ish that come out of his mouth. They make-up stuff to mean the total opposite of what they're calling themselves, I guess.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 07:31 AM

109. a construct of the neo-nazis . . . n/t

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 08:22 AM

114. The hard left shuts down dissenting opinions and debate.

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Response to grossproffit (Reply #114)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:57 AM

132. Where does this happen?

Center right political thought dominates in the corporate media and in debates.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #132)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 01:58 PM

145. College campuses, universities.

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Response to grossproffit (Reply #145)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 03:28 PM

150. Provide proof.

I see this meme pushed but proof is lacking.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #150)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 04:11 PM

151. Rose City Antifa FAQ

http://rosecityantifa.org/faq/

Doesn’t stopping fascists from speaking make you just as bad as them?

Failing to stop fascists from speaking - that is, giving them the opportunity to organize to impose their agenda on the rest of us - makes you as bad as them. If you care about freedom, don’t stand idly by while people mobilize to take it away​




Free speech means protecting everyone’s right to speak, including people you don’t agree with. How would you like it if you had an unpopular opinion and other people were trying to silence you? Isn't that censorship?

The First Amendment and related free speech laws protect citizens from state interference, not from criticism by the public. We point this out not because we care to validate a law-and-order analysis, but because it is a popular argument based on erroneous assumptions. Clearly, we do not have a powerful state apparatus at our disposal (we cannot imprison or fine our opponents for example) therefore the concepts of "censorship" and "free speech rights" are not in any reasonable way applicable. Moreover, our organization has always been clear that we do not call for any sort of government intervention regarding hateful speech. We aim to address issues of racist and extreme-Right organizing within communities, not to trust or engage the courts, or to ask for government action. We oppose calls to fight fascist movements through increases of state power, as this firstly treats the state as an allegedly neutral tool and conceals institutional racism. Furthermore, increases in state investigative and prosecutorial power against alleged “extremism” can facilitate crackdowns on protest and social change movements in general, which we oppose.

Venues, groups, and individuals make decisions about who they are going to give a platform to, who they are willing to organize with, and what ideas they are going to promote. Obviously, free speech does not mean venues have no choice but to book fascist bands, that every radical space is required to host white supremacist speakers, or that every group is obligated to allow bigoted members to join. If an organization or individual opts to align with fascism, they should be held accountable for that decision. Those that knowingly provide a platform or organizing space for fascists are not simply neutral conduits, hapless victims, or innocent bystanders. They have agency.

This is not a thought experiment or abstract debate. Actions follow ideas. We oppose fascists because of what they do, not what they say. We’re not opposed to free speech; we’re opposed to enacting an agenda of hate and terror. We target individuals and groups that are organizing along fascist lines. Their public events don’t exist to benignly express ideas, but to build the power they need to enforce their vicious world view.

The government and police have never protected everyone’s free speech equally, and never will; they systematically repress views and actions that challenge existing power inequalities. They spend hundreds of thousands of public dollars on riot police and helicopters to defend a KKK rally, but for a radical demonstration the same police will be there to stop it, not to protect it; just look at the evictions of the Occupy encampments, attacks on Earth First! actions, or countless other examples. Of course anarchists don’t like being silenced by the state, but we don’t want the state to define and manage our freedom, either. The First Amendment covers what laws Congress shall or shall not enact; it’s up to us to determine what we need to do to defend ourselves. Unlike the ACLU, whose supposed defense of “freedom” leads them to support the KKK and neo-Nazis, we support self-defense and self-determination above all. What’s the purpose of free speech, if not to foster a world free from oppression? Fascists oppose this vision; thus we oppose fascism by any means necessary.​

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 10:08 AM

124. Uncompromising leftists?

This can be good sometimes, but some would rather burn it all down than work with someone who they only agree with on 95% of the issues. Those are who I think of when I hear that term.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:10 AM

125. It all depends on where you stand politically right now.

Those to the left of your position are the "hard left." For teabaggers, it's everyone who is not them. For Steinheads and anarchists, it's a concept with no definition.

There is no objective definition of what is the "hard left."

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #125)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:58 AM

133. Agreed. So when one is accused of being hard left,

the accuser is revealing their own position.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:19 AM

126. (raises hand) oh! oh! Mister Kott-ah!!

The hard left is the group that the Democratic Party trying its damnedest to alienate, while continuing to take their votes for granted.

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #126)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:59 AM

135. Ouch!!!!

This is also said to apply to working voters as well.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #135)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:04 PM

137. Also the non-religious.

Almost a fifth of the population, yet completely ignored while every candidate tries to be more pious and devout than the last.

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #137)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:18 PM

141. Yes, the National Day of Prayer, the endless invocations,

the lapel pins, all to prove who is the most pious.

And I am a Christian, but I do not wish to live in a theocracy.

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Response to MindPilot (Reply #126)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:15 PM

140. Well said!

Their attitude seems to be--where else are they gonna go?

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 11:38 AM

128. Utopian dreamers

Of which Im one.

The hard left sees a world where life liberty and the pursuit of happiness truly means something.

20 hour work weeks equitable pay a living wage public utilities. Everybody has a home , food, healthcare, all basic nessecities of life taken care of so the individual may enlighten and educate themselves and pursue the dreams of their soul through love and an undying commitment to nonviolence.

Truly freeing people from the bonds of mere survival and barely getting by. Viewing every living soul as equal with a right to follow the destiny of their chosing so long as they cause no harm.

Its the belief that raising up the lowest the poorest the weakest among us raises us all up and that those who have the most and benefit the most from the hard work of others should give back the most and make sure every soul is given a equal chance to have a happy and fulfilled life without working to death, exploiting others, or compromising their values or morals just to succeed

Its the eradication of hate, the ending of war, the dismantling of the war machine and declaring peace.


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Response to WinstonSmith00 (Reply #128)

Mon Sep 11, 2017, 12:00 PM

136. Welcome dreamer.

Many here would indeed call you a dreamer, but at one point a 40 hour work week was also a dream for workers.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:41 AM

153. whatever it is, Ted Cruz likes it on Twitter!

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 02:42 AM

154. Anthony Weiner nt

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Response to Abu Pepe (Reply #154)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:35 AM

163. A funny answer.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:14 AM

155. I would guess most people here think of me as hard left.

Although my friends on the true hard left would consider me way too far right.

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Response to DemocraticWing (Reply #155)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:36 AM

164. All a matter of perspective?

Understood.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 08:25 AM

162. A nonexistent faction to prop up the false equivalency narrative. n/t

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Response to alarimer (Reply #162)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 10:38 AM

165. Perhaps non-viable, or non-influential, rather than non-existent.

At most demonstrations one can encounter individuals from various parties with the name Marxist somewhere in the title. Generally they are passing out papers or pamphlets.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #162)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:40 PM

177. This poster and their friends do not exist?

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:54 PM

179. A lefty

A lefty with a hard on.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 03:55 PM

181. I can't be the only one who thought "romantically aroused liberal"

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Response to grantcart (Reply #181)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 05:09 PM

182. Probably not,

but you are the one who mentioned it.

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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Tue Sep 12, 2017, 08:22 PM

187. "Hard left" is a term from British Labour from the 1980's

the "hard left" were socialists (and more especially the Trotskyite 'Militant Tendency'); the "hard" was in contrast to the "soft left" of social democrats. There is no "hard left" in American politcs at the national level. There never really has been.

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