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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 08:49 PM
Number of posts: 56,740

Journal Archives

American Revolution (Phase Two)

“When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
-- Declaration of Independence; July 4, 1776.

At the time of the American revolution, about a third of the colonists supported the Patriots, another third were Loyalists, and the remaining third were neutral. I find myself thinking of this today, while reviewing the outcome of yesterday’s primaries. Especially so, when I read comments by my good friends who support Hillary Clinton, who are convinced that we -- the Sanders revolutionaries -- should recognize that in several primaries, Bernie is “only” getting a third of the Democratic votes.

Are we ready to give up? More, are we prepared to throw in with the Clinton campaign? The answer, of course, is, “No. Not even close.”

It’s not that we disagree with their position that, among the “royal families” that rule this country, Hillary Clinton is among the nicest individuals. Hillary doesn’t advocate the brutal treatment of US citizens, in the manner of, say, Donald Trump. Her policies of extreme violence are specifically aimed at foreign people, who refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of the US ruling class.

Other Clinton supporters point out the significance of electing the first female president. This is, for me, the only possible reason to consider supporting Hillary at this time. But when I think back on Margaret Thatcher, the “Iron Lady” of England, I am confronted with the harsh reality that all politicians must be evaluated as individuals, rather than by genitalia-identification. I can say that not a single one of my relatives from the Old Sod found a single advantage under Thatcher’s rule. Quite the opposite.

All credit goes to the Clinton campaign on their victories thus far. Still, we expected them to do better in the southeast/ bible belt. We’ve been fighting on their territory, their home turf. And, truth be told, our side has done much better than anticipated. So much so, that now we are in a much better strategic position -- heading into the stretch leading up to the Democratic National Convention -- than even I had hoped for.

So, no ….we aren’t tired, discouraged, or injured in any way what so ever. No, we are not even thinking of quitting, and falling in behind the establishment candidate. Not even close.

We understand that, due to the unexpected strength of Bernie Sanders’s campaign, something that no Team Clinton supporter anticipated, that we are now confronted not only by the establishment of our own political party, but by the full force of the machine that was intent upon making “Bush vs. Clinton” the main event in 2016. That isn’t going to happen, now, is it?

The Sanders revolution is in the tradition of the patriots in the Revolutionary War. Our struggle is in the spirit of that Declaration of Independence. We really do not identify our friends who are Loyalists to the establishment’s crown as our “enemies.” You are good and sincere people ….but you are confused. You are frightened, and seek the comfort and security that the establishment promises to those who behave as prescribed by the crown.

Our side is only warming up for battle.

H2O Man

Road Rage (Update)

I would like to give an up-date on the “road rage” case, that I have spoken about on DU”GD over the past year and a half. It’s a case where many, many forum members have provided much-appreciated support to my family …..including writing, texting,and calling both the District Attorney and County Judge to demand that the “accused” murderer not be granted bail. We not only far surpassed the county’s previous record for public imput, but the DU community set the bar extremely high.

For those newer DU community members who are unfamiliar with the case, it began on October 27, 2014. My cousin was a passenger in his son’s vehicle. After having breakfast in a local diner, they were on their way to run some errands. Another vehicle started tail-gating them; as it turned out, the driver of that vehicle was enraged that my cousin’s son was driving at 53 mph on a curve on the highway. The young man pulled over to let the fellow go by, and within a minute, that driver would get out and shoot my cousin.

His son got out to try to save his father’s life. Thus, the gunman shot him, fatally. He then attempted to put a bullet into the back of my cousin’s head, but the gun miss-fired. My cousin was able to write the guy’s license plate number down, in the dirt on their back window. He then held his son in his arms, while the young man bled to death.

A half-mile up the road, the gunman threw his pistol towards the river. The following day, the NYS Police were able to recover it from the thick under-brush. The gunman next stopped at a convenience store for a 12-pack, and was on his way. Because he was an off-duty law enforcement officer, he had a scanner in his vehicle. When he learned the police were looking for his vehicle, he decided to go to the nearest State Police headquarters.

There, he told a story -- which the police taped -- in which he claimed the pair had been dogging him, threatening his life, for several days. Thus, he tail-gated them, so he could act in self-defense. The investigators knew that he was lying, and arrested him.

He had been a NYC police officer for 20 years, before being forced to retire. His personal files are sealed. He first became a campus security officer at a local college; he was fired from that position, for bullying behaviors. He then became a part-time guard at the county jail where he currently resides. He also had had at least four similar incidents, three for road rage, in which he pulled out his weapon. (In one, he shot in the direction of teens on a neighboring property, as their noise disturbed him.)

In my family system, my cousin is my brother. My children know him as their uncle. His children know me as their uncle. His parents -- my aunt and uncle -- are extremely close to my children, as are his three sisters. My aunt and uncle are in their mid- to late 80’s. For us, this is not the first time we’ve had a close relative murdered. My aunt and my mother’s brother was murdered in the late 1960’s, after winning a hand of cards in a local bar. Fifteen years later, his oldest son was brutally murdered, over an argument about a ten dollar bag of pot. In neither of those cases was an arrest ever made.

Some of our family were afraid that this thug would skate, because of his law enforcement background. In many areas of the US, I think he would have. But the State Troopers and BCI Investigators here are honest men and women. They find this thug to be repulsive, and they understand how this type of case damages the reputation of police. They have taken the case very seriously, and we couldn’t ask for more on their part.

In some up-dated news, the thug’s wife filed for divorce soon after he was jailed for murder. One of my associates had a casual friendship with the wife. She said her husband was an abusive, violent, controlling thug. She had not dared to leave him, until he was behind bars.

Yesterday, the thug and his attorney informed the Court that he does not want a jury to hear his trial. Previously, he had expressed confidence that he could convince any jury that he had acted in self-defense. I suppose his attorney has been able to break through this guy’s delusional self-confidence.

Personally, I wish he had the decency to simply plead guilty. But he has no decency. The trial, which is scheduled to begin next month, will end one chapter of this case. It cannot, of course, bring about closure. For literally every day, my family feels the loss of a good young man, and for no reason other than this rabid jackass was “angry.”

Here are a couple of links to today’s newspaper reports:



I will, of course, be providing daily reports after court ends.

H2O Man

A Super Tuesday

Tuesday, March 15, is an important 24-hours in the presidential primary contests. Five states are in play: Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, and Missouri. Both Democrats and republicans will be voting. I hope that tomorrow is a good day for the Democratic Party, with an extremely large voter turn-out.

The contest for our party’s nomination is, no matter who you favor, one of the most intense that we will witness in our life-times. It is not what anyone anticipated a year ago. We all remember the intensity of the 2008 Democratic primary, which eventually led to Barack Obama’s historic presidency. And many of us can recall other primaries and conventions being contested fervently. But none were as important to the future of life in the United States as 2016’s.

Of particular concern to me -- although it has to do with the republican primaries -- is the ever-increasing violence on the part of Donald Trump’s supporters. It is an undeniable fact that the more unhinged of his following believe that his campaign has granted them a license to be violent. Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone in the DU community. You might be supporting Bernie Sanders, or you might be supporting Hillary Clinton -- it makes no difference -- you’ve seen this coming.

When Trump feigns being a tough guy on stage, and says that he’ll pay the legal fees for anyone charged with “roughing-up” a protester, there’s really only one outcome. That doesn’t mean 100% of the audience is going to engage in an orgy of violence. But it does mean that we are coming closer to it. Crowd psychology comes into play.

I remember that John Lennon, during the last tour with The Beatles, had a frightening insight while on stage. When he bend one knee, and dipped his guitar in one direction, the crowd reacted; if he looked in another direction while singing, another section of the crowd reacted. He recognized that it wasn’t a group of individuals any more: the crowd was an organism, and entity. And, despite some performers’ gimmicks, he knew The Beatles no longer had any control over the crowd. Indeed, the fact they needed security, to both get on and off the stage, reinforced his understanding that crowds are not easily controlled.

A few years later, of course, Jim Morrison of The Doors conducted fascinating “experiments” with crowds of people who, as individuals, were laid-back, peaceful people. But, as a crowd, they became anything but the vision of “hippies.”

In my own experience, I’ve studied two types of crowds. The first was those who attended boxing matches, both amateur and professional. I’ve seen people behave in totally out-of-control ways, that they would never do as individuals. In fact, after my 329th bout, which was my last, the father of the fellow that I had just easily defeated jumped into the ring, and challenged me to fight him. I was polite, but very firm, in communicating to him as an individual that he didn’t want to go there.

The other example involves public meetings, where people are tense, because important social-economic-political issues are being debated. I still keep both sections of a board that a gentleman broke by hitting me over the head with it. One half includes a piece of an American flag decoration that he had applied to the board, to identify -- in his mind -- what “team” he was on. In recent years, at public hearings about fracking, six people have -- in front of plenty of witnesses -- threatened (or promised) to kill me. (Note: this does not bother me, as I believe that if anyone was serious, he would not warn me.)

When an associate and I were handing out an epidemiological study’s survey, going door-to-door in an upstate New York community, my partner was shocked at the aggressive behavior of several people in an upper-middle class neighborhood. He wanted to get his rifle, quite literally, and stand guard while I continued going door-to-door. He was that intimidated. (Obviously, I would not call upon this associate for further public work. More, he was not the only person to react that way.)

The amount of fear plus hatred that Trump campaign on convinces these gadflies that they have the right and responsibility to “destroy the enemy.” And you know that they hate both Hillary and Bernie. In fact, they hate you as much as they hate me. They have identified you as their enemy, and a threat to their family’s security ….simply because you have decided to vote for a specific candidate, and/or feel strongly about a specific candidate.

We need a huge voter turn-out tomorrow. I don not care if you are supporting Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders …..what is important as that if you live in one of those five states, get out there and make your voice be heard. For in doing so, you are not only supporting one candidate, you are saying “No!” to an aggressive, mutant form of cancer growing within our society. And that is huge. It is essential for our effort to revive our constitutional democracy.

Thank you.

H2O Man

Primary Community Exercise

“Intolerance betrays want of faith in one’s cause.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi

“If we shatter the chains of egotism, and melt into the ocean of humanity, we share its dignity. To feel that we are something apart is to set up a barrier ….. A drop in the ocean partakes of the greatness of its parent, although it is unconscious of it. But it dries up as soon as it enters upon an existence independent of the ocean.”
-- Mahatma Gandhi

Within every community -- from a university campus, to a rural village, to a big city -- there are groups of people who are going to vote for either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in their state’s presidential primary. Now, there are also people who will be supporting a republican, or some other candidate. And people who don’t vote. But today, I’d like to focus on the groups supporting Democratic candidates.

These two groups are largely self-identifying members of the Democratic Party. So that’s another layer of social identity, and one that we generally share. And it allows us, in the age of the internet, to participate within some newly-accessible communities. A good example of that, for me and many others, is the Democratic Underground.

The DU community is of value for several reasons. It can serve as a resource for information, including documented information. One can sharpen their debating skills here, if that’s their thing. You can make new friends, and some really good friends. And, at times, it offers much-needed support.

In October, 2014, an off-duty law enforcement officer, in an unprovoked fit of “road rage,” shot my cousin and his son. My cousin was seriously injured, and endured several surgeries. His son bled to death in his arms, in a gravel parking lot. People here offered me support, and more: as pre-trial hearings approached, this community made more calls, e-mails, and sent letters to both the DA and County Judge. It set a new record for contacts from the community in our county, by more than doubling the old record.

Next month, the trial begins. And I’ll do a daily report on it, on DU:GD. And that’s to thank everyone who helped my family and I. It was the DU community that did so, not the supporters of one candidate, etc.

So, I’m trying to think of something that might be interesting, even of potential value, that includes everyone, without any hostility towards other community members, or either of the candidates and their supporters. It still doesn’t mean everyone likes one another. But that, as community members, we all value some things.

Thus, I hope people will consider answering a few questions: name an issue that you find especially important; tell how you became interested or involved in this issue; and then tell us how you think your candidate might best deal with that issue. Everyone should be able to participate, and contribute something of value, without any need to insult anyone else.

An issue that I am concerned with is the environment. My interest in these issue can be traced, in large part, to some outstanding teachers that I had in grade school through college. I believe that among the many actions that Bernie Sanders will take to help protect the living environment, will be to include traditional Native American leaders in the national conversation. I am confident that the non-Indian public, in electing Sanders, has reached a point where the teachings of the Elders -- the Faith-Keepers, the Wisdom-Keepers, the Fire-Keepers, and the Clan Mothers -- has already started taking root. I think that we can again become a constitutional democracy.

H2O Man

Cardboard Cut-Outs

I just read an OP/thread by our good friend cyber, regarding “plants” at the Trump rally. Here is the link to this, which should be read and fully appreciated:


I’d like to talk about this, without appearing to attempt to hi-jack an OP/thread. But I think this is something that is important for both Hillary and Bernie supporters, in the context of our Democratic primary. For while we are engaged in a “family fight” for our party’s nomination, we’ve reached the point where our real enemies are attempting to destroy either of our candidates’ chances of winning in November.

Now bear with me here. Even those Clinton supporters who believe that I am prone to investing in “conspiracy theories” need to listen with an open mind. For this is reality, and well-documented. And each one of our candidates is already the target of powerful parts of the republican party, and one will continue to be, up until Election Day, and their first term in office.

In recent days, republican candidate Donald Trump took some heat for statements at rallies, when he encouraged aggressive behaviors aimed at protesters. Hence, at today’s rally, he was sure to request the protesters were not injured as they were taken out. He then spoke about pressing legal charges against them. Later reports have suggested that some of the protesters were republican plants.

Before we get to what actually took place, and who benefited, I would suggested that anyone interested in the infiltration and disruption of campaigns and campaign events in recent political history, read The Senate Watergate Report. It’s not new. Some people have made careers of doing this type of thing. Still others pursue them from the shadows ….

Trump got some benefit from today’s events. His plan was to have a jolly rally, where he could go on record as saying not to hurt protesters, and to rely upon law enforcement. But it was what followed ….as hoped for by the protesters, and those who hired some of the protesters …..that harms Donald Trump’s campaign, especially if it goes into the general election.

Some may disagree with me on this, but I suspect that Mr. Trump doesn’t react well to people’s challenging his “authority.” In Donald’s delusional thought system, he is The Alpha Dog. So the protesters’ challenges to his rally were able to upset him in a relatively short time.

What I believe upset him the most was the recognition that he can no longer control the crowds that surround him, and attend his rallies. “Crowd behavior” is something that he has never really been confronted with before. He is plenty intelligent enough to understand that he can’t exercise the level of authoritarian control as in his comfort zone.

Now, where were the protesters from? Possibilities include: Sanders-supporters; Clinton supporters; MoveOn; free-agents/ free-thinkers; people opposed to racism; and supporters of other republican candidates. The truth is that there was at least one person there from each group; and several people there from one of those groups. Guess which one?

So who is responsible for having the republican plants there, you ask? Great question! So glad that you asked. Let’s consider the possibilities: Ted Cruz & Co? Marco Rubio’s team? Maybe John Kasich’s troops? No. Even if they had the resources, they didn’t have the authority at this time.

In early 2016, the republican elders began meeting to try to identify how to have one of their boys win the nomination. The Bush family’s council of wise men had been discredited -- not only by Junior’s mis-administration -- but especially in light of Jeb’s tragic campaign. Others have equal, or greater, influence.

The elders “okayed” a coordinated approach, which they continue to up-date. They tell the three candidates what they can and cannot do. Hence, we see Rubio advise voters to go for Kasich in Ohio, as the best way to stop Trump. And they also have outsourced the disruption of Trump’s campaigns to reliable outfits.

As the disruption unfolds, people are watching it, unaware of the many levels upon which it is unfolding.

Be aware of this type of thing. It will be happening on a much higher frequency, between now and summer.

Make sense?

H2O Man

Lamh Foisneach Abu!

“Whatever is morally necessary must be made politically possible.”
-- Senator Eugene McCarthy

One of the most important points that I’ve made on DU:GDP is the fact that a political insurgency measures its progress and success in very distinct terms from a political campaign. Hence, the supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are watching the same results in their primary and caucus contests, and interpreting them in very different ways. These differences -- which are rooted in very different values -- can make it hard to engage in meaningful discussions.

A political campaign is based solely upon the interpretation of numbers. In terms of a presidential primary, it counts delegates; in a presidential general election, it looks for a winning combination of states to reach the winning number of delegates. This should not be mistaken for a slight upon that process, for the ability to win these contests is both an art and a science. When we consider the examples of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama, we can see that the bar has been set very high.

An insurgency also includes numbers. This is true in both types of political insurgencies in presidential races. Let’s consider the examples provided by Jesse Jackson’s two runs in the Democratic Party’s primaries. In 1984, Jesse ran a symbolic insurgent campaign. His goal was to highlight the large numbers of progressives in our party, so that the establishment candidates would feel pressured to reach out to them.

However, although Jesse would win over 20% of the popular vote, the establishment’s rules resulted in his having 9% of the delegates. This allowed Walter Mondale to largely take Jackson and his supporters for granted at the Democratic National Convention. Jesse did give an inspirational speech, but everything he spoke of was completely ignored during the fall campaign. Mondale thus lost an election that he could have, and should have, won.

Thus, in 1988, Jesse again entered the Democratic primaries. He again ran an insurgency campaign; the difference was that this time, it wasn’t merely symbolic. Jesse recognized that there was a possibility he could win the party’s nomination. And during the primaries, it became apparent that he actually might win.

There was a growing shift in the American public’s perception, which nourished the insurgency. Thus, the establishment candidates’ campaigns got together in private, to decide how to prevent a Jackson win. This was basically what the republican establishment has hoped to do, in regard to Donald Trump. Thus, it became a competition between Jesse’s Rainbow Coalition and the establishment’s candidate, Michael Dukakis.

When Dukakis got the nomination, he turned his back on Jackson and his supporters. The Democratic Party’s establishment was convinced that they could take progressives for granted, a foolish miscalculation. More, because Jesse had gotten support from some grass roots republicans, the Dukakis campaign believed they could invest the resources that should have been used to appeal to the Democratic Left, to instead try to gain republican support in the general election. As a result of establishment politics, our party lost in a humiliating defeat.

That same shift in public perception is taking place today. My good friend BigBearJohn has nailed it in a couple of OP/threads in the past day, most notably here:


In the past week, I have been encouraged to hear from family, friends, and associates who are expressing surprise by the very real changes they are seeing firsthand. There are common features, from what they see and hear at public meetings, at work, in diners, gas stations, and more. People are waking up to the realization that the very things which Bernie Sanders has been talking about are true. That the political and economic corruption that has damaged our democracy is harming the lives of them and their loved ones.

More, they are becoming consciously aware of the fact that they do have the power to help bring about meaningful change. And that the needed change cannot, and will not, come about by way of the establishment’s “business as usual” approach.

This is a historic movement. It is that “revolution in values” that Martin Luther King advocated in 1967-68. And it is taking place right before our very eyes. Indeed, I am confident that many of our friends who have sincerely supported Hillary Clinton are beginning to perceive it now, taking form behind the fog of establishment politics and media misinformation and disinformation.

Lamh foisneach abu!

H2O Man

The Lie

I’d like to comment briefly on Hillary Clinton’s description of Nancy Reagan. I found it troubling, for several reasons. The most obvious is that it was an outright lie, which was insulting to a lot of good people. People were suffering and dying during the Reagan era, and the sad fact is that neither Ronald nor Nancy cared in the least. It had to hurt the family members and friends who heard this outright lie today.

A second reason is because of something I noted in an OP on March 1:


I am convinced that the Clinton campaign has written off the progressives, both in the Democratic Party and Democratic Left. I believe that significant parts of the Clinton campaign are planning to get votes from conservative republicans, if Trump wins their primary.

Today’s incident fits that like a glove.

The Old Farm

“If the way which, as I have shown, leads hither seems very difficult, but it can nevertheless be found. It must indeed be difficult, since it is so seldom discovered. For if salvation lay ready at hand and could be discovered without great labor, how could it be possible that it remains neglected by so many people? But all noble things are as difficult as they are rare.”
-- Spinoza

Most people could agree that it is a difficult time in the United States. And that the world’s nations facing instabilities, often due to issues from outside their borders. That US citizens view today’s circumstances in very different ways -- hence, believing in very different “solutions” -- is evidenced by the support for a wide variety of presidential candidates.

Because this forum is directed at members of the Democratic Party and other liberals and progressives, we should be able to engage in civil conversations about important domestic and international affairs. That sounds simple, of course, but it is definitely a favorable environment, compared to speaking with republicans or members of the tea party.

One of the areas of discussion, in the context of DU:GDP, that seems sometimes difficult is “foreign affairs.” Even sincere attempts can end up polarized: “she’s got far more experience” vs. “she’s a war hawk.” It’s a topic that can easily generate emotional responses.

But it is an important issue, and I’m hoping that people who support each of the two Democratic candidates -- Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders -- will be interested enough to contribute their thoughts here. I am confident that we can do so, without resorting to insults or put-downs about either of the candidates, or any of their supporters.

My concerns with Hillary Clinton on international issues is, by no coincidence, related to the concerns that I had about Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Before he took the seat that Ms. Clinton would eventually take over, upon his retirement, in the Senate, Moynihan had an impressing career. Besides working as a university professor, Moynihan had served in both the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and as UN Ambassador under Ford.

If a politician’s previous experience was the most important qualification for becoming president, than Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the most qualified of anyone in recent times.

Moynihan was a neoconservative, despite the current misunderstanding of what that term implies. That common error in perception is the direct result of the republican neoconservatives associated with the Bush administrations. But the actual neoconservative movement is properly traced back to 1967. For an accurate, detailed history, please see chapter 35 (“Splinters”) of Taylor Branch’s “At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years” (Simon & Schuster; 2006).

A neoconservative is liberal on domestic issues and policy, but conservative on “national defense,” including endorsing an active role in the Middle East, that is based upon support for Israel. That description can -- and does -- fit many Democrats and republicans in Washington, DC.

As Moynihan lived nearby, I enjoyed a fair relationship with him for several years. However, the Native American support work I did went beyond the USA’s southern or northern borders. Add too that, I was also actively involved in the anti-war movement that formed largely as a result of Reagan’s policies. Hence, I remember one of the responses I got from Moynihan’s office, after I wrote to express my opposition to the US military aggression in Central America.

First, I got a letter in which “the Senator” spoke of his absolute support for President Reagan’s fight against communism. A few days later, I got Letter #2 …..which asked me to ignore the first note, as “the Senator” definitely is opposed to the Reagan policies in Central America. Of course, I took both letters with me the following day, when I visited the editor of Moynihan’s home town newspaper.

I didn’t hear from the Senator or his office for several years after that. It wasn’t until he read a news story, about a speech that I had helped prepare for one of Moynihan’s associates in DC, that there was any contact. The funny thing was that a woman who worked in his office had been close friends with me for decades. I liked and supported many of the projects Moynihan worked on. I simple disagreed with him on foreign policy.

Now, in many ways, Hillary reminds me of Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Not a total surprise, I suppose, as I was there when she launched her first Senate campaign from Moynihan’s farm (specifically, from the old two-room schoolhouse he used for his office). Hillary has many of those same qualities that made Moynihan one of the most important and influential politicians of our time. For that matter, not only of this era: both are important historical figures.

Yet, I disagree with the same general policies and positions with her, as with him. Both have been far too close, and too much an advocate for, the defense industry. It’s not that they should be strangers or enemies with the defense industry. Rather, they should have a more neutral position, that allows for objective judgments.

More, I strongly disagree with the neoconservative world view. Those with that outlook on the US role in the Middle East tend to be the same people who bring us violence in Central America. That relationship goes much deeper than simple the name of the Iran-Contra scandals.

I find the position that we should turn away teen-agers and children from war-torn nations such as Honduras to be politically, ethically, and morally repulsive. That is unacceptable. We need to re-evaluate many of our national policies. I do not believe that if citizens were really aware of the nature of our relationships and dealings around the globe, that they would approve. Or be okay with their tax dollars being spent this way. And it’s not just Central America, or just the Middle East. It’s a vicious system that benefit’s the elite 1%, allowing them to live an opulent life-style, with obscene wealth ….off the pain and suffering of innocent human beings.

I recognize that, especially compared to a Moynihan or a Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders does not have the international experience that they have had. But, I trust him. I respect that he is a highly-intelligent person, capable of grasping new things. More, he does not strike me as having a chip on his shoulder that might cause him to instigate fights. Nor does he seems captive to the defense industry, or prone to looking to military solutions to each and every problem.

I’m curious what others think about this general topic. I would appreciate serious responses.

H2O Man

The republican debate .....

I think Democrats should watch the republican debates -- such as tonight's on CNN -- in order to fully understand the nature of our opposition. While I do not subscribe to the tired and worn-out "the lesser of two evils" nonsense, what the republicans are chattering about is important. Yet if we lose the general election, we are in for an updated "dark age."

Thus, it should play a role in how we view the contest between Bernie and Hillary.

Are you watching the republican debate? If so, what do you think of it?

H2O Man


One of the most important issues for people to consider, when selecting a candidate to represent their party in any open contest, is “electability.” This holds true at all levels of government: is the person that you favor electable? Taking into account all factors, is it reasonable to believe that this individual has a good chance of winning?

There are, obviously, a number of factors that need to be considered. Among them is the “numbers” -- meaning, of the potential voters, how many are registered as Democrats, republicans, or independents? And, closely related, how many potential voters have participated in recent election contests? More, one should consider the potential impact of controversial issues, both in terms of previous elections, as well as the one currently being considered. Not every election involves controversial issues; of those that have, how has this impacted voter turnout in general? Among Democrats? Republicans? And independents?

In the context of presidential elections, those factors and figures become even more complicated. For, as we know, winning a presidential election requires a candidate to win in enough states to reach a specific mark. In theory, a candidate could lose the popular vote, and still win the presidency. (And, if the establishment insists, if the all-around loser is desired, the US Supreme Court and select him as the president, despite the election results.)

This brings us to another important factor: likeability. Just like in a civil law suit, a jury naturally tends to favor the likeable person, so it goes in elections. Indeed, in the past century, only one clearly un-likeable candidate was ever elected president. This, of course, was Richard Nixon. Not a single human being actually liked poor Richard -- he certainly didn’t like himself, and for good reason. He was a terrible human being. He was so un-likeable that, even if one does not believe in “God” or the concept of “hell,” you can still think that is where Nixon ended up. Let us pray that he has a good lawyer.

In both the 2008 and 2016 Democratic Party’s primary process, one candidate’s campaign has sought to portray their strongest rival as “un-electable.” That may or may not be a coincidence, the random outcome of a rolling of the cosmic dice. Or, perhaps it is a pattern. Either way, it does raise an important issue, even if an unintended way.

When Bernie Sanders first entered the primary contest, a lot of people believed it must be a noble act upon Bernie’s part. He must think he can “move Hillary to the left.” How decent of him to make a symbolic run ….a run that few would even notice, one that would soon be forgotten! But, of course, Bernie was unelectable.

Well, well, well. The tables have turned a bit. Certainly, a significant portion of Hillary’s campaign still sincerely believes this. I have no quarrel with the, although I know that they are wrong. It is a topic that remains valid for conversation here. For that is what the primary process is all about.

What I do not see happening -- either on DU:GDP or elsewhere in life -- are honest and open conversations about Hillary Clinton’s electability. Indeed, upon this forum, any mention of Hillary’s negatives are automatically met with, “You are repeating republican ‘talking points’ from the 1990’s.” And this highlights the dangers of taking short-cuts to rational thoughts. It ranks “high” among the shallowest thinking expressed on this forum at any time.

To try to characterize sincere progressive thinking as indistinct from rabid republican ideology is no more accurate than to claim Clinton’s supporters love Richard Nixon. There is no benefit to be accrued from such nonsense.

The simple truth is that Hillary Clinton has high “negatives.” Obviously, these include a significant number of republicans -- which is important only in the context of the general election. However, the numbers we are seeing definitely suggest that republicans are energized by the thought that she may be the Democratic Party’s nominee. While it is a factor, in and of itself, it isn’t what should determine our choices.

Far more importantly is that among independents and Democrats, she has very high negatives. And that is hugely important.

Several times, in the past few weeks, I have sought to discuss this with my friends on DU who support Hillary. In fact, more recently, I’ve asked for others -- including those who don’t know me well enough to either like or dislike me, as well as those who know me well enough to strongly dislike me -- about this very topic. It seems to be something that they consider -- for we have all seen posts saying that if we don’t vote for Hillary, we will be responsible for Donald Trump winning in November. (This, of course, suggests that they have discounted the possibility of Carly Fiorina re-entering the republican primary, and engaging in a historic populist revolution.)

Admittedly, it is my opinion that if Trump were to beat Clinton, it would be entirely due to her flaws as a candidate. Notice I was specific about “flaws as a candidate,” which is absolutely distinct from “flaws as a human being.” A flaw as a candidate does not, by definition, equal a personal flaw. For example, the fact that many republican voters foam at the mouth from the mere mention or her name doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. But it does mean that a lot of republicans who “hate” her -- actually, they hate the image of her that they project -- will be going to the polls in November to vote against her.

Many of those rabid republicans are sexists, surely a repulsive character trait. Yet, that does not mean that everyone who dislikes Hillary is a sexist pig ….no matter how loud and often some of Hillary’s supports claim it is.

The truth is that a lot of people do not like or trust Hillary. And the tactics of the candidate and her campaign are re-enforcing that image of her. The more that she avoids addressing it, while her campaign attempts to frame it as being solely the result of what Newt Gingrich said in 1994, the more the dislike and distrust grows. Thus, without any question, the current tactics of the candidate and her campaign are knee-capping any chance she has of being elected in November.

I recently asked a simple question: if Hillary is our party’s nominee, how would her supporters expect people like me to convince others to vote for her? I identified the make-up of the US Supreme Court as the one obvious tool for our use. I was hoping that her supporters would suggest others. Because one thing is for sure: it is hard to motivate people with the tired old “lesser of two evils” bit …..far more so when the candidate you back has such high negatives.

The likeability and trust factors would absolutely be important, if Hillary Clinton is our nominee. I think that really needs to be discussed, without insults.

H2O Man
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