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merrily's Journal
merrily's Journal
June 26, 2014

I was with you 100% until the last sentence. The Founders were plutocrats.

Who but plutocrats would have kept abolition of slavery out of the Constitution and restricted the vote to about 3% of the then population of the colonies, only white male who could afford to own land AND pay a poll tax?

They set up the electoral college to elect the President and Senators were elected by state legislatures--also made up of plutocrats, at least more plutocratic than others. State legislatures also got to vote on ratification of the Constitution. The people got to vote only for Reps, but the Senate got to vote on ambassadors, treaties, convictions in impeachment, etc., as well as the ability to kill things passed by the House.

We've been brainwashed all our lives to practically worship these people, most of whom were wealthy, especially the slaveowners, slaves being the single most valuable thing in the colonies. But, I'm over the brainwashing.

True, they could have overthrown the British, then set up another monarchy, if they wanted. Instead, they invented something that had never existed in human history. (They did want to make Washington "President for Life," but he refused--and that's close to another monarchy with a Congress, instead of a Parliament.)

I'll give them brilliance. Geniuses, yes, but they weren't egalitarians by any means. And they feared "the mob," which is why the Senate got more powers than the House.

June 26, 2014

"You can thank President Clinton...

You can thank President Clinton...

...for the Telecommunications Act of 1996 - which was one of the drivers behind the domination of right-wing talk radio today.

And NAFTA - a huge sell-out of the working person in this country, and I would propose one of the reasons for the shrinking middle class we're experiencing now.

And the current "Third Way Democrat" who used to talk like traditional Democrats but economically (and for some, foreign policy) are just as bad as the Repubs. Rather than confront the fat-cats, he catered to them (for the most part.)

He may have done some good things (even broken clocks...), but NAFTA and the Telecom Act created HUGE holes in our society for which we may never recover completely.

And he and the establishment Dems expect me to get all excited about Hillary? GIVE ME A BREAK!

Thank you, eizenmahn. I quoted in full because I want to add this post to my journal. I hope you don't mind. If you do, pm me and I will delete it from my journal.

And then, there was the Fairness Doctrine. Until the Obama administration, Democrats were calling for its reinstatement by the Executive Branch. However, under Obama, the FCC killed it. Whereas before, it could have been resurrected by the Executive Branch, after Obama, it will take an Act of Congress. And we all know, as we knew when the FCC put the nail in the coffin, that it will never pass Congress.

And much more recently, the FCC blew it with the internet, too.

But, sure, let's make believe that only Republicans are to blame for all our ills. That's great for professional Democrats, not so much for ordinary Democratic voters.
June 25, 2014

No, I think we agree activism is important. Question is,

what kind of activism?

Demonstrations, marches, signing internet petitions, calling your Rep? Don't get me wrong, I do do some of that, even though, as I am doing it, I ask myself why am I doing this when I don't think it will matter. The answer is, because I can't help myself. But, I don't think that will do the job.

Some of the things that have occurred to me:

Two huge websites, one for the US, one for the world. Not to discuss anything but what is going on in activism at the moment and maybe to exchange ideas on the most effective kinds of activism.

Economic boycotts.

Demonstrations, but really big ones. It could be local for everyone. "Show up at your town halls with signs next week at lunch hour," for example.

Ten people show up at a town hall, pffft. Five or ten people show up at every town hall in the country, though--maybe something gets shaken up? Maybe by the tenth week or so, media will even admit it's happening?

Iching and True Delphi are good evangelists for acting local and I really want to do more of that, too.

Anyway, those are some things I Have been mulling.

And so on.

June 24, 2014

Hippie probably was not the correct term.

It was my shorthand for people who took part in quite a few peace marches, maybe civil rights marches in the 1960s. Not necessarily the druggie, Haight Ashbury types--"not that there's anything wrong with that," or the "Can you spare some change?" group.

The persistent demonstrators could have been accountants, for all I know. I do know for certain that some were doctors and lawyers. And members of the military, etc. And some kids of multimillionaires, too.

The ones I mean are the ones who believe with 100% certainty that they fought the peace and civil rights battles for 5, 10, 15 years and finally won. When I tell them maybe it only looked as though they won, maybe the same things would have happened if they stayed home, they get furious. I don't blame them.

Same thing for those who go to a lot of demonstrations today, though most demonstrations today seem kind of puny. Even those who don't demonstrate, but keep telling us to call the White House or sign this internet petition or call our Rep. If any of that did anything, the bill that went to Baucus would have had a public option.

No one seems to want to even consider for a minute that they may need to change their M.O. What was good enough for the 1960s (or so it seemed) is going to do wonders in 2009-2016 and maybe forever. Or so they seem to think.

Um, how is it been working for us, so far? If I ask, that, someone will point to some vote or other of his or her rep. However, that doesn't mean the rep changed his or her vote because of calls and internet petitions. It was how the rep was going to vote all along.

Not to mention the damned D.C. kabuki. "Here, Emma, this vote is going to pass no matter what. You live in blue state, so go ahead and vote No. " or "Gee, the Dems out there want this vote to pass, but screw that. Let's make sure it's damn close, though, so it's looks like we REALLY tried. If you are in a solid blue state, or very, very popular, vote no and help out your fellow Dems in the pale blue states who have to vote yes or get primaried next time."

Anyway, the bottom line is, whatever did or did not work in the Sixties, that was a long time ago. It's not working today, so we have to find things that might work. At that point almost everyone is pissed at me and I get reamed as negative. Why? Because I think we should stop doing things that don't work and try to think of things that might?

June 24, 2014

Not true. Then again, neither it is true that only centrists can win elections.

Don't you people ever get tired of pushing memes that are untrue?

Obama defeated Ciinton by portraying himself as well to the left of centrists. The fact that he governed as a centrist has nothing to do with what got him elected. And the climate in the country is shifting. You and the DNC need to keep that in mind as well.

Besides, I would wager that about 80% of the country never heard of the DLC and has no idea that the party has changed. All they know is Democrats--FDR, Truman, JFK, LBJ, yadda yadda. New Deal, Fair Deal, Social Security, unions, civil rights, Great Society. Not mortgage derivatives.

Each party could run a hobby horse and they would get roughly the same number of votes, just based on the bitter partisanship that has been ginned up by both sides. So, please don't tell me that only a centrist can win. It's imaginary.

June 24, 2014

Thanks, Koko

Iching has also reminded me that local is the way to go and I have neglected that stupidly.

As far as the 60s, I don't see them as most people do. I think the PTB was fearful that the civil rights movement--not all of which had problems with violence--the Black Muslims, the hippies, the anti-war, anti-draft group that weren't hippies could easily form a coalition around 1) stop killing people of color in Vietnam; 2) stop the draft; 3) give everyone equal rights and 4) give us more economic justice.

Later, the fiscal conservatives and neocons who thought a volunteer, more professional military would serve them better than the draft opposed the war and the draft too, but not by demonstrating publicly. That was back room stuff. And I believe that was what actually stopped the war and the draft, not the demonstrations.

But, I'm also willing to say it was 11 years of demonstrations that finally stopped both, not that the conservatives accomplished it quietly and it only looked like demonstrations finally wore down Congress. It happened a long time ago and it's long moot.

Though most of both programs were dismantled, we still had Social Security and Medicare--and you know what was happening with them during Obama's first term, before OWS, even though they were supposedly untouchable, even during Bushco's reign.

Thing is, it's not the 1950s, the 1960s or the 1970s anymore. So many things have changed, especially the need of the PTB to fear an uprising. And the nature of the Democratic Party. And the nature of lobbying. And the nature of big business. And the cost of elections. Many, many other things, too, but I don't think the strategies of the 60s are going to work in 2014. (And maybe it only seemed to people that they worked in the 60s.)

Whenever I give my real thoughts, some hippie or group of hippies wants to strangle me, as do people who believe that their demonstrations and their internet petitions are going to trump billions upon billions in campaign donations, but that is honestly how I see it.

June 24, 2014

Campaign promises don't mislead?

I don't think our politicians have misled anyone, certainly not me. I think they generally represent the aggregate views of their constituents.

That is repeated again and again by politicians and therefore here, but it simply is not true.

If people are polled on issues, without labeling the issues as conservative or liberal or anything else, and if they are polled before anyone cranks up the propaganda, people poll more left than right.

For example, shortly after Obama was elected the first time, over 70% of Americans polled of both parties--over 70% of both parties--indicated they wanted a public option in a health care bill (which meant they also wanted a health care bill). The same majority, over 70% of both parties--said they wanted taxes raises on income over 250K a year.

The problem is not that a majority of constitutents are rightist on economic issues. Or that a majority of constitutents are demanding wars out of the blue. Or defeat of Warren's student loan bill. It's that the vast majority of very rich people are rightist on economic issues and make money from wars and they buy the politicians.
June 24, 2014

Someone already posted a Clinton list, but the problem with those lists is that

few to none of the items on the list is clear cut.

You can cite Obamacare and I can counter that it is a health insurer/health provider welfare program. You can then say he's not a king and I can counter with he would not even try. And on and on. I'm sure you've already seen all that. Hell, even "He got his daughters the dog he promised them" was on one of those stupid lists during his first term and the reality was that Kennedy gifted the dog.

But the huge lists are out there for cutting and pasting, no more than minutes, start to finish. On the other hand, countering every item could take a week or more because you'd have to do the research and write from scratch.

So, the person who posts the list wins, at least in his or her own mind and in the minds of people who already agree with them. I have no idea what they win, but people on message boards seem to think they win and someone else loses.

June 24, 2014

Okay, I'll walk into the trap. I don't believe you can understand

what it is to live like a poor person unless you've been a poor person.

You can have sympathy. You can care. you can be willing to "transfer wealth", but, unless you've lived it, you will never get what it is like to worry every day of your life that your kids might need something that you can't provide, let alone almost never being able to give them what they want. Or that your fever might go high enough that you won't be able to work and you'll miss a day's pay.

And no, living in your mansion on a welfare budget for a week by choice doesn't come close. Not even the same universe. It's the grinding poverty, day after day, the stress, the fear for your kids, etc.

Nor can I understand what it is to have more money than I or the next several generations of my descendants will need unless that somehow becomes my reality someday.

Seriously, is this really a controversial concept?

The expression "until you've walked a mile in my [his][her] shoes" did not become an expression for no reason.

But, Hillary and Chelsea make a couple of tone deaf comments, so we are going to deny the existence of something we once all assumed without question was true? Something most or all of us have probably said or posted or thought ourselves more than once, believing it to be true?

This is about the most ridiculous I've seen this place get.

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About merrily

https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5664118; https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=5664129

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