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What is "Moral Character" and How Important Is It?

Disclaimer: This is a 'thinking about it' bit of writing that reflects the current state of my opinions, and (perhaps to some extent) their evolution over time.

When I wasn't old enough to vote yet, "scandal" had two different definitions: In the case of Democrats, it usually involved some form of illicit fornication, and in the GOP, it usually involved some form of financial chicanery.

Or, as one uncle used to put it: "Democrats are horndogs and Republicans are thieves."

My, those were simpler days, weren't they?

Both sides used to use the term "moral character" to explain the sins of the Other Side, and justify why no one should vote for their sinners.

The argument from the GOP side went something like this: "If a man (it was almost always men, back then) can't be faithful to his marriage vows, you can't trust him to keep ANY of his promises. He's a sleazy hack who'll do whatever pleases him, regardless of the welfare of the citizens."

The Democratic argument was along these lines: "If a man (see above) will take bribes or route contracts to family members, he's obviously out for what he can get. He's a dishonest hack who'll always put his/his family's/his donors' pocketbook above the welfare of the citizens."

Each side also had its response to those arguments: The Dems basically saying that personal sexual pecadillos don't necessarily reflect on honesty in public service or dedication to the citizens' good, and the GOPpies essentially saying "but at least he's a good husband and regular churchgoer and doesn't that prove he's basically got moral character which of course the Democrats don't?"

And the term "moral character" gets tossed indiscriminately around with a fervor that would lead anyone to believe there's an agreed-upon definition of a measurable quality, here.

But there ain't.

Moral character is a real quality. And an important one, to many of us.

But "measurable?"

Who's measuring, with what tool?

"Agreed-upon definition?" Hahahahahahahahah!! It's to laugh.

Here's what I know about moral character:

Unlike what all too many American voters seem to think it doesn't equate to "moral purity", in part because there ain't no such thing in the human race, to date (barring various Divine-Avatars-Manifesting-As-Human claimed by religious believers).

We all love heroes and we certainly all seem to want to vote for them. But there's the problem: If a hero's image can be tarnished, it will be, and there goes her/his "moral character".

Because apparently we've left out some key elements of a workable definition of "moral character".

Like "learns from their mistakes". And "evolves as new information and experiences occur". And "humility". And "willingness to admit they're wrong, and change". Among other elements.

I'm quite annoyed with a good many Democratic elected officials right now, for obvious reasons. But I don't necessarily equate that with lack of, or loss of, moral character.

I equate it with "making mistakes" which is human.

At some point, those elected officials may evaluate the larger picture of information flooding in, the ongoing experiences happening to them, and say, "Well, I made a mistake, and I regret it. Here's what I've learned, and here's the standard I'll try to live up to in the future."

And of course, they'll promptly get primaried and/or voted out of office, not to mention roundly trashed on social media, because all too many voters are still using the "moral character = moral purity".

Even legislators I like very much don't agree with me on every issue. Yes, I have a "hard line" or two, but I don't expect everyone to share them. It's an assessment of the whole that really matters. And, yes... that includes moral character, the way I understand it.

I've voted knowingly for candidates whose moral character seemed a bit lacking to me. But I have not, and will not, vote for a candidate who exhibits no moral character at all.

I don't live in Alabama, though.


Six tips for men about "Compliments"

Our culture is based on, and shaped by, patriarchal, misogynistic institutions, traditions, and norms. They're baked into everything, so completely that even those of us most constantly and negatively affected by them aren't always aware of how pervasively they've shaped everything about human interaction.

And yes, the laws have changed, but culture takes a LONG time to catch up with laws. And culture still shapes attitudes and expectations of all kinds of human interactions.

And it's complicated. There are layers and layers of stuff. So this is a necessary caveat here: I'm gonna oversimplify a bit, and I know I'm oversimplifying. Yeah, there are exceptions, and #notallmen, #notallwomen, #notallsituations, #notallwhatever applies.

That said:

Patriarchy assigns full human status, with all its implications of agency, control, dominance, etc., to people with a Y chromosome. Men. People without that chromosome (women) are by definition 'different' from that full human status. Things like agency, control, etc. have only been assigned to women in the context of their relationship to men. Value is assigned to women in the context of their existing or potential relationship to men.

Yes, women notice dreamboat eyes and nice buns, too. Finding people attractive physiologically isn't gender-specific, all humans are affected by it. But women are acculturated to regard men as fully human, powerful, potentially dangerous, multi-faceted beings whose opinion of us and actions in regard to us carries weight and importance. ALL men. Yes, even the pimply git behind the counter at the convenience store. Maybe he's not got the same potential significance as the guy in the three-piece suit behind the fancy desk, but he's a man all the same.

And for millennia, our survival and success has depended on how well we read those cues, assigned the right levels of importance to various men, and engaged in the right kind of interactions in every situation. And that included hyper-awareness of protecting and enhancing our own value based on their assessments of us. We have always had to walk the line between 'desirable' and 'available', and calculate the costs of being sexy enough to attract (i.e., be 'valuable') without DEvaluing ourselves as too available to maintain higher status.

Which is how we KNOW that men "complimenting" us on our appearance, particularly in public contexts, and particularly where those "compliments" are based on the value of specific body parts presumed to be sexually attractive, are not actually "complimenting" us in any real sense at all. They are objectifying us, attempting to define us as more "available" to them by the nature of our "sexiness." To lower our status by reaffirming that our appearance and sexual attributes are what matter about us. To cement our status as less-human than the males making the "compliments."

So here's a simple guide to "complimenting" female human beings, guys:

1. If you're in public, in a workspace, gym, public transit vehicle, restaurant, etc., and you have no personal acquaintance with or knowledge of a woman in proximity to you or providing some kind of professional service to you, DON'T COMPLIMENT HER APPEARANCE AT ALL. Compliments on her professional competence or expertise are fine, as long as they don't reference physical characteristics ("She moves pretty fast with those trays for someone with short legs"- no, no, no. Grow the fuck UP.)

2. If you're in public, workspace, etc., with women you have personal acquaintance with, in any degree of intimacy, keep compliments on her appearance to general observations without either implicit or explicit relation to sexual attractiveness. As in "you look great," or "nice color jacket" or "new haircut looks good" etc. (An exception to this would be if you have a close relationship and have specifically discussed it with each other that this particular woman welcomes more detailed commentary on her appearance for some reason.)

3. If you're NOT in public, with a woman you have little or no personal acquaintance with, do not reference her appearance at all, in any way. It's scary. You may not intend that, you might want to "flirt" with her, but don't. Just... DON'T. Being alone with, or in a very private context with, a strange guy is one of those situations where women feel at risk no matter how nice and unthreatening the guy in question appears.

4. If you're NOT in public, with a woman you know as a close acquaintance or even a friend, see rule 2. Generic observations on appearance. And-- and this is important!-- if she says "thank you!" SHE IS NOT flirting with you or inviting you to up your game to flirtation. She's being polite. Move on. Get to know her better in other ways. Eventually you might get an explicit invitation to flirt. Or you might not. You're not entitled, either way.

5. If you're NOT in public, with a woman who's a fairly close friend, and you feel just compelled to comment on her appearance (maybe for a reason that has nothing to do with the whole 'sexy' thing- you're just really delighted by her new hairdo, or noticed that she's lost weight, or whatever) ask her whether comments about appearance bother her, first. It may seem awkward, but it'll get you points, I promise. "umm... Would it make you uncomfortable if I say something nice about how you look? I know some people don't like that even when it's positive."

6. If you're NOT in public, with a woman you're intimate with, go to town. THAT'S when she wants to hear that watching her walk across the room gives you URGES.

So there ya go, guys.

Six hot tips on the "compliments" thing.



"I think not having the estate tax recognizes the people that are investing-- as opposed to those that are just spending every darn penny they have, whether it's on booze or women or movies."

The number of ways this statement is beyond nauseatingly misogynist, patriarchal and condescending are too numerous to count.

But let's start with the notion that "women" are pleasure baubles to be purchased, upgraded, accessorized, etcetera, with the disposable income of the feckless non-wealthy (presumably male-- although it would be amusing if he was thinking 'lesbian' here, wouldn't it..? naaaah...) schlubs who spend it all rather than investing in assets that can be passed along to their heirs tax-free, thus solidifying a hereditary oligarchy in what remains of our "democracy."

Then let's examine the assumption that the schlubs doing the spending are (again, barring the amusing but highly unlikely notion that he's acknowledging the existence/legitimacy of lesbian relationships) mostly like to spend on "booze, women, movies" BECAUSE OF COURSE THEY'RE ALL MALE.

They're, like "breadwinners" yanno. "Heads of household" which of course means guy-persons, fully human, endowed with the sacred patriarchal Y chromosome and all that bestows, and entitled to earn and spend their pittances to the benefit of the bottom lines of the consumer economy Overlords.

Not women. Hell, no. They get, maybe, "dress allowances" or something, but they don't actually make significant financial decisions, earn wages or salaries, support their families, require credit, invest in assets or any of that complicated man-stuff.

Speaking of "stuff"...

...go stuff yourself, Chuck.


They are "Evangelical Voters"

The root of the term "evangelical" is Greek, εὐαγγέλιον ('euangelion'), translating roughly to "glad announcement" or "good news." While sharing the gospels and proselytizing have been part of Christianity since the beginning, the "evangelical" movement in Protestant Christianity is fairly recent, subsequent to the spread of Methodism in the early nineteenth century CE. The term "evangelize" reached its first real prominence in the English language in about 1850, declined somewhat in prominence by the end of the century, revived a bit with the revivalist movements of the early 20th century, then declined steadily until the post-WWII era in America, when it began another meteoric rise.

In its broadest sense, "Evangelical" is simply 'sharing/announcing good news'-- with the implication that by so doing, the one sharing/announcing is doing the recipients a service, opening the door to faith, inviting them to join in belief. Gamers evangelize the latest game fad. Fashionistas evangelize the new trouser leg width. Food faddists evangelize the crusade against Demon Gluten.

In that sense, evangelism is annoying, but essentially harmless.

As it was in the early days of Evangelical Christianity.

You know who demanded a "wall of separation" between Church and State?


Because mainstream Protestant denominations- predominantly Episcopalian and Presbyterian- tended to dominate lawmaking, government regulation, etc., and the burgeoning Evangelical movements worried that the State might enact laws or regulations to force them to conform, or interfere with their liberty of conscience. They were supported by older Christian nonconformist traditions such as Quakers and Mennonites, and by America's Jewish and Catholic leadership, who'd had more than a bellyful of experience with discrimination by the powerful Anglo-American establishment.

It's hard for me to understand on any level deeper than intellectual awareness why some human beings are so strongly drawn to authoritarianism. I'm not in any sense a libertarian, certainly not an anarchist. I believe a social contract that includes norms and laws is necessary to provide incentives and disincentives that enable peaceful coexistence in diverse communities.

But the key phrase is "diverse communities." Norms and laws focused on enabling diverse groups to negotiate and enforce coexistence are very different from the kind of authoritarian norms and laws designed to eliminate diversity altogether.

People of authoritarian mindset are predisposed to accept the exegesis of those who assume and/or project authority. Combine the irrational nature of religious belief with the vulnerability to having those beliefs interpreted for them by authority that assumes a "divinely appointed" mantle.

Then tell the believers they're "oppressed" by a powerful "them" outside their elite belief group.

Thus the Evangelical Voter. Perfectly poised to support with perfervid rigidity a patriarchal authoritarian agenda defined by their leadership. To evangelize that agenda, regardless of any theological disconnect with the actual teachings of Christ or the New Testament.

And what matters to the Evangelical Voter is, first and foremost, political power and influence. Because that's what matters to their leaders.

It's more important to them to "win" politically, than to accept human imperfections and live the love for those different from themselves that Christ preached.

So of COURSE they see no problem with the condemnation of a man who beat "their" candidate, based on extramarital affairs with adult women making him "unfit to hold public office". And of COURSE they see no problem with supporting a serial adulterer who proudly boasts of sexual assault, and a man with a history of preying on vulnerable women half his age (including legally underage girls), as long as those men are "their" candidates, as anointed by the leaders.

And they think you and everyone else in America should vote exactly the same. And they'll tell you so on Facebook, and around the Thanksgiving dinner table, and in every possible public forum. Because they're evangelizing. Evangelical Voters.



"Holy crap! Where did THAT come from?"

Various forms of this question have been asked by a good many guys in my life recently. Some of them are guys whom I'm pretty sure have never skeeved on women, maybe never told anything more sexist than the odd PMS joke. Some who've done what they can, as allies, to be sure other guys in the workplace or social environment don't get away with 'locker room talk' among themselves, even.

I've heard it again and again. "Wait, what? Why now? Why so MUCH? WTF??" It reminds me of people walking along the street at the foot of a 50-story skyscraper, chatting about where to have lunch and not paying much more attention to what's around them than they have to, to avoid the idiots with their noses in their mobile phones. Lovely day, nice breeze, and then...


A couple of yards in front of them, a monstrous body hits the sidewalk, narrowly missing another pedestrian and grossing EVERYBODY out. It's hideous. It was hideous even before it connected with the pavement, a grotesque, barely-human fiend.

"Holy crap! Where did THAT come from?"

Dudes... it's the Patriarchy. You're only surprised because you haven't seen the women who've been dragging it up the stairs, all fifty stories, one flight at a time, as it's struggled and fought, lived on every time they pounded a stake into its heart, yanked it onto the next flight and plodded upward again.

Fifty fucking stories. It's been kicking and screaming, every flight, but you never heard. You didn't pay any attention to those noises coming from the stairwell.

You know nothing of the women killed, crippled, left for dead on the landings, as their sisters grimly pounded in another stake and heaved it onto the next stair upward. Sometimes losing their grip and letting the revolting thing bump-bump-bump back down to the landing below.

Every staircase, every floor, more women have arrived to join the task, because this is one effing HUGE monster, this patriarchy, this sleazy predator that regards half of the human race as domestic animals for its own consumption.

Many have died. Many. Hauling that monster up the narrow, dark, smelly stairwell is not for the faint of heart.

But we got it up there, onto the roof. A tag-team effort. Finally, finally...

WE knew.

Women have seen every moment of the fight. We've all had a hand dragging it, we've all got the scars to show for that. We know that monster.

And with a massive heave, we got it over, and let it drop.

THAT'S where it came from.

If you're shocked, it's because you haven't been paying attention.

I have no idea if that thing is dead. Probably not.

But it's seriously damaged, and I thank every one of my sisters, and the occasional brother who's joined in the effort, too.

It's been worth it.


Making it Whole: The (Bill) Clinton Problem

As ever when I'm trying to organize my thinking on a complicated issue fraught with controversy, some caveats first:

1. I was a Harkin supporter in 1991-92. I never had much liking for Bill Clinton as a national Democratic candidate.

2. I never much cared for a number of his policy initiatives and I detested his economic approaches and his attempts to pander to the Oligarchy by dismantling the safety net.

3. I had great respect for a number of his executive actions, particularly his appointments to the Federal judiciary, his empowerment of Al Gore to begin the process of assessing and revamping government process, and his work on post-Cold War security, including nuclear arms reduction and the Middle East peace process.

4. As a person, I thought he was intelligent, politically shrewd, essentially kind, and pragmatic. Also emotionally needy, arrogant, and prone to self-delusion.

5. Overall, in respect to policy and the economy, I rated his Presidency a success. In respect to political capability, I rated it a triumph. In respect to long-term impact on the Democratic Party, I rated it an unparalleled disaster.

I met the man exactly once, backstage at a campaign event on the handshake line. Even while I recognized his enormous personal charisma and likability, a tiny little alarm went off in the back of my consciousness. I won't claim prescience or omniscience and say I identified that alarm with skeevitude. I knew nothing about his adventures in the Arkansas governor's office and his misuse of the State Police to further his extramarital shenanigans, then. No, I just put it down to "this guy may have a grasp of legal and constitutional boundaries and professional ethics, but he's got some serious personal 'end-will-justify-the-means' boundary issues, too."

But that certainly didn't disqualify him from political office, it's something that can fairly be said of 90% or more of America's elected officials. Not all of whom act on it, or act on it in any way more damaging than getting a big donor into a basketball game, or maybe accepting some introductions or post-office job offers that are a bit iffy. So I voted for him.

And then the stories started surfacing. You can read a pretty good retrospective from the late, truly great Marjorie Williams, written in 1998 when the wounds were still raw.

And I was one of those women she wrote about, who was willing to give the ol' Big Dog a pass on so many rationalizations and denials, who was skeeved out by his skeeviness, but who LOVED how much the GOPpies hated him. I'd voted for him reluctantly in 1992. In 1996 in the trenches with the bombs from Gingrich, Starr et al bursting in air he became MY GUY, because the value of their hatred totally outweighed the mild nausea I was trying not to experience.

You may or may not agree with me, but my capsule assessment is thus:

1. He skeeved on women.

2. He used the power of his office to skeeve on women.

3. He used taxpayer resources to skeeve on woman.

4. He exploited the power differential, he preyed on younger women, he let the gratification of his own skeeviness take precedent over any consideration for his prey as human beings, vulnerable human beings by reason of historical cultural oppression and conditioning as well as the power differential.

5. And then he lied about it. A lot. A WHOLE lot.

6. And all of the above did deep and lasting damage, not only to the human beings directly involved, but to the public trust, the dignity of his office, the reputation of his Party, and the credibility of the party's platform relative to feminism and our pursuit of legal, social, economic, and cultural equity for women in America.

Now, let's also look at mitigation:

1. While he skeeved on younger women, he at least kept it legal, and he doesn't seem to have done any teenybopper ass-grabbing. For the most part they seemed to be above the age of consent.

2. While the legality of several of his actions with respect to the use of taxpayer resources and lying to cover his tracks is questionable (at best) in civil law (more probably culpable or even illegal), he seems to have avoided the most egregious kinds of criminal offenses.

He did all this shit twenty years or so back. He may or may not have changed in that period of time. It looks like he has, but how the hell can I tell? And why the hell should it matter?

There's no statute of limitations on skeevery, in moral and ethical terms (see Moore, Roy).

It would certainly please the same people who've spent the last three decades attempting to annihilate anything Clinton to bring it all up now, and that's a lovely argument for holding it to some kind of statute of limitations and/or relevancy in the current public discourse.

But I don't think we can legitimately do that. It IS relevant, and there is no statute of limitations.

So what DO we do with this smelly mess we've been effectively ignoring for twenty years?

I go back to the legal term, "making it whole." That is the goal of the legal process in a situation where guilt has been determined, referring not just to punishing the guilty party, but redressing the losses and suffering of those harmed by the actions of the perpetrator.

And here, I believe, is where we can draw a line.

Because what the rabid Clinton-haters want more than anything is crushing, humiliating devastating, Final Solution PUNISHMENT of Clinton, not for skeeving on women, but for the awful crime of winning an election from an incumbent GOP office holder, then being very successful at the job, and getting re-elected in spite of everything they could do to stop him. That's the rat in their throats and NO punishment can ever be sufficient for those crimes.

But focusing on a "make this whole" agenda solely related to Clinton's skeevery is a positive and measured response that focuses on the actual damage, and opens a window for positive progress: How should such cases be handled?

I'm not entirely sure what it would look like, but I suspect it would have at least three parts:

One would address the actual civil damages, reimbursing the State of Arkansas for the cost of state trooper resources, etc. in a cash settlement, ditto for any expenses that could be linked to taxpayer funding during his Presidential administration.

Two would address the damages to the women involved, and would probably involve arbitration to work out acceptable "make whole" settlements. This may involve apologies and public statements, repudiation of past lies, potential additional liability to prosecution which might be waived in respect to those individuals if they feel so inclined. If not, they may proceed to litigation and negotiate cash settlements as well.

Three would address the damages to the public trust, the Democratic Party, etc. I believe a lot of this has already been accomplished, with respect to Clinton's own actions as Chief Executive (read the Williams article for details on the many accomplishments of his Administration to advance women's rights, equality in the workplace, etc.) But public discussion thereof among leadership might go a long way to both pointing out the irreversable nature of some damage as well as the tangible possibilities of restitution in public policy.

Yanno what?

I still actually LIKE the guy, for all his skeeviness. He's a damaged human, as are we all, and on the whole I think his positives do outweigh the negatives, especially in the past couple of decades. But pretending the negatives aren't there, and that they didn't do enormous and lasting damage, doesn't help much right now.

We are poised on a cusp, foot raised to take a solid step away from the patriarchal culture of oppression, if we don't trip over our own feet in our eagerness to portray everything in us vs. them, all-good vs. all-evil over-simplification.

This shouldn't be allowed to distract from the very real and very current issues. But it is part of the larger pattern and it's a Teachable Moment, so to speak. It can harm us or help us. Either way it won't be pleasant. But we have a choice.


::reads this over... corrects a coupla typos... dons asbestos undergarments... hits "Post my thread!"::

Alabama, Give me Hope. I know you can.

A new poll shows Moore and Jones tied in a dead heat at 46% each on Thursday. With 82% saying they're aware of the allegations about Moore's skeevy, child-groping past.

Thank you, Alabama.

I know it's hard.

I know your elected blowhards and godbotherers are out there saying the most outrageous and shameful things, which can't help but embarrass y'all.

Because I know you're not like that. I know that you know perfectly well how appalling Moore's creepitude is. And I want YOU to know that I know perfectly well that the hotair mechanics churning out Soundbytes of Shame in your name are NOT speaking for you.

Many of y'all and I probably don't see eye to eye on a lot of things, politics-wise. Plenty of progressives and Democrats in Alabama, I know (shoutin' out to YOU! Montgomery... and y'all know who you are, in Birmingham... and many other places, too...) but yeah, by and large, y'all are more conservative, not so much inclined to trust change and folks who don't share your own history and experiences. I get that. We can agree to disagree on a lot.

But not on pedophilia. Here's the deal: I have already sworn off the "marrying his 14-year-old cousin" jokes... I did that years ago. But I promise I WILL call out thoughtless friends and family who default to the "redneck goober sister******rs" jokes in discussing your fair state and its people.

In return, please give me hope. You can do it, I know.

Let the good ol' boy piehole-flappers babble on taking the name of the Lord in vain-- seriously, we ALL know-- and I KNOW you know-- that Jesus would NOT prefer a child-groping creep to a man who sent the murderers of four little girls killed in a church bombing to justice. I KNOW you know that. I know you know your New Testament as well as your Old Testament, and you know damn' well there was nothing in the beatitudes about "Blessed are the Republicans, for they shall be allowed to grabass teenyboppers."

Alabama is a beautiful place, full of wonderful people.

You can give all of us hope.


Repost: "Excuse me... This 'working class' thing- where can I meet some?"

This was originally posted in the wake of the 2016 election, after MikeyP got dissed by the 'Hamilton' cast and got all self-righteous about who was doing what to whom. But I've decided, given the uncontrollable scab-picking stupidity of Democratic Party postgame analysis and the clever concern trollery by various unfriendly sources, to make it a regular post-election feature in my Journal.

WaPo today, in (I'm sure) the interest of attempted detente, featured an opinion piece from a "Fellow of the American Enterprise Institute" and former speechwriter for Whistle-ass, lecturing "a crowd of wealthy, out-of-touch Manhattan liberals (who can afford $849 tickets to “Hamilton”)" for booing Mike Pence while the cast "lectures him on diversity."

His "point" being, such as it is, that "the Left," you see, is "imploding," and unless/until they learn to connect/understand/kowtow to/whatever, something called "the working class," they'll be permanently irrelevant.

Well, that sounded scary, so I figured I should investigate.

Let's start with this "working class" thing.

I freely admit, I'm all at sea, here.

Because-- and I know this is weird-- with the exception of a very few retired folks, every single adult and most of the youngsters I know, work.

They work really hard, most of them. Oh, I know a few people lucky enough to be able to work a little less than hard, and a few people who love what they do SO much they don't even think of it as "working," but... mostly, everyone I know (and I'd have to admit, my circle of acquaintance is probably at least an 80/20 mix of folks whose orientation, policy-wise, would have to be called "left" versus "right",) works.

They work at jobs that are grindingly hard, many of them. Some work at two or three jobs. A few juggle even more-- a few hours clerking at the Dollar Store, a few more hours stocking shelves at the grocery store, some paid babysitting, cleaning vacation rentals, and a little off-the-books ride shuttling, now and then, that kind of thing.

Even the ones who don't get paychecks from employers work their asses off. They grow things for the Farmer's Market, look after their children, take care of an elderly relative or two, and cobble together bits of art or handiwork on the side, to sell at flea markets and church sales.

See.... I *thought* these were "the working class," because, hey, the "working" part fit, and the whole "class" thing is pretty fluid, as far as I can tell. I know people who claim descent from Spanish nobility, people whose parents or grandparents immigrated and worked double and night jobs for decades to send them to college, people whose families have never, EVER crossed a picket line as long as there have been Unions, people whose parents could afford to give them a sports car for a High School graduation present, people from all kinds of backgrounds, families, whatever the fuck "class" is supposed to mean, they're in there...

...and they all WORK.

Some of them live in rural areas. Some of them live in cities in "flyover country," some of them live in small towns, some of them live on the coasts.

I'm white, I grew up in a largely white city in a largely (back then) white state, and so, yeah, the people I know and hang with are probably disproportionately (in terms of the national demographic profile) white, and I'm older, so they're a little skewed older, too. And they work their asses off, and I think I know them pretty well.

And they almost ALL voted for Hillary, and every one I've talked to since the Nuclear Cheeto got all bent about his buttboy getting dissed at the Thee-Yah-Tah has said something to the effect of "I'd have booed, too!"

So, this "working class" that Mister Concern Troll is saying is going to make me and people like me permanently irrelevant unless I peer deep into their souls and have a melty-heart, dewey-eyed, OMG, I'm so fucking SORRY I misunderstood y'all, let's smooch and I'll tell you how RIGHT you are about EVERYTHING moment... who are they?

Could it be...

...just motherfucking POSSIBLY...

...that this whole "working class" buncha people-of-the-land--you-know,-morons is a MYTH? That someone is trying to spin the noble-sounding "working class" meme into a DOG WHISTLE for the ones in the basket?

The white ones, with penises and guns and booboo lips about brown folks and wimmins disrespecting them?


I'm way too cynical, aren't I.

So... there's this powerful, shadowy group of people who... what... call themselves? Are known to the few cognoscenti as...? "The Working Class"...

Because it can't be a rock band, even the Rolling Stones or whoever is the current hot group isn't powerful enough to render the entire Left permanently irrelevant just because I didn't buy their last album.


Obligatory Reminder That "Sickeningly Evil" Does NOT Equate to "Mentally Ill"

And yes, those of you who've been around a while probably know exactly how sad and angry I am that I just KEEP. HAVING. TO. DO. THESE. POSTS...

So, misogynist failure with LOTS O' GUNZ heads down to where people are busy praying and sprays them full of bullets.

He ain't black, he ain't Muslim, he ain't an immigrant, so... HE MUST BE MENTALLY ILL!!

I suppose you can make a case for patriachy-induced misogyny as a mental illness (indeed, I personally consider it would be appropriate under Axis II in the old DSM, but there's an obvious problem with a diagnosis that would include so large a percentage of the population, right?)

So, as I noted in this post clear the hell back in 2013, "Some people are mentally ill. Some people make catastrophically poor decisions. Some people do evil things... (and) none of these things necessitates any of the others."

Why do I keep getting so jacked off about this, every time the NRA shills trot out the "mentally ill!" flag and wave it to distract from the Too Many Gunz thing? (Oh, and BTW, will some journo kindly trot out the recent action EarlG highlighted in today's Pic of the Moment at the various Thoughts and Prayers press conferences with those same shills?)

Because I resemble that remark, for a start. And I promised myself and all my fellow human beings here on DU who have struggled with mental illness that I will challenge the language and assumptions and tropes that keep building the walls of stigma and bigotry around us.

And finally, for those NRA shills who would be seen as "enlightened" and who are willing to walk back the whole "hey, let's allow the mentally ill people gunz just like everyone else, protect their 2ndA rights, TOO!" weirdness and put the onus on some mythical "mental illness detector" that can be installed in gun shops and carried around to gun shows, let's pop that bubble, too:

Why Can't Doctors Identify Killers

Unless, of course, we're willing to go with the whole "patriarcy-induced misogyny" thing as a bona-fide diagnosis of mental illness that will legally disqualify those diagnosed therewith from ever getting their pattypaws on anything resembling a firearm.

THAT, I could support, yep.


GOP: "But the pony! The PONY, goddammit!! THE PONY!!!"

Having backed truck after truck of steaming excrement into Hillary's driveway and dumped the contents, day after day, month after month, year after year, for DECADES, they're still insisting she's hiding a pony somewhere.

Dudes and dudettes... it's so totally in your imaginary RWN world that anyone other than you even cares about this...

...and no, Mueller doesn't do pony patrol. He's busy with the real criminals.

You know, the ones who think it's okay to help Putin achieve his goal of damaging America by defaming, destroying trust in, and vitiating the power of the American government. As long as they're only really doing it to protect their own wealth from being taxed.

So, no.

No pony-hunt for you.

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