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Response to JCanete (Reply #165)

Thu Jan 19, 2017, 06:50 PM

166. I have a free moment to respond.

First, I wanted to add one more point to my earlier post. I don't think anyone is consciously thinking or saying, "I know progressive economic theory is in my best interest, but I care more about hurting persons of color." But that *is* essentially the end result. Their beliefs and attitudes are what enable them to convince themselves that right wing economics is what's called for. Those beliefs and attitudes explain why people think Obamacare and the ACA are 2 different things. Those beliefs and attitudes explain why Trump supporters think it's totally reasonable to punish Mexico when a Japanese or German automaker wants to build a plant in Mexico, or why it's totally reasonable to think Mexico will pay for the US to build a wall. "Mexico," "Mexican" and "immigrant" are essentially code words to racists.

The argument over what transcends what (class over beliefs and attitudes, or vice versa) is, I think, the crucial piece in all this. Sanders has, perhaps, learned that "all lives matter" is not a proper response to black lives matter, but I think he remains too dismissive of the role racism plays in the US economic structure.

I posted the following last month:

Which of the following would get people to stop supporting Trump:

A) he continues to align with Wall Street and establishment types (no draining of the swamp)

B) he leads an effort to privatize Social Security, Medicare, public education, etc.

C) he doesn't destroy ISIS as he promised he would

D) he doesn't bring back millions of jobs that have been outsourced (and attempts to reduce the minimum wage to boot)

E) he doesn't withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal

F) he doesn't withdraw from the Paris Agreement

G) he does a 180 on civil rights and pisses off hate groups like the KKK (no mass deportations, no Muslim registry, full support of LGBTQ rights, full support of Black Lives Matter, etc.)

The answer is 'G' and nothing else comes remotely close. In fact, I don't think A-F would have any noticeable impact. A-F will get overlooked or blamed on Democrats. 'G' is the deal breaker.

Anyway...

Bill Clinton was able to win but he did great damage to the Democratic Party. The "It's the economy, stupid" and "The era of big gov't is over" ethic was not in the long-term interests of the US or the Democratic Party. Ironically, it would seem some anti-Clinton leftists are promoting a similar deeply flawed narrative from a different angle. Again, the response to the OP is disheartening. People are doing a complete flip-flop without even realizing it.

And the notion that Hillary Clinton didn't talk enough about economics or that she lost due to economic anxiety (on the part of a segment of white working class voters) is verifiably false. Also, the "establishment" did very well in the 2016 election. So, the anti-establishment narrative is also quite flawed.

You're more optimistic than I am about peeling people away from the dark side. With limited time and energy, I'd rather focus on engaging the disengaged and combating voter suppression, while being thankful that the country is becoming more diverse all the time. 40% don't ever vote, so let's figure out a way to reduce that number.

Regarding the media, we agree. The Republican Party has repeatedly hammered the "liberal media" drum for decades, and that's paid dividends. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party hasn't fought back hardly at all. I also think the following article makes good points: http://www.salon.com/2017/01/08/what-went-wrong-with-the-democratic-party-three-big-failures-that-led-to-the-current-debacle/

The Democratic Party also needs to do much more to defend and improve upon public education, including the promotion of classes in media literacy. Tens of millions of people in the US, including most Trump supporters, subscribe to patently false beliefs. Beliefs that are so absurd that they leave one speechless. Tens of millions of people. This is a serious problem that Democrats, when they go on the political talk shows, need to address. They need to draw attention to this matter and the role the media should play in combating the spread of absurdity. Instead of letting media members get away with their false equivalency game, their everything is a matter of opinion and all opinions are equally valid game.

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LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply I have a free moment to respond.
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