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Ian, Ian, Ian, how can we explain this to you…

Preet Bharara interviewed Ian Bremmer of the Eurasia Group today and Ian is a very smart guy. He has a lot of good things to say about education going forward and the military being professionals and a coup being a far off possibility that probably won’t happen here.

But his kumbaya tweet regarding reaching out to Trump supporters missed the mark.

Yes, I have also been disturbed by the number of lefties who act like Trump supporters are moronic knuckle draggers who we should write off economically, socially, etc. That was the Obama way of doing things. I’ve referenced the moment we lost it all before. It was when Donna Brazile told Paul Begala on CNN in 2016 that the Democrats no longer needed the Old Coalition of working class voters. I think the Obamacons could have thrown in women as well because they didn’t really do any reach out to women. They just bullied us into going along. Anf anyone who might have had different opinions on policy were called racists.

That’s largely how Democrats have operated since 2008 and continue to operate. It gave rise to the Tea Party movement when the enraged working class and a lot of white women left the Democrats. They weren’t all racists. But the Democrats didn’t think they were important and they lived in an echo chamber.

Those people were very vulnerable to the right wing noise machine. They listened to Fox, they let their injuries stew for eight years, then they struck back. They struck back at Hillary Clinton who was one of the victims of the Obama coalition. But once you get a grudge and someone nurses that grudge, it’s hard for them to think Straight.

Even I spent eight years completely disgusted by the Obama administration. I honestly believe that when historians look back on this period of time, they’re going to find that Obama’s policies to let the finance industry off the hook while implementing one of the worst pieces of healthcare legislation ever are going to be pivotal to how the right took over. If you’re trying to stay in power, you must appeal to the people who can keep you there and that means voters have more power than a couple thousand high level Wall Street tycoons.

Anyway, it’s too late to reach out to the other side. I mean, have you ever done it? I’m not talking about the cynical operatives who spout the right wing ideology but only as a means to take over the country.

I mean an ordinary person who thinks the ideology is real. Have you ever tried to talk to one of those people? Because I have. I’ve been trying for years. You may be able to agree on an issue or two but it’s the capsule they live in that will make this impossible going any further. There are two types of people who voted for Trump this year. The first is the guy who really embraces the libertarian bullshit. It appeals to him and so he’s going to glom on to any politician that reinforces that ideal.

The second type is the very confused person who doesn’t know who to believe anymore who is scared to death that the pandemic is going to crush them economically and will therefore vote for the person who promises to make it all go away. I think we *might* have some hope reaching out to the second group because more and more people I know are getting Covid and there’s nothing that will get their attention better than reality. Trump says it will go away? It didn’t go away. Can you believe anything they say anymore? Maybe listen to the medical professionals, eh?

The first group is intractable. It is an exercise in frustration to get through to them. They really think they live on an island and everyone should fend for themselves. And they will look with suspicion on anyone who tries to find common ground.

A perfect example of how difficult this is going to be is the failure to get a second Covid stimulus bill. The House put together a package with help for the unemployed acknowledging food insecurity and housing problems. It included lots of money for testing. The senate came back with no money or very little money for the people who need it most. That’s what the senate believes in. It believes that if you are suffering misfortune right now you are either a. expendable or b. a product of your own poor planning. Why should the Rand Paul’s and Pat Toomey’s of the senate GAF about you? They still believe in trickle down economics. If you give more money to the wealthy and well connected, that money will trickle down into their campaign coffers.

There is no bipartisanship going on because the world views are so skewed. And that first group of Trumpers are not going to shift one iota. They have a lot invested in proving their point. They can’t of course and they’re going to significantly damage the economic they claim to worship.

The only people who are going to wake up are the second group. It’s going to be a long, very hard winter and a bleak holiday season. It’s going to hurt them. At some point, the confusion is going to clear up for them because their day to day reality will be very different from the Chanel No. 5 fantasy that the Republicans sold them.

But by the time that happens, the lefties that have any goodwill are going to get sick of hearing them spout nonsensical political, social and economic theories.

To be honest, if I have to sit through another one of those “Biden is a commie” diatribes one more time, I’m going to lose the composure I have struggled to maintain in my personal interactions for the last 4 years. Seriously. I’m incensed that we won the presidency but elected Republicans to keep everything else exactly as they want it. There will be nothing but austerity coming and I am tired of always having to sacrifice so half the country can continue to live in la-la land and grab onto the Fox pre-digested shit sandwich that their wealthy backers feed to people who don’t have time or background to sift through. I

We’re angry too, Ian. We have to live with these people who seem determined to lurch the country in the wrong direction all the damn time. I mean, seriously, we are supposed to be a developed nation and we’re still struggling with getting universal healthcare and off fossil fuels. There is no common ground where the most important issues of the day are.

Now, if Mike Bloomberg wants to buy Fox News and OANN, we might be getting somewhere. But don’t ask us to bang our heads against this damn wall anymore. It’s exhausting and an exercise in futility and frankly, I’m losing all respect for the people who won’t acknowledge the outcome of the election. I don’t want to spend time empathizing with their undemocratic, unAmerican act anymore.

Covid may have spared a lot of us some extremely uncomfortable thanksgivings where mashed potatoes may have been flung and many feelings permanently hurt.

I’m never going to compromise my values for some unhinged orange menace who refuses to leave the White House or any of his party who sits by and watches.

And that goes for his voters as well. They either have character and ethics and good values or they don’t. Let’s not pretend that we are all equally motivated for the cause of good.

12 Responses

  1. Glenn Kirchner says we need a Trump crimes commission. Indictments may get through to a few of them.

    I largely agree that Obama’s poor choices and unwillingness to fight largely enabled a lot of what we are seeing now. I also agree that there is no point in trying to get through to most of the Trumpers. If they won’t believe their own GOP SOS in states like AZ and GA there is just no point. Best hope for them is to just go back under their rocks.

    • It would be very helpful if the Obama contingent would stop accusing everyone that doesn’t agree with them as racists. Really, really helpful.
      Yes, a lot of Trumpers are r@cists. Yes, black lives really do matter and I would March with them in a heartbeat. But the entirety of the Republican voters are not r@cist and we have to stop insulting them.
      I blame Obama’s campaign for weaponizing that word, which is why it’s in my moderated comments word list. And now I have to clean up this comment. 🙄

    • 70 million people are not going back under their rocks. We have to deal with that reality.

      We need a New Deal for that reality.

  2. I have a friend of long-standing, old enough to be my mother, who has voted for Trump twice. She watches Fox all the time. She told me a few months ago that she “doesn’t know what to believe”. It’s part of the Fox/Trump game plan to confuse people with constant chaos and misinformation. My friend is not a bad person. She grew up on a farm, in a large family, barely finished high school, married young and worked for years in a factory that closed long ago. She finds it hard to understand what is going on in the world now. She is scared. Fox and Trump give her a way to view the world that makes sense to her, crazy though that may be. When I try to explain things to her – like Biden is not a Communist – she doesn’t understand what I am saying because Fox and Trump are telling her something entirely different. I cannot ” hate” this person, although she votes in a way that is dangerous to me and to her, indeed to all Americans. It is extremely frustrating. Over the last year or so, I have stopped talking to her about politics altogether. But the truth is, the Democratic Party must learn how to talk to people like my friend, if we are ever going to heal this country. She is a poor person, living on her Social Security now that she is retired. IMO, the Democratic Party MUST seriously address the issue of poverty, including White poverty, if we are ever going to defeat Trumpism going forward. Obama saved Wall Street. Biden must save ordinary people from lives of poverty. That is where his focus must be. Bringing people out of poverty, giving them real hope for the future will change the narrative that Fox and Trump have so successfully marketed to these voters. Making Elizabeth Warren his Secretary of Treasury would be a signal that Biden plans to work to end this country’s massive economic inequality problem. I hope he has the balls to do so.

  3. If we ever get the political power to do it, we must find some backdoor legal way to destroy Fox News (and all other Murdoch properties in the USA), Sinclair, OANN, etc.

    My younger self would be horrified with me for suggesting that, but the Constitution is not a suicide pact. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War.

  4. Off topic: Happy Out Of Touch Thursday! :mrgreen:

  5. It is always the Democrats who are told to reach out to Republicans, never the converse. To change some of these voters to our side would be very difficult, impossible in many cases. I also felt that Obama did not help the Democratic Party, and the reaction to him cost us a myriad of seats on the national and state level; but his administration was not awful, and yet millions of people moved to the Republican side. There are states which Bill Clinton won, not that long ago, which are now absolutely Republican, unwinnable by us. How did that happen? Not because the Reagan and Bush and Trump administrations did things for working people. So why?

    Much of it can be attributed to relentless right-wing propaganda on radio and TV, and of course Facebook. But what do we do about any of that? This was the election to possibly gain a majority in the Senate; and we did not, nor did we flip one statehouse. We have a majority of the population, but they are concentrated in fewer states than the Republicans hold, which keeps them in control of the Senate and of course has stacked the courts.

    During the FDR era, the Democratic Party was a coalition of working people of all aspects. And importantly, we won the South, only because of their historic reaction to Reconstruction. Once that disappeared in 1968, the only Democrats elected were Southerners Carter, Clinton and then Gore who won, but was absolutely cheated. And then Obama,,who was very much a projection, and who greatly benefited from the incompetence of GW Bush and then the economic collapse right before the election. And by the time his eight years were over, we held nothing more. So the “Obama coalition” got him elected, and no one else, one could say. And Biden just won, but mostly as a reaction to Trump. If it were mostly on issues, why did we only gain one senate seat and lose house seats?

    Somehow, the Republican framing of issues seems to triumph. Which is pathetic, because everything they do damages the middle class and poor. Their framings are, “Democrats are socialists, and will force you to be indoctrinated into their belief systems.” Substitute “fascists” for “socialists,’ and that is what the Republican Party does, but their voters don’t care to see it.

    Now, i will try to write a couple of things which hopefully will not use terms that will toss the post into moderation. There are many White people who do not like what they see as forced inclusiveness, the kind of thing which puts someone of every minority identity on every committee or board. The kind of thing which has caused the ratings of the Academy Awards to keep declining. Mostly Black people not standing for the national anthem at football games. BLM being brought up every day; all the demonstrations and burning and looting. Yes, I know that most of it was peaceful, and some of the violence was instigated and done by right-wingers, and then a few non-political criminal types. But too many White people of either gender, and in particular states, see the Democratic Party as more concerned with minorities of every type and persuasion, than themselves. Too bad for them, they have to live with it? Okay, but they don’t have to vote or it, obviously, and so they do not.

    The difficult thing is to appeal to the White people of key states without alienating the minorities. It becomes more difficult. My suggestion would be that Democrats start attacking the Republican Party, not acting as if their leaders are mostly good people with the occasional fringe person. Trump is the symptom, not the cause, there are plenty like him, maybe not as obnoxious as people, but just as bad on issues. They don’t support him because they are intimidated, they do because he gets done what they want. Unless Democrats propagandize against Republicans, the way FDR did when he called them “malefactors of great wealth,’ and “economic royalists,” and when JFK said that they call themselves the party of Lincoln, but have become a party that offers charity to none and malice to all, we are not at least potentially opening their eyes, we are just saying the equivalent of, “Won’t you please vote for us, we’re not so bad,’ which invites their scorn and dismissal.

    • It’s not impossible to change voters to our side. Do what FDR did during the Great Depression – give voters a concrete reason to support you. My great uncle was a Republican. FDR’s New Deal gave him a job as a rural mail carrier which allowed him to save his family farm and put his children through college. Did he become a loyal Democrat as a result? You bet he did, as did his children and grandchildren.

      • A good point, and something good to hope for, although we do know that the Senate will try to block every bill of that sort. McConnell is supporting a relief bill which is far smaller than what Pelosi and the House are for, and which is basically targeted to business, not people. If workers are still struggling, they will blame it on Biden. FDR of course had a tremendous mandate in 1933, though the Supreme Court originally found his legislation unconstitutional. One of Republicans’ goals is to never let the Democrats get credit for anything, plus they are completely top-down in what passes for their economic philosophy.

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