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How The Democrats Are Blowing It.


Maine farmer
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As a college educated, self employed farmer, I would like to point out what I have been hearing from Democrats.

 

Elizabeth Warren said, " If you have a business, you didn't build that business."

 

Hillary Clinton said, "It's not my job to consider how legislation harms small businesses."

 

Does anyone actually think I could forget hearing those things?  Does anyone think I would be inclined to vote for the people who said them?

 

We see news stories about Obama partying with the Billionaires and we are supposed to believe he ever cared about us working folk?

 

Some of us know why Obamacare was passed with so many flaws and why the Republicans can't and don't want to fix the problems.  Both political parties were looking out for the insurance industry and Wall st.

 

The Democrats have yet to demonstrate that we matter any more to them than we do to the Republicans.

 

Yes, Trump may be bad, and the Republicans have sold out to appease his base, and perhaps the Democrats might not be as bad, but the trouble is, that as much as we wish, it does not make the Democrats good.

 

We need better options.

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As a prefatory statement, I totally agree that the Democrats have their work cut out for themselves, and the party has divisions that are as serious--albeit quite different in nature--as the Republicans.
 
Something I'm a bit of a broken record on (if you follow me on Twitter), is that one of the key problems that the *electorate* has is that it has drifted a long way from being principally interested in policy and has become very "personality" oriented. I'd argue that the biggest problem with the core of the followings of both Trump and Bernie is that they are basically personality cults, and that was at the core of why this last election went so far off the rails.
 
The heart of Jeffersonian Democracy is based on an educated electorate that makes decisions first and foremost based on the policies that they back, and then choose the candidate--not personality--that supports a sufficient number of the policies that are desired.
 
Unfortunately it's much easier to back "someone you trust" or "the party's or your faction's choice."
 
It's not like this is a new phenomenon, and certainly in most recent elections you had people voting for Bush because you "could see yourself having a beer with him" or Obama because he represented "Hope." But as I said in the other currently active thread on Trump, I think a lot of people went way beyond this in imagining Trump was going to do whatever people wanted to think he would do, rather than actually listening to his words or watching his actions.
 
But that brings me around to what I'd like to say about your post because I think we have to carefully analyze the reality from the reality distortion field that seems to pervade current politics.
 
To wit: I did some research on the quotes you pulled. Starting with Elizabeth Warren:
 
 

Elizabeth Warren said, " If you have a business, you didn't build that business."

 
Elizabeth Warren hasn't said this exactly, but the exact quote *was* the core of several Republican ads by Karl Rove's American Crossroads and Mitt Romney's campaign, where an *Obama* stump speech was creatively edited into that quote. There's a pretty good analysis of this you can find at FactCheck.org, but the quote in context is actually:
 
 

There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
 
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
 
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
 
So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

 

That's a pretty long way from "you didn't build that," or worse, what's implied: "you didn't have a damn thing to do with your success" which is what the Republican's *really* wanted you to hear.
 
And sure enough, if you get angry about that quote, you heard it exactly the way the GOP wanted you to hear it.
 
Now realize that you may not even be predisposed to have heard it that way, but repetition can have that effect, which is why Rove (and Goebbels) said you have to repeat untruths over and over until it's a "fact" even for those who don't believe it.
 
I can't tell you how many people I've talked to who are sure that Hillary "just can't be trusted": not just Republican's, but many Democrats as well. That's what 20 years of armies of political operatives bashing the Clintons will do.
 
A more dispassionate analysis though shows that one of the biggest problems that Democrats have--demonstrated in both these quotes--is that they actually try to approach complex issues with a nuanced approach that actually leads to practical and achievable solutions.
 
But we all know that what really works in politics is simplistic solutions. Worse though, nuanced solutions ripped apart and taken out of context produces lots of seemingly contradictory statements that can be portrayed as "flip-flops" or worse as "just plain wrong."
 
Now the combination of the Republican party being taken over by an extremist wing that has won very specifically on pushing harder on the Republican's traditional solutions of cutting taxes and promoting a laissez faire economy via eliminating regulations than the more moderate factions, has meant that the party--despite controlling the entire government--has not been able to accomplish anything, because the bills put forward so far are so far divorced from reality that the remaining moderates have wisely put up just enough resistance to stop it.
 
I bring this up not so much to criticize it as to point out that when the political institutions crumble, it's actually quite easy to sell the electorate on overly simplistic solutions that don't have a prayer of working in real life.
 
And much of the criticism of the Democrats these days is precisely around the issue that the party's platform is "too complex."
 
Hillary's campaign web site is still up. It's a fascinating example of an outrageously detailed platform and action plan that she was going to carry out.
 
And surprise, surprise, it refutes many of the common complaints about what she said and what she backed as policy. I recommend looking through it when you're looking for policies to back.
 
Hillary had many weaknesses, but honestly, lack of detailed and nuanced policy on just about every problem America is facing today is not one of them.
 
And neither is "not caring about X group."
 
 

Hillary Clinton said, "It's not my job to consider how legislation harms small businesses."


Now I'm pretty good with Teh Google, but for the life of me, I could not find anything remotely close to this quote. And I'll tell you something, if Hillary ever said something the GOP could turn around into a negative ad, it's *easy* to find.
 
Conversely, for those of us who closely followed the evolution of stump speeches last year--and let me tell you, following Trump on this was far more interesting for how much he used immediate feedback to dynamically modify what he said: he's a gol'darn neural network--Hillary made small business a key part of her campaign (this taken from a speech at The New School just because it was handy, but I heard it a lot):
 

I will get up every day thinking about the families of America, like the family I came from, with a hard-working dad who started a small business and scrimped, and saved, and gave us a good middle-class life....
 
Small businesses create more than 60 percent of new American jobs on net, so they have to be a top priority. I've said I want to be the small-business president, and I mean it. And throughout this campaign, I'm going to be talking about how we empower entrepreneurs with less red tape, easier access to capital, tax relief and simplification.

 
Now apropos of the quote you pulled, Hillary was attacked with gusto by Bernie and Jill Stein for these positions, which *they* took out of context to say that Hillary was in the tank for "big business." This really is a technique where "both sides do it."
 
Of course Democrats *are* for reasonable regulation, and those regulations always have costs, so I'm sure there was some case where Hillary was defending a regulation which had a cost to small businesses and through some extraction, someone got "I don't care about small business." Or it may have been her quote about coal companies which got so twisted it's unrecognizable, but it was facing the reality that yes old fashioned coal mines are going the way of the dodo, and those jobs aren't coming back; but she did explain how she wanted to retrain all those people so that they would have good paying jobs in "new energy."
 
Your reaction to such a quote is absolutely correct: a politician saying that would be an idiot and would deserve to lose.
 
But it's important to remember the context and understand that Democrats get tripped up constantly because they want to come up with a nuanced, reasonable approach.
 
And even then you end up with the current debate between "Single Payer" vs. "Medicare Buy-In/Public Option as a transition." That's the Democrats wrestling with "short-snappy talking point that will cause headaches because it's unreasonable" vs. "a policy that's actually got a chance of working but it's complex as hell and opponents will rip it to shreds."
 
 
Now while it's easy to argue that Bernie did horrible and irreparable damage to Hillary, you have to give him credit for having re-ignited populism in the party, and there's a movement of the pendulum back to that space. But a whole lot of things need to change, and when that big of a change is needed, there is a tendency to become despondent and radicalized into thinking that the only way forward is a revolution. 
 
Except for 1776, our country has not done well with revolution, and the only reason it has worked as well as it has is that there is a tolerance for the notion that "a better life" may not be achievable in the next presidential term, but your grandkids might well get it. The Civil War was a revolution that cost many hundreds of thousands of lives, and yet it unfortunately did take another 100 years before former slaves actually got any real "civil rights."
 
So it's very easy to be frustrated these days:
 

The Democrats have yet to demonstrate that we matter any more to them than we do to the Republicans.
 
Yes, Trump may be bad, and the Republicans have sold out to appease his base, and perhaps the Democrats might not be as bad, but the trouble is, that as much as we wish, it does not make the Democrats good.
 
We need better options.


So we are faced right now with a choice: Do we start a revolution to overthrow the government or do we work within to keep it moving forward?

If you talk to the "Alt-Right" their primary goal is to "start a race war" that is a first step toward a revolution of their own. I know folks on the left who have in mind a similar "class war" to overthrow the evil "1%."

 

I like to argue that if we recognize that we're members of an evolving society, we likely won't see the "really good" governance we'd like to see, but we can work hard at it so that our kids and grandkids might be closer to it when we turn it over to them.

 

And of course the bottom line is that Americans like to argue, so if you have 10 people in a room there will easily be 12 opinions. Hard fought compromise and fair play are really the only way to go.

 

Getting folks to realize that 1) You can't always get what you want and 2) it's cheaper in the long run to compromise is the real challenge. We can work the rest of it out as we go along.

 

 

I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat, :phones:

Buffy

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As a prefatory statement, I totally agree that the Democrats have their work cut out for themselves, and the party has divisions that are as serious--albeit quite different in nature--as the Republicans.

 

So we are faced right now with a choice: Do we start a revolution to overthrow the government or do we work within to keep it moving forward?

 

If you talk to the "Alt-Right" their primary goal is to "start a race war" that is a first step toward a revolution of their own. I know folks on the left who have in mind a similar "class war" to overthrow the evil "1%."

 

I like to argue that if we recognize that we're members of an evolving society, we likely won't see the "really good" governance we'd like to see, but we can work hard at it so that our kids and grandkids might be closer to it when we turn it over to them.

 

 

Thank you Buffy, for reminding me of the context and paraphrased nature of the statements that get stuck in my head.

 

I watched the last election in horror as Republicans I know oft said that a vote for anybody other than Trump was a vote for Hillary, or that we have to support Trump because he won the nomination.  I was stunned into silence by the stupidity of those attitudes, and Hillary's "Basket of deplorables" comment did not help her one bit.  It has also become more difficult in this modern internet age to find real news beyond soundbites and opinion pieces.

 

The presidential debates lack debate of substance.  I still remember the Bush - Gore debates, and how much the two agreed with each other.  Gore's lack of personality did not help.  And then there were the Cheny - Liberman  debates where the two were in so much agreement.

 

In this last election cycle, the minimum wage debate didn't help with those of us who own businesses and pay ourselves less than minimum wage to keep our businesses afloat.  I once had to go a month without paying myself any salary.  If you want to help minimum wage earners, why not start by not withholding taxes on those wages?  Hiring people creates a lot of paperwork, and we have to match the social security and medicare, and then if our payroll goes up much we have to pay unemployment taxes as well.

 

My industry is in it's death throes now, and both political parties did nothing but allow the consolidation of the processing and retail sectors that tightened the grip of their power in the market.   The solution we are offered is that we should buy margin insurance to lock in a price that we can't profit from

 

We need our political parties to do better.

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I have to admit in my mind I voted for the lesser of two evils by selecting Hillary. I think if the Demos. were to run someone else, anyone else they would have won, that's just my opinion of course. She just had, and still has so much political power inside her party to make them nominate her. 

 

As Buffy stated the minimum wage topic was ugly. The MW would need it's own thread and I don't want to go into that, but MW and health care I want to touch on. I believe there is/was a lot of ignorance out there in those small towns all over the US that voted for Trump. Not that they're all stupid rednecks, but I don't believe they understood that Trump was trying to stop increase of MW. Effectively voting for a pay cut for themselves and their jobs at Walmart and grocery stores they are employed at.

 

I don't think they understood the health care debate as well, and this is why you have congressmen and senators coming back to their home state for raucous town hall meetings. The videos I've seen show many people who are irate, confused, and panicked over the fact that they will lose their health insurance. Once again this is what you wanted. Trump said he would try to get rid of Obamacare and he's doing it. I can't fault him for that, but I don't think a lot of people understood what they were voting for when they choose Trump. They may have been focused on his pledge to stop immigrants coming in or they didn't want a women running the country, whatever their reasons were, I don't think they understood all the implications coming along for the ride. IMHO

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I have to admit in my mind I voted for the lesser of two evils by selecting Hillary.

Gasp!  (lol)

 

Well, I voted for Johnson, the Libertarian, even though he probably has smoked way too much pot, at least he wasn't hiding anything.  I know a lot was made about him not knowing about Aleppo, but you know, Obama knew all about it, and what difference exactly did his knowing make?

 

The sad fact is, the Republicans put up the worst possible candidate, and Hilary, still lost!  You would think they  might want to take time to reflect about that.

 

  I agree with the Democrats on a lot of social issues, but too many of their candidates just want act like Robin Hood.  As a farmer, I don't want farm subsidies, or any kind of a handout.  What I want is for us to have access to a fair marketplace, and for everyone to be required to follow the same rule book.

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Where do the Dems/Repubs.sit on a fair marketplace for farming? I'm not that familiar with the policies of each party. But from what I read, very large conglomerates were taking over a good portion of the farming industry. In the process pushing independent farmers out because they can't spread the costs of a bad year over a larger inventory or customer base. Is this true or am I misinformed? I don't remember Trump talking about the farming issue, but then I didn't see all his campaign arguments.

 

I would also assume that these larger conglomerates have a political action committee (PAC) that suites their interests correct? I also assume there are different subsidies to offset the tariffs put on by certain nations? If you don't mind enlighten me.  

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Where do the Dems/Repubs.sit on a fair marketplace for farming? I'm not that familiar with the policies of each party. But from what I read, very large conglomerates were taking over a good portion of the farming industry. In the process pushing independent farmers out because they can't spread the costs of a bad year over a larger inventory or customer base. Is this true or am I misinformed? I don't remember Trump talking about the farming issue, but then I didn't see all his campaign arguments.

 

I would also assume that these larger conglomerates have a political action committee (PAC) that suites their interests correct? I also assume there are different subsidies to offset the tariffs put on by certain nations? If you don't mind enlighten me.  

Trump has said almost nothing of which I am aware about agriculture, although I seem to remember some statement he made in Scotland on his golf resort about the neighboring farm being disgusting.

 

When I took an Agricultural Economics class in college, the professor stated that the farmers had a strong lobby in Washington, and I just had to raise my hand and point out that the reality was there is a strong agribusiness lobby in Washington. That is quite different than a farm lobby.  My opinion about farm subsidies is that they exist to keep cheap food available to the processors who won't have to pay the full cost.  I have seen many neighboring farms go out of business over the years in spite of all this "free money"  Most of the failed farms took more advantage of government programs than we did.

 

Politicians of all parties have little to no understanding about where food comes from and what it takes to produce it and get it to consumers.  It seems they are too busy counting the money available for their campaigns.

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How would you know?

 

 

But your new shoes are worn at the heels, and your suntan does rapidly peel, :phones:
Buffy

 

You're right. I don't know. I was simply offering a thought/opinion. It sure would be nice if the Democrats were to lose every single general election from this point on but I know it's silly because people pretty much can fall for anything. When Republicans suck, they'll vote Democrat and when Democrats suck, they'll just go back to voting Republican. Ultimately though, I think politics is a joke:

 

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.” - Mark Twain
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Quite to the contrary.

 

When both parties fail so miserably, we all suffer.

 

We need a calm and reasoned approach to governance, and a steady hand at the helm.

Some people probably think I'm totally "Red Pill." I see myself more as a hybrid of both "Red Pill" and "Black Pill" but I'm more of "Black Pill" than I am of "Red Pill":

 

https://www.amerika.org/science/the-black-pill/

 

As long as I don't have "Blue Pill," I'm fine with that because "Blue Pill" is mostly a false illusion. Of course, there will always be exceptions or outliers but it's the average that matters anyways.

Edited by serenesam
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You're right. I don't know. I was simply offering a thought/opinion. It sure would be nice if the Democrats were to lose every single general election from this point on but I know it's silly because people pretty much can fall for anything. When Republicans suck, they'll vote Democrat and when Democrats suck, they'll just go back to voting Republican. Ultimately though, I think politics is a joke:

Ah the cynical fatalism of youth... It appears though you're mainly scared of the labels. Doesn't appear you spend enough time looking at actual issues. I've noticed that among Zeitgeist Movement fanboys. Sad.

DHxrW5eUAAA-gob.jpg

 

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid, :phones:

Buffy

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Ah the cynical fatalism of youth... It appears though you're mainly scared of the labels. Doesn't appear you spend enough time looking at actual issues. I've noticed that among Zeitgeist Movement fanboys. Sad.

DHxrW5eUAAA-gob.jpg

 

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid, :phones:

Buffy

Yeah, what's up with you hating on "Independents" whether they be more towards the Left OR the Right?

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I've noticed that among Zeitgeist Movement fanboys. Sad.

 

You know, it's kind of ironic you say that. Both The Zeitgeist Movement and Resource Based Economy related type movements claim to be sound in science. I used to be a part of their global forum (same username of serenesam) and I believe there were a lot of the members that were engineers or studied science. 

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Yeah, what's up with you hating on "Independents" whether they be more towards the Left OR the Right?

 

Oh my. You appear to be unclear on the difference between what you call yourself and how others perceive you.

 

Sadly for you, you don't get to tell people how they ought to think about you. You have to demonstrate it.

 

Your drooling paeans to Trump and your unsupported, seeming irrational loathing of Democrats, along with your CYA-oriented "pox on all their houses" thrown in as an afterthought makes you look like nothing so much as a Russian bot.

 

Fortunately for you, your internet history is just barely long enough to pin you as an, um, "INTJ disaffected youth."

 

What's interesting of course is that history shows you've tried it even with groups that might be receptive, and...

 

You know, it's kind of ironic you say that. Both The Zeitgeist Movement and Resource Based Economy related type movements claim to be sound in science. I used to be a part of their global forum (same username of serenesam) and I believe there were a lot of the members that were engineers or studied science.

 

...it looks like they really didn't put up with your act.

 

Now you're certainly right that The Zeitgeist Movement has actual scientists among its leadership and members, but honest, being a "scientist" does not make you immune to belief in wild, triumphalist, utopian fantasies. 

 

You should consider the statistic that only 10% of scientists voted for Trump.

 

 

You're welcome to continue to make a fool of yourself here. As you've seen, there are plenty folks here happy to disabuse you of your nuttier notions. But that may be generally considered to be a bad idea.

 

 

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday, :phones:

Buffy

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Oh my. You appear to be unclear on the difference between what you call yourself and how others perceive you.

 

Sadly for you, you don't get to tell people how they ought to think about you. You have to demonstrate it.

 

Your drooling paeans to Trump and your unsupported, seeming irrational loathing of Democrats, along with your CYA-oriented "pox on all their houses" thrown in as an afterthought makes you look like nothing so much as a Russian bot.

 

Fortunately for you, your internet history is just barely long enough to pin you as an, um, "INTJ disaffected youth."

Do you mind telling me how precisely you know about my internet history? Have you like literally been to every single place I've been too? 

 

 What's interesting of course is that history shows you've tried it even with groups that might be receptive, and...

 

 

...it looks like they really didn't put up with your act.

Wrong. Try again. 

 

Now you're certainly right that The Zeitgeist Movement has actual scientists among its leadership and members, but honest, being a "scientist" does not make you immune to belief in wild, triumphalist, utopian fantasies. 

 

You should consider the statistic that only 10% of scientists voted for Trump.

 

 

You're welcome to continue to make a fool of yourself here. As you've seen, there are plenty folks here happy to disabuse you of your nuttier notions. But that may be generally considered to be a bad idea.

 

 

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday, :phones:

Buffy

Well, if you were actually present during the time when that global forum for The Zeitgeist Movement was still active, you would have known that I pointed out that the general election was rigged and that Trump was a pawn. 

 

In any case, I suspect the real reason why that forum was pulled was because I made some valid points that couldn't be argued with and it really, really made The Alt-Right look soooooo good. 

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