Monday, August 8, 2016

The Left & Trump

Update (hopefully the final one): Some good notes on Corey Robin the odd hate coming from the center left.

I was going to say something about the whole reaction to Trump. I suppose I've been more patient than most because I'm not a fan of the center left [1] and think that their condescending mocking of Trump has mainly been about etiquette. But I cannot stay above the fray much longer, even if I think that some of the reasons against Trump are unfair. There are too many examples of those following Trump and things that he have said that point to a xenophobia that is dangerous, too dangerous for this nation. [2]

Of course, I will write more later, but there has been enough said. A great argument here between Reich and Hedges is borderline classic. Mainly because both participants have a high level of street cred and being more than willing to fight against the establishment, even if it's a Democrat.

I know that Chris Hedges comes across as a firebrand. Nevertheless, while I certainly have issues with some of his arguments [3], but much of what he has said has come to pass. Not to mention that he is a humanitarian who walks the walk, spending as much air time to speak to those disenfranchised today. 

In the video you can see the main point of contention is not on the state of the nation [4] but what to do now. It does seem like a genuinely hard question to answer, with both sides holding strong beliefs. Indeed, there are many similarities between Obama and Bush (in some policies), but how does one equate the two? What about Hillary and Trump. 

Unfortunately the debate only further cements my view that face to face debates need to be augmented with some technology to make them more than two shouting matches, or a time for bumper sticker slogans. 

But on the matter of the two choices we have for President, there are real issues on the table that should affect the choice. That the main powers that be will be siding with Hillary should give any progressive a moment's pause. So too should the coalition of neo-liberals and hawkish neo-cons, that seems to be the natural gang against Trump. Yet, one look at how Trump deals with protesters and the people at his speeches should not only make one think twice, but also know that domestically he is calling for something like a war. And even if he isn't doing that for overseas wars, he really does, and thus can't be believed to be an "anti-stupid war" candidate. 

In the end, one can only say that the debate will continue (a good example being right here), and I certainly will put in my two cents when the moment comes. I, for one, think that  between Trump Hillary race only, I will vote for the former. Hell, Chomsky thinks the same. But I also realize that I haven't thought it entirely through. I will post it when I do. Your thoughts?

Update: I do want to add another point that I'm not saying that feelings don't count. Most people will vote on some triangulation of feelings and hearing what people they trust say (and that too is tied into what people think of themselves, where they stand on the social ladder, how far they want to get and, ultimately, the mannerisms of the candidate) [5]. Otherwise it's simply impossible for any one to go through all the policies and what powerful people are backing what candidate. And being what it is, some people will have pet issues that matter more to them.

Update 2: One more point on the background to this election, in that I hear (ostensibly too many teens amongst them) in places like reddit and the like that much of the Trump popularity (and what one hears in his rallies) are a result of PC running amok and people pushing back against that. If only it were that simple. First what one hears in those rallies isn't anything new (for those who know some people who are racist and ignorant), nor is it entirely excusable[6].

And I have written about free speech and how anyone on the left who claims they don't want to hear vitriol on their airwaves are anything but liberal. In fact they are the polar opposite of it. I've even been told, by supposed liberals "why should I hear that if I don't want to?". In other words, they want to silence those they disagree with. I've gone at length into this—to include arguing how wrong the likes of xkcd and the general elite [7] view of this is—and there are many ways to combat it.

However, nothing about Trump or the vocal part of his supporters shows that they are actually trying to change this either. In fact, all they want are their own safe places and to silence their opponents. [8] See this article, where they boo, yes boo, a veteran's mother. WTF?! Many of their complaints are against her asking the wrong questions at a town hall. In other words, they want to silence views they don't agree with.

This isn't new. They recently attacked veterans who didn't agree with them. Again, this isn't surprising, but it shows that they are anything but a reaction to the idea of PC and safe places etc. They are the embodiment of such thinking and no liberal should ever try to side with them in terms of tactics.

That is all. Thoughts?

Update3: One more thing that I can't seem to stand is how the center left is simple trying to browbeat those to their left into submission. What happened to ideas? Here we have Brad Delong saying that if you're not "All in" on HRC, whatever that means,

"Squishes not all-in with Hillary, this is your wake-up call: endorse her now, or look forward to not being received in polite society for the rest of your natural or unnatural life"

Brilliant takedown. /s I'm guessing this means that there will be purity test and anyone not pure will be blamed for all wrongs. Great, sounds like the Right wing, if you ask me.

The same thing happened with Bernie; even the likes of Krugman seemed to shutdown with their usually brilliant wonkish analysis and instead they berated the younger population voting for Bernie. And when Bernie lost, no matter how, they were told to get in line. What a way to look to the future of the party and including the young people. Not sure why there is such dismissiveness, but it won't help. If someone is pissed off enough with the establishment, it will only cause them to be dismissive right back, and to our detriment.


Update 4: And one final update: Krugman here with with a great point on Trump's supposed "populist" stances and his economic ones (which are very not). Again, this is the side of Trump I care the least for: the same non-evidence based economic moves that lead to a version of democide (not that the democrats haven't dabbled in that either). I'm not being dramatic. When Pence seems to act better mannered than Trump, I think this is less a point than the fact that his policies led to the death (albeit to the wrong kind of people in his view) of people. For no reason.

Now, yes what Trump said was ridiculous, since he tends to shoot off at the mouth at all times, and seems so thin skinned that the likes of Putin would play him easily. But let's not stop focusing on those policies and ending them as "reasoned" ideas here and now.

[1] Looking, with all their  references to Reagan to grab as many center right wingers as possible; though I hope that they are not leaning towards the right, as much as they may want to (it's my belief that Obama and even Hillary are products of the Reagan shift to the right and really do harbor a lot of love for the center right views of that time. I don't think this is with any evidence, simply products of their time (and, to be fair, the left was decimated pretty well at the time). There is hope that Hillary is the same person who tried for single payer way back when—that she is only moving to the right in a strategic manner after that defeat, hence her friends in power—but that remains to be seen. 

[2] Again, I'll get into it, but some of the other things he has said are not as dangerous, and yet are treated as such. I'll also note that the people on the right who hate him, only think that because they think him a NYC liberal.

[3] Not from the video, but mainly from many of his books I've read. He's good, and has a lot of fire in his arguments, but it can mean a certain specificity is missing. I will also say that even some of my left-leaning friends don't like him, but that's more a matter of presentation than anything (he is radical and isn't afraid to say so). 

[4] Very refreshing since the it's very disingenuous to see the likes of the NYtimes etc to claim the economy is A-OK. It isn't. And even if people like me see that it's the Republicans with their odd need for austerity that's to blame, I won't let the Democrats off the hook that easily. It's not like they've been out fighting for the little guy, hence how Trump has come about.

[5] I'll go so far as to say that I'm now a big proponent of mandatory voting. Everyone should vote since there appear to be too many interested in making sure certain people don't vote. 

[6] Hell, and I'm willing to blame much of what has befallen working class Americans on the establishment, but this racism is still too much and the anger is misplaced. Therefore I cannot abide by it.

[7] By this I mean that the need to silence people is usually a function of power. It has nothing to do with free speech or wanting "safe places". It means, sure enough, that the very reason for free speech is shut off and driven underground. That those in power have done it for so long (many of Trump supporters are reacting to not being able to do to others anymore as is being done to them) does not make it right.

[8] And again, this is why no one who is liberal can take a similar stance for their own views as it's merely trying to be like the oppressor, instead of changing the framing of the discussion.

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  1. I share your concerns about Hillary, but I'd take her in a heartbeat over Trump. The devil you know vs the devil you don't. We have a pretty good idea of the bad things a Hillary presidency could lead to. With Trump, we have no idea and the sky is the limit, particularly in light of his recent comments on nuclear weapons. He could turn out to be not so bad. Or he could antagonize one of the nuclear powers and be the president who starts WWIII.

    1. That's a good point, now that I think of it. There's also the fact that Hillary would be easier to influence from the left, while I'm sure that Trump would ignore the left, if not try to crush it in other ways. The link with Chomsky saying the lesser evil is just that, is worthwhile and leans towards what you say.
      From what I gather, those in the left (far left) are trying to influence the conversation now, so has to change the topics, but if it were November and it was Trump vs HRC, they would pick the latter (Cornel West said as much on the Maher show). There's some intelligence to this view, as if you're in CA or another state that's "safe" it would not hurt to push the Green party towards that coveted 15% so as to help things for the future. Mind, that I'm for HRC over Trump, but I do want more questions. [1]

      [1] Though I full well know the way the world works and how people can view that as a weakness in the candidate, thus influencing things down the line.


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