Liberal/Progressives could be characterized as practical and reasonable.


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 41 weeks 2 days ago

I like Bernie's description of the difference between liberal and progressive. Liberal policies address social issues. Progressive policies address economic issues.

Coalage3 41 weeks 2 days ago

From Mark Lilla’s forthcoming (August 15) book The Once And Future Liberal:

Electoral politics is a little like fishing. When you fish you get up early in the morning and go to where the fish are — not to where you might wish them to be. You then drop bait into the water (bait being defined as something they want to eat, not as “healthy choices”). Once the fish realize they are hooked they may resist. Let them; loosen your line. Eventually they will calm down and you can slowly reel them in, careful not to provoke them unnecessarily. The identity liberals’ approach to fishing is to remain on shore, yelling at the fish about the historical wrongs visited on them by the sea, and the need for aquatic life to renounce its privilege. All in the hope that the fish will collectively confess their sins and swim to shore to be netted. If that is your approach to fishing, you had better become a vegan.

ronsears 41 weeks 2 days ago

Coalage3 Thanks for the quote. Dead on allegory. I love it. Need to get this book.

Taking these thoughts and running a bit, $100's of Millions of dollars have been and will be spent to convince voters in our country (our fellow citizens and patriots) that the "United" part of USA doesn't exist and that they should either:
A-- Abandon themselves to helpless cynicism and permanently give up on any effective political action (The Oligarch's preferred outcome), or
B-- Permanently move into an ultra right ghetto, where the framing in your head prevents you from even hearing information that goes against the self-destructive beliefs all that expensive propaganda has created. Just stay tuned into FOX and Sinclair, and everything will remain nice and comfy and safe in your head.

To me that means, exactly as the quote you present implies, we need to directly attack these propaganda created divisions in our country with common ground goals that (as close as possible) everyone in the US can support.

Trump's web of lies is actually making this easier. As his unhinged nonsense falls apart in front of his supporters, and going back to the allegory you quote, that is the perfect time to point out how bitter the ultra right crap in the water tastes, and offer all the hungry fish what they were looking for in the first place - Bernie's Progressive ideals presented without demeaning insults or any self-righteous "I told you so" ultra-liberal chest beating.

Votes are votes are votes. You either figure out how to tell the truth in a way that wins over the majority, or you loose. Fortunately for Progressives and Liberals, it is a lot easier to present the truth in a convincing package than it is to dress up self-destructive lies.

Coalage3 41 weeks 1 day ago

Libs/progressives/democrats are going to have to get away from their pro-Fascist tendencies and get back to a pro-economic growth agenda.

What has happened to the democratic party in this country?

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 41 weeks 1 day ago

I consider Thom Hartmann a liberal. This allegory does not seem to apply to him at all. The entire resist movement seems to not apply. The fishing scheme seems not to apply to democracy. The fishing scheme does apply to the billionaires/fascists/republicans/corporatists/oligarchs. The allegory that seems to apply is the billionaires etc keep the liberals/progressives from getting anywhere near the shore (the shore being the media).

Per Bernie's definition, progressives are in no way pro-fascist. The so-called liberals of the third way (Bill, Barack, and Hillary) seem to be pro-fascist.

Since I am highly biased, it may not be the way it seems to me. Please explain to me what you think liberals/progressives should be doing.

ronsears 41 weeks 1 day ago

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OK, chuckle8, I will take a shot at answering your question.

I agree with your point that first we need to get past media control before we can even begin to wage a successful political campaign ("fish"). That is perhaps one of the main goals of Thom Hartmann's discussion site.

I certainly don't have all the answers, and standing up against the Oil Plutocrat's well-funded and diverse strategies to complete their coup against our Democracy will require a wide range of parallel efforts. That said, I believe one absolutely key element of the fight will be presenting issues that a great majority of Americans can support, issues that punch through media bias specifically because they rally all sides of the political spectrum. Advocacy for such issues directly reverses years of right-wing efforts to separate us into "red" and "blue" camps, and ideally convince us to simply give up.

Find ways to defeat these bought and paid for artificial political divisions in our country, and you strike at the heart of the Plutocrat's political strategy. They are scared to death of any issues or candidates that threaten to unite the Left, Right, and Moderates. That is why any progressive ideas (solar and wind power) lurking around the original Tea Party movement were immediately killed off and Bernie Sanders was given virtually no press for the first half of his primary campaign.

If you want to feel a bit more optimistic about the political fight we are in, look at the latest "fist" marketing campaign from the NRA. They are now so desperate they are literally on the verge of bringing down a Homeland Security investigation on themselves for advocating armed insurrection. You know you are having an impact when your opponents scream out the same old bankrupt arguments even louder.

johnc's picture
johnc 40 weeks 6 days ago

'Liberal/Progressives could be characterized as practical and reasonable.' - and that is all? Really? It is so common truth that everone fits this quote. :)

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 40 weeks 5 days ago

ronsears -- Thanks for your thoughtful response. Did you hear Keith Ellison when he was on Thom for more than 5 minutes? Some caller suggested to Keith something like you are saying. The caller said the democratic party needs to present those issues that a super majority of Americans agree on. Keith's response was we are. Keith was bemoaning the fact that the media ignores them and some other reasons.

Of course, the media and therefore the political process is owned by the oligarchs of fossil fuel, banking, pharmaceuticals and others. Since SCOTUS unleashed this on us, I think I have an idea that might help us fight back. Based on listening to Thom, I think we should call our congressman and inform them they have the power over both POTUS and SCOTUS. With regard to SCOTUS we should suggest to our congress person that they should read Article 3, Section 2 of the constitution. I think telling them once a week would be good.

rs allen 40 weeks 5 days ago

What a bunch of BS.

The DNC, what the hell is that? Let us look into that; is that the same group that has for 50 years campaigned liberal and governed conservative? Is that the same crew that gives lip service to any liberal cause of the moment only to blanatly forget those promises supposedly in the name of some compromise or another? The DNC, what the hell is that? The moderate wing of the GOP just to oppose the reactionaries on the far right?

The DNC liberal? The DNC progressive? What a laugh. There isn't one damn liberal or progressive cause the DNC hasn't sold down the river sometime in the last 50 years. Try it, name just one liberal cause that isn't swirling the drain or already disappeared down a toilet bowl flushed by the DNCs' wondrous compromising.

Coalage3 40 weeks 4 days ago

Liberal Mark Lilla offers his current assessment of liberals/progressives:

Conservatives complain loudest about today’s campus follies, but it is really liberals who should be angry. The big story is not that leftist professors successfully turn millions of young people into dangerous political radicals every year. It is that they have gotten students so obsessed with their personal identities that, by the time they graduate, they have much less interest in, and even less engagement with, the wider political world outside their heads.

There is a great irony in this. The supposedly bland, conventional universities of the 1950s and early ’60s incubated the most radical generation of American citizens perhaps since our founding. Young people were incensed by the denial of voting rights out there, the Vietnam War out there, nuclear proliferation out there, capitalism out there, colonialism out there. Yet once that generation took power in the universities, it proceeded to depoliticize the liberal elite, rendering its members unprepared to think about the common good and what must be done practically to secure it—especially the hard and unglamorous task of persuading people very different from themselves to join a common effort.

Every advance of liberal identity consciousness has marked a retreat of liberal political consciousness. There can be no liberal politics without a sense of We—of what we are as citizens and what we owe each other. If liberals hope ever to recapture America’s imagination and become a dominant force across the country, it will not be enough to beat the Republicans at flattering the vanity of the mythical Joe Sixpack. They must offer a vision of our common destiny based on one thing that all Americans, of every background, share.

And that is citizenship. We must relearn how to speak to citizens as citizens and to frame our appeals for solidarity—including ones to benefit particular groups—in terms of principles that everyone can affirm.

Black Lives Matter is a textbook example of how not to build solidarity. By publicizing and protesting police mistreatment of African-Americans, the movement delivered a wake-up call to every American with a conscience. But its decision to use this mistreatment to build a general indictment of American society and demand a confession of white sins and public penitence only played into the hands of the Republican right.

I am not a black male motorist and will never know what it is like to be one. If I am going to be affected by his experience, I need some way to identify with him, and citizenship is the only thing I know that we share. The more the differences between us are emphasized, the less likely I will be to feel outrage at his mistreatment.

The politics of identity has done nothing but strengthen the grip of the American right on our institutions. It is the gift that keeps on taking. Now is the time for liberals to do an immediate about-face and return to articulating their core principles of solidarity and equal protection for all. Never has the country needed it more.

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