End the odes to political ‘civility’. Do you really think Republicans will reciprocate?

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    • #379547
      • Total Posts: 10,976


      Polarization isn’t an objectively given reality; it’s a rightwing political project and, not least, it’s big business – just look at the talk radio millionaires. Rightwing populists deepen divisions and reduce all policy questions to questions of cultural belonging. What makes them distinctive is not their criticism of elites, but the invidious suggestion that not every citizen is part of what such politicians often call “the real people”. Trump told four congresswomen to go home to their shitholish countries; his sycophant Jim Jordan tweeted that “Americans love America. They don’t want their neighborhoods turning into San Francisco.”

      This strategy has worked well enough for a Republican party whose economic policies are utterly out of line with what large majorities of Americans actually want. For a counter-majoritarian party of plutocratic populism, riling people up with apocalyptic visions of “real America” being destroyed by black and brown people is not an add-on, but the core mechanism of an electoral outrage-and-grievances machine oiled with resources from the 0.01%. The noise of that machine effectively keeps people distracted from the plutocratic policies most Americans find unappealing.

      Fierce partisanship is not in itself a symptom of politics gone wrong. On the contrary: we would not need democracy if we did not have deep disagreements and divisions – which are inevitable, as long as we live in a free society. The problem arises when disagreement translates into disrespect. Disrespect doesn’t mean just being impolite; it means denying the standing of particular citizens – and, as a logical next step, actively trying to disenfranchise people. Republicans have been working towards a situation in which a combination of voter suppression and what the philosopher Kate Manne has called “trickle-down aggression” – acts of private political intimidation tacitly endorsed by Trump – shrinks the political power and relevance of many Americans in a way favorable to the interests of the Republican party.

      None of this is to say that culture is off-limits for democratic conflict. Of course, it’s not always clear how abortion, for instance, is really about “culture”. But even deep moral disagreements can be accommodated in a democracy – provided that both winners and losers have another chance to fight the fight. Contrary to Mitch McConnell’s gloating, losers don’t just “go home”, but get to hold winners accountable and develop systematic policy alternatives. Democracy always allows for second thoughts; it’s only when the stakes become absolutely existential, or religious, that society gets locked in a scorched-earth, zero-sum battle.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #379629
      • Total Posts: 7,433

      the Democratic party.

    • #379645
      • Total Posts: 6,995

      All the incivility is just for show, for campaign purposes, IMO.  Remember, Graham high-fived Harris when the Democrats won?  Both parties are looking forward to continuing their kabuki theater.  Biden is not even hiding that, what with the NON-progressive folks he is building his administration with.    The Democratic Party has moved across the aisle.  Maybe that is easier to see when one is not a Democrat.  And the Guardian is full of crap – the Democrats are also big fans of polarization.  They just have different identity groups as targets.

      America is not a country, it's just a business. (Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly)

      Everything I post is just my opinion, and, honestly, I would love to be wrong.

      "black flag" is an inadvertent mash-up of black ops and false flag. . I think it is accurate, and I will keep it. Thanks to those who pointed it out!

      • #379652
        • Total Posts: 514

        He didn’t expect the left would fall for it this easily.

        Now it’s back to business as usual.

        On edit: Trump is gone yay. Now please send me lots of money to push Biden left.

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