Mending the Great Divide

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    • #11846
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      Seems to get bigger every year.  No, no seeming about it, It does get bigger every year.  The Democrats hatred for Trump – and now all things Russia, has gone to extremes.  I’ll grant – most of us arent terribly fond of him either – and for good reason.

      It is increasingly apparent though, that we are all picking our sides, lining up, as it were, in anticipation of the next election.  We’ve got Warren fans, Gabbard fans, Sanders fans – the occasional Trump fan.  Sites like SV have their own, our friends over at freeperville and so on.

      I remember, in the early days of JPR we had some of each sort.  Even the occasional conservative.

      I think… that who we support for office doesnt matter nearly as much as our common goals, the common good of all.  I think the politicians will deliberately set us against each other and do all they can to stir the pot.

      So, as a caution for the incoming bickering and anger… remember who we are.  There was a reason we got involved, each of us.  A reason we decided to care about things political.

      It goes well beyond red or blue, this politician or that.  We may have gotten involved with the Sanders campaign – but it was because of what he represented.  Decency, honesty, compassion.

      If we lose those things, we may as well go back to SV or freeperville and go back to drinking red or blue koolaid.

      Who ever we support, whatever our reasons, I hope we can all remember that we are in this together.  It is about US.  Not party, not politician, not team.  We are (I sincerely believe) in this struggle for the good of all.

      If we can keep that fact close in our hearts and minds, we will accomplish things far greater than political.  A revolution in compassion, in decency.. in honesty.

      Our reason and our empathy, our care for each other… those, more than strength or even intellect, are our greatest tools.  We do not stand alone.  Alone, we may fall to our knees and crumble.  Together, shoulder to shoulder, in the fight for humanity… that is how we will win.  And dont doubt it, together, we WILL win.

      Just my ten cents.. something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

    • #11847
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      To be a bit more specific about what we will win…

      A majority of the American people support single payer healthcare.  Free college tuition – improvements to our social programs to make them more fair.  Equal pay, civil rights, paid maternity/paternity leave.  We are even drawing slowly closer to mass support for UBI.  A green revolution to heal the land.  Renewable energy.  All of that and much, much more.

      That is what we can and will win, will gain, by standing together.  If we continue to divide down the middle… then it is far more likely we will all come to grief.

      Build on our strengths, care for each other.  Focus on our common humanity and goals… and the politicians wont matter.  We, the people, will dictate policy for a better Country and a better world.

    • #11866
      Cold Mountain Trail
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 9,844

      “politicians will deliberately set us against each other and do all they can to stir the pot.”

      +++ and not only politicians; the rulers generally always do just that

    • #11884
      Mr. Mickeys Mom
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 4,301

      PLUS, PLUS, PLUS, INFINITY, D the G…
      In fact, if we don’t keep our eye on the “prize”, e.g. THE ISSUES, there will be a continuation of distraction, which is the goal to keep things as they are…

      Things are NOT good, and if we don’t step back from our grounded preferences (is that identity politics? Geez, I think so), then we’ll never progress as a species on this earth.

      Get thee to the Greatest Page! This is the only sermon to which I’ll say “Amen” on this day!

      Hell, no... I'm not giving up...

    • #11931
      RobertFromNC
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 96

      “I think… that who we support for office doesnt matter nearly as much as our common goals, the common good of all”

      I agree with you on this and hope this site keeps that in mind. It seems like, at least to me anyway, that most here want Bernie 1st, Tulsi, 2nd, then whoever is running on the Green ticket. Personally, I just want the progressive that has the best shot at winning. I am open to supporting anyone who runs on the policies and brings attention to the issues that Bernie ran on the last time around, but I know many here have trust issues with anyone else. I would certainly be very happy with Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, or Sherrod Brown for example, but I am not sure if most here would. However, I can’t say that I don’t blame them for not trusting politicians though, and Bernie and Tulsi probably come closest to earning my trust of anyone in office. I will admit I trust those two to fight for what we want more than just about anybody else.

      Regardless, we are going to have to fight for progressive values ourselves. I don’t think we can just simply rely on any politician to enact what we want. Even FDR famously said, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it” Obviously, some are also going to work against us, such as the Republicans and the Dems beholden to corporations, and we must work to defeat them.

      • #11936
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 17,151

        Since I live in Ohio, and have voted for Sherrod Brown twice, I would like to share my serious concerns about him with you. I wasn’t going to, but last year I did vote for him because his Republican opponent, a vulture capitalist who made his fortune off of private nursing homes where patients died horrible deaths caused by neglect-for-profit, a criminal who was charged with state income tax evasion and paid some steep-sounding fines, a man who directly appealed to the worst in Trump’s base, was simply too enraging to bear.

        Sherrod’s pro-union, supported George McGovern when he attended Yale in 1972, broke his promise to vote against any Obamacare bill without a public option, refuses to come right out for Medicare-for-All, votes with imperialists on defense and foreign affairs, and is married to Connie Schultz, a Vichy Democratic opinion writer who writes articles like this, and I am using one of her least disgusting, IMO,

        https://www.creators.com/read/connie-schultz/09/16/hillary-clinton-everywoman

        I don’t want to have to choose between Sherrod Brown or Trump/Pence. I urge all progressive Democrats to support someone more trustworthy than Brown in the primaries. I cannot support a Democrat I cannot vote for. For Senate, yes, sometimes. For President? Never. Democrats must understand this position, for it is shared by many independent leftists such as myself, and also No Blue No Matter Who-for-anything-type independent leftists.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #11937
      Jan Boehmerman
      Moderator
      • Total Posts: 3,507

      I’m with you…..though I’m not optimistic.  Ohio’s motto:  At least we’re not West Virginia!

      • #12036
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 17,151

        Lol! Like Cleveland’s is “At least we’re not Detroit. Or Flint.”

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

      • #12064
        RobertFromNC
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 96

        I thought Brown was for Medicare For All, in fact, I was under the impression that he was one of the early supporters of Medicare For All, like Bernie. I do prefer Medicare for all, but the ACA has saved a lot of lives and money, it covers more people who would not have healthcare otherwise, and would have covered everyone if not for the Supreme Court decision that let states opt out of Medicaid expansion. I also don’t think that we are going to get Medicare for all all at once, if we ever get it at all. I think that it is going to have to start out as a public option at the federal level and be implemented at the state level in some blue states. Hopefully it would eventually become a single-payer system. However, I of course do think that running presidential candidates who fight for single-payer is a good idea because it increases the chances of it happening eventually, most likely happening sooner if/when it does get implemented, and a better compromise would likely result in the short-term.

        I will admit I don’t know much about Brown’s foreign policy, however I do know that he was against the Iraq War. With that being said, one major concern that I do have is that I have heard his record on the environment is not very good, although I don’t know much about it personally.

        • #12096
          Enthusiast
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 4,579

          Sherrod Brown says he is for something called a “Medicare Buy in”. Not a good position if he wants my vote.

          Support for Medicare for All is my measuring stick. Millions of us already know how far behind the USA falls as a nation when it comes to health care.

          Sherrod Brown is one of those Democrats that act like, “As long as they don’t know how badly they are being screwed with the help of government and corporate America, we can continue to lie to them.”

          Sherrod Brown is just another corporate Democrat.

          I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".

          Me

        • #12185
          OCMI
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 135

          ACA is not sustainable, and was poorly designed from the start, as could be expected from legislation written by and for the medical industry vultures.

          ACA reduced the floor for acceptable medical coverage that employers provide, while also providing the absolute minimum for individual plans.  Something I never see mentioned in MSM is the degraded benefits being offered by large employers who are choosing to follow the bronze-silver-gold-platinum coverage requirements.

          What is considered “affordable” about coverage that only requires coverage of 60% of “average” costs by the insurance company while premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance requirements increase every year?

          Those previously considered uninsurable due to chronic health issues or adults up to age 26 who can now stay on their parents’ insurance policy have benefited.  People who are covered under the Medicaid expansion benefited.  Anyone else that could not previously afford health insurance may now be able to do so, but they sure as heck won’t be able to afford to get any actual health care!

          The majority of mankind is ground down by industrial oppression in order that the small remnant may live in ease.
          —Helen Keller, 1911

          Joe Biden, you're no Jack Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."—John F Kennedy, 1962

    • #11939
      bazukhov
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,862

      Coalitions are what win elections.   Politicians who want to get elected have to get the votes of a majority.  In order to do they have to get the votes of those who may not approve of all they say they stand for or like all the votes they previously made.

      For the Leftists, liberals, moderates in the Democratic party to win they have to form a coalition.   The party thought the way to win the moderates and conservatives in 2016 by moving rightj and running a moderate candidate.    It worked to a degree.  Hillary did win the popular vote over an obvious right winger and idiot.  But, the EC took care of that.

      Of the announced candidates, I agree them more often than not about the issues that concern me most over Trump.

      Elections are always about “the lesser of  evils” and “not as bad as”.     With Trump that’s a very low wall to step over.   Are they as good as I’d like them to be?    That’s a very high wall to scale. But, I’m not an ideologue, true-believer, or religious fundamentalist.    So, I’m willing to hold my nose….to a certain degree.  The ability to to do so has increased since Trump stepped into the Whine House.

      As in all elections, the True Believers on each side will nitpick happily away and claim the title of “REAL” progressive, REAL liberal, REAL fighter for REAL justice.

      Will I vote for any of the current candidates?   My answer is “Maybe, and that’s a promise.”
      “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.” –Thomas Jefferson to Francis Hopkinson, 1789.

      Tell me, great captain, how do the angels sleep when the devil leaves his porch light on? Tom Waites

      • #12097
        Enthusiast
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 4,579

        That is what the Democratic Party wanted you to believe about 2016.

        There was nothing moderate about Hillary Clinton or her policies. Her policies were characterized as moderate but they were nothing of the kind.

        Mainly the Democratic Party wanted to preserve the corporate controlled status quo where there is no place for single payer health care. That left Bernie out and those of us that supported him. They were happy to cheat to achieve that goal.

        I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".

        Me

    • #12034
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      Progressive, liberal, Democrat, conservative, republican…  I dont really care what others think of me as.  If pressed, I consider myself a liberal progressive, for the most part.

      My point, really, is that in the quest of the pursuit of the common good, those words mean very little.  If we, in our millions, regardless of party affiliation, were to stand together on issues such as I listed in my second post…

      Eventually, I believe the government would heed us due to necessity if nothing else.  They get away with so much nonsense… primarily because most of us are too busy in our daily lives to demonstrate openly against it.

      Given the current state of things, that could very well change.  My support for this or that politician is not set in stone.  It’s about the policies, overall.

      No particular leader will accomplish all of what we need.  However, if we push hard enough, I believe they will be forced to change… those in office twenty years from now – assuming those offices still exist, could be much better people.

      • #12039
        Ohio Barbarian
        Moderator
        • Total Posts: 17,151

        Well, tell you what. If the Republicans had nominated Kasich instead of Trump, my wife and I may well have voted for Kasich over Hillary. But they didn’t, and I never could vote for Trump or Hillary, no way, no how.

        I disagree with Kasich on all sorts of stuff, but he’s not, well, insane or evil.

        It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

        Show me a man that gets rich by being a politician, and I'll show you a crook.--Harry Truman

    • #12037
      peacecorps
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,130

      “Decency, honesty, compassion.

      A revolution in compassion, in decency.. in honesty.“

      Well said. 

      The Big Lie: "Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it." AH.

      "Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect." JG

      National issues (slavery/racism, income inequality, pandemics and pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war, pandemics) are not solved with more nationalism.

    • #12065
      ThouArtThat
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 3,817

      Hi David,

      Would be nice if political dysfunction were so easy to specify.  Sadly that is not the case and has not been so for a very long time.  The missing element is the elephant in the room – capitalism.  That socio-economic paradigm is doing more to stratify, marginalize and segment all aspects of society and political discourse than all other factors combined.  When most citizens are poor or getting poorer by the day, capitalists will use that distress for their own benefit.  This we have seen with the unlimited campaign contributions enabled by Citizens United.  That monetary power buys public policy ensuring the notion of “good government” remains a thing of the past forever.

      An insight dawned recently that Republicans representing capitalists have run up the federal debt and deficit on purpose.  Why? Simple.  As Americans have grown poorer with globalization, the Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks realized that the only profit centers worth their time in the US were government contracts.  In other words, bribe Congress to outsource ever more public functions to the private sector while promoting forever wars.  So since most Americans are too poor to keep a consumer economy going, the Oligarchs, Corporations and Banks will appropriate all the money they want through taxes ostensibly deemed necessary to pay for all the outsourcing and defense budgets.  And all that justified under the rubric of private sector efficiency.  When in reality this is just another scam to transfer wealth to the 1%.

      So all of the above is to say that until Americans wake up to the real situation in the US today, all exhortations to get along and go along will only deflect the conversation from what matters more – wealth inequality and the inability to feed, clothe and house oneself and one’s loved ones.

      The essence of normality is the refusal of reality.

      - Ernest Becker

      Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.

      - Frank Zappa

      Rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges.

      - George Carlin

      Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

      - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #12095
      Enthusiast
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 4,579

      I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately too. I can’t go back to drinking the blue koolaid.

      I grew up during Vietnam. I was nearly drafted, in which case I might not be here. The 911/Bush/Obama/Trump era is as fully fu*ked up as the Vietnam era. We could call it the 21st Century. This nation is in a total mess.

      I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".

      Me

    • #12143
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      I hope that none of this sounds condescending – it us written with an all too severe understanding of my own flaws.

      The faltering of hope I often see, hear, or read of in these times strikes something deep within me.  Having been down that road (and as one who may return to it – I am as vulnerable as any) I know well the depths of despair a mind can sink to.

      Some days, all looks ugly and grey.  Nothing positive seems possible, everything and anything is tainted by perspective – by how we see it.  Some times, on the worst days, it feels as if everything negative is true – and how did I not realize that before?  Starry eyed idealist!  Naive fool!  Ignorant buffoon!  (I often direct such insults inward, not sure why, part of my madness I guess ;))

      Yet… one small, simple act of kindness can brighten the world for a day.  Just as one nasty experience can darken it.

      In the end, we each must choose… which side of our nature to heed.  Some times, the best we can do is to choose our own intentions.

      I trust the intentions of those here.  I trust, even that most of us all over the Country (politics aside) want a better world.  To feed the hungry, house the homeless, aid the poor.  To be better than yesterday.

      We have different philosophies, perspectives and so on – but we are all human beings.

      The things we share in common… could lead us into a better world… or into a “brave new world”.  How we each choose to be and to do – is what, I believe, will impact that the most.

      Oligarchs, politicians, governments, conspiracies…. no such thing can keep us down – or make us powerless if we choose not to permit it to.

      The French are grasping this concept – the occupy movement was struggling towards it.

      The world changes… by our will.  When it comes right down to it… WE, each of us, are the powers that be.

      Sorry if that sounds too idealistic or general.  It is just what I believe.  Today.  Perhaps tomorrow I will believe we are all headed straight for the pit – in which case I beg you to help me pull my head out of my ass.

      We can do anything, still.  No future is set in stone.  It is what we make it, today – and each day to come.

      Back to the gnome cave…

    • #12201
      JustSayin
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 535

      The problem with the divide is still the same. When Hillbots asked for reconciliation it meant you grovel at our feet accepting that Bernie was a msiogynist and you were all wrong in demanding fairness. No matter how many articles are printed the establishment has the same mentality as HERSELF. There will be no peace without justice. I may be wrong but 2020 would be a washouut for dems barring economic meltdown or Bernie

      Never expect different result by following the previous steps

    • #12386
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      Earlier today I visited a few right wing sites, wondering if their members were annoyed with the shutdown.  For some reason, I had begun to think of the Republican party as more like that of my Grandfathers.  Not even remotely close.

      The hatred, the filth, the poisonous rage apparent in their posts… makes me wonder, now, if maybe we have already gone too far to mend the divide.  If we had more sane people like John Kasich and Bernie Sanders, maybe we could – but they are in an extreme minority.

      The right has long since gone insane… and the neoliberals, much of the current so called left, has gone so deep into narcissism that they rival Trump.  Generally speaking… immovable object, unstoppable force.  Not sure which is which, but it probably wont end well for all if us in between.

      Reading at SV makes me ill…  but reading at places like the free republic reminds me of why I was a “Democrat” for so long in the first place.

      We are ruled by lunatics and narcissists – and millions of us still believe the best way forward is to make sure that the lunatics… or the narcissists win.

      I dont know.  Shouldnt have ventured over there.  I know better.  Reading that stuff though… delivers a blow to even my idealism.  It may be in the end, that we have gone too far to come together.

      How can I stand by people who mock and insult the poor?  Who laugh at the hungry?  Who are amused by torture and abuse?  No.  Such people can only be my enemies.

      • #12396
        ThouArtThat
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 3,817

        Reality is a harsh mistress.  Almost 40 years of right-wing propaganda pumped through the public airwaves via Fox News and Rush Limbaugh has had a cumulative effect.  Most Democrats and Progressives are sadly clueless about the corrosive impact decades of hate speech has had on America.  Equally true, many Democrats and Progressives still cling to a belief that the social programming can be overcome with good will and intentions.  When in reality, the only recourse would be tough love and deprogramming.  All this made the worse with generational institutionalization of ultra right-wing talking points.  The time to have fought these trends was in the 1970s and 1980s.  Sadly we are 40 years too late to make substantive corrections for minds so polluted with fear, greed and hate.

        PS – just return to a thorough reading of the Powell Memo to appreciate how calculated and cunning the right-wing was in pursuing their agenda.  To overcome that impact will require an equal level of steely-eyed cunning and determination.  A determination and focus that the left has yet to muster the courage to pursue.

        The essence of normality is the refusal of reality.

        - Ernest Becker

        Politics is the entertainment division of the Military Industrial Complex.

        - Frank Zappa

        Rights aren't rights if someone can take them away. They're privileges.

        - George Carlin

        Sooner or later we all sit down to a banquet of consequences.

        - Robert Louis Stevenson

    • #12392
      Mick063
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 578

      The OP speaks in terms of “fans”. Fans of different politicians.

      This is the premise of identity politics.

      I am a fan of policy. A fan of ideology.  Not personality. Not identity.

      Politicians come and go. Ideas persist.

      The candidates that most closely align with my belief system are the politicians I am currently a “fan” of.

      "I welcome their hatred" Franklin D Roosevelt

    • #12449
      David the Gnome
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,720

      I could have used a different word.  Or a number of different words.  My point was basically that, though we have different opinions about various politicians, it was important to… well, stand together.  I dont mean as in supporting a candidate in unison, that would be dumb.  I mean, supporting each other, I guess, at times in spite of our preferred candidate.

      We wont always all get along, we are going to argue about this or that – but if we get too lost in the heat of those arguments,I think we could start sounding like the people at SV or freeperville.  That would suck, I think.

      Maybe it’s all a bunch of idealistic crap written by a naive young punk.  Or the worst sort of “Why cant we all just get along?” Cliche.  It was sincerely meant though.  That kind of madness overcomes me at times – but it is passing.

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