What goes around, comes around . . . election theft as fair play
People really, truly hate being played for suckers. Rick Hasen:
“You could look at 2020 as the nadir of American democratic processes, or you could look at it as a dress rehearsal,” says Hasen, a professor of law at UC Irvine.
To understand this fragile moment for American democracy, you could take a 30,000-foot view of a nation at the doorstep of a constitutional crisis, as Robert Kagan recently did for the Washington Post. Or you could simply look around you at what’s happening at the ground level, in broad daylight, visible to the naked eye, as Hasen has been doing. As he sees it, it’s time for us all to wake up.
“I feel like a climate scientist warning about the Earth going up another degree and a half,” Hasen told POLITICO Magazine in an interview this week. “The rhetoric is so overheated that I think it provides the basis for millions of people to accept an actual stolen election as payback for the falsely claimed earlier ‘stolen’ election. People are going to be more willing to cheat if they think they’ve been cheated out of their just desserts.”
This is terrifying. Even scarier than the possibility that covid lockdowns will continue forever.
My wife directed me to the Kagan piece, since she has a subscription. Depressing reading. Some of the historical analogies fail on inspection, but as you say, “it’s time for us all to wake up.”
Some of us woke up a long time ago, and have been sounding the alarm about the Trump cult, climate change and the vaccine rejection, only to be met with personal attacks that none of this can be criticized because it will only hurt the fee-fees of the people who support the Trumpist agenda and consider climate change and the COVID pandemic to be hoaxes and/or conspiracies. Apparently, the proper reaction to these crises is for experts and other knowledgeable, patriotic Americans to shut up.
I, for one, respect and admire thoughtful commentary like Kagan’s and wish there were more of it. I wish it weren’t behind a paywall, so that everyone could read it.
The only one aroundhere engaging in personal attacks is you. Sorry I hurt your “fee fees” by trying to explain something to you that you could not understand.
I try to listen carefully to real experts while reseerving the right to disagree with them…not often about their field of expertise, a lot more often when they wander over into fields they know nothing about, assuming their brilliance qualifes them to be listened to with awe when they do.
As for “patriotic,” we all know that is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I am a little surprised to see you joining them.
Namaste. I see that you and Joel are still at each other. It seems a bit silly though since what separates your points of view are far more matters of contextualization and communication than political ideology. As in any good yoga, once must occasionally return to center in order to maintain appropriate balance.
Down thread Zardoz says “The internet has amplified their stupidity.” One might ask “They who?” Echo chambers where one might throw stones over a wall and then come back later to hear the screams lacks the interactive ability to negotiate that we have in person to person speaking in real time. Most people suck at it without even knowing how bad they suck at it.
as usual, you are right. in any case it started as a matter of communication, but when he started calling me a liar because i said something he disagreed with it got personal, which trumps ideology at all times.
but, again, you are right. and i keep trying to swear off. but all i want to do is swear.
as for Zardoz…so far not personal…but as a matter of communication…?
me and Socrates agree that when a person starts calling the other guy stupid, he needs an honest mirror. of course they poisoned him. which, i think is exactly what you just said.
[just for poetic closure… if i had said “exactly what you just said” to a certain party who did not think i had said “exactly” what he just said, he would have called me a liar. you see. there is something about “fightin’ words” that “sticks and stones…” , while perfectly sensible, doesn’t quite heal. anyway, thanks. i’ll try to be good.]
to see how this all starts, take a look at Run’s response to me in today’s thread about Job Growth Twice as Fast…
tell me how he got from what i said to what he said. Some how he got from my exlicitly agree with him and thanking Dobbs for pointing out supply chain issues…to thinking i was disagreeing with him about supply chain issues and accusing me of shit stirring.
this upsets me. i suggested he read what i actually said, and can hardly wait to see what he comes up with next time.
yep, gotta get unstuck from this tar baby.
I gave you an almost detailed dissertation on Semiconductor supply chain which far exceeds what the Dobb’s articles present. I did so in an attempt to expand your knowledge on supply chain and especially semiconductor supply chain.
I even added a bit of humor with the story of Panasonic telling the Chrysler VP to allocate some of their supply. No one talks to automotive executives in this manner.
Normally, I would have had a power point up with reveals to make my point.
The light rain is passing, so it is back to the pool. I will have to get back with you later on the details. My problem is that I do not have the capacity to care about the critiques and insults hurled at me by anyone, anywhere, but least of all some disembodied keyboard crusher that I have never met in the material plane of existence. Here on planet Earth, if someone calls me a liar then my instant retort is “You are right. I lied about not screwing your mother.” In the ether E-world though, such an accusation does not even warrant a response. I see no point in picking a fight with anyone that in the end I cannot look into their eyes when I make them soil themselves.
Rather than argue, just let it pass by?
My wife is always concerned about my engaging some who claim Covid is not as bad as it seems, we are being lied to, it is a hoax, the vaccine is not needed, the numbers cited for illness and death are not true, they died of heart failure rather than Covid, etc. I find it to easy to do especially when there is no chance of an honest discussion in a restaurant, a crowd nearby, and the opponent is some overgrown oaf.
The same hold true for discussing the supposed theft of an election. Especially a discussion in Michigan where trump was blown away and not even dust particles remain of his presence. Even so, Michigan Republicans insist on making voting even more difficult which “may” minimize their losses in the future. The state is going Democrat and the Detroit population is moving westward along the I94 and I96 corridors.
Is there a point to discussion when no one will agree? trump lies and people believe him. Covid is real and once you have it, your body will decide whether you live or not.
An article on this can be read here.
Radical Idiocy will be our downfall.
Perhaps, although radical idiocy has been a part of American political culture throughout its history. It reached a sort of apotheosis with the Civil War, which was more of an existential threat to our nation than Trump. I don’t mean to sound complacent because I’m not, but we are not 1861 America or 1917 Russia or 1933 Germany.
It’s different now. The internet has amplified their stupidity.
It’s different now. The internet has amplified their stupidity by orders of magnitude.
It appears that the people who are being played
for suckers are going to do all they can to get
Trump reelected in 2024, and in the process
get fooled all over again. Big time gaslighting!
re yours @ 2:51pm.
I understood that and appreciated the lesson and the humor. I know you have more detailed knowledge of supply chain issues than Dobbs. I hope Dobbs does not regard my saying this as impugning his expertise. So far he has put up better with my disagreeing with him than other people.
I did not understand what was shit stirring about my comment.
re yours @4:11
oh, there is a difference. it seems to me they have already soiled themselves and i am just trying to get them to clean themselves up. I don’t think I mind being called a liar as such, but when the accusation is based on sheer stupidity it disturbs my faith that we live in a rational universe. I think that the anger may be from the fact that I have been tormented so many times by people who had power over me who were stupid…not stupid the way a slow thinking person might br, but the way people with power often are.They are so eager to hurt you that they give themselves reasons that don’t make sense.
Understood. Keep the faith, baby, but oh BTW, the universe is rational in its own way whereas people rarely are rational in any way. God (or Mother Nature or Darwin or whoever you might want to blame) endowed the naked ape with the propensity for anger not for them to pee down their own leg, but rather so that they might cause the other apes to pee down their legs whenever their territory was threatened by incursion. So, the only way to piss me off is to break into my home. I have no other territory, no reputation nor existing institution which I have any claim on.
Had to break from here to dice tonight’s salad additives. It is dicey getting my wife Kellie from her work day to the pool (her therapy for both job stress and the steel that was implanted in her left ankle decades ago) and then through dinner in time to digest by 11PM bedtime so that she can rise at 6:30 AM the next day for coffee and another day. She must work two more years for Medicare and three years and 8 months for full SS benefits. I have been retired since June 2015 and loving it since retiring our home mortgage in May 2019.
So, BTW I really do understand. When I voted for Obama in 2008 then I was enraptured by renewed hope that had seemed lost since 1968, only to be once more crushed by reality. I used to be disgusted, but now I am just amused. Elites and their expert lap dogs have gotten us into a terrible mess which makes it unlikely that they will get us out of it. Their whining that we should just trust them rings hollow. However, there really is no alternative. Elitism was part of the design specifications for republicanism as envisioned by our republican saints, T Hobbes, J Locke, and the ever mischievous N Machiavelli. F Nietzsche explained why this must be so. Horace Mann designed the institutional system that insured that the common man would be very capable as soldiers and factory workers, but not self government. Government was the dominion of elites, preferably capitalist elites rather than academic elites per Hobbes. Capitalists got bored of the day to day game of governing, so they hired a new class of political front men elites to do their bidding. Whatever befalls our status quo elites, then there will be a new batch to take their place. Ordinary men are caught between their own ignorance and their antipathy for their fellow men such that the republican system of elitism can perpetuate itself through all but the most severe and existential crises although it may do so with many rebranded Phoenix rising from the ashes of its predecessor.
Please pardon my literary license. Thomas Hobbes preceded the use of “capitalists” by centuries, yet Hobbes was well aware of private property and held that the ownership class was to rightfully be the ruling class. Similarly, Machiavelli would have been horrified by the idea of public election of political leaders, but would have been reassured by the understanding that only the ownership class was enabled to choose political candidates and he knew a great deal about government and bureaucracy.
you are more educated than i am. probably self-educated. by choice. as Shaw said of “surely there is a great gulf affixed,” “yes, the gulf of dislike. hell was designed for the wicked, so they are happy in it.” i, being lazy, or not as smart as advertised, or just older than all those philosophers could never get interested in them.
but you seem to have come to about the same conclusions as I have.
except perhaps one: i see no reason why a universe, that exists, as we know, with matter and energy, should also not include spirit and reason as part of its essence. So while I agree that humans, and pretty much all animals, are “designed” for combat and survival of the fittest, i like to think, need to think, that “reason” is the ultimate goal or purpose of whatever “created” or “is” the universe, reality, and all that. sounds a lot more like Don Juan in Hell (act three of Man and Superman, by Shaw) than I expected when I started to write this.
not so sure about Hobbes predating capitalism…have to look that up. found a pretty good book about the history of “finance”…goes a long way back.
Take care of Kellie. Love is the great reward of love, which may also be a part of the essence of reality…discovered by, but not fully understood by, reason.
My secret to understanding philosophy is that I never read any of the great philosophers (I admit to having read some William James before he became too absurd to bear). Rather I read about them and how they lived their lives, what they really were as men, what they wanted to achieve, who their friends were, and, most telling of all, about their relationships with women. One thing that they had in common was that they were all tremendous liars, not absolute total liars, but great exaggerators worse than any sport fisherman that I have ever known.
There have long been capitalists, but they were not called “capitalists,” I believe until Marx wrote it. However, during Hobbes time (1588 – 1679) the hereditary aristocracy still owned a lot of the economy. Private enterprise existed, but there was no widespread separation of church, state, and property ownership as would soon emerge.
Caring for Kellie is this dog’s purpose now.
The psychologists Fritz Perls and Karl Jung informed my thinking, particularly when it comes to understanding people from their life experiences. Ayn Rand (born Alisa Rosenbaum, a very pretty 12 year old girl at the time of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution) was an entirely explainable phenomena in this context, for starkly different reasons than her liberal critics present these days. It is always a stretch to judge people from another time without even bothering to look into the surrounding events. I also learned a great deal from reading Desmond Morris. My own childhood from observing farm births and helping slaughter and pluck chickens while still a preschooler, then hunting, fishing, and bare bones camping with my dad as I matured formed the backdrop for my understanding of human behavior. It also made me a big hit in biology class when my teacher picked me to dissect the one big snake that we had for the whole class. As an adult I have frequently grossed out friends on fishing trips with the casual manner in which I clean fish, especially when I gutted and skinned alive a small shark on my boat once with a husband and wife couple. Yep, it was his wife that almost blew lunch. If one is to eat a shark, then it must be skinned fresh not to develop ammonia flavor from pissing through its skin.
In any case, the point to all this is that one can be both a romantic and a realist, but it takes an unusual set of circumstances. My dad was born a mountain man and ran away from home when he was only thirteen. My mom’s parents were both ill most of her life with them and she was raised in the low country by her black nanny and taught to cook, sew, and keep house. Nowadays, I seem more like a character from a William Faulkner novel than a real person. My life has been great fun, but most people do not know what to make of me other than obviously anachronistic, yet intelligent.
Back to center. In this light, then I do not worry much about most things that other people worry about. I only hope that civilization still has time to work out its bugs, because there is a vast amount of stuff that needs fixing. Also, I have heard that “you can’t fix stupid” and that worries me because that seems to be where we need to begin. Of course I sure hope that Fat Donnie does not get elected POTUS in 2024, but that would not be the end of the world. Only the end of the world would be the end of the world. That is what realism means.
well, i think i can “understand” Ayn Rand from where she came from. Russian communism would inspire anyone to worship free markets.
But that doesn’t excuse her from being a bad writer. And it doesn’t excuse her followers (or the people who prey upon her followers) from advocating economic stupidity.
And I find her (reported) excusing her open and persistent marital infidelity on the grounds that she was an “artist” hard to justify on the basis of having been scared by a communist when young.
Not to say I have a religious objection to marital infidelity, but it does seem to be hard on at least one of the parties (at a time) and completely destructive of the whole point of marriage in the first place…not least is the failure of the cheating party to achieve the happiness he might otherwise have had.
Ayn Rand had narcissistic personality disorder. Most likely she had been raped by the young Bolshevik thugs that confiscated her father’s apothecary and all that her parents could do was stand by and watch for fear of losing their own lives. To a child that would have been both abuse and betrayal by their parents. Abuse and betrayal by caregivers is after all the text book case for the formation of narcissistic personality. Words cannot fix actions. Understanding does not excuse others behavior, but it can enlighten our own. Ayn Rand did not need our permission to be herself. Also, she is quite dead now, which she also did without our permission.
So, in any case how do understand the persistence of our polity despite its continual dysfunction? To me it seems like the two party system provides the political establishment with always either a scapegoat or plausible deniability. If Republicans blow up the economy then it was their fault and we throw the bums out and bring in a Democratic Party administration. If Joe Biden cannot get his progressive agenda through Congress then it is the Republican’s fault. Roughly dividing the electorate between the parties into mutually canceling constituencies works like a champ.
And it is not to be wondered at that the great enemies of reason are the same people who claim to represent reason, as the great enemies of freedom claim to be the great defenders of freedom…or, i could mention, that the people who claim to represent “science” appeal to authority, the great enemy of science. just as the people who loudly claim to be Christian busy themselves doing the exact opposite of what Jesus taught.
Exactly. One thing we will never run out of is irony.
of course Ayn Rand was a narcissist. so was the horse she rode in on. and so are her followers, all of them, narcissists. and no doubt all of them got that way through no fault of their own, in some cases the trauma of being born rich, or just “better” enough to feel entitled to lord it over the second raters in their playground.
i do not advocate punishing any of these people for their sins, but we need to believe we have choices about what we do and what we become. and if we give these things names it helps us to think about them. perhaps gossip or public opinion is what helps us to make the choices that make civilization possible.
Ayn Rand writes as if all her first raters did it all by themselves. there was no expert welder who put John Galt’s new-steel bridges together. there was no infrastructure of government of second raters by second raters for second raters that created the edifice upon which Galt and Roark and all them guys stood to reach the sky. Only Randian heroes entitled to scorn and abuse the rest of us mud scum. low life entitled to vote for them and do as we are told and starve quietly in the corner when not actually needed…through our own fault.
i think you are right about the two party system evolving into a way to manage the people by setting them against each other. hard to behead the king when there is no king. but the kings didn’t do such a great job of running things themselves. at least with the two party system we get to call things by their names without getting beheaded ourselves…so far.
“…The narcissistic personality was first described by the psychoanalyst Robert Waelder in 1925. The term narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) was coined by Heinz Kohut in 1968.…”
[There may be a subtle difference between conceited asshole and sociopath.]
Ayn Rand’s writing sucked so bad because NPD includes the absence of empathy as a symptom. How does a writer realistically portray their characters if the writer has no empathy? Consider Steinbeck and Faulkner in contrast – but comparison would be unfair. Steinbeck and Faulkner were the two greatest American authors ever, whereas Rand wrote fairy tales with ogre heroes, but worse; she did so badly. A better comparison to Ayn Rand would be Robert Heinlein, who was a libertarian philosophically similar to Rand, but during his middle period could write very well because the sympathetic heroes of his fairy tales were products of an empathetic imagination. Of course during his middle period Heinlein became quite successful and thereby a conceited asshole as well, but he did not become a sociopath. Older people never do. NPD forms in the emerging personality. Personality changes in adulthood are brought on by physiological manifestations rather than growing pains.
Another scapegoat the Left chooses to abuse is the work ethic, dubbed the protestant work ethic by westerners and conceived of by liberals as a Calvinist plot of social manipulation since the Calvinist did adopt the work ethic as their own. But that was the extent of the BS. The work ethic predated Christ, much less the Calvinists. A Buddhist monk taught me that “A day without work is a day without food.” OTOH, there is a body of research that indicates that Jesus Christ was taught by Tibetan Buddhists between his ages 12 and 30.
There are times and places in which a reductionist POV can simplify a question without omitting necessary details that would lead to an appropriate analysis and solution. However, there are very few such times and places in the humanities. We are complicated creatures which has lead us to develop technology with the potential to end human existence. I am sure that you have found reductionist views of Social Security and Medicare that should not be taken seriously. I get almost daily robocalls trying to hook me into a Medicare Part C plan while pretending to be just new Medicare benefits that I need to sign up for. Devil or not, the truth is almost always in the details.
all of that and more. especially about Heinlein. I figured his last few books were written by his groupies, or pulled out of the trash by his publishers who could still make a buck on his name. But I really liked his kids books. And was a little taken aback when his obits called him a right winger…because his martians an venusians and earth heroes were multiracial, and his economics, while a bit simple were not brutal, and he understood the positive feedback fault of capitalism.
that said, i am pretty narrow minded about Social Security myself. Only decent solution to the looming multi trillion dollar unfunded deficit crisis is to raise the tax..about a dollar a week per year. It’s the other narrow minded people that all me with despair.
There is a gospel of Thomas (so said) that shows Buddhist influence, but I figured Thomas went East. In any case Jesus had a habit of talking to people on their own terms.
And of course, if he was who he said he was, he would have been familiar with Buddhism and Wankan Takan as well.
It was a big mistake to make Medicare paid partly by “the rich.” But there appear to be many on the left who don’t believe in the work ethic. I keep trying to tell them it would strengthen their case for better wages and honest businesses if they did.
Yes indeed. BTW, got Gospel According to Thomas – gift from my late religious studies friend and mentor who finally got the answer to the big question in 2005. He also gave me The Lost Years of Jesus Christ and four volume Lost Teachings of Jesus Christ regarding JC and Tibetan Buddhism. I miss being able to actually talk to him despite he is still in my head every day. He was a better friend to me than he was a pitch man for God, but I have always been on the fence there – a deeply committed agnostic.
I am an easy sell, so I looked at the gospel of Thomas and thought “it might be real” but it did nothing for me. Just like Alan Watts “did something for me” but in the end not so much.
No moral to be drawn here, just a bit of my unpublished autobiography. I had a friend like yours who surprised me by being a Christian (he called himself a holy roller) and smarter than me. He did not make me a Christian, but maybe a smarter agnostic.
It was many years later that the paradox of agnostic-ism struck me: “I say I don’t know and cannot know, so why am I so sure I cannot know?” I don’t think I am an agnostic any more, but I am also sure I cannot give you any reasons that you would take seriously. I certainy don’t believe I know more about “god”–whatever he, she, they, or it, is–than anybody else. But I do believe that “it” is far more likely than “no-it” and it is far more like a “person” than some Star Wars “force.” So, I guess I’d like to suggest take a hard…and frequent..look at agnosticism and ask yourself, “what is this belief in non belief doing for me?”
And don’t take this too seriously. I thought about all the things I could say and saw the danger in them, but I didn’t want to not say anything.
BTW..just a literary question… Paul did not go from persecuting Christians to proselytizing for them because he reasoned it out and saw the error of his ways. God simply met him on the road to Damascus and made him pee his pants. And he didn’t do that by threatening to beat him up. He just said, Saul. Saul, why dost thou persecute me? [or words to that effect in Greek.
Now, I believe all these stories are “fairy tales,” but as Bokonon said, they are the fairy tales that make us braver.
What agnosticism does for me is to provide plausible deniability for my failure to be an observant Christian. I do not go to church and rarely ever pray. I have lived life more than a little hedonistic, at least while I was still young enough to be so. If I do go to hell, then I expect to see a lot of people that I know when I get there. Also, there was too much contradiction in Christianity as it was presented to me for me to reconcile. I cannot fathom a God that would send better people than I to Hell, just because they were Hindu or Buddhist. I have certainly been given reason to believe in my life, but I do not know what that belief should be.
Don’t know what your literary question was, but that was how I read it too.
I have an advantage over you. Religion was never mentioned in my home, neither for better or for worse. Nor was it mentioned in any school I ever went to until college. Nor have I ever gone to church, except a few times, where hell was never mentioned. nor “hedonism.”
So take it from me, God has better things to do than worry about your hedonism, and he does not believe in hell either.. except as a metaphor for the state people put themselves into by coveting or lusting after things that make them sick (the lusting after, not the things.)
No one knows “what that belief should be.” Believe in what you believe, and change your mind when you change your mind. At some point you will feel that what you “believe in” is making you healthier or less healthier…or maybe you won’t. Don’t worry about it. The Way that is the Way cannot be spoken.
I have seen people who made themselves sick lusting after a Ph.D.
Don’t worry – I don’t. Busy day for me today, so I will leave you with two great aphorisms that I have found were words to live by.
“To thine own self be true.” (William Shakespeare from Hamlet)
“Life’s a bitch and then you die.” (origin unknown)
So, contentment is a matter of holding a realistic perspective both about oneself and about the world in which they live.
As well, now that you mention it. lusting after salvation.