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#305535 - 02/08/18 03:21 AM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: rporter314]
Jeffery J. Haas Online   sick


Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 13505
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: rporter314
Here is the problem as I see it.

The establishment Republicans no longer represent their base.

The prescriptions and antidotes fail to recognize the obvious. This is a matter of political survival of the species of establishment Republicans. ... They can not simply change philosophies and expect to remain Republicans. Parties which can no longer remain viable and mutate for survival will forever be lost to historical footnotes.

Respectfully disagree.
The Democrats mutated into the party of civil rights precisely because liberals in the East, West and North felt disgust at what their counterparts in the South were doing.

The Tea Party rout of the moderate conservatives in 2010, and again in 2014, has only increased their winnings.

And now it is time for the Democrats to retool and reboot once again, because they no longer represent their base.

In the 90's, Bill Clinton finished off the unions and now unions represent less than seven percent of working Americans, at a time when livable working wages and benefits appear to be an endangered species.

But what the Third Way and Democratic Leadership Council ignored was the fact that by helping Republicans decimate unions, they were cutting off one of their main sources of campaign money, so they were then forced to turn to Wall Street and the big banking empires for support, which naturally destroyed their credibility as liberals and made the environment RIPE for a Trump massacre.

At some point, Democrats have to admit to themselves that they cut their nose off to spite their face, and that a reboot is necessary if they intend to represent working families again.

It is reboot time.
"The Left ones think I'm Right, the Right ones think I'm wrong."
Leon Russell - Magic Mirror"

#305537 - 02/08/18 12:07 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
rporter314 Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/18/03
Posts: 6607
Loc: Highlands, Tx
I think we are saying the same thing from different directions. Both incorporate the idea of a transition from some/one salient idea to another. Without that evolution/transition/change the old ways of thinking wither. I think pundits have been talking about calcified Republican ideas/beliefs and the necessity of change for Republicans to be more competitive in the arena of ideas.

I don't see the Democrats as having a rigid ideology. It appears more dynamic as if trying to find some solid footing. Perhaps this is a result of a base in transition or perhaps a lack of cohesive platform. I reject the party constructs as I prefer the loose amorphous ideological approach. As people evolve so should their ideas. I am somewhat apprehensive of the day when the evolution of ideas has spent the last of its energy.

About the WALL as in street. While there is some impact of the Street on politics, Trump's base, his supporters are not Street people. I think it can be viewed from a long term transition of Republican base starting in the 1960's and finally reaching full bloom in 2016. His base is a reaction to the world in which we live, not a result of Wall Street's agenda. It is a result of the dichotomy of state versus federal, we and me, black and white, etc and the inability of people changing for any number of reasons. Wall Street simply recognized an opportunity and now they have an inside track.

While financial purity may be appealing to some liberals, I don't think it a rational approach in a modern American world. There will always be a quid pro quo for any money. The idea is to make the most of the money within the framework of your platform. Rationalization is the soap used to scrub off the dirt of reality.
ignorance is the enemy
without equality there is no liberty

#305552 - 02/09/18 10:56 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
jgw Offline

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 2250
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
actually, as far as I can see, The Right (the Republicans) are actually doing exactly the right thing. They have their goat (the lying jackass) and they continue to get their way on just about everything. They don't like environmental things - Trump put a guy in charge that is a denier and is, I suspect, doing everything in his power to bring down the EPA. He has done the same thing with every department. If it continues the right will get their dream of no government because they will have destroyed just about every agency that they consider wrong. They are also giving the military a big boost because the generals, the some ones that keep on telling everybody that they actually have a plan to win the 17 year old war in Afghganistan, tell us that its absolutely necessary. I can go on and on about what they are doing but, basically, whatever they damn well want. The interesting thing is that its somehow ALL Trump's fault and not them. The TV, all the freaking time, is covering Trump diddling, 24 hours a day but NOT the Right! They are, as far as I can tell, skating through this whole thing and the goat takes the heat. The Lying Jackass, I suspect, is neither bright nor competent (seriously). He simply runs his mouth and doing what he is told. I don't think he has a clue as to what is going on and is there, basically, to do the bidding of the Right in all things. The latest budget thing, where the Republicans are going to increase the debt even more than Obama needed to bail us out of what was, in 2008, a virtual meltdown of financial institutions. This is, of course, a run up to their next move which will be the destruction of Medicare, Medicaid and social security. Those three get privatized along with our highways, schools, and everything else they can find. We will be told that its because the debt is too high and the reason that happened is all on the Democrats. The Democrats will, in their wisdom, allow the right to demonize them and won't fight back in any meaningful way and everybody knows what spendthrifts they are.

Rational conservatism? I think we are watching the current crop of rational conservatists do exactly what they want and all they have to sacrifice is their personal integrity, and their goat, to get it done. This is a two pronged deal and the right gets to 'win' whilst changing everything to their desires whilst letting the Lying Jackass take the blame and he is so lacking that he doesn't even have a clue as to what is going on and he just keeps running his mouth and tweats and is just ignored by everybody who hates him whilst letting them running the show to dance through the whole thing. This was, incidentally, demonstrated when he just keeps on mouthing his build a wall thing, and keeps on just getting ignored by the right whilst signing whatever is put in front of him.

Basically, I believe that the Lying Jackass is not even moderately competent to feed himself as well as being incredibly clueless. He proves this virtually every day. think on it.................

#305576 - 02/14/18 01:47 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: jgw]
NW Ponderer Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 16454
This thread started on a premise that conservatism once had a reasonable core. Certainly the current extremism that prevails in conservative circles does not. I had believed that this was not inevitable, but upon reflection (a great deal of it), I must admit I was wrong. I'm going to recommend, and link, a number of articles that have shaped my thinking, and then explain myself:
When Deplorability Is No Longer a Dealbreaker - the Atlantic.

How the GOP Went Crazy - Slate.

Republican is not a Synonym for Racist - the Atlantic.

I have come to believe that conservative thought is a bug, not a feature. I know for some of you I'm late to the party, but hear me out anyway. As has been pointed out numerous times, there is a mindset that is prevalent in conservative thinking that is fear-based and irrational. But I am not one to paint with so broad a brush.

Rather, I think, it is the particular instinct that motivates the conservative thought process - the urge to check change - that is at fault. It is, in fact, instinctual in the fight-or-flight realm. Conservatives are not inherently "bad" people, not consciously racist (in general), but are reacting negatively to discomfort: change.

That is why "reason" is ineffectual to motivate those that are reacting that way, and why, upon closer inspection, conservative rationales for action are so often nonsensical or follow a tortured path to justification. Trump is the Id of conservatism, all emotion with no Ego to keep it in check. (Mike Pence and his moralizing brand of conservatism completed this troika: Id, Ego and Super-Ego)

There are real social costs for this method of acting. The real racist roots of our social structure are set in concrete regardless of the instinctual revulsion they engender. As Beinart argues in his piece, conservatives don't think of themselves as racist, and recoil at the label. Manipulators and con-men (Trump, Bannon and Hannity come to mind) take advantage of the reaction to further the very goals that conservatives would naturally recoil from.

I see, now, that my initial premise was flawed. Rational conservatism never existed. Rather, people who were reacting conservatively nevertheless tempered that reaction with rational behavior. So they were rational in spite of, rather than in conjunction with their conservatism. The modern "conservatism" has merely jettisoned the temperance of their collective "Ego".
A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich

#305578 - 02/15/18 04:35 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1244
You could make the case that the Democratic party has become the moderate republican conservatives and the right has been forced into a further extreme ultra right positions.
The lack of left wing positions and view points in the current American political spectrum has allowed the right to drift further and further into menacing territories. There has been no Marxist economist, voices of labor, working class concerns for decades now. In the absence of a counter political and economic narrative whats to stop the rightward drift of American politics into fascism?
The democrats punch left while the republican party eases itself into fascist authoritarianism.

#305579 - 02/15/18 05:51 PM Re: Whatever happened to rational conservatism? [Re: NW Ponderer]
chunkstyle Offline

Registered: 10/02/07
Posts: 1244
George Lakoff has been giving some ideas about the conservative/ liberal frameworks for several months now. The idea that Progressives aren't vocalizing what they believe in is seen by Lakoff as a tactical failure. I'm not sure if that is true or it's one of not believing in anything but maintaining a hierarchy and little else. Reich and Lakoff have a chat

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