Why Liberals Should be Afraid; We Live in Our Own Bubble

 

What follows may not be exactly the quote I heard the other night on the Bill Maher show, but it is close.

“Barrack Obama was the President of who we would like to be.  Donald Trump is the President of who we are.”  D. L. Hughley.

When Barrack Obama was elected the whole world was giddy.  Teens wept in Japan.  The world actually was evolving toward a better place.  We were as a species following the example of our better angels.

As a child I was taught that the United States was not like other nations; that we were exceptional.  We believed that.  We were exceptional because we had a democratic form of government.  The people decided what was good for the nation.  Other third world countries had dictators and assassinations and coups.  We had the rule of law and our representatives were chosen by us and our laws were upheld by police who protected everyone.  And we believed that.

And then John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in plain view in a parade.  America wept.  This sort of thing happened in banana republics.  We wept for Jack Kennedy, but more we wept for us, for our loss of innocence, for our lost illusion.

We keep trying to find those rose colored glasses again.  We survived Watergate, the investigation, the impeachment and the resignation of Richard Nixon.  Our system worked.  The system of checks and balances prevented criminal activity in government and the usurpation of power by those in any of the three branches of government. 

Although conservatives and liberals had very different views on the purpose of government, the worth of all people, and the interpretation of the constitution, our very foundation, we could all work together and we did.  And then through a variety of forces we changed and could no longer talk to each other let alone work together.

We kept believing the promises of those running for government despite the fact that almost none of them were kept whether on the part of conservative or liberal.  But we were hopeful for change with President Obama, and many did not see change, or saw too little.

The solution was nothing that liberals could have ever imagined would really ever happen.  We couldn’t have believed that our nation would be led by a president who looks up to dictators and seeks to usurp power, destroy our belief in our institutions and convince the average American that good is bad and bad is good; that truth is fiction and fiction is truth.

Rudy Giuliani should have retired after his role as Mayor of New York after the attacks on 9/11.  His remarks about truth not being truth and similar statements as he acts as shill for Donald Trump have completely taken away his credibility.

 

Because in past history a change in party is usually followed by a shift in balance in Congress liberals are confident of a “Blue Wave”.  When Bill Clinton was elected with a Democratic majority in the house there was a conservative sweep at the mid-term elections turning the House red.  Nothing, however, is following past trends.  We have never had a President with no past experience in government who communicates through tweets instead of fire-side chats, and who governs as though he was the host of a reality show.

We believe that we are in a temporary nightmare, that in the morning we will awake and we will once again be that shining city on a hill.  Our real problem is that we on the left have fallen into the trap of believing that we are part of an exceptional nation; not for the reasons that conservatives believe that.  They believe it because the think America is blessed by God, that we are God’s chosen people, that our soldiers are meant to protect a people who worship God and Capitalism.

Liberals are just as deluded.  We believe in an evolving world in which humanity is becoming more caring, empathetic and fair.  I believe that we are not evolving in that direction; that we have to constantly fight to prevent the world from being a more cruel and heartless place.

If we are going to truly make the world a better place we have to fight the world-wide trend toward nationalism, totalitarianism and injustice. 

We have to avoid believing the hype that the a Blue Wave is inevitable, just the work of nature.  It won’t happen without a lot of expenditure of labor and capital.

Our executive, legislative and judicial branches are all controlled now by those who sneer at justice, believe that poor people deserve to be poor, and strive to enact laws that favor the rich and powerful.  Breaking that chokehold requires a change in Congress, and it will require a big change in order to have a mandate and overcome the efforts of those in foreign governments to sew chaos and lack of trust in our form of government by interfering with our process of voting.

We need to act as though our processes still work, otherwise they won't.  We have to make Congress work by changing Congress.

Views: 225

Comment by koshersalaami on August 20, 2018 at 8:23pm

Step one: Vote

That’s what did us in in 2016. Trump got no more votes than Romney got. Too many stayed home. 

It’s not a question of faith in a blue wave. It’s a question of making a blue wave. There are more Democrats than Republicans. 

And, more than that, as Democrats become fed up with Democratic leadership, which they absolutely should, they’re (we’re) electing real liberals who spend less money in primaries than their established opponents do. See, most conspicuously, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. There seems to be a trend of people, primarily women, who are so fed up with what they see, notice that Democratic officials aren’t representing Democratic constituents any more, notice that no one is doing anything, decide to do it themselves, go to their neighbors and ask “Are you with me?” and getting a loud and relieved “Hell Yes.” 

Watch the New York gubernatorial primary closely. If Cynthia Nixon beats Andrew Cuomo on September 13, you can not only expect a blue wave, you can expect a lot of it to actually be blue instead of way too purple. 

Comment by Ron Powell on August 20, 2018 at 8:43pm

“Barrack Obama was the President of who we would like to be.  Donald Trump is the President of who we are.”  D. L. Hughley

'nuff said....

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 20, 2018 at 11:23pm

I'm hoping for a blue tsunami.  Despite the success of a few like Ocasio Cortez the primaries so far have tended to elect the more centrist Democrat.  (I don't have the source for that at my fingertips, but it was true here in Georgia.)  What I find interesting is that the Democratic Party meetings I go to now are attended by many more than in past years.  When I first moved to this bright red corner of Georgia the Democratic fundraisers looked like a coffee klatch; now we have dozens and that's significant because while we only had about 500 democratic voters in the primary that could have been everyone.  The meetings are about local issues primarily, but we have candidates for state and national office speak as well.  Stacey Abrams is our rock star.  I hope she wins as governor.  She is the first Dem candidate in recent years who may stand a chance.

Yes, Ron, I thought that was very well and succinctly said.

I remember wishing I could slap Sarah Palin's face when she asked, "How's that 'hopey changey' thing workin' for ya?"  We were all hopeful who voted for him, and still are.  Just disappointed in the lack of change.

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 20, 2018 at 11:26pm

I just read that Microsoft discovered and disabled a Russian operation targeting disaffected Trump voters with fake webinars.

Comment by Ron Powell on August 21, 2018 at 7:02am

Obama didn't arrive at the Oval Office as the corporate centrist he was forced to become due to the racially motivated obstruction of congress...

The Clintons hoodwinked him into expending virtually all of his political capital on health care legislation, when in fact, Bill Clinton knew full well that the top priority ought to have been an FDR style economic and financial recovery of the Middle and working class American...

It was Bill Clinton who famously kept a reminder on his desk that read;

"It's the economy,stupid!"

Comment by marshall bjohnson on August 21, 2018 at 8:41am

Obama's legacy is the bailout of corporate banks, the failed ACA (romney lite plan), continuing war (w/many drones) escalating deportation and a neoliberal cosiness to wealth, privilege and cult of personality not seen since kennedy. Obama arrived at the whitehouse lookin' to do good- but mainly so it would get him liked. Great paper on how obama was not the best choice for black people (of course he was raised white by white elders and only married black to get ahead)

https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/For...

as for liberal. that word is dead. thanks to clinton and the likes of the kennedys...

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 21, 2018 at 11:22am

Image may contain: 3 people, meme and text

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on August 21, 2018 at 11:23am

However, on the other hand...

Image may contain: 2 people, text

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 21, 2018 at 6:45pm

Obama did, I believe< as well as he could have done given the obstruction he ran into at every turn.  In part it was our polarized electorate, but it was also unmitigated hateful bigotry.  I agree that he got bad advice on where to place his priorities.  Healthcare reform was Hillary's objective at the very beginning of Bill's administration. The affordable care act was based on the plan in Massachusetts, but that plan was hatched up by a conservative think tank as a poison pill to counter Hillary's plan for universal healthcare. 

I was astounded when Obama decided to make that his legacy.  I was very disappointed when he just dropped taking on Big Pharma, a major cause of soaring health costs, and placed the success of the plan on exacting change from the more obvious hospital and insurance systems.  We started out settling for a mule instead of a thoroughbred and got something more like a chimera.

However, while all of that is instructive as to what not to do, no one seems to have really formulated a plan that will inspire the voter with someone magnetic to lead the way.  Women are running for office in record numbers, liberal and conservative, and that is good because women work together despite differences to get things done much better than men.

Marshall, you are right.  Liberalism is a system that protects individual freedom against other interests, both governmental and non-governmental.  Progressive liberalism strives to follow egalitarian objectives and promote social justice.  Neo-liberalism is a 19th century concept of laissez-faire economic policy that looks much like what Republicans tout today; hands off free trade.

So, I used "iberals" loosely when I meant "progressive liberals".

It is curious that the progressive movement was started by Teddy Roosevelt trying to address problems created by urbanization, industrialism, immigration and resulted in great reforms in laws regulating child labor, women's hours, and monopolies.  To neo-liberal conservatives he had gone rogue. 

Comment by Rodney Roe on August 22, 2018 at 3:39am

Amy, you're not talking about a third hand again, are you?

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