Listen now | And how I've moved further to the left of center without changing my political views at all
Thank you Robert for clarifying why I'm so far left. Full disclosure, I'm your age, my progressive/left beliefs haven't changed, ever. I was a history major, taught holocaust sturdies to high school students so I have no illusion at what I see happening in the US now and I am terrified. Handing "W" the presidency from the Supreme Court, Mitch McConnell shepherding in Citizens United for the Koch Bros, Scotus knocking down voting rights, etc, and now criminalizing abortion. (The Nazi's did that in the 1930's silencing doctors and information.) A legal analyst stated last night that the government is going to go after gay marriage next. Republican led states clearly behaving like authoritarian governments literally imposing outrageous laws on Covid that will kill their constituents and shutting down free and fair elections, run by the state, decided by the state. (Omg) Petrify people and you control them. I left the Democratic Party years ago because I hold them complicit for where the country is now. Like a previous writer here I want to leave the US and am planning my emigration. I truly believe now, and it's taken me a long time to to say this out loud, the future is dark and hopeless here. Our institutions have been methodically hollowed out, Americans are profoundly ignorant for many reasons. As long as right-wing hate speech and conspiracy theories are the megaphone to society with nothing to dismantle it, surly nothing can change.
50 years from now, we may not exist as a country. Certainly not the country we are familiar with. The tyranny of the minority will be the rule of the day, and the majority will be permanently and completely excluded from our so-called "democracy". Unless we drastically change our electoral system (e. g., dissolve the electoral college, have strong term limits for all top US Government offices including judicial), things will only get worse. The question is only how quickly this will happen. It has already accelerated beyond our wildest nightmares. I hope you can convince me that I am wrong.
This graph was me in a nutshell as well. Through the years I too have found myself further to the left as republican policies became further to the right. If we stay on this course there will no longer be a "center" at all, it will either be democracy or fascism. The choice is ours.
There is no center remaining in American politics. There is only good and evil. Right and wrong. Truth and lies.
I left America to live as an ex-pat overseas, because I could no longer live in a country where half the people are evil, believe in lies and reject reality, and are sad to say just plain stupid.
The GOP is a death cult. The USA cannot survive in such a divided and demented environment.
This is a fight to the death. At 73 I won’t see how this story ends, but either America splits up or there is going to be a bloody civil war with domestic terrorism coming from the Anerican Taliban.
Our government has become permeated with corruption and self-dealing and selfishness. That is what the right is all about. Trump as president was a perfect manifestation of this. Those of us who believe government should work to improve people's lives need to be consistently active and vociferous. To quote former President Obama, Democracy is not a spectator sport.
A close friend, a Dane, and I exchange emails about once a week. He is even more pessimistic than I about the future of my country. He once took me to a memorial, three wooden stakes in a simple park. This is where Nazi occupiers tied up and shot resisters, he said. What is unthinkable here today seems more possible to a Dane.
The United States is on a path to fascism, but there is remarkably little resistance or even awareness here. I keep this reminder on my home page: "The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought."
I totally agree with comments from Audrey F, Carolyn H., and, most of all DZK. I have always contended that the most highly paid jobs in a society reflect what that society values the most. In our country, it is "entertainment" that is valued the highest, mostly sports or music. I feel that a country doctor, a teacher or a plumber contribute more to societal well being than a pop singer or a boxer. Yet here we are....
Yes! I agree and I’ll tell you why.
I was once a Republican a little right of center. I am also an evangelical Christian. Well, what that meant in past terms. While still a Bible believing Christian, I do not identify AT ALL with the body that now claims that moniker. Not one iota! I now stand WITH the progressive left.
I can not understand how those that claim to love Jesus can stand against a living wage, healthcare, childcare and basic human rights. I just don’t get it. This country can well afford it. The priority though isn’t people but corporations and the military.
It’s plain that the right WORSHIPS the military and firearms.
The supporters of the former president don’t even know what fascism is and what it means. Not only is that a shame, it’s deeply embarrassing.
During the previous presidents tenure, I stood in Zeppelin Fields, the German tour guide spoke about Hitler and referred to Trump in the same sentence! During that trip I visited about 8 countries and the people I encountered along the way always seemed to ask, “what is going on in your country?” And also asked if I voted for that person.
Robert, What can we do to make sure we don’t end up with a dictator? I can’t believe I’m even saying this. The checks and balances seem to be broken. I think we need an amendment to the constitution putting into place some basic qualifications to run for office and need to pass a US history test and psych evaluation.
Where will today’s center be 25 years from now? Canada.
The loss of the fairness doctrine in 1987 cannot be overemphasized, as someone just commented. How can we get it back???
At the current direction and pace, the United States won’t exist in 25 years. Maybe not in 15. Democrats need to hold the GOP and insurrectionists accountable, but their slow sluggish lackluster approach has only empowered the would be fascists even more.
I think the rise of "big entertainment" is and will continue to be a major force in molding whatever the future holds. That's new in world history. Prior to "The Great War, part II," the industry was as sophisticated as the biplane at the onset of that great war's part I. Even privative radio at that time was instrumental in the rise of The Third Reich. After The Great War, part II came television, which has been shown to have played a crucial role in JFK's election, where the tipping point of the election involved JFK's strong and energetic TV image vs Nixon's weak and rumpled TV image. TV & radio provided it's own peculiar brand of entertainment, but the news had not yet been subsumed as a form of entertainment, although had proven itself as overwhelmingly effective in the proliferation of political propaganda. The rise of the internet ushered in the advent of the "24 hour news cycle" that evolved into the info-tainment we now think of as the daily news.
Of course, the film industry had been around since prior to the 20th Century, and Hollywood was becoming increasingly sophisticated about advertising itself and its "stars," the lead actors of its films. While "cinema," the featured films, and it's starring role actors were becoming increasingly sophisticated, the second feature films helped fill the rest of an evening out's entertainment for a huge percentage of the population enjoying themselves after work. Cowboy movies, crime movies, detective movies, comedies, and monster movies were all common genera's in the "B movies," the second feature films.
All of that, as well as the stars featured in all those movies, found their way into television, as television was learning to produce it's own entertainments featuring its own set of stars. Televangelism is a unique innovation in TV broadcast. Jerry Falwell and Billy Graham are among the famous televangelists. Among the "iconic" TV & movie roles of all that were "The Old Ranger," Dirty Harry, & "The Terminator." The Old ranger later became a president, The Terminator and a TV fake "rassler" later became state governors, while Dirty Harry became the mayor of Carmel, CA - each of which a millionaire in their own right, and 20th Century FOX a power behind the scenes. That list is by no means comprehensive. Disney, Paramount, and Warner, millionaires and moguls all, were already the masters of media before media became an internet "thing," all are conservative, and all have had a hand in "shaping the hearts and minds" of the US consciousness. Their stock-in-trade is presenting alternative views of reality as entertainment. What's more, they all know that a large portion of the public will ultimately believe anything they tell them to believe, and they all intend to keep it that way. I suspect the political spectrum will shift as far to whatever direction on the political spectrum best serves the interest of big entertainment. After all, they are the messengers that create the message, where "the medium >is< the message." Meditate on that last quotation awhile to fully appreciate how terrifying that message really is.
A few suggested links discussing the media/message:
Frankly, I fear that in 25 years there will be no center unless Biden and our Democratic lawmakers get far more aggressive and take on Republicans face to face. I suggest Dems start by confronting Republicans who propose nothing, stand for nothing, and vote against everything and start asking,“What are you in favor of? Don’t tell me what you oppose; tell me what you are in favor of for your community.”
Slowly working my way through Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here.” (Sorry ‘bout the quotes; don’t know how to do underlining in these msgs) Written almost 100 years ago with a storyline based on a “populist” who captures the presidency and immediately disassembles American democracy in favor of an autocracy based on loyalty to him. He has the ignorant complicity of “aggrieved” people who sound very similar to a lot of folks making headlines these days. This is a very disturbing book with too much grounding in our reality to casually dismiss.
This has given me pause to consider what living in a single-party system would be like. It occurs to me as a resident of Alabama that I already do live in such a situation. There are between 2 to 3 republicant voters to a single democrat in every election except that of Doug Jones. Mr Jones won the Senate seat because the GOP put up a proud bigot and pedoflile. The rule of law strongly protects the propertied and serves the monied. The rest, eh, not so much. The exercise of power by rich white men has never been seriously challenged here. The remaining steps to complete the journey as depicted by Lewis are becoming preciously few.
The country first began moving right in 1981 when Reagan became president and became so popular with the white working class. Some in the Democratic party saw how successful Reagan was in getting large sums of money for his campaigns and in winning his elections that they set out to do the same. This was the start of the corporate Democrats which were personified by Bill Clinton. It was a big mistake by the Democrats because you can't out corporate the Republicans. It led the way to Democrats turning their back on working people and turning away from Unions, which are the bread and butter of working people. I see some hope for the future however because of the strength and voting power of the current Progressive movement. They want to return the Democratic party back to being the party of FDR which is desperately needed.
The “Founders” believed the 1st Amendment guaranteeing the freedom of speech and a free press would form the “4th leg of the stool” keeping the government in check. Then, as now, people’s opinion’s varied widely but they relied on newspapers – the predominate if not soul source of information – would clearly distinguish opinion from facts.
Today, unfortunately, the right-leaning press – FOX, Wall Street Journal, NY Post, etc. – doesn’t differentiate opinion from facts. Unless, and until, all news media are required to differentiate opinion from fact our democracy will remain on very ‘thin ice.’