Red State Stupid; Red State Mean.

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I want to talk a little bit more about what I call, in our blissfully post-PC era, Red State Stupid.

Red State Stupid is also really Red State Mean.  It’s shoot-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face mean.

And I don’t think that we can separate the two

My friend J. says that you can identify, with 100% accuracy, Democrats vs. Republicans with one simple test.  Democrats, he says, don’t care if some “undeserving” folks cash in on, for example, a free lunch program, as long as not one child goes out to recess hungry.  While Republicans, according to J., don’t really care how many children starve as long as not one, single “undeserving” child gets a free meal.

I think J. is right.  It’s pretty clear where I come down.

And I’ve been coming back to his test over and over as I ponder this article that I cited earlier about a woman whose husband will die without Obamacare but who voted for Trump in spite of Trump’s and the Republican Party’s explicitly-avowed intent to destroy the very program keeping her husband alive.

But her frustration [with Obamacare] isn’t just about the money she has to pay. She sees other people signing up for Medicaid, the health program for the poor that is arguably better coverage than she receives and almost free for enrollees. She is not eligible for Medicaid because her husband works and they are above the earnings threshold.

Medicaid is reserved for people who earn less than 138 percent of the poverty line — about $22,000 for a couple. This woman understood the Medicaid expansion is also part of Obamacare, and she doesn’t think the system is fair.

“They can go to the emergency room for a headache,” she says. “They’re going to the doctor for pills, and that’s what they’re on.”

She felt like this happened a lot to her: that she and her husband have worked most their lives but don’t seem to get nearly as much help as the poorer people she knows. She told a story about when she used to work as a school secretary: “They had a Christmas program. Some of the area programs would talk to teachers, and ask for a list of their poorest kids and get them clothes and toys and stuff. They’re not the ones who need help. They’re the ones getting the welfare and food stamps. I’m the one who is the working poor.”

Oller, the enrollment worker, expressed similar ideas the day we met.

“I really think Medicaid is good, but I’m really having a problem with the people that don’t want to work,” she said. “Us middle-class people are really, really upset about having to work constantly, and then these people are not responsible.”

Oller had told me earlier that she had enrolled on Medicaid for a few months, right before she started this job. She was taking some time off to care for her husband, who has cancer and was in chemotherapy treatment. I asked how she felt about enrolling in a program she sometimes criticizes.

“Oh, no,” she said quickly. “I worked my whole life, so I know I paid into it. I just felt like it was a time that I needed it. That’s what the system is set up for.”

Just to be crystal clear, we’re talking about a woman who voted for the candidate who promised to cut off the only thing that is keeping her husband alive because she’s just that pissed at some poor elementary-school kid who got an Xmas gift.  (Be sure to tell her “Merry Christmas” and not “Happy Holidays.”  She’s sent off more money than she can afford to some Elmer Gantry who got her all hepped up on the War on Xmas.  Jebuz is the reason for the season.  She’s a devout Xian but some poor kid getting an Xmas present is JUST TOO GODDAMN MUCH FOR HER.)  That damn kid got an Xmas gift even though his parents received a few dollars of welfare and food stamps and she’s just NOT HAVING IT anymore.

Here’s a six-year old who got a Tonka truck and a stocking cap at Xmas and here’s her husband getting the health care that keeps him alive.  And she’s so damn mad at that six-year old that she’s willing to risk her husband.  Fuck the love of her life.  If he dies, so be it, but at least Trump won’t be handing out hand-knit scarves and tea sets to those undeserving brats. *

My friend J. is right.

Look, can I say something very un-PC to you?  Lean closer; I want to whisper.

Oh, wait.  We don’t have to be politically correct anymore.   Back off.  I can yell.

So let me say this loud and clear:  That woman is evil, and venal, and stupid and she’s not going to stop voting out of hate even if Democrats nominate another white man and even if he, what . . . ?  What is it that the Democrat is supposed to do to win her vote?   Wave the Confederate flag?  Cheer about black people who don’t vote?  I keep hearing this assertion that Democrats have to find the exact, magic, politically-correct words to “reach out” to people like this woman, although no one will give me, and I’m a woman who would recognize it, the magic incantation.  Bernie Sanders, who’s not even a Democrat, can hardly look in the mirror of the third guest room of his lake house to shave every morning due to his shame that Democrats can’t, according to him, “talk” to people from what Senator Sanders calls the “white working class.”

He’s from Queens and he would know.

Apparently, offering assistance with the skyrocketing costs of childcare that plague white working class families (not to mention working class families of color but, apparently, those votes don’t count, plus, see above re:  J.) isn’t PC enough.  Providing free college for working class families and debt-free college for everyone isn’t PC enough.  Offering Medicare for everyone over over 55 isn’t PC enough.  An entire, comprehensive plan to care for current coal workers and to train a new generation to build clean energy infrastructure doesn’t appropriately “reach out” to the “white working class,” at least not in a PC-enough manner.  Talking almost exclusively about jobs, workers, and the economy more than any other topic apparently wasn’t the way to reach out in an appropriately PC manner to that all-important “white working class.”  Tax credits for the working class do not reach out, at least not in a PC enough manner, to the “white working class,” either. **

Sadly, according to Propane Jane, the Democratic party has not been able to “talk” in some magically-PC manner to the  “white working class” ever since, oh, wait, I know:  ever since Lyndon Johnson, who was a better President because he was a good teacher, signed the Civil Rights Act and may or may not have said that Democrats had lost the South for (he was optimistic) a generation.  Before then, Democrats had this magical ability to “talk” to the “white working class,” and then, suddenly, they lost it.  But keep trying, Dems.  One of these days, Lucy’s sure to hold that football in place.

I’m a clever girl who sings for her supper by crafting messages geared to any specific audience you can name.  And I’m flummoxed.  What exactly did those precious “white working class” snowflakes need to hear?  Well apparently, they needed to hear that Mexicans are rapists, that African Americans all live in urban hellholes with nothing left to lose, that women should be grabbed by the pussy, that women who seek power are “crooked” and that we should”Trump that bitch,” and  “lock her up!”  That’s the language that brought them to the voting booth.  Apparently, they needed to be protected, in warm, safe, PC spaces, from those un-PC black people talking about racism.  Once those black people open their yaps and complain (at least when they complain in language that is not sufficiently PC) about getting shot walking home from 7-11 or in their churches, bam!, the white working class has to vote against their own self-interest and there’s just nothing anyone can do.

So get on that, will you, Dems?  Make sure black people stop talking about racism and triggering those delicate snowflakes.  Do it now.

Also, if you could shut up those women who have to be punished for having abortions, that would be good.  Damn bitches aren’t even 10s and they talk too much about things that give those “white working class” voters the vapors and send them running for safe spaces where they can vote for one of the two white men who are running.  As they should be.

I have two things to say:  (1)  Shunning, shaming, and blaming are actually effective tactics of social control.  See, e.g., Mothers v. Drunk Driving.  And pretending that stupid people are really just simple farmers, people of the land, the common clay of the new West who would suddenly vote in their own best interests if only a Democrat would finally go hunting, or ride a motorcycle, or get in a tank hasn’t worked for the last half century or so and I’m now ready to try shaming them and focusing on how they’re not the cool kids who are in with the in crowd; (2) If we’re not going to magically convince Ms. Red State Mean to vote in her her own self interest (and we’re almost certainly not), then we’re going to have to figure out how to get other voters to the polls with the needed ID.  And that effort needs to start now.  Waiting until a few weeks before the election to get them IDs is too late.

*Let’s just set aside that this woman and her husband certainly don’t get nearly the amount of government largesse that, say, Lockheed Martin shareholders get, or that Donald Trump gets, or that even the children of your basic millionaires get.  She’s not standing in the doctor’s office behind, say, me and, even if she were, she doesn’t see the advantages that I get on my capital gains.  Since she can’t see those things, and since she’s too stupid to inquire, she’s angrier at the poor man ahead of her in line who’s getting his pain pills for free due to Medicaid while she, relegated to Obamacare, must pay a few dollars for her pap smear, than she is at me for the thousands and thousands of dollars of government assistance that I get on my sales of stock.

** I’ll stipulate here that, as Atrios often notes, we should stop having (albeit that we do this to make the Republicans happy) programs that make people jump through hoops and fill out forms in order to get benefits.  We’re just trying to placate the Republicans who can’t stand for any child to go out to recess with a really full stomach. The real solution, and one that we’re going to need to reach sooner rather than later, is a basic economic income.  Now that robots and computers can do all of our jobs, we need: (1) far fewer people on the planet and (2) an income for all of the people who are left.  We can’t even begin to have this conversation until we stop trying to placate Ms. Umbridge.

See how easy that was?  That was shaming and blaming.

Picture found here.

 

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152 responses to “Red State Stupid; Red State Mean.

  1. THANK YOU for this. I am in agreement with you. Shunning, Shaming and Blaming are effective tactics. Also, I think that in general, intellectuals are far too slow to realize real danger and look for methods to accommodate for far too long against opponents who have no qualms about doing horrifically unethical things. And your logic matches precisely what I have observed throughout my life. The “fairness” argument that embodies “red mean” is so prominent and so atavistic.

    • “Shunning, Shaming and Blaming are effective tactics.”

      I’m not so sure. In discussing campaigns against FGM around the world, they’ve found shaming does NOT work, possibly even causes people to dig their heels in further. (They just turn up the persecution rhetoric.) What has been effective, however, is bringing in the community and getting the support of the religious leaders.

      I grew up in the Religious Right, and they always go on about being under attack by the mainstream media and their libural bias (TM), and many religious leaders are basically chaplains of the Republican Party (many of whom endorsed Mr. You’re Fired!).

      And the Right always tells people that the Left is full of anti-Christian America-haters who want to hurt people, destroy America and Christianity, and pick on people who just want to follow Jesus. These people often don’t fact-check, as they live in Plato’s Cave and are tied to the cave wall. In fact, many think Obamacare is unaffordable and will bankrupt the country (some even think that’s the goal).

      Paul Bloom wrote a book called Against Empathy. In this article he explains his position: http://bostonreview.net/forum/paul-bloom-against-empathy

      I wonder if the popular leftist opinion that conservatives/Republicans lack empathy is a myth, and that their empathy is just employed differently than liberals’ is. There is a cliché, “The heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong”; I wonder if part of the Right’s problem is anti-intellectualism, anti-logic, and the ignorance of all their logical fallacies, cognitive biases, and heuristics.

  2. No, I’m sorry.

    Shunning shaming and blaming won’t work with the current Republican faction, especially the Trumpettes. Recent evidence has emerged to support this; when it comes to political truth, they completely turn their backs. Yet, when it comes to other arenas of activity, they’re aligned with most of America. This is why M.A.D.D.’s campaign worked. Point of order, however: M.A.D.D.’s campaign was born and orchestrated in another era of American existence. What worked then doesn’t necessarily translate to now.

    The Trumpettes and Republicans’ lack of fact-based reality and inability for critical thinking in politics leaves them unable to comprehend that they’re being shunned, shamed or blamed. Just today, I read some right-wing rag blamed Obama for America’s diminished role as a world leader. Nothing to do with Dubya, no sir, and the eight years of his fecal rule. I can point to multiple posts and columns are out there in the red states moralizing that libruls are sore losers and shame on them for standing in their way in their attempt to ‘make America great again’ and point out the hypocrisy, and even show them evidence, when they say, “We supported Obama, even though we didn’t want him.” They ignore Republican leadership’s statements and actions that put politics over governance and hatred of Obama over intelligent thinking. They pretend that all those years of birther statements wasn’t them.

    They believed Trump when he said he was draining the swamp and then they laughed when they realized he didn’t mean it, because to recognize the truth would mean to acknowledge that they’re fucking clueless. Billionaires, lobbyists and insiders are stocking his cabinet but he’s their man, so that’s okay.

    These are the people who shout, “Keep your socialist hands off my Medicare and Medicaid,” without irony, the people who ignore the evidence that trickle-economics do not work, that tax breaks for the wealthy will only give the wealthy more wealth and power.

    These are the powerful thinkers who bemoan a pro QB and other pro athletes not standing for national anthem while shrugging their shoulders over the allegations – by the CIA, no less – that Russians hacked our election, whose response is to attack the CIA.

    These are the people who believe Trump won the popular vote and claim that any evidence to the contrary is fact. They believe unemployment went up under Obama; they believe he was responsible for the middle-east conflagration; they proudly claim no terrorist attacks occurred under Bush’s watch; they think HC killed dozens of people or had them murdered, even though nobody, including her, has ever been convicted of such crimes.

    No, these people have not the wit, ethics, introspection or intelligence necessary to feel shame, to realize they’re being shunned, or to understand that they and their fucking backward policies, utter denial for the truth and contempt for the facts are responsible for the growing American disaster.

    They will never believe; they will never understand; they will never take responsibility; and they will never accept the truth.

    • i’m not interested in trying to change the minds of hardcore Trumpsters…I don’t think anything will work on them but…basically…quarantine. I’m concerned about all of the people who end up either being silenced by them and who don’t vote or let themselves get bullied into kind of supporting Trump. I want us to start loudly, LOUDLY calling out what this bullshit is. It is the “banality” of evil we have to worry about, not just the brownshirts. All of the people who kind of end up going along with it because it ends up being easier to do so…because the opposition makes it easier to back a brownshirt than to deal with the alternative. What we need to start doing is screaming that those almost 50% that didn’t show up and vote, those people who are sitting around being silent hoping that we will shut up and they can just put their heads down and let everything become “normal” again under a fascist totalitarian regime…we need to make THAT more uncomfortable than standing up to it.

      • I like your points: those who didn’t vote are the ones who need to be pursued, shunned, shamed and blamed.

      • Completely agree. The GOP has manifested a culture of hate and ridicule for anyone who doesn’t vote along party lines, that is pervasive in red states. We need a campaign that speaks to people about thinking for themselves and resisting the right wing bully machine.

    • It’s not exactly that you shame the people who didn’t vote. You publicly shame the ones who are behaving in despicable ways so that those who didn’t bother to get out in vote are made uncomfortable and won’t continue to give their tacit support. You change the discourse by confronting and de-legitimizing these people and make it cost to stand quietly by. So…for example, this video. Shame this bitch. It has gone viral with people shaming her. And you know what? Louisville’s MAYOR has publicly apologized and said he is ashamed that this happened in their city. He’s has publicly said that this is not normal nor tolerable behavior within their community. That is what we need and it wouldn’t be happening if we didn’t shame this woman. And the fact that it was recorded and could be made public, that is great. We need to be doing this. HecateDemeter is right…shame, blame and shun. The EFFECT will not be so much on people like this woman who clearly doesn’t have any basic human decency…but on those who would rather keep their head down and be quiet…thereby enabling it. http://fox59.com/2016/12/21/video-of-womans-racist-tirade-in-jcpenney-goes-viral/

    • Amen! Excellent post!

    • Pretty much this, here.

      Thing is, though, HRC won the popular vote by a wider margin than every popular vote candidate since at least JFK or Eisenhower. Her policies are in line with American ideals, so I can see the comparison to MADD and assuming shunning could be effective.

    • Totally, absolutely agree with Michael Seidel!!! ❤

    • Agree on stilts on acid from Hell. But doesn’t Hecate suggest she agrees, too? When she says, “If we’re not going to magically convince Ms. Red State Mean to vote in her her own self interest (and we’re almost certainly not), then we’re going to have to figure out how to get other voters to the polls with the needed ID.”

      The dilemma–well, one of them–is figuring out who, among those who voted for the Orange Julius Caesar, is jess too stoopid to be “reached out” to, and who might still be capable of remembering how many beans make six. Maybe *they* are capable of realizing they’ve been swindled, and can be appealed to in two and/or four years.

      • “If we’re not going to magically convince Ms. Red State Mean to vote in her her own self interest.” Just imagine pondering why we cannot on the left convince some people to just be self absorbed greedy jerks and give us power to make themselves at least feel richer by taking from others. It seems it is the altruism of the right that you guys hate the most.

      • Since whenis hoarding assets from those in need “altruism”?

      • Raudhan. Hoarding assets? The problem with your statement is that it shows no understanding of how economies work. It makes this hard to respond to without leading an entire Economics 101 class.

        Saving and investing is not hoarding. Wealth is not some fixed and immovable object. Wealth is created and destroyed all the time. Take Apple computer. It did not exist in 1975. It was created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 with the help of investors who first gave them money to expand and later bought shares in the company. Those who bought shares became the owners of the company through that act and the number of shareholders is massive. From those roots this company owned by those shareholders have created billions of dollars of wealth out of nothing. It did not exist. That wealth has enriched shareholders, hundreds of thousands of employees, millions of customers by making them products that make their lives “richer.” Apple is the nation’s largest taxpayer, not including all the taxes paid by all those employees, and all those shareholders who receive dividends (taxed twice by the way) and capital gains tax payers. How is that not altruistic? What is your solution? Should Apple be shut down? Should the shareholders be made to give up their stock to you? How is that altruistic and not just greed? Here’s a better idea. Why not buy Apple stock; there is nothing to stop you. it literal takes less than a second to do so. You can pick up a share for about $116 and you will receive $2.28 per share you own in cash dividends each year. That’s how people become wealthy. It’s not hoarding; it’s saving part of what they earn and investing to become owners in the system. It works better than any system that has ever existed. Most people who choose to sit it out have no one to blame but themselves, and hated those who did the right thing accomplishes nothing.

      • “Why not buy Apple stock; there is nothing to stop you. it literal takes less than a second to do so. You can pick up a share for about $116 and you will receive $2.28 per share you own in cash dividends each year. ”

        How much stock you can buy will depend on how much you make. This is why people like me (who have disposable income) are making so much more than people who are struggling to meet basic expenses. Great, if you spent 11,600 you can get 228 the first year!

        Since I’ve actually been part of several businesses, I will explain the difference between saving, investing and hoarding.

        At some point in time, a business has money or assets that are just sitting around, because they see nothing profitable to do with it. Sometimes they end up more or less gambling with it, which you can see when larger tech companies throw money at new start-ups with the hope that some of them make it big. If consumer demand is weak, there are many types of businesses where any actual investment won’t be beneficial. You don’t increase production or open new locations that won’t make money.

        So, what often happens is that, since there is no reason to expand, the ‘investments’ made are just buying existing businesses. Imagine someone who owns hotels – they don’t see any reason to build a new one (not enough demand) but they can use their surplus to buy an existing hotel. They have another hotel, but faced smaller costs than if they’d built a new one. This type of behavior is often called ‘rent seeking’ – it’s not really a person investing and creating anything new, it’s just someone buying up something that already exists. This type of behavior reduces competition in the market and is often how people continue to increase their profits while not creating any new jobs. In fact, this type of behavior is more likely to depress wages.

        I mean, I’m happy that stupid poor conservatives want to give me a tax break on the basis that expecting me to pay taxes (I already pay a smaller % of my income in taxes than many poor people) is ‘theft.’ Just, this seems like absurd behavior.

        I didn’t work harder than the people who have less than me. Most of it was pure luck – being born in a better place than someone else, to better educated parents. It isn’t like every person starts out with anything like an equal chance to make money. And hey, how did we all get property in the first place? At some point someone with a gun said “Mine” and that was it.

        And greed? How should people respond to a rigged system where no matter how hard they will work they’ll never achieve a level of success that I did, when I didn’t work anywhere nearly as hard? They were born into a world with caste systems. I was in the higher caste.

        Nothing like people who define ‘greed’ in such a way that no wealthy person can be greedy, but all poor people can. This is why Christianity is just a way of keeping people in line. You seem to be arguing that, if there are poor people it should just be ‘tough shit.’ But the wealth of rich people is just as much a product of theft and violence as government taxes, since how else do you get property? And don’t give me the whine that ‘I didn’t steal it” – someone else stole it for you.

      • BTW I was trying to +1 this, NOT Bruce.
        reply to this
        Michael Seidel | December 21, 2016 at 1:24 am | Reply
        No, I’m sorry.

        Shunning shaming and blaming won’t work with the current Republican faction, especially the Trumpettes.

        https://hecatedemeter.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/red-state-stupid-red-state-mean/#comment-12370

  3. Solar System Wolf

    When I’ve run into people like this woman, sometimes I’ve challenged them by saying, “Well, obviously since people who don’t work are doing so much better than ones who do, you’d be a big stupid chump not to stop working and start scooping up all those lovely, lovely welfare benefits. You know what you have to do.” But they don’t, because deep down they know they’re better off, even though they disguise it by saying something like, “Oh, I have pride, not like them. Never took a thing off anyone in my life.” Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit all the way down.

  4. I couldn’t agree more, we do need to call out these people that are ignorant and hateful. I am tired of feeling bullied by Republicans that stand on their high horse blaming the poor for all the ills of the world. The real takers in the game are not the poor, they are the rich 1% that avoid taxes and get huge payouts in corporate welfare; then they refuse to pay a living wage to the people that actually make them rich. White people have believed the lie way to long…. if you just support the rich 1% in getting what they want, you could be one of us some day… I call bullshit on that!

    • Excellent points.

    • Jane, the top 1% pay 50% of all income taxes. The bottom 50% pay 0 income taxes. What is the basis of saying the rich do not pay their taxes? What is your standard that they pay all your bills for you, or they are evil? Jane if you believe this and can’t cite facts to support what you are saying then it means you are just repeating lies meant to make you hate. This is what the KKK did to poor whites. Hate is the fuel of those who seek tyrannical power.

      • What is the percentage of total income taken in by the 1%? I believe it is higher that 50% of all the income.

      • So what? That’s not the issue. The statement made was that the rich do not pay their “fair” share of taxes. But the truth is they pay 100% of all income taxes. Jane’s entire POV is a lie. On top of that the super rich she demonizes as right wing tend mostly to be on the left.

      • Uh, Bruce? If you pay x% in taxes but get (x+n)% back in benefits, you’re one of those proverbial moochers. I’d also have something to say about paying your bills and what talking about income taxes instead of income says about you, but I think we both understand where the other is coming from

      • The rich make more than 50% of the income, and much of their income comes not from labor, but from ownership.

        If I make 1000 dollars from working, that’s actually taxed at a higher rate than if I’d made 1000 dollars from an investment.

        The rich have coercive power over people with less money than them. That is a fact, because you need money to survive, and you can’t get it without making some deal for someone with more money.

        I mean, in a meaningless, theoretical sense, if I have two people A and B, and A has a massive pile of resources and B has nothing, B isn’t ‘forced’ to work for A, but B isn’t forced to eat, breathe, sleep or anything else. If B has nothing, they’ll have to work for someone else, and in the bargaining relationship A has more power. There is no meaningful choice, any more than I can ‘choose’ to quit sleeping, breathing or eating. And it isn’t like rich people don’t dictate the world we live in – people have a right to resent having so much of their life controlled by others. We don’t have frictionless markets, so the idea of ‘choice’ is just another thing which exists in theory, not in practice.

        The Randroids (and you sound just like one) argue that it’s not coercion because ‘the government didn’t do it’ – but this ignores that property relations were created from the gun, and maintained by the gun, and that’s how we got there. My take is, I’m fine with progressive taxation since, what I have is as much the result of luck as merit or work.

        And since you’re such a Jesus fan, Jesus told people to shut up and pay their taxes. They couldn’t even vote, and their taxes were used by the Romans to pay for their own imperial occupation.

        Income taxes are also not the only taxes. Sales tax is regressive, in that it takes a larger % of income of those who earn less. A 10 % VAT will take less of my income than someone with a fraction of my income, because all it does is increase costs by some uniform amount. Since my income is larger, a smaller % of my income is spent on consumption anyway. While poor people have to scramble to find affordable options, most options for things I need are well within my price range. I can spend less than 25% of my income on housing not because I’m finding cheaper housing, but because my income is big enough.

      • Everybody pays taxes no matter your income. Everybody has to pay payroll taxes and sales tax. You also can’t look at income tax in isolation of income.
        http://ctj.org/ctjreports/2016/04/read_in_pdf.php
        “Each income group’s share of taxes is quite similar to each group’s share of total income.”

  5. Reblogged this on Mysa and commented:
    Yes yes yes a million times yes!

  6. Another excellent essay.

  7. Rewrite this article in Timespeak, cut it to 500 words, and send it to the NYT or WaPo Opinions editor. And get yourself an agent. You deserve a larger audience.

  8. Dear god, I needed this. If my fire ever starts to go out I will read this again.

  9. Yes! This is exactly right. Mean, mean, mean. These people are mean as snakes.

  10. Wow. Thank you.

  11. Marvellous stuff. In certain key ways being right-wing is about being a prick, and we must never lose sight of that fact.

  12. We had someone who was doing all of those things, in a clear manner that was immensely appealing to all Americans. And Hillary and the DNC shut him down so they could win, and when they didn’t, they walked away without a peep. This was a set up from the start, to finish the work of strip mining this country and leaving it to die. And we let it all happen, because we, too, believe what we’re told.

    • And by “Hillary and the DNC shut him down,” you mean, he couldn’t get women or people of color to vote for him so he lost the primary. He couldn’t even get a majority of Democrats to vote for him.

      Way to miss the point of the entire essay because your fee-fees were hurt when your candidate lost the primary.

    • I voted for Sanders in the primaries, too, but the fact of the matter is, far fewer people voted for him than for HRC.

      It’s equally annoying that people allegedly on my “side” are continuing to regurgitate what has been clearly demonstrated to be little more than the same Russian propaganda that the intelligence agencies all say interfered with this election.

  13. Funny post Obama and the complete failure that is the ACA that sounds more like democrats. Obama never hared that he screwed millions of people over with his failure.

  14. KevinM, English isn’t your first language, is it?

    • I’m not sure any language is his first language.

      • Trumpese. It resembles English in spelling and grammar, but on closer inspection is revealed to be nothing more than word salad with strategically placed dog whistles and low-grade profanity.

  15. I was intrigued by the topic of this post, and found the introduction interesting, but when you moved into sarcasm mode, (after the part in italics) I had trouble following the point. This is me–I prefer things straight and clear and I often miss subtlety.

    In any case, the “Identity Test” at the beginning reminded me of when I studied the criminal justice system in grad school. There are two schools of thought–“due process” model v. “crime control” model. DP proponents would rather have 1000 guilty people on the street than lock up one innocent person, while CC proponents would prefer 1000 innocent people in jail as long as no guilty person goes free.

    I think we can see the analogy with the Democrat v. Republican test–and how odd it is that so often the people screaming for “rights” are the ones who most quickly want to sweep them away to serve their goals.

  16. So.Much.Agreement. All of it. My husband and I alternate our political discussions between “why are conservatives such horrible spiteful people?” and “we should mock them for their ignorance.”

  17. The bigotry in this post is most revealing. You guys so need a straw man to hate. Leftist ideology is immoral and evil, so what’s left? Make a persuasive argument to support your cause? You can’t because it doesn’t exist; not a moral one anyway. Leftist ideology is based primarily on greed and envy as the fuel to justify stealing from one’s neighbor claiming it as charity. Charity is you giving of yourselves not sending government agents to point a gun at the head of your neighbor and forcing him to give. That is tyranny, and that is what you become – tyrants and thieves. The self justification and projection in the post and comments are so profoundly void of truth yet transparent as glass. Screaming because others do not fall all over themselves to pay your bills? Seriously is this the 8th grade? And to claim those who resist your scam are mean?

    The bottom line: grow up, take responsibility for yourself, your family and your neighbor too Instead of telling others to do it for you. That is by definition what it means to be on the right and to love another as one’s self.

    • No-one has ever pointed a gun at anyone and “forced them to give.” You’re the one argueing strawmen and unable to make moral or even logical arguments. Thing is, though, you are so frothing-at-the-mouth with hate, you cannot see it.

      • When you vote for higher taxes on others you are in fact acting as a mob to enlist government to send armed men to confiscate assets from another person or other group for your or another’s personal enrichment. In all of history that is the definition of theft. The nice word for it is taxes. Try not paying your taxes, and I guarantee that a man with a gun from the government will come kick down your door and haul you away and lock you in a cage. How is that not exactly “pointing a gun at someone and forcing them to give?”

        One can argue the necessity of taxes as one thing, but the left has gone far beyond that singling out a tiny minority they call the 1% to make them specific targets of confiscation and hatred to enrich the other 99%. When it moves to such extreme narratives then it has become a truly dark evil spirit that is motivating those who lead it. When one considers that the “1%” already pays about 50% of all taxes thus paying much or all of the other 99%’s dutiful obligation already then there can be no doubt that the true motivation behind all this is the spirit of envy, theft and greed on steroids.

        I don’t hate others, but if there is anything I do hate it is evil, and theft is definitely one of it’s most serious forms. Jesus even singled out theft as a core evil alongside murder, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” John 10:10. It is this theme of moralizing theft and mob targeting others for hatred and retribution through confiscation and ostracization that is now the primary agenda of the left, and that has split our nation so deeply. Fostering greed hatred and envy is entirely the work and legacy of the left which has exploded in the last 8-12 years.

        The cure for all this is charity not theft. Charity flows freely from the heart and cannot be the result of coercion or it transforms to theft. It is the left that is missing the heart of charity and it’s corollary gratitude in our nation, and until that changes things will only get worse.

      • No, in all of history, taxes are the cost of living in a civilised society.

        Nice to see you’re really dedicated to being a nutcase, though.

      • “Cost of living,” oh so if you and 8 friends go beat the crap out of the 10th guy in your neighborhood and steal his stuff it’s called, “Cost of living.” Got it. I’ve never known a thief who did not see his art as simply the cost of his living. Dude you are totally blinded by the greed and envy that has been preached to you endlessly by leftist thugs to hold to the view that you must take from another to prosper, and that others must submit to your demands or you may discard them as being human trash. This is reality; your’s is a dark fantasy. It’s not to late to wake up.

      • Now you’re just making shit up.

      • Dude, it is reality. I’m making a reasoned, logical and moral argument. I know it is the opposite of that made by leftist in media, entertainment, and college campuses, but theirs is not a moral argument, and they are not moral people. Those who lead those institutions often do not claim they are taking moral positions (see Saul Alinski), or when challenged by the position I am making they often melt or become vitriolic. If you only exist in a leftist echo chamber then that message is all you are going to hear, but that does not make it any less evil than it is.

        Demanding from another his stuff for one’s own benefit is theft not charity. In making such demands one does not increase that person’s propensity to be charitable. What is being condemned in this article and the responses that followed is nothing short of condemnation of those who are not willing, servile, dupes slaving at the feet of their mob masters. I think we outlawed that very thing a long time ago. Try charity, respect and gratitude. Those result in more charity. Theft results in division, protection, hiding and eventually fleeing and collapse (see Venezuela or any other socialist failed state).

      • Okay, Bruce, let’s unpack this:

        “When you vote for higher taxes on others you are in fact acting as a mob to enlist government to send armed men to confiscate assets from another person or other group for your or another’s personal enrichment.”

        First, voting is not acting as a mob. Voting is participating in an orderly process of government. In our case, it’s a representative government rather than a direct democracy so it’s our congressional representatives who are doing the voting. Second, in our world, sending armed men to confiscate assets went out with Prince John for the most part. The exceptions are largely for those who do not want to participate in our form of government. The other obvious place is during the seizing of assets as drug-related without proof or even charges.

        “In all of history that is the definition of theft. The nice word for it is taxes. Try not paying your taxes, and I guarantee that a man with a gun from the government will come kick down your door and haul you away and lock you in a cage. How is that not exactly “pointing a gun at someone and forcing them to give?””

        Taxes are a necessary form of income for the government – for any government. You pay taxes all the time – sales tax, income tax, property tax – but these are a normal part of supporting different levels of government. Whether this is the best means of doing that is open to question, especially in times of shifting employment, is worth questioning, but it isn’t theft. It’s part of the common good. As a good and loyal citizen, surely you recognize that the Preamble establishes a duty for all of us to provide for the common defense, promote welfare, and secure liberty. To refuse to pay taxes is in fact to do something very much against that duty.

        “One can argue the necessity of taxes as one thing, but the left has gone far beyond that singling out a tiny minority they call the 1% to make them specific targets of confiscation and hatred to enrich the other 99%. When it moves to such extreme narratives then it has become a truly dark evil spirit that is motivating those who lead it. When one considers that the “1%” already pays about 50% of all taxes thus paying much or all of the other 99%’s dutiful obligation already then there can be no doubt that the true motivation behind all this is the spirit of envy, theft and greed on steroids.”

        The problem with the poor 1% being abused starts with the fact that they keep getting richer. If they are so abused by taxes, why is it that they are doing so very well? Stealing from the rich is only a fair accusation when we are starting from a fair playing field. The 1% pay a lot in part because they are the ones who actually have the money. Let’s say for just a moment that none of the 99% actually has any money and all of the income is made by the 1%. Who should support the functioning of the government in that situation? If the 99% earn 15% and the 1% earn 85%, should they not actually pay 85% of the taxes? Is that not equitable? But the 1% have battalions of lawyers and lobbyists whose job is to reduce the reported income from the 1%. They hide assets by putting the money offshore. They claim write-offs on items that the 99% do not have a chance to buy, let alone have accountants to write off.

        This is complicated by such things as talking about individual *income* tax versus capital gains, gift taxes, inheritance taxes, and so forth. If you fall below the poverty line, you don’t pay much because you don’t have much but you do have to pay Social Security and FICA, period, and you own very little.

        The next piece is that corporations have largely reduced the part of the taxes that they used to pay, thus putting more burden on individuals. Sales taxes and tolls are also regressive, impacting the poor far more than the rich.

        “I don’t hate others, but if there is anything I do hate it is evil, and theft is definitely one of it’s most serious forms. Jesus even singled out theft as a core evil alongside murder, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” John 10:10. It is this theme of moralizing theft and mob targeting others for hatred and retribution through confiscation and ostracization that is now the primary agenda of the left, and that has split our nation so deeply. Fostering greed hatred and envy is entirely the work and legacy of the left which has exploded in the last 8-12 years.”

        Theft is not the problem, as explained above. Beyond that, Christianity is not, in spite of many attempts, the current basis for our laws. We are more ethical and moral, at least in the Constitution, than the Bible. We are in covenant with one another, as the Declaration of Independence says, to share our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor. You, by your mislabeling responsibility as theft, dishonor that covenant and the one of the Preamble.

        “The cure for all this is charity not theft. Charity flows freely from the heart and cannot be the result of coercion or it transforms to theft. It is the left that is missing the heart of charity and it’s corollary gratitude in our nation, and until that changes things will only get worse.”

        The 1% are hoarders. They are not interested in charity. Corporations have no morality or ethics. Capitalism is not ethical or moral. The problem with taxes in the United States is not the focus on trying to tax those who have money. The problem is that we lay an unfair, immoral burden on those who have none. Charity is irrelevant here as we, the people, have a responsibility to support our government and the 1% has forgotten that, as have those in Congress who shill for them, and as have you, apparently.

      • Beautifully put. Thank you. I just haven’t had the spoons, lately, and sometimes it’s easier to lag out than to find my xanax or soma.

      • Atablarasa I appreciate the time and effort you put to your reply to me. Here is my response.

        Mobs can be orderly, and the reason that we have a representative republic instead of a democracy (as you pointed out) is because the founders deeply feared democracy as simply orderly mob rule. I might point out that income taxes were declared unconstitutional in 1894. The constitution was amended to add this, because it did not fit the founders plan. If you don’t think the income tax is confiscation at the point of a gun, try not paying it. Men from the government will eventually kick in your door, point at gun to your head and throw you in a cage. What I specifically get motivated about on this subject is people on the left singling out the 1% for hatred, blaming them for all their problems and declaring they pay no taxes. They already pay 50% of all income tax. This especially smacks of brown shirt fascist tactics to jin up hatred as a fuel for power. How is that not mob action? I agree about asset forfeiture without due process. It is wrong and unconstitutional.

        I do willingly pay taxes, but still it is taking not giving. It maybe necessary theft at some level, but taking is theft. Spending someone else’s money without their consent is theft. Spending $20 trillion of an unborn generation’s wealth is theft. My primary challenge is to those who believe their calls for higher taxes on the rich are reflections of charity and virtue. Their calls reveal that their own hearts and motivations are theft not charity. Charity is a response from the heart not from fear, intimidation, coercion and force. If the numbers were small and the spending was rational these points would be moot, because few would object. It’s the greed and graft of government, it’s cronies and those who feel entitled to take from others that underlies these objections to taxes. Taxes are the fuel of this greed.

        Your analysis of the 1% shows you have no idea how things work. When you reach that level of income the fact is deductions disappear. I don’t care what MSNBC and Bernie’s fantasy narratives are about tax dodges but they are crap. The 1% is who gets audited. They are watched like a hawk by the IRS. The payers often are actually small businesses like S-corps who pay taxes on net income which means income after expenses of creating the income are deducted. So if you sell a house as a builder for $200,000 but there’s $190,000 in labor and materials is your idea of fairness that he pays tax on $200,000 of net revenue or on the $10,000 of profit? It always is on the profit. Deducting cost of revenue is not hiding assets, etc. I’ve prepared a tax return for someone in the 1%; it’s part of what I do in business. Deductions vanish that lower income people can claim. AMT tax appears, new taxes that don’t apply to others in Obamacare magically appear. Don’t believe? Get a copy of Turbotax and just input dummy numbers and see what happens.

        You comment about corporate taxes is incorrect. All corps pay a 35% tax. That’s 3.5 out of 10 dollars gone. Then when the corporation distributes the profit of the corp to shareholders it taxes that income a 2nd time. That money is owned by the shareholders and has already been taxed. But just by moving it from one account to another the government grabs more. This double taxation on corporate income raises the rate well over 50% in many cases. It’s higher than almost anywhere in the world and is making US corporations uncompetitive in the world economy. I know the meme’s out their about corps not paying taxes, but dig into any case cited and it’s bullshit. Give me a case, and I will show you.

        Sales taxes, fees for service and tolls are optional taxes that can be avoided. They are not confiscatory in a manner like income taxes. Paying the cost of a service is much more likely to make the use of that service fit need rather than want. When costs are socialized demand goes up and supply goes down causing dislocations. When people have to pay for the cost of service they are more likely to make choices that reduce demand or raise supply. Saying such fees are harder on the poor is to suggest that I should stay poor and let daddy pay my bills instead of working harder like I have.

        As far as the claim the US is not based on Christian values or is more moral than the Bible tht just seems to be a lack of understanding of history or is the result of being the child of progressive narratives of US history. The US constitution was born in the aftermath of the 1st Great Awakening that saw explosive movements in England and the colonies to deep acceptance of Christian faith. Many of the founders grew up at the feet of some of the great preachers of that time. Ben Franklin was, for instance, close friends with George Whitfield the best known of all 18th century evangelists. Whitfield was a rock star of his age. Even those who were not deep believers were knowledgeable and familiar with the concept of natural law. Perhaps the most foundational new idea of the founders was that rights came from God not man, and that government did not grant rights it protects them. That is why is says in the first amendment, “Congress shall make no law.” It presupposes the right of religion and free speech as naturally flowing from the god of nature.

        Covenants are voluntary acts. The writers of the declaration were dedicating to each other their lives, fortunes and sacred honor. There is no more Biblical Christian act than to make willingly such a covenant. “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 (most foundational words of Jesus). This all changes when you point a gun at someone and require them to do it. The first act is love the last one is theft. What a moral society does is create the environment where people willingly make such choices. The left does not accept this and believes it must force such choices. This simply leads to envy, hate and division.

        1% are hoarders and not charitable? Where do you get this from? Investing is not hoarding. And the 1% are the most charitable among us. How many hospitals, museums, symphonies, food banks, etc would not exist if it were not for their charity and the charity of all else? If capitalism is not moral then what is? Socialism? So capitalism where two parties come to a mutually agreeable exchange that enriches them both is immoral but socialism where one party forcibly takes from the other is moral? In what universe? In a free market the key word is free. No one is forced in an exchange. Each party (buyer/seller) do so voluntarily. I’ve heard it even described as mutually shared altruism.

        1%’ers pay 50% of all income taxes paid. The bottom 50% pay zero. So how the hell can you claim or imply that the 1% don’t pay their share? It’s the bottom 50 who don’t pay their share. They get most of the benefits and none of the cost. Most people in poverty in the US have homes with A/C, flat panel TV’s, cell phones, own cars, etc. Your narrative about the poor is something flown in from the 1930’s to inspire a new generation to once again be the power base for tyrants and thugs whose only gift is greed, graft and corruption that result from active community organizing into positions of power over willing dupes who will gladly make them rich for making all of us poorer.

      • Ye gods, what flavour was the Kool-Aid they gave you?

      • Ruadhan, “Ye gods, what flavour was the Kool-Aid they gave you” is not an argument.

        By definition the idea of “Kool-Aid” drinkers is one of collectivists mindlessly following the grand poobah of the collective (such as Jim Jones). That is the opposite of those on the right who by definition are individualists.

      • Yes, that’s why you habitually vote for authoritarians who will gladly send you to your doom for a quick buck. Because “individualism.”

    • Dude, you need to put away your Ayn Rand sci-fi books and rejoin the real world. All of this stuff (including the morality and property rights and things like that) are social constructs that have been around for thousands of years, and the particular social constructs that are in force at any time have always been picked out by those in power, whether pharaohs, emperors, kings, village elders, guilds, dictators, or semi-democratic governments. And those in power have always imposed taxes to implement their policies. We’re not playing chess, or some MMORPG, with a cosmic rule book that says which moves are legal (moral) and which are not; it’s all made up. Constitutions, manifestos, religions. Especially the religions.

      So, Bruce, you don’t get to say what’s moral, those in power do. You may call it tyranny, but that’s irrelevant. People have always been taxed to pay for streets and poor-houses and armies, and they probably will be until we figure it’s simpler to tax the robots (and their owners) and quit taxing ordinary people. But that’s unlikely to happen in your lifetime, so relax.

      • Geoff a couple of things jump out at me from your response. The first is a common justification of evil – “Well, mom everyone else was doing it.” The second is that you are simply laying a foundation for the moralization of theft and tyranny. You are right I don’t get to say what’s moral and I’m not, but you are in fact, saying what’s moral by proclaiming what’s moral is what the mob or dictator (pretty much the same thing) say it is. What I stick to as moral is what the world has recognized as moral for 1,000’s of years (10 commandments) and that was engrained in the US constitution. That is that God endowed us with certain inalienable rights and that government should only exist for the sake of protecting those rights. That gets in the way of leftist who wish to trample individual rights for collective “rights” such as the right to take from or deny life to anyone the group or dictator decides it wishes to squash. Your response is not much more than citing the evils of mankind as the basis for promoting more evil. Morality is not defined by any man, and power and coercion is not morality. They are by definition the opposite.

      • Oh, by the way, I’ve never read an Ayn Rand book. My thinking comes from simple reason within a framework that seeks truth above all else.

    • “Taxes as theft” is an idea based on a very narrow concept of the relationship of humans to property, and ownership.
      In order to even begin with “what belongs to me?” one has to erect a definition of property, and why it should exist.
      Further, this definition is not unassailable, like some naturally occurring artifact such as gravity; it is the constructed shared agreement of the collective, that THIS thing is property, and can be held and traded and used according to a certain set of rules.
      These rules are not enforced by the individual; they can only be enforced by the collective, and the collective establishes the conditions under which they choose to do so.

      • A much more concise rebuttal to Bruce – nice!

      • Taxes are theft if the taxee is forced to pay them. That level of coercion is different for different types of taxes. Income and property taxes are the most coercive with sales taxes being far less, since one can choose not to purchase something. Of course it is a narrow concept; broadening that definition by redefining my stuff as your’s simply makes one a thief. Broadening it by saying it’s yours only if we say so is also theft. You are basically making a rationalization for the sake of being able to appropriate someone else’s labor or assets for your self benefit, and that in itself is not moral. That you deny God for the sake of mob power does not do anything more than reveal how primitive and base your thinking and motives are. True prosperity has come not from the point of a gun, but from free people making free choices. This only began “in mass” with the rise of the American idea that government exists to protect individual not corporate rights (which actually don’t exist). All cultures that exist or ever have existed that do the reverse are failures.

      • Bruce, theft is the act of unlawfully taking something that doesn’t belong to you. Since a portion of your income legally belongs to the government according to the law, taxation cannot, by definition, be considered theft. At least not by any legal definition.

        It’s the same reason that abortion isn’t murder (at least in countries where it’s legal). Since murder is simply unlawful killing (this is why killing in a war and capital punishment can’t be called murder), if abortion is legal in a country then it can’t, by definition, be called murder.

      • Drew if we were to take your logic about “lawful” being the test for what’s moral then Nazi Germany murdering millions would pass your test. There are higher laws we each intrinsically respond to that tell us that is not the case. That is why the 10 commandments have stood the test of time for several thousand years as at least a basis for what’s considered moral.

        “Since a portion of your income legally belongs to the government according to the law.” This statement is utterly false. No part of anyone’s income “belongs” to the government. It belongs to you and the government has, as you might point out, given itself the “legal” right to confiscate it at the point of a gun. And that is exactly what it does. Those on the right might concede the need for taxes, but we feel there needs to be a very short list of truly otherwise unavoidable situations where we point government guns at each other. The left has a lust for doing so.

        Again to your other points I refer to my first one. The mark of tyranny is justification of moral and evil acts by making them “lawful.” This is the mark of every great dictatorship from the beginning of time to Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Castro, Chavez and on. This mentality has been the basis for genocide on unimaginable scales. The American idea, or the founders idea that was unique is that they created a government that refused to recognize such travesties. The US constitution presupposes natural law. Natural law is the foundation of the whole thing. The constitution simply clarifies and codifies certain truths that are “self evident.” This is also the foundation of Christianity and Judaism. This is why the 1st amendment starts with the words, “Congress shall make no law,” or the 2nd includes the words, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It’s because in their minds governments do not grant rights. Moral government only exists to protect rights that they acknowledge precede it and come only from God or as they said Natural Law.

      • Bruce, you’re basing your perspective on fairy tales like the Christian God and some natural law that he supposedly created. As long as you’re convinced those things are real, you’re not going to get it. If you ever come to realize that they’re fiction, though, let us know.

      • Drew, let’s say I come to agree with you that God is a fairly tale. How would that, for instance, not make pointing a gun to the head of another person and taking his stuff theft. Is it really that you have to kill God or the idea of God, so that you can redefine what’s moral to just be whatever enriches you? If that is what you are saying then you are right it will take a massive change of mind to accept what would in fact be that you are god.

        Whether you accept natural law or God’s law or not the US founders most certainly did, and it is all over the Declaration of Independence and all though the Constitution. In other words, the moral foundation and world view resulting from understanding God’s law is the moral foundation of the US. If you take that away it collapses in on itself, but that’s the goal isn’t it?

  18. Great post. Thank you.

  19. A well thought out article, but yet the point of view of many defecting Democrats is missing. I would be considered old school liberal, but I sense what the this article misses. It’s not Red State Stupid as much as it’s Old School Democratic Leaders Won’t Change Stupid. Everything changes in life except the Democratic Party leaders. Red State Stupid, yes it is alive and well. Democratic Party Leaders Stupid, yes they are alive and well. The proof is the Party is sticking with the same group that gave us Herr Trump.

    • discreetsecuritysolutions

      The issue I have with that is that the Democrats didn’t win despite getting more votes. So saying “what did they do wrong?” becomes a case not of the players, but if the game rules.
      What the GOP does is play hardball. Only the most rabid of their people get a post, & they use and abuse it as much as they can to stay in power. They take power.
      The Democrats need to wake up to this, and start taking it seriously.

      • They lost more than the White House. They lost over 1,000 legislative seats in 8 years and multiple states houses and governors. Maybe you should consider that it’s leftist policy that is being rejected, because that is actually the fact. What you say about the GOP is what the GOP says about the left. The only thing is which is in the business of massively increasing the use of coercive force to create a compulsive collective society? It’s not the right. Which increases the use of coercive force to deprive people of their land, income, and freedoms? It’s not the right.

  20. Excellent essay; found my way here via a friend on Facebook.
    I too believe in the power of social controls such as shunning and shaming.
    It is often argued that these don’t work on the hard core supporters, but they don’t have to; In order to win the day, we only need to win over the mushy middle, the people who might nod their heads to a fag joke, but would also come to embrace same sex marriage, if that was the prevailing cultural wisdom.
    That is to say, most people don’t have a fierce devotion to most issues that don’t exactly affect them. But they do want very badly to be liked and accepted by the group.

  21. Beautiful article. If I might add: a lot of this is driven by the faux Christianity that so many in the “white working class” claim as their moral compass. Frankly, I don’t think shame, per se, can be effective, because they have latched onto God as their moral construct, a construct that they have molded in THEIR IMAGE. Their construct, which is a total reversal of standard New Testament dogma, makes them feel OBLIGED to be judgmental and to define charity only in the narrowest terms.

    It’s my firm belief that we simply have to overpower these cretinous people. There are certainly more Progressives in this country, and if we could get them FULLY ENGAGED, we’d have the power to take back control of government at the Local, State, and Federal levels an re-write things to prevent them from regaining any serious control of government through nefarious means. Because that’s what it is: it’s an attempt to hoard power, to enforce their world view, a world view shaped by ignorance and blind adherence to misshapen dogma.

    • Dale, Chip and nefarious. Why is it that you guys discuss strategy and not ideas? One could look at these last 3 posts as simply an appeal to do a better job of manipulating stupid people. This is perhaps the #1 observation on the right of those on the left. That they have no rational ideas other than seeking to manipulate others to help them hold a platform of power to force others at the point of a gun to bow to their will in service of them financially or in service of their nutty irrational self defeating causes. The true right does not seek power but to disable it. It is a bit of a conundrum that to do so one has to have power over the self empowered monster the left has built over the last 100 years. And that monster has turned more than a few who would go tame it into those who were intoxicated by the power it gave them and grew it instead.

      What I keep seeking from the left are thoughtful arguments that support real ideas, but they never come. The reason has to be that there are no arguments that support their ideas, because their ideas are immoral and evil, or translated to you who are secularist they are ideas that create poverty and death except for a small band of ruling tyrants. That’s why the left needs a Saul Alinski who makes clear that leftist ideas will never be accepted by common rational people. They must be forced on people by manipulating them. He wrote a guide devoted to Satan that is the playbook for doing so. There is no more clear example of what evil looks like. The original article we are commenting on is nothing but Alinski on steroids – ridicule your opponent before his logic and good ideas expose our vacuous motives to our followers.

      • “The true right does not seek power but to disable it.”
        The “true right” just elected Donald freaking Trump as President. Trump is little more than a power-hungry cretin who cares about nothing but lining his pockets with your money, making your argument invalid. However, the Republicans are going to disable the very means to take the power away from them, through their gerrymandering, voter suppression, their fake news outlets like Fox News and InfoWars, and techniques like the North Carolina GOP used after a Democratic governor was just elected.

        You want someone who is going to create poverty and death, as you described it? Paul Ryan is going to introduce legislation that kills Social Security, Medicare, and all the other programs you love to hate. Where does that leave all those people whose lives depended on those programs? Living in poverty and death, since they won’t be able to afford anything, let alone their own health care.

        This is why we ridicule people like you. You spout your twisted logic about how the “left is evil” and Satan and blah blah blah, when the actions of Republicans you help elect are far and away worse for average Americans.

      • As someone living on Social Security to survive, we already live in poverty. What abolishing Social Security will do is make us homeless.

      • Derek, everything you just said below is subjective fantasy. It simply reveals bigotry in that you want to believe these things, and you need to believe these thing to justify your hatred of those you feel want to oppose you. The truth is none of your fantasies are true including anyone having it out for you.

        Trump is not right wing. He’s more a moderate to left running as a Republican. He voted for Obama, and so did many who voted for Trump. He could not have won the mid west without democrat leaning votes. What he does from here is pretty much unknown. If he shrinks government I’ll be happy; if he doesn’t I won’t be. The difference is that no matter what he does you’ll be upset, because your expressed views are simply about bigoted feelings and not reality.

      • You have no idea what “subjective fantasy” actually is, do you? Cos you don’t act like it.

      • No one is talking about doing away with Social Security. Reform yes. It has to; it’s not sustainable for future retirees. Changing it would effect them not you.

      • the left has better ideas than what ever jungle law you are proposing. Your pure D horse crap is not in sync with the founding documents of our government, which is a construct of humans, no divine hoo-hah required. As a matter of fact, it has an amendment process spelled out which is proof the founders anticipated change would be needed.
        You obviously are confused as to the rules.

      • Jungle law? You mean your jungle were you just go beat what you want out of someone else? The one where the one with the biggest stick forces everyone else into submission? That’s the law and world of you guys on the extreme left. So keep your projection.

  22. Hating taxes is just placing a higher value on money than on human beings, which is pretty damn immoral in my book. Without taxes, you don’t have civilization, and as much as many of the Right-Wing Meanies we’re referring to here think they are people of the land, salt of the earth, they need civilization, too.

    • Loving taxes, especially when arguing that the 1% should pay for yours, is placing higher value on money than human beings and you are right that is immoral. Quoting Thomas Sowell, “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

      The argument made is about the moral basis of taxes. What could possibly be more greedy and immoral than spending so much time and energy advocating a system by which a minority of others pay for more and more free stuff for you? As I recall slavery has already been dealt with. I am not arguing against government, I accept the American idea embedded in the US constitution to be pretty reasonable that government should exist solely to protect the rights of the people. It certainly needs revenue to do so. There are other ways to raise revenue than to make greedy arguments designed to enslave a small minority in the service of a vast majority. That is and will continue to collapse (can you say $20 trillion).

      The solution is smallest government possible, free markets, simple and few moral laws and frameworks, freedom as long as not harming others, and moral sources of revenue as much as possible. What are moral sources of revenue? Those that are as voluntary as possible: Fee for service, or those connected to use. A good example is gas taxes or possibly value added taxes, tolls, county fees for water, sewer, fire protection, trash, etc. I personally would have no issue with a 10% flat tax as long as all paid it with no exceptions. Obviously the rich would pay more because 10% of more is more than 10% of less.

      These are things that would bring us all closer as a people by requiring all to have skin in the game, incentivizing good and not bad behaviors and bringing us closer to the utopia you guys claim to seek through shared prosperity rather than shared poverty. Your ideas do nothing but bring chaos, division and implosion. See the failed experiments of the socialist, atheist left in the 20th century and the more than 100 million who died in their wake.

      • GumdropHundrop

        Hey brucie cutie pie rainbow schmoo how about you go fuck yourself sideways and die in a pile of shit? U Ignatius Reilly? Your tiny cock is showing and everyone is laughing. You are embarrassing. Keep posting more of your internet boy garbage. It’s really funny that you think u r speaking for truth and Jesus and shit. Jesus just sealed up an envelope and the letter says ur goin to troll hell. Bwahahaha. Dude I just gay fucked your dad and he loved it. And now I’m coming for your little twink butthole. Get ready you closeted little tulip. Get out the ky jelly cuz u betta stretch. I’ve got ur address and I’m gonna come and teach u what theft really looks like. Better get ur guns oh wait obama took them all lol. Im gonna turn u into a pool of vomit. Prepare to lose ur safety buttercup. Ur gonna get a taste of real oppression. Little baby mantears bout to turn into real tears. The fuckin revolution has begun. Bye bye boi toy. Ima fuckin misandry ur flabby little ass and make it a pie for eatins. Even with ur little baby carrot penis. All the grrrls gonna point and giggle for eternity. Uz a joke joke joke. We gonna make u a comedy fest for all us welfare queens and super predators. We fonna take ur white babies and paint them purple and feed em o ur dogs. All the red boys betta watch out cuz the feminazu scum is comin for them and their pretty fox news wives. We gonna eat them up with our toothy cunts. Nom nom nom. And we will sacrifice their children to God of Abraham in the name of Christianity yayyyyyyyy. And everyone and everything will burn. Im gonna cut off ur cock, boil it, and feed it to u real nice. Like a little tofu cube. No pepper or salt tho until u take back what u said about taxes. Heheheheh

      • Ivory Bill Woodpecker

        I used to agree with Bruce, but I was in my late teens at the time.

        Then I grew up.

        However, speaking of growing up:

        Gumdrop, please go away and grow up. You are an embarrassment to liberals and progressives.

      • Ivory Bill, how is deciding that other people should be forced at the point of a gun to pay continually more and more of your bills? That’s the left in a nutshell. Gun, submit, pay. How is that growing up? I get images of Lord of the Flies.

      • Ivory Bill Woodpecker

        Growing up is realizing that you are not omnipotent and invincible, that sometimes bad things beyond your control DO happen to you, and then you need help–so it’s a good idea to have a system in place to provide that help. It’s called “humility”, Bruce–one of the primary virtues of the faith which you claim to follow.

      • Ivory Bill, again how is deciding that other people should be forced to take care of you a manifestation of growing up or (you’ve got to be kidding) humility? Humility is respecting others and their rights above your own. You are arguing exactly the opposite that your rights trump all others. That’s by definition the mind of a selfish child.

      • Bruce, darling, has it ever occurred to you that maybe you could fall down the stairs at a friend’s place at a strangely awkward angle? or step off the curb, when the signal is with you, BUT some teenager texting her boyfriend blows the red? whoops! now you’re a quadriplegic and guess what? that insurance you had from your job, and the limited disability payments don’t even last long enough to see you exit the Rehab Hospital. well, hell if the Democrats had still been in charge, you could have applied for some relief from Social Security Disability. too bad you don’t wan’t to be a “taker” under ANY conditions, though. think what the 1% must be paying for people like you and your medical care. I mean, your health is theft, right along with that preschooler who didn’t ask to be born, but was kinda forced to be since his momma lived in Alabama where there is ONE abortion clinic in the entire state and abstinence-only sex education, that hungry preschooler who is being punished by further cuts in Aid to Families With Dependent Children.

        But, Brucie, why is it not theft to subsidize the corn syrup industry? are they in danger of dying like people? or the petroleum industry, coal mining industry (that is polluting our air), or tax breaks to thousands of large, multi-national corporations (say Walmart, who employ people at minimum wage and actively dispatch ‘spies’ to make sure workers are sure not to organize and lobby together for higher than poverty wages).

        Do you even know what the 1% is, Bruce? it’s at least a cool million in salary a year. and UP (urban) and about a half a mil otherwise. the what, is it 27% tax bracket (which none of these who-has ever pays) is almost the lowest in a century.

        Stop yer little Red State whining, boy. Learn some history, perhaps about the Gilded Age, about how people viewed Reagan when he was actually IN OFFICE (can anyone say Iran-Contra Affair?), how Nixon would be a Democrat now, and how hey-Unions built America. and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE educate yourself about socialism, because it’s: your public schools, police departments, fire&rescue, local-state-national park system, post office, public beaches, Amtrak, els-subways-and city bus services, streets and sanitation departments, and so much more.

        Grow up.

  23. It’s worth pointing out that the substantive criticism of that particular Trumpette–that Medicaid is better insurance for cheaper than her privatized Obamacare plan–is correct. Democrats, either because they became cowed by Republicans or their own donors, advocate for complex social welfare programs that use formulas to determine who is on what side of this or that line and therefore what they get.

    Maybe the Trumpettes would hate Medicaid just because The Blacks get it too, but I doubt it. They resent that they have worse insurance that costs more money and the only reason they don’t have the better insurance is that they make too much money.

    If Obamacare had a public option–which Obama bargained away to placate the hospital industry–then this woman would’ve been able to get Medicaid instead of being on the outside looking in. Just give people services in exchange for their tax dollars and make it easy.

    • If Obamacare had a public option–which Obama bargained away to placate the hospital industry–then this woman would’ve been able to get Medicaid instead of being on the outside looking in. Just give people services in exchange for their tax dollars and make it easy.

      Couldn’t agree with this more. Privatised insurance is not sustainable for a functioning society. We’re seeing the last days of America.

    • “Privatised insurance is not sustainable for a functioning society.” You are somewhat right, but government monopoly certainly is not sustainable. Both insurance and government are 3rd party payer. Thus no one cares what it costs. Do you want to fix it or just raise the flag of socialism and bury it? If you want to fix it then look at Lasik and Plastic Surgery. Both are normally not covered by insurance or government. They are completely free market. What has happened in those two fields? Major innovation in service delivery, technology, care and outcomes, and oh yea, the price has gone steadily DOWN! If you want to fix healthcare then learn the lessons of reality and figure out how to free market forces in medicine. It is very doable. It just hasn’t been tried in the last 50+ years outside of those fields.

      • discreetsecuritysolutions

        At last, you come up with something intelligent and constructive.
        From here, the entire gravy train US medical system is insanity enforced by status & statue.
        Go take a look at which countries get the best healthcare per dollar spend, and you’ll see it is those others (actually, all the others) with some form of national health service. The USA comes so far down it is embarrassing.

      • discreetsecuritysolutions Well you started out that I had made a constructive argument, but then argued for socialized medicine, which was the opposite of my argument. What is your logic? Socialized medicine has lower costs, because they don’t provide as many services. You can’t cost out a service that doesn’t exist. And seriously you are persuaded simply by the everyone’s else is doing it argument? Everyone else is insane.

        Mine was a medical family growing up. I know this one from the inside. In say England, if you need non critical surgery you are either denied or put on a waiting list. In the US they schedule you for in the morning. I receive a very costly infusion treatment for a rare disease. I’ve been told in some countries they would not pay for it, and I would simply die. My death or others like me would not be statistically significant. But people like me cost the system a fortune. Though innovation is making that cheaper gradually.

        Speaking of that if we go socialized where will innovation occur? There won’t be anywhere for new medicines to be tried out? Industry will stop innovating. We are the last great market for new drugs.

        In our system people utilize the healthcare services at multiple times higher rates than in any other country. Why? Because they can. In a socialized system the industry implodes down to just the most common basic needs. It may work fine to a degree, but an English doctor friend tells me they simply push others out of the system.

        To fix the system its needs to go back to free markets where each pays directly for his care and for his insurance for what insurance was supposed to be for – unexpected or catastrophic costs. So let people have what they want, but requiring everyone to carry coverage for what they don’t need does not help on costs. For instance, if people shopped around for the cost of a physical guess what costs would go down and doctors would innovate new ways to deliver that service with better outcomes and lower costs just like Lasik. Why because when you pay you care what it costs.

        Socializing it is just throwing in the towel and saying this is too hard. so let’s just make sure everyone has minimal care with no options, no appeals and less access. If you want to know what it looks like it’s called the VA. It’s consistent with far leftist dogma that wants everyone to be equally deprived and equally poor.

    • Bruce:
      So, in reading your posts here, you’re pretty much a full blown Libertarian- amIright?
      A cursory glimpse at Google “free market healthcare that works” ends up with essentially no real results- just articles with “ideas” (like yours) that say it’ll work if we just give it a try. We have tried it, honestly, and we end up with tens of millions of people who can’t afford even the the most basic access to the healthcare that they need. You also make the assumption that just letting the ‘open market’ dictate price will drive healthcare costs down by citing plastic surgery and lasix. A boob job and a choice to not have to wear glasses are hardly indicators of real world medicine- you don’t “need” a set of 38D’s, however you DO need a hip replacement or heart surgery, or insulin.

      In your model of how healthcare, it would shave access to healthcare to only those that can afford it- and (as studies have shown) are socioeconomically less likely to need it.

      BTW, one of the myriad of reasons that costs have gotten to where they are in healthcare: somehow the costs of compassionate care have to be covered in order for that facility to remain open for everyone. That cost is getting passed on to those of us that do have insurance. You do understand that right?

      But what would I know? I’ve only been working in critical care for 26 years.

      • Actually scaler911, I am better described as a constitutional centrist believing that government has limited powers simply designed to protect rights. Healthcare is not a right; it is a product. Government should have no place in it.

        Your inference that free market healthcare has been tried and failed is not true unless you go back before either of our day. My dad was a surgeon for 40 years. He saw the growing government interference that actually started before him and grew with employer based insurance in the 1940’s. Why did not and does not the left allow individuals to have the same tax breaks as corporations to just buy their insurance themselves? Because aggregating healthcare in a few large corporations is easier to control than millions making their own decisions. It was all about government power and control from the start not better care.

        As Medicare and Medicaid came online the costs of running medical offices exploded and the notion of charity hospitals vanished. Why did the government want to do away with charity? Is it because you can’t tax what you can’t monetize? Yes. During this process my dad saw the cost of running a practice get bigger and bigger and bigger with more and more of the cost going to overhead, bureaucrats and lawyers and less to the actual cost of care.

        All of this is by definition economic fascism. It is a form of socialism created by Mussolini in Italy. Instead of government taking ownership of property it leaves it in private hands. It cures a problem with pure socialism which is the government gets blamed when things go bad. In economic fascism when things go right politicians can take credit; when they go bad they blame the evil capitalist owners. It really is a brilliant but diabolical solution favoring the ruling class. The problem is that it’s still socialism, and it still fails.

        Enter Obamacare. It is economic fascism where the government controls everything but private ownership remains. And it worked exactly as expected with Obama blaming evil capitalist insurance companies for the problems and took credit for any successes. As expected it’s really been about purposeful failure to cause people to be persuaded to accept pure socialism as you have suggested in the code for it: public option.

        So my point was that you have to get outside that system to see what works. Markets always work. And you can’t charge what no one can pay. Like in all markets Lasik looks for the largest market by innovating delivery and lowering costs. So more, not less people get care. All markets work that way.

        The example of hip surgery comes under insurance for unexpected or catastrophic costs. That is what insurance is supposed to be. Right now it’s not insurance; it’s just a massive elaborate third party payment system that hides the cost, so no one cares. When no one cares the cost then no one is policing the costs and they explode. What you needs is millions of people policing the costs in their own care and in their own choices of insurance and then costs will come down and services will improve faster.

        If you need another example of this in real life look at college costs. They have gone up far faster than even healthcare. What caused the explosion? College costs have been heavily socialized but they exploded when lotteries started providing free college. Again a huge part of students no longer cared what it cost, so colleges drowning in new droves of not at risk revenue exploded their costs by building more and more opulent buildings and giving themselves extravagant pay raises. This was not sustainable. Probably today the worst bargain in the US is college where free costs you more than you can pay. Before all this many could pay for school with a part time job. Now it means a massive debt. What’s the left’s solution? Once again double down on stupid and make the 1% pay for all of it, which will only make the costs explode even more or the opportunity to go to college or access to it would have to be reduced to keep it free. Socializing costs is simple the opportunity for the greatest greed and corruption, the highest costs, and the worst outcome for the recipients.

        Socialism is immoral, evil and discriminatory. Why can’t you guys learn the lessons of history and economics that just keep repeating over and over?

    • FFS. you’re talking RECENT history. obama didn’t kill the single payer option or the medicare buy-in, joltin joe LIEBERMAN (i4l, asshole) did.

      out of spite.

      because the democratic party in CT was done with his backstabbing, quisling ass and went for ned lamont.

  24. Bingo! I am tired of journalists/analysts/talking heads bemoaning how the Democrats missed all these forgotten Americans. The message was there for those that chose to listen or investigate beyond sound bites. Living in a red county, I know what makes these people tick better than someone that breezes through for an interview. Guns, religion, racism and xenophobia is what drives their votes. You hear it in the checkout line, the letters to the editor and in conversations with neighbors. No pity whatsoever for any Trump voter and I am calling them on it every chance I get, family included

    • It’s exactly comments like yours that led to Trump. Your comments drip with bigotry and hatred for people based on how you group classify them. You know them better? Well you reveal that you don’t know them at all. “Guns, religion, racism and xenophobia” appears to be nothing but code and virtue signaling to identify with the hip cool crowd of exclusion that you are one of them. What red staters really stand for is freedom, God, virtue and truth. Something that is void in these posts. I am one of them, so I think I know me and my friends better than you. I also know from your post that you despise me for existing, and that is our difference. I’m spending my time here making persuasive arguments. You are just spreading hate.

      • GumdropHundrop

        Hey brucie cutie pie rainbow schmoo how about you go fuck yourself sideways and die in a pile of shit? U Ignatius Reilly? Your tiny cock is showing and everyone is laughing. You are embarrassing. Keep posting more of your internet boy garbage. It’s really funny that you think u r speaking for truth and Jesus and shit. Jesus just sealed up an envelope and the letter says ur goin to troll hell. Bwahahaha. Dude I just gay fucked your dad and he loved it. And now I’m coming for your little twink butthole. Get ready you closeted little tulip. Get out the ky jelly cuz u betta stretch. I’ve got ur address and I’m gonna come and teach u what theft really looks like. Better get ur guns oh wait obama took them all lol. Im gonna turn u into a pool of vomit. Prepare to lose ur safety buttercup. Ur gonna get a taste of real oppression. Little baby mantears bout to turn into real tears. The fuckin revolution has begun. Bye bye boi toy. Ima fuckin misandry ur flabby little ass and make it a pie for eatins. Even with ur little baby carrot penis. All the grrrls gonna point and giggle for eternity. Uz a joke joke joke. We gonna make u a comedy fest for all us welfare queens and super predators. We fonna take ur white babies and paint them purple and feed em o ur dogs. All the red boys betta watch out cuz the feminazu scum is comin for them and their pretty fox news wives. We gonna eat them up with our toothy cunts. Nom nom nom. And we will sacrifice their children to God of Abraham in the name of Christianity yayyyyyyyy. And everyone and everything will burn. Im gonna cut off ur cock, boil it, and feed it to u real nice. Like a little tofu cube. No pepper or salt tho until u take back what u said about taxes. Heheheheh

      • There are global paradises where the theories of low, low taxes are being tried out right now, Bruce. They are synonymous with a lifestyle of personal freedom, far from coercive nanny government. Here are the top 10: Brunei, Qatar, Macedonia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lesotho, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Georgia and Singapore. I recommend you move to one of them. We’ll slave away in our socialist hellhole. Be sure to write!

      • GumdropHundrop 1. First, that’s not an argument. 2. Thanks for ratifying everything I’ve said by showing what bigotry, hate, rape & murder look like and the ideology most connected to it. 3. Thanks for leaving a permanent digital footprint that leads straight to your door. You might as well be wearing a big red sign that says I did it. The police I’m sure will appreciate that whether investigating you as the prime suspect in my apparently inevitable rape & murder or just on federal felon charges of making terrorist threats. 4. Also thanks for your endorsement of the need of the 2nd amendment & why concealed carry is really really huge around here. 5. I never before realized Tofu came in cube form. 6. Does Satan really have red skin or is it just a leotard? Thanks.

      • beejeez How in the world do you claim Islamic nations as having personal freedom? They are more like socialist states where the states just happen to running what here would be illegal monopolies shaking down the entire world for all the cash they can get for oil. They normally are swimming in cash and run brutal regimes. Do they even collect taxes? Why not consider the fact that major tax cuts in 1920’s, 1963, & 1981 all turned major economic downturns or stagflations into roaring economies that even produced major tax revenue gains.

      • 1981 resulted in a major recession. Every Republican administration since 1928 ended on a larger budget deficit than the one before, while Democrats have either brought that deficit to a new record low, or even created a surplus, at the end of their term.

        You may not remember the Reagan years, but I do.

      • Yeah, snowflake, it’s myffault that youvvoted for a con man. Thought you people believed inttaking responsibility for your actions.

      • Ruadhán, exactly how much crack do you smoke? Your history lesson is a fantasy you just made up or saw while tripping. The 1981 recession was due to Carter’s hyper inflation. It had to be tamed. Reagan inherited double digit inflation and the Federal Reserve acted to get it under control by raising interest rates dramatically thus causing the recession of ’81 to ’83. I had just graduated college. By 1983 the economic boom resulting from Reagan’s policies was so huge that he won reelection in one of the biggest landslides in history winning 49 states. His promise to lower the deficit was thwarted, because the house and senate were controlled by democrats who refused to cut spending to the levels he requested.

        Democrats have exclusively been the kings of the most extreme forms of deficit spending. So your claim otherwise is a lie. The only exception would be under Clinton, but it was a Republican house led by Newt Gingrich that wrote that budget. It was Republicans fulfilling their promise in their “Contract with American” that had swept them into office in the first Clinton Mid-term. Clinton was often chided by democrats for going along with Newt on his spending cuts and welfare reform. For a while Clinton was more Reagan than Reagan, and I had few objections to him as long as he was in that mode.

        In Obama’s case more than 10 trillion dollars of debt was created or more than all presidents before combined. This was an entirely Democrat deficit. Wilson, FDR & Truman are the only presidents other than perhaps Lincoln that so exploded the debt relative to GDP. The metric that means the most is debt to GDP and when it gets high it becomes a threat. It has been always Democrats that have blown that metric sky high creating crises such as we have now.

        Once again you throw out a fantasy that the most simple investigation explodes into nothing. Is your deceit on purpose, or are you just a propagandist whose purpose is to drive others to purpose evil against their fellow man? Or yet are you just a parrot for any horror show that promises you a free ride?

    • krabagail wrote: “Yeah, snowflake, it’s myffault that youvvoted for a con man. Thought you people believed inttaking responsibility for your actions.”

      What does that even mean? I see no relationship to anything in this discussion?

  25. Bruce seems to forget that the most graphic examples of “what bigotry, hate, rape & murder look like” came from the virulent mobs that made up Trump’s campaign rallies. Nothing that any of the liberal commentators in this comment thread has come close to the racist, sexist, obscenity-laced, death-threatening that has typified Trump’s supporters, and continues to do so even after the election. So just drop that stupid hyperbole, Bruce.

    I’ve re-read your comments above, and nothing you’ve said changes the fundamental truth that social and political structures, laws, and customs are human creations, including the property rights which you seem to treat as God-given truths. If you want to live in the US, you have to do so within the politico-legal framework that’s in force. You can try to convince others to change it, but you can’t opt out. It’s “e pluribus unum”, whether you like it or not.

    • Geoff are you smoking crack? “the virulent mobs that made up Trump’s campaign rallies.” What fantasy reality are you pulling that from? The streets of the US were filled with angry left racists under banners like BLM burning buildings, over turning cars and killing policemen. Is that what you are calling a Trump rally? MSNBC did it’s best to find some hatred at Trump rallies, but time and time again the 1 guy in 15,000 holding some stupid sign turned out to be someone hired by the Hillary campaign to astroturf their narrative. Again 1,000s in the street burning buildings, rioting, burning buildings preaching race hatred of whites, the rich, republicans, etc. At Trump rallies a guy holding an inappropriate sign. When have we seen a right wing riot? Oh, yea they don’t exist, but leftist ones happen routinely. This is why you guys lost the presidency, 1,042 legislative seats, 12 governorships, etc in the last 8 years. So I would ask you, are you going to live under the “politico-legal framework that’s about to be in force?” Or are you going to join the violent mobs that only exist only on the left and create chaos and mayhem with them?

      • On your health care comment.

        You said your father saw something going on in the 1940s in medicine- do you realize how long ago that was? Medical care used to be a fee for service thing, but the costs were lower not because of a lack of government interference or insurance (though I will deal with insurance later) but because medicine back then was much lower tech and therefore less expensive. It’s the same thing with the military. In the 18th century armies used rifles and some cannons. This is one reason why so many revolutions got off the ground then – the cost of raising an army wasn’t prohibitive, so rebels could equip themselves to compete with actual standing armies.

        Insurance and government health services emerged as medical treatment become too expensive to exist on a ‘pay per service’ basis, and charity care become impossible since what was considered ‘up to date medical care’ was no longer something that was affordable. Many treatments we rely on today did not exist in the 1940s, the same way that ‘military equipment’ in the 1700s isn’t what it is today. Insurance was one way of managing costs, but the problem in the USA is that there is no real honest audit of ‘costs’ of treatments, but complicated negotiations between insurance companies and medical suppliers. I know back in the ‘good old days’ the farmer would call a doctor, who would make a house call, and the doctor would pay the doctor with some chickens, but back then the doctor was just going to toss out some laudanum and move on to the next farm. Today, the doctor might need an MRI to diagnose the problem – an expensive piece of machinery. They may need a lab to run blood tests. Medicine is no longer something that a single person can provide as a business, no more than you can grab some rifles and be an ‘army.’

        The other thing is you seem to object to ‘insurance’ for anything other than catastrophic, unusual expenses. I don’t get why you hate market based cost management plans. Our standards for ‘health’ are not the standards of the dinosaur age of the 1940s. We expect chronic health conditions to be managed by scientific, evidence based medicine, not to wait until we are on death’s door to call the doctor.’ We are also aware of underlying medical conditions that would have been missed in the past. People in the past were often described as ‘sickly’ or such, because they had things wrong with them that was not understood. Now we know, so there is treatment, which requires solutions beyond ‘doc makes house calls for fees.’ That business model is obsolete. The idea that we need to encourage people to ‘save money’ by not going to doctors is deciding that the solution to 21st century health care is for everybody to reduce their health expectations to 19th century levels. It’s a mentality that thinks only of costs, and not outcomes. If a huge amount of money was spent on health care, I don’t see this as a negative if we’re getting better outcomes.

        I think your daddy was really just angry at the fact that, back before the 1940s a doctor with a private practice was sustainable, and later on, it became obsolete. Doctors did resent the move away from being autonomous professionals to being employees, but I don’t see why their egos should govern health care. It’s like someone complaining that nobody wants buggy whips and resenting cars. It’s an inevitable part of technological progress.

        Some costs decline, and some increase. You mentioned lasik – the market has reduced costs, but it’s also reduced costs for many things covered by insurance. Some costs increase – MRIs become more expensive owing to a helium shortage. Then there are new treatments. IP laws have inflated costs of Rx drugs, even generics, but many drugs are now much cheaper than in the past. Part of the problem are drug makers pushing ‘new’ drugs not that dissimilar from older ones, but older ones are not universally better or good enough.

        Then there are chronic health conditions. I have several disabilities and I require frequent medical treatments. Reducing insurance to ‘catastrophic only’ would mean people who have these conditions – through no fault of our own – just won’t get treatment.

        What we need are ways to maintain 21st century levels of treatment, not a way to use cost as a way of rationing care which just means rich people get it, and poor people don’t. What worked in the 1940s can’t work in the present, the way the strategy for the US revolution in 1700 would be a losing strategy today.

    • Bruce needs to get his own blog if he has so much to say, instead of simply reacting to what other people write. But that would require original thought and the guts to post it so others can come and spew contrarian nonsense just to spew contrarian nonsense the way he’s doing here. Failing that, a hobby might suffice.

  26. After reading this I can fall to sleep peacefully tonight, suspecting that maybe, just maybe, I’m not alone in the world. Thanks.

  27. OK, so first, her perceptions about what “about people on welfare” get, vs. the working poor, are based on what? Fox News? The actual amount of assistance, $-wise is really, tiny. Food stamps, TANF, are absurdly low.

    What I find amazing, is that in America, you want to deny the kid the toy truck or the “free lunch”, but have no problem giving BILLIONS to Oil companies in free subsidies and having a tax structure that benefits inherited and market wealth over earned income!

    I, personally would prefer to live in a society where no one goes hungry, or lacks for the basics (clothing, shelter, medical care, etc), and few less Kardashians.

    • Steve, about welfare that is false. Those on total assistance actually do better than you claim – enough so to make them among the wealthiest people on the planet. Their government payments are not counted as income by the government, but if they were included very few would be listed as in poverty. It’s not an all or none type thing. There are people in dire circumstances do to physical and mental illness, but these people do have solutions, but not if they won’t seek or accept them. Others are in dire circumstances, because of their poor decisions and life choices. Others simply are pissed because someone is not giving them even more, and it’s these folks that the left seeks to consolidate into an angry hate filled, rioting mob by stoking up the fires of envy and greed within. This is primarily what makes the left’s ideology evil.

      The Heritage Foundation that will likely be rejected since it is not a communist organization of leftist propaganda but actually one of truth did a detailed study on this in 2011. There report is long and here:

      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty

      If you read it you will find what I said is true. It can be verified easily from other sources of data if you wish. The only problem is that you risk blowing up your world view by doing so. Truth matters.

      No one gives billions or any amount to oil companies. I know exactly what that refers to but let’s see if you do. Do you? Can you explain to me and everyone here what subsidy the oil companies actually get and how they get it? What the DailyKos told you so – Pravda? Let me help you out. Research depletion. Depletion is a deduction for using up a mineral or asset. Every company in the US is allowed depletion. More specifically if an oil company buys oil rights to a piece of land say worth $100 million. And after they use those rights they are worth $0 then that is a $100 million loss from depletion. To ban it only for oil companies would be to specifically single them out to deny them an actual loss. That is the definition of selective contrived retribution. While I’m on it, do you know how much profit Exxon makes on the average on a gallon of gas? 8 cents. Their finances are public; you can go look them up. Do you know how much government takes on a gallon of gas? Government roughly takes from 20 to 55 cents per gallon depending on what state you are in. So if you want to go after the slimy profiteer once again it’s government – helping each day to buy your vote oh and the Saudi’s.

      If you are in the US then you do live in a society where no one goes hungry, or lacks for the basics unless they choose to or because no one knows who they are as they so choose.

      • you’ve obviously never had a moment’s interaction with a person on welfare. you are such a tool.

        I was disabled for a short time in the early 1990’s. Now, this was still the heyday of welfare, before Clinton signed the infamous 1996 reform bill basically “ending welfare as we know it.” I had not worked long enough to get a real disability check (I was 20), so I was awarded SSI, which didn’t qualify me for Medicare, paid me a whopping $403/month to live on (which disqualified me from welfare, but allowed me a medical card from Public Aid only AFTER I had spent $106 of those precious dollars on my healthcare.

        So, let’s recap. $403 minus $106 equals $297. that’s for food, clothing, transportation and shelter. Yassir, Is be RICH!

      • siren: I’ve know people who spend most of their life disabled and on welfare and assistance. Your example may be true for you, but it does not fit for others. Many people on assistance live pretty well considering their circumstances. That you are so angry and think you are entitled to other people’s wealth beyond that is what makes no one want to help you. If you tried a different approach (like gratitude) then maybe you would find a different response.

        I too have been through periods of difficulty including a severe disabling disease. Luckily I had friends and family to turn to. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Government assistance should only be there for those who have nothing else, and through no fault of their own find themselves with no other choice. I did not even consider government help, nor would ever even entertain the thought that anyone was required to help me. These are ideas that just used to be called normal before fascists and socialists infected peoples minds with the idea of entitlement to the property of others as a virtue.

  28. Pingback: That sounds about right | Suburban Guerrilla. Susie Madrak

  29. Pingback: Yup. Idiots. | rurritable

  30. Your friend “J” and I have nearly the exact same one-question political test. My hypothetical was usually a murderer walking free or a truly innocent person serving life in prison for a murderer they didn’t commit. I think I like J’s hypothetical better. But I will concur that this is a 100% accurate political test.

    • The “J” test is what the rest of the world calls bigotry. It’s a made up subjective narrative that is not factual or provable but simply reflects the bigoted false beliefs of the writer. What the right seeks is to lift all mankind. The left thinks to lift people up you have to bring other people down – wealth by taking. The proof? Look at the entire discussion. It’s whole focus is bringing the rich down. First, it’s an immoral and evil POV. 2nd it doesn’t work. It just makes everyone poorer. See Venezuela where they actually did what you guys want to do. They result everyone in screaming poverty that no one in the US could compare to. That is the legacy of the left and those who follow those ideas – poverty, murder and destruction.

  31. The idea that tax is theft is the cornerstone of a flawed argument. And the more the argument is expounded, the more it falls apart and manifests itself as greed. The tactic of becoming the victim – in this case the victim of theft by taxation – is becoming fairly recognizable and is not convincing. Taxation as theft is simply redefining a term to change the narrative. It is not logical and is in fact a logical fallacy; the premise is false and anything that follows is a smoke screen.

    I wonder if anyone really believes that – “taxation is theft ” – deep down. Deep down enough to abolish all taxes and then figure out some alternative way to pay for necessary infrastructure like roads, police, etc.? Or is that somehow not theft? Is is likely that necessary shared infrastructure could all be done through a “charitable” act of goodwill by everyone toward even only the most necessary programs? Would that really work? Beyond that, do those who feel grifted by taxes not see the value in public health, education, and reducing poverty? How do they imagine our country looking if we abandon the poor? Can we really count on charitable Christians to take care of all that? Would a poor (albeit red) state like Mississippi, as an example, survive without the generous federal funding of 40% of its revenue? And would it be OK to let it go down the tubes? Who knows how much “free” stuff they are getting? Would those conservative residents be OK if we stopped the redistribution of wealth they are taking advantage of – is that really how they mean to be voting?

    These are complicated issues that can’t be sorted out with simple and flawed ideas like “taxing is theft”.

    And, FWIW, I’m not asking for anyone, 1%, or otherwise, to pay for free stuff for me – I can and do pay my own way and I expect to and do contribute to necessary infrastructure through taxation. I am fortunate, but I realize that some are not.

    • So I attack the tax smoke screen, and you call reality a smoke screen?
      Steve lets try something really simple. If a guy comes up to you with a gun and says give me all or let’s just say 35% of your money what is that called?

      I have never said abolish taxes. Not once, ever. I am trying to establish the premise that is true that the spirit of believing that others should be forced to pay by armed force for your enrichment is theft by definition. This is entirely a response to those on the left that claim that the rich are a bunch of dead beats who pay no taxes when the reality is that they pay all of the income tax paid and the lower 50% pay zero income taxes. This is about blowing up false, provocative envy narratives for the purposes of shutting down discussion in favor of bully beat downs and even violent retribution. And why do these narratives exist? Because evil power mongers on the left make this crap up and repeat over and over to “community organize” the masses in to their bully mobs. It’s as simple as that.

      So if we can get away from false manipulative narratives that have nothing to do with reality then maybe, just maybe we can as a whole seek the best way to solve the issues you mentioned.

      • Why not a social contract which gives everybody some minimum? It’s sort of like insurance. I’ll pay taxes, and if I need benefits, I’ll get them. I’ll be happy when I don’t.

        I guess I don’t view what is ‘mine’ as mine as much as you do, because I’m not a Randroid who ignores how circumstances beyond my control led to my doing better than most other people.

        Love how you, like many, define ‘greed’ as something only poor people can be guilty of. I guess everybody should know their place. Sorry, you were born in the wrong caste, you’ll just never get what those people have, sucks to be you.

  32. Boils down to Drumpf supporters being petty, spiteful, and just plain ugly. Scrooge snapped out of it. Even the Grinch snapped out of it. What’s their excuse? Great entry.

    • Really? Look at GumdropHundrop’s response to me in this comment section. On the right we get this visceral hatred in droves. Should be Blue State Mean State if that is the standard, but I would never write an article like this because I’m not a bigot.

      • Sorry, Bruce, I don’t have the time to weed through as many comments as are on this thread and sort your battles out for you. If you want to talk about bigots, look no further than the incoming administration. Pick a group, any group, and Trumpence have managed to say and do something hateful toward them. Women? Check. People of color? Check. Muslims? Check. Immigrants? Check. When people got edgy and out of hand on the Democratic side, Bernie came forward and said that violence is not the way. Trump? Talked about punching people in the face, beating people up, and “kicking ass.” He got off on people getting violent. That’s sick. There IS a difference between Trump supporters and everyone else, even other Republicans. I’ve yet to meet a Trump supporter who wasn’t, yes, deplorable.

    • Right you don’t have time to condemn a person on your side and right here in these comments that actually threatened to rape and kill me (and the post is still there), and you expect one word you have to say should be listened too? The difference between you and me is I condemn actual racism and actual violence. You condemn things that fit your bigoted narrative and ignore that all mass violence and all mass racism in our culture has come and still comes form the left. All you are doing is condoning GumdropHunfrop by virtue signaling to your tribe that you are one with the cause of theft, oppression and hate as she so overtly represents.

      • Bruce, please get over yourself. If someone were to threaten me with those things, I’d take care of it MYSELF instead of calling on random strangers to fight my battles for me like a little bitch and flailing about with logical fallacies when they don’t
        .

  33. If taxation is theft then is billing you any service or product you have already received. Taxes pay for our shared matters, the public goods we all consume.

    Progressive taxation is desirable because the marginal value of money declines when income grows. Ten dollars for a poor person is a big expense for a cab ride when it rains (what will that person do without to justify the cab ride?), ten dollars for a billionaire is nothing when it rains. If we want to equalize the burden taxes actually create, we want those who have more to pay more. Even flat tax systems end up modified that way, because the percentage flat tax that would be needed to fund the government is so high that it would make the poorest starve. So exceptions would be built in etc. and we’d be back with a modified progressive system except that the very wealthy would pay less.

    • Billing for services rendered implies that you willingly sought out those services or products and came into a mutually beneficial agreement about purchasing those things. That is not theft; that is an agreement. Billing me at the gas station for an extra 20 cents a gallon of gas to pay for roads is not coercive or theft either, because I can simply not drive. But saying I want Bill Gates to pay more in income taxes, so I can have free healthcare arises out of a heart of greed. To send a man with a gun from the government to take his money is not you and he mutually agreeing to anything. That is you and a bunch of others deciding to take if from him whether he agrees or not.

      The point is about the narrative and the morality of the act. Taxes are needed for those things government was meant to do. What it’s is meant to do is protect our rights and freedoms – that’s all.

      Rationalizing the ability of the super rich to pay is to focus on the wrong thing. They already pay almost all the income tax paid. The top 50% pay all of it; the top 1% alone pay half of it. What the focus should be is what do we really need government to do and why? Then seek the best fairest most workable way to pay for it.

      Arthur Laffer looked at the flat tax a few years ago and came to the conclusion that a flat 13% tax would pay for everything including Social Security and Medicare. That would be 13% with no deductions. Now it might be a bit higher; that was about 5 years ago. The solution for those who are poor is either a very low rate or exempt lower incomes with a higher flat rate. Personally I think the lowest rate that everyone pays is the fairest and smartest. Everyone should have skin in the game. It motivates the person at the bottom to work up. And keep in mind the person at the bottom is a teenager working after school not a 50 year old mom of six like you guys want to claim. If by that age you are pulling minimum wage something is deeply wrong and your kids probably need to be in foster care. Though there are exceptions to everything, and those exceptions should be planned for as best as possible.

      • But people like Bill Gates employ other people and decide whether they get health care. Shouldn’t the people who decide who gets health care have to pay? I mean, the rich guy can decide to replace all the workers with robots and now they don’t have health care. Some people have more power than others, thanks to having control of the money and resources that we need to survive.

        There are plenty of older people making minimum wage since there are quite a few jobs that pay minimum wage, or just above. There has not been enough growth in higher paying jobs in many regions, and many jobs have declining wages, and labor demand is declining in many industries, mostly owing to technological innovations.

  34. Pingback: THE INFORMATION #922 JANUARY 6, 2017 | dimenno

  35. Only two words for this piece: NAILED IT.

    Thank you.

  36. Billing for services rendered implies that you willingly sought out those services or products and came into a mutually beneficial agreement about purchasing those things. That is not theft; that is an agreement.

    But so are elections, or any other devices than governments for funding services which have the characteristics of public goods ( 1. it’s extremely expensive to stop someone from using them without paying and, 2. how much I use them doesn’t diminish how much is left for you and others). If payment for public services is made voluntary, then we have the free rider problem: It’s in the interest of most individuals to refuse to pay for them and to get the services anyway. Once enough people act that way, there will be hardly any funding for the public goods.

    That is the economic explanation why taxes must be paid. Granted, because the origin of taxes is in voting by many individuals, some are going to get amounts of the public good (lighthouse is the old example, check it for the two conditions) that they might not find optimal. But often people don’t see that much of what they daily consume (roads, police services, parks etc.) are paid from taxes, and if those taxes are regarded as theft, well, then there will be very few of the types of services that make what I’d call a civilized country.

    But saying I want Bill Gates to pay more in income taxes, so I can have free healthcare arises out of a heart of greed. To send a man with a gun from the government to take his money is not you and he mutually agreeing to anything. That is you and a bunch of others deciding to take if from him whether he agrees or not.
    Just to clarify, I’m not doing any taking of money nor have I ever taken money from the government, though one day I will probably get Social Security payments.

    On Bill Gates: What he has achieved is partly because of the framework the government provided for him: The Internet. It’s also partly because stable governments provide the circumstances under which firms can thrive and easily reach their customers. To assume that Gates would owe nothing much to the government discounts the help he has gotten, however invisible it might look.

    Rationalizing the ability of the super rich to pay is to focus on the wrong thing. They already pay almost all the income tax paid. The top 50% pay all of it; the top 1% alone pay half of it. What the focus should be is what do we really need government to do and why? Then seek the best fairest most workable way to pay for it.

    The point I was aiming at in my previous comment was that we ideally want the sacrifice to be equal. Because money is worth much more for a poor person than a rich person, it makes sense that the rich person pays more to feel an equal sacrifice. That’s my definition of fairness, though I understand that it is not yours.

    The top one percent pays a lot of Federal income tax, true, and that is because it has a lot of income. It has even more wealth, as the top one percent in income and wealth overlap considerably. If we take all taxes into account, then the percentage the top one percent pays is 27.9%.

    That’s because certain other taxes are regressive, falling more heavily for lower earners. That is the case with the payroll tax, out of which the top one percent pay 5.5%, even though their income share is 16.5% of total income. The middle quintile has 13.8% of the total income, yet pays 15.8% of payroll taxes. (http://www.politifact.com/florida/statements/2015/oct/26/jeb-bush/jeb-bush-says-top-1-percent-pay-nearly-half-all-ta/)

    Also, the working poor do pay other taxes, even if they don’t earn enough to pay Federal income taxes. They are also more likely to send their children to fight America’s wars. I wouldn’t see that as not having skin in the game.

    • Thank you Echidne for explaining all that. I was going to, but it tires me.
      What I find very interesting is the use of language of morals to talk about an economic system.

      At times in the past I wanted to argue with a person who called himself a Christian. I realized that I have enough theological, expertise to “win” the argument. But it didn’t matter.

      He wasn’t the one that I was concerned with. It was the people who he had convinced that were the issue. Who might be persuaded that he was wrong headed in so many ways that I needed to reach.

    • Echidne, I said, “Billing for services rendered implies that you willingly sought out those services…” You replied, “But so are elections, or any other devices than governments for funding services…” That comparison completely defies logic at any level. A private transaction for a good or service is the result of a mutual agreement between two parties where each gains from the transaction – or else they would not be party to it. Voting is just that – voting. It is not an agreement to anything. If you vote against a tax and it wins, guess what you’re still on the hook. Tolls, gas taxes, public transit fees, water & sewer fees, sanitation fees, park fees, etc. are all fee for service. Often even fire services appear as line items on property tax bills. There are no free riders and these services and costs are visible to the receiver.

      At least 1/2 of government spending is transfer payments or redistribution. If you don’t agree to funding those payments guess what you are forced at the point of a gun by a guy from the government until you do pay. This is what the left is in love with – pointing guns at their fellow citizens to force them to give them free stuff.

      The economic explanation of confiscatory taxes disconnected from services is simply that it’s socialism. Capitalism is two parties mutually agreeing to a transaction. Socialism is one party pointing a gun at the other party and taking from him whatever it wants. This is why socialism is an immoral, evil discriminatory system.

      Once again as others have done you run to the extreme with this argument about, what if we had no taxes. No one is arguing no taxes. Arguing against confiscatory taxes and demonizing a rich minority to be bull whipped until they pay ever more of other people’s expenses by calling them “mean” and “greedy” is not the same argument as an argument for there being zero taxes.

      Bill Gates (I’m not a fan by the way) long preceded the Internet. He made his fortune writing (and perhaps stealing) software. He could have done that in the middle of a gymnasium. The Internet ideas were all created by private industry for the government, and until private industry, which did not include Microsoft, turned it into a marketable commodity it went no where.

      That government exists to protect the rights of individuals and companies rights (a framework) is exactly my argument. This amounts to about 2% of what government does today.

      Your analysis about equal sacrifice meaning the rich should pay a higher share of their income is the accepted standard. But that’s not what I am arguing against. Again, I am arguing the patent line of the left in the public arena and on this comment section that the rich dodge taxes and don’t pay their “fair” share. This is a damnable lie made to stir up mob resentment and votes. The richest 50% pay ALL the income tax paid; 100%. So my point is if you guys want a rational debate quit lying about the rich. How about being grateful? That does not exist from the left – only hate and demonization. This is again the foundation of greed and is immoral.

      Your thesis on “equal” sacrifice is noted but it misses the core question. The core question is how much should be spent. This never comes up other than a continuing list of new free stuff offered by corrupt politicians to buy votes. If govenment stuck to it’s enumerated powers spending would be a faction of what it is and this tax discussion would be moot. No one would object. Instead it simply a constantly moving target to a socialized state where the majority is holding a gun to the head of the minority and forcing them to pay their bills. Eventually it will collapse just like everywhere else it exists.

    • Spocko, so are you saying truth doesn’t matter but only who you can get to join the mob? It sure sounds like that. I’m not really interested in either of us “winning” the argument. I’m interested in seeking and finding the truth. And that does not including false, bigoted demonization (the article we are attached to), nor does it mean community organizing the biggest mob to defeat the other mob.

      The economic system is absolutely a system of morals. It’s a system by which parties interact. The left pretty much relies on emotional arguments invoking the language of morality. For instance, “the rich are greedy bastards who shun and avoid paying their fair share.” It is erroneous but effective in that it whips up people emotionally to support anyone who hates the rich. When using these tactics with lies it’s a special kind of evil that results.

      The article above stated the following:

      “My friend J. says that you can identify, with 100% accuracy, Democrats vs. Republicans with one simple test. Democrats, he says, don’t care if some “undeserving” folks cash in on, for example, a free lunch program, as long as not one child goes out to recess hungry. While Republicans, according to J., don’t really care how many children starve as long as not one, single “undeserving” child gets a free meal.”

      That is a subjective, unverifiable, non scientific, emotional, erroneous, non factual appeal to moral fairness. The problem is that it’s wrong and manipulative. It is nothing but a tactic. The entire Red State, Mean State article is an appeal to morality as wrong headed and bigoted as it is.

      People on the right tend to be process people who argue about what works. They have been terrible at making the moral counter argument. What I am doing is filling that gap as are an increasing number of those on the right. See Ben Shapiro who I’ve discovered recently who brialliantly makes these same arguments to a much larger audience. I’m helping you guys out; this is what you will have to go against to win the day. You must bring a TRUTHFUL moral argument for your views to win most Americans to your side.

      • Bruce– I like that you’ve taken the time to draft some lengthy and substantive responses to this piece. But you’re obviously too smart a guy not to see the utter subjectivity in the predicates you keep returning too. You can’t argue that anything is empirically “moral” when morality itself is subjective. If you’re interested in having an intellectually honest debate, it starts with abandoning the fig leaf of some objective moral truth. Admit that you and most of the people giving this article high-fives are starting from different places. If you keep pushing a narrative that depicts you as a truth teller and everyone else as participants in the left’s conspiracy of lies, you won’t get anywhere (and it’s obvious that, so far at least, you haven’t gotten anywhere).

      • I don’t see any indication that people on the right are ‘process people who care what works’ anymore. Back during the cold war, many people who were conservatives argued that though communism promised a worker’s paradise, it didn’t deliver, so intentions didn’t matter.

        But now, with the influence of Rand, von Mises and other anti-government absolutists, the right now believes that government interventions into the market are inherently bad, regardless of outcomes. You yourself argue this with the same regurgitated ‘taxes are theft at gunpoint’ – people on the right believe in something like anarcho-capitalism, and it’s right no matter how many people starve, do without health care, or live their lives in crushing poverty. It used to be ‘the free market will work better than the USSR and its communism – see, look at all those poor people there!’ Now it’s ‘if the free market leaves people in poverty, that’s their problem!’

        Just, people like yourself either aren’t aware that you are arguing that certain things are intrinsically wrong (outcomes aren’t relevant) or that you’re dishonestly shifting from one defense of your viewpoints to another.

        What works? We have already seen what works in many nations with free enterprise plus a generous welfare state to handle commodities and services that the market fails to do for a number of reasons.

        Also, back to your comments about increased costs of education, much of this is driven by lack of government support, which was why educations at state schools used to be more affordable. Now, the government money is replaced with loans.

    • bruce is gish galloping.

      just about. EVERYTHING he’s spouting is EASILY, verifyingly FALSE.

      but tgere’s SO much crap he’s shovelling that you guys are getting lost in the weeds.

      he’s not having an honest debate. he’s trolling HARD.

      gish gallop. don’t let it take you for a ride.

  37. fucking brilliant. love it. did i mention fucking brilliant??
    Thank You.

  38. Thank you. Really, thank you. This has been my very unpopular opinion for some time, and it’s nice to know SOMEONE agrees with me.

  39. Pingback: Friday Links (good riddance to a bad year edition) | Font Folly

  40. This piece is everything and proud we are of it. The one group that isn’t addressed here are the righteous snowflakes who, despite being educated and mobilized and passionate, could not bear to cast their vote down the filthy well that was the Stolen Democratic nomination. Whether they voted for Jill Stein or if they wrote in someone, they helped cook this awful, four-year meal that we all have to eat. They are particularly vexing because, unlike the huge block of would-be voters that have to be persuaded to the polls, these folks both (a) already vote and (b) presumably share all the empathy and intellect required to understand the moral imperative of ALWAYS VOTING AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN.

  41. “People who don’t want to to work”? Golden retrievers all over my neighborhood howled at that dog whistle.

    And “stupid” is not the right word unless the author means a willful stupidity and not an inherent mental defect.

    While the Democrats should refuse to pander to such people by throwing minorities and women under the bus, I doubt that they can be reached at all. And we might not be able to make them feel remorse either. Perhaps the best we can hope for is to marginalize them.

  42. sanders is from BROOKLYN. kings highway and 26th st. a district in a burrough clinton WALLOPED him in. guess he couldn’t speak to their economic ANXIETY.

  43. Great post, provocative, like a great piece of art work. Great reading the comments. Thanks for sharing. Someone shared this with me today, that reinforced for me, re-analyzing the Socratic position from which I form my arguments. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-convince-someone-when-facts-fail/

  44. Pingback: Link Love (2017-01-16) | Becky's Kaleidoscope

  45. FFS part two.

    let’s make one thing CLEAR.

    the gop wins because they CHEAT abd they’re NOT reoubled by that.

    CONFIRMED in ’68. ’80. ’00. possibly ’04 if you believe the stories about blackwell) and now in ’16.

    the right does NOT believe in letting everyone vote and living with the results. they have been trying to restrict the franchise ANY way possible since the VRA was passed, and it’s NOT a surprise that after the roberts court killed the pre-clearance parts, red states have OVERWHELMINGLY moved to PREVENT their political opponents from VOTING.

    those are NOT the actions of a party PROUD of its philosophies and willing to defend them on the battlefield of ideas.

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