Hanging out with Bernie Sanders: it turns out that standing FOR something is a lot more politically important than merely standing AGAINST Trump

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/06/first-days-better-nation.html


Naomi’s Step 5.


“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

  • Bucky Fuller




My inner conspiracy theorist thinks that the Democrats are literally there to be the non-effective but “more lefty-seeming” party, because they are SO GODDAMN BAD at doing their FUCKING JOB, it like, has to be deliberate, right? Hillary was an AWFUL campaigner, no matter what you think about her. The party is basically a center-right party these days, in actual terms, other than maybe being more socially progressive. Again, to distract certain segments of the populace from realizing both parties are under the control of the very same power elite as the Republicans?

So where is a good progressive (socially and economically) country for an English-speaker to move to? Canada, Netherlands, Denmark…?


There is nowhere to run.

China is probably the place with the best chance of resisting US aggression, but they are highly problematic in their own right. Iceland has decent political leadership:

…but they’re defenceless.

New Zealand has a nice combination of tolerable politics, geographic isolation and linguistic familiarity. Unfortunately, many people noticed that years ago, and the Kiwis are now shutting the gate to avoid being swamped.


The question—which may not be answered until 2020—is whether Trump spoke to those voters because of his vague populist promises or because of his willingness to embrace the nastiest aspects of the culture war."

  1. The primary question is, did voters understand Donald Trump’s racism, homophobia, and misogyny from the statements he made on the campaign trail? Unless you are prepared to be extraordinarily condescending regarding the mental capacity of the average american voter, I think the answer is “yes”.

  2. The next question is, if Trump’s hateful beliefs were known, is there any justification for voting for him (likesuchas economic populism) that isn’t a tacit approval of those beliefs? The answer is no, as Adam Serwer outlined pretty well in his piece in The Atlantic the other week. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/11/the-nationalists-delusion/546356/
    And his follow-up discussion with Damon Linker https://twitter.com/AdamSerwer/status/935516208706801664

  3. It is a bald-faced lie to insinuate that other Democratic candidates didn’t affirmatively stand for something, that they weren’t proposing very large changes to the status quo. And frankly, I’m not going to do the work of digging all of this shit out of HRC’s campaign website, because you know it’s a lie. What you propose is that not only Sanders would have won, he would have also managed to flip both the House and Senate, so that the difference between a $12 and $15 minimum wage would have mattered, instead of being dead-on-arrival in the Republican-controlled Congress.

  4. Which brings us to the last matter, the fact that the US, from day one, has been structurally biased toward white supremacy, and as long as the main organ of that supremacy, the Senate, exists, it will be increasingly hard to make any sort of progressive change. See: The Big Sort, or this helpful tweet right here https://twitter.com/_waleedshahid/status/938055378021085184


I swear to god Clinton is going to try to run again, after losing the primary in '08 and the election in '16 I swear she is going to act like its “her time” again - and she’s going to claim that its not her idea and everybody called her back. Good God Democrats - don’t do it…


It depends on whether the whole Clinton crowd of grifting hangers-on can once more thoroughly parasitize the Democratic party apparatus in 2019-20 as they did in 2015-16.

Personally I doubt it, because a review of the voter turnout in 2008, 2012, and 2016 leads to the conclusion that the Democrats have nominated their last white candidate. If Clinton runs again, it will be racist to vote for her in the 2020 primaries just as it was racist to vote for her in the spring of 2008.


44.5 of the 45 Presidents in the history of this country were white. Every single one of them was a straight Christian man (or at least a straight man who claimed to be Christian).

FFS, people. Stop acting like the system is biased against the one group it’s clearly biased toward.


Buchanan probably preferred dick but I suppose I’m nitpicking…


Hillary Clinton is an involuntary civilian (“inciv”) who is going her own way (into the woods). She is a VERY NICE CANDIDATE and has WAITED HER TURN. It is not fair that the American people always go for mean jerks and complain that they can’t find a good politician when there’s been one there the entire time. Frankly it’s extremely sexist that a WOMAN in 2016 can’t run on the same neoliberal policies as a MAN in 1996.


[nods] Totally. Huh. Well alright, let’s see what else LJ has to say.




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I still think that the party machine is tone deaf and just isn’t getting it. Even with these various run-off elections, and even with a few inspiring candidates (that the party itself seemed apprehensive to fully support) I’m not at all confident that they’re going to pull the country out of the tailspin we’re in. They’ve been a very reactionary party. They haven’t controlled the dialogue or the language of any debate. And they are very center-right. And running anti-trump without any vision of the future will sadly be political suicide in the long and short term.


Progressive only so much as it doesn’t cost anyone anything, or hurt profit margins.


Now you know and I know that Obama having a white momma doesn’t mean he isn’t a black man. Come on.


Thanks for the links; I’m making my way through them right now, wondering to myself: did I forget these controversies? Was I even aware of them in the first place? Reading these has been a good run of my memory. Thanks for sharing them.

But now I have to ask you: why bury a valid point in hyperbole?


it turns out that standing FOR something is a lot more politically important than merely standing AGAINST…

I dunno, I honestly feel so many Republican voters have lost the fucking plot when it comes to what they STAND for. Other than maybe a couple issues, it seems everything is just AGAINST the Democrats and Liberals. If Obama made a press conference encouraging everyone to take deep, satisfying breathes, I fully expected a percentage of people to asphyxiate themselves.

But seriously, on most issues they have no idea what is good or bad or right or wrong - just whether it is “Democrat” or not.

Democrat votes seem a little better in some respects, but still fall prey to this logic.