Interview with investigative reporter Seymour Hersh: our world is "run by ignoramuses, wackos and psychotics"

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  1. government by the least suitable or competent citizens of a state.

“the danger is that this will reduce us to kakistocracy”

  • a state or society governed by its least suitable or competent citizens.

plural noun: kakistocracies

“the modern regime is at once a plutocracy and a kakistocracy”


How about a link to the article?

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i.e. stop blaming the mythical “Bernie bros”.

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“Do you not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed?”


There is going to be a presidential election in 2020. I am afraid that Trump wins…

Back when the GOP did their primary thing there were, I’m sure you’ll recall, a dazzling number of potentials. While most of them were your typical (IMO, repugnant) folks, but there was one that stood WAY out, far beyond the rest. Mostly it was the bright orange-ness that made the ass-clown really “shine”. Anyway, the normal vs. absurd juxtaposition in itself was enough to tell me that something was very, very amiss. It just wasn’t right, on a fundamental level, and, when something is that wrong, well…that’s right when I knew that he’d be our next chief.

All that to say: we have the same sort of set up heading into 2020. I know, of course, that this time the comparison is with semi-normal people in another party, but the bizarre, fundamentally-wrong juxtaposition is still there.


I think with politics the problem is that the best and brightest aren’t necessarily interested in serving the public that way. And why would anyone want to be a politician when you get compromised by money, get micromanaged by handlers on your image and the polls, and get criticized by one side or the other your entire career? It’s disheartening. I worry that people like AOC will get burned out and give up-- Bernie survived for most of his career pre-2016 by being kind of invisible on the national stage, and buoyed by the unique electorate of Vermont.

The problem with the media is similar to how Hollywood is addicted to “the blockbuster movie”-- they are constantly in need of some new hyped-up mega-story, when the evening news used to be a pretty sterile affair most of the time. Cable news has become a 24/7 outrage fest, Trump’s tweets fit the agenda perfectly. Fox News learned a long time ago that on a slow news day you can manufacture outrage (Rush Limbaugh had been doing it for years) and keep the audience tuned in. It’s not about news, it’s about ad revenue and agenda.


In college, I attended a lecture by Hersh. I always remember him saying something to the effect of “if you have a really bad guy in the White House, investigative journalists may never find out what crimes he’s committing” (you can guess which president prompted that comment. Hersh didn’t anticipate a president* so shameless that he wouldn’t care if his crimes were exposed.



I took this to mean that the people who are currently supporting Sanders are the ones currently most fired up for change and contain a substantial number of the Democratic voters at this point (see also: AOC’s supporters). The fear is that if the DNC go business-as-usual and repeats the mistakes of the 2016 election - namely alienating those supporters - it will cause exactly the “it is so easy to say the hell with it, a pox on all of them” attitude mentioned in the article.

The issue isn’t this supposed “Bernie Bros” bloc leaving, it’s that the DNC constantly is moving politically to the right, and actual liberals are giving up. Why support a party that constantly fails to support you and your interests? Why send money to a party that marginalizes and abandons candidates you like? Why support a party that uses internal politics to suppress a candidate that actually fires up voters (and young voters at that) in order to nominate a political insider that was one of the most hated candidates of all time (rightly or wrongly is beside the point - her public image was toxic, and she should never have been nominated).


The whole party, and a sizeable chunk of Independents, have shifted left of the average (D) legislator (or, as you said, they have shifted right of the party). But part of the problem with not-so-mythical “Bernie Bros” is that they aren’t interested in some concessions, they want it all or they take their ball and go home. That’s not how a coalition works.

Also: Please don’t feed posters who want to re-hash the 2016 primaries. The 2020 primaries are right around the corner!


Mostly I agree. The reporter does mention a mistake that media make regarding trump’s tweets, that they just parrot them without any further insight or giving meaning to them, or weighing their (lack of) importance. Similarly, the term “Bernie Bro” was coined by an editorial, and the term got repeated without being analyzing if it is really a factor in the election at all.
My comment simply says, don’t make quick assumptions if you lose the election. And do not lose this election.


our world is “run by ignoramuses, wackos and psychotics”


No one has a time machine, and anybody focusing on the UNCHANGEABLE past at this point is just wasting their energy and our time.


The point is not to re-hash the 2016 primaries/election, but to learn from it, keep in mind what went wrong there, and not do it again. As they say, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.


our world is “run by ignoramuses, wackos and psychotics”

That’s on a good day.


Then everyone who indulges in that “effort” is failing… because in damn near EVERY conversation that we have on this site regarding US presidential candidates, their policy platforms, the primaries, election strategy, or anything even tangentially related, there’s always at least a handful of zealots who want to endlessly point fingers and lay blame… which is counterproductive as fuck.

If you spend all your time in-fighting about the shit that happened in the past, you’re not “learning” and you’re damn sure not ‘helping’ anything… you’re just making yourself yet another obstacle to be overcome.

Gee, I’ve never heard that one before; wanna hit me with any other ancient cliches that aren’t actually going to do anything to help solve the current crisis we’re facing?


Because the alternative is so very very very much worse. Anyone who disdains to vote against Trump in the 2020 election is a fool.


That may be the point, but what typically happens here is that both BernieBros and apologists for the Dem establishment (so familiar here that I could name them) show up to derail the discussion with the same bogus talking points and bad-faith arguments (so familiar that I could post a convincing version from either side) from three years ago. Whatever good points they make are buried in their zealousness to defend the indefensible.

It’s fine that Hersh made the core point about the DNC needing to wise up and fine that you clarified it for someone who misunderstood it. What people are asking, however, is that you not belabour it if one of the obnoxious fanbois or apologists on either side inevitably takes issue with what you’re saying.

[To be clear, your rhetorical questions are good ones that the majority of BB commenters would agree with, even though we’d vote for a ham sandwich if the Dems nominated one in 2020. But we’ve all heard or asked those questions before.]


The problem is that if you disillusion enough of the energized believers, like the Bernie and AOC followers, they’ll stop posting in support of the DNC candidate. They’re not going to stop being active, they’re just going to shift to 100% anti-Trump, but not be viewed as being for anyone, and thus easier for the mainstream and swing voters to dismiss. It’s going to become a repeat of the 2016 election, which wasn’t “Hillary vs Trump” but was “Trump vs. not-Trump” - and it’s easier to convince people to vote for someone than against them.

What we need is a really, really good candidate to energize people and make them excited to vote, instead of just relying on them being angry enough at Trump to go vote for whoever else there is. In 2016 that was Bernie - in 2020, I’m not sure if he still has the momentum he had four years ago (I’m not saying he doesn’t, I’m just saying I haven’t seen the same level of buzz he had then). Unfortunately AOC is too young to run, because she’s positioned almost perfectly for this (thanks in no small part to Trump / FOX / RNC having a hate-on for her and keeping her in the news cycle every week). The real question is does the DNC have anyone they can put up with that kind of ability to get people excited about voting, and give them that kind of a buzz about politics? If so, I haven’t seen it happening, yet.

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