Video explainer on how the conservative minority punks Democrats and Republican moderates

Originally published at:


Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins traces many of the extreme tactics used today to one man: former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

and a Fresh Air interview:


what happens next? I dunno pitchforks? guillotines?


That whole series on the alt-right is pretty spot on and compelling. Unfortunately the people who need to watch this either won’t, or won’t listen. If you have moderate friends they might learn something.


Of course. You can see it in how conservatives project their fears and anger in everything they do. It’s really all about what they would do and will do if they can get complete control of our nation, and it’s not only that Dem’s won’t go low, it’s that Dem’s won’t even fight for what’s right. Dem’s never contested the Bush-Gore fiasco in Florida, they never contested the Ohio thievery of 2004, they have not done a got-damned thing about vulnerable e-voting machines for decades and when Obama got into office the first thing he did was exonerate all of the bankers and told the rest of the nation and the world that fucking over American citizens was okay. That’s just for starters. What else do we got?


If you want to fight the U.S. military, you’re going to need a bigger boat. Because, the vast majority of the U.S. military will turn against the majority of U.S. citizens.

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Atlantic journalist McKay Coppins traces many of the extreme tactics used today to one man: former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich

The original bitter conservative debate club nerd who exacted his revenge by foisting his mean-spirited neoliberal fundamentalism on the body politic using every dirty and intellectually dishonest trick in the book.

He effectively wrote the official handbook for every crappy Libertarian troll who ever polluted an Internet comment forum.


Ugh. What a read - I’m impressed that he’s familiar with de Waal’s work, but it’s appalling that his takeaway is that we should give in to our chimp nature. My takeaway is that we should give more expression to our bonobo side. We all share common ancestry, and I see both of those (among other things) within us. We can choose which to nurture.


This seems upside down.

Did rhetoric enable Republican dominance, or did Republican language change as they realized their risk of losing a governing majority was diminishing due to the effects of population sorting and Federalism?

Vox recently released a similar video, noting the increase in Republican partisanship, and they even got Norm Ornstein on to explain a bunch of stuff:

Except they skipped the part where Norm Ornstein explains exactly why it is Republicans have become more partisan:

Now, that is some minority rule.


LBJ killed JFK?

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That was informative and accurate, but somewhat lacking in practical application. In the short term, the only possible response is to vote the bastards out, rip them out root and branch. Once they no longer have an unchecked majority, focusing on repairing tbe broken system can begin. Until then, understanding exactly how we are getting screwed just makes me even more angry.


I feel like voting them out won’t make a difference unless you go after the root causes. Namely the incredibly large propaganda campaign that has been tremendously successful in steering the national discourse. Rhupert Murdock wills it, Fox reports it, half of the country believes it, and the President acts on it. Facts don’t matter if you control the story.


I can’t change Fox, I can’t make the Koch’s other than they are. I have a vote, and a voice. I will use them. Changing society takes time, elections not so much. Start where we are and move forward from there.


I really think ranked choice voting could combat this trend. It’s easy to be decisive if a minority of people can put you in power. Being divisive in a ranked choice vote still gets you a top choice from your base, but everyone else ranks you last, thus you never have a chance of winning. Ranked choice would’ve changed a lot about US politics in the last 20-30 years.


I like ranked choice voting in its various forms, but I don’t think it would have much overall impact.

Your explanation for why kind of assumes that there are more than two viable parties, and it’s true that our current elections system is designed to strongly discourage third parties. However, the problem with the solution is that with or without ranked choice, each election is for a particular seat, not a range of seats. This means that in each individual case, the two major parties (or one major party, in a lot of the country) will still come out on top in the election.

For ranked choice alone to help, there need to be enough third party supporters and candidates for them to actually win in a particular district – just having third party votes assigned instead of ignored (as they are currently) is a step up, but it doesn’t lead to different outcomes except in very close elections. It certainly doesn’t lead to, for example, a 20% minority group being represented by 20% of the politicians, like proportional representation would.


It seems like the upshot of this video is that when the results of democracy disagree with what you think is right, you should abandon democracy.

The author makes the mistake of thinking that the primary goal of democracy is to create an ideal society. If that’s your goal, an “enlightened” despotism seems like the way to go. Democracy is about creating a good enough society where people have a voice in government, though granted, we’re not doing a great job with that lately.

To see what can happen when people who are convinced they’re right start breaking the rules, refer to the results of various left-wing revolutions - Cambodia, Cuba, Venezuela, etc.

“do to them, as destructively as possible, whatever you don’t want them to do to you.”

OK, I could see this working on the Democratic side, IF they grew a spine, and IF they publicly and repeatedly point out “hey, we tried to play nice, but the GOP started this realpolitik bullshit by doing X, Y, and Z. We will happily return to playing nice if they agree to also play nice. We’re not going to sit here and be bulldozed by the opposition party simply because we have scruples and they do not.”

Unfortunately anything the Democrats do, even the most tepid middle-of-the-road legislation, gets portrayed as communism and the end of freedom ans we know it by Fox News.


The US conservatives hate democracy though.

There’s only one party that consistently participates in voter suppression while passing every law they possibly can to disenfranchise as many people as possible.

The republican party has been working very hard to destroy democracy.


I don’t disagree, but is giving up on democracy really the right play in response?

Mmm… maybe. Who really knows about that ne.

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