Author Topic: Normal politics and its discontents  (Read 873 times)

Mandos

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Normal politics and its discontents
« on: August 03, 2010, 09:55:18 PM »
I've been thinking (and having acrimonous and noisome flamewars on US-focused venues) about the not-exactly-surprising failure of the Democratic Party to deliver an unequivocal victory---or even a non-defeat, on some issues---to the American left.  Clearly there are political, social, environment, moral crises that demand immediate attention, but the vicissitudes of American politics allow the Democrats to remain---being generous---only a smidgen better than that actual practical behaviour of Republicans. 

And yet, considering all the other options, the blackmail that the Democrats hold over the lefter wing of the American population happens to be, well, grounded in something real.  It really is true that any attempt to abandon the Democratic party would lead to Republican government.  And there's really no evidence that Republican government leads to any serious left backlash in the population as a whole.  If anything, it pushes the discussion further to the right faster than it would be pushed under Democrats. 

The likely end of this is not good, but at the same time I still can't see a practical way out of at least nominal support for Democratic electoral prospects, in the absence of any sort of viable plan B.

Herr Magoo

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Re: Normal politics and its discontents
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 01:39:05 PM »
I think a big part of the problem is that (at least in a two-party system) the split between Republican and Democrat in the U.S. is:
 
1.  almost right down the middle.  What are the usual numbers?  52/48?  51/49?  This means that for every person who gets their wish from an election, one doesn't.  Or in other words, at any given time about half of the population will feel they're being governed improperly
 
2.  regional.  If it were evenly spread then any American would stand a good chance of having a neighbour, co-worker or family member who voted opposite to them, and maybe dialogs could happen.  But when your state is "red" or "blue" then you probably stand a greater chance of voting that way (if only to back a winner) and you're probably more likely to dig your heels in, since now it's an identity issue.
 
3.  OK with them.  I have to believe that if they really wanted a third or fourth or fifth option, they could demand it, but for some perverse reason I think this coin-toss of a system appeals to them.
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Mandos

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Re: Normal politics and its discontents
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 02:02:19 PM »
The problem is that the split is more complicated than that.  I'd say you have about 70% of the public (all (R), plus disaffected left-liberals disappointed in Obama) who feel that they're being governed improperly, but for very disparate reasons. 

Croghan27

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Re: Normal politics and its discontents
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 02:19:32 PM »
While in university I took a course in the Philosophy of St. Augustine. The professor, a world class scholar in the Saint,despised the man - often opining on how by following St. Paul the tax collector, he screwed up Christianity thereafter.

Augustine fought a life long battle against various heresies ... it can been seen from his writings that as he battled each, he became closer to each.

Perhaps Dylan caught the essence of that when he quipped, in My Back Pages:

"I aimed my hand  At the mongrel dogs who teach
  Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
  In the instant that I preach"

Johnson's war in Viet Nam became Nixon's war, Trudeau derided Stanfield for suggesting wage and price controls, then promptly put them in place when securely elected.

In bourgeois politics left/right really has no meaning.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

Bread & Roses Forum

Re: Normal politics and its discontents
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 02:19:32 PM »

 

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