The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

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The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-21 03:23am

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... pt/578095/
Updated at 1:44 p.m. ET on December 14, 2018.

Why has the Republican Party become so thoroughly corrupt? The reason is historical—it goes back many decades—and, in a way, philosophical. The party is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.

I don’t mean the kind of corruption that regularly sends lowlifes like Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic former governor of Illinois, to prison. Those abuses are nonpartisan and always with us. So is vote theft of the kind we’ve just seen in North Carolina—after all, the alleged fraudster employed by the Republican candidate for Congress hired himself out to Democrats in 2010.

And I don’t just mean that the Republican Party is led by the boss of a kleptocratic family business who presides over a scandal-ridden administration, that many of his closest advisers are facing prison time, that Donald Trump himself might have to stay in office just to avoid prosecution, that he could be exposed by the special counsel and the incoming House majority as the most corrupt president in American history. Richard Nixon’s administration was also riddled with criminality—but in 1973, the Republican Party of Hugh Scott, the Senate minority leader, and John Rhodes, the House minority leader, was still a normal organization. It played by the rules.

The corruption I mean has less to do with individual perfidy than institutional depravity. It isn’t an occasional failure to uphold norms, but a consistent repudiation of them. It isn’t about dirty money so much as the pursuit and abuse of power—power as an end in itself, justifying almost any means. Political corruption usually trails financial scandals in its wake—the foam is scummy with self-dealing—but it’s far more dangerous than graft. There are legal remedies for Duncan Hunter, a representative from California, who will stand trial next year for using campaign funds to pay for family luxuries.* But there’s no obvious remedy for what the state legislatures of Wisconsin and Michigan, following the example of North Carolina in 2016, are now doing.

Republican majorities are rushing to pass laws that strip away the legitimate powers of newly elected Democratic governors while defeated or outgoing Republican incumbents are still around to sign the bills. Even if the courts overturn some of these power grabs, as they have in North Carolina, Republicans will remain securely entrenched in the legislative majority through their own hyper-gerrymandering—in Wisconsin last month, 54 percent of the total votes cast for major-party candidates gave Democrats just 36 of 99 assembly seats—so they will go on passing laws to thwart election results. Nothing can stop these abuses short of an electoral landslide. In Wisconsin, a purple state, that means close to 60 percent of the total vote.

The fact that no plausible election outcome can check the abuse of power is what makes political corruption so dangerous. It strikes at the heart of democracy. It destroys the compact between the people and the government. In rendering voters voiceless, it pushes everyone closer to the use of undemocratic means.

Today’s Republican Party has cornered itself with a base of ever older, whiter, more male, more rural, more conservative voters. Demography can take a long time to change—longer than in progressives’ dreams—but it isn’t on the Republicans’ side. They could have tried to expand; instead, they’ve hardened and walled themselves off. This is why, while voter fraud knows no party, only the Republican Party wildly overstates the risk so that it can pass laws (including right now in Wisconsin, with a bill that reduces early voting) to limit the franchise in ways that have a disparate partisan impact. This is why, when some Democrats in the New Jersey legislature proposed to enshrine gerrymandering in the state constitution, other Democrats, in New Jersey and around the country, objected.

Taking away democratic rights—extreme gerrymandering; blocking an elected president from nominating a Supreme Court justice; selectively paring voting rolls and polling places; creating spurious anti-fraud commissions; misusing the census to undercount the opposition; calling lame-duck legislative sessions to pass laws against the will of the voters—is the Republican Party’s main political strategy, and will be for years to come.

Republicans have chosen contraction and authoritarianism because, unlike the Democrats, their party isn’t a coalition of interests in search of a majority. Its character is ideological. The Republican Party we know is a product of the modern conservative movement, and that movement is a series of insurgencies against the established order. Several of its intellectual founders—Whittaker Chambers and James Burnham, among others—were shaped early on by Communist ideology and practice, and their Manichean thinking, their conviction that the salvation of Western civilization depended on the devoted work of a small group of illuminati, marked the movement at its birth.

The first insurgency was the nomination of Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. He campaigned as a rebel against the postwar American consensus and the soft middle of his own party’s leadership. Goldwater didn’t use the standard, reassuring lexicon of the big tent and the mainstream. At the San Francisco convention, he embraced extremism and denounced the Republican establishment, whose “moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” His campaign lit a fire of excitement that spread to millions of readers through the pages of two self-published prophesies of the apocalypse, Phyllis Schlafly’s A Choice Not an Echo and John A. Stormer’s None Dare Call It Treason. According to these mega-sellers, the political opposition wasn’t just wrong—it was a sinister conspiracy with totalitarian goals.

William F. Buckley—the movement’s Max Eastman, its most brilliant pamphleteer—predicted Goldwater’s landslide defeat. His candidacy, like the revolution of 1905, had come too soon, but it foretold the victory to come. At a Young Americans for Freedom convention, Buckley exhorted an audience of true-believing cadres to think beyond November: “Presuppose that the fiery little body of dissenters, of which you are a shining meteor, suddenly spun off no less than a majority of all the American people, who suddenly overcome a generation’s entrenched lassitude, suddenly penetrated to the true meaning of freedom in society where the truth is occluded by the verbose mystification of thousands of scholars, tens of thousands of books, a million miles of newsprint.” Then Goldwater’s inevitable defeat would turn into “the well planted seeds of hope, which will flower on a great November day in the future, if there is a future.”

The insurgents were agents of history, and history was long. To avoid despair, they needed the clarity that only ideology (“the truth”) can give. The task in 1964 was to recruit and train conservative followers. Then established institutions that concealed the truth—schools, universities, newspapers, the Republican Party itself—would have to be swept away and replaced or entered and cleansed. Eventually Buckley imagined an electoral majority; but these were not the words and ideas of democratic politics, with its ungainly coalitions and unsatisfying compromises.

During this first insurgency, the abiding contours of the movement took shape. One feature—detailed in Before the Storm, Rick Perlstein’s account of the origins of the New Right—was liberals’ inability to see, let alone take seriously enough to understand, what was happening around the country. For their part, conservatives nursed a victim’s sense of grievance—the system was stacked against them, cabals of the powerful were determined to lock them out—and they showed more energetic interest than their opponents in the means of gaining power: mass media, new techniques of organizing, rhetoric, ideas. Finally, the movement was founded in the politics of racism. Goldwater’s strongest support came from white southerners reacting against civil rights. Even Buckley once defended Jim Crow with the claim that black Americans were too “backward” for self-government. Eventually he changed his views, but modern conservatism would never stop flirting with hostility toward whole groups of Americans. And from the start this stance opened the movement to extreme, sometimes violent fellow travelers.

It took only 16 years, with the election of Ronald Reagan, for the movement and party to merge. During those years, conservatives hammered away at institutional structures, denouncing the established ones for their treacherous liberalism, and building alternatives, in the form of well-funded right-wing foundations, think tanks, business lobbies, legal groups, magazines, publishers, professorships. When Reagan won the presidency in 1980, the products of this “counter-establishment” (from the title of Sidney Blumenthal’s book on the subject) were ready to take power.

Reagan commanded a revolution, but he himself didn’t have a revolutionary character. He didn’t think the public needed to be indoctrinated and organized, only heard.

But conservatism remained an insurgent politics during the 1980s and ’90s, and the more power it amassed—in government, business, law, media—the more it set itself against the fragile web of established norms and delighted in breaking them. The second insurgency was led by Newt Gingrich, who had come to Congress two years before Reagan became president, with the avowed aim of overthrowing the established Republican leadership and shaping the minority party into a fighting force that could break Democratic rule by shattering what he called the “corrupt left-wing machine.” Gingrich liked to quote Mao’s definition of politics as “war without blood.” He made audiotapes that taught Republican candidates how to demonize the opposition with labels such as “disgrace,” “betray,” and “traitors.” When he became speaker of the House, at the head of yet another revolution, Gingrich announced, “There will be no compromise.” How could there be, when he was leading a crusade to save American civilization from its liberal enemies?

Even after Gingrich was driven from power, the victim of his own guillotine, he regularly churned out books that warned of imminent doom—unless America turned to a leader like him (he once called himself “teacher of the rules of civilization,” among other exalted epithets). Unlike Goldwater and Reagan, Gingrich never had any deeply felt ideology. It was hard to say exactly what “American civilization” meant to him. What he wanted was power, and what he most obviously enjoyed was smashing things to pieces in its pursuit. His insurgency started the conservative movement on the path to nihilism.

The party purged itself of most remaining moderates, growing ever-more shallow as it grew ever-more conservative—from Goldwater (who, in 1996, joked that he had become a Republican liberal) to Ted Cruz, from Buckley to Dinesh D’Souza. Jeff Flake, the outgoing senator from Arizona (whose conservative views come with a democratic temperament), describes this deterioration as “a race to the bottom to see who can be meaner and madder and crazier. It is not enough to be conservative anymore. You have to be vicious.” The viciousness doesn’t necessarily reside in the individual souls of Republican leaders. It flows from the party’s politics, which seeks to delegitimize opponents and institutions, purify the ranks through purges and coups, and agitate followers with visions of apocalypse—all in the name of an ideological cause that every year loses integrity as it becomes indistinguishable from power itself.

The third insurgency came in reaction to the election of Barack Obama—it was the Tea Party. Eight years later, it culminated in Trump’s victory, an insurgency within the party itself—because revolutions tend to be self-devouring (“I’m not willing to preside over people who are cannibals,” Gingrich declared in 1998 when he quit the House). In the third insurgency, the features of the original movement surfaced again, more grotesque than ever: paranoia and conspiracy thinking; racism and other types of hostility toward entire groups; innuendos and incidents of violence. The new leader is like his authoritarian counterparts abroad: illiberal, demagogic, hostile to institutional checks, demanding and receiving complete acquiescence from the party, and enmeshed in the financial corruption that is integral to the political corruption of these regimes. Once again, liberals failed to see it coming and couldn’t grasp how it happened. Neither could some conservatives who still believed in democracy.

The corruption of the Republican Party in the Trump era seemed to set in with breathtaking speed. In fact, it took more than a half century to reach the point where faced with a choice between democracy and power, the party chose the latter. Its leaders don’t see a dilemma—democratic principles turn out to be disposable tools, sometimes useful, sometimes inconvenient. The higher cause is conservatism, but the highest is power. After Wisconsin Democrats swept statewide offices last month, Robin Vos, speaker of the assembly, explained why Republicans would have to get rid of the old rules: “We are going to have a very liberal governor who is going to enact policies that are in direct contrast to what many of us believe in.”

As Bertolt Brecht wrote of East Germany’s ruling party:

Would it not be easier

In that case for the government

To dissolve the people

And elect another?]

* This article originally stated that Duncan Hunter was defeated in his bid for reelection.
An interesting summary of how we got to this point. Although I would say that the roots of this go back further, to the Civil War era. The Republicans started to walk down this path in part with Nixon's Southern Strategy, when the Republic Party inherited the Neo-Confederate vote after the Democrats finally walked away from them.
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-04-21 04:15pm

It also doesn't help that technology has changed the landscape as well, forcing us to look into our assumptions and preconceptions of what is right and wrong, what are freedoms and rights, so on and so forth.

I've got a very authoritarian bent, because I no longer see democracy as we assume and preconceive it surviving as technology evolves further. The GOP is more of another symptom than a cause for the environment we have today.

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-22 02:21pm

It may be that democracy and technology are ultimately incompatible, and resolving that question in its various forms is probably the most pressing moral and social dilemma of our era, but if it is so, I'll fight that outcome as long as I can.

We've tried authoritarianism in various forms throughout our history, and its always been a shit show.

Edit: Plus, of course, if you adopt the tools and tactics of the enemy in order to beat them... well, it doesn't really matter who wins all that much, does it, except in a purely self-interested sense.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-04-25 08:26pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-22 02:21pm
It may be that democracy and technology are ultimately incompatible, and resolving that question in its various forms is probably the most pressing moral and social dilemma of our era, but if it is so, I'll fight that outcome as long as I can.

We've tried authoritarianism in various forms throughout our history, and its always been a shit show.

Edit: Plus, of course, if you adopt the tools and tactics of the enemy in order to beat them... well, it doesn't really matter who wins all that much, does it, except in a purely self-interested sense.
A lot of our problems lie heavily in the fact that most people think democracy is a cure-all when it isn't. That the right government has to balance the non-elective powers with the elective ones and the government that focuses more on giving the elective powers more power is a bad government. That Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli are closer to the truth of the human condition and how power plays into the human condition.

Sometimes you have to do horrible things to ensure that the state and civilization survives. That much is certain.

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-25 08:31pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-04-25 08:26pm
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-22 02:21pm
It may be that democracy and technology are ultimately incompatible, and resolving that question in its various forms is probably the most pressing moral and social dilemma of our era, but if it is so, I'll fight that outcome as long as I can.

We've tried authoritarianism in various forms throughout our history, and its always been a shit show.

Edit: Plus, of course, if you adopt the tools and tactics of the enemy in order to beat them... well, it doesn't really matter who wins all that much, does it, except in a purely self-interested sense.
A lot of our problems lie heavily in the fact that most people think democracy is a cure-all when it isn't. That the right government has to balance the non-elective powers with the elective ones and the government that focuses more on giving the elective powers more power is a bad government. That Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli are closer to the truth of the human condition and how power plays into the human condition.

Sometimes you have to do horrible things to ensure that the state and civilization survives. That much is certain.
And that line has been the rallying cry and excuse of self-serving tyrants throughout history. Do you deny this?
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-04-25 08:52pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-25 08:31pm
And that line has been the rallying cry and excuse of self-serving tyrants throughout history. Do you deny this?
... and Democracy Uber Alles hasn't?

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Batman » 2019-04-25 08:58pm

No
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2019-04-25 10:00pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-04-25 08:26pm
That Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli are closer to the truth of the human condition and how power plays into the human condition.
Have you ever actually read any works by these individuals, and if so do you actually understand what their arguments are? Given your often observed propensity to misunderstand or misrepresent these sorts of things, I feel the need to ask. I mean, for one thing, Locke and Hobbes actually had diametrically opposed political ideologies. Are you the type of person that thinks "The Prince" is actually an instruction manual?

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-25 10:25pm

I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by GrosseAdmiralFox » 2019-04-25 11:18pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2019-04-25 10:00pm
GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-04-25 08:26pm
That Locke, Hobbes, and Machiavelli are closer to the truth of the human condition and how power plays into the human condition.
Have you ever actually read any works by these individuals, and if so do you actually understand what their arguments are? Given your often observed propensity to misunderstand or misrepresent these sorts of things, I feel the need to ask. I mean, for one thing, Locke and Hobbes actually had diametrically opposed political ideologies. Are you the type of person that thinks "The Prince" is actually an instruction manual?
Actually, one of my side-readings that I've been doing are reading Machiavelli's 'The Prince' and 'The Discourses (of Livy)'... alongside the Articles of Confucius and whatever snippets I can get on with The Leviathan (I've been trying to find a free PDF on The Leviathan for a while now, but my Goggle-fu is a bit weak)... All of which are some pretty interesting reading to say the least.

... and I occasionally read The Federalist Papers a while back... although I might need to read it again...

Comparing The Prince to The Discourses (of Livy) actually paints a rather interesting picture to Machiavelli's mental state.
Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-25 10:25pm
I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
No, you forget the fact that the GOP was -somewhere north of a century, probably closer to 150 years ago- the 'leftist' big tent party of the US. Banning slavery was actually a 'liberal' thing in the US since it's inception, and at first hopes were for simple economics to kill it but we all knew where that went...

... the Dems used to be like this until the New Deal Coalition came and went and the primary reason for that was the Dixiecrats who now control the GOP...

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-26 01:38am

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-25 10:25pm
I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
As noted above, it wasn't like this if you went back far enough (meaning most of a century at the least). Under Lincoln and Grant, they were by far the most progressive and pro-Union major party in America by the standards of their day.

They were pretty much always the "deregulation of business" party, or at least since Teddy Roosevelt, but the moral decay, embrace of bigotry, and treasonous inclinations in the pursuit of absolute power really became obvious in the '50s, I think (maybe they were bitter over FDR getting four straight terms?): first with McCarthyism and then with Nixon and the Southern strategy, where the old Dixiecrat white supremacists were absorbed into the Republican Party.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Vendetta » 2019-04-26 01:43pm

Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-25 10:25pm
I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
What we’re seeing is the Republicans no longer pretending that the rules matter. They’re sufficiently emboldened in their agenda of enriching the already staggeringly rich that they can and will flaunt not only the norms and mores but also actual laws in pursuing it.

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-04-26 02:29pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-26 01:38am
Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-25 10:25pm
I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
As noted above, it wasn't like this if you went back far enough (meaning most of a century at the least). Under Lincoln and Grant, they were by far the most progressive and pro-Union major party in America by the standards of their day.

They were pretty much always the "deregulation of business" party, or at least since Teddy Roosevelt, but the moral decay, embrace of bigotry, and treasonous inclinations in the pursuit of absolute power really became obvious in the '50s, I think (maybe they were bitter over FDR getting four straight terms?): first with McCarthyism and then with Nixon and the Southern strategy, where the old Dixiecrat white supremacists were absorbed into the Republican Party.
The divide between liberal and conservative in the Republican Party really pretty much goes all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt, he's the one that started pushing progressive ideals. He was able to draw in the nascent socialist/social progressive movement with his attitudes (IIRC that's why he was nominated VP for McKinley, to grab those votes) and then when he became President he continued that to some degree. It became more extreme later on when he started the Bull Moose party, which legitimately split a bunch of progressive voters off the Republicans. After that there was something of an uneasy similarity between the two parties till roughly the Depression era, when you see FDR's New Deal pulling in a lot of Democrats who needed support for their states. There's a lot of analysis that could be made (and has been actually) but I can't get into it right now. Gotta go pick up my kid from school.
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Esquire » 2019-04-26 02:58pm

GrosseAdmiralFox wrote:
2019-04-25 11:18pm
Actually, one of my side-readings that I've been doing are reading Machiavelli's 'The Prince' and 'The Discourses (of Livy)'... alongside the Articles of Confucius and whatever snippets I can get on with The Leviathan (I've been trying to find a free PDF on The Leviathan for a while now, but my Goggle-fu is a bit weak)... All of which are some pretty interesting reading to say the least.
Here you go:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3207
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-04-26 04:31pm

A big part of democracy, that we tend to overlook, is that it needs built-in safeguards to work. What are these safeguards? Not some sort of police state that makes sure no one crosses a line, but a society of mutual respect and tolerance, allowing for democracy to function. The ability to agree that coexistence is better than war, that free press should be both honest and allowed to disagree with the state, that education should be a place where facts and ideas aren't cramped down, that any sort of minority shouldn't be wiped out, that those who disagree with us shouldn't be allowed to exist, etc.

Once you have all that, the prospect of democracy being wiped out by technology or populism isn't as big a threat as it can be.

The problem, of course, is building such a society in the developing world, or allowing those values to be destroyed in the developed world.
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Vendetta » 2019-04-26 06:20pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-26 04:31pm
A big part of democracy, that we tend to overlook, is that it needs built-in safeguards to work. What are these safeguards? Not some sort of police state that makes sure no one crosses a line, but a society of mutual respect and tolerance, allowing for democracy to function. The ability to agree that coexistence is better than war, that free press should be both honest and allowed to disagree with the state, that education should be a place where facts and ideas aren't cramped down, that any sort of minority shouldn't be wiped out, that those who disagree with us shouldn't be allowed to exist, etc.

Once you have all that, the prospect of democracy being wiped out by technology or populism isn't as big a threat as it can be.
Democracy isn't being wiped out by technology or populism.

It's being wiped out by money.

What happens in politics represents the interests of donors, not voters.

That's the real safeguard that democracy needs. A strong and thorough mechanism for preventing capital from dictating the terms on which it is allowed to function.

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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-26 06:33pm

Vendetta wrote:
2019-04-26 06:20pm
FaxModem1 wrote:
2019-04-26 04:31pm
A big part of democracy, that we tend to overlook, is that it needs built-in safeguards to work. What are these safeguards? Not some sort of police state that makes sure no one crosses a line, but a society of mutual respect and tolerance, allowing for democracy to function. The ability to agree that coexistence is better than war, that free press should be both honest and allowed to disagree with the state, that education should be a place where facts and ideas aren't cramped down, that any sort of minority shouldn't be wiped out, that those who disagree with us shouldn't be allowed to exist, etc.

Once you have all that, the prospect of democracy being wiped out by technology or populism isn't as big a threat as it can be.
Democracy isn't being wiped out by technology or populism.

It's being wiped out by money.

What happens in politics represents the interests of donors, not voters.

That's the real safeguard that democracy needs. A strong and thorough mechanism for preventing capital from dictating the terms on which it is allowed to function.
On that note, if you watched his CNN townhall, Buttigieg was discussing the possibility of a Constitutional Amendment to reverse Citizens United and clarify that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

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Gandalf
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Re: The Corruption of the Republican Party (Atlantic article).

Post by Gandalf » 2019-04-27 07:07pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-04-26 01:38am
Gandalf wrote:
2019-04-25 10:25pm
I disagree with the idea that the Republican party has somehow been corrupted. I would say that what we see is just them in their purest form.
As noted above, it wasn't like this if you went back far enough (meaning most of a century at the least). Under Lincoln and Grant, they were by far the most progressive and pro-Union major party in America by the standards of their day.

They were pretty much always the "deregulation of business" party, or at least since Teddy Roosevelt, but the moral decay, embrace of bigotry, and treasonous inclinations in the pursuit of absolute power really became obvious in the '50s, I think (maybe they were bitter over FDR getting four straight terms?): first with McCarthyism and then with Nixon and the Southern strategy, where the old Dixiecrat white supremacists were absorbed into the Republican Party.
And what else could this current state of the Republicans be called except for the purest form of their pro-capitalist basis? They've courted various bases, and found that this one yields enough votes in enough key spots right now. When the current trend goes away, or develops into something else, then they'll find some other platform.

Also, there's no need to wax poetic about the "good old days" of the party, considering that the Republicans participated in the genocidal westward expansion of the US, as well as the Pacific empire.
"Oh no, oh yeah, tell me how can it be so fair
That we dying younger hiding from the police man over there
Just for breathing in the air they wanna leave me in the chair
Electric shocking body rocking beat streeting me to death"

- A.B. Original, Report to the Mist

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

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