On the Futility of Conservatism.

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On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-18 05:29pm

Posting this here because its more of a philosophical discussion than related directly to a particular party or candidate or current event.


ON THE FUTILITY OF CONSERVATISM.

For generations, the political spectrum has traditionally be divided into a conservative "Right" and a reform-minded or liberal "Left". Many critiques have been made of this admittedly simple divide, and alternatives proposed. There are certainly many subdivisions within each larger category, and it is certainly possible for an individual to be liberal on some issues, and conservative on others. However, the division does, to me, illustrate a basic divide in how people view the world, at the most fundamental level- between those who embrace diversity and change, and those who fear it.

The more that I have considered this question, the more I have come to the conclusion that fear is the fundamental basis to conservative ideology. Conservatism, by definition, seeks to conserve- to preserve a status quo that is deemed desirable or, in its more reactionary and extreme forms, to return society to a (generally imagined) idealized golden age, whether its the traditional (white) family and white picket fences of a Fifties sit-com, or the idealized America of the Founding Fathers, or a society based on Old Testament Biblical morality. Always, there is a drive to return to a so-called "simpler time"- simpler because the diversity and the complexity of the modern world has been surpressed.

Certainly, there are many aspects of our contemporary society, and our past, that are worth preserving. But when Conservatism becomes the basis of one's entire approach to the world, it becomes a reactionary force striving to prevent any change or reform, and reformers and outsiders become threats and enemies. Refugee children become "foreigners coming to take your jobs" or "rapists and drug dealers" or "terrorists". Women become FemiNazis out to frame men for rape. Reformers seeking a more equitable society become "SJWs" trying to "ram a PC agenda down our throats". Ultimately, Conservatism as an ideology is based in a fear, resentment, and rejection of the unknown, in favor of a safe, familiar (if often imaginary) status quo. Imaginary, because the world doesn't actually work that way. It never has.

Take progressive depictions of ancient history in recent media. Every time you see a black person cast in a show taking place in Medieval Europe, for example, it is sure to be promptly followed by an outraged brigade of Right-wing white men protesting the supposed PC historical revisionism. They will often deny that they are motivated by racism, but insist that they only want "historical accuracy", and that we shouldn't "politicize entertainment". Which ignores, of course, that there actually were black people in ancient Europe- not as many as there are today, perhaps, but the Roman Empire was vast, and people traveled far upon its network of roads. Again and again you can find this pattern repeated throughout history- the world was never as insular, its cultures never as isolated, as modern Conservatives might like to believe. The Silk Road brought trade from Europe to Asia. Races weren't "pure" and separate. People didn't just keep to their "proper" place, and women were not always content with the role of sex object and baby-maker and domestic servant, before modern progressives came along. The world has always been bigger, and more complex, and more uncertain than the comforting simplicity of traditional pop culture history would have us believe. But since conservatism is founded in a fear and rejection of change, it must attempt to hold back the currents of the world by force. And when it finds that reality does not fit its beliefs, it will be naturally predisposed to resort to ever-more despotic and violent extremes in an attempt to suppress inconvenient truths.

Ultimately, change is a universal constant of reality, perhaps the only truly universal constant that there is. Continents move. Life evolves. Cultures meet and mix and blend and rise and fall. No wonder, then, that Conservatism so often finds itself in opposition to scientific fact- because it is an ideology which, by its nature, is founded on a rejection of how the world works. Change is inevitable. That is the nature of the world, and no nation can wholly shut it out. Even North Korea, the most insular and despotic nation on the planet, is not wholly immune to the outside world, or to the consequences of its actions. It must still engage in diplomacy, and rely on trade with other nations to survive, and people and information still make their way, often at great individual risk, across the most heavily-fortified border on Earth.

Conservatism will always have its appeal. It will appeal to people who are frightened by the complexities of a vast and ever-changing world, and long for a "simpler time", even if it is only illusory. And as a force intrinsically dedicated to the maintainance of the status quo, it will always have appeal to those who are prospering and powerful under said status quo. However, it is also ultimately futile, by its very nature, because it is at odds with the fundamental rules of reality itself. You can no more halt or reverse the changing of the world, or impose arbitrary borders upon it, than you can choose to stop breathing. Indeed, the only possible way to cease to grow and change, on either an individual level or that of a society, is to die.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by WATCH-MAN » 2018-11-19 09:18am

 
 
 
I may be not as eloquent as you.

But I would say that it is is a universal constant of reality, that there are forces who strive for a change of the status quo and forces who will strive for keeping the status quo.

Both forces are necessary as a never changing world would mean stagnancy but an ever changing world would mean chaos.
 
 
 
Furthermore: Imagine the world has changed into a place as you imagine it. But in this moment, as you will want it to stay this way, you become a conservative. You would oppose further changes as the world as it is is - in your opinion - perfect - or at least could not become a better place with the changes others are proposing.
 
 
 

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-19 03:19pm

WATCH-MAN wrote:
2018-11-19 09:18am
 
 
 
I may be not as eloquent as you.

But I would say that it is is a universal constant of reality, that there are forces who strive for a change of the status quo and forces who will strive for keeping the status quo.

Both forces are necessary as a never changing world would mean stagnancy but an ever changing world would mean chaos.
Well, I did note that there are aspects of our current society that are desireable to preserve, and that it is possible to be conservative on some points and not on others. Even if we know that it will be impossible to halt change altogether. For example, our society still widely celebrates Christmas. However, the specifics of our Christmas "traditions" are very different now than they were even 100 years ago.

Its when conservatism becomes the general rule, or the foundation of one's world view, that it becomes toxic and counterproductive.
Furthermore: Imagine the world has changed into a place as you imagine it. But in this moment, as you will want it to stay this way, you become a conservative. You would oppose further changes as the world as it is is - in your opinion - perfect - or at least could not become a better place with the changes others are proposing.
"Either you die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain", eh?

As to that, I don't believe that the world will ever achieve a state of perfection, that must then be preserved at all costs. It will always be imperfect, always a work in progress. Being able to understand that, and striving to make it better in spite of our own darker impulses, is what defines us as human beings.

I genuinely don't know what we would do if we ever "won" (were such a thing even possible). Probably become stagnant and oppressive and rapidly lose that state of perfection, and have to start over.

Utopia is by its nature a hypothetical state, not something that can ever be realized. If we became perfect, the very fact that we did so would probably make us imperfect, if that makes sense.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Tribble » 2018-11-19 03:42pm

Wait, so I believe in a democratic republic (IMO least worst form of government), based on constitutional rule of law (IMO least worst legal system) and mixed-market capitalism (IMO least worst economic system). The trend in some Western countries (including mine) seems to be moving towards some form of ultracapitalist neofacism, which for me is an undesirable change. Does this make me a conservative according the above criteria? I am after all supporting the preservation of the status quo.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-19 03:52pm

Tribble wrote:
2018-11-19 03:42pm
Wait, so I believe in a democratic republic (IMO least worst form of government), based on constitutional rule of law (IMO least worst legal system) and mixed-market capitalism (IMO least worst economic system). The trend in some Western countries (including mine) seems to be moving towards some form of ultracapitalist neofacism, which for me is an undesirable change. Does this make me a conservative according the above criteria? I am after all supporting the preservation of the status quo.
I guess that would depend on whether you simply want to preserve things as they are, or support building on what works in our society while also engaging in reforms. Do you want to just look at the world as it is today and say "Good job, we're done", or do you want to encourage change, but in a different direction. My interactions with you lead me to think that you are more in the latter category.

I'd classify the ultracapitalist neo-fascist movement as conservative in this argument, even though it is trying to change the status quo, because its reason for doing so is to try to restore society to a (rich white Christian male-dominated) past that they believe is better than the current society created by the reforms of socialist economics and the civil rights movement. Conservatism taken to its ultimate extreme, where it seeks not merely to preserve the status quo, but actively turn the clock back.

Edit: Though if I were to write a companion piece to this, it would probably be an critique of the "change for the sake of change" ideology. Change is a natural, healthy, and inevitable part of life, but it does not follow that all changes are for the better. The direction change takes matters. Otherwise, you get shit like so-called progressives voting for Trump because "At least he'll shake up the status quo" or some such.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by WATCH-MAN » 2018-11-20 04:11am

 
 
 
To me it seems as if you admit that there are no people who are generally opposed to changes - only opposed to changes in certain aspects while they want changes in other aspects.

There were those who wanted to change the laws when they did not allow same-sex marriages.

And now, as the laws were changed, there are those who want to change the laws to not allow same-sex marriages.

And maybe there are those who are not yet satisfied because, while the current laws allow same-sex marriages they do not allow polygamy, temporary or posthumous marriages, marriages between relatives or with animals.

But you categorize those people according to your opinion of the changes they want or do not want.

As you (and I) support same-sex marriage - those, who oppose it or want to change the current laws to forbid it are bad.

Assuming that you oppose polygamy, temporary or posthumous marriages or marriages between relatives - I am bad because I think that these kinds of marriages should be allowed too.

Are you sure that this is the correct way to categorize people?
 
 
 

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-20 03:11pm

I think that you are missing the point.

The point is not that supporting the status quo on any issue ever is bad- I said as much in the original post, and repeatedly since. It's about what one's approach is to the world overall- whether one's instincts tend towards embracing diversity and change, or toward a reflexive rejection of it.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-11-20 06:04pm

Conservatism always reminds me of the one song deleted from the film version of the musical 1776: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7K9k84R5ok



True story, when 1776 was shown at the White House, Nixon was so infuriated at a song criticizing Conservatives, that he demanded it be taken out of the film.

There's a reason that progress comes at the speed of the old population dying out, especially in Democracies and Republics. Technology, Society, and cultural standards change, and things considered revolutionary become quite acceptable with the new generation. It does make one wonder what will happen as we get closer to immortality, whether social progress will slow down or not.

It may be argued that medicine and better standards of living are one of the causes for stymied progress, due to so much of the old guard still kicking around as opposed to dying off as they would have in previous eras.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-21 02:43am

Yeah, I've thought about the social stagnation from immortality issue, but I wonder if its overplayed. If anything, the rate of change has rapidly accelerated in recent decades, as lifespans increased, likely because other technologies (perhaps foremost among them mass production, more powerful weapons, computers/the internet, space travel, and mass transportation) have been driving that change, making the world both bigger and more interconnected than ever before.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-23 01:56am

For me the central issue has never been Conservative versus Liberal. Those two belief systems become twisted into a false dichotomy where all things are divided between Liberal or Conservative. Both political parties are dangerously Authoritarian which opposes the Libertarian views that I believe are what has made this nation great.

The Republican party pays lip service to fiscal conservation and smaller government. The manner in which they rule proves they are no friend to personal liberty. If they were they would not give a damn with whom one cohabitates or engages in intimacy with. They would accept equality as a default state and judge others from this perspective. It has also proven itself far too fond of jumping into bed with religion. This is done to cloak itself in righteousness. They violate the spirit of separation of church and state.

The Democratic party wishes to compel behavior and speech. It has a fondness for a run away bureaucratic system that had no proper check or balance against its power. It has grown increasingly intolerant of even the mildly religious. It cloaks itself in a humanitarian based righteousness that borders on pomposity

I don't hold to 100% Libertarian ideology. Ideologies, when taken to extremes, tend to become mockeries of what they stand for. For some issues, a strong central power is needed to fix a growing problem. We must always check if any cure is worth the intrusion it forces into the lives of the governed. Much of the answer to that depends almost entirely on the implementation.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-23 03:10am

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-23 01:56am
For me the central issue has never been Conservative versus Liberal. Those two belief systems become twisted into a false dichotomy where all things are divided between Liberal or Conservative. Both political parties are dangerously Authoritarian which opposes the Libertarian views that I believe are what has made this nation great.
The replacement of nuanced political analysis in our culture with the endless repetition of "both sides are just as bad" is probably the single biggest reason why a rapist traitor endorsed by the Klan became President. Because if the accepted "wisdom" is that both sides are just as bad, automatically and without consideration for individual differences or circumstances, then why not vote for a rapist traitor endorsed by the Klan? After all, we "know" that They're All Just As Bad, right? That's fair, right? Everything is treated as equal, and therefore nothing really matters. Critical thinking and actual evaluation of candidates' merits is turned off. Which is a view that suites the really bad players just fine.

Welcome to the Post-Truth World.
The Republican party pays lip service to fiscal conservation and smaller government. The manner in which they rule proves they are no friend to personal liberty. If they were they would not give a damn with whom one cohabitates or engages in intimacy with. They would accept equality as a default state and judge others from this perspective. It has also proven itself far too fond of jumping into bed with religion. This is done to cloak itself in righteousness. They violate the spirit of separation of church and state.
The spirit of it, and the letter.

You're not wrong about any of these criticisms, though. And I'll give you credit for being a libertarian consistent and sincere enough in your beliefs to support the equality of LGBT people and religious minorities (unlike some "libertarians" I've known, who pretty much just use libertarianism as a cloak for "I want to be able to engage in bigotry and discrimination without those pesky civil rights laws getting in the way").
The Democratic party wishes to compel behavior and speech. It has a fondness for a run away bureaucratic system that had no proper check or balance against its power. It has grown increasingly intolerant of even the mildly religious. It cloaks itself in a humanitarian based righteousness that borders on pomposity
This is largely a Right-wing straw man, but the charges are vague enough, being based on perceptions rather than specific facts, that they are difficult refute. That said:

-No major Democratic politician engages in the sweeping attacks on the freedom of the press and political speech that Trump and his cronies do.

-The spectre of "runaway beurocracy" is in my opinion based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how checks and balances work. How oppressive or corrupt a government is has little or nothing to do with its overall size- it is dependent on the presence or absence of institutions which act as checks on each other- in the US, that is the three branches of government at the Federal level (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial), and the ability of the state/local and Federal government to act as checks on each other. Those are the checks that would theoretically curb a runaway beurocracy- and they are checks which Republicans, incidentally, have severely undermined by acting as a rubber stamp for Trump in Congress, and appointing hardline partisan judges to the judiciary.

Indeed, I would argue that a large and inefficient government is if anything less likely to be tyrannical, because the power is diffused among more individuals. And in fact, I would point out that the non-partisan career buerocrats the Right loves to vilify have been one of the strongest checks on Trumps authoritarianism at times. You should want a strong non-partisan beurocracy. A non-partisan career bureaucracy is one of the strongest guarantees that the government will continue to function consistently, regardless of the personal foibles and excesses of the person at the top.

-The Democratic Party is not hostile to religion. In fact, most Democratic politicians (like most Americans in general) are some flavour of Christian. Democrats do generally oppose religious discrimination- which Republicans then frame as a violation of their religious "freedom" (to impose their religion on others). Much like how the old South framed their efforts to preserve slavery as a matter of "State's rights" (to own people).

That's not to say that the Democrats are perfect- far from it. But the party's worst flaws mostly come down to its leadership still being dominated by timid Centrists beholden to corporate money, who got their start in politics in an age when actually standing for progressive principles got you labeled a socialist and you had to run as a Centre Right candidate to win. If anything, they're too timid, too wedded to the status quo, not too authoritarian.

If you want to make a case for the Democratic Party being authoritarian, I suggest that you provide specific examples that can be debated and substantiated or refuted, not vague cliches which are so broad as to be largely subjective.

As to the charge of pomposity... those who stand for something will always be accused of self-righteousness by those who stand only for themselves. I can live with that.
I don't hold to 100% Libertarian ideology. Ideologies, when taken to extremes, tend to become mockeries of what they stand for. For some issues, a strong central power is needed to fix a growing problem. We must always check if any cure is worth the intrusion it forces into the lives of the governed. Much of the answer to that depends almost entirely on the implementation.
This is very true.

I think a lot of people conflate "principled" and "extreme", when in fact they are very different things. Principled simply means that you have values that you believe are right, and are prepared to stand by them. An extremist takes those values to their most radical possible interpretation, and then tries to impose them by any means.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-24 02:28am

II don't think you can pick a politician by party anymore. You have to judge them by their actions. Look at what legislation they vote for and who they take the most money from. Votes to deregulate protections for internet customers while taking money from Comcast? Regardless of party they are no longer going to get my vote.

The Bureaucratic issue is they form to produce regulations that have the force of law. They exist in the executive branch but have some protections against presidential oversight. They enforce the regulations they create merging much of the place of two branches. Then we have the Chevron doctrine. On the surface it seems like a fine idea. Due to the highly technical nature of most matters the bureaucratic departments manage, Judges should defer to the agency's reasonable interpretation of its statues. This removed a decent amount of Judicial oversight.

I'm not sure how this can be detangled. Separation of crafting and enforcing regulation? The formation of specialty courts for those fields, with judges who are also experts?
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-24 11:46am

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-24 02:28am
II don't think you can pick a politician by party anymore. You have to judge them by their actions.
You know how I know you’re a moron? Because it hasn’t been so clear that you can pick a politician by party in decades. One party is in bed with Nazis, so running on that party’s ticket is a clear action. If you are not picking the most viable opposition to the Nazi candidate over campaign donations, you’re fucking stupid. Full stop.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-24 12:49pm

So are you arguing that based on party alone we should elect into office people with a proven track record of selling their vote to the highest bidder? I don't think putting party loyalty above both common interest and self interest is smart.

I'm not a Republican I can' vote in a primary because I don't feel that allegiance to either party. I really do want to know however if you truly are prepared to say that the 25% of americans who are registered Republicans are Morons or Nazi's?

I do not vote for Republican candidates who sell me out. I do not vote for Democrat candidates who publicly support anti-semites. Most frequently I end up looking at who is on the ballot and thinking, is this really the best we can do? I then have to look for the least worse answer. I have never voted straight ticket and doubt I ever will. I judge on individual merit.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-24 04:48pm

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-24 12:49pm
So are you arguing that based on party alone we should elect into office people with a proven track record of selling their vote to the highest bidder? I don't think putting party loyalty above both common interest and self interest is smart.
I’m arguing that one side is literally Nazis, and until they are dealt with refusing to deal with their most viable opposition due to any other concern is stupid. So, if you are abstaining, voting for the Nazis, or voting in a manner which does not optimally stop the Nazis, you are stupid or you’re a Nazi (which generally means you’re also stupid).
I'm not a Republican I can' vote in a primary because I don't feel that allegiance to either party. I really do want to know however if you truly are prepared to say that the 25% of americans who are registered Republicans are Morons or Nazi's?
Yes. I’m 100% prepared to say that is the case. Because the Republican Party has coalesced around the literally fascist President who is the darling of American NeoNazis And has begun courting the latter more broadly. If you’re not prepared to say that anyone who would be associated with such a group is either a moron or a Nazi, you are also either a moron or a Nazi.
I do not vote for Republican candidates who sell me out.
Ok. You should not vote for any Republican, regardless of their specific politics, because they have essentially welcomed actual Nazis into their coalition, or at least associated themselves with an organization which has done so.
I do not vote for Democrat candidates who publicly support anti-semites.
I would not support a Democrat who publicly supports antisemites either. Unless they are running against a Republican, which again is a party that has essentially welcomed actual Nazis into its coalition. Someone who has publicly supported an individual antisemite vs someone who is tacitly or explicitly endorsing white nationalism is still an easy choice, all based on party ID.
Most frequently I end up looking at who is on the ballot and thinking, is this really the best we can do?
“Of the two viable options, is the member of the organization which courts Nazis the best we can do, or is the only viable opposition to the member of that organization the best we can do?”

Damn, that must be a head scratcher for you.
then have to look for the least worse answer.
If the least worst answer is not the only viable opposition to the party that welcomes Nazis into its coalition, you are either a moron or a Nazi.
I have never voted straight ticket and doubt I ever will.
Then you are a moron. One ticket is composed entirely of people who are members of an organization which courts Nazis. The other ticket is composed entirely of people who are not.
I judge on individual merit.
So do I. But my main test of individual merit is currently “Is this individual the best option to prevent the political victory of a member of an organization that courts Nazis?” Turns out, you can answer that question entirely by looking at party identity.

Your thing would have been sensible-sounding before one of the parties nominated a fascist who is beloved by Nazis. Since the Republicans have done so, your take is chilly to the degree of being totally idiotic.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-24 04:58pm

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-24 12:49pm
So are you arguing that based on party alone we should elect into office people with a proven track record of selling their vote to the highest bidder? I don't think putting party loyalty above both common interest and self interest is smart.
Um, no, I'm not arguing that. I'm arguing that we should evaluate individual Democrats based on their records (and then primary the bad ones), rather than substituting a cliché generalization of "both sides are just as bad" for actual analysis.

That said... if given a choice between corrupt and Nazi, I'll pick generic corruption. 'Cause at least they don't want to put kids in concentration camps.
I'm not a Republican I can' vote in a primary because I don't feel that allegiance to either party. I really do want to know however if you truly are prepared to say that the 25% of americans who are registered Republicans are Morons or Nazi's?
I'm sure they don't all think of themselves as Nazis, but they are willingly supporting policies reminiscent of the rise of Nazism. Whatever their motives may be, at some point it stops mattering. People in WW2 had many reasons for being collaborators besides loyalty to the Nazi Party's ideology: self-interest, fear, indoctrination, thinking that the Communists were worse... at the end of the day, they were still collaborators.

I suppose if one is inclined to be generous, one might say that a lot of that 25% are simply ignorant of the more extreme Republican policies, but at some point they also have a responsibility to become informed. The information on stuff like Trump's incitement of mob violence, his obstruction of Justice, putting a perjurer and likely attempted rapist on the Supreme Court, and locking little children in cages to punish their families for being foreign is not obscure- its all readily-available public knowledge.

Its depressing that a significant percentage of the population is complicit in things like that, but it shouldn't be shocking or unthinkable. Worse has happened with the support of larger portions of the populace in many other countries. Its only arrogance to believe that America is somehow uniquely immune.

On the topic of party membership- I actually started out registered as an Independent, though I still voted Democrat. I did this because I objected to the timidity of some Centrist Democrats.

I later registered as a member of the party because my state required me to do so to participate in primaries, and I wanted to actually be able to exercise my voice to influence the direction of the party, rather than just saying "They're all just as bad" and staying home.
I do not vote for Republican candidates who sell me out. I do not vote for Democrat candidates who publicly support anti-semites.
Can you name actual major Democratic candidates who support actual anti-Semites? Preferably with links to credible sources? Or are you using "anti-Semite", as many do, to mean "anyone who criticizes any action by the Israeli government, ever"?
Most frequently I end up looking at who is on the ballot and thinking, is this really the best we can do? I then have to look for the least worse answer. I have never voted straight ticket and doubt I ever will. I judge on individual merit.
I will never cast a vote for the Republican Party as it currently exists. Its leadership is to me so unapologetically and uniformly opposed to the most basic tenants of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law that I believe the entire party has become tainted, and that anyone who chooses to campaign under that party's banner is guilty of endorsing Trumpism. It wasn't always that way, and I consider the decline of the Republican Party (the Party of Lincoln) one of the great tragedies of American history. But that's where we are now.

I generally vote straight Democrat because that's the only viable alternative. However, I am not opposed to voting Independent or Third Party on the rare occasions that there is an actual decent, viable candidate. For example, if I lived in Vermont, I would certainly vote for Bernie Sanders for Senate, despite his being an Independent.

But bringing it back to the topic of conservatism vs. change- this is based on the political situation as it currently exists. If circumstances change, my view will change. I have no tribal loyalty to the Democrats. If the Democrats turned fascist too, I'd abandon them. If an actual viable third party came along which better fit my views (and there are many points on which I disagree with the mainstream Democratic platform), I would certainly consider switching my vote to them. I support the Democrats insofar as I feel doing so advances the causes I care about.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-25 02:57am

Democrat leadership like Keith Ellison is an example. . He is tied to Louis Farrakhan who has referred to Jews as cockroaches, as Satan, and as his enemy. A man who has said Adolf Hitler was “a very great man.” He attended a dinner in Iran with him in sept of 2013 He met privately with him in 2016 with Rep. André Carson also in attendance. He has claimed to have disassociated with Farrakhan. The Washington Post fact checking on Keith Ellison’s claim of dissociation? It gets their highest rating of 4 Pinocchio which they give out to a complete whopper.

You can google this if you want you will find other democratic supporters for Farrakhan as well. I'm in no way saying this justifies anything the Republican party has done. I am saying check everyone doubt everything and when you feel you can trust? Trust but verify.

I was going to make this longer and more detailed but someone asked me if I really wanted to pour that much of myself out to a bunch of strangers on the internet. The Romulan Republic has already alleviated much of my fears for his part anyhow.

To condense things down I know a few things from personal experience. One of the things I know, is how to go wrong enough to look back and regret your past. The first step on the first leg of the journey, is to lump a large group of people together under one banner and convince yourself that they are somehow less than you. That by their affiliation they are stupidly subhuman or are explicitly evil.

The second step is to convince yourself that you are somehow special. That the standards you are using to judge don’t apply to you because you are righteous, because your intentions are pure. You can tell yourself that this demonstration can get a little out of hand. That we can excuse roughing this guy up, have you heard some of the things he said? The aggressive actions of our foes warrant our taking this to the next level.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by FireNexus » 2018-11-26 11:07am

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-25 02:57am
To condense things down I know a few things from personal experience. One of the things I know, is how to go wrong enough to look back and regret your past. The first step on the first leg of the journey, is to lump a large group of people together under one banner and convince yourself that they are somehow less than you. That by their affiliation they are stupidly subhuman or are explicitly evil.
They are not subhuman by their affiliation. They are unqualified for public office due to their affiliation. They are not “less than” me. I wouldn’t it’s for me either. They have shown poor judgement in choosing their affiliation. That is all. If we’re talking about people who have both affiliated with unsavories, I’ll choose the one who has affiliated with a fringe religious movement that is not actively trying to subvert American democracy.
The second step is to convince yourself that you are somehow special. That the standards you are using to judge don’t apply to you because you are righteous, because your intentions are pure. You can tell yourself that this demonstration can get a little out of hand. That we can excuse roughing this guy up, have you heard some of the things he said? The aggressive actions of our foes warrant our taking this to the next level.
Wow, you’ve ventured so far into strawman land that I’m not sure whyy t I’d respond. Like, this really seems like you still think that you can both sides the current situation and pretend I’m going to just casually argue that it’s cool for to turn a demonstration violent even though I never said that. Which is yet more evidence that your whole position comes from a place of incurious, mindless middle stupidity.

I agree that Ellison’s affiliation with Farrakhan is problematic. I just think that said affiliation is (if only just) ultimately less damning than any affiliation with the Republican Party post-2016.

Your whole position is a mixture of outdated, self-righteous bothsides-ism that appears stoked by a form of right wing propaganda aimed at leftists over the past several years. It’s reflexive and ill-considered. If you think an affiliation with farrakhan is unacceptable and you don’t think an affiliation with Trumpist Republicans is moreso, you’re not being fair.
I had a Bill Maher quote here. But fuck him for his white privelegy "joke".

All the rest? Too long.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2018-11-26 06:48pm

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-25 02:57am
Democrat leadership like Keith Ellison is an example. . He is tied to Louis Farrakhan who has referred to Jews as cockroaches, as Satan, and as his enemy. A man who has said Adolf Hitler was “a very great man.” He attended a dinner in Iran with him in sept of 2013 He met privately with him in 2016 with Rep. André Carson also in attendance. He has claimed to have disassociated with Farrakhan. The Washington Post fact checking on Keith Ellison’s claim of dissociation? It gets their highest rating of 4 Pinocchio which they give out to a complete whopper.

You can google this if you want you will find other democratic supporters for Farrakhan as well. I'm in no way saying this justifies anything the Republican party has done. I am saying check everyone doubt everything and when you feel you can trust? Trust but verify.\
The problem with bringing up a single case of some politician doing something kind of shady is that it lacks any context with which this information could be useful. Okay, cool, Keith Ellison may or may not have a relationship with a prominent anti-Semite; on the other hand, he has repeatedly disavowed this views in public and has not yet demonstrated any interest in actually bringing any of these beliefs into law. On the other hand, pick any random Republican candidate out of a hat, and they will almost certainly be worse ON THIS EXACT ISSUE. The vast majority of Republican politicians are happy to publicly associate themselves with various evangelical/fundamentalist pastors, activists, and other ilk that spout equally toxic rhetoric, and have often and repeatedly attempted to bring these beliefs into law (and in fact have often SUCCEEDED).

It's silly to single out a single Democrat for a vaguely problematic association when the majority of the alternatives have significantly worse associations.

Further, to be frank, I suspect you of being a little dishonest here. You SAY your goal is to evaluate the virtues of each individual candidate when deciding who to vote for, and not to base your decisions based on the political party. However, your rhetoric seems far more contemptuous for and critical of the Democrats than the Republicans, and you seem very eager to pounce on Democrats with out-of-context accusations. If you REALLY only cared about comparing the individual candidates in a given election, why single Ellison out without also going through the trouble of seeing who the alternatives were and how they actually compared?

Ellison's most recent election (for Attorney General of Minnesota) pitted him against Doug Wardlow. Wardlow, as a Minnesota state representative, has been instrumental in the state's attempts to enshrine transphobic policies in law and is a public supported of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a hardline Christian organization that espouses all sorts of transphobic, homophobic, and other awful rhetoric. If that's not enough for you, during the election he also said he would purge the Attorney General's office of all Democratic-affiliated attorneys. He has generally endorsed all of Trump's platforms.

Would you vote for Wardlow over Ellison? What would your judgment be even independent of any other information about the candidates on other issues (which you claim to care about, but for some reason ignore when discussing Ellison)?

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-27 04:49am

Romulan Republic asked for a something more specific example of a Democrat that had done something shady. If you want a Republican example I'd be glad to give one.

Roy Moore, has been a shining example of everything a politician and in fact a human being should not be. His 1993, 10 commandments controversy was an example of hypocrisy of the highest order. He knew that there was a way he could keep his display, by making it a more general display of examples of law codes that were inspirational. This is why Moses is allowed on the Supreme court doors he is one of an array of figures. His steady refusal to budge was tantamount to claiming that it was the only inspiration for american law. That is complete nonsense.

His return to power in 2001, followed by the installation of a nearly 3 ton stone granite monument of the 10 commandments. He knew it would be removed he knew what he was doing was illegal, embarrassing, and wasteful. He shamed every group he could be considered a member of from the Republican party, Christians, Americans, and Humans in general.

The fact that he ran again in 2012 was maddening. The fact he won was horrifying. His removal was overdue when it came. His running for senate was scandalous. I have never listened to an election results with more joy than hearing Doug Jones beat him.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-29 02:07am

Avrjoe wrote:
2018-11-27 04:49am
Romulan Republic asked for a something more specific example of a Democrat that had done something shady. If you want a Republican example I'd be glad to give one.

Roy Moore, has been a shining example of everything a politician and in fact a human being should not be. His 1993, 10 commandments controversy was an example of hypocrisy of the highest order. He knew that there was a way he could keep his display, by making it a more general display of examples of law codes that were inspirational. This is why Moses is allowed on the Supreme court doors he is one of an array of figures. His steady refusal to budge was tantamount to claiming that it was the only inspiration for american law. That is complete nonsense.

His return to power in 2001, followed by the installation of a nearly 3 ton stone granite monument of the 10 commandments. He knew it would be removed he knew what he was doing was illegal, embarrassing, and wasteful. He shamed every group he could be considered a member of from the Republican party, Christians, Americans, and Humans in general.

The fact that he ran again in 2012 was maddening. The fact he won was horrifying. His removal was overdue when it came. His running for senate was scandalous. I have never listened to an election results with more joy than hearing Doug Jones beat him.
I'm glad you draw the line at Roy Moore, at least, though its odd that among the numerous reasons to despise him, you don't seem to think its worth mentioning that he probably molested kids, or that he discussed the possibility of repealing every Amendment after the 10th. (including the ones abolishing slavery, instituting equality before the law, and giving black people and women the vote).

But then, you could write an encyclopedia on the number of ways Roy Moore is a piece of shit.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Avrjoe » 2018-11-30 04:42am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2018-11-29 02:07am
you could write an encyclopedia on the number of ways Roy Moore is a piece of shit.
Very true It would take volumes, and most of those were recently in the news.

Back to you original subject. In 1994 Bill Clinton enacted the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy. Some have argued that Bill Clinton didn't press hard enough and should have gone for allowing openly gay members of the military. Others think that the population at large wasn't ready for that. They say incremental gain was an essential step toward building up acceptance of members of the armed forces being openly homosexual.

I think this is could be an example of acceptance growing. Younger people came of voting age who were less prejudice. While some older people realised that if homosexuals have served in the military while closeted, without the dire ramifications the conservatives are trying to sell on us, then what their selling us is shit.
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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-11-30 01:35pm

Personal sleaziness aside, I think that in his moderate, Centrist approach, Bill Clinton probably was the candidate the Dems needed at the time.

The problem is that a larger part of the party leadership hasn't cottoned on to the fact that times have now changed.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by Esquire » 2018-11-30 11:46pm

Since we didn't even manage to to break the 50% turnout barrier in this-of-all-years' year's elections, and since we only won the popular vote in 2016 by 2% even given how unusually awful the opposition was, possibly consider that the times have not changed as much as they perhaps ought to have done.
“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Re: On the Futility of Conservatism.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2018-12-01 01:39am

One could argue that some of that lowered turnout is due to lack of enthusiasm resulting from Democrats' perceived timidity and excessive compromise, encapsulated in the grossly over-simplistic, but nonetheless effective "Both parties are just as bad" meme. But it's hard to discuss that without rehashing the whole 2016 primary cluster fuck.

In any case, things like universal health care, homosexuality, and even socialism aren't the automatic political poison they once were. And we no longer have a semi-sane opposition who can be compromised with meaningfully on the big issues. In those senses, things have very much changed.
"Well, Grant, we've had the devil's own day, haven't we?"

"Yes. Lick 'em tomorrow though."

-Generals William T. Sherman and Ulysses S Grant, the Battle of Shiloh.


"You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?"-Terry Pratchett's DEATH.


I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.


Fuck Civility.

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