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November 16, 2016

Comments

That's a bearutiful post, Sebastian.

I try to rememver when I am posting of Facebook, which is where I interact with Trump supporters, that my FB friends are friends, people who share my love of animals and who are involved in animal rescue. I try to post only articles and comments that could potentially communicate, and not show anger.

I vent here.

My experience with FB Trump supporters is that they post something really offensive--Hilary killed Vince Foster! She's a criminal! Wmails! and I repsond politely but with disagreement and post links as backup....and silence. They do not reply.

I have one Friend who is also a neighbor here where I live. He started out for Trump but switched at least in part because of the links I posted describing Trump's legal and ethical troubles. We debate more or less continuously. When I told him about Ryan's plan to voucheriz Medicare, he did not believe me. Then he did some resaearch of his own and now hates Ryan. I ran into my friend at the clubhouse the other day and he hugged me and called me his sparring partner. I am so glad that I never said anything rude to him.

I had a very different upbringing. My mother was involved in the League of Women VOters and we talked politics at the dinner table all of my life. I grew up with an understanding of how governmental decisions are made.

I am aware that I can be very judgmental toward people who vote without knowing what they are voting for, which I think is a better descriptor of Trump voters than a word like "racist".

My tendency to get mad at people for being clueless about policy, issues, and legislation is a failing in me that I need to work on.


That said, the people who elected Trump have killed us all. Global climate change. And it should ahve been obvious to anyone with decent values that he isn;t fit to hold office.

But I am not going to say that to anyone's face or say it where one of my friends can read it. Meanwhile there's this:

http://www2.nybooks.com/daily/s3/nov/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival.html

Can't remember if I posted this, but I found this helpful.

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/14/way-to-stop-trump-lessons-of-war-on-terror/

But Trump might have killed us on global warming. One slight bit of optimism--I gather he can't pull out of the Paris Accords that easily, but on the down side, some people say those weren't nearly good enough.

And yes, great post. Nothing to add.

. I went through a large number of transitions between now and then to become the temperamentally conservative (I think change should be slow, experimented with in small doses, and carefully dealt with) politically liberal (I believe that in most cases the question "does it promote freedom" is strong evidence regarding whether or not a policy is wise, that people ought to be allowed to do what they want so long as they don't harm others, and that concentrations of wealth and power can be dangerous)

That sounds rather amazingly like me. Although I admit to a certain fondness for the gloss one of my (very) liberal friends put on it: "Oh, but you're a tolerant conservative!" Although it is interesting that she made that comment almost two decades ago. Already, then, the isolation was sufficient, at least in some cases, that the rare individual who had a different worldview but wasn't an awful horror was . . . surprising.

Personally, I got here from a family which ran from conservative (my mother) to solidly conservative (my father). But that changed when the local John Birch Society attacked my mother, who was on the local school board. My dad stayed conservative, but his tolerance for the very conservative evaporated.

It occurs to me, now that I think on it, that most of my conservative friends have drifted away. Not least because their views have become ever more divorced from reality. I disagree with my liberal friends on a lot of things. But, on most things, we seem to at least have a common set of facts that we start from.

It also occurs to me that, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the liberals I knew who embraced all manner of whacko conspiracy theories. But today, the conspiracy theory buffs seem to be the conservatives. Hmmm....

I keep thinking about the limits of this, though.

For a very specific reason. After the 2000 election, which had such a rancorous conclusion, I tried so hard to listen to the concerns of the other side and step outside of my liberal bubble. And the main thing it did was, it primed me to be a complete sucker for George W. Bush's warmongering after 9/11.

So I feel burned. I eventually resolved that if I was going to listen to conservatives, I had to give the time of day to the more radical left too. (They can be just as frustrating to listen to, sometimes.) There are more than two sides.

Right now, I see a bunch of Democrats struggling once again to acknowledge the concerns about the white working class, and I worry that some fraction of them are just going to be lulled into looking the other way when Mr. Trump fires up the ovens.

Trump voters voted for a candidate who repeatedly promised to ban a religion from our country, murder the families of terrorists, torture our enemies, and invade foreign countries to steal their natural resources. That candidate has just appointed a white supremacist to his senior White House staff and they are openly stating that they will create a registry for Muslims. I was watching the Kelly File last night and a Trump surrogate cited the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW II as a justification for creating a Muslim registry:

https://twitter.com/bad_takes/status/799079032499343360

Trump voters either wanted all of this or they did not care. I'm not sure there's any point to developing empathy for this point of view.

"It also occurs to me that, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was the liberals I knew who embraced all manner of whacko conspiracy theories. But today, the conspiracy theory buffs seem to be the conservatives. Hmmm...."

It's true that the 60's and early 70's was the Golden Age of Lefty Conspiracy Theory, but there has been an undercurrent of RW Conspiracy Theory at least since WWII: anti-fluoridation, commies under the bed, Rothschild banking, flags with gold fringe, etc.

I think the RW does conspiracy theories better, because they've had more practice. And it's where the real, true, crazy paranoids congregate.

The LW conspiracies faded out after the acid flashbacks tapered down. No such thing hope for RW conspiracies.

empathy for a point of view is not the same as empathy for a person.

you don't even have to go all the way to empathy. if you can get to "don't hate" it's a win. bonus points for "I will try to listen to you", even if it's only for a minute.

I find myself in the unenviable position of being very angry with people I love dearly. I have no desire to point fingers at them or judge them, I want to be and remain open to hearing them.

and, I think they have done a profoundly reckless and harmful thing. profoundly.

i'm not sure where to go with it, or how it's going to pan out. the folks who voted for Trump have legitimate grievances, and they also harbor some really ugly shit. if you want to engage, you are gonna have to sign up for dealing with both.

thanks for this candid and thoughtful post Sebastian. it's a great pleasure to hear your kind and reasonable voice at any time, but especially now.

...a Trump surrogate cited the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW II as a justification for creating a Muslim registry:

Yes, because that was such a shining moment of America at its best, and not at all a paranoid, inhumane, and counterproductive policy. *barf*

Thanks for the post, Seb. Some of my best friends are Trump voters! (Seriously... it's crazy.)

Justifying the internment of Japanese-Americans was actually a thing on the right the *last* time this registry started up, during the GWB years. It was the one program of FDR's that they liked. Michelle Malkin insisted it had been the right idea.

...I think some of the conspiracy theorizing bleeds over from the far left to the far right and vice versa. Some of the economic stuff, certainly, because the left's suspicion of crooked financiers meshes with the far right's anti-Semitism and deflationary goldbug economics. I know some lefties who really liked reading Zero Hedge for a while, and it's become an extreme-right site as far as I can tell.

AFAICT from my FB feed, all of my high school friends who stayed in that shitty little upstate-NY town from which we graduated are 'conservatives' and Trump supporters.

the people who left that town are generally liberals.

people i haven't talked with in decades are trying to convince me that the rash of Trump-inspired violence isn't so bad because Clinton would have been worse.

there's plenty of conspiracy-minded thinking on the left.

here are some of the current trigger words: DNC, DWS, neo-liberal, Sanders,

I don't think the paranoid style of politics, or affintiy for authoritarianism is exclusively rightwing in the US but I think it is mostly rightwing. And I think we are getting closer to understanding the strength of the Republican party and understanding how Trump won by focusing on a discussion of those factors in our politics than an unnecessary and inaccurate blaming of Democrats for supposedly not meeting the needs of a class of Americans who have been served by Democratic policies for decades. (If the service isn't adequate, look at the difficulties of getting anything passed through COngress or teh state legislatures and look at who is there blocking and under cutting everything and look at who elected thos who do not serve the interests of the not-rich)IN fact, I think there's some spoiled brat behavior going on when people who are in unions or on vet's benefits or Medicare or have a good paying government job or went to school on the GIBill or use government services or expect FEMA to show up when disaster strikes... to claim that Democrats don't listen or don't care about their needs means their needs must not be economic. For example, maybe the need is for demagoguery. Maybe the need is for a political party that is perceived as a sword that will be used against all those other people, all those gay or black or immigrant or Muslim...etc.

IN other words maybe Trump voters and Republican voters in general know exactly what they voted for.

Which reflects on character. Thus leading to disliking them, especially given the damage they will do outside beyond the damage they intend to do.

But Russel said it best up thread: one can retain empathy for individuals even if one does not have empathy for their politics.

So I try to remember that.

Trump voters either wanted all of this or they did not care. I'm not sure there's any point to developing empathy for this point of view.

At the risk of fanning embers... the Democratic candidate's campaign had as its centerpiece "look how bad the other guy is, you don't have a CHOICE but to accept whatever I feel like giving you!", which is pretty standard from that particular crowd. The only power voters have is their vote, and the way our system is structured there's a very limited number of voting options that have any impact until a certain critical mass is reached (and reaching that mass faces typical collective action problems). If they didn't support what the pro-status-quo Democrat was promising to continue spoonfeeding them, they could sit out or vote Trump, and if they agreed more with the Republican platform than the Democrats or opposed the sort of SCOTUS nominees that would be seated on the Court for the next decade or three, or wanted change even if it was a conflagration, or wanted to stick it to the establishment, or any other number of reason, including the toxic ones which are yet again being trotted out as the only real reasons, it made sense for them to vote Republican. For a lot of Dems, it apparently made sense to stay home. Politics are complicated, and attempting to reduce people's choices to simple, one-dimensional reasoning tends to be more enlightening about the speaker than who they're talking about. I'm not seeing any reason to think the current situation is an exception to that.

here are some of the current trigger words: DNC, DWS, neo-liberal, Sanders,

Hey cleek, remember 'bout 10-12mo ago before your faction sussed how bad it looked to be quite so anti-democratic and were telling us how Clinton doing things like locking down superdelegates before the primary or making state committees financially beholden to her campaign were shrewd moves that showed how savvy a politician she was and how she'd learned from '08? I remember.

Or if you've forgotten that, d'ya remember the talking point after that, that the Democratic primary is a private organization and democracy doesn't matter? You yourself repeated that one IIRC. Ofc, that only last as long as it looked like Clinton might not come out on top but for her superdelegates - as soon as she got a lead outside of them, that went down the memory hole and it was all about supporting the popular voice of the party, get over it, you lost (funny how in the general the number of people who voted against the winner is critically important and shows that we shouldn't act like the winner represents what the voters wanted).

There's no conspiracy here, cleek. What you're trying to discredit as paranoid rambling was done in plain sight and boasted about right up until admitting it became a liability.

"superdelegates" ! i forgot that one.

always with the fncking superdelegates - workin their magic behind the scenes, controlling everything and everyone with their arcane powers!

hook. line. sinker.

the Democratic primary is a private organization and democracy doesn't matter? You yourself repeated that one IIRC

[citation needed]


I remember.

of course you do.

There's no conspiracy here, cleek.

right.

was done in plain sight

make up your mind.

That was a very long-winded way of ignoring my point. I'm all for winning elections but empathy for murder, torture, theft, and religious persecution is not the way we should be going about it.

Like cleek, I grew up in a failing upstate town among people who would become Trump voters. I know and still love many of those people. I mourn the decline of my hometown, but it started going down the toilet 40 years ago for reasons that neither party has any realistic ability to do anything about. All the Trump's promises and all the Trump's men won't bring back the post-war boom in low-skill-high-wage manufacturing and extraction jobs that sustained upstate NY and what we now know as the Rust Belt. Trump's likely policies will, if anything, make matters worse, and those voters will feel the pain soon enough.

I feel for their pain, but how do we reach them? In a recent New Yorker article, George packer quoted a Rust Belt Trump supporter who raged on and on about how she had been thinking for herself all her life (pro tip: anyone who tells you at great length that he or she thinks for himself usually doesn't) and was tired of people telling her that she couldn't eat french fries or drink Coca Cola. Who was telling her she couldn't? Nobody. Who was stopping her? Nobody? Lots of people were telling her it was a bad idea, and it is, but there is a busy McDonald's or a Burger King, or another fast-food chain restaurant on every second street corner and every store is full of cheap, sugary drinks that I actually have been told by my doctors that I can't drink anymore, which she and her friends can buy without let or hindrance, even if it will eventually kill them. How do you relate to people who can't relate to the basic facts of their own lives as they actually live them?

My father worked for a defense contractor AND taught seminary on the side AND was an elder in the church.

I have two out of those three, as well as living in the Midwest, in a state that went solidly for Trump (redundant, maybe), grew up in a house where National Review was frequently read aloud at the dinner table, went to a mostly white high school, and currently reside in a county that is 98% white.

So, there's a certain cultural backdrop, maybe.

I, like you, left the fold. But for a long time most of my social contacts were people I worked with, which in the defense industry means mostly conservative.

Which is not to say all. My current supervisor is a liberal Democrat. Still: you're soaking in it.

But there's here, and the people I have met and come to respect and admire. It didn't necessarily change my values, but it did make me check my thinking and my facts as nothing else would have inspired me to.

I say that's a good thing. I still laugh when Trumpalos ("Trumpendejos" is the term one of my friends uses) call me a Hillary-lover, though, because that just isn't within nuclear fireball distance of the truth.

It's going to be an interesting 4 years, if nothing else. I may have to make some phone calls to my congresscritter and party leadership.

But isn't being told repeatedly that you shouldn't do something almost as tyrannical as being told that you can't? Especially if you are also told that letting your children do it is bad for them?

In short, to be made to feel guilty about things that you do is to be tyrannized, isn't it?

At least if you have been blessed with living your life without exposure to real tyranny.

But there's here, and the people I have met and come to respect and admire. It didn't necessarily change my values, but it did make me check my thinking and my facts as nothing else would have inspired me to.

Likewise. Here, and other places, including believe it or not RedState, once upon a time.

But mostly here.

My own background includes white bread suburbs with Episcopal church, about ten years in evangelical and no-pussyfooting fundamentalist circles. Bible college, y'all!

Years and years hanging around vampire-lifestyle musicians, and being one. Half a lifetime cutting code for a living.

Five years living in a Hispanic "ghetto", a couple of years living in downtown Philly. 35 years living in or within 5 miles of Salem MA.

Many of those things overlap.

Nowadays I'm back in white bread suburbia, somehow. Hardly gigging at all, mostly I'm working on the vibes, down in the basement.

My wife and I attend a UU church that "identifies as" Christian, mostly. You know you're in UU land when you say things like "identifies as". No creed, just a covenant, which was written in 1629. My wife's a deacon, I'm on the stewardship committee. I'll send you a pledge card if you send me your address.

Adapt or die, as they say. I probably have another 20 or 25 years ahead of me. Who knows where I'll end up.

Somehow, through all of that, my political point of view has changed hardly at all. Same values. But yes, if you don't want to be a thick-headed jerk your whole life, along the way you learn to hear other people better.

My wife and I attend a UU church that "identifies as" Christian, mostly.

I saw High on Fire play in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia. You could bring your own beer in. I've like Unitarians ever since.

"But isn't being told repeatedly that you shouldn't do something almost as tyrannical as being told that you can't?"

Well, we TRIED to tell them that they shouldn't drink chlorine bleach, but somehow they didn't listen. Or something.

I read this and couldn't help but think of our own "tell it like it is"/"anti-PC"/"if it feels good, say it" advocates:

Vox: Research says there are ways to reduce racial bias. Calling people racist isn’t one of them.

There's no conspiracy here, cleek.

right.

was done in plain sight

make up your mind.

con·spir·a·cy
kənˈspirəsē/
noun
noun: conspiracy; plural noun: conspiracies

a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

con·spir·a·cy: a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful

things like locking down superdelegates before the primary or making state committees financially beholden to her campaign

and all the rest of the bullshit about "clearing the field", "rigged", DWS, DNC, etc..

What's you're point? You don't seem to have one. Surely you haven't forgot that words have agreed-upon public meanings, have you? I would hate so very much to see you stop thinking about language like an engineer.

A conspiracy would be them doing those things in secret. They didn't. They did them openly, and they patted themselves on the back for being so smart and practical as to do them, right up until they realized a whole damned lot of voters saw this moreso as being anti-democratic and controlling.

For people who are interested in having an attempted nonviolent resolution of Trump's election and its aftermath, you might want to try to join some of the outcry for Putin's meddling to be investigated, and the election audited.

I realize that this seems unrealistic, but most people thought Trump wouldn't win the Electoral College, so maybe there's a way forward.

Short of contesting the election, we need to be constantly on the phone with Congressional offices, etc., to make sure that whatever opposition exists, it will go forward.

Right now, Trump is installing a white supremacist, his son-in-law, a notorious authoritarian former mayor and other truly deplorable people (no offense!) into the White House. He's talking to various foreign leaders with no input from the State Department (but perhaps has some from Putin). This is frightening, urgent, and magnitudes beyond whatever beef anyone had with the primary process.

Let's please get off of our butts and make resistance our first priority until he's gone, or our party reform process will have to happen from jail.

So, cleek, since lining up superdelegates isn't unlawful, I presume you think it's harmful. Which would suggest a couple of paths forward.

First, just get rid of them. The downside of that being that it leaves the door wide open for a demagogue with no clue about (and maybe no real interest in) actually governing. See this year's Republican primaries.

Second, figure out a way to keep the superdelegates from committing before the convention. In other words, they are a block to potential candidates who would do damage, but don't lock in a particular candidate ahead of the primaries. Not sure how to go about enforcing that, I admit.

Note that, in either case, it's a matter of how the party handles it's nominating process. Which means going there to get the changes you want.

wj:

You had me going there until the last sentence.

What's you're point?

indeed. i are point.

my point is that the left is full of conspiracy-minded people who have all kinds of crazy and evidence-free ideas about how the malign forces of evil conspired to "coronate" (yet another trigger word!) Clinton.

that you jumped for the bait is central to my point.

Surely you haven't forgot that words have agreed-upon public meanings, have you?

if only you'd taken the time to look at the full definition instead of the simple one. alas.

/sad_trombone.

NV, I think you're misstating some of the arguments that were being made, or you were hearing different ones from what I had heard.

The people suggesting that the party was a private organization and therefore under no legal obligation to select nominees in a particular way were right, and they were responding to people who seemed to have no idea previously that superdelegates had been involved for years, let alone that they didn't even hold primary elections in the years before that. To some people, it was as though the superdelegates were cooked up solely for the purpose of thwarting Sanders (who I voted for in the primary, BTW).

The demand was that the superdelegates vote according to who won the primary or caucus held in their state. Of course, then there would be little point in having superdelegates. But once Clinton had won enough primaries and caucuses, it was a moot point. Even if the disgruntled Sanders supporters got their way and the superdelegates voted according to those results, Clinton would still have won.

None of which is to say that the party wouldn't pay a political price for pissing so many of their voters off. There's always that, but a lot of people were arguing out of relative ignorance of the established process.

So, cleek, since lining up superdelegates isn't unlawful, I presume you think it's harmful.

i think the entire notion of "lining them up" is irrelevant because nobody ever said to themselves "well, i could vote for Kodos, but i've heard that the 'superdelegates' (whatever they are) like Kang! i'd better vote the way they will!"

it's just magical thinking.

but, i also think they are harmful simply because they exist. they create this useless distraction.

get rid of them! if the Dems pick the wrong person, so be it. it should be our choice to make.

also get rid of the ridiculous and anti-democratic caucuses, and standardize the delegate allocation in an intelligent way: proportional or winner-take-all, one or the other.

Let's please get off of our butts and make resistance our first priority until he's gone

We can start with the Medicare replacement that's currently on it's way.

Otherwise the "get government out of my Medicare" guy is gonna get his wish. I have no desire for him to get such a harsh wake-up call.

If that's not what you want, get on the horn.

Thanks, russell. I've called my Republican representative (who's leaving to be replaced by another R in January) on this issue earlier this week. I'm going to keep nagging. They didn't get voted in so that they could starve oldsters, no matter what they think happened, and I think that they're going to have second thoughts when there's outrage.

if only you'd taken the time to look at the full definition instead of the simple one.

/sad_trombone.

Here's the thing. I used a word. I used it in the standard sense - the most common sense of the word. You appeared to have decided to pull an incredible gotcha on me by pointing out that I was using the (common, standard) term in a way that was inconsistent with a specific, unspecified, uncommon understanding of the word. Let me say that again: you were complaining that my usage of the term was wrong because it was in keeping with the simple, standard usage of the term (conspiracy => secret plot to ill ends) instead of a very precise alternate definition that you had in mind when reading what I wrote.

You can talk about "looking at the full definition" all you like. That's entirely irrelevant to what I said and what you said. It will change nothing about how absurdly (and unjustifiably) pedantic you're being, and how brazenly you're demonstrating antipathy towards how language functions.

As a side note, however, you're doing a magnificent job of providing a counterpoint to your old argument of "when I say 'racist', no one can possibly think it means anything but what I intend it to mean", so this exchange may not be a total waste of time.

i think the entire notion of "lining them up" is irrelevant because nobody ever said to themselves "well, i could vote for Kodos, but i've heard that the 'superdelegates' (whatever they are) like Kang! i'd better vote the way they will!"

it's just magical thinking.

Or not. The media included superdelegates in their running tallies. Most sources I saw eventually distinguished won delegates from soft-pledged superdelgates, but that was only after a great deal of criticism, and some never stopped. The early totals were all very clear on Clinton's strong lead from before day one, however.

It appears that the whole superdelegate thing might just be on the way to being addressed...
http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/bernie-sanders-empire-strikes-back-231259

On a positive note, it could revitalise some state organisations.

CJC: You had me going there until the last sentence.

Sorry. But I get really irritated by those who scream "Tyranny!" whenever they don't get their way -- you'd think they were 4 year olds.

Just like I get irritated by those who complain about how terribly workers in 3rd world countries are treated -- but clearly have no clue about what a wonderful step up it is from the subsistance agriculture that they came from. (Not to say that conditions couldn't stand to improve. Just that how bad it is depends on your perspective; and those getting outraged have none.)

One day at 7 years old, I first recognized that I am temperamentally a socialist if not an outright communist -- not that I had even heard either word at the time. By 16 I had recognized that I am an atheist, though I can't pinpoint a moment or event for that revelation. Neither of those traits runs in my family.

At 22, I broke up with my girlfriend partly because she supported Reagan over Carter. (She has since become a fervent and active Democrat in VA.) Now pushing 60, having spent my working career paying more into SS than my parents were taking out so as to build up a "trust fund" for the retirement of my fellow boomers and myself, and hearing Republicans say that the "trust fund" is a fiction because "Hey, we've already spent the money", I am convinced that everyone who voted for He,Trump is out to get me, personally.

And with all due repect to NV, I wish everyone who voted against Hillary regardless of the looming threat of He, Trump all the joy that's coming to them as they get screwed right along with me.

It goes without saying that I expect He, Trump to screw his own supporters -- at least the ones who are not multimillionaires.

Since the election, I have stuck to my plan of saluting my Trump-supporting coworkers with a casual "Heil Trump!" instead of a traditional "How ya doin?" and intend to keep it up until they admit they fucked up. That may take a while. A fig for their fee-fees in the meantime.

--TP

To get back to the topic of the post:

Yes, contact mostly increases empathy, and calling people 'racist' isn't likely to make them less so. On the other hand, there are people being hurt and frightened by racism and the results of the election, right now. Whose feelings should really count?

Is the question really "whose feelings should really count"?

Because if your concern is the people being hurt by racism, you need to change the behavior of those displaying the lack of empathy. And, as you say, calling them "racist", however accurate, is not going to do that.

In short, you have to display empathy in order to create change. It's not a zero-sum deal.

"if your concern is the people being hurt by racism, you need to change the behavior of those displaying the lack of empathy. "

or we could just take up a collection and buy every person who is 'hurt by racism' a Louisville slugger and let nature take its course.

not my preference, it's just an option.

seriously, when is it time for bigots and folks who think it's fine to hitch their wagon to a bigot's star to be required to own responsibility for their own crap?

Should the bigots take responsibility for their bigotry, and the harm it does? Absolutely.

However, in order to get them to the point where they will take responsibility, you have to convince them. You can hold them responsible, if only at gunpoint. But getting them to accept responsibility is another story.

"Whose feelings should really count?"

Why do we think these are exclusive properties?

It really begs the question though. If racism is an innate, deeply embedded genetic trait, I guess we will just have to kill all the people who have it. Maybe we should develop blood tests.

If it is something else, perhaps we should mitigate the damage it does other ways.

It is like the abortion issue in a key respect. Abortions go down under Democratic rule more often than those who are screaming about how evil it is. Why is that? Because they are better at dealing with the underlying causes which feed into the outcomes which lead into abortion. The screaming doesn't overcome that.

My suggestion is that focusing on underlying causes and working against them is better.

Here's the thing. I used a word. I used it in the standard sense - the most common sense of the word.

fer chrissakes. it's not about the fucking word.

if you have an issue with my point, make it. otherwise shove it.

apologies for my comment about Louisville sluggers, it was inappropriate and not helpful.

wj and Sebastian, your points are all well taken.

this has been a stressful week.

The media included superdelegates in their running tallies. Most sources I saw eventually distinguished won delegates from soft-pledged superdelgates, but that was only after a great deal of criticism, and some never stopped. The early totals were all very clear on Clinton's strong lead from before day one, however.

This is obviously speculation on my part, but I don't think a significant number of people were going to switch their votes based on the reporting during the Dem primaries. What I might expect to be a bit more of a factor would be people deciding not to bother voting at all. Then the question would be whether those would-be voters were disproportionately for a particular candidate, or if they would have voted in roughly the same proportions of those who did vote, making no difference in the outcome (aside from the total number of votes cast).

I suppose one could research turnout in an attempt to determine if the reporting was a big factor or not, if one thought it was an important enough question.

WRT "superdelegates", the GOP has the same thing, but they call it something less "super".

It's not like they get extra votes, or can fly through the air, leap tall buildings & stuff like that.

I'm sure there was a reason to have them labeled as "superdelegates", back in the 70's when the motivation was to keep the DFHs from taking over, but the media latched on to the Shiny Object™, and where we are.

Better to call them something like ex officio delegates: more accurate, less sexy, NO CAPES.

This is obviously speculation on my part, but I don't think a significant number of people were going to switch their votes based on the reporting during the Dem primaries

indeed.

there always is and will always be horse-race-style coverage; and the amount of inside-baseball-style coverage is only going to increase. pundits are going to talk about who is winning and who is a long shot and who has the best shot and who the party elites want and who "the people" want. that is always true and is never going to change. it's always going to be some kind of factor. and complaining that it's unfair to some candidates is never going to change anything. because it's a fundamental part of how politics works, everywhere, at every level - from President to school board to the officers of the Del Boca Vista condo association.

What I might expect to be a bit more of a factor would be people deciding not to bother voting at all.

6/7s of all eligible Democratic primary didn't vote this year. the lowest that's ever been is 4/5 (2008).

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/10/turnout-was-high-in-the-2016-primary-season-but-just-short-of-2008-record/

basically people never turn out for primaries. they should, since it's when they have the greatest control over things. but, meh. can't bother.

By the time I voted in NJ, one of the later primaries, it was pretty well a done deal. I voted for Sanders, even though I knew he didn't have a shot. I voted just for the sake of voting, you might say. Not a lot of people are going to do that. If it's not very close by the time your primary rolls around, turnout is going to be low in your state. The sooner someone pulls ahead, the sooner turnout takes a dive in the remaining primaries. I imagine it would different if everyone voted on the same day across the country, as they do during the general election. (Not that I think I'm on to something that lots of people haven't already thought of and said and written about, but since we're on the subject...)

But, again, the fact that it appears to be a done deal doesn't necessarily depress turnout for a particular candidate as opposed to another. The incentive to vote is lower for everyone.

By the time I voted in NJ, one of the later primaries, it was pretty well a done deal.

i'm 10000% in favor of changing the primary schedule to reduce that. before this year, NC had their primaries in May and it was tough to muster any enthusiasm. now they're in March, which is much more compelling.

i've always liked the idea of doing a small number of primary days, spaced a week or two apart. ex: voting season is ten weeks long; and every other week, a batch of ten states votes. maybe put the small NE states in the first batch because that would give candidates with little cash a chance to get their name out there. alternate voting weeks with debate weeks.

CJC: You had me going there until the last sentence.

Sorry. But I get really irritated by those who scream "Tyranny!" whenever they don't get their way -- you'd think they were 4 year olds.

Nothing to be sorry about. I figured you were doing it on purpose to have a little fun, and I'm perfectly OK with that. On the substance, I agree with you entirely.

it's not about the fucking word.

Then perhaps you should try to restrain your petty, pedantic instincts that make you do things like point out typos and crow over "contradictions" hinging on finely-parsed semantics. If you don't want discussions of definitions, don't make (or try to score) points about definitions.

if you have an issue with my point, make it.

hook. line. sinker.

The comment that led to this topic subthread was you - literally and by your own admission - trolling. I have an issue with that entirely outside your "point", because by that admission you didn't have a point besides "lulz i trolled u" and "hey, i baited this idiot! look how crazy and gullible they are!"

it's just magical thinking.

This sums up large swathes of my issue with the various points you've raised in the past. You throw out claims that "feel" right, but have no basis in fact. Like your patronizing-yet-profoundly-ignorant claim about superdelegates and voters that preceded the above line. Where the hell were you last year? Superdelegate pledges were rolled into delegate counts. Your hypothetical low-information infantilized Kang-v-Kudos voter wouldn't have to hear about "superdelegates (whatever they are)" (and aren't you a special snowflake for understanding difficult and obscure concepts like these (that can be explained in a single sentence, are discussed in the media, and come up every primary), unlike these damned plebs?) because they'd just hear a delegate count that treated superdelegates as indistinguishable from earned delegates. Seriously, how the hell did you not understand that this was how that played out?

People don't make choices in pristine, pure vacuums using only pure rationality (us) or base emotions (them) to make decisions. Your "point" is emotionally driven, but you drag it into unrelated conversations (for teh lulz, apparently) over and over again, don't actually support it, mock anyone who disagrees with you, and derail the conversation into displays of tribal purity. Just. Stop. Bite the damned bullet, and act civilly towards people you disagree with, even if it doesn't feel as good as calling them stupid or evil and takes more work than writing petty, pedantic one-liners. This isn't Balloon Juice. Stop trying to lower the tone. Even if it means less lulz.

Russell (7:27), no offense taken. It has been a stressful week for a lot of people. And I completely understand the frustration with those who are refusing to see the, to you, obvious. At least you can vent here, without trashing your relationships with your neighbors, co-workers, and family. ;-)

try to restrain your petty, pedantic instincts that make you do things like point out typos and crow over "contradictions" hinging on finely-parsed semantics.

LOL. ROLTFL. OMFG. LMAO.

you're such a hypocrite.

Russell (7:27), no offense taken.

Much appreciated. Thank you.

Hey, we don't all have to be cleek and NV, egging each other on. ;-)

In an attempt to lighten the atmosphere, a picture I do not expect the next president to replicate...
https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/11/the-obama-years-through-the-lens-of-white-house-photographer-pete-souza/508052/#img01

speaking of me... a little bird tells me the Count will be back next week.

don't miss it.

This article is a slightly different argument, but entirely on point, I think. And although it produced very mixed emotions in me, I strongly agree with it:


http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/18/opinion/the-right-way-to-resist-trump.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=1

Mr. Berlusconi was able to govern Italy for as long as he did mostly thanks to the incompetence of his opposition. It was so rabidly obsessed with his personality that any substantive political debate disappeared; it focused only on personal attacks, the effect of which was to increase Mr. Berlusconi’s popularity. His secret was an ability to set off a Pavlovian reaction among his leftist opponents, which engendered instantaneous sympathy in most moderate voters. Mr. Trump is no different.

We saw this dynamic during the presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton was so focused on explaining how bad Mr. Trump was that she too often didn’t promote her own ideas, to make the positive case for voting for her. The news media was so intent on ridiculing Mr. Trump’s behavior that it ended up providing him with free advertising.

(The characterisation of 'moderate voters' is, of course, tendentious, but the argument stands.)

The news media was so intent on ridiculing Mr. Trump’s behavior that it ended up providing him with free advertising.

It wasn't all one-sided. One estimate is that CNN grossed an additional $100 million covering Trump.

One estimate is that CNN grossed an additional $100 million covering Trump.

I think this is parallel to the problem in dealing with globalism. When so much money is available for taking it up (outsourcing jobs, covering politics like celebrity news), how precisely do prevent it from happening? How do we demand that companies keep their factories in the US and news outlets not provide free publicity to the most controversial and colorful, but focus on policy? I've got no idea, myself.

perhaps the idea of a sober and impartial news media is simply a myth.

once upon a time it was fashionable to pretend facts were all people cared about. but it's always been about selling ad space/time.

The guy that really made some money on the Trump campaign was Trump.

And yes, that's a RedState link. Not the liberal elite lame stream media.

So far every Trump nominee is about as bad as it is possible to be. I only vaguely knew who Sessions was until a day ago. So Trump wants a racist AG.

Yesterday there was a story which Huckabee denies that the Huckster would be our ambassador to Israel. Israel, BTW, is Trump's America and Netanyahu is their Trump. The silver lining to a Huckabee appointment is that we could dispense once and for all with the polite fiction that the US is an honest broker over there, just before the place explodes. Of course for a split second Trump made noises last spring of being fair and Clinton attacked him from the right and embraced Netanyahu.

On feelings, I think we should have empathy for people who correctly feel dumped on by the larger society no matter what color they are or what lousy choices they make inside or outside the voting booth. This doesn't mean we don't criticize their choices. For elaboration see JD Vance or Ta Nehisi Coates. The empathy should be considerably less for affluent types on any part of the spectrum complaining about microaggressions. I have been reading Rod Dreher as part of my get out of the lefty bubble program and he's been doing nothing but liberal bashing since the election. I agree with much of it--Thomas Frank and many others make similar points--but as the days pass and there is almost nothing but liberal bashing it has morphed into a bunch of conservative white people in the comments whining incessantly about how liberals hurt their feelings by calling them bigots. Some of them are bigots. Their main concern regarding persecution of minority groups is over a future where conservative Christians are treated the way gays have been. At the very same time they mock and ridicule SJW's on college campuses for their reaction to Trump and the ridiculous concept of microaggressions. Dreher was anti Trump before the election and still is, but he has lost all perspective.

We'd all be better off if we argued about issues and tried to be less tribalistic. Fat chance, but it's still true.

Well, Romney as SecState is by no means the worst conceivable choice. Unless of course that's only done to free the REALLY worst for positons where they can do even more damage.
Whatever one thinks of Mitt personally, he is neither a rabid foaming-at-the-mouth ideologue nor a quiet one who coldly plans to kill us all while hiding behind a mask of civility. That's more than can be said about some other members (actual or prospective) of team Trump.

Regarding Israel, and my point that the right refuses to tar fundamentalist members of the other monotheistic religions with the same brush they use on Muslims: if interested, see my post in reply to McKinney (I have been ill, and the threads are moving so fast, so only saw his post yesterday) at the end of "Post-election neopostmortems".

We'd all be better off if we argued about issues and tried to be less tribalistic.

Maybe, but for all the Clinton-bashing you engaged in, you seem terribly unfamiliar with some of the most urgent issues of our time.

I only vaguely knew who Sessions was until a day ago.

For example, this speaks volumes.

Not really, sapient. I don't keep track of every stupid Republican in the Senate. I assume most of them are bad to awful, except on some issues. I also knew nothing about most of the Democratic Senators, with a few exceptions.

And as you wish to get nasty, once Trump begins committing war crimes I expect you will rediscover your moral outrage on that subject, as it will be the right villain. We both know that's true.

Perhaps we should ignore each other or interact as little as possible. I was going to avoid getting into arguments with you, but if you have other ideas it will bore everyone to death.

Some issues meant Yemen. A handful of Republicans were good on Yemen. Paul, I think, and one or two others.

Some issues meant Yemen.

Yes. The US is condemning Russia for doing in Syria what the US is helping the Saudis do in Yemen.

The US is condemning Russia

The US is also condemning Saudi Arabia, and working for a peace agreement in Yemen.

But the complexities of the situation on the Arabian peninsula are pretty nuanced compared to the fairly straightforward history of racial injustice in the United States. It would be nice if American citizens would be familiar with that.

FWIW, I'd be more than fine with Romney as Secretary of State. He's a sane and responsible human being.

i'm all for Trump putting sane people into his cabinet. but, don't forget that no matter who they are, they will still be representatives and deputies of the President. unless Trump turns out to be a radically hands-off administrator, they probably aren't going to be out there making policy on their own.

the upside is that Romney would probably be somewhat less likely to say horrifically stupid things while implementing Trump's agenda; though only slightly: "48%".

the upside is that Romney would probably be somewhat less likely to say horrifically stupid things while implementing Trump's agenda; though only slightly: "48%".

Which means it's unlikely he'll get the nod.

For those of us who miss Hilzoy, she's doing wonderful work on twitter. She tweeted about this.

What happened in Yemen is that the US supported the Saudis for over a year, actively assisting them and lying on their behalf when it came to their war crimes. There has been a famine--

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/n3ct0bxp

Finally, the bombing of the funeral in Sanaa which killed 140 people was too blatant for even an American state department apparatchik to defend. The Saudis initially tried to deny involvement but since they are the only ones with planes this wasn't working.

There was nothing particularly complicated about this. The Houthis are not wonderful people either, but once a sufficiently great atrocity occurred the US realized it couldn't very well condemn the Russians in Syria if everyone in the world except some American liberals could see we were doing the same things.

And this, btw, is why people should focus first and foremost on issues and not on political tribalism. We might end up with politicians and campaigns where genuinely serious people had honest disagreements on policies. Or if that is too much like a Lawrence O'Donnell written episode of West Wing, we might at least come closer to it.

There was nothing particularly complicated about this.

There is a lot complicated about it, but the armchair foreign policy concern trolls don't have to consider the entire picture.

A fine extended article in the New Yorker n Bama dealing with the Trump win:
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/11/28/obama-reckons-with-a-trump-presidency

Smart, civilised, and much good advice for the Democrats going ahead.

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone?

Plus, Obama talks some about the lack of a generally agreed source of news/facts, with which, as all will have gathered by now, I am obsessed. Can nobody think of a bipartisan way to address this, in a kind of national conversation where nobody feels dissed or put down?

Surely some billionaire philanthropist or consortium of philanthropists, tech or otherwise, can be persuaded to set something up (a genuinely non-partisan news organisation) and blitz social media about it? Apparently Zuckerberg is only now starting to see the problem with fake news on FB, so maybe that's a first step.....

I think that might be the idea behind the BBC ?
:-)

But actually, I'm not sure there is any solution in prospect ? Many people seem very happy with news sources which conform to their prejudices, and I'm not sure what will change that. To hear the other side requires effort.

Nigel: yes, I have mentioned before that this is a legal duty on the BBC, and how the fact that whichever party is in power always complains about BBC bias reassures most of us that it is doing something right.

But we are a small country, and a) never had Reagan to abolish the duty of "fair and balanced" reporting, and b) have not had the same kind of culture wars and partisan legislative bitterness and non-cooperation as the US. I still cherish a (perhaps very naive) hope that somewhere, somehow, someone will realise that this is the key, and bring together some kind of consortium to establish a generally recognised non-partisan source of "news", or "facts", generally recognised being the operative words.

But actually, I'm not sure there is any solution in prospect ?

Once upon a time in the US, broadcast media that expressed any kind of editorial position were required, by law, to provide equal time for dissenting points of view if someone asked for it.

This was based on the idea that radio spectrum bandwidth was a public resource, and a license to use it incurred a responsibility to be, at least approximately, even-handed.

It was called the Fairness Doctrine, and it existed from 1949 to 1987. The argument against it, perversely, was based on the idea that it was an infringement on free speech.

Lawyers are a perverse tribe.

In any case, been there, done that, and nothing like that is likely to return. Some media may try to self-regulate if there is any kind of market push-back, but as far as regulation, ain't gonna happen.

The nearest equivalent to the BBC in the US is probably NPR, which most lefties refer to as Nice Polite Republicans. They were beaten around the head and neck fairly thoroughly during the Bush years and have never recovered from their defensive crouch.

The trouble with trying to create an objective news source at this point is simply that most people already have a news source that they use. And anything that contradicts what they already get is, by instant definition, lies put out by "the other side."

It's an ironclad situation for fending off any inconvenient facts that may come along. And it's not at all clear that anything can break it up.

The closest I can think of is if someone with money to burn decided to buy one of the preferred media outlets of those he disagrees with. And then slowly started introducing actual news into the mix. I suspect it would get spotted and denounced before it got very far. But it's the best chance I can see.

I have mentioned before that this is a legal duty on the BBC, and how the fact that whichever party is in power always complains about BBC bias reassures most of us that it is doing something right.

We receive BBC broadcasts (and it's on the web) and I listen to it sometimes as do a lot of other people. I don't know that the BBC is less biased or the emphasis is less biased than, say, the New York Times or the Washington Post - obviously, there's less US coverage. For example, there's a problem with both the NYT and the Post this weekend where the Hamilton tweet controversy takes center stage (so to speak) over a very much less prominent story of the Trump $25 million fraud settlement (which I see has now disappeared completely from the front web pages). The BBC likewise doesn't seem to have it prominently featured.

It's certainly possible to get a coherent view of what's happening in the world. But you have to read carefully, widely and remain skeptical of the editorial assumptions. The email nonscandals, and the Clinton Foundation nonscandals are examples of nonstories hyped with innuendo and occasional falsehoods. People who kept up, and read widely, could see through it, but casual readers were taken in. Similarly, the front page article currently on the NYTimes talks about Trump's business dealings but soft-pedals the conflict of interest. It's there, but you have to read past the headlines.

Ah russell, yes, the Fairness Doctrine. I had forgotten its name. And yes, the NYT and Washington Post are relatively unbiased as far as I can tell, but they don't have a chance to satisfy the requirements because a) they are well-established enough that they already have long been categorised as the biased Lamestream Media, and b) they are considered to be "highbrow" (which may or may not be the same as elitist). The BBC is not considered highbrow, and of course it is easier to consume broadcast news. But I think in the absence of a Google/Facebook/Gates Foundation consortium creating an online avowed non-partisan news organisation, wj's suggestion may be the only possibility, and as he says, not much of a one:

The closest I can think of is if someone with money to burn decided to buy one of the preferred media outlets of those he disagrees with. And then slowly started introducing actual news into the mix. I suspect it would get spotted and denounced before it got very far. But it's the best chance I can see.

The NYT lost me as a reader during the run-up to the Iraq war, when they were, literally, stenographers for Cheney and his cabal.

Cheney would feed things to Judith Miller, editor Bill Keller would OK it because apparently Miller was a PITA and would run him over like a steamroller, the stuff would run, and then Cheney would cite it as support for the war.

Look, it's in the NYT! It must be so!

It was a profound and disastrous failure from point of view of their role as a reliable voice. I haven't trusted them since.

The NYT and the Post have really good writers, the NYT especially, and I think they do try to be even-handed. But I also think they are so entwined with the people and institutions they are trying to cover that they have lost the ability to be a really critical voice.

I'm generalizing, but as a general statement I think it's so.

Kurt Eichenwald's work on Trump at the Post over the course of the recent campaign is a notable, and stand-out, exception.

If I want plain old just-the-facts-ma'am reporting I generally go to Reuters and maybe the Christian Science Monitor. I also have the BBC and the GuardianUK on my daily reading list. I am aware of, and factor in, the Guardian's left-ish history and slant.

Beyond that I read more or less randomly, usually on a specific topic of interest rather than to get a broad overview of current events.

Both the US and (IMO) the UK media are highly focused on events from the US perspective. I'd like to find English-language sources that were less so. I was reading Al Jazeera for a while, and IMO they were pretty good.

But yes, in the US I can't think of a single news organ that is really independent, neutral, and thoroughly reliable.

NPR tries really hard to be independent, neutral, and reliable. they try too hard, in fact. they try to be so neutral that they refuse to criticize a Republican without criticizing a Democrat in the next breath. balance is their prime directive.

they generally tell the truth they just have a terrible way of packaging it.

so, i can't listen to them anymore. they are so head-over-heels excited about the shiny new President that they refuse to talk about anything else.

I agree, cleek. I've barely listened to NPR since the election, although I still do listen some. It's a challenge to call fascism out, but it has to be done.

The New York Times, for all of its faults, still has good (sometimes necessary) journalism. Like this article about Russian fascism meddling in our election.

Mostly I start with the Economist. They have their own biases, of course. But they are pretty good about labeling their opinion/editorial stuff ("leaders"). They also have the advantage of some distance from the passions of our political debates.

I thought that the NYT, now, has owned up to and apologised for that Judith Miller stuff. Also, new editor? (Of course, the current CEO, Mark Thompson, was DG of the BBC!)

I want generally credible refutation. What I long for is something that could, for example, run the footage of that Obama rally where he defended the Trump supporter, then run footage of Trump completely lying about it.

They (my dream media organisation) would have to do similar things on the other side too, if there was anything similar. I guess you can call it fact-checking, but less dry than, say factcheck.org. Maybe e.g. something from HRC's policy positions on Wall Street then leaked details of her Goldman Sachs speeches contradicting her public statements. And the audience would have to trust the evenhandedness, so if there was nothing much comparable on one candidate, they would have to trust that that was the truth.

Sadly, pathetically really, I used to think Jon Stewart on The Daily Show did the best, but he was probably considered very liberal (and maybe his young audience was too), so that's no good.

I also want better Civics education in schools, and maybe compulsory voting, like in Australia. Hmm, it's beginning to sound like I want to live in an alternative reality. Yes, that's it.

It occurred to me also how difficult it is to expose the horrifying views of some of these fascists and white supremacists on news shows.

For example, I was listening to All Things Considered on Thursday, and heard a portion of an interview of Richard Spencer by Kelly McEvers. It was incredibly disturbing, but not because of the way it was done. There were trigger warnings about the content. It's just disturbing that this person's views are part of the power structure now in such a way that we need to know what he says. There's no guarantee that people listening aren't going to like what they hear.

The segment wasn't presented as propaganda. I wish I hadn't heard it at all. On the other hand, how are people going to know what we're dealing with? But does that turn it into a mainstream viewpoint?

I am terrified.

When I lived in the States in the early 90s I used to listen to NPR, and All Things Considered. I thought it was pretty good in those days, the US equivalent of BBC Radio 4, but those were comparatively innocent times, and I have heard that it changed considerably after that.

Mostly I start with the Economist.

Seconded. I really need to get them back on my regular reading list.

Financial Times is also always of interest.

I thought that the NYT, now, has owned up to and apologised for that Judith Miller stuff

Yes, sort of, more or less. First they brought in Daniel Okrent as public editor, who was, let's say, less than successful. Byron Calame was better. I think Keller himself coughed up a warmed-over mea culpa at some point.

But I don't think it's a significantly different paper.

If you say they're better now, maybe I'll take a look.

What I long for is something that could, for example, run the footage of that Obama rally where he defended the Trump supporter, then run footage of Trump completely lying about it.

Ya think?!? Not much to ask, really.

And yes, I'm more than fine, would actually applaud, an outlet that would do the same for everyone, not just (R)'s.

What we have is a choice between "both sides do it" chin-stroking, make-nice look-on-the-bright-side NPR crap, and the Breitbart-style shrieking harpy freak shows.

Pro Publica and McClatchy do good investigative work, but they have a stance, so you have to add grains of salt as needed. Pro Publica in particular did, hands down, the best job of investigating and explaining the financial meltdown in 2008.

Mostly I think you have to turn off the TV, turn off the radio, turn off social media, turn off the blogs, and go digging. Lots and lots of digging, comparing, checking primary sources if you can.

Basically, you have to be your own investigative journalist.

It requires attention and can be time-consuming. Most people don't do it, for exactly that reason.

The journalistic function is really not operating very well in the US. It's kind of a propagandistic puke funnel.

Anyone who watches Fox, I just don't talk to. At all. About anything. OK, maybe I'll swap recipes, or ask them about their kids. But other than that, no. Their minds are gone.

russell, I'm not in a position to know for sure that the NYT is better now, but I would have thought that with the damage it caused to their reputation, and the subsequent personnel changes, it's quite likely.

But the NYT, the Washington Post, the Economist, the FT and most likely the other outlets you quote, are too established now (and possibly too "highbrow" - I don't know Pro Publica or McClatchy, but the others certainly would be considered so) to be able to claim the title of "trustworthy news source to everyday Americans". It's a particular audience we're talking about reaching: not unusually well-informed ObWi types, but the vast mass of the public, college-educated and not, highly literate and not, well-off and not, many of whom as we have seen distrust "elites".

As you say, becoming your own investigative journalist is also too time-consuming and demanding for most people.

No, I think what is needed is a site, funded by a consortium of very rich people who can reach the masses of the USA with their other properties (Facebook, Google etc) to popularise it, making crystal clear that the aim is non-partisan, which would have a "Factcheck" tab to run DailyShow type refutation footage, as well as regular (but not "highbrow") political news.

As for Fox, it is said that even Rupert Murdoch was telling Roger Ailes before he was ousted that things had gone too far over there....

a portion of an interview of Richard Spencer by Kelly McEvers.

Yeah, they had Jared Taylor on On The Media over the weekend as well.

Whites are smarter than blacks, Asians are smarter than whites. The races by nature ought to segregate themselves and live apart. Roll back the Civil Rights act of '64 so that we can bring back housing covenants and so people can refuse to provide goods and services of any kind to folks of other races or religions or, presumably, shoe sizes, if they so wish.

All of this noxious bullshit is coming back into the mainstream. All the white supremacists that have been hanging out in the shadows like creepy little silverfish are having their moment in the sun. Because, Trump.

Don't believe me, just ask them. They're thrilled.

So, yeah, Jared Taylor. I listened to him drone on in his gentle way while I took my leaves to the dump. It was like having tea with a Nazi.

I get the idea that folks are pissed and think Washington sucks and has forgotten and neglected them. I get that folks may be somewhat freaked out that they seem to suddenly be required to accept stuff that was beyond the freaking pale 20 years ago.

But this crap is like the toilet has backed up and 100 years of sh*t is flooding the place.

It's gonna take a while to clean this mess up.

the NYT, the Washington Post, the Economist, the FT and most likely the other outlets you quote, are too established now (and possibly too "highbrow" - I don't know Pro Publica or McClatchy, but the others certainly would be considered so) to be able to claim the title of "trustworthy news source to everyday Americans".

Believe it or not, I've found USA Today to be generally even-handed.

I don't read it that often, so maybe I just hit it on the good days. But they seem OK, to me.

what is needed is a site, funded by a consortium of very rich people who can reach the masses of the USA with their other properties (Facebook, Google etc) to popularise it, making crystal clear that the aim is non-partisan, which would have a "Factcheck" tab to run DailyShow type refutation footage, as well as regular (but not "highbrow") political news.

That might be a good idea, but I don't have a lot of confidence that certain people really want to know facts. It doesn't take much to know that climate change is real, for example.

This election has made me realize that a lot of people are just nihilists. I kind of believe the opposite of the "economic anxiety" argument. I think people are bored with trying to build a better world. There have been hints of this all my life. In fact, when the phenomenon of WWII was discussed in my family (my father having been a distinguished pilot on D-Day, before, and afterwards), I got a very uncomfortable feeling about some of my cruel classmates.

Some people just want to see how things will be if they go bad. That's what's happening now, and it has very little to do with pursuit of the "truth." What else explains the racism, and the acceptance of Trump's grotesque behavior and stupidity?

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