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I think the basic answer to your question has to do with what happens to any group, left or right, when they come to perceive a problem (be it terrorism in 2001 or Trump in 2016) as evil. When you actually think someone or something is EVIL, you’ll accept any measure to defeat it. And “Trump” has become a stand-in for racism, sexism, homophobia, and everything else the American “left” (ie the Democratic party faithful) has come to believe is evil.

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Similarly, "Noble Cause Corruption": A form of corruption that comes in the guise of virtue. When people are convinced of the nobility of their goals, they may think the ends justify the means. This makes it particularly sinister.

https://www.euphoricrecall.net/p/32-ideas-for-32-years

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I think about Michelle Obama’s “when they go low, we go high” speech in 2016. That describes an ethos of liberals that basically evaporated overnight when Trump won, something along the lines of Robert Frost’s definition of a liberal as someone too open-minded to take their own side in an argument. Today’s “liberals” barely pretend to be liberal. That’s why they don’t want Matt anymore.

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What actually occurred was the Democrats stooped so low I can't even stand them anymore.

The whole Russia, Russia, Russia, thing. The Steele Dossier. The Seth Rich murder. The impeachments. Jan 6th hysteria. The Democrats are the ones who stooped low.

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It would be really interesting to find out why actual liberals changed. But going by the last time you asked this sort of question, and by the initial responses here, you're just going to get more complaints about liberalism from people who were seldom or never liberals. Too bad, but they have so many complaints I doubt if they'll ever shut up.

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Hello?!? Former Democrat voter here.

For me, my eyes were opened when Obama allowed Wall Street total control during the Great Financial Crime Spree of 2008. He took bribes from them to protect them from prosecution. In addition, watching the Democrats lose their shit over Trump, while simultaneously resurrecting the reputation of No WMDs GWB well, that made my stomach turn.

Then came Russia Russia Russia. The Steele Dossier. The Seth Rich murder. The impeachments. Jan 6th hysteria. All that also made my stomach turn. So much so, I unregistered to vote. Can't stomach either party, so why vote? BUT the more they try to cut the head off Trump, the more I think I will vote for him.

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founding

Here's what happened:

We invented a system that uses dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine to trigger, and in some cases control, your emotions. It is called social media. We put algorithms on it that, when you engage with content that triggers outrage emotions like epinephrine and norepinephrine, shoves more of that content in your face to keep you online and engaged, put more ads infront of you, and make you more outraged. (Watch "The Social Dilemma" on Netflix, or clips of it online).

A sly, well-known provocateur named Donald Trump, who had been used to using less powerful systems to play with the same biochemical results in people, played the hell out of this new instrument. He played it so well, using his experience on stages and in wrestling rings, that he became the hero to nearly half of the people and the heel to another nearly half.

The half to whom he was the heel lived in a bubble of social media and sheepish following of what they read, and really, really grew to hate him because they believed every exaggeration and half truth they read that made him look worse than he is. That's in addition to the true things that already speak poorly of him, but in truth place him on a spectrum closer to "good" than Cheney and Rumsfeld. But these folks see the ends of stopping him justified by nearly any means, and they are highly subject to falling for propaganda campaigns because they prefer hating him to any nuance deeply diving in to understanding a dynamic on an issue.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 23, 2023

"Obama allowed Wall Street total control"- WAHomeowners

During his presidency $5 trillion in debt was shifted from the private sector ledger (mostly NY banks) to the public sector ledger.

It was amazing these banks went into so much debt during good times then were able to clean up their balance sheets during bad times.

There’s a chart in a Wikipedia page of “Sectoral Balances” that clearly shows the debt that was removed from the private sector ledger ended up on the public sector ledger.

So much corruption.

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Wow you sound like me. I can’t believe the world revolves around me. But I also can’t believe the world is so biased. Yet it seems to be…

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Progressives are followers. They do not think for themselves. To progressives out there, I will acknowledge that progressives are not the only followers, but they are followers. So, it's not really progressives, plural, but progressive leadership, singular, that is responsible for the insensate hate we see. Still, progressives, plural, should know better.

I remember the 2016 election campaigns of Hilary and Trump. And I especially remember the coordinated attack on Trump by late night comedians, and morning news shows, as well as others. They weren't expressing opinions, and they weren't telling jokes. They were indoctrinating viewers into hating Trump. Followers desperately desire to be led. Progressive leadership fills that need, unfortunately.

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I think about this a lot too and I'm coming to the conclusion that they're so addicted to racism-porn, gender-porn, and climate change-porn, that they can't dig themselves out. It's truly an addiction. So long as they're kept fed by endless supply of an overblown sense of injustices, combined with the very very smart strategy of basically branding anyone or anything that deviates as Evil (or synonyms to such as Trump or conservative), they'll be willing to sink to the bottomless pit.

The homeless addiction playing out in cities they control is literally the visual presentation of how they got there.

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Crazy conservatives have Qanon, crazy progressives have Covid, racism, climate change, trans bs,etc. Same psychological issues, different manifestations. It’s like a psychiatrist in Grand Rapids said “Crazy people adapt to the cultural touchstones in their environment like everyone else. That’s why we have 3 people who think they are Jesus in our local facility, but I’ve never met someone claiming to be Buddha!”

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Do you deny that racism, misogyny, or climate change exist? What exactly is ‘climate change porn?’

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There will be some of that, sure. But take me for instance. 66 years old ; registered Democrat all my life, though I don't always vote for the Democrat candidate. Last week I changed my voter registration to Independent. With the single exception of the FTC finally going after monopolies and oligopilists (could be an effort to create new mega donors) I have been shocked daily by what the Democrat party has become since 2016. All is lies, distortions, and their "saving democracy is pure projection. Someone who nothing about America other than what the Democrats have said and done these past several years might even call the fascists.

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It's no different than what happened to conservatives with Fox. Liberals (or those who think they are) had their fears and anger manipulated by those who can profit from that level of engagement (CNN, NYT, LAT, Time/Newsweek). All news outlets left of center now do what Fox did so well - get your audience so pissed and scared and amped up that they want to keep engaged. Then, they elected an adult war mongerer who needed adult diapers and realized they had to defend him since he was part of 'their team'. The dishonesty from people claiming to be liberal and voting for Biden might be single greatest self own of the last 10 years.

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They were never really Liberals. They were pawns in the hands of Academia, SM (influencers), Traditional Media, Hollywood and too caught up in being "accepted, belonging, believing," to actually THINK for themselves. As I started my career (a feminist), I wound up, through sheer grit, being the only woman in a trading room on WS with 50 men (1970's). I learned a lot from their "boys club" (much of it made me laugh, silently) and then I moved on up. I don't and never considered 99% of them monsters ... just people brought up and surrounded by their own kind.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 23, 2023

The scope of what was liberal changed to encompass illiberalism --in the name of justice. Censorship was justified. Racism was justified. Not everyone is hetero or gay so all lines must be obliterated -- in the name of justice. And so on. All of this came from Marxism.

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What you described has nothing to do with Marxism who was focussed on class struggle and workers versus capitalism. There is nothing about what you mentioned that can be found in any work of Karl Marx.

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Just FYI, I am the OP, and I’m an old school liberal through and through.

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A simple argument would be that we were against the fascists who unleashed the "war on Terror" and now that we are in power we will continue to fight them even with the weapons the fascists developed.

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But the fascists who unleashed the WOT (Kristol, Frum Boot, etc.) are now completely at home in the Dem Party. They're our allies!

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Sep 25, 2023·edited Sep 25, 2023

Taibbi should not have used the term “liberals”-he should have used the term

“Progressives”, b/c that is what the type of people he is interested in debating call themselves. Substack is full of ex-liberals, Taibbi is one himself. People who steadfastly cling to the “progressive”

mindset/designation-much harder to find in these waters.

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Interesting. I don't live in the US but I did live in the US for 22yrs. We got out when GWBusg got in.

From my perspective which may be not important, I decided to go on the Washington Post mainly to look at comments, this was because I wanted to know what Americans were thinking. I also made comments from my own perspective.

I got SO disgusted by 'elite' Dems. They were never willing to listen to anything uncomplimentary to Biden. From his History I knew he was a 'crook' the same as the Repubs.

I watched as he 'gave' something good to the people then the next day he allowed drilling in Alaska. I know the type of man he is. He thinks he is smarter than other people.

Americans MOSTLY are uneducated. They don't know much at all.

The comments from DEMS. to me were 'mindblowing' in there naivety.

I was called: A troll. Russian spy. Communist. Socialist.

Joe was the most wonderful man akin to Jesus Christ.

DEM. elitists have 'shot themselves in the foot.' Even knowing their party is financed by BIG money made no difference.

When I said I would not vote for any Party and maybe Cornel West I was

castigated. It didn't hurt me it just showed me how ridiculously stupid these people are.

NOW Dems. will pay for this.

I loathe Trump I think he is completely MAD.

You took your 'eyes off the ball' Americans because you bought the American Dream which was only a movie.

Now you blame everyone: Chinese/Russians etc BUT it is you who sat back and didn't vote as long as you had your toys from CHINA!

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I laughed at my Democrat friends voting for Biden. I said "Biden has been a representative of Delaware his entire political career. Delaware has even worse corruption than the Cayman Islands!" They all looked at me like I had 3 heads. Are people just stoopid???? I said, "Biden only talks about being from Scranton. Why is that?" Again, blank looks.

BTW, reading the Washington Post to know what Americans are thinking is not such a great idea. People like me would never pick up a Bezos rag.

As far as Trump goes......my opinion to vote for him is more solidified every day that the Democrats try to put him in jail. OMFG!!!!

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Actually in the comments on the WAPO I agree, they are mostly elitist Dems but quite a few Trump supporters.

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In other words, all the propaganda and childish conspiracy theories fit to print...

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If she had said, "when they go low, we get high", she would have endeared herself to me.

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I agree. I think the Trump phenomenon turned everything on its head.

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And I thought at two points, it was Bush 43 that turned everything on its head. What did bother me though, was the lack of interesting by liberals of the heist of the country committed by Obama and his placement of so many deep staters the country continued to run as if he was still pres.

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There have been a lot of distressing trends in recent years. Trump was just gasoline on the fire.

I voted for Obama both times and celebrated when he was first elected. Over the course of his two terms, one thing after another would bother me — hiring lobbyists despite promises not to, cracking down on whistleblowers, etc. — but it's taken me till covid to become thoroughly disillusioned. It's hard to break through our own self-defenses.

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I guess my self-defenses were watching Buckley’s Firing Line as a teenager in the 60s then no TV/cable after 1985, never a newspaper subscription, only Better Homes and Gardens and Arabian horse mags, read many books, and oldie stations on the radio until my older brother sarcastically wrote in a 2008 email, that I probably listened to Russ Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Glenn Beck and others. I had no idea who they were so I sought them out and found a home for my views. He told me in 2013 that he voted for Obama twice “because he cared about me”. In 2000 I got an internet connection for my horse business. When O was elected, I joined every local organization - 9/11 and As A Mom (on the internet - still active) both Glenn Beck ideas, AFP, Freedom Works, Abigail Adams, and Oregon’s citizen lobby and took Agenda 21 training. All Tea Party stuff and purchased a TV in 2009 only to watch Glenn Beck.

My entire family, three brothers, parents and even both sets of grandparents, registered Dems. I was livid with Bush41, Clinton, Bush43 and Obama. I was livid with choices such as McCain and Romney. I felt totally disenfranchised until Trump. I may not represent tens of millions of people but my understanding about our country has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt now. At some point it will be recognized that this country is nothing but an arm of the United Nations with NATO as its shield and weapon.

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I didn’t vote for Obama either time, but I did acknowledge that his election was a potential changing point if he actually took advantage of the good will his election engendered. He failed miserably as a leader in that regard. He sold out to Wall

St interests and used his racial

background as a political smokescreen as opposed to a milestone. He is sort of the anti-Nelson Mandela.

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The Trump phenomenon ended the charade and pulled back the curtain exposing the fake news media, the weaponized agencies, the regulatory capture, the neo-Marxists, and the unjust DOJ. The DNC has abandoned individual freedoms and embraced class warfare.

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Indeed, but re class warfare I would add it's largely a war waged by the rich bicoastal elites and the professional-managerial class against Middle America. Inverted Marxism, if you will.

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Sep 23, 2023·edited Sep 23, 2023

Here's an excellent comment on that, seen the other day:

"There are two parties in the US, the ’Haves“ (0.5%) and the ”Have-nots" (99.5%) Politics is a stupid charade set up to amuse the 99.5% and to give them the impression that they matter. They don’t. A quote from a 1924 edition of the American Banker’s Association not intended for the public sums up what is currently happening all around us:..."

https://wmbriggs.substack.com/p/the-closer-to-reality-the-closer/comment/40445566

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Much as I loathe this man he has made Americans take notice.

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Silver linings.

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The “progressive” types are culturally conditioned to use “NPR voices” in thinking-one can’t be gauche, blunt, or outspoken, one can’t engage in any kind of unapproved situational

analysis-you defer to the credentialed elite above you and their consensus. Trump is the ultimate bull in the China shop to that thinking. As the Dude says-applying to Trump-“You’re not wrong, you’re just an asshole”. Progressives can’t psychically deal with thinking-and speaking-that goes outside of the NPR voice corporate box.

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Supposedly smart and compassionate liberal intellectual Sam Harris is the exemplar of what has gone wrong with the ‘left’. No-one seems to have been able to convince him that supporting censorship and suppression of free speech is a bad thing when the people he loathes and the ideas he hates are in the ascendency. I don’t understand why - maybe he, and people like him, are just very afraid; they are losing their power, they see their side losing influence and their ideas failing, and they just don’t want to admit they’re wrong. But surely there must be a point where some of these people wake up and see what they’ve become?

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Sam Harris et al are terrified of the chuds taking over. Which is an irrational fear, because MAGA, like most populist movements, is led by disgruntled bourgeois professionals, business people and academics (examples of the latter: Peter Navarro, Darren Beattie). It's not the truckers and the plumbers who will be running the Treasury Department if Trump somehow gets back in!

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That's actually a good idea to give to Trump. We had a plumber in Montana who took a class to some national science fair every year and won. A contractor in town was an engineering genius. Some of the smartest people I've run into went to the Butte mining and engineering school. Perhaps Matt could organize a nomination process where we could nominate our choices for cabinet positions or at least a Kitchen cabinet . Trump must know these people, too. No more academics. Bush actually had a good cabinet member, Paul O'Neill, as Treasury secretary. Came from manufacturing. And went to Fresno State and Indiana U.

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I wouldn't label engineers as blue collar but I get your point. I would definitely love to see more engineers and scientists and fewer lawyers in public office. My dad is a civil engineer himself and I've always admired his practical, no-nonsense approach to all sorts of problems. GOP Rep. Thomas Massie is also an engineer and a very accomplished one (I think he went to MIT). He also happens to be one of the few congressmen I respect!

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This might be interesting but it would not answer Mr. Taibbi's question, which was "What happened to liberals?" Only liberals are likely to be able to answer that question. One might want to add "ex-liberals" but former liberals who have not kept the faith are less interesting since one must suspect they weren't liberals in the first place. Many, many Americans do not particularly like free speech, racial equality, public works, welfare, progressive education, regulation of capitalism, and other icons of liberalism. The association of liberalism with intellectuality and high culture is cyanide icing on the cake. But we know about this already. What is more mysterious is that people who once believed in the icons turning against them.

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Completely, Craig. That phrase she uttered is nothing more than a joke now. I identify as a "Civil Libertarian who is passionate about 'free speech' and 'due process.' Never registered with either the Republican or Democratic Party (was registered for a few years in the 60's with the "Socialist Workers Party.") No party now but my "former" friends referred to me as a "Fascist." They ALL abandoned me because I saw both sides, I wouldn't condemn Trump. I was a Gerontological SW who studied Buddhism. Go figure!

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Did Michelle Obama really say that? If so she stole it from Jackie Chan who said that about his style in contrast to Bruse Lee. He has said that for decades before 2016. At least she's stealing from the best.

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When she said that, was she thinking of drone strikes?

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?

That was hot bullshit at the time she said it.

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It's also what happens when you carve out exceptions in your legal system and due process for things like "terrorism" and "sex crimes". Those then become the go to crimes to target people with as they flip the presumption of innocence on it's head.

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You forgot the exceptions of "fighting unlawful foreclosure" in our legal system where one attorney said, "murder victims are treated with more respect that foreclosure fighters in the Courts." That was under Obama. He weaponized the Courts against people fighting the banks in Court too. Fucker.

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You think rape shouldn’t be prosecuted?

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He didn’t say don’t prosecute, he said don’t eliminate the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process because of the nature of the charge.

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Is anyone arguing for that? (I would be fine with reversing the burden of proof for men accused of rape since no one cared about women victims for centuries. Men need to know fear like women always do. There will never be equality between men and women until men fear us as much as we fear all of you.)

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I've become ever more suspicious of thinking in 20th Century "ism's". The billionaire/surveillance tech/MIC capture, and now underway, worldwide attempt to impose a CCP style surveillance overlay on the free peoples of the world, speaks to how powerful an engine the perps have created in their attempts to exploit and control the human future. "Ism's" are dead. I'm absolutely on board for, and will support any forum RACKET creates. But, I now believe that our only engine of survival and our only legitimate frame of reference is the Republic, the citizen and the Constitution.

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Combine this idea with the corrosive nature of the whole of society propaganda machine that attacks people passively every time they pull up their homepage, open social media, or turn on mainstream TV or online news. It's a constant effort to get people to abandon normal ways of judging and thinking critically in order to become more accepting of narrative-based reality.

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I agree, the dehumanization and demonization of The Other Side is the main obstacle we face in our efforts to mobilize in a constructive direction.

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WHAT the 'fu9k' is the Am. Left.

There is NO such thing.

You have 2 party's: one is right of centre and the other is FAR right of centre.

IF I see another comment from Americans about leftists I will scream till you hear me!

SO uneducated people!

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That’s why I put “left” in scare quotes. It’s quite amusing to read American political commentary from Republicans that will accurately diagnose problems with the Dems but then go on to describe people like Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi as “far left”, which has been distorted to mean something about children getting transgender surgery, instead of the kind of economic leftism that the Democrats have basically abandoned since FDR and LBJ dabbled in it over 60 years ago.

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Exactly. Thanks Craig.

I just wrote a long comment....no idea where it was because I have lost track!

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I’ve been screaming about this on these threads for months. Libertarian minds are as closed to new information as liberal minds. Once they internalize a particular groupthink, there is no getting through.

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Economics are off the table. Wall Street donors insist. Easier to tear down a statue than to raise wages.

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This goes back to the 60s. They let MLK and LBJ do civil rights; desegregating the south doesn't cost any money, and won over a generation of black voters to the Democratic Party. But then MLK realizes the only way to lift black people out of poverty was to lift everyone out of poverty, he starts planning a poor people's march on Washington, and they killed him real quick. LBJ wins in 1964 in one of the greatest landslides ever, then launches his War of Poverty, introduces Medicare, strengthens welfare... they drummed him out of Washington so he didn't even run in '68. Thanks for Vietnam, Lyndon, the elites told him, and thanks especially for taking all the blame. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

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I believe Reverend King said "There is no social justice without economic justice" (or something very close to that. The nerve of that man!

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Jesse Helms called out Dr. King for that-but he was a white Southerner so he couldn’t have an opinion on the efficacy of socialist economics w/out being racist. The Ds, otoh, can’t risk telling the truth about a sacred cow.

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"Easier to tear down a statue than to raise wages."

Indeed. Well put.

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What's funny. What you claim is "FAR right of center" is the party actually standing up for the freedom of speech.

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At this particular moment, and even then within specific limits.

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There is no left any more???

(Is this Sarcasm? Troll? Or maybe you just prioritize different issues?)

Again: "There is no left any more?"

If so, maybe because many of the things the left fought for, they have already won?

OK, I will list a few positions I will label as "left" (admittedly subjective):

- Climate change activism

- Acceptance / promotion of LGB community / issues

- High Immigration / some would call open borders

There are more, but these positions really drive home the point, because they are now officially supported - actually promoted - by most major media companies, and most medium to large corporations through DEI & ESG programs.

Is there no limit to leftist activism? How much change must occur to accommodate leftist activists, in order for *any* pushback to be seen as legitimate?

I always considered myself as left leaning, but now that the left has won so much, they seem to think that any pushback for policies which were mainstream 10 years ago, are some kind of "existential threat".

I mean, really...

For hundreds of years, in-person paper ballots cast on election day with voter ID (acknowledged by the voter integrity commission which included Jimmy Carter as being the gold standard in terms of assuring election integrity) is now "racist", or "voter suppression" or "anti-democratic"? Really?

Fox News has many openly LGBT hosts and guests, in prime spots - totally accepted by their viewers. (Tammy Bruce, Guy Benson, Douglas Murray, Caitlin Jenner, just to name a few).

Immigration? Well, Biden has said more than once that his goal is to get as many asylum seekers and refugees into the US as possible, and his actions clearly back that up. You may think that good - or bad - but it is objectively true, and generally considered a leftist position.

Maybe there is some optimum set of policies - a point at which going further left (e.g. for more redistribution) makes things *worse* and not better?

Are we not allowed to debate about whether we have crossed that point on a number of various issues, without being labeled right wing extremists?

Ideally, voters on the right and left could unite on some issues - such as corruption of our leaders, free speech. One would almost think that donors and their lackeys in government and media are provoking division between voters on the right and left on purpose - to keep their voters loyal to their own tribe, and keep those voters from holding their own tribe's corrupt establishment leaders to account - or uniting for positive change.

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What the fuck are you talking about. Jesus Christ.

I was left my entire life. The things I believed in: freedom of speech, freedom to express your grievances.....but the biggest left position was ANTI-WAR.

I don't see anyone talking about anti-war on the left. In fact, if you even mention Ukraine and being against the Ukraine war, you are immediately shuffled into the alt-right.

So fuck off with the policies you believe make up the left. They are beliefs and policies that are what drove me away. Those positions are part of the woke nonsense.

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I don't necessarily disagre...

This is a perfect illustration of the inadequacy of labels "left" and "right".

What you say about anti-war being a primary "left" value, does ring true to me - having opposed the Vietnam war, and later the war in Iraq.

However - as you say - in current US politics, opposition to supporting Ukraine leads to being branded "right wing" and thus "pro Putin".

But I haven't heard a clear consensus on what are the key issues or positions of the "left". Some list Pro Choice, some Global Warming, some immigration - or other issues.

(Maybe I don't have a representative sample, but my impression is that a significant percentage of Democratic voters buy into the pro-Ukraine position which is clearly pushed by donors and the establishment left). My impression could be wrong - and you are free to define the term leftist as you wish.

The reaction to the election of Trump - demonizing Trump *and* his voters - was unprecedented.

Early on, Jimmy Fallon mussing Trump's hair playfully - humanizing Trump - was declared intolerable. Fallon quickly got the message, and dutifully stopped making good natured jokes about Trump, and instead joined in with the demonization and "othering" of Trump - too serious and dangerous to treat Trump as a legitimately elected leader. He was not approved by the oligarchs, was not going to implement their agenda, and so they declared war on Trump and his voters. How *dare* they (Trump voters) try to decide US policy.

The oligarchs have been very successful at lumping the Libertarian and populist right in with the anti-war left, as being "Pro Putin" - The message being: "If you are anti-war, you better shut up about it, or you will regret it." Those in power will do what it takes to crush you if you support the wrong cause or candidate, to any degree that comprises a significant threat. Deplatforming, Lawfare, whatever it takes.

That was really brought to a head during Covid and the 2020 riots. Rolling out the absurdities of CRT into mainstream corps, schools, news media, declaring racism as suddenly being an existential threat, and labeling anyone unwilling to repeat those absurdities as racist - as the enemy.

More polarization - more excuses for using the tools of coercion, and suppression of rights.

This created an environment of extreme tribalism. Anyone deviating from the approved establishment narrative - on any issue - risked immediately becoming personal non-grata (cancelled).

If Trump was for peace, then that meant he was pro-Putin - as was anyone *else* holding that position.

No means of thwarting Trump was too extreme...Trump is an existential threat to democracy, don't you know!

There is a tendency to categorize voters into two tribes, "right" and "left", but that is far too simplistic - if one wants an accurate and nuanced appraisal of voter preferences.

But a fact-based discussion among voters and candidates to decide what policies *voters* want, may result in policies the oligarchs don't prefer - so that won't happen. Oligarchs will stop at nothing to continue getting their way.

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A very accurate summary of the last few years. I feel, however, that we waste too much time discussing what is left-wing and what is right-wing. The relevant distinction right now is much simpler: pro regime vs anti regime. In the latter camp you'll find a motley crowd including Glenn Greenwald, Tucker Carlson, Max Blumenthal and Rand Paul: people from diverse social and ideological backgrounds.

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I had no idea Douglas Murray was gay!

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Or free healthcare for all and decent education. That is a leftist policy?

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The issues you cite are what remained for the donkey party to champion after having turned its back on peace and economic justice. If the corporate swine are paying your fare, you're not "left" and never will be.

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There are actually a lot of people with Leftist sensibilities in the US. They and their beliefs are the objects of a thus-far very successful propaganda and cultural war and hence are poorly organized. They may also be a minority in spite of their numbers. Even a pseudo-leftist like Bernie Sanders was sufficient to cause hysteria in many quarters, including "liberal" and "progressive" ones, and I must say he put on a pretty good act.

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Sep 25, 2023·edited Sep 25, 2023

Oh, the D party are hard left-if you realize what Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, and the 60s-70s “New Left” were all about.

“Left” in the Wobbly/hard core unionist manner-of course not.

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I get what you're saying, and I mostly agree. But an essential component seems to be frequently forgotten: the war on terror was about actually evil people killing innocent Americans. Was invading the privacy of every American citizen the right approach? No. Was the tendency to stereotype every person of the Islamic faith as a terrorist a reasonable reaction? Definitely not. But the acceptance of such widespread privacy invasions occurred in the aftermath of an actual terrorist attack wherein innocent Americans were victims of ideological and religious extremists, as were plenty of other people across the globe of the same faith who dared to question the actions of this evil regime. In comparison, Trump has called people names, made awful comments about women, and paid off a porn star to keep quiet about their sexual relations. He's not a role model by any stretch of the word, but he's certainly not responsible for thousands of deaths that I'm aware of.

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So then, were the indigenous Americans "evil people" for attacking (and killing) the European colonists who usurped their land? Were the European colonists "evil people" for attacking (and killing) King George's military and bureaucrats?

The US Military Industrial Complex CREATED the Taliban, and that same MIC sure as Hell gave them their advanced weapons. You need to understand the concept of "Blowback." This was a term coined by our own CIA when they *overthrew* the democratically elected president of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953. It's meant to describe not only downstream collateral damage caused by covert US military actions, but downstream collateral damage do to actions that were kept secret from the American public! Before you get so certain that we are "the good guys," listen to these two pieces (at minimum):

1. Chalmers Johnson 2004 lecture at University of Washington: https://www.alternativeradio.org/products/johc001/

2. Recent interview with Ana Parampil: https://rumble.com/v3jffe6-its-the-end-of-the-u.s-empire-a-conversation-with-anya-parampil.html

Bill Binney was the senior NSA engineer who -- together with his team of 5 people -- created the NSA's pre-9/11 surveillance system. These systems were painstakingly designed to gather necessary information WITHIN limits of the US Constitution. That system actually flagged intelligence on the 9/11 plot in June of 2001 -- intelligence which was presented to VP Cheney. For whatever reason, Cheney dismissed the threat, but the system DELIVERED!

On 9/12/2001, the NSA staff was addressed by their Deputy Director. The staff was in shock (like most people). What did she say to cheer them up? With a glint in her eye she said, "Don't worry this is great! This will be a CASH COW for the NSA!" And she was right. Binney was pushed out, and the system he built for $5 Million, was discarded in favor of building a new system that cost $4 *BILLION*. One that trampled US citizen rights, and drowned in it's own overinfo noise.

Now tell me again, who is evil?

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Spot on. People who hate Trump indeed see him as an evil akin to Hitler. I heard from a friend actually say this. The delusion is remarkable.

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I love when they say they are chiefly concerned that "democracy is on the ballot" and how if Trump gets in this time, then 2024 will have been the final American election -- and then are 100% OK with doing whatever it takes to keep RFK Jr. out of the running.

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Perhaps an insurrection or a coup? One can learn from one's enemies.

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Good Luck finding any. I just did a search of Crooked Timber and Atrios, both sites which "prided" themselves (and that is the right word) for their shooting fish in a barrel opposition to Bush, Pelosi, and Charles Krauthammer and the Iraq War.

Their defense of refusing to utter a peep about the uniparty is "both sidism" by which the fair-weather "defenders" of principle retreat into clichés of rampant Republican fascism and little else.

All of us who used to be part of these communities, who drifted from the Dems via the Tea Party into the no-man's land of tear it all down populism, have been lumped together as Klan supporters and Putin puppets by "lefties" now cheering on the Azov battalion, endless war and state censorship, or self-censoring.

Lots of people here condemn both parties and that number is rising. Maybe check-out recent converts to the Greens, RFK Jr. supporters, and No-Labels. Good luck with the book. Stick with the truth and confirmable fact, and be wary of "we're the good guys" narratives.

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Like Goring says, it works the same in every country. Find any enemy to unite the people and denounce any dissent as helping said enemy.

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The basic answer to the question? You say “Trump” in quotes like he’s some theoretical construct. Really? And that construct is a ‘stand-in’ for things the left has ‘come to believe’ are evil. News for you friend: racism, sexism, homophobia etc should be considered ‘evil’ by any human being- right, left, Dem, Rep, black, white, whatever. Trump and the 4 presidents before him couldn’t give a crap about anyone but themselves yes and a they’d sell out whoever they could for their egos. But trump is not a ‘stand in’- he’s the ugliness in people disguised as ‘freedom’.

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Re: ": racism, sexism, homophobia etc should be considered ‘evil’ by any human being- right, left, Dem, Rep, black, white, whatever."

I agree with this.

But if you go by number of remarks arguably racist, Biden is horrible - much worse than Trump. One could make a *really* long highlight reel of horrible racist remarks from Biden - not so with Trump.

In fact, the video clips used by media to demonize Trump as white supremacist, were edited to make him sound like he said the opposite of what he actually said. The "fine people hoax" video, was played thousands of times - always with the part where Trump says he totally condemns the nazis and white supremacists cut out, and then followed by dishonest discussions of "Why doesn't Trump condemn nazis and white Supremacists?" In fact, Trump was on tape dozens of times denouncing nazis and white supremacists, before he was asked a question in a presidential debate in 2020: "Why haven't you condemned racism and white supremacy?" The debate moderator asking a question which contained a falsehood as a premise of the question - wow. But that is where we are.

"Pete Buttigieg has made history as the first openly gay Cabinet member in U.S. history to be confirmed by the Senate" - but only because the senate refused to confirm Trump's pick of Richard Grinell as Director of National Intelligence - and the first openly gay acting cabinet member.

Janice Rodgers Brown (Black conservative female judge) would have been appointed as the first black female justice of the Supreme Court by George W Bush, except that Democratic senators promised to deny her confirmation.

Fox News has a large number of prominent gay and lesbian hosts - well liked by an audience filled with Trump voters.

If you look at Trump's staff, he has large numbers of women as lawyers, spokespersons, etc.

Our partisan media demonize and effectively lie about politicians from the opposing tribe. It is clear that Fox has also misled voters about Democratic politicians with selective video. But two wrongs don't make a right.

I debunk just a few examples here, but if one only takes in news from CNN, PBS, NPR, WAPO, NYT, CBS, ABC, NBC, and MSNBC, one will certainly get a false picture of the issues, with many facts and stories going against their preferred narrative simply omitted.

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So name any of the women in Gropenfueher’s staff? Also, do you deny that Trump has been found civilly liable for sexual assault?

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Trump hired multiple women lawyers, multiple press secretaries and spokespersons, he appointed Amy Coney Barrett to Supreme Court - too many to name. If Trump were covered by press like any other president, the public would know all this - but instead, many news outlets cover Trump by playing video of Trump (but no audio) while partisan pundits put words in his mouth - or they chop up video to make it sound like he said the opposite of what he said.

If you are so upset about Trump groping women, then I am sure you are also upset about Tara Reade's claims about Joe Biden - or the alleged entry in Ashley Biden's diary (Joe Biden's daughter) where she talks about waiting until late at night to take showers, so Joe Biden couldn't shower with her again. In case you doubt the veracity of that diary, the Biden's sued the person who allegedly stole (or found, depending upon whom you believe) said diary. Imagine the press coverage about that, were it Trump instead of Joe Biden.

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Amy Comey Barrett is aggressively antifeminist because her ONLY conviction is that SHE IS SPECIAL and all other women need to be chained to a stove at home. Trump and all his supporters want women kept out of higher education and public life entirely. As for Tara Reade, she’s a proven liar, and even if what she said is true. that makes Biden equal to Trump and no worse. If I have to pick between the asshole who takes away my autonomy and the asshole who doesn’t, I’m staying with the one who doesn’t.

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Re : "Amy Comey Barrett is aggressively antifeminist because her ONLY conviction is that SHE IS SPECIAL and all other women need to be chained to a stove at home. Trump and all his supporters want women kept out of higher education and public life entirely."

I have never seen any facts or evidence to support either of these accusations / claims. It is hard for me to believe they weren't just the product of someone's imagination. In the absence of links or quotes or *any* facts supporting these assertions, I really can't take them seriously. Sure, there are some odd Andrew Tate fans out there... And in the realm of politics, there is some political advantage to defining all your opponents as some characterization defined by the most extreme segment of their coalition. But for objective analysis, this is really poor practice - for either side.

I understand that you may have strong opinions on issues, and of course can support candidates you feel best advance issues you care about.

But contentious issues such as abortion will not be decided by the extremists on both sides of that issue - whose votes are basically already decided - but by the 20% to 50% of independent swing voters (like me) who decide which candidates win key swing state elections.

Many voters in the center have a more nuanced view on abortion, so rhetoric demonizing anyone who doesn't agree 100% with the most extreme left position on this issue - or other contentious issues - might be counterproductive in the long run.

As someone who formerly leaned left, having voted for Bill Clinton, John Kerry, Obama twice, donated to Bernie and Tammy Baldwin....

I have really been "red-pilled" by the authoritarian tendencies recently shown by Democrats, mainstream press, corporate HR departments, etc - and the incompetence and corruption.

If you think that Trump is about even with Biden in polls because he has a large following of "Nazi" voters, you are believing a delusional fantasy.

Lots of us cringe at much of what Trump says and does, but see the other side (left, in union with establishment right, corporations, and the federal agencies) as the much bigger danger in terms of weaponizing the legal system, censoring, etc.

Once Trump is gone (either defeated, jailed, passed away, or having completed his second term) I suspect a populist Republican presidential candidate without his flaws, will easily *crush* the now discredited union of Democrats, tech oligarchs, and corrupt government agencies - unless they are ultimately successful at suppressing free speech and democracy (which I doubt they will be).

The Democrats have shown themselves to be corrupt, anti-American, Authoritarian, and incompetent to a most shocking degree. Real wages are falling due to inflation, which will continue to worsen as November 2024 arrives. High energy prices lead to inflation, and higher interest rates can't fix that, without making the working class poorer through lower wages. The Democratic policies of making traditional energy sources expensive, while alternatives are not yet available and cheap, means lower standard of living for everyone - most of all the working poor. This is the problem with depending on academics with no real world experience solving real world problems - they assert that their policies will result in utopia, and dismiss and ignore sincere critiques and suggestions which contradict their sacred ideologies. This is their particular form of incompetence, which is clear to any objective observer - and adds to the dysfunction resulting from ever-present corruption, which is always there regardless of party.

Any Republican credibly promising a return to policies that actually work to restore a high standard of living - without the dysfunction of Trump - will win easily.

If the pro choice crowd hitches their wagon to the losing side, while staking out the most extreme policies possible, they may be left without a seat at the table.

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Here is a link to a Forbes article mentioning hundreds of female Trump appointees. His most visible attorney recently - Alina Habba - is a woman. His most prominent press secretary during his presidency - Kayleigh McEnany - is also a woman. Why would you not at least do a 10 second Google search before making such claims?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/roslynlayton/2019/06/29/hundreds-of-women-have-lead-roles-in-the-trump-administration-45-more-await-senate-confirmation/?sh=7c83a030250e

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I cannot stress enough how much I believe this to be the case. And not necessarily all of liberal america at once, but specifically how it happened to the major media institutions with the rise of "moral clarity".

This really only presented a huge portion of the country with one view and tapped into the "resistance" rebellious instincts of the left without recognizing the institutional power being wielded to support the resistance.

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Sep 25, 2023·edited Sep 25, 2023

Good points. I fully admit that I have come to the realization that idiot Muslim youths in the aftermath of 9/11 were the canaries in the coal mine for the rash of feds/targeted informers we now see in various “domestic” threat groups, whatever they may be. Bureaucrats targeted and coerced naive Muslim morons into plots and rode their convictions into career boosts. It’s now happening w/ various naive right wing morons-the feds are giving ANTIFA/lefty radicals a pass it seems-maybe they are harder to set up than militia morons.

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What ISN’T evil about racism, sexism, and homophobia?

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I think you’re misunderstanding my comment. I’m not saying those aren’t evils. I’m saying that once you deem a particular individual such as Trump or his supporters a human avatar for these evils, you give yourself permission to ignore your own principles of liberalism, free speech, and rule of law in order to fight what you perceive as evil. To me, as an old-school liberal, I recognize that all humans, myself included, are subject to prejudice of all kinds, and the place I’m most vigilant about hunting for it is inside my own heart

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My reaction to those evils is that they hurt plenty of people who can’t fight back as well as I can, so I am obligated to do everything I can. I can criticize bigotry and refuse to give my money to entities that spread it. Calling bigotry what it is doesn’t deny anyone’s speech rights.

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Who ever said you couldn’t criticize bigotry? But it’s been a fundamental principle of American liberalism that, for example, the ACLU used to defend the rights of Neonazis to demonstrate. But now the Democratic party is aligned with all kinds of mechanisms to scrub “unacceptable” speech from public places, as Matt has written about. I’m on your side in the fight against bigotry. My job in the real world is working at an inner-city school in student services, making sure poor children, mostly black and brown, some homeless, get the education they have a right to. And I also criticize bigotry where I see it. But the inside is more complicated than turning a particular individual like Trump into bigotry incarnate.

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Well said; and I say that as a former liberal. Or perhaps I should rephrase that as an old-school liberal, as described above. Now, somehow, being "anti-science" is included under that Evil umbrella. "Science" is the new Jesus - throw the word around and all reason ceases. Do not question, only obey. (For the record, I have no problem with the historical Jesus, whoever he may have been, or with any individual's personal spiritual life - only the oppressive branches of the religion that were imposed under Jesus' name.)

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Irrational exuberance in drinking the hate Kool-aid known as Trump. None of them can define what Trump did to them in their lives as Pres to hurt them when I ask.

Like 40 - 60s black race hate.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

I don't need a town hall to tell you what happened.

What happened was Obama, who was elected in large part to end the stupid wars, but once in office, he not only continued the stupid wars but gave us a bunch of new stupid wars. However, pointing this out was tantamount to criticizing St. Barack, Obama The Sacred Cow. It didn't help that Team R was still foaming at the mouth for more stupid wars, to the point that it took every opportunity to accuse St. Barack of not being aggressive enough.

What happened was Trump got elected, and Team D got busy cosplaying as TheResistance#, bravely battling tyranny along with a bunch of big companies, the MSM and the CIA, to name a few.

What happened was liberals got the whip hand, the price of power being cooperation with The National Security State, and boy howdy, were they ever on board!

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Agreed. Obama/Biden/Clinton/Kerry/Blinken/Sullivan were prime instigators to the current catastrophe in Ukraine. Syria and Libya were their precursors.

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How’d you leave out Vicky Nuland?!!!

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Thanks for that.

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founding

Evil incarnate.

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When I try to have a conversation with a liberal about Ukraine and mention the thousands of ethnic Russians slaughtered in the eastern part of the country since the US-sponsored coup in 2014, I'm always met with a blank stare. "In order for liberals to cling to their illogical belief systems they have to pretend no to know a lot of things" (David Mamet).

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Are you trying to pretend you don't know Vladimir Putin woke up one day in 2022 and decided he wanted to invade Ukraine simply because he's EVIL?

How much is he paying you?

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See? Complaints _about_ liberals, not explanations _by_ liberals about what changed them.

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Um, you would get exactly that explanation from many people on the far left. Or what is left of it.

I am mostly on the left and strongly disagree with many of the rightwing commenters here when they talk about climate change or Covid and probably some other things. But on foreign policy, I saw exactly what the feral cat describes. During the Bush era I was pleasantly surprised but also suspicious that so many mainstream liberals sounded like Noam Chomsky and denounced US war crimes and criminal aggression. Then Obama came in and that disappeared like a puff of smoke. When Obama gave the go ahead to the Saudis to bomb Yemen ( Blinken making the actual announcement) liberals in my experience just didn’t want to hear it. When Obama said about torture that we should look forward and not back, they accepted it. Very different from their speeches about the rule of law regarding Trump.

I despise Trump. In short, he did have enough sense to avoid big wars but overall he was a sadistic bully. He doubled down on the war in Yemen, gave the Israelis whatever they wanted, abandoned the Iranian deal and imposed sanctions that only hurt ordinary Iranians.

Americans who are genuinely sickened by American misdeeds, to use a polite term, are going to criticize Presidents from both parties. And liberals will often not be able to get past “ someone is criticizing my hero” and accuse them of being a Trump supporter. It has happened to me a few times, which I find hilarious. But sad.

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Nice to see someone on here I can truly relate to. Thanks.

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Thanks. There’s a few of us around here.

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One _expects_ the Left to slag liberals. That does not answer Mr Taibbi's interesting question.

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It's not a difficult thing to answer if you've read your Thomas Frank and Chris Hedges. It's money and power. The Democratic Party over the course of the last few decades decided to abandon the working class and the lower-to-middle middle class that used to be its base in favor of chasing corporate money. Well-off liberals likely can see this betrayal, but they are afraid to abandon the party over economic issues because they're relatively economically comfortable, and in their minds, Team Red is **always** worse. At this point that is accepted as such an article of faith that to try to demonstrate to them how Team Blue is actually part of the problem is met with cult-like resistance. So they settle for what Ralph Nader used to describe as "the revolution of lowered expectations". The media they consume reinforces this and never, ever criticizes Team Blue. So we instead get obsession with culture war because liberals can actually win at that stuff and it doesn't really bother the powerful, whereas actually going to bat for the poor and working class is a losing battle in a corporatist/fascist/oligarchic (pick your favorite adjective) economic system. Then Trump showed up and it really broke their brains that enough people in this country decided after 8 years of Obama, their situations hadn't improved while the rich just keep getting richer, so they went for the guy who was not the living embodiment of that system.

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That is, they went for the guy who they perceived was outside that system and thought was going to fight it on their behalf from within, even though he was a product and beneficiary of it. Running the widely disliked Hillary Clinton certainly didn't help either. But, tying it back into what I said above about never criticizing their own team, it's all Jill Stein's fault of course.

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But you will agree that Trump, the bully, was thoroughly emasculated and hamstrung by the national security state. And when it comes to sadism, I can't think of a better example than the legal crucifixion of J6 protesters (some hapless chud just got 17 years in the slammer for shaking a fence outside the Capitol).

Otherwise I concur with your assessment.

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I am not sure what I think about J6– the two sides say wildly different things about it and early on I stopped paying much attention. Life is short and you can’t follow every issue. But to me it seemed like a protest that got out of hand and turned into a riot.

So if some idiot got sentenced to 17 years for shaking a fence, then yes, that would be sadistic.

But the sanctions that the US imposes on other countries under both Democrats and Republicans is on a whole other level. These hurt the livelihoods of millions of people. The governments remain in power, ordinary people suffer, some people die and the DC crowd thinks they are demonstrating their toughness.

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I was offering an explanation, not a complaint.

You may notice that I do not spare Team R.

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I thought I was a liberal until 9/11.

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Understood🇺🇸🙏🏼

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Convention Hall Asbury Park comes to mind.

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It was amazing how a cypher out of nowhere got elected to the highest office in the land with not much more than a shallow slogan. Some of it had to be self congratulation that we had gotten over our racism by electing a black man. Admit I was one of those who thought he was a genuine alternative to Bush and that he’d govern differently. What was really astounding was his complete capitulation to Wall Street, to the forever wars and full spectrum dominance. For the first time I saw that there was a deep state and a uniparty that served it. But most liberals I knew went the other way. Instead of noticing his actual actions while in office, they seemed to worship him like some kind of secular saint. The only conclusion I can reach is that they needed to believe Obama was the man they hoped he would be to protect their own self image.

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It also helped that Obama was running against the profoundly unlikeable HRC, and a McCain who basically promised to continue Dubya's policies and was less stable to boot.

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We should all thank Sarah Palin for being MCCains running mate, she insured his loss.

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Never forget walking political catastrophe (and proto Trump candidate) Sarah Palin! She ushered in a new low in nasty and unintelligible national campaigning. And inspired abject horror in both red and blue hearts. (Although McCain's first choice of his buddy Joe Lieberman never would have flown either...)

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Sep 24, 2023·edited Sep 24, 2023

And the current VP is an improvement over possibly Palin?

I dare say not...

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Yep. And I believed, for awhile, when they said the R’s won’t let him do anything! They’re still saying it! Old friends are still wishing we had Obama back. I can’t talk to them about anything.

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For Bastet's sake, the man took office in 2008 with a huge majority in the House, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, a friendly Supreme Court, Wall Street begging for rescue on any terms, and a national media that was unironically comparing Obama to Jesus Christ and also Neo from "The Matrix", not to mention the biggest public appetite for reform since FDR's first term.

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It took me awhile to face the fact that I voted for Obama because he is black. Many of us had been so tethered to the idea of “lifting up” black Americans (since right around the time they became “African Americans”) that it seemed unthinkable for a liberal to vote “against” the poor black man. That was the game all along and we played into it handily. Now, a word against him, his policies and their fallout is RACISM.

Thanks in large part to the damage done before (9/11 and Iraq) and since, I identify with ZERO % of the current leftist positions and now a Constitutionalist and more conservative than I ever would have imagined. An organic side effect of aging and having lived enough to know, APPRECIATE and FEAR the consequence of a leftist bridge too far? Or have they simply GONE TOO FAR? Either way - I am officially a dissident.

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At this point, I would be happy with a candidate even pretending at a slogan as positive as “Hope and Change”. Right now, we’ve got “MAGA” and “Finish the Job”. We’re not even pretending anymore.

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You do realize that "Make America Great Again" was used in the Reagan and Clinton campaigns.

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Was the slogan called a racist dog whistle back then?

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Yep, can't go against St Obama or you are RACIST!

From, Proud "Racist" in WA State

(that is anti-Obama, not a real racist LOL)

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I am no racist. However, I would say that Obama deserves the fate of the defendants at Nuremberg. Sauce for the goose....

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I feel like Obama should be put in stocks on Pennsylvania Blvd so we can all throw rotten tomatoes and spit on him.

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You guys need to get over your hard-on for Obama. This is not a partisan thing. It's the Borg vs. the people. Mitch McConnell loves war in Ukraine as much as Chuck Schumer. Democrats and Republicans in national leadership (DNC, RNC) want to prevent candidates such as Trump, Bernie, and RFK, Jr. from gaining any traction, because they are perceived as threats to the DC status quo. The DNC even tried to do it to Obama in '08. National leadership in both parties has been an abomination for well over a decade.

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"The DNC even tried to do it to Obama in '08." <----complete hogwash

Obama was funded in a large part by JPMC. So, that comment of yours is complete bullshit.

And yes, I agree that both parties suck. But I personally hate Obama with a passion. He took bribes from Wall Street to save them from prosecution. FUCK THAT MAN.

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You're right, I completely imagined that Hillary's campaign co-chair, Wasserman Schultz, told superdelegates that they should vote for Hillary even if Obama had won their state's caucus or primary.

I studied and watched the '08 campaign more than any other in my life. I correctly picked the winner of all 50 states in the general election. I think Nate Silver did as well. I only got 49 right in 2012; I assumed Romney could at least win Florida.

Obama's problem is that his stature held promise, and he pissed it away. No one expected Biden or Trump to do anything. No one expected Bush to do anything, on account of him being a moron. But he did manage to get us in multiple dumbass wars. Obama is, therefore, the largest disappointment.

I suggest you see a professional about your fixation on him.

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Harpers did a piece on Obama in 2005, Barack Obama, Inc. He was part of The Hamilton Project. He got that speaking slot at the 2004 convention and that vapid speech was hailed as the "best speech evuh". The Black Agenda Report people called this guy out early. So did Adolph Reed in 1997? People didn't want to hear it.

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That being said; it was Obama that was hand-picked to change the trajectory and speed up the nation's downfall. Agenda21 was way behind and needed a kick boost. His installs were still running the country after T came to office. His DOJ shredded our entire justice system and now Biteme is doubling down on it.

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Since Obama first took office, the Federal debt has gone from $10 trillion to $33 trillion.

Our nation’s finances are a mess.

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Now, that I will agree with.

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Obama is part of the Borg, so there’s that

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"I'm not a racist, but..." Sounds like "It's not that I don't like Jewish people, but..." Or "I have gay friends! How can I be anti-LGBTQ?"

I'll take you at your word that you're not a racist, but when you feel you have to announce it, folks may be skeptical. Criticizing a black man, or a white man, or a half-black/half-white man, or a Latina woman, or etc., isn't racist.

Like Dennis Miller on his old HBO show: "No, I don't want to go off on a rant here, but..."

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

Because I am tired of the accusation that any criticism of St. Barack could ever always only be motivated by bigotry and not by his actions.

And let's be frank: St. Barackderives much of his sacred cow status from the fact that he is part-black.

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racist!

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Thanks, human.

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Dunno, from lurking on some of the Democratic media, the rank and file seems to have soured on the guy a bit. I don't hear many calling him a prince of a man like they did after Trump got elected either.

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President Obama AKA GW Bush’s 3rd and 4th terms.

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does this make Uncle Joe Bush's 5th term?

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All in on the 9/11/01 inside job.

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This is why i vote 3rd party now. I've never voted R for potus in my life, and the Dems have become the Republicans i never would have voted for before. Not seeing a lot of difference between say, Nikki Haley and Hillary. I'd vote non-wingnut, non-pro-lifer Libertarians over any of them.

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Barack "My Family is CIA" Obama

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that makes sense at the upper level of authority. but the question Tabbi is asking is why are the rank and file so onboard? Is it just because "their guys" have whip hand?

which would be my answer by the way.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

Because humans are first and foremost, tribal animals. They lack higher sensibilities - ask any cat.

Something I wrote:

For most people most of the time, the fastest and surest way to wind up dead or seriously disadvantaged has been at the hands of fellow humans. At the same time, "our group", whether by faith, family, tribe, regiment, whatever, are the people we can trust to have our back.

Therefore, whatever else happens, whatever we have to do, believe absurdities, blindly follow barking insane leaders, parrot obvious lies to our detriment, do or suffer terrible things, but please whatever you do, please don't kick us out of the group!

Those who have lived in the Third World and in developed countries should have a light come on about now.

What this also means is that when we are presented with incontrovertible proof that the group narrative is wrong or that the group leaders are mad or charlatans or worse, rather than change leaders or change beliefs or change groups, most people, most of the time will instead double down. Witness the behavior of cultists.

The process is called "cognitive dissonance" and it is abundantly documented. As alluded to earlier, there are entire religions organized around the principle.

Cognitive dissonance is not limited to stupid people. In fact, the intelligent are at least as prone, perhaps because they are better at rationalizing. In fact, much so-called "knowledge work" is basically learning symbol manipulation in order to rationalize something.

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

your final point was elucidated by F Scott fitzgerald who said that "to hold two contradictory beliefs in your mind and function was the sign of first rate intelligence."

With regard to the dangerous world you describe it has always been as you say especially in the third world where the sects are small enough that it is easy to stray outside of your territory or have your team be shown as weak in some way, and invite destruction. The secret of the US has been to create a broad set of beliefs, that allowed most, but not all, to operate in a free society without watching our backs. that is disappearing because the people who care about "humanity" but hate people have the whip hand.

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I am revising "The secret of the US has been to create a broad set of beliefs, that allowed most, but not all, to operate in a free society without watching our backs. that is disappearing because the people who care about "humanity" but hate people have the whip hand" to

"A free society disappears when the people who care about "community" but hate people have the whip hand." I am saving it in my 'Sayings Yet to be Famous.' Thank you DMC.

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Your welcome and i applaud the revision. i struggled putting that together. much more succinct

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now back to work

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Yes! Well said.

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Thank you.

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Oh, well that would explain all the stupid smart people I see - like Peggy Noonan.

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obama candidate was created by deepstate. everything about him was manufactured.

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Precisely. And I was so hopeful voting for Obama.... and boy, was he Teflon...because the smallest criticism confirmed one’s racism......

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‘The whip hand ‘, precisely!!!

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I like your pen name, your attitude, and your humor.

El Loco

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Sep 22, 2023·edited Sep 22, 2023

Chirrup!

BTW, cats don't really have names the way humans do. I might call one of the cats I know that "skinny grey queen" and one cat might call me "big annoying tabby " but a different cat might call me something else, depending on her mood and context.

I use the name "Finster" here because Mama used to call me "big paw kitten". Most of the time, anyway.

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Matt,

Come to Princeton, just down the road from you, and as liberal as it gets. I will be happy to provide a venue.

Thanks

MarkHerrCommunications@gmail.com

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Montclair is another very liberal town. Many of the NY press and media live there.

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And home to that Late Night June Taylor Dancer wannabee, Stephen Colbert !!

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Yeah, I was thinking of Princeton, having lived there . . . well, oops in the '60s. Also Summit, New Jersey might be a candidate.

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How about Trenton? I seem to recall a pretty important battle was fought there. Time for another one.

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I think the sad truth is, for a lot of them, they never really held those principles. What they held were partisan, tribal affiliations. When those principles were championed by their political leaders, they championed them too. But as soon as they were no longer politically useful (or even detrimental), they had no qualms jettisoning them.

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The even sadder truth is that description largely applies to most human beings, regardless of political persuasion. It doesn't just apply to "them", it applies to all of us in varying ways and degrees. Similar to the twelve-step program used in addiction recovery, the first step is to recognize we're all vulnerable to tribalism. It is largely our nature to be tribal and to perceive threats from "the other" as existential. That adaptive strategy is what allowed the human species to survive and thrive for the first 99% of human history, which spans roughly 250,000 years. It is no longer the right strategy because, whether we like it or not, the world has gotten much smaller and our ability to change it has gotten so much bigger. The challenge humanity faces is can we evolve fast enough to recognize that and learn from it as a species before we wipe ourselves out.

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Good point. The obverse of Matt's question, and just as important, is "Why did self-described liberals leave the Democratic Party?" I'm sure those people would say they maintained their principles (or that the Democrats left them). But is it that simple?

Most peoples accept totalitarian society if it makes them feel safe.

I'm a contrarian. I like to hear discussions of important issues. And as Groucho Marx said, " I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member."

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Excellent point. I made a lengthy comment about this being common amongst elderly people I know, even when presented with facts and data they seem unable to incorporate new info into their world view. Maybe an age thing, but the tribal and partisan affiliation may be key in this example I make. It's sure weird!

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Maybe it has something to do with which old people you know, rather than a category that can be generalized. I started with the Peace and Freedom Party in San Francisco in 1968, my first time eligible to vote. The Democratic Party was to the right of my thinking, then and even more so now. This is one old person who voted for Jill Stein and, if I decide to participate yet again, in the fraud that passes for elections in the USA, I am going to vote for Dr. Cornel West.

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Good point! They are people who don't know each other but we're all in the Seattle area so same geo demographics. They all are from varied backgrounds and professions. It's only a handful, though, so small sample size. Re: your comment on fraudulent election, the parties and voting Green/ Indie = one of these senior friends informed me yesterday that voting other than Dem is voting for a totalitarian, even if it's an independent affiliation. If we don't vote for a main political party we're voting for an authoritarian government. I'm still pondering that one. You and I probably agree both major parties are one and the same. Best of luck to your candidate and to all of us in 2024! Thank you for your reply.

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Sounds like "ageism" to me. I am 86 but don't hear anything from the young people around me including my own family.

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Thank you for your reply! I was thinking it had to do with how media has changed for us, and with regards to the particular older (my age and up) friends I was speaking of - they have supreme trust in the main stream media and regard Substack or any alternate media, independent journalism as unreliable or 'conspiracy' news. Younger people are possibly overall more comfortable with the shift in how we get our information, it seems to me. I didn't mean to be derogatory and apologize if you interpreted it as ageism. But you and I are here, on Substack! So that's cool. I would love to hear any additional thoughts you might have on the shift in media sources or if you think my impression may just be invalid. Best wishes to you, Barbara, and thank you for taking the time to share your thought.

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True that many older people are technically challenged compared to the young.

But today they don't even teach Civics in school anymore. How many of the young know anything about civil liberties. I used to belong to ACLU but groups like these are infiltrated these days. Democracy is gone.

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Most “older” people are not challenged by technology, having been employed from the late 90’s, and necessarily mastering each change that occurs. Unless you are speaking of “old old”, that is, 85 and older.

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i agree here. most people's political loyalty is similar to their loyalty to their favorite sports team. there's no intellect, philosophy, or principals involved.

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Kudos, Matt ... this is how you do it!

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Hi Matt. I live in Greenwich, CT. Definitely driving distance from NJ and enough limousine liberals that you might be able to draw the crowd you describe. Lots of good venues and I could help you find somewhere appropriate. I am a big fan of your work.

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Can you supply Matt with a pair of Breton Reds and Gucci loafers??? 😉

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Make sure you have security to deal with the inevitable presence of masked antifa. The idea of no longer having free speech needs to be enforced you know by the thug division.

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Matt, you may end up with an FBI-infiltrated crowd, like the Jan 6 protesters. Everyday Americans are under attack from their own government.

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count on it. honey pot opportunity.

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The upside is that now we know it and the numbers waking up to this fact are on the rise. It doesn't take armed militias to confront it, as I like to remind my conservative friends. As the Lenin Shipyard workers in Poland in the early 80's showed, it just takes resolve, solidarity, and a willingness to suffer, and we can beat these tyrants.

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We see that with anywhere Riley Gaines goes. No longer any free speech zones.

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And have a good microphone so those sheep from Animal Farm don't drown you out with their bleating.

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Everyone bring your own ski mask and umbrella.

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Cambridge, MA (3.5 hour drive but this is the mecca of the sort of people Matt is referring to)

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Matt-you should think about doing it on cape cod, in Falmouth/woods hole. This place is filled with the exact sort of liberal you are referring to: for as long as I can remember they all get together twice a week to hold signs and protest on the village green in the center of town. In the Bush era it was “no blood for oil,” and now it’s the de rigeur progressive stuff that seems so incompatible: one day recently they protested Tucker Carlson being allowed a platform on Twitter. These are all wonky academics, many retired after careers in Cambridge, who would absolutely show up in droves, and would be guaranteed to be PISSED.

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Sep 23, 2023·edited Sep 23, 2023

I was going to suggest Falmouth as well. Every weekend they used to protest by the post office on Main Street as well, with the same signs. Ukraine flags everywhere now.

All the MBL and WHOI scientists are basically who Matt is talking about.

I’m not sure of a venue though, any ideas?

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Perhaps the venue the local theater company uses? Or like the guv fuller complex? Could even do it at like the seacoast or the falmouth inn

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Bonus: going down the Cape in the fall can be a treat :)

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Yes, one of the first to jettison its, and the nation's, founding. From teaching theology to dictating obedience to the progressive state.

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Man, describing it that way just paints a hellish picture.

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Now that 'hellish' is even a better description.

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Do you think it would ever occur to Cambridge's residents that their actions represent the actions of decadent citizens in "late stages" empire and *not* the actions of the vanguard of those on the "right side of history"?

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I wish it was just Cambridge. Since the Whig party appeared exactly 200 years ago, MA’s governorship has been a mix; 38 Republicans and 20 Democrats. However, these past 40 years voters have provided the Dems full control of the House and Senate.

The saying ‘they know not what they do’ comes to mind. My mother was born there as was her entire father’s family back to seven Pilgrim families on the Mayflower. My mother’s material grandmother goes back to the landing of the Puritans in 1630. So you can see why my original comment. They founded Harvard.

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MA only ever elects a certain milquetoast, Uber-establishmentarian sort of “Republican,” and even then they do so reluctantly, in the belief that its the only way to place a handbrake on the worst of beacon hill’s taxation fever dreams. I mean hell, the most recent pre-Baker “GOP” MA gov enacted such comprehensive universal healthcare that Obama viewed it as aspirational

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