Contributors

Showing posts with label conservatives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conservatives. Show all posts

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Thank You, Gun Cult and Steve Bannon!

When an enemy reveals their strategy to you, listen.

Steve Bannon, in his interview with the American Prospect.

“The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

Kevin Baker, Gun Blogger. recently on Quora.

Ok, one more time: the "gun manufacturer's lobby" is the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The NRA represents ~5 million dues-paying members and probably double that, if not more, in other citizens who aren't members, but who VOTE.

Bloomberg's millions of gun-control dollars (greed) have not and will not overcome millions of voters. Why is it that Democrats only seem to like democracy when the vote goes their way? As the saying goes, after every incidence of 'gun violence' they always want to take the rights of the people who DIDN'T do it. Well, we VOTE. WE vote, not the NRA.

So, if the Democrats change how they talk about racism and identity politics in similar way to how the LGBTQ community won (gay marriage becomes marriage equality), Bannon won't "have 'em" anymore. Thanks for the reveal, Steve!

And, if the gun safety folks get more people to vote, then they win too? Right now about 11 percent of the voting public wants to ban guns. That's over 20 million people. Compare that to the mere 5 million people in the NRA. Forget about Bloomberg's millions. More voters is all we really need. Thanks, Kevin!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Conservative Website First Funded Anti-Trump Research by Firm That Later Produced Dossier

Whenever conservatives start foaming at the mouth about Hillary Clinton did, give it about 48 hours and it will eventually come out that it was really them that started it all.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trump Cozies Up To The City Mice



And I am going to LMAO re-attach it and laugh it off again when Trump supporters wonder WTF?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

What A Week!

Hey, conservatives, Mike Pence looking more attractive these days?

The presidency of Donald Trump really went into the shitter this week as he all too willingly fell into the "Cult of Both Sides" defense of the Nazis and other white supremacists that were marching in Charlottesville, VA last weekend. Like the right wing bloggers and commenters that worship him, Trump tried to dodge the responsibility of fomenting racist assholes by making it seem like liberals are bad and stuff too. 

This drew swift condemnation from many people across the political spectrum and Trump has grown increasingly isolated from his own party. Senator Corker from Tennessee recently questioned his competence and capacity to serve as president. Business leaders withdrew from his economic councils, ultimately causing their collapse. Steve Bannon was fired from his position as Chief Strategist. What does it all mean?

Not all that much when you take a look at the polls. The problem isn't really Trump and we need to start shifting away from him. The problem is his supporters. The polls show they are sticking with him even if the majority of the country is not. I saw a lot of liberals in my news feed delighted at Bannon being gone. Who cares? Bannon isn't the problem. Trump isn't the problem. They are merely playing to a need that's out there. This need is pretty fucking dark if you consider they are willing to excuse literal Nazis being emboldened and moving to act. So, what are our options in deal with these people?

The best option is to build a larger and sustaining coalition that buries them at the polls in EVERY SINGLE ELECTION, including the odd year, local elections. The only reason why they win is due to complacency. It has nothing to do with their message being more popular. They simply are better voters. The good guys need more and better voters.

The second best option is to let them fuck up in the sunlight. The age of social media means you can't really do anything anonymously anymore. Take a look at what happened to some of the marchers in last week's protests in Charlottesville. Or how about Crying Chris Cantwell? Most of these folks talk a good game but, in the final analysis, they are limp noodles. Don't try to ban them from your college campus or stop their open and lawful protest. Give them a mic and let them talk. Put them out in front of every major news organization on television and online. If good people are going to build larger and sustaining coalitions to stop them, they need to have a continual reminder about what we are up against.

Stop attacking Trump. That doesn't mean that you can't relay what he has done or said. Since he thrives on the attention, take it away from him and put it on the people that support him. They are going to be around a lot longer than he is. The good news is that there are more of us than there are of them. Let's use that advantage wisely.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Tribes+Trolls=Epic Fail

The last few days have seen me come to a stark realization about Trump and his supporters. They don't know what to do now that they are governing so they can't govern. How do you lead when your core ideology is to be contrarian?

I base this on two cold and rational facts. First, these are very tribal people. If you are in The Cult, you can do whatever you want. You can stand in the middle of the 5th Avenue and shoot someone and no one will care. Fareed Zakaria explores this in depth in the video below.



Take this information and couple it with this.



So, we have a very tribal people who exist only to troll. Where does that leave us? With this...

If you had told me six years ago that the American Left would be self-destructing as rapidly and violently as they appear to be today, I'd have had you committed. But bear in mind, their "long march through the institutions" has secured their (ever more tenuous) grasp on the reins of power. They own academia, the media, and the entertainment industry almost completely, and that's still a lot of power, power they won't surrender easily.

Before I get back to my original point...hmm...let's see...Donald Trump has been a successful member of the media and entertainment industry for several decades. And he's their champion? Wow, Just wow...talk about being conned...hook, line and sinker...

More importantly (and back to my original point), this proves that they can't fucking govern. It's still all the liberal elite's fault and all they know is plots, secret conspiracies, and being a whiny troll. Never in my life have I seen a group of people so incapable of reflection. They won. They run the entire government. And still, somehow, they take ZERO responsibility for their fuck up after fuck up.

When they lose next year (and it's going to be massive), the cognitive dissonance is going to be nuclear.


Thursday, August 03, 2017

One Republican That Owns It

Jeff Flake is one Republican who is owning the Trump Era. While the rest of the conservatives out there continue to blame Hillary Clinton, the media and smug liberals for what is clearly the complete and total incompetence of their dear leader, Flake is calling it like it is. And he has some advice.

So, where should Republicans go from here? First, we shouldn’t hesitate to speak out if the president “plays to the base” in ways that damage the Republican Party’s ability to grow and speak to a larger audience. Second, Republicans need to take the long view when it comes to issues like free trade: Populist and protectionist policies might play well in the short term, but they handicap the country in the long term. Third, Republicans need to stand up for institutions and prerogatives, like the Senate filibuster, that have served us well for more than two centuries.

Will they listen?




Monday, July 03, 2017

Mission Accomplished, Conservatives Rejoice!

Check out this headline from NPR.

Americans Say Civility Has Worsened Under Trump; Trust In Institutions Down

From the article...

Seven in 10 Americans say the level of civility in Washington has gotten worse since President Trump was elected, while just 6 percent say the overall tone has improved. Twenty percent say it's stayed the same. For comparison, 35 percent in 2009 said civility in the country had declined in the U.S. following President Obama's election, per a Gallup survey. Eight years ago, 21 percent of Americans in that poll thought civility and the tone of discourse in the country had improved.

And few people have a high level of trust in many of the institutions that are the backbone of American democracy. Only intelligence and law enforcement agencies like the CIA and the FBI engender much goodwill, with 60 percent saying they have some degree of trust in them.

I can practically hear the cheers from conservatives. They want people arguing and they want faith in the government low. Mission Accomplished!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Why They Win And We Lose

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Andrew Jackson Was Not Alive During The Civil War

Andrew Jackson died in 1845, 16 years before the Civil War started. This is a fact. Yet, Donald Donald Trump on Monday once again defied the history books, this time claiming that Andrew Jackson was “really angry” about the Civil War and puzzled why a deal wasn’t cut to avoid the war altogether. Let's set aside yet another historical mistake by our president and look at the real problem.

Trump's base is as dumb as he is about history. They make up whatever shit suits their mouth foaming and pass it off as fact. Call them on it and you are a smug elite liberal who needs to be taught a lesson. Most hypocritically, you aren't even allowed to call them a dumb ass...just as they or their dear leader would say so bluntly. Only they can "tell it like it is." Because when librals do it they are all mean and stuff!!

Such precious little snowflakes...no wonder they get all pissed off about PC shit and people being offended all the time. It's really themselves they are angry at!

So, how many mistakes does this make? Let's see...Frederick Douglas is still alive...Abraham Lincoln was not a Republican...and a plaque that is dedicated to a Civil War battle that never happened.

Wow...

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Research behind the "Carnage"

Since the president took office, people have been wondering why so many voters have been acting against their best interest in supporting Trump's agenda. Thankfully, we now have the answer in the form of peer reviewed research.

Essentially, there has been a deep, mental illness that has been metastasizing in the white community for the last 20 years. As the authors note...

This paper documents a marked increase in the all-cause mortality of middle-aged white non-Hispanic men and women in the United States between 1999 and 2013. This change reversed decades of progress in mortality and was unique to the United States; no other rich country saw a similar turnaround. The midlife mortality reversal was confined to white non-Hispanics;

The data they reveal is stunning. And it honestly explains why these folks gravitated towards Trump. They see a guy who is wealthy and lives in an ivory tower. That could be me, they think, and all of their problems would be solved. Never mind the fact that this is not how curing mental illness works and they would likely continue to have the same problems, they are all in!

Trump played into this malaise and continues to do so. Like the late night huckster promising riches (in this case, ideological ones), Trump is the cure for all that ails them. If the Democrats want to make serious gains next year in the midterms, this study should be the basis for their message. These people are hurting and they need help. Real help...as opposed to the vanity fueled nonsense that Trump is offering them.










Friday, March 10, 2017

Basket of Incompetents

When Hillary Clinton made her famous comment regarding Trump supporters as a "Basket of Deplorables," she should have said "Basket of Incompetents." Yesterday's revelation that former NSA adviser Michael Flynn acted as a foreign agent for Turkey during the campaign last year is yet another sign that Trump and his team are completely clueless.

That's assuming, of course, that they didn't know. If they did know, then that pretty much negates all their bitching and hysteria about Hillary Clinton and the pay for play shit with the Clinton Global Initiative. Regardless, I find it hilarious, in a tragic and sad way, that, once again, we see conservatives accusing liberals of doing the very thing they are doing. All of this brings up a larger issue that has crystallized for me recently.

Conservatives are putzes.

A putz is defined as a stupid or worthless person that engages in inconsequential or unproductive behavior That's really their biggest problem. While they hyper obsess over the Clinton Global Initiative and whether or not Hillary got the debate questions ahead of time, they ignore the larger problem of Russian involvement in the election and serious issues like climate change. They take offense and whine about smug liberals who call them names (basket of deplorables) while bemoaning PC culture and safe spaces. I guess they appreciate all that straight talk but only if it's denigrating ideological opponents.

Digging deeper, I think they know they are putzes and that's why we see the poor behavior, including their current leader. They lash out, throw tantrums, spout nonsense, and then whine that we don't understand them. Why? Because they feel inferior, inadequate and insecure (the dreaded three I's!) in the face of intelligent and accomplished people.

I guess we are going to have to pay for this as a nation for a while.


Sunday, March 05, 2017

Creating Their Own Safe Space

Today's Strib had a piece in it about pro Trump supporters and their protest at the state capital today in St. Paul. Two parts jumped out at me.

The rally was one of several held around the nation Saturday by a loosely organized group called March4Trump. Word about it was spread largely via social media. Many at the Capitol expressed deep mistrust of the mainstream news media, with some livestreaming the event on social media.

Most on the right think the media is liberal, liars, fake news etc. Doesn't this mean that they are just like liberals in creating their own safe spaces?

Yes. Yes it does.

They refuse to accept any information that isn't to their liking. They summarily reject critical thinking and, well, FACTS. Worse, they think liberals do the same thing. Hint: we don't. We read and see all the same news they do but recognize nonsense when we see it.

Here was the other part that interested me.

Steven LaMont, a 30-year-old plumber from Rush City in Chisago County, came to St. Paul with a group of friends. He, too, blasted negative characterizations of Trump supporters, saying voters like him backed Trump because the middle class has been squeezed by policymakers in Washington. "I'm sick of the hard left always putting a label on individuals, like you're a racist, you're homophobic, you're this or that, and they don't even know who we are," LaMont said. "People voted for Trump not just because of who he is. We voted for him because we're the squished middle class."

This is why Trump won. The same people that voted for Obama twice voted for Trump. Democrats need to figure out exactly why and use that going forward. It's going to be easy because Trump isn't going to deliver.

Oh, and btw, why are Trump supporters just normal folk when they protest but liberals are "paid" protesters?

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Befuddling Line of Whine

With all the political talk at last night's Oscar ceremony, there are sure to be howls of derision from the right over how Hollywood just doesn't get it and they better be careful about who they criticize if they want to win more elections. I guess the right assumes that everyone in California votes for Democrats even the big studio execs.

This line of whine has always befuddled me. Isn't this the same group of folks that bitch about people being two faced and wishing they would be more honest? Being too PC and not allowing the country to speak their mind?

I guess the right has exclusivity when it comes to being abrasive and honest. And they clearly can't take what they dish out every single fucking day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Republican Brain Part Eight: Don't Get Defensive

The last time we looked inside Chris Mooney's insightful and amazing book, The Republican Brain, conservatives and how they respond to authority was viewed through the cognitive lens. After the results of the 2016 election, this has never been more important. In fact, all of Mooney's book should be read by Democrats who want to win in the midterms in 2018 and take back the presidency in 2020.

In the next section we will be looking at, "Don't Get Defensive," Mooney cautions that people tend to get defensive when we talk about psychology and neuroscience. Mental health is a very personal issue for most Americans and there is still a great stigma attached to it. Considering that conservatives brains are on display in this book, Mooney spends the next chapter considering the possible outrage over what he has said.

Mooney with an outline of the chapter and summary of what is to come. He wonders whether it's fair to lump all conservatives together. Certainly a libertarian is vastly different from a Christian conservative. And don't conservatives lump liberals together? Can liberals be just as close minded as conservatives? The answer, based on what we have seen so far, is no and it's, once again, because of neuroscience. But what about independents? There sure are plenty of them. Can someone also be converted from left to right or vice versa? Mooney states that the left-right conversion is fairly easy if one employs fear and distraction. So here is Mooney, poking holes into this own research.

Who's a conservative...really? The answers to this question certainly varies from country to country. England's conservatives are ideologically more akin to our moderate liberals. When people answer questions on surveys about their ideology, invariably it's in opposition to something. Given that the word "liberal" has been effectively demonized in the United States, many people claim to be more conservative than they actually are out of fear of being looked down upon. Yet, John Jost's research (here and here) shows that there is a consistency in terms of behavior and political conservatism, even across countries.

What do all conservatives share? This question can best be answered by looking at the common traits, psychologically speaking, that most conservatives share. They are not as open to the world as liberals and fear change. New experiences frighten them and they are resistant to progress. Recall William F Buckley when he declare that the National Review "stands athwart history yelling Stop!!" Mooney, in one has to be an epic foreshadowing, notes, "the change that conservatives seek is not progressive; rather it is in the direction of restoring something they perceive as prior and better."

Like making America great again? :)

Mooney goes on to correctly note that the earlier status quo may not be one that ever existed. As long as they think it did, that's what drives their policies and agenda.

Why aren't we psychoanalyzing liberals too? Well, we are. There are an equal number of studies that show that liberals are more prone to appeasement and indecision than are conservatives. Again, this is merely because of the way their brains are made. Like conservatives, liberals tend to allow emotions affect their decision making process and the result is indecision and appeasement. Mooney notes for us all to remember that belief systems address psychological needs, whatever the ideology may be.

What about the difference between economic and social conservatives? While there are some differences, it's important to note here that both employ the "work hard and you will get ahead" model. Most conservative Christians I know are also die hard capitalists. It doesn't matter that they accept Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" economically but not spiritually. The root force is still there: pull yourself up by your bootstraps and don't rely on the government.

What about the cultural cognition model? Let's recall the basic traits of conservatives and liberals. Conservatives are generally hierarchical/individual types while liberals are egalitarian-communitarian types. Isn't there something in the liberal personality type that would lead them to reject the science of something like nuclear power or vaccines in the same way that conservatives reject climate change? Not quite, notes Mooney. Cultural cognition models do show us interesting things about liberal reaction to these issues but they still don't react in the same way as conservatives do. They may understate the research or spin it but they don't outright reject it.

What about leftist regimes? Well, they aren't really all that "left" when you think about it. Communist regimes say that they are egalitarian but they usually end up being authoritarian and thus share more in common with a conservative psychological framework.

What about left wing ideologues? Extremism is extremism, right? I hear this all the time. Both sides are just as bad, especially as you move out from the center. Yet the evidence does not support this assertion. Conservatives are far worse in terms of rigidity and inflexibility. Researcher John Jost conducted 13 separate studies and not a single one showed increased rigidity on the left. They ALL showed it on the right, however. In fact, when Jost run more studies, he found that the more extreme one was on the left hand side of the spectrum, the more open they were. Robert Altemeyer confirmed this when he went on a search for the Loch Ness Monster of political psychology-the left wing authoritarian. He found none but did find plenty of right wing authoritarians.

If you stop and think about it logically for a moment, all of this makes sense. Liberals' biggest fault is their penchant for being too flexible and changing their minds often. That is psychologically valid. So, how on earth could they be authoritarian?

Why not better distinguish conservatives from authoritarians? Consider the three basic groups of conservatives: libertarians, status quo folks, and out and out authoritarians. The reason Mooney doesn't distinguish between these three types are that each one still has that fear of uncertainty, rigidity and antipathy towards progress. This gibes with what I have always seen which is that even libertarians have closet authoritarians inside of them:)

What about centrists and independents? Let's take a look at the four types of independents.

Libertarians: Lean conservative.
Post Moderns: Young, hip, secular, pro-environment, not very liberal, in the classical sense, on economic issues
Disaffected: Financially stressed, hate politics (AKA Trump voters)
Bystanders: Young, not politically engaged

In looking at these four types, we can see that these folks aren't really centrist at all. Sure, they don't want to be labelled as a "Democrat" or a "Republican" but libertarians and disaffecteds are really conservatives and postmoderns are more liberal. Psychologically, Mooney's classification system still applies. The libertarians and the disaffecteds are less open to change with the post moderns more flexible and more open to new experiences.

What about political conversions? In the final section of this chapter, Mooney takes a look at the psychological triggers that cause these shifts. Too much authoritarianism may cause some conservatives to shy away from populous shifts within the GOP. Fear invariably causes liberals to become more conservative.

Linda Skitka of the University of Illinois in Chicago set up a study in which both liberals and conservatives were asked to stop and think about what they were proposing to check on fear as a motivating factor. Participants were asked to consider different groups of people who have AIDS and whether or not they should receive government assisted help for their disease. Some of the AIDS victims got through no fault of their own and others got it just because they were careless. Both liberals and conservatives said that the latter group should not get government help but after some considering, liberals' natural psychological tendencies kicked in and they said they should. Conservatives did not waiver. Yet, if liberals were asked to do another task, like listening to music while considering this decision, they behaved just like conservatives.

Mooney also notes a University of Arkansas study in which alcohol and political ideology were studies. Scott Eidelman and his team of researchers literally set up shop outside of a campus bar and found that when people drink, they become more conservative. This makes sense because booze disrupts cognitive reasoning and more emotional responses take over. In looking at the states that went for Trump last November, one can see higher incidences of alcohol, particularly in the Rust Belt, and drug abuse.  I'll have more on this later as I think it directly relates to how Democrats have to connect with disaffected voters who left them and went for Trump.

So, in looking at all these question, research shows we came back with the same answers. The conservative brain responds much differently than the liberal brain despite a critical look. The peer reviewed evidence holds up under scrutiny. But what about the actual physical makeup of the brain? Can we see actual differences between conservative brains and liberal brains? That's the topic of the next chapter. Are conservatives from the amygdala?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Just Awesome

From an answer on Quora...

Conservatives are more persuaded by passion than facts. Conservatism has a lot of religious people where logic and facts just aren't comfortable to them. Most internet trolls are conservatives not actually interested in discussion but just jabbing at people's sore spots to get a reaction. It's why so many people hate conservatives and will never listen to a genuinely logical conservative argument with a clear mind. For every genuinely interesting conservative I've talked to, there's about a hundred despicable bullies. 

Hmm...reminds me of my comments section before I fixed it:)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Are They Persuadable?

Nate Silver has a piece up about what a Clinton landslide would look like. Given the latest polls, this is indeed an interesting possibility to explore. With all this talk, Republicans are trying to find a way to cut themselves loose from Trump, especially given that the Senate is really, really bad for them right now.

Ron Johnson in Wisconsin and Mark Kirk are toast. Pat Toomey and Kelly Ayotte are looking pretty much the same. Ohio, Florida, and North Carolina are all within striking distance. A big turnout by the Dems to stop Trump will flip at least 2 out of those three states.

Donald Trump continues to be a horrible candidate for the GOP but what other choice do they have? This is who the majority of the people in their party voted for and he represents a common sentiment among conservative, non educated whites who feel as though they are being left behind by the progress in the world. I've written previously about this and think that we ought to just leave them behind given their anger, hate and fear. I mean, they are assholes, no?

Check out this recent discussion on Morning Joe (aka the best political talk show on TV).


 I'm definitely going to be picking up Vance's book and checking it out. And I have to admit that their optimism about the Trump folks being persuadable is infectious. Can they be persuaded?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Dressing More Conservatively