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Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:00 PM

On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway: Why Is It So Hard for Democrats to Act Like They Actually Won?

Rebecca Solnit nails it, imo- The Pubbies understand that politics is a no-holds-barred rugby game, and too many Democrats it treat like an encounter group.

https://lithub.com/rebecca-solnit-on-not-meeting-nazis-halfway/


...The letters editor headed this section with, “In my decade editing this page, there has never been a period when quarreling readers have seemed so implacably at odds with each other, as if they get their facts and values from different universes. As one small attempt to bridge the divide, we are providing today a page full of letters from Trump supporters.” The implication is the usual one: we—urban multiethnic liberal-to-radical only-partly-Christian America—need to spend more time understanding MAGA America. The demands do not go the other way. Fox and Ted Cruz and the Federalist have not chastised their audiences, I feel pretty confident, with urgings to enter into discourse with, say, Black Lives Matter activists, rabbis, imams, abortion providers, undocumented valedictorians, or tenured lesbians. When only half the divide is being tasked with making the peace, there is no peace to be made, but there is a unilateral surrender on offer. We are told to consider this bipartisanship, but the very word means both sides abandon their partisanship, and Mitch McConnell and company have absolutely no interest in doing that...

...Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito just complained that “you can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. Now it’s considered bigotry.” This is a standard complaint of the right: the real victim is the racist who has been called a racist, not the victim of his racism, the real oppression is to be impeded in your freedom to oppress. And of course Alito is disingenuous; you can say that stuff against marriage equality (and he did). Then other people can call you a bigot, because they get to have opinions too, but in his scheme such dissent is intolerable, which is fun coming from a member of the party whose devotees wore “fuck your feelings” shirts at its rallies and popularized the term “snowflake.”

Nevertheless, we get this hopelessly naïve version of centrism, of the idea that if we’re nicer to the other side there will be no other side, just one big happy family. This inanity is also applied to the questions of belief and fact and principle, with some muddled cocktail of moral relativism and therapists’ “everyone’s feelings are valid” applied to everything. But the truth is not some compromise halfway between the truth and the lie, the fact and the delusion, the scientists and the propagandists. And the ethical is not halfway between white supremacists and human rights activists, rapists and feminists, synagogue massacrists and Jews, xenophobes and immigrants, delusional transphobes and trans people. Who the hell wants unity with Nazis until and unless they stop being Nazis?

I’ve spent much of my adult life watching politicians like Bill Clinton and, at times, Barack Obama sell out their own side to placate the other, with dismal results.


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Reply On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway: Why Is It So Hard for Democrats to Act Like They Actually Won? (Original post)
friendly_iconoclast Saturday OP
DBoon Saturday #1
msongs Saturday #2
BeyondGeography Saturday #3
friendly_iconoclast Saturday #4
BeyondGeography Saturday #5
pat_k Saturday #6
electric_blue68 Monday #7

Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:02 PM

1. Compromise with Nazis results in Poland being invaded

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:06 PM

2. sternly worded letters vs enforced subpoenas. pretty please not effective with repubs ya know nt

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:11 PM

3. This is some absolutely great writing

In fact the whole Republican Party, since long before Trump, has committed itself to the antidemocratic project of trying to create a narrower electorate rather than win a wider vote. They have invested in voter suppression as a key tactic to win, and the votes they try to suppress are those of Black voters and other voters of color. That is a brutally corrupt refusal to allow those citizens the rights guaranteed to them by law. Having failed to prevent enough Black people from voting in the recent election, they are striving mightily to discard their votes after the fact. What do you do with people who think they matter more than other people? Catering to them reinforces that belief, that they are central to the nation’s life, they are more important, and their views must prevail. Deference to intolerance feeds intolerance.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:17 PM

4. It is, and I am beyond tired of being urged to 'reach out' to these assholes

Nothing much good ever seems to come of it

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:26 PM

5. Watching Obama win by 10 million votes and extend his hand to the GOP

only to have it slapped and shoved in his face for eight years should have cured us of that impulse and permanently removed it from the list of viable political strategies.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 21, 2020, 06:35 PM

6. Yes!!

In our defense against baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud we need to keep telling the truth -- that voter suppression tactics were in full swing across the country and MUST be dealt with.

We need more people speaking as strongly. We need our leaders to keep voter suppression front and center. Voter fraud has consistently been proven to be infinitesimal. Voter suppression real.

I get very concerned with all the blanket statements of how wonderfully this past election was run -- statements that fail to point out the long lines in urban areas, absence of drop boxes, interference with the postal system, and a disproportionate number of African American votes discounted. Just because the people targeted were hell bent on overcoming the barriers does NOT mean we should not mount a massive campaign to eliminate those barriers.

I am also a bit uncomfortable with blanket defense of black box voting. Just because the grand conspiracy is baseless, does not mean that black box voting is not vulnerable.

We need or own massive and serious project to broaden the electorate. Universal vote-by-mail seems to me to be the best system to lobby for.

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Response to friendly_iconoclast (Original post)

Mon Nov 23, 2020, 03:49 AM

7. Yeah, I really like that bolded section.

I'm generally a nice, and considerate person to all kinds of people in general; that's how I was raised. I also will be assertive, and even nasty if I feel I must be esp to counter cruel /or racist, sexist people.

Sometimes you just can't "make nice" with some of these people.
I do understand that sometimes that kind of patience etc does bring a chang of heart - I've read genuine stories of ex white sumpremisists. Not often - but it has happened.

We'll have to see. I'm not expecting much, and eyes open for whatever crap they'll probably pull. Ugh.

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