Democrats Need to Try Harder

Yes, Republicans need to do some serious soul searching. But so do Democrats. I’m so tired of the Democratic trope about working class white people being bamboozled into voting against their economic self interest. I’m not asking for a civics or history lesson with this post. Trust me, I get it. I’ve studied these things at high levels for many years. So have many of you. What I am asking for, though, is a bold plan from Democrats to convince those white working class voters that Democrats have something better to offer than Republicans. Many rank-and-file working-class white people, especially in rural areas, don’t trust you, Democrats. Many of them trust plutocratic billionaires more. Why? Well, your nominee is a plutocratic millionaire, so there’s that. But they also just don’t believe that you’ll do anything for them economically, because they believe you haven’t so far. Some of you (and I stress “some”) are so busy deriding these people, referring to their communities as flyover country, and mocking them for not getting that you, and only you, care about helping them, that you never stop to consider that your party’s pathetic lack of traction with them might partially be on you. Then, when Republicans come along and say that you don’t care about them, that you’re out of touch with them and their values, you blame the Republicans for pandering. If you’re so great for working class white people, it should be easy to prove it. You should be winning this election easily. But people don’t trust you and they don’t trust Clinton. They also don’t trust the systems that you and your kissing Republican cousins have built for the last half-century. Those of them that support Trump get to swipe at you and at the establishment Republicans in one move. All of that said, I remain neither a Democrat nor a Republican, and cannot wait to vote for Jill Stein.

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D’etre and D’etat: The Difference Between Jesus and Church

I worked at a big fat church for a few years once.

For about five minutes of those few years, the staff was charged to “live in the republic of ideas.”  I wrote what follows earlier today, but it strikes me as the difference between the Kingdom of God’s raison d’etre and the raison d’etat so many churches live and ultimately die by:

It occurs to me that our use of terms like “industrial” or “industrialized” nation reveals rather efficiently the willingness of our power elites (political and economic) to sacrifice most of us for personal gain; to spiritually, emotionally, and economically destroy the creative, academic, merchant and truly small-business class (let’s call it the bourgeoisie) right along with the cynically styled “working class.” We bourgeoisie and/or proletarians freely mingle, and not-so-freely mimic the choices of the power elites (be they Clintons or Romneys) with what we’re told are consumer “choices” but are really the gasping acts of hanging-on desperately performed by human agents too exhausted from surviving to enact true human agency. This is purely diabolical; if there is a God in heaven, that God must not endorse this system. Surely, the central Christian image of God not in heaven but on a cross is in reaction to the system that enslaved Judea, that murdered John the Baptizer, that found Jesus guilty of blasphemy and sedition. That Christ’s message — God is for the margin and not for the power structures we worship — brought about his death at the hands of those power structures isn’t only a sort of proto-theological poetry, it is the essential Christian fact, the essential Christian witness, the essential Christian claim about the nature and person of God. That Jesus spoke of a kingdom different from those of the Sanhedrin and Rome and Washington and Wall Street and Seattle isn’t some spiritual-only conceit. What Christ called the Kingdom of God is not so-called Christendom, not the so-called Church; it is a physical network of willing rebellion.

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The Inherent Prospect of Melting Ice as Climatological Warfare

This animation by National Geographic may hold the key to explaining why some people don’t want to do anything about rising sea levels.  Look what happens to India and China if all the ice melts. The US loses more area by proportion, but it doesn’t lose a city the size or strategic significance of Beijing.  Are there people willing to let this happen to the world in the larger scope of this too-cynical-for-words real politik?  Maybe? Probably?  Yikes?

Ironically, China itself is the world’s biggest polluter and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases…

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The Search Term School of Political Philosophy: Lightning Round

Someone got here today by searching “politics spirituality soulmate.”

Briefly, what we can tell you is this:  ancient Greek thought in certain schools posited the idea of the soulmate as that broken-off piece of you that, when beheld by you, brought you into wholeness and lifted you and your beloved to a beatific vision of the Divine, or of the Ideal Forms.  Notes Plato in The Symposium:

“According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.”

 

Recently, I saw a headline that said growing up was basically about realizing three things:  there are no soulmates, there are no grown-ups, and it’s okay to not like jazz.

In either case, we’re left to wonder if it’s better to have or to hold in tension, and to make wild guesses about where art comes from.   These things are all related, they all feel informed.

 

 

 

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Ken Cuccinelli: Stop The Widespread Collection Of Americans Metadata

So is THIS the angle with which Republicans will gain some traction? Crudely, progressives fear the tyranny of business more than the tyranny of government; conservatives the inverse. Is it possible to fear both (as we all should) AND legislate with both fears in mind? I think so. Neither major party has been great at that. Too often, once-progressives settle into “liberal” middle-age (think Ed Rendell) and the fear of corporate tyranny goes out the window as the campaign cash comes rolling in. Too often, their conservative counterparts place unbridled faith in the market and its rigged system (often as the campaign cash comes rolling in). And so, let the fight over metadata begin.

CBS Philly

By Dom Giordano

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Ken Cuccinelli, a former candidate for Governor in Virginia, spoke with Dom Giordano today on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, about a lawsuit he filed with Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky against the National Security Agency.

“The NSA sweeping up all of our telephone metadata, the phone numbers we’re calling, who we’re getting calls from, how long those calls are, and all sorts of other things, Americans generally expect that information to be private,” Cuccinelli said laying out his case for protecting what can and cannot be collected by the federal government.

“That expectation of privacy under the 4th Amendment is critical to determining whether the NSA is actually violating the Constitution which we have asserted in this lawsuit we filed,” he said explaining his argument that current levels of data collection have crossed the line into illegality.

Listen to full podcast here…           

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