You need to understand the white Republican point of view. See, culture and tradition and history are very, very important to white people. But those same people can't understand why blacks would be defined by their culture and history.
The essential point for many white conservatives is that blacks not make whites feel bad. They only want to feel good. They want their history nicely whitewashed (heh) and with no disturbing details involving genocide of Indians, or the systematic enslavement, brutalization, rape and murder of blacks.
Their history is so important to them that it must be clean and perfect and exemplary.
Your history is so unimportant that you should simply forget all about it and move on.
This lovely arrangement they define as fairness, and any alternative point of view is "reverse racism."
When you cut through the crap what they want from you is a big, toothy grin, a tugged forelock, and maybe a little dance.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 22.10.2009 @ 08:30
I have a definition of racist: a guy who pretends black people contributed nothing to the creation of our country. Simply "disappears" them from his fantasy history of America. And treats as "others" people whose ancestors were here for 200 plus years before Mr. Buchanan's white ancestors showed up on the boat from Dublin.
News flash for Buchanan: the first blacks arrived in the early 17th century. The Italians, the Irish, most of the Scots and the Germans, (and my people) all showed much later. The average family time line for a black family in America is certainly longer than that for the average white family.
And yet, somehow, in Buchanan's mind, this country is all about white folks, most of whom were Johnny-come-latelys to a country already built and settled in large part by black people.
You just spent 2000 words or so to avoid calling Buchanan a racist. But he is a racist. And you wonder why the GOP gets zero percent of the black vote? Tortured, jesuitical efforts to try and rebrand what everyone with any sense and a shred of honesty knows is plain, bald-faced racism don't help.
Yes: Buchanan is a racist. Yes: He's a Republican. Like most racists in this country have been since the sixties when the GOP decided to pander to racists for electoral profit.
That doesn't mean all the panic is racism, but the fact that all white panic is not racism does not change the fact that Buchanan is a racist, and that Limbaugh and Beck and the other deep-thinkers of the GOP are race-baiters. You guys have got to stop pretending a tumor s a mole.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 21.10.2009 @ 12:14
That's why I'm a Democrat: I prefer corrupt, well-intentioned simpletons to batshit race-baiting nuts.
I'm pretty sure that's what the Founders were going for.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 20.10.2009 @ 11:55
So you visited the sausage factory and were surprised they were grinding up tails and snouts and unnamed organs?
In a perfect world -- no, not even perfect, just rational -- we'd be looking seriously at larger changes, not smaller ones. As Dave Schuler convincingly and persistently argues, we need fundamental changes in the incentive systems built into health care, and we need to increase the supply of health care providers in order to drive down costs.
We need a lot of big changes. But we can't do things that way because the Democrats are half in the bag for the health insurers and doctors and hospitals and the Republicans have decided that their sole contribution to democracy will be repeated expressions of contempt for Mr. Obama.
It's a swell combination: a party of corrupt, gutless simpletons on one side and a party of nihilist loons on the other.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 20.10.2009 @ 11:34
The danger critical thinking poses is primarily to religion. That's why you won't see courses in scientific method or epistemology. Religion is the umbrella beneath which all superstitions flourish.
Particularly in the era of Google and Wolfram Alpha teaching methods aren't just outdated, they're absurd. Now more than ever before it's about how you know what you know, how you weigh sources, how you parse the data. Which is not on the curriculum.
And it won't be on the curriculum because it leads in quite a direct way to agnosticism. Has nothing to do with dead white males, with the possible exception of Jesus Christ.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 19.10.2009 @ 11:54
You've been destroyed every time you open your mouth. But delusional people don't know they're delusional.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 18.10.2009 @ 20:59
To quote Inigo Montoya, you keep using that world elites. I do not think it means what you think it means. Or I suppose more accurately you and I don't agree on what it means. I was using it in reference to economic elites -- the educated, the professional, the well-off, the intelligentsia. It seemed to me that you were identifying yourself as highly educated, thus a member of the economic elite.
I don't think anyone who disagrees with me is uneducated: I think that 90% of people pay very, very little attention to politics or philosophy and don't quite know what they believe or why.
I think that's normal and probably a good thing in most cases. But a lot of people on the right and the left who know dick-all about politics or philosophy nevertheless have strong opinions based on absolutely nothing but lefty or righty propaganda.
Have you been to Europe? Because I've been fairly often, and I have to tell you: they're doing pretty well, over all. So if "socialism" doesn't work, why are all the world's richest nations economically to the left of the USA?Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 18.10.2009 @ 20:44
One of the things Europeans do better than Americans is broaden the definition of human worth beyond wealth. We are the most wealth-obsessed, wealth-worshipping developed nation. We go so far as to conflate wealth with moral virtue and of course poverty with vice and weakness.
Americans insist on believing that hard work and right thinking are the keys to success. But of course it's nonsense. Yes, hard work is helpful, but personal virtue is irrelevant to wealth. In some cases virtue obstructs wealth creation.
And Americans bridle at a more nuanced view that points to genetic inheritance including not just intelligence but personality, family wealth, and sheer dumb luck as major contributors to success.
So you have all these people who sense that the American economy and society at large have passed them by. And they've been raised to worship the market economy, the very engine that has discounted them, and the result is inchoate anger and resentment. Which clever conservatives turn against various scapegoats: immigrants, blacks, liberals, gays.
What these people might do instead is rethink their ideology. They might think "Wait a minute, maybe I'm not a genius, maybe my skill set isn't the greatest, but I'm still a human being, still an American citizen, I should still be able to get medical care and still be able to live a life of dignity with a livable wage."
That's what they should logically conclude. But that would lead them to socialized medicine and a minimum livable wage, and that is anathema to the richer conservatives and their pet propagandists.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 18.10.2009 @ 10:37
You are, by your definition, one of the elite. Although later you call yourself "uneducated." Which is it?Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 18.10.2009 @ 10:18
Ideological conservatives life in a fairy tale world built on self-delusion. They flatter themselves that they are those yeoman farmers of old, strong and independent. But they live in states that take more than they give in federal taxes. They collect Social Security and Medicare and farm subsidies. And those at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder pay far, far less in taxes than they collect in benefits.
It's not the angry teabaggers who carry this country on their backs economically, it's the despised "elites." It's the college-educated, the professionals, the Yuppies and Buppies, the bankers, lawyers, doctors, accountants, businessmen and creatives. It's New York and Los Angeles and Chicago and Seattle where our great industries thrive, where our high value exports come from.
The real problem is not that they are victimized or taken advantage of, it's that they are economically marginalized, not even asked to contribute significantly to the government they endlessly whine about.
The truth is far sadder than their fantasies: people with limited IQ and limited talents -- most of the human race -- are needed and thus valued less and less each passing year. Big slices of the middle class are sinking toward a lower status. They want someone to blame for this and so some blame immigrants and some blame blacks and most blame the government. But none of that's relevant: in cold, calculating capitalist terms, most people are worth less than they used to be.
These people are scared and they should be. Because the free market they've been taught to trust is writing them off, deciding they aren't of much use.
What is contemptible is the conservative elites who exploit these people's fear and redirect it in ways that actively harm the base, and do so for their own profit. Middle class people sliding toward the lower class are told to blame the government and to help protect the fortunes of the fortunate. That's the real genius of conservatism: the ability to convince people to vote and act in ways that hasten their own destruction. Every year the rich get richer, the lower class gets poorer, and the victims on the right applaud.
Thus we have the spectacle of rage-fueled, spittle-flecked lower middle class people on the verge of losing their jobs and health insurance angrily demanding that they be left high and dry and bankrupt.Comment Posted By michael reynolds On 17.10.2009 @ 18:11
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