After reading a Tom Friedman column, Steve M. asks:
How do we get it across to the insiders that right-wingers are crazier than that, that unless rising public outrage utterly crushes them — i.e., crushes them much more thoroughly than in 2008, which is extremely unlikely — they will continue to force a choice between stalemate forever and total Koch-o-crat, Scott Walker-style wingnut victory nationwide? How do we explain that they will never accept any other alternative? They will not back down, no matter what happens to America. They won’t back down even if Obama/Biden beat Palin/Bachmann in a Nixon-in-’72-size landslide (because even if that happens, they’ll still probably win both houses of Congress, as the Democrats did in ’72).
I was talking to a local (mostly apolitical) journalist the other day who told me that this is hopeless, that the simple fact is that Friedman and others benefit, career-wise, from playing the “centrist”, both-sides-do-it game.
Ultimately, brown people and the relative sanity of today’s younger white people will probably save us from collapsing into a Franco-style system. In the meantime, Republicans will become more and more unhinged while Villagers tell us that they’re pretty much the same as Democrats.
I hope you’re right, but I’m pretty sure there were plenty of relatively sane younger people in 1935 Spain and it still didn’t seem to work out very well for them. What’s different here and now, in your opinion?
Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel)
@Joey Maloney: The rising tide of brown people.
m_c would’ve liked to have typed that. sniff
I fear you seriously overestimate the sanity of young white people. Have you met many young white people? My work has brought me into contact with a lot of them, and as a group, they don’t seem any more sane or engaged than any other cohort. There is probably slightly less homophobia, but that’s about it.
Well, isn’t part of the problem that it’s not just the Villagers saying that? There are a vocal number of liberal commentators who like to argue that there is no difference between the parties. If the left can’t get unified behind a message that it matters (especially over the long term) whether Democrats or Republicans are elected, I don’t see why we can reasonably expect political insiders to be convinced of that view.
Comrade, that is so cute, thinking we’ll ultimately be saved. As if voting makes a difference (Obama). As if popular opinion makes a difference (taxing the rich v. cutting SS). As if our rulers gave a shit about what happens to anyone but themselves (“what’s in it for me” is the motor of capitalism). As if our rulers couldn’t hire one-half of the working class to shoot the other half. I’m tired of caring, of hoping. It’s really a lot easier to just laugh and laugh and laugh . . . which I intend to do if I can ever just stop my screaming which is really hurting my ears.
I know I keep harping on this, but the soon-to-arrive Hispanic majority is not a lock for the Democratic party (see what just happened in Utah – the GOP is wising up fast on the issue of immigration) and as far as them being the agent of some kind of transmission of sanity into our political system…dude, have you ever taken a serious look at Mexican politics? You should, it’s terrifying. Their current president was purchased and installed by the drug cartels. The last one was purchased and installed by Coca-Cola. Same with their representatives. All held in corporate and/or cartel bondage. And nobody who lives there seems to have a big problem with it being that way, just so long as they get a share of the action as well.
I love ya, Doug, but damn, this might be the dumbest thing you’ve ever posted.
Are you kidding me? Villagers?
Go visit FDL, DK or HuffPo … Lefty BLOGGERS are the ones pushing that meme.
The only exceptions libs give are Kucinich, Pelosi and Franken.
In fact, they’ll tell you that Obama is WORSE than Bush!
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
I can only hope you’re right, Comrade.
Mr Stagger Lee
I am not that optimistic, it should be noted that the infamous group the National Alliance is youth oriented,plus when white skin privilege is threatened, I don’t care how old you they are, it is going to be defended as the holy grail. And when the story that Whites will become the minority in America the mid 2000’s becomes fact, the GOP will be like the National Party of Apartheid South Africa, defenders of the Volk. No I think the end of wingnut in America will not be seen by all of us in our lifetimes
An interesting story in the Seattle Times this morning about interracial marriage and mixed race children in Mississippi. the number is up 70% from the 2000 census. It is up by similar numbers in a number of other states and the national figure (not yet released) is expected to be up by about 50%. The time they are a-changin’, and it may take several generations, but when a substantial percentage of your population is either “minority” or mixed race, the “good old boys” network is going to fade away.
well part of it comes down to irrelevancy, namely how many people continue to use the mainstream sources for their information? We can wax poetically about Bobo and Sully and their ilk but lets face it, many of us have clued in to just how freaking dense they are, so much so that they can’t see from outside their own navels. I come here, to Driftglass and the GOS to get informed and read opinions and ideas and then form my own (once I get past my initial snarkiness). the “old” media is dead, it just doesn’t know it yet. Networking is done via blogs and facebook and twitter and the word gets passed around versus sitting in the Starbucks and reading the paper.
I wish I could be so optimistic, but this doesn’t seem to follow from the history of the South. They have always had a significant (even majority in some places) minority population, and their good old boy network thrived all the same.
As a young white person who knows lots of young white people, it saddens me to say that you are correct. Both the data and anecdotal evidence shows that young people are consistently less informed and involved than even the average older citizen. Some certainly are, but the vast majority are not. Eventually they (we?) will mature politically, but it remains to be seen what the outcome of that will be.
You are correct about homophobia (and this probably extends to racial issues too), as younger people tend to be more accepting of gays and subjects like gay marriage.
There is perhaps a worrisome condescension here. Why do you think that you are worth “saving” by “brown people?” do you really think that nonwhite people have nothing else going on in their lives except for worrying about WATBs? What do you have to contribute to the larger struggle aside from your sense of exhaustion and helplessness?
If you have no fight in you now, what use are you?
@Brachiator: In 2008, the third highest turnout ever, white women broke for McCain, 53-46 and white men went for McCain 57-33. White people make up roughly 70% of the electorate, so it’s not condescension, as “brown people saving” you is the only way the country moves forward.
@Parallel 5ths (Irish Steel): It’s ok P5. It’s gonna be ok. We’ll get through this together.
@Corner Stone: I’m not missing her as much as I should. That could be a moral failing on my part however.
When was the last time anyone heard the democratic party leadership goddamn the GOP SOB’s in unequivocal terms.
The stupid bastards even frequent FOX “news”, and thus perpetuate the obnoxious charade that the republican party is a misguided-but-honorable opposition, and that FOX practices genuine journalism.
They have minds and mouths. Yet unlike their republican party counterparts, choose not to use them.
A partisan can buy into the “lesser of two evils” school hook, line, and sinker. But even those people would be hard pressed to deny their champions rhetorical ineptitude.
Don’t know where you get your statistics but a quick Google search refdlects the following: “41% of white males voted for Obama, making him the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter to take more than 38% in this category.”
I couldn’t find the stat for white women, but since McCain won 55% of the white vote overall and approximately 59% of the white male vote, this suggests that the white female vote was split evenly.
@Crash: oh come on. Old people think obama is a kenyan muslim who’s going to take away their non-government medicare. There’s no way that young people have a claim to being that uninformed.
John had a good point a few days back when he said the “Both sides are the same” mantra is just High-Broderism for hippies.
Personally, I think it’s just an excuse to justify apathy. Change is hard work and the Professional Left is lazy. That’s why they blog and go on TV as pundits instead of doing actual work or journalism.
Does anyone remember when Democratic leaders refused to go on Fox News and Bill Maher called him wimps?
And the Obama did, and he said he was treating them like serious journalists.
Whether Democrats ignore Fox or not, they’re gonna get criticized for it.
Granted, we probably aren’t that misinformed. But we are must less involved. For all their idiocy, bigotry and regressive beliefs, old white people are way more likely to actually pay attention to and participate in politics compared to young white people, especially when we get down to what really matters: giving money and voting.
The lesser of the two evils is what the GOP is selling. As in, their candidate sucks but at least it isn’t Obama. And that will be how their candidate wins. Trump knows that and became a birther for that reason.
The lesser of the two evils is what the Democrats will have to sell to voters unless in their search for purity and the endorsement of GOS, FDL and PUMA they find no one who would actually win.
And not that it’s any news but with the union money drying up and other Democratic strongholds being starved of funds, unless the Democrat is independently wealthy, they will have to take funds from places that the Purity Trio will scream about.
All politicians are owned, ALL politicians are indebted to whoever funds them.
But anyone who says that Obama is worse than Bush is or the same while ignoring the good things Obama does I’m beginning to think are really GOP members put there to breed discontent.
@Jose Padilla: You are correct. I misread the gap. Still, 55% in the land of 50+1 is a big number.
@Karen: It’s good to know that all is still right with the world. Thank you.
It’s not just about numbers. It’s about the tone, the idea that we are not all in this together, that there is a common cause that unites various people, but that the primary value of “brown people” (a tired inside joke) is to make sure that some white people can be kept in the ideological lifestyle to which they’ve become accustomed. It is a tiresome conceit which should be retired.
Also, Jose Padilla offered a useful corrective on some of your numbers. There is also this from NY Times exit poll results:
Yeah, Obama got 54 percent of the vote of whites aged 18 to 29, but also 52 percent of whites in the Northeast, and a plurality (49 to 48 percent) of whites in the West.
With the GOP doing everything they can to scare white people and marginalize nonwhite voters, anyone to passively wait to be rescued.
The only Democrat who won a majority of the white vote in a presidential election since WWII was Johnson in ’64.
@micah616: Addendum: My last sentence should have read: With the GOP doing everything they can to scare white people into voting against the Democrats, and working hard to marginalize nonwhite voters, anyone passively waiting to be rescued may end up being very unpleasantly surprised.
@Jose Padilla: Johnson. In 1964. Gee, I wonder why everything changed so suddenly.
@Brachiator:Jose Padilla’s corrective, which I already acknowledged, doesn’t change anything about what I wrote, save the 8 point difference. By region, Obama won the white vote in the Northeast and West by 6% and 1%, respectively. He lost the Midwest by 4%, and the South (which you conveniently left out) by a whopping 38%.
The only white age demo Obama won was whites 18-29. He won that by 10%, but lost every other white age demo by 15-16%. Take a good look at your link. It goes back to 1972. Over the last 30 years, blacks and hispanics have gone solid blue, whites have stayed the same, Asians flipped to blue in 2000 and have been solid since.Again, it’s not condescension, it’s the reality of the situation.
As for tone, fuck tone. Tone gets you shining city on a hill, a thousand points of light, compassionate conservatism, both sides do it, country first, and bunch of other bullshit. We are not in this together. We have never been in this together. Race, gender, sexuality, culture, and class divide us. Tone won’t fix the divisions.
Ultimately, brown people and the relative sanity of today’s younger white people will probably save us from collapsing into a Franco-style system.
The best thing for this country would be further declines in white birthrates and more immigration. Too many whites are irredeemably stupid.