08 April 2018

The "blue wave" is just the beginning

It's long been obvious to me that the "culture war" in our country (and elsewhere) does not allow the possibility of permanent compromise or negotiated peace.  The gulf is too wide and too deep.  In the end, one side must achieve total victory over the other -- and of course I want the winning side to be ours.  We can perhaps tolerate enclaves of fundamentalism here and there as long as they renounce all efforts to interfere with our culture and personal freedoms, but ultimately it's either our world or theirs, and theirs could only really be established by rolling back all the progress made since the time of Galileo.  It must be, and ultimately will be, our world.

This article by Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira convincingly articulates the same view of the Democratic-Republican divide which is, to a great extent, our country's political expression of that culture war.  "There's no bipartisan way forward at this juncture in our history  -- one side must win," the authors declare.  They argue that the country will ultimately follow the path shown by California, where the Republican party has been effectively wiped out except at the local level in peripheral areas, and policy debates take place within the framework of the Democrats' consensus.  A similar seismic shift at the national level would leave the Republicans relegated to just a few states and localities, with the federal government and most states under solid Democratic control, at least for several decades.

One can see signs which future hindsight will deem unmistakable.  With its rejection of science and objective reality, and its embrace of bigotry and religious fundamentalism, the Republican party would, in any other Western democracy, be a lunatic-fringe minor force; even in the US it can only win national elections by exploiting factors like gerrymandering, vote-suppression laws, and the anti-democratic effects of the Electoral College and the distribution of Senate seats.  Even with such unfair advantages, it is likely to lose control of Congress this year.  Trump and the party's embrace of him have brought things to the brink by stripping Republicanism of its last threadbare rags of sanity, and mobilizing an awakened populace against the madness.  To Leyden and Teixeira, the Republican losses in various red districts so far this year are harbingers of a total implosion.  Trump's win was a dead-cat bounce, a final thrashing paroxysm before the collapse.

They argue that this year's blue wave, however massive, must and will be only the beginning.  It will take at least one further election cycle to completely drive the Republicans from power -- but remember that 2020 will be a Presidential year, with far more Republican Senate seats at risk than this year, and that state governments elected in 2018 and 2020 will control the next round of Congressional redistricting.  A crushing victory is within reach.

Please read the article -- its inspirational and explanatory power will make you glad you did.


Blogger Les Carpenter said...

Interesting, although the pendulum swings to the left and back to the right. Swinging left again only to return to the right trajectory. Ad infinitum.

Unfortunately the saying power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is as true today (and will remain so in the future) as it was when it was first uttered.

The left, as well as the right can be corrupted by power. Note the USSR, Communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Argentina, Multiple southeast Asian countries to name a few.

My take is rational, objective, moderate, governance is what is needed. Frankly Infidel, I'm no longer sure this can ever be achieved for any significant length of time.

08 April, 2018 17:45  
Blogger Ami said...

I have reached the point where I don't believe either side is the right side, they're all a bunch of lunatics who care about advancing themselves and their party above all else.

Regular people are meaningless, the amount of money that is taken from us and the crazy shit it gets spent on are one of the manifestations of that lack of regard, as are the 'choices' we are given for elections.

I find things I can agree with in a lot of places/parties, but don't believe that the regular guys will ever win.

That said, I'm horrified by the bunch currently in power.

I've listened to some really amazing and meaningful discussions between the children I work with, though. It sounds trite, but I truly believe that if any good change is to happen, they'll be the ones making it so.

08 April, 2018 20:59  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Rational: The "swinging pendulum" concept of political change is popular, but it doesn't reflect reality. The success of the Nineteenth Amendment was not followed a few decades later by a mass shift of public opinion back toward the view that women shouldn't be allowed to vote after all, much less repeal of the Amendment. The Civil Rights movement wasn't followed by a "swing back" to majority support for the KKK and Jim Crow laws, much less reinstatement of those laws. The sexual revolution didn't end in a full-scale return to the values and behaviors of the fifties. In each case there was some degree of backlash, yes, but except among lunatic-fringe elements, it never resulted in a full return to the attitudes of the previous status quo, much less actual reinstatement of the previous customs and laws. Not even close. There really is such a thing as a continuing trend of progress, even if temporary setbacks occur.

The countries you list are all dictatorships. Dictatorship and the resulting lack of accountability breed corruption. There are no lessons there for the left in a democracy.

The present situation is an emergency and you're caviling about trivia. Basically, the house is on fire, I'm calling for everyone to help the fire department put it out, and you're fretting that the one of the firemen might someday forget to renew his dog license.

Ami: There's no equivalence between Democrats and Republicans. For example, those children you work with wouldn't have much of a future if the Republican stance of doing nothing about global warming were to prevail. And this is what schools look like where Republicans are in charge. Finally, some of those kids will discover, as they get older, that they're gay or bisexual. They'd better hope that the Republicans and their theocratic base no longer have any power by then.

Regular people won with Obamacare, gay marriage, regulation of air and water quality, and on and on. We know who was on the right and wrong side of all those things.

09 April, 2018 06:48  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

Actually Infidel I'm not fretting at all. The swinging pendulum is,in my view, correct. Having said that as the pendulum swings left and right the pendulum itself,moves leftward.

Yes, we do know who was on the right side of the issues you sited. It certainly wasn't (isn't) conservatives.

You'll have to forgive me Infidel but I distrust political power regardless the side wielding it at any given time.

Power does corrupt. I've seen it up close and personal.

09 April, 2018 11:22  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

The post and your responses to the comments of RN and Ami are spot on. We can't afford at this time to have a failure of one of the basic duties of citizenship: paying close attention, working hard at informing yourself, making intelligent choices and getting/ staying involved. Pericles once said (paraphrasing) that while we might have no interest in politics, politics will always have an interest in us.

09 April, 2018 13:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RN: The swinging pendulum is,in my view, correct.

Well, I showed actual evidence for why it isn't.

WH: The enemy wants us to be cynical, apathetic, defeatist, and convinced that nothing we do can make a difference. Wherever people fall into such attitudes, the enemy wins.

10 April, 2018 03:59  
Blogger Tommykey said...

My hope for Hillary Clinton to win in 2016 was precisely to deny the radical right access to the levers of power for at least another 4 years, though I believe had she been elected, the Republicans in congress would have waged a scorched earth campaign the likes we have never seen before.

10 April, 2018 10:00  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...

I'm sure the enemy is saying the same thing to their brothers and sisters in arms.

Jefferson may have been right when he said, and I paraphrase, A little rebellion now and then is a good thing.

Franklin said, and I paraphrase, It is the first responsibility of every citizens to question authority.

We are in another period of extreme national differences. The battle lines are forming and the opposing armies for political change are mobilizing. If history is an accurate predictor of the future the liberal left in America wins again because it is on the side of right.

Footnote: Sometimes things are not as cut and dry as they initially seem to be.

Here's to tRump being the catalyst that solidifies moderates and liberals to sweep the rightwing republicans out of office in 2018 and dump tRump in 2020. If he makes it that long.

10 April, 2018 14:54  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Tommykey: I have no doubt they would have done all they could to sabotage Hillary. Their obsession with her for two decades and the way they treated Obama prove it. At least, like Obama and very unlike Trump, she would not have given their attacks the fuel of actual wrongdoing.

RN: I don't need to speculate on what the enemy is saying among themselves. I read NRO, RedState, Breitbart, F169, and various Christian Right sites precisely so I'll know.

10 April, 2018 20:09  
Blogger Les Carpenter said...


11 April, 2018 13:15  
Anonymous Marc McKenzie said...

@Infidel: Absolutely spot-on. The GOP has proven itself to be a party that simply cannot govern, both at the state and federal level.

Despite the bleatings of those who claim that "both parties are the same" and that "the Democrats are just as bad!", the simple truth is that reality says otherwise. One need only compare the Clinton and Obama Administrations to the administrations of George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

I know people may be worried about one-party rule if the Democrats win it all, but where was that worry when it came to the GOP and that party's obvious descent into madness? Trump is just the end-point for the GOP's plunge; this downward spiral began in the 1990s with the "Gingrich Revolution" and the GOP has not pulled out of that deathdive since.

Some are calling for more focus on third parties, but as we've seen with the Green Party in the US, some third parties--or rather, those who clamor for them--are more interested in attacking Democrats while avoiding talk of the GOP's shenanigans (Jill Stein, Ralph Nader, here's looking at you).

13 April, 2018 06:40  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, if the Democrats become totally dominant they soon, split between the radical Sanders-Warren wing and the centrist Clinton-Obama wing. That will give us two factions similar to the two major parties in most other Western democracies. We can do without the theocracy, racism, and nihilistic Randism that dominate the Republican party these days.

I'm all for right-wing third parties that take votes away from Republicans -- just not left-wing ones that divide our own side.

13 April, 2018 17:49  

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