Author Topic: Election 2020  (Read 379081 times)

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #225 on: February 19, 2020, 02:22:30 AM »
I know Newt Gingrich.  Unlike Lloyd Bentsen and JFK, I can't say he is a friend of mine, but I have taken a class with him in college.  Trust me on this -- he was plenty cordial with people across the aisle.  He had good working relationships with those people.  What he did not do is consider compromise for its own sake to be a virtue.  He was a visionary, and in some ways a revolutionary.  I'm not a particular fan of his, for reasons I think I stated upstream.  I don't think I would socialize with him, though I would love to picks brain once more.  But the notion that he did not socialize with Democrats, or wasn't friends with any of them, is silly.  You can read about one of his across-the-aisle deals here.

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/05/29/the-pact-between-bill-clinton-and-newt-gingrich

Gingrich plays hardball politics, no doubt.  He was hardly the first to do that.  But he respects smart people who work to solve real problems.  As I said above, he is a visionary.  But he's not a fool.  He was not only willing, but often eager to cross the aisle to get things done, even if he did not get full credit for getting them done (as with Clinton and the reforms the two of them hammered out).


Unfortunately, I don't remember the author nor the book title, but on a talk show, he point to Newt's time as speaker of the house as the beginning of animosity between the parties.


However, I did find an article by McKay Coppins that supports the claim (perhaps the same author). https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/11/newt-gingrich-says-youre-welcome/570832/


Some quotes:


But few figures in modern history have done more than Gingrich to lay the groundwork for Trump’s rise. During his two decades in Congress, he pioneered a style of partisan combat—replete with name-calling, conspiracy theories, and strategic obstructionism—that poisoned America’s political culture and plunged Washington into permanent dysfunction. Gingrich’s career can perhaps be best understood as a grand exercise in devolution—an effort to strip American politics of the civilizing traits it had developed over time and return it to its most primal essence.

“One of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty,” he told the group. “We encourage you to be neat, obedient, and loyal, and faithful, and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around the campfire but are lousy in politics.”

The way he saw it, Republicans would never be able to take back the House as long as they kept compromising with the Democrats out of some high-minded civic desire to keep congressional business humming along. His strategy was to blow up the bipartisan coalitions that were essential to legislating, and then seize on the resulting dysfunction to wage a populist crusade against the institution of Congress itself. “His idea,” says Norm Ornstein, a political scientist who knew Gingrich at the time, “was to build toward a national election where people were so disgusted by Washington and the way it was operating that they would throw the ins out and bring the outs in.”

Political scientists who study our era of extreme polarization will tell you that the driving force behind American politics today is not actually partisanship, but negative partisanship—that is, hatred of the other team more than loyalty to one’s own. Gingrich’s speakership was both a symptom and an accelerant of that phenomenon.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #226 on: February 19, 2020, 06:15:23 AM »
I know Newt Gingrich.  Unlike Lloyd Bentsen and JFK, I can't say he is a friend of mine, but I have taken a class with him in college.  Trust me on this -- he was plenty cordial with people across the aisle.  He had good working relationships with those people.  What he did not do is consider compromise for its own sake to be a virtue.  He was a visionary, and in some ways a revolutionary.  I'm not a particular fan of his, for reasons I think I stated upstream.  I don't think I would socialize with him, though I would love to picks brain once more.  But the notion that he did not socialize with Democrats, or wasn't friends with any of them, is silly.  You can read about one of his across-the-aisle deals here.

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2008/05/29/the-pact-between-bill-clinton-and-newt-gingrich

Gingrich plays hardball politics, no doubt.  He was hardly the first to do that.  But he respects smart people who work to solve real problems.  As I said above, he is a visionary.  But he's not a fool.  He was not only willing, but often eager to cross the aisle to get things done, even if he did not get full credit for getting them done (as with Clinton and the reforms the two of them hammered out).


Unfortunately, I don't remember the author nor the book title, but on a talk show, he point to Newt's time as speaker of the house as the beginning of animosity between the parties.


However, I did find an article by McKay Coppins that supports the claim (perhaps the same author). https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/11/newt-gingrich-says-youre-welcome/570832/


Some quotes:


But few figures in modern history have done more than Gingrich to lay the groundwork for Trump’s rise. During his two decades in Congress, he pioneered a style of partisan combat—replete with name-calling, conspiracy theories, and strategic obstructionism—that poisoned America’s political culture and plunged Washington into permanent dysfunction. Gingrich’s career can perhaps be best understood as a grand exercise in devolution—an effort to strip American politics of the civilizing traits it had developed over time and return it to its most primal essence.

“One of the great problems we have in the Republican Party is that we don’t encourage you to be nasty,” he told the group. “We encourage you to be neat, obedient, and loyal, and faithful, and all those Boy Scout words, which would be great around the campfire but are lousy in politics.”

The way he saw it, Republicans would never be able to take back the House as long as they kept compromising with the Democrats out of some high-minded civic desire to keep congressional business humming along. His strategy was to blow up the bipartisan coalitions that were essential to legislating, and then seize on the resulting dysfunction to wage a populist crusade against the institution of Congress itself. “His idea,” says Norm Ornstein, a political scientist who knew Gingrich at the time, “was to build toward a national election where people were so disgusted by Washington and the way it was operating that they would throw the ins out and bring the outs in.”

Political scientists who study our era of extreme polarization will tell you that the driving force behind American politics today is not actually partisanship, but negative partisanship—that is, hatred of the other team more than loyalty to one’s own. Gingrich’s speakership was both a symptom and an accelerant of that phenomenon.

I have a book that makes a pretty good case that Lyndon Johnson was behind the Kennedy assassination.

I tend to not put a lot of stock in 1 book by 1 guy.
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David Garner

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #227 on: February 19, 2020, 06:41:27 AM »
Look at it this way -- you don't pass the volumes of bipartisan legislation that moved the country rightward that passed under Gingrich's watch without reaching across the aisle.

Welfare reform
Balanced budget
Tax reform

Gingrich passed legislation that was signed into law by President Clinton that required Congress to live under the regulations and laws they impose on others.  Notably, this forced Congress to think before delegating Congressional power to unelected bureaucrats to legislate by regulating.  It passed 390-0 in the House and 98-1 in the Senate.

He also pushed through reforms of Congress itself.  He halted the program where each member had 2 buckets of ice delivered daily.  Now, he joked about it in speeches at Democrats' expense.  He said he had to show Chuck Schumer how to make ice in the fridge.  Everyone laughed, but everyone knew it was a joke, too.  The point is, that program cost the American taxpayers $250,000 a year.  So members would not have to get their own ice.  It was ridiculous and he redlined it out of the Congressional budget.  Again, these reforms passed with bipartisan support.

Beyond that, Gingrich was himself the target of horrific attack ads.  One showed a would-be Republican pushing an old lady off a cliff in her wheelchair.  You blame Gingrich for the tone.  He bears some responsibility for that no doubt.  But let's not pretend he came into this tranquil town where everyone agreed and got along and threw dynamite in the middle of the room.  He was unapologetically Republican, yes.  He was intent on succeeding and effective, yes.  He is a gigantic jerk, yes, a thousand times.  But he is not solely responsible for the decline in tone in Washington. 

There is a much simpler, but more plausible explanation for the recent increase in attack ads -- people have forgotten Watergate.  In the 1970s and through the early 1980s, the specter of Watergate hung over every politician.  Instead of attacking each other, the messages had to be more positive.  It's not "you can't trust that guy."  It's "you CAN trust me."  But as Watergate faded into the rearview mirror, attack ads gained traction again.  But it did not start AFTER Gingrich.  It started long before.  Perhaps you've forgotten this ad:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Id_r6pNsus

Or this one from the same race:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hM0CBfwI_Ck

These sorts of ads were just as prevalent before Watergate as after.  The temporary hiatus reflected the need of politicians to restore faith in the electorate so they could gain office.  It's one reason Jimmy Carter won the presidency (a Democrat was almost sure to win in the general, but it didn't have to be him in the primary).  That's more complicated too, because a lot of yellow dog Democrats still existed in the south, and Carter (like the 3rd place segregationist George Wallace) was a southerner, and the 2nd place vote getter was Jerry Brown, who Rush Limbaugh once dubbed "Moonbeam."  But a huge part of Carter's appeal was "you can trust me."  I would place Watergate as the dividing line between attack ads and more relative peace, and the dimmer Watergate gets in the rearview mirror, the closer the country returns to flower girl politics.

Which means we are the problem, not Newt Gingrich.  But that's a harder pill to swallow.
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D. Engebretson

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #228 on: February 20, 2020, 12:21:51 PM »
Did anyone watch the Democratic debate in Los Vegas last night?  Bloomberg apparently became Target #1. I suspect he will now have to do what the rest of them do when they enter such a race: face your past and deal with the brutal transparency of modern day elections.

In attacking the wealth of Bloomberg, Sanders also turns a potentially uncomfortable light back on himself.  As a Democratic Socialist who often berates the evils of capitalism, he is also a man of considerable wealth himself. 

Obviously who ends us as a "winner" or "loser" is in the eye of the pundit.  Warren took the gloves off and landed some fairly good punches, it is observed.  She was morally incensed at Bloomberg.  Not sure he did a very good job of responding.  The pile up on Bloomberg took the heat, to some degree, off of Sanders.  So he did well, some also observe, if simply dodging the worst of the attacks.  The others had their moments, but not sure how much of a 'bounce' they will experience out of this. 
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David Garner

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #229 on: February 20, 2020, 12:33:45 PM »
Did anyone watch the Democratic debate in Los Vegas last night?  Bloomberg apparently became Target #1. I suspect he will now have to do what the rest of them do when they enter such a race: face your past and deal with the brutal transparency of modern day elections.

In attacking the wealth of Bloomberg, Sanders also turns a potentially uncomfortable light back on himself.  As a Democratic Socialist who often berates the evils of capitalism, he is also a man of considerable wealth himself. 

Obviously who ends us as a "winner" or "loser" is in the eye of the pundit.  Warren took the gloves off and landed some fairly good punches, it is observed.  She was morally incensed at Bloomberg.  Not sure he did a very good job of responding.  The pile up on Bloomberg took the heat, to some degree, off of Sanders.  So he did well, some also observe, if simply dodging the worst of the attacks.  The others had their moments, but not sure how much of a 'bounce' they will experience out of this.

A half hour in I had Buttigieg winning and Sanders looking bad, with Bloomberg of course taking by far the most hits.  After it was over, I felt Warren and Biden had the best nights, Sanders held serve, Mayor Pete held serve or had a slight decline, Klobuchar is done, and Bloomberg likely needs medical attention after the beating he took.
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Eileen Smith

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #230 on: February 20, 2020, 01:03:20 PM »
When Biden entered the race it seemed many thought he would end up with the nomination.  The problem (well, one among others) is that he is inconsistent.  He has one good debate followed by a mediocre showing.  I thought he and Warren were the winners last night.  Buttigieg is just too scripted.  Klobuchar had an awful night.  She just couldn't get into the debate.  Bloomberg had a brutal night and if I was a member of his staff I think I'd call in sick today  ;)  But I don't count him out.  He may rise above all of the negative baggage (sexism, anti-racism) if the press doesn't play it up.  He's a scrappy New Yorker, after all.

Keith Falk

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #231 on: February 20, 2020, 04:22:06 PM »
Weird... I had Warren on top, I thought Klobuchar was solid, Pete was all right.  Sanders held serve... but I was completely unimpressed by Biden.  Bloomberg took some shots, but also had one of the best singular lines of the night about Sanders and being a millionaire with 3 houses.
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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #232 on: February 20, 2020, 06:04:35 PM »
First, I hate the format.  Waving in the hopes of being recognized makes all the candidates look like that annoying student who always sat in front of the class room begging to be called on.  And none of them ever really have time to develop substantive arguments.  These things wouldn't make the kind of great reading that Messrs. Lincoln and Douglas left for posterity.


That aside, I think that Warren had the best night, but am not sure that that will help her campaign much.  I thought that Biden had a successful night mostly because he stayed out of the firing line.  Bloomberg, Sanders, and (of all people) Klobuchar seemed to be the biggest targets.  Mayor Pete may have taken down the senator from Minnesota, but he looked petty in the process and otherwise looked like a middle-school debater. 


Bloomberg took some huge hits.  The question, I guess, is whether he can use his money to overcome those hits and gain anti-Sanders voters.  I didn't think that Sanders looked great, but his supporters probably are more cultish even than Trump's.  I thing that 30-35% will stick with him no matter what he does.  To borrow an inartful claim, Bernie could murder someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose voters.


Bernie's great hope has to be that several others stick around long enough to split votes through Super Tuesday or bit beyond.  If that happens, Bernie may not go into Milwaukee with a majority of delegates.  But if he doesn't, he'll be close.  At that point, if delegates come together to nominate somewhat else, there will be hell to pay from the Bernie Bros.

James_Gale

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #233 on: February 20, 2020, 06:27:15 PM »
One of the blogs that I've read today pointed to this video from the Republican debates in 2016.  It does seem as if Rubio and Mayor Pete may have fallen into the same trap with, as Chris Christie put it, drive-by attacks based on incomplete facts followed by memorized sound bites.  FWIW

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #234 on: February 20, 2020, 08:27:44 PM »
Bloomberg had a brutal night and if I was a member of his staff I think I'd call in sick today  ;)  But I don't count him out.  He may rise above all of the negative baggage (sexism, anti-racism) if the press doesn't play it up.  He's a scrappy New Yorker, after all.

Part of the problem with Bloomberg was the initial hype, much of it orchestrated by him via millions poured into all those ads.  The debate took a lot of wind out of those sails.  As an article today from FiveThirtyEight noted:

At the same time, the hype about Bloomberg — a candidate who had yet to compete in any states, to participate in any debates, or to face sustained scrutiny from the media and other candidates — had probably gotten out of hand. Prediction markets have his chances cut almost in half as a result of the debate, from about 30 percent before the debate on Wednesday to only around 15 percent as of early Thursday afternoon. That’s an awfully big correction after a single debate for which we don’t yet have any polling. It may reflect the fact that these markets — and by extension the conventional wisdom generally — had overestimated Bloomberg’s chances to begin with.
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-debate-exposed-bloombergs-downside-but-it-was-there-all-along/

But Bloomberg remains a wild card due to his uniqueness: late start and a huge self-funded campaign. He still has yet to compete in the open field.  We just don't know yet. The media initially drove his popularity, but now the scrutiny kicks in and it will be interesting if that tempers a bit of the overly positive nature of his own ad campaign. 

According to FiveThirtyEight 's projections as to delegate count, Sanders still holds a high lead, followed by Biden, followed by Bloomberg.  Of course, anything can happen and polls yet to come do not factor into this scenario.  But they do point out some weaknesses Bloomberg has: "...his lack of polish as debater and public speaker, his past as a Republican, his status as a billionaire in the age of Sanders and Warren, his lack of practice as a candidate because of his campaign’s late start, New York’s use of the stop-and-frisk policy during his time as mayor and his relationship to black voters, his age (78)..."

Personally I think this could be Sander's opportunity, but I still believe that only a third of Democrats have truly signed on to a Democratic Socialist.  Yes, this could end up a brokered convention in the end.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #235 on: February 21, 2020, 05:03:28 AM »
Some paragraphs from the column by David Brooks, a savvy observer, in today’s New York Times, and a link to the column.
   Successful presidential candidates are mythmakers. They don’t just tell a story. They tell a story that helps people make meaning out of the current moment; that divides people into heroes and villains; that names a central challenge and explains why they are the perfect person to meet it.
  In 2016 Donald Trump told a successful myth: The coastal elites are greedy, stupid people who have mismanaged the country, undermined our values and changed the face of our society. This was not an original myth; it’s been around since at least the populist revolts of the 1890s. But it’s a powerful us vs. them worldview, which resonates with a lot of people.
   Trump’s followers don’t merely believe that myth. They inhabit it. It shapes how they see the world, how they put people into this category or that category. Trump can get his facts wrong as long as he gets his myth right. He can commit a million scandals, but his followers don’t see them as long as they stay embedded within that myth.
   Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation’s wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It’s been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.
....
   My takeaway from Wednesday’s hellaciously entertaining Democratic debate is that Sanders is the only candidate telling a successful myth. Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar all make good arguments, but they haven’t organized their worldview into a simple compelling myth. You may look at them, but you don’t see the world through their eyes.
...
   I’ve spent much of this election season away from the campaign rallies and interviewing voters embedded in their normal lives. This week, for example, I was in Compton and Watts in and around Los Angeles. The reality I encounter every day has little to do with the us vs. them stories Trump and Sanders are telling.
   Everywhere I go I see systems that are struggling — school systems, housing systems, family structures, neighborhoods trying to bridge diversity. These problems aren’t caused by some group of intentionally evil people. They exist because living through a time of economic, technological, demographic and cultural transition is hard. Creating social trust across diversity is hard.
   Everywhere I go I see a process that is the opposite of group vs. group war. It is gathering. It is people becoming extra active on the local level to repair the systems in their lives. I see a great yearning for solidarity, an eagerness to come together and make practical change.
   These gathering efforts are hampered by rippers at the national level who stoke rage and fear and tell friend/enemy stories. These efforts are hampered by men like Sanders and Trump who have never worked within a party or subordinated themselves to a team — men who are one trick ponies. All they do is stand on a podium and bellow.
   In the gathering myth, the heroes have traits Trump and Sanders lack: open-mindedness, flexibility, listening skills, team-building skills and basic human warmth. In this saga, leaders are measured by their ability to expand relationships, not wall them off.
   The gathering myth is an alternative myth — one that has the advantage of being true.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/bernie-sanders-win-2020.html
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #236 on: February 21, 2020, 07:08:13 AM »
David Brooks makes a good point. This may also help explain the failure of Hillary Clinton's campaign. With her neglect of northern middle America and disdain for those people she fed into Trump's myth.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 07:48:05 AM by Dan Fienen »
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JEdwards

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #237 on: February 21, 2020, 08:26:04 AM »
Some paragraphs from the column by David Brooks, a savvy observer, in today’s New York Times, and a link to the column.
   Successful presidential candidates are mythmakers. They don’t just tell a story. They tell a story that helps people make meaning out of the current moment; that divides people into heroes and villains; that names a central challenge and explains why they are the perfect person to meet it.
  In 2016 Donald Trump told a successful myth: The coastal elites are greedy, stupid people who have mismanaged the country, undermined our values and changed the face of our society. This was not an original myth; it’s been around since at least the populist revolts of the 1890s. But it’s a powerful us vs. them worldview, which resonates with a lot of people.
   Trump’s followers don’t merely believe that myth. They inhabit it. It shapes how they see the world, how they put people into this category or that category. Trump can get his facts wrong as long as he gets his myth right. He can commit a million scandals, but his followers don’t see them as long as they stay embedded within that myth.
   Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation’s wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It’s been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.
....
   My takeaway from Wednesday’s hellaciously entertaining Democratic debate is that Sanders is the only candidate telling a successful myth. Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar all make good arguments, but they haven’t organized their worldview into a simple compelling myth. You may look at them, but you don’t see the world through their eyes.
...
   I’ve spent much of this election season away from the campaign rallies and interviewing voters embedded in their normal lives. This week, for example, I was in Compton and Watts in and around Los Angeles. The reality I encounter every day has little to do with the us vs. them stories Trump and Sanders are telling.
   Everywhere I go I see systems that are struggling — school systems, housing systems, family structures, neighborhoods trying to bridge diversity. These problems aren’t caused by some group of intentionally evil people. They exist because living through a time of economic, technological, demographic and cultural transition is hard. Creating social trust across diversity is hard.
   Everywhere I go I see a process that is the opposite of group vs. group war. It is gathering. It is people becoming extra active on the local level to repair the systems in their lives. I see a great yearning for solidarity, an eagerness to come together and make practical change.
   These gathering efforts are hampered by rippers at the national level who stoke rage and fear and tell friend/enemy stories. These efforts are hampered by men like Sanders and Trump who have never worked within a party or subordinated themselves to a team — men who are one trick ponies. All they do is stand on a podium and bellow.
   In the gathering myth, the heroes have traits Trump and Sanders lack: open-mindedness, flexibility, listening skills, team-building skills and basic human warmth. In this saga, leaders are measured by their ability to expand relationships, not wall them off.
   The gathering myth is an alternative myth — one that has the advantage of being true.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/bernie-sanders-win-2020.html
Thanks for this. David Brooks’ observations resonate with me, and he eloquently articulates the frustration I have with both Trump and Sanders (who seem to differ only in whom they demonize for society’s ills).
Peace,
Jon

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #238 on: February 21, 2020, 08:26:10 AM »
Some paragraphs from the column by David Brooks, a savvy observer, in today’s New York Times, and a link to the column.
   Successful presidential candidates are mythmakers. They don’t just tell a story. They tell a story that helps people make meaning out of the current moment; that divides people into heroes and villains; that names a central challenge and explains why they are the perfect person to meet it.
  In 2016 Donald Trump told a successful myth: The coastal elites are greedy, stupid people who have mismanaged the country, undermined our values and changed the face of our society. This was not an original myth; it’s been around since at least the populist revolts of the 1890s. But it’s a powerful us vs. them worldview, which resonates with a lot of people.
   Trump’s followers don’t merely believe that myth. They inhabit it. It shapes how they see the world, how they put people into this category or that category. Trump can get his facts wrong as long as he gets his myth right. He can commit a million scandals, but his followers don’t see them as long as they stay embedded within that myth.
   Bernie Sanders is also telling a successful myth: The corporate and Wall Street elites are rapacious monsters who hoard the nation’s wealth and oppress working families. This is not an original myth, either. It’s been around since the class-conflict agitators of 1848. It is also a very compelling us vs. them worldview that resonates with a lot of people.
....
   My takeaway from Wednesday’s hellaciously entertaining Democratic debate is that Sanders is the only candidate telling a successful myth. Bloomberg, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar all make good arguments, but they haven’t organized their worldview into a simple compelling myth. You may look at them, but you don’t see the world through their eyes.
...
   I’ve spent much of this election season away from the campaign rallies and interviewing voters embedded in their normal lives. This week, for example, I was in Compton and Watts in and around Los Angeles. The reality I encounter every day has little to do with the us vs. them stories Trump and Sanders are telling.
   Everywhere I go I see systems that are struggling — school systems, housing systems, family structures, neighborhoods trying to bridge diversity. These problems aren’t caused by some group of intentionally evil people. They exist because living through a time of economic, technological, demographic and cultural transition is hard. Creating social trust across diversity is hard.
   Everywhere I go I see a process that is the opposite of group vs. group war. It is gathering. It is people becoming extra active on the local level to repair the systems in their lives. I see a great yearning for solidarity, an eagerness to come together and make practical change.
   These gathering efforts are hampered by rippers at the national level who stoke rage and fear and tell friend/enemy stories. These efforts are hampered by men like Sanders and Trump who have never worked within a party or subordinated themselves to a team — men who are one trick ponies. All they do is stand on a podium and bellow.
   In the gathering myth, the heroes have traits Trump and Sanders lack: open-mindedness, flexibility, listening skills, team-building skills and basic human warmth. In this saga, leaders are measured by their ability to expand relationships, not wall them off.
   The gathering myth is an alternative myth — one that has the advantage of being true.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/opinion/bernie-sanders-win-2020.html

Both Sanders and Trump seem to appeal to folks who are tempted to feature themselves as victims. Not all of them are minorities. Not all of them are actual victims.

Peace, JOHN
Pr. JOHN HANNAH, STS

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Re: Election 2020
« Reply #239 on: February 21, 2020, 08:41:43 AM »
I think Brooks’s article actually validates the myth-makers he decries. Brooks also divides the world into simplistic, us/them terms. Those people, the passionate Trump or Sanders crowds, live by simplistic, us/them myths. Brooks and his ilk, on the other, rise above such such divisive, unnuanced, rhetoric to examine the complex realities rather than the myths. Oddly, Brook’s “us” consists almost entirely of himself and some other highly educated, socially important people. An elite class, if you will.

Brooks is a smart, educated guy who writes well. I really enjoy many of his articles and I liked his latest book. But in reality, his political commentary here is as muddled and pretentious as his commentary about Christianity and Judaism, which he makes without seeming to fully grasp either religion nearly as well as any simple practitioner (practitioner as opposed to thinker and commenter about) of either religion grasps them.

All he really does in this article is change “shape the narrative” into myth making, and declare that everyone’s narrative but his is false.

Yes, when you have to choose between two people, you have to give up a lot of nuance. The amount of hand-wringing or high-fiving with which you cast your ballot is irrelevant. It counts as one vote. To support a candidate while constantly poking holes in that candidates reasons for running is counter-productive. When it comes time for actual action, the standard “Lead, follow, or get out of the way,” applies. Pick a side and fight for it. Or just join the chattering class that has an opinion about everything but actually advances no cause.