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« Update to NetRoots-Sanders update | Main | Here's to hoping Pat Buchanan has been unbanned from MSNBC »

July 27, 2015


Peter G

I understand the temptation that lead the Republican party down the path they have taken although I would hardly call it deference. They did not merely defer to the fringe because they needed every vote. They encouraged the fringe and much lunacy because it promoted turn out and they desperately needed to do that to compensate for adverse demographic trends. There is a vast difference between the two.

Wisdom is what Clinton displayed by avoiding the whole Netroots fiasco but there is a huge difference between the fringes of the left and right. All the democratic contenders can show deference to pretty much all the sub-groups one might have found at Netroots for the simple reason that they all, each in their own way, have legitimate beefs. Deference they can show but what they can't allow is a giant pissing match over whose beef is bigger than whose. You don't want to get lost in that maze. As maddening as I sometimes find some of the lunacy on the left I've never found they didn't have a point.


Mark Leibovich thinks that America once had "saner times." If it ever has they were brief. Extremists, and often violent ones, have always been part of the American political landscape. A long list could be compiled. One example is the turn of the 20th century anarchists led by Luigi Galleani and famous for bombings. "Bomb-throwing anarchist" was a phrase still often in use in the 1950's and '60's. However, there are converging political aspects that seem to be creating types of "crazy" unique to the times.

A period of introspection followed the Vietnam defeat, but reactionary forces rejected any nuance and attempted to popularize American militarism again. This was finally accomplished using the 9-11 terrorist attack as an excuse. The lack of satisfactory results has inflamed an unhealed wound and left many feeling vulnerable if not paranoid.

The expansion of world trade has resulted in energizing an economic class. Reaganomics might be even more responsible for the declining middle, but sending jobs to "others" is a potent idea that also ties in to changing demographics in an amplifying feedback loop. The accelerating trend towards a majority-minority population has alarmed reactionary elements, not all of them wearing tricorn hats or carrying pictures of President Obama made up as a witch doctor:

The above are further amplified by the latest in propaganda techniques. The identification of emotional hot buttons has become a science, and some professionals are beginning to suspect political advertising can cause mental imbalance.

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