|FROM ||Rick Moen
|SUBJECT ||Re: [Hangout of NYLXS] The rising shoutdown of the electorate
|From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Fri May 19 13:21:01 2017
Received: from www.mrbrklyn.com (www.mrbrklyn.com [188.8.131.52])
by mrbrklyn.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 0B48D160E77;
Fri, 19 May 2017 13:21:01 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from linuxmafia.com (linuxmafia.COM [184.108.40.206])
by mrbrklyn.com (Postfix) with ESMTP id 33981160E77
for ; Fri, 19 May 2017 13:20:45 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from rick by linuxmafia.com with local (Exim 4.72)
(envelope-from ) id 1dBla1-0002Cu-0J
for hangout-at-nylxs.com; Fri, 19 May 2017 10:20:45 -0700
Date: Fri, 19 May 2017 10:20:44 -0700
From: Rick Moen
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already.
X-Mas: Bah humbug.
X-Clacks-Overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett
User-Agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)
X-SA-Exim-Scanned: No (on linuxmafia.com); SAEximRunCond expanded to false
Subject: Re: [Hangout of NYLXS] The rising shoutdown of the electorate
List-Id: NYLXS Tech Talk and Politics
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com):
> I disagree with many aspects of this article but I believe in the main
> thrust of the argument which is that we have a stolic, entrenched
> political class that is impossible to root out, even with direct
> elections, and I do believe that electing Trump was a means of the
> public to stick a finger in the eye of that elite.
...and everyone else's eyes. Well done, sir!
Keep up the cheerleading for kleptocracy and corruption, making the
desperate more so, and attempting to monkeywrench all aspects of public
service. Console yourself with your conspiracy theories and victim
narratives, which you're going to need because the main people who're
starting to be hurt are red-staters and Trump fans. We'll see if the
41% who didn't bother to vote are sufficiently fed up by 2018 to throw
your bunch out in favor of clean government and an end to massive
gerrymandering and voter suppression.
If not, well, I'm not the sort of person who'll be hurt by the
transformation of the United States into a banana republic. I'm a
homeowner and Ivy Leaguer. The people who're likely to suffer are
people like you.
I wrote to a friend who'd claimed that
"explained how we got this way", as follows:
I read that article. If you'll indulge a quibble, it casts deep insight
into how Trump got that way. It doesn't address very well how _we_ got
I think some time thinking about the slow descent into delusion of, to
use a convenient label, the 27.2% dumb and self-destructive enough to
pull the lever for Trump/Pence, is actually more fruitful than
psychoanalysing Dolt-45. Dolt-45 is just a glib con-man with a phony
'outsider' leadership story that a bunch of gullible idiots fell for.
It could have been nearly any con-man with similar rhetorical appeal to
the resentful and insecure.
I can identify a bunch of milestones from that descent.
1. Reagan's corrosive bullshit attacking government as the solution
rather than the problem. IMO, this was the worst gift among his many
bad ones within his legacy. It derogates public service. That's bloody
2. Wallowing in victim narratives indulged by all parts of the
political spectrum. The right picked it up from the academic left,
where there has long been an absurd tendency to claim that one's
victimhood makes one important and worth listening to -- which is
obvious total, self-dramatising bullshit. And the Breitbart types
adopted that one full-force.
3. Totally wrong decision under Bush-43 and Obama about "too big to
fail". Bailouts were absolutely the wrong move. Should have staffed up
the Federal bankruptcy courts & streamlined their operation, expedited
the failing banks, automotive companies, etc. through reorg and
expropriation of existing equity interests. (Your firm goes broke: You
lose all your stock interest. That's the way capitalism works.) All
those firms that failed could have been quickly reorg-ed and relaunched
with entirely new owner/investors. Existing investors wouldn't like
that? Tant pis pour eux. You lose, Charlie.
4. Ubiquity of social media and pseudonymity before American psychology
could figure out how to deal with them mentally. E.g., we know how to
pin accountability onto wacky/irresponsible behavior _in person_, but
most people haven't systematically figured out, yet, how to put
appropriate levels of trust and no more than that trust into _Internet_
5. Poor adaptability to the inevitable consequences of global trade.
Millions of people have essentially been voting to get 1970 back,
throwing votes at the guy who promises to get it back, even though he
6. Neurotic reaction to demographic change. Partly, this is one
consequence of immediate resort to victim narrative. "I'm in rural
Pennsylvania's rust belt and can't get a job. Must be those 11 million
illegal immigrants. (Logical thinking need not apply.)
7. Americans turn out to be poor process thinkers (in general), as
illustrated by the prior common type of victim thinking. A decent
process thinker would not proceed from the premise that 11 million
illegal immigrants are bad (which can be debated either way) to the
non-sequitur conclusion that a $50b southern wall is effective and a
wise use of taxpayer money.
Americans spend way _way_ too much time pronouncing whether they approve
or disapprove of reality, and not nearly enough time figuring out how to
deal with it.
8. A psychological weakness that makes many Americans prone to
conspiratorial mindsets. Classic essay on that:
> Fuck this witchhunt. THey should put Obama and Schmumer on trial.
"What about Chappaquiddick?" (Everything old is new again. Here's an
Art Buchwald piece from 1973:)
The Response Checklist
by Art Buchwald
WASHINGTON -- These are difficult times for people who are defending the
Nixon Administration. No matter where they go, they are attacked by
pseudo-liberals, McGovern lovers, heterosexual constitutionalists, and
paranoid John Dean believers.
As a public service, I am printing instant responses for loyal Nixonites
when they are attacked at a party. Please cut it out and carry it in
1. Everyone does it.
2. What about Chappaquiddick?
3. A President can't keep track of EVERYTHING his staff do.
4. The press is blowing this whole thing up.
5. Whatever Nixon did was for national security.
6. The Democrats are sore because they lost the elecdtion.
7. Are you going to believe a rat like John Dean, or the President
of the United States?
8. Wait tell ALL the facts come out.
9. What about Chappaquiddick?
10. If you impeach Nixon, you get Agnew.
11. The only thing wrong with Watergate is they got caught.
12. What about Daniel Ellsberg stealing the Pentagon Papers?
13. It happens in Europe all the time.
14. People would be against Nixon no matter what he did.
15. I'd rather have a crook in the White House than a fool.
16. L.B.J. used to read FBI reports every night.
17. What's the big deal about finding out what your opposition
is up to?
18. The President was too busy running the country to know what
was going on.
19. What about Chappaquiddick?
20. People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
21. McGovern would have lost, anyway.
22. Maybe the Committee for the Re-Election of the President went
a little too far, but they were just a bunch of eager kids.
23. I'm not for breaking the law, but sometimes you have to do it
to save the country.
24. Nixon made a mistake. He's only human.
25. Do you realize what Watergate is doing to the dollar abroad?
26. What about Harry Truman and the deep freeze scandal?
27. Franklin D. Roosevelt did a lot worse things.
28. I'm sick and tired of hearing about Watergate, and so is
29. This thing should be tried in the courts and not on television.
30. When Nixon gives his explanation of what happened, there are
going to be a lot of people in this country with egg on their
31. My country right or wrong.
32. What about Chappaquiddick?
33. I think the people who make all this fuss about Watergate should
34. If the Democrats had the money, they would have done the same thing.
35. I never trusted Haldeman and Ehrlichman to start with.
36. If you say one more word about Watergate, I'll punch you in the nose.
Or, A: If the person is bigger than you: "If you say one more word
about Watergate, I'm leaving this house."
Or, B: If it's your own house and the person is bigger than you:
"What about Chappaquiddick?"
Hangout mailing list