Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Hollywood Reporter: Susan Lacy & Jane Fonda in Five Acts- From Hedonism To Activism

Source: The Hollywood Reporter- Hollywood Goddess Jane Fonda-
Source: The New Democrat

Jane Fonda is a bit of an enigma for me because on one side she's one of my favorite actresses. She's not just one of the  best actresses of her generation and in the same class as Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, and many others, but she's one of the best actresses ever. I believe people who hate her politics would probably give her that.

But then on the other side she's one of the most famous political activists that the New-Left in America ( Far-Left Socialists and Communists ) that America has. People who see America as the real evil empire in the world, as a racist, selfish, militarist, corporate fascist dictatorship, country that should be put down and overthrown. At least in the late 1960s and early 1970s, she was as Far-Left ideologically as The Weather Underground, Students For a Democratic Society and other New-Left political action groups of the late 1960s and 1970s.

The early 1970s is where Jane Fonda got the nickname Hanoi Jane, because she essentially labeled America as the bad guys in the Vietnam War. She toured in North Vietnam with people that America was fighting in that war. She labeled President Richard Nixon as a war criminal. Her early political activism of the early and mid 1960s was in support of the American civil rights movement. Which I give her credit for as a supporter of that movement as well. But by the late 1960s it became about the Vietnam War and as someone who is opposed to that war myself and if I was alive back then I would've been writing against the war and doing other things, it's not being against the Vietnam War where I differ with Jane Fonda. But how she opposed the war.

Robert Kennedy was opposed to the war at least when he was in the U.S. Senate and one of the strongest opponents of the war while in Congress, but he was never an opponent of the American military and our service personal. Or saw America as some bad country and part of some evil empire. He opposed the war based on facts and didn't use hyperbolic rhetoric to make his case against the war. But always stayed with the facts that it was a cvil war and wasn't the job of America to fight other countries wars for them.

Jane Fonda is a very bright, beautiful, adorable, sexy, great actress, who has always viewed herself as more than an actress as she always has been. Several of her movies are some of my favorite movies like The China Syndrome from 1979, California Suite from 1978, The Chapman Report from 1962, and perhaps a few others. But I don't believe you can talk about Jane Fonda at least when you're talking about her career and just focus on the positive aspects of her life. She's still one of the most controversial people in America because of her radical political activism especially as it relates to the Vietnam War.
The Hollywood Reporter: Susan Lacy & Jane Fonda in Five Acts- From Hedonism To Activism

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Bob Saget- Comedy, Full House & Dirty Jokes

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: The New Democrat

Talking about Bob Saget, comedy, and dirty jokes, reminds me of the great but unfortunately short-lived comedian Lenny Bruce. Who was actually arrested on stage in the late 1950s and through the 1960s for telling dirty jokes. Joking about sexuality and using what was called back then dirty language. Clear violations of Lenny Bruce's First Amendment rights, but back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, American culture was a lot different. We were a lot more collectivist as a society and culture and similar to how women weren't required by law to stay home and raise their kids, while their husbands went out and worked to pay the bills, dirty jokes weren't considered acceptable to the point that people could literally get arrested and face jail and prison time for using them.

Forget about Bob Saget for a minute who I'm sure in his own right is a swell kind of guy, but this interview is starting to put me to sleep and just because someone is boring doesn't necessarily mean they're a bad guy. Of course you can be boring and a bad person, but Saget I believe is just boring at least as an interview. But to tell you what I think about comedy personally, comedy to me whether you're talking about dirty jokes or clean jokes, comedy to me it about expression. It's about how the comedian communicates to their audience what they're thinking and what they're experiencing. But does it in a humorous way.

You have comedians who talk about their most personal of relationships. Rodney Dangerfield's wife was his personal target practice and he was always making fun of his wife. You have comedians who joke about  travel experiences and what life is like on the road for them and make a living simply by having an excellent memory and joke about the hotel rooms they stayed at and the meals they ate. Plane flights, renting cars on the road. You have comedians who joke about politics, current affairs, American culture. Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Dennis Miller, Bill Maher, and many others. Comedians tend to joke about what they're personally experiencing and what they're currently thinking.

I believe the best comedians are the comedians who have great accurate memories. Who don't necessarily write down everything that they see and experience, but make mental notes and situations, people that they experience and find an intelligent way to talk about that in their acts. Who make fun of people and situations, but not to bash someone or something and try to make that person look like the worst loser since the 1976 0-14 Tampa Buccaneers ( sorry for the NFL joke ) but instead make fun of things that person did or experienced and talk about their own funny experiences with those people.

Jerry Seinfeld who is a great comedian but not buy favorite comedian, is an expert of of the personal comedy. Johnny Carson who is much better than Seinfeld, was even better at this style of humor as well as being a great political satirist. Comedians who takes notes of life and do a great job of analyzing it in a fun, humorous, intelligent way.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Bob Saget- Comedy, Full House & Dirty Jokes

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Professor Thaddeus Russell- Socialism, Authoritarianism & Liberalism

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

I disagree with Dave Rubin at least one point here and it gets to my main beef ( for lack of a better word ) with Libertarians today who are not Classical Liberals, but hardcore Libertarians and even Anarcho-Libertarians. Who believe they're the only defenders of freedom and everyone else right or left are big government statists and fascists.

But if you're familiar with American politics you know it's not as simple as ordering a meal when you're a patient at a hospital. And you're essentially choosing between two things you don't want to eat because they'll both taste bad, but you're smart enough to know that you don't want to die from starvation in a hospital and you order the least bad tasting of the two choices. You decide that if you're going to die in a hospital, it will be on the operating table, not from starvation on your hospital bed.

When it comes to people who believe in personal autonomy, personal choice, personal responsibility, free speech, it's not Libertarians versus everyone else. With Libertarians being the only believers in freedom in America, versus the statists. That everyone else including Liberals and Progressives on the center-left and Conservatives and even Conservative-Libertarians on the center-right, are really just big government statists. And are no better than the Christian-Nationalists on the far-right and Socialists and Communists on the far-left.

This libertarian fascism ( which might sound like an Oxymoron ) where there Libertarians even who believe they have all the intelligence and all the bright ideas and the only believers in freedom, is the main reason why I can't be a Libertarian and will always be a Liberal, even if you prefer to call me a Classical Liberal. Because as a Liberal I can't look at politics as good versus evil with one side having all the morality and the other side being evil.

There good Liberals, there good Progressives, there good Conservatives, there good Conservative-Libertarians, there even some good Socialists. Democratic generally, but there are good Socialists. There good Christian-Conservatives who by enlarge are good Christians even, who I just tend to disagree with on social issues, but who aren't racists and people who do care about others and always looking to help people in need live better lives. American politics to me is not about good versus evil, but debating what's the best approach and what are the best ideas and leaving it to the voters to figure this out and who they select to lead them to govern. Not about the good conquering the evil.

Now, where I agree with Dave Rubin is that political labels are losing their meaning. If you were just getting into American politics yesterday, you might think liberal is just another way of saying socialist or communist. And are people who are simply involved in politics to eliminate all forms of individuality and individualism and put women in charge of everything. And believe Caucasians are basically bad people, especially Anglo-Saxons and men, are bad people.

And that if you were just getting into American politics yesterday, you might believe that conservative is another way of saying Christian-Nationalist militarist fascist, who hates all non-Europeans and even hates some Europeans as well who aren't of English or British background. Like Jews, Italians, Slavs, and other Southern Europeans. Who want to force their religious and moral values on the rest of the country and want to eliminate our liberal democratic federal republic and replace it with an fundamentalist Evangelical Christian theocracy.

But if you're actually familiar with American politics, you know that both liberalism and conservatism, are not about authoritarianism and they are similar, but not because they're both about authoritarianism, but because they both believe in a high degree of individualism and personal autonomy. Both believe in capitalism and private enterprise, property rights, civil liberties, strong national defense, that America has an important role in the world to promote and defend human rights  and freedom, but differ when it comes to the role of government especially as it relates to the economy. Liberals tend to be more in favor of a public safety net for people who truly need it and regulations to protect consumers and workers. And Conservatives tend to be more in favor of privatization when it comes to the economy.

Of course there are people who believe that individualism and personal autonomy, are horrible things and that European-Americans tend to be bad people and everything else that comes from the Far-Left. And there are people who basically believe that non-Europeans are bad people and that there are even Europeans who are bad people. Who want to enforce their moral and religious values on the rest of everyone else in America. But you have Socialists and Communists on the far-left, who believe in these far-left anti-individiualist, anti-male, anti-European-American values. And you have have Christian-Nationalists on the far-right who believe their religious and moral values are superior to everyone else and therefor should be forced on everyone else in America. But these people aren't Liberals or Conservatives. There authoritarians, but from different factions ranging from the far-left to the far-right.

But I go back to my point about ordering a meal in a hospital ( that I would only wish on my worst enemies to have to do ) that American politics is not a choice between a bad chicken dinner and a bad spaghetti dinner. That the American political spectrum is more like what you would see at a good diner or restaurant and it might take you five minutes to read the whole thing, maybe ten if you haven't been to that diner or restaurant before or because you have so many good choices. That it's not about liberal and liberal representing the entire left-wing in America and that conservative represents the entire right-wing in America. Liberals represent the center pro-freedom left in America. Conservatives represent the center pro-freedom  right in America. And you have you all these fringe factions on both wings that make the Liberals and Conservatives look like they're something that they're not, which are authoritarians.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Thaddeus Russell- Liberalism, Socialism & Authoritarianism

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- Donald Trump, Russia & Impeachment

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When it comes to Donald Trump, I lean on the side that Donald Trump is not the disease itself when it comes to our political system, but he's the beneficiary of it. He's benefited from an American political system where the term politician is used as a political insult. Calling someone a politician in America now is like calling them an asshole. "That politician, you can never trust what he says." Same thing can be said about assholes, I mean what do assholes know about anything, they're assholes and speaking out of their asses are natural acts for them.

Americans tend to now hate politicians and hate politics at least in the sense the political games that politicians play. Always looking for the upper hand against their opponent, instead of doing their jobs which is governing. These are the problems, this is what can be done about it right now and it needs to be addressed right now before the situation becomes so bad that a lot of people will get hurt by it. That is how government used to work up until 15-20 years ago in America even if that meant Democrats working with Republicans together in order to make the country better.

Today politics in America is how do we blame the other side and make them look like they're unreasonable obstructionists so the voters don't like them and vote for us instead. Donald Trump didn't create this system of hyper-partisanship and gridlock, he just came in and took advantage of it with the promises that he would come in and fix the problems and make government work again. We now all know ( or at least anyone with a brain is who mentally sane ) that Donald Trump was selling Americans three months old steaks and burgers for full price and literally just selling people a lot of junk ( to put it mildly ) that he was literally bullshitting Americans in order to get into power and then profit from his presidency.

But again without the hyper-partisanship from both parties in America where you have these two large political parties literally in the business now to try to destroy the other and claim absolute power in America, instead of offering Americans a positive agenda and giving then positive reasons to vote for them and looking to govern while they're still trying to gain additional power, the Donald Trump that we see today as President would still be an actual celebrity star on TV. Because he wouldn't have a movement that he could speak to because Americans by in large wouldn't hate politicians and not distrust government.

I blame Donald Trump for his actions as President of the United States and what he did when he was running for President, as well as his private political activism with the so-called birther movement against President Barack Obama, but I don't blame him for the political system that he inherited. Even though he's made it worst and represents a threat to our federal checks and balances form of government. Trump is simply a beneficiary of a political system and government that was already there where Americans tend not to trust government and politicians and hate the two political parties because they see both parties as not much more than partisan hacks looking to destroy the other party. Instead of offering a positive agenda for why they should be elected.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- Donald Trump, Russia & Impeachment

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- Issues With Conservatism, Health Care & Donald Trump

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The first part of this interview Dave Rubin and David Frum are talking about Canada and Canadian politics and what I'm interested here since David Frum is Conservative ( as he puts it ) is that what it means to be a Canadian Conservative is even different from what it means to even be a British Conservative. And certainly different from what it means to be an American Conservative whether you're talking about Conservative-Libertarians ( the real Conservatives in America ) and extremely different from what it means to a a Religious-Conservative. Whether you're talking about Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or whatever else when it comes to Religious-Conservatives.

Canadian Conservatives are to the right of British Conservatives. British Conservatives operate in a socialist unitarian social democratic state in the United Kingdom, where Conservatives there in many cases are just less socialist than the Labour Party. Especially Jermey Corbyn ( the Leader of the Labour Party ) who represents the Far-Left of the Labour Party. But Canadian Conservatives are to the left of both Conservative-Libertarians on economic policy at least, and to the left of Christian-Conservatives in America are on social policy.

The main differences between Canadian Conservatives from lets say the Goldwater-Reagan Conservative-Libertarian wing of the Republican Party, is that Canadian Conservatives believe limited government, fiscal responsibility, a large private sector where private enterprise and economic freedom are encouraged, but where there is a large generous welfare state for people who truly need it. That taxes and regulations on businesses should be fairly low, but individuals are taxed fairly high to fund their welfare state like their national health insurance system.

When I think of a Conservative and yes of course I'm looking at this from the perspective of an American and maybe if I had duel citizenships I could look at Conservative from multiple national perspectives, but just as an American I look at Conservative from a U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, individual rights, traditionalist, standpoint. That the job of government is to defend the republic and defend our individual rights. Encourage individual freedom instead of using big government to try to manage people's lives for them either from an economic or personal perspective. Sounds very similar to my own liberal politics but we differ on the role of government as it relates to welfare policy. But tend to share very similar if not identical principles.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing David Frum- On Issues With Conservatism, Health Care & Donald Trump

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Brian Domitrovic- Who Was JFK?

Source: The Rubin Report
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When you're talking about people who are called Classical Liberals ( the real Liberals ) I believe John F. Kennedy has to at the top of the list. Or at least towards the top of the list. Former Republican presidential nominee businessman Wendell Willkie, Thomas Jefferson, and a few others today. Former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator John F. Kerry, ( one of my favorite Liberals ) is a JFK Democrat and would be on that list as well. People who believe in both personal freedom and economic freedom. Limited but good government that should be used to protect our individual rights and even be used to help people help themselves.

Not that then Vice President Richard Nixon wasn't a strong anticommunist in 1960, because he was but then Senator John Kennedy was the strongest anticommunist in that presidential election. The Liberals were the anticommunists, as well as FDR Progressives and of course Conservative Republicans. Like Senator Barry Goldwater, to use as an example. Liberals are still anticommunists and antiauthoritarian across the board today, but generally when you think of the Left today there's not much of a center on the Left anymore. The center-left seems to be dying in America and you talk about the Left in America today you're generally talking about Socialists. In some cases Democratic Socialists like Bernie Sanders, but in a lot of cases you're talking about just pure Socialists and even Communists. Socialism including communism, is very popular with Millennial's today.

But back in the 1950s and even the early 1960s, Liberals were very prominent in America. People who believed in civil rights and equal rights for all Americans. Who believed in free speech and property rights for all Americans. People who believe in personal autonomy for all Americans. Who believed in a strong but limited national defense to be able to defend America from any possible threat, as well as defeat communism and other authoritarian government's around. And a safety net for people who truly need it to help low-income and low-skilled people in the short-term, while they're preparing themselves to not just go to work, but get themselves a good job and become self-sufficient. This is the liberalism that Jack Kennedy represented and had it not have been for his unfortunate assassination in 1963, this is the liberalism that he would've run on for reelection in 1964 and probably had gotten reelected.

Think about what would've happened had President Kennedy not have been assassinated in 1963. He gets reelected in 1964 and we don't enter the Vietnam War in 1965 and as a result the Democratic Party doesn't collapse in the late 1960s because of Vietnam and the socialist New-Left perhaps doesn't emerge as well. At least not to the extent that it became where they could actually get themselves elected to major offices and become a major part of the Democratic Party which nominates Socialist Senator George McGovern for President in 1972.

As far as the JFK tax cut, it was actually President Lyndon Johnson ( Progressive Democrat ) who gets that passed through Congress in 1964. That of course President Kennedy proposed in 1962. And it was also President Johnson who got the JFK 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress as well. And the tax cut wasn't a supply side tax cut. They lowered tax rates across the board which was the right thing to do, but he paid for those tax cuts by eliminating tax loopholes. Which is something that so-called Conservatives ( supply siders, really ) today don't seem to ever mention. They say JFK cut taxes for everyone without cutting spending which lead to all of this great economic growth of the 1960s and the tax cuts paid for themselves. Which is the argument that they used for the Ronald Reagan tax cuts of 1981. Which simply didn't happen. JFK's tax cuts were paid for upfront by eliminating loopholes in the tax code.

I'm a JFK Liberal Democrat personally and unfortunately one of the last of the Liberal Democrats in the Democratic Party. The classical liberal wing of the Democratic Party seems to be dying as the Socialists are taking over to the point that in 2020 the Democratic choice for President might be either Senator Bernie Sanders or Senator Elizabeth Warren. But liberalism is how Democrats win national elections and how they can appeal to blue-collar voters., which is what Jack Kennedy was able to do. By pushing for both personal and economic freedom, equal rights, civil rights, a safety net for people who actually need it. Instead of saying that big government can take care of everyone for everyone and individualism and freedom is too risky. Which is what the Socialists in party seem to represent today.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin Interviewing Brian Domitrovic- Who Was JFK?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- Socialism Isn't Cool

Source: The Rubin Report-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Dave Rubin makes one mistake about socialism up front which is common for people on the Right especially, but sometimes on the Left as well, which is to lump all Socialists into one political box. As if all Democrats fit into one political box, or all Republicans fit into one political box, or even all Libertarians fit into one political box. There are Socialists and then there are Socialists. The Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats, the democratic wing of socialism and then there are Communists, which make up the authoritarian wing of socialism.

Where Dave Rubin is right is that all Socialists have one thing in common. Which is what they view as the greater good and collective, is more important than the individual. That individual freedom is somehow bad and perhaps even racist, if it means that there are people who do very well economically and live well in society, when there are poor people who's struggle just to survive. Perhaps skip meals so their kids can at least have something to eat that day. That is what Socialists believe that what you should do instead is to see that all the recourses in the country are divided up equally so no one is rich and no one is poor. Even if that means putting strict limits on individual economic freedom and even individual personal freedom.

The title of Dave Rubin's video is "Socialism Isn't Cool" and yet he doesn't mention why socialism is not cool, but instead just mentions the negative aspects of socialism and socialist countries like Venezuela. Tell that to the millions if not tens of millions of Millennial's who voted for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primaries for President and the perhaps hundreds of thousands of voters who voted for Jill Stein for President during the 2016 general election. To them, socialism is the new awesome or whatever and anyone who is not a Socialist to them, must be a racist or a bigot or someone working to protect the man and keep women and minorities down. To them socialism is like totally awesome or whatever and anyone who is not a Socialist is not awesome.

My issues with socialism gets to what Dave Rubin laid out which is the collectivist nature of it. That it's somehow unfair and selfish for individuals to get a good education and then take those skills to the private market and imply them and be rewarded handsomely for them. But what they may never understand is that once you discourage wealth, opportunity, success, and individualism, you get a hell of a lot less of it and leave yourself less resources to help people who for whatever reasons aren't doing well in society. And you also leave yourself with a lot less innovation and creativity, because people are left to wonder why they should do well in school and at work, when big government is just going to take most of their resources from then to subsidize people who aren't doing well.

You want a free developed society with as many people as possible doing well in life, then you have to subsidize and promote the things that make freedom and success possible. Which is education, opportunity, equality under law, equal rights, success, and yes wealth. Which is what you don't get in a socialist society whether it's a communist society like Cuba and now Venezuela which essentially functions as a one-party unitarian communist state, or a social democratic society like Britain where even when the Conservatives are in charge individualism and individual freedom, is discouraged and even punished for the sake of the collective.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin- Socialism Isn't Cool