Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Monday, January 15, 2018

Talking Union: Celebrating The Life and Work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Source: UNAC/UCHP-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat Plus

Every time I hear our President Donald Trump speak and give one of his shithole comments or says something else that is disgusting about an entire group of Americans and people, I think about the worst and most ignorant of Americans. Bigots and racists from all races and ethnicities in America.

America, which could be called the world instead because America represents the entire world as far as everyone now lives hear and represents the best of America which is our diversity and individualism. The ability for all Americans to be exactly who they are and make the best life for them that they possibly can. Our diversity and individualism represents the best of America, while Donald Trump and his backers including Neo-Nazis and other European-American hate groups, representing the worst of America.

Dr. Martin Luther King represents the best of America. A Silent Generation baby born in 1929 at the start of the Great Depression. Which for an African-American born in them and born in the deep South in Georgia, would be worst than a depression, compared with European-American babies and even English-Protestant-American babies born during the same time and period. Born not to poverty but certainly modest means and having to fight racism his whole life but certainly growing up and coming through all of that working his way through college and becoming one of the best Reverends and religious leaders, as well as civil rights leaders that America has ever seen.

Dr. King represents the best of America because he proves that every American regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or who they were born to and the economic status of their parents, can make it in America if they want to make it in America and do the work to make it in America. Live a responsible life, get themselves a good education, and then apply those skills in the workforce. That it’s not about how people were born or who they were born to, that determines what kind of life you’ll have in America, but what you do with your life after you’re born that determines if you make it in America.

Dr. King’s life and vision for America with his I Have a Dream speech, represents America at it’s best. I mean think about this for a minute . “I have a dream where my children will one day be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.” That is what America is about and should be about. That every American regardless of race, ethnicity, or gender, can make it in America is they simply apply themselves and get the skills that they need to make it in America. So when you hear Donald Trump or some other shithole, make a shithole comment, treat that comment or comments for what they are, but also remember there is another vision for America that is more accurate about what America really is and represents America at it’s best.
Source: Above Inspiration: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- Be The Best of Whatever You Are

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The New York Times: Opinion- Thomas J. Knock: George McGovern, Vietnam & The Democratic Crackup

Source: The New York Times-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

There was a Democratic Party crackup in the 1960s and the debate is really when it happened. Pre-JFK assassination (which should be a clue for you) the Democratic Party was made up of Progressive cold warrior anti-Communists and Dixiecrats who today would be not just right-wing Republicans, but Far-Right-wing Republicans. But what the Democratic Party had in common was that they were anti-Communists. President John Kennedy is assassinated in 1963 and there was a leadership void and leadership that kept the Democratic Party together ideologically and politically.

Plus, you have the Baby Boom Generation starting to come of age in the early and mid 1960s who weren't anti-Communists at least when they were young and didn't see communism as some threat to their way of life. Who were anti-war pacifists at least when it came to the American military, who hated America's involvement in the Vietnam War and wanted to create a new America by any means necessary. That was less individualist, less capitalist, and less military.

The New-Left emerges as this movement that was a socialist movement made of both Democratic Socialists and even Communists. Groups like Students For a Democratic Society, The Weather Underground, and other New-Left socialist groups in America. This is the movement that broke the Democratic Party in half in 1968 and a reason why Hubert Humphrey loss the presidential election to Richard Nixon in 1968 and backed George McGovern for President in 1972.

If you look at George McGovern 1972 presidential campaign, he was the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his era. Someone who believed America was too decentralized when it came to its form of government. Who wanted to create a Scandinavian welfare state for America with the Federal Government being responsible for lot of the basic human services that we consume in life. Who was anti-wealth and believed that Americans were generally undertaxed. But McGovern pre-1968 or so was lot more mainstream with his politics. A World War II veteran who served honorably as a fighter pilot. Born and raised in North Dakota, who was very religious. George McGovern was never a New York City or San Francisco radical Socialist, who was anti-American and saw America as the real evil empire in the world. Even in 1972 he didn't believe that.

But on economic policy George McGovern was the Bernie Sanders of his era and Bernie Sanders was the George McGovern of his era. Not people who believed American capitalism was evil and should be destroyed and replaced with some type of Marxist economic system. But was someone who believed that American capitalism should be used to finance a very generous welfare state and go together as part of a new American economic system. A large private sector and private enterprise system, to go along with a generous welfare state financed through high taxes on everyone. On economic policy at least George and Bernie, were always way to the left of most Americans on economic policy, even if they would be considered mainstream Center-Left Social Democrats in Europe.
Source: AP Archive: Senator George McGovern- Vietnam War Speech: 10/28/1972

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: The 1944 Coup Against Vice President Henry Wallace

Source: The Real News-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

The division between in the Democratic Party between the Hillary Clinton, even though I don't believe she's that strong of a Democratic leader anymore, but her New Democratic Theodore Roosevelt progressive wing of the party and the Bernie Sanders social democratic wing of Social Democrats/Democratic Socialists, is not new. Which might be the only thing that I agree with Paul Jay and Peter Kuznick on.

There were Socialists in the Democratic Party in the 1930s and the 1940s which was a Dixiecrat party with some Northern Progressives led by Franklin Roosevelt, but there were people even further left than FDR and his wing of the Democratic Party led by Democratic Socialist Henry Wallace who was President Roosevelt's Vice President from 1941-45. But there were also Neo-Confederate right-wing Dixiecrat Democrats who represented the Bible Belt South of the Democratic Party. That fought against desegregation, civil rights laws, and even the New Deal, but supported President Roosevelt's liberal internationalist anti-Communist foreign policy.

The extremely unfortunate assassination of President John Kennedy, is where you see the Democratic Party change. The Democratic Party up until the 1980s or so was never a pure left-wing party that was dominated by Social Democrats. They always had a Far-Left which was made up of Socialists, but they also had a Center-Left of JFK Liberal Democrats and the FDR Progressives. And I mean liberal and progressive both in the classical and real sense. Not the stereotypical sense of someone who believes in big government across the board and doesn't believe in national defense or law enforcement and sees individualism and freedom as dangerous. But liberal and progressive in the sense as people who believe in individual rights, equal rights, and progress.

The 1960s and 1970s is where you see the old Henry Wallace New-Left Socialist wing of the Democratic Party come to life. Thanks to the Baby Boomers growing up and becoming very politically active. And they were so powerful in the Democratic Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Senator George McGovern (the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialist of his generation) wins the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Gets trounced by President Richard Nixon, but that is only because there weren't a lot of Socialists in America back in the early 1970s.

The Democratic Party is exactly that. People who believe in democracy. In some cases that means liberal democracy, the JFK Liberal Democrats which is the wing of the party I'm from. But you also have Democrats who believe in social democracy and democratic socialism. Which is the wing that Bernie Sanders now leads, that Henry Wallace led in the 1940s and George McGovern led in the 1970s. But the Democratic Party has never been a purely liberal democratic party or social democratic party and pre-1960s or so the Democratic Party was a Dixiecrat Neo-Confederate party. Which is one reason why the Democratic Party has always been fairly divided.
The Real News: Paul Jay Interviewing Peter Kuznick- Undoing The New Deal: The 1944 Coup Against Henry Wallace

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Rubin Report: Scott Adams & Dave Rubin- Donald Trump's Persuasion and Presidency

Source: The Rubin Report-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

Is Donald Trump the best salesman we've ever seen in American politics as far as getting people to by what he's selling regardless of the quality of products that he's selling, or is he the best conman we've ever seen in American politics? If you look at his agenda and how unpopular it is and his lack of success in getting anything that he ran on 2016 passed in Congress, he's not a very good salesman.

Running for president and even getting elected President, is obviously a hell of a lot different than doing the job and getting people to support what you're doing. A 33-35% approval rating out of 100% by the way, is not a very good record as far as selling your presidency and your agenda. So in this sense at least he's the worst salesman perhaps we've ever seen in American politics, at least to this point, because only a third of the country is buying what he's doing right now.

Donald Trump literally operates in a fact free world. Its not what the truth actually is that concerns him, because the truth is generally bad about him. Its what he can literally get away with that concerns him. This is why I mentioned the conman part because if the conman literally operated from the truth and told people he has all of this junk to sell you or this scam you should invest in and give the conman most of the money that the customer would never see a dime on and would lose a lot of money instead, the conman would never be successful, obviously. Donald Trump operates in the same fact free world that a conman operates from. Its not the truth thats important, but what he can get away with and what he can get people to believe.

One thing I'll give Donald Trump credit for is that he's a master salesman/conman at getting people who now hate American politics (thanks to the Republican Party and Democratic Party) to buy what he's selling. He's great with labeling people and situations and great with political catch phrases. "Make America great again." Well, if you get past the small point that most Americans including myself already think America is great and thought America was great back in 2008-09 when George W. Bush was still President, who could possibly disagree with that catch phrase. Who doesn't (except for Socialists and Communists) want America to be great?

I agree with Scott Adams on one thing. But I would have one qualifier to that. I believe a popular inspirational well-funded Democrat would have beaten Donald Trump in 2016 just because Trump s Trump and the campaign he ran. Hillary Clinton lost Pennsylvania and Michigan because Democrats there voted for Trump. Imagine someone with Hillary's personal and professional qualifications, but without the baggage. Who was likable and viewed generally as fairly honest at least. Barack Obama if hr were eligible to run for a third term as President in 2016, I believe beats Trump going away.

What Donald Trump had going for him if that even though America finally broke away from the Great Recession and the economy was firmly strong again, you had millions of blue-collar Caucasian-American voters in the Midwest who weren't feeling the economic recovery. And if anything were worst off than they were ten years ago. Who saw immigration and perhaps even Latinos and Middle Easterners, as a threat to their way of life. Which is the base of voters that Donald Trump spoke to and claimed to represent. Even though just 6-8 years ago Donald Trump was a damn Yankee from New York City and even a Liberal Democrat (in the real sense, not stereotypical sense) who was friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton and who liked The Kennedy's.

To go back to the conman part of Donald Trump. Trump was able to sell bag of goods that had probably already expired years ago and was able to sell these people that he represented them and was going to fight for them. And ran this tribalist nationalist campaign of us against them. What they would call the real Americans, against people who hated America, as they would argue. And when you have a section of the country who believes their America is disappearing and your opponent is Hillary Clinton or someone as unpopular as she is and a Democratic Party that rather not vote at all, than to vote for either Hillary or The Donald, a presidential campaign that Trump run can be effective and even win.
The Rubin Report: Dave Rubin and Scott Adams- Donald Trump's Persuasion and Presidency

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Chomsky's Philosophy: Noam Chomsky- Should Neo-Nazis Be Allowed Free Speech?

Source: Chomsky's Philosophy-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Noam Chomsky is a self-described Socialist and Libertarian-Socialist, no one's moderate or right-winger, making the perfect argument for why even Neo-Nazis and others on the Far-Right in America, deserve free speech rights simply for being American citizens. Even if they're the worst Americans citizens that we have in America.

Professor Chomsky arguing both for practical as well as principal reasons why even Neo-Nazis have free rights in America. The practical reason being that Neo-Nazis could claim that their First Amendment rights are being trampled on an violated if some government authority passed some censorship law banning free speech in their jurisdiction or if the Federal Government attempted to do that and than enforced that law on Neo-Nazis and other Far-Right hate groups. These hate groups could no only claim that, but they would be right. The right to free speech in America, just doesn't protect free speech, but it protects speech. Including speech that offends the oversensitive so-called politically correct (really Far-Left) in America. Or speech that offends the Christian-Right in America. Certain forms of entertainment that offends the Christian-Right's moral and religious values.

The First Amendment-

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right or the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The Supreme Court has made only three exceptions to this.

Inciting violence like yelling fire and calling for a panic in a large crowded public place.

Falsely libeling people and libeling people with no real base or evidence to back up what you're accusing the person of.

And harassment. You can name call people and call them bad names, but once the person moves away from you and makes it clear they don't want to even hear from you, let alone talk to you, but you insist and follow the person around simply to harass them, you could face legal consequences for that if the person presses charges against you, as well as civil charges.

Simply using language that is offensive and even hatful, as well as false against people you hate short of calling for violence against that individual or people, is protected by the First Amendment in the United States. We're all equal citizens in America all having the same constitutional rights and deserve to have those rights equally enforced and protected. From the best of us who work everyday to make America a better country for everyone and who volunteer for people who are disadvantaged and even donate their time and money to people who aren't doing well. To hateful assholes who look down on people simply because they have a different complexion and are of a different racial and ethnic background as the people who hate them.

As Noam Chomsky the way to deal with Neo-Nazis and other hate groups, is to win the argument. Shouldn't be that difficult to do for anyone with even average intelligence. Most Americans or at least a large majority of us, don't hate people or feel superior to other people, simply because they have a different race or ethnicity. If Neo-Nazis want to claim that Africans are animals and not humans and therefor not deserving of the same rights as Europeans, well we all know that Africans are human beings. If the Neo-Nazis want to deny the Jewish Holocaust and genocide in Europe, show people the footage and literature that proves how false those claims are. Simply just show Americans who are young and perhaps don't know any better how stupid these hate groups are simply by showing people what these groups have claimed and people will know how stupid they are.
Chomsky's Philosophy: Noam Chomsky- Should Neo-Nazis Be Allowed Free Speech?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

AlterNet: Opinion- Liz Posner: '8 Things That Are Probably True About You if You Identify As Spiritual But Not Religious'

Source: AlterNet-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

When I hear someone tell me that they're spiritual, but not religious, my first reaction if I'm not smirking is something generally like, "really?"

Someone who is religious believes in a God who is a superhuman controlling power and a belief in something greater than them self.

Someone who is self-described as spiritual, but not religious is someone who believes in the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul, as opposed to material or physical things. Sort of sounds like the definition of a Socialist, but that might be for a different discussion. According to Wikipedia the term spirituality originally developed within early Christianity.

Someone who is religious is also spiritual. I mean, what do you think houses of worship are for. You could be someone who practices a certain religion but doesn't believe in God or is simply neutral when it comes to God like an Agnostic and be spiritual in that way. There's this growing movement with young people (meaning Millennial's) who don't want to be religious or at least seen as religious with people they hangout with or respect, because they believe those people will think they're not cool or something, but they also don't want to be identified as Atheists either. So they try to thread the needle (so to speak) and self-identify as spiritual.

Spirituality is very common and popular with hipsters especially in Hollywood who believe religion is not cool, or at least their followers believe religion is not cool, but they're not comfortable identifying themselves as Atheists, because they come from religious families or perhaps just don't want to be known as an Atheist. In case it isn't obvious, Hollywood is about perception and not reality. Style over substance, which is something that they have in common with politicians.

If someone tells me they're an Atheist, I can respect that. I mean really, who can honestly actually say they've seen God before, let alone met the man. I mean, we don't see any sightings of Jesus Christ, or Moses, or Allah, except maybe around Halloween.

Its the fundamentalist Atheists who I have a problem with who look down upon people who are religious simply because they're religious. Or the faux Atheists who claim to be Atheists, but only critique Christianity especially fundamentalist Protestant Christianity because of hard-core stances that Evangelicals take on social issues and bigotry that they show against gays and other religions, women's place in the world, but never critique other religions that have similar, if not identical stances on the same issues.

Or so-called Atheists who label people as bigots even when they accurately critique Muslims for their regressive views on the same social issues that Evangelicals are known for having. And of course I'm talking about how the so-called politically correct Far-Left went after Bill Maher a few years ago for his stances against Islam. Bill Maher is a real Atheist and doesn't just call himself to sound cool with hipsters.

I'm an Agnostic myself simply because I don't know if there is a God or not. As a Liberal I base all my political beliefs as well as non-political beliefs on reason, evidence, and facts. Instead of having faith in some so-called higher being who supposedly always has my best interest at heart. Even though I never met this supposed person. And I'm someone who tends to not have faith in things or people, unless there's good reason and evidence to have faith. But just because you don't know that there is a God, doesn't mean you know there isn't a God. Which is where I separate from Atheists.

A big problem with America especially with young people (I know I sound like a grandfather now) is faddism. This need to be seen following whatever the current trend is especially with whatever fad young cool people are following. If walking down the street or showing up to work wearing nothing but a t-shirt, underwear, and cowboy boots, became a regular thing with whoever the current hot celebrities are supposed to be, you would see thousands if not millions of young Americans doing the same thing. And we would probably see a spike in the unemployment rate as a result, at least with young adults, because those people would get fired right on the spot for completely breaking the company dress code. Spirituality along with Scientology, is a Hollywood hipster fad and when its no longer seen as cool is when it will disappear. But not a movement that I respect or even take seriously.
Source: Koi Fresco: Religion Vs. Spirituality

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Democratic Socialist: Classical Liberalism and Fascism

Source: Democratic Socialist-
Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat 

According to Wikipedia: "Fascism is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism, characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. The first fascist movements emerged in Italy during World War I before it spread to other European countries. Opposed to liberalism, Marxism and anarchism, fascism is usually placed on the far-right within the traditional left–right spectrum."

To put it simply Fascists believe that their beliefs and values are so superior to anyone else's, that people who disagree with them, their beliefs and values are not worthy of being considered and perhaps those people don't have a right to even exist. Fascists believe that any opposition to what they believe should not be allowed to exist. Generally one of the first things that authoritarians do when they come to power in a country is attempt to completely shut down the political opposition and put them in prison, if not just murder the opposition. And then they shut down any private media organizations that disagree with their regime and report negative information about the authoritarian regime. Noticed, I haven't labeled Fascists as right-wing or left-wing.

The only governing philosophy that fascism is about is complete destruction of any possible opposition to what the party in power believes in. And for Fascists who aren't in power but would like to come to power, they believe opposition movements to what they believe in and advocate, don't have the same rights to exists, speak, and believe, that they do.

Communism is a governing philosophy.

Democratic socialism/social democracy, is a governing philosophy.

Libertarianism is a governing philosophy.

Religious theocracy or religious nationalism, whether its Christian or Muslim, are governing philosophies.

And then go to the Center-Left with progressivism which is a governing philosophy.

Liberalism is a governing philosophy.

Conservatism/conservative-libertarianism, is a governing philosophy.

But Fascists, similar to Nationalists who are also Fascists, are on both the Far-Left and Far-Right, both in North America and Europe.

Communists who are on the Far-Left, don't believe political opposition to what they believe and advocate, have a right to even exist let alone speak out. Right-wing Nationalists who are cultural Marxists and Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right and ethno-Nationalists like the KKK and Neo-Nazis, on the extreme Far-Right, believe that opposition to what they believe don't have a right to even exist, let alone speak out.

Now liberalism according to Wikipedia:

"Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.  Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, gender equality and international cooperation.

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy and the divine right of kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law."

In other words Liberals believe in individual rights, as well as liberty and equality. Some of those individual rights are obviously Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, as well as Freedom of Assembly. Property rights and the Right to Privacy. Communists and even Democratic Socialists, tend to oppose most if not all of these liberal values which are reasons why they're not Liberals, but Communists and Socialists. Communists don't believe in democracy because they see it as a  threat to their regime and absolute power over society, even to serve the people. Democratic Socialists believe in democracy and even in the right for non-Socialists and even right-wingers to exist. But promote the human welfare and total economic equality, over property rights and individual freedom, both economic as well as personal freedom.

This is an important debate and discussion and debate especially in a time like now and in a country like America where political literacy (for lack of a better term) meaning knowledge of different political philosophies, are so low. Where people get labeled as Liberals by the media and by themselves even though they don't believe in Freedom of Speech, at least for people who disagree with them., don't believe in property rights, and in many cases don't even believe in personal freedom. And yet they get labeled as Liberals even though consistently promote illiberal values over liberal values and have illiberal tendencies instead of liberal tendencies.
Democratic Socialist: Classical Liberalism and Fascism