Saturday, September 24, 2016

Laura Flanders: Is A Socialist Future Possible? Sarah Leonard & Bhaskar Sunkara

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, becau..."

Is a socialist future possible? Well I guess anything is possible at least in the future. I don't think this is the right question, because it's sort of like asking will we one day see cars that fly for people who don't want to sit in traffic on the way to work. I guess that is possible, but who is expecting that. We need to separate the possible and the reasonable and realistic, because they're different things. The next President of the United States, won't be a Socialist or Social Democrat. (Sorry Jill Stein supporters) The next President will either a moderate pragmatic Progressive (which is what Progressives are) in Hillary Clinton, or a right-wing authoritarian fascist in Donald Trump. Whoever controls the next Congress, the Speaker of the House won't be a Socialist, even if it is Nancy Pelosi and the Speaker's members won't be social-democratic, at least the majority. Once you get past the Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. The next Leader of the Senate, won't be a Socialist or Social-Democrat, even if it is Chuck Schumer. And his members won't be social-democratic by nature. Once you get beyond Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin. So Socialists and Social-Democrats, won't control the next Congress in either chamber.

People point to the Millennial Generation as reason to believe we're moving in a socialist or social-democratic direction as a country as far as ideology. But go back to the late 1960s and early 1970s and yes George McGovern did win the Democratic nomination for president in 1972. But most of his support came from young Baby Boomers in their twenties. And look at the Baby Boom Generation today and you see a generation (with all due respect) that grew up. They got jobs (once they started showering and got hair cuts) and started paying taxes. They go involved romantically outside of their radical political movement and got married and had kids. They got comfortable in American society and became very successful in life and perhaps also learned about the limits of socialism and what government can do for people with their taxes. And didn't become Conservatives necessarily, but certainly moderated and became what Hillary Clinton is today. And took more of a pragmatic center-left approach to what government should and can do for the people.

Again to go back to my original point about what is possible, twenties years from now can we see an America that is a social-democratic country that looks like Canada or Scandinavia when it comes to economic and foreign policy, again what isn't possible until it's proven impossible. But I'm more interested in what's reasonable and realistic. I guess I'm just not very romantic and if the Millennial's are anything like the Boomers or even Gen-Xers and a lot of Millennial's are the sons and daughters of Boomers and Gen-Xers, they'll moderate as well. Some might even move to the Center-Right. We don't know where we'll be as a country even four years from now politically. A lot of that will depend on how the first term of the next president goes. But to say that a large percentage of the young adult generation (Millennial's) like socialism and  based on that America is moving in a socialist direction, I would ask you 5-10 years from now if you still believe that. If the Baby Boomers were Socialists, than Ronald Reagan probably never becomes President. So just I believe it's way to early to decide what direction America is moving in politically until we actually get there.
Laura Flanders: Is a Socialist Future Possible? Bhaskar Sundara & Sarah Leonard

Sunday, September 18, 2016

World Opinion Forum-CBS News: President Richard Nixon's Resignation Speech- Dan Rather vs Roger Mudd

CBS News Correspondent Roger Mudd-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"CBS News Correspondent Roger Mudd- CBS News covering President Richard Nixon's resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn't born yet!) ..."

CBS News covering President Richard Nixon's resignation speech in August, 1974. (I wasn't born yet!) Of course because of President Nixon's involvement in the Watergate break in in 1972 where employees of the Richard Nixon Reelection Campaign, broke into Democratic National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in Washington in the summer of 1972. After it became clear because of President Nixon's presidential tapes that the President ordered the coverup. he lost most of whatever support he had left in Congress. At least enough in the House and even in his own party to prevent him from being impeached by the House with a bipartisan majority and win a conviction trial in the Senate. The President would have been impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate. That is how Congress can remove the President and Vice President from office. Congressional Republicans led by Senator Barry Goldwater, but Senate Minority Leader Hugh Scott and House Minority Leader John Rhodes, told President Nixon that the gig was up, so to speak. Went to the White House and told the President he can't survive Watergate and if he tries to he'll be removed from off by Congress.

That is why President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Because had he not he would have faced a worst embarressment of being removed from office by Congress and perhaps losing half of his own party in the House and Senate on those votes. Senate Republicans told President Nixon that he might have twenty votes for acquittal in the Senate if it went that far. You need 34 to defeat impeachment in the Senate and Republicans had 45 seats in the Senate in that Congress. More than enough to defeat an impeachment trial if they're united on it. President Nixon had calculated that he would probably get impeached by the Democratic House that had roughly 260 seats, but the win the conviction trial in the Senate. But Senator Goldwater told the President that he didn't have enough votes in the Senate for that and that he Barry Goldwater would vote for conviction.  Perhaps Richard Nixon did want to end this and save the country from seeng their President impeached and convicted. But it's clear that a big part of him resigning was to save himself from further embarrassment.

This Democratic Congress of 1973-74, was ready to get past impeachment and deal with other issues. Like making sure the Vietnam War ended swiftly and properly, the country was going through a recession and lacked affordable energy, inflation was becoming a big problem, rising unemployment, etc. But just as long as President Nixon was removed one way or another from office. Whether they had to do that themselves or the President voluntarily stepped down. So as Roger Mudd and Dan Rather were talking about as far as whether the House would go through on impeachment anyway even with the President resigning, there was no appetite for that in either the Democratic Caucus or Republican Caucus. And the Democratic Senate wanted nothing to do with an impeachment trial and neither did Senate Republicans, especially if the President already decided to voluntarily resign. Richard Nixon being the master politician he was, knew when to fold and when he lost all support which is why he resigned from office.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Objective Standard: Dr. Martin Luther King on Government and The Individual

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

Politically Dr. Martin Luther King, politically was a Democratic Socialist and proud of it. At least when it came to economic policy and foreign policy. He was a democratic collectivist in the sense he believed that the job of government especially the central government, was to see that everyone was taken care of and no one had to go without. And believed in the democratic socialist model of the welfare state that is common in Scandinavia, where the job of the central government is to seen that a lot of the people's needs are met by the government. Education, health insurance, health care, child care, very generous benefits for the working poor and non-working poor, etc. But he also had what's called a classical liberal streak (that I call a real liberal streak) where all Americans are entitled to basic individual and equal rights. This quote in this photo is a perfect example of that. Where he's saying that, "man is not made for the state, but the state is made for the man.

Individuals, don't get their power from government, but vice-versa. All of our elected officials are exactly that. They have to run in order to serve us and be given the power and responsibility that we the people give them. The people aren't required to serve the government and serve the politicians, other than obeying the law and cooperating with law enforcement. We don't have all of these individuals rights under the Bill of Rights, because the current party in power at any given time says we do. Those individuals rights are constitutional and guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. And it's the job to make our rights are protected. Not to pick and choose who has them and who doesn't. Which is one reason why I'm such a big believer in civil liberties and freedom of choice and so opposed to political correctness. Dr. King here is speaking for We The People in an individualist way. Saying that we as Americans have basic individuals rights that don't come from government.

Something that I disagree with Social Democrats and Democratic Socialists on, is the relationship between government and society and government and the people. The socialist-left, tend to combine those groupings into one group. When they say society has done this and provided the people with these things or this country does this for it's people, they mean the government does these things for the people. When in fact government is the people that are supposed to work for the people and in many cases are elected. Society, is the people and in many cases the people are responsible for job creation, providing health care, education and so-forth and in many cases that is not done by government at all, not even through the financing. But that these services are provided by the private sector, the people who work for private organizations and business's. When Dr. King was talking about We The People here, he was talking about the basic individuals of the people. Not government and saying that government gets all of their power from the people they're supposed to serve.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

John Luton: Joan Collins on The Jonathan Ross Show- Nov 2015

The Real Thing-
This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review

I believe why Americans love soap operas and tabloids so much and now reality TV, is because of women like Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and I'm sure many others. But these three women come to my mind real fast. Because they lived and worked like divas and women who were simply more interesting than everyone else. For good and bad and a lot of that good, because Joan Collins is simply one of the cutest, funniest and best actress's of her generation. Who went toe-to-toe with Johnny Carson when he interviewed her on The Tonight Show. Great interview if you've seen that from back in 1983. Joan Collins is simply just a beautiful, fascinating, entertaining, funny and adorable women, who is never boring and always entertaining. The life of the party and interview, life of the show. Someone who was born to be in the public eye who is always off-script, because she is quick and honest and doesn't need a script to be serious or funny, because she's so honest and you always know where she's coming from. We need more people like her for good and bad and I wish we had people like that. And perhaps so-called reality TV would disappear and we would get the real thing instead with Joan Collins and others always showing letting us know exactly where they're coming from.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Understanding Society: Daniel Little- Liberalism and Hate-Based Extremism: The History of The Dixiecrat Democrats

Dixiecrats-
This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

With all due respect to Daniel Little and I am going to respond to what he said in his own piece, because he did make some good points about liberalism, but this is really a response to what CNN pro-Donald Trump political analyst Jeff Lord, had said about the KKK, being the military wing of the Democratic Party. And saying that Liberals and Democrats, are responsible for slavery and racism to non-European-Americans and even non-Anglo-Saxon Americans in America.

From the start of the Democratic Party that Thomas Jefferson created two-hundred years ago, up until the 1970s and the 1980s, the Democratic Party had a southern right-wing in it. They were called Dixiecrats and were people who believed that Europeans, especially Anglo-Saxons, were superior to all other races in America, especially superior to African-Americans and American-Indians. They created the KKK and other European-American nationalist groups in America. Who saw their mission as defending Caucasians, especially Anglo-Saxon Protestants, from people they saw as Un-American and even as animals. They owned the African slaves in the 1700s and 1800s. And it took the American Civil War of the 1960s to end slavery in America. And forced Dixiecrats to give up their slaves who were kidnapped from their native Africa. So to say today's Democratic Party a party that is made up of Liberals, Progressives and now even Social Democrats, (thanks to Bernie Sanders) is responsible for slavery and other forms of bigotry in America, is nonsense. (To be nice about it)

Remember Richard Nixon's Southern Strategy of 1968 and the early 1970s, well if you weren't born yet of course you don't. But Dick Nixon wasn't recruiting southern progressive and liberal Democrats, to vote for him and join the Republican Party. He recruited right-wing Dixiecrats, who were still a large part of the Democratic Party back then, to vote for him and vote Republican. Where they've remained ever since. The Republican Party is not the party of slavery and racism. (At least not historically) The Democratic Party that backed slavery and racism back in the day, no longer exists. The Dixiecrats are now Dixiereps, or Dixielics, but they're right-wing Republicans today. People like Strom Thurmond and his followers who once was a Dixiecrat, but then moved to Republican Party over the civil rights debates in the 1960s. Along with his followers and Southern right-wing politicians that came after him. Like Trent Lott, who served in Congress for 34 years both House and Senate. Phil Gramm, again another long time member of Congress in both chambers. Was once a Democrat and today is a Republican. Senator Dick Shelby today, was once a Dixiecrat and now is a Republican Senator from Alabama.

As far as what Daniel Little said about liberalism and extremism. I agree with him, because Liberals believe people have the right to believe whatever they believe and even express their beliefs at will. Short of falsely libeling, threatening violence against people, or inciting violence in general. Where Liberals draw the line is how people interact with each other. You can think whatever you want about someone, but we don't believe you have the right to hurt someone simply because you don't like them, or disagree with them, or even see them as a bigot. Or hurt innocent people in general from your own actions whether they're intentional or unintentional. Mr. Little, gave an excellent and clear definition of liberalism there. The title of this piece might sound like Mr. Little and myself are implying that liberalism is hate-based extremism, which of course is false. What he did and I'm doing here is laying out the liberal position when it comes to extremism and the right for even bigots to believe what they believe. And everyone has the right to free speech in America.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Euro News: Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream Speech- What MLK's Dream is About

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

"I have a dream that one day my children will be judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin." Dr. Martin Luther King, the leader of the African-American civil and equal rights movement of the 1960s. Not the only leader, but the leader as far as his importance and what he accomplished for that community. And I'm just quoting what he said in his 1963 March on Washington in his I Have a Dream speech. Dr. King, at the very least wanted an America where his family and the African-American community, would no longer be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Even if he didn't mean that for America as a whole, lets apply it to the rest of the country anyway. Lets create an America where individuals are judged simply as that. As individuals and not members of this group or any other group. But simply as people and what they have to offer and where they come up short simply as individuals. That is what the vision  of a color and race-blind country would be.

Whether someone is racist towards one race of American or another, they're still racists. If you judge people simply by their race and decide they should be denied access in America simply because of their race, even if you're attentions are good, you're guilty of racism. No matter what race you're a member of and what race or races you intend to benefit and what race or races you seek to deny. That is the opposite of a color and race-blind country. That is not Dr. King's dream, but the exact opposite of it. How well and how better off would we be as a country if racism and other forms of bigotry, whether they'r targeted against people simply because of their ethnicity religion, gender, or sexuality. We're not talking about levels of poverty that we are today if racism is simply not part of the picture. Because no one would be denied schools and employment, simply because of their race or any other characteristic that's part of their DNA. And to say that this group of Americans has been denied access because of their race, now we have to benefit those people by denying other races, is also racism. But from a different direction.

Racism even if it's used to benefit other groups at the expense of different groups, is still racism. And goes against Dr. King's dream of a color and race-blind country. What we should do instead is make Dr. King's dream a reality. And outlaw the use of racism when it's used to deny any American access, simply because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexuality. Whether it comes from the private sector or government. And instead don't automatically notice one's complexion when you first seem them and think they must be this way, because this is how they look. But instead see a person and someone you can either get along with and work with or not, because of how you individually relate with each other as people, but because of how you were born and how you look. That I believe is the America that Dr. King wanted. An America that worked for everybody based on what you did for it and what you did for yourself to make yourself the most productive and successful person you can be. But not because of how you were born and your racial characteristics.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

TIME: Jeffrey Kluger- What Donald Trump Can Teach You About The Narcissists in Your Life

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review Plus

To be fair to Donald Trump and every other American who has ever run for President of the United States the most powerful and important job in the world, (no offense to the rest of the world) anyone who runs for President of the United States, has at least a certain degree of narcissism. And no I’m not a psychologist, but I do have commonsense and I’m also a political and current affairs junky whose seen a lot of politics and debates about current affairs. I mean imagine a candidate for President of the United States who not only didn’t think they were up for the job, but made that clear on the campaign trail. How well would that candidate do?

Imagine a presidential candidate whose campaign theme was something to the effect, “vote for me, because I think I can.” Or, “vote for me and I’ll get it my best shot.” In other words the candidate thinks they’re up to the task, but lacks the self-confidence to know for sure. How would someone like that even get a single campaign volunteer let alone a campaign employee. Elitists get picked on a lot, but the fact is you want accomplished people to run for office. You don’t want people who’ve never accomplished anything in life other than being born to serve in the highest offices in the land. You want people who are accomplished and even wealthy from running a successful business and creating a lot of good jobs and selling a good affordable product.

Now having said all of that, The Donald is beyond self-confidence. His body is on Planet Earth, but his mind is out of this world. If you combine the campaign promises that Donald Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders have made to their supporters, you would never need anyone else to run for president for decades. Because both The Donald and Senator Sanders have promised so much without and clear vision and path to accomplish those promises they would have Congress and whoever is President at the time having to deal with their promises for the next twenty years or so. Bernie, with his political grocery shopping list that would empty every single grocery store in the New York area. The Donald saying America is going to win so much in the future that they’re going to get tired of winning. I guess America would become like the New York Yankees of the early 1990s. (Sorry, you have to be a baseball fan to get that) With his only plan being that he’s a good dealmaker.

Sure, I bet narcissist fits the personality of Donald Trump. And again I’m no psychologist, or try to play one on TV. But I think we need a new term for someone who tells everybody they speak to that they’re going to accomplish everything that is positive for them. Panderer is probably a better term. Out of this world, to describe the personality and overconfidence of Mr. Trump. Or a narcissist on a two-week drinking and marijuana binge that claims they see Martians all around them and that raccoons can fly. But again narcissism is not something I would suggest for anyone. At least not someone with a healthy mind. But the problem with American politics is not that we have too many self-confident qualified accomplished people in government. But that we have too many people who haven’t accomplished much. Who claim to be ready to serve in higher office and then get elected to it.