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

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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

THULE: President Harry S. Truman Speech to Congress on Foreign Policy- March 12th, 1947- The Truman Doctrine

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat

When I think of the greatest American president’s, Harry Truman would be on my first hand. When you’re talking about the 20th Century, I believe it comes down to either Harry Truman or Franklin Roosevelt. I would give the edge to President Truman when it came to civil rights and desegregating the military, to use as an example. Creating the tools to fight and eventually win the Cold War against Russia.

When you want to talk about the so-called progressive foreign policy and that phrase gets thrown around Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, you want to look at FDR and HST. A liberal internationalist foreign policy, that is not about basically going without any strong military presence at all, or trying to police the world. But working with our allies to promote freedom and democracy and keeping the world safe.

Conservatives, certainly had a role in creating the National Security State in America. Department of Defense, the CIA, United Nations, NATO, etc. But it’s really Progressives that were in power the whole time during this period. Like the Roosevelt Administration and then later President Truman and his administration, that decided the way to defeat the Soviet Union, is for the West to be strong and united against communism and authoritarianism in general. Which means a strong America, a strong Canada and a strong Europe. The whole point of NATO which is the North Atlantic defense alliance, that covers North America and Western Europe, for the most part, was to prevent Russia from attacking any of these countries. This was created by Roosevelt/Truman. Two Progressive Democrats.

The progressive foreign policy or what I at least call liberal internationalism, is about being strong at home. A strong economy and strong military, not to police the world. But to prevent anyone else from even attempting to attack you. And to work with your allies to keep the world as safe as possible. Assist your vulnerable allies with military and economic aide. This speech right here from President Truman was about economic and military and economic aide to Greece and Turkey. Two long time aides of America. That was part of the Truman Doctrine. Being strong at home and working with your allies around the world like Greece and Turkey, to prevent Russia and other authoritarian countries, like China, from trying to take over peaceful countries.

President Truman’s main accomplishments as President were in foreign policy. Ending World War II against Germany and Japan. And again putting the tools in place to fight and eventually win the Cold War. The National Security State at home, United Nations and NATO abroad. Russia never tried to invade Western Europe the Democratic states there and the United States and Soviet Union never fired a shot against each other during the Cold War. Because both countries were so strong militarily and America was so strong economically most of this war, that both countries were smart enough not to go to war against each other, because of all the damage and lost lives that could have come as a result. And President Truman deserves a lot of credit for this.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review on WordPress: The Immortal Jukebox: Thom Hickey- To Have and Have Not- You Know How to Whistle?

I haven’t seen To Have and Have Not in a while and perhaps I should have seen that movie again before I blogged about it. But this movie is classic Lauren Bacall-Humphrey Bogart. Their onscreen chemistry was very similar if not better than Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn. Both very sharp and very funny and perhaps sharing the exact sense of humor. Lauren Bacall if she’s 20 years old at this point, she just turned 20. And yet you could already see how great this young gorgeous baby-faced adorable women intelligent women was going to be. Bogie as the adorable Lauren Bacall called Humphrey Bogart, was of course already a star at this point. And old enough to be Lauren’s father.

Slim, as Bogie called Lauren Bacall, not just in this movie, but in their life together, was 19-20 years old. Playing a drifter who makes it to France. With very little if any money. Doesn’t sound that different from someone in their late teens early twenties in the 1960s. Who lets say grows up in Cleveland, Ohio and is somewhat lost and doesn’t know where they’re going or where they want to go in life. Who ends up in San Francisco and become a hippie. But hopefully never meets Charles. Which is sort of an inside joke. But Slim meets Harry Morgan, who sort of the definition of an American small businessman doing business in a foreign country. Not that different from Casablanca.

Slim and Harry get together, because basically they both need each other. They both need money. Harry’s client owes him money that Harry needs and he sees Slim pickpocket this guy that owes Harry money. And Harry sees her do that and that is how they get together. By making a deal with each other and helping each other out as they try to avoid having to deal with the Nazi-Germans who has just taken over France in 1940. There all sorts of crooked shady characters in this movie that Slim and Harry have to deal with. Including some adorable scenes featuring Lauren Bacall singing and doing other things. One of the best film-noir movies you’ll ever see.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Blue Dem Warriors: Liberals Want Everyone to Have The Same Freedoms and Opportunities

This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat: Blue Dem Warriors: Liberals Want Everyone to Have The Same Freedoms and Opportunities

This is exactly what liberalism is about and what Liberals actually believe. Quality opportunity for everyone that lead to individual freedom for everyone. A society where everyone has the individual freedom to manage their own lives. Not the freedom from personal responsibility to manage their own affairs. Not the freedom to not have to figure out your own health insurance, retirement plan, where to send your kids to school, how much you should work during the week, what you can eat and drink, say to other people, watch on TV, who to sleep with, what music to listen to, etc. This is the main difference from socialism or what so-called Progressives like to call progressivism and neoconservatism. The question comes down to who has the power. The government or the people.

You get to individual freedom through opportunity. You get to opportunity through education and economic development. Getting the skills that you need to get the good jobs and then selling yourself based on your skills to get that good job. That gives you freedom and ability to manage your own life yourself. Without government deciding for you how to get your health insurance, where to send your kids to school, how to plan your own retirement and how to spend your own money more broadly. And what you do with your own personal time. Individual freedom can only work through education and then later personal responsibility. So when people make good personal decisions they enjoy the benefits from that. When they make bad decisions they live with the consequences of that themselves.

You don’t need a big government big enough to manage everyone’s life for them if you have an educated society with the skills and freedom to make their own decisions. Government has a role to see that everyone has the opportunity to get the freedom that they need to live, in well freedom. But not hold people down, because they’ve decided that government should take care of those people instead. Or tax and regulate people to the extent that freedom is discouraged, because the people believe that government will take care of them. Or they won’t be able to enjoy their success once they get it. Government shouldn’t discourage people from being individually successful and put down individual wealth. But instead promote those things so we have more wealthy and successful free people. Which is better for everyone involved including government.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

This piece was originally posted at The Daily Review: Remembering Lauren Bacall: Lauren Bacall- Speak The Truth

Hollywood Goddess Lauren Bacall saying that she believes in the truth and saying what you think. And adds why not? And to make a political correctness point to that even though of course I agree with Lauren on this, whose at least arguably the greatest actress we’ve ever known even though this is not about her career. Political correctness advocates Left and Right and unfortunately more Left than Right would argue that sometimes the truth hurts. And we can’t always say what we think and know, because someone especially perhaps minorities might be offended by that. Which of course goes against liberal democratic values like fee speech. But that is really a different topic and this blog covers that a lot anyway.

The best tool that an individual has in life will ever have after life is not freedom. And that might sound surprising to some, but there’s actually something more important than that. That has everything that we all value and love built around this more powerful tool. That tool is the truth and without that and of course education which comes from the truth, nothing else matters. Without the truth and education we would never know what we actually know. You’ll never know how to improve yourself and where you do well and where you need to do better without the truth. And sometime you might have flaws that are so severe and screw up so badly that you need someone to get in your face and set yourself straight. (No offense to gays) The truth also helps you know where you’re doing well. So you can continue to do that as you’re improving on your flaws.

We’re nothing in a positive sense if we don’t have the truth and we don’t have an education. To know what’s going on and why it’s going on, to know what works and what doesn’t work, where we’re strong and where we’re weak, where we’re average. And then know to improve ourselves and emphasize our strengths. And yes that at times means hearing things about yourself and people you care about that are pretty negative. But the smart strong people can handle that, because they know themselves very well, because they value the truth and facts and rely on them to improve themselves. They know they’re not perfect and that there are times they need to be reminded of that and to see where else they may come up short. And there are times when the truth sounds real good. And you find out something good about yourself that you didn’t know before. But without the truth we would all be blind NASCAR drivers on the racetrack of life, hoping we get to where we need to go safely. But without a course that actually gets us there.