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View Diary: Hillary Clinton can only win with the Obama coalition (400 comments)

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  •  True. But it's the result of learned helplessness. (2+ / 0-)
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    Palafox, cybrestrike

    People become politically apathetic because they learn, through experience, that their participation in the democratic process cannot meaningfully affect what government does. That is what many young people have learned as a result of passionately supporting Obama and then seeing him unable to accomplish much in office, or not even trying very hard to fight against conservative Republicans. They have seen him both stymied by Republicans and selling out to them.

    What will many of these young people learn from this? They might learn that government cannot work to accomplish liberal goals in society. If that's the lesson they take from it, then they will become libertarian, but they may still retain their liberal values and work for those values entirely through the non-governmental sector.

    So, in that sense, perhaps they will move to the right (if you define libertarianism as being part of the "right"). Perhaps they already are. There certainly is nowhere near as much belief now among the young in the realistic potential to solve problems in society through the government. Because they have seen that even a huge wave election for Democrats in 2008 had very little effect on political policy. So the natural response is to decide that American democracy does not reflect the will of the people, i.e. it is systemically broken, and to decide no longer to hope in the idea of an activist government to solve problems.

    The most serious problem in American politics today is that people with wrong ideas are uncompromising, and people with good ideas are submissive and unwilling to fight. Change that, and we might have a real democracy again.

    by Eric Stetson on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 08:18:07 PM PDT

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    •  Learned helplessness.... (0+ / 0-)

      ....is just false consciousness in a tuxedo.

      Because they have seen that even a huge wave election for Democrats in 2008 had very little effect on political policy.
      Anyone who voted for a University of Chicago law professor expecting him to seize the commanding heights of the economy in the name of the workers, and call on us to expropriate the expropriators was a fool.

      And anyone who understands how Congress works who expected a sungle-payer health care system, or a nationalized banking system, doesn't actually understand Congress.

      The superfluous goods of the rich are necessary to the poor, and when you possess the superfluous you possess what is not yours." St. Augustine

      by Davis X Machina on Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 06:04:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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