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View Diary: Note to Biden on the Russian energy weapon (33 comments)

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  •  Missing the point (0+ / 0-)

    If the people we buy oil from aren't hostile, WTF is our army doing in Iraq? Why all the tension in the Middle East, and seemingly everywhere else that oil is produced? Oil is one of those commodities like Heroin or Blood Diamonds that tends to be dealt in by particularly nasty human beings. For example, Bush and Cheney were/are oilmen.

    We're trying to educate voters here, and the vast majority of them have neither the intellect, inclination, or the time to absorb long and complicated studies of the subtle nuances of geopetrol politics. It should be more than simple enough to remind Joe Sixpack that Bush/Cheney/McCain energy policies result in higher prices at the pump for him, and more money in the pockets of the likes of Amenijhad, Putin, and the Gulf Sheiks who finance Bin Laden.

    Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

    by drewfromct on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 09:12:04 AM PDT

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    •  disagree strenuously (0+ / 0-)

      your dim view of the intelligence of "Joe Sixpack" smacks of elitism and arrogance.

      It's also internally disjointed:  for example, Ahmadinejad speaks for Mahmood Sixpack, he's not an oilman or an elitist or one of the corrupt Iranian rulers -- like Rafsangani -- that the US would prefer to deal with in Iran.  Rafsangani can be bought; Ahmadinejad cannot.  That's why the US found it absolutely essential to demonize Ahmadinejad -- and Chavez, btw -- because they are populists who speak for their "Mahmood Sixpacks" and "Jose Sixpacks."

      You're not trying to "educate voters here," you're trying to turn the mob in your direction rather than in your opponent's direction by using the same propaganda tactics that your opponent uses.

       The ideal of a democracy does not rest on mobocracy but on informed decision-making.

      Don't misunderestimate Joe Sixpack; he's at least smart enough not to choke on pretzels.

      •  Backatchya (0+ / 0-)

        It's the dim view of Joe Sixpack's intelligence that the Rethugs use to win elections. We should try that sometime. If Joe is such a genius, why is Pro Wrestling so popular, or shows like Jerry Springer? If you don't believe that targeting ads to dumbed-down audiences works, please explain to me how McDonalds, Marlboro, Budweiser and Coca-Cola became billion-dollar industries.

        The ideal of a democracy does not rest on mobocracy but on informed decision-making

        That may be so, but we're living in a far from ideal world, here. Elections have been swung by things like the Willie Horton ad, or morphing war hero Max Cleland into Bin Laden. Were the Swiftboaters appealing to the better nature of intelligent and well-informed voters? The answer speaks for itself.

        Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

        by drewfromct on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 10:12:45 AM PDT

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        •  what is the trajectory of business as usual vs (0+ / 0-)

          change?

          "Business as usual," Dems perpetuate the dumbing down of the culture.  Shall we expect from that plan that in 20, 30, 40 years our children and grandchildren will be intelligent, informed, aware, smart, able to compete in a complex world?

          Or change:  learn what it means to think critically;  understand that each individual has value as well as the capacity to contribute to the betterment of the whole.  Does this strategy lead to the possibility that in 20, 30, 40 years our children and grandchildren will be less likely to find themselves in the fix we are in today?

          When does change start?  After Joe Sixpack's brain is turned to total mush?  

          If Obama is indeed a change agent and we are his supporters, first we have to identify the roots of the system that needs to be changed.  I suggest you--and I-- start here.  Show this to your friends at NASCAR & MacDonald's; they have to be uneducated before they can once again take control of their own thinking and destiny:

          The Century of the Self Part I

          The Century of the Self Part II

          The Century of the Self Part III

          The Century of the Self Part IV

          This is real education, dear drewfromct; it's hard work, it takes time, and old ideas and automatic assumptions will be called into question.  

        •  if you have only 5 minutes (0+ / 0-)

          watch the conclusion of Part IV of Century of the Self.

          If you less than 5 minutes, here's a quick paraphrase of that segment:

          the context is how Tony Blair's labour party became trapped in the system of winning elections by pandering to consumerist, emotion-driven needs.  Here's the script:

          Century of the Self, conclusion, Part IV

          "[Tony Blair’s Labor party is trapped.] A system of consumer democracy that they have embraced has trapped them into a series of short-term and often contradictory promises.  There are now growing demands that they fulfill a promise, to use the power of govt to deal with problems of growing inequality.  But to do this they must appeal to the electorate to think outside their own self-interest, and this would mean challenging  the now-dominant Freudian view of human beings selfish, instinct-driven individuals, which is a concept of human beings that has been fostered and encouraged by business, because it produces ideal consumers.
          Tho We feel we are free, like the politicians we have become the slaves of our own desires.  We have forgotten that we can be more than that, that there are other sides to human nature."

          Robert Reich:  "Here we have two different views of human nature, and of democracy.  You have the view that people are irrational, that they are bundles of unconscious  emotion that comes directly out of freud...business has honed its skills to appeal to that, that’s what marketing is all about:  what are the words, the symbols, the music, that appeal to these unconscious feelings.  
          Politics must be more than that:  politics and leadership are about engaging the public in a rational discussion and deliberation about what is best.  And treating people with respect about what is their ability to debate what is best.  
          If it’s not that, if it’s Freudian, if it is appealing to the same basically unconscious feelings that business appeals to, let business do it; that’s what business is in the business of doing:  responding to feelings.

          Conventional perceptions of American Judeo-Christianity acts as a reinforcer of the Freudian model:  a major strategy of Hasbara is to appeal to emotion and to avoid rational debate.  James Dobson interviewed that great Christian scholar, David Limbaugh, the other day, and commented that a major tenet of Christianity is that "man is inherently depraved and requires government" to moderate his behavior.

          MacDonalds, Marlboro, and Budweiser are doggie treats tossed to a voting public that is treated like a rat in a Skinner box.

          A leader worth his salt and the sobriquet 'leader' respects each voter and calls on him/her to make thoughtful, rational, decisions whose end is not the gratification of an immediate need but the long-term  view of what makes his/her individual life, community, and world a better place.  
          Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams did not stake their "lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor" on   MacDonalds, Marlboro, and Budweiser.

          •  How many (0+ / 0-)

            Robert Reich:  "Here we have two different views of human nature, and of democracy.  You have the view that people are irrational, that they are bundles of unconscious  emotion that comes directly out of freud...business has honed its skills to appeal to that, that’s what marketing is all about:  what are the words, the symbols, the music, that appeal to these unconscious feelings.  
            Politics must be more than that:  politics and leadership are about engaging the public in a rational discussion and deliberation about what is best.  And treating people with respect about what is their ability to debate what is best.  
            If it’s not that, if it’s Freudian, if it is appealing to the same basically unconscious feelings that business appeals to, let business do it; that’s what business is in the business of doing:  responding to feelings.

            elections has Bob Reich won, by the way? Please, I love Robert Reich but he's getting very sadly confused about what between what politics ideally should be and what it actually is.Electoral politics is about appealing to the majority, and the majority of folks, sad to say, are not geniuses, and even the ones who are smart enough to understand what we're discussing here are just too damn busy getting by in an economy that squeezes them to death.

            I know I certainly don't have time to process all the information you're throwing out, and I'm much more of an "intellectual" and political junkie than probably the overwhelming majority of regular folks you'll meet at Mickey D's or a stock-car race.Go ahead, take your laptop into your nearest fast food joint and see just how many people you can entice into sitting down with you to watch multiple hours of youtube.The founding fathers didn't worry about appealing to the unwashed masses because they didn't have to--recall that in their day the vote was restricted solely to educated, property owning white males.

            You talk of "business as usual" Dem politics, and call for "Change". In this, we agree: I'm tired of the usual business of responding to the Rethugs' raw emotionalism with nuanced intellectualism and losing election after election. The change I'd like to see is to turn the Rethugs' own tactics against them, win the damn election, and then go about implementing the long, slow, evolutionary process of raising the intellectual and spiritual consciousness of American voters.

            We can't do Jack to advance our agenda in governance without getting elected, and you can't win a majority of votes without winning over a majority of voters, and you can't win over a majority of voters with endless hours of egghead blather that makes their eyes glaze over, when what they are conditioned to understanding is the bleating of the dittohead sheep.

            We should be neither afraid nor ashamed to take the simple step of talking to voters in words that they have no difficulty understanding.

            Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

            by drewfromct on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 01:10:49 PM PDT

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            •  I think I'll start with you (0+ / 0-)

              How would you feel to consider yourself one of the "great unwashed masses?"

              By what definition & measuring stick do you presume to be so much smarter than the 'unwashed masses' -- do you base your superior situation on your preference for coffeehouse chains rather than hamburger chains?  How intellectually superior is that?

              One does not have to be intellectually superior to be worthy of, indeed, entitled to, respect.  Respect melts people -- give THAT a try.  

              •  I am (0+ / 0-)

                a part of those masses, and proudly so. But, as for the measuring stick of how I define myself to be "smarter", I'll base it on the fact that I read a little more, pay attention a little more, and can discuss most current events with some measure of knowledge. I'm not out to "melt" anyone--I'm out to get progressive candidates elected to political office. You don't see the Rethugs winning elections by "melting" people, getting warm and fuzzy, and least of all by respecting their opposition. What you do see them doing is respecting voters' emotions enough to appeal to them, and thereby winning.True respect has to be earned, not given away for nothing. How much respect can you really have for people who vote so squarely against their own interests, such as, for example, the Log Cabin Rethugs or blue collar types who vote for the party of Wall St. billionaires out of bigotry and homophobia?

                We should never be fearful or hesitant to tell the truth, and the truth about the Rethugs engenders neither respect for nor courtesy towards them.

                Al Qeada is a faith-based initiative.

                by drewfromct on Sun Aug 24, 2008 at 03:48:06 PM PDT

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