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View Diary: The Ubiquitous Political Junkie Fallacy (200 comments)

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  •  But aren't there equally important (0+ / 0-)

    electoral considerations? For example, say the economy sucks, but I vigorously scapegoat Mexicans and guest workers and Arabs? It's their fault that the economy sucks, and the other guy's in their swarthy pockets. Only I will save America from this evil tide!

    In difficult economic times, these arguments might be as powerful as effective policies, no?

    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

    by GussieFN on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 07:41:21 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, populism can rise from the right as much (7+ / 0-)
      as from the left. This has been true throughout American history. The lesson, however, from that is to nip this in the bud you must craft effective policies that will address the economic issues and from those policies messages that will counter the right wing allure.

      FDR managed to do just that. He was trying to avoid the extremism that could be found on both side- i.e. avoiding the right wing populists of the time or the communists on the other side.  However, I think at base, what mattered was that he relieved suffering rather than telling people to  weather the pain while they can see policies are not helping them.

      That's why you fight to define populism from the left rather than the right before those feelings set in in the general population.

      To do that, you need effective policy. The president can not and nor can other Democrats simply rely on speeches because they are the party in charge right now. Its a harder sell than when it was Bush and the GOP in charge.  This just arises out of the common sense reality that we are the governing party. You can't argue what you were able to argue when you weren't. Its the same kind of electoral common sense that tells me going around to proclaim "the press is not telling you the good news. The economy is better and our policies are better than you think." is a mistake.

      People are suffering. Telling them, or even inferring by talking about the "good news" as if its enough, is not a way to address them regarding gaining their votes. BUt, that's just my opinion.

      •  I'm not talking explicitly about (0+ / 0-)

        populism, really, as much as wondering if I believe this: "If you want to win, you better pass effective policies that will make the economy good enough so that you can win."

        I think there are probably alternatives to good government, at least in the short term (and as someone said below, this is all determined by the short term). Not good ones, perhaps, but if we agree that frothing with xenophobic hysteria can be an effective alternative to passing effective policies, then perhaps the technical fallacy is slightly fallacious.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Sun Sep 12, 2010 at 07:55:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Its complicated (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, shaharazade
          I think it works on a portion of the population that's not the Democratic base. Thus, I should say, it can't work for us, and frankly, it really can't work enough for the right. It can work in isolated areas of the country, but I don't think they could run Tea Party candidate in CA just to name one race where I don't think the strategy would work.

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