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Don't laugh, seriously don't laugh....

;-)

The conference featured several healthy debates about appropriating traditionally liberal ideas: criminal justice reform and the elimination of mandatory minimum prison sentences; marijuana legalization and a pullback on the 40-year-old war on drugs; and reform of the national security state's surveillance apparatus.

Even as recently as the George W Bush administration, Republicans who espoused these ideas would have been labeled soft on crime, stoners or enablers of terrorism, respectively.

All it would seem to take is for them to drop their racism, sexism and general bigotry and they might get there. Personally I always thought the Libertarians place was somewhere on the left.
Paul finished ahead of Texas Senator Ted Cruz by a 20% margin, winning 31% of the 2,459 votes cast. Retired neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson finished third with 9%. The New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, who wasn't invited to speak last year for supposed heresies to the conversative movement, came in fourth with 8%.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio, second with 23% last year, finished far back at 6% after a year in which his work on comprehensive immigration reform alienated many conservatives.

My own pet theory is that the only reason they are out there on the right wing fringe is that both the Sponsored Parties abandoned who they were and became representatives of the  oh so very few, bought and paid for as it were. The right jumped upon and exaggerated the fear and division to gain their base, the Democratic party abandoned their own in the mad dash triangulation rush to fill the void. Hence we today's crazy division and an Overton window rusted to the rails.

I come from an area where guns and god were pretty strong motivators, i.e the country yet there was little bigotry, more of a detestation of the government than anything else, yet a strong sense of help your neighbor through thick and thin was always present. The rich folks tended to be East Coast Republicans, hi Mom and Dad, who now have drifted ever so slightly left and become Democrats.

My point is ever since St Ronnie of Reagan [mostly] decided that feeding the rich was the policy and that the Democrats basically followed this line of reasoning most of the population was pretty much abandoned to its own devices. The Republican view is that whatever the crisis it is because we haven't given enough wealth to the oh so few and the Democrats have done very little to negate that view. We jumped into free trade feeding frenzies we outsourced everything not nailed down and then wondered why people felt disenfranchised. The right however saw this as an opportunity and the Democrats just conceded their raison d'd'être of being the peoples party without much of a fight it must be said.

It's funny how both parties manage to ignore the polls since populism has taken a dirty turn meaning that you have to instill hatred rather than unity. The feeling I have is that most of our side of the aisle couldn't really give a damn and that the other side just want to fan the flames of division.

The rush to the mythical center and the reason for our corporate medias hand wringing over bipartisanship is clearly based on a singular reasoning, money.

If you doubt me just look at when our leaders join hands in a bipartisan love fest [Iraq, military financing, tax cuts, Doma] or how our lot suddenly change sides when the status quo is threatened because some of the other side are still not completely crazy.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: Of course the is no hope for most of (17+ / 0-)

    the talibangelical base, but there is a glimmer of hope for libertarians.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 03:45:05 AM PDT

  •  Extremists on both sides are wingnuts IMHO (4+ / 0-)

    consider it as a completed circle-what goes around comes around- OY!

    Extremists leave Common Sense out of their thought process.

    "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

    "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

    by roseeriter on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:07:59 AM PDT

  •  "detestation" of the government maybe "leftist" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yoshimi

    but its not liberal/progressive.  Seeing it this way plays right into the rhetoric of anarchists from both sides.  The point is to work hard to make our democracy the best it can be not undermine it.  I don't think women would have much luck with a country run by Birchers whether calling themselves leftists or rightists.  When misogyny became the norm there would be no authority to step in and stop it just as there would be no authority to stop all other kinds of human and civil rights violations.

    •  saw lots of misogny on left especially back in (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LaFeminista, Burned, lotlizard, a2nite

      2008, so please don't use that as a 'left is better' premise.

      One of the reasons I stay independent, progressive and more socialist-one for all, all for one-is so I don't get backed, pushed or bullied into a corner. We are ALL connected:)  Just saying..

      "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

      "It's said that the honest man has nothing to hide. Not true. The honest man has to hide himself, because honest men are the prime targets of those who lie."

      by roseeriter on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Depends which govenment you are talking about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roseeriter

      I had a hell of a time with the Bushes and our many on the center side of the aisle

      "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

      by LaFeminista on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:35:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have you read "Reading Lolita in Tehran"? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mostserene1, annieli, marina

        I read it a long time ago now but I have never forgotten one very surprising and significant thing the author wrote about.  She describes being a supporter of the "revolution" until the reality of who took over set in.  Particularly as a woman she saw things get far worse.  Now the part I thought was fascinating was that just before the ousting of the Shah there was a fierce competition for power between the "leftists" or communists and the "rightists" or theocrats.  What she said is that, and here is the most amazing bit, the only thing both of these factions could agree on was their absolute hatred of liberals.

        What that says to me is that neither of those factions liked a mutual mindset, open and free debate, and sharing power.

        If we cooperate with the idea that government should be shrunk so small it can be drowned in a bathtub we are just part of the effort to remove our best bulwark against abuse of power.  Its a sneaky thing to convince both conservatives and liberals of this notion and it comes right out of the John Birch Society playbook.  I reject that notion and will continue to work to find a way to make our government better not destroy it.

    •  The difference between libertarians and anarchists (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      roseeriter, happymisanthropy, deepeco

      (using the term in its broadest sense) is that libertarians equate corporations with human beings, so that corporations are seen as people oppressed by government. "The left" anarchists see government and corporations as aspects of the same thing: organized oppression.
        That's why libertarian are "right" and anarchists are "left."
        Liberals and progressives are not anti-government at all, although they may not like certain government policies or the domination of government by certain interest groups.
        The left-right nomenclature isn't as useful as it could be.
       

      •  No, its more than that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, marina, deepeco

        As an anarchist, I can tell you that the difference is anarchists (real ones) are anti-capitalist, and have been since Proudhon coined the term in 1840. Anarchists oppose hierarchy in any form. Thus, the corporate workplace, with the top-down authority, based on private property used in production, and the wage-labor which is a form of slavery and theft of the fruits of the worker's labor, is opposed by anarchists. The right wing tries to usurp the term for Ayn Randian capitalism, but that is not anarchism, since they embrace top-down corporatism and private property.

        "The political arena leaves one no alternative, one must either be a dunce or a rogue." Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays

        by ZhenRen on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:56:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Uhh, Can We Focus on "Leftists" Actually (4+ / 0-)

    becoming Left?

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 04:37:39 AM PDT

  •  Seriously, I doubt it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    Their hate is going to blind them every time. and then, there's that part of about being wrong. They'll never admit that.

    "Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change." Muhammad Ali

    by blueoregon on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:11:40 AM PDT

  •  libertarians can be good on some (11+ / 0-)

    issues of individual liberties. however, they are tools- witting or not- of corporate oligarchy, as they would deregulate everything, including anti-trust laws, worker and consumer protections, and environmental protections. they also would encode and institutionalize all forms of privilege and structural bigotry, not necessarily because they are all bigots (although many prominent ones clearly are), but because they would eliminate government protections.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:18:11 AM PDT

  •  Total Opposition to the Concept of Government (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, a2nite, devtob

    promotion of the general welfare.

    And to the concept of society itself.

    "There is no such thing as society."  --Margaret Thatcher, and she was left of the libertarians.

    They're casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people
    Freedom from government oppression of individuals is about 25% of what the left is about. Libertarians do not belong on the left, they simply share a fraction of our issues.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:49:27 AM PDT

  •  Notice, though... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heiuan, LaFeminista, Mostserene1, devtob
    criminal justice reform and the elimination of mandatory minimum prison sentences; marijuana legalization and a pullback on the 40-year-old war on drugs; and reform of the national security state's surveillance apparatus.
    ...how that's basically a Paulturd wet dream wishlist for suburban teen boys. Women and LGBTs don't quite make the cut yet.

    We've tried government-by-fratboy. Not to extrapolate too broadly, but most libertarians I've ever met at least were some variant of entitled hetero white dude in love with his bong, his dick and his trust-fund check.

    Not necessarily in that order, of course.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 05:58:03 AM PDT

  •  While I'm liberal, I'm also a leftist, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    which truly is to the left, whereas liberalism is in the center and accepts the capitalist system. Being on the left will never be the home for economic libertarians because being on the left includes economic justice and is a lot more than: "traditionally liberal ideas: criminal justice reform and the elimination of mandatory minimum prison sentences; marijuana legalization and a pullback on the 40-year-old war on drugs; and reform of the national security state's surveillance apparatus." Those are all necessary and good but inadequate to the global problems of oppressive and unsustainable neoliberal/libertarian/Milton Friedman capitalism. System change is what is needed, and the libertarian economic system is in place already and the center of the problem.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:26:09 AM PDT

  •  Nope, they will never embrace Diversity and this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    is the central issue from which all other issues are framed, causing woefully insufficient common ground.

    USA is a misnomer.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

  •  I disagree with there being any hope for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    the liburptarians, but it is still a worthwhile discussion, so I have tipped and recommended. I come from the Deep South where the KKK and Citizens' Alliance are not so cuddly and now call themselves Livertarians. They do sway a lot of the young though, so you're absolutely correct that the Democratic centrist dance and embrace of triangulation and austerity has been a disaster. Thus, I hope Sen. Sanders becomes a Dem and runs for President. It would educate our culture and possibly save the Dem party from its plutocratic tendencies.

    garden variety democratic socialist: accepting life's complexity|striving for global stewardship of our soil and other resources to meet everyone's basic needs|being a friend to the weak

    by Galtisalie on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 08:02:30 AM PDT

  •  Wingnuts' new line will be a declaration that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    "liberal" doesn't mean "left-wing". So wingnuts will just switch to the kind of neo-liberal economic ideas that are taking hold in Europe and pushing European countries to begin squeezing the welfare state and dismantling their established safety net.

    The key difference between classical liberal and left-wing is that a classical liberal will look at something like Jim Crow and say "Waddayagonnado, you can't legislate an end to bigotry." Someone who also has a leftist leaning will say, "Yes, I understand that there are no classically liberal solutions to this problem, but something must be done, and there is a role for government in enforcing access to public accommodation." The legal reasoning and legislation isn't as clear cut as making laws against things that seem unjust, but the motivation for the Civil Rights movement is that human beings are enraged enough by injustice to do something about it.

    Alan Dershowitz says this best in "Rights from Wrongs", that human rights don't come from some ultimate source or abstract ideal. Instead, human rights come out of humans noting injustice, or "wrongs", and changing the liberal legal reasoning to allow less-energized "liberals" to do something about the wrong.

    Look for this to be the new dynamic. Wingnuts will embrace classical liberalism while focusing their hatred on "leftism", which they will call "patronizing" and involves "left-wingers" always running to government to solve their pet problem by trampling "natural" rights. This will allow them to both feel as though they can get past everyone's revulsion while continuing to perpetuate wrongs.

    •  Words and terminology are funny (0+ / 0-)

      In Europe, a "liberal" is basically a conservative who favors "free market" approaches.  ("Conservatives" used to be more statist, although they are increasingly aligned with their US counterparts.)  And "Socialist" means center-left, in many cases center-center-left a la Bill Clinton.

      In the US, the term "neo-liberal" refers to a European "liberal."

  •  I find common ground (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista

    with individual right-wingers on the issue of the Banks screwing us all and we need some prison sentences to make it stop. Decades ago I had to argue with them that it wasn't just the Jewish bankers, it was all bankers, but most are past that.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 10:03:20 AM PDT

  •  Libertarians... (0+ / 0-)

    There is a faction of libertarians who probably are compatible with much liberal ideology (this is the prevailing kind of libertarian I found among my co-workers in the 1980s).  They really are focused on personal liberty issues, e.g. shooting their guns, driving fast (I'm with the libertarians on that one), avoiding taxes and doing the Walden Pond thing, and even sensible stuff like reining in the NSA and the police state.  

    You know the type because they'll usually favor stuff like anti-discrimination laws and diversity and they will listen about the role of government.  (I convinced one libertarian friend -- whose attitude was that he'd vote for Clinton unless he was 100% sure Clinton was going to carry Massachusetts, at which point he'd vote for whomever the libertarians were running in the 1990s.)

    But these days, most "libertarians" fall into either the "objectivist" mold (Ayn Rand), and are basically the right wing equivalent of doctrinaire Marxists, or into the kind of pseudo-libertarian right wing crap that comes out of the mouths of R. Paul pere et fils.  If you think that Ayn Rand valued personal liberty, well, conservatives always have thought that "liberty" is best experienced while locked up in a dungeon.

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