10.10.18

FEAR THE MOB.

It appears as though thought leaders in both major political parties are rallying their bases by characterizing the other party's base as a mob.

Mob action, and direct democracy, are dangerous places to go.  Here is a warning, on display in Bayeux Cathedral.


Cathedrals are excellent venues for instruction: the statuary, the stained-glass windows, the Stations of the Cross, and a series of panels illustrating fifteen centuries of Popes, French rulers, and events sacred and profane.

The balance of this post is profane, although no guillotines will be sharpened, or shotguns cleaned.

We'll start with Betsy Newmark calling out the deplorable-shaming Hillary Clinton to promise the leftist temper tantrum will end once Democrats get some power.  (What did I just tell you about power?)
Democrats can be civil, but that will only occur when they're in power. Until then, in her view, anything goes. See, she really does regard conservatives as deplorables. Notice her argument is that Democrats will continue screaming at Republicans until they get elected. Isn't that what screaming toddlers do when they're throwing a tantrum? It's hard to believe that a person with that attitude would lose to Donald Trump.

Republicans must be hoping that she'll keep putting herself out there saying such objectionable things.
It's also a lie: you know full well that a Democrat House will be a never-ending spectacle of investigations, impeachment hearings, and attempts to repeal tax cuts.

Mrs Newmark is the voice of reason this morning.  Here's Julie Kelly at American Greatness, telling the identity-politics harpies where they can stuff it.
Democrats cannot sway white women based on their ideas for the economy or national security or tax policy, so they’re left with coercion and intimidation. They want to shame white women voters into electing more Democrats by implying if we vote for Republicans, we are enabling and empowering rapists.

It is a highly cynical, if not craven, ploy with major implications for the health and sustainability of our political system. It does nothing to ensure the consideration of real sexual assault victims, assigns automatic guilt to half of the population based on gender, and empowers the peddlers of despair and racial hostilities. And it unfortunately guarantees the nation will suffer through many more horrific periods like the past few weeks.
But to the Angry Left, any invocation of "white women" is a whiff of Reactionary Mob Rule.  Here comes Nancy LeTourneau of the formerly sensible Washington Monthly.
It is very clear that, for our Founding Fathers, the idea that democracy would give equal rights to all men and women was viewed as providing an opening for mob rule. It was also clear that the mob they feared consisted of women, people of color, and the poor who didn’t own property. In other words, it was the triumvirate of sexism, racism, and classism. In their minds, it was the minority of white male landowners who were equipped to vote and govern.

Over time, our country has struggled with the dissonance of calling itself a democracy while originally limiting the vote to the minority of white men. Republicans are still working on those limits with their attempts to suppress the vote. But men like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, and Brett Kavanaugh have reason to fear the empowerment of what they so casually call “the mob.”
These United States are a constitutional republic, and, Howard Zinn-esque invocations of Popular Struggle notwithstanding, the extension of the franchise is written into the very Constitution that Mx LeTourneau implicitly criticizes in that passage.  Her conclusion is instructive.  "In any way that is meaningful, we’re still in the process of fighting a battle to live out the ideal of a democracy that empowers 'we the people.'" I'm not sure how constructive it is to invoke the intersectionality trinity in waging that battle.

Mx LeTourneau, however, is clarity personified compared with Gordon Adams.
White, male, religious extremism, backed by big money, is warping that mirror. This authoritarian extremism, cloaked in the language but not the reality of American history, has captured state houses, legislatures, courts, security forces, and, for now, the Congress of the United States and the White House, with all the executive power that office can control. It is a semi-visible, gradual coup d’├ętat that’s well on its way to success.

In these times, I am starting to think, it is important not to listen, not to give respect to the siren songs of authoritarians. They are the distortions in a fun-house mirror. It is important to gather together, find common strength, to assert truth in the face of authoritarian fake news—starting now, with this election, which may be one of the last in which democracy can reassert itself as voting rights and citizen rights are slowly taken away.

Speak up. Support the anti-authoritarians. Get tough and real about this political battle. Start spreading the message everywhere it needs to be heard, at all levels. Reach out to those who are preoccupied with television shows and sporting events and have their eyes off the ball or are just plain tired of the political game.

At the dinner table, in social settings, remind them that this is not normal.
I bet he's real fun at Thanksgiving.

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