Tag Archives: pragmatism

My Problem Is Not That I Don’t Understand … It’s That I Do

My past three posts have been about the areas that went overwhelmingly for Donald Trump in this past election, and why they’re going to be disappointed, to put it mildly.  Those aren’t the only places like that, and most of them are going to suffer the same disappointment, along with those who are suddenly finding out that the Republicans and Donald Trump meant what they said about repealing or “reforming” various programs and taking certain actions.  Although my nasty side is looking forward to it, at the same time my better side is worried about it.  You see, I live in a place like those.  Very rural, clannish, virtually entirely white, and yes, things have been declining for years.  It’s a place that went 2-1 for Trump, and during the campaign I heard all the reasons and justifications for it.   Most of which were the result of cherry-picking statements, hearing what they believed, and a healthy dose of denial.

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Some Inconvenient Truths for Coal Country

I know places where there is high poverty, poor education, a high percentage of single parent households, large numbers of out-of-wedlock births, lots of violence, and enormous drug problems.  Generations have been living on the public dime, and despite various liberal programs the people there never seem to want to show any gumption to change that.  Conservative politicians would have you think that if only you took away all those programs, it would force people to stop demanding government services and special treatment, get jobs, and lift themselves out of poverty.     After all, “those people” are getting all sorts of things that “Real Americans” aren’t!

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Some Thoughts Moving Forward

It’s been seven years since I started this blog, and a lot has changed since then, and not just in my posting frequency.  Back in late 2009, I was involved in a lot of discussions at a now-defunct blog on strategy about how we would turn New York into a “solid Blue” state, taking the the only two remaining Republican House seats left in the state.  Look at the map after this last election?  It’s almost solid Red.  There are a couple of blue spots, but that’s it.  Sure,  there’s a majority of the seats still held by Democrats – mostly due to New York City – but outside of there, forget it.  In many ways, it’s a microcosm of what we see in the country.  Sure, large, very diverse cities went (or stayed) strongly Democratic, but outside of those, they switched, even in supposedly “safe” states.

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Looking Forward … and Backward

There are a lot of news stories this week relating to the May campaign reports, and in particular the pitiful amount of cash on hand that Donald Trump has.   What’s also interesting is not just that he doesn’t have much, but that it’s also impacting the Republican Party’s campaign chest.  In contrast, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party seem to be doing quite well.  There’s more than a little irony in this.

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Politics Is A Team Sport

Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of sports metaphors used to describe politics.  Yes, I’ve done it myself, and I’m going to do it again.   I’ve also noticed that the extremes in both parties tend to believe in a “Great Leader” scenario.  “Elect X and they will do all these wonderful things!”  When you point out that it doesn’t work that way, you’ll get dismissed as being an “in name only,” and not understanding that the Great Leader will make a speech and all will go their way.  They’re thinking that politics is a one-on-one sport, like tennis, boxing, or mixed martial arts.  They’re continually disappointed if the person they’ve designated as the next “Great Leader” is elected and fails to accomplish what they thought would happen.  The problem is they didn’t realize that politics are a team sport.

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