Tag Archives: pragmatism

Thoughts for 2020 – And Beyond

We’re already in the start of primary season, and Democrats have a large selection of candidates competing to be the Party’s nominee.  There’s going to be a lot of horse racing commentary in the media, and polls being analyzed.  None of those really matter at this time, and won’t until we get toward the end of the year.   I’m not going to advocate for any candidate in this post, since I’m not even close to deciding.  However I do have some thoughts for the year 2020.  In addition, back in early 2018, I wrote a post with four thoughts for 2018 and beyond.  Those still hold true, and I’ll be revisiting some of that in this post.   What am I thinking?

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Civics: Dealing with what is

If there’s been one common feature between the left and the right over the past decade, it’s that they all have an idea for what they want to see changed about the government.   The specifics of those ideas depend on the particular ideological slant, but they all have a complaint with the way things are and “how it should be.”  I’ve seen calls to abolish or restructure the Senate, change to a parliamentary system, changing birthright citizenship, gun ownership, balancing the budget, along with calls for a third party.  Most of them come down to “we think we’re not getting our way,” and that a new form will get them that.  It’s nothing new.

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New Representatives Beware

This past November saw Democrats take back the House of Representatives, and a wave of new Representatives coming in from all backgrounds.  In terms of diversity, it was a stark contrast to what you’ll see on the Republican side.  They’re also bringing in a new energy and ideas.  A few of them have attracted a lot of attention from the media and various liberal outlets.  That’s all well and good, but there’s also a big pitfall that can await them.

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A Question For The Progressive Purists – Do You Know What You Want?

The 2018 mid-terms saw the Democratic Party take back control of the House of Representatives.  Among the new representatives are a group who have been pushing a more liberal agenda.    That’s not a bad thing, but their supporters have a bad habit, egged on by the “professional left.”  That is, much like various of the Tea Party on the Right, they’re enamored of catchy slogans than actual nuts-and-bolts policy.   When asked what they think the phrase they’re using means, they come up with a wide variety of answers.  That’s rather difficult to put into legislation, but in one case, it turns out that they don’t understand what they’re asking for.

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But Fear Itself

In a comment in a previous post, I talked about “misperception of risk.”   This is a well-known phenomenon, where the perceived risk is either greater or lesser than the actual risk.  One of the best examples is the “anti-vaxxer” movement, where people refuse vaccines because they fear various side effects.   That the problems they fear are either non-existent (autism), or that the side effects of vaccines are minor and rare compared to having the actual diseases does not matter to them. In looking back over my blog posts over the years relating to Republican voters,  there’s a constant theme:  Fear.  They’re afraid.  They’ve been told  for years that they need to be afraid, and that in order to protect themselves, they need to vote for Republicans to keep them safe.  It’s covered up with various buzzwords and dog whistles, but boiled down to its essence, it’s “you should be afraid of this.” It may be fear of “different,” it might be fear of a loss of status, privileges, or some other fear, but there’s always a fear.  But their fear doesn’t match the reality.

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