Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Musings, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Identity Politics is the Western Equivalent of Caste Politics In India

Identity Politics is the Western Equivalent of Caste Politics In India

Most regular readers are aware that I detest SJW, wokeism and everything else associated with identity politics. While some reasons behind my contempt of this performative bullshit scam are common to most other critics, one of them is distinctly unique- and is summarized in the title of this post. As some of you might rember, I wrote a series about why the caste system was, and still is, so damaging to Indians. For the purposes of this post, the gist is as follows: The caste or ‘jati’ system created so many stupid divisions in Indian society that it has become almost totally dysfunctional for the past 1,500 years. It also created a mindset which lacks the capability for critical thought and reason. To make a long story short, much of what is wrong with that country today can be traced back to the ‘jati’ system.

And this brings us to a question which I did not tackle in that series- namely, what explains the persistence of such a stupid and shitty social system? How can a system which disadvantages the majority of its followers, in a multitude of ways, still remain popular among them? To be fair, this issue is not unique to the caste system since a similar argument can be made about any other religion. In my opinion, it comes down to how the caste or ‘jati’ system shapes power- or more precisely, how it reproduces itself at societal level. See.. one of central tenet of the ‘jati’ system is that only somebody of your own ‘jati’ can be trusted to represent your interests. In other words, only somebody of your own caste or ‘jati’ can be your leader and since there are hundreds (if not thousands) of ‘jatis’ there can also never be a broadly recognized leader or group of leaders.

Sure.. you can have national figureheads who are reasonably popular among the majority, but they simply do not command the power and reach of their equivalents in, say, China or USA. But why does this matter and how is any of this related to contemporary identity politics in the west. For starters, many of you must have realized by now that the core tenet of identity politics is that only somebody from your own ‘group’ can ever be a legitimate leader of people from said group. According to them, only a woman can truly represent the interests of women, a gay man of gay men, a “trans woman” of “trans women” etc. The corollary of this belief is that no society can have a legitimate leader and leadership acceptable to most people in it. But why is this belief so problematic? Wouldn’t people be best represented by others who are “like” them?

Well.. let us have a look at this issue by analyzing the one example of identity politics which is well established in USA. It is no secret that almost every single black politician who has been elected to any office in this country has achieved that position because of the strong support of black voters. Ya, sure.. there are some major historical reasons for why this is the case. But let me ask you another question- can you think of a single major black political figure who has done anything other than ignore his or her constituents once elected to office. A few, such as Obama, have actually championed policies which preferentially immiserated their most ardent supporters. Instead, the vast majority of black politicians do nothing beyond using their position for enriching themselves and their friends and relatives while acting as the ‘help’ for white politicians who want to maintain the shitty status quo.

Funny thing.. this is exactly how caste-based politics plays out in India. All the idiots who vote for politicians from their own castes get nothing worthwhile in return, while those elected to office go on to amass millions and billions through graft and scams in addition to preferential treatment of relatives and friends. Their supporters then get angry and frequently vote them out in the next election cycle by selecting a new bunch of scammers through the same thought process- if you can call it that. Guess what, the same thing happens again and the voters go back to the previous bunch of scammers. And the cycle goes on.. And now you know why China can get everything done properly on time while India can’t seem to get anything important done, let alone on time. My point is that identity politics is a recipe for stagnation, decay and ultimately, chaos.

Moving back to the situation in USA and west in general.. How has, for example, selecting more women as CEOs of large corporations improved the overall quality of lives for most women? Has it increased their paycheck, given them better job security, a longer paid maternity leaves or otherwise improved the quality of their children’s lives etc? It hasn’t! The only thing it has achieved is the elevation of a minuscule number of women to positions where they can be as greedy and asshole-ish as the very few men they replaced. The same is true, perhaps even more so, for black politicians and black “business leaders”, whose much publicized rise has not resulted in any worthwhile improvement in the conditions of the constituency they allegedly represent.

This also applies for gay politicians and “business leaders”. Has Apple suddenly started making better products because their current CEO is gay or has it somehow improved the material conditions for gay men in USA? The same is true for efforts to promote a few token lesbians, latinos and other ethnic minorities. Putting a few more non-white or non-straight people in positions of power, while simultaneously maintaining the previous status quo, is a scam- and an especially dangerous one. Letting the ‘alphabet people’ aka the LGBTQ..whatever enlarge this scam will only make things worse. Have a look at the political scene, aka the chaos, in India- where nothing of importance or significance gets done, but everyone in politics is constantly shouting at each other andaccusing everybody else of “corruption”- while wearing ridiculous headgear to show their caste credentials. It does makes for good theater though..

In summary, identity politics is a dangerous scam and should be seen as the contemporary western equivalent of caste politics in India. Though it is being currently promoted by elites to maintain the status quo, it will metamorphose into something far more uncontrollable- which in turn will end up creating a highly fragmented, polarized and dysfunctional society.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. MikeCA
    February 23, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    You write this whole post about identity politics and you failed to mention the elephant in the room. It is now completely obvious that the Republican party is largely based on white identity politics and mostly white male identity.

    There are lots of examples of Republicans in Congress implementing polices to favour the white race and there are examples of white congressman from safe Republican districts that accepted huge bribes, like Duke Cunningham for example.

    You can point to some minority Congressman from districts with large minority populations that used their office mostly to enrich themselves, but there are corrupt politicians of all races.

    Black politicians like Obama or Cory Booker know that they were not elected to office with only black votes. They were elected with large numbers of white votes and votes from other minority groups too. They have a responsibility to represent all the electorate, not just the people of their own race.

    You seem to be frustrated that Obama did not play identity politics the same way that Trump has gotten the Republican party to play white identity politics.

  2. doldrom
    February 24, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Actually, you can study this phenomenon in Canada, where the French Canadians tend to vote as a block, making their vote decisive unless the skew on issues in the rest of the country were to widen enormously. Other examples abound. The political dynamics of the Baltic countries is completely dominated by the problem of nationalism and the sizeable Russian minority. That tension completely overwhelms all other political dynamics about policy issues. To see it even worse, go to Africa. Many countries there have elections, but people vote almost completely along ethnic or tribal lines, mooting any kind of referendum on policies. The party/parties that gain power will reward their own with jobs and contracts, and will sprinkle some token gifts on the electorate to gain popularity, with the gifts being slightly more favorable for the groups whose loyalties they need the most.
    Once identity politics are in place, democracy is finished, if you consider democracy the victory of open public debate and rational persuasion over mere power mongering and atavistic instinct. The premise of majority rule and democracy is not that the group(s) that gain power can lord it over the rest, but that you are in effect holding a referendum on the outcome of policy debates. If people only vote for their own interest, or worse, for their own identity group/race/ethnicity, public power will be usurped by manipulators.
    The ideal of government on the basis of listening to the voice of reason is no an easy path.

  3. Yusef
    February 25, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Did you know more white women voted for Trump than Hilary? You need to know these things and take them into account before you post such tripe.

    Obviously there’s more to the story than you think. If white male identity politics played the role in Republican popular appeal you think it does, white women would never vote Republican.

    What I think women voting for Trump shows, along with the Democratic hacks who worked for Hilary ignoring it, is that indeed identity politics is the dominant ideology of the Democratic party. The “strategists” simply assumed Hilary would have a lock on the woman vote– women of all races.

    When their own polling revealed they didn’t, they should have been all over that looking for why, and clearly they weren’t.

    The Republican party is simply out of touch with voters, and that includes voters who identify as white males. Voters who identify as white males understood they’ve been left behind and poorly served by what can be loosely termed Reaganomics. It may have taken them awhile, but they’re on board now, even in places like Kansas.

    Even Warren Buffet sees it and I’m pretty sure he identifies as a white male. Warren Buffet understands the Republican agenda doesn’t serve his interests as one of the richest men in the world because Warren understands the imbalance of the political economy will eventually cause destabilization and threaten the status quo under which he has prospered.

    If the Democrats could only get it together enough to put out some solid,non-identity based policy, this would be an excellent opportunity to take back majorities in House and Senate, have a Democratic president and maintain political power for an extended period of time. It took white males a long time to see what Reaganomics meant, but apparently it takes you an even longer time to understand what your ideology means and does.

    • Yusef
      February 25, 2020 at 11:39 am

      This was addressed to MikeCa. I don’t know why it didn’t post there. I clicked the “reply” link on his comment, but something went wrong.

    • MikeCA
      February 25, 2020 at 10:59 pm

      Why did it take you two days to respond with this word salad non-response to my point?

      So I checked and what do you know, Monday Feb 24th was Defender of the Fatherland Day, a Russian government holiday. LOL. I guess you had the day off.

      • Yusef
        February 26, 2020 at 7:59 am

        Your inability to learn, think, or observe is going to help re-elect Trump in November. It is almost as if you secretly want that.

        I’m curious what your crew is going to do to derail Sanders. Plane crash?

  4. Yusef
    February 25, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    If anyone is interested, this is a good breakdown of the 2016 vote:

    https://www.people-press.org/2018/08/09/an-examination-of-the-2016-electorate-based-on-validated-voters/

    Black Americans voted overwhelmingly for Hilary, especially black women. However, black Americans comprise only about ten per cent of the electorate.

    Note that women make up about fifty-five percent of the electorate. White women voted somewhat more for Trump than Hilary. Note, though, white women over the age of fifty voted substantially more for Trump than Hilary. (White women over 65 (boomers!) voted eleven points more for Trump than Hilary. They account for 27 percent of the electorate, nearly three times more than black Americans.)

  5. Yusef
    February 26, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I find in MikeCA a nearly perfect representative of a very sorrowful phenomena over which I grieve.

    AD comments on the Democratic Party’s over-reliance on identity politics, which he compares to the caste system, and predicts a future debilitation for American society similar to that India has already suffered.

    MikeCA then predictably comments,

    “You write this whole post about identity politics and you failed to mention the elephant in the room. It is now completely obvious that the Republican party is largely based on white identity politics and mostly white male identity.”

    AD has criticized the Democratic party and so MikeCA must let us know the Republican party does the same thing, only worse. The Republican party does the same thing, worse, and yet AD fails to notice. It’s the nearly unvarying form of MikeCA’s comments: if D has been bad, R has also been bad, and even more so. Yet even if R is bad, it isn’t bad in the same way D has been bad. Its methods and politics is very different, and the differences are significant.

    The popular appeal of R over the last forty years has been based on:

    1. Cutting taxes and government spending is the top priority. In campaign after campaign, it is treated as the only priority.
    2. Eliminating government “red tape” and getting rid of the stifling effect of regulation and “big government” on economic activity.
    3. Putting a stick of dynamite under the loathsome bureaucratic apparatus to remind the bureaucracies who is boss, and thus returning control of government to the people.
    4. Appealing to something many people were conned into believing was a return to morality, piety, and “family values.”

    Whether this was the best policy or not, people understood the desirability…I experience it, too. No one liked paying taxes; no one felt they were getting the most bang for their tax buck, and they were right. And so on.

    The point is these items have little or nothing to do with “identity politics” as such, nor is it much based on “white identity politics and mostly white male identity.” (I recognize it may be white males who were most drawn to it, but that’s not the same, and as I tried to show, that’s not really the whole story. It appeals to people on the differential basis of their socioeconomic status, and that’s very poorly conceptualized as their “identity.”)

    D must do better than opposing “identity politics” as the alternative to R’s agenda. D’s strategy is a failure and needs to be replaced.

    I’m being as clear as I can be here without the benefit of meaningful feedback. Being told I’m a Russian agent is not meaningful or intelligent feedback.

    • MikeCA
      February 26, 2020 at 10:53 am

      Let me be perfectly clear. The Democratic party is trying to do the opposite of identity politic. They are trying to push policies that help everyone, like universal health care, higher minimum wages, lower cost or free college eduction. The Republican party makes the baseless charge that Democrats are engaging in identity politics. The whole reason for making that nonsense charge is to scare white people out of voting for Democrats, to try to make white people think the Democrats are only a party for black and brown people.

      And here you and AD are repeating this racist garbage.

      • Yusef
        February 26, 2020 at 2:21 pm

        To the extent the Democratic party is trying to present the things you list, I am all for it. For my money, the only democratic candidate who makes a convincing argument along these lines is Bernie Sanders, and you are on record as saying Bernie is not a democrat. Thus, I am confused by you.

        Really the whole idea behind much of my comments was to convey to you to make convincing arguments about your list should be all the Democrats focus on. The idiocy of the impeachment and the general Trump derangement syndrome has been a horrible, misguided waste, and the Democrats will pay a price, as will the country.

        Certainly, though, it is an exaggeration to call the charge of identity politics baseless.

        I do wonder why black people support the Democrats, but I know the history of this, and so I sympathize. Where else can they go? Back in the 60s, the best and brightest of the their community tried to get the Democratic party to pay full price for black votes, or else to forge a meaningful alternative to either the Democrats or Republicans. This resulted in either the murder or incarceration of the best and the brightest, and all of the struggle and its desired outcome has been covered over in oblivion, or worse, in saccharine sheets of pity and falsified adulation, as in the case of Martin Luther King. I recognize many people interpret a statement like that as racist, and I don’t care. I see it as truly honoring the man and knowing what he was actually going to accomplish if he hadn’t been stopped by the FBI’s bullets.

  6. MikeCA
    February 26, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    “The idiocy of the impeachment and the general Trump derangement syndrome has been a horrible, misguided waste, and the Democrats will pay a price, as will the country.”

    What price did Republicans pay for Obama derangement syndrome? What price did Republicans pay for wasting time with 70 different bills trying to repeal Obama care, none of which had a chance of becoming law? What price did Republicans pay for investigating Benghazi over and over again?

    Democrats knew that the Senate would acquit Trump, but Trumps actions were clearly exactly the kind of corruption for which impeachment was intended. Democrats had to show the Democratic base they were willing to fight the corruption of the Trump administration, even if it failed to remove Trump from office. If they had not impeached Trump, Democrats would be saying Trump actions were not corrupt. It was also important to force all the Republican Senators to vote to acquit Trump, making them part of corruption.

    Whether Democrats will follow through in 2020 in portraying the Republican party as a totally corrupt, remains to be seen.

    “Back in the 60s, the best and brightest of the their community tried to get the Democratic party to pay full price for black votes, or else to forge a meaningful alternative to either the Democrats or Republicans. This resulted in either the murder or incarceration of the best and the brightest, and all of the struggle and its desired outcome has been covered over in oblivion, or worse, in saccharine sheets of pity and falsified adulation, as in the case of Martin Luther King. I recognize many people interpret a statement like that as racist, and I don’t care. I see it as truly honoring the man and knowing what he was actually going to accomplish if he hadn’t been stopped by the FBI’s bullets.”

    You do realize the the Democratic and Republican parties of the 1960s were completely different parties than the Democratic and Republican parties today. Conservative Southern Democrats supported segregation. The Civil Rights laws and voting rights acts of the mid-60s passed with bi-partisan support and bi-partisan opposition. The passage of those laws transformed both parties. The conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans. The liberal Republicans that supported the civil rights movement were driven out of the Republican party. The two parties today have no similarity to the parties in the 1960s.

    By the way, everyone should know that the J. Edgar Hoover FBI was totally corrupt and having looked at the evidence, the FBI at minimum covered up the plot to assassinate Martin Luther King, if in fact they were not actively involved.

    • doldrom
      February 27, 2020 at 1:43 am

      The FBI is still the way it was back then — they have files on everyone and use it to coerce and coopt them. The deep state has its tentacles in everything, more control than many other secret police ever had, only the people are convinced that this vast secret government apparatus is for their own good and freedom. Chumps. American institutions have simply been much more successful by using more sophisticated PR and perception manipulation.

  7. Yusef
    February 27, 2020 at 8:54 am

    “What price did Republicans pay for Obama derangement syndrome? What price did Republicans pay for wasting time with 70 different bills trying to repeal Obama care, none of which had a chance of becoming law? What price did Republicans pay for investigating Benghazi over and over again?”

    Overlooking the fact that here again you exhibit your typical form of response (so what if D is bad, R is always worse) it is fairly clear the Republicans paid a terrible price for their shenanigans over the years. They either failed to achieve the results they sought, or met with declining credibility and approval, and finally, reduced power and influence. Once again, you’ve failed to get to the real point: this being the case with R, why does D have to make what are basically the same mistakes? Is it not true doing so– making the same mistakes as your opponent– a sign you are even more stupid than your opponent?

    The big wigs in the RNC managed to lose control of the Republican party by their sloppiness and stupidity, and this was part of the opportunity seized by the buffoon Trump in 2016. If there hadn’t been a price to be paid for their poor decisions, the RNC would not have needed to yield to this force and contingency within the Republican party which, it seems to me, is even more foreign to it than such out-of-the-mainstream candidates as Ron Paul ever was. We don’t know what’s gone on behind the scenes there, but there are indications these people were either forced into line by Trump’s muscle, or banished. Sent to political Siberia. There’s no reemergence of the Bush dynasty in 2020. I assume there would be at least rumblings from them if they hadn’t been clobbered with a baseball bat after the curtains closed in the last election cycle.

    “Democrats knew that the Senate would acquit Trump, but Trumps actions were clearly exactly the kind of corruption for which impeachment was intended.”

    You are going to keep repeating this no matter what, and it is precisely your inability to learn and reassess, to widen your analysis to include a wider perspective and encompass the various ugly factors making up reality, I find most repugnant. It is sad, too, because you seem to believe you are displaying a high minded and uncompromising integrity.

    “By the way, everyone should know that the J. Edgar Hoover FBI was totally corrupt and having looked at the evidence, the FBI at minimum covered up the plot to assassinate Martin Luther King, if in fact they were not actively involved.”

    The FBI declared war on black people and carried it out with a brutality equal to any by the secret police of any society. They completely screwed up our democracy and any semblance to our systems of orderly redress of grievances we may have had in place. The black leadership they murdered had a very strong and inspiring vision for the future, and the FBI stamped it all out and we’re left with tepid half measures it becomes more and more difficult to support. (You listed some, above: “universal” health care, and so on.) This is, by the way, the background from which springs the insipid politics AD describes, with its strange and perverse view of what’s progressive.

    “You write this whole post about identity politics and you failed to mention the elephant in the room. It is now completely obvious that the Republican party is largely based on white identity politics and mostly white male identity.”

    By the way, you should look at this:

    https://www.people-press.org/2018/03/20/1-trends-in-party-affiliation-among-demographic-groups/

    I’ll be happy to explain it to you if you find the numbers difficult.

    The point is you started all this with a patently stupid comment which doesn’t have a basis in fact. It would be nice if you would touch down from La La Land to planet earth and start making a contribution to the discussion.

  8. MikeCA
    February 27, 2020 at 12:15 pm

    “By the way, you should look at this…”

    I have looked at that. Your response is once again just a non-responsive word salad mixed in with lots of insults.

    Look, I know you and AD are just a Russian trolls, trying to stir up racial hatred and distension within the Democrats so that Trump can be re-elected. AD started this all out with by accusing Democrats of using racial identity politics. Maybe you guys in Russia don’t get the see all the Republican campaign ads that get run at election time, but they are not subtle. Standard Republican ads run like: hard working Americans (pictures of white guys) are paying taxes to support lazy, good for nothings (pictures of black and brown guys), vote Republican to keep more of your tax dollars and stop giving it to the undeserving (black and brown guys). Of course Republicans when they are in office don’t even do that. They take money away from poor people, the majority of which are white, and give it to billionaires. The working class gets nothing.

    It is the Republican party that has been engaging in racists idenity politics for years. Trump is just way more open about coming right out and saying it. You and AD just keep repeating the racist charge that Democrats are engaging in identity politics like India, but that is complete rubbish. The only racial group that is large enough in the US that you can win a national election with identity politics is the white race. That article you keep linking to clearly shows that 69% of voters are white, 11% are Black, 10% are Hispanic, with the rest being other racial groups.

    We don’t need your Russian racists opinions here.

    Aren’t comments on lionoftheblogosphere much more racist?

    Also tell me how democrats able to win some southern states as late as mid-1990s, if the political realignment occurred in late 1960s and early 1970s?

    Ever considered the possibility that democrats left their (white) working class voters by supporting trade deals, outsourcing and financialization?

    But why introspect when it is much easier to pretend that Trump is somehow radically different (in actions) from his predecessors?

    Trump is the most obvious symptom of a bipartisan rot, not its cause!

    • Yusef
      February 27, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      I have never posted the same link twice. You may have looked at the most recent, but your glance was obviously cursory. I know I have described many of your comments as stupid, but prior to this I’ve held out some hope you yourself are not stupid. I’ve tended to think of you as an older white guy whose views and opinions were shaped during a different era and due to a rather sheltered life amidst too much comfort and undeserved advantages, you’ve never needed to modify them. That isn’t necessarily to be stupid. I honestly regret if it really is true you are not capable of understanding something new. That is to be stupid.

      I live in the US, was born, educated, and bred here. I don’t, however, watch much TV. I don’t know what kind of advertisements the Republicans run. When I was in California back in 2004,staying in a hotel and watching more TV than usual, I watched Republican advertising. What I observed was a lot of misleading and misdirection of the viewer as to of what the Republican policies were comprised. I saw no overt or covert racism. I believe it is rare and not typical. I think you made up your typical example of an advertisement to support an opinion unsupportable by actual fact. I’ve come to see you do this rather more often than is respectable. Again, I am very sorry to see that.

      While it is true most voters are white, it is not true most voters identify as Republicans. It is not true most white males identify as Republicans. That was your claim. It is also not true most white males who are registered as Independent lean towards the Republicans. Thus, while it is necessary to appeal to whites to win elections, it is not true either party has a lock on whites, male or otherwise. There are gaps, but I would say all in all the split is fairly tight. That’s actually part of what could make the black voting block such a powerful force for social and political change. The Democrats need and have needed that block to win elections. If the blacks had been free to maneuver, they could have extracted changes in the way the Democrats think and do business in Washington. The Democrats claim a lot of credit for the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s. I don’t want to go into whether that’s deserved or not. All I know is that when black leadership wanted to push much further than Democrats were comfortable, terrible things happened. J. Edgar was a Republican and I have a general feeling Republicans were worse, but Democrats didn’t do enough. They didn’t even push to properly investigate King’s assassination. That reeks. Johnson was president in 1968. There’s some indication Johnson and J. Edgar were allied in some ways. What I conclude is the black voting block needed to control the Democratic party, but the Democratic party needed to control the black voting block more, and when push came to shove, the Democratic party’s need to control the black voting block prevailed, through violence and subterfuge of the Democratic party, in part.

      Sure, ever after, if the blacks want a bone or some crumbs tossed in their direction, they can turn to the Democratic party and have some hopes these will be forthcoming. I doubt a person of your stripe can understand why that’s not entirely acceptable, let alone worth dying to prevent.

      You say I speak in word salad. I just bet there are times when I am unclear. I also notice I could do a better job proofreading and editing. Yet your proclivity to misconstrue, misunderstand, and bumble– over and over and over– makes it more likely the salad is getting tossed in your head, not mine.

  9. Jack Donovan
    February 27, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    “makes it more likely the salad is getting tossed in your head, not mine.”

    Oh lala, salad is getting tossed? Us White Nationalists love tossing salad…

    So, uh, all you guys hang out at Lion of the Blogosphere?

    I guess that means you are vetted, c’mon down to my safe space…

    https://images.app.goo.gl/XN8ccJNZAUkU63vb7

    • Yusef
      February 27, 2020 at 4:11 pm

      eat salad (v.)
      to indulge in anilingus.

      toss salad (v.) (also toss a salad, toss someone’s salad, toss some salad) [? the general mixing of flesh and embellishments]
      (US prison) to engage in anilingus, seen by otherwise heterosexual participants as a ‘clean’ non-homosexual form of quick and easy gratification.

      eat salad (v.)
      to indulge in anilingus.

      MikeCa and I were cellmates at Leavenworth for about seven years. That’s why we get on so well here. He was in for tax evasion, stock fraud, and some ripoff scheme of nursing homes which unfortunately for him were federally funded. The ATF nabbed me for gun running to Mexican cartels when I was down in Brownsville, Texas. I was the vicious one, the strong dom. MikeCa used to resent it, but if I hadn’t been there to protect him, the poor, limp-wristed little fruit, he would have never made it through. This stuff about him having worked in software makes me want to laugh.

      • MikeCA
        February 27, 2020 at 5:45 pm

        You left out that I was the man on the grassy knoll.

  10. MikeCA
    February 27, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    “The Democrats claim a lot of credit for the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s. I don’t want to go into whether that’s deserved or not. All I know is that when black leadership wanted to push much further than Democrats were comfortable, terrible things happened.”

    I think you have not studied history enough. Prior to the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s, blacks, especially in the South, voted Republican because the Republican party was the Party of Lincoln and the Southern Democrats were the party of the KKK. After the 1960s the Southern Democrats became Republicans and Southern Blacks moved to the Democratic party.

    The fundamental reasons more was not done in the 1960s was that there were simply not the votes in the Senate where 60 votes were required. Before claiming that Democrats were at fault for not doing more, you need to understand what actually went on in the 1960s and how big a deal the Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act and school desegregation were. All those changes in the 1960s caused many people to become more conservative, because they felt things were changing too fast. That conservative backlash continues to the present.

    Obama was barely able to get Obama care through the Senate in spite of total opposition by Republicans. Universal health care is the last missing piece of the FDR legacy. In the 1960s Democrats were able to get Medicare for those over 65 (who insurance companies did not want to cover at the time). Obama took a step toward universal coverage because that was all there was support for in the Senate and he needed every last Democratic vote in the Senate to get it done. All the Trump administration has done is try to repeal/weaken Obama care. Right now the Trump administration is preparing to argue to the Supreme Court that the whole Obama care law should be thrown out, since Republicans repealed the tax penalty for not buying insurance.

    I can understand peoples frustration with the slow progress. I expected a lot more, but the reason things did not get done is the strangle hold conservatives (of whatever party) have in the Senate. Democrats have tried, but they have made only incremental progress.

    I believe candidates like Bernie Sanders have their hearts in the right place. My only reservation is that he is too idealistic. Polls show he can beat Trump but I have doubts if that will hold up to the Republican Socialist/Communist name calling and claiming he wants to make the US a failed state like Venezuela. Bidden is a gaffe machine. Warren’s heart is in the right place too and she knows how to get things done better than Bernie, but she is not a good campaigner. Bloomberg is a joke. I don’t think any of the rest of the candidates have a chance. I have to decide who I’m voting for in the California primary this weekend.

    I also suspect the Russian trolls like you and AD are pushing Bernie because he would be the most disruptive candidate that would bitterly divide the US.

    • February 27, 2020 at 9:17 pm

      ” since Republicans repealed the tax penalty for not buying insurance.”

      Thank you Republicans…

      Not that you care, Mr. Better than everyone engineer, I was missclassified as an independent contractor doing “sales” for a tech firm. I was “supposed” to buy my own insurance but who can afford that sh*t. Got hit with a penalty. Yeah, O’bombya is sooo progressive hurting poor guys like me. And all you engineers would look down upon me but expect me to sell a broken product and lie about it. Guess what, I didn’t lie, I always said, lets take it to trial and if it works for you, let’s cut a PO. If we can only get it to 85% but that’s still better than the other guy, lets do the deal at 85%. Engineers hated me because they had to get off their unwiped asses and configure a product. (Engineers with W2 income, full benefits and shitty beemers.) Yeah, assholes…. You aren’t better than us “little folks” just because you are slightly better than average at math.

      There are only two ways forward…

      Medicare for all or no penalties and you buy it or get it from your job….

      Quite frankly punishing poor people for not buying an insurance product that props up a crooked insurance industry and sub par healthcare should be a crime….

  11. Yusef
    February 27, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    “I think you have not studied history enough. Prior to the Civil Rights acts of the 1960s, blacks, especially in the South, voted Republican”

    I think you have not studied history enough. Prior to the second Civil Rights act (the one of 1965) southern blacks didn’t have the right to vote.

    Southern whites had things pretty well sewn together by the mid-1870s in terms of limiting the freedoms of the newly “free” slaves. They didn’t even need the KKK after the first few years following the civil war: more peaceful, “civil”, and subtle means of subduing the blacks were in place.

    The history is just not what you think it is, butt boy. Really, it was never about “freeing” the slaves or allowing them to be full citizens, with “equal” rights. It was about economics, as always.

    It is outright silly to see you attempting to explain it coherently in terms of party politics and where blacks fit into that.

  12. MikeCA
    February 27, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    “I think you have not studied history enough. Prior to the second Civil Rights act (the one of 1965) southern blacks didn’t have the right to vote.”

    I think your knowledge of history is oversimplified. You are correct most Blacks in the South were prevented from voting, but not all. Some areas used literacy tests or poll taxes to reduce Black voting, but some Blacks could overcome these obstacles and were allowed to vote.

    Many Northern Blacks had switched to the Democratic party because of FDR, but not all. Eisenhower got about 40% of the black vote in 1956. Even Richard Nixon in 1960 got about one third of the black vote. Most of these voters were in the North. The percentage of Souther Blacks voting Republican would have been much higher, but the number who could vote was small.

    In 1964 most Republican Senators voted for the Civil Rights Acts, but the Republican party turned around and nominated Barry Goldwater, one of the few Republican Senators that had voted against the Civil Rights Act. This started the process of Souther Democrats moving to the Republican party and Southern Black voters moving to the Democratic party.

    • Jack Dononvan
      February 27, 2020 at 9:40 pm
      • Yusef
        February 28, 2020 at 9:25 am

        Thanks for the link and the useful information. I had no idea Goldwater ever took those stands.

        Goldwater gives an example of someone who defends gay rights but without recourse to “identity politics.” He defends them on the basis of what is guaranteed to all by the US Constitution.

        The US Constitution at least attempted to frame a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” without exclusions, in theory. They didn’t know how to do that, and neither do we, but in this case I count the failure more as ours than theirs, because we’ve had an additional 250 years or so to work it out.

        The keen distinction is “guaranteed to all” and we should be more than capable of seeing how identity politics is not a movement towards “guaranteed to all” but a significant and disastrous departure.

        I also think the nature of this departure is well described by AD in this post. I do not for the life of me understand how it can be so misinterpreted. Maybe MikeCA can come along and explain the US Constitution in terms of it being “white male identity politics.”

      • Jack Donovan
        February 28, 2020 at 9:31 pm

        Josef, err Yusef…

        Glad you are our goy…

        Now will you please tell those horrible individuals like Stonah wit a bonah and Advocatus Diaboli to stop leaving these horrid memes around…

        We are having trouble getting new recruits at the wolves of vulvas, err vineland….

    • Yusef
      February 28, 2020 at 7:49 am

      The overwhelmingly obvious picture was of Jim Crow and American Apartheid, yet you choose to depict the situation in terms of the voting patterns of rare exceptions. It’s nice you mention those exceptions– they are indeed easy to overlook.

      Some of what you’ve said reminded me of the movie, Sorry to Bother You:

      “Ebony and Ivory, working in perfect harmony” my ass.

  13. MikeCA
    February 27, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    “Aren’t comments on lionoftheblogosphere much more racist?”

    Yes they are, but all comments on that blog have to be approved by the blog owner, and he will not approve a comment that points that out.

    “Also tell me how democrats able to win some southern states as late as mid-1990s, if the political realignment occurred in late 1960s and early 1970s?”

    The political realignment happened slowly. The Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was the last of the old segregationist Southern Democrats, although West Virginia was of course not part of the Confederacy. As a young man he had flirted with the KKK. He died in office in 2010. Byrd joined the filibuster of the 1964 Civil Rights Act although he later said he regretted doing so.

    I should point out that while Byrd had very conservative political views, he did lead a failed effort to filibuster the Iraq war authorization in 2003 and was outspoken in his opposition to the Iraq war.

    “Ever considered the possibility that democrats left their (white) working class voters by supporting trade deals, outsourcing and financialization?”

    Why would the white working class switch from Democratic to Republican over those issues when the Republican party at the time supported those issues even more strongly than Democrats? It was race plain and simple. I saw how Reagan used race to appeal to the white working class.

    “Trump is the most obvious symptom of a bipartisan rot, not its cause!”

    Trump has forced the Republican party to drop its cloak of respectability and reveal its grossly immoral and racist heart.

    You are talking as if the democratic party is full of much nicer people. But is it? Sure.. they are not as crass and openly racist as the republicans- but might I remind you that the biggest increase in mass incarceration of black people in this country occurred under a democratic president (Bill Clinton) and with the enthusiastic support of most legislators in his party. Do you remember how Bill Clinton was eager to work with republicans to cut Social Security and Medicare- only to be thwarted by the Monica Lewinsky scandal. You know that Obama wanted to work with Republicans to cut SS and Medicare in 2011.. right?

    It was Obama, not Trump, who started the brutal deportation programs they all like to complain about today- and don’t forget the part about about putting kids in cages. Trump has still not been able to deport as many Hispanics as Obama. He also was completely quiet about the issues of police brutality and mass incarceration till the BLM movement made it impossible for him to keep quiet. Even then he did almost nothing to change the horrid status quo. Don’t forget that it was the Obama administration that destroyed the lives of millions caught in the housing bubble by structuring the bailouts such that it would hurt poorer borrowers (especially black people) while enriching banks. I could go on..

  14. MikeCA
    February 28, 2020 at 12:24 am

    “… might I remind you that the biggest increase in mass incarceration of black people in this country occurred under a democratic president (Bill Clinton) and with the enthusiastic support of most legislators in his party.”

    This is a totally false narrative. Mass incarcerations started at the state and local level. It was a response to a very real rise in violent crime. Between 1960 and 1992 the violent crime rate in the US doubled. Voters, including black voters, demanded the government take action. That led to a series of “tough on crime” laws at the state level that increased sentences and caused the incarceration rate to increase faster than the crime rate. The 1993 bill that you are talking about was when this political movement finally got to the federal level. Democrats wanted this bill to be bi-partisan. The worst parts of that bill were demanded by Republicans in order to make the bill bi-partisan. In the end more than half of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for the bill, because Black neighbourhoods were being hit harder by violent crime than white neighbourhoods.

    It is very hard to get statistics on the incarceration rates because most are at the state level and there are no standard statistics collected by all states. People who have tried to put together the best data they can say that the incarceration rate in the USA increased slowly starting in the 1960s as crime when up, and accelerated through the 70s, 80s and 90s as more states adopted tough on crime laws. The incarceration rate peaked in 1996 and has been declining ever since. Although the violent crime rate today is back to approximately the levels of the 1960s, the incarceration rate is till much higher than in the 1960s.

    Fixing this is a 50 state struggle to convince people that the reason the crime rate declined had nothing to do with all the tough on crime laws and get most of them repealed.

    One think to be clear about is that the tough on crime movement of the 70s though 90s was driven by Republicans who accused Democrats of being soft on crime.

    I don’t have time to respond to the rest of your nonsense tonight.

    • Yusef
      February 28, 2020 at 8:49 am

      “This is a totally false narrative. Mass incarcerations started at the state and local level. It was a response to a very real rise in violent crime.”

      Mass incarceration started with the criminalization of drugs and was driven by the drug laws and the ever-increasing draconian measures to punish them. It would be false to suggest the Democrats simply followed the Republicans. A case by case approach to examination reveals a bipartisan effort.

      I’ve heard people claim Nelson Rockefeller, Republican governor of New York in the 60s, initiated the “war on drugs” with his incredibly harsh laws, but the federal actions came quick on his heals, and without the DEA and other federal interventions, it is difficult to believe the “war on drugs” would have become the national nightmare we’ve experienced.

      Now maybe we are going to emerge from that nightmare– I hope so. As much of the leadership for backing off has come from Rs, especially their libertarian wing, as from the Ds. I’m still crying about people serving four years for possession of a single joint. What I am not going to allow is characterization of the role the Ds played in it as “a totally false narrative.”

      • MikeCA
        February 28, 2020 at 11:08 am

        It was Richard Nixon that called drugs the US number one problem and declared the War on Drugs in 1971. He also set up the DEA. Now Democrats in Congress did help pass legislation to implement this.

        It is interesting how you consistently blame Democrats for going along with Republican policies. It was Republicans that pushed this narrative and convinced voters rising drug use was part of the cause of the rising violent crime rate. It was voters that wanted action on crime, and both Republican and Democrats responded.

        I’m guessing you were not alive in 1971 and really don’t know very much about what went on. Those Russian schools just don’t give you a very balanced view of what was really going on in the USA.

        Since the mid-1970s, the democratic party and its republican equivalent have represented the same interests- and guess what, their true constituency has always been the top 1% with a few crumbs thrown to appease the next 9%. There is a reason why inflation adjusted wages have not increased (and in many cases decreased) over past 40 years. Bipartisanship = both parties getting together to screw over the 90%.

        Here, have a look- https://www.manhattan-institute.org/reevaluating-prosperity-of-american-family

      • Yusef
        February 28, 2020 at 11:30 am

        You poor silly stupid fool…I didn’t say Republicans didn’t have a part in this…I said they did… I said it was a bipartisan effort. I can match a Democratic action for every Republican action you give, and you can do the same, vice versa. This proves my point. It doesn’t rebut it.

        You poor silly stupid fool…Yes, I do blame the Democrats for going along with Republican policies. As I consistently have disagreed with these damned Republican policies, why wouldn’t I? I consistently blame the Republicans for their bad policy, and when the Democrats endorse it, I blame the Democrats, too. Why don’t you?

        Please keep these comments coming.

        I need to be pounded with the stupidity and futility of my efforts, and that’s what it takes– a beating until I stop.

  15. Yusef
    February 28, 2020 at 8:17 am

    ” One think to be clear about is that the tough on crime movement of the 70s though 90s was driven by Republicans who accused Democrats of being soft on crime.”

    Yes, the Republicans accused the Democrats of being soft on crime, just as the Republicans accused the Democrats of being soft on communism.

    And yet! And yet! And yet!

    The Democrats were soft, neither on crime nor on communism.

    Mature adults do not allow being accused of something to affect their attitudes or behavior. If someone was “driven by Republican” accusations– prodded against their better judgment and will– this alone would be a reason to reject their leadership ever afterwards. It is a shitty, shitty, shitty excuse, at best.

    Democrats held their own all along on defense spending and enactments of harsh punishments, oppressive extensions of gov’t police surveillance, etc, right up to support for FISA amendments, the Patriot Act,the tactics of the war on terror being used on those who obviously are not terrorists, and so on.

    Whether you like it or not, Bill Clinton really was pretty much the worst, and he wasn’t forced into it. He wasn’t “driven by accusations” you silly fool.

    Nor would Hilary have been “driven.”

    One of the reasons I’m glad we don’t have Prez Hilary is she would certainly have war mongered the US into a major military confrontation with the Russians. In the disastrous aftermath, and topping it off, we would hear the chorus of twerps apologizing afterwards about how “she had to show she was just as tough as a man.”

    To get it all back on topic, I wish you could hear the role identity politics in such nonsense.

  16. MikeCA
    February 28, 2020 at 8:51 am

    “One of the reasons I’m glad we don’t have Prez Hilary is she would certainly have war mongered the US into a major military confrontation with the Russians.”

    Ah, yes, of course. You hated Hilary because she might have threatened the Fatherland!

    LOL. You know you really are not very good at this.

    • Yusef
      February 28, 2020 at 9:44 am

      I hope you’ll keep making these kinds of comments because I hate myself for wasting so much time with you.

    • Jack Donovan
      February 28, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      “Ah, yes, of course. You hated Hilary because she might have threatened the Fatherland!”

      I thought Russia was motherland…

      Gee, I hope this means what I think it means and Josef, er, Yusef (to sound all multicultural and muzzle) is really a white goy and not an almost white goy ala those dang soviets….

      we all knows fatherland and earth and soil is a good ole dogwhistle for everyone’s favorite aryan, Adolphonso Hayle Hilter !!!!!

      So, yeah, MikeCA, just remember to visit the bath house tonite so we can ccelebrate the beauty of the white man !!!

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