[Discussion] What comes next? Liber-all

American liberals and progressives now face their biggest challenge in a generation: What do we do with 4 years of a trump presidency, a republican congress, a likely conservative supreme court and most states under complete republican control?

This thread is not meant as a forum for discussing HOW or WHY democrats got destroyed in the 2016 election. It's meant for finding a way forward.

WA Senate looks to be headed back to the Democrats. My county's turnout was depressingly low, though, around 23%.

In my little town, we had seven people running for three town council seats, and only one incumbent won. The top winning candidate turned out to be a non-incumbent Democrat and the only woman in the race and will be the first Democrat on the council in years from what I've been told.

The other Democrat candidate ranked somewhere near the bottom. He had been mayor a number of years ago before our current mayor, so I don't know if his "ranking" was because people didn't like him when he was mayor or if people had no clue who he was. (He was before my time living here, so I'd fall more into the second camp.)

Tuesday's results are good, but Democrats shouldn't spike the football yet. It's still a long, hard road ahead of them.

I generally think of Bill Maher as part of the problem, and generally as a pretty gross misogynist. But I happened see his guest list this week and ended up watching Real Time with my wife last night. He had Donna Brazille, Sarah Silverman, Michael Moore, and Chris Matthews. Despite Maher, a lot of good conversation came from it.

In particular, and related to this thread, was when Silverman came on to talk about her new Hulu show, "I Love You, America." It was there that Silverman and Matthews really hammered away at the need for the left to stop with the dumb hick and deplorable stuff. Overall, these are voices that need to be part of the solution, and there was a lot of interesting ideas being thrown around. I would never recommend Real Time on it's own, but this episode is worth tracking down.

Plus, Matthews had the line of the night.

Spoiler:

Now we know the Republican age of consent.

Maher is waaaay off on certain issues. But I find his show both entertaining and informative. And he often has great guests. Just make sure you have your BS detector operating at full capacity while you watch.

My wife and I are pretty big fans of Chris Matthews, but a lot of the time find his daily show to be a bit much. He was always better when he had a Sunday show. He's also really good when he is the guest on other shows. Was pretty fun seeing him and More really get into it with each other, as a microcosm of the issue at hand, how liberals need to come together and stop the infighting.

They didn't solve that on the show, that's for sure.

My wife and I are pretty big fans of Chris Matthews, but a lot of the time find his daily show to be a bit much. He was always better when he had a Sunday show. He's also really good when he is the guest on other shows. Was pretty fun seeing him and More really get into it with each other, as a microcosm of the issue at hand, how liberals need to come together and stop the infighting. They didn't solve that on the show, that's for sure.

RawkGWJ wrote:

Maher is waaaay off on certain issues. But I find his show both entertaining and informative. And he often has great guests. Just make sure you have your BS detector operating at full capacity while you watch.

I guess the main thing is, I rarely feel comfortable sharing what I see on Real Time for this very reason. There are so many caveats needed. I just thought that was a pretty great guest list and worth hearing what they had to say when all smashed together.

Jayhawker wrote:

It was there that Silverman and Matthews really hammered away at the need for the left to stop with the dumb hick and deplorable stuff. Overall, these are voices that need to be part of the solution, and there was a lot of interesting ideas being thrown around.

I dunno. Being OK with rape? Being OK with molestation? Being OK with discrimination? Being OK with racism? Being OK with misogyny? The list goes on and on. I'm not going to want to "reach out" to anyone like that. And now that the use of truth and facts have been successfully made useless by the right what would be the point?

Because if we fail to fight we damn the less fortunate in those areas to a lifetime/culture of discrimination and suffering.

strangederby wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

It was there that Silverman and Matthews really hammered away at the need for the left to stop with the dumb hick and deplorable stuff. Overall, these are voices that need to be part of the solution, and there was a lot of interesting ideas being thrown around.

I dunno. Being OK with rape? Being OK with molestation? Being OK with discrimination? Being OK with racism? Being OK with misogyny? The list goes on and on. I'm not going to want to "reach out" to anyone like that. And now that the use of truth and facts have been successfully made useless by the right what would be the point?

First, as Top Shelf says, we are talking about reaching out to those that we can find common round. Further, this is not about convincing anyone of anything. It's more about finding common ground and moving forward.

I just watched an interesting focus group of Trump voters on Face the Nation this morning. What made it interesting, despite many eye rolling statements, was that as the conversation went along, they sounded less and less confident and supportive of Trump. The key was that John Dickerson really played very little role in the conversation, just asking questions. Without non-Trump voters as part of the conversation, they felt more free to talk about what they didn't like about Trump, and that seemed to snowball a bit. Without a need to defend him from us, they really did have a more reasonable view of his presidency, even if its still not as far as we would go.

Jayhawker wrote:

First, as Top Shelf says, we are talking about reaching out to those that we can find common round. Further, this is not about convincing anyone of anything. It's more about finding common ground and moving forward.

The common ground should be that Republicans aren't cool with making a someone who sexually assaulted a 14 year-old a United States Senator or stuffing the White House with white supremacists and the odd actual Nazi. But apparently they're really OK with that so I'm not sure what else there's to talk about.

And the first step to moving forward shouldn't be the Democrats reaching out to moderate Republicans. It should be moderate Republicans running away from their party and apologizing to the entire country for making for their role in this sh*tshow.

OG_slinger wrote:

And the first step to moving forward shouldn't be the Democrats reaching out to moderate Republicans. It should be moderate Republicans running away from their party and apologizing to the entire country for making for their role in this sh*tshow.

I'm seeing moderates do just that (Frum, George Will, the National Review editorial board coming down hard on Roy Moore, Romney, McCain).

We on the Left are much more likely to help them embrace their better selves by being open, honest, direct, and to view our fellow Americans as part of the same team. We can disagree. Fiercely. We are still a team.

Top_Shelf wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:

And the first step to moving forward shouldn't be the Democrats reaching out to moderate Republicans. It should be moderate Republicans running away from their party and apologizing to the entire country for making for their role in this sh*tshow.

I'm seeing moderates do just that (Frum, George Will, the National Review editorial board coming down hard on Roy Moore, Romney, McCain).

We on the Left are much more likely to help them embrace their better selves by being open, honest, direct, and to view our fellow Americans as part of the same team. We can disagree. Fiercely. We are still a team.

this is coming from from anecdote, so take it with a grain of salt but: I think one of the big problems is, for every moderate that abandons the party out of distaste, 2 or 5 or 10 moderates who would have previously been uncomfortable with pedophiles, hebephiles, and nazis are moving 'right' to accept those people for the sake of the party. I find that dangerous. The thought that "are you OK with a pedophile representing you?" is a useful litmus test (in that the answer isn't a universal 'f**k no!') is terrifying.

I mean, we're at litmus test #1000 at this point in Trump's presidency. Actual Nazis, a pussygrabber-in-chief, racism, homophobia, pro-police brutality, et al.

If THIS is the thing that scares some folks out of the party, but they were perfectly cool with the previous year? Blehhhhhhh.

Please don't think I'm not fearful of what the current behavior of R's has been. It is disgusting and every single one of them should be ashamed and I hope that all of them get their comeuppance (and the historian in me is awaiting their delicious, delicious schadenfreude moment b/c it will come. It always comes.). And their victims and the folks that will suffer under their policies need help, which they will only seem to get from the Left.

We can ALSO continue to reach out to the Right and show them the error of their ways via the tools we have always used to eat away at Conservatism: logic, reason, evidence, science, and being direct.

Withdrawing? No thanks.

Top_Shelf wrote:

Please don't think I'm not fearful of what the current behavior of R's has been. It is disgusting and every single one of them should be ashamed and I hope that all of them get their comeuppance (and the historian in me is awaiting their delicious, delicious schadenfreude moment b/c it will come. It always comes.). And their victims and the folks that will suffer under their policies need help, which they will only seem to get from the Left.

We can ALSO continue to reach out to the Right and show them the error of their ways via the tools we have always used to eat away at Conservatism: logic, reason, evidence, science, and being direct.

Withdrawing? No thanks.

I'm all for reaching out and bringing people to our side. All I'm saying is, I don't see what productive conversation I can have with someone who won't join me on the common ground of "Child rapists are bad, and we shouldn't make them government representatives"

logic, reason, evidence, science,

Ummmmm...........

Top_Shelf wrote:

Please don't think I'm not fearful of what the current behavior of R's has been. It is disgusting and every single one of them should be ashamed and I hope that all of them get their comeuppance (and the historian in me is awaiting their delicious, delicious schadenfreude moment b/c it will come. It always comes.). And their victims and the folks that will suffer under their policies need help, which they will only seem to get from the Left.

We can ALSO continue to reach out to the Right and show them the error of their ways via the tools we have always used to eat away at Conservatism: logic, reason, evidence, science, and being direct.

Withdrawing? No thanks.

As far as I'm concerned, the right has burned all bridges with me, and I don't think we're all on the same team. I have no interest in reconciling, reasoning, or even talking to them. I just want to bury them in opposing votes and then completely ignore them forever after.

Mormech wrote:
Top_Shelf wrote:

Please don't think I'm not fearful of what the current behavior of R's has been. It is disgusting and every single one of them should be ashamed and I hope that all of them get their comeuppance (and the historian in me is awaiting their delicious, delicious schadenfreude moment b/c it will come. It always comes.). And their victims and the folks that will suffer under their policies need help, which they will only seem to get from the Left.

We can ALSO continue to reach out to the Right and show them the error of their ways via the tools we have always used to eat away at Conservatism: logic, reason, evidence, science, and being direct.

Withdrawing? No thanks.

As far as I'm concerned, the right has burned all bridges with me, and I don't think we're all on the same team. I have no interest in reconciling, reasoning, or even talking to them. I just want to bury them in opposing votes and then completely ignore them forever after.

Small (or large, I guess) disagreement. Ignore them at your own peril, but I do think the stuff on trying economically benefit the whole country (remember, those red states have more than their fair share of the not top 1%).

Ignore their racist/misogyny/homophobia clamoring except as a reminder of how we cannot let the American Ideal slip so far again.

Hardcore alt righters are probably a lost cause. If a progressive person reached out to them they would probably recoil even closer towards their extremist views.

Someone who is alt-right adjacent, though is a different story. While I don’t believe you can convince them to be progressive, you might be able to pull them away from extremist attitudes. Just a little. And though that might seem hopeless or pointless, it’s a step in the right direction.

People who are on the fence, or even fence adjacent Republicans, are the ones that might become our allies. We need more Rs who are firmly in the moderate camp.

But winning hearts and minds is a difficult art to master. It must be done gently. Confrontational arguments will most likely be perceived as an attack, and cause a person to go on the defensive. What we really want to do is encourage a little bit of open mindedness.

FWIW there are a lot of people out there who define themselves as “conservatives” but who are not in lock step with Trump and his minions. They pretty much want the same thing that a lot of progressives do - good government, a prosperous nation, and a better future for their families. Also, politics isn’t that important for a lot of people, and drawing a “you’re with us or against us” hard line is not going to help convince them to get off the fence and get involved.

jdzappa wrote:

FWIW there are a lot of people out there who define themselves as “conservatives” but who are not in lock step with Trump and his minions. They pretty much want the same thing that a lot of progressives do - good government, a prosperous nation, and a better future for their families. Also, politics isn’t that important for a lot of people, and drawing a “you’re with us or against us” hard line is not going to help convince them to get off the fence and get involved.

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs. They would be just as upset about the law-breaking by Trump and the blatant disregard for democracy. They don’t seem to really care that much about these things so I’m struggling to see how much we’re on the same side.

As far as I see they’re happily swilling “liberal tears” while we fight for our future and THEIR future.

DSGamer wrote:

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs.

I hate to be a doomsayer, but the US government is for sale to the highest bidder. Phone calls to your representatives aren’t going to change that. But don’t worry. Trump said if he was elected he would abolish the lobby system. I’m sure he’s working on it right now.

RawkGWJ wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs.

I hate to be a doomsayer, but the US government is for sale to the highest bidder. Phone calls to your representatives aren’t going to change that. But don’t worry. Trump said if he was elected he would abolish the lobby system. I’m sure he’s working on it right now.

Oh, I totally get that. I just want to return to the previous broken system where at least we didn’t have to worry daily about nuclear war or emboldened Nazis.

DSGamer wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

FWIW there are a lot of people out there who define themselves as “conservatives” but who are not in lock step with Trump and his minions. They pretty much want the same thing that a lot of progressives do - good government, a prosperous nation, and a better future for their families. Also, politics isn’t that important for a lot of people, and drawing a “you’re with us or against us” hard line is not going to help convince them to get off the fence and get involved.

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs. They would be just as upset about the law-breaking by Trump and the blatant disregard for democracy. They don’t seem to really care that much about these things so I’m struggling to see how much we’re on the same side.

As far as I see they’re happily swilling “liberal tears” while we fight for our future and THEIR future.

I guess it all depends on your viewpoint and how bad the conservatives are in your life. I get that some of you have talked about your KKK neighbors and total a-hole family members who want to "kill a libtard for Christ." I don't doubt those people exist and are frightening. But that's not necessarily my experience out here in the Seattle area were there are a lot of moderate conservatives who are just all around awesome people. And a number of state level Republican leaders and local conservative voices like Michael Medved have actively spoken out against Trump.

I guess what I'm saying is what I've respected about this board is that while it's pretty liberal there hasn't been a total demonization of people with different views. Until recently.

jdzappa wrote:

I guess what I'm saying is what I've respected about this board is that while it's pretty liberal there hasn't been a total demonization of people with different views. Until recently.

While I like your post, and this is something that liberals have to struggle with, (for effectiveness in converting neutral people if nothing else) it's important to keep in mind the broader context of American conservatism continuing to get more and more conservative and deplorable, and Republican politicians continuing to sink to new lows. It's not at all clear to me that increased disdain for the GOP and their staunch supporters on these forums has been out of scope to their increased actions and views deserving disdain.

jdzappa wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

FWIW there are a lot of people out there who define themselves as “conservatives” but who are not in lock step with Trump and his minions. They pretty much want the same thing that a lot of progressives do - good government, a prosperous nation, and a better future for their families. Also, politics isn’t that important for a lot of people, and drawing a “you’re with us or against us” hard line is not going to help convince them to get off the fence and get involved.

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs. They would be just as upset about the law-breaking by Trump and the blatant disregard for democracy. They don’t seem to really care that much about these things so I’m struggling to see how much we’re on the same side.

As far as I see they’re happily swilling “liberal tears” while we fight for our future and THEIR future.

I guess it all depends on your viewpoint and how bad the conservatives are in your life. I get that some of you have talked about your KKK neighbors and total a-hole family members who want to "kill a libtard for Christ." I don't doubt those people exist and are frightening. But that's not necessarily my experience out here in the Seattle area were there are a lot of moderate conservatives who are just all around awesome people. And a number of state level Republican leaders and local conservative voices like Michael Medved have actively spoken out against Trump.

I guess what I'm saying is what I've respected about this board is that while it's pretty liberal there hasn't been a total demonization of people with different views. Until recently.

You’re missing my point. The conservatives in my life are great people by and large. They’re civically engaged, donate money and time to worthy causes, and care deeply about the country and their fellow Americans. And I think there’s a substantial number across the country that fall that way.

But it’s not enough right now. Conservatives have created a party that seems to be falling under the control of Nazis (or Nazi-tolerating) folks. They’ve created a party that’s providing cover for an administration that is every day doing lasting damage to the US and its institutions.

So my point is precisely because I love and respect these family and friends I expect more from them and I’ve been severely disappointed. There shouldn’t be “sides” when it comes to how Trump conducts himself, the rise of Nazis in his party, or his daily assault on our norms and values. This should be easy stuff to speak out against and yet they don’t. I find this profoundly disappointing.

Of course, I was disappointed by liberals who excused Obama’s continuation of our unfunded, sprawling wars and the surveillance of the American people as well.

I feel like some of us have ideals that don’t change depending on who’s in charge. I thought most of my conservative friends and family members did. And I’ve been let down in a way that may sometimes come off as “demonization”, but I promise you it’s not that. I feel like they’re a lost cause because we need them now. We need ideological and moral rigor and they’re failing this test.

jdzappa wrote:
DSGamer wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

FWIW there are a lot of people out there who define themselves as “conservatives” but who are not in lock step with Trump and his minions. They pretty much want the same thing that a lot of progressives do - good government, a prosperous nation, and a better future for their families. Also, politics isn’t that important for a lot of people, and drawing a “you’re with us or against us” hard line is not going to help convince them to get off the fence and get involved.

If that was true they’d be regularly calling their representatives, the same as we are, and demanding that we don’t allow our democracy to be stolen by foreign actors and US oligarchs. They would be just as upset about the law-breaking by Trump and the blatant disregard for democracy. They don’t seem to really care that much about these things so I’m struggling to see how much we’re on the same side.

As far as I see they’re happily swilling “liberal tears” while we fight for our future and THEIR future.

I guess it all depends on your viewpoint and how bad the conservatives are in your life. I get that some of you have talked about your KKK neighbors and total a-hole family members who want to "kill a libtard for Christ." I don't doubt those people exist and are frightening. But that's not necessarily my experience out here in the Seattle area were there are a lot of moderate conservatives who are just all around awesome people. And a number of state level Republican leaders and local conservative voices like Michael Medved have actively spoken out against Trump.

I guess what I'm saying is what I've respected about this board is that while it's pretty liberal there hasn't been a total demonization of people with different views. Until recently.

I think it's their fight then.. I don't need to get involved.. if they are that passionate about making a difference and changing the GOP then they need to get at it.... because right now Fox News and the GOP don't seem to be anything like what you are describing and I keep seeing the crazy winning rather than losing.

There are a good chunk of conservatives who are one issue (abortion) voters and while they aren't turning a blind eye to any of this terrible sh*t going on, nothing will get them to vote democrat.

The one I spent a few hours talking to this weekend just didn't vote last year.

They aren't bad people.
They aren't dumb.
They aren't ignorant.

They're simply different and have a moral perspective that I disagree with. That's compounded with a victim complex because they see themselves as fighting for a divine right in an immoral world and they see themselves losing. What do people do then? Double down.

And I think a few of them can be converted to think about this differently. It's just so easy to dismiss them because they're so passionate about an issue that's been closed for decades.