Sunday, July 03, 2016

"How American Politics went insane." An article that every American voter needs to read.

Like Trump, Bernie Sanders appealed to the antipolitical idea that the mere act of voting for him would prompt a “revolution” that would somehow clear up such knotty problems as health-care coverage, financial reform, and money in politics. Like Trump, he was a self-sufficient outsider without customary political debts or party loyalty. Like Trump, he neither acknowledged nor cared—because his supporters neither acknowledged nor cared—that his plans for governing were delusional. 

Trump, Sanders, and Ted Cruz have in common that they are political sociopaths—meaning not that they are crazy, but that they don’t care what other politicians think about their behavior and they don’t need to care. That three of the four final presidential contenders in 2016 were political sociopaths is a sign of how far chaos syndrome has gone. The old, mediated system selected such people out. The new, disintermediated system seems to be selecting them in. 

That is only two paragraphs in an exceeding long article which explains how our current anti-establishment ideas about choosing candidates, implementing policies, and reforming government are actually causing long term harm to our country.

Author Jonathon Rauch, dives deep to explain how things such as party leaders, pork barrel spending, and political compromise, which are all widely derided in today's politics, were actually good for the country and helped to keep in running relatively smoothly until recently.

I found the article to be very informative and somewhat empowering as it reinforced many of the points that I have made here on IM about  the problems with political revolutions and uncompromising partisanship.

It also reminded me of a discussion I had with my daughter about Bernie Sanders during which she said that she admired him because he never compromised his values.

My response to her, and I think I wrote about it here as well, is that while it is great to have strong values, a politician who refuses to compromise is a politician who will never get a damn thing accomplished.

I told her that I found the idea of electing ANY President who thinks that they can force through their agenda without considering the obstruction they will face from their opposition, to be very a troubling thought indeed. Even IF I was in agreement with that President on most issues. 

That is also why I was never really on board with the so-called Bernie political "revolution," which seemed for all intents and purposes to be a left leaning version of the Tea Party.

If the Democrats start electing anti-establishment, extremely partisan, candidates to send to Washington, not only will that fire up the right wing fringe even more, but it will simply pour more concrete into the political machinery of DC resulting in an even worse situation than the one we face right now.

If such a thing is even possible.

So definitely take the time to read this article.

Yes it is a little long, but it is also very thought provoking, and probably the shot of reality that a lot of American voters need right now.


  1. Anonymous11:47 AM

    "Have I already mentioned how fucking over all of this shit I am right now?"

    1. Anonymous12:42 PM

      @11:47 AM Then why are you here commenting on all of it? You are not coming across as a sane individual.

    2. Anonymous12:51 PM

      Wonder when that big palin payoff is coming?

    3. Anonymous6:34 PM

      Very jealous of IM, aren't you? 11:47

  2. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Balance is the key. I just watched the author of this article on MTP. I wish he hadn't made it sound so much like "back room deals" "gladhanding" and "pay for play" were good things. Imo, the whole system is out of balance because of fear and greed and it's way more on the republican side BUT it is done on both. The republicans have gotten so bad that Donald Fucking Trump, the star of The Apprentice is their nominee. You cant get much worse than that! I don't know what the answer is. Agree that this article is thought provoking but doesn't give much of a road map going forward.

    1. Anonymous7:10 PM

      So "balance" is the key in racism?

  3. Anonymous12:08 PM

    For another example, consider the idiocy of the lying politicians that sold "brexit" to a gullible UK.

  4. Anonymous12:11 PM

    It's been insane for decades. Not a new development. And keep in mind b Clinton has said the exact things trump says on immigration and other things. Verbatim. But all these problems were started long ago and it's a sin to forget bills administration problems. It was a time of anti black mentality. The incarceration rate did spike.

    Addicts do not belong in jail. Not should they be judged. No one sets out on that path. There's a reason famous people take a long time to recover. Because our immoral media constantly writes disparaging things about them and reminds people they made such and such mistake even if it was 20 years ago. That's so ficked up. The past doesn't matter nor does affect a persons future.

    1. Clean up on aisle five!

    2. Anonymous12:30 PM

      You're kidding, right?
      Past doesn't matter?!?!?

    3. Anonymous12:40 PM

      Are you, 12:11 PM trying to justify your own insanity and drug use? Most drug addicts are not like Track Palin, who also attacks others.

    4. Anonymous12:45 PM

      Why then was Bill called "the first black President" ?

    5. Anonymous1:19 PM

      lol Let's not talk about people we do not know personally, who live in private, Anonymous 12:40.

      And it is very true that most believe addict do not belong in jail. Also true that Bill C has said on video every Trump has regarding immigration. Doesn't mean he can't change his mind, but it once said it. And the incarceration rate for black people DID spike during that time.

      Why would a person's past matter? People constantly evolve and deserve to live free of judgment. You act as if you are perfect.

      Nothing "yesterday" affects a person's future they choose to create for themselves.

    6. Anonymous1:26 PM

      How is anything I say justifying any drug abuse? Why are you quick to demonize drug users? Do you know how awful that is? There is nothing bad in it, or shameful. I would imagine a lot of movie stars use drugs in part because of stresses from constant attention, because gawkers have no lives and feel they can comment on their favorite comedian or actor etc? I wish there were Canada and people could pursue such entertainment careers without being harassed and slandered.

      But even straying from those people, who choose a career where they're in the public eye (doesn't make their private life public BTW), it is beyond fucked up that people harass and opine on people who live completely in private. That is shameful. Your comment, nor mine, change their happiness or futures. They will go on to do whatever they want in their and it will make them that much more exceptional if they do it while giving a big and deserved fuck you to every hater who cannot stand to see happy people.

    7. Anonymous4:10 PM

      Slander is a dead giveaway that Alicia is off her meds.

    8. Anonymous5:09 PM

      Takes the bait every single time. Now leave in peace and live vibrantly, but remember, without getting suckerpunched every once in awhile, you'll never experience vibrant joy.
      That's why momma packed you sugar coated shit sandwitches with the crust cut off.

  5. Anonymous12:16 PM

    Let's not forget the role played in the disintegration of our politics by Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, and their ilk. Yes, we always have had loons and liars spouting hate and venom but for most of our history they were found only on weak, local AM radio stations and sneaking around at night, spreading leaflets. Now, they have their own cable channels (channelS, plural), making their bullshit seem plausible.

    The demise of the FCC equal time policy didn't help.

  6. Anonymous1:15 PM

    I think that the trump and surrogate responses to swastika ad taken from a white supremacist website is scary. Hell it's all scary.
    I think they are trying to get us comfortable with that type of behavior.

  7. Anonymous1:22 PM

    If the past matters, are you saying Hillary's husband being against immigration and saying the say things as Trump should come into play? Are you saying the people whose career were ruined because of Hillary should come forward? Because there are many. In Ark, In DC, some scattered about.

    1. Anonymous1:48 PM

      Hillary Clinton is running for president, not her husband.

    2. Anonymous4:41 PM

      Unfortunately they seem to operate as a team, so you vote for one, you get the other one. Sorry, don't need another 4 years of Bill. Didn't vote for him the first two times, won't vote for the "Clinton Team" this time.

    3. Anonymous5:12 PM

      Yes, I remember the optics clearly, there was Elian Gonzalez and Bill Clinton with a gun in his hand ready to send him back to cuba....oh wait, that never happened. I saw a photoshopped pic of the hugger in chief holding a machine gun during the transfer of Elian back to his daddy.

  8. Anonymous1:28 PM

    There's a difference between compromising values and compromising the application of those values. Sanders is nothing like Trump and Cruz. It is not yet the time for Bernie to compromise. The goal now is to influence the convention and platform. The key transition will be to the long-term fight to effect his programs. He'll need to pass the baton, but we need inspired and committed people to pass the baton to.

    1. Anonymous6:37 PM

      So far he's done nothing. He's 75. Hurry, Bernie peeps? Revolution is hard!

    2. Anonymous7:13 PM

      Bernie has done NOTHING in over 30 yrs in a political office to help minorities, and you are correct, no one will vote for him now.

  9. Anonymous1:46 PM


    Seriously people, leave ALLL these people alone. They all have bright future.

    1. Anonymous4:36 PM

      Meghan, just ignore the trolls. It's actually very easy. Once you react to them, you become one of them.

    2. Anonymous6:01 PM

      4:36, just shut up already

  10. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Great article J. I'll pass it on.

  11. Anita Winecooler5:17 PM

    Thanks for the article, it's all true and sadly we're left looking for journalists we trust, news sources that aren't bought and sold to the highest bidder. It's sad to see the fourth estate crumble.

  12. Anonymous8:38 AM

    Rauch's comparing democracy to a disease with old corrupt machine politics as the remedy is disturbing. And there others who have been advocating for less democracy here and for keeping the populace in their place, that is outside the selection of leaders and policies (see Leo Strauss, and the NY Times recently printed an article by a US professor who wants to curtail direct voting by the masses). This is an alarming trend toward tyranny and we should be very troubled by Rauch's analogies and suggestions--especially when taken in tandem with the already present anti-democracy beliefs of some of the elite.

    Matt Taibi wrote a good response to Rauch's argument: "In Response to Trump, Another Dangerous Movement Appears.” June 30, 2016

    He quotes from Rauch’s article where Rauchs says: “ ‘There are all kinds of ways the parties could move insiders back to the center of the nomination process. If they wanted to, they could require would-be candidates to get petition signatures from elected officials and county party chairs….’”

    “Rauch compares "outsiders" and "amateurs" to viruses that get into the body, and describes the institutions that failed to prevent the likes of Trump from being nominated as being like the national immune system. Revolt against party insiders is therefore comparable to "abusing and attacking your own immune system."

    “This lurid metaphor is going to be compelling to a lot of people when Donald Trump is still moving in the direction of the nuclear football. But these "too much democracy" critics all leave out a key part of the story: It's all bull.

    “Voters in America not only aren't over-empowered, they've for decades now been almost totally disenfranchised, subjects of one of the more brilliant change-suppressing systems ever invented.

    “We have periodic elections, which leave citizens with the feeling of self-rule. But in reality people are only allowed to choose between candidates carefully screened by wealthy donors. Nobody without a billion dollars and the approval of a half-dozen giant media companies has any chance at high office.

    “People have no other source of influence. Unions have been crushed. Nobody has any job security. Main Street institutions that once allowed people to walk down the road to sort things out with other human beings have been phased out. In their place now rest distant, unfeeling global bureaucracies.

    “…But choosing a dangerous race-baiting lunatic as the vehicle for the first successful revolt in ages against one of the two major parties will have many profound negative consequences for voters. The most serious will surely be this burgeoning movement to describe voting and democracy as inherently dangerous.

    “Donald Trump is dangerous because as president, he'd likely have little respect for law. But a gang of people whose metaphor for society is "We are the white cells, voters are the disease" is comparably scary in its own banal, less click-generating way.

    “These self-congratulating cognoscenti could have looked at the events of the last year and wondered why people were so angry with them, and what they could do to make government work better for the population.

    “Instead, their first instinct is to dismiss voter concerns as baseless, neurotic bigotry and to assume that the solution is to give Washington bureaucrats even more leeway to blow off the public. In the absurdist comedy that is American political life, this is the ultimate anti-solution to the unrest of the last year, the mathematically perfect wrong ending.

    “Trump is going to lose this election, then live on as the reason for an emboldened, even less-responsive oligarchy. And you thought this election season couldn't get any worse."

  13. Anonymous8:12 PM

    Very interesting.

    Also read the rebuttal by Thomas Mann and E.J. Dion, and recommended by Norm Ornstein.

  14. Great. Another "too much democracy" screed.

    These self-congratulating cognoscenti could have looked at the events of the last year and wondered why people were so angry with them, and what they could do to make government work better for the population. Instead, their first instinct is to dismiss voter concerns as baseless, neurotic bigotry and to assume that the solution is to give Washington bureaucrats even more leeway to blow off the public. In the absurdist comedy that is American political life, this is the ultimate anti-solution to the unrest of the last year, the mathematically perfect wrong ending.

    Trump is going to lose this election, then live on as the reason for an emboldened, even less-responsive oligarchy. I hope Gryph and his minions are happy with the outcome.


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