We live in a country where Joe Rogan’s dumbass opinions are valued


We are so screwed.

For some reason, our media and many voters think it’s important to weight the opinions of some unqualified meathead named “Joe” — remember Joe the Plumber? — as somehow insightful or precious. It was one of Bernie Sanders’ missteps when he touted Joe Rogan’s endorsement as something worth promoting, when it was actually no more meaningful than a bird landing on his lectern at a rally. We should not be making racists and transphobes more prominent!

Rogan is a flittering twit who tries to pander to his audience of mostly young men, and who likes to appear as a radical with novel ideas. He has no coherent ideas at all. He previously endorsed Sanders, a democratic socialist, praising his consistency. Now he has turned around and endorsed donald trump, saying trump is fine with the pressure of the presidency, even as people are dying all around us from his mismanagement.

He also likes to pretend he is some populist voice-of-the-people, but look who he is talking to when he made this surprise recommendation.

Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital, wealthy privileged kook.

We should be saying, “Who the fuck cares what some uneducated jock with an online mob of sycophants thinks?” The answer, unfortunately, is our news media.


By the way, he said this in the context of not wanting to vote for Joe Biden. I agree with that — I think Biden will be a maintainer of the status quo, where the status quo is an ongoing catastrophe — but to then prefer an obvious con man and incompetent buffoon is worse. I have more respect for people who say they won’t vote at all than I do for anyone who votes for Trump.

Comments

  1. acroyear says

    My support for Biden (in a Biden-Trump) knowing his moderate-conservative stance on so many issues, is that at least we’ll have a competent administration around him. Fewer grifters, actually qualified people with experience, and slowly they can start to re-hire and fill in the gaps of all the career experience Trump has let atrophy away. We’ll have trustworthy leaders in the CDC and State department and others that can deal with things and Biden would let them do their jobs.

    That is enough for now. I’d prefer more than enough, but enough will have to do.

  2. aspleen says

    Complaining about the big bad media when Bernie Sanders himself was interviewed on Rogan’s podcast? Right. Sanders lent Rogan cred by doing that, as part of his class über alles routine.

  3. Saad says

    I’m not looking forward to Biden being president (he’ll lose anyway) but his Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller, William Barr, Wilbur Ross, and Ben Carson can’t be nearly as bad and/or unqualified as Jared Kushner, Stephen Miller, William Barr, Wilbur Ross, Ben Carson.

  4. rpjohnston says

    Funny how all the guys who were braying and bragging about the conversion/conquering of Trump voters, are now saying “pffft, who cares what some fringe dude with a podcast thinks, they’re a dime a dozen”.

  5. says

    Bernie’s pitch was always that he could get voters who wouldn’t normally support a Democrat. I don’t see how courting Rogan and his fans is different from the way centrists like Biden court mainstream Republicans. Particularly since Sanders didn’t compromise on anything to get Rogan’s support.

    And having Rogan’s approval seems LESS bad than having the backing of someone like Kissinger, like Clinton. We can swallow that, but not Rogan?

    I dunno, it seems like a double standard.

    Winning national elections requires getting support from people with whose opinions we strongly disagree. That’s true no matter what candidate you’re talking about, but it seems like it’s only a bad thing some times and not others.

  6. says

    Like – Rogan’s opinions ARE valued, unfortunately, which is because he has a huge audience. Those are voters. Those are people who might have been willing to support a left-wing, pro-social justice candidate and platform, despite their bigotry.

    How is that not a win? How is it not MORE of a win than the standard Democratic approach of appealing to DIFFERENT group of bigots by being more pro-corporate?

  7. aspleen says

    @6

    You’re assuming facts not in evidence about those alleged Rogan voters. Sanders can’t appeal to racist working class whites without rejecting blacks and got wiped out in most of the Democratic primaries on Super Tuesday because of that. Biden’s appeal to Republican voters who reject Trump but aren’t all in for socialism on the other hand has some evidence in its favor.

    Joe Biden Is the Candidate of the Resistance
    A suburban revolt against Trump helped Democrats win the House in 2018. It’s helping the former vice president too.

  8. rpjohnston says

    @abe – that’s the whole damn point, sanders was courting Republicans just like the gods DAMNED centrists he’s SUPPOSEDLY providing an alternative to were. We’re here because the centrists cared more about their egos and dick-measuring, focusing on trying to get handful of republicans to bend the knee and say “you were right, you’re so much smarter than us”, than they did actually BEATING the fuckers or accomplishing anything. and what does sanders and especially his more hardcore supporters do? go around swinging his dicks about how they conquered some fucken trump voters.

    It’s.
    The god damn.
    SAME SHIT.

    They weren’t “willing to support a left-wing, pro-social justice candidate and platform, despite their bigotry”, which everybody who actually wanted to win told you, and which has now been confirmed as it inevitably would be and is the point of this entire thread. How is it not a win? BECAUSE WE DIDN’T FUCKING WIN. They’re supporting Trump! THAT’S NOT A WIN! Fuck’s sake!

  9. says

    I have more respect for people who say they won’t vote at all than I do for anyone who votes for Trump.

    Both of those choices are unworthy of any respect, in my view.

  10. says

    Except that Sanders didn’t compromise on any of his values or policy positions- he made his case, and that convinced Rogan. What did he give up to get that endorsement? As far as I can tell, nothing. He kept his support for social justice and working-class support, and get THEM to come to OUR side.

    He pulled them left, instead of going right to “meet them halfway”.

    Again, I don’t see how that’s not an improvement over a candidate who openly praised Segregationists. It seems more like getting racists to vote in a less racist manner.

    What am I missing? Are you saying that we should push people to NOT vote for a Democratic candidate because they’re bigots? Isn’t the point to get better policies and politicians into power? Is that possible without the support of people we don’t like?

    Is ANYONE actually trying to run in that way?

  11. says

    They’re supporting Trump because the “chosen” candidate is Biden, just as some Biden supporters explicitly said to me that THEY would support Trump if Sanders was the nominee.

    The only disagreement seems to be over WHICH group of likely Trump supporters you want to appeal to. And it seems like the “preferred” group is the wealthier group, which is just as bigoted, and very probably smaller.

  12. aspleen says

    @10

    It’s not about “convincing” Rogan, it’s whether or not there are a significant number of voters to be got via his show-biz endorsement. I think it’s safe to say that Rogan is no Clyburn in that respect.

  13. says

    The centrists court Republicans by making policy statements like refusing to support universal healthcare and by supporting imperialism.

    What did Sanders do that’s equivalent that got Rogan’s support?

  14. says

    @12 you’re right when it comes to winning the primary. No question. Will that help in the general?

    It seems to me that Clyburn’s base will vote against Trump either way.

  15. Howard Brazee says

    There were significant numbers of voters who picked Trump because they believe that Washington works for Big Money instead of for the people and the nation.

    Trump claimed to be too rich to be bought. He lied. But Washington has not shown much interest in changing their perception. Except for a couple of debate statements complaining about wealthy doners, the party establishments are not making this an issue. They don’t want to give up their bribes and protect their masters.

    So bad things happen.

  16. Doc Bill says

    My young friends told me to listen to some Joe Rogan podcasts because they were “really cool and thought-provoking.” OK, so I did and the guy reminded me of rap sessions in a college dorm room where we would discuss anti-gravity and the problems with controlling it. Right, college kids with half a semester of physics solving the grand problems of the universe! Fascinating at the time, especially after a few beers.

    Then I found out that Joe Rogan wasn’t some barely knowledgable geek, but a grown ass man hanging around a bunch of kids, like the Pee Wee Herman of alpha males. As my kids used to say, “Loser!”

    Forget Planet of the Apes. We’re living on the Planet of the Dumbasses!

  17. ksiondag says

    I’m back to not voting for president. Will vote down-ticket progressive. I’m not voting for a white, cis, straight liar and rapist who is bought and paid for. I’m not sure where my line is but it has definitely been crossed. And before anyone lectures me about any nonsense, Biden is almost certainly winning the primary because he’s the “electable” candidate (exit polls show Democrats overwhelming in favor of M4A but still voting Biden). Lesser of two evils doesn’t work as a strategy if you then argue that an evil is the only “electable” choice in the primary. That’s nonsense, I’m only voting for net-good policies and politicians from now on, not relative to their opponents.

  18. says

    If the choice is Biden – Trump, then harm reduction – at least having competent people populating executive branch positions, not to mention any possibility left to save abortion rights via the judiciary – is the reason to vote Biden, just as it was to hold one’s nose and vote for Hillary in 2016. As Rebecca Solnit wrote, “Voting is a chess move, not a love letter.” It’s a shitty, low-expectation choice (“Not a great choice, but a clear one”, I wrote back in 2016), for sure, but we must always choose to reduce harm where possible, and thus increase our chances to live to make the revolution we need.

  19. stroppy says

    Risk/benefit analysis shouldn’t be based on pique.

    I’ve ordered a copy of Camu’s “The Plague.” I figure it’s way past time to reread it.

  20. wzrd1 says

    Given a choice of Joe endorsing me or a bird landing on my lectern, I’ll go with the bird.
    Should the bird give a, erm, campaign contribution, I could at least quip that I finally have an honest bit of feedback on my speech.

  21. stroppy says

    Joe Rogan. The guy who hosted Fear Factor getting people to eat bugs; who gives ignorant commentary on martial arts and just about everything else. Famous for being a uniquely odd specimen of flakiness.

    WTF.

  22. drew says

    And Joe not only gets to hold an opinion. He gets to vote. Shocking, isn’t it?
    Maybe if the Biden camp wants his favor and his vote, they should try to earn it somehow. Stammering, shouting, apologizing but never about the right things, handsy Joe just hasn’t done that yet.

    Maybe it’s a Russian plot.

  23. stroppy says

    “Shocking, isn’t it?”

    No.

    “Maybe it’s a Russian plot.”

    If you say so.

  24. consciousness razor says

    Maybe if the Biden camp wants his favor and his vote, they should try to earn it somehow.

    He’s told voters that they should vote for Trump, as well as “the other Biden” although it’s not clear which other one he meant. Anyway, that is obviously why the buck stops in some other place where Biden isn’t.

  25. consciousness razor says

    He’s told voters

    Just to avoid confusion, “he” is Joe Biden.

  26. LeftSidePositive says

    @18, ksiondag:

    SHAME ON YOU. People are going to die because of your stupidity and stubbornness. Yeah, I’m pissed that Biden is the likely nominee. But I’m not going to pretend that it’s not worth voting because of it. THOUSANDS of people are dead because of Trump being in the White House as opposed to Clinton. Their lives had value. They were real people. And they’re dead now. I’m sorry if you don’t perceive a difference between Biden and Trump TO YOU. I’m sorry if your needs won’t be met this election. But don’t be a selfish asshole. Consider the literally tens of thousands of preventable deaths that will happen with a Republican president versus a Democratic one. No, the Democrat won’t be perfect. And the mass psychology of the moment and effects of the corporate media resulted in the Democratic candidate being much farther from perfect than I would have liked. But refusing to vote realistically will make those problems WORSE, not better. And the fact remains, with Biden instead of Trump, fewer people will die. There will be more of them around to advocate for a better world going forward.

    And more than that, don’t be an idiot. Voting for progressive policies and politicians will do fuck-all for actually enacting those policies if a fascist president vetoes everything. EVERY SINGLE FUCKING TIME the Left has decided to play purity, it hasn’t led to a groundswell of public support for progressivism. It has resulted into further sliding into fascism. In 1968. In 2000. In 2016. EVERY SINGLE TIME, after seeing the horrors of Republican governance, the average person wants to be lulled into a conciliatory status quo and the liberal successor doesn’t even undo the authoritarianism of the Republican regime before it, let alone advance what would have happened if you had a flawed but at least somewhat liberal person in their place. It’s been 88 years and you guys are still subscribing to Ernst Thalmann’s “After Hitler, Us!” nonsense. How the hell did THAT work out for ya?

    And don’t tell me I’m being too mean to you. Don’t pretend that you would have changed your mind if only people were nicer. You’ve watched HUNDREDS of thousands (probably millions if we had accurate numbers!) of preventable deaths if we count the Iraq War—all of which could have been avoided if Naderite purity poseurs had recognized the gravity of the situation in 2000. If those weren’t enough to convince you, you were never going to be convinced. There’s still time for you not to harm additional tens of thousands of people. You can realize you’re wrong and do your part to stop fascism. You will either do it or you won’t, but don’t pretend we have to indulge your bullshit for the sake of a conversion you have no intention of making. Don’t pretend that us shielding you from the horrific consequences of your mindset is going to make you be open to change. Instead, I’m going to tell you: we see you. We see you being a selfish, pompous asshole. We see you choosing YET AGAIN to take your ball and go home as soon as less-engaged voters didn’t immediately swoon to your candidate. We see you abandoning harm reduction and taking out your frustration on those doing the best they can in this political climate instead of actually changing the hearts and minds of the people who choose Biden (much less trying to change the hearts and minds of Trump voters!). We see you pretending that Republicans are some “blackmail” supposedly created by the nefarious all-powerful Democrats instead of real people with real consuming hatred and real desire to dismantle our democracy, who must be stopped before ANYTHING you want can be a reality. We see you excoriating Democrats for the compromises they make for a corporate media and never consider how your perfect candidate is supposed to get through that same corporate media distortion field.

    So I say again: SHAME ON YOU.

  27. Pierce R. Butler says

    ksiondag @ # 18: I’m not voting for a white, cis, straight liar and rapist who is bought and paid for.

    Which implies you will vote for a PoC, trans, LGBTQ… liar and rapist who is bought and paid for.

    Else why include those first three adjectives?

  28. LeftSidePositive says

    @23, drew: what exactly do you think should have been done to “earn” the vote of someone who is willing to vote for Trump? Face it, a significant portion of Bernie’s most vocal base just want a blustery white dude who has easy answers, and the socialism is a FAR, FAR secondary concern (hell, even much of Bernie’s primary success was just being anti-woman and they prefer Biden this time around!). The reason Rogan thinks Trump is the next best option to Bernie over Biden isn’t because Biden isn’t progressive enough (because he’s definitely more progressive than Trump and has MORE than “earned” the vote if that was really what’s going on here). The reason Rogan prefers Trump to Biden is that Rogan has the intelligence of a border collie and responds to appearances and tone over content. And yeah, those of us who get shafted by both Trump’s overt bigotry and Bernie’s anti-identity-politics enabling of bigotry are pretty frustrated that Bernie touts the endorsement of someone like Rogan. We’re upset that Bernie’s policies, while looking good on paper, aren’t backed up by a commitment to intersectionality in his staffing or in speaking out against the harassment from his supporters. And I, for one, am damn furious that his cultists trashed Elizabeth Warren as soon as she was a real contender and not their fig leaf to claim that they weren’t anti-women in 2016 because they’d have totally supported Elizabeth Warren! And I’m furious that you’re pretending to be outraged at “handsy Joe” while making excuses for “grab ’em by the pussy” Trump. And yeah, I’m also mad that the electorate preferred the comforting familiarity of the very flawed Joe Biden over the much better Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, etc. But it’s also a cautionary tale to those who think they can refuse to act in the public good because their vote wasn’t “earned” enough. MOST of the country is going to respond to the wreckage of Republican governance with wanting moderation. You haven’t convinced the average liberalish voter, and if you HAD convinced them you would be able to win the primary easily. I think they’re wrong to choose Biden. But don’t keep standing by and allowing Republican catastrophe over moderation because you think progressive utopia is just around the corner. It wasn’t in 1932, and it isn’t now.

  29. LeftSidePositive says

    @28, Pierce: ksiondag is being an asshole but don’t be willfully disingenuous. There is nothing in that sentence that implies only the first string of adjectives are the problem. You are willfully misinterpreting standard English. There is a LOT wrong in ksiondag’s post (see my reply!), but don’t pretend there are not serious problems with lack of access to electoral power for people who are not white, cis, and straight. That has material effects on the lives of people in those populations, and it is worth pointing out that existing power structures have seriously limited our options for president. Don’t wonder why those three adjectives are included when people who are described by some or all of those adjectives have used the power from being perceived as “normal” on those axes to limit others’ civil rights. I stand by my assessment that it’s fucking stupid to refuse to participate in harm reduction when our options are poor, but don’t deny there isn’t a real problem there.

  30. Pierce R. Butler says

    LeftSidePositive @ # 30 – yeah, I did take a swing at ksiondag’s general sloppiness of thought and expression – so sorry not to have met your exacting standards.

    … don’t deny there isn’t a real problem there.

    Pls show me where I did make any such denial.

    FWTinyLIW, I plan to replace the Sanders sign on my roadside with a Biden sign as soon as Bernie calls it quits.

  31. hillaryrettig says

    Abe Drayton and others – I’m with you! Bernie was able to sway people on the right, including not just Rogan’s people but at Fox and Liberty U, and without diluting his platform or pandering one bit. A remarkable achievement that none of the other national or local Dems I’m aware of has been able to achieve

    And uh I thought bringing voters over to your side was the whole point of a political campaign. The fact that many Dems saw Rogan’s endorsement as a negative tells me they’ve lost the plot. Which brings me to my next comment…

  32. LeftSidePositive says

    Pierce, the very fact that you asked why those three adjectives were included was a denial of the problem represented by those three adjectives. C’mon. You know this.

    And no, expecting you to display MINIMAL intellectual honesty instead of “Which implies you will vote for a PoC, trans, LGBTQ… liar and rapist who is bought and paid for” is not an exacting standard. It is the bare fucking minimum.

    Ksiondag is being a selfish, shortsighted idiot, but by willfully misinterpreting them you are enabling their self-valorizing persecution complex. There is no need to twist someone’s words when they are that wrong, and we need to be better than that. Moreover, in attempting to take a swing at their “general sloppiness of thought and expression” you 1) attacked basically the only thing in their post they weren’t wrong about, and 2) were extremely sloppy in your own thought and expression!

  33. LeftSidePositive says

    @32, Hillary, HOW did Bernie actually sway anyone on the right, if they’ll just go back to Trump?! Temporarily distracting someone with similarly-toned ranting is not a long-term win (and we saw it with the Bernie-to-Trump voter and murderer who stabbed those people on that train in Portland!). And yes, showing up on Fox and at Liberty U is pandering. It is giving legitimacy to institutions that exist to demean and marginalize us, giving them attention, revenue, and influence with very little in return. And people saw Rogan’s endorsement as a negative because there are a lot of people who are harmed by Rogan’s views. This isn’t difficult.

  34. Pierce R. Butler says

    LeftSidePositive @ # 33: … the very fact that you asked why … was a denial of the problem… C’mon. You know this.

    Pls make up your mind whether I wrote in a literalist or ironic way, and hold me to one standard or the other, not both at once.

  35. hillaryrettig says

    Like ksiondag I won’t be voting for president if it’s Biden. This will be the first time I won’t have voted for the Dem presidential candidate in my 60 years–and that includes 2016, when I sucked it up and voted for HRC. But I’ve said from the beginning that out of the 20-odd candidates Biden was the only one I wouldn’t vote for because his manifest unfitness both personally and on a policy level would make his nomination de facto evidence of corruption. (Later I added a second: Bloomberg.)

    Sorry, won’t participate in my own political mugging.

    Also, in case anyone cares, in 2018 Biden came to my narrow-red district (MI-06) and while we were all working our azzes off trying to elect a Dem, he took a $200K check to campaign for the GOP incumbent Fred Upton. Upton’s the worst of the worst: a leader of the fight to defund Obamacare (supposedly Biden’s signature achievement), a horrific enabler of extraction industries (the LA Times called him “Earth’s number one enemy in Congress”), AND a reliable Trump supporter. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/23/us/politics/biden-speech-fred-upton.html

    So – for letfsidepositive and the other vote shamers out there – kindly stfu. (a) no one owns our vote, and (b) I’m not going to vote for a guy whose only qualification is that he isn’t Trump, especially when his views aren’t that far from Trump’s AND he himself took a fat check to campaign for a leading Trump supporter.

    Also, (c) Trump is not the worst outcome, the worst outcome is Biden getting elected (which he won’t, but let’s pretend) and governing with classic DNC weakness and corruption, at which point he gets replaced by an even smarter and more damaging fascist than Trump.

    DNC needs to know that we won’t vote for Biden, OR an antidemocratic “swap” at the convention, so I encourage all people who share this view to come out with it. (There are already lots of us.) The Dem Party needs to clean house or die.

  36. hillaryrettig says

    LeftSidePositive – Rogan endorsed Bernie. Obviously he swayed him. What he didn’t do is brainwash him so that he will robotically vote for any Democratic candidate, no matter how pathetic.

  37. brianl says

    I have more respect for people who say they won’t vote at all than I do for anyone who votes for Trump.

    Those are the same thing. And you are more than smart enough to realize that, especially after 2016.

  38. LeftSidePositive says

    Hillary, please look to my comment at #27 to see why you are a selfish idiot who will be responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands if not millions of people. And yeah, I’m going to fucking shame you for your vote. What you are doing is shameful. Congratulations: we don’t own your vote. You own it, and you choose to vote in such a way that will result in mass death and potentially the loss of the last vestige of democracy we have in this country. That’s on you. We don’t own your vote, but we own our own opinions and we will tell you that you are an irresponsible piece of shit. SHAME ON YOU. You deserve shame for acting shamefully.

    And guess what? It’s not “the DNC” that is causing Biden to be the nominee. It’s millions of rank-and-file Democratic voters. Yeah, I really wished they would choose someone other than Biden. But these voters could have voted for Bernie in all the primaries after the other candidates dropped out for Biden. The DNC can’t force them to do anything. The fact that those millions of people looked at the options and said, “yeah, I’d rather have Biden than Bernie” is the problem you have to solve. That problem won’t be solved by not voting. Again: this strategy you’re recommending has failed EVERY SINGLE TIME and caused a lot of deaths.

    Moreover, Bernie did not sway Rogan in any significant way. If the only way Bernie swayed Rogan is if he would vote for Bernie but not see the error in supporting Trump, then it’s pretty fucking useless when it comes to swaying. And if Biden is “pathetic,” (ok, yeah, he is), but then what the hell is TRUMP?! Trump exists. Have you forgotten that? Rogan didn’t just declare himself a Bernie dead-ender or a Stein voter (as idiotic as those are). He actively supported TRUMP over Biden. He’s not robotically voting for any Democratic candidate, but he IS robotically voting for any angry white man. All Bernie swayed in him was thinking he, Bernie, might be the shouty white man that Rogan should support, but not in ANY way swaying him to the realization that rape, racism, sexism, genocide, religious exclusion, corruption, and authoritarianism is bad. I’m sorry if the truth is uncomfortable for you.

  39. consciousness razor says

    Hillary, HOW did Bernie actually sway anyone on the right, if they’ll just go back to Trump?!

    Maybe you’ve forgotten what the word ”if” means.

  40. hillaryrettig says

    thank you for calling me a selfish idiot in your first sentence – made it easy to decide not to read the rest.

    with persuasive geniuses like you advocating for him, can’t imagine why Biden is going to lose.

    said my piece, grateful to all who read it with an open mind, need to exit the conversation now.

  41. consciousness razor says

    And yeah, I’m going to fucking shame you for your vote. What you are doing is shameful. Congratulations: we don’t own your vote. You own it, and you choose to vote in such a way that will result in mass death and potentially the loss of the last vestige of democracy we have in this country. That’s on you. We don’t own your vote, but we own our own opinions and we will tell you that you are an irresponsible piece of shit. SHAME ON YOU. You deserve shame for acting shamefully.

    Where was all this outrage for the people who chose to vote for Biden in the primaries we’ve already had? And since we’re only about halfway done with them, why isn’t the focus still on the remaining people who also shouldn’t make the same shameful choice in their states’ primaries?

  42. LeftSidePositive says

    @40, I haven’t forgotten what the word “if” means. If it makes you feel any better, I can amend that to:

    Hillary, HOW did Bernie actually sway anyone on the right, given that Rogan has shown that he’ll just go back to Trump, and given that an erstwhile Bernie supporter swung so far to Trump he actually MURDERED people in Portland for standing up to his racist abuse, and given that 75% of Republican-leaning Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016 supported Trump in the general election?

  43. LeftSidePositive says

    Hillary, I already addressed the self-righteousness of people who demand to be treated nicely and pretend that if only we’d treated them nicely they might be persuadable, when they very clearly aren’t. I refer you to comment 27, final paragraph. And don’t fucking act entitled to an open mind when you’re being a denialist, irresponsible piece of shit. Fuck off.

    Consciousness razor, if you read my comments you will note a LOT of frustration with the people who chose Biden. I can’t blame the ones who are scared and think he’s the only thing the rest of the country will vote for and that it’s him or Republicans. I disagree, but I’m really not going to trash a lot of old Black voters in the South who have to make a very different calculus than I do.

    And I have NEVER said that someone shouldn’t vote for Bernie in the primaries. My primary is so late that I basically have no say at all, but I would actually vote Bernie over Biden, despite the fact that a lot of Bernie supporters drive me up the fucking wall. But there is no reason to go easy on people who are declaring they won’t vote, which is the issue here.

  44. consciousness razor says

    I mean, Biden didn’t accept the idea that it should be as simple as nominating the person with a plurality of pledged delegates, when the general assumption was that it would be Bernie. At the same time, though, he also didn’t accept the idea that we should nominate the person with a plurality of only 1/2 of the delegates.

  45. consciousness razor says

    Hillary, HOW did Bernie actually sway anyone on the right, given that Rogan has shown that he’ll just go back to Trump, and given that an erstwhile Bernie supporter swung so far to Trump he actually MURDERED people in Portland for standing up to his racist abuse, and given that 75% of Republican-leaning Bernie Sanders supporters in 2016 supported Trump in the general election?

    “Anyone” includes more than just the selection of people you wanted to mention.

  46. consciousness razor says

    I disagree, but I’m really not going to trash a lot of old Black voters in the South who have to make a very different calculus than I do.

    You probably don’t need to trash a lot of people who disagree with you.

  47. consciousness razor says

    But there is no reason to go easy on people who are declaring they won’t vote, which is the issue here.

    Check your calendar. It’s April, not November.

  48. LeftSidePositive says

    @45. I don’t give a shit. I don’t like Biden. But he’s winning the primary. Curse the quirks of psychology that make most people revert to the status quo after trauma. Curse the structural difficulties in corporate media that make socialists look outlandish, and curse the easily-manipulated, under-informed dupes who vote for them. These are all real fucking problems, but they won’t be solved (and in fact will be made a lot WORSE) by refusing to vote for Biden. Fuck it, I’m still pissed that Obama’s conciliatory nature was the best we could do when we needed to undo the horrible precedents of the Bush administration. But let’s learn from all the times that righteously abstaining has fucked us over. AND, while we’re on the subject, it is reasonable to expect Bernie, as an underdog at this point with an almost insurmountable vote gap, to run in a manner that does not weaken the ultimate nominee. His failure to do that last time enabled Trump, and many former Hillary voters (not me, but others) specifically didn’t choose Bernie this time because of their lack of trust in him from this episode. For fuck’s sake, he even has Stein-voter Nina Turner on his staff! And the fact that Bernie touted his Rogan endorsement even though Rogan has a known problem with misogyny, and ultimately will vote for Trump over a vanilla Democrat, is ANOTHER reason why a lot of people don’t trust Bernie even though they might like his policies on paper.

    If you still have a primary, vote how you think is best, and realize that other people may believe in a different strategy than you. But what is NOT acceptable is advocating not voting in the general election. People will die.

  49. LeftSidePositive says

    @48: advocating not voting is dangerous at any time. You are full of shit. The psychological pathologies of the purity left have been a problem for DECADES, it doesn’t magically change in the month before the election. What the fuck is wrong with you?

  50. LeftSidePositive says

    @47, yeah I’m going to trash non-voters, especially the self-righteous idiots who refuse to vote, make the world worse, and preen like it’s fucking praxis. Are you really so dense that you can’t see the difference between refusing to trash people who make a choice I disagree with out of fear, desperation, and decades of evidence that they can’t expect too much of the power structures under which they live, versus choosing to trash people who are choosing their own performative “purity” despite decades of evidence that it’s self-defeating in the short term AND long term?!

  51. consciousness razor says

    I don’t give a shit. I don’t like Biden. But he’s winning the primary.

    I give a shit that those people still have a right to vote, no matter what your prediction may be.

    If you still have a primary, vote how you think is best, and realize that other people may believe in a different strategy than you. But what is NOT acceptable is advocating not voting in the general election. People will die.

    Their “different strategy,” which you’re very quick to brush off to the side, also means people will die. That doesn’t seem acceptable to me.

    Maybe you think you can actually convince leftists to do what you want them to do, because they do actually give a shit. But the others? They’re lost to you, and the shitty things they do are almost always treated as inevitable, or just beyond reproach and sacrosanct no matter how shitty their choices are. Even if you think something like that, which group is the problematic one here?

  52. LeftSidePositive says

    @52: I have never argued against people voting for Bernie in the primary. I actually said that I MYSELF would vote for Bernie in the primary if it’s still going on by the time my state votes. What we are talking about here is people declaring they will refuse to vote in the general. That is shameful and unacceptable, and they should not be welcomed in progressive spaces.

    Look, I literally don’t interact with ANYONE who voted Biden in the primary. They’re not really on Pharyngula, or anything I see on Twitter. Most of my spaces are still mourning Warren’s candidacy. I joined this conversation because there is a very specific pathology RIGHT HERE of people declaring they will not vote. There are people RIGHT HERE pretending like they give a shit, but they actually don’t. If you have any access to primary voters in states yet to vote who are preferring Biden, I will be happy to explain to them that that’s probably not the best choice. I donated to multiple non-Biden candidates. I talked to everyone I know about Biden being a bad choice—there weren’t many who disagreed. But we have a problem HERE. What we have here is people who think praxis is declaring their purity to other lefties while others die at the hands of people who actually get elected. We need to call that out. If you have ideas as to how to sway the people who get all their news from mainstream media and who believe Chris Fucking Matthew’s ideas about “electability,” I’m absolutely all ears, because I don’t know how to reach them. But one group of people I DO interact with on a fairly regular basis are people who insist on not voting, and who insist on trashing any Dem who isn’t Bernie. We have every right to confront that.

  53. consciousness razor says

    I have never argued against people voting for Bernie in the primary.

    That’s different from arguing in favor of Bernie. Maybe you’ve done both.

    But you’re also just one person, even in this one thread.

    What we are talking about here is people declaring they will refuse to vote in the general.

    I already knew that, and you already said that. I think there are more important talking points, which also are more time-sensitive.

    That is shameful and unacceptable, and they should not be welcomed in progressive spaces.

    Everyone should be welcomed, so that those spaces can grow. Meanwhile, you were the one making a stink about “purity” in #27, #50, #51 and here again in #53.

    What you should have a problem with are some of the ideas people express, as I do with some of yours, not the people themselves.

    If you have any access to primary voters in states yet to vote who are preferring Biden, I will be happy to explain to them that that’s probably not the best choice.

    Fuck, I guess we have a deal. I’m sure they’d love to hear a bunch of mealy-mouthed crap about what is “probably” true, according to some random person.

    But one group of people I DO interact with on a fairly regular basis are people who insist on not voting, and who insist on trashing any Dem who isn’t Bernie. We have every right to confront that.

    It sounds like you should find some “progressive spaces” where such people will be shamed and other Dems won’t be trashed.

  54. lpetrich says

    Another curious feature of the Joe Rogan – Bernie Sanders connection is what happened between the Bernie Sanders campaign and one of BS’s acolytes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This requires a little background. In her late teens and early twenties, AOC showed remarkable talent and she seemed destined for doing great things, but she ended up becoming a bartender and waitress at a Manhattan taqueria.

    She slowly pulled her way out. In 2016, she campaigned for BS, and some other campaigners for BS formed a PAC called Brand New Congress, to elect progressive Congresspeople. AOC’s brother recommended her, BNC invited her, and she was in. She campaigned in 2017 and 2018, primarying big-name out-of-touch moneybags Democrat Joe Crowley in mid-2018.

    Once in Congress, AOC turned to BS for advice, and he advised her to try to get into committees that were about stuff that she was passionate about. She worked on an interest-rate-cap bill with him, though it didn’t get anywhere. Late in 2019, AOC endorsed him instead of Elizabeth Warren as he was recovering from a heart attack, and she campaigned with him in Iowa, California, and Nevada. On one occasion, BS joked that he is very young and AOC is very old. On another occasion, he joked that he was teaching her how to use Instagram.

    But things went sour. When BS was in DC for the impeachment trial, AOC did some speeches for him, and in one speech, she neglected to mention his name. She also recommended trying to thwart ICE agents. Both things displeased some of BS’s campaigners.

    AOC didn’t like Joe Rogan because of what she considered his transphobia, and she criticized some of BS’s supporters for being too nasty and being too conflict-oriented. She also stopped speaking at his rallies, and a BS campaigner said that it was like pulling teeth to get her to show up just before the New Hampshire primary.

    More recently, some BS supporters got displeased with AOC for praising an EW performance, and also for stating that endorsing BS doesn’t mean rejecting EW.

  55. LeftSidePositive says

    @54: what the fuck are you even talking about? There are idiots refusing to vote in this thread. That is a big fucking problem. And NO, welcoming them into our spaces is not a good idea. It means people will be able to be performative idiots while letting the world burn and refusing to do their part. And yeah, I fucking am making a stink about people who are too “pure” to take action that will PREVENT PEOPLE FROM DYING. This is not a drill. This is not make-believe. This is not sunshine and rainbows. This is real people dying from Republican policies because a bunch of fucking idiots are too “pure” to sully themselves with the admittedly flawed people that others vote for. All that accomplishes is more death and more Republicans, but I repeat myself.

  56. LeftSidePositive says

    @54: I also notice you have provided absolutely no useful advice whatsoever about how to reach those people who actually choose Biden… easier to excuse not voting rather than take on mass-media induced complacency, isn’t it?!

  57. hemidactylus says

    If Biden were running against Jeb or Romney I would sit that choice out and go with down ticket choices and amendments given my quasi-omniscient POV of our current alternate reality. Biden isn’t running against Jeb or Romney— either would have been kinda wrong and a bad choice but relatively preferable to our current POTUS shitshow. I can’t sit this one out but voting for Biden seems a crossroads deal with the devil that somehow blemishes my soul.

  58. LeftSidePositive says

    It’s also fucking stupid to sit out Biden vs. Jeb or Biden vs. Romney. Remember how harmless Dubya seemed in 2000?! Remember how many deaths he actually caused? Remember all the voter suppression his judges have enabled? Jeb and Romney would do exactly the same shit. Trump is only SLIGHTLY worse than those people, but mostly he’s just louder. They’re still corrupt, they’re just more subtle about it. They will still hurt women & minorities WAY more than Biden would. They will still do everything they can to suppress votes. They would still let the planet burn. They will still cause millions to lose healthcare and social security, and would cause another global recession just like Bush did.

    ALWAYS VOTE. This isn’t fucking difficult. How many people do you have to let die before you care?! And, more to the point, the reason we’re stuck with Joe Fucking Biden of all people—WAY less liberal than Hillary Clinton, WAY less liberal than Barack Obama, and WAY less liberal than Al Gore—is because lefties abstaining from voting is letting the Overton window shift rightward. It’s been happening since 1968. When will we learn to actually use our power effectively!? Vote for the most liberal person in the general. Always. No exceptions. Even if it were fucking Joe Manchin vs. John Kasich. ALWAYS VOTE. Then spend your time BETWEEN elections reaching out to the people who thought Joe Manchin was the best they could do. Organize for ranked-choice voting. Support FairVote. Support Fair Fight. Support the National Popular Vote Compact. PRIMARY reps who are to the right of their district. But ALWAYS, ALWAYS vote in the general.

  59. consciousness razor says

    And, more to the point, the reason we’re stuck with Joe Fucking Biden of all people—WAY less liberal than Hillary Clinton, WAY less liberal than Barack Obama, and WAY less liberal than Al Gore—is because lefties abstaining from voting is letting the Overton window shift rightward.

    The reason isn’t because of the conservative-leaning Dems who actually voted for Biden in their primaries. Sure. Or, if there’s more than one reason, it’s still bizarre to leave out the most obvious one pertaining to those who are the most directly responsible.

    It’s not just that you’re acting like right-wing people have no agency of their own. That’s weird too, but you’re also implying that “lefties abstaining from voting” have a big role to play in the explanation. (That is, what best explains the real world, not just the narrative world you hope others will believe.) At this point, it feels a lot like conservative conspiracy theorists getting all lathered up about some rare cases of “voter fraud,” rather than doing anything good to counteract various forms of voter suppression.

    Somehow the story also goes that leftists are the mean, toxic, nasty, divisive ones…. It reminds me of “accommodationists” from several years ago, which weren’t generally accepted by atheists then either, for good reason. Anyway, your whole deal in one comment after another has been about berating, shaming, and excluding people on the left, with barely anything to substantiate your claims. And although I have no idea why, everyone else is supposed to get a pass.

    It’s been happening since 1968.

    Other than Clinton and Obama (both pretty unusual cases), what’s been happening since then is that our centrist presidential candidates have lost all of those elections, along with many other non-presidential elections for that matter. You blame leftists, who certainly haven’t been the ones running the show. Doesn’t that just seem … wrong?

    The only mildly funny part about it is that your pseudonym is “LeftSidePositive.” Do you not know which way is left? Maybe you should turn around.

  60. consciousness razor says

    Sorry, there was Carter too…. Unlike Biden, he was a fairly decent and honest politician, after the Nixon and Ford era. Also unusual.

  61. Stuart Smith says

    I’m sorry, but rejecting Joe Rogan’s endorsement would be madness. Anyone who would be put off by it is probably blue no matter who anyway. Meanwhile, the people who listen to Joe Rogan are NOT sure votes. They would have supporter Bernie on his word, and now they will not support Biden, also on his word. And THOSE are the voters the Democrats need to win, not the people who want Biden, or the people who are upset about him accepting Joe Rogan’s endorsement. THEY are not going to vote for Trump, and they are probably not going to stay home. Joe Rogan’s fan base voting for Bernie would have pretty much guaranteed the Dem’s a win, and if it carried down ballot, it would have been a huge coup. For Bernie to reject it would have been idiocy on par with the Democrats choosing Biden as their candidate.

  62. logicalcat says

    @Stuart Smith

    Sanders accepting Rogans endorsement was stupid for the primary. He alienated black and brown voters by accepting the endorsement of a man who called a movie theater filled with black people “Its like planet of the apes in there”.

    Rogan’s endorsement would have been smart for the general.

  63. logicalcat says

    @60 CR

    And leftist have won how many? None. Because leftist prefer to talk politics than engage in them. Also Carter is the one who started the Democrats leaning towards the center thing fyi. They had to, leftists weren’t voting.

    And yes, he is right. Leftists not voting is shifting the overton window to the right. We could have voted for Gore, but we didn’t (for all the same stupid reasons played out again here, history repeats), and we got stuck with Bush who shifted the window to the right. We could have voted for Hillary. We didn’t, and now an incompetent fascist is president undoubtedly shifting the window further right. Whats next? Two things: Either Trump wins a second term, cementing the window further to the right, or Biden wins either delaying or stopping the shifting of the window to the right (but not eliminating it outright).

    There is of course a third option: We (leftists) start to care and get involved. Because we don’t. Thats the norm for us. Thats our status quo, a bunch of privileged brats playing revolutionary. Sitting back in online spaces raging against the machine instead of picking up a tool belt and getting to work. Because that way if the machine breaks, we get the luxury of sitting back and passing judgement. We cant get involved ourselves, too much responsibility for our taste. Any excuse to not be a part of the solution.

    Who has the most likelihood of passing progressive reforms? Biden. Not admitting to that is to not believe in reality. Think the likelihood too small for your taste? Okay…MAKE HIM DO IT. I said it before, if MLK can make a racist Dixiecrat pass progressive legislation, then we can make Biden pass M4A, or some other progressive issue. How do we accomplish that? We vote. That way we are his constituents. This happens all the time, except with right wingers. We can do it too. If we don’t vote then the democrats will just drift towards the center, or even rightward some more, because since most of the country is always in the middle by default appealing to that means the only way to stay politically competitive, otherwise you’d have a one party state (effectively). The right wing gets away from not having to appeal to the center because their Bros are consistent in their voting. We don’t have that, but we could.

    I mentioned in another thread that with Leftists purity is an entrance requirement while with the Right its the end goal. One of those consistently gets what it wants, and they do so by voting. The other doesn’t not, because they don’t.

    Also funny you mentioned accommodationists during the rise of new atheism. What happened to those non-accommodation atheists? Oh that’s right, most of them became assholes. Most of them became “leftists” who rally against the “regressive left” of those darn feminists like Watson. Because when your movement attracts assholes with better than thou attitudes, you attract idiots along with them. Dictionary atheists were the first time I encountered Purity politics. And I’ll echo what I learned during the deep rift back then onto here right now, Id rather hang around with Christians who are helpful, than atheists who are assholes. Same is true now, just replace Christians with democrats and atheists with “leftists”.

  64. Pierce R. Butler says

    consciousness razor @ # 60: … you’re also implying that “lefties abstaining from voting” have a big role to play in the explanation.

    If by “lefties …” you mean those who call themselves Bernie supporters yet sit out the actual balloting – hell yeah, they played a big role in putting Biden and Sanders on/in the respective pedestal/pit where they stand now.

    … what’s been happening since then is that our centrist presidential candidates have lost all of those elections…

    One factor, or at least correlation, seems more than a little relevant in the Biden context: every winning Democratic national candidate since LBJ back in ’64 (and obviously including JFK before him) has been, by presidential standards, visibly and energetically youthful.

  65. LeftSidePositive says

    @60: I blame leftists FOR NOT FUCKING VOTING. Or for voting 3rd party like idiots. Nader’s votes in Florida cost Gore the margin of victory and have been responsible for countless deaths. Stein voters in WI, MI, PA were more than Trump’s margin of victory, and the dead bodies are piling up by the thousands. And there are idiots RIGHT HERE who are crowing about how they don’t vote. This is a really big fucking problem. Right-wing people are actively evil. No one’s denying that: that is why you HAVE TO FUCKING VOTE. They do. And you guys crowing about your purity instead of stopping them is a really big fucking problem, and it’s leaving people to die.

    I don’t like accommodationist Dems. I really think Dems would do better to be more overtly progressive, since they’re going to be smeared as baby-eating communists whether it’s Gore, Dean, Kerry, Obama, Sanders, or Biden. I do think Dems lose out a lot by continually playing to the center. I think their brains are curdled from the days of Nixon & Reagan and they’re convinced no one likes what they’re selling, so they’re giving up the store for people who don’t even LIKE Republican-lite economics, they’re really motivated by GOP racism. It is EXTREMELY frustrating. But the thing is, sitting out elections like the Left does OBJECTIVELY DOES NOT WORK. Refer back to comment #27: not only is it immoral to let more people die when Republicans win, it also results in the average American clinging to a conciliatory status quo. I was hoping the Blue Wave and women’s organizing would assert itself with Warren or Harris, and right the injustices of 2016 with competent progressivism. But instead most of the country clung to stodgy old Biden, which I still think is profoundly misguided, but his lead is virtually mathematically insurmountable at this point. It’s not just that mainstream Dem operatives are too centrist—the Left is not able to overtake them in primaries because the Left has not convinced rank-and-file Dems. Think about why that is, and how to reach all those millions of people and THEN you can gain power in the DNC. But failing to show up over and over again and then expecting them to roll out the red carpet for you is asinine.

  66. logicalcat says

    @LeftSidePositive

    I do think Dems lose out a lot by continually playing to the center. I think their brains are curdled from the days of Nixon & Reagan and they’re convinced no one likes what they’re selling

    That’s not Dems fault. Sanders cannot even convince his own base to vote for him. He had less enthusiasms as a whole this time around. Without an active left voter base, the Dems have to cater to the center. They have to because of math. Because that’s where the more consistent voting pool is. The Right can get away with not catering to the center because their most consistent voter pool are already very Right wing. You have to play the numbers game or the country effectively becomes a one party state.

    I think a big misstep with the left is how they view the establishment. As something that needs to be destroyed as opposed to the realistic way of taking it over and molding it for ourselves. Way to much blaming democrats, and not enough of both self reflection on how we also suck (which you are helping greatly and its finally time another Sanders voter came along to criticize the left, I thought I was alone) and with how they don’t actually have much choice in the matter. Its either go center (and that center gets progressively right wing) or allow the Right wing to win indefinitely. This is why the left voting even for Biden is important.

    And while I’m on this rant whenever I see shit like “I’m holding my nose this November” I also feel that’s as useless and as defeatist as the non voters. That’s not to say you cant criticize the establishment, but that criticism has to be constructive. Left leaning democrats who we are trying to convert don’t want to hear that shit, and it makes us look like holier than thou snobs. Which most of us are.

    Also btw LeftSide, some of these leftists want Trump to win. Both because they think it will lead to a communist revolution or because they can sit back and gloat how “we told you Biden was a bad idea” like most of the behavior of the leftists in this board gloating that Hillary was a bad choice despite aiding in her downfall with various conspiracy theories and dishonest propaganda, thus helping it come true.

    I used to know one of the former in person. The guy was a communist, and sure I don’t like communism but Ive met many who are at least well meaning. This one was…wow. He thought in 2016 allowing a fascist to become president would lead to a communist revolution. And when I pointed out that someone like me (who is bisexual) are generally victims of fascist regimes his response to that was “Well, better buy some guns then.” These people don’t actually care.

  67. logicalcat says

    @67

    Yea but, all those dead people are not as important as our anti-establishmentarianism. /sarcasm.

  68. lotharloo says

    @SC:

    Both of those choices are unworthy of any respect, in my view.

    @LeftSidePositive:

    People are going to die because of your stupidity and stubbornness. … But don’t be a selfish asshole.

    So let me get this straight: Ms Reade is a stupid selfish asshole unworthy of any respect because she is not voting for the guy who fingered her pussy without her consent?

    Or do you guys want to actually think about backpedaling a bit?

  69. LeftSidePositive says

    @70: I do not know enough about the accusations, but I do consider them important to take seriously and investigate. Like I mentioned, I am NOT happy at all about Biden being the presumptive Dem nominee. I’m frankly gutted, and more than a little bit worried. But that’s what a significant majority of Democratic primary voters chose. We had our chance to make our case for and frankly this country is fucked up. The only choice we have right now (unless you have a primary that has yet to vote, in which case vote how you please in your primary) is pretty uninspiring or downright fucking awful. I don’t know whether or not Biden is guilty of the accusations—at the very least he’s overly handsy and entitled around women’s bodies, and was shitty about acknowledging that. But the other option is a rapist and pedophile who will put other sexual assailants on SCOTUS and continue to hurt women at every fucking turn.

  70. lotharloo says

    Stop with the stupid word salad. Assuming the accusations are true، is she a “selfish asshole” for not voting for her abuser or not?

  71. LeftSidePositive says

    @lotharloo: that’s a big assumption, and like I said, I don’t know. I will not opine on an individual woman’s choice about how to process her personal trauma, and just her single vote is not the issue here. The issue for literally everyone else is how bad Trump is on that very issue, and many others, and the fact that Trump’s presidency will lead to many more preventable deaths, many more women being forced to carry pregnancies from rape, many local police forces being emboldened to discount rape victims, VAWA not getting approved, and much, much more.

  72. lotharloo says

    Really? Assuming that a woman is telling the truth about being abused by a man in power “is a big assumption”? The rest of reply is another word salad to dodge the question: is she a selfish asshole or not? It’s a pretty simple. I don’t know whether you lack the courage or the honesty to answer it.

  73. says

    Just a point… Joe Rogan’s YouTube channel currently has 3.3 million subscribers, and his videos usually net views in the millions. His podcast nets nearly 30 million downloads per month.

    Don’t get me wrong… Rogan is a bigot and an asshole. He should be irrelevant.

    Unfortunately, he’s not. His show is absurdly influential with a massive swath of this country. There’s an absurd amount of people who think he’s a “brilliant interviewer” who gets his guests to “admit stuff they wouldn’t otherwise” on the air.

    Rogan is absolutely everything you said, but don’t make the mistake of thinking he’s irrelevant. He’s not… not even a little bit.

  74. KG says

    The reason isn’t because of the conservative-leaning Dems who actually voted for Biden in their primaries. Sure. Or, if there’s more than one reason, it’s still bizarre to leave out the most obvious one pertaining to those who are the most directly responsible. – consciousness razor@60

    I agree with you – but oddly enough, when we were arguing recently on the “Political Madness” thread, you appeared to be claiming the main reason was people favouring Sanders’ positions but not knowing he supported them and Biden opposed them.

  75. says

    Wait, wait, wait…
    Reading this comment thread has all sorts of things bubbling in my mind, but they’ve all been pushed aside by the assertion that Nader voters lost Florida for Gore.

    You know Gore won Florida, right? Like, he got more votes than Bush. In Florida. How in hell’s name did Nader spoil an election in which the candidate he supposedly spoiled got more votes?!

    There may be an argument about third party spoilers, though I’m not sure how it’s relevant to a primary, but that anyone would argue this one is mind blowing.

  76. says

    Firstly I should say I am not American, I have no vote and therefore it’s not worth trying to persuade me to use it.

    The heart of the original post I think is the undeniable fact that there are a significant number of people for whom Bernie > Trump > Biden. This leads to some things I think are worth considering. Firstly, that the left/right divide has become an impediment to understanding US politics. The above inequality makes no sense to a lot of people, and they are the ones saying that Rogan’s endorsement was worthless because he prefers Trump to Biden. This should be clearly nonsense, if an endorsement of Bernie says nothing about his preference for Biden. The confusion arises as a result of the belief that endorsing any Democratic candidate is the same as endorsing any other, i.e. that both are on the same side of the mythical center line and therefore, for practical purposes, identical.

    This is not true, either in some ethical sense or in the practical votes-on-the-day sense. The left-right divide has been neutered by the politics of capital, which strives to ensure that economically, both sides are equivalent. The number of relevant topics of political discourse shrinks until the only conversation possible is the one generally referred to as identity politics. Capital does not care if you are black or white, gay or straight, trans or cis. Capital only cares that you are productive, and compliant. This is why it is politically correct to care about race, orientation and gender, but not so to care about wealth. I don’t mean talking about poverty is politically incorrect, but that it isn’t relevant to the discussion. It is outside the bounds of modern US politics. This has allowed economic inequality in the states to become consistently worse year by year since the sixties. This is what results in the billionaire class.

    Sanders represents a revolt against the capitalisation of politics, and without such a revolt there IS no left wing, only an increasingly irrelevant opposition to the rise of fascism. Do not make the mistake of failing to see populism rising in opposition to the inequalities of capitalism. It will come, and the choice is whether it is right leaning, or left. Choosing Biden, even in the general, enables fascism. Obama leads inexorably to Trump. If then, the choice is between Biden and Trump, and both strengthen the fascist tendency, who do you vote for? The answer is that you either try to slow the rise and vote Biden, or you simply do not vote. I would argue that in such a general election, in the broad scope and the long term, it genuinely will not matter.

    Incidentally the idea that voting for Trump and not voting are the same thing in terms of election outcomes is fucking stupid. +1, 0, -1. These are not the same.

    There are a lot of other things to say on the subject, but this is too long already. As a final note I should beg you to believe that I do feel for those for whom every election is an existential threat. I can only imagine how terrifying the idea of ascendant American fascism must be. I also genuinely believe that the only counter to right wing populism in the face of gross injustice is a powerful left wing populism. Moral appeals will not cut it. Historical precedent is clear. Revolution always comes, and the only hope is to rally people with cries of equality for all, instead of blood and soil.

  77. says

    .I don’t get pz’s ire with Bernie – if some Trump supporters are ready to switch from Trump to Bernie, but prefer Trump over Biden how is it a sign of Bernie being bad?
    It just means Bernie’s platform could sway swing voters which is a definition of electability, what did you expect, that Bernie will brainwash people offering them few policy proposals and then people will transfer to Biden who is against all of them?

    @LeftSidePositive
    You are extremely good at convincing people to the opposite of what you are trying to shame them into. Wasn’t that the biggest beef of Dems with Bernie that his supporters are aggressive online?
    Also what was the first the chicken or the egg? Does Dems shift to the right because leftists do not vote or leftists do not vote because Dems shifted to the right?
    In an interview from about 10 years ago Lawrence o’Donnell, former some strategist or something for DNC mentioned that he never ever cared about what leftist want or not, because they had nowhere else to go and had to vote whatever cetnrist/moderate candidate they are offered. And as long as they are not willing to not vote for bad DNC candidate, their opinions and politics will never be heard.
    Yes, Biden will probably have more competent cabinet. Especially effective at pursuing neoliberal, corporate, free trade agenda. If you believe Trump is an aberration, then stopping him is a priority, but what if Trump is a symptom, a response for corporate driven response to the 2008 crisis? Then Joe Biden’s presidency will just aggravate the problems (especialy with great pandemic economy collapse of the early ’20) and Trump 2.0 is inevitable, but this time it will be someone evil AND competent.

    I am not advocating not voting or voting for anyone specific, but you just ignore a lot of different pros and cons for each of those choices, shaming anyone who considers more issues than “Trump is evil” (which is important and you are right about it)
    Trump is much worse choice in a next 5-10 years perspective, but if somehow Biden wins the election it will lock Dems for next 10-15 years into being a terrible party. So is voting for lesser of two evils worth it if it means you will be stuck forever with one of those evils without any hope of getting decent option?
    Last but not least – there is a difference between voting Trump in November and threatening/considering to vote Trump today in hope to push DNC to improve Biden’s platform.

  78. consciousness razor says

    KG:

    I agree with you – but oddly enough, when we were arguing recently on the “Political Madness” thread, you appeared to be claiming the main reason was people favouring Sanders’ positions but not knowing he supported them and Biden opposed them.

    Then you misunderstood. I tried to be clear that I wasn’t denying your point that there are some people who genuinely want a conservative Dem like Biden, rather than a leftist like Sanders. What’s a more specific number, rather than “some people”? I really don’t know, but if I had to give a rough estimate based on polling that’s been conducted on a variety of issues, it’s maybe about 30% of the people who voted for Biden. (Not insignificant, but still not what I would call “the main” thing.)

    In any case, what I argued is that there is also no denying that the media have done their part to ensure many people focus on Biden’s purported “electability,” as well as to obscure and confuse their substantive policies differences. Note that even this isn’t only about “not knowing”: the electability bullshit moves away from what a person may or may not know about Biden’s platform and his record, to make the decision about something else.

    I think a combination of all of those factors is a better explanation. It doesn’t ignore a bunch of the available evidence, in order to offer a single simple cause for a complicated set of phenomena involving the behavior of millions of people. If it were just a simple thing that required explanation, then maybe a simpler “reason” would be preferable or more appropriate; but that’s not the type of thing that there is to explain.

  79. consciousness razor says

    logicalcat:

    Also funny you mentioned accommodationists during the rise of new atheism. What happened to those non-accommodation atheists? Oh that’s right, most of them became assholes. Most of them became “leftists” who rally against the “regressive left” of those darn feminists like Watson.

    So people like PZ and me and many other people here (etc.) were not a majority of the strident, baby-eating faction of atheists? That’s news to me. But even if that were true, the accommodationists were a smaller group, composed of some privileged assholes who refused to engage with the real suffering caused by religions, often because they were already deeply embedded in that world and didn’t like the idea of leaving it behind for something better.

  80. Porivil Sorrens says

    Looks like things are going to go just like in 2016.

    Dems run a deeply flawed candidate, lose, spend the next four years blaming everyone but themselves for running awful candidates, and then run someone even more flawed in the next cycle.

  81. LeftSidePositive says

    @77: Gore had fewer votes COUNTED though. If even a fraction of Naderites had voted for him instead, Jeb Bush’s ratfucking would have been for naught. The fact of the matter is, we live in a deeply unjust society where Republicans will abuse state power to put their thumb on the election scale, so we need to outvote them in large numbers. Purity leftists just let them get away with it, over, and over, and over again. Also, fuck off with +1, 0, and -1. If we have a lot of -1s that we need to counteract, refusing to be a +1 is an active harm and I cannot BELIEVE you don’t get this.

    And what the fuck is wrong with you to think that it does not matter to slow the tide of fascism?! You fucking collaborator. Shame on you.

  82. LeftSidePositive says

    @79 Gorzki: Everyone I’m talking to here has already convinced themselves past the point of logical thought. If thousands more dead people isn’t enough to convince them they need to take elections seriously, us being nicer to them won’t either. We need to set clear standards of behavior in our community that sitting by while fascism rises is a moral crime and should not be tolerated.

    Also, FUCK YOU for your whole “after Hitler, Us!” mentality. As previously discussed, letting Republicans win does not get the Democrats to be better. It makes Democrats WORSE, and it has been doing for decades. There is no rational disputing of this fact: leftists sitting out pulls the Democratic party to the Right. Every. Single. Fucking. Time. Including the fact that Biden is apparently the farthest left primary voters are willing to go?! Moreover, if activists could get Lyndon Fucking Johnson to sign the Civil Rights Act, then no, we’re not stuck with a Dem as they are and without hope for improvement (meanwhile, fewer people will die and we can push for more improvements the next round).

    AND ANOTHER THING: you’re not stuck with whoever the DNC chooses for you, despite what some stuffed-shirt strategist says. You could primary them. The fact that you cannot win a major primary should tell you something that you haven’t laid the necessary groundwork for taking over the party. Yes, the DNC may prefer more centrist candidates—but if you can’t mount a challenger and win a primary against them, that’s a pretty damn good indication that the membership isn’t ready for them either, and THAT is what you need to work on, rather than sitting out elections in the hope that it will magically result in more socialist options.

  83. LeftSidePositive says

    @82: Porivil, Bernie cannot win the primary. He has underperformed his 2016 numbers by quite embarrassing margins. Therefore, HE is objectively a worse candidate than Biden (I’m sorry to live in a world where that is true, but apparently that’s where we are). Also, you left out the part in your summary where a sizable chunk of the Left intentionally chooses not to vote, and then pretends the loss of the Democratic candidate was some truism about politics and not the direct result of the Left’s sabotage. Again, if you’re so convinced your candidate would win, then you would be able to win a primary. Win your primary, and like AOC or Marie Newman, and I will support you. Lose your primary and then insist on purity over the actual effect on the country, and I will curse your name.

  84. birgerjohansson says

    A possible outcome:
    Trump beats Sanders. The senate becomes D – majority and successfully impeaches Dump for….take your pick of crimes. If Pence is implicated, he goes, too.
    Pelosi becomes prez, and continues working for status quo. The recession gets worse. Everything gets blamed on the Democrats.A Republican wins in 2024.

  85. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Birger Johansson, Once again for the non USian crowd. The House impeaches by majority vote. The Senate then tries and requires a 2/3 majority (67 out of 100) to convict and remove from office. Mitt Romney was the first senator ever to vote to convict a member of his own party. No President has ever been removed from office by impeachment, and only a handful of public officials have ever been removed by impeachment.

  86. says

    I think that it does not matter to slow the tide of fascism because, unlike you, given the choice between fascism now or fascism in four, eight, twelve years, I choose no fascism at all.

    What the fuck is wrong with you to think that it does not matter if we see a fascist American state in the next decade, so long as it doesn’t happen this year? You fucking collaborator.

  87. LeftSidePositive says

    Birgerjohansson, that is some COLOSSALLY fucking stupid shit. And there has been a lot of fucking stupid shit on this thread. Do you have literally ANY idea how skewed the Senate is toward low-population conservative states that have more voting power than where most of the country actually lives? How the fuck do you think the Senate would be Democratic with all these purity voters abstaining?! This is a ridiculous rationalization for not voting or failing to vote effectively.

  88. LeftSidePositive says

    Ian: you are not choosing no fascism at all. You are choosing fascism now. You are showing a callous disregard for the thousands if not millions of people who will die, because you value your own fucking purity over their actual lives. Fuck you, you worthless vile collaborator. I literally cannot express my disgust for you.

    And where the ACTUAL fuck did you get that I don’t care if we see a fascist American state in the next decade?! Show me where exactly I said that. In fact, the point of preventing fascism this year is that we can keep trying to prevent it going forward. A slower catastrophe gives many more opportunities to reverse course. It REALLY FUCKING MATTERS that totalitarian regimes are very difficult to topple once they are established. Do you have ANY idea how many people will die trying to right America’s course if Trump furthers our slide into authoritarianism?!

    And again, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. the Left has chosen not to participate in electoral politics, it does not mean that in the next round they enjoy a groundswell of support. Instead, the “liberal” candidate just keeps getting closer and closer to fascism. We saw it with Obama. We are seeing it with Biden. What the actual fuck is wrong with you to ignore decades of evidence and play purity?! Do you even care about our country? Do you care about your fellow human beings at all? Fuck you.

  89. Saad says

    The president in 2021 will be either Biden or Trump in each of the following cases:

    1) You don’t vote
    2) You vote for Biden
    3) You vote for Trump
    4) You vote for third-party
    5) You write-in a name

  90. LeftSidePositive says

    And Ian, I finally tried to force myself to read more of your drivel in comment #78, and that is SPECTACULARLY stupid, even by your fascist-enabling standards. Capital cares what race, gender, & orientation you are, and it has since 1619 and well before. It cares about minority status because it is easier to exploit. Where the fuck have you been? Maybe consider that this is why a hell of a lot of Black primary voters kept saying “fuck you!” to Bernie’s anti-identity-politics bullshit. These people remember VERY well what the first round of socialist reforms looked like in the US in the 20th Century—they were explicitly excluded as white people were happy to have unions, social security, public schools, and welfare for themselves… and as soon as they had to share they torched the entire concept of social investment. THOSE are the people, like Joe Rogan, who like Bernie and then choose Trump—y’know, the “Reagan Democrat,” aka racist middle class white dudes. Capital cares INTENSELY about race & gender because it keeps a sizable chunk of the exploited class loyal to it because they can look down on people they’re oppressing more.

    And no, Bernie is not some grand leader in eliminating the capitalization of US politics. He is a lazy, ego-driven grifter who employs toxic people, cares more about hating the Democratic party than actually getting shit done. I still think he’s better than Biden (not saying much!), but don’t pretend that people didn’t have very good reasons not to vote for him in 2016 or 2020.

    And no, rightwing populism is not against capital. Rightwing “populism” is just demagoguery and race hate, and it enables capital—I refer you to literally all of Trump’s policies, and you can go back to Hitler’s corporatism if you are unclear on how right-wing “populism” actually works.

  91. KG says

    What the fuck is wrong with you to think that it does not matter if we see a fascist American state in the next decade, so long as it doesn’t happen this year? You fucking collaborator. – Ian King@88

    What the fuck is wrong with you that you think you can forecast US politics a decade in advance. You fucking numpty.

  92. brucegee1962 says

    I want to go on record here as supporting everything LeftSidePositive has said in his lonely crusade in this thread.
    It is the duty of every human to get Trump out of office before he destroys either this country or the planet. Most humans can’t do much about him, but Americans can: we can vote.
    If you choose not to exercise this privilege, or vote for a downballot candidate, that makes you precisely 50% as bad as a person who votes for Trump. That’s not even politics — that’s simply math.
    I am no longer giving Trump voters the benefit of the doubt — they are terrible people. So you are half of a terrible person. All the arguments defending yourselves just sound like bluster to me. Biden may be a half-senile gaffe machine, but he isn’t a fascist. Trump is, and you non-voters are half-fascists.
    Yes, we all would have preferred Bernie or Warren, but Biden is the one we’re stuck with. As far as I’m concerned, though, the most important issue is climate change. Even if Biden gets us back to doing very little, as Obama did, that will still be vastly better than charging in the wrong direction like the current White House Occupant.

    OK, I may be bit harsher than I need to be if you live in one of the many states that are so skewed one way or the other that they aren’t on the table. But if you live in one of the six states that will decide the election, you have zero excuse to not vote against the Trumpster.

  93. Porivil Sorrens says

    @85
    Your electoral system is a sham and a choice between a neoliberal rapist with a blue armband and a neoliberal rapist with a red armband isn’t a choice at all. I couldn’t really give less of a shit about whatever magical thinking you have used to convince yourself that your neoliberal rapist is better than the other one.

  94. LeftSidePositive says

    @95: Yeah, our electoral system sucks. No argument from me there. Letting the openly fascist, corrupt, racist, vote suppressing rapist with a string of MULTIPLE sexual assault accusations win will not fix that system. And recognizing that tens of thousands (and, quite possibly, millions) of people will still be alive at the end of blue armbands tenure that will be dead at the end of red armband’s tenure is not “magical thinking.” It’s learning from 1968. It’s learning from 2000. It’s learning from 2016. What the fuck is wrong with you?!

  95. LeftSidePositive says

    @bruce, thanks for our kind words. (but btw, I’m a she!) I do think we can & should be a bit more sticklerish about people in “safe” states. Remember how many times we were told WI, MI, and PA were safe in 2016? Counting on other people to vote effectively so the purity leftist can have the luxury of “expressing themselves” is shitty praxis, to put it mildly. It also models toxic voting patterns for people in other states, and they jump on the pointless-vote/non-voting bandwagon.

    What a better world we would have if leftists actually put their effort into enacting ranked-choice voting, stopping gerrymandering, and fighting voter suppression, rather than performatively not voting (effectively, or at all)?!

    Thanks also to logicalcat for their excellent points on this thread, and sorry to be slow to thank you!

  96. Porivil Sorrens says

    @96
    The fact that you’ve mangled your brain to the point that you think the openly fascist, corrupt, racist, vote suppressing rapist with a blue armband is the better choice has no bearing on my voting decision.

  97. LeftSidePositive says

    @98: Biden is not openly fascist. You know better than this. You try to pretend that you’re so above it all that you can’t see the difference between a mass difference in deaths, a dramatic difference in climate change, catastrophic effects on the judiciary, and much, much more. This doesn’t mean you’re so enlightened. It just means you don’t care what actually happens to real human beings. Fuck you.

    And fuck you for pretending this is just “blue armband” or “red armband.” The blue armband gave us Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, SCHIP, the ACA, minimum wage increases, food safety protections, and a LOT more, that has demonstrably saved lives. The “red armband” gave us deregulation, environmental catastrophe, the Iraq War, the horrifically incompetent response to Hurricane Katrina, the horrifically incompetent response to Hurricane Maria, the horrifically incompetent response to COVID-19, etc. Yeah, I’m frustrated the blue team isn’t doing enough. I’m frustrated by the compromises they’ve made. But you’re doing FUCKING NOTHING. In fact, you’re refusal to engage in electoral politics like you have half a brain is a big reason as to why they keep chasing the center instead of standing by you. You’re watching one party become increasingly radicalized and increasingly dangerous to our country, and you want to preen about how you’re so much better than both of them. I’ve been around in atheist spaces long enough to remember when this cartoon was new: https://xkcd.com/774/. Just like the ecumenicalist/apatheist there is happy to let people keep suffering from religious cults, you’re happy to let people keep suffering from a truly deranged Republican party. Kindly fuck ALL the way off.

  98. Porivil Sorrens says

    @99
    Dope, the blue armband gave us social fascism, and the red armband gave us regular fascism. Real substantive differences here.

    In fact, you’re refusal to engage in electoral politics like you have half a brain is a big reason as to why they keep chasing the center instead of standing by you.

    That doesn’t bother me, because as mentioned, I think the electoral system is a sham. That the bourgeois worms in your system don’t “stand by me” is neither unexpected nor particularly important to me, given that I largely think they should be lined up and shot. I pay your elections the same amount of respect as I do the elections under Nazi Germany.

    Kindly fuck ALL the way off.

    Sure, and I’ll continue not voting for neoliberal rapists while I do so. As mentioned, your unhinged ranting will have no effect on my voting decisions.

  99. consciousness razor says

    Letting the openly fascist, corrupt, racist, vote suppressing rapist with a string of MULTIPLE sexual assault accusations win will not fix that system.

    The word “openly” is doing way more work in that sentence than it should be doing.

    And seriously, how much more open does it need to be?
    1974:

    (W)hen it comes to issues like abortion, amnesty, and acid, I’m about as liberal as your grandmother. I don’t like the Supreme Court decision on abortion. I think it went too far. I don’t think that a woman has the sole right to say what should happen to her body. I support a limited amnesty, and I don’t think marijuana should be legalized.” (wikiquote)

    1987:

    But campaigning in Alabama last April, Biden talked of his sympathy for the South, bragged of an award he had received from George Wallace in 1973, and said “we (Delawareans) were on the South’s side in the Civil War.”

    The Detroit Free Press article, dated Sept. 21, 1987, was written by Robert S. Boyd, the paper’s longtime Washington bureau chief, who received a Pulitzer Prize in 1972. Boyd, now 91, told the Washington Examiner that he attended the Alabama speech and recalled Biden expressing support for the South. But he said Biden “did not come off as racist.”

    Boyd also reported, on May 1, 1987, that Biden liked to remind Southern audiences “that former Alabama Gov. George Wallace praised him as one of the outstanding young politicians of America.” (Washington Examiner)

    1992:

    Let me tell you what is in the bill, and I’ll let you all decide whether or not this is “weak”. […] It provides 53 death penalty offenses. Weak as can be, you know? We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill. That’s weak stuff. (wikiquote)

    When I argued that we should freeze federal spending, I meant Social Security as well. I meant Medicare and Medicaid. I meant veterans’ benefits. I meant every single, solitary thing in the government. And I not only tried it once, I tried it twice, I tried it a third time and I tried it a fourth time. Somebody has to tell me in here, how we’re going to do this hard work without dealing with any of those sacred cows. (wikiquote)

    1998:

    You and I both know, and all of us here really know, and it’s a thing we have to face, that the only way, the only way we’re going to get rid of Saddam Hussein is we’re going to end up having to start it alone — start it alone — and it’s going to require guys like you in uniform to be back on foot in the desert taking this son of a — taking Saddam down. You know it and I know it. (wikiquote)

    2004:

    Hell, I might be president now if it weren’t for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn’t have anybody in the coal mines, you know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn’t work. (wikiquote)

    2006:

    It’s going to be very difficult. I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. (wikiquote)

    I voted for a fence, I voted, unlike most Democrats — and some of you won’t like it — I voted for 700 miles of fence,… And the reason why I add that parenthetically, why I believe the fence is needed does not have anything to do with immigration as much as drugs. And let me tell you something folks, people are driving across that border with tons, tons, hear me, tons of everything from byproducts for methamphetamine to cocaine to heroin and it’s all coming up through corrupt Mexico. (wikiquote)

    You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent … I’m not joking.

    2007:

    I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man. (wikiquote)

    Tim Russert: But, senator, we have a deficit. We have Social Security and Medicare looming. The number of people on Social Security and Medicare is now 40 million people. It’s going to be 80 million in 15 years. Would you consider looking at those programs, age of eligibility—

    Joe Biden: Absolutely.

    Russert: —cost of living, put it all on the table?

    Biden: The answer is absolutely. You have to. You know, it’s— one of the things that my, you know, the political advisers say to me is, “Whoa, don’t touch that third—” Look, the American people aren’t stupid. It’s a real simple proposition. […] Social Security’s not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you’ve got to put all of it on the table.

    Russert: Everything.

    Biden: Everything. You’ve got to. (wikiquote)

    2018:

    You know, shortly after I graduated in ’68, Kent State, 17 kids shot dead. And so, the younger generation now tells me how tough things are — give me a break! No, no, I have no empathy for it. Give me a break. Because here’s the deal, guys — we decided we were going to change the world, and we did. We did. We finished the civil rights movement to the first stage. The women’s movement came into being. So my message is “Get involved.” (wikiquote)

    Paul Ryan was correct when he did the tax code. What’s the first thing he decided we needed to go after? Social Security and Medicare. We need to do something about Social Security and Medicare. (wikiquote)

    2019:

    I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. So that’s not the reputation I’ve had since I was in high school, for God’s sake. (wikiquote)

    I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who has made money. The truth of the matter is, you all, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done. We can disagree in the margins but the truth of the matter is it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change. (wikiquote)

    Poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids. (wikiquote)

    2020:

    You ever been to a caucus? [audience member nods] No you haven’t. You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier. (wikiquote)

    We hold these truths to be self-evident. All men and women created … by the — you know — you know, the thing. (wikiquote)

  100. LeftSidePositive says

    @100 Porivil: what exactly is “social fascism”? Words mean things. People have demonstrably more freedom, safety, income, healthcare, political protection, etc., with Democrats than Republicans. I’m sorry you don’t consider them perfect, but fuck you VERY much for your false equivalence.

    Nazi Germany, eh? You might want to learn a bit more about how German communists enabled the rise of the Nazis by spending too much time being mad at the center-left party to consider the Nazis a threat. You are repeating all their same mistakes.

    I know I can’t possibly have any effect on your voting decisions. You are a self-righteous, evidence-impervious, pseudo-lefty poseur who is happy standing by while people die as long as you can admire how clean your hands are. But at least I can make it a little bit more uncomfortable to spread your bullshit, and maybe some lurkers will see you for the fraud you are.

  101. LeftSidePositive says

    @101—consciousness razor, what exactly are you trying to accomplish here? I KNOW Biden sucks. I have been very clear about this throughout the entire thread. I am EXTREMELY frustrated that the average non-Trump American is responding to the trauma of Trump by gravitating to the perceived safety of Biden rather than someone who would really fight back against Republicans. I have stated that although I have problems with Bernie and I certainly have problems with the Bernie or Bust cult he has, well, cultivated, if there is still a contest when my state has a primary I will vote for Bernie over Biden. So what exactly are you trying to accomplish by pointing out Biden’s flaws? Believe me, I FUCKING KNOW. But none of that shit holds a candle to Trump. Absofuckinglutely none of it. And Biden is almost mathematically certain to win the primary at this point. Find a way to get that to all the people who voted for Biden in the primary. I have asked you twice, and you have not offered a single suggestion. Not one.

  102. consciousness razor says

    Another from Biden in 1977, while opposing desegregation policies:

    Unless we do something about this, my children are going to grow up in a jungle, the jungle being a racial jungle with tensions having built so high that it is going to explode at some point. We have got to make some move on this.

    So he’s not open?
    [Biggest fucking eyeroll ever]

  103. Porivil Sorrens says

    @102
    Words do in fact mean things, and there’s this cool website called “Google” that kids these days use to look up words or phrases that they are not familiar with, especially when said terms are frequently used sociopolitical ones.

    People have demonstrably more freedom, safety, income, healthcare, political protection, etc., with Democrats than Republicans.

    People in the imperial core have demonstrably more breads and circuses under the blue armband, that is all. I’m sorry that the fascists you support murder and oppress just as many people as the other ones, but that’s a “you” problem. I’m not going to support a fascist that will murder my family overseas just because you like the color of his armband.

    You might want to learn a bit more about how German communists enabled the rise of the Nazis by spending too much time being mad at the center-left party to consider the Nazis a threat.

    As we all know, the material conditions of 2020 US are remotely comparable to those of early 20th century Germany. I reject your approach to historical analysis.

    You are a self-righteous, evidence-impervious, pseudo-lefty poseur who is happy standing by while people die as long as you can admire how clean your hands are.

    Meanwhile, you’ll eagerly shill for the fascists that will do the killing as long as they present the thinnest veneer of social liberalism.

  104. consciousness razor says

    Find a way to get that to all the people who voted for Biden in the primary. I have asked you twice, and you have not offered a single suggestion. Not one.

    (1) No time machines, so I can’t do anything about those who’ve already voted.
    (2) I don’t have to change shit about what I’m doing right now. You do. Flip your entire fucking script, so that you’re doing good, constructive work before the convention. We can talk about the general election when the time comes.

  105. LeftSidePositive says

    @105: Trump is killing a LOT more people overseas than Obama did, you fucking idiot. Dubya escalated the murders and torture of people overseas to a genuinely horrifying degree. And that didn’t usher in a “revolution” or any type of Enlightenment. Americans voted for a president who promised reconciliation and “looking forward” and refused to hold the GOP accountable. Don’t pretend that you’re enlightened. You don’t give a shit about the people tortured in Abu Ghraib. You don’t give a shit about increasing numbers of drone strike victims. You don’t give a shit about climate change refugees. You just want to feel perfect. Well, fuck you. I’m sorry I do not currently have the means to perfectly magic away the US’s imperialist tendencies. But if the Left consistently voted and CARED about what the actual practical results of its voting would be, we could make actual progress at slowing and hopefully stopping US Imperialism.

  106. Porivil Sorrens says

    @107
    Shill for fascists harder, maybe it might accomplish something.

    I don’t care if the person killing my family and putting my clients in concentration camps wears a red or a blue armband, and if you do, I’m very sorry for whatever made your brain work that way.

  107. LeftSidePositive says

    @106:
    1) Not voting is also not a time machine, so why are you excusing the idiots who insist on threatening that? More to the point, I also don’t know how to reach all the people who will vote Biden in upcoming primaries—do you? This is the fourth time I’ve asked you.
    2) You have to change a LOT about what you’re doing right now. The performative Left’s reflexive refusal to vote has gotten innumerable people killed over the decades. Confront them. Hold them accountable for the people they have watched die while admiring the cleanliness of their hands. You can’t countenance not voting in April and then act surprised when people actually believe all that bullshit in November.
    2a) WHAT constructive work before the convention? How do you seriously propose reaching the average Dem primary voter who is choosing Biden? I’ll still only count this as the fourth time I’m asking you since it’s the same comment, but this problem is not going away. Fuck all the pseudo-Lefties who prefer to take their ball and go home rather than grapple with the fact that they can’t convince actual voters to join them.

  108. LeftSidePositive says

    @108: I care that fewer people will die. Do you care about that? Do you care that you have more opportunities to influence one of those groups than the other? Do you care that the judiciary from one of those groups is going to prevent effective activism for a fucking GENERATION? Take your purity and shove it up your ass. You’re letting people die that could be saved.

  109. Porivil Sorrens says

    @110
    I reject that the fascist you support will do the things you attribute to him.

    Further, voting for the lesser fascist rather than, y’know, fighting both fascists is idiotic collaborationism.

    By all means, continue your unhinged ranting, but I don’t value moral condemnation from idiots that vote for fascists.

  110. ksiondag says

    @LeftSidePositive

    I’m not doing any kind of purity voting. I have a line that Biden crossed (basically he’s a blatant liar and terrible centrist), thus I’m not going to try to convince others to vote for him. I have another line that Biden crossed (he’s a rapist), and thus I personally won’t vote for him. If I fail to enact standards and instead fight a race to the bottom against a party I will never vote for (the Republicans will never get a vote from me), then I will vote for the equivalent of what I hate now down the road.

    Also, I’m in full agreement that the left isn’t blameless. We’re losing, after all! And we shouldn’t expect the enemy or the “neutral” parties to accept responsibility or play fair. But I’m more interested in devoting my time and energy towards how to make leftist progress than I am in helping a liar and rapist win the presidency. There’s lots of interesting down-ballot races, and also a lot of interesting strategies being down at the lower level (things like Voters Not Politicians).

    And I hope you’re taking that same rage you’re pointing at some random person on the Internet and pointing it at your representatives. You know, the people with actual power versus some person with a singular vote that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things (also that vote is in Washington and if Biden loses Washington anger should really be pointed at the people with actual power).

  111. consciousness razor says

    This is the fourth time I’ve asked you.

    You took a whole 8 minutes to write your comment #101 in response to my #103. Why should I spend any more time on you?

  112. LeftSidePositive says

    @ksiondag: the Left is losing because of people like you. You’re not “enacting standards.” You’re showing your standards are so horrifically low that you’ll accept Trump. Who, I might remind you, is also a rapist, and the evidence against him is MUCH more solid than that against Biden. And the issue isn’t that “Republicans will never get a vote from” you—the issue is that Republicans WILL get votes from MILLIONS of other Americans. And they show up. And that will make it easier for rapists to flourish. I’m sorry Biden is the likely nominee. But remember, this is what we got because the Left was too fucking pure to vote for Hillary Clinton. At the rate we’re going in 2024 we’ll either have no election at all or we’ll be lucky to get Bloomberg.

    Also, you are NOT making leftist progress, no matter how much energy you expend. None of your down ballot races will matter one fucking bit if Trump can veto it, and if his judges can curtail your ability to protest, suppress votes, and continue to chip away at all our liberties. You know this. Do better.

    Moreover, you have actual power, but you refuse to use it. This is inexcusable. Yes, I do call my representatives. But that doesn’t change the fact that the fucking orange shitgibbon is going to veto what they vote for, assuming Mitch Fucking McConnell even lets any of their votes see the Senate floor. Those people are in power because Lefties refuse to vote intelligently. And when I do call my reps, what calculus do you think they’re doing? (“Well, supporting X will please this constituent, but it will anger a lot of centrists I need. And the people who want X rarely bother to vote anyway…”). The Left needs to fucking VOTE in ALL races, and vote reliably before that is going to change. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the last 50 years of failure of our movement. Learn from Thalmann 88 years ago (what a disgustingly fitting number, come to think of it).

  113. LeftSidePositive says

    @113: because I am asking you the central, essential question that your movement needs to deal with: how are you actually going to convince a majority or Americans to vote for what you want? How are you going to actually effect change, instead of whining that the DNC isn’t already giving you what you want? How are you going to address the structural problems that disadvantage the left, instead of allowing them to fester through performative inaction?

    And what exactly did you think in #101 was worth more than 8 minutes? You failed to answer the central question. I’ve repeated it. Think long and hard about why it is so hard to answer.

  114. Porivil Sorrens says

    Imagine thinking that leftism is at all predicated on voting, much less having it as a central focus.

    Whoa, this ideology founded on non-electoral (and often violent) revolutionay action isn’t obsessed with bourgoeis electoral politics? Go figure. Perhaps water will remain wet, as well.

  115. consciousness razor says

    how are you actually going to convince a majority or Americans to vote for what you want? How are you going to actually effect change, instead of whining that the DNC isn’t already giving you what you want? How are you going to address the structural problems that disadvantage the left, instead of allowing them to fester through performative inaction?

    I’m not doing much of anything single-handedly, so dispense with all the “you” nonsense and take responsibility for your own actions.

    Do you know anything about how thoroughly awful Biden is? You claim that you do, so you don’t need any more information from me. Just fucking use it already.

    Do you understand how much better Sanders is, compared to a thoroughly awful candidate like Biden? Again, you claim that you do, so you don’t need any more information from me about that either.

    The ball is in your court.

  116. Porivil Sorrens says

    Only certain ones, but yes. About as much as you enjoy campaigning for fascists, in fact.

  117. LeftSidePositive says

    HOW am I supposed to use the information about how awful Biden is? Literally HOW? The ball is very much decidedly in YOUR court. I have asked you (this is the FIFTH time!) HOW we should actually reach the people who are voting for Biden, and how we should overcome the structural advantages of a corporatist media and a populace that craves security more than justice? You just keep telling me “Biden’s bad! Bernie’s better!” Yeah, I KNOW. My question for you is how are you going to actually use that knowledge to effect change in the world?

    We have a problem on this forum with idiots who refuse to vote because they’re not happy with what the rest of their party chose. Yeah, they’ll try to pretend the DNC is all-powerful and made a choice for them—but the fact of the matter is progressive candidates lost the primary by a wide margin because the average voter did not want to vote for them. The average voter doesn’t give a shit who Amy Klobuchar endorsed. They don’t care about DNC inside baseball. But they chose Biden, and I think that’s a horrible choice but I don’t know how to reach them. But that is a totally separate problem from the people RIGHT HERE who care more about their own egos than what will actually happen as a result of their votes, or lack thereof.

  118. ksiondag says

    @LeftSidePositive

    I voted for Hillary in 2016. I would probably vote for her again in 2020, I think, if she were the nominee. Also, I agree that Trump is also a liar and a rapist. And oh wow, I’m not voting for him either. Isn’t it amazing how I can stick to some standards? “Then you’re helping Trump!” Nope, I’m helping neither, because they’re both deplorable. If you think beating Trump is so important, you should maybe be fighting harder for not-Biden as his opponent.

    You don’t have any actual evidence to your points, either. You are working from the assumption that your political strategy is an obvious winning one. As far as I’m concerned, it’s obviously incorrect. In theory, lesser-of-two-evils could work, but in practice with actual human-beings, it does not. Full stop. The idea of voting the lesser of two evils has existed for a long time. Not working.

    The right also does not more-consistently come out and vote. I remember the articles around the tea party movement primarying out “RINOs” and how it was going to harm the Republican party in the general elections. Turns out that cleaning house leads to a more motivated base of voters. They took over a majority of state governments while President Obama was in power and handed Trump a house and senate majority in 2016. Their mission and their aim is evil, but their methods were neutral. “Listen to us if you want our vote” is in fact very powerful and clearly works.

    I agree that the left in general needs to vote reliably, but not reliably vote Democrat, just actually fill out a ballot according the policies they want enacted. Always voting for a party means the party doesn’t have to listen to you at all. Right now, the left is still organizing and has a way to go.

  119. LeftSidePositive says

    @117 & @120: So, you don’t care if you can actually win an election, you don’t care if people actually want what kind of political structure you want, you just want to impose it on them through violence? You claim to have a problem with fascists but you are just another flavor of murderous authoritarian. Go fuck yourself, you worthless fucking tankie. But thanks for showing us your true colors!

  120. LeftSidePositive says

    @122, ksiondag: The lesser-of-two-evils has been the ONLY thing that has worked, ever, because no human being is perfect. I worked as hard as I could for not-Biden. I’m shocked, hurt, and confused that the primary electorate coalesced around him. But that’s where we are, and not voting is not going to help that, in fact, it’s going to actively make it worse, just like the evidence I have cited regarding 1932, 1968, 2000, 2016, and now.

    Also, the Tea Party voted in PRIMARIES, and then they turned up and voted in the general. They enforced “listen to us if you want our vote” in the PRIMARY. Then they voted as a bloc in the general, like they always do. Lefties can’t even get their shit together enough to vote in primaries, and then they insist they have some hidden bastion of support that will materialize if only we overrule the will of actual primary voters and give them the option they want in the general. It’s asinine.

    And no, filling out a ballot for the policies you want enacted is fucking stupid. Learn the actual math about how elections work. We have a plurality, or first-past-the-post voting system. It sucks, and we should change it to ranked-choice or approval voting and that would fix a LOT of problems with being stuck with Dems who preemptively give away the store in trying to appeal to the center. BUT the way to fix that is not to just selfishly and shortsightedly vote for your favorite policies or people, because splitter effects exist. Electoral math is a thing, and you have to change it FIRST, not wish the rules of the system worked differently. Organize around state & local initiatives for ranked-choice voting. Ask primary candidates where they stand on that issue. Reach out and talk to others about why it is so important (and why they should support more leftist candidates, while you’re at it!). But what is the absolute STUPIDEST thing you could do? Let Trump win because you cared more about your purity than about the actual effects of your actions.

  121. Porivil Sorrens says

    @123
    Remember that part on “not caring about moral condemnation from idiots that campaign for fascists”? Still applies. Feel free to continue pissing into the wind, though.

    By the by, swing and a miss. I’m not a Marxist, which is a prerequisite for being a tankie by every definition I’ve ever seen.

    Literally every strain of socialism involves political revolution (and no, contrary to what Sanders says, political revolution is not “voting for socdem politicians”)

  122. LeftSidePositive says

    And another thing, ksiondag, do you even have a MECHANISM for how you think your not-lesser-of-two-evils thing is supposed to work? HOW? Fucking magic? You know what? Lesser-of-two-evils voting got us Social Security. It got us the FDIC. It got us the ACA. It got us the Voting Rights Act. It got us marriage equality. What exactly has voting like a fruit fly gotten us? What has staying home gotten the Left EVER?

    Here, this is a very simple illustration of why voting only for the policies they want enacted is fucking stupid:

    Let’s say you have an office planning a lunch out. Two people want Mexican food. Two people want Puerto Rican food. Two people want Cuban food. One person wants Salvadorean food. Four people want Italian food. Two people want French food.

    Now, the majority of this group wants some kind of Hispanic food, but if they don’t coordinate, in a plurality voting system, the group is going to be getting Italian food. Now, we have this thing called A PRIMARY where the group that generally wants Hispanic food and the group that generally wants European food can decide amongst themselves which option they’re going to organize around. But how exactly do you think the pair that wants to have lunch at a Cuban restaurant are going to actually make that happen if they can’t convince even the people in their own group? If they just vote “Cuban” they won’t be eating Cuban food, and they’ll be stuck at the Italian place.

    Do you seriously not get this? What exactly do you think will happen?

    Of course, primaries are not ideal. It would be better to let people rank their choices, so people don’t have to give up on what they really want to imagine what the undecideds will gravitate towards. But this is the system we have right now, and pretending it’s different isn’t going to change anything, nor will blatantly irresponsibly ignoring basic math.

  123. LeftSidePositive says

    @128
    1) And you think Bernie doesn’t?!
    2) What exactly are you going to do about that fact NOW, when most Dems have chosen Biden?

  124. brucegee1962 says

    To all the “Biden is just as bad as Trump” folks out there:
    Remember a little thing called the Supreme Court?
    Look at all the 5-4 decisions in the last ten years. Look at which party appointed which ones, and how they voted. Think about how RBG looks these days, and then come back here and tell me with a straight face that Biden is going to be just as bad for the country as Trump is.

  125. unclefrogy says

    sorry if this is a repeat of what has already been said I think it needs to be said anyway
    one of the most important reasons to not vote for a republican any f’n republican and to vote for who ever is the eventual primary winner and the candidate is not just his own record or policies is who they will nominate for supreme court justice and all the lesser judges as well.
    It is my suspicion that that is one of the primary reasons that the Republican party leaders in government have tolerated the A hole this long the graft is good but they are playing the long game here and have been all along. the control of the court is very important and there are very few ways to do that, appointing judges is paramount.
    Biden may be just another Neo-liberal and an old conservative catholic but he will unlikely appoint a Kavanaugh or a Thomas and not take the advice of the Federalist society for judges.
    so I will be voting for who ever is nominated I would rather vote with hope in a better future and a government with a social conscience. politics is the long game, we have struggled for over 250 years to make a democracy work I ain’t going to give up yet.
    There is a story I heard about a conversation between Johnson and MLK where Johnson ended i him telling MLK that he would have to make him support civil rights (paraphrase)
    I took that to mean that he being a politician new that he could not do it by himself and to get the “job done” he would need to have overwhelming and growing support from the people which Dr. King would have to continue to supply.
    I will vote for Biden over any republican except some famous dead ones it is better then giving up and dropping out, been there done that it don’t help a f’n bit.
    uncle frogy

  126. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Rethugs know that in the long term, they will not be able to win fair elections. So their goal is to ratfuck the system and get their judges embedded throughout and their ratfucking, disenfranchising laws in place, making democratic change impossible. If they win in November, the only option for change will likely be violent overthrow.

    For those claiming Biden and Darth Cheeto are equivalent, this is a feature, not a bug.

  127. Stuart Smith says

    I can’t believe, at this time in history, there are people who are arguing that Biden is no different from Trump. So, when Coronavirus was first announced, you believe that Biden would have immediately taken to Twitter to deny its existence and claim it was a Republican plot, then refused to take any action for months, refused to provide funding to states that he felt weren’t nice enough to him, and generally botched the situation in such a way that it is literally the number 1 cause of deaths in America at this point in time? You really think that this situation would have been handled exactly as badly under a Biden presidency?

    Fuck right off. Biden isn’t good, but millions of Americans would be objectively better off right now if he were currently the president. I understand that it grinds on your soul to go vote for the guy, I get that it’s painful. I don’t like advocating for him either. It all sucks. Now act like a fucking adult and choose the lesser evil so that we can stymie the bleeding, and then join the DNC and vote in their internal elections and put your guys in charge so that next election, you can fuck over the Bidens instead of the other way around.

    Unless you have guns and a compound where you are training your revolutionary vanguard. I’ll accept accelerationist rhetoric from people who are living it, not just saying it. But right now, any revolution in the US is going to be a fascist one, not a leftist one. They have the guns, the militias, the fortified compounds in the wilderness full of brainwashed young people. We don’t even have a militant wing. So suck it up and participate in the system, or commit to revolution, but don’t half-ass this shit because lives are on the line.

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