Thursday, February 02, 2017

Democrats, losing and football

I've mentioned a lot of things that the Democrats and Democratic supports have done wrong and continue to do wrong, but this one seems to be the biggest right now.

Not dealing with having lost by the rules of the game being played.

Mind you, I'm not one of those people who has any comprehension of the "get over it" argument. That just seems to me like "Well, he's at the baseball field, you're going to have to let him beat you with that bat without complaint now. That's just how it goes."

Yes, I'm going to go insane with sports metaphors here. I don't know why.

There's this insane tendency to go on about Hillary Clinton's superior number of votes as proof of something valuable. It's not meaningless, but it's also not terribly valuable.

It feels to me like supporters of a football team - I am, of course, talking about American football - going on about how their team would have won the Super Bowl if only touchdowns and field goals were given equal value on the scoreboard. You can make the argument that all scores should be equal, but it simply isn't the rules of the game you're playing.

Now, of course, I don't know the answer to the problem that the Electoral College is intended to solve, but I think there's something deeply offensive about the solution that some citizens votes are weighted higher than other citizens. I also think that there are good reasons for a touchdown to score higher than a field goal in football.

What they have in common, though, is that if you're going into the off-season thinking about how well you would have done with the rules you think we should have had, and putting all of your work on ensuring your kicker is the best there is, you won't win next year either.

Don't think of an elephant

I read Don't Think of an Elephant!: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate by George Lakoff.

In a way, Lakoff says what I was failing to say in Why I hate the Left, which is that the Left is fucking garbage at communicating its message. It's not just the Justice Democrats, well, it's me. As I said, referencing my previous post back at the beginning of this paragraph.

Everyone on the Left who feels they could and should be out there communicating politics should read this book. First of all, he goes about explaining how the Left falls into cutting off their own arguments by allowing the Right to frame the argument and then trying to defend their own position within that frame, which continues to get no traction with any listener, because they're still thinking within the Right's frame. This is the central metaphor of not thinking of an elephant.

He also goes on to explain how the central logic of American Conservatism's positions is a Strict father model, while the central logic of American Liberalism's positions is a Nurturant parent model. It makes a tremendous amount of sense in explaining how both of these sets of positions make sense, when they so often seem not to have a common rationale outside the fact that we simply accept them to be outside that.

It also explains why I'm fucking garbage at communicating. Literal and metaphorical strict fathers turn me into a blathering rage machine, see Politics-schmolitics and the rise of American authoritarianism. I'd love to think I could put his ideas of reframing issues into good use. Someone needs to.

But I'll be sticking with "Go fuck yourself!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

He has sounded forth the trumpet

This is my prediction. Feel free to come back to this when something has come to definitively disproven and say "I told you so." For the time being, it seems the most likely outcome to my view.

I think the son of a bitch will continue to do worse and worse things. A lot of people will be very angry and demonstrate a lot. The demonstrations will increase in the kinds of minor bits of destruction and violence that Republicans love to whack off to their own outrage over, but not turn into rioting.

The Democrats will make very minor, but meaningless, gains in the midterm election.

Buoyed by this, the Democrats will continue to largely vote "yea" on offensive law, because they can't apparently can't defeat it, so why not make a winning vote, I guess. Mainstream Democrats will insist on running the safest, most boring and electable loser in history. Much of the rage against the power elite will be be siphoned into third parties, but not enough to make a difference above ensuring a re-election success.

And four years from today we will be looking at the beginning at the beginning of a second Civil War. The sides will be less specifically geographic than in the first one, but will obviously have a geographic factor.

At this time, I have no prediction about the end result of that.

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