The Progressive Overton Window

Hitler and Hermann Göring saluting at a 1928 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. This is current progressive view of present day Republicans and "Conservatives".

Hitler and Hermann Göring saluting at a 1928 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg. This is the current progressive view of present day Republicans and “Conservatives”.
Source: National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized,
Heinrich Hoffmann collection

What constitutes acceptable conversation  for progressives appears to be moving continuously toward only that speech assuming the inhumanity of the Right. Unlike in the past, progressives assume not only are neoliberals (often mistakenly called “conservatives”) completely and woefully wrong, their views are so morally reprehensible, they should not even be discussed in a serious way publicly. With much of the “mainstream” media (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, etc., etc.) adopting this point of view, those on the political Right can expect a vigorous progressive campaign to shame them into submission.

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Should The U.S. Senate Scrap Their Filibuster Rules?

The United States Senate in session in their chamber in the U.S. Capitol building.

The United States Senate in session in their chamber in the U.S. Capitol building.
Image Credit: CDM.me

Every now and then,  President Donald Trump urges the U.S. Senate to get rid of their ancient filibuster rules. I suspect a great many people, myself included, are terribly ambivalent about the issue. There are truly excellent reasons for the Senate both to retain and to junk their filibuster rules. What would be best for the nation? With the Senate balanced on the edge of a knife between the Republicans and the Democrats, a great deal rides on how the issue will be resolved.

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Do U.S. Companies Need Tax Cuts?

Plot of U.S. GDP growth in percent averaged over ten year periods

Plot of annual Real U.S. GDP per capita growth in percent averaged over ten year periods. This is the major reason why huge U.S. corporate tax cuts are needed!
The Gallup Organization

About a month ago,  I was having a conversation with a gentleman of the progressive persuasion about U.S. corporate tax cuts. I was trying to persuade him the U.S. desperately needed very large corporate tax cuts to restart economic growth. Otherwise we are doomed to secular stagnation, if not indeed secular decline. Being a progressive, he of course did not agree.

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The Unraveling of America

Antifa combatants fighting with Trump supporters at Berkeley, California on August 27. 2017.

Antifa combatants fighting with Trump supporters at Berkeley, California on August 27, 2017.
Youtube screenshot / The Red Elephants

The United States of America  is unraveling as a society, in much the same way that the European Union is beginning to fall apart. Throughout the West, conflict is building between those who believe government is the answer to all social problems and those who believe government creates most of those problems. In the U.S. that conflict is becoming ever more violent. Those who believe in government, generally called “progressives”, are demonstrating increasing hatred toward those who do not, who are most accurately called “neoliberals” but often referred to as “conservatives.” Many neoliberals seem to mirror that hate.

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Problems For The Sovereign American People

An 1846 painting by George Caleb Bingham showing a collection of voters before a polling place. A polling judge is administering an oath to a voter.

An 1846 painting by George Caleb Bingham showing a collection of voters before a polling place. A polling judge is administering an oath to a voter.
Wikimedia Commons / George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879)

In my last two posts,  the dysfunctional nature and enormous political problems of both the Republican and Democratic parties were examined. With division and discord in the Republican party, and a rush toward the political Left by the Democratic that alienates a growing fraction of the American people, how can legislative progress be made towards solving our increasingly serious problems? How can the electorate respond?

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Major Problems for the Democratic Party

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), together with Democratic Senate and House leaders, announcing their "Better Deal" at Berryville, VA on July 24, 2017.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), together with Democratic Senate and House leaders, announcing their “Better Deal” at Berryville, VA on July 24, 2017.
Screenshot from Newsy coverage.

Having taken a quick look  at the Republican Party’s seemingly insurmountable problems in my last post, we should now consider the Democratic Party’s even more destructive, long-term problems. These difficulties are made all the worse by the fact most in the Democratic elites are unwilling even to acknowledge them.

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Major Problems for the Republican Party

The U.S. Senate voting NO on repeal of Obamacare on July 27, 2017.

The U.S. Senate voting NO on repeal of Obamacare on July 27, 2017.
Screenshot of ABC News coverage.

Everywhere  the leaders of the two major American political parties look, insuperable political problems threaten to overwhelm them. As long-time assumptions about the capabilities of government unravel and the electorate itself is fragmenting into new coalitions, driven by uncertainty on how their major economic and political problems can be solved, the parties themselves are frustrated over how to get public support for their policies. The Republican Party especially appears to be splitting into separate moderate and “conservative” coalitions. However, although the Democratic Party (at least among its elites) is not so riven as the GOP, its relatively greater unity is driving them in a direction that threatens to alienate even more of the electorate. How are the not-so United States of America and its people going to get themselves out of this fine mess?

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The American Deep State

The ultimate motto of the deep state, as enunciated by Napoleon the pig, the Supreme Leader of George Orwell's Animal Farm.

The ultimate motto of the deep state, as enunciated by Napoleon the pig, the Supreme Leader of George Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Image Credit: QuotesGram.com

What is more important in our life on this world?  Is it the confluence of values bound up in the notions of freedom, personal liberty, and freedom of thought and speech? Or is it government guaranteeing us the material conditions of a good life? Is the ability to think what you wish and fearlessly express your opinions openly to the entire world more important than the government providing everyone with healthcare, food, clothing, and other material necessities?

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The Progressive Disaster That Is Illinois

 

Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan speaking to press about the status of the state budget on June 22, 2017 during a special legislative session called by GOP Governor Bruce Rauner
Screenshot of an Illinois News Network video.

No progressive-dominated  state  exemplifies the bleeding of population and resources to red states more than the deep blue state of Illinois. It is a perfect example of the forces described in the post The Ideological Balkanization of the United States.

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The Ideological Balkanization of the United States

The red state – blue state division of  the United States as revealed by the presidential results of the past four presidential elections.
Wikimedia Commons / Angr

This week The Sacramento Bee  reported additional evidence for the ideological balkanization of the United States. The newspaper of California’s capitol reported the state government is now banning publicly funded travel to four more states because the California government views those states’ laws or policies as discriminatory to gay and transgender people. The four new states on the list are Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, and South Dakota, all of which are red states according to the map above, i.e. Republican and neoliberal (aka “conservative”). Those four new states join Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee, similarly red states. As of now, I am unaware of any similar bans by red states against blue, i.e. predominantly Democratic and progressive states.

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How the Left Would Overthrow the GOP and Donald Trump

Progressives man the barricades the day after Donald J. Trump's inauguration as President of the United States.

Progressives man the barricades the day after Donald J. Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States.
Youtube / Ibrahim Ka-Almasih Garba

It is not as if Donald J. Trump is a neoliberal  (erroneously also called a “conservative”), which he has not been in the past. In fact, before he became a Republican presidential candidate, his expressed opinions seemed to be more consistent with progressivism. Had Democratic progressives not reacted to his election with complete hostility, they would have had a much better chance than with any other Republican presidential candidate of bending Trump toward their views. This suggests Donald Trump is not the main focus for progressive action; he merely presents an opportunity for progressives to nullify the results of the 2016 elections.

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How Probable Is A Second American Civil War?

Union dead on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Union dead on the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, photographed July 5 or July 6, 1863, by Timothy H. O’Sullivan
Wikimedia Commons / T. H. O’Sullivan

Essays speculating on the imminent beginning of a second American civil war are proliferating with the rising political violence by American Leftists and the recent assassination attempts on Republican lawmakers. All you have to do to find them is to do a Google search with the search phrase, “second american civil war 2017.” Could these posts be just hysterical overreaction, or is there a real possibility for such a catastrophe?

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Reaction To The Violent Idiots Amongst Us

Fight between UC Berkeley students and Trump supporters.

Fight between UC Berkeley students and Trump supporters.
Screenshot of Fox News report.

Yesterday,  as a nation we suffered through a horrific reminder of just how bad the relations between us as fellow citizens are becoming. One determined and enraged individual, James Hodgkinson, opened fire on Republican congressmen as they practiced for the annual congressional ballgame between the parties. Miraculously, he killed no one, although the condition of Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican House Whip, has reportedly deteriorated to critical. Had it not been for the presence of two Capitol Hill police officers on Scalise’s security detail, a large number of Republican lawmakers, both representatives and senators, might have been assassinated.

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The Rot Goes Deep in the Democratic Party

Democratic Party workers watching the presidential election returns in shock on the night of November 8, 2016.

Democratic Party workers watching the presidential election returns in shock on the night of November 8, 2016.
Photo Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

One might expect such a lurid title  for a post from a neoliberal such as myself (also erroneously known as a “conservative”) . However, the reason why American progressives should take this judgement so very, very seriously is that it comes not just from from a neoliberal, but also from a progressive American journalist, an academic who is currently an adjunct faculty member of the Columbia University School of Journalism. Thomas B. Edsall comes to this same conclusion in a June 8 op-ed in the New York Times entitled The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought.

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