Douglas Rushkoff on the RNC

rudy-can-fail.jpg

Our pal Douglas Rushkoff posted an insightful essay about the RNC speeches.

I felt a bit nauseous watching the Republican convention last night. I’m very much a give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt kind of guy, so I try to listen to the arguments people make even when they’re made in over-the-top or patronizing ways. Sometimes it’s good to distinguish between the rhetorical devices and the underlying substance. Even people who use manipulative language sometimes have an important point beneath their persuasion techniques (ads against smoking, for example).

I usually don’t feel uneasy when I put those filters on, but last night - during the Guiliani speech - I realized I was no longer filtering a speechwriter’s intentional manipulation; I was trying to look beyond real hate. These folks were gritting their teeth, shaking their fists, and smiling the way gladiators do when going into combat against barbarians. And this is the incumbent party. The ones currently in power.

What is it they hate? Guiliani and Palin both made it pretty clear: community organizing. Community organizing is energized from below. From the periphery. It is the direction and facilitation of mass energy towards productive and cooperative ends. It is about replacing conflict with collaboration. It is the opposite of war; it is peace.

Last night, the Republican Convention made it clear they prefer war. They see the world as a dangerous and terrible place. Like the fascist leaders satirized in Starship Troopers, they say they believe it is better to be on the offensive, taking the war to the people who might wish us harm than playing defense. It is better to be an international aggressor - a bulldog with lipstick - than led by the misguided notion that attacking people itself makes the world a more dangerous place.

In their attack on community organizing - a word combination they pretended they didn't know what it meant - Giuliani and Palin revealed their refusal to acknowledge the kinds of bottom-up processes through which our society was built, and through which local communities can begin to assert some authority over their schools, environments, and economies. Without organized communities, you don't get the reduction in centralized government the Republicans pretend to be arguing for. In their view, community organizing as, at best, equivalent to disruptive and unpredictable Al Qaeda activity.

But it actually goes deeper than this. Consider how Republicans have so far justified their choice of candidate: he is a "great man." That America needs a "hero" in the White House to lead us in continued preemptive strikes against Bin Laden in Iraq (I know Bin Laden is not in Iraq, but Giuliani clearly implied he was). Only a leader with McCain's war record and paternal qualifications can help Americans muster and maintain the tenacity necessary to "drill baby drill," (even though this will have no influence on oil price or supply) and generate the requisite hate to "kill baby, kill." As I explained in Coercion, having a parent figure on whom to transfer authority allows people to regress to a more childlike state. This not only allows them to feel safe; if gives them the freedom to express their rage. Make no mistake - that's what we're witnessing. And this rage - not America - is the greatest threat to humanity's long-term chances for survival.

Republican party representatives are proud today that their convention has finally produced the "same level of energy and enthusiasm" as the DNC's last week. And while it may have produced the same level of excitement, the excitement was of a very different character. It's much easier to get people riled up but inviting them to hate a man - particularly one who they haven't been allowed to hate for traditional reasons. Giuliani's job - much like his job as mayor of NYC - was to give the Republicans in attendance permission to hate Obama and the potentially intelligent society he represents. It's not about city vs. country or educated vs. military. It's about thought vs. violence.

In the black and white world of those committed to war as an international relations strategy, voting "present" makes no sense - especially when the Illinois legislative process is willfully misrepresented. (Voting present is a way to preserve the bill without passing it in its current state. Far from an easy out, it is the hard path - requiring further negotiation to remove earmarks and other problems.) They would prefer the simple relief of a "yes or no" world, where the evil are punished and the good rewarded. For in such a world, we get to know who the enemy is and just hate them.

I don't believe hate is the best way to motivate people to develop long-term solutions to problems. It is a tried and tested way to motivate them to short-term support of dangerous leaders. That much is certain. But if McCain and Palin are able to rouse the national hatred they will need to actually win this election, I fear they will have unleashed a force that they will be unable to control.

Read the rest of his essay, titled Hate Party, here.

UPDATE: Doug's site is under a Denial-of-Service attack, so he's kindly given us permission to post the essay in its entirety above.

UPDATE: Rushkoff.com is back up.

181

  1. “Community organizing is energized from below.”

    Remember the good old days of 1992, when the GOP stood for the decentralized power of “states rights”? Then states started decriminalizing marijuana . . . .

    Of course back then they were also for a “balanced budget amendment” and term limits for congress, then they got a majority in congress and didn’t try to pass any of those initiatives. Crass.

    Rushkoff had a great article in Arthur a few months ago about the nature of the sub-prime mortgage crisis.

  2. after watching some of the RNC crowd gathering I was struck by several things. They are overflowing with hate. They are a narrow, overprivileged group, they represent no viable future.

  3. @ # 2 – Have you read “Little Brother”? You know, the anti-authoritarian, anti-Bush anti-surveillance state novel by Cory Doctorow, arguably Boing Boing’s biggest name?

    What do you expect here?

  4. Can i just say AGAIN… that the US has no left wing.

    NOAHER, you are jumping at shadows there.

    The US has never had anything that could be remotely described as a left wing.

    Your political spectrum is taught outside the US by the use of one simple phrase.

    “A rich and Varied Sameness”

    The democrats are right wing but the republicans are so right wing that they make the democrats seem crazily liberal…which that aren’t.

  5. Douglas Rushkoff sounds like he needs a hug. How can anyone go through life being that frightened? Perhaps if we wrap him in bubble-wrap and hold his hand it will make him feel safer.

  6. Looking forward to the site being back up. I couldn’t agree more with the posted bit of it here, because I too felt the hate and disgust in that building (and they ARE the ones in charge now, as was mentioned). And the chants of USA, USA have me totally confused.

    Fear, fear,fear, and more fear. Tightly wound, holier than thou, “drill baby, drill” yelling kooks.

    If a terrorist attack would happen while Obama is in charge, they’ll be yelling that we have to put them back in charge. If one happens while McCain is in the oval office, they’ll claim that it would have been worse if the Dems had won.

  7. @#13 Unfortunately, I think both of their speeches were f’n brilliant to rally the troops. Palin’s gonna make this a really close November.

  8. so be it then. If the voters that are allowed to vote wish a third term of Bush, so be it. But if that is indeed the case, it WILL be the end of America. Finis.

  9. I think the true pity with the Republican party is how far they have strayed from their own ideals. Every time my Republican friends try and babble to me I point out that under an entirely Republican government we managed to grow the size of government faster and larger than in any time in history, strip away civil liberties, and tank the economy.

    I would almost be excited to see Democrats come to power if I thought they were going to behave themselves any better. The democrats have been running in terror of their own ideals as well. You used to be able to count on the democrats to uphold civil liberties, fight for immigrant rights, and keep religion out of the government. You can’t even reasonable expect these things any more from them.

    As a lefty leaning libertarian, I can safely say that I find the entire political field pretty dismal. Personally, I miss the good old days of divided government. I would take a Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton at each others throats any day of the week over the misery of the past 8 years and the near equal misery of the next 4 to come.

  10. Futrell, I think you and I heard different speeches.

    Rudy Guliani, to me, sounded like a guy who too easily forgets that community organizers were critical in ending the gang wars of NYC – which then allowed him to be a mayor in a time of prosperity – nevermind the role they played after 9.11

    And Gov. Palin sounded, to me, like a bulldog with lipstick.

  11. I think the writeup (at least the quote here… article is down) is unfair if you watched the speeches. Rudy was laughing the whole time, hardly hateful just sarcastic and coming out swinging after the Repubs have been on the bashing end of the stick for most of the campaign. As for Palin, she probably gets a little leeway to be mean. Its not like the Democrats or the media have been very civil with her or her family (though noting Obama himself did take the high road on her daughter’s pregnancy).

    Nw th fscsm xtrpltn s jst slly. rlly thght < hrf="http://n.wkpd.rg/wk/Gdwn%27s_lw" rl="nfllw">Gdwn’s Lw ws prtty wll knwn by nw. Comparing Guilliani to fictional fascists doesn’t really make the argument different.

    Th lst slly pnt s tht smhw mkng dgs gnst cmmnty rgnzrs s nt-pplst. Sarah Palin built her career on fighting corruption, sweeping out special interests, and reigning in oil companies in Alaska.

    Lk r ht th spchs t lst mk gd rgmnts. Rshkff vn msss th fct tht th blldg wth lpstck ln ws cchd s ggrssn twrd th Wshngtn pltcl mchn nt t r frgn nms (rl r mgnd).

  12. ntrstng pnts, bt f t ws sch sthng cldrn f htrd nsd th rn…thn hw wld y dscrb th ppl -tsd- th rn wh ttckd, thrtnd, ntmdtd, tc. dlgts wh trd t ntr th rn?

    Wr thr vlnt rpblcns stlkng th DNC cnvntn lst wk, trshng lcl bsnsss, tc? N.

  13. The authoritarian, warmongering, pseudo-Christian, avaricious representatives of the Republican Party would certainly be against regular people who make regular money helping out each other and organizing. These are the very bootstraps by which we can pick ourselves up. They think people like us deserve to be bootless.

    Woo, is it November already?

  14. NOAHER: What do you mean devolving – just more of the same.

    ERROR404: The US is one of the few bastions of the existence of right wing politics at all.

    Rushkoff: What they “hate” is NOT the community but organizers who look down on the people in their communities as being victims and unable to help themselves without government assistance provided through coercion of others.

    What they love is the America that is free, where people help each other because that is the right thing to do, not at the point of the state gun of coercive force.

    What they love is the community of free individuals a community of victims and their supposed advocates whose only modus operandi is to suck at the government teat and use the image of compassion to gain power over others.

    History has been a long progression to freedom. Leftism is a regressive return to less freedom. Freedom is under attack and finally freedom lovers are fighting back.

  15. @#14 its either “USA USA…” or “O BAMA O BAMA…” I don’t think either one is that confusing or weird. Its just chanting to get psyched up. I guess you don’t go to many sporting events?

  16. @#6 “Thy r nrrw, vrprvlgd grp, thy rprsnt n vbl ftr.”

    hh ys cmfrtbl strtyps r nc. vr-prvlgd lk “NSCR Dds” nd rrl frmrs nd gd hlf f th S (bt ts nly th prvlgd hlf).

  17. #15. Excellent point! Someone should make a bumper sticker.

    Maybe Jesus would have done better if he’d been a “small-town mayor” ;-) It amuses me that Palin implies that sanctioned responsibilities are more important than results.

  18. Google cache of the full text…

    Hate Party

    Douglas on 04 Sep 2008

    I felt a bit nauseous watching the Republican convention last night. I’m very much a give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt kind of guy, so I try to listen to the arguments people make even when they’re made in over-the-top or patronizing ways. Sometimes it’s good to distinguish between the rhetorical devices and the underlying substance. Even people who use manipulative language sometimes have an important point beneath their persuasion techniques (ads against smoking, for example).

    I usually don’t feel uneasy when I put those filters on, but last night – during the Guiliani speech – I realized I was no longer filtering a speechwriter’s intentional manipulation; I was trying to look beyond real hate. These folks were gritting their teeth, shaking their fists, and smiling the way gladiators do when going into combat against barbarians. And this is the incumbent party. The ones currently in power.

    What is it they hate? Guiliani and Palin both made it pretty clear: community organizing. Community organizing is energized from below. From the periphery. It is the direction and facilitation of mass energy towards productive and cooperative ends. It is about replacing conflict with collaboration. It is the opposite of war; it is peace.

    Last night, the Republican Convention made it clear they prefer war. They see the world as a dangerous and terrible place. Like the fascist leaders satirized in Starship Troopers, they say they believe it is better to be on the offensive, taking the war to the people who might wish us harm than playing defense. It is better to be an international aggressor – a bulldog with lipstick – than led by the misguided notion that attacking people itself makes the world a more dangerous place.

    In their attack on community organizing – a word combination they pretended they didn’t know what it meant – Giuliani and Palin revealed their refusal to acknowledge the kinds of bottom-up processes through which our society was built, and through which local communities can begin to assert some authority over their schools, environments, and economies. Without organized communities, you don’t get the reduction in centralized government the Republicans pretend to be arguing for. In their view, community organizing as, at best, equivalent to disruptive and unpredictable Al Qaeda activity.

    But it actually goes deeper than this. Consider how Republicans have so far justified their choice of candidate: he is a “great man.” That America needs a “hero” in the White House to lead us in continued preemptive strikes against Bin Laden in Iraq (I know Bin Laden is not in Iraq, but Giuliani clearly implied he was). Only a leader with McCain’s war record and paternal qualifications can help Americans muster and maintain the tenacity necessary to “drill baby drill,” (even though this will have no influence on oil price or supply) and generate the requisite hate to “kill baby, kill.” As I explained in Coercion, having a parent figure on whom to transfer authority allows people to regress to a more childlike state. This not only allows them to feel safe; if gives them the freedom to express their rage. Make no mistake – that’s what we’re witnessing. And this rage – not America – is the greatest threat to humanity’s long-term chances for survival.

    Republican party representatives are proud today that their convention has finally produced the “same level of energy and enthusiasm” as the DNC’s last week. And while it may have produced the same level of excitement, the excitement was of a very different character. It’s much easier to get people riled up but inviting them to hate a man – particularly one who they haven’t been allowed to hate for traditional reasons. Giuliani’s job – much like his job as mayor of NYC – was to give the Republicans in attendance permission to hate Obama and the potentially intelligent society he represents. It’s not about city vs. country or educated vs. military. It’s about thought vs. violence.

    In the black and white world of those committed to war as an international relations strategy, voting “present” makes no sense – especially when the Illinois legislative process is willfully misrepresented. (Voting present is a way to preserve the bill with passing it in its current state. Far from an easy out, it is the hard path – requiring further negotiation to remove earmarks and other problems.) They would prefer the simple relief of a “yes or no” world, where the evil are punished and the good rewarded. For in such a world, we get to know who the enemy is and just hate them.

    I don’t believe hate is the best way to motivate people to develop long-term solutions to problems. It is a tried and tested way to motivate them to short-term support of dangerous leaders. That much is certain. But if McCain and Palin are able to rouse the national hatred they will need to actually win this election, I fear they will have unleashed a force that they will be unable to control.

  19. bm = ll hyp. Th gy s sclst mrn.
    McCn = ld. ld pltcs, nd jst pln ld.

    Plns spch wsn’t stllr bt sh ws n th mny r: bm.

    Bttm ln, bth cnddts sck. Th thr f ths rtcl s jst pln ld slly. Why cn’t w vr gt Rl cnddt?

  20. a general aside here: BB seems to frighten some people. I have not seen so much astro-turfing and sock-puppeting by first-time posters since the beginning of the Tibet coverage. Way to go Boingers! You know you are doing something right when they attack you!

  21. Bull dog with lipstick? Is this a reference to Palin’s speech?

    Palin mentioned a pit bull, not a bull dog. And the dog didn’t wear the lipstick, the hockey mom did.

  22. but if it was such a seething cauldron of hatred inside the arena…then how would you describe the people -outside- the arena who attacked, threatened, intimidated, etc. delegates who tried to enter the arena?

    The ones in riot gear? Or the hippies?

  23. amcann, as i have watched our freedoms erode these last 8 years, it blows my poor little mind that there are still idiots who still spew the kind of nonsense that you emit in your comment @#25. every time a republicrat takes the presidency, our economy and standing in the world in general takes a major shit. we are now at one of the lowest points in our history (except for the civil war). definitely the lowest in memory. how is four more years of this same tired crap going to help? i guess we should start printing the u.s. constitution on toilet paper and start handing out rolls to ALL our governing officials, so they can haz a little something to read as they do to it, what they are doing to us.

  24. MDHatter – I guarantee you that Palin’s speech, as “underwhelming” as it was to us folks who can see through the hate and jingoism, did more to get the Republican vote out, in particular the Republican Wife vote out, than any speech at the DNC did for the left’s cause.

    From a GOP point of view, I have to say both her and Giuliani’s speeches were OVERwhelming home runs.

  25. “Sarah Palin built her career on fighting corruption, sweeping out special interests…”

    Except her own of course.

  26. I’ve always hated Giuliani. A big part of why I voted for Kerry in 2004 was because the RNC left a voice message on my machine from Giuliani trying to get me to vote for Bush. If I used the words I want to use to describe how I feel about him, this comment would rightfully be disemvowelled.

    And while I may agree with the argument in the article, I find it amusing that he begins by talking about how he prefers to give the benefit of the doubt to people, and then proceeds to treat them otherwise.

  27. From a GOP point of view, I have to say both her and Giuliani’s speeches were OVERwhelming home runs.

    From a left independent whitebread american view, I found them highly alienating especially 9ulian1’s. He’s earned that moniker and his speech was all namecalling.

    That said, Palin really is a good speaker with a surprising record and some real return to the 1940’s ideas behind her, but to put it bluntly – Biden is not going to wear lipstick to their debates.

  28. #26-

    Oh, I’ve been to a few sporting events. Difference is, at games we chant the name of our team, or our “side”, but aren’t both parties American? I love my country as much as the next guy, but the non-stop flag-waving, Lee Greenwood singing, “we’re the best country ever and can do no wrong” stuff of that convention is a little much for me.

    I’ll now wait quietly for my deportation papers.

  29. @#30 posted by stupidjerk

    I’m casting my vote for Eugene V. Debs. Enough of these shills.

    I wish there was a real candidate like him today.

  30. #15 – I think it was on CSNY’s live “Four Way Street” album – “I don’t know if I want America to remember or forget that Jesus was the first non-violent revolutionary” (1971) so you’re in good company

    #25 – one of Palin’s claims to fame is increasing the federal money given to Wasilla to $27 million for a town of about 7,000 (at the time she was mayor). http://www.americablog.com/2008/09/palin-aggressively-sought-federal.html Is that what you mean by “government assistance provided through coercion of others.”? or perhaps by “advocates whose only modus operandi is to suck at the government teat and use the image of compassion to gain power over others.”

  31. @#49 Eugene V. Debs is only good if you want to be crucified on a cross of gold Wm. Jennings Bryan is my man

  32. I have to agree with Futrell on Palin. Here speech was excellent. Rudy just sounded like another attack dog to me, but Palin was impressive. 80% of her speech could have come from any Democrat candidate. So much so that at times, even the Republicans at the convention didn’t seem to know whether to cheer or not (“down with Washington favoritism,” “down with big oil companies”). Folks like mdhatter dismiss her at their peril. She just made this election a real race. I’m sure this wasn’t lost on Obama.

  33. “Come gather ’round people
    Wherever you roam
    And admit that the waters
    Around you have grown
    And accept it that soon
    You’ll be drenched to the bone
    If your time to you
    Is worth savin’
    Then you better start swimmin’
    Or you’ll sink like a stone
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come senators, congressmen
    Please heed the call
    Don’t stand in the doorway
    Don’t block up the hall
    For he that gets hurt
    Will be he who has stalled
    There’s a battle outside
    And it is ragin’
    It’ll soon shake your windows
    And rattle your walls
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    Come mothers and fathers
    Throughout the land
    And don’t criticize
    What you can’t understand
    Your sons and your daughters
    Are beyond your command
    Your old road is
    Rapidly agin’
    Please get out of the new one
    If you can’t lend your hand
    For the times they are a-changin’.

    The line it is drawn
    The curse it is cast
    The slow one now
    Will later be fast
    As the present now
    Will later be past
    The order is
    Rapidly fadin’
    And the first one now
    Will later be last
    For the times they are a-changin’.”

  34. #54, maybe they didn’t cheer because they were intensely confused. A quick google search revealed to them that she worked long and hard to get an oil pipeline installed in the valley around Wasilla, then later as governor decided it was in her political interests to make them fork over some of those profits. Kind of like the Bridge to Nowhere, that she quite clearly and falsely claimed she turned down in her “fantastic” speech.

  35. #25

    What they love is the America that is free, where people help each other because that is the right thing to do, not at the point of the state gun of coercive force.

    How do you reconcile that with banning books, teaching Creationism in public schools, and elevating the rights of zygotes over those of adult women?

    Sigh. Teach Bible-thumping neocons to think abstractly, and they’ll beat you with the dull end of the stick.

  36. Enoch Root,
    Did you seriously try to refute Takuan’s point by posting images of visible minorities on the convention floor? I don’t think Tak’s point was especially well made, but I’m embarrassed for you.

  37. You know, I’m generally not one to Godwin, but 9ulian1’s speech bears a striking resemblance to the speeches of another well known orator who found hate a lot easier to rally the masses behind than any other emotion. Big lies work too. Huge whoppers that point fingers. It saddens me to say, but yes, that’s where we seem to be.

  38. Probably beating a dead pit bull here, but please, explain to me again, how we are more free under the RNC? Tell me again, because something must have slipped right on past.
    Is it that by turning regulation around the magic, invisible hand of free market makes this a better place? Really? Gee, that’s great! Because, from my point of view, that corporate “freedom” has done nothing but help promote wealth primarily among the wealthy while the middle class shrinks like Alka Seltzer in warm water.
    Oh, wait, or is it that the RNC tends to side with gun owners. My ability to own a gun must be protected at all times. I agree. If only I can afford the bullets.
    Maybe it’s for freedom of religion, yes? My right to worship as I please? Right? What if I’m a Zorastrian (just sayin’) who happens to live in a predominantly Baptist area. Still work? Can I have my creation stories taught in public school? “Comparitive Creationism?” Why not? How about my Muslim friends down the street, or my Hindi doctor’s?
    Why are the left against freedom? Because they want to raise taxes and want bigger government? Tell me again, how the government shrank… oh, this is war, right. That said, going to don my old Civil Defense helmet and man the coastal batteries.
    It seems to me that “freedom” is giving carte blanche to those who have more to acquire more at the expense of those who don’t. I suppose that’s freedom.
    Prove to me, give me a bloody example, of how this has made my life better.

  39. #59, I think the point was to post pictures of people adorned in 10 gallon cowboy hats (and paradoxically, a Lincoln lookie-likie). Apparently, mortgage bankers don’t favor that fashion choice.

  40. FYI, Republicans don’t hate community organizing — they hate when someone attempts to pass community organizing off as legitimate experience while at the same time claiming that a state Governor is inexperienced.

    G’s speech was not hateful, it was critical. Ditto for Palin, who has dealt with her more than her share of bs this last week. (Kos, I’m talking to you.) If criticism is what passes for hate these days, well, I don’t even know what to say to that.

    And to those who will probably attempt to flame: I speak as an independent who has a long history of democratic votes.

    Here’s a suggestions for the whole darn country–today, engage in a friendly dialogue with someone who doesn’t agree with you politically. Ask them questions. Find out why they feel what they feel. Don’t judge. Share your story. You just might be surprised. (This goes for lefties AND righties.)

    (Gosh. Does that make me a community organizer?)

  41. What they love is the America that is free

    Remind me again how many Republicans want to give gay people the freedom to marry the partner of their choice.

  42. “What they love is the community of free individuals a community of victims and their supposed advocates whose only modus operandi is to suck at the government teat and use the image of compassion to gain power over others.”

    The government is often the only organization that has the money and clout to turn communities around. Furthermore, while there are normal cycles of ascension and decline in any community, the government policies and regulations have had a huge hand in gutting communities (while there’s a lot of talk about suburbanization and how it’s wasted cities, redlining and color coding killed them far better and earlier. Defacto color coding often still goes on today).

    Who else is going to be willing to hold the reigns on plans that aren’t going to come to fruition for 15-20 years? Who else has the authority to condemn buildings, change legislation, enforce codes, and approve/disapprove planning/building decisions?

    Which is not to say that communities can’t hold their own visioning and planning sessions, but without government buy in it can only do so much.

    And, what incentive does non-local business have for community building? The mall and big box stores that have a 20 year building life span and kill all local independent business surely doesn’t.

    The local community often doesn’t have the skill, authroity or knowledge to negotiate with developers. (Often political figures don’t either *coughSyracusecough*) But they’re slightly more likely too.

    /MLA student.

  43. Symmetry

    (James)Dobsonian Republican:

    Supports Christian theocracy
    Prayer in School (and everywhere else)
    No Darwin
    Science is wrong
    God Hates Homosexuals
    Islam is our enemy
    God is on our side
    The United States is Christian Nation
    Expression of art(including music) that is non-Christian is wrong
    .
    .
    .

    Ali Khamenei (Supreme leader of Iran):

    Islamic theocracy
    Prayer several times a day everywhere
    No Darwin
    Science is wrong
    God Hates Homosexuals
    The West is our enemy
    God is on our side
    Iran is an Islamic Republic
    Expression of art(including music)that is non-Islamic is wrong
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Symmetry

  44. @#59 how cynical, and no, I just searched flickr for a pool of photos and then took the first several that had individuals or groups

  45. @#66 Excellent point

    @#63 I have never been to a bank in Texas so setting aside that state. I don’t think I have even seen a bank employee with a cowboy hat or an Abe Lincoln stovepipe (though that would be awesome)

  46. @#74 I guess as scientific as “They are (all)…” statements about any large heterogeneous group of individuals.

  47. FYI, Republicans don’t hate community organizing — they hate when someone attempts to pass community organizing off as legitimate experience while at the same time claiming that a state Governor is inexperienced.

    Do you hate people who try to pass off not showing up for Guard Duty repeatedly as experience? Or running a baseball team? or sinking an unnaturally overcapitalized oil company? Or being elected in your home state while your father is president?

    Seems to me y’all on that side of the fence don’t mind that sort of experience, not one bit.

    Excuse me if I set the bar too high.

  48. @FUTRELL #42: I’m voting the platform of “two terms is already too many”, but I have to agree that Palin’s speech totally kicked butt. Out of the park.

    Janine Turner is so totally going to play her in the Lifetime TV movie.

  49. Cupcake Faerie @71: Yes maybe, but the part about Iranian science being a mirror image of Christian Fundamentalism isn’t necessarily the case. Jim Al-Khalili is professor of physics at the University of Surrey and reports on the religious restrictions (or lack of) on Iranian research here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/31/genetics.ethicsofscience

    “At the Royan I spoke to one of the imams who sits on their ethics committee. He explained that every research project proposed must be justified to his committee to ensure that it does not conflict with Islamic teaching. Thus, while issues such as abortion are still restricted (it is allowed only when the mother’s life is in danger), research on human embryos is allowed.

    “In this country the Catholic church has branded research on human embryonic stem cells immoral and says tinkering with life in this way is tantamount to playing God. So I was taken aback by the Iranian imam who pointed out, quite rightly, that all that is produced in this research is just a clump of cells and not a foetus, and so what was all the fuss about?”

    Darwinism is a different matter, Muslims have the same problem as some Christians with that.

  50. Enoch Root,
    Maybe I am a cynic, or possibly just a little dense, but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out any other coherent point that you might of been trying to make with those photos, so you’ll have to forgive me.

    That being said, the Republican party of today has some brass ones to be hauling around a Lincoln impersonator at their convention.

  51. “UPDATE: Doug’s site is under a Denial-of-Service attack…”

    that’s not a hateful response at all, no sir. remember kids, it’s always good to attempt to deny people the right to express themselves when they disagree with you.

    sum.zero

  52. Douglas says, “Like the fascist leaders satirized in Starship Troopers, they say they believe it is better to be on the offensive, taking the war to the people who might wish us harm than playing defense.”

    Unfortunately, Robert Heinlein did not mean to satire war in Starship Troopers. His political views are well laid out in that book. It was made satirical by accentuating those viewpoints in the Paul Verhoeven film, but no, Heinlein really felt that way. Which only goes to show that far flung viewpoints either left or right command the surreal.

    ps. I am a big, big Stranger In A Strange Land fan, however. Jumbotronic Religion is awesome!

  53. Reading through the piece I find a glaring omission in its theme, one which if considered, strips the speeches of much of what the author perceives as hate. This is the possibility of exceptionalism, that a man or a nation might rise above the common to greatness.

    By this omission the community is a pre-determined good, since it involves no individual standing alone. And a community organizer is a worthy title, as opposed to a community leader or a community founder. To organize something implies that it exists on its own, and need not be shaped or led, merely organized.

    By this omission the military position of the US must be based on aggression, or on fear, or on greed, and cannot be because of a legitimate evaluation that the interests of Americans be more important to the American government than the interests of people in general. There can be nothing exceptional about this country, and it is hubris to think otherwise.

    By this omission a hero is as unwanted an extreme as a villain, since a hero allows people to concern themselves with their own affairs, what Rushkoff calls a “childlike state”

    Most pointedly, by this omission the natural tendency of human beings to seek release from toil and access to leisure becomes the original and unforgivable sin. The mentality of the Republicans threatens human survival, says Rushkoff, because if you are not willing to work at advancing humanity until you drop dead, if you are not willing to show infinite patience with those that your initial evaluations say are evil, if you ever actually seek to achieve a value instead of endlessly trying to determine what values you should have, if change for change’s sake (meaning you can never hold on to anything forever) does not appeal to you, you have turned to the dark side.

    All men are created equal, but they don’t stay that way. There are other options besides evil and mediocre. There are feelings beyond hate and duty-fulfillment. Understand but this, and the joy, the togetherness, and the love present at the Republican National Convention become self-evident.

  54. The same joy and togetherness that is currently staging a DDOS attack on the author’s site, rather than debating him in as eloquent a fashion as you have.

  55. VAGABONDASTRONOMER@77: Being in the GOP makes you free in many ways: It makes you free from paying your share of taxes if you are in the richest 1% of the country. It makes you free to be a racist or hate homosexuals these days, even though it has been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt to be a fatally flawed and stupid, backward way of thinking. It makes you free to thump the bible whenever you please, while doing exactly the opposite of what Jesus would do, in every circumstance. It makes you free from environmental or corporate responsibility on this planet and in this country that allowed you to flourish. It makes you free from actually doing anything productive that might be in your job description, as long as you are a cronie of someone in power and tow the party line. It makes you free from responding to, or allowing volunteers to respond to national emergencies, preferring to whitewash them instead. It makes you free from having to think, even if you are a Federal Judge or media pundit: All your decisions and talking points are made for you. It makes you free to spend the government into bankruptcy, bloating it into Orwellian proportions and disfunctionality while denying the most basic of human services like health care and education to everyone who can’t afford to pay through the nose. It makes you free to hate illegal immigrants and build walls and fences to keep them out, while simultaneously exploiting them for their cheap labor and lack of benefits. It makes you free to gut the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights to suit your own megalomaniacal objectives, intruding big government deeper and more intimately into everyone’s lives. It allows you to be all about the rights of the unborn, and yet do nothing to help the victims of rape; nothing for childcare for unwed mothers or people living in poverty to feed and clothe their children. It allows you to spy on ordinary Americans illegally with retroactive immunity from prosecution. It makes you free to make up any shit you want to get us into a pointless and unjust war with no end in sight. It makes you free from oversight if you are a private contractor in the employ of the US Government, able to massively overcharge the federal treasury and under-deliver any time you like. It makes you free from competition for bids on your contractor work, if you are a war profiteer. It makes you free from accountability if you are a mercenary band, murdering innocent civilians or otherwise doing the dirtiest jobs federal agents won’t even touch. In short, it makes you free from the rule of Law, the Spirit of Justice, and everything this civilization once stood for. Yes, this is the freedom the GOP has created.

  56. @20
    Here, here! As a far left leaning Libertarian I agree with you.
    As far as Republicans are concerned Thomas Hobbes is the father of conservative thought and in his treatise Leviathan he basically lays out the Republican idea of mankind. From Chapter 13 paragraph 9:
    “Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time or war where every man is enemy to every man, the same is consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth, no navigation nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea, no commodious building, no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force, no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time, no arts, no letters, no society, and, which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”
    Read the whole chapter here.
    Conservatives don’t believe people work together unless the powers from above make it so. It’s a fundamentally different view of humanity and it’s nothing new.

  57. I found Rushkoff’s comment about transferring responsbility to a parental authority figure especially interesting.

    The people in the hall last night really did seem to regress into a state of childlike pleasure as Giuliani and Palin jeered and mocked Obama. They laughed and screamed with a glazed, open-mouthed giddiness that was disturbing to watch.

    Hating a vast, nebulous enemy in the form of “the liberal elite” is a large part of what the modern GOP is built on.

  58. VAGABONDASTRONOMER,
    Thank you for asking the right questions.

    PHIKUS,
    Thank you for answering them. Well put.

  59. NONEOFYOURBUSINESS@93: Thanks. I keep thinking of more (it seems endless.)

    Being in the GOP allows you the freedom to toss aside years and years of proven science in favor of an unfounded and ludicrous set of beliefs.

    Being in the GOP allows you the freedom to define torture any way you like.

    Anybody got any I missed?

  60. #91 Conservatives don’t believe people work together unless the powers from above make it so.

    They’re giving an accurate account of conditions inside their own heads, and assuming it applies to the entire human race. They feel the need for big guns because, well, there might be more people just like them on the other side.

    Do you think it would be possible to correlate different neural architectures with different political affiliations? I’m assuming yes.

  61. Enoch Root @22, if you think Rudy’s so great, you take him. Send him an invitation to come do politics in your city and state, and get him out of ours. His campaign for president earlier this year collapsed precisely because the voters got to know him.

    Giuliani’s a passionate authoritarian with no love for democracy. He’s got appalling taste in friends and associates. (It’s remarkable how many of them turn out to be crooked.). There’s not a particle of kindness in him. And on top of that, he’s an incompetent leader and administrator.

    You know why, on 9/11, he was doing his power walk through the rubble-choked streets of Manhattan, with his posse all around him? Because he’d ignored all the expert advice that came his way, and flat-out insisted on locating his emergency command center in a building that had already been the target of terrorist attacks.

    What his advisers predicted, happened: the building got hit again, and the emergency command center went down with it. That was why Rudy was out stomping around the streets, “looking decisive,” instead of being in an office doing his job.

    Want to go on? Want to talk about how 120 firemen died because they didn’t get the word to get out? The communications gear they carried had already failed during the 1993 attack. Not long before 9/11, they finally got new equipment — bought by Giuliani via an unreviewed, no-bid contract. The new equipment didn’t work. The firemen had to be reissued the same old communications equipment, and it failed on 9/11 just like it failed in 1993. That’s why we lost so many of our guys.

    Don’t even try to tell me he was being jolly. He wasn’t. I don’t think he’s capable of it. If all you have to offer is that he was laughing, you’re way off base. Rudy Giuliani is every bit as much of a mean, sour-hearted SOB when he’s laughing as he is when he’s solemn. You don’t send him out to speak if you want to make nice; you use him when you want to launch an attack.

    Rudy Giuliani stood up in front of the RNC and gave them permission to fear and hate their countrymen. They ate it up, and roared for more.

    This is evil, actively at work in the world. Look at what the Republicans have done to poor idiots like AMCCann. They tell him lies about the scary monsters who share his country with him, knowing that frightened people stop thinking, and that they hate the thing that scares them. AMCCann’s so terrified that he can’t begin to understand that his neighbors aren’t monsters, much less figure out which party is actually into coercion and suckling on the government teat. The poor guy’s so turned around that he actually thinks he’s seeing “freedom fighters” striking back.

    StupidJerk @30, Eugene V. Debs is not on the ballot. McCain and Obama are. That’s your choice. If you care about it, make it.

    Futrell @42, if those speeches were exemplary of what the GOP believes and where it’s headed, I can only grieve. It was once the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. Now it’s heading for Know-Nothing territory.

    Blow Leprechaun @45: Can you remember Rudy giving the benefit of the doubt to anyone, except maybe Bernard Kerik? I’ve been trying, and I can’t.

    BTW, I’d only disemvowel your opinion of Giuliani if I absolutely had to, and I’d save a copy of the original for my own reading pleasure.

    Enoch Root @48: Like Boba Fett Diop, I am embarrassed for you. Do you not know how much effort the Republicans put into making sure there are a few black and latino faces visible at their national convention? And even so, those are a few isolated brown faces afloat in an ocean of whiteness.

    The word is “tokenism.”

    Also, you and Takuan were originally arguing about socioeconomic class, not skin color. Finding photos of the few brown people at the convention doesn’t address the point.

    Agit @49, the candidates are who they are. Make your judgement and vote for one of them. Anything else is self-marginalization.

    Swampdog @51, that’s an excellent point. My only quibble is that you didn’t take it far enough.

    PDuggie @53:

    Remind me, isn’t Rushkoff the nut who thinks Moses had gay sex with YHWH on Mt Sinai?

    No. Rushkoff is the very interesting thinker and writer who has, among other things, written both fiction and nonfiction about the nature, origins, and future of Judaism.

    Sisyphus @57: By me, the pertinent point is that when she ran for mayor of a fairly laid-back, libertarian town of 5,000 people, she campaigned on issues like religion, gun control, abortion, and term limits: that is, a bunch of wedge issues that had nothing to do with the job of being mayor.

    Phikus @60, Giuliani’s a fluent and articulate hater.

    Muirne @66:

    FYI, Republicans don’t hate community organizing — they hate when someone attempts to pass community organizing off as legitimate experience while at the same time claiming that a state Governor is inexperienced.

    Bull. Sarah Palin took a contemptible cheap shot at Obama’s experience as a community organizer. If anyone doubts that many who heard her recognized the maneuver for what it was, and were disgusted by it, I recommend this collection of responses. Among those quoted are A. Serwer at Tapped, Christopher Hayes at The Nation, Al Giordano at The Field, Joe Klein at Time Magazine’s “Swampland” blog, and Christy Hardin Smith at Firedoglake. I’ll quote from Joe Klein:

    This morning, I received a press release from a group called Catholic Democrats about the work—the mission, the witness—that Obama performed after he got out of college. Here’s the first paragraph:

    Catholic Democrats is expressing surprise and shock that Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s acceptance speech tonight mocked her opponent’s work in the 1980s for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. She belittled Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama’s experience as a community organizer in Catholic parishes on the South Side of Chicago, work he undertook instead of pursuing a lucrative career on Wall Street. In her acceptance speech, Ms. Palin said, “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” Community organizing is at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching to end poverty and promote social justice.

    So here is what Giuliani and Palin didn’t know: Obama was working for a group of churches that were concerned about their parishioners, many of whom had been laid off when the steel mills closed on the south side of Chicago. They hired Obama to help those stunned people recover and get the services they needed—job training, help with housing and so forth—from the local government. It was, dare I say it, the Lord’s work—the sort of mission Jesus preached. (As opposed to the war in Iraq, which Palin described as a “task from God.”)

    This is what Palin and Giuliani were mocking. They were making fun of a young man’s decision “to serve a cause greater than himself,” in the words of John McCain. They were, therefore, mocking one of their candidate’s favorite messages. Obama served the poor for three years, then went to law school. To describe this service—the first thing he did out of college, the sort of service every college-educated American should perform, in some form or other—as anything other than noble is cheap and tawdry and cynical in the extreme.

    Perhaps La Pasionaria of the Northern Slope didn’t know this when she read the words they gave her. But Giuliani—a profoundly lapsed Catholic, who must have met more than a few religious folk toiling in the inner cities—should have known. (“I don’t even know what that is,” he sneered.”) What a shameful performance.

    I doubt you watched the Democratic National Convention, so I’ll tell you one of things you missed: every speaker was careful to give McCain’s record and his service to his country the respect it deserved. They disagree with him on many points, but they never once stooped as low as Sarah Palin did from the outset.

    G’s speech was not hateful, it was critical.

    It was so hateful that a lesser primate could have spotted it just from its tone.

    Ditto for Palin, who has dealt with her more than her share of bs this last week. (Kos, I’m talking to you.)

    Not so fast. First, that wasn’t Kos. It was one of the diarists on the Daily Kos site, which is a big place.

    Second, it wasn’t just that diarist on Kos. It was a great many commentators, some of them on the right. And it wasn’t just bloggers. The national press corps was asking questions too.

    Third, the blame for all that distasteful and unseemly speculation should be placed squarely where it belongs: on Sarah Palin’s head.

    Palin didn’t give birth to her son in a cave somewhere; she had the baby in a hospital, where there would have been multiple witnesses to the birth. None of those witnesses can come forward because it would violate her privacy as a patient.

    However: all it would take to clear up this story, once and forever, would be for Sarah Palin to give those witnesses permission to say they were present when she had the baby. Nobody has to give any gory details. All they have to say is that they were there, and that Sarah Palin gave birth to Trigg Palin. At that moment, the speculation would evaporate.

    Palin could have done it any time. She could do it now. But she hasn’t done it. Why? Judging from her speech, I’d say it’s because it’s politically advantageous for her to be able to claim she’s a victim of calumny. She’s also using that very distracting story to draw attention away from the other problems in her record.

    Here’s what’s nasty: the price of this politically expedient maneuver is that her teenage daughter Bristol is getting dragged through a cubic mile of mud. Don’t even try to pin the blame for that on the national press corps, the blogosphere, or the Democratic party. It’s an inevitable consequence of Sarah Palin’s decision to prolong the uncertainty. If the Democrats didn’t exist, the independent voters and a good fraction of the Republicans would have been asking the same questions everyone else has been asking this week.

    It may be the single ugliest episode I’ve seen in an election campaign, and it is, first to last, Sarah Palin’s doing.

    If criticism is what passes for hate these days, well, I don’t even know what to say to that.

    I know what to say: Malarkey! It was a hatefest, and everyone knows it.

    And to those who will probably attempt to flame: I speak as an independent who has a long history of democratic votes.

    Malarkey and codswallop. Almost every one of you right-wingers who come in here to retail your canned talking points claim that you have a long history of voting Democrat. We don’t believe you. We don’t believe the others, either.

    Here’s a suggestions for the whole darn country–today, engage in a friendly dialogue with someone who doesn’t agree with you politically. Ask them questions. Find out why they feel what they feel. Don’t judge. Share your story. You just might be surprised. (This goes for lefties AND righties.)

    Guy, I’ve been doing that for years. I don’t intend to stop now.

    (Gosh. Does that make me a community organizer?)

    Not in the sense that Obama was; but in a small way, yes, it does. And good on you for doing it.

    Milo Minderbender @85, I’m somewhat familiar with cutting-edge Heinlein scholarship, and as far as I know, the guys doing that research still aren’t sure what Heinlein’s opinions were. You might be right. Douglas Rushkoff might be right. Heck, Paul Verhoeven might be right.

    Phikus @89: Paragraph breaks! They’re the hot new thing — everybody’s using them.

  62. Teresa: Sorry. I knew that ran on long, but it was all the same general idea. I realized after that I should have broken it up line by line. Thanks for the editing tip.

  63. Oh, come on people. You missed the best quote from the essay:
    “…Obama and the potentially intelligent society he represents.
    I have a friend of many years who is an ardent Obama supporter. When asked why he is so vociferous in his support, his reply is; “Because he’s brilliant. I’ve read his stuff.” When asked to elaborate on that statement I receive ; “Well, because he is.”
    Truth be told, Obama has been a Senator for a little over two-and-one-half years. His record speaks for itself as to his effectiveness during that time span. Obama is the representative of the elitist group that thinks that they are the intelligentsia in society. They are the only ones who can save us from the evil war-mongering bogeyman. They should only be so good as to save us from themselves.
    Obama has been forced into the collective psyche of America as the next President from the moment that he won the election in 2004. He had yet to even declare victory in that election when the news media was hailing him as victor in the 2008 Presidential election. It was truly frightening to see the exact moment of inception to the start of the manipulation of public thought as to this person’s political future.
    You should not get the impression that I am a supporter of McCain. I support neither of them. I am truly at a loss as to who would be the best choice. I believe, as the Founding Fathers did, that anyone who wants to be in charge as much as these two wish to be, cannot be trusted with such power. Obama will not ‘right the wrongs’ of the last eight years, because what’s been done will be horribly difficult to undo. McCain will simply keep us -as a society and nation- in a place that we no longer wish to be in -I don’t mean Iraq- and see no way of escaping from.
    I truly wish that there was a ‘None of the Above’ choice on the ballot in November.

  64. Teresa Nielsen Hayden:

    I misremembered: Ruskoff didn’t claim Moses had sex with YHWH, he claimed that the *bible stated* that “Moses has man-to-man sex up on Mount Sinai” with Joshuah.

    “there’s tons of sex magick in there, too, that no one likes to talk about but is completely apparent to anyone who bothers to read the words on the page.”

    “Joshua was Moses’ apprentice, and the Bible talks of their encounters ‘face to face’ – which, as any Greek knows, is the sexual position reserved for man-to-man sacred sex – women are to be done from behind.”

    I got confused, because there actually is *nowhere* in the bible that Joshua and Moses are “face to face” though it does say that Moses and YHWH speak face to face.

    Rushkoff inexplicably, not in fiction, claims that the Bible clearly (“apparent to anyone who bothers to read”) says that J & M had gay sex. That’s pretty kooky, which I guess *could* be interesting.

    The quotes are from this interview

    http://www.newsarama.com/SDCC05/DC/Vertigo/SDCCTestament.html

    which isn’t there anymore

  65. Takuan, I’m wavering. The Republicans should expend lots and lots of resources keeping me on their side.

    PDuggie, someone who’s brilliant on one subject can be more than a little bit odd on another. Sometimes we can’t figure out which one it is.

  66. I don’t know about Giuliani, but I’m pretty sure Palin doesn’t hate it when communities organize — she was a PTA mom for goodness sake.

    What I think she might hate — as do many folks — are those people who use their positions as professional community organizers in cynical ways, for example to further their own (political) careers.

    Can’t disagree on the war-mongering, though. The GOPers certainly seem eager for battle.

  67. #104…
    “What I think she might hate — as do many folks — are those people who use their positions as professional community organizers in cynical ways, for example to further their own (political) careers.”
    You mean like being PTA moms, who eventually become mayors of very small towns and then governors?

  68. Quicjk brown fox, do not be foxed. There is a robust and strong strain of “anti-intellectualism” in the USA, and it really is something to experience…some say similar strains were apparent in the German society of the 20s and 30s….

  69. “Uppity”? They don’t need Newspeak, they just say it outright:

    Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term “uppity” to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

    Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

    “Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity,” Westmoreland said.

    Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

    http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/westmoreland-calls-obama-uppity-2008-09-04.html

  70. It’s truly remarkable to me the way McCain was selling his own war hero/wounded healer hagiography tonight. I’m a veteran (Vietnam-era in the last group of draftees, ’72-74, with a father who went through some intense WWII combat experiences, and the way McCain is using his torture experience to sell himself as a political candidate, bothers me because of the way it goes against the grain of the veteran tradition of not exploiting that status.

    He is also cynically selling himself as nothing less than an almost-secular Christ (McCain uses lots of evangelical lingo these days), a martyr for the cause of America. Washed in the Blood of Christ’s Servant, Senator John S. McCain.

    Tangentially, it’s amazing how the “Drill, Baby, Drill!” cheer has arisen to compete with “USA, USA!” — drill, as in penetrate, violate, dominate, exploit. That’s the essence of this oldschool right wing Christian conservative view: the Earth is ours to do with as we will, God gave it to us to use as we see fit, and we might as well drill now because the whole thing’s going up in flames after the Rapture anyway.

    Palin’s speech also contained a line I heard as a slap at Katrina victims, when she whined about people not waiting around for others to rescue them, which I found insensitive during this hurricane week.

    Scary to see and hear the Party faithful buying into this sick martyrdom rap, chanting that way, led by cheerleading Caribou Barbie, and hilarious that these same folks would likely level a similar critique — of brainwashed devotees — at the Obama faithful, not to mention “Islamic jihadists.”

    Obama looks so good compared to these fear-mongering poseurs, but we’re going to have to work to make sure he gets elected.

  71. The time for peace and cooperation is now.

    I am a 23 year old software engineer running for Hawaii State Congress. I have an approach to politics that is 90 degrees to the norm. My solution is to Empower the People with a real and tangible tool.

    I have written a web-based application that enables everyone to have a voice in Legislature. Yes, that means you, and yes, it is available right now.

    When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

  72. #78 TEKNA2007

    “Janine Turner is so totally going to play her in the Lifetime TV movie.”

    I think more likely it’ll be Edie McClurg.

  73. @#52 posted by Enoch_Root

    @#49 Eugene V. Debs is only good if you want to be crucified on a cross of gold Wm. Jennings Bryan is my man

    Actually given a choice during that time period I would have supported Bill Heywood without a question or a doubt. Because he had the interests of the American workers before all else.

    Too bad there is no way he would have allowed to have been nominated for high office.

    The world needs more people like Debs & Heywood that ARE willing to stand up for the America that we all grew up believing in.

  74. Lot’s of passionate salvos here. With both conventions we saw a show. A show designed to cater to the largest common denominators of each party. Puff up our guy and denigrate the other team’s guy.
    Little of substance will ever be revealed at such echo chambers.
    Rushkoff’s article strikes me as a cross between an overly-dramatic star trek empath, grokking through his television and chicken little.
    Doomsday claims by either side not only reveal the unreasoning bias of the author, but prevent rational voices from being heard.
    For example, how many times do you suppose speakers at either convention thought of their OWN supporters “I wish those chanting yahoos would just shut up and let me talk”!
    Politicians will bait cajole irritate and obfuscate it’s what they do. Ignore the words and look at the actions. Republicans or Democrats aren’t the root of all evil. If you believe one party is bad and the other is good then you’ve fallen for the propaganda they espouse. Resist knee-jerk responses, stereotypes and labels in all of your intellectual pursuits. These two groups maintain power by whipping up their faithful with incendiary speeches on trigger issues. Angry people make great sheep.

  75. “Rudy was laughing the whole time, hardly hateful”

    Yes who could ever be hateful while laughing?

    I don’t think hate is the problem here people. I hate scumpublicans. The problem is they hate the wrong things. They hate people who think for themselves. What all scumpublicans have in common, is they (rightfully) hate themselves. And they hate people who don’t hate themselves.

  76. @#105

    You mean like being PTA moms, who eventually become mayors of very small towns and then governors?

    Ha! Good point. ;-)

    Although, I don’t think the PTA-mom-to-gubernatorial-mansion path is a road much traveled. In other words, I don’t imagine that many PTA moms set out to have high-end political careers (unlike The Chosen One).

  77. Hamm @114, nihilism is an easy way to sound knowledgeable. If it isn’t possible for speakers at a party’s national convention to mean well and tell the truth, then this whole enterprise of democracy is doomed. I have to believe good politics are possible, just as I believe good government is possible, because the only alternative is to accept the eventual triumph of tyranny and privilege.

    Zippyspincycle @115, we’ll protect you from the scary Muslims. That’s a lot easier than protecting you from the scary Republicans.

    Regis @116, they hate because they’re scared. Which is weird, because they’re some of the safest and most privileged people on earth; but that’s still how they work.

  78. Brilliant essay! You get the point, right is about selfishness as left is about cooperation, thats the very root of fascism and socialism.

  79. There is a sickness there, in my opinion. It’s a little like watching someone in denial, the way the chanting and the commentary about the scary ‘intellectuals’ who want to undermine their way of life (like a cancer: keep growing and growing and growing and….) It’s like watching freaking Animal Farm.

    Also, I think this movement toward fear as a reasoning tool is partially a backlash against the civil and women’s rights movement using token women and minorities to diffuse the accusation of overt sexism and racism. I think that all they had to do was wait for people to think that racism and sexism had been settled or allow the terms of racism or sexism to be ‘only if you use these words and/or try to seriously injure someone.’

  80. #121: Lol. Well, at least that’s just sabre-rattling for now, but there’s a lot of coincidence.

  81. At the end of McCain’s speech on Thursday, he spoke several sentences about how if you don’t like the system, run for office or volunteer in your community, etc. I was waiting for him to use the phrase “community organizer.” Very odd.

    And after highlighting the anti community organizer comments, Jon Stewart ran a clip of the convention where scores of people were holding up signs saying SERVICE.

    A striking double standard, but I guess that’s how hate works. Sort of like “Kill a [insert hate group here] for Jesus.”

  82. Hey T-Hayden:

    This is prolly too meta, and if you want to delete it, go ahead, but I thought it was the quickest way to reach you.

    I take umbrage (along with klonopin) at this conclusion:

    And to those who will probably attempt to flame: I speak as an independent who has a long history of democratic votes.

    Malarkey and codswallop. Almost every one of you right-wingers who come in here to retail your canned talking points claim that you have a long history of voting Democrat. We don’t believe you. We don’t believe the others, either.

    As someone who used to say my hobby was talking to right-wingers on line, I have spent many hours trying to talk them out of trees, trying to find the essence of their position. It’s hard to have a civil discourse with the daily demonization they get from their message machine. But, it’s been worth it, because for better or worse, they’re here, they’re fear, and we have to deal with them.

    But what your response above seems to suggest is that if you don’t buy into each and every “liberal” (for lack of a better word) position, then you’re obviously hiding your affiliation and you’ve made up whatever political stripe you have to gain a wedge in the argument. I find this distressing.

    Maybe, I’m wrong. Maybe, you’re just limiting it to this particular discourse, that you don’t believe peeps could disagree with Rushikoff and still be a demo, vote demo, etc. I hope so.

    I say all this pretty much agreeing with Rushikoff, but I have found fault and continue to find fault with certain “liberal” positions, and I hope I can express that without fear of having my demo-lib credentials questioned. And, should I be passionate about something, you might want to interpret it as a “screed,” and disem-vowel, but I noticed in one of the discussions the other day that someone was f-bombing a conservative pretty hard, and all those comments stood (Mintphresh from the Palin discussion):

    “because i have the right to read whatever the fuck i want to. and you , or even a majority of voters shouldn’t be able to mess with that right. that’s why. fuck your “public review’!”

    I really don’t see a right-wing position being expressed in such a volatile manner being allowed to keep its vowels.

    I say all this because I feel it’s hyper-important for us to claim moral highground, that we as liberals CAN have discussions and disagree amongst ourselves — it’s something I always used to chastise the righties about — everyone had to march in lockstep, and if one of them ever questioned the war, for instance, he would get much worse abuse than a “liberal” like me would. Reminded me of the scene in Midnight Express (“Why don’t you walk the wheel with us? The bad machine doesn’t know that he’s a bad machine.”)

    And I say all of this enjoying and cheering on many of your responses to the usual nonsense spouted. I hope you believe I’m being honest when I say that!

  83. Speaking of forbidding people to read, is the moderators’ censorship of the conservative posts in here really necessary? Perhaps their conservative perspective is similarly equated with that of the RNC as “hate” speech? Seems too simplistic to me.

  84. The whole community organizer thing can be summed up this way.

    Obama: “Your mother wears army boots”

    Palin: “Really? That’s because my mom was actually in the army, and your mom wore them because she was in an anarchist collctive”

    It silly campaign ephemera and doesn’t amount to a hill of beans on any hypocrisy measure.

    Palin used Jim Geraghty of the National Review’s suggestion to **respond to Obama’s dismissal of her “small town mayoral experience”** by pointing out that mayors have to get results and are held accountable if they don’t.

    http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YmMwODM1OWQxZDYxMDlmZjEwZDQ5YzQ4YzNlMmEwNmY=

  85. disemvowelling astroturfers and sockpuppets is not “censorship”, it’s sweeping the floor. Any viewpoint can be expressed here so long as it meets the posted rules and is the sincere statement of a single individual airing his/her honest and thoughtfully arrived opinion. The crap that gets stomped is just political party spam. Period.

  86. Takuan, @129

    The premise of the article leading this post explicitly equates the RNC speakers and attendees with proponents and enthusiasts of Hatred and Hate Speech. Are you of the opinion that perspective is any less “political party” based than comment @2 which stated it was “run of the mill left-wing propaganda”? The former is elevated as admirable, the latter is censored/disemvowelled. I’m just saying. Ellipsis.

  87. #66,

    Here’s a suggestions for the whole darn country–today, engage in a friendly dialogue with someone who doesn’t agree with you politically. Ask them questions. Find out why they feel what they feel. Don’t judge. Share your story. You just might be surprised. (This goes for lefties AND righties.)

    This is what I have been using with people lately and it’s amazing the responses you get – I literally had a co-worker that could not give a reason as to why Obama was as bad choice. Not one reason. These are the types of people that the RNC gets worked up with the emails that are nothing but lies. My mother-in-law falls into the same boat – even when you present facts they can’t see the forest for the trees thanks to all the Kool Aid they’ve drank over the last 10 years.

    It’s unbelievable to me that so many people fall to the fear, uncertainty, and doubt attacks in this country (USA). I’m amazed that so few actually question things – I’ve always questioned everything and want to know the why’s of everything instead of taking things at face value. Sales people hate me because of that.

  88. @ #76: Don’t fool yourself into thinking that all Republicans think alike. There are a whole lot of Republicans who are just as disgusted with Bush Jr. as Democrats. (Namely, fiscal conservatives and Rockefeller repubs who think he has betrayed his party. You want Bush venom, talk to these folks.) To lump all Republicans into one category is just as offensive as Republicans lumping all Democrats into one category.

    Too often we forget that there is a political spectrum, not just two distinct camps throwing rocks at one another!

  89. @ #77: Here’s one to try on for size: there’s no slavery because of the Republican party. That’s right, Abe Lincoln was the first official Republican President.

    So you might say that the Republican party made it possible for Barack Obama to run for President.

    That’s pretty significant for a lot of Americans.

  90. I have acquired some ability at judging the inner intent and emotional state of your species through long association with it. When I myself watched the video coverage of the RNC it was immediately apparent that “hate” and “hatred” would be fair and correct terminology for most of the attendees imaged. Tightness in jaw and lower facial muscles coupled with closed lips smiling, eye-glitter from reflection of overhead lights in the pattern associated with contracted pupils typical of flight or flight response, darting head movements… all there. These humans were hating.

    I see you refer to “Hatred” and “Hate Speech”. What is intended by your capitalization? I believe Rushkoff was making a simple,objective observation – not a political statement. As to the #2 post; the latter part was rude and insolent and offensive to all who post here. In the absence of any mitigating track record,why should this person be afforded extraordinary consideration?

  91. @ #97: You’re making a lot of venomous assumptions about me. To wit:

    In fact, I did watch the Democratic Convention. I even TIVO’d what I wasn’t at home for.

    In fact, I have protested (vociferously) against Bush Jr. & many in his administration.

    In fact, I have voted Democratic in every single election since I turned 18. Oh wait, except for one year when I voted for the Green party candidate.

    In fact, I’m not a “guy”.

    In fact, I’m an active community organizer and volunteer.

    I would like to respond to each of your points but I feel like we’d be taking over the comment board here. Instead, let me just reiterate that I think people ought to take a step back before they start venting and remember that even if someone disagrees with you, even if you REALLY disagree with them, they’re still a human being. Their viewpoint is still a valid one. They are entitled to respectful disagreement and criticism, not personal attacks.

    The acrimonious partisanship on BOTH sides of the aisle, in red states and blue states, should worry people. We seem to have forgotten that listening to someone’s opinion does not equal agreement with said idea. We seem to have forgotten that you can disagree with someone and still coexist. Peacefully. The Framers of this country in fact warned us against the danger of political parties and put it best: “United we stand, divided we fall.”

    Signing off. Flame away.

  92. muirne81 @ 133

    How very right you are…

    Now…all you need to do for your point to be anything other than absurd and, frankly, insulting…is ignore the next hundred odd years of history…

    Especially the history of trenchant racism in the Republican Party…

    I’m thinking someone like Strom Thurmond here…

    But no…Lincoln. Of course…dinkum! Forget historical process and history itself. Just concentrate on the name, the beard and the big hat.

  93. Zuato,Muirne; I think a great deal has to do with reasons beneath politics. Some people hate and fear people of different skin tone. Some people hate and fear the opposite sex. Some people hate and fear those with less money. Some people hate and fear those with more money. All stupid beyond belief, all real. Is it not written:

    “One week of every year is designated National Brotherhood Week. This is just one of many such weeks honoring various worthy causes. One of my favorites is National Make-fun-of-the-handicapped Week which Frank Fontaine and Jerry Lewis are in charge of as you know. During National Brotherhood Week various special events are arranged to drive home the message of brotherhood. This year, for example, on the first day of the week Malcolm X was killed which gives you an idea of how effective the whole thing is. I’m sure we all agree that we ought to love one another and I know there are people in the world that do not love their fellow human beings and I hate people like that. Here’s a song about National Brotherhood Week.

    Oh, the white folks hate the black folks,
    And the black folks hate the white folks.
    To hate all but the right folks
    Is an old established rule.

    But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
    Lena Horne and Sheriff Clarke are dancing cheek to cheek.
    It’s fun to eulogize
    The people you despise,
    As long as you don’t let ’em in your school.

    Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks,
    And the rich folks hate the poor folks.
    All of my folks hate all of your folks,
    It’s American as apple pie.

    But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
    New Yorkers love the Puerto Ricans ’cause it’s very chic.
    Step up and shake the hand
    Of someone you can’t stand.
    You can tolerate him if you try.

    Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
    And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
    And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
    And everybody hates the Jews.

    But during National Brotherhood Week, National Brotherhood Week,
    It’s National Everyone-smile-at-one-another-hood Week.
    Be nice to people who
    Are inferior to you.
    It’s only for a week, so have no fear.
    Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year!”

  94. Takuan, @134

    Your ability at judging inner intent is apparently only surpassed by your skills in taxonomy (ie, my “species”?) and phsyio-phrenology (“tightness in jaw”?)

    The capitalization used was to highlight that what is being ascribed are monolothic and over-simplified. Kinda like that last post of yours.

    I’ll leave it at that. I think you summed up your position on editorial objectivity quite clearly.

    Sincerely,
    One of “All who post here”

  95. it is sorrowful that so many well intended, good hearted people here still believe that since they are not evil and the other camp is not necessarily all evil that they miss the mortal danger: those on top now ARE EVIL. Cheney is EVIL, his pet Bush, is EVIL, all their top level minions are EVIL. The machine they belong to that is engaged in a death struggle to keep power AT ANY COST through manipulating the coming election IS EVIL. These are people who would see World War III as “acceptable”,so long as they keep power and never stand trial.

  96. oooh! I’ve been promoted to Editor now? At last!
    Re: Hatred and Hate Speech; who do you say ascribed? Pray tell, do.

  97. MUIRN81@133: “…Abe Lincoln was the first official Republican President. So you might say that the Republican party made it possible for Barack Obama to run for President.”

    This assertion is asinine and betrays a total lack of historical perspective. Get a real argument. News flash: The Republicans used to be liberal and the Democrats used to be conservative. They cover this in High School Govt. classes. Obama has a hell of a lot more in common with Honest Abe than McCain, now that you bring it up. (*stifles vomiting*) Are you suggesting Obama should thank his massah for his freedom instead of being so uppity as to run for president? Please! You’re not showing much intelligence on behalf of your party (typically.)

  98. OK, so I’ve watched the Juliani speech, and I’m with Rushkoff. Nausea. I decided I couldn’t stomach the Palin one after that. The cheap one-liners, the smug grins and giggles as the crowd chanted, the general vitriol towards the opposition – it really made my skin crawl. It’s quite telling that the majority of the speech consisted of attacking Obama, and only a fraction of extolling McCain.

    Some “gems”:

    “America! Comes! First!” (To thunderous applause.)

    I really wouldn’t have been surprised to hear a “Sieg Heil!” here, Godwin be damned.

    “proud footsoldier in the Reagan Revolution”

    Perhaps this captures the attitude best: The presidential election constitutes open warfare.

    “not a personal attack, but a statement of fact…”

    This is exactly like “I don’t mean to be critical, but…”

    “I learned as a trial lawyer long ago: If you don’t have the facts, change ’em!”

    This one just speaks for itself, doesn’t it? (Yes, in the next breath he tries to apply it to Obama, but if that’s what he learned as a trial lawyer…)

    “I’m sorry that Barack Obama feels that her home town isn’t … ‘cosmopolitan’ enough.”

    I really have to wonder how such an obvious racial slur went down with the token members of minority groups there. On the footage, there was certainly a camera shot of at least one guy booing over the general guilty snickering.

    *shudder*

  99. uppity?
    Barack and Michelle Obama are ‘uppity,’ says Lynn Westmoreland

    Thursday, September 4, 2008, 03:50 PM

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who was born and raised in the South, said Thursday that he’s never heard the word “uppity” used in a racially loaded fashion — and meant nothing more than “elitist” when he applied it to Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

  100. TAKUAN@143: Bwahahahahaha! Next he’ll be saying he’s never heard n_____ used as a racial epithet either. Can we please turn the page now?

  101. In fourth grade I brought my Tom Leher album to school for show and tell. I played “Pollution” and that song.

    The Jewish kids in the class got really irate about

    “Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics,
    And the Catholics hate the Protestants,
    And the Hindus hate the Muslims,
    And everybody hates the Jews.”

  102. ah good old screamingly funny Tom! Surely the Jews have made some attempt to claim him as their own? That kind of humour is a rare treasure – and it lasts.

  103. fck bm.
    Sclst snb wh lks t ppl wth PTY.
    “Pr wk ndvdls, y nd m, y nd m t grw th gvrnmnt fr y, s tht y cn sck t th tt f scl wlfr, ths sldfyng my pwr bs by wknng yr wll nd dmstctng y lk shp.”

    ‘m vtng fr McCn nly bcs h dsn’t wnt t nsttt wtrd dwn sclsm. f hd t my wy, ll th wk f scty wld hv t fght t srvv. “‘m ft ss lsnn wh’s bn n wlfr fr 3 gnrtns. Pls snd m thr ppls mny s cn by cht’s nd gt fttr nd dmbr, ths slwly kllng m nd my knd. ls, pls spprt m f my bbs dddy rns lk 70% f ll blck dddds. Tht wy h wll hv lss glty cnscnc knwng th gvrnmnt s pyng fr my crck bby, wh ws BRN VTNG DMCRT!” Sprt th wht frm th tr. FCK TH WK!

  104. OK, that’s over the top,come clean now, who are you really working for? Not even the most inbred,racist moron could produce that! Who are you? Really?

  105. Pardon me if someone has already pointed this out, but I’m in a hurry to get offline at the moment.

    What about the community organizers who are Republicans?

  106. can’t be. By definition, any person supporting Republican policy is an active enemy of their community. It may appear they are community organizers,but analysis of what they are actually doing will always reveal selfish and malicious intent. “Community exploiters” maybe.

  107. Maddy @126:

    But what your response above seems to suggest is that if you don’t buy into each and every “liberal” (for lack of a better word) position, then you’re obviously hiding your affiliation and you’ve made up whatever political stripe you have to gain a wedge in the argument. I find this distressing.

    I’m glad you find it distressing, because it’s an astoundingly stupid reading of what I said.

    I don’t know what else to say to you. I suppose that at some point I’ll have to go back and read the rest of your comment, but that paragraph just stopped me in my tracks.

  108. I just watched the Cobert recap of the speech. That sneer after pronouncing “community organizer”? Just awful.

  109. My point in post #115 wasn’t nihilism merely observation that politicians achieve office by telling people what they want to hear. My point (other than trying to sound knowledgeable) was that one should pay attention to the actions of the person in office rather than their words. Also that hyperbole never helps clarify and that anger makes higher-level thought difficult. It’s very hard to see past your own feelings on a topic.
    In closing, I was disappointed in the lack of maturity of this discussion. I had hoped for better from the BoingBoing audience.

  110. Dear BoingBoing,

    I dare not complain too loudly. But is Takuan a force of your own choosing and approval? Or is he simply a loose cannon free to insult anyone suggesting a comment contrary to the jist of his own perspective?

    H s thr g 17 r whlly nfmlr wth cdmc dscrs. Whn skd smpl qstn (NT drctd t hm) rgrdng dtrl ctvts h dmntly lctrd m s t hs wn pstn n cnsrshp. Whn sd thr mght b nnc t th rgmnt, h ffrs nly ffnsv nd vtrlc sttmnts lblng m dvrs “spcs” f “htfl hmnty”.

    Prhps m nt th vrg smplstc fn f yr st. r prhps m. n ny vnt, f ndd Tkn rprsnts ny lvl f yr st’s mdrtn sklls, hs smplstc, ffnsv nd bnhdd pnns smply ndrmn yr ffrts.

    wld lv t hr tht Tkn hs n ffcl thrty, bt thn mst sk why h flt s cmplld t prch t my ntl (qt hrmlss nqry.

    ~mngp

  111. Little known facts about Ms. Palin: 1) pushed for censorship in Alaskan libraries. 2)Sarah Palin refused the building of the bridge only after she saw it was advantageous to her politically but she kept the MONEY! all $223 mil…[talk about more of the same…uuuggghhh!]

  112. Mongie, many words come to mind, but reviewing your track record makes it clear I just say; the rules will be followed, obvious trolling won’t be tolerated, excessive ad hominem will cost vowels and it’s too bad I can’t dismiss your pomposity as a deliberate joke because I fear you mean it. Tone it down.

  113. mongip – Can your particular brand of pedantry really save us from the raging monster that is Takuan, Demi-Mod?

  114. Tk,

    Jst t rcp yr rgmnt:

    “Rvwng yr trck rcrd mks t clr jst sy; th rls wll b fllwd, bvs trllng wn’t b tlrtd, xcssv d hmnm wll cst vwls nd t’s t bd cn’t dsmss yr pmpsty s dlbrt jk bcs fr y mn t. Tn t dwn.’

    Y’r kddng, Rght?

    – Wht xctly cnsttts my trll?
    – Wht s my d hmnm ttck?
    – m MY pmpsty??

    ‘m ll rs Tkn.

    Y stll snd 17 t m.

  115. MDH @ 163

    Y r ndd spkng wsdm whch ndd shld fllw, bt th ntn f ths gfbll ccsng m f hs wn prn nd mgntns hs gt m htd.

    ~mngp

  116. Tkn sms fr mr t s syng “gd by” (???) thn ddrssng sngl ss rsd n my rqst fr dlg. Prhps ‘m smply th wrng “spcs” t rs hs hmnty.

  117. Takuan, I’m sorry it took me so long to get here. We’ve had a breakdown in the system that’s supposed to automatically notify me via email when someone sends an eyeball note.

  118. IMHO, helping people to get their collective voices heard in order to right wrongs is admirable. Then again, so is working for Habitat for Humanity, volunteering at community centers and shelters, visiting nursing homes, having neighborhood yard sales, organizing blood drives, helping older neighbors with the shopping and yardwork, delivering meals to shut-ins, and yes, doing some political canvassing – maybe driving some people to the polling places. In fact, until all of these hoopla over “community organizing” started, I thought that is what he was talking about. I never realized that it had to have a political/civil rights undercurrent in order to be considered real community organizing. Weird.

  119. CMPalmer, who says it has to be explicitly political?

    Mongip, I’m starting to think you can see things that are invisible to the rest of us benighted mortals.

  120. TERESA:
    I probably should have explicitly listed my source, which I found by doing a bit more research based on my reading of the Rushkoff article. I had a knee-jerk reaction against his phrase that Republican’s “hate” community organizing. I thought, well, they may not understand community organizing, but that is different than hating it. As I stated in my comment, there are a lot of things that I would consider community organizing, some more political that others, but I couldn’t see why anyone would “hate” any of them.

    I found this article (obviously right biased, but, IMO, about equal in magnitude to Rushkoff’s article in the other direction) that explained where that opinion comes from:
    What Did Obama Do As A Community Organizer? on National Review

    In that article was a description of the term in relation to its use in Obama’s memoir:

    Perhaps the simplest way to describe community organizing is to say it is the practice of identifying a specific aggrieved population, say unemployed steelworkers, or itinerant fruit-pickers, or residents of a particularly bad neighborhood, and agitating them until they become so upset about their condition that they take collective action to put pressure on local, state, or federal officials to fix the problem, often by giving the affected group money. Organizers like to call that “direct action.”

    Community organizing is most identified with the left-wing Chicago activist Saul Alinsky (1909-72), who pretty much defined the profession. In his classic book, Rules for Radicals, Alinsky wrote that a successful organizer should be “an abrasive agent to rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; to fan latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expressions.” Once such hostilities were “whipped up to a fighting pitch,” Alinsky continued, the organizer steered his group toward confrontation, in the form of picketing, demonstrating, and general hell-raising. At first, the organizer tackled small stuff, like demanding the repair of streetlights in a city park; later, when the group gained confidence, the organizer could take on bigger targets. But at all times, the organizer’s goal was not to lead his people anywhere, but to encourage them to take action on their own behalf.

    Alinsky started in the 1930s with workers in the Chicago stockyards. Many years later, when Obama arrived here, he came from a different perspective.

    “Barack had been very inspired by the civil-rights movement,” Jerry Kellman, the organizer who hired Obama, told me recently. “I felt that he wanted to work in the civil-rights movement, but he was ten years too late, and this was the closest he could find to it at the time.” Obama, in his memoir, put it more simply when he said he went to Chicago to “organize black folks.”

    That prompted my post here. I can’t imagine most Republicans being well versed enough in history to know this and rather than hating ‘community organizing’, they were following McCain’s and Palin’s lead of dismissing it as nothing but volunteer work. As I said, I didn’t know it was a term loaded with connotations of political organization and associated with the civil rights and worker’s rights movements. Granted, there are some Republicans who would be more alarmed if they did know the history of the term, particularly if it is couched in the terms of ‘agitation’ and ‘protest’. That is not my personal opinion, by the way, I was just pointing out that I didn’t know that these other activities wouldn’t be considered ‘community organizing’ if they didn’t involve political or civil rights issues.

    In fact, I’ve participated in ‘community organization’ myself, in the historical sense as well as my misconceived sense, I just didn’t know to call it that.

  121. Lets dance in style, lets dance for a while
    Heaven can wait were only watching the skies
    Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
    Are you going to drop the bomb or not?

    Let us die young or let us live forever
    We don’t have the power but we never say never
    Sitting in a sandpit, life is a short trip
    The musics for the sad men

    Can you imagine when this race is won
    Turn our golden faces into the sun
    Praising our leaders were getting in tune
    The musics played by the madmen

    Forever young, I want to be forever young
    Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever

    Some are like water, some are like the heat
    Some are a melody and some are the beat
    Sooner or later they all will be gone
    Why dont they stay young

    Its so hard to get old without a cause
    I dont want to perish like a fading horse
    Youth is like diamonds in the sun
    And diamonds are forever

    So many adventures couldn’t happen today
    So many songs we forgot to play
    So many dreams are swinging out of the blue
    We let them come true

Comments are closed.