Category Archives: Over the edge…

Chomsky: By Focusing on Russia, Democrats Handed Trump a “Huge Gift” & Possibly the 2020 Election | Democracy Now!

Chomsky: By Focusing on Russia, Democrats Handed Trump a “Huge Gift” & Possibly the 2020 Election | Democracy Now!

Chomsky really explains decades of Republican strategy in a few paragraphs here.

It happened because the Republicans face a difficult problem. They have a primary constituency, a real constituency: extreme wealth and corporate power. That’s who they have to serve. That’s their constituency. You can’t get votes that way, so you have to do something else to get votes. What do you do to get votes? This was begun by Richard Nixon with the Southern strategy: try to pick up racists in the South. The mid-1970s, Paul Weyrich, one of the Republican strategists, hit on a brilliant idea. Northern Catholics voted Democratic, tended to vote Democratic, a lot of them working-class. The Republicans could pick up that vote by pretending—crucially, “pretending”—to be opposed to abortion. By the same pretense, they could pick up the evangelical vote. Those are big votes—evangelicals, northern Catholics. Notice the word “pretense.” It’s crucial. You go back to the 1960s, every leading Republican figure was strongly, what we call now, pro-choice. The Republican Party position was—that’s Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, all the leadership—their position was: Abortion is not the government’s business; it’s private business—government has nothing to say about it. They turned almost on a dime in order to try to pick up a voting base on what are called cultural issues. Same with gun rights. Gun rights become a matter of holy writ because you can pick up part of the population that way. In fact, what they’ve done is put together a coalition of voters based on issues that are basically, you know, tolerable to the establishment, but they don’t like it. OK? And they’ve got to hold that, those two constituencies, together. The real constituency of wealth and corporate power, they’re taken care of by the actual legislation.

— Read on www.democracynow.org/2019/4/18/chomsky_by_focusing_on_russia_democrats

A Threat to Global Democracy: How Facebook & Surveillance Capitalism Empower Authoritarianism

A Threat to Global Democracy: How Facebook & Surveillance Capitalism Empower Authoritarianism | Democracy Now!

This is chilling. I’m deleting my account soon… please contact me via comments here or email — john.feden@gmail.com—

–Read on:

www.democracynow.org/2018/8/1/a_threat_to_global_democracy_how

So the very act of arguing against the crazy amplifies the crazy. It’s one of the reasons that Facebook is a terrible place to deliberate about the world.

If we really want to limit the damage that Facebook has done, we have to invest our time and our money in institutions that help us think, that help us think clearly, that can certify truth, that can host debate—right?—institutions like journalism, institutions like universities, public libraries, schools, other forms of public forums, town halls. We need to put our time and our energy into face-to-face politics, so we can look our opponents in the eye and recognize them as humans, and perhaps achieve some sort of rapprochement or mutual understanding and respect. Without that, we have no hope. If we’re engaging with people only through the smallest of screens, we have no ability to recognize the humanity in each other and no ability to think clearly. We cannot think collectively. We cannot think truthfully. We can’t think. We need to build—rebuild, if we ever had it, our ability to think.

— from the interview.