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British Columbia is currently in a province-wide state of emergency due to the over 560 wildfires throughout the province. Over 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and BC currently has the worst air quality in North America.

Taken on Highway 1, in British Columbia.

Yes, how dare our Federal Government enact a Carbon Tax, as clearly, there is no need to deal with the effects of climate change…

 

*sigh* – Well I hope this proud anti-Trudeau-ite is enjoying his hickory-flavoured air.

 

Facts do not necessarily win political arguments. The sooner the progressive left realizes this, the better. As a progressive lefty I’m consistently amazed by the voting patterns of the common people i.e. the people the political left is supposed to represent. Recently in Canada our most populace province decided to elect an business sense challenged, no political platform, boorish individual who spoke not in terms of political policy, but in catchy, folksy, accessible language:

His populist message resonated with voters who were unhappy with the provincial Liberals. Ford promised “buck a beer,” ten cents off a litre of gas and major tax cuts. He also promised to cut government spending by $6 billion but didn’t say how.”

Like, jesus christ in a fuckbasket, what kind of platform is that?  Anyone with more than two neurons to rub together can see the bread and circuses messaging and the usual conservative trojan-horsery going on here.  I’m not sure people get it, so let me state it here.  Conservative party policy focuses on maintaining the good times for people who most likely are not YOU.  The business elite, the wealthy, the current power structure are all beneficiaries of conservative rule – the hoi polloi – is not.

Not ever.

But hey, my fellow Canadians, enjoy your cheap beer while the newly minted government savages and merrily defenestrates the social safety net and related infrastructure that makes your life bearable.  Your vote indicates that you are good with that.

Why I shake my head (more) is that these paradoxical voting patters are nothing new.  Sharun Mukand and Dani Ridrik expound on how world view memes (in the Dawkins sense) can influence people to vote against their self interests.

 “Importantly, identity and worldview memes do not prevail equally across all subgroups of the population. Political entrepreneurs target these memes toward the electorally critical subgroup. Our model predicts that identity polarisation and support for policy memes will both see their greatest rise within the lower- and middle-income group of the majority-identity group. These are the potential switchers to whom the memes will be targeted. We should not expect those memes to operate as strongly among the wealthy who belong to the majority group or the minority-identity group of all incomes.

Increased inequality raises the reward to the rich from successful ideational politics. The returns from discovering a policy meme that persuades the median voter, for example, that lower taxes are in the interests of not only the rich, but also the low-income median voter are much higher when inequality is high. Similarly, an effective identity meme that catalyses identity around issues such as gay marriage, women’s rights and immigration can also serve as a ‘wedge’ giving low-income voters a reason to vote for the high-income party. As one team of economists concluded in 2015: ‘Despite the large increases in economic inequality since 1970, American survey respondents exhibit no increase in support for redistribution … demand for income redistribution in the US has remained flat by some measures and decreased for others.’ This is remarkable. And it happened, as our research framework suggests, thanks to the role of ideas as a catalyst for policy change. The elite, along with an allied ‘political-ideational complex’ (including academics, think tanks and talk-radio), successfully disseminated the worldview that rising inequality was an inevitable byproduct of structural changes in the global economy, which in turn necessitated the adoption of financial deregulation, low capital-income taxes and the embrace of globalisation.

Ideas and interests both matter for political change, and the two feed into one another. On the one hand, economic interests drive the kind of ideas that politicians put forward. As Kenneth Shepsle, professor of government at Harvard University, put it in 1985, ideas can be regarded as ‘hooks on which politicians hang their objectives and further their interests’. However, ideas also shape interests. This happens because they alter voter preferences and/or shift their worldviews ex-post, in both cases shifting rankings over policy.”

Fuck.  I wish the notion of concise writing would make a comeback in academia.  There are the makings of a great article in this piece, but it is severely hampered by clunky, inaccessible writing.

The gist is that you make people focus on an bullshit issue(s) that has little relation to the actual levers of power in society.  Once elected, on said mountain of bullshit, its like “Oh, by the way, along with your buck-a-beers, we’ll be needing to privatize healthcare (and other policies that screw the Average Joe and Jane sideways).

This isn’t magic, folks.   Honest.

“For those who view politics in terms of a narrow and static notion of interests, the electoral support for Trump, Brexit and other populist movements seems to pose a puzzle. It seems as if many poor people are voting against their self-interest. But the puzzle is more apparent than real. It is rooted in a habit of thinking of interests only in economic terms, and also as fixed. Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon understood well that interests are malleable. With the right message and framing, Bannon noted in 2013, you could change the political calculus by shaping popular perception of self-interest: ‘Trade is No 100 on the [Republican] Party’s list. You can make it No 1. Immigration is No 10. We can make it No 2.’

What appears to be culture might be economics – the consequence of identity or worldview memes marketed by economic elites for their own self-interest. For example, Reagan used the imagery of a ‘welfare queen’ to attack unemployment benefits and the welfare state. So identity politics was being deployed by him to ensure that voters supported the Republican low-tax economic agenda. Similarly, what might look like economics might be shaped by cultural predispositions that provide voters with their interpretive frameworks – such as Merkel’s celebration of the ‘Swabian housewife’ when making the case for austerity.

Defeating autocratic and nativist political movements will likely require strategies based on both ideas and interests. As we have seen in recent elections, proposing policies that are better suited to the economic needs of middle- and lower-income voters will likely not be enough. Successful challengers will also need to come up with narratives that help to reshape peoples’ worldviews and identities”

What a long way of saying is that left needs to up its bullshit game, so we can baffle the brains of the populace and then introduce policy that will actually benefit them.

Interesting conclusion though, is that the right consistently wins through the bait and switch that treats people as if they were feckless, greedy, morons.   Yet, the left politic seems hesitant to do so, as if somehow the patronizing authoritarian method is somehow disdainful and wrong.  I’m at the point of ‘fuck it’ and do what works already, because I’m tired of the Right being the sole benefactors of this proven, winning political strategy.

(The best part is that the Right always accuses us lefty types of elitist authoritarian tendencies, all the while exemplifying the best practices of the former.   Like, okay, then let’s do this then, and beat them at their own shitty game.)

 

Did you ever want to see what a patriarchal double standard looks like in action?  Most women understand completely as it onerous crap like this that circumscribes their experiences in society and is a daily reminder of their second class standing (in 20-fracking-18).  Conversely, the class of men, who are often the beneficiaries of said double standards often are unaware of systemic voodoo that ‘mysteriously’ makes their lives that much more livable and convenient.  The qualifications for entering either class of people – being a privileged male, or an oppressed female is entirely based on the foundational truth of which biological sex class you happen to be born into.  It should also be said that this feature (sex) and the associated benefits/disadvantages (sex based privilege/oppression) follow you regardless of how you happen to identify in society.

But enough of that heady class based analysis of the oppressive forces in society, we have to talk about… soccer.

How could soccer (or football for my European readership) provide the genesis for a piece about the patriarchal double standards that permeate our society (ohh, and probably a critique of the violent strain of transactivism that is currently afflicting western soceity as well)?  Let’s set the stage, with many thanks to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the news article:

“An international men’s soccer league has no room for Canada’s top female player.  Stephanie Labbé is considered the No. 1 player in the country. She earned 49 caps, awarded for each international game appearance, and helped the Canadian women’s team win Olympic bronze at the 2016 Rio games.  To challenge herself, she also tried to win a place on the Calgary Foothills FC men’s soccer team this spring.  She earned that spot — but the league refused to let her play due to her gender.”

Firstly, full marks to the CBC for conflating the social construct of gender with a biological fact of sex.  Secondly, this story doesn’t get going till we see what transpired.

The pre-professional league runs teams across North America, but in a statement to CBC News, said it follows “gender-based eligibility requirements.”

“Although our specific mission relates to the men’s game, we applaud all that female players have done to move the sport of soccer forward in North America,” the league said in the statement, declining an interview.

“Stephanie Labbé, in particular, has had tremendous success, and we wish her the best as she continues to pursue her career goals.”

Labbé, however, faces being benched all season. Because she and the team were so hopeful to have her play, she missed the deadline to join women’s teams.

So, a female athlete – Canada’s best Soccer player – is accepted onto FC Calagary to play.  After committing to the Calgary team and the associated scheduling, the league says well, no you silly female, this is a MEN’S league and we don’t allow you nor your shameful vagina to be anywhere near our games or our precious league because of the RULES.

Labbé career is hamstrung for at least a season because of the commitments she made to the Calgary FC team.  Well, you know, rules are rules.  Sorry about your luck.  End of story.

And that’s the fucking problem right there.  There is no story after this story – a woman (adult human female) told to get bent (despite being the best in Canada)because this is a man’s game – woman’s grievances and sacrifice dismissed with a shrug.  Woman citing the injustice of the situation and how drastically unfair the situation is has her arguments dissipate into the willowy-wispish grey vapours (of patriarchal society) never to be remarked on again.

This is the normal state of affairs. Welcome to the world of being female in society.

Men’s rules and men’s sports are automatically granted respect and more importantly, respect for the rules and guidelines that protect their game.  It isn’t even a question.

Let’s compare and contrast though what happens when a male decides he want to be in a female sport.

Fallon Fox is a trans identified male and also a fighter in the UFC.   Was he told that his participation in the female UFC was against the rules, so sorry about your luck?  Too Bad?

Nope.  Not even close.  This isn’t someone going against the rules, but rather a brave, noble, and ‘progressive’ venture.  A bold tale that is venerated by numerous media outlets.  This is the power males wield in society – because Fox calls himself a woman – it is accepted by society – the facts and reality of the situation be damned.  Let’s look at example #239478322 +1 of what happens when male feelings take precedence over female safety and material reality.  This quote from Tamikka Brents an actual female opponent of Fox’s who was TKO’d in the first round of their match –

I’ve fought a lot of women and have never felt the strength that I felt in a fight as I did that night. I can’t answer whether it’s because she was born a man or not because I’m not a doctor. I can only say, I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right,” she stated. “Her grip was different, I could usually move around in the clinch against other females but couldn’t move at all in Fox’s clinch…

I still disagree with Fox fighting,” Brents stated. “Any other job or career I say have a go at it, but when it comes to a combat sport I think it just isn’t fair. At least not until we have more scientific proof that it is or isn’t fair. More research is needed for sure. Like I said, I am not a doctor, I can only say my opinion and I don’t believe that

“Brents reportedly suffered a concussion and a broken orbital bone during the two-minute beatdown, and required seven staples in her head.”

Yes, Takikka Brents is the example writ on a personal level when we allow (extra-spicy) male delusion to rewrite the (already male authored and male friendly) rules of how society works.  Women’s safety, bodily integrity, and boundaries are all put at risk.

It’s not the full embrace of the misogynistic gender stereotypes, or the balefully embroidered tempest in a teapot that is ‘misgendering’, or even the entire fallacy that is ‘self-identication’.   It’s the glaringly obvious fact that these frocked bell-ends consistently act and expect to be treated with the male privilege that they’ve been socialized with since birth.

Because if they understood, even a tiny-fraction of what it is like to be female and socialized as a female in society (implicitly understood as you should prioritize the feelings of others, there is something fundamentally unclean/shameful about your body, and you should sit down, shut up, and make yourself small), they wouldn’t act as they do.  It’s your biggest tell, my dudes.  Because if you were actually a woman, you’d be in the shutting up/swallowing your dreams phase of your artificially circumscribed life a long time ago and you and your very important opinions would reside where most of female anguish/frustration/rage currently lay – quietly impotent in the grey vaporous patriarchally approved ether.

TiM’s most certainly wouldn’t do this if they *got* what being a woman in society is about:

The weapons the trans identified males were using in the above photo, now part of a display at the San Francisco Public Library. Quoted material from Gender Trender).

 

“If you thought the age of scold’s bridles and dunking pools designed to torture and kill disobedient women were a thing of the past, you would be wrong. The San Francisco Public Library unveiled an exhibit this week featuring blood stained t-shirts encouraging patrons to “punch” feminists, along with several installations of deadly weapons painted pink: baseball bats covered in barbed wire, axes, among others, all designed by men to kill feminist women.”

 

The male creators of the exhibit also included a helpful manifesto, blaming lesbians, feminists and other uppity women for causing more deaths (by “harassing” men with their dastardly opinions!) than all the actual real murders committed by violent men.

The display, launched mere days after the mass murder of women in Toronto by “incel” terrorist Alek Minassian and echoing his philosophy, was funded by the non-profit Friends of The San Francisco Public Library and created by The Degenderettes, led by Scout Tran Caffee, founder of Trans Dykes: the anti-lesbian Antifa.  The group specifically targets lesbians as “oppressors” of men -because they exclude males from their dating pools. The men in the group identify as transgender and consider themselves to be male lesbians.

Materials include riot shields inscribed with the slogan “Die Cis Scum”. Cis is a transgender community term, generally used as a slur, for non-transgender people.

From the exhibit manifesto:

“The Degenderettes are a humble and practical club, fighting for gender rights within human reach rather than with legislation and slogans. Their agit-prop artwork has come to permeate internet trans culture, national television, and headlines as far as Germany.”   [From the San Francisco Public Library website here: https://sfpl.org/index.php?pg=1032262901 ]

Posted at the exhibition, MRA/incel complaints of “reverse sexism”: The fact that violence against feminists and lesbians is considered more likely to be perpetrated by males (as evidenced by all crime statistics worldwide throughout human history) is a conclusion that discriminates against men. Hmm. Never seen that one before. (sarcasm). Explicitly states that acknowledging male violence against women is “anti-transgender”.”

 

Weapons to hurt the females that disagree with you.  Using violence as a ‘debate’ tactic.  Blaming women for the problem of male violence.  These ‘women’ sure do sound a lot like entitled males who, at the drop of hat (bonnet?, because clothes make the woman amiright??) are likely to resort to violence to enforce and protect their male privilege (in this case, dictating not only their reality but what yours needs to be as well, because ‘fuck you’ and your bigoted transphobic dedication to the world/facts/objective reality).

I’m waiting hand-maidens.

I pine to hear your spirited defence of male violence and male privilege be sure to include a piece on ‘inclusiveness’ and ‘intersectionality’ it will make your empower your arguments, trust me.  Make the case the against against what is right here in the open – the vulgar expression of male dominance and socialization – cloaked in the somehow-palatable post-modern liberal new-think/new-speak.  Explain how amazingly progressive transactivism is, and how it should be a part of feminism proper.

I shan’t hold my breath.

I will, however, untidily weave my way back to the introduction and the soccer experience that Stephanie Labbé had and some possible solutions to her problem.  With the current gender-identity fad (fap?) that is going on, she could very well self-identify as a man and under our oh so long sighted Canadian Gender Legislation go to court and sue the crap out of the Soccer association for not respecting the gender of her choice, after-all its perfectly clear that strong feelings and thoughts alone can change you from one gender to another (dicey though, because strangely, a female can say that are male, but society isn’t obligated to respect her worldview, or her gender identity especially because society tends to discount the female view/opinion on everything).  This solution (if it works) though is less than optimal because she would still be playing within the patriarchal superstructure of gender that at its very foundation lays the tenets for female oppression and male domination.  Certainly, she could be advancing her individual cause, but as to other women who suffer under patriarchy would that be the solution for them as well?

Why are not females by the tens of thousands flocking to the trans banner and identify as trans-men to get all the sweet sweet benefits that come with being a man?  It seems like a rather easy fix no?

Look at what is happening in the real world.  Trans identified males are getting the headlines and are the leadership of the transactivist movement.  Shouldn’t the trans identified women – now with male privilege, because transmen are men, – be leading the way?  Currently though, what are trans identified females getting lauded for?  Hmm…giving birth… of course, nothing says male privilege like having a baby.

No amount of ‘queering’ the system will change the fundamental rules that underlie the power dynamics of our society – sex based privilege and sex based oppression are some of the prime movers in society and no amount of language deformation and gender bending is going to change that.  Playing within the toxic game of gender and gender roles only strengthens the justifications for keeping the status quo intact, when in fact, the problem is the very game itself and that is the problem that needs to be addressed.

Do away with the conception of gender and we’re suddenly one step closer to that free and equal society people keeping pining for.

 

 

Oh, just shaking my head at this one.  Watch the trans identified male dig a nice hole for himself as he debates with Meghan Murphy and other gender critical feminists.

I have laws enshrined in society now that protects my male delusions of gender, fear me female!  Of course, cue the defence against the world of facts and reality.

Julie Rei makes assertions that are not based in fact.  Watch how quickly Julie gets shut down.

Whoo-whee!  Now there is some goal-post shifting at its finest.  Shift away Julie, I’m pretty sure Gender Rebel is not going to brook any of your shit.

Lol-cakes!  The idea that you can adopt the patriarchally approved gender stereotypes and that somehow makes you a woman is not only foolish, it is appalling.  Bullshit patriarchal expectations are what radical feminists fight against because, you guessed it, they hurt women (and men).

In the last panel Scott rightly points out the irony of Morgane’s position and PinkPussyHatRadFemTERF delivers the Coup de grâce doing what radfems do best naming the problem and identifying how to counter it.

 

This BS sadly is happening in my country.  I’m so very glad that we have people who are standing up to the trans-cult when they make assertions contrary to reality.   Oh hey, let me get that definition mentioned in the twitter stream.

Pluralistic Ignorance – “In social psychology, pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it.[1] This is also described as “no one believes, but everyone thinks that everyone believes”. In short, pluralistic ignorance is a bias about a social group, held by that social group.[2][3]

Pluralistic ignorance may help to explain the bystander effect.[4] If no-one acts, onlookers may believe others believe action is incorrect, and may therefore themselves refrain from acting.”

In Canada it is easy to see where elite consensus lies. Marijuana legislation is barrelling ahead (potheads rejoice!) and electoral reform is dead in the water and slowly sinking out of the public’s consciousness.

This is how electoral reform died in Canada:

“In response, Trudeau pointed to a difference of opinions among the major political parties.

“As people in this House know, I have long preferred a preferential ballot. The members opposite [in the NDP] wanted proportional representation. The Official Opposition wanted a referendum,” he said, gesturing toward the Conservatives.

“There is no consensus. There is no clear path forward. It would be irresponsible to do something that harms Canada’s stability.”

Later, in response to a question from May, Trudeau expanded on his explanation.

“Anything a prime minister or a government must do must be in the interest of Canada and all Canadians, particularly when it comes to transforming our electoral system. I understand the passion and the intensity with which the member opposite believes in this and many Canadians mirror that passion and that intensity.”

“But there is no consensus, there is no sense of how to do this. And, quite frankly, a divisive referendum, an augmentation of extremist voices in this House, is not what is in the best interests of Canada.”

It is quite odd that ‘building consensus” and “augmentation of extremist voices” were of such a deeply troubling concern to our dear Prime Minister. The Liberal Party currently holds a majority in our House of Commons – 184 seats (14 more than the required 170) – so they can pass whatever damn legislation they choose, at any time, and the opposition can do precisely diddly-squat about it.

Enter the consensus building. Or, to look at things slightly more Machiavellian, why would the government dismantle the electoral system that has brought it to power tweny-four times since the inception of Canada as a nation?

I’m pretty sure that’s all that needs to be said on the issue of electoral reform.

The other half of the story is the legalization of marijuana and that folks is an example, par excellance of Canadian Government policy careening downhill on the greasiest of skids.  Nothing is going to stop this fully loaded freight-train of weed goodness.   (I have heard nary a whisper of building consensus on this issue – it’s just getting done).  From the Liberal Party website

” Canada’s current system of marijuana prohibition does not work. It does not prevent young people from using marijuana and too many Canadians end up with criminal records for possessing small amounts of the drug.

Arresting and prosecuting these offenses is expensive for our criminal justice system. It traps too many Canadians in the criminal justice system for minor, non-violent offenses. At the same time, the proceeds from the illegal drug trade support organized crime and greater threats to public safety, like human trafficking and hard drugs.

To ensure that we keep marijuana out of the hands of children, and the profits out of the hands of criminals, we will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to marijuana.

We will remove marijuana consumption and incidental possession from the Criminal Code, and create new, stronger laws to punish more severely those who provide it to minors, those who operate a motor vehicle while under its influence, and those who sell it outside of the new regulatory framework.”

Oh the principled anguish!

I’m not buying it for a second.  The legality of marijuana is a trivial issue.   It will not affect those in the halls of power one iota.  And, thus we have this great commitment and expressed vigour to helping all Canadians and making things better for the country.  (Clearly, reforming the skewed FPP electoral system won’t benefit Canadians or the country…)

OTTAWA — The Canadian government has introduced sweeping legislation designed to permit the recreational use of marijuana throughout the country by July 2018, fulfilling an election promise by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The bill, inspired in part by the experiences of cannabis regimes in Colorado and Washington state, goes well beyond the U.S. situation, where marijuana remains prohibited at the federal level. In Canada, the federal government will change criminal law nationally and will license growers and set product standards while leaving it up to the provinces to handle distribution and manage retail sale.

Canada will become the first large industrialized nation with a broad system permitting recreational as well as medical use of marijuana. At present, only Uruguay has a national legal regime permitting widespread use of cannabis.”

*sigh* – Oh, Canada.  :/

 

 

 

So this happened.

Then they changed it to this.

Like the climate change that comes along with carbon emissions DOESN’T hurt us. Short term thinking is our bane.  For the record – the carbon tax is a necessary feature of our society if we wish to continue to progress as a society and a nation.

 

Now that we’re in the era of the 45th republican administration the battles we fight are more basic.  Defending basic rights of people and defending the societal institutions that promote equality in society.  That is where we are now.  But back in the first term of the Obama presidency he had it all, majorities in both houses and what came of it?  Pretty much nothing and in this Q&A interview with Thomas Frank, some of the reasons for the Obama flop are teased out and discussed candidly.

 

The book is about how the Democratic Party turned its back on working people and now pursues policies that actually increase inequality. What are the policies or ideological commitments in the Democratic Party that make you think this?

The first piece of evidence is what’s happened since the financial crisis. This is the great story of our time. Inequality has actually gotten worse since then, which is a remarkable thing. This is under a Democratic president who we were assured (or warned) was the most liberal or radical president we would ever see.  Yet inequality has gotten worse, and the gains since the financial crisis, since the recovery began, have gone entirely to the top 10 percent of the income distribution.

This is not only because of those evil Republicans, but because Obama played it the way he wanted to. Even when he had a majority in both houses of Congress and could choose whoever he wanted to be in his administration, he consistently made policies that favored the top 10 percent over everybody else. He helped out Wall Street in an enormous way when they were entirely at his mercy.

He could have done anything he wanted with them, in the way that Franklin Roosevelt did in the ’30s. But he chose not to.

Why is that? This is supposed to be the Democratic Party, the party that’s interested in working people, average Americans. Why would they react to a financial crisis in this way? Once you start digging into this story, it goes very deep. You find that there was a transition in the Democratic Party in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s where they convinced themselves that they needed to abandon working people in order to serve a different constituency: a constituency essentially of white-collar professionals.

That’s the most important group in their coalition. That’s who they won over in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. That’s who they serve, and that’s where they draw from. The leaders of the Democratic Party are always from this particular stratum of society.

 

There is no party of the working class, or even ones making half-hearted attempts to look like it any more in the United States.  The interests of the great majority of Americans simply have no place, and no voice in the US democratic system.

I hearken back to my country whose political game of hot potato has historically fluctuated between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party – it is the same shit – with the liberals selling out the middle and lower classes at a slightly lower rate than the conservative manage to do every time they are in power.  We have a viable third party in Canada the New Democratic Party – that through the near heroic efforts of leader lost to cancer – could have formed the first avowedly socialist government (we’re pretty social democratic here by default, despite the neoliberal cancer that is US politics) in Canada’s history.

That hope was shot to shit by one of the greatest miscalculations in Canadian political history – the new NDP leader, Tom Mulcair unwisely thought that moving to the political centre was the best course of action riding the late Jack Layton’s orange wave of support.  And in our last election the NDP (the MF NDP) was outflanked by the liberals ON THE LEFT and was, once again relegated to second opposition status in the house of commons (Lib 184, Con 99, NDP 44).

The NDP ignored the boilerplate election strategy that has held true for nearly every Canadian election – run centre left, and govern centre right.  Tom Mulcair ignored this simple nugget of truth and now we have the world’s darling Justin Trudeau and his Liberal Party ruling the nation from the centre right and showing more and more contempt for the middle class that so dutifully elected them.

What gives?  In the US Thomas Frank contends it is the Democratic Party’s obsession with the professional class to the exclusion of all others.

What’s the content of the ideology of the professional class and how does it hurt working people? What are their guiding principles?

The first commandment of the professional class is the idea of meritocracy, which allows people to think that those on top are there because they deserve to be. With the professional class, it’s always associated with education. They deserve to be there because they worked really hard and went to a good college and to a good graduate school. They’re high achievers. Democrats are really given to credentialism in a way that Republicans aren’t.

If you look at the last few Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Obama, and Hillary Clinton as well, their lives are a tale of educational achievement. This is what opened up the doors of the world to them. It’s a party of who people who have gotten where they are by dint of educational accomplishment.

This produces a set of related ideas. When the Democrats, the party of the professionals, look at the economic problems of working-class people, they always see an educational problem, because they look at working class people and say, “Those people didn’t do what I did”: go and get advanced degrees, go to the right college, get the high SAT scores and study STEM or whatever.

There’s another interesting part of this ideology: this endless search for consensus. Washington is a city of professionals with advanced degrees, and Democrats look around them there and say, “We’re all intelligent people. We all went to good schools. We know what the problems are and we know what the answers are, and politics just get in the way.”

This is a very typical way of thinking for the professional class: reaching for consensus, because politics is this ugly thing that you don’t really need. You see this in Obama’s endless efforts to negotiate a grand bargain with Republicans because everybody in Washington knows the answers to the problems—we just have to get together, sit down and make an agreement. The same with Obamacare: He spent so many months trying to get Republicans to sign on, even just one or two, so that he could say it was bipartisan. It was an act of consensus. And the Republicans really played him, because they knew that’s what he’d do.

And we all know how well the Obama Care legacy is going today.  The current set of storm trooper Republicans give exactly no fucks about consensus, bipartisanship, or really anything except enriching and enshrining the 1% as the ruling oligarchs of the US.  And the confounding thing is this – people who are getting hit hard voted this republican administration in.  They took the small mined demagogue and made him their hero, unaware or uncaring of his pedigree and his allegiances with basically all of the forces that are directly fucking the populace over.

The last American election is a stinging indictment of the Democratic Party and how utterly disconnected they are with the majority of Americans.

“A lot of progressives that I talk to are pretty familiar with the idea that the Democratic Party is no longer protecting the interests of workers, but it’s pretty common for us to blame it on mainly the power of money in politics. But you start the book in chapter one by arguing there’s actually something much deeper going on. Can you say something about that?

Money in politics is a big part of the story, but social class goes deeper than that. The Democrats have basically made their commitment [to white-collar professionals] already before money and politics became such a big deal. It worked out well for them because of money in politics. So when they chose essentially the top 10 percent of the income distribution as their most important constituents, that is the story of money.

It wasn’t apparent at the time in the ’70s and ’80s when they made that choice. But over the years, it has become clear that that was a smart choice in terms of their ability to raise money. Organized labor, of course, is no slouch in terms of money. They have a lot of clout in dollar terms. However, they contribute and contribute to the Democrats and they almost never get their way—they don’t get, say, the Employee Free Choice Act, or Bill Clinton passes NAFTA. They do have a lot of money, but their money doesn’t count.

All of this happened because of the civil war within the Democratic Party. They fought with each other all the time in the ’70s and the ’80s. One side hadn’t completely captured the party until Bill Clinton came along in the ’90s. That was a moment of victory for them.”

So, I’m thinking third a third party is necessary in the US.  The cynical side of me thinks that there will actually be one in the US.  Not to have a party that represents the people, but as a corrupt puppet of a party meant to siphon off revolutionary zeal and progressive rage to safeguard the oligarch’s corrupt and self-serving ‘democratic’ system that is currently in place.

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