Democratic Party Quotes

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The Democratic Party supports criminals and Islamic terrorists but has no sympathy for taxpayers.
Ann Coulter (If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans)
The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.
P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government)
I didn’t leave the Democratic party, the Democratic Party left me.
Ronald Reagan
Democrats and Republicans were essentially the same party with different faces and that was why, no matter how many promises each leader made, significant change rarely transpired.
James Morcan (The Ninth Orphan (The Orphan Trilogy, #1))
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat.
Gore Vidal
In the US, there is basically one party - the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to these policies. As is most of the population.
Noam Chomsky
Whether they be young in spirit, or young in age, the members of the Democratic Party must never lose that youthful zest for new ideas and for a better world, which has made us great.
John F. Kennedy
I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers
Hamas is regularly described as 'Iranian-backed Hamas, which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel.' One will be hard put to find something like 'democratically elected Hamas, which has long been calling for a two-state settlement in accord with the international consensus'—blocked for over 30 years by the US and Israel. All true, but not a useful contribution to the Party Line, hence dispensable.
Noam Chomsky (Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel's War Against the Palestinians)
No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler. The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
I don't believe in the Republican party or the Democratic party. I just believe in parties.
Samantha Jones
Blind party loyalty will be our downfall. We must follow the truth wherever it leads.
DaShanne Stokes
There is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
The Republican and Democratic parties both feed out of the same bag provided by the monied system, and where the list frequently differs the same interests are represented.
George Seldes
Maybe you do not care much about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.
David Frum (Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic)
I didn`t change. The Democratic Party slid to the Left from right under me.
Charlton Heston
Despite his consistent party-line voting record, some independents and Democrats still think of Senator McCain as the most palatable, independent-minded Republican. But this is the sort of empty compliment a friend of mine once compared to being called “the coolest Osmond.
Sarah Vowell
The media are desperately afraid of being accused of bias. And that's partly because there's a whole machine out there, an organized attempt to accuse them of bias whenever they say anything that the Right doesn't like. So rather than really try to report things objectively, they settle for being even-handed, which is not the same thing. One of my lines in a column—in which a number of people thought I was insulting them personally—was that if Bush said the Earth was flat, the mainstream media would have stories with the headline: 'Shape of Earth—Views Differ.' Then they'd quote some Democrats saying that it was round.
Paul Krugman
Republican and Democrat are simply two different factions of the same ruling party, and their congressional battles are primarily over political spoils, not political ideology
Vox Day
I'm not a member of any organized political party, I'm a Democrat.
Will Rogers
I know nothing that I may say can influence you," he said. "You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy.
Jack London (The Iron Heel)
The problem is politics is made a sport, almost as much a sport as football or baseball. When it comes to politics, adults and politicians do more finger-pointing and play more games than children ever do. Too often are we rooting for the pride of a team rather than the good of the nation.
Criss Jami (Healology)
The Republican party is the party of nostalgia. It seeks to return America to a simpler, more innocent and moral past that never actually existed. The Democrats are utopians. They seek to create an America so fair and non-judgmental that life becomes an unbearable series of apologies. Together, the two parties function like giant down comforters, allowing a candidate to disappear into the enveloping softness, protecting them from exposure to the harsh weather of independent thought.
Jon Stewart (America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction)
The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro. He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
Malcolm X
as a lobbyist he had long ago concluded there was no difference in how Democrats and Republicans conducted the business of government. The game stayed the same: It was always about favors and friends, and who controlled the dough. Party labels were merely a way to keep track of the teams; issues were mostly smoke and vaudeville. Nobody believed in anything except hanging on to power, whatever it took. .....
Carl Hiaasen (Sick Puppy (Skink, #4))
Today's Republican Party...is an insurgent outlier. It has become ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition, all but declaring war on the government. The Democratic Party, while no paragon of civic virtue, is more ideologically centered and diverse, protective of the government's role as it developed over the course of the last century, open to incremental changes in policy fashioned through bargaining with the Republicans, and less disposed to or adept at take-no-prisoners conflict between the parties. This asymmetry between the parties, which journalists and scholars often brush aside or whitewash in a quest for "balance," constitutes a huge obstacle to effective governance.
Thomas E. Mann (It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the Politics of Extremism)
Violence isn't a Democrat or Republican problem. It's an American problem, requiring an American solution.
DaShanne Stokes
I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President, who happens also to be a Catholic.
John F. Kennedy
I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.
Will Rogers
Americans who do not see themselves as victims — of an ‘unfair’ or ‘racist’ or ‘misogynist’ society — are more likely to vote Republican. On the other hand, Americans who see themselves as victims of American society are likely to vote Democrat. Therefore, the Democratic Party and its supportive media cultivate victimhood among almost all Americans who are not white and male.
Dennis Prager (A Dark Time in America)
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party … and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt — until recently … and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
Gore Vidal
[Belva] Lockwood sought more than suffrage. She urged full political and civil rights for all women. Though she could not vote for president, she twice ran for the office herself, pointing out that nothing in the Constitution barred a woman's candidacy. (She took that bold step 124 years before Hillary Rodham Clinton first became a contender for the Democratic Party's nomination.) Explaining why she entered the race, she wrote in a letter to her future running mate, Marietta Stow: 'We shall never have equal rights until we take them, nor equal respect until we command it.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things. In all these movements they bring to the front, as the leading question in each, the property question, no matter what its degree of development at the time. Finally, they labour everywhere for the union and agreement of the democratic parties of all countries. The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. WORKING MEN OF ALL COUNTRIES, UNITE!
Friedrich Engels (The Communist Manifesto)
The Democratic Party of the USA would greatly appreciate your cooperation with re-installing Mr & Mrs Pinocchio into the White House.
Steven Magee
In attacking the young, the liberal, and the black, Daley was in the mainstream of America's mass prejudices. The Democratic party may have suffered by his actions, but Daley came out...even more popular than before because "bust their heads" was the mood of the land and Daley had swung the biggest club.
Mike Royko
One of the strangest phenomena of our time, and one that will probably be a matter of astonishment to our descendants, is the doctrine which is founded upon this triple hypothesis: the radical passiveness of mankind,— the omnipotence of the law,—the infallibility of the legislator: this is the sacred symbol of the party that proclaims itself exclusively democratic.
Frédéric Bastiat (The Law)
As for the majority, it is not so much race as it is political affiliation that really divides it today. What was once an issue of physical difference is now one of intellectual difference. Men have yet to master disagreeing without flashing all their frustrations that come with it; the conservative will throw half-truths while the liberal will throw insults. Combine these and what do you get? A dishonest mockery of a country.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Anyone can say that rocks fall down rather than up, but only a person who is truly committed to the brethren has a reason to say that God is three persons but also one person, or that the Democratic Party ran a child sex ring out of a Washington pizzeria.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
It was Bill Clinton who once pithily captured the contrast between the two parties when it came to selecting a presidential standard-bearer: "Democrats want to fall in love; Republicans just fall in line.
Mark Halperin (Double Down: Game Change 2012)
There is only one hope for mankind - and that is democratic socialism. There is only one party in Great Britain which can do it - and that is the Labour Party.
Aneurin Bevan
In 1960, when a survey asked American adults whether it would “disturb” them if their child married a member of the other political party, no more than 5 percent of either party answered “yes.” But in 2010, 33 percent of Democrats and 40 percent of Republicans answered “yes.” In fact, partyism, as some call it, now beats race as the source of divisive prejudice.
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
Both political parties have moved to the right during the neoliberal period. Today’s New Democrats are pretty much what used to be called “moderate Republicans.” The “political revolution” that Bernie Sanders called for, rightly, would not have greatly surprised Dwight Eisenhower. The fate of the minimum wage illustrates what has been happening. Through the periods of high and egalitarian growth in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the minimum wage—which sets a floor for other wages—tracked productivity. That ended with the onset of neoliberal doctrine. Since then, the minimum wage has stagnated (in real value). Had it continued as before, it would probably be close to $20 per hour. Today, it is considered a political revolution to raise it to $15.
Noam Chomsky
The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work, and then they get elected and prove it.
P.J. O'Rourke (Parliament of Whores: A Lone Humorist Attempts to Explain the Entire U.S. Government)
In the United States […] the two main business-dominated parties, with the support of the corporate community, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties (that might appeal to non-business interests) and let them be effective. Although there is marked and frequently observed dissatisfaction with the Republicans and Democrats, electoral politics is one area where notions of competitions and free choice have little meaning. In some respects the caliber of debate and choice in neoliberal elections tends to be closer to that of the one-party communist state than that of a genuine democracy.
Robert W. McChesney (Profit Over People: Neoliberalism and Global Order)
YOU ARE JUST You are not just for the right or left, but for what is right over the wrong. You are not just rich or poor, but always wealthy in the mind and heart. You are not perfect, but flawed. You are flawed, but you are just. You may just be conscious human, but you are also a magnificent reflection of God.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Famines are easy to prevent if there is a serious effort to do so, and a democratic government, facing elections and criticisms from opposition parties and independent newspapers, cannot help but make such an effort. Not surprisingly, while India continued to have famines under British rule right up to independence … they disappeared suddenly with the establishment of a multiparty democracy and a free press. … a free press and an active political opposition constitute the best early-warning system a country threaten by famines can have
Amartya Sen
Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land: enough! This moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On Nov. 4, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough.
Barack Obama
I am not for the left or the right, but for what is right over the wrong. I am not an elephant or a donkey, but a lion that stands only with Truth and my conscience.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
It is only by ignoring fact, science, and reason that one can support current Republican positions.
Avi Silverman (Phalluses of Logic: How to Know When Republicans Lie)
Republican or Democrat, this nation's affluent urban and suburban classes understand their bread is buttered on the corporate side. The primary difference between the two parties is that the Republicans pretty much admit that they grasp and even endorse some of the nastiest facts of life in America. Republicans honestly tell the world: "Listen in on my phone calls, piss-test me until I'm blind, kill and eat all of my neighbors right in front of my eyes, but show me the money! Let me escape with every cent I can kick out of the suckers, the taxpayers, and anybody else I can get a headlock on, legally or otherwise." Democrats, in contrast, seem content to catalog the GOP's outrages against the Republic, showing proper indignation while laughing at episodes of The Daily Show. But they stand behind the American brand: imperialism. They "support our troops," though you will be hard put to find any of them who have served alongside them or who would send one of their own kids off to lose an eye or an arm in Iraq. They play the imperial game, maintain their credit ratings, and plan to keep the beach house and the retirement investments if it means sacrificing every damned Lynndie England in West Virginia.
Joe Bageant (Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War)
Mainly, though, the Democratic Party has become the party of reaction. In reaction to a war that is ill conceived, we appear suspicious of all military action. In reaction to those who proclaim the market can cure all ills, we resist efforts to use market principles to tackle pressing problems. In reaction to religious overreach, we equate tolerance with secularism, and forfeit the moral language that would help infuse our policies with a larger meaning. We lose elections and hope for the courts to foil Republican plans. We lost the courts and wait for a White House scandal. And increasingly we feel the need to match the Republican right in stridency and hardball tactics. The accepted wisdom that drives many advocacy groups and Democratic activists these days goes like this: The Republican Party has been able to consistently win elections not by expanding its base but by vilifying Democrats, driving wedges into the electorate, energizing its right wing, and disciplining those who stray from the party line. If the Democrats ever want to get back into power, then they will have to take up the same approach. ...Ultimately, though, I believe any attempt by Democrats to pursue a more sharply partisan and ideological strategy misapprehends the moment we're in. I am convinced that whenever we exaggerate or demonize, oversimplify or overstate our case, we lose. Whenever we dumb down the political debate, we lose. For it's precisely the pursuit of ideological purity, the rigid orthodoxy and the sheer predictability of our current political debate, that keeps us from finding new ways to meet the challenges we face as a country. It's what keeps us locked in "either/or" thinking: the notion that we can have only big government or no government; the assumption that we must either tolerate forty-six million without health insurance or embrace "socialized medicine". It is such doctrinaire thinking and stark partisanship that have turned Americans off of politics.
Barack Obama (The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream)
Democracies work best—and survive longer—where constitutions are reinforced by unwritten democratic norms. Two basic norms have preserved America’s checks and balances in ways we have come to take for granted: mutual toleration, or the understanding that competing parties accept one another as legitimate rivals, and forbearance, or the idea that politicians should exercise restraint in deploying their institutional prerogatives.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
We pretend that our present system is democratic, yet the people never have the chance nor the means to express their views on any problem of public life. Any issue that does not pertain to particular interests is abandoned to collective passions, which are systematically and officially inflamed.
Simone Weil (On the Abolition of All Political Parties)
The Republican Party has used objection, obstruction, and filibustering not only to block the necessary processes of government but also in order to make ordinary Americans deeply cynical about Washington. Republicans perpetually run against government and come out on top. But, in the process, they are undermining the foundations of self-rule in a representative democracy.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Let’s face it: The Republican Party is no longer a broad-based conservative party in the historically accepted sense. It is an oligarchy with a well-developed public relations strategy designed to soothe and anesthetize its followers with appeals to tradition, security, and family even as it pursues a radical agenda that would transform the country into a Dickensian corporatocracy at home and a belligerent military empire abroad.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
George Bush made a mistake when he referred to the Saddam Hussein regime as 'evil.' Every liberal and leftist knows how to titter at such black-and-white moral absolutism. What the president should have done, in the unlikely event that he wanted the support of America's peace-mongers, was to describe a confrontation with Saddam as the 'lesser evil.' This is a term the Left can appreciate. Indeed, 'lesser evil' is part of the essential tactical rhetoric of today's Left, and has been deployed to excuse or overlook the sins of liberal Democrats, from President Clinton's bombing of Sudan to Madeleine Albright's veto of an international rescue for Rwanda when she was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Among those longing for nuance, moral relativism—the willingness to use the term evil, when combined with a willingness to make accommodations with it—is the smart thing: so much more sophisticated than 'cowboy' language.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
We cannot, of course, expect every leader to possess the wisdom of Lincoln or Mandela’s largeness of soul. But when we think about what questions might be most useful to ask, perhaps we should begin by discerning what our prospective leaders believe it worthwhile for us to hear. Do they cater to our prejudices by suggesting that we treat people outside our ethnicity, race, creed or party as unworthy of dignity and respect? Do they want us to nurture our anger toward those who we believe have done us wrong, rub raw our grievances and set our sights on revenge? Do they encourage us to have contempt for our governing institutions and the electoral process? Do they seek to destroy our faith in essential contributors to democracy, such as an independent press, and a professional judiciary? Do they exploit the symbols of patriotism, the flag, the pledge in a conscious effort to turn us against one another? If defeated at the polls, will they accept the verdict, or insist without evidence they have won? Do they go beyond asking about our votes to brag about their ability to solve all problems put to rest all anxieties and satisfy every desire? Do they solicit our cheers by speaking casually and with pumped up machismo about using violence to blow enemies away? Do they echo the attitude of Musolini: “The crowd doesn’t have to know, all they have to do is believe and submit to being shaped.”? Or do they invite us to join with them in building and maintaining a healthy center for our society, a place where rights and duties are apportioned fairly, the social contract is honored, and all have room to dream and grow. The answers to these questions will not tell us whether a prospective leader is left or right-wing, conservative or liberal, or, in the American context, a Democrat or a Republican. However, they will us much that we need to know about those wanting to lead us, and much also about ourselves. For those who cherish freedom, the answers will provide grounds for reassurance, or, a warning we dare not ignore.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Before the nineteen-seventies, most Republicans in Washington accepted the institutions of the welfare state, and most Democrats agreed with the logic of the Cold War. Despite the passions over various issues, government functioned pretty well. Legislators routinely crossed party lines when they voted, and when they drank; filibusters in the Senate were reserved for the biggest bills; think tanks produced independent research, not partisan talking points. The "D." or "R." after a politician's name did not tell you what he thought about everything, or everything you thought about him.
George Packer
Voting for the Green Party is how you say 'Up Yours!' to the Republicans and Democrats.
Steven Magee
A favorite liberal taunt is to accuse conservatives of clinging to an idealized past. Poor, right-wing Americans vaguely sense the world is changing and now they’re lashing out. What about the idealized past liberals cling to? They all act as if they were civil rights foot soldiers constantly getting beat up by 500-pound southern sheriffs, while every twenty-year-old Republican today is treated as if he is on Team Bull Connor. At best, the struggle for civil rights was an intra-Democratic Party fight. More accurately, it was Republicans and blacks fighting Democrat segregationists and enablers.
Ann Coulter (Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama)
Let me be clear: I don't trust the Republicans. And I don't trust the Democrats, & I think a whole lot of Americans likewise don't trust the Republicans & the Democrats, because it is leadership in both parties that has gotten us in this mess.
Ted Cruz
With modern technology it is the easiest of tasks for a media, guided by a narrow group of political manipulators, to speak constantly of democracy and freedom while urging regime changes everywhere on earth but at home. A curious condition of a republic based roughly on the original Roman model is that it cannot allow true political parties to share in government. What then is a true political party: one that is based firmly in the interest of a class be it workers or fox hunters. Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism.
Gore Vidal
If your party serves the powerful and well-funded interests, and there's no limit to what you can spend, you have a permanent, structural advantage. We're averaging fifty-dollar checks in our campaign, and trying to ward off these seven- or eight-figure checks on the other side. That disparity is pretty striking, and so are the implications. In many ways, we're back in the Gilded Age. We have robber barons buying the government.
David Axelrod
Socialism lost its way largely when it became decoupled from the processes of democracy. My vision of a socially just society is one that is deeply democratic, that allows people’s voices to be heard, where people actually govern. C.L.R James sometimes used the slogan “every cook can govern” to speak to the concept that there should be no hierarchies of power between those who lead and their constituencies. This idea is related to Antonio Gramsci’s argument that the goal of the revolutionary party is for every member to be an intellectual. That is, everyone has the capacity, has the ability to articulate a vision of reality and to fight for the realization of their values and goals in society. Gramsci is pointing toward the development of a strategy that is deeply democratic, one where we don’t have elitist, vanguardist notions of what society should look like, but have humility and the patience to listen to and learn from working class and poor people, who really are at the center of what any society is.
Manning Marable
The moment has come to give fascism a usable short handle, even though we know that it encompasses its subject no better than a snapshot encompasses a person. Fascism may be defined as a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
A lifelong Methodist, he had always viewed religious excess with a certain irony, having once told a clutch of ministers that America boasted three parties: Democrats, Republicans, and Methodists.
Ron Chernow (Grant)
A public that pays more attention to reality TV than its status as free citizens cannot withstand an unremitting encroachment on its liberties by calculating, unscrupulous, and power-hungry leaders.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.
Albert Einstein (Why Socialism?)
The word fascism is not a word of abuse any more than the word capitalism is. It is a concept denoting a very definite kind of mass leadership and mass influence: authoritarian, one-party system, hence totalitarian, a system in which power takes priority over objective interests, and facts are distorted for political purposes. Hence, there are "fascist Jews," just as there are "fascist Democrats.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
he learned that America differed from Russia in that its government existed under the form of a democracy. The officials who ruled it, and got all the graft, had to be elected first; and so there were two rival sets of grafters, known as political parties, and the one got the office which bought the most votes. Now and then, the election was very close, and that was the time the poor man came in. In the stockyards this was only in national and state elections, for in local elections the Democratic Party always carried everything.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
I do not assert that the ostensible end, or even that the secret aim, of American parties is to promote the rule of aristocracy or democracy in the country; but I affirm that aristocratic or democratic passions may easily be detected at the bottom of all parties, and that, although they escape a superficial observation, they are the main point and the very soul of every faction in the United States.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
Early survey researchers noted in 1936 that 83% of Republicans believed that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's policies were leading the country down the road to dictatorship, a view shared by only 9% Democrats.
Bradley Palmquist (Partisan Hearts and Minds: Political Parties and the Social Identities of Voters)
Her father was frightened by a strange bed or a foreign language or a political party he didn't belong to. Her father truly believed that the Democratic party was a subversive organization whose design would destroy the United States and put it in the hands of bearded communists.
John Steinbeck (The Wayward Bus)
No matter what they say, Democrats and Republicans in the United States do not control the government because they are best able to serve us and meet our needs. In fact, both parties couldn't care less about us.
Andrew P. Napolitano (Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History)
The conservatives won. They turned the Democrats into a center-right party. They got the entire country singing 'God Bless America,' stress on God, at every single major-league baseball game. They won on every fucking front, but they especially won culturally, and especially regarding babies. In 1970 it was cool to care about the planet's future and not have kids. Now the one thing everyone agrees on, right and left, is that it's beautiful to have a lot of babies. The more the better. Kate Winslet is pregnant, hooray hooray. Some dimwit in Iowa just had octuplets, hooray hooray. The conversation about the idiocy of SUV's stops dead the minute people say they're buying them to protect their precious babies. (221)
Jonathan Franzen (Freedom)
It was the new politics of ambiguity—speaking for the lower and middle classes to get their support in times of rapid growth and potential turmoil. The two-party system came into its own in this time. To give people a choice between two different parties and allow them, in a period of rebellion, to choose the slightly more democratic one was an ingenious mode of control.
Howard Zinn (A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present)
At least two important conservative thinkers, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, were unbelievers or nonbelievers and in any case contemptuous of Christianity. I have my own differences with both of these savants, but is the Republican Party really prepared to disown such modern intellectuals as it can claim, in favor of a shallow, demagogic and above all sectarian religiosity? Perhaps one could phrase the same question in two further ways. At the last election, the GOP succeeded in increasing its vote among American Jews by an estimated five percentage points. Does it propose to welcome these new adherents or sympathizers by yelling in the tones of that great Democrat bigmouth William Jennings Bryan? By insisting that evolution is 'only a theory'? By demanding biblical literalism and by proclaiming that the Messiah has already shown himself? If so, it will deserve the punishment for hubris that is already coming its way. (The punishment, in other words, that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson believed had struck America on Sept. 11, 2001. How can it be that such grotesque characters, calling down divine revenge on the workers in the World Trade Center, are allowed a respectful hearing, or a hearing at all, among patriotic Republicans?). [. . . And Why I'm Most Certainly Not! -- The Wall Street Journal, Commentary Column. May 5, 2005]
Christopher Hitchens
Liberals habitually work themselves into a lather about the antics of Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, but they are really just political gargoyles looking for ratings as they whip up the GOP faithful. The true danger lies in an ostensibly neutral journalism that most Americans count on to tell them what is going on in the world but which too often acts as a stenographer for powerful and self-serving factions in government operating under a cloak of anonymity.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
We must conclude with a troubling caveat, however. The norms sustaining our political system rested, to a considerable degree, on racial exclusion. The stability of the period between the end of Reconstruction and the 1980s was rooted in an original sin: the Compromise of 1877 and its aftermath, which permitted the de-democratization of the South and the consolidation of Jim Crow. Racial exclusion contributed directly to the partisan civility and cooperation that came to characterize twentieth-century American politics. The “solid South” emerged as a powerful conservative force within the Democratic Party, simultaneously vetoing civil rights and serving as a bridge to Republicans. Southern Democrats’ ideological proximity to conservative Republicans reduced polarization and facilitated bipartisanship. But it did so at the great cost of keeping civil rights—and America’s full democratization—off the political agenda.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
Frederick Douglass called Republicans the ‘Party of freedom and progress,’ and the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law. The Democrats on the other hand were the Party of Jim Crow. It was Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners. It was the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who championed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but it was Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the bill.
Elbert Guillory
I would rather be ignored than patronized, I said, pointing to the tendency of the Democratic party to talk about women, minorities and the poor. I hated identity politics and the self-satisfied people who assume that they were free of prejudices when in fact they too could not see beyond color to the individual.
Condoleezza Rice (Condoleezza Rice: A Memoir of My Extraordinary, Ordinary Family and Me)
1983: To my generation has now come the challenge. In the days to come we will be tested on whether we have the moral courage, the realism, the idealism, the tenacity, and the ability to sacrifice some of the current comfort to invest in the future... I believe that this generation will rise to the challenge... The experts believe that, like the Democratic Party itself, the less than forty-year-old voters are prepared to sell their souls for some security, real or illusory. They have misjudged us. Just because our political heroes were murdered does not mean that the dream does not still live, buried deep in our broken hearts.
Joe Biden (Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics)
This isn't the Democratic party of our fathers and grandfathers. This is the party of Woodstock hippies. I was at Woodstock--I built the stage. And when everything fell apart, and people were fighting for peanut butter sandwiches, it was the National Guard who came in and saved the same people who were protesting them. So when Hillary Clinton a few years ago wanted to build a Woodstock memorial, I said it should be a statue of a National Guardsman feeding a crying hippie.
John Ratzenberger
I never favored any political party. Being a conservative or a liberal, a Republican or a Democrat, these are just labels that people use to categorize each other so that they can quickly decide whether or not they want to listen to what they have to say. Politicians are not interested in empathizing with each other. They simply try to do as little as possible in the way of serving the public while building their reputation among their peers, amassing power and wealth that is unimaginable to the common American citizen that they supposedly represent.
Aaron B. Powell (Oneiric: Stories)
Like biblical literalists, Republicans assert that the Constitution is divinely inspired and inerrant. But also like biblical literalists, they are strangely selective about those portions of their favorite document that they care to heed, and they favor rewriting it when it stands in the way of their political agenda.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
If the political left weren't so joyless, humorless, intrusive, taxing, over-taxing, anarchistic, controlling, rudderless, chaos-prone, pedantic, unrealistic, hypocritical, clueless, politically correct, angry, cruel, sanctimonious, retributive, redistributive, intolerant, and if the political left wasn't hell-bent on expansion of said unpleasantness into all aspects of my family's life the truth is: I would not be in your life. If the democratic party were run by Joe Lieberman and Evan Bayh, if it had the slightest vestige of JFK and Henry "Scoop" Jackson I wouldn't be on the political map. If the American media were run by biased but not evil Tim Russert and David Brinkley types I wouldn't have joined the fight. You would not know who I am. The left made me do it, I swear, I am a reluctant cultural warrior.
Andrew Breitbart
And the primary if not only difference between the liberals and the illiberals on this issue is that the American alt-right and France's National Front and Germany's National Democratic Party (I haven't been to England, so will leave them out of this) will try their best to kill you quickly or keep you out of the West altogether, whereas the liberals will write elaborate pamphlets about your condition while doing little to change it and even less to come in contact with it -- or with you, for that matter.
Casey Gerald (There Will Be No Miracles Here: A Memoir)
The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
I know nothing that I may say can influence you," he said. "You have no souls to be influenced. You are spineless, flaccid things. You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican Party. There is no Democratic Party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy. You talk verbosely in antiquated terminology of your love of liberty, and all the while you wear the scarlet livery of the Iron Heel." Here
Jack London (The Iron Heel)
Madeleine Albright has said that there is 'a special place in hell for women who don't help each other.' What are the implications of this statement? Would it be an argument in favor of the candidacy of Mrs. Clinton? Would this mean that Elizabeth Edwards and Michelle Obama don't deserve the help of fellow females? If the Republicans nominated a woman would Ms. Albright instantly switch parties out of sheer sisterhood? Of course not. (And this wearisome tripe from someone who was once our secretary of state ...)
Christopher Hitchens
It was the Civil Rights Act, which Democratic president Lyndon Johnson embraced and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater opposed, that would define the Democrats as the party of civil rights and Republicans as the party of racial status quo.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
The religious right provides the foot soldiers for the GOP. This fact has profound implications for the rest of the Republicans’ ideological agenda.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising. —Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe,
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Capturing the terms of the debate through the adroit use of language has allowed the GOP to bamboozle millions of people about their own material interests.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
rogue state: a country that violates international law by committing armed aggression, torturing prisoners, assassinating opponents, and possessing weapons of mass destruction.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
I show in a subsequent chapter how the Democrats were the party of slavery, and how the slave-owner mentality continues to shape the policies of Democratic leaders today.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
I belong to no organized political party; I’m a Democrat
Will Rogers
By weaponizing the discourse of human rights to justify the use of force against governments that resisted the Washington consensus, this group of well-connected liberals was able to stir support where the neocons could not. Their brand of interventionism appealed directly to the sensibility of the Democratic Party's metropolitan base, large swaths of academia, the foundation-funded human rights NGO complex, and the New York Times editorial board. The xhibition of atrocities allegedly committed by adversarial governments, either by Western-funded civil society groups, major human rights organizations or the mainstream press, was the military humanists' stock in trade, enabling them to mask imperial designs behind a patina of "genocide prevention." With this neat tactic, they effectively neutralized progressive antiwar elements and tarred those who dared to protest their wars as dictator apologists.
Max Blumenthal (The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump)
Limited government is not a means to liberty, it is an end. That is to say, there are always going to be a group of citizens who cannot meet their basic needs, and there most assuredly will always be politicians willing to promise that they will meet them. The difference between liberty and tyranny by popular support, or correctly termed “democratic despotism, ” is little more than the vehicle a free society chooses to use in order to meet those needs.
Richard D. Baris (Our Virtuous Republic: The Forgotten Clause in the American Social Contract)
For too long we have been misled by Democrats, who have depended upon our votes for power. For too long we have been made to believe that the state is sovereign, that we cannot lead prosperous lives without assistance from the government. But the truth is that we do not belong to the Democrat Party, nor do we belong to their socialist creed. We answer not to the false god of government, but to the one true God of our faith. Socialism is the gospel of envy and the sharing of misery, and our time within the pages of its history is coming to an end.
Candace Owens (Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation)
Socialists seem to think George Orwell’s 1984 is a suggestion, or at least are unashamed of mimicking the methods of the totalitarian state Orwell depicted. Libertarians know it to be a warning, and a government that micro-manages all aspects of humanity an intolerable reality.
A.E. Samaan
[I]f the public wants the military to perform better, give more prudent advice to its civilian leadership, and spend taxpayer money more wisely, it must elect a Congress that will dial down a few notches its habitual and childish 'we support the troops!' mantra and start asking skeptical questions - and not accepting bland evasions or appeals to patriotism as a response.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism—ownership of government by an individual, by a group.”           —Franklin D. Roosevelt
Jimmy Dore (Your Country Is Just Not That Into You: How the Media, Wall Street, and Both Political Parties Keep on Screwing You - Even After You've Moved On)
It came down to so many factors: an underdog who refused to surrender, a presumed victor who refused to fight, disgruntled Democrats - on the left and right - who, by deserting their party, merely strengthened it, and fearful Republican farmers, who in the end, proved more farmer than Republican.
David Pietrusza (1948: Harry Truman's Improbable Victory and the Year that Transformed America)
In its quest for prosperity, the Party of the People declared itself wholeheartedly in favor of a social theory that forthrightly exalted the rich—the all-powerful creative class. For many cities and states, this was the economic strategy; this was what our leaders came up with to revive the urban wastelands and restore the de-industrialized zones. The Democratic idea was no longer to confront privilege but to flatter privilege, to sing the praises of our tasteful new master class. True, this was all done with an eye toward rebuilding the crumbling cities where the rest of us lived and worked, but the consequences of all this “creative class” bootlicking will take a long time to wear off.
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
But even though nobody from the government ever says anything out loud about a lack of evidence being the real reason nobody from these companies goes to jail, we’re all—including reporters who cover this stuff—still supposed to accept that as the real explanation. It’s a particular feature of modern American government officials, particularly Democratic Party types, that they often expect the press and the public to give them credit for their unspoken excuses. They’ll vote yea on the Iraq war and the Patriot Act and nay for a public option or an end to torture or a bill to break up the banks. Then they’ll cozy up to you privately and whisper that of course they’re with you in spirit on those issues, but politically it just wasn’t possible to vote that way. And then they start giving you their reasons.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
…in recent history the Democrat Party has created the illusion that their agenda and their policies are what’s best for black people. Somehow it’s been forgotten that the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist movement with one simple creed: that slavery is a violation of the rights of man.
Elbert Guillory
Bismarck had cunningly taught the parties not to aim at national appeal but to represent interests. They remained class or sectional pressure-groups under the Republic. This was fatal, for it made the party system, and with it democratic parliamentarianism, seem a divisive rather than a unifying factor. Worse: it meant the parties never produced a leader who appealed beyond the narrow limits of his own following.
Paul Johnson (Modern Times)
At my own beloved UCLA the numbers are just as frightening. There are thirty-one English professors with registered party affiliation. Twenty-nine of them are affiliated with the Democratic party, the Green party, or another leftist political party. Out of thirteen journalism professors with registered affiliation, twelve are affiliated with leftist parties. Fifty-three out of fifty-six history professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Sixteen out of seventeen political science professors are affiliated with leftist parties. Thirty-one of thirty-three women’s studies professors are affiliated with leftist parties.
Ben Shapiro (Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth)
The big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake. That the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism.... Governments led by liberal democrats passed laws which changed the air I breathe for the better. Okay I'm for them and not for the party that is as we speak plotting to abolish the E.P.A. And I don't need to pretend that both sides have a point here, and I don't care what left or right commentators say about it. I only care what climate scientists say about it. Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King speaks on that wall in the capital and he didn't say "Remember folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point too." No, he said, "I had a dream and they had a nightmare." This isn't Team Edward & Team Jacob. Liberals like the ones on that field must stand up and be counted and not pretend that we're as mean or greedy or shortsighted or plain batched as they are. And if that is too polarizing for you and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right ... Try Church.
Bill Maher
It is no coincidence that as the Supreme Court has been removing the last constraints on the legalized corruption of politicians, the American standard of living has been falling at the fastest rate in decades.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
LBJ and the racist history of the Democrat Party can help us understand how it is plausible that Joe Biden, a well-known and well-respected politician, managed to get away with citing Robert Byrd, a West Virginia senator who had previously held the position of Exalted Cyclops within the Ku Klux Klan, as his mentor.
Candace Owens (Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation)
Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Although you won’t find it in their party platform, the GOP’s mission is to protect and further enrich America’s plutocracy. The party’s caterwauling about deficits and debt is so much eyewash to blind the public. In reality, Republicans act as bellhops for corporate America and the superrich behind those corporations.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
But it wasn't a Primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the backroom of Casey's Saloon rolled into one, and when the smoke cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic Party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes, and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood.
Robert Penn Warren
The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 in Pulaski, Tennessee, by a group of former Confederate soldiers; its first grand wizard was a Confederate general who was also a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. The Klan soon spread beyond the South to the Midwest and the West and became, in the words of historian Eric Foner, “the domestic terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.” The main point of the Klan’s orgy of violence was to prevent blacks from voting—voting, that is, for Republicans. Leading Democrats, including at least one president, two Supreme Court justices, and innumerable senators and congressmen, were Klan members. The last one, Robert Byrd, died in 2010 and was eulogized by President Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton called him her “mentor.” The sordid history of the Democratic Party in the early twentieth century is also married to the sordid history of the progressive movement during the same period. Progressives like Margaret Sanger—founder of Planned Parenthood and a role model for Hillary Clinton—supported such causes as eugenics and social Darwinism. While abortion was not an issue in Sanger’s day, she backed forced sterilization for “unfit” people, notably minorities. Sanger’s Negro Project was specifically focused on reducing the black population.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
I believe the United States government is being systematically taken over by a revolutionary network. They call themselves Progressives, but we know they are really leftist radicals, dedicated to the demise of the free-market capitalist system. They have co-opted and bought off leaders of both the Republican and Democratic parties, established a dominant role in all three branches of government and thoroughly co-opted the mainstream media.
Ziad K. Abdelnour (Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics)
The civil rights movement, culminating in the 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, put an end to this partisan arrangement. Not only did it democratize the South, at long last, by enfranchising blacks and ending single-party rule, but it accelerated a long-run party system realignment whose consequences are still unfolding today.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
This is the new Republican victimology: The liberal media is maliciously misrepresenting the views of a rough-hewn but sincere salt-of-the-earth conservative, even when his plain words indict him as an ignoramus or an opportunist.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
The only way to bring Democrats down to earth, where they might feel subject to the same standards as everyone else, is to attack them with the same moral force they use to prosecute their mission; the only way to do it is to turn their fire on them. To do this, Republicans need to direct their arrows at the Achilles’ heel of the Democratic Party: its monopoly control of the inner cities of America and its responsibility for the misery and suffering inside them.
David Horowitz (Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America)
I personally never expected anything of Obama, and wrote about it before the 2008 primaries. I thought it was smoke and mirrors [...] I don't usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this 'hopey changey' stuff, she was right, there was nothing there. And it was understood by the people who run the political system, and so it's no great secret that the US electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza...it's sort of a marketing affair.
Noam Chomsky
Media work needs ideals. Maybe thirty years from now, after I retire, I'll see the media mature and make the transition from political party, interest group, and corporate to truly public. But over the next ten years, the encroachment of commercialism and worldliness will loom much larger than the democratization we imagine. -Jin Yongquan in China Ink
Judy Polumbaum
Its belief in polarizing language and tactics, a militant and militarized foreign policy, and a constant search for mortal enemies, foreign and domestic alike, qualifies the current GOP as a radical right-wing party, not a conservative one.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Please do not think that I am accusing socialists of insincerity or that I wish to hold them up to scorn either as bad democrats or as unprincipled schemers and opportunists. I fully believe, in spite of the childish Machiavellism in which some of their prophets indulge, that fundamentally most of them always have been as sincere in their professions as any other men. Besides, I do not believe in insincerity in social strife, for people always come to think what they want to think and what they incessantly profess. As regards democracy, socialist parties are presumably no more opportunists than are any others; they simply espouse democracy if, as, and when it serves their ideals and interests and not otherwise. Lest readers should be shocked and think so immoral a view worthy only of the most callous of political practitioners, ...
Joseph Schumpeter (Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy)
I don't mean a 1905 Republican---I don't know what his Tennessee politics were, or if he had any---I mean a 1961 Republican. He was more: he was a Conservative. Like this: a Republican is a mad who made his money; a Liberal is a man who inherited his; a Democrat is a barefooted Liberal in a cross-country race; a Conservative is a Republican who has learned to read and write.
William Faulkner (The Reivers)
The press in America has become the public relations arm of the Democrat Party, which is so blinded by rage for its loss of the White House and Congress that it will stop at nothing to cook up a negative story about Donald Trump, with no regard for truth.
Jeanine Pirro (Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy)
Farmers in the South, West, and Midwest, however, were still building a major movement to escape from the control of banks and merchants lending them supplies at usurious rates; agricultural cooperatives—cooperative buying of supplies and machinery and marketing of produce—as well as cooperative stores, were the remedy to these conditions of virtual serfdom. While the movement was not dedicated to the formation of worker co-ops, in its own way it was at least as ambitious as the Knights of Labor had been. In the late 1880s and early 1890s it swept through southern and western states like a brushfire, even, in some places, bringing black and white farmers together in a unity of interest. Eventually this Farmers’ Alliance decided it had to enter politics in order to break the power of the banks; it formed a third party, the People’s Party, in 1892. The great depression of 1893 only spurred the movement on, and it won governorships in Kansas and Colorado. But in 1896 its leaders made a terrible strategic blunder in allying themselves with William Jennings Bryan of the Democratic party in his campaign for president. Bryan lost the election, and Populism lost its independent identity. The party fell apart; the Farmers’ Alliance collapsed; the movement died, and many of its cooperative associations disappeared. Thus, once again, the capitalists had managed to stomp out a threat to their rule.171 They were unable to get rid of all agricultural cooperatives, however, even with the help of the Sherman “Anti-Trust” Act of 1890.172 Nor, in fact, did big business desire to combat many of them, for instance the independent co-ops that coordinated buying and selling. Small farmers needed cooperatives in order to survive, whether their co-ops were independent or were affiliated with a movement like the Farmers’ Alliance or the Grange. The independent co-ops, moreover, were not necessarily opposed to the capitalist system, fitting into it quite well by cooperatively buying and selling, marketing, and reducing production costs. By 1921 there were 7374 agricultural co-ops, most of them in regional federations. According to the census of 1919, over 600,000 farmers were engaged in cooperative marketing or purchasing—and these figures did not include the many farmers who obtained insurance, irrigation, telephone, or other business services from cooperatives.173
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
the Democratic Party had failed (in 1983) 'to remember waht got us this far and how we got here -- moral indignation, decent instincts, a sense of shared sacrifice and mutual responsibility, and a set of national priorities that emphasized what we had in common.. The Party that was the engine of the national interest -- molding our pluralistic interest into a compelling new social contract that served the nation well for fifty years -- became perceived as little more than the broker of narrow special interests. Instead of thinking of ourselves as Americans first, Democrats second, and members of interest groups third, we have begun to think in terms of special interests first and the greater interest second.. We have let our opponents set the agenda and define what is at stake. p. 140
Joe Biden (Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics)
I am demonized because I don't see party affiliation or nationality when I look at a person, I see that person's heart. If someone looks, dresses, acts, talks and votes like a Republican, then why do they deserve support just because he/she calls him/herself a Democrat?
Cindy Sheehan
By the 2016 American election, it was clear America was ready for change. By nominating Trump, the Republican Party had rejected the Republican establishment. By electing Trump, the country rejected the entire Washington establishment—Republican and Democrat alike...
K.T. McFarland
The cause of all this was the pursuit of power driven by greed and ambition, leading in turn to the passions of the party rivalries thus established. The dominant men on each side in the various cities employed fine-sounding terms, claiming espousal either of democratic rights for all or of a conservative aristocracy, but the public whose interests they professed to serve were in fact their ultimate prize
Thucydides
The United States is now a bloated military empire on the cusp of steady and irrevocable economic decline. Historically, the danger in such cases is that when the fiscal stability of the empire begins to weaken, the governing elites double down on the very policies of military profligacy that caused the fiscal crisis in the first place. And that appears to be what the people who run America would like to do. This
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Now, I don’t want to come over all cynical, but doesn’t that imply that you could dispense with the entire democratic process and simply award power to the party with the most money in its campaign fund? Yes. It does. Maybe not always, just every, single time in history so far.
Russell Brand (Revolution)
It’s striking that so many of the great economic initiatives of the Clinton presidency led eventually to catastrophe. But what really makes this story poisonous is that liberals by and large convinced themselves for many years that nothing had gone wrong at all. Everything Clinton’s team had done was an act of professional-class consensus. Because most of the fuses lit by Clinton and Co. didn’t actually detonate until after he had left office—and by then some science-denying Republican was in the Oval Office—they found it easy to absolve the Democrat from blame.
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
I got into heated arguments with brothers and sisters who claimed that the oppression of black people was only a question of race. I argued that there were Black oppressors as well as white ones. Black folks with money have always tended to support candidates who they believed would protect their financial interests. As far as i was concerned, it didn't take too much to figure that black people are oppressed because of class as well as race, because we are poor and because we are Black. It would burn me every time some body talked about Black people climbing the ladder of success. Anytime you're talking about a ladder, you're talking about a top and a bottom, an upper class and a lower class, a rich class and a poor class. As long as you got a system with a top and bottom, Black people are always going to end up at the bottom because we're easiest to discriminate against. That's why i couldn't see fighting within the system. Both the Democratic and Republican party are controlled by millionaires. They are interested in holding on to their power while i was interested in taking it away. They were interested in supporting fascist dictatorships in South and Central America, while i was interested in seeing them overthrown. They were interested in seeing racist, fascist regimes in Africa while i was interested in seeing them overthrown. They were interested in defeating the Viet Cong and i was interested in seeing their liberation.
Assata Shakur (Assata: An Autobiography)
It’s ironic that the Tea Party populists, most of whom believe that they are furthering the American ideal of “rugged individualism,” are supporting mega-corporate-friendly policies like Reaganomics and Clintonomics and are making it very difficult for individuals to be anything other than drones in a giant corporate-run economic machine. And, on the flipside, those countries that call themselves “democratic socialist” in their organization—Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden—actually provide a deep and fertile soil into which entrepreneurs may plant new businesses.
Thom Hartmann (Rebooting the American Dream)
There is a sense of muted desperation in Democratic ranks at the prospect of getting stuck—and beaten once again—with some tried and half-true hack like Humphrey, Jackson, or Muskie… and George McGovern, the only candidate in either party worth voting for, is hung in a frustrated limbo created mainly by the gross cynicism of the Washington Press Corps. “He’d be a fine President,” they say, “but of course he can’t possibly win.” Why not? Well
Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72)
During the 1992 election I concluded as early as my first visit to New Hampshire that Bill Clinton was hateful in his behavior to women, pathological as a liar, and deeply suspect when it came to money in politics. I have never had to take any of that back, whereas if you look up what most of my profession was then writing about the beefy, unscrupulous 'New Democrat,' you will be astonished at the quantity of sheer saccharine and drool. Anyway, I kept on about it even after most Republicans had consulted the opinion polls and decided it was a losing proposition, and if you look up the transcript of the eventual Senate trial of the president—only the second impeachment hearing in American history—you will see that the last order of business is a request (voted down) by the Senate majority leader to call Carol and me as witnesses. So I can dare to say that at least I saw it through.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
Between 1994 and 2008, an individual health-care mandate was a standard GOP nostrum, promoted not only by Mitt Romney, but by Newt Gingrich when he was the highest elected Republican official in the country, and it was endorsed by the conservative Heritage Foundation. Now the mandate is the work of the devil, and authoritarian followers of the GOP, like faithful party members in Orwell’s 1984, believe “we’ve always been at war” against mandates.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Political identities aren't about tax cuts. They are about tribes... This is the result of the incredible rise in political polarization in recent decades. It used to be that both the Republican and Democratic parties included both liberals and conservatives. Since parties contained ideological multitudes, it was hard for them to be the basis of strong, personal identities. A liberal Democrat in New Jersey didn't have a lot in common with a conservative Democrat in Alabama. But now that's changed. The parties are sharply sorted by ideology. What were once fractious coalitions have become unified tribes.
Ezra Klein
The GOP cares, over and above every other item on its political agenda, about the rich contributors who keep them in office. This is why tax increases on the wealthy have become an absolute Republican taboo. Caught between their own rich contributors and their voters, Democrats are conflicted and compromised.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Owing to the lack of serious and informed popular interest in real issues, we have the current Republican menu of pseudo-issues: abortion, gay marriage, flag burning, prayer in schools, sharia law, and so on. They are simple to grasp and well within the ambit of the average person who does not follow politics.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Progressive racism is dedicated to uplifting poor blacks to a certain point and then keeping them there. The proof is that poor blacks today are about as poorly off as they were a half-century ago, when the progressive schemes of black uplift went into place. Every other ethnic group in America has dramatically improved its life except this one. Blacks have delivered for progressives, but they haven’t progressed very much themselves. This, I suggest, is by design.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result.…And
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
It is intellectually dishonest to present the Republican Party as the only supporter of Zionism and Israel. The Democrats, while posing as an alternative to the right wing, are just as dedicated to Israel and they are far more dependent on Jewish votes and Jewish money than the Republicans. According to Israeli sources, over 70% of all contributions to Democratic candidates are provided by Jews; Jews provide a relatively meager 35% of all contributions to Republican candidates.
Israel Shamir (Masters Of Discourse)
Another chestnut is that millionaires and billionaires are “job creators.” U.S. corporations have recently had their most profitable quarters in history; at the end of 2011, Apple was sitting on $97.6 billion in cash, more than the GDP of most small countries. So where are the jobs? Overwhelmingly, they went to China.4 Another
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
The Party of Lincoln is now the Party of Trump, a weak, cowardly, amoral, and faithless husk of a once-great party of ideas and leadership. They’ll follow him into a political graveyard, red hats, tawdry nationalism, dumb policies, cruel tweets, and all. Their cult-like obedience to him has consumed their honor, and their souls.
Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil: A Plot to Save America from Trump--and Democrats from Themselves)
Did you know about the Democratic president who is the founder of modern progressivism—and also responsible for the revival of the Ku Klux Klan? What about the most popular Democratic president of the twentieth century—who blocked anti-lynching laws and for more than a decade cut deals with racists to exclude blacks from government programs? Then there is the president who is the hero of the Civil Rights laws—the same fellow that called blacks “niggers” and said he wanted to keep them confined to the Democratic plantation.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Professionalism is “postindustrial ideology,” and today the Democrats are the party of the professional class. The party has other constituencies, to be sure—minorities, women, and the young, for example, the other pieces of the “coalition of the ascendant”—but professionals are the ones whose technocratic outlook tends to prevail. It is their tastes that are celebrated by liberal newspapers and it is their particular way of regarding the world that is taken for granted by liberals as being objectively true. Professionals dominate liberalism and the Democratic Party in the same way that Ivy Leaguers dominate the Obama cabinet. In fact, it is not going too far to say that the views of the modern-day Democratic Party reflect, in virtually every detail, the ideological idiosyncrasies of the professional-managerial class. Liberalism itself has changed to accommodate its new constituents’ technocratic views. Today, liberalism is the philosophy not of the sons of toil but of the “knowledge economy” and, specifically, of the knowledge economy’s winners
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
But the larger objective, beyond specific policies, is to blanket the American public with a message of fear. As long as we are fearful, as long as there is an endless list of threats, Pentagon spending can never be cut, PATRIOT Act provisions can never be repealed, and the United States will forever have the right and duty to meddle in every corner of the world.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
A few years ago, there was a popular stage play in London—you’ll have to pardon me, but I’m quoting accurately—titled Shopping and F***ing. That’s an apt description of the passions of our era, the goals most of us, liberal and conservative, aspire to. Democrats are the Party of Lust, Republicans the Party of Greed—both are individualist and materialist to the core.
Rod Dreher (Crunchy Cons: The New Conservative Counterculture and Its Return to Roots)
The Democratic party in Louisiana just continued to move father and farther away from basic American values and farther away from the voters of Louisiana. And much farther away from me. So I just couldn’t take it anymore. And recently, there was some comments made in the Senate, the comments were that if anyone opposes what we frequently call Obamacare, if anyone opposes it, they do so only because the President is an African-American, and therefore, that position is racist. My mother, who’s 103 years old, called me on the telephone when she heard that. She said ‘Boy, I don’t want you to be involved in anything like that. I hope you disassociated yourself from that’ and I was on the verge of doing it anyway, and that was just the last straw,
Elbert Guillory
But for a younger generation of conservative operatives who would soon rise to power... They were true believers who meant what they said, whether it was 'No New Taxes' or 'We are a Christian Nation.' In fact, with their rigid doctrines, slash-and-burn style, and exaggerated sense of having been aggrieved, this new conservative leadership was eerily reminiscent of some of the New Left's leaders during the sixties. As with their left-wing counterparts, this new vanguard of the right viewed politics as a contest not just between competing policy visions, but between good and evil. Activists in both parties began developing litmus tests, checklists of orthodoxy, leaving a Democrat who questioned abortion increasingly lonely, any Republican who championed gun control effectively marooned. In this Manichean struggle, compromise came to look like weakness, to be punished or purged. You were with us or you were against us. You had to choose sides.
Barack Obama
The American Constitution was carefully rigged by the noteholders, land speculators, rum runners, and slave holders who were the Founding Fathers, so that it would be next to impossible for upstart dirt farmers and indebted masses to challenge the various forms of private property held by these well read robber barons. Through this Constitution, the over-privileged attempted to rule certain topics out of order for proper political discussion. To bring these topics up in polite conversation was to invite snide invective, charges of personal instability, or financial ruin.
G. William Domhoff (Fat Cats & Democrats: The Role of the Big Rich in the Party of the Common Man)
This is how Hillary conducts government policy. She is ruthless, she is grasping, she appears to have little empathy or concern for people. She is old, and mean, and even her laugh is a witch’s cackle. There is almost nothing appealing about her. How, then, could she be the first choice of progressive Democrats and the apparent frontrunner for winning the presidency in November 2016?
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Exhibit A: I’m guessing you’re no fan of socialism, which was a founding principle of the Nazi movement. The name “Nazi” is an acronym for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which most of today’s Democrat socialists conveniently forget. Actually, that’s an understatement. These people don’t just overlook this truth, they’ve totally rewritten history on the matter. These days, Nazism gets associated with conservatism at the drop of a hat, but historically it stems from the left. Adolf Hitler? An art-loving vegetarian who seized power by wooing voters away from Germany’s Social Democrat and communist parties. Italy’s Benito Mussolini? Raised on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital before starting his career as a left-wing journalist and, later, implementing a deadly fascist regime.
Dave Rubin (Don't Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason)
Historically one of the main defects of constitutional government has been the failure to insure the fair value of political liberty. The necessary corrective steps have not been taken, indeed, they never seem to have been seriously entertained. Disparities in the distribution of property and wealth that far exceed what is compatible with political equality have generally been tolerated by the legal system. Public resources have not been devoted to maintaining the institutions required for the fair value of political liberty. Essentially the fault lies in the fact that the democratic political process is at best regulated rivalry; it does not even in theory have the desirable properties that price theory ascribes to truly competitive markets. Moreover, the effects of injustices in the political system are much more grave and long lasting than market imperfections. Political power rapidly accumulates and becomes unequal; and making use of the coercive apparatus of the state and its law, those who gain the advantage can often assure themselves of a favored position. Thus inequities in the economic and social system may soon undermine whatever political equality might have existed under fortunate historical conditions. Universal suffrage is an insufficient counterpoise; for when parties and elections are financed not by public funds but by private contributions, the political forum is so constrained by the wishes of the dominant interests that the basic measures needed to establish just constitutional rule are seldom properly presented. These questions, however, belong to political sociology. 116 I mention them here as a way of emphasizing that our discussion is part of the theory of justice and must not be mistaken for a theory of the political system. We are in the way of describing an ideal arrangement, comparison with which defines a standard for judging actual institutions, and indicates what must be maintained to justify departures from it.
John Rawls (A Theory of Justice)
It is truth, in the old saying, that is 'the daughter of time,' and the lapse of half a century has not left us many of our illusions. Churchill tried and failed to preserve one empire. He failed to preserve his own empire, but succeeded in aggrandizing two much larger ones. He seems to have used crisis after crisis as an excuse to extend his own power. His petulant refusal to relinquish the leadership was the despair of postwar British Conservatives; in my opinion this refusal had to do with his yearning to accomplish something that 'history' had so far denied him—the winning of a democratic election.
Christopher Hitchens (Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays)
In politics not only are leaders lacking, but the independence of spirit and the sense of justice of the citizen have to a great extent declined. The democratic, parliamentarian regime, which is based on such independence, has in many places been shaken, dictatorships have sprung up and are tolerated, because men’s sense of the dignity and the rights of the individual is no longer strong enough. In two weeks the sheep-like masses can be worked up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that the men are prepared to put on uniform and kill and be killed, for the sake of the worthless aims of a few interested parties.
Albert Einstein (The World As I See It)
Brzeziński: According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the mujahideen began during 1980, that is, after the Soviet army had invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the truth, kept secret up to now, is quite different: it was in fact on July 3, 1979, that President Carter signed the first directive on clandestine aid to opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And on that very day I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my view aid was going to bring about a Soviet military intervention. Nouvel Observateur: When the Soviets justified their intervention by claiming that they meant to counter a secret intervention by the United States in Afghanistan, no one believed them. However there was some truth in that.... You don't regret anything today? Brzeziński: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. Its effect was to draw the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day the Soviets officially crossed the border I wrote to President Carter roughly the following: "We now have the opportunity to give the USSR its own Vietnam War". [warmonger's unrepentant admission that the U.S. overthrew the government of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and sold it as a Soviet invasion]
Zbigniew Brzeziński
FALSE EQUIVALENCY If you compare the Koch brothers to George Soros and you compare MSNBC to FOX News then why not compare the NAACP to the Ku Klux Klan, George Washington to King George, Abraham Lincoln to Jefferson Davis, Barack Obama to Vladimir Putin; If you compare the Democratic party to the Republican party then why not compare Citizens United with Brown versus Board of Education, Churchill to Mussolini, Martin Luther King to George Wallace; If you compare Liberals to Conservatives then why not compare Boxing to Cage Fighting, Mozart to Salieri, Edward Kennedy Ellington to Lawrence Welk, Three Card Monty to Inside Trading, John Birks Gillespie to Cab Callaway; If you are mentally slothful enough to engage in false equivalency, why not go all the way? Pretend that ignorance equates with knowledge, Science with Mythology and empathy with apathy?
E. Landon Hobgood
On Rachel's show for November 7, 2012: Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. and he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States, again. And the Bureau of Labor statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the congressional research service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not screwed to over-sample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad; Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy, sometimes. And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone's guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And you and election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism. Listen, last night was a good night for liberals and for democrats for very obvious reasons, but it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country, we have a two-party system in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican Party and the conservative movement and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate about competing feasible ideas about real problems. Last night the Republicans got shellacked, and they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it, even as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again, and that will be a painful process for them, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right, and center. You guys, we're counting on you. Wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real, knowable facts in the world. Let's accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let's move on from there. If the Republican Party and the conservative movement and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation. And in that spirit, congratulations, everyone!
Rachel Maddow
Most people are not even aware of their need to conform. They live under the illusion that they follow their own ideas and inclinations, that they are individuals, that they have arrived at their opinions as the result of their own thinking—and that it just happens that their ideas are the same as those of the majority. The consensus of all serves as a proof for the correctness of ‘their’ ideas. Since there is still a need to feel some individuality, such need is satisfied with regard to minor differences; the initials on the handbag or the sweater, the name plate of the bank teller, the belonging to the Democratic as against the Republican party, to the Elks instead of to the Shriners become the expression of individual differences. The advertising slogan of ‘it is different’ shows up this pathetic need for difference, when in reality there is hardly any left.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
REMOVE THE LOUDHAILER ! If the Democrats really want to beat Donald Trump, how about getting some of their wealthy backers to buy up or take down Twitter ? The Twit-in-Chief without Twitter is nothing - a songbird without a song. No self-respecting news organisation would stoop to plug the gap. All that would be left is a pretentious peacock eunuch strutting around aimlessly with no fawning admirers. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Alex Morritt (Impromptu Scribe)
In their propaganda today’s dictators rely for the most part on repetition, suppression and rationalization—the repetition of catchwords which they wish to be accepted as true, the suppression of facts which they wish to be ignored, the arousal and rationalization of passions which may be used in their interests of the Party or the State. As the art and science of manipulation come to be better understood, the dictators of the future will doubtless learn to combine these techniques with the nonstop distractions which, in the West, are now threatening to drown in a sea of irrelevance the rational propaganda essential to the maintenance of individual liberty and the survival of democratic institutions.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World Revisited)
The bad guys—the Democrats—put up a great fight but the Republicans won in the end. It was Republicans who made possible the Civil Rights laws that finally and belatedly secured equal rights for blacks and other minorities. Democrats are the ones who bitterly resisted the Civil Rights Movement, and had the Democrats been the only party in America at the time, none of these laws, from the Civil Rights Act to the Voting Rights Act to the Fair Housing Bill, would have passed.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
The forgotten of this country have a consistent history of turning on their champions, and I suppose the way working men and women have forsaken the very politicians who could help them most speaks of the primacy of emotion in politics. Perhaps the great decline of FDR's party, which was beginning in Henry Bonwiller's time, didn't come about because Democrats favored a logical argument over a moral one, but simply because they clung to the idea that either one mattered at all.
Ethan Canin (America America)
The Goldwater precedent would prove especially important when it came to civil rights. In 1964, the GOP ceased to be the party of Lincoln and became the party of southern whites. All of the Republican presidential nominees in the future would harvest racist votes, whether consciously or not, because from then on the GOP would be the party of white privilege, and the Democrats, of minority rights. “States’ rights”—a euphemism for segregation—became the new Republican rallying cry.
Max Boot (The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right)
[Free trade agreements] are trade agreements that don't stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce. That is exactly the reverse of how democratic societies have progressed, because over the decades they've progressed by subordinating the profiteering priorities of companies to, say, higher environmental health standards; abolition of child labor; the right of workers to have fair worker standards…and it's this subordination of these three major categories that affect people's lives, labor, environment, the consumer, to the supremacy and domination of trade; where instead of trade getting on its knees and showing that it doesn't harm consumers - it doesn't deprive the important pharmaceuticals because of drug company monopolies, it doesn't damage the air and water and soil and food (environmentally), and it doesn't lacerate the rights of workers - no, it's just the opposite: it's workers and consumers and environments that have to kneel before this giant pedestal of commercial trade and prove that they are not, in a whole variety of ways, impeding international commerce…so this is the road to dictatorial devolution of democratic societies: because these trade agreements have the force of law, they've got enforcement teeth, and they bypass national courts, national regulatory agencies, in ways that really reflect a massive, silent, mega-corporate coup d'etat…that was pulled off in the mid-1990's.
Ralph Nader
It is this cultural dilemma that now drives the debate between Democrats and Republicans, the one wanting more law and the other more freedom. Would it be inappropriate to suggest that both parties are partly wrong and partly right? Republicans, I believe, are right that government regulation is burdensome and sometimes ineffective, but they are slow to see the consequences of having less law in a culture whose moral character is worn, where "obedience to the unenforceable" is tepid. Democrats are right to fear what will happen in such a society where the heavy hand of the law is lifted, but they rarely see that the law cannot restore what we have lost, which is our sense of "obedience to the unenforceable." The law is no substitute for what we have lost. We can, for example, pass laws against murder, but not against hatred; against adultery, but not against lust; against fraud, but not against lying; against violence, but not against the emotional neglect of children. We can condemn abuse, but we cannot command kindness. We can condemn bigotry, but we cannot require civility. Republicans ask for more freedom, Democrats for more law, but freedom in the absence of public virtue is as disastrous as more law because of the absence of public virtue.57
David F. Wells (Losing Our Virtue)
Why do the Fascists want violence?” Ethel asked rhetorically. “Those out there in Hills Road may be mere hooligans, but someone is directing them, and their tactics have a purpose. When there is fighting in the streets, they can claim that public order has broken down, and drastic measures are needed to restore the rule of law. Those emergency measures will include banning democratic political parties such as Labour, prohibiting trade union action, and jailing people without trial—people such as us, peaceful men and women whose only crime is to disagree with the government. Does this sound fantastic to you, unlikely, something that could never happen? Well, they used exactly those tactics in Germany—and it worked.” She went on to talk about how Fascism
Ken Follett (Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2))
If we step back from the progressive argument and put it in any other context, its absurdity immediately becomes apparent. Imagine if I were to say to my daughter, who got a high score on the SAT, “You don’t deserve your scores at all. You didn’t build that. After all, young lady, you had teachers who helped you with vocabulary and math. Moreover, you took the public roads to the test. Had your car been held up along the way or caught fire, you would count on the services of the police and the fire department. So society deserves a large part of the credit for those scores. They don’t reflect your accomplishment but society’s accomplishment.” If I said this I am sure my daughter would think I was talking like an insane person. In fact, of course, I would be talking like a progressive.
Dinesh D'Souza (Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party)
The key idea here is “negative partisanship”: partisan behavior driven not by positive feelings toward the party you support but negative feelings toward the party you oppose. If you’ve ever voted in an election feeling a bit bleh about the candidate you backed, but fearful of the troglodyte or socialist running against her, you’ve been a negative partisan. It turns out a lot of us have been negative partisans. A 2016 Pew poll found that self-described independents who tended to vote for one party or the other were driven more by negative motivations. Majorities of both Republican- and Democratic-leaning independents said a major reason for their lean was the other party’s policies were bad for the country; by contrast, only a third of each group said they were driven by support for the policies of the party they were voting for.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
They used a dossier of lies, paid for by a major political party, the Democratic National Committee, and a presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and even the FBI, to dupe the court! But based on text messages later found between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend Lisa Page, they wanted to forum shop for their favorite judge, Rudolph Contreras, plotting their move under the pretense of a dinner party to get their warrant. They swore to facts they knew were lies to get what they wanted to surveil a candidate they could not imagine being president.
Jeanine Pirro (Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy)
Over the last 30 odd years, Democrats have moved to the right and the right has moved into the mental hospital. So what we have is one perfectly good party for hedge fund managers, credit card companies, banks, defense contractors, big agriculture and the pharmaceutical lobby... That's the Democrats. And they sit across the aisle from a small group of religious lunatics, flat-earthers and civil war re-enactors who mostly communicate by AM radio and call themselves the Republicans and who actually worry that Obama is a socialist. Socialist? He's not even a liberal.
Bill Maher
After a few Republicans on the Houston city council supported the Democratic majority's proposal that stalled cars be towed immediately off the city's notoriously clotted freeways, local Republican officials promised retribution. 'We're not looking for council members who are going to go along and get along,' said Jared Woodfill, chairman of the Harris County Republican Party. 'We're looking for council members who are going to stand up for conservative values.' Surely, political ideology has teetered over some high cliff when towing can be described as a 'value.' What's next, a doctrine of potholes, the water pressure credo?
Bill Bishop (The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart)
Libya, Syria, and Iraq are all, like the United States, postcolonial, multiethnic nations, but none of them has a national identity anywhere close to as strong as ours. In countries like these, it can be a catastrophic mistake to imagine that through democratic elections, people will suddenly rally around a national identity and overcome their preexisting ethnic, religious, sectarian, and tribal divides. On the contrary, in sharply divided societies, democracy often galvanizes group conflict, with political movements and parties coalescing around these more primal identities. America has made this mistake over and over again.
Amy Chua (Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations)
Christians can disagree about public policy in good faith, and a libertarian and a social democrat can both claim to be living out the gospel. But the Christian libertarian has a particular obligation to recognize those places where libertarianism’s emphasis on freedom can shade into an un-Christian worship of the individual. Likewise the Christian liberal: even as he supports government interventions to assist the poor and dispossessed, he should be constantly on guard against the tendency to deify Leviathan and wary of the ways that government power can easily be turned to inhuman and immoral ends. In the contemporary United States, a host of factors—from the salience of issues like abortion to the anti-Christian biases of our largely left-wing intelligentsia—ensure that many orthodox Christians feel more comfortable affiliating with the Republican Party than with the Democrats. But this comfort should not blind Christians to the GOP’s flaws.
Ross Douthat (Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics)
Every time General David Petraeus appeared before a congressional committee, whether to testify about Iraq or Afghanistan or to be confirmed as CIA director, the hearings were largely a waste of time. Members of Congress burned through large segments of their time-limited question periods by tossing verbal kisses to the witness and going on about what a patriot Petraeus was. There was little time to ask serious questions about the strategy of our trillion-dollar military engagement in the Muslim world and to explore alternatives. The fawning of military cheerleaders such as Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham reached such extravagant lengths as would have made Caesar blush.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
The idea of freedom is complex and it is all-encompassing. It’s the idea that the economy must remain free of government persuasion. It’s the idea that the press must operate without government intrusion. And it’s the idea that the emails and phone records of Americans should remain free from government search and seizure. It’s the idea that parents must be the decision makers in regards to their children's education — not some government bureaucrat. But most importantly, it is the idea that the individual must be free to pursue his or her own happiness free from government dependence and free from government control. Because to be truly free is to be reliant on no one other than the author of our destiny. These are the ideas at the core of the Republican Party, and it is why I am a Republican. So my brothers and sisters of the American community, please join with me today in abandoning the government plantation and the Party of disappointment. So that we may all echo the words of one Republican leader who famously said, "Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last.
Elbert Guillory
You might think that the Left could have a regime-change perspective of its own, based on solidarity with its comrades abroad. After all, Saddam's ruling Ba'ath Party consolidated its power by first destroying the Iraqi communist and labor movements, and then turning on the Kurds (whose cause, historically, has been one of the main priorities of the Left in the Middle East). When I first became a socialist, the imperative of international solidarity was the essential if not the defining thing, whether the cause was popular or risky or not. I haven't seen an anti-war meeting all this year at which you could even guess at the existence of the Iraqi and Kurdish opposition to Saddam, an opposition that was fighting for 'regime change' when both Republicans and Democrats were fawning over Baghdad as a profitable client and geopolitical ally. Not only does the 'peace' movement ignore the anti-Saddam civilian opposition, it sends missions to console the Ba'athists in their isolation, and speaks of the invader of Kuwait and Iran and the butcher of Kurdistan as if he were the victim and George W. Bush the aggressor.
Christopher Hitchens (Christopher Hitchens and His Critics: Terror, Iraq, and the Left)
The politicians were in full bay, particularly those of his own party who had been urging, without success, his support of antislavery legislation which he feared would lose him the border states, held to the Union so far by his promise that no such laws would be passed. It also seemed to these Republicans that entirely too many Democrats were seated in high places, specifically in the cabinet and the army; and now their anger was increased by apprehension. About to open their campaigns for reëlection in November, they had counted on battlefield victories to increase their prospects for victory at the polls. Instead, the main eastern army, under the Democrat McClellan—“McNapoleon,” they called him—had held back, as if on purpose, and then retreated to the James, complaining within hearing of the voters that the Administration was to blame. Privately, many of the Jacobins agreed with the charge, though for different reasons, the main one being that Lincoln, irresolute by nature, had surrounded himself with weak-spined members of the opposition party. Fessenden of Maine put it plainest: “The simple truth is, there was never such a shambling half-and-half set of incapables collected in one government since the world began.
Shelby Foote (The Civil War, Vol. 1: Fort Sumter to Perryville)
During all that time I didn't see Willie. I didn't see him again until he announced in the Democratic primary in 1930. But it wasn't a primary. It was hell among the yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and Saturday night in the back room of Casey's saloon rolled into one, and when the dust cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Democratic party. There was just Willie, with his hair in his eyes and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood. In the background of the picture, under a purplish tumbled sky flecked with sinister white like driven foam, flanking Willie, one on each side, were two figures, Sadie Burke and a tallish, stooped, slow-spoken man with a sad, tanned face and what they call the eyes of a dreamer. The man was Hugh Miller, Harvard Law School, Lafayette Escadrille, Croix de Guerre, clean hands, pure heart, and no political past. He was a fellow who had sat still for years, and then somebody (Willie Stark) handed him a baseball bat and he felt his fingers close on the tape. He was a man and was Attorney General. And Sadie Burke was just Sadie Burke. Over the brow of the hill, there were, of course, some other people. There were, for instance, certain gentlemen who had been devoted to Joe Harrison, but who, when they discovered there wasn't going to be any more Joe Harrison politically speaking, had had to hunt up a new friend. The new friend happened to be Willie. He was the only place for them to go. They figured they would sign on with Willie and grow up with the country. Willie signed them on all right, and as a result got quite a few votes not of the wool-hat and cocklebur variety. After a while Willie even signed on Tiny Duffy, who became Highway Commissioner and, later, Lieutenant Governor in Willie's last term. I used to wonder why Willie kept him around. Sometimes I used to ask the Boss, "What do you keep that lunk-head for?" Sometimes he would just laugh and say nothing. Sometimes he would say, "Hell, somebody's got to be Lieutenant Governor, and they all look alike." But once he said: "I keep him because he reminds me of something." "What?" "Something I don't ever want to forget," he said. "What's that?" "That when they come to you sweet talking you better not listen to anything they say. I don't aim to forget that." So that was it. Tiny was the fellow who had come in a big automobile and had talked sweet to Willie back when Willie was a little country lawyer.
Robert Penn Warren (All the King's Men)
my purpose here is to scrutinize the tacit Democratic boast about always being better than those crazy Republicans. In truth, what Bill Clinton accomplished were things that no Republican could have done. Thanks to our two-party system, Democratic politicians carry a brand identity that inhibits them in some ways but allows them remarkable latitude in others. They are forever seen as weaklings in the face of the country’s enemies, for example; but on basic economic questions they are trusted to do the right thing for average people. That a Democrat might be the one to pick apart the safety net is a violation of this basic brand identity, but by the very structure of the system it is extremely difficult to hold the party accountable for such a deed. This, in turn, is why only a Democrat was able to do that job and get away with it. Only a Democrat was capable of getting bank deregulation passed; only a Democrat could have rammed NAFTA through Congress; and only a Democrat would be capable of privatizing Social Security, as George W. Bush found out in 2005. “It’s kind of the Nixon-goes-to-China theory,” the conservative Democrat Charles Stenholm told the historian Steven Gillon on this last subject. “It takes a Democrat to do some of the hard choices in social programs.”19
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?)
Of the things I had not known when I started out, I think the most important was the degree to which the legacy of the McCarthy period still lived. It had been almost seven years since Joe McCarthy had been censured when John Kennedy took office, and most people believed that his hold on Washington was over. ... among the top Democrats, against whom the issue of being soft on Communism might be used, and among the Republicans, who might well use the charge, it was still live ammunition. ... McCarthyism still lingered ... The real McCarthyism went deeper in the American grain than most people wanted to admit ... The Republicans’ long, arid period out of office [twenty years, ended by the Eisenhower administration], accentuated by Truman’s 1948 defeat of Dewey, had permitted the out-party in its desperation, to accuse the leaders of the governing party of treason. The Democrats, in the wake of the relentless sustained attacks on Truman and Acheson over their policies in Asia, came to believe that they had lost the White House when they lost China. Long after McCarthy himself was gone, the fear of being accused of being soft on Communism lingered among the Democratic leaders. The Republicans had, of course, offered no alternative policy on China (the last thing they had wanted to do was suggest sending American boys to fight for China) and indeed there was no policy to offer, for China was never ours, events there were well outside our control, and our feudal proxies had been swept away by the forces of history. But in the political darkness of the time it had been easy to blame the Democrats for the ebb and flow of history. The fear generated in those days lasted a long time, and Vietnam was to be something of an instant replay after China. The memory of the fall of China and what it did to the Democrats, was, I think, more bitter for Lyndon Johnson than it was for John Kennedy. Johnson, taking over after Kennedy was murdered and after the Kennedy patched-up advisory commitment had failed, vowed that he was not going to be the President of the United States who lost the Great Society because he lost Saigon. In the end it would take the tragedy of the Vietnam War and the election of Richard Nixon (the only political figure who could probably go to China without being Red-baited by Richard Nixon) to exorcise those demons, and to open the door to China.
David Halberstam (The Best and the Brightest)
Lynum had plenty of information to share. The FBI's files on Mario Savio, the brilliant philosophy student who was the spokesman for the Free Speech Movement, were especially detailed. Savio had a debilitating stutter when speaking to people in small groups, but when standing before a crowd and condemning his administration's latest injustice he spoke with divine fire. His words had inspired students to stage what was the largest campus protest in American history. Newspapers and magazines depicted him as the archetypal "angry young man," and it was true that he embodied a student movement fueled by anger at injustice, impatience for change, and a burning desire for personal freedom. Hoover ordered his agents to gather intelligence they could use to ruin his reputation or otherwise "neutralize" him, impatiently ordering them to expedite their efforts. Hoover's agents had also compiled a bulging dossier on the man Savio saw as his enemy: Clark Kerr. As campus dissent mounted, Hoover came to blame the university president more than anyone else for not putting an end to it. Kerr had led UC to new academic heights, and he had played a key role in establishing the system that guaranteed all Californians access to higher education, a model adopted nationally and internationally. But in Hoover's eyes, Kerr confused academic freedom with academic license, coddled Communist faculty members, and failed to crack down on "young punks" like Savio. Hoover directed his agents to undermine the esteemed educator in myriad ways. He wanted Kerr removed from his post as university president. As he bluntly put it in a memo to his top aides, Kerr was "no good." Reagan listened intently to Lynum's presentation, but he wanted more--much more. He asked for additional information on Kerr, for reports on liberal members of the Board of Regents who might oppose his policies, and for intelligence reports about any upcoming student protests. Just the week before, he had proposed charging tuition for the first time in the university's history, setting off a new wave of protests up and down the state. He told Lynum he feared subversives and liberals would attempt to misrepresent his efforts to establish fiscal responsibility, and that he hoped the FBI would share information about any upcoming demonstrations against him, whether on campus or at his press conferences. It was Reagan's fear, according to Lynum's subsequent report, "that some of his press conferences could be stacked with 'left wingers' who might make an attempt to embarrass him and the state government." Lynum said he understood his concerns, but following Hoover's instructions he made no promises. Then he and Harter wished the ailing governor a speedy recovery, departed the mansion, slipped into their dark four-door Ford, and drove back to the San Francisco field office, where Lynum sent an urgent report to the director. The bedside meeting was extraordinary, but so was the relationship between Reagan and Hoover. It had begun decades earlier, when the actor became an informer in the FBI's investigation of Hollywood Communists. When Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, he secretly continued to help the FBI purge fellow actors from the union's rolls. Reagan's informing proved helpful to the House Un-American Activities Committee as well, since the bureau covertly passed along information that could help HUAC hold the hearings that wracked Hollywood and led to the blacklisting and ruin of many people in the film industry. Reagan took great satisfaction from his work with the FBI, which gave him a sense of security and mission during a period when his marriage to Jane Wyman was failing, his acting career faltering, and his faith in the Democratic Party of his father crumbling. In the following years, Reagan and FBI officials courted each other through a series of confidential contacts. (7-8)
Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power)
Technological innovation is not what is hammering down working peoples’ share of what the country earns; technological innovation is the excuse for this development. Inno is a fable that persuades us to accept economic arrangements we would otherwise regard as unpleasant or intolerable—that convinces us that the very particular configuration of economic power we inhabit is in fact a neutral matter of science, of nature, of the way God wants things to be. Every time we describe the economy as an “ecosystem” we accept this point of view. Every time we write off the situation of workers as a matter of unalterable “reality” we resign ourselves to it. In truth, we have been hearing some version of all this inno-talk since the 1970s—a snarling Republican iteration, which demands our submission before the almighty entrepreneur; and a friendly and caring Democratic one, which promises to patch us up with job training and student loans. What each version brushes under the rug is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Economies aren’t ecosystems. They aren’t naturally occurring phenomena to which we must learn to acclimate. Their rules are made by humans. They are, in a word, political. In a democracy we can set the economic table however we choose. “Amazon is not happening to bookselling,” Jeff Bezos of Amazon likes to say. “The future is happening to bookselling.” And what the future wants just happens to be exactly what Amazon wants. What an amazing coincidence.
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People)
Sonia Gandhi and her son play an important part in all of this. Their job is to run the Department of Compassion and Charisma and to win elections. They are allowed to make (and also to take credit for) decisions which appear progressive but are actually tactical and symbolic, meant to take the edge off popular anger and allow the big ship to keep on rolling. (The best example of this is the rally that was organised for Rahul Gandhi to claim victory for the cancellation of Vedanta’s permission to mine Niyamgiri for bauxite—a battle that the Dongria Kondh tribe and a coalition of activists, local as well as international, have been fighting for years. At the rally, Rahul Gandhi announced that he was “a soldier for the tribal people”. He didn’t mention that the economic policies of his party are predicated on the mass displacement of tribal people. Or that every other bauxite “giri”—hill—in the neighbourhood was having the hell mined out of it, while this “soldier for the tribal people” looked away. Rahul Gandhi may be a decent man. But for him to go around talking about the two Indias—the “Rich India” and the “Poor India”—as though the party he represents has nothing to do with it, is an insult to everybody’s intelligence, including his own.) The division of labour between politicians who have a mass base and win elections, and those who actually run the country but either do not need to (judges and bureaucrats) or have been freed of the constraint of winning elections (like the prime minister) is a brilliant subversion of democratic practice. To imagine that Sonia and Rahul Gandhi are in charge of the government would be a mistake. The real power has passed into the hands of a coven of oligarchs—judges, bureaucrats and politicians. They in turn are run like prize race-horses by the few corporations who more or less own everything in the country. They may belong to different political parties and put up a great show of being political rivals, but that’s just subterfuge for public consumption. The only real rivalry is the business rivalry between corporations.
Arundhati Roy
The white nationalist, nativist politics that we see today were first imagined and applied by David Duke during the heyday of his Grand Wizardshop, and the time of my undercover Klan investigation. This hatred is never gone away, but has been reinvigorated in the dark corners of the internet, Twitter trolls, alt-right publications, and a nativist president in Trump. The Republican Party of the 19th century, being the party of Lincoln, was the opposition to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacist domination insofar as America's newly freed Black slaves were concerned; it is my belief that the Republican Party of the 21st century finds a symbiotic connection to white nationalist groups like the Klan, neo-Nazis, skinheads, militias, and alt-right white supremacist thinking. Evidence of this began in the Lyndon Johnson administration with the departure of Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) to the Republican Party in protest of his civil rights agenda. The Republicans began a spiral slide to the far right that embrace all things abhorrent to nonwhites. David Duke twice ran for public office in Louisiana as a Democrat and lost. When he switched his affiliation to Republican, because he was closer in ideology and racial thinking to the GOP than to the Democrats, and ran again for the Louisiana House of Representatives, the conservative voters in his district rewarded him with a victory. In each case his position on the issues remain the same; white supremacist/ethno-nationalist endorsement of a race-centered rhetoric and nativist populism. What change were the voters. Democrats rejected Duke politics while Republicans embraced him.
Ron Stallworth (Black Klansman: Race, Hate, and the Undercover Investigation of a Lifetime)
The success of totalitarian movements among the masses meant the end of two illusions of democratically ruled countries in general and of European nation-states and their party system in particular. The first was that the people in its majority had taken an active part in government and that each individual was in sympathy with one’s own or somebody else’s party. On the contrary, the movements showed that the politically neutral and indifferent masses could easily be the majority in a democratically ruled country, that therefore a democracy could function according to rules which are actively recognized by only a minority. The second democratic illusion exploded by the totalitarian movements was that these politically indifferent masses did not matter, that they were truly neutral and constituted no more than the inarticulate backward setting for the political life of the nation. Now they made apparent what no other organ of public opinion had ever been able to show, namely, that democratic government had rested as much on the silent approbation and tolerance of the indifferent and inarticulate sections of the people as on the articulate and visible institutions and organizations of the country. Thus when the totalitarian movements invaded Parliament with their contempt for parliamentary government, they merely appeared inconsistent: actually, they succeeded in convincing the people at large that parliamentary majorities were spurious and did not necessarily correspond to the realities of the country, thereby undermining the self-respect and the confidence of governments which also believed in majority rule rather than in their constitutions.
Hannah Arendt (The Origins of Totalitarianism)
A great liberal betrayal is afoot. Unfortunately, many “fellow-travelers” of Islamism are on the liberal side of this debate. I call them “regressive leftists”; they are in fact reverse racists. They have a poverty of expectation for minority groups, believing them to be homogenous and inherently opposed to human rights values. They are culturally reductive in how they see “Eastern”—and in my case, Islamic—culture, and they are culturally deterministic in attempting to freeze their ideal of it in order to satisfy their orientalist fetish. While they rightly question every aspect of their “own” Western culture in the name of progress, they censure liberal Muslims who attempt to do so within Islam, and they choose to side instead with every regressive reactionary in the name of “cultural authenticity” and anticolonialism. They claim that their reason for refusing to criticize any policy, foreign or domestic—other than those of what they consider “their own” government—is that they are not responsible for other governments’ actions. However, they leap whenever any (not merely their own) liberal democratic government commits a policy error, while generally ignoring almost every fascist, theocratic, or Muslim-led dictatorial regime and group in the world. It is as if their brains cannot hold two thoughts at the same time. Besides, since when has such isolationism been a trait of liberal internationalists? It is a right-wing trait. They hold what they think of as “native” communities—and I use that word deliberately—to lesser standards than the ones they claim apply to all “their” people, who happen to be mainly white, and that’s why I call it reverse racism. In holding “native” communities to lesser—or more culturally “authentic”—standards, they automatically disempower those communities. They stifle their ambitions. They cut them out of the system entirely, because there’s no aspiration left. These communities end up in self-segregated “Muslim areas” where the only thing their members aspire to is being tin-pot community leaders, like ghetto chieftains. The “fellow-travelers” fetishize these “Muslim” ghettos in the name of “cultural authenticity” and identity politics, and the ghetto chieftains are often the leading errand boys for them. Identity politics and the pseudo-liberal search for cultural authenticity result in nothing but a downward spiral of competing medieval religious or cultural assertions, fights over who are the “real” Muslims, ever increasing misogyny, homophobia, sectarianism, and extremism. This is not liberal. Among the left, this is a remnant of the socialist approach that prioritizes group identity over individual autonomy. Among the right, it is ironically a throwback from the British colonial “divide and rule” approach. Classical liberalism focuses on individual autonomy. I refer here to liberalism as it is understood in the philosophical sense, not as it’s understood in the United States to refer to the Democratic Party—that’s a party-political usage. The great liberal betrayal of this generation is that in the name of liberalism, communal rights have been prioritized over individual autonomy within minority groups. And minorities within minorities really do suffer because of this betrayal. The people I really worry about when we have this conversation are feminist Muslims, gay Muslims, ex-Muslims—all the vulnerable and bullied individuals who are not just stigmatized but in many cases violently assaulted or killed merely for being against the norm.
Sam Harris (Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue)
Speaking generally, we may say that whatever legal enactments are held to be for the interest of various constitutions, all these preserve them. And the great preserving principle is the one which has been repeatedly mentioned- to have a care that the loyal citizen should be stronger than the disloyal. Neither should we forget the mean, which at the present day is lost sight of in perverted forms of government; for many practices which appear to be democratical are the ruin of democracies, and many which appear to be oligarchical are the ruin of oligarchies. Those who think that all virtue is to be found in their own party principles push matters to extremes; they do not consider that disproportion destroys a state. A nose which varies from the ideal of straightness to a hook or snub may still be of good shape and agreeable to the eye; but if the excess be very great, all symmetry is lost, and the nose at last ceases to be a nose at all on account of some excess in one direction or defect in the other; and this is true of every other part of the human body. The same law of proportion equally holds in states. Oligarchy or democracy, although a departure from the most perfect form, may yet be a good enough government, but if any one attempts to push the principles of either to an extreme, he will begin by spoiling the government and end by having none at all. Wherefore the legislator and the statesman ought to know what democratical measures save and what destroy a democracy, and what oligarchical measures save or destroy an oligarchy. For neither the one nor the other can exist or continue to exist unless both rich and poor are included in it. If equality of property is introduced, the state must of necessity take another form; for when by laws carried to excess one or other element in the state is ruined, the constitution is ruined.
Aristotle (Politics)
New Rule: If you're going to have a rally where hundreds of thousands of people show up, you may as well go ahead and make it about something. With all due respect to my friends Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, it seems that if you truly wanted to come down on the side of restoring sanity and reason, you'd side with the sane and the reasonable--and not try to pretend the insanity is equally distributed in both parties. Keith Olbermann is right when he says he's not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts; the other one is very close to playing with his poop. And the big mistake of modern media has been this notion of balance for balance's sake, that the left is just as violent and cruel as the right, that unions are just as powerful as corporations, that reverse racism is just as damaging as racism. There's a difference between a mad man and a madman. Now, getting more than two hundred thousand people to come to a liberal rally is a great achievement that gave me hope, and what I really loved about it was that it was twice the size of the Glenn Beck crowd on the Mall in August--although it weight the same. But the message of the rally as I heard it was that if the media would just top giving voice to the crazies on both sides, then maybe we could restore sanity. It was all nonpartisan, and urged cooperation with the moderates on the other side. Forgetting that Obama tried that, and found our there are no moderates on the other side. When Jon announced his rally, he said that the national conversation is "dominated" by people on the right who believe Obama's a socialist, and by people on the left who believe 9/11 was an inside job. But I can't name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11 was an inside job. But Republican leaders who think Obama's socialist? All of them. McCain, Boehner, Cantor, Palin...all of them. It's now official Republican dogma, like "Tax cuts pay for themselves" and "Gay men just haven't met the right woman." As another example of both sides using overheated rhetoric, Jon cited the right equating Obama with Hitler, and the left calling Bush a war criminal. Except thinking Obama is like Hitler is utterly unfounded--but thinking Bush is a war criminal? That's the opinion of Major General Anthony Taguba, who headed the Army's investigation into Abu Ghraib. Republicans keep staking out a position that is farther and farther right, and then demand Democrats meet them in the middle. Which now is not the middle anymore. That's the reason health-care reform is so watered down--it's Bob Dole's old plan from 1994. Same thing with cap and trade--it was the first President Bush's plan to deal with carbon emissions. Now the Republican plan for climate change is to claim it's a hoax. But it's not--I know because I've lived in L.A. since '83, and there's been a change in the city: I can see it now. All of us who live out here have had that experience: "Oh, look, there's a mountain there." Governments, led my liberal Democrats, passed laws that changed the air I breathe. For the better. I'm for them, and not the party that is plotting to abolish the EPA. I don't need to pretend both sides have a point here, and I don't care what left or right commentators say about it, I can only what climate scientists say about it. Two opposing sides don't necessarily have two compelling arguments. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on that mall in the capital, and he didn't say, "Remember, folks, those southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point, too." No, he said, "I have a dream. They have a nightmare. This isn't Team Edward and Team Jacob." Liberals, like the ones on that field, must stand up and be counted, and not pretend we're as mean or greedy or shortsighted or just plain batshit at them. And if that's too polarizing for you, and you still want to reach across the aisle and hold hands and sing with someone on the right, try church.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
The Republicans have successfully persuaded much of the public that they are the party of Joe Sixpack and Democrats are the party of Jessica Yogamat. The result is that today certain swaths of the country are so thoroughly dominated by the radical Republican right that certain federal laws and even constitutional protections are, practically speaking, a dead letter there. If identity liberals were thinking politically, not pseudo-politically, they would concentrate on turning that around at the local level, not on organizing yet another march in Washington or preparing yet another federal court brief. The paradox of identity liberalism is that it paralyzes the capacity to think and act in a way that would actually accomplish the things it professes to want. It is mesmerized by symbols: achieving superficial diversity in organizations, retelling history to focus on marginal and often minuscule groups, concocting inoffensive euphemisms to describe social reality, protecting young ears and eyes already accustomed to slasher films from any disturbing encounter with alternative viewpoints. Identity liberalism has ceased being a political project and has morphed into an evangelical one. The difference is this: evangelism is about speaking truth to power. Politics is about seizing power to defend the truth.
Mark Lilla (The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics)
- Brother Jimmy, said Joey the Lips. - I'm worried. - About Dean. - Wha' abou' Dean? - He told me he's been listening to jazz. - What's wrong with tha'? Jimmy wanted to know. - Everything, said Joey the Lips. - Jazz is the antithesis of soul. - I beg your fuckin' pardon! - I'll go along with Joey there, said Mickah. - See, said Joey the Lips. - Soul is the people's music. Ordinary people making music for ordinary people. - Simple music. Any Brother can play it. The Motown sound, it's simple. Thump-thump-thump-thump. - That's straight time. Thump-thump-thump-thump. - See? Soul is democratic, Jimmy. Anyone with a bin lid can play it. - It's the people's music. - Yeh don't need anny honours in your Inter to play soul, isn't tha' wha' you're gettin' at, Joey? - That's right, brother Michael. - Mickah. - Brother Mickah. That's right. You don't need a doctorate to be a doctor of soul. - Nice one. - An' what's wrong with jazz? Jimmy asked. - Intellectual music, said Joey the Lips. - It's anti-people music. It's abstract. - It's cold an' emotionless, amn't I righ'? said Mickah. - You are. - It's got no soul. It is sound for the sake of sound. It has no meaning. - It's musical wanking, Brother. - Musical wankin', said Mickah. - That's good. - Here, yeh could play tha' at the Christmas parties. - Instead o' musical chairs.
Roddy Doyle
Hitler and Mussolini were indeed authoritarians, but it doesn’t follow that authoritarianism equals fascism or Nazism. Lenin and Stalin were authoritarian, but neither was a fascist. Many dictators—Franco in Spain, Pinochet in Chile, Perón in Argentina, Amin in Uganda—were authoritarian without being fascists or Nazis. Trump admittedly has a bossy style that he gets from, well, being a boss. He has been a corporate boss all his life, and he also played a boss on TV. Republicans elected Trump because they needed a tough guy to take on Hillary; previously they tried bland, harmless candidates like Romney, and look where that got them. That being said, Trump has done nothing to subvert the democratic process. While progressives continue to allege a plot between Trump and the Russians to rig the election, the only evidence for actual rigging comes from the Democratic National Committee’s attempt to rig the 2016 primary in favor of Hillary over Bernie. This rigging evoked virtually no dissent from Democratic officials or from the media, suggesting the support, or at least acquiescence, of the whole progressive movement and most of the party itself. Trump fired his FBI director, provoking dark ruminations in the Washington Post about Trump’s “respect for the rule of law,” yet Trump’s action was entirely lawful.18 He has criticized judges, sometimes in derisive terms, but contrary to Timothy Snyder there is nothing undemocratic about this. Lincoln blasted Justice Taney over the Dred Scott decision, and FDR was virtually apoplectic when the Supreme Court blocked his New Deal initiatives. Criticizing the media isn’t undemocratic either. The First Amendment isn’t just a press prerogative; the president too has the right to free speech.
Dinesh D'Souza (The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left)
New Rule: Democrats must get in touch with their inner asshole. I refer to the case of Van Jones, the man the Obama administration hired to find jobs for Americans in the new green industries. Seems like a smart thing to do in a recession, but Van Jones got fired because he got caught on tape saying Republicans are assholes. And they call it news! Now, I know I'm supposed to be all reinjected with yes-we-can-fever after the big health-care speech, and it was a great speech--when Black Elvis gets jiggy with his teleprompter, there is none better. But here's the thing: Muhammad Ali also had a way with words, but it helped enormously that he could also punch guys in the face. It bothers me that Obama didn't say a word in defense of Jones and basically fired him when Glenn Beck told him to. Just like dropped "end-of-life counseling" from health-care reform because Sarah Palin said it meant "death panels" on her Facebook page. Crazy morons make up things for Obama to do, and he does it. Same thing with the speech to schools this week, where the president attempted merely to tell children to work hard and wash their hands, and Cracker Nation reacted as if he was trying to hire the Black Panthers to hand out grenades in homeroom. Of course, the White House immediately capitulated. "No students will be forced to view the speech" a White House spokesperson assured a panicked nation. Isn't that like admitting that the president might be doing something unseemly? What a bunch of cowards. If the White House had any balls, they'd say, "He's giving a speech on the importance of staying in school, and if you jackasses don't show it to every damn kid, we're cutting off your federal education funding tomorrow." The Democrats just never learn: Americans don't really care which side of an issue you're on as long as you don't act like pussies When Van Jones called the Republicans assholes, he was paying them a compliment. He was talking about how they can get things done even when they're in the minority, as opposed to the Democrats , who can't seem to get anything done even when they control both houses of Congress, the presidency, and Bruce Springsteen. I love Obama's civility, his desire to work with his enemies; it's positively Christlike. In college, he was probably the guy at the dorm parties who made sure the stoners shared their pot with the jocks. But we don't need that guy now. We need an asshole. Mr. President, there are some people who are never going to like you. That's why they voted for the old guy and Carrie's mom. You're not going to win them over. Stand up for the seventy percent of Americans who aren't crazy. And speaking of that seventy percent, when are we going to actually show up in all this? Tomorrow Glenn Beck's army of zombie retirees descending on Washington. It's the Million Moron March, although they won't get a million, of course, because many will be confused and drive to Washington state--but they will make news. Because people who take to the streets always do. They're at the town hall screaming at the congressman; we're on the couch screaming at the TV. Especially in this age of Twitters and blogs and Snuggies, it's a statement to just leave the house. But leave the house we must, because this is our last best shot for a long time to get the sort of serious health-care reform that would make the United States the envy of several African nations.
Bill Maher (The New New Rules: A Funny Look At How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass)
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait--there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu (Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White)
The white liberal is the worst enemy to America, and the worst enemy to the black man. Let me explain what I mean by the white liberal. In America there is no such thing as Democrat or Republican anymore. In America you have liberals and conservatives. The only people living in the past who think in terms of I’m a Democrat or Republican, is the American Negro. He’s the one that runs around bragging about party affiliation. He’s the one that sticks to the Democrat or sticks to the Republican. But white people are divided into two groups, liberals and conservative. The Democrats who are conservative, vote with the Republicans who are conservative. The Democrats who are liberal vote with the Republicans that are liberal. The white liberal aren’t white people who are for independence, who are moral and ethical in their thinking. They are just a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. The same as the white conservative is a faction of white people that are jockeying for power. They are fighting each other for power and prestige, and the one that is the football in the game is the Negro, 20 million black people. A political football, a political pawn, an economic football, and economic pawn. A social football, a social pawn. The liberal elements of whites are those who have perfected the art of selling themselves to the Negro as a friend of the Negro. Getting sympathy of the Negro, getting the allegiance of the Negro, and getting the mind of the Negro. Then the Negro sides with the white liberal, and the white liberal use the Negro against the white conservative. So that anything that the Negro does is never for his own good, never for his own advancement, never for his own progress, he’s only a pawn in the hands of the white liberal. The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Negros think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man. The only way that our problem will be solved is when the black man wakes up, clean himself up, stand on his own feet and stop begging the white man, and take immediate steps to do for ourselves the things that we have been waiting on the white man to do for us. Once we do for self then we will be able to solve our own problems’ "The white conservatives aren't friends of the Negro either, but they at least don't try to hide it. They are like wolves; they show their teeth in a snarl that keeps the Negro always aware of where he stands with them. But the white liberals are foxes, who also show their teeth to the Negro but pretend that they are smiling. The white liberals are more dangerous than the conservatives; they lure the Negro, and as the Negro runs from the growling wolf, he flees into the open jaws of the "smiling" fox. One is the wolf, the other is a fox. No matter what, they’ll both eat you.
Malcom X
Here we introduce the nation's first great communications monopolist, whose reign provides history's first lesson in the power and peril of concentrated control over the flow of information. Western Union's man was one Rutherford B. Hates, an obscure Ohio politician described by a contemporary journalist as "a third rate nonentity." But the firm and its partner newswire, the Associated Press, wanted Hayes in office, for several reasons. Hayes was a close friend of William Henry Smith, a former politician who was now the key political operator at the Associated Press. More generally, since the Civil War, the Republican Party and the telegraph industry had enjoyed a special relationship, in part because much of what were eventually Western Union's lines were built by the Union Army. So making Hayes president was the goal, but how was the telegram in Reid's hand key to achieving it? The media and communications industries are regularly accused of trying to influence politics, but what went on in the 1870s was of a wholly different order from anything we could imagine today. At the time, Western Union was the exclusive owner of the nationwide telegraph network, and the sizable Associated Press was the unique source for "instant" national or European news. (It's later competitor, the United Press, which would be founded on the U.S. Post Office's new telegraph lines, did not yet exist.) The Associated Press took advantage of its economies of scale to produce millions of lines of copy a year and, apart from local news, its product was the mainstay of many American newspapers. With the common law notion of "common carriage" deemed inapplicable, and the latter day concept of "net neutrality" not yet imagined, Western Union carried Associated Press reports exclusively. Working closely with the Republican Party and avowedly Republican papers like The New York Times (the ideal of an unbiased press would not be established for some time, and the minting of the Time's liberal bona fides would take longer still), they did what they could to throw the election to Hayes. It was easy: the AP ran story after story about what an honest man Hayes was, what a good governor he had been, or just whatever he happened to be doing that day. It omitted any scandals related to Hayes, and it declined to run positive stories about his rivals (James Blaine in the primary, Samuel Tilden in the general). But beyond routine favoritism, late that Election Day Western Union offered the Hayes campaign a secret weapon that would come to light only much later. Hayes, far from being the front-runner, had gained the Republican nomination only on the seventh ballot. But as the polls closed his persistence appeared a waste of time, for Tilden, the Democrat, held a clear advantage in the popular vote (by a margin of over 250,000) and seemed headed for victory according to most early returns; by some accounts Hayes privately conceded defeat. But late that night, Reid, the New York Times editor, alerted the Republican Party that the Democrats, despite extensive intimidation of Republican supporters, remained unsure of their victory in the South. The GOP sent some telegrams of its own to the Republican governors in the South with special instructions for manipulating state electoral commissions. As a result the Hayes campaign abruptly claimed victory, resulting in an electoral dispute that would make Bush v. Gore seem a garden party. After a few brutal months, the Democrats relented, allowing Hayes the presidency — in exchange, most historians believe, for the removal of federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. The full history of the 1876 election is complex, and the power of th
Tim Wu