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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 46,179

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An interesting post in light

of the other I just read on the front page of GDP:


Too kind...more kindness...DU at least, if not the party nor the nation, seems all over the map when it comes to kindness.

Frankly, from my perspective, there's no such thing as too much kindness. Not when it is authentic, anyway.

Being kind or respectful to others is not the same thing as laying down and baring our throats and bellies, and that's what seems to confuse way too many. Too many who can't see kindness going hand in hand with standing firm.

Perhaps those people should pay more attention to Sanders. He does a damned fine job of treating opposition with respect without backing down. Of course, respect is not quite the same as kindness, although they could be considered to be related. It's hard to be kind without respect.

Republicans? They engage in name-calling and put-downs? No kidding. So the solution to that is that Democrats ought to join them in the name-calling and put-downs? Here's a clue: Democrats already do so. You can't be unaware of all the names that Democrats call Republicans and call each other.

Neither side is clean when it comes to name-calling. It's just that the MSM latches on to name-calling as legitimate and repeats those names often enough to put them in the expected cultural lexicon, with negative connotations attached. That's not because Democrats are too kind. It's because too many Democrats are too cowed to stand their ground, too convinced that standing their ground means "losing."

Kindness...the Democratic Party, DU, the nation, and the world could use a whole hell of a lot more kindness, imo.

Let me explain.

Many of us take our responsibilities as voting citizens seriously, and don't actually just follow along like sheep behind leaders telling us how to think and vote. That includes obediently "following" an endorsement.

So I get it.

Be clear: I have not, and will not, state my General Election intentions one way or another here at DU. First of all, it's nobody's business unless I choose to share, and I'm simply not going to do that during the primaries. Secondly, we haven't even held a single primary; that's what I'm focused on. Finally, I have plenty of time to consider the GE. I'll do that after the convention, when there is a nominee to consider. The only real thoughts I have about the general election at this point are these:

1. All of ours are better than theirs.

2. I think Sanders is not only the best candidate on issues and record, but the best candidate to win the GE. Those are some of the reasons I think we ought to be nominating him.

I get it. I'm a political lone wolf, so I really get the anger and frustration engendered by people trying to bully voters into line, and trying to marginalize dissent. Those are really counter-productive strategies for people like me. For some of us, our first impulse is to hit back, and votes can be a tool. When the corrupt neo-liberal status quo seems unbeatable, some will look for a better place to spend their political capital. I think it would be more honest to simply acknowledge that the neo-liberal power structure of the party is happy to see the door hit whatever portion of the left walks away on the ass on their way out. Sure, some will cast lesser evil votes, at least for a few cycles. Those voters will be tolerated, and will continue to be marginalized within the party. It's no big deal, since the party power structure can count on recruiting the so-called "moderate" republicans who are horrified by the FUBAR taking down their own party. Those "new" Democrats are more likely to support the neo-liberal agenda. They'll be welcomed.

Really, a better strategy might be to trust fellow Democrats to vote their conscience, and lay off poking the angry donkeys. They, we, have teeth and hooves, too. It's a matter of respect. Respect for democracy with a small d, the right for every voter to vote their conscience whether or not you agree with them. It's also a matter of intelligence. It's some months between the convention and the GE; why anger and further disenfranchise those whose votes you don't want to lose? Why not back off and give them some time to regroup? That's a smarter strategy.

And there is really no reason to panic before the first primaries and caucuses are held. If it worries you, work to nominate a candidate that earns those votes. If you aren't willing to do so, let them go in peace.

My thoughts on the debate:

I didn't participate, and haven't read, any DU debate threads that discussed during the debate; my 'puter and tv are at opposite ends of the house. So my take is just my take, without any influence one way or another from others.

To begin with, I think they all did well.

More specifically,

1. Clinton: I think this was her best performance so far. Her two strongest moments, for me, is when she returned, with grace, Sanders' support from the last debate about the "damned emails" with the question about campaign datagate; and then, when she repeatedly pointed out the connection between anti-muslim rhetoric and actions by Trump AND in general to ISIS recruiting efforts. Her weakest? Also a strength for her: I hear her smoothly adopting, and claiming as her own, and even using words and phrases, from the campaign of her biggest rival. A couple of times I almost thought she was going to come out and embrace socialism. It's a weakness because, in spite of her clear and strong delivery, her triangulating strategies leave her less than believable on some of those issues.

2. O'Malley: I felt for him, struggling to get some talk time, even if his determination to over-ride the moderators was irritating. His best moment, for me, was when he responded to questions about encryption with a strong support of our rights to privacy. I really appreciated that. I don't really have a "weakest" moment for him, although I have a couple of mild negatives. First of all, somewhere in the beginning, he tried to separate himself from his rivals by accusing them of "bickering" on stage, referring to them interrupting each other. I didn't really hear "bickering" there, though; I heard general agreement in what they were saying despite the jockeying for speaking time, so that comment wasn't really effective. It's connected to my other negative: several attempts to portray himself as somehow taking a higher road than the other two; I don't think that's correct.

3. Sanders: He did fine. I loved his response to the opening campaign data questions. For the rest, I've heard it all before. I noted that he managed to get a great deal of his campaign stump speeches in there, laying out his agenda for those in the national audience who haven't been following him. I appreciate his ability to address the U.S. role on the international stage in a coherent, logical fashion.

All in all, to be honest, though, my interest was waning at about the half-way mark. I found myself listening to certain words and phrases, and noting certain strategies and techniques, that are not necessarily authentic, but simply designed to push listeners' buttons: to make candidates seem more likable, more trustworthy, more anything to get support. I'm not criticizing any of them for that. I'm just saying that, for me, it doesn't work. It feels to me like planned, practiced, and polished propaganda, and that alliterative combination makes it less authentic for me.

Finally, there was nothing said on that stage that increases my support for HRC or MM, or decreases my support for Sanders, or my determination to see him become the next POTUS. I hope it was helpful for undecided voters.

Now I'm off to read what the rest of DU has to say about it.
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