Well, they voted (by VP pence breaking the tie) to open debate on doing what they promised for the last 8 years. It only took them 7 months.
Senators voted 57-43 late Tuesday to reject the plan in the first vote on an amendment to the bill. Those voting “no” included nine defecting Republicans.
The amendment vote portends a rough road ahead for GOP efforts to advance some form of ObamaCare replacement, even after the Senate narrowly revived the core bill in a dramatic test vote Tuesday afternoon.
Senators planned to vote Wednesday on another Republican amendment repealing much of the health law and giving Congress two years to come up with a replacement. A combination of solid Democratic opposition and Republicans unwilling to tear down the law without a replacement in hand were expected to defeat that plan as well.
In the failed vote Tuesday night, GOP foes reportedly included Sens. Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Tom Cotton, Lindsey Graham, Dean Heller, Mike Lee, Jerry Moran, Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul. (conservatives that say it doesn’t go far enough or is laden with pork barrel and Liberal RINOs, a toxic mix.)
The list includes both moderates and conservatives. The vote underscored problems Republicans will have in winning enough votes to recast Obama’s statute.
The rejected amendment was centered on language by McConnell, R-Ky., erasing Obama’s tax penalties on people not buying insurance, cutting Medicaid and trimming its subsidies for consumers.
Language by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz would let insurers sell cut-rate policies with skimpy coverage. And there was an additional $100 billion to help states ease costs for people losing Medicaid sought by Midwestern moderates.
The vote came after a high point in the chamber, when Sen. John McCain dramatically entered for the pivotal vote, his first since surgery and his cancer diagnosis in Arizona. Unified for once, Republicans and Democrats applauded and whooped for the six-term lawmaker. “Aye,” he said, thumbs up with both hands, for the GOP vote to move ahead on debate.
President Trump on Tuesday warned four opponents to ObamaCare repeal legislation — two of them Republicans.
“Any senator who votes against repeal and replace… they’ll have a lot of problems,” Trump said during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio.
The House always wins. The house in this case, The Government.
Charlie Gard’s parents have decided to end their legal fight over treatment for their terminally-ill son.
It means Charlie’s life support will be switched off and he will die shortly before his first birthday.
Charlie’s mum, Connie Yates, said she and Charlie’s father, Chris Gard, were “now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie”.
She said they are “sorry we couldn’t save you” and said the last year had been both the best and worst of their lives.
Here is Ms Yates’ statement which was read to the High Court today.
“The last 11, nearly 12, months have been the best, the worst and ultimately life-changing months of our lives but Charlie is Charlie and we wouldn’t change him for the world. All our efforts have been for him.
“This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we’ll ever have to do which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.
“Put simply, this is about a sweet, gorgeous, innocent little boy who was born with a rare disease, who had a real, genuine chance at life and a family who love him so very dearly and that’s why we fought so hard for him.
“We are truly devastated to say that following the most recent MRI scan of Charlie’s muscles, as requested in the recent MDT meeting by Dr Hirano; as Charlie’s devoted and loving parents we have decided that it’s no longer in Charlie’s best interests to pursue treatment and we will let our son go and be with the angels.
“The American and Italian team were still willing to treat Charlie after seeing both his recent brain MRI and EEG performed last week. He’s not brain dead (and never has been). He still responds to us, even now, but after reviewing the recent muscle MRI it was considered that Charlie’s muscles have deteriorated to the extent that it is largely irreversible and, were treatment to work, his quality of life would now not be one which we would want for our precious little boy. They both agreed that treatment should have been started sooner.
“There is one simple reason for Charlie’s muscles deteriorating to the extent they are in now – TIME. A whole lot of wasted time. Had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy. His muscles were in pretty good shape in January, although obviously weaker than a child of similar age, and his brain scan was that of a relatively normal child of his age. He may well have had some disabilities later on in life but his quality of life could have been improved greatly.
“The reason that treatment was not commenced in January or April this year was that Charlie was found to have ‘irreversible brain damage’ and treatment was considered as ‘futile’. Dr Hirano and Dr Bertini, together with other internationally renowned paediatric neurologists, have now reviewed Charlie’s MRIs and EEGs which were performed in January and April respectively and they have confirmed that these MRIs and EEGs showed NO actual evidence of irreversible brain damage.
“Unfortunately Professor Hirano did not have access to the raw data and he based what he said in April on reports. We did not have access to these second opinions before the initial trial, hence why we are where we are today. Had we had the opportunity to have raw data of the MRIs and EEGs independently reviewed, we are convinced Charlie would be on treatment now and improving all the time.
“However, we are now in July and our poor boy has been left to just lie in hospital for months without any treatment whilst lengthy court battles have been fought. We have been told time and time again that Charlie has a ‘progressive disease’ but rather than allow treatment for him with a medication that was widely accepted to have no side effects, Charlie has been left with his illness to deteriorate, sadly, to the point of no return.
“We would like to say a few words in the hope that Charlie’s life will not be in vain. We have always acted in our son’s best interests from the very beginning. We were told back in November that all his organs would fail and it was likely that we only had days left with him but to this day, aside from Charlie’s need for ventilation, not one organ has ‘failed’.
“We have always been led by Charlie. I promise every single one of you that we would not have fought this hard for our son if we thought that he was in pain or suffering. There has never been any proof that he was and we still don’t think that he’s in pain or suffering to this day. Having said that, we have decided to let our son go and that’s for one reason and one reason only. It is because the prospect of improvement is unfortunately now too low for Charlie. Our doctors in America and Italy were still willing to treat Charlie after reviewing the MRI head scan from July 2017 as they still felt that there was a chance of meaningful improvement in Charlie’s brain. However, due to the deterioration in his muscles, there is now no way back for Charlie. Time that has been wasted. It is time that has sadly gone against him.
“We now have seven experts supporting therapy for Charlie’s condition which I think is proof that it was more than reasonable to try it. Nucleosides are simply a powder that would’ve gone into Charlie’s milk and are compounds which all of us in this room produce naturally. Unfortunately, Charlie can’t produce these due to his disease, which is why he is the way he is. We want people to realise that we have been speaking to parents whose children were just like Charlie before starting treatment and now some of them are walking around like normal children. We wanted Charlie to have that chance too.
“Our son has an extremely rare disease for which there is no accepted cure but that does not mean that this treatment would not have worked, and it certainly does not mean that this shouldn’t have been tried. We have only been asking for a three-month trial of treatment to see if there was any improvement. We have been asking for this short trial for the past eight months. Charlie did have a real chance of getting better if only therapy was started sooner.
“It was never false hope as confirmed by many experts. Now we will never know what would have happened if he got treatment but it’s not about us. It’s never been about us. It’s about what’s best for Charlie now. At the point in time when it has become too late for Charlie we have made the agonising decision to let him go.
“This has also never been about ‘parents know best’. We have continuously listened to experts in this field and it has raised fundamental issues, ethically, legally and medically – this is why the story of one little boy from two normal everyday people has raised such conflicting opinions and ferocious arguments worldwide.
“All we wanted to do was take Charlie from one world-renowned hospital to another world-renowned hospital in the attempt to save his life and to be treated by the world leader in mitochondrial disease. We feel that we should have been trusted as parents to do so but we will always know in our hearts that we did the very best for Charlie and I hope that he is proud of us for fighting his corner.
“We will have to live with the ‘what ifs’ which will haunt us for the rest of our lives but we’re thinking about what’s best for our son. We have always believed that Charlie deserved a chance at life and we knew that his brain was not as bad it was made out to be and that’s why we continued.
“We completely understand that everyone is entitled to their opinion and this was always going to be a matter which would cause a huge debate in who’s right and who’s wrong. In truth, there are no winners here. One thing is for sure though. We know deep within our hearts that we have always had Charlie’s best interests in the forefront of our minds and despite what some people think of us, we will try to walk away from this with our heads held high. As I said, we know the truth, and in our hearts we know that we have done all of this for our darling little Charlie. We have never done this for selfish reasons. We didn’t keep him alive just because we couldn’t bear to lose him.
“Charlie had a real chance of getting better. It’s now unfortunately too late for him but it’s not too late for others with this horrible disease and other diseases. We will continue to help and support families of ill children and try and make Charlie live on in the lives of others. We owe it to him to not let his life be in vain.
“We would like to thank our current legal team who have worked tirelessly to try and save Charlie’s life and they have not asked for a single penny. They won’t even let us buy them a coffee. They have done it out of the kindness of their hearts because they believed in us and they certainly believed in Charlie. We would like to thank everybody who has supported us throughout this journey in this country and thousands of people worldwide and we also would like to thank the staff at GOSH who have looked after Charlie and kept him comfortable and stable for so long. The care he has received from the nurses who’ve cared for him has been second to none. But most of all, we would like to thank Charlie for the joy he has brought to our lives. The love we have for you is too much for words and we love you so very much.
“Despite the way that our beautiful son has been spoken about sometimes, as if he not worthy of a chance at life, our son is an absolute WARRIOR and we could not be prouder of him and we will miss him terribly. One little boy has brought the world together and whatever people’s opinions are, no one can deny the impact our beautiful son has had on the world and his legacy will never ever die. Charlie has had a greater impact on and touched more people in this world in his 11 months than many people do in a lifetime.
“We could not have more love and pride for our beautiful boy. His body, heart and soul may soon be gone, but his spirit will live on for eternity and he will make a difference to people’s lives for years to come. As his mum and dad, we will make sure of that. We owe that to our boy. We will do our utmost to ensure that no parents have to go through what we have been through and the next Charlie that comes along WILL get this medicine before it’s too late and Charlie will save many more lives in the future, no doubt about that.
“We are struggling to find any comfort or peace with all this, but one thing that does give us the slightest bit of comfort, is that we truly believe that Charlie may have been too special for this cruel world. We are now going to spend our last precious moments with our son Charlie, who unfortunately won’t make his first birthday in just under two weeks’ time, and we would ask that our privacy is respected at this very difficult time.
“Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.
“Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy. Charlie Matthew William Gard. Our hero!”
Why is this such a problem? I just don’t understand it.
How to stay alive if a wrong-way driver comes at you
By Donna Rossi
Simulation of a wrong-way driving situation (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – The owners of a Scottsdale driver-training school have created wrong-way driving scenarios for their simulator to help combat the onslaught of wrong-way driving crashes happening throughout the state.
Richard and Maria Wojtczak own Driving MBA, which offers driver education to students of all ages.
In 2016, when several critical wrong-way driving crashes occurred within a short period of time, the Wojtczaks decided they needed to add techniques for dealing with wrong-way drivers to their program.
“We keep working on new scenarios. So, we’re continually improving our programs and so the wrong-way drivers, we continue to make sure we incorporate that into the curriculum,” Maria explained
Richard demonstrated a couple of those scenarios, explaining that they are designed to give the student driver a true sense of what it’s like to have a car coning straight at you.
“All the sudden I see somebody coming at me. First thing I’ve got to do is get way over. Keep under control. Keep calm and get out of the way,” said Richard.
The key, according to the experts, is to be positioned for anything before something happens.
“We teach a concept called strategic driving,” Maria said. “Pay attention. Look what’s going on around you so you can keep your head in the game. It’s staggering yourself so that you know that if anything happens you’ve got an out on one side or the other. You’ve got to pay attention and you’ve got to pace yourself to make that happen.”
The ideal situation is to be staggered with other traffic. If a wrong-way driver approaches, slow down and move as far to the right as possible. The left is not a great option because if the wrong-way driver suddenly sees you, his or her instinct would be to move to their right, thus creating a head-on collision with you, according to the Wojtczak’s.
“The whole point of using the simulator is to create the experience ahead of time so that they’re not ad libbing at 70 miles an hour,” Richard said.
If you’re in a situation where a wrong-way driver is coming up on you, there will not be much time.
“This is why distracted driving is a problem,” Maria said. “If you have something like this, this is catastrophic. If you’re not paying attention you won’t have the wherewithal to really handle the situation. So being in the game of driving, which is not easy when we’re behind the wheel of the car, is really important for us to stay focused.”
If you are boxed in and your only choice is to side-swipe a car or get hit by the wrong-way driver, Richard says your chances of survival are better with the sideswipe.
Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
What most people call a “truth teller” in politics is someone who repeats their dearest held beliefs and prejudices back to them. This is easy to do because SOMETIMES, those things are true. That being said, the vast majority of people seldom want to hear anything that challenges their beliefs. So they don’t read it; they don’t like it and they don’t share it with their friends. When media becomes a highly competitive business, which it is on both the Left and the Right, these stories become unprofitable and few people write them. Instead, they focus on stories that make money. In other words, if conservatives believed there were men on Mars, most of the hosts on Fox would be talking Martians all week while the hosts on MSNBC would be doing specials on Mole Men at the center of the earth if that’s what liberals believed in.
Don’t get me wrong; there are people with integrity in the media and politics, but the truth is that integrity isn’t what sells any more. Neither is human decency. Instead, the public loves controversy, disaster and outrage. So why not tell a shiny lie? Why not say something terrible? It’s like I told my friend Matt Lewis on Twitter, “If 1000 people think you’re scum, but you get 100 new twitter followers who want to see a train wreck, it’s a win to a lot of people.”
This is how a lot of people on both sides of the aisle have built careers. The more horrible things they say, they more they’re attacked by people on the other side which makes them more popular with their own side. In fact, that had more than a little bit to do with how Donald Trump became president.
But, what does that sort of thinking lead to ultimately? A world where people like Bill Maher and Shaun King represent liberalism while Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos are the ones most associated with conservatism while everyone else is trying to up their a-hole game to catch up.
Incidentally, this dovetails nicely with conspiracy theories which are becoming increasingly prevalent because surprisingly, accuracy doesn’t matter all that much to the public. It doesn’t matter whether you’re floating the idea that the Russians rigged the voting machines on the Left or that George Bush planned to merge America, Canada and Mexico on the Right, there’s no price paid for foisting nutty conspiracy theories on the public, but there are gains to be made by doing it. Online, conspiracy theorists make up in enthusiasm what they lack in numbers and they’ll push what you’re doing. So, if no one abandons you over your ridiculous conspiracies or indifference to truth, the only thing stopping you is your conscience. So, if you’re say Mike Cernovich, Alex Jones, Robert Reich or Michael Moore and have no conscience, why not go for it?
We blame the media, but we CREATE the media. Liberals want to hear anti-conservative propaganda; so that’s what they get. Conservatives reward people who lie to us and worse yet, people who hate us. So much of what has gone wrong with our country from the conservative perspective comes down to that old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Liberals are loud; we are quiet. The Washington Post pisses us off, but we don’t cancel our subscriptions. Hollywood stars come out against everything we stand for, but we keep watching their movies. Colleges openly work to brainwash our kids to hate everything we believe in and we send them there anyway. We might as well wear “Kick Me” signs.
Also, is anyone being honest about why government is so screwed up in America? It’s screwed up because of US conservatives, liberals, moderates, you, me, all of us.
Politicians lie to us and we shrug our shoulders and say, “That’s how it goes.You can’t expect these guys to be honest.” We talk big about wanting balanced budgets, but then get upset when we’re confronted with the reality that it’s not possible to get there without cutting Social Security, Medicare and the Defense budget. We send our money in to PACS that are often completely ineffective at best or outright scams at worst. Interest groups have learned from us that it’s better to shoot down every piece of legislation than to back something that’s less than perfect which will call their purity into question. The same members of leadership in both parties who do nothing to make the country better and everything to make it worse win over and over again no matter how badly they fail.
At the end of the day, most Americans love snark more than wisdom and they would much rather be entertained than informed, catered to rather than challenged. That’s why we have the culture we do, the media we do and the politicians we do. If we change ourselves, then all those things will change, too. Cross your fingers, but don’t hold your breath.
With Government Health Care, the State has say over who lives and who dies.
One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells’ energy-producing structures (the mitochondria), thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. He cannot swallow, he cannot move, he cannot breathe on his own. He suffers from severe epilepsy, and his brain is seriously damaged. Doctors aren’t even sure whether he can feel pain.
For months he’s been at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. His doctors have recommended removing him from life support.
His parents are deeply opposed. They have repeatedly petitioned the courts to allow them to take Charlie for experimental treatment in the United States.
The courts have denied the parents’ petition. They concluded that the proposed treatment had no chance of saving the child and would do nothing but inflict upon him further suffering. They did, however, allow the American specialist to come to London to examine Charlie. He is giving his findings to the court. A final ruling is expected next week.
The Telegraph of London reports that Charlie’s doctors remain unconvinced by the American researcher. Indeed, the weight of the evidence appears to support the doctors and the courts. Charlie’s genetic variant is different and far more devastating than the ones in which nucleoside bypass therapy has shown some improvement. There aren’t even animal models for treating Charlie’s condition. It’s extremely unlikely that treatment can even reach Charlie’s brain cells, let alone reverse the existing damage.
The parents have garnered support from thousands of petitioners and from such disparate luminaries as the pope and the president of the United States, both of whom have offered to bring Charlie to their facilities.
What to do? There is only one real question. What’s best for Charlie? But because he can’t speak for himself, we resort to a second question: Who is to speak for him?
The most heart-rending situation occurs when these two questions yield opposing answers. Charlie’s is such a case.
Let me explain.
In my view, two truths must guide any decision: (1) The parents must be sovereign, but (2) the parents are sometimes wrong.
I believe that in this case the parents are wrong, and the doctors and judges are right. Charlie’s suffering is literally unimaginable and we are simply prolonging it. This is a life of no light, no sound, no motion, only moments of physical suffering (seizures? intubation?) to punctuate the darkness. His doctors understandably believe that allowing a natural death is the most merciful thing they can do for Charlie.
As for miracle cures, I share the court’s skepticism. They always arise in such cases, and invariably prove to be cruel deceptions.
And yet. Despite all these considerations, I would nevertheless let the parents take their boy where they wish.
The sovereignty of loved ones must be the overriding principle that guides all such decisions. We have no other way. The irreducible truth is that these conundrums have no definitive answer. We thus necessarily fall back on family, or to put it more sentimentally, on love.
What is best for the child? The best guide is a loving parent. A parent’s motive is the most pure.
This rule is not invariable, of course. Which is why the state seizes control when parents are demonstrably injurious, even if unintentionally so, as in the case of those who, for some religious imperative, would deny their child treatment for a curable disease.
But there’s a reason why, despite these exceptions, all societies grant parents sovereignty over their children until they reach maturity. Parents are simply more likely than anyone else to act in the best interest of the child.
Not always, of course. Loved ones don’t always act for the purest of motives. Heirs, for example, may not the best guide as to when to pull the plug on an elderly relative with a modest fortune.
But then again, states can have ulterior motives, too. In countries where taxpayers bear the burden of expensive treatments, the state has an inherent incentive (of which Britain’s National Health Service has produced notorious cases) to deny treatment for reasons of economy rather than mercy.
Nonetheless, as a general rule, we trust in the impartiality of the courts — and the loving imperative of the parent.
And if they clash? What then? If it were me, I would detach the tubes and cradle the child until death. But it’s not me. It’s not the NHS. And it’s not the European Court of Human Rights.
It’s a father and a mother and their desperate love for a child. They must prevail. Let them go.
The story of health care policy this week, this month and for the last decade (at least) has been a tale of partisan folly. But fear not, this isn’t another earnest pundit’s lament for the vital center to emerge, phoenix-like, to form a governing coalition of moderates in both parties. That’s not my bag.
After all, I have always argued that bipartisanship is overrated.
Bipartisan support often means unthinking support (as the founders could have told you). Partisans may be annoying from time to time, but they also can be relied upon to point out the shortcomings of what the other side is doing. When partisan criticism is missing, it might be a sign that politicians in both parties are helping themselves, not the country. Or, it might mean they’re pandering to the passions of the public and press rather than doing the hard work of thinking things through.
So you’ll get no warm and fuzzy pleading for moderates to scrub clean the word “compromise” so that it’s no longer a dirty word in Washington. Others can make the case for that. And besides, that argument misses the essence of this spectacular failure. Honest partisanship isn’t the problem, bipartisan dishonesty is.
Both parties have become defined by their lies and their refusal to accept reality. It’s a problem bigger than health care, but health care is probably the best illustration of it.
For seven years Republicans campaigned to repeal Obamacare. We now know that for many of those politicians, that pledge was a sales pitch that expired after the sale — i.e., the election — was final.
But before liberal readers pull a muscle nodding their heads: The Democrats aren’t any better. Obamacare itself was lied into passage. “You can keep your plan!” “You can keep your doctor!” “Your premiums won’t go up!” These were lies. If those promises were remotely true, Obamacare wouldn’t be the mess it is.
But these aren’t even the lies I have in mind.
The Republican “repeal and replace” bills debated for the last six months did not in fact repeal Obamacare. They kept most of its regulations intact — particularly the popular ones. The GOP did seek to repeal and reform the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, but that’s not the same thing as repealing Obamacare.
Yet Republicans insisted it was a repeal because they wanted to claim that they fulfilled their repeal pledge. Actually fulfilling the substance of the pledge was a low-order priority. Heroically winning the talking point: This was their brass ring.
George Orwell Quotes. Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
So, too, for the White House. Donald Trump just wanted a win. He has made it abundantly clear that he would sign anything the Republicans sent him — up to and possibly including the head of Alfredo Garcia if someone had written “Obamacare: Repealed” on the poor chap’s forehead. Trump has shown zero preference for any specific policy or approach during these debates. He just wants the bragging rights.
And that is the one thing Democrats are most determined to deny him. The Democrats know that Obamacare has been an albatross for their party. They often acknowledge, through gritted teeth, that the law needs a substantial overhaul.
More important, they also know that the GOP wasn’t pushing an actual repeal. But they couldn’t tolerate for a moment the idea that the Republicans would get to claim it was repeal. So the one thing both sides could agree upon was that this was a zero-sum war over repealing Obamacare — when it wasn’t.
In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. George Orwell
This was all about bogus gasconade and rodomontade for Republicans and insecure rhetorical wagon-circling around Barack Obama’s “legacy” for Democrats. If Trump and the GOP agreed to abandon “repeal,” as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants, one can only wonder how much replacing of Obamacare Schumer would allow the GOP to get away with.
Likewise, if Democrats could somehow give Republicans the ability to say they repealed Obamacare, many Republican senators — and certainly Trump — would probably be happy to leave the bulk of it intact.
It is this fact that makes the polarized, tribal climate in Washington so frustrating. I like partisan fights when those fights are about something real. The Medicaid fight was at least about something real. But most of this nonsense is a battle of liars trying to protect past lies in the hope of being able to make new lies seem just plausible enough for the liars to keep repeating them. (jonah goldberg)
The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history. George Orwell
Condescension being a hallmark of liberalism is an age-old discussion. Yet, after Hillary Clinton’s stinging 2016 defeat to Donald Trump, some are wondering if their attitude to people who don’t think, act, or live like them might be an issue in terms of bridging the cultural divide we have (i.e. urban vs. rural). Business Insider’s Josh Barro, who also hosts Left, Right, and Center on KCRW, commented on this issue and offered ways in which his fellow Democrats can stop being so annoying. There are parts with which I disagree – namely that we’re a socially liberal country. I still think we’re right-of-center, but Barro is blunt and straightforward in his assessment that liberals have just become insufferable in their intolerance towards people who don’t live in the urban bastions of progressivism. As a result, they have become the “moral busybodies” that was often a criticism of conservatism. Barro calls this particularly problem within liberalism “the hamburger problem.” And by cultural disconnect, he’s not talking about policy stances either, which is often an excuse for liberals to think that they’re not out of touch.
Suppose you’re a middle-income man with a full-time job, a wife who also works outside the home, and some children. Suppose it’s a Sunday in the early fall, and your plan for today is to relax, have a burger, and watch a football game.
Conservatives will say, “Go ahead, that sounds like a nice Sunday.” (In the Trump era, they’re not going to bother you about not going to church.) But you may find that liberals have a few points of concern they want to raise about what you mistakenly thought was your fundamentally nonpolitical plan for the day.
Liberals want you to know that you should eat less meat so as to contribute less to global warming. They’re concerned that your diet is too high in sodium and saturated fat. They’re upset that the beef in your hamburger was factory-farmed.
They think the name of your favorite football team is racist. Or even if you hate the Washington Redskins, they have a long list of other reasons that football is problematic.
Beyond what you’re doing this weekend, this movement has a long list of moral judgments about your ongoing personal behavior.
The SUV you bought because it was easier to install car seats in doesn’t get good enough gas mileage. Why don’t you have an electric car?
The gender-reveal party you held for your most recent child inaccurately conflated gender with biological sex. (“Cutting into a pink or blue cake seems innocent enough — but honestly, it’s not,” Marie Claire warned earlier this month.)
Liberals like to complain that working-class voters who back Republicans have voted “against their own self-interest,” by which they implicitly mean economic self-interest. This idea could benefit from a little introspection.
Do liberals go into the voting booth and choose a candidate based on a narrow conception of economic self-interest? Of course not.
Objectively, you would think the groups most substantively exposed to risk from the Trump presidency are low-income people who face benefit cuts and members of minority groups against whom he whips up and indulges negative sentiment.
Yet, as the Republican pollster Patrick Ruffini has pointed out in his analyses of turnout in House special elections, the “resistance” surge in Democratic turnout relative to Republican turnout is occurring almost entirely among college-educated whites. That is, the people most alarmed by Trump seem to be the ones who stand to lose the most cultural power, not those who stand to lose the most materially.
Barro later goes into how liberals can fix this perception that could hurt outreach initiatives since whether they like to admit it or not, Democrats need to win back white working class voters (i.e. Trump voters). One is working to diffuse the high tension on cultural issues and recognizing that this is not a sign of defeat or compromise. Actually, this can be applied to a whole host of issues that liberals will fight to the death on, like immigration. Here’s the rest of his advice on what liberals should do to temper their cultural intolerance:
Don’t tell people they should feel guilty. As I discussed at the top of this piece, Americans are broadly open to liberal positions on cultural policy issues. Over the last few decades, they have increasingly internalized the idea that the government should let people be free to do what they want in their lives. So embrace that ethos by emphasizing how liberal policy positions would let members of all sorts of groups live their best lives, protected from discrimination and harm. Don’t tell people they should feel bad about living their own lives as they want.
Say when you think the liberal commentariat has gone overboard. While former President Barack Obama has urged people to eat less meat, usually the leading voices of the new liberal moralism are not politicians. Less-smug liberal commentators will usually protest that these voices are marginal, especially the college students who get so much attention on Fox News for protesting culturally insensitive sushi in the dining hall. If these voices are so marginal, it should be easy enough for Democratic politicians to distance themselves by saying, for example, that some college students have gotten a little nuts and should focus on their studies instead of the latest politically correct cause. Showing that you also think liberal cultural politics has gotten a little exhausting is a good way to relate to a lot of voters.
Offer an agenda that provides benefits people can see as mattering in their daily lives. If you want voters to refocus away from petty cultural fights and toward public policy, it’s not enough to turn down the temperature on culture; you need a policy agenda they can relate to. I wrote in December about some ideas to do this — though of course, you could also make such an agenda in farther-left flavors.
Don’t get distracted by shiny objects. If the government can’t do anything about the problem you’re discussing — if it’s purely a matter of the cultural discourse — should you spend your time on it and risk alienating people on the opposite side of the issue? Probably not.
You can debate among yourselves if this will actually take hold with Democratic Party leaders and the elite that keep the war chests funded. Right now, let’s say it’s very possible that these could take hold. Democrats have no economic message for the 2018 midterms at present. They’re divided, leaderless, and searching for a route to political revival. You never know what could be added into the mix, if they ever get to it—for a winning political message. At the same time, there’s plenty to suggest this won’t happen. The number of rural Democrats on the Hill is slim. Overall, they’re pretty much a species on the verge of extinction. They were all but wiped out in 2010. In Appalachia, a once robust bastion of Democratic support among working class whites, Hillary Clinton only won 21 out of its 490 counties. That’s a total collapse and Democratic elites may not want to even bother with rebuilding the party apparatus out there, though it’s necessary if they want to expand the map, especially for state and local races which are key to keeping a talent pool well maintained for future national races. Also, these people don’t think white voters matter, which was crystal clear with the Clinton campaign.
Condescension seems to have its roots in American liberalism. Whenever it’s mentioned I always think back to the story between an aide and Adlai Stevenson, who, like Clinton, is also a two-time presidential loser; Stevenson ran and lost twice in 1952 and 1956. The tale goes that the aide was confident of a Stevenson win, saying to the Democratic candidate something along the lines of “Mr. Stevenson, you have the thinking people on your side” to which Stevenson replies, “ah, but I need a majority.” Snobbery and condescension may have always been ingrained in liberal politics, but social media made this virus airborne. (Matt Vespa)
Then there were these idiots who just had to snatch defeat from victory because they are narcissistic: