Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Unwritten Rules, Social Norms, and You

with 43 comments

Folks, recently I read a book by Mike Duncan called THE STORM BEFORE THE STORM. It was about the fall of the Roman Republic, which preceded the fall of the Roman Empire…and about the various things that happened that caused the Roman Republic to fall.

Something called Mos Maiorum had been followed up until that time, you see. Those were the unwritten rules and social norms that every Roman professed to follow, and none seriously transgressed until things started to fall apart. These were especially important for Roman politicians, as they dictated how often you ran for office, how long you should stay there in some cases, whether or not you should run again, and what you should do while you actually were in office (including treating other office-holders with respect rather than disdain, whether you liked those people or not).

This rang true with me in our contemporary American society, because it was the breakdown of the unwritten rules of the Mos Maiorum that led to the rise of Roman demagogues, who exploited rising economic inequality for fun and profit…and that is what we’re seeing right now, at least in part.

Mind, by the time a demagogic politician takes command, those rifts are already there for him (or in some cases, her) to exploit. The loss of the unwritten rules of conduct everyone is supposed to follow may seem negligible, but we saw it play out in the 2016 Presidential election, where Donald Trump refused to release his taxes (as every other politician had done for many years), criticized many people (including those in his own party) and called decorated war heroes such as Arizona Senator John McCain unimportant (because hey, Trump only likes people who weren’t captured). Trump even complained about a Gold Star family — that is, a family who lost a loved one while serving the United States as a military member — which is something I couldn’t have imagined anyone doing for any reason before 2016.

Mind, as in the fall of the Roman Republic, some pols still do follow the unwritten rules. (For example, Hillary Clinton released her taxes, and while she certainly criticized Trump — and he returned the favor, in spades — she did not go after anyone outside of the campaign. She left Scott Baio alone, Kid Rock alone, and any other celebrity or personage that expressed a strong affection for Trump strictly alone as far as I could discern.)

So it’s not an exact science, no. But I am still struck by the parallels.

When the civil discourse breaks down, it’s hard to remember that we all need to pull together. And that sort of division can be exploited by anyone with demagogic leanings, which is why we all need to educate ourselves as best we can, read widely (and not just to our own political leanings), and challenge our assumptions as that is the best way to deal with demagoguery I know.

That all being said, people may still prefer the demagogue in the future. I can’t do anything about that. But what I can ask you to do is to please, please, for the love of little green apples, do your homework. Vote for someone who represents you and your interests as closely as possible…but yes, someone should stick up for the unwritten rules of civil discourse and most importantly civility in politics, too, lest we follow the Roman Republic into oblivion.

That way, it’s less toxic to watch. And we may stay better-informed.

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43 Responses

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  1. Where were the “unwritten rules” in play when Democrat Politicians strongly implied Republicans were Nazis?

    Where were they when Liberals and the News Media strongly implied that Republicans were Racists, Bigots, “Religious Fanatics”, etc?

    From Justice Bork on wards, Liberals have play the “Hate Game”. IE Anybody who has the “Wrong Views” isn’t “just wrong” but are Evil Monsters.

    Sorry Barb, you’re a nice lady but “respect” for the other side has been destroyed by too many so-called Liberals.

    All too common, discussions between Liberals and Conservatives end with the Liberals throwing words like “Fascist”, “Nazi”, “Racist” and so forth.

    Why should I as a Conservative and a Christian respect people who consider me a Nazi and a Religious Fanatic? 😦

    People like me didn’t vote for Trump because we loved him but voted for him because of dislike for Hillary and to “get back” at all the shitheads who had thrown garbage at us.

    Now, I see Trump being a better President that I expected and what I hear from too many Liberals convinces me that I made the correct choice.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    December 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    • Paul, at least you made an informed choice.

      All I can tell you otherwise is that yes, the hyperbole is awful and I’ve been just as mad at the Ds in the past (as a left-leaning Indy voter, I can get mad at _everyone_ and probably have) for committing it.

      The main problem here is, though, we do have a breakdown of what is expected from politicians. It has occurred over many years, similar to how Duncan charts what happened in the Roman Republic. And that means someone who has populist leanings and/or demagogic tendencies can exploit those things, because the breakdown has been going on for a long time.

      In that way, you are right.

      I would like to see more light and less heat throughout, because I want to see us figure out how to move forward rather than just stay mired in all manner of negative things. We can’t _do_ that if we just stay angry at each other.

      With Trump, the main problem I continue to have with him are his intemperate remarks. I don’t like those, and most especially think he needs to ditch his Twitter account.

      But he’ll do whatever he wants, as he’s a free person above the age of consent.

      Barb Caffrey

      December 28, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      • My thoughts on Trump’s “Tweets”.

        I suspect he does them because he knows what happens when he does them.

        The News Media and many Liberals go off on whatever tangent he wants them to go.

        Thus he can get down to real business. 😉

        Of course, he may also find it humorous to see them run after red herrings. 👿

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        December 28, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      • I definitely think you’re right about that, Paul.

        One of my other friends told me a while ago that whenever Trump tweets, look behind the “curtain” to see what he’s hiding. It’s definitely an interesting way to look at it, for sure. (Hiding in plain sight. The media does fall for that, in general.)

        Barb Caffrey

        December 30, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      • By the way, I also dislike the “political dividing” but as long as Liberals play like they are the Glorious Anti-Fascists fighting the Republican Nazis, it will continue.

        My question is “where are the Liberals who also hate the dividing?”.

        Obviously, you’re one of them but there needs to be more of “you”.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        December 28, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      • I hope more people who hate division will stand up and be counted in 2018, Paul. You will be seeing more centrist and even right-wing Ds this cycle. And I hope most of them are more pragmatic and try to get things done, too.

        Barb Caffrey

        December 30, 2017 at 3:20 pm

  2. oh geez. look…tax returns are no ones business but the person in whose name the returns are in. everyone else can piss off. I don’t know where the ‘politicians have to release their returns’ came from originally. don’t care as such, there’s a simple solution to it but the D’s will never support it. To be fair neither will any number of establishment repubs. Don’t give tax cuts. DUMP the current tax code and enact a simple flat tax. Some people dislike that idea, which I can grok I suppose. But then when you say ‘okay what about a national sales tax? you get..’but that will hurt [pick a freakin descriptor of a social group] and that’s bad’ *facepalm* The other thing that needs to happen which I yell about constantly, is the gutting of the federal gov’t with a rusty chainsaw and paring it down from it’s current goliath state to that of a house cat.

    lobo314

    December 28, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    • The federal government is too bloated, I agree, Sean.

      Yes, I agree with you about tax records, for the most part. I don’t want to show mine and if I ran for office I’d really hate having to do it. It is expected at many levels of government to do that very thing, though, and is one of those “unwritten rules” I talked about.

      As I just said in my other answer, though, William Jennings Bryan may be a better person to look at.

      And it’s always good to see you posting. Whether we agree or not, it’s nice to have a worthy friend coming over to check out my blogs! 😀

      Barb Caffrey

      December 30, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  3. As far as ‘unwritten rules and social norms’ whose bent them or broke them hardest? Take…socialist college professors and admins forex. You’ve got well documented cases of them saying truly heinous shit. Like the one last christmas who tweeted out that all whites needed to die in a white genocide. then when he got death threats and was forbidden from campus unless with police escort, claimed victimhood. That was a story on CNN recently iirc. I had to laugh because the hypocritical fuck is dayglo white himself. so are some of his supporters. oh god how the education system has failed miserably.

    lobo314

    December 29, 2017 at 12:06 am

    • They both did, Sean. They definitely both did — both of our major political parties did. And have. Repeatedly.

      I was trying to think of another example that, maybe through the lens of our history, might be a better one. William Jennings Bryan (in 1896) is perhaps a good one, as he was well-intentioned, thoughtful, but also a rabble-rouser and a big-time social reformer. He definitely inflamed over half the population, not necessarily in good ways, though history has treated him kindly and we now see him as the first major person to attempt to ride the wave of social change that was going to come, will you or nil you.

      And that story about the idiot professor — I do remember that. It was sickening and disgusting. And yes, very, very hypocritical, too, as you say.

      Barb Caffrey

      December 30, 2017 at 3:17 pm

  4. This destruction of our national fabric (unwritten rules and civil discourse) began long before the most recent political cycle. I think it likely started back with the sexual revolution. While I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business who someone is having sex with, people do need to realize there are consequences to actions. And just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea and that you should do it. Too many expect nothing bad to happen, or even be slightly inconvenienced, if they make poor decisions. And that if something bad does happen, it’s always the fault of someone other than themselves. Or that someone should help them out (ie. give them exactly what they want), and that usually that someone is the government.

    Many of the institutions we used to trust have abused that trust to such an extent that they have no credibility anymore. I think most people expect politicians to lie and obfuscate as much as they can get away with. Anything to get elected. One of the most surprising things about Trump has been how much of what he said he wanted to do that he’s actually done. The news media has been caught in so many lies recently that no one trusts them anymore than they trust the politicians. In fact, if I see something even remotely political being reported anymore, I assume the reality is the opposite of what they are saying.

    kamas716

    December 29, 2017 at 11:55 am

    • Yeah. We are at a major crossroads here with regards to the whole trust issue of the media, much less politicians. I agree that most people do not trust either — except for their local media (to report local stories), and perhaps some (definitely not all) of their local pols.

      This is well-thought, Kamas. And I agree with it.

      What I keep hoping for is that people will realize that it’s up to us. All of us. We have to figure out some way to coexist and make good public policy. (I fail to see how giving a big tax break to the top .001% of the population helps in any way, shape, or form, mind. Not that you talked about this at all. Just an example of good public policy I wish I saw right now…sensible tax reform that lasts, and not just for the insanely wealthy.)

      Barb Caffrey

      December 30, 2017 at 3:15 pm

      • I would really like to see a major tax overhaul. Our federal tax law should be simple enough to fit on one page. Let the states play around with crazy ideas to see if they work. But for now, I’ll take a reduction in taxes, which this newest plan is for almost everyone. It would be even better with a spending reduction as well.

        kamas716

        December 31, 2017 at 7:25 pm

      • I would go for the spending reduction. And I’d be OK with lowering the corporate tax rate and for everyone except those making over $200K a year getting a tax cut. (Those super-duper-rich definitely should _not_ get a tax cut.)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 1:43 am

    • *snort* I haven’t inherently trusted the mainstream press on the national level for 20yrs. Even the local is tainted and somewhat untrustworthy, especially when they bring up polarizing issues. I watched the local ABC affiliate retards report on a story yesterday about how some bangers came up to a guys door and tried unsuccessfully to kick it in twice and then left And OMG they had an Eeeeeebil assault rifle! Wrong! it’s a pump action shot gun you neolithic incompetents!. *headdesk, headdesk, headdesk* Even now I sit here dwelling on the pleasant dream of taking some cricket bats as a stand in for the ‘board of education’ that so many of us were swatted with if we’re old enough, when we were younger; and admistering some beatings.

      lobo314

      December 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm

      • I don’t trust our local media either. I’ve seen too many of them doing untrustworthy things first hand. I’ve also been involved in incidents that barely resemble what they’ve reported.

        kamas716

        December 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm

      • Hmph. Well, that is not good, Kamas. 😦 (I don’t blame you for distrusting them, mind, if they can’t accurately report.)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 1:44 am

      • There is a lot of misinformation out there, no lie. And the media definitely has its slant.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 1:37 am

  5. Speaking from a European perspective, the history of which goes back, arguably 2,500 years from the times of the Greek and the Roman states, I witness the forces of history at play as they have always done and will continue to do so. Overall, as you Barb have so carefully argued there are parallels with those aforementioned civilisations and their own political histories.
    The USA stands at a place she first stood in the years prior to The Civil War and has stood in arguably several times since, one being the Prohibition era, another The Civil Rights campaigns of the 1950s and another during the Vietnam War. In these times there was much polarisation of the populations and passions roused. In these times in addition to the firebrands were folk of eloquence, in these times The Government used and relied or the organs of the State for better or for worse, sometimes both at once. Again, we have witnessed this in Europe over many centuries.
    You differ in that your forebears constructed a constitution which separated Executive, Legislative and Judicial processes and gave them a dynamic to at one co-operate while also being able to ensure no one branch dominated.
    In what can be called ‘Living Memory’ for the majority of the population we have seen interesting holders of the presidency. Nixon, who acknowledged Health Care & The Environment while arguably made the world a measure safer- true he had many demons which made his tenure controversial. Ford who held things together. Carter who tried. Regan, another conservative but a man who could communicate with the majority of the people. Bush snr who at least exuded a patrician’s air, if nothing else. Clinton who whether some like it or not was a social reformer; his private life showed him to be a philanderer, not a new notion when examining previous presidents. Bush jnr who although putting the USA in another unwelcome war, still endeavoured to be a president to all of the people.
    I view these office holders through the prism of someone who is on the very hard but practical-left of UK politics, enough to say that Jeremy Corbyn is something of a rather well-meaning moderate but hardly the stuff of leadership. For a leader needs to be someone who by necessity unites an entire nation, if necessary gently by the scruff of the neck. We all hear much about ‘Rights’ from all sides but there seems to be little talk concerning ‘Responsibilities’. Everyone is guilty of this.
    With the weight of history and the evidence of previous presidents I turn my attention to the current occupant of the Whitehouse and see little of any worth. This person born of privilege and wealth, short of experience in the world of industry, law, finance never mind public service, who invented himself as a media personality and the something in the nebulous world of property development. This as so many before who stalked onto the stage and claimed he could solve the concerns of the ordinary people, who rode on a wave of discontent with all the bombast and lexicon of a 19th century travelling salesman. This fellow who had the effrontery to insult one of your heroes John McCain by inferring he knew ways to avoid anti-aircraft missiles and even better survival and evasion techniques. This person who talks only to one sector of the nations and pours scorn on the rest. Who pours fuel on the Fires of Division. This man so lacking in any true debating or presentational skills that any argument against him is greeted as ‘Fake News’? He is a tawdry fellow who is an offense to the people who placed their trust in him, who is currently incapable of grasping the weight of responsibility of this honourable office.
    I am angry, because I have a great affection for the USA and despite its own share of faults, crimes and flaws of which each and every nation bears it has held together and made a credible effort at democracy (itself a near impossible task). I like the peoples of the USA for the myriad of cultures for their general can-do approach and their independence of spirit. You have a generosity and a sincerity which when focused is unstoppable.
    And this little person, this quirk of your voting system will need to think very hard, and very long into the night to realise the burden of office and the duty he owes to you, which at present he has failed to display to the Nation.
    We have seen it before in many of our kings, queens, presidents, prime ministers, here-today-go-tomorrow populists, set upon their own self-aggrandisement, using whatever political, religious or social creed suits them to get to power and warms their vanity. And we have had our share of flawed hard workers, complicated heroes and dogged individuals who have worked for the benefit of all. You currently have one of the former, and I wish either his enlightenment and ‘Road to Damascus’ or someone worthy of you all.
    God Be With America.
    Roger (UK)

    Woebegone but Hopeful

    December 29, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    • Thanks, Roger, for your kind words and your understanding of my post. I appreciate it.

      I do see parallels here. A lot of them. But it’s up to the individual as to what he or she sees…and Paul had one thing really straight-on when he said that “liberals (started it),” in a way. He is certainly right that both parties have gone after each other in _very_ intemperate ways over the years and that has desensitized the population to genuine demagoguery. The people who are really troublemakers, like Roy Moore, do not seem as bad because everyone has been called similar names, at least from time to time (maybe not pedophiles, granted, but as Paul said, “Nazis,” or bigots, or xenophobes, and most of the time that’s not just inaccurate, it’s highly inflammatory).

      BTW, what do you think of Barack Obama and/or Mrs. Clinton? (I like Mrs. Clinton, and have made no secret of it. And Obama grew on me, though ultimately I think he’ll be proven to be a mid-rank POTUS at best.)

      Barb Caffrey

      December 30, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      • Hi Barb
        The interactions of a society are always complex, and since we are all flawed creatures these interactions can spark ‘brush fires’ which lead to divisions and break downs in communications. In amongst this there are always opportunistic malcontents who are willing exploit situations to serve themselves and in some cases make something of their rather pathetic lives.
        The new factor in the circumstance is the speed by which views can be made known and just how is this policed. This is where I step out of the debate because my very hard-left views conclude a society has to be turn on stricter lines, there again I also suspect this may be flawed in some way and open to its own abuse. So back to the beginning we are flawed folk, we should admit our own flaws and realise only by working together can we succeed.
        I tend to agree that Obama was a middle rated POTUS. As an outsider this would seem to be because he was boxed in by the race factor. Although there were many fancy views and objections they often boiled down to one thing ‘We don’t want one of ‘those’ people in The Whitehouse. Now this in turn made it difficult for folk who had straightforward political objections to his policies as they could not make their views heard in the maelstrom and if they did they would be labelled with racists. I would say this, on his watch Bin Laden was taken out at his order, so there’s a tough man there somewhere. As for his legacy that’s for the reading of a number of history books in a few years’ time, and reach your own opinion. He certainly handled a difficult task with dignity which the current resident of the Whitehouse is unable to do.
        Hilary Clinton is a standard political operator with experience in government. I admired her, but that’s because I have a certain affinity with folk can work a system and keep things moving. (Again, this is my rather hard-nosed political view. Nations need to be run, people at times need to be organised. There is no room for a disruptive element which bases its platform on hate or violence. Under my questionable regime there would be several folk locked up for the crime of Disturbing Civic Harmony ). Anyway I digress. Her mistake was similar to the Democratic Party of the post-WWII era, they assumed they knew best and tended to dismiss those who were courting ‘grass-roots’ dissatisfaction or fears, they did not speak with the people.
        Best wishes
        Roger

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        December 31, 2017 at 5:29 am

      • I also think Mrs. Clinton was hampered, and badly, by our media. Every time she had some sort of event or function where she was talking with people directly, they’d cut to something outrageous Donald Trump or his minions did. And Trump made good theater and ratings for them…which is one reason why we have this mess.

        Yes, you’re right that she’s a pragmatist and she certainly was able to get things done. But yes, you’re also right that at some level, what I think were her true feelings (I read her book, WHAT HAPPENED, and of course have followed her life and career before that) were buried, partly perhaps by advisors wary of controversy (ha!), partly because of her own innate Stoicism, partly because of Trump and Trump’s folk making for good theater and all but kicking her off the stage.

        I think you’re right about former POTUS Obama.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 1:41 am

      • I agree with you Barb on all accounts.
        The tragedy is that Trump was such an easy target and had he come up against the JFKs, LBJs, Nixons or Regans he would have been sunk without trace. Although none were ideal and certainly not saints they were politicians who knew how to reach out to a nation rather than a group.
        The lack of consensus seems to be lacking at the present and there is far too much attention paid to scoundrels who lurk on the fringes using the media.
        People should talk to each other, accept there are differences and realise they are all actually in the same place with the same hopes and fears.
        All the best to you
        Roger

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        January 1, 2018 at 4:13 am

      • I’m with you, Roger. Somehow we need to figure out how to communicate again rather than stay in our “bubbles.” And sometimes, communication is hard, painful, and damned difficult…but not communicating is far worse.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      • It is a difficult task. Being from the UK and thus in European in outlook, there is always a tendency to think the answer lies in a stricter form of government, in this case carrying a paradox that the watchwords are Compassion, Respect and Tolerance and anyone who steps outside of those guidelines feels the weight of the law. ‘Knock people’s heads together’
        This, of course will not work in the USA being a union of states and a history of independence of the individual.
        Thus it all comes back to dialogue and it is I agree, very, very tough.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        January 2, 2018 at 3:31 am

      • Tolerance? Haven’t seen much of that from the self-proclaimed “Masters of Tolerance”. 😦

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        January 2, 2018 at 7:22 am

      • Who might they claim to be?

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        January 3, 2018 at 5:07 am

      • Paul, which Reps are you talking about? (Or Senators?)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm

      • Barb, I’m talking generally about a certain type of Liberal/Democrat who “boasts” of their Tolerance while being extremely intolerant of people who don’t accept their Dogma.

        IE This was an attempt at a bad joke.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        January 3, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      • Ah. Well, that’s OK, then. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        January 5, 2018 at 1:16 am

      • We have to hope that somehow people will find a way to come together on the important things. Infrastructure reform is something we need, and had Trump started with that I think he’d have found it a much easier sell. Now, after a year of what surely looks to me like poisoning the well for many of those in Congress (Republicans, Democrats, and the few Independents we have there, too), he’s going to try it and it’ll be far harder than it needs to be.

        We also have a huge problem with politicians making a show of willingness to do something, but then blaming the other party when it doesn’t get done. While there is some truth to it, it’s more truthful to say that these politicians know how to posture and feature their own “goodness” and “responsibility” and thus get re-elected, rather than doing the people’s business as they’re elected to do.

        The ones that gall me the most are like Republican Rep. Sean Duffy (one of Wisconsin’s US Reps, but fortunately not mine; unfortunately, I have Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House). Duffy claims he’s not making enough money as a US Rep. That he can’t “afford” being a US Rep. That it’s too hard to buy housing in Northern Virginia (well, I have a teensy bit of sympathy there as it is expensive), and also have a house in Wisconsin for his family…

        My thought is that if you can’t afford a salary of $177,000 per year (which is at least twice and perhaps three times as much as an average “middle-income” single person anywhere in the US, so it _should_ be able to _easily_ support you if you are representing Wisconsin), you should not run for office. And if you are upset that you aren’t making enough money, well, you obviously have no idea of what sacrifice means…

        And before Paul says something (as I know Paul very well), I’ll add that _anyone_ complaining about making $177K a year is going to annoy the crap out of me.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 3, 2018 at 9:25 pm

      • I can understand and agree with you Barb all the way.
        As for salaries, there used to be a cry ‘What ever happened to the spirit of Public Service’. In short you go into politics because you believe you have something to contribute not as (to use a London expression) ‘cos it’s a nice little earner’. My response to Ryan is ‘if you are worried about the cost you shouldn’t be in politics. Get out now and make room for someone with backbone’.
        Rich and comfortable politicians cannot relate to folk struggling to make it to the next paycheck.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        January 4, 2018 at 4:01 am

      • I’m with you all the way, Roger.

        Barb Caffrey

        January 5, 2018 at 1:18 am

      • *shrug* re: Clinton being hampered [to use your phrasing roger, I’d have probably used hamstrung but that’s simply a matter of personal preference and neither is really wrong as a descriptor]by the press. She and the press did it to themselves. *shrug* Her attitude of she knows best and the rest of us are simply children that need to be taken care of, rankled. Barrack suffered the same malady. The mainly sewage media [as I sometimes call them] is basically fully in the pocket of and wholly owned lock, stock and both smoking barrels by the political far left. it’s become nothing more than spin doctors, mouth pieces and the propaganda machine of the political left. Don’t believe that? Witness Mika Brezinki’s on air faux pas in admitting LIVE, that the press believes it’s their job to tell us what we’re supposed to think. Holy hells bells that was the most truth I’d seen out of a member of the press in ages and that admission was wholly unintended! A slip of the tongue!
        They were tripping over their own tongues, among other things while pimping for Clinton and actively trying to destroy any of her opponents. Including opponents of her own party, like Sanders. For the record I hold Sanders in utter contempt because for my money he’s a bumbling, mathematically challenged, hypocritical buffoon. However, he was…….stampeded, knocked over, picked up and thrown into a ditch by the press and his own party in their zealous haste to get Clinton elected as our ‘first woman president’. The press didn’t so much assassinate her democrat colleagues as shove them out of the way. With her opponents on the right though…oh yeah there was outright character assassination there. and as with every presidential election in the last 15yrs or so, the right helped the press and their left leaning opponents do it. Sabotaging themselves in an effort to come out on top as the top conservative candidate. The american people aren’t entirely stupid however so they said ‘fuck you’ and elected Trump. Which is hysterically funny to me even though he wasn’t my candidate. I’ve been watching the reactions of the left and their lapdogs in teh press, their hyperbolic and hydrophobic reactions with glee. The press, leftist politicians [and even opponents on the right] and the pundits who for a year said ‘nope. no way in hell he’s gonna be president”
        “He’s not qualified” wrong the constitution only has 2 requirements. just 2 to run for president. Trump met both of those. He’s this, he’s that he’s..blah blah blah. noise…that’s all it was noise
        From my perspective even though he wasn’t my candidate…he was the perfect and most qualified to run because of one trait. He’s NOT a professional career politician like so many other of the steaming piles of dog turds that were in the running, or truly power hungry…like Clinton.

        Barrack. Barrack wasn’t even a mediocre president…he was the most divisive in recent history.. You wanna talk ‘race?’ He and his supporters brought it up CONSTANTLY. “He’s going to be our first BLACK president!” He’s a black this, black that. It was my contention from the beginning that if he won, it would be solely because of the melatonin content of his skin. I was right. His skin color was what supporters on his side of the aisle and the mouth piece press touted the most.Every time he opened his mouth…his words were always slanted…and brought up ‘race’. The Great Organizer they called him among other things…like the second coming of JFK…or Jesus Christ, take your pick. He literally could do no wrong outside of not pushing the country left, far enough or fast enough to make his supporters happy. Over the years that was really the only and very vocal complaint I saw from most of the left. *note I said most, not all* His failure to ‘fundamentally transform’ the nation. Congratulations…he succeeded and now we can’t have rational conversations without name calling. Although from my perspective I have to just shake my head when people call me sexist, racist, etc simply because I disagree with their views. I shake my head because I’ve actually been called worse, so those are rather paltry to me actually I find the idea of getting one of them embroidered into the back of my favorite hoodie, amusing.

        lobo314

        January 1, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      • There’s absolutely no need to call someone racist or sexist or whatever when you disagree. I do understand why Mrs. Clinton got upset and said “the basket of deplorables,” but I think she should’ve refrained. (I think that had a great deal to do with Breitbart, Steve Bannon, and Steven Miller.) And yes, she’s a grandmother, so she sounds grandmotherly…and sometimes overbearing, sure.

        The thing is, men often sound overbearing and we’re more used to it. Whereas a woman has a really delicate balancing act, as a politician. It’s quite difficult, and it seems to transcend all races, parties, countries, and creeds.

        I didn’t originally like Hillary Clinton. But I did my research back in 2008 and I realized at that time she was not only qualified (as you said, there are only two qualifications), but I believed she’d be able to navigate the extreme dysfunction of the Congress and get something done anyway. She knew all the people overseas and that would’ve helped, too. And while she’s not charismatic, so what?

        (Charisma is overrated.)

        The problems I have with Mr. Trump mostly are that he is way too intemperate on Twitter and that he does not seem to want to listen to anyone but his own echo chamber, whether that’s Breitbart, Info Wars, or his advisors. I think that’s a major mistake in any POTUS, to just listen to those you appreciate and like — it’s a mistake in *anyone*, to do that, because you don’t learn, you don’t grow, and you _can’t_ do a good job if you refuse to admit there are people out there who can’t stand anything you do. (It’s not an easy realization, mind, but it’s a necessary one. It’s the same reason why the Romans had someone following ’em around saying, “Death waits for you, as it does for every man.”)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      • She doesn’t come across as ‘overbearing’ to me Barb, she comes across as too much in love with her own press and inflated ego. No she shouldn’t have said ‘basket of deplorables’ but like Mika in a moment of peak she revealed her true feelings about those who hold views opposing her own…and probably has a similar opinion of her own followers and sycophants. Much as when Obama claimed those on the right were ‘clinging to their guns and religion’ I also don’t believe she was in this for any other reason than to enrich herself and expand the grip of her party’s power and her own.

        lobo314

        January 1, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      • The main problem is, Sean, most male politicians make no secret that’s what they’re about, and everyone seems to be OK with that.

        I agree that she almost certainly has an inflated ego — most politicians do — and certainly there are sycophantic Hillary followers out there. (I’m not one of ’em. I like her, but I don’t believe in hagiography for anyone.)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 3, 2018 at 9:19 pm

    • Minor aside here since you mentioned Jeremy Corbyn. I’d say Corbyn is your Bernie Sanders. …….Or maybe Bernie Sanders is our Corbyn. *shrug*

      lobo314

      December 30, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      • Yes that’s a fair enough comparative comparison. Although there is great divide between the way folk in both nations view their politics, matters and opinions which one might take as a necessity, say our National Health Service, might well raise concerns even amongst moderates in the US. And we have our unwritten constitution which means we can make things up as we go along, not always a good idea….but it’s a British ‘thing’.
        I’m guessing that Bernie Sanders, like President Obama would fit on the very moderate wing of our Labour Party, or move to the Liberal Democrats (very middle of the road) or the ‘social’ wing of the current governing party The Conservatives. They wouldn’t be classified as ‘socialists’ by UK standards.
        Jeremy Corbyn would never surface in USA politics expect maybe as a cult figure on a social media site. Far too many differences for the general US conventional wisdom.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        December 31, 2017 at 5:48 am

      • frankly I’d say I’m surprise by Sanders popularity but…that’s a rant for another day

        lobo314

        December 31, 2017 at 11:09 am

      • You aren’t the only one, Sean. I find him and his policies interesting. But popular? (I’m not even sure half his policies are possible.)

        Barb Caffrey

        January 1, 2018 at 1:42 am

      • oh yeah..I have huge issues with the NHS. Everyone says ‘and my healthcare was FREE!” to which my response is ” Uhhh…no you raging mathematical challenged ninny, no it wasn’t.” It’s called TAXES and the British pay a truly insane number [to me] , amount of taxes including the National Insurance tax. Taxes both those you[generic meaning people in general] paid and everyone else paid is what paid for the NHS system that for my money as an outside of observer…is a wreck and a travesty. as soon as you work and start paying taxes…you are in fact…paying for that healthcare. you and every other tom dick and clariece on the island use. so no in point of fact it’s NOT free. you’re just paying for it whether you use it or not. [no I totally did NOT channel hannibal lector when I said the name Clariece. nope…not at all…]

        lobo314

        December 31, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      • Hi lobo314.
        Just noticed this. The circumstance here is a basically a diversity of culture.
        Now in the UK our NHS is sacrosanct. The access to free medical care at a point of access. It is a simple as that. We all contribute to a communal pot; this is how we see it. We never know when we might need it. And at many stages in our lives from birth to death, rest assured we will need it. It is our compact with the government. The issue is whether the NHS is being funded sufficiently and run correctly, lack of this leads to problems. This is the issue at present. As I know people who work within the NHS and have cause to use it and also witnessed those in my family work within and use it I would advise you if you feel it is a wreck and travesty then you have been reading mis-leading output.
        I would also give you an addendum to that as regards ‘Taxes’ and ‘Free’. One viewpoint is that taxes go to the running of the nation. The individual cannot support themselves in every facet of their lives, ergo they contribute to a system which provides services, in the much the same way as a person pays for any service, only in this case the payments are mandatory; this of course may rankle from an American viewpoint.

        Woebegone but Hopeful

        January 5, 2018 at 3:41 am


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