The liberal scholars and professors who stifle conservative voices on university campuses and unwelcome conservative thinkers. The LGBT activists who focus more on the festive spectacle of their identity politics than on the economic side of it. The social policymakers who use multiculturalism as a blanket rhetorical defense for all minorities including the undesirable immigrants. The supporters of affirmative action who fail to see that it is no longer useful but alienating to groups that are disenfranchised. The people who push for the legalization of vices--drugs, prostitution, gambling, etc.--without considering moral arguments. The white feminists who are losing their political narrative regarding women's solidarity across nations, cultures, and societies. The liberal politicians with socialist tendencies who continue to preach the contemptuous idea of robbing the rich and spoiling the poor. The practitioners of political correctness that discourages expression, dissent, and dialogue but political noise, drama, and victimhood. The Hollywood elitists who socially define, paint, and frame the American cultural life without including the conservative culture and rural life. The liberal thinkers who refuse to critique themselves and change the course of their alienating political ideas and social narratives.

They are all the reasons and causes why there is a current political resurgence of racism, sexism, homophobia, and other prejudices expressed openly and politically.

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Comment by Justin Shaffner on April 17, 2017 at 2:10pm

M Izabel and Lee Drummond, Sorry to hear you are having a hard time registering at the new OAC forum. Please send me a message (either here or at OACPress@gmail.com) with your email address and desired username, and I'll create an account for you.

Comment by Lee Drummond on April 7, 2017 at 10:54pm

M Izabel,

I've tried registering three times.  Haven't received an "activation email."  Why is this so involved and, I must say, off-putting?  What does this portend for the future of OAC?  A phrase comes to mind:  If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Huon, 

I'm too slow to grasp the metaphors in the Crumit song.  Is Trump the drunk who is so low-down that the pig chooses not to booze with him and slowly walks away?  But then what of the second verse of the song -- I checked it out on YouTube -- in which a horse does the same thing.  I'm puzzled here.  Why introduce the horse, usually a positive, even noble creature, if the point is to make out Trump the drunk as lower than the low? 

And there is still that blank list of liberal heroes.  Who, where? 

Comment by M Izabel on April 7, 2017 at 8:59pm

I tried registering on the new site, it failed.

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 30, 2017 at 11:05am

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 30, 2017 at 11:02am

I like that project. Who in contemporary U.S. society are the people who want:

freedom of expression

tolerance of other people's ideas, toleration of other religions/worldviews

freedom to do what I want as long as it is not infringing someone else's freedoms

Here are the two sticky ones:

some idea that there is some kind of basic right to privacy and personal property without interference

and, this one is really tricky:

equality of opportunity

By my reckoning the last one has become the sticking point since as you say, Lee, an actual fact of Euro-American society is 'grotesque income inequality', zero possibility of social mobility/opportunity for some 'stuck' groups often referred to by self-describing 'liberals' as 'deplorables', 'trailer trash', 'crackers', 'rust belt' etc.

Who is really a liberal in this set up? Not the people who only want freedoms for their particular section of the multicultural patchwork quilt. Or the 'antifa' kids who just want to play violent games with their MAGA opposites. I don't know who is a liberal with any weight to change these actual conditions; which are the truly liberal groupings (as people used to say) professions. It would be worth finding out though.

OK I am thinking about this, Lee: 'Neither fascist nor racist, [Trump] is in some respects more threatening to an established American society, a completely unknown quantity not beholden to the usual power brokers.' 

hmm. this is a stretch. Why does it remind me of the song?

One evening in October

When I was about one-third sober

And was taking home a load with manly pride

My poor feet began to stutter

So I lay down in the gutter

And a pig came up and lay down by my side

Then we sang "It's All Fair Weather"

And "Good Fellows Get Together"

Till a lady passing by was heard to say

She says, "You can tell a man who boozes

By the company he chooses"

And the pig got up and slowly walked away

Yes, the pig got up and slowly walked away

Slowly walked away, slowly walked away

Yes, the pig got up and he turned and winked at me As he slowly walked away

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 29, 2017 at 11:01pm

 

Hmmm.  An over-egged pudding.  Nice culinary metaphor.  I’m not sure, though, how it meshes with a dietary system in which the double bacon cheeseburger and three-meat pizza are the base of the food pyramid.  It’s a reach, as it is to translate what M Izabel writes into the usual classificatory system of politics.  In the U. S. I’d hazard a guess that two factors have combined to complete the perfect storm that Huon describes:  The real question is how did politics become so distorted in America and elsewhere that nobody understands even the basic terms of debate.  First is the ascendancy of identity politics with its rejection of open discussion; it is a staggering irony that in the name of “diversity” and multiculturalism any voice perceived as challenging is shouted down.  Second is the phenomenon of Trump.  Had Hillary won, her corrupt, tired persona would have embraced a similarly corrupt and tired Washington bureaucracy and things would have lumbered along as they did with Obama.  Trump upset that apple cart.  Neither fascist nor racist, he is in some respects more threatening to an established American society, a completely unknown quantity not beholden to the usual power brokers.  He’s the proverbial bull in the china shop, and the Washington, Manhattan, and Hollywood elite are freaking out.  Among the casualties, as Huon notes, are the “basic terms of debate” in politics.  What does it mean to be “liberal” in a nation where eight years of a liberal administration have done nothing but perpetuate grotesque income inequality and perpetual war?  Again, I recommend searching for concrete answers here.  If we do not define self-described liberals by their actions, let’s begin by producing a list of persons who are outstanding examples of the political philosophy Huon describes: freedom from oppression, freedom of action.  Madonna?  Jay Z?  Donna Brazil?  Hillary herself?  I need some help here.  

Comment by Huon Wardle on March 28, 2017 at 3:45pm

LEE: “whom should . . .” is too proper, too correct.  It’s the sort of thing the liberals you criticize say.

This pudding is beginning to look over-egged --  'liberals' now have an entire syntax of their own. 

I still fail to see how 'liberals' are to blame -- 1. Liberalism is simply a mixed philosophy that concerns freedom from oppression, also freedom to do what I want unless this is interfering with another person's freedom to do what they want--at which point there has to be a negotiation.

The people who chant for 'dead cops' or who thump people with MAGA hats aren't liberals. The real question is how did politics become so distorted in America and elsewhere that nobody understands even the basic terms of debate. The utter failure of Republicans to enact their endlessly vaunted repeal of Obamacare is a fascinating example of the real issue -- which is ideological chaos: people got so used to the sound of their own voices clamouring against something they forgot what the words would really mean if put into practice.

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 28, 2017 at 6:07am

 

M,

Whom / Who . . . 

    Just a quip on my part, by no means a grammatical critique.  From my perspective among the great unwashed who never set foot on a university campus, “whom” smacks of overly formal, stilted speech.  My point, minimal to the point of vanishing, is that the construction, “whom should . . .” is too proper, too correct.  It’s the sort of thing the liberals you criticize say.  “Who should I blame?”  is, I think, in keeping with the sentiments you air in your post.  It says it like it is.  Not, note, the grammatical “as it is.” 

My post was meant to be read in support of much of what you write.  

Comment by M Izabel on March 28, 2017 at 4:22am

Lee, let us resolve who or whom first.

Is this incorrect: "For whom should the bell toll?"

Who should I blame? Liberals.

Whom should I blame? Them.

Educate me.

Comment by Lee Drummond on March 18, 2017 at 11:42pm

 

Huon: 

However, the endless semantic extension of the word ‘liberal’ still doesn’t mean that ‘liberals’ are really causing ‘racism, sexism, homophobia’ etc. it just indexes mounting linguistic and ideological confusion.

    Indeed, which is why I find Jimmy Cliff’s lyric so timely. 

    In these chaotic times it may be well to establish operational definitions of contested terms like “liberal” and “fascism.”   “Anonymous Contributor” – btw, why did you cite that link? – describes himself and his jackbooted comrades as “liberals” opposed to the forces of “fascism,” in the form of an invited speech by Milo Y to a university audience.  To that end, they block access to the venue of the speech, inflict physical violence on those opposing them (“several blows to the head” – nice), seize and destroy property.  Don’t those actions provide a pretty good working definition of “fascism”?  Thug violence to further an ideology. 

    All though the campaign and post-election, thuggery has tended to be more evident among anti-Trump supporters, though Trump get the blame because of his bombast.  Here’s a particularly charming example, from the streets of Barack’s home town, Chicago. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mcArBWv91c

“He voted Trump.  He voted Trump.  Beat his ass! . . .”  

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