TPM Cafe contributor Bill Bishop answers an interesting question:

What happens to political minorities in communities with large political majorities?

They shut up. At book club or in church, they cut short any conversation bordering on politics. A woman in Washington State, a Democrat, told me that as her county grew increasingly Republican, she began to feel "like a second-class citizen, not entitled to have opinions." I interviewed Democrats in one Texas Hill Country town (80% Republican) about a float they built for a July 4th parade. "We got it all ready," said the county Democratic chair, "but nobody wanted to ride." Nobody wanted to be identified as a Democrat in a staunchly Republican community.

Bishop goes on to mention the harassment in staunchly Democratic Austin of a Republican, whose car was egged because of bumper stickers expressing his politics. I've witnessed the same here in Northeast Florida, where it sometimes feels like Democrats are so scarce that we should be a protected species you can visit in zoos. During the 2004 election signs for John Kerry were routinely vandalized and stolen around my neighborhood.

I've never understood how some Americans could be passionate about politics without recognizing the obligation to be respectful of dissent. Some of the worst excesses of government occur when one party has unchecked power over the executive and legislative branches. An aggressive and healthy minority party is essential to the system.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

The same thing happens to Republicans here in ca 70% Democrat Bainbridge Island -- Republicans are routinely booed and their campaign signs are removed in the middle of the night.

I also think it's important for a representative system to break out of the false dichotomy of liberal vs conservative that's promoted by our two-party system. Many people won't vote for a third-party candidate because they know that candidate won't win. Or maybe they find a two-valued orientation easier to understand, and don't want to be able to see more dimensions to anyone's political stance.


 

if in July 2008 as an American Democrat you feel unjustly treated nearly anywhere in the world, that's how you know you have a persecution complex.


 

Most of the protections built into the constitution are intended to prevent a tyrany by the majority: religious protectiosn for example are intended to keep the government out of the practice of endorsing or controlling religious practice.

When I hear people claim this is a "Christian Nation" I recall the many stories of religious persecution my freidsn have experienced when there's a large majority that feels they are empowered to practice hate as a political right: when patriotism becomes akin to a religion we loose the freedom's we all hope to enjoy.

I do think that two-party politics is a statistically derived outcome that might be validated with "game theory". Just a hunch... I don't have the math skills to validate the idea but the polarizing nature of politics seems to drive a populace into two waring factions. More than two becomes too hard to negotiate/manage for the power brokers.

Every election at this level of scale boils down to an virtual 50/50 split. If you had 3 strong parties they might just do deals and resolve it that way. Perhaps it's a series of such deals that created the system as it currently functions.


 

I lived in Berkeley for three years, man. I was in the shit.

Fortunately, the years were '92-94, and all the commie liberals were ecstatic over Clinton. I could try to start political battles at cocktail parties all night long and not get a rise out of anyone, not even the gays or their flamboyant, gay-seeming straight friends. I was all, "socialism is bad, for serious" and they were all "Hmm, that's a very interesting position to take." It was weird.

Hey McD, my theory is that half of us are retards. And why we need to pick religious persecution and patriotism out of the lineup and make a big deal about them I don't know (wait I do know - you're a contrary Larry and want to be different), but I personally would like to speak against the nazi tyranny of people who go through supermarket checkout lines slowly. Off with their heads.


 

Rogers must live in one of those gated communities populated by neocon Nancies like Uncle Mikey (who the hell in Berkeley would invite him to a cocktail party? Probably some poseur professor trying to build his multi-cultural cred).

Almost everyone in my neighborhood would be a Social Democrat if he could. And no, we don't sacrifice babies on the full moon-- we just flay any stray Republicans who wander through and barbecue them.;-)


 

so, Uncle Mikey - Clinton employed a socialist agenda when he gutted Welfare?


 

"If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens. To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction, and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government, is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. Let me add that it is the great desideratum by which this form of government can be rescued from the opprobrium under which it has so long labored, and be recommended to the esteem and adoption of mankind.

By what means is this object attainable? Evidently by one of two only. Either the existence of the same passion or interest in a majority at the same time must be prevented, or the majority, having such coexistent passion or interest, must be rendered, by their number and local situation, unable to concert and carry into effect schemes of oppression. If the impulse and the opportunity be suffered to coincide, we well know that neither moral nor religious motives can be relied on as an adequate control. They are not found to be such on the injustice and violence of individuals, and lose their efficacy in proportion to the number combined together, that is, in proportion as their efficacy becomes needful.

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions..."

an essay whose wisdom never fades


 

I wasn't accusing Clinton of any particular thing back then, just trying to paint all liberals with the same broad, unfair brush to get a rise out of someone. Didn't work - they didn't exactly have a sense of humor back then, but they did have a sense of proportion.


 

Sterling says, "I also think it's important for a representative system to break out of the false dichotomy of liberal vs conservative that's promoted by our two-party system."

Well, there is any number of false positions assumed by party politics, but the one that causes rot in the system is partisanship; while the liberal vs. conservative position is not moot but the heart of what should be discussed: politics.

In that regard, though, you are correct in that the term 'liberal' is not appropriate in opposition to the term 'conservative, and a false dichotomy in definition. Since the term 'conservative' in politics has direct reference to a strict interpretation of the US Constitution and rule of law, it isn't in the same venue as the term 'liberal' which has come to mean morally/socially non-judgemental; putting it in the best sense of the word.

Since the US Constitution and law are the most 'liberal' of any nation on the planet, being conservative about those laws and our Constitution are the ultimate in political liberality: Jeffersonian liberality ... not wanna be communism in the form of welfare, nationalized medicine and the other 'progressive' efforts to engineer American society being conducted by the Left. The socialists and popularity contest politicians without experience or any kind of real 'gravitas' are elevated by the media like huge effigies of perfection - The Big Lie start to ends-justify-the-means control and potential tyranny! Indeed, the present candidate hasn't even been officially nominated yet, but is already CHOSEN by the party elite! He has absolutely no experience or gravity. Far less firmness of foundation than the Left's propaganda has out against Bush, et al, in their ever constant efforts to destroy by lies and innuendo.

So, in my opinion the term 'liberal' should be replaced by any number of other more accurate terms; e.g., Leftist (L., l.)party zealot, l. party dupe, l. party stooge, l. lying partisan, l. stupid idiot, etc. ...


 

Ted mentions, "if in July 2008 as an American Democrat you feel unjustly treated nearly anywhere in the world, that's how you know you have a persecution complex."

Exactly correct! Of course, those who applaud L. media/elite choices for president aren't reported too often; except by talk radio. For instance, we know that both Iran and al Qaeda have complimented Obama's putative, but still un-elected (no need for any such flim-flam when 'Super' delegates control democracy) godhood/future presidency. They certainly see a political benefit to his presidency, and as the L. Democrats do in their platform of their anti-patriotic, pro-Islamic terrorist's victory in the ME.

Can Israel be far behind the abandonment of Iraq?


 

Mike says, "... they didn't exactly have a sense of humor back then, but they did have a sense of proportion."

The whole thread avoids the fact, as far as politics go, that Democrats have been the majority for the majority of the 20th Century, and still regulary maintain that minority/majority position.

Republicans are, or have been, routinely persecuted, even when in the majority! For example, Progressives have thwarted legitimate appointments to the courts for almost 8 years; a *massive* abuse of the minority, and which (OF COURSE) continues when they are in the majority and a president if Republican.

The problems being experience by Progressives (those Democrats who are) is that they are holding party above nation during a time that the ENTIRE United States is at war ... not just Republicans. In their arrogant, even stupid, efforts to use this war as a political tool against their fellow Americans politically, they have cut their own throats with the majority of Americans who do consider patriotism a virtue and not some effigy to burn for war profiteering, sabotaging politicos -- Progressives, Leftists, Socialist/Communists, or Democrats who do hold party above nation during war ...

What a shame, what a pity to smear the "Grand Old Party" with the stain of anti-patriotism and callous, even despicable, efforts to use our citizen soldiers as icons of hatred and disgust to elect an incompetent STUFFED SHIRT know-nothing quitter who would abandon 20 millions of Iraqis for votes ...

(BTW, now they arrest a Republican senator for "misstatements" while Progressive/Democrat thieves caught red-handed on film and with the payoffs in their freezer go unendicted and unarrested and unanythingaboutit off scot-free ... eh? And, and ... Feinstein caught providing her husband's companies with inside information on bidding ... eh? Uninvestigated, unarrested, un any thing at all for partisanship over nation!!!!~!

That's why Democrat is a word replacing the term "SCUM" ... and you know it ...


 

She said hard. And wood. And cherry. And Asian. And service.

OK, Tadowe, how's this?

Liberals are bad and evil, and when they're not marrying same-sex farm animals, they're aborting fetuses for Satan.

Better?


 

Mikey can't stop, "Liberals are bad and evil, and when they're not marrying same-sex farm animals, they're aborting fetuses for Satan. Better?"

When have you observed me complimenting mockery? You can't patronize my comments with this sort of snide sarcasm, and I'm actually amazed that you try to do so ...!?!

Are you in love, or something?

I could certainly understand your efforts to support Leftist policy by defending abortion, but why do you think you can insult me by supporting the idea that abortion is something which can't be criticized, or if it is deserves your personal attacks against someone who mentions whatever point is supported by the Leftist collective?

How about supporting those issues you avoid by mocking me, personally?

In a porcine animal's eye you will ... not withstanding your own personal dislike for murder of the unborn ... !


 

Are you in love, or something?

Ah wish ah knew how to quit mocking yew. Half the time I think you're in on the game, though, and I stop feeling bad about baiting you for a few minutes. Promise me you're having half the fun the rest of us are or I might just cry.


 

P.S. my attacks aren't personal, they're directed at irrationality of all kinds. I'm against abortion, for example, but you're too forcefully implanted in your own bizzaro-world to notice. It is said that being paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you, but you need to calm the hell down and stop taking everything so personally. You're turning into the Rivers Cuomo of the Workbench commenter community.


 

Mikey says, "Ah wish ah knew how to quit mocking yew. Half the time I think you're in on the game, though, and I stop feeling bad about baiting you for a few minutes. Promise me you're having half the fun the rest of us are or I might just cry."

I have no advice for you in that regard. You are certainly free to mock me as much as you please. I'm also as free to notice that it is a de facto effort to not answer, on subject, and as I have attempted to do in my previous posts. My conclusion, as I've mentioned, is a negative one in regard to your intellectual honesty. So, you issue more face saving mockery and raising the strawman that I am the one whose angst is showing ala some icon to revile: Rivers Cuomo (whoever that might be) ... can you spell p-r-o-j-e-c-t-i-o-n ...?

Are you coddling Leftist/Democrat collective (but hardly democratic) agreement concerning me, the messenger? Or, is it some inane effort to protect a partisan friend, or show your solidarity with him, personally?

Whatever the reason might be, it is certainly not about helping my internet 'face' ... however much you turn yours into that of a fool.


 

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Jeez, Tadowe, if you'd rather be ignored or ripped to shreds for being a superior, humorless prig, have at it. I'm not your enemy, and I'm certainly not your target audience, I'm just the guy who's trying to get you to turn your pomposity knob down from 11. Lighten up for once, the internet is not to be taken so seriously.


 

Mike continues, "Jeez, Tadowe, if you'd rather be ignored or ripped to shreds for being a superior, humorless prig, have at it."

I'm sitting here waiting for someone who has a light and can show me the way, instead of beating me about the head and shoulders for being in their way. I haven't found any yet, and in my estimation due to the fact that I am sitting in a collective of Democrat's 'way'.

I find that those assisting the Democrats in whipping my butt are just as mean spirited and can't resist acting out like the Democrats who 'own' this pathway ...

Unless you can reason a reply which justifies abandoning millions of Iraqis to to the vengence of human sacrificing madmen for votes, as was done for votes in Vietnam and SEA, then you're just another of the anti-patriotic, anti-intellectual, mob oriented jerkoffs to me.

Hey! Take on any Leftist platform and defend it; e.g., abortion, supporting the effort to castrate our intelligence, quitting a war for votes, shrieking that those who support the war are nazi/fascists, calling the right war profiteers, ad nauseam! No you won't do that ...

Instead, here you are trying to make me your subject of discussion in post after post, and where you are no more kind to me than you aver that I have been in the commentary you do your best to turn into being, pejoratively, "hysterical". What an hypocritical fool you make of yourself doing so, in my opinion.

"I'm not your enemy, and I'm certainly not your target audience, I'm just the guy who's trying to get you to turn your pomposity knob down from 11. Lighten up for once, the internet is not to be taken so seriously."

You must really label yourself oddly; neither fish nor fowl. You stand-in for being an effective "enemy" for how many posts now, and in how many threads? You are like some POWs who claim not to aid and abet the enemy, but who becomes the political officer's assistant during brainwashing sessions, and helps out in other minor ways for small favors others don't receive, and who tells the enemy about others who might who mock the lectures ... but just for those prisoner's own good, mind you.

Either that or some "moderate" who believes in the effort of the Left to ban some words from the language in usage, and have joined 'democratically' to attack anyone using such terms or phrases; unless they are Democrats trying to gain votes by attacking their opponents. Certainly no rightwing commentor is allowed to use such terms. Sort of like an assistant to the collective political officer(s).

Anyway, here you are providing me the stage for discussion, and by making me into the subject of debate. I'm sure that the next effort will be to blame me for that, also, and as other obsessed idiots have before you:

Tadowe 158 up, 23 down

"A bitter, self obsessed genius who flames 99% of the blogverse. An insufferable puling hypocrite that ruins a thread with his boarish trolling behavior, and obvious double standards. See also-(Sophist)
"Time to leave this thread, looks like Tadowe showed up. I wish he'd just play scrabble, or get laid."

by Alexandrite May 9, 2005

Now, the efforts of you and others on this site continues to reflect the same overpowering angst in response to my correspondence that other Leftists have experienced on another of Rogers Leftist propaganda sites ... 158 of those who demand I be polite. I'm your "pompous" and "hysterical" rightwinger to denigrate and dismiss without any effort at reason other than to do the same to me as you accuse me of doing, and along with the other members of the TADOWE search-and-destroy mission the collective has strawfully erected.

Go vote for me on Urbandictionary, Mikey and become 159 in agreement with your Leftist cohorts ... no matter what label you claim for yourself ... perhaps you'll realize that I count coup this way, sooner than later ...


 

I'm not part of a leftist conspiracy to oppress you, I'm a conservative, which you'd understand if you'd bother to read the threads you blather on. If you were the least bit conservative yourself you'd stop whining about persecution any time someone disagrees with you and just make your case. But you're not a conservative, you're a drama queen.


 

Mikey gets into excuses, "I'm not part of a leftist conspiracy to oppress you, I'm a conservative, which you'd understand if you'd bother to read the threads you blather on."

You have never seen me mock and, or dismiss your political comments, Mikey, only those where you have stooped to patronize or mock mine ... or worse. You attempt to patronize my comments and mold them into something acceptable to you -- apparently some hope at coddling the liars into reason, instead of showing up their lies.

When has that ever worked, Mikey? How many more 20 year, 3 hour a day commentary from a "Limbaugh" is necessary? Lars? Savage? Reagan, et al? They lie as a practice of politics and abandon all morality to gather every single (however nasty) vote they can muckrake ...

"If you were the least bit conservative yourself you'd stop whining about persecution any time someone disagrees with you and just make your case. But you're not a conservative, you're a drama queen."

See? I just got through telling you that I count coup with the efforts to answer my commentary with personal attacks. I'm very proud of the Leftist trash I've gathered and the angst demonstrated by the Leftist, antipatriotic, war profiteers for votes, liars.

They have lied through their teeth since losing the election in 2000, and they continue to lie through their collective teeth, now.

It is anti-patriotic to assist the enemy during a time of war. That was made very clear when the USA went to war in the Balkans, and where in the discussion before sending troops the Left called disagreement "anti-patriotic". The Left insisted that complaining for political reasons during that war would assist in genocide, which was being ended by our involvement in that region.

Now, the Leftists have complained constantly before, and continue even now, to defame this war, call those who conduct it "war criminals", call for the impeachment of the president, call fears of WMD "lies", have done everything in their power to force withdrawel from the area and leave it to the enemy to control ...

... and I'm impolite to call that anti-patriotic, that such efforts to make votes out of subverting a war the USA is fighting at the time is near treason ...

Really, though, Mikey, all you (or any Democrat who wishes to try) why not try and defend why subverting the success of a war, constantly, for six (6) years is patriotic. Give it a try, why not?

Anyone?

Or, you can begin all over again, and make me the subject of your "concern" ... go ahead, I won't reply, if you do that ...


 

*fart sound*


 

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