Fellow Travelers

Friday, July 24, 2015

Tear the idols down - dig up the monsters and piss on their bones

A now-former friend posted some real ignorant shit. 

Now, everybody has some level of racism and prejudice in them. It's a natural part of human evolution and influenced by our environments and the media and our culture. What separates a racist from everyone else is whether they recognize their own prejudice as a negative and try to work past it, or whether they refuse to see it at all except in other groups (soft racists), or whether they see it as a positive and as the natural order (hard racists).

But as the Bible says, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. And soft racists turn into hard racists pretty quickly when challenged. Really, that's one of the big differences between an innocent non-racist person and an actual racist, soft or hard R. Anybody can say something stupid and ignorant. A non-racist, when it gets challenged, will realize what they said and apologize for it being taken the wrong way. A racist will almost always double down. And like pulling out an infected hair, what looks normal to start often turns out pus covered and infected the more you pull.

When challenged, they don't stop digging.

Here's the article that infuriated the former friend:

Impatient protesters begin digging up Confederate general’s grave — themselves!

A group of anti-Confederate protesters aren’t happy enough with the declaration by the city of Memphis that it wants to dig up and move the remains of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest.
They want it done now.
A group surrounded a shovel Wednesday and ceremoniously removed a chunk of grass and soil.
“We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis,” Isaac Richmond with the “Commission on Religion and Racism” declared to awaiting TV cameras, CBS 3 reported.
Richmond ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year.
He believes if the general who died 137 years ago can just be eliminated, that will really help things.
“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone,” he said, shovel in hand. “We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.”
Others see their actions as little more than destruction of property.
“They can protest all they want. Just because they don’t like it, doesn’t mean they are right. Digging up the park is just pure and simple vandalism,” says Lee Millar, spokesman Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“We really don’t want to make this a confrontation. We just want to say hey, we want to get on with it!” Richmond insists.
In early July, the Memphis city council voted unanimously to dig up Forrest’s body and move it somewhere else.
“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” City Council member Myron Lowery said at the time.
Because of the bureaucracy, Forrest’s remains and the statue dedicated to him are regulated by different agencies.
According to the city council’s attorney, Chancery Court would also have to sign off on the removal of the remains and the family of Forrest would be involved in the decision as well.
The removal of the statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest is a separate issue.
The removal of the statue has been proposed as an ordinance before the council which will have to be read before the council three times before it can be approved.
From there it will be presented to the Tennessee Historic Commission but there is no timeline for when they will make a decision.
That’s all taking too long for the activists. They want it done now.
So, they used a shovel, and ceremonially removed a chunk of grass and soil. Keep that in mind as you read what is to follow.

Keep in mind that the city council has already voted unanimously to dig up Nathan Bedford Forrest's body and bury it elsewhere, off public property.

Keep this in mind, and it is very important, Nathan Bedford Forrest wasn't just a slave trader. He wasn't just a racist. He wasn't just a Confederate general.

He was also the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan. He was its leader during the First Klan, at the height of their lawless post-war violence, when they would kill blacks and white northerners, burn down houses, lynch people, with the specific intent of preventing people from voting Republican, and making sure free blacks weren't too free or too uppity.

Keep in mind that this here was the top comment on that article, with nearly 600 people supporting it, and realize that this mindset mirrors that of the people engaged below:
Our country is out of control. This is what happens when you allow blacks to go unchecked. Civil unrest is coming and it's going to get ugly. 
It's not the first threat of a race war from a white supremacist that I've seen, it won't be the last, and it's the exact same flavor of poison that motivated Dylan Roof. The country is out of control, because a bunch of black people (obviously not the word the poster would have liked to use) dug up a scoop of dirt. When you allow blacks to go unchecked, they disrespect the grave of the founder of the Klan. Because of the pushback that monuments to institutional racism and racial violence are receiving today, violent domestic terrorism is coming. It is a reactionary response to people being fed up with seeing monsters on pedestals by people who agree with those monsters.

Keep all that in mind as you read the following exchange of comments from facebook. Despite being attacked by the original poster for using a screen name on facebook (a typical ad hominem and part of why I use a screen name on facebook, anybody who attacks me for it has run out of anything of value to say), I will only use initials for everyone involved.

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Start of Facebook Comments (beginning with initial post)
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A.E.: Im probably going to lose some friends for this post. However, I'm tired of this ignorant racist crap getting spewed every where you go these days.

This is vandalism. Not only that, it's jumping the race - card bandwagon. While you're at it dig up Lee and Jefferson Davis. But if you really want to go for the slave - owning gusto, dig up Washington, Jefferson, and over half of our founding fathers.

Black America's finger pointing, ignorant racism is on my nerves. LEARN HISTORY. READ A FLIPPIN BOOK. African slavery started in Africa!!!! Stop blaming whites for being capitalists in a time far gone by - Africans SOLD Africans into slavery.

You do nothing but weaken your argument with this kind of behavior. Does this apply to all black people? Heavens no, but the ones that it does apply to are perpetuating a stereotype. I'd mention the word, but then I'd be called a racist too.

I wont apologize for this post, I won't apologize for the color of my skin, and I won't stand by and watch this nation's history be wiped out because someone with a stick up their butt thinks it's OK to disturb the dead over a hundred years after the fact.

If your only argument for desecrating the dead is because of something that MIGHT have happened to a DISTANT family member of yours over TEN GENERATIONS back, go the fuck elsewhere.

And before you get on your high horse, remember that the Native Americans have suffered, and continue to suffer to this day, FAR WORSE, than many black slaves ever did.

Impatient protesters begin digging up Confederate general’s grave themselves

Me: Nathan Bedford Forrest was the first Grand Dragon of the KKK. That's some dead there that is plenty worthy of desecration and disturbance. Plenty of his victims didn't get the luxury of a nice quiet burial. Some history doesn't deserve the honor it gets.

A.E.: Regardless of the man's personal history, defacing public property AFTER the city has decided to do something about it but BEFORE they got around to it IS VANDALISM.

Futhermore, the willful lack of knowledge surrounding the Civil War, and how slavery came to be in this nation, is fueling this rediculousness.

T.G.: No, don't blame whites for starting slavery, blame them for continuing it 50 years after even their mother country abolished it. So, blame whites. It's always their fault, and never yours! You are the special children of an underprivileged majority who can't possibly know what it's like to be other.

Me: More education about the depth of slavery's depravity in this nation wouldn't leave whites or our nation's historical idols looking good at all.

A.E.: Human trafficking has gone on since the beginning on human kind. It won't end anytime soon, and whipping up a fervor over slavery in America is just a convenient mechanism to keep the rest of us from looking at the real problems in modern society.

T.M.: Defacing of any grave despite whomever lay there makes you simply a giant piece of worthless dog shit.

Me: Defacing something that's going to be removed anyway isn't vandalism, it's initiative.

A.E.: If it's public property, it sure as hell is vandalism. You know that.

Me: We defaced plenty of graves in the process of building America, there's a reason there aren't many mounds around anymore.

A.E.: No, WE did not. The actions of OTHER PEOPLE did that Jack. That's the line that most people seem to forget.

I refuse to be held responsible for something I did not do because of the color of my skin. I wouldn't do it to others, and I won't tolerate being expected to apologize for the PAST.

Me: Maybe I don't have sufficient love and appreciation for the Klan and their supporters but defacing the grave of the founding father of those lynching terrorists strikes me as a public service. I must not be loyal enough to the white race, or I'm just proud of my heritage and history as a descendant of abolitionists and Union soldiers.

Me: Well, they're digging up the graves of one of those other people. By fighting that you're taking responsibility for his actions. Honoring the demons of our past puts us on the line for their sins.

A.E.: Good point. Perhaps I'm proud of my Southern heritage - which also includes abolishinists. I don't appreciate the baiting.

Me: Baiting is saying "I'll probably lose friends" for saying some racist ignorant shit. Because you probably will, and you might not be real happy with the quality of the ones you have left.

A.E.Ok, well, if you can't respect someone else's point of view, that happens to differ from yours, it's your choice.


A.E.: You do realize, that your video post goes both ways, right?

Me: There are plenty of views I don't respect. It's a list that includes people who think gays are destroying America, climate change is a liberal myth, women should stay in the kitchen, racists, and ISIS.

My grandfather believed that interracial marriage was wrong, because "A fish can fall in love with a bird but where can they live?" I acknowledge that he had that belief but I don't have a lot of respect for it.

When Beth's racist inlaw died years back, a guy who was a member of the Klan over in West Jefferson, her grandmother burned all his Klan gear. All the robes, the books, the swords. And that's what the Klan deserves. They're domestic terrorists. Fuck them and fuck their graves.

T.G.: You don't piss on a grave.

Me: I'd sure as hell like to piss on his.

T.G.: Go buy three black families dinner, then, if you want to be so infuriated.

A.E. (to me): Why? Because of the evil he spread that has nothing to do with you? Seems illogical. Let sleeping dogs rest.

J.B.: They shouldn't be moving this guy at all. The federal government years ago pardoned all of these soldiers. They are considered American veterans no longer confederate. 

Plus it's desecration no matter who does it. The guy has been dead way to long to be a bother now. Ignorant fucks can't bother to learn history and want some one to blame for their shitty life choices their families have been making for a few generations now.

Me: Here's an education into the history of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his post Civil War terrorist activities as the Grand Dragon of the KKK:
To that end they worked to curb the education, economic advancement, voting rights, and right to keep and bear arms of blacks.[48] The Klan soon spread into nearly every southern state, launching a "reign of terror against Republican leaders both black and white. Those political leaders assassinated during the campaign included Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds, three members of the South Carolina legislature, and several men who served in constitutional conventions."[49]
The Klan attacked black members of the Loyal Leagues and intimidated southern Republicans and Freedmen's Bureau workers. When they killed black political leaders, they also took heads of families, along with the leaders of churches and community groups, because these people had many roles in society. Agents of the Freedmen's Bureau reported weekly assaults and murders of blacks. "Armed guerrilla warfare killed thousands of Negroes; political riots were staged; their causes or occasions were always obscure, their results always certain: ten to one hundred times as many Negroes were killed as whites." Masked men shot into houses and burned them, sometimes with the occupants still inside. They drove successful black farmers off their land. "Generally, it can be reported that in North and South Carolina, in 18 months ending in June 1867, there were 197 murders and 548 cases of aggravated assault."[53]
Klan violence worked to suppress black voting. More than 2,000 persons were killed, wounded and otherwise injured in Louisiana within a few weeks prior to the Presidential election of November 1868. Although St. Landry Parish had a registered Republican majority of 1,071, after the murders, no Republicans voted in the fall elections. White Democrats cast the full vote of the parish for Grant's opponent. The KKK killed and wounded more than 200 black Republicans, hunting and chasing them through the woods. Thirteen captives were taken from jail and shot; a half-buried pile of 25 bodies was found in the woods. The KKK made people vote Democratic and gave them certificates of the fact.[54]
Dig him up and feed the bones to the dogs.

A.E.: This post isn't about the Klan. Please stop trying to make it so.

Me: It's about learning history. It's about education. The Klan is the history, particularly as regards its first Grand Dragon. There's a pretty big reason why black protesters would go so far as to desecrate a grave, plus something has to be consecrated for it to be desecrated in the first place, and that man's grave isn't anything sacred. That's the history. If you don't want to wipe out the nation's history, you can't deny the role the Klan had in it.

A.E.: Again, this post has NOTHING to do with the Klan. I'm not denying the history of the Klan, but I'm certainly denying the right of any group of people to vandalize a historical monument/grave site because they don't like it for one reason or another. It's thuggery.

J.B.: Your right, you can't erase history, but if this was so important to them, why now? Why not a year ago, or a decade? It's important now because idiots are running amok and don't know anything about what their taking on.

A.E.: That is a great point John, and for that matter, why didn't this happen during the Civil Rights movement?

Probably because twits on the Internet hadn't been invented yet, therefore they couldn't network together to uselessly troll the masses.

Me: "That is a great point John, and for that matter, why didn't this happen during the Civil Rights movement?"

Probably because the local governments were still heavily controlled by white supremacists and would have lynched them. Put a rope around their necks, pulled them up by that rope, and left them to strangle and die. And any uppity northerners who came back to help out would wind up shot.

The things that actually happened during the Civil Rights movement, in other words.

J.B.: So what about during the last decade? These are ignorant idiots doing the hip thing. Not the educated thing.

Me: Or maybe now they finally have enough public support to do what should have been done day one.

We should have buried him and the rest of them in a 19th century version of the Oise-Aisne American Cemetary's Plot E, where the military's dishonorable dead are buried.

A.E.: The Civil Rights comment was rhetorical, and I don't get how you could have misconstrued that. Of course it wouldn't have happened then!

The point is, all of this is getting stirred up well after the fact, and won't do anybody any good.

D.M: media hype!! a distraction, from the real issues !!! will get worse closer to election time.

A.E.: Are you saying thay all Confederate servicemen were terrorists?

Me: The first step to healing is admitting you have a problem. It's true for individuals and its true for the country. When we stop honoring the dishonorable, we start fixing the problems.

J.B.: They aren't dishonorable. They've been pardoned by our federal government. They are recognized as regular vets now.

A.E.: I'm asking Jack

Me: "Are you saying thay all Confederate servicemen were terrorists?"

Just the ones that became Klansmen. Any Union servicemen who became Klansmen were also terrorists. Anybody who didn't serve in either military who became a Klansman was a terrorist. Anybody who was a member of the Second Klan or the Third Klan was a terrorist. Anybody in the Klan now is a terrorist. Categorically so, as the Klan is a terrorist organization and it has and continues to carry out terrorist activities.

A.E.: If you want to change the now, you've got to let go of the past. That's the only way progress ever happens. And by that, I mean leave the dead to their graves, and the monuments to their weathering. I doubt Bedford Forrest got many visitors anyway - these people pulled this so they could get their 15 minutes. Racism exists and is alive in all parts of the world, and general douchebaggery is not the way to get your point across.

I'm not worthy to speak for the man, but I can imagine Dr. King is looking down and shaking his head at the shameful way people are acting these days.

You can't vent a frustration without being labeled, on any side. How the hell can we progress if finger pointing does not end?

Me: "If you want to change the now, you've got to let go of the past."

So scrap the monuments. Or you're not letting go of the past.

Oh good, the "Dr King would be ashamed of this", that's a Bingo on my white upper middle class soft racism bingo card. I'm not worthy to speak for MLK either, fortunately he had plenty to say himself.

"I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."
MLK, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

J.B.: The problem is internal, the black community needs to fix itself. If they can't fix themselves or want too, no one else can do it for them. Iraq is a prime example of that.

Me: The problem is internal, the white community needs to fix itself. If they can't fix themselves or want too, no one else can do it for them. Iraq is a prime example of that.

A.E.: You used the word 'terrorist' 6 times in thay post.

I don't agree with those skinhead fucks either but that's an aweful lot of terrorism thay you're touting there - and it pits Americans against Americans.

Believe and live however you want so long as you do not harm other poeple.

I don't use the word terrorist because it's definition is too loose, and far too inflamitory.

J.B.: Except the white community isn't known for high crime rates, murder rates, drug rates, prison population, or welfare abusers in anywhere near the numbers the black community is. Your trying to twist words and change topics, but all your doing is revealing the fact that you have no ground for an argument.

Me: If you don't think the Klan are literal terrorists then you're either blind to what terrorism is, or you think only brown people can be terrorists, or you support them and you're afraid to be honest because you don't want to be called a racist.

The Klan are terrorists. Period. Full fucking stop. If what they did isn't terrorism, terrorism doesn't fucking exist. It fits every single legal and dictionary definition of terrorism, and the fact that you're more bothered by the petty vandalism of a terrorist's grave than you are by the terrorists themselves says a lot. None of it good.


The Klan believed and lived how they want, and they harmed a whole fucking lot of people.

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End of Facebook Comments
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It's worth noting that terrorism as a crime in the US has a solid legal definition.
(5) the term “domestic terrorism” means activities that—
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended—
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

If you don't think the actions of the KKK, especially Nathan Bedford Forrest's First KKK, fit every single one of those requirements, you can get the fuck out of my face. 

So in that post and subsequent replies, we've got the following:
Not only that, it's jumping the race - card bandwagon.
1. People who are angry about the literal founder of the KKK are "playing the race card"
African slavery started in Africa!!!! Stop blaming whites for being capitalists in a time far gone by - Africans SOLD Africans into slavery.
2. Don't blame white people for the triangle slave trade and American chattel slavery, blame Africans!
Black America's finger pointing, ignorant racism is on my nerves.
3. Blacks are the real racists! Not the slaveowners. Not the Klan. Not the architects of institutional racism. Those darn dirty blacks! Because racism is a crime, and crime is for niggers!
LEARN HISTORY. READ A FLIPPIN BOOK.
4. Cries of "Learn history!" said while ignoring unpleasant history.
Does this apply to all black people? Heavens no, but the ones that it does apply to are perpetuating a stereotype. I'd mention the word, but then I'd be called a racist too.
5. The people (again, angry about the literal founder of the KKK) aren't helping they're cause and they're acting like niggers. I'd call them niggers but I'm not allowed to say it or people would call me a racist, because I will have shown myself to be really fucking racist. So instead I'm going to say nigger in as roundabout way as possible, while blowing this dog whistle here as hard as I can. It's okay, my friends know what I mean.
I wont apologize for this post, I won't apologize for the color of my skin
6. I won't apologize for being white! Nobody is asking me to apologize for being white, but a failure to honor the memory of the literal founder of the KKK is, to me, asking me to apologize for being white. Because I don't see people as individuals, I see my group as one cohesive group and ever other group as a cohesive group, and a demand for accountability from any part of my tribe is an attack on me. I'm not racist though.
And before you get on your high horse, remember that the Native Americans have suffered, and continue to suffer to this day, FAR WORSE, than many black slaves ever did.
7. Native Americans had it worse than black slaves, so stop complaining, black people! Worse than many black slaves anyway. Some black slaves had it really bad. We're going to ignore them because it weakens my argument.
This post isn't about the Klan. Please stop trying to make it so.
and
Again, this post has NOTHING to do with the Klan. 
8. This guy is the literal founder of the KKK but stop trying to make this about the KKK because that really highlights the racism of my argument and really weakens it.
The federal government years ago pardoned all of these soldiers. They are considered American veterans no longer confederate. 
9. He's a Confederate veteran! He may also be the founder of the KKK, but I'm going to ignore that and try to muddy the water.
I'm not worthy to speak for the man, but I can imagine Dr. King is looking down and shaking his head at the shameful way people are acting these days.
10. MLK would be really sad that people are angry there's a monument to the founder of the KKK, and I'm qualified to say that because I'm a suburban white woman. In the 1960s I would have clucked about his lawbreaking but now he's been sufficiently lionized that I'm instead going to use him as a cudgel to try and herd the uppity negroes back into line.
If you want to change the now, you've got to let go of the past. That's the only way progress ever happens. And by that, I mean leave the dead to their graves, and the monuments to their weathering.
11. We should let go of the past, just not the monuments to past terrorists. We should stop thinking about the problems of the past, and instead reset the clock to today. Ignore everything that came before! Keep up all monuments because they're monuments. This is a logically consistent position to take because reasons. Listen up darkies, forget all the bad stuff, and get your lives on the right track right now.
I'm not denying the history of the Klan, but I'm certainly denying the right of any group of people to vandalize a historical monument/grave site because they don't like it for one reason or another. It's thuggery.
12. I know I can't say nigger without giving the game away, so I'm going to use thug instead.
Except the white community isn't known for high crime rates, murder rates, drug rates, prison population, or welfare abusers in anywhere near the numbers the black community is. 
13. Blacks are the cause of all our societal problems. More crime! More prison time! More welfare abusers! Note he doesn't say welfare users, because more whites than blacks use welfare. No, he says abusers, because blacks using welfare don't deserve it, any whites on government benefits deserve it.
How the hell can we progress if finger pointing does not end?
14. Sure, I just said that blacks are racists playing the race card and that they're thugs and the other word I can't say but you know what I mean, but I'm not the one pointing fingers and I'm not the one holding up progress. It's the blacks! Fuck those guys!
I don't agree with those skinhead fucks either but that's an aweful lot of terrorism thay you're touting there - and it pits Americans against Americans.
Believe and live however you want so long as you do not harm other poeple.
I don't use the word terrorist because it's definition is too loose, and far too inflamitory.
15. Calling the KKK terrorists pits Americans against Americans! Sure, the KKK also pits Americans against Americans, but I'm going to ignore that because secretly I'm supporting the White Team. Calling the KKK terrorists is inflammatory! It's insulting to Klansmen! How dare you!

And that was pretty much the last straw for me. Identifying the Klan as domestic terrorists shouldn't be a difficult thing. If somebody is having a hard time doing that, then they're a toxic person. And it's time to cut out the cancer.

Incidentally, I expect most people playing "Racist Apologetics" Bingo will have either won by now, and possibly have completely filled their card. Same for anybody playing "Logical Fallacy" bingo. Congrats! You win an ever diminishing faith in humanity and the fundamental goodness of your fellow man. Claim it at the front desk.

Going back to Patton Oswalt. I acknowledge that there are devoted racists. I do not respect them. And as I do not respect them, I do not care one bit if they respect me. I do not care if they don't respect my beliefs, or that I have these beliefs. I do not care what they think about whether or not I should respect them. If there was any mutual respect going back and forth between me and racists, that would alarm me. If a racist considers me or my beliefs worthy of respect, then that'd be a warning flag to me that I need to start re-examining my beliefs.

The respect of evil isn't a good thing.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Loser Left

All this speaks for itself.

 The "Loser Left" in America, those radical leftists who limit their revolutionary activities to boycotting elections, joining Facebook groups, and spouting off dialectic, is addicted to losing. To facilitate this, they must pretend that elections have never made a difference and voting has never been effective. And to do that, they have to be more divorced from reality than global warming deniers who claim global warming is a lie because it's cold out.

In order to be Politically Correct, one must maintain Political Purity at all times. One must never participate in the bourgeois political process. Any progress made through participation in that process isn't real. Anything that fucking works must be ignored in favor of futile political stands. Anything that has already fucking worked didn't actually work because admitting that it did disagrees with Politically Correct doctrine.

From an exchange on Facebook:
Exactly!


When Bernie Sanders announced his campaign for president, I thought he would be a gadfly with a modest following. Not Howard Dean, but not Dennis Kucinich, either. During the past week, however, the Vermont senator has become a bona...
WWW.SLATE.COM

























  • Jack Nixon “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs
  • Jack Nixon ^Bill Clinton on Barack Obama's campaign in 2008
    Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs
  • Marc Luzietti Bill had an agenda, though, didn't he.

    The article is correct in that Sanders can't win the nomination. Despite it being more democratic than it was, the nomination process is still in the hands of the Democratic Party bosses.


    Sanders role is to be as sheepdog. Bring those who've lost faith with the Democratic Party back in.
    Like · Reply · 9 hrs
    • Hide 38 Replies
    • Jack Nixon I've seen this story but I don't believe it or see any evidence of it from Sanders supporters. It might have worked in years past when the nomination could be handed out in a smoky back room with nobody noticing, but if they try something like that today, it will lead to defections more than sufficient to cost Democrats the election.

      Which is an outcome I'm sure the bosses would prefer to a Sanders presidency, but it doesn't fit the idea of Sanders as a "sheepdog".

      The sheepdog meme in reality seems to be nothing more than an excuse for the non-Democrat left to continue doing nothing, accomplishing nothing, and saying it's working.
      Like · 6 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti Super delegates
      Like · 1 · 6 hrs
    • Jack Nixon I mean, I remember 2008 and I know that the mechanism is there, I don't dispute that. I don't dispute that Sanders could win numerous primary elections and a majority of primary election delegates as a result and still have the nomination handed to Cli...See More
      Like · 6 hrs · Edited
    • Jack Nixon It's a meme by the left that denies all logic, and the only way it makes sense to me is if the left is so addicted to losing that we'll look for any excuse to try not to win.
      Like · 6 hrs
    • Nik Olas Personally, I could care less if Sanders wins. The president is generally useless against the forces of capital.
      Like · 1 · 6 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti It's not a "meme." It's his role.

      As with Nik, I don't care whether he wins or not. What I oppose is people deluding themselves into thinking that the system is fair, democratic, works in their interests, and also that socialism is simply liberalism.
      Like · 5 hrs
    • Jack Nixon I'm fairly certain that anybody who thinks the system is fair isn't supporting Sanders.
      Like · 1 · 5 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti I don't mean economically fair, I mean electorally.
      Like · 5 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti Like in, we can actually vote for change.
      Like · 5 hrs
    • Jack Nixon What immediate alternative are you offering?
      Like · 5 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti If you propose jumping off a cliff, and I say, that's a bad idea, it's not a valid response to say, "What immediate alternative are you offering?"
      Like · 5 hrs
    • Jack Nixon Your claim is that voting doesn't do anything, while not offering an alternative. Are you now saying voting is actually destructive? Because you'd need both support and an alternative for that.

      Otherwise the standard claims that "voting doesn't change
       anything" really just serve as a convenient excuse to avoid ever trying. Because if voter non participation amounted to anything in the US, we'd have Full Fucking Communism already.
      Like · 1 · 5 hrs
    • Nik Olas If voting does nothing and not voting does nothing, but one is used to prop up a system of exploitation and oppression, then why would a logical leap occur to make voting of any use?
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Jack Nixon If voting does nothing, then everything that has happened politically in the US since it's inception has been nothing. 

      Not voting certainly disengages one from any participation in that system, but does nothing else.


      Has not voting led to any reduction in the system being used to exploit and oppress?

      Or has non participation in a system of voting provided the exploiters and oppressors with free reign to do both?

      Has the presence or absence of voting prevented or worsened any negatives?

      What it all comes back to is that the political left in America is incapable of getting anything done, so instead it mollifies itself by saying that of course it can't get anything done, the system is broken, and then proceeds to do exactly nothing to fix or replace that system. That the thing presented as the "right" thing to do is also the easiest thing to do must be the greatest of coincidences. 

      This is the sheepdog that the corporatists rely upon, the self defeating pessimism endemic to what passes for the American left. They don't care if Sanders energizes or brings back alienated left wing voters, not if voting does nothing. What works best for these secret masters of the country is that anyone who might resist then says instead "nothing I can do" and stays in line, except for the occasional toothless screed on social media excoriating someone for not being true enough to the dialectic of failure.
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Nik Olas I would say that voting has had a reactionary effect. All changes were done via action outside the law.
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Nik Olas Voting just reduced the potential for revolutionary action by legitimizing the actions of protestors.
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Nik Olas I wouldn't say that's a pessimistic viewpoint either, because I don't really care one way or the other what happens currently. It'll happen or it won't.
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Marc Luzietti Did women win the right to vote by voting for it?

      Did Black people get the right to vote by voting for it?


      Was slavery ended by voting for it?

      By and large, ever significant change in our country came about because of mass civil unrest. It doesn't always work, but it's the only thing that does.
      Like · 4 hrs
    • Jack Nixon I'd like to know where the "revolutionary action" is that we'd be seeing if everyone on the political left stopped voting.

      "Did women win the right to vote by voting for it?"


      No, they won the right to vote by participating in the electoral process and convincing men to vote for it.

      *After a hard-fought series of votes in the U.S. Congress and in state legislatures, the Nineteenth Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution on August 20, 1920. It states, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."*

      That didn't magically appear in the Constitution, it was the result of protest *and votes being cast*.

      "Did Black people get the right to vote by voting for it?"

      In part yes because politicians from states where blacks could vote backed the Voting Rights Act, which was passed through Congress by people who'd been voted upon and signed by a president who'd inherited the job from a president who'd been elected. It was the result of protests *and the electoral process*.

      "Was slavery ended by voting for it?"

      Explicitly so. The Republican Party was a political party formed with the express aim of being an abolitionist party. It's electoral success in the North resulted in anti slavery success in those states and in preventing the spread of slavery to the western territories. When a Republican president was elected, these factors combined and the slave states largely seceded (except for Maryland). The Emancipation Proclamation was the product of a man who had been elected. Following the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed by politicians in Congress who had been elected and ratified in the states by people who had been elected. 

      While we're at it, the deciding votes to legalize gay marriage, in the Supreme Court, were cast by judges selected by a president who had been elected and whose selection had been approved by a Congress that had been elected.

      There may be an example of positive change in the US being achieved outside the political system but those three aren't it and I can't think of one. If those 1800s abolitionists had refused to form the Republican Party, this would have turned out much differently and not for the better. John Brown tried to enact revolutionary change outside the political system and his efforts, while I consider them admirable, weren't terribly effective or productive. Except to inspire a fairly cool battle song.
    • Marc Luzietti Nice rewriting of history.
    • Jack Nixon Change occurs through the combination of protest movements and the political process. That's not my opinion, it's literal historical fact with abundant evidence. Both sides of it are essential, and if either tool is abandoned, the political group abandoning that tool is also abandoning the fight and refusing any chance of progress or victory.
    • Marc Luzietti Change happens regardless of who's in office when there are mass movements.

      Change doesn't happen regardless who's in office when there are no mass movements.


      The only important factor here is mass movements. Whether we vote or don't, no matter who gets elected, if you have a mass movement, you have a chance at getting change. If you don't, you have none.
    • Jack Nixon None of these Constitutional Amendments were personally handwritten in by unelected revolutionaries and protesters. That is a fact.
    • Jack Nixon Slavery didn't end under any president previous to Lincoln, it ended under Lincoln. Pretending that elections and voting are utterly divorced from mass movements is utterly divorced from reality.
    • Marc Luzietti "None of these Constitutional Amendments were personally handwritten in by unelected revolutionaries and protesters."

      And that's completely meaningless. These laws and amendments were enacted by frightened or tired governments anxious to keep things f
      rom spinning out of control or just to end an ongoing situation. They didn't do it because we elected the right people or out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they feared the alternative.
    • Doug Greene Slavery ended because of a fucking war.
      Like · 1 · 12 mins
    • Marc Luzietti "Slavery didn't end under any president previous to Lincoln, it ended under Lincoln. "

      But in a backhanded fashion. People didn't elect Lincoln and then he set about ending slavery. In fact, he said it was beyond his power (which it was) and he wasn't
       even gonna make a serious effort to try.

      The fact that he was elected pushed the South to start a civil war, and that war, that righteous war in which millions of Americans joined to end by force, outside of the halls of Congress and government, slavery.
    • Doug Greene I don't think that Marc is arguing for absentionism. Nor would I. But if you enter an election, it should be in support of a mass movement and not divroced from it. Furthermore, revolutionaries utilizing the pigsty of elections should do so to expose the system, use it as a tribuine for propaganda and tear off the mask of bourgeois democracy. And you should only run in elections under your own banner with your own program, NEVER subordinating to the class enemy like the Democrats, and never with the mistaken belief that elections will bring socialism.
      Like · 1 · 8 mins · Edited
    • Like · 9 mins
    • Jack Nixon The SPUSA has been engaged in that sort of meaningless display for decades now with no success and having accomplished precisely fuck all.
      Like · 5 mins
    • Jack Nixon It's great to be doctrinally correct. It's also useless.
      Like · 5 mins
    • Doug Greene Well, is the SPUSA a revolutionary organization?
      Like · 4 mins
    • Jack Nixon To plenty of people it is, but I expect it'd fail the No True Socialist test.
      Like · 4 mins
    • Doug Greene Well, based on what Marc Luzietti has told me, I'd say the answer is no.
      Like · 3 mins
    • Doug Greene Also, how is supporting a Democrat actually an "accomplishment"?
      Like · 3 mins
    • Doug Greene Democrats like Sanders are not on our side, they are our enemies.
      Like · 2 mins
    • Jack Nixon I'm fairly certain anybody you could list who'd meet the bar of a Pure Socialist or even Communist has had identical levels of success.
      Like · 2 mins
    • Jack Nixon The high water mark is Eugene V. Debs with 6%.

I am done with them. They're a waste of time. They amount to nothing and never have and never will. In the interest of brevity I left off the bit where they started ranting about the necessity of destroying the United States. Of course, were the US to actually fall apart, heavily armed fascist thugs would have all of us in the death camps or up against the wall on day fucking one.

Now, I don't mean someone should always vote for Democrats. I don't mean someone should always vote for "the lesser of two evils". I don't mean that protests and mass movements should be abandoned in favor of a focus on electoral politics. But when a good candidate comes along, we should support that candidate, and Bernie Sanders is one of those candidates. If he loses the primary, vote for whoever you want in the general. I'll probably be voting for Jill Stein. I'll probably be voting for the Green in the Senate race too.

Elections don't matter a lot and they don't matter often but this is fucking well one of those times.