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Political Decay
Democratic Norms Are Collapsing
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  • ronetc

    I keep waiting to see some actual examples of “Donald Trump’s . . . racial antagonism,” while at the same time insisting that illegal aliens”

  • Gene

    “And we all share the blame.”

    Who is this “we,” Kemosabe?

  • Bucky Barkingham

    How about mentioning that the Obama Administration has used the power of the IRS to intimidate political opponents and has already started laying the ground work for claims that the election was not legitimate because of Russian interference with electronic voting systems? You concerns seem to be very one sided.

  • Dale Fayda

    Corruption is just oozing out of the Democrat party. The entire leadership of the DNC resigned in disgrace right before their convention, Bill Clinton busted secretly meeting with the AG on the tarmac in Phoenix a few days before the FBI was to recommend indicting his wife, Clinton aids trying to influence the investigation, Wikileaks showing collusion between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and the press and on and on and on and on.

    The Democrats have corrupted the Federal government to the core – IRS, FBI, DOJ, EPA, SCOTUS, etc. It has become so entrenched that Democrats don’t feel that any election is legitimate unless they get to cheat in some fashion. They’re blatantly lawless, reckless, incompetent and hateful.

    Trump’s “cult of personality”? Get real! Anyone remember 2008? People fainting in Obama’s presence, comparing listening to his speeches to having an orgasm, entire stores dedicated to Obama memorabilia, books of poetry dedicated to Obama’s reign:, school teachers making children sing songs in honor of Obama: These are just few examples of the liberals’ sickening sychophancy.

  • QET

    You can hardly say that norms are collapsing when there is not even agreement on what those norms are. That is the problem. Over the past half century the Left has pushed and pushed with all its might an entirely different set of norms than formerly prevailed. So much so that most people under 40 today can’t even understand that the US is not and was never intended to be “a democracy.”

    And for my part, I accept no share in any blame being so freely handed out. This country is moving, accelerating, toward a one-party state, and that party openly despises the very foundations of the US Constitutional order. I am not of that party and never have been. And I disagree about whether the “debate” on this point can be productive or not. That’s like saying that it is unproductive to debate just who started WW2. Or like saying that it is unproductive to debate just who was responsible for the US Civil War.

    To all those “we’re in this together” types, do you believe that the US would have been better off had the Civil War not occurred? Not better off according to your imagined possible world where the slave states peacefully saw the error of their ways and accepted that history was against them, or that possible world where slaves were never brought from Africa at all, but better off according to the historical reality obtaining at the time.

  • Boritz

    ‘”Once we’ve made a civil war of it we have already lost, however just the side you choose to fight on.'”

    All manner of political action and quasi political action (i.e. arson) justified by belief in the absolute justness of your motivations is owned by the left.

  • Andrew Allison

    There you go again with the Trump vitriol. I think that “acceptance” is a flexible concept. A lot of people, myself included, despise the incumbant, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t accept that he’s the President.

  • Tom Scharf

    Possibly cause and effect are much more intertwined here than the author imagines. Equating a backlash against political correctness as racism has become the norm for dismissing the arguments. One side of this argument dwells on race to the point of absurdity and assumes there are no legitimate counter arguments, nor will they engage in “honest discussions” on the topic. In their view, shutting down the discussion is winning. It shouldn’t be surprising that this attempt to police the thoughts of all to an imaginary conformity is met with conflict.

  • Blackbeard

    “Rebuilding our battered institutions will require a greater level of solidarity, understanding and empathy than many partisans seem prepared to offer.”

    Too late for that.

    • Jim__L

      At this point, the only solution is to devolve authority to states and localities. It’s the only thing that will defuse the polarization of this country, and allow both urbanists and the rest of us the freedom to set up our governing structures as we see fit.

      • Blackbeard

        Nice idea but I’m afraid the trends are in the other direction, towards greater and greater centralization of power in the federal government. How are we going to reverse that?

        • Jim__L

          Civil Disobedience of Federal mandates would be a good start.

          There are states in the Union with both the will and the means to pursue that.

          • Fred

            Sounds good, but I’m afraid the Feds still have the army. See War, American Civil. And surely you don’t think for a second that our illustrious leaders would hesitate to order firing on a basket of deplorable clingers.

          • Jim__L

            The Confederacy gave Lincoln the gift of firing on the Union first.

            I would not assume that Hillary would have many scruples about firing on Americans; whether the ones holding the actual guns would follow those orders remains to be seen.

  • FriendlyGoat

    When TAI quotes Steve Randy Waldman’s first paragraph in a linked piece, I think I’ll quote his last paragraph in the same linked piece. Here it is.

    “P.S. I will be voting for Hillary Clinton. Not happily. Perhaps there is room for optimism. Perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised. I very much hope that the Democrats win the House and Senate as well. If I’m to be disappointed, I’d rather have clear lines of accountability rather than have blame diffused by claims of gridlock. I don’t think Donald Trump should be President. I think he’s unfit, and a statue of an upraised middle finger would be a better choice for all concerned. Regardless of my views, I respect your vote however you choose to cast it, because that is the first courtesy we owe one another in a democracy.”

    • Jim__L

      So a predictable catastrophe where we know who to blame is better than a system that muddles along, allowing someone other than the Federal Government (like, say, civil society, and the people of the United States) room to make the important decisions?

      Waldman’s point of view is a total cop-out. Although if he likes knowing where to point the finger (statue or no), he should be comforted to know that the rest of us know that finger is pointed directly at him.

  • seattleoutcast

    “There is no question that in the United States, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—with its cult of personality, authoritarian style, and racial antagonism.”

    I’m sorry, but by saying this you give the impression that you don’t know what you’re talking about. It sounds like the typical media echo chamber. Trump says blowhard things, but he does not fit the above description any more than Hillary does.

    If anything, Trump is a big middle finger to the republican establishment. He is an outsider. In this way, he is no different than Obama was back in 2008. And Obama, by the way, does have a cult of the personality (creased pants anyone? songs with lyrics such as: Mmm mmm mmm, Barack Hussein Obama!); authoritarian style (I’ve got a pen and a phone!) and promotes racial antagonism–all documented clearly. Where was the media echo chamber on this over the past eight years?

    Crickets chirp.

  • JR

    Raising taxes to confiscatory levels above a certain random number is exactly what the doctor ordered. That will show them!!! And you get to define “them” as you please. Winning!!!

  • Jim__L

    Hillary Clinton is one of the most deeply corrupt politicians America has ever seen, with influence peddling (foreign influence peddling!), flagrant disregard for laws (regarding national security!), ignoring Constitutional limits on Federal power (HIllaryCare, anyone?), pushing for politically correct thought policing, and demonization and slandering of large swathes of the American public for their legitimate concerns. And, considering the fact that Bernie didn’t nail her to the wall during the primary for these things, I suspect that she’s got him on the take.

    But all in all — basic social contract reasoning — when a leader ignores the legitimate concerns of citizens, including trampling their basic inalienable rights, that is legitimate grounds to find a new leader.

  • solstice

    J Dubya, I find it very cheeky of boring, unoriginal establishment Republicans like you to characterize the Trump phenomenon as a quasi-racist “cult” given how enthusiastically you bumpkins supported Mitt Romney, a card carrying member of the historically racist, magic underwear-wearing country club Mormon cult.

    • Fred

      So stealing your n’yah n’yahs from Bill Maher now? Well, at least you’re giving Hitchens a rest. Look, while Mormons believe a lot of things Christians find odd, “magic underwear” is not one of them. For the Mormon, the prayer garment is symbolic of divinity and his duty to it. It is similar in purpose to other articles of ritual clothing or jewelry like yarmulkes, hijabs, crucifixes, or stars of David. Mormons do not believe the garment has any intrinsic powers. You know solstice, I realize you are utterly incapable of original thought, but couldn’t you at least try to plagiarize intelligent thoughts? Oh wait, that would require the ability to recognize them. Never mind.

      • solstice

        That’s how god made me :p

        • Tom

          He also gave you the capacity to improve. Your own fault if you choose not to use it.

          • solstice

            Yes, god created humans as depraved sinners and orders them on pain of eternal torment to be well. That’s what I call a benevolent deity. BTW, many of your ilk believe that Mormons will roast in hell for eternity for not believing in “true” Christianity, so my views on them are comparatively benign.

          • Tom

            Except you completely misunderstood Genesis, hell, and salvation, thanks for playing.

          • solstice

            I do understand that Genesis is complete fiction, but leaving that aside, why am I responsible for the alleged transgressions of Adam and Eve?

      • solstice

        Also, Fred, if you are such a paragon of originality, what arguments have you made in defense of theism that have not already been made by religious apologists? Your arguments during our exchanges have been nothing more than regurgitations of those made by Aquinas and Feser. You did not coin the “gnu atheist” pejorative and, frankly, I consider any insults I receive from the likes of you to be a badge of honor.

        P.S. Mormon doctrine does hold that magic undies provide protection from sin and temptation. Look it up.

  • bannedforselfcensorship

    Wow, so when Democrats said “selected, not elected” it was all cool?

    When Sen. Warren says the system is rigged, its okay. When Trump says it, its baaaad.

    If you think for like 10 second, you realize that if Dems are right about inequality and the economy, then probably elections are rigged, too.

    By the way, do you know how you make people lose faith in the system?

    By allowing the powerful and politically correct people escape justice. Rule of law is dead, thanks to the Democrats and the media.

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