Author Topic: Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving  (Read 1160 times)

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Offline 98ZJUSMC

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Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving
« on: August 03, 2015, 10:50:28 PM »
It's long-winded and inconsistent in the extreme.  He goes Left, Right, Left more than I did in Boot Camp.  Not sure what to make of it, except that you could sell him a glass of water while bobbing in the middle of Lake Michigan.

gobears10 (112 posts)

Here's how my views have evolved over the years. Have you changed your views over time?

Have your political beliefs changed over time? Mine certainly have. In high school, I was extremely far-left: I supported Marxism, and was sympathetic to communism. My views were very strongly anti-capitalist, with me wanting to abolish private property, market-based distribution, private ownership over capital, the profit incentive, and so on. I thought Che Guevara was awesome, and loved the Communist Manifesto and other works by hardcore socialists and communists.

Then during my last year of high school and first year at Berkeley, I was a hardcore libertarian. I did a complete 180 degrees on my economic views. I met Ron Paul and Gary Johnson, and thought they were amazing, joined the Republican Liberty Caucus, and advocated for classical liberalism. I wasn't exactly an anarcho-capitalist, more of a minarchist, although I did hold thinkers like Murray Rothbard in high regard. I supported abolishing the federal reserve, supported free banking, opposed fractional reserve banking, and supported returning to the Gold Standard. I was very much a fan of the Austrian School of Economics at first (now I don't hold much regard for it, although I do have more respect for Milton Friedman's Chicago School of Economics, and this theories like the negative income tax, the k-percent rule, and so on).

I took Robert Reich's class and in my paper, I actually wrote about how the UC system should be fully privatized lol. I also advocated for completely removing the minimum wage. I thought that all drugs should be deregulated and legalized, that marriage should be privatized, felt that the 1964 Civil Rights Act infringed on personal freedom and private property rights, supported vouchers for private schools,

Then, during the summer after my first year of college, I began to think critically about everything. I started watching the Daily Show again, and internalized some of the stuff Robert Reich talked about, but not fully. I watched videos of Obama and Bill Clinton, and I really liked the latter. I also watched a lot of Fareed Zakaria, and his centrism spilled over to me. So my economic views shifted to the center, and I was like a Blue Dog Democrat or a Third Way "New Democrat" like Bill Clinton. Very moderate in my views: I felt both the Democrats and Republicans had good economic ideas, and the optimal mix was in the middle. I was a fan of moderate Republicans like Jon Hunstman, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe, for example. I was pretty socially liberal, but I supported certain forms financial deregulation, entitlement cuts, austerity, lower capital gains taxes, unfettered free trade, Arne Duncan's education policies, lowering the corporate tax rate, and so forth.

I was a huge supporter of free-market capitalism for the most part, and thought government was still too large, too intrusive, and should focus on deficit reduction, even if that mean cuts in various social programs and education. I supported Obamacare, but opposed the public option and single-payer. I thought Wall Street was completely unfairly attacked during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, and I wrote detailed pieces about how I felt irresponsible homeowners were primarily to blame, that investment banks provide lots of critical services (IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and sales and trading), and that the primary solutions were leverage requirements, and the occuppiers didn't understand how capitalism works. My views were very much establishment, and "inside the beltway" so to speak. Like, I was very pro TPP lol, pro drilling in Alaska for oil, pro fracking, and so forth. I was against raising the minimum wage, and felt the EITC was a better approach to uplift impovershed people.

I thought that the UC Davis protesters who got pepper sprayed were 100% in the wrong, and the officer was right. I felt that public sector unions had way too much power, and should be busted, and that certain segments of the economy should be privatized. And I supported the Chained CPI, raising the retirement age for Medicare, and cutting back Medicaid spending. I thought the progressive wing of the Democratic Party was crazy, and was engaging in class warfare and unfairly demonizing the rich, who to a large extent, were job creators in my mind, and deserved their money b/c they contributed a lot to society. I disliked the rhetoric progressives used against the 1%. And I was pretty pro-death penalty. And also very, very pro-Israel. If I had those views today, I would 100% be backing Hillary Clinton, and would view Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley as absolutely crazy (and I did view Bernie Sanders as a crazy lunatic socialist in 2011, whereas Obama was a more centrist, pragmatic liberal). I was also against pot legalization, and didn't think that the Citizens United ruling was that bad, or that corporate personhood was a terrible idea. I supported arming the Syrian rebels, I was pretty interventionist, supported drone strikes, and supported various Patriot Act provisions.

There was a period of time where I also adopted far-left views on social issues (despite being economically very centrist). I talked about "white supremacy," "patriarchy," and I engaged in much of the "PC" behavior that I condemn now. I called out people for "microagressions," for being "problematic," and told them to "check their privilege" and to "educate themselves." On social issues at least, I parroted the views of various radical feminists. I denounced cultural appropriation, racial insensitivity, was very critical of comedians, and was very pro-racial Affirmative Action. There definitely was a period in which I was heavily into identity politics and had low integrative complexity.

Anyway, then a few interesting things happened. I was a non-PC centrist Democrat for a year (my sophomore year of college). I was very PC on social issues but fiscally centrist for part of my Third Year (although even then, I wasn't as hardcore or PC as some other people) I know. I gave up the PC stuff and moved sharply to the right, back to where most mainstream progressives today lie on social issues, and became increasingly critical of political correctness, the stifling of free speech and expression, and so forth. But I still had my centrist Third-Way neoliberal economic views. I was pretty moderate for most of my time at Berkeley, despite a lot of my peers being much further to the left of me.

And then things began to change and click my senior of college. I gradually shifted my views on all topics (social, economic, civil liberties, foreign policy) to the left, ultimately getting to the place where I am now. I stopped thinking about politics in purely "pragmatic terms," and stopped engaging in the argument to moderation, that the "moderate" position was necessarily correct. I gave up "pragmatic centrism." I saw the world differently, through power relations and power dynamics in the economy, and saw that the rich, the billionaire class, they really do have way too much influence and power in our society. I took a more international approach, and saw how radically different the economic systems were in other advanced countries relative to the U.S., and liked what I saw in Canada, Western Europe, and Scandinavia. I stopped debating issues within narrow parameters, and thought about the ideal ways in which we could set up a society. Over time, I moved sharply to the left, and came to where I am today: a leftist social democrat.

In the U.S., I support single-payer healthcare (Medicare-for-All), more progressive taxation (a top marginal tax rate of over 50%), a wealth tax (esp increasing it in inheritance), investment in education and infrastructure, protecting collective bargaining rights, Keynesian stimulus during recessions, stronger regulations on the financial sector (through reintroducing Glass-Steagall and other regulations), fair-trade (as opposed to free trade), public-private partnerships in clean energy, strong minimum wages, a cap-and-trade system and/or carbon tax, and a strong, robust welfare state (either through protecting and expanding traditional welfare programs, or through universal basic income). I also oppose the common core and race to the top programs by the Obama administration (I'm not a big fan of standardized testing). I think instead of cutting social security, and doing a chained CPI, we should expand it. We should expand unemployment insurance, food stamps, public education, and so forth.

I support a $15 national minimum wage, and completely oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And I support making colleges tuition-free at public universities. We also need to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. I'm especially concerned with income and wealth inequality, low socioeconomic mobility, inequality of opportunity, regressive taxation, and the corrosive influence of money in politics. I support a constitutional amendment against Citizens United. We need the public funding and financing of elections.

I find mainstream, establish Democrats to be too corporatist and neoliberal (they are too willing to implement austerity, deregulate Wall Street, pursue unfettered free-trade, pursue conservative healthcare programs such as mandates, and too beholden to hedge funds, insurance companies, hospitals, the pharmaceutical lobby, investment banks, defense contractors, etc). I'm a fan of Elizabeth Warrren, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Dennis Kucinich, Paul Krugman, Robert Reich, Bill Maher, John Oliver, and Joseph Stiglitz.

On foreign policy, I'm now a non interventionist. I opposed Obama's troop increase in Afghanistan, and oppose Obama increasing the unilateral powers of the executive in the real of foreign policy. I dislike how he doesn't ask for congressional authorization. I'm a big critic of his drone program as well. In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I believe Israel has a right to exist and defend itself, but Israel's recent actions in Gaza were absolutely horrific, and I support putting diplomatic pressure onto Israel to stop the blockade, stop West Bank settlements, and have the U.S. recognize a Palestinian state.

On civil liberties I'm a civil libertarian: end the war on drugs (tax, regulate, and legalize marijuana, and decriminalize other drugs), stop mass incarceration, end the militarization of the police, stop NSA spying, stop indefinite detention, and push vigorously for net-neutrality. We need to end the tragedy of mass incarceration. We need body cameras for police, need to legalize marijuana, reform mandatory minimums, oppose three strikes laws, set up civilian review boards, reform zero tolerance policies that hurt poor people of color, and so on. Of course now, I fully 100% support the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and feel we need more legislation and measures to improve the lives of African-Americans and other marginalized PoC, including addressing gerrymandering, Voter ID laws, and low staffing during voting season in minority districts

We need to defend contraception access and women's rights, and stand behind planned parenthood. On social issues, I absolutely support gay marriage, transgender rights, equal rights for women (through contraception access, abortion access), immigration reform for undocumented immigrants, combating institutionalized racism through various means, defending women's rights, supporting liberal feminism, and enforcing a strong separation of church and state. And I oppose capital punishment/the death penalty.

I'm not super dogmatic: I still analyze each issue individually on the merits. I'm not super ideological: I go wherever the evidence points me. So even now, my views don't fit in neatly into any particular ideological box. I support feminism strongly, but I'm highly critical of the more radical and extreme strands of feminism. I think Men's Rights Activists are horrible and disgusting, but there are legitimate men's issues that should be discussed and addressed in a pro-feminist, constructive environment. I think race-based affirmative action is counterproductive, and boosting people with low socioeconomic backgrounds is more effective. I'm not a protectionist: I support trade over tarrifs, but we need good trade deals.

Also even now, I'm not opposed to market capitalism as a basic framework for an economy. I'm only a socialist if you look at a spectrum of socialism and look at the far-right of the spectrum of socialism. For example, I support limited workplace democracy in allowing and incentivizing the formation of worker co-ops in low-income communities. If coops compete with traditional business entities and become more naturally popular over time, I wouldn't stop that. But I'm strongly against nationalizing industries and mandating that across the board, workers should own the means of production, distribution, and exchange.

Instead of a socialist, I always call myself a social democrat. Which is basically the last train stop before you get to socialism. It's a heavily subsidized and regulated version of market capitalism with safety nets, and certain things are off the table, like healthcare and education. So if you took a spectrum of market capitalism, and looked at the left-wing end of capitalism, I'd fall under there. I support market institutions, private property, a free price system, market-based distribution, private ownership over capital, capital accumulation, and the profit incentive. I just feel that a welfare state and collective bargaining schemes should be incorporated into the capitalist framework, and the state should implement Keynesian macroeconomic policies to regulate the business cycle. I'm more of less like an FDR capitalist now.

People think I'm extremely leftist, but I'm an international centrist. In Scandinavia, I would be conservative in the sense that I would look around and say, "okay, for the most part, we have a good thing going here, we don't have to drastically change anything." Universal, single-payer healthcare. Universal education. Good infrastructure. Social insurance program, basic standard of living. Unemployment benefits. A society gives you an equal opportunity at success. Once I'm in that system, I'm a capitalist. Let the competitive aspect of humans take over. Sure, put reasonable regulations here and there to make sure people aren't screwed over. But let's have a system that promotes progress through technology and competition. I actually want to get to a point when you can blame someone individually for not making it in a society. That if someone doesn't succeed, it is legitimately their own fault. I want a society with equal opportunity. But in the U.S., we're not at that point- far from it. There's a lot of excuses and structural factors for holding people back.

This is why Scandinavian nations self-report to be among the happiest places to live on Earth. In terms of middle class economics, beating rest of Western World. Healthcare system is better. Many areas where empirically they are better than the U.S. I don't believe we can have a utopia, but we can get close to that doorstep. We can't walk through that door because certain aspects about human nature will stop you. If we had social democracy, we would see a decrease in a lot of horrible, shitty things around the world.

So overall, it seems like my views are now left-wing, or even far-left in the U.S., although they would be center-left in many other advanced countries (like, in Canada, I'd vote NDP, in UK, I'd support Labour, and in France, I'd support the Socialist Party). I'd be centrist (possibly center-right even) in some Scandinavian countries. But my views definitely have evolved a lot, and while they are overall still nuanced, I am a proud progressive, and I'm proud to back Bernie Sanders for President in 2016. No more Third Way, no more neoliberal centrism, and no more corporatism. I denounce the previous beliefs that I once held.

Liberal thinking is a two-legged stool and magical thinking is one of the legs, the other is a combination of self-loating and misanthropy.  To understand it, you would have to be able to sit on that stool while juggling two elephants, an anvil and a fragmentation grenade, sans pin.

"Accuse others of what you do." - Karl Marx

Offline Carl

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Re: Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2015, 04:47:16 AM »
Mole is trying too hard.

Offline Ralph Wiggum

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Re: Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 09:30:48 AM »
Mole is trying too hard.
Far too long winded, so I wholeheartedly agree.
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Offline Duke Nukum

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Re: Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 01:05:01 PM »
This isn't evolution, it is the house built on shifting sand.

"Oh, I watched the Daily Show and I went from being a no-government libertarian to a starve-the-proletariat Stalinist."

What? Are you stupid? Brain damaged? Having a seizure?

"No, I'm evolving!"

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Offline obumazombie

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Re: Low post (D)Umbass is constantly ...... evolving
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 02:42:24 PM »
Mole is trying too hard.
Obvious mole is being too obvious.
Obnoxious mole is being too obnoxious.
There were only two options for gender. At last count there are at least 12, according to libs. By that standard, I'm a male lesbian.