Sunday, November 8, 2020

On Medium: American Malady and the Closeness of Biden’s Victory Over Trump

This article explores how Republican radicalism, the cult of Trump, and Democratic femininity explain the narrowness of Biden's defeat of Trump.

6 comments:

  1. The narrowness of Biden's victory doesn't surprise me for all the reasons you mentioned; though I am astonished that he won at all. What I am trying to understand is why Democrats chose such a weak candidate in the first place.

    During the primaries it became clear to me that only one candidate was capable of taking on someone as unscrupulous & determined as Trump: Bernie Sanders. Notice that, despite being a Jewish democratic socialist, Sanders possesses a number typically masculine traits: strong, square jaw; large mouth; blunt, too the point, communication style & low agreeableness. Some have said that he was rejected by the majority Democrats because his views were too far left, but I'm not convinced of that. Out of all the Dems I know, I can't name one who doesn't largely agree with Sander's positions. The DNC in Washington may be thorough going neo-liberal centrists, but that hardly describes the rank & file who do the actual voting and footwork. And yet it's a fact that most of them preferred Biden to Sanders, they chose a meek, equivocating diplomat over a passionate, uncompromising warrior.

    The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that most Democrats want to lose. They take masochistic delight in being perpetual victims & underdogs. For them, power & aggression are perogatives of Republicans & therefore Bernie Sanders couldn't have been a true Democrat.

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    1. I believe the conventional answer is that Biden was chosen to win back the blue-collar voters in the swing states. The fear was that Sanders would scare away those voters because of the label "socialist." Trump would have had a field day with that, but his scaremongering on that front didn't go anywhere with Biden, because Biden's centrist credentials are too well-established.

      By contrast, Sanders is known for being uncompromising, which is why he doesn't have much of a positive legislative record. Voters wanted to get back to some imagined norm of compromising and problem-solving. Plus, Sanders is off-putting stylistically.

      As to how socialistic most Americans are or whether they technically agree with European-style, welfare state taxing-and-spending, I'd suspect the country is quite divided. The 70 million people who voted to reelect Trump wouldn't be on-board, if only because they're too proud to admit they need more government assistance. The only way to impose a progressive or socialist revolution in the US is in response to a meltdown of American capitalism. That's why Obama should be so disappointing to progressives, because he squandered that opportunity in 2016.

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  2. Liberals are not at all fully nihilistic. In part there is a practical belief in values, vaguely corresponding to human rights. But more fundamentally, secularists believe in a religion of common emotions. They believe meaning is to be found in the material/biochemical processes that humans experience as emotions. Most humans are driven overwhelmingly by instinct and emotion. - Mitchell Heisman, Suicide Note

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    1. Hmm, I'm not sure I'd disagree and say that liberals are nihilistic. Actually, I'll be considering soon this question of Democratic values in response to Biden's recent speeches where he stressed that he's in favour of cooperating with Republicans and that it's time to end the tribalism and to see the other side as fully American. This is the philosophy of centrist, technocratic problem-solving. If anything, it's scientistic, not nihilistic, as I said in my first article on liberalism on this blog, back in 2011.

      Mind you, in that article I did suggest that liberalism leads to nihilism via postmodern relativism. So it's a question of what stage of liberalism we're talking about.

      http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.ca/2011/08/liberalism-from-scientism-to-nihilism.html

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  3. You definitely come off as feminine.

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