November 30, 2020

Affective Polarization

“I’m not just running against Biden — Sleepy Joe — I’m running against the corrupt media, the big tech giants, the Washington swamp. And the Democrat Party is a part of all of them — every single one of them. They flood your communities with criminal aliens, drugs and crime, while they live behind beautiful gated compounds….If you want depression, doom, and despair, vote for Sleepy Joe Biden.” (Donald Trump, 10/20/20)

I encourage you to read this good article by Richard Beck about “affective polarization” and how it has been increasing and leading to more political tribalism in our society. Affective polarization goes beyond having differences with others. It involves a spectrum of feelings about those with whom we disagree — from disagreement to distrust to dislike to demonization.

Beck and I agree about how this corrupts and breaks down the purpose and practice of politics.

Basically, politics should be a tool, a way to solve our social problems. But politics has become increasingly moralized, transforming itself into a holy war, a clash between Good and Evil. The pragmatic spirit is lost, and politics ceases to function as a tool to solve our problems. It’s all identity markers, wherever you look across the political landscape. No solutions, just the social signaling of Us versus Them.

Because of the technology available to him, there has been no greater practitioner of this in my lifetime in American politics than Donald Trump. Trump’s relentless provocation of affective polarization in our country, to me, is one of the most destructive elements of his presidency. As many have noted in the comments here at IM, partisan division has always been a feature of life in the U.S. However, there is no doubt that we owe the current high level of public affective polarization to Trump and his imitators, who have used the tools of this information age to carve deep divides among us in their pursuit of power.

My question is: Where is this going?

Comments

  1. They began to work on impeaching Donald Trump BEFORE he took office.

    There was this racy headline, from Vanity Fair on Nov. 14, 2016: “Will Trump Be Impeached?”

    Then this, yet another Vanity Fair piece, on Dec. 15, 2016: “Democrats Are Paving the Way to Impeach Donald Trump.”

  2. Left Proposes “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to Target Trump Supporters if Biden Wins

    • Trump and his campaign rally audiences propose “Lock them up!” to target Biden and those who support him if Trump wins.

      • Tom Parker says

        Vote for Trump, but please acknowledge no modern President has done more to divide our country. He has set this country way back.

        I will say, if his constant lying does not bother you-his supporting white supremacy does not bother you-if his bullying of people does not bother you-if his misogyny does not bother you-then maybe something is wrong with you.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > if his constant _____ does not bother you

          Yeah, strange that people are taking political affiliation more and more seriously when evaluating others.

          • Tom Parker says

            Adam, I’m not sure what you mean by your comment.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              That if someone’s response to Trump’s juvenile behavior and the GOP’s absence of a policy platform is to deflect to the fact that some random “leftist” was mean to an old lady somewhere on a street in America then I know what I need to know about that person.

              Someone can all that “tribalism” if they like.

              If someone is still with the GOP, then yes, I ‘judge’ them and would prefer not to have them around.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And “KILL THEM ALL!” (or “KNEE ON NECK!”) chant to the exact same rhythm as “LOCK HER UP!” and (the latest) “WE LOVE TRUMP!”

    • Clay Crouch says

      Your drive-bys are boring and you are only embarrassing yourself.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        But he parades his RIGHTEOUSNESS before all us Disloyal Lukewarms and that’s what’s truly important.

        We’re seeing the subject of this post in every comment chain.

  3. Where is this going? A likely failure of the election system leading to more civil strife with more armed violence than we’ve seen thus far. A civil war? It’s hard for me to imagine that, since the sides are not now separated by any clear geographical or regional boundaries in most places, and it seems to me that any division of the nation would be into more than just two sides. But it will get ugly in the short term, that seems clear. After that, who knows?

    • I’ve begun to think that talk of red states or blue states is silly. It works if you are talking about the electoral college or who will usually be voted in as governor, but within those states there are usually hundreds of thousands of people who vote the opposite of the state’s majority. There are die hard conservatives in California and die hard progressives in Kentucky.

      • The divide is much more urban-rural than North-South. Breaking voting patterns out by counties shows this clearly.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > talk of red states or blue states is silly

        It is silly on one level.

        On another level the model of federation established by our Constitution creates this very real problem.

        We have a naturally adversarial system – the political parties are a response to, not a cause of our situation – we do not have the coalition oriented system which is found in most modern democracies. This is a system, and largely unsolvable, problem.

        • Of course, multiparty/parliamentary systems have their own headaches. See Third Republic France and post-WWII Italy for particularly pathetic examples.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            Yes; perfection is not a meaningful benchmark.

            • And the major Achilles heel of those systems is polarization – if you have sizable radical/reactionary parties that have enough of a voting base to completely gum up the ordinary functions of the parliament. Which is where we are at right now. Simply abolishing the Senate and expanding the House won’t fix that.

              • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                “They will call upon The Strong Man. And The Strong Man will come.”

                And the Base has found their Strong Man.

                • not strong enough to serve his country in war time – how DOES he golf so much with those awful heel spurs anyway?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “You go to London to watch the Changing of the Guard, then you go to Paris to watch the Changing of the Governments.”

        • It is a largely unsolvable problem due to one thing – the Electoral College. As long as we have that, and both parties have a vested interest in maintaining it, third parties are simply not going to develop. Some countries that have coalition governments (perhaps most) have a lot of instability (as in changing governments often) but there’s a far greater chance of everyone’s voice being heard, and people are forced to work together, and compromise. Our founding fathers (intentionally) gave us a system that requires compromise but they through a monkey wrench into that with the Electoral College.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > It is a largely unsolvable problem due to one thing – the Electoral College.

            No, it is much deeper than that. We have a Majoritarian system, that means everything is divided between the Majority and a Minority.

            > have a lot of instability

            You say “instability”, I say “dynamism” and “adaptability”. 🙂

            > Our founding fathers (intentionally) gave us a system that requires compromise

            Required: Yes
            Facilitated or encouraged: No.

          • Both parties don’t have a vested interest in maintaining the Electoral College. Only the one party has that interest, and their trunk is big enough to stop it being changed.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              In any case the Constitution, given today’s map, is unamendable.

              It will not be amendable for, at minimum, another decade.

              Working within the EC is our present, and it is our near-term future.

        • We have a naturally adversarial system – the political parties are a response to, not a cause of our situation – we do not have the coalition oriented system which is found in most modern democracies.

          I hang out on a blog based in the UK. It has a lot of people there from the US, Europe and various other places around the world.

          This is NOT a US problem. The UK system has driven itself into the corners. All the parties are more and more controlled by their extremes. The non extreme people just don’t want to play so the extreme folks get to play the game their own way. There is a non trivial chance of Scotland becoming an independent country in a few years due to Brexit. And not so idle speculation that the UK may just toss N. Ireland aside to make Brexit work long term.

          Facebook is a defining part of this. But if not for FB there would be other online ways. It is the way people can get together online and thus find other extremes that seems to cause this.

          And I don’t have a solution. Shutting down the Internet is not going to happen. My fear is that the world will be split into multiple versions of the China Internet.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > A likely failure of the election system

      I understand the potential for failure; but “likely”? I don’t see it. There are deeply troubled precincts, and some states which are messy, but these problems are highly localized.

      Also, there have been deeply troubled precincts for a l-o-n-g time.

  4. Adam Tauno Williams says

    I find things like Mr. Beck’s analysis to be lazy.

    “””affective polarization is simply the manifestation of some well-known social dynamics you learned about in Psychology 101″””… sure that’s “simply” what is going on in our society.

    “””It’s all identity markers, wherever you look across the political landscape. No solutions, just the social signaling of Us versus Them. “”” Really, Mr. Beck? This is lazy. There are “no solutions”, “just the social signaling”. This is both-side-ism at its best. Because one side officially has no platform, and the other side has a platform. There is plenty of talk of solutions.

    Also the presidential race is not the sum of all politics. There are thousands of people on ballots.

    “””our political tribes have become more important than traditional demographic markers of group identity””” One could consider that one’s political affiliation(s) [I won’t say “tribes”] are more significant because they are more significant – someone’s affiliations tell me more about them than their “traditional demographic markers” (race, male/female). Particularly when one of those affiliations regularly refers to my home as a lawless hellscape.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Affective Polarization means the Only Thing That Matters is “Whose Side Are You On?”

      Like Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland during The Troubles.

      Which this joke/parable comes from:

      You’re walking down a street in Belfast when you’re dragged into an alley and a knife is held to your throat.
      “PROTESTANT OR CATHOLIC?????”
      You don’t know which side the knifeman is on, so you answer “Atheist!”
      The knife starts to dig into your jugular.
      “PROTESTANT ATHEIST OR CATHOLIC ATHEIST?????”

      Because all that matters is “Which Side Are You On” and What Should Be Done To The Enemy.

  5. Has Trump helped bring people together? No, he is an incredibly polarizing individual. Does that excuse everyone else’s behavior? No it does not. Many on the left have behaved (to use their own favorite word) deplorably the last four years. Since the media is mostly controlled by the left, they mostly get away with it. No one really holds them accountable. But if it is brought up it is all Trump’s fault, he made me do it. To be fair, many on the right, including many self-professed Christians, respond to the left in ways that are also deplorable, and want to excuse that behavior saying it is necessary because, “Look at what they are doing.” It is time for Christians (including myself), regardless of political affiliation to stop blaming their bad behavior on other people (it would be nice if non-Christians did this is well, but judgment starts with the house of God). However bad the “other” side behaves, it is no excuse for our bad behavior. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. If we want to this to get better and not worse, we have to start with ourselves.

    • Tom Parker says

      I will agree God is going to judge those “christians” that have whole hardily supported him for the last 4 years.

    • You mean, “They go low, we go high”?

      I don’t see an equivalence between Trumpism and those who oppose it.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        Thank you.

      • Here is an example of what I am talking about, both things happening I believe on the same night, some sort of Trump rally at the white house.
        From the right: Eric Metaxas, of all people, punching a protestor riding a bicycle. Whatever he was saying doesn’t excuse what he did.
        From the left: As an elderly couple was leaving a young white man got in the face of this tiny old lady who looked old enough to be his great grandmother, flipped her off with both hands and screamed the f word as loud as he could. What makes a young man think this is okay?

        That is just one example. So you don’t see it CM. That is part of the problem. You can say Trump is worse, that’s fine. But don’t ignore and excuse those who oppose him when they behave in terrible, offensive, and divisive ways as well.

        • Difference – random people vs. prominent supporter and fundraiser. Biden is calling for moderation. Trump is whipping up hatred and discord.

          The message coming from the top on both sides matters.

          • Exactly. Not to mention that, as Christians, we should hold loudly professing, publicly known Christians who make a living selling their Christian status to a higher standard.

          • I concur with what Eeyore says.

            I will admit that cable news can be pretty partisan and will whip up emotions for ratings, but when it comes to the leadership of the parties, I don’t think you can make a case for equivalency. Trump is one of a kind when it comes to this.

          • Didn’t Maxine Waters encourage people to harass Trump administration wherever they saw them? Short leap from administration to supporters.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Out here in SoCal, Maxine Waters is considered A Bad Joke by everyone except her followers.

              Who’ll play the Race Card faster than Johnny Cochrane at the O.J. Circus.

            • Let’s be clear. Encouraging harassment is bad. But is there no difference between a lone Representative telling people to harass persons who disagree with you with no support from the rest of her party, and a President encouraging calls to “lock up” his opponents who have committed no crimes while the vast majority of his party stands mute? The difference in power and intensity of hostility is telling.

            • Maxine Waters isn’t the president. Or the leader of her party. Or anything close.

        • There are angry people on both sides, but what sets conservatism apart is that its firmest adherents are those who have been unable to succeed in the adult world – most notably, men who have not been able to make the transition from “boys will be boys” teenage masculinity to grown-up “men should be men” adulthood.

          The question of why that’s the case is open to debate – there are a ton of ways that rural parts of the country, for example, are disadvantaged through structural inequality. For many people there are also generational cycles of poverty and lack of education. But there’s a reason that right-wing terrorists are so common and dangerous in the US, and left-wing terrorists are almost unheard of in modern history. Both sides are *not* morally equivalent.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            those who have been unable to succeed in the adult world – most notably, men who have not been able to make the transition from “boys will be boys” teenage masculinity to grown-up “men should be men” adulthood.

            Doesn’t that resemble all the Biblical Manhood preachers and Christian Leaders (like Deep Throat Driscoll) you hear from all those pulpits and Christain Manifesto Media?

            There are a lot of toddlers walking around in (sexually-active) adult bodies; I’ve run into a lot of such arrested-development dudebros in my life. Just the Christian ones have their own way of doing things.

            But there’s a reason that right-wing terrorists are so common and dangerous in the US, and left-wing terrorists are almost unheard of in modern history.

            The heyday of “left-wing terrorists” was the last century.
            They faded after the Second Russian Revolution took away their support.
            They had their day, and their day is over for a while.

      • Tom Parker says

        Neither do I-apples to oranges.

    • Gosh, there is so much here that is risible, but I’ll just stick with “Since the media is mostly controlled by the left…”

      First off, there is no meaningful “left” in American politics. The Democratic Party is controlled by people supporting policies that, in terms of left and right, Eisenhower would have found unremarkable. The furthest “left” you can find with any significant support is Bernie Sanders, who is “left” in the way that Denmark is left. Talk of the American “left” as if they were a bunch of Trotskyites is absurd. What we actually have in the Democratic Party is “liberal,” meaning supports stuff like Social Security and Medicare.

      Second, the claim that the “media” is controlled by the “left” is nearly as ridiculous, even if we substitute in “liberal.” The Republican Party has been complaining about this ever since Walter Cronkite went to Vietnam, and then came back and told the truth about what was going on there. There was a day when the news media was generally liberal, in the sense of supporting stuff like Social Security and Medicare. So if your complaint is that you hate it that old people might have a living income after spending their entire working lives paying into Social Security, then you would have had a point, at least at one time. It is less clear today how news reporters feel on the subject. But this isn’t what you meant. What you meant is that the New York Times is the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party. This is simply idiotic, as anyone who has ever actually read the Times knows. Four years ago it happily pounded on the “Hillary’s emails!!!” trope, pretending that this failure to follow best server practices, a failure that was widely practices by officials from both parties, was both a major breach (it wasn’t) and peculiar to Clinton (it wasn’t). So yeah, radical lefty Stalinist New York Times? Please.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > there is no meaningful “left” in American politics.

        This.

        > as anyone who has ever actually read the Times knows

        I’m Soft-Left, I subscribe the the NYT (and the WSJ BTW), and I find the NYT’s reporting to be infuriating. One more story about Some-Real-American-We-Talked-To-At-A-Diner…. The Conservative trope about Coastals looking down on “fly-over America” – – – the truth is they have an obsession with “fly-over America”. They feel very deeply the contempt radiating from the [let’s be honest: mostly empty + poorly managed] center of the nation. They should feel it very deeply as we are all chained together in this awkward federation, so we all rise or fall together, like it or not.

        • Michael Bell says

          When you take a quadrant with Axis of Left/Right and Libertarian/Authoritarian Joe Biden lines up exactly with … the Conservative Party of Canada. So yes, from a Canadian perspective you don’t have left right, you have right, and more right.

      • Richard, an excellent point. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear Obama and Hillary described as Leftists! In Obama’s first term all his inside guys were ex-Wall Street. Doubtless a Hillary administration would have been more of the same. What we have in our “two party system” now is a conservative party and a batsh*t crazy party. And apparently all you have to do to be accused of being a “leftist” is support environmental issues, advocate for health care reform or even just hint that we might just maybe have some racial issues worth addressing.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Gosh, there is so much here that is risible, but I’ll just stick with “Since the media is mostly controlled by the left…”

        But that is The Party Line.
        Absolute TRVTH, Inerrant SCRIPTURE.

    • Christiane says

      I agree with Chaplain Mike here. In the sense of ‘moral equivalency’, how did I commit some degree of ‘deplorable behavior’ by loudly condemning trumpist ‘separation of families’ policy. There are over 500 children for whom the authorities cannot find the parents now . . . . if my protests were ‘deplorable’, then I accept that ‘label’ with pride because I know one truth, JON, this:

      that trumpists when they hurt those children did far more harm to their own credibility in a country like ours

      you can’t treat innocents with that kind of venom and not get tainted yourself, JON

      to be silent before trump’s attacks on the little ones is to be complicit, but it’s also to lose some measure of your own humanity and that is a high price to pay,

      and in the Christian realm, complicity with trumpism as per the harm done to the little ones, I would leave it to God to judge the ‘heart’ of a ‘christian’ who sided with what trump did as ‘moral’ and/or ‘American’ because the act of hatred towards those little ones would be seen by Our Lord for what it was: a great and terrible soul-destroying sin . . . . . . as to ‘why’? any believer would partake of trumpism, I cannot know, and leave it to God to sort out, because who am I to judge the ‘person’ or his/her ‘heart’? Above my pay-grade. But the hatred? It was a terrible thing, immoral and brutal beyond belief, the WORST THING trumpism ever did for sure

      • Tom Parker says

        They do not care about these children.

      • Christiane, it is very possible that terrible things happened on the border, but where was your great concern six years ago when it was Obama doing it? What Trump did was so horrible they had to use pictures from the Obama administration to show you what was going on.
        If you haven’t behaved deplorably, good, thank you. I didn’t say all objections or speaking up is deplorable. If you want an example of what I am talking about look at what I said to CM in an earlier comment.

        • It wasn’t as well known back then. And the policy has been ramped up to 11 and publicized under Trump. Obama evidently thought it shameful. Trump wears it as a badge of pride.

          • Tom Parker says

            Dividing these children from their parents gets him votes in my opinion. He is cruel and cruelty should not be an ongoing position of christians.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > … six years ago when it was Obama …

          Is Obama the President or running for President?

          What about Andrew Jackson? Hoover? Nixon? Garfield?

          • His Vice President is. And we shouldn’t act like we are witnessing unprecedented policy when there is a precedent.

        • Jon there was vigorous criticism from what you would consider the “left” during the Obama administration at his immigration policies. How come you don’t know about this? The difference between then and now is that Obama focused more on recent illegal entry and criminal activity. Trump is, shall we say, a bit less discriminating in his discrimination. And of course Trump openly pandering to racists cannot help but affect my perception of the job he’s doing. You’re against that part right?

          There was a report yesterday that authorities cannot locate the parents of as many as 545 children who were separated from them at the border. Apparently we were in such a hurry to deport the parents we didn’t give any thought to long term care for the children. But no worry. I’m sure with all the Christians in this country there will no end to the support they will receive!

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > How come you don’t know about this?

            Good question!

          • Steve Newhouse says

            Stephen, I am sincerely asking, where ae the parents of these children at? Do they not know where their children are and have been? If it were my child , I would go where ever they were at and beg/demand for their return. Is it possible that these children were used by those trying to get into the country or that the parents do not want them. I cannot figure out why parents would abandon their children.

            • I’m guessing that if you are a poor, hungry, vulnerable, poorly-educated refugee from a central American country who’s been deported to Mexico your options for begging or demanding the return of your children are fairly limited.

            • Steve, this was policy. The parents and children were forcibly separated. After the outcry at this policy and it was halted the immigration authorities were tasked with reuniting children and parents. These children are the leftovers from the incompetence of the immigration folks. The parents are poor, don’t speak any English, probably terrified – who do they contact? Nobody abandoned their children.. The government of these United States abandoned any standards of decency.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Christiane, it is very possible that terrible things happened on the border, but where was your great concern six years ago when it was Obama doing it?

          Whataboutism Card in play…

    • Clay Crouch says

      Nothing like a good gaslighting and blame-shifting to start your day!

      Jon, after more than four years of observing the president’s behavior and his inability to lead, it’s past time for him to go. Your criticisms of Trump ring hollow because you rely on false equivalencies to mitigate his behavior. If you can’t see the difference between protesters bad behavior and the President’s, then there really isn’t much more to talk about.

      • Tom Parker says

        Clay, Jon is baked in and will not change IMO.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “He has eaten the TRUMP cake, and digested it.”
          — Paraphrase of Harlan Ellison story

        • Tom, I’ve said before, though no one seems to pay attention, I’m not a fan of Trump. I didn’t want him to win the primary four years ago, but he did. I didn’t think I would ever vote for him. But the Democrat politicians are all terrible. So I voted against Hillary. I’ll vote against Biden/Harris. I don’t like either option, but Biden/Harris concerns me more. I feel like we’re screwed either way. I point out the problems with the Democrats because everyone else wants to ignore them, and when Trump is gone those problems will still be there.

          • thatotherjean says

            Joh, what do you believe that Biden/Harris are going to do that is so incredibly awful that the continuing slide into dictatorship we are experiencing under Trump seems preferable?

            • We are not experiencing a slide into dictatorship. Biden will hurt the economy, appoint activist judges, has used the office make his family rich, has often been involved in getting us in useless wars, won’t promise not to pack the court, was the VP of the corrupt Obama administration, and I don’t trust him to protect the 1st or 2nd amendments. I trust Harris even less. Biden has a better shot at a unified government, which is scary. The republicans have almost no chance of taking the house, so there will be a check on Trump if he wins

              • Let’s cut to the chase. What do you want out of a candidate? If you want conservative activist judges, cutting of regulations, and tax cuts, you’ve got your candidate. And you have to decide if what scruples he sets off in you (and the racists and lunatics he empowers) are worth suppressing to get what you want. Conversely, are you willing to vote for the inarguably more decent and centrist candidate and give up on your pet social and economic preferences for the betterment of the common good?

                Make your choice. But don’t expect us or God to blithely let you engage in “both sides”ism unchallenged.

              • thatotherjean says

                I don’t even know where to begin, Jon, since our views are impossibly far apart on the subject of a Biden/Harris administration. I am reduced to “WHAAAT??!”

          • “I don’t like either option, but Biden/Harris concerns me more.”

            So, the prospect of slightly less conservative policy decisions worries you more than the erosion of rule of law and basic democratic principles? Maybe you’re not so far off from the one option as you pretend.

          • When you say you voted against Clinton and for Trump. You think she would have been worse than Trump? How?

            • I thought HC would have made a terrible President. Utterly terrible. So I voted for the one I thought would be best. I voted for HC.

              I’ve been watching Trump in the business news for 35+ years. Nothing has changed me from my initial impressions. He’s a con man and a theif plus in general a total tail hole.

              And nothing about the last 4 years has changed my opinion of either.

              • amd he’s literally worshiped by 80% evangelicals

                they KNOW what he is and they still worship him

                • Tom Parker says

                  I used to consider myself an evangelical. But if Trumpers are the true evangelicals,I guess I am not an evangelical. I want to know how much they sold their souls for? I am afraid it was not much. They would say they got 3 Supreme Court justices, but they cheated to get two of them. But they know God is ok with cheating-but just for them. It is sickening.

  6. Where is this going? If we’re extrapolating the future based solely on patterns we’ve seen in the past, roughly every 60 years the US goes through a time of hopelessness where people lose trust in public institutions and each other. And each time that has happened, a new generation has risen up with a renewed moral vision and led us forward into something better:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/collapsing-levels-trust-are-devastating-america/616581/

    So despite all the doom and gloom, the most likely outcome is that a new generation saturated in the moral vision of MeToo and BLM and the Parkland movement will rise up, force our nation to confront some of our most deeply-seated sin, and help us to build something better. There’s no guarantee that we’ll make it through this “moral convulsion” with our society intect, but the fact that we’ve done so at least 4 times in the history of this country should give us cause for hope.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > And each time that has happened

      To be fair, there aren’t a statistically significant number of cycles. 🙂

      I’d prefer to avoid extrapolating. Every time is unique enough to have doubts about any notion of cycles.

      Today there is – at a minimum – the **MASSIVE**, and largely silent, issue of inter-generational wealth hoarding. Boomers hold 67% of American wealth, Gen-X 15%, Millennials … 4%; that is a grossly – grossly – lopsided distribution. The true power of the upcoming generation, however LOUD they may be, is a car battery in a lighting storm. The oldsters wringing their hands about snowflakes and activism at universities is morally disgusting.

      Aside: many Millenails are now approaching 40 years old.

      > a new generation saturated in the moral vision of MeToo and
      > BLM and the Parkland movement will rise up

      I hope so. And I certainly see potential for that.

      • Where did you get those statistics? I’d love to see the original source.

      • Clay Crouch says

        Easy, Tiger. Your complaint is duly noted. While we Boomers are hard at work trying to figure out how to take all of our wealth with us when we shuffle off this mortal coil, it’s looking more and more likely that we will have to leave it behind. On the other hand, the jury’s still out on Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha.

        • I think you figured it out – wreck the environment/ecology to such a degree that nobody after you can live like you did. :-/

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            It’s called “The Death Bet”.

            “Everything’s gonna go to hell, but I’ll be Gone by then so That’s YOUR Problem!”

            The Christianese version is called “The Rapture Bet”.

          • Clay Crouch says

            The environment was already wrecked when my mother birthed me in 1956. Since then some things have gotten better, many things have gotten worse. I dare say that a large percentage of baby boomers have been and are on the leading edge of environmentalism. Scapegoating an entire generation is a lazy man’s game.

            https://climatecommunication.yale.edu/publications/do-younger-generations-care-more-about-global-warming/

            • Who’s been in charge as the climate reports have gotten more and more dire, and the necessity of action more urgent? Boomers. Who’s been electing politicians who drag their feet? Boomers. Who’s panicked now that a critical mass of younger voters are keyed up on the issue? Boomers.

              I calls ’em like I sees ’em.

              • Yeah but we had the best music.

              • Clay Crouch says

                I’m on your side. I’m not panicked, I welcome young voters. I share your concerns for the environment, as do most of my Boomer friends. By your reasoning, it’s also been Boomer scientists and environmentalists who have been responsible for calling attention to climate change. It’s your dismissiveness of an entire generation that I find unfair. Remember, you’ll need more of us, and our money, and our political clout involved to solve this problem.

                • They’ve made up their minds, Clay, no use trying to change that. I thought maybe the fact that I never had any kids might mean I was one of the good Boomers, but this group seems to come pretty close to believing that the only good Boomer is a dead Boomer.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > Your complaint is duly noted

          Gee, thanks.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > with us when we shuffle off this mortal coil

          It is going to be interesting to see how that wealth flows… if, in fact, Boomers ever die. Or even retire.

          I work in a rusty rust belt industry … where 49% of employees are 50 years old or older.

          It’s kinda crazy.

          At this point I suspect that Mortality is merely a rumor, the Boomers are just going to go on forever.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            By the time they shuffle off, they would have consumed most of their wealth, channeling what remains into the greedy paws of a tiny fraction of uber-rich through mercantilist maneuverings and class warfare.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              Likely. 🙁

            • Clay Crouch says

              How indolent for you to dismiss 63+ million Americans, most of whom, like me, have worked hard, paid taxes, and raised families. I’d love to take a peak at your crystal ball.

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                Clay, you also got a hell of a lot more from government, directly and indirectly. Your generation had been voting to remove the privileges you got from the succeeding generations, starting from Reagan and his deceitful “trickle down economics” .

                Of course this is generalising. One does occasionally meet a decent baby boomer 🙂 .

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  “Trickle-down economics” turned out to be an expensive bust.
                  After al the economics talk about how they’ll have to spend that money somewhere and everyone will benefit from where the spend/invest it, all it achieved was a bunch of Dragons bragging about how “MY HOARD’S BIGGER THAN YOURS!”

                  (The extremely-high high-end tax brackets of the 1950s let the Dragons brag who was making the most while channeling it into other avenues than their Hoards.)

          • Clay Crouch says

            Here’s some good news for you.

            https://incendar.com/baby_boomer_deathclock.php

            Bad news is that your kids and grandkids generation are going to say the same about yours. I hope I live long enough to read about it.

            • And given the likely circumstances they will have to exist (I can hardly call it “live”) in, we will richly deserve the scorn.

          • Adam Tauno Williams: “At this point I suspect that Mortality is merely a rumor, the Boomers are just going to go on forever.”

            –Just like the bull market…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Conversation with my Dungeonmaster, some time in the late Eighties:

            “HUG, you’re a Boomer. Why are you so down on them?”
            “You think I like being lumped in with the biggest bunch of arrested-development cases to come down the chute in four generations? Just because of the year I was born?”

            Never mind that was also the generation who threw away the Stars so they could screw in the mud at Woodstock…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      roughly every 60 years the US goes through a time of hopelessness where people lose trust in public institutions and each other.

      Does this also correlate with peaks in Messiah Politics and Strong Man on Horseback Who Will Fix Everything?

      If so, we’ve been on an unusually-long Messiah Politics peak. I remember the vibe from Ross Perot in ’92; my parents were rabid Perotistas, how Perot and His Plan (which he never made public, just hinted at) would Make America Great Again — America for REAL Americans! Everything will be PERFECT Forevermore!

      Note that Perot NEVER went into any details, or struck me as racist (just an autocratic business boss playing a cagey game); my parents projected their own desires and agendas into his vague promises of “Trust Me. I Have a Plan.”

      • David Greene says

        … and Strong Man on Horseback Who Will Fix Everything?

        A lot of Trumpers really admire Putin…

        • Tom Parker says

          Trump loves Putin. I thought Republicans were supposed to be against communism. Ah, Republicans change the rules when they have a Republican President.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          When the Autocrat of All Russia decided to show his pecs on horseback, he should have chosen something more substantial than a Steppe Pony.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          A lot of Trumpers really admire Putin…

          Because they worship Strength and Power, and the Autocrat of all Russia is both, with bare-pecs Manly Manliness to boot. (Though bareback on that little Steppe Pony, he may as well be riding Pinkie Pie.)

          There’s also a mind game called “Tough Guy” where a small and/or weak man hangs out with and sucks up to REAL Tough Guys to show off (and prove to himself) how Tough He Is.
          “ME TOUGH! SEE? SEE? SEE?”
          (The usual type example is a kid in the ‘hood who hangs out with Gangsters and other hardcore criminal types.)
          “ME TOUGH TOO! SEE? SEE? SEE?”

  7. Klasie Kraalogies says

    The polarization has always been there. I remember one of my early work visits to the US – we were travelling with educated, baby-boomer aged engineers in a western state. The polarization, the hatred for their fellow citizens, and the downright filth they sprouted amazed me. This was in early 2014. But I did see the equivalent in the news media at the time. The hotel we were staying at blasted the weirdest Fox news segments one can imagine.

    Then more recently someone asked why has it been that NZ, a country with a robust party political system, have been able to have civilized debates between the leaders? This was an Australian asking it. The answer came quite readily- unlike Australia, the US and the UK, NZ (like Canada) does not have a Murdoch-owned press.

    Anyone that has followed politics not only in the US, but also Australia and the UK over the last decade nor so will have to acknowledge that, while partisan politics has been with us virtually forever, in the last decade or 2 these 3 countries have fallen off the deep end, in a way that other similar countries have not.

    The fault is not Trump’s. He merely utilised what he found, galling as all his deeds are. There is an ur-beast, and his name is Rupert.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > does not have a Murdoch-owned press

      But, but, but… the media is owned by “The Left”! 🙂

      > The polarization has always been there

      Yep.

      > The polarization, the hatred for their fellow citizens, and the downright filth they sprouted amazed me

      Yeah. I’ve got boxes of old papers, and this is just from a midwest neighborhood, and yeah. The contempt, the racism, …

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Yip, the lefty media trope is baffling. Even here in Canada, almost all privaye news media is right of centre.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          As a Soft-Left person I cannot tolerate even listening to America’s National Public Radio anymore. The journalism is so bad, so carefully Both-Sides.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          “A Lie, Repeated Often Enough, Becomes The TRUTH.”
          — Reichsminister Goebbels (though Vladimir Lenin also claims credit)

          “Effective Propaganda Consists of Simplification and Repetition.”
          — Reichsminister Goebbels
          (but could also describe a lot of Altar Call Witnessing)

      • David Greene says

        “…a Murdoch-owned press”

        And don’t forget the Sinclair owned media outlets…

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      The hotel we were staying at blasted the weirdest Fox news segments one can imagine.

      Just think…
      This was before Q-Drops going viral all over the Web.

    • Speaking from the UK, I agree.

    • The evangelicals were waiting for their man and they got him and want to keep him. Does it matter at all to them people will not now listen to their witness about Jesus Christ? I certainly will not listen to them!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        But they’re now In POWER and can use that POWER to shove their Witness down your Heathen throats.

        Never mind that after a generation or two of Christians in POWER, the name “Jesus Christ” will carry the exact same baggage as the name “Adolf Hitler”.

        • The name of Jesus is already carrying a lot of baggage. If these people represent Jesus, I do not want their Jesus or their heaven!

      • I keep looking at the decline of churches in Europe post-WWII. The churches of Europe identified strongly with the fascist regimes in the leadup to and course of the war. Since then, their numbers and influence have plummeted. Young people in Iran are ambivalent about the continued power and scrutiny of the religious authorities there. The close association of the Russian Orthodox Church with the tzarist regime really hurt it after the Revolution. Time and again, when the Church uses the tools of power and politics to enforce what it perceives to be divine morality on the wider culture, it gets burned. But we Americans have always been too stubborn to learn from history.

  8. Steve Newhouse says

    Chaplin Mike and I Monkers, Relax, your “side” has won. Even if Trump does win, which is doubtful , it is only delaying the inevitable for a short period. The demographics, the media being corrupted as a objective reporter of facts, the censoring internet platforms, the education system and the public’s 5 minute attention span coupled with low information IQ, insure the the government will grow and we will have a European socialist type of government, economy and culture. The rich and powerful will remain the rich and powerful will rule be they will be liberal and acceptable to the masses, i.e. such as San Fran. Portland and Seattle with their feudal type of government system. Young people will never know the difference as they will be brought up in a world of less social, cultural and economic freedom but will be able to survive on a minimum level with no risk of failure as there will be a livable safety net for a while until OPM runs out, OPM is other peoples money. So I am rooting for Joe Biden to be better than his 48 years of demonstrated ability. Weird, that the new left Democratic Party candidate is a 77 year old , career, average at best and typical big business/big donor politician who has an unremarkable record and is corrupt, like all establishment politicians. However I assume that Biden and Harris are front men for the real power brokers, who got him to this point. Whoever is pulling the strings did a great job. Funny, the woman who got the least amount of primary votes and first to drop out is on the ticket. Talk about ID politics.
    I was always told that voters vote in their own self interest, I guess that is no longer the case. Again, many interesting and different comments here from many members of the same tribe, the new buzz trendy buzz word. My tribe is getting old and dying, hope the new tribe does as well as the old tribe.

    • So the media is corrupt-give me a break!

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Tom Parker, snappy comeback, You should not have let Elvis make Via Las Vegas movie but the early Ed Sullivan appearances a brilliant move. Did you use to be a Colonel?

    • A few observations…

      Yes, demographics are against the Evangelicals and white nationalists. That doesn’t preclude their doing irreparable damage on their way out the door, however.

      Have you ever lived in Europe, or even Canada? What is your source of information as to how socialist/bad they are?

      Talk to actual Democrats and progressives – Biden is NOT “new left” by their definitions. He is a moderate Democrat (which, as was pointed out by others above) is pretty conservative from a global political perspective. Which leads me to question how you’ve calibrated your political spectrum.

      Just who, in your opinion, are the “actual power brokers”?

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Eeyore, No I have never lived in any other country but the USA. I did not live in Tsarist or Community Russia, Nazi Germany or Imperial Rome but can have an educated opinion on whether they were good and viable. Yes, of course ,, Europe is not truly pure socialist but I was being lazy in describing them. They do not have our history or our concern about individual freedoms as enumerated in the Constitution and our society. Biden , personally ,certainly is not a “new” left or progressive, that is why the powers behind the throne promoted him and Harris. Biden is the Trojan horse and this campaign in not about Biden it is all about Trump. People are voting against Trump and not for Biden. The power brokers are the same as they have been since recorded history, the rich, those who control the means of communication, the educational elites who transmit knowledge and history, now in our age the google, facebook and twitter owners who are the gatekeepers of knowledge and opinion shaping. and the industries that control production/food sources. We are back to where the King (Biden) needs the support of the royals beneath him so they support Biden but they are the power, Biden is their puppet with the title and public face. Wall Street donating to Biden, the change agent , five to one, mainly because of his China policy. Biden has always been a typical retail , old school politician in the pocket of Del. banks and insurance companies. Like all career Washington D.C. long times he has milked and prospered from the system, just like the establishment Republicans, Hunter Biden/Jeb Bush both good examples except Hunter more obvious and greedy. I do not like labels but label we must, so I certainly am not a progressive, I am not a neo con Nixon,Bushes,Ford establishment Republican, voted for Trump despite is poor public persona on the issues. Reagan Ok, Clinton Ok. Bush 43 , the worst. Obama better than Romney and McCain , who I voted for as they would have done more damage, as the establishment would have really been in control. However this election is clearly about Trump behavior and persona more than issues. I am okay with whatever the voters do as I am pushing 79 so I am an observer more than a participant . I can coast comfortably till I meet the Lord and my children/grandchildren will make their way. I have done the best I could personally for the nation and myself as a citizen of this country. It may be the last time it is true but we are still a democracy and whatever the majority votes is what I will support and accept. I appreciate reading the various points of views that are posted here. Helps me understand where many are coming from.

        • I lived in the UK for a stretch, and had the opportunity to talk to many Brits about NHS. They definitely don’t have anywhere near the problems with it that American observers do.

          Yeah, I’m sure many folks are voting against Trump overagainst for Biden. Biden was never my first choice as a candidate, as any longtime observers of comments here will tell you. But, as I keep foot stomping about, he’s a functional adult. We desperately need a functional adult in charge now.

          So, the rich want political power. No big shock. But at least one party has, in theory, been in favor of taxing them, and the other party has an uninterrupted track record of cutting them tax breaks all down the line. You want change? Stand with the people who also want change (although you may have to get used to rubbing elbows with folks you’re not used to dealing with).

          Where am I coming from? I’m a whitebread middle class boy from the Midwest, raised to believe that America was great, the Bible is true, and life is fair. Slowly I have come to realize that life is not fair, America (for all it’s ideals) is not perfect, and that the Bible is true insofar as we look for Christ in it. And Christ was and is not a conservative capitalist. He was very much an outsider, a friend of outcasts and sinners, a thorn in the side of the wealthy and the religiously comfortable, and that He did not incarnate, die horribly and resurrect from the dead in order to put a divine stamp of approval on The Way Things Have Always Been Done. The rich either got that way by stealing from their workers or by God’s grace, and in either case their wealth is meant to be given to others. Christians are to live our morality in our own lives, and not tell others who may put whose junk in whose. Yes, we must compromise in politics, that should go without saying – but our primary concern should be the welfare of our community, not our rights and privileges. Looked at through this lens, the church in America has gone disastrously astray, perhaps fatally so. But if there is nothing else I can do, I will keep pointing all this out where I can, because as Richard John Neuhaus said, sometimes we need to curse the darkness to remind ourselves that we should not feel at home in it.

    • If we won, what the heck did we win? He said it would be all winning the past four years-I guess he just mean that for those that support him., But for me I feel like I and others have lost so much.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > t is only delaying the inevitable for a short period

      A “short period” without housing, medical care, medicine, transportation, etc… sure, Ok.

      Real people have to survive in this nation; that’s what politics should be about.

      • thatotherjean says

        Yes. Yes, it should. Government “of the people, by the people, for the people” really should be about, you know, people. The side of US politics that tries to set itself up as “the party of Lincoln” really should listen to what he said, more often.

  9. Steve Newhouse says

    Adam,,, what country do you live in? America has no “poor” people in relationship to the majority of the world living standards. Everyone in America gets health care, they just do not have health insurance. Only people who chose to be are homeless as they do not seek help or work to better themselves, most have mental health issues. transportation, who in America does not have access to transportation unless they chose to live in a rural , isolated place and want bus service. I wish I were a lot younger , I would love to see how this plays out. The old saying about communism is true, there will be a more even distribution of poverty to the majority than now. Again, the new feudal lords will reign on high controlling means of communication, controlling education, controlling entertainment and media content. Look at California and NYC , America as a nation is 20 years behind their actions. It is inevitable but interesting.

    • Tom Parker says

      I did not know the poor were doing so well in the United States?–maybe Trump and his kind are right-eliminate the ACA because they do not need it–yes I am being very sarcastic.

      No, we are not headed towards communism.

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Communism is not even heading into communism, ask Biden,s friend China. How many poor people in America do not have cable, cell phone and internet. Are this now considered basics?

        • Tom Parker says

          How dare poor people have cable, a cell phone and the internet? Maybe if they get really fortunate they will have a house to live in, food-a job-no, Steven, how dare that happen!

          • Steve Newhouse says

            Tom Parker , thought you were a serious person. The USA has a great social welfare safety net. Food stamps, public housing and job training programs. We have multi general families who live on what they call the system.

    • “Everyone in America gets health care, they just do not have health insurance.”

      Sure, you can get health care if you don’t mind crippling debt and/or medical bankruptcy – assuming adequate facilities exist in your area (which is not guaranteed).

      “Only people who chose to be are homeless as they do not seek help or work to better themselves, most have mental health issues.”

      Ask someone in Silicon Valley living in their car and working two minimum wage jobs if they’re homeless because they chose it. And if our mentally ill people are living on the streets, that seems like a damning indictment of your assertion that “medical care is available to all” doesn’t it?

      “The new feudal lords will reign on high controlling means of communication, controlling education, controlling entertainment and media content.”

      Then why not let the government help regulate them? It worked back in the first Gilded Age. Or would you rather be a corporate serf than a government one…?

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Eeyore,The medical bankrupt thing is the last refugee of scandals. In my younger days I had about 20 rentals I self managed. Almost all people with bad credit cited medical issues. It is a complex issue and I will just say this, we need to insure all Americans should be able to buy health insure. put those unable to do so because of pre existing or long term issues into a special pool , if we can save the free market place good if not make a hybrid and get on with it. Then they should move from Silicon Valley or unite and demand their feudal lords pay them enough. Were do the liberal elite live in Silicon Valley and why do they not practice what they preach with their progressive party financial support? Freedom of press, unrestricted free speech and exchange of ideas is becoming unpopular in our culture. Everyone has a label and a cause. Higher education is becoming anti free speech and opposing to different thought. Facebook, twitter and google are a problem that needs to be addressed and the free market place will not work here. Nextflix streaming is a propaganda site that has so much influence that is subtle and real. The young and the restless are the frogs in boiling water. China influence in our affairs is a major problem, in the sports, business and entertainment area they are starting to control contents and opinion. It is to late for the general American citizen, public , to rebel against Facebook, twiiter or google as it is a large part of their life and they are happy. So was the frog.

  10. Klasie Kraalogies says

    Just another note, as a ghastly outsider. America doesn’t have a left wing party. By all standards, the Democrats are by and large center right (with some center left politicians – Warren, Ocasio-Cortez etc.), and the GOP is right wing, with some far-right politicians (Cotton, Nunes etc).

    And anyone that think any politicians is socialist in the traditional sense of the word is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

    All to say that the extreme polarization is rather laughable from the outside. It mainly exists to make money from donors and viewers of media mogul empires.

    • The GOP is quickly metastasizing into a white nationalist populist party, whose relationship to any historical American definition of “right wing” is fading fast

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      As an illustration, the-ever interesting Political Compass makes this point quite succinctly in their post on the current presidential election:

      https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2020

    • Steve Newhouse says

      Klasie K. where are you from and where do you live now, if I may ask. Thanks

    • Klasie, it’s a matter of perspective. Most Americans have none. It’s astonishing that a nation so powerfully media driven would be so insular and self -absorbed. The whole universe is revealed before us and we focus our telescopes up our own nostrils. I’ve traveled a bit and have friends who’ve lived and worked abroad and it does look like a madhouse from the outside. But to most Americans there is no outside. How can the most powerful country in the world be run by hicks?

      I wish we did have a serious left wing party. I wish we could have a serious discussion in public. I wish people valued curiosity and wonder and expertise.

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Stephen, Must be great being one of the elite, apart from the great unwashed. Who stops you from having a serious debate in public? Are you a Trump supporter in Portland ? Was President Obama a hick or just Trump? However it is good you can speak for most Americans.

  11. Trump literally could shoot someone on a street in NY in broad daylight and not lose many of his supporters for one reason: They perceive him to be sticking it in the eye of their perceived oppressors. The DEEP STATE! All is fair in war. His behavior is incidental. Nothing tabulated, nothing remembered. The ONLY thing that matters is him jabbing it in the gut of the demonized bad guys and he does that with abandon. That divisiveness is his sole hold on power and as long as it stays Us/Them he has hope for holding on while his zealots bask in the persecution complex that has propped him up as their glorious leader. He will get more strident with each passing day until it is abundantly clear, to everyone, that his ride is over. He’s phenomenally stupid but any idiot can have street sense and in that theater he’s a genius.

  12. Steve Newhouse says

    ChrisS. your comments are a perfect example of this election. It is all about Trump speech, his behavior, his actions , his persona and personality. Do you think Biden policies are better and what are his real policies. This is a main “I am not Trump ” campaign and Biden/Harris are hiding from the public, which is good politics but sad. How will Biden really handle Covid 19 better? He has a “plan”, what is it. The plan is he is not Trump . Harris is a light weight but she did fill the only qualification that Biden promised, she is a black woman and according to Willie Brown, a good one.

    • “It is all about Trump speech, his behavior, his actions , his persona and personality”

      Well, yes. If a Democratic with an impeccable progressive platform behaved as Trump does, I would vote for the Republican (assuming the Republican was a functional adult). Some behavior and personality traits should be absolute disqualifiers for a job that includes access to the nuclear codes.

      • Steve Newhouse says

        So the Nobel Peace Prize nominations and the reduction of our troops in other lands is achieved by the unhinged nut but our foreign policy since 1972 is sane? I will take actions and achievements over polished words of the political class. However , I at times wish Trump talked like Popeye.

        • Is there any level of proof that you would find acceptable to prove Trump is mentally unstable? If no, please say so, I have a D&D adventure to prep (including intermediate boss fight) and my time is precious.

          • Steve Newhouse says

            Neither you , I or anyone in the mainstream media, including CNN, can diagnose someone from a far. Trump nuts or Biden , beginning of senility, which is most likely? We could ask Corn Pop but he is dead. Think the entire medical staff of Walter Reed is in on hiding Trump mental condition? We will find out when Biden wins the Senate seat he says he is running for.

            • That’s an awful lot of words to just say “no”.

              • Steve Newhouse says

                Getting silly, would you accept any level of prove that Biden is beginning to become more mentally impaired. Again, Trump persona not policy , results or achievements but that is what the voters want. T

        • thatotherjean says

          Oh, please. Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize nominations were nonsense. Anybody can nominate a candidate, and his sycophants did; mere nomination doesn’t mean the the Nobel Committee will seriously consider them.

      • Funny. I have a yard sign that says Any Functioning Adult 2020. I have a little flag on either side of it just to establish the fact that I love America, just not our President. I saw a guy running up and down the median of this road the other day with a big American flag. Nothing else. No sign, no party affiliation, just a flag. He stopped next to me at a light so I roll down my window and said, “Go Joe!” It took him a second. Trump has coopted the flag and patriotism it would seem. Well he is anything and everything but patriotic IMHO. His interests seem to be: Self. Self. Self. A little bit, maybe, family. Self. Self. Country or whatever.

        • Trump couldn’t care less about this country, anymore than he cares about American Christians. He’s co-opted the flag and the cross.

    • “ How will Biden really handle Covid 19 better? “. Come on now! You didn’t really mean to ask that question did you? Maybe he’ll simply tell the truth and support the head of the CDC and wear a mask as the exemplar in chief and not hold mass gatherings at the White House without masks and not tell multiple daily lies about what’s actually occurring and not denegrate U. S. Governors, putting their lives in jeopardy from fringe nut jobs and blame a worldwide pandemic on a country that puts their people residing in our country in a scary position and support real science. Stuff like that.

      • Steve Newhouse says

        Again , Trump rhetoric over Trump actions. Europe no better, Biden no better, it is a virus from China, It will end in Nov if Biden wins then it will die down in the news like Hunter is now, nothing to see here.

        • lotta dead people on the side though . . . very embarrassing for trump . . . media oughta shut up

        • Tom Parker says

          Steven,Trump loves folks like you IMO. He could maybe use you on his campaign these last couple of weeks.

        • You’re a funny guy!

          • Steven Newhouse sounds much like one of the regular conservative commenters that used to post here, but who stopped posting when a number of the others did. He was a funny guy, too.

            • Steve Newhouse says

              I thought the site might be receptive to a more diverse input but see I was wrong. Thanks for the dialogue and good luck to all. Nothing here for me or can I add any perspective that is not dismissed out of hand. Appreciate the articles and the passion many have about issues.. It seems like a group that is comfortable with itself and that is good.

              • Uh, has anybody stopped you from posting, or told you you shouldn’t? But you honestly do remind me of a previous poster, your sense of humor, your writing style, your loquaciousness, and the things you say. I wish I could remember his name. As far as I’m concerned you are welcome to stay, but that’s not my call. I do shake my head in wonder at how thin-skinned conservatives can be about disagreement or criticism, and yet continue to have the nerve to call liberals snowflakes.

              • Steve, thanks for joining us. We may have a lot of commenters who share like perspectives, but the fact that you could comment throughout the day without constraint is what this site is all about. We continue to welcome different views and encourage participation by all who are willing to dive in to our sometimes turbulent waters.

        • Hey Steve, what do you think about the Chinese bank account that Trump has and never mentioned in his financial disclosure? You think it’s in Wuhan? If Trump wins the election, it will die down in the news, nothing to see here.

      • thatotherjean says

        Thank you. Biden might also institute some national policies, so each of the 50 states don’t have to make it up as they go. Guidance and encouragement from the top of the government would be useful.

  13. Steve Newhouse says

    I am finished but will take the bait one more time, It needs as much attention and investigation in the press as the Hunter Biden laptop and foreign country sellout for the Biden family is getting in the mainstream media and internet. Good luck to you all

    • What needs as much attention?

      We don’t need good luck, we have God on our side (SARCASM ALERT! SARCASM ALERT!)

      • Tom Parker says

        Robert, no they have God on their side. God is on the left’s side, the right’s side, the middle’s side. How does God ever decide which side he is on. It must get confusing for him-yes I am being very sarcastic.

        • President Obama tonight on the Biden campaign trail: “….if I had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for reelection….They would’ve called me Beijing Barry….” Lol! Ain’t it the truth! And I’m convinced Obama could have a career as a standup comic if he wanted.

          • thatotherjean says

            +1 Lord, the far-right gave Obama fits for saluting with a coffee cup in his hand, wearing a tan suit, and enjoying “foreign” mustard. A secret Chinese bank account would have had them frothing at the mouth.

    • And a Hunter Biden investigation would go the same route that the recently concluded, without a report so-called “unmasking” investigation by the DOJ went: The Road to Nowhere.

  14. So, to turn the question back to you, CM: Where is this going?

    • I’ve said it often, that technology has been a main driver of much of our culture’s behavior. No birth control pill and the “sexual revolution” would not have happened as it did. Would the Vietnam War have been protested as it was without television? What has the 24-hour news cycle and continual, immediate access to information (good and bad) done to our civic discourse?

      So, I worry that there will be no going back to any form of a kinder, gentler age of respectful bipartisan discourse as long as technology continues to create more and more echo chambers, where we in our various tribes can find places to feed our confirmation biases.

      The pandemic, of course, has made all of this worse this year, and I hope it doesn’t change our habits for the worse — more isolation, less social and civic engagement.

      Because I think Trump has been a primary driver, continually provoking the affective provocation we are experiencing, one can only hope that he is soundly defeated and that he goes away, no longer sowing chaos in our midst.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    My question is: Where is this going?

    CENTAURI EMPEROR TURHAN: How will this end?
    VORLON AMBASSADOR KOSH: In Fire.
    — Babylon-5