Post Flight Ethics Landing, 3/5/2020: Goodbye, Liz, And Good Riddance

I’m blotto, my friends.

It’s been a long day. But I still have some items to review in my waning moments of clarity…

1. Again, movie Bowdlerizing. Why does this keep happening? I know it was routine in the Sixties to bleep  and cut vulgar words out of movies on TV,  but even then it was a practice that marred films great and small, ruined the directors’ and the screenwriters’ craft, and warped character, humor and intensity. Now, when Congress  members spit out charming epithets like “motherfucker” at will,  the sensitivity to tender ears makes no sense at all. Why don’t studios and directors stand up for the integrity of their work? All the “Forget you!” exclamations are bad enough, but sometimes memorable exchanges are lost to dumb Puritanism.

Last night I watched the end of “Stand By Me” before I went to bed. In the climactic scene where Ace and his gang of hoods tries to take the dead body from the four 12-year-old protagonists, young Gordie LaChance (Played by a pre-“Star Trek” Wil Wheaton) points a revolver at the gang leader ( Kiefer Sutherland). When Ace accuses Gordy of bluffing, the mild-mannered kid  cocks the gun and says, with chilling intensity, “Suck my fat one, you cheap dimestore hood.” That line was excised completely, as was the humorous retort by Chris (River Phoenix) after the gang retreats, “Suck my fat one? Who told you you had a fat one, LaChance?” To which Gordie replies, “Biggest one in four counties.”

2. More on Schumer… I’m desperate to find a full transcript of Schumer’s Senate remarks today defending himself against Mitch McConnell’s absolutely fair and accurate condemnation of Schumer’s threatening rant against the two Supreme Court justices yesterday. I heard it live this morning, and I thought, “Wow! This may be the most impressive array of non-stop rationalizations to try to excuse the inexcusable that I’ve ever heard!”

I know this: it culminated in #64, Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is, ” when the Senator said, “Of course, I did not intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise.” Of course! It’s a gross distortion to imply that Schumer meant what the clear meaning of his words conveyed, rather than something that his words didn’t suggest at all.

Yoo’s Rationalization or “It isn’t what it is” turns up everywhere, and has since time began. A mother swears that her serial killer son “is a good boy,” so she doesn’t have to face that fact that he’s not. It is denial, it is lying, but it is lying to convince oneself, because the truth is unbearable, or inconvenient.  It is asserting that the obvious is the opposite of what it is, hoping that enough people will be deluded, confused or corrupted to follow a fraudulent argument while convincing yourself as well.

But there are so, so many others!

3. Is a puzzlement! The question conservative pundits have been asking is a legitimate one, and deserves an answer, preferably from Hillary Clinton. If Michael Bloomberg’s 500 million dollars in marketing and attack ads couldn’t get him any more than a single primary victory in American Samoa, how is it that silly Russian social media disinformation somehow won the 2016 election for Donald Trump?

4. This is nice...Melonnie Hicks, director of the Pioneer City Museum in Sweetwater, Texas, posted this on Facebook as Super Tuesday dawned: “I hope every single one of you pieces of shit that votes republican, dies today.”  The museum’s board of directors scheduled an emergency meeting as a result of the statement. Hicks reportedly apologized and deleted the tweet.

Should she be fired? If course she should. She’s deranged. Her judgment is wretched; she can no longer be trusted.

5. I suppose I have to say something about Elizabeth Warren dropping out, but it’s not going to be pleasant. She was, as readers here know, the Ethics Alarms pick as the most unethical of the Democratic candidates, a distinction she earned by repeatedly lying about her personal history and making statements aimed at the ignorant that she knew, knew were absurd as a lawyer and scholar. It was fairly nauseating to read so many once intelligent Facebook friends bemoaning her demise today.  Was it really just because she is a woman? How disheartening that anyone can convince themselves that such self-evident nonsense is true. Here’s a whole article pushing that false premise. Warren didn’t fail because there is a bias against women as leaders, (though there is ). Warren lost because she is a cynical demagogue and a phony, and didn’t hide either nearly well enough.

28 thoughts on “Post Flight Ethics Landing, 3/5/2020: Goodbye, Liz, And Good Riddance

  1. #3 It must be the Russians are very skillful in their use of resources. Since they aren’t as rich as Bloomberg, they devised how to take down America on a budget. Bloomberg, being an arrogant capitalist dog, of course doesn’t understand the cost of money, unlike the Russians that had to endure deficits for about every consumer good, while military surplus was always abundant. /s
    #5 I thought it was really galling when on Wednesday the Boston Globe had an article about how Liz’s path to the nomination got more complicated. Jeez, Liz had these people eating out of the palm of her hand. I bet she’s sad now that she has to deal with Great Unwashed of the Commonwealth again.

    • Well, you also have to understand Democrat math. Brian Williams, Mara Gay (NYT editorial board member), and Mekitz Revis confirmed that Bloomberg could have given every American $1 million and had money left over with the $550 million he spent on his campaign. You might ask, how is this possible?
      DEMOCRAT MATH
      (1) Bloomberg spent over $550 million on his campaign. How could he give $1 million to each American? There are less than 550 of us left.

      (2) Joe Biden said that guns have killed over 150 million Americans in the last 5 years. Well, we have had guns longer than just the last 5 years. The guns have just killed almost all the Americans.

      (3) This is why illegal immigration is important. We don’t notice that all the Americans have been killed because we replaced them with illegal immigrants. Without the illegal immigrants, each of us would own 1/10 of a state!

      (4) Now you see why the Democrats need to be in office. The math is on their side!

      Now, with math like this, you can see how the Russians could sway the election with only $6000 spent on anti-Trump ads, while Bloomberg couldn’t sway an election with $550 million.

      Remember, the Democrats are the smart ones.

  2. I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it here, but my 2016 reaction to the “Russian hackers” hoopla from #3 was, “Oh, noes! Russian propaganda about the American presidential election was slipped in among the American propaganda about the American presidential election! What-ev-er shall we do?”

  3. #3 Simple! Bloomberg was targeting Democrats, who are all well-educated and intelligent, and thus better able to resist propaganda. The Russians were targeting Republicans and the undecided, who are all idiots and more susceptible, and thus got much better value for money. /sarcasm

  4. #3. I can’t disagree with the idea that the Russians were more skillful than Bloomberg, nor with the idea that they were targeting different audiences. But, for me, the main difference is that Bloomberg mostly bought TV ads and had to say at the end that he approved the message. This labeling, whether used by a Democrat or a Republican, signifies that the message is not credible. OTOH, the Russians used Facebook, in which any message is instantly credible to nearly half the population. /s

    • Would it perhaps be a new entry under #25? “I can’t help myself” becomes “It’s the way I was brought up! I’m a product of my environment!”

      Even then, it’s a poor rationalization and doesn’t stand up to the least bit of scrutiny in this case (and I would assume most cases). What Schumer is claiming when he invokes it is that getting a couple pieces of parchment from Harvard and then spending a career inside the beltway is no match for the (generously estimated) ten or fifteen years poor young Chuck spent in or around a specific park of NYC. Clearly, we should just let him threaten the Judiciary with impunity; if we have the poor manners to question him, it becomes Republicans Pounce! and now that’s the story.

      • This is one reason I want the transcript, which, thanks to the Commentariate, I now have. I think there’s at least one new Rationalization in there, and maybe more. It was an orgy!

  5. 3. Is a puzzlement! The question conservative pundits have been asking is a legitimate one, and deserves an answer, preferably from Hillary Clinton. If Michael Bloomberg’s 500 million dollars in marketing and attack ads couldn’t get him any more than a single primary victory in American Samoa, how is it that silly Russian social media disinformation somehow won the 2016 election for Donald Trump?

    The “Russia hacked our democracy!” (my favorite former-poster Chris line) is a complex projection. At the core what it means is that what people are thinking, and how they are reacting to the state of the US, is because they are being influenced by *nefarious players*. Shadow influencers, using tricky and devious means, are inducing the people to have ideas and to think in improper ways. If those influencers were exposed and eliminated, all would go well. Society would harmonize and the almost-bursting-apart social problems would vaporize. That is the Great Hope of most who write on this blog. To set an anchor in the status quo ante and pray that the storm pass overhead.

    Curiously, it is YouTube which is said to be responsible for the ‘radicalization’ of certain Americans. By watching one sort of video the ‘algorithms’ select and present to me other videos that are related or have been watched by others. I then am presented with other material which induces me to ‘radicalism’. So, the solution is to work it out so that instead of being led into the deep darkness of scary radicalism, the friendly algorithms which have now been tames & trained as proper & responsible guides, will lead me ever-more toward *balance* and effectively some sort of center position. I start our watching a video by Jared Taylor and in the end I am watching cartoons . . .

    This is pretty interesting ‘social engineering’ when you think it through. But the essence here is really in the fact that one way or another we exist within managed intellectual environment, and those who manage what we think and how we see — and perhaps even what we value — have profound links to the business and corporate systems which manage us like hamsters. Docile, harmless little creatures with big black eyes that nibble their way through life, incapable of sovereign thought. If Bloomberg can spend 500 million and no one is bothered by the fact, am I to assume that if Jason Kessler or Jared Taylor or David Duke or Richard Spencer had that amount of money to spend they could arrange for the creation of the ads and have them disseminated nationwide?

    The underpinning questions here are What sort of information can be presented (and what sort can’t). Who controls these things? Who sets the agenda? How do these things get decided? Cui bono? Given the social crisis which has suddenly become visible, the next question is How will this crisis be overcome? How will those who are now rebelling or getting involved in *dangerous points-of-view* be influenced away from those points of view? Back to a proper hamster-like docile existence in which the musak plays while we placidly nibble our vegetables?

    I suggest — despite my not-so-successful attempts at cynical irony — that the larger question, the largest questions, have to do with really existential questions. We know that we live in a highly managed system and we know that we live in an intensely propagandized system. We can hardly envision and alternative to this, yet it is conceivable that such exists. We wouldn’t want it any other way because the alternatives are too difficult. This is basically why I think we are *not allowed* to question, at any meaningful level, the *systems* within which we exist. Should we even do that? Should that even be encouraged?

    • THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. NOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, I JUST LISTENED TO THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, AND THERE WAS A GLARING OMISSION IN HIS SPEECH. HE DID NOT MENTION WHAT THE RALLY YESTERDAY, MY SPEECH, OR THE CASE BEFORE THE COURT WAS ABOUT. A WOMAN’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE. TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA, WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HERE, WHAT I AM FIGHTING FOR HERE IS YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE. AN ISSUE, OF COURSE, LEADER McCONNELL COMPLETELY IGNOREDIN HIS SPEECH. I FEEL SO PASSIONATELY ABOUT THIS ISSUE AND I FEEL SO DEEPLY THE ANGER OF WOMEN ALL ACROSS AMERICA ABOUT SENATE REPUBLICANS AND THE COURTS WORKING HAND IN GLOVE TO TAKE DOWN ROE V. WADE. I JUST READ ABOUT A WOMAN IN SHREVEPORT WHO UNDER THE LOUISIANA LAW NOW BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT WOULD HAVE TO TRAVEL OVER 300 MILES TO EXERCISE HER CONSTITUTIONAL FREEDOMS, AND THIS IS HAPPENING IN STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. REPUBLICAN STATE LEGISLATURES ARE RESTRICTING A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE SO SEVERELY AS TO MAKE IT NONEXISTENT, AND THE COURTS ARE NOW LIKELY TO GO ALONG BECAUSE SENATE REPUBLICANS HAVE CONFIRMED NOMINEES THEY BELIEVE WILL STRIP AWAY WOMEN’S RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTALLY CHANGE THIS COUNTRY. GOING SO FAR AS TO DENY A DULY ELECTED PRESIDENT THE RIGHT TO PICK A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. REPUBLICANS ARE AFRAID HERE IN THE SENATE TO CONFRONT THIS ISSUE DIRECTLY SO THEY TRY TO ACCOMPLISH THROUGH THE COURTS WHAT THEY NEVER WOULD ACCOMPLISH IN THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION, AND THEY LEAVE WOMEN OUT IN THE COLD. SO YES, I AM ANGRY. THE WOMEN OF AMERICA ARE ANGRY. AND YES, WE WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR THE WOMEN OF AMERICA. NOW, I SHOULD NOT HAVE USED THE WORDS I USED YESTERDAY. THEY DIDN’T COME OUT THE WAY I INTENDED TO. MY POINT WAS THAT THERE WOULD BE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES, POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP AND SENATE REPUBLICANS IF THE SUPREME COURT , WITH THE NEWLY CONFIRMED JUSTICES, STRIPPED AWAY A WOMAN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE. OF COURSE I DIDN’T INTEND TO SUGGEST ANYTHING OTHER THAN POLITICAL AND PUBLIC OPINION CONSEQUENCES FOR THE SUPREME COURT, AND IT IS A GROSS DISTORTION TO IMPLY OTHERWISE. I’M FROM BROOKLYN. WE SPEAK IN STRONG LANGUAGE. I SHOULDN’T HAVE USED THE WORDS I DID, BUT IN NO WAY WAS I MAKING A THREAT. I NEVER, NEVER WOULD DO SUCH A THING. AND LEADER McCONNELL KNOWS THAT. AND REPUBLICANS WHO ARE BUSY MANUFACTURING OUTRAGE OVER THESE COMMENTS KNOW THAT, TOO. NOW, WHAT WILL REMAIN LONG AFTER THE CLAMOR OVER MY COMMENTS DIES DOWN IS THE ISSUE AT HAND, A WOMAN’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CHOOSE AND REPUBLICAN ATTEMPTS TO INVALIDATE IT. THE FACT THAT MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES HAVE WORKED SYSTEMATICALLY OVER THE COURSE OF DECADES TO INSTALL THE JUDICIAL INFRASTRUCTURE TO TAKE DOWN ROE V. WADE AND DO VERY REAL DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY AND TO THE AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, THAT IS THE ISSUE THAT WILL REMAIN. AND WE OWE, I OWE AN OBLIGATION TO THE WOMEN OF AMERICA TO FIGHT FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

    • In my opinion; as much as I hate negative campaign ads I think there’s a plethora of video clips straight from the mouths of Democrats, including Schumer’s personal threats to two Supreme Court Justices, that will be used in a nation-wide blanketing of negative campaign ads that clearly show just how extreme the left has become and how far down the abyss of moral bankruptcy they’ve fallen. There’s no real need for cherry picking, the moral bankruptcy patterns of the Democrats are there to display, the video campaign ads write themselves. This will likely be a massive tit-for-tat retaliation of negative campaign ads kind of campaign season that’s heavily weighted against Democrats.

      After all that’s taken place over the last 3+ years, the Presidential debates should be “interesting”.

      • …how far down the abyss of moral bankruptcy they’ve fallen.

        It is more honest to talk about the general moral bankruptcy that is evident everywhere. It permeates the system. What you are doing — what you always do, in fact the very essence of what you do — is to locate an enemy that you can rail against.

        The reason this is a mistake is because it exteriorizes a problem that very much has you, us, all of us, in its grip. In your case though you suffer because you really have no idea at all what is happening nor why it is happening.

        The interesting thing about your *discourse*, such as it is, is that you have this odd idea that a sergeant’s barking can do anything at all.

        Note that a very sincere and detailed effort would have to be made to define moral bankruptcy. If it is a real thing, it should have a real definition. Your use of the term is far too vague.

        If it seems like I am picking on you, well, it is because of a sadistic streak. I’m working on it! 🙂

        • Alizia Tyler,
          In general; other than this comment, “It is more honest to talk about the general moral bankruptcy that is evident everywhere. It permeates the system.” your entire comment reads like an ad hominem and even the first sentence in the comment quoted reads a bit like an ad hominem because of the implication of me not being honest. Save it, I’m not biting.

          Now something more specific…

          Alizia Tyler wrote, “Note that a very sincere and detailed effort would have to be made to define moral bankruptcy. If it is a real thing, it should have a real definition. Your use of the term is far too vague.”

          https://resurrectedsite.wordpress.com/2019/11/12/morally-bankrupt/

          https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/morally%20bankrupt

          https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/philosophy-stirred-not-shaken/201410/declaring-moral-bankruptcy

          https://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-to-be-morally-bankrupt/

          I’m pretty darn sure that you already knew that moral bankruptcy had a definition and you were trolling to try to suck me into another one of your cosmic puzzles; again, I’m not biting.

          • To say *it reads like an ad hominem* is different from it actually being an ad hominem. But that is not my purpose at all. Although I find you ever-so-slightly irritating, and in some senses exemplary of one segment of the deranged US population, I do not attempt to cut you down. I want to be able to explain you.

            The final 3 links you provided did not give any tangible notion of what morals had been corrupted. They only speak generally about corruption. The Psychology Today article especially avoids, totally, the actual conversation about what morals are being corrupted. I certainly know that the term ‘moral corruption’ exists, you nut! My point is that it is not defined.

            But here I turn to your definitions. You do indeed define it, insofar as your barking can be considered *discourse*:

            Morally bankrupt is how you define a person or a group of people that have shown a regular history of making choices that are devoid of ethics and/or morals.

            Brief listing of morally bankrupt groups; Nazi, Ku Klux Klan, Black Panthers, ANTIFA, racists, bigots, bullies, internet trolls, political hacks, etc.

            This is not enough of a definition, or it is a ridiculously reductive list, that does not in any sense answer the real question of what moral corruption, today in America, actually means and refers to.

            Though I think I understand how your mind works — you see things in very strict polarities — each of the *symbols* you present are just *hot terms* where the moral failing is not sufficiently defined.

            The other issue that concerns me, personally, has to do with other sorts of corruption, too. A different sort of moral corruption that seeps into the structure of society. It cannot be defined by referring to a Nazi or ANTIFA or an internet bully.

            • Alizia Tyler wrote, “Though I think I understand how your mind works”

              Hogwash!

              You don’t even know how your mind works much less anyone else’s mind. Please stop writing things that are absolutely absurd.

            • Alizia Tyler wrote, “To say *it reads like an ad hominem* is different from it actually being an ad hominem. But that is not my purpose at all. “

              I intentionally gave you an out by writing “reads like”, you took the out and I’ll take you at your word this time around.

              Alizia Tyler wrote, “I do not attempt to cut you down. I want to be able to explain you.”

              Now I think you’re just lying to yourself and others.

              As for the definitions of moral bankruptcy, you cherry picked only one definition of moral bankruptcy, why?

              Also, stop moving the goal posts, moral bankruptcy is not exactly the same thing as moral corruption. Bankrupt in this context means: the state of being completely lacking in a particular quality or value where corruption means: 1. dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, and 2. the process by which something, typically a word or expression, is changed from its original use or meaning to one that is regarded as erroneous or debased. It’s reasonably clear that there’s some logical crossover in those definitions but what’s not clear is that someone is completely morally bankrupt just because they’ve exhibited some corrupt.

              I’m done now, this tangent ends here.

              Cya.

              • I fully understand. My purpose — I am defining my purpose — is to examine what people say, and to determine to what degree it is true, or false, or in some ambiguous zone in-between. It could be annoying to be on the receiving end of it, but it could also be stimulating and useful.

                I’ll take you at your word this time around

                You might consider offering a 3-pack or a 5-pack! 🙂

      • I think it’s really telling how the Democrats can no longer hide their blatant, bigotry, double standards and hypocrisy; it’s as if they think people are so damn stupid that they won’t notice or they’re so consumed by partisan hate of Trump that they’ll simply ignore it with an “ends justifies the means” rationalization.

        Schumer publicly condemns President Trumps criticism (Trump shouldn’t have tweeted about it) of what was happening in the Stone case and called it attacking the judge and Schumer turns around and literally threatens two Supreme Court Justices in a transparent attempt to intimidate and unduly influence critical Constitutional decisions the Justices are going to be making and this immoral political hack, double-standard, hypocritical Chuck Schumer justifies his threats with unethical rationalizations. Schumer should be stripped of all his leadership positions in the Senate, censured by the Senate, and his constituency should recall and remove him from office.

  6. Regarding #3, it seems that the failure of Steyer and Bloomberg to get any traction in their campaigns is the clearest refutation of the left’s complaint about Citizens United that money can buy elections.

    (Sorry, my statement might be a slight simplification (there I go again) of issues raised by a significant Supreme Court opinion, but I wanted to convey my thought in a single, grammatically correct sentence.)

    -Jut

    • JutGory wrote, “Regarding #3, it seems that the failure of Steyer and Bloomberg to get any traction in their campaigns is the clearest refutation of the left’s complaint about Citizens United that money can buy elections.”

      I was thinking the same thing.

      • …the clearest refutation of the left’s complaint about Citizens United that money can buy elections.

        I do not think the premise has ever been that any person with money can use that money to win an election. The premise is that there is a complex machinery — political machinery, donation machinery — that is the platform through which the candidates who will run are selected. Then, once selected, powerful money interests obviously rally around them.

        I think the point — it is a fair point and not an ideologically-driven point — is that there are kinds of hurdles and obstacles to get through or over before one is recognized as even possible. Then the big-money machine comes into play. It is interesting to consider how *the system* as it functions, and the money-interests that stand behind it, can machinate to exclude someone they do not like.

        These are in no sense *pure democratic processes* and I doubt they ever have been. Pure democracy might exist in a canton of Switzerland, but we do not live in a ‘democracy’. We live in a very complex system that is neo-democratic and quasi-democratic.

        Why that is difficult to see I can only speculate. Ideological impositions I suppose. It is a puzzle for me.

        It stands to reason though that a non-charismatic figure, who is not capable of presenting him and herself through the TeeVee medium and through good rhetorical skills, would not be able to get over the hurdle and simply barge in and get the presidency. So, no, a figure with little popular appeal could not *buy* the election.

        But yet money and the powers behind the money certainly have a huge influence. And there are reasons for this: money and monied power own the system. It is really *theirs* and they know it. Even a sober-headed (or especially a sober-headed) figure like Walter Lippmann clearly saw and explained this.

        • Alizia Tyler wrote, “I do not think the premise has ever been that any person with money can use that money to win an election.”

          I call BS! You can “think” whatever you like but you can’t have your own facts.

          The political left has made it perfectly clear with their rhetoric that they think money buys elections, they’ve stated it outright, and that politicians are owned by their rich corporate donors, which they have stated outright. To a Democrat, all dollars donated to Republicans are bribes and all money spent in an election to support a Republican is corrupt, Republican money is evil; on the other hand, anything that’s spent for Democrats is the will of the people and pure as the driven snow. The double standards and open hypocrisy about money in campaigns is obvious.

          • Actually there is a wide range of ideas about money and elections that circulates on the political left. Different people, coming from different schools of thought, frame it differently. An attempt to clarify, in fair terms, what the political left does say, and what in fact they do mean, without corrupting or paraphrasing what they say and why they say it, is the route to sort this issue out.

            The following site likely expresses the general opinion of the political left that you refer to.

            Here is the core premise:

            Influence of Big Money

            Today, thanks Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, big money dominates U.S. political campaigns to a degree not seen in decades. Super PACs allow billionaires to pour unlimited amounts into campaigns, drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans. Dark money groups mask the identities of their donors, preventing voters from knowing who’s trying to influence them. And races for a congressional seat regularly attract tens of millions in spending. It’s no wonder that most people believe the super-wealthy have much more influence than the rest of us.

            These are, I guess, populist or popular opinions? You can find these on the Left certainly, but this sort of analysis — this general view — can also be found on the political right and the populist right.

            It seems to me that if one were genuinely concerned about democracy, one would have genuine concerns about how, and if, ‘big money’ can subvert those processes.

            Myself, I am concerned about these things but not as a democrat as the term is defined and as you-plural define it.

            However, I do feel it important to be able to recognize and paraphrase their views in fair terms.

        • “And there are reasons for this: money and monied power own the system.”

          If by “money and monied power,” you mean the Democratic and Republican parties, then yes. They are, in essence, the gatekeepers of the system. It does not matter what other monied powers do.

          Of course, there are exceptions. Third-parties are often spoliers. And. the Republicans were not able to keep Trump out of the race in 2016. The Democrats, by contrast, were able to keep Bernie out in 2016. Whether they can (or will) do it again this time around is left to be seen.

          But, if you want to talk about “people with money,” maybe the biggest contenders in the last 30 years were Steyer, Bloomberg, Trump, and Perot. Maybe you think Perot and Trump were charismatic and, compared to Bloomberg and Steyer, I would not disagree. But they could both have been described as obnoxious, as well.

          And Perot? Had he not dropped out and come back, he could have had a fighting chance to win (in my opinion). As it was, he merely did damage to Bush.

          -Jut

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