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I have a healthy attitude to guilt. I feel it when I know I've done something wrong, or may have done something wrong. I don't feel it as a default  because there's always someone out there to whom one's very existence is an offense. Nothing to be done about that.

So no, I absolutely refuse to accept this idea that the Left is somehow suddenly guilty for this bizarre swing to the right. If people are going to vote in a way that pleases Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Stephen Bannon, Mike Pence and all the other uglies, it's not my job,it's not anybody's job,  to replace the conscience they may lack and desperately coax them into voting for a sane person. First of all, that assumes that these voters inevitably were stupid or evil, and I'm trying not to do that; the furthest I will go is to say that whatever motives they may have had,  their vote has indeed strengthened stupidity and evil. Secondly, Clinton was by no means an optimum candidate, but if that's what people claim they needed to lead them away from voting for a shyster, their hearts belonged to the shyster anyway. He'd have won the election if  Jesus Christ, that well known middle eastern immigrant revolutionary hippy communist, stood against him.  The people responsible for a course of action are those who carry it out and those who condone it.

The blame and breast beating is ridiculous.  


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 22nd, 2016 11:21 pm (UTC)
In the case of the US election, we'll never know, as there was no left-wing candidate on offer apart from Jill Stein. Hillary Clinton isn't of the Left in any meaningful sense, nor is the Democratic Party as a whole. Had the Dems chosen Bernie Sanders we might have seen a different result. But as I said, we'll never know.
Nov. 23rd, 2016 07:46 am (UTC)
True. I suppose when I say 'The Left,' at the moment, I am using a very broad brush! I would have been very interested to see what Bernie Sanders could have made of this election, but I don't think even he could win favour in the eyes of a public who want the pussy-grabbing tax-dodging wall building racist to be their president. Still, as you say, too late now. Do you think there will be many moving over the border?
Nov. 23rd, 2016 08:18 am (UTC)
I wouldn't assume that voters necessarily wanted Trump but they very much didn't want Clinton (the popular vote notwithstanding). I know Republicans and Democrats who voted third party, as I would have done. I wish that more progressives would get behind a plausible third party candidate as they do here.

I had hoped that this election might result in some serious liberal soul-searching but so far I'm not seeing much of it except among Democrats who didn't vote for Clinton and who want a Democratic party that represents the people it's tradionally represented. I think Sanders would have been a strong candidate.

Canada has strict immigration laws. They can't come here unless we want their skills and we don't take refugees from the U.S. We used to take draft dodgers but those days are gone.
Nov. 23rd, 2016 09:39 am (UTC)
Well, I think soul-searching is required all over. But though I can see major problems with HRC ( I approve the idea of a Trump/Putin accord on ending the bombing of Syria, though I expect them to pull out leaving basically a colossal hole in the ground for extremists to fight over) I cannot understand the scales that weigh her against Trump and find her the greater evil.

I do not know enough about US politics to understand how third parties fare, or can get traction.
Nov. 23rd, 2016 10:26 am (UTC)
Changing the debate rules would be a good place to start. Ross Perot received 19% of the vote in 1992 because he was allowed to debate. However, the cynic in me says that debate rules and electoral systems only change when it benefits the party in power.

I wasn't persuaded by the lesser of two evils argument in this case (with apologies to Chomsky). Sometimes all you have are two evils. I won't elaborate since Clinton didn't win and what she might have done is no longer of any concern. I will say though that every voter puts different things in the scales when they weigh up the candidates and my priorities when I vote aren't the same as anyone else's. Foreign policy is at the top of my list these days because if we blow ourselves up, none of the other issues matter.
Nov. 23rd, 2016 11:27 am (UTC)
I am in the unfortunate position of having no-one who truly represents my concerns at all. Even the Green Party started talking about building on green field sites, more to sock it to the man with his golf clubs than for any other reason. I talked to them about bat corridors and the like, but it became clear that they were adopting socialism rather than environmentalism as their policy stance, and for that,I might as well stick to Labour - who have also failed entirely.

Edited at 2016-11-23 11:27 am (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2016 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm not the sort of person - and I've sensed from your posts that neither are you - who can find a perfect fit in politics. I can't support a party or a belief system and adopt all of its positions as many people seem able to do. There's always something that has to be given up or set aside when I vote. I admire the clarity that others have but I don't share it. I could never ascribe wholeheartedly to a party platform.

The Greens. Well, I belonged in the late 80s when I thought there was some hope for the party. As far as environmental issues are concerned, I prefer to go with local problems. Much of our provincial and national policy is misguided and likely to remain so.
Nov. 24th, 2016 08:49 am (UTC)
You are right. I can't find that perfect fit. The whole party thing just doesn't work for me.

Here, many look to Canada as a bastion of democracy and tolerance; I can't work out whether that's because to a large extent it's true, or because J Trudeau is good looking with a tattoo and can box. The fact that all our candidates seem to register somewhere on the scale of ghastly/unprincipled/incompetent probably plays a part.

Nov. 24th, 2016 09:18 am (UTC)
The tattoo has become controversial but then I knew it would. Long story. :D

We're fairly civilised, for the most part, though not without problems. I think we complain a lot because things are pretty good. Living next door to the US hasn't changed us as much as I used to think it would. Our outlook, our sense of humour, our values, are different from theirs. My brother said the other day that we have a clear vision for how we want the country to be and I think that's true.
Nov. 24th, 2016 09:29 am (UTC)
How do you define the difference between the Canadian sense of humour and the US one?

GB considers its sense of humour as some kind of iconic national trait. I don't know how real that is.

The clear vision for our country is not so evident, because we've been fed a lot of misinformation and mythinformation for decades. I suspect for a while at least we're pretty lost.
Nov. 24th, 2016 09:41 am (UTC)
It's hard to describe humour. Maybe - satirical, self-deprecating, often understated, ironic. Somewhat Nordic and a little off-the-wall. Some American humour is like that, too, but it depends on the regional ethnic mix.
Nov. 24th, 2016 02:02 pm (UTC)
I thought about the question after I asked you, and realised how odd it was, how difficult the description of humour really is.

Satire seems utterly moribund in the UK at the moment,
Nov. 24th, 2016 09:30 pm (UTC)
It's a case of 'you recognise it when you see it'.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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