December 31, 2019

"The 20th-century German philosopher (and victim of the Nazis) Walter Benjamin warned how fascism engages an 'aestheticization of politics'..."

"... where spectacle and transcendence provide a type of ecstasy for its adherents. Watch clips of fevered crowds, from today or the past, chanting against 'enemies of the people'; they are malignant scenes, but ones that in no small part mimic religious revivals. Critics of democracy often claim that it offers no similar sense of transcendence. The 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche castigated democracy as a system of 'quarantine mechanisms' for human desires, and as 'such they are … very boring.' If the individual unit of democracy is the citizen, authoritarian societies thrill to the Übermensch, the superman promising that 'I alone can fix it.' Yet I would argue that all of the hallmarks of authoritarianism — the rallies and crowds, the marching and military parades, the shouting demagogue promising his followers that they are superior — are wind and hot air. What fascism offers isn’t elevation but cheap transcendence, a counterfeit of meaning rather than the real thing. [Walt] Whitman understood that democracy wasn’t 'very boring' but rather a political system that could deliver on the promises that authoritarianism only pretended it would. For the poet, democracy wasn’t just a way of passing laws or a manner of organizing a government; democracy was a method of transcendence in its own right."

From "Why We Will Need Walt Whitman in 2020/With our democracy in crisis, the poet and prophet of the American ideal should be our guide" by Ed Simon (in the NYT).

What's so bad about boring? Some things — important things — you want to be boring (for example: the operation of your internal organs). I'd prefer a boring government. I don't like people getting all emotional about politics. Rather than pumping up the pro-democracy propaganda and rhetoric, why don't we give respect to boredom. Let politics be boring so our own individual life engages our interest.

I have a tag "I'm for Boring." I started that tag here (in 2014). Reacting to a WaPo columnist who fretted about low turnout in elections, I said:
Boring!... I mean hooray for boredom in politics.

It's healthy. These people who are incessantly trying to excite us about politics should feel horribly frustrated by our boredom. Our nonresponsiveness to their proddings and ticklings is the best thing we've got. No amount of money spent on advertising can move us. We've seen it all, and we've got lives to live.

Some people don't arrive at enough of an opinion to want to add their tiny bit of weight to one side as their fellow citizens determine which candidate wins. Their nonparticipation has meaning that deserves respect....

In the comments, Freeman Hunt wrote:
I have paid much attention to these elections in the past, and I see no difference that my attention has made. I therefore plan to devote very little attention to this election until it is time to vote. At that time, I will select the most boring, competent person who aligns with what I'd like to see done.

The End.
I've started a new tag: I'm for Boring. Like Freeman, I do vote, but I'm not voting because someone has excited me, and I don't think I ever have, now that I think of it. And I don't want other people to get excited. If that means they don't even vote, I respect that. Thanks for not getting excited and impulse voting. Politics should be boring. I want the government to be boring.

92 comments:

Ann Althouse said...

"Our nonresponsiveness to their proddings and ticklings..."

A subtle reappearance of the New Year's Tick.

Shouting Thomas said...

There is no crisis of democracy in progress. Just the dying print media trying to attract eyeballs with clickbait.

This era is, in fact, quiet and peaceful.

The media hubbub is a ploy to attract attention. President Trump has been remarkably successful and sensible.

I've tuned most of it out. Spent the past year becoming a competent pipe organist. I was so deep in JS Bach's Chorales and Eight Little Preludes and Fugues that I didn't have time for the braying donkeys.

David Begley said...

I’m a firm believer in the Great Man theory of history. Where would we be without Washington and Lincoln? And, yes, only Trump could do what has been accomplished.

So much today is riding on Durham and Barr. They are two indispensable men.

Tommy Duncan said...

"I want the government to be boring."

Be careful what you wish for.

--The wiretapping of Trump's campaign was boring.

--Falsification of the FISA warrant evidence was bureaucratic dullness.

--Using the IRS to tamp down conservative groups was tedious.

--The House Democrat impeachment of Trump was monotonous.

The growth of evil in government is by its very nature boring. I don't want boring government. I want competent, honest and fair government.

stevew said...

Agree ST. By the usual measures of quality of life - war & conflict, poverty, longevity, and child mortality - humans today are living in the best of times. But that is oh so boring for the politicians and media, it doesn't win voters (worse it doesn't motivate them to vote) and doesn't sell papers and clicks. I'm all in on boring (though I enjoy reading this stuff, as a form of entertainment, I guess).

Like you I spend my time on becoming better at one of the things I love to do: woodcraft. Just me, my tools, hunks of wood, and music.

Temujin said...

I always move quickly away from those claiming that Democracy is in crisis when their party loses an election. That's like saying you're Saving the Planet because you toss your plastic cup in that barrel instead of the one next to it. I'm sure The Planet appreciates that. Just as I'm sure Democracy breathes a sigh of relief when we get to see things like this staged to save Democracy. Or freedom.

Saving Democracy
Saving Freedom

There's been a lot of saving going on over the last 10 years or so.

Hagar said...

A major complaint about the Eisenhower Era was that it was so boooring!
When one looks at what actually happened during the 1950's, that was quite an accomplishment on Eisenhower's part.

Sydney said...

For the poet, democracy wasn’t just a way of passing laws or a manner of organizing a government; democracy was a method of transcendence in its own right.

Be careful with that. When politics becomes your transcendence you run the risk of making your politicians idealogues, which leads to a tendency toward authoritarianism. Witness today's progressive activists of all stripes.

MikeR said...

"Spent the past year becoming a competent pipe organist." Well done, Piping Thomas.

Tank said...

Calling for boring in the age of Trump is civility bullshit.

Boring would be nice, but the left refuses to leave us alone to be bored. They are busy tearing apart western civilization. This is no time for boring. The good must fight evil, or evil will win.

Hey, I got kind of excited there.

In the olden days, back before time began, my kind of politician was a fat turd like Jeb Bush sitting in the White House quietly dismantling large parts of the Federal Gov't. Boring. But that doesn't work (see McCain and Romney, two boring losers). We need to fight them every day. Fight, fight, fight. And have fun and entertainment with our great President.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Bleeds & leades. Leftists do change for change's sake. Clickbait.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Boring is generally good, but there are exceptions. Lincoln probably made divisiveness worse rather than better, but he could argue that postponing a crisis would have been even worse. Trump haters have compared him to Mussolini from the beginning. Big crowds cheering simplistic solutions, looking in some ways to the past (great again) rather than the future (yes we can). Trump is actually a very law-abiding president, who seems to like the USA pretty much as it is. He identifies very specific things that need work. He's more law-abiding than Obama was, and certainly more than the conspirators who have been out to get him.

Kevin said...

This impeachment has certainly been boring.

Despite the Dem's best attempt to put on a show.

John henry said...

Why is democracy a/k/a mob rule viewed as such a good thing?

Suppose we democratically voted to repeal the 13th amendment and allow black slavery? Blacks would be fully included in the vote but if they lost, they'd say "oh well, at least we were enslaved democratically" and be peaceful and accepting of it.

Right?

Democracy is bullshit and dangerous. Better than alternatives but a dangerous beast in needed of many chains and fetters.

Or founders knew what they were doing by restricting and distibuting democracy.

John Henry

Kevin said...

What would Trump's Administration have been without baseless charges of racism, and daily incitements to resist the Fourth Reich seen by leftists everywhere?

Boringly productive.

Fernandistein said...

Nietzsche and Whitman are wastes of oxygen.

Watch clips of fevered crowds, from today or the past, chanting against 'enemies of the people'

Didn't the MSM do their darndest to make sure we believed that Obummer's inauguration crowds were bigger and better and probably more fevered than Trump's crowds?

Try some image searches on [fdr crowd] etc., Mr. MSM Scribbler.

For the poet...democracy was a method of transcendence in its own right.

One good reason to ignore 'the poet', who sounds needy and nutty.

Kevin said...

Has anyone noticed the press went on vacation and is running only breaking news and year-end retrospectives?

And Trump is barely tweeting?

Unlike the media, I think we can clearly separate cause from effect.

ga6 said...

I'm for boring, I liked Ike...

CJinPA said...

Seems like a lot of pretty words providing cover for yet another writer in the NYT to call dissenting views "fascist." That cynical tactic has to undermine democracy, too, right?

ga6 said...

Hagar. I did not see your post, you were first. I am old enough to have enjoyed the 50s.

rhhardin said...

You want tracker action on pipe organs. Cool attack.

Josephbleau said...

The trope that politics is Hollywood for ugly people sucks. Politicians should be humble people who come and go without making a career of it. But once we create FBIs and CIAs this becomes a problem as regular guys get trapped and controlled. So with today’s kind of government we have to depend on experienced pols who we think are on our side. Frustration with this in practice leads to a periodic desire to create a mob to go to DC and hang them all.

rhhardin said...

The plea for boredom means women tired of being played. But they're still women open to being played, when the time comes. Rather than learning not to be played, and enjoy the comedy.

rhhardin said...

Chickbait. Just one letter away.

mccullough said...

Trump’s rallies are comedy shows. His supporters have a good time.

Walt Whitman adored Abe Lincoln. Wrote a hero worship poem about him.

The people who worshipped Obama are really upset with Trump. He makes Obama, with his weak economy and personal greed, look bad.

It’s the people who hate Trump who can’t let it be.

Josephbleau said...

I have sympathy with the joke that democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for dinner.

rhhardin said...

Women demand boring politics. You'll never guess what happens next.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

If your preference for "boring" leads you to vote for the likes of Hilary Clinton, then "boring" isn't the proxy measure of prudence and stability that you seem to think it is.

I couldn't read the article, but I'm betting that its real theme isn't what you're discussing, but is instead just another load of boring bullshit (aka crude propaganda) built on the boring bullshit premise that "we" are the informed, reasonable respecters of democracy, and "they" are the ones dangerously susceptible to demagogues, authoritarians, and crude propaganda.

320Busdriver said...

I’m pretty boring but, I just surfed here after looking for a Trump 2020 t-shirt that says “Because, #uck your feelings”.

rhhardin said...

You could get boring politics by eliminating the women's vote.

Then it's just people interested in systems against lobbyists. No feeling-battles.

mjg235 said...

The fundamental issue with these muh fascism articles is that Trump is unequivocally the product of democracy. He wasn't the result of a putsch, nor has he abused a declaration of emergency powers. Even the affectations that seem similar, rallies oh my!, are so benign that to harken back to 1930s Germany is just asinine.

Simply, his power is legitimate within the American system, and a corrollary of that is to pretend otherwise is fundamentally illegitimate.

320Busdriver said...

Ask Scott Adams what he thinks about the poet.

Roughcoat said...

At what point, I wonder, did Nietzsche's syphilis-induced dementia kick in and begin to affect his thinking and writing?

Early on, it would seem. Maybe before he contracted syphilis.

Theory: the bigger his mustache got, the crazier he became.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

A lot of corruption can hide behind "boring"

See: Hillary and Biden...for starters.

Chuck said...

A lovely post, Althouse. As the year ends, I take it as a warm and welcome reminder of what fascinated me about your blog, pre-Trump.

rhhardin said...

Elizabeth Warren Opens Casino To Help Finance Campaign (Babylon Bee)

Is that boring politics or not. Anyway it illustrates that everything about Indian culture is risible, always joke material.

William said...

I generally distrust transcendent moments, and the left's transcendent moments are no better than those of the right. The French Tennis Court oath led to the heads on pikes, the storming of the Winter Palace led to the Gulags, the Long March led to several famines and the Red Guards.....Why is a Trump rally a precursor Fascism and the Obama inauguration the fulfillment of humanity's aspirations?....Transcendent moments are more often personal and private rather than public and political. The moon landing was kind of transcendent. I could see the glamour of Obama's inauguration but, post facto, it appears rather banal like most political moments.....Judgement Day and the Second Coming will be legitimately transcendent. These other transcendent moments not so much.

rehajm said...

This impeachment has certainly been boring.

Yes. My thought was they turned impeachment into a boring, ineffective political ploy.

rhhardin said...

The constant make the left obey its own rules movement on the right is fascist.

rhhardin said...

The impeachment was an avert your eyes thing, for both sides, rather than boring.

Angle-Dyne, Servant of Ugliness said...

BB&H: A lot of corruption can hide behind "boring"

Indeed, corruption and incompetence are the default state of human governments. The droning, predictable, boring default state.

So if you want boring, you're in luck. It takes an input of rowdy energy to pull away from that condition. And it requires continued input of rowdy energy to maintain the distance from that condition. So just keep voting for boring pols (like say, Romney). They'll deliver what you claim you want.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Why do I suspect a boring Presidential candidate would be unable to would garner Althouse’s vote? Jeb Bush.

Terry di Tufo said...

I wish you had a tag for “Nietzsche Ignorance”.

narciso said...

not for allen Ginsberg, it drove him insane,

Biff said...

Although the NYT piece was not quite the usual, predictable lament that Trump Is Hitler™, there doesn't seem to be much doubt that many, if not most, NYT readers will view it through that prism.

I wonder how many NYT readers might be open to reading the same words and thinking of an Obama rally with a backdrop of columns reminiscent of Rome or the adoring, emotional, hero-worshipping gaze shared by so many of his supporters at his speeches at Grant Park and elsewhere.

rhhardin said...

Scott Adams is turning into Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

rcocean said...

Trump is President so there's a "Crisis of Democracy". Yawn. And as American philosopher Rcocean stated: "...quoting 2 German Philosophers doesn't make a stupid article smart."

rcocean said...

Titanic Female Passenger: "Isn't it wonderful we have a boring safe Captain who never goes off course, or swerves around avoiding icebergs. What a pleasant boat ride".

Wilbur said...

I'm for boring. Well, that's one way to look at it.

I hold with W.C. Fields, who said he never voted for anyone; he always voted against. This coming presidential election I may actually vote FOR someone - President Trump. But then again, I wouldn't vote for the Democrat candidate if they resurrected and nominated Abe Lincoln.

If they resurrected and nominated Cal Coolidge I'd have to think hard about it.

Francisco D said...

I'm not voting because someone has excited me, and I don't think I ever have, now that I think of it. And I don't want other people to get excited. If that means they don't even vote, I respect that. Thanks for not getting excited and impulse voting. Politics should be boring. I want the government to be boring.

Politicians have to create negative excitement (i.e., crises) to bring their voters out. Usually it's to vote against the other guy.

I was positively excited to vote for two candidates in my life - McGovern (1972) and Reagan (1984). Otherwise, it was to keep the other guy out.

Michael K said...

I am old enough to have enjoyed the 50s.

I did too but then Neville Shute published "On the Beach" and it scared me so badly that I nearly dropped out of college. We forget the menace of nuclear war that was real in those days.

rcocean said...

Get your red hot German Philosopher quotes right here. Marx, Heidegger, Kauffamn, Arendent, Schopenhauer, Get 'em while they last. 6 for $10, 12 for $15. Impress the ladies, wow your readers. They smarten up ANY article! They're going late pancakes, get 'em while they last.

wild chicken said...

Pipe organ pffft.

2020 will be the year of the accordion!

wild chicken said...

Trump sucks as a Nazi. The real Nazis had completely taken over the German school system in three years, but he hasn't done shit!

wild chicken said...

Nietszche was the bomb. So much truth!

Doesn't mean you have to act on it tho.

Tommy Duncan said...

Reagan: "The most feared words are 'I'm from the government. I'm here to help.'"

Althouse: "The most welcome words are 'I'm from the government. I'm here to bore you.'"

The government: "Shut up and bend over."

Quayle said...
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Quayle said...
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Quayle said...

Boring and competent, honest, and fair is the objective. I agree. What I don’t agree with is boring to lull the electorate asleep so they don’t see or mind the pillaging of their tax dollars taking place. I don’t want sending pallets of cash to a foreign country to be considered boring. I’m sure King George bored the heck out of his subjects. He was oppressive. Fanny May is boring stuff. It is also a gravy train for the connected. So I don’t want to be bored with Washington conspiring to pocket as much as they can without us being aware or roused.

Phidippus said...

Politics that is continuously full of interest is a symptom of a government that is too large, powerful, and intrusive into the lives of private citizens.

I'm for boring, too, if that means getting the Federal Government back to something more like the scale envisioned by the Founders.

That would break a lot of rice bowls, so I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen any time soon.

chuck said...

but ones that in no small part mimic religious revivals

Vera Brittain attended a Hitler rally and remarked on the underlying spiritual content of the event and Hitler's speech. OTOH, trying to turn Trump into Hitler is an old trope on the left despite the Democrats being the traditional US fascist party. Just because someone draws large crowds and entertains them is not in itself a marker of fascism. Were the Beatles fascists?

Narr said...

Pipe organ? Accordion?

The okarina is poised for a comeback.

ST, seriously, that's a fantastic achievement.

Speaking of boring, at Potsdam we saw Old Fritz's grave, a simple slab in a small plot, next to the smaller slabs of his whippets. The remains had a really interesting history before ending up there . . . But I digress.

He is supposed to have said that as far as he was concerned, his subjects should work, pay their taxes, pray (it was no skin off his hide) and never even be aware that there's a war on. A sort of Enlightened Boredomism policy.

I'm a vote-aginer, myself.

Narr
Run, before it turns into a Nietzschehassfest!

Narr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

My problem with boring is that it can, and did under Obama, hide massive governmental and political corruption. Obama had this boring style. He didn’t speak that often publicly, and when he did his prepared speeches were boring, filled with meaningless tropes. And about all that I can remember of his time in the White House was hi playing hoops there with celebrities and filling out his brackets. Boooring.

But that was on the surface. What was underneath was massive corruption by elected officials and government bureaucrats. The The was set by Speaker Palsi, during the first two years of his Administration, when she stated essentially that since the goal of their almost trillion dollar “Stimulus” Bill was for the government spend money to buy our way out of what we ultimately call “Obama’s Recession” (I.e. their application of long discredited Keynesian Economics), they might as well spend the money on their own pet projects, such as high speed rail, green energy, etc. And after eight years of this, the DC suburbs were now in the richest counties in the countries, and the families of top politicians had become crazy rich. Hunter Biden, being the son of SLO Joe Biden, was just one of the most inept of these family members. Spouses, siblings, and children of many of the top politicians were involved in skimming the graft, as well as their top campaign donors. The graft and corruption became epic under Obama. And it significantly increased inequality during that time.

Meanwhile the level of corruption in the government also soared. We had Fast and Furious, where AG Holder’s ATF was illegally running guns to the Mexican drug cartels. Lois Lerner and her people at the IRS actively interfered with elections by intentionally TEA party groups from gaining tax exempt status, while fast tracking opposition groups. Then the same IRS tax exempt group delivered a stack of DVDs containing tax payer information to the FBI. Right after that, it appeared, starting in maybe 2012, DAG Sally Yates modified and weakened FISA safeguards to allow the political weaponization of FISA Title VII, ultimately allowing for unwarranted electronic surveillance of the electronic communications of Obama Administration enemies, and then distribution of the results through the top levels of the White House. And then, in order to prevent Congress from finding this out, removed the DOJ (NSD) and FBI (NSB) groups involved in this illegal FISA abuse from OIG Oversight. Of course, after NSA Director Rogers discovered the illegal misuse by the Obama Administration of the FBI’s 702 access to his databases, and shut it down, the DOJ and FBI shifted to lying to the FISC to get FISA warmest aimed at their political enemies. Covering this all up, the Obama Administration set new records by its invocation of Executive Privilege to cover up even mid level corruption (both F&F and Lerner’s IRS targeting).

I think that a good argument can be made that preferring boring in politics means that you prefer Obama level graft and corruption to the screaming of stuck pigs by the politicians and government functionaries being caught who had participated in that Obama era graft and corruption. That you prefer that massive level of graft and corruption, than actually hearing about it and cleaning it up.

chuck said...

But they're still women open to being played,

Want to know who was extremely popular on the distaff side? Robespierre.

Quayle said...

But one point Freeman Hunt makes that I am starting to adopt and adapt to, I would characterize as a focus on what is right before me in politics. During the impeachment hearings, my done pointed out to me that only the members of the house had a vote. My turn to vote comes next November. Why bother staying day to day engaged until then? Maybe we’ve all bought into the idea - false idea I believe - that demonstrations and media hype are what brings change. Votes are what being change, as Hillary so rudely found out in 2016.

Bruce Hayden said...
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Bruce Hayden said...

“Boring and competent, honest, and fair is the objective. I agree. What I don’t agree with is boring to lull the electorate asleep so they don’t see or mind the pillaging of their tax dollars taking place. I don’t want sending pallets of cash to a foreign country to be considered boring. I’m sure King George bored the heck out of his subjects. He was oppressive. Fanny May is boring stuff. It is also a gravy train for the connected. So I don’t want to be bored with Washington conspiring to pocket as much as they can without us being aware or roused.”

Said a lot more succinctly than my last diatribe.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

If Hillary had not lost, our democracy would be in crisis.

That kind of corruption will never die.

Quayle said...
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traditionalguy said...

Q is anything but boring. Better pretend it is not happening.

Quayle said...

Bruce with more details, but the argument is the same.

To pillage the taxpayer you need three things. 1. Control of the purse strings of government 2. Friends to set up important and beneficially sounding businesses, quasi or phony charitable organizations and endeavors and causes, that can be the receptacles for the funds. 3. Media cover.

The media lulls everyone to sleep through creating a sense of normalcy and through distraction and diversion. “Everything you see is just fine!” “Here is another important award to those fine, noble public servants and Hollywood caring types.” (Note how it is always the same class of coastal people who give awards to each other). “Look a squirrel!” “Wow! That thing is on Fire!”

We’re told that solar power is the next most important thing we should focus on, and billions go to solar power (friend’s) companies. Then we are told that global warming is an existential problem, and billions go to friends who are working on global warming. Then we are told that fighting terrorist is critical and billions go to anybody producing a pea shooter that could fight a terrorist. Then we’re told that the banks might fail and we need to bail them out. Then we’re told that a college education is a must-have and we lend non-bankruptcy-dischargable loans to the masses.

All the while the media tells if this is all wonderful-normal.

Freeman Hunt said...

If you think Obama or Hillary were boring, we're not talking about the same kind of boring.

Doug said...

"I'm a lengthy monologue, I'm livin' like a dog ... I'M BORED!" - Iggy Pop

Ken B said...

Canada had competent but boring in Stephen Harper. Actually many of our prime ministers have been competent but boring. Now we have the legacy admission son of our last exciting PM— the one who almost broke up the country and declared martial law.

MadTownGuy said...

"Watch clips of fevered crowds, from today or the past, chanting against 'enemies of the people'; they are malignant scenes, but ones that in no small part mimic religious revivals."

IOW, "This is what democracy looks like."

Sam L. said...

Be advised that there is a town in Oregon named Boring. (I don't know why it was so named.)

Hagar said...

There seems to be an inverse relationship between the actual importance of events and their play-up in the media.

washpark said...

Boring may be the objective of politicians wanting to further atomize and disempower voters.

Hannah Arendt - “What prepares men for totalitarian domination in the non-totalitarian world is the fact that loneliness, once a borderline experience usually suffered in certain marginal social conditions like old age, has become an everyday experience of the ever growing masses of our century.”

I want reliability that when a government acts, it does so in the best interest of its clients - the voters. An engaged electorate is necessary for this type boredom to occur. Without voter engagement, those seeking further atomization of the American public march forward at an increasing pace.

walter said...

Sam L. said...
Be advised that there is a town in Oregon named Boring. (I don't know why it was so named.)
--
See Normal, Il

YoungHegelian said...

If the individual unit of democracy is the citizen, authoritarian societies thrill to the Übermensch, the superman promising that 'I alone can fix it.'

As a matter of historical fact, none of the major dictatorial figures of the 20th C promulgated this idea that they & they alone could "fix it". They all preached that they were the Point Man for the Will Of The People, and as such were the instantiation & agent of that Will. Now, did they bath in all sorts of luxuriant praise that they were the Fathers of the People. Sure. But, there was always sort of an "Aw, shucks" air when they received all that suck-up praise in public.

The guy who was probably the worst about having a Cult of The Great Leader was Mao, and he at least had a long tradition of Chinese emperors behind him that he could ape.

Bilwick said...

Is "our democracy [really] in crisis"?

M said...

Walt Whitman was a pedophile. He lived openly with a young boy. Why do leftists love boy rapists?

rcocean said...

"If Hillary had not lost, our democracy would be in crisis."

It would be unreported reality. Unlike today, where we get over-reported fantasy.

rcocean said...

I've actually become more philosophical about politics, when i realized the country actually won by losing in 2008 and 2012. Had either Mittens or Romney won, the country would now be 10x worse off. So if Trump loses in 2020, maybe we'll make it up in 2024.

Looking at it philosophically.

Lazarus said...

If politics are too boring, people turn to radicalisms just so that something might happen. Think of Britain and France between the two World Wars. The US had Roosevelt who brought enough theatricality to politics to dispel the usual boredom and offset the drive towards radical solutions. Think of it as an immunization. Hero-worship in democracies can be scary, but usually it's in low doses that may help to ward off more serious infections.

Narr said...

Normal, as the name of a place in the US of A, is usually because the schools that taught teachers "norms"--of edutheory and practice-- were "normal" schools. C.f. French Ecole Normale etc. My alma mater/employer was such a place, originally a whistle-stop well outside town.

Look what large university happens to be in Normal Illinois.

Narr
ILL leave fight songs and football teams out of it

CR said...

Yeah, I'm tired all things marketed to me as a 'crisis' of some kind.

Boring is good!

rightguy said...

Thomas's response to the current national cacophony is the best ; immerse your self in the music of J S Bach (or in my case Thomas Tallis), music that achieves perfection and imparts a sublime sense of spirituality. For me, the existence of this music is proof enough that God exists. It certainly gives you something better to listen to than the "braying donkeys".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5W67uBRZCo



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpeRajLFfs4

Narr said...

Good grief, Lazarus, do you actually think people in Britain and France turned to radicalism between the Wars because they were BORED? (And all the US needed was some showmanship?)

OK, bored with the paltry results of the great victory (over some seriously bad dudes), bored with recurrent economic and colonial crises, bored with stagnant and worse economies . . . but the majority of British and French voters were not bored toffs and poofs and delinquents, they were people who had survived the greatest self-inflicted trauma Europe had yet seen, and lost massively in it, and they supported, in the main, shifting center-left or center-right coalitions. Extremist and radical parties had their supporters, as they did in all countries. And neither Britain nor France produced any hero-worship movement (if you exclude lefty worshippers of the bandit tsar, and the even less credible fascist groupuscules).

Now, some credible historians do argue that people do radically stupid things out of boredom, but that's usually in the form of a war after the survivors of the last one (and their children) are well gone. You could argue that for 1914, in part.

And in many European countries radicals of left and right did indeed seize power between the Wars, but nobody with the sense god gave a goose thinks any of that was because people got . . . bored.

Narr
A Safe, Happy, and As Boring As You Want To Be New Year to y'all. Look west after dusk, if the skies are clear

SGT Ted said...

As usual, no examination of the Progressives own routine use of the fascist Übermensch appeals for all of their policies.

Neo-Communist Progs are always telling us that they are going to save us from rising sea levels and Climate Change and all sorts of things that are simply bullshit on stilts in an attempt to install an authoritarian government.

Mr. Forward said...

Elon Musk is boring. Right now. Headed for the DC Swamp. This could get interesting.