October 18, 2020

"... Biden might find a road map for national restoration, one that involves collective effort and a fostering of a collective American identity...."

Collective, collective

I'm reading "Could Joe Biden Actually Bring America Back Together?" by Michael Luo (in The New Yorker). Excerpt:
Twenty years ago, Robert D. Putnam, a Harvard political scientist, published "Bowling Alone," which documented how Americans had become increasingly disconnected from one another; how participation in social and community organizations, from bridge clubs to churches, had plummeted; and how norms of reciprocity, honesty, and trust had steadily declined across society.... [Putnam's] new book, “The Upswing”... argues that increasing levels of social solidarity in the course of the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, followed by a sharp decline at the end of it, largely track with a number of other important trends, including the country’s degree of political polarization.... Economic mobility stalled [in the 1960s], community and family ties frayed, and American culture turned inward, losing focus on the common good. He labels this pattern the “I-we-I” curve, arguing that America clambered from an individualistic “I” society to a more communitarian “We” ethos, only to revert back. 
In Putnam’s work, Biden might find a road map for national restoration, one that involves collective effort and a fostering of a collective American identity. “No one party, no one policy or platform, and no one charismatic leader was responsible for bringing about America’s upswing as we entered the twentieth century,” Putnam writes. “It was, instead, countless citizens engaging in their own spheres of influence and coming together to create a vast ferment of criticism and change––a genuine shift from ‘I’ to ‘we.’ ” Similarly, it is wishful thinking to imagine that Biden, or any single individual, could engender a movement for the common good. But, if anything has been made plain by the Trump era, it is that the Presidency offers a megaphone to shape the broader culture. A narcissistic President drives a narcissistic culture. A movement toward “We” in America could start with a President less focussed on “I.”

ADDED: Reading this out loud for the podcast, I realized I put it up because I thought it was bland and unbelievable. I don't think Trump makes people narcissistic, and he actually does "foster[] a collective American identity." He's all about the brand "America," and the people who like him seem quite happy and inspired about that. 

197 comments:

Gahrie said...

Did this guy write a similar article about Obama? Because Obama was famous for making it all about him.

Mark O said...

Biden is finished. Even if he wins the election, the evidence of his corruption will continue to spill out. Eventually, he will be seen to have participated in a monumental scheme to sell the office of the Vice President. At that point, even serious supporters will back away for fear of being tarred. Like Nixon, he will have to resign.
Smart people at the Dem party are weighing this now.

RK said...

A narcissistic President drives a narcissistic culture.

A corrupt President drives a corrupt culture.
A senile President drives a senile culture.
A pervy President drives a pervy culture.
etc.

Matthew Heintz said...

How does Biden bring America back together from a Federal prison cell?

gspencer said...

Q. "Could Joe Biden Actually Bring America Back Together?"

A. No.

DavidUW said...

Only Democrat presidents can ever "bring us together."

Pouring hope into Biden (Hey Fat) that he's a force for national restoration is an idea so stupid, only an intellectual could believe it.

Economic mobility stalled in the 60's because of the re-entry into the world economy of Europe and Japan post war, and stalled again with the selling off of US manufacturing and intellectual property to China as it opened its labor market.

Michael K said...

Rioting in the streets, beginning on Inauguration Day, should help unite the country.

Got it.

whitney said...

He's as delusional as some of my neighbors who have Biden signs that say "Vote for Unity". I mean I get the Democrats are united around hating white people but my neighbors are white so they're obviously confused

Marshall Rose said...

Biden won't be doing jack, win or lose, he is just a puppet who will be used as a front up until he is shunted aside.

It boggles my mind that thinking people still belive that Trump is causing the divisions in this country.

Trump is a symptom, not a cause. If the swamp destroys him, what comes next will be worse.

Ralph L said...

We'll be huddling together for warm--after we get over the Kung Flu.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Trump brings people together at his rallies.

The dems crap all over it.

Biden brings family grifting to the collective. Ignore it, and place upon old Joe your fondest wishes of togetherness.

RBE said...

Link goes to an Rental property?

tim maguire said...

His thesis depends on the acceptance of certain base assumptions that he doesn't prove.

Unknown said...

Putnam emphasized the decline of social trust, partly attributable to DIVERSITY. The intent of Biden is to fractionalize the population into voting blocs. This is a formula for perpetual internecine conflict.

But the media promote word salad about national restoration. This is dishonest.

rehajm said...

The "I" stuff is leftie projection. No President has used the "I" word more than Obama, before or after.

...and I'm studying the fundamental data along with a few others- what President Biden would do is entirely premature.

Paul said...

"Collective Identity" as in CCCP. Or maybe Chinese CCP.

Yea that's their aim.

Jupiter said...

Is that claptrap or humbug? I can't decide. Don't really care, either. Joe Biden is the pretty lady on the prow of a pirate ship. Their platform is theft, their policy is plunder. How this clown Luo could imagine anything different is beyond me. Willful ignorance, coupled with juvenile fatuity? Drugs?

Lucid-Ideas said...

America is not coming back together, and there isn't a person alive that can magically weld what's been stress fractured.

In 1862 Lincoln himself realized that the old union was dead and a new one would have to be embraced and that is also where we are now. The mask is off and the veil dropped, and we can see each other clearly.

No, an election is not changing anything. Undying enmity for the other side exists now for many of us and the war for America and it's culture is just beginning.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

From Tim in Vermont's link

But he didn’t deny it. Biden — or more precisely, his keepers — haven’t disputed the veracity of the Biden Crime Family documents, or that they are from Hunter’s laptop. They were obtained legally, after an “inebriated” Hunter abandoned the computer at a repair shop, according to the New York Post.

The usual alt-left suspects — the AP, NBC “News,” Rep. Adam Schiff — went through the tired motions of trying to blame it all on, who else, the Russians. But seriously, how many times can these hacks cry wolf, even to Wolf Blitzer?

Dementia Joe’s keepers have always understood that Hunter was capable of getting Pop into this kind of a jam. That’s how far gone Hunter Biden is.

Which is why last year they commissioned one of their Democrat stenographers with a press pass to try to inoculate the campaign. The Bidens ordered up a sob story about Hunter in one of their party organs called The New Yorker.

Amadeus 48 said...

Where-oh-where were these concerns during the Obama years, when we had another president in office who could not give a speech or make a statement without making it personal to himself? Where is the praise for Reagan/Bush/Bush? Remember, Bush 41 used sentences without subjects because his parents told him not to talk about himself.

The point is valid to a degree, but if this is the problem, the answer is not Biden-Harris.

Biden is a cheap crook who is mentally failing. Harris is a zero. So, who are we electing? Is it Jack Dorsey/Bezos/Zuckerberg or is it AOC/Bernie/Fauxcahontas?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

more soft touch bullshit - New Yorker campaign ad for the corrupt Biden family.

Wince said...

Are these people completely unmoored from reality, or just fucking with everyone's brain at this point?

What's the basis of suggesting Trump ushered in "narcissistic culture"?

Economic mobility stalled [in the 1960s], community and family ties frayed, and American culture turned inward, losing focus on the common good.

Hadn't Trump reversed that downward trend since the 1960s and against globalism?

A movement toward “We” in America could start with a President less focussed on “I.”

With only 10% held by "H" for "the big guy" in a surreptitious China deal?

alanc709 said...

Yes, nothing brings the country back together better than electing an empty suit.

Skeptical Voter said...

Codswallop. The collective change this fellow wants is that kulaks will follow the wishes of the clerisy (of which he aspires to be a member) and change to become their ideal.

On the other hand the clerisy never was big on the Elks, the Lions, the Little League or the bowling competition down at the bowling alley. They didn't much care for working on the school board, being Cub Scout den mothers or joining the local neighborhood assocation. All those things--which are part and parcel of the "glue" of middle class communities are just icky.

And as for truly narcissistic presidents, I score three out of the last four as narcissists. The apparent exception was George W. Bush--and he didn't fare so well at the hands of the clerisy, being derided as Chinpy McBushitler.

Wince said...

I take it Althouse and Meade are planning a "Couple Retreat" getaway to Texas?

Nice!

Ken B said...

Economic mobility stalled in the 1960s? Bullshit.

Michael P said...

For these people, everything is based on collective group identities.

Bob Boyd said...

A megaphone will amplify the wheezing too, so...watch out for that.

chuck said...

Notes from La-La Land written by a traveler therein.

hawkeyedjb said...

Could someone do that ? Yes. Could Biden? No. Joe has never shown leadership of any kind in his life. Expecting some kind of 'restoration' to follow the election of a grubbing, third-rate political hack is an exercise in fantasy.

Yancey Ward said...

Biden going to reunite with all the white racists who vote for Trump? Do I have that right?

Francisco D said...

if anything has been made plain by the Trump era, it is that the Presidency offers a megaphone to shape the broader culture. A narcissistic President drives a narcissistic culture. A movement toward “We” in America could start with a President less focussed on “I.”

Does this writer ever engage with someone who has a different perspective? Doe she ever really engage in critical reasoning?

If this was a student of mine, he would get a C- for the essay. The assumption that Trump is uniquely narcissistic is absurd. The assumption that Trump is shaping a culture that completely rejects him is even more absurd.

Our lefty intellectuals are remarkably childish in their thinking. That is what is shaping our culture.

steve uhr said...

Already purchased Champagne and confetti party favors for election night. Looks like a Biden blowout.

I stay with my prediction that Trump will be "locked up" by the end of 2021. Maybe he can escape to North Korea or Russia.

FleetUSA said...

It might be hard to overcome the venom spewed by the left for the past 4+ years.

Also, Biden won't have much time in office before he is carted off. He'll be 78 on inauguration and babbles frequently.

JeanE said...

Obviously Mr. Luo has never listened to a speech from a Trump rally- "we are going to", "you have built", "together we can make", etc. He repeatedly recognizes the audience, and by extension other supporters, as the ones creating the jobs, securing the peace, etc. Listening to recordings of Trump and Obama back to back make this more obvious since Obama used "I" much more often than Trump does.
Trump invites any and all to jump in and help MAGA, and he goes on and on about the "great, really terrific" work that others have done on projects x, y and z.

Truthavenger said...

Yeah, and he'll start with a national mask mandate. That will unite us.

Mr Wibble said...

No, he couldn't, and he wouldn't. The left is already talking about revenge fantasies: throwing Trump supporter in prison, "truth and reconciliation commissions", destroying the livelihoods of anyone who dared to support or work for this administration. They don't want unity, they want power, and with it the ability to humiliate and subjugate their enemies.

Temujin said...

What many on that side of things do not understand is that 'we'- the collective we- are made up of individuals who firmly believe first in individual rights and liberties. Without which, there are no rights or liberties for anyone.

'We' are strong, only as long as 'I' am strong enough to stand up and find others to join, with the knowledge that whatever we are trying to do, make better, or change, has to, in the end, work for the individual. Otherwise you're talking sacrifice to the greater good. And that line they tell you as they're about to ask you to sacrifice your life or those of your family, for their cause.

And the quick answer to the header, "Could Joe Biden Actually Bring America Back Together?" is no. Not even close.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

All the people who watch SNL, and think - ah - 'I gotta vote for the guy with more "style" - the guy promoted by hollywood. - So I can feel like I'm one of the cool kids, part of the... in-crowd. The collective. The New Yorker intellectuals.'

Yeah - here's your cool kid high style party.

Isabella DeLuca, a young female Trump Supporter was brutally beaten today at the Women's March in Washington DC...

Because she was carrying a Trump 2020 flag...

Gusty Winds said...

Ahhh yes. And we can rid ourselves of that pesky individual liberty, and replace it with nameless, faceless national mask mandates. Perhaps Old joe could outlaw designer masks and only allow the black ANTIFA model. Universities and public education, in their own self promotion and enrichment, have purposely failed to educate the Millennials and Generation Z on the evils of 20th Century Collectivism. Suburban white women from Generation X never paid attention. And Baby Boomers just resented their WWII parents while turning the ripe fruit they provided into fermented levels of intoxicating entitlement. Nothing exemplifies “we”re all in this together” like a $200k University Administrator feeding of student debt, and 2020 dormitory mandated on-line classes. All for the collectivist public good of course.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Serious question. Why would anyone think Biden has any interest (leaving aside the question of ability) in doing anything except fulfilling his desire for power. Biden has always been the mediocre appartchik filling his own pockets.

Give me a break about unifying the country. Remember Biden is the one who told a black audience the Mitt Freakin' Romney was going to put them all back in chains.

FunkyPhD said...

Bring the country back together by calling 64 million people racists. Good luck with that.

h said...

Steps toward fostering a collective American identity.

1. Refuse to concede any electoral losses (at any level).
2. Defund or otherwise weaken police.
3. Undertake impeachment against Federal judges with whom we disagree.
4. Establish a grand jury to indict Trump and Trump family members on various criminal charges.
5. Expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court.
6. Add new reliably Democratic states to the union. (DC, PR, perhaps others).
7. Eliminate the electoral college.
8. Use facebook and twitter, and perhaps google search engines to identify individuals who supported Trump, and either imprison those individuals or at least prohibit them from using the internet.

mezzrow said...

check your link, Althouse. I'll delete this.

Gusty Winds said...

I’m sure Communist China will have a big say on how old Joe brings us all together. Perhaps they’ll decrease social distancing from six feet to four so people can get to know each other in the bread lines.

Bob Boyd said...

Biden might find a road map for national restoration, one that involves collective effort and a fostering of a collective American identity.

Sounds awfully nationalistic.

Kate said...

This sounds like a conclusion that went looking for a premise.

rhhardin said...

we are disconnected, covered by Barthelme, Snow White

Dear Mr. Quistgaard:

Although you do not know me my name is Jane. I have seized your name from the telephone book in an attempt to enmesh you in my concerns. We suffer today I believe from a lack of connection with each other. That is common knowledge, so common in fact, that it may not even be true. It may be that we are overconnected, for all I know. However I am acting on the first assumption, that we are underconnected, and thus have flung you these lines, which you may grasp or let fall as you will. But I feel that if you neglect them, you will suffer for it. That is merely my private opinion. No police power supports it. I have no means of punishing you, Mr. Quistgaard, for not listening, for having a closed heart. There is no punishment for that, in our society. Not yet. But to the point. You and I, Mr. Quistgaard, are not in the same universe of discourse. Now it may have appeared to you, prior to your receipt of this letter, that the universe of discourse in which you existed, and puttered about, was in all ways adequate and satisfactory. It may never have crossed your mind to think that other universes of discourse distinct from your own existed, with people in them, discoursing. You may have, in a commonsense way, regarded your own u. of d. as a plenum, filled to the brim with discourse. You may have felt that what already existed was a sufficiency. People like you often do. But I say unto you, Mr. Quistgaard, that even a plenum can leak. Even a plenum, cher maitre, can be penetrated. New things can rush into your plenum displacing old things, things that were formerly there. No man's plenum, Mr. Quistgaard, is impervious to the awl of God's will. Consider then your situation now. You are sitting there in your house on Neat Street, with your fine dog, doubtless, and your handsome wife and tall brown sons, conceivable, and who knows with your gun-colored Plymouth Fury in the driveway, and opinions passing back and forth, about whether the Grange should build a new meeting hall or not, whether the children should become Thomists or not, whether the pump needs more cup grease or not. A comfortable American scene. But I, Jane Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, am in possession of your telephone number, Mr. Quistgaard. Think what that means. It means that at any moment I can pierce your plenum with a single telephone call, simply by dialing 989-7777. You are correct, Mr. Quistgaard, in seeing this as a threatening situation. The moment I inject discourse from my u. of d. into your u. of d., the yourness of yours is diluted. The more I inject, the more you dilute. Soon you will be presiding over an empty plenum, or rather, since that is a contradiction in terms, over a former plenum, in terms of yourness. You are, essentially, in my power. I suggest an unlisted number.

Yours faithfully, Jane

OldManRick said...

The need for this self delusion about Biden is staggering.

There will be no "national restoration" with the people who understand (with proof) that Biden is a corrupt politician. There will be no "national restoration" when Biden as promised raises taxes on well over half of Americans. There will be no "national restoration" when Biden is forced out and someone who no one voted for, Kamala Harris, is installed as President
There will be no "national restoration" when Antifa and the left celebrate their rise to power with idiotic policies like defund the police and the green new deal.

I have to assume that Althouse is just trolling her readers by posting this drivel.

pacwest said...

a genuine shift from ‘I’ to ‘we.’

Lost me right there. Does any self awareness exist anywhere amongst Democrats?

Robert Edick said...

Our new national anthem: "The Big Rock Candy Mountain."

TickTock said...

Fantasy!

Gusty Winds said...

Here’s hoping the new Biden fueled restoration and American identity includes a chicken in every pot, and free cocaine to snort off an underage Eastern European hooker’s ass.

Bob Boyd said...

The link takes me to "Couples Retreat/Lake Whitney/Adults only/Smokefree."

Expat(ish) said...

How did we get back to wee-wee?

-XC

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Why Hillarywoodlanders should be despised and discarded.

Voice in the Wilderness said...

The writer assumes that Biden will be in charge.

Tom T. said...

That analysis doesn't sound very credible coming from the people who are locking down even outdoor church services. Biden's not going to be reopening any bowling alleys.

RNB said...

"My old man named me Daniel Boone Davis, which was his way of declaring for personal liberty and self-reliance. I was born in 1940, a year when everybody was saying that the individual was on the skids and the future belonged to mass man. Dad refused to believe it; naming me was a note of defiance." -- Robt. A. Heinlein, "The Door Into Summer" (1957) Like fusion power and the superpower status of Brazil, the Era of the Mass Man is always just about to arrive.

Dave Begley said...

This is totally and completely ridiculous. Joe doesn’t inspire anyone. On top of that, he’s a criminal! He’s been bribed by foreign countries and foreign companies. He’s going to jail! Let’s be honest here.

bagoh20 said...

Biden is going to find a road map. That's would be a good step toward him knowing where he's at on any given day.

The truth is that Biden isn't going to do much of anything, whether elected or not. If you wasted 47 years of health and youth, you don't become something better in your 80's, but that's what Democrats are trying to sell you.

William said...

An article in The New Yorker telling us why we should support Biden?

And we should read this why?

Michael said...

What nonsense! This country was build on a "we" ethos; read de Tocqueville. It is the growth and intrusiveness of government that has fragmented society. What Progressives want is a "collective American identity" based on them telling everyone how to live and us all being "good little Gammas" in their Brave New World.

Original Mike said...

I'm sorry, the left can not act as they have the last four years and then turn around and say to the right, "We good now?"

Rick.T. said...

"The language used by President Donald Trump in his first ever State of the Union speech on Tuesday contrasted sharply with the words of former President Barack Obama when he addressed Congress in 2010.

"According to a transcript of the speech released by CNN, Trump referred to himself in the first person singular 30 times. He said the word “I” 29 times, in addition to adding one “me.”

"Obama, when he delivered his first State of the Union, used “some version of ‘I’ or ‘me’ nearly 100 times,” wrote Dan Gainor, the vice president for business and culture at the Media Research Center."

https://www.westernjournal.com/heres-many-times-trump-said-first-sotu-address-compare-obamas/


"In 2009, he’s the president of the United States.

"Instead of adoring his own image, Obama loves to hear himself talk – about himself. In just 41 speeches this year, Obama has talked about himself nearly 1,200 times – 1,198 to be exact. (That breaks down to 1,121 “I”s and just 77 “me”s.) And that just includes 34 weekly addresses and his seven major speeches. Count the hundreds of other public speeches and he’d be off the charts."

https://www.mrc.org/commentary/obama-speeches-have-it-nearly-1200-times

Kevin said...

Collective, collective.

Collect, collect.

Jerry Goedken said...

The first half of 20the century had WWI and WWII, no wonder the citizens pulled together. And then the Cold War certainly provided a common enemy. If Biden takes any clues from Obama (most divisive president) and the left, there sure isn’t much hope for a big kumbaya. But then there’s Robert Gates opinion on Biden, “I think he's been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Maybe Joe could stumble into a major conflict and unite the country.

Jerry Goedken said...

The first half of 20the century had WWI and WWII, no wonder the citizens pulled together. And then the Cold War certainly provided a common enemy. If Biden takes any clues from Obama (most divisive president) and the left, there sure isn’t much hope for a big kumbaya. But then there’s Robert Gates opinion on Biden, “I think he's been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” Maybe Joe could stumble into a major conflict and unite the country.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The narcissism is all on the left.

Ultimate narcissism is the idea that all elections belong to the left. If leftists do not get their way, any lie, any smear, [RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA] will do.

meanwhile


Trump Helps the Environment by Enraging Environmentalists
His plan to reform NEPA would speed replacement of old, dirty projects with cleaner new ones.

Kevin said...

Biden will restore America to normal.

Our politicians can once again take money from foreign governments without fear of prosecution.

J said...

Maga did focus on the "we" of America.Not the hubristic "I" of the experts.

Bilwick said...

You will be made to care, comrade. You may have no interest in the collective, but the collective has great interest in you.

Spiros said...

I don't think so. Collective identities are embedded in power struggles and connected to an external threat. The trauma of 9/11 or Pearl Harbor or whatever...

Americans are "fat, dumb, happy and entitled." We are not under threat.

Ice Nine said...

>>But, if anything has been made plain by the Trump era, it is that the Presidency offers a megaphone to shape the broader culture. A narcissistic President drives a narcissistic culture. A movement toward “We” in America could start with a President less focussed on “I.”<<

This commie writer - sorry, I mean "communitarian," don't ya know - has obviously never seen those articles and videos that tallied the absurdly high number of times uber-narcissist Obama said "I" in his speeches.

And is there anyone here who didn't know when he started reading that excerpt that it was all about getting to the Trump bashing at the end?

Jersey Fled said...

Sheesh. Pure wish projection with a dose of Trump hate.

wendybar said...

Joe is a joke. Anybody who is actually still thinking he is going to be president are nuts.

Darrell said...

Yeah. Let the UN run your life. What could it hurt?

Are you familiar with the old Swedish expression that Greta Thunberg told us about? Up against the wall, motherfuckers? Let's try that first.

GatorNavy said...

Putnam’s arguments would be more pervasive if he was not part of the gestalt that belittled, harassed, and disdained the mentioned bowlers, Rotarians, Knights of Columbus, veterans,etc.

Putnam further cheers on the mindset of totalitarian leftists and condemns individualism and the celebration of American exceptionalism.

papper said...

This piece misses the source of the unrest, the far left will do anything for power. The less than far left is silent. How does Biden bring healing, when he needs to get his supporters to behave? They have never accepted Trump's election and any lie about Trump is believed and any act of resistance, violance, etc. is legitimate resistance. Trump is not the source of the division. The left is

Jupiter said...

Here's some video of what Joe Biden has planned to bring America together.

madAsHell said...

Biden might find.....

.....his ass if he uses both hands.

MayBee said...

Media outlets and the entertainment field will think we are back together because they like Biden and so won't try to stir up anti-Biden sentiment every day. Much as they did with Obama.

The women's march protests will be gone, so people will pretend "women" are happy. My Anti-Trump Facebook friends will stop posting daily screeds agains the president. Twitter and Facebook have already shown what they are willing to do.

So yes, if you manage to crowd out conservative and GOP people from the public sphere, our country will look so together.

I'm Not Sure said...

"and a fostering of a collective American identity."

You mean like looting and burning things down when you don't get your way? That kind of collective identity?

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

...“We” in America could start with a President less focussed on “I.”

We in America could start with less focus on the Executive and more on the Legislature as the first branch of Government.

We in America could start with less focus on the President and more on ourselves as responsible for outcomes in our lives.

We in America could start with ...

Gordon Scott said...

This assumes that Joe remembers what book he was looking for.

bagoh20 said...

The guy who can't GARNER more than a couple dozen supporters to hear him speak is going to bring us all together?

Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to assume that from the guy who has thousands show up everywhere he goes?

Of course neither can or will, and nobody has done so other than our enemies when they attack, and I think that's the way it should be, or at least the best any intelligent person should expect.

LYNNDH said...

AH yes the Collective! Would we Republicans be pushed out of the hive? Oh yes in a heart beat.

mccullough said...

According to this theory, the US became more “I” based again in the 1960s.

Tom Wolfe’s The Me Generation.

So Biden, like Trump, is one of the “I” people.

I don’t see any national, state, or local politician who is a “we” person.

“We” people don’t go into politics. Or media. Or academia.

elkh1 said...

Do I get to decide what is "common good"? I am a common man, what is good for me is good for the country is good for the world.

What is good for me is to share the billions that Soros, Bezos, and a few dozens billionaires have, is to enjoy my life the way I want.

chickelit said...

Barack Obama was the most "I-focused" president we've had. A cursory word search for frequency of its use vs. Trump speak shows this.

The Dem mantra for years has been the opposite of e pluribus unum. They reversed our motto, "from many, one" to emphasize instead "from one, many." The way forward for Dems to win back voters like me is to stop emphasizing divisive identity politics. Full Stop.

Rick said...

Of course a 50 year trend is all about Trump.

minnesota farm guy said...

I love the pretense that Joe has the mental capacity to accomplish anything. The guy hardly knows where he is or what he is doing, certainly doesn't have the ability to verbalize a "unifying message". One reality is that the antifa types are, at best, anarchists and the last thing they want is any other vision for America than theirs. The other reality is that many on the left of the Dem party want to turn this country into something the vast majority of citizens don't want. Joe is going to be the captive of that wing of the party if elected and there is no way in hell they will allow him to read a unifying message from his teleprompter.

Whenever I see a Biden/Harris sign I puzzle over how a rational US citizen with any appreciation of what has made this country great can even contemplate voting for a senile, demented crook and a woman who screwed her way to the top. It makes absolutely no sense.

mockturtle said...

He might find a 'road map' because he can't use a GPS.

ELC said...

Biden might find a road map for national restoration, one that involves collective effort and a fostering of a collective American identity.

Hahahahahahaha. He'd have to ditch the group-identity politics his political party has been nourishing for decades now.

Rick said...

The trend does track the left's long march through our institutions. Their efforts to convince Americans to hate their country and each other are a much better explanation.

I'm amused at the very idea the left wants America coming together after spending so much effort to drive it apart, so the idea that Biden can achieve this is absurd. I suppose they mean unified by eliminating all opposition.

BarrySanders20 said...

“No one party, no one policy or platform, and no one charismatic leader was responsible for bringing about America’s upswing as we entered the twentieth century,” Putnam writes. “It was, instead, countless citizens engaging in their own spheres of influence and coming together to create a vast ferment of criticism and change––a genuine shift from ‘I’ to ‘we.’

It's nostalgia for the Progressive Era. Entering the 20th century:

Plessey v Ferguson & separate but equal
Jim Crow laws
Age of the mega-trust with Rockefeller, Carnegie, JP Morgan
Pinkertons and violent strike-busters
Lochner and little economic or working conditions regulation
Unfettered and largely unregulated immigration from Europe

Progressive reforms:
Antitrust legislation and enforcement
Prohibition
Eugenics and numerical restrictions on immigration
Women's voting rights
Income tax
Labor unions gains (but not for blacks)
Beginning of application of Bill of Rights to states

So that's somewhat moving from "I" to "we" but only selectively. WWI put an end to many of the Progressive reforms and then the Depression and New Deal expanded the "we" into welfare, Social Security, government jobs, rural electrification, etc. WWII certainly was a "we" effort, for more than WWI. Post-war building of the interstate highway system, the civil rights era, dismantling segregation, opposing communism, and our space program were all "we" type issues too. That's about as far as "we" got.

I suppose the argument is that the 60's, 'Nam, hippies, LBJ, Nixon, drugs, sex, and rock n roll started us back on the "I" path only to be made more pronounced by the personal computer. Ironic that the internet, which connects us all, seems to be driving people further apart from "we" to "I."




dreams said...

Biden isn't going to win the election, some of us never learn.

Joe Smith said...

Collectivists are socialist and Marxists.

Both should be be wiped from the face of the earth.

buwaya said...

Idiotic.

What happened was centralization, of great bureaucracies killing off organic, self organized institutions, and th including the consolidation of industries. There are thousands of examples of deliberate harassment unto destruction, under many pretexts. And this fool is one of that caste that serves, and owns, the great bureaucracies.

This cannot be fixed without a great purge, a great destruction of the institutions of the state. And, certainly, the destruction of that caste. It is an ugly thing to contemplate

mockturtle said...

There is one area of common ground between many Conservatives, especially Christians, and those of the liberal Left. It involves AI, robotics, genetic engineering and genetically modified foods. Certainly the idea of injecting humans with chips that will not only alter their brain cells but their DNA should be of concern to any 'conservative'. It is my observation that, while crying, 'Science!' when pontificating about climate change, they tend to shop in natural food markets.

tim in vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tim in vermont said...

The same way that Klaus Von Bulow finally achieved a peaceful marriage.

Michael K said...

Blogger steve uhr said...
Already purchased Champagne and confetti party favors for election night. Looks like a Biden blowout.

I stay with my prediction that Trump will be "locked up" by the end of 2021. Maybe he can escape to North Korea or Russia.


Here is what the left plans to "unite us." I assume once you have locked up Trump, and his family of course, you will come looking for those of us who supported him. As he has said many times, "They hate you. I'm just in the way."

Luke Lea said...

The causes are well known: an end to mass immigration (with its downward effect on wages) in the 1920's, followed by the Great Depression and World War II, two traumatic episodes which the whole country went through together.

Richard Aubrey said...

Skeptical Voter. The left hates intermediating institutions. Years ago, the Jaycees were forced to take in women ,instead of there being a completely functional auxiliary with whom the guys did various kinds of community service. Not much to either, any longer.
It's the left which wants to turn the Boy Scouts into junior high.
American traditions, of which one might be proud and from which one might draw strength....gone.
The individual, naked and alone before The State.

Drago said...

Spiros: "I don't think so. Collective identities are embedded in power struggles and connected to an external threat. The trauma of 9/11 or Pearl Harbor or whatever...

Americans are "fat, dumb, happy and entitled." We are not under threat."

False. We are very much under threat from internal power struggles connected to collective identity/intersectionality theories in a decades long campaign by the left to displace the very fundamental notions of individual liberty envisioned by our Founders with the neo-marxist "collective" constructs that led to mass death and misery in the 20th century.

Worse, the neo-marxists have fully aligned with totalitarian islamic supremacists & neo-Persian Empire wannabes because the enemy of our enemy is our friend...and our idiot lefties think they can "talk the islamic supremacists down" after defeating the rest of us.

They are wrong of course, but by that time it won't matter.

Collective identity politics always leads to blood. Lots of blood.

But only every single time and in every single place in human history that we have gone down that path.

The ONLY construct that figured out the correct way to go, Individual rights given by God and secured by Government, is in danger of going right down the crapper in just a couple weeks.

Drago said...

tim in vermont: "The same way that Klaus Von Bulow finally achieved a peaceful marriage."

Heh. Funny.

Michael K said...

Biden is a cheap crook who is mentally failing. Harris is a zero. So, who are we electing? Is it Jack Dorsey/Bezos/Zuckerberg or is it AOC/Bernie/Fauxcahontas?

A good question. Probably the former with the latter as front men. The superrich are not about to give up what they have to a confused old Socialist and two loonies.

I expect they will subcontract the rule to someone like this.

On May 11, Twitter announced that it had added former Google VP and A.I. guru Fei-fei Li to its board of directors, because of her “unparalleled expertise in engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence”. It was reported that Twitter took this action “as it grapples with coronavirus misinformation”.

This news immediately sparked a lot of discussion and concerns, especially among overseas Chinese people, including myself. The main reason is because of Fei-fei Li’s ties with China, or the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP. Some call her “Red Expert”.

Today I’d like to talk about some deeper ties she has with the CCP that many people may not be aware of yet, as well as why we should be very worried.

DEEBEE said...

The “we” seems like a soft porn version of communism.

‘ Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together’ The trickle down of authoritarianism

n.n said...

Diversity of the individual. Minority of one. And, We the People, and our Posterity, too? Surely, not Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Are they losing their Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic, relativistic, politiclally congruent quasi-religion ("ethics")? Qualifying monotonic change, avoiding liberalism, and discovering principles. Stop braying, start praying. Pledge allegiance to the flag, and the nation... community for which it stands. #HateLovesAbortion

tim in vermont said...

Barack Obama’s Secretary of State and Vice President were perhaps two of the most corrupt officials ever to hold office, and that is saying something.

The smidgeons are coming home to roost Barack.

n.n said...

According to this theory, the US became more “I” based again in the 1960s.

Keep women barefoot, available, and taxable in reproductive rites. Keep men around for knocking and payments.

Sexual revolution, including secular polygamy in friendship with benefits.

Diversity of color, not people. Minority of class, not individual. Pro-Choice culture and avoidance of reconciliation.

Inclusion and exclusion. In Stork They Trust.

robother said...

As I recall, Putnam then did extensive research into the causes of this isolation, and discovered the single most dominant cause, the one factor that most predicted isolation was the degree of racial diversity of the social environment. Needless to say, that data never made it into any NYT best-selling book, but leaked out in obscure social science journals.

Diversity is Strength. War is Peace. Science is Whatever the Collective Needs it to Be.

Lurker21 said...


Biden wins and eventually has to step down and the country is united -- for at least a week. Good ol' Joe.

Biden wins and (God forbid) dies and the country is united -- for at least a week. Dear ol' Joe, a heroic figure who tried to bring us together.

Aside from those scenarios, it's not likely that Biden will unite the country.

I got sick of the "narcissism" charge against Clinton, and then Obama, and I'm tired of it being thrown at Trump. In the first place, you don't go into politics without being something of a narcissist, and political life only increases the narcissism of politicians. In the second place, a degree of narcissism is not necessarily something that impairs politicians in their work. It gives them a thick skin and prevents them from getting discouraged. A degree of narcissism may even be something that appeals to voters and wins support for a politician. Third, the demands of office and the necessity of winning reelection help politicians to discipline themselves and contain and control their narcissism. The clinical narcissist or malignant narcissist who truly can't redirect their energies into productive activity doesn't last long in politics. Finally, it's hard to believe that Joe Biden isn't high in narcissism himself. Whenever he goes off-script, he's talking about himself, often boasting or inventing things. Don't believe the "compassionate, empathetic, caring" propaganda. Biden isn't as much of a scene-grabbing showman as Trump, but he's at least as egotistical as any politician.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

So at this late date the New York Times is talking about bringing the country together? THE New York Times; the party organ of the Democrat party who not long ago embraced identity politics?

Isn't this a bit like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Humperdink said...

Having been called a Nazi, a racist, a bigot, and a homophobe by Joe's team, I am going to join him after he wins. Right.

RK said...

David must be on Cloud 9 with all the views his Airbnb is getting today.

Not Sure said...

if anything has been made plain by the Trump era, it is that the Presidency offers a megaphone to shape the broader culture.

What's been made plain by the Trump era is that The Swamp is a real thing, and that its denizens have "six ways to Sunday" to fuck with any mere president who presumes to think he's the boss of them. The megaphone--mainstream and social media--belongs to entirely to them.

Also made clear is that about half the country longs for a neatly pressed empty suit to serve as Head of State without giving a shit about who is Head of Government. Presumably because the swamp fauna fill that role to the satisfaction of those who don't like to perform unpleasant tasks like thinking seriously about the world.

Paco Wové said...

YO ALTHOUSE WRONG LINK

BUMBLE BEE said...

Response to this? Joe has "People" to help him move about on stages. I'd venture to say, without his meds he could hardly blow spit bubbles. He is racing into senility. His "handlers" know it so they shovel the cash. You know ... the thing. We don't need a new identity as Americans. What we need is Thunder Dome. Joshua Wilson is bringing it.

gilbar said...

Mr Wibble said...
The left is already talking about revenge fantasies: throwing Trump supporter in prison, "truth and reconciliation commissions", destroying the livelihoods of anyone who dared to support or work for this administration. They don't want unity, they want power


think Mr Wibble is making it up? listen to what steve uhr said...
I stay with my prediction that Trump will be "locked up" by the end of 2021. Maybe he can escape to North Korea or Russia.


They WANT UNITY; to get That; all they have to do, is imprison/Kill all of us

Lurker21 said...


Your URL goes to Airbnb, not The New Yorker, and the version of Luo's article I found at The New Yorker website doesn't contain your quote. It's truncated, but one can search for the quote and find it elsewhere on line. Maybe the article was originally web content and then expanded for the magazine and reposted at a different URL (in any case, not at Airbnb).

In any case, the problem with the Putnam argument is that the Populist/Progressive movement had strong roots in middle class urban and rural America and was accompanied by unifying nationalistic sentiments. Today's progressives seem more intent on dividing groups and discouraging national pride. The progressivism of a century ago managed and suppressed the inevitable conflict between national elites and the average citizen. In today's political climate, that latent conflict is obvious and unavoidable. It's not going to go away just because Uncle Joe is elected.

Matt said...

Check out John Doyle on Youtube. This is exactly what he says will happen with Biden victory - the media starts calling for us to forget the divisiveness of the past years and that we all need to come together as a nation. Its a good vid.

Meanwhile, I still want nothing to do with people who think a man in a dress is a woman. So calls for unity won't work on me and will piss me off even more than trying
to type this comment on my phone.

TJM said...

China Joe sold out the US long ago.

Roughcoat said...

Pardon me while I reach for my Browning.

unknown said...

I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot of commentary lately that subtly acknowledges the insanity of so much of anti-Trumpism, while at the same time trying to blame Trump for it. You see, he says inflammatory things and so on. This piece accuses Trump for the narcissism of others, presumably including his critics. Everyone is narcissist because of Trump, it’s his fault. Obviously this is a kind of an apology for the anti-Trumpers having gone so insane, although it lumps them into the mass narcissists in the country, and it’s all Trump’s fault.

But yes there’s a concession in there. It’s not pretending that anti-Trumpers are just good faith honest people who genuinely fear for the health and safety of Republic. It’s progress.

hombre said...

How does anyone imagine anyone but a hopeless partisan can take this shit seriously? In a word, dude,”no!”

Biden is a doddering dunce. He will not even bring his own party together. He was never meant to. He is the emissary of the worldwide swamp sent to occupy the “not Trump” slot for a few moments.

He will be accepted by the leftist elites and their useful idiots. Normals will never accept him. He is a swamp creature - a crook!

Achilles said...

""... Biden might find a road map for national restoration, one that involves collective effort and a fostering of a collective American identity....""

A Biden presidency means War.

Period.

I will never accept a child groping rapist who has been caught red handed selling influence to foreign countries for billions of dollars.

Most importantly Biden was part of a conspiracy to destabilize and unseat a lawfully elected president. He lied to courts in order to get warrants to spy on a political opponent.

If he does not respect our elections and our laws I will not respect it when he wins.

A biden election means Fuck you. War.

Big Mike said...

Obviously Mr. Luo has never listened to a speech from a Trump rally- "we are going to", "you have built", "together we can make", etc.

What JeanE commented.

Mr. Luo, and by extension Althouse and other consumers of what passes for journalism in The New Yorker, the Times, and the Washington Post, have deluded themselves into thinking that, following a Biden victory thanks to news suppression, the Russia hoax, turning a blind eye to rampant corruption, and the foolish belief that the riots and arson might go away if Democrats are appeased, that the people on the right side of the political spectrum are going to just shrug their shoulders and join hands for a chorus of “Kumbaya.” Yeah, right.

If Althouse really is thinking of voting for Biden in hopes that the Democrats will become less extreme, then perhaps the Republicans ought to have a lot of rioting and looting and arson of their own, in hopes that she and her feminist sisters will vote Republican to get us to be less extreme also. Imagine bidding for the female vote by competing riots.

tim maguire said...

Mark O said...Biden is finished. Even if he wins the election, the evidence of his corruption will continue to spill out.

So much the better for Kamala Harris.

Mikey NTH said...

The guy that was focused on "I" was Obama.

LakeLevel said...

My plan for unity if Biden is elected is: if any Democrat talks to me on any subject, anywhere, I will respond with the words "Go fuck yourself you racist piece of shit", because, you know, that's what they've been saying to me for 4 years.

Mikey NTH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gospace said...

Ah, but what allowed the formation of the bowling leagues and community organizations? Blue laws, limited operating hours. When i was a kid- you bought everything you needed by 6 PM, or you waited until the next day. Needed something on a Sunday? Too bad, wait until Monday. Want a haircut on Wednesday? Nope- all the barbers were closed. They were out golfing with the doctors- most doctors offices were also closed on Wednesday. Back in the small town I graduated HS in, there's a 7-11 open 24/7/365. Only one. The town council objected when they opened- but discovered there were no laws or regulations against it. So they passed and enacted the laws and regulations to limit retail operating ours- but had to grandfather the 7-11 in.

Almost no one has fixed shifts anymore. Tough to plan on everyone showing up every week on Tuesday night when people's work hours are shifting from week to week. Very few work on a fixed schedule. Those of us that do, like me, often have schedules like 4 to midnight with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off. We have 5 plant operators- none of us have the traditional weekend off. And none of us want rotating shifts where we could sometimes get one. The rise of 24/7/365 commerce is one factor in the disintegration of community organizations.

There are other factors. Take youth groups- there used to be all kinds of them. And schools cooperated with them, seeing the groups as adding to the student's learning and experience. Now- schools see them as competitors. Especially school sports. Used to be if you had to leave practice early for Scouts or 4H or CYF or other organized groups it was fine. Now- if you leave practice for any reason- you're off the playing schedule for that week. Period. The really unfortunate thing is this is supported by many of the sports parents who think THEIR kid is going to be the one who ends up as a star quarterback in the NFL or with a full ride scholarship to a prestigious university. Over the last 20 years in my small town exactly zero sports stars have gone to college on an athletic scholarship.

Sally327 said...

A collective identity sounds scary. Very Borg-like, resistance is futile, you will be assimiliated.

tim in vermont said...

Cyrus Vance Jr has every intention of finding a way to imprison Trump when he leaves office.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Economic mobility stalled [in the 1960s], community and family ties frayed, and American culture turned inward, losing focus on the common good.

Economic mobility stalled because the 1964 "immigration reform" law brought in massive numbers of unskilled immigrants, who provided such competition at the low end that, unless you went to college, you couldn't get ahead. Biggest deal of the Trump Admin: once he was elected, illegal "immigration" rates dropped significantly, because people believed that Trump would be serious about kicking them out. And, as a consequence, income for non-college educated Americans immediately started to rise

"community and family ties frayed" because the Left religiously attacks both

"losing focus on the common good", because identity politics and Democrat Party success require that society be in a constant war of all against all

So no, none of that can be healed with a Democrat in charge, because their agenda requires all those bad things

walter said...

"An idea" in action:
Andy Ngô
@MrAndyNgo
·
1h
Masked violent far-left militants attack conservatives at a small San Francisco gathering yesterday against Big Tech. Philip Anderson (@TeamSaveAmerica
) had his teeth knocked out in an unprovoked punch to the mouth.

stevew said...

Having seen him recently and learning about his 47 years in "public service" I conclude that Joe Biden is mentally and politically incapable of leading America, in any way and direction. Full stop.

Unknown said...

Come on people now
Smile on your brother
Everybody get together
Try to love one another
Right now

Yep, that'll work....

John Fisher said...

Ann is working her way up to her Biden vote. We'll see some more posts like this in the next two weeks.

LA_Bob said...

Didn't a lot of people think the same about Obama in 2008? And what did it get us?

TRUMP!

This academic is dreaming. Surely he's wrapped up in his own ("I") concept of the "common good". Meanwhile, in the real world, we have

Right to choose vs right to life
Right to keep and bear arms vs no guns
Right to free speech and expression vs right to express the correct sentiments

etc, etc, etc.

Go ahead, Mr Putnam. Unite us! Find our common ground!

In CHAZ we trust!



tim in vermont said...

"I stay with my prediction that Trump will be "locked up" by the end of 2021. Maybe he can escape to North Korea or Russia.”

For what crime exactly? Or that hasn’t been worked out yet.

Meanwhile we have a mountain of evidence of Biden corruption corroborated from multiple sources, maybe the biggest scandal in US history, and the newpapers are giving it a good leaving alone because some newspaper printed a story with anonymous sources who don’t even work in government any longer, but sources involved in the whole Russia hoax.

When partisan heat fades and historians are examining the documents from this era, the Obama administration is going to go down in history as the most corrupt to date.

tim in vermont said...

"I conclude that Joe Biden is mentally and politically incapable of leading America, in any way and direction.”

He flunked third grade.

Lurker21 said...

Biden has just finished a populist stemwinder in Iowa. The word "codswallop" comes to mind. It's just so much posturing as a man of the people and talking about things that he hasn't done in 47 years in Washington and isn't going to do if he gets elected.

It isn't politicians who unite the country. It's crises that make it necessary for people to pull together. If an incoming president's predecessor is so hated or despised, the new president can make himself into a unifying figure. Roosevelt over Hoover. Reagan over Carter. But even with Bush massively unpopular, Obama never became a unifying figure to a significant degree. While Trump has a lot of Washingtonians against him, he isn't so unpopular with the country at large, that Biden, if elected, would be able to convincingly play a unifying figure.

tim in vermont said...

"If he does not respect our elections and our laws I will not respect it when he wins.”

I used to think this stuff was rank bullshit, but now I see your point. I don’t think our government, nor our other institutions are legitimate anymore. There is so much money floating around, that they can always find people to take it. Like Doc Mike said, look at Drudge, they bought and paid for him, and shut him up. You can get the same stuff from the Google News front page as you can get from Drudge.

pacwest said...

China Joe sold out the US long ago.

In all fairness Biden was just making hay from a system set up decades ago. The Clintons found a way to corrupt the process for their own personal gain. Suprise! Why shouldn't he be able to get a cut? Everyone else in his circle was.

Russia, Russia. idea that either China or Russia would favor Trump as POTUS is ludicrous. Why would Russia want missiles moved into Poland, or pushback on making Europe dependent on Russia for its energy needs? Why would China want a US President increasing tarriffs and decoupling industry? Seems more logical that Russia would be backing a no fracking in the US policy. The China policies of Trump explain themselves I'd hope.

This is where the Democratic Party is today. Any semblance of rational thought or desire for the 'common good' is nearly nonexistent.

Saudi Arabia isn't going to commit to the Abrams accord until after the election and who could blame them. Here's a prediction: If Biden wins we will be in a war in less than 6 months. It will help to 'reunite' the country. An oldie but a goodie.

In partial the 2020 election is about whether you want Mideast peace or more turmoil. Steve uhr's prediction of gulags if Biden is elected seems a bit extreme to me, but I do give it some credence in today's political climate. CRT is just the warmup.

The left has been indoctrinated and found it good. The right's forced indoctrination may be slightly distasteful, but is for the country's own good, Winston.

wishfulthinking said...

Not only is Biden mentally and politically incapable of leading anything and anyone especially America, but he is corrupt to the marrow. Add to that all the visuals of Joe unable to keep his hands off children and the credible rape accusations,and we have someone who belongs in jail and not in the White House. I find Biden's use of his own son as a mule to carry out all his illegal transactions absolutely execrable.

wildswan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

How is he going to do all that from the Senate? Must be the other Biden..

ALP said...

I cannot get my head around the idea that people actually take their cues on how to be, how to act, how to feel - from...the POTUS? Is is a male thing because all presidents have been male so far? Can someone explain because I sure don't understand it.

bagoh20 said...

"Just an idea."

"Antifa Knocks Out Black Man’s Teeth for Holding Free Speech Rally While Calling Him ‘N’ Word"

https://www.breitbart.com/law-and-order/2020/10/18/antifa-knocks-out-black-mans-teeth-for-holding-free-speech-rally-while-calling-him-n-word/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+breitbart+%28Breitbart+News%29

Ken B said...

The drug warrior boasts of his harshness. https://twitter.com/richimedhurst/status/1317888323835363329 He exempts his own family of course.

LA_Bob said...

Lurker21 said, "...In any case, the problem with the Putnam argument is that the Populist/Progressive movement had strong roots in middle class urban and rural America and was accompanied by unifying nationalistic sentiments."

Yep. I don't think we can say, "unifying nationalistic sentiments" enough. They're a huge factor in our history, culminating in our stupendous victory in WWII. After that, we thought we could do anything. Populate outer space. Control the weather. Defeat poverty and guarantee endless prosperity without inflation. Contain communism. Conquer disease. Trust in government soared and American pride swelled to American hubris.

Then the Vietnam War dragged on and brought riots, the War on Poverty brought little success and much bureaucracy, the Sexual Revolution helped to weaken family ties, and inflation brought higher prices and higher taxes (as higher wages pushed people into higher tax brackets). A president was shot to death, another resigned in disgrace, and still another stumbled through increasing crises and "malaise". Race riots became muddled with progress in civil rights. Trust in government plummeted. The second "I" wave of Putnam's curve was a reaction to disillusionment with government, not a tribute to Reagan's election.

America got a second wind with the fall of the Soviet Union and the enormous economic growth of the 90's. But now there is little unifying sentiment, and the rise of identity politics encourages internal strife. The Great Recession was yet another reminder that government is a poor steward of the economy.

pacwest said...

While I'm thinking of it there are parallels between China and Antifa. China might be willing to start a war in Taiwan if they feel they are losing power. The left is willing to riot for the same reason. In both cases it is a "if you don't give us what we want we make your life miserable" policy. While I still think Soros is Antifa's major funder China has to be more than happy about the riots.

I think Althouse is a woman of her word, she won't vote for either candidate. She's not trying to rationalize a vote for Biden, she's trying to convince herself that she can't vote for Trump.

"Make the world go away" or Can't we all just get along don't seem like reasonable ways to justify a vote to me, although I understand the sentiment. If only.

Amadeus 48 said...

I think Althouse mentioned in the comments the other day that she plans to sit out the vote this year. We on Team Trump respect and admire her and would appreciate getting her vote.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

There would be very little President Biden, even if he were to win. President Harris would unite us in misery that our dumber neighbors had fallen for such an obvious bait and switch.

Static Ping said...

There are ways to bring Americans back together. One way is to have the leaders of all sides encourage everyone to see themselves as Americans first and to understand that differences in opinion are in good faith and that we should all try to understand why we think the way we do even if we do not agree. This also involves an unflagging commitment that Constitutional rights are not negotiable, especially the First Amendment guarantees.

Doing this would be a violation of the de facto Democratic Party's platform for the past several decades, so good luck with that.

It would be a lot easier to obtain power and then revoke the citizenship of the deplorables, whether officially or unofficially, such that being an American requires thinking and, more importantly, voting a certain way. Simple. It won't end well for anyone, but simple.

Matt Sablan said...

Is Biden trying to make a collectivist nation the bad kind of nationalism or the good kind?

Bruce Hayden said...

“There will be no "national restoration" with the people who understand (with proof) that Biden is a corrupt politician. There will be no "national restoration" when Biden as promised raises taxes on well over half of Americans. There will be no "national restoration" when Biden is forced out and someone who no one voted for, Kamala Harris, is installed as President
“There will be no "national restoration" when Antifa and the left celebrate their rise to power with idiotic policies like defund the police and the green new deal.”

First, and foremost, the Democrats retain their power primarily by dividing people. Everyone who voted for Obama was probably expecting the racial healing that he was promising. Nope. He made racial strife worse by pushing progressive policies such as diversity, white privilege, etc so hard. They bring their different constituencies behind them in support by making them fearful, esp of conservatives.

Something else to keep in mind. Likely the only way for the Dems to win the upcoming election is through industrial level cheating. We are already seeing evidence of this with hundreds of thousands of wayward ballots. COVID-19 was utilized to abrogate voter reliability measures across the country through mandated mail in voting (which is of course idiotic). The Dems have tens of millions of dollars in war chests across the country, and thousands of lawyers signed up, to litigate the various state elections. Have they ever thought about the effect of the disenfranchised majority, if they win the Presidency and the Senate this way? Do they really expect sixty plus million Americans to just sit by and accept their country, and their democratic traditions, being swept away by rampant Dem cheating? My view is that there is no coming together, if the right side of the country sees the left having cheated their way to power.

Lurker21 said...


If you talk to American Studies professors, the people who are supposed to be studying the country, a "collective American identity" is a thing of the past or a fiction or a scam perpetrated by the White male elite. If Biden or the left tries to form or reestablish such an identity it's going to be done by activism that excludes and antagonizes half the country. So no, Biden won't reunite us.

stevew said...

"Ann is working her way up to her Biden vote. We'll see some more posts like this in the next two weeks."

No doubt. Since stating unequivocally that Biden's full throated reference and embrace of the well known "some very fine people" lie when he announced for POTUS was disqualifying she has been rationalizing her coming vote for Joe.

Trump's so-called "weirdness" and mean tweets are all they have to convince themselves to vote for Creepy Corrupt Clueless Joe Biden. Never mind that he calls Trump, the sitting president, a "clown" and that he blames him for all the Covid deaths. Both truly disrespectful and indecent things to say.

Not quite TDS but certainly an irrational hatred of PDJT.

Ralph L said...

Obama never became a unifying figure to a significant degree.

He was doing OK with most people until Gatesgate.

Sebastian said...

Yes, Biden could bring American together gain, by crushing the deplorables. Then we'll be all together. Question is whether it's America that will have been brought together.

Ann Althouse said...

Why are people bullshitting about how I'm going to vote. I've said quite clearly that I'm abstaining. That means, I'm not voting. Give it a rest.

pacwest said...

Why are people bullshitting about how I'm going to vote.

Because as the owner of a successful blog that often mixes culture and politics you hold at least some amount of persuasion. You knew that already I think. You should be flattered.

stevew said...

Clearly I don't come here often enough, I missed that news. My apologies.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Here's the right link.

Althouse is too busy.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Why are people bullshitting about how I'm going to vote. I've said quite clearly that I'm abstaining. That means, I'm not voting. Give it a rest.”

I think that it may be because you talked yourself into voting for Crooked Hillary four years ago. That arguably wasn’t as critical of an election as the upcoming one. Most everyone knew, by that election that she would likely just perpetuate Obama’s failed policies, while just taking a bigger cut of the spoils. She was corrupt to the core, but probably less interested in destroying the country as Obama had been.

Now, the masks are off. We see that the Dems are perfectly willing to burn the country down for power. They are willing to destroy our democratic norms through massive voter fraud to gain power. That the big Internet media companies are willing to do what it takes to destroy Trump and the Republicans, knowing that if they don’t succeed, they are going to pay a massive price for their active interference in the election. Ditto for the MSM. Biden is maybe, if possible, even more corrupt than Clinton was. Which, given that he has long been taking bribes from our biggest geopolitical enemies, assures that he is eminently blackmailable by them. That means that he will very likely never be in a position to stand up to put America’s interests ahead of those of these countries. On the flip side, Trump has done a remarkable job as President. The middle and lower classes did far better under him, than under Obama. The economy boomed. The world is very obviously a safer place, thanks to his reimagining foreign relations. We are finally pulling out of our longest war. All despite being under constant attack by an evil consortium of Deep State bureaucrats working closely with Dem party leaders and the MSM.

As noted above, this is very possibly the most critical election of at least the last several decades, and maybe our lifetimes. It is bad enough that you are seriously considering sitting it out. Worse though, is the fear that you would vote to destroy the country we have, by voting for Biden/Harris, not knowing who your vote would put in power.

RMc said...

"Could Joe Biden Actually Bring America Back Together?"

I guess helping to usher in a totalitarian state does count as "bringing America together"...

Gregg said...

Where is that that post of yours about people who choose not to vote? Several years ago, you posted something to the effect that it was ok to not vote if you simply didn't care, or are ok with whoever gets in, or wanted to defer to others to make the choice.

We non-voters have to come out of the closet. I'm tired of being told I must vote because people died for the right. I can appreciate having the right without the need to exercise it. I'm 100% ok with whomever becomes President, even Kamala---great entertainment if she eventually obtains office!

Biff said...

Skeptical Voter said..."On the other hand the clerisy never was big on the Elks, the Lions, the Little League or the bowling competition down at the bowling alley. They didn't much care for working on the school board, being Cub Scout den mothers or joining the local neighborhood assocation."

Bingo. After spending several generations undermining and even demonizing the largely working class and bourgeois institutions that forged ties across communities, it seems that some of the perps wonder what comes next. Perhaps they can find some old Komsomol manuals to provide some ideas.

Maillard Reactionary said...

Collective effort & collective identity. Sounds good, if vaguely familiar. What could possibly go wrong?

Separately, congratulations to Althouse on her courageous decision to not make up her mind. Would that more would choose that difficult path.

Michael @10:06: Agree fully. It's against the Leftist's religion to acknowledge it, but our society works best (with allowance for inevitable human imperfection) when people are left alone to pursue their own self-interest, with the role of the Government limited to ensuring people's safety, liberty, and property. That prosperous equilibrium is what we might today call an "emergent phenomenon" of a complex and chaotic system. The right-thinkers always imagine that they can improve it, (which in practice means improving their own situation at the expense of society as a whole), but they always wreck it instead.

Roughcoat @11:46 AM: I just took delivery on 200 rounds of .308 for my Browning. Thinking about it gives me a nice, warm feeling.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If Democrats are rewarded for the last 4 years, there is nothing left to unify.
Let it burn.

Joe Smith said...

"I'm not voting. Give it a rest."

And that is your right.

But for the next four years nobody will take anything you say about politics seriously.

And whoever wins...not a single complaint.

"What did you do in the war, daddy?"

Sebastian said...

"Why are people bullshitting about how I'm going to vote. I've said quite clearly that I'm abstaining. That means, I'm not voting. Give it a rest."

OK, fine. Is it bullshitting to ask for good reasons? (If they appeared in a thread I happened to miss, apologies.)

Many of of us realize that, in light of your disqualifying of Joe at an early stage, and the mounting evidence of his corruption, senility, and capture by the left, you could not vote him. Good.

But why not vote for Trump? Sure, he's not boring, and Althouse wants boring. But I mean seriously, why? As I "bullshitted" in some previous comment, I can imagine not voting for Trump on judges and abortion, though even that seems weak at this point: worst-case scenario for proabortionists is kicking things back to the states, most of which will legalize. If it's just abortion ueber alles again, OK. What other reason is there to not vote for Trump? His economic record is decent, foreign policy not objectionable to Althouse, pro-strong-defense plus no crazy wars, he's mostly fighting the good fight in the culture war and pro-American in a way I think AA seems to like--and he'd be a balancing force to a Dem Congress, another consideration that in the past seemed to matter to Althouse. Why not this time?

The rationalizing side comment that an all-Dem government would squelch the pro-violence left wasn't meant as a serious reason--was it??

Ann Althouse said...

Sorry about the bad link. Wasn't trying to promote that vacation spot! Don't worry, I'm not going there.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Wikipedia marks 27 BC as the end of the Roman Republic, when Octavian was granted titles including Imperator.

Will historians 200 years hence mark 3 November 2020 as the end of our Republic?

Will they be able to identify "Althouse's vote not cast" as the butterfly wing not flapped that failed to fend off the storm?

tim in vermont said...

I wasn’t going to vote until all of this credible and specific evidence of Biden corruption came to light, and the press has completely ignored it. I think it needs to be aired, and the only way that happens is if Biden loses. Then there will be long think pieces in the New York Times about his flaws, and maybe the Democrats will have a reckoning.

It’s sad to me that you decided, on the first day, after reading the New York Times and Washington Post’s take on it that it was “dubious.” Talk about dubious, the New York Times is blaming it on Russia while the FBI has the laptop. No demands from them that the FBI clear it all up, because they know what the FBI has probably already found. They are real, and they are spectacular.

Remember tack in early 2019 when the press was allowed to write honestly about Biden? This sounds kinda Mafia like to me.

The day the Bidens took over Paradigm Global Advisors was a memorable one.

In the late summer of 2006 Joe Biden’s son Hunter and Joe’s younger brother, James, purchased the firm. On their first day on the job, they showed up with Joe’s other son, Beau, and two large men and ordered the hedge fund’s chief of compliance to fire its president, according to a Paradigm executive who was present.

After the firing, the two large men escorted the fund’s president out of the firm’s midtown Manhattan office, and James Biden laid out his vision for the fund’s future. “Don’t worry about investors,” he said, according to the executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation. “We’ve got people all around the world who want to invest in Joe Biden.”
- Politico Europe.

I know people always say it, but this is not a normal election.

ColoradoDude said...

Althouse used the word “if” once in her piece on Biden. @25% of commenters used that word.

Are Americans a bit “if-ish” about Biden ... or Althouse?

Martin said...

Yes, Trump is trying in his clumsy way to foster a collective American identity.

The dominant wings of the Democratic Party, the media (news and entertainment) and most of academia are detrmined to destroy any vestige of commonality that they haven't already buried, and replace it all with an intersectional galaxy of fine-grained victim identities that can all go to war with each other.

The Joe Biden of 5 years ago would probbaly have had trouble with all that, but his cognitiive decline and desire for power will make him go along with something I doubt he even understands.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, and Obama might become a lightworker and cause the sea levels to recede as well.

What would be the evidence that Biden would do any such thing?

Admittedly, there must be some,because Upon Further Review, there is even less chance we would see that from Kamala.

mockturtle said...

Althouse, are you not voting for President or not voting at all?

Grumpy Mathematician said...

Biden is a demented version of Spiro Agnew. Amazing to see how far we've come in 47 years. To quote Mort Sahl, "Darwin was wrong."

Is Biden as corrupt as the Clintons? Probably not, but close enough for government work.

Grumpy Mathematician said...

Biden is a demented version of Spiro Agnew. Amazing to see how far we've come in 47 years. To quote Mort Sahl, "Darwin was wrong."

Is Biden as corrupt as the Clintons? Probably not, but close enough for government work.

Grumpy Mathematician said...

Biden is a demented version of Spiro Agnew. Amazing to see how far we've come in 47 years. To quote Mort Sahl, "Darwin was wrong."

Is Biden as corrupt as the Clintons? Probably not, but close enough for government work.

MadisonMan said...

Biden is going the bland Tony Evers route. I'm not buying it.

walter said...

Gadfly will mail you a "Don't Blame Me" bumper sticker.

tim in vermont said...

https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/10/18/73-year-old-donald-trump-supporter-assaulted-in-douglas/

You find these every day, but I don’t see a lot of Biden supporters getting assaulted.

tim in vermont said...

"Althouse, are you not voting for President or not voting at all?”

She’s afraid that liberals will get mad if Biden doesn’t have complete control of the graft.

Unknown said...

He's all about the brand "Trump", not "America".

walter said...

Blogger Unknown said...
He's all about the brand "Trump", not "America".
--
I hope you got paid for that.

NotWhoIUsedtoBe said...

It's hard to keep things together without the out-group. You would actually have to lead.

Danno said...

Collective???

Isn't that a thing that Bernie Sanders was kicked out of because he wouldn't do his share of the work?

Big Mike said...

@Danno, no, that was a commune.

Lurker21 said...


Compare with EJ Dionne's column this weekend: "How Joe Biden - yes, Joe Biden - could revolutionize American politics."

This like those "counterintuitive" articles The Atlantic (and before them The New Republic) used to publish in an earlier stage of wokedom, articles with titles like "How John Kerry could turn out to be a great secretary of state" or "Believe it or not, Joe Biden really is really smart."

Dionne's view is that a Biden win could bring back "labor liberalism," like in the Roosevelt-Truman era. The country is too different from what it was 70 years ago, and Biden and Harris and their party have been in thrall to financial interests for too long for that to happen. Look to SEIU to benefit, but whether industrial and trade workers will get more from Biden-Harris is a lot less likely.

Sam L. said...

No, not Joe. Ain't NO WAY.