Election Day 2018 — Free Fire Zone

For those who live in the US, today is election day. Control of Congress is up for grabs, as well as many state governorships and legislatures. If you’ve been following the news — it’s rather impossible to avoid the subject — you’re aware of what’s going on.

Most of you know — and don’t like — your Curmudgeon’s political views. We stated them rather clearly in Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber?

We no longer have Democrats like John Kennedy or Republicans like Barry Goldwater. The parties have changed. In Open Letter to the Republican Party, #2, we discussed the rise of the “social conservatives” in the GOP, and said:

There was a time when the social conservatives were mostly Democrats. After they were “betrayed” by Johnson’s support for civil rights legislation, Nixon reached out to them and attracted them to the GOP (see Southern strategy). Barry Goldwater was appalled at what was happening. At one point he made a statement (regarding abortion and the nomination of a Supreme Court justice) that summed the whole situation up: “Every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.” See Conservative pioneer became an outcast. But Goldwater was ignored, and now the party is run by people he described as a “bunch of kooks,” (same link as above).

The migration of the “social conservatives” from the Democrat to the Republican party has left the Democrats free to move to the Left. As a result, in the race for almost every significant office, the choice seems to be between imitations of Elmer Gantry and Vladimir Lenin.

So now your Curmudgeon is going to vote. As we do, we dedicate this post to another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. You can talk about the elections or whatever else you like. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

Okay, we now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2018. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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25 responses to “Election Day 2018 — Free Fire Zone

  1. I really hope the election doesn’t turn into a free fire zone…

  2. One outcome is certain – if the Republicans prevail, Trump will take all of the credit; if they lose ground, he will spread the blame far and wide.

  3. Derek Freyberg

    @Douglas E:
    To quote, or perhaps misquote, Rabbi Hillel: “This is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary.”

  4. “We stated them rather clearly in Creationism or Socialism: Which is Dumber?”
    The correct answer of course is: the guy who asks this question. This is confirmed by

    “the choice seems to be between imitations of Elmer Gantry and Vladimir Lenin.”
    Dear SC, being a social conservative a la Goldwater is no excuse for stupidities like “Clinton is an imitation of Lenin”. Had the latter had the chance the first would have ended in Lubyanka pretty soon, after Bernie Sanders and me – Sanders being an imitation of Russian mensheviks (not that I expect you to have any idea who they were).
    It’s not that I dislike your political views. Were they backed by facts they would be respectable (Eisenhower and indeed Goldwater for instance; surprise, I’m not a fan of Kennedy at all). Unfortunately that isn’t any more the case with you as with Smalltown Sewer and co.
    Ah well, someone that hopelessly devoted to Free Market Superstition (and then even getting his hero Adam Smith wrong) can’t be expected to do any better.

  5. Michael Fugate

    Democrats in the US on the left? of what? Obama a socialist? Is it April 1st? Only because the Republicans are so far on the right edge, that any position has to be to their left. I think the big difference is that Democrats tax and spend and Republicans borrow and spend. Budget deficits always go up during Republican control – how could they not. Not only that, Republicans will always give away government assets to their friends who will claim not only to be self-made (while on the public dole) but will promptly give elected/appointed officials a job upon leaving office. If money can be made off it, Republicans will try to give it away to their friends for nothing. Trees, oil, minerals, social security, education, prisons, military hardware – you name it.

  6. https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2018/11/05/pre-election-billboard-ads-portray-donald-trump-as-second-coming-of-jesus/


    I believe in freedom of religion for everyone, not just Christians. I believe global warming is caused significantly by humans. I believe coal is dirty, I believe the EPA’s job is to protect our air and water, not to protect jobs. I believe women should have the right to abort a non-sentient non-person fetus. I believe Trump is a compulsive liar. Therefore I’m voting Democratic. Today marks the beginning of the end of Trump Insanity.

  7. Can’t argue too much against social democracy as almost everything great about ‘merica is socialistic and all the bad is mostly capitalistic. So yes creationism is st00pid in the extreme as it requires zero thought or reasoning.

  8. @Matt
    I believe the EPA’s job is to protect our air and water, not to protect jobs.
    I think you mean “profits”, not “jobs”. Coal miners are going to lose jobs, in any case. To automation or some other efficiency in minng, if not to the use of better energy sources.
    But anyway, protecting jobs, or protecting profits, no matter how you cut it, that is socialism.
    As are protective tariffs.
    And pork barrel spending, which every one is in favor of (when it is in my backyard).
    “Socialism”, in the USA, is practically meaningless, other than a scare tactic.

  9. SC, assuming you’re a fiscal conservative I’d point out that when the White House and Congress aren’t the same party the government spends a lot less money.
    Nice essay though. It is regrettable that American politics doesn’t lend itself to different parties as a parliamentary system would. On every shelf in an American store there are multiple iterations of every product, yet for government we get a gruesome twosome.

  10. That’s true, Troy. When one party runs the whole show, it’s easier to get something new going. But it’s also devilishly difficult to terminate a pre-existing program. The GOP tends to increase defense spending, but they can’t easily cut “social” spending programs, and vice versa. So spending seems to always increase.

  11. When I joined the Republican party in 1981, it was about “fiscal conservatism and small government”. The DEMS were tax and spend.

    When I left the Republican party the day after election day, 2016, it had become the party of “big business and big (evangelical) religion”. Oh, and getting a moron to give them the votes of the uneducated so they can further their goals.

  12. The current issue of The Economist presents a study on “How to Forcast an American’s Vote

    The strongest factor, by far, is religion.

  13. It’s now just past midnight EST and it is apparent the Democrats will take over the House, but not the Senate.

    A few predictions —
    1) We will not hear much more about “THE CARAVAN”.
    2) The Dems will be dumb and select Pelosi as Speaker, giving Trump all the fodder he needs to get re-elected in 2020, unless prediction #3 bears out:
    3) Mitt Romney will challenge Trump in 2020 primaries, unless Trump is impeached and convicted. (Not likely, since the Democratic House realizes the Republican Senate will not convict.)
    4) Mike Pence will mount a coup from within, declare the Constitution null and void, and institute a Christian Theocracy with laws based on Leviticus.
    Anyone promoting or even mentioning evolution will be summarily executed.
    5) The Sensuous Curmudgeon will abandon his Florida C.I.T.A.D.E.L. and emigrate to Canada, where he will continue his blog in French to avoid the Pence hit squads, knowing that Pence and his minions will never be bilingual.

  14. From the relatively safer vantage point of Europe, it would seems that the USA doesn’t actually have any ‘politics’ but instead a bizarre circus of tribal partisanship. Democrats who think Republicans are Fascists, or Republicans who think Democrats are Communists, all sound infantile and downright ignorant to my ears.

    Europe, to its cost, knows (or should do) what fascism and communism actually mean in practice. The last thousand years of European history can indeed be succinctly summarised as Gibbon’s “register of crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind” through the institutions of monarchy, imperialism, absolutism, and above all, nationalism.

    The European Union, despite its many flaws, is an enlightened effort to learn the lessons of the past and ensure peace and equitable prosperity for the future. It is a work-in-progress under threat at the moment, but with the mid-terms appearing to put a little restraint on the mendacious moron in the White House, that threat is somewhat reduced, and for that we should be grateful.

  15. This from 2005 (and Bill Clinton doesn’t come out of it very well either): http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/Fascism_Then_Now.html

  16. @Megalonyx
    Many non-Americans do not realize how a significant portion of the USA has not adopted a culture of democracy. For generations they have resisted the concept.

  17. Thank you for that link, Paul Braterman. Food for thought.

  18. Karl Goldsmith

    Ray comfort and Ken Ham are teaming up at the Ark Encounter for Easter. I’m confused by the pricing, a couple is $249. “A family is defined as 3 or more in a family group, not groups of non-related people.” A family ticket is $499, you better be getting as many family couples as you can in that vehicle, as you are already paying for two.

  19. Michael Fugate

    I am wondering – has anyone ever said no to Trump? He acts as if it has never happened – at 72, I find this remarkable that it never has.

  20. @retiredsciguy

    Dude, Nancy Pelosi has been the most effective Speaker of the House in the last three decades.

    (WaPo: “In the four years she held the gavel [of Speaker of the House], many scholars of Congress say, she consolidated and wielded the power of that office more effectively than anyone in modern history.”

    Newt Gingrich: “Nancy Pelosi is a very smart, very tough person who has earned her position by just brute hard work, by applying her intelligence and by building a network that has sustained her for a long time.”)

    She successfully mitigated Dub’s last gasp legislative efforts, and shepherded Obama’s ACA, Recovery Act and the rest of his legislative agenda into law.

  21. (I detest premature launches, and they’re ALL my fault.)


    To continue, briefly — as Minority Leader, Pelosi has also successfully blunted most of Trump’s legislative efforts.


  22. Isn’t it her capabilities that mark her as a target?

  23. I canvassed for Beto O’Rourke for a day (knocking on doors and handing out polling site information to voters). Sadly, Ted “thoughts and prayers” Cruz won by 60,000 votes. The progressive voters block will not win the 2020 presidential election , so Beto is not the right choice for the dems in 2020. An Elizabeth Warren campaign would be a worse defeat for the dems than Michael Dukakis’s run at the WH. Who is the democratic candidate for 2020 and a run at Mr Marmalade?

  24. Dear Curmudgeon. The Voting Rights Act, once revoked, prevented the voter suppression going on across the south and mid west. All americans have the right and duty to vote and making it hard for one portion of society to vote and partisan gerrymandering are the primary things keeping the GOP in power. But they are losing ground in the House and in numerous local elections. Comment above points out that the GOP is so far to the right that EVERYONE else is to the left. “Thoughts and Prayers” from Ted Cruz should be an insult to all americans . Apparently some are too primitive to recognize the scam.