The Cosmic Aardvark’s Political Free Fire Zone

The Cosmic Aardvark

There’s going to be a Presidential election in the US this November, and Wikipedia already has an article on it: 2020 United States presidential election.

The Republicans have Trump, and the Democrats are in the process of selecting their candidate from a group of … well, most of the leading candidates admit to being either socialists or outright commies. It’s hard to believe, but that’s the situation.

We know some of you are thrilled, and you know how tolerant your Curmudgeon has been, so make of it what you will. That’s why we’re declaring this post to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

If you don’t want to talk about presidential politics, that’s quite understandable. Would you rather talk about Brexit? Go right ahead. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, whatever — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. But beware of the profanity filters.

Okay, the comments are open. Have at it, dear reader.

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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30 responses to “The Cosmic Aardvark’s Political Free Fire Zone

  1. Douglas Swartzendruber

    “most of the leading candidates admit to being either socialists or outright commies” – really? Bernie is more accurately defined as a social democrat and Warren is just confused. The rest of the crowd doesn’t fit your generalization.

  2. How do you define a Democratic socialist?

  3. You said that some of the Democrats admit to being socialists or “outright commies”.
    I am not aware of anyone who admits to being an outright commie.

  4. Douglas Swartzendruber

    Social democracy is a political, social and economic philosophy that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented economy

  5. TomS said: “I am not aware of anyone who admits to being an outright commie.”

    Sanders spent his honeymoon in the Soviet Union. Does that tell you anything?

  6. “most of the leading candidates admit to being either socialists or outright commies”
    Just like evilutionists have to be atheists.

    @RonL: “How do you define a Democratic socialist?”
    Any Democrat candidate who refuses to lower the taxes of our dear SC and subsidize the Pentagon and NASA at the same time.

    One of our dear SC’s tactics to defend the values of Enlightenment (as interpreted by himself) is calling everyone closer to the center than hardcore Republican rightwingers a socialist.

    @DouglasS: not that our dear SC ever will (want to) understand, but “socialist” is an umbrella-term. Sanders belongs to the same moderate branch of socialism that has turned the Scandinavian countries in a hellhole of social equality, with awful things like affordable health care, cheap education, low rates of teen pregnancies, low crime rates and hence small prison populations and high social mobility. That branch is called social-democracy indeed. The two most important other branches are (in that order) communism and anarchism. All three movements have the same source, which can be found in ….. Enlightenment. They all strive for the kind of social equality as described above. That’s to say, commies pretend to, because whenever they got the chance they realized the exact opposite.

  7. Michael Fugate

    This is Sander’s 1988 marriage when the USSR was effectively dead. And he was mayor. So every time a politician visits a monarchy or a human rights disaster like Saudi Arabia that defines his or her politics?

    I would really like to see the US Constitution followed not worshipped. If its meaning were followed we would have revisited its faults and made concrete changes. We would have equality under the law for everyone not just rich white straight protestant males. Every attempt to guarantee basic rights is fought tooth and nail. We have people trying to restrict right rather than expand them – we should amend the Constitution to guarantee food, education, housing, heath care, etc. If can call it socialism, but I call it being human.

  8. Douglas Swartzendruber

    Hmm – we honeymooned in Michigan, so I am a Wolverine? We lived in Buenos Aires, so I am an anarchist? I spent considerable time in China and in Hong Kong, so am I a communist or a capitalist? I’m a Hoosier, so I am a pretty good basketball player? At least the last one is right!

  9. Michael Fugate

    I honeymooned in San Francisco and attended the Pride parade – good thing I am not running for office….

  10. I believe our Curmudgeon has thrown a flash bang grenade into the room just to stir up the dust a little. “Well, most of the leading candidates admit to being either socialists or outright commies. It’s hard to believe, but that’s the situation” says he. No, they’re socialist democrats say others.
    I think Bernie would have one heck of a time getting his social programs through a GOP controlled Senate. But that said I find his largesse and goals for big government to be non starters. And if it is any of the democratic candidates who is closest to BEING a communist, it’s him. His appeal has grown as American society continues to stratify according to income bracket. And the GOP base looks to be very solid in the highest rungs of income and wealth. Same with Ms Warren but she’s fading away. I’m not really Joe Biden is a dedicated public servant and a moderate. But he seems to be losing out based on having played a few too many seasons in his long, very long career. So he’s gone I think. Thanks Joe !!! Well done sir..
    Buttigieg will get savaged by the GOP haters and the attacks on his marriage will be really ugly. Unless he’s got some major ‘nads I don’t think he can win against the personal attacks that are starting now that he’s a player. A VP ? yeah maybe that. He’d secure a big block of voters with his intellect , character and life choices whether the conservatives like that or not. But he’s a VP type guy right now. Klobuchar ? Who’s that ? Steyner ? “Who dat” as they say in New Orleans. Which brings us to Mike Bloomberg. Self made multibillionaire (as in 50 billion net worth estimates). Experienced politician.
    Supports GUN SAFETY a major voter issue. Supports domestic government programs . good appeal to black American voters, supports better health care support for working class Americans. I want to know more because I believe he will appeal to more moderates. A candidate who can appeal to from the middle to the broadest overall spectrum can win. And you can bet Bloomberg is going to make a HUGE splash when he participates in the next democratic state campaign..
    We need competitive trade agreements, immigration laws enforced to include removing illegals and preventing their entry (we have fair quotas now). We need better schools and education, taxes for the rich which are currently outrageously unfair to the working class, the working poor and the disabled.
    So its Bloomberg for me until IO find out things I don’t like. The power elite know that Bernie, or ANY of the other democratic candidates cannot beat the GOP supporters EXCEPT for Bloomberg. He can appeal to moderates and rightists who like the idea of better social services , education, public works and a higher minimum wage ($15) more than demonizing Hillary and Obama or berating public servants and government employees , all of whom form a block of voters consider to be overpaid, inefficient or “Deep State” players.
    So the Trump knows who will vote for him. And the rural landed class and the wealthy and there “patriotic” and the military and the etc…allow him to carry parts of the west and midwest and mountain states.
    Its getting interesting for sure.

  11. @SC
    It does not tell me that he admits being an outight commie.

  12. Michael Fugate

    I guess Bloomberg is your guy, if you aren’t a minority or woman who needs frisking. He seems to take a personal interest in both, but for different reasons….

  13. @FrankB
    closer to the center than hardcore Republican rightwingers a socialist
    In which case, he would see no difference between the Democratic and Republican candidates.

  14. I admit that I do not understand USA politics, but my impression is that the Democrats will try to choose the candidate with the least chance of defeating Trump.

  15. I heard that the trumpkin lied again! The Mexicans are NOT paying for the idiot wall, but tax money from the USA citizens are paying….big surprise!!

  16. that’ll be Bernie Jim. But I think the moneyed interests will go for Bloomberg who is the biggest threat to Sanders. He’s just crazy.

  17. Douglas Swartzendruber

    OW – sadly I think that your analysis is fairly accurate. Among the gaggle, Pete is my choice. However as expected, nearly on cue, the homophobes, right-wing-nuts and the always-right evangelical Christians are already attacking him not for his policies but for his sexual orientation. Too bad such haters don’t see adultery in the same light as they see homosexuality – 3X serial adulterer in the White House, 4X and likely sexploiter recipient of the Medal of Freedom, and on and on.

  18. As always, I start with definitions. “Social democracy” is I think well defined by Douglas S above. It has its problems, too – all of them do – but it is not a one-size-fits-all recipe for totalitarianism. The main problem it faces is maintaining a balance between public weal, an efficient economy and government, and real choice. “Socialism” is classically defined as “the doctrine that all means of production, distribution and exchange should be inalienably transferred to common ownership”. The “all” in that necessarily implies totaIitarianism. I know of no serious candidate for President of the US who would subscribe to that.

    “Communism” is variously defined, sometimes as indistinguishable from “socialism”, but in the Marxist classical definition, as “the common ownership of all property whatsoever”.

    It only remains to remark that attempts at either socialism or communism or both have accumulated the largest body counts of all systems of government or polity in all history.

  19. DOJ Gave $500K Grant to ‘Hookers for Jesus’ Instead of Established Anti-Trafficking Groups

    The Department of Justice (DOJ) is under fire after a whistleblower complaint revealed that the department had given over $1 million in anti-human trafficking grants to two groups, Hookers for Jesus and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation, rather than highly recommended, established groups.

    Hookers for Jesus is a Christian organization founded by former sex worker and sex trafficking victim Annie Lobert in 2007. The organization operates Destiny House, a one-year safehouse program for sex-trafficking victims and women who want to leave sex work, as well as a number of other outreach programs.

    (The Lincoln Tubman Foundation is owned and run by a Trump donor.)

  20. Robert van Bakel

    I believe Bloomberg is the best bet to beat Trump. But I must ask the Curmudgeon; don’t you think even a ‘card carrying Communist’ would be better than Trump?

  21. @Robert van Bakel
    I wonder how much it would affect acceptance of T if it were discovered that he was a “card carrying commie”. We who are familiar with “explanations” know how flexible they can be.

  22. @DaveL: “As always, I start with definitions. “Social democracy” is I think well defined by Douglas S above.”
    It’s a bit abstract and complicated, but far from a bad one. It helps to look at some history, especially the last quarter of the 19th Century. The key figure is the German socialist Eduard Bernstein. He was the first to swear off the proletarian revolution and (I quote Wikipedia) to insist that ” the best strategy was patiently building up a durable social movement working for continuous nonviolent incremental change.” To this I add that Bernstein did so via parliament, ie the democratic rechtsstaat. The German SDP is his political heritage. The Russian counterparts called themselves the mensheviks, which (with anarchists) were the first ones to enjoy a free stay in Felix Dzherzhinsky’s Lubyanka, that pearl of the bolshevist revolution.
    Now our dear SC asks: “What does this tell you?” Apparently he thinks the place where you celebrate a honeymoon more important evidence than a political progam, voting behaviour and a political career of many decades. Anything goes when you want to throw political enemies of communism on the same pile as that communism. Like I wrote, it’s the equivalent of Darwin results in Hitler.

    “Socialism” is classically defined as all means of production, distribution and exchange should be inalienably transferred to common ownership”.
    That’s one definition, but nowadays not very useful anymore. It would mean that President Maduro of Venezuela is a socialist (I suppose our dear SC would agree), who doesn’t give [bleep!] about social equality and only enriches his cronies, who all belong to the politico-economical elite. At the other hand it would mean that China, with its undeniable communist background, is not a socialist state.

    “to remark that attempts at either socialism or communism or both have accumulated the largest body counts of all systems of government or polity in all history.”
    The first part doesn’t make sense, not even under your own definitions. All communist nations practiced the socialist doctrine as defined by you. Your mistake begins with

    “the Marxist classical definition, as “the common ownership of all property whatsoever”.
    That’s not a marxist doctrine at all. You won’t find it anywhere in his writings. Marx propagated what you call the socialist doctrine. You fail to recognize the historical development I sketched above.
    The distinction is pretty simple. Marxists (bolshevists, leninists, trotskists, maoists, whatever they call themselves) hold three more doctrines: after the Proletarian Revolution the state embodies the working class; common ownership of all means of production, distribution and exchange hence means state ownership; hence marxists strive for revolution (ie violently overthrowing the government).

    As “common ownership” can mean a couple of things it’s useful to specify your classical definition of socialism a bit. State socialism is “the doctrine that all means of production, distribution and exchange should be inalienably transferred to state ownership.”
    There are two reasons for this. The most important one is British Labour Party, who strived for exactly this (think of the state owning coal mines) but cannot be called by any means totalitarian (though I have no doubt our dear SC would welcome it). One of the biggest leftist parties in The Netherlands, the Socialist Party, also promotes state ownership. For the sake of clarity: I dislike it thoroughly. It’s one important reason I’ve never been a fan of Jeremy Corbyn.
    The less important reason is that people inspired by anarchism, like me, oppose state ownership of all means of production, distribution and exchange as much as our dear SC does. Not the “all” necessarily implies totaIitarianism. In fact “a lot” is already sufficient, but only in combination with state ownership. Correct is “state ownership of lots of means of production, distribution and exchange results in totalitarianism”. I’d even add “invariably”. In fact it doesn’t matter whether the ones who hold the state power are socialists or not (again I refer to Maduro).
    Modern examples of practizing common ownership of such means, while rejecting state ownership are parts of the Occupy Movement and Extinction Rebellion. Your definitions, while they have their merits, fail to recognize these phenomena.

  23. Charley Horse X

    It will take an enlightened reality recognizing majority of voters to remove the dictator and conspiracy theorist creator and believer Trump from the White House. I have less reason today than I had in 2016 to think such a majority exists. Russia will again play huge part in convincing voters to cause great harm to the USA. A ticket that I think might work is Bloomberg and Warren.

  24. Our Curmudgeon introduces an IFFZ:

    Would you rather talk about Brexit? Go right ahead.

    Indeed I would–but still more would I rather not clutter a thread devoted to the Cosmic Aardvark (Blessed Be!) with so vile a topic. So I have instead appended some comments on that topic to where it was previously discussed on the Super Bowl Free Fire Zone, where it may be more readily avoided by readers with no interest in it.

  25. Appended such comments, that is, as are “awaiting moderation”. But when have I ever been moderate about anything? 🙂

  26. Michael Fugate

    I am in for Bernie. Why? Republicans will label every Democrat a socialist – even Clinton, Obama and surprisingly Bloomberg – this only shifts everything farther to the right. If “center” moves any farther that direction we will fall off the edge.

  27. Michael Fugate

    I can’t imagine what current Republicans, if they had any understanding of history, would make of Eisenhower. Can you believe that there was time when politicians planned for a future with infrastructure and social services? Hard to believe.

  28. According to the arguments of our dear SC president Eisenhower also would be a communist.

  29. It just occurred to me that our president ought to change the spelling of his name to use a “metal umlaut”: “T̈”.