13 votes

Moderate Republicans can save America

35 comments

  1. [31]
    Keegan
    Link
    This concerns me as it will only lead to further polarization between left and right, which we certainly do not need.

    In 1960, less than 5 percent of Democrats and Republicans said they’d be unhappy if their children married someone from the other party; today, 35 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Democrats would be, according to a recent Public Religion Research Institute/Atlantic poll

    This concerns me as it will only lead to further polarization between left and right, which we certainly do not need.

    16 votes
    1. [16]
      vord
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The polarization will continue so long as the right stonewalls every reasonable policy, while rallying their base with bigotry. The article's "left vs right extremist" argument is completely...

      The polarization will continue so long as the right stonewalls every reasonable policy, while rallying their base with bigotry.

      The article's "left vs right extremist" argument is completely disingenuous....The right extremists are using white-supremacist rhetoric, killing people, and spreading outright lies and propaganda....They also happen to be dictating policy, installing judges, and engaging in voter suppression and election fraud. The left antifa is being "intolerant of intolerance," and isn't even killing those that are literally advocating for killing non-whites. The fact that articles like this paint them as comparable is disgusting.

      The "left" doesn't even actually exist in America on the national level. Bernie Sanders is much closer to the center than the other Democrats and Republicans paint him.. Of the Democratic candidates for 2020, only a handful (including Warren and Sanders) could be considered centrists. The rest of the Democrats are right-wing authoritarians, much like republicans of the 80's and 90's. The Republicans, by contrast, are now largely far-right authoritarian extremists. The "moderate" Republicans might as well be far-right extremists as well, as long as they continue to vote in line with the extremists.

      The only way polarization will end is with the elimination of the two-party system, and that the new parties get labeled appropriately. Based on current political behavior, the new parties would be Lefty (for the Greens) Centerist (for the "left wing" democrats), Neoliberal (for the rest of the Democrats and the moderate Republicans), and Borderline-Nazis (the rest of the Republican party).

      40 votes
      1. [15]
        somewaffles
        Link Parent
        Where do you see people who have strong anti-abortion, tougher immigration, loser gun control, etc views falling on this? I don't agree with any of these and am not here to argue those points but...

        Neoliberal (for the rest of the Democrats and the moderate Republicans), and Borderline-Nazis (the rest of the Republican party).

        Where do you see people who have strong anti-abortion, tougher immigration, loser gun control, etc views falling on this? I don't agree with any of these and am not here to argue those points but I can see the argument to be made for these sorts of things.. I know people who have these sorts of views and I wouldn't call them "borderline-nazis" as much as I disagree with them, but they wouldn't really fall into any of these categories.

        8 votes
        1. [9]
          NaraVara
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          At this point, if you're voting Republican you're enabling a anti-democratic and fascistic agenda. There isn't even any "borderline" about it. The Germans post WWII had a word for people who...

          At this point, if you're voting Republican you're enabling a anti-democratic and fascistic agenda. There isn't even any "borderline" about it. The Germans post WWII had a word for people who didn't agree with Hitler or the Nazi party, but were willing to partner with them to get other deals they wanted: Nazis.

          Edit: At some point, the party of "personal responsibility" is going to need to take responsibility for how their selfish and misanthropic actions continue to imperil the republic and damage their own fortunes. Instead it's the party of wishful thinking and lame attempts to absolve themselves of accountability for the messes they keep putting us in.

          22 votes
          1. [4]
            somewaffles
            Link Parent
            If we are talking presidential or even congressional, I could agree with that. But any elections below that, I think you're being a bit extreme. I certainly don't agree with everything that every...

            At this point, if you're voting Republican you're enabling a anti-democratic and fascistic agenda. There isn't even any "borderline" about it.

            If we are talking presidential or even congressional, I could agree with that. But any elections below that, I think you're being a bit extreme. I certainly don't agree with everything that every democrat I've voted for says and that is how most voters are. Most of my conservative friends do not agree with everything their politicians believe but there is usually enough policy they like to get their vote. This idea that "all republicans are nazis" is as authoritarian as you are claiming them to be.

            8 votes
            1. vord
              Link Parent
              The national level is a trickle-up system...without support of the Republican party at lower levels, it's harder for them to game the entire system in their favor. I'm a resident of Pennsylvania....

              The national level is a trickle-up system...without support of the Republican party at lower levels, it's harder for them to game the entire system in their favor. I'm a resident of Pennsylvania. Cities are Democratic, rural areas Republican. The Republican State legislature gerrymandered the shit out the state for decades (only recently stopped by PA Supreme Court). This enables them to force policies like voter suppression and other policies to national elections, tilting the scales heavily.

              16 votes
            2. thundergolfer
              Link Parent
              NaraVara addressed this above. There were many who collaborated with the Nazis who weren't big on genocide but liked some X/Y/Z other part of their platform. Honestly the Republican party is full...

              but there is usually enough policy they like to get their vote

              NaraVara addressed this above. There were many who collaborated with the Nazis who weren't big on genocide but liked some X/Y/Z other part of their platform.

              Honestly the Republican party is full of so much disgusting shit how are your friends not having an "are we the baddies" moment multiple times a year?

              History shows that Fascists aren't cartoonishly evil people, and to many Fascists being a Fascist doesn't feel particularly different to some other benign political ideology. Whether Republicans are a Fascist organisation or not, it's really important to recognise that terrible politics doesn't need to be dramatic and angry; it can seem totally banal.

              8 votes
            3. NaraVara
              Link Parent
              The Republican candidate recruitment process goes pretty deep and it is often races like school board or city council where the nutcases are auditioning for the big-time. (School boards are...

              But any elections below that, I think you're being a bit extreme.

              The Republican candidate recruitment process goes pretty deep and it is often races like school board or city council where the nutcases are auditioning for the big-time. (School boards are especially popular.) And the effects of redistricting have concentrated centers of conservative extremism such that it structurally privileges batcrap crazy ideologues even for local districts.

              I certainly don't agree with everything that every democrat I've voted for says and that is how most voters are.

              It's not about agreeing with what every individual person says. It's about taking responsibility for the consequences of your decisions. The Republican Party is structurally fascistic. It is dedicated to a program of suppressing the votes and political expression of anyone who isn't a White male, and it is wholly indebted to a cabal of extremist ideologue billionaires who set its policy agenda. It doesn't matter who or what you agree with. If you vote Republican you are enabling and furthering the structure and systems that allow this to go on and need to own up to it.

              6 votes
          2. [4]
            Litmus2336
            Link Parent
            Was that quote from before or after they broadly forgave most nazi party members and soldiers? It's a nice quote, but I think it sort of is at odds with the history of denazification in Germany

            Was that quote from before or after they broadly forgave most nazi party members and soldiers?

            It's a nice quote, but I think it sort of is at odds with the history of denazification in Germany

            1. [3]
              NaraVara
              Link Parent
              The fact that you had to use the word "forgive" implies responsibility and accountability. If they weren't guilty of anything, there wouldn't be anything to forgive. The entire process of...

              Was that quote from before or after they broadly forgave most nazi party members and soldiers?

              The fact that you had to use the word "forgive" implies responsibility and accountability. If they weren't guilty of anything, there wouldn't be anything to forgive.

              It's a nice quote, but I think it sort of is at odds with the history of denazification in Germany

              The entire process of denazification was predicated on the notion of collective responsibility across the entire German populace. From Wikipedia

              The Public Relations and Information Services Control Group of the British Element (CCG/BE) of the Allied Control Commission for Germany began in 1945 to issue directives to officers in charge of producing newspapers and radio broadcasts for the German population to emphasize "the moral responsibility of all Germans for Nazi crimes".[79] Similarly, among U.S. authorities, such a sense of collective guilt was "considered a prerequisite to any long-term education of the German people".[78]

              You can't solve the problem if the people involved in it won't admit to how their actions brought about the problem.

              10 votes
              1. [2]
                Litmus2336
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                That's totally true, but I feel having some "collective guilt" is still a lighter than possible sentence. In response to the idea that "If you vote Republican you are enabling and furthering the...

                That's totally true, but I feel having some "collective guilt" is still a lighter than possible sentence.

                In response to the idea that "If you vote Republican you are enabling and furthering the structure and systems that allow this to go on and need to own up to it." I just am unsure where that leaves us. So, we tell republicans that they're borderline fascists, and then what? Either they agree and say they'll keep doing it anyway (unlikely) or they deflect and assert they're not real fascists. But where does that leave us?

                I think what we need is more than Republicans admitting they have fascist tendencies. That doesn't really get us anywhere. We, as a society, need to actually figure out why people are this hateful, and how we can change society to change that. Denazification wouldn't have succeeded if it wasn't followed up by massive Marshall Plan aid to improve the quality of life for the average (West) German. Which is unfortunate, but a reality.

                For all the joking about "economic anxiety" being BS (and it mostly is), when times are good people are far less awful. It seems to be the fear of things getting worse when times are tough that lead to phenomena like the one we're in.

                Edit: I should probably state I'm just being cynical....

                4 votes
                1. NaraVara
                  Link Parent
                  That's functionally the Green New Deal, but because they're in hoc to billionaire extremists Republicans will never allow these sorts of programs to go through either. The core problem is the...

                  Denazification wouldn't have succeeded if it wasn't followed up by massive Marshall Plan aid to improve the quality of life for the average (West) German.

                  That's functionally the Green New Deal, but because they're in hoc to billionaire extremists Republicans will never allow these sorts of programs to go through either.

                  So, we tell republicans that they're borderline fascists, and then what? Either they agree and say they'll keep doing it anyway (unlikely) or they deflect and assert they're not real fascists. But where does that leave us?

                  The core problem is the media's willingness to launder these perspectives and present them as reasonable. They are absolutely uncritical when confronted with bullshit or bad faith statements from conservative sources. There has to be a general society understanding that certain positions are unacceptable and wrong.

                  9 votes
        2. [3]
          dubteedub
          Link Parent
          If those are the only conservative views that they hold, I would probably ask them why they support those policies and to what extent. Do they think that women who are raped should be forced to...

          Where do you see people who have strong anti-abortion, tougher immigration, loser gun control, etc views falling on this?

          If those are the only conservative views that they hold, I would probably ask them why they support those policies and to what extent. Do they think that women who are raped should be forced to carry their pregnancies to term? Do they think we should only have abstinence-only sex education? Do they think abortion should be criminalized for women who seek one? Do they want to provide additional resources to care for those women who are forced to have an unwanted pregnancy?

          In addition, I would try to understand what their views are on LGBT rights, health care, climate change, drug policy, economic disparity / wealth gap, military, trade, education, international relations, criminal justice, and infrastructure.

          13 votes
          1. [2]
            somewaffles
            Link Parent
            Like I said I'm not here to argue the validity of those arguments, but my point is those are core beliefs of many republicans that definitely do not vibe well in any democratic (even moderate)...

            If those are the only conservative views that they hold, I would probably ask them why they support those policies and to what extent

            Like I said I'm not here to argue the validity of those arguments, but my point is those are core beliefs of many republicans that definitely do not vibe well in any democratic (even moderate) circles. The other views are other good examples of things that I guarantee would cause discrepancies in a party that mixed moderate democrats and anyone who considers themselves republican. It just seems like a completely unrealistic expectation to me.

            5 votes
            1. dubteedub
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I don't know if that is necessarily true. There are plenty of Democrats, including Joe Biden, that personally oppose abortion, but support a woman's right to choose. That seems like a reasonable...

              I don't know if that is necessarily true. There are plenty of Democrats, including Joe Biden, that personally oppose abortion, but support a woman's right to choose. That seems like a reasonable view of a moderate / independent. If someone opposes abortion so strongly that they are willing to vote for a Republican that they claim to disagree on every other issue, I have to wonder how much they really are making that choice solely on abortion.

              11 votes
        3. vord
          Link Parent
          Largely agree with the sibling replies, but I'll add this (keep in mind stranger on the internet, don't know you at all): The first two hint strongly that you're in one of rightmost parties I laid...

          Largely agree with the sibling replies, but I'll add this (keep in mind stranger on the internet, don't know you at all):
          The first two hint strongly that you're in one of rightmost parties I laid out. Those two topics alone are some of the driving issues that keep allowing the Overton Window to shift to the right.

          However, looser gun control touches on the Authoritarian vs Libertarian axis, opposed to the Left/Right axis. I skimmed over this, because currently (on national level) it's almost all Authoritarian Center/Right.

          Left Libertarian generally support loosening gun control, as a check against a growing police state that is increasingly hostile towards Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, and other Left groups.

          Right Libertarians also generally support loosening gun control, but mostly within the broader framework of "individual freedom".

          So it's not like the parties I laid out in my comment would be the only ones that would exist after the abolishing of the de-facto two party system. There would be Authoritarian Left parties (State Socialism/Communism), Libertarian Left parties (Anarchists and stateless communists), and a whole bunch in between.

          7 votes
        4. ubergeek
          Link Parent
          I would put those with the extreme right wing: anti individual liberty, unless guns; and not wanting brown people in the country. Because you'll never hear complaints about Russians immigrating...

          I would put those with the extreme right wing: anti individual liberty, unless guns; and not wanting brown people in the country.

          Because you'll never hear complaints about Russians immigrating here, or Canadians, or any other nation mostly "not brown people".

          4 votes
    2. [9]
      dubteedub
      Link Parent
      I know many Republicans, mainly through family and in-laws, and I find them to be very normal, happy, and supportive people. However, on the topic of politics, I find that they do not seem to...

      This concerns me as it will only lead to further polarization between left and right, which we certainly do not need.

      I know many Republicans, mainly through family and in-laws, and I find them to be very normal, happy, and supportive people. However, on the topic of politics, I find that they do not seem to recognize basic facts or engage in any real critical thinking when it comes to news, elections, and policy.

      I would never venture so far as to call them “animals" or lacking "essential human traits” as discussed in the article, but its hugely worrisome that despite the mountains of evidence, corroboration, and crimes committed by Trump and his cohorts, 80% of Republicans still approve the President.

      The fact is that I have zero trust in moderate Republicans from helping solve the issue so long as Fox News is still king. Fox News has a huge impact across conservatives in the U.S. and is their most trusted news source, and often their ONLY news source. Not only that, but recent polls have also indicated that a vast swath of Trump supporters who watch Fox News believe that there is nothing that could dissuade them of that support.

      Although 37 percent of Republicans overall said that almost nothing could dissuade them from approving of Trump, more than half of Republicans whose primary news source is Fox News held that view.

      Overall, I am just really tired of the belief that the Democrats need to track to the center to appeal to moderate conservatives.

      I fear that this belief will depress progressive / leftist voter turnout and that it relies on a more moderate Democrat being able to work with moderate Republicans across the aisle to pass moderate policies. I just don't believe there are any moderate politicians left in the party of Trump in this day and age that we can work with and I think that especially with the looming catastrophic impact of climate change, we need much more progressive action than what a moderate can offer.

      Rather than having Democrats try to appeal to moderate conservatives, why is no one asking those moderates to push the Republican party to abandon its neo-fascist tendencies and have them put forward rational conservative politicians that might appeal to more centrist Democrats?

      30 votes
      1. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        True and really underrated. For all the talk the article provides about 'our democracy' they seem to completely ignore the fact that most voters will just vote according to whatever their...

        True and really underrated. For all the talk the article provides about 'our democracy' they seem to completely ignore the fact that most voters will just vote according to whatever their preferred news source says about the candidate and not think much more about it. What we really should be doing is regulating news outlets (and aggregators) and making sure that they are factual in their reporting and unbiased.

        1 vote
      2. [7]
        skybrian
        Link Parent
        That poll also shows that about 20% of Republicans don't approve of Trump. It's not a lot, not enough to change what the Republican party stands for. But it might matter in a general election?

        That poll also shows that about 20% of Republicans don't approve of Trump. It's not a lot, not enough to change what the Republican party stands for. But it might matter in a general election?

        1 vote
        1. [6]
          thundergolfer
          Link Parent
          Quite a laugh to think a significant amount of them would abandon the Republican party of Trump. Trump is a clown and so embarrasses them more than they'd like, but that's nowhere near bad enough...

          Quite a laugh to think a significant amount of them would abandon the Republican party of Trump. Trump is a clown and so embarrasses them more than they'd like, but that's nowhere near bad enough to have them leave the party of the rich/the white/the christian/the fascist.

          1 vote
          1. [5]
            skybrian
            Link Parent
            I see no useful data about Republicans here.

            I see no useful data about Republicans here.

            1. [4]
              thundergolfer
              Link Parent
              Don't understand what you're saying. Are you dismissing my comment because I haven't provided survey data? If so, I don't need survey data to call into question the idea that "disapproves of...

              Don't understand what you're saying. Are you dismissing my comment because I haven't provided survey data?

              If so, I don't need survey data to call into question the idea that "disapproves of Trump" -> "votes differently in general".

              1 vote
              1. [3]
                skybrian
                Link Parent
                What I'm saying is, based on the adjectives you're using, you seem to mostly be blowing off steam? All I really get out of it is that you hate Republicans. And lots of other people hate...

                What I'm saying is, based on the adjectives you're using, you seem to mostly be blowing off steam? All I really get out of it is that you hate Republicans. And lots of other people hate Republicans too, so it's not anything new and doesn't answer my question.

                (Also, my question doesn't need to be called into question because it's already a question.)

                1. [2]
                  thundergolfer
                  Link Parent
                  I'm confused, skybrian, there's not a single adjective in the original comment you replied to besides "significant". On that usage you thinking I'm blowing off steam 😄? This isn't true. For what...

                  I'm confused, skybrian, there's not a single adjective in the original comment you replied to besides "significant". On that usage you thinking I'm blowing off steam 😄?

                  (Also, my question doesn't need to be called into question because it's already a question.)

                  This isn't true. For what reason is it illegitimate to question questions?

                  1. skybrian
                    Link Parent
                    Regarding adjectives, I meant "rich", "white", "christian", and "fascist". Admittedly you used them as nouns. Asking a question is admitting you don't know something. In this case, I'm saying I...

                    Regarding adjectives, I meant "rich", "white", "christian", and "fascist". Admittedly you used them as nouns.

                    Asking a question is admitting you don't know something. In this case, I'm saying I don't know how moderate Republicans will vote in the next election. How is it legitimate to question that? If you think you know the answer, you could explain why, but questioning a question isn't doing that. It's saying it's somehow illegitimate to ask.

    3. [3]
      eladnarra
      Link Parent
      I know the statistic is about parental approval, and thus a proxy for how the two groups feel towards each other... But I don't really see a problem with this. Of course my parents would rather I...

      I know the statistic is about parental approval, and thus a proxy for how the two groups feel towards each other...

      But I don't really see a problem with this. Of course my parents would rather I not marry someone who is likely to be anti-abortion (I don't want to be pregnant ever), anti-immigration (we're immigrants), and against universal healthcare and disability rights (I'm chronically ill, disabled, and can only work part time). They care about me and don't want me to end up with someone who votes for policies that would hurt me. (Not to mention the strife that would exist between me and a hypothetical Republican partner with other issues that don't directly affect me.)

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        dubteedub
        Link Parent
        I think that is a great point. How many news stories have we seen over the last couple of years where Trump voters were found to regret their choice after their partners were deported or they lost...

        I think that is a great point. How many news stories have we seen over the last couple of years where Trump voters were found to regret their choice after their partners were deported or they lost health coverage or any other of a myriad of issues.

        I keep coming back to this insane story from earlier this year as a great example of this.

        He probably wouldn’t vote for Trump again, he said. Still, he isn’t really sure that he made a mistake.

        Sometimes he feels stupid or duped or betrayed. But then he thinks back to how he didn’t vote for himself personally but for the greater good — for what he sees as the “noble” cause of outlawing abortion.

        “Was it a bad decision for my family? Yes,” he said. “Was it a bad decision for our country? I can’t say. Sometimes you can’t just think about yourself. You have to think about the broader picture.… I feel like God will bless my decision.”

        This mans family has been literally torn apart by Trump's policies, and he still thinks he probably made the right choice?

        This guy claims to be an independent that leans conservative. Is this really the type of person that the author of this Atlantic piece want us to rely on to help save America?

        18 votes
        1. eladnarra
          Link Parent
          Yeah, those articles make me furious and so sad. His poor wife. Deported from the country where she'd lived for nearly 20 years, separated from her young son, unable to see her son while he...

          Yeah, those articles make me furious and so sad. His poor wife. Deported from the country where she'd lived for nearly 20 years, separated from her young son, unable to see her son while he underwent cancer treatment, and yet her husband still isn't sure if he made the wrong choice.

          10 votes
    4. [2]
      thundergolfer
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      That quote is omitting a really telling part of that survey result. For Republicans, Democrats ranked lower on the disfavour rankings than a couple of categories; homosexuals and transgenders....

      That quote is omitting a really telling part of that survey result. For Republicans, Democrats ranked lower on the disfavour rankings than a couple of categories; homosexuals and transgenders. Maybe that's a clue as to why so many Democrats would be dismayed at their children marrying Republicans.

      Is your concern coming from some sentiment that there's legitimacy to --both sides--, and thus there's something wrong with those 45% of Democrats not wanting their children so closely associated with a Republican?

      only lead to further polarization between left and right, which we certainly do not need.

      People might be scared of polarization, and fair enough, but it's not at all necessarily bad. Remember MLK and wonder whether you could be favouring the negative peace which is the absence of conflict over the positive peace which is the presence of justice. You don't want to be MLK's "white moderate".

      4 votes
      1. thundergolfer
        Link Parent
        For people interested in more about that survey, I'd highly recommend listening to "Behind the panic in white, Christian America" from the Ezra Klein podcast. The head of the Public Religion...

        For people interested in more about that survey, I'd highly recommend listening to "Behind the panic in white, Christian America" from the Ezra Klein podcast. The head of the Public Religion Research Institute (who did the survey) is the guest, and he packs his time with rich history and survey detail.

        It's an absolutely damning look at the history of white christian (US) politics and Republican politics.

        4 votes
  2. [3]
    moonbathers
    Link
    In addition to what others have touched on, this article's mistake is assuming Trump is acting in good faith when he's not. They don't push back on this at all either. Discrimination against white...

    In addition to what others have touched on, this article's mistake is assuming Trump is acting in good faith when he's not.

    In 2016, white working-class voters who said that discrimination against whites is a serious problem, or who said they felt like strangers in their own country, were almost twice as likely to vote for Trump as those who did not.

    They don't push back on this at all either. Discrimination against white people is not a serious problem, and if you feel like a stranger in your own country because it's only 60% white instead of 80% white, that probably means you're racist.

    16 votes
    1. [2]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      It goes past this. The whole mainstream media has a tendency to take all Republican claims about what they believe at face value, even though most don't actually believe it. If Supreme Leader...

      In addition to what others have touched on, this article's mistake is assuming Trump is acting in good faith when he's not.

      It goes past this. The whole mainstream media has a tendency to take all Republican claims about what they believe at face value, even though most don't actually believe it.

      If Supreme Leader Trump decided tomorrow that Medicare for All was going to be a priority, at least 40% of the party would fall in line and claim they've ALWAYS thought M4A was important and anyone who disagrees is a socialist. They're not motivated by actual policy considerations. They're motivated by grievance against "elites" (who are all poor immigrants for some reason) and a desire to "own the libs." There is no reasoning with this.

      There is no compromise or middle ground that will satisfy this impulse because the impulse isn't to achieve some kind of transactional goal, it's to debase and assert dominance over their enemies. Anyone who thinks women, minorities, immigrants, etc. deserve to be treated with respect or dignity is fundamentally at odds with this ideology because compromising with it means you're admitting that you don't deserve dignity, and once you do that the entire premise of collaborative, democratic governance breaks down. You can't work with someone who thinks any position you hold is invalid just because you hold it.

      14 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        100% agreed. I see NYT do it all the time and it drives me insane.

        100% agreed. I see NYT do it all the time and it drives me insane.

        7 votes
  3. Deimos
    Link
    If you enjoy this article, The Atlantic's current issue is largely based around this general polarization theme, with a lot of articles related to it:...

    If you enjoy this article, The Atlantic's current issue is largely based around this general polarization theme, with a lot of articles related to it: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/toc/2019/12/

    I've only read a few of them so far, but they've all been quite good.

    14 votes