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    Talk Like Crazy People Are Listening

    Dear politicians: talk like crazy people are listening to you. Because they are. We're a big country, with hundreds of millions of people and no guaranteed health care. That means there are a lot of Americans who are mentally ill, and a lot of those people can't get proper treatment. Every time you speak in public, remember that there are some disturbed people who will take what you say, whatever you say, seriously, and that they might act on it.

    We've been having a lot of public debates about "responsibility," 'unity," "civility," and other complicated, nuanced words that are easy to twist around to mean different things. So I'm going to keep it simple. Every public figure speaking in public has got to remember that some crazy people are listening. Don't say anything that those people will understand as a call to violence.

    But won't mentally ill people misunderstand things, and hear calls to violence that weren't intended that way? Yes. Exactly. They may well hear you calling for blood when you thought you were carefully staying on the right side of the line. That's why you should get nowhere near the line, at all, ever.

    This rule is not hard. Don't act like it's not simple.

    There are troubled people watching TV and listening to the radio and reading the internet all day, and they have trouble sorting out what's real. Don't scare those people into using bombs or guns.

    But what if the talk-like-crazy-people-are-listening rule cramps my style? What if it takes away my big rally lines that excite the crowd, or the new spike in my ratings? What then?

    Then you're risking people's lives for personal gain. What good do you think is going to come of that?



    'Crazy' people comprise a large % of the Republican Base. 30+ years and billions of dollars of carefully crafted hate, lies and right wing propaganda have made them that way.  Trump dishes the stuff out unlike any before him, "like a hit of meth with a ketamine chaser"  (Driftglass)

    Trump is an instinctual demagogue, and the Base loves it,  wants it. He blames the free press and the opposition for any violence. According to his authoritarian principles,  peace can only arrive through complete submission to his unlimited power. The Republican Party and their anti-democratic plutocrat donors are 100% behind him.

    Really, if I'm going to win as a republican I have to get the votes of a lot of marginally crazy people. If that pushes some truly crazy people over the edge that's an acceptable amount of collateral damage. 

    You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

    Hannah Arendt had a variation of that idiom to describe the policies of another "charismatic cult leader", Stalin, he, like Trump,, believed "Breaking and breaking and breaking eggs would suddenly and automatically create an omelette."

    Some on the right agree with you and are saying so, here's a National Review columnist piece recommended by the executive editor of the Washington Examiner. It's saying very similar things, except he's also suggesting that it's not wise to dignify nuts like this with the genuine certified crazy label that would make them less responsible for their actions.

    A warning worth pondering from @DavidAFrench: simply dismissing the bomber as crazy "can allow us to wrongly minimize the significance of the attack."

    — Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) October 26, 2018

    It does very much harp on the rabble rouser angle:

    But there are other kinds of violent people, including angry obsessives. They’re not normal. They act strangely. But they’re also legally and morally responsible for their actions. If you spend any time in politics or the public eye, you encounter them with some frequency. Usually they’re harmlessly annoying, but sometimes they launch harassment campaigns online, sometimes they make violent threats, and sometimes they’ll show up at, say, a pizza place with an AR-15.

    The angry obsessive is absolutely vulnerable to being stoked, inflamed, and inspired by angry rhetoric. Speech can inspire violence. It can. It’s one reason why civility and a sense of proportion in your speech aren’t just abstract, sanctimonious, or elitist concepts. They’re moral responsibilities for people with any kind of meaningful platform. Not all listening ears are sober-minded or entirely rational. And when they hear a public figure they admire thunder against his political opponents with extreme language, sometimes they’ll take extreme action in response.

    And here's Bill Kristol:

    earlier tweets have him disgusted by Trump and retweeting this:

    In a parallel universe where the difference between being right or stupendously, and murderously wrong made a difference, Bill Kristol would have been banished long ago. Just sayin'.  

    It's now 15 years since the invasion of Iraq, Lulu, and the world has changed radically and it would be aborrmal if intellectual pundits did not change their theories to go with the changes. Which they have. Hold grudges much, like to live in the past, never let it go? Gene McCarthy not going to be reincarnated, you have to make do with what you got in the present. Maybe you are just as you were 40 yrs. ago, but most people aren't!  Try to keep up, this is a news oriented site, as in new things, news, just sayin'

    Yes, the world has changed radically. At least in some places. There are  individuals that had an influential affect on those changes.  Kristol is one of them. What was your stand on him at the time when, as it turned out he was, also by your lights I assume, demonstrably wrong? Can you name someone who was right back then that gets his approving exposure now? Do you believe that that the past history of people still in the news now because they are still influential, is irrelevant? 

    I'll humor you with short version and that is all I am going to do, not interested in further comments or discussion on it. And I am serious, this is it, no more. Because: not only is it disrespectful of Doctor Cleveland's post to start in on the same old, same old: it's past!

    I thought then (as I think now about then) that most of the left totally misunderstood neo-conservative foreign policy as the same kind of thing as paleo-conservative warmonger foreign policy and that the left was wrong about that. That neo-cons were deceived  by Bush/Cheney into believing they were after the same goals. Goals which would coincide with much that neo-liberals believed. I saw the similarity in beliefs and felt: aha, of this might come a new coalition, a new way of looking at things which will serve us well as the world globalizes from the internet and everyone can talk to everyone.

    So Bill Kristol was duped about Iraq. But he was thinking neo, global, not paleo. And he still is, his globalist non-tribal impulses that led him to be duped into supporting the Iraq invasion, they seem to be core beliefs and he's standing up for them by consistently being against MAGA Trumpism no.

    You are of course an isolationist type so you would be against both neo-liberal and neo-conservative foreign policy and would be forming a coalition with Trump and PatBuchanan and Rand Paul, had they not sold out to the current version of John Bolton. So no need to go there, I know what you think: even though globalization is happening, all countries should stick to their own business and not meddle and we can all pretend the world has not changed and Vladimir Putin is no worse than any U.S. leader, etc.

    With due respect to Dr. Cleveland, you brought up Kristol. You introduced him into the  conversation. I am not being disrespectful to Dr. Cleveland, I am being disrespectful of the war-mongering toad, Bill Kristol, who you brought into the conversation as relevant. Not keeping score really fucks up the stats.

    That neo-cons were deceived  by Bush/Cheney into believing they were after the same goals.

    Where did those goals diverge?

    So Bill Kristol was duped about Iraq. But he was thinking neo, global, not paleo. And he still is, his globalist non-tribal impulses that led him to be duped into supporting the Iraq invasion, they seem to be core beliefs and he's standing up for them by consistently being against MAGA Trumpism no.

    There are an infinite number of ways to be wrong. Kristol has a record of finding some of the most significant ways. His being against Trump doesn’t add any merit to otherwise stupid policy ositions. So what if he is still spouting core beliefs, he is still wrong to the core.

    I am not an isolationist as you say, I think we should, that we must, interact in the world, but I believe we should do so in a much smarter way.

    Lulu, Trump's Intelligence guy Bolton makes Kristol look like a Quaker.

    Surprised you haven't mentioned a word on the Trump nuclear treaty withdrawal plans and apparent new arms race.

    NCD, I have many times spoken my disgust with Bolton. I also have given credit to the nuclear treaty with Iran as Obama's greatest foreign policy achievement. Do you really wonder whether or not I think the new cold war and the concurrent arms race is a good thing? 

    You seemed supportive of Trump in his break with confrontation, and a more trusting, cooperative relationship with Putin. 

    Will Trump stop? 

    How do the lies and the career of a demagogue usually end?

    Your question reminds me of something Hannah Arendt said:

    Confident that power of organization can destroy power of substance, as the violence of a well-organized gang might rob a rich man of ill-guarded wealth, they constantly underestimate the substantial power of stable communities and overestimate the driving force of a movement. Since, moreover, they do not actually believe in the factual existence of a world conspiracy against them, but use it only as an organizational device, they fail to understand that their own conspiracy may eventually provoke the whole world into uniting against them.

    Origins of Totalitarianism, part 3.

    Next question.

    Why is Newt Gingrich still a thing?

    I think it's because it's fun and funny to say 'newt'.  Newt, newt newt. See what I mean?


    I think he provides provides blocking for Trump. From Slate interview back in the day:

    Isaac Chotiner: Well, people are suffering.

    Gingrich: People are suffering everywhere. How about everybody in Darfur? Should they all come to Miami? The suffering thing is liberal tripe. It is nonsense.

    That doesn’t sound so much like the Reaganite conservatism you mentioned earlier.

    What doesn’t?

    Saying suffering is liberal tripe. I thought he was a champion—

    Suffering is an excuse and allows people to be guilt-tripped into doing bad policy. Look at who is going to Germany right now. These are population migrations, not refugee streams, and they are going to change Europe permanently to our disadvantage.

    I want to get back to what Trump is doing, and we both know he is playing on impulses—

    No, no we don’t.

    We don’t?

    What we know is that Trump has had the nerve to raise questions in a clear language because he represents the millions of Americans who are sick and tired of being told that they have to be guilt-ridden and keep their mouth shut.

    It takes a village.
    Not that you are incorrect in your observation.

    Moat, good quote from Arendt. 

    That Newt is still all over TeeVee shows the unserious nature of our corporate media empire$. He's a disgraced serial adulterer, liar and culture bomb thrower of the right, and like the right, has no solutions (and isn't looking for any) except how to game the gullible, the bigots and the resentful losers who are steeped in 30 years of right wing hate and propaganda to keep the GOP in power, serving global anti-democratic plutocrats.

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