I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

October 27, 2012 - 12:05 p.m.

Lessons of McGovern and Reagan

I have a headache this morning. I've been getting headaches. I never get headaches. If I had insurance I'd be calling my doctor. Instead I'm taking acetaminophen. I can't wait till Obamacare kicks in and I get subsidized insurance. Romney's solution is that I get sick enough to need an emergency room.

I apparently have a new job as Carey's procurer. I don't think it comes with health benefits.

Yesterday was the day that happens every semester, when I discover that pretty much nobody did the homework. One class was complaining how hard it was to learn the stuff. Of course it's hard when you try to learn it by osmosis. Factoring and arithmetic with rational expressions is learned by practice. If I can teach them that they have to practice I'll have accomplished something.

I didn't go out last night. I stayed in my office all afternoon. I made up problem sheets, blogged, and wasted time. Then I walked home. My plan was to make dinner at home and I did. I had blackened chicken breast and roasted potatoes. I splurge now and buy the Trader Joe's potato medly. It decided it was worth the extra money to have the smaller potatoes including the blue ones. They do taste better. I haven't had this since I left my Brooklyn apartment. I'm glad I haven't forgotten how to cook. I miss my George Foreman grill. that does such a great job on the chicken. I might have to buy one or get one from Craig's list. Mini-Hagrid doesn't have have a mallet and the chicken needed one; it was far too thick. I came up with a simple solution. I used my fist. Yes I'm just like Rocky except rather than pounding a side of beef I punched 5 oz of chicken. I'm ready to face Apollo Creed now.

It's times to look at the notes I left on my phone to see what to write about.

I have two topics; "McGovern and Third Parties" and "Identifying with Fantasy." I think I'll go with the former.

George McGovern died recently. Of all the presidential candidates of my lifetime he is the one I most agreed with. He was by far the most liberal. He got killed in the election by Richard Nixon who won by one of the biggest landslides in history. The only state McGovern won was Massachusetts. The thing is that's the way things should have gone in a democracy. Sure Nixon did dirty tricks. Sure McGovern ran a terrible campaign. I loved his quote, "I wanted to run for president in the worst way ... and I did." The thing is even without those things he would have lost in a landslide. Nixon's tricks were aimed at getting McGovern the nomination instead of the stronger opponent Muskie. McGovern agreed with me on most issues, that's great, but I'm far more liberal than most people. A candidate that far out of the mainstream shouldn't win elections. If he or she does then something is wrong. The will of the people is not being followed.

You can argue that Reagan was as far right as McGovern was left. Perhaps he was initially but he did what McGovern couldn't, he moved the center. That is in fact that greatest damage that he did to the country, and he did a lot of damage. He said the scariest thing a person could hear was "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" and got people to accept that without thought. We are still fighting that attitude today. People are afraid of letting the government get involved with health care. They believe it so much that they don't see it as government involvement when they like it. They say idiotic things like "Keep the government away my Medicare."

If McGovern had been able to convince people he was right he'd have been a great president but if he couldn't then he shouldn't have been president.

People think it's unfair that third party candidates didn't take part in the debates. I'm glad they don't. They are advocating things that don't have a chance of being accepted. They just act as a distraction. It would be like a sports league letting every team in the playoffs, even those that never won a game in the regular season. Look how unwieldy the Republican primary debates were. Debates don't work well with more than two people involved. Even three is pushing it.

The fact that the two party system forces candidates to the middle is a strength not a weakness, You can't have most people being against what the government is doing. If you support unpopular positions your job is to do what Reagan did and change people's minds not get your way through political maneuvering.

Israel is a great example. Most of the population isn't religious but the religious parties get their way in the issues most important them as that's the price they ask for their support.

I chose today's topic because I know many, perhaps most of My Gentle Readers disagree with me. That's the most important things for me to write. I don't want to be a cheerleader. I want to change people's minds. It's about the only way I want to be like Reagan. And that's important. I'm not discouraging having unpopular opinions. What I'm saying is that if you hold them don't complain that the system is rigged against you. Make them popular. Reagan spent years making speeches supporting what were at the time extreme positions. In time they became the mainstream. I want the progressive ideas to become the mainstreams. If Republicans get people scared of the single payer medical insurance educate the people so they know better and aren't scared. That's what's happened with same sex marriage. Things aren't done because politicians imposed their will on the people. Change happened because supporting same sex marriage became a winning position for politicians. The more people that accept it the more the holdouts find it easier to accept. It shows how Federalism can work. The Experiment in the states proved successful. The sky didn't fall because same sex marriage was legalized and people see that and stop resisting it in their state. We are now getting to the point where the majority of the people in the entire country support it and DOMA might soon be history. If it survives this round it won't survive much longer. That's the model to follow.

Now to make my breakfast., I'm going to have to see if my one slice of bread is still fresh. If it is I'll have a poached egg today. Otherwise I'll have an omelet. Then I'll buy bread and have the poached egg tomorrow, I'm going to have to start getting up earlier so I can cook breakfast before school, maybe buy it from the stand once a week.

Tonight I'm doing something that I used to do far more often, merching for Red Molly. I miss them. Tonight they are playing at First Acoustics in Brooklyn Heights. Buy your tickets now and join me. I get to see not only Abbie, Laurie, and Molly, but Coco and Bruce who run First Acoustics, and all my Redhead friends in the audience. This is going to be a fun and comfortable evening.

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Horvendile October 27, 2012
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