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
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
June 24, 2017 - 11:45 a.m.
I slept late today but I'm getting started on writing at a decent hour. The challenge is to write while listening to Hamilton. I should switch to something less attention grabbing but I need my fix. It's the best thing to happen to musical theatre since Stephen Sondheim.
Yesterday I had therapy. I always need it but yesterday more so than usual. Just knowing that I have therapy that day gets me to do some things that I find difficult. In some ways, it was too productive; I never got to some depression issues. The anxiety gets priority and the depression is very mild. I can handle it. The problem is that I have to handle it. For a while it's not taken much effort to keep it at bay. You are not my therapist so this is as far as I'll go on about that.
I'm going to a wedding today, LORi and Steve's son Andrew. I lucked out in terms of geography. LORi and Steve live near Philly. Andrew and Roshni, his fiancé, and her family live upstate. Where's the wedding? Right across the GW bridge in Jersey. There was still the problem of transportation. The best I could figure out was to take a bus from the Port Authority to a town 1.8 miles away. From there I try and get a cab or I walk. I'm hoping that after the wedding somebody can give me a ride to the GW Bridge where I can catch the shuttle bus to New York. The buses run later on Saturday so I might even be able to make it back to City Island without taking a cab.
My mind is bubbling over with political ideas. It's more suitable to a scholarly tome than a short blog post written while distracted by Hamilton and hunger. The answer is to strip it down to one bubble I am well aware this is far from explaining everything, one of the other bubbles is on complexity.
People often question how poor white Republicans vote against their own interests. Health care is where I'll start; the GOP health care plan the AHCA/BCRA is a tax cut for the rich plan that is paid for by cutting off health care for the poor and middle class. How is this not political suicide? It's because of the way people make political decisions as opposed to the way they think they make them. Multiple studies have shown that to a large degree pick a candidate and their position on issues to match the candidate not the other way around. That doesn't mean issues don't matter at all. There are some issues that take priority over everything else, they are visceral. For single issue voters, this overrides everything else. That is one element in explaining how working-class people can vote for the GOP. They own some simple visceral issues; guns, abortion, and white cultural hegemony.
The south was solidly democratic until the 1960s, now it's the GOP heartland. How did that happen? The civil rights movement. When LBJ signed one of the Civil Rights Acts he said that he said that the he lost the South for the Democrats for a generation. It's lasted longer than that. Trump and others have rekindled the fire through attacks on immigrants.
Historically Evangelicals were not politically active and they were not partisan. Then came the reaction to Roe v Wade. This energized them politically and directly their partisanship to the GOP.
There are more people in favor of gun control than there are those in favor of lifting restrictions. So why are the gun control people losing? Why is the NRA so powerful? Because gun control has the numbers but gun rights have the passion. They vote on the basis of that one issue.
Once choosing the GOP candidates they mold their positions on the far more complex issues of economics, health care, and foreign policy to match their party's. Even when they disagree they give it lesser importance. I should make it clear, the same thing happens on the left. This is how people are, not just Republicans, not just the uneducated, not just "them."
OK, that's that bubble popped. Now to fill my stomach.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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