The End of Identity Liberalism -by Mark Lilla – The New York Times


“……One of the many lessons of the recent presidential election campaign and its repugnant outcome is that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end. Hillary Clinton was at her best and most uplifting when she spoke about American interests in world affairs and how they relate to our understanding of democracy. But when it came to life at home, she tended on the campaign trail to lose that large vision and slip into the rhetoric of diversity, calling out explicitly to African-American, Latino, L.G.B.T. and women voters at every stop. This was a strategic mistake. If you are going to mention groups in America, you had better mention all of them. If you don’t, those left out will notice and feel excluded. Which, as the data show, was exactly what happened with the white working class and those with strong religious convictions. Fully two-thirds of white voters without college degrees voted for Donald Trump, as did over 80 percent of white evangelicals.”

Source: The End of Identity Liberalism – The New York Times

I loved this piece but many commentors didn’t. Here is someone who I can agree with:

Ray Carney

Boston, MA November 18, 2016

“I am a professor at a major East Coast university. I teach the criticism and appreciation of literature and film. I just sent a link to this article to my graduate students and asked them to think about it in terms of their own lives and work. “Identity politics” and the “politics of difference” extends far beyond Freshman Orientation pep talks, special-interest fraternal organizations, speaking invitations, and hiring decisions in the contemporary American university. It warps and blinkers the entire intellectual process to the point that artistic texts are understood almost exclusively in terms of issues of race, class, gender, and other forms of so-called “otherness.” Mr. Lilla’s call to “we-ness” is intellectually long overdue. On behalf of my arts graduate students, I thank him.”

Steve ‘Turn On the Hate’ Bannon- in the White House – Editorial – The New York Times

“Anyone holding out hope that Donald Trump would govern as a uniter — that the racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and nativism of his campaign were just poses to pick up votes — should think again.

In an ominous sign of what the Trump presidency will actually look like, the president-elect on Sunday appointed Stephen Bannon as his chief White House strategist and senior counselor, an enormously influential post.

Many if not most Americans had never heard of Mr. Bannon before this weekend, and for good reason: He has kept a low profile, even after taking over Mr. Trump’s campaign in August. Before that, he worked as the executive chairman of the Breitbart News Network, parent company of the far-right website Breitbart News, which under Mr. Bannon became what the Southern Poverty Law Center has called a “white ethno-nationalist propaganda mill.” ”

Source: Steve ‘Turn On the Hate’ Bannon, in the White House – The New York Times

Here is a comment I support:

JABarry

Maryland 2 days ago

“Bannon wrote, “Let the grassroots turn on the hate because that’s the ONLY thing that will make [Republican leaders] do their duty.” And what duty is that?

That would be the duty to make America white again (Mr. Trump’s dog whistle decoded). The duty Bannon speaks of is to oppress minorities of color in a white ruled America. Mr. Bannon wants the Republican Party to legislate his hate into law. He called for an outpouring of hate and that hate won the day. What Trump’s election is doing is taking a dirty discarded needle and injecting Bannon’s hate into America’s arteries.

Hard to believe, but Bannon is actually more despicable than Trump. They both lack what makes mankind human, but Bannon is actually using Trump as a chump to spread his venom (ironic because Trump used so many Americans as chumps to buy his snake oil).”

To Our Readers – From the Publisher and Executive Editor – The New York Times

“When the biggest political story of the year reached a dramatic and unexpected climax late Tuesday night, our newsroom turned on a dime and did what it has done for nearly two years — cover the 2016 election with agility and creativity.

After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters? What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome? Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?”

Source: To Our Readers, From the Publisher and Executive Editor – The New York Times

Thank you for the apology. I remain a proud reader of the NYT, and we all share in missing some of the hidden undercurrents of this election. Those of us who argued for Hillary over Bernie certainly underestimated the Trump base, which Bernie also appealed to. We underestimated the power of targeted negative social media to enhance Hillary’s negatives. Why didn’t they do the same against Trump? I recommend that everyone who wants to understand this election read last weeks Bloomberg Businessweek, “Why the Trump Machine is Built to last,” by Green and Issenberg. They reveal that the Trump campaign used social media, mostly Facebook, to suppress essential voter turnout for Hillary in key, battleground states, with very ugly messages that when to her supporters only, in those areas. NIcholas Kristof’s latest piece “Lies in Guise of News in the Trump Era” is also must reading. We will have to work against this trend of the misuse of social media. I propose that we study the problem, and ask Facebook to block political hate groups from places like Macedonia, that interfere in our elections because for them it is simply profitable to sell hateful smears.

The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists | TIME

“The Founding Fathers had something particular in mind when they set up the U.S. presidential election system: slavery

As Americans await the quadrennial running of the presidential obstacle course now known as the Electoral College, it’s worth remembering why we have this odd political contraption in the first place. After all, state governors in all 50 states are elected by popular vote; why not do the same for the governor of all states, a.k.a. the president? The quirks of the Electoral College system were exposed this week when Donald Trump secured the presidency with an Electoral College majority, even as Hillary Clinton took a narrow lead in the popular vote.”

Source: The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists | TIME

Gritting Our Teeth and Giving President Trump a Chance -Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“Sure, if you’re in the approximately 52 percent majority of voters who supported someone other than Donald Trump, go ahead and mourn. When a former Ku Klux Klan leader like David Duke is giddily celebrating a political triumph for his values, how can we not ache for our own?

Yet, like it or not, we Americans have a new president-elect, and it’s time to buck up. I’ve seen past elections that were regarded as the end of the world — including, in many Democratic circles, the Reagan triumph of 1980 — and the republic survived. This time as well, our institutions are stronger than any one man. We are not Weimar Germany.

It was disgraceful that many Republicans eight years ago tried to make President Obama fail. That’s not the path to emulate. Today, having lost, we owe it to our nation to grit our teeth and give President-elect Trump a chance.

Having said that, Trump has talked about repealing Obamacare, deporting millions of our neighbors, instituting religious tests, overturning President Obama’s actions on climate change and moving the Supreme Court far to the right. How can progressives respond with anything but resistance — or emigration? As it became clear that Trump had been elected, Canada’s website for immigration crashed from too much traffic.

It’s complicated, but let me offer a few reasons to hold off on your visa application:

■ Trump is inexperienced and makes extreme statements, but he’s not ideological. He used to be pro-choice, then suggested that women should be punished for getting an abortion, but neither is a core view — because Trump doesn’t have a core. He is an opportunist. He blustered about building a wall and banning Muslims but won’t do either, because those ideas are unworkable. (The wall could cost $25 billion.)”

Source: Gritting Our Teeth and Giving President Trump a Chance – The New York Times

I think this is one of Kristof’s greatest pieces, and not easy to write. The commentors do not agree. They want war,  obstruction, and disruption. I completely agree with Kristof, that Trump is not an ideologue. He is an opportunist. Only now, will we find out what he really thinks and supports. Give him a chance, hold him accountable.

I had to read way down in the comments, which are closed, to find one that praises Saint Nicholas.

Allison Ellsworth

Mesa, AZ 4 hours ago

“Nicholas, in a job interview a few years ago I identified you as my hero. We have never met, but I count you as my friend and ally. I assign some of your columns and “On the Ground” posts to my university students. I share your words and work with anyone who will listen. Your dedication to your wife, daughters and women world-wide has provided me with solace and courage as I have spent years dealing with and healing from the damage inflicted on me by my own Trump-like father. I know that you would care about my own story; it’s not that different that some of the ones you have highlighted in your columns. So while I understand your impulse to look pragmatically at the path that lies ahead as we make our way through a Trump presidency, please remember that there are throngs of us here at home who rely on you to keep shining that light on darkness and calling out danger. We need that light and voice now.”

Why the media got it so wrong on Brexit and Trump – Richard Sambrook – the conversation.com UK

“In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, the US media has embarked on a flurry of self recrimination. Much of what they discuss applies equally to the UK media and the problems with news coverage of the EU referendum.There is no doubt the two big political campaigns of 2016 have thrown into stark relief some failings of both traditional and digital media. But campaigning which disregards facts in favour of hyperbole and emotion has proved so successful we can expect more of it – so the media must adjust. The problems are more complex than the easy accusations of liberal bias and elitism, although those come into it, too.

First, big media has too easily become part of the political/celebrity bubble and tends to forget that journalism is meant to be an “outsider” activity – outside the halls of power, but not outside the communities it serves. The lure of celebrity status has taken too many journalists into the arms of those they should be challenging. True independence – political, corporate, cultural – is rare and hard to achieve. It is to be prized for that reason.

Too much of the media spends too much time talking to itself and not to the communities it serves. It’s true of columnists competing with each other for contrariness and impact and true of broadcasting where presenters interview correspondents about politicians’ tactical views of an event far away. Surely it would be better to interview those directly affected? It is done to help interpret events for viewers and demonstrate the specialist expertise of the journalists – but now too often it just reinforces distance: both geographical and social.”

Source: Why the media got it so wrong on Brexit and Trump

Like many others, I am in a state of shock. As I slowly find the energy for the autopsies, I find myself sorry I didn’t support Bernie Sanders. It seems apparent to me now, that the huge middle of the country, and the people of color, were not ready to vote for a woman as president.

Let’s Not Do This Again -horseshit by David Brooks – The New York Times

“If I had to sum up the election of 2016 in one clause, I would say it has been a sociological revolution, a moral warning and a political summons.

Sociologically, this campaign has been an education in how societies come apart. The Trump campaign has been like a flash flood that sweeps away the topsoil and both reveals and widens the chasms, crevices and cracks below.

We are a far more divided society than we realized. The educated and less educated increasingly see the world and vote in different ways. So do men and women, blacks and whites, natives and immigrants, young and old, urban and rural.We like to think of democracy as a battle of ideas and a process of individual deliberation, but this year demography has been destiny. The campaigns have pushed us back into our tribal bunkers. Americans now seem more clannish, and more incomprehensible to one another.This year a legitimate social uprising has been twisted to serve destructive means. Over the past 50 years, most of us have benefited from feminism, the civil rights movement, mass immigration, the information age and the sexual revolution. But as Charles Murray points out, one class has been buffeted by each of these trends: white workers.”

Source: Let’s Not Do This Again – The New York Times

There was one sentence of brilliance in the piece. Something like, Trumps truest statement all year was that, if I stood on on 5th avenue and shot someone to death, it wouldn’t cost me any votes.
Otherwise, this piece is terrible, and luckily for all of us, someone put my reaction, similar to vomit into civilized and gentle words.
I thank this commentor with all my heart, for cleaning me up.

James Landi Salisbury, Maryland 7 hours ago

“David, you never cease to amaze… Today’s false equivalency is a subtext and an assumption–one that you believe every reader accepts, but this is your reality David. There’s no need for the kind of imaginary third party you describe. ” The compassionate globalist (centrist) party” you passionately yearn for is just now finishing an eight year tenure under the leadership of a man who represents exemplary male conduct, compassion, and intelligence– he is the embodiment of a “compassionate globalist.” So sad that you are insufficiently opened minded and not so intellectually blinded by partisanship to notice.”

Reply 736 Recommended

I ended up writing a comment after all.

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Mr. Brooks, your wonderful, accept this election you are pathetic and need a psychiatrist. Commentor James Landi says it beautifully. And nicely.

In my words, Wake up. Look about. President Barack Obama is the Global Centrist you dream of. What is it about your childhood, that makes you unable to see his talent, service, compassion and intelligence. Hillary Clinton, like her husband, is in his class. These are strong, compassionate, hard-working centrists with a deep understanding of the complexities of globalism and and the importance of environmental protection. Have you ever heard of global warming?

Come sit down on the sofa chair. Did you hate Bill Clinton the way you hate Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton? Did you even notice Bill Clinton’s record on jobs, the economy, women’s rights, health care, international relations and trade and the environment? Have you heard of Sarajevo? Bill Clinton led the Nato coalition which defeated the Serbs and stopped the genocide in Bosnia, after 5 years of shelling the populace of that one city. Did you know that Hillary Clinton wants Nato to stop the genocide in Syria?

 

What 2016 Has Taught Us – The New York Times

“This election year has been an exhausting parade of ugliness. It has also highlighted some fundamental truths about the United States circa 2016, lessons that political leaders should heed beyond Tuesday’s elections.Hate sells. Racism, bigotry and misogyny, Donald Trump has proved, can energize a national campaign. Mr. Trump has shown it is feasible to recruit the alt-right, conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and anti-Semites as ferocious allies without alienating reliable Republican voters.

Economic anxiety is high. Americans of all backgrounds — whites, blacks, Latinos, men, women, people in rural and urban communities — have this in common: They are worried about their economic future. The country recently experienced the longest recession since the Great Depression, incomes had been falling or stagnant for years and income inequality in recent years has been worse than at any other time since the 1920s. All the candidates, Republican and Democrat, have sought to make this issue central to their campaigns.”
……
“The media enable extreme candidates and the parties are too fragile to stop them. Social media sites and TV news transmitted every political spitball and insult spewed over the past 18 months. But they had little capacity to establish widely shared truths or foster constructive debate about issues like climate change or criminal justice. In democratizing the media, Twitter and Facebook have also made it possible for Americans to encounter only the messages they want to hear. Desperate for ratings, Fox News, CNN and other networks handed Mr. Trump an open mike early in the contest. And having fanned the flames of extreme partisanship for years, Republican leaders were powerless in the primaries to stop Mr. Trump’s rise, and then were afraid to alienate his supporters by opposing him in the general election. Mr. Trump used his media savvy and entertainment value — often in the form of insults — to keep all eyes on him. Imagine how much further a more disciplined demagogue might go applying a similar formula.”

Source: What 2016 Has Taught Us – The New York Times

The most popular comment is one I support.

SMB

Savannah 6 hours ago

“Don’t give newspapers and journals a pass. A few years ago in 2014, Karl Rove started attacking Hillary Clinyon’s health as a ploy. When the secretary stumbled at the 9/11 ceremony and two days later it was announced she had pneumonia, there were vicious attacks mocking her by Trump and others. The candidate wanted to pay homage to the victims of 9/11, constituents at the time. But the New York Times wrote almost 20 articles on the subject across a few days as front page news and editorials. The coverage lasted almost longer than the secretary’s short and common illness did.

The emails were a fake scandal. During the Comey hearing it turned out that there were only 3 marked confidential, that the State Department said they were not classified, and that by not having the mandatory heading even a security expert would not have regarded them as classified. The New York Times and other media continued to call Sec. Clinton a liar when in fact she did not lie about this. That was a failure of fact checking and fueled some of the ‘lock her up’ frenzy. SNL was right to parody the press for their absolute refusal to cover stories other than the email fake scandal. Giving a pass to Trump’s Russian ties came across as being played by FBI agents interested in supporting Trump.

The false equivalencies never ended. In the future demagogues need to be called out early and often, and women candidates should not be held to a different standard than men.”

A Coup Against the Supreme Court – The New York Times

“People don’t usually remember it this way, but on Dec. 13, 2000, Vice President Al Gore gave one of the most important speeches in American history. Mr. Gore had contested the initial results of the Florida vote count and prevailed in the Florida state courts, but the Supreme Court had voted, 5-to-4, the day before to end the recount and effectively hand the presidency to George W. Bush.

“Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken,” Mr. Gore said. “Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it.” The frenzied battle over a few hundred votes had spawned intense anger across the country — but it had been resolved “as it must be resolved, through the honored institutions of our democracy.” ”

Source: A Coup Against the Supreme Court – The New York Times

Depressing stuff. Here is the lead comment at NYT:

JABarry

Maryland 7 hours ago

“The editorial board concludes, “In the next Congress, regardless of who wins on Tuesday, the very survival of the court as an independent body will be at stake.”

However, as the editorial board has just laid out, the independence of the Supreme Court has been questionable since their partisan ruling in the 2000 election; it is not a question of “will be at stake.”

The fact that Republicans have denied a sitting president of the opposing party a hearing on a legitimate appointment and openly made control of the court a pillar of their fight against a Clinton presidency, makes it clear Republicans view the court as THEIRS.

Republicans are not just offended at the possibility of losing. Control of the court. Republicans have now shed their disguise. Their costumes of patriotism, their phony veil of love of country, their mask of adherence to the Constitution.

If a Republican Senate will not confirm a Supreme Court appointment of President Clinton, what other acts of subversion will they engage in? We already know that the Republican House will make hearings on Benghazi, emails and Bill Clinton’s past their highest priority for the next four years.

The Republican Party’s desperation to hold power does not end with the Supreme Court; their desperation is best understood in their nomination of an unfit candidate to be president. By supporting Donald Trump, the Republican Party has put the future of America at stake. They are engaged in a coup against the country.”

How to Rig an Election – by Paul Krugman – The New York Times

“It’s almost over. Will we heave a sigh of relief, or shriek in horror? Nobody knows for sure, although early indications clearly lean Clinton. Whatever happens, however, let’s be clear: this was, in fact, a rigged election.The election was rigged by state governments that did all they could to prevent nonwhite Americans from voting: The spirit of Jim Crow is very much alive — or maybe translate that to Diego Cuervo, now that Latinos have joined African-Americans as targets. Voter ID laws, rationalized by demonstrably fake concerns about election fraud, were used to disenfranchise thousands; others were discouraged by a systematic effort to make voting hard, by closing polling places in areas with large minority populations.”

Source: How to Rig an Election – The New York Times

Great Opinion piece. And Comments, such as:

Dana Santa Monica 6 hours ago

“First -thank you for writing this much needed reality check about the tremendous abuse of power and abdication of responsibility that the FBI, the media and GOP politicians and officials have engaged in this past year. Coming of age in the Reagan era, I’d never thought I’d see anything worse than the Iran-Contra affair in my lifetime. Then came Bush 43 and made up WMDs – and I thought – it can’t possibly get worse than this. And now – on the eve of the election of the first female president – instead of being elated – I am angry and sad that the GOP and millions of their followers have run so terribly off the rails that they no longer have any sense of civility and what public service actually means. Contrary to their current belief – they do not own America and they are not the true patriots. True patriots honor government and its institutions. True patriots are concerned by abuses of power, not reveling it. True patriots do not disenfranchise their fellow Americans in a pathetic attempt to win an election. I’ve heard about white working class anger ad nauseum for over a year. Well, I am angry, too. I want my country back from these amoral thugs who mistakenly think it belongs to them.”

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