A very fascinating Op-Ed

Discussion in 'Politics' started by CoinBlazer, Dec 1, 2019.

  1. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer de omnibus dubitandum

    I think @Mopar Dude would find this interesting, considering his military service....

    30 years after the Berlin Wall fell, America is less free

    We've gone from tearing down walls to building them -- from autocrats being on the run, to autocrats on the rise. With technological surveillance states secured by fear and greed, democracy itself seems in retreat.

    The "liberal idea" itself was declared dead by a former KGB officer who has been president of Russia for most of the past 20 years, Vladimir Putin -- someone who called the end of the Soviet Union the 20th century's greatest tragedy, all the while trying to roll back freedom's gains in countries like Ukraine. Meanwhile one-time liberal student leaders like Hungary's Viktor Orban have become ethno-nationalists who champion illiberal democracy and seek to divide a united Europe.

    We hear the old Soviet rhetoric of "enemy of the people" spoken by a US president who questions the value of NATO and refuses to criticize a Russian president who meddled in our election to his benefit.

    All while America is becoming less free, according to Freedom House. The US now ranks after 51 other nations that are considered "free." Compare this to not even a decade ago when we ranked behind just 30.

    We've seen a degree of historical amnesia kick in; a growing fascination with socialism among a generation born after the end of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. And, even worse, we've caught glimpses of a kitschy romanticization of Communism, which does deep disrespect to the 100 million people who were killed in its name. Our contemporary impulse to attack policy differences in our democracy is a slippery slope to a Soviet state.

    These are arguments we hoped would be on the ash-heap of history by now. Then again, when I read about the fall of the Berlin Wall in high school, I never imagined that defending liberal democracy would be a core responsibility of my generation.

    But there is a defiant optimism that lingers as a legacy from the spirit of 1989, because none of the experts predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall or the Soviet Union.

    It came about not just because of Western leaders like Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, but primarily because of countless small acts of courage by people behind the Iron Curtain who refused to live in fear -- small bands of dissidents who would not conform and give lip service to lies big and small.

    They spoke out at personal risk and the power of their examples slowly gave courage to others, until many were marching in solidarity, from shipyards in Poland to public squares in Prague.
    And that's where a playwright and prisoner turned Czech president Vaclav Havel said this during his country's "Velvet Revolution:"

    "Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred."

    I've been thinking about that quote a lot lately. It resonates in our times.

    The 30-years' drift from the hope that accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall teaches us that we cannot take progress or peace for granted. There is no end of history. But freedom-- like truth and love and liberal democracy-- is worth the fighting for, in a spirit of solidarity.

    Mopar Dude likes this.
  2. Mopar Dude

    Mopar Dude Well-Known Member

    Interesting read, CB. You know I could not have remotely imagined the simple freedoms we have relinquished in my lifetime. I always remember the first car I purchased. It was new, under $5000.00 and seatbelts were an optional upgrade. The last truck I bought has mandated seatbelts, airbags, even an emergency release system inside the toolbox. All mandated for my own safety. That truck was almost $70,000.00...... Just yesterday I made a large appliance purchase from Lowe’s. The fellow plugged my name in his computer and my last three addresses as well as my sons address popped up. Who gleaned all that info on me to enter into a Lowe’s Homestore computer system? It’s near impossible to read a restaurant menu for all the required nutritional information.... You bet our personal freedoms have been whittled away and will continue to be whittled away “for our own good”. It is a true concern. Young folks don’t have the perspective to see it quite the same and I applaud your recognition of it. I sometimes watch these “off the grid” programs. Men living in the mountains. That sort of thing. If I didn’t have a family I was responsible to, I could absolutely do that. I am certainly capable of making my own decisions. It is truly quite scary to know I am closer and closer to living my life in a nanny state. And it shows no signs of change. Ask yourself, just how free is free these days?
    JohnHamilton likes this.
  3. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    I find it ironic that the Democrats get called Socialists all the while the Republicans are snuggling up to Russia as if they have been besties for years. From Trump doing everything he can to defend Vladimir Putin to Tucker Carlson letting it slip that he is rooting for Russia, to Louisiana Senator John Kennedy selling the propaganda that Ukraine was responsible for the 2016 election meddling that Russia is currently selling. It is hard to deny that Trump is completely in the pocket of Putin, something I could never have imagined a U.S. president doing prior to Trump. From handing over Syria to the Russians, to alienating our European allies, to making every excuse in the book for Putin's aggression to his neighbors, Trump has gone out of his way to capitulate to Russian interests. The Senate Republicans even had to step in on a few occasions, albeit reluctantly, when Trump refused to act against Russian interests. What is going on with the Republicans these days?
  4. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    You are truly obsessed with the Russian collusion hoax, aren’t you, Joe. The Mueller Report put that to bed, but you keep harping on it, even after most Democrats have moved on the quid pro quo hoax.

    You must have Tweety Birds in your brain, Joe. You are incapable of thinking about anything else.

    Here are a couple of tips you Joe. Concentrate on the possible, like getting one of you Democrat presidential candidates elected in 2020.

    It would also help your cause if you said something good about Trump now and then. It would convince some of the undecideds that you are an objective person and therefore a commentator with some substance instead of the usual one-dimensional Trump hater.

    But I know that this advice falls on deaf ears. None of the Congressional Democrats nor any of their toadies in the press can grasp these concepts. It is truly amazing that people with college educations are so clueless when it comes to developing political strategies.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  5. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer de omnibus dubitandum

    I couldn't agree more. Heres the thing @JoeNation If your postings appeared more objective and filled with less demeaning rhetoric, I would find it a much better conversation. But I do have to say @JohnHamilton , calling @Joe the names you sometimes do is no better than the opposition.
  6. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    So tell me what I've posted that is not accurate. You know that you'd never get away with this kind of response in a real debate.
  7. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer de omnibus dubitandum

    I'm well aware.
  8. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

  9. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Personal attacks do not an argument make.
  10. CoinBlazer

    CoinBlazer de omnibus dubitandum

    I just express the opinion that sometimes our conversations turn toxic
  11. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    To recap...You said, "...If your postings appeared more objective and filled with less demeaning rhetoric, I would find it a much better conversation." Fair enough but objectively speaking, what have I posted that was incorrect? How could I be more objective than posting factual statements? I'm not sure what you are referring to by "demeaning rhetoric" since that would be a subjective interpretation of my intentions.

    So, I guess what I want to know is; What did I post specifically that was not an objective statement?

    Recent examples of Trump's fondness for Russia include:

    • Blocking of lethal military assistance to Ukraine despite overwhelming bipartisan congressional approval.
    • Trump issuing various statements that bolster Kremlin hopes that its expansionist offensives will be overlooked because Trump seeks a rapprochement with Putin. For instance, his description of NATO as "obsolete".
    • Trump’s persistent dismissal of Russia’s interference in the U.S. elections despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary helps convince Putin that future election interventions will provoke minimal sanctions.
    • Trump has also talked about inviting Putin to the White House and bringing Russia back into the G-7 inter-governmental political forum from which it was expelled following its invasion of Ukraine.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2019
  12. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Soon after I came to this forum, you made the statement that the United States has been at war for 91% of its history. From that you described this country as an imperialist state which has clocked its motives with a message of freedom for all, while in reality, America has stood for repression.
    From that basic interpretation, you have embraced an ideology of absolute assumptions:
    • Republicans are bad
    • Democrats are good.
    • Capitalism is bad
    • Large corporations are bad and not to be trusted
    • There might be some room for small businesses in the economy
    • Democratic socialism is good
    • Conservatives are always wrong on all of the issues
    • Conservatives are ignorant because they oppose bigger government.
    From this, Trump embodies everything you hate.
    • He is successful and wealthy.
    • He’s a crook because he is powerful and wealthy.
    • He should be driven from office by whatever means are necessary.
    • He is always wrong and knows nothing about the issues.
    • Trump colluded with Russia despite the fact the Mueller Report stated otherwise to the point where Democrats now only pay lip serve to the claim to keep their constituents happy.
    • Trump had a quid pro quo with the Ukraine although the evidence is limited to hearsay claims and the opinions of people who are active supporters of the Democrat Party.
    You never gave Trump a chance. From the day he was elected you have supported impeaching him. You have never needed any real evidence. All you need is your ideology and an excuse.

    I never claimed to like Obama, but I put up with him and agreed with him when I thought he was right. I certainly would never have supported impeaching him for no reason with no evidence. That’s the big difference between you and I. I can accept the results of an election; you can’t.

    It goes back to the first point. You think that this country is rotten and corrupt to its underpinnings. Therefore, you want radical change, to a mostly socialist system. You won’t accept compromises.

    I believe in democracy, freedom and the capitalist economic system. You believe in big government with almost infinite power to control its citizens. You goal is to make everyone “equal” from the economic perspective by whatever means are necessary.

    That is why you and I have nothing in common and probably never will agree on the major issues. It’s freedom for me versus authoritarianism for you.
  13. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with questioning how our money will be used. It is a reasonable position to take.

    Russia took over the Crimea when Obama was in office. Did you object to that at the time?

    You need to cite some evidence that Trump has given the green light to Putin to expand Russia. He has given weapons to the Ukraine while Obama did not. He has supported the states around Russia in their efforts to not become client states of Russia. Your claim is totally false.

    You need citations, not just claims. Everyone knows that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election. The Russians have been doing it for many years. It's nothing new. The Meuller Report stated that they didn't change one vote.

    We have to try to live on the same planet with these people. We don't have a choice. It's better to talk them than act like you want to go to war all the time. But, since Trump did it, you say that something sinister is going on.

    Obama went so far as to tell a Russian diplomat that “Things would be different in their relationship once he had won the 2012 election.” I suppose you were not bothered by that in the least since it was Obama who made the statement.
  14. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Since these are Fox talking points, here is a Fox rebuttal.

    Fox News Legal Analyst Predicts Articles of Impeachment Against Trump, Says Evidence Is 'Overwhelming'

    Evan Brechtel
    Dec. 02, 2019
    Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

    Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano often cites his constitutional knowledge when pointing out the ways that President Donald Trump has used his office unethically and even illegally.

    In a recent podcast for Reason, Napoilitano speculated on what articles of impeachment he expects Democrats to charge the President with.

    Despite Trump's claims that impeachment efforts are a "hoax," it doesn't seem like they'll have to look far for acts that merit impeachment.

    Napolitano said:

    "The Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have unearthed enough evidence, in my opinion, to justify about three or four articles of impeachment against the president."
    In addition to bribery, Napolitano laid out the other possible charges:

    "The second charge will be high crimes and misdemeanors, election law violation," says Napolitano. "The third crime will be obstruction of justice. The fourth will be interference with a witness and the fifth may be lying under oath."
    The judge then summed it up:

    "The evidence of his impeachable behavior at this point, in my view, is overwhelming."
  15. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Unlike MSNBC, CNN and the rest of the Democrat run media, Fox News presents opposing points of view. Napolitano has been a maverick in the past, and now is no different. He’s entitled to his opinion, but I think he’s wrong and do other legal scholars like Alan Dershowitz.
  16. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    Why don't you tell us again how all those "Democrat run media" places have no conservative voices and I can then again point out all the conservative voices they actually have. What does Fox have. Juan Williams?
  17. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Yea, Joe, tell us who the conservatives are on MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, NBC News and CBS News. I remember Katie Couric had Rush Limbaugh on one the first broadcasts of her 6:30 PM CBS News show about 20 years ago. Since then it’s been wall to wall liberalism.

    Your lies about the objectivity of the main stream news media fly in the fact of reality. You have them on your side at least 93% of the time according to a survey that Harvard did a few years ago. You can’t have both ways. They could be objective, but that is not going to happen any time soon, if ever.
  18. JoeNation

    JoeNation Patron Saint of Idiots

    I already listed them all and you ignored them. Would you like to do it again? Probably. How about this time you list all the Liberal voices on Fox. I'd be more than happy to compare lists. Would you?
  19. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I missed you list. Perhaps you could provide a link.
  20. JohnHamilton

    JohnHamilton Well-Known Member

    Liberal commentators on Fox News.

    Jessica Tarlov
    Leslie Marshal
    Juan Williams
    Christopher Haha

    In addition, Bret Baier has least one liberal commentator on his round table discussions during the last 20 to 30 minutes of his hour long news show. They are Mara Liasson, a USA Today editor and Charles Lane, a Washington Post editorial writer.

    In addition a Chris Wallace is sometimes on the liberal side of the fence, more often recently.

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