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Jun 5, 2023Liked by Seth Abramson

They say that someone who doesn't "stand for something, falls for anything." And there are so many people falling for conspiracies lately, I can't help but wonder if the fairly recent introduction of polysemy into our media culture hasn't something to do with this. According to Media studies, polysemy is " "interpretive scope of media texts, the argument being that several interpretations coexist as potentials in any one text." And we saw it first in TV Ads, then in the TV Series "Friends" --where characters didn't really stand for anything in particular and as a result created a sort of political ambivalence. The only thing any of the Magats care about is Money and Power, which tells me they are terrified of being powerless. You just don't make the kind of money Jack and Trump and Musk make without compromising principles. And Kennedy seems to be a genetic throwback to Grandpa Joe in that regard. We are in Plotinus' 2nd Aeon version of the Tower of Babble. No one makes any sense, except Seth. But that is because he is impeccable with his word. The other Musk-eteers above have sold out to manipulating science and truth and integrity for power. Full stop.

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I'm certain that sometimes I don't make sense, but I really do appreciate the kind words!! ;-)

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I have been saying since Kennedy announced he is the sleeper cell that could do great harm. The bullshit he advocates cuts a huge swath across party lines. If anyone chose to switch parties for the primaries ( a question presented in a survey I just took), he spells trouble. Or if in losing the primary he decides to run as an independent big trouble for Biden because democrats can’t seem to get off their butts to vote along with all the Republican states shenanigans with voter access. That being said, I will be attuned to the usage of Democrat party and dole out corrections along the way. Thanks for the history. And yes I agree some learned folks look surprised when being corrected regarding Marx and Communism.

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I am educated by you about the slur. Prior, I had little idea other than the phrase did seem to have a stink to it. But I wonder how journalism at large recognizes this? Is it seen as a slur at large or are the perpetrators able to hide behind "ignorance" that there's nothing wrong there?

Likewise I sense the same stink whenever the word "leftist" is used, as well as the abbreviated "lib."

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Hardcore Republicans know—as it has been a longstanding policy within the party to smear Democrats in this way. And as Twitter CEO, Dorsey regularly dealt directly with GOP officials in DC. He would not have missed their messaging practices, especially as they would have clashed grammatically and sonically with those of the leading Democrats he regularly dealt with. He has made his choice, here, and it is a telling one.

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It’s a democratic republic.

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I endorse your detailed, excellent article. Nonetheless, I'm always saddened when I think that nearly every Republican U.S. Senator, including some of the most ultra-Right wing ever, voted FOR the 1965 Voting Rights Act, but today's GOP acts like it's always opposed civil rights, voting rights, etc.

Very few Republican U.S. Senators voted against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, & they had generally been good compared to Democratic Senators with the earlier decade's multiple Civil Rights Acts.

Some of the super-Right wing GOP Senators, like Knowland of Calif, were extremely for basic civil rights back when seniority-chosen Democratic U.S. Senate Committee Chairman were typically extraordinary white supremacists.

Yes, there were arch-segregationists among Republicans then, such as Cong. Reece of TN, but the well-known Strom Thurmond joined the Republican Party right after the national political conventions of 1964.

Judge Frank M. Johnson was a Republican who decided more major civil rights cases, alone or in 3-judge panels, than any other federal judge. He was an old-fashioned Republican whose family had supported the Union & never been supportive of slavery, even though they were long-time citizens of Alabama.

Numerous prominent civil rights lawyers of that era were Republicans, & it was one of them, John Doar, was hired by the Democrats on the U.S. House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee to be lead counsel for the Nixon Impeachment. The Democrats on the Judiciary Committee knew that both U.S. House & U.S. Senate had incredible Democratic majorities, so wanted a man with a GOP background to be their chief counsel for Impeachment of Nixon. Leading Republican civil rights lawyers were the ideal candidates for that hiring of a Republican for the Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

I do NOT make any excuses for today's GOP. We must remember that even Karl Mundt of S.D. & Stephen Young of OH & Jack Miller of IA & other far-far-Right wingers voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act & the 1965 Voting Rights Act. THAT makes it even sadder that today's Republican Party acts like it has No such heritage -- while even Roman Hruska of Nebraska & Norris Cotton of N.H. supported the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

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Deborah, thank you for this excellent context!

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I remember waking up to the news that RFK had been assassinated. I was 11 yo. Later, I read a few biographies of RFK, and while he could be a real sh*t at times, he also was capable of growth, and did become an admirable person.

That RFK Jr could be his son is almost beyond my grasp.

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Spot on with your final sentence. Thanks Seth for another great piece. You are a true American patriot and hero.

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I wish I could get my year subscription price back. I hate Trump. A close second is a Democrat-ic party shill, which is what this stack has generally become (IMO) in the past few months.

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Jun 5, 2023·edited Jun 5, 2023Author

Literally no evidence of that, but thanks.

I virtually never write here about Joe Biden, the DNC, the DCCC, the DSCC, or local Democratic parties.

I have never been paid by or worked for any Democratic entity.

I have never been a Democratic delegate or run for any office as a Democrat.

I repeatedly assailed the DNC for its treatment of Sanders in 2016 and in both the 2016 and 2020 primaries did *not* support the eventual Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the primaries.

My Twitter feed features regular criticisms of the Democratic Party.

You are a troll and a liar, sir. The foci of my writing, reporting, and analysis have not changed since this substack was founded, let alone "in the past few months." Peddle this nonsense somewhere it will be lapped up by people who do not read Proof or any of my other writing.

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If I give you back your price of admission, will you please just go away?

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Word!

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you wrote, “I will be attuned to the usage of Democrat party and dole out corrections along the way.” so please correct yourself. There’s no Democrat party; it is the democratic party and you just insulted them but maybe that’s what you meant to do? I’m not sure what you meant when you said “democrats can’t seem to get off their butts to vote along with all the Republican shenanigans” to deny voter access at the polls. We want everybody to vote, not just the very rich, who already have the keys to the vault. I am so confused.

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founding

If I was an American I would vote for Kennedy. I strongly oppose his views on covid vaccines but agree with him about everything else.

Here's a thought....Trump very very bad. Biden very bad. Dorsey isn't wrong.

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So you agree with him that America has a rampant election-rigging problem? Or you agree with him using Steve Bannon as a political adviser and appearing on Alex Jones' InfoWars? Or you agree with him that no one who is sane should ever trust *anything* that comes from the government, which includes local law enforcement, local fire protection, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the United States Armed Forces? Which of these radical, fringe views are you most excited about?

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founding

Oh, where to start. You should clarify the "using Steve Bannon as a political advisor." This is likely an exaggeration based on a CBS story.

Election rigging can mean Republican redistricting and Republican attempts to rig elections through making black voters jump through hoops to vote.

If he's questioning Biden's technical win, he's wrong. If he's questioning the ethics of Biden's win as front runner, he's correct, considering Bernie Sanders should have been the front runner representing Democratic party.

As far as his hyperbole about distrust of govt. that is typical political sloganeering within the context of a run for office. I'm sure he's not going to haul out a 2 foot long list of agencies and spend an hour itemizing which ones he likes and which ones he finds appalling.

The United States Armed Forces? I should hope he doesn't support the ginormous military budgets that places warfare over welfare.

Kennedy is a bit of a nut, and he does have disturbing anti-science views, but he is still head and shoulders above the geriatric war mongers and supporters of the status quo you have had running your country for decades--both parties.

Exciting...hardly. It's pathetic that a guy who is clearly gullible in some key areas is still the best bet you have for a sane leader, as the systemic insanity of American politics outpaces Kennedy's nuttiness.

You forgot the most important issue, really. Kennedy is a fierce advocate for environmental protection and for fighting climate change. THAT excites me.

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Support for RFK Jr. is a vote for Trump and autocracy. It could not be more obvious that he's a spoiler. Think Jill Stein, No Labels, Marrianne Williamson. They all serve the same purpose. And yes, Steve Bannon is behind him. He appears with Mike Flynn and Alex Jones too. Anyone who supports him, like Dorsey, is showing their true colors.

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founding

I'm Canadian and a Democratic Socialist focused on environmental and class issues. Those are my true colors.

I don't think Kennedy will have any major impact on the Democratic party, at this time--particularly if we have another wave of Covid, between now and elections and he continues to beat the anti-vaccine drum. If he was running under another banner, I'd agree with you.

The difficulty, for me, is trying to explain to anti-vaxxers that though I am for the vaccine, I would love to see Big Pharma stripped of their influence in Washington, as well as their funding research into disease that focuses on management (with drugs) rather than cures of disease.

Another Trump administration would be a pure disaster, and it was a real life conspiracy that he won at all. So, In terms of conspiracy, it's not wise, in my opinion, to slur anyone as a "conspiracy theorist" until you examine their ideas carefully. If I wasn't a conspiracy theorist, I wouldn't understand the MAGA phenomenon.

We can easily see, through Cambridge Analytica and Flynn's Q-anon, that the radical right is quite capable of creating false environments and fake conspiracies (which is a conspiracy, in itself) to suck people in and essentially radicalize them. It's ironic that Kennedy appeared on Alex Jones as Jones is either a useful idiot or an intentional provocateur.

I appreciate your comment and understand how you feel. Best wishes to you, Elizabeth and all of those in the U.S. I know how hard it is. I left in 2003.

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founding

True enough! I was surprised he was that old!

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