Author Archives: Michael Hoexter

21st Century Machiavellians 2: The Gaslighting, Neo-Fascist Gangsters of the Republican Party

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

While describing the machinations of the Democratic Party Establishment creates an repellent vision of political scheming and ethical compromise, today’s Republican Party is a few qualitative steps more repellent, more reactionary, and at the same time simpler to describe.  To compare and create a realistic vision of the current American political landscape, one has to be able to conceive of both “bad” and “worse”, i.e. degrees of moral compromise and turpitude in political (and social-economic) life. 

With the re-mobilization of the anti-New Deal, anti-civil rights, anti-Communist Far Right following its crushing electoral defeat in the 1964 Republican Presidential Election (the aftermath of the Goldwater campaign) and the emergence of the New Right in the 1970’s, the Republican Party has been over a period of decades fully transformed into a party of open reactionaries and racists, determined to defend a couple centuries of sometimes ill-gotten gains and privilege of wealthy white European-origin people on the North American continent, with a massive propaganda campaign and gun-enabled domestic terrorism.

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21st Century Machiavellians 1.2: Elites View the Democratic Party as a Containment Vessel for Popular Discontent

(This is a 3-part essay divided here into a total of 4 installments, with the first part divided into two)

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Attracting Popular Discontent

The basic structure of concentric circles of the discourse and ideological “space” of a political party or partisan organization, described in the foregoing could apply to almost any political party or for that matter any group with a relatively passionately held set of beliefs against which they believe others are opposed.  Using this schematic diagram of a group, the specific role of “containment vessel for popular discontent” is more likely to be, in the now almost 50 year old neoliberal era, to be slated for a party like the Democratic Party or one of the Parties of the Socialist International, like the British Labour Party, the German SPD, the Australian Labour Party, etc. 

On the other hand, when such center-left parties fail to attract popular discontent and they in agitating outside governing roles or acting in governing roles generate more popular discontent, other political actors, including center-right and far right political actors and movements, can capture popular discontent for their own purposes. Such was the case in 2016 in the United States, in Great Britain through the Brexit process with the emergence of UKIP and then the “Brexit Party”, the Northern League in Italy, the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, the National Front in France, the BJP in India, etc.  Less successfully or durably, other newer left of center parties like Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, La France Insoumise, or various Green Parties have attempted to represent discontents at one point or another which the traditional parties of the Left have failed to address. 

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21st Century Machiavellians 1.1: Elites View the Democratic Party as a Containment Vessel for Popular Discontent

(This is a 3-part essay divided here into a total of 4 installments, with the first part divided into two)

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

The on-again, off-again political war now being waged inside and around the Democratic Party between a new generation of progressives and the Democratic Party Establishment requires a new or expanded lens to help understand what is going on.  This quite intense “war” of varying intensities is being waged in an era when simultaneously the Democrats represent the only established political vehicle within the United States to unseat the monstrous Trump Administration and the Republican Party that backs them.  Perversely, it seems, the Democratic Establishment has tried and continues to try, at almost every turn, to suppress enthusiasm for ideals and policies as well as the representatives that most nearly embody those policies and ideals that would be its own political energy source, the basis for Democratic political identity.

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Alexandria on the Daily Show: the Moral Economy and Modern Money

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

The hopes of many progressives in the United States are being hitched to a new generation of left-wing Democratic politicians emerging to challenge both corporate Democrats and the Trump-loving radical-right Republican Party.  This movement has grown out of a group of organizations and institutions originating in, or energized by, the Bernie Sanders campaign of 2015-2016.  Among the most prominent of this new generation and perhaps its first political star is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (sometimes abbreviated AOC), a 28-year-old community organizer and economics graduate from New York, who is now the Democratic nominee for New York’s 14th Congressional District, unseating in the process the 4th most powerful Democrat in the House, Representative Joe Crowley in June 6th’s New York Democratic primary.

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Cenk and Young Turks Team: Your Deficit Hawkery is Unrealistic and Stands in the Way of Progressive Change

By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

[The Young Turks (TYTNetwork) is an online news network that has a wide reach among mostly progressives and independents in the United States with viewership in the hundreds of thousands of unique visitors per day and over 2 million views per day.  Cenk Uygur is its founder, CEO, and leading on-camera commentator.]

Dear Cenk, John Iadarola, Ana Kasparian, and the Young Turks Team,

I’m a Young Turks subscriber, member, and a longtime fan of your coverage of politics.  I think you have provided a consistent and detailed perspective on the failures of our political system, consistent criticism of both US major political parties as well as the alarming emergence of Trump and Trumpist/GOP neo-authoritarianism.  I think your instincts for analyzing political personalities is grounded in keen and accurate observation of people and political forces.  You also rarely shy away from criticizing both the Democratic and Republican Establishments, which distinguishes you from the “liberal” mainstream media.  You have been also very good at analyzing some of the biases of mainstream media against progressives and against change that most Americans want.  You are a consistent, principled, and very much needed independent voice that I often wish was heard more widely.

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After Meeting with Gore/DiCaprio Then Choosing “Fossil Fool” Cabinet, Trump is saying “I’m Evil”

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

In the past week, Donald Trump has with his cabinet choices on energy, environment, and now foreign affairs openly declared war on a stable climate and the future of humanity.  The manner in which he did these now, and soon-to-be more, heinous acts has been revealing about who Donald Trump is and how he can be expected to act in the future on a whole host of issues related and unrelated to climate.

While Trump in his campaign gave almost no signs that he had any interest in climate action, calling climate change a hoax and hewing to the now-standard Republican pro-fossil fuel “drill, baby, drill” line, Trump had in the last couple weeks flirted with climate action advocates and the mainstream press by suggesting that he had “an open mind” with regard to the reality of human-caused climate change.

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Donald Trump, Why are You Aiming to Destroy the World of Barron, Arabella, Joseph, Theodore, Kai, Tristan, Chloe & Donald III?

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

Listen Donald,

Becoming President-elect was a grand coup for you, yet, with the path of climate denial and destruction you are headed on as President, you will be personally responsible for some extremely bad, real impacts on all Americans, even on all human beings, making you and them big “losers”.  It is no longer a matter of you playing a game for yourself in which you might be a “winner” but it means protecting and taking care of the destinies of all Americans, including your family, by making better decisions in policy and government actions.  It means moving from rhetoric in a campaign to real-world consequences that are potentially a HUGE catastrophe for all Americans and for humanity, caused or made immeasurably worse by you personally and your chosen actions.

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Myron Ebell, Trump’s Nihilistic EPA Selection, Soft-peddled by the New York Times

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

The US press has generally played a dismal role in warning people of the imminent dangers of climate breakdown and upcoming thresholds beyond which humanity may not survive as an organized species or a species at all.   The media should be every day reporting on both the record breaking temperatures of 2016 as well as alarming changes in the surface of the earth that have resulted and will likely result from the enormous heat.

Questions for the recent 2016 US Presidential debates reflect the norms of disregard for climate among US pundits and the press, as no single question during the debates was posed that had anything directly to do with climate change and carbon constraints.  That Donald Trump was able to win the electoral college, came close to frontrunner Clinton on the popular vote with 60+ million votes, and therefore win the Presidency on a platform that included straight-out “hard” climate denial is in part a function of the “soft climate denial” rampant in the “liberal” political elite and media.  Hard climate denial, for that matter any climate denial, should in an adequately aggressive media environment, be viewed in 2016, by far the hottest year on record, as a disqualifier for high office.  The mostly pro-Clinton elite media, in the latter part of the election, were supposedly either exposing or informing the public clearly about the implications and dangers of Trump’s positions, yet, as consistent with “soft climate denial”, treated Trump’s “hard climate denial” with avoidance and/or delicacy, seemingly out of fear or maybe, charitably, disbelief.

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Morality, Modern Money, and Climate Mobilization

Democratic Party Platform 7/1/16 Draft Would Lock In Catastrophic Climate Change

Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.

The Brexit vote is being taken by some commentators as a sign that the basic competence of leadership groups throughout Western countries is in question.  Unfortunately not enough media attention has been paid, public concern raised, and action taken about the most massive and long-standing failure of the political leadership classes, a failure to protect by governments that threatens humanity itself.  Governments and government leaders have failed to lead on climate change, even as most recently in Paris, they have sworn to hold Earth’s surface temperature below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and target 1.5 degrees as the “optimal” goal.  This failure of leadership both in governments and also in the nongovernmental organizations that nominally address environment and climate is almost absolute and is terrifying to behold.

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