Montana, Michigan, Illinois, Kentucky, and Wisconsin
I read the comments from the student in Illinois and sympathize but if you look at Chicago's crime statistics they show changes from year to year that seem unrelated to policies but are rather idiosyncratic. That does not mean that "defund the police" is a good idea, nor does it mean that the left wing students where he goes to school are not a total pain in the ass, but Chicago has a distinct problems re racism. And I say this as someone whose wife managed a business in Chicago and whose brother was an executive in Chicago for a few years.
Chicago seems split along white ethnic neighborhoods and black neighborhoods and the tensions are still there. I doubt the mayor has any trust for the police (with good reason). I enjoyed Chicago in my visits (my wife stayed in Lincoln Park) but it was as if the police protected Michigan Ave and the white neighborhoods and left the South side to itself.
No advice but the problems of Chicago seem unique to its history.
Charlie, I really admire and like what you do at The Bulwark. I look forward to the podcast every day as well as all of the contributions by the other Bulwark members. I didn’t know who you were before the Bulwark and honestly am not sure I would have admired you in your previous roles, but I do now.
I want to push back a bit on what I hear a lot of conservative people say about democratic politicians — that they insult and talk down to rural people. I come from a rural background and I have an older sister and brother who are sure that Democrats are evil and want to take away their way of life. I listen to them and go, huh? Then I realize where they get their news and it is the usual suspects like Fox, Limbaugh, etc. who have constantly promoted such nonsense. My brother and sister don’t expand their news horizons and can’t be moved.
I have heard people such as yourself, JVL, Rick Wilson adopt a hillbilly accent and talk about missing people missing teeth when talking about rural folks and that IS insulting but I have never thought it to be the norm from the democratic political left. I just might suggest that people such as my sister believe she is being talked down to because the people she gets her news from constantly says that she is. I do fault our general media for giving to much press to the minority far left versus the majority middle but that is a different issue.
Anyway. This has troubled me for quite a while. Thanks again for what you do.
CJR/ St. Louis
"To overcome these obstacles, Democrats need to show up, listen, and respect voters in rural America by finding common ground instead of talking down to them." Thus spake Steve Bullock. Democrats could 'overcome obstacles' aplenty by reversing on immigration and civil rights, and take down all those 'insulting' BLM yard signs. Like, y'know, become arch-conservatives. Showing up and listening, trying to get them a 'fair shake', not looking down on them... all comes to nothing because it does not address the core issue they must have addressed: assuagement of their primitive lizard-brains. They fear and hate, they threaten others with assault and death, they have lost all hope in themselves, their children's future, anything that ever mattered to them, and have fully signed up for nihilistic destruction just so they can 'watch it all burn' (direct quote). Bullock's got nothing but bland platitudes.
"The worst part is that when we students expressed our fears and demanded more policing of the neighborhood to keep us safe, left wing student activists called us racists and demanded, once again, that the campus police department be defunded. Similarly, Democrats in office refuse to believe that there is a crime problem and won't advocate for any policies that would make us safer because this opposes the interests of the Democratic base. "
Ian Bamford is right, but I would go further. Both Democrats and left wing student activists KNOW there is a crime problem. They KNOW that the crime problem mostly originates in the black underclass. They don't know what to do about it because they, like the unabashed white supremacists they claim to abhor, suspect that the cause is genetic. IF the cause is genetic, then the only "solution" is to silence the people who dare to complain about crime and want something done about it. In other words, they do not have the courage of their alleged convictions regarding racial equality. Once you realize this, you can see the attraction of bowing before the likes of Ibram X. Kendi or Nikole Hannah-Jones. THEY will tell you what ALL "blacks" think. Dissenters such as John McWhorter or Glenn Loury can be dismissed as "race traitors," and you don't have to worry about asking ordinary, hard-working blacks what they think. They might tell you they care about the economy and the high crime rate - just like whites. If Democrats acknowledge both the cultural roots of the black crime rate and the agency of black individuals (as opposed to allegedly being helpless victims of "racist" white gods), they will have to make some drastic decisions about what to do. They would prefer not to do anything.
Charlie, I'd like to say that I think this period of American history we're going through really should lead us to clarify our ideological taxonomies. In the Old World, 'Liberal' is a designation often ascribed to the Right, and 'Conservative' is a term that is most accurately applied to those who are skeptical of Liberal(ism). There is a real sense in which the Liberal spectrum is a Left-Right spectrum, and that Conservatives are not on and in general Conservatives are in an orthogonal relationship to it - and it opposition to it. Not least because Conservatives have their ideological roots in the Ancien Regime, whose yoke Liberals fought to throw off, in the late 18th century.
Conservatism has as its cardinal values order, hierarchical authority, vested authority/privilege ("private law"), vested inequality, and political authoritarianism. These are the values of the pre-Modern Patriarchate, and they lasted for millennia because they have a clear practical value. They are aristocratic values, and it's worth pointing out that these values have their own peculiar brand of egalitarianism: the espirit de corps of the brotherly band which comes together to lord it over the majority. All these values can be found in post-Revolutionary times, in a democratic age, in the forces of populism. They certainly marked the culture of the Old South.
Conservatism is Illiberal; and Conservatism is *popular.* Many people prefer its stability and easy certainties. It is my view that conservative impulses are at the root of Fascism and Fascist regimes, which are in many ways a reprise of the Ancien Regime, though thoroughly secularized and denuded of all pretense of serving any form of Providence.
So with the above what I want to emphasize, is that we need to make a clear distinction between Liberals of the Right (or just "the Right") and Conservatives. The Left and the Right are engaged in a common project, with ultimately common goals. But Conservatives do not share that project. And when they are united, by either ideological fantasy or a Cult of personality (often both), they are a direct threat to Liberal democracy. The RIGHT, again, is not the problem. It's Conservatives. And it should be especially plain, that I am not saying that religious traditionalists are alien to the Liberal project; many of the worst Conservatives are rootless, and unprincipled (even nihilist) seculars. That was what I wanted to say. Thanks for taking the time to hear me out on that.
I consider myself a liberal, not a progressive. I feel progressives are mainly young, immature newer voters who simply want what they want, and if they can't get it, they'll take their ball and go home. They nearly gave us Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders in 2020. If that had happened, we would be f___ed already, never mind next year. Trump would be in the process of setting up a democracy-in-name-only, with the oleaginous cooperation of his partner Senator Addison "Mitch" McConnell. But these Republican bastards are like nothing I have ever seen. They existed pre-Trump, but Trump gave them permission to crawl out of the septic tanks and stink up the States shamelessly, consequence-free.
That Christmas photo is everything the modern Republican movement is about; its sole purpose is to piss off liberals. Coming on the heels of a mass shooting at a high school is a bonus, because that way it pisses off liberals even more.
The person stating UofC was in a nice neighborhood clearly is either lying or ignorant I'll be 52 in a week and back in high school we talked about how dangerous that area was. Utter nonsense
Re: Dispatches From America
1. Wisconsin: I'm neither a Republican nor a Democrat. And I was never a single-issue voter until 2016. But I am now and will continue to be, unless or until something happens that "... will make the Republican Party change." And I agree with James Widgerson that that "something" will be nothing short of "a cataclysmic loss." And I aim to do my part to help make that happen.
2. Illinois: Ian Bamford is wise beyond his years. And an astute observer. And much of what he wrote is the reason that I find my options for trying to effect the goal stated above so damned distasteful.
3. Montana: Tell Steve Bullock to run for something where I live and vote. Based on what he wrote here, he'd sure as hell have mine.
4. Michigan: Lived here nearly 50 years. Sadness and anger beyond words.
5. Kentucky: Born and raised there, coming to Michigan after High School. Used to feel some pride in that important part of my cultural heritage. But no more. No effin' more.
Charlie & Tom, I really enjoyed your discussion the other day. I am a former GOP voter, Reagan to W. Left the GOP over Iraq. Centrist on most issues. Small biz owner. Veteran. The Bulwark and the Lincoln Project have given me hope over the last few years. Keep up the good fight.
Love your posts, Charlie.
I sympathize with Mr. Bamford and wish him well. Minnesota is too cold to live in but Mr. Bullock's letter and Ms. Klobuchar's campaign and behavior in the Senate suggest that there is a real movement toward realistic politics going on there. It would be nice if the national Democrats would listen but I'm not holding my breath for that.
This is one of the best weekend pieces I've seen and it speaks well for the Bulward team that even the comments on the presumptive outcome of Dobbs were generally polite and the arguments well taken.
I agree with Steve Bullock! Rural politics definitely makes you more Libertarian. I’m one of those people, Steve 👋!
Also, MTG really thought she hit a home run when she thought of that Tweet on the shitter. 🤣
Bullock is wrong on just one thing: Democrats aren't just going to continue to get trounced in rural areas. Democrats are going to lose suburban and even some urban areas. Both Long Island DA elections went Republican last month and the Nassau County Executive flipped too. Republicans made gains even in the NY City Council.
African Americans saved NYC this year. In addition to electing Eric Adams, Council Member Gibson has been elected Bronx Borough President. I love in the Bronx and am happy about both.