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Don't Be Fooled by the Politics of Smart


Don't Be Fooled by the Politics of Smart

Rick Salutin

Whatever happened to liberals? Sadly, they got smart.

For this insight I’m indebted to U.S. journalist Thomas Frank, whose 2004 book, What’s the Matter with Kansas? explained the success of right-wing populism in the George W. Bush years and whose recent, Listen, Liberal, described the Hillary Clinton debacle in advance. He lectured in Toronto last month. It served as a booster shot.


"Historically, the truly smart, starting with Socrates, know they don’t know much. But Frank explains how, from the 1980s on, U.S. Democrats divested from their longtime attachment to the poor and exploited and shifted fealty to the new professional class:..."

Washington seems to be littered with these people, and being on the outside now, anger is the name of their game. Bill Clinton was the first "smart" president and his smarter wife was to be the third smart president, after the second smart president, Obama. Then, along came, not Trump, but the great revolt, the revolt against the status quo in DC/NY, and the Smart Set is still trying to figure out what happened, after all they are the smart set, they flail about willy nilly targeting those not of their "set" and not in their cacoon. For example, here's a darling of this set, Rachel with a bit of Green and Putin bashing, Socrates she's not. Rachel is one of the leaders of the new McCarthyism radiating from NYC/DC.


' smaht ' - toim locked in afta nafta. ' wise guy' ? ... aaah, too obvious, like concrete booties afta christie in joisey. Gotta bridge? now there chris still pops the pylons. wanna wall? yo! construction (just ask chris in joisey) is the name of the game. back him off afta elections and bone the boys to mix tex-mex. hey - it don matta none. dere all family now.

I joke, but notice how heat and constant push of "globalization" has fallen dead-silent lately? Heres one connection - and keep in mind that the US actively supported, with military on standby, the last fascist coup in Brazil. Now we have major construction corruption on the mega scale that is transnational - but rarely if ever reported on. The corruption in transnational construction companies wields unfathomable power and, I would submit, is what is behind the corruption of process in cases all over the world where INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SEE THEIR RIGHTS LITERALLY BULLDOZED. Why? because construction and toxic agribusiness and similar operations need land for constant expansion DICTATED BY THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM- and indigenous peoples are STILL struggling for even the most basic coherence in land rights.


Mr Salutin has nailed my thoughts to a T. The smart would never call themselves smart.

Smart is a mixture of elements that include wisdom, emotional maturity as well as intellectual capacity.

That they revel in their smartness reveals a lack of wisdom and maturity.
They are in fact the educated idiot classes. The most dangerous people of all.


Obama's campaign slogans ("hope and change", "yes we can" are some examples) rang (and ring) more hollow than Trump's "make America great again".

Recall Obama telling us how the banksters who caused the 2008 crash were "savvy businessmen" as he and Congress committed an amount of taxpayerrs' money to bailing them out that would have been enough to fund single payer medical insurance for every American for more than a decade AND provide free public university tuition to all qualifying American students.


You don't think the current McCarthyism is the broad attack on the press that Trump and Co., is carrying out? Resisting those attacks, which you apparently support, is what many failed to do during the McCarthy era. Now we have people who call themselves progressives joining the attacks.


There are legitimate criticisms of the MSM without bringing Trump into the equation, indeed, criticisms of msm were, until recently, rife on these pages. I despise Trump, but my dislike for Trump is not going to blind me to the dangerous geopolitical game being played by the neocons and their new enablers to the point where serious critics are black balled, for example, Prof. Cohen.


This from Daniel Lazare:


This from Mike Madden, on his Senator Amy Klobuchar



Just how do you take Trump and Co. out of the equation without getting a false result?


The New Cold War precedes Trump by several years.


The Smart Set arose from the 1920s. After WW1, a bunch of upper middle class dweebs from America got to hang out with broke European royalty, who had lots of education but no money. And, no desire to join the stiffs who actually built businesses and rebuilt countries. Soon enough, these Americans tired of cafe society, bad poetry, odd political theory, no more of their parent's dough and moved back to NYC and other cities. They found protection in their families' connections, rode the New Deal to great wealth and position and even gave money to charities, who were trying to help the working class they were quietly ripping off. This continued until they grew tired of sharing and the people they were ripping off changed color and started getting some of the best looking women. And, started to demand equal rights and equal power.
Now, we have Trump and the rise of The Dumb Set. A bunch of greasy gangsters and hoodwinking opportunitists who've never cared about anyone else and who get the best looking women the same way the old royalty did; they buy them, of course. Just like they buy politicians and our gov't.
Same as it ever was, Same as it ever was. With a few exceptions, of course, because this is the one indispensable country and group of people this tired old world has ever seen. Or, likely will ever see again.


The Cold War was the good ol days. What we're seeing is also some old fashioned power rivalry. Serious but manageable problem. The nuclear holocaust war hysteria is limited to Russia Today and a very narrow slice of the Left. Even smaller than Steins vote.

The Right is attacking everything most Americans value, yet some on the Left can only rouse themselves to defend Putin.


The McCarthyism is now coming from the "progressive" left (not the real left). These people are now pro CIA, FBI and MSM. They carry lists and create websites dedicated to "exposing" pro-Russian writers and websites. They are the deciders of what constitutes fake news and what doesn't. They are now the champions of the Washington Post, a notoriously biased news paper. They are seeking out and destroying those who voted third party and they are taking names. Those who did not vote Clinton are now enemies. They are now lovers of the Deep State. Surely you have many of these people as "friends" on facebook.


You're engaging in the very thing HisStory was speaking of. Congrats for proving this point. Up is down, black is white.


You've certainly cleared the up. Thanks.


ZzThey are seeking out and destroying those who voted third party? I know such people. I better go warn them right away. Exactly who are the "they" that's carrying out this infernal search and destroy campaign? How have you managed to survive? Is there something like an Underground Railroad for third party voters?


Well BW, you can start with the Washington Post and their piece on Fake News, in which they posted a link to PropOrNot.com. That's a good start. I suspect you know this already though and you think you're being witty


You think ProporNot is coming to get you? It seems that the WaPo article was just free advertising for some sites. Hardly suppression. But I'm really concerned about the threats you must be facing. Are you in hiding?


I'm interested in this from a rhetorical/definition perspective. Many here use "McCarthyism" more in the narrow sense, referring to a witch-hunt on "communists." But since Russia is not communist, the red scare definition is a bit off base, but still probably understood by most readers.

However many people use it, as your sentence does, in the broader definition: reckless unsubstantiated ad hominem attacks.

And yet, this second reference, the broader use, seems to reflect DT actions, whereas the 1st use now refers to targets of government officials by MSM and other government officials.

But McCarthyism did not just target government officials, but also artists, writers, many from the entertainment industry, academia, mass media and unions.
So who is targeting all of these?

(But at least McCarthy didn't attack Science itself.)


Obama frolics with yet another billionaire. Please go away, the both of you.


McCarthyism went way beyond going after communists. It drove many not willing to become actively anti communist out of many organizations, institutions, or broad fields of work and expression. I don't think the McCarthyism label works very well now whether used in support of Trump or in opposition, but as a broad brush it more describes Trumps attacks than the reverse.

When the McCarthyism line first appeared I did wonder if some people thought Russia was still Red. People even called it Red baiting. Strange stuff.