Voldemort/Palpatine 2020!

There’s an article in The Guardian about how much we adults have let down the next generation. And it’s not just about climate change.

All the kids have to do is look at today’s political scene to know how hypocritical we “adults” are. I’d go on, but the Guardian article says it better than I could.

The democratic party has answered the latest challenge by fielding a host of candidates to challenge president Dumbass. More than one of them, I could support strongly, I even like and admire. The backgrounds, the achievements, the intelligence, the plans of these candidates offer us a cornucopia of options, from which to choose the best.

And here we are, determined to save the nation and the world by ousting president dumbass, bickering about Bernie and venting frustration over 2016. Get over it.

Instead of bashing other choices, how about if we have a contest to see who can make her or his candidate sound best? Can you make your choice sound so good, I’ll have to acknowledge it? Can you make me say “Whoa, I’d better think seriously about her!”? Or him. Your choice. If we all do that, about every candidate (except that guy from Starbuck’s), we set up a big win for whoever emerges with the nomination when the dust clears.

Because let’s face it, we know what the world needs now. As a friend of mine put it, if it’ll replace Trump as president, I’ll vote for the Voldemort/Palpatine ticket.


14 responses to “Voldemort/Palpatine 2020!

  1. How ‘we’ have let down the ‘next generation’?

    “ The level of fossil fuel consumption globally is now roughly five times higher than in the 1950s, and one-and-half times higher than in the 1980s, when the science of global warming was confirmed and governments accepted the need to act on it. This is a central feature of the “great acceleration” of human impacts on the natural world. . . .

    CO2 emissions are 55% higher today than in 1990. Despite 20 international conferences on fossil fuel use reduction and an international treaty that entered into force in 1994, man made greenhouse gases have risen inexorably.”

    Click to access pirani-helsinki-wern2018-paper.pdf

  2. “Intelligence for Change”

    I prefer Warren ( I think the most viable female or progressive candidate ) but Sanders is still (if he has the stamina to do it) a possible choice – the appearance of age (and the extra decade) is against him though.

    A woman as President would be a good idea. The communication skills are important too.

    We need someone who thinks before engaging in the process of opening their mouth at this point, which has put me off some of the younger members, and we absolutely need someone who does not carry around the baggage of Wall Street connections.

    It would be a good idea if they were not too married to the anti-nuclear movement.

    Early days.

  3. While this is all about political immediacy, my biggest concern is that the U.S. Constitution is failing to offer a cogent means to solve or help solve the greatest challenge it has ever faced. While there can be excuses made about this influence and that, the Constitution was supposed to be a document for the actual world, not only operating under some conditions of nicety. This appears to be structural, not political, and it may be in part due to its anti-alliance posture. (Although, to its credit, there sits a ratified treaty on the books which, according to the Constitution, is supposed to have the force of federal law. Yet it is being routinely ignored.) But, in any case, unless the judiciary reasserts itself in something like a win for the plaintiffs in Juliana v United States what is happening is that the Constitution is being relegated to the same dustbin that the Articles of Confederation were placed.

    I have have every hope the climate challenge will be addressed. But it is looking more and more to me that this will happen through extra-Constitutional means. I do not at all mean any kind of revolution or replacement. I mean that those organizations with wealth will see that climate change poses a threat to that wealth and their continued existence, and they will step up to fix it. Unfortunately, because these solutions will be extra-governmental and not negotiated, there will be next to no chance for people to express their preferences on how, or who should be impacted more than others. By rights those impacted the most by fixes should be those who benefited most from extracting and burning fossil fuels. Alas, if the choice is political, that won’t be who will suffer the greatest consequences. And so, necessarily, the solution needs to be apolitical.

    Until those emissions start coming down and we make a collective serious effort to address the impacts of climate change as it will unfold, and its huge costs, a horse race for President appears trite.

    • To date the slavery/”states’ rights” issue was the greatest test the Constitution has faced. It really failed at that one. Intractable differences don’t respond well to checks and balances when push finally comes to shove.

      Not sure we are in quite THAT sort of pickle right now, though. It seems to me like we are in the pre-trust buster Gilded Age. As then, right now corporate interests are ascendant, that’s true. This doesn’t need to override individual rights forever if the correct politics arise.

      • @jgnfld,

        Therein lies the problem: The principal extra-Constitutional means for solving this problem is profit-incentivized corporatism. They have or can amass the skill. They know how to plan. They know how to execute.

        While I am in favor of reversing Citizens United, I am not in favor of hobbling a mechanism that is the most probable means of our getting ourselves out of this mess. Government and politics worldwide have proved themselves pretty inept at it. Emissions are still going up, even after 20+ years of pious jabber.

        And there’s the problem: A successful overthrow might destroy the very mechanism of saving things.

        Most people seem to think this is a problem that’s staying still, if but for emissions increases. That’s not it at all. Not only is emissions reduction a problem, but the very technical mechanisms we use to adapt infrastructure for use are proving inadequate to the challenge. I learned Thursday that, for instance, civil engineering standards and architectural standards are released no more frequently than every 5 years. It takes 5 years to develop a set. That means, basically, that the considerations which motivate a revision are still in force 10 or more years after the considerations were apprehended. The pace of change is quickening, and the standards system was designed for a system which was retrospectively looking for its evidence and assumed knowledge of the mean behavior was what was needed, plus good constraint on variability. In the present world, the mean is changing with time. It might change pretty fast. Also (another thing I learned) the variability in magnitude of events is providing to be like the Poisson: Some function of the mean itself. Accordingly, defining the extreme case to set a standard is increasingly hard, on the one hand, because predicting it is intrinsically tough, and on the other, because builders and implementers, used to the way things were, complain when the standard seems overly high and therefore expensive.

        There’s the long known Tragedy of the Commons. Mark Carney added a Tragedy of the Horizon. Thomas Friedman added Global Weirding. And now there’s a Global Blinding, meaning that what we once knew to be okay and appropriate is being superseded by Nature, and we need to study hard and fast to keep up. It’s possible, as I’ve heard in offside discussions at meteorological conferences, that the heuristics used by meteorologists to forecast are being obsolesced and all we have now are the models.

        I think it’s a really bad idea to foreclose or send away any body of expertise, even if the corporate structure fought against a quicker, reasoned response to the present predicament. This is an all hands on deck time. It’s foolish to harbor grudges.

  4. Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington has made climate change his primary issue. He has executive experience, has done some good things in the state. He hasn’t declared, but has hinted he will run.

  5. But what do the American people want? And what is possible?

    Generally I think that in relation to government quite a lot of people who think that they are “above average” in ability, assets or accident of birth just want government to get out of their way so that they can exercise their perceived advantages unfettered. And it should be noted that the number who think themselves above average generally exceed 50% by a considerable margin.
    The “unfettered” bit includes stupid rules relating to the environment and exploitation of their fellow man.

    The skill of the Republicans has been to convince a lot of people that they are “above average” and that the Republicans are the champions of this “unfettered”, when in fact they just represent the interests of the billionaires. And even more so, that the current system will come crashing down like a house of cards if the billionaires aren’t appeased.

    The Democrats have to sell a different vision of the world. It needs to be realistic, and in my mind that means you still need a market based economy. But one where negative externalities are fully paid for (and obviously carbon emissions are the big thing here). And market based economies, while being efficient, tend to create too much inequality – so the government has to redistribute wealth. That way you get the benefits of markets, without so much inequality. Another way to reduce inequality is to allow workers to organise. And maybe even have a universal basic income. Sell the idea that the country can still be rich without anyone being abjectly poor.

    So who has the best vision for the future of America? And who can sell it best? And who can best stand up to the billionaires who will fight tooth and nail to preserve what they’ve got? There are a lot of good Democrat candidates, but in the end, whoever is chosen, everyone has to get behind them. So the fight between the Democrat candidates must be fair and not poisonous, so that everyone can unite behind the successful candidate. No sour grapes this time round.

    Oh, and I guess its obvious, but the party machine has to play fair.

  6. Michael D Sweet.

    This comment is completely of topic.

    This BBC article https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-47274662 describes floods that have caused A$5 billion dollars of damage to Australlia’s cattle industry. We do not need to wait for high temperatures to kill all the cattle for climate change to destroy large farmers. Those who say we can just build air conditioners and farming will go along like normal are not serious.

    After a 7 year drought the farmers were wiped out by a flood. Just as scientists predicted in advance: more drought and more flooding.

  7. David B. Benson

    Tamino — How about a



    signed, the One Ring party.

  8. @sailrick – I fear that it is still too early for climate as a single issue. It will become one, perhaps as soon as 2022 and certainly by 2024, but people will focus on this problem when it actually starts to hurt THEM, and for most Americans, they have neither the vision nor the reasoning ability any more, to understand that what hurts their children’s children hurts them too.

    So too early for a single-issue climate-change candidacy. It needs to be brought forward more as a club to beat down the anti-science and anti-intellectual propaganda. For many Americans the embrace of ignorance is complete but an even larger number is still able to reason their way out of the trap.

    The Republican’s minority government program has to be made more clear to everyone and the Democrats have to get someone who has no damned ties to Wall Street and its Bankers up in front. When they nominated HRC I said to my workmates here in NZ “That’s it, Trump is the next President”. I have to believe that the DNC will find a way to step on a rake in this process. It is their only reliable skill.