A recent e-mail reminded me of the old saying, “pot calling the kettle black” (“a person who is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another and is thus an example of psychological projection, or hypocrisy.”).

Here’s an opportunity, whether you’re “pot” or “kettle” to consider both sides of the story.  Comments are welcome.  After reading the following, I’d encourage you to read this long article about truth and fiction, titled “The Value of Truth”: Michael Patrick Lynch Boston Review; as well as Michael Patrick Lynch Boston Review (2) (click to enlarge).

“Pot’s” e-mail, from Feb. 22, is down the page, the second half of this post.

I’m the “Kettle”, and since this is my piece of real estate I’ll go first…though you can certainly read “Pot” first if you wish.  It would be nice to get a few responses on either/both.

What I don’t say below, is the most important comment which I add here:  I have followed American politics for years, not obsessively, but often with interest, and often, active involvement.  What “Pot” seems to forget is that his ‘side’, has attacked we others viciously and incessantly for many, many years.  In retrospect, in my opinion, a definable ground zero goes back to folks, Republican warriors, like Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and others, back to more murky roots in the 1970s.  Politics in the U.S. has always been a contact sport, but until recent decades it has generally been decent, and in recent years with unfettered and instantly and universally transmittable “speech” through twitter and the like, often transparently false, we have created our own problem, which only we can undo.  Attack politics works, ultimately to the detriment of everyone, losers and winners.

(Following “Pot’s” comments, I’ll relate again my own political biography as a citizen.)

Kettle: As you know you and I are almost exactly the same age, along with Nancy Pelosi – 1940 kids.

My natural affinity and affiliation is liberal, and I’m active.  So over the years a great many of the people I know best would consider themselves liberals, and it would not surprise you to know that they are nice people who tend to have a “big tent” philosophy.  They are not easily pigeon-holed, or regimented.  The old saying of Will Rogers, “I am not a member of any organized political party, I’m a Democrat”, comes to mind.”  Hard as it can be, we take democracy seriously.

It is rather odd to hear that the liberals haven’t been nice: “For more than 4 years…was continually bashed by liberals”. I happen to be liberal, and for years and years the right wing has attacked, attacked, attacked…and your guy just joined the parade, which even preceded Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh.  Maybe you don’t remember, but when you first corresponded with me back in the summer of 2011 you sent about 35 ‘forwards’ all on the favorite talking points of the radical right.  One of them was from the guy who was President from 2017-21.  His broadside came six years before he became President….

Then there’s the matter of that alleged $50,000,000 from teacher unions to Biden.  You can search information on such things on the internet.  The NEA and AFT (disclosure: I was staff primarily for NEA locals for 27 years) are large nationwide organizations with thousands of large and small locals.  NEA alone has about 3 million members, but it is a wild misrepresentation to make a statement such as you did.  The closest I could come to what seems to be a fairly reasonable representation of reality comes from a group called Blue Tent, as it describes itself here.    Its article on the subject can be read here.  Scroll down to the section on NEA and AFT.  Here’s the pull quote from the article: NEA and AFT “…spent $5.7 million and $1.5 million, respectively, on outside expenditures as of October [2020].”  MAYBE we’re talking $2.00 per member towards politics, and assuredly teachers are not a bloc who all think alike, politically or otherwise.

Back to Pot.

Pot:  Dick, Why is it that most liberals in the media, Hollywood, and in universities are filled with hatred, intolerance, condescension, and racism? If you disagree with a liberal you are called a racist, a bigot, misogynist, or any other demeaning word they choose. For more than 4 years Trump was continually bashed by liberals. Now that Biden is President have you heard the questions he gets, like what kind of ice cream do you like, what is your dogs name, how do you feel about being President?  Soft balls and mushy questions that give people the urge to purge.  All the liberals have switched into the defensive mode rather than the offensive mode like during Trump’s term.  When Rush Limbaugh died the roar of liberal hatred filled the airwaves.

Biden ran on creating jobs but on his first day he fired 11,000 pipeline union members and thousands of collateral workers.  They probably did not contribute to his election.  Biden accepted around $50,000,000 from teacher unions, which is why he won’t run roughshod over them.  Money talks, students silence!  He is going to drag the covid crisis as far as possible, remember the “never let a crisis go to waste” comment?  Would you want your daughter beaten in a race by a man who identifies as a woman?  Biden would!  Is it fair for a motorcyclist to enter a bicycle race if he identifies as a bicyclist?  Biden probably would agree.  Why can’t we all choose to be whatever we want?  Can I put on a Marine uniform and call myself a Marine?  Can I wear overalls and call myself a farmer?  Biden talks unification but acts divisive.  He is polarizing the people even more than they are.
Have you noticed we are no longer “Americans”, we are called “African Americans”, “Asian Americans”, “White Americans”, “Hispanic Americans”. “Latino  Americans”, “European Americans”, etc?  Division and victimization seems to be the reason. Do you agree with all of Biden’s actions?  I sure do not.
POSTNOTE: Dick Bernard, personally: I turned 21 in 1961.  At that time, 21 was the voting age.  I was a senior in college, and I too young to vote in the 1960 election.  The candidate I best remember in college years was Nelson Rockefeller, who I saw speak in person in a park in my North Dakota college town.  I’ve written about that event: Politics 1960 vs 1996001 (click to enlarge).
I first dove in, supporting Jimmy Carter in 1980.  He was and remains a singularly decent person in the office of President.  He and Rosalyn set a very high bar.  I admire him.
Subsequent, I’ve always supported Democrats.
I’d like to see more honesty in political rhetoric.

from Peter: My first thought was “troll”. More likely, deep emotional wounds. A person grasping for dignity.

In my experience, people with a problem only begin recovery in the moment when they recognize the problem. Before that point they are often desperate to bond with others over their phobias.

Lots of us have family members in this condition and cannot just move on. In that case having it out in public is hurtful, and maybe even dangerous.

I see no opening for dialog there. My question is what (if any) difference a rejoinder could make, to anyone.

A useful question for them might be: “Where do you hurt?”

response from Dick: “Pot” isn’t a troll – at least not here – having been on my distribution list for many years, and never asked to be taken off the list. Pot has previously expressed a point of view, which I have shared in this space.  We don’t agree, obviously.  I will comment to the individual directly as well.   Similarly, Peter has been a good friend for many years.  He and I tend to be kindred spirits philosophically.

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