Timely and perceptive article. Since I first heard it as a slogan, I felt like white progressives were mostly likely the people pushing it. And it's very reactionary. Because the real demand should be more capable police who know the communities they work in and who don't go around harassing and shooting people in those communities. The worst type of racism are politicians who accept gun fights, gang wars and murder in the communities that are most plagued by them. Malign neglect, top-down.

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How do you define capable? How do they get capable? Who funds that?

Are you arguing that police should only be assigned to neighborhoods where they live? If so, how do you reconcile that with the overwhelming call for more police, given that neighborhoods won't be able to uniformly supply them?

Do you not want police to harass and potentially shoot criminals? Say -- mass shooters? Armed burglars? Where is the line drawn, and who has the authority to draw it?

If the people don't like those types of politicians, how do they keep getting elected?

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Recently I read an essay on the CSPI website about the cultural roots of populism:


It explains a lot about what appeals to voters and what they value as essential. It also suggests why strongarm types like to invoke "common sense" and make with the expletives and epithets in the name of "telling it like it is."

The biggest benefit of reading the CSPI piece was getting past the ALL CAPS megaphoning and bare-knuckle posturing of populists, and understanding the motivations of people drawn to them. Are some of those drawn to populists the ones Hillary dismissed as deplorables and belong to The Order of the 17th Letter? Definitely. Do some of them have the same moderate and pragmatic streak that Zaid observes in NYC's minority voters and the national Democratic Party? I think so.

I'm speaking as a JFK Democrat, as my conservative friends call me. I see an opportunity to re-connect with people who who aren't among The Woke but still acknowledge incidents of inequality and disparity. They don't want coastal Establishment elites shoving everything down their throat, but they're open to having a small taste if they get to help in the kitchen. Specifically regarding crime, my guess is that moderate pragmatists don't want to defund the police but at the same time don't want a modern-day Stasi.

I'd go so far as to say these folks also want equality of opportunity without crippling student debt, border enforcement without cages, and reliable public services without complete privatization. That's why I think a great approach would be to reconcile the originalist intent of promoting the general welfare with the progressive goal of serving the common good. It seems attainable. It just takes the right person to get there, regardless of party.

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The privatization bit is off the table in my opinion. In a nation that valued capitalism, but also was possessed of ethics and a sense of responsibility, it might be an option. The private sector is broken.

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Chui, you summed up what I was trying to say about originalism/progressivism that got right to the heart of my long-windedness. Capitalism + Ethics + Responsibility = The American Solution.

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Has it ever existed?

Or is it that there was an arc of progress toward it that has been interrupted?

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Assuming that it has existed, odds are you'll sooner find it at the local level than on the national scale.

Re: the arc of progress - I see it the same way as Martin Luther King Jr's arc of the moral universe. It will take much longer than we like, and it isn't meant to be a smooth shiny rainbow. There's been a fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, and there will continue to be. Still, I think humanity will get there. I get pessimistic a lot of the time, but like Jonathan Haidt was quoted in ABR Religion and Ethics, I stop short of being 100% pessimistic.

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If it is at the local level then the premise has already been rejected. Postmodernism at a very core level requires its adherents to frame oppression holistically, not as a targeted exercise.

The whole of the Enlightenment and everything that followed must be wiped from the board.

An arc is only an arc if it continues to the desired endpoint. I would argue that it is 95% severed. In any case, its recovery will add decades onto an already century + long exercise.

In the other direction, it won't take more than 10=15 years for the arc to be fully severed.

Much easier to tear down than to put up.

Also, King was a meritocracy proponent. This is the first concept to be rejected by PM and CRT. Only by the color of one's skin will one be judged. The content of your character is a secondary consideration and is only allowed at the group level. It is forbidden, explicitly at the individual level.

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Chui, are you speaking as an observer or an advocate?

Understand I'm not framing this as a "gotcha" question. We have nothing to gain in a good-faith discussion by leading the witness. It's just hard for me to distinguish whether or not you're arguing for/against PM, CRT, and the Age of Humanism.

I'm only asking as a way of getting a little more context in support of your viewpoints.

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*ABC Religion and Ethics

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I think it should have been worth mentioning Maya Wiley in an article about the current mayoral race. She snagged some big endorsements in the last week and the progressive left has begun to coalesce around her since Dianne Morales’ campaign imploded, bumping her up past Yang in the latest Pix11 poll. As a progressive leftists that would have voted for Dianne had she not turned out to be all talk and no walk, I’m praying Wiley or Yang can beat out Eric Adams - an egomaniac who may not live in NYC, who believes god has ordained him to be the next mayor of NYC, and who regularly refers to himself in the third person. We need someone who will hold the NYPD accountable when they assault or abuse New Yorkers, lie in court, or falsify records and evidence, which they do frequently and see no repercussions for.

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I think the Wiley development is interesting but may ultimately be moot. This election is being done through RCV rules, so consolidating voters who fled other progressive candidates won't help her if progressives don't have a solid majority. FWIW my understanding is that Wiley isn't a died in the wool progressive either. When she was in city government she resisted a lot of the police reforms that the far left wants. Right now she's positioning herself to get those votes but may be closer to Adams and Yang than the left wants to admit.

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The far left is regressive, not progressive. That is what may be getting missed.

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For sure. The left candidates have been decimated though, so due to the RCV, I think they’ll engage in strategic voting to block Yang, but more importantly Adams, with the hopes that the more moderate people on the left will recognize what you said about her record. She’s no radical, but she’s a civil rights attorney who has a stronger record in public service than Yang, and is the preferred candidate to both Yang and Adams for most of the progressive left, which is pretty vibrant and active here in NYC. I think Yang or Adams will ultimately win, but I think it’s important context to point out that the Stringer and Morales campaigns, widely recognized as the left’s top two candidates, have crumbled, and the left has really been left without a candidate.

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