[Ads-l] post-rational

Joel Berson berson at ATT.NET
Thu Sep 10 17:47:32 UTC 2015


Wikipedia writes the following about Massachusetts, 1855.  I've inserted my guesses as to whether Trump's views are the same as the Know-Nothings', given that he's said almost nothing specific.

"It passed legislation to regulate railroads, insurance companies, and public utilities.  [likely No]  It funded free textbooks for the public schools, and raised the appropriations for local libraries and for the school for the blind. [surely No]  Purification of Massachusetts against divisive social evils was a high priority. [purify Massachusetts?  perhaps Yes!]  The legislature set up the state's first reform school for juvenile delinquents [surely No], while trying to block the importation of supposedly subversive government documents and academic books from Europe.  [from Europe?!  probably Yes]   It upgraded the legal status of wives, giving them more property rights and more rights in divorce courts. [No]  It passed harsh penalties on speakeasies, gambling houses and bordellos, [penalties on gambling houses?  Surely no]  It passed prohibition legislation with penalties that were so stiff—such as six months in prison for serving one glass of beer [probably No]—that juries refused to convict. Many of the reforms were quite expensive; State spending rose 45% on top of a 50% hike in annual taxes on cities and towns. [raising taxes?  surely No]  Extravagance angered the taxpayers; few Know Nothings were reelected."

Let's hope we don't reach the point of not reelecting with Trump.

Joel

      From: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
 To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
 Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 1:32 PM
 Subject: Re: [ADS-L] post-rational
   
Well yes, even the Know-Nothings knew some things.  It might also be noted, as it has been--

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/07/opinion/paul-krugman-trump-is-right-on-economics.html

--that Trump is actually more pro-working-people than any of his competitors for the Republican nomination.  An easy bar, it might be argued, but there it is.  Rights of women, maybe not so much, and I wonder how he would have come down on the slavery issue.

LH

> On Sep 10, 2015, at 1:18 PM, Joel Berson <berson at ATT.NET> wrote:
> 
> The history of the Know-Nothings shows more complexity than a simple parallel with Trump's anti-immigrant stance.  In Massachusetts in 1855 it passed much liberal and reform legislation.  To quote Wikipedia, "Historian Stephen Taylor says that in addition to nativist legislation:'the party also distinguished itself by its opposition to slavery, support for an expansion of the rights of women, regulation of industry, and support of measures designed to improve the status of working people'."  Wikipedia cites additional liberal legislation.
> 
> The dark side, of course, was its anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant stance (and corresponding legislation).  In the 1850s and 1850s the two were almost synonymous.  (It was not basically anti-German, but anti-German Catholic, and had support from German Protestants.)  Trump shares its anti-immigrant position, but his other half seems racist rather than anti-Catholic.
> 
> Joel
> 
>      From: Dan Goncharoff <thegonch at GMAIL.COM>
> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU 
> Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 12:31 PM
> Subject: Re: [ADS-L] post-rational
> 
> Aren't the Know-Nothings an interesting parallel to the Donald's success,
> with the irony that the original Know-Nothings were anti-rich and
> anti-German?
> 
> DanG
> 
> On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 8:48 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:      Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM>
>> Subject:      Re: post-rational
>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> 
>> Ho ho!  I detect the irony of one who knows history *and* politics.
>> 
>> JL
>> 
>> On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 7:43 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>> -----------------------
>>> Sender:      American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>> Poster:      Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>> Subject:      Re: post-rational
>>> 
>>> 
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>> 
>>> On Sun, Sep 6, 2015 at 7:22 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com
>>> 
>>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> "[P]erhaps the United States has crossed over into a post-rational
>>> society
>>>> that cares little about facts and reality or serious policy ideas and
>>>> respectful debate, but rather is a nation moved by anger and ridicule,
>>> fear
>>>> and nationalism."
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> That's a nightmarish thought!
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> -Wilson
>>> -----
>>> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
>>> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
>>> -Mark Twain
>>> 
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>> The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.americandialect.org&d=AwIFaQ&c=-dg2m7zWuuDZ0MUcV7Sdqw&r=wFp3X4Mu39hB2bf13gtz0ZpW1TsSxPIWYiZRsMFFaLQ&m=CyESYHQOrsaojUhWVGUPCrn9OltEh2XggUtg5eQIibQ&s=6IVW3lEaPQfTRqxTLPNJPtCMHJKRHCjksx6HDpf_WgY&e= 
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> "If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>> 
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> 
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> 

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