About

Kim Messick’s work has appeared in Real Clear Politics, Salon, and The Huffington Post among other venues. He lives in North Carolina.

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9 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Kim:

    Thanks for your Salon article on why the Republicans “despise the modern American state.” There is a much simpler explanation, actually. Picture animals that are compulsively predatory. They have to lack empathy and be extremely self-obsessed in order to be predatory. Their brains have to have just the right (curiously appropriate pun) structures to facilitate predatory behaviors.

    Now, picture them controlling prey like ranchers controlling herds, or wolves controlling sheep. It just happens that predatory humans are most capable of expressing their fear- and power-mongering through the GOP (having only two parties leaves few choices). So, could we stop playing with targeting individuals or parties in particular by name and just concentrate on putting the spotlight on predation itself, (and those individuals as examples) by explaining the predator-prey relationship as acted out by humans through politics, and by labeling and ridiculing all predatory activities?

    Try this exercise: list 100 predatory things that have been done in the name of the GOP in the last 30 years, and explain how they are all related to the predator-prey relationship, at least as a practical context in which to discuss them.

    Or this: note all of the predatory events that have skewed all of history and relate them.

    See also (you could start with Wikipedia) the behaviors characteristic of “psychopathy”, a formal psychology term, albeit theoretical, and then search the Web for current research on the neurophysiological (brain structure) causes of those behaviors.

    We certainly can’t call human predators “mentally ill”, since there are predators throughout nature, and because we haven’t yet nailed down what causes compulsive predation, but we can say that human behaviors that have predatory effects simply have to be highlighted and prevented (starting with school-yard “bullying”). Predators in the rest of nature have a “balancing” effect, but human predators are oblivious to balance and simply hell-bent on playing a dangerous game that give them personal pleasure (in their brains).

    We can only gain some measure of control over human predation by pointing out self-obsessive, callous, controlling and emotionally manipulative political behaviors as representative of predation in general, not just of certain individuals. It’s a simple, understandable, and universal way to explain to the chickens in the coop what is being done to them and why they can’t, but should, realize it.

    Cheers!

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    1. I never had the predator gene and knew I didn’t but I saw many who had it it is quite ugly to see scott walker ted cruz tom cotton all have it its easy to see and we instinctively see its existence or non existence in others

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    2. I appreciate your comment, John, but can’t agree with your argument for the reasons given in my reply to your first post here. There may be specific contexts where it’s helpful to describe political behavior as “predatory,” but that will be because of the context, not because of any general explanatory link between the concepts of predation and politics. Trying to model all political life on the “predator – prey” dynamic is simply too reductive an approach.

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  2. just read your post in salon kudos to you what a great summary of how we got to this point of rep crazy I always blamed it on rove exploiting guns gays an dgod with the crazy base now I see clearly the underlying structures in place that contributed to it thanks for explaining what we all feel on a gut level with changing demographics the reps time is limited and they cant or wont change hence voter id laws and other restrictions how about Oregon automatic voter reg through dept of motor vehicles we could use also election day is a holiday and allow write in votes

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Gerard. I agree completely with your remarks about Oregon— it’s a great template I would love to see other states take up. I agree also that election day should be a national holiday. This country makes it absurdly difficult to vote, which is one of the reasons mid-terms almost inevitably favor Republican candidates. (I discuss some of these issues in a Salon article (“GOP’s Paranoia & Cruelty”) that ran right around the 2014 mid-terms.)

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  3. Hi, the only thing you missed in your essay today (814/15) in Salon is the overwhelming fact of the campaign of defamation carried out against the diverse white American peoples. This is a huge factor in attitudes among them, and for you to ignore it while it is visible in every major daily paper, most TV news, and many university classes.

    We started Resisting Defamation in 1989, did verbal battle with haters like Joan Walsh , and numerous others. We have made a distinct difference in a number of areas since we were founded in 1989.

    As evidence of the campaign of defamation is the casual but conscious stripping demographic references of our diversity and our nationality.

    On that same point, one thing that I have noticed about the more delicate media is that, when Trump blasts out an unpleasantness, it is most often a response to an unpleasantness, not some self-starting rumble. He goes off without help sometimes, but it looks to me that 90% of his broadsides are responses to “bullets” from his opponents. In larger matters, ignoring the early “bullets” is called “clock-starting” and has very harmful effects.

    Resisting Defamation is not supporting Trump for president lest you think this is an ad for him…it is an ad for an end to the anti-white narrative and the campaign of defamation.

    Bo Sears
    for
    http://www.ResistingDefamation.org

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  4. Kim, you are damn fool and an uber schmuck. Americans of all colors and religions are angry at our leadership. Simply put, our leaders has been serially negligent and grossly incompetent. Since WW2, we’ve had three good presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan) and one with unfulfilled promise (JFK). Our POTUS batting average is awful. And Congress’ batting average is even worse. Trump’s popularity has nothing to do with race or religion and everything to do with the Washington Elites raping and pillaging our country. Whether it’s Pelosi and Reid or Boehner and McConnell, our leadership has consistently sold out to special interests and corporations. Amazingly, we’ve had two of our worst presidents back to back. Bush ’43 was a war profiteer, liar, and delusional narcissist. King Odumbo is a Marxist, liar, and delusional narcissist. Now we have $19 TRILLION IN DEBT, the rise of China as both a military and economic competitor, the second coming of Russia, ISIS, and a country reeling from King Odumbo’s Saul Alinsky ends always justify the means divide and conquer tactics. Bash Trump all you want. He’s not my favorite either. But the reason he is popular is because he is far better than more of the same. Also, Ben Carson is in second place in most polls. So you can skip the racist angle. The people who like Trump also like Carson. They are smart, accomplished, and anti-Washington with no political experience. And thanks for playing King Odumbo’s race card. Now go back to sleep and rest your fragile brain.

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  5. Kim,

    Just finished your piece on Salon and found your blog. Wanted to know what’s your history and education background? The quality of your writing is exceptional, your ideas are well-formed and critical. I read a lot of left wing columnists, but for my money your the best I’ve read thus far.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Mills. I’m afraid there’s nothing very interesting about my background— I’m pretty much your average nerd who grew up loving words and ideas, read a lot, went to college, read some more, wrote a little, kept reading, kept writing. Politically I’m probably closest to some weird brand of democratic socialism, one that’s heavy on the “democratic” and also values the insights of classic European conservatism and Catholic social thought. (It’s been done before— think of a Romish John Ruskin.) I like the poetry of W.H Auden, Wallace Stevens, and Mark Strand, film noir, TV series whose titles incorporate the word “files”— as in “Rockford” and “X“— good German beer and baseball. Especially baseball. And beer. That’s me in a nutshell.

      Did I mention the beer?

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