Donald Trump running for President.

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mockbee
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#822 Post by mockbee » Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:51 pm

Hype wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:07 pm
mockbee wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:05 am
That is a good map you have to demonstrate the dichotomy of represention in the US.

It may actually also represent the extreme balance we have going.... We don't think of the consequences of completely getting rid of the electoral college. How long do you think it would be until there would be real revolt if 90% of the land area of the US (the people who live there are important to consider, even if they are a significant minority...who makes the world's food..produces building/manufacturing materials..makes stuff...elves??!!!!) felt totally disenfranchized? And no, with the way things are going with national leaders on the left(democrats) I dont think there would be some magic reckoning of rural areas if these doofus democrats were magically in power perpetually. Obama wasn't a doofus, and even then there was just a formenting of hostility ( yeah yeah racism...but it went beyond that as well)..same with a woman.....and Biden....? No way.

What to do....? Its capitalism that is driving our cultural wedge...MLK understood this intimately.
:noclue:
It's more complicated than that. It's easy to say "it's capitalism". There's an obvious technical truth in that, but it doesn't explain anything. It doesn't, for one thing, show that things couldn't be better and still capitalist. The harder question is: what the fuck is actually going on?

Part of the story is clearly foreign influence. The other part that is difficult to deal with is the influence of moneyed interests since Citizens United. We know the names of a set of billionaires on both the right and the left who tend to have outsized influence in who runs for office and what policies they implement. Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, Bezos, Gates, etc., all put hundreds of millions, if not billions, into lobbying, "research" at partisan "institutes", media spin, and faux-grass-roots mobilizing (especially on FB / social media) This isn't strictly caused by capitalism, because it's identical in form with what goes on in Russia with oligarchs, in Africa and the middle east/west-Asia with warlords and local powerful men (it's almost always men) and in China with various regional members of the ruling "party" jockeying for power. What has radically changed in the West, especially in the United States, is that government power has been whittled away slowly but steadily for 40+ years, since at least Reagan, and the working class has been hoodwinked into agreeing with it. The middle of the country, the rust belt, the service-class everywhere, needs to unionize, to fight governmental and corporate union-busting, and to force things to change for the better. But saying that is one thing -- mobilizing people and getting it done takes powerful people with will and foresight to get it done. It's not clear that it will happen any time soon. But it has happened before. Don't forget, Bezos and his ilk are not the first batch of robber-baron billionaires the United States has been controlled by -- arguably Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, etc., were much, much, much more powerful, and much worse. But hard-fighting anti-fascists managed to force them to break up their massive companies and get the government to force them to respect human rights. It's doable. But people have to be able to see that it's worth doing.
Well, I wouldn't disagree with most of this. Except I think the power of special interests is actually precarious. Citizens United and billionaire tinkering is awful, but certainly did not pick Trump. I think his general appeal is seen as an antagonist to their influence (a guy like "us" that busts up the elites, however messed up that is... :banghead: ) and conversely, lucky for them, the billionaire class benefits from his crony capitalism. I think he is a product of populism and the long standing decline of the market economy. He was NOT the chosen one by the billionaire class.
Also, I wouldn't say China and Russia is terribly different from the US in terms of their overall economic systems. They are primarily market economies, not command economies like Cuba/N Korea etc. Sure Russia and China govt tinkers, but at the end of the day they rely on global trade and markets.

Neoliberalism, sure a major problem of contemporary consequence. But you bring up yourself we had the same, worse, with the Carnegies, Rockefellers, Hearsts (worse than Fox News) etc. I would blame Adam Smith and colonialism before Neoliberalism. We can put a check on it like Keynes in the middle 20th cent, but we end up with the same problems...stagflation in the 70s etc. And the 50s/60s were no utopia..... :noclue:

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Hype
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#823 Post by Hype » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am

It's not real populism though. At least, it's not real in its origins. Yes, of course Trump wasn't the hand-picked puppet of the American ultrawealthy. But Putin is by some estimates the wealthiest person on the planet (of course unofficially, since we have no idea how much money he actually has). The fact that this isn't status quo manipulation of the electorate doesn't mean it's the unmitigated will of the electorate. We know Russia played an outsized role in messing with the election. We know that a lot of people somehow ended up believing that Trump would help them, and at least some of those people now realize that that isn't true.

Before the coronavirus crisis, I thought it was pretty clear Trump would be re-elected (but not like Reagan), and even at the outset of this, I thought it was still pretty clear. But now it's not so obvious. If he is reelected, it may be to lead a government he can't control.

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Bandit72
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#824 Post by Bandit72 » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:52 pm

Hype wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am
We know Russia played an outsized role in messing with the election.
Would you say this is a common theme that has been happening in our lifetime? I'm not suggesting Russia, just electoral votes in general.

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mockbee
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#825 Post by mockbee » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:07 pm

Hype wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am

Before the coronavirus crisis, I thought it was pretty clear Trump would be re-elected (but not like Reagan), and even at the outset of this, I thought it was still pretty clear. But now it's not so obvious.
Oh, it is still quite obvious to me. Possibly, even more so if stuff gets sort of normal...ish............Which I do admit, the whole thing (markets) could just collapse, and then who the fuck knows what happens next..... :noclue:

It seems virus stuff will settle enough for us to get back to some kind of business by Nov....but also might flare up again, and then maybe not.

I don't even see 40% voting for Biden (who? :eyes: ) ...... :conf:

Hype wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am
If he is reelected, it may be to lead a government he can't control.

Do agree with this. Only so much can be done..

.....but he does somehow have markets confident enough at the moment, even though everything on paper regarding the economy/jobs/business' folding/outlay projections/municiple revenue/etc is cataclysmic.... :confused: :scared:

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mockbee
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#826 Post by mockbee » Tue Apr 28, 2020 6:19 pm

Bandit72 wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:52 pm
Hype wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:36 am
We know Russia played an outsized role in messing with the election.
Would you say this is a common theme that has been happening in our lifetime? I'm not suggesting Russia, just electoral votes in general.
Um, ......yaaaah!

Black voters in US have never had a fair shake.......especially late 19th C. - >1965.......and beyond....and obviously before.


Meaning.....outsize forces messing with elections....

Charles
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#827 Post by Charles » Sun May 03, 2020 12:06 am

"I voted for Perry" haha.. I saw a guy with a shirt that said that in 97' at Enit in SF.

How can one person ever represent a country like the USA? It is and always will be a source or division between us. It seems like an antiquated idea anyway. It's like a king or emperor or czar. One person to represent an entire nation created from people all over the world. No single person should have that kind of power...

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Hype
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#828 Post by Hype » Mon May 04, 2020 4:05 pm

Charles wrote:
Sun May 03, 2020 12:06 am
How can one person ever represent a country like the USA? It is and always will be a source or division between us. It seems like an antiquated idea anyway. It's like a king or emperor or czar. One person to represent an entire nation created from people all over the world. No single person should have that kind of power...
One thing that has struck me about Trump's presidency is that we all always thought that the whole point of that role was to be one of three equal branches of government, with each possessing certain checks and balances against the others. So it never was understood that the President would ever be "like a king", and certainly not like a Hobbesian Sovereign (literally wielding the infinite power of the body politic). But what Trump has exposed is that (with the help of certain pre-existing corrupt forces like McConnell) all it takes to break that system is for elected officials to simply not act, or to act in ways that don't have clear cut and dry prosecutable consequences. One of the first things Trump did that was reported widely was tear up notes into tiny pieces, despite the fact that legally all presidential notes, documents, etc., must be archived. That was the beginning of the press pointing to Trump doing something we call out as "illegal" but there being no clear way to do anything about it. Why not? Because I don't think the founders of the country or the subsequent two centuries of legislators and justices ever thought they'd have to manage so much bad faith in one actor. Worse: the increasing politicization and polarizing of the Supreme Court became a victim of that unpunished, apparently unpunishable bad faith before Trump, when McConnell and co. simply declined to accept Obama's Supreme Court appointee, Merrick Garland. All their rhetoric about "lame duck presidency" had nothing to do with what was going on. They simple figured out that they could get away with not doing their jobs, and not ceding anything to their "opponents".

On paper Trump doesn't have very much explicit, direct power. He has executive orders, he can veto things, but there are mechanisms that the other branches can use to deal with this. But in practice, he has helped show just how much wiggle room can be found in this.

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SR
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#829 Post by SR » Tue May 05, 2020 6:39 am

People here have tragically mistaken loyalty (and I'd even argue sympathy) to the criminal/tyrant/oligarch in the office rather than to the institution itself. The damage he has done is irreversible, but the real horror is that he's managed to render any path to reasoned problem solving and discourse, big and small, completely impracticable by destroying the foundations of truth.

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mockbee
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#830 Post by mockbee » Tue May 05, 2020 7:50 am

Hype wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:05 pm


On paper Trump doesn't have very much explicit, direct power. He has executive orders, he can veto things, but there are mechanisms that the other branches can use to deal with this.

You could just as easily slide W, Bush I, or Reagan, even Obama, into this statement. Heck....Nixon, LBJ, etc. Just pick a war/egregious military action...pick among the dozens of options..... :noclue:

Maybe war adventures are more forgivable than being......grossly and blatantly slippery with the truth. Yes, a despicable quality. But how can this be legions worse than executing illegal wars....? Because the previous presidents were more "respectful" and cognizantly concealing their illegal actions?

But in practice, he has helped show just how much wiggle room can be found in this.
Maybe that is the point. Put a stop to the charade.
:idea:
:bored:
Last edited by mockbee on Tue May 05, 2020 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mockbee
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#831 Post by mockbee » Tue May 05, 2020 7:59 am

SR wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 6:39 am
The damage he has done is irreversible, but the real horror is that he's managed to render any path to reasoned problem solving and discourse, big and small, completely impracticable by destroying the foundations of truth.
Can you think of a time when there was reasoned problem solving on a national level that had good results in the last 30-40 years....?

That is substantially different than today...?

:noclue:


Im not for smashing things in order to fix them per say. And also no fan of Trump. But something needed/needs to change.

We need a completely different leader for 2020. Not a Biden, or anyone in that vicinity....and not Trump.

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Hype
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#832 Post by Hype » Tue May 05, 2020 11:39 am

mockbee wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 7:50 am
Hype wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:05 pm


On paper Trump doesn't have very much explicit, direct power. He has executive orders, he can veto things, but there are mechanisms that the other branches can use to deal with this.

You could just as easily slide W, Bush I, or Reagan, even Obama, into this statement. Heck....Nixon, LBJ, etc. Just pick a war/egregious military action...pick among the dozens of options..... :noclue:

Maybe war adventures are more forgivable than being......grossly and blatantly slippery with the truth. Yes, a despicable quality. But how can this be legions worse than executing illegal wars....? Because the previous presidents were more "respectful" and cognizantly concealing their illegal actions?

But in practice, he has helped show just how much wiggle room can be found in this.
Maybe that is the point. Put a stop to the charade.
:idea:
:bored:
I think this is a mistake. There's a classic work of political philosophy from the last century from David Gauthier, a great Canadian philosopher, called Morals by Agreement. You might enjoy it: https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/ ... 0198249924 It has its share of critics (in fact, quite a lot of them; Hobbes hasn't enjoyed much popularity in Anglo-American politics/philosophy since WWII, when there was a resurgence in interest in Kant, but I think this is a mistake).

Anyway, the reason I bring that up is that on this view it's obvious that morality and legality are a charade. Values are a game we play where we weigh individual and collective desires and goods against each other, trying to work out the way to make things go best. You don't fix this by ending the charade. You fix it by reworking, revising, or constructing new systems over time, trying to correct for cases where things aren't going well. But in all cases, we have to remember that laws, constitutions, principles, traditions, are all just ways for a group of people to try to guide society in a direction, either toward or away from some action or consequence, and we do this by agreement. If we cease to agree, we've ceased to have law, etc.

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Pandemonium
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#833 Post by Pandemonium » Mon May 11, 2020 5:10 pm

You're never going to get anywhere letting the people in power and their backers who make and re-shape rules that ultimately benefit their own agenda.

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Hype
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#834 Post by Hype » Wed May 13, 2020 10:01 am

Pandemonium wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 5:10 pm
You're never going to get anywhere letting the people in power and their backers who make and re-shape rules that ultimately benefit their own agenda.
One of the hardest things to figure out as citizens is how to get more power when we need it, and if we get it, how to use it responsibly. Populist power-grabs almost never end well, yet they're always portrayed as "the people" taking power from "the elites" (that's literally the textbook definition of populism). That doesn't mean that people shouldn't try to figure out how to get enough power to make political changes happen. It's more a question of how to go about doing it in a way that doesn't backfire or lead to things getting much, much worse. Often apparent "grass-roots" or "populist" uprisings are really just a smokescreen for one group of elites using people to take over for another group of elites. E.g., the "Tea Party" movement and its current fallout as a way for harder-right factions and a different kind of corporatists and libertarian wing-nuts to take over the Republican Party; or the maneuvers of the corporatist Clinton-style democrats to take over and exorcise the progressive factions from the Democratic party. Both have had pretty disastrous consequences.

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Bandit72
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Re: Donald Trump running for President.

#835 Post by Bandit72 » Fri May 15, 2020 5:40 am


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