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Trump’s plunge in the polls is … good for Trump, ingenious Redditors explain

84-dimensional Chess Master?
84-dimensional Chess Master?

So the Trumpistas in Reddit’s The_Donald are trying to figure out just why God Emperor Trump is plunging in the polls even though he continues to draw big crowds of scary and confused white people wherever he goes.

Apparently unable to conceive that Trump’s brand of belligerent narcisissism might be starting to wear thin for many people, many in the subreddit have concluded, as one much-upvoted comment alleges, that evil cuck pollsters “are over representing democrats to discourage Trump supporters.”

One commenter suggests that this eeevil alleged strategy may backfire, thus transforming Trump’s plunging poll numbers into something that’s … GOOD FOR TRUMP.

o2toauUT 6 points 8 hours ago It will backfire on them unless they're planning on election fraud. If people think Hillary is a shoein they won't even bother to vote because most people who vote for her don't like Hillary, they just don't want Trump. If the news shows her up by 10 they will stay home. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]LhtfootUSA 4 points 2 hours ago Wait... So, this could be an example of Trump playing 84 dimensional interstellar Slovakian guerrilla warfare tactics?

Yes, that’s right: Trump could be losing in the polls ON PURPOSE. Because he’s THAT SMART.

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Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@sfhc

Hegelian dialectic.
Thesis + antithesis = synthesis.
Everything eventually turns into its opposite.
If you define “the new cold” as 9C, eventually that will become the established norm. Even tho, it isn’t actually that ‘cold’ at all.
Then someone else says that 8C is the ‘new cold’ compared to a hotter hot, say 100C.
Keep making the ‘new hot’ hotter, and the ‘new cold’ needn’t be that cold in comparison.
What we are seeing with politics is a ‘new right’ which is edging towards fascism, and a ‘new left’ edging towards where the ‘old right’ used to be.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Mary

No

Yes!

You think I do not understand?

I think you don’t understand Murican politics. I think you subscribe to a meaningless, universalist worldview. I think you place far too much weight to theoretical political discourse, while ignoring what actually fuckin is

America does not have a left wing

Yes we do

Gore Vidal even knew that. Did he know nowt about American politics as well?

comment image

Politics are politics, it’s the USA who chose to deviate from the established terms

You do realize that, originally, the ‘left’ (gauche in French) were those against monarchy. Literally the left side of the room was populated by those who wanted Louis XIV and all his cronies deposed, dead, or both. Seeing as basically no Muricans (barring extreme religious types) want a monarchy, that must mean we’re all leftists! Unless, of course, words change meaning with time and cultural environment. Couldn’t be…

Liberal does not a “leftist” make

But what if it does?

Go do some research

Holy shitnuggets!

@SFHC
If I could transfer some heat to your hemisphere, I would

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

*Missed the edit window. Louis XVI, I mean. Too many goddamn Louis, yo

dslucia
dslucia
4 years ago

So apparently, because I tend to disagree with many views held by most of the politicians here in the US for being far more conservative than I am, I actually don’t exist? And nobody else in the country could possibly have views similar to mine, because there is no such thing as a “leftist” in the US and no Liberal American is “actually” on “the left”?

Good to know; I’d been laboring under the impression that myself and others like me could eventually push the American political system to not be so far to the right, but now I know that we’re a statistical impossibility!

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

@Pocketnerd: Yep, I remember you. 😀

And no, It doesn’t bother me. I just remember a commenter/blogger in my circle of the internet named Thus Spake Zara, so I wondered if you had me confused with them, or if I’d missed her commenting upthread. 🙂

Handsome "These Pretzels Suck" Jack (formerly Pandapool)

This has nothing to do with Trump, but someone’s started a Change.org petition to ban fanboys from the internet after GamerGate and Ghostbusters: https://www.change.org/p/barack-obama-ban-fanboys-from-the-internet?recruiter=582120476&utm_source=share_for_starters&utm_medium=copyLink

http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/oka.gif

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

On the left / right thing : democrats and republicans have *significantly* different policy on both economy and social matters. That alone is enough to say they are a left and a right ; trying to put everyone in the same bag isn’t useful here.

Also, I don’t care about which silly left schiboleth one use. Democrat is the left of America, even tho they are about on par with the French right of 15 years ago, who itself is about the same as the socialists currently in power. They are still significantly to the left of most republican of the last 50 or so year anyway. If the political landscape change, what is right and left will evolve too, but we’re not here yet.

Gore Vidal, meanwhile, have the credibility of the french communist party about what is left and right to me. He is not dangerous, he is not a completely out of touch individual, but he is seriously fringe and for good reasons.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

(and, for context, the right political groups in France since the end of WWII weren’t conservative, just right-wing. They have gone back to conservatisme since about 15 years. Another example of why one should not be too strict on its definition of left and right)

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

I get a little sick of hearing about how there are no true leftists here, unlike enlightened superior Europe when lots of Nazi/fascist candidates have done quite well in elections in many European countries in recent years.

The US is definitely behind when it comes to healthcare and labor rights. On issues like racism and xenophobia, we are no worse and in fact immigrants seem to be less welcome in Europe than they are here despite the anti-immigration sentiment that does exist here.

Leftists exist here but we are stuck with a system that only allows for incremental change. Anyone who has not been involved in a political cause or campaign here should not presume to splain about our existence.

Another issue besides the check and balance happy political system we have is that progressives tend to be concentrated in urban areas and a few other pockets. This creates a big conservative advantage in the legislative bodies because they’re more spread out.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@WWTH
^THISSS!!!
John Lewis, Bernie Sanders, Liz Warren, Al Franken, hopefully Russ Feingold (fingers crossed), and, yes, even Hillary Clinton are on the ‘left’ of our politics. As much as I’d like em all to be? No, but they’re all working towards a more inclusive, more equal society. The problem, I think, is that people from elsewhere mistake the Overton Window for the whole house of mirrors

Real politik. In order become President, to get progressive Supreme Court justices, to rule the right way on marriage, you say some nonsense about ‘tradition’ until the public ‘comes around’. And in order to make universal healthcare a staple of the party platform, 1st you hafta pass a milquetoast reform bill. Hillary wanted universal healthcare in the fuckin 90s. It failed, she learned to keep her yap shut about it, til an old guy from Vermont paves the way. Not ideal, but unfortunately necessary

It also might have something to do with having more than 2 major parties, but I haven’t thought that theory all the way thru yet…

@Satorui
Hiya, I’m Axe! Welcome package on the right side. Enjoy your stay 🙂

joekster-bearded beta
joekster-bearded beta
4 years ago

@Schildfreja: yeah, my father is still angry at SCOTUS for deciding corporations could spend as much as they want in campaigning. Gr…….

@VirginMary: ‘Liberal’ and ‘Conservative’ are both contextual. ‘Liberal’ literally means ’embracing new idea’ while ‘Conservative’ literally means ‘adhering to old idea’. When America was founded, what they called ‘Liberal’ was actually very similar to what we, in America, call ‘fiscal conservatives’. Then, those ideas were new. Now, they are old. That is all. Also, I’ve heard that in Latin America, ‘Conservatives’ refers to landed gentry, ‘Liberals’ refer to various types of capitalists, and ‘Socialist’ stands for, well, socialism. The saying I heard down there was, ‘conservatives are old money, liberals are new money, socialists are no money’.

@Axecalibur: interesting. I could have sworn the ‘left right’ thing went back to Jefferson’s habit of meeting with his cronies (who became the Jeffersonian republicans, who became the democratic republicans, who became the democratic party) on the left side of congress’ original meeting area.

@WWTH: Yep. My understanding is the US Founders wanted any significant change to take multiple election cycles. That way, We The People would have a chance to vote in or vote out supporters or opponents of particular legislation before it became law. Makes it bloody frustrating to make anything happen though, doesn’t it?

ma_w
ma_w
4 years ago

That isn’t how Hegelian dialectics work.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@joek

My point exactly.
I’ve pointed out liberals are ‘fiscal conservatives’ already, but no one seems to hear. Socialism is a different kettle of fish entirely. Maybe America should try it, give it a go?!

joekster-bearded beta
joekster-bearded beta
4 years ago

@Virgin Mary: Actually, I was saying that 200 years ago, what we call ‘fiscal conservatives’ were called ‘liberals’.

You consider your ‘socialists’ to be the left wing, or the ‘liberal’ idea. Maybe where you are, it is. In the US, it isn’t. Perhaps that does mean we are behind the times, but perhaps not. Our ‘liberals’ have managed to work several socialist ideas into our platform.

Socialism, unlike ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’, is a term for a particular ideology, and for a particular platform, irrespective of culture. The same could be said for ‘monarchism’ or ‘capitalism’ or even ‘liberal capitalism’. These all have meaning beyond the specific context. ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ do not.

Its rather similar to the way some names translate from one language to another, while others do not. If my name is ‘dances with wolves’, say, than it would sound different in English or French. If my name is ‘Jon’, than my name sounds the same no matter what language I am speaking.

joekster-bearded beta
joekster-bearded beta
4 years ago

Also of note, I’ve run across a few English people refer to the desire to abolish the British Monarchy as ‘republicanism’. Words change meaning depending on context.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@joek

Yep, you’re correct.
I am a republican, small ‘R’.

dslucia
dslucia
4 years ago

@Mary:

The issue (EDIT: that I take, at least) is that you’re acting as if nobody in the US agrees that socialism isn’t A Bad Thing and that our politicians are not actually fully representative of our ideals. As someone who already believes that our political system is pretty screwed up, I would appreciate if you would stop ‘splaining American politics to Americans. At least on this website, of all places. I don’t presume to speak for anyone else, but from what I’ve seen the people around here don’t tend to think that everything is perfectly A-OK here in the US.

Weatherwax
Weatherwax
4 years ago

I apologise if, as a Brit, I’ve majorly misunderstood some nuance of US politics, but the way it looks to me is this:

To get elected as President you have to get at least name recognition and ideally some understanding of your platform across all 50 states. Without any requirement for state-funded political broadcasts (which exist here, but no one watches because they are boring AF) this costs bucket loads. So candidates either need to be independently wealthy and/or seek funding from wealthy sources. This embeds the political class into the wealthy class, by definition, because you need money to run.

Trump has had a go at the (British) 19th century argument that rich guys make better politicians because they can’t be bought. He – in my view – has failed because he has used toxic sound bites to get media, but sound bites can’t deliver thought out policy (not that he’s shown any sign of having this anyway) and the toxicity drives away bank rollers who might have funded a message delivery otherwise.

The criticism from both left and right that Clinton is establishment bewilders me. In the system that you’ve got, how is a realistic candidate supposed to be anything but?

ETA Just seen dslucia’s post above. I jumped in without reading the full comment thread, so sorry if I’ve pushed anyone’s buttons here. Feel free to ignore a Brit’s opinion when deciding how to vote.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@dslucia

OK, sorry about that.
Socialism is a Good Thing, but the bogeymen of the McCarthy years I think still haunts a lot of older Americans. In Britain we have always had a strong Labour movement (until very recently with the Blairite reforms) powerful trade unions, and well educated Marxists. The rise of a grass roots movement like Momentum is a sign that people want the old Worker’s Party back. Bernie had an opportunity to stand up for Socialism, but kinda chickened out. I hope he has sown some seeds tho, what we have seen from the Occupy movement etc, there are people eager to change what is essentially a defunct and corrupt system of governance.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticising ‘progressives’ or ‘liberals’ but a system which still favours big money above the worker, women, LGBTQI+, the disabled, the person of colour, the elderly and dispossessed. Once you fix the system, you solve the problem.
Trump has been an agitator for the forgotten masses, because they need someone to blame for their predicament. He seems to be the man with the answers, pointing the finger at all the wrong targets. They want rid of ‘Big Government’ but this is just handing control to the corporations on a plate. He talks about building a wall to keep out Mexicans and banning Muslims from entering the country, so they won’t steal your jobs or take your tax dollars in benefits. He’s going to give the biggest businesses tax breaks to boost the ‘trickle down’ economy. He will not solve the problems of homeless, unemployment, pollution, climate change, lack of universal healthcare, privatised schools and prisons, job insecurity and alienation. But he offers an alternative to those who believe his rhetoric, because they think he’s ‘different’. People do not trust politicians, but for some strange reason they trust businessmen. Snake oil is on offer today, buy one get one free! And they love bogeymen to blame for all society’s ills, because it takes the focus off of themselves.

BTW, I think most people on here know I’m a British communist and a member of the IMT.

Loquora
Loquora
4 years ago

@Virgin Mary,

The choir: you’re preaching to it.

Shalimar
Shalimar
4 years ago

The reason Clinton has 800+ employees and tens of thousands of volunteers is to get people out to vote even when she is up 20 on election day. This is how well-run campaigns work.

Also, too, the Senate and House matter. A lot. And all the Clinton people know it. We want a drubbing, not just a victory.

Mish
Mish
4 years ago

Random thoughts on different names for political leanings: I used to think (when I was very little) that US ‘Republicans’ must be on the left, precisely because of the French (and English) republicans i.e. anti-monarchists. Again, I was little, ok?! 🙂
And here in Aust. the ‘Liberal’ party is the right-wing one (well, the more right-wing one). So Liberal (with a capital) means conservative/right. And the Labor party drops the ‘u’ that we would normally put in ‘labour’.

I was once at a pub with some friends from a socialist party, who were yelled at by members of another socialist party for being “Stalinists”. All I could think of was that scene from Life of Brian:

comment image

Finally, it’s been handy to read the various comments on third-party and minor party problems here. We have a preferential voting system rather than FPTP so how to cast one’s vote is a somewhat different debate, given that smaller parties can exercise considerable power, especially in the Senate.

Ray of Rays
Ray of Rays
4 years ago

The criticism from both left and right that Clinton is establishment bewilders me. In the system that you’ve got, how is a realistic candidate supposed to be anything but?

It’s very simple: they’re not. Once you go above a certain level of position (usually local, possibly state in some areas), you essentially need the establishment. Politicians get around the stigma of being “establishment” either by completely ignoring or refuting that stigma (see Clinton), by lying about it (see Bush Jr.*), or by being establishment while absolutely no one notices (see Sanders).

Personally, I blame William Henry “Log Cabin and Hard Cider” Harrison. Jackson may have had the reputation for anti-intellectual support, but Harrison directly profited off it in his campaign.

* I like the way the first Daily Show book put it (paraphrased): “This Ivy League-educated, multiple-term governing son of a former president successfully ran for office as a political outsider. Historians are still figuring out how the f*** he pulled that off.”

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

Hello.

From the article :

If people think Hillary is a shoein, they won’t even bother to vote.

I do not want to play bad omen bird here, but something close had been happened in France in 2002. Sure, the election system is different, but it is maybe not good to rely only on the surveys/polls to be relieved.
There have been 3 main candidates for the first turn : Le Pen (far-right), Chirac (right, already president at this time), Jospin (left). Plus many “small” candidates. Jospin was first in the polls if i remember right, so he made a minimal campain. A fair quantity of people who would have vote for him if there had been some kind of “danger” he lost then choosed to vote for minor candidates they were liking more, or not to vote, thinking others will do it. Consequently, Jospin finished third and thus retire from candidacy in order to avoid a possible victory of Le Pen.
So, beware of the false feeling of security that may give favorable polls.

(er, i hope it does not look like i want to give you a lesson about politics. It is just a reminding that polls are just… polls)

Have a nice day.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Mish
The Australian Liberal thing confused me when I 1st heard it (honestly still does). Over here, ‘liberal’ is most often used as a snarl word for people who aren’t sufficiently dedicated to tax cuts and Jesus. The kind of people most likely to use it pronounce it ‘librul’ with a certain twang on the 1st syllable. After a few years of hearing that constantly, nobody’s confused about which party they belong to and which they’re denigrating. Common language, eh?

@occasional reader
That kinda sorta happened to Romney (Republican) last time. He was so sure he’d win, he didn’t write a concession speech. Karl Rove and other Republican ‘political operatives’ convinced him the election was gonna be close, but that he’d take it in the end. Turns out, it wasn’t that close, and he didn’t take it
Clinton ain’t the type to let the presidency slip outta her hands 2x. She’s got a massive war chest, and she’s gonna use it

i hope it does not look like i want to give you a lesson about politics

That was a very informative lesson, thank you. Didn’t know about that. Also, did some googling. The ‘right wing’ party is called the Republicans now? I wonder if, even unconsciously, that has something to do with our Republicans…

Mycroft
Mycroft
4 years ago

@occasional reader

I am French (therefore, sorry for my english that may be laking), and I would like to correct you on a thing you said.

Jospin didn’t retire from candidacy in order to avoid a possible victory of Le Pen. He had no choice, because of the way our election work. Only those who came first and second during the first turn are allowed to compete in the second turn, during the frensh presidential election.

If he had been allowed to compete as a third candidate, he would have won, because the right wing vote would have been divided between the two right wing candidate, while all the left wing voter would have voted for him.

Lordcrowstaff
Lordcrowstaff
4 years ago

Liberalism comes in many flavours. There’s what Americans know as Liberalism, that is, progressive ideas and a general concern for social justice, stuff like that.

Here in Germany, we have a liberal party as well, and while they sometimes favour giving more rights to citizens (like, say, abortion or gay marriage) it’s part of their larger goal of economical liberalism, that is, capitalism and liberty free(er) of government control. That’s why they’re liberals, while still being part of the white, old corporate dudes American liberals stereotypically rail against. As far as I know that is the definition of liberalism that is more common across Europe, and, as far as I know, the older definition.

What Americans call socialism we like to call social democratic.
Another fun fact I remember from university: the Federal in Federal Republic of Germany refers to the fact that Germany is divided into 16 states. The Federalist Papers, and what Americans generally refer to when they use the word “federal” refers to the state and its supervising role.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

the word “federal” refers to the state and its supervising role.

Bit of trivia that’s O/T but some people might find interesting. (For a certain value of ‘interesting’)

The term “politically correct” originally only had a legalistic technical meaning. It’s first recorded use was in American courts; but it caught on in other common law jurisdictions.

It’s probably easier to give an example than an explanation as to its meaning.

So for instance, the U.S. Supreme Court would often comment that it was politically correct to refer to the Federal Government but politically incorrect to refer to the National Government.

Not sure when or how it’s more modern meaning came about.

ETA: That’s what American law lecturers told me anyway.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Alan
The current, scare tactic version of the term is usually credited to Dinesh D’Sousa and some other reactionary assholes in the late 80s/early 90s. Basically, this is about the time the ‘moral majority’ (Reagan’s evangelicals) were being convinced that smart people, and the universities that taught them, were evil, heathen elitists. So, of course, when schools started adopting gender neutral/not openly racist phraseology, the shit hit the fan and Bill Maher got a talkshow title

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

@’ axe

Well you live and learn.

(I’m not smart but I have got evil and heathen pegged. I got forced to watch something called ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ the other night so I’m doing well on elitist too 🙂 )

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

@Axecalibur :
Maybe unconsciously (after all, Sarkozy is said to be close to Bush Jr), then, but clearly not on purpose. As France is (supposed to be) a Republic, they just wanted something to remind it clearly.
But what had motivated the change of name is mainly because in the UMP (former acronym of the group) there were so many “pans” (“casseroles” in French) attached to it, i.e. many affairs (financial, mainly). (On a side note, as UMP is also the name of an H&K submachine gun, that was kind of awkward for some persons).
If you are interested, here the list of the names/acronyms the group had since the beginning : from an article in Le Monde
To note : not only the name has changed, the political lines too. It goes from DeGaulle who wanted a strong State/administration, clear financial and commercial regulation, and did not enter NATO, to Sarkozy who is an ultra-liberal, who despises administration employees (? is it the good term ? “Fonctionnaires” seems to have a lot of translations possible, sorry) and who made France enter NATO. And yet claiming he is from DeGaulle and Jaures (left) heritage.

Jim Christian
Jim Christian
4 years ago

Not sure, but yeah, luring Dems into tranquility, especially already-pissed off Bernie-kids might be viable. So many of the liberal, mainstream, almost-Democrat Republicans are tearing their hair (Think:Ryan, Bush, McConnell, Rubio), some of whom are about to lose THEIR gigs. Candidates have “led from behind” and won big, Bill Clinton being a case in point.

I’m sure Hillary is quite happy to sleep on a big lead, especially the Swing-States. 10 and 12 and 15 percent is outside error-margins for most pollsters, bad as they are. We never know their modeling, who they poll and so on, we only get their numbers. They can certainly poll to a desired result, too. Would they, for scare factor? Who knows?

At this point, Hillary people are voting for Hillary, Trumpers voting Trump. The battle lines are drawn, a greater contrast between the two candidates for President have never been presented to us. But there are no crossovers to be had, there are only those that sit home vs. those who go vote for their gal or guy.

Each side sees this one as existential for their platform. Remember, it’s THIS ugly between the two and there are over THREE months to go. As old Mick from Rockey said, these candidates are “gonna eat lightning and their gonna crrrrap THUNDAH!”. Healthy? Probably not, but these have not been healthy weeks and months. Can’t remember such incivility since the late-60-t-72 era.

It’s a war, but strangely, not against wars.

Anyway, nice reading here, thought I’d look around. Doubt yall’d have me around for long, Ha! Peace!

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

Ooh, are we in for another Ghostbusters thing?

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/aug/05/rebel-wilson-gender-swapped-dirty-rotten-scoundrels-remake

It’ll be interesting if there are the usual comments about changing films to push a ‘feminist agenda’ bearing in mind….

*Spoiler*

….the original film is about a woman outsmarting two men.

LaterSpaceCowboy
LaterSpaceCowboy
4 years ago

Oh good!!! Back when Ron Paul was running for president, his supporters said exactly the same thing about his flagging numbers: there was vote fraud, the media was shutting him out, people were over-representing other candidates, etc. etc. This is a good sign that Trump is losing hard. I was out last evening with my fantastic wife and our friend, and I remember glancing over at a TV set and seeing “Clinton: 48%, Trump: 33%” and literally whooping for joy. : )

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
4 years ago

Trump’s candidacy is an indication that we’ve arrived at a dangerous phase in late-stage democracy. He’s tapped into a large segment of the population that distrusts elites, distrusts mainstream media, and refuses to kowtow to experts. Left and right have become mutually uncomprehending, with their own narratives and accepted facts.

And now Trump’s further driving a stake through the heart of democracy by insisting that the election is rigged (but only if he loses, of course). His supporters will never accept Clinton as legitimate. There’s an increasing perception that whichever party wins, trickery and corruption are involved. It started with Bush/Gore, and intensified with Obama and all the birther conspiracy theories, and shows no signs of letting up. Gore was at least gracious enough to concede in order to preserve the republic, even though he had legitimate grounds to contest the Florida results. I don’t expect anything of the sort from Trump. Trump is only out for himself and doesn’t give a flip if the country (and the rest of the world) goes down in flames.

Yesterday, when he spoke in my home city, protesters pulled out copies of the Constitution and were forcibly removed from the rally. So Trump has kicked out not only babies, but the Constitution. I expect he’ll denounce puppies and apple pie next.

Pie
Pie
4 years ago

Occasional reader:

administration employees (? is it the good term ? “Fonctionnaires” seems to have a lot of translations possible, sorry)

Bureaucrat, maybe? Civil servant?

occasional reader
occasional reader
4 years ago

> Pie
Civil servant was also proposed by google trad, indeed, so i guess it may be ok.
Bureaucrat is only a part of civil servants, as there are many who do not work behind a desk, i think.
Thank you for the answers, in all cases.

PocketNerd
PocketNerd
4 years ago

Thus Spake Buttercup Q. ZaraSkullpants:

Trump’s candidacy is an indication that we’ve arrived at a dangerous phase in late-stage democracy. He’s tapped into a large segment of the population that distrusts elites, distrusts mainstream media, and refuses to kowtow to experts. Left and right have become mutually uncomprehending, with their own narratives and accepted facts.

Aye, we’re living in an era of postfactual politics. Neoconservatives have spent 30 years crafting a right-wing media bubble and pre-emptively inoculating listeners against inconvenient data. Now anything can be dismissed as biased, or mere opinion, or the work of some vaguely-defined conspiracy.

Six months ago I would have described this disease as something that affects almost exclusively the right wing, but with the BoB crowd embracing the exact same counterfactual bollocks as the Tea Partiers (“Benghazi! Vince Foster!! There’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats!!!“) it’s clearly something that can affect both sides of the aisle. The rise of right-wing talk radio and Fox News may have created the trend, but thanks to Facebook and Twitter, leftists are now just as capable of maintaining their own media bubbles.

This may be a failure state for democratic republics. How can we elect leaders to represent our interests when we can’t even agree on the naked, unambiguous facts?

Yesterday, when he spoke in my home city, protesters pulled out copies of the Constitution and were forcibly removed from the rally. So Trump has kicked out not only babies, but the Constitution. I expect he’ll denounce puppies and apple pie next.

Honestly, Trump reminds me of some of the darlings of the IT world, whose “disruptive” behavior is lauded as a virtue that excuses all sins. If Trump ate a kitten on live television, a significant fraction of his audience would cheer; to them, belligerent defiance of social norms simply proves Trump is the big boss monkey leader guy their primate brains crave.

Pallas
Pallas
4 years ago

First comment from a lurker.

I am terrified.

Not that Trump will win, but of his whispers about election-rigging. He hates losing, so it rationalises a defeat to himself. But what of his disgruntled, angry, frightened, bigoted supporters, convinced a political establishment they resent has cheated them? What is he unleashing when he loses? Right-wing nuts are already being given air-time to propagate this dangerous nonsense, complete with unsubtle threats of ‘constitutional crises’ and ‘resistance’.

Why aren’t more big red deafening alarm bells ringing everywhere? I see it covered as ‘another d̶a̶y̶ hour, another gaffe by Trump’, but I think we need shouted warnings from the rooftops, every day, at the top of every newspaper and web page: this man plans to hold the political system and country hostage with the genie he has let out of the bottle.

It bodes nothing good.

As Restoftheworlder, I’ll be watching from behind my sofa in November.

Before I re-lurk: many thanks to all regulars here, whose insights, wit and sarcasm always educate and entertain me.

Freemage
Freemage
4 years ago

Lordcrowstaff
August 5, 2016 at 4:48 am

Liberalism comes in many flavours. There’s what Americans know as Liberalism, that is, progressive ideas and a general concern for social justice, stuff like that.

Here in Germany, we have a liberal party as well, and while they sometimes favour giving more rights to citizens (like, say, abortion or gay marriage) it’s part of their larger goal of economical liberalism, that is, capitalism and liberty free(er) of government control. That’s why they’re liberals, while still being part of the white, old corporate dudes American liberals stereotypically rail against. As far as I know that is the definition of liberalism that is more common across Europe, and, as far as I know, the older definition.

In the U.S., that set of positions is usually part of small-l libertarianism. Ostensibly, this is the ideology of the large-L Libertarian Party, but amazingly, whenever their members actually get into office, they immediately forget about the social-liberal stuff, and focus entirely on bringing back a laissez-faire approach to corporate regulation. Furthermore, even among the small-l libertarians, there’s a large subset, whom I dub “glibertarians”, who really have no idea what they’re talking about and just go around shouting “FREEDOM” at the top of their internet lungs.

The latter two types of libertarian have, in turn, formed the basis of the Tea Party revolution in the Republican Party, taking it over from within, thereby showing the Greens how they SHOULD be operating.

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
4 years ago

Can we dump the orange lump into a vehicle trunk then shove it off a cliff into water deep enough to make sure it’s completely sunk?*

*Obviously that would be murder and this is not a 100% serious question…maybe 25%…errr ok ok no murder.

DaniDeRossi
DaniDeRossi
4 years ago

@Weatherwax

The criticism from both left and right that Clinton is establishment bewilders me. In the system that you’ve got, how is a realistic candidate supposed to be anything but?

Bernie Sanders ran a campaign based mainly off of small donations. So have others like Senator Elizabeth Warren. It is possible to buck the system. Sanders did it. Just because the system we have is crooked , doesn’t mean we should accept it.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@DaniDeRossi
1)Bernie lost the primary, so using him as an example doesn’t quite work

2)Warren ran for Senate (in blue stronghold Massachusetts), not President. And she took plenty of money from unions, MA universities, and law firms (they usually back Dems). Nobody’s clean, nor needs to be

3)There’s more to being ‘establishment’ than just having money. She has Obama and Bill behind her. She has the DNC, the State Dept, the powers that be in NY, etc. Bernie didn’t take as much ‘big money’, cos it wasn’t being offered. Hillary would hafta turn down hundreds of millions in order to ‘buck the system’. And when Cinnamon Hitler is your opponent, it’s not worth the risk. So yeah, I accept it. For right now at least…

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
4 years ago

<3 Pallas, welcome and feel free to re-lurk or just keep commenting. Have a welcome package, as I'm sure you know!

I agree entirely about how terrifying the long-term repercussions of this election might be. This said, the accusations of election fraud are, well. Pretty common. It bubbles up as a topic during most elections. So don't feel too uneasy over it!

re: Liberal vs Socialist, Left vs Right

I wrote a few paragraphs about how you can't separate words from their contexts, then deleted them. Too windy. I'll just give you the short-shorts. An American Liberal isn't the same thing as a European Liberal; the vocabulary of politics is context sensitive. Importantly, there is no overarching left-right spectrum to which politicians from each country can be mapped. There may in theory exist such a thing, and political scientists might map individuals to it, and discuss the relationships they find, but they’re all shadows on the cave wall. The map doesn’t exist. Qualitative analytics are messy.

On another level, can we kill this whole “left-right spectrum” metaphor, please? It’s infuriating. Progressive on one side, Conservative on the other. Where’s liberal? What’s liberal, in this context? Socialist – same thing? It’s a narrow tool applied widely. We need to start acknowledging that politics is about belief, and belief is complicated. Boiling it down to left-vs-right does nothing more than draw battle lines. They’re banners to carry to the stadium, they’re Green vs Blue. It’s deeply, deeply frustrating to me that this blinkered measuring stick is the only tool in common use to measure a political statement, it’s worse than useless.

arglebhargle, etc. There you have it. Have a lovely day all :3

EDIT: @SFHC: I will send you all my rays of sunshine. We have a lot up here in the North, and I would frankly be quite happy to borrow a cup of cold in exchange!

DaniDeRossi
DaniDeRossi
4 years ago

1) he was still able to outraise Clinton for much of the primary

3)

Hillary would hafta turn down hundreds of millions in order to ‘buck the system’.

Yes. The thing is people are sick of this system and sick of the establishment, which is why Sanders and Trump were so successful at fundraising. Why can’t she buck the system and fundraise with small donations? All that corporate money didn’t help her campaign against Trump. In fact Trump was catching up to her until he self immolated after the RNC.
You’re acting like Clinton taking this money is consequence free. I doubt we’ll ever see economic reforms until we stop electing politicians who are beholden to wall Street and their corporate donors.

weirwoodtreehugger: communist bonobo

Is there a point to arguing over who should’ve won the nomination? It’s done. It’s over. The Sanders campaign was not able to make the donations he got translate into actual votes. Hint: you need a multi-state infrastructure and a ground game to win most of the time. Trump doesn’t really have one, but he’s kind of a fluke and I can guarantee that lack of ground game will really hurt in the general.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Dani

he was still able to outraise Clinton for much of the primary

But he lost. The question was whether a politician could be a “realistic candidate” (ie realistically win) and be antiestablishment. Bad analogy, find another

Sanders and Trump were so successful at fundraising

Sanders yes, Trump not really. He’s had money problems since day 1. It didn’t phase him tho, cos of all the free publicity

Why can’t she buck the system and fundraise with small donations

Cos there’s no reason for her to give that up. The guy who based his campaign on small donations lost. Her way works
Now you (I hope) and I both know that’s not why he lost. He lost cos his appeal (young, white, middle class, Western and Midwestern ‘liberals’) is limited. Latinxes, blacks, the poor and rich, older people (who actually tend to vote), etc didn’t go for him. And before anyone says anything, #notall. Money or not, he had no chance in retrospect. But why risk it? If either explanation for his failure makes sense, and they both do, why would she give up that advantage?

All that corporate money didn’t help her campaign against Trump

It will. She has infrastructure. He doesn’t really. Besides, she’s not just fundraising for her. The DNC and DCCC get a piece of the action, ya know? Super important

You’re acting like Clinton taking this money is consequence free

When? I implied that the consequences, so long as their no worse than a fascist White House and a retrograde court, are worth it. Not the same as “consequence free”

I doubt we’ll ever see economic reforms until we stop electing politicians who are beholden to wall Street and their corporate donors

A literal lobbyist for the cable industry was brought on as head of the FCC. He guaranteed net neutrality. There are no rules. Beyond that, we likely weren’t gonna get those reforms anyway. The House is quite red, and, even if the Dems win the Senate, it won’t be filibuster proof. That’s what’s stopping progress

PocketNerd
PocketNerd
4 years ago

Secret Agent Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger* sent this encrypted communique:

Beyond that, we likely weren’t gonna get those reforms anyway. The House is quite red, and, even if the Dems win the Senate, it won’t be filibuster proof. That’s what’s stopping progress

Yes. Yes. This is the point I harp on to every progressive I know: We will not get all the change we want and need until we start voting in local, state, and off-year elections. (Apologies for the bold and italic, but believe me, if I could make those letters ten feet tall and on fire, I would.) Don’t whine that politicians don’t represent you when you’re sitting out 80% of the elections in which you’re eligible to vote.

Want better representation of women and minorities? Want corporate money out of politics? Want viable third parties? Want universal health care? Want comprehensive economic reform? Good. So do I. Now get out there and vote, in every single election, even if it’s for the county dog catcher.

* I’d totally see that movie, by the way.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
4 years ago

@Pocket

ETA: and everything you said is absolutely correct 🙂