Author Topic: The Trump Presidency  (Read 27612 times)

Offline Peter B

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #495 on: October 31, 2018, 08:11:17 AM »
And now he's saying he can change the US Constitution with an Executive Order,  and is planning  to. If he pulls that off,  the US is effectively a dictatorship,  since it means the US Constitution  can be changed at the whims of one person.

Is this seriously an issue? I mean, in the article in which I read about Trump's thought bubble, it also mentioned that Paul Ryan had already dismissed it on the grounds that this wasn't how you lot change your Constitution.

But in reading it, and the reaction to this matter and the heap of others in the recent months and years, some thoughts began to crystalise in my thinking.

Even across the Pacific Ocean I worry about what Trump says and does as much as most of you on this forum. But I also worry that people are falling into a reflexive pattern of behaviour - Trump says something stupid, the progressive side of the Internet lights up, and Trump supporters point and laugh...wash, rinse, repeat.

There's another thread I think on this forum (golly, it may even be somewhere in this thread) where someone said that the 9/11 attacks on the USA produced a massive anaphylactic reaction from the American people. I wonder now that progressive Americans are reacting to Trump exactly the same way - he says his next stupid thing, and like clockwork comes the outraged response. Sure it's easy to Like a clever meme or even to create one yourself, but no amount of Likes counts for even one vote.

So perhaps it's time to tune out of listening to what he says and turn instead to the hard, unglamorous and slow work of building the Democratic Party from the grassroots up - getting people to volunteer, finding good candidates, encouraging people to register to vote and then actually vote - in other words, rebuild the people's direct involvement in democracy.

And when I say good candidates, I don't mean people who will as an equally predictable response crank up the outrage in Congress and do whatever they can to block the latest Republican or Trumpian agenda. Instead, I mean people who are willing to sigh and wave it through, and show to the American people that at least the Democratic Party is trying to get the Congress working again. At the moment, from what little I see of how things are going in Congress, Democratic leaders seem to think a series of minor tactical successes in blocking confirmations or legislation represents a coherent strategy, without considering how that makes them look to the American people.

The other thing to keep in mind is that tens of millions of people voted for Trump and Republican candidates. They're not traitors and they're not idiots; many have said they held their noses when they voted for Trump, many said they felt he had the better policies, and others said they thought long and hard about which candidate to vote for. But in general they're just as patriotic as you are.

Also consider there are still many millions of Americans who sit in the political centre; and unless you're rather more politically blinkered than I think most of you are, you don't actually oppose every policy move Trump makes, any more than those who voted for him support every policy move he makes, which makes most Americans centrists to at least some extent. There are also many millions of people who are currently turned off by the outrage (on both sides, sure) who could be engaged in politics if they were just given a good enough reason to vote. Why not give them every reason to vote Democratic?

But patriotism is the key thing here. People like Trump come and go, but (IMO) the USA is facing two external threats which are far more serious than him and which will continue as threats long after he's gone, and the current deep divisions in American society and insularity will only weaken any attempts to respond to them. Russia is led by a man who's never got over America's victory in the Cold War, and he's doing his best to bring the USA undone; the troll farms and their fake news are classic Russian maskirovka, and it's working a treat. And China is playing a very long game (described as a "hundred-year marathon") to displace the USA as the major power in the world, and they're pretty much committing their entire economy to the task; I recommend you read Clive Hamilton's "Silent Invasion", which, although it looks at the issue from an Australian point of view, has lessons relevant to the USA.

We Australians love to make fun of Americans, as do many people around the world. But, warts and all, I'd prefer living in the USA to just about any other country in the world (apart from Australia: we're pretty much perfect!); your democracy and the rights you have as citizens are a beacon of hope to people everywhere. Please don't get so caught up in the latest Trump dumbness that you forget that. It would be a tragedy if people around the world looked at the USA and decided they preferred the authoritarianism of China or Russia - I don't want to live in the world of David Wingrove's "Chung Kuo" novels.

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #496 on: October 31, 2018, 12:12:21 PM »
I honestly have yet to see a policy move Trump has made that I support.  I could be missing one, but I don't think so.
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Offline raven

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #497 on: October 31, 2018, 03:15:18 PM »
Peter B,  I am not American. Like you,  I am an outsider looking at this from the outside. I also never said folks who voted for Trump were stupid. The man was and is a demagogue. He promised things folks could reasonably want while blaming those already hiring for why they don't have them. Since  been elected I have seen repeated and persistent efforts to roll back and remove human rights for minorities. I have seen him fanning the flames of hate. I have seen him lie through his teeth and have it called simply another kind of truth.And now he wants to make it so one man can change the rules for the rules. How can it be a democracy after that?

Offline raven

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #498 on: November 01, 2018, 04:03:19 PM »
The above hiring is meant to be hurting.

Offline twik

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #499 on: November 01, 2018, 04:26:23 PM »
People assume that there's some sort of iron gate that would stop Trump from doing things that up till now we've assumed can't be done. But all this stopping has to be done by people. And if all the people are in Trump's control, he could actually shoot someone in broad daylight, as he boasted, and get away with it, if no police will arrest him, and no judges will rule against him.

Offline Ranb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #500 on: November 07, 2018, 12:10:28 AM »
I'm keeping the Republicans and blue-dog democrat in District 35 as well as the Democrats in Congress. 

I-1639 is passing 60/40 like I-594 did a few years ago.  This means I have to pay for a training class to buy any semi-auto rifle.  Being a range safety officer, trained military and a certified shooting coach does not count.  This initiative will probably cause a run on semi-auto rifles until July 2019.

I-1634 is passing to prohibit new local taxes on food/beverages.  Increasing those taxes was just going to be another way to make the WA tax scheme less progressive.   I'd like to see a state income tax replace some of the other taxes in WA.

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #501 on: November 07, 2018, 09:40:20 AM »
Oh, I've been stumping for a state income tax for years.
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Offline Ranb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #502 on: November 08, 2018, 09:02:46 AM »
I think WA will start taxing income someday.  Do you think it will replace other taxes or just get tacked on?

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #503 on: November 08, 2018, 09:06:11 AM »
I would like to hope it'll replace at least our sales tax, because sales tax is the single most regressive form of tax.
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Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #504 on: November 08, 2018, 02:30:48 PM »
And now he's saying he can change the US Constitution with an Executive Order,  and is planning  to. If he pulls that off,  the US is effectively a dictatorship,  since it means the US Constitution  can be changed at the whims of one person.

No.  He can't.  Amending the US Constitution is hard.  You need approval by two thirds of Congress (both houses) or two thirds of all state legislatures just to propose an amendment, and ratification requires 3/4 of all state legislatures.  Granted, given the political balance among the states right now, that's not outside the realm of possibility, but it's not something I'd lose sleep over. 

Trump is an idiot, he's surrounded himself with idiots, and that's the only reason he hasn't done any more harm than he has up until now.  Problem is the Senate will approve any goddamned appointment and stupid idea of his because the Republican leadership, while not composed exclusively of idiots, is stunningly corrupt, amoral, and likely compromised out the wazoo by the Russians.

At least with a Democratic House, there will be some pushback.  The problem is that Democrats are like cats, impossible to organize and get going in the same direction.  They'll start 20 different investigations, each geared more for publicity than actual oversight, and they'll all step on each other's and the Special Counsel's work.  It's gonna be a shitshow for the ages.

But, we have a divided government now, which will put the brakes on some of the worst nonsense. 

Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #505 on: November 08, 2018, 06:45:18 PM »
Seriously - the White House releases 'fake news'! They blatantly lie... and yet a considerable portion of US voters support this administration?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-09/sarah-sanders-accused-of-sharing-doctored-jim-acosta-video/10480486

They vote in a dead man?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-08/dead-pimp-dennis-hof-wins-seat-in-nevadas-state-parliament/10475946

And he's bankrupting the country, just like he has done with all his business ventures:

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/trump-s-2-1-trillion-deal-with-the-devil-has-failed-20181108-p50eom.html

Seriously, what is going on with US voters?

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #506 on: November 08, 2018, 11:15:21 PM »
Seriously, what is going on with US voters?

The way I see it, there are two types of Republican voters: 1) the ones who just aren't smart enough to know better, 2) the ones who do know better, but think "winning" is more important than doing what is best for the country.

I can forgive people who voted for Trump in 2016 because they gave him the benefit of the doubt. But now they have no excuse for continuing to support him. He is obviously corrupt and I can't wait to see him removed from office. I just hope Mueller's investigation (and the evidence he has collected) can be protected long enough for that to happen.
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Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #507 on: November 09, 2018, 09:55:17 AM »
To be fair, the Democrats once voted in a dead man, back in 2000.  The person running against I believe it was Ashcroft died during the election.  However, everyone knew that they were actually voting for his widow, who would take the seat.  Also, they didn't want Ashcroft.  I don't know what the situation is here.
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Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #508 on: November 09, 2018, 11:34:15 AM »
Voting for dead people isn't common, but it isn't unheard of.  There's significant lead time between getting your name on the ballot and the election, and sometimes candidates die during that period.  Most of the time, people voting for the dead guy are just really voting against his opponent, understanding that the seat will either be filled by appointment or by a special election (depends on the office). 

Most of the time.

Sometimes, the voter may not be aware that the candidate is dead (not every voter is terribly well-informed).  Sometimes, the voter is ... well, crazy, and doesn't think that death is a barrier to serving in office. 

Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #509 on: November 09, 2018, 01:49:10 PM »
Seriously, what is going on with US voters?

The way I see it, there are two types of Republican voters: 1) the ones who just aren't smart enough to know better, 2) the ones who do know better, but think "winning" is more important than doing what is best for the country.

I can forgive people who voted for Trump in 2016 because they gave him the benefit of the doubt. But now they have no excuse for continuing to support him. He is obviously corrupt and I can't wait to see him removed from office. I just hope Mueller's investigation (and the evidence he has collected) can be protected long enough for that to happen.

Do not underestimate the strong undercurrents of fascism in the US.  It's always been there (Henry Ford thought Hitler was a swell guy), but it's been steadily growing over the decades as more and more people realize that being white, Christian, and male is no longer sufficient for being the guy in charge.  Mediocre white men have been losing positions of power and economic superiority to women and minorities, and that's Just Not Right

Then you have the crime-has-never-been-higher, brown-people-are-coming-to-murder-us-in-our-sleep bedwetters, who are the kind of people whom Ben Franklin was talking about when he said, "those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."  These are the people who are just fine with the kind of wanton brutality Joe Arpaio and David Clarke subjected their inmates to. 

Way too many Americans want a strong daddy figure to make all the scary monsters go away, and for some incomprehensible reason they have decided that's Trump.  He's a poor man's idea of a rich man, a stupid man's idea of a smart man, and a weak man's idea of a strong man. 

A divided government will slow him down, but he still has the Senate to approve his appointments and any further SCOTUS nominees (pray to whatever gods you believe in that RBG doesn't kick before 2020).  The last few months have shown us that there aren't that many built-in legal protections against a President going apeshit (yes, there's the 25th amendment, but that requires the VP and a majority of the Cabinet to sign off, and if they're all loyalists, they won't).  The only thing that stopped previous Presidents from wrecking the whole system was a sense of shame