Author Topic: The Trump Presidency  (Read 144802 times)

Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #1995 on: January 19, 2021, 03:09:52 PM »
As a outsider it almost seems you are expecting something to happen tomorrow, do you all think that is the case?
"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #1996 on: January 19, 2021, 03:29:35 PM »
As a outsider it almost seems you are expecting something to happen tomorrow, do you all think that is the case?

I think it's very possible something bad will happen tomorrow, either in Washington DC, or somewhere else in the US. Maybe the level of security in Washington will be enough to discourage people from attempting something, but I'm not sure about the rest of the country.

But I'm also worried about what could happen over the next 4-8 years. I remember someone saying something along the lines of "terrorists only need to be lucky once, but their targets have to be lucky all the time" and I'm afraid that's true in this case.
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.
I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #1997 on: January 19, 2021, 03:57:30 PM »
As a outsider it almost seems you are expecting something to happen tomorrow, do you all think that is the case?

One lesson to learn from the Capitol attack is that we seem to have lost the ability to predict accurately whether something will happen.  Do we expect something?  Not necessarily.  But with a city full of important Americans, foreign dignitaries, and ostensibly crazy (and armed) conspiracy theorists and Trump loyalists, if something happens we certainly want to be able to say we deployed more than three guys in windbreakers and some crowd-control barriers.

What's most deplorable about this is that it's the first time in my recollection of American history where we have not had a peaceful transfer of power.  Part of fixing America is restoring the rest of the world's faith in American democracy.  That, I fear, will take decades.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #1998 on: January 19, 2021, 04:05:08 PM »
I think a large percentage of the adult population is a lost cause. You'll never undo the damage done to their ability to separate fact from fiction. But maybe with improvements to the education system and stricter laws against knowingly spreading misinformation there is hope for future generations.

There's a problem with that - who's going to pass those laws?  Who's going to improve the education system?   I mean, we're where we are because of the people we've elected over the last 40 years, and one election isn't going to wipe all of that away.  Most of this work has to happen at the state level (especially with education), where the nutbars are the strongest. 

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #1999 on: January 19, 2021, 04:24:15 PM »
But maybe with improvements to the education system...

Kicking Betsy DeVoss to the curb is a good start.  But the problem is that while education is compulsory in the United States up to roughly age 18, the kind of education is not mandated.  My state, with its religious majority, allows many opportunities such as private academies and home-schooling that qualify as education but can be as ideologically biased as desired.  And this is the trend.  Even within the state-mandated curricula for public schools there are issues.  Sex education is taught in Utah from and abstinence-only perspective; no discussion of contraception.  Hence we have an embarrassing teen pregnancy rate.  Until it was struck down in the courts, teachers were also not allowed to discuss homosexuality in a favorable light.  Probably the worst example was in the county to the north of me, where high school students were required to obtain parental permission before watching a recorded speech by then-President Obama.

The educational system is just as highly politicized in America as everything else here.  The Republicans have figured out that well-educated people don't vote for them.  So they have had little desire to improve basic education.

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...and stricter laws against knowingly spreading misinformation there is hope for future generations.

Those laws would immediately face harsh First Amendment scrutiny.  And they should, but our pendulum seems to be far to the side of leniency.  "Political" speech is the most protected speech under the First Amendment.  And it can be based on outright lies and still qualify as essentially protected.  And as I illustrated here or elsewhere, all you have to do is change the wording slightly and your "news outlet" can do nothing more than report rumors -- accurately characterized as rumors -- with all the trappings of conscientious journalism and you're completely off the hook.

I think it's absolutely odious what some people are doing while masquerading as "commentators" or "journalists" or "researchers."  They're telling outright lies, or at least poorly researched and documented tales.  They're deliberately stirring up people by telling them what they know will accomplish that, just for their own attention, amusement, and profit.  And we're supposed to accept the explanation that reasonable people just don't believe it, so they're off the hook.  Helping people to recognize fact won't happen until there's a desire to do so.  That desire will probably only happen when there are negative consequences for failing to do it.  Making that happen while staying inside the boundaries of what we want to be a free society isn't easy.

In the Trump incitement case, he may be in trouble.  As a number of arrestees are questioned and reveal that they thought they were doing what their President told them to do, and understood that he would have their back, it becomes more likely that the President -- at least negligently if not intentionally -- created a reliance that other people then acted upon.  This might make him civilly liable.  All those people who were arrested, injured, or killed might have a cause of action under tort law.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline jfb

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2000 on: January 19, 2021, 04:26:11 PM »
As a outsider it almost seems you are expecting something to happen tomorrow, do you all think that is the case?

Yes.  Absolutely.  I cannot assume otherwise, not after what happened on the 6th.  We've never had American citizens attack Congress before, but we have had multiple assassination attempts on Presidents before, too many of which were successful.  I do not want Joe Biden or Kamala Harris outdoors under any circumstances - not for the inauguration, not for press conferences, not for ceremonies of any sort.  Screw the optics, screw the "can't show fear", there are thousands of people out there right this very minute who are itching to be the heroes of their own personal action movies.  I want large solid objects between the President/Vice President and any crowd they address at all times. 

There are way too many of those people out there, they are organized, and they have been emboldened by Trump, Hawley, Cruz, and the entire right-wing infotainment complex.  They are no longer afraid to show their faces.  They are no longer afraid to say the quiet parts out loud. 

The attack on the Capitol was the equivalent of the attack on Fort Sumter in 1861.  Like it or not, a second American civil war has been initiated.  It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. 

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2001 on: January 19, 2021, 04:49:18 PM »
There are way too many of those people out there, they are organized, and they have been emboldened by Trump, Hawley, Cruz, and the entire right-wing infotainment complex.  They are no longer afraid to show their faces.  They are no longer afraid to say the quiet parts out loud.

The exposure and emboldenment is really all that's new.  There have always been way too many of "that sort" of people out there, which is either a cause or a symptom or both for never having really healed after the Civil War.  And they've always been organized, since the Civil War and onward.  They just went underground starting in the late 1800s and have stayed there under various names.  The Trump administration and all the enablers you name, and more, let them back up to the surface and whipped them up by calling them "patriots" and "fine people."

These idiots (I mean people like Sen. Cruz, Pres. Trump, and others) have no idea how [expletive] dangerous those people are, and always have been.  Prior to the Trump Administration, the only thing protecting us from them was the general belief in the United States that extremism and racial supremacy were Bad Things.  Sure, you could be your racist angry self among the Good Ol' Boys in your town.  But you just "knew" you couldn't do that if you were going to head over to Disney World or elsewhere out in public.  Now -- thanks to these feckless idiots -- you can drive your Confederate-flagged truck down the freeway, waving guns out the window, and terrorizing your political opponents with impunity.  That's what these people have always longed to do.  This isn't new.  It's just been Generally Frowned Upon until now.

Oh, sure, they wrap themselves in the flag.  But then without hesitation they beat innocent people to death with them.  They ally with law enforcement, but then quickly show how little "blue lives" matter to them.  It's never about the prosaically noble causes they espouse.  They're angry, racist thugs.  That's all they've ever been, and that's all they will ever be, no matter what empty, patriotic-sounding platitudes they sloganize.  But because certain politicians are just profoundly ignorant of anything except the privileged environments they've grown up in, they think it's all just a game.  They think they can dog-whistle these groups by stumping their cover stories and praising their efforts, and that no harm will come from it.

American politics has devolved to the point where the people who practice it literally think there are no actual consequences.  The economy will somehow always be strong.  Poor people will somehow always be docile and subservient.  People with the wrong color skin will somehow always stay where they're put.  America will somehow always be great.  Violent racists will somehow always stay safely just under the surface.  They'll always be re-elected so long as they promise to "own the libs."  And, laughing all the way to their capitols, they'll always be free to exploit whatever presents itself, with no accountability.  I believe it starts with holding politicians accountable.  Who's going to do that?  Other politicians?  Voters who look at these decisions as no more consequential that a sports tournament?
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Trebor

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2002 on: January 19, 2021, 04:50:05 PM »
As a outsider it almost seems you are expecting something to happen tomorrow, do you all think that is the case?

One lesson to learn from the Capitol attack is that we seem to have lost the ability to predict accurately whether something will happen.  Do we expect something?  Not necessarily.  But with a city full of important Americans, foreign dignitaries, and ostensibly crazy (and armed) conspiracy theorists and Trump loyalists, if something happens we certainly want to be able to say we deployed more than three guys in windbreakers and some crowd-control barriers.

What's most deplorable about this is that it's the first time in my recollection of American history where we have not had a peaceful transfer of power.  Part of fixing America is restoring the rest of the world's faith in American democracy.  That, I fear, will take decades.

What is worrying is that people did predict it, the people who invaded also planned it publicly on places like Parler.
It should not have been a surprise to anyone.

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2003 on: January 19, 2021, 05:54:49 PM »
I think a large percentage of the adult population is a lost cause. You'll never undo the damage done to their ability to separate fact from fiction. But maybe with improvements to the education system and stricter laws against knowingly spreading misinformation there is hope for future generations.

There's a problem with that - who's going to pass those laws?  Who's going to improve the education system?   I mean, we're where we are because of the people we've elected over the last 40 years, and one election isn't going to wipe all of that away.  Most of this work has to happen at the state level (especially with education), where the nutbars are the strongest. 

The educational system is just as highly politicized in America as everything else here.  The Republicans have figured out that well-educated people don't vote for them.  So they have had little desire to improve basic education.

Those laws would immediately face harsh First Amendment scrutiny.

Yeah, even as I wrote that I thought it would never fly in the United States. I just believe that "freedom of speech" shouldn't include government officials lying about election fraud. I get that not everyone knows they are spreading misinformation, but it starts somewhere.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 07:34:43 PM by LunarOrbit »
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.
I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Offline LunarOrbit

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2004 on: January 19, 2021, 06:00:59 PM »
These idiots (I mean people like Sen. Cruz, Pres. Trump, and others) have no idea how [expletive] dangerous those people are, and always have been.

I really hope that Ted Cruz (and the others) watched that video of the insurrectionists on the Senate floor looking through his papers. They were ready to go after him because they thought he was betraying them (they were too stupid to understand that his objection to counting the votes was what they wanted). And some of them have been turning on Trump because they think he was weak for "condemning" the attack.

They have created a monster that they have lost control of.
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth.
I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth.
I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
- Neil Armstrong (1930-2012)

Offline Obviousman

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2005 on: January 19, 2021, 06:48:55 PM »
I think that a good start is what Jay said in a previous post: accountability. These days there is none. Some politicians were saying impeachment shouldn't be used as punishment. I believe that is exactly what it should be; people should realise that when you cross the line, there WILL be consequences and you WILL be held accountable, and that WILL be most unpleasant. Most importantly it should demonstrate to others that you CANNOT do these things.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2006 on: January 19, 2021, 07:08:56 PM »
Yeah, even as I wrote that I thought it would never fly in the United States.

But you're not wrong to suggest it or want it.  Fixing American government ought to go farther than just sweeping the excrement-smeared artifacts of the Trump administration out the door.  Americans at heart want their system to be glorious, the envy of the world.  That means we might have to take a good long look at where we are and how we got here.  It's getting increasingly harder to isolate ourselves here and pretend things aren't vastly wrong.

Quote
I just believe that "freedom of speech" shouldn't include intentionally government officials lying about election fraud. I get that not everyone knows they are spreading misinformation, but it starts somewhere.

It should absolutely start there.  As you know, I live a short walk from our local law school.  Last year, when the building was still populated, they had a picture of Ted Cruz pasted up on one of the first-year study rooms with the caption, "If he can do it, you can."  Many of these people have law degrees.  They have zero excuse for believing that any of the lawsuits etc. around which the myth of electoral fraud was built had any viable evidence or means of success.  You and I might be forgiven for not having memorized the rules of evidence or knowing every laches precedent back to Justice Blackstone.  But these guys should have known better.  They are supposed to be experts in what it takes to prove laws were violated.  They knew from the very beginning that these lawsuits wouldn't succeed, and they knew all along that it was Trump's intent to stir up doubt by filling them.

And yes, they're government officials.  Say what you will about the rampant dishonesty of politicians, but it's not too romantic a concept to hold elected officials to a higher standard of accountability for what they say from their various pulpits.  We elect them to hold some power or sway over the people they lead.  That means what they say has greater weight and should clear a higher bar of factual support.

I really hope that Ted Cruz (and the others) watched that video of the insurrectionists on the Senate floor looking through his papers.

It's been widely hypothesized that the lackluster condemnations of the Capitol attacks from various officials is due to their fear directly for their own lives.  This is exactly what it means to have a state controlled by domestic terrorists.  If the people in charge fear to do the right thing because of reprisals from armed mobs, that is a terrorized state.

Quote
They have created a monster that they have lost control of.

And we warned them not to do this.  You can be we should do all in our power to hold them responsible for their selfish, ill-advised actions which have now put all of us at risk.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline Zakalwe

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2007 on: January 20, 2021, 04:32:57 AM »
There are way too many of those people out there, they are organized, and they have been emboldened by Trump, Hawley, Cruz, and the entire right-wing infotainment complex.  They are no longer afraid to show their faces.  They are no longer afraid to say the quiet parts out loud.

The exposure and emboldenment is really all that's new.  There have always been way too many of "that sort" of people out there, which is either a cause or a symptom or both for never having really healed after the Civil War.  And they've always been organized, since the Civil War and onward.  They just went underground starting in the late 1800s and have stayed there under various names.  The Trump administration and all the enablers you name, and more, let them back up to the surface and whipped them up by calling them "patriots" and "fine people."

These idiots (I mean people like Sen. Cruz, Pres. Trump, and others) have no idea how [expletive] dangerous those people are, and always have been.  Prior to the Trump Administration, the only thing protecting us from them was the general belief in the United States that extremism and racial supremacy were Bad Things.  Sure, you could be your racist angry self among the Good Ol' Boys in your town.  But you just "knew" you couldn't do that if you were going to head over to Disney World or elsewhere out in public.  Now -- thanks to these feckless idiots -- you can drive your Confederate-flagged truck down the freeway, waving guns out the window, and terrorizing your political opponents with impunity.  That's what these people have always longed to do.  This isn't new.  It's just been Generally Frowned Upon until now.

Oh, sure, they wrap themselves in the flag.  But then without hesitation they beat innocent people to death with them.  They ally with law enforcement, but then quickly show how little "blue lives" matter to them.  It's never about the prosaically noble causes they espouse.  They're angry, racist thugs.  That's all they've ever been, and that's all they will ever be, no matter what empty, patriotic-sounding platitudes they sloganize.  But because certain politicians are just profoundly ignorant of anything except the privileged environments they've grown up in, they think it's all just a game.  They think they can dog-whistle these groups by stumping their cover stories and praising their efforts, and that no harm will come from it.

American politics has devolved to the point where the people who practice it literally think there are no actual consequences.  The economy will somehow always be strong.  Poor people will somehow always be docile and subservient.  People with the wrong color skin will somehow always stay where they're put.  America will somehow always be great.  Violent racists will somehow always stay safely just under the surface.  They'll always be re-elected so long as they promise to "own the libs."  And, laughing all the way to their capitols, they'll always be free to exploit whatever presents itself, with no accountability.  I believe it starts with holding politicians accountable.  Who's going to do that?  Other politicians?  Voters who look at these decisions as no more consequential that a sports tournament?

I don't think, however, that there ever has been a time when so many have been so open, so organised and in such huge numbers. Social media (and I'm talking specifically about Facebook, primarily, and Twitter) has been weaponised and used to directly target these people. Organisations such as Cambridge Analytica, funded by the like of the Mercers are using these platforms to spread targeted messages of chaos and distrust.  Trump's pardoning of Steve Bannon is a terrible decision. Personally I think that Bannon is one of the most dangerous men on the planet. His fingerprints are all over the Trump presidency, Brexit, Orban and others. He actively wants to tear down and destroy democracies and he has access to the people with the money and inclinations to do just that.


I'm aware of the background of the interviewer  when he interviewed Yuri Bezmenov in the earkly 1980s, however the interview makes for chilling listening.
https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/yuri-bezmenov?rebelltitem=8#rebelltitem8
Many of his comments are absolutely true today.

"As I mentioned before, exposure to true information does not matter anymore," said Bezmenov. "A person who was demoralized is unable to assess true information. The facts tell nothing to him. Even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents, with pictures; even if I take him by force to the Soviet Union and show him [a] concentration camp, he will refuse to believe it, until he [receives] a kick in his fat-bottom. When a military boot crashes his balls then he will understand. But not before that. That's the [tragedy] of the situation of demoralization."
"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' " - Isaac Asimov

Offline gillianren

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2008 on: January 20, 2021, 11:46:38 AM »
Betsy DeVos has been my most-hated Cabinet figure for four years, and that is a high bar.  The attack on education was planned and it was serious.  And now, she resigns because "children are paying attention"?  That just made me hate her more!
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Offline Bryanpoprobson

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Re: The Trump Presidency
« Reply #2009 on: January 20, 2021, 11:52:40 AM »
"Wise men speak because they have something to say!" "Fools speak, because they have to say something!" (Plato)