Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Dutch guy » 04 Feb 2017, 14:18

Amake wrote:We have the constant lying

He's a politician. Find me one that doesn't lie. In any country... And Trump most of the time isn't strictly speaking lying as such. Being an idiot and making false statements because he doesn't know any better or is somehow convinced of something that isn't true, certainly yes. This is him being an idiot. Not a second Putin (he's not NEARLY smart enough to be)

Amake wrote:discrediting of media

The media is doing a fine job of this itself. Most of all it's not just Trump discrediting media, it's the thing to do right now amongs politicos it seems. What with all the shit about "fake news" being spread around by news organisations who aren't above spreading a few falsehoods or half truths themselves. The problem here again is that Trump is just so convinced of his own right he won't publicly accept a journalist contradicting him. This is still him being an idiot, not a second Hitler.

Amake wrote:arresting journalists

If you are referring to the journalists arrested during/after the riots/unrests following the inauguration of Trump then this has nothing to do with Trump (again) but with the LAW in Washington DC. These journalists got caught up in the unrests and got subsequently arrested. This is the risk of sticking around when there is a riot going on. Even as a journalist. If they are indeed journalists and had a legitimate reason to be there the Washington DC judicial system will find them not guilty.

Amake wrote:outlawing the free dissemination of climate and agricultural science

Specifically ONLY climate change science. Something he said he would do in his race for election. Something that only of consequence to the research actually getting funded by US tax dollars in a way that the US government actually has a say over it's use. The a very large part of climate research won't be affected and the parts that are will probably find ways around it. Again, this is Trump being an idiot. Not a bid for world domination.

Amake wrote:open threats against dissenting judges

Luckily most judges are actually appointed for life and there is little the Trumpinator can do to force judges on his side. Again, hardly an effective step towards totalitarian rule.


Amake wrote:and there was this thing today about the FCC cutting Internet subsidies

Trump appoints Republican to replace former democrat, who then proceeds to throw out a relatively limited subsidy program. This is not Trump limiting or controlling communications. This is pure right wing politics, limiting subsidies for ANYTHING, small government, cut spending. Is it a good decision and the right thing to do? Who knows, probably not. But it's not a step towards totalitarian rule.

Amake wrote:all of which serves nothing as much as keeping the public as uninformed as possible.

And this is different from the policies under the last 4 presidents how exactly? This is nothing new. This is not limited to the US either. Education and informing the public have been de-subsidized, limited, twisted and fucked up both inside and outside the US probably since Nixon! God forbid the US public ever found out what actually goes on in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Irak, Afghanistan (again), Irak (again), Yemen, Pakistan, Syria, etc, etc. God forbid the US public ever finds out just how deep the US Congress and Senate are intertwined into the big corporations of the world and how powerful the lobbyists are. This shit's been going on since at least the 70s!

Amake wrote:I'd like to see an example of anything that would suggest Trump's administration is not copying the creation of Putin's autocracy step by step.

Trump doesn't have tight control over the US intelligence agencies and doesn't have hyper loyal top generals in the US armed forces. Trump hasn't made any move to control US news networks (and no arresting some journalists doesn't get you anywhere to control the news.) If he'd take a leaf out of Putin's book he'd be putting network bosses into jail on heavy charges, wealthy and influential people would be disappearing, he'd be making moves to remove the 2 term limit on continued presidency. None of that his happening. All the Trumpster is doing is proving he's an IDIOT!


Ohh and btw, when it comes to censorship, Sweden isn't doing so great either:
https://www.dangerandplay.com/2016/01/29/sweden-caught-censoring-the-internet-1984-style/
Note: The author of that first site is an alt-right activist and possibly not the most reliable source, I don't have time to dig for more credible sources, but I can see the way the media in the EU are framing and twisting news, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is right in this instance.
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/01/why-cant-the-swedish-authorities-be-honest-about-crime-and-immigration/


edited for splelling mistakes and adding the last 2 links about censorship in Sweden.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Amake » 04 Feb 2017, 14:46

Well, I'm sure you can defend all of the Trump administration's decisions. But I'm not making my points very well, maybe because I haven't had a good night's sleep in three months. Maybe I have to spell this out: What I'm doing here is trying to help people, particularly Americans, who seem overwhelmed and innocent to familiarize themselves with the threat before us and how to fight it. I'm not looking for an argument.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Deedles » 04 Feb 2017, 18:20

No offense, Dutch Guy, but you can't trust shit that the alt-right here in Sweden post. They twist pretty much everything to fit their opinions, and they like to cry about censoring when people(NOT the government) tell them to take their racist bullshit elsewhere.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Darkflame » 05 Feb 2017, 01:46

There is degrees of everything.
The idea "Trump is no different because there existed examples before" is silly.
Its like saying a car is no different to a spaceship because they both move.

Yes, politicians lie. No that doesn't remotely mean Trump - and his administration - are remotely on the same level.
They outright state that black is white, and repeat it at press conferences, and then scream that anyone that says differently is lying.
And being a idiot doesn't make lies not lies. The burden of proof is on the person that makes a statement - you dont get "oh, but I didn't know it wasn't true" as a excuse for making shit up. Thats not how it works.

"And this is different from the policies under the last 4 presidents how exactly"


Did any of them call the press the opposition party?

====

Also, in the cases of both asking for lists of climate scientists + discrediting judges; Whether or not he gets away with it or not does not effect the _intention_
Comparisons to Hitler or Putin may be very shallow - but there is certainly elements of a dictator in him.
He wants to have absolute control. He thinks that's what a president should have. Likewise he ""knows"" he is right about global warming being a hoax, so he wants to shut up anyone contradicting him.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Dutch guy » 05 Feb 2017, 10:04

If you believe I'm defending Trumps actions you are severely misunderstanding my intentions. I don't call Trump an idiot repeatedly because I think what he's doing is a GOOD thing (Far from it, most of it is very very bad). HOWEVER, the problem we are dealing with in our current political landscape is one of polarisation. There is no middle ground anymore. Someone is either a jolly good fellow who can do nothing wrong to his own party, a dirty communist/socialist rotten piece of scum (to a rightwinger) or a child murdering nazi (to a left winger). By saying Trump is out for world domination you are doing exactly that. You are misrepresenting what is happening. Yes, Trump is dangerous. Yes, people should fight for their rights. Yes, people should protest (in a peaceful NON VIOLENT manner). They should do all that simply because Trump is a dangerous toddler prone to throwing a tamper tantrum if he doesn't get what he wants without understanding what it is he's actually "fighting" against.

The problem with saying that he's out for totalitarian rule is that many people who are still on the fence will listen to that argument, think: "Well that's clearly bullshit" and not listen to any further reason you throw at them. You have lost these people. Don't exaggerate the problem. It doesn't need it because it's already plenty big enough.

The same goes for the the argument Deedles is making which boils down to "if it's alt-right it can't be true". Which is a dangerous statement to make. Yes, there is a problem with rising far-right sentiment, but that doesn't mean that some of the problems they mention aren't true. They might not be nearly as big as the extremist right is trying to make them but they could actually be there.

I see this problem happening in the Netherlands myself. There are problems with immigrants not integrating into society. The left wing politicians pretend they don't exist, the slight right of center (if we have any) politicians don't want to offend anybody and try to downplay the problem and in the meantime the way too far right (Wilders in the Netherlands, Le Pen in France, Farage in the UK, Åkesson in Sweden) are the only politicians who say anything on the matter but immediately go to "they took 'er jerbs" and "all muslims are terrorists". And those who actually experience the problems first hand just want to be heard and such vote for these far right parties. (Recent research into voters for the Dutch PVV showed that over 11% of those with a `non-western background´ voted for the PVV, mostly from exactly those groups most often identified as being trouble makers.)

Final thoughts for now: I feel like I'm not really clearly expressing what I'm thinking here. I might get back on this. Please understand I'm not trying to personally attack someone here. I'm hoping we can keep a constructive political debate/discussion going.
I am myself more conservative/rightwing leaning person, and I know (and see) there are problems from certain groups of people with a migrant background within our society.
However, even I fear the rise of far-right sentiments within the community spurred on by the refusal by a majority of politicians that there might be some validity to the complaints made. I also see the ease with which arguments are done off as "leftist hippy pipedreaming" or "extremist right neo nazism" when there is truth to be named. Unfortunately there doesn't seem room for nuance in politics anymore. All statements have to be made in 140 characters or less. Everything has to fit in a soundbite. But the ugly truth is our world is nuanced, and requires balance.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 05 Feb 2017, 10:53

Just FYI Dutch guy, I'm with you on this (as someone whose political views oscillate either side of centre-left). I find Trump's behaviour dangerous, his lies particularly distasteful to my sensibilities (especially regarding the environment)... and I actually agree with Amake that his behaviour is undermining America's democratic system in certain areas. But critically, I believe that the truth resists simplicity and overflows with nuance. Fighting is important- discussion perhaps even more so.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Deedles » 05 Feb 2017, 11:23

Erm, that's not what I meant Dutch Guy, but rather that you really shouldn't take their word for it, as you shouldn't ANY source of extreme political leaning.

Just recently there was an incident of a piece of Swedish alt-right news spreading outside of Sweden, stating that the Government had banned Christmas lights because they thought it would offend Muslims. Meanwhile, the real story was that the branch in charge of road maintenance(Vägverket) had banned Christmas lights from being hung from street lamps, because they weren't built to take that extra weight, but there was in no way a full ban on Christmas lights, and it did in no way involve Muslims.

So, yes, you should take alt-right articles with a varyingly sized pinch of salt. But thanks for putting words in my mouth, Dutch. =/
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Amake » 05 Feb 2017, 13:16

The trouble is I'm not exaggerating anything. Toning down the danger so as to not make it unbelievable to these fence-sitters, however few they may be in this polarized political landscape, doesn't do much to motivate resistance, as shown by the fact Trump was able to campaign with nakedly fascist rhetoric for 18 months before anyone even seemed to notice. That a man could talk openly about banning Muslims, banning Mexicans, "Make America great again", let alone gain any kind of public support for saying those things, was already enough to tell us we were past any hope of finding middle ground.

There's problems with integrating immigrants, yes, but it's impossible to discuss those before everyone can agree they are human beings protected by human rights. Before we as a society can get anything more done, we first need to get the "alt-right" out of any positions of power. There is little enough resistance even now that we should not worry about finding an outer extreme limit of how much of it we can tolerate and still remain a humane society, let alone finding middle ground.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 05 Feb 2017, 15:09

Amake wrote:That a man could talk openly about banning Muslims, banning Mexicans, "Make America great again", let alone gain any kind of public support for saying those things, was already enough to tell us we were past any hope of finding middle ground.

There's problems with integrating immigrants, yes, but it's impossible to discuss those before everyone can agree they are human beings protected by human rights.


Really?

Slaves were freed in the US by bribing Democrats and bullying Republicans to effect constitutional change, to say nothing of Lincoln's tyrannical practices during the Civil War. Interracial marriage was signed into law at a time when it had less than 25% popular approval. Racism is widespread across the USA despite full legal equality being signed into law over 40 years ago. There is around 40% disapproval for same-sex marriage in the US, despite it being completely legal. Integrating immigrants is problem humanity has faced since the days of the Roman Empire. All of these issues have been accompanied by extensive discussion and stage upon stage of political compromise. There are always racists. There are always leaders playing on pride and rhetoric, particularly when facing weak opposition. And humanity has still managed to make progress- even when there is significant public disapproval. And vice-versa, for that matter.

One of my friends is South African, and he told me once that there have never not been neo-Nazis as a major political presence in South Africa. They have seats in parliament, they teach children their worldview, but you can still negotiate with them. They still collaborate on infrastructure projects and taxation issues- it might not be a racial middle ground, but it's still a middle ground. It's something you can work with them on. And they still are not the biggest political problem South Africa faces- not by a long shot. It's not a good thing that Trump is in power and neo-Nazis have an increased political problem, but it's not like their very existence renders progress impossible.

(Also... little enough resistance? From my perspective, the US government is tearing itself to pieces with internal conflict across numerous branches, as are sectors of the Republican party. There have been two major marches on Washington (both also supported by sister marches across Europe) in the less than a month Trump has been in power, and a third one is planned for later this month. What is "enough" resistance?)
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Bebop Man » 05 Feb 2017, 16:06

My pseudonym is Ix wrote:What is "enough" resistance?


Enough to prevent this from happening, for starters. Which there wasn't.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Amake » 05 Feb 2017, 17:06

Yes. Enough that fascists should be afraid to voice their thoughts in public, perhaps, if not afraid to seek public office. Like I said, finding the upper limits should not be our concern yet.

Let's say I am exaggerating and it's possible for progress to happen in spite of leaders like Trump. That's still no reason for moderation. There's nothing to gain and much to lose by fighting less hard to exclude anti-democrats from the democratic process. Their presence can do nothing but slow it down. And let's say it's always been this bad and we're only now noticing. That's still no reason not to begin fighting it. The worst thing that can happen is it turns out we're not too late to make fascists afraid.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby My pseudonym is Ix » 06 Feb 2017, 08:09

Agreed with both of you, Amake and Bebop. I would dearly love Trump not to be in power and for there to be less fascist rhetoric floating around nowadays. Neither I nor Dutch nor anyone else I've seen on this thread (or indeed IRL) have argued that people should do less protesting and fighting against disagreeable rhetoric, or that it is in any way bad to argue against anti-democratic behaviour. We are, to put it simply, on the same side.

So far as I can tell, there is disagreement here on just two major points:
1) Whether or not Trump is actually attempting to build an autocratic state. Myself, I'd say no- his various autocratic/anti-democratic stances are not good things, but I don't think it's coordinated enough to be a genuine attempt to take apart American democracy- his objectives appear to be in other areas. Plus, as Dutch has pointed out, not all of the bad shit that's going down can be blamed on the one guy- although that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight it, as stated above.
2) The nature of being 'moderate' in this situation. Moderates frequently get derided by those more politically extreme- as wimps, as non-committal, as pussyfooting around when Action needs to be Taken. And sure, political apathy is a serious problem... but to confuse being centrist with being apathetic is, I feel, wrong and unhelpful. I'm fairly politically centrist, but I still go to the protests, have strong beliefs and cast my vote with thought like a good little socialist. I care about this stuff... I just happen to think that a good amount of the non-stop railing against the right by the left is misrepresentation. Dutch guy has provided a couple of examples thereof- and yes, I know Trump has said and done a BUNCH of awful stuff that needs no exaggeration. In many ways, that makes it more of a shame that some people feel the need to exaggerate still further and advocate similarly bad shit in order to oppose him. Yes, calling Trump a fascist and decrying his supporters with loud rhetoric isn't the same as attacking mosques, but that doesn't mean it isn't giving the bad guys ammunition for no bloody reason. And this is the main reason WHY I'm a moderate- because I think misrepresenting these things leads to a cause with so much evidence in its favour shooting itself in the foot unnecessarily by not acknowledging the nuance of its opponents and giving them a 'back door in' to influence public opinion.

The one final point I want to make... maybe this makes me a bad socialist, but I don't particularly want to live in a society where fascists are afraid to voice their thoughts in public. That way autocracy lies, in my book. I would prefer to live in one where people are willing and able to tell those who do so where to stick it (just as protestors have been doing), and where those who offer hate speech get due punishment (which I'll admit we could really be doing some more work on). Just something I thought I'd add.

I don't think either of us is going to convince the other here, but maybe it's enough if we all just understand where the other is coming from so we can actually prevent the bad stuff from happening in the most effective, least divisive manner.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby SAJewers » 28 Feb 2017, 06:08

I'll leave this here

this as well. This one is probably more relevant to Canadians though.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby AdmiralMemo » 06 Apr 2017, 01:19

So, I was going to post this in the "General" thread, but as it is a tangentially political topic, I'll post it here.

I honestly don't understand the heat this new Pepsi ad is getting. When I first heard the uproar on Twitter, calling it "tone-deaf" (whatever that even means), I heard the name "Kendall Jenner" and had the first thought of "Well, what do you expect when you put someone from that family into a production?"

But then I watched the actual ad and was like... "What's the uproar about?"

So, we see people creating things, followed by the most generic protest ever.
People keep joining the thing, and Jenner decides to go too.
She picks up a Pepsi, interacts with some people, then goes and hands the Pepsi to a policeman.
The policeman drinks the Pepsi and the crowd cheers.

So... I'm not seeing what the problem is or why the ad is offensive in any way.
The only point of contention I could possibly see is someone thinking "They're using real-life protests to shill their drink! How dare they use our actual suffering to promote their product?" To that, I say "Welcome to 1971."
Coca-Cola effectively promised us world peace if we'd share our Coke with people. Let me know how that turned out.
Pepsi and AT&T used the Berlin Wall to shill their products. Countless companies used 9/11.
Companies have been doing this type of thing for decades. Why is this any different? Why hasn't there been outrage before? The only answer I can see is "Well, it affects us now..." which... basically speaks for itself.

Has it taken people 40-odd years to wake up to this sort of thing en masse? Or is there something about this particular ad that I'm missing?
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby MetricFurlong » 06 Apr 2017, 08:52

AdmiralMemo wrote:
So... I'm not seeing what the problem is or why the ad is offensive in any way.
The only point of contention I could possibly see is someone thinking "They're using real-life protests to shill their drink! How dare they use our actual suffering to promote their product?" To that, I say "Welcome to 1971."
Coca-Cola effectively promised us world peace if we'd share our Coke with people. Let me know how that turned out.
Pepsi and AT&T used the Berlin Wall to shill their products. Countless companies used 9/11.
Companies have been doing this type of thing for decades. Why is this any different? Why hasn't there been outrage before? The only answer I can see is "Well, it affects us now..." which... basically speaks for itself.

Has it taken people 40-odd years to wake up to this sort of thing en masse? Or is there something about this particular ad that I'm missing?

I don't know about the ad, but I think you might be missing something else about this particular situation. Specifically related to this:
When I first heard the uproar on Twitter,


This would rather obviously account why you don't recall seeing any twitter outrage to things that happened prior to 2006, since Twitter didn't exist then. That hardly needs to be said, but what probably should be brought-up is that the fact that you don't remember hearing about complaints about ad campaigns of the past does not actually mean there were no such complaints at the time. There very easily could have been complaints and you just didn't happen to be aware of them. In fact, given the amount of hits a search for offensive or controversial ads results in, I'd be inclined to say this isn't any less likely an explanation than the idea that there weren't any complaints.

Also, as a sidenote: by-and-large, people tend to be more prone to getting angry about things that effect them personally than things which don't. So it would be entirely expected to see more complaints about something that personally affected people immediately after it happened than you would generally expect to see complaints directed against something that happened 40-odd years beforehand.
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Genghis Ares » 06 Apr 2017, 11:47

Twitter is kind of a double-edged sword in this area. On one hand, something as quick and socially ubiquitous didn't exist before so it didn't seem to be as big as a issue as it seems to be now. On the other hand, maybe it's a bigger deal today because we have Twitter now and it seems like a bigger issue than it really is. So either it seems like problems are bigger these days because he hear about them more, or we make problems bigger these days because we have easier armchair access to spread it..
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Re: Politics and the Vague Fear of Something Called Donald Trump

Postby Darkflame » 09 Apr 2017, 21:44

Advertisers have been selling ""lifestyles"" for awhile as one of their standard moves.
I dont think selling the lifestyle of resistance would be bad if Pepsi themselves were standing for something while doing so. But they arnt. Its all generic. And at a time when there is a huge amount to resist, standing for nothing while trying to cash in is a bit of a dick move.

Not that the advert is a big deal in a absolute sense. Compared to other stuff going on its nothing more then a single tiny blip in a shitstorm of awful.
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