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Author Topic: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates [Poll updated!]  (Read 40521 times)

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Offline ReijiTabibito

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #100 on: August 30, 2015, 01:26:49 AM »
WARNING: WALL OF TEXT BELOW.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.



I just saw a video on TYT (the Young Turks, it's a YT channel) about campaign finance (or more specifically, the efforts of a group called Wolf-PAC to get money out and overturn Citizens' United), and this has been an issue boiling on the old pot for a while, so I figured I would take the opportunity here to talk about it.

Why the corruption in politics?  Why the insistence that corporations are people, money is free speech, and that billionaires like the Koch Brothers should be allowed to spend unlimited dollars to support the candidates they want in office?

Well, the answer is simple - they want to buy politicians to get them to do things for their company so they can have a better lot in life.  Donald Trump basically has admitted to such things openly and publicly, which I personally think is great for revealing the corruption we have in our governmental institutions that fill its seats via elections (like Congress) or appointment (like the SCOTUS) versus those that are filled by the regular employment method (like the rank & file of the FBI).  Jon Stewart basically highlighted this corruption in his segment a few months back called Burn Noticed.

To sum up: the House Committee on Science, Space, & Technology basically questioned an eminent scientist on global climate change, and asked about nonsensical factors like global wobble, which operates on a timescale so vastly larger than the sum of recorded human history (which is about 5000 years) and that for their climatological projections (which were only 100 years), global wobble never factored.  Jon then pointed out that the guys leading the idiots' charge were people who got campaign contributions from places like the Koch Bros, who have been trying to disprove climate change for years.

One of the critics even pointed out that he did not care what the data was from the scientists - their employment depended on climate change existing, and he basically accused the scientists of deciding on the conclusion, then fabricating the evidence they needed to get it.  That's like cops deciding what the crime rate is, and then going out and making sure the crimes get committed so they don't get downsized.  It's absurd.  It's against everything they should stand for.  And for someone to even think about doing it is a heinous act of evil.

But I'm not here to share on that - this is stuff everyone already can know or figure out for themself.  No, I'm here to share another question.  Why?  Why did it come to this point?  Why did the rich and powerful decide to corrupt this system to favor them and their judgment rather than let it continue as the way it was, democracy as it should be?  For that, for me, you have to go back a ways.  You can go back further, but to me, it really goes back about half a century to around the time of the civil rights movement and MLK.

For better and for worse, the country has changed since the adoption of the Civil & Voting Rights Acts.  Better in that the intimidation tactics and other such things that were used for a century - 1865 to 1965 - were struck down.  Stuff like the Jim Crow laws and restricting by race who could work for public bodies.  Worse in that the overall goal of people who wanted to see these acts fail were not stopped by their passage.  Quite the opposite, they became even more determined, and changed their methods of operation.  LBJ, who signed both Acts, basically told people that he knew their passage would mean the loss of the South - many voters were the so-called 'Dixiecrats' and were concerned with a single issue, segregation - for at least a generation.

In the 1968 election, LBJ ran - and lost - the nomination to Hubert Humphries, who then went on to face Richard Nixon and lose, because Nixon had scooped up the Dixiecrats and formulated the Southern Strategy of lore. 

Or so the story goes, because the reality was different. 

The Deep South - at least in part: Arkansas & Louisiana; Mississippi & Alabama; and Georgia - were carried not by Nixon but by 3rd party candidate George Wallace, who was most famous for being shot and for saying "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever."  Ironically, this was actually a really early example of saying what the people want to hear to get them to vote for you - Wallace ran for governor of Alabama in 1958, and was endorsed by the NAACP during that race, but lost to his opponent who was endorsed by the KKK.  When asked about his change in stance towards blacks, Wallace was stated to have said, and I quote: "I tried to talk about good roads and good schools and all these things that have been a part of my career, and nobody listened.  And then I started talking about [blacks], and they stomped the floor."

Nixon himself didn't pick up the Deep South until his reelection in 1972, which was a landslide (he carried all but 1 state and DC).  And then Watergate happened and we all know how that turned out.  Even though Nixon is gone, though, the Dixiecrats still live, and they've teamed up with a powerful ally to try and steer the course of the affairs of this country while they've got time left.  And the team-up is something born out of hell itself, if you ask me.

Because you see, the maniacal genius of the Dixiecrat plan lay in taking advantage of the only-recently-helped minority (at the time) populace of the US, as well as selecting in something that could never be outlawed in a capitalist society like ours.  We can't discriminate based on race, or sexuality, or gender...but they bypassed all of those and went straight for the throats of the poor - where a good number of the minorities in our country are economically.  It's little coincidence that the next major Republican after Nixon - Ronald Reagan - was the one talking about welfare queens, and moochers, and takers, and guys who are gaming the system.  Nearly every major Republican since Reagan has talked about the poor, too, and I don't think I need to belabor the point about stuff these guys have said.

Of course, there are poor whites, too, who suffer from plans targeted at others, but to the Dixiecrats and their ilk, they're just collateral damage, or easily manipulated dupes.  Or both.  Because ultimately, Dixiecrats don't care who gets in the line of fire as long as they get to keep their right to make sure they're always superior.

How'd they get hooked up, then, with powerful billionaires?  (Exceptions like Donald Trump, who is both a billionaire and a racist.)

We live in a democracy.  One man.  One vote.  Everyone is equal.  That's how it's supposed to work.  The vote of a poor, undereducated farmer in Kansas is equal to the vote of the high-powered lawyer with years of education and training that lives in NYC.  Problem is, the guys on the upper end of things - corporation executives and the like - see this situation and don't like it one bit.

"You're telling me that my vote, my opinion, my word is equal to that of everyone else?"  They'd squawk.  "I went to college and then Harvard MBA for years, and I gave up and sacrificed things like experimenting with drugs or drinking (whether underage or getting drunk often) or sex (take your pick), and made all those choices to do the right things...and I'm not any higher than the man who flunked out of school, gets drunk every night, and did everything wrong?"  They'd be aghast, in utter disbelief.  "No," they'd forcefully state, "that's not right.  I made all the right choices, I did all the right things, I worked hard, I studied, I made something of myself, whereas that other man wasted his opportunity, his talents, his life..."

And here would come the conclusion.

"...he has no right to decide how this country should be run.  He's a failure."

Now, you might reshuffle the deck, the names, the faces, the circumstances, a thousand times.  But that is the core of why the rich and successful work so hard to keep themselves at the top and prevent the poor from gaining any traction.  There are people who made right choices, and people who made wrong ones.  And those who made the right choices get to enjoy the benefits of their decisions, whereas people who made wrong decisions must be made to pay for theirs.  The idea of everyone completely equal terrifies them because it tells them that they are no better.  That you can be smart or stupid, virtuous or viceful, strong or weak, it doesn't matter what.  You are equal to the rest of your peers, regardless of your decisions.

Put that fear of everyone being equal up against the Dixiecrat ideology of minorities can't run things, and at the time that it happened - when a vast portion of minorities were poor - and you get the unholy fusion that you see today.  It is a party line that is based on ignorance and fear, and the thought of what could happen, rather than what is.

The supreme irony is, I think, that if the persons responsible for this spent half the effort into helping people that they spend on trying to keep people 'in their place,' then our society is better off overall.  One of the longstanding arguments against why we should raise the minimum wage is that, well, companies will just raise their prices for goods or services, so while the numbers on the check are bigger, families don't actually get any more money.  Which makes sense, and is reasonable.

And ignores an equally valid alternative solution to the problem.  Take McD's.  Now, I've heard this number vary, but I'm going to try and stick with a simpler number for sake of argument - I've heard that McD's posts profits of around $5 billion every year.  McD's executives say "well, if you make us raise the minimum wage, we'll just raise the prices on our food.  A Big Mac combo won't cause $6 now, it'll cost $9, so we're not really giving our employees more money."  Which is true - if your assumption is to keep your profit margins where they are or to raise them higher.

Profit can be given a lot of technical definitions, but I think everyone can basically agree that the definition of profit is that you make more money than you spend, and that includes paying your workers for their services.  Now, let's say that McD's chooses to raise the rates they pay their workers, but not raise the cost of buying their food, and this will cost them $2 billion in profits.  That brings them from $5 down to $3 billion.  Which A: is still a lot of money, B: helps their workers, and C: still means they are making a profit.  It's not like they went from $1 billion to -$1 billion, or even $2 billion to no profit.   They are still in operation.  Which is the thing that matters - are you still running at the end of the day?

In short, a lot of our problems today could simply be resolved by the choice of the person making decisions exercising their power to not be a total asshole.  But it seems like we as a society aren't really capable of that.  We'd rather stick the other guy in the eye and stay where we are now, rather than help him and thus help ourselves, too.

And that's a problem even the mightiest man on the planet can't fix.

Offline Cycle


Offline CaptainOrange

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #102 on: September 03, 2015, 01:14:22 PM »
So, I've made up my mind that I am voting for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. However, I'm afraid that he's too radical for most Americans, so even though his ideas are good, he'll lose to Hilary because she's much more moderate and moderates who keep the status quo are sadly what Americans are used to.

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #103 on: September 03, 2015, 01:40:16 PM »
I would think that the crowd turn-outs at all of Bernie's appearances so far might alleviate some of those fears.  ???

Offline Jazra

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #104 on: September 03, 2015, 01:50:20 PM »
So, I've made up my mind that I am voting for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. However, I'm afraid that he's too radical for most Americans, so even though his ideas are good, he'll lose to Hilary because she's much more moderate and moderates who keep the status quo are sadly what Americans are used to.

I am not sure this is true; it does reflect my own thoughts. But I do think a Sanders v. Trump (or Carson) general election match-up will bring out a different electorate and excite different voters than a Clinton vs. Bush match up for example. Hence, unpredictable polling. Later in the year, we may settle down and get our straight, mainstream candidates again. But so far, I don't think the experts necessarily know what can happen.

The only thing I plan to do is vote for the best democratic candidate I can and see what happens. I'm good with Clinton, Biden, or Sanders. I'm not sure I could say the same thing about the 17 or so Republican candidates. Some of them make me shiver and not in a good way.

I think Sanders has a shot in the general election, a real shot. But I may (probably) will still vote for Clinton in the primary.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #105 on: September 03, 2015, 10:51:23 PM »
In 2011, Rick Perry couldn't count up to three.

Now, he can't count up to two...

Goodnight, Governor.  Your run is over.


Offline CaptainOrange

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #106 on: September 03, 2015, 10:59:48 PM »
I am not sure this is true; it does reflect my own thoughts. But I do think a Sanders v. Trump (or Carson) general election match-up will bring out a different electorate and excite different voters than a Clinton vs. Bush match up for example. Hence, unpredictable polling. Later in the year, we may settle down and get our straight, mainstream candidates again. But so far, I don't think the experts necessarily know what can happen.

The only thing I plan to do is vote for the best democratic candidate I can and see what happens. I'm good with Clinton, Biden, or Sanders. I'm not sure I could say the same thing about the 17 or so Republican candidates. Some of them make me shiver and not in a good way.

I think Sanders has a shot in the general election, a real shot. But I may (probably) will still vote for Clinton in the primary.

Do you mind if I ask why Clinton or Biden? Both seem like moderates at best, and we've had way too many moderates make empty promises about restoring the middle class and raising wages while they still vote for tax cuts to the billionaires. I could be wrong here, but it seems to me that Clinton and Biden are both your typical conservatives in disguise.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #107 on: September 11, 2015, 01:03:51 PM »
Bush 3.0's tax plan:  "Let the Big Dog eat."

WTF...


Online Valerian

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #108 on: September 11, 2015, 02:48:32 PM »
It's interesting that the article mentions Bush adopting some of Paul Ryan's strategies.  Apparently J.B. is unaware that Ryan is hanging onto his congressional seat mainly by virtue of a pretty huge redrawing of his district... and he still doesn't exactly have a slam-dunk for his next re-election bid.  He has a decent approval rating (though I'm not sure why), but even pitting him against a "generic Democratic challenger" he's still showing only a 9% lead.  There have to be better politicians out there to emulate.  Or at least better-established ones.  <.<

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #109 on: September 11, 2015, 05:31:30 PM »
It's interesting that the article mentions Bush adopting some of Paul Ryan's strategies.

Yeah, I have to say 3.0 really doesn't strike me as an especially intelligent person.  He was born into privilege and has made the most of it.  But he keeps doing really, really stupid things as he campaigns.

In other news, Perry is out.  Pow!  One down, 15 to go, Trump!  Go get em!


Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #110 on: September 11, 2015, 05:34:22 PM »
In other news, Perry is out.  Pow!  One down, 15 to go, Trump!  Go get em!

Ah, did not know this--have crossed him out in the original post to reflect he's out. Thanks, Cycle! ^^

Offline Kurzyk

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #111 on: September 14, 2015, 10:30:50 AM »
Does anyone know when the democratic primary elections will be? Or have they been? Ive been looking online but can't find it anywhere.

Offline Cassandra LeMay

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #112 on: September 14, 2015, 10:58:09 AM »
Does anyone know when the democratic primary elections will be? Or have they been? Ive been looking online but can't find it anywhere.

I think not all the dates have been set yet, but it looks like the Democrats' primaries will start Feburary 1, 2016. (see here and the sources listed there)

Offline Kurzyk

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #113 on: September 14, 2015, 03:21:53 PM »
I think not all the dates have been set yet, but it looks like the Democrats' primaries will start Feburary 1, 2016. (see here and the sources listed there)

Oh great, thank you.

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #114 on: September 16, 2015, 01:25:09 PM »















           
3.0 on the water (with 1.0 and 2.0)
           
Trump on the water


Offline kylie

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #115 on: September 16, 2015, 01:55:12 PM »
     That is at least amusing...

Trump at least doesn't have any banners in sight about "Mission" anything.  Gotta appreciate any finesse you can get with him.

 O:)

Offline BlytheTopic starter

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #116 on: September 16, 2015, 01:59:06 PM »















           
3.0 on the water (with 1.0 and 2.0)
           
Trump on the water

...but it's plugged. It's a completely useless weapon as a result and...

*lightbulb*

This may say more about Trump than he realizes...  >:) *snickerfits*

Those pics gave me a good laugh today, thanks.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 02:03:12 PM by Sherlock »

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #117 on: September 16, 2015, 02:05:26 PM »
3.0 on the water (with 1.0 and 2.0)
           
Trump on the water




Smoke on the Water

So - Bernie headed on down to Liberty University a few days ago.  Yes, Jerry Falwell's brain-child, Liberty U.  And he spoke at the convocation about income inequality.  And he was confronted by one of the attendees on his views on abortion - to which he pointed out that those who want smaller government probably shouldn't want the government making that kind of personal decision for people.  (Relevant quote found here Full video including Q&A session here.)

Afterwards, a Liberty alumnus posted the following sermon - which was later transcribed on Reddit.  It makes for some enlightening reading.

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #118 on: September 16, 2015, 02:36:42 PM »
           
3.0 on the water (with 1.0 and 2.0)
           
Trump on the water

*gigglefits*  That is awesome. 

I was talking to my oldest this morning regarding Trump and the rest of the GOP candidates.  His question was, "If Trump is such a jerk, why is he ahead of the other candidates he's running against?" 

I sat there for a moment, and I couldn't come up with an explanation.  The majority of my friends who label themselves 'conservative' can not stand that man....so I'm at a loss as to how he's drumming up so much support. 

Offline kylie

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #119 on: September 16, 2015, 02:52:43 PM »
     Totally a guess, but... Could it be that Trump appeals to a segment of the conservative base that you all don't talk to that much? I'm just imagining more White, working class, rather less likely to spend time on a roleplay forum at all, jives with the 'immigrants ruin everything and any successful white business figure with a sharp tongue must be good' sort of reflex?

     Probably something of an early morning simplification... But maybe quite true? I do recall reading that Trump drew a whole lot of interest at a Tea Party heavy gathering and other candidates seemed to languish there.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 02:55:15 PM by kylie »

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #120 on: September 16, 2015, 03:03:23 PM »
Oh sorry....I should have been more clear.  I meant my RL friends that are conservative. 

But that is a good point.  I hadn't thought about that. 

Offline Oniya

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #121 on: September 16, 2015, 03:38:27 PM »
Oddly enough, there's one person on my FB list who is 'liking' a lot of posts favoring Trump - which confuses me because her husband is a vet with PTSD, who has had difficulties with getting disability, she's also disabled, and they were even living out of their car for a good portion of the time that I've known her.  Not the sort of person that Trump would do much to help, but damn those immigrants!

(I just keep putting up the Bernie posts.)

Offline eBadger

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #122 on: September 16, 2015, 03:52:04 PM »
I've been struggling to understand that as well, because from my POV Trump is a horrible person that no one should take seriously.  But-

1) He's the American dream.  Rich, successful, hangs out with supermodels, has buildings named after him.  This isn't so much liking him as wanting to be him. 

2) He presents that false holy grail of campaign promises, simple and easy solutions that no one else is brave enough/smart enough/skilled enough to execute.  Job market is bad, we'll just wall out the Mexicans.  Economy is bad, we'll just trim the fat off government.  Crime is bad, we'll just crack down on the bad elements.  All of this, of course, relies on a complete lack of any actual credentials - anyone with experience trying to say those would have to explain why they haven't been working yet.  As a bonus, none of his solutions require any effort or sacrifice from Average American. 

3) He is blunt and unapologetic.  His message is horrible, but he doesn't shy away from frank responses, and the lack of any backpedaling/apology/repercussions has the effect of minimizing his faults.  He tells an interviewer that she's menstruating, but nobody punishes him, so it seems that it was okay.  Basic playground mentality: Billy didn't get time out, so shoving people isn't really that bad. 

4) He is a brand.  I don't like Trump, but (unfortunately) I know him - and so does everyone else.  He has a big tower somewhere, a horrible comb over and a TV show I didn't watch.   There is a social phenomenon where people view an item differently based upon its perceived popularity.  They will buy stupid things that are ugly, useless, that they don't even like, because they are popular.  The loudest voice is also a thing, and the media love Trump's controversy far more than any other current runner.  He makes people angry, so he gets attention, which boosts media attention, which makes Trump more popular.  It's a revolting cycle that represents a lot of what's wrong with our election system and the press, frankly. 

5) Backlash.  For many liberals, marriage equality is a solid win, a step forward for freedom.  Those who opposed it, though, are on the defensive, contriving slippery slope fallacies about the end of christianity in the US and...meh, god knows what else.  Accepting that logic, it makes sense to gravitate toward a well known conservative who opposes pretty much everything to do with equal rights. 

Offline Cycle

Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #123 on: September 16, 2015, 04:49:06 PM »
My guess is that the following are driving Trump's (and to a lesser extent Sanders') popularity:

1.  People hate the idea they don't matter.  Since the campaign season started, there was a lot of talk that Bush 3.0 and Clinton 2.0 were the "inevitable" nominees.  That kind of talk irks people who like to think they actually got to vote for who became president. 

2.  People hate the idea of a monarchy.  This is more of a 3.0 specific problem.  Bush I, Bush II, and now you want me to let Bush III take the reins?  Did we just drop back into the 17th Century?  I thought we fought a war to prevent this kind of nonsense...

3.  People think politicians are all liars anyway.  The attack that Trump offers "no policy" bounces off him, I think, because many people think that the candidates offering "policy" are just flat out lying anyway.  Not one them will do what they say, if they manage to make it into office.  So, really, what's the difference between "no policy" and "lying about your policies"?  This factor is probably more telling in the case of Walker, Rubio, Paul, Cruz, Christie and 3.0.

4.  Trump is funny.  Really, he's fun to watch.  Way more so than Jindal, Clinton, Christie or Graham, etc.  You may not like Trump's views, but watching him take swings at people like 3.0 and Perry is seriously good popcorn TV.  I'm going home early to watch the debate tonight.  Why?  To see Walker or Rubio or Carson drone my cat to sleep?  No.  I'm there to see what silly thing Trump does.  And I bet a few million folks will be joining me.

« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 10:00:13 AM by Cycle »

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Re: The Big Thread For the USA 2016 Presidential Candidates
« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2015, 11:49:08 PM »
Another big asset for Trump has to be that he has no back record that he'd have to handle as a politician, and which he could be judged on, any past decisions he'd have to defend and so on - but massive name recognition as a business brand. He hasn't been sitting in any senate, hasn't had any cabinet posts, doesn't have any past campaigns and votes where it could have shown up that maybe he/you can't have it all just because he's Mr. TRUMP.  ;) When people despise "the politicos" (and I'm the first to agree that this is often deserved!) it's a big pro not to have much of a past as an actual politician, no spots where you had to weigh different aims and different people you wanted to work with. Hillary Clinton and John McCain had to be ready to face that kind of thing coming up all the time.

When that kind of "decision trauma" happens in business life, most of the deliberations aren't public so it won't come to light if the CEO messed up some of the aims of a corporate offensive and so on. The fallout is much more limited.

 I hear Donald Trump stole the limelight again last night.  ;)