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Author Topic: In your honest opinion, who do you think has the best chance of becoming POTUS?  (Read 26333 times)

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Offline ReijiTabibito

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I saw the story about Evan McMullin on The Young Turks just an hour ago.  Interesting, and not entirely unexpected.  It makes sense for many establishment Republicans to do so.

The question is how many of them will choose to vote for him.  Oh, sure, the establishment will be happy to throw up a candidate - but as the GOP field earlier this cycle showed us, you can have a million candidates, but in the end it simply comes down to who do you vote for?

I suspect you won't get many people voting for McMullin, even if he could have gotten on the ballot in all 50 states.  You'll never get the Trump voters to go for anyone else, and all the rest of the GOP is running scared of the idea that Clinton will get to stack SCOTUS with left-wing justices who will 'force their views down decent American's throats.'  (Though, to be fair, that fear is on both sides.)  They know to be divided is to lose, and that they can't budge the Trumpeters, so they'll stick with him and just hope he's a useful idiot.

An informed electorate is necessary to the functioning of our government, by being able to separate the bullshit from the truth.  Skepticism isn't exactly looked on in glowing terms by many in the U.S., particularly in the way many religions are conducted and taught here.  After all, what would you expect from a country with so many people who don't accept evolution or the actual age of the Earth?

Adherence to one specific view vis a vis how life developed or a number that we tack on to describe the number of birthdays one specific planet has had is not required in order to be an intelligent adult capable of critical thinking.  People are allowed to believe wrong things - and often do.

Today, the germ theory - that disease is caused by bacteria and viruses - is quite accepted in not just the scientific community but at large.  What isn't widely known is that the idea was first formally proposed by Girolamo Fracastoro...in 1546.  It would not become the accepted theory until the work of  Pasteur and Robert Koch in the latter half of the 19th century - over 300 years later.  And keep in mind that this was well over 200 years after van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope, and therefore the discovery of cells.

Natural selection as evolution - as proposed by Darwin in the 1870s - did not build a consensus as the method for development of life until the 1930s-1950s; and radioactive carbon dating - the means by which we measure the Earth's age - was not developed until the 1940s, and not widely in use until the 60s.  These are new (relatively) things, acceptance takes time.

And even so, there are still problems, things that remain unexplained by science.

In short, science should not be set against religion.  The longer we perpetuate this idea of religious persons as insensibles who refuse to accept a stated view regarding the origins of the planet and life (simply because it is right does not mean anything!  The abolitionists were right in that slavery was wrong, but they were derided at nearly every turn for their standpoint until they actually won!), the longer it will take to actually win, because insulting people's intelligence is an excellent way of convincing them of the validity of your argument.

What is interesting is how many Trump supporters aren't actively religious.  They aren't being gullible due to religion, but...they're gullible nonetheless.  I think that, perhaps, our mass media culture has more to do with it.

Look at the breakdown of Trump supporters - most of them are white, who have had the unfortunate experience of being badgered and hectored and told that they're the cause of all society's problems, that they enjoy 'white privilege' when that hasn't been their experience, and the general rise of political correctness, and you end up with a massive breeding ground for resentment. 

Everything today is about individual life experience, yeah?  Then consider that these people, in adhering to Trump, are saying that 'what this man is saying resonates most firmly with my life experience.'

Which is the danger of allowing things like 'life experience' or emotion to be the driving forces for a society - and this goes across the whole spectrum.  We expel fact and adherence to logic and reason from the marketplace of ideas, and what we have left is nothing but hogwash.

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In short, science should not be set against religion.  The longer we perpetuate this idea of religious persons as insensibles who refuse to accept a stated view regarding the origins of the planet and life the longer it will take to actually win, because insulting people's intelligence is an excellent way of convincing them of the validity of your argument.

I wasn't aware there was a need to win :P

Or you know we could let people believe what they want so long as they don't hurt anyone right? Though that has to go both ways and im afraid us Theists are the ones hurting others most of the time, while the atheists mostly just make snide and insulting remarks.

So yeah our bad :P

Still it wasn't my intention to make this a religious discussion so il go be quiet now :-)

Quote
I suspect you won't get many people voting for McMullin, even if he could have gotten on the ballot in all 50 states.  You'll never get the Trump voters to go for anyone else, and all the rest of the GOP is running scared of the idea that Clinton will get to stack SCOTUS with left-wing justices who will 'force their views down decent American's throats.'  (Though, to be fair, that fear is on both sides.)  They know to be divided is to lose, and that they can't budge the Trumpeters, so they'll stick with him and just hope he's a useful idiot.

Really makes me wish that Rooosevelt had succeeded in creating his Bull Moose party. Then at least we might have a third option.

Offline ReijiTabibito

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Really makes me wish that Rooosevelt had succeeded in creating his Bull Moose party. Then at least we might have a third option.

Even if he had, it was likely that it wouldn't have survived into today.  Roosevelt was a hugely popular man, incredibly charismatic - Bull Moose could have emerged as a third party.  Or it could have emerged as a cult of personality surrounding Roosevelt, and said cults tend to die out when the object of worship dies.

As it stands, the Bull Moose party was not a good idea - either Taft should have dropped out after hearing Roosevelt announce he was running, or TR should have kept his promise (as ill-made as it was) not to seek further election.  Between Taft and Roosevelt, who were quite similar politically, they cornered the market on over 50% of the popular vote.  If it had just been one of them, they would have one.

Instead, what happened was that the Democrats - united behind Woodrow Wilson - swept practically all the states, because of the divide.

If Wilson hadn't become President, history might have turned out quite differently.  We might never have heard of a certain anti-Semitic individual...or of the National Socialist Worker's Party.


It's no use debating the past, though.  There are third parties today - like Jill Stein's Green Party (who I'll be voting for this upcoming election) - that need our help.

Online Cassandra LeMay

Look at the breakdown of Trump supporters - most of them are white, who have had the unfortunate experience of being badgered and hectored and told that they're the cause of all society's problems, that they enjoy 'white privilege' when that hasn't been their experience, and the general rise of political correctness, and you end up with a massive breeding ground for resentment.
Source please. How do you know what the experiences of Trump supporters are? Do you have any solid data to support your statement? If not I'd like to point to something else you said (my emphasis):

We expel fact and adherence to logic and reason from the marketplace of ideas, and what we have left is nothing but hogwash.

Offline Kythia

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If Wilson hadn't become President, history might have turned out quite differently.  We might never have heard of a certain anti-Semitic individual...or of the National Socialist Worker's Party.

Off topic, I know...but could you clarify that?  You're claiming that if Woodrow Wilson hadn't become President, not only would Hitler have never risen to power but the party itself would never have become prominent, right?  Just so I'm clear.  I'd like to hear your thinking there if it wouldn't derail too much.  (I have a PM inbox?)

Offline CuriousEyes

Source please. How do you know what the experiences of Trump supporters are? Do you have any solid data to support your statement? If not I'd like to point to something else you said (my emphasis):

I think the demographic data does back the idea that Trump's most consistent voting bloc is white males lacking college education. That is a bloc that can argue for some amount of disenfranchisement, even if they're perhaps misguided in just how much they've experienced compared to others.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/who-are-donald-trumps-supporters-really/471714/


Edit: Oh and re: Kythia's question, my best guess is Reiji is basing this on how Wilson is perceived to have been steamrolled in the Versailles treaty process, which basically forced such brutal defeat terms onto Germany and shifted the political map enough that it created an environment that fostered Hitler et al.

Alternatively I've seen some arguments that WWI would have effectively stalemated itself without the US' late entry, which was fueled in part by Wilson's desire to establish US international prestige.

In the altiverse where the US doesn't push Britain/France "over th top," the thinking is all sides would have exhausted equally and just negotiated a more equitable peace.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2016, 10:27:53 AM by CuriousEyes »

Online Cassandra LeMay

I think the demographic data does back the idea that Trump's most consistent voting bloc is white males lacking college education. That is a bloc that can argue for some amount of disenfranchisement, even if they're perhaps misguided in just how much they've experienced compared to others.
Most of his supports comes from whites with a certain educational background, no question about it. But that they share "the unfortunate experience of being badgered and hectored and told that they're the cause of all society's problems" is something I find a rather sweeping statement that I would question for over generalization at the very least.

Offline CuriousEyes

Ah yes, agree that the scope of the actual statement ver batim statement was hyperbolic.

Certainly much fairer to say its a group that often feels its been treated as such.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Donald Trump is trying to fight back after several remarks and tweets that backfired on his own campaign - by playing the "it was sarcasm!" card, and accusing both the media and the Democrats of lacking a decent sense of humour.


Quote from: N.Y. Times
At times, his enthusiasm for venting anger about the news media has seemed to rival his interest in criticizing Mrs. Clinton. In Erie, Pa., on Friday, Mr. Trump swerved back and forth between attacks on Mrs. Clinton and an extended airing of grievances about the press. The news media, he said, was determined to cover up Mrs. Clinton’s missteps and highlight his own. (Mr. Trump allowed that Fox News, home to several anchors who openly favor his candidacy, was an exception.)

“These people are the lowest form of life, I’m telling you,” he said, pointing at the journalists covering his rally. “They are the lowest form of humanity.”

In Altoona, Pa., on Friday evening, Mr. Trump continued his diatribe: “It is so ridiculous, the pile on,” he complained of the coverage of his campaign. “Every single day, story after story after story.”

Mr. Trump’s crowd-pleasing allegations of news media malevolence also serve a tactical purpose: Providing him license to revise or play down his remarks. After stating several times this week that he considered Mr. Obama to be the founder of the Islamic State, Mr. Trump reversed course on Friday with a declaration that he had only been speaking sarcastically and that the press simply did not understand.

In Pennsylvania, he reiterated that he had been sarcastic, but added: “Not that sarcastic, to be honest with you.”

*facepalm* Imagine him firing off this kind of "funny" throwaway lines ("X is a douchebag and he's helping ISIS kill Americans" etc) at a summit with leading politicians of other countries, or during a tv speech to the nation...And then making this kind of defence if there is criticism or outrage at some of his over-the-top statements. How can anyone take this guy seriously as a candidate for the White House?  ::)

Offline Oniya

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Quote from: Douglas Adams
It was for the sake of this day that he had first decided to run for the Presidency, a decision which had sent waves of astonishment throughout the Imperial Galaxy—Zaphod BeeblebroxDonald Trump? President? Not the Zaphod BeeblebroxDonald Trump? Not the President? Many had seen it as a clinching proof that the whole of known creation had finally gone bananas.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Right on target, Oniya!  :D

When I heard Trump declaring, during the Convention, "I am the Law and Order candidate" I thought he was gonna say "I am the Law", period.  :P

Offline ReijiTabibito

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I'm assuming you mean Stallone-style and not Urban-style with that declaration, GL.

Offline gaggedLouise

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I'm assuming you mean Stallone-style and not Urban-style with that declaration, GL.

True.  :D

Offline Oniya

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So - in today's facepalm moment, Donald Trump decided he was going to try to boost his appeal with African American voters.

By campaigning in West Bend, Wisconsin.

In front of an audience that was almost all Caucasian.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/watch-donald-trump-campaigns-in-west-bend-wi/


Offline gaggedLouise

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So - in today's facepalm moment, Donald Trump decided he was going to try to boost his appeal with African American voters.

By campaigning in West Bend, Wisconsin.

In front of an audience that was almost all Caucasian.

http://www.mediaite.com/online/watch-donald-trump-campaigns-in-west-bend-wi/

Best reader comment so far: "Isn't the law and order candidate being sued for fraud and racketeering?"  ;D

(Fraud investigations over Trump University)

Offline Thesunmaid

I really really have to ask...why is trump even a choice? Also I am going to duck and cover is enough people actually vote trump into office. The thought of it is actually sort of fucking terrifying to me. And also I have to ask WHY IS TRUMP AN OPTION?!

I suppose I should be glad you guys have a limit on how long someone can be president? Here in Canada we had the same prime minister for a decade.

Offline ThePrince

I really really have to ask...why is trump even a choice? Also I am going to duck and cover is enough people actually vote trump into office. The thought of it is actually sort of fucking terrifying to me. And also I have to ask WHY IS TRUMP AN OPTION?!

I suppose I should be glad you guys have a limit on how long someone can be president? Here in Canada we had the same prime minister for a decade.

Trump one the Republican Party nomination, enough people in the Republican Party wanted him to be their President. The good nemesis that with each day it becomes more clear that Trump isn't likely to win.

Online TheGlyphstone

I really really have to ask...why is trump even a choice? Also I am going to duck and cover is enough people actually vote trump into office. The thought of it is actually sort of fucking terrifying to me. And also I have to ask WHY IS TRUMP AN OPTION?!

I suppose I should be glad you guys have a limit on how long someone can be president? Here in Canada we had the same prime minister for a decade.

Essentially, because all of the other Republican candidates were worse. At least, that's what Republican voters thought.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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And because not enough people too Trump seriously until it was too late to get rid of him.

Offline Thesunmaid

Essentially, because all of the other Republican candidates were worse. At least, that's what Republican voters thought.

What did the other ones do? Eat babies while kicking puppies with a box of matches throwing them and setting nuns soaked in lighter fluid on fire?

Offline Blythe

I think Trump's rise was just a combination of the candidate field being crowded with lackluster or vaguely distasteful candidates, coupled with him drawing on the most unpleasant aspects of rhetoric sown by the GOP for years....all within a political climate that shifted to welcome a politician who isn't a career politician. While I find Trump repugnant, unlike many of the competition seeking the Republican nomination, Trump does know how to work a crowd and is extremely memorable, for all his other ignominious faults.

Had an election cycle presented Republican contenders who were more memorable and on-point (and within a less crowded field), I highly doubt Trump would have gotten as much traction. He's been sowing the seeds of a reasonable election run for a while, though--every few years he'd "mull" an election run of some sort only to eventually opt out. He's been talking about a presidential run every few years since something like the late 1980s. I think back in 2000 he actually did run as a member of the Reform Party in California, although his amount of votes were quite small then. (Not sure on that 2000 run; I probably need to Google that or something. I might be mis-remembering).
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 06:51:38 PM by Blythe »

Offline ReijiTabibito

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They made the same mistake that all Republicans make - they tried to make an efficiency and effectiveness argument in place of a moral argument.  Plus, the GOP has been suffering from what it usually has been - a candidate that fails to get the base really fired up.  That's what happened with Romney in 2012; to paraphrase Stephen Colbert, the Republicans discovered their longstanding love for Romney...after they had no other choice.

The reason for the Republicans' repeated failures at a Presidential bid is quite simple.  Republicans do well when the country is convinced that the biggest threat to America comes from outside the country.  That's why they did so well during the Cold War, all people like Nixon and Reagan had to do was point at the Soviet Union, and the populace filled in the rest.  In contrast, Democrats do well when the country is convinced the biggest threat to America is domestic - which given the nemesis mentality of government today, means the opposition.  To sum up:

If you went and asked a Republican who was the biggest threat to America today, they would say something like Iran or ISIS or terrorism.

If you want and asked a Democrat the same question, they would say a Republican.

Global politics have shifted since the end of the Cold War - up until the last decade or so, China had not quite emerged as a potential rival superpower - the decade plus between the fall of the USSR and the emergence of China allowed for there to be some real introspection in America about how it was doing.  And the answer is that domestic issues have been looming ever larger in the viewscreens of Americans.  Things are not good in America, people know this.  You've got a hollowing-out middle class, a political elite that is increasingly dismissive of their own voters (seeing them largely as necessary tools for re-election), race conflicts being heightened...more.  You've got average joe Americans wanting things to get better - that's how Obama managed to capture the imagination of the country in 2008 - hope, change, a new era.

The big three success candidates all tapped that.  Yes, even Trump.

If we're honest, Trump did not have a great deal of competition this year - the other three major Republicans were Bush, Cruz, and Rubio.

Jeb had already lost the battle before it began.  If his brother hadn't ruined the family name, then he might have stood an actual chance at garnering the nomination, but between that and the fact that it would be another Bush v Clinton race, that took a great deal of wind out of his sails.

Cruz suffered from the same problem that Trump has - his own party hates him.  The difference was that Trump was always the political outsider, and he used the rhetoric of the outsider, which enabled him to draw in people dissatisfied with the political system.  Cruz' defeat in his bid for the White House might mean the actual end of old-school political conservatism within the US.

Rubio would have done fine...if Chris Christie hadn't pointed out that he basically had the same debate strategy, the same talking points, which was to claim that Obama was an evil genius (rather than making bad decisions because of incompetence) and lay all the blame for the suffering of average Americans at his feet.

The real thing of this contest - Clinton v Trump - is that each of the candidates is facing the only one that they are capable of defeating.  Based on polls ran by - amongst other sources, 538 - Clinton would have had no chance against nearly any of the other major Republican candidates.  In the same way, Trump would have lost inexorably against...let's be honest, the only other real Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders.  The unfavorability ratings for both candidates are the highest they've ever been in history.

Blythe pretty much explained how Trump managed to rise and gain the nomination of the Republicans.  For Clinton, it's all about the long-range plan of the Democrats to put another Clinton back in the White House, a plan that stretches back anywhere from the cycle that elected Obama to Bill's days in the White House.

Offline gaggedLouise

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What did the other ones do? Eat babies while kicking puppies with a box of matches throwing them and setting nuns soaked in lighter fluid on fire?

I suppose they didn't seem as seriously badass as Trump. :D They were too ordinary, too vague - and too much of politicians. Many people loved Trump (and still do) because he is not cast as a politician.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 07:27:33 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline lovelylilT

I don't live in United States anymore, I'm sort of glad I'm not there for elections. Both Trump and Mrs. Clinton, they scare me much. :-\

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The Republicans have poisoned the wells, including their own, with the Fox News style of demonizing the opposition.  At this point, everyone is now the opposition to Republicans, even including different branches of their own party.  The base that Trump inspires are the lowest-information, driven-by-fear, why-aren't-I-doing-as-well-as-my-parents population of middle-aged straight white males.  There is no information that you can show them that will change their mind--Republican strategists, since the 1980s, have turned them against media of all kinds but their own.  Facts are not accepted if it contradicts the narrative fed to them.

A Democracy needs at least two viable choices.  The plan by the Republican establishment for over three decades has been to maintain what power they have, even at the expense of dumbing down their constituents.  Even in the face of changing demographics that insisted that they needed to change with the times.  Instead they doubled down, pushing ridiculous gerrymandering through at the state level, and vilifying anyone who isn't white or rich.  All it will do is delay the inevitable.

What's sad is--by setting the stage this way, the Democratic establishment has also played the same game, going into the pockets of big money and corporations.  The entire table has skewed to the corrupt side.  The Overton Window is so obvious in this election that it boggles the mind.  And with the advent of the internet, people who have an interest in facts can get the information they need to make an educated decision.  Never before has the Republican plan looked to inept, outdated, and corrupt.  Problem is, the Democrats are not too far behind them.

I'll vote for Hillary, even if it maintains the status quo.  It's much better than backsliding into whatever madness a Trump Presidency would be.  After that, however--the work is on to get more progressive candidates into the Democratic Party.  Or begin building a truly viable third party that can supplant both current crappy parties.