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Author Topic: In your honest opinion, who do you think has the best chance of becoming POTUS?  (Read 26938 times)

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Offline Oniya

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And for those who are unfamiliar with the Overton Window (thank you, Internet!) This quote sums it up rather clearly:

"Many who before regarded legislation on the subject as chimerical, will now fancy that it is only dangerous, or perhaps not more than difficult. And so in time it will come to be looked on as among the things possible, then among the things probable;–and so at last it will be ranged in the list of those few measures which the country requires as being absolutely needed. That is the way in which public opinion is made."

The problem, of course, is that the thing that was initially on the 'dangerous' side and is moving towards being perceived as 'necessary' can be either something progressive (such as the gradual acceptance of gay marriage in the past years) or regressive (like the idea of requiring an ideological 'exam' for incoming immigrants).

Offline Cassandra LeMay

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.
That's certainly one aspect of it (and probably an important one). While I would say the start of the problem is more in the 90s, the Clinton vs. Gingrich era, Republicans over the last decades seem to have developed a tendency to tack more to the right any time things go against them.

That aside, I'd like to offer a few thoughts on the "Trump phenomenon" (in a somewhat unstructured, stream of consciousness way):

One, I am not sure how large the "Trump phenomenon" actually is, and I am not sure if we will before the polls are actually done. I wouldn't judge the number of "hardcore" Trump supporters by his success in the primaries. Primary voters are a small part of the electorate, usually the party interested and engaged in politics already.

Two, the partisanship in the US seems far stronger than in other Western countries. There are more than enough places were it might hardly matter who the candidate is, as long as he runs on a certain party ticket. (Given that the electorate might be about evenly split, Trumps current poll numbers actually strike me as extremely low, given the usual lines of voting along party lines in presidential elections.)

Three, when it comes to wondering how Trump gets all the support he has, it is easy to look at Trump supporters as people who wholeheartedly support anything and everything he says. I don't think that's neccessarily the case and not just because of political partisanship.

There might well be many people who don't like even half his "ideas" but still support him because they find at least some things in what he says that they can get behind, whereas they like even less positions other candidates stand for. They get behind Trump to get at least some of the things they want and swallow the rest, even if it doesn't taste all that great. Once people get behind an unpalatable idea they find reasons to rationalize their behavior, make excuses for things they don't really believe; they take the bad with the good, but they don't want to acknowledge that their choide might have been flawed and therefore make excuses for the candidate. It's the "he just says that to get attention now, he'll get better once elected" line you might hear from some people.


Offline Cassandra LeMay

I thought voter registration laws based on spurious claims of potential "voting fraud" were bad enough, but apparently the GOP has found an even better way to exclude tens of thousends, if not hundreds of thousands, of primarily ethnic minority voters from the elections:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/the-gops-stealth-war-against-voters-w435890

In short: A database supposedly created to catch people registered to vote in more than one state flags voters as potential frauds just based on a combination of first name and last name, in many cases completely ignoring differences in middle name or social security number - and state authorities in GOP-dominated states act on those coincidental name similarities to set processes in motion that could deprive those people of their right to vote.

Offline CuriousEyes

Will be... interesting... to see what this last weekend does with regards to opinion polling. Terrorist events in soft targets up to the election would seem, sadly, to play to Trump's favor.

Of course the debates could completely derail him.

Offline gaggedLouise

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George Bush Sr has told journalist/ political commentator Kathleen Kennedy Townsend he will be voting for Hillary in November. Multiple people are backing it up, saying they heard him making this "endorsement" whilst talking to Mrs Kennedy at a meeting with the Points of Light foundation. This is one amazing wallop by a fomer president, though it's not completely unexpected.

Indeed pretty much nobody in the Bush clan seems to have any sympathies for Trump. Barbara Bush declared that "I don't know how any women can vote for him", Laura Bush wants a president who cares about the plight of Afghan women and is known to be on amicable terms with both Hillary Clinton and, especially, Michelle Obama, and George W is not at all likely to vote for Trump either, nor is brother Jeb.

Trump continues to have some serious problems with many among the inner circles of the GOP. Even Paul Wolfowitz (!) said he will be voting for Hillary.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 06:46:27 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline persephone325

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I honestly think that Hilary will become the next President, though probably by the skin of her teeth.

For me, it's really the lesser of two evils. Hilary is a liar and Trump is an arrogant hypocrite, and I won't be voting for either of them when the time comes. I'll probably go with Jill Stein, because I side with her the most now that Bernie isn't in the running anymore.

Offline gaggedLouise

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I think she's likely to pull through with this too, unless a couple of things fuck up seriously for her. Trump's campaign does seem to have lost some steam and he's going to have a tough time reaching out to a majority, especially non-whites (including hispanics, and the latino vote keeps getting more and more important over time). I suspect the vote in many big cities will turn against him as well...

Hillary definitely feels like the safer, more professional candidate. Sure enough many people feel that she and Bill have been around forever, but Trump has actually been part of the public set even longer - it's just that he didn't become famous as a politician before.  :D

Well, as I told mum back in July, "they can vote for anyone they like, as long as they don't vote Trump into the White House".  :P
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 07:47:50 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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I'm always amazed at the heavy handed criticism Hillary gets when she's done so much for children and families throughout her career and the constant pass Trump manages to receive from so many people who are low on his list of those he cares about.  After all, he doesn't give a damn about the women, children, people, citizens, voters, or anyone else.  He's like the Anti-Christ, blinding people to his real face.  He's a clown coming after you with everything he can to hurt you.  He's more than a hypocrite.  He is evil personified and has always sickened me.


Online TheGlyphstone

And now #Skittles is trending.

Offline Oniya

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And now #Skittles is trending.

Don't take the kids trick-or-treating at Trump Tower.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Three will kill you. 

I think papa Trump wants his kid to be Secretary of State.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Three will kill you. 

I think papa Trump wants his kid to be Secretary of State.

 :D

Or make him US special envoy to  the EU in Brussels - he'd become a high-society and gossip magnet.  ;)

Online TheGlyphstone

Even the EU doesn't deserve that... ;D

Offline HannibalBarca

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Quote
I honestly think that Hilary will become the next President, though probably by the skin of her teeth.

For me, it's really the lesser of two evils. Hilary is a liar and Trump is an arrogant hypocrite, and I won't be voting for either of them when the time comes. I'll probably go with Jill Stein, because I side with her the most now that Bernie isn't in the running anymore.

I was for Bernie.  The stuff the DNC did was terrible, and as far as I'm concerned, should be prosecuted.  At the least, it shows us how reprehensible the Democratic Party can be, right alongside the Republicans.

But I can't give a vote to Stein.  Hillary is bad, but...5% of Trump.  The people around trump, the racists and KKKers and ideologues and the choices he sees for Supreme Court...no.  And if Hillary is a liar, Trump is the liar King.  There's something he really excels at.  A country never does well by placing a fascist or racist nationalist in office.

I've studied history since I was a child.  It's my passion, other than writing and music.  I find that many, many Americans see themselves as special, or in a special place in the world, regardless of their being Conservative or Liberal.  In so many ways, too many of my countrymen think certain horrific scenarios are impossible, simply because we live in the United States.  But there's no guarantee of our liberty or continued way of life.  This nation has barely existed for 200 years.  One sure-fire way to test the already-threatened rule of law here is to put someone in power who sides with people like the Bundys.  What would it look like if Trump was to end up impeached, but the White House grounds were crawling with armed white supremacists refusing to allow him to be removed?  There are too many steps forward we have taken that could be rolled back with him and a Republican Congress and Conservative Supreme Court.  What the Philippines just did in electing a madman would pale in comparison.

Hillary sucks, but I'll take that over having someone so bereft of reality and morals as Trump.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

It seems like the elections have been becoming more extreme. The last one was pretty bad, but nothing compared to this one so far. I'm left wondering if this might signal the end of the existing parties and perhaps the beginning of a new one.  Aside from the Cruz, the other Republican candidates utterly failed. On the Democrat side, we had a "Socialist" who took half the votes perhaps with the hope of change. My understanding is that most Trump supporters are not hard core republicans, but support him more because he claims to be different or "not one of them". I think that's what attracted a lot of voters with Obama too - the hope for change.

I looked over Jill Stein's website. She seems likable, but the whole peace love and granola vibe that I got from it sounded a little detached from the world we live in.  Palletable, but not practical.

I'm curious about what others think about Stein and Johnson as alternatives to Trump and Hillary? I might have been interested in one of them if I thought they were credible choices and with the alleged record low approval ratings of both candidates, ( I can't cite numbers ), you would think there would be plenty of room for a viable alternative.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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If they prosecuted everyone who did bad things for their party there wouldn't be anyone left to run the country into the ground.

Offline CuriousEyes

Johnson is, for me, generally strong on social issues but glaringly weak on fiscal ones and particularly regulation of business. That's my general view of Libertarians as a whole, so I'm not terribly surprised by that. They simply don't tend to believe in the idea of a social safety net, which I can't accept.

Honestly what I'm starting to think is less that this country needs a third (maybe even fourth) viable political party so much as it needs to be broken up into 3 - 5 autonomous countries.

Online ReijiTabibito

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Johnson is, for me, generally strong on social issues but glaringly weak on fiscal ones and particularly regulation of business. That's my general view of Libertarians as a whole, so I'm not terribly surprised by that. They simply don't tend to believe in the idea of a social safety net, which I can't accept.

Honestly what I'm starting to think is less that this country needs a third (maybe even fourth) viable political party so much as it needs to be broken up into 3 - 5 autonomous countries.

Libertarian ideals work well when you put them down on paper - but they absolutely fall apart when you bring them into the real world, because they fail to take into account the fact that humans are dicks.  Yes, it's very nice to say that you should leave everything to the free market and explain how segregation would have been impossible but for state government intervention like the Jim Crow laws and Plessy v Ferguson.

But how well does that actually work in practice?

To my experience, a given civilization is only as good as its worst person, or alternately, its worst group of people.  If you've got a society where the vast bulk of its occupants practice empathy and are generally decent and moral human beings - the Gordon Gekkos are outliers - then for the most part you will have a fair, functioning civilization.

If Gekko is not the outlier - if he is the norm, everyone is a dick and only thinking of their own best self-interest and not how their decision will hurt others, only how it will benefit them - then you have a society that's walking the path to destruction.

Civilization has rules.  And one of those rules is don't be a jerk.


I was for Bernie.  The stuff the DNC did was terrible, and as far as I'm concerned, should be prosecuted.  At the least, it shows us how reprehensible the Democratic Party can be, right alongside the Republicans.

The DNC and various other personages attached to that end of the political spectrum have had a number of chances - more than they usually get - to try and earn my vote.  Because I'm not voting for you simply because I'm afraid of what the other guy will do.  They ruined nearly all of them, simply because they continue to practice the political corruption that Democratic voters scream about with the Republicans, but give a pass on with their own people.  Frankly, as far as I'm concerned neither the Dems or the GOP have the right to exist anymore, they've become insulated political influence machines who have no interest in serving the country.

Now, I'm lucky enough that I live in New England, which is bluer than hell, so I can choose to vote for someone like Stein or Johnson so they can break into the political scene and break up this duopoly from hell we've got, but I don't envy anyone living in a swing state this cycle.

I've studied history since I was a child.  It's my passion, other than writing and music.  I find that many, many Americans see themselves as special, or in a special place in the world, regardless of their being Conservative or Liberal.  In so many ways, too many of my countrymen think certain horrific scenarios are impossible, simply because we live in the United States.  But there's no guarantee of our liberty or continued way of life.  This nation has barely existed for 200 years.  One sure-fire way to test the already-threatened rule of law here is to put someone in power who sides with people like the Bundys.  What would it look like if Trump was to end up impeached, but the White House grounds were crawling with armed white supremacists refusing to allow him to be removed?  There are too many steps forward we have taken that could be rolled back with him and a Republican Congress and Conservative Supreme Court.  What the Philippines just did in electing a madman would pale in comparison.

That's because people have this misconceived idea of what American exceptionalism means.  American exceptionalism, if you talk to the experts on the subject, means that the founding principles of this country were unique and exceptional for founding principles.  Nothing more than that.  American exceptionalism does NOT mean we get to ignore all the bad consequences of our actions and that we're somehow immune to falling because 'MURICA!  The only way to ensure continued existence and liberty here in the United States is to follow and embrace the principles that allow it to survive and thrive.  Aristotle asked a question - what is democratic behavior?  Is it behavior permitted by democracies or behavior that allows democracy to be preserved?

I've read a lot of stuff in my day, and CS Lewis' The Screwtape Letters was one of them.  Lewis had an addendum later on, called Screwtape Proposes a Toast, in which he actually talks about democratic societies (and even makes reference to the question by Aristotle I mention above!).  To Screwtape, what a democracy should look like, in the Hellish sense...well, I'll just leave you with this quote:

Quote
We, in Hell, would welcome the disappearance of democracy in the strict sense of that word, the political arrangement so called. Like all forms of government, it often works to our advantage, but on the whole less often than other forms. And what we must realize is that “democracy” in the diabolical sense (I’m as good as you, Being Like Folks, Togetherness) is the fittest instrument we could possibly have for extirpating political democracies from the face of the earth.

For “democracy” or the “democratic spirit” (diabolical sense) leads to a nation without great men, a nation mainly of subliterates, full of the cocksureness which flattery breeds on ignorance, and quick to snarl or whimper at the first sign of criticism. And that is what Hell wishes every democratic people to be.

(Emphasis mine.)

'Quick to snarl at the first sign of criticism.'

Sound like anyone you know?

Offline CuriousEyes

First Presidential Debate happens tomorrow (Monday) at 9 EST. Should be interesting.

Offline Thesunmaid

The more time goes by the more the current presidential election reminds me of my grade 11 high school council election.

(By the way I went to high school in the late 90's to an all girl school just to give some context to this story.) Also until a few years ago in Canada we had 3 years of high school which we call by grade level..grade 10,11 and 12. Also yes I am old. Hush

We had the popular girl..oddly enough a redhead named Tiffany. She was popular,loud and backstabbing. She would spread rumors,get drunk every weekend and basically not really care about much of anything except getting drunk partying and being popular. Had a new boyfriend every week until grade 12 when she dropped out before she graduated when she got pregnant and honestly I don't know what became of her. But needless to say she was not a very good student body president and got many of her votes by badmouthing her opponents and in general being a two faced bitch.(she won..I am sad to say but fortunately the rest of the student council was fairly competent.)

We had the sort of go getting straight A student that had been wanting to get into politics or becoming something that would allow her to use her mind. Belonged to half the clubs in school and that I know of wanted to be a doctor.(She was a Brunette..sorry not a blonde) Her name was Edris. She was the one who people got help with with thier math or what ever subject they were not good at.She tended to come off as a bit standoffish at times but all in all I talked to her after all of this and she was actually rather nice when she allowed herself to relax.Tried to be the best she could but the popular types looked down on her for it.But...she probably would have made a pretty good council president because she cared about the school. The biggest scandal in her past was she had been out of school with Mono.It was the late 90's this was kind of scandalous..shut up it was the 90's. (which I did talk to her because she was a bit depressed for a time because she lost and she actually became one of our little group.I belonged to the weirdo type group...we did not really fit in anywhere else.)

And there was my friend Terri (also a brunette) She was sweet and sincere and just wanted to try and help the school and give people a choice. She would have been a good president...she was a nice person..she was the sort of heart of our group. The one who was there for you and genuinely wanted to help people.(she became a veterinarians assistant.) She was a bit naive and sweet and dropped out of the race because Tiffany was such a bitch and spread rumors that she was gay.(late 90's this was quite the scandal...she was gay but was not ready to come out of the closet and we sadly did not have much in the way of support and programs to help young LGBT youth. We being the weirdo's did not care. She was nice and a cool girl and she was our friend. She came out to me just before she graduated and we now talk regularly on Facebook.)

So it kind of hurts my head that the trump of our group won because she was the popular rich girl who liked to step on anyone it took to be popular and "cool" It  Also hurts my head that thinking about the current election made me think of 11th grade. And no offense Americans But I am going to be happy to have your election over with so I finally don't have to hear about it anymore except for people either happy or unhappy about who gets in.

Online TheGlyphstone

Trump went on record in the debate claiming that climate change is a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.

Wat.

Offline Iniquitous

I could not watch the debate.  30 minutes into it and I was ready to throw something at my tv.

What drove me batty was Trump's inability to answer a freaking question. All those words to say absolutely nothing! And then seeing first hand how ignorant my dad is because he was all "tell it like it is Trump!" - to which I very nearly started a fight by pointing out that Trump wasn't telling anyone anything, just blowing off hot air.


Offline gaggedLouise

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Saw some cuts from the debate this morn ing, and kind of surprised at how Hillary was clearly (and casually) implying that Saddam had been very close to getting his own nukes prior to the 2003 Iraq war. I thought that one had quietly been buried several years ago after all the angry and exasperated discussion, though it's still a useful story for some people of course.

It did look like both candidates were trying to avoid appearing too shrill, too unhinged. Trump was clearly trying not to seem nonchalant or bullying, while still appearing focussed - he didn't quite make it, I think.

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There's a theory going around that Saddam absolutely did have WMDs like our intelligence agencies claimed, and that in the 15 months we gave him to give them up and turn them over to the authorities he secretly dismantled them and repurposed the facilities used to make them - that if we had wanted to catch Saddam with WMDs in hand, we should have given him 15 days and not 15 months and then invaded Iraq.

I have no idea how true the theory is, and at least for me, the fact of whether or not Saddam actually had them is irrelevant.  I was in agreement with Trump last night that - for whatever reason we went over there - when we left the way that we did, we left behind a power vacuum.  Someone had to occupy that vacuum - it could have been Iran or Turkey, but it ended up being ISIS.

Of course, you'll never hear the media indict Hillary for such a gross mis-statement of fact, but if Trump had made that statement, you could bet you would hear it a lot.

Personally, I think the debate basically broke down after about the first third and devolved into personal attacks, largely leveled against Trump and his personal history.  Trump took a few shots at Hillary herself, but there were a lot of things that he could have brought up but didn't.

Hillary, on the other hand, had the opportunity to take the high road and failed to do so.

Offline Valerian

Some interesting analyses of the debate:

First, some transcriptions of the candidate's answers.  Trump's replies are, um, a little difficult to decipher.
Caution: Rambling Ahead
Quote
As far as the cyber, I agree to parts of what Secretary Clinton said, we should be better than anybody else, and perhaps we're not. I don't know if we know it was Russia who broke into the DNC.

She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China, it could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. You don't know who broke into DNC, but what did we learn? We learn that Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by your people. By Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Look what happened to her. But Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of. Now, whether that was Russia, whether that was China, whether it was another country, we don't know, because the truth is, under President Obama we've lost control of things that we used to have control over. We came in with an internet, we came up with the internet.

And I think Secretary Clinton and myself would agree very much, when you look at what ISIS is doing with the internet, they're beating us at our own game. ISIS. So we have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is a, it is a huge problem.

I have a son. He's 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, it's unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe it's hardly doable. But I will say, we are not doing the job we should be doing, but that's true throughout our whole governmental society. We have so many things that we have to do better, Lester, and certainly cyber is one of them.

Hilary's reply to the same question
Quote
I think cybersecurity, cyber warfare will be one of the greatest challenges facing the next president, because clearly we're facing, at this point, two different kinds adversaries. There are the independent hacking groups that do it mostly for commercial reasons to try to steal information that they then can use to make money. But increasingly, we are seeing cyberattacks coming from states.

The most recent and troubling of these has been Russia. There's no doubt now that Russia has used cyberattacks against all kinds of organizations in our country, and I am deeply concerned about this. I know Donald been very praiseworthy of Vladimir Putin.

But Putin is playing a very tough, long game here. And one of the things he's done is to let loose cyberattackers to hack into government files, to personal files, the Democratic National Committee. And we recently learned that this is one of their preferred methods of trying to wreak havoc and collect information. We need to make it very clear, whether it's Russia, China, Iran, or anybody else, the United States has much greater capacity.

And we are not going to sit idly by and permit state actors to go after our information, our private sector information or our public sector information, and we're going to have to make it clear that we don't want to use the kinds of tools that we have. We don't want to engage in a different kind of warfare. But we will defend the citizens of this country, and the Russians need to understand that.


Also, linguists tackle Trump's speaking style.

Quote
Geoffrey Pullum, a linguist at University of Edinburgh, argues that there’s more going on than just a conversational, I’ll-let-you-fill-in-the-gaps-style. Trump’s unorganized sentences and short snippets might suggest something about how his mind works. "His speech suggests a man with scattered thoughts, a short span of attention, and a lack of intellectual discipline and analytical skills," Pullum says.

More sophisticated thinkers and speakers (including many past presidents), Pullum argues, are able to use "hypotaxis — that is, embedding of clauses within clauses." Trump can’t seem to do that.

Pullum explains further: "When you say something like 'While Congress shows no interest in doing X, I feel that the American people believe it is essential,' the clause ‘it is essential’ is inside the clause ‘the American people believe it is essential’ which is inside the clause ‘I feel that the American people believe it is essential,’ and so on. You get no such organized thoughts from Trump. It's bursts of noun phrases, self-interruptions, sudden departures from the theme, flashes of memory, odd side remarks. ... It's the disordered language of a person with a concentration problem."

As an amateur student of linguistics and psychology, I'm always interested to see how people present themselves, particularly under pressure, and you really don't get much more pressure than this sort of situation... unless it's possibly the pressure of having to deal with would-be dictators and terrorist groups.