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It has no choice but to surge - the reality, thanks to the 'lying media' and even their own 'credible sources' - is just too hard to ignore: The overall populace is backing inclusion and fairness, and has been trending that way for over a century now.  Arthur C Clarke WAS correct - world wide communication has done a lot more to show us that we're more alike than different.  That baby giggling and being cute in the latest viral video someone shows you isn't a white baby, or a brown baby, or a purple baby - it's a BABY. Being cute. Just like yours.

 

These people are dinosaurs staring at the bright light on the horizon after the meteor strike and waiting for the shock wave and fallout.  Social media and such gives them a place to get together and roar at it, but it's already hit.  The ones that survive will ultimately do so by evolving into something less overt.  

 

Mind you, that could make them (even more) dangerous.

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Partly, yes, there are the bigots and racists. But isn't there also a broader group of people who have watched the rest of the world pulling away from them economically and feel like no one cares that they're slipping into poverty from the working or middle class backgrounds they grew up with? I get the sense that those are the people who are the broad base of the Trump coalition.

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I was kind of amused by these two contradictory stories. Or rather, the contradictory interpretations of real-world data

 

Republicans are in trouble:

(TLDR, the country is trending to be a bit less white, and the Republican Party has not kept up.)

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-end-of-a-republican-party/

 

Democrats are in trouble:

(TLDR, the country is self gerrymandering. The Democrats may win the popular vote, but that doesn't matter, especially in the Senate and White House)

http://www.nbcnews.com/specials/democrats-left-in-the-lurch

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Some of those might take care of regular gerrymandering, but not the self gerrymandering. When people say they are sick of living in a place with bad mass transit options and move to Oregon, they make Oregon more liberal and their own state more conservative. Heck, if that even happens in state (moving from a rural place in Oregon to Portland), even a disinterested mathematician would pop out a bunch of safe districts.

 

So, the real problem is figuring out how to heal the Urban Rural divide. I do not see any politicians, from any party or level of government, talking about this.  I'm actually curious, posters not in the US, do you see a big Urban/Rural divide as a driver of politics in your countries?

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I was kind of amused by these two contradictory stories. Or rather, the contradictory interpretations of real-world data

 

Republicans are in trouble:

(TLDR, the country is trending to be a bit less white, and the Republican Party has not kept up.)

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-end-of-a-republican-party/

 

Democrats are in trouble:

(TLDR, the country is self gerrymandering. The Democrats may win the popular vote, but that doesn't matter, especially in the Senate and White House)

http://www.nbcnews.com/specials/democrats-left-in-the-lurch

Both can be true. In the short term, we may see Democrats winning the popular vote and losing the EC(again). In the longer term, at least 22 states will become majority-minority in the next 20 to 30 years, and I expect the electorate to be majority-minority no later than 2060 (barring massive and blatantly obvious voter suppression).

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So, the real problem is figuring out how to heal the Urban Rural divide. I do not see any politicians, from any party or level of government, talking about this.  I'm actually curious, posters not in the US, do you see a big Urban/Rural divide as a driver of politics in your countries?

 

In Canada it is definitely a factor. Where I live in southern Ontario, the major cities tend to be islands of support for the Liberal party, amidst suburbs and rural voter ridings which most often vote Conservative. I think the divided sentiment has tended to be less vociferous than in the United States due to a more comprehensive social support safety net. OTOH rural parts of Ontario, particularly the North, have long complained their concerns are too often given short shrift compared to the big population centers in the South. That's been especially glaring over the last few months, with reports that the rural rates of hydro-electric power have gotten so much higher than the urban rates, residents often have to choose between paying their hydro bills or buying food and other necessities. Many power company clients in arrears had their power disconnected. In the dead of winter.

 

In a country as big as Canada -- or the United States -- regionalism is also a factor. The dominant world view in some regions of our countries may differ significantly from one region to another. For example, in the Canadian province of Alberta, whose economy is dominated by exploiting its massive oil reserves, measures to protect the environment from carbon-based pollution is seen through a very different lens than elsewhere in the country. I've often heard it said that it would have made more sense for North America to be divided vertically rather than horizontally. Our Western prairie provinces have a cowboy heritage and culture much like the American West. The Maritimes, on the Atlantic coast, have more in common with New England than Ontario.

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 Listening to Sean Spicer(on cnn) trying to tell the media that when Trump says "wiretapping" (in quotes) he doesn't REALLY mean wiretapping. Yeah right. The USA has gone down the rabbit hole; wasn't it Tweedledum who said something like "When I say something it means whatever I want it to mean, nothing more" or something like that ?

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Wasn't the urban/rural divide a factor in the Brexit vote?

Yes it was. Urban, diverse communities tended to vote for remaining within Europe, while whiter rural districts voted to leave. Some of that will have been because the rural districts see accession-state citizens taking the menial, largely unskilled agricultural labour jobs, and pushing out the native youngsters. There are more jobs, and better, needing more skills and better English, in the cities, so the impact of willing labour in towns isn't so noticeable, except in the quality of plastering and reliability of plumbers.

 

[The above may include some tongue-in-cheek stereotyping - Ed]

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In a country as big as Canada -- or the United States -- regionalism is also a factor. The dominant world view in some regions of our countries may differ significantly from one region to another. For example, in the Canadian province of Alberta, whose economy is dominated by exploiting its massive oil reserves, measures to protect the environment from carbon-based pollution is seen through a very different lens than elsewhere in the country. I've often heard it said that it would have made more sense for North America to be divided vertically rather than horizontally. Our Western prairie provinces have a cowboy heritage and culture much like the American West. The Maritimes, on the Atlantic coast, have more in common with New England than Ontario.

You know what you could do, is install a DMZ between those two groups and populate it with rude French-speaking people. ;)

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It has no choice but to surge - the reality, thanks to the 'lying media' and even their own 'credible sources' - is just too hard to ignore: The overall populace is backing inclusion and fairness, and has been trending that way for over a century now.

I wanted to challenge this as it is my own default assumption set.

 

I think it is easy to berate the media, especially labelling them as liars. I think it is easy to believe the best of people and their willingness to do things better.

 

Those two easy things make it feel that the current situation must be the result of machinations at the highest levels, classic conspiracy fodder.

 

Now, who is to blame if we have a lying media? Us of course. We buy the newspapers, browse the advert supported sites and share the stuff we buy into and even the things we want to decry to our friends. In a first world democratic nation, The key driver for a lying media that peddles fake news and a right wing agenda is the right minded people that pay for the media.

 

That is those same people that back fairness and inclusion, a chunk of whom help vote in the politicians that drive the policy debate in response to the dog whistle politics of that very same media.

 

At some point we need to stand up and admit that we are responsible for our country's politics and culture. We are the ones allowing or facilitating it to happen and that if we cannot stop it, either accept the limitations of our fellow countrymen or accept that we might need to lose some of the choice and freedoms that have been our main goal over the past century.

 

(Or did I go a bit too far at the end there?? :-) )

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Yeah, maybe a tad. ;)  But I concur with much of your thesis. Our capitalist society's dynamics are in large measure market-driven. Sensational "news" stories sell, and always have. In an era of multiplying consumer news choices, the attention-grabbing headline has become an even greater priority. Large-scale broadcast news outlets intentionally catering to existing worldviews were created because there are sufficiently large factions of the populace that want them and are willing to pay for them. The accelerated pace of information dissemination puts more pressure on breaking a story first, often at the expense of due diligence in getting it right.

 

The path from all of that, to patently slanted reporting, to outright fabrication, is a logical progression. I do believe that last part is still very much the minority in the media, but the many channels available for people to repeat and disseminate fabricated news means its influence is often far more widespread than warranted. Unfortunately, those channels appear to be the ones Donald Trump pays the most attention to.

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Sometimes I think that the picking and choosing of what makes it into the news and how prominently it does so, is more dangerous than the fabricated stuff. If I look at, say, reuters.com (which I consider a reasonably straight news site), and then look at, say, msnbc.com, foxnews.com, the Huffington Post, and Breitbart, I see that each is often projecting its own worldview in which stories they choose to put where. Something that's a screaming headline on one will be a minor item on another...or go ignore completely. So even if the stories behind them were told in a completely straight way, readers would get a completely different picture of the world just from reading one site or the other.  And then of course the stories often are slanted one way or another, with one aspect or another of them emphasized over another. Or take local news.  If yours is anything like mine, it's all about car crashes, fires, violent deaths...the dangers lurking in the sponge on your kitchen sink...black mold in your bathroom is going to kill you...and so on. Fear, fear, death, death! (Aside from celebrity news, sports, and weather, of course.)

 

I think we end up being affected by this daily emphasizing of certain aspects of the world much more so than the blatantly false stores. Not that the wild stories have no effect. In the short term, they can have a tremendous effect. But in the long term, I suspect it's the distorted views of the world shown by our media that have the greatest effect on us.

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Or take local news.  If yours is anything like mine, it's all about car crashes, fires, violent deaths...the dangers lurking in the sponge on your kitchen sink...black mold in your bathroom is going to kill you...and so on. Fear, fear, death, death!

 

And Skippy the Wonder Dog, who can ride a bicycle!  Tune in at 11 to see it!

 

(They seem to throw in that one positive story, usually at the tail end of the news broadcast.)

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Not pleasant, but probably true none the less.

 

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rural-america-understanding-isnt-problem#.WMF6xbtnoKk.facebook

 

Warning!

 

If you're a Trump supporter, it's inflammitory. Read at your own risk.

That enunciates the problem I think. It's what it looks like to an outsider, and if someone who comes from the background can corroborate, it seems to add emphasis.

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I'm suffering from Trump fatigue.  Here's a political story from my own homeland for a change of pace.  

 

Some members of the Red Chamber are so determined to expel Senator Don Meredith that they have tasked the Senate's law clerk with combing through the Constitution in search of a line they can use to force the Toronto-area senator to step aside for good, sources tell CBC News.

The Senate's ethics watchdog last week found that Meredith breached the upper chamber's ethics code by engaging in a relationship with a young woman that started when she was 16 years old. In the Senate, some colleagues have suggested the behaviour demands nothing less than his removal.

The 52-year-old senator could be suspended without pay rather easily — a simple majority vote on a motion would suffice — but that punishment would only last until the end of the parliamentary session and would have to be continually renewed.

Instead, senators are considering something that has never been done before: expelling one of their own. (All of these considerations would be moot if Meredith were to voluntarily retire.)

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senators-determined-expel-meredith-1.4023249

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