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On 10/4/2019 at 3:42 AM, csyphrett said:

Megaplayboy is right about the base. Spectrum News was interviewing some farmers here in NC two days ago. They were like oh this trade war is killing my farm. I wish Trump would stop. Would you vote for him in 2020? Sure.

 

I was like Idiot. You're losing the farm because you are a stupid clown that can only make the world a better place by doing one thing. I wish you would do that because you are breathing my air.

CES   

 

This is the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" problem. How can so many people vote against their obvious material interest?

 

The answer is that not everyone values material interest as highly as liberals think they should. Many people value other things more. One thing I hear again and again about Trump supporters is they love him because he enhances their self-respect by attacking the "elites" whom they think sneer at people like them.

 

To try understanding this, several months ago I heard about a study in which people were asked what they would give up to maintain a good reputation. Significant percentages, IIRC, said they would rather lose an arm than be thought a child molester, for instance. (I don't recall the exact examples, but it was stuff like that.)

 

So let's try that. How much money would you need not to care if people thought you were...

* a homophobe?

* a KKK member?

* a rapist?

* Or whatever.

If you can find a reputation so vile that no amount of money could compensate, congratulations, you've discovered transcendent values. You may not like the transcendent values for which Trump loyalists would (literally or metaphorically) lose the farm; you may think they are irrational (I do); but try to consider that they may not be acting from flat-out stupidity.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 10/4/2019 at 3:42 AM, csyphrett said:

Megaplayboy is right about the base. Spectrum News was interviewing some farmers here in NC two days ago. They were like oh this trade war is killing my farm. I wish Trump would stop. Would you vote for him in 2020? Sure.

 

I was like Idiot. You're losing the farm because you are a stupid clown that can only make the world a better place by doing one thing. I wish you would do that because you are breathing my air.

CES   

 

This is the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" problem. How can so many people vote against their obvious material interest?

 

The answer is that not everyone values material interest as highly as liberals think they should. Many people value other things more. One thing I hear again and again about Trump supporters is they love him because he enhances their self-respect by attacking the "elites" whom they think sneer at people like them.

 

To try understanding this, several months ago I heard about a study in which people were asked what they would give up to maintain a good reputation. Significant percentages, IIRC, said they would rather lose an arm than be thought a child molester, for instance. (I don't recall the exact examples, but it was stuff like that.)

 

So let's try that. How much money would you need not to care if people thought you were...

* a homophobe?

* a KKK member?

* a rapist?

* Or whatever.

If you can find a reputation so vile that no amount of money could compensate, congratulations, you've discovered transcendent values. You may not like the transcendent values for which Trump loyalists would (literally or metaphorically) lose the farm; you may think they are irrational (I do); but try to consider that they may not be acting from flat-out stupidity.

 

Dean Shomshak

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But what I don't really grasp is how they came to believe Trump is attacking the elites? Trump is an elite. All his friends are elite. His policies are designed to benefit the elites.

 

Unless "elite" is meant to refer to scientists, economists, diplomats, and anyone else with specialized expertise the "common man" doesn't have. (And Trump certainly doesn't have.)

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50 minutes ago, DShomshak said:

 

This is the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" problem. How can so many people vote against their obvious material interest?

 

The answer is that not everyone values material interest as highly as liberals think they should. Many people value other things more. One thing I hear again and again about Trump supporters is they love him because he enhances their self-respect by attacking the "elites" whom they think sneer at people like them.

 

To try understanding this, several months ago I heard about a study in which people were asked what they would give up to maintain a good reputation. Significant percentages, IIRC, said they would rather lose an arm than be thought a child molester, for instance. (I don't recall the exact examples, but it was stuff like that.)

 

So let's try that. How much money would you need not to care if people thought you were...

* a homophobe?

* a KKK member?

* a rapist?

* Or whatever.

If you can find a reputation so vile that no amount of money could compensate, congratulations, you've discovered transcendent values. You may not like the transcendent values for which Trump loyalists would (literally or metaphorically) lose the farm; you may think they are irrational (I do); but try to consider that they may not be acting from flat-out stupidity.

 

Dean Shomshak

If everything you own is being threatened by someone, and you know this, and admit it to others and yourself, then voting for that person against your family is idiotic. You're basically saying I would rather slowly poison myself rather than vote for someone who will help me. It's the same kind of thinking that goes into conspiracy theories. It's stupid. And I know this because I work with people like this. I just gave up on them because no matter how much you say, no matter how much gets pulled out in the light, they're like I like Trump because I don't like X of whatever.

 

Seriously my boss did this, and I laughed and laughed in his face. A few of my coworkers did this. When Sessions got placed in as AG, one of them was like what have I done. I laughed in his face too. They forgot Rule Two.

CES  

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1 hour ago, Lord Liaden said:

But what I don't really grasp is how they came to believe Trump is attacking the elites? Trump is an elite. All his friends are elite. His policies are designed to benefit the elites.

 

Unless "elite" is meant to refer to scientists, economists, diplomats, and anyone else with specialized expertise the "common man" doesn't have. (And Trump certainly doesn't have.)

 

They mean "liberal elites", who are generally portrayed as well-educated people usually from an urban environment with a political leaning of moderate to left. Obama, the Clintons, George Soros, are "liberal elites", and are usually painted as being against "rural values".

 

Trump, of course, has a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is strongly identified with New York City, and was, until recently, a registered Democrat. Trump is a con-man; he's great at creating certain reactions in people with a minimum of detail to his statements. That allows for his listeners to fill in the blanks, and assume that he's saying something that he's not. 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Ternaugh said:

Trump, of course, has a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is strongly identified with New York City, and was, until recently, a registered Democrat. Trump is a con-man; he's great at creating certain reactions in people with a minimum of detail to his statements. That allows for his listeners to fill in the blanks, and assume that he's saying something that he's not. 

 

 

To reiterate this, look at how often he accuses 'the media', or whoever, without saying -who-.  Been looking at this at how he appeals to people's hate in particular, essentially speaking to all their anger and hate without ever saying who or what they are supposed to be hating... because it's an adlib.  It's 'fill in the blank' on purpose, both as a defensive mechanism and way to make it personal without trying.

 

For example, look at horoscopes.

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Scoop: Trump pins Ukraine call on Energy Secretary Rick Perry

 

Since that Axios story broke, other news outlets have taken it up, which include denials from Perry that he ever mentioned investigating the Bidens in his discussions with the Ukrainian government, and the lack of any evidence of his having done so.

 

First Pence, now Perry, have been outed for involvement in the Ukraine miasma by The Donald. Trump appears to be following his standard playbook of throwing his subordinates under the bus to deflect criticism of himself.

 

It's not uncommon for people who claim to value personal loyalty from their underlings, to display none in return when that's to their advantage.

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Humiliation is a powerful force.

 

After 9/11, reporters asked Jihadists what drove their hatred of the West in general, and the US in particular, and they often heard about humiliation. Humiliated by the US being so powerful when their governments are so weak. Humiliated by American cultural dominance. Humiliated by not getting good jobs despite college degrees. Humiliated in a thousand ways, large and small, which they found it convenient to blame on the US. Humiliation so deep it was worth killing themselves to strike back.

 

I've read similar reports about Trump loyalists, from Hochschild's Strangers in their Own Land to a Cracked.com article on "Five Reasons People Voted for Trump." Many Americans feel humiliated by their perceived loss of caste privilege, their loss of certainty in a good job, of being dismissed by people with more education. They'd rather burn the house down with themselves inside it than live with that humiliation.

 

It may seem stupid and crazy, but it's how people think. I can't swear I wouldn't act the same way under the proper circumstances.

 

Dean Shomshak

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The saddest part to me is that the actions these humiliated people are taking are the emotional equivalent of placebos. They make them feel better for a time, but won't change their condition. They'll end up worse than they started.

 

No, I take that back. The saddest part is that the ones playing on their humiliation know their lives won't be made better. They're just being used to advance someone else's selfish agenda.

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I just heard a fascinating episode of "On The Media" (public radio program(. First half on conspiracy thinking, with some historical perspective. Historian Richard Hofstadter (in "The Paranoid Style in American Politics") thought conspiracy theories were a product of marginal people, especially extremists, to explain their marginality. Guest interviewed suggests there's a second strain, at least as strong, of the powerful spinning, and believing, conspiracy theories to explain why the world doesn't obey them. J. Edgar Hoover's Communist obsession and the rest of the Red Scare as an example.

 

Useful distinction given: "The liar knows he's lying. The BSer doesn't care." Trump is very clearly a BSer.
 

And yes, the drug dealer's Rule Two was brought up: "Never try your own supply." Trump and many of the people around him either believe their own loony scenarios or, as BSers, simply never consider or care what's true.

 

Second half devoted to the Ukraine affair and the Trump campaign's long entanglement with that oligarch-riddled, disinformation-plagued country. Very useful in laying out the cast of characters, their interconnections, and the timeline of who was really doing what and when the lies were told.

 

Dean Shomshak

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On 10/4/2019 at 4:42 PM, GM Joe said:

I keep hoping we'll somehow get a silver lining out of this Trump fiasco, and the media will stop portraying anything even mildly to the left of the Washington consensus as laughably insane liberal ravings while lending credibility to even the furthest of right-wing proposals.

 

Unless you've limited your media consumption to the Sean Hannity show and Blaze TV I don't understand - at all - how you could think this is the case.

 

Minus Fox News the media pulls pretty hard left as a whole.

 

Just watch MSNBC, CNN and Fox News and marvel how this is happening in the same country on the same planet.

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On 10/5/2019 at 4:15 PM, Ternaugh said:

Trump, of course, has a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is strongly identified with New York City, and was, until recently, a registered Democrat.

 

This is why I never thought he'd win a Republican primary.  He was a known Democrat and - if memory serves - contributed a lot of money to the Clintons and other Democrats over the years.

 

The government is doing such a bad job that people rate root canals higher than their congressional representatives.

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27 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

 

Unless you've limited your media consumption to the Sean Hannity show and Blaze TV I don't understand - at all - how you could think this is the case.

 

Minus Fox News the media pulls pretty hard left as a whole.

 

Just watch MSNBC, CNN and Fox News and marvel how this is happening in the same country on the same planet.

 

[raises hand]

 

Well - I lived in Tennessee for 2 years in the nineties (long time ago) and I can tell you that the media then did not pull hard to the left and I do not believe they have probably trended left as the country has trended right...

 

🙂

 

Believe me, there was nothing said in any of the media shows that were left of my opinions (which would probably be considered soft left here in the UK).

 

Doc

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5 minutes ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

[raises hand]

 

Well - I lived in Tennessee for 2 years in the nineties (long time ago) and I can tell you that the media then did not pull hard to the left and I do not believe they have probably trended left as the country has trended right...

 

🙂

 

Believe me, there was nothing said in any of the media shows that were left of my opinions (which would probably be considered soft left here in the UK).

 

Doc

 

I'm old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan was a democrat.

I considered myself pretty moderate (for an 80s guy) and the left here in America has gone so hard left I feel like an ALT-right nationalist by comparison (I'm not, btw).

There was an article recently showing the Democratic parties shift to the left over the last 10-11 years and it is substantially more than the Republican party has shifted further right (though it has).

 

If you want hard-right looney tunes you really have to go to YouTube, OAN, Blaze TV or other private networks.

Mainstream news outlets (minus Fox) are moderate-to-heavily left leaning.

 

I used to enjoy CNN, but they have lost their GD minds since Trump got elected.  MSNBC has gone so far left they make Glenn Beck sound rational (he's not).

 

Walter Cronkite might not have been the most "fair and balanced" reporter, but he always sounded like a rational, trustworthy human being.

 

Now I see reporters openly weeping when their party doesn't get their way with a particular political outcome.

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3 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Unless you've limited your media consumption to the Sean Hannity show and Blaze TV I don't understand - at all - how you could think this is the case.

 

Minus Fox News the media pulls pretty hard left as a whole.

 

Just watch MSNBC, CNN and Fox News and marvel how this is happening in the same country on the same planet.

 

I think a lot of people do live in that bubble.  They don't realize that Fox's bugaboos are typically centrist stuff, since that's not how it's portrayed by the Fox commentators.

 

Heck, Obama turned into law the conservative Heritage Foundation's plan to save the profitability of the healthcare system from the rising tide of discontent, and was excoriated as a socialist for doing it.

 

You're absolutely right that some of the commentary on MSNBC is well to the left of Fox commentary. That doesn't mean it's all that left-leaning.

 

And Fox is actually not anywhere near as far right as we go, media-wise, as I'm sure you're aware. Nor is MSNBC as left as we go.

 

But the right-wing is far better funded and far more prevalent, because there has been a concerted effort for decades on the part of some of the wealthiest to get themselves even more wealth and power by moving the country far to the right of where it was mid-century. They have been very successful in that.

 

And that, in turn, is why anything that is not right-leaning seems "hard left" to many of us.

 

But, Ruben Bolling makes the point better than I ever could. :)

 

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22 minutes ago, ScottishFox said:

There was an article recently showing the Democratic parties shift to the left over the last 10-11 years and it is substantially more than the Republican party has shifted further right (though it has).

 

It is absolutely true that the Democratic party has begun moving somewhat leftward of late, after drifting rightward for decades along with the Republicans.

 

Quote

Now I see reporters openly weeping when their party doesn't get their way with a particular political outcome.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about the old objectivity edifice crumbling. On the one hand, it was nice to believe that the reporters were just reporting the facts. But on the other hand, that system has been abused for decades by people with an axe to grind. "Scientists have for years said earth is an oblate spheroid. But these folks say it's flat. Let's give these two views equal time!"

 

I must say I admire Fox News' news department for its adherence to the old ways. They provide small bubbles of reality in the nutspace that is the majority of the channel's schedule.

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An opinion piece in the NYT yesterday points out that, after the Trump tax cuts, the top 400 wealthiest people now pay a lower total tax rate than any other income group. I'll have to check out the book it's based on, "The Triumph of Injustice."

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3 hours ago, ScottishFox said:

Mainstream news outlets (minus Fox) are moderate-to-heavily left leaning.

 

Could I ask what you mean by left-leaning?  Is this 'likely to be supportive of the Democrats' left-leaning or do you mean 'promotes policies that a (impossible) completely objective observer would describe as a left of centre political policy'?  🙂

 

I work in a political environment and it is amazing how quickly things go from being mainstream to whacko and vice versa.  I am also having discussions with my 15 year old son to try and provide him with the tools to understand what people say and the difference between that, what they mean and what they think they mean....  It gets confusing pretty quickly and so I like to have real examples.

 

Obviously a huge difference in the UK is that universal healthcare is not seen as a socialist policy - it is completely mainstream and politicians that threaten that provision can quickly find themselves out of office.  In the US the provision of universal healthcare is resisted most vociferously, often by those that would benefit most.  It is amazing to a UK eye.  Gun control is another touchstone difference between the UK and US.  We draw our centre line very differently and compare our policies relative to a very different marker.

 

Doc

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I sort of disagree on the assessments of the news channels.  What matters is what of the news stations people actually watch, and what information they take away from it.  I know a lot of people watch Fox News as their primary source of information.  A lot of people. 

 

And while The Blaze is where you would get the "right leaning crazies", most of those crazies have been a part of Fox News for an incredible amount of time, and formed the basis of knowledge and perspective for multiple generations of Americans. 

 

It's literally why climate change is so difficult to convince people of in this country.  To have the majority of the population think this way, and to have a party speak that way, appears to be a unique phenomenon (in modern societies) to America, and you can lay that almost entirely on Fox News and the radio show people that branch off of it (and yet remain a part of it).

 

Climate change denial is only one belief that this happens with, but is a perfect example of how this works: many people watch Fox, that information is disseminated across generations of people and decades of time, and if they were to change their tune about climate change tomorrow people would simply leave Fox, and watch the Blaze instead.

 

The fact that the "Democratic Party" has "caught on" to this kind of meme-like information control does not please me in the slightest, and that will form a new foundation of problems that we are starting to see, but it's nowhere as established, powerful, or yet as dangerous as what has gone on in the past.  And if we want to prevent that from happening, pushing candidates that are not abusing that information and not part of that system is the best way I know of to overturn that power base.

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1 hour ago, Doc Democracy said:

Obviously a huge difference in the UK is that universal healthcare is not seen as a socialist policy - it is completely mainstream and politicians that threaten that provision can quickly find themselves out of office.  In the US the provision of universal healthcare is resisted most vociferously, often by those that would benefit most.

 

I consider myself pretty moderate.  Universal healthcare would be great.  I just don't trust the same clown-shoes that have run us 23 trillion dollars into debt with no signs of even pumping the breaks on spending to provide meaningful universal healthcare without crashing the entire system for everyone.  I've been paying into social security for well over 3 decades (almost 4) and at current rates I can expect it to go belly up just 2-3 years before I get to start collecting money.

 

Medicare is already racing towards insolvency and many doctors are flat out refusing to service medicare patients because the payouts are so low they can't make enough money to make it financially feasible.  This will run out many years in advance of social security so I can get used to covering 100% of my wife's medical bills before I retire (aka die).

 

I'm open to the idea of a strong free-market economy with some taxation on top that provides for the people that fall onto hard times.

 

I'm less in favor of helping those who leap gleefully onto hard times and decide to never make any attempt to rise since the free ride is too good.  I know several people who are on their 3rd generation of welfare and none of them would even consider getting off welfare, because it pays better than working ever could in their eyes.  Granted this is in Hawaii where the benefits actually are quite good.  As opposed to some skimpier states where you have to lie, cheat and steal just to avoid starving to death on welfare.

 

It's not that Americans don't want these things.  We just don't trust the lying, greedy idiots in office (present and past) to get the job done.  What is more likely to happen is that they'll raise our taxes - again - and then completely fail to provide what they've promised - again.

 

Here's a fun conversation with Alan Grayson and a Fed that can't account for where over a trillion of their dollars went....

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Pariah said:

Republicans slam Trump's Syria pullout: 'Disaster,' 'Betrayal,' 'Mistake'

 

Even Moscow Mitch is on record saying this is a bad idea.

 

Really?  This is my favorite (I use the term loosely) part of the Trump presidency.

 

He didn't attack Iran.  We're pulling out of Syria.  Less war?  Less war spending?  Fewer dead Americans?  Sign me up!

 

It's one of the things I like about Tulsi Gabbard.  She is committed to not getting involved in more wars.

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Less war for America, in the short term, maybe. More instability in the Middle East, very likely. Resurgence of the Islamic State almost guaranteed, because the Kurdish forces are one of the main checks on it. Buttressing the Assad regime, because it will cripple a rival, and pro-American, power block in Syria. Which will increase Russia's influence in the Middle East, through its proxy Assad, as well as its existing military and trade alliance with Iran.

 

Not to mention the potential deaths of many Kurds, American allies, to likely Turkish aggression. An historical record of almost any major event in this region of the Middle East over the past two centuries could end with the postscript, "And the Kurds, of course, were screwed again."

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