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Alright, who else here is voting for THE DONALD?


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Extremism is not created equally.

 

The preacher who lawfully shouts in everybody's general direction is not the same as the Lyndon LaRouche fanatics who physically block your path and force pamphlets into your hand while arguing with you about fluoride is not the same as the hick who calls black people "boys" to get a rise out of the "PC Police" is not the same as the skinhead who roughs up a Southeast Asian immigrant for walking through the wrong neighborhood after dark is not the same as chopping people's heads off for being the wrong religion.

 

I think we can all agree that extremists tend to be annoyingly repetitive and close-minded, and that they rarely have a good sense of humor... but there is a huge difference between extremists who are peaceful and law-abiding, and ones who are willing to break the law and/or use violence to achieve their ends (and there is also a huge difference in the level of lawlessness and violence that is acceptable depending on somebody's brand of extremism).

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Kurgan laying down some motherf-cking TRUTH right here.   Preach it.

Good lord. Two threads, same comment. Let's slam Trump for the Duke thing. Who else is that guy gonna endorse?   If you force feed PC bullshit down American throats, Donald Trump is what you get.

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How far extremists go and what they're capable of depends a lot on the context in which they operate. ISIS have a free hand in their area of control because there's virtually no constraining factors - little political or economic infrastructure plus a more uneducated and desperate populace from which to recruit. The KKK, on the other hand, operates within a stable and developed democratic polity that has more institutional capability to combat terrorism, greater democratic legitimacy allowing for more peaceable expression and dissent and - most importantly - in a society less marked by desperation and hopelessness, a more educated and engaged populace overall and therefore less receptive to an extremist message. None of which are proof against extremist thinking, and certainly not to suggest that present day America is a flawless democratic polity by any stretch, but does make the difference between extremists operating on the margin and extremists becoming a mainstream force. Social and economic stability are the best way to combat extremism, IMO.

 

I don't like what the fringe right has to say either. But my concern with depriving them of a "legitimate" political outlet (which won't happen in the foreseeable future for reasons CM has outlined) is that we might end up seeing more rather than less outright terrorism as a result. And besides, who decides what sets of opinions are "legitimate" and thus allowed legitimate political expression? An issue I have with both political camps these days is a sense of entitlement to rule - a mindset that considers opposing views not merely political disagreement to be worked out by the typical means of open debate, political give-and-take and settled by the electoral process, but rather as fundamentally wrong, wicked and a threat to the political order. In contrast with themselves, who inevitably have some kind of unique qualification to unquestioned and perpetual governance. With conservatives, this takes the form of some kind of idea along the lines of manifest destiny or that the U.S is somehow special in the eyes of God (an oldie but a goodie) while with the progressives it's the sense of being the vanguard of hitherto marginalized and oppressed peoples (again, something we've seen before), and a broader sense of arrogance rooted in being more urban, more cosmopolitan and more educated in general and thus more disposed to a technocratic and managerial mindset.

 

Perhaps this is where extremism on both sides is coming from: a response to the other side's more 'extremist' characteristics: a sense of entitlement to rule and a tendency to demonize their opponents.

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lol

 

Hillary's growing dominance, and frankly, far superior town hall performance coupled with Trump's destruction of Rubio/Cruz last night has my poor progressive friends losing their ****ing minds today. I know way fewer conservatives, but they appear to be slowly resigning themselves to the fact that Trump *gasp* might actually be their nominee.

 

One dude just decided Clinton and Republicans "can't even be human beings" because "everything they do is designed to torture minorities and the poor. Humans don't act like that!"

 

Oh, it's going to be a fun election season :-D

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Curious what people think-- even if Trump wins the popular vote an caucuses, would the GOP actually validate him as their guy? I just do see that even they take him seriously.

 

They can try to reign him in and transform him like they did to McCain, but his ego wouldn't allow that. I guess it comes down to whether or not Trump would run independent if he doesn't get the nod. If he did, that would steal a lot of votes from whomever the GOP did put their weight behind.

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Before he was the second coming, Reagan was viewed as a halfwit crank by many in the "establishment," though he at least had a clear (though more pragmatic than he gets credit for) philosophy, and political record. Two terms and one deification later, it's clear that they adapted to his success.

 

Can't predict the future, but at the end of the day, strength and winning with 40-60% of what you want is more important than being weak and pure and getting nothing; if Trump is even half the "winner" he likes to call himself, he'll win handily in November, and I would expect the party to adapt more to him than vice-versa.

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Tank, what you're talking about is a brokered convention (wiki it). There hasn't been a real one in over 60 years. The closest call was in 1968- had RFK not been assassinated, the convention would've been chaos. Historians still debate how it would've gone down.

 

Realistically, it won't happen. If Trump has the popular vote and enough delegates, party elites are unlikely to pull shenanigans at the convention and Trump will probably win on the first vote. The risk is just too high otherwise- a true contested convention would be utterly chaotic and would probably end the GOP. I don't mean that in an alarmist, OMG THE GOP IS DEAD way that you see liberals always saying whenever even the smallest bad thing to the GOP happens. But in a very real way- the fight would lead to hardening of factions that would probably tear the party apart permanently in the same way the Whigs were in the 1850s. The establishment may hate Trump, but they're not gonna let that happen.

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Well that was my question-- do they want to win so bad they'd stomach Trump, or do they think they can appeal to their sane base and win anyway?

With Scalia dead (and the prospects of going up against a damaged and uninspiring Clinton retread or goofy socialist), ya really think they're gonna worry about purity?

 

BTW... I've seen polls that show up to 20% of Democrats would vote for Trump today, and he hasn't even transitioned to a "general election tone" yet (assuming he has one); 9% of Republicans voted for Obama in 2008, and that was considered good (Kerry only got 6% against a fairly divisive president in 2004). I haven't seen anything about Republicans crossing over for Clinton or Sanders, but I really can't imagine the anti-Trumpites switching sides in any significant numbers. IMO, at the end of the day, with the prospect of Clinton or Sanders as president, the old Bill Clinton adage of "Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line" will hold true. In fact, it's already starting to happen with some of the former "anybody but Trump" activists I follow.

 

tl;dr version: IMO lots of Republicans dislike Trump, but the anti-Trumpite GOP faction is mostly wishful thinking/concern trolling by a media that gets a boner every time they can fantasize about bad things happening to Republicans.

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My biggest complaint about Trump, far more than his noxious personality, rhetoric, and absurd wall/deportation proposals is the fact that he announced last June and has still not given any specifics about... anything! And people seem fine with this. Ugh.

 

That being said, aside from the weird fixation with Mexico and disdain of political correctness, he's not exactly your garden variety economic or social conservative. Not by a longshot. So I've seriously wondered if his refusal to offer specifics simply has to do with not wanting to be pinned down until the general election -- and a set of positions that, while unpalatable to arch-conservatives, might be appealing to moderates/independents and even some Democrats? Or am I giving the blowhard too much credit?

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Here's the thing you're missing, in discussing voters crossing over.

 

20% of Democrats aren't going to vote for Trump, and similarly no Republicans are voting for Clinton or Sanders. What matters is if they are able to attract voters to actually come out and vote for them, or at least against the other guy. How many people stay home and figure it doesn't matter? And which side are they on?

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20% of Democrats aren't going to vote for Trump, and similarly no Republicans are voting for Clinton or Sanders.

20% definitely seems high (iirc the white, northern, working class "Reagan Democrats" only broke 25-30% for Reagan), but overall it's not true that voters won't cross party lines. They always do. If we were to see Rubio vs. Clinton, I'd expect 5% from Republicans and 10% from Democrats. If it were Trump vs. Clinton, I'd expect more crossing on all sides.

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My biggest complaint about Trump, far more than his noxious personality, rhetoric, and absurd wall/deportation proposals is the fact that he announced last June and has still not given any specifics about... anything! And people seem fine with this. Ugh.

I think he has plenty of specifics. He has pretty lengthy position papers (on the things he cares about, say, US-China relations- have you read it pong?) and over a dozen issue statements on his website. He regularly has these 20-30 min segments on shows like Morning Joe and Meet the Press where he goes into detail. I think this "he doesn't have specifics!!" meme is just something that's being pushed, like the whole "he doesn't have a 'ground game' so he can't win Nevada!!!" thing. I don't think he is any less specific, on average, than any other candidate.

 

Really, what I think is going on is a few things here:

 

First, he knows when to push rhetoric and not specifics. Trump, more than any other candidate, has been successful in crating a slogan and a campaign message, and knows that 90% of the time, people just want to hear that (as well as funny insults about other people) at rallys and speeches. They don't want someone to stand up there and read a position paper.

 

Second, the specifics he's given are ones that, particularly liberals, are uncomfortable talking about, or believe are simplistic or unworkable, or they just don't like them. For example, immigration. Trump has been pretty specific and clear, I think, about what he wants to do about illegal immigrants here, or Muslim immigrants coming in, etc. But people don't like it. They don't like that, but they don't also want to necessarily publicly admit, "hey, I want to bring in lots and lots of Muslims!" So what happens? Well the old standby- first, "YOU'RE RACIST!" and then followed up quickly by, "hey you don't have specifics, there is no way this could ever work, bla bla bla." I can't wait until the debates with Clinton, when an immigration question is asked... Trump gives his simple and easy to understand answer that resonates with most ordinary people, while Clinton tries desperately to triangulate into something that doesn't offend anybody and ends up saying nothing specific.

 

Third, there's lots of specifics that people are just unable to effectively deal with. For example, Trump has stated he wants to replace Obamacare but also has been in favor of single payer. He wants to raise taxes on certain people (e.g., hedge fund owners). Hell, in the last debate he stated he supported many of the things Planned Parenthood does, and was unwilling to bend to the boos of the GOP crowd in SC. The problem, particularly with liberals, is they are so prepared to deal with a candidate that makes inflammatory comments about say, gay marriage, or abortion or whatever. But Trump doesn't say anything about these issues, so liberals are left just scratching their hands and saying "damn it! Give me something I know how to debate you on!" Take for example, his response to income inequality and jobs- he has a very simple answer and has been pretty specific: raise tariffs on China and Mexico, maybe as high as 45%. Liberals (and Republicans, for that matter), just don't know what to do with this. Republicans know they're "supposed" to be for free trade, but don't actually know any of the economic theory and are unprepared to debate/argue for it. Liberals are also thrown for a loop- they're used to Republicans parroting the ol' trickle-down fairy about lowering taxes and increased growth, but when they're presented with something like this, they just lock up and there's a lot of hemming and hawing. Not to mention some cognitive dissonance, since the position allows Trump to actually maneuver to the liberals' left (putting liberals in a position where they have to defend free trade, something they don't know how to do, or are not necessarily willing to do), while at the same time painting them as un-American ("you mean, you want our jobs to go to China!? Why don't you want good working class Americans to have jobs?") It's been so long since somebody actually advocated these positions (even though, it was actually the standard GOP position from the 1800s all the way up to WW2), that both the GOP and Dems have no idea what to do about it. So, again, the ol' standby- you don't have any specifics! This can't work! It just can't!!! (said while stomping feet like a baby).

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I think he has plenty of specifics. He has pretty lengthy position papers (on the things he cares about, say, US-China relations- have you read it pong?) and over a dozen issue statements on his website. He regularly has these 20-30 min segments on shows like Morning Joe and Meet the Press where he goes into detail. I think this "he doesn't have specifics!!" meme is just something that's being pushed, like the whole "he doesn't have a 'ground game' so he can't win Nevada!!!" thing. I don't think he is any less specific, on average, than any other candidate.

The two remaining candidates whose websites I have not visited are Trump and Carson. Have never taken Carson seriously, and merely reading Trump's tweets makes me feel dirty, but I will give it a look.

 

And as far as interviews, I have not seen or heard him on Morning Joe aside from the "leaked audio scandal," but have seen him on Meet the Press (though not his most recent appearances) and was not impressed. I will give the ones I haven't see a look in the next few days.

 

So I will check the above out. It's possible I am not giving a fair shake in this department because of who he is. I really don't think the "no specifics" is just a meme, though. Even with reporters like Anderson Cooper, who lob him countless softballs (I imagine this is why he makes himself so available to Cooper), he's had trouble going beyond "We don't win anymore but we will again etc." when asked for what he would actually do as president. Of course every politician does this to an extent, but he just operates on a higher plane. I mean, even Hillary Clinton's nauseatingly floppy, feelgood responses on how she is going to "heal" racism and the family in America (good luck with that lol) touched on specific economic and employment policies that could solve the problem.

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To weigh in a bit ...

I follow both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on Facebook. I think that the key to their respective, relative successes lies in the fact that both have done an end-run around party and ideological orthodoxy. Especially as that orthodoxy is enforced by demonizing and name calling: no sense branding Sanders a socialist in an attempt to tar him and put him on the defensive, as socialist is a term he's come right out and openly owned. Sander's vulnerability is to the critical theory purists and the academic cathedral that has since become the bastion of the left, as exemplified by the whole nonissue of "Bernie Bros" that the Clinton campaign has manufactured, to tar Sander's image in the eyes of business class white feminists (who've long since replaced the union brass as the "left's" standard bearers in mainstream politics) - implying that Sanders supporters are basically frat boys. A sort of liberal equivalent to what Willie Horton was to the neo-con supporters.

 

Donald Trump does not share this vulnerability. He's pure Teflon when it comes to the one and only one trick that liberals have since come to rely on to control political discourse:

cries of racism and misogyny. He's not exactly coming out and owning these terms the way Sanders is with socialist, but he's not lingering on it either. He certainly doesn't go on the defensive. And it's not hurting his popularity either. In this sense, I think both Trump and Sanders have done a favor to American political discourse overall: it shouldn't be so easy to discredit someone or their ideas as to simply call them a racist, socialist, misogynist or whatever. Ivy league critical theory departments and Washington consensus corporate think tanks have been defining the terms of permissible thought on political issues for far too long now. The spectrum of contendable political thought in America has just gotten wider, and I think this is a good thing.

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Here's the thing you're missing, in discussing voters crossing over.

 

20% of Democrats aren't going to vote for Trump, and similarly no Republicans are voting for Clinton or Sanders. What matters is if they are able to attract voters to actually come out and vote for them, or at least against the other guy. How many people stay home and figure it doesn't matter? And which side are they on?

Oddly I find myself thinking Trump's not so bad. If anything he'll do something to get himself impeached so basically I'd be concerned about his Vice President. But really secretly people probably say "I could vote Trump" but don't admit it publically. Especially if Hillary secures the nomination for the Democrats because she's got talking points and has plans for everything but hasn't been able to make it sound remotely interesting to voters. I think Bernie's gas ran out when he didn't secure Nevada.

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To weigh in a bit ...

 

I follow both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders on Facebook. I think that the key to their respective, relative successes lies in the fact that both have done an end-run around party and ideological orthodoxy. Especially as that orthodoxy is enforced by demonizing and name calling: no sense branding Sanders a socialist in an attempt to tar him and put him on the defensive, as socialist is a term he's come right out and openly owned. Sander's vulnerability is to the critical theory purists and the academic cathedral that has since become the bastion of the left, as exemplified by the whole nonissue of "Bernie Bros" that the Clinton campaign has manufactured, to tar Sander's image in the eyes of business class white feminists (who've long since replaced the union brass as the "left's" standard bearers in mainstream politics) - implying that Sanders supporters are basically frat boys. A sort of liberal equivalent to what Willie Horton was to the neo-con supporters.

 

Donald Trump does not share this vulnerability. He's pure Teflon when it comes to the one and only one trick that liberals have since come to rely on to control political discourse:

cries of racism and misogyny. He's not exactly coming out and owning these terms the way Sanders is with socialist, but he's not lingering on it either. He certainly doesn't go on the defensive. And it's not hurting his popularity either. In this sense, I think both Trump and Sanders have done a favor to American political discourse overall: it shouldn't be so easy to discredit someone or their ideas as to simply call them a racist, socialist, misogynist or whatever. Ivy league critical theory departments and Washington consensus corporate think tanks have been defining the terms of permissible thought on political issues for far too long now. The spectrum of contendable political thought in America has just gotten wider, and I think this is a good thing.

Probably the biggest thing is that Trump and Bernie don't sound like party hacks. Trump is used to television and much less out of water on television than say Cruz who makes you want to take a shower and Bernie basically sounds like my crazy Grandpa who says random crap that makes sense to kids who are saddled with unbelievable student debt. This appeals to the people who supporting each respective candidate because it sound so different from the other talking points you hear from the others that sound like scripted lies.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

 

tl;dr version: IMO lots of Republicans dislike Trump, but the anti-Trumpite GOP faction is mostly wishful thinking/concern trolling by a media that gets a boner every time they can fantasize about bad things happening to Republicans.

 

Or, maybe the reason some republicans and most democrats dislike Trump is because he is an abrasive assh*le who says things that reasonable people don't like? I mean if the guy says things like he's building a wall, and going to make Mexico pay for it, that can only mean one of two things:

 

1. He's a racist asswipe

2. He doesn't believe it, but is saying it to appeal to the racist elements in the GOP

 

Exactly how does that make Trump a new breed of "fresh and new" politician. It doesn't. Politicians have been doing that since time immemorial. He's a scum bag like everyone else. And maybe said republicans, and democrats, recognize this??

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Have you seen the pictures of Trump supporters that came out in Nevada dressed in their KKK whites? Trump's Dad had some of those dress whites I believe. Hoax or not stuff like this hasn't hurt Trump yet because no one will really take the kid gloves off.

 

Wait for the Trump vs Hillary or Trump vs Bernie debates. OMG!

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Or, maybe the reason some republicans and most democrats dislike Trump is because he is an abrasive assh*le who says things that reasonable people don't like? I mean if the guy says things like he's building a wall, and going to make Mexico pay for it, that can only mean one of two things:

1. He's a racist asswipe

2. He doesn't believe it, but is saying it to appeal to the racist elements in the GOP

Exactly how does that make Trump a new breed of "fresh and new" politician. It doesn't. Politicians have been doing that since time immemorial. He's a scum bag like everyone else. And maybe said republicans, and democrats, recognize this??

I think you're giving them too much credit.

 

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Guest El Chalupacabra

Who is going to be his VP?

Part of me wants it to be Cruz, just so that puts the final nail in the coffin for the GOP for 3 or 4 election cycles. But most of me hopes its someone reasonable, because there needs to be decent candidates from both parties.

 

 

 

Or, maybe the reason some republicans and most democrats dislike Trump is because he is an abrasive assh*le who says things that reasonable people don't like? I mean if the guy says things like he's building a wall, and going to make Mexico pay for it, that can only mean one of two things:

1. He's a racist asswipe

2. He doesn't believe it, but is saying it to appeal to the racist elements in the GOP

Exactly how does that make Trump a new breed of "fresh and new" politician. It doesn't. Politicians have been doing that since time immemorial. He's a scum bag like everyone else. And maybe said republicans, and democrats, recognize this??

I think you're giving them too much credit.

 

I have to believe that not all republicans are the ultra social conservative Fox News drones. Then again, maybe you are right.

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