Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    @Crœsos

    Well, if the intention is to get the purity-wank leftists to abandon Biden, then I really don't think that's gonna fly at all. There might be a couple of items in his program that are left-wing in a populist sorta way, but he has almost zero profile as a progressive figure.

    The only votes I can see him getting would be from people who are just automatically impressed with any celebrity name, and maybe a few macho posers who think he's cool for standing up to that uppity chick at the MTV Awards way back when. (Admittedly, that could make some difference in a very close race.)
    Yeah, but that isn't the way it works. There might well be enough who think "He is entertainment, they are liberal, anything is better than Trump or Biden" or "Stick it to the man" type voters

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    The American left, on the other hand, has what could be called the purity wank voter.

    In fairness, most of the support of the US Libertarian Party could be described as "purity wank voters", and they're mostly right-wing libertarians. I'd agree that they were healthily outnumbered by leftist wank-voters, though.

    I've mentioned my Bernie-supporting friend before. She's pretty much a purity-wank voter. She was supporting either Bernie or Tulsi Gabbard in the primary ('cause Gabbard is an isolationist and she thinks she'd be bad for the military-industrial complex). She's probably going to vote for Howie Hawkins, but is rational enough to admit that she's only doing it because the state is going blue whatever she does. If she lived in a marginal state, she'd hold her nose and vote Biden.
    Maybe she would, but I don't think that represents the lunatic fringe as a whole.

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Maybe she would, but I don't think that represents the lunatic fringe as a whole.

    No, I don't think it does, because for all that I disagree with some of her nuttier opinions, my friend is both smart and rational. Many of the people she stands next to do not have those gifts.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    @Crœsos

    Well, if the intention is to get the purity-wank leftists to abandon Biden, then I really don't think that's gonna fly at all. There might be a couple of items in his program that are left-wing in a populist sorta way, but he has almost zero profile as a progressive figure.

    The only votes I can see him getting would be from people who are just automatically impressed with any celebrity name, and maybe a few macho posers who think he's cool for standing up to that uppity chick at the MTV Awards way back when. (Admittedly, that could make some difference in a very close race.)
    Yeah, but that isn't the way it works. There might well be enough who think "He is entertainment, they are liberal, anything is better than Trump or Biden" or "Stick it to the man" type voters

    Yes. That is basically the type of voter I was referencing in my parentheses.

  • stetson wrote: »
    @Crœsos
    The only votes I can see him getting would be from people who are just automatically impressed with any celebrity name, and maybe a few macho posers...
    I imagine these could be the exact reasons why some people voted for Trump last time. It would be nice if some of them could be swayed, but maybe West is not white enough for most of them.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    @Crœsos
    The only votes I can see him getting would be from people who are just automatically impressed with any celebrity name, and maybe a few macho posers...
    I imagine these could be the exact reasons why some people voted for Trump last time. It would be nice if some of them could be swayed, but maybe West is not white enough for most of them.

    Well, I think the Trump coalition was mostly hell-or-high-water Republicans, with a minority of Rust Belt workers(many of them Democrats) who got conned into thinking he would save their jobs.

    But yeah, overlapping with the last group, I think you also had people who were drawn to him via his reality-show(*). I'm not sure if the same dynamic can be transferred to someone like Kanye West, since Trump's persona was that of a can-do entrepreneur(IOW the kind of guy eho could do something for the economy), whereas as far as I know, West is more just viewed as a pure entertainer.

    (*) An analysis I read somewhere argued that Trump qua Trump voters(as opposed to cradle Republicans) were basically smalltown and rural people, partially urbanized by television. Made a certain amount of sense.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Maybe she would, but I don't think that represents the lunatic fringe as a whole.

    No, I don't think it does, because for all that I disagree with some of her nuttier opinions, my friend is both smart and rational. Many of the people she stands next to do not have those gifts.
    Intelligence is not a barrier to stupidity and rationality is a very elusive creature.
    I know people who would fairly be evaluated as intelligent and rational, but manage to find loopholes in those to fit some very inconsistent ideas.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    ....
    The American left, on the other hand, has what could be called the purity wank voter. This is someone who sees politics not as a system where society collectively decides big questions but rather as a kind of atomistic consumer choice that should be customizable to their exact specifications.
    ....
    To these voters it's irrelevant that Kanye West also doesn't agree with them 100% on [ issue ] or that he has no realistic chance of getting elected, the point is they've saved themselves from the stigma of actually participating in politics.

    There's also the ones who use "I won't participate in a corrupt system" as an excuse to not vote at all.

    My stock response to all varieties of wankers is that until they pick a date for the revolution, we have to work with what we have.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    ....
    The American left, on the other hand, has what could be called the purity wank voter. This is someone who sees politics not as a system where society collectively decides big questions but rather as a kind of atomistic consumer choice that should be customizable to their exact specifications.
    ....
    To these voters it's irrelevant that Kanye West also doesn't agree with them 100% on [ issue ] or that he has no realistic chance of getting elected, the point is they've saved themselves from the stigma of actually participating in politics.

    There's also the ones who use "I won't participate in a corrupt system" as an excuse to not vote at all.

    I've actually heard abstention defended on the grounds that if voter turnout got really low, then the politicians will realize that everyone has clued-in to how corrupt the system is, and we'll be on the verge of a revolutionary situation.

    Whereas, in fact, politicians don't give a ratz ass how low the turnout is, as long as most of the votes go to them.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I probably shouldn't, but I find it gobsmacking that anyone would consider voting for West for any reason other than to laugh about it. I mean, why wouldn't you just crack jokes about doing it to shit people on the internet. That's much more fun.
  • stetson wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    @Crœsos
    The only votes I can see him getting would be from people who are just automatically impressed with any celebrity name, and maybe a few macho posers...
    I imagine these could be the exact reasons why some people voted for Trump last time. It would be nice if some of them could be swayed, but maybe West is not white enough for most of them.

    Well, I think the Trump coalition was mostly hell-or-high-water Republicans, with a minority of Rust Belt workers(many of them Democrats) who got conned into thinking he would save their jobs.

    But yeah, overlapping with the last group, I think you also had people who were drawn to him via his reality-show(*). I'm not sure if the same dynamic can be transferred to someone like Kanye West, since Trump's persona was that of a can-do entrepreneur(IOW the kind of guy eho could do something for the economy), whereas as far as I know, West is more just viewed as a pure entertainer.

    (*) An analysis I read somewhere argued that Trump qua Trump voters(as opposed to cradle Republicans) were basically smalltown and rural people, partially urbanized by television. Made a certain amount of sense.

    One thing I found very striking during the Republican primaries in 2016 was that Trump was most popular among those who self-identified as moderates. Hardline Republicans preferred Cruz; even Rubio supporters tended to be more "traditionally right-wing" than Trump supporters.

    I was also fascinated by the reasons they gave for their choices:

    Cruz supporters said they backed him because "he shares my values".
    Rubio supporters said they backed him because "he can win in November".
    Trump supporters said they backed him because "he tells is like it is" (!!!)

    So I think the heart of the Trump coalition is economically centrist people who are not particularly "political" but like his style and all the things that his opponents hate most about him. The "hell-or-high water Republicans" do not in fact particularly like him but are prepared to hold their noses and have found elaborate justifications for doing so.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    @TurquoiseTastic

    Yep. And when Trump the primary-candidate was asked about the status of Jerusalem, he pronounced himself "very neutral on that"; when he was asked about gay marriage he said it was a settled issue; when he was asked about transgender washrooms he said everyone should just use whatever washroom they liked(and clarified that that would include at Trump Towers); and when asked about defunding Planned Parenthood, expressed the orthodox GOP view that abortion is bad, but qualified himself by saying that they also do other valuable work promoting women's health.

    All positions which he shed quickly after attaining office and facing political reality, but the fact remains, pre-election Trump was, as you say, NOT the candidate of the diehard ideological Republicans.

    Wonder if he'll swing back to a moderate position now that he's hopefully staying away from Falwell jr's yacht parties. (Anyone else following that?)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    I was also fascinated by the reasons they gave for their choices:

    Cruz supporters said they backed him because "he shares my values".
    Rubio supporters said they backed him because "he can win in November".
    Trump supporters said they backed him because "he tells is like it is" (!!!)

    So I think the heart of the Trump coalition is economically centrist people who are not particularly "political" but like his style and all the things that his opponents hate most about him. The "hell-or-high water Republicans" do not in fact particularly like him but are prepared to hold their noses and have found elaborate justifications for doing so.

    I always interpreted "he tells is like it is" in this context to mean "he says the racist parts out loud". Given his campaign's focus on the evils of Mexicans and Muslims and "political correctness" (i.e. people act appalled at open racism) this seems a lot closer to the mark than economic centrists. Whether racists (and the racist-adjacent) count as "hell-or-high water Republicans" after a half century of the Southern Strategy I leave as an exercise to the imagination.

    In other election-related news we have this statement from William Evanina, the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC). It says, in part:
    We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.” This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia. For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party. Some Kremlin-linked actors are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.

    In addition to Russia's pro-Trump efforts there are sections on Chinese and Iranian efforts, both of which seem to be anti-Trump.
  • The 'interference in elections' thing is funny. We have become the playing field, while having always (CIA, MI6) been the players.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    The only time a third party or independent candidate means anything is if the polls are showing the candidates of the two major parties are within about 5 points of each other.

    Kanye has no traction. He is just a shiny object the Trump campaign is holding up to siphon some of the African American votes from Biden, but he announced long after the time for candidacy had expired in many of the states. The Trump campaign is fighting to get Kanye on the Wisconsin ballot, but my guess is it will be rejected by the courts since he announced too late. Besides, Biden is currently 7.5 points ahead of Trump in that state (per Five Thirty-Eight).
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    @Crœsos

    Pojnt tajen that the compliment "He tells it like it is!" was in many cases likely a code-word for anti-immigrant sentiment. And also that the target was likely habitual Republican voters.

    Still, I wouldn't underestimate the role that Trump's economics, specifically his opposition to NAFTA and support for factory jobs, had in winning over votes from depressed regions. And yeah, those views are pretty much centrist, relative to neo-liberal laissiez-faire on the one hand and state socialism on the other.

    One of the more bizarre quotes from a MAGA centrist was a woman somewhere in the Rust Belt who was voting for Trump even though she was pro-choice, and said she wasn't worried because "I'm sure he's paid for a lot of abortions himself." I think she was a little clueless about how politics actually works.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    The 'interference in elections' thing is funny. We have become the playing field, while having always (CIA, MI6) been the players.

    Interesting you mention both thr US and the UK, because there was an article in the NYRB a few days back, mentioning how during the 1940 GOP primaries, the British tried to help the anti-isolationist Willkie by spreading news of a poll that showed most Americans wanted to enter the war.

    But, in fact, there was no such poll. The Brits made it up.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The only time a third party or independent candidate means anything is if the polls are showing the candidates of the two major parties are within about 5 points of each other.

    I think, though, that we should operate on the assumption that the race will get that close.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The only time a third party or independent candidate means anything is if the polls are showing the candidates of the two major parties are within about 5 points of each other.

    In the 2016 presidential election there were eleven states controlling 119 electoral votes that met that description, as I noted elsewhere.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The only time a third party or independent candidate means anything is if the polls are showing the candidates of the two major parties are within about 5 points of each other.

    I think, though, that we should operate on the assumption that the race will get that close.
    The only assumptions to operate on are the pessimistic ones. Complacency has no role in this election unless one wants Trump.

  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    The only time a third party or independent candidate means anything is if the polls are showing the candidates of the two major parties are within about 5 points of each other.

    I think, though, that we should operate on the assumption that the race will get that close.
    The only assumptions to operate on are the pessimistic ones. Complacency has no role in this election unless one wants Trump.

    Whenever I see people getting overly cocky about a Trump defeat in 2020, I think about Jon Stewart's schtick back during the 2016 primaries...

    "Please!! Nominate this man!"
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    la la la la la not listening not listening (am really listening)
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, Jr., writes satire, and before the 2016 election, wrote a piece about T becoming president. It was *not* meant as a suggestion. He's now got a book out called "Make Russia Great Again", which reportedly is none-too-veiled satire about T et al.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Joe Biden has apparently picked his running mate. Their identity will be announced (or leaked) shortly.
  • stetson wrote: »
    Wonder if he'll swing back to a moderate position now that he's hopefully staying away from Falwell jr's yacht parties. (Anyone else following that?)

    Yeah, I saw that. In anyone else, it would be a stupid joke. (He he he - she can't fit in her shorts because her pregnant belly is too big. Look - I can't fit in my pants either. Here's my belly. In fact, I have friends who may have posed for a rather similar photo several years ago.)

    Given that Falwell's "educational" institution has any number of paranoid dress codes along the lines of "if ankles are exposed then fornication will ensue" then exposing your belly and unzipped pants whilst hugging a similarly-clad woman seems like a rather obvious exercise in stupidity. His institution would view such behaviour in its students as obvious evidence of sexual impropriety.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Plus, Liberty had previously dodged a bullet when "The Falwells and their pool boy" managed to limit its media profile to Rolling Stone magazine. So they probably figured it was pretty reckless to court further salacious attention by posting a photo like that.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Looks like the VP pick is Kamala Harris.
  • Yes re Kamala, per Rolling Stone.

    Female, African American, and Californian!
    :cool:
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited August 12
    This is another Rolling Stone article posted in my Planet America facebook group. It predicts the eclipse of the USA even if Trump loses. I find it's reasoning that America is in an awful state compelling, but I disagree with the writer's conclusion. I still think that Americans can turn this around, but if Trump is re-elected then the credibility of its people, or perhaps the world's faith in their capacity to choose a competent President will be so seriously damaged that other countries will have to stave off the terrible prospect of the coming Chinese communist ascendancy without being able to count upon the reliable leadership of the USA.

    After her broadside against Kamala Harris, I'd particularly like to know what @Twilight thinks of the article.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    We were hearing similar predictions of American eclipse during the Bush II administration. The US is now a renegade power, the world's not going to accept this kind of behaviour anymore, time for Europe to reassert itself on the world stage etc etc.

    Didn't really happen, and the animosity toward the US pretty much collapsed after Obama took over. Mind you, this time around there could be economic damage that limits the ability of the US to function as it previously had on the world stage.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    We were hearing similar predictions of American eclipse during the Bush II administration. The US is now a renegade power, the world's not going to accept this kind of behaviour anymore, time for Europe to reassert itself on the world stage etc etc.

    Didn't really happen, and the animosity toward the US pretty much collapsed after Obama took over. Mind you, this time around there could be economic damage that limits the ability of the US to function as it previously had on the world stage.

    Part of the reason the U.S. was able to re-assert its global position after George W. Bush was that the world was able write Bush II off as fluke, an unqualified disaster initially propelled to the Oval Office by the vagaries of the electoral college. The idea that this was an aberration and that the U.S. would thereafter be a trustworthy treaty partner and guardian of the post-WWII international order depended on being able to credibly maintain that W was a fluke and someone like him (or worse) couldn't be elected to the presidency again.

    And here we are. America's international partners now have to recalibrate their understanding that the U.S. is going to be a basket case every time a Republican wins the presidency. That may not necessarily be the case, but it would be foolhardy for other countries not to proceed from that assumption.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We were hearing similar predictions of American eclipse during the Bush II administration. The US is now a renegade power, the world's not going to accept this kind of behaviour anymore, time for Europe to reassert itself on the world stage etc etc.

    Didn't really happen, and the animosity toward the US pretty much collapsed after Obama took over. Mind you, this time around there could be economic damage that limits the ability of the US to function as it previously had on the world stage.

    Part of the reason the U.S. was able to re-assert its global position after George W. Bush was that the world was able write Bush II off as fluke, an unqualified disaster initially propelled to the Oval Office by the vagaries of the electoral college. The idea that this was an aberration and that the U.S. would thereafter be a trustworthy treaty partner and guardian of the post-WWII international order depended on being able to credibly maintain that W was a fluke and someone like him (or worse) couldn't be elected to the presidency again.

    And here we are. America's international partners now have to recalibrate their understanding that the U.S. is going to be a basket case every time a Republican wins the presidency. That may not necessarily be the case, but it would be foolhardy for other countries not to proceed from that assumption.
    Perhaps The Lincoln Project should be running their "Republicans aren't really that bad" propaganda in other countries.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    While I agree with Crœsos's comment above, it would be a mistake, in my view, to focus opposition too narrowly on the American presidency. There's plenty going on at various state and local levels to be alarmed about when Trump's voters -- according to some sources, some 40% of those voting (a stat which leaves me gasping in dismay and disbelief; who can these allegedly sentient beings possibly be?) -- blithely ignore the real import, for example, of his recent executive orders, which will do little or nothing to help any of us struggle with our impending financial crises. One has to wonder: is Trump actually trying to provoke crisis in hope of escaping to some private island during the ensuing upheaval?

  • Ohher--

    More likely, trying to provoke crisis so he can be seen as the strong man who's the answer to all of it. Unfortunately, he's not really concerned about *fixing* anything, nor does he know how to do it, nor does he really get what other people are going through, nor does he really care about anything except winning the damn election--which, he thinks, will get him the approval and adulation he desperately craves.
  • Golden Key wrote: »
    Ohher--

    More likely, trying to provoke crisis so he can be seen as the strong man who's the answer to all of it. Unfortunately, he's not really concerned about *fixing* anything, nor does he know how to do it, nor does he really get what other people are going through, nor does he really care about anything except winning the damn election--which, he thinks, will get him the approval and adulation he desperately craves.
    And give him four more years before facing a whole BUNCH of lawsuits.
  • Pigwidgeon--

    Maybe. Though I'm not sure that he's convinced that could *actually happen*. A danger? Yes. But since he seems to make up reality as he goes along, and was under the influence of Norman Vincent Peale's positive thinking preaching, he might believe he can change reality so that prison isn't even a possibility.

    Pity. If he were desperately emotionally needy AND had the knowledge, skills, intelligence, health, empathy, and desire to actually be a *good* president in order to get love, attention, adulation...all of that might have worked together for everyone concerned.
  • stetson wrote: »
    We were hearing similar predictions of American eclipse during the Bush II administration. The US is now a renegade power, the world's not going to accept this kind of behaviour anymore, time for Europe to reassert itself on the world stage etc etc.

    Didn't really happen, and the animosity toward the US pretty much collapsed after Obama took over. Mind you, this time around there could be economic damage that limits the ability of the US to function as it previously had on the world stage.

    Well, that was coming exclusively from the left, IIRC. The clear-sighted opposed the war in Iraq, but it was hardly out of character for the US to engage in that sort of action. A great many countries, including my own, gave full throated support to the project.

    The Covid crisis and the reaction not only of Trump, but of conservative politicians across the nation, AND, even more worryingly, roughly 40% of Americans, is totally bonkers. No other conservative politician in the West is doing this. Every other country that you would ordinarily regard as a liberal democracy is taking steps to protect their people. Every other country is marshaling their resources and trying to get through this as best they can. Of course there are nutters, but they are not 30 - 40% of the population.

    THAT is the issue here. George Bush was well within the bounds of ordinary American behavior internationally. Trump and the GOP and their supporters are out on their own.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Today (August 17) is the first day of the Democratic National Convention (official website), despite the fact that there will be as little convening as possible. Those who want to watch the festivities from Milwaukee the internet can do so at these YouTube links.

    Day 1 (Amy Klobuchar / Andrew Cuomo / Gretchen Whitmer / Bernie Sanders / Michelle Obama)
    Day 2 (Roll Call Vote / John Kerry / Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Bill Clinton / Jill Biden)
    Day 3 (Elizabeth Warren / Nancy Pelosi / Hillary Clinton / Kamala Harris / Barack Obama)
    Day 4 (Cory Booker / Pete Buttigieg / Tammy Duckworth / Joe Biden)

    The list of each evening's speakers is not comprehensive. (Full schedule here.)

    The main event runs from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm Eastern Time (UTC-4:00) every evening. There may be video feeds of earlier events which start at noon (Eastern Time) for those who are interested enough to hunt them up.
  • And you can sign up for their e-mail list. Your first e-mail from them has assorted links for watching (in various ways), "exclusive content", and swag/gift items to buy.

    The site also has a "Watch The Convention" section: various platforms, videos, etc. And there's a "Schedule" section.

    I'm *beginning* to get a little excited about the actual convention, separately from everything that's at stake.
    :smiley:
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    We were hearing similar predictions of American eclipse during the Bush II administration. The US is now a renegade power, the world's not going to accept this kind of behaviour anymore, time for Europe to reassert itself on the world stage etc etc.

    Didn't really happen, and the animosity toward the US pretty much collapsed after Obama took over. Mind you, this time around there could be economic damage that limits the ability of the US to function as it previously had on the world stage.

    Well, that was coming exclusively from the left, IIRC. The clear-sighted opposed the war in Iraq, but it was hardly out of character for the US to engage in that sort of action. A great many countries, including my own, gave full throated support to the project.

    The Covid crisis and the reaction not only of Trump, but of conservative politicians across the nation, AND, even more worryingly, roughly 40% of Americans, is totally bonkers. No other conservative politician in the West is doing this. Every other country that you would ordinarily regard as a liberal democracy is taking steps to protect their people. Every other country is marshaling their resources and trying to get through this as best they can. Of course there are nutters, but they are not 30 - 40% of the population.

    THAT is the issue here. George Bush was well within the bounds of ordinary American behavior internationally. Trump and the GOP and their supporters are out on their own.

    Okay, but what practical difference is all this going to make? Are people in western Europe, for example, going to say "Well, that's it. We can't be allied with a country that's 40% bonkers. Let's get out of NATO now."

    Because unless we start seeing concrete results like that, I don't think there's gonna be much substance to all this talk sbout the world disengaging from the US.

  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Western Europe is not the whole world. China is investing tons of money in Africa, and their influence is growing there, while the US is doing nothing comparable.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Ruth wrote: »
    Western Europe is not the whole world. China is investing tons of money in Africa, and their influence is growing there, while the US is doing nothing comparable.

    Yeah, that's true, but it predates covid-19 by many years, and would not likely change even if the non-bonkers people came back into office.

    I'm specifically refering to a predicted backlash against US power based on its mishandling of the pandemic.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    I'm specifically refering to a predicted backlash against US power based on its mishandling of the pandemic.

    There are two main questions when considering the value of an alliance or partnership: reliability and competence.

    The election of Donald Trump threw American reliability into question. The COVID-19 response demonstrated a lack of competence.
  • It's not really based on the handling of the pandemic but on the whole Trump phenomenon.

    While I agree that Western Europe is not writing off the Atlantic alliance just yet, there is a definite sense - especially in France perhaps - that it can no longer be taken for granted. Not so much "shall we pull out of NATO" but "we need to prepared in case the US pulls out of NATO". Proposals like Macron's advocacy of a joint European army are I think much more prominent than they would have been under a Hillary Clinton presidency.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I'm specifically refering to a predicted backlash against US power based on its mishandling of the pandemic.

    There are two main questions when considering the value of an alliance or partnership: reliability and competence.

    The election of Donald Trump threw American reliability into question. The COVID-19 response demonstrated a lack of competence.

    Yeah, I know there's a case you could make for European disentaglement, I'm just wondering if anyone in Europe is actually going to be making it in any serious way.

    And I think it would be a bit of a stretch to go from "The Americans can't manage their pandemic response properly" to "America can't manage a military alliance properly." I think the alliance will be judged according to its own unique standards, not extrapolated from domestic issues.

    (FWIW, I personally haven't heard anyone in Korea suggest that since the US has botched the pandemic, maybe Koreans can't rely on them for defense. I HAVE heard people, especially right-wingers, say that Trump's bromance with Kim might call the alliance into question, but those two issues are pretty closely related.)

    @TurquoiseTastic

    Good point about Macron. But I think that's largely gonna stay in the realm of the academic. I'm off to class, later.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Yeah, I know there's a case you could make for European disentaglement, I'm just wondering if anyone in Europe is actually going to be making it in any serious way.

    Probably not, but the calculus of American utility may shift a bit.
    stetson wrote: »
    And I think it would be a bit of a stretch to go from "The Americans can't manage their pandemic response properly" to "America can't manage a military alliance properly." I think the alliance will be judged according to its own unique standards, not extrapolated from domestic issues.

    I'm not sure they're all that separable. A country that can't manufacture and distribute N95 masks efficiently domestically can't be relied upon to effectively supply materiel and other military needs. Given the degree to which modern warfare is about logistics that has to have occurred to some American allies. Can you see the Trump administration* handling something like the Berlin airlift? (It seems not entirely coincidental that NATO was finalized against the background of this feat of American logistical competence.)

    Will American allies start pre-emptively terminating agreements? Almost certainly not. It's not like there is a plausible substitute security partner for Europe, Korea, or Japan. But they certainly have to be re-evaluating the degree to which they can count on American support, logistical and otherwise, in the event of a crisis.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    There is the danger of the yuan replacing the dollar as the world reserve currency.
    Fiat currencies are based on trust.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited August 18
    Croesus puts the situation well, from an Australian perspective. China has been our biggest market for all the stuff we dig out of the ground. There are strong economic links between us dating from the 1980's. This puts us in an invidious position, between our major ally and our biggest customer.

    There are moves afoot, I think/hope to dilute our economic relationship with China by looking for other markets. A controversial mining project up in Queensland is a big hope, as we are partnering with an Indian company, Adani, to build and operate the mine and the associated infrastructure. There are massive environmental concerns, mind you, as well as the whole global warming thing. But geo-politically, it is golden. I and I am sure our leaders would like nothing better than to see India raise the living standards and wealth of its people using our raw materials.

    In this setting, for the USA to re-elect Trump by fair means or foul must provoke a re-assessment of the relationship. America under Trump's leadership will be outmaneuvered by China at every step. After being whipped once or twice by them, Trump is likely to make the bully's move and withdraw. This is a significant likelihood, it seems to me, given his penchant for withdrawing the US from international organisations.

    In the face of this likely isolationist, transactional approach to international relations, Australia would be foolish to maintain its "All the way with the USA" stance in the world. Sooner or later, China will dominate our region. We are going to have to learn to live with that reality, if Trump is re-elected. And if Trump is re-elected, by fair means or foul, what is to stop America electing someone like Stephen Miller, or Steve Bannon, or any of the really evil bastards lurking in the fetid pond of the American right?

    I don't know the detail of European politics, but I reckon every single leader in the EU is looking at the USA, and thinking about how they are going to manage the short and long term consequences of a second Trump term. Not only that, I reckon their business leaders, their strategists, their militaries and their economists are all busy doing modelling right now. If Trump is re-elected, the world changes for the worse.

    If Biden is elected, the sigh of relief from US allies will be audible at a distance. Relationships will blossom and become ever more close as US allies welcome sensible diplomacy back. Sensible diplomacy is the most important way to avoid catastrophic conflict. Honestly, if Biden is elected, it will be like the snap back of a rubber band. I fully expect to cry, and I don't think I will be the only one.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    edited August 18
    Trump will not be re-elected.

    Of course, when Hillary was running against him, I was predicting Hillary would win; the polls were all very close up until the end of October. And then there was an October Surprise.

    This year, the polls are nowhere near close. Biden has lead by at least ten points ever since May. Last time Trump got 80% of the white vote. Now at least 50% of the white vote is going for Biden.

    The demographics of the voting population is also changing. Baby boomers are no longer the majority. Biden choosing Kamala Harris, as a Gen Xer will be tapping into the younger vote, which Trump/Pence will not be able to do. In addition, the majority of Millennials and Gen Z are multi-racial, like Harris.

    Finally, Biden is a likable guy. Clinton and Trump were not.
  • Gramps49 wrote: »
    Trump will not be re-elected.

    Of course, when Hillary was running against him, I was predicting Hillary would win; the polls were all very close up until the end of October. And then there was an October Surprise.

    This year, the polls are nowhere near close. Biden has lead by at least ten points ever since May. (1) Last time Trump got 80% of the white vote. Now at least 50% of the white vote is going for Biden.

    The demographics of the voting population is also changing. Baby boomers are no longer the majority. Biden choosing Kamala Harris, as a Gen Xer will be tapping into the younger vote, which (2)Trump/Pence will not be able to do. In addition, the majority of Millennials and Gen Z are multi-racial, like Harris.

    Finally, Biden is a likable guy. Clinton and Trump were not.

    BiB 1: Really? Maybe the US is more mixed-race than I'd thought but if not, then how was the popular vote close to 50/50 ?

    BiB 2: Is it too late for Trump to choose someone else before the Rep Convention?



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