Oops - your Trump presidency discussion thread.

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  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Yes it was the Red Flag I stand corrected.
  • To keep his sorry ass out of jail.

    @mousethief , do you honestly think he believes it could possibly happen to him?
  • Trump is nowhere to be seen, and is keeping very quiet about the awful increase in the daily Covid-19 death toll in the US.

    And is in fact doing his best to increase it even more.
    USA Today today has a report of outbreaks of COVID amongst elected officials. To nobody's great surprise, it strikes Republicans more frequently than Dems.

    It is almost like the Republicans are not taking simple common-sense precautions.

  • You shock me.
  • Yes. Who knew?
  • Not respecting science or expertise and refusing to take health or safety advice do seem much more likely characteristics of right-wingers.
  • They’ll presumably be even more annoyed if you tell them they’re in the running for a Darwin Award, because intelligent design over evolution right ?
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    Hedgehog wrote: »

    If I were wicked, I'd say: "So there is a God, and he does answer prayers."
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    To keep his sorry ass out of jail.

    @mousethief , do you honestly think he believes it could possibly happen to him?

    I don't think he is that divorced from reality that he would think prosecutors investigating him in New York would have no power to prosecute him.

    His delusions might lead him to think that it's all a Democratic set-up because Crooked Hillary did worse and they're not investigating her. But I think he'd still recognize, as a matter of basic realpolitik, that the prosecutors very much have the ability to put him in jail.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    I don't think he is that divorced from reality that he would think prosecutors investigating him in New York would have no power to prosecute him.

    His delusions might lead him to think that it's all a Democratic set-up because Crooked Hillary did worse and they're not investigating her. But I think he'd still recognize, as a matter of basic realpolitik, that the prosecutors very much have the ability to put him in jail.

    The issue is that Trump's reality is not the reality you and I are accustomed to dealing with. Those who are very, very rich (or at least manage to convince others they are) or manage to acquire substantial influence over others often really can and do escape consequences, and they grow accustomed to doing so.

    My daughter, on reaching high-school age, acquired a full 4-year scholarship to a world-renowned US prep school and ended up attending school with sons and daughters of people whose names you'd recognize. You'd be amazed at what nefariousness an adolescent member of a rich, powerful family can get away with that would land your kid or mine in Juvy Hall.
  • Ohher wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    I don't think he is that divorced from reality that he would think prosecutors investigating him in New York would have no power to prosecute him.

    His delusions might lead him to think that it's all a Democratic set-up because Crooked Hillary did worse and they're not investigating her. But I think he'd still recognize, as a matter of basic realpolitik, that the prosecutors very much have the ability to put him in jail.

    The issue is that Trump's reality is not the reality you and I are accustomed to dealing with. Those who are very, very rich (or at least manage to convince others they are) or manage to acquire substantial influence over others often really can and do escape consequences, and they grow accustomed to doing so.

    My daughter, on reaching high-school age, acquired a full 4-year scholarship to a world-renowned US prep school and ended up attending school with sons and daughters of people whose names you'd recognize. You'd be amazed at what nefariousness an adolescent member of a rich, powerful family can get away with that would land your kid or mine in Juvy Hall.

    Yes, but this isn't quite like some prep-school brat slapping around a stripper and then avoiding arrest by telling the police who his father is. Trump is already the subject of a highly publicized prosecutorial investigation, and if it has gotten this far, it would be pretty reckless of him to assume that there is zero chance of it going further.

    There's a reason Nixon thought it prudent to secure a pardon from Ford: he obviously didn't think his status as the most powerful man in the world would be enough to save him from the slammer.
  • stetson wrote: »
    There's a reason Nixon thought it prudent to secure a pardon from Ford: he obviously didn't think his status as the most powerful man in the world would be enough to save him from the slammer.

    That's one way of looking at it. Another is that his status as the most powerful man in the world did save him from the slammer, and Ford's pardon is the tangible form that privilege took.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    I would imagine Trump switches between complacency and near-panic with little time in between.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    There's a reason Nixon thought it prudent to secure a pardon from Ford: he obviously didn't think his status as the most powerful man in the world would be enough to save him from the slammer.

    That's one way of looking at it. Another is that his status as the most powerful man in the world did save him from the slammer, and Ford's pardon is the tangible form that privilege took.

    Yes, but the point is, despite all his power, the situation had gotten to the point where a presidential pardon was the only option he had left. And he knew it. Just as I think Trump probably knows it as well.

    Back to my preppie/stripper example...

    Let's say the prep-school boy tells the cop his dad is the CEO of Acme Widgets, but the cop for whatever reason is unimpressed(maybe the strip club is owned by another wealthy businessman, who donates to the police fund), and the case proceeds anyway, garnering media headlines all over the place. If it gets to where the papers are reporting that prosecutors are thinking of charging the kid, the prognosis for suckholing his way out of the situation will be much worse than if he had managed to keep it off the radar in the first place.
  • I don't know. Trump has gotten away with everything all his life. I really think he can't understand that something bad might actually happen to him.
  • NicoleMR wrote: »
    I don't know. Trump has gotten away with everything all his life. I really think he can't understand that something bad might actually happen to him.

    But the reason that he gets away with things is because he knows how to cover his ass. When he's had legal problems in the past, he's hired lawyers. And I'm assuming those were high-priced lawyers with a good track-record, not some kid fresh out of law school who's never tried a case before. IOW Trump knows that in order to continue getting away with things, he has to continue taking the neccessary precautions.

    Mind you, I suppose Trump could assume that his lawyers are so good, they'll easily win any case that New York throws their way, and so he doesn't need to essentially proclaim his guilt by swinging himself a pardon. Though personally, I don't think he'd be embarrassed about a pardon, but likely does have sufficient grip on reality to understand that lawyers don't always win.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth 8th Day Host, Mystery Worship Editor
    stetson wrote: »
    There's a reason Nixon thought it prudent to secure a pardon from Ford: he obviously didn't think his status as the most powerful man in the world would be enough to save him from the slammer.
    Nixon, for all his flaws, was quite intelligent and quite capable of thinking through a situation. You-know-who is neither.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    O for the chaos of a Richard Nixon administration...?

    Perhaps not. I'll get me own coat. No need to push - I can see the door...
  • I think some of you are giving Trump too much credit. He doesn't pick good lawyers, he picks ones that are handy, willing to work with him, well-known, and/or can sell him a good story. And then when they fuck up, he fires them and goes to the next. The only reason this foolish and wasteful model works for him is he can afford (at the moment) to keep hiring and firing--sheer scale, that is. But as the number of people willing to work with him dries up, and the amount of money he has to pay them does the same, well...

    Really, do you buy his self-constructed image of someone who is competent, capable, and and able to construct successful, intricate long range plans? Because his history shows someone who seems to bumble from one disaster to the next, constantly bailed out by those who are either related to him, have a financial interest in him, or fall to his (inexplicable) charisma.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey
  • I'm sure I've heard or read somewhere that he's actually been a bit more coherent recently, and that this may well be the effect of medication.

    Is that right, or am I imagining things?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    @Lamb Chopped

    There is a third position between, on the one hand, buying into Trump's exaggerated self-image, and, on the other, thinking that he's a totally delusional imbecile, ie. assuming that while he might not be the most self-aware person on the face of the planet, he does possess a strong sense of rational self-interest. And that if one of his lawyers sits him down and says "Y'know, Don, you could very well be facing serious criminal charges after you leave office, but if you pardon yourself, you'll be home free", he will do just that.

    As for his "inexplicable" charisma, well, it might be inexplicable to you, but it does seem quite explicable to millions of other Americans, and he has leveraged that to very good political effect, President Of The United States Of America being a rather coveted job.

    And "bumbling from one disaster to the next"? A disaster for whom? He has consistently managed to maintain a lifestyle that would, in material terms, be the envy of almost anyone else in the world. Okay, so some poor saps blew their brains out after sinking their life savings into his quack university. He sure as hell wasn't one of them.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey

    Well, at one point he decided to run for president. And he won. His Electoral College votes weren't cancelled because he failed an elocution test.
  • stetson wrote: »
    But the reason that he gets away with things is because he knows how to cover his ass. When he's had legal problems in the past, he's hired lawyers.

    Trump's legal strategy in the past has been to delay, file bogus counter-suits, and otherwise gum up the process so much that his opponents either run out of resources or finally conclude that ongoing legal expenses aren't worth the likely return even if they are successful. On one level Trump is simply resorting to what's worked for him in the past. He simply doesn't realize that state and federal governments don't suffer from the same limitations as a tile-layer from Paramus or a bank who owns some of his unrepayable debt. He's in new territory, where there's a deadline that's going to be enforced, farcical legal arguments are going to be dismissed quickly, and the other guy isn't going to run out of money.
    stetson wrote: »
    And I'm assuming those were high-priced lawyers with a good track-record, not some kid fresh out of law school who's never tried a case before.

    Trump's idea of a "good lawyer" is his friend and mentor Roy Cohn, who spent the last part of his career representing various (alleged) mafia leaders. Cohn liked using attorney-client privilege as a shield for conspiracies. Meetings would occur where everyone present was either a lawyer or client, so everything discussed was (arguably) either privileged communications or an attorney's work product. In other words (and as an excuse to post the video clip again), Trump doesn't want a criminal lawyer, he wants a criminal lawyer.
  • A disaster for everyone around him, of course. And ultimately for himself. Do you really imagine his life is enviable? As far as I can determine, nobody really loves him, everybody is there to use him, he spends each day chronically angry and on the verge of a stroke, and there is not a soul in the world he can trust. Plus he's getting older and sicker, and no amount of money fixes that.

    I don't see anything to envy in him.
  • If you go into court with Roy Cohn as your lawyer, and you win your case, and Roy Cohn manages to stay in the good graces of the New York Bar Association, isn't that a win for everyone on your side?

    As for the argument that Trump is in new territory and his shady lawyering won't help him with the feds, well, doesn't that back up my point that he may very well try to pardon himself?
  • stetson wrote: »
    If you go into court with Roy Cohn as your lawyer, and you win your case, and Roy Cohn manages to stay in the good graces of the New York Bar Association, isn't that a win for everyone on your side?

    Well, two out of three for John Gotti 18261-053.
  • Addressing something you said earlier, Stetson--
    stetson wrote: »

    he does possess a strong sense of rational self-interest. And that if one of his lawyers sits him down and says "Y'know, Don, you could very well be facing serious criminal charges after you leave office, but if you pardon yourself, you'll be home free", he will do just that.

    It doesn't take much in the way of brains to be suggestible, or to grasp at straws in a panic. If one of his lawyers sits him down and suggests a wild way out, the rationality (such as it is) is not Trump's, but his. And it's not a forgone conclusion that Trump will take that suggestion--or that the suggestion he ultimately gloms on to (found on Fox News, Twitter, some rando's protest sign) will be a good or even possible, workable one, even from his own perspective. We know that Trump has a huge history of ignoring the suggestions of the people he has hired/appointed to make them. So it's a crapshoot every day, what he's going to do. Reminds me of the old Magic 8-Ball toy. "Future murky--Ask again later."

    stetson wrote: »

    As for his "inexplicable" charisma, well, it might be inexplicable to you, but it does seem quite explicable to millions of other Americans, and he has leveraged that to very good political effect, President Of The United States Of America being a rather coveted job.

    Take a look at that word "inexplicable" again. "Not capable of an adequate explanation" is what it means. Those who respond to his charisma are not explaining it, they are merely moved by it. If you ask them for an explanation they give you obvious nonsense along the lines of "Trump's on my side! He's for the little guy! He's going to drain the swamp! (as if) He's going to make America great again!" (when anyone with eyes can see how far we've slid)

    So yes, inexplicable charisma.

    I would dearly love to see a topflight shrink do a careful analysis (a full-scale study, maybe) of rabid Trump supporters, to find out as much as possible about what is driving their fanatical adherence. It isn't enough to say "stupid" or "racist." He seems to have been the favorite among Vietnamese immigrant voters, for instance, in spite of having called them "animals" and saying they came from a "shithole country." And they aren't all idiots.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    @Lamb Chopped

    Let me re-tool: the fact that Trump's charisma is inexplicable to you might show some limitations on your part as an analyst of his success. Because he clearly has a charisma that appeals to some people, and, as I say, he obviously knows how to exploit that for his own self-interest. That shows a considerable degree of rationality on his part.

    And I also don't think it's as puzzling as you seem to think that people buy into his image as a plucky swamp-drainer: that's the image he's selling, and image often outbids logic in political discourse(that's why politicians field snazzy campaign ads that often bear dubious connection to the issues, rather than just explaining their positions in terms of dry logic).

    As for Vietnamese-Americans supporting Trump, well, is this really a huge mystery? Most Vietnamese Americans are strongly anti-Communist, I believe, and the GOP is traditionally the more virulently anti-Communist of the two parties. With or without Trump as the candidate, I would assume a huge number of Vietnamese people are voting Republican anyway.

    And this is a bit of speculation on my part, but if Vietnam was one of the places that Trump called a "shithole", might GOP operatives within the Vietnamese community be able to spin that as "Well, of course, it's a shithole! It's run by those commies who forced you to flee!" Rather than interpreting it as a racist attack on the Vietnamese as a people.

    Or maybe they just don't care? When that old crackhead Rob Ford ran for mayor of Toronto, a Tamil Christian group aired Tamil-language radio-ads pointing out that Ford was married to a woman(a dog-whistle against his gay opponent). The ads also reassured their audience that Ford's anti-immigrant rhetoric was just a meaningless ploy to get white votes.

  • The anti-communist line seems to have a great deal of grab in America, especially among people from communist or former communist countries. I have heard that Ai Weiwei has been tweeting in support of Trump. My theory is that when they hear progressive policy proposals they hear the language of the communists.
  • edited December 2020
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    My theory is that when they hear progressive policy proposals they hear the language of the communists.

    That's true of Poles over 45 here. It's remarkable the degree to which they don't see the same w*nkers who shafted them in Party clothes from the left, shafting them from the right in pin-stripes. But then I have my own blind spots, and was *shocked* the first time I got shafted by a social worker.
  • How dare you give me health insurance and a safe workplace. Commie.
  • I know MT. I don't get it, but it is real. I believe I am thankful for not getting it, as it means neither myself nor my immediate relatives have lived under an oppressive regime. I thank God for it, a bit.
  • Simon Toad wrote: »
    The anti-communist line seems to have a great deal of grab in America, especially among people from communist or former communist countries. I have heard that Ai Weiwei has been tweeting in support of Trump. My theory is that when they hear progressive policy proposals they hear the language of the communists.

    Well, usually, there's also the fact that left-wing parties tend to take more concilliatory attitudes to Communist countries, and push for policies like lower defense-spending and less commitment to anti-Communist alliances.

    Trump got away with bromancing an ex-KGB honcho because no one considers Russia Communist anymore. My non-existent Korean language skills don't permit an in-depth reading of the press over here, but from what I've been able to glean, Korean conservatives are not exactly overjoyed with the reachout to KJU(if for no other reason than it legitimizes similar policies advocated by the left). Not sure what overseas Koreans of a right-wing bent think about it.
  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey

    Well, at one point he decided to run for president. And he won. His Electoral College votes weren't cancelled because he failed an elocution test.

    Makes no difference about his speaking. From what I have seen he is confusing and doesn’t know that well how to improvise when put on the spot. He has a big character that hides his lack of coherence.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey

    Well, at one point he decided to run for president. And he won. His Electoral College votes weren't cancelled because he failed an elocution test.

    Makes no difference about his speaking. From what I have seen he is confusing and doesn’t know that well how to improvise when put on the spot. He has a big character that hides his lack of coherence.

    And so this proves that he has no long-range plans?

    At any number of points in the guy's career, he has set out to accomplish a particular goal, be it build a casino somewhere, start a beauty-pageant, run for president etc. And in at least some of those instances, he has been successful. That's all I think I really need to cite to prove that he is, in fact, capable of acting on long-term plans.

  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    I don't know. Trump has gotten away with everything all his life. I really think he can't understand that something bad might actually happen to him.

    But the reason that he gets away with things is because he knows how to cover his ass. When he's had legal problems in the past, he's hired lawyers. And I'm assuming those were high-priced lawyers with a good track-record, not some kid fresh out of law school who's never tried a case before. IOW Trump knows that in order to continue getting away with things, he has to continue taking the neccessary precautions.

    Mind you, I suppose Trump could assume that his lawyers are so good, they'll easily win any case that New York throws their way, and so he doesn't need to essentially proclaim his guilt by swinging himself a pardon. Though personally, I don't think he'd be embarrassed about a pardon, but likely does have sufficient grip on reality to understand that lawyers don't always win.

    Judging on the record of his suits against various electoral authories alleging "voting fraud", his lawyers have a record of "played 41, lost 40, one still in dispute" . I would not call that a good track record.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    I'm pretty sure Trump is capable of thinking, every time I have been in trouble I have got out of it by thinking up a Cunning Plan(*); pardoning myself is a Cunning Plan.

    (*) whether said Cunning Plans have helped or hindered the efforts of Trump's lawyers to get him off is another matter: Trump does not appear to be a believer in the principle that your story should incorporate as much of the truth as possible.
  • Tukai wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    NicoleMR wrote: »
    I don't know. Trump has gotten away with everything all his life. I really think he can't understand that something bad might actually happen to him.

    But the reason that he gets away with things is because he knows how to cover his ass. When he's had legal problems in the past, he's hired lawyers. And I'm assuming those were high-priced lawyers with a good track-record, not some kid fresh out of law school who's never tried a case before. IOW Trump knows that in order to continue getting away with things, he has to continue taking the neccessary precautions.

    Mind you, I suppose Trump could assume that his lawyers are so good, they'll easily win any case that New York throws their way, and so he doesn't need to essentially proclaim his guilt by swinging himself a pardon. Though personally, I don't think he'd be embarrassed about a pardon, but likely does have sufficient grip on reality to understand that lawyers don't always win.

    Judging on the record of his suits against various electoral authories alleging "voting fraud", his lawyers have a record of "played 41, lost 40, one still in dispute" . I would not call that a good track record.

    Right. That's why my argument hasn't been that his lawyers are going to win this election for him. My argument is that he is notivated by rational self-interest(as exhibited by the fact that he has hired lawyers throuhout his life). If he can no longer achieve his goals through lawyering, he may resort to self-pardon.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    Dafyd wrote: »
    I'm pretty sure Trump is capable of thinking, every time I have been in trouble I have got out of it by thinking up a Cunning Plan(*); pardoning myself is a Cunning Plan.

    (*) whether said Cunning Plans have helped or hindered the efforts of Trump's lawyers to get him off is another matter: Trump does not appear to be a believer in the principle that your story should incorporate as much of the truth as possible.

    Yes. I think this is basically what I've bern saying.

    Whether he could actually execute the plan is another question. My understanding is that he CANNOT pardon himself, and would have to resign and allow Pence to take over and do it. Not sure if Pence would wanna do that.

  • HugalHugal Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey

    Well, at one point he decided to run for president. And he won. His Electoral College votes weren't cancelled because he failed an elocution test.

    Makes no difference about his speaking. From what I have seen he is confusing and doesn’t know that well how to improvise when put on the spot. He has a big character that hides his lack of coherence.

    And so this proves that he has no long-range plans?

    At any number of points in the guy's career, he has set out to accomplish a particular goal, be it build a casino somewhere, start a beauty-pageant, run for president etc. And in at least some of those instances, he has been successful. That's all I think I really need to cite to prove that he is, in fact, capable of acting on long-term plans.
    But he has not really been successful overall. He has been bankrupt a few times. Things can go right for multiple reasons, not necessarily because he is a good business man.
  • He had plenty of money to play with, I’m sure that made all the difference.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    AIUI Trump's success in business can be summed up under the principle that if you lose ten thousand you have a problem but if you lose ten billion the bank has a problem.
  • Hugal wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Hugal wrote: »
    Long range plans? He can barely construct a sentencey

    Well, at one point he decided to run for president. And he won. His Electoral College votes weren't cancelled because he failed an elocution test.

    Makes no difference about his speaking. From what I have seen he is confusing and doesn’t know that well how to improvise when put on the spot. He has a big character that hides his lack of coherence.

    And so this proves that he has no long-range plans?

    At any number of points in the guy's career, he has set out to accomplish a particular goal, be it build a casino somewhere, start a beauty-pageant, run for president etc. And in at least some of those instances, he has been successful. That's all I think I really need to cite to prove that he is, in fact, capable of acting on long-term plans.
    But he has not really been successful overall. He has been bankrupt a few times. Things can go right for multiple reasons, not necessarily because he is a good business man.

    My point is not that he is a great or even an especially good businessman, but simply that he is someone capable of setting a goal, and, at least in some cases, carrying it through to the end.
  • Furtive GanderFurtive Gander Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    But is there any connection between his goal/plan/intention and the outcome or is it just that he makes lost of attempts at success and some of them (randomly) succeed?

    If the failures get swept aside (in his mind and those of his supporters) and often land others in more trouble than him, a bird's-eye view makes an assessment of success more difficult to award.
  • So "If the failures get swept aside ..." (like discounting votes for his opponent) then only the "good" remains and he wins!
  • So "If the failures get swept aside ..." (like discounting votes for his opponent) then only the "good" remains and he wins!

    This has been a Republican priority from a long time before Donald Trump came down that golden escalator. They're very big on the idea that certain Americans (you can probably guess which ones) aren't really American, or at least not as American as white folks from the Midwest. That was, of course, literally how Trump started his political career. Naturally if you discount the votes of those 'fake' Americans, Republicans will win. This is perfectly in line with Republican's decades-long efforts to keep certain kinds of Americans from voting. The slide into deliberate minority rule is inevitable, argues Fintan O'Toole at the New York Review of Books (paywall).
    A tactic of maneuvering to hold power against the wishes of the majority of voters is contingent, opportunistic, reactive. It is innately time-limited. It will advance when it can and retreat when it must. But when the tactic becomes the strategy, there can be no retreat. A program of consolidating the means by which a minority can gain and retain power must try to institutionalize itself, to become so embedded that it can withstand the majority’s anger. To do that, it must not merely evade the consequences of losing the popular vote in this or that election. It must, insofar as it can, make those elections irrelevant.

    This is the most important thing to understand about the postmortem Republican Party. The logic is not that a permanently minority party may move toward authoritarianism but that it must. Holding power against the wishes of most citizens is an innately despotic act. From 2016 onward, the GOP has become not so much the RINO Party, Republican in name only. It is the RIP party, repressive in perpetuity. When Trump said on Fox & Friends at the end of March that Democrats want “levels of voting that, if you ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” he was openly redefining the meaning of the vote. Voting, in this formulation, is something to be “agreed to” — or not — by Trump himself. Democracy is no longer rooted in the consent of the governed, but in the contingent permission of the indispensable leader.

    In all the noise of the 2020 election, it was easy to miss the signal that was not being sent. The incumbent president made no effort even to go through the motions of presenting a future open to deliberation by citizens. He had no policy agenda for a second term — the GOP merely readopted its platform from 2016, without even bothering to delete its multiple attacks on “the current president.” Why? Because arguments about policy are the vestiges of a notion that Trump has killed off: the idea that an election is a contest for the support, or at least the consent, of a majority of voters. Such arguments implicitly concede the possibility that there is another, equally legitimate choice. That is precisely what the posthumous Republican Party cannot and does not accept.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    stetson wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The anti-communist line seems to have a great deal of grab in America, especially among people from communist or former communist countries. I have heard that Ai Weiwei has been tweeting in support of Trump. My theory is that when they hear progressive policy proposals they hear the language of the communists.

    Well, usually, there's also the fact that left-wing parties tend to take more concilliatory attitudes to Communist countries, and push for policies like lower defense-spending and less commitment to anti-Communist alliances.

    ...

    That is the case in Australia, but is it the case in the United States, ground zero for anti-communism? I think that the record of Democratic administrations shows that it is not, save perhaps on the issue of defence spending. I mean, the Democratic Party is not in any sense a left wing party. It is right slap bang in the middle - pro business, pro economic restraint, interventionist militarily, all the key signs of a right of centre party.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited December 2020
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    stetson wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    The anti-communist line seems to have a great deal of grab in America, especially among people from communist or former communist countries. I have heard that Ai Weiwei has been tweeting in support of Trump. My theory is that when they hear progressive policy proposals they hear the language of the communists.

    Well, usually, there's also the fact that left-wing parties tend to take more concilliatory attitudes to Communist countries, and push for policies like lower defense-spending and less commitment to anti-Communist alliances.

    ...

    That is the case in Australia, but is it the case in the United States, ground zero for anti-communism? I think that the record of Democratic administrations shows that it is not, save perhaps on the issue of defence spending. I mean, the Democratic Party is not in any sense a left wing party. It is right slap bang in the middle - pro business, pro economic restraint, interventionist militarily, all the key signs of a right of centre party.

    No. Within the parameters of the US politcal system, the Democrats are generally perceived as the more "dovish" of the two parties. Sometimes to their benefit(eg. LBJ convincing the public that unlike Goldwater he wasn't the type to lob a missile at Moscow just for laughs), but more often to their detriment(eg. Carter getting roasted for saying the Soviets were no longer a threat, Mondale couldn't see the bear in the woods, Clinton supposedly burning the American flag while in the pay of the KGB etc.) (*)

    And I think I can say with some assurance that when it comes to anti-Communist emigres, the perception is even stronger. I know leftists think Kennedy was an imperialist scumbag for trying to invade Cuba, but I've also heard right-wing Miami exiles say that the reason the Bay Of Pigs failed was because "Kennedy was a little pink".

    I also think that this perception probably exists outside the US as well, even if people know on a dry intellectual level that by a global standard the Dems are centre-right. When the centre-left Trudeau was endorsed by Obama in the 2019 Canadian election, I don't think a lot of Canadians were saying "Wait a minute, why is someone who is to the right of our Conservatives endorsing the Liberals?" Actual policies aside, Obama talks the same lingo as social-democratic politicians, and that's usually enough for most people to casually regard him as left-wing.

    (*) Kennedy's exploitation of the non-existent "missile-gap" against Nixon was a rare exception to this pattern, but even then, I think that was portrayed as more an issue of incompetence, rather than commie-philia.
  • It is like one party accusing the other party of hitting their wife while in fact doing it to their own. The only president that has come close to the Kremlin in a long time is Mr. Trump. Thank God he is on the way out.
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