Break Glass - 2020 USA Elections

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  • Despite her chances of winning the nomination being very, very low, my preference is for Tulsi Gabbard. In my view the priority issue of this election and any election is foreign policy and the military-industrial complex. The continued expansion and appeasement of the US war machine will make any other social gains tenuous at best or meaningless at worst. She is the one consistently opposing it.

    I would also be happy with Sanders- who, I think, has a better chance of defeating Trump than most of the others. I would hold my nose for Warren. The rest are more of the same and that is exactly what we don't need.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Despite her chances of winning the nomination being very, very low, my preference is for Tulsi Gabbard.

    On the other hand pro-Assad, Hindu nationalist "lane" in the Democratic primary is wide open.
    The continued expansion and appeasement of the US war machine will make any other social gains tenuous at best or meaningless at worst. She is the one consistently opposing it.

    Maybe not so consistently.
    Tulsi Gabbard
    Bad enough US has not been bombing al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria. But it’s mind-boggling that we protest Russia’s bombing of these terrorists.
    30 September 2015
    THE CONNET
    Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama won’t bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911 -TulsiGabbard 10/1/15

    Rep. Gabbard does not seem like the ideal candidate to rein in "the US war machine". Redirect it, perhaps.
  • Gabbard's connection with Modi/ BJP is very bad. She has distanced herself from it, though not very convincingly. She hardly corners the market though on unsavory connections among Democratic primary contenders.

    Re: Syria, those tweets are clumsy but her basic stance was non-intervention and pointing out the outrageous fact that the US essentially allied with Al-Qaeda in Syria. The US was threatening, destabilizing, and bombing Syria in support of the group that perpetrated the crime that was the raison d'etre for the "global war on terror" and the US political and media establishment simply shrugged. No one seems to really dispute this point- it is easier to distract with smears of "Assadist."

    You don't have to think Assad is a remotely decent person to realize that the realistic alternatives were worse.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Re: Syria, those tweets are clumsy but her basic stance was non-intervention and pointing out the outrageous fact that the US essentially allied with Al-Qaeda in Syria.

    They're not that clumsy. The present, straightforwardly, the idea that the U.S. should be bombing Syria more, like that dreamy kleptocrat Vlad. I don't see how that comes out to be "non-intervention".

    Also, I'm not sure handwaving away support from Russia-sympathetic sources as "fake news" is a good look for a Democratic candidate. Don't the Republicans already have the "fake news" angle covered?
    The US was threatening, destabilizing, and bombing Syria in support of the group that perpetrated the crime that was the raison d'etre for the "global war on terror" and the US political and media establishment simply shrugged. No one seems to really dispute this point- it is easier to distract with smears of "Assadist."

    Or, as Rep. Gabbard put it, everyone opposed to Bashar al-Assad is a terrorist. Bombs away and let God sort it out!
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Or, as Rep. Gabbard put it, everyone opposed to Bashar al-Assad is a terrorist. Bombs away and let God sort it out!

    But it's true that all the major anti-Assad rebel groups were Salafist, sectarian militias. Those who were not openly allied with Al Qaeda or IS still shared the same basic ideology. The groups with any kind of secular liberal orientation were either absorbed by the bigger, better-funded/organized/armed sectarian militias or played second fiddle to them.

    The last major rebel stronghold now, Idlib province, is dominated by Tahrir al-Sham, the (supposedly) former Al Qaeda branch in Syria. Turkey occupied Afrin with their own pet sectarian militias, crawling with IS leftovers and other jihadists. If Assad had fallen, these are the sort of people who would be ruling Syria.

    And not all interventions are equal. Russia entered Syria with a clear, realistic, and limited objective- ensuring the survival of a friendly regime and preventing the establishment of some jihadist emirate. The US was fomenting chaos with no coherent goal or strategy other than causing a headache for Iran, Russia, etc. with no regard for long-term consequences. To that end we put money and weapons in the hands of the same sort of people who perpetrated 9/11. If we were half-serious about the "war on terror" we would not be doing that- that is Gabbard's point.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    I do not see myself ever voting for Rep. Gabbard. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    I hated her on sight, but then my vision for US foreign policy and the military-industrial complex is much different from Sir P's. I'm very pro- the US having the strongest military possible, almost all of it based in the Indo-Pacific. That's not going to happen of course but I was whooping and hollering at Obama's pivot to East Asia.

    I'm not just a happy militarist with a uniform fetish. I believe that the world is a very ugly place, and if the US withdrew from it, Australia would soon be under the de facto control of China, and the Chinese leadership are not kind people. Neither is the American leadership, by and large, but at least they respect our freedom (and protected it 70 years ago). Runs on the board, the US has from our perspective. I'm not forgetting the American sailors lying on the floor of the Coral Sea.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    Neither is the American leadership, by and large, but at least they respect our freedom (and protected it 70 years ago). Runs on the board, the US has from our perspective. I'm not forgetting the American sailors lying on the floor of the Coral Sea.
    Certain parts of the US like to use this. However, I am less concerned about what their grandparents did than what the current generations are doing.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    The current generations are continuing to do what their forefathers did, from Andrew Jackson to Teddy Roosevelt. They weren't good people in the past and bad ones in the present. The Americans were always bad news, just like the British and other Europeans, and just like every other powerful group of people ever from before time began. My country is bad news. We did bad things in the past, we are holding people who are not criminals without trial, and have done so for 7 years - the same individuals that is - and we will do evil in the future.

    But the version of hegemony practiced by the Americans is better than the version practiced by China. China does not allow you to form an unauthorised trade union, it doesn't allow you to set up your own church, and it doesn't allow you to talk about politics.

    And the fact is that it saw, 70 years ago, that Australia was likely to fall to Japan and it judged it to be in its interests to stop that happening. Despite the attack on Pearl Harbor, it also had the capacity to do that. So I want the USA to continue to have that capacity, and I want to make sure that when the time comes, it makes the decision to help us again.

    All that means that my most deadly political enemies are American isolationists, left and right.
  • Only in an 80's action movie starring Patrick Swayze or Chuck Norris does US withdrawal from the Pacific lead to China banning churches and unions in Australia.

    And if the Chinese leadership had been "kind people" China would still be a pan-European colony or dysfunctional neoliberal mafia state like 90's Russia.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Only in an 80's action movie starring Patrick Swayze or Chuck Norris does US withdrawal from the Pacific lead to China banning churches and unions in Australia.
    China isn't currently expansionist the way that the USSR was and Russia under Putin is. However, in the absence of a deterrent this might change. Given the dynamic between China and Russia, it seems likely that it would change. Though the US does not single-handedly hold the balance, any large shift would affect the current state of play.
    And if the Chinese leadership had been "kind people" China would still be a pan-European colony or dysfunctional neoliberal mafia state like 90's Russia.
    Whilst Imperial China was weakened by outsiders, it was hardly a "pan-European colony" and revolution could have ended with democracy. Your "choices" were far from the only ones.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    China isn't currently expansionist the way that the USSR was and Russia under Putin is.
    I think it is trying to claim as much of the sea around Indonesia and the Phillipines as it can. It's also trying to project soft power across Asia.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    It's trying to project power across Asia, and the indian and pacific oceans, viz. the experience of Sri Lanka. It's also had a go at using its economic power to force changes to policy in Pulao and New Zealand. Sir P. you are dangerously wrong.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    China isn't currently expansionist the way that the USSR was and Russia under Putin is.
    I think it is trying to claim as much of the sea around Indonesia and the Phillipines as it can. It's also trying to project soft power across Asia.
    Those are straight resource grabs so it is possible that this would not translate into straight land grabs.

  • SirPalomidesSirPalomides Shipmate
    edited June 19
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Whilst Imperial China was weakened by outsiders, it was hardly a "pan-European colony" and revolution could have ended with democracy. Your "choices" were far from the only ones.

    The country was divided into foreign (English, German, French, Japanese, etc.) "spheres of influence" and imperial finances were controlled by the European diplomatic corps. After the empire was abolished, the country was divided between warlords, an increasingly authoritarian and corrupt republic, and the burgeoning communist movement. Suppose you could wave a magic wand and suddenly introduce democracy (whatever that means) and that said democracy would steadfastly resist colonialist predations and fight corruption... how many weeks would it last?

    The alarmism about Chinese expansionism is myopic. The United States military has some 800 bases or other sites in about 70 countries around the world. Its presence in the Asia-Pacific region has the curbing of China as its main, sometimes explicit goal- indeed there is reason to believe that many in the US foreign policy machine are interested in sabotaging any Korean peace agreement as such peace would remove a major public justification for US presence in the region. That China would feel compelled to counter this encirclement with its own, comparatively modest, projection of influence is hardly unpredictable. Everyone arguing that the US should stay in the region to contain China are really asking for escalation of tensions, which will feed further into the PRC's sense of encirclement and need to strengthen its regional power.

    A similar situation with Russia. After the Soviet Union collapsed the US and the West gleefully supported the most rapacious elements of the ex-Soviet elite in plundering their various countries. At the same time, despite a promise not to, NATO continued to expand toward an encirclement of Russia. In short, it was the kind of atmosphere that made figures like Putin look appealing.

    Western liberals screaming about Putin have forgotten that Putin was a Yeltsin appointee. The US made sure Yeltsin won in 1996 despite starting with something like a 3% approval rating. Their real problem with Putin is not that he's an authoritarian, it's that he went off-script and started acting like he was governing a country. They really didn't care about atrocities in Chechnya, or how he was having journalists murdered- the start of trouble with Putin was when he didn't support the Iraq war.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Except we are not talking about two equals. The hegemony of the US is benign from Australia's perspective. The hegemony of a China run by the Chinese Communist Party is not fine at all. The hegemony of a China run in a different manner would present the US with a different foreign policy challenge. It might have to be a little more responsive, for one.

    I've heard the line about democracy from others. The Chinese Communist Party and its apologists can't claim that the concepts of freedom and democracy are foreign to it when it was their own children calling for a Chinese version of those things in 1989, and they mowed most of those children down and imprisoned many who did not flee in time. That and the genocidal treatment of the Uighars should be your read concerning what the Chinese Communist Party would do in the absence of a strong US presence in the region.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited June 20
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    Whilst Imperial China was weakened by outsiders, it was hardly a "pan-European colony" and revolution could have ended with democracy. Your "choices" were far from the only ones.

    The country was divided into foreign (English, German, French, Japanese, etc.) "spheres of influence" and imperial finances were controlled by the European diplomatic corps. After the empire was abolished, the country was divided between warlords, an increasingly authoritarian and corrupt republic, and the burgeoning communist movement. Suppose you could wave a magic wand and suddenly introduce democracy (whatever that means) and that said democracy would steadfastly resist colonialist predations and fight corruption... how many weeks would it last?

    The alarmism about Chinese expansionism is myopic. The United States military has some 800 bases or other sites in about 70 countries around the world. Its presence in the Asia-Pacific region has the curbing of China as its main, sometimes explicit goal- indeed there is reason to believe that many in the US foreign policy machine are interested in sabotaging any Korean peace agreement as such peace would remove a major public justification for US presence in the region. That China would feel compelled to counter this encirclement with its own, comparatively modest, projection of influence is hardly unpredictable. Everyone arguing that the US should stay in the region to contain China are really asking for escalation of tensions, which will feed further into the PRC's sense of encirclement and need to strengthen its regional power.

    A similar situation with Russia. After the Soviet Union collapsed the US and the West gleefully supported the most rapacious elements of the ex-Soviet elite in plundering their various countries. At the same time, despite a promise not to, NATO continued to expand toward an encirclement of Russia. In short, it was the kind of atmosphere that made figures like Putin look appealing.

    Western liberals screaming about Putin have forgotten that Putin was a Yeltsin appointee. The US made sure Yeltsin won in 1996 despite starting with something like a 3% approval rating. Their real problem with Putin is not that he's an authoritarian, it's that he went off-script and started acting like he was governing a country. They really didn't care about atrocities in Chechnya, or how he was having journalists murdered- the start of trouble with Putin was when he didn't support the Iraq war.

    Cute. NO need to guess which side of the olitical fence you sit and how it affects your view.
    The Communist revolution was very nearly a nationalist-democratic one, no magic wand required.
    Putin is distrusted because he is very much in the mould of the Soviet State under which he was KGB for 16 years. His expansionist tendencies, continued state assassinations and meddling in foreign elections are factors in the distrust.

    edited to remove duplicate quote - Firenze
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    A couple of weeks ago, I was host to two Lutheran ministers from Tanzania. They both said that China is really expanding into Africa through infrastructure projects which ultimately will allow China to more readily extract African resources.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    A couple of weeks ago, I was host to two Lutheran ministers from Tanzania. They both said that China is really expanding into Africa through infrastructure projects which ultimately will allow China to more readily extract African resources.
    From a resource POV, there is no doubt they are extending their reach and influence. That is different to the sort of land grab expansionism that Simon Toad fears. Given their expanding manufacturing needs, one does wonder what they’d do if the taps were shut off.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    edited June 20
    We are a giant mine and food barn downunder.

    And yeah, I'm the bloke at the top of the Ferris Wheel yelling "invasion". :wink:
  • Pangolin GuerrePangolin Guerre Shipmate
    edited June 20
    Going back a few posts, Yeltsin's appointment of Putin was a volte face from the Yeltsin who mounted a tank. Yeltsin's erratic behaviour, alcoholism, and the general chaos over which he presided meant that he had to go, and a KGB officer as his successor appealed to people's nostalgia and desire for order. And, for some, yet greater wealth: Putin himself is now a billionaire.

    As to claims that China is not expansionist, well, from Tibet in 1950 to today's manufacturing of islands to expand their coastal limits and military juridiction, it's resource focused neo-colonialism in Africa and Latin America, and Han nationalism masquerading as communism*, it bears the marks of an expansionist state.

    *And I would be entertained to read any explanations as to how the Chinese Communist Party is in any way communist. The PRC is a rapacious capitalist, oligarchic dictatorship owing much more to Confucius than to Marx.
  • Apologies for the double post.

    As to lilbuddha's statement about land grab.... Colonialism in the pursuit of access to resources without planting a flag is still colonialism - arguably more effective for having the figleaf of "absence" - "No, no... we're just building a rail line.... Oh, and by the way, don't get too close to the American. We've been chatting with one of your generals..." Not that this is in any way unique to the Chinese - just the way of the world.
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    And I would be entertained to read any explanations as to how the Chinese Communist Party is in any way communist. The PRC is a rapacious capitalist, oligarchic dictatorship owing much more to Confucius than to Marx.

    A significant portion of the Chinese economy is controlled by the government, either directly or with the government being the majority shareholder in most entities we'd classify as "big business" elsewhere. It's arguable whether state control of the means of production is exactly what Marx intended, but it's been the pattern for virtually every other state typically classified as "communist" and is a lot closer to Marx than it is to anything that could be considered "capitalist", which is premised on the means of production being in private hands.

    Hope that was entertaining enough.
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Capitalism requires that the means of production are in the hands of people other than the workers. If the workers don't have the power to control the means of production it doesn't matter to the system whether the hands they're in are technically 'private' or 'public'. (If the corporations fully take over the US or UK government the system won't become communist.)
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Capitalism requires that the means of production are in the hands of people other than the workers.

    Does it? A sole proprietorship where the owner is the only worker isn't a capitalist enterprise?
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    edited June 20
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Dafyd wrote: »
    Capitalism requires that the means of production are in the hands of people other than the workers.
    Does it? A sole proprietorship where the owner is the only worker isn't a capitalist enterprise?
    Technically speaking not. (Though I think the noun 'capitalist' primarily applies to the entire system and everything else is derivative.) A capitalist enterprise is one where an agent who has surplus capital uses that capital to acquire the rights to the proceeds of other agents' labour.

    Capitalism (the ownership of the means of production by capital) is to be distinguished from free market (the absence of monopoly). While the two are frequently discussed together, the economic processes of capitalism tend towards monopoly: capital tends to acquire more capital. Furthermore, capital tends to co-opt the state. (Arguably the state starts out already co-opted, in that the primary function of the monopoly of violence in a capitalist economy is to enforce the economic rights of capital.)
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    And I would be entertained to read any explanations as to how the Chinese Communist Party is in any way communist. The PRC is a rapacious capitalist, oligarchic dictatorship owing much more to Confucius than to Marx.

    A significant portion of the Chinese economy is controlled by the government, either directly or with the government being the majority shareholder in most entities we'd classify as "big business" elsewhere. It's arguable whether state control of the means of production is exactly what Marx intended, but it's been the pattern for virtually every other state typically classified as "communist" and is a lot closer to Marx than it is to anything that could be considered "capitalist", which is premised on the means of production being in private hands.

    Hope that was entertaining enough.

    Not so entertaining.... Whatever the degree to which the Communist Party or the Government (functionally the same) own the means of production or have controlling interest therein, I would ask you, Who profits? Which country has the greatest % growth of millionaires and billionaires? And how is it that they are permitted to gain such wealth? It is the redux of CIS 1990s - nomenklatura becomes oligarchy.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Getting back to the 2020 campaign, Biden sure stuck his foot in his mouth when he said in his day he worked with segregationists to reach civil rights compromises. Of course, he had to say this on Juneteenth.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Yet another reason to wish Biden had sidelined himself. He's been swallowing his feet since he started running.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    ...The alarmism about Chinese expansionism is myopic. The United States military has some 800 bases or other sites in about 70 countries around the world. Its presence in the Asia-Pacific region has the curbing of China as its main, sometimes explicit goal...That China would feel compelled to counter this encirclement with its own, comparatively modest, projection of influence is hardly unpredictable. ...
    Do you really consider the Belt and Road Initiative "comparatively modest"? It seems to be as bad for the Chinese workers involved as for the target counties. (And that's pretty bad.) https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/23/forgotten-victims-chinas-belt-road-initiative/?utm_term=.532f35aecdda
    ...Everyone arguing that the US should stay in the region to contain China are really asking for escalation of tensions...
    Yeah, who cares about the million-or-so Uighers currently imprisoned in concentration camps, and the Falung Gong members who are among the favorite organ donors in a country that finds same in absurdly short amounts of time? They're just collateral damage.
    ... A similar situation with Russia.... Western liberals screaming about Putin have forgotten that Putin was a Yeltsin appointee. ...They really didn't care about atrocities in Chechnya, or how he was having journalists murdered...
    Do you care about that? (And I am not an apologist for anyone who let the former Soviet Union go over to another gang of vile thugs.)


  • There's a bit of a non-sequitur going on here: China and Russia are doing bad things, therefore the US needs to antagonize and harass them.

    The US has been fomenting coups and supporting brutal dictatorships around the world for decades up to the present day. They killed millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians. The US gleefully supported Suharto when he killed a million or so Indonesians, and likewise gladly armed the Indonesians when they were massacring East Timorese. When Vietnamese overthrew Pol Pot the US was happy to collaborate with Deng Xiaoping and Thailand in funding the Khmer Rouge's guerilla war and making sure they kept Cambodia's UN seat. The US launched two pointless wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, turned Libya into a jihadist paradise, and nearly did the same in Syria. Currently the US is still backing the genocidal war in Yemen, putting kids in concentration camps, and trying to provoke a war with Iran.

    Perhaps it's time for a humanitarian intervention in the US?

    As for the reports about China:

    1. The China Tribunal was created by an organization that is managed mostly or entirely by Falun Gong members. They do not disclose this on any of their websites... I wonder why.
    2. The Uighur camps are real and they are bad. It is an attempt to resolve the problem of violence/ terrorism coming from separatist/ jihadist groups in Xinjiang. Genocide it is not. The Uighurs (and others) are more or less getting the same hamfisted "re-education" treatment Han Chinese gave each other in the Cultural Revolution. I doubt it will work.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Maybe the discussion of the relative malevolence/benevolence of US, Chinese, and Russian military and soft power in the Asia Pacific region and elsewhere should move to a new thread?
  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Getting back to the 2020 campaign, Biden sure stuck his foot in his mouth when he said in his day he worked with segregationists to reach civil rights compromises. Of course, he had to say this on Juneteenth.

    Claiming Cory Booker owes him an apology for calling him out on this is the cherry on the Biden sundae.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Gramps49 wrote: »
    Getting back to the 2020 campaign, Biden sure stuck his foot in his mouth when he said in his day he worked with segregationists to reach civil rights compromises. Of course, he had to say this on Juneteenth.

    Claiming Cory Booker owes him an apology for calling him out on this is the cherry on the Biden sundae.

    Oh, for God's sake. Somebody do us all a favor and trip Biden on his way up the steps to the debate stage.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    There's a bit of a non-sequitur going on here: China and Russia are doing bad things, therefore the US needs to antagonize and harass them. ... Perhaps it's time for a humanitarian intervention in the US?
    <sigh> No. But the United States cannot - or should not - simply sit back and let them get on with their bad things. (And, for the record, I believe that putting children in cages is one of the worst actions in the U.S. in the last century.)
    As for the reports about China...
    Forbes is not generally considered a tool of any special interest groups - but they've got good evidence of the targeting of Falung Gong members, House Christians, Uighers, and others.

    China's pretty evil these days; so is Russia. The United States (particularly under Trump) is anything but perfect; I submit that it is still superior to the competition.




  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    You can criticise the Americans without being suppressed, for one.
  • That Forbes article relies on yet another Falun Gong study. You don’t have to be a fan of the PRC to exercise a modicum of skepticism about reports emanating from Li Hongzhi’s qigong UFO cult.
  • And yes, the “imperfections” of the US indicate it does not have the capability- moral, strategic, ideological- to do anything but cause more harm and pursue its own myopic interests in any purported attempt to address evils in China and Russia. If the the US really starts a war with Iran then let all decent people hope that it permanently curtails US hegemony in the world.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    That Forbes article relies on yet another Falun Gong study. You don’t have to be a fan of the PRC to exercise a modicum of skepticism about reports emanating from Li Hongzhi’s qigong UFO cult.
    How much Falun Gong are being represssed is in question, but that they are being repressed isn't.
    And whilst I do think they are a borderline cult, run by a nutter, it doesn't justify the Chinese govt's treatment of them.

  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    Sir P, every hegemony comes with abuses of power and the pursuit of self-interest. This will be the case until international institutions are developed that have the military capacity and consensus of world opinion to stomp on any individual region seeking to upset the order. That's another way of saying, 'the parousia'. Sadly, or whatever, it is where we are at in 2019. Evil is a given. The USA is the best choice out of the three powers currently on the pitch.

    I probably could write you a thesis on this, but its not the place. This thread is to discuss the failings and foibles of Joe Biden and the deification of Elizabeth Warren. If you want to start a thread on how badly nations behave please do so.
  • stonespringstonespring Shipmate
    Getting back to the Democratic candidates...
    I would also be happy with Sanders- who, I think, has a better chance of defeating Trump than most of the others. I would hold my nose for Warren. The rest are more of the same and that is exactly what we don't need.

    I am of two minds about this. Sanders did have support among some voters who just could not vote for Hillary, some of whom voted for Trump. Progressive activists and younger Democrats who don't mind the socialist label would probably vote for Sanders this time around if he became the candidate.

    However, this time around, the socialism brand has become more associated with identity politics, immigration, the culture war, and with younger, more sexually and ethnically diverse politicians and activists - not to mention with the Democratic party in general. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think that there is a big chunk of former Bernie supporters who were drawn to his economic populism and glossed over his other forms of progressivism who now see him as less of an insurgent and more of an insider of a party (which, granted, he still has not joined) that they feel culturally alienated from and distrustful of.

    A lot of the excitement around Bernie in 2016 was because a vote for him was a vote against Hillary. This certainly isn't why I voted for him, but obviously Bernie won't be able to ride that particular wave this time.

    Furthermore, Bernie has yet to generate excitement among the older African American activists (largely women) who are key to getting Democrats to the polls in a general election.

    Plus, if Bernie gets the nomination, the suburban moderates that helped the Democrats take back the house in 2018 might be hesitant to vote for him or even vote for a third-party candidate who might be tempted to jump into the race if the Democratic candidate appears to be too far to the left.

    Finally, as unpopular as the financial and tech industries and big business in general might be, there is a sizable subset among them who are very powerful longtime Democratic supporters in those fields who might sit out or at the very least be unenthusiastic about a race with Bernie as the nominee. An army of small-money supporters and enthusiastic volunteers might make up for this, but Trump is going to have a ton of money (from the other members of moneyed interests that either traditionally support the GOP or are just happy they had their taxes cut - not to mention from quite a few small money supporters of his own) and a ton of volunteers this time around that he did not have last time and the Democrats will need all the help they can get.

    As I said, I voted for Bernie in the 2016 primary and I still support most of his policies (aside from the protectionism), even if I worry about how to implement them, and I'm pretty drawn to Warren now (and I know that Bernie is just an old-fashioned social democrat and Warren insists that she is for properly-regulated capitalism, not socialism), but I worry a lot about the "scary leftist" narrative that has been built around them, perhaps unfairly.

    Granted, I have a very uncomfortable feeling about Biden and am not sure about all the rest, so I'm just worried in general right now.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    O'Rourke smells wrong to me too. I don't get 'shyster' from him, but maybe 'out of his depth?' He does nothing for me.
    I get "shallow" from him. I think "out of his depth" is accurate as well.
    I like Amy Klobuchar.
    Yes.
    I hate Biden in the way you hate people who have hate slide off them. ... Sanders... too old too slow and drops the s-bomb too often.
    Biden's creepy and an admitted plagiarist. Both of them are too old.
    I agree as to the "too old" comment. This country needs to move past the Baby Boomers. That being said, I know Joe Biden (I'm from Delaware--one of the advantages of a small State is that you generally have personally met most of the big names). Joe is a decent man. Yes, he makes mistakes. If you want a candidate who never makes mistakes, wait for the Second Coming. Seriously, you are against somebody for being an "admitted plagiarist"? Trump never had an original thought in his life--he stole them all from Fox News. Biden's a decent man. But he is too old to be running for President. As is Trump. That generation needs to stand down.

  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Since 23 seems much too small a slate, former Pennsylvania Congressman, Joe Sestak, just became the 24th Democratic candidate for President.
    :flushed:
  • GwaiGwai Purgatory Host
    I must admit myself completely in it for Warren though I will of course vote for whoever wins. I love Warren's economics, her plans, and her social justice takes. I think she's going to get a lot more done than candidates who are still so hazy on details.
  • Golden KeyGolden Key Shipmate
    IMHO Warren is better suited to (and better used) being in Congress. When she was on Colbert's talk show, I think, a topic came up and she went from 0 to fury in about 3 seconds. That can be very useful in Congress, if wisely deployed about an issue. But it's not necessarily a good trait for a president. It could lead to exacerbating a situation. And a president so easily triggered about one issue might be constantly triggered by the plethora of issues, and burn out.

    I don't dislike Warren. I'll vote for whoever the Dems run. At this point, I'm not attached to any particular candidate.
  • PigwidgeonPigwidgeon Shipmate
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    I agree as to the "too old" comment. This country needs to move past the Baby Boomers.
    I agree as well. Biden, Sanders, and Warren are all older than I am -- i.e., to old to be President.

    I also agree with Golden Key that we need Warren in the Senate. I agree with most of her positions, but for some reason that I can't pinpoint, I just don't like her.

    At this point I have some candidates I like, some I don't like, and a whole bunch I know nothing about. I'm doing research, I'll watch the debates, etc., because right now my opinions are mostly subjective rather than objective.
  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    The thing is, with the mess the Menace has made of nearly everything, I fear that even if Dems manage to get a non-Repugnican in the White House, and by some miracle pick up enough Congressional seats to sideline McConnell and keep the House, the admin going forward from 2020 will effectively be stymied by trying to clear away the rubble and start rebuilding. There won't even be adequate time to investigate / arrest / try the gangsters currently in charge.
  • Simon ToadSimon Toad Shipmate
    There won't even be adequate time to investigate / arrest / try the gangsters currently in charge.

    I can see the argument now: Let's move past this painful episode and focus on the future.

    But if the justice dept is given its head, I'm sure they will manage to put a few of them behind bars.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate
    edited June 25
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    ...Seriously, you are against somebody for being an "admitted plagiarist"? ...
    I'm a professional writer who has been plagiarized, and it's not a misdemeanor in my books. Should Biden get the nomination, I would vote for him over Trump, of course. But between the handsy thing (I'm also a woman with some #MeToo stories), the stealing-other-people's-work thing, and the age thing, no, I don't like him. I can think of half a dozen candidates that I'd prefer.


  • OhherOhher Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    Hedgehog wrote: »
    ...Seriously, you are against somebody for being an "admitted plagiarist"? ...
    I'm a professional writer who has been plagiarized, and it's not a misdemeanor in my books. Should Biden get the nomination, I would vote for him over Trump, of course. But between the handsy thing (I'm also a woman with some #MeToo stories), the stealing-other-people's-work thing, and the age thing, no, I don't like him. I can think of half a dozen candidates that I'd prefer.


    Damn straight, to which I can only add, isn't it time we had an Oval Office occupant who could string together coherent sentences without swallowing one or more of his own feet?
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