Can the world survive 6 more years of Donald Trump?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Archbob, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Berzerker

    Berzerker Deity

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    if you're shooting racists why stop with white people?

    seems racist ;)
     
  2. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    The world survived 12 years of Hitler, about 25 years of Stalin, and 8 years of Bush. Our odds are better than you're giving credit for.
     
  3. miaasma

    miaasma King

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    how many people didn't survive the 12 years of hitler

    can we get a number
     
  4. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    Hitler didn't have nukes, Stalin didn't have first-use capability and I doubt they let Bush know where the big red button was. One can only hope that Mattis is taking the same approach with Trump.

    The fact that it only took you a minute and a half or so to come up with that retort indicates that you're far more cynical than I am, which is hard to do.
     
  5. miaasma

    miaasma King

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    my point wasn't cynical, it was to indicate that the world "surviving" hitler is not a baseline even worth mentioning, since a significant portion of it didn't

    the planet as we know it will survive any awful american president, but that says nothing of the number of people who may not
     
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  6. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Is that the law BvBPL has been conscientiously adhering to? I wonder what kind of political profile the typical adherent has.

    But, in this case, we also see the opposite: The idea that the Dems have no will of their own - their support of open immigration, for example, is just them blindly taking up the Koch Brothers' agenda. Is there also a law to describe this?
     
  7. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    For all the history of how race was constructed and how white supremacy undergirds the whole American project, Coates didn't really explain much about the nuts and bolts of the election. I'm trying to track down his race x income stats to see how they changed from 2012 to 2016. R+20 for <$50k whites is reasonable; if anything it's on the low end of what I'd expect, although that group includes a lot of young people like yours truly as well. Can't seem to find all of Edison's crosstabs - maybe they're behind a paywall.

    To me, the changes among the white voters from 2012 to 2016 are a huge part of the story. If, as I suspect, the 2012 number was something like R+10 and it jumped to R+20 in 2016, then the "frustrated white working class" explanation holds a fair amount of water; if the margins don't change much, then it doesn't. This is what happened with the education numbers: the white non-college educated vote was R+26 in 2012 and went to R+39 in 2016, and that's the main reason I do buy the economic argument to a great extent, with the caveat that it and racism are not mutually exclusive explanations and both were necessary.

    (Then again, the exit polls may have been pretty far off in the first place)

    Of course he's right that whites backed Trump overwhelmingly, and responded either positively or neutrally to the way he threw all pretense of civility to insult everyone, make up whatever "alternative facts" he wanted, and not really even bother with the dog whistle. And that his whole campaign stems back to the racist birther conspiracy theory in 2011, and that basically he's trying to just dismantle everything the first black president for reasons that have to do with a mix of racism and resentment about Obama's making fun of him in 2011, and that this sort of campaign would never be possible without white supremacy, and on and on.

    But I already knew all that. What I'm wondering is what shifted so that this happened, and how to get things moving back in a more positive direction.

    See this is the part I'm afraid of and trying to come up with reasonable ways around. Gradualist, fairly moderate, pragmatic approaches are deeply unsatisfying and don't carry the sort of moral appeal that radicalism does, but they're also more likely to work without going horribly off the rails.
     
  8. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Are they? Remind me again how well Clinton-era welfare, prison, and financial "reform" has held up 20 years on. (Or how well Blairite New Labour is doing.) The possibility of going horribly off the rails seems to be spread equally across all political persuasions.
     
  9. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    They went brilliantly! Welfare was cut as intended and shows no sign of recovering, prisons were stuffed even more full, and financial reform yielded a bonanza of speculation. I'll grant that New Labour, after being wildly successful at pulling the same sort of stunts, eventually got upstaged by the Tories at the task of being Tories, and finally lost their party to an actual left-wing faction.

    Anyway, neither involved gradualist attempts to move things left. It was all about ostensibly center-left parties adopting outright right-wing policies.
     
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  10. Commodore

    Commodore Deity

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    I live to inspire.
     
  11. Lexicus

    Lexicus Deity

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    Incremental progress is the synthesis of a radical thesis and conservative antithesis
     
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  12. Ajidica

    Ajidica High Quality Person

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    Oh, didn't realize you were talking about incremental movement left. Thought you were talking about "moderate" politics in general.
     
  13. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    An excellent synopsis, and it is worth pointing out that you do not drub the other side the way Blair did in 1997 in British elections without adopting a fair-sized fraction of HRM's Loyal Opposition's policies. Things are a bit different in the US; you can win 59-41 in the popular vote and lose virtually nary an Electoral College vote, though that proposition is far less true today than it was under, say, Reagan.

    To be precise, in both cases it was about center-left parties moving right on the issue areas most likely to propel them into office. At least in the US, you could argue that the left laid the groundwork in the 1990s for winning the culture wars by throwing the ethnic and racial minority parts of their coalition (who cannot defect) under the bus. As the opposition party has become increasingly ethnically homogenous, minorities' bargaining power within their own party has all but disappeared as they have nowhere else to go.

    One could reasonably argue that most of the spatial modeling results in political science directly address how Madison's thoughts fail to address the problems created by first-past-the-post and how Congress ultimately chose to organize itself internally. In fairness, it's very hard to blame him for failing to foresee those problems.
     
  14. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    So says Hegel, but can you prove it? I would argue that bargaining models that explain the same result have far more predictive power AND empirical support across time and space.
     
  15. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    Now I'm imagining Marx and Burke having a tryst and synthesizing Bernstein or someone.
     
  16. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    You of course know that the pop culture cliché of "the Red Button on the President's desk" is a bad trope and stereotype that is not even remotely close to true. It requires about 20 high-ranking government and military officials to perform one unique task or another, one after another in a specified order, to launch one nuclear missile. It's the same with every other established nuclear power. Only Kim Jong-un, of those who even had a serious nuclear program, could away with having an analog of a "Red Button."
     
  17. Martin Alvito

    Martin Alvito Real men play SMAC

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    I would hope that my subsequent posts made it quite clear that my pithy joke about a button was precisely that.

    In all seriousness, though, it has come out that there were standing orders in the denoument of Nixon's presidency that he was not to be permitted to give orders to fire without Schlesinger or Kissinger countersigning. IIRC, there was an earlier point in Nixon's presidency where he wanted to get frisky by upping the readiness of bombers and encountered the limits of presidential power according to Neustadt. (That argument is basically that the president is not the Eye of Sauron and is therefore limited by subordinates' willingness to carry out directives, the president's personal attention span and the number of hours in a day.)

    So there is precedent for functionally taking Trump (or Bush 43) out of the nuclear command loop AND for not telling him. In all honesty, I'd argue that such measures would have been a bridge too far in 43's case and that they clearly are NOT under the present administration.
     
  18. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    Well, a lot of provincial politicians do move to federal politics (and vice versa), for various reasons. Some of them come under a lot of criticism if they don't resign their seats beforehand, though, even when it's a municipal politician trying for a provincial or federal seat.

    So if Doug Ford had aspirations to becoming Prime Minister, he would be expected to resign as Premier of Ontario, resign his seat, and take his chances when the next CPC leadership race happens. The prudent thing by that time would be for him to have won a federal seat, because it's irresponsible to want to be the leader of a party but not have an actual seat in the legislature or Parliament. That's what has me annoyed with the federal NDP leader. Singh doesn't have a seat and doesn't appear to care that he doesn't have a seat. How he expects anyone to take him or his party seriously at this point is beyond me. Somebody who doesn't plan to run again next year should just step aside now and get this over with.

    At this point nobody knows how well Scheer might do in the next election. Of course a Reformacon will be elected in my riding, but that's because of decades of never electing anything but some variety of right-wing conservative. If the party doesn't do very well, Scheer might resign and precipitate a new leadership race and Doug Ford would have his chance (providing he resigns from provincial politics first). But I predict that the next time the Reformacons hold a leadership race, Rona Ambrose will run (having gotten over her "I want to spend more time with my family" excuse for declining to run for leader after Harper resigned; that's usually how it goes with politicians who use that excuse if they don't resign in disgrace).

    This tends to be true for Canada, as well.

    So you'd be okay with being ruled by a system where people succeed not necessarily because they're the best for the job, but because they manage to assassinate all the other candidates? (think of how Tiberius outlasted all of Augustus' preferred successors, from his nephew Marcellus to his friend Marcus Agrippa, to his grandsons; I know it's likely that much of what Tacitus and Suetonius wrote was based on was exaggerated gossip, but it's still awfully convenient that all of Tiberius' rivals died, isn't it?)

    Or think of how so many Emperors got their positions because they had armies backing them. Are you up for a situation like the Year of the Four Emperors, because they kept killing each other off? What happens when you get the completely crazy ones like Caligula or Nero? (those are nicknames I've seen for Trump on the comment boards of the Canadian news site I use)

    Or how about the imposition of a state religion? That goes against your country's constitution.

    The only autocrat I can think of who never did anything tyrannical was me. The term "autocrat" is used in the Society for Creative Anachronism for the person in overall charge of running an event, be it feast, tournament, University of Ithra session, or Arts & Sciences competition (usually some combination of the above).

    In my case, it came about because I asked in a business meeting, "Who's going to autocrat Harvest Feast in September?" and the Seneschale (who never passed up an opportunity to get in some snarky remark, said, "Why don't you do it?"

    That was basically an "I-dare-you" because she knew I wasn't much of a cook and had no experience with running either archery, fencing, or heavy fighting tournaments.

    But the trick lies in delegating (asking nicely, with sincere compliments, if the people who do have expertise in these matters would take over those particular aspects of the event), and so I didn't need to personally worry about the tournaments. As for the cooking... well, my specialty is working with chocolate. I designed a feast that took advantage of both Old World and New World foods that would have been available after the Spanish had explored a fair bit of the Caribbean and areas of Central America, and therefore chocolate was allowed. The feast had plenty of fruit and nuts and vegetables, with enough meat dishes to keep the anti-fruits/veggie people happy (as I put it in another meeting when we were discussing the menu, "they can have a completely fruitless meal").

    The only controversial thing about the menu was that there would be no garlic among the ingredients, due to the fact that one of our members was deathly allergic to it (he reacts much like some people with peanut allergies react; it can be fatal, very quickly). So the cooks worked around that and made substitutions that worked.

    The result was one of our most successful feasts. The Order of the Ravening Horde rated it 5 out of 5, which is high praise from a group of people who had attended many feasts over many years, and were rating it as to how well everything was cooked, how appealing the presentation was, how balanced the menu was (they liked that it leaned more toward the fruits/veggies/nuts rather than meat, since it was a harvest feast), how everything was served on time with the hot dishes hot and the cold dishes cold, and there were creative - but still period - touches and new dishes they hadn't expected. Court went smoothly, with the right balance of pomp, awards, and entertainment.

    It's one of my favorite SCA memories, and is an example of how an autocrat should manage and delegate tasks so the most capable and motivated people are trusted to put their best efforts forth so everything comes together as planned.


    Unfortunately, that's not how most governments work. No matter how well-intentioned the autocratic ruler might be, there's always someone or some group of people who are willing to derail and undermine things for their own agendas or purely out of spite, and leaders often can't put their most capable people into a position to do things because of other people's agendas, controversies, and other issues.

    Charming. You do realize that your descendants (assuming your daughter has children some day) would have to live with this situation?
     
  19. Patine

    Patine Deity

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    Of course, you realize you aren't GUARANTEED 500 years of glory and a "golden age." Hitler (another good example who tried this tactic), only got 12 years out of it, went down into flames and ruin within the lifetime of many of the people alive when he came to power (although 50 million had died due to various causes tied to WW2, 15 million to various genocides, and who knows how many just happened to die to reasons unrelated to that catastrophe - there were still a lot of people around at both the beginning and the end of the whole bloody and monstrous affair), and there was no real "golden age."
     
  20. Valka D'Ur

    Valka D'Ur Hosting Iron Pen in A&E Retired Moderator

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    And both the Western Empire and the Eastern Empire basically ended with a whimper, rather than a bang.
     

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