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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:31 am 
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I suppose Clinton could have been better then Obama. But then i never was the biggest Obama fan, and when i have given him the benefit of doubt and assumed that him compromising was part of a larger plan involving diplomatic strategy, usually there was no second steps coming.

The problem with Clinton i see, is that she is very much a machiavellist. So if you want her to do something you also need some sort of lobby, that is prepared to throw a monkey wrench into her policy, if it does not get, what it wants, or or you never get more then some breadcrumbs.

The problem with Sanders i see, is that he probably tries to get too much and only achieves to get everything even more locked, then it already is. And that he is definitly doomed to disapoint most of his supporters. His best strategy is likely to come up with a gigantic leap and have most of it shot down by republicans and centrist democrats. Even if what he gets through is more then what you could get from a conventional centrist, he still looks like the looser. If he preemtively scales down his demands, he just ends where Obama is.

My impression of Sanders (that admitedly is based on relative little data) is, that he is a realist. He got pretty far, without the support of either party, but joined the democrats, when the time was right, that he has a big impact. Descriptions of his prior work do paint him as part of the process, even in a climate hostile to his ideas, rather then an ideological purist, who sneers at small steps.

So i am somewhat hopefull, that he is aware of what he can actually achieve, even if he demands way more for tactical reasons. I do not see a lobby, that could effectivly drive Clinton towards an ecconomic leftwing policy. So i think in the current situation Sanders would make the better president.

That leaves the relative chances in the general election, which i don't really know. I could make a case for either of them. But in general i think that the democrats recently were too timid, which gives the impression, that they don't really believe in their ideals. And Sanders as candidate would show more audacity.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Feb 29, 2016 7:50 pm 
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Sanders has gotten a lot of good amendments put on things, which indicates he's willing and able to get limited things done. I don't know how well that would work once he's taken away from the underlying mechanical process (i.e. not in congress).

I would be happy with either of them, really, but what I really want is a blue congress and state houses. That's where the power is. Article 1 - the legislative branch.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:50 am 
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The only slightly troubling things that I see about Sanders is that he doesn't seem to quite know what to with issues that don't slot neatly into his overall theme of economic inequality. Like foreign policy, for example, or racial discrimination. The other was his enthusiastic embrace of what, by all accounts, appears to have been a half-baked economic analysis claiming that his policies would boost economic growth to unrealistically high levels. He didn't seem interested enough in mathematical realism to listen to other (Democratic) economists who said those numbers were fairy dust, he just called them a bunch of Hillary sell-outs. Having seen this type of behaviour from the Republicans, it gives me some pause. I only hope that he's merely engaging in campaign smack-talk rather than actually believing his own hype. Nobody should believe their own hype.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:25 pm 
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It's only a matter of time until someone is killed or critically injured in one of these Trump rallies.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 11:23 pm 
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That's not even the first time protesters were violently manhandled out of Trump events. Trump clearly enjoys it. It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye...

Edit: And here's some interesting research. There is a surprisingly strong correlation between Trump supporters and people who think children should shut up and do as they're told. In other words, he's attracting people with authoritarian tendencies, people who believe in law and order and conformity. That's why it's so ineffective for Trump's rivals to attack him for not being a true conservative. His supporters don't really care about his positions, they want to vote for the guy who promises to beat their enemies with a big stick.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:24 am 
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Regarding our earlier discussion, what is called authoritarianism is what i consider the core of fascism, which is why i argued that it is correct to call Trump a fascist.

One point that the article does not mention is, that authoritarians can be pretty flexible with who is ingroup and outgroup. Like in Austria H.C. Strache leader of the FPÖ, our authoritarian party, pretty much one day declared by fiat, that from now on people of Serbian descent are ingroup, and so it was.

I also assume, that many authoritarians would be prepared to root for gay marriage, if it were communicated as "Eat our Western debauchery, muslim scum!"

I am somewhat suprised however, as how much people are suprised by authoritarianism in the republican party. Propably it's because my country does have a fully authroitarian party with no specific ideology attached to draw paralells from, but at least since 2000 i have seen the republicans as primarily authoritarian party .

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:37 am 
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I still think Trump probably just plays a fascist on TV, but he's definitely tapped into a powerful strain of angry paranoia. He's basically the political equivalent of a chest-beating gorilla.

American conservatism wasn't the direct equivalent of European right wing nationalism because of the libertarian streak in there. There was a strain of small-government thought which occasionally extended beyond business regulation and low taxes into civil liberties and foreign policy isolationism. That strain was never especially popular with social conservative voters. Insofar as it got support, it was because race and class are so intertwined in the US that "small government" was a way to deny benefits to Those Lazy Black and Brown People Taking Advantage of Hard Working Traditional Families Like Us. Those voters were always willing to carve out exceptions to small government when it benefited themselves, hence the infamous Tea Party slogan "Get your government hands off my Medicare". The big business party elites took a long time to notice this, especially as the Republicans became increasingly ideological throughout the Obama presidency. They thought they were dealing with an ideological purity movement in the Tea Party. Trump showed up and proved that it was actually a "We Are Afraid of Everybody Who Isn't Like Us" movement.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:56 am 
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I would amend the last part of that. The Tea Party (I remember in the beginning they, not knowing the slang meaning of the word until they were ridiculed for it, called themselves Teabaggers) was an astroturf movement, organized and funded by Republican insiders. It was probably intended to be ideological but the they lost control of their own monster.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:01 pm 
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What I think the big donors wanted was a force they could use to mobilize support in intensely Republican states. Who would then elect politicians who would then basically at least deadlock the government and prevent any anti-corporate action. And, ideally from the donors' point of view, actually take enough power to make pro-corporate things happen.

Ted Cruz is a great example of this- he's the kind of man the Tea Party's original backers would have wanted the Tea Party to support.

The problem, of course, is that as noted... lost control of their own monster. The Tea Party consists largely of people with authoritarian leanings who have spent the past thirty years selectively consuming propaganda on how everyone except Small Business Owners and White Small Town America is part of a massive conspiracy to destroy everything that Makes America Great.

If you actually believe that as a result of the propaganda... it's going to make you scared, and angry, and it'll tend to make you gullible because you've spent thirty years letting people build a pipeline into your brain for their propaganda to flow through. So scared, angry, gullible...

Exactly the sort of person who flocks to an authoritarian leader who talks big and bad enough to sound like he's going to give the Massive Conspiracy a thumping.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:26 am 
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re: Libertarians in the Republican Parties

European rightwing nationalist and populist parties do contain platforms, that do not really fit ideological at times. Like the Austrian FPÖ was the party of classic liberalism and of center right people opposed to the catholic church, as well, until a party split in the early 90s, and they still refer to their historic connection to liberalism, when it suits them.

And now a question about the primaries system.

If i understand it correctly, if no candidate gets a majority in first vote at the convention, the pledged delegates are not free to decide how to vote themselfs. So in a contested convention, it will depend a lot on who the pledged delegates really are.
How are the pledged delegates selected? I would assume that Trump, who does not have an established structure behind himself, would have a disadvantege here, because he will have a larger amount of political adventureres and soldiers of fortune behind himself, then the other candidates.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:11 pm 
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You know what? I have no idea how it works. I found this article with an extremely detailed explanation though. I didn't even make it through the whole thing because it gets pretty convoluted, but I think the gist of it is that most of the delegates are chosen by the state Republican party, although a few are chosen by the candidates themselves.

As for Rubio, who seems to be on the way out? He's not the "sane one" at all. He's just less overtly nasty. His policies are a mixture of hard religious right (he thinks God gives him the right to ignore the Supreme Court on things like gay marriage) and neoconservatism (he is the most pro-war of the candidates). Whoever the Republicans end up with, they're going to be what George W. Bush would've called an extremist.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:25 am 
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And the tone of the election sinks even lower as things turn ugly at a cancelled rally in Chicago. Trump has been nothing short of inciting violence against protesters at his rallies and he got what he asked for on Friday.

Sad days.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:08 am 
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So uh, is he getting too scary to enjoy watching wreak havoc on the Republicans? I don't know if I can take 8 more months of Trump. Can you even imagine him on a debate stage with Hillary Clinton? He'd spew crazytalk and insults until her head explodes and then smirkingly semi-endorse his supporters' rape threats against her.

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:36 am 
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So if i get it right, bound delegates mostly are just any republicans. So you can expect crazy defections from any camp.

Who thinks up such rules?

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 Post subject: Re: Trump.
 Post Posted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:54 pm 
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Republicans do. That's only semi-facetious. The parties make up their own rules for their primaries.

Another interesting bit of data - Trump isn't actually getting the support of the religious right. Sure, his supporters say that they're Christian, but the Christians who go to church frequently do not strongly support Trump. He's getting the cultural Christmas-and-Easter Christians who probably get offended at "Happy Holidays" signs in stores but don't ever read the Bible.

This tells me that the overlap between the authoritarianism and religious piety circles in the Venn diagram is smaller than I expected. I never thought I'd miss the religious right.

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