Trump presidency

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Wed Apr 24, 2019 12:56 pm UTC

The problem isn't that dehumanizing rhetoric wins or loses elections. The problem is dehumanizing rhetoric is dehumanizing. If you're targeted by it it drives you to the opposite side, and pushes the whole of the opposing side farther in that direction. If you're supported by it then your conscience isn't bothered by doing horrible things to the other side, they're not human after all...
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:03 pm UTC

I certainly wasn't saying that dehumanising rhetoric isn't a problem. Just that it's hard to blame one side's losing an election on doing something the winning side does far more. Whether or not it wins elections was the topic under discussion.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby elasto » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:26 pm UTC

Oh the US right definitely uses dehumanising language way more, but there are ways to dehumanize that win you elections and ways to do it that don't.

Elections in the US are decided in a handful of swing states by a handful of swing voters.

When the right dehumanizes, it generally targets non-voters: An obvious example would be The Wall, saying we need it to defend from the 'criminals and rapists flooding the border'.

When the right strays into dehumanizing actual voters - for example policies denigrating homosexuals - my hunch is that it's overall a vote loser in modern day America (despite such talk enthusing the fundies).

And insulting swing voters is the worst possible political strategy: As I say, it'll result in nothing but "Oh, really? Fuck me? Well, fuck you!" - and a loss of power for a generation.

---

As to whether insulting voters played a role in her election defeat, Clinton herself says that it did:

Wikipedia wrote:"Basket of deplorables" is a phrase from a 2016 presidential election campaign speech delivered by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on September 9, 2016, at a campaign fundraising event, which Clinton used to describe half of the supporters of her general election opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Clinton later said that she "regrets saying half [of Trump's supporters]", and the Trump campaign repeatedly used the phrase against her during and after the 2016 presidential election. Many Trump supporters adopted the "Deplorable" moniker for themselves.

After Clinton's loss, some journalists and political analysts questioned whether the speech played a role in the election's outcome; Clinton herself wrote in her book What Happened that it was one of the factors for her loss.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby arbiteroftruth » Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:33 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Republican politicians are openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed


I'm gonna need a source on that one.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:11 pm UTC

elasto wrote:And insulting swing voters is the worst possible political strategy: As I say, it'll result in nothing but "Oh, really? Fuck me? Well, fuck you!" - and a loss of power for a generation.

Yeah, I think that's it. The GOP direct their torrent of bile at voters in states they know will never vote for them anyway, and demonise them as much as possible in the minds of voters in states with a disproportionate electoral power.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:20 pm UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:
Thesh wrote:Republican politicians are openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed


I'm gonna need a source on that one.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... at-records

----

elasto, Republicans regularly target Democrats, liberals, people from California and New York. There isn't a single group of people they have not called enemies of America that do not consistently vote Republican. Right-wing propaganda is non-stop "the left is the enemy of freedom", which is driving right wing politics. They are deliberately dividing the country because it is the only way they can win since their politics don't even benefit their constituents, but if they are angry and fearful then they will still vote for them.
Last edited by Thesh on Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:29 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Quercus » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:24 pm UTC

elasto wrote:And insulting swing voters is the worst possible political strategy: As I say, it'll result in nothing but "Oh, really? Fuck me? Well, fuck you!" - and a loss of power for a generation.


Thesh is posting his rant on a tiny internet forum that hardly anyone reads rather than somewhere with a wider circulation, which rather makes an irrelevance of the political inadvisability of such rants.

As for the substance of his rant, I sympathize. "Moderates" will bargain away almost anything in order to avoid having to step out of their comfort zone. I tend to think that's mostly based on fear, failure of empathy and a lack of courage - very human failings, of which I'm also guilty (or I would have been out there in London last week getting arrested along with the other XR folks), but that doesn't make it any less rage-inducing when your life, or the lives of people you love are the ones getting sold down the river to assuage the anxieties of others of people already living far more comfortable lives.

(Edit: Realised I can't really support the implication that moderates tend to be more privileged).

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby eran_rathan » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:43 pm UTC

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote:I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.


-from Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 16 April 1963

and:
The Declaration of Independence wrote:Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.



Moderates, modern moderates in the US, are conservatives (or near-reactionaries) everywhere else in the world. The Overton window has slipped so far right that its practically next door.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby arbiteroftruth » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:03 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:
arbiteroftruth wrote:
Thesh wrote:Republican politicians are openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed


I'm gonna need a source on that one.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/ ... at-records


The first sentence from that article:
"A Washington state Republican politician took part in private discussions with rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance, “psyops” and even violent attacks on perceived political enemies, according to chat records obtained by the Guardian." (emphasis mine)

So, that's one Republican politician, doing exactly the opposite of "openly calling" for anything.

Edit:
Digging further, I might assume you're referring to the "Biblical basis for war" document he wrote. But that again seems to have been somewhat privately distributed. I wouldn't characterize something as "openly calling" for anything if the original article about it describes it as having been "leaked".
Last edited by arbiteroftruth on Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:13 pm UTC

I mean, the "exact opposite" would to not be calling for it at all.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:21 pm UTC

One thing that concerns me about comments against "centrists" and "moderates" is that I imagine a lot of people don't really have a concept of where or even what an Overton window is, and think of "centrist" or "moderate" as "not too different from me", because people tend to see the world as centered on themselves, and so tend not to think of themselves as radically one way or another. I'm far far left by the mainstream US Overton window (well outside the window really), but even I see myself as "actually moderate", and the rest of the country, most countries for most of history really, as biased toward the right.

(I anticipate you reading this might be thinking "if most countries for most of history are right of you, how can you think of yourself as moderate?", and the answer is that there are still a lot further-left positions than mine that I oppose, it's just that almost everyone else has always opposed them even more.* Also, you realize that by that line of thinking, if "center" was relative to whatever most people usually were, it would not be possible for there to be an overall systemic bias in political orientation?)

*(As I see it, the far right is the kind of default worst-case-scenario that happens when the fight for justice fails, the old status quo away from which all modern progress has progressed, and that further left is better if you can make it work in practice, but it gets harder and harder to make it work in practice the further left you try to go, and there is a point beyond which it becomes unworkable even in theory -- with still as much conceptual room beyond that point as before it -- which is the point beyond which I start to oppose it, aiming to get us right up as close as possible to that farthest edge of workable-in-theory as we can manage, which is still much further left than pretty much anything that's been within the mainstream Overton window of any country in history. I drew a picture; in that picture the "left" and "right" as I'm using them, and I'd argue their original senses, run top-left to bottom-right, but the chart is oriented to compromise between different conceptions of "left" and "right".)
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:33 pm UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:
The first sentence from that article:
"A Washington state Republican politician took part in private discussions with rightwing figures about carrying out surveillance, “psyops” and even violent attacks on perceived political enemies, according to chat records obtained by the Guardian." (emphasis mine)

So, that's one Republican politician, doing exactly the opposite of "openly calling" for anything.

Edit:
Digging further, I might assume you're referring to the "Biblical basis for war" document he wrote. But that again seems to have been somewhat privately distributed. I wouldn't characterize something as "openly calling" for anything if the original article about it describes it as having been "leaked".


The point is that this is where the Republican party is today. The private discussions of carrying out violence, distributing propaganda calling for violence (but not openly calling for it), police being caught working with white supremacist groups, border patrol working with right-wing militias, talks about "second amendment solutions", talking about a second civil war, ignoring white supremacist terrorists while calling all left-wing activists terrorists, labeling everyone who doesn't fall under the category of "Real American" as an enemy of America, labeling the press enemies of America.... This is not just an isolated incident. Evangelical churches today are basically political organizations that teach you to hate Democrats.

And Republican voters are pretty much on board with all of this, because they are sick of hearing about civil rights, believe that they are leading to society becoming degenerate, that the calls for more civil rights are just part of a left-wing conspiracy theory because it's obvious that the system is biased in favor of [minority]...
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:15 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:Republican politicians are openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed
Thesh's source wrote:State representative Matt Shea, who represents Spokane Valley in the Washington state house, participated in the chats with three other men.
Ok, a private conversation with three other right wingers. Bad stuff being quoted, but nothing in there has Shea calling for executions. So ok, "people" (plural; there were four in all), but not politicians, and not calling for executions, and not doing so openly. Continuing on...

Thesh's source wrote:Shea, a six-term legislator and military veteran, came to international attention in 2018 after a document he authored surfaced laying out a “biblical basis for war”, which appeared to be a plan for an apocalyptic battle with people who practiced “same sex marriage” and “abortion”, and instructed: “If they do not yield, kill all males.”
Sounds like a mis-parsing. It is not Shea doing the instructing, it's the Bible that instructs “If they do not yield, kill all males.”

Deuteronomy 20:13 King James Version (KJV)

"And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword"


(This referring to a command to the Israelites to completely annihilate the inhabitants of Palestine/Canaan, because of their (claimed) wickedness.)

So again, while it's still pretty bad stuff, it is not "Republican politicians openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed".

EDIT: The quote ("kill all males") does appear in Shea's document (which is an outline), with biblical support cited.

Ninja'd by arbiteroftruth, Thesh replies:

Thesh wrote:The point is that this is where the Republican party is today. The private discussions of carrying out violence...This is not just an isolated incident...And Republican voters are pretty much on board with all of this...
Mostly I agree with this. But be careful of hyperbole, as it weakens your case. Present day Republicans (Trumpists, essentially) are bad enough at face value. Call it what it is and you make a strong case. Call it what it isn't and your case is weakened.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:29 pm UTC

They are fascists in the same way that the people who voted Hitler into power were Nazis.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby natraj » Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:44 pm UTC

the fucking president has called for violence against blm protesters, journalists who don't like him, media in general, and some disingenuous milque~toast here is still trying to dance around whether or not Republicans Today call for violence against their opposition? give me a break.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby arbiteroftruth » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:12 pm UTC

The phrase in question isn't "call for violence", it's "openly calling for left wing activists to be rounded up and executed", which would be in an entirely different league of atrocity. As in, "why are we not already in an open civil war if that's the case?" level of atrocity. The closest I've seen Trump come to that level is when he suggested targeting terrorists' families, but as I recall he got heavy criticism from all sides on that one, so it's not exactly representative of where Republicans are in general.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby freezeblade » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:18 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Sadly, that kind of rant is a small reason many voted for Trump in the first place.

Elections are won in the middle ground - by appealing to the masses, and hyperbole like calling ordinary right-wing voices on this board 'fucking evil' is just a complete turn-off. All you'll get is people saying 'well fuck you too!' and doubling down on their views.

If your attitude were more commonly voiced, it would honestly cause the Dems to be unelectable for a generation. And, as someone who thinks even the Dems are too right-wing for their taste, I think personally that'd be tragic for your country... :(


I'm going to call bullshit on this. If calling a spade a spade causes people to vote for the spade...These people I can happy dismiss as terrible, horrible people, and I will double down that I wouldn't piss on them if their teeth were on fire.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:35 pm UTC

"Racists have freedom of speech, so stop calling them racist" - The mantra of centrists in the US

The position of the Republican party is that black people have an unfair advantage in society, and that the reason they have so much poverty is because of bad culture and families. What drives them away from the Democrats is not calling people racist, but the fact that the Democrats believe that racism is an issue in America at all.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:43 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I drew a picture

Let me try something…
Spoiler:
Image

…ah, I thought so. It was drawn black-on-alpha, which (in my case) presented itself on a very dark grey background when clicking the image link and rendering it very very difficult to read! But (again, in my case) comes out much better on the slightly-blue almost-white of this iteration of every-other-post backfill in this default forum theme I use.


Leaving my test here for anyone else who had confusion about that, assuming they're not using a darkling-type version of the forum theme just to repeat the problem until they go the whole hog and download it for viewing out-of-browser in suitable circumstances.

(There ought to be a global addition to all image types with alpha-transparency that is something of an 'omega-opacity', a pixel-by-pixel suitably contrasting colour to the background (that works even upon #808080 grey so not just XOR with white to give #7F7F7F). But that's off-topic, and likely already done by someone. Or several someones, all in different ways to each other, and to me - having implemented it countless different ways myself. (I tend to do HSV/L inversion, with special behaviour upon encountering near-zero Saturation with a mid-ranged Value/Lightness, but rarely ever the same way). To continue the digression.)

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:09 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:"Racists have freedom of speech, so stop calling them racist" - The mantra of centrists in the US.
Uh.... I'm calling bullshit. It's a total non-sequitor. Nobody I know (and I know many people I'd describe as centrist) would say (equivalently) if you have freedom of speech, you are not racist, or if you are racist, you (the person) should not have freedom of speech.

Yes, some people advocate limits on some kinds of speech , but that's not the same as limits applying to some kinds of people.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby sardia » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:10 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:"Racists have freedom of speech, so stop calling them racist" - The mantra of centrists in the US

The position of the Republican party is that black people have an unfair advantage in society, and that the reason they have so much poverty is because of bad culture and families. What drives them away from the Democrats is not calling people racist, but the fact that the Democrats believe that racism is an issue in America at all.

This is going to depends on who wins the Democratic primary. If Biden wins then moderates take over. If Bernie or Harris wins, then progressives have a chance. Everyone else will fall in line in the party.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:26 am UTC

phorrest wrote:Also, you realize that by that line of thinking, if "center" was relative to whatever most people usually were, it would not be possible for there to be an overall systemic bias in political orientation?)

I suspect that "centrist" and "moderate" take the role tin politics that in other contexts would be taken by "conservative" . It's just that "conservative" already has an old and established political meaning.

That is, a "moderate" is hesitant about strong or fast changes to the status quo, because they worry about risks. In that sense, the centre is more defined relative to the present political state of the country, than to the political ideas of other people.

Of course, political conservatives sometimes claim this mantle of careful-and-slow, but it doesn't really match. Political conservatism comes with a broader set of ideals, many of which call for strong action.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:33 pm UTC

I would argue that strictly speaking (contrary to the confused mix of different actual mainstream uses in different places and times), "conservative" is supposed to mean hesitant about fast reckless changes. Hard opposition to any change would be "reactionary", only a subset of "conservative"; much like those who want a total complete and immediate overhaul of everything are "radical", which is only a subset of "progressive". The conservatives who aren't reactionaries and the progressives who aren't radicals are thereby simultaneously conservative (non-radical) and progressive (non-reactionary). I think such conservative progressivism* is also rightly considered moderate on this different scale (that's not about how you want things to be but how you feel about change), both in an absolute sense (between the possible extremes) and a relative one (where most people tend to be; wanting some change, but scared of too much too fast). I also consider myself moderate in that sense of conservatively progressive: I want change only as fast as safely possible, improving things that need improvement while being careful not to wreck the things that are already working.

Those so-called "conservatives" who actually want big fast changes away from the direction progressives want changes are really radical regressives, who want things to go back to some way they used to be. They would have been genuine conservatives in some past era when that was the status quo, so I get how they continue to be called "conservative" even after things have been different for a while, but I'd argue it's not technically correct.

*(I like the apparent but illusory contradiction in that phrase "conservatively progressive" as naively interpreted in the usual political context, similar to how "libertarian socialist" sounds contradictory to the average American too but really isn't. I like describing myself as a "conservatively progressive libertarian socialist" because it prompts people to ask what that means instead of just automatically putting me in some Us vs Them box).
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:16 pm UTC

ucim wrote:Ok, a private conversation with three other right wingers. Bad stuff being quoted, but nothing in there has Shea calling for executions.
They discuss shaving a woman's head with a USMC K-Bar knife and hoisting her up a flag pole by either her nipple rings or (if she doesn't have them) via zip-ties tightened sufficiently to secure her. They discuss going after protesters' children at daycare centers. They also exchange names of residents who they want to target.

Don't call it "bad stuff". This is not "bad stuff". Me calling you Shitty McShitface is "bad stuff". This is a US state representative -- a Republican -- discussing how to intimidate, torture, and yes, publicly execute his political opponents. He does this while exchanging information about these opponents with his friends.

This is not "bad stuff". This is just the Republican party.

EDIT: On the off-chance you're not getting this, let me clarify: Crucifixion is a form of public execution. You don't nail a man to a cross, dust off your hands, and say "If he dies, he dies -- not my fault!" You put him there so that everyone could watch him die. It's a public execution.

Shaving a woman's head (with a fucking knife) and hoisting her on a flagpole (by her nipples) is a form of public execution. You don't put her up there, dust off your hands, and say "If she dies, she dies -- not my fault!" You put her there so that everyone could watch her die. It's a public execution.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:38 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:They discuss...
Did Barr (a politician) say these things? Not according to my read. Barr was present when these things were said by others. In a private conversation that Barr did not seem to oppose.

Now, that's plenty bad. Report it as is. It's a horrible truth.

But to exaggerate it does no service. It then becomes a horrible story, rather than a horrible truth.

That's my point. The pure unvarnished truth is bad enough. It shouldn't be "amped up for effect".

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:46 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
The Great Hippo wrote:They discuss...
Did Barr (a politician) say these things? Not according to my read. Barr was present when these things were said by others. In a private conversation that Barr did not seem to oppose.
He was present in a discussion of these issues, during which he decided to volunteer information on the people they're talking about publicly executing.

If I'm in a room full of people talking about publicly executing your family, and I don't contribute to the discussion of how it will be done -- but happily provide information about where your family can be found -- are you seriously going to argue that I'm not an intrinsic part of this discussion? That I am not among those calling for your family's public execution? Just because I didn't provide any feedback on the type of knife we'll be using?

Seriously, dude. Either get a clue, or shut the fuck up until you do.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Thu Apr 25, 2019 8:57 pm UTC

Another idea to consider regarding political labeling:

For the sake of argument I want to define, probably re-define, two terms so we can speak clearly, or at least clearer.

First is "Moderate", which I will use Pfhorrest's definition:
Pfhorrest wrote: moderate in that sense of conservatively progressive: I want change only as fast as safely possible, improving things that need improvement while being careful not to wreck the things that are already working.


The second is "Centrist", which I would (for the sake of this discussion) define as someone who plants themselves firmly in the middle of the Overton Window, giving equal weight to both ends of the political debate to give equal respect and time to everyone involved.

(I know the technical definitions are almost identical and/or less defined then I'm positing above, but I find myself needing words to describe two ends of a similar phenomenon)

In the last 20-or-so years since I've gotten out of high-school and started really paying attention to current events and politics, the Republican party has shifted away from boring, measured, educated personalities like William F. Buckley Jr. to dynamic, exciting "shock" personalities like Rush Limbaugh. This may just be my flawed recollection, but even Limbaugh at one point in the distant past was relatively reasonable for a conservative commentator and drifted (arguably dragging the Republican party with him) farther in to reactionary-ism and conspiracy theory in the last 15-or so years. (Edit: make that 25 years. Fuck I need a cane.)

This conservative/reactionary shift in the borders of the Overton Window moves Centrists and Moderates (as defined above) in different ways. the "Centrist" trying to stay in the middle of the Overton Window, giving both sides equal time and weight, moves 'rightward' on the policy spectrum staying in the average of the Window. The Moderate by contrast is moving 'leftward' with respect to the Overton Window, with a relatively stable position on the policy spectrum.

I find this interesting, as it means two "middle" political groups get divided between the sides, which is something I've been hearing about occasionally on NPR (usually in the context of "people studying politics are still arguing about it").

--

Now the problem here is that I had to redefine Moderate and Centrist to be specific as the "official" definitions are (as far as I was able to determine) effectively and ambiguously identical. This leads to a problem when talking about these groups, there's a potential to accuse a Moderate of Centrism or a Centrist of Moderatism, or to be misinterpreted that way.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ucim » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:39 pm UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:If I'm in a room full of people talking about publicly executing your family, and I don't contribute to the discussion of how it will be done -- but happily provide information about where your family can be found -- are you seriously going to argue that I'm not an intrinsic part of this discussion?
No. But I'm not going to say that you were calling for my execution. Somebody else was, and you went along and helped.

I'm also not going to say that you were publicly doing so. You may have been willing to do so publicly [the execution would be public] but you are not publicly doing so [the discussion itself is not established as being public].

Both of those are "amping up for effect". If the thing being "amped up" is already horrible, don't amp it up. Report it straight.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:47 pm UTC

ucim wrote:No. But I'm not going to say that you were calling for my execution. Somebody else was, and you went along and helped.
"I didn't call for their execution, your Honor. I just facilitated the discussion, exchanged some ideas, and nodded my head when they said we ought to execute them -- then provided them with information on where the victims could be found. This is entirely different, and a very important distinction to make! Making this distinction in no way acts as an attempt to diminish my culpability, nor is it just a sideshow to deflect away from the reality of what I did. That's why it's so important that we spend the next week arguing over the definition of 'calling for executions', rather than the actual fucking executions that we discussed."
ucim wrote:Both of those are "amping up for effect". If the thing being "amped up" is already horrible, don't amp it up. Report it straight.
Right. Like how talking about going after protester's children and stringing women up by their fucking nipples on a flagpole after shaving their heads with a knife (so everyone can watch them die) isn't executions. It's just -- in your words -- "bad stuff". Totally different! Jesus wasn't executed; the Romans just did some "bad stuff"!

Great 'straight reporting' you did there, bucko. You're definitely not a hypocrite who's refusing to abide by your own principles, no siree bob!
ucim wrote:And that's all I'm going to say about that.
Good. Because the last thing this discussion needs is yet another cowardly fuck-twit whining about how not everyone who attended the Wannsee Conference was calling for systematic executions.

Be precise, people! By God -- some of them were there just to talk about munitions and trains!
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Mutex » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:17 pm UTC

Also, isn't actively assisting with something worse than just calling for it?

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby ijuin » Fri Apr 26, 2019 1:38 am UTC

He is at minimum condoning it, and almost certainly aiding and abetting it. That makes him an accomplice, if not a primary instigator.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:02 am UTC

Dauric wrote:This conservative/reactionary shift in the borders of the Overton Window moves Centrists and Moderates (as defined above) in different ways. the "Centrist" trying to stay in the middle of the Overton Window, giving both sides equal time and weight, moves 'rightward' on the policy spectrum staying in the average of the Window. The Moderate by contrast is moving 'leftward' with respect to the Overton Window, with a relatively stable position on the policy spectrum.

I like this observation.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby EdgarJPublius » Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:12 am UTC

I like those definitions of 'centrist' and 'moderate' but I wonder how many people actually fit in those categories? Of the people who are typically described as 'centrists' or 'moderates' how many of them are actually philosophically 'between' the Democrats and Republicans rather than off on some completely other tangent?
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Dauric » Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:31 am UTC

EdgarJPublius wrote:I like those definitions of 'centrist' and 'moderate' but I wonder how many people actually fit in those categories? Of the people who are typically described as 'centrists' or 'moderates' how many of them are actually philosophically 'between' the Democrats and Republicans rather than off on some completely other tangent?


Arguably this question could apply to any political label. How "Republican" is an "Economic Conservative" that votes pro-choice, or "Democrat" is a "cultural progressive" that votes against gun control? Either we're measuring on a flattened "left/right" scale, or we expand the matrix of possible policy measures to n'th dimensional matrices to accommodate all the possible tangents (and then we're going to need a lot more words defined).

Grand upshot: Political labels are at best an approximation on a terribly flawed scale of measurement, in part because people are messy and complicated.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Zamfir » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:47 pm UTC

In the last 20-or-so years since I've gotten out of high-school and started really paying attention to current events and politics, the Republican party has shifted away from boring, measured, educated personalities like William F. Buckley Jr. to dynamic, exciting "shock" personalities like Rush Limbaugh. This may just be my flawed recollection, but even Limbaugh at one point in the distant past was relatively reasonable for a conservative commentator and drifted (arguably dragging the Republican party with him) farther in to reactionary-ism and conspiracy theory in the last 15-or so years. (Edit: make that 25 years. Fuck I need a cane.)
Then again, the right-wing border of the overton window was arguably not Buckley, but the Birch Society.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Yakk » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:21 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:In the last 20-or-so years since I've gotten out of high-school and started really paying attention to current events and politics, the Republican party has shifted away from boring, measured, educated personalities like William F. Buckley Jr.

"In the 1950s and early 1960s, Buckley opposed federal civil rights legislation and expressed support for continued racial segregation in the South. "

"the central question that emerges ... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes—the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

Buckley continued to downplay structural racism and place a large amount of blame for lack of economic growth on the black community itself

Buckley's opposition to Communism extended to support for the overthrow and replacement of leftist governments by nondemocratic forces.

He supported the military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, who led the 1973 coup that overthrew Chilean president Salvador Allende's democratically elected Marxist government

I am suspecting the difference has been that many measured, educated people have taken a look at those ideas and recoiled in revulsion.

Those who have not -- who are ok with mass murdering dictatorships, treating races as inferior and saying oppression is good for them, etc -- also decided that manipulating useful idiots with propoganda was justified. I mean, why are the pleabs of the USA any more deserving of a democratic government than Argentinians? If they are, then Argentinians are lesser beings; if not, then subverting democracy in the USA is just as acceptable as doing it in Argentinia.

Right-Libertarianism, like many ideologies, lives in conflict with democracy. If your only duty is to making yourself richer, and you can make yourself richer by undermining democracy, undermining democracy is your duty. Just as a Stalinist-Communist believes that when democracy conflicts with Communism, democracy goes.

So start selling snake oil to the public to get them onto your agenda. Doesn't matter if you tell the truth, just get them to follow the politicians that will do what you want.

And then we get the inmates in charge of the asylum. If you sell brand X with sales pitch Y, in the next generation a whole pile of true Y running the asylum next generation.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby addams » Fri Apr 26, 2019 11:44 pm UTC

oh,...This has gotten dark.
It seems we are in our darkest hour.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby idonno » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:52 am UTC

Yakk wrote:I am suspecting the difference has been that many measured, educated people have taken a look at those ideas and recoiled in revulsion.

Those who have not -- who are ok with mass murdering dictatorships

Given that the last two administrations have provided military support to the attempted genocide of Yemen, I think you may be overestimating the percentage of the population that is not okay with the US benefiting from mass murdering dictatorships. We just prefer to keep quite about it now.

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Re: Trump presidency

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:09 am UTC

Dauric wrote:
EdgarJPublius wrote:I like those definitions of 'centrist' and 'moderate' but I wonder how many people actually fit in those categories? Of the people who are typically described as 'centrists' or 'moderates' how many of them are actually philosophically 'between' the Democrats and Republicans rather than off on some completely other tangent?


Arguably this question could apply to any political label. How "Republican" is an "Economic Conservative" that votes pro-choice, or "Democrat" is a "cultural progressive" that votes against gun control? Either we're measuring on a flattened "left/right" scale, or we expand the matrix of possible policy measures to n'th dimensional matrices to accommodate all the possible tangents (and then we're going to need a lot more words defined).

Grand upshot: Political labels are at best an approximation on a terribly flawed scale of measurement, in part because people are messy and complicated.



I was thinking of 'Republicans' and 'Democrats' as voters who exclusively, or at least primarily, vote for Republican or Democratic candidates respectively.

In that sense, 'Centrists' could be thought of as voters who tend to vote split ticket rather than expressing a preference for either party, and 'Moderates' as voters who's party allegiance shifts as the 'Overton Window' moves and currently would probably be counted as Democratic voters, but who might have voted Republican or Split ticket in the recent past, and might again in the future if the Overton Window shifts back.
Though I'm also interested in whether non-voters would have more in common philosophically with 'Centrists', 'Moderates' or some other as-yet undefined categorizations.
For that matter, 'Centrist' and 'Moderate' voters (And even strict republican or Democrat voters) may fall outside the flattened left/right scale, but vote for Democrats and/or Republicans because those are the only options and they are performing some kind of mental projection mapping to to chart their spherical political philosophy onto the flat map of available candidates.
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Re: Trump presidency

Postby Thesh » Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:37 pm UTC

There's also another type of centrist, the "rational" centrists who see themselves as centrists because they only apply facts and logic, and ignore feelings, and thus do not side with either Republicans or Democrats - but facts are usually "common sense" or picked cherries, and logic usually just means arguing for classical liberalism as if philosophy is settled, or the definitions of words as if language is above critique, and this usually means they oppose social justice and side with Republicans.

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