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Fri Dec 16, 2016, 10:59 AM

NYT: Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy?

This op-ed on the New York Times does a good job explaining why I find Trump so alarming. Worth reading the whole thing...

By STEVEN LEVITSKY and DANIEL ZIBLATT DEC. 16, 2016

Donald J. Trump’s election has raised a question that few Americans ever imagined asking: Is our democracy in danger? With the possible exception of the Civil War, American democracy has never collapsed; indeed, no democracy as rich or as established as America’s ever has. Yet past stability is no guarantee of democracy’s future survival.

We have spent two decades studying the emergence and breakdown of democracy in Europe and Latin America. Our research points to several warning signs.

The clearest warning sign is the ascent of anti-democratic politicians into mainstream politics. Drawing on a close study of democracy’s demise in 1930s Europe, the eminent political scientist Juan J. Linz designed a “litmus test” to identify anti-democratic politicians. His indicators include a failure to reject violence unambiguously, a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments.

Mr. Trump tests positive. In the campaign, he encouraged violence among supporters; pledged to prosecute Hillary Clinton; threatened legal action against unfriendly media; and suggested that he might not accept the election results.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/16/opinion/sunday/is-donald-trump-a-threat-to-democracy.html

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Reply NYT: Is Donald Trump a Threat to Democracy? (Original post)
Skinner Dec 2016 OP
spanone Dec 2016 #1
kentuck Dec 2016 #2
pangaia Dec 2016 #8
mopinko Dec 2016 #15
hamsterjill Dec 2016 #20
srobertss Dec 2016 #43
RKP5637 Dec 2016 #104
WheelWalker Dec 2016 #3
Pacifist Patriot Dec 2016 #4
rzemanfl Dec 2016 #5
bigtree Dec 2016 #6
no_hypocrisy Dec 2016 #7
GusBob Dec 2016 #9
madokie Dec 2016 #10
whathehell Dec 2016 #12
hamsterjill Dec 2016 #23
whathehell Dec 2016 #59
Bob Loblaw Dec 2016 #70
whathehell Dec 2016 #88
Bob Loblaw Dec 2016 #89
tavalon Dec 2016 #86
whathehell Dec 2016 #87
smirkymonkey Dec 2016 #99
tavalon Dec 2016 #85
Pachamama Dec 2016 #95
RKP5637 Dec 2016 #105
asiliveandbreathe Dec 2016 #11
UTUSN Dec 2016 #13
ananda Dec 2016 #14
Raster Dec 2016 #16
Omaha Steve Dec 2016 #17
malchickiwick Dec 2016 #18
tclambert Dec 2016 #22
pipi_k Dec 2016 #19
hamsterjill Dec 2016 #24
workinclasszero Dec 2016 #21
Initech Dec 2016 #103
RKP5637 Dec 2016 #106
Initech Dec 2016 #112
RKP5637 Dec 2016 #114
Initech Dec 2016 #116
CrispyQ Dec 2016 #111
ffr Dec 2016 #25
subterranean Dec 2016 #26
Perseus Dec 2016 #27
Botany Dec 2016 #28
workinclasszero Dec 2016 #50
ailsagirl Dec 2016 #29
nolabear Dec 2016 #30
Maven Dec 2016 #31
mnhtnbb Dec 2016 #38
workinclasszero Dec 2016 #51
ginnyinWI Dec 2016 #32
smirkymonkey Dec 2016 #33
elmac Dec 2016 #34
dawn frenzy adams Dec 2016 #110
AlexSFCA Dec 2016 #35
MarvinGardens Dec 2016 #39
JudyM Dec 2016 #47
AlexSFCA Dec 2016 #53
Maven Dec 2016 #49
KittyWampus Dec 2016 #117
niyad Dec 2016 #121
Lithos Dec 2016 #36
McKim Dec 2016 #37
muntrv Dec 2016 #40
0rganism Dec 2016 #41
herding cats Dec 2016 #42
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #44
niyad Dec 2016 #69
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #71
niyad Dec 2016 #72
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #78
niyad Dec 2016 #92
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #93
niyad Dec 2016 #98
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #108
niyad Dec 2016 #120
CanSocDem Dec 2016 #90
Sekhmets Daughter Dec 2016 #91
randr Dec 2016 #45
Generator Dec 2016 #46
Nitram Dec 2016 #48
guillaumeb Dec 2016 #52
octoberlib Dec 2016 #54
onecaliberal Dec 2016 #55
Hekate Dec 2016 #56
Generic Other Dec 2016 #57
malthaussen Dec 2016 #58
Bucky Dec 2016 #60
YOHABLO Dec 2016 #61
jimmil Dec 2016 #62
KamaAina Dec 2016 #63
triron Dec 2016 #64
bdamomma Dec 2016 #65
whathehell Dec 2016 #66
Skittles Dec 2016 #67
niyad Dec 2016 #68
tandem5 Dec 2016 #73
NastyRiffraff Dec 2016 #74
Autumn Dec 2016 #75
LongTomH Dec 2016 #76
CrispyQ Dec 2016 #113
certainot Dec 2016 #77
CrispyQ Dec 2016 #115
radhika Dec 2016 #79
bucolic_frolic Dec 2016 #80
BigDemVoter Dec 2016 #81
SunSeeker Dec 2016 #82
Hekate Dec 2016 #83
tavalon Dec 2016 #84
RKP5637 Dec 2016 #107
Nitram Dec 2016 #94
orleans Dec 2016 #96
C Moon Dec 2016 #97
Third Doctor Dec 2016 #100
Emilybemily Dec 2016 #101
liberalmuse Dec 2016 #102
eniwetok Dec 2016 #109
Different Drummer Dec 2016 #118
Rex Dec 2016 #119

Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:00 AM

1. K&R...

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:00 AM

2. Yes, he is a threat.

To what degree, we don't yet know?

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Response to kentuck (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:25 AM

8. Yes we do.

Whatever the possible worst is, that is the degree.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:47 AM

15. no, i think the question is

how much damage can he do? the degree to which he is a threat is approx the degree of the temperature of mars in the day time.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:03 PM

20. With a Republican majority in Congress, the question is how much WILL he do;

Not how much CAN he do.

He's already showing the world that HE is in charge and going to do whatever the hell benefits HIM. I expect a major threat to democracy.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:10 PM

43. the uncertainty is a big part of the problem

I can't cite the source, because it was something I heard on a podcast (best of the left) but the same uncertainty was pervasive about Hitler. I'm not saying Trump is Hitler, it's just chilling to me that it was so unclear to many Germans what he intended. We know that Trump has no regard for his own words, how can he possibly have any regard for the constitution?

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Response to srobertss (Reply #43)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:09 PM

104. It's scary, because in many ways he's using the same tactics! Especially turning large

numbers of people against each other and blaming huge groups of people for others problems so as to destabilize the populace and rally millions and millions to his side. I've never seen anything like this in the US. Instead of trying to unite the country, he's trying to divide the country, which is what strong armed dictators do.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:10 AM

3. Kicked and recommended.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:20 AM

4. Definitely worth reading the entire thing. K & R

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:20 AM

5. K&R. Not only a threat, a puppet of a foreign entity. n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:22 AM

6. yes, to our democratic process of government

...much of that process already corrupted, Trump threatens to increase the bad and eliminate the good.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:24 AM

7. If you have to ask . . . . . .

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:26 AM

9. This editorial will never be understood by Trumpski and his comrades

It is too long for their short attention spans
It is way beyond their reading comprehension
It is factual and logical.
There are way too many big words

Break it down to twitter size and perhaps they will read it

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:26 AM

10. tRump scares me

and I'm not easily scared but his cretin has the hair on the back of my neck sticking straight out

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Response to madokie (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:39 AM

12. Me too, absolutely..

I have not been able to really relax since election day, it's never far from my thoughts. I'm hoping something can still happen to block him, but
If His Idiocy actually is inaugurated, my retiring husband and I are seriously cconsidering leaving the country, at least for a year, to see how things shake out here, politically..I don't want to live under this guy..Like Michael Moore, I'm afraid he could get us all killed.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:05 PM

23. I agree with you.

I think Trump is a very REAL threat to our way of life as we know it today. I do not think he should be taken lightly in any way, and it confounds me that there other people who cannot see what he is. He doesn't try to hide his intent. He puts it out there so everyone can see what he is. The dumbasses who support him are simply too dazzled by his millions to see what he's showing them.

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Response to hamsterjill (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:49 PM

59. Yes, my major fear about him is

is not what he would DELIBERATELY do but what his clueless, narcissistic idiocy could get us into...When people compare him to Hitler, I have to disagree...For one thing, Hitler had an ideology..
This dumbass has no ideology beyond self-promotion and and money...He:s more likely to "stumble" us into a crisis out of sheer ignorance than malice, imo

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Response to whathehell (Reply #59)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:04 PM

70. "Say what you will

about the National Socialist Party, at least it's an ethos."

-- Walter Sobchak (in The Big Lebowski)

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Response to Bob Loblaw (Reply #70)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 06:39 AM

88. Lol.

Must have missed that one from The Big L.

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Response to Bob Loblaw (Reply #70)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 08:15 AM

89. He was

referring to the nihilists.

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Response to whathehell (Reply #59)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 04:33 AM

86. and we will be just as dead

I wholeheartedly agree with you.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #86)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 06:35 AM

87. Yes, exactly. n/t

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Response to whathehell (Reply #59)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 12:11 PM

99. This!

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Response to madokie (Reply #10)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 04:32 AM

85. Same here

People have said we don't want the Pussy Grabber removed because then Pence will be President. Fuck it, let Pence have it. Yes he's horrible but he understands our government and he can put the usual restraints in place. Trumpy cheeto has no restraint. We could end up in a nuclear conflagration if Trumpista stays. As awful as Pence is, he is emotionally stable (such as one like him can be).

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Response to tavalon (Reply #85)

Sun Dec 18, 2016, 02:38 AM

95. I sadly agree with you

Pence would be horrible, but definitely the lesser of two evils...

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Response to madokie (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:12 PM

105. Reminds me of how we felt with the rise of Hitler, all of the dictators back then! n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:35 AM

11. Yes, he is a threat - and the republicans, in congress, well

they just don't want us to look behind the curtain where they lurk...stirring the pot and strangling the American people - ...no better than the NC legislature..power grab..ayn randers - not one of us is immune from the onslaught..

WAKE UP AMERICA....this is NOT normal...monica Crowley, amorosa, ivanka, are you shittin' me..wall st. barons..war hawks..gen Flynn - embrace of putin..peter king calls for a Muslim registry..are you shitting me..(I don't normally swear in print, sorry) - I am disgusted...

Elections hacked..this is the only way they won -

They are ALL illegitimate - and the traitor Dems in congress..are you shitting me..from Mccaskill to manchin -

I hope those who have the backbone sue the shit out of them...call it out...every day - enough of the PC crap - I wonder, if we, the American people with a conscience, could bring class action suits at every turn....

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:43 AM

13. A companion piece from Smithsonian, DU thread by Muriel Volestrangler

on how journalists covered the rise of MUSSOLINI/HITLER http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028369571

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:47 AM

14. This is even a question?

Fuck.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:56 AM

16. YES He Is! Donald Trump, the Family of Donald Trump and the Presidency...

...of Donald Trump are CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGERS to the United States FOR MULTIPLE REASONS.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:57 AM

17. K&R!


OS

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:58 AM

18. Yes. And in related news, water is wet.

It's a no-brainer he's a threat, which is why we all have to be ready to defend democracy against him and his thugs.

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Response to malchickiwick (Reply #18)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:05 PM

22. Around here, the water is as hard as a rock.

Michigan. The wind chill is sub-zero.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 11:59 AM

19. Anyone who doesn't

find him at least a little bit frightening, before he's even sworn in, is not paying attention.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:06 PM

24. +1

n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:04 PM

21. The KKK, American Nazis(alt-right) the Russian dictator Putin

and the PI death squad loving Duterte all sing praises for Trump.

WTF does that tell you NYT?

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Response to workinclasszero (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 04:48 PM

103. The scariest thing is the media is playing the alt right like it's a joke.

These people are no joke. These people are dangerous extremists with a very racist and sexist agenda. Time to cut their mic.

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Response to Initech (Reply #103)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:16 PM

106. Yeah, I'm stunned with how some in the media cover this with giggles. FFS, just how clueless

are they.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #106)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 09:54 PM

112. Death threats, rape threats, harassment threats are no laughing matter.

And the MSM doesn't seem to care.

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Response to Initech (Reply #112)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:11 PM

114. Don't you feel like we're in some kind of Stephen King novel, really? It's like a TV

mini series. It gives me the creeps, and we're living it. I wonder where we'll be in a couple of months from now. Some of my friends are starting to bury their heads in the sand, just like the good Germans did ... don't want to hear anything, because it upsets them. We're in trouble.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #114)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:26 PM

116. I feel like we're living in an episode of The Twilight Zone or the X Files.

Or even that show "The Man In The High Castle". Just an alternate reality where the Nazis won, and they have unlimited unchecked power. Or a Star Wars universe where the Dark Side wins. If I remember correctly, our grandparents fought a war against the Nazis, and for ever we were taught that the Nazis were bad. Now all of a sudden they're everywhere, and claiming that America belongs to white men. We are headed for dark times ahead.

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Response to Initech (Reply #103)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 09:45 PM

111. This.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:17 PM

25. Russian interests say yes too. He's the perfect chaos candidate and easy to manipulate.

And 62 blind Americans voted for that asshole anyway. Sure hope all the RW TV and radio tuning in makes it all worth it.

We're soooooo fcuked!@#

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:26 PM

26. Trump alone is not a threat to democracy. He'll need a lot of help.

And he will get it from Pence and the Republicans in Congress, who do not really believe in democracy either. They believe only in money and power.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:28 PM

27. That should be a statement

and not a question.

Anyone who doesn't understand that is hiding their heads in the sand.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:28 PM

28. This last election and the hacking of DU should show w/out a doubt that democracy is over for now.

This was and is a coup and Comey, Trump, and McConnell committed treason.

Look @ "cross check" can you think of the shit storm if we had a software program
that stripped white males over 40 from voting?

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Response to Botany (Reply #28)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:40 PM

50. This is what scares me

The fascist republicans with help from a foreign fascist government and a compromised radical FBI stole this election.

They own all branches of this government post January 20 2017.

Why would they ever willingly give up that power seeing as how they commited treason to get it?

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:30 PM

29. YES-- he's a threat to everything we hold dear

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:47 PM

30. Democracy, and humanity!

This is not what we should be evolving into.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 12:58 PM

31. The entire Republican Party is a threat to democracy.

Not only that, a threat to our freedom and physical well-being.

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Response to Maven (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:46 PM

38. Absolutely correct. Look what they are doing right now in NC

They do not give a good goddamn about democracy. They are all about power and control--by themselves and for the people
they deem worthy.

I am seriously frightened for the soul--and future--of our country.

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Response to mnhtnbb (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:44 PM

51. Bingo!

A national coup just took place and now a state falls to the lawless fascist republicans.

When are we going to take the threat to freedom and democracy seriously on the left?

When they are kicking down each individual's door in the middle of the night? It will be way to late by then.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:27 PM

32. Incompetent governing + a terrorist attack...

Will throw this country into chaos. Half the Congress is similarly weak and incompetent. Who would take the lead? The military? A coup? It is indeed something to ponder.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:30 PM

33. YES!

Very much.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:31 PM

34. American democracy has collapsed

and I believe that a racist, bigoted countrywide Sovereignty Commission, like the one Mississippi had, will turn us into a police state where people of color, non Christians will be harassed, imprisoned and worse. The FBI, Trump and at least 39 states are on board with this. It will not take much to turn us into the fourth Reich.

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Response to elmac (Reply #34)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 08:10 PM

110. Thank you for posting that video.

It is a reminder of what may happen. It is also a reminder that those who carried out acts of terror and murder during the Civil Rights Movement, got away with it.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:39 PM

35. this is not accidental

This is a result of polarization where moderates from both parties have been pushed out over the years. We arrived at a point where is literally no common ground between the parties anymore...

And I hate to say it but I think democrats are gonna have to go high again and initiate bulding bridges. Tim Ryan who should have been speaker if the house is absolutely correct. Whether we like it or not but we are gonna have to go high and work with trump because otherwise we would be inflicting even more damage upon ourselves.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:53 PM

39. Agree.

But while doing so, we fill in the middle ground the teabaggers and trumpists abandoned. I think of it as a Coalition of Sanity.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:05 PM

47. Dem moderates have been pushed out? What's your evidence for that assertion?

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Response to JudyM (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:47 PM

53. learning

no assertion. And it could be my perception. My perception is that there are very few differences now among democrats regardless of region.

One such example is illiegal immigration where many democratic constituents actually support immigration law enforcement while their representatives support amnesty. I am not aware of democratic politicians that are moderate on this issue but I am aware of democrats who voted for trump based on this single issue.

It is also my percetion that among republicans there are more differences based on region, covering wide range of issues: abortion, immigration, trade, education, etc.

P.S. I did not come to DU to preach to the choir. I came here to feel hopeful to understand what we can all do to not lose our country. One thing I quickly learned is that partisan politics is not it.


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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #35)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:29 PM

49. Your "both sides are the problem" characterization is exactly wrong.

There are plenty of moderates in the Democratic Party. They haven't been pushed out. In fact, a common complaint from the base is essentially that the party is too moderate, that we compromise our principles too often and don't fight for bold policies that favor the many rather than the wealthy few. I happen to agree with that viewpoint in many respects. But I don't think you can say the Democratic Party has pushed out moderates; on the contrary, too often we've championed tepid middle-of-the-road solutions that don't inspire. We've also frequently gone along with Republican initiatives in the spirit of compromise, which only ties our hands later when those initiatives blow up and Republicans avoid taking the blame.

The Republicans, on the other hand, have excised all proponents of moderation and compromise from their party. They have let their far-right fringe completely take over, and ostracized any dissenting voices from positions of power. They are now consolidating that power and have no intention whatsoever of giving Democrats a seat at the table. If they can shut us out, they will, by any means necessary.

Go high? Build bridges? I have to laugh. You can't build bridges when the people on the other side are waiting with sticks of dynamite.

I think you should question why it is you believe that both parties are to blame for our current state of extreme polarization, when that is so patently not the case. Because Republicans love it when people believe that government and leaders generally are the problem. It gives them cover to avoid culpability for their bad acts while justifying further assaults on the benefits and protections good government provides. The media has abetted them by being lazy and trafficking in false equivalencies.

I also think you should question why you think that working with Trump equals taking the high road. It isn't. Nothing he plans to do will be good for our country. The only high road is resisting him. Hard.

Oh, and, welcome to DU.

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #35)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:27 PM

117. "moderates from BOTH parties have been pushed out? WTF? How dare you spew that crap

 

it's not even false equivalency. IT'S BULLSHIT.

It's the Republican party that's filled with Grover Norquist oath-takers.

Please, who are the radical Democrats in Congress?

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Response to AlexSFCA (Reply #35)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 12:22 PM

121. how in the world does one "build bridges" or work with a person who is completely irrational,

bordering on, if not completely, insane? moreover, one who has no FUCKING clue how government works, and, more to the point, does not give a damn?

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:40 PM

36. Trump, by himself is no threat

However, the monolithic domination by the GOP, particularly a very highly charged group of fascist ideologues, supported by a press which has abandoned any sense of journalistic integrity, is a significant threat.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:44 PM

37. Even Condoleeza Rice is Pushing Back!

Yes, you know this country is really in trouble when we see Condoleeza Rice is pushing back against the John Bolton appointment. This means that even some republicans are alarmed.
If not for the leadership of the NY times, I would be going crazy. I can almost forgive them for Judith Miller/Michael Gordon and the War on Iraq.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 01:56 PM

40. Col. Von Staffenberg, where are you?

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:03 PM

41. Donald Trump is the living embodiment of Plato's critique of democracy

i.e., that it is an unstable form of governance which eventually leads to tyranny
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_(Plato) cf book viii

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:08 PM

42. Political extremist, polarization and leaders in power who are ideologues.

Add into the mix the the power plays by Russia, China and the ever growing instability in the Middle East/S.E. Asia. Then we can top it off with an inexperienced self-serving president about to become a reality in just over a month.

Yes, we have the potential for a perfect storm to test the strength of our system of democracy in the US. We should be able to ride out this current situation if the only forces we have to fight our those within our own borders. But, were fools if we think those looking to expand their global power aren't going to take advantage of our current situation. Of course they are, this what they've been working toward for decades.

Which leaves us living in a very interesting point in history.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 02:14 PM

44. Not any more than any other president can be seen as a threat.

Contrary to the beliefs of sooooo many, the president of the United States neither lives nor governs in a vacuum. There is the congress, and the courts, to reign in autocratic tendencies. The beauty of our democratic republic is that people get to decide every 4 years whether the current president is worth keeping around for another 4 years.

Let's be honest here,

...a readiness to curtail rivals’ civil liberties, and the denial of the legitimacy of elected governments.


is a knife both liberals and conservative use with abandon. I'm an atheist who wholeheartedly supports same sex marriage but I have a problem with those who target Christian business owners for trying to live according to the tenets their faith. The freedom to practice their religion is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. It does not say that if they want to function in the public domain they then must abandon their religion.

Those old folks who wore teabags in 2009 never denied the legitimacy of Obama's election, they weren't demanding that the electoral college vote for a candidate other than the one who won their state.

As to the rest of the Op Ed... Oh how soon we forget just how we were saddled with the Citizens United ruling.

I think we may be in for a wild ride with Trump but hell, I have always enjoyed wild rides.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #44)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:56 PM

69. please understand that he doesn't give a rat's behind about whatever limits a president. and,

as far as the four year thing goes--we won't be here if that narcissistic sexual pervert pushes the button, which he has indicated he is all too willing to do.

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Response to niyad (Reply #69)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:45 PM

71. Meh. Tough talk

but no doubt empty. Remember by all accounts he loves his kids and grandkids.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #71)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:46 PM

72. so, reportedly, did members of hitler's cabinet.

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Response to niyad (Reply #72)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 09:32 PM

78. Hitler didn't have a cabinet...

he had sycophants. However, likening Trump to Hitler is a bit silly, don't you think?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #78)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 02:42 PM

92. whatever you want to call them. and no, it is not silly. his speeches, his gestures,

his actions-- hell, the whole world can see the similarities, even if you cannot.

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Response to niyad (Reply #92)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 05:26 PM

93. The whole world

is worried that he will renegotiate trade agreements or void them completely. Or, that he will abandon NATO or make them pay for it. They do not think he will round up 13 million people and send them to camps and gas chambers. He never advocated for anything close to a "final solution."

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #93)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 12:08 PM

98. you go right ahead and tell yourself whatever makes you comfortable. the rest of us,

and the whole world, know him for what he is

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Response to niyad (Reply #98)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:24 PM

108. You keep doing the same.

You don't know him at all, most of the world doesn't know him and neither do I, but I don't pretend to. Nor do I pretend to believe that Clinton was the perfect candidate or that Bernie would have won easily. Trump is who we have for the next 4 years, make the best of it.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #108)

Tue Dec 20, 2016, 12:15 PM

120. "by their actions shall ye know them"-- and we have seen his actions enough to know him.

and quit with the nonsense. nobody said HRC is perfect. but, do keep trying and denying.

oh, and you might trying listening to this:

http://video.gq.com/watch/the-closer-with-keith-olbermann-so-what-are-we-supposed-to-do-now?c=series

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #44)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 09:00 AM

90. A nice rational pause.

Reminded me of this essay by Lewis Lapham

'The voices of conscience in every sector of the opinion-making news media stand united this fall in their fear and loathing of Donald J. Trump, real estate mogul, reality TV star, Republican nominee for president of the United States. The viewing with alarm is non-partisan and heartfelt, but the dumbfounded question “How can such things be?” is well behind the times. Trump is undoubtedly a menace, but he isn’t a surprise. His smug and gloating face is the face of the way things are and have been in Washington and Wall Street for the last quarter of a century.'

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2898-lewis-lapham-trump-is-an-exemplary-embodiment-of-our-age-of-folly

.

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Response to CanSocDem (Reply #90)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 10:22 AM

91. Thanks for the link!

Great reading. I just downloaded the book to my Kindle.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:01 PM

45. This is even a question??

We are under attack and a majority of American voters had their votes compromised.
Trump is a very complicit partner in the crime.

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Response to randr (Reply #45)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:05 PM

46. Exactly!

 

And even the tech CEO's have nothing but silence. I trust no one that won't come out AGAINST Trump. Is it that hard? I guess so. America is at a crisis.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:21 PM

48. Dump has already harmed American democracy in numerous concrete ways.

He'll have the opportunity to do a great deal more harm in office.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:44 PM

52. Is any President who ignores the Constitution a threat to democracy?

If so, I can write up a list of them.

Trump is merely the crudest among the modern anti-democratic Presidents we have had.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:51 PM

54. I'm particularly alarmed by the people Trump is surrounding himself with.

Bannon wants to destroy Washington and Thiel is in favor of a dictatorship. This doesn't bode well.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:52 PM

55. Clearly and concretely yes!!

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:53 PM

56. KnR

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 03:54 PM

57. Trump tests positive

He's the herpes on the body politic.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:19 PM

58. Does a bear shit in the woods?

Or, for that matter, does the Bear shit all over us?

-- Mal

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:51 PM

60. "to civilization"

He's gonna push too hard and get some bad shit started.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 04:51 PM

61. Uh yes, yes, and yes.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 05:10 PM

62. Do we have a democracy in the US? I say no.

We haven't had one since Jimmy Carter left office.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 05:23 PM

63. KamaAina: Is Pope Francis Catholic?

 

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:23 PM

64. His 'election' already

is a clear attack on electoral democracy.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:31 PM

65. yes he is

dangerously a threat.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:40 PM

66. I think he's a threat to life on this planet..

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:41 PM

67. Trump voters think we are upset because Hillary "lost"

it's much, MUCH more than that

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 06:51 PM

68. dear nyt--perhaps if you had DONE YOUR DAMNED JOB of actually being journalists, and telling

the truth, rather than giving this asshole so much coverage, we would not be in this mess (and, are you not the paper that employed judith miller and jason whatshisname? you have a lot for which to atone)

so, as riveting as this article is, just remember that you helped facilitate where we are today.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:50 PM

73. To NYT: yes.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 07:55 PM

74. Of course he is

A simple question deserves a simple answer.

Yes, yes, I know he'll have help destroying our democracy on a number of fronts. That doesn't absolve him of "the buck stops here" responsibility. Not that he understand responsibility or democracy.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:01 PM

75. Not just to Democracy, he's a threat to the entire world. nt

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:21 PM

76. These paragraphs are particularly ominous.............

An even more basic norm under threat today is the idea of legitimate opposition. In a democracy, partisan rivals must fully accept one another’s right to exist, to compete and to govern. Democrats and Republicans may disagree intensely, but they must view one another as loyal Americans and accept that the other side will occasionally win elections and lead the country. Without such mutual acceptance, democracy is imperiled. Governments throughout history have used the claim that their opponents are disloyal or criminal or a threat to the nation’s way of life to justify acts of authoritarianism.

The idea of legitimate opposition has been entrenched in the United States since the early 19th century, disrupted only by the Civil War. That may now be changing, however, as right-wing extremists increasingly question the legitimacy of their liberal rivals. During the last decade, Ann Coulter wrote best-selling books describing liberals as traitors, and the “birther” movement questioned President Obama’s status as an American.

Such extremism, once confined to the political fringes, has now moved into the mainstream. In 2008, the Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin linked Barack Obama to terrorism. This year, the Republican Party nominated a birther as its presidential candidate. Mr. Trump’s campaign centered on the claim that Hillary Clinton was a criminal who should be in jail; and “Lock her up!” was chanted at the Republican National Convention. In other words, leading Republicans — including the president-elect — endorsed the view that the Democratic candidate was not a legitimate rival.


The rhetoric of the right had become eliminationist, even before Trump.

Eliminationism is the belief that one's political opponents are "a cancer on the body politic that must be excised—either by separation from the public at large, through censorship or by outright extermination—in order to protect the purity of the nation".

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Response to LongTomH (Reply #76)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:07 PM

113. Those three paragraphs stood out to me, too.

I think it was Molly Ivins who said, "Republicans don't want to govern, they want to rule."

And now they do.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 08:59 PM

77. we haven't had a real democracy the last 30 years

when reagan killed the fairness doctrine in 87 the right bought up 1000 radio stations and they didn't even need media deregulation 10 years later - they just put guys like limbaugh and hannity on 500 radio stations each spewing the exact same messaging, reinforced with local blowhards coordinated by state.

so now we have several hundred professional liars dominating 40 red states with 80 senators. in those states the monopoly has aggressively protected itself from competition and except for a few states there are no free easy alternatives for politics. foolish liberals repeat the talking points that liberals can't compete but its ma and pop vs wall mart. creating an alternate reality because liberals ignored the fascist psyops, allowing them to create made to order constituencies for any occasion.

amazingly, not only do liberals still evaluate this election, an election dominated by talk radio memes and lies, as if talk radio doesn't exist, liberals allow without protest 88 major universities to rent their sports brands and community cred to 257 fucking limbaugh stations so they can sell global warming denial, racism, and public ed privatization.

how fucking stupid is that.

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Response to certainot (Reply #77)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:17 PM

115. This.

The dems have either been weak and stupid, or they are complicit. Either way, they've lost the game. They may never see power again.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 10:18 PM

79. Yes, he is! And 62 million crazed American voters like it that way

If we have to deal with direct and real craziness in our towns and cities, it will be from those ass***s, not Donnie Dickwad.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 10:22 PM

80. Donald J. Trump told us, repeatedly, that the election had to be "fair"

Is cheating fair, Donald?

If not fair, it's invalid, right?

You invited the hacking, you called everything rigged, and you knew it.

The entire thing is a scandal.

Cheaters can't complain if they don't get a fair shake.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Fri Dec 16, 2016, 10:29 PM

81. He's a threat not only from his own fascist

tendencies but also because he's a lazy fool who leaves details to his underlings who, by the way, are horrendous. Furthermore, his narcissistic personality coupled with a Twitter account make it more likely that he will Tweet something that will negatively affect us and our country while he escapes scot-free.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 03:09 AM

82. Trump is a threat to life. nt

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 03:39 AM

83. Kick and recommend

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Sat Dec 17, 2016, 04:28 AM

84. I think we can fight and defeat him internally

I worry that nuclear bombs will be lobbed internationally before we can remove him. It utterly astounds me that he is able to make me nostalgic for the Baby Bush days.

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Response to tavalon (Reply #84)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:23 PM

107. Yep, he makes Bush seem harmless. This ass is likely to start a war over a tweet. Someplace awhile

ago I read the military will not follow an insane order from him, of course, that was before his new appointees.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Sun Dec 18, 2016, 12:21 AM

94. If you have too ask. you don't have a clue.

Look up anti-democratic and you'll find Dump's hairpiece.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 01:46 AM

97. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck...

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 04:41 PM

100. He's a threat to the human species.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 04:43 PM

101. Yes of course

He is a threat to everything good. Period. I only hope his maggot supporters suffer the most from the disasters that orange stain will cause.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 04:45 PM

102. Idiots are more of a threat.

Or the people who enjoy living in a democracy, but can't be bothered to get off their lazy asses and vote. Better yet, people who can't be bothered to question fake news and believe everything they want to hear. You're a deplorable if you voted for Trump or didn't vote at all. Fuck Trump and the deplorables he rode in on.

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 06:30 PM

109. ascent of anti-democratic politicians?

From the editorial: "The clearest warning sign is the ascent of anti-democratic politicians into mainstream politics."

What ascent... virtually ALL politicians on the federal level buy into anti-democratic values inherent in the Constitution. Where Trump differs is he's an authoritarian who now is the head of the GOP which controls both chambers in that antidemocratic system

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 10:31 PM

118. They have to ask???!!! n/t

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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Mon Dec 19, 2016, 11:06 PM

119. Duh.

 

LOL the NYT.

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