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paulkienitz

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 702

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what drives Trump's habit of awful tweets

I think Trump's habit of awful tweets is being driven by his craving for popularity. The same goes for a lot of the awful things he says out loud. As this article by Kevin Drum of Mother Jones points out, the intended audience is his fanbase -- it's just a nasty side effect that the rest of the world is horrified and offended, or that our overseas troops are endangered.

I think what Trump has done is found an audience that is willing to give him the cheers and praise he wants, and they're the people that nobody else wanted cheers from, so he's kind of got them monopolized. I'm talking about the racists and xenophobes and misogynists and other deplorables -- the sort of people who actually cheer for the destruction of the environment, just because they hate environmentalists; people who condone violence against women and applaud police brutality against minorities; people who despise diplomacy as an alternative to violence, and feel there should be no such thing as international law. Trump has found that by egging on the worst tendencies of America's worst citizens, in ways that few others are willing to stoop low enough to do, he can finally get that long-sought popularity. That he's pushing the country toward fascism in the process doesn't worry him at all... after all, if it did become fascist, that just neans he could have even bigger adoring crowds, and to him, that's the important matter at stake -- the one we should all be talking about first.

the only identities who have been truly practicing identity politics are christians and caucasians

Identity politics are about setting my own cultural group as a priority above others. African Americans ahead of everyone else, or gays ahead of everyone else, or Buddhists ahead of everyone else: if those happened, that would be identity politics. The very fact that all these "identity politics" groups have so readily formed inclusive coalitions with each other puts the lie to the whole label. No, there are only two identity groups who have actively been trying on a large scale to promote themselves above other groups in an exclusive and nonsharing way, and those two identities mostly overlap: Christian evangelicals and white conservatives.

Once again, we've let conservative projection frame our discussion. Equality, fairness, justice, and civil rights are not identity politics. Opposing these things in favor of white Christians -- that is identity politics.

Why do people keep blaming the left for "identity politics"?

The right unified around white male privilege back in the days of MLK, and the left got everyone excluded from that, by default.

"Fighting nazis is an American tradition"

My favorite meme picture for the post-election period is the one that says "Fighting Nazis is an American Tradition. Stop the alt-right." It shows Captain America punching Hitler in classic golden-age style. I think it might be the perfect starting point for inspiring normal conservatives to renounce the hardcore alt-right, and from that point to maybe, at some later time, question a bit of their own common ground therewith.

I've decided that if Trump is a normal conservative we can survive, but if he goes alt-right he may be an existential threat, so the thing to do is attack and undermine the alt-right, which if done right could at the very least help divide his supporters. And when trying to bring along as many patriotic mainstream Americans as possible even if they're conservative, I think our most famous Hitler-puncher, Captain America, might be the perfect mascot for this campaign.

I am also trying to spread the hashtag #AmericansFightNazis for the same reason. If we can remind mainstream Republicans to be like Cap or like Indy, and heroically confront Nazis and their ilk as outsider enemies, then the process of winning back our country from the likes of Steve Bannon is well on its way to success.

Nate Silver is indeed the most pessimistic of the group

I ranked these by taking the midpoint of their tossup range, and got this ordering:

FiveThirtyEight 297.5
Cook Political 301
ABC 306
PredictWise 308
Sabato's Crystal Ball 308.5
Governing 311.5
CNN 315.5
NBC 316
Associated Press 321.5
Princeton 323
NPR 323.5
Fox 325.5
The Fix 326
NYT Upshot 334.5
Rothenberg&Gonzales 335

Nate Silver is about 19 EV off the average, and the most Trumpward of the bunch. Given that the turnout stories indicate a surge of Dem votes way beyond his prediction, I expect that this election will be Silver's comeuppance as the big star among statistical election predictors.

Nate Silver is going to get a comeuppance as star prognosticator.

Still, the house might be a stretch.

EDIT: See the All the predictions thread.

There are several reasons. Sexism is one.

There are several reasons why Trump has a chance instead of being a joke:

1. He appeals to authoritarian-follower personalities. The Republicans haven't really made a strong appeal to that personality type in a long time. George W sort of halfway did it, but Trump is going full potato on it.

2. Racism, xenophobia, and the other deplorabilities. Same deal.

3. Sexism. In this case Trump is not the one to blame, despite Mike Pence's appeal for a "broad shouldered" government. That's why I list it separately from the deplorables. The sexist hate for Hillary was pre-existing -- indeed, a surprising amount of the opposition to Bill Clinton in the ninteties focused on Hillary all along, because she became a symbol of feminism. Hatred of feminism is every bit as powerful as hatred of other frightening minority views, such as Islam or communism or atheism. Unlike the racist and xenophobic issues, Trump didn't even have to do anything to get these voters in his pocket.

But I think the biggest factor may be:

4. The fact that both parties sold out the blue collar working class -- the Rs because they viewed them as nothing but an extractable resource, and the Ds because they stopped caring about voters who wouldn't come along with them on issues like civil rights, abortion, and gay marriage. At this point these voters don't just want justice, they want revenge. In practice they've been completely unrepresented for a long time, and have little to no stake in preserving the status quo.

if the GOP were to split

into a reformed conservative/libertarian party and a "deplorables" party, I wonder which would get the bigger share? I'm all too afraid it would be the latter.

The outcome I'm sort of hoping for now is that the GOP starts losing massively, and all the moderate conservatives flee and join the democratic party, until it becomes so overwhelming that the schism happens there, leaving us with a progressive party and a moderate-conservative party, with the hardcore racists and fascists relegated to a third-party rump status. But that probably won't happen... and if it did, it would certainly be a sad end to the legacy of Lincoln. I think the more likely outcome is that the Republicans will stick together despite being in permanent chaos and dysfunction, until they either come up with a charismatic post-racist leader, or finally manage to age out all the racists who keep making them lose elections.

A pre-post-mortem of the 2016 Republican debacle

From my blog:

https://supersonicman.wordpress.com/2016/10/13/a-pre-post-mortem-of-the-2016-republican-debacle/

The TPP is such a clear-cut issue that once you see someone support it, you need no further data.

Any politician who supports the TPP is out to make you poorer for their own benefit. It really is that simple, and "third way" is the least of the labels they deserve. If they're liberal on social or lifestyle issues they qualify for the "third way" category; if not, they're plain right-wingers or just as bad.
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