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Old 05-31-2019, 01:09 PM
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So, how did the Russians get my father-in-law to vote for Trump?


I am a school teacher in a tiny town in far West Texas, but I actually live in a somewhat less tiny town in Central Texas (some 500 miles away). Now that school is out, I will be returning home to my lovely wife, our five dogs, and my father-in-law (FIL) who lives with us.

My FIL and I get along pretty well, but we argue politics all the time. He is pretty much an Archie Bunker type. I am as liberal as Mike Stivic, but I am no "Meathead". At least, I don't think so.

One thing FIL and I argue about is the Russian interference in the 2016 election. From his perspective, he marked his ballot for Donald Trump and no one made him or influenced him to do that. Trump is the candidate he wanted and he marked his ballot of his own free will. In the primary, FIL actually marked his ballot for Rubio, but that didn't work out. FIL was always going to vote for the R candidate, no matter who he/she was or who the D candidate was.

My FIL also assumes that everyone is just like him. This means that everyone who voted for Trump (or Clinton, for that matter) did so of his/her own volition. No one held a gun to their heads and made them vote for anyone. So he does not see any way that the Russians could have possibly influenced his decision. By extension, they could not have influenced anyone's decision.

My FIL is generally a kind a generous man. He is visually impaired and does not participate in social media at all. He probably wouldn't be interested even if he could see well. The TV in his room is pretty much always on FoxNews. However, he does watch the evening news on one or more of the big-three networks -- usually NBC or ABC. (I suspect he doesn't know Lester Holt is black or he would not watch NBC.) He does not watch CNN, MSNBC, etc. at all. When I say "watch", I really mean "listen to". His ability to see anything on the TV screen is very limited.

So, how did the Russians penetrate his decision making and make him choose Trump? All I've got is that they planted false stories on FoxNews that Fox then happily broadcast for all to enjoy.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:13 PM
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My FIL also assumes that everyone is just like him.
They may not have reached your father-in-law, but they reached a lot of people who don't always vote Republican and made them think Hillary was terrible, that she screwed over Bernie, and that she would preside over a scandal ridden and incompetent administration. They also depressed the Democratic turnout.

Personally, I don't blame the Russians for Trump. I blame Trump, the Republicans, and the deporables. (and the Democrats who stay home or voted third party thinking there was no way Trump could be elected)
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:16 PM
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The Russians didn’t have to influence everyone. It only took 80k votes to swing the election. And they certainly had some level of influence through planting false news stories all over FB and other social media.

They also fed advertising dollars into the RNC through the NRA and other super PACs. But it’s not the “always check R” voter they were targeting, it was the swing voters in the middle and the far left progressive voters who could be convinced to stay home.

They also hacked the voter registration lists in several states but I’m not sure if they actually removed voters or not, making it more difficult or impossible for them to vote on Election Day. If they knew what they were doing and covered their tracks well, we really couldn’t know.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:30 PM
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Seriously? "I believe I'm not swayed by commercials, so they can't ever work on anybody?" This fallacy was busted before you were born.

Commercials work. They keep being used because they work. They don't need to work on everybody, every time. They just need to work sufficiently well to make their expense worthwhile.

Next you'll be asking why spammers still exist.
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Procrustus View Post
They may not have reached your father-in-law, but they reached a lot of people who don't always vote Republican and made them think Hillary was terrible, that she screwed over Bernie, and that she would preside over a scandal ridden and incompetent administration. They also depressed the Democratic turnout.

Personally, I don't blame the Russians for Trump. I blame Trump, the Republicans, and the deporables. (and the Democrats who stay home or voted third party thinking there was no way Trump could be elected)
I would agree with this. They weren't interested in your FIL, and he is correct in describing his own decision process. So, you (Drum God) should agree with him on that. (It makes continuing the conversation go better.) HOWEVER, not everyone operates like he does. That is the point that you should make.

You could make that point by discussing the basics of advertising. Make a statement and repeat and repeat and repeat (and repeat and repeat....) eventually, some segment of the population will buy what you are selling. It doesn't have to be everyone, just some segment. People in the business of advertising spend a lot of time and energy figuring out which messages get the most traction. Basic advertising stuff. It works the same for Coke, Budweiser, McDonalds, Ford, and for political campaigns.

The second point you could make is that, like it or not, it is illegal for foreign entities to try to influence our elections. So, the Russians doing anything in this arena should be considered bad news. Surely FIL can grasp that the Russians doing something illegal is bad, no?
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Old 05-31-2019, 01:33 PM
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Did he vote for Trump in the primary? If so, why?

If he didn't vote for Trump in the primary, then the Russians got him to vote for Trump by putting an R next to his name.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:02 PM
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My FIL also assumes that everyone is just like him. This means that everyone who voted for Trump (or Clinton, for that matter) did so of his/her own volition. No one held a gun to their heads and made them vote for anyone. So he does not see any way that the Russians could have possibly influenced his decision. By extension, they could not have influenced anyone's decision.
I don't see any value in trying to convince a person that the Russians made them vote a certain way. But at least he acknowledges implicitly that the Russians tried to do so.

Next time you get a change, you should ask him why he thinks that people who voted for Obama twice switched over to voting for Trump in 2016. I'm not saying there are millions of people who did so, but I'd be curious what his thoughts are, and whether those people will stick with Trump in 2020.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:04 PM
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The Russia hawks will have you believe that a small group of poorly funded foreigners can influence people in an ocean of highly paid and generously funded political hacks with a good understanding of the American psyche that were overwhelmingly in favor of Clinton.

The participation of the Russians was a drop of water in that ocean.

Clinton was heavily financed by corporations and wealthy individuals. Look at the stats. Clinton swamped Trump in campaign contributions and devastated him in PAC money. She also had the support of virtually all mainstream media outlets.

Trump’s Republican rivals also swamped him in money from corporate donors and the wealthy.

If anyone influenced the election it was the vast system of crony donors who sought a payout. The Russia hawks act like provincial xenophobes. Many are supposed to be part of a metropolitan elite, but I feel embarrassed for them falling for this agitprop.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 05-31-2019 at 02:05 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:36 PM
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Some people never learn..

http://time.com/5597526/robert-muell...investigation/
Quote:
Russia systematically interfered with the 2016 election

What Mueller said: “As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who were part of the Russian military launched a concerted attack on our political system. … And at the same time, as the grand jury alleged in a separate indictment, a private Russian entity engaged in a social media operation where Russian citizens posed as Americans in order to interfere in the election.”

How that contradicts Trump: Trump has repeatedly questioned whether Russia interfered in the election. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” he said while standing next to Putin at a July 2018 press conference in Helsinki.

Russia sought to damage Clinton and help Trump

What Mueller said: “They used sophisticated cyber techniques to hack into computers and networks used by the Clinton campaign. They stole private information, and then released that information through fake online identities and through the organization WikiLeaks. The releases were designed and timed to interfere with our election and to damage a presidential candidate.”

How that contradicts Trump: Trump repeatedly argued that Russia actually opposed him in the 2016 election. “There was no collusion between us and Russia. In fact, the opposite. Russia spent a lot of money on fighting me. And if you think about it, I want a strong military,” he said in press remarks in August of 2017.

The Mueller report did not exonerate Trump of conspiring with Russia

U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks about the release of the redacted version of the Mueller report as U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and U.S. Acting Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Ed O’Callaghan listen at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019 in Washington, DC.

What Mueller said: “The first volume of the report details numerous efforts emanating from Russia to influence the election. This volume includes a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”

How that contradicts Trump: Trump repeatedly took “insufficient evidence” to mean “exoneration.” “So, after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt … it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia,” he said in March after the Mueller report was handed in.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:38 PM
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"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:47 PM
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I missed the part where you compare the paltry Russian effort to the overwhelming support of Clinton by corporate and wealthy interests.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:48 PM
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My FIL also assumes that everyone is just like him.
That's probably his biggest error there.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:53 PM
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Did Russian efforts influence the election? That is hard to say, the point is they tried and efforts should be made to restrict their ability to do it again.

Does he also believe attack ads and other political ads are without effect? Then there's really no point trying to convince him.
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Old 05-31-2019, 02:55 PM
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Think less in terms of Manchurian candidate-type control and more in terms of making would-be Democrat voters too unenthusiastic to bother to go vote and making would-be Republican voters get that little push they needed to bother showing up at the polls. The real electoral gains may not lie in convincing swing voters to vote for your candidate but in convincing people who already agree with you to turn that agreement into actually voting or convince people who won't agree with you anyway to stay home.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:08 PM
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I doubt Russia's Internet Research Agency (IRA) got your FIL or other staunch conservatives to vote for Trump because, as you say, he was already going to vote R no matter what. It's not really clear that the IRA was effective in getting Obama moderates to switch to Trump. What seems most plausible is that the IRA made it so that people who didn't want to vote for Trump were less likely to vote for Hillary. There were just enough people who voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, or who simply didn't vote at all, that Hillary lost the election.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:09 PM
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Ask him yourself. Why did he vote for Trump? Presumably, he did so because of what he knew about the two candidates. And whatever that information was, where did he hear it from? If someone got the wrong information to him, then they could influence his vote. Did they? That's tougher to determine, but it's at the least possible.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:28 PM
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The Russian influence program didn't just support Trump, it undermined Clinton and tried to pull off enough Democratic voters to third party candidates. The program also stoked racial tensions, especially on both sides of Black Lives Matter; the Russians not only promoted anti-BLM messaging on social media, they also staged actual events in American cities. The fact that BLM was such a hot button issue in the Republican primaries was due in some small part to the Kremlin. Old white racists were triggered into supporting the most overtly racist candidate, which is a high bar in a GOP primary. The Russians also fanned the resentment of the Sanders camp of Clinton's primary win to get enough of them to vote for Jill Stein or Gary "What's Aleppo" Johnson.
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:49 PM
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I missed the part where you compare the paltry Russian effort to the overwhelming support of Clinton by corporate and wealthy interests.
Because the support for Clinton was legal and aboveboard. And more or less, didn't consist of lies, other than hyperbole.

And Trump was also supported by corporate and wealthy interests. So was Bush I&II,so was Bill, so was Carter, so was Reagan, so was Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and so forth. It is impossible to be elected president of the USA without support from corporate and wealthy interests.

You are like saying the Las Vegas shooter wasnt a horrible tragedy as he only killed 79 people, while 70 Million people died in WW2. Your comparison is totally completely meaningless, and serves only to attack Hillary and defend trump and the Kremlin. It's pure unadulterated 'whataboutism" of the very worst sort.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:18 PM
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Ask him how he felt when he heard the pussy-grabbing tape. Did that make him think twice, maybe make him a little less enthusiastic about going to the trouble of voting? Did the subsequent release of DNC emails strengthen his resolve? Ask him where the emails came from.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:19 PM
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If the Russians accomplished much, it was to throw away the swing voters by dumping a bunch of DNC documents into the mix just before election day. They convinced the people who are willing to consider both sides that there was no honest man in the election and that if the partisan voters like to practice self-coprophagia, then they'd just leave that to them.

If you want to sway your FIL at all, just ask him if you can read the Trump Foundation suit out loud to him and then ask him what you think should be done to people who steal charity money for soldiers who fought for our country.

Pose him a question:

KFC and Taco Bell are both owned by Pepsi, as you know. They're one company, sharing the same suppliers, working from the same pool of money, etc. But, let's say that KFC decides that they want to be the biggest fast food franchise inside Pepsi, beating out Taco Bell.

The top boss of KFC sets out his strategy. He's going to raise prices for the customers - that will make the KFC brand more money. He wants the stores to all go "local grown" so he's going to start his own supply chain and, to finance it, raises the price of supplies to all the franchise owners, putting the extra money they pay towards trying to set up farms and factories near urban centers - that puts the farms near their franchise outlets. Obviously, that will be more expensive for the franchise owners in the short term, so he takes a giant loan out from the parent company, Pepsi, to subsidize the KFC franchises while he rebuilds everything.

What do you think happens to KFC? Is this a successful strategy? Will they win against Taco Bell? Will they even last very long? Will customers come buy their stuff while it's still just the same old stuff, but priced higher? If they actually succeed at "going local", but had to buy expensive land near the city, in climates that aren't necessarily very good for growing their produce, and hire workers at prices high enough that they could all live near the city, do you think that the cost of KFC products will go up or down as part of this process? Do you think that they'll end up with a good and competitive product anytime soon? Which businesses make more money, companies that run things cheap and low-quality or ones that are expensive and up-scale? Is there any chance that the franchise owners will start cutting corners, because they're having to pay more for supplies and so try to reduce their purchases? What do the suppliers do when the franchise owners are reducing their purchases and they catch wind that the whole plan is to abandon them? Do they stick around or do they look for someone else to buy all their produce and dump KFC? What happens to KFC when the suppliers dump them and they haven't yet gotten their local farms all set up and workers trained? What happens if no one in the city wants to start working in a farm at anything like a price that KFC could afford?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 05-31-2019 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:48 PM
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Because the support for Clinton was legal and aboveboard. And more or less, didn't consist of lies, other than hyperbole.

And Trump was also supported by corporate and wealthy interests. So was Bush I&II,so was Bill, so was Carter, so was Reagan, so was Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, and so forth. It is impossible to be elected president of the USA without support from corporate and wealthy interests.

You are like saying the Las Vegas shooter wasnt a horrible tragedy as he only killed 79 people, while 70 Million people died in WW2. Your comparison is totally completely meaningless, and serves only to attack Hillary and defend trump and the Kremlin. It's pure unadulterated 'whataboutism" of the very worst sort.
Yes comparisons of all sorts are called “whataboutism”

The point was that the paltry Russian influence campaign was a drop in the ocean of political influence peddling. I don’t know how you missed it as it was very clear.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:57 PM
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Yes comparisons of all sorts are called “whataboutism”

The point was that the paltry Russian influence campaign was a drop in the ocean of political influence peddling. I don’t know how you missed it as it was very clear.
Not “missed it” so much as not agreeing with your point.
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:59 PM
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Yes comparisons of all sorts are called “whataboutism”

The point was that the paltry Russian influence campaign was a drop in the ocean of political influence peddling. I don’t know how you missed it as it was very clear.
No, that's not 'whataboutism", whataboutism is a varient of the tu quoque logical fallacy. It doesn't address the issue at all. The issue is Kremlin manipulation of the American voter, not who got what in the way of legal campaign donations.

It was ILLEGAL political influence peddling.

I don’t know how you missed it as it was very clear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism
Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument,[1][2][3] which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.

Oddly, in your attempt to defend the Russians, you are using their very propaganda tool. or maybe not so oddly.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:14 PM
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No, that's not 'whataboutism", whataboutism is a varient of the tu quoque logical fallacy. It doesn't address the issue at all. The issue is Kremlin manipulation of the American voter, not who got what in the way of legal campaign donations.

It was ILLEGAL political influence peddling.

I don’t know how you missed it as it was very clear.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism
Whataboutism (also known as whataboutery) is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy that attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving their argument,[1][2][3] which in the United States is particularly associated with Soviet and Russian propaganda.

Oddly, in your attempt to defend the Russians, you are using their very propaganda tool. or maybe not so oddly.
Omg your use of red lettering has triggered me into realizing my error. I should ignore when people buy off politicians to do things against my interest because it is legal. Scary stuff.

You want to throw on blinders and ignore influence peddling in general while focusing on the paltry Russian effort. I suggest taking a wider view. You decide to throw out mindless rhetorical neologisms, have fun bud.

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 05-31-2019 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:10 PM
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Can we agree that Will believes the Russian meddling was paltry? Good. There's a starting point. Paltry. Why Will thinks that is cool is beyond me, but it seems that the important thing here is adjectives. Paltry. Word for the day.

Last edited by bobot; 05-31-2019 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:21 PM
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Man, I want me some KFC right now!
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:29 PM
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Not poultry, man. But now that you mention it...
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:29 PM
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The second point you could make is that, like it or not, it is illegal for foreign entities to try to influence our elections. So, the Russians doing anything in this arena should be considered bad news. Surely FIL can grasp that the Russians doing something illegal is bad, no?
I think it's a misdirection to talk about what the Russians did. We should focus on what Americans did. It's illegal to receive unreported aid from foreign countries, regardless of whether or not it works. So if Trump received Russian aid, he broke the law. And if Trump's claims are true and Hillary Clinton received Russian aid, she broke the law.

I don't care about which foreign governments offered bribes. I care about which American politicians accepted bribes.

Last edited by Little Nemo; 05-31-2019 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 06-01-2019, 07:50 AM
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The Mueller report has a summary of Russia’s actions in the first 20 pages or so, read it and then read it to him.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:03 AM
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"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding, it!"
Who's paying for repetitive nonsense, and how can I get in on it?
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:45 AM
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Here’s a real life example of people I know.
I have a couple of friends. They are conspiracy theorists. They’re also sort of new age hippies and talk a lot about things like “vibrational energy” and “what the universe wants”.
When Trump first announced his candidacy, they hated him. They thought it was an outrage that he was running and that he must be defeated at all costs.
But then they “read some stuff on-line”. They still were anti-Trump because he’s about hate and they’re about love. But their Facebook feeds became full of stuff about Hillary being a murderer and a con artist and a child molester and how they would NOT vote for her. Instead, they started promoting Gary Johnson as a solution for those who felt as they did about an election with two equally horrid candidates.

So that’s how it worked in one case.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 06-01-2019 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:48 AM
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To answer the OP, nobody said that every Trump voter was influenced by Russia. Some were.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:55 AM
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Ever have a phony friend in high school or college that just thrives on drama? You break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and it seems like the end of the world. And your so-called friend keeps ripping the wound open by telling you they saw your ex with someone else.

That’s kinda what the Russians did. ‘Pssst, Bernie got screwed by the DNC!’ If you’re a 19 year old at the University of Wisconsin and fell in love with Bernie and this is your first time paying attention to politics, the constant noise about Bernie getting screwed might be enough to convince you to stay home, cast a protest third party vote or write in Bernie.

So, no, the Russians didn’t need to convince those who vote R no matter what. At the very least, the Russians wanted a very crippled Hillary who would constantly have to watch her left flank.
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Old 06-01-2019, 03:52 PM
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Yeah, it was all "thumb on the scale" stuff. But in a close election, which this one was in the only way that mattered, that can and did make a difference.

Oh, you could also go into the NRA serving as a conduit for Russian money to trump.

Gosh, now I'm wondering if the Russians have their hands in the evangelical movement.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:00 PM
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Yeah, it was all "thumb on the scale" stuff. But in a close election, which this one was in the only way that mattered, that can and did make a difference.

Oh, you could also go into the NRA serving as a conduit for Russian money to trump.

Gosh, now I'm wondering if the Russians have their hands in the evangelical movement.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they do have their hands in the Evangelical movement. It’s utterly sickening to see how many of them have become Trump toadies. And, of course, churches aren’t subject to taxes. Remember the extreme whining they did under Obama about being persecuted? Russia is nothing but a money laundering machine for oligarchs and the mob.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:11 PM
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There was once an episode of Leave It to Beaver, where Beaver was caddying for someone who was cheating at golf. Beaver talked it over with his buddy Gilbert (the sneaky one.)

BEAVER: He didn't cheat much, just enough to win.

GILBERT: That's all you gotta cheat, just enough to win.
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Old 06-01-2019, 08:42 PM
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I missed the part where you compare the paltry Russian effort to the overwhelming support of Clinton by corporate and wealthy interests.
I just don't think that's relevant, unless people are making a VERY strong claim about Russian interference. Here are four claims, in decreasing order of likelihood:

(1) Russia attempted to interfere in the election, to help Trump, which is illegal and important
(2) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were substantial enough that it's plausible that they accounted for the very narrow margin of victory in several key states
(3) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were substantial enough that they accounted for the very narrow margin of victory in several key states
(4) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were the only (or the predominant) factor that determined the outcome of the election

Of those four, your nattering on about how much money Clinton had is only relevant to someone making claim (4). And few, if any, people are making that claim. Sure, we FOCUS on Russian interference a lot, because it was CRIMINAL and THREATENED THE VERY FOUNDATIONS OF OUR DEMOCRACY. We don't focus on the terrible decisions Clinton made about where to focus her electoral efforts because, well, they were stupid and it's depressing and what is there to learn from that?
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  #38  
Old 06-02-2019, 05:58 AM
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Seriously? "I believe I'm not swayed by commercials, so they can't ever work on anybody?" This fallacy was busted before you were born.

Commercials work. They keep being used because they work. They don't need to work on everybody, every time. They just need to work sufficiently well to make their expense worthwhile.

Next you'll be asking why spammers still exist.
That is what I was going to say.

If advertising did not work, companies would spend a large portion of their budget on it. In the USA, companies spent $104,000,000,000 on advertising - they do it for a reason.

The most successful companies (Google, Apple, AT&T, McDonalds, IMB, Marlboro, Facebook, Microsoft) all have very large advertising budgets.

An advert does not make you go out straight away and buy a product or service - but it plants a seed.
  #39  
Old 06-02-2019, 06:02 AM
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"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
One is legal, the other is illegal.
  #40  
Old 06-02-2019, 07:33 AM
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Even if he didn't hear it from Russia directly, Fox News had no problem repeating the junk that came up for the Russian Fake News. Find out what stuff he believes that first came from Russian propaganda.

Also, did he care about Hillary's Emails? Russia is the one that hacked them. So if he was influenced by that at all, he was influenced by what Russia did.

If people knew they were getting information from Russia, it wouldn't have been as useful as propaganda.
  #41  
Old 06-02-2019, 08:53 AM
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Yeah, it was all "thumb on the scale" stuff. But in a close election, which this one was in the only way that mattered, that can and did make a difference.

Oh, you could also go into the NRA serving as a conduit for Russian money to trump.

Gosh, now I'm wondering if the Russians have their hands in the evangelical movement.
I doubt the Russians needed to do anything with the Evangelical movement. As Free Clark points out many times in his dissections of the Left Behind books, the premillennial dispensationalists within the conservative Evangelical community have a long history here in the US and that they want the Apocalypse. And they'll vote for candidates who they are will help usher it in.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:22 AM
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With that Lester Holt aside, it seems that racism, not Russia, made your FIL vote for Trump.
  #43  
Old 06-02-2019, 05:18 PM
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I just don't think that's relevant, unless people are making a VERY strong claim about Russian interference. Here are four claims, in decreasing order of likelihood:

(1) Russia attempted to interfere in the election, to help Trump, which is illegal and important
(2) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were substantial enough that it's plausible that they accounted for the very narrow margin of victory in several key states
(3) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were substantial enough that they accounted for the very narrow margin of victory in several key states
(4) Russia's efforts to interfere in the election were the only (or the predominant) factor that determined the outcome of the election
...
I am mostly in the 2 camp, occasionally swinging to 3. 4 is incorrect, imho.
  #44  
Old 06-02-2019, 09:41 PM
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For the Clinton voters: How did George Soros get you to vote for Clinton?

Last edited by WillFarnaby; 06-02-2019 at 09:41 PM.
  #45  
Old 06-03-2019, 03:00 AM
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So, how did the Russians penetrate his decision making and make him choose Trump? All I've got is that they planted false stories on FoxNews that Fox then happily broadcast for all to enjoy.
By influencing the primaries enough that he voted for Trump and not for his actual first choice, Rubio. Elections are neither a one-day nor a one-step process; pressure groups, propagandists, money… try to affect every step, every day.
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  #46  
Old 06-03-2019, 03:29 AM
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I think we are getting a glimpse at the future of 'warfare'. Managing the news and social media to influence talking points and then actions.
  #47  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:05 AM
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To echo what others have said, the Russians did not influence every voter, just enough voters. Those misleading and/or downright wrong Facebook posts that smear Hillary and other Democrats are often the product of Russian bot farms. They know how to trigger certain people into sharing their political smears much like a virus replicates itself inside its host. Most people don't research Facebook memes for accuracy, it's more like "hey, this meme reinforces my existing prejudices! Let's hit the share button!" Enough people get exposed to dozens if not hundreds of memes, all you've got to do is exploit the gullibility and bigotry of enough people and you flip the election.
  #48  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:32 AM
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I think we are getting a glimpse at the future of 'warfare'. Managing the news and social media to influence talking points and then actions.
The not so funny thing for me is the enormous feeling of déjà vu, or maybe déjà lu, that I get from a lot of the Russia-financed propaganda (anyone who thinks they don't try to get a hand inside every populist puppet they can find, or create them when one won't come up by itself, is hereby offered some oceanfront property in Arizona).

The basic playbook is the exact same they were using with ETA, with PCE, with… in the 1970s and 1980s. I have seen posters in Barcelona, rumors in the US, bus sides in the UK, which I saw in Pamplona, Tudela, Logroño, Bilbao, thirty years before and in different languages. Which ones last five minutes and which ones get reinforced depends on the initial response, but they're not even analyzing the target beforehand in order to choose which darts to throw at it: they just throw the same darts they already have, and reuse those that appear to stick. They know which stones are humans likely to stumble on, and hey, when you're dealing with a fresh batch of humans you can just reuse the same old rocks.
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Last edited by Nava; 06-03-2019 at 08:34 AM.
  #49  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:34 AM
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For the Clinton voters: How did George Soros get you to vote for Clinton?
He didn't - 8 years of George W Bush and Dick Cheney pretty much ruined Republicans for life from my perspective.
  #50  
Old 06-03-2019, 08:38 AM
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He didn't - 8 years of George W Bush and Dick Cheney pretty much ruined Republicans for life from my perspective.
Trump Voter: “The Russians didn’t make me vote Trump, 16 years of Bush and Obama pretty much ruined establishment pols for life from my perspective”

You’re welcome.
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