We get it. Neither warmed draino and diet pepsi are craft beer. They have are both produced by mega corporations, and neither tastes particularly good, or give you that warm glow that you get from a good IPA. So it doesn’t matter which one we drink they are both exactly the same.
It is obvious to me that ralfy wants to display his master thesis (if he has a masters degree or not). No matter what you ask, or how you phrase it, he will turn the question into what his pat answer addresses. He believes his answer is the exact correct answer and what is more-- that it is the correct scope and scale for what truly matters. (All other questions are lesser than the one he is answering.) It is a work of art to him, and he must be acknowledged. Any effort to get him to see a bigger picture, or to focus on a smaller corner of the issue is wasted time.
Sir, your point is noted, your examples are unimpeachable and adequately support your contention. Please discontinue repeating your point. Either join in the discussion that the others are trying to engage in, or be silent.
He does have a point, though, about the center-line establishment wings of both parties. However, like most people, I just don’t know what the realistic alternatives were. I’ve probably complained that Obama and Clinton were too moderate and not daring enough, but they were working with the voters that they had – many of whom were easily misled by Republican lies. The unfortunate fact is that this country’s political culture is solidly conservative. It only votes Democratic because the Republicans, despite being the conservative party, have so many negatives that they repel voters who’d be otherwise inclined to vote for them.
A point he does have, I agree. I even accepted his examples and admitted they supported the point. And as to your point, until recently I was one of those lifelong Republicans who finally turned to the left because my former party left me no option to be sane, honest, and honorable while remaining in their Party. (Trump did what no progressive ever could- he made me a liberal!)
But I believe the argument being made is that the parties are similar in their manner of proceeding, their methodology. There are obvious differences in other aspects of the parties despite the fact that they are both guilty of proceeding along selfish and self-serving lines. The most obvious difference I can observe is that the left is not automatically devoted to obstructing the other side at all costs – including self destructive acts. (The whole debt ceiling fiasco that is brewing is just the last example of the Republicans creating a fight where there isn’t one in reality so they can appear tough!)
The thread was started because we are all fed up with the former president and his insane posse of clowns (no offense intended to similarly named musical group). For my part, I am a little tired of being distracted by what a keen observer of history, and the breadth of political nuance ralfy has assembled into a conclusion that has little to do with the 45th president overstaying his welcome in the news cycles of this administration.
However correct Ralfy may be in the narrow context of historical two-party evolution, the current political parties in the United States are very distinct as to substance and intent, and Donald J. Trump is a horse’s ass who deserves no more attention except from criminal and civil prosecutors. I can prove that statement very simply – currently the Republican Party has NO platform at all. There is surely neoconservatism in their past and maybe in their future (if they survive their descent into madness), but the points being argued have no bearing on this thread.
Please feel free to start a thread on the evolution of and similarity between the two major parties. This thread has two opposing points:
Trump deserves media attention because of his still profound influence. Or:
Trump never deserved media attention because he is a buffoon who never should have had any place in American government and now that he is gone from it- should be ignored.
(And of course variations of those views growing ever closer together.)
Instead of addressing my points directly, you accuse me of assuming that I am the smartest in the room. That makes no sense at all.
It’s pointless to continue this discussion with you as you are now acting irrationally.
Those are superficial because they lie on an economic base that essentially involves the two ideologies that I mentioned. In short, U.S. citizens argue about civil rights while their own government and military back by the rich engage in violating human rights on a global scale.
They are superficial because they don’t compare to the extent of damage caused by the two ideologies I mentioned, and the main proponents of those ideologies involve both political parties implementing them since the early 1980s. The results include up to 70 trillion in total debt, up to 200 trillion in unfunded liabities, around 20 to 40 million dead and suffering worldwide throughout the Cold War and beyond, including up to a million in Afghanistan alone (and likely similar in Iraq), and more. Civil rights involving gender and race are superficial compared to the damage caused by the U.S. and rival military powers worldwide the last two decades at least.
There is nothing incoherent and wrong about what I wrote. The military industrial complex has been in place since the 1950s and was used by both political parties across seven decades to build at least 800 military bases and installations worldwide in order to encircle “evil empires” like Russia and China while bullying, coercing, and invading multiple countries in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. And over what? Oil, minerals, and various economic and military advantages. That does not include structural adjustment, low intensity conflict, and various dirty tricks ranging from assassination to sabotage to propping up regimes against countries that could not fight back.
And how is that seen in light of Trump? Did you ever wonder why not only Trump but even Ron Paul was more popular in regions like Asia than Obama and others, and that’s the same Obama who engaged in a pivot to counter China, diverting military resources from the Middle East after Bush tried the same stunt earlier.
Did you ever wonder why the U.S. has been losing not only influence but even trading partners in many parts of the world?
Did it ever occur to you that all these happened long before Trump became President? And isn’t that the same Trump that availed of tax breaks and avoided bankruptcy thanks to the Bush and Obama administrations, supported the Democratic Party for years, and was a close family friend of the Clintons?
Yes, it won’t matter. Whether it’s the Carter Doctrine or the Reagan Doctrine, whether it’s Bush’s war on terrorism or Obama’s pivot to Asia, not to mention something like a billion dollars used to fuel the drug war in Mexico while asking Duterte of the Philippines to “go easy” on the drug war there, the old boss will be replaced by a new one, and they will all work for Wall Street.
Why do you think military spending continues to rise, together with total debts, and unfunded liabilties likely up to $200 trillion? Why do you think that after two decades of nation-building in Afghanistan, the results were trillions of dollars wasted and up to a million deaths?
And what’s going to happen when more countries start moving away from the dollar as a reserve currency, the same thing that’s been keeping the U.S. afloat since the 1960s amid low growth rates, debts that have more than doubled, chronic trade deficits, up to $16 trillion in unaudited bailout funds given to the rich that not only control the economy but are now richer than they were after the 2008 crash?
Master thesis? As for participating in this discussion, that’s what I’ve been doing: my point is that Trump won’t just go away because he is part of the same system that led to his rise. Here’s what I mean:
He inherited from his father’s dealings with government, catered to the needs of the rich via high-end real estate, casinos, etc., and hobnobbed with political friends like the Clintons. In addition, he gained from provisions which supported the rich thanks to his, Obama’s, and Bush’s administrations.
What is that economy in which he thrives? It is essentially dependent on the U.S. dollar used as a global reserve currency, which is why the U.S. has been engaging in heavy borrowing and spending. It can’t do otherwise, as the producer of a global reserve currency eventually experiences a Triffin dilemma, where what it sells to other countries become very expensive for the latter and anything it can buy very cheap.
The results, not surprisingly, are chronic trade deficits since 1971, at best middling economic growth (except for one high of 7+ pct in 1984) since 1961, resorting to petrodollar recycling as part of agreements with the Saudis by 1974, and the need to engage in dozens of destabilization attempts, coups, propping up puppet regimes, funding and even training terrorist groups and death squads in various countries, and playing both sides (like arming Israel and its opponents), and more, not to mention over 800 military bases and installations worldwide to project U.S. power under the rubric of “freedom” and “democracy”:
That is the system in which not only Trump but even his rivals (including his former pals the Clintons) thrived, and one where Wall Street and the rich essentially control the economy and fund the Establishment and the military.
But here’s where it gets weird: even as Trump is hated by liberals because he’s seen as an authoritarian and a hooligan, he is generally liked outside the West, especially in Asia, where similar characteristics of authoritarianism dominate, but part of nationalism, protectionism, export orientation, nation-building, and team work over individuality. That’s why his calls for closing borders, selective immigration, cutting down on military expansionism (and even demanding that other countries pay for military support), and even trade and peace deals with countries like China and North Korea are not alien to non-Westerners.
And yet none of those lasted. That’s because Americans, whether conservative or liberal, are fiercely independent, which explains why many of his own supporters booed Trump when he stated that he was vaccinated while more are now complaining about Biden concerning vaccinations, masks, and even lockdowns. Similarly, remember when in desperation Trump later contemplated bombing Iran? For all his talk against the swamp, it turns out that his own administration was part of the same.
And that’s why Trump cannot just go away: he represents more who are struggling with every point that I raised but don’t want to talk about it aloud. And if anyone does, they make fun of that person, arguing that he probably thinks he’s the smartest in the room, or that he’s probably making a thesis, and other nonsense. If any, they can only admit in the end that the points I raise make sense, and yet what happened in 2016 is radically “different” from what took place earlier.
Trump will have a voice because he has an audience and where there is an audience there is a market.
That’s something I’ve been saying. Though I wouldn’t absolve the average US citizen so quickly.
Modnote: You and @Princhester are making this much too personal. Remember you can attack the post but not the poster.
Please have at it; this is the place to bring up your entire complex view.
And to be clear, I am not saying you are wrong; I am saying that this thread is largely about being sick and tired of the former president and his out sized influence. I promise to follow the linked thread and post if I feel I have anything of substance to contribute to the topic.
I believe that far too many Democrats in Congress are far too beholden to monied interests. But that Republicans are totally committed to a U.S. oligarchy and must be stopped.
I agree but it begs the question. Once having stopped them ( hopefully assuming this can be so ), how do we address the former? How do we arrest, let alone prevent, monied interests from pushing toward an oligharchy/plutocracy anyway? Any and all attempts heretofore have not been successful in any meaningful way.
We obviously need a superstar athlete to topple the monied interests and restore individual rights to the masses by beating them at their own game no matter how corruptly they change the rules (even sometimes during the competition).
The thread refers to policy differences. I’m referring to two shared ideologies that have been employed in every administration since Reagan, was seen in Trump’s administration, and now in Biden’s.
One of the two bases of those two ideologies is exceptionalism, which not only describes Trump but his critics as well. Exceptionalism refers to the belief that not only the individual but one’s country is special, which means only the self or the country can determine what’s good for it and for others. The results may be contradictory. For example:
Trump’s calls for MAGA via restricting free trade and limiting immigration, and contemplating bombing Iran, but also decreasing military expansionism, focusing on trade and peace deals with countries like China and North Korea;
Biden’s calls for taxing the rich and opening up both borders and trade (the latter which the rich, which controls much of the economy, want), but also continuing military deals (e.g., with the Philippines under Duterte), and likely part of decades of warmongering.
Trump’s own fans booing at him for being vaccinated and now various groups, including those who did not support Trump, now complaining about not only lockdowns and masks but mandatory vaccination, something that according to media outlets may have stemmed from the botched swine flu job during the mid-1970s, but also likely driven by an anti-authoritarian view of life, which is also why the country has lots of cars and guns per capita.
Do you see the connections between the three, of Americans thinking that they’re the best in the world, that they’re special, that no one can order them around except if they involve one’s favorite political party or politician, that they have the right to say what’s best for everyone else, not only in their own country but worldwide?
Can one see the same in Trump, who is essentially a real estate businessman dealing with high-end stuff and the product of commercial mass entertainment? How do you think he was able to win in the first place, against almost all pundits who kept insisting that Clinton would win, and even by a landslide?
And isn’t that the same Clinton who for years were good friends of the Trumps?
In the end, more will realize that what I’ve been sharing isn’t so much some “entire complex view” or a “master’s thesis” or trying to sound smart but essentially collusion between the rich and politicians, something which is embodied in, of all people, Trump, and which has characterized the U.S. for decades.
And that’s why Trump can’t and won’t just go away.
From what I gathered, the oligarchs started coming to power when the rise of the Federal Reserve, which is essentially a private consortium of Wall Street banks. They stemmed from robber barons who colluded with the state decades earlier, and after that powered up manufacturing, which gained considerably thanks to WW2. That became the base for “the American dream,” where people could get job security and lots of nice things to buy.
But to fight foreign enemies, the military also had to get nice things, too, which is why the same manufacturing base was used for a military industrial complex needed to project power worldwide. That was bolstered by the use of the dollar as a reserve currency, which made generally anything worldwide cheap for the U.S. but also made what it wanted to sell expensive.
The latter eventually led to real wages dropping by the 1970s, as manufacturers started outsourcing to countries that would soon become stronger economically, and as more workers started moving to service industries (in the same way that decades earlier, their parents and grandparents moved from farming to manufacturing).
That affair, in turn, was propped up by Reagan during the 1980s, when it became “morning” once more. It turned out that that was driven by a continuation of the use of the military and foreign policy to coerce other countries, and deregulate to allow financiers to engage in more gambling and thus produce more credit for everyone else.
The result was incredible levels of borrowing and spending from 1982 to the present.
Trump lived through and gained throughout those decades as he catered to the whims of the rich, while Biden warmongered, calling for attacks on Iraq and controlling the areas around the former Yugoslavia.
From that article you linked to:
The cultural landscape post-Trump would never allow half these people to be seen in the same room with him. And this massive cultural shift has not been lost on a skeptical public — skeptical of elitism to begin with, and with a front row seat to hypocrisy in 2020.
Will that sentiment propel Trump to another term this year? We’ll see.
The answer was no.
You’ve had zero issues hijacking this thread and making it about you, but that other thread is sacrosanct and you won’t participate?