The Trump era - what's surprised you the most?

You can be a little surprised when you find out that children are being dragged away from their parents in the parking lot.

Not in the least. Shocked and disgusted, but not surprised. I know who Stephen Miller is and what he’s like, after all. I haven’t forgotten that Trump said Nazis are very fine people or that he has often expressed his admiration for the ways of brutal dictators.

I’m surprised that iDJiT’s entire base has doubled down in their support despite his vile conduct that often hurts them in particular. Willful stupidity knows no bounds.

Get a clue: both sides want power.

I was surprised by how little desire there is within the Republican Party for a Pence presidency. I figured Trump would get outmaneuvered in Washington and pushed to the side in favor of establishment minded Pence with a well timed impeachment. Instead, the Pubs seem to not care whether the ideology they’re following in any way reflects any prior ideology and only care about the exercise of power.

Not to be offensive but I’ve never understood this argument. Trump has been a petulant, mentally unstable, selfish person who have lived like he is above the law his entire life.

Throw in probable dementia and (what he assumed was) unlimited power and why would that make him more responsible?

But he’s always been human and of adult age. During the campaign, it was still possible to dismiss the assclown stuff as a staged act to rile up the deplorable base. I’m surprised to find myself questioning that assumption now and realizing it wasn’t an act.

Every other under-prepared President has realized it early on and made the monumental effort to live up to the job’s responsibilities, with varying degrees of success. I don’t think it was crazy to expect him to do the same, but he hasn’t made even a start.

Call it partisanship, but the democrats seem more principled than the GOP. The GOP will abandon democracy and the constitution, as well as all their principles for power. The democrats less so.

Many democrats likely knew the ACA would cost them their seats but they voted for it anyway. Obama said similar things, he’d rather be a good one term president than a bad 2 term one.

I don’t see the democrats being as hostile to democracy as the GOP. A big issue is authoritarianism. That is the root cause of all this bullshit. About 25% of the public score high on authoritarianism. in the last few decades there has been a political realignment. People who score high on authoritarianism moved to the GOP, people who scored low moved to the democrats. Now I assume roughly half the GOP are authoritarians (an assumption) but in the democrats it is likely much lower.

Basically whatever party is considered home for bigoted authoritarians will respect democracy and principles least. All authoritarians care about is tribalism and fear of outsiders. If anything, they are hostile to democracy and human rights because these things (in their minds) make outsiders more dangerous. A dictatorship with bad human rights makes them feel safer from scary outsiders. So Trump’s war on democracy and everything it stands for (independent judiciary, independent law enforcement, voting rights, free press, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, etc) is a feature, not a bug, to his base.

Yeah, same. But so far he has been riding Obama’s accomplishments. When the deficit triples, we have a recession, prices spike due to trade wars, the investigations bear lots of fruit, etc. then they may turn on him. May.

Some to use it to help people, some just to enrich themselves.

Hint: If you ever find yourself saying “both sides”, you need to reassess your position before you make the mistake of clicking Submit.

I guess we know which one these people picked, right?

Remind me, how rich have the Clintons become? And how about Obama?

Hint: before making such criticism, remember that the poster may be thousands of miles away and have the advantages of both distance and not being and American and therefore may have a different perspective.

Bill Clinton raised taxes on the rich. He hiked the income tax rates on the rich, eliminated the medicare tax cap, passed the EITC and FMLA, expanded SCHIP.

Hillary clinton ran on roughly the same kind of policies. Higher taxes on the rich and powerful, regulations on their behavior combined with more subsides on the working class and middle class. Democrats both hike and reduce taxes on the working class though. They may cut their payroll taxes like Obama did, but raise their cigarette or fuel taxes.

Trump and the republicans do the opposite. They hike expenses on the working class and middle class, cut their subsidies and use the money to fund supply side tax cuts. Regressive taxes have gone up. The GOP tax cut made the tax cuts for the rich permanent, but the tax cuts for the middle class temporary.

The fact that the Clintons made 240 million in 15 years is irrelevant to what they do in office. Ned Lamont is worth ~200 million but he would’ve made a great progressive senator. Alan Greyson is rich. Nancy Pelosi is rich.

I don’t think you understand liberals well if you think we all hate anyone who gets rich in private life. I don’t mind that. I mind high levels of income inequality, I don’t like oligarchy/plutocracy, and I don’t like plutocratic economic policy.

The Clintons, Greysons, Pelosis, Lamonts, etc of the world do not bother me. If you can get rich, great. As long as you support progressive economic policies in politics and think it is wrong for businessmen and the wealthy to own the country you are welcome as a democrat. The Clintons being worth a quarter million is fine. Al Gore is worth a lot too. But he supports single payer.

What has surprised me is how little effect Trump has had. It seems like most of the world has gone on as if he doesn’t exist. In retrospect, this isn’t a shock, though: his utter incompetence in virtually every respect means that in a sense, Trump doesn’t exist. And this is largely true of his incompetent underlings as well, like Pruitt, Carson, and Pai.

I vaguely worry that the world will one day wake up from this vague dreamland–“holy shit–did you realize we put a fucking moron in charge?” But maybe it’s the same thing as worrying that one day, the economy will collapse because it’s all based on shuffling bits of paper (or just bits) around; or that law and order will collapse because it’s based on a bunch of people just agreeing to behave a certain way; etc. The world won’t wake up because we’re all far too invested in pretending that things are still normal. And pretending that things are normal is almost as good as them actually being normal.

He’s had little visible effect – that doesn’t mean he has had no effect. Trump is having an effect. The leaders in Asia and Europe see it, even if most people do not.

When people start noticing the effects, it’s probably going to be too late. The assumption that, we can just change course in the next election if he turns out to be a mistake is giving us a false sense of security. The damage that Trump will end up inflicting will be catastrophic.

Actually, Krugman is pretty good. And he did a full mea culpa on how he let his passions get ahead of his economist side for the election fall out.

I both thought it would be much worse and much better. I thought he’d do something so stupidly illegal in the first few days that Congress would HAVE to do something, even just a censure. And I thought since he was more interested in being praised than any ideology that he’d just kind of go rogue and maybe do truly popular things.

I wasn’t expecting the complete gross incompetency, but I also thought enough congress members in blue and purple states would balk more.

I agree that the effects are long-term. But long-term effects are correctable. Trump as president is an idiot child at the helm of an oil tanker. Yes, he may be steering us toward the lighthouse–and yes, the correction may be stronger and less comfortable when it comes–but there is still time.

Several Trumps in a row? Maybe the course would be irreversible then. But one is not enough, especially as he appears to be pushing the buttons randomly. He’s not competent enough to be truly malicious.

I was not among those who thought that the country would collapse the moment Trump took office. That’s because the institutions are so strong that the plane can fly itself for a while. But Trump has been relentlessly attacking those institutions. Agencies are losing career people, with decades of knowledge. We’re losing skill and competence in the bureaucracy. You’re not going to see the damage right away. But this is an untenable situation.

The crazy thing is, most successful autocrats are simultaneously bad at running a government and a functional society on one hand, but still manage to find ways to get the public’s consent to rule. Hugo Chavez was a disaster for his country, but he was popular enough to be trusted with more and more power. The same could be said of Fidel Castro, Chairman Mao, Recep Erdogan, and Vladimir Putin.

The ugly truth that nobody wants to confront in this country is that ordinary people have essentially lost some of their democratic and libertarian values. We probably wouldn’t mind being ruled by an authoritarian regime – we would probably think of it as a short-term experiment. But that’s not how an authoritarian looks at it. They’re playing the long game.

They might be correctable.


He’s* very* good. But he calls out stupidity when he sees it, and unsurprisingly that stupidity is oftentimes on the right, so the right has a vested interest in downplaying his achievements.