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5 hours ago, Nicky said:

Hillary Clinton isn't the subject of the thread. Furthermore, the truth value of the statement I quoted is not dependent on who made it. So you're very clearly committing the most famous logical fallacy of them all. So famous that it's not even worth switching to Latin to name it...or read the rest of your post. If you have valid arguments, next time start with those.

You quoted her not I, I used that now notorious word, non-specifically, since I'm not interested in Clinton. Her statement, once quoted is then fair game, to be analyzed by anyone for "truth value" - and her "half of Trump's supporters" was clearly untrue and pertinent to this debate. Don't be so coy about naming the fallacy, once upon a time I studied Latin, yes, in darkest Africa wouldja believe? Read or not read me, I won't be acceding to your suggestion anyway.

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whynot,

What do you mean Trump didn't satisfy people like a politician is adept at? His "noises" aren't perhaps "soothing" to you or me, but those were in fact soothing to many people. Don't pass on this "he's not a politician" mythology. He might not be a standard politician in America, but his career grew from the skills politicans are known for - persuasion, sometimes manipulation. Yes, many liberals (i.e. Democrats and neoliberals) treat his supporters as universally bigots or fascist, which is wrong. But by and large they are the so-called deplorables. Based on the people Trump tried hardest to appeal to.

My problem with your claims is that you are justifying his immoral acts as some pragmatic "necessity" or just for fun. Take the bad for what it is, don't explain it away. The rest of your post looks like hoping for the best. But I don't see much reason to trust your hope.

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On 3/4/2018 at 12:34 AM, softwareNerd said:

 

What Trump saw was the the number of whiny whites had grown to a point where they had become a voting bank that nobody was speaking to. He saw that the Democratic party had started ignoring these people, and not been giving them enough hand-outs. These people felt invisible. In the wake of the great recession, they were also scared.

 

1

I've thought about your clear position carefully and it just doesn't gel with me.

What you describe in the excerpt above was Trump shrewdly taking advantage of a situation. A ready-made electorate, to use towards his power. Well, you've described what every politician dreams of! Therefore Trump simply climbed into the opportunity and has done no wrong, politically - he simply climbed in. Like a politician.

But obviously I don't subscribe to that skeptical view of his motives. There are too many aspects (his palpable dislike for the ideology and policies of the previous administration, for one) which indicate he is driven by his own ideas and personal values. His selfless/selfish value to open opportunities for the unemployed desperate to work. Out merely to please his voters? Nope, I don't think so. Since he's criticised intellectually, I make the claim one doesn't have to be 'an intellectual', being an observant realist with high standards is enough. 

The body of "whiny whites" who hadn't evolved with the times, is your other premise. There's too much too unbundle about blue-collar workers and their nature and possible self-stagnation, the essentiality or not of a healthy and expanding manufacturing sector of a country, the controls and regulations from Washington which can and will limit the workers' opportunities - and how much bureaucrats and intellectual elites may have deliberately stifled some industries and jobs, and so on I won't touch. That's your field of expertise.

But - as the saying goes, "the worm turns". In politics, one ignores and sidelines a sector of a populace at one's peril. A lesson learned for those who consider themselves part of any elitist group, arrogantly above the bourgeoisie.

As far as whining goes ...

It so happened during the period of Obama's terms of Office, I followed the articles, etc., and many other sources, like friends who've long emigrated to the US, and I received the feedback and major impression that, despite feeling they'd been alienated from their country, most conservatives were quietly, almost stoically, resigned to a sense of powerlessness. Without bitterness, I heard from a few some respectful talk of "our President Obama".

Fast forward, to the hysterical frenzy responding to Trump. Who has ever seen seen such vitriol, uttered so continuously after any US election in the past, I haven't and I go back many elections. The responses today bear no resemblance to any reaction the conservatives may have been blamed for before; not on the same planet, let alone the same ballpark. The absence of character and self-respect displayed now by the losing Democrats and others, and those out to 'get Trump', headlined daily on CNN backed with the BBC, serves as a telling contrast to the predominant dignity of conservatives.

But to return to the point I began with here. When I noticed the same puzzling hate phenomenon in other places by people like British and South Africans, (anti-haters, naturally...)who have no personal connection to nor vested interest in the USA, I began to ask myself why. These people all act like kids who've lost their toys, but it cannot be only about the loss of political power, there has to be more. Power implies control, control to do what, over whom?

I began here with the comment on altruism which interestingly has been overlooked, and which Objectivists ought to be familiar with and concerned about: Known here, politics is the consequence of moral principles, not the cause and can't only be debated out of that context. Behind the progressive left, is the altruist dogma - accurately, altruism-collectivism-egalitarianism (and "emotionalism", to round off with). But the principle requires political power to enforce - and the self-sacrifice of enough people who willingly acquiesce. Keep it short, this doctrine we know is the Left's religion, its church, the State (and to some, the 'Global State') and that alone simply explains to me the fervor and vilification by its -worshippers- that erupted when the growth of their international religion was interrupted and interfered with by Trump, the apostate.

There is not much more I can discuss to add to my confirmed view. One comes at these complicated issues on many levels, inductively, from observation, past experience, thinking and many assessments - and "facts" are many. Which facts have greater value/disvalue, can be discussed endlessly. Evaluating the morals, motives and character of a key player is another rabbit hole. You can only make the judgment based on your comprehensive "view". I don't have insight or prescience into Trump (as no one has either) but my view is a highly positive, a-skeptical one of the president (while aware of his 'style' ,'aesthetic' and personality imperfections) which is in opposition to other views here. Avoiding the wrangling, I'll leave it at that. ;)

 

Edited by whYNOT

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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

 Keep it short, this doctrine we know is the Left's religion, its church, the State (and to some, the 'Global State') and that alone simply explains to me the fervor and vilification by its -worshippers- that erupted when the growth of their international religion was interrupted and interfered with by Trump, the apostate.

A third option is that it's not about power but a reaction to irrelevancy. The only point I want to add in here is treating Trump as "not the left" when the issue was what a collectivists do, like fighting for the things that the group has been denied. When to collectivist groups clash, reactions go haywire.

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19 hours ago, whYNOT said:

What you describe in the excerpt above was Trump shrewdly taking advantage of a situation. A ready-made electorate, to use towards his power.

Other than the "shrewd" part, this is accurate. It wasn't shrewd, the existence of this electorate has been obvious for a while now...Republicans have been subtly flirting with them for years.

One more thing to note, that will perhaps give this morality-neutral stance of yours some pause: your sentence also describes what Hitler did, with the same accuracy.

Quote

Well, you've described what every politician dreams of!

Clearly not. If any of the other well funded Republicans were willing to stoop so low, Trump would've never won.

And sure, it's not just about one man's decision. If it was, somebody would do it. It's about the entire Republican fund-raising system, which does not allow individual Republican politicians to act in such a despicable manner. If any mainstream Republican were to do that, the major Republican donors, who invest in politics mainly to further a set of principles, would intervene to end their careers.

The reason why Trump was able to do this is because he's not part of that system. He funded his own primary, in defiance of everything that's decent about the conservative movement.

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On 3/4/2018 at 8:11 PM, whYNOT said:

...  ... , and many other sources, like friends who've long emigrated to the US, and I received the feedback and major impression ... ...

... Avoiding the wrangling, I'll leave it at that. ;)

 

No, we shouldn't leave it at that. Next step: you should see for yourself! Time for you to immigrate here too. :)

Given the rumblings we hear from South Africa, it might be time to change locations.  The U.S. is a great place to live, if one could choose. 

Edited by softwareNerd

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On 3/5/2018 at 1:19 AM, Eiuol said:

whynot,

My problem with your claims is that you are justifying his immoral acts as some pragmatic "necessity" or just for fun. Take the bad for what it is, don't explain it away. The rest of your post looks like hoping for the best. But I don't see much reason to trust your hope.

1

Eiuol, Could you be specific on his immoral acts, please?

All in all, I think Trump has been making of himself a lightning-rod, so drawing and exposing what and who IS irrational and "immoral". I think there is method in his madness. I won't be surprised (if and then) a lot of ills which have been allowed to simmer beneath the surface, will vanish in light of day. The divisiveness in society, for starters. (And his "shithole" comment has had some Africans admitting the truth in it, owning up to reality, so to speak).  

"Just for fun" was a rhetorical query I made, not expecting to be taken seriously. I do not think at all he is mainly in this for the enjoyment, the power, the money or the glory.

We shall see. In a year or so President Trump's initial motivation will be clearer - and most critically, we will observe some end results: on the state  a. of America b. the rest of the world. I undertake to eat humble pie here if I find myself in the wrong.

Edited by whYNOT

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16 hours ago, whYNOT said:

...  his "shithole" comment has had some Africans admitting the truth in it, owning up to reality, so to speak...

Things like that comment are non-issues. Everyone knows that there's a sense in which a lot of countries are shit-hole countries. These comments rile up the politically correct. The anti-Trump channels like MS-NBC and CNN treat it as news.

Meanwhile, those who are non absolutely anti-Trump (a majority of people) think to themselves: "That's something I might have said."  This has been Trump's real secret in the last election. Instead of toning down the voice of potential supporters, he has amplified it.

  • If a voter is thinking: "I should have a guaranteed job, but Ford moved production to Mexico".
  • The typical politician would say that he thinks NAFTA needs some changes. The voter isn't sure if he's just saying it to get elected
  • Trump will say that, but he'll add that Mexicans are mostly rapists and thugs, and he will go out of his way to mention day-to-day crime where the perpetrator was Mexican (so, the voter thinks "this guy feels even more strongly than I do")

Trump has no clue how to solve anything, but he is completely ego-less and gets his sense of self-worth from the eyes and voices of others. So, he is very in-tune with how to position himself to that audience. While he makes few inroads with people who respect ideas, the unwashed masses love him. 

He did not win because he supported free-markets more than others. A significant fraction of his voters in the mid-western states were actually Bernie supporters. These were not the people who attended Trump rallies, and they would not personally be as rude as he is. But, what they saw in Trump was someone who seemed serious about protectionism.

And, not just protectionism. Consider health-care: though all Republicans like to talk about repealing Obamacare, with many -- and clearly with Trump -- it is hot air. He made it very clear that he wanted to repeal "Obamacare", while keeping all the goodies that were being enacted by Obamacare. Trump doesn't want to change Obamacare. He's even scared of re-branding it as Trumpcare. He's happy to keep it there as something he can beat up on, but not change.

Trump won this election by winning a few swing states and a few states that are slightly Democratic. Without support from voters who were Bernie supporters, it's unlikely that he'd have been president.

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16 hours ago, Grames said:

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A "bad deal", I'm telling ya!

A trading 'partner' who is consistently profiting more out of the deal than oneself, what's that but a self-sacrifice? The spectacle too of the EU threatening to tax Levi's etc. in response to steel tariffs, is laughable. One has to admire the effrontery of leftist-statist countries playing the free and fair trade card.

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3 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

We'd have to pass the "Arnold amendment" before Musk could be president.

Everyone's a birther now.  

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15 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

This reminds me that the Mises institute has a Henry Hazlitt's book available for free download: https://mises.org/library/economics-one-lesson  :P

And hooray for Henry! Except, do you think China abides by his and Mises' principles of laissez-faire? Nope - while certainly the Chinese have studied in depth all the schools of economics in order to turn them to advantage against the West. What I roughly call Penetrate and Absorb, their "100 year" strategy I picked up from some working contact with one of the China mega-industries launched in SA and many other parts of Africa. Introducing Hazlitt in this context is something like bringing the principles and discipline of chess and a Grandmaster to a no-limit poker game with cutthroat players ...;) international trade is what it is, after prolonged undermining of capitalism by all governments, and it's a hard wheeler-dealer like Trump I think you need for now. 

Edited by whYNOT

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On 3/9/2018 at 11:21 AM, whYNOT said:

A trading 'partner' who is consistently profiting more out of the deal than oneself, what's that but a self-sacrifice?

It seems to me that Musk was pointing out that Trump hasn't shown any reflection on US-China trade relations. It's obvious that China is far from a free market yet Trump is wishy-washy about foreign policy. It makes me think that a tariff may make sense for Chinese products - but not to other countries. As far as I see, Trump is far from a force of change in foreign policy. He is seen is weak and laughable (and hardly threatening), he has no ideas to leverage other than hope China will provide a better deal. It's not like it'd be hard to release a list of key points of China as a poor trade partner or some other sign that there is a plan. Intuition is not enough.

I know that Trump wouldn't respond to the tweet (and that Musk can't even become president legally, if you took me literally), but I expect more from him.

It seems though you missed all the past work Trump has done pre-presidency to show that he isn't a wheeler-dealer, as in the deals he gets in real estate are due to shady manipulations. It's questionable that he can attain any deals that are all around good. He hasn't done so in foreign policy yet, despite all the reasons to get going on it.

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2 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And hooray for Henry! Except, do you think China abides by his and Mises' principles of laissez-faire? 

There was a time when respected American economists were afraid that for all the freedoms in the U.S. it was less practical than communism.  Nobel prize winner, Paul Samuelson, wrote a widely used college text that showed how the U.S.S.R. economy would surpass the U.S. sometime in the future. So, just because China does something injurious to itself, why should the U.S. do the same. That is the exact pint that Hazlitt speaks to in his essay.

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7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

It seems to me that Musk was pointing out that Trump hasn't shown any reflection on US-China trade relations. It's obvious that China is far from a free market yet Trump is wishy-washy about foreign policy. It makes me think that a tariff may make sense for Chinese products.

No it doesn't. US regulatory policies are a huge barrier of entry for Chinese products. China answers with regulations of their own (Elon Musk is complaining about swimming in lead shoes, as his companies receive massive benefits from environmental regulations, government subsidies, federal contracts, etc., etc.).

The rational answer to the problem of competing regulations would be to reduce regulations, in exchange for China doing the same...which is something they'd be very much interested in.

Problem is, that wouldn't address the trade deficit...because the trade deficit is a natural consequence of China moving from socialism towards capitalism. Of course a country that does that will increase its productivity faster than a country that doesn't change. And increased productivity clearly results in imbalanced trade.

And that is not a bad thing for the US. The trade deficit is not a problem for productive Americans, it's only a problem for politicians who are staking their careers on promises of curving it. The only way it could possibly be curved is if China stops moving towards capitalism...so Trump's goal is directly opposed to the cause of freedom.

Edited by Nicky

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A high ranking White House official wrote a little essay on the subject of this thread:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html

He didn't leave his name, which should only fuel Trump's paranoia about his subordinates undermining him.

Best quote:

Quote

Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter. All Americans should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of this great nation.

 

Another quote:

Quote

Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over.

This is not a liberal. It's not a Democrat. This is a conservative Republican. One of many, sitting in a position of power, waiting for the right time to finally end this absurdity.

Edited by Nicky

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12 hours ago, Nicky said:

... One of many, sitting in a position of power, waiting for the right time to finally end this absurdity.

There's a substantial number of Trump voters who still think Trump was the right choice as President.While some might have soured on him, only a small minority of those who voted for him would want him gone. I've spoken to Trump voters who seemed reasonable in political conversations 4 or 5 years ago, and who are wary of Trump being over the top, but who would feel disenfranchised if he were removed.

The idea that the U.S. is controlled by a "deep state" has spread to a wider section of people. I believe the numbers are substantial, even though not a majority. A large number of people feel out of control and alienated from the system. They do not see it as a system they want; but as a system that is imposed on them. Of course, they're the cause of the system, but there's little hope they will ever figure that out: it's an intellectual feat that is beyond most of them. 

Some of these folk might actually be happy that a few Trump advisers are acting as dampers to his worst gut instincts; yet, they would only want them to act as dampers, not to do anything fundamental.

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