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Politics Thread (thick skin required)

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Politics Thread

 

Rules:

--There will be slander and mud slinging a plenty.

--Enter this thread with a thick skin.

--All who enter agree to disagree and will leave it in this thread. We are friends, and friends don't always have the same views. That is cool. Just remember to act like adults.

--If you cannot follow the basics above, don't enter the thread.

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US presidential election, 2016

 

Republican (right wing): Donald Trump

Democrat (left wing): Hillary Clinton (likely), Bernie Sanders (not so likely)

 

 

Oh good grief, are we ever so screwed!

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I'm hoping the American people get fed up with these terrible choices and both parties fracture.

 

What would you say to Clinton v. Trump v. Sanders v. Romney (idk)?

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Australian Full General Election - July 2016

 

Incumbant - Liberal Coalition - Malcolm Turnbull (Prime Minister) - traditional conservative right

Labor - Bill Shorten - union-socialist left

Greens - Richard Di Natale - socialist far left

 

We're screwed too.

 

Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal Left faction) took over from Tony Abbott (Liberal Right faction) in a hostile takeover almost a year ago. Since then he has been trying to move the party left of where it traditionally sits. This of course goes with the whole pressure of countries to move left in this ever growing socialist (progressive) society. This bodes badly for Australia as the traditional conservative right is being painted as an outlier now, an extreme right party along with the likes of Family First, One Nation and other right wing minors.

 

On the left side, Labor is also moving left towards the Greens. It won't be long before Labor-Greens are a permanent coalition like the Liberal-Nationals. Though with Liberal moving left, the Nationals are more and more looking to go it alone.

 

If external pressures (from the UN, Europe and Asia) succeed in moving our two main parties to the left, then they can repaint the middle line and eliminate the traditional conservative right. This happened in the US over the last few elections, resulting in Trump. It is currently in progress here.

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I'm hoping the American people get fed up with these terrible choices and both parties fracture.

 

What would you say to Clinton v. Trump v. Sanders v. Romney (idk)?

 

Replace Romney with a more libertarian option.

 

As it happens, that's also a more likely scenario. Alas, the only "libertarian" running is Gary Johnson.

 

I have a running theory that this entire election cycle is a Lovecraftian horror story we're all trapped in where your level of understanding for it is directly correlated (and causally linked) to your level of insanity.

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Carried over from the BD randomness thread:

 

We're facing a situation where forces are at play to fundamentally shift us to the left and eliminate the traditional conservative right as a player.

 

Our right has moved left and the left has moved left to redefine "centrist".

 

That is, functionally, what has now already taken place in the United States. Our options now exist between Trumpist Left (called "right" because he's a nationalist) and Clintonian "left" (called "left" because she's just an old school self-interested politician/crook, not a nationalist). Frankly, it's a system that leaves both the ideological left AND ideological right fundamentally dissatisfied by the worthless nominees provided to them.

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Far better than any candidate we have now. ;)

 

 

And :(

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I would vote for the wookie. He carries a crossbow that fires big plasma bolts!

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... Trumpist Left (called "right" because he's a nationalist)

 

...and who's economic plan is to cut taxes for the rich; he wants to rape the environment, institute dirty energy such as coal; deregulate the wolves of Wall Street; he slams minorities and he's bought into the "there ain't no global warming" propaganda of the anti-science right; his Las Vegas casino has been found guilty of systematic labor code violations; he wants guns for everyone, including felons and the insane.

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I would vote for the wookie. He carries a crossbow that fires big plasma bolts!

 

There's also the benefit of short campaign speeches. "WWwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!"

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...and who's economic plan is to cut taxes for the rich; he wants to rape the environment, institute dirty energy such as coal; deregulate the wolves of Wall Street; he slams minorities and he's bought into the "there ain't no global warming" propaganda of the anti-science right; his Las Vegas casino has been found guilty of systematic labor code violations; he wants guns for everyone, including felons and the insane.

 

Don't forget government-sanctioned war crimes (killing terrorists' families) and the return of institutionalized prejudice (Muslim travel banned).

 

:shame:

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The problem is the alternatives aren't much better.

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...and who's economic plan is to cut taxes for the rich; he wants to rape the environment, institute dirty energy such as coal; deregulate the wolves of Wall Street; he slams minorities and he's bought into the "there ain't no global warming" propaganda of the anti-science right; his Las Vegas casino has been found guilty of systematic labor code violations; he wants guns for everyone, including felons and the insane.

 

He's already walked back his tax plan and said he actually supports higher taxes for the rich, he's openly and emphatically protectionist/anti-trade (VASTLY more so than Hillary Clinton!), he supports large increases to the federal minimum wage, he is emphatically against ANY form of entitlement reform (as his support base is revealed to only be anti-redistribution if it's going to someone else), he clearly supports continuing to have the government pick winners & losers in the market (he merely wants to change who is winning and who is losing, which is not a right-wing economic position), etc., etc., etc.

 

Your position on whether anthropogenic global warming is occurring or not is not, in itself, a left-right difference. The reason the two TEND to overlap is that if you accept that AGW is taking place, most proponents of that view also propose centrally planned solutions that involve massive economic disruption and hardship. Trump is espousing the opposing view, but he's no less interested in central planning than most AGW supporters - he'd merely pursue different ends with his central planning.

 

The only big differences that make him "right" of Hillary Clinton are the things many of us on the ideological right have spent at least a generation or two trying to purge & stamp out because we don't share them: militant nationalism, actual racism (not the make believe kind the left has spent the past generation bellyaching about), and just WHO he would seek to harm with a centrally planned economy and WHO he would seek to help.

 

Both Clinton and Trump want a powerful central government with extensive influence into the private economy. The only major difference is what they intend to accomplish with that power. To the extent that difference is meaningful, Trump is "to the right" of Clinton, but from a structural point of view, there isn't a whole lot of difference on the traditional left-right axis. If anything, Clinton's vastly greater friendliness to free trade is at least "to the right" of Trump as Trump's on again/off again positions on discretionary spending & marginal tax rates are "to the right" of Clinton.

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I am going to steal a quote from a guy I know. "Trump isn't the cause of the problems besetting the Republican Party. He is the symptom, due to the ever widening gulf between the RNC and the Republican Base." As the RNC has consistently failed to defend the principles of conservatism and failed to take a stand against Obama and the series of disasters he has fostered upon us, Trump is precisely what the RNC deserves.

 

The media loathes Donald. We have know that the media since the time of Jimmy Carter was 99% behind the DNC, and as such I find it hard to really get a good picture. Sure, Donald doesn't create much of a picture all on his won. But, I doubt even teh smartest man in the world would be able to keep 100% abreast of everything the US Government is involved in.

 

He has done two really really good things. First, he debunked the idea that the US media is unbiased and the ultimate judge of who is worth and isn't worthy. Second, he is pointing out a lot of the big elephants that have been hanging out in the room. The issues with illegal immigration (not legal, but illegal - a big difference). The constant tip-toe'ing around the Black Lives Matter movement (and the obvious corollary that white lives don't matter) and islamic extremism. His poll numbers are enough proof that these are important issues to some folks. Nor does he have all the baggage that Hillary has.

 

If he can overcome that blunt, in your face, being a bad looser and worse winner, his crudity and lack of government experience (although countered to a large extent by his considerable business and executive experience), and show that he has some actual substance under all that style, he will be a great change that the RNC needs.

 

Hillary, though, is a major cause of the problems facing the DNC. Really, the fact that a candidate can still run for President, and be the hands down favorite, who is so many scandals as she does - raging from Clinton Foundation's foreign donors to the FBI-(Obama)-led investigation into treason for her role in Libya and her email server - is truly absurd. Anybody less loved by the DNC would likely have been in jail a long time ago.

 

Hilary changes her stance as fast as the political winds change. One day she is for Wall Street. The next against it. Then soon enough back for it. Same with the Iraq war. Sure, I guess it makes some political sense, but it also sends the clear message that she really has no values at all except Hillary first. At least when Bush invaded Iraq he had an army on the ground to try to keep and maintain order. Hilary was the prime mover in the US that led to intervention in Libya, and she has constantly deflected responsibility for the actions around the Benghazi attack. We know that she preferred to lie, to blame the attack on a move, rather than admit that her and Obama's plans for Libya had gone so far off track.

 

Even if we believe that she was telling the truth (or she believed she was), that leads to an even more disturbing picture - Hillary was willing and prepared to surrender the right of free speech to a bunch of terrorists! Nobody has the right to kill a bunch of ambassadors - or anybody for that matter - just because they feel that their religion is being insulted. Way to do the bad guys work for them Hillary! And it goes right back to how she just blows with the political wind - not her fault, not her responsibility, and no need to even learn from the experience.

 

Oh, and the idea that her being in office will be good for women is a joke. Just look at how she was Billy Boys strong man / enforcer through the entire affair (and most important lying about it under oath) scandal.

 

It says a lot about her that Donald looks like a better option.

 

 

Neither candidate has good health. Trump is 69. Clinton 68. Sanders is 74 (and appears to be in the best health of all three of them). But we all know that the white house ages people 5 years for every one they spend in office.

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By the way, came up with this one the other day:

 

Clinton is no progressive, Trump is no conservative, and Gary Johnson is no libertarian. Rather, each represents the excesses of the element of the baby boomer generation which nominated them:

 

Clinton represents the excesses of the protest generation of the 1960's and 1970's who supported McGovern in '68 & '72 (though don't wish to repeat that failure with Sanders) and still hope to overturn many of the traditions & institutions they've been fighting to destroy since their youth.

 

Trump represents the excesses of the national guardsmen at Kent State, elements of Nixon's "silent majority" who publicly gave up in the 60's or 70's but never forgot or forgave, and others angered by everything they felt they've lost to the cultural Left over the past generation.

 

And Gary Johnson represents the excesses of the men who embraced what they felt to be the liberating spirit of the sexual revolution & drug culture of the 1960's/1970's wholeheartedly, left their families behind years ago, and really wish their lives had turned out more like Hugh Hefner's.

 

What's remarkable about all three candidates is that they were largely rejected by younger voters in each of their parties while overwhelmingly receiving their support from baby boomers.

 

In the Democratic Party, Sanders himself likely won't be around long enough to be the future, but you can see the outlines of the future his voters will seek in others.

 

In the Republican Party, the youth candidates (by youth gaps in support) were Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, and Ben Carson. Ted Cruz inherited much of that support when the three prior men exited the race (and became the alternative to Trump), but he didn't start with it. I'm not sure any of those three men will remain leading contenders in the future, but men & women much like them could be far closer to the ideological center for younger Republicans than men & women like Trump.

 

I have no doubt that the excesses of younger generations will eventually get expressed in the candidates they/we support (one could argue this has already happened once in Obama), but the baby boomer generation got all of their preferred candidates in 2016.

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There is a sentiment that has been slowing growing for years that I think is just about to bubble to the surface in both parties and among independents. Let's call it "being fed up."

 

This election cycle, it seems like a lot of fed-up people were satisfied with being told what they want to hear by the likes of Trump and Sanders because of their dubious claims to be "outsiders." There is a strong push towards rejecting candidates that reflect "more of the same," but when the options being presented are even worse than before...

 

I don't know what it's going to take to change the broken system. A new slice of the demographic is starting to wise up to American political shenanigans.

 

Maybe we'll some interesting changes by... 2028? Once the rising generation starts voting in greater numbers.

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With any luck the military will stage a coup.

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The only major difference is what they intend to accomplish with that power. To the extent that difference is meaningful, Trump is "to the right" of Clinton, but from a structural point of view, there isn't a whole lot of difference on the traditional left-right axis.

 

Trump's current plan IS to cut taxes for the wealthy. If by "walking back," are you referring to his statement that once he starts negotiating with the Democrats, taxes on the rich will have to rise?

 

He's vowed to return America's coal industry to its former levels. He doesn't say what he's going to do to reverse the low energy prices, which are causing coal mines to close. He certainly means he will allow coal plants to once again freely pollute the air, causing acid rain which kills crops and corrodes other people's property.

 

Trump appeared before the NRA to preach that everyone should be entitled to have as many guns as they want, of any kind they want, and without the annoyance of background checks.

 

He's not for a higher minimum wage; his position is that wages will rise under his enlighten rule of ever-growing prosperity. :rolleyes:

 

Hillary is for women's rights and minority rights. I haven't heard Trump come out forcefully for either. :rolleyes:

 

Hillary wants to ease the economic pain of higher education. Trump ran an unlicensed university, which turned out to be a scam, defrauding his students out of millions.

 

Hillary supports workers' rights. Trump's casino fired workers who sought to organize. (Trump is appealing.)

 

Hillary and Bill are self-made millionaires. Trump was born on third-base and thought he hit a triple. In my adult lifetime, he is the only presidential candidate who has refused to release his taxes. Rumor is, they will show what a lousy businessman he is.

 

When Bill and Hillary left the White House, they were broke. They worked to pay off their debts rather than to declare bankruptcy. Trump has never been broke, but he stiffed his creditors four times by declaring bankruptcy. He attempts to justify has action by saying "everyone does it."

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With any luck the military will stage a coup.

 

:slap:

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Its the military, what could go wrong? vs Its Hillary or Donald, what could go wrong? :dunno:

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Hillary wants to ease the economic pain of higher education.

 

But she wants to do it by providing government subsidies, which is totally wrong. Look, the cost is so expensive for 2 main reasons: sports suck up 1 out of every 3-4 dollars for any major university (UM is a prime example). Second, it is demographics - there are fewer potential students, and instead of shrinking the schools (does Michigan, for example, really need 8 different schools to train teachers, or 6 different ones for Civil Engineers, or 38 for "business" whatever the hell that degree is used for?) The simple fact is that universities should become smaller and more selective. To do that would require one major change, though. You have to revalue a pre-college education. Grade inflation (from post vietnam and the II-S draft deferment) is epidemic, particularly combined with the facts of "It is no longer the students responsibility to learn, but the teachers to teach" which means that students have no incentive to learn unless it is intrinsic and the laws which say, in effect "every student must learn, and if they don't the teachers pay the price with poor performance reviews" so teachers have no incentive to not just give everybody an A and get that next raise that comes along - if there is one that is.

 

At the school where I teach - and this is NOT ATYPICAL - we had over 20 graduates that cannot count numbers past 10 without taking their shoes off, who don't know the difference between a noun and a verb, and who cannot read above the 5th grade level.

 

Want to solve it - make education past the 9th grade free, but optional. Require people to pass exams (similar to the ACT or SAT) to graduate each grade. If they don't pass their exam, then have them repeat the grade instead of just moving them along anyways. Make education from 10-12th grade varied - college pep is one, but vocational is another (we can always use more electricians, carpenters, welders, etc - I would even include things like musician and artist as vocational occupations). Make it so that PARENTS have a responsibility to raise their children properly, not schools and teachers, and that if the kid doesn't pass a grade, it is the parents who take the hit both socially as well as economically. Provide free education up to the 12th grade for free to everybody, but require those who want to do 10-12 to apply and be accepted to do it, and easy to kick them out if they don't live up to expectations. Allow those 9th graders. Allow for kids 15 years old (the age they get done with 9th grade) to get certain jobs - janitors, post office, fast food, stocking shelves, etc - that will allow them to work til they turn 18 and get kicked out of home and allow them to learn the ideas of responsibility at home, where it should be taught, and still be protected by the family.

 

 

Hillary and Bill are self-made millionaires. Trump was born on third-base and thought he hit a triple. In my adult lifetime, he is the only presidential candidate who has refused to release his taxes. Rumor is, they will show what a lousy businessman he is.

 

When Bill and Hillary left the White House, they were broke. They worked to pay off their debts rather than to declare bankruptcy. Trump has never been broke, but he stiffed his creditors four times by declaring bankruptcy. He attempts to justify has action by saying "everyone does it."

 

Not true. Clinton Foundation was started in 1997 and as of 2010 (last year I have seen completely reported) has 190 million in assets and over 140 million in income. Billy Boy attended Georgetown University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, then to Yale Law (where he met Hillary). Hillary went to Wellesley College and Yale Law School. Just their academics is enough to say that they have never, ever, been "poor", and they never had to make a choice between food for the kitchen table tonight or money for bus fair to get to work tomorrow.

 

I never looked into their finances when they were Arkansas royalty, but you should note that in 1972 they were in Texas working for the Democrat George McGovern (who lost the election). In 1974 they moved to Arkansas to try to take over the 3rd district (that just recently switched from Democrat to Republican) with the backing of McGovern and Fulbright (ya, that guy the scholarships are named after - who once held that seat before he moved from the house to the senate). He lost, but was pushed with the Democrat machine into running, and winning, the Arkansas Attorney General seat in 76. Of course, he was unopposed, so it was kinda a given that he would win that election. In 78, he used his position to run for Governor. Again so hard to do in a state that has basically been Democrat except for a short spell at the time of the Civil War! Note: one of the few times it wasn't democrat was JUST AFTER BILLY LEFT OFFICE! Wonder why..... So, they were never poor, and they were always part of the political machine.

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But she wants to do it by providing government subsidies, which is totally wrong.

 

Which is totally right! First, if you set up a system wherein only the children of the rich are educated, you're creating a plutocracy instead of a meritocracy. Second, an educated citizenry is necessary for a well-functioning democracy. Third, graduates tend to stay around the area where they went to school. They get and create high-paying, highly skilled jobs and then more than pay back any government subsidies by paying higher taxes--just look at New York, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

 

Look, the cost is so expensive for 2 main reasons: sports suck up 1 out of every 3-4 dollars for any major university (UM is a prime example).

 

I went looking for the sports-related costs and revenue of the University of Michigan. That last year I could find was 2008. :dunno: UM spent on sports $85,496,004, but sports brought in $101,806,196 in revenues.

 

Second, it is demographics - there are fewer potential students...

 

This doesn't sound right. The population of the U.S. is growing. A greater percentage of young people are trying to get into college, because a high school diploma just doesn't cut it any more.

 

At the school where I teach - and this is NOT ATYPICAL - we had over 20 graduates that cannot count numbers past 10 without taking their shoes off, who don't know the difference between a noun and a verb, and who cannot read above the 5th grade level.

Then they shouldn't be graduating.

 

What has this got to do with whether college education should be free or not? Admission to college should be based upon merit, not the bank account of the parents.

 

Want to solve it - make education past the 9th grade free,

 

:shame: Unejjudcated folks ain't a national asset. When I see Fox News fans freaking out that Obama and/or Hillary "is going to take away our guns," it's a sign that they've never read to Constitution and what is needed to pass an amendment.

 

So, they were never poor, and they were always part of the political machine.

Bill grew up as the child of a single mother who worked as a nurse. That's pretty poor. Hillary's father managed a small business. That middle class. When they left the White House, their legal bills for fighting the Republican-funded Paula Jones case were larger than their assets. That's insolvent.

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