commenter-thread

This is about as clear a demonstration of contemporary conservative ethics as I've ever seen.

How many people experience what Radly Balko writes about?

We could say the same about "tyranny", or "dictatorship" or even "socialism", also frequently and indiscriminately used.

How would you characterize the British government of the late 18th/ early 19th century?
Was it a cruel despotic tyranny, a fascist state?

The American founders thought so, so much that they rose up in a long bloody revolution.

Yet...that was also the period of Jane Austen novels, the sort where we today look back at it longingly and make movies about that era starring Colin Firth and Hugh Grant.

Because for Jane, Britain wasn't a place of tyranny. She lived a life of peace and freedom.

Coincidentally, at that very same time, the newly created American citizens, the owners of plantations and drivers of Negros, also lived lives of peace and freedom. For them, America wasn't a place of slavery and injustice either.

That's the nature of tyranny. Only a small group of people ever see the fist of injustice.

Apparently the rubes in flyover are not supposed to notice the squeals of glee coming from the Republican party.

From WSJ:
"It’s not often that the New York Times makes President Trump sound better than he is, so perhaps today’s dispatch from Washington is suitable for framing. The good news is that the United States may finally have a President who is interested in restraining federal spending."

From National Review:
"In March of 2019, Trump proposed $1.9 trillion in cuts to programs like social security and Medicare. The Congressional Budget Office projected spending on social safety-net programs to top $30 trillion through 2029."

But you have a point. What Trump says in the morning doesn't necessarily align with what he says in the afternoon, and he isn't burdened with anything like principles anyway. He really needs to hear from the Blonde With Two Boobs On A Couch before he makes a decision.

No one has ever lost an election by increasing the Defense budget.

In truth, my position on the Defense budget is an outlier even among Democrats.

Uh oh, did those perfidious Dhimmicrats try to hollow out our military again?

No, not until we have exhausted all other options, like cutting Defense and restoring taxes to where they were in previous generations.

I am a Boomer, and a liberal Democrat, and I would LOVE to talk about fairness, especially why we need to take money out of the pockets of poor brown people just so the rich people can buy another pack of gourmet lobster.

This sounds very...savvy.

So, he WILL take a look at cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Just as the paper reported.

Got it.

Ah, so he's a liar.

Got it.

Asked in an interview with CNBC if cuts to entitlements would ever be on his plate, Mr. Trump answered yes.

“At some point they will be,” Mr. Trump said, before pointing to United States economic growth. “At the right time, we will take a look at that.”

Mr. Trump suggested that curbing spending on Medicare, the government health care program for the elderly, was a possibility.

“We’re going to look,” he said.

So...he didn't say that?

Trump Opens Door to Cuts to Medicare and Other Entitlement Programs

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/22/us/politics/medicare-trump.html

Its only called Class Warfare when working people fight back:

The optimist in me sees the hard ceiling; The pessimist sees that it is also a hard floor.

There is that connection between fascism and cynicism where the people themselves eventually accept their powerlessness and forget any dream of a just society.

How many of our presidents, I wonder, were elected by narrow margins, after having been selected in a contested convention where they narrowly beat challengers?

JFK 60, Nixon 68, Carter 76...They all had to fight off a crowded field, and none won by a landslide. Even Obama 2008 had a fierce primary fight with Clinton.

This fixation with "strong" and "weak" candidates seems incredibly silly and ahistorical.
Even here, no one can really say what they think a "strong" candidate might be.

So someone could point to any candidate and make the same argument in any direction, and it makes the same amount of sense.

Its really just that cult of the savvy stuff, where people play armchair pundit, like handicapping the pennant race or something.

In response to both you and Saul-
We don't all live in the same America.

At any point in American history, there was some group of people who arguably lived lives as oppressed as anyone of the tyrannies that we have always pointed to.

People like us- well educated, members of the majority ethnic tribe- generally escaped the treatment those people got and so we imagine everyone else does too and so we call ourselves a free nation.

In grade school we were always told about the Communists and how in those countries people feared the midnight knock at the door where the government could just whisk you away with impunity.

Well, here we are.

Perhaps try imagining things from a viewpoint of one who is a victim.

Are you seeing things from the viewpoint of that reporter, or that reporter's loved ones?

From the viewpoint of a parent whose child is ripped away and put in a cage?

From the viewpoint of a woman who has been groped or raped?

You're trying to tell us that there is an innocent explanation here, where reasonable people can disagree with Trump's behavior.

But that itself is the moral choice I keep speaking about. You are choosing to take a stance of detached indifference to other people's pain and suffering.

See, you are demonstrating my comments about the 10%.

Trump for you is aesthetically unpleasing, but nothing about him is alarming for you. You don't see his behavior as a moral evil, maybe not even as morally objectionable.

When you've made this sort of calculus, that you can watch this and assume an innocent explanation, you've already made a choice as to whose dignity and humanity is worth defending and whose isn't.

If I said that the people who laughed when he mocked that reporter are making a awful moral choice, would you argue with me?

What would a "strong" Democratic field look like?
Would they bury Trump in a landslide?
I don't think anyone is so foolish as to imagine so.

Isn't it a basic proposition that in a republican democracy, whoever wins the election can fairly be said to represent the will of the people?
Doesn't Trump represent the actual will of at least about 40% of Americans?

There is this determined effort going on here to assert that somehow Trump is a fluke, an aberration due to foolishness on the part of Democrats.

No one seems open to the idea that Trump really and truly represents the desires and values of 40% of American voters.

This tendency is prevalent among both his supporters and detractors.

When we see video of him mocking that disabled reporter, or hear him bragging about groping women, or watch him stumbling and slurring and struggling to find a coherent thought, only to erupt in a Tourette explosion of rage and grievance, the media and Democrats and Republicans all consciously look away and exclaim "This isn't who we are as a nation! We are better than this, we are more refined, more just, more compassionate!"
People look around, and write articles like this, trying to explain how someone, someone, left the gate open and allowed this monster to walk in against our wishes.

But...what if we aren't? What if the monster walked in to thunderous applause?
Like many a counselor or minister or psychologist has told their patients, you are what you do. If you embezzle money from your company, you are a thief. If you have sex with children, you are a pedophile.And if you vote for corruption and ethnic hatred, you are corrupt and hateful.

The first step to recovery is to make an honest admission of behavior.

I would say something else about multiculturalism.

Imagine that Biden ekes out a narrow victory this November.
What would be your reaction to Micheal's and my comment that there is a sickness in America?

If you think Trump is a good President, and that a majority of Americans support him, why then would you assert that he only won because the Democrats ran a bad candidate?

That makes it sound like Americans only reluctantly voted for him.

Another side of this is that Trump is actually very popular.
E.g., 51% of American want him removed; "Only" 45% want him to stay.

ONLY 45%?? ONLY? After all that we have witnessed and heard and read, still, still, at this point, 45% of American say to themselves, Yep, he should continue to be President?

For me, the elephant in the room is that about 30% of Americans really, really, enthusiastically like Trump and what he is doing. Another 10% or so think he is aesthetically unpleasing, but otherwise acceptable.

This is the sickness in America. It isn't some weird structural defect of the way our elections are constructed, it isn't the Electoral College, it isn't the form of the Senate.

When a plurality of Americans want this open corruption and ethnic hatred, the system gives them what they want.

Is it possible that this sickness of which Trump is the symptom, is what America wants?

Talk about ignoring the elephant in the room.