Trump wants to be impeached

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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 7 December 2019, 16:46

I'm no defender of the Republican Party or their policies. I just get tired of liberals labeling Republicans as evil or stupid, and conservatives doing the same to Democrats. That ends critical thinking and prevents the sort of conversations we need to get beyond the extreme polarization of US politics and public opinion. When we frame our disagreements as "good vs evil" it becomes easy to justify statements like, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby mxguy01 » 7 December 2019, 17:15

Jzone wrote:
homomorphism wrote:Republicans are disgusting shit humans. Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people.

This narrow-minded attitude is exactly the problem that Trump represents. Branding a whole group of people as "shit humans" is what he models, and you seem to have taken his lesson to heart. Granted, being Republican is a choice, but there are many reasons someone might make that choice other than supporting Trump.

What I find hard to understand is why intelligent Republicans (there are many) don't contact their congress members and tell them to end their defense of the president now. Failing that, Republican lawmakers are doing their job — representing the will of their constituents. Unfortunately, we all tend to reinforce our biases by only following news sources that bolster our limited world views; stroking our sense of self-righteousness.

While I agree with all this I've recently changed parties. I've always considered myself a moderate. I mainly registered as Republican to piss my Dad off way back when. I knew he would ask which party I registered for. Realistically you have to choose one of the two parties to have your vote count.

But truely as the two parties get even more extremely polorized, I can't be associated with one that I now feel sponsors outright hate and bigotry.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 7 December 2019, 17:53

Jzone wrote:When we frame our disagreements as "good vs evil" it becomes easy to justify statements like, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."

Maybe there is something to that line of thought, especially when you consider that the GOP's platform of climate change denial poses an actual existential threat to all of us. What do you call that except evil?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 7 December 2019, 17:59

Derek wrote:What do you call that except evil?

Being retarded?

In all seriousness Michael raises an interesting point. Most people who are, say, prejudiced do so not out of intentional malice but rather gripes grounded in some rationale about how the world works. These have real world consequences that make people’s lives miserable. Would it make sense to label this evil? Is there really some important difference in distinguishing someone who is prejudiced based on sincere belief (i.e., Mike Pence, Mike Huckabee, etc.—what is it with Mikes?) and someone who exploits prejudices to further his own non-ideological interests (i.e., Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, etc.)?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 7 December 2019, 18:07

The platform is spearheaded not by ignorant rubes, but by cynical interests who don't care if the world burns as long as they die rich. There's no functional difference between stupid and evil if their actions are in complete alignment.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 7 December 2019, 18:09

I think we’re on the same page. See my edit above. I think we posted it simultaneously.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 7 December 2019, 19:30

Derek wrote:
Jzone wrote:When we frame our disagreements as "good vs evil" it becomes easy to justify statements like, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."

Maybe there is something to that line of thought, especially when you consider that the GOP's platform of climate change denial poses an actual existential threat to all of us. What do you call that except evil?

I call it an unfortunate consequence of natural behavior. That doesn't make it "right" or mean we shouldn't strive against it. If we want to change the thinking of conservatives, authoritarians, science-deniers, etc, it doesn't help to label them as evil or retarded. In fact, it's counter-productive. That only puts people on the defensive and causes them to dig their ideological heels in deeper.

Encouraging violence against a group makes matters even worse. Go ahead, if you want to add decades (or more) to how long it will take to achieve positive change.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 7 December 2019, 20:08

How has the conciliatory approach worked so far? What evidence is there of sweeping reform on the horizon? Politics in this country has been paralyzed by the unwillingness of progressives to enact any sort of ideological program. Meanwhile, conservatives make no secret of their hatred for everyone else and have managed to rig the electoral map, the judiciary, and the rules of legislature in their favor, in a series of antidemocratic coups whose consequences can be measured in bodies. The only ones who have made any headway are the ones who embrace the premise that conservatives are the enemy of the people and the planet.

I'm not encouraging violence. But I do encourage each and every one of you to go up to your MAGA neighbor and spit in their face.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 7 December 2019, 20:10

Jzone wrote:
Derek wrote:
Jzone wrote:When we frame our disagreements as "good vs evil" it becomes easy to justify statements like, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."

Maybe there is something to that line of thought, especially when you consider that the GOP's platform of climate change denial poses an actual existential threat to all of us. What do you call that except evil?

I call it an unfortunate consequence of natural behavior. That doesn't make it "right" or mean we shouldn't strive against it. If we want to change the thinking of conservatives, authoritarians, science-deniers, etc, it doesn't help to label them as evil or retarded.

I don't want to change their opinions. I just want them gone. Thankfully, they're dying out. And seeing as defunding government programs that keep them alive (e.g., Medicare) seems to be a central platform, they're actually expediting their own demise.

I don't think that it's my job to change their minds; I don't know that their minds can be changed, and I don't think it's worth expending energy to try and educate them. Their actions have material consequences that make people's lives miserable, like pooler mentioned above. The worst thing you can do is encourage their continued existence by drawing up this fiction of a middle ground compromise or that these people can be reasoned with. You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

In fact, it's counter-productive.

Because...? We didn't get Trump because we went overly left. Obama was an extreme moderate who, with a majority in both houses of Congress, consistently tried to find middle ground with Republicans. So what exactly is your evidence that progressivism or some backlash against conservative ideology actually brought us Trump?


Encouraging violence against a group makes matters even worse. Go ahead, if you want to add decades (or more) to how long it will take to achieve positive change.

Mhm mhm, you know, I'm convinced -- we shouldn't be fighting against Nazis. A few stern lectures on compromise probably would've resolved the entire '30s and '40s without a war.

Anyway, I don't think I advocated violence.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 7 December 2019, 21:00

homomorphism wrote:I don't want to change their opinions. I just want them gone. Thankfully, they're dying out.
You're kidding yourself if you think that only older Americans are Republicans and they are dying out. Now if we can only get more liberals off their asses to vote, there might be some changes.

I don't think that it's my job to change their minds; I don't know that their minds can be changed, and I don't think it's worth expending energy to try and educate them.
It's not my job to change your mind, but I do think it's worth expending some energy in the attempt.

You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.
We may have to disagree on this. I think it would be more effective to try to prevent people from taking that position, and that will take reason, education, and emotional tactics.

Their actions have material consequences that make people's lives miserable, like pooler mentioned above. The worst thing you can do is encourage their continued existence by drawing up this fiction of a middle ground compromise or that these people can be reasoned with.
I agree actions have material consequences, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. All we have is a spectrum of middle ground: it's the extremes that are largely fiction.

So what exactly is your evidence that progressivism or some backlash against conservative ideology actually brought us Trump?
I said nothing regarding what brought us Trump as president. Don't put words in my mouth.

Mhm mhm, you know, I'm convinced -- we shouldn't be fighting against Nazis. A few stern lectures on compromise probably would've resolved the entire '30s and '40s without a war.
Seriously? [Godwin's Law] I agree we should be vigilant against fascism. I just don't think killing its advocates will get you what you want.

Anyway, I don't think I advocated violence.
I must have misunderstood the following. Please explain:
homomorphism wrote:Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 7 December 2019, 21:05

Jzone wrote:I agree actions have material consequences, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. All we have is a spectrum of middle ground: it's the extremes that are largely fiction.

Someone ought to tell that to the American far right that is getting everything it wanted.

I said nothing regarding what brought us Trump as president. Don't put words in my mouth.

Everything you're saying can be repudiated by the words "Hillary lost".

Seriously? Godwin's Law. I agree we should be vigilant against fascism. I just don't think killing its advocates will get you what you want.

Pooler's Law
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 7 December 2019, 21:36

Jzone wrote:
homomorphism wrote:I don't want to change their opinions. I just want them gone. Thankfully, they're dying out.
You're kidding yourself if you think that only older Americans are Republicans and they are dying out. Now if we can only get more liberals off their asses to vote, there might be some changes.


I'm not going to respond to the rest because it's a really empty non-argument (like honestly, how do you think "Godwin's Law", which is really a statement about frequency, not validity, is an argument in a discussion about fascism?) , but this is a) a bad-faith argument (sure, not literally every 100% Republican is an old person -- gott'em!) and b) it's just ignorant not to credit boomers with electing Trump when he out-performed Romney by roughly 12 points in counties that had 30% of the population or more over 60. In fact, the only age demographic Trump won is the 50+ crowd.

So...sure, yes technically there are non-boomers who voted for Trump. But, if boomers all magically disappeared, we live in a much more progressive country.

And, uh, if you don't think old people die...I'm not really sure what to tell you anymore.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 7 December 2019, 22:21

Don't stop now, morphie, it was just getting interesting.

Yes, old people die — thankfully. Honestly, I sometimes think there should be an upper age limit to voting. Most political issues are much more relevant and important to people under 45. My point was that there are plenty of young conservatives turning 18 ready to take the place of dying boomers. These are the people whose minds and hearts could change, before they calcify into something hideous like Mitch McConnell.

I would argue that Trump was not elected by those who voted, but rather by those who stayed at home. There are far too many young people and old liberals who are so jaded that the real world does not fit their fictional ideal that they choose not to participate. The system is broken, so why be a part of it? Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You have made several comments like, "if boomers all magically disappeared, we live in a much more progressive country," or "I don't want to change their opinions. I just want them gone." How does this help anything? People who you consider evil, stupid, or misled are not going to conveniently disappear so we need to work on more practical and creative solutions. (Of course, the Nazis thought differently, so maybe you prefer their solution. (You brought them up first.))

You may want to dismiss my question, but I ask again. If you don't think you advocated violence, please clarify what you meant when you said, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby René » 7 December 2019, 22:24

homomorphism wrote:
René wrote:
homomorphism wrote:Republicans are disgusting shit humans. Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people. His supporters like that he's racist and sexist. Because they are too.

I don't know if this applies to the average Republican / Trump supporter, but it definitely doesn't apply to all of them. I have first-hand experience of some that are actually really lovely, loving people who have just been terribly misled.

If you're misled into supporting a really racist person, you're just a really racist person. I'm not sure how this makes you a lovely person who was misled.

This is an unnecessarily reductionist view.

It doesn't make you a lovely person who was misled, but it is possible for this to be coincidentally the case.

Brenden's dad and stepmom are thoroughly stuck in the bubble, but outside of politics they're the nicest, sweetest, most welcoming people you can imagine. The problem is that these people have either grown up or spent decades living in an environment where they were simply saturated with pro-Republican, anti-Democrat propaganda and never learned to think for themselves and question what they / their parents believe.

The problem is compounded, as Jzone has alluded to, by the ease with which one's sources of news can nowadays be inadvertently limited to a tiny set of unreliable, biased sources, rather than reputable journalism.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 7 December 2019, 22:41

I feel somewhat torn on the issue. On the one hand, I think back to the massive shift toward LGBT acceptance in the US and how our own family can be prejudiced but have the capacity to change. Not everyone is just a racist/sexist/homophobe/etc. Moral ambiguity exists in most people. On the other hand, applying this across the board seems unreasonable. If we could go back in time, could we really change most Hitler supporter’s minds through thoughtful conversation? Should we really have focused more on that front rather than fighting them tooth and nail?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 7 December 2019, 22:56

Yes, old people die — thankfully. Honestly, I sometimes think there should be an upper age limit to voting. Most political issues are much more relevant and important to people under 45. My point was that there are plenty of young conservatives turning 18 ready to take the place of dying boomers.


But this is demonstrably false. The political makeup of the country is not a 0-sum, and it's not the case that for every boomer Republican who dies, one turns 18 and takes their place.

I would argue that Trump was not elected by those who voted, but rather by those who stayed at home. There are far too many young people and old liberals who are so jaded that the real world does not fit their fictional ideal that they choose not to participate. The system is broken, so why be a part of it? Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.


People who voted for Trump elected Trump. You can pontificate all you want about whether or not Democrat-leaning voters who didn't vote cost Clinton the election (which already assumes that they would have voted for Clinton over Trump but whatever, I'll grant it to you), but it's pretty tough to argue that they're more at fault for Trump than Trump voters; if you remove the people who didn't vote, you get the same outcome. If you remove Trump voters, you don't get Trump.

You have made several comments like, "if boomers all magically disappeared, we live in a much more progressive country," or "I don't want to change their opinions. I just want them gone." How does this help anything?

For starters, if they're not here they can no longer hurt anyone.

People who you consider evil, stupid, or misled are not going to conveniently disappear

We can, on the other hand, let people know what the stakes are - Trump and his supporters advocate policies that are harmful to the entire population and especially harmful to vulnerable racial minorities and women. They promote a climate of violence against these people. I agree that we need to encourage people not to be apathetic, and the way towards that is reminding them that their very existence is threatened by the GOP.

The GOP has done very well convincing its supporters that racial minorities pose an existential threat to the continued existence of white America.

so we need to work on more practical and creative solutions. (Of course, the Nazis thought differently, so maybe you prefer their solution. (You brought them up first.))


More practical solutions than what? Calling the GOP evil? They are, and we should be reminding people constantly about this, not pretending that they're just misled people who we need to compromise with.

I'm going to try and break this down for you, because you seem to have a really hard time with it.

1. We're discussing fascism. The most infamous fascists of the 20th century are the Nazis

2. You are consistently advocating a position that one should reason with fascists and try to compromise with them, not label them as evil

3. We've seen examples of countries that have tried this approach. Specifically, it was tried with the Nazis. It did not work well

I have yet to advocate genociding anyone. You, on the other hand, advocate compromising with people who would like to commit genocide.

You may want to dismiss my question, but I ask again. If you don't think you advocated violence, please clarify what you meant when you said, "Anything that's done to hurt them is justified because they're abysmal people."?

You edited your question in later but fine -- we're discussing impeachment. Anything done to hurt these shitty people politically is justified.


Brenden's dad and stepmom are thoroughly stuck in the bubble, but outside of politics they're the nicest, sweetest, most welcoming people you can imagine. The problem is that these people have either grown up or spent decades living in an environment where they were simply saturated with pro-Republican, anti-Democrat propaganda and never learned to think for themselves and question what they / their parents believe.

The problem is compounded, as Jzone has alluded to, by the ease with which one's sources of news can nowadays be inadvertently limited to a tiny set of unreliable, biased sources, rather than reputable journalism.


Republican political policies pose an existential threat to the human race, pose a very immediate threat to vulnerable minority groups, and is fueled by racist undertones (which, under Trump, just have become tones). As a materialist, I don't think people are evil because of some darkness in their souls. As you've noted, they surround themselves with hatred and bigotry and don't know how to process information; it makes them feel good when liberalism is attacked because they feel like it poses a threat to the continued existence of the white race. What do you propose you do about these people? You can't really reason with them because they don't know how to reason. You can't present them with facts because they don't take information in from a source that will present them. The only thing you can do is shout them down every time they try to speak up with their racist bullshit and constantly remind the population that there's this evil group of people out there that want to kick them out of the country or throw them in a cage to be tortured.

What's the point in compromising with someone like that?


pooler wrote:Not everyone is just a racist/sexist/homophobe/etc. Moral ambiguity exists in most people.


I think this is getting glossed over -- yes, not everyone is just a racist and racist people don't think the way they do because they want to be racist. But it doesn't matter really why they think the way they do if they can't be reasoned with. And, at the level of national dialogue, they can't be. There's not a platform where this can be done. What would we even propose? People don't take in information first hand - they take it in through very biased news networks that frame the discussion in a way to rile up their base. Liberals have maintained more of a need for objectivity in their reporting, to their detriment politically.

There's not an effective platform for reaching these people. I just don't know what spending time discussing the multi-faceted and complicated ways in which people express morality gets you if it has virtually no bearing on our present situation.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Brenden » 7 December 2019, 23:01

poolerboy0077 wrote:If we could go back in time, could we really change most Hitler supporter’s minds through thoughtful conversation? Should we really have focused more on that front rather than fighting them tooth and nail?

That really depends on when you go back in time. 1940? Of course you fight. 1933, yeah, perhaps you fight. But 1930 or earlier? An effective counter-propaganda campaign by an effective political opposition might have worked wonders.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby René » 7 December 2019, 23:06

homomorphism wrote:What's the point in compromising with someone like that?

Please note I never suggested compromising with such people. :)

I'm not sure what the answer is. I just feel like sitting down with them and talking with them has to be part of it, if only to show them that there are decent people who love America just like they do who hold different beliefs but aren't out to destroy their country.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 7 December 2019, 23:10

Good questions, pooler. It's probably a good thing we don't have a time machine in order to find out (at least, as far as I know).

I won't suggest that thoughtful conversation with the wave of discontent in 1930's Germany would have prevented the disaster that unfolded. Instead, it's vitally important that we understand what brought about that discontent — or desperation — that motivated otherwise good people to allow some radical leaders to do so much harm. A similar desperation could occur again, and in any powerful country on this planet. To think otherwise would require a fundamental ignorance of human nature. (There may have been some details about German culture that made it slightly more likely to occur there, but we really don't differ very much.)

It wasn't Hitler's supporters whose minds needed change, it was the masses of uninvolved. Most people want a safe home for themselves and their loved ones, food on the table, and a reason to believe they won't be killed when they leave that home tomorrow. They want political dramas to come and go without threatening that sense of security. By the time we realize our leaders are taking us down a wrong path, it is often too late.

Fortunately, we also have the capacity for learning and — if not foresight, at least anticipation. The same connectivity through the internet that allows us to submerge in echo chambers of blinkered thinking, also allows the most open-minded and creative of us to expand the possibilities of human creativity and problem-solving.

I am an optimist at heart, so you can guess which possibility I favor to develop in time. It will take a fuck-load of work to get there, however, and there are no guarantees.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 7 December 2019, 23:17

René wrote:
homomorphism wrote:What's the point in compromising with someone like that?

Please note I never suggested compromising with such people. :)

I'm not sure what the answer is. I just feel like sitting down with them and talking with them has to be part of it, if only to show them that there are decent people who love America just like they do who hold different beliefs but aren't out to destroy their country.


Edited my response to include a response to pooler as well that's semi-related to this but --

if you had the ability to sit down individually with every Trump voter, sure. But we don't. I don't, anyway. And so when discussing the climate of conversation on a national scale, I don't know what else there is to say other than another Trump presidency is extremely threatening to humanity as a whole and to a lot of minorities in particular in the coming years and that continued support is consequentially indistinguishable from evil. Saying "you're good people but we just disagree" isn't going to strip people away who support his policies. For example, Nate Cohn and Claire Miller recently wrote a piece a piece on the Trump('16)-Democrat(18) voters in battleground states. 2/3s of them intend to vote for Trump again, despite electing moderate Democrats who, presumably, represent this ideological middle ground or a more moderate take on them. They're not going to vote for a moderate Democrat because Trump speaks to them and their "personal truths". The only hope is to make sure that everyone else understands the stakes, and spending a lot of time creating an environment that portrays conservatives as neighbors we disagree with drastically undersells the situation.
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