Trump wants to be impeached

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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 8 December 2019, 00:20

Brenden wrote:
Derek wrote:
Brenden wrote:Yeah, because that Hillary “Basket of Deplorables” Clinton strategy really worked out!

Oh wait.

Do you really think that hurt her? Like, that was the thing that compromised her grand political strategy of winning suburban moderates?

I mean that the comment was illustrative of her strategy, not that the comment itself spoiled it.

Her strategy was to tell Republicans that they were better than Trump. Like, that was even the context of the deplorables comment, that only the Pepes wanted Trump, not honorable, actual Republicans. But that wasn't true - we knew it, and they knew it too. It's why she lost, and it's the thing that informs the whole context of this argument. Republicans aren't better than Trump and they never were.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 8 December 2019, 00:27

It's really not that René or Brenden know Trump supporters, but that Trump supporters exist, and in surprisingly significant numbers. No amount of wishing is going to change that.

So here we are in a world where some people think we can isolate the USA from racial minorities, sexual variations, and moral ambiguities. Some of us (US!) believe this deeply. Others of us (US!) think otherwise deeply. There is no them — there is only us. We move forward together in a world we co-create.

If you limit yourself to identifying "them" as evil rather than solving the challenge of "us", you have already lost. That is my thinking on an esoteric level. On a more practical level, those of us who are not satisfied with the status quo or social trends have our work cut out for us. How do we influence the future to be better than the present?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 8 December 2019, 00:30

homomorphism wrote:I don't think it'll be fruitful

I’m not sure how much of that you believe, unless you’ve changed your mind from four years ago but I recall you saying the following:

What people get out of having these kinds of conversations is entirely on them. It might not change anything. As Erick said, maybe these are things that can't be unlearned. Certainly, thinking and talking with people on this forum - especially over the years with people like you, Erick, Iago, Simon. Rene, Brenden, Alex, Clay, Cole, Chimera, and gosh I'm probably forgetting a lot of people -has shaped my thoughts and influences the way I interact with the world.


Clearly you see value in having dialogues like these. I certainly do. I think I’ve changed my mind on a number of different things over the years because of conversations with bright people.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 8 December 2019, 00:36

poolerboy0077 wrote:
homomorphism wrote:I don't think it'll be fruitful/quote]
I’m not sure how much of that you believe, unless you’ve changed your mind from four years ago but I recall you saying the following:

What people get out of having these kinds of conversations is entirely on them. It might not change anything. As Erick said, maybe these are things that can't be unlearned. Certainly, thinking and talking with people on this forum - especially over the years with people like you, Erick, Iago, Simon. Rene, Brenden, Alex, Clay, Cole, Chimera, and gosh I'm probably forgetting a lot of people -has shaped my thoughts and influences the way I interact with the world.


Clearly you see value in having dialogues like these. I certainly do. I think I’ve changed my mind on a number of different things I’ve the years because of conversations with bright people.


Sorry, I meant I didn't think this conversation will be fruitful, given the context of Rene associating the dialogue with Brenden's family (or at least using them as a counter-point to extrapolate from):

Rene wrote: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.


I believe, quite strongly, that equivocating to bigoted attitudes (like Clinton did in 2016) is the problem. Moving forward means not giving Trump and his supporters the cover of acknowledging them as some kind of misguided, alternative viewpoint. As Derek says above, Republicans are not better than Trump. I
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Brenden » 8 December 2019, 00:41

(and even if what I said was dumb), that doesn't have any bearing on the potential dumbness of your comment.

My comment was about the unreasonableness (dumbness) of your comment. If your comment was indeed dumb, then how could my comment about it being dumb also be dumb?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 8 December 2019, 00:58

Brenden wrote:
(and even if what I said was dumb), that doesn't have any bearing on the potential dumbness of your comment.

My comment was about the unreasonableness (dumbness) of your comment. If your comment was indeed dumb, then how could my comment about it being dumb also be dumb?


It's pretty easy to imagine a comment being made to point out a dumb comment also being dumb. These concepts aren't mutually exclusive.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 8 December 2019, 01:12

Ok boys, it's Saturday night. As stimulating as this conversation is, I'm going out to play live music for a local play then on to a friend's birthday party. There will be more music shared, and hopefully enough whiskey to temporarily forget about Trump and my evil neighbors. There will be friends there with different political beliefs than mine, and I will drink with them respectfully.

Cheers!
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby EleniDoSorto66 » 8 December 2019, 01:55

Clearly this is a complex issue and has been for quite sometime. People share differing views. That's fair.

But I find it rather sickening, this ideology of being able to reason with another person by communication -- to take into account of other people's beliefs and ideas so as not to offend; how long will you uphold the pretense of passivism, when you're being shot at, stabbed, or dragged into a shooting line? Do you frame your head out a window to a raving mob and sweetly talk as hope to reason with them? Do you calmly talk to a group of men running at you with a bat to bash your brains in?

No. No you do not. So, this idea that we can change things just by communication alone just seems naive to me in my opinion.

While I understand that it may not be completely the best way to go about for change and how violence begets more violence, yet there have been multiple instances throughout history where there really has been no other alternative, and for the safety of the majority and in order to come about positive change, one has to fight and "destroy" or eliminate another person's viewpoint/ideology, because to ignore and allow such beliefs to exist any further would be an determent of any advancement for the human race.

It sounds paradoxical and contradictory, but such contradictions appear to be the stuff of life.

Edit: Obviously there are different circumstances to which one should respond to appropriately within life. While I agree that maturity and communication as a means to resolve issues is a great way to come about positive change -- however, my point being is where does on eventually draw the line between compromise and action to fight? Not everything may become resolved by reason; life is messy and complex. So, where does one draw the median between diplomacy of words and essentially compromise, sacrifice, because I think that's what we're talking about here - and than when must one respond with immediate action and say "screw you" to the opposing party?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby René » 8 December 2019, 08:38

homomorphism wrote:
Brenden wrote:I don’t even know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks ⅓ of Americans are extreme white nationalists.

At least when talking with my Trump-supporting family we can work our way in talking about health care and get them to say things like “sounds like [the NHS] is a good system” after just 10 minutes or so of reasonable conversation.

I don't know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks because their family member voted in a vocal white nationalist that they're not a white nationalist just because they said a nice thing about the NHS.

I think you're missing Brenden's point. It isn't that they said a nice thing about the NHS and therefore aren't white nationalists (which would clearly be nonsensical); it's that these ardent anti-Democrat, anti-socialist Republican Trump supporters were able to conceive of the possibility that a universal government-provided healthcare system may actually be better than the profiteering privatised mess espoused by their preferred politicians, which suggests to me that their minds are perhaps not utterly completely closed. Moreover, these people's rhetoric hasn't featured anything that seemed extremely white-nationalist to me, and I don't think we can conclude that they are extreme white nationalists just from how they voted (on the basis of clearly deficient information) in an election.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby poolerboy0077 » 8 December 2019, 13:21

René wrote:
homomorphism wrote:
Brenden wrote:I don’t even know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks ⅓ of Americans are extreme white nationalists.

At least when talking with my Trump-supporting family we can work our way in talking about health care and get them to say things like “sounds like [the NHS] is a good system” after just 10 minutes or so of reasonable conversation.

I don't know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks because their family member voted in a vocal white nationalist that they're not a white nationalist just because they said a nice thing about the NHS.

I think you're missing Brenden's point. It isn't that they said a nice thing about the NHS and therefore aren't white nationalists (which would clearly be nonsensical); it's that these ardent anti-Democrat, anti-socialist Republican Trump supporters were able to conceive of the possibility that a universal government-provided healthcare system may actually be better than the profiteering privatised mess espoused by their preferred politicians, which suggests to me that their minds are perhaps not utterly completely closed. Moreover, these people's rhetoric hasn't featured anything that seemed extremely white-nationalist to me, and I don't think we can conclude that they are extreme white nationalists just from how they voted (on the basis of clearly deficient information) in an election.

But how do you respond to Michael’s more central argument that...

homomorphism wrote:And, at the level of national dialogue, they can't be [reasoned with]. There's not a platform where this can be done. What would we even propose?

(brackets, mine)


The improved social standing of gay people, to bring back the example I gave earlier, happened not simply because of arguments in our favor—it isn’t even clear how much of this was relevant—but because of people coming out in droves, forcing others to reconcile their discrepant attitudes. The world can’t “come out” as being warmed. Nor can illegal immigrants and asylum seekers “come out” to their white, non-existent relatives. There’s no space for personalization of issues. Conversation is thus all we’ve seemingly got and there isn’t an obvious, effective way to change people’s minds en masse. Changing Brenden’s relatives’ minds on climate change and racism would be symbolic at best.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 8 December 2019, 15:18

I think you're missing Brenden's point. It isn't that they said a nice thing about the NHS and therefore aren't white nationalists (which would clearly be nonsensical); it's that these ardent anti-Democrat, anti-socialist Republican Trump supporters were able to conceive of the possibility that a universal government-provided healthcare system may actually be better than the profiteering privatised mess espoused by their preferred politicians, which suggests to me that their minds are perhaps not utterly completely closed.


Sorry, but I don't think I'm missing the point. The argument concerning the characterization of Trump supporters so far has been about one of the following:

1. Are Trump supporters intrinsically bad people?
2. Are Trump supporters bigoted?
3. Are Trump supporters sympathetic to a platform of white issues?

There's some nuance and some other discussions - namely, climate change - going on as well, but this seems to be the place that's getting honed in on here. And if you want to add in a 4th or 5th or 5 pages worth of various positions, I wouldn't really object. But these three seem to be the main characterizations of his supporters and are getting used pretty interchangeably.

Brenden put forward the point that he can convince his relatives of statements that aren't even particularly at odds with (a segment of) Trump's base - that we have a state run healthcare system - as evidence that they're not all or one of the above. You suggested that Brenden's relatives aren't intrinsically bad people, because, outside of politics, they can be very nice. I'll grant you this -- I've never met them, but I'm not saying that all Trump supporters are, at all times, filled with vitriol towards minorities. And, for the record, it does feel a tad cheap to bring up someone's relatives as a counter-example in these situations. As we don't know them, they present little more than a standard "I've met Trump supporters I got along with" example, outside of the admitted awkwardness of being willing to engage in the discussion while you're pulling loved ones into the line of fire. I opted to double-down here :shrug: .

My position so far has been that there's functionally no difference between supporting a candidate who's willing to use rhetoric espousing these positions to achieve personally beneficial ends and believing them yourself. Saying that they just don't "see" these positions because they watch Fox News is nonsense, because Fox is more than willing to play them. Saying that they don't "see" these positions because they pick and choose what to believe or they employ some extreme cognitive dissonance and are willing to say that they support Trump but maybe disapprove of individual things he says doesn't matter, as far as I'm concerned - adult humans hear his rhetoric and are willing to say "I don't think that's a big deal compared to issues X, Y, and Z". Being willing to ignore harm done to groups (or convincing yourself the harm isn't "real") out of some perceived personal policy benefit is functionally equivalent.

Obama-Trump voters in the Rust Belt came from somewhere. Trump's support in the Rust Belt comes largely from white, working-class voters without a college degree who feel like the Democratic party has "abandoned" them, and they are sympathetic to the reasons Trump suggested -- immigration, globalization, the party focusing more on post-religious ethical issues, etc (which are dog whistle phrases for nationalist positions anyway). We heard Trump talking about sexually assaulting women. We heard Trump talk about immigrants as rapists and murderers. We heard all these things directly from his mouth. His supporters heard them too. So the most generous interpretation I can come up with is that they're willing to ignore these things for the promise of him acting on his dog whistle causes, and the worst I can come up with is that they somewhat agreed with the things he was saying and hoped he'd act on these.

Where I'm really struggling here is what's the light between these positions?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby mxguy01 » 8 December 2019, 17:56

Right now my best friend is a Trump supporter. With respect to that he is everything you would imagine it takes to be that. Pretty much brain-washed. He's also religious but not of any of the traditional denominations from what I can tell. So he's done the mission trip along with his Dad who is in construction to help out some local community somewhere... I haven't exactly figured out what/who influenced him on Trump. Appears to just be a life time of upbringing surrounded by conservatives/religious who are towards the extreme. I'm also sure his Dad is much the source of that. Time and exposure to people outside his upbringing will likely fix a lot of his misconceptions. In ways he's questioning a lot of his upbringing from what I see. Clearly he cares for his parents but at the same time is discovering that he is not aligned 100% with the beliefs of his parents in particular with his dad.

That being said, I do see some change in him over time. His thing with Trump is that he plainly just doesn't see the truth but believes much of the Republican rhetoric. If it was anyone else I'd likely just completely disassociate myself with him. However I think if I stay his friend, I keep countering all that past and present influence, that it has a positive effect. Honestly I think I've see positive change in his outlook towards others. That's not a bad thing and gives me a good reason to remain friends with him.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 8 December 2019, 23:53

Let's be clear about what the topic is: Trump supporters or Republicans. Those are two different subsets of Americans — or Trump supporters are a subset of Republicans. My earlier reaction was in response to calling all Republicans evil and/or stupid. Anyone might believe this to be so; I just don't think that is useful in any way.

I would certainly agree that most (if not all) Trump advisors and senior appointees are bad people — greedy, science-denying, anti-American values, self-serving, bigoted, and sympathetic to white nationalists. Anyone who supports Trump at this point is either on board with that or has some serious cognitive dissonance going on. I believe many people continue to support Trump simply because they value some slice of their own idea of the Republican agenda: anti-abortion, gun rights, pro religion in gov and schools, [fill in the blank]. This sort of behavior is common. Many people don't accept all the teachings of their religion, but still value and support their particular church, temple, or whatever. Lots of people despise many of their own family members, but would still defend them against all sorts of insults or injury. It is very difficult to break people from their tribal identification. At what point does this make them evil or stupid?

There is a huge effect on people's beliefs and actions due to the echo chambers of friends, news, and opinion-makers who they choose to listen to or otherwise have limited exposure to variety. I don't know how people get beyond this. I like to think I have, and it seems that many GFO members participating in this thread have, as well.

homomorphism wrote:Where I'm really struggling here is what's the light between these positions?

This is an excellent question. I would say that we (not really sure who the "we" is here) need to create the light between these positions. People can be intelligent and still make stupid choices or mistakes. People can be good overall and still do things we might label as bad. It is far too easy and totally ineffective to write such people off as stupid or evil.

Where I'm really struggling here is what course of action follows after labeling Trump supporters or all Republicans as evil and/or stupid?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 9 December 2019, 01:13

Jzone wrote:It is far too easy and totally ineffective to write such people off as stupid or evil.


We're not talking about people who think the last few seasons of GoT were "pretty good".

Derek wrote: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.


If you do bad things, you're a bad person.

Jzone wrote:Where I'm really struggling here is what course of action follows after labeling Trump supporters or all Republicans as evil and/or stupid?


I feel this is tangential; what I've argued is that there is no functional difference between being a bigot and supporting bigotry. Whether you feel that calling people bigots is helpful or not is another question (I think it is), but, even if it's not helpful in our current political climate to call a spade a spade, that wouldn't change anything. There's soft evidence that making certain positions socially untenable to have leads to an overall reduction in these positions, and I think affording bigots the compromise of calling them intelligent people with a differing or misled ideology undersells the existential threat we all face. There aren't two equally valid positions here that need to be subjected to vigorous debate. Bigots need to be deplatformed, and we ought to make it socially unacceptable to voice these opinions. Without reinforcement, these positions die out.

Moving things back to a tactical level though, I don't think this really addresses the point Pooler's point above:

poolerboy0077 wrote:
René wrote:
homomorphism wrote:
Brenden wrote:I don’t even know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks ⅓ of Americans are extreme white nationalists.

At least when talking with my Trump-supporting family we can work our way in talking about health care and get them to say things like “sounds like [the NHS] is a good system” after just 10 minutes or so of reasonable conversation.

I don't know where to begin reasoning with someone who thinks because their family member voted in a vocal white nationalist that they're not a white nationalist just because they said a nice thing about the NHS.

I think you're missing Brenden's point. It isn't that they said a nice thing about the NHS and therefore aren't white nationalists (which would clearly be nonsensical); it's that these ardent anti-Democrat, anti-socialist Republican Trump supporters were able to conceive of the possibility that a universal government-provided healthcare system may actually be better than the profiteering privatised mess espoused by their preferred politicians, which suggests to me that their minds are perhaps not utterly completely closed. Moreover, these people's rhetoric hasn't featured anything that seemed extremely white-nationalist to me, and I don't think we can conclude that they are extreme white nationalists just from how they voted (on the basis of clearly deficient information) in an election.

But how do you respond to Michael’s more central argument that...

homomorphism wrote:And, at the level of national dialogue, they can't be [reasoned with]. There's not a platform where this can be done. What would we even propose?

(brackets, mine)


The improved social standing of gay people, to bring back the example I gave earlier, happened not simply because of arguments in our favor—it isn’t even clear how much of this was relevant—but because of people coming out in droves, forcing others to reconcile their discrepant attitudes. The world can’t “come out” as being warmed. Nor can illegal immigrants and asylum seekers “come out” to their white, non-existent relatives. There’s no space for personalization of issues. Conversation is thus all we’ve seemingly got and there isn’t an obvious, effective way to change people’s minds en masse. Changing Brenden’s relatives’ minds on climate change and racism would be symbolic at best.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 9 December 2019, 03:39

homomorphism wrote:I feel this is tangential; what I've argued is that there is no functional difference between being a bigot and supporting bigotry. Whether you feel that calling people bigots is helpful or not is another question (I think it is), but, even if it's not helpful in our current political climate to call a spade a spade, that wouldn't change anything. There's soft evidence that making certain positions socially untenable to have leads to an overall reduction in these positions, and I think affording bigots the compromise of calling them intelligent people with a differing or misled ideology undersells the existential threat we all face. There aren't two equally valid positions here that need to be subjected to vigorous debate. Bigots need to be deplatformed, and we ought to make it socially unacceptable to voice these opinions. Without reinforcement, these positions die out.

My statement is not at all tangential. So you identify a threat in Republican policies. What next? You can wish them away as you did in previous posts, but that is pointless except as a mental masturbation. You have changed the topic from Republicans to Trump supporters and now to bigots. I have no problem calling a bigot a bigot or a spade a spade. I agree bigots, science-deniers, white nationalists, and more should be called out for their dangerous positions.

Evil is another matter. Once you call people evil or stupid you will make no more progress with them — or with their friends, relatives, and neighbors who care about them. Extremists who share some of your views become emboldened to do violence against them (being evil, it's justified). The issue remains polarized so that fence-sitters make a quick, irrational choice rather than a well-considered decision.

Conversations can suck. They take time, and a huge amount of effort over snap judgements. If compromise means having empathy and curiosity for how another human has taken what I consider to be crazy or dangerous positions, then I am all for compromise. This does NOT mean I am unwilling to offend people in the process. When I interact with people who have clearly considered their political position and still come down as a Trump supporter, I don't hesitate to let them know that I think that is irresponsible and dangerous. I wish more journalists and world leaders in the spotlight had the balls to balk at Trump's idiotic and unsubstantiated public statements. That would be a great start.

I agree that making bigotry, misogyny, and science-denial, all socially untenable is a worthy effort. I also agree that these are inferior positions to equality, tolerance, and science-based policies. Focusing on specific policies and ideologies rather than labeling broad groups as evil/stupid will contribute to more progress. If you think the entire Republican platform is a threat, then call out it's components and your reasons. I really think this will accomplish more.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby homomorphism » 9 December 2019, 04:37

Jzone wrote:
homomorphism wrote:I feel this is tangential; what I've argued is that there is no functional difference between being a bigot and supporting bigotry. Whether you feel that calling people bigots is helpful or not is another question (I think it is), but, even if it's not helpful in our current political climate to call a spade a spade, that wouldn't change anything. There's soft evidence that making certain positions socially untenable to have leads to an overall reduction in these positions, and I think affording bigots the compromise of calling them intelligent people with a differing or misled ideology undersells the existential threat we all face. There aren't two equally valid positions here that need to be subjected to vigorous debate. Bigots need to be deplatformed, and we ought to make it socially unacceptable to voice these opinions. Without reinforcement, these positions die out.

My statement is not at all tangential.

Yes, it is. I'm describing Trump supporters as bigots and functionally evil. You're saying this is unhelpful to describe them this way (or to describe them as human trash). It being unhelpful does not make it untrue. Convincing racists not to be racist is unhelpful. This bed wetting liberal middle ground is unhelpful.




So you identify a threat in Republican policies. What next? You can wish them away as you did in previous posts, but that is pointless except as a mental masturbation. You have changed the topic from Republicans to Trump supporters and now to bigots.


No...I said that people who vote for Trump are bigots, hence pieces of shit and functionally evil. I have not changed anything.

I have no problem calling a bigot a bigot or a spade a spade. I agree bigots, science-deniers, white nationalists, and more should be called out for their dangerous positions.

Evil is another matter. Once you call people evil or stupid you will make no more progress with them — or with their friends, relatives, and neighbors who care about them. Extremists who share some of your views become emboldened to do violence against them (being evil, it's justified). The issue remains polarized so that fence-sitters make a quick, irrational choice rather than a well-considered decision. Conversations can suck. They take time, and a huge amount of effort over snap judgements. If compromise means having empathy and curiosity for how another human has taken what I consider to be crazy or dangerous positions, then I am all for compromise.

And, in the process, you continue to platform a dangerous ideology and contribute to their body count. You are every bit as bad as they are by enabling them.

This does NOT mean I am unwilling to offend people in the process. When I interact with people who have clearly considered their political position and still come down as a Trump supporter, I don't hesitate to let them know that I think that is irresponsible and dangerous. I wish more journalists and world leaders in the spotlight had the balls to balk at Trump's idiotic and unsubstantiated public statements. That would be a great start.

I agree that making bigotry, misogyny, and science-denial, all socially untenable is a worthy effort. I also agree that these are inferior positions to equality, tolerance, and science-based policies. Focusing on specific policies and ideologies rather than labeling broad groups as evil/stupid will contribute to more progress. If you think the entire Republican platform is a threat, then call out it's components and your reasons. I really think this will accomplish more.


It won't accomplish more.

Derek wrote: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.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 9 December 2019, 05:47

Jzone wrote:Evil is another matter. Once you call people evil or stupid you will make no more progress with them — or with their friends, relatives, and neighbors who care about them. Extremists who share some of your views become emboldened to do violence against them (being evil, it's justified). The issue remains polarized so that fence-sitters make a quick, irrational choice rather than a well-considered decision.

Conversations can suck. They take time, and a huge amount of effort over snap judgements. If compromise means having empathy and curiosity for how another human has taken what I consider to be crazy or dangerous positions, then I am all for compromise. This does NOT mean I am unwilling to offend people in the process. When I interact with people who have clearly considered their political position and still come down as a Trump supporter, I don't hesitate to let them know that I think that is irresponsible and dangerous. I wish more journalists and world leaders in the spotlight had the balls to balk at Trump's idiotic and unsubstantiated public statements. That would be a great start.

I agree that making bigotry, misogyny, and science-denial, all socially untenable is a worthy effort. I also agree that these are inferior positions to equality, tolerance, and science-based policies. Focusing on specific policies and ideologies rather than labeling broad groups as evil/stupid will contribute to more progress. If you think the entire Republican platform is a threat, then call out it's components and your reasons. I really think this will accomplish more.


Consider the following questions:

1. Are conservatives respectful, considerate of process, open-minded, and prone to debating in good faith?
2. Who is currently winning?

Here's the thing. When you call them evil pricks, it's not about them. Sitting down for a nice discussion about why brown people deserve to live has never accomplished anything in all of human history. It's a fucking waste of time you could otherwise be spending with your own base, riling them up, organizing, giving them a reason to turn out. You call them evil because because people will hear you and agree with you. That's all there is too it.

Liberals have spent fifty years winning debates and have eaten nothing but shit as a result. It's incredible that people still think that's how politics works.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Jzone » 9 December 2019, 07:03

Derek wrote:1. Are conservatives respectful, considerate of process, open-minded, and prone to debating in good faith?

I haven't suggested debates, which I see as a waste of time. We need continued national, regional, state, county, and local conversations leading to action on racial equality, bigotry, immigration, climate change, etc. I'm not talking about "nice discussions". We need more protests, demonstrations, occupations, marches, strikes, and boycotts. We can rile up the liberal/progressive base without demonizing the rest.

2. Who is currently winning?

From my perspective, we are all losing at the moment.

Liberals have spent fifty years winning debates and have eaten nothing but shit as a result. It's incredible that people still think that's how politics works.

Are you kidding?! In the past 50 years in the USA we have had the Civil Rights Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, same-sex marriage recognized and protected by the Supreme Court, countless affirmative action policies (flawed as they may be), and the list goes on. We are far better off socially in the US now than we were 50 years ago. That was achieved largely without violence on the part of progressives. There was plenty of violence perpetrated by conservatives resisting these changes. Conservatives always go kicking and screaming into inevitable change.

What progressives often seem to forget is that we don't need to play by the rules. Blockades, picket lines, protests, and other civil disobedience grab headlines and attention. They embolden responsible outrage and action rather than reducing issues to idiotic good v. evil and violence.


[Edit]
Before anyone points out that all of these achievements are currently being eroded by conservatives — yes, I know. That has been a constant back and forth for the entire history of the US. Here's a quote for some perspective:

The hand entrusted with power becomes, either from human depravity or esprit de corps, the necessary enemy of the people. Only by continued oversight can the democrat in office be prevented from hardening into a despot; only by unintermitted agitation can a people be sufficiently awake to principle not to let liberty be smothered in material prosperity.
Wendell Phillips, 1852
committed abolitionist, who also fought for equal rights for women and Native Americans.


So yes, we need some "unintermitted agitation". The only thing new for us in the 21st century is the urgency of climate change and environmental degradation. Delays or inaction due to material greed, religion, and denial could have grave and irreversible consequences. I still say that labeling broad groups of people as evil or stupid in this struggle is counter-productive and will only cause additional delays in achieving beneficial results.
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby Derek » 9 December 2019, 08:27

Jzone wrote:I'm not talking about "nice discussions". We need more protests, demonstrations, occupations, marches, strikes, and boycotts. We can rile up the liberal/progressive base without demonizing the rest.

That is what we need. Do you think people show up to those because they're not pissed off? Because they don't recognize the nature of the conflict we're in? That meaningful political change was ever enacted by people who were afraid to demonize the opposition?

From my perspective, we are all losing at the moment.

Except some people aren't, and I'm sure you understand which ideology serves their interests.

Are you kidding?! In the past 50 years in the USA we have had the Civil Rights Act

1. That was 55 years ago.
2. Conservatives fought against Civil Rights with everything they had. They weren't talked into it, they were defeated. They were punched and screamed at and spat on. How does this example not illustrate my point that it's helpful to recognize whom among us are evil ghouls who need to be marginalized, vilified, and routed? What would it take to bring the energy of the Civil Rights movement to the present day?

Clean Air Act

The planet is a degree Celsius hotter since then and rising rapidly.

Clean Water Act

And no American cities have been without clean drinking water since.

establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency

It's doing great work throwing glasses of water at the impending global conflagration, under the oversight of an administration staffed by oil executives.

same-sex marriage recognized and protected by the Supreme Court

It's a good thing Lincoln was able to peacefully convince his opponents to repent and see the error of their ways before ratifying the 14th Amendment.

We are far better off socially in the US now than we were 50 years ago.

Are black people? Immigrants? Muslims? What about the poor? Does the explosion of wealth inequality and scouring of the middle class represent a social issue?

That was achieved largely without violence on the part of progressives. There was plenty of violence perpetrated by conservatives resisting these changes. Conservatives always go kicking and screaming into inevitable change.

What progressives often seem to forget is that we don't need to play by the rules. Blockades, picket lines, protests, and other civil disobedience grab headlines and attention. They embolden responsible outrage and action rather than reducing issues to idiotic good v. evil and violence.

This question of violence you keep returning to is secondary to our argument. Sometimes it's appropriate, and sometimes it's not. For example, killing people isn't going to free immigrants being held in detention centers, but 150 years ago it was the only way to end slavery. Yet, those are both examples of good and evil, where discussion is meaningless and the conflict boils down to irreconcilable moral differences. Killing is not a necessary component of ideological warfare.

So yes, we need some "unintermitted agitation".

In your mind, what would need to change about the progressive wing for this to happen, given that it very, very, very, very clearly isn't happening now?
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Re: Trump wants to be impeached

Unread postby mxguy01 » 9 December 2019, 17:13

Derek wrote:
Jzone wrote:...
We are far better off socially in the US now than we were 50 years ago.

Are black people? YES!
Immigrants? YES!
Muslims? YES!
What about the poor? YES!

Does the explosion of wealth inequality and scouring of the middle class represent a social issue? - YES!
...




Like I'd have to be an idiot not to recognize that the drastic increase of wealth inequality is an issue,
you'd have to be an idiot to not see that progress has been made the past 50 years.

Does more need to be done - yes, it will be an forever continuing effort (countering hate and prejudice) towards the human race IMO.
What is worrisome is things of recent. The inequality of wealth has drastically increased. IMO this is because the wealthy have been permitted to put their own loop-holes in place to bypass inheritance taxes and etc. Whatever the cause/history it does need fixed sooner rather than later. The other day a new study was released showing that life expectancy for US citizens has actually decreased. Well that would be expected when increasingly people need to make choices between existence and health care... So yes, all these things need fixed. Honestly, yeah don't look to my generation for help. It's been that way for eons. My suggestion is get over that fact and get about it. I'm dead in 20 years according to that study. Think I give a shit about much more than having a good time with what's left then I'll go back to where I started - you'd be an idiot. LoL So where does that leave things. Hope has always been with the generations to follow. Your generation will make it's own mess to be resolved by those that follow. None are ever perfect. To expect perfection, no mistakes, is perhaps the best example of insanity.

BTW, it's more than scouring the middle class. It's clearly becoming more and more of the case of the haves and have-nots.
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