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Killjoybear

US Politics: Ruthless ambition

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29 minutes ago, Kalibear said:

This right here is what the real issue is.

That as it turns out, authoritarian governments aren't, ya know, all that bad. It's certainly an end to democracy and whatnot, but it's at least not 6 million people murdered. Sure, the press isn't actually free anymore, there's a state of emergency that can not actually be dismissed by anyone other than Orban, universities are closed down because they're run by the wrong people, migrants and refugees are turned away via violence...but it's not so bad, right?

Especially if you're not one of those immigrants!

I'm not saying its not bad; and I'll fight like hell against it myself. But I'm not going to prepare to flee to the border because the jackboots are coming on November 4.

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Hungary is a pretty damn scary scenario, actually. And it will probably slide further. The government has favorite businesses there, so it's not like well I'm not in media, an academic, or political. I'll just go about my business. It certainly would not be good to Jeff Bezos in such in the Hungary scenario.

Also, Trump is not a rational actor, which is an understatement.  He may want revenge and lots of it. And if God really hates us he may live a long life. I think the election will go well though, for what it is worth. Our real problem is likely the Supreme Court.

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1 hour ago, Kalibear said:

This right here is what the real issue is.

That as it turns out, authoritarian governments aren't, ya know, all that bad

I'm pretty confident that anyone following Kendzior's advice to write down their values/normality in 2016 would be observing some pretty major shift when comparing to these sorts of statements being made now. Which was exactly her point after all.

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1 hour ago, Triskele said:

You do realize the connection between prioritizing the immigrants and the slide into the authoritarian state, don't you?  It's a straight up formula.  Maybe some of the people saying pump the brakes on immigration thought about a few other things like whether the women already in the country could lose the right to choose and stuff.  Of course it sucks to be so xenophobic-sounding.

I really don't mean to rehash this whole thing.  But there's this repeated, exhausting angle that the most righteous leftist policies are so incontrovertable it's just a matter of everyone agreeing to them, and if that didn't happen, well, everyone should have been made to.  Should.  Must.  

It seems like there's not been a lot of "even if that's the most humane thing to do on that immediate issue, it could help a Trump which would then fuck so many others."  Call it the Raja rule.  

I'm really not sure where you're going with this or if you agree or disagree so...uh, thanks? Or shut up. Or something.

52 minutes ago, Fez said:

I'm not saying its not bad; and I'll fight like hell against it myself. But I'm not going to prepare to flee to the border because the jackboots are coming on November 4.

You're saying that it's not so horrible, and at least people aren't being put into ovens. That is a pretty low bar to clear. If authoritarianism is tolerable when you're not the one getting repressed, chances are good that you're not going to 'fight like hell' against it yourself. Because hey, at least no one is being put in ovens. Just forced hysterectomies and whatnot.

24 minutes ago, Triskele said:

Bit of a strawman though dude, Fez.  The counter-argument doesn't seem to be that the jack boots show up that day.  It's more like that all the levers are pushed far enough in the other direction that a certain result looks borderline impossible to avoid.  

The point is none of those things. The point is that it's pretty much a straight shot from Hungary to Russia or Turkey. And in both of those places, most of the time things are pretty much fine. You can even protest! (sometimes, when it suits them). You can be an opposition leader, and only occasionally get poisoned and die (usually you just get chucked out a window). You've mostly got free trade and lots of stuff to buy. Almost no one really gets oppressed that badly. There aren't that many forced labor camps, certainly not as many as China or the US has. 

For most people, life is just fine. It's not that big a deal. They aren't impacted. They might not like the empire, they hate it, but they're just stuck on Tattooine and pining for the day they get their power converters.

7 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I'm pretty confident that anyone following Kendzior's advice to write down their values/normality in 2016 would be observing some pretty major shift when comparing to these sorts of statements being made now. Which was exactly her point after all.

Yeah, that was a very good prophetic bit of information. That's just what happens when you're under an authoritarian regime, and the US is essentially there. Not perhaps quite so bad as Hungary, but very very close.

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@Kalibear but it's ok, the jackboot thugs won't be showing up on November 4. Because they already exist and are busy snatching protestors off the streets and carrying out components of genocide on refugees locked in cages. They can't poof into existence when they already exist.

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I'm mostly talking to @Fez about how things aren't going to really get THAT bad, which when we're resigned to the fact that it won't be quite as bad as Nazi Germany and is only going to be a European illiberal democracy that, well, that's not that bad is it? 

I mean, 4 years ago I was arguing with Rockroi about what this signified and how if it really came down to it he'd be out there in the streets protesting and really carving it up, and...nope. That no, I was just so fucking insane for seeing what this was going to be, and how there were so many checks and balances that would make sure that things didn't go too bad. That this was just a typical Republican, and any Republican would do all these things.

I'm just so tired of people telling me what is happening isn't happening. Or that it's wrong to actually be afraid of it. 

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Trisk - from my memory of your argument it's functionally that if we try head off the xenophobia and racism by doing just a little of what they want. I don't believe that approach ever works, their fear mongering isn't rooted in facts about immigration levels. 

Maybe my perspective on this is different because the left wing party in my country tried this. Australia flipped it's shit over b literally thousands of asylum seekers arriving by boat - such a small amount it's a drop in the ocean. But out conservative PM seized on 9/11 and turned it into a massive wedge issue. Fast forward a bit and our wing government tries exactly what you suggest and it just made everything worse. It's still a poisoned pill for them electorally AND it resulted in my country rehabilitating concentration camps for the western world. You can draw a straight line from what we did though to what Republicans are doing now and what xenophobic parties in Europe are doing.

So while I can see why you might think it would work, I wholeheartedly disagree. And you betray the people you're supposed to be standing up for in the process which is both unethical and also electorally damaging to left wing parties.

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21 minutes ago, Triskele said:

I think Woodward proved that he's actually a very rational actor, in the strictest sense.  He just makes very particular calls on what is best for him.  But that is always the calculation.  He's less crazy than I thought.  

The constant grievance is very real. The Obama obsession is not rational, the guy never ran against him and is retired. 

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This entire argument the last couple hours in terms of the last page of posts reads like, for lack of a better term, a bunch of dick-measuring between people that basically agree on substance and are just arguing style points and who knew what first.  We all agree on the primary point - another term of Trump will lead to further descent into authoritarianism and we're already dangerously close to a "hybrid" regime rather than a legitimate democracy as is.  I just tend to think, if only as a general mental health strategy to keep me from drinking myself to death, it's better to focus on the fact there still is a chance to change it in November and we should concentrate our efforts on that rather than pointlessly lamenting the state we're in - which has been slowly developing for at least forty years.

On the moving to Canada thing, which kind of started this whole discussion, like I said I'll stick around as long as possible.  But I don't judge people that feel differently, and certainly not anyone with children.  If I had that responsibility I'd seriously look into leaving as well if I was able to, but the only dependent I have is a 38 year old brother that's kind of like a child in many if not most respects, but he makes me really good food.

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Your argument is not that reducing immigration levels would reduce xenophobic anxiety about immigration? 

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If it wasn't immigration levels it would be black people or refugees or non Christians. Or that old standby - Jews. There's always an other to hate.

 

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I don't recall seeing anyone in my circles arguing for completely open borders, but that might be selection bias. What I do remember seeing is people arguing for the abolishment of ICE as they are a relatively new department and borders were adequately managed under previous organisations which was deliberately misconstrued by the right as arguing for open borders. 

So I could understand arguing that that fight wasn't worth having and you should just try fix ICE, but i personally doubt it made much difference. They'll always twist it no matter what you actually say.

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There's obviously a connection but I do not believe it varies in any meaningful way with actual immigration levels. As Kal said it's just picking one of the Others to scape goat for everything wrong. 

That's why I used the example of my own country - the fear mongering is completely disconnected from any actual facts. You wind up with 98% white electorates with virtually 0 immigration blaming the handful of asylum seekers for the traffic being bad. That ones not a hypothetical, and in some cases it was the left wing party doing it.

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1 minute ago, Triskele said:

But what's your allegation towards me on this front?  

Uhh...I have none? And never have. I disagreed with you that any actions I thought you were suggesting might have in any way avoided the current circumstances we find ourselves in, I intended no judgement of or criticism of you beyond that disagreement. 

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1 minute ago, Triskele said:

but again, why are you even engaging me?  with all due respect?  I never hated on immigrants in any coherent way ever.  Is it because I was slandered as a serious anti-immigrant guy by Raja even if there was never actually any compelling argument there and then a dishonest narrative just took over?     If the answer to that is yes and I'm innocent of the charge, is Raja not deserving of some bad press?  

Can you imagine if I was guilty of that how much I would fall on my sword?   Come on, k.  You know I would.  

I was just engaging to disagree with you. You seem to be interpreting this as an attack on or criticism of you. My point is and always was that reality doesn't matter to the right wing bullshit machine, it will take fragments of whatever exists and manufacture what it needs. I have a pretty solid track record of refusing to even engage with people doing that because they're never acting in good faith. The fact I bothered to disagree with you by talking to you rather than just using you as a prop says I wasn't viewing you like that. I just don't think there is any other action that the Democrats in the US could have taken on the subject of immigration (so this includes rhetoric - not just actual governing action) that would have resulted in a substantive difference in anti-immigrant sentiment among the Republican base.

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Reading this thread full of bloviating cisgender white dudes -- as a queer transgender person who has mostly queer/trans/POC friends -- is WILD. 

As I already mentioned: I'm not leaving the States any time soon. But a hearty PISS OFF to those who keep trying to downplay the legitimate threats to my life and livelihood and those of my friends. Stop trying to be Right On The Internet all of the time and start practicing some fucking empathy. Not everything is an argument to be won at all costs. 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer

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Remember that whole time last spring when we had a shortage of medical supplies and medical personnel were having to re-use PPE? Apparently the Pentagon doesn't, because it spent the $1B appropriated for medical stockpiles on cocain defense contractors, jet engines, and snazzy suits.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/09/22/covid-funds-pentagon/

 

Quote

 

A $1 billion fund Congress gave the Pentagon in March to build up the country’s supplies of medical equipment has instead been mostly funneled to defense contractors and used for making things such as jet engine parts, body armor and dress uniforms.

The change illustrates how one taxpayer-backed effort to battle the novel coronavirus, which has killed roughly 200,000 Americans, was instead diverted toward patching up long-standing perceived gaps in military supplies.

The Cares Act, which Congress passed earlier this year, gave the Pentagon money to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.” But a few weeks later, the Defense Department began reshaping how it would award the money in a way that represented a major departure from Congress’s original intent.

The payments were made even though U.S. health officials believe there are still major funding gaps in responding to the pandemic. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in Senate testimony last week that states desperately need $6 billion to distribute vaccines to Americans early next year. There remains a severe shortage of N95 masks at numerous U.S. hospitals. These are the types of problems that the money was originally intended to address.

 

 

Edited by Xray the Enforcer

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7 hours ago, DMC said:

...I just tend to think, if only as a general mental health strategy to keep me from drinking myself to death, it's better to focus on the fact there still is a chance to change it in November and we should concentrate our efforts on that rather than pointlessly lamenting the state we're in - which has been slowly developing for at least forty years.

100% agreed, and my focus on getting undecideds whom I know to vote blue for president and US Senate. New polling in GA shows that these races are too close to call.

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7 minutes ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

100% agreed, and my focus on getting undecideds whom I know to vote blue for president and US Senate. New polling in GA shows that these races are too close to call.

Anyone who is still undecided at this point is clueless.

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I've made analogies to Nazi Germany before; not here on the board but in regular society, and most people just laugh or shrug it off. But the similarities are absolutely there with mid-1930s Germany, not just in the tendencies of the Administration itself but also with the way the populace is reacting to steady erosion of liberties. The 40% of people who have cult like devotion to the leader is also reminiscent of that period, especially in the way they appear to have neutered the remaining 60%.

I do think there are some critical differences as well, but things could get much worse here for sure (will just take a different form).

Edited by IheartIheartTesla

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