Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 14th, 2020, 8:10 am 

Now, having tried to dispute Obama's right to govern, he's started on Kamala Harris. I don't know why anybody takes him seriously or gives him oxygen.

What if nothing he said or did ever made the news or the papers? No one at all turns up for the press conferences. That would be fun :-)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 14th, 2020, 9:11 am 

charon » August 14th, 2020, 7:10 am wrote:Now, having tried to dispute Obama's right to govern, he's started on Kamala Harris. I don't know why anybody takes him seriously or gives him oxygen.

Part of the sense in selecting her is how much it pisses off Trump. The madder he is, the stupider he talks, and that can only benefit the Democratic ticket. Assuming, of course, that the fanatical trumpets stop at threats. She's tough enough to withstand verbal abuse without flinching - and I hope without resorting to the same level of rhetoric. I thought she acquitted herself well in the introductory speech.

What if nothing he said or did ever made the news or the papers? No one at all turns up for the press conferences. That would be fun :-)

He'd dry up and blow away, poof! like a miracle. Of course, that should have been the journalistic policy (i.e. Cover only what's noteworthy.) from the very start. But the information purveyors seem convinced of the public's insatiable appetite for grotesquery.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby davidm on August 19th, 2020, 6:19 pm 

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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 19th, 2020, 7:49 pm 

Actually, he and several high-profile Dems said many of those very same things.
But none of them came up with this priceless line:
Such are the times we live in, with a demented Captain Ahab at the helm of the ship of state, madly chasing the great white whale of a validation that he will never achieve. And I stress the word “white,” because white is all he wants.

Do we have a two-thumbs-up emoticon?
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 20th, 2020, 11:00 am 

I'm not easily saddened but this has saddened me.

https://edition.cnn.com/videos/politics ... ay-vpx.cnn
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on August 20th, 2020, 12:34 pm 

It's all sad. Politics, at least in a liberal democracy, needs compassion and the skill to find ways to unify people and help them learn to empathize with other people outside their little bubbles of complacency and silos of ignorance.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 20th, 2020, 1:17 pm 

It's all been documented by eye witnesses, participants and conspirators in book after book of (at first heart-stopping, then breath-taking, then eyebrow-raising, and finally, yawning) revelations ---
too bad the core supporters don't read, or listen, or reflect, as a matter or principle.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 20th, 2020, 6:10 pm 

With any luck it'll all be over soon. Maybe.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on August 20th, 2020, 9:07 pm 

Thomas Friedman, in the New York Times:

“Here is a sentence I never in a million years thought that I would ever write or read: This November, for the first time in our history, the United States of America may not be able to conduct a free and fair election and, should President Trump be defeated by Joe Biden, have a legitimate and peaceful transfer of power.”
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 20th, 2020, 9:47 pm 

Why have so many knowledgeable people, for so long, in the face all signs and warnings, held it as an article of faith that
It can't happen here.
Bad government can happen anywhere - and does, everywhere, with predictable regularity.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 20th, 2020, 11:31 pm 

Trump: A Fading Dictatorship...

Although I'm not sure he ever really had the balls or the nous to be a proper dictator.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 21st, 2020, 9:47 am 

charon » August 20th, 2020, 10:31 pm wrote:Trump: A Fading Dictatorship...

Although I'm not sure he ever really had the balls or the nous to be a proper dictator.

With any luck, he'll launch the October Surprise in mid-September - and botch it. (To be known by later generations as The Outhouse Fire.)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Forest_Dump on August 21st, 2020, 3:52 pm 

I wonder what the odds are that Trump shows up to the inauguration. I wonder if he will be a no show.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 21st, 2020, 4:10 pm 

Forest_Dump » August 21st, 2020, 2:52 pm wrote:I wonder what the odds are that Trump shows up to the inauguration. I wonder if he will be a no show.

He'll show up, preceded by armed thugs in camo, waving his own upside-down Bible, demanding to be sworn in.
No matter whose inauguration it is.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby kidjan on August 22nd, 2020, 12:17 am 

Serpent » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:47 pm wrote:Why have so many knowledgeable people, for so long, in the face all signs and warnings, held it as an article of faith that
It can't happen here.
Bad government can happen anywhere - and does, everywhere, with predictable regularity.

There's a simple answer: they don't believe Trump represents a "bad government." In fact, they believe he represents the solution to "bad government."

There isn't a simple solution to this problem. Confidence in government is everything--literally everything--and it has never been more fragile in my opinion.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2020, 1:33 am 

kidjan » August 21st, 2020, 11:17 pm wrote:There's a simple answer: they don't believe Trump represents a "bad government."

No, that's not it. The intelligent, knowledgeable people to whom I referred know exactly how awful Trump is. But they keep saying things like "He can't do that; it's against the law." and "But we have all these checks and balances." And "The Constitution..." As if words on paper had ever stopped an illiterate megalomaniac!
I think there are two illusions (delusions? not sure) in play here: an unquestioned, almost religious faith in the institutions of republic and an even more naive and unexamined faith in The American Character.

In fact, they believe he represents the solution to "bad government."

The very gullible and heavily propagandized Republican base may have believed that four years ago, but even they must have noticed zero improvement during that time.

There isn't a simple solution to this problem.

Sure there is. Simple, but impossible to implement: Stop lying.

Confidence in government is everything--literally everything--and it has never been more fragile in my opinion.

Maybe not everything, but it's pretty damn important in a crisis. The Republican party and the far, far darker forces that have been supporting and corrupting it, has worked tirelessly, no expense spared, to flatter the upper middle class into a false sense of security, while tearing down the working class and destroying its confidence for -- How long since Reagan took office? 40 years. That's two shell-shocked generations of voting population.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 22nd, 2020, 8:41 am 

The guy who really worries me is Mike Pence. He can't be that dumb, he must know about Trump. Trump is what he is, a disaster, but Spence devotedly supports him come what may.

Why? How? Pence, as far as I know has no particular controversies to his name. He's not going to be President. Does he just see his fidelity to Trump as doing his job with a brave face? What's his game?

I understand these questions are rhetorical :-)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2020, 10:33 am 

charon » August 22nd, 2020, 7:41 am wrote:I understand these questions are rhetorical :-)

Too bad! You're getting an answer. Because he's only ever going to be beta dog and Trump is the only alpha who'd let him get within sniffing distance of power. (Also, he was bribed with sanctimonious lip-flapping and concessions to the oppressive religious right.)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby TheVat on August 22nd, 2020, 12:16 pm 

Yep. And whenever Pence makes a minuscule attempt to put a micron of airspace between himself and Trump, as he did this week in dismissing the Q Anon conspiracy theory, it's really only when Trump allows it. Trump doesn't overtly applaud Q Anon or white supremacists, he just drops hints about congenial feelings their way, or retweets dog whistles that attract them. So if Mikey wants to push back a little, Trump can look the other way and the Qs and the neoNazis stay happy.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 22nd, 2020, 12:56 pm 

That would be my theory too, that he's just happy to be there.

But, when the doo-doo hits the fan after his glorious leader has gone, what was he? Trump's poodle? Not really an uplifting ending to an otherwise fairly illustrious career.

Not that he's finished yet, of course.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2020, 2:59 pm 

charon » August 22nd, 2020, 11:56 am wrote:But, when the doo-doo hits the fan after his glorious leader has gone, what was he?

More than he would have been on his own! it's a win for him, whether they go down in flames or fade ignominiously away.

Not that he's finished yet, of course.[/quote]
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby kidjan on August 22nd, 2020, 9:30 pm 

Serpent » Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:33 am wrote:No, that's not it. The intelligent, knowledgeable people to whom I referred know exactly how awful Trump is.


...Ah, "those" people. Apologies, I missed that nuance.

I think there are two illusions (delusions? not sure) in play here: an unquestioned, almost religious faith in the institutions of republic and an even more naive and unexamined faith in The American Character.

I'd add a third factor at play, but it goes right back to my original assertion: he does have a very strong base, and defying that base has very real political consequences. My own congressman referred to Trump as "our Mussolini" when he was a presidential candidate, and then promptly fell in line when Trump secured the Republican nomination, because it was clear there were electoral consequences to defying Trump.

He's now an extremely staunch defender of Trump. The reason for that is simple: if he isn't, he invites a primary challenger who will take his seat.

And this takes me right back to my original response: Republican voters believe Trump represents the solution to "bad government."

Sure there is. Simple, but impossible to implement: Stop lying.


If it's impossible to implement, that isn't a solution.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 22nd, 2020, 10:27 pm 

I'd add a third factor at play, but it goes right back to my original assertion: he does have a very strong base, and defying that base has very real political consequences.

True, but that's not a delusion; that's a hard political reality. The GOP hard-core have been working at it for fifty years or more - weeding out the moderates, the compromisers, the reasonable and reinforcing party solidarity. If they put one of those wind-up drumming, marching tin bears on the podium, the party faithful would cheer for it. No matter how repelled and and horrified they were by Trump, once he'd got the nomination, they fell into lock-step.
They don't, not for a single second, believe this is better government than Obama's; they're just praying that if they toe the line and keep their heads down, they'll survive it. A very few have figured out that they can't - and it might not be worthwhile even trying.

[Simple, but impossible to implement: Stop lying.]

If it's impossible to implement, that isn't a solution.

Then there is none.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Mossling on August 23rd, 2020, 12:24 am 

kidjan » August 22nd, 2020, 1:17 pm wrote:There's a simple answer: they don't believe Trump represents a "bad government." In fact, they believe he represents the solution to "bad government."

There isn't a simple solution to this problem. Confidence in government is everything--literally everything--and it has never been more fragile in my opinion.

I agree with you here kidjan.

It's no longer about logic or education regarding "good government or bad government" - it seems that it is about masses of people in the USA having been fed American/Western Exceptionalism ("We are the best! We always win!") suffering a reduction in economic potential (as a result of China and India growing economically), and instead of politicians seeking to nurse that suffering in a way that is healthy for the long-term recovery of the nation, they use the visceral energy of the stress response; the emotional energy of anxiety that accompanies the economic 'depression,' to foment racism and conspiracy theory for their own personal (and quite private) gains.

There has indeed been an apparent pivot in the West away from championing 'fair' political system to nationalism and nativism; veiled overt racism, in many ways. Racism does not see voters of other races as entitled to anything fair or equal. And even though USA has plenty of non-whites, there is that awkward truth that many visceral voters adhere to "might makes right," or that "might must be right."

Thus, if the whites are on top, then they must be "right." Power impresses - and if it tells you it's not really about race, but rather about 'USA deep state conspiracy,' ... then a non-white can easily be hoodwinked - with the idea, even, that the likes of Putin can help in undermining the "deep state interference," as he actually interferes in the United States as a whole.

As a result, the fact that the likes of Putin openly interfere in the democratic process in other countries with 'troll farms' and so on, poisons his political opponents, and funds parties in western countries that actively debase their own hard-won relatively fair democracies has now become much less important than the fact that Russians look like 'native' westerners - Trump even has a 'hot 'Russian' wife'.... that matters much more than the US constitution now it seems, lol.

It's a race to the bottom at the moment. .. I wonder how far it will go?
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 23rd, 2020, 7:23 am 

Trump always was a disaster. He never wanted to make America great, he wanted to make it like him, rich, powerful and successful - at the expense of others.

He hasn't united anything. Quite the contrary, from day one he started wars, first with his own security services, then the media, then Muslims, gays, blacks, and anybody else he didn't like. Then other countries.

Then he separated children from their families, which was unspeakable. Then he sought to build a wall, presumably having learnt absolutely nothing from Berlin. If he thought the Mexicans couldn't simply find other ways to get into the States he must have been mad. And to build it required ripping up natural beauty spots on peoples' land... and all that.

Then he cosied up to all the wrong people - Putin, Erdogan, Kim - people he wanted to be like and thought he was like, strong leaders. He'd have loved Stalin, Mao and Hitler if they'd been around.

His greatest deal was with the Saudis for several billion dollars. Something beneficial to humanity like medicine, agriculture, science, technology? No - ARMS.

The man's a moron. I want him out of there. Quickly. Preferably in handcuffs.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 23rd, 2020, 10:10 am 

The waiting handcuffs are one reason he won't leave the office - according to some knowledgeable observers. But I don't think he's sane enough to worry about that.

Me, I think he was never going to leave anyway. He never gave a flying fig about America, or his supporters, or the economy or anything at all, except getting to the top. I think he's aimed all the efforts of his entire adult life at being The Most POWERFUL MAN In The World, and he intended, from the moment he finally won the nomination, to make himself at least president for life, and preferably to found a ruling dynasty. Look back at his public comments regarding leaders and leadership.

So, what's going to happen? I'm very much afraid of what might well happen. I'm hoping some of the clever strategic thinkers in all those national security agencies are formulating contingency plans for a peaceful ta -- er changeover.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 23rd, 2020, 10:46 am 

How about a military coup. That'd sort it out :-)
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 23rd, 2020, 12:02 pm 

charon » August 23rd, 2020, 9:46 am wrote:How about a military coup. That'd sort it out :-)

That's a very real possibility. I've thought so from the moment he took office. He's been looking for opportunities to declare martial law and will almost certainly try it one more time before the end. The question is, of course, the generals. So far, they've resisted his most egregious sallies, but several of the good ones are already gone, and there may be internal dissension.
Open questions: Would the military move in unison, either way?
Would they move against him in defense of the constitution?
Would the country as a whole accept such a move? If not, how would states respond?
Are the federal and state militias prepared to fight one another?
Who would lead such a coup?
Whom would it install as president, if successful?
I don't see these things discussed openly in MSM; they're valiantly shoring up the pretense of a normal democratic process. But I'm sure a lot of people besides me are thinking about them.
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby charon on August 23rd, 2020, 1:15 pm 

Well, all the generals from Colin Powell down don't care for what's happening at all... but whether it's American is another question...
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Re: Trump: An Emerging Dictatorship?

Postby Serpent on August 23rd, 2020, 1:45 pm 

Don't go there! Do not even articulate the thought.
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