Author Topic: Donald  (Read 619 times)

mittfh

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Donald
« on: November 11, 2016, 02:21:36 pm »
(Warning: multi paragraph rambling ahead - probably not NPOV, but definitely not of the "He's the devil incarnate" ilk)

So, Donald has won the US election - and as is often the case with democracy, the gains (in terms of Electors) are disproportionate to the popular vote (not helped by the "Winner Take All" approach of 48 States - according to Wiki, something not originally intended to be the case [back in the 1770s, US political parties hadn't yet emerged], but appeared within 30 years of the Declaration).

It's rather telling that out of the entire electorate, nearly half abstained while there was a 0.1% difference in the number of those voting for him and Hillary - which suggests that a substantial proportion of the population had no faith in either candidate to improve their lives. Added onto which, while the electoral system is heavily stacked against minority parties, over the past few elections they've manade to grow from about 1% of the popular vote to around 2.5%. Of course, even if they did manage to escalate to 10-20% of the vote, as President and Congress are elected separately, there's less chance of a minor party becoming "Kingmaker" and agreeing to vote for a particular Presidential candidate on the understanding they get some of their ideas listened to / policies adopted in Congress.

It's not difficult to see why many were enthused about Donald: he's a popular TV personality who creates the illusion of being a successful self-made businessman (note: illusion), while he wasn't reliant on the Financial Services Industry to fund his campaign, isn't a seasoned politician, and doesn't have much of a filter between his brain and mouth. He authoritatively announces what sound like simple solutions to complex problems, so based on their perception of him through the filter of the media (especially his TV show), think he's trustworthy and is capable of doing what he says. He's not selling policy, he's selling a dream, a vision - apparently of a rose-tinted view of a few decades ago when the US still had a significant manufacturing industry, women generally stayed at home, there were clear divisions between the roles of men and women in society, there was no awareness of LGBTQI (many would probably mistakenly think LGBTQI didn't exist back then) and church was the centre of the community.

Of course, behind the rhetoric and bizzare policy announcements (e.g. The Wall, the ever-evolving approach to immigration restrictions, incarcerating Hillary without due process) seems to lie a fairly mainstream set of domestic policies: increase military spending, reduce social / welfare spending, repeal the PPACA (and produce an alternative some day never), reduce taxes (particularly on the wealthier portions of society), and allow organisations to discriminate against / refuse to serve any demographic their owner's preferred faith doesn't like (probably as long as the faith in question is some variety of conservative Christianity).

He often strikes me as a Theory X manager - he apparently believes he's smarter and knows more than the rest of the population / workforce, so is uniquely qualified to lead them. Conversely, he doesn't seem to cope very well when he doesn't get his own way, and finds diplomacy and tact hard (although not impossible, given his victory speech which was a complete contrast to pretty much everything he'd been quoted on during his campaign).

While he's suggested some very controversial policies during his campaign, even though he's got a completely Republican Senate and has an opportunity to put a conservative appointment in the Supreme Court (with the possibility of several more over the coming years), hopefully not every Republican politician will feel the need to turn the clock back on social progress, while his immigration and trade policies are likely to face fierce opposition - the US likely buys far too much from China to consider imposing punitive import duties if they don't buy lots of US-made goods and services in return.

In all likelihood, he'll neither be quite the disaster some were predicting, nor anywhere near the beacon of hope and light others were predicting. What will happen in the next few years is anyone's guess, especially as the West's economic recovery is still very fragile and Brexit could have economic consequences across Europe that could potentially ripple further.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Donald
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2016, 08:01:15 pm »
Good post.  Not sure if you were looking for a debate, gonna be hard to do that when I agree with almost everything you said.  Except I think it's very likely he will be a huge disaster, but I guess we'll find out.

SirBananaPie

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Re: Donald
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 09:11:46 am »
You know, after reading this rant in this particular forum, I realized that there is something I share with Maytag that I didn't quite expect to share: Not resisting pain.

I always thought that this was a Flipside thing, because in my opinion, physical pain is supposed to tell you to change something, e.g. to remove your hand from a hot plate. But when it comes to psychological stuff I totally understand her angle. I mean, what's the point of being frustrated at Trump winning and being afraid of what he might do? You can of course participate in demonstrations against him, which would be a commendable thing to do (though I would've demonstrated against Hillary as well), but inner-feelings-wise it's healthier to go through the feelings you're feeling, so you can ultimately let them go.

Personally I am not shocked that he won, but I am surprised that the USA is doing so bad already that someone like him could win. We should be more shocked at the poverty in the USA than at Trump, because Trump is just the symptom for deeper problems. If people have nothing to lose, then they will eventually vote for the person who might cause the most damage, as a kind of payback. It's just simple cause and effect: If not enough people care for the weak, then there will be a revolution eventually. It's never too late, though, as long as we're alive.