The Eeeeew

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Mongrel
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:01 pm

Don't forget all the smaller-scale-but-similar nonsense in Poland, Italy, and any number of other countries. Or even right here in Ontario.

It's not out of nowhere though. It's an expression of incoherent rage at a system no longer understood or controlled by its increasingly stupefied members.
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Friday
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 27, 2018 6:27 pm

As I've stated elsewhere, the increased upticks of this shit worldwide is not some massive coincidence. These events are happening for a variety of, but very specific reasons. Climate Change is probably the biggest one, but the increasingly fast landslide disintegration of the middle class is another. Of course, Climate Change fuels economic problems by increasing the cost of food (among other things), so. And these new isolationist/reactionary politics increase both Climate Change by lessening restrictions on polluters, fuck the economy more by legislating more money going to the rich, etc.

It's all linked and entwined with itself. Trump and Brexit are just the two biggest and most terrifying examples. (In the first world.)

Mongrels not wrong, either. People don't understand what the fuck is going on anymore (and you can hardly blame them for that part, at least) and they're angry. They're losing buying power (even if they don't understand what that means, they understand having less money at the end of the month) and things you need to buy to survive (like food, gas, and rent) are steadily increasing in price while wages remain nearly stagnant. And this, again, is just what's happening in the first world. In the third world, problems are a lot more violent.

I'm not doomsaying here. It's possible to pull up our collective nose and land the plane safely, and maybe if the Dems take control of America after the vote, we might see some reversals. People are beginning to understand that this shit isn't just "business as usual" and is an actual crisis, and nothing brings out the best (and worst, to be fair) in people like a crisis.

I don't know what can be done (if anything) about Brexit, though. I'm pretty ignorant about it in general, so maybe someone who's more involved in EU politics can comment on possible good things happening there.
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nosimpleway
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby nosimpleway » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:05 pm

I'm pretty sure no small part of Trump's rise to power is because you guys the last president we had was a black guy we cannot stand for this

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:23 pm

Yeah, the pendulic? Pendulumic? the Pendulum-like nature of politics also played a role, I'm sure.

It's complicated. Or rather, it's not just one reason and one reason only. Lots and lots of complex geo-political bullshit. That doesn't make it impossible to understand (though probably impossible to understand fully), you just have to really try to let yourself see the big picture and not get fixated on simple shit, like "Trump was elected because Hillary didn't campaign enough in the rust belt."
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:00 pm

I thought of a good analogy for big vs small picture.

This is sort of in regards to my previous Hillary Rustbelt comment. Let's assume for a moment that Trump actually was elected because she didn't campaign there enough. (I don't know if that's true, or how likely it is to be true, and that's not the point of this post. Let's just assume it's true for the moment.)

Imagine you're at a baseball game. You're watching the game. Its got a lot of plays, a lot of players. Some of those players for the team wearing Red are better batters or better runners and they get hits and make it to the bases before the ball does because of it. The team wearing Blue has their share of good batters and hitters and fielders and all of that effects how the game plays out. There are a number of errors on both sides that lead to some runs being scored that probably 'shouldn't' have been scored. It's a close game the whole way, though in the 7th the Blue team pulled away by 3, but then the Red team caught up in the 8th.

In the bottom of the 9th ending, it's a tie game, 7 to 7, and with 2 outs a batter for the Red team comes to the plate and hits a pop fly. The Left Field Blue player runs under it but the sun gets in his eye, or he just drops the ball, whatever. The guy on third scores and that's the game.

The fans, watching this whole game, see this happen, and forever shit on that fielder for dropping the ball. They blame the loss on him. Some even insist that if another player (we'll call him "Sandy Burners") was playing that position, there's no way he would have dropped the ball.

Well, if you look at it a certain way, they're not wrong. I mean, if he hadn't dropped the ball, the game would have gone into extra innings and maybe the Blue team could have taken it.

Or, you can realize that that ball being dropped was simply the final play and error in a game filled with errors and plays, and all of the events combined in a complex, but trackable manner to make the Red team end up the winner. The guy dropping the ball wasn't the deciding factor any more than any other event that led to a run being scored. It was just the last event and so it's the one everyone fixates on and bemoans. They're not "wrong", perhaps, but they're ignoring the fact that the fucking Sun was twice as large as usual and killing all the crops so maybe that's why it got in that guy's eye.
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Thad
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:02 pm

While I certainly think that the wealth gap is *a* cause of some of the unrest we're seeing, it bears noting that the median Trump voter was upper middle-class, and Trump beat Clinton among white people of both sexes, all income levels, all education levels, and all age groups.

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby François » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:39 pm

I think there's an element in American society at play here. It's not unique to it, but it has an environment especially conducive to it.

It's a sort of systemic, cultural greed. If you don't have more today than you had yesterday, it feels like someone is oppressing you. There is a drive to move up, to go bigger, and what you already have doesn't matter nearly as much as what you could have if someone or something wasn't keeping you from obtaining it. A lot of the time, that appears to be government regulations. Or immigrants. Or pesky notions like science, reality and basic empathy. And saying "I have enough, I'm good" is enormously unfashionable. People who don't want "more" are decried as lacking drive and ambition. If you tell a rich man that he has enough money, it registers as offensive. We're talking about a society so devoted to the ceaseless pursuit of a vague concept of happiness that it will catch it, fail to recognize it, toss it aside and keep running.

So you do end up with the effects of a wealth gap problem, but nearly everyone is convinced that they're on the losing side of the gap, even those who objectively are not. And many of them end up looking for quick solutions to complicated problems that are also sometimes 100% imaginary, to the great benefit of those ready to offer equally imaginary solutions. It doesn't matter that the Wall cannot possibly solve the Immigration Problem, because there is in fact no such thing as the Immigration Problem. It's a placebo for a psychosomatic ailment.

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Friday » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:43 pm

Thad wrote:While I certainly think that the wealth gap is *a* cause of some of the unrest we're seeing, it bears noting that the median Trump voter was upper middle-class, and Trump beat Clinton among white people of both sexes, all income levels, all education levels, and all age groups.


Yeah. It's just another factor (and I mean, it has to be racism, not against Hillary but just that Trump was spouting racist ideology, because what the fuck else could it be) in a long list of factors.

That data certainly contradicts the "Hillary didn't campaign enough with the white poor/rust belt" theory. I've never put much stock in that theory anyway.

If anyone has an alternative theory as to why Trump won "white people of both sexes, all income levels, all education levels, and all age groups" other than, you know, Trump was talking about building a wall to keep the Mexicans out and a lot of White People sure liked the sound of that, please go ahead and post it here, because I'd be interested to know why you think White People fucking love Trump so much.
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:55 pm

There's definitely some weird chicken-and-egg stuff going on with regard to Trump and open racism. I mean, there's no question that was part of why he was elected, but he's also enabling and encouraging it.

Part of the picture is DEFINITELY the fact that at no point since the Civil War has there been a time when BOTH major parties honestly rejected racism as a cynical means of getting free/easy votes. The Dems courted the racist vote for decades, and when they finally gave it up, the Republicans were more than happy to take that bloc and pander to it instead. Appeals to racism to grab seats are cheap, easy, and addictive.

There have been local reverses with some members of each party going the other way, but by and large there has always been a unofficial policy in place by at least on major party to deliberately court the racist white asshole vote.

Looking at the EU, the problem is (was) smaller in scale, but appeals to racism were always far more open. Modern Europe has always had a blatantly racist streak, so over there the language hasn't changed so much as the far-right parties' share of the vote.
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Thad » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:25 pm

Friday wrote:If anyone has an alternative theory as to why Trump won "white people of both sexes, all income levels, all education levels, and all age groups" other than, you know, Trump was talking about building a wall to keep the Mexicans out and a lot of White People sure liked the sound of that, please go ahead and post it here, because I'd be interested to know why you think White People fucking love Trump so much.

While some of it is particular to Trump (he got more votes than Romney or McCain, after all), part of it is also that white people are more Republican than minorities are. The usual Republican voters turned out for him -- the religious right, the plutocrats, the usual suspects. TBF Clinton had some very good turnout too; she got more votes than any other candidate in history besides Obama. Trump just managed to turn out more people in key swing states.

I was on my phone earlier and didn't have a source onhand, so here's one now: White and wealthy voters gave victory to Donald Trump, exit polls show (Quick asterisk to my "white people across all other demographics" -- college-educated white women favored Clinton.)

It's really hard to tease apart the reasons Trump won. Silver did a pretty thorough postmortem called The Real Story Of 2016. tl;dr it was a lot of stuff.

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Romosome » Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:42 pm

While everything said so far is true, we've also got Putin fanning every flame he can to destabilize western democracy. His fingerprints are all over Brexit and the electoral fuckery there, he's arming Iran (just like Reagan!)...

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Thad » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:15 pm

Yeah, but there's a difference between saying Putin meddled and saying Putin is responsible for what's happened.

Given that the '16 election came down to tens of thousands of votes in three states, it may be that Russian meddling was responsible for swinging it -- though I'd place it pretty far down the list of contributing factors.

Brexit was nearly a four-point difference. I think that's too big to lay at Putin's feet.

I think Russian meddling is a clear threat and one that needs to be dealt with, completely aside from the Trump campaign's clear direct involvement. But Brexit is the UK's fault and Trump is the US's fault (with the caveat that part of that fault comes down to the way our electoral system is designed). Putin's exploiting divisions, but those divisions are already there and they've been simmering for a very long time.

And whatever damage Russian propaganda did in 2016, it was nothing compared to what good old-fashioned homegrown propaganda did.



This isn't to deny or diminish Russian interference, which is fucking serious and should be dealt with as such; I'm absolutely convinced that the President of the United States colluded with a foreign power in order to gain his office and should be impeached and removed.

But I think the questions of how severe Russia's meddling is and how effective Russia's meddling was are separate and have very different answers.

(That's not to say Russia's meddling in the 2018 and 2020 elections couldn't be far more effective than its meddling in 2016, either.)

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Mongrel
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:50 pm

Thad wrote:(That's not to say Russia's meddling in the 2018 and 2020 elections couldn't be far more effective than its meddling in 2016, either.)


Da. Thanks for finding bugs in system for us, comrade!
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby zaratustra » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:28 am

Again, the difference between Russia and Fox News is that people can actually be arrested for dealing with Russia.

Rupert Murdoch's crimes are wholly legal.

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Lottel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:42 am

I'll believe they can get arrested for dealing with Russia when it happens.
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Thad » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:53 am

zaratustra wrote:Rupert Murdoch's crimes are wholly legal.

Still kinda curious what the real story was on Hannity seeking legal advice from Cohen, though.

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Mon Jul 30, 2018 1:11 pm

Lottel wrote:I'll believe they can get arrested for dealing with Russia when it happens.

Gotta agree with Lottel on this one.
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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:43 pm

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Re: The Eeeeew

Postby Mongrel » Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:19 pm

The Mayor of London has formally requested that London's disaster planning agency come up with a contingency plan in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

"There will be adequate food", eh? Now even that's up in the air...
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