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Trumpism discussion

Mod Post: Please keep in mind that the Trumpism thread is for high brow discussion. Articles, especially opinion articles, that are designed to evoke strong emotions in the reader, are not appropriate for this thread. Please post those types of articles in the other Trump thread.
It's impossible. The way online news is set up now, people will get news that is slanted towards their own views. You know how you check out some vegan shoes in an online store and suddenly every popup, every new email advertisement, is for vegan shoes similar to the ones you looked at. Same for politics.

I did an experiment, signed up for 2 Youtube accounts on different devices and throwaway email addys. On one account, I watched three FoxNews reports, things about politics, but not far far right stuff. Under "suggested" videos, all this really far right stuff popped up, way more out there than Foxnews. Pizzagate type stuff.

The second YouTube, I watched three MSNBC reports, one Rachel Maddow and 2 news reports. Under suggested videos there popped up very far left stuff, way more out there than MSNBC. I think the advertisers, by "targeting" people's "interests" and predicting other interests, are dividing us into camps, where one camp calls the president Cheeto Dampnuts, and the other screams SJW at everyone who disagrees with him. What really freaked me out was that the suggested videos on both accounts were violent, filled with lies, and very polarizing.

Give me my tin foil bonnet, but I believe that the real danger in the country is not the president, but the dividing of the nation. Divide, then conquer ,by the 1%, while we are busy kvetching.

Don't fall for it. Posting link after link and tweet after tweet, not talking to friends and family because they have differing political views, and mocking others, just divides the nation more. I love my country and have never seen people so easily blinded.

Sorry if this is off-topic, feel free to delete it if it breaks any rules.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
This article fits both here and in the other thread, as it simply focuses on the planned effects of the president's politics.

Trump federal budget 2018: Massive cuts to the arts, science and the poor

I am - again - wondering what his supporters will think of this, as the larger number of them will have something personal to lose from this, and the other - rather controversial - effects (making the already strong US military even stronger, building the "Border wall") might only provide little consolation over that.

But then, they might be enthusiastic, if they prefer spending more money on the military and tax cuts for the rich to support programs and health insurance for themselves. But I wonder how many of them really think like that.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
I read an opinion piece on a Norwegian news site yesterday that claimed the policies that Trump is championing today are quite similar to the platform of the Reform party. In 2000 Trump was in the race to become the presidential candidate for the Reform party, but dropped out.

Two of the main policies of the Reform party platform are:
  • Enforcement of existing immigration laws and opposition to illegal immigration
  • Opposition to free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement and Central America Free Trade Agreement, and a call for withdrawal from the World Trade Organization
 
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beancounter

The Fire That Burns Within
I agree with you. Certain news sources are very biased, and social media will feed you more of the same of whatever the algorithm determines to be your political leaning. However, I think it's possible to find news articles that provide sources, and allows you to assess the bias.

This thread is trying to avoid those blatant biases, as well as the hysteria/button pushing articles that are not based on fact, or have some basis in fact and then go off on a tin foil tangent.

It's impossible. The way online news is set up now, people will get news that is slanted towards their own views. You know how you check out some vegan shoes in an online store and suddenly every popup, every new email advertisement, is for vegan shoes similar to the ones you looked at. Same for politics.
 

Amy SF

Dweller in nature
It's impossible. The way online news is set up now, people will get news that is slanted towards their own views. You know how you check out some vegan shoes in an online store and suddenly every popup, every new email advertisement, is for vegan shoes similar to the ones you looked at. Same for politics.

I did an experiment, signed up for 2 Youtube accounts on different devices and throwaway email addys. On one account, I watched three FoxNews reports, things about politics, but not far far right stuff. Under "suggested" videos, all this really far right stuff popped up, way more out there than Foxnews. Pizzagate type stuff.

The second YouTube, I watched three MSNBC reports, one Rachel Maddow and 2 news reports. Under suggested videos there popped up very far left stuff, way more out there than MSNBC. I think the advertisers, by "targeting" people's "interests" and predicting other interests, are dividing us into camps, where one camp calls the president Cheeto Dampnuts, and the other screams SJW at everyone who disagrees with him. What really freaked me out was that the suggested videos on both accounts were violent, filled with lies, and very polarizing.

Give me my tin foil bonnet, but I believe that the real danger in the country is not the president, but the dividing of the nation. Divide, then conquer ,by the 1%, while we are busy kvetching.

Don't fall for it. Posting link after link and tweet after tweet, not talking to friends and family because they have differing political views, and mocking others, just divides the nation more. I love my country and have never seen people so easily blinded.

Sorry if this is off-topic, feel free to delete it if it breaks any rules.
But there are people on both sides of the political divide who refuse to be swayed either way. They simply refuse to listen to different opinions or even to reason. For example, there are Trump fans who have said point-blank that they don't care if he lies, they don't care if there's collusion or corruption in his administration; they'll support him anyway. These are the people who will believe only good things about Trump and his administration and say that anything bad is just "fake news". How do you reason with people like that? Answer is, you can't and you don't. That's why they have former friends and associates and even relatives cutting off contact with them.
 

Mischief

Stranger in a strange land
It's impossible. The way online news is set up now, people will get news that is slanted towards their own views. You know how you check out some vegan shoes in an online store and suddenly every popup, every new email advertisement, is for vegan shoes similar to the ones you looked at. Same for politics.

I did an experiment, signed up for 2 Youtube accounts on different devices and throwaway email addys. On one account, I watched three FoxNews reports, things about politics, but not far far right stuff. Under "suggested" videos, all this really far right stuff popped up, way more out there than Foxnews. Pizzagate type stuff.

The second YouTube, I watched three MSNBC reports, one Rachel Maddow and 2 news reports. Under suggested videos there popped up very far left stuff, way more out there than MSNBC. I think the advertisers, by "targeting" people's "interests" and predicting other interests, are dividing us into camps, where one camp calls the president Cheeto Dampnuts, and the other screams SJW at everyone who disagrees with him. What really freaked me out was that the suggested videos on both accounts were violent, filled with lies, and very polarizing.

Give me my tin foil bonnet, but I believe that the real danger in the country is not the president, but the dividing of the nation. Divide, then conquer ,by the 1%, while we are busy kvetching.

Don't fall for it. Posting link after link and tweet after tweet, not talking to friends and family because they have differing political views, and mocking others, just divides the nation more. I love my country and have never seen people so easily blinded.

Sorry if this is off-topic, feel free to delete it if it breaks any rules.
Well, yeah, if you read articles from just one type of source, those articles will pop up for you.

My news feed shows articles from the NYTimes, WashPo, Fox, Breitbart....

If you're self selecting what you read in the first place, it's disingenuous to complain if the algorithms figure out what you want to read and then complain about the "impossibility" of getting information from a wide variety of sources.
 

Spang

Foot Fetisher
Congress passed a $1 trillion budget that will keep the U.S. government funded through September. A few key points:

Trump asked for a $1.2 billion cut to the NIH. Instead, Congress increased funding by $2 billion. Not only did he not get any money to build the Wall; Congress put explicit restrictions on the money it did allocate for border security, stipulating that it could not be spent on building the Wall. Planned Parenthood got no cuts (that's a loss to the congressional Republicans, too). Domestic spending actually goes up overall, including money for the NEA and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. There will be no staff cuts to the EPA (Trump had a sought a cut of about a 1/3 of its entire budget). The one thing Trump got was more money for the military (though not nearly as much as he wanted), and the only reason he got it was that part of the Democratic Party wanted it, too.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Interesting and worthwile article on the possible economic success of "Trumponomics", by the Economist, published after their recent interview.

Why Trumponomics won’t make America great again

The Eocnomist said:
A deeper problem is that Trumponomics draws on a blinkered view of America’s economy. Mr Trump and his advisers are obsessed with the effect of trade on manufacturing jobs, even though manufacturing employs only 8.5% of America’s workers and accounts for only 12% of GDP. Service industries barely seem to register. This blinds Trumponomics to today’s biggest economic worry: the turbulence being created by new technologies. Yet technology, not trade, is ravaging American retailing, an industry that employs more people than manufacturing (see article). And economic nationalism will speed automation: firms unable to outsource jobs to Mexico will stay competitive by investing in machines at home. Productivity and profits may rise, but this may not help the less-skilled factory workers who Mr Trump claims are his priority.
 

Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Another interesting article:

Why Liberals Aren’t as Tolerant as They Think

The article said:
In a paper forthcoming in Psychological Science, Brandt sought to answer those questions by building prediction models to estimate not only whether someone’s political views would increase positive or negative feelings about a target group, but also precisely how much, and which aspects of the group affected those feelings the most.

The article said:
Conservative political views were correlated with coldness toward liberals, gays and lesbians, transgender people, feminists, atheists, people on welfare, illegal immigrants, blacks, scientists, Hispanics, labor unions, Buddhists, Muslims, hippies, hipsters, Democrats, goths, immigrants, lower-class people and nerds. Liberal political views, on the other hand, were correlated with coldness toward conservatives, Christian fundamentalists, rich people, the Tea Party, big business, Christians, Mormons, the military, Catholics, the police, men, whites, Republicans, religious people, Christians and upper-class people.

The article said:
According to Brandt, “We’ve understandably received a variety of pushback when we suggest that prejudice towards Christians and conservatives is prejudice.” To many it’s just standing up to bullies.

The article said:
Conservatives, however, don’t view it that way. “Nowadays, as the right sees it, the left has won the culture war and controls the media, the universities, Hollywood and the education of everyone’s children,” says Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at New York University who studies politics and morality. “Many of them think that they are the victims, they are fighting back against powerful and oppressive forces, and their animosities are related to that worldview.”
 
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Andy_T

Addicted Poster
Forum Moderator
Interesting video that might explain to some degree why Trump is still popular with his supporters:


The article said:
Fox News’s dedication to defending Trump might help explain why his popularity with his supporters hasn’t waned much since the start of his presidency. Trump supporters rely heavily on Fox News as their primary source of information, which means even well-sourced, powerful reporting about Trump’s mistakes likely won’t penetrate the Fox News echo chamber.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Now that some time has passed since the inauguration, 433 days to be exact, what conclusions can we draw about some of the questions I asked in the OP? And what seem to be the general characteristics of the Trump administration?

I think if U.S. institutions were weaker, this administration could rightfully be said to be fascist. As it is, Trump isn't able to carry out all the policies he wants. We saw this demonstrated with Trump's "Muslim ban" and the ensuing conflict with the courts. However, these institutions are being eroded over time, with partisan judge appointments, new laws coming out of Congress, firings of people in positions that have challenged Trump (such as FBI director Comey), and Trump is continually challenging existing laws, regulations, and unwritten norms that have been established over previous decades. It's a slow, but steady monopolization of political power.

We've seen Trump's admiration for Putin, an authoritarian, conservative leader in charge of a country whose institutions are much weaker than the U.S. Russia is a country where democracy is dead, political opposition figures live in fear for their lives and corruption thrives. A country whose intelligence services have murdered Russians perceived as traitors who live abroad.

We also know that Russian intelligence services have been working for a long time, and with significant resources, to influence U.S. elections, as well as elections in other countries. In the U.S., they appear to have attempted helping very conservative candidates getting elected, starting long before Trump was a viable candidate. We know about the Russian troll factories and publishing of fake news, we know about Russians meeting with people in the Trump election campaign, Russian involvement with and funding of the NRA.

At the same time, the U.S. institutions and those who support them are fighting back. The Mueller investigation has entered a critical phase where it's looking directly into Trump's finances and business dealings. For those of us who support democracy and independent institutions, a lot hinges on the outcome of this investigations. If the investigation doesn't find anything substantial, the likely scenario is that Trump will sit his term out. That is another 1026 days. U.S. politics may end up looking quite different at that point compared to what it was at the start of the Trump presidency.

Edit: A couple more events that I think speak volumes about the character of the Trump administration: 1) Trump's reaction to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville. 2) Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. 3) Trump's decision to cut U.S. aid to Palestinian refugees.
 
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Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Here's a prediction for 12. May: After Trump has now removed moderating forces such as Rex Tillerson and HR McMaster, and replaced them with people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, both stern opponents of any rapprochement with Iran, the stage is now set for not extending the presidential veto against sanctions against Iran, thereby likely killing the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.
 

blues

World Class Member
I cringe a bit as I write in this thread, as I don't follow the USA politics much, let alone understand it. But from the outside looking in, there seems very little cohesive grouping via the Democrats to put forward constructive policies ....... it's not as though there haven't been unending opportunities. :rolleyes:
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Here's a prediction for 12. May: After Trump has now removed moderating forces such as Rex Tillerson and HR McMaster, and replaced them with people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, both stern opponents of any rapprochement with Iran, the stage is now set for not extending the presidential veto against sanctions against Iran, thereby likely killing the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran.
Yeah, this is now what is happening. It's still possible that the EU and other signatories to the Iran nuke deal (JPOCA) can save it from collapsing even without the US, but this requires the EU to take steps to protect EU companies from US sanctions if they trade with Iran.

Let's face it, again the US is doing the bidding of the right-wing government of Israel (though this also happens to align with the interests of the Saudi kingdom). Under Trump, the US and Israel are more "joined at the hip" than ever before. Israel is clearly a more important ally to the US than European countries are.
 

Indian Summer

Cult Leader
Administrator
Right, so having been reading about fascism recently, these are some of the boxes I think we can tick for the Trump administration:
  • Racism: policies and rhetoric against undocumented immigrants, lenient response to the Charlottesville rally, the Muslim ban
  • Authoritarianism: Verbal attacks on the independent media, silencing of dissenting voices in the state apparatus though firings and replacing them with "yes men", partisan appointments for new justices and judges.
  • Has the three core components of Griffin's definition:
    • The rebirth myth: "Make America Great Again"
    • Populist ultra-nationalism: America first, building the wall ("a nation without effective borders is no nation at all")
    • The myth of decadence: "draining the swamp" in DC, the idea that current elites are to blame for the country's ills
  • Anti-liberal (opposed to policies of the Democratic Party), anti-communist (e.g. reversing Obama's rapprochement with Cuba), to a lesser degree anti-conservative (e.g. disagreements with "true" conservatives such as Jeff Flake), but celebrated by the far-right
  • Protectionist economic policies: Tariffs on imports from a long list of countries including China and countries in Europe
  • Fear of difference: restricting immigration of undesirables such as Muslims and people from south of the border
  • Contempt of the weak: Mocking disabled people
  • Obsession with a plot: Trump's rhetoric against "the criminal deep state" at work in the FBI and that Mueller's investigation is a partisan plot gone too far
  • Newspeak: See "alternative facts"
(This is not an exhaustive list, more of a work in progress.)

If it quacks like a duck, but doesn't have a moustache, will Americans realize before it's too late?
 
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