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Is this Trump-era Presidency really all that contentious?

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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14 November 2018 12:53
 
Twissel - 14 November 2018 12:32 PM

What IS, undisputably, unique about Trump is the degree to which he and his family personally profit from him being President.

No argument from me there.  As I understand it, the government has to pay for the services and lodgings etc. at Mar-a-lago every time Trump goes there, this being some kind of requirement that the government cannot accept business goods and services for free, even if the party is willing (as Trump is not).  Not to mention the some odd millions in rent at Trump tower for the Department of Defense offices there.  And that’s just the scum on the top of that whole fetid swamp of family profiteering.

At least the Clinton’s went through to pretense of not directly profiting personally from public office. So yes, Trump takes corruption to a whole new level of brazenness, just like his lying.

[ Edited: 14 November 2018 14:17 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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16 November 2018 14:07
 

Is this an example of Trump Derangement Syndrome, or did I just miss something? 

I admit I don’t avidly read the news, but I do check the front page of the NYT website daily, and other major newspapers fairly regularly, and until Trump made a short endorsement speech on the upcoming criminal justice reform bill, it was not—as far as I can tell—news.  Yet this bill is the most significant reform in a generation, in effect radically altering the crime bill passed under Clinton, bringing the Federal government up to date, as it were, with what about 10 states have already successfully done.  And this bill has bipartisan support.  It has been endorsed by law enforcement agencies, even though it is by traditional jargon “soft on crime.” The Koch Foundation is even on board.  Huh?  Why is one of the most important pieces of legislation in decades—and the biggest example of bipartisan legislation this administration, or the last one—only news when Trump talks about it?  Surely this bill hasn’t been some kind of secret, right.  Surely the planning and discussions and lobbying haven’t been done behind closed doors, for no one to see.  Right?  But it’s apparently not news until Trump announces his support, even though his support is the last stage on a process that must have been going on for months (he was prompted by Congressional leaders, who want his political cover).

So I ask, is this an effect of Trump Derangement Syndrome?  Is it that “the media”—if any one monolithic word is applicable to so diverse a body—is so fixated on the man that political events are hardly news until they involve him?  That, and there is the overriding narrative that we live in uniquely partisan, divided, and contentious times.  Is that why the story wasn’t covered, for whatever tacit reason—no one was looking?  Yet in the midst of this divided contention there is a bi-partisan bill in the works on an major issue that has traditionally divided Republicans and Democrats, and divided them sharply.  But either I missed it or it wasn’t carried in the major news outlets.

Anyway, I am asking: did I miss the coverage up to this point?  Does anyone have a reference to any coverage of it from in the planning stages leading up to the upcoming vote?

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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21 November 2018 09:33
 

Concerning the Orison Reform Bill: I’m sure it has many fathers, obviously some of which are Democrats. It is also likely that Sessions has done his utmost to prevent it from getting into the light.
But anyone with a desire to see this passed is doing well to keep quiet: the Republicans because if they aren’t Trump, their base will desert them if the appear to be “soft on crime”.
And the Democrats keep quiet because when the start praising the bill too much, Trump might get second thoughts.
So all in all, I think this is a Bizzaro-Version of the TDS, where everyone judges Trump exactly correct.

 

 
 
Twissel
 
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21 November 2018 09:36
 

One UNIQUE Trump thing: his repeated public denouncement of the US Intelligence Community’s findings and the wholehearted embracing of stories told by US rivals or even adversaries: Russia, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, you name it.
It would be a kind of derangement not to see this as something deeply disturbing.

 
 
Quadrewple
 
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Quadrewple
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26 November 2018 10:41
 

It’s very difficult to say how much contention happening now is due to Trump, and how much is due to the reactions to Trump from the (mostly left) media.

If I cut in line at a restaurant, and some people get angry and start shouting - another group tells them to calm down, an altercation ensues, and people are hurt, was I responsible for that altercation?  Absolutely not.  The idea that one is responsible for the effects of their actions can only go so far….at some point, you have to chalk up things to individuals making choices, based on their programming and how environmental stimuli triggers that programming.

So no, it’s really not all that contentious if you set down the newspaper/phone and just walk around and live your life.  This nonstop conflict (in a sense) only becomes a reality if you follow it religiously.  No matter what Trump did, he was always going to experience the most scrutiny of any president because he became president right when social media/news addictions had become culturally dominant.  The contentiousness has not gone up significantly - our awareness of it has.

And when our awareness about things rises exponentially, while our power to influence those things doesn’t change at all, that is always an opportunity for people to be emotionally destabilized (unless they are conscious that this change has happened).  I admittedly fell for it too…..thankfully I now understand the principle at play, and temper this fact against my faulty perceptions of reality (subject to all kinds of cognitive biases).

Another approach is to point out that “contentiousness” is not necessarily a negative trait for a situation to have.  Contention happens due to imbalances and mismatches between people and groups.  Contention provides us opportunities to learn, if we’re humble enough to do so.  Keeping contention at bay at all costs is what leads to serious eruptions of political violence and emotional vitriol, just as it does in personal relationships.  I would prefer the contention remain at a verbal level (obviously).

 
 
unsmoked
 
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26 November 2018 11:08
 
Quadrewple - 26 November 2018 10:41 AM

It’s very difficult to say how much contention happening now is due to Trump, and how much is due to the reactions to Trump from the (mostly left) media.

If I cut in line at a restaurant, and some people get angry and start shouting - another group tells them to calm down, an altercation ensues, and people are hurt, was I responsible for that altercation?  Absolutely not.  The idea that one is responsible for the effects of their actions can only go so far….at some point, you have to chalk up things to individuals making choices, based on their programming and how environmental stimuli triggers that programming.

So no, it’s really not all that contentious if you set down the newspaper/phone and just walk around and live your life.  This nonstop conflict (in a sense) only becomes a reality if you follow it religiously.  No matter what Trump did, he was always going to experience the most scrutiny of any president because he became president right when social media/news addictions had become culturally dominant.  The contentiousness has not gone up significantly - our awareness of it has.

And when our awareness about things rises exponentially, while our power to influence those things doesn’t change at all, that is always an opportunity for people to be emotionally destabilized (unless they are conscious that this change has happened).  I admittedly fell for it too…..thankfully I now understand the principle at play, and temper this fact against my faulty perceptions of reality (subject to all kinds of cognitive biases).

Another approach is to point out that “contentiousness” is not necessarily a negative trait for a situation to have.  Contention happens due to imbalances and mismatches between people and groups.  Contention provides us opportunities to learn, if we’re humble enough to do so.  Keeping contention at bay at all costs is what leads to serious eruptions of political violence and emotional vitriol, just as it does in personal relationships.  I would prefer the contention remain at a verbal level (obviously).

https://www.ucsusa.org/center-science-and-democracy/promoting-scientific-integrity/sidelining-science-from-day-one#.W_w-nuhKjIU

quote:  “Since President Trump took office in January 2017, his administration (aided and abetted by Congress) has waged a war on science—undermining the role of science in public policy, giving industry undue influence on decision-making processes, creating a hostile environment for federal scientists, and reducing public access to scientific information.

This pattern of anti-science actions threatens the health and safety of the American people, with the greatest impacts likely to fall on the nation’s most vulnerable populations. The science community and the general public have responded to this threat with vigorous resistance, and we must continue to stand up for science if we are to prevent the worst potential consequences of the Trump administration’s actions.

These are the findings of a new UCS report, Sidelining Science Since Day One, that details dozens of cases where science has been ignored, denied, distorted, silenced, or hidden from public view over the administration’s first six months.”  (end quote)

What is the cost of Trump’s anti-science actions?

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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26 November 2018 23:16
 

I’m a little confused by the OP title… do you mean unusual or unprecedented? I mean, our discourse is certainly contentious. Trump is extraordinarily contrary and deliberately polarizing and thus manifestly contentious. BY DESIGN. Do people disagree?

I am less shocked by his presidency than some. Or less shocked that someone like him landed the seat. I think there were markers and I think he represents a jot on a somewhat intelligible curve. Republican Presidents have been getting steadily less articulate for some time now and I’d say he fits that pattern quite well. Chauvinistic nationalism has also seen an upward curve in both population and strategy and I think he plugs that gap as well. I think the ‘whitelash’ factor can’t really be denied. The kind of complaints that radio talk show hosts propagated about Barack Obama were hard not to peg as scarcely concealed racism. I use radio because I think it’s the most easily intelligible gauge of a certain demographic perspective. I think the listener-ship of people like Alex Jones really does represent a significant portion of the swing votes. It’s something we can measure.

I don’t think it’s some kind of new precedent. We’ve had profane and vulgar presidents. We’ve had gold bricking presidents. We’ve certainly had racist presidents. We’ve had dismally unqualified presidents. We’ve had plenty of serial tomcat presidents. In a certain sense he’s an odd amalgamation of vices and flaws that we’ve chuckled at and tacitly celebrated in other leaders.

All that said, it sucks. He’s not a good person. He’s not a leader. He’s not competent or compassionate or honest. I don’t think he’s really capable of serving anyone. He doesn’t even understand rational self interest. The most generous thing I can say is that he provides a good bedtime scare for young adults who have grown complacent and don’t bother to vote.

 
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27 November 2018 14:15
 
Brick Bungalow - 26 November 2018 11:16 PM

I’m a little confused by the OP title… do you mean unusual or unprecedented? I mean, our discourse is certainly contentious. Trump is extraordinarily contrary and deliberately polarizing and thus manifestly contentious. BY DESIGN. Do people disagree?

I am less shocked by his presidency than some. Or less shocked that someone like him landed the seat. I think there were markers and I think he represents a jot on a somewhat intelligible curve. Republican Presidents have been getting steadily less articulate for some time now and I’d say he fits that pattern quite well. Chauvinistic nationalism has also seen an upward curve in both population and strategy and I think he plugs that gap as well. I think the ‘whitelash’ factor can’t really be denied. The kind of complaints that radio talk show hosts propagated about Barack Obama were hard not to peg as scarcely concealed racism. I use radio because I think it’s the most easily intelligible gauge of a certain demographic perspective. I think the listener-ship of people like Alex Jones really does represent a significant portion of the swing votes. It’s something we can measure.

I don’t think it’s some kind of new precedent. We’ve had profane and vulgar presidents. We’ve had gold bricking presidents. We’ve certainly had racist presidents. We’ve had dismally unqualified presidents. We’ve had plenty of serial tomcat presidents. In a certain sense he’s an odd amalgamation of vices and flaws that we’ve chuckled at and tacitly celebrated in other leaders.

All that said, it sucks. He’s not a good person. He’s not a leader. He’s not competent or compassionate or honest. I don’t think he’s really capable of serving anyone. He doesn’t even understand rational self interest. The most generous thing I can say is that he provides a good bedtime scare for young adults who have grown complacent and don’t bother to vote.

I’m certain that Trump would like to have a massive military parade in Washington D.C. with himself in the grandstand in splendid uniform covered with medals, possibly wearing a helmet like Mussolini, returning the salute of all the passing troops - hundreds of the latest fighter jets streaming over Constitution Avenue.  A parade that dwarfs anything ever done before in any country - the Gerald R. Ford sailing up the Potomac, launching all its planes over the parade - streaming red, white, and blue contrails.  Other ideas?  The USS Pennsylvania (nuclear sub) supported on 50 trailers?  Not on his wish list?  Cooler heads prevail?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvQ8mARvA5Q

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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05 December 2018 15:13
 
Brick Bungalow - 26 November 2018 11:16 PM

I’m a little confused by the OP title… do you mean unusual or unprecedented? I mean, our discourse is certainly contentious. Trump is extraordinarily contrary and deliberately polarizing and thus manifestly contentious. BY DESIGN. Do people disagree?

I am less shocked by his presidency than some. Or less shocked that someone like him landed the seat. I think there were markers and I think he represents a jot on a somewhat intelligible curve. Republican Presidents have been getting steadily less articulate for some time now and I’d say he fits that pattern quite well. Chauvinistic nationalism has also seen an upward curve in both population and strategy and I think he plugs that gap as well. I think the ‘whitelash’ factor can’t really be denied. The kind of complaints that radio talk show hosts propagated about Barack Obama were hard not to peg as scarcely concealed racism. I use radio because I think it’s the most easily intelligible gauge of a certain demographic perspective. I think the listener-ship of people like Alex Jones really does represent a significant portion of the swing votes. It’s something we can measure.

I don’t think it’s some kind of new precedent. We’ve had profane and vulgar presidents. We’ve had gold bricking presidents. We’ve certainly had racist presidents. We’ve had dismally unqualified presidents. We’ve had plenty of serial tomcat presidents. In a certain sense he’s an odd amalgamation of vices and flaws that we’ve chuckled at and tacitly celebrated in other leaders.

All that said, it sucks. He’s not a good person. He’s not a leader. He’s not competent or compassionate or honest. I don’t think he’s really capable of serving anyone. He doesn’t even understand rational self interest. The most generous thing I can say is that he provides a good bedtime scare for young adults who have grown complacent and don’t bother to vote.

Sorry for the late reply.  Work and life-sustaining seasonal recreation have kept me fully engaged elsewhere.

To your question, both.  I maintain this Presidency is neither unusual nor unprecedented as far as partisanship and polarization on the issues is concerned.  And I am in line with the rest of what you write.  For my part I’d parrot John Stewart on what is unusual about Trump, that—tongue partially in cheek—he is the first openly asshole President.  That and what Desi Lydic said: that he denies that conversation is even supposed to have an essential relationship to the truth, even if only to cover it with lies.  For his part Trump just makes up his own reality as he goes, which isn’t quite the lies we’re used to in politics.  In that sense too he is unique, both for doing it and apparently getting away with it, at least with about 40% of the population.

 

[ Edited: 05 December 2018 15:30 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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05 December 2018 15:35
 

It’s very difficult to say how much contention happening now is due to Trump, and how much is due to the reactions to Trump from the (mostly left) media

I would say that most of the press and the noise in it is due to (colloquially) Trump Derangement Syndrome; that “the left” (mostly, though some on the right too) is so beside itself against Trump that a balanced look at what his Presidency represents just doesn’t happen in the public space.  That lack of balance, though, is probably on par with political contention generally—contention being, I agree, not necessarily a bad thing. 

It seems almost endemic to each political “generation” to see it’s own turmoil, troubles, and disagreements as uniquely tumultuous, troubling, and disagreeable.  Maybe this prioritizing of current suffering as something special is just part of political nature, something that gets cleared up ex post facto, from a broader, retrospective view.

[ Edited: 05 December 2018 15:40 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
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07 December 2018 11:41
 
unsmoked - 26 November 2018 11:08 AM

What is the cost of Trump’s anti-science actions?

The topic here is contention, not merits of administration.  Do you have any thoughts on my post?

 
 
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07 December 2018 12:01
 
Quadrewple - 07 December 2018 11:41 AM
unsmoked - 26 November 2018 11:08 AM

What is the cost of Trump’s anti-science actions?

The topic here is contention, not merits of administration.  Do you have any thoughts on my post?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/contention

quote:  Choose the Right Synonym for contention

DISCORD, STRIFE, CONFLICT, CONTENTION, DISSENSION, VARIANCE mean a state or condition marked by a lack of agreement or harmony. DISCORD implies an intrinsic or essential lack of harmony producing quarreling, factiousness, or antagonism.  a political party long racked by discord STRIFE emphasizes a struggle for superiority rather than the incongruity or incompatibility of the persons or things involved. during his brief reign the empire was never free of civil strife CONFLICT usually stresses the action of forces in opposition but in static applications implies an irreconcilability as of duties or desires.  the conflict of freedom and responsibility CONTENTION applies to strife or competition that shows itself in quarreling, disputing, or controversy.  several points of contention about the new zoning law DISSENSION implies strife or discord and stresses a division into factions.  religious dissension threatened to split the colony VARIANCE implies a clash between persons or things owing to a difference in nature, opinion, or interest.  cultural variances that work against a national identity.  (end quote)

Topic Title:  Is this Trump-era Presidency really all that contentious? 

 

 
 
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08 December 2018 11:48
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 13 November 2018 04:59 AM

Does anyone else find most of this talk of an especially divided America, an overly-charged electorate, and the erosion of our institutions quite overblown?  That this talk about the threats, challenges, and dangers we face now—as being somehow outside the norm, or even unique—is quite the exaggeration? 

. . . But that, it seems, is a different argument and a different problem than anything special about the Trump Presidency.  He may be the most uninformed and incompetent occupant of the Oval Office, but that uniqueness doesn’t seem to spell anything unique about American political business-as-usual.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump?

quote:  “For the President and those close to him, these are terrifying and damning documents. The prosecutors from the Southern District have now named Trump as the person who directed a crime for which another man will presumably go to prison. Meanwhile, Mueller has demonstrated that he has evidence to show that Trump used his campaign for personal enrichment at the expense of American interests and lied about it, in a way that suggests knowledge of guilt. It may not, in the end, be part of a collusion plot. But it is very bad.”  -  Adam Davidson, New Yorker staff writer (see link for more on this)

Is this really American political business as usual?

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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09 December 2018 09:29
 
unsmoked - 08 December 2018 11:48 AM
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher - 13 November 2018 04:59 AM

Does anyone else find most of this talk of an especially divided America, an overly-charged electorate, and the erosion of our institutions quite overblown?  That this talk about the threats, challenges, and dangers we face now—as being somehow outside the norm, or even unique—is quite the exaggeration? 

. . . But that, it seems, is a different argument and a different problem than anything special about the Trump Presidency.  He may be the most uninformed and incompetent occupant of the Oval Office, but that uniqueness doesn’t seem to spell anything unique about American political business-as-usual.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/swamp-chronicles/the-michael-cohen-sentencing-memos-are-damning-for-trump?

quote:  “For the President and those close to him, these are terrifying and damning documents. The prosecutors from the Southern District have now named Trump as the person who directed a crime for which another man will presumably go to prison. Meanwhile, Mueller has demonstrated that he has evidence to show that Trump used his campaign for personal enrichment at the expense of American interests and lied about it, in a way that suggests knowledge of guilt. It may not, in the end, be part of a collusion plot. But it is very bad.”  -  Adam Davidson, New Yorker staff writer (see link for more on this)

Is this really American political business as usual?

Since Nixon did and faced worse, and Clinton was impeached but not convicted for lying in a civil suit against him, how is what Trump appears to have done and may potentially face not American political business as usual?  How is he unique here, or some kind of unprecedented problem or example of corruption, when two of the last eight Presidents have faced similar problems?  Counting Trump that’s three of nine Presidents in the lifetime of the ‘average’ forum user, or 33% for the last 50 and change years—hardly something one would call extraordinary or unprecedented.  One can call “business as usual” a gray area, but 33% is close enough.

In any case, the quoted material provides the proper context for what “business as usual” means, which you ignore but I address here anyway.  Even if the campaign finance revelations from Cohen lead to impeachment, that wouldn’t be extraordinary for what American politics has become.  And the Cohen issue say nothing about the partisanship, intractability, grandstanding, and grid-lock to which “business as usual” actually refers.

 

 

 

[ Edited: 09 December 2018 09:41 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Jefe
 
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09 December 2018 09:37
 

Why is TAP trying to normalize these president’s behaviours?

 
 
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