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#225- Republic of Lies

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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18 November 2020 16:51
 

In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris discusses President Trump’s failure to concede the 2020 presidential election. Running time is 31:30

#225- Republic of Lies


This thread is for listeners’ comments

 
 
Lbrian
 
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Lbrian
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18 November 2020 19:35
 

I can’t disagree with much in this podcast.  Unfortunately I never like a bunch of observations being dumped on me without at least some hint at how to deal with them.  It is easy to say, “give 70 million people a mulligan” while ignoring the reality of the danger they still pose.  While there are underlying factors that made them support Trump their susceptibility to, and willingness to embrace, blatantly false information makes them a clear and ongoing threat to our democracy.

Yes Trump was awful, but he would not have been able to bully the GOP into supporting him without the informationally damaged electorate.  This goes beyond just fixing their economic problems to fixing the way they receive and process information and evaluate truth claims.  This is over 70 million people.  Pointing this out is not demonizing them, it is just acknowledging a fact.

So what are the options?

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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19 November 2020 02:01
 

Great speech, will share.

But I’m with Lbrian on this that we cannot disentangle the supporters of this attempted coup from the plotters and executors:
Trump, Fox, OAN and the Republicans have been using their supporters as human shields and convinced them that any criticism of The Leader is an attack against everything they hold dear.

 

The only thing we have is facts, and we have to state them clearly and fearlessly regardless of whether people feel attacked.

 

 

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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19 November 2020 07:34
 
Twissel - 19 November 2020 02:01 AM

The only thing we have is facts, and we have to state them clearly and fearlessly regardless of whether people feel attacked.

Agree.

I think Beau (see link below) has the right approach:
“... we unite behind principle, we unite behind ideas ... principle – not parties, not personalities ... those that are recently elected are going to have to put forth ideas that are going to unite people ... compromise for the sake of compromise doesn’t help; that’s how we got Trump ... if you want to unite the country, it’s going to take leadership ...”

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

 

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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19 November 2020 07:39
 

Putting my own spin on something Sam indicated.  I think the quickest way to knee-cap the leftists would be for the Biden administration having success in passing and implementing moderate policies.  If that happens, the wokists will still continue their ranting on Twitter, but won’t be able to gain any real political traction any time soon.

 
stephmtl
 
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stephmtl
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19 November 2020 10:17
 

Like all Sam podcast critiquing Trump, it feels good to ear words of reason in this insanity that is Trump presidency.

However, as Sam doesn’t like to be misquoted, I realy don’t think AOC think that half the country are racists. He shouldn’t make that kind of interpretation of someone beliefs without evidences.

 
Lbrian
 
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19 November 2020 10:50
 
stephmtl - 19 November 2020 10:17 AM

Like all Sam podcast critiquing Trump, it feels good to ear words of reason in this insanity that is Trump presidency.

However, as Sam doesn’t like to be misquoted, I realy don’t think AOC think that half the country are racists. He shouldn’t make that kind of interpretation of someone beliefs without evidences.

I am sure she does not think that.  There is however the point that even though 70 million people who voted for Trump are certainly not all racists they showed themselves more than willing to support one, which in many ways is a distinction without a difference for those on the receiving end of the policies.

 
Skipshot
 
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19 November 2020 10:58
 
stephmtl - 19 November 2020 10:17 AM

. . . I realy don’t think AOC think that half the country are racists.

Not all Trump supporters are racists, but racism isn’t a deal-breaker for them. 
Not all Trump supporters are liars, but a president who lies isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are self-centered vandals, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are inept, unqualified, and inexperienced at their job, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are sex offenders, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters fake their religious beliefs, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters deny science and health experts, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe the country’s long-term adversaries have the US’s best interests at heart, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are inveterate rakes, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are tax cheats, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe conspiracy theories, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.

What is dangerous, is that Trump supporters like Trump because he thinks and talks like they do.

 
Lbrian
 
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19 November 2020 11:05
 

The other point is there can be not meaningful reconciliation without Trump supporters somehow recognizing and owning the damage Trump has done to our democracy.  There are some topics that a person of conscience cannot “agree to disagree on” because they go against the core values of the republic.

I want reconciliation, I want a healed and whole country, I dream of a country where facts were accepted and truth valued…but how do we get there?  How do we open a dialogue, a meaningful and genuine one, with those 70 million people? 

It is something that needs to happen but I just do not see a way forward.

 
czrpb
 
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czrpb
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19 November 2020 11:08
 
Jan_CAN - 19 November 2020 07:34 AM
Twissel - 19 November 2020 02:01 AM

The only thing we have is facts, and we have to state them clearly and fearlessly regardless of whether people feel attacked.

Agree.

I think Beau (see link below) has the right approach:
“... we unite behind principle, we unite behind ideas ... principle – not parties, not personalities ... those that are recently elected are going to have to put forth ideas that are going to unite people ... compromise for the sake of compromise doesn’t help; that’s how we got Trump ... if you want to unite the country, it’s going to take leadership ...”

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

 

love him too! but there really isnt anything here for the “avg” person; as you quote he is talking about *leaders* with a platform, the ability to speak to many.

and this is where Sam is failing: he is NOT actually speaking to the people who disagree—Right or Left. he himself dismisses them as illogical and unreachable (see Ta-Nehisi and his BS reasoning as of at least AMA #13: sam specifically says “it would be a fool’s errand”. well, why doesnt that apply in other cases? this is where sam is at his worst: it seems only he knows who is reachable. anyway, yes rant.)

but if all we have is convo, then actually demonstrate and lead Sam!

 
czrpb
 
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czrpb
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19 November 2020 11:13
 
Lbrian - 18 November 2020 07:35 PM

I can’t disagree with much in this podcast.  Unfortunately I never like a bunch of observations being dumped on me without at least some hint at how to deal with them.  It is easy to say, “give 70 million people a mulligan” while ignoring the reality of the danger they still pose.  While there are underlying factors that made them support Trump their susceptibility to, and willingness to embrace, blatantly false information makes them a clear and ongoing threat to our democracy.

Yes Trump was awful, but he would not have been able to bully the GOP into supporting him without the informationally damaged electorate.  This goes beyond just fixing their economic problems to fixing the way they receive and process information and evaluate truth claims.  This is over 70 million people.  Pointing this out is not demonizing them, it is just acknowledging a fact.

So what are the options?

yeah, this is pretty sad of sam: he KNOWS his “all we have is convo” wont work. the mulligan is just that: he hopes that they will simply NOT proceed down the same path again by somehow having coming to their senses WITHOUT anyone doing the work.

seems pretty illogical no?

 
Jefe
 
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19 November 2020 11:27
 
Skipshot - 19 November 2020 10:58 AM
stephmtl - 19 November 2020 10:17 AM

. . . I realy don’t think AOC think that half the country are racists.

Not all Trump supporters are racists, but racism isn’t a deal-breaker for them. 
Not all Trump supporters are liars, but a president who lies isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are self-centered vandals, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are inept, unqualified, and inexperienced at their job, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are sex offenders, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters fake their religious beliefs, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters deny science and health experts, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe the country’s long-term adversaries have the US’s best interests at heart, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are inveterate rakes, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are tax cheats, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe conspiracy theories, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.

What is dangerous, is that Trump supporters like Trump because he thinks and talks like they do.

These are the things that make me scratch my head.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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19 November 2020 12:35
 
Jefe - 19 November 2020 11:27 AM
Skipshot - 19 November 2020 10:58 AM
stephmtl - 19 November 2020 10:17 AM

. . . I realy don’t think AOC think that half the country are racists.

Not all Trump supporters are racists, but racism isn’t a deal-breaker for them. 
Not all Trump supporters are liars, but a president who lies isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are self-centered vandals, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are inept, unqualified, and inexperienced at their job, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker. 
Not all Trump supporters are sex offenders, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters fake their religious beliefs, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters deny science and health experts, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe the country’s long-term adversaries have the US’s best interests at heart, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are inveterate rakes, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters are tax cheats, but a president who is isn’t a deal-breaker.
Not all Trump supporters believe conspiracy theories, but a president who does isn’t a deal-breaker.

What is dangerous, is that Trump supporters like Trump because he thinks and talks like they do.

These are the things that make me scratch my head.

They are willing to make a deal with the devil to get just a few things they want, like the Supreme Court nominees or someone who will mock their enemies on the left. They have sold their souls cheap.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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19 November 2020 14:31
 

When I’m pessimistic, I think that there are some millions of people who are willing to give up on this country.  I’m thinking of religious people who actually believe that Christianity is under attack in this country.  Since they think they’re being forced to choose between American ideals like democracy and the rule of law and Christian ones, like raising their children to love Jesus, they’re going to toss away the former in order to preserve the latter.

 
Cheshire Cat
 
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19 November 2020 16:15
 

Experimental psychologist Bob Altemeyer, has spent his entire career studying authoritarians. Research has yielded a list of the traits of followers of authoritarians. These apply to political authoritarians on the Left, Right, or to those who are considered religious or cult leaders.

1. They are highly ethnocentric, highly inclined to see the world as their in-group versus everyone else. Because they are so committed to their in-group, they are very zealous in its cause.

2. They are highly fearful of a dangerous world. Their parents taught them, more than parents usually do, that the world is dangerous. They may also be genetically predisposed to experiencing stronger fear than most people do.

3. They are highly self-righteous. They believe they are the “good people” and this unlocks a lot of hostile impulses against those they consider bad.

4. They are aggressive. Given the chance to attack someone with the approval of an authority, they will lower the boom.

5. Their beliefs are a mass of contradictions. They have highly compartmentalized minds, in which opposite beliefs exist side-by-side in adjacent boxes. As a result, their thinking is full of double-standards.

6. They reason poorly. If they like the conclusion of an argument, they don’t pay much attention to whether the evidence is valid or the argument is consistent.

7. They are highly dogmatic. Because they have gotten their beliefs mainly from the authorities in their lives, rather than think things out for themselves, they have no real defense when facts or events indicate they are wrong. So they just dig in their heels and refuse to change.

8. They are very dependent on social reinforcement of their beliefs. They think they are right because almost everyone they know, almost every news broadcast they see, almost every radio commentator they listen to, tells them they are. That is, they screen out the sources that will suggest that they are wrong.

9. Because they severely limit their exposure to different people and ideas, they vastly overestimate the extent to which other people agree with them. And thinking they are “the moral majority” supports their attacks on the “evil minorities” they see in the country.

10. They are easily duped by manipulators who pretend to espouse their causes when all the con-artists really want is personal gain.

11. They are largely blind to themselves. They have little self-understanding and insight into why they think and do what they do.

In this link, Altemeyer applies these traits to Trump supporters specifically in more detail.

https://tinyurl.com/y4csu3kn

 
 
LadyJane
 
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19 November 2020 16:15
 

The Trump supporters that make up the conspiracy driven, kool aid drinking, rally going quotient of the seventy million voters are likely to lose interest once the administration changes hands.  I imagine they rarely, if ever, participated in the political process before and merely jumped on a bandwagon that allowed them to express the dissatisfaction of feeling like an outsider.  It was never about political issues.  It never got past the slogans.  It was about feeling empowered.

Now that the wagon has nowhere left to go they will have to reconcile how they failed to realize it was made out of straw.  And why the driver is abandoning them as it comes rolling to a stop.  They provided the momentum for the vehicle of hate but that loyalty was only reciprocated for as long as it served the leader.  As the new administration brings the focus back to the boring business of bureaucracy I highly suspect voter turnout will go back to being abysmal once again.

Reagan created a larger than life persona too.  And played the part for his adoring fans as he stood on the shoulders of corporate giants and sold the American dream for all it was worth.  That is when the political shift to the right began.  Trump took the same sales pitch and turned the dream into a nightmare.  And participants who are interested in the political process could see it coming from a mile away.  When celebrities dominate a culture popularity trumps substance every time.  It’s a side show.

The celebrations after Biden won were short lived.  Even after he offered to help put the wheels back on the wagon.  A wagon he would never have ridden.  A wagon that tried running him over.  Valuing this offer is the compromise and the best way of weaning off Trump.  The democracy will still suffer but it’s at least a way forward.  When anything left of that is considered radical how can you possibly reform the systems that ushered in this disaster in the first place?

The key is spotting a sturdy bandwagon…and knowing how to drive.

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