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#225- Republic of Lies

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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20 November 2020 12:57
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 12:51 PM

But I will say that many people voted for Trump who believe he isn’t a racist.

...despite ample evidence to the contrary.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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20 November 2020 12:58
 
burt - 19 November 2020 09:41 PM
Jefe - 19 November 2020 06:16 PM
Cheshire Cat - 19 November 2020 04:15 PM

Experimental psychologist Bob Altemeyer….

https://tinyurl.com/y4csu3kn

Been a fan since I first read ’ The Authoritarians’.  Thanks for the link.

Don’t think I agree with this entirely. While some of his followers are attracted to authoritarian personalities, just as some of all groups are, I think it’s more than that. Trump is an authoritarian, but he also has a massive amount of personal charisma that creates an attraction. Have felt it myself, and it’s not something that anybody else around can imitate.

What percentage of the U.S. population do you think can feel his charisma?


charisma  noun

1.  compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others.
“she enchanted guests with her charisma”
Similar:
charm
presence
aura
personality
force of personality
strength of character
individuality
magnetism
animal magnetism
drawing power
attractiveness
appeal
allure
pull
magic
spell
mystique
glamour

2.  a divinely conferred power or talent.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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20 November 2020 12:58
 
Jefe - 20 November 2020 12:50 PM
EN - 20 November 2020 12:41 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

They think he is weak and decrepit and will be manhandled by the monstrous black-Indian liberal, Kamala Harris, and the SOCIALIST, Bernie Sanders. Of course, if the Dems wanted a Socialist, they would not have voted 2.5 to 1 for Biden.

This goes back to a sizable demographic of US citizens not knowing what socialism is, because it’s been politicized as a scare-term more than an accurate description.

Correct. In America “socialism” equals “evil” to a bunch of the populace - just the mention of the term unleashes the demons of hell. They forget that the American military and VA system are totally operated by the government, the assets are owned by the government, and the workers are employed by the government.  That fits the classic definition of socialism: public (i.e., government) ownership of the means of production.  The military produces war and defense, and the government owns it all. They also fail to see that many government programs that we all participate in have socialistic characteristics: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interstate infrastructure, national parks, etc.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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20 November 2020 13:00
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 12:51 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

I wouldn’t call it fear and anger - for me personally it’s frustration.  Biden has bent his knee to BLM and the planet-savers.  “We need to end systemic racism.  The cop should have just shot the guy in the leg!”  “I promise you we’ll end fracking.  No, we’re not going to end it - I didn’t say that.  I don’t endorse the green new deal - I AM the democratic party!”

And the other comment about voting for a “racist” out of exasperation.  That’s why I included the Charlottesville comment and the nonstop media attacks that Trump is a racist.  There’s been plenty of discussion on this site on whether Trump is a racist, I don’t want to restart that conversation.  But I will say that many people voted for Trump who believe he isn’t a racist.

Above, I cited plenty of reasons not to vote for Trump, any one of which could be a deal-breaker, but he still got 47% of the vote.  If frustration with losing the culture wars is your point, then, OK, you have a point because conservatives are running out of socially acceptable people to hate.  You can’t say nigger, spic, chink, faggot, or retard anymore.

 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
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20 November 2020 13:07
 
EN - 20 November 2020 12:58 PM
Jefe - 20 November 2020 12:50 PM
EN - 20 November 2020 12:41 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

They think he is weak and decrepit and will be manhandled by the monstrous black-Indian liberal, Kamala Harris, and the SOCIALIST, Bernie Sanders. Of course, if the Dems wanted a Socialist, they would not have voted 2.5 to 1 for Biden.

This goes back to a sizable demographic of US citizens not knowing what socialism is, because it’s been politicized as a scare-term more than an accurate description.

Correct. In America “socialism” equals “evil” to a bunch of the populace - just the mention of the term unleashes the demons of hell. They forget that the American military and VA system are totally operated by the government, the assets are owned by the government, and the workers are employed by the government.  That fits the classic definition of socialism: public (i.e., government) ownership of the means of production.  The military produces war and defense, and the government owns it all. They also fail to see that many government programs that we all participate in have socialistic characteristics: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interstate infrastructure, national parks, etc.

Additionally, no one ever asks “How are we going to pay” for GOP Budget increases in military spending. (Which already exceeds the next ~25 nations combined budgets).
No one ever asked “How are we going to pay for….” Bush Jr’s Iraq war - the quest for (non-existent) WMD in the middle east.  A ‘war’ that came with a ~$1 Trillion price tag.

Money doesn’t matter to the GOP, unless it is to be used to help folks.  (Potentially helping brown, gay, female folks - all lesser citizens in the republic of GOPdom - who all presumably don’t have jobs, or are lazy moochers in the minds of GOP voters.)

 
 
DEGENERATEON
 
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DEGENERATEON
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20 November 2020 13:53
 
Skipshot - 20 November 2020 01:00 PM
DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 12:51 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

I wouldn’t call it fear and anger - for me personally it’s frustration.  Biden has bent his knee to BLM and the planet-savers.  “We need to end systemic racism.  The cop should have just shot the guy in the leg!”  “I promise you we’ll end fracking.  No, we’re not going to end it - I didn’t say that.  I don’t endorse the green new deal - I AM the democratic party!”

And the other comment about voting for a “racist” out of exasperation.  That’s why I included the Charlottesville comment and the nonstop media attacks that Trump is a racist.  There’s been plenty of discussion on this site on whether Trump is a racist, I don’t want to restart that conversation.  But I will say that many people voted for Trump who believe he isn’t a racist.

Above, I cited plenty of reasons not to vote for Trump, any one of which could be a deal-breaker, but he still got 47% of the vote.  If frustration with losing the culture wars is your point, then, OK, you have a point because conservatives are running out of socially acceptable people to hate.  You can’t say nigger, spic, chink, faggot, or retard anymore.

“Much of what has been coming out of the left, not everything but much of it, particularly about race, and about law and order, and about islamaphobia and terrorism, about issues that are fundamental to the security of our society, has had all the moral clarity and intellectual honesty of the OJ verdict - which is to say none at all.”

Issues that are fundamental to the security of our society.  That is my point.  I don’t care about using racial or degrading terms in public because I agree that they are inappropriate. 
If Sam Harris is hesitant to talk about facts in the wake of the George Floyd killing, because of the apparent danger of discussing those facts - isn’t that an issue with our culture?  I don’t want to lose that culture war.  It’s a dangerous direction.  So to frame it as people not being able to say hateful words in public isn’t really summing things up nicely.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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20 November 2020 14:51
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 01:53 PM

Issues that are fundamental to the security of our society.  That is my point.

Please provide specific examples.

DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 01:53 PM

I don’t care about using racial or degrading terms in public because I agree that they are inappropriate.

That’s a relief.

DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 01:53 PM

If Sam Harris is hesitant to talk about facts in the wake of the George Floyd killing, because of the apparent danger of discussing those facts - isn’t that an issue with our culture?  I don’t want to lose that culture war.  It’s a dangerous direction.

Agreed.  Charges of racism have become seriously socially damaging, and leveling the charge seems to come easily.  Certainly the definition of racism is broad for some, and narrow for others, and there is not a clear agreement of the definition, but the Trump presidency has brought the issue front and center, which makes it a good time to come to a better understanding of what is/isn’t racism.

DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 01:53 PM

So to frame it as people not being able to say hateful words in public isn’t really summing things up nicely.

Shining a bright light isn’t nice, but it does take that topic off the table for discussion.

But racism is not the only objectionable aspect of Trump, and certainly not the worst.  What say you to the other charges?

 
Wayne HJ
 
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Wayne HJ
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20 November 2020 17:01
 

I so look forward to Sam moving on from Trump, who seems to excite in him the “moral panic” he so insightfully recognizes in other situations. 

Our democracy is not critically threatened by norm breaking.  Yes, positive norms do help a democracy function by reducing transaction cost and building public support.  But, our government system was designed by people who profoundly rejected the role of norms as a way of controlling government overreach.  The deadlock and inefficient decision making of our government system are a feature, introduced on purpose by people who were very familiar with the collapse of government systems that did depend on norms.  The “founding fathers’ were acutely aware of how norms had failed to secure the Roman Republic.  They lived under an evolving British governmental system that depended very much on norms, as it still does to this day.  The founding fathers realized it would be foolish to depend on norms.  Instead, we depend on transparent decision making among conflicting interests. 

Norms have not prevented our expanding administrative state and the resulting degradation of due process guarantees. (Not a “break glass” event but of some worry for civil libertarians.)  Norms did not prevent protect Tea Party groups from harassment by the Internal Revenue System under Obama.  Norms did not protect the due process rights of male students in college judicial proceedings, a loss instigated by the infamous “Dear Colleague” letter issued under the oversight of Biden.  No norm prevented the FBI from misrepresenting the facts to FISA courts in order to obtain surveillance of the Trump campaign.  The norm of an objective press has completely collapsed back to an earlier norm of dishonest rancorous political muckraking.  Our society constantly abandons some norms and creates new ones, sometimes in rapid succession.

Perhaps I’ve missed Sam’s point but he seems to consider the court action by Trump as a grievous threat to our democracy, part of a grift intended to enrich Trump after he leaves office, or even as part of an attempt to illegally wrest power.  I see it exactly the opposite because I don’t think substantial voter fraud exists and I have confidence that our courts will correctly adjudicate these claims.  Trump would have better served his grift by following the example of Ms. Clinton after her loss in 2016.  She ungraciously accepted her defeat and then went into the wilderness to claim the election was stolen by voter suppression and Russian manipulation.  She wisely did not attempt to take these claims to court where they would have been exposed as untrue.  Trump, ever ignorant about our governmental system, has foolishly taken his claims to court.  Indeed, Trumps attempt to adjudicate his claims in a government court rather than the court of public opinion seems to invalidate Sam’s claim that Trump doesn’t believe his own claims of election illegality. The courts are almost daily showing the claims to have either no merit at all or not enough merit to invalidate the election.  This transparent display of the truth will do more to convince Americans that the election produced a legitimate outcome than any words spoken by Biden, the Democrats, the leftist press, or Sam Harris for that matter.  Sam should encourage Trump to take every last ridiculous claim to the official courts which, I believe, will discredit every single one. 

Despite his denial, Sam does speak condescendingly of Republican credulity.  I consider this condescension deserved and, as something of an elitist, I believe it’s deserved of many citizens in our republic.  I’m not sure where Sam got his data about Republicans believing Obama was born in Kenya but I examined a YouGov poll from December 17 - 20, 2016 - 1376 US Adults (https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/ljv2ohxmzj/econTabReport.pdf).  It shows 52% of Republicans believed Obama was born in Kenya as probably or definitely true, versus only 20% of Democrats.  But, 52% of Democrats believed Russia tampered with actual vote tallies as definitely or probably true, versus 18% of Republicans.  I haven’t checked but I believe that the percentage of Democrats believing Russia tampered with the 2016 vote tallies has risen over time, despite no evidence in support.  These examples of credulity by the American voting public seem alarming, maybe they are.  But, perhaps our system doesn’t really depend on this weakness.  I continue to hope that our system depends on median voters having less susceptibility to this cognitive failure. In any case, it doesn’t seem that Republican credulity warrants special fear as opposed to Democrat credulity.

Thankfully, Sam has spoken against the corrosive effort to construct enemies lists of Republicans to be punished for their support of Trump.  However, to paraphrase his critique of Trump, he does bring fuel to that fire.  This type of character assassination and political shunning will make our politics worse.  As I write this, students at Harvard University are circulating a petition to block any Trump supporter from attending, working, or speaking at Harvard.  I expect to see similar efforts at other educational institutions.  I trust Sam app;oses this sort of bigotry but I believe extending an assumption of good faith, even if unjustified, is a NORM worth preserving in our system.

I think Sam seriously over-estimates the threat to our democracy from Trump tweets and statements on the day or even days after the election.  I do not believe any Democrat, Republican, or Independent state official was even remotely tempted to suspend counting when Trump called for counting to stop.  Trump has a big megaphone but a megaphone is not Federal executive authority, nor is a Trump tweet an official Presidential executive order..  I think even if Trump attempted to use Federal executive authority to block counting then no state official would respond and no police or military unit would enforce his plainly unconstitutional command.  If some police or military commander responded then I think the courts would promptly block execution.

I also don’t think Trump blocking access by Biden transition personnel represents a substantial threat.  I know it’s a talking point on the left who like to argue the 9/11 attacks escaped attention because of the delayed transition after the disputed election of 2000.  I’m not convinced.  After all, the US has an abnormally long transition period compared to other advanced countries.  Britain, for example, has a one day transition period, and they seem to muddle through. Also, in the US as with Britain much of the transition occurs with career government employees, it doesn’t depend on the participation of political appointees.  The threat to the country of a delayed transition is a canard, not a reason.

Finally, it seems as if Sam may have let his prejudice against conservative or Republican or Trump supporters attenuate his normally good instincts about plausible stories.  It seems some journalists have good reasons to question the claim that patients in South Dakota are dying while denying the existence of Covid-19.  https://www.wired.com/story/are-covid-patients-gasping-it-isnt-real-as-they-die/.  Can you say Jesse Smollett?

After all that I’ve written it may seem incredible but I do look forward to more Common Sense podcasts bringing intelligent thoughtful analysis of the important issues we confront today. Cheers.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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20 November 2020 17:41
 
EN - 20 November 2020 12:41 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

They think he is weak and decrepit and will be manhandled by the monstrous black-Indian liberal, Kamala Harris, and the SOCIALIST, Bernie Sanders. Of course, if the Dems wanted a Socialist, they would not have voted 2.5 to 1 for Biden.

Right, so another kind of misapprehension of reality, just like ignoring the fact that Trump is a crook.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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20 November 2020 17:43
 
DEGENERATEON - 20 November 2020 12:51 PM
mapadofu - 20 November 2020 12:25 PM

Then why not vote for Biden?  This is what doesn’t jive for me.  Biden is pretty much the most milquetoast candidate the Dems could have fielded.  And yet I still perceive fear and anger towards him from at least the more vocal and militant corners of Trumpdom.

I wouldn’t call it fear and anger - for me personally it’s frustration.  Biden has bent his knee to BLM and the planet-savers.  “We need to end systemic racism.  The cop should have just shot the guy in the leg!”  “I promise you we’ll end fracking.  No, we’re not going to end it - I didn’t say that.  I don’t endorse the green new deal - I AM the democratic party!”

And the other comment about voting for a “racist” out of exasperation.  That’s why I included the Charlottesville comment and the nonstop media attacks that Trump is a racist.  There’s been plenty of discussion on this site on whether Trump is a racist, I don’t want to restart that conversation.  But I will say that many people voted for Trump who believe he isn’t a racist.

Yet another misapprehension of reality.

 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
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21 November 2020 06:53
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