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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 8:46 pm 
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yov, as I’ve said before, what I find most marked about the Trump candidacy is the media hysteria that has accompanied it, and which I think is mirrored in the general political discourse.

Of course, Trump isn’t running as an authoritarian; that’s a term people are using to describe him, or to describe the type of people who are attracted to him. He isn’t running to be a dictator, that’s an interpretation of him that people are putting forward.

There are a lot of exaggerations or negative characterizations in the article you cited. I’m more scared of this over-reaction to Trump than I am of Trump. I’m more scared of the mob mentality I see developing in reaction to the media hysteria, than I am scared of Trump.

The reason I may seem dismissive of people’s fears, is because I think they are largely manufactured. In the simplest terms, it seems to me that people are talking themselves into a frenzy of fear and loathing, not against Trump, but against a phantom of their own making.

I would say that the attitude that is poison to our democracy, is the attitude that if we don’t like what a person is saying, then they don’t have the right to say it.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
a phantom of their own making.


A phantom of their own making? Really? Was it a phantom that said maybe we should ban immigration of Muslims, something so blatantly unconstitutional that it should immediately disqualify anyone who says it from taking the oath to be our president? Trump gets called an authoritarian because he talks like one. It's not just "a term people are using to describe him", as if they're imagining all the authoritarian-sounding things that he's said. Would you rather people ignored his casual disregard towards the constitution, his casual attitude towards violence, his casual talk of war crimes?

And I'm pretty disappointed you'd use that old "if we don’t like what a person is saying, then they don’t have the right to say it" line. It's an obvious fallacy. No one denies Trump the right to say whatever he wants. But protesters have the right to yell right back at him to go to hell.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:29 pm 
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This seems relevant.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:30 pm 
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As repulsive as many of Trump's policy proposals--I use the term liberally--may be, I don't feel he crossed the "line" of American political discourse until he started telling supporters at his rallies to go ahead and beat up protesters. Incitement to immediate violence is not protected speech.

BTW, for a very different look at Trump's campaign, the reasons people vote for him, and such, take a gander at The Guardian's coverage. I do find it helpful to get an outsider's look at the situation.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:38 pm 
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axordil wrote:
I don't feel he crossed the "line" of American political discourse until he started telling supporters at his rallies to go ahead and beat up protesters.


To me, he crossed the line when he openly supported actions that are explicitly against the Constitution while running as a Presidential candidate. Reminder - the President has to take an oath to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States". Saying it'd be nice if we could punch protesters in the face (again, Cerin, we're not imagining things, he actually said that, much like any good wanna-be fascistic authoritarian would), goes from "crossing the line" to, I dunno, setting the line on fire just for fun.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 10:40 pm 
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Meanwhile, I am still trying to get my head around Clinton's "misspeaking" about Nancy Reagan and AIDS. Perhaps most disappointing was how terse and unfeeling her "apology" seemed. I think she may well lose more support from this than I initially thought of. I will certainly still vote for her in the general election, assuming if she is the nominee. But I think she may well have lost any chance of getting my vote in the California primary.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:11 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Was it a phantom that said maybe we should ban immigration of Muslims, something so blatantly unconstitutional that it should immediately disqualify anyone who says it from taking the oath to be our president?

Why did Trump propose banning immigration of Muslims? Because he hates Muslims? No, it was his solution to the problem of Islamic terrorists in our mist – i.e., if you ban all Muslims, you will de facto succeed in banning the target group of Muslims that you legitimately want to keep out of the country. It’s a crude and simplistic solution, though not illogical. I would suggest it’s not only blatantly unconstitutional, but blatantly stupid, and reveals an inability to grasp the complexities of the situation.

Rather than giving it the consideration it deserved on its merits (which is to say, none, especially since, as you note, it is unconstitutional and is never going to happen), people instead took up the cry of racism and religious bigotry – a phantom of their own making.

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Trump gets called an authoritarian because he talks like one. It's not just "a term people are using to describe him", as if they're imagining all the authoritarian-sounding things that he's said.

I agree, it’s not an unreasonable characterization of his approach and his appeal, but I think it is unreasonable to assume he would govern a certain way, and even more unreasonable to make the cosmic leap to attributing to him the characteristics of past authoritarian figures who actually held power and could be judged by their actions in retrospect.

I think the only legitimate way to judge Trump at this point, would be to interview people who know him and who have worked for him and had personal contact. Has he been racist in his conversation and actions? How does he treat his employees, and what is his management style?

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Would you rather people ignored his casual disregard towards the constitution, his casual attitude towards violence, his casual talk of war crimes?

I don’t know that Trump has a casual disregard of the constitution. I would suspect it’s more a case of not knowing the constitution very well. But as far as ignoring, there’s not the slightest fear that any of his remarks will be ignored. Treat him as you treat any other candidate with whom you disagree – argue the ideas on their merit or lack thereof.

I believe he backtracked on the war crimes issue when certain things were explained to him. Again, I suspect it’s more a display of ignorance than anything else. Ignorance, inexperience and inappropriate behavior are more than sufficient reasons to oppose his nomination; it isn’t necessary to make him into a monster.

I agree that Trump's encouragement of violence at his rallies is a real cause for concern.

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And I'm pretty disappointed you'd use that old "if we don’t like what a person is saying, then they don’t have the right to say it" line. It's an obvious fallacy. No one denies Trump the right to say whatever he wants. But protesters have the right to yell right back at him to go to hell.

A group of people tried to deny Trump the right to speak the other night, and succeeded. I don’t think protesters should be allowed to disrupt candidate events to the extent that the event can’t proceed. I would object to it being done to Sanders or Clinton, so I have to object to it being done to Trump. This isn't to say that the protesters couldn't protest outside the event as long as they liked.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:25 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
I don’t think protesters should be allowed to disrupt candidate events to the extent that the event can’t proceed.


Would you think it'd okay to disrupt such an event for, say, an open KKK member? I would say so. Trump hasn't gone that far, true, but he has gone so far beyond acceptable civil discourse at this point that I think a peaceful protest to silence him is more than acceptable, it's commendable.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 11:46 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
Why did Trump propose banning immigration of Muslims? Because he hates Muslims?

No, because he is counting on support from people who hate Muslims. He deliberately and callously fans religious and racial hatred. Whether or not he personally hates anyone is irrelevant.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:26 am 
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As seems to be the norm in this thread, I agree with Cerin. Trump’s rhetoric and the behaviour of his supporters reflect badly on him (and them). The protestors’ use of what effectively amounts to force to shut down one of his campaign rallies reflects badly on them as well. Attempts to suppress political speech almost always backfire, and in this case, the protestors give Trump grounds to claim that the radical left is trying to force him out of the campaign and that they’ve had to resort to threatened or actual violence as they can’t actually challenge his arguments.

That said, I expect we’ll see a lot this between now and the Republican Convention (and probably at the Republican Convention, Chicago ’68 style).


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:37 am 
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I believe that there are evils to which it is imperative for people of conscience to respond. Trump's ugly rhetoric isn't blameless because he himself doesn't believe it. What he is exciting and permitting at his rallies is evil. It's contrary to the principles on which civic discourse in our country should be founded.

People are right, and have the right, to object to it. To do otherwise is to ignore a growing cancer.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:53 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Would you think it'd okay to disrupt such an event for, say, an open KKK member? I would say so.

I would say it is fine to organize protests against KKK events, but not in the spirit of preventing the event from taking place, or causing violence. Be a presence, but don't try to prevent others from exercising their rights of speech and assembly.


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Trump hasn't gone that far, true, but he has gone so far beyond acceptable civil discourse at this point that I think a peaceful protest to silence him is more than acceptable, it's commendable.

I think calling this a peaceful protest is something of a stretch. The scene was described as chaotic, and the event was cancelled because the situation appeared to be out of control – which was the stated aim of at least some of the protesters. I agree that a peaceful protest -- for example, protesters gathering outside of the arena -- would be acceptable and even commendable.


Primula Baggins wrote:
I believe that there are evils to which it is imperative for people of conscience to respond. Trump's ugly rhetoric isn't blameless because he himself doesn't believe it. What he is exciting and permitting at his rallies is evil. It's contrary to the principles on which civic discourse in our country should be founded.

People are right, and have the right, to object to it. To do otherwise is to ignore a growing cancer.

This is an example of the frenzy I was referring to. Can you please give an example of this evil? Something that Trump has said that qualifies as evil, that rises to the level of the tenor of your statement?

I agree, people should be able to and should object to things they find objectionable, but not in such a way as to prevent others from exercising their constitutional rights. That is even more objectionable than whatever thing they are objecting to.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:05 am 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
That said, I expect we’ll see a lot this between now and the Republican Convention (and probably at the Republican Convention, Chicago ’68 style).

I think the success of the Chicago protest will lead to others of the sort. But can something like the convention protest of Chicago '68 happen in post-9/11, Patriot Act America? As I recall, the protests that took place during the George W. Bush presidency were relegated to outlying areas, and I imagine there will be extraordinary security at the party conventions.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:57 am 
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Cerin wrote:
This is an example of the frenzy I was referring to. Can you please give an example of this evil? Something that Trump has said that qualifies as evil, that rises to the level of the tenor of your statement?



His "let's ban Muslims" statements alone are enough to reach this level, IMO - openly supporting religious discrimination is blatantly evil, it blatantly encourages xenophobia and bigotry, not to mention that it's blatantly unconstitutional - but it is not the only Trump statement I would have have no trouble flat-out calling evil.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:38 am 
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yovargas wrote:
Cerin wrote:
This is an example of the frenzy I was referring to. Can you please give an example of this evil? Something that Trump has said that qualifies as evil, that rises to the level of the tenor of your statement?

His "let's ban Muslims" statements alone are enough to reach this level, IMO - openly supporting religious discrimination is blatantly evil, it blatantly encourages xenophobia and bigotry, not to mention that it's blatantly unconstitutional - but it is not the only Trump statement I would have have no trouble flat-out calling evil.

Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country (which I have agreed is an absurd idea) is not about religious discrimination, but about preventing a certain group of Muslims from entering the country. Do you not see the distinction there? If there were not a faction of Muslims in the world that had declared war on the West, then I would agree that calling for a ban on Muslims would be evil. But this is clearly a proposed solution to an actual problem we face. I think the evil here is on the part of those who are beheading and otherwise slaughtering and raping innocents; I think the call to ban Muslims (with the purpose of keeping this particular group of Muslims out of the country) is severely misguided, but not an expression of evil.

I appreciate you providing an example. I would welcome other examples of statements that you (or others) consider flat-out evil.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:38 am 
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In principle, I agree with you, Cerin. Although I think Trump is a reprehensible human being, I find it far more concerning that so many people are eagerly buying into what he is selling.

This is a first-person account by a young man who, with a friend, decided to attend a Trump rally, thinking it might be funny and perhaps educational. I have no reason to doubt his report. I find it - well, disturbing, to say the least. I think Trump will do and say anything to keep the attention focused on himself. Right now, the people who are paying attention to him seem to be...well...not what I thought our country was supposed to represent. And there are apparently enough of them to give him the votes he needs and the attention he craves.

Anyway, have a look. Worth reading.

ARTICLE HERE

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:59 pm 
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Túrin Turambar wrote:
As seems to be the norm in this thread, I agree with Cerin. Trump’s rhetoric and the behaviour of his supporters reflect badly on him (and them). The protestors’ use of what effectively amounts to force to shut down one of his campaign rallies reflects badly on them as well. Attempts to suppress political speech almost always backfire, and in this case, the protestors give Trump grounds to claim that the radical left is trying to force him out of the campaign and that they’ve had to resort to threatened or actual violence as they can’t actually challenge his arguments.


I would agree with you if there was any evidence at all that the protestors used force to shut down the rally. All they did was show up in large numbers, not surprising given that it was scheduled at a university that has been a center for civil rights activism in Chicago. They did not blockade the stage. They did not confront supporters (by all accounts, what confrontations occurred happened after the event was cancelled and almost universally were instigated by Trump's supporters). And contrary to Trump's explicit claim, law enforcement did not suggest that he cancel the event and on the contrary were confident that they could provide sufficient security to address any eventuality.

Quote:
Some 300 officers were on hand for crowd control, according to Escalante. The Trump campaign didn't consult with authorities before calling the event off, he said.

The Chicago Police Department was "confident" they could provide adequate security to protect Trump, his supporters and protesters, Escalante said.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/11/politics/ ... -protests/

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:02 pm 
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Meanwhile, Clinton has issued a much more explicit apology about her comments about Nancy Reagan and AIDS in a blog post at the Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hillary-c ... 50474.html

Better late than never, but I'm not sure it is sufficient to address the concerns raised by her error.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:25 pm 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Meanwhile, I am still trying to get my head around Clinton's "misspeaking" about Nancy Reagan and AIDS. Perhaps most disappointing was how terse and unfeeling her "apology" seemed. I think she may well lose more support from this than I initially thought of. I will certainly still vote for her in the general election, assuming if she is the nominee. But I think she may well have lost any chance of getting my vote in the California primary.

Clinton was in a very tough position there. Either she had the events straight in her mind but simply said the wrong word, or she really had believed that the Reagans were supportive on AIDS, which I think would have to mean that she wasn't tuned in to the issue at the time. A more effusive apology would presumably have drawn more attention to the mistake itself and might have prompted questions from detractors about either her mental acuity in the first case, or the sincerity of her concern on the AIDS issue in the second. I can understand her wanting to try and slip the apology in under the radar for that reason, but clearly that strategy had its own drawbacks.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 3:48 pm 
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Cerin wrote:
Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country (which I have agreed is an absurd idea) is not about religious discrimination, but about preventing a certain group of Muslims from entering the country. Do you not see the distinction there? If there were not a faction of Muslims in the world that had declared war on the West, then I would agree that calling for a ban on Muslims would be evil.


I'm genuinely shocked to see you try and make this "distinction".
There were "pragmatic" reasons to round up the Japanese post-Pearl Harbor. To do so was still a vile, despicable evil against the very core of American values.
There were "pragmatic" reasons to hunt down Communists during the Cold War. McCarthyism was still a vile, despicable evil against the very core of American values.
There are "pragmatic" reasons to ban Muslims from entering the country.To do so would be a vile, despicable evil against the very core of American values.

Perhaps more importantly, though, is how much attention he gives to the "problem" of Muslim violence. It is in fact wildly disproportionate to the actual threat posed by Muslims to US citizens. Mass shootings by white males kill far more US citizens than Muslim terrorists do and yet the threat of violence from white males gets no attention. No Republicans are trying to solve the "problem" of white males. What would you call a disproportionate fear of an Other group if not bigotry?


But if this isn't "evil" enough for you, how about that time that he tweeted this image with blatantly false statistics about black violence:
Image
Does spreading lies about black men to make them seem more frightening than they really are count as evil? Oh, but it was probably just ignorance, you might say? He simply didn't know they were false? Do you not find it very deeply troubling that he would be so easily be duped (if it was indeed ignorance, of which I am not so certain) into believing racist statistics? Do you know who easily buys the lies racists about say blacks? Other racists.

But maybe spreading anti-black bigotry (and to my knowledge never apologizing for doing so when he was told it was a lie) isn't evil enough for you. How about this one?

Quote:
The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don't kid yourself. When they say they don't care about their lives, you have to take out their families," Trump said.


Openly calling the murder of innocent civilians. Does this count as evil to you? No? Then how about this:

Quote:
After saying that he’d like to punch a protester in the face [Does this count as evil to you?], Trump segued into an attack on one of his main rivals, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.)

“It brings up something,” Trump said. “Two debates ago, they hit Ted Cruz with a question. … They hit him with a question on waterboarding. They said: ‘What do you think of waterboarding? Is it good?’ And he got all messed up. He couldn’t answer the question. He was a mess, because he didn’t want to say waterboarding was good.

“Now, waterboarding — nothing is pretty –but they are chopping off heads, they are drowning people in steel cages … and they are saying to themselves, ‘Can you believe how weak, how weak and pathetic the Americans are?'” Trump said in a reference to the Islamic State, which has released videos showing the group’s beheading and drowning of prisoners.

“So they are asking Ted Cruz, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?'” Trump continued, breaking into an impression of Cruz. “‘Well, uh, um, uh, what do I say? I want to be politically correct. Waterboarding is so terrible,’ even though they are chopping off heads. He couldn’t even answer the question. He was like a mess.

“Then they said to me, ‘What do you think of waterboarding?'” Trump said. “I said I think it’s great, but we don’t go far enough.”

To that, the crowd broke out into cheers and chants of “USA,USA.”

“It’s true. We don’t go far enough,” Trump said. “We don’t go far enough.”

Quote:
“If [waterboarding] doesn’t work,” Trump said, “they deserve it anyway, for what they’re doing.”


Openly supporting torture for it's own sake. Not simply saying that torture is a valid interrogation technique - which is bad enough as it is - but condoning it be used for pure vengeance. Is calling waterboarding "great" count as evil to you? Does saying he wants to go farther count as evil to you? Does using torture as a form of vengeance count as evil to you? Do these sound like the words of a man simply looking for pragmatic solutions to Islamic terrorism to you?

And of course, I'm not going to count the Mexican rapists remarks here because he didn't "really" say all Mexicans are rapists, even if it does neatly fall into the pattern of unapologetically spreading disproportionate fear of brown people this post highlights.

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Last edited by yovargas on Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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