Politics

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phuqueue
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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:39 pm

mean wrote:Well, a fair few of their constituents thought Obama was a muslim installed by Saudis who wanted to destroy America. Now, a fair few democratic constituents think Trump is a nazi installed by Russians who wants to destroy America. My optimistic side likes to think we'll get through this, but the pessimistic part of me thinks that when any ideology becomes a team sport, where you root for your team no matter what they do and vilify / dehumanize the other team no matter what they do, it's over. Human nature / confirmation bias is too strong and the sides drift further and further apart until they think that violence against the other is the only answer. That's one recipe for genocide.


That's a pretty big false equivalency considering Trump actually does have the support of prominent Nazis, klansmen, etc, and really did receive Russian help in getting elected

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:29 pm

No it isn't. You're assuming reality is a thing that can be objectively determined, and I'm telling you that we're witnessing the dismantling of objective reality, and I'm not happy about it.

edit: "Alternative facts" is just the beginning.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sat Jun 10, 2017 9:04 am

"One side believes insane conspiracy theories, the other side believe established facts -- they're both crazy!" is definitely a false equivalency. I'm not gonna get into a philosophical debate about "objective reality," and I do agree with you that "alternative facts" and the inability/refusal to agree on which facts are true is frustrating and problematic, but I think throwing up your hands and exclaiming "both sides!" is ludicrous.

When an overwhelming consensus of experts tell you the climate is warming and human activity is to blame, it's reasonable to accept that as a fact. When the entire intelligence community agrees that Russia interfered in the election, it's reasonable to accept that as a fact. When Nazis and klansmen tell you Trump is their guy, it's reasonable to accept that as a fact. When you have strong evidence to substantiate something, it's reasonable to accept that thing as a fact. And that's why "both sides"ism is a false equivalency.

And considering Trump's historically low and still falling approval ratings and the fact that recent polls show support for impeachment outpacing support for the job he's doing, I think you're actually not giving conservative voters enough credit either, to portray dueling "realities" as some intractable problem. Trump has a hard core of support, just as any politician will, but that core is probably relatively small (what did he get, like 30% of the vote in the GOP primary? and approximately a quarter of all eligible voters in the general?). It's frustrating that the partisan hangers on who keep him in power just because he's their party's guy haven't deserted him yet, but then, as I observed on the last page, Republicans stuck by Nixon real late into the game too, so this strong party loyalty isn't necessarily new, doesn't necessarily show a commitment to "alternative facts," and doesn't necessarily mean genocide is next up. This post is ending on a weirdly kind of optimistic note (if "there might not be a genocide" is where our bar for optimism is now) considering how dour I feel about this situation in general.

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sat Jun 10, 2017 12:01 pm

The optimist in me agrees with everything you said and thinks I'm overreacting, but it's really rough to see two diametrically opposed and completely irreconcilable worldviews accusing each other of believing in conspiracy theories and peddling fake news while having Truth on their side. I'm not saying "they're both crazy", I think it's abundantly clear who the crazy ones are, but then how can I be sure I'm not just falling victim to my own bias? That's a question I think too few people ever ask.

The problem with "their side believes insane conspiracy theories, my side believe established facts" is that both sides say it and, presumably, believe it about themselves. It's maddening.

Although to be fair, if it was 1968 I'd probably be similarly concerned and we made it through all that madness so /shrug.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sat Jun 10, 2017 4:21 pm

Agree that everybody probably believes that they're relying on "established facts," but that doesn't mean it's impossible to step back and evaluate what you believe in and why. Will still inevitably be tinged by your biases, but being aware of that can help you control for it to at least some extent. People on the left have their own problems with facts too (the anti-vax movement, the anti-GMO movement, etc etc), so I don't mean to suggest that this is solely a rightwing problem. I just think the specific comparison of "Obama is a Muslim" to "Trump was installed by the Russians" is a false equivalency. I take your broader point.

And yeah if you want additional reason for optimism, it's that historians would tell you this is far from the worst it's been in this country, and hey, so far we've only had one civil war (and it was over a singularly divisive issue that far surpasses any that we are grappling with now).

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Re: Politics

Postby flyingember » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:39 pm

I just think the specific comparison of "Obama is a Muslim" to "Trump was installed by the Russians" is a false equivalency.

The topics are different, the goal is to use an item of moral or ethical importance for a group of people to get them against a political opponent.

and in that sense, they are the same thing.

Obama probably did spend time learning Muslim beliefs. Trump probably did get helped by the Russians and knows it can be linked to him.
Is either thing really that important in the big picture?

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Re: Politics

Postby grovester » Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:50 pm

They absolutely want you to feel that way, it is their goal. Resist the urge.

mean wrote:The optimist in me agrees with everything you said and thinks I'm overreacting, but it's really rough to see two diametrically opposed and completely irreconcilable worldviews accusing each other of believing in conspiracy theories and peddling fake news while having Truth on their side. I'm not saying "they're both crazy", I think it's abundantly clear who the crazy ones are, but then how can I be sure I'm not just falling victim to my own bias? That's a question I think too few people ever ask.

The problem with "their side believes insane conspiracy theories, my side believe established facts" is that both sides say it and, presumably, believe it about themselves. It's maddening.

Although to be fair, if it was 1968 I'd probably be similarly concerned and we made it through all that madness so /shrug.

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:19 am

phuqueue wrote:I just think the specific comparison of "Obama is a Muslim" to "Trump was installed by the Russians" is a false equivalency.


Well, I dunno. It is reasonably clear that the Russians wanted to install Trump and attempted to influence the election in order to do so. On that count I don't have any issues. Whether the Trump campaign knew about it seems less clear, although it doesn't seem SUPER unlikely given the meetings between various people around Trump and Kislyak, but we don't really know yet afaict. And whether there was any collusion seems yet less clear. My fear is that Putin is particularly clever and deliberately created the appearance of knowledge/collusion to induce an investigation which would come up at least mostly empty, thereby vindicating and strengthening Trump while simultaneously weakening the media. In this scenario, Trump firing Comey only helps because it makes Trump look worse, strengthening the "liberal media's" collusion narrative which, of course, when the facts come out, make them look like the fake news Trump has been accusing them of being while making the Russia collusion story a baseless conspiracy theory widely believed by the left. Now, in the national narrative, who are the dummies believing in fake news and conspiracy theories? Unfortunately, I think Putin might just be that crafty. Of course, that's just my pet conspiracy theory (I take it an extra level deep, fam (DID I USE THAT RIGHT LOL GOTTA STAY HIP)) and while I don't believe it is true, I do believe it is within the realm of possibility.

Above and beyond that, though, an equivalence I see here is that both are attempts to delegitimize the president. People on one side see things they believe are facts and believe one of your statements, and people on the side see things they believe are facts and believe the other. Whether those things are actually facts kind of stops mattering when most people don't bother to find out, and this is, I fear, the new reality: every president from here on out will be illegitimate for some reason or other to 30-40ish% of Americans. Whether their reasons for believing this are actually true don't seem as though they will likely matter much.

grovester wrote:They absolutely want you to feel that way, it is their goal. Resist the urge.


To be clear, I'm not confused. I know exactly where I stand. I can't identify as a "leftist" or "rightist" because I think they both have appalling ideas at their extremes (I loathe both identity politics and white supremacy--actually, I figure they're more or less the same thing, just inverted) but I sympathize with those who are duped by Trumpism because they seem to me to be largely well-meaning people who have fallen for a con in the same way I sympathize with those who are duped by anti-Trumpism because they seem to me to be largely well-meaning people who have fallen for the opposite con.

That said, I fucking hate Donald Trump and I think he's the most embarrassing joke of a president we've ever had--and it's not even close. It is obvious the guy is a complete moron. But for better or worse, he's the president, and I feel like it sets a dangerous precedent for the left to attempt to delegitimize him in the same way the right spent 8 years doing to Obama. It isn't that I feel these things are equivalent in reality, it's that I think they are equivalent in the effects they have on reality. If that doesn't make sense, I apologize, I'm about 7 beers in. What I mean is that it doesn't really matter if the claims/facts are real, all that matters is how groups of people act when they believe the claims.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Sun Jun 11, 2017 2:40 pm

flyingember wrote:
I just think the specific comparison of "Obama is a Muslim" to "Trump was installed by the Russians" is a false equivalency.

The topics are different, the goal is to use an item of moral or ethical importance for a group of people to get them against a political opponent.

and in that sense, they are the same thing.

Obama probably did spend time learning Muslim beliefs. Trump probably did get helped by the Russians and knows it can be linked to him.
Is either thing really that important in the big picture?

It's not just "the topics" that are different, it's their factual accuracy. Which is the whole point. "Probably did spend time learning Muslim beliefs" is like a thousand miles away from "is a Muslim." The right wing wasn't frothing at the mouth because Obama might be more familiar with the tenets of Islam than most Americans, they believed the fifth column had seized power. This remains a false equivalency, and one that becomes even sillier when you try to justify it like that.

Is it "really that important" that Russia interfered in an American election? Uhhh, yes, it is. Would it be "really that important" if Trump or somebody from his campaign actively colluded in the effort? Uhhh, yes, it would be. Are you serious?

mean wrote:
phuqueue wrote:I just think the specific comparison of "Obama is a Muslim" to "Trump was installed by the Russians" is a false equivalency.


Well, I dunno. It is reasonably clear that the Russians wanted to install Trump and attempted to influence the election in order to do so. On that count I don't have any issues. Whether the Trump campaign knew about it seems less clear, although it doesn't seem SUPER unlikely given the meetings between various people around Trump and Kislyak, but we don't really know yet afaict. And whether there was any collusion seems yet less clear.

I mean here you're moving the goalposts because the thing that I called a false equivalency is "Trump was installed by the Russians" (which is itself a bit of an exaggeration, but it's fairly well established at this point that he received Russian assistance). I remain agnostic as to whether or not there was actual collusion, and I'm inclined to think Trump's actions to date make more sense if there was no collusion/Trump himself wasn't aware of whatever collusion did take place. That being said, I think collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is a far more reasonable inference to make than the conspiracy theories that surrounded Obama, which were based on precisely nothing. I don't believe we should jump to conclusions before we have all the facts but I'd still say even "Trump colluded" is less conspiracy theoryish than "Obama is a Muslim" and so these two positions are not equivalent.

My fear is that Putin is particularly clever and deliberately created the appearance of knowledge/collusion to induce an investigation which would come up at least mostly empty, thereby vindicating and strengthening Trump while simultaneously weakening the media. In this scenario, Trump firing Comey only helps because it makes Trump look worse, strengthening the "liberal media's" collusion narrative which, of course, when the facts come out, make them look like the fake news Trump has been accusing them of being while making the Russia collusion story a baseless conspiracy theory widely believed by the left. Now, in the national narrative, who are the dummies believing in fake news and conspiracy theories? Unfortunately, I think Putin might just be that crafty. Of course, that's just my pet conspiracy theory (I take it an extra level deep, fam (DID I USE THAT RIGHT LOL GOTTA STAY HIP)) and while I don't believe it is true, I do believe it is within the realm of possibility.

Occam's razor, man. I'd also say, even if that's what happened, it's already spiraled beyond Putin's control. At this point the investigation could turn up no collusion and Trump could arguably still go down for obstruction of justice (and he sounds like he might want to add perjury). To say the least, he hasn't acquitted himself well so far and everything he says or does digs himself deeper. Not only that, but the mainstream papers of record like the NYT and WaPo have dutifully reported that no evidence of collusion has come to light, have run op-eds by conservative columnists arguing that Comey's testimony makes collusion less likely, etc. Trumpists who reject the "failing" NYT won't believe that, but they don't trust the mainstream outlets in the first place. It's harder to believe that the media's credibility will be destroyed in the eyes of anybody who trusted the media in the first place. And polls show that as it is, public trust in the media is historically low, so also hard to believe it can go much lower, or that it will matter much if it does.

Above and beyond that, though, an equivalence I see here is that both are attempts to delegitimize the president. People on one side see things they believe are facts and believe one of your statements, and people on the side see things they believe are facts and believe the other. Whether those things are actually facts kind of stops mattering when most people don't bother to find out, and this is, I fear, the new reality: every president from here on out will be illegitimate for some reason or other to 30-40ish% of Americans. Whether their reasons for believing this are actually true don't seem as though they will likely matter much.

I don't think the "attempts to delegitimize" can reasonably be considered "equivalent" if the arguments that underlie them aren't equivalent, except maybe if you believe a president is ipso facto never illegitimate. Otherwise I think you have to look beyond the "attempt" to what the attempt is based on.

I think it's somewhat unfair to make the argument that "every president" will be illegitimate to some large percentage of Americans from here on out, in light of the very unusual circumstances of Trump's presidency. Bush was also elected under a cloud, but the group that regarded him as "illegitimate" in the same respect that birthers regarded Obama or that some on the left now regard Trump (that is, that his taking office was itself fundamentally illegal) was comparatively smaller (and based their complaints on the unusual circumstances of his own election). He got a lot of "not my president!" rhetoric, but it was largely meant as a rejection of his politics ("I didn't vote for him, I don't agree with what he's doing, he doesn't represent me"), it was in most cases not a rejection of the fundamental legitimacy of his presidency, especially after he was decisively reelected. A lot has changed since then, it could be that the left will now reject any Republican president as vociferously and baselessly as the right rejected Obama, but I don't think Trump is an especially reliable data point.

It's also excessively pessimistic to believe that what we're experiencing now will become a permanent state of affairs from now until the end of time. American politics have been more divided and more polarized than this before and recovered. This kind of stuff ebbs and flows. I don't know how long we'll remain this polarized, how many election cycles we'll have to go through like this, but it will eventually get better. And then at some point farther in the future, it'll get worse again, and then it'll get better again.

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:58 am


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Re: Politics

Postby chrizow » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:35 pm

fake news. Donald Trump Jr. is a crisis actor planted by Obama to undermine Trump, groomed for precisely this moment.

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Re: Politics

Postby pash » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:56 am

.
Last edited by pash on Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Politics

Postby brewcrew1000 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:44 am

Politics sure does create a lot of pointless dumb jobs, this seems like one of those

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Re: Politics

Postby Highlander » Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:24 pm

brewcrew1000 wrote:Politics sure does create a lot of pointless dumb jobs, this seems like one of those


I bet it doesn't seem dumb to most Kansans now. It got Brownback out of office. Brownback is a poster boy for governors that were complete failures.

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:15 am

Fake news. Brownback was a complete success. He created a billion jobs and lowered taxes or something. He is the Kaiser of Kansas, the Savior of Salina, the Messiah of Manhattan, the Oracle of Olathe, the... I'm out of alliterations. But he was awesome. I heard it on Fox.

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Re: Politics

Postby Highlander » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:40 am

mean wrote:Fake news. Brownback was a complete success. He created a billion jobs and lowered taxes or something. He is the Kaiser of Kansas, the Savior of Salina, the Messiah of Manhattan, the Oracle of Olathe, the... I'm out of alliterations. But he was awesome. I heard it on Fox.


Wizard of Wichita

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Re: Politics

Postby mean » Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:22 am

You win, I can't believe I missed that one lol.

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Re: Politics

Postby earthling » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:05 pm

Trump approval rating (aggregation of many polls) at an all time low...
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epoll ... -6179.html

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Re: Politics

Postby phuqueue » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:25 pm

I don't know about you guys but I'm still reserving judgment and waiting to see how Trump does

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Re: Politics

Postby Highlander » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:10 pm

earthling wrote:Trump approval rating (aggregation of many polls) at an all time low...
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epoll ... -6179.html


It will go up after we destroy North Korea in a pre-emptive nuclear strike. Sadly, it probably really would.


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