US Election 2016

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Lucifer
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Lucifer » Thu May 12, 2016 2:05 am

Been awhile, eh?

The obvious Bad News is that Trump is now the presumptive nominee for the GOP, since Cruz and Kasich have both dropped out.

On the dem side, Bernie can no longer win enough pledged delegates to win outright, and I haven't modified my script to see what it takes for him to get a majority of pledged delegates before the primaries end, yet. Hillary can still win enough pledged delegates to win outright, but has to win a whopping 78% of them, and she's just never won by that kind of margin in any state (but Bernie has approached it).

So, I guess this thread will probably sit quiet until the conventions start up, since there's not much to talk about anymore unless someone besides Trump does something really dumb.
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Word » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:48 am

The one late night comedy show that still exists around here just broadcasted this. Some parts I find rather dumb (for me, it already starts with the title...), but it's public television. I'll just say there are some enlightening interviews with Trump supporters in there.

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by sinewav » Sat Nov 05, 2016 8:28 pm

Word wrote:Some parts I find rather dumb...
I thought it was entertaining and laughed out loud a few times.

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Word » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:17 am

good :-)

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Z-Man » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:12 pm

Don't forget to vote! It would be a shame to have low voter participation this year, don't you think?

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Lucifer » Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:20 pm

Z-Man wrote:Don't forget to vote! It would be a shame to have low voter participation this year, don't you think?
I voted last week during early voting. We voted as a family, with my wife and her mom voting also.

Edit: If you're a US resident (I believe you have to be), you can do the free trial of Amazon Prime to get Amazon Prime Video, then the free trial of the Showtime channel, and you can watch Stephen Colbert's election day coverage tomorrow. He's calling it "Democracy Series Finale: Who's going to clean up this shit?"
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Lucifer » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:13 pm

Hey, today's the day. Here's where you can post that you voted. :)
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by sinewav » Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:21 am

Stein. Not as qualified as Clinton, but the Green platform needs a little more attention and my vote doesn't count in California anyway.

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Monkey » Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:33 am

Trump as president. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Clutch » Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:24 am

Boxed

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Lucifer » Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:21 am

Ok, I've had some time to let this all digest. As an American on the ground-level in this election, you know, someone who had no power other than his vote (which I gave to Hillary), I feel a responsibility to our international friends, and this is an international forum.

Here's the deal:

In '08, we elected a president that the right wing couldn't stand. I won't argue the reason right now, even though we all know it's because he was black (and still is), but it's not worth arguing about anymore. We elected a president that people couldn't stand. In '16, the people who couldn't stand him came out in droves to make sure that their guy got elected. There's a lot of fun stuff to talk about here, but I'm going to pass it up. I want to instead focus on what happened after we elected that black dude, and what that means about what we have to do now.

In '09, when Obama was inaugurated, he had a comfortable majority in his favor. In '10, the mid-terms ****** that all up. In '12, he made some gains, but in '14, it was all ****** up again. At this time, the Democratic party is at the weakest point it has been in my lifetime, possibly over a longer time span. By that, I mean that the party of progressive values is the weakest it's ever been (because the parties flipped thanks to Nixon, the Republicans used to be the progressives). Blah blah that shit's complicated.

But here's what's not complicated: We don't have to do what the other side did. By that I mean that we don't have to provide the same level of opposition that the GOP provided when they were the opposition. They elected a President who promises to make deals, to reach across the aisles and make the best deals for the American people.

Let him do that. Give him room to govern. Understand that the power struggle in Washington is actually worse than it was in '09, because the GOP is *not* united. But neither are the Democrats. Hell, I'm not a democrat, and I'm writing this post like I'm one of them. Let's give him some room.

Before all of our international friends freak out, let me remind you that Donald Trump promised to make deals that would be for the benefit of all Americans. Now, there's a few issues with that sentiment that might scare you, but there are a lot of progressives in America. We have power, we just need to figure out how to use it (which I'll be talking about in a little bit). He's promised to make deals, and that means he has to make them with our representatives, and our senators. There's a mid-term coming up in '18. That's where we get to pick our leaders, but it's not the next chance to make our voices heard.

Between now and the mid-terms, we have a lot of power to influence DC. I know my state representative, he's Lloyd Doggett, he's been our Rep for years. He's a Democrat, but an old-school one. He may not be progressive. But he has to answer to Travis county (and a bit more, the districts in Texas are all fuckered up). Find out who your state representative is. Email them, call them (voicemail expected). Tell your representative what kind of deals you want them to make. THAT is participation. Voting every four years gets you the participation badge at the ******* Voter Fair, but it doesn't mean you participated. Talk to your friends (don't alienate them!), talk to anybody. Don't make it your life, but make it part of your life.

Donald Trump promises he'll make deals to "Make America Great Again". Tell him your terms. Tell him through your representatives.

Now, more than ever, we need the most participation we can get. Voting isn't enough! When our founders drew up our Constitution that we treat like a religious document, they expected citizens to be involved with their representatives. That's why our House of Representatives uses districts, and is population-based. YOU have to get involved, say what you mean and mean what you say!

We all have a bigger problem on the horizon. There's a wave of right-wing nationalism sweeping the western world right now, where Brexit was the beginning. Trump was the next data point. The next small data point coming is in Italy, when Italy votes on whether or not to keep the euro as currency. After that is France, and Le Pen has a solid possibility in there, boistered by Trump. What does this mean?

We're overdue for a genocide level event. Long overdue, in fact. When you look at the last 300 years of history, every single time right-wing nationalism rose as a populist movement, there was a gigantic war. The Napoleonic wars, WWI, WWII, etc. We have the same movement happening throughout the west right now.

And we have the power to stop it. For Americans, that means taking a role in the political process that takes some time, and isn't fun or easy, but as the largest economy on the planet and the largest military force, we can at least mitigate the damages that are coming. And by that I mean there are millions of lives that can be saved or prevented from being destroyed.

Our European brothers and sisters have their own roles to play, and I hope they step up, but I would be a hypocrite to demand that, seeeing as how my country just elected Trump.

There *is* a way forward. Sometimes the way forward is also the way back. (Yes, that's Labyrinth, and it's always true)

Apocalypse isn't upon us yet, and it can still be averted. But it requires a lot of work from all of us.

Disclaimers: I realize this is an international forum and I'm mostly appealing to Americans. I will be linking to this post in other correspondence that I have. Also, I am not a democrat, but I side with them because they are the only major political party that represents most of my views, but certainly not all of them. I do not believe that starting a third-party based on my views will be helpful or even influential at this time, so I intend to do whatever work I do within the democratic party structure.
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by sinewav » Thu Nov 10, 2016 7:26 pm

Lucifer wrote:There's a wave of right-wing nationalism sweeping the western world right now, where Brexit was the beginning... We're overdue for a genocide level event.
This is the thing that concerns me most about a Trump presidency. I've been feeling a kind of dread these last 24 hours that I haven't experienced in many years. Not enough people in the United States take interest in history and current events to properly evaluate the ramifications of Trump's [alleged] policies. While I understand the sentiment behind anti-globalism, a tightly-nit global economy is one of the reasons The Long Peace exists in the first place, as noted by S.Pinker in "Better Angels..." (one of the best books I've ever read, ask me about it in PM, wink wink). The breakdown of the EU, American isolationism, these things do not help anyone.

I'm not convinced a genocide level event is inevitable, but I am extremely concerned about the current humanitarian crisis in Africa and the Middle East believed to be triggered by climate change, which will only worsen. I do think we a closer to a third World War than anytime since the 60s. However, I don't believe WWIII, if it happens, would necessarily result in nuclear conflict.

It is true that blanket obstructionism against President Obama was damaging and I will not take part in such tactics against President Trump (god it's hard to write the words "president trump"). I'm probably a little more optimistic than other left-leaning persons and I can see some possible good to his presidency.

NOTE TO ALL AMERICANS: I understand apathy toward the political process, but the things that happen here affect people globally. When you choose to take yourself out of the political process you don't just abandon your country, you give up on the world — and there is a lot of good in the world. You've probably met good people in other countries because of Armagetron.

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Lucifer » Fri Nov 11, 2016 12:45 am

sinewav wrote: I'm not convinced a genocide level event is inevitable, but I am extremely concerned about the current humanitarian crisis in Africa and the Middle East believed to be triggered by climate change, which will only worsen. I do think we a closer to a third World War than anytime since the 60s. However, I don't believe WWIII, if it happens, would necessarily result in nuclear conflict.
I don't believe it's inevitable yet, but I do strongly believe the election of Trump is one of the signs that there's a genocide level event in the future. Hence the reason for my post urging Americans to take part in their government outside the normal voting by talking to your Senators and your Representative (everybody has a Representative, just find out which one is for your district).

Also, it doesn't hurt, while you're at it, to work with your state representative and senator(s) as well. They're supposed to represent you, so you need to use your voice to tell them what they can do to represent you properly. If you can't get your friends/family on board, at least find out what they want out of their government and try to represent them to your representative. Working at the state level will influence national politics when your federal Senators and Representatives look at what the state government is doing. For example, if your state Attorney General is suing the federal government over Obamacare, then your federal representatives and senators will work to repeal Obamacare.

Participate in applicable petitions, and if you have the time and energy, get out and attend party meetings, particularly the party meetings for your representative's party, but try to also hit the other party meetings as well. If you can get into political meetings of any kind, then do it.

I can commit to a bare minimum of emailing my representative regularly and monitoring the news for stuff I feel like I need to tell him. I'll try to email my senators, but come on, one of them is Ted Cruz, and there's no way he's going to give a rat's behind what I have to say. (The other one might still be John Cornyn, I don't remember, and neither were up for re-election this year) My representative is a Democrat, and I'll probably email him the contents of this thread at some point in the future, starting with my last post.

There are other state officials that represent you, and every elected official that has direct jurisdiction over the area you live in (usually by district of some sort) is worth your contact. For me, that's a city council member (mine lost his re-election bid, so now I have to find out who my new one is).

It's up to you how much energy you can put into it, I'm just asking you to step up a bit and put some more energy into your government in addition to voting, and if you're not voting at least at the presidential and gubernatorial elections, start voting at least in those elections. (For any Texans, you probably already know we've got two years left before our next chance to unseat Abbott, if it's at all possible)

Edit: Finally, I meant to say, heh, this type of action is how you counter the lobbyists and other special interests. You counter them by becoming your own special interest. Trump won, in part, because a lot of people wanted a president that would fight the special interest groups without ever realizing that they could be special interest groups themselves. Let's not be as dumb as they are.
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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Word » Sat Nov 12, 2016 12:12 am

I still have problems to accept this actually happened. Somebody in my facebook timeline shared a petition demanding the electoral college to vote for Hillary and I read that at least 20 of its members would have to oppose Trump. On one hand, I would usually agree that democracy doesn't always work out the way one wants and one has to accept that, on the other, a president who doesn't believe climate change is real poses such a threat for the planet that I'd be really happy if he's overthrown as soon as possible. Then again, this could lead to a civil war and last even longer, making us lose even more time. We'll wait and see what happens next. Perhaps the problem takes care of itself and he turns out to be not as terrible as he was during the rest of his life now that he reached the top (I doubt it), but I'm not even sure what to think now. Should I join a political party once I finish studying? Write left-leaning stuff and preach to the choir like 50% of the people on the internet, stuff that the other 50% will never read nor understand and agree with? I guess I'm not entirely unqualified for both of these things but it would bore me to death. I mean what can you possibly do to prevent this besides going to vote and trying to improve education? You still need to pay your bills somehow. And how are you Americans supposed to educate people when a guy like Ben Carson is watching over you...ugh. I'd actually recommend anti-gun people start buying guns for self defense.

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Re: US Election 2016

Post by Z-Man » Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:56 am

So here's why I think it's not going to be as bad as one might believe: His initial stated position is rarely his true opinion. He starts at the far right extreme and then gradually moves to where he really wants to be, wherever that is. That was part of his successful election strategy, reeling in the racist scum first who would not have voted at all and then taking them with him. The alt-right isn't going to get the President they wanted him to be. Already he apparently no longer wants to completely get rid of Obamacare, and we've seen him soften up on abortion rights already.
If you hate and fear him right now, the image you have of him right now comes from two main sources: His own presentation, which was not intended to make you like him, it was designed to make enough people vote for him in the primaries and the main election. The other source is from his opposition, who painted him as a clown, then a madman. He's probably not a monster or a psychopath, he won't just launch the nukes for shits and giggles. He's just a regular asshole. And for a country, having an asshole on top isn't the worst thing, as long as he acts in good faith for the good of the country. He's also misguided, unfortunately. LGBT rights and environmental protection certainly won't progress nationwide under him. But hey, you still have state legislation that can try to pick up the slack.

The worst bit, probably, isn't going to be what Trump himself does. It's what his supporters on the far right think his presidency means. They think that racism, bigotry and xenophobia is now somehow socially acceptable again. The solution to that is easily stated: Show them it's not.

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