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11 hours ago, Taomeow said:

 

Thank you Captain Oblivious.  

 

Your most welcome General Shirker

 

9 hours ago, zerostao said:

I'd say the whole planet has skin in the game, voters or not. It's unavoidable.

If of an age to vote and legally allowed, if one does not, that person is obliviously a shirker.

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Democracy?

What the US currently has going on seems more like a corporate-theocratic-plutocracy. And it’s not isolated to trump or the gop. Voting in the US has little or no impact on public policy, only lobby money (eg. bribes) has that power.

 

Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

 

from -

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

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11 minutes ago, steve said:

Democracy?

What the US currently has going on seems more like a corporate-theocratic-plutocracy. And it’s not isolated to trump or the gop. Voting in the US has little or no impact on public policy, only lobby money (eg. bribes) has that power.

 

Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politics—which can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralism—offers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.
A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.
Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

 

from -

https://scholar.princeton.edu/sites/default/files/mgilens/files/gilens_and_page_2014_-testing_theories_of_american_politics.doc.pdf

 

Why do you call it theocratic?

 

 

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30 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

Why do you call it theocratic?

 

 

 

There is a very strong influence on the white house and congress by fundamentalist (pseudo)christian organizations. Religion has become somewhat of a litmus test for US political aspirants. Religion has never been fully separate from government as promised in the US. I recommend a book called “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” by Susan Jacoby on the subject. She also wrote a great book about US anti-intellectualism, “The Age of American Unreason.” In the early 20th century, the previously competing interests of Protestant and Catholic institutions was merged, leading to christianity becoming a very powerful force in US politics.  One interesting, though flawed, piece of investigative journalism on one aspect of this is a Netflix series called “The Family” based on the book by Jeff Sharlet.

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4 minutes ago, steve said:

 

There is a very strong influence on the white house and congress by fundamentalist (pseudo)christian organizations. Religion has become somewhat of a litmus test for US political aspirants. Religion has never been fully separate from government as promised in the US. I recommend a book called “Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism” by Susan Jacoby on the subject. She also wrote a great book about US anti-intellectualism, “The Age of American Unreason.” In the early 20th century, the previously competing interests of Protestant and Catholic institutions was merged, leading to christianity becoming a very powerful force in US politics.  One interesting, though flawed, piece of investigative journalism on one aspect of this is a Netflix series called “The Family” based on the book by Jeff Sharlet.

 

i thought this was always the case with the Republican party - not Trump particularly (?)

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4 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

i thought this was always the case with the Republican party - not Trump particularly (?)

 

Prior the 80's, as I understand it, the religious influence in US politics was less focused and less powerful. In particular the evangelicals were something of a sleeping giant, many of them inclining toward quietism; those that were political did not necessarily incline toward the Republican party. Actually maybe the first surge of evangelical political involvement helped Carter win the presidency in 1976. That "progressive evangelical" vote though seems to be a distant memory now. With the help of people like Frankie Schaeffer, Republican strategists were able to exploit a number of issues, primarily abortion, to convince large numbers of evangelicals that their political home was in the GOP (the GOP's intense pro-life stance was itself a novelty).

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48 minutes ago, Apech said:

 

i thought this was always the case with the Republican party - not Trump particularly (?)

 

With Trump it has entered the territory of surreal. The “religious” folks that buy in to Trump’s insincere guise of “Christianity’ are likely similar opportunists using the badge of religion as a remedy or excuse for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with spirituality. 

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27 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

Prior the 80's, as I understand it, the religious influence in US politics was less focused and less powerful. In particular the evangelicals were something of a sleeping giant, many of them inclining toward quietism; those that were political did not necessarily incline toward the Republican party. Actually maybe the first surge of evangelical political involvement helped Carter win the presidency in 1976. That "progressive evangelical" vote though seems to be a distant memory now. With the help of people like Frankie Schaeffer, Republican strategists were able to exploit a number of issues, primarily abortion, to convince large numbers of evangelicals that their political home was in the GOP (the GOP's intense pro-life stance was itself a novelty).

 

Pat Robertson (700 Club) put the theocratic agenda front and center when he ran for president back in the late 80's. 

 

Frank Shaeffer's son Frank has become an outspoken critic of the theocratic right wing. He has become an atheist.

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2 minutes ago, steve said:

 

With Trump it has entered the territory of surreal. The “religious” folks that buy in to Trump’s insincere guise of “Christianity’ are likely similar opportunists using the badge of religion as a remedy or excuse for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with spirituality. 

 

That is what religion is anyway.

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4 minutes ago, ralis said:

 

That is what religion is anyway.

 

My experience and observation is that religion can be different things to different people. For some, religion is all about meaningful spirituality and for others they are completely divorced. No doubt it can manifest as all points in between.

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Trump and his cronies have no rules. Bill Barr is allowing that to happen.

 

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/the-media-and-robert-mueller-keep-making-the-same-mistakes-with-trump-columnist/

 

Quote

“Many of our most influential editors and reporters are acting as if the rules that prevailed under previous American presidents are still in effect,” Fallows writes. “But this president is different; the rules are different; and if it doesn’t adapt, fast, the press will stand as yet another institution that failed in a moment of crucial pressure.”

 

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15 minutes ago, steve said:

 

With Trump it has entered the territory of surreal. The “religious” folks that buy in to Trump’s insincere guise of “Christianity’ are likely similar opportunists using the badge of religion as a remedy or excuse for all sorts of things that have nothing to do with spirituality. 

 

I really wonder though. Some of these people are really crazy enough to be sincere, IMO. To me it feels like the death squad pentecostalism that the US sponsored in Latin America has come full circle. These people really believe they are some kind of apocalyptic warriors and any crime, any lie, any perversion, is not only permissible but necessary in the service of God.

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3 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

I really wonder though. Some of these people are really crazy enough to be sincere, IMO. To me it feels like the death squad pentecostalism that the US sponsored in Latin America has come full circle. These people really believe they are some kind of apocalyptic warriors and any crime, any lie, any perversion, is not only permissible but necessary in the service of God.

 

Was it any different during the Inquisition, Crusades and Holy Wars? I think not!

 

It is always about the higher cause and sacrifice to it.

Edited by ralis

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41 minutes ago, ralis said:

Trump and his cronies have no rules. Bill Barr is allowing that to happen.

 

https://www.rawstory.com/2020/09/the-media-and-robert-mueller-keep-making-the-same-mistakes-with-trump-columnist/

 

 

 

Agreed and is right along the lines of what I was trying to say in part in this earlier post:

 

...So we are not in "normal" or often dirty 2 party American politics, (with independents being mostly a swing factor one way or another) and as dirty as such politics were or  have been over the decades such is nothing in comparison to the all consuming destructive dictatorship that trump and his fanatic enablers are building 24/7!  So dealing with him in the old normal political ways will only slow him down a  bit but not stop his death spiral...which at this point could soon bring everyone and the country to dark ruin!  (not unlike what hitler did with Germany and is something that should be obvious to most Americans yet is not to a great many!)     So helping people wake up from trump trance via the hammering of undeniable facts into his webs of enthrallment and alternate reality is one way to help reveal him for what he is and get him out of office, any other suggestions?  

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2 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

Your remark about Bill Barr suggests that you completely missed the point of the article you just posted.


Obviously you haven’t a clue as to what Barr is up to. Acting attorney for Trump which is unethical. I always throw in an extra comment that is related. 

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59 minutes ago, SirPalomides said:

 

I really wonder though. Some of these people are really crazy enough to be sincere, IMO. To me it feels like the death squad pentecostalism that the US sponsored in Latin America has come full circle. These people really believe they are some kind of apocalyptic warriors and any crime, any lie, any perversion, is not only permissible but necessary in the service of God.

 

Modern Christian equivalent of radical Islam.

 

 

56 minutes ago, ralis said:

 

Was it any different during the Inquisition, Crusades and Holy Wars? I think not!

 

It is always about the higher cause and sacrifice to it.

 

I wonder if it is always about that in actuality. Is it possible that it’s more mundane? Chronic dissatisfaction (economic and otherwise) leading to desperation which is then leveraged by opportunists... Do we tend to see this sort of behavior in times and places where people have their basic needs met and are treated with some degree of dignity?

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12 hours ago, ralis said:


I don’t get where you obtained your assessment of me. Calling me a Trump asset is an ad hominem personal attack which is far from reality. 
 

First of all there are some of us trying to save what is left of Democracy. Two of my uncles, several friends as well as myself gave up years of our lives in service to this country.

 

So.. when you see people on the other side, who are over the top.. like, defending Trump saying there families members were POW's so listen to them.  They are the real patriots.  They even have tattoos. 

 

You're dedicated to the hard sell.  Thinking dead uncles and friends translates into don't forvote Trump, when all you just to have to quote what Trump actually says.  Your uncle and friends don't matter in the argument other then to rile yourself up.   You victimizing yourself trying to prove.  No is more anti-trump then you.

 

I read the arguments and craziness on both sides.  And I see your arguments on the other side.  Along with the 'Being a super patriot, you need to listen to me.'  In my opinion the other side uses that more.  Trump is clearly immoral and incompetent and announces it loudly and clearly, in his speeches.  You don't need to go nutty or extreme to prove that. 

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26 minutes ago, old3bob said:

So helping people wake up from trump trance via the hammering of undeniable facts into his webs of enthrallment and alternate reality is one way to help reveal him for what he is and get him out of office, any other suggestions?  

 

How effective do you think this approach is? I’ve yet to encounter anyone who appears to have wakened from a trump trance by being hammered with facts. I genuinely wish it was effective but I see no evidence of that, quite to the contrary. This was the point I believe thelerner was trying to make earlier. Lots of psych papers and books trying to explain this phenomenon. To me it appears very much like a cult effect.

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3 minutes ago, steve said:

 

How effective do you think this approach is? I’ve yet to encounter anyone who appears to have wakened from a trump trance by being hammered with facts. I genuinely wish it was effective but I see no evidence of that, quite to the contrary. This was the point I believe thelerner was trying to make earlier. Lots of psych papers and books trying to explain this phenomenon. To me it appears very much like a cult effect.

and apparently true with a high percentage of people, yet if the recorded video, audio, and verified documents can swing even a small percentage all is not in vain and will hopefully be enough - along with using other effective means to get the facts and dire situation understood and acted upon at the polls!

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16 minutes ago, steve said:

 

Modern Christian equivalent of radical Islam.

 

 

 

I wonder if it is always about that in actuality. Is it possible that it’s more mundane? Chronic dissatisfaction (economic and otherwise) leading to desperation which is then leveraged by opportunists... Do we tend to see this sort of behavior in times and places where people have their basic needs met and are treated with some degree of dignity?

 

"modern fanatical Christians" would be a better label being that a great many Christians are not fanatics or out to stone people...

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My concern is that the hard sell approach makes the other side, maybe even some who are undecided, swing or dig their heels in the other way. Inflammatory rhetoric, even when true or accurate, can be a big turn off. It is to me. I get lots of political emails and texts - Biden loses! We’re being outspent! Trump did this or that! I delete without ever reading them, they have no credibility or interest for me.

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11 minutes ago, thelerner said:

So.. when you see people on the other side, who are over the top.. like, defending Trump saying there families members were POW's so listen to them.  They are the real patriots.  They even have tattoos. 

 

You're dedicated to the hard sell.  Thinking dead uncles and friends translates into don't forvote Trump, when all you just to have to quote what Trump actually says.  Your uncle and friends don't matter in the argument other then to rile yourself up.   You victimizing yourself trying to prove.  No is more anti-trump then you.

 

I read the arguments and craziness on both sides.  And I see your arguments on the other side.  Along with the 'Being a super patriot, you need to listen to me.'  In my opinion the other side uses that more.  Trump is clearly immoral and incompetent and announces it loudly and clearly, in his speeches.  You don't need to go nutty or extreme to prove that. 

 

I don't appreciate nor is it welcome for anyone to dictate how I should think or feel! Moreover, you missed my point entirely!

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2 minutes ago, steve said:

My concern is that the hard sell approach makes the other side, maybe even some who are undecided, swing or dig their heels in the other way. Inflammatory rhetoric, even when true or accurate, can be a big turn off. It is to me. I get lots of political emails and texts - Biden loses! We’re being outspent! Trump did this or that! I delete without ever reading them, they have no credibility or interest for me.

 

The Democratic Party leadership has been far too soft over the years which many observers have characterized it as battered wives syndrome. Dems need to grow a pair and stop compromising with bullies!

 

To your point, Dems need to call it authoritarian fascism in no uncertain terms. Some will balk, but there are some that will wake up.

 

I suggest reading Dr. Timothy Snyder, Hannah Arendt, Kershaw, Milton Mayer and perhaps Mein Kampf. Trump is using the fascist playbook to his advantage.

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