REVIEWING WHAT WE KNEW ABOUT THE SORRY STATE OF AMERICAN POLITICS

Don’t like President Donald Trump? Some don’t, and I get lots of comments to that effect, but what was the alternative offered by those “honorable” Democrats?

Consider. Here are some older stories.

What is the big problem with the Clinton’s? The mass of information is so huge it is difficult to decipher. We can see the appearance of impropriety easily enough, but the denials and coverup make proof difficult. It looks like, for example, when Bill was collecting massive speaking fees he was taking bribes, but was he bought? What was going on in his head? Sort of hard to tell. Of course, if you are a public official, what you are supposed to do is avoid even the appearance of impropriety. That is something the Clinton’s never bothered with.

Well, we have even more proof that Hillary Clinton was an unsavory gal since those stories were published. The hunt into Trump’s supposed crimes inadvertantly exposed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Do a little research. Find out for yourself.

 

 

139 thoughts on “REVIEWING WHAT WE KNEW ABOUT THE SORRY STATE OF AMERICAN POLITICS

  1. @anon

    I like your sincerity very much. Strangely, I think we start from very similar places and arrive at very different results. Such is life in this media age.

    Trump’s unfitness and lack of character seems so obvious to me, and perhaps Doug and a few others here that we have trouble understanding why you don’t see it too. You also appear to feel that it should be obvious to us that H. Clinton is full of malevolence.

    One difference between the two is the degree to which Clinton has been tortuously investigated by her partisan foes without their finding anything criminal that would stick. And unlike Clinton, and every other candidate since Nixon, I believe, Trump has yet to release his tax returns. If Trump survives the scrutiny that he is under by Mueller, I may have to change my evaluation, but so far, given the guilty pleas and indictments of people close him, it doesn’t look good.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I love Trump. The best way that I have found to follow the Christian imperative to love everyone is to somehow try to make every person the object of one’s affection. There is much find affection in about Trump. He’s almost like the dog who caught the car and doesn’t know what to do now. But that still doesn’t mean he should be president.

    Like

    1. tsalmon… Through the years I have always viewed Trump as a kind of interesting guy simply because he managed to claim so much media attention. His early pizza hut commercials where he made some fun at himself I thought we funny and I simply thought the guy was ok for a rich person who was popular. In those days I had no idea of his business dealing or much of anything else simply because I had no curiosity to find out. Even now I don’t necessarily hate the guy with the venom that conservatives might hate Obama or Hillary. I just think he’s simply the poorest choice for president… and his agenda is marginal at best.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “You assert Trump is corrupt. Compared to what?”

    First of all, you this is a false choice, good brother. Do we compare Hitler and Stalin and decide we choose to support Hitler? Before you get all excited about the hyperbole, I’m not comparing Trump to either notorious tyrant, or to anyone else, and that’s the point. Trump may be closer to a saint than he is to Satan, but who cares? Trump’s unfitness to lead must be held accountable because of Trump’s words and actions, not whether we think he beats some choice that is no longer before us.

    Second, only policy differences appear to color your judgement as to what actually is and is not malicious behavior. Just because someone is not completely on board with your absolutist ideology, you assume their intentions must be evil. For right or for wrong, whether practical or not, there are many Democrats out there who have basically good and selfless intentions when it comes to the role of government in dealing with our nation’s, our states’ and our communities’ problems. There is nothing evil about thinking that we have a responsibility to work as a community to help one another and that government is often the best, even the only, tool to do good works as a community. When we disagree on policy and process, to call the other side liars and cheats is simply wrong headed.

    Such a thoughtless prejudgement of everyone who simply disagrees with us on policy is what is really “clueless”.

    I’m not saying that either were perfect, but by most accounts both Obama’s and H. Clinton’s intentions were predominantly well intentioned and toward public service. Both have spent their lives in public service and have forgone career paths where, given their obvious talents, they could have made far more money had pure selfishness been their aim. By actual comparison, Trump has unabashedly spent his life greedily in pursuit of sex and wealth. If you could ask Trump, he’d admit this and has done so publicly and consistently – he’s proud of his numerous affairs and his greed. Trump thinks rapaciousness is good, and selflessness is weakness. This theme underlies everything Trump says and does. It’s what got him elected. And it’s not Christian; it’s the opposite of the Christian ethic.

    On the other hand, the worst nefariousness that one can reasonably conclude about H. Clinton’s email case is that constant misogynistically fueled partisan attacks had made her cautious to the point of being negligent, not that she was malicious. And as for Obama, he may be the most scandal free president in modern history. You just hate him because you strongly disagree with him on policy, not because his intentions were not basically good or that he lacked basic integrity.

    But once again, it’s all irrelevant. The only president right now before us is our Cadet Bone Spur. Republicans know that, no matter how corrupt or outrageous Trump’s daily behaviors are, they own him and can not deny him, not as long as Trump can con a diehard base into sticking with him. But, like I said, Trump is some sort of savant at playing the long con. Luckily, most com men are exposed eventually.

    Let’s just hope that, as the investigation turns up more and more corruption, and the noose gets smaller around his neck, Trump doesn’t turn so desperate that he gets us into some new and even more stupid war.

    Finally, although what happens with Trump is important, as I stated above, Trump is only a manifestation of bigger problems that will just get worse while both sides are focused on bringing Trump down or propping him up.

    Like

    1. “H. Clinton’s intentions were predominantly well intentioned and toward public service. Both have spent their lives in public service and have forgone career paths where, given their obvious talents, they could have made far more money had pure selfishness been their aim.”
      You’ve lost me already. I see no evidence whatsoever (beyond her own “good word” of course) that Hillary was well intentioned. And she profited enormously from her government position of power. I do not believe any other job she held would have been more lucrative. Considering their family is now worth hundreds of millions from this ostensibly “selfless service” I find this assertion absurd in the extreme.

      ”On the other hand, the worst nefariousness that one can reasonably conclude about H. Clinton’s email case is that constant misogynistically fueled partisan attacks had made her cautious to the point of being negligent, not that she was malicious.
      We need an eye roll emoticon. This may be the most absurd argument in excuse of her conduct that I’ve ever heard. Ah, yes…exposing official use only correspondence for the State Department of our government to easy hacking (we’ll never know the extent of damage that caused…it is whatever anyone could speculate it to be…one thing is for sure, as a former military officer you should know about OpSec violations and the potential damaged caused and number of lives endangered…and this went on for years) was simply “caution” on her part. And then she bleach bit e mails after the subpoena. No nefarious goings on there! She couldn’t have been doing anything wrong. Nothing to see…So much ipso facto misogyny directed against her. Obviously she represents all women everywhere, and if you don’t like her, you hate women (even if you are a woman…you must hate yourself). Dear God.
      It’s really amazing that people working in government (thousands and thousands…all of them, in fact, if they wish not to be criminally negligent) are able to use those government secured servers all the time and keep their personal correspondence to their own personal e mail accounts rather than government computers. But not Hillary. Weird stuff.

      I grow weary. If you are truly as concerned with partisan polarity as you say, you’ll stop throwing out little gems like the above that contribute to the problem.

      ”By actual comparison, Trump has unabashedly spent his life greedily in pursuit of sex and wealth. If you could ask Trump, he’d admit this and has done so publicly and consistently – he’s proud of his numerous affairs and his greed. Trump thinks rapaciousness is good, and selflessness is weakness. This theme underlies everything Trump says and does. It’s what got him elected. And it’s not Christian; it’s the opposite of the Christian ethic.”

      In the morning to tackle the above.

      Like

      1. Once again anon, who cares? You won, Hillary got the most votes but she lost the election. You realize that you can’t impeach President Hillary Clinton, don’t you? But Trump….

        I look forward to your explanation that Trump isn’t self admittedly selfish, greedy and philandering. Maybe you could play some excerpts from his appearances on Howard Stern’s show or we could listen to that Access Hollywood tape again. Or instead why don’t we just take Trump at his own word that he is greedy, conceited and adulterous?

        Like

        1. “I look forward to your explanation that Trump isn’t self admittedly selfish, greedy and philandering. Maybe you could play some excerpts from his appearances on Howard Stern’s show or we could listen to that Access Hollywood tape again. Or instead why don’t we just take Trump at his own word that he is greedy, conceited and adulterous?”

          Are you truly concerned about “the fact that”….” we are all ignoring the rapid decline and fall of western liberal democracy larger causes”? Or was that just a type of meaningless mantra? It does sound snappy, but if you’re going to assert you really care about the big picture and all of the back and forth Trump/Hillary diversions are trivium, for authenticity’s sake you should stop shouting “Trump’s a greedy philanderer” and “Hillary was a nice and selfless public servant!” rhetoric. Or I stop believing you. Is it Tourette’s? I’m not the one shouting that all this is trivium. I think Hillary and Trump are pretty key examples of the polarity problem…but YOU are asserting this (frequently even).

          IB had a thread a while back, after the media went crazy over Melania’s Christmas decorations. https://insanitybytes2.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/the-white-house-christmas-decorations/

          The paragraphs that sum it up: ”Many people have demanded to know how I can support President Trump and be so passionately against sexual abuse at the same time. It’s a fair question, one I haven’t really addressed in blogging, and the only honest explanation I can really give is, tribalism. Those are my people. I have a lot more in common with a millionaire surrounded by tacky gold-plated Louis XIV furniture, than I do with those sitting on high and accusing Melania of nailing a dead badger to the mantle piece.
          “My people” means more likely to empathize, more likely to share my needs and concerns, more likely to understand my issues. “My people” is something that transcends wealth, race, class. It’s an ethereal concept, not unlike trying to nail jello to the wall, but it’s real enough. I just don’t fit into a fake world of Matt Lauers and academia and Hollywood gossips and people who pretend to be something they are not, all while looking down on everyone else.”

          I think the above sums it up pretty well. Slate Star Codex mentioned: Donald Trump appeals to a lot of people because despite his immense wealth he practically glows with signs of being Labor class. This isn’t surprising; his grandfather was a barber and his father clawed his way up to the top by getting his hands dirty. He himself went to a medium-tier college and is probably closer in spirit to the small-business owners of the upper Labor class than to the Stanford MBA-holding executives of the Elite. Trump loves and participates in professional wrestling and reality television; those definitely aren’t Gentry or Elites pastimes! When liberals shake their heads wondering why Joe Sixpack feels like Trump is a kindred soul even though Trump’s been a billionaire his whole life, they’re falling into the liberal habit of sorting people by wealth instead of by class. To Joe Sixpack, Trump is “local boy made good”.

          I agree with the above.
          I have much more in common with Trump than Hillary. Shouting about tapes take of private citizens having a bawdy conversation…well, I can admit Trump came off terribly in that secretly taken tape but I have to wonder more about the person who took a private conversation between two smack talkers and actually saved it up for the next ten years with the intent on eventually exploiting it. That seems some serious malice aforethought. I have less in common with that person. I know a lot of people who bullsh*t (especially in private). I know people who go to strip bars and some people who have cheated on their wives (and wives who have cheated on their husbands). It makes sense to me (and I think a lot of people) that a high profile married family man might pay a prostitute NOT to disclose a sexual encounter. That isn’t a sign of exceptional character, but doesn’t seem terribly nefarious to me…it’s pretty clear cut.

          Now, let’s remember what the media ran with the Russian connection at first. They didn’t claim Russians were simply persuading Americans to vote for Trump, they claimed the Russians hacked the election. This mantra was repeated everywhere. That means altering votes. If they hadn’t done that initially, the “Russian collusion” story would have fizzled out. There’s nothing there. All companies (as I mentioned above) are in the persuasion business. They’ve got it down to a science, and it’s the reason agencies will pay millions for mere seconds of airtime to advertise their products. I take polls online all the time. No one is forcing me to take a Facebook poll. I can’t count the number of times I’ve received a poll that one of my “friends” took with the option to take it myself. SOMEONE is using that information for something. Every time.

          Have I “won”? Not really…because the liberals aren’t getting it. I’ve explained in detail why Hillary lost here, and you’ve only come back with two versions. First, “Yeah I’d probably agree with you” and then “she was better and nice and self-less”. Please understand that when you do that it’s hard to believe you’re being genuine…it sounds more like the first bit is intended to just shut me up. Notice I don’t claim Trump isn’t a con man…but I appreciate candor, and I perceive that he cares about America. And I perceive that the Clinton crime family (and numerous liberals who empowered them) don’t. And they just seem to be doubling down on all the behaviors that got Trump elected in the first place.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Neither party (liberals or conservatives) has a monopoly on vulgarity, but conservatives seem comparatively honest about it.
            A General was recently fired for being condescending to a Congressional staffer. This is just odd to me. A person responsible and capable enough to have made it up to two stars in the business of killing people and blowing their stuff up was fired for saying “sweet heart”.

            I’m not good at virtue signaling by expressing outrage at things we know to be outrageous or expressing fake outrage at things that might be distasteful to some.
            I do not look for dog whistles or “micro aggressions” in every exchange. Even vulgar humor seems to work better than constant mindnumbing soulcrushing outrage in everything from sexism to race relations to the general shíttiness of a percentage of mankind.

            Trump’s ridiculous tweets appeal as people are tired of faux outrage and tired of being told what they should be outraged about. Trolls feed on snowflakes through constant MicroOffence™.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. From an article (written by a liberal who grew up in “red country”) explaining the appeal of Trump (this is before he won the election):

            “But Trump is objectively a piece of shit!” you say. “He insults people, he objectifies women, and cheats whenever possible! And he’s not an everyman; he’s a smarmy, arrogant billionaire!”
            Wait, are you talking about Donald Trump, or this guy:

            (insert picture of Iron man played by Robert Downy Junior)

            You’ve never rooted for somebody like that? Someone powerful who gives your enemies the insults they deserve? Somebody with big fun appetites who screws up just enough to make them relatable? Like Dr. House or Walter White? Or any of the several million renegade cop characters who can break all the rules because they get shit done? Who only get shit done because they don’t care about the rules?

            “But those are fictional characters!” Okay, what about all those millionaire left-leaning talk show hosts? You think they keep their insults classy? Tune into any bit about Chris Christie and start counting down the seconds until the fat joke. Google David Letterman’s sex scandals. But it’s okay, because they’re on our side, and everybody wants an asshole on their team — a spiked bat to smash their enemies with. That’s all Trump is. The howls of elite outrage are like the sounds of bombs landing on the enemy’s fortress. The louder the better.”

            Liked by 1 person

          3. @anon

            What amazes me is that there is plenty of evidence that all the Clinton’s and the Obama’s care about is power. On the other hand, I have yet to see what Trump is getting out of being president. Richer?

            Trump has the entire apparatus of the Democratic Party and much of the Republican Party gunning for him. If he is caught doing anything wrong, they will gleefully destroy him.

            Like

          4. @anon

            Fascinating rant. If I get this right, what you are saying is that, the best thing that you like about Trump isn’t integrity or competence, but that he trolls the smugness of liberal wonks really well.

            Of course, I get that appeal. Trump’s “everyman show” shtick is part of his con. However, if you think it’s real or admirable, then you really need to take a closer look.

            I came of age in a small town in the South, one of six siblings, and the son of WWII vet turned USAF Master Sergeant and a WWII widow who never finished high school because she had to help raise her six younger sisters. Many of my best friends then and now are just the kind of red neck, “N” word using, hard working, elite hating, misogynistic wolf whistling buhbas that also relate to Trump’s thumbing his nose at elite smugness. I love these friends just as much ,and often more, than my erudite friends exactly because they are down to Earth. But can you imagine if we promoted leaders based, not on knowledge and integrity, but instead on how well they pretended to please the good ole boys in trolling the elite?

            The “big picture” in all this is a polarization of both facts (and lies) and more importantly, a polarization of perception which is artificially enhanced by all kinds of media. I can present you with hundreds of factually correct articles that present Trump in a terrible light and Hillary in a good light, and you can do the opposite. However, our biases will still distort our perceptions, perceptions which our factual information sources magnify and provide confirmation bias to.

            We are in an age of gluttony of information that forces us to filter it all somehow or drown us in confusion. Our only defense to the polarization this is causing is self reflection about how we are biased.

            If we cut to the core of your arguments in favor of Trump’s lack of character, it isn’t that Trump has integrity (because you know he doesn’t) it’s that you actually admire the bad boy who is snarking at the smug liberals. Trump’s veracity is less important than his scoring hits. In other words, the best thing that you can say about Trump’s character (other than deflecting at someone else) is that you like it that Trump doesn’t have any.

            Like

          5. Fascinating rant.
            How gratifying.
            I would hate think my rants were unfascinating.
            (though I suspect that is a euphemism)

            If I get this right, what you are saying is that, the best thing that you like about Trump isn’t integrity or competence, but that he trolls the smugness of liberal wonks really well.

            My response was specific to this statement (coupled with your stated concerns over polarity and direction the nation is headed): “By actual comparison, Trump has unabashedly spent his life greedily in pursuit of sex and wealth. If you could ask Trump, he’d admit this and has done so publicly and consistently – he’s proud of his numerous affairs and his greed. Trump thinks rapaciousness is good, and selflessness is weakness. This theme underlies everything Trump says and does. It’s what got him elected. And it’s not Christian; it’s the opposite of the Christian ethic.”

            What I stated isn’t “the best thing I like” but it is the answer to your statement.

            ”I love these friends just as much ,and often more, than my erudite friends exactly because they are down to Earth. But can you imagine if we promoted leaders based, not on knowledge and integrity, but instead on how well they pretended to please the good ole boys in trolling the elite?”
            If we actually appointed political leaders on knowledge and integrity this would be a very fine point. I see exactly the opposite. Displayed in particular by the Democratic party, promoted in great portion by fomenting slights (“racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, “xenophobia”, ““microaggressions”, “insensitivity” to whatever the publicly displayed sexual fetish du jour might be to include children dress like bacha bazi… and you’re a hater if you don’t approve).
            Trump was an outsider, expected to lose by all the controlling political powers. Though I didn’t want him to win the primaries, his election to president as an outsider against the anointed corrupt elitist choice actually gave me hope.

            Trump won as an outsider. And as I mentioned, I voted for Rubio. Rubio was absolutely crushed in Florida. I felt badly for him and still do…I didn’t want him to be president (I was hoping for a contested election in the primaries so Kasich would have a chance) but he didn’t deserve to lose his own state that badly. Even so, I kind of suspected he would lose by a landslide. Why? Because whenever politics came up, everyone was voting for Trump…and these were primarily immigrants I spoke with.

            We have a lot of great Republicans who are principled, with integrity. As I mentioned, Kasich is one (but his posture made him look a little like a turtle when he debated next to Trump, unfortunately…which saddened me as I’ve been a fan of his since I was about eight years old).
            My husband flew for the airlines the year of the election and his copilot dropped the rest of her trip two days early so she could fly back down to Arkansas and vote in the Republican primary there. She was a Carson supporter. She ordered the tee shirt, but said she knew by the time the tee shirt would arrive Carson would have probably dropped out of the race (and she was right). She then voted for Trump, of course. These are the people Democrats paint as ignorant misogynist bigots.

            As I said, Trump’s election took me by surprise and gave me hope because he was an outsider. Contrast this with how the Democratic party works. The same scenario would never happen there, because the Democratic party is a machine. They don’t have to worry about an unpopular people’s choice because with their bought out superdelegates they don’t have to. Someone like Sanders (a Socialist but a person with 1000 percent more integrity than Hillary) doesn’t even have a chance. And look at their choice of contender. An exceedingly rich and corrupt politician (who obtained that wealth all via “government service”).

            We are in an age of gluttony of information that forces us to filter it all somehow or drown us in confusion. Our only defense to the polarization this is causing is self reflection about how we are biased.
            True.
            That and to really look at the information and determine the number of ways it might be misleading. Until one has complete information try to hold off on making conclusions. That takes practice, but if one has ever been on the receiving end of misinformation, the learned curve comes quickly and it’s a lesson you’ll never forget. Nutshell: No exposure is good exposure.
            And it’s all getting worse.

            ”If we cut to the core of your arguments in favor of Trump’s lack of character, it isn’t that Trump has integrity (because you know he doesn’t) it’s that you actually admire the bad boy who is snarking at the smug liberals. Trump’s veracity is less important than his scoring hits. In other words, the best thing that you can say about Trump’s character (other than deflecting at someone else) is that you like it that Trump doesn’t have any.”

            See above. I’ve answered your statement as related to his appeal. I’ve mentioned that I perceive that he cares about America. And I perceive that the Clinton crime family doesn’t. I could use numerous examples but I’ve used a few already so I don’t see the point.
            In December, Tom had a thread about Trump achievements and I posted there. I have not changed my mind since. We could debate specific issues if you’d like that just doesn’t seem to be the direction here and for that reason I haven’t done so.

            As a side note, our oldest son took the oath of enlistment today.
            He would not have done so under Clinton.

            I’ll add that my husband has met Obama (base visit…different base) and was impressed by him (Obama had a good knowledge of his background…which he explained to Michele when they were introduced. It takes a quick study to do that as easily as he did). Obama did some things when he left office that disappointed…and some of his appointments (like Hillary) were awful, but I’m not some partisan blind hack.

            Like

  3. I keep coming back to the fact that Trump’s corruption is just one manifestation of much larger tectonic shifts going on in this country and around the world, and that, while Republicans are busy defending Trump’s rampant corruption and Democrats are busy attacking Trump, we are all ignoring the rapid decline and fall of western liberal democracy larger causes.

    Fed by outrage against the outrageous Trump, Democrats will quite likely win the House and possibly the Senate this Fall. If Democrats’ only focus is on bringing down Trum, but have no real agenda for what created the monster that is Trump, then other monsters will just manifest themselves in other forms. It will be like a hydra where Democrats cut off one head just to see two more appear in its place, never recognizing the root causes.

    Republicans are even more dangerously clueless. They have no idea what to do with Trump, but just hope to somehow harness that feral hippo in their ideological antigovernment campaign long after that war is over and the world has moved on without them to worse horrors and bigger dangers than the well meaning but feckless welfare state.

    At this rate, we’ll still be screaming at each other over irrelevancies while the democracy we all love just burns down around us.

    Like

    1. You keep repeating yourself. How about listening.

      You assert Trump is corrupt. Compared to what? The Democrat he beat?

      Republicans are defending Trump? If Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnnell and the like are defending Trump with much enthusiasm, there is not much evidence of it.

      The outrage of Democrats is real enough. The question is whether there are enough outraged Democrats. Don’t pretend to know.

      What you call clueless is someone who does not agree with you. That is not the same thing as clueless.

      Like

  4. August Jensen, You commented,

    If the Democratic Party would have selected literally any other individual they would have won the election in a landslide.

    Ifs, could ofs, would ofs, should ofs, perhaps?

    Frankly, I think it had more to do with Trump bringing up the truth about the issues of our nation. While many may not have agreed with communication style, it was the right time when voters were sick and tired of listening to political correctness from polished gibberish candidates, many who were benefiting from the status quo. For example, Hillary and company.

    Just my opinion.

    Perhaps your opinion may not have worked either if someone other than Hillary ran because of the gibberish factor on the issues?

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Perhaps and I think the issues you’re talking about is what helped propel Trump through the Republican primaries, especially over the more moderate Rubio.
      All of it is speculation of course, I voted for Trump myself, but only because Hillary was a historically bad choice for the Democratic Party. A more moderate candidate would’ve had my vote. I’m sure this naturally colors my opinion somewhat in what would have happened if a more moderate Democrat would have been selected.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. August Jensen You commented,

        “A more moderate candidate would’ve had my vote. ”

        Bastd on the Democratic victory in Conn., your comment may be on target for the Presidental Election. That’s if the Democratic candidate uses the same tactics which are not in agreement with the far left Democrats.

        If interested, this Chicago Tribune Columnists article bears out your speculation.

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/page/ct-perspec-page-democrats-conor-lamb-0318-20180316-story.html

        The more the Republicans refuse to fall in line with Trump, the better the better the odds for the Democrats in my opinion.

        Hopefully for the Dems, Trump will have the globalism and immigrations issues under solved by then.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. The former Secretary of State couldn’t beat the host of the Apprentice in a presidential race. The last election really had less to do with Trump and more with the undemocratic primary system for the Democrats and the selection of the worst possible candidate. If the Democratic Party would have selected literally any other individual they would have won the election in a landslide.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @August Jensen

      Thanks for the comment.

      As scary as it sounds, your assertion is probably true. Of course, if the Democrats were honest enough to properly select a candidate, they probably would have selected someone most Conservatives would have preferred over Trump.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree I think that this election, even more than others, was choosing between two extremes. So for a right leaning independent it felt as neither candidate represented my values on almost every issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The two party system is sold as some kind of virtue. It isn’t.

          When the Whig party would not take on the issue of slavery. folks like Abraham Lincoln formed the Republican Party. Then, like the Federalist Party, the Whig Party was tossed into the ash heap.

          Over the years state government have stuck their tentacles into the nomination process. Primary elections are their main tool. Why? Incumbents don’t like being answerable to the parties that nominate them, and primary elections allow people outside the party rank and file to support them. Incumbency and name recognition helps in a primary. In a convention, where people also tend to well know a candidates record, incumbency and name recognition can be a liability.

          What is a side affect of the machinations of incumbents to retain their seats. That has been to prevent the formation of a third party. Because primary elections, Democrats and Republicans get lots of publicity before the general election. Therefore, by the time the general election come around, people believe they are throwing away their vote if they don’t vote for a D or and an R. Instead of primaries, what we need are run-off elections. Because political parties are private entities with the right to freedom of assembly (first amendment), they are supposed to nominate their candidates without government interference.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Run offs are something that is done in so many other developed countries and I feel that their governments more accurately represent their people. Meanwhile in the United States the whole system is predicated on a two party system. With a third party no one is likely to hit the mandatory number of electoral votes to win the election. And then the votes of the people really don’t matter in deciding the president and that’s just nonsense.

            Like

  6. Off topic:
    Channel 4 News has done an interesting undercover story on Cambridge Analytica.

    Some observations:
    – The CA disclaimer at the end may well be true
    – CA has done a bad job at gathering intel about their prospective client
    – I would not be surprised to see this kind of service offer on any part of the political spectrum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the link to that video.
      It is as I thought. From the link:
      “You know exactly who to target with exactly the right message”
      Collecting data to profile people (example, observing their likes),
      Intelligence gathering. This is advertisement in a nutshell. Election campaigns are all about emotion. True. That’s why we have statements like “you’ll burn in hell if you’re a woman and don’t support this particular woman” (spoken more succinctly and snappily for digestion, of course)

      Remember political speech is offered the highest protection. Exactly the reason the “Russia/Trump” meme has been played over and over again even though there is no evidence… to (borrowing from the words of the video) “take advantage of people’s fears”. Why do you think so many are calling Trump a dictator/white supremacist racist et al? What was the intent of Fahrenheit 911? In Venezuela “the revolution will not be televised” was a Chavez propaganda coup (less for Venezuelans than the rest of the world…Venezuelans knew who controlled the media for the most part). This is why a biased media is a problem.

      Most everyone accepts that government control of media is bad…by contrast when one political party has a virtual monopoly on the media, it’s explained away as still “legitimate, but the problem is focus….” I’m not a fan of Fox news and would never assert they are “balanced” but I’m more a fan of Fox these days than CNN. It has gotten out of control. And it’s blatant. Just as advertisements try to use our emotions to sway behaviors and beliefs, so does the ostensibly “legitimate” news today. One might even argue they have to as they have to compete with all the other clickbait online….or die. But it’s a fact.

      That said, there is a legal limit to political speech but it’s the clear and present danger test. It’s incredibly rare but an example would be Radio Rwanda, which encouraged the Hutus to “cut down the tall trees” and they slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Tutsis.

      I found the end of the video kind of ironically humorous…The interviewer with a hidden camera trying to “catch” CA talking about “catching” others on a hidden camera, using similar tactics. Note at the end the UK company speaks of “influencing” an Eastern European election via British and Israeli intel gathering (profiling?). THIS is the “Russian shill” company?

      Like

        1. Not sure why the last link popped up, but not the first.
          I’ll elaborate in case it isn’t clear.
          The first describes big data profiling as “rallying voters” (positive)
          The second describes big data profiling as “exploitation”
          Different candidates, same action.
          Sometimes I look for this just as a habit…it’s an interesting psych experiment to observe the differences in the way the same story is conveyed depending on the agenda. Images are usually involved as well (scowling Trump/smiling Obama…heck, Trump isn’t exactly a pretty man I’ll give you Obama is much better looking, but they even make Trump’s wife look bad and she’s the best looking first lady since at least Jackie Kennedy).

          Like

        2. @anon

          I admire your tenacity in trying to play whac-a-mole with one Trump scandal overlapping another, but at some point you know that Trump must overwhelm you. If character is destiny, then Trump’s destiny is rapidly overtaking him.

          Like

        3. Anon, you do not seem to see a difference between

          A) doing surveys and infering from these and data on the precint level likely voters and

          B) using individual data gleaned from your individual surfing behaviour, which were gathered with the explicit understanding, that they would not be shared with further companies and not used the way CA has done.

          I do, and I think the difference warrants the difference in coverage.

          Like

        4. Just to add, no one can be more concerned about privacy violation than I am. I dislike Facebook for this reason, but if you believe that “data was gathered with the explicit understanding, that they would not be shared with further companies and not used the way CA has done” You might want to read up on Facebook’s Data Policy.
          It talks about the types of information they collect:
          -things you do and information you provide
          -things other do and information they provide
          -your networks and connections
          -information about payments
          -device information
          -information from websites and apps that use our services
          -information from third-partypartners
          -Facebook companies
          and how the information is shared:
          -People you share and communicate with
          -Peopel that see content others share about you
          -apps, websites, and third party integrations on or using our services
          -sharing within Facebook companies
          -new owner
          -advertising, measurement and analytics services
          -vendors, service providers, and other partners

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It is my understanding, that Cambridge University scientist Aleksandr Kogan asked Facebook to conduct a scientific survey. This was done in the form of a personality quiz, which was taken by 270,000 people. In the process, he also harvested data on their facebook friends, increasing the scope of the data collection to 50 million people, almost all of which were unaware of this specific collection. He later passed that data on to Cambridge Analytica, which used it for the Trump Campaign.

            While I do agree with your “you are the product” assessment, the above is worlds apart from the kind of data collection and analysis the Obama campaign has done.

            Like

      1. I’ve done an extensive and complete analysis of the Cambridge Analytical issue.. and more importantly I’ve put “two-and-two” together.. and came to the conclusion if was all Hillary’s fault.. and those damn 30,000 emails… and those are the facts as I see them.

        Like

        1. So in a nutshell:
          D: “Trump is an idiot and Hillary did nothing wrong!”
          Me: “Well, yes she did…here and here and here…”
          D: “That was just stupidity!”
          Me: “Well, she can’t plead ignorance looky here and here…”
          D: “You know what!?!?! Yah! Hillary is to blame for everything! She stole the moon too!”

          Thank you for illustrating why persuasion these days comes down mainly to soundbites empty of meaning. Facts and reason are time consuming, better to drown all that stuff out.

          Like

Comments are closed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

John Branyan

something funny is occurring

Because The Bible Wasn't Written In English

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Fr. Pietraszko's Corner

Discovering Truth and Love

Victory Girls Blog

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Through Ink & Image

...Pursuing a God Inspired Life

D. Patrick Collins

liberating christian thought

Healthy Mind Ministry

A Ministry Devoted To Mental Wellness Through Jesus Christ

Conservative Government

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Night Wind

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

In Saner Thought

"It is the duty of every man, as far as his ability extends, to detect and expose delusion and error"..Thomas Paine

Christians in Motion

Why be stagnant?

SGM

Faithful servants never retire. You can retire from your career, but you will never retire from serving God. – Rick Warren

Communio

"Behold, I have come to do your will, O God." Heb. 10:7

All Along the Watchtower

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you ... John 13:34

The Bull Elephant

Conservative and libertarian news, analysis, and entertainment

Always On Watch: Semper Vigilans

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

The Family Foundation Blog - The Family Foundation

Welcome to Conservative commentary and Christian prayers from Gainesville, Virginia. That's OUTSIDE the Beltway.

Cry and Howl

Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off. I Kings 20:11

praythroughhistory

Heal the past. Free the present. Bless the future.

Dr. Lloyd Stebbins

Deliberate Joy

Lillie-Put

The place where you can find out what Lillie thinks

He Hath Said

is the source of all wisdom, and the fountain of all comfort; let it dwell in you richly, as a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life

partneringwitheagles

WHENEVER ANY FORM OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS (LIFE,LIBERTY,AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS) IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, AND TO INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT...

nebraskaenergyobserver

The view from the Anglosphere

Freedom Through Empowerment

Taking ownership of your life brings power to make needed changes. True freedom begins with reliance on God to guide this process and provide what you need.

bluebird of bitterness

The opinions expressed are those of the author. You go get your own opinions.

Pacific Paratrooper

This WordPress.com site is Pacific War era information

Running The Race

Hebrews 12:1

THE RIVER WALK

Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

My Daily Musing

With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample our enemies. Psalms 109:13

atimetoshare.me

My Walk, His Way - daily inspiration

Rudy u Martinka

What the world needs now in addition to love is wisdom. Wisdom to help us find the path to true love, peace, and joy in our lives, and our world.

Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

Kingdom Pastor

Living Freely In God's Kingdom

The Lions Den

"Blending the colorful issues of life with the unapologetic truth of scripture, while adding some gracious ferocity.”

%d bloggers like this: