December 15, 2018, 02:36:15 AM

Author Topic: Politics and other ailments of the real world  (Read 188438 times)

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2865 on: October 14, 2018, 12:37:55 AM »
Read this thread a page or two back....

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5661
  • Total likes: 2421
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
    • Fictional Times
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2866 on: October 14, 2018, 09:25:57 AM »
You aren't from the US but want to do something against Trump?

Sign here.

US Americans can sign too, of course.

"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline The Gem Cutter

  • Captain Analogy
  • Writing Group
  • Khaleesi
  • *
  • Posts: 2926
  • Total likes: 2392
  • Gender: Male
  • We've exhausted all possibilities - time to begin.
    • View Profile
    • The Gem Cutter Tales
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2867 on: October 14, 2018, 01:59:45 PM »
I appreciate the sentiment, but such a thing is worse than useless - it distracts from the three things that actually can and will help us pass this gallstone of a man through the system:
1. Voting at the local, state, and federal levels for people who oppose him
2. Communicating with officials at every level that supporting Trump will cost them your vote
3. Communicating with officials at every level that you want the Mueller investigation to proceed and be acted upon; failure to support this end will cost them your vote.

Beyond this, getting involved with politics is the cure. Americans have treated politics like fast food restaurants: "We don't want to get involved with what's on the menu or what kind of service they offer; let them handle things. If we don't like what they offer, we'll just go elsewhere else" - the problem being there is nowhere else to go.

I personally believe we need to be smart and abandon dumb candidates early, like Clinton, who was massively unpopular; so unpopular that this stoat of a man was able to defeat her. We need to offer change - reasonable Trump voters wanted two things: change and not-Clinton. We need to offer them that.
The Gem Cutter
"Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss." - Joseph Campbell

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2868 on: October 14, 2018, 02:45:34 PM »
I concur. The other thing that will happen from a worldwide petition is you will polarize Americans into defending the system that put him there from the outside world. May not supporting Trump will not tolerate outside interference.

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2869 on: October 14, 2018, 04:36:55 PM »
Trump isn't the problem. Trump is a symptom of the problem.

Trump would never be president except that millions of Americans voted for him. Never mind about meddling and electoral colleges--the fact remains, millions of Americans voted for him, and millions of Americans continue to think he's doing a fine job and represents them and their interests.

That says something significant about us as Americans. And if you are thinking "well, that's not me" then that's exactly the heart of the problem. You're dividing, too. We're all capable of being the good Nazi.

The point about voting is profoundly important. Even with Trump voted president, he'd go nowhere without the support of Congress, and Congress would be only partially effective without a similar push at the state and local level. Where do you suppose support at the national level comes from? The xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. (the list is very long) has been boiling along at the local level ever since the Moral Majority in the 1970s.

If we keep focusing just on Trump, we are giving ourselves a pass on everything else. We blow our nose and pronounce ourselves cured.

We have to grow up and stop blaming others. Trump is us. Reagan is us, Bush is us, Steven Miller is us, Steve Bannon is us, Mitch McConnell is us. It's no good saying that's not who we are. The record speaks for itself. The only relevant question is, why do we let it go on, generation after generation?

Offline ScarletBea

  • Welcome party and bringer of Cake. 2nd-in-Command of the Writing Contest
  • Powers That Be
  • Big Wee Hag
  • *
  • Posts: 10056
  • Total likes: 5886
  • Gender: Female
  • Geeky Reading Introvert
    • View Profile
    • LibraryThing profile
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2870 on: October 14, 2018, 04:40:58 PM »
I wonder about people that will only vote because some celebrity or other said so...
What education about civil rights do we have in schools?
And I'm not talking about America only, I think this is a problem everywhere...
At home in the Fantasy Faction forum!

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all" - Douglas Adams

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2871 on: October 14, 2018, 07:39:51 PM »
Democracy is vaunted as the best political system and we pretend to live in one. That said the first wold is significantly freer than the rest, has a greater number of people actively employed and with a beyond subsistence incomes along with social programs such as healthcare, education and infrastructure.

Democracy never meant universal suffrage until quite recently.

The right to vote should be protected even for those people who are not competent to do so. Eventually you get to a place where only the people who vote for you are the only ones allowed to vote.

Education is key but you cannot get those uninterested to comprehend or those with fundamentalist beliefs to accept.

Europe is largely safer than the UK or USA as coalitions are common and temper the worst of governmental policy. However the right is growing in popularity throughout Europe and Scandinavia. We easily see our own little Americas here.

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2872 on: October 15, 2018, 04:35:51 AM »
I'm not at all sure education is the key. It is necessary but not sufficient, to use the distinction philosophers use. Just because people get educated doesn't mean they come to the same conclusions we right-minded folk do. Even the extensively educated can hold to appalling ideologies.

Americans, as some Americans will point out, isn't a democracy, it's a republic. There's a difference. I've always thought it significant that our two (count 'em) political parties have used those two terms. We still don't have universal suffrage, as we decide certain people are not competent--the very young--or not worthy--the criminal.

Absolutely the right to vote needs to be protected, for it is under constant attack by those who would manipulate or constrain it to their own advantage. Pretty much always has been. What strikes me is not so much the strident resurgence of the right (for I've always known it was there) as the abysmal failure of the left to respond effectively (for I once believed in it).
Visit Altearth

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2873 on: October 15, 2018, 10:39:50 AM »
Without education how is an informed choice possible? Knowledge and understanding do not hinder the process and pretty much ensure people will have different opinions and ideologies.

Since when have democracy and republicanism been mutually exclusive? Democracy being a system created to ensure a few rich and powerful slave owning men to be equally unhappy with any political outcome. Needless to say it has moved on a little. Republicanism being the a system created to allow a few rich and powerful slave owning men to be equally unhappy with any political outcome, but without a monarch to take the fall for said outcome.

The definition of universal suffrage is here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_suffrage

Are you aware that from a European perspective there is no left in American politics and the people we are worried about have similar policies to your two main parties?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 11:56:58 AM by Rostum »

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2874 on: October 15, 2018, 04:39:50 PM »
I did say necessary but not sufficient. Without education an informed choice is not possible, but that leaves out two important considerations.

First, an uninformed choice is always possible. I don't mind admitting that I have voted on propositions I discovered only in the voting booth, or voted on judges or other officials based solely on party. I doubt I'm unusual in that. I have a PhD and I read the news. So education clearly isn't a sufficient solution there.

Second, just because a person is educated doesn't mean they're enlightened. Any number of well-educated people have perfectly appalling political opinions. Ones I would call inimical to democracy and freedom. One need only look at any random sampling of politicians and justices. So, education is not a sufficient solution to that either.

And I'll give a third case, just to prove I can't count. Let us consider the contrary case. Does a lack of education necessarily mean bad politics? Not at all. There were and are plenty of poorly educated people who have perfectly liberal sentiments. A poor person doesn't need an education to know which side of his bread doesn't have butter. You don't need a weatherman to ... oh, you know that one. :)

>Are you aware that from a European perspective there is no left in American politics
Sure. That again goes to what I've been arguing. The people in power are ... unfortunate, at best. But turning them out and putting in someone else isn't going to fix what put them into power in the first place. Yes, do vote, but don't imagine that's going to fix things. At best, it will turn aside some of the damage currently being done. Perhaps that's the most we can hope for. But not voting is worse, if only by a little.

Same for education. I'm a retired history professor. I'm all for education. But I don't for one instant think that if everyone had a college degree American society would somehow be much different. Sexism, racism, and a clutch of others, run deeper than classrooms.

I'm not sure what you were saying about democracy and a republic. Both those words long antedate the USA.

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2875 on: October 16, 2018, 01:26:06 PM »
Ok I will amend my statement to education being a vital component in the process and argue against your third statement as time allows.
With regard to Republicanism/Democracy they are in no way mutually exclusive and my thoughts were based on European examples from the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Nothing whatsoever to do with America in this case.

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2876 on: October 16, 2018, 08:23:21 PM »
Not to quibble, but I did not say the two were mutually exclusive. I only said there was a difference between a democracy and a republic. One's Athenian, the other's Roman. <grin>
Visit Altearth

Offline xiagan

  • Writing Contest Organizer
  • Powers That Be
  • Elderling
  • *
  • Posts: 5661
  • Total likes: 2421
  • Gender: Male
  • Master Procrastinator
    • View Profile
    • Fictional Times
Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2877 on: October 17, 2018, 07:32:13 PM »
I disagree. Petitions have been proven useful in the past (not all, but generalization is never right, so...) and we non-US-citizens don't have many ways to put international pressure on Trump & Co.

No matter what, I'm glad it somewhat started this discussion. ;)

In my eyes the main problem is capitalism and Trump is only a symptom.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Skip

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2878 on: October 18, 2018, 02:06:14 AM »
Submitted for your consideration: a story of economic wonder and social dysfunction.

A lunatic used to live across the street. He had cameras that he watched not from his home but from the local library. He set up bizarre works of yard art and danced before it. He declared he was an independent nation and confidentially told me he could show me how never to pay my mortgage. He was utterly harmless, thought everyone in the government was corrupt, and said he was from Morocco (he wasn't).

The law caught up to him, of course. The bank took his house, the sheriff served the eviction notice, and one fine day seven (count 'em!) patrol cars turned up. Somehow he was not home, though I'd spoken with him out front not an hour before. He made his getaway. I wish him well, though I rather think good rarely comes his way.

Not long after, workers showed up. They hauled off all his possessions. Other workers fell to, cleaning up the yard, trimming bushes. He'd never put grass in the back yard, so they put in a lawn there. Completed the fence. Here's how all that went.

First, the real estate guy. He's the one who bought the place. Then some sort of contractor. He and his wife and his little black dog showed up with a couple of Hispanic workers. Much pointing and nodding. There followed a week in which the workers worked. Probably about ten hours a day. One of them was old and moved as slowly as I've ever seen any worker move. He smokes. He coughs a lot. That's probably why he moves so slow. The contractor showed up once or twice a day, looked around with his wife and the little black dog, then left. The workers worked on.

They finished up today. The contractor came after they had left. The real estate agent too, with a camera. The contractor checked the back to make sure the lawn was in, then left. The little black dog hardly had time to pee. The real estate agent took photos, put up the sign, then left.

It was a marvel of economics. Economic self interest moved the bank. Tax dollars moved the police. The lunatic was harried off. Not arrested, mind you; all that mattered to all concerned was that he be gone. Then a cascade of monetary interests that at last put immigrants to work. The lunatic was not a white man. The workers were not white men. All the rest were (including all the police).

And that's what struck me so forcibly. The powers were all white, but they did none of the work. No, I don't count accounting and finance as work. It's a job, yes, but it ain't work (I've done that; I've also done work). The men doing the actual work were rarely seen by those who employed them and never seen by those who mobilized them in the first place. The lunatic vanished into the vast underbelly of society (it was not his first run-in).

The economics of all this is a utilitarian marvel. The sociology is appalling. Somewhere in there lies at least part of the reason why our society feels so divided.
Visit Altearth

Offline Rostum

Re: Politics and other ailments of the real world
« Reply #2879 on: October 18, 2018, 01:00:25 PM »
For the last few years extreme pressure has been put on the UK government that any trade deal with the USA cannot exclude the health service. For everyone here this is unwanted. we can only describe your health system as fucked up and have no wish to see further buy ups of our safety net by American firms. Deriving profit from illness is not moral, and the fear of bankruptcy through sickness are not something we need to add to our woes.

However we have an unlikely source of help. Nothing unifies like an outside dishonest broker and Trump is definitely that.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-42943768

From my perspective the issues we have with our NHS have largely been caused by growing the population while cutting services. I feel the EU took the fall for what was actually UK government policy.

I would expect any petition against Trump to have a similar effect. Unifying Americans in support of their international embarrassment being counter productive.