[Discussion] Impeachment, Legacy, and Discussion of Individual 45

Though noted as discussion, news, debate, and all things related to events that occurred during the Tr*mp administration can go here. The scope of this thread is specific to the former administration and it's hangers-on in the aftermath of the shift in power for the United States and impacted areas worldwide.

Chumpy_McChump wrote:
Stengah wrote:

Not cutting ties isn't the same thing as actively seeking reconciliation or enabling their craziness. It's just being willing to speak with them if they ever come to their senses. Until they come to their senses they can f right off, but when they do you're willing to try to rebuild your relationship. The initial effort has to come from them, but you're willing to reciprocate.

This, I completely agree with. Be open to overtures. Be willing to talk. Not initiating contact but being open to contact seems like a solid approach.

This is what I’ve been trying to say.

Natus wrote:

Not at all what I said. I just don't think we need to work at understanding them at all.

ah, I see that you are a student of Sun Tzu- how does that famous quote go… “Never try to understand your opponent. Anything beyond cursory, superficial first impressions of their beliefs and motivations is a waste of time. Be disingenuous about the arguments of anyone who disagrees.”

ruhk wrote:

ah, I see that you are a student of Sun Tzu- how does that famous quote go… “Never try to understand your opponent. Anything beyond cursory, superficial first impressions of their beliefs and motivations is a waste of time. Be obnoxious to anyone who disagrees.”

It's 2021. There's been gallons of ink spilled and TBs of video shot in an effort to understand and explain Trumpers since 2015. I'm not sure what more needs to be understood.

They're racists who believe that America is really only for White Christians. They're authoritarians, at best, who think might makes right and, at worst, they're straight up fascists. They support, maybe even yearn for, political violence. They will eagerly swallow lies whole if doing so "owns the libs" or makes them feel better about their lives or their self-image. They are proudly and willfully ignorant about, well, almost everything. They are selfish and only think of themselves. They are piss-their-pants scared about how America is changing and fear that what they did to everyone else will one day be done to them.

And they're represented by politicians who aren't much better (and seem to be getting worse each election cycle). There are no principled conservatives or Republicans left. Just old schoolers who are either keeping their heads down and not rocking the boat so they don't get primaried, the Tea Party generation of Republicans who don't understand how anything works and just want to burn it all down, and the latest--the Trump generation of proud idiots who shouldn't run a McDonald's franchise, let alone a Congressional district. And all three of them have realized how f*cking gullible and easily manipulated their supporters are.

I mostly agree with you, but my reply was largely a joke towards someone who was repeatedly catastrophizing.

I think everyone here knows me well enough to know I'm not excusing anything, but while I broadly agree with OG, I think we also cannot overlook the sense of community QAnon and Trumpism bring, especially of the "us against the world" form, which can be particularly intoxicating.

There have been plenty of studies about how, despite the interconnectedness of the internet age, we are living in a time of profound loneliness, especially among young people. And the stories I remember reading about people who were front and center for Trump's rallies, they'd talk about it the same my one of my friends who is a huge Pfish fan would talk about those shows, or Parrotheads talk about that stuff.

It's not the only reason, and I'm not invalidating any of OG's points, but I think that's another major draw here. Especially with QAnon, which packages the "us against the world" stuff with a "We are the special few who know the real truth and will educate everyone else" angle too, which, again, is just so, so intoxicating.

EDIT: I'm reminded of a quote I saw somewhere recently, "The left looks for traitors, the right looks for converts."

I agree with Ruhk here.

I really appreciate Ruhk’s nuanced way of thinking on the matter of interacting with folks who have differing political views. Getting stuck in binary thinking patterns can really cloud your perception on complicated issues.

If you’re a person who doesn’t have the patience, empathy, or compassion necessary for interacting with pseudo-racists, pseudo-fascists, and ditto-heads then you probably shouldn’t. But please don’t sh*t on those of us on the far left who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations with folks on the far right.

People need anchors in their life, both the grounded and the cultist racist fascist.
I think it is nothing but positive and beneficial to be the voice that maintains a position that government can work for you and protect you from abuses if you want and enable it to. Even if it mostly falls on deaf ears it doesn't change its truth and it doesn't change that we are the boss if we stop selling our votes to corporate interests and power mongering cowards.

For full disclosure, I too certainly have a lot of dark days where I rant about the irredeemably uninformed. But the above is my long term, calm and true desire.

fangblackbone wrote:

…we are the boss if we stop selling our votes to corporate interests and power mongering cowards.

This is where I find the most common ground when talking to folks on the right. It’s the best place to steer the conversation as soon as possible.

Here are some more common ground thoughts:
Corporations have too much power. The lobby system in DC allows corporations to pass laws that benefit the corporations. Lobbyist PACs use to focus on one party or the other, now they buy both parties before the election so that no matter who wins the corps still get to control the laws and policies of the country.

Another interesting observation:
“Climate Change” can be an emotionally charged term, but many folks on the right are against pollution. Especially older Americans who have love and appreciation of nature.

Prederick wrote:

I think everyone here knows me well enough to know I'm not excusing anything, but while I broadly agree with OG, I think we also cannot overlook the sense of community QAnon and Trumpism bring, especially of the "us against the world" form, which can be particularly intoxicating.

Oh, I absolutely agree with you. Trump came out of the gate preaching tribalism and it resonated--hard--with people.

I'm sure there's pundits out there who'd link it to Hillary's "basket of deplorables" comment, but the truth is the conservative political movement has been preaching an "us vs. them" ideology for decades that, at its core, is based on the idea that only White Evangelical Christians are truly American. Everyone else is (highly) suspect.

I'm struck again by the details of how Trump's campaign got started and how the people behind it first spent months listening to conservative talk radio. They did so because it gave them a list of issues where the conservative position was already locked in and where they they knew there the talk radio audience was primed to respond very positively to anyone who talked tough about those issues. This is why Trump kicked off his campaign talking about all the Mexican rapist, drug dealing, murderers. Thanks to conservative media it was a position on an issue and a tone that instantly resonated with millions and those millions finally had someone they could rally around.

RawkGWJ wrote:

If you’re a person who doesn’t have the patience, empathy, or compassion necessary for interacting with pseudo-racists, pseudo-fascists, and ditto-heads then you probably shouldn’t. But please don’t sh*t on those of us on the far left who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations with folks on the far right.

We should be talking about reconstruction of the right, not reconciliation.

They already attempted to violently overthrow our democracy and we shouldn't be giving them any benefit of the doubt. We know what they are: traitorous trash. Their vision of American is fundamentally at odds with America's reality and the spirit of its founding ideals and they've already demonstrated that they will do whatever it takes to try to make their vision a reality.

They're already pushing hard to create a new Lost Cause mythology and we should be doing everything possible to stamp it out. Failing to come down like a hammer on the Confederacy and burn out every pocket of civilian, societal, and military support led to a 100 years of continued oppression and Jim Crow. We can't afford to have progress delayed for another 100 years because we don't want to upset the fee-fees of terrible people who already hate most of us.

We should be drawing a line in the sand and telling Republicans that they have to make a choice: Trumpism or the country. The 42% or so of Republicans who haven't already bought the Big Lie will have to decide whether or not their desire for lower taxes and less regulation outstrips their desire to not live in a failed democracy, one led by someone who makes the characterizations of South American dictators seem competent and effective by comparison.

It is staggering how everything Trump touches turns to sh*t. I can't think of one institution he hasn't completely sullied. I mean the post office for crying out loud!

OG_slinger wrote:

We should be talking about reconstruction of the right, not reconciliation.

They already attempted to violently overthrow our democracy and we shouldn't be giving them any benefit of the doubt. We know what they are: traitorous trash. Their vision of American is fundamentally at odds with America's reality and the spirit of its founding ideals and they've already demonstrated that they will do whatever it takes to try to make their vision a reality.

They're already pushing hard to create a new Lost Cause mythology and we should be doing everything possible to stamp it out. Failing to come down like a hammer on the Confederacy and burn out every pocket of civilian, societal, and military support led to a 100 years of continued oppression and Jim Crow. We can't afford to have progress delayed for another 100 years because we don't want to upset the fee-fees of terrible people who already hate most of us.

We should be drawing a line in the sand and telling Republicans that they have to make a choice: Trumpism or the country. The 42% or so of Republicans who haven't already bought the Big Lie will have to decide whether or not their desire for lower taxes and less regulation outstrips their desire to not live in a failed democracy, one led by someone who makes the characterizations of South American dictators seem competent and effective by comparison.

All this. If Lincoln hadn't been assassinated and/or we did Reconstruction right the first time we might not be in this mess. The party names may have changed but we're still fighting the goddamn civil war vs white supremacists.

fangblackbone wrote:

It is staggering how everything Trump touches turns to sh*t. I can't think of one institution he hasn't completely sullied. I mean the post office for crying out loud!

DeJoy still hasn't been fired.

fangblackbone wrote:

it doesn't change that we are the boss if we stop selling our votes to corporate interests and power mongering cowards.

Yeah! Let's just vote for people who will fix the money in politics problems!

Oh...

Nevermind.

OG_slinger wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

If you’re a person who doesn’t have the patience, empathy, or compassion necessary for interacting with pseudo-racists, pseudo-fascists, and ditto-heads then you probably shouldn’t. But please don’t sh*t on those of us on the far left who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations with folks on the far right.

We should be talking about reconstruction of the right, not reconciliation.

I’m not talking about either of those things. This is what I mean when I say that binary thinking (either A or B) is not helpful in these complicated situations. There are other options.

When I talk to pseudo-fascists I try to NOT have any agenda other than to have a civil and respectful conversation, and to maybe find some common ground to stand on; for example corporate greed. I’m not trying to change their minds. In fact I don’t even talk about my own political opinions unless I’m sure that they are interested in hearing it. I will outright ask, “Are you sure you want to hear how I feel about this?” If they say yes then I will hold them accountable to remaining respectful and civil in our conversations. I successfully explained white privilege to a pseudo-fascist using this technique. Though this guy didn’t agree with what I’d said, I know I planted a seed of knowledge and reason in him. Days later he jokes that I just might convert him. To which I said, “No. I’m not trying to convert you. If you change your mind about some of these issues, it’s because you understand them better, not because I’ve converted you.” I implored him not to let me convert him. Just to consider what I have to say if it makes sense.

RawkGWJ wrote:

I agree with Ruhk here.

I really appreciate Ruhk’s nuanced way of thinking on the matter of interacting with folks who have differing political views. Getting stuck in binary thinking patterns can really cloud your perception on complicated issues.

When you're dealing with actual Nazis, Trumpists, and genociders, it's always important to lead with nuance. See Germany, 1923. The nuance worked, for a decade.

RawkGWJ wrote:

If you’re a person who doesn’t have the patience, empathy, or compassion necessary for interacting with pseudo-racists, pseudo-fascists, and ditto-heads then you probably shouldn’t. But please don’t sh*t on those of us on the far left who are willing to have uncomfortable conversations with folks on the far right.

~mod edit~ enough making assumptions about what other people think. No one cares. Derailing the thread, again. - Amoebic

Everyone is celebrating that Trump is out of power and that the wheels of justice are slowly moving, but we are 2/3's of the way through the movie, folks.

Everyone is celebrating that Trump is out of power and that the wheels of justice are slowly moving, but we are 2/3's of the way through the movie, folks.

If the good guys win its 2/3 over.
Right now the bad guys are really trying to poke the corpse. So the movie could be 1/20 over and in for a lot of pain.

I confess I have some discomfort with the movie analogy. Did the civil war movie end? Because this feels like the same f*cking movie to me.

Seth wrote:

I confess I have some discomfort with the movie analogy. Did the civil war movie end? Because this feels like the same f*cking movie to me.

Ironically another big Qanon thing- Q repeatedly made inferences about all of this being a movie, and the Anons took it literally and think reality functions by film logic.

I’m not saying we are being infiltrated here, but…

Seth wrote:

I confess I have some discomfort with the movie analogy. Did the civil war movie end? Because this feels like the same f*cking movie to me.

It's A Song of Ice and Fire and the author's dead so all we're left with is repeating the same plotline over and over.

Farscry wrote:
Seth wrote:

I confess I have some discomfort with the movie analogy. Did the civil war movie end? Because this feels like the same f*cking movie to me.

It's A Song of Ice and Fire and the author's dead so all we're left with is repeating the same plotline over and over.

It's the Matrix, but stuck in a for-loop.

Natus wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

Getting stuck in binary thinking patterns can really cloud your perception on complicated issues.

When you're dealing with actual Nazis, Trumpists, and genociders, it's always important to lead with nuance. See Germany, 1923. The nuance worked, for a decade.

Why would you think that I’m dealing with actual Nazis? Do you realize that the pseudo-fascists I’ve most recently had political conversations with are my uncle and a friend of mine who I’ve known for over 20 years? Do you know that it hurts me to call them pseudo-fascists? Do you know that I love these folks?

One more question: How can you be so sure that my uncle and valued friend are “actual Nazis”?

Ok. Just one more question: Are you trolling me and sh*t-posting or are you being sincere?

RawkGWJ wrote:
Natus wrote:
RawkGWJ wrote:

Getting stuck in binary thinking patterns can really cloud your perception on complicated issues.

When you're dealing with actual Nazis, Trumpists, and genociders, it's always important to lead with nuance. See Germany, 1923. The nuance worked, for a decade.

Why would you think that I’m dealing with actual Nazis? Do you realize that the pseudo-fascists I’ve most recently had political conversations with are my uncle and a friend of mine who I’ve known for over 20 years? Do you know that it hurts me to call them pseudo-fascists? Do you know that I love these folks?

One more question: How can you be so sure that my uncle and valued friend are “actual Nazis”?

Ok. Just one more question: Are you trolling me and sh*t-posting or are you being sincere?

Some people don’t have any personal stakes so swathes of politics are reduced to abstract one-upmanship games and snappy hot takes. This is why twitter can be such a sh*tshow.

Do you recognize that if your uncle and friends are onboard with committing violence against people that disagree politically, that makes them at least pseudo-fascists?

Chumpy_McChump wrote:

Do you recognize that if your uncle and friends are onboard with committing violence against people that disagree politically, that makes them at least pseudo-fascists?

When did I say that they are on board with ANY kind of violence? You assume too much.

Let's stop telling Rawk what his people are like and start asking, then.

Rawk, will you tell us a little about the views your uncle and friends hold that you disagree with, the views you hold that that they disagree with, and how you all handle that?

I would be interested in hearing more about it.

RawkGWJ wrote:

Do you realize that the pseudo-fascists

Why on earth would you call them *pseudo*-fascists? Either they've bought in or they haven't. Do you not realize that we all have family and friends that have outed (or confirmed) themselves as fascists? We don't have to dance around the issue of who these people have become, maybe who they always were. Isn't it better to face it head-on instead of endlessly waiting for them to recover from the mania and disinformation pipeline to their brains? We've lost them; that's the reality. The best thing we can do at this point is make sure they cannot endanger others.

I am more interested in what the only person in this thread who knows these people personally has to say about them than what you have to say about them, Natus.

I'd rather spend time, money, and effort to reach out to all the marginalized people of color in the United States and figure out how to change our society, government, and our labor market to help them finally be equals.

After all many of them saved our white butts from 4 more years of Trump by standing in line for hours to vote, and/or overcoming all sorts of obstacles to even register to vote.

Too many people are trying to figure out how to understand Trumpers better, to appease them, to change their minds.. meanwhile all they are doing is trying to figure out how to kill all of us or at least remove all power and make us their untouchable caste. We are still at the negotiating table and they all left to go plan the war.

When I say pseudo-fascist what I mean is some of their political views resemble fascism. Same meaning with pseudo-racist. Both of these people would vehemently insist that they are not racist. They truly believe this about themselves. Yet they have some incredibly racist attitudes about certain issues. My long time friend was previously married to a Latina lady and is currently dating a Latina lady. Yet he still has attitudes about certain issues that are racist. Maybe I’m using that prefix pseudo incorrectly.

How effective would it be for me to stonewall him and call him a racist until he changes his ways? Would he remain my friend? Of course not. Is cutting ties with him going to result in any kind of positive outcome? Hell no.

Something Ruhk was talking about earlier is to actually pay attention to the things that the radical right believes. It doesn’t take much time to do so. Their talking points are simplistic and shallow. They absorb the sound bites of the propaganda machine and repeat them to anyone who will listen. Rather than hate them for being so damn intellectually lazy, I feel sad for them. It’s a pitiful way to conduct one’s self, and I do pity them.

So… as to specifics, my friend believes that there was a lot of questionable and problematic things about the 2020 election. He doesn’t actually believe that Trump really won, but he has allowed the far right propaganda machine to instill fear and doubt about it. I had asked him if he had looked into the details of what liberal and centrist media are saying about it. He had not. At this point all I could do is suggest that it’s a good idea to look at issues that you care about from multiple angles. It’s not likely that he will, but at least I tried.

My uncle brought up defund the police. He said that rather than worry about how many black folks police had killed maybe we look into how many black folk other black folk have killed. I calmly clarified that I’m mostly concerned with how many unarmed black people police are killing. Then I went on to clarify that I’m actually concerned about ALL unarmed people who cops are killing not just black people. NOW I HAD HIM ON COMMON GROUND. NOW WE WERE ACTUALLY IN AGREEMENT ON SOMETHING. At this point I casually pointed out that the reason you hear the media talking about unarmed black folks is because unarmed black Americans are getting killed by police at an extremely higher rate than unarmed white Americans. His response was that he doesn’t trust the data being reported. This is another mantra of the far right propaganda machine. And with that we were at an impasse. It’s frustrating as hell, but what else can I do? Cutting ties with him would hurt me more than it would hurt him.

TheGameguru wrote:

(1) Too many people are trying to figure out how to understand Trumpers better, to appease them, to change their minds..

(2) meanwhile all they are doing is trying to figure out how to kill all of us or at least remove all power and make us their untouchable caste. We are still at the negotiating table and they all left to go plan the war.

(1) Understand them? yes. Change their minds? no. You’ll never change their minds. They have to change their own minds.

To appease them? Are you f*cking kidding me? No. No. No. Never. Who said anything about wanting to appease the far right? Some of y’all are making outlandish assumptions. Jesus f*cking christ!!

(2) You think that all far right Americans are planning to kill all centrists and leftists? That can’t possibly be accurate. What about all the Trump voters that I work with? They work 12+ hour shifts just like I do. When would they find the time to plan a war. I know what these guys want. Money. Not war.

Once again, if you don’t have the compassion-bandwidth to have uncomfortable conversations with the people around you, then you probably shouldn’t. It might not go well. But why sh*t on the folks who are willing and able to have these tough and uncomfortable conversations?

I'm about to both sides for a second here, so if this post stinks like sh*t, that's why.

One of the biggest blind spots on the right is that they view the left as some sort of organized, coordinated army pushing the same goals. I've watched this blind spot get exploited to pull frustrated working class whites out of their right wing journey and back into the proud tradition of rural leftism where I believe all rural americans belong.

(The process always centers around celebrating guns, btw. it's "f*ck the liberals, keep your guns, and liberate that Amazon warehouse." sorry, liberals.)

I watched this happen on Facebook, btw, which is the Mos Eisley of social media.

I've also lost liberal peers -- all white, all upper middle class -- to the siren's call of Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. Frustrated boys picked off because they felt invisible in a world of Pride (their words, not mine.) It's why I often consider Beefeaters like Peterson and College First Year Debaters like Shapiro to be far more dangerous than clowns like Bannon and Carlson. Bannon and Carlson can't convert anyone, they're just mirrors for hate.

The point is that everyone here is correct, because neither side is a monolith. And I want to reiterate that I don't think people who believe like ruhk and Rawk are doing anything wrong. Quite the opposite: they're helping the cause. They're obviously not centrists sitting in a pile of their own smug crowing "you idiot extremists, let's just compromise and do a little genocide!" And please note, I'm saying this while agreeing with every word Natus has written. (Except the movie analogy.)

Because I'm confident no one reading this is at risk of being lured by Shapiro, the worst case scenario to throwing a lifeline to fascists is a drain on your mental strength. The best case scenario is an ex-fascist, which is even better than a dead fascist.

The left needs people willing to shut out the unreachable and the left also needs people willing to convert fascists. Be one of the two, vigorously disagree as to which strategy is best, and close f*cking ranks when we need to.

(...yep this was a stinky post)