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> A search for understanding
Dingo
post Oct 15 2016, 03:18 AM
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I'll get right to the point.

How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.
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akaCG
post Oct 15 2016, 01:14 PM
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What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Here are 6 reasons: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trum...ne-talks-about/

And here's another: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016...mo-line-135.php

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 15 2016, 02:49 PM
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How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

We don't really live in a meritocracy.
And good salespeople typically make more money than good craftsmen/medical people/ect.
People are fundamentally animals, not rationalists, in spite of our big frontal lobe. Sales people are appealing almost entirely to emotion. It's what moves markets.
Furthermore perception is all that matters. Perception IS reality to people.

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Different reasons. (preface the following with "I think" below):
-The majority probably like the "Make America Great Again" positive message as opposed to the exploiter/victim message.
-They see that our foreign policy choices have led to catastrophic results and don't want more of the same.
-They have lost their jobs via outsourcing (the longterm negative aspects of these negotiations Perot warned about before Clinton was elected...and Perot sure was right).
-They don't want to be disarmed when they perceive their security is at risk.
-They don't like the fact that every time another crazy yells "Allah Akbar" and throws explosive ordinance/guns down a crowd we all have to pretend we don't have any idea what the motive might possibly be.

In spite of the wealth that places him in Ivory Tower reality, he doesn't come across like a guy who lives in an Ivory Tower. He comes across like the average working person (he sure talks like that ignorant drunk at the end of the bar, who was the captain of the football team), and it can be pretty satisfying, on a primal level, to hear him state whatever he wants rather than PC-ing it up for palatable public consumption.
People tire of being told constantly that they are all either among a class of exploiters or victims.

Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.

Not really. There are no winners here, IMO.

Edited to add oops...didn't see akaCg linked to this article too above.
I opened up a file early on and then got back to it later, not noticing anyone had made a post above mine.
Ah well, I'll still include it as stated previously:

Heh, just read an article entitled How half of America lost its **ing Mind that really addresses the overall topic question quite well. If you are searching for understanding (empathy), it's a good read. A VERY good read.

The end summary:

QUOTE
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 *** bleep*** done? Who only get ***bleep*** 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 *** bleep*** 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.

(snip)

It feels good to dismiss people, to mock them, to write them off as deplorables. But you might as well take time to try to understand them, because I'm telling you, they'll still be around long after Trump is gone.


I'll add further, the article is focused on the rural underclass, but the middle class and landed class in those areas also support Trump in large numbers (immigrants in the agricultural industries the likely exception).
Thoughts relayed (elsewhere) from a Trump supporter living in the Midwest:

"In the rural midwest at the end of the 19th century the driving impulse behind northern populism was the desire for local control of economic resources. Now the impulse will be for local control of the law, and the culture. This is what is so ominous about Clinton’s “irredeemable deplorables” remark. She really considers anyone like me to be disqualified for citizenship — at best a dependent ward of the State, at worst an incendiary thought-criminal to be surveilled, controlled, and condemned."

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Oct 15 2016, 03:45 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 15 2016, 03:13 PM
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How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

I kinda like the bromide that poop always rises to the top, even floating on cream.

But then there are wealthy people throughout history who have added a lot, if not directly then through sponsorship. Trump just happens to be an attractive turd for reasons that likely don't exist. Oh hell, I know they don't exist. He's a miserable excuse for a man and a human being.

Maybe it's his talent at selling stuff, except for all the failures. Yet failure is necessary to learn and grow. I just can't explain how Trump got this far without going way back to the 1960s, and I just don't care to do that.

So I'll make something up: Trump's appeal has to do with him being at the same level as his devoted followers. Finally, someone who doesn't intimidate them with big words, complex thought, or artistic finesse. They'd go clubbing with him and beg to be groped while spouting echoes of his particular brand of arrested development.

Or it's been a long, strange journey that brought out the bad in Trump and made him nationwide.

It's all that rock music we were warned about from Elvis on up.

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Answered above but only in jest. How about this: It's same reason why KISS is still popular.

Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.

Oh sure. The Republican Party needs to update it's fundamental philosophies, and in order to do that, first it must separate into its components. History has passed it by. There's no other way to catch up due to conservative inertia, its core that resists change.

The world needs this inertia, similar to how it needs gravity. Right now there's too much inertia and too much pressure for change, and so the levee is breaking.

It's all right there in blues/rock lyrics.
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Dingo
post Oct 16 2016, 07:24 PM
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How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

All the previous analysis is interesting but I'd like to get to the heart of the matter by offering the commentators that millions of Trump supporters hear and pay homage to on a daily basis. I mainly keep it contemporary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG3KoEiwk3M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRV0Yv6fpG4...eature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XCKcj7VNd4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgkLBljMTpw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sf_w3RhLYk

http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opin...trump/91898736/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et3acTzn9AU

This post has been edited by Dingo: Oct 17 2016, 03:53 AM
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akaCG
post Oct 16 2016, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 15 2016, 10:49 AM) *
...
Edited to add oops...didn't see akaCg linked to this article too above.
...

No "oops" necessary, 'far as I'm concerned. "Great minds ..." and such, ya know? smile.gif

QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ Oct 15 2016, 10:49 AM) *
...
Heh, just read an article entitled How half of America lost its **ing Mind that really addresses the overall topic question quite well. If you are searching for understanding (empathy), it's a good read. A VERY good read.
...

Yes, it sure is.

BTW, did you happen to notice the difference between the URL of the piece (which points to the fact that its original title was "6 Reasons For Trump's Rise That No One Talks About") and its current title? Interesting, no?

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Julian
post Oct 19 2016, 01:04 PM
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How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

The American political system, at least nationally, is broken, and the triumph of half a century of low quality public education, low quality television and low quality public discourse (noble exceptions aside, not least ad.gif) is that you have a corrupt pathological liar with blood on her hands versus a corrupt silver spoon lunatic who is even more compulsively truthless, to the point of veering away from known forms of logic and grammar - a human non sequitur - in The Donald. He is simply a brand.

Any substantive policies he has brought forth to date are either so obvious as to be uncontroversial mundanities, or so boneheaded and/or crackpot as to be impossible to imagine actually happening in practice (the shining example being his much-vaunted wall).

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Trump represents change, and many millions of US voters are desperate enough to want change without really knowing or caring what they are changing to. They just know what they want to change from. This is by no means uniquely American - my own country took much the same kind of decision in June when 52% of voters who turned out chose to leave the European Union. No disaster has yet taken place, but neither has the dawn of a new age of immigrant-free prosperity many of them were hoping for.

Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.

He will certainly shake things up. Indeed, he has done, just by standing. If he loses, the groundswell of support he has had will not simply disappear - it was there before he came along, mostly united only by hostility to the Obama administration. If nothing else, I think we are in for a period that breaks with the dynastic politics of Bushes, Clintons and such that has dominated American politics since the late 1980s. (That said, I can imagine a future campaign from Michele Obama, who hasn't hurt her chances much as far as I can see from this distance.) The public - on both sides* - want something new.

*For all the talk about how the Republican party is breaking apart - and it certainly seems to be - I don't sense much real appetite in favour of Hillary Clinton personally, and the Democrat party picked her for their candidate so must have some kind of serious disconnect with their core voters to have gone for such an uninspiring candidate. She's not loved or admired the way Obama was, or her husband was, or even George W Bush or Donald Trump have been. She's just a female Democrat who is not Donald Trump, and so ticks enough boxes for Democrat leaners, and anyone who has been turned off Trump by his antics or pronouncements.

There's a quote in the film Galaxy Quest where the male lead says to the villain "You don't have to be a great actor to recognise a bad one." The British political system is a ragged mess right now, with a party of Government that has been hijacked by the referendum result to the point where it is negating the manifesto pledges it made only last year and an Opposition so divided it would rather squabble within itself than do any actual opposing. But that doesn't mean that, living in that system, I can't recognise one that seems to be going through an even worse patch.

Both presidential candidates are unappealing, uninspiring and likely to be bad Presidents. One is a total wildcard, while the other is more of the same old Washington elite schtick, only less interesting in doing it. The Trump card may just be the end of the game, for good or ill, but if electing either candidate continues the trajectory of division and - especially - mutual incomprehension, it's not hard to imagine another US civil war within my lifetime (and I turn 50 next October).
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 19 2016, 05:24 PM
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Julian, just a few reactions to your observations:

US politics isn't broken, but we do have the GOP hung up on the rocks and about to sink. That makes things look crazier than usual.

Clinton made a very good showing during the 2008 primary battles, so she was a logical pick for the Democrats. In a twisted logic way, Trump was a good pick for Republicans who don't understand how this all works, and therefor trust a salesman/huckster with no political experience over their own politicians.

While I do see a few similarities between Brexit and this election season, it isn't the same. Brexit passed due to ignorance on what it was. We all know what Trump is, and he continually reinforces the take that he's a political moron who runs his campaign like a TV reality show. Tonight he gets to do it one last time.

Will the USA see another civil war? I doubt it, but maybe you see something I don't. So I'll ask this question:

What would be behind this second civil war that's as important as the slavery issue was in the 19th century? States' rights? Preservation of white privilege? Second Amendment? Abortion? I'm just not seeing it, but maybe you can give a different perspective.

Here's something to consider: Newer generations are making their lives work by abandoning or delaying their ownership of real estate and big-ticket consumer goods, notably cars. For example, I bought my first new car in 1979, shortly after landing my first computer industry gig as a tech writer. Just a few days ago, Lydia's eldest bought her first new car while in her forties. I was 27 years old in 1979. That's almost a twenty-year difference.

Another difference was timing. She bought her car in October as the 2017 models drove down the prices of 2016 models. I bought mine in the summer and just asked for the cheapest thing on the lot. This difference is directly tied to the Internet, which wasn't much of anything in the seventies.

Contrasting instant communications to 19th century communication, it seems highly unlikely that revolution in the form of civil war (POV) will have a chance to develop in the USA. Imagine if everybody had cheap telegraphs in 1860 -- would the Civil War have occurred? Also, what if literacy (reading/writing) were at today's levels?
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Dingo
post Oct 22 2016, 04:55 PM
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How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America?

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

I think vast numbers of folks have taken a powder on reality and have opted for an entertainer. Reagan was definitely a precursor of this phenomenon, a guy who thought you could fire a missile and then pull it back midflight. There are at least 40 things Trump said or did that should have discounted him as a president but he is something different. You have to judge him by different standards. Maybe it's a dna thing - some kind of alpha ape resonance is in play. When I substitute the name Donald Duck for Donald Trump it helps clarify the matter. There is something naturally cartoonish about the guy as the political cartoonist Gary Trudeau has successfully exploited since the 80s. He invokes conspiracies and scapegoats right and left like his influential backers, Rush Limbaugh, Alex Jones, various Fox commentator and others of a similar ilk who attract huge audiences. You can add in the numerous media stars anointed by God like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Franklin Graham and so forth. Since his various narratives like a comic strip are based on ego driven emotional appeals and grievances rather than facts and evidence, he enjoys a kind of creative freedom to pretty much say and do anything as long as the strangely charming Donald fellow stays in character. How neat that he doesn't sound political and he calls his opponents these cute names, like the latest - "Nasty woman."

This all makes him a wildcard since normal standards don't apply. I think it is dangerously premature to assume that he has lost the election. In fact the latest polls at least nationally show him moving even. When critical thinking is lost and pure emotion takes over anything is possible.

This post has been edited by Dingo: Oct 22 2016, 06:50 PM
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droop224
post Oct 27 2016, 02:03 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ Oct 14 2016, 10:18 PM) *
I'll get right to the point.

How can a man as thoroughly dishonest, corrupt and psychologically damaged as Donald Trump achieve such a high level of success in America? By all means feel free to challenge my premises if you like.

What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.


To answer your question, without talking directly to you characteristic of Trump, I'll say we as a society need to stop deflecting. Our politicians are a reflection of our national soul. I have no problem saying that the that the heart of that corruption is conservatism. However, the corruption in no way stops at the conservatism and the Republican party. In fact, where i see the corruption in the conservative party, for the most part, as this dull witted inability to identify right from wrong. Democrats and liberals generally see the corruption, but make choices, albeit pragmatic choices, to support the corruption in order to be victorious.

Allow me to create an analogy.

Lets says two people are preachers of a certain religion. This religion believes in a snake goddess and a rat god. These people get a cult of 10,000 followers. The give sermons and tell their flock to donate 30% of their income in order to enjoy a afterlife of bliss... to not donate would result in creatures of the goddess and god eating you for eternity. On the third Sunday adults go to a room remove their clothes and have a religious mating ritual of shared love making.

Now say we looked into the souls of the two preachers and we found that one preacher, for whatever reason was devout and believed what he was preaching. The other, was not devout at all, he/she just saw that it was easy to become rich and have orgies. Now the beliefs exist in the followers, regardless of the veracity of truth or soundness in reason, of the belief structure. It simply exists. I'm not sure if its worst to actually believe the *** NOTICE: THIS WORD IS AGAINST THE RULES. FAILURE TO REMOVE IT WILL RESULT IN A STRIKE. *** or to see through it, but still act committed for pragmatic reasons.

So I don't know if that helps you and other debaters conceptualize my belief. Which is that conservative corruption is unknown to themselves, their hypocrisy is unknown to themselves, they reside in a group narcissistic state where they and their values are superior regardless of... well, regardless of ANYTHING. On the other hand many liberals see the corruption, but play along because if they don't they they lose.

Oh and though i may seem to conflate the terms conservative\republican and liberal\democrat at time, understand that conservative\liberal and republican\democrat are different . I would probably be better served saying right\left. So why do liberals, or left, lose if they don't play "the game". Simple, our country, maybe every country, has more conservatives. I'm not saying that it is more republicans than democrats, but our country's political tilt is heavily to the right on a political spectrum.

Alot of nonsense to conservatives, but maybe there are some liberals that will read this and go "true true" Point is that many people complain about the fact that we have "these two" are our choices. But i don't think we have ever seen such an honest example of what we have become as a nation. The conservatives of this nation have had a rabid anger and they have a candidate that reflects that. Liberals have repeatedly chosen to support candidates that will move us socially progressively, regardless of corrupt identifiers because we can win, and Hillary reflects that.

These choices are doo-doo, but again, it accurately reflects the constituency at least from a base perspective.

Dingo
QUOTE
What do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

I think vast numbers of folks have taken a powder on reality and have opted for an entertainer. Reagan was definitely a precursor of this phenomenon, a guy who thought you could fire a missile and then pull it back midflight. There are at least 40 things Trump said or did that should have discounted him as a president but he is something different. You have to judge him by different standards. Maybe it's a dna thing - some kind of alpha ape resonance is in play.
No they have not taken a powder. It's important to understand this, imperative. This is who they are. Donald Trump represents the actual viewpoint of a large significant percentage of our country. Understand that next to Trump...was Cruz!! Kasich just stuck around for some hail Mary possibility. Uneducated, ill informed, passionate, and powerful is the desired traits. Donald represents this.

You know i read the article that Mrs P and AkaCG posted... i think that is a wonderful understanding from a conservative point of view. Their community make up makes it easy to corrupt them. Poor, under educated, and most importantly, homogeneous communities. This doesn't define every conservative but it greatly describes the base of the Republican party and why Trump won.

If Trump loses or if he wins it makes no difference. The poor, under educated, Whites of this nation need a spiritual/community leader like a White MLK that isn't a racist that want to change the conditions of them being under educated and impoverished. Until that happens they will be susceptible to the extreme corruption and the left in this nation will be forced to vote, pragmatically, for a lesser of two evils trying to keep some visage of freedom alive.

Mrs.P
For fun...

-The majority probably like the "Make America Great Again" positive message as opposed to the exploiter/victim message.
but, these same Americans hate any and all protest that suggest that America is not great.

-They see that our foreign policy choices have led to catastrophic results and don't want more of the same.
-but, these same Americans love the idea of building up our "depleted" military... what the heck are we going to do with the our New, Stronger, Bigger, #LARGESTBYFAR#YETDEPLETED military? Are we going to increase our military to defend ourselves against the invading force of latinos?

-They have lost their jobs via outsourcing (the longterm negative aspects of these negotiations Perot warned about before Clinton was elected...and Perot sure was right).
but, these Americans won't do something so simple as support laws to heavily tax or outright prevent American companies from seeking cheap labor overseas... cause that is unAmerican. You can't be pro-corporation, pro-"get as rich as you can" Anti-labor unions..... and anti-outsourcing. Or can you?

-They don't want to be disarmed when they perceive their security is at risk.
but, no Democrat president has ever proposed disarming Americans

-They don't like the fact that every time another crazy yells "Allah Akbar" and throws explosive ordinance/guns down a crowd we all have to pretend we don't have any idea what the motive might possibly be.
but, they love to "wait for the facts" even when they see a cop, on camera, shoot a person, point blank, with their hands up.
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Dingo
post Oct 29 2016, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 26 2016, 07:03 PM) *
Our politicians are a reflection of our national soul.

I guess one could call that a kind of truism but not one I find particularly illuminating. Trump in the primary ran against 16 other candidates, most of whom had a record of political success and thereby some claim on our souls. Trump, with no political experience and virtually no political ads, fairly easily steamrollered all of them. Not that they were that great a crew but he went right to the bottom of the barrel in blowing them away. So I guess juvenile name calling, his real calling card and so apparently the real heart of the national soul, hadn't been sufficiently developed by his competition. I guess we live and learn. rolleyes.gif

QUOTE
I have no problem saying that the that the heart of that corruption is conservatism. However, the corruption in no way stops at the conservatism and the Republican party. In fact, where i see the corruption in the conservative party, for the most part, as this dull witted inability to identify right from wrong.

The late economist J.K. Galbraith once defined modern conservatism as something along the line of strenuously attempting to rationalize greed as a form of higher morality. I'd extend that to bigotry and theocracy ie closed system ideology.

QUOTE
conservative corruption is unknown to themselves, their hypocrisy is unknown to themselves, they reside in a group narcissistic state where they and their values are superior regardless of... well, regardless of ANYTHING

This reminds me of Rush Limbaugh, the most popular radio political commentator for the last 25 years. He doesn't believe in independent facts, only ideology. Conservatives have their facts and liberals have their facts. In conservative world AGW is a hoax and in liberal world it is reality and each has facts to support their belief.

That said I'm not sure how far you can follow down the liberal/conservative paradigm. Conservatives love their medicare; they'll even tell you "I don't want government messing with my medicare," a bit of common ideological dementia and on the other side, speaking of paranoid conspiracy theories, which one might call a rightwing calling card, an uncomfortable number of say democrats were quite willing to associate the WTC attacks as part of an inside job participated in by the Bush administration.

QUOTE
our country, maybe every country, has more conservatives.
Or to put it another way, more tribalists who are prone to lash out when their status quo identity becomes threatened. I think that's probably true.

QUOTE
The conservatives of this nation have had a rabid anger and they have a candidate that reflects that. Liberals have repeatedly chosen to support candidates that will move us socially progressively
Well I'd say the Bernie folks were pretty angry. I'd guess the conservatives are more oriented to defending the given order with all the special privileges that has traditionally entailed and liberals are more oriented to including the outsider.

QUOTE
QUOTE
DingoWhat do you feel is the reason millions of Americans support Trump for the presidency, often with great enthusiasm and with record setting rallies?

I think vast numbers of folks have taken a powder on reality and have opted for an entertainer. Reagan was definitely a precursor of this phenomenon, a guy who thought you could fire a missile and then pull it back midflight. There are at least 40 things Trump said or did that should have discounted him as a president but he is something different. You have to judge him by different standards. Maybe it's a dna thing - some kind of alpha ape resonance is in play.
No they have not taken a powder. It's important to understand this, imperative. This is who they are.

I'd say this is a distinction without much of a difference. Believing in Genesis as the basis of our origins rather than biological evolution despite the overwhelming amount of evidence is taking a powder on reality. This doesn't change the fact of this is who they are and what they believe.

QUOTE
Donald Trump represents the actual viewpoint of a large significant percentage of our country.
Donald Trump doesn't really have a serious viewpoint but he does have an ambition to put the Trump stamp on the presidency like so many other things. He blatantly and transparently panders which makes his followers rabid support even more curious. He has been inconsistent right across the board.

QUOTE
Uneducated, ill informed, passionate, and powerful is the desired traits. Donald represents this.
That's quite a statement but it's probably true. His very mediocrity creates points of identity with his supporters. I think AM in an earlier post said something along this line.

QUOTE
-The majority probably like the "Make America Great Again" positive message as opposed to the exploiter/victim message.
but, these same Americans hate any and all protest that suggest that America is not great.

You might mention that Trump has turned himself into the eternal victim politically. You can write a book on the inconsistencies in the Trump campaign messaging which tells me you have to look somewhere else to understand the REAL source of his appeal. You can start with David Duke and then maybe a touch of Jane Goodall's primate studies.

Here is an interesting perspective on charisma, cults, conspiracies and Trump.
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive...leaders/503906/

QUOTE
Why do people still believe Donald Trump when he says things like, "Our African-American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they've ever been in before. Ever. Ever. Ever"? (Even setting aside slavery and Jim Crow, “Nationally, the black poverty rate is 24.1 percent, which is much higher than the 9.1 percent percent it is for whites. But that's still lower than it has been in the past, Politifact points out.) Or that there could be anywhere from 3 to 30 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., but “the government has no idea." (The number is 11.4 million, Politifact says, and the government is quite sure.)

It could be because Trump, like many charismatic leaders, casts his arguments in ways that tickle the emotional parts of our brains while telling the more rational lobes to shush. That's the process explored by Sara E. Gorman, a public-health expert, and her father, Jack M. Gorman, a psychiatrist and CEO of Franklin Behavioral Health Consultants, in their new book, Denying to the Grave: Why We Ignore the Facts That Will Save Us. “Persuaders might want to reduce the possibility of dissonance by constantly reassuring people that they have made the right choice ... or that there is no viable reasonable alternative" they write. (Remember “I alone can fix it?")

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I think what happens with people who fall into cults and also conspiracy theories, it has more to do with feelings of powerlessness, and especially if you're very very stressed, you can really be much more susceptible to these ideas. In that way, it's not as much about your intelligence as it is about your circumstances and feeling like you've lost control in some way.

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One of the very amusing things was Trump right after the [first] debate developing a conspiracy theory himself that the microphones were broken and that the Democrats did it. So he sort of churns these things up, and although I don't particularly like him, I would have to say he's intelligent. So that's just an example of somebody who not only believes them, but, you know, makes them up.

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One of the big things for him is that he's positioned himself as an outsider and being on the fringes. That actually helps him build up his charisma and his identity as a charismatic leader because it creates a very strong sense of him being able to come in and create a totally different order and a revolution. But it also allows him to create a very strong us-versus-them narrative, in which he can really point to a very large group of people, no matter what party they're in, it's all of the government is against him and against us, the Americans.

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If the first thing you hear about a topic is something that's associated with fear, that will often suppress the rational part of the brain. It will be placed into long-term memory by this more primitive part of the brain, and it turns out to be very, very difficult to dislodge that. If you do fear conditioning in a rat so that it learns to associate a tone with an electric shock, it never goes away for the rest of the rat's life. It will always freeze when it hears the tone, even though you're not giving shocks anymore.

The point is, those fears that these charismatic leaders arouse are often committed to permanent indelible memory, and they become extremely hard to dislodge, and they are easy to evoke simply by making people scared again. So all that Trump has to do is say, “these immigrants are going to kill you," and his entire message about immigration becomes immediately recalled.


This post has been edited by Dingo: Oct 29 2016, 10:31 PM
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AuthorMusician
post Oct 30 2016, 11:47 AM
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What it all boils down to are the Deplorables devil.gif versus the Nasty Women pirate.gif.

Finally, something the entire world can wrap its head around: football.

I've even seen speculation about what people will do after the Big Game is over.
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post Nov 8 2016, 12:28 PM
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Assuming Trump loses, do you feel that nevertheless his candidacy was a positive in some ways? Explain.
Yes, and I may take some time to address a few at some point in the near future.

But for now, I'll just share what I think is one of this Presidential election season's best lines, delivered just after midnight during his Grand Rapids, Michigan rally this morning:

"It used to be that cars were made in Flint, and you couldn't drink the water in Mexico. Now the cars are made in Mexico, and you can't drink the damn water in Flint!"

Superb.

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