Why Trump Will Win Again

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
No, Trump's re-election wouldn't in and of itself be a "catastrophe." Nuclear war would be a catastrophe. Complete economic collapse would be a catastrophe. Four more years of mainstream media circus would not in and of itself be a "catastrophe" compared to those things.

If Trump is truly in and of himself a "catastrophe," what exactly is that catastrophe? Just that he's a Republican? He was an anti-Koch Republican the GOP establishment did not want. So that's not it. Because his tweets are a national embarrassment? That's not a "catastrophe." Because he's destroying the economy? Well not exactly, at least at this point. The economic indicators are not catastrophic since his election. But is the economy about to collapse? Who knows? That requires a very bold prediction that I doubt you are I are so prescient to be able to make. Is it because he's a populist that disrupts global stability? That's a more interesting possibility, but it hasn't resulted in any actual real world catastrophe. Would it, with another 4 years? That requires another very bold speculative prediction. Maybe Trump creates a higher risk of catastrophic destabilization, but if Trump were really a catastrophe waiting to happen, wouldn't more of society be in emergency management mode, stockpiling supplies and so forth?

The more anyone feeds into their respective side's exaggerative rhetoric, the more it perpetuates tribalist thinking that is detached from reality, and the more it promotes extremist attitudes, including some who work themselves up into such a state of agitation that they've decided they'd be happy to set things ablaze (at least figuratively, sometimes literally), because they think hell, at least setting it ablaze will cause something to change. These attitudes, which are motivated by mythical or delusional thoughts and feelings about horrible society and/or government are, are not good for the country.
Ok. You have quite a lot of ink to spill about Trump, that's for sure! But in the meantime I'm still trying to figure out what your main reaction actually is to my litany--$22 trillion in debt, a trillion dollars a year wasted on military spending, skyrocketing education, real estate, and health care costs, the fact that we just got through waging a war of aggression in Iraq that cost 6 trillion dollars and a half-million lives (that's one i hadn't gotten around to yet), the fact that we have only 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners (another chestnut I was saving up), the more and more universally dire news coming in about the climate . . . your reaction to all these alarming metrics seems to be, ok, don't ignore it, but don't worry too much about it either, because Trump is a much bigger immediate problem, and my "catastrophizing" about these generally accepted and uncontested facts could lead to his re-election.

If that's your position, and I promise I really am trying to paraphrase you fairly here, it does occur to me that the centrist perspective is surely to accept the fact that Trump won fair and square in a legitimate election and, since the centrist thing to do is accept that we have a two-party system, he stands an unadjusted 50 percent chance of winning re-election? I mean that's our system and the centrist thing to do is trust it to yield basically acceptable results, right?
 
Feb 2011
17,039
6,083
Boise, ID
Ok. You have quite a lot of ink to spill about Trump, that's for sure! But in the meantime I'm still trying to figure out what your main reaction actually is to my litany--$22 trillion in debt
(1) On average, conservatives are more panicked about this number than liberals, and (2) the whole notion of just how bad the debt situation is gets into a complex discussion about fiat monetary policy, which soars far over the heads of most ordinary folk, so said ordinary folk just play political football with it, only acting like it's a problem when the other team has the White House. Kind of a dead end in terms of interesting discussion.
a trillion dollars a year wasted on military spending
Be accurate.
skyrocketing education
That's its own can of worms. Providing more federal funding to education begs the question what cost/waste controls are being put in place and enforced. Non-teaching administrative bloat is a common argument referenced by both liberals and conservatives. Before dumping more money into education, shouldn't we make sure we're not rewarding waste?
health care costs
Deserves its own topic, but admittedly there aren't a lot of coherent policy ideas being kicked around by Republicans that address the roots of the problem very well. On the other hand the Democrats are splintered over drastic MFA proposals vs. whatever complex middle ground alternatives.
the fact that we just got through waging a war of aggression
That's not a fact. You're using more loaded and dramatized language and claiming its a fact.
in Iraq that cost 6 trillion dollars and a half-million lives (that's one i hadn't gotten around to yet), the fact that we have only 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners (another chestnut I was saving up), the more and more universally dire news coming in about the climate . . . your reaction to all these alarming metrics seems to be, ok, don't ignore it, but don't worry too much about it either, because Trump is a much bigger immediate problem, and my "catastrophizing" about these generally accepted and uncontested facts could lead to his re-election.
This litany is starting to sound like hyperventilation. Do you want voters to be exasperated, alarmed, panicked, outraged? Most partisans seem to want that, because it really turns out the vote! If you want voters to be informed, level-headed, pragmatic, realistic, that requires a different approach. But that doesn't get the clicks/views/likes/shares/subscribes, does it? And it doesn't excite the base into a frenzy, does it?
 
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highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
(1) On average, conservatives are more panicked about this number than liberals, and (2) the whole notion of just how bad the debt situation is gets into a complex discussion about fiat monetary policy, which soars far over the heads of most ordinary folk, so said ordinary folk just play political football with it, only acting like it's a problem when the other team has the White House. Kind of a dead end in terms of interesting discussion.
well, the national debt is $22 trillion, I know that. If your answer to my pointing that out is that it's complicated and uninteresting, then yes, we're at loggerheads. Except that I will presume from your answer that you don't have any plan you can cite for dealing with it.



Be accurate.
I'm rounding off. we actually have no idea how much money we're wasting on war every year. We have a declared budget of around 800 billion dollars a year for "defense," but there are supplementals and classified budgets that add unknown or complex totals to that. If you contest my estimate, provide another.



That's its own can of worms. Providing more federal funding to education begs the question what cost/waste controls are being put in place and enforced. Non-teaching administrative bloat is a common argument referenced by both liberals and conservatives. Before dumping more money into education, shouldn't we make sure we're not rewarding waste?
I suppose. So . . . your plan is inaction here, too? Take a wait-and-see approach?



Deserves its own topic, but admittedly there aren't a lot of coherent policy ideas being kicked around by Republicans that address the roots of the problem very well. On the other hand the Democrats are splintered over drastic MFA proposals vs. whatever complex middle ground alternatives.



That's not a fact. You're using more loaded and dramatized language and claiming its a fact.
i am editorializing by calling it a "war of aggression," but I personally feel the war in iraq fits the definition. The UN disagrees, but the war's perpetrators have veto power, so . . .



This litany is starting to sound like hyperventilation. Do you want voters to be exasperated, alarmed, panicked, outraged? Most partisans seem to want that. It really turns out the vote. If you want voters to be informed, level-headed, pragmatic, realistic, that requires a different approach.
Haven't you been accusing me of hyperventilation, i.e., "catastrophizing," throughout? Now, I'm just starting to sound hyperbolic? I'm citing largely accepted statistics, and then opining on them.

also, How am I partisan?
 
Feb 2011
17,039
6,083
Boise, ID
well, the national debt is $22 trillion, I know that. If your answer to my pointing that out is that it's complicated and uninteresting, then yes, we're at loggerheads. Except that I will presume from your answer that you don't have any plan you can cite for dealing with it.
Raise taxes on the rich in a way that doesn't incentivize capital flight, wealth drain and/or brain drain from the country, and the associated economic malaise that causes. How the hell do we do that. Well it requires vastly more international cooperation and enforcement regarding cross-boarder financial assets. So basically we need a much stronger global taxing authority (one world government of sorts?) to more effectively create progressive tax rates that match income and wealth inequality but without the downsides. Simple, right? Yeah, not exactly.

Otherwise, maybe start to consider alternative types of taxes that don't disincentivize employment, given we're progressing into an age that relies less and less on vast swaths of human labor. Consider progressive real estate taxes or progressive taxes on luxury consumption or excess consumption of real resources.

Want to keep careening down this rabbit hole?
I'm rounding off. we actually have no idea how much money we're wasting on war every year. We have a declared budget of around 800 billion dollars a year for "defense," but there are supplementals and classified budgets that add unknown or complex totals to that. If you contest my estimate, provide another.
I dunno, google images of defense spending to see graphs suggesting we're between $600B - $750B.
I suppose. So . . . your plan is inaction here, too? Take a wait-and-see approach?
Given the wide variability of state-level education funding, a reform that levels that playing field, including by making it more federally funded, is worthy of consideration IF there are commensurate measures to control WHY education costs have been increasing. Federal funding always comes with strings attached, with those strings being measures to avoid squandering federal funds and turning around begging for more.

Those concerns certainly aren't addressed by Democrats most of the time, or are at least drowned out by proposals to "forgive student debt" or "make college free."

Haven't you been accusing me of hyperventilation, i.e., "catastrophizing," throughout? Now, I'm just starting to sound hyperbolic? I'm citing largely accepted statistics, and then opining on them.

also, How am I partisan?
Your comments don't leave much room for any sort of pragmatic/moderate/centrist compromise. They push people to the extremes. Either you're a perpetual-war-supporting planet-killing plutocrat or useful idiot thereof, which encompasses all conservatives and centrists and moderate liberals, or you're one of the good guys (a progressive). That's the kind of attitude to which the melodramatic progressive rhetoric lends itself. And that's what I'm criticizing, and yes I would put a significant amount of the blame for Democrats' failure to take back the White House on this divisive/extremist attitude, because it splinters the entire left.
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
Raise taxes on the rich in a way that doesn't incentivize capital flight, wealth drain and/or brain drain from the country, and the associated economic malaise that causes. How the hell do we do that. Well it requires vastly more international cooperation and enforcement regarding cross-boarder financial assets. So basically we need a much stronger global taxing authority (one world government of sorts?) to more effectively create progressive tax rates that match income and wealth inequality but without the downsides. Simple, right? Yeah, not exactly.

Otherwise, maybe start to consider alternative types of taxes that don't disincentivize employment, given we're progressing into an age that relies less and less on vast swaths of human labor. Consider progressive real estate taxes or progressive taxes on luxury consumption or excess consumption of real resources.

Want to keep careening down this rabbit hole?
not really. sounds like you're saying we need more good things, and less bad things, and you're adding a lot of verbiage to up your word count. since there clearly is no incentive to actually reduce the debt from either side, I'll file this under "things that will never happen."

I dunno, google images of defense spending to see graphs suggesting we're between $600B - $750B.
does that figure include supplemental budgeting? I know it doesn't include secret budgeting. Are we supposed to ignore these? I know you don't like it when I accuse you of ignoring things, but you're ignoring supplemental and black budgets.

Given the wide variability of state-level education funding, a reform that levels that playing field, including by making it more federally funded, is worthy of consideration IF there are commensurate measures to control WHY education costs have been increasing. Federal funding always comes with strings attached, with those strings being measures to avoid squandering federal funds and turning around begging for more.
Those concerns certainly aren't addressed by Democrats most of the time, or are at least drowned out by proposals to "forgive student debt" or "make college free."


Your comments don't leave much room for any sort of pragmatic/moderate/centrist compromise. They push people to the extremes. Either you're a perpetual-war-supporting planet-killing plutocrat or useful idiot thereof, which encompasses all conservatives and centrists and moderate liberals, or you're one of the good guys (a progressive). That's the kind of attitude to which the melodramatic progressive rhetoric lends itself. And that's what I'm criticizing, and yes I would put a significant amount of the blame for Democrats' failure to take back the White House on this divisive/extremist attitude, because it splinters the entire left.
Well i'm not really getting a lot of good answers from you, so. yeah. I guess extremism is gonna be the order of the day, if looking for real answers to all these problems counts as extremism, and i gather it does. You'd rather we just focus on trump. I'm actually not sure what you'd rather we do. this all strikes me as inconclusive verbiage and sophistry.

The fact we have a $22 trillion debt is a huge problem. all the rest of these problems i cite i personally believe to be huge problems. If you think the huge problem is actually the fact that I think these things are huge problems, i dunno. I'm not really hearing anything from you that makes any sense so.
 
Feb 2011
17,039
6,083
Boise, ID
not really. sounds like you're saying we need more good things, and less bad things, and you're adding a lot of verbiage to up your word count. since there clearly is no incentive to actually reduce the debt from either side, I'll file this under "things that will never happen."
If there's no incentive to "reduce the debt" from either side, why have you been ringing the alarm bells about it and asking me to address the concern?
The modern macroeconomic consensus (and remember most economists are politically liberal) subscribe to some degree of monetary theory that they very strongly do not believe we need to balance the federal budget or run surpluses to reduce the debt. So for you to ask me to make a big deal of the national debt and propose a solution means I have to refute the macroeconomic consensus, which I'm not qualified to do, and even if I was, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't comprehend it either. It's very arcane.

does that figure include supplemental budgeting? I know it doesn't include secret budgeting. Are we supposed to ignore these? I know you don't like it when I accuse you of ignoring things, but you're ignoring supplemental and black budgets.
So I'm supposed to be outraged about defense spending neither of us can see or verify, but can only speculate is happening?
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
If there's no incentive to "reduce the debt" from either side, why have you been ringing the alarm bells about it and asking me to address the concern?
i'm not on either side, and i've spent all my life watching both sides pile onto the debt. I suppose that's why.
The modern macroeconomic consensus (and remember most economists are politically liberal) subscribe to some degree of monetary theory that they very strongly do not believe we need to balance the federal budget or run surpluses to reduce the debt. So for you to ask me to make a big deal of the national debt and propose a solution means I have to refute the macroeconomic consensus, which I'm not qualified to do, and even if I was, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't comprehend it either. It's very arcane.
uh huh. sounds like Enron is busy being the smartest guys in the room again.



So I'm supposed to be outraged about defense spending neither of us can see or verify, but can only speculate is happening?
evidently i'm not supposed to care about the debt because it's arcane. so you do you.

looks like we'll be continuing to follow the macroeconomic consensus that got us $22 trillion into debt, and I'll eagerly anticipate a time when the same action starts yielding different results.
 
Feb 2011
17,039
6,083
Boise, ID
i'm not on either side, and i've spent all my life watching both sides pile onto the debt. I suppose that's why.

uh huh.

evidently i'm not supposed to care about the debt because it's arcane.
I would say that before deciding you're certain the federal government should balance its budget or that the national debt is an imminent problem and should be reduced, that you should first explore why it is that macroeconomists who agree with you politically nonetheless disagree that we should run balanced or surplus federal budgets.
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
I would say that before deciding you're certain the federal government should balance its budget or that the national debt is an imminent problem and should be reduced, that you should first explore why it is that macroeconomists who agree with you politically nonetheless disagree that we should run balanced or surplus federal budgets.
do they have an opinion on running up the debt to $22 trillion specifically?
 

highway234

Former Staff
Feb 2010
17,911
7,808
Where'm I At, Doe?
i mean that's kinda like saying, before you have an opinion on injecting heroin directly into your neck, note that leading doctors who agree with you politically say it can be beneficial to have a glass of wine with dinner.