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Thread: Trump Thread

  1. #2611
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Well, I've been open in my belief that the central consensus has failed us. The proof is in the blood pudding*.

    *This is a double meaning and mixed metaphor.
    What you mean by centre is probably different from what I mean by centre. For me, centre isn't so much a position on social politics, as it is how these politics are pursued. Evidence-based arguments, listening to qualified experts, respect for custom and agreements, desire for truth, fairness in applying standards, and a revulsion against those who are against the above. You see the alt-right offending against the above, and they certainly do, but the left here are aware that the far left also offend in the same manner.

  2. #2612
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    What you mean by centre is probably different from what I mean by centre. For me, centre isn't so much a position on social politics, as it is how these politics are pursued. Evidence-based arguments, listening to qualified experts, respect for custom and agreements, desire for truth, fairness in applying standards, and a revulsion against those who are against the above. You see the alt-right offending against the above, and they certainly do, but the left here are aware that the far left also offend in the same manner.
    Pretty much all of what you define as "centre" is absent from American politics and large swaths of both major parties are at fault.

    What you define as centre is what I call "thoughtful consideration and decision making" but it seems to involve too much effort for most of my fellow Americans to bother.
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  3. #2613
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    Pretty much all of what you define as "centre" is absent from American politics and large swaths of both major parties are at fault.

    What you define as centre is what I call "thoughtful consideration and decision making" but it seems to involve too much effort for most of my fellow Americans to bother.
    Over here, the first significant departure from the above was when the left plumped for Corbyn as Labour leader, not so much because of arguments made in the above manner, but because they held the Blairite consensus to be just another shade of Tory, and wanted "a genuine alternative". The decisive departure was Brexit, made especially effective because Corbyn was the leader of the other party, with virtually any outrage made possible because of the argument "Do you really want Corbyn in charge?". The manner of the arguments made by the left for Corbyn are practically identical in methodology to the ones made by Brexiteers.

    There's a thread on here where I argue with the lefties on here about Corbyn, and there is the same disregard for evidence-based arguments as I pile evidence upon expert-provided evidence, only to be countered by meme-based arguments and keywords that apparently refute all arguments simply by being brought into play.

  4. #2614
    Backordered Member CrossLOPER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    @CrossLOPER Innuendo Studies has a video series about the alt-right playbook.
    So as I said, a bunch of lost losers who can't accomplish anything without pushing down anyone else. Miraculous only in their numbers. I will say this, I live in a liberal city surrounded by Red, and liberals are just as insufferable, though occasionally actually campaign for the rights of everyone pinned as a target by the alt-right. This happens to include everyone who isn't them.

    It's a complete mess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    What you mean by centre is probably different from what I mean by centre. For me, centre isn't so much a position on social politics, as it is how these politics are pursued. Evidence-based arguments, listening to qualified experts, respect for custom and agreements, desire for truth, fairness in applying standards, and a revulsion against those who are against the above. You see the alt-right offending against the above, and they certainly do, but the left here are aware that the far left also offend in the same manner.
    I haven't heard anyone refer to a package of generic idealized political virtues as a consensus, let alone a central one. What your term would typically be evocative of is the postwar liberal consensus of international social democracy, followed by the post-Thatcher/Reagan neoliberal consensus of free trade, marketization, financialization, and reduced social welfare intervention by the state.

    So it is a little worrisome that below you seem to identify this central consensus of virtuous conventions with the Blairite consensus, which was itself one branch of the Western neoliberal consensus. Don't you think that consensus could be reasonably criticized, even against the virtues you list?

    To be frank I can't help but approve of the way the hard left has taken over the Labour Party. This is exactly what the Blairites were telling the left to do, isn't it? When the Left agitates for policy influence, the centrists always retort 'then win some votes.' Well that's just what Corbyn went and did. The main problem is that Corbyn seems to be building power in the party not for the sake of gaining the government and implementing his (very good) manifesto, but for the sake of self-aggrandizement and the settling of archaic personal vendettas. If I have the right of it Momentum has been attempting to purge disloyal elements from the Parliamentary Labour Party this year simply according to the calculation of who is likeliest to vote against Corbyn's leadership if he fails in the next general election (which is now apparently taken for granted). Ousting officials who don't support your agenda is all well and good in politics, but not when the man is the agenda.

    I would have no complaints about the direction of the Labour Party if Corbyn were not the sort of person to center himself at the expense of the cause.
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    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I haven't heard anyone refer to a package of generic idealized political virtues as a consensus, let alone a central one. What your term would typically be evocative of is the postwar liberal consensus of international social democracy, followed by the post-Thatcher/Reagan neoliberal consensus of free trade, marketization, financialization, and reduced social welfare intervention by the state.

    So it is a little worrisome that below you seem to identify this central consensus of virtuous conventions with the Blairite consensus, which was itself one branch of the Western neoliberal consensus. Don't you think that consensus could be reasonably criticized, even against the virtues you list?

    To be frank I can't help but approve of the way the hard left has taken over the Labour Party. This is exactly what the Blairites were telling the left to do, isn't it? When the Left agitates for policy influence, the centrists always retort 'then win some votes.' Well that's just what Corbyn went and did. The main problem is that Corbyn seems to be building power in the party not for the sake of gaining the government and implementing his (very good) manifesto, but for the sake of self-aggrandizement and the settling of archaic personal vendettas. If I have the right of it Momentum has been attempting to purge disloyal elements from the Parliamentary Labour Party this year simply according to the calculation of who is likeliest to vote against Corbyn's leadership if he fails in the next general election (which is now apparently taken for granted). Ousting officials who don't support your agenda is all well and good in politics, but not when the man is the agenda.

    I would have no complaints about the direction of the Labour Party if Corbyn were not the sort of person to center himself at the expense of the cause.
    I think you're confusing the general consensus with a political ideology. The centre also isn't where you think it is, it's further to the right.

    Most people don't think political in the way you do - most people just live "in the middle".

    You've also bought into the rhetoric of "New Labour" when in reality Blair was just the latest incarnation of the Labour Right, like every Labour Prime Minister before him. Corbyn, on the other hand, comes from the Hard Left of the Party - the side that seen Northern Ireland as an occupied colony - Corbyn famously (not famously enough) voted against the Anglo-Irish Agreement which became the foundation of the Good Friday Agreement.
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  7. #2617

    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    I think you're confusing the general consensus with a political ideology. The centre also isn't where you think it is, it's further to the right.

    Most people don't think political in the way you do - most people just live "in the middle".

    You've also bought into the rhetoric of "New Labour" when in reality Blair was just the latest incarnation of the Labour Right, like every Labour Prime Minister before him. Corbyn, on the other hand, comes from the Hard Left of the Party - the side that seen Northern Ireland as an occupied colony - Corbyn famously (not famously enough) voted against the Anglo-Irish Agreement which became the foundation of the Good Friday Agreement.
    Your construction of a "general consensus" IS the ideology, a very specific one.

    As for ordinary people, most of them are clearly either conservative or liberal, just passive in their engagement. The people whose voting behavior can be said to be "in the middle" are very few in the United States, and this behavior is typically the refuge of the "innocent and confused."
    Last edited by Montmorency; 10-27-2019 at 05:59.
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  8. #2618
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Your construction of a "general consensus" IS the ideology, a very specific one.

    As for ordinary people, most of them are clearly either conservative or liberal, just passive in their engagement. The people whose voting behavior can be said to be "in the middle" are very few in the United States, and this behavior is typically the refuge of the "innocent and confused."
    In the UK, before Brexit, they really were not. There is a fair bit of overlap between conservative and liberal, with the same social views driven by different reasonings. It's identity politics that is either/or. I suspect Blair, if he were eligible to and if he cared to, could probably find a consensus even in the US, with centre-left politics framed in a centre-right language. You've swallowed the radical left's portrayal of Blair as another Tory. Even where instinctual lefties had uneasy feelings about the language Blair was using, when they actually dug into what he was doing, it was astonishing just how leftist his government's achievements were. For example: given the chronic current problems with lack of housing and soaring homeless numbers, Blair practically eliminated homelessness. Look it up.

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  9. #2619

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    In the UK, before Brexit, they really were not. There is a fair bit of overlap between conservative and liberal, with the same social views driven by different reasonings. It's identity politics that is either/or. I suspect Blair, if he were eligible to and if he cared to, could probably find a consensus even in the US, with centre-left politics framed in a centre-right language. You've swallowed the radical left's portrayal of Blair as another Tory. Even where instinctual lefties had uneasy feelings about the language Blair was using, when they actually dug into what he was doing, it was astonishing just how leftist his government's achievements were. For example: given the chronic current problems with lack of housing and soaring homeless numbers, Blair practically eliminated homelessness. Look it up.
    This is what the American electorate looks like. Most left policies are popular across the board, but there is no consensus to be found among the electorate.

    With Blair it's not that simple. He was not a good friend to unions, for example.
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    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    This is what the American electorate looks like. Most left policies are popular across the board, but there is no consensus to be found among the electorate.

    With Blair it's not that simple. He was not a good friend to unions, for example.
    On the first point, have you heard of the slogan, "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime"? Like everything else under Blair, it's catchy, but it also conceals great depth in policy that's decidedly left wing in nature. And like everything else under Blair, it's detested by identity-driven lefties who ignore the substance.

    On the second, what does being a good friend to unions mean? Presumably you'd contrast union-unfriendly Blair with union-friendly Corbyn. But Len McCluskey, leader of the biggest union and one of the most influential figures in the Labour party, is detested by the smaller unions and many of the non-union-affiliated Labour people, for driving policies that benefit the leadership rather than the rank and file. Eg. Brexit, which he and the rest of the Labour leadership clique are in favour of, but which is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Labour members and voters. Are unions blocs to be directed by their leaders, or are they collections of individuals to be led by their leaders?

    For instance, teachers, who form one of the biggest unionised groups of workers, are pretty unanimous on how Blair kept his promises and more in government (which isn't something to be sniffed at, given the prominence he gave the subject in campaign). Which is more important, the perceived leftwardness of the leader, or the effectiveness of the leader in enacting left wing policies?

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  11. #2621
    Praefectus Fabrum Senior Member Anime BlackJack Champion, Flash Poker Champion, Word Up Champion, Shape Game Champion, Snake Shooter Champion, Fishwater Challenge Champion, Rocket Racer MX Champion, Jukebox Hero Champion, Cub Shoot 2 Champion, My House Is Bigger Than Your House Champion, Funky Pong Champion, Cutie Quake Champion, Fling The Cow Champion, Treasure Diver Champion, Tiger Punch Champion, Mahjong Champion, Virus Champion, Solitaire Champion, Worm Race Champion, Slack Man Champion, Japanese Baseball Champion, Rope Walker Champion, Penguin Pass Champion, Skate Park Champion, Super Mario Mushroom Champion, Watch Out Champion, Lawn Pac Champion, Weapons Of Mass Destruction Champion, Skate Boarder Champion, Fish Kill Champion, Lane Bowling Champion, Bugz Champion, Makai Grand Prix 2 Champion, KF 9000 Champion, White Van Man Champion, Parachute Panic Champion, BlackJack Champion, Stans Ski Jumping Champion, Smaugs Treasure Champion, Sofa Longjump Champion Seamus Fermanagh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    ...Most left policies are popular across the board, but there is no consensus to be found among the electorate....
    The GOALS of those policies are quite popular. As are some of the programs. Do remember that our electorate is famously happy to support the goal behind a program without wanting to fund it. Who the heck would oppose the idea that everyone should have access to quality medical care? Of course that concept is popular.
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  12. #2622
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    Your construction of a "general consensus" IS the ideology, a very specific one.

    As for ordinary people, most of them are clearly either conservative or liberal, just passive in their engagement. The people whose voting behavior can be said to be "in the middle" are very few in the United States, and this behavior is typically the refuge of the "innocent and confused."
    I'm sorry but I completely disagree.

    Talk to most people, especially outside the US, and they have a very hazy notion of any political ideology. Having an ideology is something of a privilege, it requires having the leisure time and/or the education to develop one.

    In general, most people want a few things, like enough money to support themselves and their families, to feel safe in their own homes and on their own streets, for their children to have more opportunities than their parents and - most of all - to be left alone to live their own lives.

    Ideologues exploit these basic wants and needs to push a systematised agenda. For example, opponents to universal healthcare in the US exploit the fear that rising taxes will prevent people from bettering their own lives and the lives of their children. The fact that such tactics are utterly transparent to you or I is a reflection of our privileged intellectual status.

    One of the reasons everybody in the UK is obsessed with Brexit is that it cuts completely across political lines and classes. You might say that it represents a general ideological struggle within the consensus about how we want to be governed. This is, however, an utter aberration in UK politics and should not be taken as in any way indicative of how things are generally.
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  13. #2623

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    On the first point, have you heard of the slogan, "Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime"? Like everything else under Blair, it's catchy, but it also conceals great depth in policy that's decidedly left wing in nature. And like everything else under Blair, it's detested by identity-driven lefties who ignore the substance.

    On the second, what does being a good friend to unions mean? Presumably you'd contrast union-unfriendly Blair with union-friendly Corbyn. But Len McCluskey, leader of the biggest union and one of the most influential figures in the Labour party, is detested by the smaller unions and many of the non-union-affiliated Labour people, for driving policies that benefit the leadership rather than the rank and file. Eg. Brexit, which he and the rest of the Labour leadership clique are in favour of, but which is opposed by the overwhelming majority of Labour members and voters. Are unions blocs to be directed by their leaders, or are they collections of individuals to be led by their leaders?

    For instance, teachers, who form one of the biggest unionised groups of workers, are pretty unanimous on how Blair kept his promises and more in government (which isn't something to be sniffed at, given the prominence he gave the subject in campaign). Which is more important, the perceived leftwardness of the leader, http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/...eir-authoritay
    The bolded - the substance - is actually the key issue, but I'll admit to needing to read more about the issues before I can make an absolute judgement. Blair was indeed to the left of any American president since LBJ, so all relative factors need to be normalized. So I'll pose a couple of questions:

    1. Would it be reasonable to say that, for example, Blair's administration did a lot to reduce visible homelessness (rough sleeping), but its simultaneous underinvestment in social housing limited the long-term effectiveness of its policies? If not, why?

    2. Do you believe a Blairite platform would be adequate to the needs of the present moment? If so, why? Are there any elements of the Corbyn platform you would prefer to the enactments of the Blair administration?


    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh View Post
    The GOALS of those policies are quite popular. As are some of the programs. Do remember that our electorate is famously happy to support the goal behind a program without wanting to fund it. Who the heck would oppose the idea that everyone should have access to quality medical care? Of course that concept is popular.
    I think the fact is the American people generally want greatly expanded government services and interventions on their behalf, but without any detectable disruptions to government, the economy, or to their own lives. These desires are obviously irreconcilable. At the same time Americans are prone to be accommodating of new spending/programs once they are initiated. It seems like even if an 'idea' has 75% approval, this can never mean 75% active support of any proposal (as opposed to passive assent). Furthermore, the electorate experiences an intrinsic thermostatic reaction to whichever political group is contemporarily perceived to be in power. Strategically then what is the implication? Ram through new programs whenever you have the chance.



    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Talk to most people, especially outside the US, and they have a very hazy notion of any political ideology. Having an ideology is something of a privilege, it requires having the leisure time and/or the education to develop one.

    In general, most people want a few things, like enough money to support themselves and their families, to feel safe in their own homes and on their own streets, for their children to have more opportunities than their parents and - most of all - to be left alone to live their own lives.
    I agree. Why do you think I was saying otherwise? I even affirmed that most people are politically "passive."

    Ideologues exploit these basic wants and needs to push a systematised agenda.
    Yes, and centrism is one such in its prescriptions of what "the people" want, what acceptable goals and constraints there are, what is and is not legitimate... Centrism, like glib revolutionary aesthetic, is routinely a position of privileged intellectual (moreover economic) status.

    As I said, most people are consistently either conservative or liberal. That doesn't mean they are sitting around in salons and debate clubs, or all running for city council and school board positions, it means if you ask them some questions about their ethical, political, and economic beliefs and desires and behaviors they will largely trend to one side of a spectrum. This doesn't even have to be especially self-examined, it can arise completely intuitively from personality or ingrained practices. Most political actors are, after all, "low-information."

    Of course there will be variations in the details between countries, especially as unique populations and electoral/political systems assimilate themselves to one another in various ways, but this is something that can and needs to be studied in the context of the general fact.

    One of the reasons everybody in the UK is obsessed with Brexit is that it cuts completely across political lines and classes. You might say that it represents a general ideological struggle within the consensus about how we want to be governed. This is, however, an utter aberration in UK politics and should not be taken as in any way indicative of how things are generally.
    It's a little early to say that. Check to see if Brexit positions are systematically correlated with other variables. Don't be surprised if Britain is in the midst of a political realignment. (I hope you don't react to this by averring that there is no such thing as political realignment.)
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  14. #2624
    Headless Senior Member Pannonian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    The bolded - the substance - is actually the key issue, but I'll admit to needing to read more about the issues before I can make an absolute judgement. Blair was indeed to the left of any American president since LBJ, so all relative factors need to be normalized. So I'll pose a couple of questions:

    1. Would it be reasonable to say that, for example, Blair's administration did a lot to reduce visible homelessness (rough sleeping), but its simultaneous underinvestment in social housing limited the long-term effectiveness of its policies? If not, why?

    2. Do you believe a Blairite platform would be adequate to the needs of the present moment? If so, why? Are there any elements of the Corbyn platform you would prefer to the enactments of the Blair administration?
    1. Here's a read for you. Early on, Blair took personal charge of the issue of homeless. To reduce the visible homeless, he moved them off the streets and into rented accommodation, but he also addressed the causes of homelessness, namely the social issues that led to this state. I can't remember if social housing increased under Blair.

    2. None realistic. Times a big number once you factor in Brexit, which Corbyn is in favour of but which Blair opposes. Under Blair, a lot of left wing causes had increased funding in real terms to an extent that I've never seen in any other government (I can remember back to Thatcher). If you were young or old, poor, or serving the human infrastructure (eg. teachers, health service, police), you had it good under Blair. If you were in the middle, you also had it good, in terms of the stability that you got in return for the slight tax increases. None of Corbyn's platform that may be attractive to me is realistic, and I care about realism. Blair's achievements were, of course, realistic, as he's actually done them and they're on historical record.

    To translate it to US terms, would you support someone who was nominally speaking in a centre right language, but who could offer the same combination of competence and a willingness to think in centre left terms? Someone whom the centre right can take to in identity, but who will and can enact centre left policies. Sometimes it's not just a matter of how far to the left someone is on the spectrum.

  15. #2625

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pannonian View Post
    1. Here's a read for you. Early on, Blair took personal charge of the issue of homeless. To reduce the visible homeless, he moved them off the streets and into rented accommodation, but he also addressed the causes of homelessness, namely the social issues that led to this state. I can't remember if social housing increased under Blair.
    Is there an analysis that showed it worked beyond the short-term? As I read there has been a major resurgence in homelessness over the past decade. Blair can't be blamed for any Conservative policies but he can be criticized for any inadequacies of his own administration.

    Unfortunately Google fails to bring up much granular information on the subject, but I see here that

    The Conservative dominance in the council housebuilding stakes is in fact a quirk of housing policy history. Council housebuilding dropped away as a significant part of country’s output under Margaret Thatcher’s government – falling from 55,200 in her first year in power to just 400 in John Major’s last. This was due to the introduction of the Right to Buy and spending restrictions which prevented councils from building at scale.

    The incoming Labour government under Tony Blair did nothing to reverse this position initially. In fact, it took until 2009, under Gordon Brown’s government and then housing minister John Healey, to start any changes. They set in motion plans to give councils control of their own rental income rather than passing it to the Treasury under a model known as self-financing.
    Under Blair, a lot of left wing causes had increased funding in real terms to an extent that I've never seen in any other government (I can remember back to Thatcher).
    Setting Blair's priorities against Thatcher's of all people can't be informative either historically or in abstract.

    If you were young or old, poor, or serving the human infrastructure (eg. teachers, health service, police), you had it good under Blair. If you were in the middle, you also had it good, in terms of the stability that you got in return for the slight tax increases.
    What about the people who didn't have it good? How is the legacy to be assessed in the ongoing historical record?

    Blair's achievements were, of course, realistic, as he's actually done them and they're on historical record.
    Whether he did the best with what was available is controversial.

    None of Corbyn's platform that may be attractive to me is realistic, and I care about realism.
    What makes something realistic or unrealistic in your opinion, do you think it is possible to change that, and how? Why haven't Margaret Thatcher's policies been the most realistic ones in British history?

    From my vantage all proposals of impact are unrealistic until Brexit is resolved - but what then?

    Tony Blair, for his part, supports parts of Labour's manifesto.

    To translate it to US terms, would you support someone who was nominally speaking in a centre right language, but who could offer the same combination of competence and a willingness to think in centre left terms? Someone whom the centre right can take to in identity, but who will and can enact centre left policies. Sometimes it's not just a matter of how far to the left someone is on the spectrum.
    I care about realism too, and to my knowledge such a fantastical unicorn has never manifested in American history. On rare occasion Left politicians have governed according to left rhetoric, and much more frequently Right politicians have governed according to right rhetoric. In 50 years the best we've had is someone like Obama who pairs center-left rhetoric with center-right governance, which is suboptimal to say the least.
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  16. #2626
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    I agree. Why do you think I was saying otherwise? I even affirmed that most people are politically "passive."
    Passivity implies inclination without action - rather I would say the inclination is weak, very, eak, and this is the cause of the perceived passivity.

    Here in the UK it's often the case that two parties are generally palatable in a given region or constituency and you can see wide swings election to election.

    Yes, and centrism is one such in its prescriptions of what "the people" want, what acceptable goals and constraints there are, what is and is not legitimate... Centrism, like glib revolutionary aesthetic, is routinely a position of privileged intellectual (moreover economic) status.
    Centrism is a political ideology in the way that agnosticism is a religion. It has no real central tenets, no systematised program for implementation and no great thinkers.

    As I said, most people are consistently either conservative or liberal. That doesn't mean they are sitting around in salons and debate clubs, or all running for city council and school board positions, it means if you ask them some questions about their ethical, political, and economic beliefs and desires and behaviors they will largely trend to one side of a spectrum. This doesn't even have to be especially self-examined, it can arise completely intuitively from personality or ingrained practices. Most political actors are, after all, "low-information."

    Of course there will be variations in the details between countries, especially as unique populations and electoral/political systems assimilate themselves to one another in various ways, but this is something that can and needs to be studied in the context of the general fact.
    Very few people are going to be in the dead-centre, it is true, but life-long political ideology is not a trend in Europe the way it is the in US. In fact, it seems doubtful it is even an historical trend in the US.

    "If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain."

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    Seems that quote may have originated with an Anglo-Irish statesman.

    It's a little early to say that. Check to see if Brexit positions are systematically correlated with other variables. Don't be surprised if Britain is in the midst of a political realignment. (I hope you don't react to this by averring that there is no such thing as political realignment.)
    Every party in the UK Parliament has a majority of MP's who are in favour of the EU - the two major parties are currently being led by their respective Eurosceptic wings at the behest of the historically Eurosceptic sections of their respective electorates.

    Corbyn and Johnson probably hate each other, and their supporters almost certainly do - a realignment under such circumstances seems unlikely. Rather, it seems we are seeing a paradigm shift within British politics similar to the one which led to the creation of the Welfare State - another momentous event which did not lead to a political realignment.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  17. #2627

    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    Passivity implies inclination without action - rather I would say the inclination is weak, very, eak, and this is the cause of the perceived passivity.
    This is elitism. You assume the natural state of the ordinary citizen is to not have strong political commitments, rather than that most people are confused, bored, enervated, or alienated by the political circus and lack the time or education to engage with it.

    Here in the UK it's often the case that two parties are generally palatable in a given region or constituency and you can see wide swings election to election.
    Again, this is something you would have to develop empirically. To say that people trend one way or another is not to say that it has always been so, or that it must always remain so. It wasn't like that in the US until our lifetimes, and not all at once. It depends on characteristics of the electorate, the parties, and the issues of the day. In the United States today, it is so. I can't claim to know what's going on in Chile or Lebanon - i haven't checked.

    Centrism is a political ideology in the way that agnosticism is a religion. It has
    Lol no. It's more like Scientology.

    no real central tenets
    Hatred of "populism," which entails minimizing democratic input in governance and institutions while maximizing the stability of established actors, especially business. Deregulation, privatization, tax cuts, reliance on conservative economic and sociological expertise. Hostility to criticism of elite persons from below. There's a reason why in the present day it is so frequently identified with intellectual libertarianism and small-c conservatism.

    no systematised program for implementation
    The general theory of centrist governance is to advance minimally-disruptive (to stakeholders) policy and build out a bespoke coalition "from the center." I know it's what Bill Clinton and Obama explicitly maintained going into their administrations. It was a resounding failure. Practically what centrist intellectuals and policy makers are more concerned with than any policy agenda is neutralizing the influence of the "extremes." Look at Larry Summers telling us that high tax rates on the wealthy are bad because instead of donating to charity the wealthy will support fascism (more).

    no great thinkers.


    Very few people are going to be in the dead-centre, it is true, but life-long political ideology is not a trend in Europe the way it is the in US. In fact, it seems doubtful it is even an historical trend in the US.
    Life-long ideology? As in, you think people outside the US don't tend to form and maintain political orientations durably? What is your evidence for this? I'd be surprised if the matter has even been studied in the English language.

    Every party in the UK Parliament has a majority of MP's who are in favour of the EU - the two major parties are currently being led by their respective Eurosceptic wings at the behest of the historically Eurosceptic sections of their respective electorates.

    Corbyn and Johnson probably hate each other, and their supporters almost certainly do - a realignment under such circumstances seems unlikely. Rather, it seems we are seeing a paradigm shift within British politics similar to the one which led to the creation of the Welfare State - another momentous event which did not lead to a political realignment.
    The realignment in the American party system (well, the 20th century realignment) took place over two generations, though of course it was immediately obvious to any observer by the end of the 1960s. I'm not prepared or equipped to assess early raw evidence in the UK. I'm sure the presence of national parties and the Liberal Democrats (whom I assume British voters interpret as "between" Labour and the Conservatives) complicates the picture. But don't be shocked if it turns out permanent shifts in voting behavior emerge in the medium-term.

    There has been something like it happening across the Western world (at least UK, US, France) however, as explored by Thomas Piketty in his latest work. I don't care to look it up for you, but basically the mainstream soc-dem/center-left parties have gradually absorbed the educated and professional classes from the conservative/center-right parties while losing some of their original "working class" base over that time period.

    OK fine, here it is. I've barely looked at it to be honest, who has the patience. You may want to skip to the graphs near the end. The ones simultaneously mapping 20 elections are visually hideous.
    Vitiate Man.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  18. #2628
    Formerly Wigferth Ironwall Senior Member Philippus Flavius Homovallumus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Montmorency View Post
    This is elitism. You assume the natural state of the ordinary citizen is to not have strong political commitments, rather than that most people are confused, bored, enervated, or alienated by the political circus and lack the time or education to engage with it.
    I'm part of the intellectual elite, so are you, to pretend otherwise is just vanity. It would be like pretending I was working class just because I'm poor. In any case, this is my observation of actually going out and talking to people - most people don't care overmuch about politics, especially when there's no election going on.

    Again, this is something you would have to develop empirically. To say that people trend one way or another is not to say that it has always been so, or that it must always remain so. It wasn't like that in the US until our lifetimes, and not all at once. It depends on characteristics of the electorate, the parties, and the issues of the day. In the United States today, it is so. I can't claim to know what's going on in Chile or Lebanon - i haven't checked.
    One should always worry about Lebanon - it's one of the most important political loci in the world. Currently they're having a !quiet revolution" that cuts across sectarian boundaries.

    Meanwhile, in the UK it's generally accepted that after about 10-15 years you need to "get the other lot in" and only the most staunch supporters of a given party will argue otherwise. This is because people are less strognly wedded to any ideology than the parties are themselves.

    British Stoicism - it's even a national trait in Hearts of Iron IV.

    Lol no. It's more like Scientology.
    Scientology is actually a religion, sorry to tell you.

    Hatred of "populism," which entails minimizing democratic input in governance and institutions while maximizing the stability of established actors, especially business. Deregulation, privatization, tax cuts, reliance on conservative economic and sociological expertise. Hostility to criticism of elite persons from below. There's a reason why in the present day it is so frequently identified with intellectual libertarianism and small-c conservatism.
    You're just described a mish-mash of Right-Wing policies. Where's the social welfare? The neccesity for charity, both private and public? The provision of necessary regulation on (say) food standards and provision of basic infrastructure (which usually includes healthcare)?

    You're just demonstrated you don't know where the centre is outside the US, and that the centre in the US is quite a ways over to the right - not even the Centre-Right in the UK.

    The general theory of centrist governance is to advance minimally-disruptive (to stakeholders) policy and build out a bespoke coalition "from the center." I know it's what Bill Clinton and Obama explicitly maintained going into their administrations. It was a resounding failure. Practically what centrist intellectuals and policy makers are more concerned with than any policy agenda is neutralizing the influence of the "extremes." Look at Larry Summers telling us that high tax rates on the wealthy are bad because instead of donating to charity the wealthy will support fascism (more).
    Outside the US Obama and Clinton are Right-Wing politicians, Clinton less-so than Obama over all.




    Life-long ideology? As in, you think people outside the US don't tend to form and maintain political orientations durably? What is your evidence for this? I'd be surprised if the matter has even been studied in the English language.
    It's a lot less common.

    The realignment in the American party system (well, the 20th century realignment) took place over two generations, though of course it was immediately obvious to any observer by the end of the 1960s. I'm not prepared or equipped to assess early raw evidence in the UK. I'm sure the presence of national parties and the Liberal Democrats (whom I assume British voters interpret as "between" Labour and the Conservatives) complicates the picture. But don't be shocked if it turns out permanent shifts in voting behavior emerge in the medium-term.
    There has been something like it happening across the Western world (at least UK, US, France) however, as explored by Thomas Piketty in his latest work. I don't care to look it up for you, but basically the mainstream soc-dem/center-left parties have gradually absorbed the educated and professional classes from the conservative/center-right parties while losing some of their original "working class" base over that time period.

    OK fine, here it is. I've barely looked at it to be honest, who has the patience. You may want to skip to the graphs near the end. The ones simultaneously mapping 20 elections are visually hideous.[/QUOTE]

    You've just described New Labour - 24 years ago.
    "If it wears trousers generally I don't pay attention."


  19. #2629

    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippus Flavius Homovallumus View Post
    I'm part of the intellectual elite, so are you, to pretend otherwise is just vanity. It would be like pretending I was working class just because I'm poor. In any case, this is my observation of actually going out and talking to people - most people don't care overmuch about politics, especially when there's no election going on.
    Academics are workers too though (n.b. in the US the Trump admin wants to reclassify graduate students so they won't be considered primarily employees and therefore won't have enjoyment of collective bargaining protections). I'm not an academic btw, you are; you should have a keener awareness of these things than I.

    I agree that most people "don't care overmuch about politics" - didn't I say as much already? There's a difference between being a junkie or activist and having strong opinions, or durable ones. A component of Trump's base, for example, is uneducated white people who were disconnected from politics but nevertheless maintained strong opinions about what the problems with the United States were (immigrants) and what should be done about them ('remove taco') - all before Trump declared and captured their attention. On the other hand there are Sanders supporters who have long believed things like: politics is rigged; corporations have too much power; the government should do something. Just because many of them were not involved in politics or following politics for a long time (if ever) does not mean they didn't care about anything or that they were purely ambivalent.

    Even more broadly are millions of people who habitually vote for either major party but really don't think or talk much about politics besides voting at least half the time and arguing with family or coworkers. That's tens of millions of people for whom it would be wrong to translate a lack of engagement with process into an absence of reformist commitment (in any direction).

    One should always worry about Lebanon - it's one of the most important political loci in the world. Currently they're having a !quiet revolution" that cuts across sectarian boundaries.
    There have been quite a lot of large protest movements flaring up around the world this year. To the point where I searched, "why so many protests 2019" and it looks like other people have noticed the trend.

    I'm pretty sure some aren't mentioned in the linked articles that I've also heard of recently. Indonesia for example. It makes me think of this song as aspirational, juvenile as it sounds.

    Scientology is actually a religion, sorry to tell you.
    Yes. You said centrism is to ideology what agnosticism is to religion. I replaced agnosticism with Scientology. Think about the features of Scientology.

    You're just described a mish-mash of Right-Wing policies. Where's the social welfare? The neccesity for charity, both private and public? The provision of necessary regulation on (say) food standards and provision of basic infrastructure (which usually includes healthcare)?

    You're just demonstrated you don't know where the centre is outside the US, and that the centre in the US is quite a ways over to the right - not even the Centre-Right in the UK.

    Outside the US Obama and Clinton are Right-Wing politicians, Clinton less-so than Obama over all.
    We all know that US centrist and neoliberal political patterns have been exported around the world, as seen in the reprioritization of many center-left European parties away from major new programs and regulations and taxation in the past couple generations. You couldn't have your Mitterrands and Meidner Plans in 2000. (To paraphrase certain aggrieved comedians, "you can't do that anymore.") As also seen in the Latin American Pink Wave reacting against American-based ideologies in the first fifteen-ish years of the millennium. The center of received economic wisdom shifted decisively to the right after the 1980s, you know that. It's currently experiencing a reversion, possibly.

    Obama wasn't to the right of Clinton though, it's the other way around. I'm not closely familiar with all the tax changes under the two administrations (they're mostly pretty minor and technical), but AFAIK Obama injected more new taxation than Clinton, added more regulation to finance and business, did not cut welfare... and of course for all its limitations the Affordable Care Act was the largest downward transfer of wealth in America since Medicare (because ACA expanded* Medicaid and subsidized health insurance). It says a lot that about the baseline of our politics that this could be the case, but thereby alone Obama has to be ranked to the left of Mr. "Third Way" Clinton.

    What I quoted could be interpreted as unknowingly taking the piss out of centrism.

    It's a lot less common.
    Let's get our variables straight. There's political behavior, most easily but not solely measured in terms of votes cast. There's the characteristics of the parties themselves in a given system, which may or may not be divergent from one another in various ways or at various times (for example. the assimilation of mainstream parties in many countries to the postwar Keynesian consensus for a few cycles). Then there's people's political beliefs, which are about values and priorities and aren't simply subsumed by electoral politics as a practice. A political issue may be "should we refurbish this bridge or tear it down and build a new one?" A political belief might be that the government should do more to maintain infrastructure. A more detailed political belief might be that the central government should provide grants to local governments to help finance local infrastructure projects. When you talk about people's political beliefs I feel like you're trying to simplify by boiling it all down to one point, which you can't really do.

    You've just described New Labour - 24 years ago.
    The trend continues, it's worth talking about. One factor may be within the correlation between contemporary "young" people (under 40) and the left, where these age cohorts are also the most educated and professionalized. But it's been intensifying for decades in multiple countries, hence: realignment.
    Last edited by Montmorency; 10-30-2019 at 01:32.
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  20. #2630

    Default Re: Trump Thread



    https://www.newsweek.com/china-xi-ji...de-war-1470138
    TRUMP'S TRADE WAR WITH CHINA HAS 'DAMAGED BOTH ECONOMIES AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC SYSTEM' SAYS EXPERT
    Wooooo!!!

  21. #2631
    Ni dieu ni maître! Senior Member a completely inoffensive name's Avatar
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    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Yo, I'm all in on Mayor Pete. Not sure if Warren can win with her optics, but 2020 would be absolutely nuts with a Pete/Sanders ticket.
    Show me a more meme inducing ticket.
    In all these papers we see a love of honest work, an aversion to shams, a caution in the enunciation of conclusions, a distrust of rash generalizations and speculations based on uncertain premises. He was never anxious to add one more guess on doubtful matters in the hope of hitting the truth, or what might pass as such for a time, but was always ready to take infinite pains in the most careful testing of every theory. With these qualities was united a modesty which forbade the pushing of his own claims and desired no reputation except the unsought tribute of competent judges.

  22. #2632

    Default Re: Trump Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by a completely inoffensive name View Post
    Yo, I'm all in on Mayor Pete. Not sure if Warren can win with her optics, but 2020 would be absolutely nuts with a Pete/Sanders ticket.
    Show me a more meme inducing ticket.
    I would have a lot of things to say about this development, but it's going to be obsolete within a few months so we might as well keep our powder dry.

    I'll drop this though, Peter Paul Montgomery Buttigieg's high school JFK Library contest-winning essay from 2000:

    In this new century, there are a daunting number of important issues which are to be confronted if we are to progress as a nation. Each must be addressed thoroughly and energetically. But in order to accomplish the collective goals of our society, we must first address how we deal with issues. We must re-examine the psychological and political climate of American politics. As it stands, our future is at risk due to a troubling tendency towards cynicism among voters and elected officials. The successful resolution of every issue before us depends on the fundamental question of public integrity.

    A new attitude has swept American politics. Candidates have discovered that is easier to be elected by not offending anyone rather than by impressing the voters. Politicians are rushing for the center, careful not to stick their necks out on issues. Most Democrats shy away from the word “liberal” like a horrid accusation. Republican presidential hopeful George W. Bush uses the centrist rhetoric of “compassionate conservatism” while Pat Buchanan, once considered a mainstream Republican, has been driven off the ideological edge of the G.O.P. Just as film producers shoot different endings and let test audiences select the most pleasing, some candidates run “test platforms” through sample groups to see which is most likely to win before they speak out on major issue. This disturbing trend reveals cynicism, a double-sided problem, which is perhaps, the greatest threat to the continued success of the American political system.

    Cynical candidates have developed an ability to outgrow their convictions in order to win power. Cynical citizens have given up on the election process, going to the polls at one of the lowest rates in the democratic world. Such an atmosphere inevitably distances our society from its leadership and is thus a fundamental threat to the principles of democracy. It also calls into question what motivates a run for office – in many cases, apparently, only the desire to occupy it. Fortunately for the political process, there remain a number of committed individuals who are steadfast enough in their beliefs to run for office to benefit their fellow Americans. Such people are willing to eschew political and personal comfort and convenience because they believe they can make a difference. One outstanding and inspiring example of such integrity is the country’s only Independent Congressman, Vermont’s Bernie Sanders.

    Sanders’ courage is evident in the first word he uses to describe himself: “Socialist”. In a country where Communism is still the dirtiest of ideological dirty words, in a climate where even liberalism is considered radical, and Socialism is immediately and perhaps willfully confused with Communism, a politician dares to call himself a socialist? He does indeed. Here is someone who has “looked into his own soul” and expressed an ideology, the endorsement of which, in today’s political atmosphere, is analogous to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Even though he has lived through a time in which an admitted socialist could not act in a film, let alone hold a Congressional seat, Sanders is not afraid to be candid about his political persuasion.

    After numerous political defeats in his traditionally Republican state, Sanders won the office of mayor of Burlington by ten votes. A successful and popular mayor, he went on to win Vermont’s one Congressional seat in 1990. Since then, he has taken many courageous and politically risky stands on issues facing the nation. He has come under fire from various conservative religious groups because of his support for same-sex marriages. His stance on gun control led to NRA-organized media campaigns against him. Sanders has also shown creativity in organizing drug-shopping trips to Canada for senior citizens to call attention to inflated drug prices in the United States.

    While impressive, Sanders’ candor does not itself represent political courage. The nation is teeming with outspoken radicals in one form or another. Most are sooner called crazy than courageous. It is the second half of Sanders’ political role that puts the first half into perspective: he is a powerful force for conciliation and bi-partisanship on Capitol Hill. In Profiles in Courage, John F. Kennedy wrote that “we should not be too hasty in condemning all compromise as bad morals. For politics and legislation are not matters for inflexible principles or unattainable ideals.” It may seem strange that someone so steadfast in his principles has a reputation as a peacemaker between divided forces in Washington, but this is what makes Sanders truly remarkable. He represents President Kennedy’s ideal of “compromises of issues, not of principles.”

    Sanders has used his unique position as the lone Independent Congressman to help Democrats and Republicans force hearings on the internal structure of the International Monetary Fund, which he sees as excessively powerful and unaccountable. He also succeeded in quietly persuading reluctant Republicans and President Clinton to ban the import of products made by under-age workers. Sanders drew some criticism from the far left when he chose to grudgingly endorse President Clinton’s bids for election and re-election as President. Sanders explained that while he disagreed with many of Clinton’s centrist policies, he felt that he was the best option for America’s working class.

    Sanders’ positions on many difficult issues are commendable, but his real impact has been as a reaction to the cynical climate which threatens the effectiveness of the democratic system. His energy, candor, conviction, and ability to bring people together stand against the current of opportunism, moral compromise, and partisanship which runs rampant on the American political scene. He and few others like him have the power to restore principle and leadership in Congress and to win back the faith of a voting public weary and wary of political opportunism. Above all, I commend Bernie Sanders for giving me an answer to those who say American young people see politics as a cesspool of corruption, beyond redemption. I have heard that no sensible young person today would want to give his or her life to public service. I can personally assure you this is untrue.
    memes
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