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Senate The US Politics discussion

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Nobody145

    Nobody145 Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Feb 9, 2007
    The problem is we live in a very... unpredictable era at the moment. I hope those historical trends continue, but we're stuck with a very un-historic president now too, so I'm not sure I would take anything for granted. Not to mention I'm not sure how partisan or gerrymandered all the districts are these days. Mostly I just have a low opinion of the American people and you'd think after two years of Trump they would realize the party that enables him is wrong for the country, but... I'm not sure I'd give the American people that much credit.

    I really hope it won't turn out that bad, but that's what makes it so hard- whether to be cautious or gamble or whatever, its way beyond me.

    Trump is just cagey enough to never directly implicate himself. Even that NBC interview only had him say Russia was a factor, not his main reason for firing Comey. Its obviously the real reason, but there's enough wiggle room to probably defend himself in court, if it came to that. And it won't, not with the Republican party protecting him. He's not a complete idiot, Trump is good at manipulating people, he's also just a jerk and lacking in empathy- he's gotten away with so many things in his life, not much can stop him now, unfortunately. Not like Congress or the Supreme Court will rein him in, barring a huge shift of power even in just the House, but that would probably be too good to be true.
    Juliet316 and Rew like this.
  2. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 25, 1999
    That's not the point.

    What I'm trying to say is that Democrats should not a) assuming that historical trends will hold; b) anti-Trump sentiment alone will be strong enough to produce a significant wave; c) groups that traditionally turn out for Democrats during Presidential election years but who tend to stay home during the midterm years will show up in higher-than-average numbers in 2018; d) Trump voters will be demoralized enough to not turn out (this is a big one) and e) underestimate the effect of nearly a decade of GOP-led gerrymandering on efforts to turn red seats blue.

    Taken together, the above makes it *very* difficult for 2018 to be a wave year for the Democrats. While I no longer put much stock in polls, as of today, a Congressional Democrats only leads a conventional Republican by 7 points--hardly indicative of a massive swing. Independents may be abandoning Trump, but 11/18 is a long way away, and no-one can predict voter behavior.

    I am expecting 2018, at the national level, to be a disappointment for Democrats. They will make gains, but nothing to write home about. I would only call it a setback if they don't do very well at the local and state levels. If that happens, it will indicate that the party is in much deeper trouble than current pundits suggest.
    Rew likes this.
  3. Game3525

    Game3525 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 25, 2008
    A 7 point lead in the congressional ballot is actually enough to win the house. And I think Democrats are now leading the ballot by 9 points, which is larger then their lead at this point in 2006. Granted, congressional ballot isn't everything, but it is a good indicator of how the mid-terms usually turn out.

    I think you are overthinking this due to who the presidential election turned out. Even if you remove all of the drama surrounding Trump and Clinton, the truth is 2016 would have been a GOP race to lose under normal circumstances. If anything, Trump actually underperformed what a normal R would have done. Democrats shouldn't take anything for granted, but 2018 is looking it will be a very good year for the party on both the state and national level.
    Vaderize03 likes this.
  4. Vaderize03

    Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Oct 25, 1999
    I hope you're right. It would be nice.
  5. J-Rod

    J-Rod Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jul 28, 2004
    Just because you agree with their goals doesn't make it ok. Once they have the permission and control all you can do is hope you agree with what they do next.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Irony is dead.
  7. realjim949

    realjim949 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Aug 22, 2017

    I remember hearing this after the September 11 attacks. We needed to give the government the power to spy on people without a search warrant. It was the only way to protect us from the evil terrorists. Yes, it blatantly violated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, but we didn’t have to worry. The government would never actually spy on average citizens. They’d only spy on terrorists. Stop being so paranoid, they told us. I mean, we didn’t want the terrorists to win.

    Of course, the government didn’t just spy on evil terrorists. They didn’t stop there. They now spy on everyone. And it wasn’t just Bush. Barack Obama continued it for 8 years. Obama’s Department of Justice charged Edward Snowden with espionage and treason for committing the horrible crime of being a whistleblower. We no longer have a Fourth Amendment. It’s gone.

    Now you’re telling me that we need to give the government the power to censor speech. It’s the only way to protect us from the evil neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Yes, it blatantly violates the First Amendment to the Constitution, but I don’t have to worry. The government will never actually suppress dissent. They’ll only censor hate speech. Stop being so paranoid, you tell me. I mean, we don’t want the neo-Nazis and white supremacists to win.

    Why will this be any different? I’d have to be really ****ing stupid to fall for this a second time…and you don’t think I’m stupid, do you? Unless you actually think I’m stupid and are willing to state it outright, don't insult my intelligence.


    It’s on us to prevent the government from abusing its power? I see. I didn’t realize that. Like remember when Bush turned the Fourth Amendment into toilet paper. We elected Obama who said that he’d restore the Fourth Amendment. And then everything turned out all right, didn’t it?

    Oh, wait, no. It didn’t. Obama continued that crap and normalized it, so now there’s no getting rid of it. How do we stop it? By wishing upon a star? We don’t have that many options, unfortunately.

    As for child pornography, that’s a false equivalence and you know it. Child sexual abuse is illegal regardless of whether you photograph it or not. I have no problem going after those who sexually abuse children. You’re not prosecuting speech. You’re prosecuting child sexual abuse. You’re advocating that the government prosecute speech.

    I don’t see why people are afraid of the battle of ideas. Are you afraid that neo-Nazism and white supremacy are better ideas than liberty, equality before the law, and justice? I’m not. You don’t need to engage in censorship if your ideas are better. You only need to engage in censorship if you’re afraid that you’re on the losing side because your ideas are actually worse. The Nazis engaged in censorship. What’s the point of defeating Nazism if we’re just gonna replicate them in all ways, except we’re gonna be more racially diverse?
    darklordoftech, V-2 and gezvader28 like this.
  8. Outsourced

    Outsourced Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 10, 2017

    Are...Are you seriously using that quote, a quote specifically referencing the Holocaust, against groups actively fighting Nazis and Fascists, the literal same group the original quote is referencing?

    Because that is some next level lack of self awareness right there.
  9. Point Given

    Point Given Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Dec 12, 2006

    Guess who was doing all those things in that quote?
  10. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    Yes? Of course? How else do you ultimately hold government accountable? Pieces of paper? You've already expressed that pieces of paper don't do anything. Fourth Amendment, right? A piece of paper didn't do anything.

    There's the civil way, and there's violence. That's pretty much the reality everywhere.

    Do you realize how many millions of people criticize the government on a daily basis? Do you think the masses would allow the government to criminalize that behavior and get away with it?

    If they criminalize criticizing the government, I will go from politically lethargic to a full blown revolutionary overnight. I'll probably be the first person in jail. That's what I'll do to stop the government.

    It's censorship, and it's about as equivalent as you slippery slope arguments. What Nazis and KKK call for in their speech is also illegal, and yes, I'm advocating that the government prosecute speech, as its harmful. We just saw the results of it.

    Do you think people should be allowed to yell fire in a crowded movie theater? Uh oh, more censorship, this time on speech.

    It's almost as if it's not all or nothing, as if there's nuance.

    I'm not, and don't try to characterize it as such.

    Maybe you do if the other ideas are direct calls for violence, terror and genocide.

    Nah, that's living in a fantasy where the losing ideas of fascism aren't directly harmful, and where fascists won't use violence to win.

    They also drank water.

    Yeah, not allowing people to call for the genocide of Jews and blacks is replicating Nazism in all ways. There's no massive difference in meaning or reality here. You're just trolling now.
  11. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Jedi Padawan star 2

    Feb 28, 2017
    Yeah, I agree with you, and I do not agree with J-Rod. I'm no fan of hate speech, I just think J-Rod's statement was disregarded in a disrespectful way.
    The Soviet Union had extreme censorship of books and while I don't know for sure, i believe they are suspected of burning thousands of books and covering it up. I know 20th century communism is very different from the modern day left, I'm not saying they are the same, but they were "educated left-wingers" doing this to the Russian people.

    I'm just trying to say that the left isn't immune to these things. Pointing fingers at the right saying they are the only ones stupid enough to burn books is ignorant.

    It seems there is a consensus that hate speech shouldn't be allowed, so books like Mein Kampf would be banned. If they are banned, why not burned?
  12. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Porg of New Films & Fan Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 20, 2002
    That's not what I said though. I said that historically, it's not colleges or the media that's been burning books. I pointed out "uneducated right-wingers" for a reason, but yes, I'm sure it has happened within the left as well.

    Funny thing; hate speech is illegal in many countries. But none of those countries - as far as I know - burn books. Hell, Mein Kampf is available at my local library (I just checked their website to confirm). And I can still be arrested if I verbally attack a minority group.
  13. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    I'm not a fan of banning Mein Kampf; aside from the censorship reason, it's also a good book to have around for historical reference.

    I would also not be a fan of government outlawing the hosting of sites like Daily Stormer, although I would encourage site hosting services to refuse to host such sites, and be more willing to use a site hosting service myself if it made itself known by refusing to host Daily Stormer.
    Juliet316 likes this.
  14. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Oct 13, 2003
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  15. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Jedi Padawan star 2

    Feb 28, 2017
    College's aren't burning books, but some are canceling speakers who's ideas are different, like Ann Coulter. The media isn't burning books, but both CNN and Fox are developing a dangerous bias that filters the news to pander to their audience. When J-Rod said the left might burn books, I believe he is saying the left is losing respect for truth and a free market of ideas. I disagree, think both sides are guilty of this.

    Your response certainly did point the finger at the right-wingers. I guess I should be angry with J-Rod as well though, because he is doing the same thing.
    V-2 likes this.
  16. Alpha-Red

    Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Apr 25, 2004
    Everyone knows that liberals are the real Nazis 8-}
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  17. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    Journalists have a professional obligation to report the news without a slant, although the editorials and opinion pieces by their nature can be as slanted as they want. In the heyday of print newspapers, most towns had two, one liberal leaning and one conservative leaning, based on the stances of their official editorials.

    CNN and most TV news has always been horribly sensationalized; their target audience is people who want drama and don't want to read.

    However, accusations of bias lately feel far too much like crying wolf, given that many Trump supporters view any news outlet that criticizes him even a modicum to be "fake news" or "bad journalism" and seem to hate journalists in general because they report the news instead of only reporting praise for Trump.

    On colleges, I talked about that earlier, but if a college's tuition payers and donors do not want Coulter to speak, I'm not sure why the colleges should be obligated to give her a platform.
  18. Dread Pirate Roberts

    Dread Pirate Roberts Jedi Padawan star 2

    Feb 28, 2017
    Yes, I think that is a huge problem. The idea that any criticism is just fake news. That problem stems from the presidency itself I think, he doesn't respect journalists, and so his supporters don't. The only solution is to get a new president who stands up for good journalism.
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  19. Artoo-Dion

    Artoo-Dion Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 9, 2009
    I don't have a problem with universities being selective about who gets to give a talk at their premises. I certainly don't think anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, etc. should be given a platform to talk unchallenged at academic institutions
    Abadacus, blackmyron, EHT and 6 others like this.
  20. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Porg of New Films & Fan Films star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 20, 2002
    I think there's a difference between not inviting people with unpopular opinions to speak at universities, and not inviting hateful conspiracy nutcases with no factual basis for their opinions to speak at universities.

    Coulter is the latter.
    Darth Nerdling, starfish, EHT and 5 others like this.
  21. realjim949

    realjim949 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Aug 22, 2017
    Since when have the people ever been able to successfully hold the government accountable? Snowden tried to. He’s now stuck somewhere in the middle of Russia. Protestors are frequently paper sprayed and arrested. And government is notorious for being non-responsive to its constituents.
    Not enough people care about their rights being taken away from them. The United States has become the Roman Empire. Donald Trump is Caligula and we even have bread and circuses in the form of reality television. Who cares that the Constitution is being ripped to shreds when we have to keep up with the Kardashians?
    Yes, but as it turns out, the right-wingers are the ones who own all the guns, not you. And as you’re so fond of telling the gun people, armed resistance against the United States is a fool’s errand because they have tanks and you don’t. They have artillery and you don’t. They have fighter aircraft and you don’t. They have bombers and you don’t. They have nuclear weapons and you don’t.
    Not equivalent because child sexual abuse is not a form of speech. It’s a form of child abuse. The minute they act on their speech, prosecute them for it.
    I’ve seen this game played before. We saw it with the Fourth Amendment after 9/11.

    Moreover, whenever the government decides to censor, it always imprisons the left, never the right. We threw Eugene V. Debs in prison, but we never imprisoned fascists like Charles Coughlin or Henry Ford. During McCarthyism, we threw the Hollywood Ten in prison, but we never prosecuted IBM for helping Nazi Germany organize the Holocaust. The German American Bund never got the same kind of treatment that the Communist Party USA got. We glorified people like J. Edgar Hoover and assassinated people like Lincoln, Kennedy and King. We welcomed people like Wernher von Braun into the country with open arms and imprisoned the likes of Alger Hiss.

    Hell, name me a single right-wing government overthrown by the CIA. Name me one. We tend to prop up right-wing dictators, such as Batista, Pinochet, the Shah, etc. We overthrew leftists such as Mosaddegh, Árbenz, Allende, etc.

    When you give the government the power to ban ideas, it will always ban ideas it considers to be a threat to itself and to its interests, whether they be political, military, or economic. Let’s not make it easier for them.
    Then fight it. Don’t just ask Big Brother to protect you from it.
    And you’re truly naive if you think the government will stop there.
    They are directly harmful. So I don’t know why you want to emulate them.
    You wish to imprison people for expressing ideas you don’t like. The Nazis did just that. I don’t see a significant difference.
    Let me ask you a question. Would you support rehabilitative brainwashing? Would you support a technique that “cured” violent criminals by pumping them full of nausea-inducing drugs as they’re forced to watch violent images, to the point of inducing a Pavlovian response of crippling nausea and sickness anytime they thought of doing something violent or criminal? It would be unconstitutional, but it’d certainly reduce recidivism. It’s not as if the common people would happily sell liberty for a quieter life. I will defend the tradition of liberty no matter what. To me, this is the thin end of the wedge. This is how the apparatus of totalitarianism starts. It starts with people wanting easy answers to problems rather than confronting them and dealing with them in a manner befitting a liberal democracy.

    You see, bad people also have Constitutional rights. Nazis, rapists, murderers, etc. all have Constitutional rights. Liberty isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. The law protects the guilty as well as the innocent. I don’t wanna live in a statist regime where my every action requires government approval. We’re dangerously close to a police state already. Police shoot unarmed black men with impunity and get away with it. Trump believes that he is above the law and that we need to toughen libel laws so that people can’t criticize him. I remember a time when the left had to defend freedom of speech from the right. The right wanted to censor rap music, movies, video games, and Larry Flynt. The left embraced the George Carlins, the Lenny Bruces, and the Howard Sterns of the world. The left embraced rock music and pornography. A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, Natural Born Killers- all films the right wanted either banned or censored that the left defended. The right wanted to protect the established order and the left wanted to shock, to provoke, and to offend. Now we live in this weird topsy-turvy world where the left has embraced censorship and freedom of speech is now associated with barbaric thugs like Donald Trump. What happened? I don’t need a left-wing equivalent of Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority, thank you very much.


    I understand your perspective, but at the same time, let’s go back 40 years when the same exact arguments were levied against George Carlin and Lenny Bruce. Would you be saying the same thing in regards to them?
    V-2 likes this.
  22. Luke02

    Luke02 Force Ghost star 5

    Sep 19, 2002
    My first year of teaching, I nearly got fired because I stood up for a student's viewpoints. Why? Myself and another colleague who were teaching a combined American History and American English class the following essay question: What was the most influentical book of the 20th century and why? One student said it was Mein Kampf saying even though it was the most horrible and evil book ever written, it became the blueprint for the rise of the Third Reich that lead to WWII, the Holocaust etc. My colleague and I thought it was brilliant. The administration and particular school board wanted to kick him out of school. There were fights, arguments, and meeting after meeting etc. It was a nightmare. At one point I threatened to quit if they kick him out. In the end, they decided not to but the poor kid had to go through all kinds of crap. So I agree with you it should never be banned. People need to see the evil for what it is.

    Censorship should never EVER be tolerated. Even with someone like Ann Coulter who is vile and disgusting. If some college students want to have her speak and are willing to pay for it, then so be it. We desperately need vigorious debate even if it's painful. Heck I would invite Ann to speak and try to get someone on the other side to do the same thing. Have them debate in a tough but respectful environment. Watch Ben Sharpio and Cenk Uygur for details. Both are polar opposites but made valid points in a respectful and healthy debate.

    And in the last 24 hours, Trump has stated he will sign a Dream Act bill if it makes it to his desk, agreed to raise the debt ceiling for three months with the Democrats no question ask and has a gentleman's agreement with Senator Chuck Schumer to get rid of the debt ceiling all together. Breitbart is on fire, get your popcorn out. This potentially get really really good!
    Juliet316 and Ghost like this.
  23. LostOnHoth

    LostOnHoth Force Ghost star 5

    Feb 15, 2000
    Fixed. [face_peace]
  24. CT-867-5309

    CT-867-5309 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 5, 2011
    There are examples, but I'll skip them, because you're arguing that there's no point to this discussion, because the government can censor anyone for anything, whether we want them to or not. This is all pointless. Why are you whining about free speech? According to you, we can't hold the government accountable to it. So it's not up to us. We're at their mercy.

    If we can't hold them accountable, what's stopping the government from ripping up the First Amendment right now? Jedi Knights? The will of the Force? Apparently it's not us. Anyone not willing to take a little pepper spray to the face isn't willing to do anything meaningful. Arrests are common when it comes to revolution, and they come with their own problems for the government, too.

    I'm betting they'll become responsive when they start dying, one way or another.

    True, in many cases. No one will care if Nazis and KKK have their right to spew hateful speech in public revoked. I won't. A lot of non-criminals don't care that they're being spied on. I don't really care.

    But if you start arresting people for criticizing the government...I think the response will be explosive. I think people will snap. I will.

    Of course our government has trodden on us for a long time, and we've taken it, with little more than bitter complaints. I think this would be different.

    If I'm wrong, there's no point to any of this. We're all at the government's mercy, in everything.

    Then why are you bothering us about it? Pack it in and don't worry about it then, because none of us can do anything about it, according to you. You might as well be yelling at clouds.

    Go about your life. Have a drink. Watch football. Let the rest of the country worry about it.

    Indeed! It is highly unlikely that we can win with firepower.

    I don't want a gun. I don't need a gun. I don't need armed resistance, just resistance. If we ever get to the point where people are imprisoned for criticizing the government, the government will have to imprison/kill me, because otherwise I'm going to be a pain in their ass.

    Hopefully, I'm not the only one. If I am, my life will be wasted. Wouldn't be the first.

    However, if I'm not the only one....using the military on a civilian populace...will not end well for the government, either. It's a bad look.

    So go ahead and bomb us. See how that goes. In fact, I want them to. It will speed things along.

    According to you, we have nothing to "give" them, because nothing is ours to give. How much easier can it be for a government than to take something from a population that cannot hold it accountable?

    I've kinda been doing both.

    My idea is that they will, or we should force them to. If we can't, then we're helpless children, anyway.

    I'm not emulating them in any way. Your opinion has been noted, though.

    I know you can't see it, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. It's obvious, actually.

    It's not "ideas I don't like". It's stupid to try to reduce it to that. I really don't like religion but I've never thought of imprisoning anyone over it.

    I'll save you some time. Saying "the Nazis did it" doesn't have any affect on me, I'm not scared by vacuous Nazi associations.

    EDIT: Oh, I just realized, rather slowly, that you can't tell the difference between intolerance and intolerance of intolerance. So. That's your problem. Sorry it took me so long to recognize it.

    Why bother with this when we can just kill them and eat them, troll?

    This is still going on, brah. You can ban Nazis and defend other things. I still defend "the devil's music", violent video games, pornography, and "offensive" comedians, on a regular basis.

    This whole left and right thing means nothing to me, btw. I don't care about left or right. I'm not getting into that.
  25. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Four Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Mar 4, 2011
    realjim949 , yes, if a university or other institution where students, their parents and donors paid most or all of its expenses, declined to invite George Carlin or Lenny Bruce because those students, parents and donors did not want to give him a platform, I would support their right to make that decision.

    Luke02 , I might invite, say, Mike Pence. Or Charles Krauthammer. A conservative who would actually be interested in debate. Coulter is just a troll.