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Thread: Polarization in Poland: A Warning from Europe

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    Polarization in Poland: A Warning from Europe

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...zation/568324/

    a must-read. how political polarization is used by the unscrupulous to twist democracy from within.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    began running unabashed propaganda, sprinkled with easily disprovable lies
    So, the Trump organization then? Of course, Trump doesn't "sprinkle' easily disprovable lies...he's got the equivalent of Niagara Falls on tap.

    You know, something that had baffled me for awhile: Why are so many Republicans and conservatives so enamored with Vladimir Putin's Russia?
    I mean, was the Cold War, Russian Communism, the Red Scare and all of that just an easily-forgotten dream, something that never actually happened?

    Then it hit me: Russia of course isn't communist anymore, so all's forgiven on that end.

    So what's the appeal? Authoritarianism. That cold, naked authoritarian POWER. Trump lusts for it, practically worships those have it, it's oozing out of every pore on his orange face...and his supporters love it. Absolutely love it.

    Irony: They're usually the anti-government part of the political spectrum, the militia types, the conspiracy theorists "ready" for when FEMA comes to microchip the citizenry and then haul us all away to death camps.

    But by god they love the idea of an authoritarian power-crazed lunatic in the Oval Office.

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    You step out of line, the Man come and take you away
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Senior Contributor Red Team's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    So, the Trump organization then? Of course, Trump doesn't "sprinkle' easily disprovable lies...he's got the equivalent of Niagara Falls on tap.

    You know, something that had baffled me for awhile: Why are so many Republicans and conservatives so enamored with Vladimir Putin's Russia?
    I mean, was the Cold War, Russian Communism, the Red Scare and all of that just an easily-forgotten dream, something that never actually happened?

    Then it hit me: Russia of course isn't communist anymore, so all's forgiven on that end.

    So what's the appeal? Authoritarianism. That cold, naked authoritarian POWER. Trump lusts for it, practically worships those have it, it's oozing out of every pore on his orange face...and his supporters love it. Absolutely love it.

    Irony: They're usually the anti-government part of the political spectrum, the militia types, the conspiracy theorists "ready" for when FEMA comes to microchip the citizenry and then haul us all away to death camps.

    But by god they love the idea of an authoritarian power-crazed lunatic in the Oval Office.

    Paranoia strikes deep
    Into your life it will creep
    It starts when you're always afraid
    You step out of line, the Man come and take you away
    Projection, straight up.
    "Draft beer, not people."

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    Projection, straight up.
    not really. from a philosophical POV, the alt-right practically worships Putin as the all-powerful God Savior of white Christendom, and Trump's takeover of the GOP is essentially melding a good part of the alt-right blood-and-soil nationalism onto the rest of the party.

    from a practical POV, the GOP has been doing political power-plays on an -extremely- intensive level for the last eight years, such as via REDMAP and state-level shenanigans-- most brazenly in North Carolina and Wisconsin. a lot of this type of stuff has existed before within American politics, of course, but it's now being driven in an unprecedentedly organized and coordinated way.

    meld these two existing trend-lines and you'll get something close to the Law and Justice Party. right now the only saving grace is that the current US President is incompetent at wielding power and absolutely great at creating political enemies. we have stronger institutions than Poland, yes, but McConnell's court-stuffing shows how even institutions could be undone close to home.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Why wouldn't you be embrassed to be associated with this woman? If you are Polish, your nation was occupied by the Soviets for decades. The second a party this woman doesn't like comes into power with a broad popular mandate, BAM, she says they are bad as Lenin or Stalin.

    "Oh, illiberal one party state!" Is she daft? The Soviets operated through secret police and gulags, and when that failed, tanks. There's an actual reference in the article to the time that Stalin killed 20,000 Poles. How many times has the ruling party in Poland killed 20,000 people to consolidate power?
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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    The second a party this woman doesn't like comes into power with a broad popular mandate, BAM, she says they are bad as Lenin or Stalin.
    uh, the actions of the Law and Justice party aren't exactly like those of a regular Western political party. this ain't Conservative-Labour turnover we're talking about.

    and just because the Law and Justice guys aren't going right-away to Leninist hell doesn't mean that the trajectory is good. that's why she threw in the Hungary example, to show the next step in the process.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    You know, something that had baffled me for awhile: Why are so many Republicans and conservatives so enamored with Vladimir Putin's Russia?
    I mean, was the Cold War, Russian Communism, the Red Scare and all of that just an easily-forgotten dream, something that never actually happened?
    They're doves on Russia like the Dems were doves on the Soviets during the cold war.

    At some point things switched

    Then it hit me: Russia of course isn't communist anymore, so all's forgiven on that end.
    Like the Dems just found their feet after the cold war.

    So what's the appeal? Authoritarianism. That cold, naked authoritarian POWER. Trump lusts for it, practically worships those have it, it's oozing out of every pore on his orange face...and his supporters love it. Absolutely love it.
    No support for any foreign adventures. Trump knows this.

    The world can go to hell. FIX America first!

    But by god they love the idea of an authoritarian power-crazed lunatic in the Oval Office.
    Wait for Nov

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ..._index_history

    The approvals need to get into the 50s and stay there. Not the case right now. He's just holding on.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    not really. from a philosophical POV, the alt-right practically worships Putin as the all-powerful God Savior of white Christendom, and Trump's takeover of the GOP is essentially melding a good part of the alt-right blood-and-soil nationalism onto the rest of the party.
    TH was talking about conservatives and republicans.

    I don't quite see alt-right in that same category. They're a little further on wouldn't you say
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Sep 18, at 20:12.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    No support for any foreign adventures. Trump knows this.

    The world can go to hell. FIX America first!
    They picked the wrong guy for the job, by an order of magnitude. Donald Trump's sole and overriding interest is Donald Trump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Wait for Nov

    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/publ..._index_history

    The approvals need to get into the 50s and stay there. Not the case right now. He's just holding on.
    It will certainly be interesting. The Dems need to make a strong comeback after the electoral catastrophes of the Obama era.

    Personally I don't think it makes much difference either way. Both sides are nothing but ineffectual spineless whores.
    I'll be happy with things just not collapsing entirely. Anything else is beyond their comprehension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    TH was talking about conservatives and republicans.

    I don't quite see alt-right in that same category. They're a little further on wouldn't you say
    The alt-right can easily fit into what I was saying, and they're easily Trump's loudest and most fervent supporters.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Personally I don't think it makes much difference either way. Both sides are nothing but ineffectual spineless whores.
    I'll be happy with things just not collapsing entirely. Anything else is beyond their comprehension.
    These are two contradictory statements. Let's look at them

    Personally I don't think it makes much difference either way. Both sides are nothing but ineffectual spineless whores.
    The millennial equivalent of this is why bother to vote nothing will change, your vote ain't worth anything. This is dangerous because it then leads to things collapsing

    Sure fire way to kill democracy is not vote.

    Trump's in office because enough people think things are not what they used to be

    I'll be happy with things just not collapsing entirely. Anything else is beyond their comprehension.
    The system is broke we need a new one.

    They picked the wrong guy for the job, by an order of magnitude. Donald Trump's sole and overriding interest is Donald Trump.
    Well, going by comments i read.

    Buy american, anything else is counterfeit. Why are we giving the world our money.

    Wouldn't we be better off if we bought home made

    If even americans won't buy their own stuff how can you expect the world to do so.

    Oh wait! americans don't make anything these days....
    Last edited by Double Edge; 19 Sep 18, at 23:00.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    These are two contradictory statements. Let's look at them
    The millennial equivalent of this is why bother to vote nothing will change, your vote ain't worth anything.
    And that statement is absolutely true: Your vote isn't worth diddly shit. It wasn't worth diddly shit in 2000 and it wasn't worth diddly shit in 2016 (and 1824 and 1876 and 1888 for that matter).

    People turned out in droves, contrary to my predictions, and look what happened. Even with a 2,868,691 vote deficit, Donald Trump still won the White House because the popular vote is ultimately meaningless.

    People have told me all my life "Get out and vote". To which I reply, "Fuck that nonsense, the people don't elect the President and never have"

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    This is dangerous because it then leads to things collapsing

    Sure fire way to kill democracy is not vote.
    And once again, people got out and voted in 2016 and look what happened: Democracy is being skinned alive by the orange cancer in the White House and his supporters.
    I don't know that Clinton would've been a great choice, personally I can't stand the sight of her, but holy crap I wanted to throw up on Election Night when it became clear that Trump was going to win.

    The only consolation for me was the entertainment value of seeing the stunned disbelief and tears pouring down the faces of crying liberals, trying to figure out why their next Anointed One wasn't going to lead us all to Paradise (the same one that Obama was supposed to bring about)

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Trump's in office because enough people think things are not what they used to be
    No, Trump is in office because, with our current system, you can theoretically win the White House with a mere 22% of the popular "vote".

    But yeah, everybody's vote counts.

    Please. Spare me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    The system is broke we need a new one.
    And guess who makes that happen. Yep, that same bunch of spineless whores in Congress. Think they're going to change anything? Keep dreaming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Well, going by comments i read.

    Buy american, anything else is counterfeit. Why are we giving the world our money.

    Wouldn't we be better off if we bought home made

    If even americans won't buy their own stuff how can you expect the world to do so.

    Oh wait! americans don't make anything these days....
    I don't understand, whose comments are those and in what context are you referencing them?
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    TH,

    And that statement is absolutely true: Your vote isn't worth diddly shit. It wasn't worth diddly shit in 2000 and it wasn't worth diddly shit in 2016 (and 1824 and 1876 and 1888 for that matter).

    People turned out in droves, contrary to my predictions, and look what happened. Even with a 2,868,691 vote deficit, Donald Trump still won the White House because the popular vote is ultimately meaningless.
    i like how you pointed out the dates of the electoral college/popular vote split. i don't think it's a coincidence that there was a 112-year gap between splits and then suddenly it happening twice in sixteen years.

    and it's no coincidence how the 1876 and 1888 elections were pretty much the height of machine politics/corruption in the US, and post-reconstruction electoral chaos.

    BTW, looking at history, the period following those 19th-century elections coincided with an immense push by Progressives (different definition from the ones of today-- they existed in both of the major parties) to reform US electoral politics, which had enormous popular support.

    i think this is essentially what is in store for the US when the pendulum of power swings. the GOP is at a distinct and increasing electoral disadvantage because they have ceded the urban/minority vote, whose political power grows year on year. to counteract this, they have deftly used political minority protections, leaning heavily on arenas where rural interests are over-represented (for instance, the Senate), and outright electoral gaming (gerrymandering, stuffing the courts, passing last minute revisions if a Dem takes over as governor, etc) to ensure continued power.

    the Dems b*tched and moaned about this while Obama was around but didn't really do anything.

    now they've seen the direct consequences of this-- not just losing policy battles, but the prospect of being locked out of power despite holding political advantage! for instance, to win a bare majority in the House, the Dems now need to be favored by landslide margins (over +5% advantage). thanks to McConnell screwing over Garland and probably being able to put in place Kavanaugh, the SC will now lean hard-right for a generation.

    this is something that Dems simply cannot ignore the next time they hold power. liberals are talking about doing unto Republicans what Republicans have done unto them: the prospect of admitting PR and DC as states, packing the SC, eliminating the filibuster.

    the GOP should be terrified by the consequences of what they've unleashed, which will of course mean further polarization of the republic.
    Last edited by astralis; 20 Sep 18, at 14:38.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    TH,
    i like how you pointed out the dates of the electoral college/popular vote split.
    That's what irritates the living shit out of me:

    "Get out the vote!"

    Popular vote winner loses the election and people complain about it

    "Quit complaining, that's not how you win the White House!"

    People wonder why I'm apathetic about voting

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i think this is essentially what is in store for the US when the pendulum of power swings. the GOP is at a distinct and increasing electoral disadvantage because they have ceded the urban/minority vote, whose political power grows year on year.
    Oh most definitely. And the Democrats have ceded the rural heartland vote. Dems and Repubs look at those respective groups with a sneering disdain, but it's the Dems that will continue to lose the White House as long as they ignore those states, thanks to the Electoral College.


    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the GOP should be terrified by the consequences of what they've unleashed, which will of course mean further polarization of the republic.
    And here I thought maybe I was being too pessimistic about our future :-D
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post

    People wonder why I'm apathetic about voting
    Start shooting then.It's your only other option.
    Those who know don't speak
    He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. Luke 22:36

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    TH,

    Oh most definitely. And the Democrats have ceded the rural heartland vote. Dems and Repubs look at those respective groups with a sneering disdain, but it's the Dems that will continue to lose the White House as long as they ignore those states, thanks to the Electoral College.
    actually i find that prospect fairly unlikely. the EC weakens the Democratic advantage in Presidential politics, but the main Dem political weakness is in the legislature, not the executive. US legislature heavily advantages large tracts of sparsely-populated land over dense urban areas, even without gerrymandering. this was by design of the Founders, most of whom were rural land-holders to begin with. of course things have changed a bit since the 18th century.

    Trump basically won double sixes by converting key votes in the Democratic "blue wall" while HRC simultaneously could not replicate Obama turnout, between both her personality and simple Democratic over-confidence. both of this needed to happen for a GOP victory. i don't think any of the other GOP nominees could have pulled off the former and I doubt after Trump's performance that he will pull it off again in 2020. Dems will certainly not replicate the latter, not after this utter shock.

    Dems will continue to struggle with the Senate in particular. so, if Dems ever get a supermajority in the Senate again, there will be immense, immense pressure for them to use this one-in-a-generation opportunity to remake electoral politics vs just simply passing policy like in 2009.
    Last edited by astralis; 20 Sep 18, at 16:23.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    And that statement is absolutely true: Your vote isn't worth diddly shit. It wasn't worth diddly shit in 2000 and it wasn't worth diddly shit in 2016 (and 1824 and 1876 and 1888 for that matter).

    People turned out in droves, contrary to my predictions, and look what happened. Even with a 2,868,691 vote deficit, Donald Trump still won the White House because the popular vote is ultimately meaningless.

    People have told me all my life "Get out and vote". To which I reply, "Fuck that nonsense, the people don't elect the President and never have"
    So one need not bother to vote then ? Why vote. In what way am i to interpret the above

    What happens next. Voter turnout reduces. If this sets in you get fewer the next time around and so on.

    And once again, people got out and voted in 2016 and look what happened: Democracy is being skinned alive by the orange cancer in the White House and his supporters.
    I don't know that Clinton would've been a great choice, personally I can't stand the sight of her, but holy crap I wanted to throw up on Election Night when it became clear that Trump was going to win.

    The only consolation for me was the entertainment value of seeing the stunned disbelief and tears pouring down the faces of crying liberals, trying to figure out why their next Anointed One wasn't going to lead us all to Paradise (the same one that Obama was supposed to bring about)
    This has been pointed out before. You don't need three million votes in California to go from 54 to 55 in the EC. You need those three million spread out across the country to make a bigger difference. So No people didn't turn out to vote across the country where it was required.

    Winning the popular vote means squat if it doesn't play by the rules.

    And guess who makes that happen. Yep, that same bunch of spineless whores in Congress. Think they're going to change anything? Keep dreaming.
    what makes it happen is a loss of confidence in the electoral process. We're in uncharted territory then

    Aussies can't bear the thought so they make voting compulsory
    Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Sep 18, at 16:52.

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