Page 24 of 24 FirstFirst ... 15161718192021222324
Results 346 to 352 of 352

Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #346
    Administrator
    Lei Feng Protege
    Defense Professional
    Join Date
    23 Aug 05
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    13,905
    InExile,

    It has made reconsider some of my beliefs about democracy or that a republic would ensure a better quality of leaders than authoritarian regimes over the longer term. While ofcourse there are several instances from the 20th century of a fascist party (or a far left party) coming to power via a democratic election I still find it quite amazing that Trump with his clownish antics, offensive statements, petty attacks and occasional forays to fascist dog whistles would nevertheless get 46% of the vote in a country like the United States with a long history of democracy, stable institutions and a free media.
    that's a pretty small sample, though. what the democratic system generally offers is a -better chance- of not having a catastrophic leader, because pandering to the mean will generally get you a middling-competent leader.

    Trump is pretty terrible, definitely in the bottom 5 Presidents we've ever had, but despite that the US economy continues to grow, the next world war's not been started, etc.

    obviously that's not to say everything is well. but it's not so much the idea of democracy that is failing here, it is the sclerosis of the system. the founders knew full well that there were going to be a lot of idiots and populists pandering to those idiots in any democratic system, which is why the system they put into place was NOT a very democratic one. it was a democratic system for the -social elite-.

    over time, that's become less and less tenable. so right now we have a kludge of a system where there's a lot of anti-majoritarian institutions (Senate, Electoral College, etc) that have none of their benefits and all of their disadvantages! the idea was to turn "ambition against ambition", yet we see Senators completely in thrall to the Executive Branch. the Electoral College was supposed to prevent morons like Trump from getting into the Presidency in the first place, but we all saw how where that went...and had the Electors actually over-turned his election, there would have been a massive Constitutional crisis.

    the system worked fairly well when it came to Nixon, but it is in desperate need now for a revamp. too many of the "it just isn't done, old chap" unspoken rules and norms have been violated, and something new needs to be instituted in its place.
    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

  2. #347
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Nov 09
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    3,762
    Quote Originally Posted by InExile View Post
    Trump continues daily to shock with his outlandish behavior and buffoonery, however, I still find it hard to get my head around the fact that somewhere from 42% to 47% of Americans are going to vote him after all this, in 2020 over any Democrat, even a relative moderate like Biden.

    It has made reconsider some of my beliefs about democracy or that a republic would ensure a better quality of leaders than authoritarian regimes over the longer term. While ofcourse there are several instances from the 20th century of a fascist party (or a far left party) coming to power via a democratic election I still find it quite amazing that Trump with his clownish antics, offensive statements, petty attacks and occasional forays to fascist dog whistles would nevertheless get 46% of the vote in a country like the United States with a long history of democracy, stable institutions and a free media.
    Doesn't surprise me at all. What surprises is that the percentage is that high. I have always felt, always, that if presented with the right opportunity 1/3 (33%) of Americans would vote for a far-right fascist oriented politician immediately. It now seems another 12% can be swayed by some smoke and mirrors as has always been the case in the past.

    As for the history of democracy, stable institutions and a free media you may have to reconsider the free media and change it to free internet. While I enjoy finding information on the internet about my hobbies, and talking with you fine characters, overall I could do without the internet. No matter the good intentions many of these great things ultimately get subverted.

  3. #348
    Contributor
    Join Date
    14 Sep 08
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    624
    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    InExile,

    that's a pretty small sample, though. what the democratic system generally offers is a -better chance- of not having a catastrophic leader, because pandering to the mean will generally get you a middling-competent leader.

    Trump is pretty terrible, definitely in the bottom 5 Presidents we've ever had, but despite that the US economy continues to grow, the next world war's not been started, etc.
    Yes, and I still think that if Trump were on the verge of a truly catastrophic decision, the system would still be able to stop him whether by the 25th amendment or some other way. Though, while I used to fear a mistake or miscalculation by Trump with disastrous consequences, now I think the chances of that are quite unlikely, Trump for all his bombast is basically averse to conflict that could cause actual damage.


    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    the system worked fairly well when it came to Nixon, but it is in desperate need now for a revamp. too many of the "it just isn't done, old chap" unspoken rules and norms have been violated, and something new needs to be instituted in its place.
    No doubt there are possible changes to the system that are needed, however I think one of the issues here that there are a significant number of voters in a democracy who will vote for a leader with significant flaws and authoritarian leanings as long as he panders to their ideological instincts and fears. I think this tendency is always present although its exacerbated at times of national or economic stress or hyper partisanship and political decay. For all the flaws of the Weimar Republic in the 1930s I don't think any changes to the system would have made a difference at that point to the destruction of democracy as a majority of Germans had given up on liberal democracy and supported authoritarians on the right and the left.

    Ofcourse, the US is nowhere near such a scenario with far stronger institutions; and ofcourse Trump has not actually veered openly into fascism inspite of skirting the line now and again. Neverthless a significant number of voters are willing to vote for populist candidates with authoritarian leanings in spite of significant personality and character issues. I think if a left wing version of Trump ran as a democrat he would still get 30-35% vote (although in the US system that would result in a 50 state landslide loss).
    Last edited by InExile; Yesterday at 08:52.

  4. #349
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    12 Aug 08
    Location
    UK/Europe
    Posts
    5,343
    Just that 20th Century politics has not yet caught up with 21st Century systems of influencing people. Nothing wrong with the system per se but the safeguards need updating.

  5. #350
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
    Join Date
    08 Mar 11
    Location
    London
    Posts
    3,066
    I was trying to come up with an example of a fascist party being elected as a fascist party – rather than as something else, and then becoming fascist – but kept drawing a blank. Mussolini had communists, socialists and labor as key elements in his first election victories, and then “superseded” the need for elections. Romania’s 1933 “Everything for the Country” Party was national-Christian.
    Argentina? Egypt?
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  6. #351
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
    Join Date
    01 Nov 09
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Posts
    3,762
    Rather than look for a fascist party look for fascist oriented politicians, the term I used, who use fascist techniques in their speeches and campaigns. By doing that one can see that Orban of Hungary, Erdogan of Turkey, Le Pen of France, Salvini of Italy, and Abascal of Spain, to name a few, fit the profile. Now how far they go is entirely dependent on the country, their people, their current history and system of government, and the military. Trump does use some classic fascist techniques. such as his famous alternative facts and nationalistic screeds, but also has a tougher road than the others due to the qualities of our country. However, stranger things have happened, both with the voting populace and the mental stability of the politician who is looking for an opening.

  7. #352
    Senior Contributor
    Join Date
    15 Dec 06
    Posts
    1,127
    The term Fascist is way too overused these days by people who don't remember and don't care what it originally meant. It has become de rigueur to delegitimize the opposition by terming them fascist/bigoted/nationalist/far right etc. by the supposedly liberal left. Trump is a despicable person and a clown who shouldn't be anywhere close to power in my opinion, but he is not a fascist. Victor Orban who has been fighting democratic elections and has spent time in power as well as in the opposition in parliament and continues to abide by Hungary's democratic rules is also not a fascist. Erdogan's case is different since he has become the de-facto dictator of Turkey having stamped out the opposition in an un-democratic manner. Lumping Orban, Bolsonaro or Trump with him is immensely problematic. The left-liberals these days believe that anyone who holds nationalistic or socially/economically conservative views must be a fascist/far right/ultra-nationalist by definition!

    I'm sure we'll soon reach a point where anyone to the right of Sanders and AoC will be termed a fascist and erstwhile liberals will find themselves as targets too. Gabbard is already persona non-grata as far as "liberals" are concerned and I wouldn't be surprised if Biden is termed too right wing in the not too distant future.
    Last edited by Firestorm; Today at 20:47.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 7 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 7 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. 2018 American Political Scene
    By astralis in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 2014
    Last Post: 31 Dec 18,, 00:27
  2. 2017 American Political Scene
    By YellowFever in forum American Politics & Economy
    Replies: 2571
    Last Post: 29 Dec 17,, 21:34
  3. American political duplication between Riyadh and Israel
    By ahmed in forum International Politics
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 29 Apr 07,, 22:06

Share this thread with friends:

Share this thread with friends:

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •