US General Election 2016

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:14 pm

Turns out Marco Rubio's campaign never attempted a 'ground-game': sending out people to knock on doors, distributing posters, etc under the belief that TV was more effective. I'd have thought the same thing, though the front yard posters do make a difference that annoying door-to-door canvassing does not, IMHO.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/marco-rubio-2016-campaign-drop-out-213736

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:03 pm

halfwise wrote:It's disheartening to see how close Cruz is to Trump in many of the southern states.  Of course this is kind of like cheering on a wart over a boil, but Cruz seems more and more like Voldemort to me.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Music of the Ainur on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:18 pm


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:39 pm

{{{Music and Ringo back posting! Happy days cheers

What do folks make of Obama's Supreme Court choice? http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/16/politics/obama-supreme-court-announcement/index.html Or more importantly the political gamble he is taking with it.}}}}

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:42 pm

Picking a moderate conservative is an interesting choice. If the Republicans decide to confirm him despite their statements to stall the procedure, the court will lean slightly right, but less than it was with the ultra conservative Scalia. If they don't confirm him and we get Hillary, there's no doubt she will pick someone more liberal.

It now all comes down to whether Republicans feel Trump can beat Hillary. The 4 scenarios play out as follows:

Do not confirm: Hillary wins - we get a more liberal court
Do not confirm: Trump wins - we get a court probably equally conservative as now
Confirm: Hillary wins - we get a slightly less conservative court than we have now
Confirm: Trump wins - we get a slightly less conservative court than if they did not confirm.

Only 1 out of 4 cases are to the Republican advantage, but it's balanced against the chance of a more liberal court if they don't confirm. This is a %$#!! brilliant move on Obama's part, equivalent to saying "so ask yourself, do you feel lucky, punk?"

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 16, 2016 7:45 pm


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:03 pm

Well, if it's Trump or Cruz netiher is going to be elected anyway so..

Republicans shooting themselves in the foot, basically. *yawn*

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:26 pm

Cruz definitely not. Trump....well....all predictions (except his own) have been off when looking more than a month ahead. My "no-way, dude!" machine has been churned to bits. No predictions will issue from me concerning him.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Bluebottle on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:28 pm

Well, you are the country that re-elected Bush. Shrugging

But Trump? Meh.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:47 pm

Bluebottle wrote:Well, you are the country that re-elected Bush.

That's debatable.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_United_States_election_voting_controversies

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Orwell on Thu Mar 17, 2016 12:04 am

Trump should not have got this far! All the way? Well, it has to be a chance. Disaffected Republicans love him. Disaffected Democrats love him. Folk like myself who hate purely populist leaders as a rule, distrusting them immensely, may yet become a minority.

Some American pundit - who I saw on our Public Broadcaster - but who I saw too late in the interview to know who he was - was saying Clinton will be criminally charged soon. He also said Biden would become the Democrat hope? Anyone know anything about this????? Sounds strange (the Biden reference) but America is becoming stranger by the minute; and anyone who isn't American - and many who are - have already find your country strange anyway! Shocked

NB is Biden Clinton's likely running mate? That might explain the Biden reference above??? If she gets arrested, would he take her place and receive her already-collected delegates? Shrugging

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:19 am

{{watch if interested while you can as this will probably disappear as it was only broadcast yesterday- Inside The Obama White House- a new documentary series from the BBC}}


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Thu Mar 17, 2016 3:30 am

Watched about half of it so far. Quite clear and very well done. The best summary I've seen so far.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Thu Mar 17, 2016 7:25 pm

Not mentioned in this article is that part of the reason for the electoral college is that there was no equivalent to the mass information and travel age we now live in. People had no good chance to know the candidates, and voting was best done in person. The electoral college would let the elected legislators who were 'in the loop' designate someone to take the 2 weeks or more necessary to travel to Washington (or Philadelphia before that) to vote in an informed manner.

----

The Electoral College could still stop Trump, even if he wins the popular vote
Maybe — just this once — state legislators should use their constitutional authority and change how we elect the president.


By Derek T. Muller March 17 at 6:30 AM
Derek T. Muller is an associate professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.


Donald Trump will be the GOP’s presidential nominee. Within the party, talk of a brokered Republican National Convention or even a supporting a third-party candidate has circulated among those hoping to stop him from becoming the next president, leaving Trump antagonists across the spectrum to ponder whether there’s any fail-safe left, after November, to stop a Trump administration from becoming a reality.

There is. The Electoral College.

If they choose, state legislators can appoint presidential electors themselves this November, rather than leaving the matter of apportioning Electoral College votes by popular vote. Then, via their chosen electors, legislatures could elect any presidential candidate they prefer.

Remember that Americans don’t directly elect the president. The Electoral College does: Slates of electors pledged to support presidential and vice presidential candidates are voted upon in each state every four years. Each state, and the District of Columbia, is apportioned at least three of the 538 electors, allocated by the total number of U.S. Senators and Representatives each state has.

In December, these electors will gather in their respective states and cast votes for president and vice president. And in January, Congress counts these votes, determines if a candidate has achieved a majority — at least 270 votes — and then certifies a winner.

We take it for granted that the individual votes we cast will be the ones that select the slate of presidential electors in our state. But the Constitution makes no such guarantee. In fact, it says the states appoint electors “in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.”

Some founders worried that rash decision-making by the collective body politic would be “radically vicious” or “liable to deceptions” if they directly elected the president, for the people would lack the “capacity to judge” candidates. While members of the House of Representatives would be accountable directly to the people, presidential elections would occur indirectly. Electors, not the people, would elect the president. And state legislatures could decide how. (Most states now have laws binding electors to vote for the candidate who wins their state’s popular vote — but many states don’t.)

In the earliest presidential elections, many states did not have popular elections for electors. Their legislatures simply chose electors. Over time, states gradually moved toward the popular elections we now take for granted.

But state legislatures have occasionally retained the power for themselves. In 1876, for instance, the new state of Colorado opted not to hold a popular election for electors, with the legislature claiming publicly that it lacked sufficient time to organize an election. It’s more likely that Republican legislators worried that the people would vote for three Democratic electors and move to end Reconstruction in a closely contested election. The state legislature chose to retain the power to choose electors for itself — just that one time.

And state legislatures have modified the rules for the selection of presidential electors when they worry that the people of the state will vote for a disfavored candidate. In 1892, for instance, Democrats gained control of the Michigan legislature. They decided that presidential electors should be appointed according to popular vote totals in each congressional district, as opposed to the statewide winner-take-all system that had previously existed. Michiganders had consistently voted for a slate of Republican electors in the recent past, and the move to elections by district guaranteed that Democrats would win at least a few of electoral votes.

In McPherson v. Blacker, the Supreme Court approved Michigan’s move and found that the mode of appointing electors was “exclusively” reserved to the states. The Court would not interfere with the state legislature’s decision, whatever the reason.

State legislatures should consider whether to retake this authority in the 2016 election in an effort to stop Trump. Republicans control 31 state legislatures. Many could consider this proposal, but the Texas state legislature is a natural place to start. It could easily pass a law returning power to the legislature. On Election Day, the legislature could decide whether to vote for Trump or Mitt Romney, the prior Republican nominee; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out of the 2016 race early on; a popular GOP figure like Condoleezza Rice, whose name has recently been floated as an alternative; or their own junior Sen. Ted Cruz, presently trailing Trump in the Republican Party delegate count.

Texas’s 38 red-state electoral votes are almost assuredly required for any Republican to get the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Casting them for someone other than Trump doesn’t help likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, because she also needs 270. So while one state’s electoral votes may not seem like much, it might be enough to deprive either candidate a majority.

And in the event no candidate wins a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives selects the winner. Each state’s delegation of representatives gets one vote and selects among the top three electoral vote-getters—which would include the candidate who receives Texas’s 38 votes. Republicans control these House delegations, and they could select from Trump, Clinton and Texas’s preferred non-Trump candidate.

The decision need not rest with a single state, of course. Many state legislatures may worry about voters choosing between Trump and Clinton. It’d be a long shot, to be sure, but if enough state legislatures voted for their own electors this year, they could collectively secure the 270 electoral votes for their preferred candidate, which may not be either of these two candidates.

To take this extraordinary step, state legislators would have to decide that this election calls for an extraordinary change. And, of course, acknowledge that it could be deployed against any candidate in any presidential election — this year, four years from now and onward. It has seldom been used. But perhaps — just this once — legislators will conclude that the times call for a change to how we vote for the president.

Clearly, Trump supporters and, potentially, anyone who sees this sort of procedural move as a dirty trick, would object to this as antidemocratic. But voters’ preferences would still be reflected — albeit indirectly — in the decisions made by the state legislatures, whose members are elected by the people. And the existence of the Electoral College, no matter how electors are chosen, means that the people, technically, have already been indirectly selecting their presidents.

Trump hasn’t won yet. But it is increasingly likely that we will reach precisely the kind of scenario that the founders worried about — divisive political discourse threatens to thrust a dangerous candidate into office who appears inclined to govern more like a monarch than a president. Opportunities remain for cooler heads to prevail in our presidential election. And state legislatures should consider doing so this year.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:35 am

halfwise wrote:Watched about half of it so far.  Quite clear and very well done.  The best summary I've seen so far.

Dagnamnit. Got halfway through, took a break for the night, came back tonight and it was gone. very foresighted in your warning to watch it soon, Petty.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Fri Mar 18, 2016 1:07 pm

Great Analysis:

Donald Trump will force the Democratic Party to make a fundamental decision

Jeff Spross
The Week
March 17, 2016

Barring an asteroid or some equivalent political upheaval, it looks like the 2016 presidential race will be Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump. And it says a lot about the character of the GOP that it's about to nominate a bigoted, fascistic billionaire. But once the general election gets underway, Clinton and the Democrats will face a moral reckoning of their own.

There are three ways to go up against Trump: option one, address the new wave of populist anger directly, and try to add as many Sanders voters, and maybe even potential Trump voters, to the Obama coalition as possible; option two, try to bring in the more cosmopolitan Republicans who would never pull the lever for Trump; or option three, do nothing and just try to pull off 2008 and 2012 again.

Since option three would increase Trump's chances of winning, the Democrats will probably pick the first or second options. Which they choose will say a lot about what makes the Democratic Party tick.

Option one will require a sharp left turn on economics, built around big and simple ideas: big infrastructure investment and more jobs, a public option, a $15 minimum wage, national paid family and sick leave, expanding Social Security, maybe even something as ambitious as a universal child allowance. If Trump is going to take the stage at debates and say "build a wall and deport the immigrants," Clinton will need a better retort than "non-refundable income-scaling tax credits for certain classes of Americans."

How this will help solidify the Sanders vote behind Clinton should be obvious. But it will also help neutralize a lot of Trump's appeal and maybe even bleed off some portion of his support. A kind of bellicose, raised-middle-finger embrace of xenophobia and bigotry is one of the two fundamental forces in American society Trump is drawing on. But the other is the very justified feeling among many working-class whites that they've been effectively abandoned by American society. Support for Trump is intense in the South, but it's also intense in other places that map less cleanly onto America's history of racism. Trump's most devoted voters come from places that are less educated, that are poorer, where jobs and people are fleeing and where those left behind are literally less healthy and dying faster. They're more sympathetic to economic liberalism and show no interest in cutting big entitlement programs.

How many Trump voters the Democrats could actually bleed off is an open question. But at minimum, you'd think they'd want to outbid Trump where they can. Economic issues are where the Democrats are supposedly capable of moving left without betraying the rest of their moral and political commitments. One of the biggest reasons Hillary Clinton is clenching the Democratic nomination is her years of outreach to African Americans and Latinos — the retail politics and slow, ground-level work of speaking to community after community and church after church, and earning their familiarity and trust. There's no reason the party could not put together an equivalent project to reach the white working class.

The problem is, option two will require the Democrats to take the exact opposite approach. The Republican voters most likely to be turned off by Trump are urban or suburban, upscale, and well-educated. They may not be as leftwing as most Democrats on social issues and identity politics, but they're more cosmopolitan than the rest of their own party. In many ways, they're natural allies of the professional urban whites in the Obama coalition, who themselves tend to lean right on questions of unions, the welfare state, job creation, and general economic policy. Courting these disaffected GOP votes will require Clinton to lay off high-end tax hikes, and to start stumping for thing like free trade, reductions in government spending, work requirements for welfare programs, or cuts to Social Security.

If the Democrats' commitment to racial justice, women's advancement, and progressive social and identity politics is a natural outgrowth of a broader belief that societies are judged by how they treat their weakest members, then the white working class is very much worthy of the Democrats' economic aid. But if the Democrats' cosmopolitanism is more about the upper class' moral hygiene — demonstrating its superiority by "knowing which fork to use," as Clive Crook put it — then, like many upper-class Republicans, they may well respond to Trump's rise with open contempt for the working class.

The party absolutely should not move right on women's issues, racial justice, immigration reform, or questions of identity politics to try to counteract Trump. But it should push as far as it can to see how many downscale Americans, many of whom do have ugly attitudes in those realms, can be convinced to set those impulses aside and enter the Democratic tent in the name of economic populism.

Will the Democrats become the party by and for the professional upper class, and rely on the GOP's increasingly poisonous tenor to keep poorer nonwhite voters in its ranks? Or will they rededicate themselves to lifting up everyone who has been left behind in American society, by either economics or prejudice? Who will they reach out to, engage with, and fight for?

We're about to find out.



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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:15 pm

I get the attraction of having a businessman as a president but people forget that he is a businessman for his own selfish gains and has trod on other people to get his wealth. if he was president would he suddenly turn into a philanthropist? or it would it be dog eat dog? so how does that make America greater? will it sort out inequality or make it worse, can a billionaire really empathise with the poor. his show The Apprentice is all about discarding the weaker person, its all about the strong winning at any cost, how can that take into account the weaker in society exactly. what does it say about the attitude towards the weaker in society, you cant 'fire' the poor.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Orwell on Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:21 pm

Democracy for me is about the balancing of vested interests with a view to being as even handed as possible for social cohesion. Even a well-run-business can never be a healthy polity, just a recipe for he rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, the streets not being safe and your borders not being secure. For all that Governmens should aspire and manage for solvency, they can never be a business solely,  because 'business' is only one lobby group in a society among competing other interests. And for the record: greed is NOT good for society, just a recipe for oppression and resentment.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:44 pm


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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Eldorion on Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:07 pm

Maher's thesis here makes no sense. Trump obviously has a humongous ego, but his whole message to voters is "you guys suck, but I can make things better for you". I mean, his slogan is "Make America Great Again". He can't shut up about how shitty things have supposedly gotten in America. That is the exact opposite of "trophy syndrome", wherein the point is to pretend that everyone is great from the get go and that messing up can't change that.
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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:39 pm

The idea is that Trump thinks he's great on no real basis. I do have to agree that there's no evidence that the self esteem movement has been breeding little Trumps, but I think Maher brought it up mainly as a means to belittle him. In that vein it works.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by Eldorion on Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:45 pm

No real basis? He's a billionaire celebrity who waltzed into the political arena and took over the nominating campaign of one of the two major parties while making it look easy. Not saying that the scale of Trump's ego is justified -- he's clearly masking a lot of insecurities and trying to brush his failures under the rug -- but it's not like the only thing to make Trump think he was a success was getting a trophy for being on a losing soccer team when he was in grade school. That said, there are enough similarities between Trump and the archetypal spoiled toddler that I did giggle at a few points in Maher's piece.
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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by bungobaggins on Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:23 pm

http://nypost.com/2016/03/19/why-its-time-for-a-trump-revolution/

My friends are worried about me. They insist something is not right and suggest prayer, counseling, even rehab. “Take a break,” they urge. “Get away for a few days and clear your head.”

They are wise and kind, and it would be foolish to dismiss their concerns. Truth be told, there are moments when I doubt myself. Am I making a huge mistake? Am I losing my mind?

Perhaps I am. My friends say that’s the only possible explanation for the fact that I might support Donald Trump for president.

The insanity defense is all that’s left now that the smart set has declared that it’s immoral and indecent to even think about voting for Trump. OK, call me immoral and indecent as well as crazy, because I’m thinking about it.

It’s been a long road to get here. When Trump’s name first popped up, I joked about moving to Canada. When he launched his campaign, I cursed him, certain he was going to create a circus just when Republicans finally had a strong field of candidates.

I was intrigued by many of them, starting with Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Scott Walker and Jeb Bush. Others I admired while believing they wouldn’t get far — Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Carly Fiorina.

I like those Republicans even though I’m a registered Democrat, just not that kind of Democrat. I voted for President Obama in 2008, believing he meant it when he said no red states, no blue states, only the United States. The barrier he broke added to his appeal.

Six months later, I was off the bus. It was already clear Obama had no intention of building a consensus on anything, although few realized he would be such a radical and partisan polarizer. He may love America, but doesn’t seem to like actual Americans. Other than himself, of course.

With the world on fire thanks to his abdication of global leadership, and with the home front nervous and angry, the 2016 race couldn’t come soon enough. I hoped a Democrat would emerge who realized that Obama had set us on a course that was dangerous and unsustainable, with our ­national debt exceeding $18 trillion.

Clearly, neither Bernie Sanders nor Hillary Clinton is that Dem, though I’ll vote for Sanders in the New York primary just to send her a message.

Following Obama, Clinton’s election would be a calamity. She would be beholden to him, and unable to shift much from his disastrous policies. And who knows what she really believes?

Besides, if the Clintons are rewarded with the White House again, it would be impossible to demand honesty from any public official in America. She’s thoroughly corrupt and, in the memorable words of the late William Safire, a “congenital liar.” Voting for her is a give up on the future.

So I’m stuck with Republicans, but my favorites were rejected, with only Kasich surviving by a thread. Frankly, I don’t blame voters. They’ve had it with vanilla men who play nice and quietly lose elections. If the nominee is another Mitt Romney, Clinton would win in a landslide.

As noted, I do admire Cruz, but he strikes me as more Barry Goldwater than Ronald Reagan. He’s whip smart, but too rigid ideologically and personally joyless. If I were president, I would nominate him for the Supreme Court in hopes he could fill Antonin Scalia’s shoes as the leading constitutionalist.

Which leaves only Donald J. Trump. He’s weird, erratic and I have no idea what he will say or do next. His nasty put-downs of rivals and journalists, especially Megyn Kelly, diminish him. His policies are as detailed as bumper stickers and his lack of knowledge about complex issues scares me.

If he weren’t the GOP front-runner, the gaps in his game would make it easy to dismiss him. But dismissing him requires dismissing the concerns of the 7.5 million people who have voted for him. That I can’t do.

My gut tells me much of the contempt for Trump reflects contempt for his working-class white support. It is one prejudice gentry liberals and gentry conservatives share.

It is perhaps the last acceptable bigotry, and you can see it expressed on any primetime TV program. The insults don’t all seem good-natured to me. I grew up in central Pennsylvania, surrounded by the kind of people supporting Trump, and I sympathize with their worsening plight.

For generations, they went all in for the American dream. Their families fought the wars, worked in the factories, taught school, coached Little League and built a middle-class culture. Now they are abandoned and know it.

Nobody speaks for them. The left speaks for the unions, the poor and the nonwhite, even shedding tears for illegal immigrants and rioters and looters. The GOP speaks for the Chamber of Commerce, big business and Wall Street.

Trump alone is bringing many of these forgotten Americans into the political system, much as Obama did with millennials and black voters. Trump has done it with full-frontal attacks on lopsided trade deals and a broken immigration system. His message is a potent brew of populism and nationalism that reaches across the partisan divide, and the public response is stirring the country.

In fact, many who despise Trump concede he is right that globalization and the open-border flood of cheap labor, while benefitting many Americans, has hurt many others. But instead of working to fix a broken status quo, many on the left and right echo each other’s venomous attacks against him. One day he is Mussolini, the next he’s Hitler, and he’s routinely accused of hate speech and racism.

What is his great sin? Breaking the taboo about what ails the middle class? Daring to challenge a power system that only pretends to have the consent of the governed?

The shame is that others didn’t beat him to it.

For his chutzpah, tens of millions of dollars are being poured into attack ads against Trump, and the urgent blue-nosed concerns about dark pools of money in politics have vanished. As long as he’s the target, all is fair.

Often, the avalanche of sludge against Trump looks and sounds like a reactionary confederacy fighting to keep its power and privileges. Naturally, the mainstream ­media is slashing away.

A Washington Post editorial claims that stopping Trump is the only way to “defend our democracy.” In other words, those troublesome voters are the problem.

A New York Times columnist raised the prospect of assassination. Sure, it was a joke. Make that joke about Obama or Clinton and see who laughs.

I would be delighted to support a more conventional candidate who has Trump’s courage and appeal, but we don’t always get to pick our revolutionaries. And make no mistake, Donald Trump is leading a political revolution that is long overdue.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by halfwise on Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:47 pm

If it weren't for the constant bigotry spewing from Trump, I'd be perfectly happy to concede Trump supporters many of their points, and see if what the world needs is a brash blustery leader at the helm of the most powerful country.  

But he's not just saying "America's best, screw the rest!", he's stirring up some of the worst undercurrents within America.  The polarization we have now will reorient itself and only get worse.  If it weren't for that, I'd throw up my hands and say "go ahead and vote the clownstick in and see what happens, it's only 4 years."  But I fear the internal consequences more than the international consequences.

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Re: US General Election 2016

Post by David H on Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:19 am

I read the editorial Bungo. I don't know who the guy is, but it seems to be hard for him to say a kind word about anybody. That's what's most troubling to me about where America is going right now. It seems most of the leaders who used to know how to disagree with some amount of dignity and respect have left the field. Even this guy you quote says about Trump,

"Which leaves only Donald J. Trump. He’s weird, erratic and I have no idea what he will say or do next. His nasty put-downs of rivals and journalists, especially Megyn Kelly, diminish him. His policies are as detailed as bumper stickers and his lack of knowledge about complex issues scares me."

I don't care for Trump's angry rhetoric, but even I could say more civil things about him than this.

But as you know, I won't be voting for either a Democrat or Republican for president, so I can watch this trash-talking reality TV show of an election unfold without letting any of it get personal.

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