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Trump

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brianvds
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« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2016, 07:19:58 AM »

The let’s-circle-the-wagons effect lies at the heart of all identity politics, so raising it in the context of the Trump phenomenon isn’t really any more enlightening than pointing out the fruitless mutual name-calling that characterises such politics.  There are local analogues aplenty.

I think what makes Trump unusual is not so much what he says as that he seems to have so much support. As an American friend of mine says, America has lost its collective mind.

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What’s interesting is that the poles seem to be heftier than the middle.  What’s entirely uninteresting is that that rather vast middle (i.e., “middle” in US terms) is aligned mostly along its own historical allegiances: most Republicans will vote red and most Democrats will vote blue.  What would be as jaw-droppingly encouraging as it is unlikely to happen would be a US electorate that woke up to the realities it is facing and voted Independent.

Yup, but several things work against that. For one thing, America's system apparently pretty much ensures a two party system. Of course, it doesn't absolutely have to be the current two (which are essentially the same party anyway.) But people are so scared of Trump they tell me this election is too important to be the one in which they vote third party. They told me the same thing last election, and the one before it, and...

Every election, the same thing happens: on both sides, they see the other party's candidate as so scary that this election they just have to vote against him/her as an emergency measure; next election we'll all vote third party. This despite the fact that the U.S. president doesn't actually have all that much power, and America is a big dude and can survive two terms of Trump.

Another factor is that Hillary has successfully duped the traditional Democrat supporters into thinking she's the left wing candidate. In fact, just yesterday I had an American bloke tell me that I am wrong - Hillary is not right wing, she's the Democratic candidate and therefore she is by definition left wing. So yes, as you point out, they vote according to tradition and hardly even look at what their candidates are actually saying and doing and planning. Fact is, the current Democratic party has pretty much taken over the GOP's policies, while the latter has gone batshit crazy. Traditional right wingish voters should actually now support Hillary, and the leftish ones should vote for Stein.

But it won't happen this election because lots of votes for Stein will effectively ensure a Trump victory. Of course, it will also ensure that the Greens will have access to funding for the next election, and within a decade, the entire face of American politics will have shifted towards a more rational view. But voters don't think that far into the future; every election they vote tactically rather than on principle, because every election they go into panic mode about the opposing candidate.

Well, they richly deserve their leaders. They are one more reason why I have become determined that I'll sit out an election before I ever, ever again vote tactically rather than on principle. America neatly illustrates where tactical voting eventually leads. If the electorate has no principles, they can't really complain when their politicians don't have any either.

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Apart from that, the fact that the US’s sphere of influence on most of the rest of the world is vastly disproportionate to its actual presence and that the choice of its leader currently is between a psychopath and a village bully, should be deeply concerning to any thinking observer.  It’s the whole world that’s headed for “interesting times”, not just the US.

I fear you may be right - whichever of the two wins, we are headed for more war. Of course, this ultimately weakens them and their empire is slowly crumbling, and while one cannot help a bit of schadenfreude over that, the fact is that with America out of the way, it will be the Chinese who throw their weight around all over the world. We may live to long for the good old days when a few drone strikes in the Middle East were the worst of our worries about the world policeman...
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Mefiante
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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2016, 08:50:31 AM »

The US dilemma in a nutshell.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2016, 09:43:56 AM »

.... would be a US electorate that woke up to the realities it is facing and voted Independent.

Hahahahahahahaha! *sobs uncontrollably* The world is red or blue, Gary who?
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brianvds
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« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2016, 14:33:32 PM »



Yup. Pretty much what I pointed out: the problem with Hillary is precisely that she is an able politician and administrator. When you have to begin hoping for an incompetent president rather than a competently corrupt one, you know you are in trouble.

Of course, around here we have the same problem. :-)
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2016, 09:49:33 AM »

Uh yeah but if our politico's truly fucked up I could always jump ship to option #2. But Option #2 is starting to look worse and worse. Sigh, what's option #3 then? *ponders*
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brianvds
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2016, 11:44:54 AM »

Uh yeah but if our politico's truly fucked up I could always jump ship to option #2. But Option #2 is starting to look worse and worse. Sigh, what's option #3 then? *ponders*

What would be your option #2 anyway?
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2016, 13:26:16 PM »

Implied in my reply was that it was the USA. I know people there, tons of good quality of living, not perfect... but nothing is.
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brianvds
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2016, 14:46:39 PM »

Implied in my reply was that it was the USA. I know people there, tons of good quality of living, not perfect... but nothing is.

Strikes me as a bit of a police state though...
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Faerie
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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2016, 18:26:34 PM »

Yeah... It is likely the last place Id consider to run too. Far too restrictive imo. Not sure either where Id go though. I like my country...
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brianvds
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« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2016, 05:38:18 AM »

Yeah... It is likely the last place Id consider to run too. Far too restrictive imo. Not sure either where Id go though. I like my country...

For all its problems, South Africa is one of the freest places on the planet. Furthermore, a lot of the problems seem to be mostly the problem of a specific demographic, to which most of us here do not belong. Zuma's shenanigans are mostly harming his own supporters. As the government slowly melts down, its services are being taken over by the private sector. And which demographic is it that is now mostly taking over (and making a fortune out of) these services?

It's true that the jury is really still out on whether we're going to make it in the longer run. But then, not too long ago Syria was supposedly one of the most stable countries in the Middle East, and western Europe looked like one of the more tolerant places on earth. America had a healthy democracy. Now Syria has gone up in flames, the Europeans are practicing petty apartheid and America is about to elect one of two loony war mongers as president (almost overnight, their democracy has become a joke compared even to ours, considering the success of our recent municipal elections).

One cannot really predict the future. If Nassim Taleb's ideas have any validity, South Africa is actually far more stable than it appears on the surface.
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2016, 10:27:56 AM »

Daar het nog niks dramaties genoeg gebeur om regtig 'n massa uittog te regverdig nie. Miskien word ons padda stelselmatig gekook.
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brianvds
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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2016, 12:45:00 PM »

Daar het nog niks dramaties genoeg gebeur om regtig 'n massa uittog te regverdig nie. Miskien word ons padda stelselmatig gekook.

Ja, mens wonder maar altyd of jy dalk besig is om jouself te bedrieg. Maar in my geval is die hele ding in elk geval akademies: ek is te oud en te ongekwalifiseerd om te kan emigreer. Geen land wat by sy verstand is sal my daar toelaat nie. :-)
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2016, 13:48:56 PM »

Yeah... It is likely the last place Id consider to run too. Far too restrictive imo. Not sure either where Id go though. I like my country...

For all its problems, South Africa is one of the freest places on the planet.

Yes. Mostly because of incompetence, but most of us do get to run around doing mostly whatever we want. We have a strong court system and a very progressive constitution (I'd argue too liberal, but damn good). Everyone seems mystified by my choice of the USA, so I'll elaborate:

1. Freedom: Forget about most of Europe and Eastern Europe, the middle east, Australia, China. No nanny states for me thanks.
2. Security: Forget about most of Africa and South America.
3. Opportunity: It's called the land of opportunity because it is.
4. Quality of Living: You could argue the likes of France, Sweden, Iceland or Denmark beat the USA. But see #1.

IMHO The states is not perfect on any one thing, but is the most perfect conglomeration of a lot of very good things.

Unemployment is a rarity in the states, even today. Law enforcement, if anything, is a bit too zealous. Their economy, although regulation creeps forward as it does everywhere, is mostly a huge free-for-all unhampered by overbearing Labour legislation. If not the best, then amongst the best educational facilities in the world.

IMHO If you are at all in the least way capable of making it ANYWHERE in life, you will do so in the USA, and you'll do so autonomously and mostly on your own terms whilst living in safety and not wanting for any basic necessities.

Also, the USA's name is a clue: It is a number of states, from which you can pick-and-choose any climate, economic condition, lifestyle, and world outlook you desire. You can go live in the bible belt and sing to jesus or you can go live in LA and be a godless sodomite. It's all up to you.


Finally ... I deal with American companies all the time, their levels of service are stratospheric. The competition present and the fickle nature of their clientele means they pull out all the stops all the time. When I have to deal with an American operation one moment and an SA one the next the difference is ... there are no words: In the USA shit works, 24/7. In SA shit stops breaking at 5pm and continues to break at 8am.
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