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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:10 am    Post subject: Are Liberals helping Trump ? Reply with quote

( I really don't follow the New York times but this is actually an interesting piece about the toxic political environment south of the border rate now and how liberals have driven the debate to the point its turning people off from politics and making the left seem too radical )

Are Liberals Helping Trump?


A Trump supporter on Inauguration Day. Credit Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Jeffrey Medford, a small-business owner in South Carolina, voted reluctantly for Donald Trump. As a conservative, he felt the need to choose the Republican. But some things are making him feel uncomfortable — parts of Mr. Trump’s travel ban, for example, and the recurring theme of his apparent affinity for Russia.

Mr. Medford should be a natural ally for liberals trying to convince the country that Mr. Trump was a bad choice. But it is not working out that way. Every time Mr. Medford dips into the political debate — either with strangers on Facebook or friends in New York and Los Angeles — he comes away feeling battered by contempt and an attitude of moral superiority.

“We’re backed into a corner,” said Mr. Medford, 46, whose business teaches people to be filmmakers. “There are at least some things about Trump I find to be defensible. But they are saying: ‘Agree with us 100 percent or you are morally bankrupt. You’re an idiot if you support any part of Trump.’ ”

He added: “I didn’t choose a side. They put me on one.”

Liberals may feel energized by a surge in political activism, and a unified stance against a president they see as irresponsible and even dangerous. But that momentum is provoking an equal and opposite reaction on the right. In recent interviews, conservative voters said they felt assaulted by what they said was a kind of moral Bolshevism — the belief that the liberal vision for the country was the only right one. Disagreeing meant being publicly shamed.

Protests and righteous indignation on social media and in Hollywood may seem to liberals to be about policy and persuasion. But moderate conservatives say they are having the opposite effect, chipping away at their middle ground and pushing them closer to Mr. Trump.

“The name calling from the left is crazy,” said Bryce Youngquist, 34, who works in sales for a tech start-up in Mountain View, Calif., a liberal enclave where admitting you voted for Mr. Trump is a little like saying in the 1950s that you were gay. “They are complaining that Trump calls people names, but they turned into some mean people.”

Mr. Youngquist stayed in the closet for months about his support for Mr. Trump. He did not put a bumper sticker on his car, for fear it would be keyed. The only place he felt comfortable wearing his Make America Great Again hat was on a vacation in China. Even dating became difficult. Many people on Tinder have a warning on their profile: “Trump supporters swipe left” — meaning, get lost.

He came out a few days before the election. On election night, a friend posted on Facebook, “You are a disgusting human being.”

“They were making me want to support him more with how irrational they were being,” Mr. Youngquist said.

Conservatives have gotten vicious, too, sometimes with Mr. Trump’s encouragement. But if political action is meant to persuade people that Mr. Trump is bad for the country, then people on the fence would seem a logical place to start. Yet many seemingly persuadable conservatives say that liberals are burning bridges rather than building them.

“We are in a trust spiral,” said Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at New York University. “My fear is that we have reached escape velocity where the actions of each side can produce such strong reactions on the other that things will continue to escalate.”

It is tempting to blame Mr. Trump for America’s toxic political state of mind. He has wreaked havoc on political civility and is putting American democratic institutions through the most robust stress test in decades. But many experts argue that he is a symptom, not a cause, and that the roots go deeper.

Many experts compare today with the 1960s and the Vietnam War protests. That period was far more violent but culminated in a landslide victory for Richard Nixon in 1972, after he famously appealed to the “silent majority,” who he believed resented what they saw as disrespect for American institutions. Others say that democracy was far healthier then and that you have to go farther back to find a historical parallel.

“There is really only one period that was analogous, and that is the Civil War and its immediate aftermath,” said Doug McAdam, a Stanford sociology professor. “I’m not suggesting we are there, but we are straining our institutions more than we really ever have before.”

One facet of recent political life has been large-scale protests against Mr. Trump. They have been largely peaceful, but when there is violence, even on the fringes, it tends to reduce popular support for them, Professor Haidt said, citing recent research. And for many Trump voters, even peaceful protests are unsettling.

“I don’t have a problem with protesting as long as it’s peaceful, but this is destroying the country,” said Ann O’Connell, 72, a retired administrative assistant in Syracuse who voted for Mr. Trump. “I feel like we are in some kind of civil war right now. I know people don’t like to use those terms. But I think it’s scary.”

Mrs. O’Connell is a registered Democrat. She voted for Bill Clinton twice. But she has drifted away from the party over what she said was a move from its middle-class economic roots toward identity politics. She remembers Mr. Clinton giving a speech about the dangers of illegal immigration. Mr. Trump was lambasted for offering some of the same ideas, she said.

“The Democratic Party has changed so much that I don’t even recognize it anymore,” she said. “These people are destroying our democracy. They are scarier to me than these Islamic terrorists. I feel absolutely disgusted with them and their antics. It strengthens people’s resolve in wanting to support President Trump. It really does.”

Polling data suggest many center-right voters feel the same way. The first poll by the Pew Research Center on presidential job performance since Mr. Trump took office showed last week that while he has almost no support from Democrats, he has high marks among moderates who lean Republican: 70 percent approve, while 20 percent disapprove.

Mr. Medford compares Mr. Trump to a jalopy.

“It’s like I need to get from Charleston to Atlanta, and suddenly the most beat-up car on earth shows up and says, ‘Do you need a ride?’ I think, wow, if I had any other way to get there, I’d choose it. But there’s only this terrible car. And it might not even make it.”

But he doesn’t want to get out, at least not yet, and the resignation of Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, hasn’t changed that. Late last year, he hit it off with a woman in New York he met online. They spent hours on the phone. They made plans for him to visit. But when he mentioned he had voted for Mr. Trump, she said she was embarrassed and didn’t know if she wanted him to come. (He eventually did, but she lied to her friends about his visiting.)

“It invalidated anything that’s good about me, just because of how I voted. Poof, it’s gone.”

Mrs. O’Connell feels hopeless. She has deleted all her news feeds on Facebook and she tries to watch less TV. But politics keeps seeping in.

“I love Meryl Streep, but you know, she robbed me of that wonderful feeling when I go to the movies to be entertained,” she said. “I told my husband, I said, ‘Ed, we have to be a little more flexible, or we’re going to run out of movies!’ ”

As for the country, she is worried.

“Change doesn’t occur until you hit rock bottom, like an alcoholic, on his knees, begging for help,” she said. “I think we still have farther to go.”

Sabrina Tavernise is a national correspondent for The New York Times


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's my impression that the Democrats are splitting. Perhaps the Republicans are, too, although this might already have happened.

The mainstream media are denying as much truth as they think they can. The New York Times is no longer the newspaper it was. It is now owned by Carlos Slim, a fat cat Lebanese who knows very well how to use government to become a monopolist. He is the Rogers of Mexico. The Washington Post is worse. They too have passed from the hands of proud newspaper families into the hands of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and his ilk.

Both papers were highly partisan during the election and blacked out most of the information about Hillary's criminal behaviour. The rest of the media -- including the CBC -- followed along.

I think the Democrat's coalition, as it evolved from FDR's New Deal, is coming apart in a permanent way, and the Democrats are doing everything they feel they can get away with to prevent that from happening. In this, they have misjudged Trump. They believe their own propaganda that Trump is a buffoon.

The more inclusive news is on the internet, but that's a forum without editors, so it can be mocked as amateur stuff. But it is the internet that is where much of the battle is being waged, and that is invisible to the old turnips who only use the net to check their emails.

This latest controversy illustrates the point. Do you imagine that Trump was just popping off when he tweeted about being 'wiretapped'? The mainstream media has tried to muddy the waters by deflecting the issue. In their reportage, the issue is that of Obama ordering the wiretaps. In this, they may have some small technical point, but the real issue is the spying, and there is no doubt that Trump was spied on by the professional spies.

Trump's tweet, accusing Obama, might run up against the routine 'deniability' professional politicians put on their more dubious policies, but that isn't the point. Trump is putting the national spotlight on the spying through his tweet.

I imagine that he knows how this will turn out if the mainstream hacks take the bait. And if they don't ... well, he took a shot at no cost.

The big newspapers think they are continuing the buffoon narrative in their coverage, but they are instead showing people more and more about how this corrupted system actually operates. It's no wonder that the many honest liberals out there feel a revulsion.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think they are doing the Democrats any favours.

At the end of the day the Democrats need the House and or the Senate;

The approach of attacking the voters who supported Trump in the election either directly or via surrogates as racist, uneducated, or as plan old stupid will win you praise in places that didn't vote Trump to begin with, but no so much in those States that won him the Presidency.

There is a Democrat Senate Seat up in 2018 in every "Blue Wall" State that swung Trump on Election night in 2016 and five Democrats up in Ruby Red States.

Sooner or later you need to create a coalition that includes those voters who supported Donald Trump for President if you want to have a chance at winning back either house.

At some-point Liberals in general and Democrats in specific need to stop with the non-sense and actually take a step back and realize why they lost and address that.

They need at least some "deplorables" to vote Democrat to have a chance at either the House or Senate.

The more left side of the party seems to not understand that fact.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How are the Democrats going to seduce a serious number of voters from a candidate who ran as someone who would reverse essentially everything the Obama administration did? And who becoming more popular since the election (a trend that may not continue)?

Trump is taking the Republicans, kicking and screaming, to a new kind of Republican Party. (The kickers and screamers are the #NeverTrump crowd, which includes the National Review sorts.) If he can deliver on the main elements of his programme, and grapple with the rest, he could be as well regarded as Ronald Reagan and FDR himself.

You have to understand that most of the corporate fat cats are not Republicans or conservatives. They are progressives who believe that big organizations of experts can run society, and the democratic features are just an irrationality in the system.

That's why the populism that Trump has mobilized is frightening to both parties. But can a party that claims to be 'progressive' really accomodate the working class, and give them a voice? As far as I can see, the Democrats are going further left. The apparatus seems destined to fall into the hands of the supporters of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They don't understand the sentiments that are behind Trump.

The key is that Trump must deliver on his core promises on immigration, jobs, and the trade deals. The Democrats have to let Trump try his plan, and trust that it will fail. If they continue to obstruct in obvious ways, at least in these areas, they will lose again two years from now. But if life isn't improved for mainstream America in four, he will lose to a Bernie-type leader. That's my thoughts.
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Are Liberals helping Trump ?

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