UKC

Trump trial insightful of the rise of a dictator?

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 MargieB 10 Feb 2021

I don't think many in the West have had the opportunity  to witness the possible dismantling of democracy  since the days of Hitler and the third Reich. Trump's actions so far have had uncanny resemblances to the deliberate processes Hitler contrived to seize absolute power.  I now fully expect this trial will expose shuddering levels of deliberate attempts to undermine institutions which are there to add in checks and balances to  stop one person/ one party rule.

The other side of it is the blind loyalty of party members to  one man. The constitutional argument was never really there but they mostly stuck to blind loyalty. But, the other side of this is that, in a   democracy, politicians  are more dependent on public votes to keep their shoddy political positions - this may override their fear of being dismissed by trump which currently seems dominant in their thinking. If this very public trial radically shifts public opinion, through evidence,  this should  force the republican senators  to be moved to consider the evidence   and judge accordingly.

What is shocking, is that there has been a terrible glimpse for us in the West to see  how difficult it would be, once the fragile institutions of democracy are dismantled, to restore them. So many other countries have this problem...

Post edited at 09:40
In reply to MargieB:

I always felt a bit reticent comparing Trump to Hitler as people are quick to claim that is too much but his actions right from early on made me feel that the comparison was valid. Just stuff like putting a crony in charge of the Post Office to get his way....

 MargieB 10 Feb 2021
In reply to DubyaJamesDubya:

I too have been careful not to use the Hitler parallel lightly. But, on re seeing some very interesting historical assessments of the rise of Hitler, the early parallels are striking and the processes of the rise of any dictator tend to follow very similar patterns. The early use of private militia, particularly worrying, and the undermining of the  diversity in the system that gives options of choice for the electorate.

Of course pubic susceptibility to Hitler was because the German people were in crisis economically. Reparations had driven them under- a terrible mistake by the victors after the first world war. But any economic crisis is  dangerous  groundwork for extremely reactive politics and the rise of autocratic "saviours" or demagogues, defined as people who exploit exaggerated prejudices.

What's new with trump is the "conspiracy theory" is easily perpetuated through the speed of the internet. 

Post edited at 11:04
In reply to MargieB:

I have real concerns right now that our own institutions are being undermined by the willingness of politicians to lie and be dishonest - and be entirely indifferent to being caught out - and the power of the media to present a solid wall against them being held to account.

For the foreseeable future 'everything' that goes wrong with trade will be the exclusive responsibility of the EU; the totally predictable and catastrophic consequences of Brexit brushed off as 'teething problems' and we'll be told they were entirely unpredictable;   the forces driving Scottish independence will be the fault of the SNP; the chaos and fatality rate in the early stages of the pandemic will be forgotten. In the meantime animals like Rees Mogg, Gove, Patel seem to get stronger, their indifference to the constitution and rule of law becoming ever more pronounced,  and the lunatics on the back benches  are becoming more and more mainstream, even increasing their majorities for Gods sake. Who, with a functioning brain cell, would knowingly vote for Mark Francois?

I don't think there are any guarantees that 'it will all sort itself out.'

In reply to MargieB:

Republican senators will effectively be in judgement of their own blind support for Trump. This 'support' has been rendered blind on pain of job loss. Given that they will have difficulties in admitting they have been wrong (or more accurately misled) for 4 years, senators will put themselves and the GOP first and vote against impeachment.

I agree there have been deliberate power seizing processes at work (this is Trump, after all), but in the unfolding battle between condemning the process vs. saving face for the sake of the republican party, the latter will invariably win out. 

GOP party politics and the ideology they represent will always come first. No longer can it be said that politicians work for the good of the people, despite palliative publicly-proclaimed words to the contrary. The represented ideology is 'kept sweet' by a billionaire-owned dominant media, in whose interests it has become to keep the republicans in power. The same is happening here in the UK, only with Johnson.

Insidious, deliberate mission creep such as this tends to slip under the radar until it's too late. People (Trump supporters in this case) are already converted - and like some kind of vile crackpot religious belief, it will be increasingly very hard for the normal counter-arguments, normally enshrined in democracy, to undo.

If I were to apportion a blameworthy perpetrator, it would certainly be the media. They alone can make or break any political party on a whim. They alone can sustain anti-democratic ideologies for their own ulterior ends. Even though Trump (and Johnson) are the public faces of politics, they are mere assistants in the scheme of power seizure - not necessarily the cause. 

 MargieB 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

America's weakness has been an exclusively two party  choice in their system with sub sequential lack of choice- and its got them in a bad position. They haven't got established multiple parties to choose from.

Post edited at 11:16
In reply to MargieB:

Do we? Is the Labour party even remotely electable at the moment, especially under FPTP?

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

A couple of years ago I visited this place: https://www.muenchner-stadtmuseum.de/en/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/national-socialism-in-munich

Built on the site of the Nazi party headquarters it tells the story of the rise and fall of the Nazis the chaos and humiliation of Germany  post WWI to the chaos and humiliation of Germany post WWII. 

Trump is a fascist, no doubt about it but he isn't even in the same league as Hitler. To make comparisons is to belittle what happened in Europe a century ago. Some of the tactics and rhetoric are the same but they are historical constants, Hitler got his first lessons in rabble rousing from the German army who were determined to crush the German communists who were threatening to size power. Go back further through history and you will see examples of the same lies and subterfuges used time and time again.

What is disturbing about the US is how many politicians are prepared to accommodate this fascist because it suits their interests. It is a very dangerous game to play. 

Post edited at 11:35
 elsewhere 10 Feb 2021
In reply to AllanMac:

> If I were to apportion a blameworthy perpetrator, it would certainly be the media. They alone can make or break any political party on a whim. They alone can sustain anti-democratic ideologies for their own ulterior ends. Even though Trump (and Johnson) are the public faces of politics, they are mere assistants in the scheme of power seizure - not necessarily the cause. 

Don't agree with that. There are still journalists and others asking difficult questions. It's up to us to to listen to them rather than some partisan news channel, newspaper, blog or youtube channel that supplies easily digested simple answers in support of the demagogue (or our preferred ideology).

Post edited at 11:42
 elsewhere 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> What is disturbing about the US is how many politicians are prepared to accommodate this fascist because it suits their interests. It is a very dangerous game to play. 

This. A large number of Republicans voted against confirming Biden's election despite no serious* evidence of electoral fraud and something like 59 out of 60 failed lawsuits by Trump's team.  It's a vote saying the truth, nation and democracy don't matter and are secondary to political ambition and party.

*I'm sure somebody somewhere did wrong, but not enough to change anything.

 deepsoup 10 Feb 2021
In reply to elsewhere:

There was clear evidence of election fraud in Trump's favour though.  (Both in 2016 and 2020.)

Besides all the voter suppression, that malarky with the postal service and such, lets not forget that the reason for his first impeachment was that he got caught red-handed trying use his office to pressure a foreign government into digging up (or manufacturing) some dirt on his likely opponent that he could use in the campaign.

 elsewhere 10 Feb 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> There was clear evidence of election fraud in Trump's favour though.  (Both in 2016 and 2020.)

> Besides all the voter suppression, that malarky with the postal service and such, lets not forget that the reason for his first impeachment was that he got caught red-handed trying use his office to pressure a foreign government into digging up (or manufacturing) some dirt on his likely opponent that he could use in the campaign.

Good points.

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

You also find this observer's guide to populists worth reading, there's a lot in it you'll probably recognise.

https://populistsplaybook.com/

 MargieB 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

I would agree that there are incipient parallels and it should not belittle the fullness of horror of Hitler.

 mondite 10 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

>  But, the other side of this is that, in a   democracy, politicians  are more dependent on public votes to keep their shoddy political positions - this may override their fear of being dismissed by trump which currently seems dominant in their thinking.

In most cases it wasnt theory of dismissal as opposed to fear of the base.

The GOP has the problem that the demographics have been moving against them and instead of trying to change the appeal they have just doubled down especially with regards to gerrymandering and other means of suppressing voters they dont like the look of. As such they have got more and more reliant on the key support which leaves them vulnerable to the most extreme of that key support.

Oddly enough Trump actually did do a bit to reverse this by trying to appeal to certain groups previously ignored or grouped together incorrectly (hispanics for example have some very clear splits within the group). So hopefully they might learn from that bit and ignore the rest.

It does show its very hard to create a system which is proof against someone who utterly disregards any existing conventions although I guess at least it wasnt successful this time.

The real problem is someone more competent might look at what Trump has done and see the opportunity. So someone more like Hitler with an actual plan of what they want to do when they get their hands on power rather than just make it up between games of golf.

In reply to MargieB:

I don't agree that conspiracy theories are new. The whole "Jewish Problem", as one of my east European relatives put it, is entirely a conspiracy theory. In today's context Trump has been and continues to be just as dangerous as Hitler as potentially he has more power. If you listen to Mary Trump, and everybody should, you will not underestimate his reckless, destructive nature. Can anybody point me at his comment on the death of Capitol police officer Sicknick? The guy was laid out in the Capitol so that all could pay their respects. If trump felt innocent he would have paid his respects.

How those creatures in the Republican House and Senate can support him is utterly baffling. They have Yale and Harvard law degrees and suchlike. How? Is this the way a civilisation ends? 

In reply to Pete Pozman:

> I don't agree that conspiracy theories are new. The whole "Jewish Problem", as one of my east European relatives put it, is entirely a conspiracy theory. 

I fully agree with your post and what your relative said, but I don't think what margie wrote disagrees with this. She said:

"What's new with trump is the "conspiracy theory" is easily perpetuated through the speed of the internet"

Yes, fascists, both Hitler and trump use conspiracy theories, lying about their enemies. But i think a pound shop fascist like trump would not have had the political skills, the staying power and the force of personality to get into power in the first place without social media and right wing mainstream media helping him spread his lies.

 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> Trump is a fascist, no doubt about it

Wikipedia gives a pretty decent description of fascism as "a form of far-right, authoritarian ultranationalism characterized by dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and strong regimentation of society and of the economy".

Yet we've just had an election, the result was ratified, there has remained throughout a vibrant and vocal (potentially even biased) anti-Trump media, protests against Trump have occurred continuously during his presidency, and Trump did nothing to wind back recently won liberal laws while appealing to minority groups that until relatively recently found little more support from Democrats than they did from Republicans.

Trump's character flaws are obvious and he is on par with Nixon (but without the intelligence). The accusation of fascism however seems tenuous at best.  Or if it can be so widely spread, so then can the claim that the Democrat party are 'socialist'.  And, in which case, the people making claims of fascism are falling into the same trap as the people they align against.  

But worse than belittling real fascists, the claim that he was one also lumps his supporters in with that description.  Yet almost half of all voters twice voted for him and, given national race riots, nightly riots in the Pacific Northwest by anarchists with Democrat support, stated Democrat desires to wind-back at a federal level state's constitutionally enshrined gun laws, apparent intentions to pack the supreme court to redress its conservative weighting, and a culture war where the Democrats openly held the opposition ground, you have to accept that people have perfectly reasonable grounds for favouring Republicans against Democrats. You might not agree with their viewpoints, but that doesn't mean they support fascism.

The claims that he was looks dangerously close to labelling anything that does not ascribe to the progressive project, and is simply objectionable on a personal level, as fascist.  Not far removed from claims that Brexit, and Brexiteers, are racist.

 Martin W 10 Feb 2021
In reply to AllanMac:

> Republican senators will effectively be in judgement of their own blind support for Trump. This 'support' has been rendered blind on pain of job loss. Given that they will have difficulties in admitting they have been wrong (or more accurately misled) for 4 years, senators will put themselves and the GOP first and vote against impeachment.

I would say that that they consciously allowed themselves to be misled because it looked like a good way to garner votes.  Anyone who went into this without being aware of the reality of what they were supporting can be barely capable of being allowed out alone, let alone having an active role in a federal legislature.

In reply to Eric9Points:

> Trump is a fascist, no doubt about it but he isn't even in the same league as Hitler.

I don't think this discussion is about which one was worse, it's about how people like this appear to be able repeatedly to manipulate and subvert supposedly democratic systems and rational populations to get the power they want.  The parallels are there.

In reply to MargieB:

After watching ITV's 'Storming the Capitol' on 13th Jan, I reckoned the US was at about 1923. Beer hall putsch, and the SA

https://www.historyonthenet.com/nazi-germany-timeline

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> After watching ITV's 'Storming the Capitol' on 13th Jan, I reckoned the US was at about 1923. Beer hall putsch, and the SA

There's almost no political violence in the USA. It was rife in Germany at that time.

 mondite 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> But worse than belittling real fascists, the claim that he was one also lumps his supporters in with that description.

No it doesnt. This is the normal hard right bollocks to try and shut down debate and avoid responsibility for their actions.

It simply states that they are willing to vote for a fascist which isnt necessarily the same thing.

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

Trump's supporters aren't all fascists by any stretch of the imagination although most of those involved in storming the Capitol probably are. A bit like the saying that not everyone who voted for Brexit is a racist but every racist voted for Brexit. Many Trump voters just wanted lower taxes, or a job, or to keep their guns or didn't want any more Latinos in their country.

However it has been clear for a long time that he holds democracy in contempt and when it didn't go his way he tried everything in his power to subvert it. In fact he was doing his level best to subvert it years before the election by indulging in voter suppression and gerrymandering, by undermining people's confidence in the impartiality of the electoral system etc, etc. 

Many Germans voted for Herr Hitler because he gave them jobs and restored pride in their country. They looked the other way when the Gestapo dragged their neighbours out of their homes and anyway, by then it was too late.

I don't think there's much difference between Trump voters and Hitler voters on the whole. Mainly ordinary people taken in by a populist narrative.

Post edited at 15:48
 MargieB 10 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

I see your point about the base vote being a priority because it is responsible for the republican senators' own positions of power. But, say, the mindset of the republican voters is overwhelmingly shifted by evidence in this impeachment and also this is also combined  by the fact that blame is proven to be majorly on Trump's shoulders, this may provide reasons for a shift in republican senators' attitudes. If  they believe that  in future elections the republican vote will be anti trumpian and  also if this very trial allows them to distance themselves from Trump, {saying they were as fooled as any of the ordinary republican voters who once waved a supportive flag for trump}  the republican mindset may shift.

It is not really a trial in the criminal sense but a political reckoning that we'll be witnessing. A calculative process. I think it may be interesting to see the shift , especially if something grievous emerges.

Post edited at 16:54
In reply to elsewhere:

> Don't agree with that. There are still journalists and others asking difficult questions. It's up to us to to listen to them rather than some partisan news channel, newspaper, blog or youtube channel that supplies easily digested simple answers in support of the demagogue (or our preferred ideology).

But on the other hand, there are many journalists (possibly even the majority) who are, through the necessity of keeping their job, in thrall of their employers. Or at least subjected to a lot of top-down filtering, when what they write gets submitted to Chief Editors - or from broadcasting Director Generals. The balance of power, in my opinion, is therefore less related to the impartial reporting of facts direct from journalists, and more related to what the news outlet as an institution, stands for politically.

I think this is so even within the BBC, whose idea of impartiality appears to be maintaining a news output with an impenetrable blue cloak of tory ideology draped over it, while at the same time with a distinct left-leaning cultural output - in hopes of balancing things out. That does not equal impartiality in my book. Remember Emily Maitlis, whose knuckles were severely rapped for daring to give an accurate account of Dominic Cummings' myopic sojourn to Barnard Castle? Was that her fault, or DC's? Was she suspended because the BBC's director general is an active tory? I guess we'll never know.

If my somewhat jaded opinion of journalism is true, then is it any wonder that the UK's Overton Window has shifted even further rightwards because of what gets published or broadcast? Media control is straight from the authoritarian's playbook, and only a few steps away from all-out fascism.

*Edit typos

Post edited at 17:54
 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I don't think there's much difference between Trump voters and Hitler voters on the whole. Mainly ordinary people taken in by a populist narrative.

That's a depressing judgement on half the voting population in the US. 

Presumably you mean voters in general and therefore also include Hillary/Biden voters in that?  And wouldn't you think Republican voters would likewise be justified in making the same presumptions of Democrat voters? 

Afterall, left-leaning policies are by definition 'populist', also claim to seek to restore pride and jobs, and there is ample evidence where 'true socialism' has been tried it has tended to go hand in hand with wholesale removal of the voting system.  When it comes to removing impartiality, California Democrats' Proposition 16 (on the same ballot as Trump) was surely a good example of that, and continued claims that Trump (like Bush before him) was voted in by illegitimate means have likewise worked to undermine people's confidence in the voting system.  All sides gerrymander and to a Republican, potential for more members to be added to the Supreme Court look like an act of border re-drawing.  I don't think Democrats would be any more alarmed than Republicans if their neighbours from another party were ragged away for re-education.

Accusing people of fascism, fascist sympathies, or simply being as easy to manipulate as Nazi party supporters, does nothing to heal divides.  It just adds to them, especially if the definition is unfairly applied.  

 Mr Lopez 10 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

I watched the trial yesterday which i found captivating.. Kind of clicked a random link, thought "i'll watch a few minutes", and a couple of hours later i was still glued to the screen.

They very eloquently go into the same subjects you mention, and it's worth sitting through the first hour and 45 minutes if anything to better appreciate Raskin's speech that follows. One of the best and most powerful i heard in a long time, and which prompted headlines saying that with that speech alone he already won the trial, which hasn't even started yet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsEQiVKCp38&

Post edited at 18:23
In reply to RentonCooke:

> That's a depressing judgement on half the voting population in the US. 

> Presumably you mean voters in general and therefore also include Hillary/Biden voters in that?  And wouldn't you think Republican voters would likewise be justified in making the same presumptions of Democrat voters? 

It seems quite different,  the democratic candidates appear to believe in democracy (as have the vast majority of republicans in the past) , and aren't aiming for a left wing totalitarian state. Just a centre (or possibly centre left) government. 

Obviously in the past some left wing totalitarian states have come to power and overthrown democracy. You are correct this is just as bad as a right wing government overthrowing democracy, but i don't think there is even a remote chance of that happening with Biden or Starmer.

Trump was using common fascist tactics to try to overthrow a democratic election and a lot of republican politicians supported his attempts.

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> That's a depressing judgement on half the voting population in the US. 

> Presumably you mean voters in general and therefore also include Hillary/Biden voters in that?  And wouldn't you think Republican voters would likewise be justified in making the same presumptions of Democrat voters? 

If you don't agree with me then explain what the difference is between the average American in 2020 and the average German in 1930.

 Mr Lopez 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

BMI?

 mondite 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> That's a depressing judgement on half the voting population in the US. 

>   And wouldn't you think Republican voters would likewise be justified in making the same presumptions of Democrat voters? 

No. There is no evidence of that widespread voter fraud which many republican voters apparently believe is the case.

Although on the flipside there is plenty of evidence of the republicans trying to disenfranchise voters and make it difficult for those who are likely to vote democat to vote.

> Afterall, left-leaning policies are by definition 'populist',

No.

> also claim to seek to restore pride and jobs,

this is not populism.

> and there is ample evidence where 'true socialism' has been tried it has tended to go hand in hand with wholesale removal of the voting system. 

No there is evidence that when communism is imposed by revolution then it doesnt bode well for the voting system.

> When it comes to removing impartiality, California Democrats' Proposition 16 (on the same ballot as Trump) was surely a good example of that,

Oh go on elaborate.

> and continued claims that Trump (like Bush before him) was voted in by illegitimate means have likewise worked to undermine people's confidence in the voting system. 

Only the first Bush presidency was challenged and that was for pretty good reason about the hanging chads and the stopping of the vote.  They put various measures in place to try and prevent it reoccuring.

Trump, of course, was challenged about the dubious methodology and not the actual voting process itself outside of the voter suppression.

> All sides gerrymander

Sorry but the evidence is overwhelming that one party is gerrymandering far and beyond anyone else. This whataboutery is what is damaging to democracy.

> and to a Republican, potential for more members to be added to the Supreme Court look like an act of border re-drawing. 

Which only became a discussion point after the republican actions. There seems to be a belief amongst many republicans than they are entitled to a majority in the supreme court and acting like children when they dont get it.

In reply to Mr Lopez:

> They very eloquently go into the same subjects you mention, and it's worth sitting through the first hour and 45 minutes if anything to better appreciate Raskin's speech that follows. One of the best and most powerful i heard in a long time, and which prompted headlines saying that with that speech alone he already won the trial, which hasn't even started yet.

Wow. That is a truly remarkable speech.

 MargieB 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I've just watched the evidence of the prosecution which is presented as a cumulative package of sayings, events, actions over a period of time with the January speech seen in context of the past episodes/evidence. There were events of documented violence and presidential awareness that were shocking and it looks like contrived behaviour and actions and strategy. I'm going to watch tomorrow which presumably focusses on the hours of trumpian inaction/actions during the actual Capitol Hill invasion. Did he deliberately stand aside the national guard or not call them in when he knew it was happening- time lines important???

If he was not a fully aware individual with a strategy, I can't think of any other defence except diminished responsibility -  but it looks too contrived and aware to explain it away using that defence. It would be a long shot that people would buy it. Otherwise, what's left in defence? What can they possibly say on Friday? There's the free speech defence but there's too much evidence in other areas over time, especially about militia build up.

 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to mountain.martin:

I don't disagree that the current Democrat leadership is a different thing from Trump.  But the Mueller report was clear there was no Russian collusion. Yet from day one of Trump's presidency right through to the end, his standing in office was challenged on exactly those grounds by Democrats and the Democrat aligned media, thing.  Essentially, the election was fraudulent.

There may be a difference between accusations of Russian meddling and a president encouraging a protest march on the Capitol Buildings.  But its debatable whether Trump called for anything more than that, with the invasion of the building doing nothing to help his case and most likely evidence of a complete lack of imagination in what his words could lead to.  So I don't think anyone can start talking about overthrowing democracy without consideration to how the last four years of accusations look to Trump supporters.

 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> If you don't agree with me then explain what the difference is between the average American in 2020 and the average German in 1930.

We may be in agreement there.  They're no different.  My only point is that Democrat voters, just like Republican voters, are also no different from the average 1930s German. 

From Red Guards to Khmer Rouge, mobs have overturned democracy and inflicted genocide.  Just because they claimed to be doing so in the interests of justice, equality and the banishment of elites, doesn't make them any better in my view than the ones who claimed to be doing so for racial purity, law and order, and economic growth. So I'm as scared of the left as I am of the right.

 mondite 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> I don't disagree that the current Democrat leadership is a different thing from Trump. 

and yet you will now dive into some false equivilance and lies.

> But the Mueller report was clear there was no Russian collusion.

Well yes on the grounds  “We did not address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term,”

It did conclude that Russia did interfere in favour of the Trump campaign and that it was welcomed by the Trump campaign.

It didnt prove there was actually coordination between the two although it noted the Trump campaigns lack of cooperation would have impacted the ability to detect this and, of course, several members were found to have close links.

> There may be a difference between accusations of Russian meddling and a president encouraging a protest march on the Capitol Buildings. 

I love the way you skip over all his other actions.

Its pretty clear you are either a deliberately dishonest actor or to far down the rabbit hole to notice. Either way a good example of how dictatorships rise and democracy falls.

 Eric9Points 10 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> We may be in agreement there.  They're no different.  My only point is that Democrat voters, just like Republican voters, are also no different from the average 1930s German. 

> From Red Guards to Khmer Rouge, mobs have overturned democracy and inflicted genocide.  Just because they claimed to be doing so in the interests of justice, equality and the banishment of elites, doesn't make them any better in my view than the ones who claimed to be doing so for racial purity, law and order, and economic growth. So I'm as scared of the left as I am of the right.

Yes we agree.

The problem stems from political extremism.

https://www.google.com/search?q=horseshoe+theory&oq=horseshoe+the&aqs=chrome.0.0i433j69i57j0l3.16330j0j7&client=ms-android-google&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

 Roadrunner6 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

Democracy also didn't fail, it wasn't dismantled. It took a battering but the winner of the election was seated.

It did what it was meant to do, and thankfully had the checks and balances in place to ensure a transfer of power.

 Roadrunner6 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

> I don't think there's much difference between Trump voters and Hitler voters on the whole. Mainly ordinary people taken in by a populist narrative.

That's not true. Trump lost a lot of support after 1/6. The mainstream largely stood by him but I know many who said that day was the day they left his base. 

The polls show most of the country now favour impeachment.

 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Although on the flipside there is plenty of evidence of the republicans trying to disenfranchise voters and make it difficult for those who are likely to vote democat to vote.

Like voter ID and pushing for in-person, rather than postal, voting? Your 'plenty of evidence' is as ample as the 'plenty of evidence' pointing to voter fraud.  It's anecdotal, highly subjective, and in cases like the 'missing post boxes' a complete fabrication.

Pro-Democrat media sources so viscerally hated Trump that they were willing to air any accusations knowing that only a little of it had to stick. You need to be a sceptical of their claims, and not take them on face value, every bit as much as you are of the right-wing media.

> No.

Explain then how left policies are any less populist than right ones.

> No there is evidence that when communism is imposed by revolution then it doesnt bode well for the voting system.

Is there anywhere where communism hasn't been imposed by revolution?  Its almost a foregone conclusion when socialism repeatedly fails at the ballot box, that these revolutions are claimed to be justified - after all, its the will of the people and repeated failure is proof that the electoral process is rigged.  Why does that sounding familiar...  

> Oh go on elaborate.

The threat to impartiality that removing a law preventing race, ethnicity and sex from being considered when making employment decisions needs elaboration?

> Only the first Bush presidency was challenged and that was for pretty good reason about the hanging chads and the stopping of the vote.  They put various measures in place to try and prevent it reoccurring.

...and claims that voting machines were rigged on behalf of Republicans.  I remember the period well.

> Sorry but the evidence is overwhelming that one party is gerrymandering far and beyond anyone else. This whataboutery is what is damaging to democracy.

Good luck backing that up with anything but partisan analysis and selective choice of time periods.  Republicans may well be worse right now, but gerrymandering is as old as the US, and the prerogative of whoever holds the keys at the time.  Some of the weirdest shaped electoral boundaries appear in Democrat states afterall.

 RentonCooke 10 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

Romthebear?

 Roadrunner6 10 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

Comparisons to hitler are far fetched. He was a 1 term failed president, very poor strategic thinker, internationally very inconsequential. 

In reply to Eric9Points:

> There's almost no political violence in the USA. It was rife in Germany at that time.

There are heavily armed gangs on the streets, though; it was the ITV programme that brought that home to me. It's not something that's regularly reported, I think.

 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> There are heavily armed gangs on the streets, though; it was the ITV programme that brought that home to me. It's not something that's regularly reported, I think.

Where?

I've only lived here since 2014, worked here since 2009, lived in TX, NJ, NH and MA and have never seen heavily armed gangs on the street.

Do people carry guns? Yes, Most? nope. Heavily armed? I've never seen one long rifle in an urban situation. 

In reply to Eric9Points:

> Trump's supporters aren't all fascists by any stretch of the imagination although most of those involved in storming the Capitol probably are. A bit like the saying that not everyone who voted for Brexit is a racist but every racist voted for Brexit. Many Trump voters just wanted lower taxes, or a job, or to keep their guns or didn't want any more Latinos in their country.

> However it has been clear for a long time that he holds democracy in contempt and when it didn't go his way he tried everything in his power to subvert it. In fact he was doing his level best to subvert it years before the election by indulging in voter suppression and gerrymandering, by undermining people's confidence in the impartiality of the electoral system etc, etc. 

> Many Germans voted for Herr Hitler because he gave them jobs and restored pride in their country. They looked the other way when the Gestapo dragged their neighbours out of their homes and anyway, by then it was too late.

> I don't think there's much difference between Trump voters and Hitler voters on the whole. Mainly ordinary people taken in by a populist narrative.

I think the thing people forget is that Hitler started 'small' and only moved on to the horrors once he had got unfettered power. What worries me is where we would have gone if Trump had got in again by flouting the law and democratic process and had four more years to rewrite the constitution, put some Proud Boys in key positions...

 mondite 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> Like voter ID and pushing for in-person, rather than postal, voting? Your 'plenty of evidence' is as ample as the 'plenty of evidence' pointing to voter fraud. 

I was thinking more the deliberate crippling of the post office (which had to be prevented in the courts), the various attempts to limit voting locations (at least one of which was defeated in court) and so on.  Notice the difference in what happened in the courts?

The sad thing is there are some republicans who do still retain ethics and have been rejecting this but all too many follow Trump regardless. Hence why the potential for slide into dicatorship.

> Explain then how left policies are any less populist than right ones.

Why would I need to do that? That wasnt the claim I was responding to which was the explicit claim that all left wing policies are populist.

> Is there anywhere where communism hasn't been imposed by revolution?  Its almost a foregone conclusion when socialism repeatedly fails at the ballot box, that these revolutions are claimed to be justified

I do love how you continually confuse communism with socialism. Also as a spoiler alert the places where communism got in werent overly keen on the ballot box to begin with.

> The threat to impartiality that removing a law preventing race, ethnicity and sex from being considered when making employment decisions needs elaboration?

What exactly is the weakness that you find in it? Lets see a clearly thought through argument and not just an announcement of this weeks hard right bogeyman.

> ...and claims that voting machines were rigged on behalf of Republicans.  I remember the period well.

Of course you do and in a completely unbiased and sensible way.

> Good luck backing that up with anything but partisan analysis and selective choice of time periods.  Republicans may well be worse right now

Well yes and now is what counts no?

 Duncan Bourne 11 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

Really interesting post throughout.

I have been thinking on the whole democracy thing recently. I have a friend who is pro-Trump and parrots the usual stuff (the election was rigged etc.) I agree with your Hilter comparison. Not in the sense that Trump was a monster in the same league as Hilter but in that he used very similar methods. My thinking was that it highlights both the weakness and the strength of democracy. The weakness being that of populism and pandering to the predjudice and base desires of the population. ie. Hilter turned against the Jews which was pandering to already existing predjudice, Thatcher's anti-gay laws of the 80's, Switzerland not giviing women the vote at federal level until 1971. All highlighting that Democracy without education is no different from mob rule.

The strength of democracy is the ability to vote people out before they can do much damage. It is interesting to note that in countries where oppression is rife (either left or right) effective voting is not an option. Either it doesn't exist or comes with intimidation or else the result is ignored by the ruling party (or in a lot of cases the military).

 wercat 11 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

looking at ourselves for a moment I think that Goebbels would have given credit to the ability of Vote Leave to achieve a political end regardless of truth.  

 jkarran 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> Accusing people of fascism, fascist sympathies, or simply being as easy to manipulate as Nazi party supporters, does nothing to heal divides.  It just adds to them, especially if the definition is unfairly applied.  

Can you explain to me he fundamental differences between ordinary Germans of the early 20th century and ordinary US voters of the early 21st that made them uniquely manipulable? It's not the first time I've seen this argument deployed (perhaps by one of your previous incarnations/sockpuppets) but I don't recall getting a compelling answer to this when I've asked before.

jk

In reply to wercat:

I've been struck over the last 5 years of the consistent application of the Goebbels principle: 'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.'

The concept of a malicious, vindictive, power hungry, expansionist and anti-UK EU is now so baked in to public consciousness is that even as the pigeons come home to roost - EU exports down by 80%, re-emerging troubles in Northern Ireland,  decline of financial services, abrupt and comprehensive end to freedom of movement (all of which have been predicted on here for the last 5+ years) they will ALL be blamed on the EU; the idea that when you point a finger of blame 3fingers are pointing back at  you is completely lost.

 MargieB 11 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Something else emerged in the trial evidence last night. Although the highlighting of trump's quotes were such as to reinforce the argument that he was inciting violence, there were interesting quotes from trump that revealed his relationship to the republican party and the structure trump has created. The republican party is trump centric to the extent that he said that republicans owe everything to him. Pence had to do as he was told or trump would be displeased and lose trump's favour- the sum total of this is a party structure that he created that is authoritarian, with an expectation of unquestioning loyalty, displeasure from trump  - and if he is displeased, anger from him with the express aim of making people fearful of their position. 

Surely this party structure/atmosphere which is also being revealed in this trial, must give republican senators pause for thought about where their party has gone, within itself.

If this trial is also a political calculation, this must be factored in as regards their republicans' decisions?.

Post edited at 09:56
 Duncan Bourne 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> That's a depressing judgement on half the voting population in the US. 

but nevertheless true

 RentonCooke 11 Feb 2021
In reply to jkarran:

> Can you explain to me he fundamental differences between ordinary Germans of the early 20th century and ordinary US voters of the early 21st that made them uniquely manipulable? 

There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.

Comparing one side to embryonic Nazis, while the other side is presented as the bulwark against such events, seems naive and ignorant of the well-meaning mindsets that justified and supported arguably worse dictators than Hitler.  

Characteristics that make people easily manipulable and willing to support extremes include a belief that the old order is inherently corrupt, revolutionary change is a force for good, that their own side has higher moral and ethical virtues, that it alone speaks for the majority, is envious of wealth and success, focusses excessively on the actions of those further up the hierarchy while overlooking their own position of privilege, turning away from fundamental concepts of equal treatment for all regardless of personal characteristics, seeks retributive policies or claims historic grievances, privileges emotion over facts, engages in divisive identitarian politics, and views the system through a lens of oppression and malign interests.  In short, an inability to see your political opponents as anything other than ignorant or malign, and to swallow the spun narratives of your chosen media sources without factoring editorial and narrative bias.  These don't seem uniquely Republican to me.

In reply to RentonCooke:

'There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.'  What a stupid and unimaginative thing to say. You've just failed the Turing test.

 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> I can only report what I saw on the TV.

Well there are no armed gangs roaming the streets. Maybe British TV isn't the best thing to judge US life on and life in US towns..

There were also very few weapons at the Jan 6th protest.

In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> 'There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.'  What a stupid and unimaginative thing to say. You've just failed the Turing test.

I don't think he was equating US Democrats to Stalinists. Just that any moderate could be sucked into any extremist ideology given the right conditions. At least I hope so........

 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

"There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either."

I keep wondering how many stupid statements I will see.. FFS this is stupid.

My wife is an MD, she votes democrat for health care reasons. As an oncologist she sees many who die from lack of or delayed healthcare. There are millions of healthcare voters in the US. She's certainly progressive but very much in favor of a regulated capitalist society.. We've quarter a million dollars of med school debt so she better not be getting a state paid MD salary..

Most of the US population sits in the middle, it's why Biden won, the vocal sides are loud but it's a center right country. I've many friends who are Trump supporters, I'm OK with that, if they are of the far right, QAnon etc, 'Biden's a pedo stealing kids adrenochrome' then I do just walk away from them. But people who believe in small government etc, I've no issues with. I certainly see the appeal of the conservative movement in some aspects but certain things, abortion rights, equality etc, are why I'd never vote for them. 

Likewise almost all the environmentalists I know vote for the dems for environmental reasons.

 jethro kiernan 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.

You really don’t get the communism thing in any form of historical context, no country has gone from functioning stable democracy to communist dictatorship through subversion of democracy ever, ever.

most communist dictatorships have come from the ashes of unimaginable all out wars and the resulting abject poverty in countries that have no democratic background or occupation I.e Poland (please correct me if I’m wrong and please don’t throw Venezuela into the mix)

Fascist dictatorships subverting democracy with populism is a tried and tested well documented and discussed, which is why when discussing Trump and the Republican Party you didn’t break Godwin’s Law 😏 it may not be goose stepping 1942 fascism but there was proto fascism in the actions of the Republican Party. 
If the Republicans don’t get back to fully embracing democracy and country and constitution before party then democracy is still badly damaged because you need a functioning opposition who can vote without the threat of  an unelected troll threatening to throw his “base” at you every time you step out of line.

Socialism in a fully functioning democracy results in Sweden, fascism in a functioning democracy results in Germany 1933.

if you want to use false equivalence then fine but it just makes you look a little ignorant of the ebb and flow of world history.

Post edited at 14:17
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Maybe British TV isn't the best thing to judge US life on and life in US towns..

Okay; ignore the British media, and look for the US media stories about militias:

https://www.google.com/search?source=univ&tbm=isch&q=us+armed+militias

NBC News
NYT
Forbes
Fox News
US News
Time
PBS
SeattleTimes
USA Today
Washington Post
ABC News
Inquirer
Bloomberg
NPR
Newsweek
...

Post edited at 14:19
 Duncan Bourne 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.

You are missing the point. It is Trump people are comparing with an embryonic Hilter (for reasons already stated) not the whole of the Rebublican thing. No body compared George W Bush to Hitler or Ronald Regan. The point is that in a given set of circumstances the majority of a population are easily manipulatible, usually as a response to ecconomic hardship.

 jkarran 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either.

No, apart from the near century of anti-communist indoctrination and resulting sentiment. That's a pretty clear streak running through many Americans, in my experience at least.

At least until Biden's inauguration people who would identify as 'Republicans' represented a real and active threat to American democracy. That threat simply isn't currently mirrored in the Democratic party or broader movement, even if you extend that definition beyond absurdity to include communists. Yes, in a quite different parallel thread of reality it could be but we're in this thread and it isn't.

> Comparing one side to embryonic Nazis, while the other side is presented as the bulwark against such events, seems naive and ignorant of the well-meaning mindsets that justified and supported arguably worse dictators than Hitler.  

The democrat voters and party aren't the bulwark defending democracy, merely on this occasion in this time and thread of reality a counter to a particular power grab, one coming on this occasion from people operating under the 'Republican' banner with party connivance.

> Characteristics that make people easily manipulable... In short, an inability to see your political opponents as anything other than ignorant or malign...

Fine but do you not think it's important to keep clear sight of the fact your political opponents may actually be ignorant and malign, they may also be your enemy? While we should not and in general do not jump to that assumption we should in light of clear evidence be open to the possibility.

jk

Post edited at 14:58
 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

> Okay; ignore the British media, and look for the US media stories about militias:

> NBC News

> NYT

> Forbes

> Fox News

> US News

> Time

> PBS

> SeattleTimes

> USA Today

> Washington Post

> ABC News

> Inquirer

> Bloomberg

> NPR

> Newsweek

> ...

They aren't walking the streets. I've lived here for almost a decade and have never seen anyone with a gun in a city environment. You are totally exaggerating the situation.

 RentonCooke 11 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I don't think he was equating US Democrats to Stalinists. Just that any moderate could be sucked into any extremist ideology given the right conditions. At least I hope so........

Indeed.  Republican voters are no different from Germans in the 1930s, just as British voters were no different from German ones in the 1930s.  They're all equally capable of voting for extremists, or supporting extreme standpoints, and all will do so in the firm belief they are doing good.  

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You are totally exaggerating the situation.

You haven't looked at any of those links. I know that because theres only one click on that Google link, and that was me.

I'm only responding to articles appearing widely in US, UK, German, etc. press, regarding the state of militia groups.

 RentonCooke 11 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> "There is no difference.  My issue is with the implication that it is only Republican voters who represent the sort of risk that 1930s Germans did.  There's also no fundamental difference between US Democrat voters and those who supported Stalin, Mao, the Stasi or FARC either."

> I keep wondering how many stupid statements I will see.. FFS this is stupid.

Is that aimed at me?  If so, what was stupid?  The implication being made was that those who vote Republican are like those who voted Nazi.  I'm simply pointing out that this isn't a Republican/Democrat issue, and history provides us with all the evidence we need that left/right bias is no predictor of support for rising totalitarianism.  The supporters of FARC believed they were doing so for a more just society, people reporting on their neighbours to the Stasi likewise thought it the moral thing to do.  The Red Guards and Khmer Rouge were convinced of their righteousness given they were fighting for equality, justice and against greed and oppression.  Republican voters motivated by the abortion issue, just like anti-capital-punishment campaigners, believe they are doing so for the most moral of reasons, literally the life or death of humans with no voice of their own.  

The connection between Trump and Hitler is way too far fetched for me.  It really is belittling of what true fascism and Nazism represents.  Trump has been president for four years and a media figure for at least two decades prior.  In all that time he has at worst been incompetent, bumbling, ignorant or crass.  Hitler was demanding the removal of all Jews as far back as 1919, and it took him all of 18 months from being appointed Chancellor to remove all opposition parties, round up and shoot his political opponents, and establish a dictatorship. 

By all means, be wary of history repeating.  But drawing false parallels, where reasonably moderate opposition is compared to an extreme, and therefore becomes both easy to vilify while elevating one's own virtue, is dangerous.  If there is a parallel with Hitler, that is more it; his rallying against Jews, trade unions, Marxists and others, as if they represented an existential risk, seems closer to me to how many of the left view conservative voters.  Interesting to see an actress lose her job today for daring to say basically that.

Post edited at 18:35
 RentonCooke 11 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I don't necessarily disagree with that, but I think you are over-extending the argument; that the actions of Trump and his party had nothing holding it back and would so easily march ever onwards towards fascism.  That they only went as far as they did, amidst national crisis and covid turmoil, points to a surprising resiliance in the US system to bad leadership.  The claim also overlooks the ease with which socialism can, with the highest claims to moral principles, overthrow fundamental rights with the added bonus of grinding down economies into dust.  All that hardline socialist states need are claimed or imagined enemies, after which all that follows is then justified. I'm always surprised at the degree to which today's socialists are content to break golden rules of equal rights for all, on the grounds of greater emancipation.  That should be worrying and I think Republican voters are right to vote against it.

In reply to mountain.martin:

I agree with you. The social medias must either control themselves or be controlled. Dodgy searches should lead to censors not to more of the same.

In reply to mountain.martin:

My relatives were asking me how we dealt with "the Jew Problem " in the UK. They were incredulous when I looked baffled and told them such a problem didn't exist. Hence Orbán.

 jethro kiernan 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

I’m not sure why your plodding on with this false socialist analogy. Can you name one democratically elected socialists government from a stable democracy that have ground the economy to dust whilst persecuting minorities?

as for American failsafes they aren’t working, Trump will walk away from an insurrection carried out in full view of the whole world an the Republicans will back this in full view of the world breaking their oaths to the constitution in full view of the world, the big lie won’t die, if the republicans carry on leveraging the power of the angry white male for political clout then it can only gradually get worse.Rather like project fear all concerns raised about it will be sneered of until it’s to late.

Post edited at 20:33
In reply to Pete Pozman:

I'd 'like' (sorry: 'thumbs up') your post, only the resurrection of 'the Jewish Problem' is both depressing and worrying.

 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

You've responded with google images.. I can click, and did and it showed me exactly what it was. Uninformed bollocks.

There are not armed militia walking the streets, keep thinking that all you want. People here think the UK has a huge knife crime on the streets because there is no guns.. And guess what if I search 'UK surge Knife crime"

https://www.google.com/search?q=UK+surge+knife+crime&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjl1fus4OLuAhVFD98KHQO9D0QQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=UK+surge+knife+crime&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzoICAAQCBAHEB5QpThY5Txgnj9oAHAAeACAAUmIAbkCkgEBNZgBAKABAaoBC2d3cy13aXotaW1nwAEB&sclient=img&ei=fZ4lYKWjIMWe_AaD-r6gBA&bih=661&biw=1383&safe=active&ssui=on

Oh look, therefore the UK has thugs walking around armed with knives. Which we know isn't the reality.

 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

"The connection between Trump and Hitler is way too far fetched for me."

That's exactly what I said. Painting the majority of either side as bad people and akin to murderous regimes is silly.

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You've responded with google images.. 

Each of those images is actually a link to a story. Many of those stories are from US media outlets. Are you telling me every one of those mainstream media outlets is exaggerating, or lying, even? Is this all 'fake news'? Are you saying that there have been absolutely no incidents of armed militias on the streets? Not a single one? If you think that, you need to follow the news more.

p.s. there are knife-wielding gangs in Britain. A young lad was murdered by one a couple of miles from me only a few days ago. I suppose it's the British media making it up again, eh?

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-42749089

Post edited at 21:50
 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

You said there are heavily armed gangs roaming the streets.  "There are heavily armed gangs on the streets", That's totally exaggerating. There are militia. I don't think it is right to compare gangs with militia like you are doing either. Had you said, very occasionally they have been (or were) heavily armed protestors on the streets. Then yeah. Militia, yeah at times. Gangs, nope.

Do they roam streets? No. There's occasional armed protests, People don't routinely carry guns because people get shot. It's why the Jan 6th protestors were all unarmed for the most part.

You are now on about two different things. It's almost like you have no idea what you are on about..

It's like saying we have rapists running around the streets and then pointing out a rape happened last year.

The UK has murderers roaming the streets.. well there are murderers who are on the streets. you sound like a Daily Mail journalist.

I lived and worked in THE most murderous city in the US. I never saw a gun. Certainly never a long rifle.

Do I see guns? Yes. Out in rural areas, seeing guys with rifles, shot guns and assault style rifles happens.

These militia just aren't what you are thinking they are. I'm guessing you have no idea about US life but have now read a few articles so are an expert.

I'm well aware of the news, I also live here. I've lived and worked in TX, VA, AZ, NH, NJ, PA and MA and have never ever seen heavily armed gangs roaming the streets. I watch the nightly news pretty religiously and I never see reports of heavily armed gangs roaming the streets.

Post edited at 23:09
 Roadrunner6 11 Feb 2021
In reply to captain paranoia:

"p.s. there are knife-wielding gangs in Britain. A young lad was murdered by one a couple of miles from me only a few days ago. I suppose it's the British media making it up again, eh?"

And they are exceedingly rare.

It's like saying there are guys roaming the streets of Britain with explosives. Well there has been very occasionally. 


It must be scary to be frightened of your own shadow.. fits the name at least.

Post edited at 23:06
 mondite 11 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> as for American failsafes they aren’t working

Currently they seem to have although undoing the damage is going to be hard.

Going back to Hitler in his early political years he was laughed at and didnt perform overly well. If he had been properly slapped down after the beer hall putsch then that might have ended things. Instead he was given an easy ride and so got lined up for attempt number 2 which learnt from the failings of a violent uprising and instead went for subverting the democratic process.

In reply to captain paranoia:

There are more knife related murders per capita in the US than in the U.K., you won’t guess based on US news, but it true. 

 neilh 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

That is my reading of the position. His power based rested on Excecutive orders, he achieved a couple of other things, like judges in the Supreme Court ( which in the end did him absolutely no favours). Bit more blunt with China,a bit of tax reform.That really is about it.

The Republicans I know want the " rioters" locked up and the key thrown away. Its fine to protest, but attacking the Capitol building overstepped the line.

Its noticeable how the world appears a bit calmer without his Tweets.

 MargieB 12 Feb 2021
In reply to neilh:

Having watched all 3 days of the impeachment I was surprised at the extent and mass of supportive evidence for the charge. I suspect that the defence will try and underplay the intent, perhaps even using terms like" overstepping "the mark, but that in my mind would be grossly understating the reality. The defence could try and challenge trumps's quotes and say they are subject to interpretation but that is very difficult to  argue when a trump quote is "beat the crap out of him"- clearly endorsing violence very clearly with direct use of language. The defence could try diminished responsibility but the evidence of calculated contrivance by repetition of a policy of lies, repetition of  not condoning previous assaults on institutions of governments has been shown to be  calculated, manipulative and cognizant. The defence could try to just focus on a single speech event but the patterns of speeches are there right back in time. They could try the idea he didn't know the armed militias existed nor their intent- but FBI material crosses his desk all the time for trump to read. The defence could say it was all justifiable because the election was rigged- but cases have proven that is not the case and lawyers can't use deliberate lies in a defence or they will be disbarred.

Will the defence be able to rely on a republican party that refuses to look inward and question?

Post edited at 10:33
 MargieB 12 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

correction, "not condemning rather "than not condoning" previous assault on institutions of government.

 Duncan Bourne 12 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

>  The claim also overlooks the ease with which socialism can, with the highest claims to moral principles, overthrow fundamental rights with the added bonus of grinding down economies into dust. 

Your claim also overlooks the ease with which right-wing governments can with the highest claims to moral principles, overthrow fundamental rights with the added bonus of grinding down economies into dust. I give you Spain under Franco, Robert Mugabe, and so on and so forth.

You might also mention those poor socialist countries such as Denmark, New Zealand, Germany, etc.

The real distinction should be between countries which have a functioning democratic process and those which do not

Post edited at 11:09
In reply to MargieB:

Let's go back to 2010. Gordon Brown loses the Labour majority in Parliament and can't achieve any sort of power share with the LibDems. He organises an enormous rally in Trafalgar Square on the day of the Queen's Speech and tells them to march down Whitehall and fight like hell to stop the steal/fraud, (adding the caveat "do it peacefully",just in case.) Other leading labour figures tell the crowd to subject parliament to trial by combat etc. He says he'll lead them as they march. Having set them in motion he then buggers off but carries on tweeting encouragement. They smash their way into parliament and rampage round the building killing a policeman who stands in their way. They shit on the floor and rummage through state documents. The Queen has to be rushed out of the building by a tunnel and is whisked away on a river launch (I'm getting carried away) and the Speaker's staff have to barricade themselves into his office. The mob shouts "where is the Queen?", "we're coming for you!" etc. 

Eventually after more death, vandalism and terror they are forced out and Gordon Brown makes an announcement "You're special patriots and I love you..." 

Unimaginable? Why? 

Farage said Brexit had been achieved without a shot being fired, forgetting the shot and the stabbing that killed Jo Cox. 

Western Democracies are in deadly peril while we refuse to act against fascists like Farage and Trump. 

Trump is a would be fascist dictator. America has come that close... 

 profitofdoom 12 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

> Having watched all 3 days of the impeachment I was surprised at the extent and mass of supportive evidence for the charge....

When you see Trump's appalling record, and all the awful events of his horrible 4-year Presidency, I am just so glad that the b*stard is finally gone

Good riddance, Trump. Go away, Trump. You will not be missed, Trump. Please sit in Florida and shut up and kindly enjoy remembering your marvellous legacy for the USA

Among the worst of the ridiculous events were his continuously claiming, without any evidence*, and right up to 6 January and beyond and up to today, that he had won the election. Followed by his pressurising and even threatening an election official to (long after the election) illegally give him 11,780 more votes in Georgia, and thus overturn the election results

*A perceptive commentator pointed out that Trump's lawyers told courts in their filings that they had evidence of election fraud - but then did NOT present any evidence in court (only saying they had "heard allegations of fraud"), because lying in court is a criminal offence

 Roadrunner6 12 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

I'd be amazed if he's convicted. The Dems know this but will get the GOP senators on record refusing to condemn Trump when it matters and use that in the 2022 senate elections. As always this is just political theatre. But it also shifts public opinion against Trump in case he runs in 2024.

Post edited at 15:25
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> As always this is just political theatre.

It shouldn't be just theatre, though. If ever anyone ever was, the man is bang-to-rights guilty of High Crimes and  Misdemeanours .

His whole presidency has been a test to near destruction of the US Constitution. Hopefully this trial is the last test. But if he walks, then the US has failed the test.

 mondite 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> I'd be amazed if he's convicted.

Yup

Although I think it does go a bit beyond political theatre and into a vague hope the republicans will realise what they have got themselves into and stop following him down the path.

When you have the mob shouting death threats against Pence and republican officials being threatened because they refused to engage in electoral fraud something has gone badly wrong.

 Roadrunner6 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> It shouldn't be just theatre, though. If ever anyone ever was, the man is bang-to-rights guilty of High Crimes and  Misdemeanours .

> His whole presidency has been a test to near destruction of the US Constitution. Hopefully this trial is the last test. But if he walks, then the US has failed the test.

Well it is. That's just how politics go. In all countries. 

That's just not true.' 'near destruction'? Come in are you for real here? Have you read the constitution? It's literally a four page document. How was it nearly destroyed?

I dislike the man immensely but the exaggerations on this thread are awful. Unsurprisingly by people who don't live in the US. 

I think he should be convicted but to say the US has failed this test is silly. The institutions held. We had a transfer of power. 

There are still other legal avenues after impeachment fails. TBH though, with the free speech laws it's hard to see him facing much penalty. Typically rally organizes face court action but not much of a penalty at the end. And we have to be careful the precedents being set prosecuting protestors.

And comparisons to Hitler, 1) belittles the evilness of Hitler and 2) totally exaggerates the impact of Trump.

Even in the US, he packed the courts but most/all appointments weren't unqualified. Many judged against him last year. But otherwise most of what he did has been undone by Biden already. The tax code changed but honestly as a middle class family we gained and we lost. It's almost impossible to workout exactly what we gained or lost because of all the changes. 

 Roadrunner6 12 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Yup

> Although I think it does go a bit beyond political theatre and into a vague hope the republicans will realise what they have got themselves into and stop following him down the path.

> When you have the mob shouting death threats against Pence and republican officials being threatened because they refused to engage in electoral fraud something has gone badly wrong.

Certainly. It's just a legal stretch to put that on Trump. On others there it's easier. The level of doubt he has caused on the fair elections is his most dangerous legacy. But it's the US so it's hard to convict him over those allegations. They've been careful not to state lies in court or in congress.

But again we have to be careful criminalizing politicians. These precedents could easily come back and bite us.

 MargieB 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I agree one has to be careful, but the defence I'm now listening to avoids intent. There is an avoidance in the defence case of discussion of what trump did and failed to do during the hours of the  Capitol Hill invasion. 

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> But again we have to be careful criminalizing politicians. These precedents could easily come back and bite us.

I think it's more of a case of being careful about electing criminals as politicians.

Just heard a woman on Channel 4 say he shouldn't be convicted because he was chosen by God.

There's America's choice, today: divine right of kings versus modern Western democracy.

That was supposed to be sorted out in 1789. And here we are again. 

 Roadrunner6 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> I think it's more of a case of being careful about electing criminals as politicians.

> Just heard a woman on Channel 4 say he shouldn't be convicted because he was chosen by God.

> There's America's choice, today: divine right of kings versus modern Western democracy.

> That was supposed to be sorted out in 1789. And here we are again. 

How?

He wasn't and isn't a criminal? 

Maybe he will get convicted - but one of the most sacred principles  of US law is innocent until otherwise.

Re the US origins and God.. I think you need to look into that more. It's something I intensely dislike but it's far from sorted out and people really believe the US has some God given rights (American exceptionalism) and about a third of Americans believe Trump was picked by God. 

 redjerry 12 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

"uncanny resemblances to the deliberate processes Hitler contrived to seize absolute power"

They really do. If you read the first book of the Richard Evans series, the parallels are unmistakable. But, it's not a Trump thing, these wheels have been turning for 40 years.

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> How?

> He wasn't and isn't a criminal?

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k3B-tw2sB0&

> Maybe he will get convicted - but one of the most sacred principles  of US law is innocent until proven otherwise.

I watched the video of the police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck, whilst the guy begged for his life. Unless he is not guilty by reason of diminished responsibility that officer is guilty. 

Similarly, I watched Trump on January 6th.

What I just don't get is that very intelligent and highly qualified people refuse to apply normal standards to Trump's behaviour. They are letting trump be trump, when they should be demanding he be President ie knowing Congress and the Vice-president were in danger and sending help. At least tell his "Fight for Trump" mob to "stand back..." 

He's proved himself unfit for public office. Try to imagine him in any position of responsibility. Could anyone feel safe with him in charge? The Senate should bar him from future involvement in government.

The State courts can deal with his many criminal liabilities. 

In reply to Roadrunner:

> Re the US origins and God.. I think you need to look into that more. It's something I intensely dislike but it's far from sorted out and people really believe the US has some God given rights (American exceptionalism) and about a third of Americans believe Trump was picked by God. 

Yes, I get how you can convince yourself that, in a trial by ordeal kind of way, someone who manages to become president is chosen by God (The Queen is anointed by God too).  The worrying thing was that same woman thought that Biden wasn’t.  

 MargieB 13 Feb 2021
In reply to redjerry:

I've just watched the whole impeachment trial. I recommend people do the same . You tube has all 4 days. Long but worth it.

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Garnett:

I think it goes further than that. They believe the US was some how chosen by God with a special mission to rid the world of evil - the satanic pedophiles and communism etc.

And that Biden was part of that evil trying to derail God's plan.

 fred99 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> He wasn't and isn't a criminal? 

> Maybe he will get convicted - but one of the most sacred principles  of US law is innocent until otherwise.

Al Capone was "only" guilty of tax non-payment, so therefore, by your argument, Al Capone wasn't a "real" criminal.

The only reason Trump hadn't been put in jail well before he ran for office is the fact that the US legal system allows overpaid lawyers working for the very rich to threaten anybody with less money out of getting "due legal process".

Maybe it's about time some (or all ?) of his lawyers were arrested for conspiracy regarding his illegal actions, because for them to claim innocence of any criminality is no more honest than claiming Trump is an "upright citizen". I refer here to "pay-offs" and threats to have legal cases withdrawn, though I have no doubt that "bungs" have been given for many other legal cases, let alone his financial dealings.

It's about time the FBI did a complete and thorough investigation into Trump and his family's finances, starting with questions regarding Tax, and then moving on to wherever the "stench" takes them.

 fred99 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

.....They are letting trump be trump, when they should be demanding he be President ie knowing Congress and the Vice-president were in danger and sending help. At least tell his "Fight for Trump" mob to "stand back..." .....

Don't you think that there is a distinct possibility (if not a probability) that he WANTED Pence and Pelosi killed by the mob, because of their "animosity" and "treachery" - as he would perceive them.

 fred99 13 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

> I've just watched the whole impeachment trial. I recommend people do the same . You tube has all 4 days. Long but worth it.

What I have seen makes me rather upset. Not the sort of thing to watch during lockdown if you want to maintain some sense of being upbeat regarding the future.

As it is now, I am dreading the Republicans getting ANY control of anything in future, with the power that fascists and racists have in their party.

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

"Al Capone was "only" guilty of tax non-payment, so therefore, by your argument, Al Capone wasn't a "real" criminal."

Are you now really comparing Trump to Al Capone? This thread is getting ludicrous. 

How have I said tax evasion isn't a real crime? You've made a totally different argument here and are making allegations I said something that I didn't. Can you explain that?

The obvious difference is Al Capone was found guilty, so he is a real criminal. You now are saying financial crimes don't somehow count as real crimes. As of yet Trump hasn't been convicted of ANY crimes, so that's a silly comparison. Never mind the other comparisons there. And yes he is being investigated and it may come to something but we're hearing the NY state case into his business dealings has stalled. But lets see, I hope he faces justice, I do think he's guilty of criminal behavior so would never have voted for him. But until convicted we set a dangerous precedent if we bar someone because we think they are guilty. That's for the voters to decide.

So we can now bar people from political office because we think they are guilty of criminal behavior..

I really dislike the man but can't believe I'm having to say this.

How have I in any way suggested he is an 'upright citizen'. However I still think he should be afforded due process. As of 2016 when he was voted in there was (and still is) no convictions. Yes he had many questions about his business interests and allegations of assault but so have many others.

Again you are setting a very dangerous precedent thinking its OK to bar people from political office on allegations that he is a criminal.

And yes the rich do get away with things, they tie up the legal process. So what? So we shouldn't allow due process. We should look at the criminal system and reform it, not reduce the burden of guilt.

Even this year Joe Biden has had allegations of financial misconduct and allegations of inappropriate behavior. Should he have been barred from office? George Bush Jr had a very questionable past too. In fact I can only think of Obama who hasn't had allegations of sexual assault against them. 

Post edited at 14:13
 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

> What I have seen makes me rather upset. Not the sort of thing to watch during lockdown if you want to maintain some sense of being upbeat regarding the future.

> As it is now, I am dreading the Republicans getting ANY control of anything in future, with the power that fascists and racists have in their party.

>

And that's the aim of the impeachment. To politically hurt the republicans and keep Trump's behavior firmly in the news, get it all out on record as we move towards the 2022 elections.

Even now Nikki Haley has stepped out from Trump so I do think we are seeing mainstream republican's stepping away from him.

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

"Don't you think that there is a distinct possibility (if not a probability) that he WANTED Pence and Pelosi killed by the mob, because of their "animosity" and "treachery" - as he would perceive them."

No. He was and is finished. It went too far as it is. I think he was shocked how far he went and he is in legal danger. Whether he gets convicted we'll see but he'll likely be tied up in court cases now. GA are investigating the phone call, DC is investigating the riot.

We've not heard from him in a month. It's strange, very strange, even kids at school are talking about it being odd not hearing from him. He knows if he says anything he could be impeached but could also incriminate himself with further investigations on going. His lawyers know he is in a dangerous position following the insurrection and may well face criminal charges and a conviction. Had there actually been a death of a leading official he'd certainly face years in prison. At the moment it's questionable if they will get convictions over what happened.

I actually think the GA phone call may be more likely path to a conviction.

Post edited at 14:02
 MargieB 13 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

There is breaking information. Phone call between a republican and trump. Discussion of witnesses is occurring to further expose events and intent  during the invasion of the capitol. Personally, if the trial is going to expose everything, all that can be used to expose it should be used imo. I'd say there was enough now for impeachment imo but others may need further information for persuasion.

In reply to Roadrunner6:

I'm taking some sucour from your confidence in your fellow Americans and your systems. You're there, fair play. Over here it seems bloody frightening. Once upon a time you only had to tell one lie and your political career was over. Things, both sides of the Atlantic, have changed a lot. 

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

> There is breaking information. Phone call between a republican and trump. Discussion of witnesses is occurring to further expose events and intent  during the invasion of the capitol. Personally, if the trial is going to expose everything, all that can be used to expose it should be used imo. I'd say there was enough now for impeachment imo but others may need further information for persuasion.

That's basically being dismissed as hearsay, but maybe these new witnesses will add something later today. They should get them on the stand to get it on record but it sounds like it's over. McConnell has just said he will vote to acquit Trump, regardless of what happens. He's saying the senate doesn't have jurisdiction to try the case, basically a get out.

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

"Once upon a time you only had to tell one lie and your political career was over. Things, both sides of the Atlantic, have changed a lot."

Definitely. We live in a post Truth world. There's now 'alternative facts' or whatever kellyanne conway called it.

The republican's keep on about Obama's 'you can keep your Doctor' statement as a lie, when it was his intent with his health care system before it was weakened. Sadly now straight out lying is acceptable.

But I still think Michelle Obama was right with the 'go high'. We can't sink to republican levels and lose standards of guilt and bar people from public office on hearsay and allegations.

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

> There is breaking information. Phone call between a republican and trump. Discussion of witnesses is occurring to further expose events and intent  during the invasion of the capitol. Personally, if the trial is going to expose everything, all that can be used to expose it should be used imo. I'd say there was enough now for impeachment imo but others may need further information for persuasion.

Sounds like it's all over, they've decided not to call witnesses and have the vote today.

In reply to MargieB:

He's been acquitted!

Post edited at 21:05
 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

"if the republicans carry on leveraging the power of the angry white male for political clout then it can only gradually get worse."

I'm not sure there are enough angry white males. This has been the story for a long time and many hope this was their last great Hurrah.. in the case of Trump we can reverse most of it, Brexit we can't.

But it's now a battle within the Republican party and is far from over (even after today).

They will rapidly start to position themselves as leaders of the GOP post Trump. Like the Dems they will scramble for clear ground. Many will keep on the Trump message, many will jump central and court the moderates. Kinzinger, Cheney also seem to want to go for that ground.

It's something to watch but far far from decided which way the GOP will go from here.

Nikki Haley seems a leader this far out, she's been a Trump backer but has said he has no future in the GOP. She's very politically savvy. She wouldn't have made that statement without calculating what it means. She's Indian American so has appeal outside the white man.

I'm also doubtful if this is the legal process exhausted for Trump and the insurrection. He's been damaged further over this week which was the Dems aim. I think it has been a pretty good week.

This statement by McConnell is pretty damning, yet sadly he didn't vote to impeach.

""There's no question — none — that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. No question about it. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President," he added."

Post edited at 22:04
 jethro kiernan 13 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I hope the party can pivot but I do fear the power of the base in primary selection and the threat this cosh over the heads of republicans will have, I believe trump is quiet not just because his Twitter is cut off but so he can’t incriminate himself, once he is found not guilty I think he will build up his communication base again. 
in a polarised political landscape you only have to mobilise a relatively small number of people especially in primaries it is still possible to marginalise the relative centrists in  the Republican Party.

if the party continues to mobilise the angry white male the it has started down the road to fascism because as you’ve pointed out they are already a minority and as the Republican Party has been a minority party for much of the last 30 years so is already someway down the road to nowhere. 

 Roadrunner6 13 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

But, sadly, being a minority party in the US, where almost half the eligible voters don't vote, is enough. 

We'll have to see.

Each year the US is getting less white. 

I think funding was a massive factor in controlling him and other republicans after January 6th. They all fell into line pretty quickly as big business ditched them. Many of them are in this for power and money. 

The centrists in the GOP have an uphill battle. Haley isn't moderate but somehow straddles that gap enough that I think she'll get moderate support as well.

In reply to MargieB:

As the plethora of law suits now build up a weight against "ordinary citizen" Trump let's hope his base weakens and cracks. (like the ice on that flooded field I was hoping to skate on). I predict there will be a Jimmy Saville-like level of revulsion when people find out more. A lot of people are going to be very disappointed in themselves.

 deepsoup 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> This statement by McConnell is pretty damning, yet sadly he didn't vote to impeach.

Supposedly on the grounds that the trial was unconstitutional - it certainly damns McConnell as an utter coward lacking in any trace of moral fibre.

Quite apart from how thoroughly and conclusively it was demonstrated on day 1 that it is not unconstitutional to try a president who has already left office, it was McConnell's decision to delay the trial until after Biden's inauguration.

 deepsoup 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

I hope you're right.  And let's hope they're also very disappointed in their republican senators who have so clearly hitched their wagons to the Trump train.  Their votes to acquit are a matter of public record and whatever lunacy emerges over the next couple of years they're going to have a hard time rewriting history and claiming they always knew he was a wrong'un when the mid term elections roll around.

 fred99 14 Feb 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Supposedly on the grounds that the trial was unconstitutional - it certainly damns McConnell as an utter coward lacking in any trace of moral fibre.

> Quite apart from how thoroughly and conclusively it was demonstrated on day 1 that it is not unconstitutional to try a president who has already left office, it was McConnell's decision to delay the trial until after Biden's inauguration.

I wonder what Republicans would do if, on 6th January 2024, when the NEXT President is about to be confirmed (I'm assuming that Biden will retire at that point), Biden sends a hit squad to assassinate the Republican leadership (and ideally the entire Trump clan). On (hopefully) successful completion of their job, Biden gives his "boys" a Presidential Pardon, and sits back in full knowledge that we now have a precedent that if a President does anything, no matter how heinous, in the last days of power, by the time it comes to "court", they will be no longer in power and hence "unimpeachable".

Ridiculous suggestion - it damn well should be.

Legally possible - it does seem to be now, we have a legal "precedent".

 fred99 14 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Are you now really comparing Trump to Al Capone? This thread is getting ludicrous. 

You're right, Capone did far less damage to the United States (both domestic and foreign) than Trump has done, and never tried to set up a family dynasty that would affect the whole country.

 Roadrunner6 14 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

> You're right, Capone did far less damage to the United States (both domestic and foreign) than Trump has done, and never tried to set up a family dynasty that would affect the whole country.

So you won't admit that Trump hasn't actually been convicted. You just decided to make up that I made out that tax evasion wasn't a proper crime.. when he's not actually been convicted of that. Just keep making stuff up if you lost the argument. Another example of a post Truth world..

This is the problem with 2021 politics. It's acceptable to lie and twist the facts if you think its on your side of politics.

On this thread we have equated Trump to Hitler and Al Capone, who has been directly and indirectly implicated in 400 murders, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, with a politician (who despite being a hideous person) who has never been convicted. And supposedly we should now stop politcians from running for office if we think they are guilty of crimes.. I can't see how that can possibly come back to bite you on the arse. 

And yes Trump has had allegations of sexual assault, but its ironic British people, with a prime minister with a similar past, think he isn't fit for office..

Post edited at 15:31
 Roadrunner6 14 Feb 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

> Supposedly on the grounds that the trial was unconstitutional - it certainly damns McConnell as an utter coward lacking in any trace of moral fibre.

> Quite apart from how thoroughly and conclusively it was demonstrated on day 1 that it is not unconstitutional to try a president who has already left office, it was McConnell's decision to delay the trial until after Biden's inauguration.

Yep, it was a total cop out. And he gave the the Republican's cover to do the same.. Others have been impeached after leaving office. We now basically have a grace period of immunity from impeachment in the final days of office.

In reply to MargieB:

14th Amendment? A proper investigation with witnesses and the big man obliged to testify. Just as with Capone, there has to be a way of nailing trump. Surely there will be a judicial enquiry? I can't imagine, if it were here, that parliament could be attacked and vandalised with police dead and the whole thing being dismissed as a "kerfuffle". 

 Roadrunner6 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> 14th Amendment? A proper investigation with witnesses and the big man obliged to testify. Just as with Capone, there has to be a way of nailing trump. Surely there will be a judicial enquiry? I can't imagine, if it were here, that parliament could be attacked and vandalised with police dead and the whole thing being dismissed as a "kerfuffle". 

I saw that. It's an option. I don't think it will happen.

I'm very wary of partisan approaches to this, particularly before a criminal investigation is completed.

What sort of precedent does that set then (but what he did was totally unprecedented), however it's basically unheard of for 1 term presidents to run again, never mind win so maybe that doesn't matter. Most leave after 2 terms and therefore are barred from the presidency anyway.

I think a criminal investigation is the preferable option here. Take it away from the politics. The longer the threat of a criminal investigation hangs over Trump the better because it keeps him quiet and that reduces his power. If after a criminal investigation is completed and he's charged I think then go for the 14th.

McConnell has pretty much opened up a war against the MAGA wing of the party.

PS The kerfuffle comment was awful.

And the US is different to the UK. I'm not saying it's right but sadly the view here is that the odd insurrection is natural and almost needed.

This is a famous Jefferson quote:

"And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure."

Post edited at 13:44
 RentonCooke 15 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> I’m not sure why your plodding on with this false socialist analogy. Can you name one democratically elected socialists government from a stable democracy that have ground the economy to dust whilst persecuting minorities?

That's difficult because "socialist" and "democratically elected" tend not to go hand-in-hand, at least not where "true socialism" gets tried.  Also because nations have been abandoning socialism en-masse, I'm struggling to think of many that have converted to socialism in recent years or where they transitioned at a time when democratic stability was common anyway. Is the idea that Democrats represent potential for a Swedish or New Zealand version of the USA?  If so, why not a Singaporean or South Korean version?  

There really aren't a great many stable democracies that have descended into fascism either.  Or more to the point, Democracies that resemble today's USA.  So the comparisons between where 1930s Germany ended up and Trump's America seem far fetched.  

So the connections I'm making with socialism are simply to give a counter-point, that if you are going to stretch analogies (Trump -> Hitler) then you can just as easily do so on the Left.  Lefties are no more immune to temptations of power, authoritarianism, and the self-belief or religious fervour that underpins extremism.  And, as already stated, the direction of travel of the left is not (in my view) providing much reassurance that they have this self-awareness - the accusations of "Nazism" point to this. 

The state of cities like Portland, where nightly riots seem to have become a norm for most of 2020, and where this was largely tolerated, does not bode well.  If you are going to decry the Proud Boys, also decry Antifa.  But it's still trendy to pretend the later either don't exist, are justified in their destruction, or that the organisation is basically well-meaning except for a small minority.  Likewise, the ease with which the left appears to add increased caveats to ideas of freedom of speech, that the definition of what constitutes crying fire in a crowded theatre can be safely expanded in the interests of social justice, and that retributive laws opposed to the idea of equality under the law are something to be celebrated, all in the hope that gains will outweigh the costs, is a concern. It certainly is for those who view the constitution as sacrosanct.

All those issues can be debated of course.  But to a Republican voter, as ugly as Trump is, the appearance that Democrats as willing to erode the independent, small-state, State-centric, vision of America, and to repeatedly conflate their side of debate with the rise of Nazism, is all the proof they need to vote for Trump

>  if the republicans carry on leveraging the power of the angry white male for political clout then it can only gradually get worse.

Democrats have been leveraging the power of the angry minority for quite some time.  It resulted in riots and chaos.

I'm not making a judgement call on that.  Just pointing out that the other side of the political spectrum have justified reasons for seeing manifest flaws in the Democrats, and deciding that Republicans are the lesser of two evils.  That's not fascism.

 RentonCooke 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> I watched the video of the police officer kneeling on George Floyd's neck, whilst the guy begged for his life. Unless he is not guilty by reason of diminished responsibility that officer is guilty. 

Really?  The possibility equally exists that Floyd died of an overdose (if the toxicology report is to be believed) or excited delirium.  Floyd was claiming he couldn't breathe and was begging for his life long before anyone's knee was applied to his neck.

The idea that the verdict on a police officer's guilt can be based on what you saw on YouTube, and that any outcome other than that is proof of injustice (and will therefore be taken to justify further riots and no doubt further deaths), is part of the problem here.  In those circumstances, given this seems to be the view of so many Democrats, can't you see why people might decide Trump is worth voting for?

 fred99 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> On this thread we have equated Trump to Hitler and Al Capone, who has been directly and indirectly implicated in 400 murders, and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, with a politician (who despite being a hideous person) who has never been convicted...... British people, with a prime minister with a similar past, think he isn't fit for office..

How many people in the States have died needlessly because of the way Trump acted (or didn't act) - far more than 400 I would suggest. (And that's not including the ones who died at a certain event on 6th January). How much of that was because of his antipathy (or should that be hatred) toward any state or city that didn't vote for him ?

As for Johnson, do you honestly think that most of us here in England (let alone those in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland) have any faith in him, or believe he's fit for office. The only difference is Johnson is incompetent, whilst Trump is plain nasty and vicious, hence was (and potentially still is) far more dangerous.

 Roadrunner6 15 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

You're now totally reframing the argument.

Johnson was overwhelmingly voted back in fairly recently. He was a documented liar and hideous person and yet he trounced his opposition.

In reply to Roadrunner6:

> And the US is different to the UK. I'm not saying it's right but sadly the view here is that the odd insurrection is natural and almost needed.

> This is a famous Jefferson quote:

> "And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure."

I suppose if it's your right to carry a semi-automatic rifle into a state capitol or walk up and down the main street openly carrying a pistol, you're going to want to shoot somebody eventually. Otherwise, what's the point?

Human life does seem to be cheap in the USA. As somebody remarked about the Las Vegas massacre, when challenged on gun control, gun murders are  the price of liberty.

In reply to RentonCooke:

 ... can't you see why people might decide Trump is worth voting for?

I suppose it was certain death for the person filming to shove the officer off Floyd's neck. Like to think I would've intervened if I'd been there. How about you?

You're always talking about the Left, Socialists and the Democrats. I couldn't care less about all that nonsense. I would like to see the people of America (and the UK, for that matter) vote for decency and probity. You might be able to say Trump is a "strong man" or "popular". Can you allow yourself to say he is a decent man, moderate, a fine example to young people? Would anybody like their child to grow up and be like him? 

 Roadrunner6 15 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> I suppose if it's your right to carry a semi-automatic rifle into a state capitol"

It's not. DC is very heavily regulated hence why they were using flags and other weapons when it turned violent. There were surprisingly few weapons at the actual insurrection. 

But yeah the general view is guns work in making the US safe and on top of that gun deaths are just the price to pay for liberty. We know that's not true that guns make you safe, the stats show that's not true but it's now a pretty much baked in fact of US life - but it varies massively between states.

They are trying to get it that constitutional carry applies in any state if you are from a constitutional state (like NH), so that a NH man in MA should only have to oblige by the gun regulations of his NH state legislature (essentially none) which would be a very scary step. Our chiefs of police have to OK gun permits for gun ownership and are very strict. Unsurprisingly we have the lowest gun deaths per capita in the US, a quarter of the national average per capita, and pretty similar to some European countries.

Post edited at 19:07
 Duncan Bourne 16 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

You won't get far Renton lives in his own fantasy socialist bubble. Where "if it fails it's socialism, if it doesn't fail it can't be socialism" rather than accept that practically all stable democracies have some form of socialism (as well as capitalism)

 MargieB 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

That General Election of 2019, UK,  had the especial characteristic of also being a " final referendum" on leaving or staying in EU.. So it was unusual in that it forced a polarisation of opinion on that issue.

To go back to America and it's democratic threats, it seems that some in the  republican party are aiming to oust trump through internal political processes. Interesting to see if this works. They depend on votes and that public support is leaching away. They depend on donors and that is leaching. They have a difficulty in that Trump may want a split but he gets the "Good " name of the republican party and its established base { thus turning the party into a sheep in wolves' clothing- they may regret not dealing with him at impeachment and he swallows them up.}- those who want trumpism out will have to watch out they are not put in the weaker position of being ousted into a new party which would be the worse way round.

One thing, America is not Germany on its economic knees when a collective desperation caused a mass psychological messiah complex to solve their desperate problems. Hence Hitler's appeal and popular support.

Post edited at 09:10
 mondite 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> On this thread we have equated Trump to Hitler

I think you are missing how he is being compared to Hitler. The comparison is to the midyears of Hitlers political career where he gradually eroded and damaged the political institutions.  Hopefully the US institutions will stand up but unfortunately the republicans seem to want to keep eroding them.

> And yes Trump has had allegations of sexual assault, but its ironic British people, with a prime minister with a similar past, think he isn't fit for office..

Plenty of British people think the PM isnt overly fit either. The overwhelming majority he has doesnt really reflect how votes were cast but the crapness of FPTP.

 MargieB 16 Feb 2021
 deepsoup 16 Feb 2021
In reply to MargieB:

> One thing, America is not Germany on its economic knees when a collective desperation caused a mass psychological messiah complex to solve their desperate problems. Hence Hitler's appeal and popular support.

America isn't.  Terrifying thought closer to home..

 Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

> I think you are missing how he is being compared to Hitler. The comparison is to the midyears of Hitlers political career where he gradually eroded and damaged the political institutions.  Hopefully the US institutions will stand up but unfortunately the republicans seem to want to keep eroding them.

> Plenty of British people think the PM isnt overly fit either. The overwhelming majority he has doesnt really reflect how votes were cast but the crapness of FPTP.

That's the same for the US though. Trump has never had a majority of the support. Even when he won he lost the popular vote pretty heavily. And almost half don't vote, so on reality the winner of the election barely gets a third of eligible voters.

Re the two party system. I can't see how that ends. It's not just the presidency it's the other houses. It's basically only set up to work under a two party system. I'd love more parties but I don't think it's happening.

Post edited at 13:51
 RentonCooke 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

> I suppose it was certain death for the person filming to shove the officer off Floyd's neck. Like to think I would've intervened if I'd been there. How about you?

I wouldn't have.  It is an approved method for restraining suspects.  You think its right for the general public to wade in every time they see police handling suspects in a way they think is unfair or dangerous?  

The full clip of Floyd's arrest, from the moment the police turned up, is well worth watching for the full picture.  It becomes a lot clearer why Floyd was hand-cuffed, why he wasn't sat calmly in the back of a car, and why they might not be taking his claims of being unable to breathe seriously.  There are similar clips out there of identical treatment of white suspects, and where it goes equally wrong.  And where the cops do everything possible to remedy it at the time.  It is an unfortunate fact of life if policing a country of 260 million in the midst of an opioid and meth epidemic.

> I would like to see the people of America (and the UK, for that matter) vote for decency and probity. You might be able to say Trump is a "strong man" or "popular". Can you allow yourself to say he is a decent man, moderate, a fine example to young people? Would anybody like their child to grow up and be like him? 

No, I don't think he is a decent man.  But I don't think any of the Clinton's were decent either.  I like Biden and Bernie (I donated to his campaign), but I'm far from convinced Kamala is someone I'd like in charge.

If you want American's to vote for decency, then the left needs to stop being so repellent.  A good start would be not equating the right, Trump voters, and Republicans in general to Nazis.  

In reply to Roadrunner6:

I was referring to the Michigan state capitol in relation to the automatic weaponry. 

In reply to RentonCooke:

'It is an approved method for restraining suspects.' No it's not. You just made that up. False fact.

 jethro kiernan 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Yes, he’s adopted that odd American idea of socialism where it must vehemently denied as a concept  without acknowledging that as you say socialism is part of all modern functioning societies and democracies.

If Russia under Stalin was an example of normal socialism then Russia under Putin is an example normal capitalism. 
both are obviously misleading  examples. 

Post edited at 14:19
 Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Pete Pozman:

Ah ok yeah.

We have had frequent examples of militia taking federal lands though. Having worked in a deeply conservative school, many friends are full on into this. They really believe them carrying guns and the odd uprising is key to an effective democracy. Especially those who went on to serve.

 Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

Some americans will lose it when you point out the argument is how much socialism do we want. Not if we have it. That ship sailed.

Ted Cruz, the guy who stood there with a 'socialism sucks' t-shirt is now demanding federal assistance for storm hit Texas.. a month ago they were all for leaving the US.. they really don't see the contradictions in their views.

 fred99 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> You're now totally reframing the argument.

> Johnson was overwhelmingly voted back in fairly recently. He was a documented liar and hideous person and yet he trounced his opposition.

He did NOT get a majority of the votes, not by a long way. The problem lies with the (FPTP) system, and the inability of political parties to work together for a common goal - because a hard Brexit was always Johnson's aim. If we'd only had 2 parties, then Johnson would be sat at the rear of the Opposition benches, and definitely not sleeping in No.10.

 fred99 16 Feb 2021
In reply to RentonCooke:

> If you want American's to vote for decency, then the left needs to stop being so repellent.  A good start would be not equating the right, Trump voters, and Republicans in general to Nazis.  

That might be possible if they didn't carry swastikas amongst the rest of their paraphernalia. If they wish to align themselves with the Nazis, then who are we to argue ?

 Roadrunner6 16 Feb 2021
In reply to fred99:

> He did NOT get a majority of the votes, not by a long way. The problem lies with the (FPTP) system, and the inability of political parties to work together for a common goal - because a hard Brexit was always Johnson's aim. If we'd only had 2 parties, then Johnson would be sat at the rear of the Opposition benches, and definitely not sleeping in No.10.

And neither did Trump. You keep reframing your argument here. Trump wasn't a convicted criminal. Al Capone was. Comparing them is pointless yet here we are..You decided to accuse me of saying Tax evasion wasn't a real crime something you seem to refuse to walk back...

 Duncan Bourne 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

I always say the test of a bad system is not whether it follows one ideology or another but how easy it is to change if things go wrong.

Being able to vote effectively is a good thing. But if people don't understand what they are voting for it can all go tits up. That's why I think socialist concepts like free (basic) education and healthcare, as well as a police service (preferably uncorrupt), street cleaners, bin men, fire service etc. paid for by the state out of taxes are the groundwork of any civilised society, even allowing capitalist ways to flourish.

 Duncan Bourne 16 Feb 2021
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Agreed.

I am not sure whether burgeoning China counts as communism or capitalism

 RentonCooke 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> Ah ok yeah.

> We have had frequent examples of militia taking federal lands though. Having worked in a deeply conservative school, many friends are full on into this. They really believe them carrying guns and the odd uprising is key to an effective democracy. 

As in the January 6th insurrection. I suppose just like the too frequent gun massacres which are the "price of freedom." The necessity of scaring the crap out of other citizens and killing a few every now and then does serve as a chilling reminder of what is at stake. 


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