deltaKshatriya

Trump and Russia (take 2)

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Maybe, just maybe, people not getting drawn into heated conflicts over such topics and instead asking for facts and an actual debate could cool down the matter enough to find the actual middle ground?

 

Swiss direct democracy must be exhausting, man. I get it. After a while, you get tired of endless boring debates, or even worse real-life flamewars, and you just go "let's just split the difference in the middle and go home". :D

Of course we're all aware that the notion that the "correct answer lies somewhere in the middle" is a fallacy; it can easily lie in the extremes too(and who defines what is "extreme"?) however I do get the importance of compromise and living in peace and not have groups of the population fight each other all the time.

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4 hours ago, deltaKshatriya said:

All I've seen him do is constantly attack the "mainstream media" which is somehow "biased" because they don't praise him on everything he does. (And no conquestor3 I'm not defending any particular media outlet before you go off on that). He's constantly pushed conspiracy theories. He has fired anybody who doesn't show loyalty to him. He literally just attacks anything and anyone he doesn't like. This is no president. 

 

Which is more or less par for the course for radicals on both sides, especially in the US. tinfoil hatters, left and right.

Now, should the POTUS maybe distance himself a LITTLE bit from such tinfoil hattery, and maybe react differently when he gets attacked (which EVERY president gets, so while Trump isn't wrong that some of the left media also doesn't really brake for him, the same was true with Fox news and Obama)? Yes. But then, that is the unique selling point that brought him into office IMO. As long as he stirs up the establishment, talks like a drunken sailor, and doesn't make the most dumbest of mistakes (like starting WW3), even some of the more moderate Trump voters will be pleased short term.

 

They didn't vote FOR Trump. They voted AGAINST hillary. They voted against political correctness, and progress. They got what they asked for.

 

I am not so sure they will be just as happy with his longterm achievements. But that might still take a year or two until this kind of "voters remorse" kicks in.

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1 hour ago, mikeman said:

Swiss direct democracy must be exhausting, man. I get it. After a while, you get tired of endless boring debates, or even worse real-life flamewars, and you just go "let's just split the difference in the middle and go home". :D

Of course we're all aware that the notion that the "correct answer lies somewhere in the middle" is a fallacy; it can easily lie in the extremes too(and who defines what is "extreme"?) however I do get the importance of compromise and living in peace and not have groups of the population fight each other all the time.

 

Well, our political processes take a looooong time. Getting a big change like the ACA through in a 4 year period? Forget it. The discussions in our equivalent to the senat would take 10 years alone. Then there will be a public vote (only about 5 million voters, still). And then there might be another vote as somebody might want a referendum, which basically is another vote on the same topic. Big changes can take 15-20 years to get through.

After that though, the thing most probably is waterproof, and the left and the right found a compromise most can live with.

 

There have been some extreme outliers here lately. There is an expedite process for "initiatives", topics pushed to a vote directly by the population. Collect enough signatures, and the government has to run a public vote for it. That can mean pretty stupid things get voted on, like disbanding the army some years back (classical left extremist trolling around here). Most of these fail to get enough signatures, or subsequently fail in the vote.

But lately especially the right has been very successfull getting some quite extreme initiatives through. One to ban the building of new minarets for mosques here in switzerland... which, besides being very offensive for the left, and a pretty uncomfortable thing for swiss muslims, was quite a joke given there is exactly one official mosque in switzerland, and that already has a minaret. All the other muslims use private rooms for their prayers, and there wasn't really any plan to build new mosques, sooooo... pretty much a troll vote. And they got a comfortable lead.

Then there was the initiative to limit the amount of foreign people in switzerland. Apart from being again offensive for the left, and this time a big problem for the swiss economy, this initiative actually WAS addressing a real problem in switzerland. AFAIK no country in europe has more foreigners per citizen. And no country in europe is so densly populated (well, apart from the city states like Monaco maybe). This time the troll aspect was something different: for one the initiative was worded so ambigious that the government had to scratch their heads for YEARS to just interpret what the right actually wanted to achieve with this. And no matter what the interpretation was, the right politicians would call it the wrong interpretation. Then there was the fact the initiative asked for this to be anchored in the constitution... yeah, we now have an ambigious paragraph in the constitution which goes against the EU and international law. You can see how the right had a good laugh about that.

 

So yeah, we have our trolls and left-right infights here in switzerland, and everything takes 10x as long. But at least when people get elected, we have smaller chance on a troll vote because if people want to vote for extreme initiatives... they can do so without infecting the politics with even more extreme politicians. And people USUALLY are way more relaxed and rational about the results - when things are expected to take years, and the left and the right have to work together to realize it anyway, you tend to flip the table much less often when another troll vote got through.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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7 hours ago, conquestor3 said:

If we were to approach China and say "Kim Jong Un and staff will die within the next 72 hours, unless you help you won't be allowed to interfere with the transition of goverment, and if you help them militarily we'll do an embargo on all food/water exports to your country", and give no margin for debate, they will try to maintain as much power as they can by helping/installing their own government.

Trying to threaten China with a full trade embargo is like trying to threaten that you'll cut off your own legs.  Embargoing China would destroy the US economy.

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1 hour ago, ferrous said:

Trying to threaten China with a full trade embargo is like trying to threaten that you'll cut off your own legs.  Embargoing China would destroy the US economy.

Not as much as it would destroy China's, but it would be a mostly mutually assured destruction, which is why China would relent and not interfere with our taking out Kim Jong Un, as long as they're able to maintain a friendly buffer state between them/SK

 

NK's only going to become a larger and larger problem if left alone.

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17 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

Which is more or less par for the course for radicals on both sides, especially in the US. tinfoil hatters, left and right.

No doubt the whole typical course of action for radicalism is to do what Trump is doing. That isn't a good thing, no matter who you are.

17 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

Now, should the POTUS maybe distance himself a LITTLE bit from such tinfoil hattery, and maybe react differently when he gets attacked (which EVERY president gets, so while Trump isn't wrong that some of the left media also doesn't really brake for him, the same was true with Fox news and Obama)? Yes. But then, that is the unique selling point that brought him into office IMO. As long as he stirs up the establishment, talks like a drunken sailor, and doesn't make the most dumbest of mistakes (like starting WW3), even some of the more moderate Trump voters will be pleased short term.

Sure, some media sources are fairly well known for being far left (MSNBC does have a reputation for being really liberal, but there's lots of interesting articles about how liberal each outlet is). There is no such thing as unbiased reporting, since by nature of being human, everyone is somewhat biased. But let's get real, even if we account for all of this, surely not every single critical media outlet has some hidden agenda again you? And again, damnit, he's the President of the US, he's going to be criticized, that is how it works. Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ, Kennedy, Eisenhower, FDR, etc. were all criticized. Presidents do not throw tantrums on Twitter. And he's taking it quite a step further: basically he's a divider, not a uniter. He ran on a platform that played on hatred, fear, etc., and this is what voters wanted to see. 

17 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

They didn't vote FOR Trump. They voted AGAINST hillary. They voted against political correctness, and progress. They got what they asked for.

No doubt, this is true. 100% this is true. 

18 hours ago, Gian-Reto said:

I am not so sure they will be just as happy with his longterm achievements. But that might still take a year or two until this kind of "voters remorse" kicks in.

I can honestly see him getting reelected, barring that he doesn't get impeached before then. So it's hard to say if there will ever really be a voter's remorse. Sure, there's a ton of unknown factors. What will the Democrats do in 2020. What will the country be like in 2020. Trump getting impeached, or some other scandal derailing him. We really don't know. I don't know about the Russia probe either. But I wouldn't be too surprised if he got reelected. I'd probably be very disappointed (unless he really really proves me wrong, and given everything so far, I really doubt that's going to happen), but not necessarily surprised. 

17 hours ago, ferrous said:

Trying to threaten China with a full trade embargo is like trying to threaten that you'll cut off your own legs.  Embargoing China would destroy the US economy.

Fighting a trade war with China will not end well for anyone. First of all, a trade embargo will almost certainly cause massive problems for American companies. Number one, the US imports quite a bit from China for very cheap. Number two, China is a massive market for US exports. Finally, number three, China will retaliate in kind. So the effect is indeed catastrophic. Threatening China with a trade embargo assumes that they won't retaliate in kind. Imagine if they dumped their foreign reserves (certainly there'd be no reason not to at that point). 

China could very well call that bluff, because we'd be damn well bluffing as well. And the only thing that this will do is raise tensions with the Chinese. That sort of thing can come back to bite us 10-15 years down the road. Imagine once the Chinese have the capability to stare us down (and at the rate they are going, they will get it). They won't forget this incident. This solution solves a short term problem in favor of creating a long term one.

There's this, and then there's just the fact that bullying China won't lead to anything good. You think the Chinese would just roll over and be like "oh well, we'll just bend over and take this". It's not about North Korea, it's also a symbol. The Chinese wouldn't want to look weak. How will it look to any other nation they're telling "we'll protect you" and those guys will be like "like you did with North Korea? Yea, we'll go somewhere else, thanks". There's also the fact that internally, the Chinese premier, Xi Jinping, would not want to look weak either, or he risks losing power. 

And what makes you think that the Chinese don't secretly approve of Kim Jong Un's tests? I'll bet they probably do. Most likely they want to see what Trump will do, so they're secretly telling Kim Jong Un "go for it buddy!". 

And have we not learned from our adventurism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, etc. that this doesn't usually work? How many more places must we completely screw up before we learn that this probably won't work? This isn't to say Kim Jong Un is a great person, but neither was Gaddaffi, Saddam Hussein, etc, and those places are just doing terribly now. ISIS came about because of this sort of stuff. Do we really want some sort of Korea equivalent of ISIS? It's not a literal example I'm making, but do we really need more instability from military action?

And finally, the biggest loser of any military action in North Korea will be South Korea. Think about how much they stand to lose in a military action. South Korea doesn't want military action precisely for that reason. That doesn't even begin to take into account Japan, also potentially in the range of military troubles.

I haven't presented a solution, and the main reason is that there's no simple solution. It's a complex problem. Complex problems have never had simple solutions. If there were a simple solution, it would've been taken years ago. Probably the best bet is to beef up missile defense systems in the area. That and work internally in NK to create a collapse in the government. Even that second part, I'm skeptical about.

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1 hour ago, deltaKshatriya said:

I can honestly see him getting reelected, barring that he doesn't get impeached before then. So it's hard to say if there will ever really be a voter's remorse. Sure, there's a ton of unknown factors. What will the Democrats do in 2020. What will the country be like in 2020. Trump getting impeached, or some other scandal derailing him. We really don't know. I don't know about the Russia probe either. But I wouldn't be too surprised if he got reelected. I'd probably be very disappointed (unless he really really proves me wrong, and given everything so far, I really doubt that's going to happen), but not necessarily surprised. 

 

Yes, that is how I see it. As much as about ANYONE probably be more competent as a president, as long as he does not make a stupid mistake, he will get re-elected. The people that were against hillary and for "making america great again" will vote for im again, maybe even if the opponents are better options this time.

 

The thing with Trump is how random a lot of things are he does. Maybe he is way more clever than most people think and a very good actor... if not, it seems like one action by a foreign power or somebody stateside might provoke an extreme reaction. Like how MOST PROBABLY it was only Obama getting back at Trump after his baseless tinfoil hattery about Obamas place of birth that made him try to get elected in the first place...

With him, anything can happen. Good and bad (mostly bad for anyone left of the far right in the political spectrum, still, if you dislike ACA, Trump is your man in this topic). It is why he is so dangerous even to some rightwing people and republicans. He might serve their best interest now, but you never know what he decides to do tomorrow.

 

As such, betting on who will be elected in 4 years is pretty much a lottery. Everything from an empeachment to him going for full 8 years as POTUS is a possibility.

 

 

 

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On 8/3/2017 at 0:34 PM, conquestor3 said:

The main I really care about are economic ones, if he has good long-term job creation, and manages to accomplish protecting American workers by creating long-term middle class jobs (H1B limitations excluded. Those make America stronger by bringing the brightest from the world here. Bad move closing them).

Addressing the national debt might be good at this point to.

Since his presidency started I'd add another to that list though, which is finally dealing with North Korea.

 

If he goes socially conservative and we see any challenge to things like abortion/gay marriage, I'd consider it a failed presidency... Then again there's a lot of ways to fail, like if the markets are upended by something he tweets to the point where they don't recover after a correction, or if he concedes something geopolitically crucial like the South China Sea.

 

It depends which one, since there's been so many attacks. If it's something as simply as manafort spoke with the Russians about Clinton's info, I wouldn't really care since there's not even a law against gathering opposition data from any source. If it's something along the lines of Trump asked Russia to hack the DNC, that would absolutely make a difference.

Simply because all the testimony that would supposedly going to get him impeached ended without anything bad being uncovered. I consider that fallen apart, since the narrative is "Once this testimony is heard, Trump will be gone!". Now it's "Trump's campaign manager might have spoken to a Russian diplomat for 30 minutes while staying at a hotel"

 

In the way older Trump threads I should have a similar statement, albeit without North Korea as a goal. It's obvious that North Korea thinks Trump's too weak to act, and is using his presidency as an opportunity to test as much as they can.

 

On that side though, The decision to create a massive new military base outside of NK's striking range in SK has proven to be a great idea, although it's taking ages to move there. It's likely any direct action in North Korea will need to be after that's done.

What's your approach to measuring or evaluating the "economic ones"? Job creation is pretty difficult to quantify in general, to say nothing of the correlation/causation issues of trying to use it to evaluate the actions of a particular president. I'd be curious to know what specific indicators you're following most closely.

I'm also wondering about the specifics related to how you're evaluating Trump on social issues. It's hard for me to understand how he hasn't already "[gone] socially consdervative" with respect to transgender issues, "punishment for women," etc. He's also given the social conservative movement a pretty strong voice via his choice of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence. That alone seems like a challenge to abortion/gay marriage.

That said, I'm not sure if you're thinking of "socially conservative" in exactly the same way I am. To me, things like racial profiling and religious discrimination certainly fall into that category, but unless I'm confusing you with someone else, aren't you a pretty strong advocate for those sorts of policies?

I do take issue with the notion that anyone was expecting the testimony thus far to be Trump's undoing, particularly when we're considering only public testimony under oath. Even if there is evidence of a serious problem, I wouldn't expect to know about it just yet. I'd say the vast majority of relevant testimony is still to come. I'm certainly not claiming to know where that will all go, but again, claiming that the narrative has already fallen apart is a much stronger statement. It's also not a statement that's supported by evidence at this time.

I feel quite strongly that you're making a bit of a straw man if you interpret "the narrative" to be something like "Comey's public testimony will get Trump impeached this month!" I haven't claimed that, and I don't think anyone else who is paying attention would have claimed that either.

I definitely would like for the North Korea issue to be solved as well, but I think we're a ways off from that no matter how well the president handles it. It would seem weird to me that North Korea would think Trump was "too weak to act," particularly since he's been extremely focused on military issues, and he's even been vocal about the US using nuclear weapons in a fashion that's far more extreme than any other recent presidents.

Personally, my feeling is that Trump could fairly easily end up tweeting something that does real harm to himself or others, simply because he doesn't seem to be getting more disciplined in any respect whatsoever. He definitely goes through quieter periods, but they don't seem to last for very long. Part of me thinks that he's too proud to admit that his current/previous strategy is/was in any way less than ideal, so the moment people begin to respond positively to a change in style, he reverts back to the old way to avoid admitting that yes, the new way really is better. To be honest, I'm still not 100% convinced that he even enjoys this whole president thing enough to keep doing it for an entire four years.

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