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Holly2003 user is on Queenzone.com
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Holly2003
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Posted: 20 Jun 18, 10:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

So there used to be a lot of political/current affairs debate on QZ. There is though hardly any discussion about the present incumbent in the White House. I wonder why that is? Is he such an utter degenerate that it seems pointless to discuss him? He can't be parodied as he is beyond any human decency? No joke made about him can top the joke he's played on the American public? I've stayed away from Trump discussions as much as possible but this video really caught my attention and it;s hard not to respond.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/rachel-maddow-breaks-down-while-reporting-on-babies-taken-from-moms-at-border

I lived in the US on 2 separate occasions for a total of about 6 years. In that time I can count on the fingers of one hand people I didn't like. Almost everyone I met was open, generous, friendly and thoughtful. Now sadly I have to rethink my view of Americans. Large numbers voted this disgusting pig into office and he still has a lot of support. Even if he doesn't get reelected the damage is done. He has set new low standards for the value of human life, cheapened the political discourse (although I blame the rabid Obama haters for beginning that process) and undermined human rights. I don't think it's possible to come back from this. Things will get worse, not better. It saddens me that my formerly positive view of Americans has been changed, probably for good :( But thank you to people like Rachel Meddow for retaining your humanity when many others seem to have lost it.




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Posted: 20 Jun 18, 14:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

So there used to be a lot of political/current affairs debate on QZ. There is though hardly any discussion about the present incumbent in the White House. I wonder why that is? Is he such an utter degenerate that it seems pointless to discuss him?

Basically. It has become a fruitless task. We're realizing that it's pretty well impossible to educate adults and teach them how to think, unless you can demonstrate to them that their beliefs will literally kill them and their children. In some cases seeds can be planted, but more often than not, challenging beliefs actually reinforces them. It's called backfire effect. It's ingrained in our biology. Trying to educate people with backwards beliefs - beliefs that nonetheless bring them safety, reassurance, and stability - invokes the same part of the brain that thinks the other tribe with the funny hats is going to kill them. We are bred to evolve, not for rational thinking or even happiness.

The combination of religious fundamentalism, the NRA propaganda machine, Fox news, local news (Sinclair is just as bad now), Breitbart, and right-wing hate radio has created about a hundred million people operating out of a completely different information universe than the rest of the civilized world. It has been systematic, all to line the pockets of the rich - and it will take generations to undo.

I don't think it's possible to come back from this. Things will get worse, not better.

Things will get worse before they get better. We're watching the fall of an empire. It will recover and civility will return, just like the UK did once upon a time.

But in the case of the US, it's a whole different kind of war. It's a war on knowledge. Society has taken consistent steps forward for a couple hundred years since the industrial revolution, but until recently, most of the work involved hard labour, not necessarily intellect. Pretty much everyone could participate. But nowadays we're moving to science and technology, which requires education and critical thought - certainly a more specialized crowd. Technology has moved forward faster than people have become educated, so naturally there are plenty who will be left behind, creating tens of thousands of ghost towns that were once thriving factory/mining towns. Enter a right wing populist who is smart enough to exploit this, speaking with a grade 6 vocabulary to reach the "regular" folks, blaming the "intellectual elite" and promising to bring things back to the way they were. It shouldn't shock anyone that it works, and that the fear in these people will allow them both the cognitive dissonance and tolerance for even the worst of atrocities against others. After all, the "American dream" is the pursuit of individual wealth and success, not the pursuit of a better society for all.

We're entering a dark period. But the world is two steps forward, one step back. People have always resisted change. Today's right is the Luddites of days of yore. They will kick and scream, and there may even be bloodshed - this group includes white supremacists and Incels who are blaming immigrants and women for their problems. But these things are always temporary. Give it 20 or 30 years, and the pendulum will swing back toward normalcy and decency.

Coming to all this understanding has personally been pretty freeing. It's better to find something in common with people than to argue with them and tell them why they're wrong. It is an absolutely pointless exercise.



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Posted: 20 Jun 18, 16:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

I lived in the US on 2 separate occasions for a total of about 6 years. In that time I can count on the fingers of one hand people I didn't like. Almost everyone I met was open, generous, friendly and thoughtful. Now sadly I have to rethink my view of Americans. Large numbers voted this disgusting pig into office and he still has a lot of support.


I'm curious - where did you live?

A considerable portion of people who voted for Trump are uneducated rural people, not educated city people. It's literally two distinct cultures and schools of thought. Chances are you didn't even come across them.

That said - some of my American friends are no longer friends. Trump has exposed their true colours. People I've known and respected for years turned out to be racist xenophobes on a diet of Fox news. And they are not stupid people by any means. They have just drank the kool aid for their entire lives. And while this is anecdotal, they are all wealthy. Most political issues don't affect them, because they've had enough money to buy themselves out of their troubles. Spoiled rich kids who believe it's every man for themselves, and screw the rest of the society who deserve to die because they can't afford health care.

It's sad that this is what the once great America has become. Children are being ripped away from their mothers, and nearly half the country thinks everything is just fine.

Not my words, but I wish they were:

"This is what happens when a country is not forced to reckon with its past. Fictions and mythology superficially plaster over the wounds to save face. Everything just ends up festering beneath."



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



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Posted: 20 Jun 18, 17:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The Real Wizard wrote:

Holly2003 wrote:

I lived in the US on 2 separate occasions for a total of about 6 years. In that time I can count on the fingers of one hand people I didn't like. Almost everyone I met was open, generous, friendly and thoughtful. Now sadly I have to rethink my view of Americans. Large numbers voted this disgusting pig into office and he still has a lot of support.


I'm curious - where did you live?



I lived for a year in a small town in a conservative and rural western state. Then I lived for 5 years in a liberal city in a liberal state.

If anything, the rural conservatives I met were friendlier than the city liberals. That's what probably disappoints me the most now. Why has that good-natured conservatism turned into the vindictive mindset that allowed Trump to gain power.

I mean, I know most of the story. Throw in 9/11 to the points you raised and we've probably got the full picture.* For me, as a non-American who genuinely loves America and what it's supposed to stand for, its profoundly sad.

* plus, at the end of the day it all boils down to the fact we are -- to quote Kurt Vonnegut Jr. -- just "slightly evolved apes".



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Posted: 20 Jun 18, 18:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Holly2003 wrote:

If anything, the rural conservatives I met were friendlier than the city liberals. That's what probably disappoints me the most now. Why has that good-natured conservatism turned into the vindictive mindset that allowed Trump to gain power.


Good people have bad politics, and vice versa. I know wonderful people who are fully-fledged alt right. Like yourself, in my experience they are often better at letting bygones be bygones than left-leaning people.

A tangled web we weave.



Artists must pass on, but sometimes a mix of passion, good fortune, diligence, expertise, and meticulous labor can capture and restore some of the beauty they left behind.



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Posted: 21 Jun 18, 10:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I just know I haven't had to look at the Onion since 2015. News as fruity as it has been in the past three years barely needs a running commentary or analysis.

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Posted: 22 Jun 18, 16:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

john bodega wrote:

I just know I haven't had to look at the Onion since 2015. News as fruity as it has been in the past three years barely needs a running commentary or analysis.


It's true. The best news sources are now comedians. John Oliver and Seth Meyers are brilliant and hilarious, and it's usually accomplished by literally reading the news.

House of Cards is obsolete. The real thing is far more entertaining.



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Posted: 24 Jun 18, 05:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

At times Oliver pisses me off (the 'Drumpf' thing was toothless, at a time where the Don really needed much cleverer ridicule being aimed at him than he was receiving).

But I liked how he handled Dustin Hoffman. He's definitely one of the last late night TV guys I can even remotely understand.

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Posted: 25 Jun 18, 19:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like John Oliver but his humour works better in an American setting where his "can't believe what I'm seeing here" approach has the benefit of him being an outsider looking in. In the UK he made very little impact and he just comes across as being a bit of an annoying nerd.


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Posted: 29 Jun 18, 09:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The very lop-sided views expressed by Trump-haters is off-putting for me. You guys completely ignore the failures of Obama and the fraud carried out by Hillary et al under his watch.

You guys make fun of Fox News by name, but don't make a single mention of the equally biased news coverage of other mainstream media.

You over simplify things and call a large part of American electorate xenophobic, racist, uneducated, rural, white supremacists, etc. No mention of the violent left, antifa movements.

You are silent about the illegal immigration, threat of extremists entering the country as refugees/immigrants etc.

This kind of blind hatred with no balance in expression of views betrays dishonesty.

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Posted: 29 Jun 18, 12:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"You guys completely ignore the failures of Obama"

Says who?? Haha. What a muppet.

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Posted: 29 Jun 18, 12:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"just comes across as being a bit of an annoying nerd"

I get that from a lot of his 'bits'. I dunno if it's him or the format I dislike more though, it's frustrating because when he picks a good target he ain't so bad.

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Posted: 29 Jun 18, 21:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"You guys completely ignore the failures of Obama"

Says who?? Haha. What a muppet.


I must have missed the "8 years of Obama" thread. Can you point me to it please?
That's what I thought.

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Posted: 30 Jun 18, 06:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thick as clotted cream, Barack's been gone long enough now - move on. Complaining about an old failed experiment is a lot less satisfying than a current and continual embarrassment.

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Posted: 30 Jun 18, 20:09 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I was not the one who brought it up by calling Trump votes "rabid Obama haters".

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Posted: 01 Jul 18, 08:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fair point then, I leave it to you two!

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Posted: 01 Jul 18, 12:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Recommended viewing for people who for some reason can't understand why Trump won - this is one of the reasons : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8Y-P0v2Hh0

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Posted: 01 Jul 18, 20:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

President Trump is shaping up to be the greatest US president in modern history. Our recovery (economic/defense/infrastructure/foreign affairs...etc) is happening at a pace that few thought possible.

As President Obama asked, "What magic wand do you have?" (To improve the uncertain economy, low GDP, etc.)

I've been really really impressed with him.



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Posted: 02 Jul 18, 02:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

ParisNair wrote:

The very lop-sided views expressed by Trump-haters is off-putting for me. You guys completely ignore the failures of Obama and the fraud carried out by Hillary et al under his watch.


The thread was about Trump, so people spoke about Trump. If we want to start a thread about Obama, then we can talk about Obama.

Saying shitty things about Trump doesn't mean people are unable to say shitty things about Obama.

But let's just be clear that there isn't a single thing Obama did that can be equated with destroying the fabric of western democracy. Under Trump, the US has declared trade wars on their closest allies while cozying up to third world dictators (literally on the same day), left the Paris accord, and left the UN human rights council.

But of course it's not really Trump who is to blame. Congress has almost entirely been complicit.

The American empire is falling, and it's not because of Antifa or the mainstream media.



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Posted: 02 Jul 18, 04:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

"Our recovery (economic/defense/infrastructure/foreign affairs...etc) is happening at a pace that few thought possible"

I want to know more about this because it's very rarely borne out in actual statistics. It's very difficult to get a clue these days though when people are fine with literally lying their asses off in every direction.