Paris Accord

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Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:33 am

As a European, I thought I just had to start a thread on this. Europeans indeed are quite pissed at the Trump administration now, though I can assure you most Europeans are intelligent enough, unlike Trump's voters, to distinguish separate American idiots from the, thankfully, overwhelming majority opposing this lunatic. When even Shell and Exxon don't support your move, that's kind of... I don't know, perhaps ironic in Alanis Morissette's way. A little too ironic, don't you think?
He sure is going to help China become no. 1 though, that is one thing that is certain. Maybe he might even manage to Make China Great Again with a little covfefe magic.

I am starting to see Trump's withdrawing from the Paris Accord as a major, era-defining moment, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall or 9/11. Finally, a new world order is starting to emerge; but not the one conspiracy theorists are consistently talking about. No, this is Europe shifting its focus towards Asia, not America, as had been in the ancient times. This is Germany becoming an actual role model for the whole world. I mean, I have been told by an Israeli guy, of all people, that he never thought he'd say that, but that he wished today's Americans could be more like Germans. WTF is going on?
And finally, a U.S. administration conspiring with Russia. As a European, I just hope Trump won't sign some secret agreement with Putin ceding the eastern half of Europe to Russia or whatever. :lol:

Hope my black humor and cynicism doesn't feel too out of place right now. That's a European thing, too. I noted many rural Americans seem to have a problem grasping irony, sarcasm, and the like, to an extent that you wouldn't find in Europe. Of course, now they got their stupid fingerpointing memes and have learned to accuse others of hypocrisy, yet that doesn't make the situation a lot better.

One question, though, that puzzles Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and basically the whole Western world alike:
How did this wacko get elected? I mean, sure, the Russians might have helped. Sure, he didn't gain the majority of votes. Sure, his followers were brainwashed. But that's the point - almost half of all Americans who actually voted (one more thing that confuses Western Europeans, who tend to be more interested in voting) chose Trump as their candidate. It's just really, like, really bizarre to see America, the former voice of reason, going to pot like the Roman Empire. :(

What do you think of Trump's announcement to withdraw from the Paris Accord, the international reactions, and the ongoing investigation into Russiagate?
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:14 am

I'm just a centrist giving football analysis here. This is not a value judgement or personal opinion.

How did this wacko get elected? I mean, sure, the Russians might have helped. Sure, he didn't gain the majority of votes. Sure, his followers were brainwashed.


First, this quote was a high motivator for many. Sometimes telling people they're dumb for doing something backfires. You aren't going to convince people by ramming them head-on.

Second, the president isn't king and America skews right, generally. Our Democrats would be a conservative party in Europe. A lot of people voted for Trump because of who he would empower - especially take a look at the Supreme Court. There was a calculation by many republican voters.

Third, nobody was excited to vote for the alternative. Many democratic voters stayed home instead of voting.

Fourth, we have two major parties with strange primary rules.

Basically what you saw was white people identity politics. A lot of resentful folk who see everyone being helped but them (even if they are helped).

As to the Paris thing: it wasn't ratified by our congress, it will take years to pull out, it was skewered by Democrats as too weak and debatably did not make an important difference, and it was perceived as unfair to the US economically. We can now negotiate a new treaty that will debatably be better. Debatably.

Trump has done exactly what his voters wanted - wrecked havoc on the system and challenged basic assumptions. There is an American culture of bucking authority and people voted for him to do just that.

And if you think this is bad and want him removed, look into who will be president afterward. Trump is at least somewhat socially liberal.

There are a million things to say and theorize about it but my take is Americans have it so good that they'd prefer entertainment.

On top of all this, Trump technically historically underperformed. The opposition under these conditions usually wins the presidency.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:09 am

I think you might not quite comprehend what exactly bewilders me, and many Europeans, so much. I can understand why his refreshing style, his claim to be a president for the American workers, etc. etc. made a difference.
Now, of course the average European is super liberal in comparison to the average American, and that's OK. Conservatism is not a problem. Idiocracy is. Bush Jr., who was perceived stupid, looks like Einstein now.

The Paris thing is more of a symbolical step, which was really astounding in that the U.S. are now basically the only country, apart from Syria and Nicaragua, not to be part of that treaty. Isolationism at its purest, if that's what you want; but I thought Trump was all about making America, not China, great again ;)
Such a step in international politics may be viewed as, well, dumb.
Talking about "you know what uranium is, right" may, too, be viewed as dumb. As may "covfefe".

President Bush, among others, pronounced "nuclear" the Homer Simpson way, and Obama thought Austrian was a language (which, linguistically spoken, it actually is, though not standardised). To take this as an example of "dumb Americans" I find to be unfair. It's just that with Trump, you know, the idiocracy factor is just a little bit higher. And that is what bewilders us.
I'm not trying to defend European right wing assholes, we have enough of those here, and they have been a major problem throughout the last years (the tide seemed to turn again after Brexit, with Macron now elected French president). Still, none of them appear near as dumb as Trump. They may have shitty political views, but at least they seem to have somewhat of an attention span. As does Putin, who is a brilliant politician in the good old Macchiavellian fashion. Does anyone in America really still believe Trump can counter the "evil mastermind"?

I'm just curious how Trump still is defended by so many Americans, including most of the Republican party. He's just so dumb. I'm sorry, I'm not even trying to be mean. But just look at his actions, man. If it won't do anyone good, it's called stupid.

EDIT: To be fair, there have been a few big dumbasses in European history. Roman emperor Honorius and Albanian king Zogu are those I can think of right now. Some members of the Nazi elite were grossly stupid and decadent, too, such as Hermann Göring. Note, though, that Honorius and Zogu were very unpopular in their times, and Göring was secretly made fun of throughout the Reich's existence, with not even Hitler trusting him. The overwhelming support for Trump is a celebration of idiocy which, I think, is unmatched in Europe. Europe used to prefer celebrating cruelty instead, yet, with the exception of Yugoslavia and Ukraine, it's been quite peaceful here for a long time - thanks to a country now ruled by the greatest idiot in history.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:35 am

The sad thing is, although American conservatives may feel good now drinking their liberal tears and all, they don't realize that even if their views were shared by the majority of Americans, which according to polls is not the fact, they are still pretty isolated on a global scale. To the rest of the world, these sentiments appear about as sensible as Iran's, North Korea's, or Russia's. To ignore global warming just does not make sense; even if you don't believe in it in personal, I don't think having 194 countries opposed to you is better than some treaty perceived as unfair...

EDIT: For the sake of completeness, I should note that I don't even blame the Republicans, just humans' desire to cling onto their power for as long as possible. John McCain and Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, probably do have a heart or brain or whatever. At least they have the courage to stand up against the monkeys in their own party covering their ears, eyes and mouths. Kudos to that.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Lunkhead » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:01 am

Counter point from another American, progressive side, not into sports. ;)

Manhattan Glutton wrote:First, this quote was a high motivator for many. Sometimes telling people they're dumb for doing something backfires. You aren't going to convince people by ramming them head-on.


I think that's more folks being juvenile reactionaries, who decided to just say "fuck you" to people who voice a different opinion. That's not exactly a "political platform" or "rational behavior". I think a lot of those folks are nihilists who don't really care what happens and thought it'd be fun to throw gasoline on the fire, in the hope that at least other people would suffer more too. They have been underserved by the both parties for decades, to the point that their lives are pretty shit and they rightly have little faith that any politician is going to do anything significant to change their prospects. Why not vote for the people who scapegoat "the other" and promise to make them and the "libtards" suffer? How much worse can things get???

Manhattan Glutton wrote:There was a calculation by many republican voters.


I think you're giving a lot of people too much credit there. What was the calculation? And who did Trump empower? So far I have personally seen that he has empowered a lot of ignorant violent nutjobs, a bunch of Nazis, and various other racists. Trump isn't going to do shit for the "little guy". He is a huckster selling snake oil and the rubes bought it.

Manhattan Glutton wrote:Third, nobody was excited to vote for the alternative. Many democratic voters stayed home instead of voting.


I think you're exaggerating there. Hilary won the popular vote. I don't think all those people were voting for her against their will. Anecdotally I knew a lot of excited Clinton voters. Yeah, black turnout wasn't great (lack of interest in the candidate plus decades of work by Republican state governments to suppress their turnout), maybe there were some Bernie holdouts (although none of the many many Bernie supporters that I knew would have considered for a second not going to the polls to vote against Trump). And the margins in some states were so small (e.g. 10k votes in Michigan, 30k in Wisconsin), as to be fairly dubious to the conspiracy nut in me (who has been reading about voting machine issues since 2000...). Also though the dumb ass electoral college system means that not all votes count the same, which is completely messed up at this point, frankly.

But overall the Democrats can't really run someone who inspires people in more than a superficial way because they are not actually willing to follow through on major national economic changes, like single payer health care, addressing student loan debt, programs for sustainable job growth, regulating Wall Street and corporations, taxing corporations and the wealthy more and everybody else less, etc. etc.

To noma's point, I think intelligence is just plain not valued in the US. Only wealth and fame. If you look at who is revered most in our culture, with few exceptions (e.g. billionaire tech CEOs) it's generally not people who get by on their smarts (and even the billionaire tech CEOs are probably more revered just because they are billionaires than for how much their intelligence got them there). Idiocracy pretty much nailed it, and it's terrifying.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:21 am

I think the disconnect you may have is that he's not the "prime minister". The executive branch in the US does not need its figurehead to be a smartypants beancounter - it needs a wise delegator. Legislative agenda, while soft influenced by the presidency, comes from the congress. It is debatable whether he's doing a good job of delegating - seems like no. The worst he can really do (domestically) in official capacity is influence how laws are interpreted to be enforced, which does have some consequence for more administratively lenient governmental organizations. Clearly he can also command the military, but seems much more isolationist so far and I think that threat is lesser.

Ultimately, he got each of the segments in the GOP party for different reasons, and then some long time disaffected voters. I can go more into that later but it's mostly speculation.

I'd also like to say that it is his childish behavior and not intelligence, as you pointed out. That behavior, and the response to it, resonates with a certain class of voter, and more educated voters do sneer at them. There is a point that GWB's tenure might have been more damaging in executive action, but less embarrassing.

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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Lunkhead » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:17 am

I think you're underestimating the creeping scope of executive power over the last 20 odd years, and the amount of damage he can do short and long term. For example, while the Muslim Ban may get struck down by the courts, he can enact stuff like that which has immediate severe consequences for people.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:20 am

Dammit Sam, this is hard to do on a phone. I'm afraid we'll just be talking past each other but I'll try to elaborate.

Lunkhead wrote:I think that's more folks being juvenile reactionaries, who decided to just say "fuck you" to people who voice a different opinion.


What I saw a lot of was "don't vote for Trump because he's awful!" "Can you believe he said X?" and shouting down anyone who dared to ask "why?" You absolutely need to explain why, otherwise it's just patronizing.

I had someone say to me "he seems to put his foot in his mouth but not on purpose. I've done that. I don't think I'm a bad person...." The absolute hysteria to every little thing gave him breathing space for the really awful things.

Hysteria over things that are not worthy + patronizing and not explaining = "fuck you" votes.

We have heard stories about how each Republican candidate for *years* is a literal Nazi. At some point, they said to hell with it and leaned in.

That's not exactly a "political platform"

"Fuck you" is America's political platform. Independence from Britain was stupid and pig-headed. We ended up with a worse tax deal!

or "rational behavior".

You're using rational in a dubious way. Humans are not machines, and acting human is completely rational and expected.

I think a lot of those folks are nihilists who don't really care what happens and thought it'd be fun to throw gasoline on the fire, in the hope that at least other people would suffer more too. They have been underserved by the both parties for decades, to the point that their lives are pretty shit and they rightly have little faith that any politician is going to do anything significant to change their prospects.


I totally agree with that. Though I think the overlap in motivations is a bit more nuanced. The chaos monkeys, the underserved, the resentful - not all the same.

I think you're giving a lot of people too much credit there. What was the calculation?

I'd say suburban white women were probably the group who calculated most. At the end of the day, people add up the pros and cons and make the correct decision for themselves. A hell of a lot of people were motivated for the Supreme Court pick.

And who did Trump empower?

Conservatives he's appointed to positions in government. I was referring to delegating powers.

So far I have personally seen that he has empowered a lot of ignorant violent nutjobs, a bunch of Nazis, and various other racists.

TBH I'm sure these things are happening but are they out of the norm? I know the left-wing anti-free speech thing is out of the norm... from my perspective, I've never known a racist or nazi or whatever, so whenever they made a big deal of it I was like "those exist?"

Trump isn't going to do shit for the "little guy". He is a huckster selling snake oil and the rubes bought it.


Have you ever thought that maybe they don't want help? I suspect that group also doesn't like being talked down to in those terms.

I think you're exaggerating there. Hilary won the popular vote. I don't think all those people were voting for her against their will. Anecdotally I knew a lot of excited Clinton voters.


I only knew reluctant Clinton voters... Huh, maybe she should have visited Wisconsin to gin up enthusiasm. ;)

~~general complaining~~

Each side makes these excuses when they lose. What I find remarkable is people were protesting before he even did anything with his executive power. Like yeah, I wasn't thrilled, but I still haven't seen an "oh shit" moment. Just lots of theater and overreacting. Life goes on. We dropped out of a non-binding climate agreement... that's the story of the day that we all have to be upset about. I don't have the bandwidth to be this upset everyday all day pls wake when something i can do something about happens.

But overall the Democrats can't really run someone who inspires people in more than a superficial way because they are not actually willing to follow through on major national economic changes, like single payer health care, addressing student loan debt, programs for sustainable job growth, regulating Wall Street and corporations, taxing corporations and the wealthy more and everybody else less, etc. etc.
Devil's advocate - ever think these things became problems because of poor regulations in the first place? Like the little old lady who swallowed a fly. You don't fix the problem by swallowing increasingly larger animals - you fix the problem by not swallowing a fly.

I'm excited to see California step up with single payor that they just passed. If they can do it well, all the states will, and it will become federal.

To noma's point, I think intelligence is just plain not valued in the US.

Well yes, but not for a position of leadership. You want the leader to be good at delegating to people who are smart. We can't have presidents who are rocket scientists because humans can't specialize in multiple distinct areas easily. And you know, I wouldn't run for president and go through this shit - smart, charismatic, sexy people know better than to screw up their lives with a career in politics, so yes we will end up with the worst.

That's not to say Trump couldn't be or act smarter. I think everyone knows he looks like an idiot. But if you disdain the people that that upsets, and it doesn't cause harm other than hyperventilating... IMO it's the foreign policy aspect that is super awkward with his behavior.

Idiocracy pretty much nailed it, and it's terrifying.

If you truly believe its idiocracy, stop trying to save the idiots. They won't stop being idiots. :p

Anyhow, I was pretty embarrassed he won my state, but it is what it is.
Last edited by Manhattan Glutton on Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:22 am

Lunkhead wrote:I think you're underestimating the creeping scope of executive power over the last 20 odd years, and the amount of damage he can do short and long term. For example, while the Muslim Ban may get struck down by the courts, he can enact stuff like that which has immediate severe consequences for people.


Great argument for federalism and congress taking back their powers that they abdicated for political expedience. If you don't want the executive to have power when it's a crazy man, don't let it get power when it's a guy you like.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Lunkhead » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:59 am

Just to clarify, I think knowing when to delegate, and to whom to delegate, is one of the most important aspects of somebody being what I would consider to be "smart" or "intelligent". A huge part of it is knowing one's own limitations. To me the smartest/intelligent person isn't necessarily the person who knows everything and does everything themselves. In fact I'm wary of people who think they know everything and can do everything themselves, they are delusional. ;) At least if they think that and think they should also be in charge of other people anyway, if they want to go off on their own and do that then whatever. I'm thinking more of a character trait than just a raw IQ thing, when I say "intelligence". We don't necessarily have a great word for it, "wisdom" isn't quite right but is close.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:19 pm

Lunk's point considering intelligence is valid. Einstein, who I think we can all agree on being an intelligent person, had problems with some simple daily stuff, it is said. What makes him smart, in a non-scientific way, can be shown via en anecdote told about him. One day Einstein was walking past a mother with a young son, who promptly asked the great scientist whether he already had a poo on that day. While the boy's mother was shocked, Einstein smiled and told her that this question had been totally acceptable, adding that he was relieved to finally get asked a question that is easy to answer.

Clearly, Einstein was not as full of himself as Trump, whose constant asserting he is smart makes people believe the opposite; also, Einstein was able to use his rational brain when making decisions. Emotions are fine. Decisions made by politicians, or anyone for that matter, for emotional reasons where it would have been a good idea to think rationally, are a problem though. I think we can agree on that.

Also, as I have said, Lunk has a point; about knowing when to delegate - and to whom -, that surely is a huge part of being intelligent.
Surely knowing that on the topic of climate change you have to listen to Stephen Bannon when Elon Musk tells you the opposite is yugely intelligent.
Again, I repeat my point. Why do Americans still defend this? I'm not talking all Americans. Still a large number though, as the Republican party mainly just likes everything Trump does because he gave them a taste of power, and I'm guessing most of their voters are of a similar view, as they elected him and I still don't see or hear them speaking out against him now. My information mostly comes from liberally biased Wikipedia, European fake media, American fake media, and Trump's genius rants on Twitter that rank up there with Shakespeare and Goethe.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:35 pm

NOTE: I am not addressing anyone in particular here (save for those very people who voted for Trump and still defend him), just trying to counter any point made that might make people think Trump might be somewhat clever.

Now one more thing that really astounds me is that apparently, Ivanka tried to persuade Trump not to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Yet Bannon won. He must have some kind of strong evil power. He, and not the girl Trump would like to date, convinced him. :lol:
Remember that President Bannon is the one who calls the shots, as many of Trump's decisions, or rather, the analyses of such decisions by political commentators, truly show Bannon's handwriting. Some 40% of voting Americans, however much they are now, might like Trump and his positions. I doubt, though, the same can be said about Bannon.

Most Trump fans I have come to know use arguments such as "You lost, get over it" or "Did I trigger you?" or "But Hillary did..." or whatever. Now I can fully understand the feelings of those people, being viewed as hillbillies with your voices unheard in the big cities where politicians make their decisions. But still, whatever your feelings are:
Revenge is not a good base for any policy. It simply is not. From recounts of my grandparents, I recall similar times in Europe; thankfully, those are long gone.
Few cling on to those days of old here. Any German will tell you they are worried seeing certain parallels.
Look, then, at how ridiculous those few appear that still hold on to their vengeful sentiments that obstruct political progress. Look at how the Turks are becoming more and more isolated internationally (Trump, though, only had praise for Erdogan), still pissed at losing their precious Ottoman Empire. As an Austrian, I can only laugh at that. To not admit your role in the Armenian genocide makes you look like a cowardly crybaby.
Trump likes the company of such guys. That, too, is alarming; perhaps not to most Americans, but to most Europeans and probably to most of the rest of the world.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Lunkhead » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:56 pm

To Mike's comment about tone deaf "communication" with people on the Trump end of the spectrum, this comic was a pretty good read:

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/believe

I think there is a cognitive feedback loop of people having a backfiring reaction to hearing things that challenge their core beliefs. (I think that would happen no matter how that challenging information were presented though.) Many people are very deep into that loop. I have no idea if there is any way anybody could "get through" to them about the things you're pointing out about Trump. Party politics have taken priority over everything else for them, it seems like. Republicans good, everyone else bad. Game over. :(
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:14 pm

noma wrote:Now one more thing that really astounds me is that apparently, Ivanka tried to persuade Trump not to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Yet Bannon won. He must have some kind of strong evil power.


I'd be careful believing any rumors about this White House until people start putting their names on leaks. It seems like the type of toxic situation where the underlings will make up leaks about each other to gain influence.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Caravan Ray » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:14 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote:What I saw a lot of was "don't vote for Trump because he's awful!" "Can you believe he said X?" and shouting down anyone who dared to ask "why?" You absolutely need to explain why, otherwise it's just patronizing.

I think this is the thing that puzzles people outside the USA, and possibly the point Noma is getting at - did people really need it explained to them that the man is a bit of a dill?

The dude thinks climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese FFS! And with the whole "wall" thing and Muslim ban. That is some serious dumb going on.

True, in Aus we do have the Pauline Hanson One Nation party who subscribe to similar ideas. They and others like them come and go from time to time - they usually peak at about 10% support, then burnt out and go away due to their own incompetence. With our preferential voting system and compulsory voting - they may at best get themselves a senator or 2 in Parliament - but they are insignificant enough to simply ignore. Ignorance and xenophobia will always win over some of the population - but it is a worry when these types can actually get in a position of power.

I note that in USA, with your non-compulsory voting - only about 25% of the electorate actually voted for Trump, and of those, I guess that may many not really have wanted to - but they just couldn't bring themselves to vote for the other team. So you probably have about the same percentage of nut jobs that we do - i.e.. around the 10-15% mark. That is at least comforting.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:44 pm

The U.S. voting system, in general, is one thing that really puzzles people outside the States.
A big country like the U.S., I think, would definitely benefit from compulsory voting, and I'm 99.9% sure that Trump would not have won the election with a voting system like the Australian one described by Caravan.
The system varies in Europe; compulsory voting has been tried out, but is currently not enforced in most countries. It works this way most of the time, but it did not work in Britain last year. It is commonly believed that many Brits leaning towards a pro-EU stance simply did not find the issue important enough or believed there wouldn't be a Brexit anyway. The Brexit referendum might have taken a different turn if more people had gone voting. In European media, the Brexit and Trump phenomena are often compared. European newspapers are rarely accused of being "fake news" outside the U.S., and rightfully so. The seed for obfuscating the truth in such a way was sown by one Austrian man (yeah, I'm Austrian too... let's talk about schnitzel instead, OK?) who continues to do major damage to society over 70 years after his death. In today's Europe such sentiments have little to no space. Hitler's "Lügenpresse" chant (roughly translating to "fake news") is to this day still used by the German far right, yet by no one else. The more frightening it is now to see truth no longer valued in America, of all places, and to see Republican voters building a glass dome that shields them from any outside attack on their beliefs. You know who else does that? Taliban do that. Kim Jong-un does that.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:31 am

Lunkhead wrote:I think there is a cognitive feedback loop of people having a backfiring reaction to hearing things that challenge their core beliefs. (I think that would happen no matter how that challenging information were presented though.) Many people are very deep into that loop. I have no idea if there is any way anybody could "get through" to them about the things you're pointing out about Trump. Party politics have taken priority over everything else for them, it seems like. Republicans good, everyone else bad. Game over. :(

I have talked to some friends about this very same topic a few days ago, though it was about personal stuff and not political. The basic idea, though, is the same, that cognitive feedback loop you talked about. It is true you can't get through to people in this state; they are not aware they are in this state in the first place. No Republican voter would say "I don't care if my beliefs are totally contrary to science because I just like believing that, no matter if it's true". No, they would say scientists are wrong. And that's the problem. You might argue that communists, liberals, conservatives, anarchists, whatever, are wrong, that's up to you. But you just can't say the overwhelming majority of scientists is wrong on a theory that has been discussed, and tested, a lot and now is supported by evidence galore.
Even if you think all those scientists are wrong, which makes you a paranoid conspiracy guy, you just can't push through that personal agenda of yours when you're president. Scientists, entrepreneurs, historians, politicians from all around the world have tried to show Trump the truth, including Elon Musk. Really, no one can defend him now. Can they?

In order to break the shell those close-minded people have formed around their beliefs, and let in a bit of reason, they would first need to be made aware of that shell. Which, I think, some people are trying to do right now. Dunno if that's gonna work.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:26 am

Thought I'd have some words on my own political attitude. I would call myself a liberal, centrist, perhaps leaning a bit toward the left. I try to be fair when judging individual politicians. In my native country of Austria, there are five major parties: a Conservative Party (Austrian People's Party), a Social Democrat Party, a Green Party, a Liberal Party, and a far-right Freedom Party. This gives a balanced political spectrum, with the Social Democrats and Greens on the left side, and the Conservatives and Freedom Party on the right one. I don't know why Americans always equal "liberal" with "leftist", which is not the case; the Liberals in Austria I would describe as an open-minded centrist party.

Now, last year there were presidential elections in Austria which you might have heard of for two reasons: 1.) A de facto Nazi, Norbert Hofer, was almost elected president; and 2.) the presidential elections were delayed over the course of almost a year.
The other candidate, who now thankfully is president, is affiliated with the Greens. And Austria is still standing! In fact, there had been overwhelming support for our first Green president, with the Liberals and Social Democrats fully endorsing him, and even some Conservatives urging the Austrian people not to vote for the right wing nutcase. Mr. Hofer was acting like what Trumpettes would call a "snowflake" then, whining about everyone turning against him. This, and the fact that his party tried to change the election results by asserting the election was not executed correctly, provided the final blow to Hofer's nimbus.
Austria electing a Green president was seen by many as the first step in Europeans, well, believing in Europe again. This was half a year after Brexit; another half year later, Macron was elected French president and Europe now seems to have overcome its immediate crisis. For now.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:49 am

I feel like I explained this but I'll try again. It's fascinating. Why can't you non-Americans learn what freedom is???? /sarc

Caravan Ray wrote:I think this is the thing that puzzles people outside the USA, and possibly the point Noma is getting at - did people really need it explained to them that the man is a bit of a dill?


He "talks like them" - not like an "elitest". They don't care what he's saying - they care about the attitude he is conveying. This shouldn't be surprising - groups of humans want their "protector"/leader to be someone like them, because they can trust someone who's more like them. Again, in America, the president is not (supposed to be) the rule-maker but the protector.

As to "explain why" - I meant, for example - a lot of people did not see how a lot of the things he said were so incredibly racist. Not knowing or asking why meant you were a racist, too. Much of the way the media was presented, it started with the assumption that he's a racist nazi and worked backward rather than working toward it. This is just one example of things we were seeing.

Also, these people had to hear things constantly in their entertainment. Hollywood is firmly Democratic. You want someone with a walled off mansion lecturing you about not building walls? You want someone with a huge yacht lecturing about carbon footprint and clean energy?

The dude thinks climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese FFS! And with the whole "wall" thing and Muslim ban.


I think maybe a fraction of the people actually get on-board with that stuff. It's more about shouting invective. I don't think anybody actually thought Obama was a Muslim, but it sure seemed fun to say. America has elected a troll.

So you probably have about the same percentage of nut jobs that we do - i.e.. around the 10-15% mark. That is at least comforting.


It's the two party system. As I alluded earlier, a lot of Trump voters simply didn't see another choice. There are two major parties in America. There is a vast array of differing opinions on how government should be done - this roughly correlates to urban, suburban, and rural values. In a city, you want the government involved in your life. In the country, you want to do whatever the hell you want on your own land. The suburbs generally side with whoever's rocking the boat least.

A large segment of Democrats this year started litmus testing - "if you don't think we should do X, Y, AND Z, then you are a racist chauvinist homophobe" - in other words, it's not good enough just to agree to X and Y with them. Conversely, Republicans had to accept a non-anti-gay nominee and their religious segment was OK with a secular philanderer as long as he promised to represent their values. The Republicans became more of a "big tent" party.

Also, there was an open Supreme Court seat. Supreme Court judges serve for life and decide how laws are interpreted with regard to The Constitution. The Supreme Court prevents federal branches from taking too much power. Democratic justices are generally more open to bending the interpretation of the Constitution, whereas Conservative justices would prefer to have it properly amended and feel less comfortable "legislating from the branch".

Now, you've got two options: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. You don't particularly like either. You don't particularly want another Clinton presidency. You don't particularly like the crass words of Donald, but are they just words? Clinton seems ambitious, ready to take charge, make a lot of changes. Trump seems to be ineffective and somewhat entertaining.

Rural voters went to Trump. Urban voters went to Hillary. This is nothing new. It's always a battle over the suburbs. From a domestic policy perspective, barely anything has changed. The stock market is way up. I think he could win a second term.
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Re: Paris Accord

Postby noma » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:56 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote:I feel like I explained this but I'll try again. It's fascinating. Why can't you non-Americans learn what freedom is???? /sarc

Non-Americans, at least in democratic countries, have the full freedom to elect any idiot they want. Trump is still unmatched ;)

You know, I see you are trying really hard here at explaining, but I think we are talking at cross purposes here. Yes, they did elect a troll, you have a point here. I think South Park's last season demonstrated nicely why that can be fun.
As of now, the main cause of confusion to me, though, is no longer why he was elected, but why he is still defended by so many. You mentioned domestic policy; he probably didn't mess it up too much as of yet (but if he had his way with the Muslim ban and the healthcare reform, perhaps...), and the stock market is up thanks to Obama, which is nice; but domestic policy isn't all that counts, unless you are an isolationist country. That's what Trump is, he is an isolationist. It is one of his few core beliefs. He doesn't like cooperation, he just likes deals. Americans elected an isolationist after decades of the opposite. I thought that was kind of a taboo in modern American society (but might be wrong?)

I just can't imagine Republicans seeing the whole world turning against them and still believing America is going to do just fine and rejoicing they won over the libtards. Yet... they do just exactly that.

Manhattan Glutton wrote:You want someone with a walled off mansion lecturing you about not building walls? You want someone with a huge yacht lecturing about carbon footprint and clean energy?

You want someone made rich, and bailed out multiple times, by his daddy representing workers? You want someone who started the birther controversy lecturing you about not being unfair to him in the press? No one likes crybabies. They call that "snowflake". Trump is King Snowflake.

When he was elected, my first thought was "Oh, this is going to be interesting". Part of me wanted him to become president just to see what happens. But then again, he is actually Not My President. I'm not sure if that part of me would have wanted him to win if I was American. ;)

Manhattan Glutton wrote:I think he could win a second term.

Sure. Putin surely has the resources. :mrgreen:

(Now, seriously, on the Russia story: to me, the evidence is leaning toward collusion. We'll find out more next week, right? But as of now, no one is proven guilty, so if I mention this thing I do so sarcastically. Trying not to use unverified claims as arguments, as good as I can.)

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