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Old 05-24-2021, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Divided States of America - where now?

I'm no political animal, and I've seen enough trouble around the world in my time, a lot of it caused by or supported by the Land of the Free, but the current situation in a Post-Trump world worries me, and I wonder how those living in the country feel? Of course America has always been heavily divided among racial and ideological lines, but after the ****show that was four years of Herr Trump it looks like his legacy will be with us for a very long time. Extreme right-wing groups whom nobody had even heard of (did you know of The Proud Boys or the Oath Keepers or any of these other nutters two years ago?) and who kept mostly to the shadows seem to be coming out more boldly and brazenly. I read about a meeting the PB had in Wisconsin I think it was, where they took over a city park and were parading around threatening people with armed violence, and the cops did diddly-squat.

It seems that, no matter how much I personally would like to think that without Trump all this would fade away, the genie is out of the bottle now and there's no getting him back in. Too many Republicans are licking Trump's arse and that of his base in terror that they might be kicked out of the party if they don't toe the line, which these days seems to be agreeing even if their leader-in-exile says the sky is pink or the moon is just barely out of reach.

So I just wonder where, in this new climate, people in America think/fear their country is going, and what you, and the rest of us, can expect in the years leading up to the next election? Is it as bad as it's made out on the news, worse or are we getting too worked up about something that will eventually blow over?

Comments from those in the know would be very much appreciated, but any sort of debate is helpful.
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Trump was definitely a match but the right having been pouring gasoline on this country for decades now. From the John Birch Society, to the Evangelical movement of the 70s and 80s, to Ronald Reagan, to Rush Limbaugh and right wing talk radio, to Fox News, to 9/11 driving the country crazy, to Barrack Obama's election driving the rest of the way off the cliff, this country has been primed for extreme conservatism for decades and the roots are deep now.

Historically speaking the far right and the far left don't take to the streets when things are headed for continued stability. There might be LARPing going on but after years the sides harden, people start dying, and liberal democracies flail trying to do as little as possible to confront the underlying issues. The Spanish fascists started out as all talk but we all know how that ended up.

The divisions are simply too wide for pithy Democratic party unity to mean anything and the Republicans are still trying to hold the tiger by the tail to maintain political relevance. I don't know how this all shakes out but with the rich/poor gap continuing to widen and global warming growing as a destabilizing force I don't see how this ends without more violence.
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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climate change will cause a massive migrant crisis and the fascists will seize on this

that's why The Left, not liberals, need to get in power and control the narrative
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Old 05-25-2021, 06:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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THAT is ****ing hilarious! I always wondered if he was the Antichrist!
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Imagine if all the states in America were divided by water instead of land borders.... Then the entire country would be all coast no flyover states
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Old 05-27-2021, 01:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lol

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Old 12-14-2021, 09:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I find myself wondering what will happen if a second American Civil War breaks out? Hopefully it won't, but I don't think we can take that for granted. Assuming it did, do you believe America will be left to fight it out on their own, or will allies such as Britain, France, Germany etc get involved? And if so, who will assist who, and if not, how will the winner then regard the world outside America? Or are we looking at the first ripples that will grow and spread into an inexorable whirlpool that will drag us all down into a third, and final, world war?
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, here's some irony.

First of all, the whole law and order concept started with Richard Nixon as a reaction to the Vietnam War protests, but he also ran on an Anti-Red platform. Americans have always had an irrational view of anything that has nothing to do with capitalism and the right has always been able to seize on that.

Fast forward to Reagan. He, too ran partly on anti-Red rhetoric and he is usually the one given credit, along with Gorbachev, for ending the Cold War. But he also ran on social issues like abortion and school prayer. Needless to say he was a hit among the religious right who gained much political clot during Reagan's two terms.

The Reagan revolution also forced some other Republicans, notably his own Vice President, George Bush, to shift farther right, particularly on the social issues. The one Bush term, of course, is remembered for the Gulf War, but he was also seeking bills to overturn the no school prayer in school mandate as well as Roe v. Wade. But he also had to soften his view on the AIDS situation when it was becoming obvious it wasn't just affecting gay men.

And that brings us to the Xenophobia that has always infected the United States since the Europeans (that's you, Trolls) came and took the lands from the Native Americans. We, as a white race, also brought over slavery and had a sense that we were superior to anyone that wasn't like us. Needless to say, this didn't end with the Civil War. While many of us bought into the idea that, wow, maybe we aren't so superior after all and even rejoiced in that fact, at least half of white Americans, well, didn't.

I mention Xenophobia because that played very much into the 1988 campaign that got Bush elected President. The Republicans figured out a way to take power by exploiting white fear of blacks in particular by playing up the criminal element for the most part. If you can find it on YouTube, check out the infamous Willie Horton commercial where then Governor Mike Dukakis released a black man with a bit of a criminal record who then went on a killing spree. This was a playbook that not only converted a lot of people who lived their lives always afraid of the bogeyman, but also, to the establishment Republican's detriment, they, perhaps unknowingly, but more likely naively, attracted the true racist types as well, never thinking they'd actually be able to one day hijack their party.

Ironically, even as Bush Sr. was exploiting white fears, he was perhaps the first Republican to include more than just token minorities in his administration. In that sense neither he, nor his son, were racists, but he sure knew how to stir that pot for political purposes.

Let's continue on, shall we? By now the Republicans had successfully demonized liberalism to the point that it was like coming out of the closet to admit you were one. The Democrats finally got the White House back in 1992.

So enter Bill Clinton, a centrist who basically straddled the line between charming the pants out of black voters while convincing white voters he was going to be tough on crime. So he passed laws that tended to hurt minorities more than helping them, and yet somehow had the blacks thinking he had done more for them since LBJ at least.

Of course, he was also known as "Slick Willie" and that had its own drawbacks to say the least. Meanwhile, thanks to Clinton not setting the world on fire his first two years and some political scandals in a now complacent Democratic party, Newt Gingrich, also jumping on the lets attract the racist vote without coming off as racist gravy train, was able to engineer his successful Contract with America campaign. As a result, the Republicans took the House of Representatives for the first time in 46 years. The era of Progressive politics was finally over.

And, they went on their way to dismantle what Reagan was unable to and always found a way to scapegoat someone else when things failed, usually some poor minority.

And good ol Slick Willie was no help. You see, he had an eye for the women who, strangely enough, defended him for the things they would go after you today for. Why, you ask? Well, he had them convinced that he also championed womens' rights, unlike Newt and the Republicans (and that part, sadly, was true). So they happily put their blinders on and Newt blew the midterms so bad he had to resign in 1998. Nevertheless, they impeached Clinton anyway.

So now we get to the infamous election of 2000 in which no one really won. Oh yes, I know, after about 3000 do overs , George Bush the second ended up winning Florida by something like 539 votes even though he lost the popular vote overall (by not much more than that). To say we were a divided nation in 2000 was an understatement. Still, even with the shenanigans from both sides such as the Brooks Brothers riot and the Dems always wanting a recount when they saw a vote they didn't like, the end result was relatively peaceful and we had to endure eight years of wars and arguments about stem cell research.

To say that Bush Jr was a failure on the foreign front was also an understatement. We were a divided nation in 2001, but, for a brief time anyway, 9/11 brought us all together. Unfortunately, that was not to last as Bush and his neo-cons exploited it to invade Iraq and get rid of Saddam Hussein once and for all. That, combined with the failures in Afghanistan (It would be Obama that got Bin Laden and even he couldn't get out), pretty much doomed the Bush II administration.

Domestically, if you want to be kind, he had something of a mixed record. Even with the indifferences concerning the natural disaster that was Katrina, it was Bush II that came up with the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, something that has also always been an issue in Xenophobic America. You see, while Bush II was a conservative Christian in some of teh worse senses, he also had the Compassionate Conservative gene his father had always talked about and for the first time in a long while, hispanic immigrants had a bit of hope.

Of course that didn't go well with his own party (He got most of the immigration reform done with mostly Democrats, who by now had retaken the House) and you can imagine how the white supremacist groups were frothing at the mouth.

And, in 2008, it would come full circle as we elected an African-American President for the first time. For liberals, it was like a dream come true.

But for the far right, it was time for action. For years the water was being poisoned by the likes of Fox News, who would spew out nonsense that people wanted to hear, not what they needed to hear. You also had Rush Limbaugh on AM radio getting away with all kinds of slander, sometimes backfiring, like when he made fun of Michael J. Fox for example. But, most of the time, he could rally the troops to do his bidding. Also add on the whole birther movement (apparently black people were never born in America, we'd just import them from Africa) and the tempest was stirring.

So, there was a movement known as the Tea Party. It was originally a group of radical libertarians who basically didn't want to pay any taxes. Okay, that was fine and dandy... until they would get hijacked by the far right, you know the people that Hillary Clinton would later label as deplorables? Anyway, it became a major movement and liberal pundits like Rachel Maddow would go from laughing at them calling them names like teabagger to becoming white with fear when they actually took over the House. Needless to say, the last six years of the Obama administration would be something of a living hell for him.

So, that brings us to Trump. You're right Trolls, Trump didn't create the mess we're in; he merely exploited it. He, not so cleverly but very successfully, cultivated a coalition of fundamentalists, white supremacists, and others that really didn't believe in democracy and took over the Republican party, a party that now has precious few willing to stand up to him lest they incur the wrath of the Trump faithful.

And it continues to this day. No one really knows what the future brings. Maybe, as I said in another thread, maybe enough of us will get rise and say Stop!

Or, and this is more likely, we're going to be in for a real bumpy ride for most of the decade at the very least.

And if Putin does invade Ukraine, well, all bets are off.
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Old 12-15-2021, 08:18 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I might also mention, that while I am no fan of Ronald Reagan, I think it's safe to say he'd be horrified at Trump's cozy relationship with Putin.
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