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stumped

Disgusting vileness at the level of a Donald Trump is hard for me to see past, which is why I am fascinated by those who are able to. True, some of his voters are lowbrow rednecks to be sure but not everyone, which is what makes his level of support that much more disturbing.

If we take away academics and youth as unlikely sources of votes, you are still left with sizable numbers which leaves you scratching your head. I also cannot see how pure pragmatic libertarians could get past his massive and often comical stupidity and can only surmise that they tolerate him rather than espouse the alternative. Still, that level of nose holding must be quite the challenge given the fact that I am hard pressed to think of another current world leader with such a plethera of attributes which disqualifies them from holding such high office. We can speak of despots like Putin, but he is less imbecile than cunning and immoral killer.

Yes, the Mueller report will eventually be released or leaked and a more accurate picture of the Trump crimes will emerge, but that doesn't solve the problem of the continued high level of support this man continues to receive.

Comments

  1. First, plutocratic mega-zillionaires don't have patriotic ties to any particular nation-state. They traverse the globe on their own terms. To the extent that they are citizens of the USA, they vote based solely on their own as-narrowly-as-possible defined self interest. They didn't really *want* Donald Trump, but the he is the personification of the ubermensch character the Gluttons Of Privilege (GOP) have been extolling to their base in the abstract for decades. They made this monster, and it took over. Can the "pragmatic libertarians" live with him? Among the rich? Absolutely. He's a useful idiot who will he give them all the tax cuts and de-regulations they want.

    But, isn't this myopic? What inevitable economic crashes? Climate change? Surely, they recognize things can't last, right? Well, among the plutocrats, they really don't care. Many aren't going to survive more than a decade or two more anyway, and they'll have the means to find their own islands to live out their days. And many are just glorified Paris Hiltons, second- and third-generation uber-rich who have never had to think at all, much less forward. Their entire political live have been devoted to keeping, not making, their money.

    Also, do not underestimate the influence the the odious Ayn Rand has had on my country's wealthy. The Koch Brothers, the CATO Institute, the American Libertarian Party, the Republican Party. The whole thesis of Atlas Shrugged, a novel whose terrible prose is matched only by its terrible ideas, is that poor people are parasites on the rich who deserve to die. Objectivism deems altruism the world's most pernicious evil, and compassion a character flaw. What we are witnessing in American politics is "Atlas" attempting to "Shrug" off the pesky parasites of the majority of the population.

    And finally, don't forget the Randian's strangest of bedfellows: the Evangelical Christians. They are very well organized and they are an unshakeable part of Cult45. Why? When Trump is so clearly the antithesis of everything they espouse as moral? Because they couldn't care less about their president *being* like them, as long as he will give them what they want: Radical Christian judges on all the federal courts. They're getting that. The federal bench, all the way up to Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, has been theocratised. Not even W gave them that. (And to them, if the world dies in Climate Change, well, it's the End Times. It's supposed to. Go Rapture!)

    The trick to understanding these mindsets is much like the "willful suspension of disbelief" required to immerse yourself in a movie. Just accept that Superman can fly, and you can "believe" the movie while it's happening. If you really take the premises of these powerful lunatics seriously, or can at least suspend your disbelief in them for a few minutes, you can get a sense of what's going on in their minds, and why they aren't just holding their noses, but happily voting for Trump.

    The good news is that they're a minority. Even if you add up all these deluded lunatics together, they're still only about 35% of the USA. But the USA is not, and never has been, a democracy. The real question is whether we have time to stop the bleeding or whether we're all just living on Krypton.

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    1. I like the useful idiot analogy because without that you are left without a puppet to manipulate. As I say, all put together they are the minority but the electoral college works against you here bringing you odious politicians like Mitch McConnell. Until you get rid of that anachronistic system you wont be able to sleep safe in the knowledge that your elections truly reflect America's true will...

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    2. While the electoral college is anachronistic, and I support both a Constitutional Amendment to be rid of it, as well as the growing interstate compact movement that could nullify it without the need for an amendment, honestly, it's not the biggest problem with American elections. Our biggest problem is the neo-feudal notions that have crept their ways into our jurisprudence that money equals speech, and that corporations have personhood rights, including the right to the freedom of speech to bribe candidates. Our second biggest problem is our single-member, plurality-winner-takes-all, districting system to elect House members, which is so prone to gerrymandering that parties pick the regions they'll represent rather than the other way around. The third problem is the Senate itself. It is also an anachronism, and a bigger problem than the electoral college.

      America was never meant to be a democracy. In fact, the term "democracy" was practically a pejorative to the founding generation of my increasingly debased and failing country. The experiment of the U.S. Constitution was about trying to create a republic in which "the people" were *sovereign* but not in charge. Majority rule frightened the founders, for some good reasons (mob rule; the tendency to divide into dominant and submissive factions and for the majority to oppress the rights of minorities) and for some bad ones (the fear that already entrenched property ownership, from which the founders personally benefited, would be overturned). The idea was to create a government that would fight *among its own branches and levels of sovereignty* for power instead of turning on the people themselves.

      The Senate was designed to check the power of the people at large against the sovereignty of the individual states, and the college was designed to ensure that the chief executive would be unelectable without broad support across the nation and among the different sovereign states. Neither Senators nor the President was supposed to be elected directly by the people they represent. The 17th amendment made Senators directly elected by the people of their respective states, but in a way, that only makes it an even stranger anachronism as it actually violates the principle of are-person-one-vote, since smaller states have equal representation to larger ones. Honestly, if I had to choose between getting rid of the college or abolishing the Senate, I would abolish the Senate.

      The American experiment is noble and has a lot to recommend it. Is it failing? Yes. Why? If you ask me, because we were founded on white supremacy, black slavery and in an era where feudalism still had enough of a foothold that wealth and property rights were respected more than human rights. The Declaration of Independence is a document I revere, but it's basically Magna Carta 2.0. It was the next official step in Anglo-history to devolve and dilute feudal power. It's time to reexamine all of this, lest the angry alt-right bigots who have only until very recently been the beneficiaries of the de jure and de facto caste system in the U.S. wrest such open power that we essentially abandon even the pretense of popular sovereignty altogether. I hope it doesn't take another civil war, but it might.

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