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(114,904 posts)
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:44 AM Aug 2016

The Rise of Donald Trump is a big flashing neon sign that something is very wrong in this country

Even with his (hopefully) big fall, his ascendency to the Republican nominee, is more than just what's wrong with the Republican party itself.

It's also about our electoral system, the gap between the very wealthy and everyone else and the disconnect between Trump the person and businessman and his tens of millions of voters, and much more.

It's easy to lose the plot for the horserace ( generated largely by our dismal media and other factors).

As far as I know, he's the most unqualified candidate for President in our history. He's unqualified for any office.

His revelatory stream of consciousness gobbledygook is disqualifying in and of itself.

I keep coming back to how the hell did we end up here? Is the ultimate culture war battle? How did we become this divided?

Is the culture of worship for "American success" as potent as it seems?

I keep wavering between confidence that there is no way he can possibly win to a sinking sick making feeling that anything is possible.

I keep asking myself who could support anyone who says the shit gushes from his mouth? This is a man who bragged that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue in broad daylight and he still wouldn't lose his voters.

How the hell did we get here?

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The Rise of Donald Trump is a big flashing neon sign that something is very wrong in this country (Original Post) cali Aug 2016 OP
Dumbing down through television? world wide wally Aug 2016 #1
Dumbing down, period, but low-information media doesn't help matters. Buckeye_Democrat Aug 2016 #6
Yeah, trying to show "both sides" when there are really only 1.001 side: reality and 1/10 % lunacy. Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2016 #51
And the Internet. SleeplessinSoCal Aug 2016 #73
Teach-to-the-test means no teaching critical thinking. Also no societal respect for wisdom. Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2016 #50
Yes. A Great Big Yes... freebrew Aug 2016 #53
Dumbing down through 40 years of GOP anti education policies. Initech Aug 2016 #64
Then how come it's not Millennials, who are the problem? Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #80
except people aren't actually dumber, and in fact it's older voters who are supporting Trump. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #79
Very good point... Whiskeytide Aug 2016 #98
spot on. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #100
I hope you're right... Whiskeytide Aug 2016 #103
Excellent Post WiffenPoof Aug 2016 #116
Really? Does this surprise anyone? Hugin Aug 2016 #2
I think there is some real truth to your statement. hamsterjill Aug 2016 #21
it goes beyond this DonCoquixote Aug 2016 #27
+1000000! SammyWinstonJack Aug 2016 #30
This should be its own post! wcast Aug 2016 #32
Wow. I'm honored that my lowly post indirectly led to such a cogent thesis. Hugin Aug 2016 #76
Exactly! KPN Aug 2016 #93
Oh noes you used the word 'elites'! Rex Aug 2016 #112
+1 -nt CrispyQ Aug 2016 #24
on the contrary, i think it's a sign things are improving. unblock Aug 2016 #3
that's a hopeful point of view but I don't think it's that simple. At all. cali Aug 2016 #4
i agree there's more to it than that. unblock Aug 2016 #11
I bet you're right- the 2022 census (why can't they do it every 5 years?) cali Aug 2016 #23
Exactly. KMOD Aug 2016 #5
If you ignore Palin, Romney and McCain, then Trump is a giant step backwards. randome Aug 2016 #19
This is also what I'd like to think. trotsky Aug 2016 #40
It's like the loud cry of a beast in fear SomeGuyInEagan Aug 2016 #68
from 1931-1995, democrats held the house all but 2 terms, and the senate all but 5. unblock Aug 2016 #71
Nixon and Ronald Reagan Loki Aug 2016 #7
No Trump's support is equal too the % of Americans who are mad that an African American is POTUS Botany Aug 2016 #8
The ignorant, hateful bigots have always been here, Cyrano Aug 2016 #9
You're absolutely right...nothing new about it, just the virulence levels have risen. Moostache Aug 2016 #102
24/7 trashing of the President for 8 years by one party and their coporate media liberal N proud Aug 2016 #10
The GOP's 50 year war on public education Zorro Aug 2016 #12
Watch this week's John Oliver if you haven't seen it yet. Initech Aug 2016 #65
It just seems to get worse Astraea Aug 2016 #13
I would say it's not just the rise of Donald Trump. Phlem Aug 2016 #14
Speaking strictly personally. WinstonSmith4740 Aug 2016 #15
Television bucolic_frolic Aug 2016 #16
The GOP and its media have been building this for years Saviolo Aug 2016 #17
International trade destroyed most of the low level jobs in the US. Kablooie Aug 2016 #18
Dissagree Egnever Aug 2016 #35
That's the monetary policy part of my argument. Kablooie Aug 2016 #39
I still dissagree Egnever Aug 2016 #42
You're right it's not black and white. Kablooie Aug 2016 #57
those economic aggregates don't mean anything Angel Martin Aug 2016 #54
Surely they mean something Egnever Aug 2016 #66
+1! KPN Aug 2016 #94
If international trade harmed workers and the middle class, progressive countries would be worse off pampango Aug 2016 #90
Some of the big money people up top want fascism. Mc Mike Aug 2016 #20
I think we all know what it is. Marr Aug 2016 #22
That is certainly part of it. Martin Eden Aug 2016 #25
knr, cali Hekate Aug 2016 #26
A big flashing neocon sign Blue Owl Aug 2016 #28
It's not only wealth worship loyalsister Aug 2016 #29
How the Hell did we get here in deed.... asiliveandbreathe Aug 2016 #31
Agreed, we have sumthang bad wrong,,,,,,, Cryptoad Aug 2016 #33
I think intelligence increases Zing Zing Zingbah Aug 2016 #89
This worries me a lot as well. rivegauche Aug 2016 #34
You have to ignore the rest of the republican field in my opinion to put this all on Trump Egnever Aug 2016 #36
Charlatans Bernardo de La Paz Aug 2016 #52
How did we get here? Johnny2X2X Aug 2016 #37
With information overload, we are able to choose our dosage bigbrother05 Aug 2016 #96
it is something I will never understand... berksdem Aug 2016 #38
Trump is the result of George W. Bush, IMO. Greybnk48 Aug 2016 #41
Oh well, this country allowed for him to happen. tenderfoot Aug 2016 #43
Dismissing it all as white working class racism and ignorance will eventually cost the Democrats Ex Lurker Aug 2016 #44
wait for it: Duck Dynasty 2020 0rganism Aug 2016 #45
Its the Media Stupid polynomial Aug 2016 #46
It's not only the media. that is merely part of the problem. cali Aug 2016 #47
The GOP has gone completely insane over the past 8 years WaltonH Aug 2016 #48
+1, I agree. He is repulsive, revolting, disgusting, abhorrent, objectionable, vile, foul and nasty uppityperson Aug 2016 #69
A large part of our country worships success and wealth Calculating Aug 2016 #49
Imo, it's right wing media & churches brainwashing the masses. -Steph- Aug 2016 #55
Trump supporters would vote for Adolph Hitler for president if they could es35 Aug 2016 #74
Trump was pushed on America by the media starting last summer. jalan48 Aug 2016 #56
I agree with this. alarimer Aug 2016 #58
How the hell did we get here? One word: MEDIA DFW Aug 2016 #59
There needs to be a consumer for said media. Phlem Aug 2016 #63
Our middle and secondary education does indeed suck DFW Aug 2016 #70
And you really think the people voting for Clinton former9thward Aug 2016 #77
In my circles, yes, I do DFW Aug 2016 #81
Um. Far more people at Trump rallies are riding rascals, than skateboards. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #82
There is more than one part to that equation DFW Aug 2016 #84
Statistically, though, Trump voters are older. That's a fact. Also, Millennials are the most Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #85
But I think the distaste for politicians is media fed into all ages in a big way.... bettyellen Aug 2016 #92
well certainly when you have one party saying "government is ineffective" and then gridlocking Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #101
You're most welcome! I think it you'll enjoy it too. bettyellen Aug 2016 #104
I'm an optimist, myself. Which is one reason why I thought the Convention messaging was so good. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #105
I am getting psyched about all the judicial appointments we could get out of her win... bettyellen Aug 2016 #106
If they don't move on Garland before then, she should find the most progressive 18 year old she can Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #107
HA. bettyellen Aug 2016 #109
It's not education, it's fear, economics and religion adigal Aug 2016 #110
But fear hasnt been beating hope. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #111
point made, but then counterpoint made DonCoquixote Aug 2016 #113
Tell me about it. Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #114
pleasant surprise DonCoquixote Aug 2016 #115
I know exactly how we got here Skittles Aug 2016 #60
ronnie &georgy boy getting into the oval office were much earlier signs. donnie is just the latest. niyad Aug 2016 #61
All this bullshit about "outsiders" being better because of the "corrupt system" and we bettyellen Aug 2016 #62
So a voter is "simple minded" unless they vote for the insider over the outsider? davidn3600 Aug 2016 #75
I do think it's simple minded to think strong working relationships are inherantly evil.... bettyellen Aug 2016 #91
Many Americans love bullies. radicalliberal Aug 2016 #67
Anger. Alkene Aug 2016 #72
we got here because the GOP has been yanking the chain of their base for decades Warren DeMontague Aug 2016 #78
Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water? Orrex Aug 2016 #86
The media has controlled this entire horse race. Never underestimate their power. Native Aug 2016 #87
Too negative and not constructive Cary Aug 2016 #88
hair alone bora13 Aug 2016 #95
As we see the rise of Trump leaves no doubt that we could also see INdemo Aug 2016 #97
A great deal of it has to do with identity politics. bklyncowgirl Aug 2016 #99
In all your OP's reasoning... I don't see RACISM even listed. KittyWampus Aug 2016 #108


(14,853 posts)
6. Dumbing down, period, but low-information media doesn't help matters.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:05 PM
Aug 2016

I've worked with racists whose main exposure to African Americans are riots shown on TV. They don't see deeper coverage of police policies like random "frisk and search," but only the stuff that makes AA's look "scary" and unlike them.

Bernardo de La Paz

(48,988 posts)
50. Teach-to-the-test means no teaching critical thinking. Also no societal respect for wisdom.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 04:11 PM
Aug 2016

Top Ten football teams are more respected than Nobel scientists.

There is little respect in the culture for learning, for education, for critical thinking, for real analysis, for knowledge.


(1,917 posts)
53. Yes. A Great Big Yes...
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 04:34 PM
Aug 2016

Even in the 'enlightened '60s', any teacher that taught those skills was suspect.

My own teacher was suspected of being a 'commie' because he taught us the books were some times
one-sided. To read differing accounts of the same happening.
Hell, even Einstein's book describes such things.
Though, he(my teacher) was more referring to Stalin's idea.

So, basically, Americans are stupid. And damned proud of it.

Many thanks to * and his buddies.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
79. except people aren't actually dumber, and in fact it's older voters who are supporting Trump.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 03:48 AM
Aug 2016

so if education has gotten worse, or culture has gotten worse, or teevee has rotted teh kids' brains, why are they the most progressive generation in US history?


(4,461 posts)
98. Very good point...
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 11:35 AM
Aug 2016

..., and I notice that you tossed a grenade into the middle of this thread and no one even flinched when it went off!

There were some problems with our education system long before the "dumbing down" began, perhaps? Maybe. But I think the real answer to your query is that education is the wrong indicator of Trumpism.

Trump's support is NOT really as much a factor of education as it is a willingness to disregard facts that contradict your preconceived notions. You actually have to have some smarts to do that, I think, because you have to work through some pretty impressive mental gymnastics to reconcile that level of hypocrisy.

Instead, the overriding concern for most Trump supporters, I think, is FEAR - not just of terrorists or economic hardship - or whatever other "boogyman" is featured on the news tonight, but rather a fear of losing one's perceived way of life. These people see the country changing, and they are uncomfortable with that. They think Trump will take things back to the way they remember (selectively, of course) it was before the "others" had so much influence. That fear HIGHLY motivates the authoritarian subject, whether or not he/she can solve a calculus problem.

This actually worries me about the general election. I'm afraid Trump has more support than we understand, but it's flying under the radar because many of them are savvy enough - or fear embarrassment enough - not to announce it or put a sign in their yard or a bumper sticker on their car. But they WILL pull the lever for him in November. I hope I'm wrong - or that I'm misled by the red bubble I live in (Alabama). But - FWIW- I have come to think we are celebrating Trump's loss a little too early.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
100. spot on.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 04:33 PM
Aug 2016

I am optimistic, however- not just because of generational shifts in attitudes which I do think warrant some optimism, but also because Trump has done such a bang-up job of alienating so many differing demographics; (the line "you wore out your welcome, with random precision" just popped into my head, now) ... I think even with unreported swaths of silently fearful voters, he's got a potentially insurmountable challenge electorally.

Doesn't mean we should be complacent, not at all- and I live in probably the anti-Atlanta, so I may be seeing a very different reality than you.


(4,461 posts)
103. I hope you're right...
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 05:01 PM
Aug 2016

... Some of the Republicans I know greatly dislike Trump. But NOT because he's an asshole on steroids. They are pissed because they believe he is damaging the party's chances of success in November - especially down ticket.

It's a little disconcerting to me. I'll say "He disrespects women, he's stirring violence, he's a childish asshole who can't control his impulses - shit, President Trump might start dropping nukes on people who flame him on Twitter!"

And they respond with "Yeah, I know, we're probably going to lose the Senate and maybe even the House because of him". WTF? THAT's your issue with him!?

But, I guess I hope they're right too.


(2,404 posts)
116. Excellent Post
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 08:22 PM
Aug 2016

I would only add that the FEAR factor is pervasive throughout Right Wing thinking. From my observations, fear is the greatest motivation behind those on the right.



(33,112 posts)
2. Really? Does this surprise anyone?
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:50 AM
Aug 2016

In a Nation where the highest paid State Officials in every state are coaches.


(15,220 posts)
21. I think there is some real truth to your statement.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:54 PM
Aug 2016

I mean, look at the high schools in my area! Football is king and school taxes are used to build incredible stadiums, etc. To hell with mathematics, literature and science!

But I'll take it a step further and say that the emphasis for a "successful" life has been moved off of "work and then play" to "play and then work". There seems to be such a need for individuals to be entertained nowadays.

I'm not an old fuddy duddy who doesn't think that anyone should ever be able to cut loose and have some fun. But you get the work done and THEN you go and have the fun. The mentality of many Americans is the complete opposite.


(13,616 posts)
27. it goes beyond this
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:26 PM
Aug 2016

"But I'll take it a step further and say that the emphasis for a "successful" life has been moved off of "work and then play" to "play and then work". There seems to be such a need for individuals to be entertained nowadays."

It is not even a matter of work, then play. Let's be honest, with the lowest vacation, most overtime, most unreported overtime, least job security, and the sheer work it takes to even score unemployment benefits, the problem is NOT that Americans do not want to work. If Americans were lazy, no one would dare work in places which are just a step above old antebellum plantations. The problem is that our elites do NOT put half the risk and toil that their employees do, and because people are desperate and badly fed, they will accept anything that gives off hope, or it's cheap cousin, revenge. Think of Trump as fast food, it's not what you want to live off, not what you want to feed your kids, but on budgets that make vegetables a luxury, it is something that beats hunger.

If Clinton wants to beat Trump, and she could do so easily, she needs to step away from the Yuppies whose response to food deserts is "why don't they buy organic at whole foods?" and connect to the folks that have to use Hamburger Helper. She can do this, but she needs to continue on the path she started when she FINALLY got Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of the cockpit and started describing herself as a girl whose grandpa was poor.

Demonizing people you think do not want to work will only shovel the people who work for 50-60 hours a week right into Trump's furnace.


(595 posts)
32. This should be its own post!
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:05 PM
Aug 2016

Many times Democratic solutions look little different than the elite's, and sometimes they are the same. I especially loved your statement about connecting with people who eat hamburger helper. When I was a kid, my UAW father was a democrat all the way because they were the labor party. He still is, but I suspect without that connection, he would be rooting for Trump.


(33,112 posts)
76. Wow. I'm honored that my lowly post indirectly led to such a cogent thesis.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 03:15 AM
Aug 2016

Last edited Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:45 AM - Edit history (1)

Thanks for that, DC. What you say is the Truth.


(52,183 posts)
3. on the contrary, i think it's a sign things are improving.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:51 AM
Aug 2016

the long-term demographic trend is toward a more blue country. we can certainly complain about the pace of progress, but there's little doubt that women and minorities are better off than they were decades ago.

the white male dominance has been slowly eroding for some time now, and the country is becoming more egalitarian.

in this context, trump represents the lashing out of a vicious animal who used to have free reign but now is cornered and feels threatened because he knows his days at the top are numbered.

it's easy to get lost in the moment and see trump as a giant step backwards, but in truth, he represents a dying political attitude.

it's just that they were never going to go away quietly. but go away they will.


(52,183 posts)
11. i agree there's more to it than that.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:14 PM
Aug 2016

just one aspect is the damage that the cornered animal can do.

fox example, the 60s brought us great progress, but there was also a big price to be paid.

things are going to get ugly before they get better, and the ugliness will not be limited to trump's campaign regardless of the outcome.

personally, i am expecting 2022 to be a watershed year, the first year when the new census takes effect. but that still a long way off.



(114,904 posts)
23. I bet you're right- the 2022 census (why can't they do it every 5 years?)
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:00 PM
Aug 2016

The reason I am now so on board with HRC is that I think in order to depress the ugliness you refer to, is that democrats need to win overwhelmingly.

I know that it can't be buried completely in just one election cycle, but a resounding defeat of Trumpism would, I think, go a long way to mitigating it.



(34,845 posts)
19. If you ignore Palin, Romney and McCain, then Trump is a giant step backwards.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:53 PM
Aug 2016

But put into the proper context, he's just another part of the same slide into oblivion that the GOP has been going on for a long time now -for the reasons you list.

I don't think anything is 'simple' about this but the trend is pretty obvious, imo.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]I'm always right. When I'm wrong I admit it.
So then I'm right about being wrong.


(1,515 posts)
68. It's like the loud cry of a beast in fear
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 10:51 PM
Aug 2016

I don't for a minute think that the Republican party is dead or dying - I've witnessed Watergate, Trickle-down stupidity aided by a healthy side of arms sales wrapped in a flag and W's clusterf*ck. There will always be people who live in fear rather than optimism, and always hucksters and shills ready to exploit that fear for profit and power.

But I think this particular type of beast is in its final throes and even the profiteers won't push it to power. Trump is the bellwether for a particular kind of ugly and it will always exist, but I see this election as its last gasp as relevancy, at least in its own mind.

Just my opinion, though.


(52,183 posts)
71. from 1931-1995, democrats held the house all but 2 terms, and the senate all but 5.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:58 PM
Aug 2016

one can certainly hope that the republican party will go back to being the pathetic minority party that they fully deserve to be.


(3,825 posts)
7. Nixon and Ronald Reagan
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:06 PM
Aug 2016

and the "Southern Strategy". The rise of right wing talk radio and 30 % of Americans who are just plain hate filled and stupid and wouldn't believe a fact if it smacked them right on their pointy white hats.


(70,483 posts)
8. No Trump's support is equal too the % of Americans who are mad that an African American is POTUS
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:07 PM
Aug 2016

Last edited Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:02 PM - Edit history (1)

And Trump's upcoming landslide loss is also a sign that the pissed off old white man who
was the foundation of Nixon and the GOP's southern strategy can no longer win a national
election. If Georgia, Texas, and or South Carolina turn blue this fall (small chance) then
that would be a very good sign.


(15,031 posts)
9. The ignorant, hateful bigots have always been here,
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:09 PM
Aug 2016

seething and lurking just outside of the spotlight.

Every few decades, someone like Trump comes along and brings it all out into the open.

In the 1930s, there was the hate preacher, Father Coughlin, who spewed his sewage through the radio for years.

In the 1950s, it was the McCarthy witch hunt for communists which destroyed the reputations and lives of so many good people.

There was Strum Thurmond and then George Wallace appealing to the ignorant, and their malignant message was received far beyond the South.

Rush Limbaugh picked up on the profits he could make from selling hatred. And then Rupert Murdoch joined the game with his Fox "news" poison.

And now, a demagogue is running for president and we're all "shocked." In truth, the GOP has been peddling hatred and divisiveness for decades and Trump just said it clearly, with no niceties, and very loudly. That's how we got here.

You or I have a better chance of becoming president than this buffoon.

The problem we will face is shaming the haters/bigots/know-nothings back into their caves. It will take time, but it will happen.

And Trump will forever be reviled as one more disgusting specimen of humanity who tried to advance himself by tapping into the worst of human nature.

This too shall pass.


(9,895 posts)
102. You're absolutely right...nothing new about it, just the virulence levels have risen.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 04:58 PM
Aug 2016

The overt hate and racism in Trump's campaign and supporters is jarring because it is at a level that has so far surpassed what would have killed ANY candidate a mere 4 years ago to the point where Trump rides it like a surfer catching a tube...

From time immemorial man has been a tribal beast. Going back to the savannahs of Africa, we have been largely as portrayed in Kubrick's vision of Clarke's "2001: A Space Odyssey"...a bunch of tribal monkeys looking to bash the heads of the 'out group' in service of our place around the monolith...substitute a hilariously named "smart" phone for a big black obelisk and we have not changed as much as people like to think!

liberal N proud

(60,334 posts)
10. 24/7 trashing of the President for 8 years by one party and their coporate media
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:11 PM
Aug 2016

Then pivoting that hate to the new Democratic Candidate.

That is what is wrong in this country that allows the likes of Donald Trump to rise.


(15,737 posts)
12. The GOP's 50 year war on public education
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:20 PM
Aug 2016

It began in the 60's in response to desegregation and prayer in school decisions.


(100,060 posts)
65. Watch this week's John Oliver if you haven't seen it yet.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 09:34 PM
Aug 2016

He annihilated the very concept of charter schools. It's a thing of beauty.


(465 posts)
13. It just seems to get worse
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:27 PM
Aug 2016

at least, when it comes to Republican presidents.

First, Nixon. Then Ronald Reagan. I didn't think it could get worse than that. But then there was George Jr., and again, I didn't think it could get worse. But now we're faced with President Donald?

I'll admit, the Democratic presidents we've elected haven't been great, but they were certainly much better than the alternatives.


(6,323 posts)
14. I would say it's not just the rise of Donald Trump.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:29 PM
Aug 2016

Remember how shitty the last midterms were?

This nation is most certainly headed in one direction right now.


(3,056 posts)
15. Speaking strictly personally.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:35 PM
Aug 2016

The country started down this road with the election of Ronald Reagan, and the surrender of the press to right wing ideology. The press got on their knees to Reagan, and only managed to struggle to their feet when a Democrat was in office. Just like now, the press is still pushing the "Hillary can't be trusted" meme, which is easily debunked, especially in the face of The Donald. He lies as easily as you and I breath, but I don't see the MSM calling him on it.


(43,123 posts)
16. Television
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:42 PM
Aug 2016

Perception. Racism against Obama. Ignorant citizens.

It's all enabled by television. It's a delusion machine. People no longer
think rational, logical thoughts. They can't reason. They are simply
emotional, and led around by loud noises and resentment. Causality
is now an alien concept. Truth is what looks good, sounds good, feels


(3,280 posts)
17. The GOP and its media have been building this for years
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:50 PM
Aug 2016

There's been a concerted effort by the right to demonize the word "liberal" and "progressive." This is not an accident. The right has been building this for years and years and years. From the advertising of supply-side-economics, to corporate personhood, the right has been designing a bespoke culture war that neatly pits the poor and middle class against their own self-interest in the loudest possible terms, while those same corporations keep cutting the bottom line, cutting jobs, cutting benefits, and moving production to cheap tax havens.

It's a stunningly good example of the "Let's you and him fight" con.

It's so firmly entrenched now, that well before this election cycle we were seeing signs of "Keep the government out of my medicare" with no sense of irony or understanding around it. Incredibly wealthy right wing radio and TV hosts have been training the poor and middle class to be angry at the "liberals" who are taking their money and giving it to "do-nothings" or "slackers" or "welfare queens" or "special interest groups."

Those are, of course, all code for immigrants, the poor, POC, single mothers, etc...

And now the anger they've been injecting slowly and steadily into their followers for decades has reached a critical mass, and they've lost control of their own creation. The monster they've built has no allegiance to them or anyone. It's a headless blunder that wants to break everything down because ANGER!!!!

People are scared of change, by and large. Scared people become angry when they are subject to changes that they don't understand or welcome. They've been trained for years to be angry and scared, and now the GOP seems shocked by all of these angry people supporting Trump. It takes almost no brains to oppose change, but real change takes planning, careful thought, and intelligence; another thing that the right has been training people to fear and mistrust.

So, here you have a soup of racism, anger, fear, mistrust of government, mistrust of liberals and progressives, mistrust of the educated, mistrust of the poor, sexism, and fear of change. When Trump is defeated in November, those voters aren't going to go away. They're going to be angrier and unhappier than you've ever seen them.


(18,625 posts)
18. International trade destroyed most of the low level jobs in the US.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:53 PM
Aug 2016

That combined with monetary policies that drain money from the average guy and pours it into the pockets of the super-rich has created today's climate.
The result is that large sections of the populace are left with ever decreasing living standards and fewer opportunities to raise it.
The problem is only going to get worse because now higher level jobs are being outsourced and even more people, skilled upper level workers, are being left stranded.

I think most of the Trump supporters basically want to blow up our government. They don't want the United States to continue because it's not working for them anymore.They know Trump is not qualified but they are angry and want to burn everything to the ground.Trump is their best chance to do that.

Make America Great Again means destroying what we have now and grow something else. They think anything else would be better. They aren't able to see that the likely result would be some kind of government that would be dramatically worse and would not leave any options for future change.



(21,506 posts)
35. Dissagree
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:25 PM
Aug 2016

That is a boogyman argument in my opinion. The GDP of the US has increased steadily for years.


As has corporate profit


What is really going on IMHO is that the share of the profits are not being passed down to the workers. Worse profits are being made on the backs of the workers as labor costs are cut almost before anything else in order to please wall streets need for ever increasing profit margins.


(18,625 posts)
39. That's the monetary policy part of my argument.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:52 PM
Aug 2016

But I know personally in my industry jobs are disappearing at an ever increasing rate and being sent to India and Asia. Many people I know trained their whole lives to be skilled enough for these jobs just to see the jobs dry up and be sent overseas. They are left to to take low skilled jobs that don't bring anything like the income they expected from their rigorous training.

You're correct that the profits are not passed down to the workers but industries are moving towards eliminating workers (in the US) altogether because labor can be found so much cheaper in other countries and US government incentives do nothing to discourage this.

It used to be that competition for labor was limited to our own country. Now we compete with the whole world and American workers won't be competitive until our living standards and salaries are brought down to third world levels.
Unless the government decided to do something about this.

Trump says he will. He's lying but the people who now can barely make a living have decided that any kind of change, no matter how incompetent, is better than continuing the status quo.



(21,506 posts)
42. I still dissagree
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:12 PM
Aug 2016

The money is still coming in. Yes the products are shifting but the production is still there. What is not happening is the workers getting the same cut of the profits they used to.

World trade is unavoidable and our focus should not being on discouraging world trade but working on raising standards in other countries. Oddly enough this is something the TPP is attempting to do yet it is widely criticized on this board as the work of the Devil.

It also is not black and white. Just because someone makes the equivalent to a 1.00 per hour in another country does not mean they are working for low wages. If you are working for 1.00 per hour but your housing only costs 10k instead of 100k are you really making less money or is your currency just valued differently when compared to the dollar.

We could effectively eliminate any trade advantage other countries have with us when it comes to labor by devaluing the dollar. Something we could easily do (and something China is doing). If we did that however it would have the effect of increasing prices for damn near everything, no longer would we be able to run to wall mart and pick up a 60 inch flat screen for $600.

It is not by any means a black and white situation where you can say if we just stopped importing american workers would make more money. Each time the dollar strengthens it makes labor here more expensive regardless of any actual wage changes. This is not something you can fix by simply limiting imports it is much much more complicated than that.

That said the fact that corporations are sharing less of their ever increasing profits than ever before could be changed and should be changed. Just returning the tax rate on profits to past levels would go along way to curbing the profit chasing that is currently completely dismantling our way of life. When corporations have a choice of investing the profits back into the company or giving them to the government in the form of taxes they usually choose to put that cash back into the company instead. When we started letting them keep more and more of the profits is when we started to see the mad dash to increase those profits at all costs IMHO.


(18,625 posts)
57. You're right it's not black and white.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 06:42 PM
Aug 2016

But our government could create more incentives for companies that create jobs here.

And of course the corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. The loopholes and offshore banking tricks are extremely damaging to our country overall.

We can't create laws that force corporations to share more of their profits with employees but I'm sure there could be incentives created that would make it more advantageous to do so. I'm not a lawmaker so I can't say what they are but it seems our representatives, Republicans certainly but also a fair number of Democrats, hold onto laws that make it more profitable for corporations to play these tricks that shortchange everyone else.

I can't say if the TPP will be good or bad for the country, I don't know enough about the details, but the fear is that the focus will be to increase corporate profits once again at even more expense of our people. The whole country could be made much better off if our lawmakers were working to better the life of our citizens but that seems to be a very rare value nowadays. It seems to be a game between the upper powers exclusively with very little consideration for the average person who must live under the decisions made up above.

Angel Martin

(942 posts)
54. those economic aggregates don't mean anything
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 04:35 PM
Aug 2016

to families that have been in economic decline since the 1970's.

International trade doesn't just "happen". It is conducted under a series of negotiated trade agreements where, for example, the USA has traded market access for intellectual property protection.

Good for Redmond, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Not so good for the midwest.



(21,506 posts)
66. Surely they mean something
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 10:24 PM
Aug 2016

They seem to scream pretty loudly to me that contrary to the popular meme that america isn't producing stuff anymore America definitely is. Maybe not in coal mining or horseshoeing but are we really supposed to keep hiring people to do that when the demand for those things is disappearing?

There is no question there are many people hurting. My argument is it has little to do with trade and much more to do with profits being driven on the backs of american workers wages. Not because of any competition with foreign workers, though that is certainly the case in some industries, but because it is easiest to cut costs by cutting payroll. There was a reason for the rise of the unions and the rise in the american standard of living because of them.

I feel like I am having difficulty explaining so one more time. Corporations are making more money than ever before yet they are not extending that windfall to the employees instead they are using them as profit to enhance their stock. The wages are not going to go up because we put up trade barriers. We need higher minimum wages or short of that we need a lot more union organization to force a more even disbursement of the production that is clearly going no where but up.


(15,642 posts)
94. +1!
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:33 AM
Aug 2016

GDP and corporate profit are poor indicators of average well being -- anywhere. Trade agreements have favored and continue to favor (including TPP) corporate profit over jobs and worker income. The argument that "global trade"/globalism is a given, that the horse has already left the barn, that it's a reality that cannot be ignored is a red herring justification of past and current practice. Aside from corporate profit maximization, there is absolutely no reason that trade agreements cannot be achieved that protect jobs here in America. The horse hasn't left the barn; rather, the hens let the foxes into the hen-house.


(24,692 posts)
90. If international trade harmed workers and the middle class, progressive countries would be worse off
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 09:00 AM
Aug 2016

than we are here. They are not.

The problem is not international trade - Sweden, Germany, Norway, etc. do 2 to 3 times as much trade as we do. The problem is that we do not have progressive domestic policies on labor rights, progressive taxes, corporate regulation, etc. Progressive countries have all of those; trade much more than we do; and have much stronger unions and middle classes than we have in the US.

That is also why Trump's plan to solve our problems with tariffs, walls and other anti-trade policies, while promoting 'right-to-work', tax cuts for the rich and more deregulation are doomed to failure. Of course, Trump (or at least his most powerful supporters) knows that his proposals will do nothing for our working class (other than harm them) but will benefit the wealthy and corporations greatly.

Mc Mike

(9,114 posts)
20. Some of the big money people up top want fascism.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 12:54 PM
Aug 2016

They've poisoned the minds of some of their victims who are living poorly with reality tv, right wing media, breitbart garbage. Then there are the comfortably well off dRumpf fans, retired or living off of gov disability or subsidies, like the bundy brigade, who tune in to that same pro fascist 'info' stream for comfort or justification.

Fascism would make things easier for the top money and power people, to increase their riches and control, and to safeguard them.

They're trying to pretend they have hitler's magic 10%, but don't. Whoever hollers loudest, wins, so we have to massively turn out and crush drumpf. We can only vote once, but just by being strong open forceful anti-drumpf voters, we influence the outcome, sway timid indies, comfort and embolden timid fellow dems, and make cocksure gopers less certain about themselves.



(20,317 posts)
22. I think we all know what it is.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:00 PM
Aug 2016

Just listen to the people who support Trump. They'll tell you.

They feel that their party's leadership hasn't served them well or truly worked to advance their interests. They feel their party's establishment is a kind of sedentary con operation, designed mostly to maintain the status quo and enrich the people in the club. And they're right.

It's exactly the same sentiment that made an unknown, 72 year old Jewish socialist a real primary threat Hillary Clinton this year.

Our two parties need a major realignment if they want to survive. You can only stick your fingers in the dyke with slanted primaries for so long.

Martin Eden

(12,863 posts)
25. That is certainly part of it.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:20 PM
Aug 2016

The other part is the intentional dumbing-down of the voting public while whipping up their fear and bigotry in a strategy of divide and conquer.


(13,390 posts)
29. It's not only wealth worship
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:56 PM
Aug 2016

although, it is probably no coincidence that the people who grew up in the Reagan years. Have been gaining political power as they are now the dominant professional leadership and gaining in numbers in government.

I think that the way people seem to take delight in anger, conflict, and even cruelty. This part worries me most, because the left is in on it. How many times did we hear people say we need our own FOX news? Thus, MSNC adopts programming which also glorifies contentious interactions.

Even liberals use the violent language to describe verbal arguments and victories. Opposition to caring about people when they find things offensive comes from both sides as Donald Trumps haters are enabled by liberal rejection of civil language and behavior.

I think this is more cultural than political. Many people are just taking sides with alternative versions of angry rhetoric which is many times directed at the same people.

Information and entertainment media have tapped into it and roped us all in. They reinforce the enjoyment of conflict and legitimization of the behaviors that come with it. It makes money and people feel some sense of vindication when celebrities and pundits they consider credible agree with them.

I have no idea how to return to a civil society, but I hope it's possible.


(8,203 posts)
31. How the Hell did we get here in deed....
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 01:58 PM
Aug 2016

I read either NYT or Wash Post someone tried to analyze what this is all about..- we are living in a reality show called Trump...everyday trump manages to steal free media time..if it isn't his tweets - his photo-op to LA - at the whim of his maniacal thought process..it is like that shiny glittery thing over here - no over there..etc etc etc...like tv reality shows..of which trump is a master of...

I can't even turn on the tv - never watched reality shows..news isn't news it's the trump show, every station at all times..and he has his puppets reading from the material he gives them...his spoken, tweeted word...

Pathetic and sickening so many are falling for it....


(8,254 posts)
33. Agreed, we have sumthang bad wrong,,,,,,,
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:05 PM
Aug 2016

year after year I see more and more idiots. I say the median IQ is now below 60. If it were just ignorance , we could correct the problem ,,,, can u teach intelligence ? big dispute over that one. if u can it has its limits..... think about it,,,, what happens to a democratic Republic when the majority of voters are moron or worst.

Zing Zing Zingbah

(6,496 posts)
89. I think intelligence increases
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 08:29 AM
Aug 2016

with proper education/training and it stagnates with the lack of these things so, yes, education does make a difference in intelligence. Fox news and right wing talk shows are pretty much the opposite of education though.


(601 posts)
34. This worries me a lot as well.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:18 PM
Aug 2016

All those millions of dumbasses who support that idiot. I blame 2 things: hate radio, Faux News and all the other lying media outlets who have encouraged, nurtured and grown to maturity a huge segment of the population that prefers blatant lies to facts. Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch should be thrown in prison forever if you want my opinion.

The next to be blamed is the Repuke congress, for being obstructionist racist assholes for almost 8 years. They have blocked President Obama at every juncture, for no other reason than to be fucking assholes. They have not done their jobs nor served their constituencies. Every day that I get older, I get more disgusted with the party of No. They are a cancer in this society.



(21,506 posts)
36. You have to ignore the rest of the republican field in my opinion to put this all on Trump
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:40 PM
Aug 2016

or even the republican field for the last several elections. In the past three elections the republican offerings have almost exclusively been as bad as trump or worse.

This is much more the result of a party that has destroyed itself by catering to their constituents worst instincts for years in order to try to retain power.

And lastly Trump does not now nor has he ever had a shot at winning the general despite all the hair on fire nonsense. He barely won the republican nod and if not for a split field of so many candidates he likely would not have carried the nomination. More people voted for someone else in the Republican primary than voted for trump.

His strength in the election has been vastly overrated from the beginning by a media that gets paid by presenting Shocking stories as if they are reality.


Overall, Trump has gained slightly in our forecasts: He’s up to a 15 percent chance of winning the Electoral College in our polls-only model, up from a low of 11 percent a week ago.

15% chance of winning the election....

When taken in the context of reality Trump is being rejected more soundly than any Republican candidate in decades.


(19,024 posts)
37. How did we get here?
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:41 PM
Aug 2016

The information age has overwhelmed many Americans. The internet means that a constant stream of information (or misinformation) is consumed by too many people who simply aren't capable of processing what is real and what is not real. Add into that a spoon full of confirmation bias and you've got about 1/3 of this country who live in a totally different world than the rest of us.


(5,995 posts)
96. With information overload, we are able to choose our dosage
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 11:01 AM
Aug 2016

Those that want to be informed can find many differing views from the original source.
Those that want to feel comfort in their cocoon can feed from a self reinforcing stream in their selected echo chamber.
Those that want to be left alone can find 100 channels to feed their own interests (cooking/DIY/wildlife/etc.) without any outside distractions.

In the old days, the 3 networks had to compete for all the groups and the news shows were on side-by-side and so they had to cover all the bases to attract the largest audience. Now they are just trying to find a reliable niche to pay the bills for the advertisers.


(595 posts)
38. it is something I will never understand...
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 02:50 PM
Aug 2016

I think what we have is a culmination of ideologies that really have moved this country to an all new level of stupidity over the years.

Fox News and staff, Reaganomics, the right-wing media, Tea baggers, etc... The sad part is there is a huge portion of the population who truly believe they are letting Trump speak for them. He "calls it like it is" and he is "not a lifetime politician"...

I was at a friends house (Trump supporter) and after a few beers we started talking politics and it amazes me that he literally could back nothing up with actual facts. If Hannity did not say it can't be true!! The funniest part is when I asked him why he was so angry and could not provide any reason. The lies and hatred are gruesome and then you realize people like this can't even understand why they feel it.

I literally just shake my head and try to understand where these folks are coming from BUT the lack of facts is frightening. The very real blind faith they have for Trump is disturbing. What is more disturbing is how they have a blind eye when it comes to Trump's charades...

If this man is elected we are F***ed.


(10,167 posts)
41. Trump is the result of George W. Bush, IMO.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:00 PM
Aug 2016

He is what the Bush the Lesser regime made way for...thinking with your "gut," rampant misogyny, bigotry and racism. Trump is not signaling things to come, Trump is the finale, the implosion, the crash of 16-20 years of regaling ignorance and crudity over education and decorum.
Never before Bush and Fox news did we have shows on every night where two people would scream over each other. Where lying and fear mongering is permitted on T.V. BY LAW! Where a Vice President told a Senator to "fuck off" on the Senate floor. Where a member of the House of Representatives feels comfortable yelling "you lie" at the President during a speech to the joint session of Congress. The list goes on and on.

I think it started with Gingrich acting insane in the mid-90's as Speaker, add in Lobbyists, and the Religious Right gaining power for while and the GOP has degenerated to this. And I'm loving every minute of their slide into the toilet!


(8,425 posts)
43. Oh well, this country allowed for him to happen.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:18 PM
Aug 2016

Propping him up as if he were some sage for all to follow with nary a success to back it up.

Yeah, you're fucked in the head America.

Ex Lurker

(3,812 posts)
44. Dismissing it all as white working class racism and ignorance will eventually cost the Democrats
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:22 PM
Aug 2016

whites are becoming a smaller part of the demographic pie, but they aren't going away, and they'll still be the largest single ethnic group for the forseeable future. And they have problems that no one has addressed, Republican or Democrat. They are up for grabs. If the Democrats ignore them, another Trump will come along, one who's more engaging and less of a lightning rod to the Democratic base. He'll peel off just enough black and hispanic voters to make a real race of it, and maybe win.


(750 posts)
46. Its the Media Stupid
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:50 PM
Aug 2016

A friend of mine is a good example in where the news media is driving American behavior in society today. Everything my friend does is in response to television behavior. Like reality shows, getting points on your charge card, or regular sales by commercial television likely pointing to Internet deals.

Think closely about what is seen in commercials and the basic fiction in entertainment. Or programs that improve your-self especially the new cooking stuff channeled into the America, the new renaissance information age.

Many here on DU have a keen skill in “selfie” images, not just the photo image, yet more interestingly it is the mental self. The image many intuitively figure out instantly. A social distribution that was inconceivable the last century, yet mainstream media feels slipping away. Mainstream media dominance is folding.

That is news is not reported, it is configured for behavior adjustment. Exampled by MSNBC the so called gem of journalistic Conservatism looks wonky, is becoming so obvious that news group looks frazzled or dazed.

Trump is so cleaver, he is scary, He not only knows how to play the media game it appears they have the plant and equipment yet Trump is the media. The kicker is if they don’t do something clever to respond Trump is going to train America to be the same. The days of Morning Joe are over.



(114,904 posts)
47. It's not only the media. that is merely part of the problem.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 03:56 PM
Aug 2016

It's the coming together of many different strands that have long been interwoven into our history. Anti-intellectualism, see Adlai Stevenson for an illustration in that. And you can go back far longer than that.

It's the ever growing gap between the uber wealthy and everyone else. It's inchoate anxiety that envelopes like a noxious fog.

I could go on and on.

Would be that it was as simple as your assessment.



(6 posts)
48. The GOP has gone completely insane over the past 8 years
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 04:01 PM
Aug 2016

To this day, a large number of them STILL doubt Obama is really a US citizen, and go as far as to accuse him of being a secret socialist Muslim. It's astonishing just how brainwashed these people really are. Trump is simply pandering to their deeply-held beliefs and plays into their fears, which explains his popularity among them. Scary times we're living in.


(115,677 posts)
69. +1, I agree. He is repulsive, revolting, disgusting, abhorrent, objectionable, vile, foul and nasty
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:04 PM
Aug 2016

How did you find DU? I am interested in finding out if you'll tell me, or ever answer.


(2,955 posts)
49. A large part of our country worships success and wealth
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 04:09 PM
Aug 2016

Without regard to how they were acquired. Trump is also quite good at saying what the audience wants to hear. He appeals to blue collar white Americans who fear that the future America won't have anything for them. Additionally, he appeals to those who are afraid of the changing demographics in our country. The thought of an America where whites aren't the majority is absolutely terrifying to some people.


(409 posts)
55. Imo, it's right wing media & churches brainwashing the masses.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 05:13 PM
Aug 2016

Also, I've seen a lot of news outlets (like CNN) consistently playing devil's advocate on Trump's behalf which just lends him credence. Trump's campaign was a joke and shit show from the very beginning. It should have only ever been treated as such, instead of legitimizing it the way the main stream media repeatedly has.


(132 posts)
74. Trump supporters would vote for Adolph Hitler for president if they could
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 02:35 AM
Aug 2016

I said this before and I'll say it again until they forcibly shut me up. America is the breeding ground for fascists and the major factor in causing this is religion. We live in a society that is dominated by religion. It is the only institution that you may not criticize yet has a choke hold on its billions of followers for their "salvation." It is authoritarian and totalitarian. Are we forgetting how the Vatican made Hitler's and Mussolini's rise to power possible in 1930s Europe? And how it colluded with the Protestant Fundies to create the death squads that tortured and killed millions? It has caused our society to hate intellectual activities to the point that we have become virtually illiterate and know nothing of history. It's aim is keep its subjects as its servants and prevent progress at all costs even if that means violent suppression. It has robbed our democracy of hundreds of billions of dollars (some even estimate trillions). When are we going to wise up and abolish its tax exemption and enforce the prohibition of its political activity. It is the most significant factor holding us back from confronting and coping with our major social, political and environmental problems today.


(13,855 posts)
56. Trump was pushed on America by the media starting last summer.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 05:21 PM
Aug 2016

He was allowed hundreds of minutes of free air time, more than any other candidate. His absurd comments were allowed to stand, unchallenged by the political pundits. His overt racism and sexism, which would have immediately disqualified him just a few years ago, were allowed to pass by the media. I agree with you, hard times are on the horizon.


(16,245 posts)
58. I agree with this.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 06:46 PM
Aug 2016

It is a complicated issue, to be sure. The media does a disservice by focusing on the horse race aspect. We have one party falling apart, but the other one has been at least complicit in the way things are now.


(54,334 posts)
59. How the hell did we get here? One word: MEDIA
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 06:59 PM
Aug 2016

I live in Europe, where most countries have suffered, at some point or other, national brain-washing at the hands of their media. Spain's government and press poured out triumphant reports of America's imminent defeat at their hands in the war of 1898. A friend of mine, now deceased, was inducted into the Hitler youth before he was 10, luckily still too young to fight by the time the war was over, but he recalls how completely brainwashed he, along with much of the rest of the country, was by total Nazi control of the media. At age 10, he was totally convinced that the "German way of life" as well as the German people (the racially pure ones, that is) were superior to all others on earth. East Germany in southern Saxony, the part where western TV and radio was not accessible, were convinced that West Germany was hell on earth compared to the socialist paradise of East Germany. Many Soviet citizens, especially the ones without access to media other than that of their own government, were equally convinced that the world was out to get them, consumed by envy of their fabulous lifestyle. Today again, ´Putin is conducting a relentless, including murder, campaign against dissident Russian media. Journalists in some countries, notably Belgium and France, are being constrained for saying the wrong thing if certain people are offended (Charlie Hebdo was only the most extreme manifestation). IN Germany, due to the NAZI past, laws are in place that forbid dissemination of such hate speech. Not all countries have such good memories.

But even in the good old USA, protected (kinda sorta) by the First Amendment, Bill O'Reilly can go on Fox Noise, incite a murder (Dr. Tiller in Kansas) and then say WHO, ME? when it really happens. He wasn't even indicted. Trump gets wide media coverage for saying, in not so veiled terms, that someone (not he, for sure) should go shoot Hillary. Fox "News" and National Hate Radio in the USA are listened to by millions, and there are tens of millions that actually believe what they hear fro both sources. They tell it "like it is," don't ya know.

The free press envisioned by the Founders was intended to prevent and monitor government excess. They never imagined radio, much less the Internet. Anyone intending to create a rebellious stir in 1789 would have been conspicuous before he ever got a following beyond the town square. In 2016, you can reach fifty million people in seconds if you have a laptop and the right (no pun intended) audience, half of whom are armed to the teeth to prevent the government from coming to take away their Medicare.

THAT'S how we got here. What I want to know is how we get away from there.


(6,323 posts)
63. There needs to be a consumer for said media.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 09:20 PM
Aug 2016

The *media* can't exist in a vacuum or around people who understand it workings and motivations.

Our current situation proves that there are plenty all too willing to let media form their worldview for them, and at least 75% or more too unwilling to do any type of meaningful research.

Oh and let's not forget the people who stick their fingers in their ears and go yadda yadda yadda because the truth isn't what they want to hear.

Because if it was easy, we wouldn't be in this mess.

A nation of *Suckers*, if you will.

I've talked to Trump supporters. I've lived with and still frequent plenty of family members who think he's the shit. They're everywhere to varying degrees.

What can you do?

Apparently our education systems suck bigtime.


(54,334 posts)
70. Our middle and secondary education does indeed suck
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 11:21 PM
Aug 2016

High school kids graduate without knowing where Europe or Canada is, can't tell you how much 6 X 8 is without a calculator, and if they can't get the info in a tweet, they don't want to know. That's a gross generalization, of course, and maybe not even something that holds true for the majority, but there ARE at least 50 million American voters out there who will go pull the lever for Trump of their own free will, and that ignorance has to come from SOMEwhere. The media fills the gap the schools regretfully leave.


(31,970 posts)
77. And you really think the people voting for Clinton
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 03:41 AM
Aug 2016

know where Europe or Canada is, or can tell you how much 6 X 8 is without a calculator, and if they can't get the info in a tweet,want to know the info? If you think that then you are not out in the real world. The education deficit is not a Trump vs. Clinton thing.


(54,334 posts)
81. In my circles, yes, I do
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 03:49 AM
Aug 2016

When I'm back in the States, I usually spend my limited time there in those few places where I have either family or work obligations, but the gap in general knowledge of the world between Trump-style people and Clinton-style people I meet/know is staggering.

If your real world is different, I'm glad I don't have to spend much time there.


(54,334 posts)
84. There is more than one part to that equation
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 04:00 AM
Aug 2016

Think of the 12 year old Trump organizer in Colorado (I'm in the States until Friday, so I get to see Maddow for a while) or the (now formerly) Indian-American Trump kid in North Carolina who got kicked out of a Trump rally--to his great dismay, where he should have expected it. There will be a frightening number of first-time voters in Trump's camp. The one common denominator seems to be the search for a solution to everything in a sound byte. The logical hope is that the ONLY Trump supporters look like the one in your photo. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
85. Statistically, though, Trump voters are older. That's a fact. Also, Millennials are the most
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 04:06 AM
Aug 2016

progressive generation in US history. That, too, is a fact.

And yet, in this thread, people are falling all over themselves to blame shit like twitter and the state of modern higher education. It's ridiculous.

It would make more sense to blame the senior discount at Denny's.

Someone is doing something right, actually, with "these kids today". The sea change in public opinion on LGBT equality and cannabis legalization? Driven in large part by Millennials reaching voting age.

Maybe twitter and the internet and Game of Thrones and texting and pokemon go are what's right with this country, as distressing as it may sound to some people.



(47,209 posts)
92. But I think the distaste for politicians is media fed into all ages in a big way....
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:09 AM
Aug 2016

And the media likes to concentrate on the negative, so very few people think much about how much the government already does for them.

Did you get a look at this:


It's pretty interesting. Have shared with some people I would call "politiphobes" because I do agree it is a thing.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
101. well certainly when you have one party saying "government is ineffective" and then gridlocking
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 04:36 PM
Aug 2016

congress at every turn... yeah.

Thanks for the link, Betty- I'll have to check that article out a little later when I have time to really read it. The Atlantic has some good pieces.



(47,209 posts)
104. You're most welcome! I think it you'll enjoy it too.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 08:28 PM
Aug 2016

I am meeting a lot of people who used to believe the "they're all..." corrupt or the same folks and they are now looking a bit harder. Maybe it's only because Trump is forcing them to. I'm glad it is Hillary running because Trump has been too closely mirroring Sanders rhetoric about corruption and I feel like he's cannibalized his message. They are both such negative campaigners.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
105. I'm an optimist, myself. Which is one reason why I thought the Convention messaging was so good.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 09:38 PM
Aug 2016

I mean, I'm not Pollyannaish- there are real problems- but overall, I don't believe the culture is in crisis or the country is in the dumps or any of it.

And we're certainly better off than we were 7 years ago.



(47,209 posts)
106. I am getting psyched about all the judicial appointments we could get out of her win...
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 09:44 PM
Aug 2016

and that could set back the GOP a generation and take away using some of us as wedge issues for a very long time. Kneecap the bastards!



(7,581 posts)
110. It's not education, it's fear, economics and religion
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:04 AM
Aug 2016

The middle class is disappearing and no one, not even Democrats, seem to care. If they did, Bernie wouldn't have been such a huge hit. People who tend to have liberal views, like my 85 year old mother, have voted republican because of abortion since Roe v Wade. And they all fear it will get worse.

Dems appeal to the best Angels of people, even if they don't do shit for them. Republicans pump up the fear, and then swear they'll protect you from that evil thing you fear. Fear beats hope every time. When will we finally learn that???

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
111. But fear hasnt been beating hope.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 12:46 AM
Aug 2016

If it had, we would have spent the past 7 years under President McCain.

And for every 85 year old grandma who votes GOP because of Roe v. Wade, there are 3 millennials who support things like reproductive choice, legal cannabis, marriage equality and an open uncensored internet.


(13,616 posts)
113. point made, but then counterpoint made
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 02:06 PM
Aug 2016

" millennials who support things like reproductive choice, legal cannabis, marriage equality and an open uncensored internet."

And it would help both us and the Democrats if instead of triangulating, they embraced these things with open arms, not after so much pressure and threats.

We only got marriage equality because we kept putting pressure on Obama to "evolve". Some of the older Duers will remember a signature that was common on here "The GAYTM is closed", meaning that Gays had to seriously threaten the Democrats. Reproductive choice is something Hillary will support, even if she hadto remind Tim Kaine why he had to "evolve." As far as legal cannabis and open internet, the Dems should be out in front, especially after Colorado and Washington proved that no the sky did not fall. But, Debbie Wasserman Schultz still wants to jail dope users, and Verizon is shoveling campaign cash.

However, the victories that have been won are a reminder that what works on the Dems is PRESSURE. The people who say we need to stop putting pressure on Hillary are the ones that will cost us the victories that Hillary will need to gain power. Imagine if, for all his follies, Bernie did not bring up the TPP issue. Hillary did not come out against it till Sanders made it an issue, and if she was still sailing into late August not coming out against it, Trump would have something to sell to the same people who frankly think NAFTA was bad enough.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
114. Tell me about it.
Wed Aug 24, 2016, 03:52 PM
Aug 2016

DWS's position on marijuana is unconscionable. Yes our party needs to display leadership on that issue, and the foot dragging on marriage equality is another prime example.

Leadership means "lead". I agree 100% with everything you say, here.


(153,141 posts)
60. I know exactly how we got here
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 07:54 PM
Aug 2016

conservative crap TV / radio - there are many Americans who get ALL THEIR "news" that way, and HOO BOY does it ever show


(113,232 posts)
61. ronnie &georgy boy getting into the oval office were much earlier signs. donnie is just the latest.
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 07:56 PM
Aug 2016


(47,209 posts)
62. All this bullshit about "outsiders" being better because of the "corrupt system" and we
Mon Aug 22, 2016, 08:04 PM
Aug 2016

And of course the "they're all the same" pablum that some selfish and simple minded people promoted... It turns people off.



(6,342 posts)
75. So a voter is "simple minded" unless they vote for the insider over the outsider?
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 02:48 AM
Aug 2016

I can understand the appeal Trump has on the right wing. Just like certain politicians on the left have appeal if they appear to be outside the political beltway. Lots of people in this country want change. No one seems to agree on what or how things should be changed. But most voters in both parties don't like the status quo.

Other than very few exceptions, I've never liked political insiders or career politicians. I see them as being people who would say anything to get elected and accept any donation to get ahead and keep their job. It takes a lot for me to trust such people, and very easy for me to lose trust in them. I feel most get into politics for the right reasons and then stay in politics for the wrong reasons. After awhile, the goal isn't to make the country better anymore, it's now keeping your paycheck to maintain a standard of living.
Half of congress are millionaires. Most of the people at the top of the political parties have more money than many of us will make in our lifetime. But they get on TV and claim to understand our problems or issues and will represent our interests. Whatever.

In my perfect world...there would be term limits on everyone in an elected office. I think in order to avoid abuses of power and corruption, you need a consistent change in leadership. It's just how I feel.

History has proven that government isn't something you can trust. That's why I've always been a bit of a political rebel. Like most people in my generation, we don't have much political loyalty. The baby boomers spent their entire life voting for the lesser of two evils. Millennials are not quite that "simple-minded."



(47,209 posts)
91. I do think it's simple minded to think strong working relationships are inherantly evil....
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:03 AM
Aug 2016

I think that kind of "no compromise" thinking has led to upheaval and grid lock and getting jack shit done. If you feel govt is inherantly evil and they should do as little as possible, like someRWers do, then it's good. Otherwise, not so much. Politicians are out there represent different constituencies, so some deal making and horse trading has got to be part of the job. The media has allowed people to demonize the very necessary process involved and put a dark shadow over the cooperation and strong alliances needed to progress. Compromise is not inherantly evil- it is required in a country this large.

I think it's a great sign that the voters have overwhelmingly gone for someone with great experience who wants our society to make progress on a myriad of issues impacting the citizenry and had experience in laying the groundwork to make things happen.

Enough with the "govt is bad" polarizing shit that only leads to less progress. This article explains it better than ai ever could.




(752 posts)
72. Anger.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 01:36 AM
Aug 2016

Years and years of anger about the big club we "ain't" in.
Anger clouds reason; it makes us see things not as they are, but as we are.
So when Hitler drops in for a visit, they say: Hey, at least he ain't in the big club either.
Except he is.

Warren DeMontague

(80,708 posts)
78. we got here because the GOP has been yanking the chain of their base for decades
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 03:47 AM
Aug 2016

Last edited Wed Aug 24, 2016, 06:11 AM - Edit history (1)

playing footsie with them by throwing them bits of thinly veiled xenophobic or theocratic red rhetorical meat, but in reality mostly just looking out for the club for growth wing.

And those two interests collide spectacularly over immigration, because the Forbses and Norquists and Wills and Romneys are perfectly happy to have a bottomless supply of undocumented cheap labor that can be paid off the books without benefits and live on the margins of society.

But for whatever reason, this time around the base wasn't buying the normal placating sound bites, not when someone showed up and actually started saying all the fucked up shit they believe, out LOUD.

So no, there's not something wrong in this country, because Trump is likely going to lose, HARD. There's something wrong the GOP, but there has been for a long time. The zit is just finally ready to pop.


(11,746 posts)
88. Too negative and not constructive
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 08:17 AM
Aug 2016

Trump is nothing new. A crushing defeat for his racism is most definitely a vindication of our culture and our system.

Democracy is messy. The dialectic will continue.


(860 posts)
95. hair alone
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 10:40 AM
Aug 2016

his skin and hair color alone combine into a flashing neon sign that something is very wrong in this country.

I'll be here all week, thank you very much.


(6,994 posts)
97. As we see the rise of Trump leaves no doubt that we could also see
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 11:26 AM
Aug 2016

the rise of another Hitler.
Trump is very close to being the fascist that Hitler was and it is the people not the person that has brought him into the spotlight and that is scary as hell.


(7,960 posts)
99. A great deal of it has to do with identity politics.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 11:37 AM
Aug 2016

Last edited Tue Aug 23, 2016, 12:13 PM - Edit history (1)

Now before I'm attacked by a swarm of angry hornets, let me explain.

In my opinion the foremost purveyor of this form of politics is the GOP. They have stoked the resentments of white people, particularly southern white males since Nixon came up with the Southen strategy all the while screaming and yelling about the Democrats catering to minorities, women and anyone who isn't a white male. With talk radio and Fox News conducting the orchestra conservative leaders played them like a violin.

The real trick is that while pushing this resentment, the conservative elites also pushed for lax immigration laws and trade agreements that seriously damaged non-college educated white men's ability to make a living. Of course they had the help of their friends in the Democratic Party to enact these changes so it was easy to put the blame on them as in "The Democrats want more Hispanics here so they can win elections". NAFTA of course was Bill Clinton's baby as TPP is Obama's.

It's as old a trick as America itself. What's surprising is that it took so long for these guys to figure it out.

The problem for the Democrats was that there was no way that they were going to reap the benefits of that anger. Guns, God and Gays politics had taken their toll and the Democratic party leadership had long transitioned from being a party of working class people to a socially liberal economically Conservative coalition in which labor played a smaller and smaller role. Besides the Democrats were the antithesis of everything they saw themselves to be culturally. Urban not rural, secular not pious, multicultural not "real Americans".

The election of a black Democrat was the last straw. When McCain and Romney went down to defeat it became clear. Their leadership had failed.

At any rate the party leaders have lost control. Racial slurs that were once couched in dog whistles are now chanted out loud. The peasants are at the gate and at their head is an orange haired con man, a New York billionaire born to wealth, no less, a man who who changes wives the way other men change thief underwear who rails at everything this army of hard working, pious country folk hate. It would be funny if it wasnt so serious.



(55,894 posts)
108. In all your OP's reasoning... I don't see RACISM even listed.
Tue Aug 23, 2016, 09:52 PM
Aug 2016

Although I see you listed "the gap between the very wealthy and everyone else"

We became this way after decades of the Republican party openly engaged in the Southern Strategy.

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