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VOX

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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 22,464

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Never underestimate a far-right, drug-addled autocrat with a cadre of insane supporters.

Assess the damage done already. Walls. Lifetime right-wing judges. Regulations trashed. Voter suppression. Damning of the free press. Children in cages. Persecution of political opponents. Thinly-veiled threats of physical violence to dissenters. A cult-like following that has made documented death threats to critics. Lawbreaking in broad daylight without consequences. Withholding critical security information. Complete ignorance of the Constitution, and no evidence of adherence to it. Using the nation’s highest office for personal financial gain. Inserting close family members into high-ranking, sensitive positions of immense diplomatic responsibility. Conspiring with a hostile foreign power to tilt an American election, and preparing to repeat that act. Going to the brink of war with Iran. Continuing intent to destroy national healthcare. Plans to move funds from Medicare and Social Security. Steady accumulation of power to the executive branch. Inability to learn from mistakes. Unable to consider advice or direction.

These (and more) distinctly un-American events have already happened. Imagine this: If defeated, Trump will congratulate the winner, thank his staff for their loyalty and simply leave office, like all other presidents have done before him.

Does the the above scenario ring true? Does it describe a situation that’s in keeping with what we have witnessed for the past 3-plus years?

Trump does *nothing* quietly, or fairly, or legitimately. Nor does he surrender any ideological ground. It would be very consistent with his demonstrated behavior to contest the results of an election, especially if all the Republican machinations don’t pan out.

I put *nothing* past this insane, bitter criminal. Nothing. It would be wise to have a plan in place that deals with Trump either not recognizing the results of an election he does not win, or not surrendering the office per the law. Because, as has been witnessed repeatedly, the law means nothing to Trump or his circle.

It's a legitimate concern. Trump and his cult do not recognize the rule of law.

Try this thought: If defeated, Trump will congratulate the winner, thank his staff for their loyalty and simply leave office, like all other presidents have done before him.

Pause for a moment— does the the above sentence ring true? Does it describe a scenario that’s in keeping with what we have witnessed for the past
3-plus years?

Trump does *nothing* quietly, or fairly, or legitimately. Nor does he surrender any ideological ground. It would be very consistent with his demonstrated behavior to contest the results of an election, especially if all the Republican machinations don’t pan out.

I put *nothing* past this insane, bitter criminal. Nothing. It would be wise to have a plan in place that deals with Trump either not recognizing the results of an election he does not win, or not surrendering the office per the law. Because, as has been witnessed repeatedly, the law means nothing to Trump or his circle.

It's beyond divided. Republicans have abandoned facts, the rule of law, and reality itself.

Yes, we are indeed divided, because Republicans have departed from their longtime posturing about “big central government,” “adhering to Constitution,” “law and order,” “fiscal responsibility,” “values,” etc. More broadly, they have created (and continue to generate) a “new reality” that isn’t based upon measurable facts whatsoever; rather, it’s whatever those currently in power wish it to be. And that’s frankly insane.

Until Trump, Americans had never witnessed such a dangerous amassing of executive power. The ideals of a constitutional democratic republic have been utterly discarded.

The country is in uncharted territory now. A minority of zealots has learned how to control and concentrate power over the majority. The United States has its first truly fascist dictator.

Here's the thing: the Republican Party, like Trump, is a criminal enterprise without a conscience.

I really wish it could be true, that Republicans would FINALLY see the light and act for the good of the country— not merely themselves— and turn Trump over to face serious judgement for his shocking and continuing malfeasance.

But the GOP has changed since the days of Richard Nixon. They are no longer conservatives, they are radical (white) nationalists. They’ve found, through the example set by their “chosen one,” that living above the law has its advantages. They now fervently endorse autocratic rule, and enjoy marginalizing and excluding “the other,” a broad category that includes Democrats and progressives. In short, they are ALL Donald Trump, and they like it that way.

The tide of opinion may be turning, but the only sure way to be rid of Trump is for most of the 12 swing states to vote Democratic. Much of the electoral map is fixed, in terms of “blue” and “red,” so once again, the swing states will be the coveted prizes.

Assuming that there’s a free-and-fair election in 2020 (Republicans have even cast a shadow over that once-sacrosanct process), Trump will rise or fall depending on the votes in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Those 12 states are where fascism and democracy will finally tangle. There must be a veritable flood of Democratic voters in each of those states, so that their numbers will wash over any Russian meddling and voter suppression.

It will be ugly, but victory is still possible.

The 2020 election will be decided in the "swing states."

Democrats can get out the popular vote all over hell’s creation— but saddled with the Electoral College as we are, it will be the votes in the dozen perennial “swing states” where the election will be won/lost: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin (and possibly Arizona this time).

In particular, the so-called “Rust Belt” (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, etc.) has the highest concentration of older white male voters. This is the region where Trump squeaked by in the 2016 election. Winning most of these states is the *only* path to victory, as the remainder of the electoral map is pretty much cast in blue-and-red stone now.

As for Russian interference on behalf of Trump, count on it.

So, yeah, GOTV in massive numbers, ESPECIALLY in the swing states. Otherwise...

Agreed, and well said.

Unlike most issues, 45 and his necessary impeachment have no shadings, no degrees of this-or-that. Another four years of Trumpism would plunge much of the world into in a new Dark Ages, where rage, fear, threats, disinformation and hopelessness would be the daily fare.

45 and his circle have kidnapped American democracy, and in its place established a pseudo-monarchy that demands all subjects to bend the knee.

And that is utterly antithetical to what this country should be. Trumpism is corrosive and highly destructive, internally and abroad. To date, it has only sown pain, chaos and division.

No one, especially His Majesty Trump, is above or beyond the law. To believe otherwise is to abandon the principles, ideals and inclusiveness that have the power to restore and lift our country out of this orchestrated darkness.

The country hasn't been the same since that shocking loss on 11/22/63.

A horrible, horrible day for America, and much of the world as well. Age 14, in 10th grade French class. The teacher read the memo aloud, and wept openly. The first time I experienced acute anxiety. JFK is DEAD? That just can’t be possible! Who would commit such a monstrous act?

The country hasn’t been the same since that fracture on 11/22/63. There is documented evidence that JFK was going to draw down troops and advisors from Vietnam after the 1964 election. To do so prior to the election was deemed a political risk: being judged as “soft on communism” by Republicans, which was a big deal back then.

With JFK only nine months deceased, LBJ and the Vietnam hawks had their faked incident, and Congress gave LBJ the power to wage war as he saw fit. Vietnam, the draft, MLK, Jr. and RFK assassinated, napalm, Nixon, war in Cambodia and Laos, mounting casualties, Watergate, dirty tricks, on and on it goes, with each successive Republican administration bringing greater dishonesty and an increasing willingness to engage in the dirtiest of politics.

I still love JFK, who will always be a personal hero, flaws and all. His murder is one of the darkest events in American history. Sadder still, Americans lost more than a president that day in 1963.

If my thoughts seem unrealistic or hyperbolic, there's much to date that I DIDN'T "envision."

I knew full well that a Trump presidency would be terribly toxic and costly in terms of racism and xenophobia, judicial appointments, etc., but there is much I didn’t foresee:

-I didn’t envision 45 actually winning the presidency, but it happened (with some outside help).
-I didn’t envision the extent to which the Republican Party would eventually throw its full weight behind a dangerous, utterly corrupt con-man of questionable sanity.
-I didn’t envision the extent of Russian meddling, but it happened, and it continues.
-I didn’t envision the ho-hum, in-your-face visibility of lawbreaking in plain sight, but it’s happening.

Americans have been ideologically “weaponized” against one another, and thrown into a partisan divide like no other time, except perhaps the Civil War.

There are now chiseled-in-stone, hardline stances on issues from whch neither side will ever budge: climate change and the importance of science, immigration, gun safety legislation, women’s reproductive rights, quality healthcare, on and on.

How much longer will a majority of Americans be content to live under minority Republican rule, due to right-wing exploitation of the Electoral College and Senate apportionment (not to mention gerrymandering and voter suppression)? A citizen of Wyoming, the smallest state by population, has approximately 67 times the voting-power of a citizen in California, the largest state by population. And this particular disparity among the states is only increasing.
Example: population/representation/voting power in seven combined Republican states:
Alaska 737 thousand
Idaho 1.7 million
Montana 1.1 million
North Dakota 760 thousand
South Dakota, 882 thousand
Utah 3.2 million
Wyoming 578 thousand
TOTAL combined population: 9 million
TOTAL number of combined senators: 14
vs.
California, Democratic state, population: 40 million
TOTAL number of senators: 2

Where do things go from here? How much can one group take from the other? All of which is to say, I have no actual idea how an actual schism would unfold. But the situation (even if Trump’s gone) cannot continue in this matter. Our democracy can only withstand so much chaos.

Most everyone thought the idea of Trump actually becoming president was a huge joke.

Really— DONALD TRUMP as president of the United States? That’s a completely insane idea. Never gonna happen. Even Republicans wouldn’t stand for it.
-He’ll get his ass kicked in the primaries.
-The “Access Hollywood” video will destroy him.
-His insulting a Gold Star family and Senator McCain will cause an erosion of support.
-He’ll be buried by a Democratic landslide in 2016.
-He’ll be thrown out of office by 2017.
-The Stormy Daniels scandal will ruin him.
-Wait until the Russia collusion ALL comes out!
-Wait until the money-laundering documentation comes out!
-Robert Muller will torpedo him.

Clearly, American politics— and specifically the Republican Party— aren’t what they once were. Nothing should be considered off the table. They’d be ecstatic if any Trump— Donald, Junior, or, crazy as it sounds right now, Ivanka— could be a figurehead for American far-right nationalism.

From The Daily Beast, 11/24/18, on this unlikely but possible scenario—
What If Trump Actually Tries to Serve Three Terms?
by Matt Lewis
<snip>
The rise of Donald Trump—a president whose authoritarian tendencies are on full display—makes what might otherwise seem like a paranoid concern a little more plausible.
<snip>
[Regarding Trump’s repeated joking about a third term] This was shtick, but humor can be a safe way to launch a trial balloon—or to inject an idea into the public sphere. The fact that Trump’s audience laughed and applauded his comments is less than desirable.

One potential worry could be that a president could use some sort of national emergency—say a widespread terrorist attack—as a pretext for postponing elections. I’m not suggesting some sort of false-flag operation, but instead that a legitimate national emergency provides an opening. (This wouldn’t be entirely unprecedented. After the 9/11 attacks, then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to extend his term for three months.)
<snip>
But it’s wiser to overreact than to underreact. Liberal democracy is precious. Even if the odds are slim that the president would try to take a page from Putin and Xi—men, it seems, Trump admires—the stakes demand that we remain vigilant.
<snip>

The salient question is: "How can sane Americans get rid of this insane administration?"

That’s number one, getting 45 OUT. Another four years of his incompetence, intolerance and lawlessness will utterly stamp out our democracy.

Running a hard-left Democratic candidate— as much as that would be welcomed— could be difficult in a time when not just the U.S., but numerous democracies worldwide have embraced right-wing nationalism.

As good as many of the current crop of Democratic candidates are, no one has yet emerged as “the one” to tackle Trump, especially with the goddamned Electoral College choking down general elections where the decision ultimately rests with a mere handful of “swing states.”

It really boils down to this: a Democratic candidate who can connect and do well in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin; or 4 more years of fatal Trumpism.

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