It's a tactic that has become so used in the politics sector I'm sort of fed up with it: facts aren't so much disputed as the ones bringing these facts are discredited. "oh, you say X, don't you? Well that's just because you're a libertarian leftist". Things get pitted as republicans versus democrats, totally ignoring the fact that I'm neither(1). I know why they're doing this, and I hate it. I know that by very definition, a party that represents just 1% of the population will never win a fair majority election, even if this 1% happens to be the richest percent. So it fascinates me how a developed country like the USA can have exactly that. The current government has failed spectacularly in so many aspects it can only be drowned by a never ending flood of scandals. Which, well...happens to be the Trump's trademark. Put him in a room with 7 other people, a pie, a knife and the assignment to divide the pie however everyone sees fit, it won't take long until you see Trump walk out with the entire pie, and inside seven people bickering on who should get the bigger part.
...but I digress. My interest in this situation is partially how it's possible to have a party representing a minority of voters to come out on top, and mostly on how it maintains being in control.
The first part is relatively easy: divide and conquer. As far as I know, republicans and democrats are condemned to each other because history has taught that if you don't give people at least the illusion of choice, they'll revolt at some point. Up to (and including) the Clinton area, this divide was mostly superfluous. You could vote democrat or republican but end up with the same government choices (Michael Moore even called Bill Clinton "the best republican president the democrats had" at one point). But the game has changed. Rather than have a president who seeks to align all the people under one nation (that feeds the rich), we have one that purposefully sets up groups against each other. And doesn't even pretend otherwise. "We want a wall and have Mexico pay for it" doesn't require much brainpower to see the logical flaw (Mexicans have neither the motivation nor the resources to participate). The thing is: it was never meant to convince anyone not already convinced. I'll get to that, so bear with me...
First: this second part: "how does the presidency stay in power?". If you skim away all the scandals, stupid mistakes and controversies...what has the Trump administration really done thus far?
* start an economic dispute with China (on which e.g. Noble prize winner Joseph Stiglitz said that the best we could hope for was the starting position)
* tax breaks that mostly, if not exclusively, benefit the rich
* a very protectionist economic approach (read: most countries have to pay income taxes)
* blow up the nuclear agreement with Iran for...erm...why exactly? What does the USA gain with pissing off a potential nuclear threat?
...and you can probably dismiss the last point because it's more controversy than policy. My point is: Trump's only goal is to facilitate the already wealthy.
Yeah: I know: not exactly a new statement either. But this only works if the fan base is loyal and numerous enough to keep following him. And the super rich can only pump so much in propaganda. Someone will expose him, and then it'll be game over.
Except that it already happened long ago, and it wasn't game over. Not for a long shot. Because if it was, then Hillary Clinton would be president now, and US politics would just be the boring 'same old, same old' at this point (okay, not quite, as republicans would be gearing towards election, but you know what I mean). What happened?
Up until now, my answer would be a derogative "USA just houses a lot of morons", by lack of a real answer. Unfortunately...that just happens to be the real answer.
Yes, I know. I just insulted a massive amount of American citizens. Watch my face closely. Do I look like I care? No? Well spotted, then. It's because I no longer care, motherfuckers. A kindergarden can outvote the teacher on what'd be the best served meals, but that doesn't mean the toddlers are right.
Except in this case, you're not toddlers. You're worse: you're drones. Remember that "oooh...you're just following corporate media" line? You throw that out at unsuspecting, well-willing conversationalists because it hides the fact that YOU are the one blindly following a cult. A large cult. It's called "fox news". Early on in his nomination, Trump proudly claimed he could shoot someone in the street without losing support for his base. Democrats and the media admittedly wrongfully framed this as a threat. It was satirism. But that's actually much more dangerous, as that implies that he's right about that observation!
Here...check out this source. It explains things like these words simply fail to convey.
America has a lot of news stations. Obviously, as it's a big and developed country. But when asked which news outlets they trust, the US inhabitants couldn't be more diversified. Democrats show a healthy diversification, meaning that they'll get a more open view of the political environment (as this is a poll about political / election news). On the republican side, it's all but nothing. Most believe only fox news, with a minority watching ABC.
I can't say I have much knowledge on ABC (none, really). But fox news has completely lost all credibility since I watched the documentary "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism"...and that's a documentary from 16 years ago! Basically, fox isn't a news station but a propaganda machine for conservatism. Whether it's in their choice of words, the kinds of messages they bring or the hosts they show, they've continuously worked to defend the "traditional values". It has also attacked and misreported an amazing amount of times, and I haven't even kept track during the Obama years.
...and then Trump came along. When he talked about "fake news", you'd think that this would mean it would give people reasons to doubt their trusted news platform and check alternatives to make sure that they didn't end up biased. But this is a misconception. When looking at this chart, I should obviously have known (it's not really a secret that he retweets Fox all the time, Fox gets all the exclusive perks of the white house and it shows that Donald Trump and Sean Hannity are friends): he means this as a warning about anything NOT on fox.
And that's how he maintains his base. He first repeats so much that the world is filled with fake news that his base believes it. Then he commits acts of crime, and as he is called out upon it, it's seen by his base as a proof about fake news. Why? Because Fox news rarely if ever reports it as such.
As everyone not living under a rock knows, the presidential trial is held these days. He's already impeached by the house, but this senate trial is about whether or not Trump should be removed from office. It's hardly ever happened in the history of the USA...and Fox decides not to air it. It's not a surprise. But to me, it was a surprise just how much influence this one stupid news station really has. To be frank: at this point, they're the only thing that keep the president in power.
I mean...it sort of surprised me that the percentage wanting Trump removed from office hardly rose about 55% of the population (meaning: roughly everyone who didn't vote for him), but with his close buddy Hannity spinning lies about the actions ("it's not Trump: it's Schiff who's a bad sport! And Pelosi!") and even facts ("there are no witnesses nor evidence"...while there are plenty of witnesses and the evidence is held illegally by the white house) it sort of makes sense.
I'm still left with the question on how sustainable this really is. I mean...Trump continuously creates scopes for Fox, and Fox supports Trump for that. But that means that even the republican party is expandable. In order to make the trial a sham, McConnell has prevented witnesses and wants to get one of the most important trials in this decade done fast...but when asked, a whopping 79% of Americans actually DO want witnesses on this trial (and why not? Mulvany and Bolton are Trump picked officials, right? If they can clear things up and if Trump is really as innocent as Fox says...why not let them have their say?).
If I didn't hate him so much, I'd feel sorry for McConnell. Trump demands all sorts of loyalty from his servants where he repays it with none, but he's in the position where he has to make these actions to prevent the truth from getting to the drones (yes, that's you, drone. Or "republican" if you still think it's less demeaning). He won't get thanked for it. Indoors, I'm sure that Trump is all too happy that he isn't pushed to let Bolton elaborate on that "hand grenade" remark or release the FULL transcript of his phone call, but in public he acts as if he has nothing to hide.
Which means that he'll blame McConnell for defending him sooner or later. When this happens, drone...remember that I predicted this. When this happens, I want you to think for yourself, and not blindly accept whatever spin some Fox news "opinionist" gives to this. McConnell doesn't do this because he's evil, confused or misguided...he does it because he's loyal to his boss. Because that's what the republican party has become: a bunch of drones parroting whatever Trump wants them to parrot.
You can quote me on this...
(1): not entirely true: I'm a socialist. However, as much as I would hope otherwise, Bernie Sanders is at best a "viable alternative" if mainstream democratsIncredulousP likes this.
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