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Carol the Dabbler

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Toby's evening ramble part two: This whole "well, there were normal fine people protesting too" statement got me thinking about how it is actually a real problem, at least over here, how certain concerns and positions get completely hijacked by right wing extremists and conspiracy nutters. 

For example, it seems like it's virtually impossible for people who disagree with the present covid restrictions to make themselves heard without some science-denying anti-vaxxer or qAnon believer or neo-facist etc jumping on the bandwagon and poisoning the whole debate. So it's either you shut up or you accept standing with people you'd normally not touch with a ten foot pole and have others believe you support their beliefs. This applies to other topics as well. 

So often lately, I've read an opinion piece and think hey, wow, I agree with most of this, but before I share it with anyone, I look up the author and whaddayaknow, it's some a-hole with terrible political affiliations and before I let myself be associated with them, I'd rather keep my opinion to myself. 

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The political situation in the UK is becoming very divisive...

I have become the very person I never thought I would become.

I keep my political views to myself.

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5 hours ago, J.P. said:

You have KKK folks, some wannabe Hitler Jugend members with torches, many apparently belong to groups I cannot identify. Where are those normal, fine people?

My best guess is this:  The normal people weren't sufficiently interesting for the reporters to waste any film on.  It's pretty much always been that way -- the loud, obnoxious segment of any group gets most of the press.

Yes, I assume reprehensible individuals of that type supported Trump (if they supported anyone at all), for a very simple reason.  For all practical purposes, there are only two political parties in the US, and that particular brand of thug wouldn't vote for a Democrat on a bet, any more than an Antifa type would vote for a Republican.  Neither party has been particularly outspoken about their embarrassing adherents, presumably for (what else?) political reasons.

5 hours ago, J.P. said:

If you march with Nazis you are not a "fine person". You are a Nazi supporter.

I sympathize with your point.  But assuming that you do want to march in protest, how do you propose to avoid being joined by extremists?  Just look at how the BLM protests started out peaceful, then got co-opted by Antifa types, and turned violent.

2 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

It must suck (pardon my language) to know that you're dependent on the approval of extremists.

Yes, just about every politician is in that boat nowadays (especially those at the state or national level), considering how polarized the voters have become  The Democrats don't dare offend the left-wing extremists any more than the Republicans dare offend the right-wing extremists.

2 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

... how many of these people must America have that their votes are worth courting? 

What with the very close elections nowadays, politicians from either party really don't dare offend much of anybody who might conceivably vote for them.  That handful of votes could cost them the election.

7 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I would have liked more insight on why millions of people kept supporting him to the end.

Most of the people I know who voted for him did so not because they're particularly fond of Trump, but mostly because they don't trust Biden / Harris -- just as they didn't trust Hillary four years ago. 

7 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I don't want to be a snotty "intellectual" in an ivory tower but I don't want another authoritarian regime (or worse) either. I mean that in general, not just in regards to Trump and his supporters. 

I have the same concerns.  Right now I'm mostly wondering what Biden / Harris are *actually* going to do, considering that they've said some potentially alarming, authoritarian things (in between waffling). But I assume we'll all survive somehow - we've managed so far.

6 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

This whole "well, there were normal fine people protesting too" statement got me thinking about how it is actually a real problem, at least over here, how certain concerns and positions get completely hijacked by right wing extremists and conspiracy nutters.

As you may have gathered from my comments above, we have a choice over here -- we have our right-wing extremists and thugs and we have our left-wing extremists and thugs.  Take your pick.  *sigh*  As I mentioned above, though, I think most people on either side are fairly reasonable -- but the loud-mouths and extremists get most of the press coverage.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

My best guess is this:  The normal people weren't sufficiently interesting for the reporters to waste any film on.  It's pretty much always been that way -- the loud, obnoxious segment of any group gets most of the press.

Yes, I assume reprehensible individuals of that type supported Trump (if they supported anyone at all), for a very simple reason.  For all practical purposes, there are only two political parties in the US, and that particular brand of thug wouldn't vote for a Democrat on a bet, any more than an Antifa type would vote for a Republican.  Neither party has been particularly outspoken about their embarrassing adherents, presumably for (what else?) political reasons.

I sympathize with your point.  But assuming that you do want to march in protest, how do you propose to avoid being joined by extremists?  Just look at how the BLM protests started out peaceful, then got co-opted by Antifa types, and turned violent.

Yes, just about every politician is in that boat nowadays (especially those at the state or national level), considering how polarized the voters have become  The Democrats don't dare offend the left-wing extremists any more than the Republicans dare offend the right-wing extremists.

What with the very close elections nowadays, politicians from either party really don't dare offend much of anybody who might conceivably vote for them.  That handful of votes could cost them the election.

Most of the people I know who voted for him did so not because they're particularly fond of Trump, but mostly because they don't trust Biden / Harris -- just as they didn't trust Hillary four years ago. 

I have the same concerns.  Right now I'm mostly wondering what Biden / Harris are *actually* going to do, considering that they've said some potentially alarming, authoritarian things (in between waffling). But I assume we'll all survive somehow - we've managed so far.

As you may have gathered from my comments above, we have a choice over here -- we have our right-wing extremists and thugs and we have our left-wing extremists and thugs.  Take your pick.  *sigh*  As I mentioned above, though, I think most people on either side are fairly reasonable -- but the loud-mouths and extremists get most of the press coverage.

 

What potentially authoritarian things have Biden and Harris said that alarmed you, Corol? 

I remember how during the McCain vs Obama campaign, McCain said on television "if you vote for Obama, we'll get European conditions here!" as if that was a huge threat and my mother and I, having happily lived in Europe for decades, just laughed out loud. 

As for comparing the extreme right and the extreme left, to quote (and roughly translate) the satirical Kangaroo Chronicles: "There is a difference though - the right burn foreigners and the left cars, and that's worse because it could be my car, I don't own any foreigners." 

I know that's not quite accurate because left wing thugs have been pretty vicious attacking police officers for example, but I do think the general principle is true and that the Neo-Nazis are definitely the worst and most potentially dangerous. I mean, even when they protest completely peacefully, they still promote genocide. 

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9 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

What potentially authoritarian things have Biden and Harris said that alarmed you, Corol?

The thing that personally concerns me the most is their rather inconsistent and non-specific talk about making people's homes more energy-efficient.  Our house, built in 2004, was designed for energy efficiency, and (due to my allergies) is all-electric as well.  But government programs are of course designed with the average in mind, so there could be requirements that, because our house is unusual, would make it far less pleasant to live in, while resulting in little or no energy savings.  Adding insulation to poorly-insulated homes and tightening drafty homes is one thing, and I assume the owners or (especially) renters of those homes would generally be appreciative, but who knows what all they'll actually come up with?  Then too, any kind of extensive program would require huge amounts of money, supplies, and trained workers -- where are they supposed to come from?  The program could easily be both a financial disaster and an implementation disaster.  That's worst case, of course, and perhaps unlikely to happen, but the threat of the unknown is always the worst, isn't it?

9 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I know that's not quite accurate because left wing thugs have been pretty vicious attacking police officers for example, but I do think the general principle is true and that the Neo-Nazis are definitely the worst and most potentially dangerous. I mean, even when they protest completely peacefully, they still promote genocide.

If I were forced to choose, I'd agree that genocide is morally worse than random violence.  But my impression is that the genocide is virtually all talk nowadays, whereas the random violence is quite obviously not.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

The thing that personally concerns me the most is their rather inconsistent and non-specific talk about making people's homes more energy-efficient.  Our house, built in 2004, was designed for energy efficiency, and (due to my allergies) is all-electric as well.  But government programs are of course designed with the average in mind, so there could be requirements that, because our house is unusual, would make it far less pleasant to live in, while resulting in little or no energy savings.  Adding insulation to poorly-insulated homes and tightening drafty homes is one thing, and I assume the owners or (especially) renters of those homes would generally be appreciative, but who knows what all they'll actually come up with?  Then too, any kind of extensive program would require huge amounts of money, supplies, and trained workers -- where are they supposed to come from?  The program could easily be both a financial disaster and an implementation disaster.  That's worst case, of course, and perhaps unlikely to happen, but the threat of the unknown is always the worst, isn't it?

If I were forced to choose, I'd agree that genocide is morally worse than random violence.  But my impression is that the genocide is virtually all talk nowadays, whereas the random violence is quite obviously not. 

 

Oh gosh, I so hope and want to believe that it's all talk and trolling! Let's all hope so. 

I totally l get your worries concerning the house, Carol. We've certainly had our share of well-intentioned but impractical and inefficient regulations around here... 

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1 hour ago, T.o.b.y said:

Oh gosh, I so hope and want to believe that it's all talk and trolling! Let's all hope so.

Less than a hundred years ago, it wasn't just talk.  Even then it wasn't exactly genocide, but (especially in the South) life was intentionally made very difficult for blacks and there were a number of killings.  Things still aren't perfect, of course, but thank goodness there's been huge improvement since then.

I just did a web search to check the definition of genocide, and found this item [link].  Kudos to both the Trump and Biden administrations!

Quote

Newly confirmed Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not hesitate to express his agreement with a determination made on the last day of the Trump administration that China's treatment of its Uighur and Muslim minority populations is genocide.

 

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1 hour ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Less than a hundred years ago, it wasn't just talk.  Even then it wasn't exactly genocide, but (especially in the South) life was intentionally made very difficult for blacks and there were a number of killings.  Things still aren't perfect, of course, but thank goodness there's been huge improvement since then.

I just did a web search to check the definition of genocide, and found this item [link].  Kudos to both the Trump and Biden administrations!

 

I wasn't talking about slavery in the US, that was a whole other can of worms, but Nazi Germany. Neo-Nazis who proudly display swastikas etc are in my opinion condoning and promoting the genocide in 1930s / 1940s Germany under the Nazi regime. And that's simply abhorrent and inexcusable to me. 

Of course I hope they're just trying to be edgy and taboo and get attention but I have my doubts. It happened here once, it can happen again. Human nature stays the same. 

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11 hours ago, T.o.b.y said:

I wasn't talking about slavery in the US, that was a whole other can of worms, but Nazi Germany. Neo-Nazis who proudly display swastikas etc are in my opinion condoning and promoting the genocide in 1930s / 1940s Germany under the Nazi regime. And that's simply abhorrent and inexcusable to me. 

Of course I hope they're just trying to be edgy and taboo and get attention but I have my doubts. It happened here once, it can happen again. Human nature stays the same. 

I wasn't talking about slavery either (as you say, that's a whole other thing), but rather the "Jim Crow" era [link], when laws in Southern states required racial segregation -- this ended due to Federal action circa 1965, a hundred years after slavery was abolished.

But I understand what you're saying.  I suspect your hope that the neo-Nazis are just trying to be edgy and so forth is close to the mark (here in the US) in some cases, but that presumably segues into those who are serious white supremacists, and then on to the (hopefully) few who would seriously like to get rid of blacks (and perhaps also hispanics, Jews, et al.), one way or another.  It's not like there are any statistics available.

 

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"Did Bernie's inauguration outfit epitomize 'white privilege'? A San Francisco teacher thinks so."

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'Seyer-Ochi's objection was to the privilege symbolized by Sanders' choice of a relatively casual Burton snowboarding jacket and repurposed wool mittens.

Seyer-Ochi addressed the topic with her students, who she said were also upset by what they saw as the implicit message being delivered by Sanders' choice of outerwear.

"What did they see? They saw a white man in a puffy jacket and huge mittens, distant not only in his social distancing, but in his demeanor and attire," Seyer-Ochi wrote, adding, "What did I see? What did I think my students should see? A wealthy, incredibly well-educated and -privileged white man, showing up for perhaps the most important ritual of the decade, in a puffy jacket and huge mittens.

"I don't know many poor, or working class, or female, or struggling-to-be-taken-seriously folk who would show up at the inauguration of our 46th president dressed like Bernie.

[...]

"Sen. Sanders is no white supremacist insurrectionist. But he manifests privilege, white privilege, male privilege and class privilege, in ways that my students could see and feel," Seyer-Ochi wrote.'

For heaven's sake.  Do Bernie's mittens really need to be analyzed?

He's just sitting there, guys.  Literally just sitting there.  In the cold.  Can a man sit and be cold?

Damn.

 

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Agree.

For f*** sake.

Some folks should need license to breed or talk.

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4 minutes ago, Artemis said:

For heaven's sake.  Do Bernie's mittens really need to be analyzed?

He's just sitting there, guys.  Literally just sitting there.  In the cold.  Can a man sit and be cold?

 

I have no idea what Bernie's closet looks like, but I sure know that mine is pretty short on warm-but-dressy clothing.  It's been years since I owned a wool overcoat (do they even still make them?), and I do not own a dress-up parka!

The US president who served the shortest length of time, William Henry Harrison, didn't want to wear a hat to his inauguration, so consequently he caught pneumonia and died a month later.  More people should have the chutzpah of Bernie Sanders and Cybill Shepherd [link]!

 

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He wasn't being inaugurated, it mattered not what he looked like!

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Quite frankly, I think it would look more like "privilege" to show up at a relatively modest event in a fancy outfit -- say, wearing a tuxedo (dinner jacket) to a high-school graduation, or wearing a formal gown to a typical wedding (if you're not the bride).

And perhaps some people need to be reminded that Bernie Sanders is almost 80 years old.  It's especially important for older folks to stay warm, and it can sometimes be difficult to accomplish.

 

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What with the social distancing, I can't tell from the photos -- was Sanders on the podium or just a member of the audience?

 

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On 2-2-2021 at 7:06 AM, Artemis said:

I haven't facepalmed this hard while reading an article about people criticising other people's decisions since reading an article about people (I'm going to assume that they were millennials since boomers love blaming us about everything) criticising the lack of diversity in Grease, it's a movie that was made in the seventies that takes place in the FIFTIES!

In case you forgot, segregation was still a thing and homosexuality was still a disease. Of course there aren't any LGBT couples, of course the cast is mainly white. It's simply a product of it's time. Are we really going to judge each and every movie for not being diverse enough? Gtfo with that stuff. Diversity in historical fiction is a recent development, go watch Bridgeton if you want to watch diversity in historical fiction, some people I swear.

And for those who think that I'm making stuff up, here is the link of said article:

https://www.pinknews.co.uk/2021/01/04/grease-racism-homophobia-bullying-bbc-john-travolta-olivia-newton-john-ban/

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1 hour ago, Fantasy Lover said:

Of course there aren't any LGBT couples, of course the cast is mainly white. It's simply a product of it's time. Are we really going to judge each and every movie for not being diverse enough?

I guess the diversity police want us to throw out roughly everything made before -- umm, whenever things got up to their standards -- which apparently hasn't happened yet!  So in order to make them happy, we'll have to keep throwing out stuff whenever a new standard is adopted.

A related phenomenon that bugs me about as much is "retroactive diversity" -- recent shows or movies that portray historical eras the way they "should" have been (according to these self-appointed moral guardians).  Like the 2003 TV remake of The Music Man, which is set (like the original movie) in a small Iowa town in 1912 -- but this time the population is around 10% black!  Blacks leaving the South in the decades following the Civil War were primarily heading for big-city factory jobs, not to mostly-rural Iowa, so the percentage is *still* far less than than 10%.

 

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On 1/28/2021 at 11:34 PM, Carol the Dabbler said:

Most of the people I know who voted for him did so not because they're particularly fond of Trump, but mostly because they don't trust Biden / Harris -- just as they didn't trust Hillary four years ago. 

Unfortunately, that is not the case in this part of the country, where many Trump voters are also true believers in whatever cause they seem to think he's leading. Several of the neighbors where I now live believe the election was fraudulent; that Marjorie Taylor Green speaks for them; that all Hispanics are Mexican; that all Mexicans (Hispanics) are on welfare and that's the only reason they come here; that abortion is murder; that protecting the environment is nothing but a scheme to deprive them of their rights; that all religions but their own are false ... the list of right-wing stereotypes goes on and on. And they are, to the last man, woman and child, ardent Trump supporters. They didn't hold their noses and vote ... they embraced him.

They are also, mostly, very decent people, at least in terms of how they treat other people. That alone makes it hard for me to understand how they could trust Trump, who clearly and pridefully treats other people like garbage. One of the primary reasons they rallied around him at the beginning was they clearly thought he was going to get abortion overturned. But now it's more like a cult ... he publicly denigrates the things they only dared despise in private. He makes it acceptable to speak and think the worst of people and ideas they disagree with. And they adore him for it.

I also have friends who are lifelong Republicans and who despise Trump as much as I do. (I don't think it's possible to despise him more than I do. :smile: ) They are still conservatives, I am still a moderate/liberal, and we are still friends. Trumpism has nothing to do with either Republicanism or conservatism ... it's something else altogether. Something that, frankly, scares me. I hope it dies, but I have my doubts.

 

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3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

in this part of the country [....] many Trump voters are also true believers in whatever cause they seem to think he's leading.

Oh, we've got some of those true believers here, too -- and some true believers on the other side, of course.  But from what I've seen, they're both far from typical in these parts.

3 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Several of the neighbors where I now live believe the election was fraudulent;

I think there's cause for some suspicion.  The right-wing media have reported several very peculiar details that the left-wing media aren't addressing, they just keep asserting that everything's fine.  I'd like to see an unbiased investigation -- but hell hasn't frozen over just yet.

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

they are, to the last man, woman and child, ardent Trump supporters. They didn't hold their noses and vote ... they embraced him.

Like I said, we've got some of those.  And also some who didn't have to hold their noses to vote for Biden.

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

They are also, mostly, very decent people, at least in terms of how they treat other people. That alone makes it hard for me to understand how they could trust Trump, who clearly and pridefully treats other people like garbage.

He has an incredibly over-inflated ego, that's for sure.  But may I remind you that in this election there were only two candidates with any real chance of winning, and Biden has his own set of problems.  So most people I know voted -- for whichever one -- with clothespins on their noses.  But yes, around here too, most actual Trump supporters (as distinguished from people who merely voted for him) seem to be decent folks who don't like the way they see this country going, and who see Trump as a spokesman for them.  He's definitely not afraid to speak up!

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

Trumpism has nothing to do with either Republicanism or conservatism

You have a point there.  Near as I can tell, Trump is some sort of combination pragmatist and populist.  If he'd been running as an Independent in 2016, there's no way he'd have won, any more than Perot did back in '92.  But Trump had not only the populist vote, but also a large chunk of the Republican vote.

4 hours ago, Arcadia said:

it's something else altogether. Something that, frankly, scares me.

There's a lot going on in politics these days that scares me, and it ain't just Trump.

 

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"Combination pragmatist and populist" - that's a very good description, Carol, as far as I can see from over here. 

So what do the "true believers" on the other side believe in? 

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5 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Oh, we've got some of those true believers here, too -- and some true believers on the other side, of course.  But from what I've seen, they're both far from typical in these parts.

Well, I do live closer to D.C. than you do. :smile:

The difference between the true believers on either side, however, is ... those on the left don't have a president encouraging them to be extremists.

8 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

I think there's cause for some suspicion.  The right-wing media have reported several very peculiar details that the left-wing media aren't addressing, they just keep asserting that everything's fine. 

For instance.... ?

18 minutes ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

He has an incredibly over-inflated ego, that's for sure.  But may I remind you that in this election there were only two candidates with any real chance of winning, and Biden has his own set of problems.  So most people I know voted -- for whichever one -- with clothespins on their noses.  But yes, around here too, most actual Trump supporters (as distinguished from people who merely voted for him) seem to be decent folks who don't like the way they see this country going, and who see Trump as a spokesman for them.  He's definitely not afraid to speak up!

And this is why I can't let it go. It's more than an inflated ego, and it's more than speaking up. He is stoking hatred against those who some people consider "other." He is boosting the status of people who revel in their own ignorance, paranoia and bigotry. He is encouraging them to overturn democracy itself. Whatever it is that people have against Biden, at least he is, unlike Trump, loyal to our system of governance. 

I understand that you are arguing that people on all sides should have a voice. But I have discovered that I cannot agree with that, when one of the sides believes in racial superiority, genocide, and whatever other idiocy they've latched onto. Some beliefs do not deserve representation. And no, I am not accusing Republicans of believing those things. This is a special group, and I don't believe it's that big of a group. But it's bigger than I used to think it was, and it seems to be growing. The less "representation" they have, the better the world will be.

 

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17 minutes ago, T.o.b.y said:

So what do the "true believers" on the other side believe in?

Whatever the far-left tells them to believe, of course.  Isn't that the definition of "true believer" -- one who blindly trusts a leader?

4 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

The difference between the true believers on either side, however, is ... those on the left don't have a president encouraging them to be extremists.

For heaven's sake, he's only been in office a month -- bit too soon to tell, isn't it?   :P   

4 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

For instance.... ?

I hesitate to mention any specific examples, seeing as how any specific bit of evidence could have been faked (how can one possibly be sure, these days?).  But for one thing, there have been numerous reports of wholesale quantities of Biden ballots showing up just in the nick of time.  Apparently most of them are the new-type mail-in ballots (as opposed to traditional absentee ballots).  As I said, I'd really like to see this investigated -- and I'm certainly not alone in that.

11 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

I am not accusing Republicans of believing those things. This is a special group, and I don't believe it's that big of a group. But it's bigger than I used to think it was, and it seems to be growing. The less "representation" they have, the better the world will be.

Even though, as you point out, very few Republicans are white supremacists, I'd guess that most white supremacists vote for Republicans, and I'd also guess that there's a similar relationship between Antifa types and Democrats.  How do you propose to determine which specific politicians have particular appeal to such groups?  And how do you propose to get rid of them?  I've always believed that if this isn't a democracy for everyone, it isn't a democracy for anyone.

 

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I agree on your last point...

not sure how this works in the U.S.

But here in Scotland, this why we have a system of proportional representation for our parliament.

Of course they tried to introduce some sort of proportional system for our UK parliament,  but the vote failed.

Then again, doesn't matter what we vote in Scotland...

we are constantly swamped by the English vote.

And people wonder why Scots want independence...

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5 hours ago, Carol the Dabbler said:

Whatever the far-left tells them to believe, of course.  Isn't that the definition of "true believer" -- one who blindly trusts a leader?

For heaven's sake, he's only been in office a month -- bit too soon to tell, isn't it?   :P   

I hesitate to mention any specific examples, seeing as how any specific bit of evidence could have been faked (how can one possibly be sure, these days?).  But for one thing, there have been numerous reports of wholesale quantities of Biden ballots showing up just in the nick of time.  Apparently most of them are the new-type mail-in ballots (as opposed to traditional absentee ballots).  As I said, I'd really like to see this investigated -- and I'm certainly not alone in that.

Even though, as you point out, very few Republicans are white supremacists, I'd guess that most white supremacists vote for Republicans, and I'd also guess that there's a similar relationship between Antifa types and Democrats.  How do you propose to determine which specific politicians have particular appeal to such groups?  And how do you propose to get rid of them?  I've always believed that if this isn't a democracy for everyone, it isn't a democracy for anyone.

 

What about people who don't want it to be a democracy at all though? And I don't mean that as a rhetorical question, it's something I honestly can't completely wrap my head around, how a system based on equality and a voice for everyone is supposed to handle those who want to use their rights to take away others' rights. 

Haven't the voter fraud claims been investigated though? Pardon my ignorance but I thought the Trump team filed over 80 lawsuits, are you telling me that the judges who handled them just dismissed them all out of hand? 

As for the beliefs of the far left, here's a funny little story about my political coming of age: Here in Germany, we have an online tool that you can use before elections to check how much overlap your own positions on various issues have with those of the several political parties that you can vote for. It's mostly for fun imho but I do find it interesting and useful, especially since we have five big parties to chose from instead of just two and a myriad of obscure little ones. Anyway, I always came out of that questionnaire as far left. But I ended up on a bus once with the majority of the members of the far left party in my state and let me just say that I never voted for any of them and don't intend to in the foreseeable future either. 😅

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I used to be a member of the far Left here...

met some great people, made good friends.

I am not saying never, but yes in general, I don't vote that way now.

Once in local council elections, there was a girl I remembered from that past and she did get a vote from me.

Likewise recently in my union elections, there appeared a guy I knew from that past.

I helped vote him in.

I met him at the union AGM last year and it was good to catch up.

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