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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatPurely Politics(Moderators: bhcordova, RedHotMama, BFW) Understanding isn't the problem ...
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elmsandr

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« Reply #160 on: Dec 19, 2016, 11:27AM »

Are Americans so superficial these days? Do you people really listen to what politicians say and form judgements about them from the image they try to spin?

Does no one pay attention to what policies are actually enacted and then assess what effects they have? Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes.
Except, words matter.  If you haven't noticed, the Chinese tend to take words about Taiwan and the South China Sea pretty seriously.  Like, willing to shoot people seriously.  Ari Fleischer (W's press secretary) noted that he was always careful to say the government ON Taiwan, not government OF Taiwan.  There was also a small list of sentences that he noted that was always a part of any official discussion with Chinese officials.  Words matter in diplomacy.  Actions matter, too, but words can provoke actions.

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Andrew Elms
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« Reply #161 on: Dec 19, 2016, 12:31PM »

Are Americans so superficial these days? Do you people really listen to what politicians say and form judgements about them from the image they try to spin?

Does no one pay attention to what policies are actually enacted and then assess what effects they have? Actions speak louder than words, as the saying goes.

I don't think there's anything 'superficial' about that at all. Are Europeans so superficial they don't care what policies their leaders propose? 'Just wait and see what happens', without weighing in, is not a good guide to action in either life or in statecraft.

When Trump proposes policies it's not reasonable to just assume he doesn't intend to enact them, or at least it shouldn't be. Trump's tweets are announcements from the President-elect and it matters what is in them. I don't think we want a president who announces policy then his supporters immediately say, "He's just talking, he won't do any of that stuff," yet that's a common defense of Trump.

Our relationship with China is very complicated, both militarily and with respect to trade. China owns a great deal of our current debt. Trump is not just making provocative tweets. He's proposed trade policies that would amount to a trade war with the Chinese. He's explicitly announced that he doesn't feel bound by the 'one-China' policy that goes back through decades of GOP and Dem administrations. He's appointed people to key positions that seem friendly to Russia and antagonistic to China. He inserted himself inappropriately into the drone controversy while a diplomatic solution was being arrived at.

It matters what he says. "Don't listen to him, he's just talking" is a terrible thing to have to say about a new president. He needs to start taking this stuff seriously.
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« Reply #162 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:03PM »

So you think that when Donald Trump (who is now, apparently, a politician) says something, that's what he intends to do?

Doesn't Donald Trump come out with a load of stuff just to win popularity? I think I remember you posting something to that effect.

Which is it? And if you re-read the sentences substituting the name of another politician, how would you answer?

I don't speak for my continent, only for myself, but I don't give a damn what my politicians propose. It's all a load of talk that makes no difference to my life UNTIL a policy is enacted. Then I'm in a position to assess and make a judgement. But I understand that Americans are much more concerned with image, presentation and what looks good on a TV or other screen.
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« Reply #163 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:18PM »

We choose our leader based on what his/her policies are.  If the candidate is a consistent liar (or even worse, and inconsistent liar) how are we to decide whom we want to follow?

The people all over the world also listen to our American politicians and choose their actions based on what he says.

If Trump is crowing about building a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants (regardless of whether this is sensible policy) or to deport EVERY illegal Mexican immigrant do you think he's going to be friendly to Mexico?  Or if he says he will "bomb the **** out of ISIS will this be pouring balm on the wounds of the Middle East?  Or if he says he's going to "bring home manufacturing jobs" this will make China feel comfortable?

I feel that Trump will say anything to close a deal and do whatever he wants afterward.  This is a reason I didn't support him -- he has no morals and no consistency.  I also don't think he's as smart as he thinks he is; especially in World Affairs (even though a few of his wives were the result of World Affairs ;-) ).
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« Reply #164 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:35PM »

So you think that when Donald Trump (who is now, apparently, a politician) says something, that's what he intends to do?

Doesn't Donald Trump come out with a load of stuff just to win popularity? I think I remember you posting something to that effect.

Which is it? And if you re-read the sentences substituting the name of another politician, how would you answer?

I don't speak for my continent, only for myself, but I don't give a damn what my politicians propose. It's all a load of talk that makes no difference to my life UNTIL a policy is enacted. Then I'm in a position to assess and make a judgement. But I understand that Americans are much more concerned with image, presentation and what looks good on a TV or other screen.

You're trying to be high and mighty here, but you're missing the point. If you're going to argue with something you think I said earlier, and claim I'm being inconsistent, quote the post instead of making it up. I promise I'll afford you the same courtesy. I'll agree or argue with things you actually said.

Donald Trump's proposals are what people are reacting to, not some insubstantial 'image'. If the president-elect proposes to do something stupid, it's reasonable to react by saying, "That's not a good idea. I hope we don't do that", rather than saying, "I trust you that you're lying about it", (as you propose), or "I'll just wait for the actual action and react then" which you're also proposing. That's how democracy works--proposals are made and discussed, then decisions are made and policies are implemented afterward. You seem to think that we're duty bound to remain silent, wait for the bad policy to be implemented, and criticize it afterward. Worked great for the Germans, right?

You're pretending that responding to the substance of political proposals is being 'concerned with image'. When the president-elect proposes to abandon the one-China policy, or weaken NATO, or give the Ukraine to Russia, that's not 'image', it's substance.

It makes some sense to add a grain of salt to the things that both party candidates say during the primary campaign, but the campaign is over--Trump was elected, and he's no longer campaigning (or at least he's supposed to be creating a government, though he seems to have already lost interest in the project).

You're implying that we should give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that whatever he says now is a lie.

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« Reply #165 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:38PM »


If Trump is crowing about building a wall to keep out illegal Mexican immigrants (regardless of whether this is sensible policy) or to deport EVERY illegal Mexican immigrant do you think he's going to be friendly to Mexico?  Or if he says he will "bomb the **** out of ISIS will this be pouring balm on the wounds of the Middle East?  Or if he says he's going to "bring home manufacturing jobs" this will make China feel comfortable?

I feel that Trump will say anything to close a deal and do whatever he wants afterward. 

So you too disbelieve what he says, yet believe he will enact his policy statements? Someone on here (was it you?) told me that American elections are very little to do with policies and more to do with voter self-identification as Democrat or Republican, candidate image and public perception. I don't remember Barrack Obama talking about policies very much, but he was very stylish.

Personally, I agree with your second bit. Donald Trump will say anything to get the result he wants and then please himself afterwards. This is not unusual for people in politics and it does not necessarily mean he will govern badly.
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« Reply #166 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:44PM »

So you too disbelieve what he says, yet believe he will enact his policy statements? Someone on here (was it you?) told me that American elections are very little to do with policies and more to do with voter self-identification as Democrat or Republican, candidate image and public perception. I don't remember Barrack Obama talking about policies very much, but he was very stylish.

Personally, I agree with your second bit. Donald Trump will say anything to get the result he wants and then please himself afterwards. This is not unusual for people in politics and it does not necessarily mean he will govern badly.

So how do you propose to run a democracy? The new leader says, "This is what I'm going to do" and if anyone criticizes it, or discusses it, or objects to it, they're basing it on 'image' rather than substance? We have to wait to see if he's lying before we even comment?

I don't think there's the tiniest inconsistency or hypocrisy in acknowledging that Trump is completely full of ****, while still endeavoring to steer him away from his worst ideas.

There's no question that Trump is not a man of conviction, and that he says a lot of stuff he doesn't mean. Nonetheless, his lack of expertise requires people to react. Saying "That's a bad idea--don't do it" isn't inconsistent or hypocritical when dealing with an unqualified and dishonest leader--it's a necessary part of the process. I think you misunderstand how democracy works. We sort of kick things around a little over here, and so far they don't put us in camps for it.

I think you're explicating the Central European concept of democracy--keep your mouth shut and hope they don't really do it, and don't respond until it's "action" instead of "words". We all saw how that worked out for you all.
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« Reply #167 on: Dec 19, 2016, 03:53PM »

I think you misunderstand how democracy works. We sort of kick things around a little over here, and so far they don't put us in camps for it.

A failed attempt at humour, or a successful attempt at being a distasteful boor. Maybe I'm too "high and mighty" to understand your quaint New World turns of phrase.

Anyway, you're still saying you distrust what Donald Trump says, but you form your opinions of his forthcoming presidency based on the very same things you are distrustful about. Have a lie down and think about it.
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« Reply #168 on: Dec 19, 2016, 04:19PM »

Sometimes I wonder if you really want to understand American politics or just enjoy being a troll with intentional misunderstanding.

There is a lot of context in American history that is different from where you are (your IP says Austria).

We don't elect a Parliament that elects the Prime Minister.  In that case you vote in a guy who thinks like you and he tries to do the horse trading to get a good leader.

Our Founding Fathers considered such a system and decided that it would be better if the common people elected state legislatures and the state legislatures elected the President (via the Electoral College).  Candidates were chosen by the people who knew who was whom and were less likely to be swayed by a demagogue.  Then we had a change in heart to go to universal (initially manhood) suffrage so we elected the President directly.  But the politicos in the back rooms still chose the candidates to make sure that for the most part qualified people were running.

Then we decided to have the populace choose the candidates via open primaries.  And here comes Demagogue Trump.

Somebody who negotiated real estate deals with him said after he left a session he'd count his fingers to make sure they were all there.  Trump is a shark.  But so is Putin and so Wen Jiabao.  But compared to them Trump is a Remora -- a parasite rather than a predator.

This campaign more than any I can remember was about personality rather than policies.  It was one of the dirtiest ever.  Mud slung back and forth about how each lied, cheated, ignored laws, etc.  And somehow Trump managed to convince enough people that Clinton wasn't as trustworthy as he is.

So here he is, and all we can do is to try to call him out when he is lying hoping that he may go the honorable route. 

It's going to be an interesting 4 years, if we aren't reduced to a pile of radioactive rubble before then (or die from environmental poisoning).  Also, the Trump organization's wall building expertise may come in handy over the next 40 years building a sea retaining wall on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Caribbean coasts.
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« Reply #169 on: Dec 19, 2016, 04:33PM »

Sometimes I wonder if you really want to understand American politics or just enjoy being a troll with intentional misunderstanding.


Why does it always come down to name calling when you disagree?

Most politicians don't follow up their campaign promises with action. He (SS)is just saying let's see if his walk matches his talk, before sticking your head in the commode.

Now, admittedly, Trump in his 'thank you' tours, is doubling down on his campaign promises, instead of notching the expectations down a bit. For me, that is a good thing. For leftist liberals, that's a bad thing.

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« Reply #170 on: Dec 19, 2016, 04:37PM »

Why does it always come down to name calling when you disagree?

...

Funny, I could probably call you out on the same thing, but I won't. :-P :-P  You just double down on your ideology regardless of whether it applies or not.

Actually, I'm more afraid of the radioactive rubble than anything else.  The question is whether the delivery systems will be Russian missiles, Chinese missiles, North Korean missiles, or an ISIS suicide bomber.
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« Reply #171 on: Dec 19, 2016, 04:47PM »

You just double down on your ideology regardless of whether it applies or not.


As opposed to you guys doubling down 70,000 X 70,000 times, no matter the facts.
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« Reply #172 on: Dec 19, 2016, 06:27PM »

As opposed to you guys doubling down 70,000 X 70,000 times, no matter the facts.

There's no 'you guys'. There are lots of smart people. Some of them are very conservative. Some of them are very liberal. Some of them are somewhere in between. They don't all agree with one another, or form some particular group. What they have in common is that they disagree with you, because they're smart.

Maybe you should change it to 'you smart guys', because that seems to be what mixes you all up.
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« Reply #173 on: Dec 19, 2016, 06:36PM »

A failed attempt at humour, or a successful attempt at being a distasteful boor. Maybe I'm too "high and mighty" to understand your quaint New World turns of phrase.

Anyway, you're still saying you distrust what Donald Trump says, but you form your opinions of his forthcoming presidency based on the very same things you are distrustful about. Have a lie down and think about it.

Let me sum up your thesis, and see if it makes sense even to you:

1) Trump's critics acknowledge that it's impossible to tell whether he means what he's saying, therefore it's somehow inconsistent and hypocritical to point out when he's proposing something stupid or destructive, because he might not mean it!

2) Let's not discuss ideas until they become action, because actions count more than words! We'll wait until the mistake is made, then complain about it! What business of ours is it in the meantime?

Now let's apply that to actual history:

Hitler's all talk. He won't round up the Jews, Gypsies, and homosexuals and torture them to death. Besides, actions speak louder than words! We'll wait for there to be actions!


How'd that work out for you, buddy? Maybe Americans are smarter than you give us credit for. Maybe you can return the favor and save us from our follies, but then how would you? You apparently have not learned from your own. I bet you root for the wrong guys when you watch "Sound of Music".
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« Reply #174 on: Dec 19, 2016, 06:42PM »

Sonic Silver is brilliant. He says as long as we're sure Trump's a liar, why should we care what he says? I mean, really, really brilliant.
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« Reply #175 on: Dec 19, 2016, 06:49PM »

Most politicians don't follow up their campaign promises with action. He (SS)is just saying let's see if his walk matches his talk, before sticking your head in the commode.

So you're saying a citizen doesn't have a right to comment on the proposals made on the leader whose salary we pay, because he might not actually do them? People aren't 'sticking their heads in a commode', just exercising their right to oppose some dunderhead proposing to screw up our country.

At least he's not poisoning his critics like his buddy Putin, as far as I know. If he proposes to do so, I won't wait for it to be a fait accompli before I disagree with it.
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« Reply #176 on: Dec 19, 2016, 06:52PM »

He's appointed most of his cabinet. There is massive amout of action taken there tto vehemently disagree with.
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« Reply #177 on: Dec 19, 2016, 07:02PM »

He's appointed most of his cabinet. There is massive amout of action taken there tto vehemently disagree with.

Well, exactly. Sonic Silver wants us to wait until he invades Poland before we raise a peep. I pay the guy's damn salary, so I'll speak up. He's picked his team and he's told us what he's going to do, so if that's not what we want, now's the time to speak.

The whole DDickerson and SonicSilver argument is "You know he's a liar, so what are you complaining about?" I expect no better from DDickerson, but SonicSilver has shown occasional glints of rationality.
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« Reply #178 on: Dec 19, 2016, 07:06PM »

Now, admittedly, Trump in his 'thank you' tours, is doubling down on his campaign promises, instead of notching the expectations down a bit. For me, that is a good thing. For leftist liberals, that's a bad thing.

The fact that he's having 'thank you tours', instead of creating a government, should give you pause, but it doesn't even slightly surprise me that it doesn't.
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« Reply #179 on: Dec 19, 2016, 07:11PM »

PM, strike one (all strikes re-set at the end of the election)
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