2016 U.S. Presidential election

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Juan Conatz
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Mar 5 2016 23:40
2016 U.S. Presidential election

admin note: for readers interested in the discussion of the Trump victory, that begins in this thread at post 362 here

Couldn't find a thread about this so thought I'd start one.

Actual election isn't until November, obviously, but the primaries for the two major parties started last month, with the campaigning starting many months before.

For the GOP, Trump has mostly been ahead in the polls, and won the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses so far. Probably most of everyone is familiar with his racist and xenophobic statements he's made. His candidacy has caused somewhat of a mini-civil war within the Republican Party, with the more moderate establishment types and traditional conservatives trying to do anything to stop him. He has basically pissed off all elements of the party, from 'moderates' who were trying to push a less racist and xenophobic version of the party, to the fiscal conservatives who want to slash the budget and social programs.

Ted Cruz, representing the traditional conservative Tea Party types, and Marco Rubio, the 'moderate' establishment candidate are battling it out to be the Trump alternative currently.

I will say, despite Trump's worrying ascendancy, it has been great to see Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP clown car of candidates be more or less eviscerated off the national stage.

On the Democratic side, Hillary, representing more of the establishment centrist Dems, is starting to pull ahead of Bernie Sanders, the more left-wing candidate. So far, Sanders has won in most of the states that the Democrats will probably win, while Clinton has won in the states that the Democrats have little chance. Sanders could still win, but its looking more likely that Clinton will.

Black Badger
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Mar 6 2016 00:15

How is this relevant?

Fleur
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Mar 6 2016 00:20

In strict terms of ideological purity, the US presidential election is not particularly relevant to anarchists but given that it completely and totally dominating everything in the news, in conversation, just about every bloody where, on this side of the Atlantic, it's not inconceivable that people may be taking an interest and want to discuss it.

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Mar 6 2016 04:50

If you're not interested in the topic, no one is forcing you to post in this thread. However, I would like a place to discuss this that isn't just the arguments at work or passive watching of TV talking heads.

syndicalist
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Mar 7 2016 00:31

'

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Mar 6 2016 05:49

I think the two most interesting things in this campaign is that:

1) A self-identified socialist has won some caucuses and primaries. I recognize that Sanders is more of a middling social democrat, but this has still been interesting. I have no idea if this has any significance at all, though, since the definition of socialism being used here is basically mid 20th Century European welfare state.

2) The right-wing populist thing around Trump that is both xenophobic/racist and economically all over the place. I don't think Trump qualifies as a fascist, but there are certainly some characteristics shared, which is alarming.

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Mar 6 2016 10:13

http://libcom.org/blog/so-its-come-04032016
Soapy's blog on Clinton

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Mar 6 2016 20:56

So to go along with my last post, I guess, what, if any, significance do people see in a self-identified socialist getting mass support and winning several primaries and caucuses of one of the major political parties?

Most of the discussion on this point I've seen has been on Facebook and mostly been dismissive or sarcastic. That makes sense since this 'democratic socialism' that is being talked about is a lot different than the socialism lots of the radical left desires. Plus, some of the memes being circulated by Sanders supporters are pretty cringeworthy...

There's variations of another image like this that says socialism is really just public roads, public schools, the military, Social Security, etc. I think I disagree with some people who are like "That's not really socialism!". There is a long tradition of socialism-is-the-liberal-welfare-state, which predates the liberal welfare state itself. At least in the United States, you could argue that socialism's only real success in the political system was the 'sewer socialists' of the 1900s-1910s. There has always been a reform oriented version of socialism that either only plays minor lip service to wider, revolutionary goals, or barely mentions them at all. Disputes over definitions seem pointless, since there are very old precedents that back up this particular definition of socialism, even if we disagree with it.

And with Trump, what do people think with the comparisons to fascism? I think they are fair, but inaccurate. Although there isn't any widely agreed upon definition of fascism, at the very least, it seems to require some sort of extraparliamentary base of support that relies on some potential of retaliation or violence. Maybe also some sort of proposals of merging the party-state-civilians, such as the League of German Girls or any of the many such groups that Nazi Germany and fascist Italy had.

Personally, I see Trump as having more in common with the old Dixiecrats or George Wallace than any fascist strand, but what are the similarities and differences?

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Mar 6 2016 21:37

That little meme you posted, Juan, I love how the first half (which, to be fair, is spot on) is so clearly contradicted by the second half.

Anyway, I'm always a bit wary of claims of fascism. While right-wing populism is no doubt an necessary element of fascism, right-wing populism does not a fascist make.

What I think it is interesting in regards to Trump is how it relates to race issues being much more prominent in America recently. How much of Trump's rise is backlash and would he be in the position he is now if not for, say, the success of the BLM in bringing issues of race to the fore?

Incidentally, being in a big liberal East Coast city, I've yet to actually meet a Trump supporter in the flesh. Can anyone give any credence to Sanders' claim that Trump supporters should the natural turf of the left? I mean, who's actually out there voting for this fucker?

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Mar 6 2016 22:43

But with Trump, I don't think you can just say 'right-wing populism' and leave it at that. The right-wing populism he has tapped into is clearly different than, say, the Tea Party, which was an eclectic mixture of issues, but I would argue at its heart was about fiscal conservatism. Tea Party also had much more of a 'middle-class' base. His right-wing populism approaches John Birch Society levels of insanity. When is the last time someone with his extremely anti-immigrant views and stances had a chance at winning the American Presidency? World War II? World War I? His right-wing populism is also more idiosyncratic. The vague stuff he's said about the economy suggests a break from the last 50 years of the Republican Party, with high trade tariffs, not being against social programs, etc. He doesn't play into the Christian, "family values" thing either, which has been a vital part of the GOP for the last 35 years and American right-wing populism, well, forever.

I agree part of it is backlash. Backlash against Black Lives Matter, but also backlash at some of the same issues that Occupy came out of. Where Occupy could be seen as a movement of downwardly mobile middle class whites, I'm beginning to see Trump as the Occupy for downwardly mobile working class whites. Lot of the same rhetoric, we were promised something, we were lied to, we need to return to that promise, etc.

Guess that gets into the demographics of Trump voters. I'm in the same boat as you, actually probably more so. While Trump has actually won or almost won a number of primaries/caucuses on the liberal East Coast, he lost big in Minnesota. Minnesota, to date, is the only place out of the 20 contests so far where he didn't win or come in second.1

But as far as who are Trump's supporters, according to a recent article in The Atlantic, they are white, male, without a college education and are from parts of the country with 'racial resentment'. I've seen this repeated often, that the bulk of his supporters are working class white men. Politico says that blue-collar voters are the bulk of his support. That same article, to me, seems to indicate that he has a bulk of support among white working class voters who have in the past voted Democrat. The views on labor unions, and social issues such as abortion that are out of orthodoxy with the GOP don't seem to matter. NYTimes makes an argument that his strongest supporters are a certain kind of Democrat, the kind who self-identify as Republican but are registered as a Democrat and live in an area "stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York". His strongest support comes from West Virginia, which I think says something. West Virginia has a history of one of the strongest pro-labor union places in the country (the UMW), but also a place where the KKK was very strong and has faced massive job losses from mining.

So. I would agree with Sanders claim (when did he say this?) that Trump supporters are the natural turf of the left, because it seems that Trump's core are white working class voters who are pro-union, and are to the left of the rest of the GOP on major social issues. I'm assuming that Sanders would say that Trump is winning out here because he has successfully created scapegoats (immigrants) that are powerfully persuasive among that demographic.

  • 1. That said, I have met several vocal Trump supporters at work.
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Mar 7 2016 02:02

idk what this means. but one of my coworkers does a bit of teaching at a private K-12 in the liberal side of town in a blue state in the northeast, and he said "all the kids are voting for Trump" so i am assuming there is at least some section of the upper middle class and above here that do support him.

also what do folks think about a possible Clinton / Sanders ticket down the line? i forget if it's even possible, but would seem like a win win good cop bad cop situation for them, especially if they have a bad guy in Trump. If not Sanders maybe Warren?

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Mar 7 2016 03:02

No one has claimed that those in the higher income end of things do not support him. In fact, he seems to be doing well among all income levels. However, he is doing even better among white working class men is what I/others are trying to say.

Of course a Clinton/Sanders ticket is possible. I don't know if that will happen. I think that Sanders will probably not win enough to get the nomination, but will win enough to make it far into the summer. In all likelihood, a similar deal that Hillary made with Obama back in 2008 will happen between Sanders and Clinton this summer, but who knows?

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Mar 7 2016 03:16

The Democratic Party - a neoliberal, militaristic, mostly laissez faire capitalist party that betrayed its working class supporters during the Clinton era (with some help from Jimmy Carter before then). Generally well-intentioned regarding social issues as long as the wind is blowing the right way. The standard bearer is Hillary Clinton. But there is also a faction that seeks to take the gains of the New Deal and Great Society and push them further to level the economic playing field. The standard bearers within the electoral system at the moment are Sanders and Warren, but the inspiration comes from many to the left of them.

Republican Party - an ultra-right wing party based on authoritarianism, the worst excesses of libertarian selfishness and cruelty, assaults on the rights of working people, women, LGBT and people of color, a deluded clinging to American exceptionalism, xenophobia, and support of unbridled capitalist pillage. Standard bearers are Rubio, Cruz and Trump. There remains a rump of traditional Republicans, right-leaning plutocrats with little interest in social engineering beyond what it takes to protect their wealth. Can be moderate on social issues. Standard bearers? Few and far between after the 1960s.

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Mar 7 2016 15:17

Looks like Sanders won Maine last night. Anyone watch the debate? Still haven't watched any of the Democratic ones, and only about 15 minutes of one of GOP ones which was all I could stomach...

syndicalist
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Mar 7 2016 15:35

I was watching the Democrats last night. Secty Clinton hits Sen Sanders on the "auto bailout". Sanders seemingly came back with a standard line about "wall street bailout". I had to go on line and "fact check" [http://www.factcheck.org/2016/03/factchecking-the-seventh-democratic-debate/]..... Apparently there were two bills. One, a gazillion billion trillion for an overall financial bail out (which Sanders voted against). Then a special auto industry bail out which Sanders was for (and got defeated as a stand alone bill).

"Senator Bernie Sanders voted against the $700 billion bail out of the financial services industry but he says this package is different:

(Sanders) "The problem is if you don't act in the midst of a growing recession what does it mean to create a situation where millions of more people become unemployed and that could spread and I have serious concerns about that I think it would be a terrible idea to add millions more to the unemployment rolls." [http://www.vpr.net/news_detail/83206/leahy-sanders-reluctantly-support-auto-industry-re/ ]

She sleazed him with a half-truth. His reply was so garbled in his standard rhetoric that she scored a point with some thinking Sanders was for having the whole auto industry go under.

Just an observation, not meant as any sort of political endorsement or agreement of views.

An Affirming Flame
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Mar 7 2016 17:56

I'll share some anecdotal evidence on Trump supporters. My dad and uncles who are white, retired New York City cops all seem to love Trump. They're racist and bitter as hell and he speaks to them. They've traditionally been independents who tended to vote Democrat.

I currently live in a smallish town in the South and a lot people around here are quite cool on Trump or outright dislike him. I think the main reason is because it is a very religious area and they don't think he shares their views.

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Mar 7 2016 19:16

The Great Republican Establishment Move To Block Donald Trump has crashed and burned. This was probably inevitable, but it became a certainty when the Three Dwarves cowering beside him on this past week's debate stage all pledged their allegiance to him - should he be the nominee.

This capitulation has some weird historical resonance. If you study the history of Italy, Spain, Germany, Chile and other lands where bourgeois democracy has given rise to authoritarian regimes and fascist dictatorships, it is inevitably the conservative parties who usher in the transition. Believing they can control and steer the insurgent fascist forces, they pact with them, appease them and eventually wind up as a meal for the strongman who has taken power (burp).

Let's be clear. No question that Trump is an authoritarian (hey, media, the answer to what he's about is a simple as that). And there is no question, once again, using history as our guide, that he speaks directly to anti-democratic and pro-fascist instincts among his very confused base of supporters.

That does not mean we are sitting in the ante-chamber to fascism. Historically, fascist regimes arise only as a counter force to real or imagined threats of socialist revolution. They arise not only to dominate a nation, or the world, but also to ruthlessly extinguish the forces of Evil Opposition (Jews, communists, socialists etc) who either hold or are about to take state power.

The authoritarian strain in the American body politic has always been present. Trump has energized it and stoked it. But social conditions in America are such that worrying about Trump installing some sort of dictatorship misses the mark. If unemployment was triple the current levels, if inflation was 300%, if the AFL-CIO was planning a general strike in support of a truly socialist Obama, if the US had just been beaten in a war or occupied by a foreign power, then maybe, just maybe, we'd see the rise of a truly threatening fascist movement.

That's not the case. Not now. Not yet. Americans are way too comfortable, way too hedonistic, way to bedazzled by consumer society to become reliable and disciplined brown shirts. And Trump himself has little of of the personal grit and endurance or even the imagination of a Hitler or a Mussolini to become an American fuhrer.

So, let's take a deep breath and calmly survey the options before us.

Will Trump be the nominee? I put this today at a 95% certainty. The Republicans will not and cannot deny him the nomination at a contested convention as that would lead immediately to an immediate and catastrophic schism in the GOP, the certain election of the Democrat and the virtual collapse of the party.

Will Trump be elected as president? Very difficult, though not impossible. After all, Clinton is the second most disliked pol in America, following Trump, and there is no telling how many non-voting Angry White Men might come out of the closet to push Trump over the line. I don't see it happening. And the electoral college makes it difficult for any Republican to win in November. But never say never.

How bad would Trump be if he got into the White House? Who the hell knows? He might do some pretty stupid things, but I can name a number of recent presidents who did some pretty stupid shit. Dangerous stuff, too. Kennedy invading Cuba. Johnson carpet bombing Vietnam. Nixon, well, Nixon was a horror (no, he would not be a liberal today). Carter declaring a nuclear alert over a few Russian advisers in Cuba and funding the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan. Reagan...you name it. Poppy Bush invading Panama (and Iraq). Bill Clinton abolishing federal welfare, signing off on a draconian crime bill that put a million or so black people behind bars, deregulating the banks and exporting jobs via NAFTA. George W. Bush brought us the nightmare of Iraq, legalized torture and the limp response to Katrina. And Barack Obama, who by my lights, is the opposite of stupid, but someone who still could not escape the temptation to play ball with the bloated military machine in the name of fighting global terrorism.

So apart from naming a poor choice to the Supreme Court (something that any Republican and maybe even Hillary might do), just exactly how worse can Trump be? OK, a lot worse. But maybe not. He is absolutely not as scary as Ted Cruz, who is a classic right-wing religious dogmatist (and one evil sonofabitch).

This, by the way, highlights the historic crisis the Republicans now find themselves in. The nomination contest is now really down to Cruz and Trump and Cruz is the only guy Republican mucky mucks detest as much as they do Barack Obama. In short, I see no way out for the GOP.

They have been running toward the cliff for the last 15 years, or arguably, the last 35 years. and they have finally run out of room.

I am not arguing that Trump is some benign figure that should be laughed off. Hardly. But neither should his power nor that of his followers (who are much scarier than he is) be exaggerated. Nevertheless, the Rise of Trump embodies the ongoing erosion of The System and the willingness of so many Americans to place their fate in his under-sized hands should be taken dead seriously. This is not just a boil that can be lanced. We are looking at semi-latent anti-democratic forces receiving giant doses of political oxygen and this eruption will not simply go away when the election is over.

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Mar 8 2016 04:34


^ this discount Bond villain from the US Chamber of Commerce put the following out

Socialism Is a Dangerous Path for America by Thomas J. Donohue

Quote:
The 2016 presidential election is being defined by many of the same competing ideas that decided so many recent elections. Conservative ideals versus liberal principles. Higher spending versus lower taxes. National security versus individual liberties. These are healthy, important discussions about the best path forward for America. However, there’s another debate raging on the campaign trail that’s cause for real concern—a debate over free enterprise versus socialism.

Our free market system has fostered the most innovative, prosperous, and entrepreneurial country on earth. It’s why the American economy today remains the envy of the world. It’s the reason we have access to cutting-edge technology, groundbreaking drugs, and other world-class inventions that continue to improve our lives. It enables small businesses and large corporations alike to innovate and take risks, continually delivering better products and smarter services. And it gives all Americans opportunities to pursue their dreams and be rewarded for their success—no matter who they are or where they come from.

Beyond U.S. shores, free markets have had a similarly positive and powerful impact. Studies have shown that nations that transition to free market economies see literacy rates and life expectancy go up, while things like poverty levels and pollution go down. Moreover, there’s a strong correlation between those who enjoy economic freedom and those who enjoy personal freedoms.

In short, the free enterprise system works. It’s a system to celebrate, not vilify.

Socialism, conversely, has been tried and has failed time and time again. Though it promises equality and prosperity, socialism inevitably leads to misery and poverty. It’s an upside-down system—instead of the government serving the people, the people serve the government. It’s an economic perversion that fundamentally undermines incentive, discourages risk taking, stunts innovation, and facilitates tyranny.

Yet it’s being pitched as a positive new direction for America, when in fact it is a radical and dangerous path. In the speeches we have heard in favor of socialism, important issues and challenges facing our country have been raised, including how to get our economy humming again and create more jobs for Americans. However, these are challenges that are best tackled under a system that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship.

As Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” She was right then and is still right today. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce urges all Americans to reject this failed, antiquated, and discredited economic system. There’s no place for it in a country that strives to be free, prosperous, and forward looking.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/socialism-dangerous-path-america

petey
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Mar 8 2016 22:07
Juan Conatz wrote:
US Chamber of Commerce

an insidious bunch. public citizen maintains this site:
http://www.chamberofcommercewatch.org/

syndicalist
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Mar 9 2016 17:05

Tonight's Sanders and Clinton debate should be interesting.

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Mar 10 2016 02:31

Sanders won Michigan last night, which was an upset. Polls had Clinton ahead 5-25% just days before. Clinton walloped Sanders in Mississippi. Sanders continues to struggle with black voters. Even in Michigan, where he won, black voters went something like 70% for Clinton.

More of personal interest since its the newspaper I grew up reading, the Chicago Tribune refused to endorse either Democratic candidate ahead of the Illinois primary. It's kinda funny since they go on about how the working class has been shafted for years now, but then they go on to endorse Rubio on the GOP side.

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Mar 10 2016 05:48

Apparently in Michican turnout by black voters was low and Sanders won a higher percentage than in the south...roughly 30 percent for Sanders 65 percent for Clinton. I think there is maybe less church as center of life orientation among black working class in northern and western cities. Among black people under 30 tho they are running close. Sanders won 70 percent of the independents (it was an open primary) and also won Dearborn 2 to 1...largest Arab-American population in USA. But I think it's still unlikely he'll win. He's running against the Dem party machine. And in debates lately Clinton has been really doing her chameleon thing, talking left wing to adapt to the current mood.

Next Tuesday is going to be the real test for Sanders. It will indicate whether he can pull even with Clinton in a bunch of states where polls indicate huge leads for her.

I'm quite familiar with his concept of "democratic socialism" since I was a member of Harrington's Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee back in the '60s. It doesn't get much beyond defense of the welfare state. Conception of "socialism" is statist: Use of the state to check capital's predatory tendencies & maintain welfare benefits. Not actually anti-capitalist. So his attack on the system is not about control of work but income inequality....

That said, what I find interesting is the huge amount of youth support Sanders is getting...beating Clinton about 80 to 20 percent. This says something about the current mood among working class youth. For us the issue would be whether any of this can translate into greater actual combativity in a direct sense.

I agree pretty much with above comments re Trump. He's basically an authoritarian. Unlike the other Repubs his appeal is not ideological. In fact he's all over the map on a variety of issues. Sort of an appeal to the "angry middle". He seems to be getting the less well off and less educated Repubs...not only working class probably but small biz class. People who've not been doing so well lately. From a purely ideological perspective Cruz is more dangerous in some ways since he is an extreme right wing nutjob. But now that Rubio's candidacy is dying, the Repub establishment seem to be gravitating to Cruz.

one other point about Trump: I think he appeals to white supremacists. consider for example his win yesterday in Mississippi. This is among Baptist fundamentalist people. Why wouldn't they vote for Cruz who is more in keeping with their ideology? Again, I think the answer is: white supremacy.

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Mar 10 2016 05:44

on the issue of why Clinton has been doing so much better than Sanders among African-Americans I was reading today in In These Times (I think) a piece on black supporters for Sanders in Chicago. One of them had an insight into why Clinton has attracted more black support. He says the problem is Sanders' speaking style, which is not designed to appeal to black people. Given that I find his speaking style quite off putting, I can appreciate that point. It was his position that Sanders' actual positions are more in keeping with black people's interests.

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Mar 11 2016 08:25
Quote:
Tonight's Sanders and Clinton debate should be interesting.
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Mar 10 2016 22:30

An interesting piece from last week about a correlation between white mortality rates and Trump support.

Washington Post wrote:
We're focusing on middle-aged whites because the data show that something has gone terribly wrong with their lives. In a study last year, economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton pointed out that mortality rates for this group have actually been increasing since the '90s.

[...]

What is going on, then, with death rates for middle-aged whites? Case and Deaton aren't sure, but they argued that alcohol abuse, suicides and the opioid epidemic have something to do with it. The rate of fatal "poisonings" for instance — a category that includes drug overdoses — more than tripled among middle-aged whites since 2000.

Economic struggles have likely contributed as well. Case and Deaton also found that the increase in the death rate has been driven by people with less education. For those without a college degree, the economy in recent decades has been increasingly miserable. This may explain why some have turned to self-destructive behaviors, such as drug and alcohol abuse.

The people I've been describing — this distressed, dying demographic slice of America — are similar to the people who tend to vote for Trump, according to phone and exit polls. Trump supporters are mostly white; skew older; and are less likely to have college degrees than other Republicans.

Perhaps this is no coincidence. As I wrote in December:

It is nonetheless striking that Trump’s promise to "Make America Great Again" has been most enthusiastically embraced by those who have seen their own life's prospects diminish the most — not [only] in terms of material wealth, but in terms of literal chances of survival.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/04/death-predicts-whether-people-vote-for-donald-trump/

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Mar 13 2016 02:49

Probably most people have heard by now, but Trump's rally at the University of Illinois-Chicago, was disrupted and shut down. Protesters attended the rally inside and were outside as well. There were scuffles between protesters and Trump supporters/cops.

Today, a protester attempted to rush the stage at a Trump rally in Ohio

Also, today, I heard a Trump rally was briefly disrupted in Kansas City.

Trump has blamed Bernie Sanders supporters and is urging Sanders to "get his people in line".

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Mar 13 2016 05:13

It's perhaps worth noting that according to the elderly lady photographed doing the Nazi salute, she was doing it in mockery of protesters comparing Trump to Hitler rather than an indication of genuine Nazism. However, there's no question that the Trump campaign is the most exciting thing to happen to white supremacists in the US in decades--even just glancing at the front page of the Stormfront politics forum, it's striking how much of a phenomenon Trump is in that scene. The violence against protesters, both more vocal and those just wearing anti-Trump shirts, seems to be escalating, especially against people of color. There was an out and out fascist group, the Traditionalist Workers Party, knocking a black woman around at a recent Trump rally and another black protester got punched by an elderly Trump supporter at a rally the other day who said he might have to kill the protester if he saw him again. Trump's typical response is to focus on how of course he wouldn't want to endorse any violence, but his supporters are very passionate people who love America so much and lots of these protesters are "bad dudes" and "thugs" who are very dangerous to his supporters at these rallies and sometimes "come out swinging" in the first place. At the rallies, its become kind of an event for protesters to get hauled out while people scream at them and Trump calls for them to be removed and reminisces about the good old days when you didn't have to be so gentle with people like these disgusting protesters and so on. Very disturbing, especially as I think there's very little chance that he won't be the Republican nominee.

redsdisease
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Mar 13 2016 07:08

Apparently 32 protesters were also arrested inside the Trump rally in St. Louis the night before his cancelled speech in Chicago.

http://www.thenation.com/article/why-the-trump-rally-in-st-louis-was-so-different/

Quote:
 Trump never got more than a few minutes to speak without interruption. The disruptions were constant. As the protesters were ejected from the building they were greeted by a mixture of boos and cheers in the street. At last count thirty-two were arrested. All protesters.

I'm curious what people think as to how effective interrupting Trump's speeches has been. As Tyrion said, it's seemed like a lot of the protesters have been playing into a sort-of political theater in which, by ejecting protesters so easily and glibly, Trump allows the crowd to feel the kind of collective political efficacy that they aren't able to feel in their daily lives.

The events at Trump rallies of the past couple days, on the other hand, seem like they might have tipped those moments of efficacy into a general feeling collective disempowerment for the crowd as Trump was repeatedly disrupted (in St. Louis) or shut down entirely (in Chicago). This is probably largely to do with there simply being a lot more protesters in both those places than there's been previously.

I'm curious to see if success in Chicago will embolden people and create more successful shut downs or if this is sort of a fluke.

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Mar 13 2016 22:04

The regular conservative columnist for the NYTimes just put out an article today that basically argues that political parties should not be held to the same democratic standards as actual elections, and that it would be perfectly acceptable for the GOP to do some sort of anti-democratic maneuvers at the Republican National Convention (RNC) this year to ensure Trump isn't their candidate. That's probably the most high profile advocacy I've seen of this strategy, even though it seems that establishment GOP types and moderates have been hinting at this.

Also in the Times today is an article that says Trump's bid is partially about him wanting to be taken seriously by the political world after his humiliation at the White House Correspondent's dinner in 2011.

On CNN today, Trump again blamed Sanders supporters for the recent rally disruptions and made a veiled threat that his supporters might disrupt Sanders events. Sanders denies his campaign has anything to do with any disruptions.

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Mar 13 2016 22:39
redsdisease wrote:

I'm curious what people think as to how effective interrupting Trump's speeches has been.

I don't know what you mean by 'effective'. I think there are two different likely outcomes of these things. Either it just motivates Trump's supporters even more because these disruptions play into an already existing narrative of America being under attack by the left and minorities. Or it polarizes the race, and drives people into the more moderate candidates. Already, there are a lot of calls to "tone down" the rhetoric after Chicago.

Speaking of the disruptions, as a hip-hop enthusiast, I was pleased to see that Kendrick Lamar's "Alright" was recited at the Chicago protest. I know that it has been played and used at a bunch of BLM rallies. Also, the guy that rushed Trump in Ohio, and who was wearing a J.Cole t-shirt, which was ripped, was contacted by J.Cole's manager on Twitter, who has offered him a bunch of the rapper's gear. Haha.

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x359594
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Mar 14 2016 17:20

Here's the deal. Clinton will be the nominee. But Sanders beats her TWO TO ONE with voters under 50. Hear that? Not just under 30 but all the way up to age 50.

That's the best way to understand this race: it is primarily generational. Clinton's politics are a relic of the past. Sanders speaks to the expectations and anxieties of the rising generations

When Clinton clinches the nomination her supporters will be celebrating. OK. But do they have any plans for the immediate future of this society?

Or will they be sated by merely defeating their own children? Exactly what future do Democrats have in mind when the ENTIRE younger half of voters absolutely reject its candidate, its program and its deep dysfunction?