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-   -   Where are we heading as a nation? (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=348924)

shemp 11th January 2021 12:25 PM

Where are we heading as a nation?
 
I feel like we're at a major turning point in history. We could be on the verge of a "sea change" and it might not be good for this nation and a lot of its people.

This poll contains several possible outcomes, but if you don't agree that any will happen please choose the Planet X option and speak your mind.

For the perpetually undecided, multiple choice is enabled.

CJW 11th January 2021 12:42 PM

The question in my mind was "Were the events of Jan 6 a Waterloo or Fort Sumpter moment". Think it's just the start - I can only guess how many McVeighs were in Washington that day, now sitting at home and ready to carry out the fight.

Tero 11th January 2021 12:47 PM

"The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost."

Something like that, but no more that 10 lives the next round.

Horatius 11th January 2021 12:51 PM

I'm not sure what the functional difference is between "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War" and "The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost". The terrorism will be the civil war, and those behind it will almost certainly be taken down, but a lot of lives will be lost in the process.

I suppose you could say a "civil war" requires the backing of actual government officials on both sides, so that a group of yahoos blowing **** up in several states wouldn't be considered a "Civil War" in principle, but I'm not sure that's actually a requirement of a civil war. And even in this case, the yahoos do have at least the tacit support of Trump and quite a few members of Congress.

JoeMorgue 11th January 2021 12:51 PM

I'm going to be the optimistic pollyanna of the bunch, mainly in that most of people who are going to reply to this thread are going to be people who have a vested emotional interested in things not getting better.

I do think we'll be okay, long term. I still see this as a dying creature, and I mean both Trump and the entire movement around him, trying to do as much damage as possible on the way out.

There are parts that I am most certainly scared of long term, unfixable consequences resulting from. I make no apologies and have not hidden the fact that the fall out our intellectual standards it took to get us to our current post-fact world scare the living hell out of me and if we can't fix that I don't say a way back, but I still question how long term sustainable full scale reality denial as a core central pillar of movement is.

But I don't think the anger, the violence, the hate... I don't they are permanent.

TragicMonkey 11th January 2021 12:52 PM

There wasn't a "sex toilet" option in the poll. I think the US is headed towards becoming a sex toilet.

Crossbow 11th January 2021 12:53 PM

I am afraid that my answer is:

"The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost."

Unfortunately, we go through this very sad, and yet completely foreseeable, exercise every two or three generations.

BobTheCoward 11th January 2021 12:53 PM

Let's not forget how much right wing violence and terrorism there was between 1880 and 1970.

RecoveringYuppy 11th January 2021 02:18 PM

Where's the option for option for "We'll continue to chase the Pacific Plate for the foreseeable future of the Cenezoic Era"?

dudalb 11th January 2021 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 13357080)
I'm not sure what the functional difference is between "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War" and "The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost". The terrorism will be the civil war, and those behind it will almost certainly be taken down, but a lot of lives will be lost in the process.

I suppose you could say a "civil war" requires the backing of actual government officials on both sides, so that a group of yahoos blowing **** up in several states wouldn't be considered a "Civil War" in principle, but I'm not sure that's actually a requirement of a civil war. And even in this case, the yahoos do have at least the tacit support of Trump and quite a few members of Congress.

A Civil War can be primarly a Guerilla war. I give you the Irish Civil War of 1921-23 as an example.
I think what may happen in the US will be on the level of Ulster in the most recent "Troubles".

dudalb 11th January 2021 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crossbow (Post 13357085)
I am afraid that my answer is:

"The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost."

Unfortunately, we go through this very sad, and yet completely foreseeable, exercise every two or three generations.

It has been 160 years since the last time we had a really serious insurrection and that is more then three generations.

Crossbow 11th January 2021 02:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13357240)
It has been 160 years since the last time we had a really serious insurrection and that is more then three generations.

You are quite correct.

But there have been a number of smaller insurrections/rebellions/domestic terrorism/etc.

Oystein 11th January 2021 02:56 PM

The options are of course vague. Take "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War.":
What constitutes "period of terrorism"? There has been some terrorism always, everywhere, at some level. So what thresholds can be defined to delineate such a period? And what is "long", anyway?

I am convinced that there will be some newly fomented terrorist activity out of the extremist and racist GOP and QAnon crowds, with tacit and open support from politicians and significant swaths of Trump's voter base. Perhaps some backlash terrorism from the other sides, too. But on what level, and how sustained I cannot tell.

Safe-Keeper 11th January 2021 03:07 PM

As others have said, it depends on whether this is the beginning or the end.

Certainly Trump and the events of 2016-2020, and now 2021, have mobilised the forces of good. That's something.

acbytesla 11th January 2021 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oystein (Post 13357284)
The options are of course vague. Take "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War.":
What constitutes "period of terrorism"? There has been some terrorism always, everywhere, at some level. So what thresholds can be defined to delineate such a period? And what is "long", anyway?

I am convinced that there will be some newly fomented terrorist activity out of the extremist and racist GOP and QAnon crowds, with tacit and open support from politicians and significant swaths of Trump's voter base. Perhaps some backlash terrorism from the other sides, too. But on what level, and how sustained I cannot tell.

Unfortunately, I think this is probably true.

crescent 11th January 2021 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatius (Post 13357080)
I'm not sure what the functional difference is between "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War" and "The insurrectionists will eventually be taken down but many lives will be lost". The terrorism will be the civil war, and those behind it will almost certainly be taken down, but a lot of lives will be lost in the process.

I suppose you could say a "civil war" requires the backing of actual government officials on both sides, so that a group of yahoos blowing **** up in several states wouldn't be considered a "Civil War" in principle, but I'm not sure that's actually a requirement of a civil war. And even in this case, the yahoos do have at least the tacit support of Trump and quite a few members of Congress.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13357239)
A Civil War can be primarly a Guerilla war. I give you the Irish Civil War of 1921-23 as an example.
I think what may happen in the US will be on the level of Ulster in the most recent "Troubles".

Add the Nepali civil war to that. No government people at all on the rebel side, some desertion from the national army but no defection to the other side. The war ended with the King deposed and the Maoist rebel leader as Prime Minister.

The idea that a civil war can't happen unless states secede or military people revolt is pretty U.S.-centric.

My guess is that we'll see something like a cross between the Troubles and the end of the more extreme elements of the "Peace movement" in the U.S. in the early 1970's - the era of the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army. Except this time it will come more from the right. Scattered violence, sometimes very bad, sometimes with a few disgruntled government people involved. More Bundy family type occupations of government facilities in rural areas. The Sagebrush Rebellion 2.0.

These sorts of movements often get more dangerous at the end, as the moderates flee and all that is left are the most extreme ideologues. The end of the Trump administration could trigger such an effect.

But no open warfare, no states seceding, no Generals leading their troops against the elected government, nothing like that. If nothing else, our population is just too old - civil war is for the young.

And I don't discount the possibility of the far-left adding to the pot. Confrontational people are going to use whatever excuse they have to prolong the tit-for-tat feud behavior, each side using the other side's more recent provocation as justification for bad behavior.

I don't really know that the end result will be. Mass acceptance of internet-driven conspiracy theories seems to be here to stay. More and more people seem to accept strongly confrontational tactics as a means to solve problems (despite it rarely working). Our society is adapting to internet-based communication is ways that don't seem to have been anticipated.

Mader Levap 11th January 2021 03:26 PM

Endgame is, of course, right-wing authoritarian state with Republicans as one true party.

Norman Alexander 11th January 2021 03:28 PM

The revolution will not be televised...


So Trump won't watch it.

catsmate 11th January 2021 04:34 PM

Where is the "It's not my country" option?

Manopolus 11th January 2021 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13357084)
There wasn't a "sex toilet" option in the poll. I think the US is headed towards becoming a sex toilet.

Really?! With such a large population of incels? How's that work?

angrysoba 11th January 2021 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13357084)
There wasn't a "sex toilet" option in the poll. I think the US is headed towards becoming a sex toilet.

Are you kidding? It's already there!

Modified 11th January 2021 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey (Post 13357084)
There wasn't a "sex toilet" option in the poll. I think the US is headed towards becoming a sex toilet.


I'm unfamiliar with the young peoples' lingo these days. Is "sex toilet" a good thing or a bad thing?

newyorkguy 11th January 2021 05:37 PM

I think the future looks increasingly grim. The current crisis will linger. Consider close to 75 million Americans voted for four more years of donald trump. Demographics will play an important role in decreasing the tension. My pessimistic hunch is, by the time we really regroup as a nation -- in another generation or two -- it will be when the climate change crisis begins to get out of control. We begin to have cycles of massive storms, causing severe damage and economic loss. Extreme summer heat waves where temperatures reach unsurvivable levels for days at a time. I read an interview with a very accomplished scientist who said he's given up. He thinks the window of opportunity to rollback the danger has closed. That humankind has been revealed as not having the political will to do what we had to do.

He said that we will not be the first species to become extinct. That the world will go on without missing us.

It's very gloomy but I have a hunch he's probably right. This movie has a very unhappy ending. Everyone dies in the final scene.

shemp 11th January 2021 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 13357521)
I think the future looks increasingly grim. The current crisis will linger. Consider close to 75 million Americans voted for four more years of donald trump. Demographics will play an important role in decreasing the tension. My pessimistic hunch is, by the time we really regroup as a nation -- in another generation or two -- it will be when the climate change crisis begins to get out of control. We begin to have cycles of massive storms, causing severe damage and economic loss. Extreme summer heat waves where temperatures reach unsurvivable levels for days at a time. I read an interview with a very accomplished scientist who said he's given up. He thinks the window of opportunity to rollback the danger has closed. That humankind has been revealed as not having the political will to do we had we had to do.

He said that we will not be the first species to become extinct. That the world will go on without missing us.

It's very gloomy but I have a hunch he's probably right. This movie has a very unhappy ending. Everyone dies in the final scene.

And we'll take most of the innocent species with us. Year 2100 tops. I won't be there to see the ending, but many of today's children will. I won't say it was a nice run while it lasted.

HHellpop 11th January 2021 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 13357521)
I think the future looks increasingly grim. The current crisis will linger. Consider close to 75 million Americans voted for four more years of donald trump. Demographics will play an important role in decreasing the tension. My pessimistic hunch is, by the time we really regroup as a nation -- in another generation or two -- it will be when the climate change crisis begins to get out of control. We begin to have cycles of massive storms, causing severe damage and economic loss. Extreme summer heat waves where temperatures reach unsurvivable levels for days at a time. I read an interview with a very accomplished scientist who said he's given up. He thinks the window of opportunity to rollback the danger has closed. That humankind has been revealed as not having the political will to do we had we had to do.

He said that we will not be the first species to become extinct. That the world will go on without missing us.

It's very gloomy but I have a hunch he's probably right. This movie has a very unhappy ending. Everyone dies in the final scene.

It does not please me in the slightest to point out that this has already begun.

A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020

Your accomplished scientist interviewee is correct. Here in southern Louisiana, it's not a matter of if New Orleans will become a coastal city, it's a matter of when. The tipping point was passed about 20 years ago.

Trebuchet 11th January 2021 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HHellpop (Post 13357538)
It does not please me in the slightest to point out that this has already begun.

A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020

Your accomplished scientist interviewee is correct. Here in southern Louisiana, it's not a matter of if New Orleans will become a coastal city, it's a matter of when. The tipping point was passed about 20 years ago.

"Coastal"? Did you mean "submerged"?

As to the poll, it's multiple choice. I voted options 3 and 4 which are not mutually exclusive. But I expect the country to be in deep doodoo for the rest of my lifetime.

johnny karate 11th January 2021 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Modified (Post 13357515)
I'm unfamiliar with the young peoples' lingo these days. Is "sex toilet" a good thing or a bad thing?

Yes.

HHellpop 11th January 2021 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Trebuchet (Post 13357544)
"Coastal"? Did you mean "submerged"?

As to the poll, it's multiple choice. I voted options 3 and 4 which are not mutually exclusive. But I expect the country to be in deep doodoo for the rest of my lifetime.

Actually, you're right. I guess I wound up putting it in hopeful terms of my lifetime. But a recent Tulane study puts the coast somewhere close to Covington, north of Lake Ponchartrain, within 100 years, maybe longer. That's assuming we actually start electing people who care about it instead of the ones we have been, and stave it off a little longer. In other words, more likely 50 years.

And I voted the same.

The Atheist 11th January 2021 06:32 PM

The vernacular down here is "down the gurgler" (drain)

Irretrievably split down the right - you couldn't say it's split down the middle, centrism in America died last century - debt riding at $27T and counting, huge problems ahead from rising sea levels, crumbling infrastructure...

I don't see a good way out - call Steven Pinker, I'm sure he'll be able to put positive spin on it.

welshdean 11th January 2021 06:46 PM

Meh, you'll all be fine.

90% of the Qster will be flat earth earthers by the beginning of Feb.

The Great Zaganza 12th January 2021 05:42 AM

Nice try!

but in these cases it's always "All of the Above"

Horatius 12th January 2021 06:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oystein (Post 13357284)
The options are of course vague. Take "There will be a long period of terrorism but not a real Civil War.":
What constitutes "period of terrorism"? There has been some terrorism always, everywhere, at some level. So what thresholds can be defined to delineate such a period? And what is "long", anyway?


I'd define it as a level of terrorism that actually starts to affect a lot of people's day to day lives.

After 9/11, there was some increase in our awareness of the possibility of terrorism, the whole "See something say something" campaign, but if you weren't getting on a plane or trying to enter a major governmental facility, it didn't actually affect you that much. Going to the store, going to church, going to the pub, going to a football game, were all pretty much the same. No one stopped to think, "Will there be a bomb there? Will there be a mass shooting there?"

That's what's likely going to change. You'll have to start thinking about the odds of being attacked almost anywhere. "The MAGAs have been quiet for a month, they probably won't attack the supermarket this week....That one idiot got arrested for shouting about hanging President Biden, so maybe they'll be up in arms this weekend, better skip church..."

The Great Zaganza 12th January 2021 06:27 AM

it is clear terrorism when Representatives make political decisions because they are afraid of physical violence.

Hlafordlaes 12th January 2021 07:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by newyorkguy (Post 13357521)
I think the future looks increasingly grim. The current crisis will linger. Consider close to 75 million Americans voted for four more years of donald trump. Demographics will play an important role in decreasing the tension. My pessimistic hunch is, by the time we really regroup as a nation -- in another generation or two -- it will be when the climate change crisis begins to get out of control. We begin to have cycles of massive storms, causing severe damage and economic loss. Extreme summer heat waves where temperatures reach unsurvivable levels for days at a time. I read an interview with a very accomplished scientist who said he's given up. He thinks the window of opportunity to rollback the danger has closed. That humankind has been revealed as not having the political will to do what we had to do.

He said that we will not be the first species to become extinct. That the world will go on without missing us.

It's very gloomy but I have a hunch he's probably right. This movie has a very unhappy ending. Everyone dies in the final scene.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HHellpop (Post 13357538)
It does not please me in the slightest to point out that this has already begun.

A Running List of Record-Breaking Natural Disasters in 2020

Your accomplished scientist interviewee is correct. Here in southern Louisiana, it's not a matter of if New Orleans will become a coastal city, it's a matter of when. The tipping point was passed about 20 years ago.

I do believe the local answer to the Fermi paradox is now unambiguously clear. But given this propensity to short-term thinking and woo, I expect nuclear war, which will happen when:

- pressures on resources, especially food and water, start to become catastrophic sometime in the next 30-50 years
- the dollar is dumped as reserve currency and US borrowing costs skyrocket
- the US is massively boycotted for the first time by a large number of China-aligned nations, and has overseas monies seized as payment for war crimes

... and Americans find that the only solution that is still available is the one that has always been relied on in lieu of sound policy and the hard work of understanding the world on its terms: war.

Jack by the hedge 12th January 2021 07:07 AM

<Nick Frost> Pub? </Nick Frost>

Safe-Keeper 12th January 2021 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13357440)
Where is the "It's not my country" option?

Today we are all Americans.

JoeMorgue 12th January 2021 07:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13357440)
Where is the "It's not my country" option?

We just assume all of them are in there with the "LOL American is ruined, I always said it was ruined, admit I was right all along about how ruined and unsavable America is. I was right all along. In fact I said America was ruined and unsavable before anyone else."

lomiller 12th January 2021 07:35 AM

This iteration will disappear soon, but the forces in the background enabling them and egging them on will continue unabated. In 5-10 years the their supporters is congress will be the "sane Republicans" being pushed aside by a new even more extreme version of the political right. It's been the pattern for decades now and I see no reason why it would change now.

Thermal 12th January 2021 09:33 AM

I think a better question would be "what are you doing about the direction your country is headed?" For the overwhelming majority, little to nothing. Composing witty tweets and posts doesn't amount to much.

I'd say we need to get real, collectively and individually. The Capitol storming is a perfect example. Thousands of people from all over the country travelled there, then by and large had no idea what to do when they got there. Took selfies and souvenirs and wandered home. They were so wound up in their LARPing fantasy that, like a dog chasing a car, had no idea what to do when they caught it. They just quietly went home.

Of course, there were some violent ones sprinkled in. There always are, and always will be. But in terms of where the country is headed, it's headed for deeper depths of living in a virtual delusion, fed by an endless cel phone screenshot of drama. Believing there is a coup when there is not. Believing there is a revolution when there is not. Just endless online game playing.

The country is headed where the people are headed, which is deeper into a virtual simulation, while not knowing their next-door neighbors name. Surrounding themselves with more like-minded people (or screen names) till the country fits their views. Theres not much objectively real online; our journalism is obscenely biased. Meanwhile, we are turned against each other with more and more rhetoric, and the wealthy (who care not a whit for all this) get a profitable laugh at our expense. Same as it ever was.

dann 12th January 2021 09:46 AM

Too bad the Trump cult is not a suicide cult, but in spite of this, I think there will be more suicides in the wake of the implosion of Qanon than assassinations. Having their guru denounce them is probably worse for their cognitive dissonance than if he had just died. Fortunately, most of them won't have the skill set or the patience of the Nashville suicide bomber.

Some will act out, but the idea of attacking the U.S. Capitol again combined with armed attacks at all the 50 state capitols will probably spread the protests so thin that it will become apparent how (relatively) few the militant right-wing extremists are.

A few Proud Boogaloo Bois may choose to focus on the capitols of two or three states, but the FBI will probably know about it and round them up before actual attacks happen.


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