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Old 17th August 2019, 10:58 PM   #1
Meadmaker
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Thoughts on "Make America Great Again"

I was listening to the radio in my car the other night. As is frequently the case, it was tuned to the right wing talk radio station. For some reason, I can't really listen to music for long stretches. NPR is only on for a few hours and this wasn't one of them. I always want to hear what they are thinking, although some of them drive me crazy.

One yapper's show was starting. I don't know whose, to be honest. It was late at night when I'm not usually listening. He starts his show with a montage of famous American historical quotes. They are things like "Give me liberty or give me death", "All men are created equal", "I have a dream", "Ask not what your country can do for you...", and because he's a right winger, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" and, reserved for last, "We are going to Make America Great Again"

The proximity of the "Make America Great Again" quote to the "Ask not..." quote struck me as interesting. I got to thinking. Donald Trump wants to make America great again, but he never asks anyone to do anything. He doesn't demand anything from Americans. He doesn't call for Americans to work harder. He doesn't call for Americans to strive for excellence. He doesn't ask Americans to make sacrifices. He sure as hell doesn't ask anyone to pay for the cost of whatever it is that will make America great again. He just declares that it will happen.

That's a real contrast to the Kennedy quote. Kennedy was telling people to ask themselves what they could to for their country. He was putting the onus on the citizens to make America great. In another famous quote, he said that we chose to go to the moon and do other things not because they were easy, but because they were hard. He implied that Americans would have to put forward a lot of effort to make it happen.

FDR called on people to show courage and not fear. Kennedy called on people to ask what they could do for their country. I can recall Jimmy Carter asking people to sacrifice to conserve energy. George H. W. Bush called for a volunteer spirit, asking for people to become one of the "thousand points of light".

What have the more recent presidents asked of us? Did Bill Clinton ask people to step up to the challenges? George W. Bush assured us that our military was going to crush the terrorists, but did he ask anything of ordinary Americans? Obama would do all sorts of things for us, but I can't recall him asking us to do anything, and Trump will Make America Great Again, but he doesn't say what we ought to do to make it happen. It sounds like it will be done for us.

Watching documentaries as the 50th anniversary of the moon landing neared, one segment struck me. Some people who had been teenagers during the post Sputnik era recalled how people seemed to take it personally that America needed to catch up and lead the way into space. They talked, without exaggeration, about how they felt it was their patriotic duty to study their math and advance science and technology in whatever way they could. Does that spirit exist today?


Conservatives decry the state of our educational system today, and they take aim at the cult of self esteem, which tells educators to praise students unfailingly for even the slightest accomplishment, or even no accomplishment, but for their effort alone. If the truth be told, they often praise that effort, even when a critical observer might question whether that effort was all that substantial. I cannot count how many times I have heard a speaker after an event for students declare that every one of them did a fantastic job. Really? Isn't anyone below average?

Ironically, a Republican, Donald Trump, seems to embody that spirit better than any recent politician. His self-aggrandizement is legendary, and he encourages others to similarly heap praise on themselves. We are great, apparently, by grace of God, not through our effort, and all we have to do to Make America Great Again is acknowledge our greatness. This is what the cult of self esteem has brought us. A substantial portion of the US electorate was willing to support a man who declared himself the best at everything, and all of the people's problems would go away without labor, effort, or sacrifice, as long as they basked in his glory.

Trump's approach doesn't seem to me like a recipe for greatness. I think to Make America Great Again, or at least to improve its level of greatness, we need something from our people, and especially from our young people who will carry our nation into the future. It won't happen by putting on a magic hat. I don't see anyone, especially Trump, demanding the type of effort that will turn rhetoric into reality..
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Old 17th August 2019, 11:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Donald Trump wants to make America great again, but he never asks anyone to do anything. He doesn't demand anything from Americans. He doesn't call for Americans to work harder. He doesn't call for Americans to strive for excellence. He doesn't ask Americans to make sacrifices. He sure as hell doesn't ask anyone to pay for the cost of whatever it is that will make America great again. He just declares that it will happen.

That's a real contrast to the Kennedy quote. Kennedy was telling people to ask themselves what they could to for their country. He was putting the onus on the citizens to make America great. In another famous quote, he said that we chose to go to the moon and do other things not because they were easy, but because they were hard. He implied that Americans would have to put forward a lot of effort to make it happen.

1) Donald Trump doesn't want to make America great. Donald Trump wants to be recognized as the guy who makes America great. He's a narcissist, and that's what narcissists do. He's like the people on talent shows who never took a lesson, never practiced, but who are nevertheless convinced that they are so talented that the world will immediately recognize their genius if only they get their chance to appear on TV.

2) I'm not too fond of the Kennedy quotation that everybody seems to admire. I'm not a nationalist and I don't really see why people shouldn't ask what their country can do for them. Kennedy's words mean, 'Sacrifice yourselves for your country, don't complain about getting nothing in return,' which is what fascism asks of its citizens!

3) My recommendation: Do ask what your country actually does for you! If it doesn't do ****, if you're young and it doesn't give you a proper upbringing and education, if you're an adult and it pays you $15 or less, if you're sick and old and it doesn't give you health care, don't ask what you can do for the billionaires who own the country. **** the ******* country!


ETA:
Quote:
And only then, when this entire German people becomes a united community of sacrifice, then alone can we expect - can we hope - that providence will grant us assistance in the future.
Sacrifice - National Socialism (Vimeo)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 18th August 2019 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:20 AM   #3
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When Trump mentions America, he really means Donald J. Trump. He knows nobody else but himself, and is getting more and more insular as the problems collapse in on him. There is no United States of America in Trumpworld. Just things and people that serve Donny and his own interests. He has now gotten beyond knowing or caring what effect his actions and words have on others. Which is why he sounds so frikken loopy and self-centered. It is, as many have noted, classic narcissism.

So Trump's "Make America Great Again!" call is really "Make Me Feel Great...again and again!". And you can see the adulation he basks in when the crowds respond. THAT'S the result he craves. It's not a call to action, it's a cry for adulation.
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Old 18th August 2019, 02:13 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
The proximity of the "Make America Great Again" quote to the "Ask not..." quote struck me as interesting. I got to thinking. Donald Trump wants to make America great again, but he never asks anyone to do anything. He doesn't demand anything from Americans. He doesn't call for Americans to work harder. He doesn't call for Americans to strive for excellence. He doesn't ask Americans to make sacrifices. He sure as hell doesn't ask anyone to pay for the cost of whatever it is that will make America great again. He just declares that it will happen.
I disagree with this in one detail: There IS one thing - a single, solitary thing - that Trump asks everyone to do, consistently: give him credit for anything good that happens, and blame somebody else for anything bad that happens, while he is the president.

Aside from that, yes, Trump doesn't ask Americans to do anything. But this isn't simply an omission; it would be off-message for Trump to put the power of action in peoples' hands. Trump's platform, expressly, is "I am the only one who can do it, nobody else". Whenever this president goes to speak at some newly opened factory that had begun construction planning five years ago but happens to have been completed during his term in office, in front of a crowd of workers who are forced to attend if they don't want to be docked a day's pay, the content of his speech is invariable: I did this, this is here because of me, you all only have jobs because I created them, none of this around us would ever exist but for my making it so.
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:26 AM   #5
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Well lets have a look at some of the things that Dump has done to make America grate again, He has...

- alienated long time military and civil allies
- turned America into a global laughing stock
- laid America's electoral system wide open to foreign attack
- stirred up racial conflict across America
- praised Nazis
- cuddled up to dictators and America's hostile adversaries
- replaced all the qualified, competent department heads with unqualified acting idiots
- set the fight against climate change back 20 years
- set the cause of conserving endangered species back 20 years
- screwed over farmers in the mid-west, the ones he promised "so much winning" to in 2016
- exposed the economy to severe risk by getting into an ill advised trade war.


Did I miss anything?
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Well lets have a look at some of the things that Dump has done to make America grate again, He has...

- alienated long time military and civil allies
- turned America into a global laughing stock
- laid America's electoral system wide open to foreign attack
- stirred up racial conflict across America
- praised Nazis
- cuddled up to dictators and America's hostile adversaries
- replaced all the qualified, competent department heads with unqualified acting idiots
- set the fight against climate change back 20 years
- set the cause of conserving endangered species back 20 years
- screwed over farmers in the mid-west, the ones he promised "so much winning" to in 2016
- exposed the economy to severe risk by getting into an ill advised trade war.


Did I miss anything?
Trashed the office of President of the USA. Figuratively and quite possibly literally.
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Old 18th August 2019, 04:02 AM   #7
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“Conservatives decry the state of our educational system today,” but don’t properly fund it or recognising the importance of taxation to provide those resources.
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Old 18th August 2019, 04:21 AM   #8
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Re- the OP.

You have put %1,000 more thought into this than Trump ever did. MAGA means nothing more to him than a pitch to the suckers. He has no idea what it means other than everyone gets to be magically richer through sheer Trumpiness.
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Trashed the office of President of the USA. Figuratively and quite possibly literally.
Fortunately, not permanently. I expect that will be reset next year. But The PDJT will undoubtedly do a lot of damage in the meantime.
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Whenever this president goes to speak at some newly opened factory that had begun construction planning five years ago but happens to have been completed during his term in office, in front of a crowd of workers who are forced to attend if they don't want to be docked a day's pay, ...

That cannot possibly be true! It sounds like Kim's North Korea, Xi's China or Stalin's (and probably Vladimir's) Russia!!!
It's a very interesting article!

Quote:
The contractor's talking points, preparing his workers for the event read:
No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event. An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”
Trump's large union crowd at Shell was given the option of not showing up — and not getting paid (Pittsburg Post-Gazette, Aug. 17, 2019)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 18th August 2019, 05:22 AM   #11
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The message from Trump is 'you guys are great, it's all the OTHERS that are holding us back and bringing us down. So give me your vote and I will sort out all those other people who aren't like you who are stopping America being great.'

Its just a play to their grievance and prejudices.
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Did I miss anything?
Ballooning budget deficit?
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:40 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Conservatives decry the state of our educational system today, and they take aim at the cult of self esteem, which tells educators to praise students unfailingly for even the slightest accomplishment, or even no accomplishment, but for their effort alone. If the truth be told, they often praise that effort, even when a critical observer might question whether that effort was all that substantial. I cannot count how many times I have heard a speaker after an event for students declare that every one of them did a fantastic job. Really? Isn't anyone below average?
..
President Trump is a perfect example of the self-esteem movement. He ran two casinos into the ground yet in a 11/2018 interview with Chris Wallace, he described himself as having been a very successful casino owner.

His businesses fail and he calls himself a successful businessman.
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Last edited by Ladewig; 18th August 2019 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Correcting verb tense
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Old 18th August 2019, 05:40 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I was listening to the radio in my car the other night. As is frequently the case, it was tuned to the right wing talk radio station. For some reason, I can't really listen to music for long stretches. NPR is only on for a few hours and this wasn't one of them. I always want to hear what they are thinking, although some of them drive me crazy.

One yapper's show was starting. I don't know whose, to be honest. It was late at night when I'm not usually listening. He starts his show with a montage of famous American historical quotes. They are things like "Give me liberty or give me death", "All men are created equal", "I have a dream", "Ask not what your country can do for you...", and because he's a right winger, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" and, reserved for last, "We are going to Make America Great Again"

The proximity of the "Make America Great Again" quote to the "Ask not..." quote struck me as interesting. I got to thinking. Donald Trump wants to make America great again, but he never asks anyone to do anything. He doesn't demand anything from Americans. He doesn't call for Americans to work harder. He doesn't call for Americans to strive for excellence. He doesn't ask Americans to make sacrifices. He sure as hell doesn't ask anyone to pay for the cost of whatever it is that will make America great again. He just declares that it will happen.

That's a real contrast to the Kennedy quote. Kennedy was telling people to ask themselves what they could to for their country. He was putting the onus on the citizens to make America great. In another famous quote, he said that we chose to go to the moon and do other things not because they were easy, but because they were hard. He implied that Americans would have to put forward a lot of effort to make it happen.

FDR called on people to show courage and not fear. Kennedy called on people to ask what they could do for their country. I can recall Jimmy Carter asking people to sacrifice to conserve energy. George H. W. Bush called for a volunteer spirit, asking for people to become one of the "thousand points of light".

What have the more recent presidents asked of us? Did Bill Clinton ask people to step up to the challenges? George W. Bush assured us that our military was going to crush the terrorists, but did he ask anything of ordinary Americans? Obama would do all sorts of things for us, but I can't recall him asking us to do anything, and Trump will Make America Great Again, but he doesn't say what we ought to do to make it happen. It sounds like it will be done for us.

Watching documentaries as the 50th anniversary of the moon landing neared, one segment struck me. Some people who had been teenagers during the post Sputnik era recalled how people seemed to take it personally that America needed to catch up and lead the way into space. They talked, without exaggeration, about how they felt it was their patriotic duty to study their math and advance science and technology in whatever way they could. Does that spirit exist today?


Conservatives decry the state of our educational system today, and they take aim at the cult of self esteem, which tells educators to praise students unfailingly for even the slightest accomplishment, or even no accomplishment, but for their effort alone. If the truth be told, they often praise that effort, even when a critical observer might question whether that effort was all that substantial. I cannot count how many times I have heard a speaker after an event for students declare that every one of them did a fantastic job. Really? Isn't anyone below average?

Ironically, a Republican, Donald Trump, seems to embody that spirit better than any recent politician. His self-aggrandizement is legendary, and he encourages others to similarly heap praise on themselves. We are great, apparently, by grace of God, not through our effort, and all we have to do to Make America Great Again is acknowledge our greatness. This is what the cult of self esteem has brought us. A substantial portion of the US electorate was willing to support a man who declared himself the best at everything, and all of the people's problems would go away without labor, effort, or sacrifice, as long as they basked in his glory.

Trump's approach doesn't seem to me like a recipe for greatness. I think to Make America Great Again, or at least to improve its level of greatness, we need something from our people, and especially from our young people who will carry our nation into the future. It won't happen by putting on a magic hat. I don't see anyone, especially Trump, demanding the type of effort that will turn rhetoric into reality..
I don't have anything substantial to add, but I think this is a good and insightful observation. Thanks.

ETA: I think that some are kinda missing Meadmaker's point. The notion of sacrifice for the common good of the nation just doesn't sell any more and it hasn't for some time. This isn't just about Trump. This is about the political character of the nation for several decades.

Last edited by phiwum; 18th August 2019 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 18th August 2019, 06:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
The contractor's talking points, preparing his workers for the event read:
“No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated at the event. An underlying theme of the event is to promote good will from the unions. Your building trades leaders and jobs stewards have agreed to this.”
Resistance is futile.

Actually the Borg are a pretty good analogy for President Trump’s America.
- If you are deemed worthy of assimilation, you are accepted. If you are not, you must be destroyed.
- the hive mind is just another way of saying group-think. Dissent is unimaginable for the true followers.
- empathy is unheard of
- negotiation is seen as a last resort and is its use is exceptionally rare.
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Old 18th August 2019, 06:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
ETA: I think that some are kinda missing Meadmaker's point. The notion of sacrifice for the common good of the nation just doesn't sell any more and it hasn't for some time. This isn't just about Trump. This is about the political character of the nation for several decades.
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.
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Old 18th August 2019, 06:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.
I think this should count as a personal attack on me, a registered poster. You've described me to a tee.
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Old 18th August 2019, 07:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
... we put a toddler in charge.

A very large minority of you did.
Not that the majority candidate was in any way admirable.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th August 2019, 07:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't have anything substantial to add, but I think this is a good and insightful observation. Thanks.

ETA: I think that some are kinda missing Meadmaker's point. The notion of sacrifice for the common good of the nation just doesn't sell any more and it hasn't for some time. This isn't just about Trump. This is about the political character of the nation for several decades.

The notion of common sacrifice for the good of the nation's billionaire class seems to be selling very well, and it has since the 1980s.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th August 2019, 07:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.
You make it sound like a bad thing.
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Old 18th August 2019, 08:02 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Well lets have a look at some of the things that Dump has done to make America grate again, He has...

- alienated long time military and civil allies
- turned America into a global laughing stock
- laid America's electoral system wide open to foreign attack
- stirred up racial conflict across America
- praised Nazis
- cuddled up to dictators and America's hostile adversaries
- replaced all the qualified, competent department heads with unqualified acting idiots
- set the fight against climate change back 20 years
- set the cause of conserving endangered species back 20 years
- screwed over farmers in the mid-west, the ones he promised "so much winning" to in 2016
- exposed the economy to severe risk by getting into an ill advised trade war.


Did I miss anything?
It's MALA! Make America Lousy Again!
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Old 18th August 2019, 08:14 AM   #22
varwoche
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Well lets have a look at some of the things that Dump has done to make America grate again, He has...

- alienated long time military and civil allies
- turned America into a global laughing stock
- laid America's electoral system wide open to foreign attack
- stirred up racial conflict across America
- praised Nazis
- cuddled up to dictators and America's hostile adversaries
- replaced all the qualified, competent department heads with unqualified acting idiots
- set the fight against climate change back 20 years
- set the cause of conserving endangered species back 20 years
- screwed over farmers in the mid-west, the ones he promised "so much winning" to in 2016
- exposed the economy to severe risk by getting into an ill advised trade war.


Did I miss anything?
Played a lot of golf
Watched a lot of TV
Nursed grudges
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Old 18th August 2019, 08:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.
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Old 18th August 2019, 08:41 AM   #24
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The only thing MAGA is going to be remembered for is white supremacism, and not in a good way. The idea it is some historical phrase like 'I have a dream' is only in the minds of brainwashed Trumpers.
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Old 18th August 2019, 09:09 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.

You guys live in a country where:

Quote:
According to the report, 42 percent of U.S. workers earn less than $15 an hour. More than half of African-Americans and 60 percent of Latinos make less than this figure. And 46.6 percent of those earning less than $15 are older than 35.
Who's Making Less than $15? (LaborNotes, April 27, 2015)

And where: About 13M U.S. Workers Have More Than One Job (U.S. Census Bureau, June 18, 2019)

And now you seem to agree that people should be much more willing to sacrifice themselves, that they are striving to buy bigger houses, that they consume too much, and that they don't save enough for retirement! You are blaming them for lacking self-control!!
Come on! That's the kind of talk that drives them into the arms of ******** like Trump!
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Old 18th August 2019, 09:49 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
You guys live in a country where:




And where: About 13M U.S. Workers Have More Than One Job (U.S. Census Bureau, June 18, 2019)

And now you seem to agree that people should be much more willing to sacrifice themselves, that they are striving to buy bigger houses, that they consume too much, and that they don't save enough for retirement! You are blaming them for lacking self-control!!
Come on! That's the kind of talk that drives them into the arms of ******** like Trump!
And if you quadrupled most people's pay they'd spend six times as much as they currently do. Yes, people lack self-control. And no, Trump and the Republican Party are not a party of self-control. There isn't a party of self-control. It's not something this culture values.
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:15 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I think it's broader than that. The notion of sacrifice of any kind, for anything, is alien to most people now. From saving money for retirement to watching what we eat to deferring gratification people just don't. Eat whatever you want when you want it, impulse purchase things you can't afford. Buy a house, buy a bigger house, get that ridiculous mortgage, take those expensive vacations, a new car, eat eat eat eat eat eat! We have become a culture where it's not even considered ironic to refer to the general public as "consumers" because that's what we do: consume. Consume everything in sight. No thought to the future, no thought to consequences. Everything is now. The past doesn't matter so we repeat mistakes. The future doesn't matter so we rush into disaster. As a people we have the self-control and self-awareness of toddlers, so naturally we put a toddler in charge.
The end result of which will be the Buy 'n Large megacorp providing for us, while our slug-like hulks are carried about on maglev beds.
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:19 AM   #28
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Political slogans tend to be vapid? Stop the presses!
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Old 18th August 2019, 10:29 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
The end result of which will be the Buy 'n Large megacorp providing for us, while our slug-like hulks are carried about on maglev beds.
I'll take that vision of unchecked corporate paternalism over Dickens's any day.
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:09 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
And if you quadrupled most people's pay they'd spend six times as much as they currently do. Yes, people lack self-control. And no, Trump and the Republican Party are not a party of self-control. There isn't a party of self-control. It's not something this culture values.

If you quadrupled the pay of the 42%, nobody would need to work two jobs.
And please decimate the income as well as the property owned by the billionaires if you are so worried about the lack of self-control. Getting up in the morning and going to work for less than $15 takes an awful lot of self-control.
And if you really want to deal with self-control issues, start with the POTUS ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th August 2019, 12:51 PM   #31
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The kinds of slogans you're describing from past eras simply go over better when life is good and are klunkers when life isn't good, especially if the reason why life is less good is because of how much people are already sacrificing and how much the benefit of that sacrifice is flowing uphill. And life has gotten steadily less good and more uphill-flowy over those years, with workers constantly being squeezed harder to do more for less. Remember that, although Trump's been a perfectly obedient mainstream Republican servant while in office, he campaigned on an image as an outsider who sounded more like Bernie; he was acknowledging that American life has gotten harder, while Hillary denied/ignored it. His slogan was about getting problems out of people's way and just letting this be a good place to live, not reaching up & out for anything loftier. (It's easy to forget the original context, because now people perceive the slogan in context of the actual Trump administration, which has been very different from the Trump campaign.)
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:27 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by varwoche View Post
Played a lot of golf

Watched a lot of TV

Nursed grudges
Only the best grudges. None of those petty, trivial grudges.
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:31 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That cannot possibly be true! It sounds like Kim's North Korea, Xi's China or Stalin's (and probably Vladimir's) Russia!!!
It's a very interesting article!

Heres the actual memo

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EB4hRxdU...pg&name=medium

Clearly, this is the only way he can get a decent sized crowd to attend, otherwise he would have to lie (again) about his crowd size.
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:32 PM   #34
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Surely it is true that campaign slogans, whether Trump's or any of the other catch phrases quoted on that radio show, have always been vapid, and might have no connection to policy or to the actual actions of the administration using the slogans. Trump certainly isn't unique in that regard.

What struck me is what sells today versus what may have sold in past years, and in particular how that relates to "Make America Great Again." Ok. Fine. I'm all in. What do I need to do? Nothing? Well, that's easy, then. Count me in.

It seems like the slogans have changed over the years, and what sells today is different than what sold in the past. Perhaps my memories and impressions aren't all that accurate. I wonder if there has been a credible study on the subject. Do winning campaigns of today feature the same style of rhetoric as those of yesteryear when it comes to such virtues as hard work, accepting challenges, and making sacrifices by individuals?

It really just began for me when it occurred to me that Donald Trump wants me to help make America great again, but he hasn't really provided any instructions. Those people on the documentaries said that when President Kennedy called on the young people of America to do things, they joined the Peace Corps or studied to become NASA engineers. What do people do today if they want to follow Trump's vision of a great America?
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:38 PM   #35
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Drive to El Paso and shoot up a Walmart of brown people?
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Old 18th August 2019, 01:40 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
If you quadrupled the pay of the 42%, nobody would need to work two jobs.
And please decimate the income as well as the property owned by the billionaires if you are so worried about the lack of self-control. Getting up in the morning and going to work for less than $15 takes an awful lot of self-control.
And if you really want to deal with self-control issues, start with the POTUS ...
I don't know why you think I'm exempting billionaires from this. They lack self-control as well. Who on earth needs a billion dollars? Just continuing to make money after one has all that is proof of a complete lack of self-control. To the point of insanity, in my book.
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Old 18th August 2019, 02:01 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Political slogans tend to be vapid? Stop the presses!
That wasn't the bloody point of Meadmaker's post.
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Old 18th August 2019, 02:33 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Surely it is true that campaign slogans, whether Trump's or any of the other catch phrases quoted on that radio show, have always been vapid, and might have no connection to policy or to the actual actions of the administration using the slogans. Trump certainly isn't unique in that regard.

What struck me is what sells today versus what may have sold in past years, and in particular how that relates to "Make America Great Again." Ok. Fine. I'm all in. What do I need to do? Nothing? Well, that's easy, then. Count me in.

It seems like the slogans have changed over the years, and what sells today is different than what sold in the past. Perhaps my memories and impressions aren't all that accurate. I wonder if there has been a credible study on the subject. Do winning campaigns of today feature the same style of rhetoric as those of yesteryear when it comes to such virtues as hard work, accepting challenges, and making sacrifices by individuals?

It really just began for me when it occurred to me that Donald Trump wants me to help make America great again, but he hasn't really provided any instructions. Those people on the documentaries said that when President Kennedy called on the young people of America to do things, they joined the Peace Corps or studied to become NASA engineers. What do people do today if they want to follow Trump's vision of a great America?

I'm picturing the youth of the day jumping up after watching Kennedy on TV and running to the nearest Peace Corp office. I doubt it was actually that wonderful. If it was then people were probably more naive then.

Back then people wanted America to be great and they were proud of their country - maybe naive but at least there was pride. World War II helped with that.

Now, liberals tell us we should be ashamed of our power and wealth, it isn't cool to love America or have a flag on your home. We are only happy because we oppress others. Wealth is bad. Achievement is frowned upon. Patriotism is evil.

According to liberals we should be ashamed. Why would anyone jump up and Make America Great if half the people are telling us that we aren't even good?

One thing that is different - Kennedy wanted our country to be strong, OUR country, but that isn't cool anymore. How can anyone compare Kennedy with today's "ashamed to be an American" Democrats?

Who is our Kennedy of today? I don't see one. Trump didn't do this, it has taken decades of government overreach to disenfranchise the people.

ETA:
Sorry I'm kinda all over the place today. I need food.
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:04 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I'm picturing the youth of the day jumping up after watching Kennedy on TV and running to the nearest Peace Corp office. I doubt it was actually that wonderful. If it was then people were probably more naive then.

Back then people wanted America to be great and they were proud of their country - maybe naive but at least there was pride. World War II helped with that.

Now, liberals tell us we should be ashamed of our power and wealth, it isn't cool to love America or have a flag on your home. We are only happy because we oppress others. Wealth is bad. Achievement is frowned upon. Patriotism is evil.

According to liberals we should be ashamed. Why would anyone jump up and Make America Great if half the people are telling us that we aren't even good?

One thing that is different - Kennedy wanted our country to be strong, OUR country, but that isn't cool anymore. How can anyone compare Kennedy with today's "ashamed to be an American" Democrats?

Who is our Kennedy of today? I don't see one. Trump didn't do this, it has taken decades of government overreach to disenfranchise the people.

ETA:
Sorry I'm kinda all over the place today. I need food.
I live in Boston and have run into a liberal or two. None of that sounds familiar.
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Old 18th August 2019, 03:27 PM   #40
Stacyhs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgidm86 View Post
I'm picturing the youth of the day jumping up after watching Kennedy on TV and running to the nearest Peace Corp office. I doubt it was actually that wonderful. If it was then people were probably more naive then.

Back then people wanted America to be great and they were proud of their country - maybe naive but at least there was pride. World War II helped with that.

Now, liberals tell us we should be ashamed of our power and wealth, it isn't cool to love America or have a flag on your home. We are only happy because we oppress others. Wealth is bad. Achievement is frowned upon. Patriotism is evil.

According to liberals we should be ashamed. Why would anyone jump up and Make America Great if half the people are telling us that we aren't even good?

One thing that is different - Kennedy wanted our country to be strong, OUR country, but that isn't cool anymore. How can anyone compare Kennedy with today's "ashamed to be an American" Democrats?

Who is our Kennedy of today? I don't see one. Trump didn't do this, it has taken decades of government overreach to disenfranchise the people.

ETA:
Sorry I'm kinda all over the place today. I need food.
What alternate universe are you living in? It's certainly not the one I'm in.
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