Point/Counterpoint

In an effort to share our collective wisdom, Pipes and I are going to start a live stream of political discourse.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, Pipes is, how do I describe it?  A little left of center?  Yeah, that’s it.  Maybe I should just say that he’s a Hillary fanboy.  As for myself, I like to describe myself as socially liberal, fiscally conservative.   Not quite a Libertarian, but whatever floats your boat is okay with me as long as it doesn’t sink mine.  I’m sure Pipes will have a different way of describing that, but I started the post, so I get first shot.

Here’s the first point of discussion that we started elsewhere, but still needs some fleshing out:

Who is more deluded, those supporting the Narcissist (I refuse to use that loser’s name) or those following Bernie?image  Pipes, you ignorant slut, you can start.

PIPES:

left of cetner

Although intended as an understatement, SeaDick’s description of me as “a little left of center” is exactly correct.  I am not a socialist, nor a communist, nor any kind of IST, for that matter.  I am a DEMOCRAT, first and foremost, and you can even call me a liberal or progressive and my head won’t explode.  

Admittedly, I perplex other men, who, like me, enjoy assembling a squad of goons to watch sports, gamble, shoot animals, chase 40 year old women and/or drink beer brewed in St. Louis.  When the guy talk strays from the Cubs’ outfielders to politics, as it inevitably does, I don’t hide my firmly held beliefs.  So I routinely end up in arguments with 4 or 5 other guys who are calling Hillary a “cunt” and complaining about their tax dollars being used to buy “free stuff” for people who don’t pay $500 to golf for a few hours, as they just did.  

Although unfair to call me a bully when it is five against one, I am not above using any number of rhetorical devices and lawyer tricks to make my political antagonists look like the idiots that they are.  Many confuse my vigorous advocacy as a “radical” belief, when really I am merely advancing a mainstream position, albeit forcefully and without mercy to those on the right of the political spectrum.

But anyway, the question posed by SeaDick was “who is more deluded, Trump supporters or Bernie supporters?”  First off, I know the game here, and the game is called FALSE EQUIVALENCE.  The way this game is played is, when a Republican does something especially crazy, they point to something a Democrat has done that is allegedly the same thing, thereby showing that Republicans are no worse than Democrats, and worse, Democrats are hypocrites for making a big deal about it.  They do this all the time.  The only problem is, the allegedly equivalent Democratic action is never the same thing, and the Democrat that did it is never at the same level as the bat shit crazy Republican.

Here’s an example from this past weekend.  On a Sunday morning news show, Donald Trump refused to renounce David Duke and the support he is receiving from white supremacist groups.  Crazy!  Cue liberal outrage.  In response, Trump supporters and all the conservative media began hammering the fact that former West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd had been a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and that Hillary had praised Senator Byrd in 2010 when he died at age 93.  Never mind that Senator Byrd was a member of the KKK like 70 years ago when he was in his 20’s, and that he later apologized and said it was the worst mistake of his life.  Never mind that Hillary wasn’t asked about whether she renounced the support of Robert Byrd, which she wasn’t asked BECAUSE HE IS DEAD.  Nevertheless, the conservative media trotted out the Robert Byrd KKK story to show that Hillary was, like Trump, also an unabashed racist, but worse, the horrible liberal news media is obviously biased because it was covering the Trump/David Duke story but not the Hillary/Robert Byrd story!!!

I don’t need to explain the non-equivalence here because I assume anyone who has made it this far has a brain, unlike at least a third of Republicans, and probably more like half.  Conservative stunts like this are not intended to persuade anyone with a brain, but to instead assure the base that it is still OK to support Trump (and racism), because he (and you) are no worse than that racist Hillary, who is also supported by the KKK!!!

redneck trump supporter

Anyway, I digress, per usual.  To answer the question posed and maybe get some work done, a recent poll of Trump supporters in South Carolina  found that 80% support banning Muslims from entering the US, which is not surprising, but 31% also support banning homosexuals from entering the US.  40% support shutting down all mosques in the US, and 33% believe the practice of Islam should be illegal.  32% believe that interning the Japanese during WWII was a good idea, and 35% are undecided.  30% wish the South had won the War of Northern Aggression, and another 38% just can’t decide, and need more time to think about it.  This type of shit is beyond deluded, and into the realm of batshit crazy, as well as racist and homophobic, which in my view, is the same thing.  Trump’s entire campaign is built on stoking the racism and fears of these idiots, who are far more deluded than Bernie supporters.

bernie supporters

Bernie supporters, on the other hand, support things like education, and taxing Wall Street to pay for public college tuition for those who cannot afford it.  Bernie’s positions are all about realigning our priorities to check the growth of income inequality, where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, or if they live in Flint, they get poisoned.  Rather than corporations, Wall Street and the richest Americans receiving government handouts, some benefits should go to middle and lower income Americans.  

Bernie also wants to get Wall Street and corporate money out of elections, so decisions aren’t made by politicians who are already bought and paid for by special interests.  Is it deluded to support that?  Absolutely not.  Maybe idealistic, sure, but that is idealism based on fairness and everyone having a voice and a vote.  As Bernie readily admits, he can’t get any of this past a Republican Congress.  But, he argues, you should vote for a man who promises a full loaf, so that maybe you get a half loaf, or something like that.    

SEADICK:

Per usual, and kind of like Dr. Ben Carson, Pipes chose to go off on a tangent about something other than the question posed.  That’s fine I guess as he always has something entertaining to say, but, well you get the point.  So, false equivalence.  An interesting concept and, unfortunately, one that gets used all too often, and, here’s the kicker, by both sides.  I have a better issue to discuss before getting to the heart of the matter though — demonizing the other side.  Rather than having an intelligent conversation about a particular subject and recognizing that others might have a genuine difference of opinion about a subject, all too often they just say that the other side is just stupid, irrational or evil.  Pipes demonstrates that above when he says that I’m the kind of person that is pretty rational until the subject turns to climate change.  Pipes and I have never discussed climate change to my knowledge, but, well, I’ll let Otter say it:

First, I believe that the climate is changing.  Second, I also believe that humanity is more likely than not to be responsible in some way for the change.   The real question is what we do about it.  I support alternative fuels and think that technology in that area should be encouraged (not subsidized by the government).  I think the planet would be a better off if we curbed or eliminated our use of fossil fuels.  I have no idea what that would do to the global climate though.  Seems pretty reasonable to me.  What do the climate warriors say about people who hold those views?  You know where they go.  They go full Godwin.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/13/opinion/sunday/the-next-genocide.html?emc=eta1&_r=1

Former Vice President Al Gore predicted in 2006 that unless drastic measures were taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, within 10 years the planet would be past the point of no return and experiencing runaway heat death.  How’s that working out for ya?  That’s just one example of the fear-mongering out there, so excuse me if I am not going to require the United States to tank it’s economy to address the fears in the manner that VP Gore is saying we should, but I’m the idiot.

I also have a particular distaste for the climate change warriors who say we all need to reduce our carbon footprint, but do absolutely nothing to reduce their own.  Yeah, Leo, I’m talking to you.

“Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this.”

FRANCE-YACTH-LUXURY

This from the guy with 5 houses, a penchant for flying in private jets and for renting the 5th largest yacht in the world.  Hell, his condom purchases probably creates a bigger carbon footprint than most people in the world.

But, like Pipes, I digress.  Back to who is more deluded, Bernie’s followers or the Narcissist’s.  Not surprisingly, Pipes has misconstrued the question.  I was not asking whether the Narcissist’s policies were more abhorrent than Bernie’s.  I asked which of those two groups was more deluded with respect to the bill of goods being sold to them.

While Pipes hates the term, both of them are really just snake oil salesmen selling “free stuff.”  The obvious problem is two-fold.  First, nothing is free.  Second, the President isn’t a dictator so he/she needs to have others on board to get things done.  So, while healthcare for all is a laudable goal, the $30 trillion price tag is a hard pill to swallow.   Where are we going to get $30 trillion?   You could confiscate all of the 1%’s wealth and you still wouldn’t have enough.  Bernie says if you enact his plans GDP will immediately pop to 9.5%, yeah right and I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you.

Similarly, the Narcissist says he’s going to build that wall and get Mexico to pay for it.  If Mexico won’t pay for it, he will withhold it from other payments the US owes or confiscate it from Mexican assets in the US.  Can you say trade war Batman?  My latest favorite promise of his is that he will order US Troops to target the non-combatant families of terrorists.  We’re not talking about collateral damage here, we are talking about directed murder of known terrorists’ family members.  When it was pointed out to the Narcissist that service members ordered to do that may refuse because such an order is illegal, his response was about what you would expect from a narcissist:

That’s right, they will willingly become war criminals because he tells them to and everyone else in the country will just stand by and let him do so.  And his supporters want to give this guy the codes to our nuclear arsenal.

So, who’s more deluded?  They both are pretty deluded.  I think a better question is who’s more dangerous?  I call that one for the Narcissist, by a wide margin.

 

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