Now that Donald Trump has Won


The US is an oligarchy. It has been for years. This is a takeover. This is not a drill.


I’m not making a point, I just want to see what answers come to mind.

Edit: I guess I can’t avoid making some kind of point with those questions, but I’m genuinely just trying to take the pulse of this discussion. I’m still figuring out how to think about communities I love, respect, and disagree with.


There is literally no position, no policy, on the “right” side of the aisle that isn’t fundamentally disgusting to basic decency.


The frustrating part to me is that this:

carries the connotation that the things being fought over are not a priority. It’s an accusation leveled fairly frequently between the Rose-socialists / Berniecrats and BLM / Antifa. Who decides which in-fights are actually important?

That’s why I boil things down to white supremacy over and over, because a good number of white liberals are too caught up in denial, defensiveness, or guilt over internalized racism to actually do anything useful about it.
I think libs could get a lot of shit done if we could, as a whole, stop being tepid hypocrites.

yeah pretty much. But I think that says more about human psychology and conformity than the individuals involved. It’s my pet theory that majority opinion frames the boundaries of how we think about things, and that our opinions are influenced by that more than we’d like to admit. But internet & media has skyrocketed and skewed the quantity of opinions we are exposed to, or psychologically prepared for, the way junk food fucks up your metabolism. The far-right is undoubtedly using psychology, social engineering, analytics, marketing to drive popular opinion. I am very conflicted about the ethics of doing the same in reverse.


You’re not wrong. The fights are over important things in many scenarios. I don’t really disagree.


Sure, but we have to live with it. What to do about it? And if somebody has despicable political beliefs but otherwise is of good nature, how do you reconcile that intellectually, emotionally, and practically?

I’m not a Christian anymore but I’ve always taken that ‘love thy enemy’ thing seriously - which, mind, doesn’t mean ‘don’t have enemies’. Judgement without compassion and positive engagement makes me uneasy.


Who gives a fuck. They’re not “of good nature” if they have despicable political beliefs. They’re despicable. They harm society. End of story.



I can’t help but feel that your attitude could easily lead to a massive waste of human potential.


And the really shitty part is that there’s a lot of research out there showing that no really, this is the most effective method of shaping the intellectual landscape of any population.

But it also already happens in liberal circles. There is perhaps a less centralized, concerted effort to do so - but plenty of left-leaning groups employ similar tactics to create devotees.

It doesn’t make the ethical question harder, but I think it’s worth acknowledging that it’s a question being asked when we’re already part way into the answer.



I feel* like liberals would naturally be less effective at this form of manipulation, because

  1. More diversity = more conflicting opinions
  2. Reduced inclination towards authoritarianism = reduced willingness to intentionally impose / manipulate / coerce a worldview.
  3. Have you read those fundraiser emails??
  4. Basically liberals are cats. Woe betide they who would herd them.**

Joking – and half-joking – aside, the far-right has assaulted so many tenants of liberal ideology, one after the other, in an exhausting manner. The gas-lighting is overwhelming. Bots & trolls make it harder to distinguish good faith and establish trust, which is the classic human method of determining truth when lacking expertise. Protest is normalized. Each travesty is discarded as soon as the next, more dramatic, more urgent issue arises – and all of them are important and valid concerns.

We are human, we have lives, we have our own local struggles, don’t have the bandwidth for magnitude of 2 :poop: /tt.

It’s not that the world was lacking travesty and tragedy before. But it’s harder to care (pragmatically) about other people when your own shit is collapsing.*** Isolationism is an understandable defense mechanism, but effectively enables the abuse.

* Obviously, my perspective is skewed by my general agreement with liberal principles, so I am less positioned to detect liberal manipulative bullshit.
** But also, over-moderation will always be the consensus seeking liberal’s Achilles heel.
*** And yet easier to ignore when your shit is good.


The regime’s lawyers are trying to argue that Trump has absolute authority over the DOJ and every investigation within, so can cancel any investigation he wants. Also that he can pardon himself.

How are we not in a general strike yet?


Well, I can engage your confirm bias to say that, yes, we are also measurably less effective at it - or perhaps it’s more that the liberal mindset is better at not blindly accepting information and is more prone to look for actual facts.

We’re still not good about it, but we are less bad at being blindly ignorant, yes.

Unfortunately, it works against us, I think, because there is power in numbers, and as you say, herding cats is way hard.

Buuuuuuuuuuut we can try. As much as I might loathe the concept of an echo chamber in principle, I am finding it useful in working towards consensus - which we will need to do if we’re actually going to peacefully halt these fucking Nazis.

Obama had, on top of policies I generally liked, very good messaging and branding. We know with good messaging and branding we can turn out numbers that the Nazis can’t. I think we can build a semi-organic consensus by constantly bringing diverse topics back to a handful of points (white supremacy is an example) and hammering on directly actionable solutions.


I’m getting deeper into the democratic campaign world and can confirm that we’re willing to use whatever psychology and social engineering we have to to get people to show up and vote our way. The stakes are too high to have ethics in this regard.


I disagree with that to some degree, but you know that already :wink:


I call this political sausage making. We brought @jabrams007 to one of the training sessions and he did not approve. And that’s fine, cause he’s voting my way no matter what. :stuck_out_tongue:

But if you want things to change, get involved with your local democratic campaign. Donate your time and/or your money, we need as much as possible of both. If you don’t help make the democratic sausage, we’re gonna get force fed republican shit again.


That’s not quite accurate.

I had no problems with the way they’re using technology to canvass and identify potential voters and encourage them to vote.

What I had a problem with was the somewhat intentional way they encourage their volunteers to misrepresent themselves in order to gain this information.


How do you mean?


It’s been a few months, so I might get the exact details wrong, and I have no idea if this is a widespread tactic or just something the local VA group is encouraging, but basically the person leading the training sessions led a mock conversation between herself and a potential voter.

At first, she told the potential voter that she was there to conduct a “study” on voting habits, and implied that this was a non-partisan/apolitical study. As the conversation continued, she slowly shifted to encourage the potential voter to vote, and to specifically vote for Democratic candidates (something I wholeheartedly support).

That would be like me showing up on your doorstep claiming that I’m performing an unbiased study of people’s soft drink habits, only to then encourage you to drink more soft drinks, and then encourage you to specifically drink Coca Cola.

Maybe it was just that specific person leading the training session, but the whole conversation left me feeling slightly dirty and uncomfortable. The training leader was basically encouraging the volunteers to misrepresent the reason they were talking to the potential voter, claiming to be from an unbiased study about voting habits in general, but the purpose was really to encourage people to vote and vote for Democrats.

I don’t know if I was the only person to notice this shift, but when I pointed it out, the training leader pretty much admitted that this was exactly what she was doing.