A House Divided: The Disunited States

Drogheda445

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In the wake of the carnage at Charlottesville and the strife that it has elicited in American politics, what do these events suggest about the future of politics and society in America?

The events of the last year, from the '16 election campaign up until now have revealed a country more divided and at war with itself than it has been for decades. Identity politics and the consequent backlash have polarised large sections of the American body politic and as it stands, there are very few undecided when it comes to the current President; on the one hand stand his fanatical supporters so utterly devoted to his cause that they are practically unphased by even his most egregious outbursts, and on the other those who so utterly despise him that many view him as something close to an American incarnation of fascism, with the even more hysterical ones seeing him as the next Hitler.

Gone are the days of political big-tents when the two American parties appealed to a wide variety of voter blocs, and all American states could foreseeably swing from one party to the other within a few election cycles. Democrats more or less occupy a clearly left wing position politically, whilst Republicans are more or less solidly right. While some might say this has made American political parties more representative, it is made worse by the fact that the divide has captured to two ends of the identity politics debate. As such, whereas at one time many voters could be swayed to vote either way at election time, most now cannot stand the other and party defections appear to be rare.

Clearly the participants at the recent Charlottesville confrontations were not representative of the whole country, but it does reveal a land where politics seems to be taking an ugly turn; disillusionment is skyrocketing on both sides and disputes are highly charged. While the roots of the current sequence of events can be traced back for decades, the Trump presidency so far has magnified this polarisation. Debate has been substituted for political handbagging, verbal clashes are filled with clichés and insults, and pure hatred drives each side against the other. Many cannot even agree on basic facts and self-righteousness in this regard has led news outlets to be denounced as fake news based on even the slightest apparent bias.

What is the future of the United States politically? Trump of course won't be around forever, and these deep schisms in American politics will be there regardless of whose president (although unlike Trump, they may not provoke them through their own actions and words). Given all this recent strife, what direction is American society headed in the long term?
 


Man or Mouse

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It's been divided for quite some time.

One day, a youngser of mine was coming from Dublin on the bus. An Irish guy got chatting to some Americans on the bus and as they approached Moneygall, he was telling them how the rest stop ahead had been named for Barak Obama, POTUS.

Well, said they, stuffily, he is not our president!
 

Dame_Enda

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Politics has been polarising along ethnic lines since the Civil Rights era. The Republicans had the Southern Strategy, whereas the Democrats have Identity Politics.

Both sides seem okay with that unfortunately. The Dems support mass immigration because 70% of Hispanics and 90% of African Americans vote for them. The GOP response has been more gerrymandering. The White working class find themselves forced to vote GOP - whom they may disagree with on some issues like welfare reform - to protect their jobs from cheap migrant labour. Meanwhile the Dems increasingly pander to extremists among the ethnic minority population (who I accept are a minority of the minority) to collude to silence debate on immigration, and to buy minority votes with social spending and marginalisation of "Eurocentric" cultural education like Shakespeare.
 
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owedtojoy

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It's been divided for quite some time.

One day, a youngser of mine was coming from Dublin on the bus. An Irish guy got chatting to some Americans on the bus and as they approached Moneygall, he was telling them how the rest stop ahead had been named for Barak Obama, POTUS.

Well, said they, stuffily, he is not our president!
They are right.
 

Spanner Island

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Gotta laugh at Trump condemning violence considering his behaviour at various campaign events...

Hypocrisy rules in Trump's tiny mind.

What's the future for America?

Who knows?

I've often wondered what America would do if it did go into real decline.

Would they behave like stroppy teenagers and lash out at all and sundry or would they accept that 'empires' never last?

We may be about to find out... ditto with Brexit.
 
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Half Nelson

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Trump's election is not the cause; it's a symptom. His was a vote for chaos - a "we're sick of you all" vote.
The same happened with Brexit.

The world has become an angrier place and it's not all the fault of those who are angry. The rich few are hoovering up the wealth and drawing a predictable response.
 

owedtojoy

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Politics has been polarising along ethnic lines since the Civil Rights era. The Republicans had the Southern Strategy, whereas the Democrats have Identity Politics.
False Equivalence. The Rethuglicans pandered to racism, Democrats tried as least to enact valid programs for the poor and disadvantaged.

Gay Equality has been a massive success - who supported it (mostly)? Democrats.
Who played to the gallery with the Defence of Marriage Act? Where is it now?

Who tried to rationalise gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre of children? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Who enacted a program to enable poor and sick people access to healthcare? Democrats.
Who opposed it at every turn, and is even now trying to make sure sick and dying people cannot get treatment?

Who have closed down the Government on three occasions, threatening the stability of the US and world economy? Republicans.

Who passed a stimulus bill that rescued the American economy in 2009? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Republicans are dangerous, ideologically-obsessed thugs.
 

owedtojoy

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Trump's election is not the cause; it's a symptom. His was a vote for chaos - a "we're sick of you all" vote.
The same happened with Brexit.

The world has become an angrier place and it's not all the fault of those who are angry. The rich few are hoovering up the wealth and drawing a predictable response.
Yes, a massive cutting off of the world's nose to spite the world's face.

Not very rational, really.
 

Half Nelson

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False Equivalence. The Rethuglicans pandered to racism, Democrats tried as least to enact valid programs for the poor and disadvantaged.

Gay Equality has been a massive success - who supported it (mostly)? Democrats.
Who played to the gallery with the Defence of Marriage Act? Where is it now?

Who tried to rationalise gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre of children? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Who enacted a program to enable poor and sick people access to healthcare? Democrats.
Who opposed it at every turn, and is even now trying to make sure sick and dying people cannot get treatment?

Who have closed down the Government on three occasions, threatening the stability of the US and world economy? Republicans.

Who passed a stimulus bill that rescued the American economy in 2009? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Republicans are dangerous, ideologically-obsessed thugs.
Yeah, the Democrats did such a wonderful job that the people threw them out of office.:roll:
 

Half Nelson

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Yes, a massive cutting off of the world's nose to spite the world's face.

Not very rational, really.
It may seem rational to roll the dice.

The program of technology, control and political correctness isn't turning out quite as planned.
 

midlander12

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In the wake of the carnage at Charlottesville and the strife that it has elicited in American politics, what do these events suggest about the future of politics and society in America?

The events of the last year, from the '16 election campaign up until now have revealed a country more divided and at war with itself than it has been for decades. Identity politics and the consequent backlash have polarised large sections of the American body politic and as it stands, there are very few undecided when it comes to the current President; on the one hand stand his fanatical supporters so utterly devoted to his cause that they are practically unphased by even his most egregious outbursts, and on the other those who so utterly despise him that many view him as something close to an American incarnation of fascism, with the even more hysterical ones seeing him as the next Hitler.

Gone are the days of political big-tents when the two American parties appealed to a wide variety of voter blocs, and all American states could foreseeably swing from one party to the other within a few election cycles. Democrats more or less occupy a clearly left wing position politically, whilst Republicans are more or less solidly right. While some might say this has made American political parties more representative, it is made worse by the fact that the divide has captured to two ends of the identity politics debate. As such, whereas at one time many voters could be swayed to vote either way at election time, most now cannot stand the other and party defections appear to be rare.

Clearly the participants at the recent Charlottesville confrontations were not representative of the whole country, but it does reveal a land where politics seems to be taking an ugly turn; disillusionment is skyrocketing on both sides and disputes are highly charged. While the roots of the current sequence of events can be traced back for decades, the Trump presidency so far has magnified this polarisation. Debate has been substituted for political handbagging, verbal clashes are filled with clichés and insults, and pure hatred drives each side against the other. Many cannot even agree on basic facts and self-righteousness in this regard has led news outlets to be denounced as fake news based on even the slightest apparent bias.

What is the future of the United States politically? Trump of course won't be around forever, and these deep schisms in American politics will be there regardless of whose president (although unlike Trump, they may not provoke them through their own actions and words). Given all this recent strife, what direction is American society headed in the long term?
More of the same for a long time. Whether it will come to a formal split at some stage, probably not but it could not be ruled out. What is being missed in the coverage of the chaos at the White House is that the GOP now has unprecedented dominance of American power structures. They control nearly 40 states as well as the three branches of federal govt. They are one elderly liberal SC judge away from dominating that court for a generation. Ultimately, the liberal enclaves in the north east and around DC/Maryland/Virginia, the west coast and various urban areas may have to decide whether to accept this reality or develop an alternative political entity.
 

Dame_Enda

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False Equivalence. The Rethuglicans pandered to racism, Democrats tried as least to enact valid programs for the poor and disadvantaged.

Gay Equality has been a massive success - who supported it (mostly)? Democrats.
Who played to the gallery with the Defence of Marriage Act? Where is it now?

Who tried to rationalise gun laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre of children? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Who enacted a program to enable poor and sick people access to healthcare? Democrats.
Who opposed it at every turn, and is even now trying to make sure sick and dying people cannot get treatment?

Who have closed down the Government on three occasions, threatening the stability of the US and world economy? Republicans.

Who passed a stimulus bill that rescued the American economy in 2009? Democrats.
Who opposed it?

Republicans are dangerous, ideologically-obsessed thugs.
The poor cant really get treatment though because of the deductibles (charges). I was in favour of Obamacare as a model for Ireland but the experiment has failed for various reasons. A return to the status-quo-ante would be worse, but the Dems have not helped by blocking selling insurance across state lines and tort reform. The Republicans have not helped by blocking Medicare from negotiating prices with drug companies. A map of the Obamacare exchanges shows that especially in the Red States Obamacare exchanges are down to 1 or zero insurers.

I agree on the LGBT rights issue that the Dems have been progressive but Im not single issue. Im also anti gun in theory but with Antifa running riot and Dem mayors telling cops to let them do their thing what do you expect? The NRA are running ads with Antifa violence in them and I'd say its good for the gun trade right now. Antifa are turning into the paramilitary wing of the Democratic party just as the KKK was before the 1960s.

The Dems introduced NAFTA and were going to introduce the TPP before Trump stopped them. Cheap Chinese steel decimated the steel industry (ours is already gone in Ireland and only one plant left in the UK the Tata plant). Trump is a breath of fresh air on trade. Interestingly Schumer said a few days ago on the trade issue he has similar views to Trump.
 
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Spanner Island

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Yes, a massive cutting off of the world's nose to spite the world's face.

Not very rational, really.
When people are up against it they tend to behave increasingly irrationally... and there's ever growing numbers of people who are up against it...

The response to the financial crisis and the results we are seeing is only making people angrier still...

QE dilutes the value of money, supposedly in order to provide liquidity... whereas what has happened is that the rich have been able to not only retain their portion of global wealth... but to increase it... because they've got the resources to win whether markets or currencies etc. are going up or down in a rigged system that serves them.

F*** it some of them are so obscenely rich they can push markets and currencies in whatever direction they wish...

It's repugnant stuff... the levels of inequality that have evolved... and it's good for nobody including the rich who will increasingly have to retreat into gated communities and spend ever greater amounts of money on security...

It's madness is what it is.
 

Spirit Of Newgrange

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Trump's election is not the cause; it's a symptom. His was a vote for chaos - a "we're sick of you all" vote.
The same happened with Brexit.

The world has become an angrier place and it's not all the fault of those who are angry. The rich few are hoovering up the wealth and drawing a predictable response.
sounds like the 1930's in Germany
 

Half Nelson

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Fractional Reserve

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When Obama the race baiter was in office he has USA where it is today divided racially and sexually .he never condemn Blm only stirred it up even more .Pot kettle black
Gotta laugh at Trump condemning violence considering his behaviour at various campaign events...

Hypocrisy rules in Trump's tiny mind.

What's the future for America?

Who knows?

I've often wondered what America would do if it did go into real decline.

Would they behave like stroppy teenagers and lash out at all and sundry or would they accept that 'empires' never last?

We may be about to find out... ditto with Brexit.
 

blinding

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Trump should kill Kim Jong un and any body daft enough to be within 300 metres of him .

Why the fooking about , just kill the bast*rd .

It would be the correct thing to do in itself and would give others something to think about .

Get on with it Trumpy .
 

gerhard dengler

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In the wake of the carnage at Charlottesville and the strife that it has elicited in American politics, what do these events suggest about the future of politics and society in America?

The events of the last year, from the '16 election campaign up until now have revealed a country more divided and at war with itself than it has been for decades. Identity politics and the consequent backlash have polarised large sections of the American body politic and as it stands, there are very few undecided when it comes to the current President; on the one hand stand his fanatical supporters so utterly devoted to his cause that they are practically unphased by even his most egregious outbursts, and on the other those who so utterly despise him that many view him as something close to an American incarnation of fascism, with the even more hysterical ones seeing him as the next Hitler.

Gone are the days of political big-tents when the two American parties appealed to a wide variety of voter blocs, and all American states could foreseeably swing from one party to the other within a few election cycles. Democrats more or less occupy a clearly left wing position politically, whilst Republicans are more or less solidly right. While some might say this has made American political parties more representative, it is made worse by the fact that the divide has captured to two ends of the identity politics debate. As such, whereas at one time many voters could be swayed to vote either way at election time, most now cannot stand the other and party defections appear to be rare.

Clearly the participants at the recent Charlottesville confrontations were not representative of the whole country, but it does reveal a land where politics seems to be taking an ugly turn; disillusionment is skyrocketing on both sides and disputes are highly charged. While the roots of the current sequence of events can be traced back for decades, the Trump presidency so far has magnified this polarisation. Debate has been substituted for political handbagging, verbal clashes are filled with clichés and insults, and pure hatred drives each side against the other. Many cannot even agree on basic facts and self-righteousness in this regard has led news outlets to be denounced as fake news based on even the slightest apparent bias.

What is the future of the United States politically? Trump of course won't be around forever, and these deep schisms in American politics will be there regardless of whose president (although unlike Trump, they may not provoke them through their own actions and words). Given all this recent strife, what direction is American society headed in the long term?
For a nation to function, the nation needs a given measure of societal cohesion. If cohesion disintegrates then the ties which bind that nation start to disintegrate.

Someone I know served in the FYR during the wars there. I remember him telling me that he heard it said by participants on all three sides of the divide in FYR, that they thought that their society had been unified and pretty harmonious prior to the war.
I guess when people are in the middle of strife and conflict, many yearn for peace of former times. That is understandable.

Each of us take it for granted that our society's function harmoniously. When that harmony is ripped away, and the thin veneer of social cohesion is abandoned, disintegration begins to set in.

I don't think America is even close to that stage thankfully.
 

Dearghoul

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For a nation to function, the nation needs a given measure of societal cohesion. If cohesion disintegrates then the ties which bind that nation start to disintegrate.

Someone I know served in the FYR during the wars there. I remember him telling me that he heard it said by participants on all three sides of the divide in FYR, that they thought that their society had been unified and pretty harmonious prior to the war.
I guess when people are in the middle of strife and conflict, many yearn for peace of former times. That is understandable.

Each of us take it for granted that our society's function harmoniously. When that harmony is ripped away, and the thin veneer of social cohesion is abandoned, disintegration begins to set in.

I don't think America is even close to that stage thankfully.
Nor is any society until your own particular strand of underhand divisiveness takes the upper hand.
 

gerhard dengler

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gerhard dengler said:
For a nation to function, the nation needs a given measure of societal cohesion. If cohesion disintegrates then the ties which bind that nation start to disintegrate.

Someone I know served in the FYR during the wars there. I remember him telling me that he heard it said by participants on all three sides of the divide in FYR, that they thought that their society had been unified and pretty harmonious prior to the war.
I guess when people are in the middle of strife and conflict, many yearn for peace of former times. That is understandable.

Each of us take it for granted that our society's function harmoniously. When that harmony is ripped away, and the thin veneer of social cohesion is abandoned, disintegration begins to set in.

I don't think America is even close to that stage thankfully
Nor is any society until your own particular strand of underhand divisiveness takes the upper hand.
Who here asked you?
 


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