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Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to stop worrying and love Donald Trump

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    No getting this 'genie' back in the bottle...
    Trump is throwing petrol on a long smouldering fire - enabling homicidal meatheads - this can't end well.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/10/trump-protester-sucker-punched-at-north-carolina-rally-videos-show/

    In footage published by Inside Edition, a man identified as McGraw is asked if he liked the event.
    “You bet I liked it,” he says.
    When asked what he liked, he responds: “Knocking the hell out of that big mouth.”
    “We don’t know who he is, but we know he’s not acting like an American,” McGraw added. “The next time we see him, we might have to kill him.”

    and
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/77778450/inside-trumps-inner-circle-his-staffers-are-willing-to-fight-for-him--literally

    and this on his language and 'facts':
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/77812119/how-donald-trumps-use-of-language-defies-all-conventions

    I'm not sure even Philip K Dick could have written this Amerika - The Man in the High Castle may be close...

    whatever happens this must change the fabric of the United States - seemingly no longer one nation indivisible - more, many nations (and notions) formerly invisible...

    PS I note that Fairfax (in the Press paper) and SMH are running this story without so far mentioning the bit about about the puncher threatening to kill the protestor.. (which was on One News)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Yes, that's interesting. The rise of that kind of nationalism seems like an inevitable consequence of neoliberalism's full spectrum dominance of political discourse in most of the developed world. Worst part is that it's not like it hasn't happened before. Someone tapping xenophobic rage and talking about protectionist economics at the same time is pretty much a feature of the politics in the 20th century. Every democracy everywhere has one or two doing it. We're no exception. What's exceptional about Trump is that he's a celebrity billionaire. He's both super rich and super famous already, and his target is the most powerful country in the world.

    I do feel a little comforted by Kirk's confidence in the impending rout of Trump by whoever gets the Democrat nomination. But not fully, because people like Trump are very unpredictable. There just isn't a lot of data to fall back onto when it comes to such rare candidates.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell,

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Just reading about how, because Sander's support is local and decentralised (and being built as such), it cannot be centrally run- it is network building that happens to be focus on progressive candidates than a campaign of an established party for a person.

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/12/inside-bernie-sanders-campaign-do-or-die

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    'Fantasy and schoolyard taunts' - Barack Obama's brutal assessment of the rise of Donald Trump

    The Republican Party set the conditions long ago for Trump's success, Obama said. The billionaire just capitalized on the GOP's own tactics, the president argued:
    "What is happening in this primary is just a distillation of what's been happening inside their party for more than a decade. I mean, the reason that many of their voters are responding is because this is what's been fed through the messages they've been sending for a long time - that you just make flat assertions that don't comport with the facts. That you just deny the evidence of science. That compromise is a betrayal. That the other side isn't simply wrong, or we just disagree, we want to take a different approach, but the other side is destroying the country, or treasonous. I mean, that's - look it up. That's what they've been saying."
    ....
    Despite his strong critique of the GOP, though, Obama added a caveat:
    "There are thoughtful conservatives - good people in the Republican Party, good people who are Republican voters who care about poverty and they care about climate, and don't resort to insults, and are troubled by what's happening inside their own party. I know them. I've talked to them. But they've got to acknowledge why this happened - because some of them have been writing that, 'Well, the reason our party is going crazy is because of Obama.' Which is a pretty novel idea. The notion is Obama drove us crazy."
    "Now, the truth is, what they really mean is their reaction to me was crazy and now it has gotten out of hand. But that's different. I didn't cause the reaction. The reaction is something that they have to take responsibility for and then figure out how do we make an adjustment."

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11604842

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This Rachel Maddow video tracing Trump's escalating rhetoric about using violence against protesters is chilling. There's something very bad going on here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Meanwhile, Cruz's pastor goes into a biblical rant about how the penalty for homosexuality should be death –– and the introduces the candidate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Trump claimed today that they who tried to rush him onstage is connected to Isis.

    His evidence? This patently falsified video. And all the rubes believe him and are just that bit more angry and paranoid.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    One very heartening aspect of it all is the way that Trump has mobilized protest against himself, though. It would seem that a steadily rising number of Americans are not afraid of fighting against him, that his violent rhetoric cuts both ways in a society that is full of fear and rage.

    It's heartening that there is a strong enough undercurrent of sane people in American to build a protest movement against Trump before he gets too powerful. He may well mobilize the youth there, in a way that he did not intend.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    That's too optimistic, Ben. Young protestors were just as mobilised against Nixon and Reagan - before they won landslides.

    The mobilising has to happen within the Republican Party. It beggars belief that a conservative Hillary Clinton is somebody they are prepared to try and stop with a Trump. But when (not if) he gets the nomination, watch them fall in behind their guy. Hope I'm wrong - these are scary times. But then, they are scary people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to simon g,

    Young protestors were just as mobilised against Nixon and Reagan – before they won landslides.

    I'm just glad to see that the part of America that even can protest is still healthy. Those young protestors you refer to are now old people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to David Hood,

    network building

    great article. recommend

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    t’s heartening that there is a strong enough undercurrent of sane people in American to build a protest movement against Trump before he gets too powerful. He may well mobilize the youth there, in a way that he did not intend.

    As Josh Marshall points out, not all the protesters are acting sane either, and Trump's rhetoric is ramping it up all round. See Someone Will Die:

    Again, this is not meant to equate the two sides. As I mentioned yesterday, Trump has repeatedly claimed that instances of crowd violence at his rallies occurred when protestors - "bad dudes" - attacked his supporters and his supporters fought back. Until the events last night in Chicago, there is no evidence that anything like this ever happened. Not once. It is all lies. It's still not clear exactly what happened last night in Chicago. I have seen numerous reports from the event that show that the great majority of protestors were peaceful, in many cases there as families, from various political and community organizations. But clearly there were scuffles and disorderly behavior inside that both sides participated in - who started what, I have no idea. It was a qualitative advance, or descent, from what had come before it.

    But let's go back to the incident with Dimassimo, who appears to be a left wing activist affiliated with Black Lives Matter and similar groups. This is not only totally unacceptable behavior, it is also totally unhinged behavior. When you try to rush the stage when a presidential candidate with Secret Service protection is speaking, you are literally taking your life in your hands. This is the kind of crazy thinking, which even if Dimassimo didn't intend to hurt Trump, leads to very bad outcomes. And this is from the anti-Trump side!

    The climate Trump is creating at his events is one that not only disinhibits people who normally act within acceptable societal norms. He is drawing in, like moths to a flame, those who most want to act out on their animosities, drives and beliefs. It is the kind of climate where someone will eventually get killed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22747 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes the frontline of any such movement has to be people who are extreme enough to risk being attacked by a crowd. In the case of rushing the stage, it's bordering on suicidal in the USA.

    I'm certainly not saying Trump is great because he's encouraged extreme behaviour and violence from both sides. It's more that given that he has already encouraged violence from his own side, that there is a part of America that is not intimidated into silence by that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10631 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Mob rule?

    Trump blamed supporters of Democratic candidate Sanders for the incidents in Chicago, where scuffles broke out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate. He called the US senator from Vermont "our communist friend".
    On Sunday, he went a step further in an early morning post on Twitter: "Bernie Sanders is lying when he says his disruptors aren't told to go to my events. Be careful Bernie, or my supporters will go to yours!"

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/77838033/donald-trump-threatens-bernie-sanders-rallies-after-protests
    McCarthyism is alive and well in Amerika!

    Trumps past ties to the other 'Mob' are examined here:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2016/mar/02/ted-cruz/yes-donald-trump-has-been-linked-mob/

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes,

    I've been watching S4 of House of Cards (it's gone from great to awful) and what's interesting is that they're dealing with really high gas prices which is obviously affecting the President's popularity. Now contrasting that with reality, gas prices are at an all time low, the recovery is going well and unemployment is relatively low and the only people really killing Americans are the Police and wingnuts with guns (or their toddlers). On the whole the country is doing much better than it was 10 years ago. Yet the social unrest? Just goes to show how political rhetoric can distort reality to make people think that things are crap. We saw Tony Abbott do the same.

    Unfortunately for Trump and his supporters this is not Australia. The demographic math doesn't work to well for them. His base of white males already vote in very high numbers and there's very little he can gain from throwing them more red meat. But the people who he keeps pissing off, i.e. Latinos, African Americans, Asians, etc don't traditionally vote in large numbers, but he's driving them to the polling booth. That's what the Republican establishment is terrified about, as he would cost them not just the Presidency but also their down ticket candidates and as such the Senate.

    They also don't trust the guy any more than the Democrats. They know he's not ideologically aligned and an incredible narcissist. He's just better at playing their tactics than they are. When in power he could and probably would go against them and their elites interests. He needs attention to keep his ego going and will do whatever gets him said attention regardless of ideology.

    Let's just hope there are no major scandals or actual terror or economic threats as that could actually create enough fear and panic for the voters to pick an "outsider" like him.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Kirk Serpes,

    Let’s just hope there are no major scandals or actual terror or economic threats as that could actually create enough fear and panic for the voters to pick an “outsider” like him.

    I’d say Trump himself is the “actual terror or economic threat” for quite a number of voters, and (as you say), this will motivate them to vote.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Kirk Serpes,

    Another great bit of analysis on why the Republicans aren't going to be able to win in November. Essentially a house divided cannot stand. Both Cruz and Trump are well hated within the GOP, while most Dems could live with either Hillary or Sanders. The Dems have been very very disciplined in keeping ideological and culture war battles in check so that whoever wins will have a united force behind them.

    http://www.vox.com/polyarchy/2016/4/5/11370102/republicans-lose-2016?utm_campaign=voxdotcom&utm_medium=social&utm_content=tuesday&utm_source=facebook

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The big split risk for the Dems is if (though unlikely) Sanders wins the voted delegates but e Superdelegate advantage gives Clinton the nomination. Superdelgates are quietly hoping Sanders does not gain (about 4% last I saw) support in the remaining primary contests.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Super delegates are unlikely to change the popular vote. But if it's close, it's more likely to be rancourous. It's nothing like the GOP trainwreck. But there's a mirror dynamic going on.
    The 'establishment' - and from everything I've heard from her, that definitely includes Hilary - just don't get it. 'Business as usual' is not working for most people and destroying the planet. Young people get it. Sanders gets it. Win or lose, that's what he's injected into the race.
    Winning the presidency and presiding over slowly unfolding economic, social and environmental disaster isn't such a great prize.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    I am not so convinced- the entire reason the Democratic Party has super delegates is to prevent radical populists that would have otherwise won the nomination. A generation of political thinking was set with McGovern's loss to Nixon and the thought that never again should they offer a radical candidate.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Well the anger is huffing and puffing in the United States. That’s for real. Let’s hope it dosn’t blow the wrong house down.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to steven crawford,

    the anger is huffing and puffing in the United States

    Mr Brown said the suspect had been killed when police used explosives placed by a robot to end a tense stand-off in a building where he had taken cover. Before that, he had spoken to a negotiator.

    source: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-36745862
    It says a lot about the increased militarisation of urban police in the US that they used explosives to kill the suspect after minimal negotiation – was there no concussion or soporific gas option to try first?
    And really, as the police kept shooting and killing black citizens what did they expect to eventually happen – or was that the end game any way?
    What is wrong with that country?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7886 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Trump didn't say anything inflammatory about the police shootings. So his responce has not been widely reported.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    It's the first time the American cops used a robot to kill someone.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4306 posts Report Reply

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