Distrust!

Sadly, you have hit the nail squarely on the head with respect to Trump’s appeal/repulsion.

Accident plays such a huge role in history, as do individual personalities. If Lenin had been hit by a streetcar in his exile in Switzerland in January 1917, there would have been no Bolshevik Revolution. If Churchill had been killed by the taxi that did hit him in the early 1930s in New York City, the British would probably have done a deal with Hitler after Dunkirk.

Enormous effects on human history, all pivoting on one individual.

We needed a Lincoln, or a Churchill. History gave us Trump. We have been so very lucky in so many other respects, starting with geography, that I guess we were due for snake-eyes on this roll of the dice.

Well … you go to war with the army you’ve got. One consolation: the other side seems to have been infected with political rabies.

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Yes, this country has been extremely blessed. After electing two of the worst presidents in history, Pierce and Buchanan, we got Lincoln. With all of his faults, Franklin Roosevelt was an excellent leader during World War II. Fortunately the Democrats dumped communist sympathizer, Henry Wallace, and chose Harry Truman to replace him.

The wheels started to fly off with Lyndon Johnson. The Vietnam War protesters injected Marxism into the heart of the education system. Many baby boomers, like I am, graduated from college and made money.

The far leftists, many of whom were second rate students, stayed on and droned their way to PhDs. They stayed in the collage ranks and infected the country with the cancer of communism. Over the next two generations, the cancer has spread until now it dominates the system.

Now we have the lethal combination of college professors with years of educational indoctrination, but no practical, real world experience, running the show through their former students. Their disproven and outmoded theories about centralized government control are becoming our reality.

Whoa!!!
You must be my twin who was given away for adoption. Or maybe it was me given away. Or sold.

Whatever, we definitely see the world in the same way. From FDR through the source (one critical source) of our current problems.

I was part of that Baby Boomer generation, including becoming a hard-core Marxist. There were only a few tens of thousands of us – I mean people who joined a Leninist organization – but we influenced many times our numbers. Of course, the treatment of Blacks in the US, and the war in Vietnam, had to be there to destroy the political immune systems of us, and our contemporaries.

And you are right that they went into teaching, and into the ‘cultural apparatus’ in general. It wasn’t a neo-Gramsican Plot by the KGB or Satan, as some conservatives think. It was completely natural.

And the radical kids who become leftist professors and teachers didn’t have to teach Marxism explicitly – most of them didn’t know and do not know now what Marx and friends actually believe — they just projected an attitude: the system is fundamentally corrupt and evil. Of course, they had Professor Zinn’s Peoples History of the US for the more explicit stuff.

And of course, there IS plenty of injustice and corruption and evil in the US, just as there is in every other country of the world. Except that most people know zilch about other countries, and very little about their own. So if you want to pick and choose, you can teach anything: you can teach WWII by concentrating on the fire-bombing of Dresden, why the word “libération” has two meanings to the French people through whose villages American (and British and Canadian) troops passed, and the mass rapes committed by American troops in Okinawa, not to mention Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [In fact Zinn did become anti-WWII, a strange evolution for someone who became a super-pro-war-patriot after his country was invaded in 1941 (June, not December).]

But what to do about it now?

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I would much much much rather have President Trump than a Lincoln or a Churchill today.

America’s biggest problem is that the government is corrupt from head to tail. President Trump isn’t corrupt, can’t be bribed and has a heart and zeal to clean up corruption. He spent four years figuring out that it was much bigger than he ever imagined. Now he needs at least four years to dig in.

Well, it’s a moot point. We have to support whomever the Republicans choose. I would go for someone different from Trump, who understood what’s happening to America.

The problem is, we cannot successfully resist what’s happening unless we have a majority behind us. Or rather, deprive the Democrats of a majority. Trump helped in one way in that, as we saw with the swing towards him among Hispanics and even Blacks: he didn’t appear to be the Country Club type of Republican who doesn’t really care about ordinary people. But he repelled a lot of the educated middle class. We need them all.

My own worry about him, before he took office, was that as President, some foreigner would insult him and he’d start a war over it. But he just continued Obama’s foreign policy of making friends by bombing people from the air without risking our people on the ground. A step forward but not very much. And now Biden will get the credit for getting us out of the Afghan snakepit.

But as I said, it’s a moot point. I think that no Republican is going to be able to stop the destruction of America. We’re really heading for something very different. We can slow it down a bit, and that’s very worthwhile, but we will not reverse the worldview of the ‘progressive generations’. They don’t see their own personal material interests tied up in having a strong country, and they’re used to indulging themselves in every possible way – now they’re indulging their emotions in weeping over criminals like George Lloyd – while making sure they live as far away from tsuch people as possible.

Oh well. As the Republic rots, more and more people will wake up… are waking up. Maybe we’ll get lucky and be able to pull off a peaceful separation. In the meantime we must start seriously organizing at the local level.

I can’t even begin to imagine the level of cognitive dissonance required to believe something like that.

I have a question. You once said that America had no respect from the world under Trump. Do you think it’s different under Biden? If so, why?

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I thought that we were not allowed to pose questions like that to specific members of the left. At one time I asked them to point out which nation has succeeded to their specifications. That question was ruled out of bounds. I am still waiting for an answer.

At any rate, I am sure that world leaders are quite happy with Mr. Biden. He is on another “apology tour,” like Nobel Prize winner, Barack Obama. He’s already invited China, Russia and soon, Iran to advise us on what to do with dissident minority groups. I am sure that their advice will not mirror what they do in their own countries, but it will be beneficial to making Biden look like a nice guy, unlike Trump.

In the mean time Biden will have embarrassed the United States which will get the approval of leftists and despots the world over. It’s good to know that the U.S. under Biden will be back on top.

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

I agree I mean the man didn’t even eat ice cream as far as I can tell

There are some other good candidates, but who in all of America has a grasp of “what’s happening to America” better than President Trump?

Yes, I have one friend in particular, an educated engineering manager at a big defense contractor, Christian, that is offended at President Trump for saying mean things. It boggles the mind. Doesn’t he mind the destruction of America? I don’t know if he actually shut his eyes and voted for the devil last year, but he might have.

So, yes, I acknowledge this is a problem. But even if you accept the corrupt official tally, President Trump got 17.8% more votes in 2020 than 2016. He recruited more people over his term than he lost. I would love to know what the actual tally was with fraud removed. Of course we’ll never know, but he may have won a massive popular landslide.

What? He constantly advocated that America should not be involved in other countries’ wars. He set in motion the withdrawal from Afghanistan (though notice the placeholder is getting credit for it), he withdrew us from Syria. He didn’t start or escalate any war. How many presidents avoided starting or escalating a war? Though Iran gave adequate provocation, he even avoided going to war with them.

Maybe not. But if anyone can, it’s President Trump. The only downside is that without a Republican non-RINO Congress, the next jackass that comes along can undo much of his progress and quickly accelerate the destruction, as we’re seeing now.

No doubt the left considers the love of America and the concept of American greatness to be “cognitive dissonance.”

There is a sense in which the problem was, and is, not Trump, but the base. Our side is not very politically sophisticated. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Most of the people who are labelled ‘conservatives’ in America just want to be left alone. Their idea of a good government is one that provides a framework, but nothing more, within which individuals can follow their own ambitions.

The Left is different – they see many things about society they don’t like – and some of them are things conservatives don’t like either – and see expanded government as the solution. So they’re much more politically aware, and politically active, than our side.

The GOP was/is an imperfect champion of the conservative cause. In particular, they don’t see that we’re actually in a war, not a political contest. The other side is made up of people, increasingly, who despise this country, and want to dismantle it.

No single individual – even if he had all the virtues of Trump and none of his faults – can stop what’s happening, even if he is president. Even passing laws is going to only slow things down. Liberal teachers will continue to teach Critical Race Theory, and Blame-Evil-Amerikkka-For-Everything, no matter what the state legislature, or even the school board says.

I think we are in an unprecedented situation. And I must admit, I don’t understand it: the big corporations are watching their country be destroyed … but in this world, without a strong country, your wealth is not secure.

I suppose they look at Latin America – and to an extent, at Africa – and see that the wealthy are still pretty secure in those places – behind the walls of their gated communities, and with bodyguards when they travel, plus regular sweeteners to the local police. California is the future in embryo.

Show me the specific question (and which thread), and I’ll review. I doubt it was the same sort of issue under the rules. I was asking a question without overtones.

You make the rules and enforce them. Therefore you can do what you want. You shield the “progressives” here from the hard questions like show us a country that meets their standards.

“The progressives” here have told us repeatedly that the U.S. sucks, yet they can’t point to a country that they like.

Why? We are getting one answer now from Black Lives Matter and AOC. They are circling their wagons around Cuba because of the current unrest and calls for an end to that regime.

Over the past year, the “progressives” have done all they could to deflect Chinese culpability for the pandemic. Facebook and Twitter banned posts the supported the lab theory. The Democrat Party fully supported that.

So we have two answers. The “progressives” like Cuba and China. Those countries have the governmental system that they want. The “progressives” can’t admit that because it would blow their cover.

Will any of the “progressives” here dispute that? I doubt it. The most honest one will only say voice criticism of China in hushed tones.

We have already seen part of Black Lives Matter’s cover blown with their Cuba statement that the U.S. Government is responsible for unrest. Word about that has gotten out to some of the young people who were previously BLM fans.

Their support was further diminished when the BLM statement concerning Fidel Castro’s death was repeated. Of Castro, BLM said “Rest in power.”

BLM’s support for Communism could not be made any plainer.

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In fact, there are many contradictions within the ranks of our enemies.

Some of them are anarchists. Some of them are Leninists. They may both hate America and want to see it destroyed, but they have very different visions of what would replace it – visions which are in fact diametrically opposed.

Most of the anarchist ranks in the US are probably ignorant of any history, even of the history of their own movement. They don’t know that for Communists, they’re useful as anti-capitalist cannon fodder, but after the Revolution has consolidated power … they’re put in front of a wall.

They ought to read this, from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestor_Makhno

From the introduction:

Nestor Ivanovych Makhno (Ukrainian: ; 7 November [O.S. 26 October] 1888 – July 25, 1934), … was a Ukrainian anarchist revolutionary and the commander of an independent anarchist army in Ukraine from 1917–21.

Makhno was the commander of the Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine, commonly referred to as the Makhnovshchina (loosely translated as “Makhno movement”). The Makhnovshchina was a predominantly peasant phenomenon that grew into a mass social movement. It was initially centered around Makhno’s hometown Huliaipole but over the course of the Russian Civil War came to exert a strong influence over large areas of southern Ukraine. Makhno and the movement’s leadership were anarcho-communists and attempted to guide the movement along these ideological lines. Makhno was aggressively opposed to all factions that sought to impose their authority over southern Ukraine, battling in succession the forces of the Ukrainian National Republic, the Central Powers of Germany and Austro-Hungary, the Hetmanate state, the White Army, the Bolshevik Red Army, and other smaller forces led by various Ukrainian atamans. He is also credited as the inventor of the tachanka—a horse-drawn carriage with a mounted heavy machine gun. Makhno and his supporters attempted to reorganize social and economic life along anarchist lines, including the establishment of communes on former landed estates, the requisition and egalitarian redistribution of land to the peasants, and the organization of free elections to local soviets (councils) and regional congresses. However, the disruption of the civil war precluded a stable territorial base for any long-term social experiments.

Although Makhno considered the Bolsheviks a threat to the development of an anarchist Free Territory within Ukraine, he entered into formal military alliances twice with the Red Army to defeat the White Army. In the aftermath of the White Army’s defeat in Crimea in November 1920, the Bolsheviks initiated a military campaign against Makhno. After an extended period of open resistance against the Red Army, Makhno fled across the Romanian border in August 1921.

Or in Spain, during the Civil War against the fascists there from 1936 - 1939 . The anarchists were a mass movement in Spain, much stronger than the pro-Stalin Communist Party at first. But the Communists had the advantage that their masters in the Soviet Union were supplying the Republican forces with arms. Their authority within the Republican movement grew because of that. And they were opposed to what the anarchists were doing in Spain at that time.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_in_Spain#Spanish_Revolution_of_1936

An extract:
The most effective anarchist unit was the Durruti Column, led by militant Buenaventura Durruti. It was the only anarchist unit which managed to gain respect from otherwise fiercely hostile political opponents. In a section of her memoirs which otherwise lambastes the anarchists, Dolores Ibárruri states: “The war developed with minimal participation from the anarchists in its fundamental operations. One exception was Durruti…” (Memorias de Dolores Ibarruri, p. 382). The column began with 3,000 troops, but at its peak was made up of about 8,000 men. They had a difficult time getting arms from a fearful Republican government, so Durruti and his men compensated by seizing unused arms from government stockpiles. Durruti’s death on November 20, 1936, weakened the Column in spirit and tactical ability; they were eventually incorporated, by decree, into the regular army. Over a quarter of the population of Barcelona attended Durruti’s funeral. It is still uncertain how Durruti died; modern historians tend to agree that it was an accident, perhaps a malfunction with his own gun or a result of friendly fire, but widespread rumors at the time claimed treachery by his men; anarchists tended to claim that he died heroically and was shot by a fascist sniper. Given the widespread repression against Anarchists by the Soviets, which included torture and summary executions, it is also possible that it was a USSR plot.

The Wiki article doesn’t expand on this “widespread repression … torture and summary executions” of the anarchists by the Communists, and that’s not surprising. Most Wiki articles on the subject of Communism show the hand of apologists for it.

It is, but not in a significant way. And to clarify, that’s in regards to opinion towards the American government and not the American people. And to clarify even further, it’s generally in regards to US foreign policy.

Yeah, that definitely requires some honest clarification on my part. I’ll start by pointing out some obvious caveats. You’re asking me about the rest of the world, so the best I can do is make some generalizations. It certainly won’t include China or Russia’s current stance on the US, for example. And when I mention America in this post, I mean it the same way people mention Russia when they refer to Putin’s actions or the UK when commenting on what Boris Johnson has done or New Zealand in any discussion about sheep. In other words, when I say Americans, I’m not referring to anyone on this forum in particular or even the American citizen in general - just how the government is perceived. The final caveat is my answer is not going to cover what role the US should have in the international community; it’s only going to cover how it has acted and its motivations based on public statements from Presidents and the State Department.

So, the key characteristic the rest of the world views of America since WWII is stability. Which makes sense as everyone was either rebuilding or being royally screwed over by communism after WWII (yes an oversimplification I know). But America represented stability, a constant. Of course there are exceptions to this (Operation Ajax, Iran Contra etc), but by and large the US was preferable to the alternative. This started to wane when George W Bush invaded Iraq (which incidentally was one of the reasons I left DFAT), but the general consensus was, “still better than the alternative”. At the time when Australia and America’s Free Trade Agreement was being hammered out, the emphasis of the deal was that George W won’t be President forever so it would be idiotic to consider his stance on foreign policy whilst solidifying policy between two nations. My point being was prior to the Trump Administration attitudes towards a particular Presidency only had a minimal impact on the relationship between the US and another nation.

And that is very important to consider. I know that in Australia, the UK and New Zealand at least (and I suspect in a lot more other countries) it is considered extremely bad form to make or change foreign policy to appeal to certain domestic voters. Case in point; Australia has gone through more Prime Ministers in the last 20 years than Italy has. The last Prime Minister who has served a full term was 14 years ago. And yet there has never been an instance of Australia reneging on an international agreement a previous Government has made. The reason is pretty obvious - compromising a country’s reputation for domestic political gains is very short sighted.

So, looking at Trump’s Presidency. Trump pulling out of the Paris agreement was unfortunate, but not unexpected. There were indications of this happening and George W did the same with the Kyoto Protocols, so there was a precedent. Pulling out of the Iran deal unilaterally without a viable alternative however was downright moronic. In my opinion the Iran deal was flawed, but better than nothing and could have been used as a stepping stone for further gains. Instead Trump’s actions gave Iran’s nuclear program a jumpstart and left the EU, France, Germany and the UK hanging in the wind on how to salvage the situation. Trump then threatening America’s traditional allies was just the moronic icing on the stupid cake. Whatever influence the Western World had on Iran evaporated in that decision and of course Russia filled in that vacuum. Throwing the Kurds under the bus and blindly selling arms to Saudi Arabia was pretty much the final nail in the coffin when it came to US credibility in the Middle East. The whole moving the embassy to Jerusalem was pretty incidental in comparison to these decisions.

Another part of the world where I absolutely know American respect has evaporated during Trump’s Presidency is in south east Asia and Pacific Island nations. China has steadily been paying up foreign debt from Pacific Island Nations in exchange for political favours. The Trump Administration on the other hand, couldn’t even be bothered to appoint ambassadors into the region allowing China huge influence in international groups like ASEAN, APEC and the Pacific Islands Forum. I suspect the reason for this is no more complicated than Trump doesn’t own any property in that part of the world so for him it doesn’t exist. That’s not a particularly smart attitude as it pretty much guarantees China’s Belt and Road Initiative to go forward unimpeded.

So that’s how America lost respect during Trump’s presidency. His administration showed it was unreliable with treaties and past agreements and couldn’t care less about global stability. These actions didn’t benefit the US one bit, either. For example, Trump’s petty trade war with China cost the US 245,000 jobs and around $1.7 trillion. This does not instantly translate into respect for a Biden Administration however. Remember at the start of this ridiculously long post I pointed out that when the US/Australia free trade agreement was hammered out attitudes toward the Bush Administration were irrelevant for a lasting treaty? Well, now the opposite is true. Every treaty, every arrangement, every agreement a nation makes with the US will factor in the possibility of someone as mercurial, unstable and unreliable as Trump becoming head of state from here on out. Because if it happened once, it can happen twice.

And that is Trump’s true legacy. So to summarise; respect towards America has increased during Biden’s administration from America’s traditional allies (largely because an adult is running things again), but nations are now very wary with regards to who the next US President will be. So I suspect skepticism towards the US is now the new normal. And whilst I’m certain some people will harbour the attitude that America has always stood alone and it has always been like this, no it hasn’t and this will become even more pronounced as time goes on.

We’ve been on this merry-go-round before.

The real problem America – and the free world – faces is this: China is on the way up. We are on the way down. If China does not get transformed into a liberal democracy soon, we are going to face a very delicate situation – and it does not look like it will. The Chinese Communist Party is still popular in China because of what the country has achieved under its rule. We shouldn’t kid ourselves about that.

Now … being Number Two is not a disaster. The USSR was Number Two for nearly fifty years, and no one thought that they could be pushed around. [The pushing around came after the fall of Communism.] And the US still has its enormous geographical advantage.

However, it’s rotting from within.

Now … what if there is a big economic crisis that affects the US, close in time to some sort of national military humiliation at the hands of China? Then there is the real danger of the US undergoing the same sort of development Germany did after WWI. Lefties call the Republican base ‘fascists’ but they have no idea what real fascism is. And they don’t understand that by screaming RACE RACE RACE they are making whites begin to think about race … and Blacks and their condition and who is responsible for it … a subject which most Americans have politely avoided for the last fifty years.

As for America’s stature in the world – the world’s intelligentsia have always – at least since the 1950s – seen America as the Bad Guy: overthrowing a democratically-elected government in Iran, sponsoring death-squad regimes in Latin America, bullying little Cuba, backing up Israel as it expanded into the West Bank … we were not seen by the chattering classes as the shining knights of democracy anywhere, except in Eastern Europe. (And the Albanians appreciated our help in their inter-tribal war against the Serbs.)

Then came the disastrous invasion of Iraq, following the neo-con ‘drain the swamps’ theory. We should have consulted old Robespierre, of all people, who warned that ‘people do not love missionaries with bayonets’. The liberals were right about that, and we were wrong. (I was initially skeptical, but then thought we had a good chance to straighten things out there. Wrong, wrong, wrong.)

Now everything depends on the Republican base, and whether it can sustain someone as the next GOP presidential candidate who understands that we cannot play world policeman anymore – those hundreds of people working in the Pentagon’s “Africa Command” spending millions of dollars on Mission Impossible, need to come home – hell, we can’t even command South Chicago.

We need to consult with our allies about how to respond to the rise of China, the most important question of all. We need to try to repair relations with Russia: we promised them that NATO would not expand to their borders, and we lied. We need to let the Iranians and the Saudis have their war, without our participation. The Israelis and Palestinians are beyond our command – everyone knows what should happen, but it’s not going to happen.

And … although it sounds crazy to say this … Americans should, as individuals, start to prepare to deal with a situation of severe social/political/economic disruption. And begin to think the unthinkable. [And not only Americans need to do this: Australia and New Zealand should jointly get going on acquiring a credible nuclear weapons delivery system. ]

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This is your answer to: Show me the specific question (and which thread)?

And no, I don’t MAKE the rules; I ENFORCE the rules MADE OR ENDORSED BY THE OWNER OF THE SITE. You keep ignoring this.

Thank you for your comprehensive reply. I’m not going to try to get into all of it, but this part caught my eye. I looked up the link, and found this key phrase from where they quoted Trump:

I fail to see why this is controversial. Iran is well known as a state sponsor of terrorism, has nuclear ambitions (against Israel), and has hated America’s guts for four decades.

What good is a “traditional ally” that treats with one of our serious enemies?

And speaking of the subject, Obama snubbed our allies and kissed our enemies’ posterior any number of times. That doesn’t sound to me like it started with Trump.