Author Topic: Grand exaggerations in politics  (Read 2918 times)

Rimu05

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Grand exaggerations in politics
« on: January 25, 2017, 09:21:51 AM »
Edit: I just realized I could have written exaggerations as the title is a bit of an oxy-moron but oh well, let it stay.


Being an immigrant (Though a citizen) I notice this is a very "American" thing. I don't know if other countries do this but if you are from another country, please go ahead and let me know, but what is with these extreme exaggerations in politics?

I've seen both Obama and Trump compared to Hitler, Stalin, being called dictators.

It's like, let us scare monger the shit out of people just to get our opinion across. I mean a few months ago, I was in the parking lot getting out of my car and one of the maintenance folks had his car booming and it was like "They don't want you to know the truth!" "They want to take away your fundamental rights, they want to destroy America."

I was like who is they?

I mean even Trump's speech at the inauguration made me look outside like "Did I immigrate to Sudan?"

While I think a healthy does of criticism is necessary, some people are making it look like the world is absolutely falling apart.

I also constantly hear Obama has run this country to the ground.

I immigrated here and I am an American citizen, but I at one point completely stopped watching American news. I would only tune in to international news and that's it.

Anyway, I really want to know from folks here.

If you were completely horrified by Trump Do you genuinely fear that Trump will turn this country into 1994 Rwanda or have you ever thought that realistically, your fears are actually unfounded and really not much will happen?

Same for the other side, do you guys really think Obama/Dems made this country even worse?

I am also curious if based on your belief, you've travelled to other countries.

 

Gin1984

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2017, 09:33:09 AM »
People have already been assaulted because of the attitude from Trump.  His cabinet shows he wants to harm those institutions.  He has talked about sending in the "feds" to Chicago.  He has decided to ignore that legally the president does not control the purse.  Those are not normal for this country. And yes, I have traveled outside the country.  And I am updating my passport for a reason.

Kaspian

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2017, 09:35:12 AM »
It is sad!  And by that, I don't mean any politician in particluar, I mean the news' obsession with getting you to keep watching, to keep clicking.  (Also politicians' attempts to keep the focus on themselves.) They always forecast even worse doom and gloom outrage in the next story, so you must read that as well, must stay tuned until after the commercial break.   Maybe they have to exaggerate, and get even crazier each year to keep people tuned in?  I'm pretty sure I'll never hear, "Well, that's all we have--no real stories at all and overall it was a  pretty good day in ________ .  So, find something else nice to watch."
« Last Edit: January 25, 2017, 09:36:52 AM by Kaspian »

NoStacheOhio

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2017, 09:46:47 AM »
I genuinely worry about what a Trump administration with a Republican Congress and Supreme Court will mean for the future of our country, and to some extent our species.

Environmental issues are top-of-mind, but also things like education policy (I have a four year old), funding for the arts, due process and voting rights. This doesn't even start to address foreign policy issues.

I don't think he's going to carry out a genocide campaign, but I worry about scapegoating and oppression of minorities.

My family will probably be fine, generally speaking. We're overexposed to the healthcare sector (on the employment side), but I'm not quitting my job just to try to mitigate that risk.

ysette9

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2017, 10:23:44 AM »
To some extent I agree with you. Everything seems to be hyperbole and an attempt to get your blood pressure up. That is why I consume most of my content from sources like NPR and The Economist who don't seem to exist to get me all riled up. All the same, the current stories, even when told in a dry, flat tone with no hype, are scary enough to have me worried.

I remember back when Bush Jr. was elected and getting us into the Iraq war how me and my young and idealistic friends were all up in arms (figuratively). He was a very reviled president in my circles but I can see that while most of his positions were opposite of mine, he was a fairly run-of-the-mill politician, though less well-spoken than most. His policies did do some damage, such as getting us mired in a long armed conflict in the middle east that still seems to have no end in sight.

People got hysterically upset about Obama ("he's a Muslim!"; not true. "he's coming to take our guns!"; no, he never even mentioned anything like that. "He's going to implement Sharia law!"; not the slightest whiff of a hint of anything even close to it.) for things that he never remotely suggested. People don't seem to pay much attention to what I think are legitimate issues with his policies such as the massive increase in deportations or the fact that we are still mired in the middle east while people die and are displaced.

I feel like He Who Must Not Be Named is a different story though. Fundamentally I am afraid because he is not a decent person. I disagreed mightily with Bush, but I can see that he was a friendly, respectable, family man who I imagine did what he thought was best, even if those decisions weren't actually supported by facts. The current president has demonstrated that he is a liar, a cheater, a sexual predator, and I am afraid that he will actually implement the policies he has campaigned on. It is also concerning that he seems to have no internal backbone (he has been quoted as supporting both sides of many issues over the years) which means he highly persuadable by the people he has surrounded himself with, who appear to be deeply un-curious ideologues who are actively suppressing science and fact.

Current changes that have been implemented in the last few days include trying to defund NPR (when studies have shown http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/11/21/fox-news-viewers-uninformed-npr-listeners-not-poll-suggests/#21d2cb06189c that NPR listeners are more informed about current events than those who get news from more partisan sources. The recent gag rule ("Mexico City Policy) on global organizations providing healthcare and contraceptives to poor women has been shown in the past to increase rates of abortion, the opposite of the supposed intention, reduce the use of modern contraceptives, and increasing unsafe abortion (which can lead to death). http://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/mexico-city-policy-explainer/ Other negative changes include climate denialism, banning the national parks and EPA from tweeting facts, removal of all mention of LGBT protections and rights from the White House website, and more. This is just in the first week. To me, this is scary for that it portends for the 4 years to come.

Personally, I am fairly insulated from this as a white, educated, high-earning, healthy, resourceful person living in California. The biggest thing I am personally scared about right now is if ACA is repealed with no equivalent replacement, my FIRE plans are seriously messed up because I will not take the chance of us being without insurance in the future. If that means I play my wild card and move to England, so be it. However, I cry internally thinking about the millions of people who don't have those options. As usual, when heartless policies like this are implemented, it is the poorest and the most vulnerable who are hit hardest. CA may well come up with its own Obamacare or even universal healthcare policy. As they say, "As goes California, so goes the nation". However, what about the poor, disadvantaged folks in red states that are already struggling? They already deal with fewer resources, little or no medical coverage (with the prospect of even less without ACA), fewer job opportunities, greatly depressed chances of economic mobility. Adding an education secretary who is ignorant and anti-education isn't going to help that. Adding an EPA secretary who is actively anti climate science isn't going to clean up the water in Flint or protect the vulnerable from the next self-made environmental crisis.

So much gloom. I need some help gaining perspective and finding things to be positive about.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2017, 12:13:45 PM »
I thought people who cried Hitler at Bush and said they would move to Canada were wildly emotional exaggerators. I thought similar attacks on Obama were crazy. I also thought people who touted Obama as a savior were wildly emotional exaggerators.

I don't like watching news channels of any stripe and try to do my own research on even minor claims. I was unaffiliated until last year.

Trump is the first time I am truly scared.

This goes beyond personal political beliefs. Some of his behaviors and attitudes can be legitimately compared to tyrants in history. From the start of the primaries, I saw people underestimate him. Assume he would morph into a normal politician. Assume he wouldn't try to do what he said he would do, because checks and balances.

But we have one party in control, a crippled free press, an ineffective minority party, and a president with no knowledge of or respect for constitutional limits and democratic norms. There are no checks. There are no balances. Citizens can fight, but we can only do so much.

Some of this is the fault of the Dems. They changed the rules for cabinet approvals, for example. Obama expanded executive power. I'm not a blind party apologist. I don't think all Republicans are evil.

But Trump + a Republican Congress + a future Trump Supreme Court terrifies me.

rosaz

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2017, 09:39:08 PM »
If you were completely horrified by Trump Do you genuinely fear that Trump will turn this country into 1994 Rwanda or have you ever thought that realistically, your fears are actually unfounded and really not much will happen?

I think there's a whole lot of room between 1994 Rwanda and 'not much will happen'.

What if it turns into 1940's US (120,000 innocent people, the majority US citizens stuck in internment camps). It's not Rwanda, it's not even close to the most egregious thing the US government has ever done, but to go from the status quo I was used to to that would be quite horrifying. And I do think that's a real possibility.

Or what if he loses in 2020? Will he peacefully cede office? Or will he try to fight it? I'd say there's a 95% chance it would be ok, but before him, I can't think of any president where those odds looked like less than 100%. That is a REALLY big deal to me, even if it's not Rwanda. We had a precious inheritance (a set of entrenched norms that allowed our democracy to flourish) that we were supposed to pass on to our children, and we squandered it.

Syonyk

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2017, 10:29:25 PM »
I was like who is they?

You know, THEM!  The evil Demicans or Republicrats!  THEM!

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If you were completely horrified by Trump Do you genuinely fear that Trump will turn this country into 1994 Rwanda or have you ever thought that realistically, your fears are actually unfounded and really not much will happen?

Same for the other side, do you guys really think Obama/Dems made this country even worse?

Politicians gonna politician.

My point of view starts from the fact that nations and empires have their arc through history, and the United States is on the backside of it - along with an awful lot of Europe.

Which particular politician is clueless about this and doing counterproductive things doesn't make a huge difference to me.

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I am also curious if based on your belief, you've travelled to other countries.

I have, though not for extended periods of time.  My wife and I considered relocating (I probably could have gotten a job in Norway with some contacts I have), but our families are in the US, and what we know is the US - so we've opted to move closer to family, into a rural, conservative area, and focus on sustainability at our own level.  Which looks, I hope, a lot like gardens/aquaponics/solar/local community focus/etc.

To some extent I agree with you. Everything seems to be hyperbole and an attempt to get your blood pressure up.

It's all about the clicks.  Clicks.  Not news.  Not America.  Clicks.  Precious, precious clicks.  "You won't believe what Trump..."  "24 Reasons Trump Is Unsuited To Lead America.  Number 17 is AWFUL!"  etc.  You've seen 'em.  "News" is designed to be viral, moreso than to actually enlighten.

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"he's coming to take our guns!"; no, he never even mentioned anything like that.

Yeah, he kind of did.  Both his campaign website and whitehouse.gov listed "Renew the Assault Weapons Ban with no sunset clause" in 2008 when he snagged office.  That disappeared at some point.  But given the popularity of the AR-15 platform, "Renew the AWB" was reasonably interpreted.  I'm glad he didn't act on it and that it wisely disappeared, but to pretend he didn't run for office on an anti-gun platform is to badly misinterpret history.

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To me, this is scary for that it portends for the 4 years to come.

You're an optimist.  If he manages to screw over the coastal types and improve the life of middle American, even temporarily, he'll have 8 years.

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As they say, "As goes California, so goes the nation".

Popular vote of unfunded mandates?  Mmhmm.  Good luck.  Your state is a tolerable place to visit, a miserable place to live.

Or what if he loses in 2020? Will he peacefully cede office? Or will he try to fight it? I'd say there's a 95% chance it would be ok, but before him, I can't think of any president where those odds looked like less than 100%.

Dubya wasn't going to cede office peacefully.  Obama wasn't going to cede office peacefully.  And I'm pretty sure there were people who thought Clinton (Bill) wasn't going to cede office peacefully.

I've been hearing that as long as I've been paying attention to politics, and haven't seen the slightest whiff of it yet.

LalsConstant

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2017, 06:10:37 AM »
I agree.  I have never liked the sitting president in my adult lifetime.  I have always feared government abuse.  I have always found a way to live with it and make peace with things I cannot change, and I have always thought that's just one of the truths of adulthood is you have to function despite your misgivings. 

Something is culturally wrong with us.

Syonyk

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2017, 08:07:35 AM »
Politics in a failing empire rarely go well for the peons.

SuperMex

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2017, 05:10:15 AM »
Politics in a failing empire rarely go well for the peons.

So very true... The real issue I see is that the general masses are so ignorant in respect to finance and economics that they think taxing the so called rich is a viable formula.

The rich line is always just above what they think they will ever make.

They fail to realize the rich own everything so when you raise their taxes they just increase prices on the middle class who have to buy their products.

So in the end the middle class always takes it on the chin.

ysette9

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2017, 08:59:23 AM »
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They fail to realize the rich own everything so when you raise their taxes they just increase prices on the middle class who have to buy their products.

So in the end the middle class always takes it on the chin.

I guess I have a hard time believing this since we can look around us in the world and see plenty of other countries (hell, look at the US 50 years ago) and see that taxes are (were) much higher on the rich and the middle class is (was) doing much better than they are currently in this country.

By "doing better" I mean % of people living above the poverty line, % of people with access to healthcare, education, and opportunities to move up the income ladder themselves or for their children. I could also include secondary measures of doing better" brought to you by the things that higher taxes can buy, such as higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality, maternal death, and so forth.

acroy

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2017, 09:15:27 AM »
Congratulations on your citizenship OP!

My HO:
Americans have a long proud tradition of overdoing everything. We brag, lie, exaggerate. We eat too much, drink too much, bigger is better. We also invented 'Yellow Journalism'
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism

US journalism industry is not in the news business. They are in the circulation business. They have a long tradition of fighting for circulation via headlines. The efefct of this is real. We may have entered the Spanish American War due (almost solely) to yellow journalism.

The recent comparisons to Hitler et al is nothing new. Both sides 'cry wolf' whether there is a wolf there or not. Here is a fun read on crying wolf:
http://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/

Above is why thoughtful citizens recognize that at least some of the noise is... noise. And end up on 'alt' sources, including dear MMM! And here you are!!

Also: Fear Sells. Everyone out there is trying to sell you something (including me, I am selling you a worldview). Fear of (insert real or imaginary monster here) is a great sales tool. Think critically! Question the sales pitch: 'why are they selling this? who stands to gain?'. Many sales pitches do not stand up to scrutiny. The salesman does not have your best interest at heart. They have their best interest at heart.

Good luck!

MasterStache

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2017, 09:41:35 AM »
Politics in a failing empire rarely go well for the peons.

So very true... The real issue I see is that the general masses are so ignorant in respect to finance and economics that they think taxing the so called rich is a viable formula.

The rich line is always just above what they think they will ever make.

They fail to realize the rich own everything so when you raise their taxes they just increase prices on the middle class who have to buy their products.

So in the end the middle class always takes it on the chin.

Income is taxed, not people or corporations. And only taxable income is taxed, not all income. That, of course, includes corporate revenues. Not every dollar that a corporation takes in during a given year is taxed. Dollars that they take in and use for business expenses, for example, are not taxed. Once all the non-taxable dollars are taken out, then we tax whatever's left. In other words, we tax profits, not revenues.

Look an acronym called EBIT. Corporations, like the one I look for, describe their "operating profit "based on EBIT. Taxes are irrelevant. Sure they matter, but not in terms of pricing our product. 

So you claim that prices will go up isn't necessarily true.

SuperMex

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2017, 10:37:57 AM »
Alright let's give a few examples:

If you own a rental property and the county raises your taxes what would you do? Pay for it out of your pocket or raise rents?

If you are a Doctor/lawyer/accountant etc. with your own practice and they suddenly raised your tax rate from 30% to 50% what would you do? Live off of 20% less or raise your rates?

If you own the quicky-mart and they put a sin tax on junk food, large drinks, and raise gas taxes what would you do?

If you own Walmart and they raise corporate taxes what would you do; just lower your profits and take it on the chin for the stock holders?

MasterStache

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2017, 10:51:47 AM »
Alright let's give a few examples:

If you own a rental property and the county raises your taxes what would you do? Pay for it out of your pocket or raise rents?

If you are a Doctor/lawyer/accountant etc. with your own practice and they suddenly raised your tax rate from 30% to 50% what would you do? Live off of 20% less or raise your rates?

If you own the quicky-mart and they put a sin tax on junk food, large drinks, and raise gas taxes what would you do?

If you own Walmart and they raise corporate taxes what would you do; just lower your profits and take it on the chin for the stock holders?

What are those examples of? You're just tossing nonsense out there.

SuperMex

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2017, 11:05:00 AM »
your right taxing businesses and anyone making over 250k a year at 99% would have no effect on prices. I am sorry for my ignorance.

MasterStache

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2017, 11:23:39 AM »
your right taxing businesses and anyone making over 250k a year at 99% would have no effect on prices. I am sorry for my ignorance.

Nice straw-man.

Cwadda

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2017, 10:49:46 AM »
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the source of exaggerations in politics due to the media outlets we have in this country. The media exaggerates everything (including giving falsified information) for click bait and ratings.

marty998

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Re: Grand exaggerations in politics
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2017, 04:02:02 PM »
your right taxing businesses and anyone making over 250k a year at 99% would have no effect on prices. I am sorry for my ignorance.

Nice straw-man.

It's a nice grand exaggeration too.
_____________________________

Our dear beloved deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was once quoted as saying a humble lamb roast would skyrocket in price to $100 because of the carbon tax in place from 2011 to 2013.

Despite the fact that over that time the price barely budged at all, if anything it probably fell, he still won the argument and was voted into office.