News In case you haven't noticed, the US is on fire #BandwithWarning

Wildebeet

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Dec 5, 2018
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As an outsider, I agree with your fundamental point that the US political system disenfranchises lots of people (by design?), and that much of the for-profit media (by definition) thrives on division.
However, I really cannot -- even with honest effort -- understand how anyone who is not either a fascist, racist, MAGA nut, child (in mind at least), moron, or amoral capitalist member of the 1% (and one without a shred of long-term perspective at that) can support Donald Trump. Especially at this point in time, but it wasn't really fundamentally different 4 years ago.
Yeah that's important, that it didn't start with Trump or his supporters 4 years ago. I don't know, we can judge people many different ways and against many different standards. I do try to understand why people choose as they do, even if I can't really comprehend what they think they're getting out of it. I don't want to write them off as simpletons whose concerns don't matter.

I know many Trump supporters on a personal basis. Some are even family members. It's just a fact of life living in a rural area. I do not know them to be especially racist, amoral, childish, etc. They prefer Trump because of the usual bland vagaries that people support any candidate for, including Biden. Bring jobs back to america. Improve the economy. Stop such and such regulations. Repeal ACA. Get tough with china. Sure beats voting for the other guy. It's just talk. It's fucking football or the weather. They weren't looking to preserve white power or tip over the whole table. That describes 80% of his supporters. And also that describes both parties but with different issues. People don't have these big ideological reasons for why they vote. It would never cross their minds to go to rallies or marching or hassling BLM.

I can't say they're doing anything more childish or moronic than anybody does when they vote for a president in this country, expecting that showing up one day in November every four years will result in a sort of legal autopilot. It's all smug, self satisfied groupthink when your guy gets in. Doom and apocalyptic darkness when your guy doesn't. That's normal, unfortunately. In a relative, baseline sense, they're normal. Our situation is such that we're subjected to a "might makes right" style democracy, and a republic that insulates the politicians from "king mob". That's where the wild swings and overreaction comes from - everybody feels under threat at all times from normal people, even if it's mostly imaginary and those normal people were put up to doing this at great effort and expense by the assholes we've elected, each promising to protect us from our normal boogeymen neighbors. Politicians benefit. Media benefits. Regular people hate each other. So that's cool.

This whole thing is a shitshow on so many levels it's hard to see what's even happening or who is responsible. But just like we wouldn't blame a bank failure on a teller not being friendly enough, it's hard for me to blame little people for making the wrong choices when there weren't any right ones. This is a non-partisan system level issue at the top, not the bottom. What we see today is the result, not the cause. It's a bad tree, not bad apples.

Now, why they didn't drop their support while he ramped up his stupidity and twitter antics? Because it further reinforces the idea that he's not professional, not polished, not marketable, not the least bit reasonable, not a politician. So it's like they chose to have a little break from the normal system. Like having a substitute teacher for four years. What we can really learn from this is that a large number of people, given any option but those 20 candidates in the primaries, said "anything but these people." Maybe childish and irresponsible? It's hard to say. It's less a reflection of the players being bad, but the game being so bad it wasn't worth preserving. This problem long predates Trump. I can't really say they don't have their kernel of truth. I just think it's better to try to understand where they're coming from instead of writing them off, because then we learn nothing.



Also I kind of disagree that this is truly a coup attempt in any meaningful way because some dude going paramilitary cosplay is not the same as overthrowing the government. The breach is surely embarrassing, but A. that city is a zoo on its best day, B. the military and police presence is not going to have a serious problem with this. They have literally zero chance of success. This is not a military takeover or a CIA plot. We can call it a coup, but it's a gigantic exaggeration. I see lightly armed bearded people. The dogs who caught the car with no idea what to do with it.

I'm gonna go play Stardew Valley for a bit.
 
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DriftedPlanet

Ash, I think something was in those sandwiches
Oct 27, 2018
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I agree with your points about the problems with political representation in the United States but I have to disagree regarding your characterization of DC as "what might be the most heavily policed and militarized city on earth" and "an absolute circus every single day".

I've lived within and around the DC beltway for 25 years. Some towns nearby and definitely parts of Baltimore are very seedy or unwise to walk in but I can't imagine what you've seen here before to conclude that it's anything like a circus.

Regarding policing, I may have a bias on that as Montgomery County and Prince George's County are both infamous around here for the quantity of patrol cars, speed cameras, and red light cameras (MoCo especially). DC really doesn't seem to have many patrol cars or military outside of one or two dozen government buildings and monuments.

There are a fairly large number of military-related sites near DC, so I can see the militarized angle but I'm curious as to the circumstances that have formed your opinions behind the Circus comment.
 

Wildebeet

First Stage Hero
Dec 5, 2018
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DriftedPlanet

I lived in Baltimore for a while and Arlington for a very short bit. Long story short, I hated it, so it's true I probably have a really negative bias. Good that you apparently like it just fine! I also had family living in DC and quite a few friends there, but almost everybody has left because it has gotten extremely expensive. I did work there related to Baltimore's police and fire dept (office job, I'm not a police/fire anything - it was weird but that was the job).

Regarding the circus and policing, I am talking about the monuments area though since that's where the event took place. These have multiple layers of specialized police forces, (Capitol Police, Parks Police, Treasury, military police, even the zoo and the Smithsonian have their own police, and these include tactical units, secret service etc) as well as an alert military presence. In all sincerity, I would not be surprised if the zoo had a tactical unit. Lots of police even without the federal stuff. DC/Baltimore both have very high crime rates. And yeah the surrounding counties and I-95 are hugely over policed.

I've rarely been there without accidentally wading through a protest or otherwise large event. Once I accidentally got off the metro into a Bush era protest that was quite rough. I've been stuck on the highway many times because of motorcade movement, not to mention how bad traffic is on a normal day. I was there as a visitor and got stuck during a big snowstorm that everybody freaked out about some years ago. Honestly that one was pretty fun though.

Even the last time I was in DC before covid, I was taking the train to the museums. I pull in and realized, oh fuck today is the Capitols stanley cup celebration. Where? Right in front of the smithsonian buildings. So that was a day with exhausted hungry kids, hours waiting for the train to get back, no place to eat.

One time I even missed my ferry off Martha's Vineyard because of Obama's motorcade. I didn't know he was vacationing there. I think Obama did it on purpose just to get me one more time, knowing I would have to sleep in a car. Felt like old times. Fortunately I made it off on the last one.

So, I don't mean that there are tanks in the street or that an armed mob overrunning a federal building is just a regular Tuesday. But in the mall area, I've always felt like I had to be ready to duck. I think your day to day experience is probably different than the reasons I was there (visiting people, business stuff). All that I meant was that protests and large gatherings are routine in that area (circus, to me) and that the protesters don't have a chance against the police/military presence there because it's essentially unlimited versus some weird MAGA goons.

Don't take my circus comment too negatively I guess. I just mean that the mall/monuments can get ... busy, to say the least.
 

DriftedPlanet

Ash, I think something was in those sandwiches
Oct 27, 2018
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Don't take my circus comment too negatively I guess. I just mean that the mall/monuments can get ... busy, to say the least.
Yeah, no worries! I agree with your assessments of the traffic and crowds. The delays and reroutes are definitely expected around here whenever there is a holiday, heavy rain, any quantity of snow, a social event, a political event, or any sporting event in DC or really anywhere near the DC beltway.

It's a similar feeling in regard to both the variety of police/military forces around different institutions and the constant upkeep on politics around here. Thinking about your comments, these things are definitely very common here but seem matter-of-fact and normalised living in this area.

It's interesting hearing your impressions of things here and seeing these things as unusual. Here, it feels like the type of thing where many would just say, "yeah, it's the federal corridor, of course it's like that." The whole federal corridor (DMV: DC, Maryland, and Virginia but mostly Arlington/Alexandria up through Baltimore to Timonium and Hunt Valley) are always following the politics, the weather, the events, transportation delays, the whole shebang.

It's a bit off-topic but I want to say this is what I really like about forums and the internet age. Our different perspectives on the same area reflect the same reality but make me want to travel and talk to more people. Major metropolitan areas that aren't swarmed during events or as heavily guarded, how things are handled elsewhere. Thank you for explaining your thoughts.
 

Phoenix RISING

A phoenix always RISES!
Apr 23, 2019
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Ann Arbor, MI
www.geeksundergrace.com
I'm still reeling from what's going on in the US. Hard to talk shop about video games among company who I don't know their stance on the topic, or agreed with the insurgents. (not talking about this place but others)

That's kinda how I've been the past year. Trying to figure out how to mentally function in a reality where disinformation has become so normal, that it would eventually incite thousands of people to decend upon our nation's capital because they ||rigged the election through voter suppression over the years and still|| lost the election.

Jan 6, 2021 means support of BLM was lipservice, and so, I am trying to organize my thoughts, and find safe spaces where other BIPOC are venting.
 

Swenhir

Spaceships!
Apr 18, 2019
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So I've been wondering about it more and more, what is the word on Glenn Greenwald? On one hand, he's among the journalists that's broken the Snowen leaks and has overall seemed to behave in rather ethical ways, especially when I understand his boyfriend was held up at an airport in an attempt to intimidate him. On the other hand, he mentions the Deep State which I understand is a recurrent theme with people subscribing to a lot of Trump/Extremist rhetoric.