Fks, yes, there are certainly idiots who are Democratic voters as well. But my argument is that 2/3 of the Republican voters fundamentally changed their ideology because they are so far on the Trump bandwagon they can't see anything else. If Hillary had won and proposed ideas completely contrary to Democratic ideals (If she decided gay marriage was wrong, we should have less gun control, etc), I do not believe that most Democratic voters would jump on board and start supporting those ideas. I think they'd be voting her out in the primaries the next time around. Trump seems to have fundamentally changed what the Republican party stands for.
Posted 5 days ago
Some thoughts on how much the Republican party has changed in a short period of time due to Trump. Imagine taking a typical Republican voter from 5 years ago. Tell them that our next president (without naming the party) would get along wonderfully with Russia, and move the US towards China and North Korea in favorable ways. He would alienate our allies Canada, France, Great Britain and others, and potentially start a trade war with tariffs being placed on and by our allies. He would balloon the deficit. And he is terribly mistrustful of the FBI, considering them a corrupt organization. That voter would be appalled, wondering how such a person managed to get into office (and certainly thinking that person couldn't be a Republican). That's not even to mention the disrespect shown towards POW's and gold star families.
I've never seen anything as close to a mainstream cult as I'm seeing right now. Trump was absolutely right, he could go out onto 5th Ave and shoot somebody, and his supporters would still have his back. I'm convinced that Trump could propose some ideas that came right out of The Communist Manifesto, and 2/3 of his supporters would back him 100% because it came from him.
I have respect for the traditional Republican. I agree with fiscal conservatism. And while I am socially liberal, I can respect the opinion of the traditionalist. That type of Republican is now an endangered species. The party has now become a purely nationalistic party, with no interest in fiscal conservatism whatsoever. I hope that after this administration good men can retake control of the party and return it to respectability.
That ends my rant for the day.
Nice of you to breath some life back into this topic
As a social and fiscal conservative (and someone who considers myself to be a Trump supporter) I agree with some of what you are saying.
I don't support Trump's proposal to bring Russia back to the G-7, and I don't support any measures to getting closer to China, which you state Trump has done (perhaps you reference ZTE?)
You state that Trump has "moved the US toward NK in favorable ways". Could you give examples? I see the summit as a positive thing as diplomacy is almost always better than use of force, and we certainly don't need NK getting their hands on Nuclear Weapons. But, I don't see the summit as a way to "move the US toward NK in favorable ways", but rather, a way to conduct diplomacy in order to get what we want rather than immediately blasting them to smithereens (that's a joke, btw). Anyway, I'm not sure what you mean by that statement, perhaps you could elaborate?
Also, could you give examples of Trump or the US under Trump alienating the UK or France? I can understand Canada, with Trudeau at the G-7 regarding tariffs. Although I must say Trudeau's measure of slapping retal tariffs on the US minutes after Trump had left the G-7 summit was a cowardly move. (More on tariffs later). From what I understand US's relation with France is fine, and haven't heard much of it changing regarding UK.
About the trade war. If you look at the data, with pretty much every country in Europe; China, Japan, Canada, Mexico, etc the US imports more goods than it exports. This means that the US buys more from these countries (more $$ to these countries) that these countries buy from us (less $$ back to us). Considering that our initial tariffs will do more damage to these countries' imports than the retal tariffs ever will do to our exports, I think the tariffs are fine. We have a lot of weight to throw around. The tariffs on steel and aluminum are excellent to get America's steel mills/plants back up and running. If we can generate these metals from US soil alone we won't have to buy them from other countries. And it should be the same thing for oil. As soon as any war erupts we don't have a backup plan for importing oil from the Middle East- but we have tons of oil here on US soil. We should drill for this oil and not waste money buying it from other countries when we already have it. America should be as self-reliable as possible.
As for the FBI. I don't know much about the situation as there is a lot of speculation and not a whole lot of confirmed facts. It seems that there are some important people in the FBI that might have done some bad things. But I think that the day-to-day work of the FBI is trustworthy, and important. Except for the FBI official whose gun went off while he did a backflip while dancing. That was.... bad..lol
I also agree with Trump on other social issues and support his appointment of Gorsuch to the supreme court. He also has appointed a lot of other conservative judges to the lower court which IMO is good.
I'm always a winner- win or lose the game. I take my mistakes and learn from them!
-Fairway, December 2015
Posted 5 days ago
My big problem isn't over the specific issues (I disagree with Trump on many. but not all). My issue (at least the one I'm ranting about here) is the devotion so many people have to this man, regardless of what policies he puts forth. So many think that if he says it, it's true and right. If he opposes it, it's wrong. Republicans are supposed to be for free trade. The tariffs are the opposite of that, now all of a sudden these people think it's a good idea. Imagine if Hillary was president and was for increasing tariffs? The Republicans would have a fit. But because it's Trump, it's OK.
As far as North Korea, I have no problem with him trying to establish peaceful relations. But the same people that now want to give him the Nobel Prize when things are very preliminary ripped Obama to shreds over the Iran deal. So I guess we'll have to wait and see if the North Korea deal is better. Will part of that deal be to allow UN inspections with no notice anywhere in the country anytime we want ? Will it be a lifetime commitment to never developing nuclear weapons again? If not, it's hypocrisy being shown again.
As for the specific aluminum and steel tariffs, I personally think they are terrible ideas. There are way more companies and people that use these materials than produce them (mine included). It will be wonderful for the handful of people that make these materials, and crippling for all the companies that use them, not to mention increasing prices for the consumer.
Enough ranting for now though, maybe I'll do some more ranting after work if I'm up to it.
Posted 2 days ago
People don't like to admit mistakes. Combine that with a man that has a talent for displaying himself as the victim and you have a powerful mix of emotion.
This has been going on in our country for close to 30 years. Trump just takes it to a new level.
There is often a thread of truth in what he says - allowing his supporters to ignore the fact that around that thread are outright lies.
Frankly, he has proven to not be up to the job. He is a typical example of someone that was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple - only he thinks he hit a grand slam.
As for our relationship with other countries. For decades after WWII the US has put forth a vision of an international order based on rules and agreements. ie, the end of "might makes right". In the past 20 years we've watched two countries ignore (and use for their own benefit) these international norms. China and to a lesser extent Russia. China joined the WTO and promptly used the organization to attract more foreign investment than any other country. BUT they ignored all the rules that didn't benefit China. Forcing foreign firms to take on local partners. Subsidizing production deemed in the national interest. Outright stealing of technology. Ignoring IP and patents. The use of a punitive legal system. The list is very long.
And what did our leaders/elites do? Well they basically bought into the idea that China would magically change with time. Well they did change - they no longer attempt to hide and pretend they follow the rules. Look no further than the South China Seas. China has successfully stolen more than 10 Trillion dollars of technology and IP over the past 20 years. It is the greatest theft in history. And our leaders deserve the scorn exhibited in this past election. Now they are stealing the South China Seas by simply building islands they claim as their own and ignoring longstanding laws about economic interests and the seas. Make no mistake - it is about China building power and using it (solely) for Chinese interests (well actually communist party Chinese interests). Parallel to this is their initiative to invest in smaller countries to expand Chinese economic reach - with the added bonus of indebting these countries to China.
This has already been successful in Cambodia. The people do not like nor trust the Chinese. But China has replaced Western aid to prop up the regime - without the strings of western aid. The result? The port city of Sihanoukville has literally been given to Chinese interests. Local Cambodians rounded up and told they don't actually own the land they have been living on for the past 30 years. Their businesses closed, homes taken. And everything torn down to make way for Chinese casinos. The port is now Chinese also. Bridges built in Cambodia are routinely funded by the Chinese. A bridge that should cost $30-$40 million is built for $150 million. Chinese don't blink an eye - why not? They know the funds go to the dictator's family and cronies - and they know they know it. Now they own them. The result - ASEAN will never issue a statement criticizing China in the South China Seas. Simply because Cambodia has a vote (which is in essence now a Chinese vote). China aims to emulate this tens of times over across the globe. They care not one iota about the Cambodian people. There are no ideals involved - only to further Chinese power.
When the US leave the TPP, when we question the very notion that NATO is a good thing, when resort to trying to use power with our allies as opposed to negotiations - WE FURTHER CHINESE INTERESTS.
There is no issue with a US president arguing with our allies over trade practices that may disadvantage US business. That is fine - and in fact, what Trudeau did in retaliating wasn't cowardly - it was simply a domestic political reality. No leader of a country can be seen to be acting in another country's interest ahead of his/her own. Trump attacked him publicly - insulted the country of Canada by identifying them as a national security threat - and then made it publicly known he didn't want to attend the G7 meeting in Canada. That isn't some sort of smart negotiating - thats just stupid.
If, as reported we were close to a new NAFTA agreement with Canada and the sticking point was the US desire to have a 5 year sunset clause, then the way to publicly push and apply some pressure is to announce that we are close to an agreement with Canada - we've made some concessions - they have made some concessions and now we are hammering out the way to ensure that the agreement stays current and relevant in the future. The US supports a set period of revisiting the agreement and Canada favors not imposing a schedule. We (the US) value our alliance with our neighbor to the north and given the speed at which the world is changing want to work with Canada to find a way to keep NAFTA current and fair to all parties. I look forward to working directly with my counterpart to resolve the few remaining issues.
Think that perhaps the deal would be completed by now if the above was the approach rather than attacking Canada as a national security threat?
The same is true with NATO. Does the US have a very legitimate beef with the constant underfunding of NATO by European allies? Yes we do. And it should have been addressed a long time ago. Rather than insult. How about the President would have taken his 1st foreign trip to Estonia and then Poland and then Greece and the UK. Thanking directly the people of these countries for supporting the US/European alliance and living up to their commitment to NATO. Think that might have sent a strong message to Paris and Berlin? One that might actually find some support among their people? Might it have prompted some European governments to actually revisit their policies and move in the direction the US would like them to move? I think the answer is at least - maybe. The answer given the approach taken by Trump is that the US can go jump in the lake.
Trump seems to think we should emulate the type of power being exhibited and pursued by the Chinese and other authoritative regimes. I have no issue with the decision to meet with Kim - South Korea is a close ally and they favor this approach. But I take great issue with the praising of a man that has murdered 100's of thousands of his own people- and basically starved half of the rest. I take great issue with Trump taking the CHINESE position that joint training exercises in the South are provocative and ending them WITHOUT DISCUSSING WITH OUR ALLIES JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA! Who does that? I'll tell you - an idiot (or perhaps an idiot that has business interests that received a $500 million Chinese loan recently?)
And unfortunately, that is what we have. A spoiled 70 something year old man that is an idiot. And what is worse is that I fully believe he places himself above country. And that should worry everyone.
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KING of the Battlefield!!!!!!
Posted A day ago
Good stuff, Scott. It's very interesting to hear a perspective on some of this stuff from someone who has first hand knowledge of some of the things going in in Southeast Asia.
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