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USA: is it something in their water?

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Leothebear
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USA: is it something in their water?

#335512

Postby Leothebear » August 24th, 2020, 2:35 pm

I've only just read about the QAnon movement and have been left dumbfounded.
A far right conspiracy theory about the elite left in the Democrat party and it's supporters being evil, blood drinking paedophiles (no I'm not joking) whose aim is to unseat the good and noble DT.

This apparently has widespread support amongst Trump supporters.

Words fail me.

Now a video of a black man having 7 bullets pumped into him, from point-blank range, by a Wisconsin police officer, has gone viral. I've seen it myself - it beggars belief.

Surely the sane and reasonable proportion of the US population must be in despair.

didds
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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335519

Postby didds » August 24th, 2020, 2:56 pm

I have no answers to this question, but would say its a reasonable one to ask.

Personally for a while now I've taken the view that I can't do anything about it, its their country to change things if they see fit to do so, and I have no interest in ever going there now.

I find it very odd. Of course, I also find many things about the UK odd too!

didds

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335529

Postby simsqu » August 24th, 2020, 4:09 pm

Leothebear wrote:
A far right conspiracy theory about the elite left in the Democrat party and it's supporters being evil, blood drinking paedophiles (no I'm not joking) whose aim is to unseat the good and noble DT.

This apparently has widespread support amongst Trump supporters.

Words fail me.



I too have seen some stuff about this, but nothing surprises me any more about DT and his supporters. People believe what they want to believe.

But is it not true - hopefully, generally in a less extreme version - of everyone? We all tend to read newspapers, watch programmes, read books that support our own viewpoint. Not exclusively of course, but I would say that most people, most of the time, believe what they want to believe, and seek out likeminded others to affirm that belief, whether it is DT supporters, Remainers, or dog-lovers to name but three.

Ever since 2016, the world has gone tits-up.

Doomed, we are

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335531

Postby bluedonkey » August 24th, 2020, 4:24 pm

didds wrote:I have no answers to this question, but would say its a reasonable one to ask.

Personally for a while now I've taken the view that I can't do anything about it, its their country to change things if they see fit to do so, and I have no interest in ever going there now.

I find it very odd. Of course, I also find many things about the UK odd too!

didds

Sadly, I now feel the same way about visiting the USA. Not sure my view would change even if Trump loses in November. His supporters won't have gone away!

Even Steve Bannon said the QAnon conspiracy theory was for "nutjobs" (or similar words).

By way of balance, it's probably true that most countries in the world have significant elements of their population with ridiculous or extreme views. They just don't get the same publicity that the biggest economy in the world gets. Years ago, the views of the loudmouth in the pub/bar/diner didn't get any further than the few who were there at the time. Now millions of us get to hear.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335539

Postby AlumniLawn » August 24th, 2020, 5:02 pm

simsqu wrote:Ever since 2016, the world has gone tits-up.


I have a relative who said the same thing in 1916 and another one who said the same thing in 1816 and yet another in 1716.

You get the picture.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335542

Postby bungeejumper » August 24th, 2020, 5:12 pm

bluedonkey wrote:By way of balance, it's probably true that most countries in the world have significant elements of their population with ridiculous or extreme views. They just don't get the same publicity that the biggest economy in the world gets. Years ago, the views of the loudmouth in the pub/bar/diner didn't get any further than the few who were there at the time. Now millions of us get to hear.

The problem, for me, is that besides the loonies, America has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world - 120 per 100 of the population, which is more than double that of the runner-up (Yemen, with 55 per 100 people). There's already been an attack on a Washington pizza parlour where somebody who believed this looney tunes paedophile story (or a similar one) went in and shot the place up.

So you've got insane people, and stupid people, and people with guns, and people who worship Trump. And an uncomfortably high degree of congruence between the four. This isn't going to end well. One of my biggest fears is that one day somebody will take a pop at Trump with a sniper rifle and you'll have a civil war within a week. Probably much less than a week. :(

BJ

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335551

Postby scrumpyjack » August 24th, 2020, 5:41 pm

One could also despair that apparently most Russians support Putin, or that woke thinking has overtaken the self appointed elite

I don't think people are inherently different around the world, but it seems clear that humans are capable of being led into thinking in ways that most of us might consider quite incredible. This has gone on for a long time throughout history.

The trouble is as technology has moved on, the lunatics (or rationally impaired) can now do far more damage, whether with biological weapons, nuclear bombs and material or whatever. When they could only shoot bows and arrows the damage potential was more limited (but still huge!)

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335553

Postby Dod101 » August 24th, 2020, 5:43 pm

And yet, and yet most people we have met in the US are relatively normal and apparently sane. It is a beautiful country but why o why does it spawn such lunatics everywhere it would seem?

The other question I keep asking myself is why is it that Canada, just next door, seems so boringly sane and how does it manage to keep itself that way? Interesting world.

Dod

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335563

Postby Leothebear » August 24th, 2020, 6:06 pm

Well I, like BJ find the US situation disturbing as well as depressing. There is now such a huge polarization it would seem conflict is a more likely outcome than pragmatism and cooperation. Think of the conflicts:

White (supremacists) v blacks
Believers V non-believers
Guns V Non-guns

Far right v right (by our standards) seems to encompass all the above.

Ironic that in a place where they claim to hold liberty so dearly, the word liberal is spat out as an insult.

The Internet has given a voice to some vile views.

Cheery note: The football season starts in under 3 weeks.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335567

Postby bluedonkey » August 24th, 2020, 6:08 pm

I've just read a post on the Nate Silver 538 website. It points out that the increased polarity between Congressional Democrats and Republicans is a well established trend that is likely to remain or increase.

I think the potential for Civil War is overstating the case but the (low) probability is likely to have ticked up a point or two. It depresses me to say that there is a person in the White House who would probably welcome such an event if it was in his interests. Extraordinary.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335575

Postby bungeejumper » August 24th, 2020, 6:21 pm

This'll cheer you up. 45% of Republican voters told Statista that they owned at least one gun, compared with 16% of Democrat voters. And that was 2016-2018. https://www.statista.com/statistics/249 ... filiation/

I'm sure a statistician will be along in a minute to point out all the gaps and open ends in this argument. What if those 16% of Democrats owned thirty guns each, compared with only one per Republican? Are the gun ownership figures for Independent voters (32%) worth anything at all, since there are so few of them? And how would all this square with the national statistic of 120 guns per 100 people - shall we call that an average of one per adult? There must be a lot of six-gun households out there if these figures are to stack up.

The only thing that does stack up is that the NRA is solidly pro-Trump and has given him countless millions in party contributions. :|

BJ

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335580

Postby SalvorHardin » August 24th, 2020, 6:33 pm

Leothebear wrote:Ironic that in a place where they claim to hold liberty so dearly, the word liberal is spat out as an insult.

"Liberal" in American English has a very different meaning than in English. It doesn't have anything to do with liberty. "Liberal" is a good example of two countries being divided by a common language.

"Liberal" in American English means different things depending on your politics. To left-wingers it means something close to "European social democracy". To almost everyone else it means anything in the spectrum from "supporter of big goverment" to "socialist" or even "communist".

The Democrats generally avoid using "liberal" because it has been turned into an insult. Nowadays they prefer "progressive".

What we call "Liberal" the Americans call "Libertarian". Many American economists use "classical liberal" which is close to our liberal (laissez-faire economics and prioritising individual rights over collective rights).

Then again in Britain we have the "Liberal Democrats", a party which cannot can be called "liberal" in the classical liberalism sense, in particular over their views on freedom of speech and government intervention in the economy.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335587

Postby Lootman » August 24th, 2020, 6:47 pm

bungeejumper wrote:This'll cheer you up. 45% of Republican voters told Statista that they owned at least one gun, compared with 16% of Democrat voters. And that was 2016-2018. https://www.statista.com/statistics/249 ... filiation/

I'm sure a statistician will be along in a minute to point out all the gaps and open ends in this argument. What if those 16% of Democrats owned thirty guns each, compared with only one per Republican? Are the gun ownership figures for Independent voters (32%) worth anything at all, since there are so few of them? And how would all this square with the national statistic of 120 guns per 100 people - shall we call that an average of one per adult? There must be a lot of six-gun households out there if these figures are to stack up.

It is US cities that have passed the strictest restrictions on firearms. It is very difficult to get a concealed carry permit in places like New York City and San Francisco, for instance. In fact there is nowhere in buy a gun in San Francisco. Those cities are solidly Democrat.

It is the suburbs and rural areas where (legal) gun ownership is much more common, and of course those areas are reliably Republican. So I think the discrepancy can be at least be partly explained by geography and demographics.

In total I have spent a few years in the US and the only times I saw a gun, outside of a law enforcement officer, was in Wyoming, which is an open carry State and which has bears, for which a gun might be quite useful. And in Utah where a woman showed me her collection of brightly coloured handguns. She also took me to the local pawn shop, called "Guns and Diamonds", so named because broke men usually pawn their guns while poor women usually pawn their jewellery. A fascinating insight into life off the grid in the desert.

I've never been personally bothered about being in the US for this or any other reason. As any visitor will tell you, Americans are invariably nice and friendly, often more so than in the UK. A little prudence is warranted and I would not wander around Detroit at night. But the US is nothing like as insane as is being portrayed in clickbait stories.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335605

Postby Snorvey » August 24th, 2020, 7:42 pm

We all tend to read newspapers, watch programmes, read books that support our own viewpoint.

The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum brought this into focus for me.

Online news sources learned which news stories would interest you (ie ones that support your view) and whixh ones dont and feed you accordingly.

Speak to any Scottish Nationalist and you'll see that they live in a different world and they quote news sources that you've never heard of.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335607

Postby Dod101 » August 24th, 2020, 7:53 pm

Snorvey wrote:We all tend to read newspapers, watch programmes, read books that support our own viewpoint.

The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum brought this into focus for me.

Online news sources learned which news stories would interest you (ie ones that support your view) and whixh ones dont and feed you accordingly.

Speak to any Scottish Nationalist and you'll see that they live in a different world and they quote news sources that you've never heard of.


True, and most of my friends know that I am not exactly a Scottish Nationalist. Is that why I have never met anyone who is an SNP supporter?

Dod

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335640

Postby bluedonkey » August 24th, 2020, 10:09 pm

Dod101 wrote:
Snorvey wrote:We all tend to read newspapers, watch programmes, read books that support our own viewpoint.

The 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum brought this into focus for me.

Online news sources learned which news stories would interest you (ie ones that support your view) and whixh ones dont and feed you accordingly.

Speak to any Scottish Nationalist and you'll see that they live in a different world and they quote news sources that you've never heard of.


True, and most of my friends know that I am not exactly a Scottish Nationalist. Is that why I have never met anyone who is an SNP supporter?

Dod

They're scared to tell you Dod!

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335641

Postby bluedonkey » August 24th, 2020, 10:11 pm

SalvorHardin wrote:
Leothebear wrote:Ironic that in a place where they claim to hold liberty so dearly, the word liberal is spat out as an insult.

"Liberal" in American English has a very different meaning than in English. It doesn't have anything to do with liberty. "Liberal" is a good example of two countries being divided by a common language.

"Liberal" in American English means different things depending on your politics. To left-wingers it means something close to "European social democracy". To almost everyone else it means anything in the spectrum from "supporter of big goverment" to "socialist" or even "communist".

In US politics, liberal and conservative were used to denote the left- or right-wings of the Democrats and Republicans. A liberal Republican might find common ground with a conservative Democrat, for example. Nowadays, those types are rare.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335659

Postby Leothebear » August 24th, 2020, 11:34 pm

SalvorHardin wrote:
Leothebear wrote:Ironic that in a place where they claim to hold liberty so dearly, the word liberal is spat out as an insult.

"Liberal" in American English has a very different meaning than in English. It doesn't have anything to do with liberty. "Liberal" is a good example of two countries being divided by a common language.

"Liberal" in American English means different things depending on your politics. To left-wingers it means something close to "European social democracy". To almost everyone else it means anything in the spectrum from "supporter of big goverment" to "socialist" or even "communist".

The Democrats generally avoid using "liberal" because it has been turned into an insult. Nowadays they prefer "progressive".

What we call "Liberal" the Americans call "Libertarian". Many American economists use "classical liberal" which is close to our liberal (laissez-faire economics and prioritising individual rights over collective rights).

Then again in Britain we have the "Liberal Democrats", a party which cannot can be called "liberal" in the classical liberalism sense, in particular over their views on freedom of speech and government intervention in the economy.



Well thanks for pointing that out SH but I and I'm sure most on here knew that. It remains rather ironic to me.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335665

Postby Lootman » August 25th, 2020, 1:55 am

Leothebear wrote:
SalvorHardin wrote:
Leothebear wrote:Ironic that in a place where they claim to hold liberty so dearly, the word liberal is spat out as an insult.

"Liberal" in American English has a very different meaning than in English. It doesn't have anything to do with liberty. "Liberal" is a good example of two countries being divided by a common language.

"Liberal" in American English means different things depending on your politics. To left-wingers it means something close to "European social democracy". To almost everyone else it means anything in the spectrum from "supporter of big government" to "socialist" or even "communist".

The Democrats generally avoid using "liberal" because it has been turned into an insult. Nowadays they prefer "progressive".

What we call "Liberal" the Americans call "Libertarian". Many American economists use "classical liberal" which is close to our liberal (laissez-faire economics and prioritising individual rights over collective rights).

Then again in Britain we have the "Liberal Democrats", a party which cannot can be called "liberal" in the classical liberalism sense, in particular over their views on freedom of speech and government intervention in the economy.

Well thanks for pointing that out SH but I and I'm sure most on here knew that. It remains rather ironic to me.

I think SH is correct. One thing to give the American Left credit for is their manipulation of language for their own ends.

"Liberal" sounds so much nicer than "socialist".

"Progressive" sounds so much better than "regressive"

And co-opting "justice" is just the latest one as in social justice, racial justice, environmental justice etc.

In fact terms like "moderate" and "centrist" have been turned into criticisms by the Sanders mob.

Fun with words.

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Re: USA: is it something in their water?

#335666

Postby servodude » August 25th, 2020, 2:09 am

Lootman wrote:
Leothebear wrote:
SalvorHardin wrote:"Liberal" in American English has a very different meaning than in English. It doesn't have anything to do with liberty. "Liberal" is a good example of two countries being divided by a common language.

"Liberal" in American English means different things depending on your politics. To left-wingers it means something close to "European social democracy". To almost everyone else it means anything in the spectrum from "supporter of big government" to "socialist" or even "communist".

The Democrats generally avoid using "liberal" because it has been turned into an insult. Nowadays they prefer "progressive".

What we call "Liberal" the Americans call "Libertarian". Many American economists use "classical liberal" which is close to our liberal (laissez-faire economics and prioritising individual rights over collective rights).

Then again in Britain we have the "Liberal Democrats", a party which cannot can be called "liberal" in the classical liberalism sense, in particular over their views on freedom of speech and government intervention in the economy.

Well thanks for pointing that out SH but I and I'm sure most on here knew that. It remains rather ironic to me.

I think SH is correct. One thing to give the American Left credit for is their manipulation of language for their own ends.

"Liberal" sounds so much nicer than "socialist".

"Progressive" sounds so much better than "regressive"

And co-opting "justice" is just the latest one as in social justice, racial justice, environmental justice etc.

In fact terms like "moderate" and "centrist" have been turned into criticisms by the Sanders mob.

Fun with words.


Meanwhile in OZ there's the Liberal Party
- I guess it does sound better than the "detaining kids in offshore camps" party
- got to give those lefties credit for the manipulation of the language ;)

- sd


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