25 votes

We don’t know how to warn you any harder. America is dying

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27 comments

  1. [5]
    Deimos
    (edited )
    Link
    Edit: I'm just going to lock the comments instead of remove the post, so the existing discussion can be retained. A similar (but better) article has been posted here if you want to participate in...

    Edit: I'm just going to lock the comments instead of remove the post, so the existing discussion can be retained. A similar (but better) article has been posted here if you want to participate in a related discussion.


    Original comment:

    I'm very strongly considering removing this article (and probably will soon, after looking into it more, unless someone convinces me it's actually worth continuing to discuss).

    As far as I can tell, it's written by a guy who's been writing almost the exact same article every day for months for the purpose of getting repeated shares around social media. It's very sensationalized and written in a manner and format specifically intended to encourage that (and it's working well, he's good at it).

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      moonbathers
      Link Parent
      I definitely got caught up in this and I apologize for that. I'll have to keep a better eye on how I react to things in the future.

      I definitely got caught up in this and I apologize for that. I'll have to keep a better eye on how I react to things in the future.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Deimos
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Oh, definitely don't apologize. Your comments are one of the main reasons I'm hesitating to remove it, because I don't want to negate all the effort you put into those. The discussion here is...

        Oh, definitely don't apologize. Your comments are one of the main reasons I'm hesitating to remove it, because I don't want to negate all the effort you put into those. The discussion here is decent so far, but it's a pretty questionable article to have started it with.

        I'm really not sure what the best way to handle things like this is. Here, just like everywhere else, sensationalized political articles get a lot of attention, cause the same arguments almost every single time, etc. Should we just keep repeating basically the same comment thread every couple of days? Is that actually useful, interesting, or enjoyable to anyone? I honestly don't know, but I don't know if trying to prevent it is "better" either.

        4 votes
        1. moonbathers
          Link Parent
          I would say don't worry about negating the effort I put into things, I was considering deleting my main comment after I realized I got caught up in things anyway. And I feel you, it's a tough...

          I would say don't worry about negating the effort I put into things, I was considering deleting my main comment after I realized I got caught up in things anyway. And I feel you, it's a tough situation, particularly when there are 20 comments by the time you get here. As I was writing my main comment I accepted that I'm going to have to continue writing posts about how both sides aren't the same and voting third party does nothing and LGBT people should be able to live in peace too, but that's not a good approach for running a forum. One of the big draws here for me at least is that there's not much of an eternal September effect because everyone who's already been here gets the memo on things and to an extent we don't have to keep hashing out the same arguments over and over again.

          3 votes
  2. [2]
    grungegun
    Link
    You read this, and then you read the history of America. Genocide, slavery, imperialism, private corporate armies, disregard for the law, ignorance, racism, sexism, state mandated religion, etc....

    You read this, and then you read the history of America. Genocide, slavery, imperialism, private corporate armies, disregard for the law, ignorance, racism, sexism, state mandated religion, etc. And you remember that we're comparing now America to a happy fairy tale America from 50 years ago, when everything was better.

    It's good to remember that America used to do not just bad stuff, but really bad stuff. The prosperous America came in part because of WW2.

    9 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      We used to do bad stuff. We still do, but we used to, too. Prosperity has not lessened America''s evils.

      We used to do bad stuff. We still do, but we used to, too.

      Prosperity has not lessened America''s evils.

      8 votes
  3. [13]
    moonbathers
    Link
    What do we do if Trump stays in power, legally or not? I haven't seen anyone say it yet. This is a great article, but I haven't seen a lot of people talk about what we do after the election and...

    What do we do if Trump stays in power, legally or not? I haven't seen anyone say it yet. This is a great article, but I haven't seen a lot of people talk about what we do after the election and I'm stuck on that part. What can we do to fight back?

    7 votes
    1. [4]
      Silbern
      Link Parent
      I don't like this article tbh, for a whole bunch of reasons. But primarily: The author doesn't recognize the difference between the military and the police, or the fact that the police are a very...
      • Exemplary

      I don't like this article tbh, for a whole bunch of reasons. But primarily:

      • The author doesn't recognize the difference between the military and the police, or the fact that the police are a very decentralized force in the US. He also doesn't believe that the military isn't loyal to Trump as a person, which is an understandable opinion, but not a particularly accurate one given that the military has shown itself to be willing to rebuke him on issues far more minor than him overstaying his Constitutional term limits.

      • He ignores the fact that Trump has a credible, pro-Democracy opposition that's beating him in objective polls, and an independent judicial system. If Trump wants to become the next Saddam Hussein or Hitler, he needs to find a way to destroy both, something he doesn't seem to have much interest in doing (The way Duda or Orban in Poland/Hungary have done for example)

      • For that matter, Trump doesn't have an SS or any kind of private army. The author actually has a good point here - there likely are enough violent rightwingers out there to make up one - but the fact of the matter is that we doesn't have anything to actually enforce himself with, and his hands are tied as far as being able to control the government.

      • It keeps making the assertion, literally, that the author speaks for every survivor of authoritarian regimes. Like here:

      Again, the “real” American will think I’m exaggerating at this point, so let me say it again. This is what more or less every survivor thinks, not just me. The only people who don’t think, who still dismiss these comparisons as alarmist are the ones who have never experienced authoritarianism.

      Rubs me in extremely bad taste imo to literally claim to speak, multiple times throughout the article, for essentially every survivor of authoritarianism, and with a No True Scotsman thrown in nonetheless.

      While Trump has plenty of concerning similarities to a dictator and that should be reason enough to ditch him come November, I don't think we're much at risk of a Nazi style putsch.

      12 votes
      1. SuperGracchiBros
        Link Parent
        I would argue that Trump could very easily find one in the Border Patrol, who he had already deployed to Portland using a legal loophole. They've also launched drones to watch over protests in...

        For that matter, Trump doesn't have an SS or any kind of private army.

        I would argue that Trump could very easily find one in the Border Patrol, who he had already deployed to Portland using a legal loophole. They've also launched drones to watch over protests in cities like Minneapolis. Many agents are far-right radicals who are true believers in a lot of Trump's rhetoric. They refer to Mexicans as "tonks," which is a reference to the sound that's made when you hit someone in the head with a flashlight.

        11 votes
      2. psi
        Link Parent
        Trump doesn't need to win objectively; a subjective win is fine. Ultimately he only needs to convince 33% of senators and/or 5 seats on the Supreme Court that he has a valid enough excuse to...

        He ignores the fact that Trump has a credible, pro-Democracy opposition that's beating him in objective polls, and an independent judicial system.

        Trump doesn't need to win objectively; a subjective win is fine. Ultimately he only needs to convince 33% of senators and/or 5 seats on the Supreme Court that he has a valid enough excuse to continue reigning. Consider this scenario: Trump appears to "win" on election night (see discussion here), appeals to the Supreme Court to halt counting mail-in ballots prematurely (a la Bush v. Gore), and then convinces the Senate to dismiss any impeachment charges that would inevitably be brought against him (assuming Democrats keep the House).

        This administration has zero interest in following democratic norms. If they can cheat, they will try. The only real question is whether our checks are robust enough to stop them.

        9 votes
      3. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        You make good points, particularly about who the author speaks for, but I don't share your optimism. The Department of Justice is compromised, the Senate is compromised, the Supreme Court might be...

        You make good points, particularly about who the author speaks for, but I don't share your optimism. The Department of Justice is compromised, the Senate is compromised, the Supreme Court might be compromised (and if it's not now I would be shocked if RBG and/or Breyer aren't been replaced in the next four years), the Postal Service is compromised, and a good chunk of the federal court system is compromised. Right-wing militias might not be his private army in a literal sense, but their goals are the same and those militias have been accepted and encouraged by both law enforcement and the president. The police might be decentralized, but in every city that there's been protests in they've responded with brutality.

        In a fair election Biden probably does win as the polls say, but it's not going to be a fair election. The regime has sabotaged the USPS and are going to send the feds to heavily-Democratic polling stations in close states, along with encouraging their supporters to "watch". In addition to that sort of thing, we have evidence of Republicans committing outright election fraud, although that will be tougher to do in some of the close states that are run by Democratic governors.

        On top of that, we all know Trump is going to dispute the results if he ends up losing. He's going to refuse to leave and even if the military forces him out, I can't rule out that he's going to try and start a civil war.

        7 votes
    2. [4]
      andre
      Link Parent
      Move to Canada? That's my plan anyways.

      Move to Canada? That's my plan anyways.

      4 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        It's certainly an option, but I don't want to leave as soon as possible unless there's really no other choice. There must be something we can do to fight back.

        It's certainly an option, but I don't want to leave as soon as possible unless there's really no other choice. There must be something we can do to fight back.

        4 votes
      2. [2]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        If he actually stays in power beyond what the Constitution allows, and the military won't help removing him from office, I wouldn't be so sure that Canada is safe.

        If he actually stays in power beyond what the Constitution allows, and the military won't help removing him from office, I wouldn't be so sure that Canada is safe.

        3 votes
        1. andre
          Link Parent
          My comment was more directed at the legal continuation of his presidency in case he wins. I don't want to live in a country that elects Trump twice.

          My comment was more directed at the legal continuation of his presidency in case he wins. I don't want to live in a country that elects Trump twice.

          3 votes
    3. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      If he attempts to remain illegally, I have full faith that the NRA will lead a well-armed civilian militia to get him out and ensure the sacred constitution is upheld.

      If he attempts to remain illegally, I have full faith that the NRA will lead a well-armed civilian militia to get him out and ensure the sacred constitution is upheld.

      8 votes
    4. skybrian
      Link Parent
      If he actually wins fairly legitimately, hold the line at other levels of government and hope that our crumbling institutions still hold on for another four years. I don't know what happens if...

      If he actually wins fairly legitimately, hold the line at other levels of government and hope that our crumbling institutions still hold on for another four years.

      I don't know what happens if it's seriously disputed.

      3 votes
    5. [2]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      His answer is "Protest in front of the White house, demanding his resignation. In the millions. Now. Please."
      2 votes
      1. moonbathers
        Link Parent
        Thank you for that. I just don't see him giving up even if we get 20 million people in DC protesting, but I guess we'll see.

        Thank you for that. I just don't see him giving up even if we get 20 million people in DC protesting, but I guess we'll see.

        3 votes
  4. [6]
    Amarok
    Link
    I worry we're setting ourselves up for a shitshow. What if we can't even agree on who won? Imagine that Trump wins the in-person ballot on election night and we see the red wave on the news. Then,...

    I worry we're setting ourselves up for a shitshow. What if we can't even agree on who won?

    Imagine that Trump wins the in-person ballot on election night and we see the red wave on the news. Then, by the end of the week when mail-ins are finally counted, it's shifted so that Biden is now the winner and it's more of a blue wave. Will either side concede? One can make plenty of crazy cases and conspiracies out of that sequence of events to justify either side's righteous crusade.

    At this point I feel like we can't safely allow either the republican or the democratic nominee to win. Both sides are spoiling for a fight, will invent any excuse to have it, and remember both sides got us into this mess in the first place. This is the time for a vote of no confidence or for a third party ticket to take the lead. We need a viable third option. If that ticket wins, sure, you piss off the dems and the repubs, but you also don't set them against each other fighting over the election results (in the street, with guns).

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      moonbathers
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Edit: I apologize if this is just making people feel worse. Even if the regime is going to til the election in their favor, it's still possible that we win as long as we get out and vote and get...
      • Exemplary

      Edit: I apologize if this is just making people feel worse. Even if the regime is going to til the election in their favor, it's still possible that we win as long as we get out and vote and get as many people as we can to vote too. I don't think we're completely fucked yet.

      Both sidesing this is incredibly disingenuous. The unrest that's going on is no different than that of the sixties, would you call the Civil Rights Movement a righteous crusade? If you don't like the riots that's fine, but to compare that to what Republicans are doing is either misguided or a bad faith comparison. The Democrats' side ranges from people who want social justice but limited to small reforms all the way toward the people rioting, the people saying to abolish the police, etc. Republicans have gathered around a man who encourages people to kill others in his name, who has no regard for what the law says.

      What's going on right now is a direct result of police abusing and killing people, particularly black people, with impunity since longer than I've been alive. Twenty million people aren't up and protesting because they just decided to feel like it. NWA didn't write Fuck the Police thirty years ago just because they felt like it. It was what they experienced as black kids growing up in Los Angeles and black people still experience those things all across the country today. If you want to stop one side's unrest, address their cause. Police need to stop killing people indiscriminately. They've instead responded to these protests by doubling down: blinding people, continuing to shoot at and kill people indiscriminately, and explicitly support right-wing militia that show up.

      The right shows up because they feel threatened by protests for equality and they're whipped up by right-wing media. During the recent wave of protests, small towns across the West became convinced that Antifa was going to show up and cause trouble, and innocent people were hurt because of it. If you stop the police from killing people, the left stops protesting and the right stops showing up to harass and attack them.

      How is a Biden victory going to cause violence by people on the left? It will cause violence by people on the right since Trump will dispute the results, but people on the left aren't going to go out and break shit just because Biden won. People on the left are nowhere near as violent as people on the right are. You won't find Biden or most Democrats calling whoever shot that guy in Portland over the weekend a hero, but you don't have to look very hard at all to find Republicans calling Kyle Rittenhouse a hero.

      A Trump victory could cause violence by people on the left because he's already encouraged his followers to kill the rest of us and if we don't fight back we die. That's what this comes down to. Cops already had the green light to kill people and now vigilantes do as long as they're doing it for Trump. What you're doing by blaming both sides and calling them equal is calling an abuser and their victim who lashes out the same.

      The Republicans have been building up to this for the last fifty years. Nixon sabotaged peace talks in Vietnam to win the 1968 election and then stole some data from the Democratic party in 1972 to win that election. His impending impeachment and then resignation motivated Fox News's creation, which has been Republican media poisoning people across the country for the last 30 years. Nixon was pardoned by Gerald Ford for any crimes he might have committed not long after he resigned.

      In 1980, the Reagan campaign convinced Iran to continue holding their American hostages until Reagan won, which played a part in Carter's defeat. The hostages were released twenty minutes after Reagan was sworn in as president. Reagan and then-VP George H.W. Bush then sold weapons to Iran, violating an embargo, and used the proceeds to fund right-wing rebels in Nicaragua, violating an act of Congress. Neither Reagan nor Bush were held accountable for this.

      In 2000, Republicans cheated to win the election in a number of ways. The Brooks Brothers Riot was organized to stop votes being recounted in one of Florida's most Democratic areas. Jeb Bush was governor of Florida at the time and his secretary of state certified that W had won the state and the election before it was clear. And most notably, Bush v Gore ended in a 5-4 Supreme Court vote along party lines that handed Bush the election. The majority opinion even noted that the case could not be used as precedent in the future, betraying their intentions.

      I wrote recently about how the Trump campaign cheated in 2016 and how they're cheating this year. Democrats disputing this year's results is different from Republicans disputing this year's results because Republicans have a half-century-long streak of cheating and Democrats don't. Democrats aren't cozying up to an enemy to win.

      But that's only half the story here. The other half is how Trump is setting himself up to be a dictator. This article's dire warning should be enough, but I'm going to expand on it anyway. The very first speech of his 2016 campaign he called illegal immigrants rapists and murderers. The first time he was in the news was as a 27-year-old being busted by the Feds for not letting black people rent his apartments. He called for the execution of the Central Park Five even after they were proven innocent and has never admitted he was wrong. He accused an Indiana-born judge of being sympathetic to Mexico because his parents are from Mexico. He's referred to immigrants as vermin, which the article itself cites.

      He once said he wants Jewish guys to be his accountants because he thinks they're the best at it. He tweeted a picture in 2016 of HRC with a star of David that said "most corrupt politician ever". People inspired by what he's said include the El Paso shooter, the Christchurch shooter, and the MAGAbomber. Regardless of what you think of them, you will never see anyone commit violence inspired by Biden or Harris because they don't endorse it. You will never see them make racist remarks about anyone.

      One of his advisors is noted white nationalist Stephen Miller and a former advisor was noted white nationalist Steve Bannon. His Secretary of Education is the sister of noted warlord Erik Prince and his vice president is noted homophobe Mike Pence. The worst association Obama had was with his old pastor, who I haven't thought about in a decade but I now question if he was even that bad.

      Trump has also repeatedly "joked" that he wants a third term. He called the last election rigged even though he won and he hasn't said he'll accept the results of this one. The Department of Justice is compromised, the Senate is compromised, and thousands of powerful Republicans across the country are complicit in actively making this happen. There has been no outcry from Republicans about a third term for Trump, which is against the Constitution, nor has there been any outcry from Republicans about so many of them calling a vigilante who killed two people a hero. The left has never done violence on this scale, nor has it done it with the endorsement of their adjacent political party.

      A cult of personality has formed around Trump in a way that we haven't seen around an American politician in my lifetime at least. Even before this year it was common to see Trump signs in areas where he's popular, but you never saw signs up in off years for even Obama. He's made and broken Republican primary candidates, some of whom now run on how much like him they are. He's said he was chosen by God and there are plenty of pictures of him with Jesus floating around the internet. These things have never been said or done by Democrats. That's not even getting into the Q bullshit, which combines both the legitimization of killing his enemies and making him a messiah figure.

      A lot of this has never happened in United Statesan history before. We probably don't come back from this if Trump stays in power. There will certainly be violence if Biden wins, but it won't be done with the blessing of the sitting president. There's no evidence that Biden will use the federal government to enrich himself and hurt his opponents as Trump has, and there's no evidence that if he loses re-election that he'll do everything he can to stay in power as Trump certainly will. To claim the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans is is ignoring the entire point of the article and is enabling the Republicans' takeover.

      I also wrote recently about why voting third-party not only does nothing for your cause but enables the major candidate you like the least to win. People said that last time was third-party candidates' best chance to make a splash and Johnson and Stein together didn't even get the 5% of votes you need to be eligible for national funding.

      17 votes
    2. [2]
      spctrvl
      Link Parent
      This is the last time in the world to vote for a third party candidate! I've aired my views on voting third party here many times in the past, and won't reiterate (too much) what's already been...

      At this point I feel like we can't safely allow either the republican or the democratic nominee to win. Both sides are spoiling for a fight, will invent any excuse to have it, and remember both sides got us into this mess in the first place. This is the time for a vote of no confidence or for a third party ticket to take the lead. We need a viable third option. If that ticket wins, sure, you piss off the dems and the repubs, but you also don't set them against each other fighting over the election results (in the street, with guns).

      This is the last time in the world to vote for a third party candidate! I've aired my views on voting third party here many times in the past, and won't reiterate (too much) what's already been said, but to sum up, the thing to do here, in this election, faced with the specter of dictatorship, is to make sure the democrats win, and that their margin is incontestable. Not to use your vote as part of a quixotic attempt to push in a third party candidate polling in the low single digits who, honestly, isn't all that interested in winning anyway.

      And I can't help but feel there's a bit of false equivalency going on there too. Why can we not allow the democratic nominee to win? Both sides are spoiling for a fight? Come on. This is not, on any planet, a both sides thing. The issue here is that the republicans have given up on democracy, and will contest, potentially violently, any election they can't legally steal. Full stop. They're not going to roll over if the green party or whoever wins just because they aren't the democrats. And the scenario is so ludicrous anyway that it frankly isn't even worth talking about. The only kind of fight that any democrats are preparing for is self defense against a Republican coup, and that's one that any believer in democracy regardless of party affiliation should be preparing for.

      15 votes
      1. Amarok
        Link Parent
        You're misunderstanding me. I'm not interested in whatever carnivals the libertarians or greens are floating. I'm interested in any viable third choice, and there isn't one, and that is the entire...

        You're misunderstanding me. I'm not interested in whatever carnivals the libertarians or greens are floating. I'm interested in any viable third choice, and there isn't one, and that is the entire problem. People are gunning each other down in the streets right now over political dogmas. If you think that's going to improve after the election I have a house in LA to sell you. Biden winning isn't magic anti-dictatorship pixie dust, it's a provocation to armed conflict, ditto with Trump winning. The election will not settle things, it will ignite them. That's what I'm worried about. There will be no compromises between these sides after an election, and I'd say that even if the election itself wasn't going to be cast into doubt like this one certainly will be.

        2 votes
    3. Omnicrola
      Link Parent
      If we where in a Hollywood movie, this is the point where an unnamed hero would appear, capture the hearts and minds of the entire population in under a week, and win the election in November. As...

      If we where in a Hollywood movie, this is the point where an unnamed hero would appear, capture the hearts and minds of the entire population in under a week, and win the election in November. As the final results are read from a TV screen positioned behind the main characters, everyone would cheer and the credits would roll. Happily ever after.

      Meanwhile, back here in reality...
      I don't know what's going to happen, I really don't. The one thing I'm certain of is this absolutely insane combination of pandemic and polarized election has created a lot of suffering, and will continue to do so until something somehow allows us all to collectively stop being so afraid of each other.

      so really what we need is the IRL equivalent of the Bill & Ted 3 song that unites all reality

      3 votes
  5. moriarty
    Link
    Survivors of Authoritarian regimes give an eerie warning to Americans: this is how it started

    Survivors of Authoritarian regimes give an eerie warning to Americans: this is how it started

    1 vote