The Next Election, Political News, and Other Forms of Comedy (US & Intl)

Pimpernel Smith

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It was light on policy debate and I liked the bit when Trump said I'm not talking about Beau, I'm referring to Hunter! And Antifa is just an idea, it's not organized.

Of the two complexions, the orange beat the sallow white one.

Biden was better than anticipated, clearly frail and not the future leader of the free world in a time where it is stalked from within.

No mention of B.L.M. what happened?
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Like rats fleeing a sinking ship:

Are the Proud Boys really an extreme right wing Nazi type organization?

What I've seen when Gavin MacInnes still had a Youtube channel was a jokey kind of ''The West is the Best'' patriot organisation. I may have missed something, but I didn't see anything I would consider offensive or racist. Kicking back against SJW and Woke stuff yes. I didn't see a a group that was an existential threat to democracy. Far from it.
 

Dropbear

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You are so predictable.

 

Pimpernel Smith

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You are so predictable.

But a lot of what McInnes posts is said in jest. Quoting out of context can be problematic.

I noted Taki gets a mention in there as far right. He does a column in The Spectator and has done since 1977. He's a libertarian/conservative and socialite. He's not far right. Needless to say, I am a big fan.

Appears selective editing there. McInnes was doing parody and comic routines, also social commentary and at the time when the culture war first started to go hot his position was that the West is the best. Something I thoroughly agree with.

You still haven't provided the manifesto of neo-Nazism. If the Styx and Wiki (now archived) is right, the present Proud Boys is led by a black hispanic guy who's specifically rejected white supremacism and antisemitism.

I'm not saying it's a not a militia, or doesn't have elements of hooligans and thugs, but are the Proud Boys really the bovver booted Combat 18 type neo-Nazis you consider them as?

That's the problem I have with the Left, much too quick on the draw to use the neo-Nazi label is a one slur fits all enemies.
 

Rambo

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Appears selective editing there. McInnes was doing parody and comic routines, also social commentary and at the time when the culture war first started to go hot his position was that the West is the best. Something I thoroughly agree with.
boy you'll do anything to protect the people you profess to hate. let me guess you were on twitter telling people who wished donald trump would die that they're bad people as well.

That's the problem I have with the Left, much too quick on the draw to use the neo-Nazi label is a one slur fits all enemies.
yes, this is the problem you have with the left.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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There's a lot of buzz in some of the Brit media about this being a wartime expansion that will grow the American economy at a speed last seen in WWII and reindustrialize the USA beyond Trump's dreams. But this is not a world war and the axis powers still committed to fossil fuels have a competitive advantage as their energy resources are cheap and ultra-efficient and multi-dimensional as in a barrel of oil.

At this stage, the technology is not yet up to delivering the Green New Deal without a massive contraction of standards of living and reduced spending power as the cost electricity becomes expensive and use prohibited.

You cannot have an energy revolution that is less efficient and more costly than the one it seeks to replace.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Wrapping up the war criminal vote
All those war mongering criminals hit the jack pot with Trump. All they needed to atone for their sins was to point at Trump with all the rest and exclaim ''Orange man bad!'' There's absolutely no doubt he will endorse Biden.
 

Rambo

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Is there any President since FDR with whom you approve of?
carter was the only one who didn't get us into a war. apparently everyone said he was a pussy because of it. goes to show you how the narrative shapes peoples ideas.

in my lifetime they've all been complete imbeciles.

All those war mongering criminals hit the jack pot with Trump. All they needed to atone for their sins was to point at Trump with all the rest and exclaim ''Orange man bad!'' There's absolutely no doubt he will endorse Biden.
indeed. bush's redemption tour already started. obama's got his house in martha's vineyard and his books and television deals. it pays well once you're out of office.
 

Fwiffo

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I read he was snipped out of context but let’s be honest, is this any more coherent?

“I’m running as a proud Democrat for the senate. When I ran as a proud Democrat for vice president. And I’m running as a proud Democrat for president.”
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Third World News Service?

Or are you referring to Merrick Garland’s nomination?
Biden and his son are rotten. The rules when it comes to being a son of powerful men and/or in the spot light politician is to not bring any shame, or do any dealings that may cast a cloud over their father. Biden and his people would be all over Hunter's dealings in Moscow, China and the Ukraine. He wouldn't just looks into his eyes all Bambi like. The interference in the Ukraine by getting the prosecutor sacked say's all you need to know about quid pro quo Biden.
 

Fwiffo

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Biden and his son are rotten. The rules when it comes to being a son of powerful men and/or in the spot light politician is to not bring any shame, or do any dealings that may cast a cloud over their father. Biden and his people would be all over Hunter's dealings in Moscow, China and the Ukraine. He wouldn't just looks into his eyes all Bambi like. The interference in the Ukraine by getting the prosecutor sacked say's all you need to know about quid pro quo Biden.
Okay. That only makes them as good or bad as President Trump and his sons (and son in law). I'm not sure that view sways any votes.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Opinion piece in The Telegraph in which Charles Moore contorts himself to eventually conclude if he was an American, he would vote Donald Trump, but again reveals when it comes to a certain upper middle class breed, they cannot compute or deal with the hard, uncouth rugged construction worker elements to Trump's character:

Before the EU referendum campaign, Boris Johnson was much criticised for drafting two columns for this paper – one advocating Remain, the other, Leave. How cynical, people complained – almost like tossing a coin.

Yet even people with strong beliefs should look before they leap from their general principles to making a particular practical choice. Margaret Thatcher famously claimed to act out of conviction, but one of her favourite sayings was “Time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted”. You need to calculate whether your action will achieve the outcome you wish for.

I am thinking about this because of the choice the American people will confront on November 3. I have not written one Vote Biden column and another in favour of Donald Trump before writing this one, but a comparable process has been going through my mind.

I think I know what would be good for the world – a conservative, pro-Western president, pro-British, understanding of Brexit, respectable, unifying, decisive, asserting global leadership by maximising alliances with friends, and capable of stilling the quarrels of his own people.

Mr Trump would appear to win on roughly half of this. He has perfect confidence in the American version of the Western way of life, untroubled by doubt, or indeed, by knowledge of other ways. He is crude in these views, but he has done well to reverse President Obama’s preference for nations which will never be America’s friends and his neglect of those 
which are.

Mr Trump saw through the Iran deal and withdrew from it. His rapprochement between Israel, and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain starts to reshape a region whose politics have grotesquely over-promoted the Israel/Palestine question as the central problem. His exposure of China’s behaviour over trade and, more recently, over Covid-19, was broadly correct. No other important figure dared attempt it.

He is also pro-Britain and pro-Brexit. This has not yet gained us decisive trade advantage, but it prevented the Obama “back of the queue” policy and a hostile united front against us. He understands and respects our desire for national independence – a yearning which is, in different guise, his own country’s foundational story.

Mr Biden, by contrast, is no friend of Britain. He campaigns (especially in shamrocky bits of Pennsylvania) as an “Irish Catholic”. The Catholic bit is vestigial (not-so-holy old Joe loves abortion and full trans rights), but the Irish bit lives and kicks. If he becomes president, he will promote the fiction that peace can be saved only by splitting Northern Ireland from the post-Brexit UK. In his now predominantly woke Democratic Party, a historically white, colonial country like Britain is less admired than almost any other form of political life.

Mr Biden would appear to win, however, on the other half of the qualities needed. His highly conventional half century of Washington political life has made him deferential towards alliances such as Nato and at ease in the never-ending global cocktail party of conferences where world leaders debate security, climate change, trade, finance and so on. He may say little of interest at these gatherings, but he will not disgrace his country or spread ill will. One of his few resonant phrases – he used it in his “Meet the Voters” session on Thursday night – is that American world leadership works by “the power of our example”. The power of Mr Trump’s example is not working across the world, or at least not in the right way.

Mr Biden would also appear to be the unity candidate. It is hard to be frightened by “Sleepy Joe”. He seems to feel “malice towards none”. Abraham Lincoln used that phrase in his second inaugural address. You cannot imagine President Trump using it, if he gets the chance to make his. After he has spent four years crossing the street to pick fights, there is an understandable yearning for a man who exhibits old-fashioned politeness and prefers an early bedtime.

Notice I keep using the phrase “would appear” in reference to both men. I do so because you could easily argue that their supposed advantages are unreal.

Mr Trump, for all his vaunted toughness, is not a reliable friend to the well-disposed, or a reliable enemy to the ill-disposed. He turns nasty in negotiations with allies. He retains a creepy softness towards Putin’s Russia. Even on China, his dealings have been more ambiguous than his rhetoric. Has he really been a positive friend in need to Britain? Boris’s government seems not to think so, hence its rather havering stance in international affairs.

By a similar inversion, Mr Biden may be no answer at all to the divisions in American society. He is a prime representative of the out-of-touch political class against which so many American voters have turned in the past 20 years. And although his own way of talking is mild and unideological, he has taken the knee – literally and metaphorically – to the most powerful extremist movement in modern America. Repulsive white militias undoubtedly threaten order, but they are essentially reactive. The doctrines of Black Lives Matter are more proactive in dividing America, undermining its education and culture and disturbing its peace. If he wins, 
Mr Biden could well become their feeble apologist.

Biden is a prime representative of the out-of-touch political class against which so many American voters have turned in the past 20 years.

Then, of course, there is the question of character. Anyone thinking of supporting Mr Trump should face the fact that he is pretty horrible. His vulgarity is not the problem – in some respects, it is an advantage. It is his mean-spirited bullying and, above all, his monumental selfishness. Whenever one starts to admire his courage and energy – as I find myself doing when, aged 74, he so swiftly bounces back from a disease that has killed thousands of much younger people – one stops and wonders what it is all
for. The answer is Donald J Trump.

Because the president is the head of state, not just the head of government, this matters. To adapt Bagehot’s famous phrase about our constitution, he has to be both dignified and efficient. Mr Trump has no dignity. Even if he claimed his longed-for place on Mount Rushmore, he would somehow acquire a granite boot with which to kick his opponents. Thanks to him, the negativity at the heart of all egotism is wounding America.

But then again, is a 77-year-old political hack of failing powers the person with the energy to heal the wounds? At roughly this stage in the 2016 election, I complained in this space that “the choice between a possibly ill, somewhat tainted establishment figure of the 20th century [Hillary Clinton] and a brash blowhard egomaniac would be highly unwelcome”. It was. Yet it is precisely what America has got, again.

If I could vote in this election, I suppose I would go for Mr Trump. In his nominations for the Supreme Court, he has chosen well-qualified, thoughtful judges who respect the words of the constitution rather than reinventing it for political purposes. He is nobody’s poodle and is untamed by the elites which have failed his country. Mr Biden, though he would be a nicer next-door neighbour, is that generation’s last, tottering, second-rate representative. Yet I feel so pessimistic about either man that I am positively glad to have no role in deciding.

How did America get into this mess, and how can it get out of it? At present, the system seems to stop anyone with good answers even trying for either nomination.

 
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