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Trump is not a “typical politician”

Discussion in 'North American Politics' started by Mr Spinkles, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Mr Spinkles

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    I hear this phrase a lot: “Donald Trump is not like a typical politician”.

    This phrase, like a mental Swiss Army Knife, has many uses for the Cult of Trump depending on the situation.

    Sometimes, it is stated with pride. This is most often associated with Trump delivering on one of his promises. For example, a “typical politician” might promise something crazy just to score cheap political points, which they spent zero time actually thinking through. E.g., George W. Bush’s announcement of a manned mission to Mars. Or Donald Trump’s announcement of a manned mission to Mars.

    But sometimes, when Trump promises something absolutely insane, he seems willing to go to almost self-destructive lengths to make it happen. For example, the wall Mexico will pay for. A “typical politician” would never have followed through on that promise ... and certainly wouldn’t have lashed out wildly to this end, like when Trump caused the longest US government shutdown in history, and separated thousands of children from their parents, and declared a fake “national emergency” to re-route funds appropriated by Congress. A “typical politician”, after consulting with experts, and confronted with the insanity of actually implementing their plan, might be persuaded to abandon the initial crazy idea. But Trump is not a “typical politician”. And in these cases, that is a mark of pride.

    Importantly, the fact that Trump has made many crazy promises which he did not fulfill - and never had any concern about fulfilling - are not counted against him. Like any good fortune teller or psychic medium, Trump dazzles his audience with the sheer number of promises and then focuses attention on the “hits”, and away from the “misses”. Do you remember how in 2016, he promised to bring back the coal industry? And close tax loopholes for wealthy guys like himself? Neither does anyone.

    The phrase can also be used to admit something ugly about Trump, but excuse that ugliness. He’s not polished, like “a typical politician”. He won’t keep racist thoughts to himself, like “a typical politician”. So for example, when Trump says Mexico is “sending their rapists”, he’s simply revealing an ugly truth without sugarcoating it like “a typical politician” would. He’s sharing an ugly thought we all have, but ”typical politicians” dare not say it aloud.

    In this usage, Trump, like an obnoxious orange loud-mouthed Prometheus, gives us mortals knowledge of racism and hatred, which the “typical politicians” on Olympus tried to keep from us.

    Still other times - and this is the most interesting case - the exact opposite claim is made. When Trump does something truly indefensible, the line becomes: “Yeah, well, all politicians do that.” Far from being unlike a “typical politician”, in these instances, it turns out Trump is exactly like a “typical politician”. And the indefensible things Trump does need not actually be comparable to what “typical politicians” do: the normal political spin, the occasional lie, the career-ending scandal. Trump can engage in psychiatric-disorder level lying, and impeachment-level corruption, far beyond what is “typical”; still, the comparison is made.

    In those cases, the mental Swiss Army Knife of Trump’s cult is able to swap the scissors for the corkscrew, so to speak. One useful idea is put away, and a completely different idea is brought out, uniquely shaped to solve the problem at hand.

    I close by saying this: Trump’s supporters are right when they say he is not a typical politician. But if Trump loses the election, the ultimate proof of this will be how he responds.

    Go read Al Gore’s concession speech. Go read John McCain’s concession speech. Mitt Romney. John Kerry. George HW Bush. Yes, even Hillary Clinton in 2016 congratulated Trump, offered to work with him for the good of the country, and wished him success. (Notwithstanding her recent comments that Biden should not concede on election night under “no circumstances”; a word choice I strongly disapprove of.)

    Go read the concession speech of any candidate for US President over the past century. They all graciously conceded to the will of the people, praised the democratic process, spoke of the need for healing and unity, and an orderly transition of power. They all appealed to the greater good of the country in that critical moment. Every one.

    Those were “typical politicians”. We should be proud of how they behaved in these moments.

    Trump, on the other hand, will never put America above himself. Not even to avoid tearing the country apart. In this, and only in this, he is quite literally, demonstrably, unlike any other politician in living memory.
     
    #1 Mr Spinkles, Oct 30, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2020
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  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Mr. Trump has no respect for America's better institutions and traditions. I don't so much mind his disrespect for some things. I disrespect some of those things too. But his disrespect for our better institutions and traditions -- he might as well be a Russian.
     
  3. lewisnotmiller

    lewisnotmiller Grand Hat
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    I'm not a typical brain surgeon, so if you're sick of the overcharging of current brain surgeons, and the ridiculous wait times, just come to me. I guarantee I'll fix those problems, and get Mexico to pay my fee.
     
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  4. SeekerOnThePath

    SeekerOnThePath On a mountain between Nietzsche and Islam

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    From early in his election, the Pepe meme, is still a perfect summation of what he is. A trickster utilizing chaos, vagueness, fear, xenophobia and unconcern (and incompetence) to propagate his authoritarian regime.

    Qanon is also very much like a psychological study on how Trump's propaganda works, and a direct relation to the mentality and ideology of his fangirls.
     
  5. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    Is this bad in comparison to people like Biden who essentially work for China? I'd not even bother to argue that Trump mostly does things for himself, but rather that he sees American success as his success at this point and that means you know who he's working for. Biden is bought by China and Ukraine and anyone else that will write a check to him to be laundered through Hunter Biden.

    Also, do you feel that the constant lock downs and restrictions have a little bit more to do with the perception of the country falling apart than, say... like anything else? That seems more logical to me. Manufactured chaos isn't organic and is easily solvable by eliminating the condition causing it which in this case has about zero to do with Trump, IMHO. I realize most of the people here are on the orange man bad/Trump is a nazi/hates women/hates minorities or something train -- despite the absurdity of any of that. I mean, it's not like the country was perfect under Obama... Remember Charlottesville, Baltimore, and Dallas? The riots were happening well before Trump and generally they were being triggered by the dynamics of the local incumbent Democrat leadership in various cities -- the same do-nothing leadership that is currently incumbent in the same places like Seattle, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, and Portland.

    Trump might be unable to do everything he promises just because there is so much to fix, and I can forgive that... But, there is no excuse for the systematic apathy of the Democrats in these blue states and cities that have had problems for over 50 years in some cases. It's easier to blame someone else for your problems, but it's simply not true. A man that has only been in office for 3 years and change isn't responsible for the massive mistakes that the previous incumbents created nor is he going to be able to resolve all of that in less than 10% of the total time they've had to screw everything up.
     
  6. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Bad, ignorant, and childishly self serving.
     
  7. Mr Spinkles

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    We have Joe Biden’s tax returns and he has an extensive record. What specific action did he take to render a service to China and what amount was he paid for that work? You’re just parroting what Rudy Giuliani has told you over the past two weeks - if the election took place one year ago, you’d be calling Joe Biden a socialist or some other nonsense.

    Just four years ago, Joe Biden ended his second term in the White House as VP. I expect a Joe Biden White House with him as President will look roughly similar. I am old enough to remember when Republicans said a second Obama term would destroy the country, etc. etc.

    Donald Trump does not always see American success as his success. This is the crucial issue you are missing. Sometimes self-sacrifice is what is best for the country.

    When Trump called on Russia to commit crimes against the United States in his “Russia I hope you’re listening” speech, that was bad for America. Good for Trump politically. Downplaying the virus and holding super-spreader rallies has been bad for America. Good for Trump. Using military aid to bully Ukraine to smear an opponent bad for America, good for Trump. Trying to sabotage our own election and calling it “the most rigged election in history” before a single vote was cast is bad for America, good for Trump. Throwing Democratic cities and states under the bus and favoring Republican ones bad for America ... but good for Trump. Calling the 2016 election “rigged” without evidence ... you get the idea. All these things make him unfit, whether he runs as a Democrat or a Republican.

    The ultimate example of this? Conceding defeat in an election. Will American success be Trump’s success if he loses? No. Whose interests will he put first - America’s, or his own?

    You know, deep down, if and when America’s interests diverge from his, he will screw us.

    His patriotism, like everything else about him - from his fake university to his fake spray tan and hair - is a cheap substitute for the real thing.

    Go read one of the previous concession speeches and tell me you can imagine Trump ever giving a speech like that which truly puts America first.

    This is a bit of a side track. The point of the OP is separate from the country falling apart.

    I live in Houston, a blue city where LGBT people are welcome, there was a 60,000 person procession for George Floyd’s funeral, and there were 130 early voting locations open for 12 hours a day, for 20 days. I like my blue city and I suspect red states have problems too. But if you think Trump is a savior, you’re wrong. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How he acts if he loses, will be the ultimate proof of this.
     
  8. Mindmaster

    Mindmaster Well-Known Member
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    I find this amusing. That you'd think he'd lose... Incumbents have a 91% chance of winning the election no matter what. As long as >50% of American's think they're better off than they were before him (it's something like 56% right now) there is almost no chance of Biden winning. I'm not saying that to anger anyone it's just history at this point. For the incumbent to lose a trifecta of bad events have to happen and they won't be little things like orange man bad sentiments.

    I respect your fervor and hope in the matter, but there is literally no chance outside of cheating or intimidation that President Joe Biden will happen. If Joe runs again he's going to be facing Pence and Pence is infinitely more likable than Biden -- even across the party lines.

    LGBT+ is a completely unimportant issue with the majority of Americans and always has been... They represent like 5% of the population and it makes more sense to appeal to the Jewish community (8-9%) than them. They're blown out of proportion in a huge way. We've come to the point where laws are not discriminating against them, but it's not important anymore. Some people never have enough of useless talking points though it doesn't make it more relevant. I lived in the 80s and we've come a long way in this regard since then (and I'm happy for it), but at this point... It's just not that time... It doesn't matter... It's not even something we need to keep talking about. Those people can do anything they want and people are fine with it just as they are with anyone else.
     
  9. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    The presidency is not symbolic. It's a technical job.
    To repair my car, heal my body, fly me to New York or defend me in court I expect to use experts; specialists trained in these skills. I don't care what sort of personality they have. I'm not looking for a friend, or a leader, or a role model, or a representative. I'm looking for a technician.

    Our current politicians seem to have none of these skills.

    The technical skills I expect in a president are historical, psychological, sociological, economic and political. I want a behind-the-scenes co-ordinator and manager, not a symbol of fearlessness, defiance, pugnaciousness or confidence.

    Maybe we should elect a King or figurehead we can all identify with, who epitomizes all our macho fantasies -- symbolically -- and leave the actual running of the country to skilled technicians.
    People seem to have a deep need of a strong protector and father-figure.
     
  10. Mr Spinkles

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    Just to be clear: I am not assuming Trump will lose. He might win. His cult is very enthusiastic about their godking.

    But IF he loses, and IF he has to choose between what’s best for America, and what’s best for him, we know which one he will pick.

    And that makes him unlike ANY other politician, Republican or Democrat.

    It is sad to me that you’ve attached your legitimate political concerns and grievances to a man who clearly does not meet the minimum standards to hold high office in this country - from ANY party.
     
  11. Mr Spinkles

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    “Sen. [Barack] Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day — though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her Creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise. . . . And my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude . . . to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Sen. Obama and my old friend, Sen. Joe Biden, should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.”

    - John McCain
     
  12. Mr Spinkles

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    Good evening. Just moments ago I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd president of the United States. And I promised him that I wouldn't call him back this time.

    I offered to meet with him as soon as possible so that we can start to heal the divisions of the campaign and the contest through which we've just passed.

    Almost a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, "Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I'm with you, Mr. President, and God bless you."

    Well, in that same spirit, I say to President-elect Bush that what remains of partisan rancor must now be put aside, and may God bless his stewardship of this country. Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Certainly neither of us wanted it to happen. Yet it came, and now it has ended, resolved, as it must be resolved, through the honored institutions of our democracy.

    Over the library of one of our great law schools is inscribed the motto: "Not under man, but under God and law." That's the ruling principle of American freedom, the source of our democratic liberties. I've tried to make it my guide throughout this contest, as it has guided America's deliberations of all the complex issues of the past five weeks. Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court's decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.

    I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.

    - Al Gore
     
  13. Mr Spinkles

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    Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I'm sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.
    ...
    We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.

    Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don't just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things; the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.

    - Hillary Clinton
     
  14. Mr Spinkles

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    I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.

    This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.
    ...
    The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion.
    ...
    I so wish — I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

    - Mitt Romney
     
  15. tytlyf

    tytlyf The Mind's Eye

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    At this point, there's a lot more evidence of Donald doing business with China than there is with Biden. Unfortunately, people's votes are manipulated based on their favorite propaganda outlet.
     
  16. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    That is basically what makes Trump dangerous. The preservation of the Union is very generally paramount above all else. With Trump it is Trump above all else.
    He's probably the greatest thing ever for the typical and average politicians because Trump makes a wanker like the pro status-quo Biden seem great.
     
  17. Mr Spinkles

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    Boy, was I right.
     
  18. Mr Spinkles

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    This turned out to be sadly 100% correct, didn’t it?
     
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