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The conspirators discuss a minor setback.
Scott Alexander on your model of the electorate
A slightly-more-articulate version of Eneasz’s decision to change the deep past now
Eliezer Yudkowsky on the optimism of Trump voters
I guess I understand the reasons why you were against Trump a little better now.
Here’s an explanation for why I was more against Hillary Clinton than I was against Trump (Obviously I’d prefer Elon Musk to be President, if that were possible, or short of that, Bernie Sanders – both candidates sucked this time):
I’m a german without a big following or anything (on twitter or elsewhere) of americans so I had no ability to influence the election. So I might not have paid as much attention as I would have if I had influence. I can vote in elections in germany since ten years ago and I think I started to follow what’s happening in politics maybe 15 years ago (meaning before that I honestly had not a single clue of what was going on and I was 13 then, the new Pokémon game was still more important than who gets elected).
Since then I noticed a few things over here. The Green party started out 1980 as part of a movement against nuclear power and that was always their biggest topic, to get rid of nuclear power, especially after 1986 and the Tschernobyl incident. 1998 the SPD and the Green party got more than 50% of the seats together, formed a coalition and became our government for 8 years. (They got reelected in 2002). The SPD had been part of governments before, the Green party hadn’t. The SPD was always a party for the working class.
What they did in those 8 years was this: They didn’t get rid of nuclear power. And they made reforms that hurt income for jobless people and reduced the money that people got in retirement. (It’s more complicated but in general that was the result)
Since then the green party hasn’t been part of a government for germany any more (on a federal level I mean). But Merkel (CDU, basically the conservative party) got rid off nuclear power after the Fukushima incident. Just like that. (We’re phasing it out, I think until 2020 or so)
So in short, people that voted for the Green party in hopes of them getting rid of nuclear power were disappointed by them not doing anything in that area and later their feeling of being powerless increased by another party doing just that- especially since the CDU is probably the least likely party anyone who voted for the green party would vote for.
What I took away from that was that apparently it doesn’t matter that much which party is in the government. It’s more about their motivations WHY they do things. The Green party maybe didn’t actually want to get rid of nuclear power because after that, what would we need them for? The conservative party (or Merkel at least, she’s sometimes not doing what her party in general wants her to do, I sometimes appreciate that) didn’t care as much about nuclear power but when people got really worried in 2013 because of Fukushima AND since it was an election year they got rid of it. I think people call that populism, to do what they perceive will get people to like them.
Given all the other scandals of corruption that happened, representatives voting in favor or against certain laws to the benefit of corporations and those corporations giving them high paying jobs as advisors shortly after their term is over I prefer populism.
And that’s what I mostly saw when comparing Clinton to Trump: Clinton didn’t seem to care what people wanted. The only thing she had going for her seemed to be that her opponent was Donald Trump. She talks to banksters about how you need to have a public and a secret opinion of things, she manipulates (or benefits from the manipulation of) the DNC against Sanders and she has all those big corporations and banks backing her. To me (and I think a lot of americans too) all of that looks like she’d not try to do anything to improve the sitatuation of people with a low income and would instead try to improve the sitation for big companies (by making labor cheaper where possible, stuff like that).
The press called Trump all kinds of things, you probably all read Scott Alexander’s post on crying wolf. And I noticed that before the election already, in some areas. For example I never saw anything where said something against minorities but the press kept saying that he’d be against them. I was seriously surprised when Trump said that he’d try to protect the rights of the LGBT community. (Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-lSTQ-sCG8 ) And I was probably even more surprised by the cheers, given that that was a republican convention.
And finally the global security thing: I wasn’t aware that Trump said he’d not protect NATO members before I read Eliezer Yudkowsky’s post and I agree that this is worrisome. The second world war probably started because germany was allowed to invade poland without expecting immediate responses from other major powers.
The first world war, on the other hand, got started by nations honoring treaties and alliances and standing by their allies. It could have been just between austria and serbia but with everyone being on one of each sides it turned global (more or less).
So, taking Crimea as an example, if they separate from the rest of the Ukraine and join Russia and the western world interprets this as an act of agression (and/or conquest) by Russia against a nation that is in the process of joining NATO.
I would not want a war between the NATO and Russia. I believe Trump also tries to avoid that where possible. I think the only war Trump would go to is against ISIS. Clinton on the other hand attempts to get no-fly-zones in Syria that allow for the shooting of Russian planes. Russia and Syria are allied, they’re fighting both ISIS and rebels that fight the Syrian government. We’re not allied with Syria, at least not that I’m aware of, and I think we’re mainly there to fight ISIS, if it isn’t about oil pipelines or something.
So I’m simply worried that Clinton would antagonize Russia enough to start some war. I could more easily imagine her starting a nuclear war than I could imagine Trump starting one, simple as that.
So in short, people felt powerless and not listened to by the regular candidates. That’s why Bernie Sanders and Trump, both “anti-establishment” candidates had so much support.
Then they also felt lied to by the media, which was clearly pro-Clinton in most cases. Did you see how they didn’t want to call Michigan when Trump had a 1% lead or so and 97% of the votes were already counted, because the moment they did it was clear that Trump would win? (Obviously by then everyone had already cast their vote but that’s just an example for how biased the media appeared.)
Trump clearly felt like the underdog there AND that might also be a reason why he won. With polls indicating a clear victory for Clinton I could imagine Clinton supporters to be more likely of staying home and Trump supporters thinking that if they want their candidate to have even a small chance everyone who wanted him to win would have to vote. I can easily imagine 2/3 of the country being more in favor of Clinton than Trump but with those voters being less likely to spend so much time voting than the Trump-supporters.
PS: In the news we saw pictures and short videos of long queues for the polls (standing in line for 3 hours and stuff like that), is that just because they filmed the worst locations for voting or is that how it’s everywhere in the US? I got to vote four or five times in germany so far and I don’t remember ever having to wait for more than 3 minutes.
We also vote on Sundays when most people have more time for that, so even if we had queues like that it wouldn’t be that problematic.
On the PS;
Voting methods vary from state to state. In WA where I live all ballots come in the mail. You fill in your ballot and return it.
You should read https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomausstieg#2000:_Deutschland
You could argue that the Green-SPD coallition (Schröder I) did get rid of nuclear power, since they adopted a law to phase out nuclear power. You cold argue that Merkel II didn’t get rid of nuclear power, since we are still using it.
Good point. I didn’t know that. And I think a lot of other people didn’t know that either.
I just described, how it was perceived by me (and I assume most people).