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Post 0

Wednesday, November 9 - 10:32amSanction this postReply
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Donald Trump is widely seen around the world as a crude, but genuine, symbol of liberty, capitalism, America, and the West. He's broadly, generally interpreted as being basically a champion of Western liberalism, philosophically and culturally. He isn't that very much -- but perhaps he can be forced to be.

Trump doesn't know -- or even care -- very much about politics. But now that he's been elected, he has to do something. Maybe his supporters and advisers can make him into a kind of fighter for political libertarianism and cultural liberalism. If you read the speeches and plans his advisers wrote for him -- and which he faithfully read during the campaign -- then you know there's hope for that.

This kind of thing frequently happens in political science. Leaders become what their followers and supporters want them to be. Several pretty dreadful ayatollah-type leaders of Iran were recently elected as reformers and liberals -- even tho' they weren't that at all. But they became so over time, because that's what the Iranian people wanted. The current mayor of New York City is both a communist and a hater of the police. But because the people of New York strongly reject these two, so does he, in effect. As is frequently said of seemingly independent and uninfluenceable U.S. Supreme Court justices: "They read the newspapers."

Maybe governmental novice Donald Trump can be made into an advocate of liberty, capitalism, America, and the West. Maybe -- with enough public and intellectual pressure -- we can all convert him into a champion of political libertarianism and cultural liberalism. Let's hope!



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Post 1

Wednesday, November 9 - 10:58amSanction this postReply
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Paul Ryan, speaking of Donald Trump's election and the GOP-held senate and house, expressed his desire to work with Trump saying that it was time "to go big, go bold..."  I like that.

 

Donald Trump may indeed be a strange conduit for those changes Objectivists would approve of, but I'll take them anyway.  If he does nothing more than to nominate Supreme Court justices that interpret the constitution as it was written and ratified, I'll be happy.  I see this period as a possible breather, a pause, on the road the progressives were marching the country down.  It won't do much good if Mr. Trump can't accept good advice or keep his personality in order.  And it won't do much good if this temporary pause in the march to left isn't used to educate the populace on a rational political philosophy.

 

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 11/09, 11:32am)



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Thursday, November 10 - 12:59pmSanction this postReply
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===============
   White-Lash
===============

Some on the left are making a lot out of Trump's largest vote block being White.  They are already saying it is racism, that it is a racist reaction to the "browning of America," and that it is "White-lash" against having a black president. (They should be saying it is a backlash against a controlling government pursuing progressive policies.  They won't.)

 

The fact is that progressives created the concept of politicizing race in today's modern politics.  (Before today's progressivise held sway, Democrats politicized race with Jim Crow laws).  Progressives have been working identity politics based on race like a political plantation where the harvest is votes instead of cotton.  Blaming a Trump election on racism is just another application of their on-going talking-point that everyone is racist except for the left.

 

What the left will ignore is that Trump got fewer white votes than Mitt Romney did in the last presidential election.  40 million more people were registered this time, yet fewer of them voted than last time - both black and white.  This tells us that a great many people didn't want Hillary and stayed home.  Others didn't like either of the candidates, but were angry enough about changing the status quo that they voted for Trump.

 

The left creates situations that leave people angry and then blame the people for their anger.



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Post 3

Thursday, November 10 - 1:13pmSanction this postReply
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======================
  What Got Trump Elected
======================

 

These are the things that occur to me:

 

1.) Lesser Evil

 

No matter how flawed Donald Trump is, the people of America decided that they were NOT going to have a dishonest, unlikeable, corrupt person for president... especially when she could not come up with any reasons for being elected... beyond her being a female and not being Donald Trump.  Strangely enough, Hillary got a few more votes than Trump in the popular vote and lost the presidency in electoral votes.  It was her negatives that kept more people at home than those who didn't like Trump.

 

2.) People are fed up with control by elites. 

 

Two components: control and elitism.  Either one by itself would be bad enough.  But together they are galling and offensive as well as destructive to liberty.  It is being insulted by condescending rulers as they tell you what you can and can not do.  The media are the elites that have been trying to control people by twisting the news.  The establishment is made of the donor class, the special interests, the beauracrats, and the politicians - all seeing themselves as elites and with every new regulation, they extend their control.  The EU is the set of controlling elites that were tossed out of Britian with the Brexit vote.  The universities control the destruction of the minds of our young and their elitism knows no bounds.

 

3.) Change. 

 

The current system isn't working, and we seen as being on the wrong track... and that is obvious to the least knowledgable of our citizens.  The people have tried and tried to tell Washington two things:  "Hey, we don't like the way things are going and you need to fix this broken system."  They elected Obama as a change agent.  His mantra was "Hope and Change."  But, his change made things worse and he lied and he became more elitist than those before him.  At the grass roots the Tea Party formed and took away congress from Obama.  That didn't get the job done, so they took away the Senate.  That didn't get the job done so they are putting a total outsider into the Oval Office.
---------------



Post 4

Thursday, November 10 - 1:49pmSanction this postReply
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================================ 

   Some Notes on a Trump Presidency

================================

 

Since Trump will have a Republican House and Senate, his first 100 days should generate an awesome explosion of economic energy.  There is the repatriation of Trillions from abroad, the cutting of the Corporate tax rates in half, a massive reduction in regulations, and the repeal of ObamaCare.  (But, sometimes when Trump is being Trump he snatches defeat out of the jaws of victory and there an almost unimaginable number of ways that he screw it all up.)
----------------

 

If Trump ends up putting solid, competent strict originalists on the Court, he will have given liberty a chance to win out - a chance in the form a generation under a Supreme Court that will protect against the worst of government abuses - and just in time... when liberty was within months of being guaranteed extinction by the appointment of just one more progressive to the court.  (The battle for liberty will still be one of education and change in the universities... and good luck on that)

 

The Supreme Court nomination might be the first thing Trump will do (apart from tearing up some of Obama's Executive Orders), and it will be the most tightly focused upon for his willing to stand by his promises.  Seven out of ten Trump voters had this as their top reason for voting.
----------------

 

People have said that Trump knows a lot about economics - he doesn't.  In fact, being supersharp in business or finance is no guarantee of ANY knowledge of economics (look at how liberal Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are).  To manage a business empire that is as large as Trump's is takes a very talented administrator.  The good news is that being an adminstrator a key element of being president.  It is about the people you have around you - getting the best - and delegating (something Reagan did well) - and setting the direction and driving the agenda (that's much of the leadership component).  Trump may have to fight his strange personality quirks, but he should have the capacity to do that... after all, something got him to his billionare status.  The bad news is that without a sound set of political principles - which he does not have - he can't become a great president and is always at risk of running off in the wrong direction.
-------------------

 

Trump's biggest enemy in pursuing his presidential goals may not be the Dems in office, or the establishment GOP, or even the media... it may be Obama.  What will Obama do with his very high approval rating in this political environment where the progressives hate Trump and where Obama's legacy will be totally dismantled?  Will Obama become the driving force behind a leftist revolution?  He will probably be very graceful in the transition, because he is too politically savy not to, but after that?
--------------------

 

If you watched any of the News coverage just after the election results were known and saw the way many of the progressives spoke, you saw the deep anger and bitterness that they are going to carry into our immediate future.  You could see on their faces and hear in the tone of their voices a bottled up rage.  It is not going to all sweetness and light.  On MSNBC the morning after the election a Yale professor was explaining that America had elected a racist and that it is the white population, rich and poor, male and female, reacting to the 'browning' of America.  Van Jones, a self-avowed communist who was once czar on the Obama team, said that Trump's victory was "White-Lash" - a racist reaction by white voters against having a black president.

 

Enemies formed by, or spotlighted by a campaign don't go away after the election.  They dig in and prepare to carry on the battle.  But instead of having that goal of winning the election, the goal becomes the destruction of the winner.



Post 5

Thursday, November 10 - 2:00pmSanction this postReply
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===============================

   If Trump is to have any success

===============================

 

There are many things that Trump could never succeed at while there is a bureaucracy like we have today.

 

They can slow track anything.  They can sabotage anything.  They can find ways to fund obstructionist groups.  They can continue to make regulations.  They can play dumb and deny responsibility and avoid accountability like the plague.

 

If he wants any large successes, he has to make it possible to fire civil servants (Yes, "You're fired" - how fitting.)  Taking back America requires a reform of the civil service act.  And it is even the time to make it illegal for government agencies to recognize unions.

 

Could any business exist for long if the employees couldn't be fired?

 

Prior to 1883 there was a growing problem of politicians giving away civil service jobs as patronage.  The Pendleton Civil Service Reform act of 1883 was passed.  It required that civil servants be selected through competitive exams and on the basis of merit.  And it prevented political appointees from firing civil servants.  The act was reformed in 1978 to allow government workers to unionize and in most areas the requirements for competitive exams or considerations of merit have since been abolished.  What was kept was the inability to fire inept workers.  The "Merit Systmes Protection Board" was created, which, in theory, was supposed to stop the firing of employees for unjust reasons.  In practice, it has made it nearly impossible to fire anyone.  Any employee that is fired or suspended can request a hearing before this board.  Here is the good news.  This board is composed of presidentially appointed members and can be changed from a mechanism that makes it nearly impossible to get rid of inept employees to one that leaves the decisions to those in the agencies chain of command - as it is with private businesses.

 



Post 6

Thursday, November 10 - 2:08pmSanction this postReply
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======================
   What the Election Means
======================

 

Charles Krauthammer said that this election was more than an electoral revolution.  That it was a movement as large as the election of Reagan.  That the GOP was now a populist party.  But I think that there are levels in this event's cause  that should be examined. 

 

The deciding power was the people who rejected the path we have been on.  That is where the power should be (up to a point) - with the individual citizens rather the government or the elites.  But the political philosophy espoused by the leader they selected is on a level defined by political philosophy.  And the person who was selected is, in some ways, just the messenger who holds (or pretends to hold) that philosophy and it is a philosophy that was presented in opposition to what progressivism has brought.

 

     ===The Levels===
1. People who are angry and upset and even frightend over the way things are going.
   (Note that this even includes the forty-some percent who voted for Bernie Sanders)
2. The political philosophy seen as an answer:
     Populism and nationalism as the rejection of progressivism and elitism and globalism
3. The messenger, Trump, who espoused those position.
    This level is more the connection between the people and the oppositional philosophy.

----------

 

So, the first level is the power of the vote being expressed and its motivation was to throw the bums out and reject the elitism.  It was a statement that arose out of emotions and came from a politically uninformed public.  The average voter can't define "populism" and doesn't understand "progressivism" but they knew that they didn't like the smell of what they were getting.  We saw this emotional reaction to the way things were going in the election of Obama who ran on nothing more than "Hope and Change," and then in Tea Party, and then in the 2010 elections that flipped the House, and then the 2012 elections that flipped the Senate, and then the Brexit vote even though it wasn't on our shores, and now the vote for Trump.  Only one clear message.  "We don't like the way things are going!"

 

The second level is the change in political philosophy in the GOP which is what was selected by choosing Trump.  The religious right are now just as powerful in many ways, but they are spectators even though Trump won because he isn't one of them.  They seem to have recognized that they needed to choose a warrior to fight the secular left before Christianity was marginalized.  The small government conservatives seem to have become a faint voice in the background that is no longer heard.  Same with the libertarian conservatives - who noe hope that Trump will do some things they agree with.  The Neo-cons are worried, as are the national security conservatives, that Trump might not be hawkish enough, might get too friendly with Putin, but are mollified that he will build up the military.  The establishment GOP will do as the always do - try to hold their positions and get the new guy to see that they will pull the levers of power for him and all will be good - as long as he doesn't rock the boat.  The RINOs will wait and see because Trump may be a fellow traveler in their herd.  Populism will realign issues and policies and rhetoric.  Progressives will have to realign some of their talking points but won't change the underlying directions or crusades (elites in control, more regulations, social justice crusades, global governance, battling racism and sexism, Climate change, pushing political correctness, bigger government, etc.)  If they are sharp, they will morph many of the talking points and dress up their crusades to look more populist in nature.

 

The third level is the messenger - the leader chosen by that first level to make changes in that second level.  It might be more accurate to say that Trump embodies what is needed to bridge the divide between the peoples desires and the political philosophy that is the best for this election period.  Or, the glue that binds a people to a philosopy.  Will Trump rise above any personality quirks that might trip him up?  Will he surround himself with smart advisors and listen to them?  Will he stand by a vigorous push for his major campaign promises (immigration, taxes, regulations, Iran, ISIS, Trade)?  He mentioned infrastructure many times when campaigning and in his acceptance speech on election night.  Will he neglect many of the other promises to focus on infrastructure because he comes from the world of building physical structure?  And because he believes in the progressive economical myth that it would create jobs?



Post 7

Thursday, November 10 - 2:21pmSanction this postReply
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===========
   If its a Con
===========

 

If Trump is running a con... and I REALLY hope it isn't, what would it be?

It wouldn't be some kind of funneling money into charitable foundation, since that
would now be too obvious given the Clinton Foundation.  And he has to keep his family at arms length in terms
of money since we've been exposed to the Bill and Hillary RICO scheme.

 

What I noticed in his acceptance speech was that when he reiterated his promises, the
first one mentioned was infrastructure.  And he said we are going to do a massive
infrastructure set of projects - roads, bridges, hospitals, airports... and all done to
be the best in the world.

 

And he is proposing a one-time 10% business tax to fund this.  That's 10% of all the
profits of every single business.  So, if I want to let my paranoia run wild, I'd
see that as the pot he would want to get into.  But I have no idea how he would do that,
and I have zero evidence of any kind that this might be afoot.

 

But, I suspect that the actual victim of a Donald J. Trump con is Donald.  I think that his narcissistic tendencies will quickly take him to the place of imagining himself as the greatest president in the history of our Republic.  And that he will start to play that part till, as best as he can be, he will become the part he plays.

 

Often when someone has been very successful in some endevour, as Trump has in real estate development, and they move into a different area, one which can feel very challenging, like the presidency, they will attempt to use the skills and approaches that made them successful before in their new arena.  It is usually a mistake, but not always a big mistake.  Sometimes it is just a way to smooth out the stresses during the transition from one career to another.  But it can mislead the person as to the best way to handle the new area, and partially blind themselves to what is actually needed.  I mention all of this because it is the most probable explanation for Trump's focus on doing his infrastructure projects first.  He knows how to oversea the building of things.



Post 8

Friday, November 11 - 7:13amSanction this postReply
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As an engineer myself, I tend to trust engineering organizations.  The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issued a report card in 2013 with nearly failing grades for American infrastructure of all types.  Certainly the Hurricane Katrina disaster could have been avoided with better infrastructure.  So I have no objections to Trump's focus on this important area.  No infrastructure equals no commerce.  I question his proposed method of financing the improvements.  We shall see where all this goes.

 

I concede that the ASCE obviously has a financial interest in drumming business for itself, but engineers tend to be objective about these things and to substantiate their claims with research and facts, so there it is.

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 11/11, 7:15am)



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Post 9

Friday, November 11 - 9:16amSanction this postReply
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Hi Luke,

 

My objection to infrastructure is that it is government spending which is money taken out of the private hands which would generate wealth. 

 

Here at ROR we know that jobs that these projects create are fewer than the jobs that would have existed if the money were left in private hands.  And that they don't stimulate the economy as much as just leaving the money in private hands.  Government infrastructure spending is always going to be a net loss of jobs and a net loss of commercial growth.  The ASCE is probably doing the same things that the Keynsians do... not look at what would have happened if the government hadn't taken the money out of private hands.  Somehow, they see a magical effect in money once it is taken by the government... that it can do something when government spends it, that it couldn't have done when private enterprise spends it.

 

A better way to rebuild infrastructure is combine privatization to move as much infrastructure into the private sector with massive economic growth from reduced taxes, reduced regulations, and a much smaller and stable government.  I've traveled quite a bit - including to lots of third world countries - and I don't see our infrastructure as that bad.  It is true that some countries have built a real showcase airport, or a highspeed rail, or a marble-tiled subway... but it is out of excessively high taxes that depress the economy.  If we privatized as much of the infrastructure as we could, and we let capitalism loose we would end up with 7 and 8 percent growth rates and what was left of the public infrastructure could be rebuilt without being such a burden.

 

p.s., I saw what happened with Hurricane Katrina.  I'm not sure what infrastructure changes would have saved.  An entire two-story casino in Biloxi was moved hundreds of yards (I had been living in Biloxi earlier that year).  The vast majority of the damage was to private homes and businesses - the quality and strength of their construction are always going to be a product of the countries average wealth.  If you look at the damage a hurricane causes in Mexico, or the Philippines, you can see the difference due to the quality of construction in private homes and businesses.  Government assistance after flooding and hurricanes and such actually has a negative effect.  If people didn't receive that assistance, more would have to rely on insurance, which would cost more, and the net effect would be to encourage private construction techniques that would be appropriate to the area's risks.  And that trend would end up massively reducing the costs from the flooding or hurricanes as the years rolled by.



Post 10

Friday, November 11 - 9:56amSanction this postReply
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So the question remains about how to get Trump and company to follow that privatization route in a politically salable way.

 

I have no objection to what you are saying, Steve, beyong the salability issue.

 

Would Trump be open to that route?

 

Would the average American?



Post 11

Friday, November 11 - 10:36amSanction this postReply
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I don't think there is a way to change Trump's beliefs - many of which are pro-big-government.  The best check on any liberal tendencies will be the projected success of getting them passed.  Getting something passed will require that the conservative wing of the GOP not be strongly opposed and that the public not be strongly opposed.  The people are not opposed to infrastructure, but the conservatives are opposed, however I suspect that they will give Trump a honeymoon pass on that if, and only if, at the same time, he is  he is doing things that they want (the Wall, tearing up Obama executive orders, a good replacement for Scalia, repeal and replace ObamaCare, etc.)

 

There is also the issue of money.  A trillion dollar infrastructure program combined with a nearly 20 trillion dollar debt might shake up the bond market and threaten interest rates.  There might be advisors that Trump would listen to who would say, "Start real small with infrastructure - mostly just plans and talk - because if you pass an expensive legislation you will send the market to places that will get in the way of doing ANYTHING.  Wait till you have many, many new private jobs actually in place and wages actually rising, and tax revenues on the increase from those jobs."

 

My gut tells me that Trump will start with infrastructure early on because he has been a builder all of his adult life, he likes it, he is successful at it, and he holds that false belief that it stimulates the economy and creates jobs. 

 

As to privatization... Some forms of privatization could be sold to the congress and the public, especially if it wasn't a major change right away, (like, "Hey, we are going to sell all of the various parts of the interstate highway system to investors.")  But I've never heard him or the people close to him talk mention privatization.  It is a libertarian and libertarian-conservative kind of concept and it might not be part of the Trump world or something that would show up on his radar screen as an option - especially since he comes from the Democrat world. 

 

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 11/11, 10:45am)



Post 12

Friday, November 11 - 5:19pmSanction this postReply
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"So the question remains about how to get Trump and company to follow that privatization route in a politically salable way."

 

The most politically salable way to privatize assets would probably be to just create companies and distribute the shares to citizens based on some formula of taxes paid over some period of time.   Highway assets might be distributed to persons based on the number of years they have been driving, for example.  State governments kick in a portion of the money to build highways in many cases so they would feel entitled to that much.  The formula could be quite complicated but privatizing this way would be more politically acceptable than just selling assets to existing private companies.  Moreover, no private company could afford to buy a significant portion of the highway system for a decent price to taxpayers.  And the government would just waste the money on something else.



Post 13

Saturday, November 12 - 8:48amSanction this postReply
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“Trump’s victory is the victory of the uninformed. But, to be fair, Clinton’s victory would also have been.”

 --Jason Brennan <--- click

.

.

.

 

(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 11/12, 8:54am)



Post 14

Saturday, November 12 - 9:36amSanction this postReply
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Millions sign petition urging electors to vote Clinton December 19:

 

https://www.yahoo.com/news/millions-sign-petition-urging-electoral-college-to-elect-hillary-clinton-175038196.html

 

This could set a really bad precedent if it works.



Post 15

Saturday, November 12 - 8:48pmSanction this postReply
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Au contraire, that was the original idea of the Electoral College: voters would pick electors who would in turn meet and, after due exercise of judgement, pick a president. I'm not conviced that we get better presidents now that the electors are obligated to stick with the voters' choice.



Post 16

Saturday, November 12 - 10:06pmSanction this postReply
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Progessives have staked everything on getting a form of socialism accepted by using the vote.  Identity politics, early voting, same-day registration, and they would like to replace the electoral college with the popular vote (see the "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" to see how close they already are). 

 

The long term strategy has been to use the educational system to transform the culture - generation by generation, till they could win control by the vote.  The irony is that once that vote has fully completed and power fully transfered to the far left, the vote would be eliminated (or turned into something like the faux vote in the old USSR).

 

Part of the original idea for the electoral college was to ensure that the states with lower populations, or less political influence weren't at a disadvantage.  The constitution replaced the original Articles of Confederation of which was a looser organization where the states agreed to be partners, as long as they didn't give up much sovereignty ("Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated.")  The electoral college helped with the ratification of our new constitution. 

 

In Article II it was left to the legislators in each state as to how the electors were chosen.  They didn't even have to be elected. There were states, which had fewer people, who would otherwise never have ratified the constitution.  The 12th amendment replaced the language of Article II but not the concept of using electors.  It was after the Civil war, and the 14th amendment that it was seen as a constitutional requirment that the people vote for the electors.

---------------

 

There was also the intellectual rebellion against the British concept of "virtual representation" where anyone elected to parliment represented virtually all British subjects equally.  And from that came a concept of "parlimentary sovereignty"  Americans held the concept of "sovereignty of the people" and that representation had to be proportioned to the public, and that this was best carried out by the opposite of "virtual representation" - instead the representative had to be from the district that he represented.  And this, they felt, moved them closer to an "actuallity of consent" of the governed.



Post 17

Saturday, November 26 - 9:20pmSanction this postReply
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The Filth (as Lindsay Perigo calls Progressives) has turned to FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) via recount in swing states as their latest tool of choice.

 

http://www.inquisitr.com/3743976/election-recount-wisconsin-clinton-vote-jill-stein-fundraising-millions-dollars-2016-electoral-college/

 

"If none of the states are able to certify their vote counts in time for the deadline, which comes six days before the December 19 Electoral College vote, Trump could lose a total of 46 electoral votes, leaving him with 260 — 10 short of the required 270. ... Of course, if the recounts were completed in time and all three states went to Clinton after all, she would end up with 278 electoral votes and Clinton, not Trump, would become the 45th President of the United States. But neither Clinton nor anyone from her campaign has made any public comment on the recount effort."

 

Will this ever end?

 

Conspiracy theorists will have us believe this is all a ploy by George Soros to create so much chaos that Obama declares martial law and keeps himself in office indefinitely. I am not that paranoid. But I can see how those with inclinations to paranoia could interpret the current situation this way.



Post 18

Sunday, November 27 - 7:23amSanction this postReply
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If the recount, which now has Clinton lawyers working it, were to show 3 states, with tens of thousands of votes each, somehow, magically shifting from Trump to Clinton, I suspect that result might be a kind of violence we haven't seen before... Good people, not thugs, looking for something to tear down.  I heard the Clinton lawyers are pointing at large blocks of absentee ballots that are mostly for Trump.  They want to get those thrown out.  But... that might just be more rumor.  If this attempted coup gets any traction, it will have to have some kind of meme to justify it... like Russian hackers, or Alt-Right forgers, or something that can be made up out of whole cloth to justify falsifying the count.  Then we will see if there any any honest journalists left out there.

 

It is more likely that they just want to muddy the water in ways that diminish the Trump win.  Ways that keep alive the image of Trump as divisive alive, as opposed to the unifier he is trying to be now.  To keep their base angry.  To keep the nation in turmoil to frustrate Trump's mandate.



Post 19

Friday, December 16 - 5:12pmSanction this postReply
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Okay, this is too funny not to share, especially the part at 00:40 with the eye exchange between Ivanka, Bill, and Hillary:

 

https://youtu.be/vZnlz-b2NnY

 

(Edited by Luke Setzer on 12/16, 5:14pm)



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