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  1. I disagree. Republicans still control slightly less than half of congress as well as a large proportion of the population. We simply don't have the luxury of dismissing them.
  2. I don't see the metaphor as applicable at all. But for the sake of discussion I'll entertain it. You certainly do want to avoid angering your partner in an abusive relationship when you are in an immediate risk of danger. As confronting them when they are violent is not usually a good idea without taking steps to distance yourself first. So better first to deescalate and get to a safe position before taking action. Unlike this metaphor though neither party in the US is a singular monolith and are instead composed of many different people with differeing opinions. And we don't have the liberty of simply divorcing the Republican party and living apart.
  3. Yes but be that as it may we must be very careful not to drive these wedges in farther than they are. As they continue to work their way deeper into political discourse they make it all the more difficult for people to consider crossing the gap for issues that they believe in and prevents our democracy from functioning. Very scant few issues are wholly black and white even if there is a rationally justifiable "correct" side. I fear lampooning and ridicule outside the sphere of comedians only serves to drive the wedge in deeper. Some people simply will not listen to arguments or change their mind and are wholly unreasonable true, but others are always watching trying to decide what side they are on, I feel like there isn't much of any benefit to lampoon and redicule in political discourse rather than simply validate ones owns position at the expense of alienating the undecided.
  4. Well they already are if republican primaries are anything to go by. If anything I think a 3rd party would be beneficial to the Democrats as even if they are in the minority they might still be able to eaque out a win in a 3 way election if the Republicans are split. I'd be more worried if they don't split off than if they do. Official party leadership no. The Democrats have still managed to maintain control. The closest to the fringe who has anything resembling a mothpiece is AOC. The fringe on the Democratic side does not have a united front. They've largely spun off into 3rd parties. Currently I'd argue the fringe elements that get the most Republican attention are the wannabe bolshevik revolutionaries who have tried to themselves to currently the BLM movement and before that the Occupy Wall street movement. Groups like Antifa. Various environmental extremest groups though they have largely been surpressed in recent years following terrorist attacks by ELF in the 1990's and early 2000's. None of these have upset the balance of power within the Democratic party in the same way MAGA types have. But that won't stop the Republicans from using them as wedges to dissuade voters from associating themselves with these groups due to "perceived ties to the democratic party". While I don't think they are equivalent. Similar arguments are used by both sides to convince their side not to vote for the other side. I don't really see campaigns as all that different across party lines. The song is different but the tune is the same. So I'm quite worried that they might backfire on the Democrats in a similar manner to the Republicans if we aren't careful.
  5. This is my opinion. What source do you want for an opinion? Here's a recent news article on republican support for the capitol "protests" https://www.newsweek.com/45-percent-republican-voters-support-storming-capitol-1559662 Most Republicans do not support the kind of violence that happened at the Capitol. Though a troublingly high amount do according to this poll. The party is very much split along these lines. But it's not a monolith. In many ways I think Trump is using this as his own wedge to spin off his supporters from their usual Fox News consumption habits towards whatever it is he decides to do. After all if you get all your customers believing that all other sources are "Fake News" you can get them to believe anything. You are already seeing this as hard-right elements of the Republican part are abandoning Fox News for being too liberal. Instead turning to sources like News Max or World Net Daily which make Fox News look like the communist manifesto in comparison. You can also read this article here that touches on wedge issues and their consequences. https://www.theatlantic.com/membership/archive/2017/12/the-irresistible-effectiveness-of-wedge-politics/547946/
  6. It's been a problem for a lot longer than that I think. And I don't think this is something that is unique to the Republicans either. It's just that they keep pushing the envelope and this kind of thing has been snowballing. It's resulted in not simply having slick politicians using this to try to rile up voters. After decades of it people have grown up being fed this and they wholeheartedly believe it and are running for office and winning on these platforms. But I see similar trends forming in the democratic party as well and it very much concerns me that this division will simply continue to escalate until there is no hope of reconciliation or co-existence without violence. They do. And it's getting worse, but I still think this line of thinking is itself part of that wedge that's been driven through the center. The vast majority of people in both parties are still very reasonable people who don't condone fringe elements. But the fringe elements are growing stronger and any semblance of common ground is collapsing. I think with the Democrats the party leadership still is primarily centrist in their views but if they aren't careful there I think a similar reckoning to the wedge politics will come for them as it came for the Republicans and you'll see the party shift away from that and towards the more fringe elements, which pushes more and more reasonable people to be forced to choose a camp and radicalize their own views in light of social pressures. Currently I think social media is the biggest element in this, but media in general I feel is contributing as it is simply more profitable to report on outrage than it is to report more objectively which I fear is having a feedback on our society and pushing people more towards extremism. In both directions. Largely based on fear of the other guy. I agree but I think we have to heal it or else it will continue to plague us going forward.
  7. While I agree that we shouldn't allow the reaction to totally dictate policy making, I do think we need to focus on what policies are realistically implementable in the long term. Currently we have a game of political football going on where executive orders are punted back and forth as administrations change. I believe there is one abortion related funding order that flips with each successive president since the Clinton era at the least. I think this is done more for visibility and political leverage than actually making functional policy, but I do strongly believe this kind of unstable policy making is far more damaging to society in the long term than a less effective but more stable policies that can last across administrations. Let's not forget the Republican hold almost identical views on the democrats and had you substituted Obama for Trump here we'd have something that would be right at home as a Fox News opinion piece. I don't think continuing as we have will lead to any kind of functional solutions here. The political dynamic will need to change if we don't want to be repeating history every 4-8 years with more "excitement" in each cycle as we have been for decades now. I don't think our current dynamic is sustainable and our political landscape will see massive shifts as the baby boomers start dying off. I doubt either party will exist in its modern form in 30 years time. But who knows. There is kind of a stranglehold on any 3rd parties gaining much relavence due to the way the 2 party system works. I don't see a patriot party having much relavence beyond a single election cycle. There's been talk of this sort of thing for years now. These are definitely big concerns. But the flow of disinformation works both ways. Extreme and fringe elements of both parties are magnified and made to look mainstream in an attempt to scare people into voting for the other guy. Rather than actually focusing on effective policies, it's much more expedient to simply bring out the "fear vote". I think far more troubling and endemic than the white supremacist groups is the religious extremist wing of the Republican party. They have been syphoning off non-active voters for years by pushing the fear narrative. It's only gotten worse as social media has pushed a lot of otherwise incompatible groups together under a similar banner. Most of the troublesome fringe groups you see online like the anti-vax camp have existed since the 90's at least in some form. They've only gotten more coverage and linked with other fringe groups to create the kind of unified conspiracy theory like Q-anon is. But the undercurrent has been there for years and I don't see it improving anytime soon. If anything nothing motivates voters to get off the couch and stop watching cable news than telling them their children will be eaten alive. Or they'll go to hell if they vote the wrong guy. The white nationalists in my experience are extremely fringe and are not particularly popular even with the more extreme religious segments of the party. They tend to be ostracized outside of a few regions where they have clout due to historical reasons.
  8. While the potential to do so exists I'd very much question whether the long term ramifications of such actions are worth it. Obama did this on healthcare and the end result ended up being an inability to get most anything done following the mid term elections, which left us essentially in the same place as we were before that was passed. Somethings improved, some things got worse, but the system ended up deadlocked for most the rest of his presidency and was one of the primary factors that lead to the rise of Trump and his victory in 2016. I think if Biden pushes too hard here it can only end with more sectarian violence from the fringes and mainstream backlash from the opposition which will be another ripe situation for someone similar to Trump to be able to take advantage of again.
  9. Very much doubt that, if Trump tries to run again it will be a Ross Perot type situation. He'll likely split the Republican party right down the middle and make the united Democratic front stronger in comparison than a split Republican party. The real fun comes in if a candidate fails to get a simple majority of electoral votes in a 3 way split. That'll make previous electoral college complaints look tame in comparison.
  10. I'd wager "back end developer wanted" is what they mean.
  11. Hard mode certainly provided me with enough of a challenge on my first playthrough especially on earlier maps. Later on once I was more comfortable with this games mechanics I basically snowballed and cruised through most of the latter half of the game but it never felt so easy that I could just completely ungore bad tactics. Especially with beasts and bossrs. It was a pretty good difficulty overall I think. New game plus was a different matter entirely basically slaughtered my second run. I feel like if you skip a lot of the auxiliary battles and keep your levels close to the recommended level for the chapters it's fairly engaging. I do appreciate the inability to grind forever but again NG+ gives you a huge advantage at the beginning it's less fun.
  12. If feel like it's been the amalgamation of several groups and trends that have been around for decades at least. The current religious conservative movement in the US can mind of be traced back to the Satanic Panic of the 1980's and I feel like it's escalated since then. Though perhaps some of it can be traced back to religious fallout after RvW mobilizing voters who would otherwise not be voting in bloc as we see today. Single issue voters are the glue holding them together. It'll be whack a mole for a bit but I highly suspect Trump plans to spin off his own social media and news service after this.
  13. Agreed but that leaves violence as the only option to deal with terrorists. Also agreed but this is very much the state of popular political discourse at the moment. Well I think it's because they are getting riled up on social media and Trump's and other extreme partisan Republicans attempts to gain political power by playing into people's fears. But the why isn't very important. Whether the beliefs are legitimate or not they are real to the people that hold them and that makes the situation very dangerous. I get the suscint impression that a lot of people in government really just don't understand what makes these people tick and their responses to them only serve to make the situation worse. Like the fact checking blurbs on Facebook, people who have decided to believe in conspiracies have already decided not to believe anything that proves their conspiracies wrong. There are more effective ways of placating them and dispelling the conspiracies that don't pour more fuel on the fire so to speak. Currently most certainly not on Trumps side. The question is what happens as time goes on? The supreme court was never supposed to be partisan yet it's consistently stacked by each administration. As partisanship escalates it will slowly creep into all aspects of government if not stopped.
  14. This is of course assuming that those people share your values. Terrorists are viewed as revolutionaries and freedom fighters in their own ranks. If you aren't careful you can serve to embolden more to their cause. These people feel as if democracy has failed them. But not even just that, they believe that their vote is not counted or heard. The truth of the matter is irrelevant to them as their belief in whether it's true or not is all that they care about, they'll reject facts and evidence as propaganda outright if it doesn't fit their preconceptions of the situation, and if enough people believe this and feel that democratic methods cannot be used to implement their political will. They will resort to other methods. Riots, violence etc. People in the US like to think that these movements are more fringe than they are but there are increasingly large cracks forming betwern various groups and the us vs them mentality is causing more and more people to vote in candidates that further the political divide. I really can't see this ending well if things continue along their present trends. Seems like the US is on course for a Civil War again if it hits the point where about half the country believes the current government is illegitimate and that their views are not represented. Very similar to what happened the last time. I don't think we have an issue as regionally divisive like slavery was at the time right now. But I do see an increasingly strong divide between rural and urban areas. I strongly feel that if trends continue as they are for another 10 or 20 years the US might hit a point of no return where a Civil War is inevitable. I don't think anyone wants that, but I feel the short term interests of many people in Washington including President Trump are taking heavy precedence over long term stability concerns that will continue to grow until they are too big to ignore any longer.
  15. I saw a ghost while driving once. Admittingly I was extremely tired and shouldn't have been driving. Other people I learned later saw a ghost in the same area. Said to be the spirit of someone who died in a car accident or something. I knew nothing of this at the time so it was surprising since I don't believe in ghosts. I think there is something to these sightings, some part of the unconscious brain that interprets threats or takes input and make you think there is something there when there is not. Think like the process of a dream bleading into your concious mind.
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