padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
not saying they are 100% equal on the con man scale, but not worlds apart
all politicians have some con man in them. you're selling an electorate on things you, and they, know you won't be able to deliver.

Clinton was excellent at politics, probably the best American politician since FDR (LBJ was a master dealing but lacked the charisma, Reagan had the charisma/empathetic appeal but not as much of the dealing)

Trump is absolutely amazing at image/media/PR but he's terrible at politics, if politics is the art of the possible - dealing to get things done. look at how little (unsurprisingly) his administration has actually done.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
Didn’t he slaughter thousands and thousands of Gauls?
more like hundreds of thousands, with as many again if not more sold into slavery

but jokes, it's a good way to look at the limits of political empathy, which is specifically about the ability to empathize with your target demographic, usually meaning the electorate. and Caesar was nothing if not a master at empathizing with the Roman electorate. even his bitterest enemies - in fact, them most of all - acknowledged him as a politician miles and miles beyond anyone else - that they felt so certain that they wouldn't be able to defeat him when he ran for consul the 2nd time that they preferred a civil war says it all.

I tend to think an electoral system that deemphasizes the individual in favor of policy - like the UK compared to the US - is better

tamps down on the potential for demagoguery, even if it doesn't quite get rid of it
 

Leo

Well-known member
Trump is absolutely amazing at image/media/PR but he's terrible at politics, if politics is the art of the possible - dealing to get things done. look at how little (unsurprisingly) his administration has actually done.
I'd go even further and say he doesn't know anything about politics, or care about it. the presidency is a power trip, a vanity project. he's more interested in adoring crowds at rallies than making the nation a better place. it's all zero-sum gain. a day trader.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
I'd go even further and say he doesn't know anything about politics, or care about it. the presidency is a power trip, a vanity project.
of course yeah. his 2012 campaign was a vanity project. everything he does is basically a vanity project.

up until a few months before the election, I'm pretty sure he didn't believe he'd actually be President any more than anyone else expected

and like everything, he only cares about it in terms of winning

that's where he's anomalous in American politics - some candidates have had despicable beliefs, but they've all had beliefs of some kind. he has none, besides his ego.

no principles, no ideals, no policy ideas, no goals outside of himself

so naturally power devolves onto whoever will take it - Bannon, Miller, Kushner, Barr - for as long as they can stick as yes-men

not that I'm saying anything that has been said about 1 million times, but it's a sad fucking state of affairs
 

Leo

Well-known member
he's also the most easily manipulated president we've ever had, rogue foreign leaders know all they have to do is flatter him and he'll fall for anything.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
he's also the most easily manipulated president we've ever had, rogue foreign leaders know all they have to do is flatter him and he'll fall for anything.
Which makes a mockery of the idea that he can be filed with those leaders that get called 'strongmen' - Putin, Duterte, Bolsanaro etc.
 

Leo

Well-known member
it's almost as if trump doesn't necessarily crave power, like Putin et al. he craves adoration, or at least attention.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
I tend to think an electoral system that deemphasizes the individual in favor of policy - like the UK compared to the US - is better

tamps down on the potential for demagoguery, even if it doesn't quite get rid of it
I would say what's happened in the last few years in the UK has been the beginnings of a slide to the individual - a populist turn. Could see it really with Corbyn where it was really a case of empathy and trust over policy (for his fans anyway) and Johnson has an enormous amount of that about him. His whole career is based on basically being Bertie Wooster without Jeeves. Apparently this is turning a lot of people inside the party against him, but it's not exactly like they didn't know.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I can't stand Trump, but I sometimes feel sorry for him. He was a child once and whatever happened to him throughout his life turned him into a monster.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I suppose he could just have been born that way and had something seriously wrong with him from the off, but it's difficult to say.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
I remember seeing a photo of Hitler as a baby and finding it jarring that the man who's more or less the benchmark for evil was once a little boy. That nobody had a clue what he was going to grow up to be.
 

yyaldrin

in je ogen waait de wind
every bad person was a baby once right. the weird thing with trump tho is that you can still very much recognize a child in him.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
every bad person was a baby once right. the weird thing with trump tho is that you can still very much recognize a child in him.
I don't know a huge amount about him before he decided to run for the Republic nomination and then the presidency, but I've seen footage of him from maybe 20 years ago and he was far more articulate then, even fairly intelligent-sounding. So I think it's possible he's actually regressed somewhat.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
Jaron Lanier thinks he's addicted to Twitter and it's scrambled his brain. He now thinks and speaks in tweets.
 
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