Posted March 10, 2016 06:43:19>
> Photo: Trump's audience is angry. So angry, it can barely see through the red fog. (Reuters: Chris Keane)
Commentators who have persistently misunderstood everything about the Trump phenomenon have concluded that fascism is once again nigh. But the comparison with Nazi Germany doesn't hold up, writes Michael Bradley.
So, yes, Donald Trump sports a comb-over, he expresses a weird racist ideology of sorts, he made an audience pledge loyalty to him with their right arms raised, he's a shameless populist demagogue with no regard for facts, law, morality or humanity.
And yes, the popular support he is attracting is approaching that achieved by the National Socialist Party in Germany in 1933, before it took power.
But the lazy comparisons between Trump and Hitler (or occasionally Mussolini), and between today's America and Weimar Germany, are just that - lazy.>
External Link: Donald Trump asks a crowd to raise their hands and pledge their support
In 1932, Germany had an unemployment rate of about 30 per cent. It had been bankrupted by the First World War, the reparations bill imposed by the Allies, and then the Great Depression.
It had suffered ridiculous hyperinflation - the Reichsmark collapsed to 4.2 trillion per US$1 in 1923, wiping out everyone's savings. These statistics, stacked on 2-3 million war deaths, bear no comparison with America's recent history.
It's equally obvious that Trump is not Hitler. He is equivalently irresponsible and narcissistic, but he has no discernible personal ideology beyond the sheer delight of being the centre of attention. He is not a buffoon; he knows exactly what he's doing, and he exhibits similar mastery of the strings of mass appeal as did Hitler. But his motivation and goals are completely different.
Commentators persistently misunderstand everything about the Trump phenomenon, and this final resort to doomsday fatalism, concluding that fascism is once again nigh, is just the natural end point of their failure to look behind what's playing out on TV. For one thing, they miss Karl Marx's point: if it can be said that history is repeating, then it is as farce.
History does not in fact repeat, ever. There is nothing inevitable about Trump or the death of democracy which his rise is said to portend. We are not captive to history, but it has much to teach us. The historical lessons here are that the unthinkable is always possible, and that a political vacuum will always be filled by opportunists.
Ted Cruz, who is a far more terrifying prospect than Trump, said something interesting on the weekend:
The scream you hear - the howl that comes from Washington DC - is utter terror at what we the People are doing together.
Cruz is no less an opportunist than Trump. He has identified and is exploiting the same malaise. This gives us the clue to understanding what is actually going on in America right now; it's not the uprising of an ignorant, racist societal underbelly at the urging of a charismatic demagogue, as the Republican Party establishment and mainstream media would wish it away.
No, that thinking is as lazy as the Nazi comparison. The key is in Cruz's words, although ironically he's wrong about the source of the howl. It is coming from the People.
If you add up the popular support for Trump, Cruz and Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, you get a comfortable majority of the American public. What these men have in common is complete outsider status; they profess to stand outside the military-industrial complex, the Washington/media/banking power structure, the free market, neo-liberal knowingness of the insiders club which has run America for its own benefit since, well, forever. These men howl at that monolithic establishment, and they promise to tear it down.
In a country which feels the loss of its status as sole military and economic superpower, which has not won a war since 1945, whose middle class has been hollowed out and its working class devastated by economic upheaval, while the real wages of most workers have been stagnant for the past 50 years but S&P 500 company CEOs now earn 204 times the pay of their average workers, these howls resonate.
The anger in America has been building for decades, and it is deep. It has nothing to do with racism, sexism, xenophobia, the Klan, Islamic terrorism, abortion or any of the myriad other points on which the likes of Trump and Cruz fasten as useful props in their campaigns. They are all real issues of contention and importance, but in this context their function is symptomatic.
Trump's audience is angry. So angry, it can barely see through the red fog. That anger, as I've explained, is real and it has cause. It is founded in a sense of irretrievable loss and hopeless, helpless despair. Visit the Rust Belt and you'll understand just how deep it goes. Meanwhile, the excesses of glossy, corporatised America power on and, it seems, the bad guys never go to jail.
The consequence is what we have: a mob. Those trying to understand why every attempt to bust the Trump bubble backfires and only increases his momentum would do well to study the psychology of mobs. Rationality, logic and objective truth play no part in how a mob moves.
A mob doesn't think; it feels. Its members have fully engaged the emotional parts of their brains, and everything else is temporarily switched off. A mob can do things which its constituents would never individually contemplate and of which they are later ashamed; the testimonies of people who participated in such horrors as the Rwandan genocide and, yes, what the Nazis did, provide plentiful evidence of this. Much of history is a record of lynchings, witch hunts, pogroms and genocides, all perpetrated by ordinary people who one day lost their moral bearings and became a mob.
To dismiss Trump's supporters as a dumb racist swill is to entirely miss the point. Almost everyone in the world is latently racist to at least some extent; when a big enough section of society feels lost and alienated from the power structures which govern them, and a putative leader comes along who speaks the language of their rage and promises to speak brutal, impolitic truth to that power; then if that leader understands the emotional levers of his audience, he can turn it into a mob and wield its force for his own ends.
That's Trump in a nutshell. He gets all this. He plays the cards of racism, misogyny, inclusion/exclusion, demonisation of The Other in whatever form is momentarily convenient, to manipulate the elevated emotions of the mob he has attracted and keep his face plastered all over the news. He wants to be president. It's possible, if the mob keeps growing and maintains its present rage.
Trump or Cruz, doesn't matter; each is a manifestation of the malaise afflicting and destroying America. There will be more like them, and worse. The establishment, which Cruz correctly says is feeling utter terror, must look inwards and face the ugly truth. This is all its own doing. A more apt historical precedent might be France, circa 1789.
Comments for this story are closed.
10 Mar 2016 6:55:52am
Did you know the people who support Donald Trump think Barack Obama is sending a shout out in support of ISIS every time he points his finger in the air? They actually believe that and talk openly about it online. Google it. Read the patriot-freedom blogs. Read the 2nd amendment blogs. Read the tea party, prepper and rapture blogs. Read the comments and archives. Read the message boards and learn for yourself what Donald Trump supporters really believe.
10 Mar 2016 7:59:07am
Trump is frightening because he goes after the votes of the worst kind of American. The uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed, hateful, I could go on, he has no real vision for the country or experience to hold such an office.
10 Mar 2016 8:11:53am
Perhaps if the people you mentioned had been able to afford an education they wouldn't need Trump. For too long 80% of Americans have been lost with no way forward.
GOP has done nothing for America except keep the status quo, enrich the rich and waste billions on war.
It might be prudent for Australian politics to look very closely at what can happen if social support is ripped away.
10 Mar 2016 8:51:55am
Whats funny is how ted cruz has been left out of this. His rhetoric is just as bad as trumps. He comes from the dark depths of the tea party, and has many nutjob ideas. Either of the two you would think think the democrats have this wrapped up.
10 Mar 2016 9:36:30am
This is the god nutter who thinks if gun controls were brought in domestic violence against women would increase
Big Tomatoes :
10 Mar 2016 1:43:25pm
Im not a Conservative by a long shot. ?But the one and only decent thing that John Winston Howard did was the Gun By Back. Howard went up against a rump of his own supporter base. We had to put up with the Scurious argument about "Guns don't kill People , People kill people" They forgot to add that the more easy the availability of Guns the easier it is for the majority to access guns if they wish. Leading to "Port Arthur and Martin Bryant".
In the good Ole USA when you have sycophantic political Gun advocate Nutjobs like Cruz who showed the whole world "How to cook Bacon on a Muzzle of a Gun - Texas Style" and you have a population that believes all that bull that is rammed down every American's throat from Grade School 'the oath of Allegiance" and other INDOCTRINATION.??
Then no wonder a Nut job like Cruz is passed up in favour of Trump who doesn't mince his words but says EXACTLY what the Christian Right and Gun Enthusiasts and the Tea Pary and the Anti Socialist (Common Sense has no place) Brigade want to hear. Trump is merely Dogwhistling.
10 Mar 2016 11:07:16am
I just console myself that if Cruz keeps eating generous portions of "machine gun bacon" lead poisoning should get him fairly quickly.
10 Mar 2016 12:04:51pm
Not sure that you can get lead poisoning from bacon that's wrapped around the outside of the barrel, Baldrick, but it might be interesting that one symptom of lead poisoning is a decline in mental functioning.
10 Mar 2016 3:29:16pm
I recall reading some science study carried out at firing range where everybody swabbed had high lead levels on the skin, plus elevated airborne lead levels. Another symptom apparently is losing the sense of taste - leading to needing more bacon presumably - result!
10 Mar 2016 9:10:14am
Tell us something we didn't already know, every Conservative government is the same, self first and stuff everyone else but how ironic that most of them of committed Christians.
10 Mar 2016 10:04:19am
Hi Awake, Fish, Peter and TC21,
While I don't necessarily disagree with any of you, I think it is important the we acknowledge that the Democrats have also not improved the average American's lot either. And I do partially take Awake's point about Australian Politics. But at the end of the day, this is a message for citizens, not politicians. The real blame lies with those of voting age, particularly those who do not vote. America has the mechanisms in place to address the problems of shrinking real wages and the apparent development of an aristocratic elite, however most Americans do not take the effort required to change this. This may partially be to do with ignorance, but I suspect apathy has played a much larger part. But what will be more telling is when the election for the new president begins. If voters favour Trump over Hillary, then America has allowed anger to win. They will pay heavily for this, as will the rest of the world.
But the message for us in Australia isn't so much for politicians, but for every person of voting age: be careful who you vote for and why, because if we continue to vote for short term self interest and allow ourselves to believe promises that are clearly not achievable, then we may very well end up in the same place.
10 Mar 2016 10:52:06am
@AT I do agree with your statements. I was only saying that the democrats have it wrapped up, not how good they are. For a long time the US has been controlled by lobbies. You just need to watch some john oliver to see how senators and congressmen are intertwined with funding from the lobby groups.... And to think, democracy was to be meant for the citizens!
10 Mar 2016 11:57:23am
Fish, your prediction is against the most sopholisticated modelling predictions.
Statements of elitism and grandure by critics in any form will likely only help Trump. Instead of comparrisons to hitler the only option is a comparison of policies with the best / most trusted winning.
Sadly the political establishment have destroyed their chances. Its all oppositionfpr power instead of public interest.
Trump will be the next US president at this rate. Critics comparing him to a mass murderer are his unwitting allies.
Big Tomatoes :
10 Mar 2016 2:02:44pm
Agree with your statements. That is exactly what Trump is playing to. Hitler did the same in a different era although in much similar circumstances.
What Trump has done is expose to the greater world and its population the exact nature of the White American Character in all its forms.
Trump is dangerous for the world and humanity but what Trump has done through his Dog Whistling and National Socialist policy and populism is how much of White America really ticks.
11 Mar 2016 10:19:45am
You idiot, you swapped from one ditch to another! Lobbies are citizens like you and me, just that less weight should be given to them representationally!
10 Mar 2016 11:12:57am
Andrew Thomas; your message for us in Australia is be careful about who you vote for and why. Good except surely that leads to the question of all the systemic components of party and media that set out the who and the why. Then below all that is the discipline each of us puts into digesting all with objectivity and dispassionate wisdom.
Thing is; at every level our system of Gov't, the media and our social cohesion is at threat. The best informed and probably wisest on these topics have long since left the public debate because of the cacophony of the noisy, certain and belligerent. We are not there yet, but not far from looking on as a populist buffoon sweeps to power on the support of the least discriminating.
We need mechanisms to restore trust in our system and it's urgent. It's no coincidence that the collapse of media audiences, the threat of global resource constraint and political populism are happening together. The question is; are we smart enough to think more deeply and effectively about the remedies.
10 Mar 2016 12:18:38pm
All the mechanisms are still in place to fix the problems that you mention. I am not pretending it is easy, and the average person needs to start by learning how their (and I mean their) democratic system works. In life, apathy and ignorance have consequences, and as self-entitled and childlike as we have become as group, this will not stop the consequences. We either grow up now, or face our own Trump scenario down the track.
10 Mar 2016 1:31:53pm
Most of the Pol Sc on the topic suggest that political systems began to be overwhelmed in the 1970s and by the mid 90s the factions, machine-men and disengagement factors had set the die.
When media audiences began collapsing mid 2000s the multiplier effects we are seeing were predicted by theorists and some party reformers - but when disengagement and media audience collapse combine, deliberative discourse isn't possible.
I don't think the mechanisms are in place to fix these problems and precious few of our best and brightest dare say that publicly for fear of being dragged into the populist slagging that politics has become.
10 Mar 2016 11:26:12am
Didn't Obama try to bring about changes, numerous times, to assist those who most need it? Was he always shot down in flames by the conservatives? Scary to think how much support an individual like Trump has across the USA.
10 Mar 2016 12:08:24pm
"Didn't Obama try to bring about changes, numerous times, to assist those who most need it? Was he always shot down in flames by the conservatives?"
Yes, but not just the conservatives (if you mean Republicans). Members from his own party have been problematic too (e.g. gun control). This is a function of the wealth concentration in America, creating, in effect, an aristocratic ruling elite (believe me, the people who support the NRA are very, very wealthy). Wealth is used to manipulate the political system, but it ultimately relies on the apathy of the American voter for this to work. It now seems to have got to the point where the American voter can no longer ignore the consequences of their apathy, however voting for Trump may not be the solution they think it is.
10 Mar 2016 1:54:33pm
Andrew, voter apathy and alienation have increased over time and so voting has gone down. When people vote for something and that something is ignored or worse, the opposite is done, then why vote next time?
Then add in Gladys' point about the adversarial gridlock, the fact that money speaks loudly, donors must be repaid and it is easy to see the attraction of Trump. He is attracting people who have never voted before.
So there may be a record turnout in November but it is not just the proportion who vote, it is that they vote for and against.
10 Mar 2016 5:03:23pm
Voter apathy is not the only problem. The US voting system is skewed to the wealthier because voting only occurs on weekdays, not Saturdays like here, when the lower paid working are at work and it is quite easy for GOP leaning boss (most of them) to threaten to sack any worker that takes time off to work. When the choice is between working and having food in the stomach and standing up for a principle and go hungry, I know what I would choose. I know this is true as I know a lot of black African Americans in the USA who know how the systems works against the poorer element.
10 Mar 2016 6:02:51pm
Too true Robert, I've been there when the trucks came around with the loud hailers picking up people after shift to get them to the vote on time.
They know the system is stacked against them, another reason to be angry.
10 Mar 2016 2:01:52pm
Why so selective Gladys? Why only help "those who need it most"? What about everyone else? Or don't they count in your world view? It is selection, by the elite, of those they will and won't help that leads to alienation of the rest. Help all or none is the only way to give everyone 'a fair go'!
10 Mar 2016 6:28:16pm
Don't worry too much. Come election day I think you'll find how much support Trump doesn't have across the USA.
10 Mar 2016 10:52:57am
Thankyou awake for elevating the comments to a discussion of the causes, including the impoverishment of the 80% of US people who are not in IT or Financials.
The poor don't get a quality education, the cards are stacked against them.
Ordinary wages in the US have been going backwards for 40 years. In the 1960s a factory worker with a family could afford a house, a car, holidays and a wife at home caring for the 3 children.
Older white working class males remember what their dads had and then look at what they have now. No factory jobs. Trade jobs taken by immigrants at low wages. No affordable health care so that they are dying younger than their parents did.
Why would they trust the status quo which has put them out with the trash ?
And why wouldnt they be angry about it ? Every election their problems are recognised,and after every election they are ignored. The same for Obama, Clinton & Clinton, Bush & Bush. And I doubt that Trump will be different.
If Trump betrays them then whoever comes next will make Trump look like a bleeding heart.
10 Mar 2016 12:30:33pm
Just some stray thoughts... If Trump wins the presidency he will either change his rhetoric or will last only a short time before he is assassinated. Not necessarily by the left-wingers and moderates who understand how damaging he could be to the US standing within the world, but by some agent of the US military as the patsy (most probably disguised as a "lone wolf" like Oswald).
If Trump acted after the election, the way he is acting in an attempt to win the election, he more than any subversive element in the US, could precipitate wars with multiple adversaries, including internal groups who fear that a war with China, Russia, or both would end in annihilation of the US as a nation.
Trump's farcical behaviour and pronouncements sound like a comedy act. But he appeals to a group that includes extremists and if the establishment didn't dispose of him for risking the nation's safety - if he became more moderate after his election - his more extreme supporters might feel cheated and might also seek to remove him by whatever method is necessary.
10 Mar 2016 7:44:07pm
Thrle only way i see trump loosing after listening to sanders v clinton support keeping over 10 million illegal entrants when americans suffer low minimal wages is this scenario.
1) republican party prevents outright majority of delegates allowing the procedure to elect another person in the party room.
2) republican moderate is chosen
3) national vote due to lack of preferences ends up democtrats 40%, republicans 25% trump 35%
In short, only the republicans can stop trump.
11 Mar 2016 7:48:45am
In short, to your opinion...he can go Independent...what then?
10 Mar 2016 1:17:06pm
You remind of a parallel with Germany. My late best friend's father would have liked to be an architect, but he discovered he could not afford to study after high school.
There was nothing for him until Hitler re-established the armed forces, against the Versailles Treaty. He enlisted just like Americans right now who cannot find 3 square meals somewhere else. He rose in the ranks, at some point accidentally switching off the light in Hitler's office, but people didn't talk much about their past so I don't know where else he might have been, with the exception of Croatia.
After the war, he was not eligible for employment, but his wife had work. They rented out a room of their flat to a Polish Holocaust survivor and he helped him with compenstion applications. Then the refugees came from the East and they needed organisers, organising the biggsest refugee camp in West Berlin. He must have been high up, because he was eligible for a phone line at home. Then he was part of re-establishing the West German Army Bundeswehr for newly founded NATO.
He was obviously a capable man, but there hadn't been anything for him except the military. I doubt Trump can make a dent in this situation. The human race runs on hope, false hopes included.
10 Mar 2016 2:27:12pm
Hey Awake! Who's been in power for the last 7 years? Oh wait, a Dem POTUS. How come he hasn't fixed all the inequality between the classes?
Got to love how any Trump article brings all kinds of crazy to the fore in an attempt to outdo the comments from the previous crazy.
Also acknowledgement to The Drum for Godwinning an article in the title... a new low for political bias. I am no Trump fan , but the sheer hysteria from the latte left provides endless mirth.
Craig of North Brisbane:
10 Mar 2016 4:27:15pm
Unfortunately, an education in the US these days won't save you from having your life destroyed by some executive so that their stock price goes up by a quarter of a cent. Granted, the educated will probably skew towards Sanders rather than Trump or Cruz, but really there's nowhere to hide there unless you're lucky enough to inherit a few million dollars.
10 Mar 2016 8:13:50am
Why not shorten your comment by just saying "the worst kind of American, the one I disagree with".
10 Mar 2016 8:45:51am
Nugsley has a point and one we should all be very careful about. For whatever reasons the USA has a substantial number of people that have lost or never had touch with reality.
I don't think it is just a lack of education but a mind set that has festered and breaks open especially during hard times.
The election of a black person has ignited the deep hatred there is for blacks in particular and anyone different in general.
While many Americans do care about fairness and don't hold latent evil thought about others like other countries the USA has a significant number of unsettled people who are just looking for an excuse to rebel and they don't really care who or what they rebel against.
10 Mar 2016 9:37:00am
And of course remembering that Americans who watch Fox News know less about the world and current events than Americans who watch no news at all. Quite a few Americans watch Fox News.
10 Mar 2016 11:09:24am
Why does the USA has a significant number of unsettled people who are just looking for an excuse to rebel and they don't really care who or what they rebel against.
There must be a reason we are talking about a lot of people after all. Maybe it's worth a look to see why people are unsettled and looking for and excuse to rebel
After all rebelling is a comittment to hard dangerous times where the players can lose everything and would only try it if they feel there is nothing to lose
10 Mar 2016 2:07:54pm
Edm, I hope the Yank answers your question too as I am interested in his answer. For what it's worth, my answer involves the very basis on which America was conceived.
It was all about the individual and the individual's pursuit of their own well being, their 'happiness'. There is very little mention of anything that involves cooperation although the early settlers depended on cooperation to survive.
The problem with using the individual as the building block of a society is that individuals cannot survive on their own either physically or psychologically. Without a structure that induces cooperation, people experience frustration, anger and eventually high levels of anxiety and distress.
Eventually those individuals will seek anything that relieves that distress. Some just go mad and shoot people, others fall for a Trump who promises them their greatness back by ridding them of their perceived enemies.
10 Mar 2016 2:18:50pm
While racism certainly exists it is patchy depending on which part of the US you are talking about. Increasingly academia is pointing to the fact that 72% of black children are raised in single mother households. Where there is no father or a succession of boyfriends. Very unstable households brought about by the way the welfare system works. A single mother fares better on the welfare system than one in which there is a man in the house.
Since the 1990's blacks have been going backwards producing a lot of unemployed, under educated and nonfunctional black men and to a lesser extent black women. This situation accelerated under Obama.
10 Mar 2016 5:07:42pm
Please provide a source for your idiotic opinion that blacks are worse off under Obama.
10 Mar 2016 7:12:27pm
Google Single black mothers US. The figure is 72%.
"72 percent of all births to black women, 66 percent to American Indian or Alaskan native women, and 53 percent to Hispanic women occurred outside of marriage, compared with 29 percent for white women, and 17 percent for Asian or Pacific Islander women."
Child trends Data Bank.
Births to Unmarried Women.
There are many many more references.
I think I think:
10 Mar 2016 7:43:59pm
That's not evidence, Bev, they are just numbers. It is this sort of basic mistake that allows you to draw such incorrect conclusions.
11 Mar 2016 12:18:17am
Rubbish it is evidence from a reliable source. The data is derived from US census data.
What do you not understand about the figures quoted? The figures are for single mothers.
As I said google "black single mother families US" Very simple unless you don't want the facts.
10 Mar 2016 7:16:10pm
"According to the 2012 U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey The poverty rate for all African Americans in 2012 was 28.1% which is an increase from 25.5% in 2005. Actually the poverty rate increased between 2005 and 2012 for every demographic of African Americans"
10 Mar 2016 6:39:41pm
C'mon Bev, admit it - you just made that statistic up didn't you? Either that or it sprang from the Donald Trump book of little known facts.
It's not even close to accurate as 20 seconds of searching on Google could have told you.
10 Mar 2016 9:06:49am
Or shorten yours to 'I agree with the worst kind of Americans'.
Makes as much sense.
10 Mar 2016 9:39:53am
Why are you guys so scared to admit that a silent majority of people in the West legitimately hold opinions counter to yours. Why must you deride people who disagree with you as being 'uneducated' or having some disorder?
10 Mar 2016 11:06:21am
"scared to admit that a silent majority ... hold opinions counter"
If they're so silent, pH, how do you know what opinions they have and whether they're in the majority?
And even if an opinion is held by the majority, that doesn't in itself make the opinion accurate, rational or fair. Quantity is not quality.
10 Mar 2016 11:37:10am
What can I say jungle boy democracy is where majority rules and has no real idea about quality
10 Mar 2016 4:26:05pm
Lets apply that to any occasion where the proponents of a idea/philosophy say that the majority of Australians want it/believe it/agree with it......and every referendum coming our way in Australia.
Climate change ( allegedly the majority of scientists believe in it religiously)
Gay marriage (allegedly the majority of australians think it should be legal)
Euthanasia( allegedly the majority of Australians think it should be legalized)
Indeed, Quantity is NOT Quality.
10 Mar 2016 7:31:34pm
Yes Calvin I understand where your coming from however it's the allegedly that gets in the way
Climate change you me and a lot of people who are to young to vote believe however most people over 70 approx think it's just natural or they think it's not going to effect them.
The sad part is the mining companies successfully won and tony Abbott was eventually elected in. A man that said climate change is crap but we still voted for him.
Gay marriage well what can I say news articles say we are all for it or we could not care less but lots of voting conservative there is a real lot of them seem to be dead set against it
Euthanasia I don't know to much about that one but I seems people only want it when they need it, not before
So sadly I think my statement still stands
10 Mar 2016 11:14:18am
"deride people who disagree with you as being 'uneducated' or having some disorder"
It's valid to deride the opinion (but not the holder) if the opinion is demonstrably untrue or irrational. It's also valid to conjecture as to the cause of such an opinion, and ignorance or a disorder are both plausible.
10 Mar 2016 11:54:14am
Just go out and say it Jungle Boy, people cannot legitimately have opinions counter to yours. You know you want to, you can't stand people who disagree with you.
10 Mar 2016 12:09:16pm
A sudden self awareness breaks over Jungle Boy, and he is silenced...
10 Mar 2016 1:18:45pm
Agreeordie, perhaps Jungle Boy just has better things to do with his time...
Here are a couple of my opinions. One I am happy to agree may be false. The other I believe is self-evident. Which do you agree with?
1. Large scale armed conflict between humans is damaging to the human race, whichever side succeeds in doing more damage.
2. Things that are damaging to the human race should be avoided.
(Hint, opinion 1 seems unquestionably true. I assume that war-mongers disagree with me on point 2.)
Here is another pair:
1. Communities prosper when they care for the weak among them.
2. It is good for human communities to prosper.
10 Mar 2016 1:58:31pm
Lachlan. Your opinions are flawed, since they are too linear.
Hedonism would claim that pain is uncomfortable, pain should be avoided and thus a course of action involving pain should be dismissed. Yet sometimes pain is necessary, either to gain a later reward or avoid future harm.
In a similar manner, some courses of action may harm humanity in the short term, but lead to future benefits or avoid future problems. Resisting the Nazis was one such example. The Cold War to destroy the Soviet Union was another. Both involved immense suffering to create benefits we now take for granted.
As to your final statement? You put the cart before the horse. The fact a society cares for the weak is a sign they are prosperous enough to do so. That doesn't mean the weak are the source of this prosperity.
I think I think:
10 Mar 2016 11:45:27pm
And the flaw with your argument, Zing, is that you think the pain suffered by welfare recipients when Liberals cut their entitlements is justified because British soldiers suffered when stamping out Hitler's minions.
It is a fallacious argument and signifies a lack of perspective from the proponent.
Being a good Gough Whitlam doesn't mean you sometimes have to be an Ike Eisenhower.
My argument is that we are clever enough, when motivated, to come up with a better solution than either/or. I am also a student of mathematics. The maths say that we have enough resources to keep everyone satisfied. That tells me that your solution, and Lachlan's, are simply insufficient, self serving, and lazy.
But I am a maths guy. Where is the Einstein of economics who can marry his theory to the Planck of social science?
Kvothe the Bloodless:
10 Mar 2016 1:35:19pm
I disagree with that
10 Mar 2016 1:50:17pm
It is ironic that you are allowed to post your opinion - that opposing opinions are not allowed - on a public website. Thus proving yourself completely incorrect.
10 Mar 2016 2:03:00pm
For the record:-
- People can legitimately hold opinions contrary to mine, and often do.
- I don't believe people can read others' minds, which is why I initially asked how you claimed to know what a silent group could think. Your response has not answered that question, and has reinforced my belief, as you clearly have no idea what I want to say, despite your claims.
- Whether or not I like a person depends on the person, not their opinions. There are people I agree with but can't stand, and there are people I disagree with but like.
10 Mar 2016 4:48:09pm
"don't criticise me I'm entitled have my opinion": just because you have an opinion doesn't mean it is valid nor does it mean it's above criticism.
10 Mar 2016 8:50:22am
'he goes after the votes of the worst kind of American. The uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed, hateful,'
I can see that, but Michael sums it up by this;
'What these men have in common is complete outsider status; they profess to stand outside the military-industrial complex, the Washington/media/banking power structure, the free market, neo-liberal knowingness of the insiders club which has run America for its own benefit since, well, forever. These men howl at that monolithic establishment, and they promise to tear it down.'
Take the GFC. The people who caused it got bonuses, the banks got fined billions of dollars, which the shareholders paid and the government got to keep it.
The US is getting like India of old, maharajahs and peasants.
10 Mar 2016 12:33:37pm
Dead right winig pom, it is ironic that "... now earn 204 times the pay of their average workers ...", that would be Trump right, oh and the Clinton's too, oh and the Bush pa & boys as well, oh, oh and the Kennedy clan too.
Same problem exists here in Australia too with the champagne-socialists and Labor Pollies.
Same problem existed in the UK when I Lived there.
Same problem existed in Jamaica when I lived there.
And don't get me started on that special breed of politician that one used see in Brussels when I lived there.
It seems that it doesn't really matter where in the world one looks at, or whether the politician claims to be Liberal, Democrat, Labor or Conservative ... most of them are very, very wealthy compared to those that vote them in and are usually from a background with established roots in the "governing class".
10 Mar 2016 8:56:32am
tc21, I think your comments display the very notions about which Michael Bradley is writing......think about it. You clearly have a low opinion of many Americans (and the attributes you mention may be quite correct) and implicit in your words is the view that those in power should not be considering the needs of such people. This is the whole point - these people are feeling bypassed and neglected, left to rot as it were. Michael is pointing out that Trump is tapping into their pain which, being so widespread, has the potential to hand him power.
Whatever the short-comings of these American citizens, for society to prosper, these people need to be helped to improve, not to be further trodden on. It is precisely because their welfare has been neglected by those able to look after themselves, that the current situation has arisen. It is the very attributes you enunciate that make these people susceptible to the manipulation of a Trump. The consequences of ignoring these people and failing to help lift them out of their state, are now being felt. I think Michael makes the message clear.....if Americans want to avoid a Trump being president, those in power need to start looking after the interests of all citizens, whatever their faults.
10 Mar 2016 9:52:19am
Trump will only make their lives worse.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 11:57:37am
Clinton or Sanders will only make their lives worse.
A Former Lefty:
10 Mar 2016 10:45:37am
Perfectly stated RosieA.
There was a recent comment on the Drum that spoke disparagingly about the "white underclass" and how they had no right to feel marginalised about migrants competing for them for low paying unskilled jobs.
Besides the absolute bigoted racism that the mods should never have allowed through (typical ABC), the arrogance that working class people have no right to a voice is enough to take away the breath of any sane and reasonable person. We have all come to know that most leftists are far from that and seem to enjoy their hateful arrogance and self appointed moral supremacy.
And yet they talk about Trump supporters???
10 Mar 2016 11:57:00am
" We have all come to know that most leftists are far from that and seem to enjoy their hateful arrogance and self appointed moral supremacy."
I was about to respond to your post when I came to this bit. Obviously there is no point.
A Former Lefty:
10 Mar 2016 6:18:32pm
"I was about to respond to your post when I came to this bit. Obviously there is no point."
And Im sure youve spared us all.
10 Mar 2016 11:27:07am
I think you are right RosieA, but unfortunately Trump will not be their answer. He is an enigma, because he is railing against much that created his own riches, so it is unlikely, if given the power there would be a redistribution of the nation's wealth.
Although there is much to be concerned about in his rhetoric, it surely would be unlikely if he ever became President he would be able to even remotely fulfil his promises.
The great concern, as you point out are the circumstances currently in America that makes his election even a remote possibility.
With the possible rise of people like Cruz I wonder whether the inability of Americans to keep their religion and politics apart will in the end be of greater detriment than they envisage.
10 Mar 2016 11:27:08am
I think you are right RosieA, but unfortunately Trump will not be their answer. He is an enigma, because he is railing against much that created his own riches, so it is unlikely, if given the power there would be a redistribution of the nation's wealth.
Although there is much to be concerned about in his rhetoric, it surely would be unlikely if he ever became President he would be able to even remotely fulfil his promises.
The great concern, as you point out are the circumstances currently in America that makes his election even a remote possibility.
With the possible rise of people like Cruz I wonder whether the inability of Americans to keep their religion and politics apart will in the end be of greater detriment than they envisage.
10 Mar 2016 11:54:08am
@Rosie I'm all for making people's lives better but I cannot respect racist, homophobic hateful people. Kindness, love &a tolerance should come naturally to human beings, educated or not.
10 Mar 2016 1:31:19pm
"I'm all for making people's lives better but I cannot respect racist, homophobic hateful people."
If you can't respect people who don't agree with you, don't expect them to respect you back. I hope they don't outnumber you.
"Kindness, love &a tolerance should come naturally to human beings, educated or not."
If you honestly believe kindness and tolerance come naturally to human beings, you're not very educated.
10 Mar 2016 1:23:32pm
I wholeheartedly agree with you, RosieA. However, history is littered with 'progressive' governments that sought to "help to improve" the lot of its citizens - up to the point of invading every aspect of their lives and 'nanny-stating' them to despair. I'm not saying all progressive policies are bad, but that citizens are just as wary of having all control over their lives removed by a well-meaning liberal, as they are by a right-wing power nut.
10 Mar 2016 1:36:50pm
No, RosieA. Saying that people's opinions are bad does not at all implicitly say that their needs should not be considered. It just says that those opinions are bad.
If a xenophobe needs medical aid, they should receive it regardless of their xenophobia, as much those they hate should receive medical aid regardless of their race.
The problem is largely that the hateful and uninformed do not distinguish between their real needs and the things that they are manipulated to *believe* are their needs. Being uninformed does not make them undeserving, but it does mean that they shouldn't necessarily get what they want.
Society as a whole needs protection from hatred and selfishness.
A Former Lefty:
10 Mar 2016 6:29:06pm
"Society as a whole needs protection from hatred and selfishness."
Cant disagree there, but the previous statements in your comment give me the impression that you think this is the total reserve of the right, and that the left is the polar opposite.
Hate to bust your bubble bud, but many people, not only on the right, are now quite rightly seeing the left as the hateful and selfish people, and a bit stupid too for not being able to recognise it in their own attitudes and actions.
But its good to know you believe that someone whos personal values differ from yours is still entitled to medical care. So progressive you are.
10 Mar 2016 6:29:22pm
Rosie. I take your point and I somewhat agree with you.
Trump however isn't doing this because he actually cares for their welfare. The man is a power driven megalomaniac. This is nothing more than an opportunity to snare more power only by winning many votes that come from a large group of disgruntled people who aren't smart enough to question his motives
The fact is, there is so much pressure placed on the govt by the us business lobby to turn a blind eye on these illegal migrants. Without them businesses would have to pay a lot more in wages, and if that occurred less profits
It's reaching that point in aust as well. As much as the govt here likes to say that everyone regardless of where they come from have the right to a legal aust wage, we all know this to be BS. 457 visas set up by Labor were introduced to allow the importation of skilled workers to carry out work on projects that couldn't be met by Australians. This was established when there were a lot more jobs circulating in a robust economy. Now of course the economy has mellowed somewhat, and yet these visas continue to be used and abused by companies who are hell bent on making unfettered wealth. If your worried about Indians or whoever taking your job here you should put pressure on the Libs to adjust this to meet our current economic situation.
10 Mar 2016 8:36:47pm
Tom and J; I totally agree that Trump isn't concerned for these people, any more than Abbott was concerned about Australians' electricity bills. They are politicians manipulating voters to suit their own purposes.
I was purely endorsing Michael Bradley's opinion that it is the failure of those in power to consider the needs of the working class, that has produced a large number of aggrieved people, thus allowing someone like Trump to tap into their grievances for his own benefit. It is one of the consequences of governments pandering to business at the expense of the well-being of all citizens.
10 Mar 2016 9:02:31am
"he goes after the votes of the worst kind of American. The uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed, hateful"
Of course, Hispanic and African American voters couldn't possibly be any of those things. lol
10 Mar 2016 10:13:56am
Of course they can, but if Trump goes after their votes he loses White-racist votes.
10 Mar 2016 10:38:17am
tc21 and Paul Kennedy,
Did either of you bother reading Bradley's opinion piece?
Exhibit A: You're the intellectual lazy-types he's referring to.
10 Mar 2016 12:00:04pm
Did you bother reading the comments that others comment on? Absolutely not intellectually lazy but definitely aware that there are two types of people in this world, the uneducated and uninterested, the judgemental, racist, hompgobic, God fearing types and then there are the open minded, friendly, accepting types. Trump goes after the former, the easily influenced.
Drum Moderator is a joke:
10 Mar 2016 10:40:38am
Worst kind of American? If its the majority then its truly reflective of the country. That is real democracy pal.
10 Mar 2016 11:31:19am
Funny how tc the hater hates americans then says there hate is bad..progressive thinking in action
10 Mar 2016 12:02:25pm
I love Americans, I lived there for many years, state to state are like different planets and some are like entering a time warp, cultures interest me but hate and ignorance doesn't and I have no time for it, if a politician needs to play to the lowest common denominator to get elected then that drags us all down to the gutter.
10 Mar 2016 11:49:55am
You mean the Hispanics? Or the graduates?
10 Mar 2016 12:13:11pm
the same could be said of every candidate and president.
trump will be spectacular. never a dull moment. kind of like clive, only lighter on the lunch budget.
10 Mar 2016 1:23:47pm
That is your interpretation. It assumes that the majority of Americans are exactly as you describe; "uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed, hateful," etc. That in itself is a completely bigoted view typical of the left of politics.
Another interpretation is that the majority of Americans are utterly sick of the lies, the BS, the deception, (etc) that the current crop of mainstream politicians routinely serve up to them, and that they are also utterly sick of their arrogance, their ineptitude, their rank hypocrisy, their incredible stupidity, their shallowness... Given that is increasingly the case throughout the democratic world, with politicians serving up tripe dressed up in three word slogans, is it not possible that by not being of that mould, Trump is merely attracting the protest vote?
Big Tomatoes :
10 Mar 2016 1:53:25pm
Trump must be laughing all the way to the White House as he sees before his own eyes how easy it is to WIND UP the true character of a large (perhaps majority) of the United States of America and translate that into popular voluntary suffrage courtesy of the Hitler "How to win in Politics by hook or by crook" Handbook.
It may be left to the Mexican Americans, the African Americans and the more fair minded Liberal White Americans to foil this ventriloquist apparition of Hitler gaining the White House.
The GOP have got what they always wanted in truth and reality. All the confected outrage is just that of other GOP candidates being Trumped by Trump.
10 Mar 2016 3:17:53pm
There's been some elections held in this country that's distinctly aimed its sights on that particular demographic. T.Abbott was a genius at it.
Putting aside 'the wall' issue. I wonder if Americans have really considered the impact of having a nutter like Trump in the oval office. The guy is beyond power hungry. So to leave this man with control of the 'button' is completely unfathomable.
10 Mar 2016 8:00:06pm
I saw rudd as the genius of emotional manipulation of a mob. People loved him if they didnt know him.
Abbott could convince the public that he had any redeeming features. So he just highlighted the then governments mistakes and unpopular policies whilst providing minimal new on his own.
Rudd like trump had outlandish proposals without thought of international consequences and became the face of the media. All talk and no action.
11 Mar 2016 10:53:02am
I don't think I would use Rudd to compare to trump
On one hand you got a guy whose ego took him to lengths of unpopulist climate policy. The other, on the other hand, practices unfetted greed with a love of guns and war.
11 Mar 2016 9:33:21am
Re "the wall" the president of Mexico did not object to the wall being built, he objected to Trump wanting Mexico to pay for it.
10 Mar 2016 7:22:08pm
I would vote for trump if I was an American and I would not identify myself as stupid. I also do not see where the "no vision for the country" comment comes from since he is the by far the most patriotic and entrepreneurial candidate. Maybe you would have picked up on this if you had seen any of his speeches or even better read his policies, which I can assure you I have read (as well as Bernie Sander's policies). Anyway I agree that some of his voters are stupid but this does not mean they are wrong.
p.s. racism is just a synonym for realism
10 Mar 2016 10:15:37pm
'The uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed, hateful'
tc21, you could be talking about a good portion of that million who stormed their way into Europe!
11 Mar 2016 9:24:26am
I guess America's businessmen are all uneducated, racist, homophobic, uninformed and hateful as they are supporting Trump too although for different reasons. They support Trump because they know America is bankrupt and it needs a businessman to drag it back to a productive economy.
Trump is a very smart businessman and politician, he is simply telling people what they want to hear so they will vote for him. No different to any Labor or Liberal politician.
10 Mar 2016 8:15:52am
John Oliver gives the best examples of Trump and his antics.
Search the "Donald Drumpf" video and all will become apparent.
I don't see Trump as Hitler but Trump is a threat to common sense.
10 Mar 2016 8:34:41am
"...Did you know the people who support Donald Trump think Barack Obama is sending a shout out in support of ISIS every time he points his finger in the air?.."
@Nugsley, do you realize that in many USA states Donald Trump's support is quite large. So, you would want us to believe that such large proportion of the American population us that stupid. I would rather believe that your comments are a bit silly.
10 Mar 2016 9:04:52am
42% of people from the US believe we were created rather than evolution (Washington Post 2015).
59% don't believe (or aren't sure) that man has landed on the moon (Gallup polling).
37% think global warming is a hoax (Public Policy Polling 2013).
1 in 4 suspect President Obama may be the "antichrist" (Public Policy Polling 2013).
...you be the judge, i guess.
10 Mar 2016 9:46:38am
That's truly scary 63% are Dumber than me
man of mystery:
10 Mar 2016 9:06:54pm
That IS a scary thought.
10 Mar 2016 10:05:11am
Matthew, these kinds of survey results, replicated time and again on UFOs, paranormal experiences, the comings and goings of Elvis and the date of the rapture illustrate the kind of people who we've chosen to follow blindly into every conflict, however absurd and have chosen to not only associate ourselves with but to wed ourselves to. People consume American entertainment in their own homes and because they look and sound kinda like us, think that they are indeed kinda like us. A brief trip there demonstrates that the USA is a foreign country.
We'd be money in front entrusting our foreign policy to voodoo, tea leafs and the entrails of animals
A Former Lefty:
10 Mar 2016 10:48:55am
What about flying donkeys and men who talk to angels Dove, should we be following people into conflicts who believe in those things instead?
10 Mar 2016 11:38:13am
Lefty, of course not. And we haven't
10 Mar 2016 3:03:46pm
We followed GW Bush through the ever eager beaver to please American foreign policy and make myself a person in Australian history as PM Howard in that the very same George Walker Bush declared "Publicly" That none other than "GOD' had told him in Dream to Invade Iraq.
Sort of even Trumps (pun if you like) the fact that GW Bush and Howard did point to impeccable Intelligence "That Saddam was getting Uranium from Africa (that really narrows it down) and Blairs sexed up Weapons of Mass Destruction scenario
God told Bush eh
10 Mar 2016 11:45:30am
Thank you, Dove, for the voice of sanity.
10 Mar 2016 12:13:09pm
polls and statistics....
It all comes down to exactly how you frame the question and what demographic you target.
For example a ICM poll of 500 random muslims in the UK contacted by phone found that 47% would consider becoming a suicide bomber if they lived in Palestine, or in the same situation that Palestinians find themselves in.
Now... would those statistics be a real representation of the all muslims in the first world? or was the question framed in such a way to generate a specific response? what bias was generated by only using people who were a) prepared and motivated to engage in a phone survey on the topic at hand, and b) prepared to answer such a leading question? what locations were targeted for the phone calls, was it muslims who lived in the wealthiest parts of London or was it muslims living in disadvantaged parts of say Bradford?
The amazing thing with statistics is that it is remarkably easy to attain 'evidence' to support any proposition you might want to put forward as a 'fact'.
Be that 50% of muslims are wannabe suicide bombers, or that the majority of people in the USA a mad/ignorant/crazy/racists etc.
From experience a trip to the USA will demonstrate that they are a population of educated, informed and very friendly, nice and helpful people with the best of intentions.
10 Mar 2016 2:09:52pm
It is possible for people (not just Americans) to be all those things you say they are and, I agree, most Americans I've met are as you say they are. In fact, most people I've known are generally as you describe - not only Americans.
But you can't translate those characteristics to the entire population. Indeed, many people - I'd go so far as to say most of us, well educated and not - have simultaneously a bunch of both good and less less endearing traits. You probably need to get to know them well enough before all are evident.
Yes, obviously you can manipulate surveys top give the answer you want. Most responsible survey companies are very averse to doing that; it's their clients who want particular answers.
So, it is often more instructive to look at who the client is (if you can).
I can't comment on the validity of the particular figures Matthew quoted, but similar results have been found over numbers of surveys so, unless you can point to any that show markedly different results on these issues, it is reasonable to assume they are fairly representative.
10 Mar 2016 3:07:19pm
you say "I can't comment on the validity of the particular figures Matthew quoted, but similar results have been found over numbers of surveys so, unless you can point to any that show markedly different results on these issues, it is reasonable to assume they are fairly representative"
See my comment to Conservative Mike below which specifically deals with Matthews statistic about "42% of people from the US believe we were created rather than evolution" (which is from a 2014 Gallup poll, quoted by the Washington Post the following year), and the clear bias in the way in which the statistical 'evidence' was obtained which lead to a highly biased result in favour of a purported belief in creationism.
In fact it is reasonable to assume that most statistics contain a great deal of bias as you firstly only get information from a particular demographic who have a penchant for answering surveys/polls.
For example Pew Research notes a 'response rate' to polls of just 9% (down from 40% in the 1990's). So what you end up is a survey of a particular demographic who like to answer polls who are in fact just a tiny minority of the actual population.
Any poll with a 9% response rate is going to be biased by a large degree by the very nature of the demographic polled.
10 Mar 2016 4:55:31pm
Thank you JB for your detailed response. It seems strange that a responsible firm like Gallup would slant their demographic and sample to produce a skewed result, although it looks that way from your figures.
I have had my fingers burnt trying to interpret raw data, so I am still not convinced that your interpretation is totally right, despite it seeming obvious. Nevertheless, I feel bound to accept it as I have no real evidence to dispute it.
On the other hand, I think there is enough evidence from ongoing polls to show that a significant (I know that's a fairly loose description) number of Americans who harbor views that are not inconsistent with the above - more so than in Australia anyway. I am not sure I can agree that most surveys contain inbuilt biases based on faulty methodology. Survey companies would surely find it difficult to stay in business if such were the general case.
Anyway, thank you for providing a rational and courteous response. I wish more posters could be as civil.
11 Mar 2016 10:35:37am
Thanks for your comments, it is certainly nice to be able to share a discussion with a reasonable person like you.
If I may, i'd just like to add that another exacerbating factor of bias which clearly exists in the Gallup Poll which saw the few respondents (ie. the 9% of the population that responded, down from 40% in the 1990's) having their responses weighted in order to represent the actual population demographic of the nation.
ie. consider how younger people (ie. in the below 30 age group) are clearly less likely to respond to a phone poll on religious beliefs/church attendance rates etc unless they already have an interest in the topic matter and which to share such an interest.
Thus you can end up with very few responders (ie. below 30) having their belief weighted to represent a much larger population group.
Consider how out of the 1,000 people polled by Gallup that only a few will be in the below 30 demographic, and they are likely to be only those people with an interest in sharing their religious beliefs/church attendance rates etc, which means that the handful of people in this demographic have their creationist beliefs magnified during the weighting process creating a situation whereby the weighted poll data now suggests that people under 30 are predominately creationists when this isn't the case in reality.
Only by looking at the raw data, and by taking into account the abundance of bias in the questions, inclination to respond, phone type ownership etc can you really get to the bottom of a poll.
18-29 years olds make up approx. 20% of the population in the USA. As cellphone ownership is mainstream now with 75+% of people over 50 owning one (and higher for younger people, but land line ownership in the below 30 age group is around 30% or less. Thus the land line group would tend to pick up approx. 30 (at best) in the under 30 demographic (ie. 500 * 20% * 30% = 30 people). The cellphone group would perhaps get 100 people in that demographic (500 * 20% = 100). So all up you'd get at best 130 people, which is 13% of the total poll group, so you would have to almost double their response to get an appropriate population weighting. Now if these 130 below 30's are predominately creationists they are going to provide a very inaccurate representation of the approximate 64,000,000 Americans in that demographic.
At least Gallup is decent enough to state at the very end of the poll results the following "In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls."
11 Mar 2016 11:27:22am
I don't dispute anything you have said, but maybe I was lucky in my limited survey methodology and analysis experience to be working under one of Australia's most respected and skilled statisticians.
Hence our sample was carefully selected to match the particular demographic we were surveying. Thus, even though the sample number was sometimes a seemingly small total, statistically it was representative of the total demographic. We also tried to match the question structure to the perceived comprehension levels of the demographic so as to enable responses to be measured as accurately as possible, especially with open questions.
Yes, even with the greatest care, there will always be a margin of error, so professional poll and survey firm do their best to keep error margins to the absolute minimum, otherwise they aren't really helping their clients.
Finally, one key factor that bedevils survey firms is that some clients expect a Rolls Royce result for the cost of a Mazda2. And that's where, sometimes, the results don't tell us exactly what we are seeking to find out. And, of course, the survey firm gets the blame.
11 Mar 2016 11:54:53am
Yes the funding of surveys is a separate matter all together isn't it.
I wonder how the Gallup Poll would have looked if the questions (which there were a few) weren't focused on religious beliefs, church attendance rates etc but instead approached it from an entirely different perspective.
ie. If they asked about sciences, say questions about physics, chemistry, biology and then included a question on whether the respondent supported the theory of evolution.....
One would naturally expect an entirely different set of raw data as respondents would naturally be those people who have an interest in sciences and discussing sciences with strangers over the phone, which is likely to exclude a great number of creationists who are unlikely to a have a great interest in scientific fields generally.
As such question structure could have resulted in a Gallup Poll stating that 99% of Americans support evolutionary theory.
But then that would not be much of a 'sensational' result, and the primary funder of Gallup (being USA Today) wouldn't have much of a sensational story to print.
Surveys can certainly be useful, but only if you can get at the raw data, and understand the methodology used and the purpose of the poll itself and any likely bias.
10 Mar 2016 10:53:58am
So I believe we were created, not evolved, but I'm well educated, middle class, running a small business. Once again Christians or those not sharing the lefts extreme agenda are somehow hateful or stupid? Yet it's those pushing that agenda that are on forums such as these bashing those that don't agree with their opinions. Kind of ironic, those espousing they are for progressive policies of "love and inclusion" for everyone are often the most hateful in the way they talk about those who disagree with them.
Oh, and yes I think climate change is real and man landed on the moon. I might be conservative in my values but I'm no conspiracy theorist.
10 Mar 2016 11:37:31am
"So I believe we were created, not evolved, but I'm well educated, middle class"
What educated but believe that some mystical concept popped mankind on earth one sunny morning, some black, some white and others with slanted eyes. Oh also I guess the next day it popped animals birds and sea creatures to provide food for humans.
Mike the stories that you have been reading to give you these daft ideas are the rantings of men borne a couple of thousand years ago. Imagine if today someone woke up one morning and claimed to have talked to god he would be considered delusional. Bit like people like you
10 Mar 2016 12:11:10pm
that's it, have at him peter.
it may surprise you that some of our best education is delivered by catholic or religious schools where, surprise surprise, religion is also taught. the two are not mutually exclusive.
from what I can see CM is not pushing his beliefs on you and they don't affect you. that's the same argument the SSM lobby use. i hope you also go and tell homosexuals that they can't procreate in such a manner which is obviously what they're trying to do.
so no need to be outright nasty, you're just showing how small YOU are. btw, I do not hold to CM's views but I won't belittle him for his views and beliefs. you are now fair game though.
10 Mar 2016 1:47:57pm
Christians believe I will burn in hell for all eternity on account of being atheist. This belief is hateful and a personal insult, so I respond to their faith accordingly.
If they don't want me to treat them nasty, they should pick a nicer religion. One that doesn't involve my supernatural torture by an invisible sky ghost.
10 Mar 2016 5:20:26pm
Zing....a real christian with a true understanding of God and His character doesn't believe you will go to hell for being an atheist.
The ONLY criteria to be saved and come to Christ is because you are a SINNER....like me! The ONLY thing that sends ANYONE to hell is the greatest sin of all PRIDE. If we say we have no faults, no lies, no small evils lurking in our heart and psyche well we are SINNERS of another kind.......LIARS..God hates lying EQUALLY as much as he hates MURDER, PRIDE and one of His biggest is RELIGION. He responds to humility...which is not I AM nothing it is simply I HAVE nothing. All that I am not He is to me, all that I cannot do for myself He has done for me. PRIDE is the thing. Cheers
10 Mar 2016 11:47:19am
"So I believe we were created, not evolved, but I'm well educated..."
So you claim.
10 Mar 2016 12:03:31pm
Is God the ruler of all planets or just Earth?
10 Mar 2016 12:04:12pm
And many Christians of the right and left believe we did evolve. Don't attempt to make denying Evolution a Christian thing. I would even say you are in the minority of Christians on that one, but I don't have any evidence on that. But there is plenty of evidence of Evolution.
10 Mar 2016 2:17:31pm
Surely you mean there is plenty of evidence that is consistent with evolution? Similarly there is plenty of evidence that is consistent with Newtonian Gravitational theory. Sadly 'plenty of evidence' is simply not enough. Now some proof would be good. Is there any proof of evolution itself? I would like to know, it is a genuine question. Has anyone, in a reproducable manner, shown creation of new species from previous existing species? That should do the trick.
10 Mar 2016 7:59:14pm
"...Surely you mean there is plenty of evidence that is consistent with evolution?"
"...Now some proof would be good."
I think "plenty of evidence of evolution" IS good enough.
I commend to you Professor Brian Cox's TV series "The Wonders of the Universe", a BBC four part series produced in 2011. Cox explains and demonstrates it far better than I could.
BTW, your comment about creating new species from existing ones, is I believe, part of what Darwin demonstrated to be not only possible, but evident, albeit occurring over hundreds of thousands of years. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Or did you mean "creating new species from nothing". If so, also have a close look at Cox.
A Former Lefty:
10 Mar 2016 6:36:42pm
The Holy See under Pope John Paul II issued an encyclical stating in part;
"Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."
So much for the ignorance of those who assume that to be a Christian is to be opposed to evolutionary theory.
10 Mar 2016 1:36:51pm
You say "I believe we were created"
That statement is incorrect.
The correct statement is "I was indoctrinated as a young child to believe [insert religious doctrinal teaching like "we were created"]"
So despite all your education and adult mental capacities you continue to "believe we were created" because the religious indoctrination process that was applied to your young immature mind was successful in inserting this belief into your mind in spite of logic, facts, reason and education.
What you have just demonstrated is the reason why religious organisation should not be allowed to indoctrinate children and other vulnerable people until such time that they have the mental capacity to provide informed consent (a legal definition)to the process of religious indoctrination.
ps. by the time young adults are of an age able to provide 'informed consent' they are generally mentally mature enough to be able to defend themselves from the process of religious indoctrination.
10 Mar 2016 11:17:50am
This is what happens when politicians steal money out of the public education system.
10 Mar 2016 11:43:07am
"42% of people from the US believe we were created rather than evolution (Washington Post 2015)."
I don't understand why these two options need to be mutually exclusive.
10 Mar 2016 2:00:29pm
The quote comes from the Gullup poll of May 8-11, 2014.
This was a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents.
So.... lets examine the bias of such a poll.
Firstly, Creationism is more widely accepted by older people as compared to younger people. Younger people (below 30), according to the poll, are three time as likely to not believe in creationism than a person aged 50+.
Secondly, Landline ownership in 2014 was limited to less than 50% of US households. Whereas 91%+ of Americans own a cellphone. Couple that with the fact that approx. 75%+ of people aged over 50+ have a landline, but less that 30%+ of people in the young age (below 30) demographic have a landline. Thus by mandating that 50% of respondents must come from the 'own a landline' group the poll ensures an instant bias towards a belief in creationism.
Thirdly, consider the likelihood of a person who does not believe in creationism and religion to want to engage in a phone survey about a whole series of questions on religious beliefs, church attendance, differences in doctrine (ie. young earth creationism/god directed evolution/old earth creationism etc) and so on. This creates another line of statistical bias that will naturally exclude those that have no interest in religious belief and/or a desire (or time) to enter into phone conversations/surveys with strangers about religious beliefs.
As such it is not at all surprising that the 2014 Gallup poll produced such biased results which have been ceased upon by sensationalistic journalist to promote their agenda that the majority of the population of the USA is fundamentally religious and in effect crazy.
Take statistics with a grain of salt.
(ps. see my comments above on the UK poll that found 47% of UK muslims would become suicide bombers in certain circumstances - which is also clearly biased and nonsense - as another example of clear statistical bias to obtain 'evidence' to support a predetermine position).
Kvothe the Bloodless:
10 Mar 2016 3:19:51pm
That's a great post JoeBloggs, kinda makes looking at polls like that a waste of time when you consider the potential bias from most of them.
10 Mar 2016 4:24:34pm
Note too it is also about how you frame a question.
Q1: is breaking into a pharmacy to steal drugs immoral? (most would answer that it is immoral).
same question but worded differently....
Q2: if your loved one needed drugs from a pharmacy for a life threatening medical condition but you can't afford them is it immoral to steal them? (most would answer that it is not immoral).
The first poll would simply state X% of people think stealing is immoral, while the second poll would have a diametrically opposing result.
"lies, damned lies.... and statistics"
10 Mar 2016 4:17:19pm
There is a really simple way of removing your theory.
All call centers have screening so they cover a variety of groups.
Thats why they ask you the questions about your age bracket and where you live.
You call a land line...
ring ring . "We are looking for people aged 25-30 to fill a hole in out survey".. Oh yeah nw get over here young individual and deal with this survey person.
Never heard of that happening?
11 Mar 2016 10:02:25am
that sounded fine in theory....
until you understand that the isn't actually the case in reality.
Polls do have a set criteria for the population being polled but the criteria isn't necessarily designed to remove bias, but can (as with the Gallup Poll) instead be designed to create a bias.
For example the Gallup Poll clearly states exactly what the criteria was, which was that 50% of respondents must come from the population that "own a landline" and the other 50% must come from the population that "own a cellphone".
There was no requirement to ensure that a set percentage of an age group was spoken with.
Add to this natural bias the very low response rate of 9% which will have created a natural bias towards those people who want to discuss their religious beliefs, their church attendance rates etc with a person over the phone.
Then on top of this the actual data set is then weighted in order to create a representation of a overall national demographics for sex, age, ethnicity which then enormously exacerbates the bias.
For example of the people of the below 30 age group demographic interested in discussing their religious beliefs, church attendance rates etc with person over the phone you would expect to find a high proportion of people who are interesting in their religion, do like discussing religion with strangers over the phone, do like responding to phone polls (keep in mind the 9% response rate now days compared to the 40% response rate in the 1990's which indicates younger people have no interest in responding to phone polls) and are likely to be creationists. Their response is then magnified when the poll data set is weighted as if there is little or no response from atheists/evolutionists of that age demographic then the creationists response in weighted in order to represent the entire age group population demographic as a percentage of the total population.
Thus if just a handful of creationist below 30 respond and few if any atheists below 30 do (as why would you!) you end up with a weighted poll data set which would suggest that people under 30 are creationist when this is clearly not the case in reality.
To understand a poll you have to understand the mechanics of the criteria, the bias and the weighting.
10 Mar 2016 2:42:31pm
I believe most evolutionary scientists say they can find no evidence to support the view that life forms began as the result of a divine hand.
Certainly, none (that I know of) support the fundamental creationist view that humans were created, all finished and complete, by a divine hand.
Nor is there any scientific evidence to support the view that the universe (or universes) are the work of a divine creator.
And the more we learn about the universe(s) and living earth organisms the less it seems possible they might have a divine origin.
People are entitled to believe otherwise, but they are not entitled to force their faiths on those of us who do not share such beliefs.
Scientists who find a compatability between their faith and the scientific evidence of our origins are welcome to do so. I just don't know how they manage it.
11 Mar 2016 9:36:55am
I wonder how many Aussies, if they recieved a phone call asking if they belived that man landing on the moon was a hoax would answer "of course" and then hang up laughing their head off that someone actually asked them such a stupid question. I wonder how many Americans would do the same.
11 Mar 2016 11:01:20am
To further your point Mathew. Any nation that considers a national health scheme, and is opposed to the restriction of guns based on some archaic constitution and fear of the loosing their freedoms....in my mind is pretty stupid.
Petrus. Are you saying you agree with those opinions?
10 Mar 2016 9:15:35am
While I agree that the views listed by Nugsley do sound silly, they are the actual views held by a sizable percentage of the American public. While I seriously doubt that that percentage will enough to give Trump the Presidency on its own, there may be enough other "disaffected voters" who are just angry enough with the system, as pointed out by the main article, that it will remain a possibility - we will see during the months leading up to the poll in November.
Just about every survey I have seen of the views held by US citizens indicates that a very large proportion believe in creationism, disavow climate change, and are convinced that "angels walk amongst us", amongst other "notions". These figures are noticeably higher amongst Republican supporters.
10 Mar 2016 10:40:05am
Google Countries by average IQ & discover that the majority of results put the US average at 98; so, yes, a large proportion of the US population has a below-normal IQ, which means that there is a large number of stupid people living there. Depressingly, Australia's average IQ is listed as being about the same
10 Mar 2016 11:21:43am
Not disagreeing with you Carryover, but the IQ measure of a population is based on measuring a range, with 100 being the median IQ result. So yes, for an average IQ of 100, half of the population must be below that level, and that half of the population (with a few exceptions) is entitled to vote, so yes, politicians need to relate to people of below average intelligence. Which is one major argument in favour of abandoning current undemocratic democracy practices. Quo vademus?
10 Mar 2016 11:32:57am
And the average IQ of those being forced upon us developed nations via immigration and open borders policies is well below that, closer to 80. So keep those borders open and watch that average IQ fall even further.
10 Mar 2016 12:44:49pm
That's right Aussie, we need to lower immigration from European countries and bring in more East Asians. That should raise the average IQ of Australians.
11 Mar 2016 12:00:53pm
East Asians generally?
or just 'Tiger mums' and their kids?
155, since you asked:
10 Mar 2016 11:54:31am
People in the comments sections love to go on about IQ, I realise that. The only place you will find more references to IQ than on here is in the average Phillip Adams column. That bloke is obsessed with IQ. I think, just quietly, that the obsession might have grown out of feelings of inferiority centred around his lack of formal education.
Anyway, if people are going to go on about it, then maybe they could at least try and learn how it works, before they use it as the basis of an argument. Of course a large proportion of the US population has a below-average IQ, because half of the people in the world have a below-average IQ.
10 Mar 2016 12:46:56pm
So why are you going on about IQ?
10 Mar 2016 12:39:13pm
this is exactly the lazy comparisons that the Author is complaining about.
There may be some people who have at some time said something as stupid at "Barack Obama supports ISIS" and some of those people may support Mr Trump, but to say
(by implication from your statement) ALL "the people who support trump believe ..." is simply not a valid statement.
10 Mar 2016 1:36:38pm
Thank you for seemingly being the first to say it, instead of just jumping on a US hate train.
There is no "type of person" that is typically or uniquely American. There are crazy people everywhere, they just usually aren't members of the world superpower who have their funny opinions aired where others can see.
There are plenty of Russians who believe just as crazy things. Plenty of Iraqis, Israelis, Canadians, Indians, etc. etc. who believe crazy things and believe it or not, thinking crazy things is NOT somehow a measure of being a bad or even particularly stupid person.
Americans aren't dangerous because they're stupid or crazy, they're dangerous because they're very, very angry and very, very globally powerful.
10 Mar 2016 1:14:21pm
People believe all sorts of nonsense, and all politicians pander to those beliefs. That's why we have the politicians we have.
Gone are the days of government by sober-sided and detached representatives. The sound bite and door-stop interview rule. Take that to the extreme and you get Donald Trump, among others.
10 Mar 2016 1:34:25pm
Unlike the lefty's who think Trump is like Hitler?
10 Mar 2016 1:34:50pm
" A mob does not think, it feels"......excellent words.....it really sums up this topic....this is not a thinking topic for those caught in it, it goes beyond into the feeling.
10 Mar 2016 7:09:22am
I dislike Trump but I don't think he is a Hitler ... more a used car salesman that knows what plays to the US public. His popularity says a lot about the USA ... none of it good.
10 Mar 2016 8:30:55am
The commentariat should be stripping away the politics and ideology (or lack thereof) and asking the fundamental question is he fit to be President, does he have the qualities and ability required to lead a country? They should be throwing this question into the face of the voters.
These flawed character types keep rising to the surface, eg. here we have had Abbott or Latham who irrespective of political persuasion were simply not leadership material at the highest level.
10 Mar 2016 9:18:16am
That is for the voter in the USA to decide, his fitness to be President and I doubt they will pay attention to what a lawyer in Sydney has to say on the issue.
Speaking for myself what is of importance for Australians is IF he is elected what should Australians do? This country has been joined at the hip since WWII and maybe with good reason after all what were the choices?
However with the election of Trump we here will be faced with a very hard choice but lets wait and see. As I have said in the past Trump should not be able to win this election because his polling with minorities and the independents isn't strong and past winners have needed their support.
10 Mar 2016 10:33:56am
All the contenders seem to promise jobs and pay rises by antiglobalisation and tariffs, even Clinton, for now. So the TPP is likely dead, although it might be good for the rest without the USA big brother.
It is hard to tell how much the US military prefers the caution of Obama to the adventurism and expendability of the Cheney/McCain type politicians throwing them into the valley of the shadow of death again.
Thankfully Australia has a more centre-right and sensible government now than when the Abbott parrot cage had power.
A person :
10 Mar 2016 10:54:45am
You mean we know they are both false and everything that comes out of their mouth is pretty much bull yet still seem to elect people seeming less capable and less respected than a class of preps (watching parliament time is a great, nice to see grown men acting like 4 year olds), oh and for the main author you too marx too literal history repeats itself all the time
10 Mar 2016 10:45:22am
Well, if Trump becomes President there could be a rush by Australians to learn Mandarin, so it won't be all bad
10 Mar 2016 12:28:16pm
"I doubt they will pay attention to what a lawyer in Sydney has to say on the issue."
Makes sense. I don't and I live here. So why would they?
10 Mar 2016 9:52:13am
"...These flawed character types keep rising to the surface..."
Why on earth would you think a politician of whatever hue is somehow "superior" in character to the masses that they lead? This is getting oh so very tiresome and reflects on the generally dumbing down on the nation.
We will always be disappointed by those that we choose to lead us (thankfully we still are a democracy of sorts). Really, are we not intelligent enough to realise that all humans suffer from the same inner malaise and politicians are not exempted from the human condition. When we are disappointed we seem to put our trust in "saviour" type politicians. Just look at what has happened here. We looked to Kevin in 07; we looked to Mal in 15 and both have proven to be quite useless.
So now we sit back and poke fun at the Yanks, for doing exactly what we have done and continue to do - look for the "saviour" type. The only difference is of course, if he gets in they really can't do anything about it for a minimum of four years (short of some mentally deranged type taking a pot shot at him). The only "blessing" in that is that they know what they have for the next four years so personal adjustments can be made. Here, with our new leadership paradigm, no leader can really concentrate on any governmental program for the nation because they spend all their time and energy simultaneously watching polls and their back. So policy gets left behind. We really have become quite stupid - far too much reality TV.
I for one still admire the capacity of the Americans. Given there is over 300,000,000 of them crammed into a nation roughly the size of Australia, they still manage to provide some of the best opportunities for human development on the planet. Their competitors in the quality of life stakes are a mere fraction of their size. Just imagine if Australia was double the size it is now in terms of population.
I'd suggest that given the inanity and self-righteousness of some comments here, we'd be a much worse off than the Yanks - even if we ever had someone to lead government for more than three opinion polls in a row!!
10 Mar 2016 10:48:55am
One big plus for Australia is that the PM doesn't have the power to initiate a nuclear strike, so we have that going for us I guess
10 Mar 2016 10:56:46am
Funny you should mention that. I wondered where the commentariat was, at least on the ABC, when Palmer and his Pups burst onto the scene. Analysis, not much. Just a sense of glee that he would be splitting the conservative vote. Never forget that the commentariat is as much a part of the establishment that the Americans are rejecting as is the most corpulent of Wall Street bankers.
10 Mar 2016 12:20:11pm
Different political systems Frangipani. Here we have compulsory voting and a preferential system. If someone dislikes the candidate of the party they support they will invariably vote for another with that party's general ideals and that vote will flow to the side of politics they support.
In the US it is a non-compulsory voting system with a first past the post system. If someone doesn't like Trump they can either abstain from voting or vote against him. They could even vote for a third party candidate but that won't go as a preference in the count back to Trump or to someone else. So Trump splitting the Republican vote and this wrecking their overall performance is a real possibility.
My thoughts are that if they go to a brokered convention and Trump loses he will run as an independent and take an election losing number of Republican votes with him. That is not a bad thing as the Republicans do need to lose the Tea Party element that has led to this silly situation where their two front running candidates are both unelectable if one wants a sound government.
10 Mar 2016 1:43:02pm
I realize the electoral system is different, but that wasn't my point at all. My point was the disconnect between the "establishment" and the average voter - and I believe it's just as wide here as in America. The last Senate results are evidence of that, I think. It will play out differently, but it doesn't change the essential issue, which is that the establishment and the majority of the electorate are two solitudes.
10 Mar 2016 2:56:00pm
I think the cause of the disenchantment here lies in what happens once they are elected. Politicians, more particularly the ministers, are captured by their departments and the departmental appointed advisers. These are the people who actually run the place - the politicians are just there to give us poor voters the impression, albeit mistaken, that we have a say in policy. The "expertise" of advisers is never questioned and is always taken in preference to that from more informed people outside of the public service.
There is a peculiar myth that tells us that these public servants are well-trained experts who give neutral advice free from political taint. They provide only the facts and thus deserve to be listened to. Of course this is nonsense. Public service careers are built on the politicized networks formed in the various departments and any public servant wanting to rise to the top makes it their goal to always be on the side of whichever is the dominant faction. It is a political system independent of the sham political system that we voters have access to.
I am afraid that we will never break this so-called dominance of the "establishment" if we forget that it isn't based in the established political parties but is a whole hidden establishment based in the unelected public service. Forget changing things through the parliament - the chief public service advisers will kill any such moves quite quickly once they see their power sliding back to our elected representatives.
I look back with sadness at the number of meetings with ministers I have attended where people, with real expertise in the work in which I am involved, had sensible suggestions overturned by public servants with no real experience but with the backing of their departments. The ministers were simply there to be a departmental rubber stamp and advice from outside the department was simply not accepted. We industry representatives were there because we knew our subject - the public service advisers were their simply to protect their preferred policies, and they always win.
10 Mar 2016 3:52:49pm
I know what you're saying, but I don't entirely agree. In fact, I disagree quite heartily. As a disclaimer, I was a civil servant myself at one time, though not in Australia.
My experience back in the day was that civil servants, while never entirely objective, were not nearly so monolithic as you describe. They, like the rest of us, are a mixed bag politically, and while there are certainly leanings in one direction at the top of the departmental tree (they tend to be more progressive than the average punter) civil servants, especially senior ones, are also well used to the swings and roundabouts of elections, and prepared to adapt to whoever happens to be in government. That's their job, after all. To serve the elected government of the day, even if they have to hold their nose to do it.
Depending on subject area, some are highly expert, others not. When it comes to public policy issues (foreign policy, immigration, that sort of thing) they are the experts. When it comes to commercial or service delivery issues, not so much. That I certainly agree with.
However, the real problem lies not with the career public servants but with the Ministerial staffers, whose only interest is in preserving the status of the Minister and the party, and who have, over time, turned the public servants into servants of the Minister rather than of the public. And it is they who make and break careers, with no accountability at all. They have far more power than senior civil servants, and no expertise at all. And they are very much part of the establishment.
10 Mar 2016 12:33:30pm
Fragipani, as you know the "commentariat" was right there swinging, and copping flak from Clive's idiot fans for daring to speak ill of their messiah.
10 Mar 2016 1:40:44pm
Some of the commentariat was. The ABC wasn't all that hot to go. Remember all those sycophantic moments with Tony Jones?
10 Mar 2016 1:44:45pm
Won't hear a bad word said about Liberal Party "wets" at our aunty though. Turnbull and Baird are irreproachable.
Frangi is right - the "commentariat" is part of the establishment and part of the problem.
10 Mar 2016 3:10:43pm
I think they were moire bemused than anything, they never took Clive to be a serious threat, yhe same can be said now of Donald Drumpf
10 Mar 2016 8:37:37am
There are two good things about Trump.
The first is that he will win the Republican nomination and lose the election for them. The second is that by doing so he will have absolutely finished Cruz as a candidate now and in the future.
Cruz is by far the most dangerous of the two an avowedly anti-science Tea Party, Bible Belt phony who seems to want turn the US into some Norman Rockwell fantasy land managed from Texas. We all remember the last product of Texas who became President - that was George W Bush and look where that took the world.
Trump isn't Hitler, he isn't the Antichrist, he isn't an evil genius - he is just a serial bankrupt with a salesman's glib tongue. He will get votes but not enough and only from those who beleive that used car salesmen really are 100% honest in what they claim.
10 Mar 2016 9:20:52am
"he is just a serial bankrupt with a salesman's glib tongue." ... agreed as I said a used car salesman.
The other point you might consider is the Republican loss in the Senate. It seems Republicans are fearful that Trump will turn off voters so much that they might lose control of the Senate, interesting thought.
10 Mar 2016 9:48:47am
Yank if he does manage to turn off Republican support in the congress then that will be another plus in his favour. We have seen that Republican intransigence and deliberate flouting of voter wishes managed to make the Obama Presidency more difficult than it ought to have been. That absolute horror Cruz was a star performer in that behaviour.
It seems to be a conservative trait that if they can't have the power then no one else is going to have it either - the Republicans, just like our own Coalition have a born to rule mentality.
10 Mar 2016 4:51:59pm
the Republicans, just like our own Coalition have a born to rule mentality. ... exactly and because of that they feel they have a right to trash the place to gain power.
10 Mar 2016 11:35:11am
The republicans aren't scared that Trump would lose the election, they're scared he would win it.
hairy nosed wombat:
10 Mar 2016 9:51:02am
I agree with most of what you say. Trump is certainly in no danger of winning the presidency. In polling for potential general election face-offs, he consistently comes in last. And Cruz does poorly, too. Whereas if the Republicans had put up a relatively more moderate candidate - a Rubio, Kasich, or even Jeb Bush, polls say they were 5% ahead - which doesn't mean they would win; such polling is associated with a high degree of uncertainty. But it is enough of a margin to suggest they'd have a pretty strong chance. In general election polling, the likes of Trump and Cruz are up to 10% behind the moderates. And most people voting for Trump know that. They are not voting for a President, they are voting for a Republican nominee - that's a different thing. And in the end, only bout 3.5 million people have voted for Trump to date. That's quite a high turn out for a primary season, but you can only read so much into it. There is a big gap between Primary and Presidential voting - it's one of the problems in the American system. The saving grace is that usually people end up slowly coalescing behind someone they think can actually win the election. Not this time. They are just too angry with the establishment to keep it in anymore.
Most people voting for Trump are more rejecting the Republican "establishment" than hoping Trump will become President. And i kinda get were they are coming from. At the end of the day, i'm not sure this an entirely bad thing.
One of the interesting things that has happened with this campaign (on both the Republican and Democratic sides) is that money hasn't really made a difference. That of itself is a good thing. Message has better campaign spending. A lot of what ails politics both here and in the USA is about a preoccupation with campaign funding, resulting in a preoccupation with favourable treatment of donors.
The Koch brothers have been responsible for about 75% of all Republican campaign spending in the USA in the last 5 years or so, at all levels - from county to presidential elections. It has resulted in a massive move towards a quite libertarian brand of conservatism and it has seen the rise of the Tea Party, and it has favoured the likes of Cruz. So it has shifted the vote WITHIN the Republican Party, but it hasn't shifted the Republican Party proportion of the general vote. If anything, it has hurt them.
Trump is fundamentally a rejection of Tea Party politics, while borrowing much of the same dogwhistle tactics. The Koch brothers and libertarian conservatism has killed the Republican Party - it is the underlying pathology. Donald Trump is just the mechanism of death.
I saw a very interesting poll the other day. They polled Republican voters on what they wanted to happen to see happen to government spend. You know what? A majority said government spending should actually INCREASE! They actually want MORE government interference in the econo
10 Mar 2016 11:18:11am
This repetition of the fiction about the Koch Brothers and political donations is getting very boring.
Between 2006 and 2014 the Koch Brothers donated a total of $316,500 to Democrat candidates, with individual donations of sums up to $43.500.
The Koch Bros are 58th on the list of top political donors in the USA. By far the largest donors are the Unions - AFSCME at $60.6 millions, for example, or NEA at $53.5 millions. Those donations went exclusively to Democrat candidates.
The Koch Brothers total donations come to slightly over $18 millions.
The three serving politicians who have gained most from Koch Brothers donations throughout their careers are Obama, Clinton and Kerry, in that order.
hairy nosed wombat:
10 Mar 2016 12:05:13pm
Complete and utter nonsense. You are only including direct donations, which nobody actually does anymore - it's via SuperPACs, which are essentially undeclared and untraceable. To quote Forbes:
"Charles Koch, told Forbes in an exclusive interview that the extended network of political organizations he and his brother control will spend $900 million to influence U.S. policy this presidential cycle, with some $300 million channeled directly into the race for the White House" November 2015.
Republican Party officials are confirming this, publicly saying they have $US900 million of the Koch's dollars to spend on this election campaign - although it hasn't be activated as yet. If Trump becomes the Republican candidate it never may be.
10 Mar 2016 2:08:55pm
So you are basing your argument on "SuperPACs, which are essentially undeclared and untraceable" are you?
So, if they are undeclared and untraceable you have absolutely no evidence to back up your claims and you are relying on scuttlebutt.
On the other hand, the Koch Brothers donations are specifically listed. Those listings are easily researched.
That Forbes report is all speculation. The Koch Brothers "will spend" aka "might spend" it claims; the spending "hasn't been activated yet" aka "might not be activated"; If Trumps wins "it may never be".
How about relying on declared, published and audited financial reports?
hairy nosed wombat:
10 Mar 2016 7:28:53pm
I'm relying on the testimony of Charles Koch. He'd probably know, wouldn't he.
You give a most excellent example of what has killed the Republican Party, and why the electorate are desperate for anything that even vaguely resembles plain speaking. Even Donald Trump is more honest than this kind of argument. Donald Trump has been able to completely successfully argue that, relative to him Ted Cruz is a liar. And you know what. Trump's right.
11 Mar 2016 8:44:04am
There you go again - attempting to avoid facts by relying on "word-of-mouth" comments.
Don't take what Koch said in that slanted report. Take note of what he has done, and will do.
And get your information from declared, published and audited financial records.
10 Mar 2016 9:05:58am
The fact is, historically (or maybe hysterically), US voters love a celebrity.
Billy Bob Hall:
10 Mar 2016 12:58:35pm
Really ? I detect the voters are angry and just want change. Surely change is a good thing, especially in the 21st century.
10 Mar 2016 4:54:33pm
There will always be people ... they are called the opposition.
Whenever people say things are different now and the rules of the past don't apply you know these people aren't thinking just hoping.
10 Mar 2016 2:23:11pm
Not to sound alarmist but how are we so sure he is not like Hitler?
To understand how close he is to Hitler (or indeed any other political leader from history) we need to know what his policies are.
What are his policies?
So many of his policies are dismissed out of hand, like building a wall along the Mexican boarder. But what happens if he gets in and his supporters start demanding their wall?
The big difference you'd think is that the US constitution is set up in such a way that there are safeguards of sorts. Basically he'd never get funding for the wall through Congress.
But you do have to wonder what would happen if Trump did become president and then had to start implementing polices.
And what happens if he faces a George Bush moment post-911?
Bush's presidency could easily have just been remembered for economic incompetency if 911 had not happened. Without 911 it would've been more difficult to start the War on Terror and it would've been much harder to drum up support to invade Iraq.
The fact is we don't know what Trump actually stands for. Personally my gut tells me he would be more like Biff in Back to the Future II than Hitler but either way it's still concerning.
On the outside chance that this dude becomes President people need to start drilling down on his policies.
10 Mar 2016 4:59:24pm
Trump s what he has always been a wheeler dealer looking to make a fast buck by selling the punter a dream.
When you look at what Trump has spent on his election campaign you understand how cleaver he is. While Bush spent millions and lost badly Trump, by the figures I've seen, has spent only a pittance.
He gets coverage by saying what are considered outrageous things and the media eats it up. He gets his 'message' out and doesn't spend a dime.
He is the sort of guy that if he patted you on the shoulder I'd quickly check for my wallet.
10 Mar 2016 5:41:18pm
Ok.....but what are his policies?
What happens if he has a post-911 moment?
Actually just look at the world right now, how does he actually plan on dealing with the current mess?
Bush tried to stay out of it before 911 but the US has a tendency to great drawn into things whether it likes it or not. How will Trump respond?
Why does he want to be President?
10 Mar 2016 7:46:22pm
"Ok.....but what are his policies?" ... policies? Who needs policies. I recon Trump and Turnbull went to the same source for their policies, some little frog under a rock.
What happens if he has a post 9-11 moment? Bend over and I think you remember what to do after that.
"Why does he want to be President?" ... he promised his wife she'd be Mrs President and able to hold all the parties she'd like in the oval office.
We are talking about the USA here. The land of Disneyland, The Big Apple, The Super Bowl, The World Series; reality doesn't enter into their thinking anymore they are too done over with drugs to be able to tell the difference between reality and THE AMERICAN DREAM, whatever the heck that ever was.
I don't know what happened to the America of my youth. I think it started to die with the assassinations and riots of the 1960's, from there to the corruption and re-election Reagan and Bush, and the pure bloodimindess of the Republican controlled House and Senate under Obama.
Besides that the Cubs have yet to win a World Series so there is not much to live for.
11 Mar 2016 9:23:03am
I remember being in the US in 2000 and thinking what an idiot Bush was.
I remember looking at the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and thinking what a dangerous idiot Bush was.
The whole thing may be farcical now but there are serious issues at stake. Trump should not be underestimated.
10 Mar 2016 7:16:39am
I don't see why you need every aspect of Hitler and Germany at that time to match up with Trump and America. The second half of the articles suggesst that the same situation could be occurring and the end result may well be the same.
10 Mar 2016 7:59:27am
His own party will, behind the scenes, replace him with a light, more acceptable conservative. Therefore a closer comparison would be between Trump and Abbott, unless that comparison is too extreme?
10 Mar 2016 8:45:54am
His party cant dump Trump It will only make him stronger Trump wants to be remembered as a great president and being elected as an independent gives him more power
10 Mar 2016 4:59:49pm
Yes, there are precedents.
Obi-Wan Kenobi prophesied that if he was struck down he would emerge stronger than ever. And Abbott too has arisen from the back bench as a thorn in the side of the evil Federal government.
Perhaps Trump is less Hitler, and more a cross between Obi-Wan and Tony Abbott.
10 Mar 2016 8:06:38am
Albert, the crucial thing in situations like this is not just the man, the circumstances or the people, it is the nature of the relationship between them.
This is why I think Bradley is wrong and what we see here has striking parallels with the rise of Nazism. Trump has acutely tuned into the feelings of the people about America and its loss of 'greatness'.
They have been reared on America's exceptionalism, her number 1 status in the world, and have derived their identity from this. It's gone, and they feel bereft, cheated, disillusioned. Trump promises them they can have it back, will make her great again. That's why he can do no wrong.
Suffering people often lash out against those who are easy visible targets, e.g. Muslims, Mexicans so who does Trump target - exactly those.
Bradley may be a good lawyer but he has not studied the millenarian movements that have occurred through history. They have special characteristics and the so called Trump phenomenon appears to be the beginning of one of them.
There is a particular maladaption associated with them which is called Evangelicism which is an emotional reaction which arises from a set of circumstances which matches the decline of the USA quite precisely, so I have my fingers crossed that Trump does not make it. But even if he doesn't, it tells you that there may be worse to come as these things don't go away in a hurry. They are too deep.
10 Mar 2016 9:03:43am
I think you have a point Desert Woman. In my view it's not as bad as you imply. If you go back to the rise of Nazism there were exceptional circumstances at play AND a widespread anti-Semitism that Hitler could play upon. I agree that Mr Trump seems to be trying to tap into the same sort of dissolution in the community in the US. His difficulty is, however, that it is only a minority of that community that is disolusioned to that extent. In addition the sort of people that he is railing against also fit into the same socio-economic demographic that he is trying to co-opt as his support base. So a likely outcome is simply a continuation of friction between poor whites, poor black and poor Hispanics. I don't see the middle classes getting dragged into it to any great extent. Hitler got this section of the community.
The other difference between the two is that Hitler honed his skills over a very long time such that he knew how to play a very large mob. I don't think Mr Trump has that ability and to a certain extent I think his arrogance will be his downfall.
10 Mar 2016 9:53:31am
Hope you're right Edward but you are certainly wrong about the demographic spread of Trump's supporters. They are across the board showing that there is something more than economics or racism going on.
It seems to be that very deep feeling of grief, for want of a better word, akin to the feeling of humiliation and hopelessness the German people experienced after losing the war, the Treaty of Versailles and facing crippling debt. Hitler promised them a way out. That is what Trump is doing, ridiculous or not.
I rather doubt that Trump is conscious of all this. He may be but he is certainly capitalizing on it. He doesn't need to work a crowd like Hitler, crowd emotion eventually takes over and besides, he can exploit the media, exceptionally well, a bit like ISIS actually.
10 Mar 2016 11:17:28am
Of course there is grief. The people of nations based on European culture have been told that they alone on this planet have no right to a culture of their own or any kind of national or cultural cohesion. All other nations exhibit what would be classed as "shocking racism" but are never mentioned in this horror of "multiculturalism" that has been foisted on the developed nations without ever giving the people a choice. Trump has become a voice for all of the emotions attached to that, and that's good. It's time for this to become an adult conversation.
10 Mar 2016 11:19:13am
I've just double checked on the demographics for Mr Trump's supporters. Apparently they tend to be older (over 45), less wealthy and more poorly educated than the average Republican. There's a couple of good articles on this. It's usually those with lower educational attainment that are swayed by the sorts of arguments that Trump puts up. It's true that you sometimes have some rich people that fall into the same boat but usually they're right wing nut jobs who don't have a grasp on reality.
So I disagree with your assertion that his support is widespread. Any appearance of dispersion in support probably comes from the size of the demographic under consideration. The ultimate question for someone like Trump will be will he be able to get out the vote when it comes to the crunch. In my view the Democrats will be more able to counter him by getting out the Black and Latino vote as these groups will fear a Trump Presidency.
10 Mar 2016 12:02:08pm
Edward, all the opinion polls I've seen say that Trump will go down to the Democrats for the reasons you state, and of course plenty of those remaining of the middle class will reject his views.
The problem is the phenomenon itself. It is easy to dismiss some as right wing nut jobs but they are there and not likely to go away.
10 Mar 2016 10:00:27am
When Hitler was dismissing Jews in the twenties, the German mainstream said he didn't mean it, it would go away once he got power. Well, history shows he did mean it.
When John Howard says a Trump presidency would be frightening, we better beware.
However, even if he does win, he will only serve one term, and will probably go down as the worst president ever.
10 Mar 2016 11:18:07am
It will take a lot of beating George W Bush and Obama in that fight.
10 Mar 2016 11:09:59am
If you think support from Trump is coming most from the the evangelical christians, then you'd be wrong. I'm sure they are supporting him in droves, but his appeal is more widespread than that. I'm a socialist and would choose Trump if I was an an American voter. Not because he's clever, but because he's street smart and the whole rotten system needs bringing down asap. Trump may achieve that.
10 Mar 2016 12:01:16pm
"... and the whole rotten system needs bringing down asap. Trump may achieve that."
Many would agree that the system needs a real "going-over", but those really holding the strings - Wall Street, the military-industrial complex and the media - won't let that happen if they have anything to do with it. Take military expenditure out of the US economy and see how long the country lasts. Change the banking regulations and listen to the howls of those affected. Change the media laws and suddenly the "Ruperts" don't have a voice.
If I was Trump and made POTUS, the last thing I'd be doing is riding in an open vehicle.
10 Mar 2016 12:12:47pm
Aussie, no I am not saying Trump's support comes mainly from evangelical christens. Evangelicism is a technical term for a socio-psychological maladaption that arises when masses of people, having been isolated and dispossessed over years find a person or idea that they can follow who promises to relieve them of the conditions they have endured.
The USA's basis in individualism, private enterprise and money has left many in psychological isolation and its decline in economic wealth and international prestige destroys not only their personal economic circumstances but also their myths about the inevitability of America's greatness.
10 Mar 2016 2:33:12pm
I hope trump wins and stops all forms of help and aid to the world..everyone seems to hate america but still have there hands out.maybe after a decade of non american nhelp the world will want it back
10 Mar 2016 3:16:48pm
mike2, of course. Stop all foreign aid to those ingrates who don't appreciate having their countries bombed to smithereens, to get their oil, their families killed at weddings by drones. Let's stop them getting into the US and kick out those who have made their lives there.
Yep, that will make them love and appreciate us.
10 Mar 2016 8:57:45am
Calling Trump Hitler is a nonsense really, at least I hope those that bandy about such stuff understand that they are going over the top. Is he a danger to the USA and the world? Probably, if he gets elected, which I doubt will happen.
Let's say he does get elected what is the worse he could do? I guess that would be to start a nuclear war in which most of the world gets blown away. Solves the over population problem doesn't it?
Seriously Trump is a cartoon figure which he has created to win over those angry about their situation. During the Great Depression there was a similar number of people in the USA. Fortunately the USA had FDR. Unfortunately now there isn't a candidate about with his sort of abilities.
Now the world has a part to play in this as well. I suspect many in the USA are tired of being the policeman for the world and just want out but there is no one willing to take over and who can blame them? So many conflicting positions and interest it really is a jungle out there.
So my advice is to go out and dig your bomb shelters the world could be in for a very hard future.
10 Mar 2016 12:10:34pm
I will take your advice and start on that bomb shelter, just in-case the new President is President Trump or Cruz.
Trump or Cruz, any person who uses a gun to cook bacon, well, you have to ask questions. Is that some one who can bring anything to the table but a cooked idea? Makes our use of the term "pork-barreling" seem opaque.
10 Mar 2016 7:18:23am
Reap what you sow!
Although I just don't get why these people always need to say such extreme things just to get noticed. The brutal honest truth hurts the establishment enough for us to notice
10 Mar 2016 8:18:17am
Actually I don't think it does. They may splutter and carry on as a public show but they know nothing will change as they are well entrenched. The comparison with the French Revolution I believe is apt and sometimes it takes an outsider to shake the system to it's core and change it. I think this manifestation applies not only in the US but elsewhere where we are seeing the rise of non establishment candidates for government. The ride will be rough though unfortunately all this will do is substitute one establishment with another establishment/ruling class while those at the bottom will not see any change to their conditions. Has always been so.
10 Mar 2016 10:45:19am
You're right Bev, the Optimist in me just wishes that we would for once see our political elite for what they are and just not vote for them. Another revolution is coming and it won't be pretty. Maybe Trump becoming president will show the poor of America that he is just another kind of establishment that will do nothing for them. Then maybe they might rise up and do something for themselves.
10 Mar 2016 11:19:54am
Exactly right Peter. Even if all it does is show the people that everyone they are presented with are establishment to the core, that may be enough to get the people to do what is needed.
10 Mar 2016 1:58:02pm
The French revolution is a good example. They got rid of the nobility then they got the likes of Robespierre and reign of terror and the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte to be Emperor. In all of this the peasants in the end were no better off.
10 Mar 2016 7:19:30am
I think i like this article a lot!
I have had the appalling spontaneous comparitive thought that Mr Trump is a quasi Hitler. It came a couple of months back whilst watching an excellent documentary on either the ABC or SBS which examined just how that man 'rose to power'.
Michael's 'mob' assessment is just so telling. Just how the deep pain and despair is underscoring much socially and politically in America - and i think in many other places.
Well appraised lawyer Bradley! Thank you.
10 Mar 2016 9:18:01am
while I expect Hillary to be the next president of the USA, I'll accept that middle American is dying off, and the divide between the rich and the poor are getting larger.
People are unhappy with how the country is going (especially how its going to affect them and their children), and they want to vote in someone who isn't part of the establishment that is causing the issues.
but Hillary has the connections, and enough people will vote for her. Then at the next election she will continue to say she will make their lives better while its gone worse.
What these men have in common is complete outsider status; they profess to stand outside the military-industrial complex, the Washington/media/banking power structure, the free market, neo-liberal knowingness of the insiders club which has run America for its own benefit since, well, forever
10 Mar 2016 11:16:50am
They claim to have outsider status, but in reality Trump is a product of the system as well.
As was Robspierre back in the day of course.
Whether Trump, in the event he did get power, went through on his rhetoric, isn't a given.
10 Mar 2016 1:37:46pm
"I have had the appalling spontaneous comparitive thought that Mr Trump is a quasi Hitler. It came a couple of months back whilst watching an excellent documentary on either the ABC or SBS"
Perhaps you need to view an article by an organisation other than a left wing biased media. Then you can come to a balanced conclusion. I suppose you would think your intellect is higher than the right wing voters in the USA but you only view biased information yourself!
Sir Robert of Lindsay:
10 Mar 2016 7:30:31am
"A mob doesn't think; it feels. Its members have fully engaged the emotional parts of their brains, and everything else is temporarily switched off. A mob can do things which its constituents would never individually contemplate and of which they are later ashamed;"
Pretty much describes politics in this country in the lead up to the Abbott government being elected.
10 Mar 2016 9:10:03am
Strange you should say that SRoL. The description you ascribe to your enemies fits the currently aimless Labor Fan Club so well. That shortage of mirrors is a real problem.
Without Rudd and Gillard there could not have been an Abbott. Without an Abbott there could not have been a Turnbull. As you sow so shall you reap.
10 Mar 2016 9:56:59am
Gosh FG and if we extend that argument then without British settlement we wouldn't have had the Westminster system and we wouldn't then have had Prime Ministers at all. And then we wouldn't have had you making partisan comments like "the currently aimless Labor Fan Club".
See how Reductio ad absurdum works.
10 Mar 2016 10:54:19am
Even better, there wouldn't have been an FG, but then none of us would be here to enjoy that situation
10 Mar 2016 2:37:05pm
Forrest without the push by Nick Minchin and his "Friends of CO2" climate change denial movement in 2009 we would be asking ourselves Tony who?
10 Mar 2016 4:20:40pm
Now you're getting it Reinhard.
In physics the rule is that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. More broadly it is known as the law of natural consequences.
10 Mar 2016 6:06:33pm
Forrest the great shame is that action has had dire consequences on our environment, (emissions up 8 million tonnes CO2 pa) and our economy (revenue down $7.6billion pa)
10 Mar 2016 6:48:53pm
Forrest... that law is the law of conservation of momentum. What, pray, does it have to do with Nick Minchin and Co. being a big enough bunch of idiots to think that Tony Abbott would be a good PM?
10 Mar 2016 7:33:04am
Maybe the people of the USA like some of us here in Australia are just sick of the lies, corruption, the bail outs to the rich, the wars, the double standards.
I would suggest an article on Clinton, the Clinton foundation, the email scandals, and her role in the destruction of Libya, Iraq and Syria.
In both elections for Obama you lefties were warned nothing would change but here on the drum you wouldn't have a bar of it. Make all the excuses you want but Clinton is cut from the same cloth.
10 Mar 2016 8:23:44am
The reason Obama hasn't been able to cut through to the extent we would like is the intransigence of the Republican-dominated Congress.
Ms Bogan :
10 Mar 2016 10:36:30am
The Senate has been Democrat since the 2006 elections flattening GWB . The Republicans clawed back some in the 2010 elections 54-46 , closer in 2012 but did not win a majority till 2014.
Remember he was a very junior Senator of 4 years trying to tell (Democrat) Senators of 30 years experience what to do. Not everyone was receptive .When he is gone we will hear more of this .US Senators are extremely powerful egos with substantial contacts & Presidents have to deal with them .
Imagine if we had only 2 per state .We could not rein them in .
10 Mar 2016 8:26:33am
That is the real issue isn't it? The possible rise of a Trump like figure here that would throw PC in the bin making the minority groups powerless and without a sympathetic ear of the government, or worse still, the media.
As to Hitler comparisons, not even close. Hitler had 6 million unemployed when he took power. In three years there was zero unemployment, the abolishment of usury and Germany had become the envy of the world from an economic and technological viewpoint. Either way, persecution of the Jews or not, Germany was to be destroyed.
Trump is no Hitler and he has no Albert Speer at his side to create national parks or autobahns. But he does have a good mate Karl there on Wall Street that may help with economics. Who knows how this may play out?
10 Mar 2016 11:22:43am
The parliamentary system ensures there are no anti-establishment figures in politics, especially as leaders. Trump has made me appreciate the positives of the US Presidential election process in ways I never had before.
10 Mar 2016 10:58:25am
Did you try & warn people about what would happen under a Bush Jnr Presidency? If not, seems you missed a once in a lifetime opportunity!
10 Mar 2016 11:42:04am
Carryover, yes I did as a matter of fact... the white house and democrats and GOPs have been hostage to lobby groups and big money.. and given both democrats and republicans elites are worried about Trump I see as a good sign..
The picture I have coming to mind was when Jesus went to the temple and tipped over the trinket laden tables of the high priests... (sorry if my religious history isn't that great).. They were that worried they had him (by various proxies) killed.
10 Mar 2016 11:37:19am
That someone like Bernie Sanders is doing so well on the left should be some sign that Obama and Clinton probably aren't as leftie as you characterise them.
Obama's first order of business was bailing out Wall St (1 arrest?). Politely blushed when the NSA was sprung spying on everyone.
A nation that doesn't have a universal health insurance scheme, PPL, and still has the death penalty in some parts.
And Clinton is as neo-con as it gets.
10 Mar 2016 7:33:40am
Michael Bradley raises a very interesting point about Ted Cruz. He's actually been much clearer about his intentions than Donald Trump, and they are very distasteful (from the point of view of a traditional Australian progressive). Trump inspires more fear because it isn't very clear what he would DO with the presidency. He certainly has no detailed revolutionary manifesto like Hitler. Bernie Sanders has actually threatened to do a lot more than Trump has at this stage, but at least we have a pretty clear picture of what HIS particular revolution will look like.
Maybe the best parallel for Trump is Berlusconi. Populism and narcissism joined with a certain vindictiveness, all on a rather small scale (historically speaking).
10 Mar 2016 7:35:30am
Go Mrs Trump wish you lots of good health. May be, just may be black will be black and white will be white once again, at least in the USA.
10 Mar 2016 7:44:22am
The rise and fall of Trump, Michael I believe you have nailed it. The USA that we know is the stuff of movies corporations and advertising.
While the ordinary suffer not much different to the French revolution as I see it, anger,dismay and a feeling of hopelessness.
Trump has tapped into this sense of being outside of everything and no control. However what they do not seem to 'get' is that they will be exchanging one master for another and it is too terrifying to think about that scenario.
Perhaps in the end they may get away from the lynch mob mentality, but I doubt . Then pity us all ,
here in Australia we have a similar mood. Swinging and swaying with the media who cannot seem to make up their minds in which direction we should go.
So people get informed, vote with your brain not your emotions
10 Mar 2016 7:47:06am
there's no mustache, which is good thing obviously, or beard, you may think Adolf didn't have one either but that didn't stop him trying on repeated occasion trying to grow one, Eva Braun, actually changed her name to that of the famous shaver as a passive aggressive threat about Adolf's beard shenanigans. Trump isn't German, and doesn't pretend to be, unlike Adolf who wasn't German either, Adolf was actually born in Kazakhstan, which is where the beard obsession came from. Hitlers name is not used as a colloquial term for bottom gas releases in England, there's three differences, can i have a prize?
10 Mar 2016 10:06:45am
Trump doesn't have a combover either, which is where I stopped reading Bradley's nonsense. Permanently.
10 Mar 2016 1:01:46pm
gnome: Didn't stop you putting your two cents in though.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 2:54:13pm
Interesting point though. If Trump becomes president, how will his hair cope with the mandatory victory speech on a windswept deck of an aircraft carrier?
10 Mar 2016 7:54:01am
The word racist is trolled out at every opportunity by the left. For some strange reason the left thinks that the poor of the world, mostly uneducated, should be encouraged to resettled in advanced wealthy economies. They say that millions of muslims settling in non muslim countries encourages cultural diversity, whatever that means, and as such is "good". Anyone who objects to this is labeled racist, afraid of foreigners etc etc.
10 Mar 2016 8:31:03am
"Anyone who objects to this is labeled racist, afraid of foreigners etc etc"
It's probably because they are.
10 Mar 2016 9:27:32am
No.The post didn't mention race at all. It mentioned people who are poor and uneducated, and a religion. Personally I'd like to see all immigration drastically cut, for environmental reasons, would that make me 'racist' ?.
Regrardless, this penchant of loony lefties calling anyone who disgarees with them 'racist' achieves nothing. If you want to change people's minds, even just open their mind a little bit about things you need to persuade them, not insult them. It just gives a feeling of moral superioity. It's stupid, just like calling people loony lefties, as I did. You probably would discount everything I said after I use that term. See how it works !.
10 Mar 2016 10:39:15am
Congratulations MC, with that stereotypical slander to control speech you have demonstrated why Trump is so popular. Many people are sick and tired of the lefty slander to allow small interest groups to lie an steal whatever they want and in effect place themselves in a untouchable privileged position..
10 Mar 2016 11:15:12am
"Many people are sick and tired of the lefty slander to allow small interest groups to lie an steal whatever they want and in effect place themselves in a untouchable privileged position.."
So, none of that happened during the Bush Jnr Presidency then - cool thanks for clearing up that misconception.
10 Mar 2016 1:03:13pm
Greg: Sometimes I almost think that countries like Australia and the USA wouldn't exist if not for multiculturalism. Do you agree?
10 Mar 2016 1:28:49pm
CC, same lefty slander occurred under Bush, etc. Does not stop lefties aggressive ideological attacks. If they want racist, they only have to look at the people that need to differential racial groups, ie Americans calling themselves Black American or Hispanic Americans, etc.
10 Mar 2016 2:05:18pm
Greg: "ie Americans calling themselves Black American or Hispanic Americans, etc."
So people that embrace their own cultural identity are inherently racist? Ok.
10 Mar 2016 1:34:22pm
A couple of points;
No one has ever accused me of being a lefty (I can probably provide character references from some of the posters on these forums).
As for controlling speech, Peter expressed an opinion, I expressed mine. That's actually freedom of speech. Free speech is not the right to say whatever you want without criticism.
Trump is popular because he is pandering to the ignorance and fear of a sizable population who feel disenfranchised.
10 Mar 2016 8:34:45am
.... and then the left scratch their heads in disbelief at the anger their stupid decisions create. The European populace is as equally angry as the American populace, and the result will be the rise of the right of politics. All so the pontificating left can exercise their moral vanity and feel good about themselves.
10 Mar 2016 9:15:48am
Al, did you bother to read the article?
There is no escaping the fact that the socio-economic malaise facing ordinary US folks and much of Europe post GFC has been created by the neo-liberal Right.
10 Mar 2016 10:11:37am
Yes indeed. 8 years of Neo liberal president Obama has really caused problems
10 Mar 2016 10:55:18am
Today 4 countries in the EU have fully blocked their borders and are turning away all refugees. This is pretty much exactly what Trump promised to do by building a wall on the Mexican border.
Many commentators treat those actions very inconsistenly.
10 Mar 2016 7:54:54am
"A mob doesn't think; it feels. "
The first thought parallel that came to mnd at twenty to five in the morning from that line was Bruce Lee's advice to a novice at the start of Enter The Dragon. "Don't think. Fee-ee-ee-l!"
With respect to Bruce lee, it seems fairly natural use of the English language to apply the term 'mob' to a group of people whose emotions cloud their better judgment, but I tend to see a mob at the other end of the political spectrum to Bradley.
This is because we both understand the logic of some parts of the debate, and don't understand the logic of some others, both being different parts. So what Bradley calls sensible, I call a mob, and vice versa. It all comes down to the politics.
The people who do what we like are not a mob because they do sensible things that we understand, and the people who do what we don't like because we don't understand are labelled an mob.
Bradley fails to provide examples of mob emotion, but only examples of Donald Trump's persuasive abilities. He seems to have assumed that Trump's supporters are a mob without demonstrating the abuse of emotion, apart from that he doesn't like them. That is how a mob operates. On emotion.
Well Michael Bradley, you've come to the right place for mob emotion. Have a nice day.
10 Mar 2016 11:25:25am
Terrific comment Ben!
10 Mar 2016 12:17:41pm
Thanks mate. It might also be worth mentioning the difference between Bradley's and Lee's meaning by the word, 'feel'.
Early in the morning, I hadn't twigged, but on second thoughts, Bruce was aiming to instruct the young lad to remember to utilise his higher forms of perception; what some of us refer to collectively as the sixth sense. A kind of divine perception in the context of the biological organism, albeit more accurate than sight, sound, smell, taste and touch (feel in another context altogether), if perceived correctly.
The word 'feel' can also imply emotional feelings though. So there is Bruce's usage meaning 'feel' as in situational awareness, the standard usage of 'feel' meaning to sense tactile contact (unrelated here), and Bradley's usage which means emotional 'feelings' without logical basis.
The more I see on tv, read here, and try to make sense of, the more I value the Bruce Lee interpretation of 'feel' and the more damaging I tend to see the outcomes of Bradley's warning, that feeling emotion about some event or some poor victim in the media, without thinking through all the information given, (as well as recognising the information deliberately omitted), is how we can incite that mob mentality by clouding succeptible peoples' minds with emotion so that they overlook the facts.
It doesn't tend to go on so much at the ABC when they report the weather forecast, so as Joe O'Brien never fails to remind me a dozen times each morning, cheers Vanessa!
10 Mar 2016 7:55:59am
Wow Michael, what an eye opening and clarifying article. The best I've read to date, explaining the Trump phenomenon.
I found the comparison with the French Revolution spot on and am a bit ashamed of myself for not being able to recognise that before now.
I've been concentrating on the sheer squeamish horror of having Trump as the so called leader of the free world, instead of understanding the mob rule idea.
That the USA will be ashamed of itself in the morning when it wakes up, is very sad.
10 Mar 2016 7:56:03am
I was in the USA at the time that Obama was having such deep trouble in getting his Medicaid programme passed. As you will recall, the Government became stalled, legislation was not passed and the administration ceased. Supply was cut off (causing us some personal distress as this meant that public officials were not paid and as a consequence Government offices and services like the National Parks were closed to the public) and total break-down seemed imminent.
The opposition to Obama was led by Ted Cruz delivering a filibuster which ran for nearly twenty hours non-stop and who, in consequence, dominated the news and TV broadcasts. He is a very good looking man, a brilliant and gifted orator and a most attractive and presentable opposition figure.
But he's a raving nut case.
He's a gun fanatic and believes that everyone is entitled to own and use military-style assault rifles. He supports the "show and carry" principle, even for people in churches or offices, let alone in the streets. He owns a house full of weaponry, both long arms and hand guns, and has his own firing range in the cellar. Have a look at the You-Tube video of him cooking what he calls a "Texas breakfast".
He's also an extremist religious bigot, and is open in proclaiming his intention to enforce his religious stand if he is given the power.
There's little hope in the future if the Presidential campaign comes down to a Cruz v Clinton contest. Just hope like hell that sanity prevails and Sanders gets up.
10 Mar 2016 10:53:21am
proclaiming his intention to enforce his religious stand if he is given the power.
So What? Most people would call that speaking honestly.
Most people will respond positively to clear words and straight talking.
On the other hand we have Hillary out there spouting lunatic economic climate change rubbish and she sounds like a religious fanatic on the hustle. Everyone who has at least one piece of intelligence recognises that the AGW climate scientists are dishonest charlatans.
If at the very least if Trump/Cruz/Rubio get up then the US and then the world will be rid of the the greatest fraud and swindle on the planet.
Bring it on.
If Trump gets in he will turn the progressives around the world into raving nut cases.
10 Mar 2016 11:21:49am
"proclaiming his intention to enforce his religious stand if he is given the power.
So What? Most people would call that speaking honestly."
Most sensible people would see that as contrary to the separation of church and state enshrined in the Constituion
Dave in Melbourne:
10 Mar 2016 12:01:20pm
The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
No problems here for Ted.
Actually a lot of lefties don't realise that the separation of church and state is there to protect the church from an over eager state.
10 Mar 2016 2:12:36pm
"Actually a lot of lefties don't realise that the separation of church and state is there to protect the church from an over eager state."
Is the "lefties" thing really necessary?
Madison was of the view that anything other than a separation was injurious to both the church and the state.
Cruz is pushing for the expansion of charter schools. Which is a means of diverting taxpayer funding into Christian schools via delivery by a "private" party. Unsurprisingly what Donnelly is spruiking here on behalf of the Liberal Party with their push for independent schools.
Evidently not a Constitutional issue, but one which runs against the spirit of Madison's intentions I would have thought.
10 Mar 2016 2:42:09pm
Yeah, I was a bit loose with that comment but while the term "separation of Church and State" doesn't appear in the Constitution itself, the Court ruling in the case of Everson v. Board of Education stated "the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between Church and State,.'"
10 Mar 2016 11:45:16am
Talking of nut cases Old Ted claimed that introducing gun control would increase domestic violence against women. Go figure that logic
10 Mar 2016 1:09:01pm
Dave: "Everyone who has at least one piece of intelligence recognises that the AGW climate scientists are dishonest charlatans."
As opposed to all the mining, oil and gas lobbyists who are saints in comparison. Your post is so delusional and full of ignorance that I'm surprised your keyboard didn't burst into flames while you were typing it.
10 Mar 2016 7:57:32am
I recon fascism has always been in the back of a lot of Americans minds not just now. The problem is now while the economy is doing well, unemployment is down, houses are selling again and going up in price one would think Americans would be happy as but they obviously aren't.
And the core problem seems to be perception of the distribution of wealth. The middle classes are hurting or at least not doing as well as they think they should and they are not happy.
Without any relief in sight a percentage of them have stood up and said we are mad as hell and we aren't going to take it anymore. Seeing this opening the politicians are jumping in saying I hear you and I am the person who will set things right. Trump just cuts the message right to the bone and people are responding.
A Hitler, no, an opportunist, yes. But governing the USA is really like herding very, very unruly cats. Government has become so partisan that little can get done or at least it seems that way and for that I blame the Republicans. Since Nixon was thrown out of office they have had this chip on their shoulder and just wasn't revenge ... over and over and over again.
10 Mar 2016 9:19:02am
How strange Yank that all of the angst has built up under Obama. Yet your solution is more of the same. Go figure!
Mitor the Bold:
10 Mar 2016 10:54:48am
The angst built up and burst under Bush: two lost wars and a GFC. Obama has been the safety valve releasing pressure. Imagine beginning your presidency with two wars raging (and being lost), the world economy down the tubes because of your country's banks and lax regulatory system, and your nation's largest employers needing handouts in the trillions to prevent laying off millions of workers.
Bush inherited a prosperous, growing economy and no wars. Obama's successor will inherit the same. Only a fantasist could see the angst as obama's creation. Everyone's angsty now, and it's not Clinton they're angsty about - it's Tump and that bible basing lunatic Cruz.
10 Mar 2016 11:38:12am
"Bush inherited a prosperous, growing economy and no wars."
And then proceeded to destroy it with a war funded without tax rises against an enemy that was supposed to have weapons of mass destruction and didn't. And we are still fighting that war, We can forget Afghanistan because that little adventure is a lost cause anyway.
Now we have Trump who wants to build a wall separating the US from Mexico. Why does the US have a problem with Mexico - well it isn't the "illegal" migrants who actually provide cheap labor that keeps the US economy going it's because of the colossal problem the US has with drug consumption. Mexico just being the easiest point of entry for the smugglers.
And why does the US have a drug problem, well because the law and order loving section of the US population has to have a war on drugs, yet truth be told the drug market is fueled pure and simply because these same law and order loving Americans are massive consumers of recreational drugs. It is one big circular disaster. If Trump was using his brain he'd legalize the popular drugs, thus depriving the smugglers of their income as drug prices fell and also save billions by not constructing a wall.
Never stand between a conservative politician and a slogan that appeals to those with clouded minds.
10 Mar 2016 4:23:34pm
Mitor, I have a dream. Not one so ambitious as Martin Luther King, but a dream none the less. I dream that one day the Labor Fan Club will learn to read and understand.
Hey, not even the thought police have managed to stop people from dreaming.
10 Mar 2016 4:36:45pm
Re "I recon fascism has always been in the back of a lot of Americans minds not just now. "
Often it has been in front of their faces
Google COINTELPRO and find out more
Mitor the Bold:
10 Mar 2016 8:05:39am
I agree Cruz holds far worse policy positions. Trump believes in Trump, and will serve his own image. Cruz believes in the Old Testament God, and will serve his image. That's far more scary.
In fact, the new breed of narcissist, neoliberal, evangelical republican is as dangerous as any fundamentalist Islamic nutter, and far closer to the greatest military machine the world has known.
If I were a genuine republican of the old school - an Australian style liberal (small L) - then I would vote Clinton in the election, then spend the next four years hoping the GOP sorts itself out and gets rid of the extremists and narcissists.
10 Mar 2016 9:08:51am
"If I were a genuine republican of the old school - an Australian style liberal (small L) - then I would vote Clinton in the election"
Agreed. I suspect there will be a significant number of moderate Republicans who show up to support Clinton because of their eagerness for a safe pair of hands.
I think a brokered convention is unlikely because it risks further fracturing the GOP so I don't see how Rubio (sorry, Paul Singer) or Kasich can secure the nomination (or win the general election).
Cruz is too much of a lunatic to successfully approach the centre for the general election and Trump's populist coprolalia will start to look a bit different. Reality show villains get close to victory more often than they are victorious.
I'd expect this is going to bring a lot of support for Clinton.
10 Mar 2016 10:10:44am
You sum it up well. Hilary is assured of success if the Republican Party have their way and trump is stopped from getting the nomination. Make no mistake, only trump has a chance against Hilary
10 Mar 2016 11:27:34am
I'm a socialist and a rusted on left wing voter my whole life. I would vote for Trump.
Mitor the Bold:
10 Mar 2016 8:09:05pm
"I'm a socialist and a rusted on left wing voter my whole life. I would vote for Trump."
Sure you are and sure you would. I'll bet you'd vote for Nathan Tinkler too. It's true in Aus we get the politicians we deserve. I think you could do with some WD-40.
10 Mar 2016 12:26:42pm
Trump or Clinton - hardly an inspirational choice.
A bit like Oz politics - lots of politicians but only those who will drop us in the poo from a great height.
10 Mar 2016 10:25:40pm
'If I were a genuine republican of the old school - an Australian style liberal (small L) - then I would vote Clinton'
That's probably true, Mitor. Have a listen to Hillary's celebratory cry of "We came, we saw, he died!" on her hearing of the death of Gaddaffi on youtube. Real Hollywood action stuff.
10 Mar 2016 8:10:19am
Perhaps an external thing would take the pressure off the establishment ... a really serious war, for instance. Messy, but good for the economy and always a distraction for the great unwashed.
10 Mar 2016 8:12:46am
Australia needs the same. Our Federal Politicians are an outrage. The LNP are liars, attack the poor and vulnerable, and promote the same self serving actions that the people of the United States of America are rebelling against ... Viva Le France, Viva Le Germany, Viva La USA, Via Le Australia.
Australia has a Tony Abbot sock puppet in Malcolm Turnbull and the viciousness will return mercilessly if they are re-elected.
Perhaps the author is among the privileged that should be concerned about perpetrating social and economic injustices?
Equality is THE we the people!
The Church is a sexual monster, beyond the law ... devils! False prophets!
10 Mar 2016 9:21:09am
How odd CSP. You say that Australia's federal politicians are an outrage yet only attack one side.
Got anything to say about Labor and the greens? Saints and saviours perhaps?
10 Mar 2016 8:22:06am
Before Trump people on the left generally thought that their pervasive ideologies were invincible. Mostly because if anyone challenged their core tenants such as open borders, multiculturalism, female superiority, etc.. they just scream bigot and the opposition will and in 99.9% of cases does go away.
But then comes along Trump, he destroys their ideology in the most public of ways and NOTHING the left can say or do is stopping him. It literally breaks down over half a century of Marxist thought and subversion, and it leaves the left with nothing. Because apart from screaming bigot, they have no other arguments, their legitimacy has only ever come from repetition of falsities.
Its no wonder the media and social media users everywhere are squirming under the weight of Trump, pulling out any card they can including the tried and tested "Nazi". But its all to no avail, so what next? Even their less emotional quips are proving false, in that Trump is doing great with Latinos, Blacks, Women and every other group of people in the US, he is universally appealing. In the many stages of grief, eventually the left will come to accept Trump and move on.
10 Mar 2016 9:38:29am
So the LEFT is attacking Trump. I thought Cruz, Rubio and the Republican party were part of the right. Its really just an internal right wing fight to be candidate.
So exactly what is the LEFT these days?
Clinton or Sanders will get to oppose the winning Republican candidate later. But are either of them really LEFT?
When both the Democrat and Republican candidate have been chosen it will be a Centre Right Democrat vs Extreme Right Republican.
Either way the Left will have no candidate
10 Mar 2016 10:00:43am
Democrats support open borders, a massive and unsustainable welfare state, excessive size of government which meddles in peoples everyday lives as much as possible, gun control, virtually every facet of identity/victim hood politics, etc..
How exactly are they not far left?
Mitor the Bold:
10 Mar 2016 11:06:50am
I've seen all the republican debates. None of them had Clinton attacking Trump, all of them had other republicans attacking him. Do you really think Cruz is a leftie?
Democrats support none of the things you claim, you are listening too much to what republicans say, things like when Obama puts his finger in the air he's doing a shout out to IS, that he's actually a Muslim born in Uganda, that he wants sharia law in the USA, that he is secretly a lizard and communes with the global conspiracy of alien reptiles to take over the world.
You are a frightened fantasist.
10 Mar 2016 11:42:16am
To be honest, I am not entirely sure what point you are trying to make. Because my OP never even mentioned GOP reactions to Trump, it was specifically about how the left has reacted. Whether or not the other GOP candidates like him, which they clearly don't, simply isn't relevant, it doesn't effect my original statement; so I will not address it any more and further derail my thread.
10 Mar 2016 2:16:57pm
Yeah, no. The Democrats aren't far left.
10 Mar 2016 10:05:27am
Parts of both sides don't like him. That's precisely why he is so popular with so many demographics. On the left side, trump has them squirming because he has cut through all the PC nonsense and doesn't look like being stopped. That frustrates leftists who would prefer Hilary just be coronated. On the right they would rather lose an election with cruz than have trump, a guy they can't control, represent the Republican Party
10 Mar 2016 10:59:28am
martin, Sanders is a socialist, and even though the Left generally lacks self awareness and is usually unable to identify the obvious, especially if it clashes with their world view, anyone with a modicum of nous would know that Clinton is in the medium to far Left, and Sanders in the extreme Left.
10 Mar 2016 11:15:30am
Can we start with the Clintons? Medium to far left? Please identity one far-left policy they have held or advocated.
Remember these are the Clintons who are millionaires. These are the Clintons who thwarted regulation of the financial system and then made millions from the financial sector, on the speaking circuit. Hilary is still refusing to consider regulation.
Then can we please identify one extreme-left policy Sanders is advocating? Five year plans? The dictatorship of the proletariat? What?
Please demonstrate your nous for us, Charles.
10 Mar 2016 12:34:50pm
To relate Sanders and Clinton to Australian politics - Sanders would roughly equate to the current ALP; not "real" socialists in the Whitlam reformist sense, more like the Shorten model - unsurprising. Clinton is what I would term right-wing. She's in bed with Wall Street and has no dream of financial reforms to stop the rorting or their corrupt banking system - the Federal Reserve.
"Left wing" and "right wing" in America do not equate with other world models. The starting point in America is the centre and everything is to the right of that, in varying degrees.
10 Mar 2016 1:11:28pm
Clinton is hardly medium to far left, a clearly uneducated assertion.
There is no left in America, there is only left of the far right. That's where the Clintons sit. In Australia, the Clintons would be Malcolm Turnbull, Cruz would be slightly right of Tony Abbott.
Bern is the exception, I can't remember a left candidate ever doing well in the US, but the Bern is definitely left of centre.
10 Mar 2016 7:54:42pm
The loud, screaming, but mostly ignorant, leftards are the ones vilifying Trump, in Australia.
10 Mar 2016 8:22:15am
I'll break with tradition and do something I've avoided doing all my time here. I shall reveal my voting habits. I have voted Green at every election, at every level, for the last 10 years.
Not because I like their policies, philosophically and ideologically I am much closer to the majors. But because I can't stand the overt corruption and cynicism of the majors. And their constant pandering to vested interests. The passionate barracking both of these sleazy organisations receive in this forum baffles me.
And my disgust seems to baffle them. But the other side dones it too, they whine. I'm afraid they're part of the problem. They enable the sleaze.
I can't help but see support for Trump and Sanders through the prism of my own experience.
I don't think that neo-Liberal economics is America's problem though. I think the forces driving globalization are too strong to resist in the end. The problem in the US is vested interests gaming the system. I think neo-Liberal economics and globalization have been effective in alleviating poverty.
The problem in the US is that the winners have kicked the ladder out behind them.
And then there's financialisation. A huge swathe of the service sector gets huge renumuation for zero-sum-gain paper trading. They're not actually increasing net well-being the way a Wedgewood or a Ford did but they're getting paid a heap.
10 Mar 2016 9:25:42am
Don't look too closely at the greens, SM. You may not like the wealth and power they have accumulated and wield so that others may suffer as they themselves would never do.
The greens were much more worthwhile when they focussed on environmental issues. Now its all new world order stuff fighting against what gave them the privileges they enjoy.
10 Mar 2016 12:25:27pm
"I shall reveal my voting habits. I have voted Green at every election, at every level, for the last 10 years."
I'm shocked, Sea. During all this time on the Drum, you never showed any inclination that you were anything other than a staunch, god-fearing conservative. Guess you can never tell.......
10 Mar 2016 1:09:41pm
Did you even read my comment, Zing?
Here I am advocating free-market, Neo-Liberal economics. A position that would sit comfortably in the Liberal and Labor parties and not in the Greens.
The funny thing is all the Labor cheerleaders think I favour Liberal. The Liberal cheerleaders think I favor Labor.
And the reason they think that?
You're correct, one never can tell. When one's thinking is addled by inflexible ideology and blind party loyalty.
10 Mar 2016 2:12:03pm
"Here I am advocating free-market, Neo-Liberal economics."
Says it all really (as if we didn't know before :)
Left, right, north, south.
What difference does it make?
Three cheers for SeaM, hip hip...
10 Mar 2016 2:54:48pm
Why wouldn't you have known before, when I've said it consistently before. I agree that generally free-market economics is a good idea.
And I offer reasons why I think so, as apposed to the empty sloganeering (and ignorance of what the term actually means) of others for and against.
Here's an interesting example of doublethink. Some people deeply resent Labors embrace of Neo-Liberal economics in the 80s. But they celebrate China and India's.
Look at how China and India have dragged so many out of poverty!, they gush.
Or perhaps it not doublethink. Perhaps they aren't familiar with the concepts and don't realise what China and India are doing is Neo-Liberal and Globalization.
10 Mar 2016 4:01:43pm
The usual right wing mantra whenever 'Neo-Liberal economics' is mentioned- "Look at how China and India have dragged so many out of poverty!, they gush." - You forgot to look at Africa, Latin America and Caribbeans as well. Especially Haiti .. LOL
10 Mar 2016 4:37:37pm
LOL isn't really a substantial comment is it?
Let's look at Latin America then. Chile v Peru. Economic development. Human Development Index. Who's doing better?
10 Mar 2016 4:42:13pm
Also I would suggest "I agree that generally..." is a mantra.
Perhaps you could add some substance about China and India. Do you think they have not adopted policies of economic liberalisation and globalization? I'm afraid in the absence of substance, your comment looks a little bit like a mantra.
10 Mar 2016 7:15:23pm
Here's one: Australia vs Norway
11 Mar 2016 8:33:43am
Economic liberalism features strongly in Norway and other Scandinavian countries policy mixes. Try google "Flexicurity" for a Danish example. They're really quite fundamentalist; absolute free-market (for example they have no unfair dismissal laws).
11 Mar 2016 11:52:17am
Yes, their social policies and Economic liberalism features strongly in Norway and other Scandinavian countries (policy mixes.)
Because, they care for the well-being of their people, communities and societies.
So, which system is better?
Australia vs Norway
The USA vs Norway
I wish we had 'Scandinavian economic liberalism and social conscience.'
Do you agree, SeaM ?
10 Mar 2016 1:01:34pm
"I have voted Green at every election, at every level, for the last 10 years."
Then you are clearly a fool. The Greens are just a hare-brained protest party who have zero economic intellect.
10 Mar 2016 1:31:53pm
Whatever. I already hinted that I thought they had zero economic intellect.
I think you have zero economic intellect too by the way. I think you outsource that portion of your intellectual life (and a few others) to Liberal Party sloganeers.
I'd rather be thought a fool than corrupt or lying or blindly loyal or incapable of forming an opinion that contradicts an LNP slogan.
10 Mar 2016 4:38:16pm
"I'd rather be thought a fool..."
Here you are again, looking for a second opinion.
10 Mar 2016 5:49:25pm
As I understand the standard usage, a second opinion is normally sought from a different person than the first. Usually it's not the same person restating the initial opinion.
10 Mar 2016 8:26:10am
If Trump did become president of the US, the doomsday clock would move to 10 seconds to midnight in my opinion. There is no one more dangerous than a dangerous narcissist.
10 Mar 2016 9:33:06am
I disagree, as others have mentioned, I think there is no-one more dangerous than a fundamentaist who believes they have god on their side.
10 Mar 2016 9:42:05am
Already we've seen the dangers of Hilary Clinton in the federal American cabinet. Dangerous to be a ambassador then
10 Mar 2016 8:28:04am
I do not think these arguments really hold water.
"Karl Marx's point: if it can be said that history is repeating, then it is as farce." Yep, I'm familiar with the quote but why make allusions to the French revolution at the end of your article? If you think that's a better point of comparison than Hitler or Mussolini then maybe should argue the case rather than making a conclusion that isn't argued.
Furthermore, you talk about economic/social conditions in Weimar Germany and say they don't compare but you don't explain America's current situation or articulate why these conditions are considered germane to the rise of fascism or revolution. You talk about conditions in America when you talk about why howls resonate but there's seems to be a missing link between economic conditions and social malaise.
"If you add up the popular support for Trump, Cruz and Democratic insurgent Bernie Sanders, you get a comfortable majority of the American public."
Can you show us those figures please?
You talk about the irrationality of mobs and their penchant for acts of violence that would usually not be committed... so why is Drumpf's lack of ideology relevant. Isn't it relevant to ask where is that fermented rage going to be directed? Trump is shamelessly making promises that can not be fulfilled. Are his supporters going to be satisfied with continued paralysis? You claim that Drumpf "gets all this" but I don't agree. I agree that he's consciously manipulating his audience but I think he underestimates the unintended consequences that could arise from his behaviour. When Drumpf is revealed to be another BSer out to exploit the gullible, the vulnerable and the bigoted then he may find that some well armed true believers are irreconcilably enraged by the latest betrayal.
"To dismiss Trump's supporters as a dumb racist swill is to entirely miss the point. Almost everyone in the world is latently racist to at least some extent"
Right but isn't there a bit of a different between "latent" racism that's only really visible in experimental conditions and the sort of open racism that Drumpf endorses?
"Trump or Cruz, doesn't matter"
In what sense doesn't it matter? Earlier in the piece you suggest that Cruz would be worse than Drumpf (and I kind of agree but it is only because I still find the prospect of Pres Drumpf to remain unrealistic despite his performance in the primaries whereas Cruz could conceivably ride the pendulum to the white house, although I'd still bet against that possibility because he'd get less of the disenfranchised centre).
If you're suggesting that they don't matter because they both are a product of the same malaise then I still don't agree. They have different genealogies because there is one more than kind of malaise in America (hence the popularity of
10 Mar 2016 2:37:06pm
"Right but isn't there a bit of a different between "latent" racism that's only really visible in experimental conditions and the sort of open racism that Drumpf endorses?"
Everyone experiences intergroup bias. The biggest difference is between those who recognise, and can therefore check, their own racism, and those who spend as much time as possible screaming about the racism of others in the hope that no-one will notice theirs.
But do tell us about Trump's 'open racism'. His stance on Muslims isn't racist because Islam is a religion, not a race. His stance on Mexicans isn't racist because it's not anti-Mexican, it's anti-crime. You do know what racism is, don't you, Melena?
11 Mar 2016 11:53:37am
I guess not.
Just another misguided activist unleashed by her handlers in the regressive media to harass people about issues she doesn't understand.
10 Mar 2016 3:33:49pm
Melena Santorum, I think you might have misunderstood the reference to Marx's observation that "all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice....the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." Mr Bradley seems to be saying that those commentators who conclude that Donald Trump is the second (farcical) appearance of fascism are mistaken. Trump is not a fascist; he is not a farcical reincarnation of Hitler.
The reference to the revolution of 1789 in the final paragraph is simply meant to emphasise that the discontent with the "establishment" in the US is more like conditions in France before the revolution than like Weimar Germany before Hitler came to power. That's why he says that comparing present day conditions in the US to conditions in Germany is "lazy". There simply isn't any similarity.
There's no connection between the quote Marx's The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte and the reference to France in 1789.
10 Mar 2016 8:29:24am
The Media creates its own 'darlings' and its own 'villains'. Usually, neither reflects the true situation.
Barack Obama was a media 'darling' and it is mostly because of enormous media support that he became the president of the USA.
Donald Trump is the media 'villain' and the media has 'gone in overdrive' to make him unelectable. Various media outlets appear to be competing who can create worse image or who can more insult Donald Trump.
Media has was successful to have 'their man' (Obama) in the Whitehouse. I am following the developments with a lot of interest to see how successful the media propaganda will be, with Donald Trump's ambitions to become president of the USA. If they are successful again, it will be scary to see to what extent the media can manipulate people's opinion and the world's politics. No wonder our politicians are always 'dancing to the tune' of the media outlets and particularly our largest media house - the ABC.
10 Mar 2016 8:35:53am
I agree that the parallels between Trump and Hitler are minor and so it's a silly and/or lazy accusation (and in breach of the spirit of Godwin's Law). But, I don't think that this article offers any real insight into Trump's apparent popularity (time will tell on just how genuinely popular he is).
The hypothesis is basically that the American people are hurting and so are angry. It might be true but, for support, the article uses bald statements like "in a country which feels the loss of its status as sole military and economic superpower". This just reads as cheap group psycho-analysis.
This article would have been much better if it had stuck to dismantling the arguments that Trump is a neo-type fascist leader (a la Hitler) and left the reasons for his apparent popularity for a more detailed analysis. I'm pretty that will require more than a thousand or so words.
10 Mar 2016 9:28:14am
Bravo UM. Well said.
10 Mar 2016 8:43:46am
At last American workers are rebelling against gross inequality.They should go for a real leader like Bernie Sanders not a loudmouth populist like Trump. Republicans are always against rises in the minimum wage,unionism and collective bargaining.Why? They are servants to their masters with the power and the money! Vive la revolutions!
10 Mar 2016 8:54:42am
The author thinks that the mob is angry with the corporate bad guys. The mob is also feeling alienated from the establishment, particularly the educated, left wing elites from the east and west coasts who have a propensity to look down on them as "dumb, racist swill".
I have always been amazed by the tendency of the left to treat with contempt those poor people they purport to help through their "social justice" policies. The left then wonders why the swill aren't grateful for their supposed concern for them.
Calling people you disagree with fascists isn't going to make them agree with you. It hasn't worked for the left in the past and it isn't going to work now.
10 Mar 2016 2:11:30pm
Giles: "I have always been amazed by the tendency of the left to treat with contempt those poor people they purport to help through their "social justice" policies. "
I have always been amazed at the lengths some people go to demonize the left to such an extent and reference them in every single post. Seriously did a socialist kick you when you were young and ever since then you've had a burning desire to see socialism as you portray it go down in flames?
10 Mar 2016 8:57:48am
Perhaps we should look at comparisons between Clinton to Hitler.
We could start with: lying, manipulating, obsessive and untrustworthy.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 11:17:41am
Egotistic Maniac also springs to mind as common traits.
10 Mar 2016 8:08:17pm
"We could start with: lying, manipulating, obsessive and untrustworthy."
A cynic might say that describes many politicians ...
The Third Eye:
10 Mar 2016 10:41:31pm
Complete lack of empathy. Callousness.
She makes a joke when talking about the murder of a sovereign head of state, which she organised. Instead of living in a safe country with a high standard of living, free health care and electricity, the population must as a consequence of her actions, live in the dark ages and in fear of their lives.
10 Mar 2016 9:06:14am
Without Obama there could not be a Trump in US politics.
Michael, you mention Sanders. Are his supporters to be pitied as a brainless angry mob as well?
Is it only Clinton's supporters who are intelligent, well educated and morally superior people who have seen the light? Perhaps Obama just appoint her the next president by decree?
Or perhaps Obama should follow Mugabe's lead and just appoint himself president for life. After all they are political birds of a feather.
Give up thinking of yourself as morally and intellectually superior. It leads to all sorts of unintended consequences.
10 Mar 2016 9:07:16am
I see your point, but I think you disprove it in the attempt to argue for it. Yes, Hitler/Mussolini comparisons are pat and too easily relegate the candidates and their supporters into a too-hard basket, dismissively, but the specifics deserve scrutiny.
If Trump's supporters aren't what they are often said to be, and frequently behave as - i.e., racists, bigots, xenophobes, misogynists, violent extremists - why is it that Trump appears most successful with his audience when he mirrors that behaviour, when he incites it?
Why does he find it necessary to build a wall, deport millions, bar Muslims - including returning US armed services personnel - from entry to the country, and for those already there to wear identifying marks? Why mock people for their disabilities, denigrate them on the basis of their gender with childish insults?
Because it's easy, easy to appeal to the most base instincts of an audience comprised mainly of poor and lower middle class white men. Easy to appeal to the fear and hate of an audience that thinks itself too individually important, that is too selfish to see a national interest in the Presidency.
Hitler/Mussolini? Maybe not, but no less a demagogue, no less playing to the worst instead of the best, and no less dangerous to the political health of the country.
10 Mar 2016 9:13:10am
Is Trump playing the role of "The fool" to perfection or is he indeed a fool? I have yet to decide.
The real problem is that Trump is possibly the best candidate out there ($billion budgets exclude the honest ones) Mrs Clinton should have a dream run to the Democratic nomination (and with about 30% of delegates unelected super delegates backing her she dose not even need a majority to win) She is Democratic Royalty 1st Lady to the most popular President for 1/2 a century (many will vote for her hoping that Bill will run the show) She has the backing of Obama which with the democrats core support base of Blacks and Latinos is vital, she has experience (Secretary of State,Senator,1st Lady) and she's running against Bernie Sanders a Old man who is not a Democrat who is a Socialist (damn near a commie in the most capitalistic nation in the world) yet she is struggling to win state Primaries! The old order is rapidly changing (Sorry Bob).
So is it Trumps time? I feel that he will just miss out on the 1237 delegates to secure the Republican nomination (but still be top) the Republican leaders will do a deal with Cruz and Rubio and Trump will be Dumped (he will then run as an independent splitting the republican vote) and Hillary will be in the old order will be restored, another nail in the coffin of democracy.
10 Mar 2016 9:16:13am
I'd argue that the two situations are analogous though Hitler and Trump are two very different people. Their strategies however are similar.
Hitler took advantage of a country that was once a great industrial power house of Europe but had lost its wealth and status due to WWI and the consequences that followed. He preached an idealistic view of Germany and made the German people believe that they were great again. He laid the blame for at least part of Germany's woes at the foot of the Jewish people. Thanks to his considerable skill as an orator, he was able to win enough of the people over to obtain power.
Trump is busy taking advantage of the dissatisfaction of the American people with the establishment. Like Germany, America used to be a great military and industrial power house but is losing its status. Trump, like Hitler, has found someone to blame (the establishment) and he is also busy painting an idealistic image of a great America that people can aspire to. The American people have cottoned onto his views and see him as their pathway to re-establishing America's supremacy in the world.
Trump will of course fail if he becomes President. Running a business empire is not the same as running a country. If you head up a business empire, what you say goes. If you want to spend $200million on a new apartment block, you can - its your money. If you want to buy a new corporate jet, you can.
As President, he needs to be able to negotiate. There are a thousand vested interests all manoeuvring and lobbying in and around Capitol Hill. He will need to know how to deal with them. If he tells them all to go jump, they will turn against him and their combined power will destroy him. Then there is the House of Representative and the Congress. Unless he has the incredible good fortune to control both houses, he will have to negotiate with them too. Bluster and hyperbolic arguments will not get bills through - Tony Abbott has demonstrated this. His popularity with the people will also quickly disappear if he is seen to be floundering and not achieving anything - Turnbull is experiencing this right now. He will also have to negotiate with national leaders. The Mexican President has already demonstrated what happens when you tell a neighbouring country to fork out several hundred million dollars on a wall - the President gave him the diplomatic one finger salute. America cannot afford to get the international community offside and the bluster and grandiose statement that won over the people will not work on foreign leaders.
10 Mar 2016 10:11:54am
10 Mar 2016 8:26:57pm
"... America used to be a great military and industrial power house but is losing its status."
For quite some time to come no nation or alliance will be able to successfully militarily oppose America if America decides to play 'no holds barred'. Some say America has not won a war since 1945. I say America hasn't truly fought one since 1945 - and I include Vietnam in that.
If the American people see in Trump the one who will reinforce their one-world-power status, and elect him for that reason, the outcome could quickly become out of his control.
10 Mar 2016 9:21:16am
"...but he has no discernible personal ideology beyond the sheer delight of being the centre of attention... ... But his motivation and goals are completely different"
I wonder if the author has studied Hitler properly, because every transcript I've read from his colleagues paints him as a chaotic mess who radically changed his mind every hour and delegated every single strategic decision with the order to fight amongst themselves and then it'll be the strongest idea presented to him.
History has painted Hitler as an evil genius who adhered rigidly to a meticulously designed 15 year plan but this was not the case - his 'leadership' and style of doing business was a lot closer to how Trump's doing it than people would suspect.
10 Mar 2016 9:38:22am
You are correct apr. I suspect Bradley has only a superficial layman's appreciation of Hitler and Nazism and has no idea how it fits into the history of these sorts of movements.
Hitler's decision making was indeed chaotic which is one reason why he lost the war. They may well have won if he and his inner circle had left the generals and the military alone.
10 Mar 2016 12:45:53pm
From all the evidence, Hitler's thinking was pretty organised, up until the time he commissioned Operation Barbarossa - the plan to invade Russia.
You have to remember that Germany in the 1920-1930s was in a state of flux; governments were formed and then went, unemployment was a nightmare and the great depression just capped things off nicely. Pretty hard to be "organised" in those circumstances, unless you already know who's to blame. That was well enunciated in "Mein Kampf".
When Hitler attacked Russia, he made the cardinal error of fighting a war on two fronts and when you're the country literally in the middle, there's only going to be one result. Had Germany not been allied with Japan, or if Germany had not had its hand forced by Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour, things may have been very different.
10 Mar 2016 2:51:39pm
Fitz, it really depends on when you look at the quality of his decision making. There is little doubt from what I have read and seen that his mental state deteriorated over time.
memory like a goldfish:
11 Mar 2016 1:27:33am
Filz, can't agree with your last paragraph. Operation Barbarossa commenced on 22 June, 1941. Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941.
German ground forces in the first half of 1941 were not stretched at all. No land action in Western Europe, some on the Mediterranean front (Balkans, starting April 1941) and North Africa - Commonwealth forces against Italy - until Germany's Afrika Corps arrived in March 1941 to help the Italians. German strength at that stage in Nth Africa was roughly 2 divisions. Very minor, comparatively. Hitler would have believed he had ample time to head east as any invasion from the west would have been just from the UK, which was not ready to take significant action. Hardly 2 fronts as at the start of Barbarossa.
At this time the Soviet Union had significant military resources in the east, fearful of an attack by Japan, and despite the German invasion they kept them in the east for some time. The attack from Japan never came. In late 1941 the Soviet Union brought most of these resources west to fight against the Germans.
Japan's actions didn't force Germany to do anything. It had already started.
Ms Bogan :
10 Mar 2016 11:12:00am
I have the book written by his young secretary of her time in his service 41-45. She was just chosen from a pool of stenographers with no political leanings & is honest & straightforward.
Her accounts of day to day life including sitting in at meetings does not support your theory. For one , he was a strict vegetarian .He does not sound like Donald either .
But then again , you were there ,right?
10 Mar 2016 11:51:06am
According to Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister for Armaments, Hitler was at heart an artist. His decision making relied upon inspiration and he would greatly frustrate his Generals by delaying decisions for weeks on end when they needed them straight away. Once he had made a decision, he would manipulate the facts to suit the decision he'd made and it was nigh on impossible to change his mind. It was this decision making strategy which was his Achilles heel. Inspiration works well for artistic endeavours however when it comes to military matters, you want someone who can solve complex problems and this wasn't Hitler's strong suit.
Hitler also had a very good head for facts and figures. He would pour over and memorize copious quantities of data regarding Germany's supplies of ammunition and weaponry and be able to quote this information on demand in meetings.
The more politically astute among the Third Reich knew how to manipulate him though. Goebbels, for example, was a master political operator. He knew how to plant seeds in Hitler's mind at a meeting in order to make a decision go his way. He was quite happy to let Hitler take the credit but the outcome would be favourable to him and that is all that mattered.
10 Mar 2016 9:27:02am
Remember when the World laughed at Italy because of Berlusconi,
well World get ready to roll on the floor and wet yourself with hysterics for President Trump.
10 Mar 2016 9:42:28am
"Remember when the World laughed at Italy because of Berlusconi"
Italians aren't a good comparison - they will vote for bread and circus every time.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 11:20:50am
I am still recovering from Prime Minster Rudd....the hilarity of the pigeon toed, angst ridden little rodent with a maniac laugh and a psychotic temper just had me rolling in the aisles for hours.
10 Mar 2016 2:55:18pm
..but still someone who will end up having achieved things you can only dream about. Envy is such a terrible thing.
10 Mar 2016 9:31:37am
Whenever anyone states that someone they do not like is "just like Hitler" we should not do an evaluation in order to decide if indeed that person is "just like Hitler". Instead we should heap well deserved scorn upon the one making such a claim. Trump is "not just like Hitler" just as Obama is not "just like Hitler" and anyone who claims that they are or takes such claims in any way seriously should be sent packing out of the room with gales of derisive laughter. No evaluation such as the one above needs to be done in order to decide that Trump is a snake oil salesman and not Hitler.
10 Mar 2016 9:31:50am
I might not be a fan of some of the authors articles but I agree wholeheartedly with him on this one. Those who want to avoid Trump winning the presidency would do well to read this - they might then shift the focus of their attacks from incorrect accusations that drive the misguided towards him to attacks that properly point out his flaws - and the man has heaps of them.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 11:21:47am
And I guess it will be just a day or two longer before we see or hear on the ABC the equally derogatory analysis of Clinton or Sanders.....crickets.....crickets....
10 Mar 2016 8:08:09pm
Yep. And if america media is just as one sided we will have a future pm shaking the hand of trump.
10 Mar 2016 9:39:41am
I didn't know the abc had such good comedic writers. Mr Bradley had provided me with some fine laughs this morning. Trump really has the left and republican establishment running scared. If you have to resort to hitler comparisons, you're surely very very desperate and have little argument. On one side of politics, people would prefer we skip the election and just have a confrontation of secretary Clinton. On the right, they'd rather have someone they can control and lose an election than respect democracy and the will of the people. Cruz and Rubio have zero chance of beating Hilary.
Trump in my mind is much more moderate than some would believe and is getting much of the treatment that Reagan received before being elected. He was seen as silly and a clown. No real serious politican. Reagan is now considered one of the better presidents from historians of both stripes.
All in all, I must say I've very much relished this kind of article and the media in generals attempts to slow down trumps momentum. It only seems to make him stronger. The bias shown by supposed balanced media sources is often hilarious in its blatantness. Mr Bradley is quickly becoming my favourite writer on the drum. Always good for some amusement
10 Mar 2016 11:14:36am
Interesting. I can't stand Trump, myself, but I understand why he's getting so much support in the US. Bradley has identified it in part, but missed the main implication: the American political class, establishment, call it what you will, is no different than the Australian one, and the commentariat of which he is a member, organizations like the ABC, the major political parties, big business, big unions, the overweaning public service are as on the nose in Australia with the general public as they are in the USA. It's simply that the US establishment is getting a wake-up call sounded by one D. Trump, while the Aussie establishment continues to slumber on, unaware of how disconnected it has become with the average voter. Trump is giving the US establishment a lesson, and in Europe, the public reaction to the handling of the asylum seeker crisis is starting to wear away at their establishment, but somehow, their Australian counterparts are missing the message entirely.
10 Mar 2016 11:30:55am
Reporting on Syria and Russia takes the trophy in bias in my opinion.
10 Mar 2016 9:43:25am
I must need my eyes and ears checked. I see and hear Trump and I find him indistinguishable from any other past American President. Putting his crass bombast to one side- which seems to have its fans - he says nothing that's particularly different to any other candidate, with the exception of Sanders, who occupies the other end of the political see-saw.
Trump's Republican competition are even crazier than he is. And even less credible, if that's possible. They all made unsubstantiated claims, sweeping generalisations, motherhood statements and vague, inarticulate promises that we all know politicians don't keep. They are all for defending the poor, cowed, bullied, threatened and endangered United States. They are all for reclaiming something that's been lost. Trump's only point of differentiation is that he's openly said he wouldn't bomb Iran or China- he'd trade with them. What a loony!
Trump is not particularly different from Clinton, long time Hawk and establishment, Wall Street and Pentagon representative. Whist she does her hopey-changey thing around minorities, women, schools and every other issue that she thinks she can leverage off, she also represents the military-industrial complex, openly rattles the sabre- and with experience in doing so- and stands for a continuation of the commander-in-chief fetish that surrounds the civilian Presidency.
Trump is America. He reflects the best, the worst, the comical, the farcical and the very purpose of the American constitution whereby one person can run for office within or without a party framework. He is just as mad as his peers, sometimes madder, but with enough of a breath of new air that he's not done yet
10 Mar 2016 9:54:34am
Bring back Mitt Romney!! The worst you could say about Mitt would be that he wears (apparently) unusual under-garments.
10 Mar 2016 10:26:05am
Yes the great mr Romney who denigrated poor people so vocally and couldn't beat an unpopular Obama
10 Mar 2016 4:51:21pm
Said in jest Grant.
I do keep hearing though that Obama is "unpopular" but he has been a 2 term Prez so I assume (don't know how their system works in detail) he got more votes than the other guy. That must make him at least a little bit more popular than the other guy.
10 Mar 2016 9:57:28am
A whole article on, if I got it right, what is wrong with the USA and its people's voting preferences, and no mention of Bernie Sanders? To many, Mr Sanders has less grasp on reality than either Messrs Trump or Cruz. But we must accept Mr Bradley's inherent bias: he does not see it, but it is quite obvious to the reader. If you have policies he likes, you are right and therefore nobody in their right mind would criticise you.
To return to the article, I think (and that is all it is, an opinion, just as Mr Bradley's is an opinion, despite his habit of using the present and perfect tenses to make it appear his statements are factual), that he has misread the anger of the USA.
It is not some racist or militaristic call for a return to the greatness of the USA. Most Americans, as survey after survey for the last 50 years have shown, are isolationists. They wish the rest of the world would sort itself out and leave them alone. It takes a great event, such as Pearl Harbour or the Twin Towers, to provoke a popular enthusiasm for foreign intervention, and even then it must be against a clear enemy and with a definite course of action. There is no desire in the US populace for their sons and daughters to die overseas to create some fantasy US Empire. It is easier to let imitation do the job.
Trump is not calling for an expansion of the military, for more overseas bases or a war on any of the lunatic dictators who could do with removal a la Hussein. He may make florid statements, but at the core he wants to build a metaphorical as well as a real wall around the USA: to protect it from what its people see is a violent and aggressive world that wants to harm it.
The anger is not at the world, it is at the establishment, the media, the intelligentsia, that have for so long ignored the wishes of the bulk of the population. An insistence on discussing issues that are of no interest to the mass of the voters, the denigration of views that do not agree with those of the elite, the total dismissal of the concerns about immigration, the economy, the nature of the country in which they live. They see their country being changed in ways they either dislike or are unsure about, and they feel they have no say in the changes.
That is why they vote for the manic outsiders. They have voted for the "proper" candidates, and nothing changes or it gets worse. They are angry because they are not only ignored but condemned as bigots and racists for questioning change that they see as harmful to the society in which they live.
To get heard, they had to vote for dangerous men. Even now, they are attacked by those frightened at the latent power that has been ignored.
It is only a matter of time before it happens here. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are perfect examples of the leaders who have nothing in common with the people they want to vote for them. They both refuse to add
10 Mar 2016 10:25:18am
Well done Tabanus. I keep saying articles like this and other efforts similar make trump popular. People see through these biased and ridiculous attempts for what they really are. The left have themselves to blame for popularity of trump
10 Mar 2016 2:00:21pm
A small correction: the establishment have themselves to blame. The republican hierarchy don't seem to want him, nor able to contain or direct him. The left/right labels are increasingly pointless. The whole lot are the sides of the same establishment coin that Mr & Mrs Punter seem to be more and more fed up with.
10 Mar 2016 11:33:44am
Again I run out of space! Why can't I restrict myself to three word slogans like "We're all doomed".
Anyway, here is the last para. (It also give me a chance to correct myself: Mr Bradley does mention Mr Sanders once, in passing, but it is a bit of a nod of the head, with no real comment, which is why it slipped my mind).
"It is only a matter of time before it happens here. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are perfect examples of the leaders who have nothing in common with the people they want to vote for them. They both refuse to address real issues. They both condemn those who disagree with them as being "ignorant" or "reactionary".
Who will be our Donald Trump? "
Nothing To See Here:
10 Mar 2016 12:44:43pm
Perhaps Barnaby Joyce could pull on the guernsey.
He is capable of kicking a few goals from the back lines.
Just a thought......bubble.
10 Mar 2016 2:24:40pm
The generous interpretation is that Sanders doesn't get a mention because there's even less chance he'll be president one day.
He doesn't seem to have been drawing the same attention from all ends of the political spectrum as Trump has been anyway.
10 Mar 2016 12:53:22pm
"It is not some racist or militaristic call for a return to the greatness of the USA. Most Americans, as survey after survey for the last 50 years have shown, are isolationists. They wish the rest of the world would sort itself out and leave them alone. It takes a great event, such as Pearl Harbour or the Twin Towers, to provoke a popular enthusiasm for foreign intervention, and even then it must be against a clear enemy and with a definite course of action. There is no desire in the US populace for their sons and daughters to die overseas to create some fantasy US Empire."
The best satire I've read in ages. Do you have a book coming out soon?
10 Mar 2016 2:41:28pm
Why would I write a book on something that has been discussed to death?
Only a few anti-US bigots believe in some desire by the average US citizen to rule the world. They believe that they live in the best place in the world, true, and they wonder why others do not copy their pursuit of freedom and happiness, but for the vast majority that is as far as it goes.
Survey after survey shows the average US citizen does not want to get involved in things outside the USA. Only when attacked does the average man and woman get agitated.
May I suggest you visit the USA, read a bit and stick away from websites that headline "Why the USA is the Evil Empire".
10 Mar 2016 3:32:19pm
It's true: Americans don't want to rule the world, and that's not part of Trump's appeal. However, Trump's promises to murder the families of terrorists, to expand the use of torture, to destroy ISIS . . . these things do appeal to his base. They cheer and applaud. This is America, too. Isolationists, maybe, but not averse to the projection of power.
10 Mar 2016 8:02:54pm
Most americans are isolationists.
And, becoming more so.
Particularly as the Syrian War is even more pointless than the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War.
The goal of the Afghanistan war was to get Osama bin Laden.
The goal of the Iraq was was to get Saddam and resolve unfinished business from 1991.
The goal in Syria, is what ? It's incomprehensible.
10 Mar 2016 10:00:45am
This article's suggested parallel with France 1789 is absolutely spot on!
Let us hope that the current Rulers of America show a bit more humility and practical self-interest than the French Crown did, or we might also be heading for a repeat of the Napoleonic era as a sequel.
In an age of thermonuclear weapons, that could be rather nasty.
10 Mar 2016 10:04:15am
The hysteria is getting greater the closer Trump gets to the White House. It's ridiculous. Not a word is being said about the class and race warfare being waged by Sanders and Clinton, truly despicable and divisive.
If you want a good laugh, read American political commentator, Anne Coulter's column about this very topic. As an aside, I believe I've commented about five times on topics here, and not once have my comments made it to the page, I've got to wonder what the moderators have against me.
And yes, I think you are all very dishonest people.
frank of malvern:
10 Mar 2016 4:07:39pm
Yes the 'left wing' dominated MSM are very quick to make comparisons to Hitler when it comes to describing 'right wingers' or call it a conservatives who don't happen to share their 'progressive' views, but avoid ever comparing their own Socialist comrades with a Stalin or Mao.
just a minute:
10 Mar 2016 10:07:53am
If you believe in democracy i.e. the will of the people rules, may win. However persuasion and lies abound. Mr Trump is telling it like it is in America, from cock of the walk to feather duster about 60 years. The printed money is still there but the unified population is not. Sad
10 Mar 2016 10:08:28am
Well of course Donald Trump doesn't have anything in common with Adolf Hitler but anything that will vilify him is fine.
Donald Trump is a game changer and is on track to win the Republican nomination and if that happens he will become President of The United States.
You people at the ABC should start showing some respect now.
10 Mar 2016 10:09:49am
10 Mar 2016 10:12:33am
Thank you, Mr Bradley, for your insightful analysis. I think most analogies to Hitler and the Nazis are lazy and bereft of any real understanding of the nature of mob manipulation. Such analogies fail to ignore the responsibility of voters to engage their intellects in the consideration of social and political issues. They fail to identify the laziness of simple emotional reaction The 'red fog' of emotion and impulsive response is the real killer of democracy.
10 Mar 2016 10:18:49am
its sad to say that articles like this actually propel the trump phenomenon. It seems the basic peoples in the US have had a gutful of old school politicians and also the commentators telling them how and why they should vote. Maybe out of rebellion the masses are buying the freshness and the directness of what trump has to say, and how he says it. Rightly or wrongly he has connected with long time stewing sentiment against the political class in washington. Clearly Hilary is not getting traction either as a mainstream candidate against radical Bernie. No doubt we are heading for a Trump nomination and succession to the white house. The only way he can be stopped now is for a very positive campaign on real issues with real commitments - Hilary has a lot of work to do and may have already run out of steam and collected too much baggage along the way. Trump and Palin could be the new players, Washington becomes Biff's World.
Keith Lethbridge Snr:
10 Mar 2016 10:27:12am
Thanks for your article. So, as usual, it's not so much whether the candidates are all crackpots, but the mindsets of voters. No Hitler, Mugabe or such-like can emerge without voter support, let alone run amuck with crazy ideas after being elected. I can only assume that Americans are hurting & would like to try something, or anything, different.
That's a planet-wide phenomenon, & is likely to increase as population pressures increase. Perpetual growth is not sustainable.
10 Mar 2016 4:39:47pm
"...Perpetual growth is not sustainable..."
Eventually... you'll prove to be right. However, f you adopt that strategy too early, the world would miss on so much of potential growth, depriving so many people of good, satisfying life.
The problem is; What happens if we leave it to late to recognize the fact that "perpetual growth is not sustainable"?!
10 Mar 2016 8:06:19pm
Really ? " No Hitler, Mugabe or such-like can emerge without voter support ? "
How many of history's nasty dictators and warlords ever had "voter support"
Did Pol Pot have "voter support" ?
Idi Amin ?
Kim Il-sung ?
Ghengis Khan ?
Nothing To See Here:
10 Mar 2016 10:27:52am
Trump wants to ditch the TTP.....gotta be worth points for that alone.
10 Mar 2016 10:29:38am
A couple of issues with this article:
"Commentators persistently misunderstand everything about the Trump phenomenon..."
And only you don't, is that it?
"...which has not won a war since 1945..."
Persian Gulf War, and Korean war immediately come to mind.
10 Mar 2016 3:46:18pm
Korean war? No one won that. The invasion of the South was repelled and the UN led invasion of the North was repelled. No peace accord has been reached.
Drum Moderator is a joke:
10 Mar 2016 10:39:04am
The premise of this good article is exactly the point I made in a comment I submitted yesterday in relation to the sensationalistic Chris Berg article but which was 'moderated' and not posted.
Those who prophesize Trump will herald the beginning of armageddon if elected just feed his juggernaut and harden the resolve of his supporters. I said there was no evidence that Trump would be anything like a Hitler and Bradley agrees. In fact from Trumps statements we would see a less militarily adventurous US and that can only be a good thing for the world. A US President who can have a good relationship with the Russian President. Sounds like a good thing.
Trumps statements are bombastic but there is more reason to what he says than is oft reported. He is not going to intern all Mexicans or Muslims but he is going to crack down on illegal immigration (as Australia has done quite cynically and heartlessly, violating human rights and international law) and to many Americans this is what they want...and THAT is democracy. Democracy rarely delivers the best result; it delivers what people vote for, and whether the populace is engaged enough to even realise who they are voting for is another issue (hence Abbott and Hitler).
Remember, Hitler was VOTED in under a democracy.
10 Mar 2016 5:36:30pm
Actually he wasn't.
Hitler, like Gillard, led a minority government.
10 Mar 2016 10:39:09am
Wow, this essay by Bradley is pretty bad. Shame on the ABC for publishing it.
It is a smear and only a smear to compare Donald Trump to Hitler and national socialist Germany.
Hilary Clinton is a good friend of former prominent Ku Klux Klan leader Robert Byrd, yet this never rates a mention from the ABC or Mr Bradley.
Hillary Clinton could be going to jail over her email scandal, yet this never rates a mention from the ABC or Mr Bradley.
Bernie Sanders is a former violent socialist activist, and is still a confessed socialist to this day. Socialism is responsible for the worst human rights abuses of the 20th century, outdoing Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan combined. Yet this doesn't rate a mention from the ABC or Mr Bradley.
Michael Bradley also needs to brush up on History. Hitler's Germany was a National Socialist Government. The only link to Fascism held by Hitler was that he was allied for Fascist Italy's Mussolini. Hitler even said publicly he was a socialist.
And a couple of key points on Mr Trump.
Trump is more intelligent than any of his political competitors, among Democrats or Republicans.
Trump has rallied the conservatives in such a way that participation among grass root republicans in the Primarys is up 50% or more in most states. While such participation among Democrats is down more than 30% across the board.
Trump is the only one self funding his campaign, and thus is the only one not held over by special interests.
Trump went after nobody until they came after him first. Trump hits back, and hits harder.
Michael Bradley's reputation, if it wasn't in tatters before, it is now.
10 Mar 2016 1:37:07pm
Raven you need to brush up on History. Hitler's Germany was a National Socialist Government, in the same way that the former East Germany was the "German Democratic Republic" and North Korea is now the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" Hitler was not a socialist and never proclaimed to be, in fact he arrested and persecuted them referring to them as Bolsheviks.
Hitler was an ultra-right Fascist, deal with it...
10 Mar 2016 7:31:25pm
The Nazi party was a strange beast. It did form in parts from elements of a grassroots Worker's Party, and they did have a few policies that roughly fall into what many people call "left wing" ideologies - they retained a reasonable public health policy, for example, and invested heavily in public education (although they also used this as a tool for indoctrination). The Nazi party also tended to nationalise more than they privatised, and in the aftermath of the Great Depression, were concerned with lifting the German people out of poverty (both individually and collectively).
They were, however, vehemently opposed to TOTAL state ownership of business and were decidedly anti-Communist. Most socialists also regard all races as equal - which is the very antithesis of the white (and more specifically, Germanic) supremacy at the heart of Naziism.
So no, they weren't really socialists - but the rednecks in the USA who don't want taxpayer's money propping up public health and education might see some of their policies that way. And there, I think, is a big difference between Hitler and Trump. Hitler was an extremist ideologue who actually believed the BS that he was saying, and ultimately believed that what he was doing was the right thing for his people. It reminds me of the old adage: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions."
Don't get me wrong; this in no way justifies Hitler's extremist position, his constant feeding off other like-minded ideologues, his disregard for any opinions or facts that did not support his world view, his ability to distort the truth in his own mind, or the heinous actions his ideas led to. I'm in a mixed marriage and I find such racial supremacy positively frightening. But I cannot even see how Trump could believe, even in his own twisted mind, that he's doing the best for the US public. Hitler was an extremist ideologue with a warped perception of reality, but Trump is just a pathetic narcissistic sociopath who is on a power trip for purely selfish intentions.
P.S. I find it odd that Ravensclaw dug up the Robert Byrd link to Hilary Clinton; Byrd did join the KKK in the 1940s, but had left it long before entering politics, and later referred to it as an "albatross around his neck," and cautioned other young people against getting involved with the party. He also supported Bill Clinton's impeachment and supported Obama over Clinton in 2008 (which would suggest he had well and truly abandoned any white supremacy ideas by this time) - yet Ravensclaw maintains he was a good friend of Hilary Clinton.
I also wonder, if Clinton should go to jail over the "email scandal," what punishment should George W. Bush face for an illegal invasion in Iraq based at least in part on "evidence" he knew was fraudulent when he presented it to the UN? Clinton's misuse of an email account was a non-issue in comparison to this. I believ
10 Mar 2016 3:03:36pm
The only thing in tatters is your knowledge of & understanding the difference between socialism & national socialism. Hint: they are not the same because of the word 'socialism'
10 Mar 2016 10:40:33am
I think a lot of people are forgetting a few important issues here. The Republican Party is entirely to blame, it has at the moment divided it's house and you can see that by the candidates vying for preselection. Trump has come in and said I will have a go at this, and I have no doubt his theory, is the same, the Republicans have made a mess of politics but wont admit it. The same goes on here. They have gridlocked the Congress, and are trying to do the same in the Senate, as they don't like the President. Trump has said you guys are so bad, I an outsider can come in, and beat you at your own game. This has come about due to the fact, people have lost jobs - their houses - their 401K retirement funds, which you are given tax breaks in the U.S, but you have a stock broker invest money you pay him, to invest for you, and that is your retirement funds in the U.S. The Republicans were the ones who set all this up, and failed to take action, and caused the GFC, by giving into big business, and listening to special interest lobbyists.
This is the people fighting back. Politics in the U.S. is more democratic then here. These runoffs you see now, are very simple. On the day nominated for your state, you go to a meeting place, depending on whether you are Republican or Democrat, you don't have to be a card carrying member of the party. They then ask for a show of hands as to who you support. They count the hands, and from that process that is how they select a front runner for the nomination for the White House. The Democrats add one further step, and then ask people who voted for someone, who does not come in at 1 or 2, to have a short recess, pick another candidate and have another show of hands. So Trump, is winning with the people. The Republicans are stunned, as they don't have any answers, and they can't control him. If Trump was to win, it is the cabinet he brings with him, to be sworn in as Secretary of State - Defence - Treasury, are the real people who will carry out the running on government. And in U.S. Politics, every President brings in outside experts in their own field, not always career politicians to fill these positions. As well this stage is a fist fight to pet preselected. If Trump gets to that point, he is nominated to run for Presidency, he can get the Party back in his corner by who he picks for Vice President, and who he picks for his cabinet. There is a long way to go, and people are reading too much into the tea leaves. what this year has thrown up, is people in the U.S. are fed up with career politicians, and yet here we keep feeding the beast, and supporting people, who live in a bubble, and not the real world.
10 Mar 2016 10:42:50am
The author has correctly diagnosed the problem in the US as voter rage & how everyone is sick of the fact that the wealth distribution gets worse & more in favour of the wealthy. The bad guys in business get away every time. Bradley's analogy of the French in 1789 may be very close to the truth. 1789 was the start of the French Revolution.
Whether a revolution may or may not eventuate in the US remains to be seen. Of course they have enough guns etc. in private hands that could result in mayhem.
We certainly should not take this lightly as there are very similar feelings right here in Australia. We have a totally inept, cost cutting Govt. that seem to be well & truly owned by the big end of town & seem hell bent on giving more tax cuts to the wealthy & an opposition that is really no better.
10 Mar 2016 10:43:32am
Trump, as ugly as his political views are, is representative of the same sections of the American elitists who opted to support the Vichy French, secured the best of the Nazi scientists after WW2, expediently covered up the war crimes of the likes of Klaus Barbie, and bludgeoned everything, everyone and anything, that or who did not align themselves with their post war policy of "yank greed and extortion first", or go to hell.
Trump, to me, is the epitome of the worst the American culture has to offer. Along with his supporters the exposure indicates the great schism that is the USA, from murdering school children near daily to creating havoc internationally; take the guns and military muscle from the yanks and what is left, a carcass of decomposing criminality and Trump represents it admirably.
Hitler may well have had some unique qualities, that by comparison to Trump and his politics, can be looked upon as righteous irrespective of Hitlers own obvious psychological torments. Hitler enthusiastically embraced Germany, Trump seemingly only desires to further prostitute America.
10 Mar 2016 10:43:54am
I think you miss the basic point really. What you have is a dissolute people who are looking for a way out of their own personal mires and like Hitler and Like Mussolini and for all that like Napoleon, War like words and homophobic rhetoric are all striking the right cords with the masses.
You don't have to look at what each candidate is sprouting, only what he/she is trying to achieve and that is flag waving euphoria. They all do it, so too is Trump. His politics don't matter. For Hitler it was the hate of the jews, for Trump its for all aliens trying to come into the USA for a supposed. "better life".
The reference to the wall on the mexican border tells it all. Make the USA great again, stop all aliens from entering the USA (replacing the word Jews) and if necessary kill them for trying and then kill their families. Sound familiar. Should do, Hitler was nearly successful with that one. Nothing but bad can come from this sort of thinking but when you get mass thinking on these lines it is a hard process to stop.
Even if Clinton gets into power, she is going to have an awful lot of trouble with the other half of the country. The red neck blood is up now and even if Trump fades into the background ( which I doubt) the die has been cast and it will be a long time before the country of the USA is again going to be unified.
10 Mar 2016 10:45:05am
Good article by Michael Bradley and I agree that Ted Cruz is a greater threat as a committed ideologue, and largely slipping under the radar thanks to the fascination with Trump. Cruz is positioning himself well to get the backing of the Republican establishment (and the Tea Party is part of that despite well orchestrated disavowal's) at a brokered convention. After that, seemingly a shoe in for the democrats, but who knows, a poor choice of running mate, dirty tricks, anything could and has, happened.
10 Mar 2016 10:48:19am
If you want to talk about being 'lazy', then the author of this rather confused piece needs to step to the front of the line. His entire point is that Trump is simply taking advantage of a mass of disenfranchised citizenry whose treatment at the hands of the previously established order has made them angry.
You know, exactly the same thing that Hitler, Mussolini and every other strongman in the past has done.
If the author had half the intellectual capacity that would be indicated from the patronising tone he has adopted, he would have researched what the actual attributes of Fascism are, and then mapped these to Trump (or not, as the case may be).
Of course, since Fascism is about actual power structures and actions, you would need to wait until Trump wins to do that properly.
So all you can return to is the similarities or not with the rise to power of Fascists historically.
And as the author so adroitly proved, it's exactly the same.
10 Mar 2016 10:48:48am
Hello Micheal , you just destroyed your own argument about Trump not being like Adolf with your paragraph:
To dismiss Trump's supporters as a dumb racist swill is to entirely miss the point. Almost everyone in the world is latently racist to at least some extent; when a big enough section of society feels lost and alienated from the power structures which govern them, and a putative leader comes along who speaks the language of their rage and promises to speak brutal, impolitic truth to that power; then if that leader understands the emotional levers of his audience, he can turn it into a mob and wield its force for his own ends.
If that doesn't sound like Hitler what is?
10 Mar 2016 10:52:22am
We Australians could do worse than to watch and listen carefully to what is happening in the USA and consider whether we are going down the same path.
Free enterprise is fine and possibly the best of a bad bunch of political and social systems but when capitalism is allowed to run rampant without comsideration being given to those in society who need help to improve their lot, eventually this is what we get. Our recent turnover of Prime Ministers may well be the beginning of a like turmoil.
The gap between the haves and have nots is exacerbated when cheap labour is imported to drive costs of business down. A consequence is that the poorest Australians get poorer because real,wagesmaremdriven down. A government with the welfare of the people foremost in consideration would be insisting that business invest in proper training for Australians.
Any system which has at the heart of it's business world a situation where CEO's are paid 200 times more than the average worker in their enterprise is broken. If the wealthy really believe their eutopian world will not be challenged some time in the future by peasants in rags, they need to think again.
On a lighter note, I draw contributers attention to a web site called Brick it for Canada constructed by the comedy show, The Last Leg. The purpose is for people to click on a brick to enable Canada to build a wall to keep Americans out, if Donald Trump should become President.
10 Mar 2016 12:22:35pm
we are heading down the same path only worse, we used to scoff at Italy for political instability and a new PM every 12 months. Thats us in Australia now. We have allowed the media and the commentariat to push politics into personal new idea style and create political news based on rumors, personal hatreds and gossip. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd/Abbott/Turnbull/Abbott has shown the world what a useless democracy we have in play and that actually the people have little influence over the theatre. No longer are policies important, its all about personalities. Based on this Howard or Keating would never have been elected. Howard as boring and living in the past and Keating as arrogant, brash , wrong tone and full of self interest. However both made excellent contributions to creating a better australia. These last 9 years has been a total waste with another disastrous election to withstand in a few months, and of course a change in government once again. Based on history its even money we will see 3 more PM's before the 2020 election.
10 Mar 2016 10:58:12am
"comparisons between Trump and Hitler (or occasionally Mussolini), and between today's America and Weimar Germany, are just that - lazy."
No! what's lazy & irresponsible is writers who dismiss people making those comparisons. Hitler was able to get where he did & do what he did because many many Germans didn't stop & make comparisons with other dangerous historical leaders. There were & are many. Look at you're bible Jesus wasn't took on a camping trip as a baby for fun. I'm sick of people brushing Hitler's Holocaust under the table. It should be talked about loud & clear in the hope it never happens again.
Currently, as Australians we have the same environment being implemented in our country. Remember Hitler's farm camps for unemployed teenagers - Qld LNP Boot camps, Hitlers control of the media all the nasty little LNP changes there & cuts to independant media ABC. SAS you're very own Border Control has the same colour uniform & think nothing of visa checks on your streets (Melbourne). Changing laws for arrest on suspicion mass raids targeting Islamic's in Sydney. Drink laws have effectively given you a curfew. Threatening laws to remove dual citizenship. On the latest hit list cuts to your library funding. They are attempting to remove history just like Hitler tried to remove the memory & existence & place of Jews & his political opponents in Germany. Now they are changing the vote in the Senate because those faceless men who've picked your local representative controlling the lower house want to control your balance of power in the Senate. What laws or electoral borders are you going to get if they get their way? In Australia with the duopoly of Parties & undemocratic pre-selection process you've already got a backroom dictatorship. It's time to send a message that will never be forgotten - it's time to Vote to Rule! If the Senate laws go through vote NONE OF THE ABOVE the line. Take a chair & a drink & be prepared to fill in every box below the line. There'll be a long wait to get into a booth - long enough to lawfully meet & talk to other Vote to Rulers without your group being considered a terrorist cell. That wait will be a hell of a lot shorter than waiting for either of the duopoly Parties to offer real change - Do it!
10 Mar 2016 11:00:54am
"It's equally obvious that Trump is not Hitler. He is equivalently irresponsible and narcissistic, but he has no discernible personal ideology beyond the sheer delight of being the centre of attention... his motivation and goals are completely different."
Very well stated.
"Ted Cruz, who is a far more terrifying prospect than Trump,"
Correct, he *believes* and most atrocities seems spring from some fervent ideology.
I don't think I was aware of just how pissed off the US electorate was. They seem to be in a genuine 'it can't be any worse' sort of mood and that spells interesting times. Trump is just the sort of opportunist who can ride this wave, he's the only candidate that has fully realised that consistency and honesty don't matter a damn in this campaign.
10 Mar 2016 11:03:08am
History does repeat; just not exactly in the same way. That is not fatalism. Just as our children must to some extent learn for themselves by experience so must new generations.
There is discontent with the political process and duplicitous spin. Trump is tapping into that by taking it to a new level. That simultaneously gives him appeal and makes things worse. The discontent is reasonable but the method of resolution is not; except as despairing attempt to break the cycle.
Problems are becoming more complex and we are resorting to simpler solutions.
10 Mar 2016 11:10:24am
Maurice Newman takes the same line in his article today in The Australian.
It is clearly attacking Obama for not delivering. But who stood in Obama's way?
It is attacking "political correctness" by being politically incorrect. It approves of bigotry.
It is populist by appealing to what is perceived as "anger" at the divide between rich and poor. He blames the Wall Street money-grabbers.
Contrary to what Bradley or Newman say, Trump the demagogue fails to see that he is not the solution but is part of the problem.
You think it could not happen in Oz? It has already.
10 Mar 2016 11:20:18am
America votes for an immoral man because they ARE bankrupt; morally bankrupt.
Democracy is dying because the will of the "common" people is without "commonsense"
10 Mar 2016 11:21:44am
On Trump - has he ever done the psychopath test?
Mr Trump appears to be exceptionally gifted at looking after himself, with not a single molecule of his existence being devoted to the public or collective good.
Extremely high rating personal business success, but hardly a good score in the realm caring for humanity.
10 Mar 2016 11:21:55am
Ted Cruz is more terrifying than Trump.
While trump seems superficial, Cruz is trying to sneak in terrible, terrible policy using sudo science. He is a menace.
Billy Bob Hall:
10 Mar 2016 1:02:36pm
Only problem is thet Cruz is not 'popular', but for me Cruz would be the 1st choice. He's very smart, like Adley Stephens (remember him ?). That would be a change in Washington DC for sure.
10 Mar 2016 11:27:02am
Hitler was financed by the establishment, Trump is not.
10 Mar 2016 12:36:37pm
"Hitler was financed by the establishment"
Not initially, he was funded by the poorer classes. Eventually he had to make peace with the military and industrial establishment to be able to take power. This required him to dispose of the 'socialist' tendencies in the National-Socialist Party that had got him that far. Search for the Night of the Long Knives.
10 Mar 2016 2:25:45pm
Hitler was financed by that most capitalist of instruments, a Ponzi scheme.
He took orders and deposits for his people's car, then called the DKW and never delivered.
10 Mar 2016 4:01:20pm
Trump *is* the establishment, no different from the Koch brothers, except that he chooses to fund himself as a political candidate, rather than putting his money on someone else.
10 Mar 2016 11:27:48am
I agree Trump is no Hitler, two distinct and different persons, one completely mad, the other insane, and America need to wake-up from this nightmare.
Trump is at the end of his time, the Empire is crumbling and like most of the Empires it will implode sooner than later.
There is this gasp of a wounded corpse that it's very dangerous, its Empire is in debt and the only way to get out of it is to become the President of the US, there is no other way to save the future of his Empire.
There is one common ground and you just have to look at SILVIO BERLUSCONI Empire before becoming PM and 6 years later, from a debt of 4-5 billion to a massive turn around to 6-10 billion profits and connection to the business world worth about 40-50 billions.
So here you have a dying Emperor that is clinching is nails to the edge of a an abyss were he will never dig itself out.
Also he will not think twice to start a war just for the sake of his world during election time
10 Mar 2016 11:28:25am
They like to compare Trump to Hitler but curiously never Stalin, Lenin or Mao?
10 Mar 2016 12:43:05pm
"They like to compare Trump to Hitler but curiously never Stalin, Lenin or Mao?"
Simple enough, Hitler was the only one of that set who was more or less democratically elected.
Stalin was no demagogue, he got his position through ruthless 'establishment' politics. Lenin is a better match fit but few people remember much about him except as an ancient bogyman. Mao also was not famed for his populist rabble rousing, more of a guerrilla fighter and internal political operator.
10 Mar 2016 4:44:38pm
Demac: Democracy has nothing to do with it, do I have to spell it out.
All these writers,particularly at the ABC are lefties. Stalin, Lenin and Mao are their heroes because they're communists.
11 Mar 2016 11:45:24am
Hitler did kill 6-7 millions in the concentration camp
Stalin did kill more than 60 millions in the GULAG
That is the big difference
Don't tell me otherwise, because I was there as an Special Forces trying to shut down the Gulag in Siberia in 74-5-6.
I have seen with my own eyes common graves containing hundreds of corpses of executed prisoners with a shot in the head
How do I know it was the head? because half was gone or sometime there was no heads.
So lets be clear, Stalin was the most cruel and sick person on earth
Hitler will be second
10 Mar 2016 1:46:27pm
That is because Hitler was an extreme right wing .
The others you mentioned are extreme left wing.
It is funny though how the two poles end up looking quite similar.
10 Mar 2016 11:29:02am
"Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. " Mein Kampf" chapter VI:
Trump may not be Hitler, and the US is not the Weimar Republic, but Trump is certainly copying Hitler's most basic propaganda tools, speech patterns at 3rd grade education level, evoking common enemies, making his supporters raise their arms and swear allegiance and the use of false slogans like "Make America great again" (stolen from Reagan) and my fave mis-slogan "The Silent Majority stands with Trump"
Anyone with a clue knows his supporters are far from silent and are nowhere near a majority
10 Mar 2016 11:29:53am
I think a great deal of the appeal of Trump to so any Americans is that he gives the middle finger to the left establishment, including political correctness which stipulates what can and can't said or even thought. Well intentioned or not, many people feel manipulated. We see this in Australia as well. Debates get increasingly polarised and people are almost forced to choose sides even though their thinking and deep gut-feeling sit somewhere in the middle. Here are some examples: If you don't fully embrace same-sex marriage, you are a homophobe, regardless if you really hold some irrational fear towards same-sex people or not. Some years ago if you dare to say we need to stop the boats, you were some sort of cold-heated xenophobe, regardless if you believed that we need to increase our intake of refugees but perhaps not via people smugglers. The last Q&A program showed that if women, despite their believe in gender equality, prefer not to be labelled as feminists, they are ridiculed. It is actually not that different than what the Hitler, the church and many other past elite groups used to do, manipulating people into what they should think or otherwise hanging them out to dry. In many people this breeds a deep sense of resentment. No one likes being labelled being something that they do not strongly associate with. If someone then comes along and well and truly stand-up against the manipulating elite, it offers great appeal, to the point that people start to voting for nutcases like Trump.
10 Mar 2016 3:02:59pm
It is interesting, Helen, that you rail against the "politically correct" labels, but you yourself are quite happy to use that strange, indeterminate label "the manipulating elite".
That is why Trump plays the demagogue, the lover of the poor and poorly educated, even though he is one of the privileged rich. He is not what he seems. He is Trump the Trasher with nothing to offer but anger delivered in a trashy way.
He is also giving the "middle finger" to a large part of the Republican Right. It is all about Trump trumpeting trash.
Try to put together a coherent line of policies to support his views. Chaos. We have seen the same thing here in Oz already.
10 Mar 2016 11:30:06am
Michael Bradley is so correct, the difference between Hitler and Trump is stark. Hitler had to mass an entire, complicated war machine and methodically invade and control other nations. Trump, with the advantage of modern technology, has no need to do that ...... yep all Trump has to do is "push the button". Result? A mass of nuclear bombs descending on Russia and/or China. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM it's all done in mere "minutes".
THAT'S why Trump is different from Hitler and even potentially FAR more dangerous.
He is mentally deranged, and will almost certainly lead America into the worst and most destructive world war of all time.
10 Mar 2016 5:03:52pm
True, the Don is a Nutter!
on the other hand, Rubio and Cruz, believe that the world is flat, only 3000 years old, and that they do what their god tells them to do.
I see them as more dangerous, in the event that their imaginary friend tells them to push the big red Button!
As for Hillary, she already has her share of blood on her hands from dabbling in the ME.
Sanders is the only Sane option!
10 Mar 2016 11:32:31am
I understand that this is a completely different world than in the 1920-50s and that these two men in question are very different in many ways.
That said, however, there are too many similarities between the two ideologies to dismiss. The language used in both men's speeches, how they ask their supporters to pledge allegiance and their radical social views are very similar.
It is scary to even think about how this world will change over night if Donald J "Drumpf" Trump makes it into the Whitehouse!
10 Mar 2016 11:32:52am
So Hitler appealed to mob mentality and Trump appeals to mob mentality but Trump is not like Hitler. You're not really making the best case here Mr Bradley.
Many people are blind devotees of Goodwin's Law which is not in fact a law, it's a heuristic guide. Yes, leaping to facile Nazi/Hitler/fascist comparisons makes one an easy target for ridicule.
Then again, it's difficult to know how else to make the point with sufficient emphasis.
Throwing disenfranchised minorities into camps is bad.
Targeting ethnic and religious minorities and insisting that they be easily distinguishable to facilitate surveillance, discrimination and mob reprisals is bad.
Eroding civil liberties in the name of "national security" is bad.
The response is always going to be the same: No it isn't it's perfectly reasonable. The counter-argument has to consist of examples of where these things happened and they were demonstrably bad.
Let's take "national security". The Nazi party's two key pieces of legislation were the Reichstag Fire Decree (an emergency suspension of civil rights) and the Enabling Act (which empowered the Chancellor to enact any and all legislation without consulting the Reichstag). The first was approved by the President and the second received overwhelming support in the Reichstag even though the Nazis were at that stage still a minority party.
In both cases the argument was the same. The nation's security is too important for pettifoggery and legal process to remain an impediment to effective legislation and law enforcement.
And everybody was ok with this because these laws were only used to target people they didn't like: Jews, communists, homosexuals, gypsies. Eventually of course the laws extended more broadly to anyone the Nazis didn't like.
So when someone introduces a bill that "only" targets a group the public don't care much about citing "law and order" concerns - that should actually set alarm bells ringing. The law is not a tool for making people I don't approve of suffer. Nor is it a tool for people who don't approve of me to make me suffer.
Justice should be blind and it should stay that way. And if sometimes that leads to groups you would rather were in jail not being in jail or people you would rather did not have legal rights successfully using their legal rights - well - that's the difference between us and the brutal dictatorships of past and present. It's the price we pay for freedom and we should pay it gladly.
10 Mar 2016 11:33:08am
One thought of late running around my head goes something like this "Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are actually attracting the same people for different reasons" "If Bernie Sanders does not win will his supporters switch to Mr Trump" ? Think of the implications of that happening.
Then I thought again about Mr Trump not seemingly having a clear cut set of policies except the ones that create a designed media frenzy - but if he does not then why do some commentators fear his remarks re the exporting of jobs to China etc? Globalization has bankrupted millions world wide in developed economies and sent millions into unemployment or underemployment - like a puppy the people can smell something is wrong even if they cannot define it or understand why.
Maybe just maybe people world wide including the UK are waking up to being duped and lied to - maybe even slow old drawly Aussies are coming out of slumber also? Finally.
10 Mar 2016 11:43:20am
Much like the bible or koran, you can take selective parts out of hitler to compare with anyone.
Its been done to sanders, abbott. You name and i could compare to hitler. It would simply be a substitute for intelligent debate.
10 Mar 2016 12:22:31pm
"You name and i could compare to hitler."
OK. Here's the person I name.
10 Mar 2016 7:22:57pm
Supports locals, went to university, has a female partner, encourages people to buy local, distrusts world government bodies.
10 Mar 2016 11:45:05am
Of accumulative irony presents. Team shock and awe beware what you wish for marketing the Trump as axis of evil? LOL
He's bored, he's chairmen of the bored and the more frail fraudsters are in panic mode.
May the best fraudster win. It is a competitive growth industry backed by all too big to fail supplicants after all.
10 Mar 2016 11:46:01am
"A mob doesn't think; it feels. Its members have fully engaged the emotional parts of their brains and everything else is temporarily switched off"
The scenario whereby Trump has manipulated the mob into voting him into The White House.
"A mob can do things which its constituents would never individually contemplate and of which they are later ashamed"
The scenario whereby the mob, in the weeks and months following Trump's inauguration, slowly come to realise what they have done and the fate that they have inflicted on America and the rest of the World.
10 Mar 2016 11:49:10am
Well, someone watched The Weekly last night :)
10 Mar 2016 11:50:53am
The USA Presidential Election is won by the tallest male candidate.
If there is a woman candidate then it may will down to who is the meanest, most conniving and ruthless.
So my wager is on Hillary defeating Donald.
10 Mar 2016 11:51:10am
Of course the rise of trump can be directly attributed to the US population tiring of Obama's meaningless rhetoric and the fact that Hilary Clinton is the only real option. Democracy in the USA is seriously broken.
10 Mar 2016 11:51:17am
Trump actually has some important policies such as stopping big business offshoring their tax responsibilities. He plays the media game very well and it is impossible to tell what promises he would keep if elected.
There is no doubt that the information we receive is screened via his political enemies. He has actually got some sound policies in my opinion, even though he is a bigot and exhibits behaviour one would naturally associate with his right wing political enemies , the military industrial complex, finance etc, which is understandable to a degree.
His bigotry and other offensive behaviour suggests his more democratic policies are not to be believed but then media bias has to be considered.
The Hitler comparison is tempting but Trump is not expansionist so any damage would be felt mainly by US citizens. If the US left its international military agendas who or what would fill the void? an enormous change in world politics.
# We shouldn't expect an objective viewpoint if that is even possible for a man as Trump is portrayed.
10 Mar 2016 11:55:19am
Governments, including ours have been for years party to the inequality that has caused the general anger with politicians that gives people like Trump such support.
Millions of people will never see the sort of increase in income that our leaders of industry enjoy.
Do you think that Trump will suddenly distribute his wealth to the poor?
10 Mar 2016 11:57:04am
Not sure I agree with the French Revolution analogy. American's are angry, but
not so much at the 'system' and more with the way the people in all the various positions of power are using / abusing the system - American's still believe in the fundamentals of their system of government.
Son of Zaky:
10 Mar 2016 1:11:13pm
The French Revolution analogy is indeed not the right one.
A better "analogy" would be any period in human history except the few brief decades after the Second Word War.
Unfortunately, humans have become conditioned to think that "democracy", "equality", and "fairness" are somehow now ensconced as part of our genetic make-up. They aren't. They never were. Humans are pretty ugly things when stripped of the thin veneer of civility they seem to think is many layers thick. For most of human history there has been rampant disparity in wealth and power between those at the top (the few) and those at the bottom (the many). Feuding princes and warrior kings ran the show. They're back, although some are struggling to pick this up given they don't look like how feuding princes and warrior kings used to look like.
What we have had is a few, brief decades of self-delusion and are now on the path to return to type. The myth of future-predicting shows like Star Trek is that given time we'd all be walking around wearing coloured skivvies with an air of contented egalitarianism spreading logic and morality everywhere; I think it likely be that instead it will turn out that we end up as being a low-rent version of the Klingons in that scenario.
What we had required "eternal vigilance" to keep. We lost interest in doing that (people with too much got too easily always lose track of what is and isn't important), and perhaps now are hoping for an app or some form of AI to do it for us instead. That won't work, and we'll end up being the generation that performed the ultimate in retro and chose to go back to the Dark Ages.
Sad really. Although anyone with an understanding of what humans actually are would tell you it wouldn't be unexpected.
10 Mar 2016 2:54:09pm
Human beings are so gullible.
Or quoting someone else "Why is it that human beings are so incredibly stupid?"
I once saw a documentary about famous magicians and illusionists. I heard one of the commenters in the doco say this:
"No matter how smart you are and how intelligent you are, you can be tricked."
Look at some of the U.S. presidential candidates who are still running around talking about "The American Dream" in their campaign speeches.
And most people believe that it is possible and achievable with hard work and honesty. Hah! :)
10 Mar 2016 3:12:01pm
SoZ, I absolutely agree - you are 100% correct.
What we might be seeing is a form of entropy - of the kind that sort of happened (although it was more fable than real) during the fall of the original Roman Republic as it devolved into a Imperial system.
10 Mar 2016 11:58:34am
"Trump's audience is angry. So angry, it can barely see through the red fog. That anger, as I've explained, is real and it has cause. It is founded in a sense of irretrievable loss and hopeless, helpless despair. Visit the Rust Belt and you'll understand just how deep it goes. Meanwhile, the excesses of glossy, corporatised America power on and, it seems, the bad guys never go to jail."
Perhaps we should stop bagging Trump and the Americans and start looking at ourselves. I don't think we are that far removed.
10 Mar 2016 11:59:22am
As someone voting for the Democratic Party's nominee in this US election via absentee ballot, I totally concur with Mr Bradley that the comparison of Trump with a fascist dictator is senseless, and it distracts the infotainment-filled media from making an in-depth analysis of Ted Cruz who is the most extreme rightwing-evangelical-idealogue-warmonger standing in this election. Having served as a US Air Rescue Officer in Vietnam, I can attest that the threat made recently by Cruz to "carpet bomb" ISIS in Syria and Iraq until they find out whether "the sand glows" is unhinged as a military strategy, let alone the inhumanity of it.
Contrast this with Trump not only making harsh criticisms of the NeoCon's disastrous foreign policy of regime changes, but specifically accusing Pres. W. Bush of having lied to the world about Saddam's possession of WMD during the Primary Debate in So. Carolina, a Republican Party stronghold with a significant number of both active and retired military. Trump's solid victory in that state forced Jeb Bush to drop out despite his super-rich supporters spending far in excess of $100 million in advertising, which was 6 times what Trump spent.
Trump's economic policy shares a similar goal to Clinton and Sanders of rebuilding America's woefully deteriorated infrastructure, even if his methods would be far less advantageous for the workers on these projects. A fair chunk of public funds will be required to build Trump's border wall (which Mexico won't pay for until Hell freezes over). Cruz is fanatically opposed to any non-military government expenditures because his primary goal is to whittle the tax bill paid by corporations and rich folks down to 19th Century levels. E. g., Cruz considers it diabolical for Trump to promise that his government's health policies would never allow sick people to die in the streets.
Given the singular ratbaggery of the current Republican Senators, it is a notable that Cruz has so quickly become the most rabid and divisive member of that chamber, who's widely detested by his colleagues. Anyone familiar with the infamous witch-hunting paranoia-filled era of Sen. Joseph McCarthy will recognise the analogous duplicitous tactics and demagoguery which destroyed careers and often the lives of many thousands of innocent Americans. However, McCarthy was an absent-minded alcoholic which helped journalists like Edward R. Murrow to eventually expose McCarthy on a television network, whereas Cruz is both abstemious and incisive in debate, as expected from a former national collegiate tournament champion while graduating Cum Laude at Princeton (where John Kenneth Galbraith, for example, had been a professor).
Now that Marco Rubio's campaign has driven off a cliff, the Republican elites and millionaire's PACs are, reluctantly, going to pour vast advertising funds into securing the nomination for Cruz at their now-likely contested (or more to the
10 Mar 2016 7:20:51pm
Interesting and informative comment-thanks. About time someone was critical of US led and Aussie followed 'interventions".
My question is how will Trump fund his policies and what does he intend to replace Obama Care with.?
10 Mar 2016 12:13:53pm
It is not possible to compare the two. We didn't find out about Hitler until the damage was already done.
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 12:45:45pm
Yeah, for Trump it could also be known as "innocent until proven guilty".
The ABC forgives Stalin for countless millions of deaths over a longer period than the Nazis, but hangs Trump with the Nuremburg noose before he is even elected?
Now, lets wait for the equally balanced and rational hatchet job on Bernie Sanders and Clinton. The ABC are bound by a requirement to be balanced, so these articles must be turning up soon.....
10 Mar 2016 1:07:21pm
The ABC forgives Stalin for countless millions of deaths over a longer period than the Nazis, but hangs Trump with the Nuremburg noose before he is even elected?
How did you arrive at this seriously unhinged sentence ?
The Other John:
10 Mar 2016 2:46:32pm
The very fact that you will never, ever read an ABC article which associates the likes of Lee Rhiannon with her wonderlust for all things Stalinist USSR or labels the Greens as being potentially as deranged as Stalins regime. The ABC clearly supports Rhiannon's ideals, her education from Moscow and her openly and oft stated support for a regime which murdered millions of its own people. Yet not once has the leftist ABC ever thought to liken the Greens with their close allies the Communists, even when one of the Greens own is a self confessed Stalinist.
Enter Donald Trump. Conservative political party and the ABC is straight into the Hitler analogy.
10 Mar 2016 12:14:20pm
"Apart from this thing, this other thing, and this long list of yet more things - including the things that people actually care about and worry about the most - they're nothing alike."
Thanks for that Michael. I especially liked the part where you claimed the two are nothing alike because Germany had crushing economic statistics and a humiliating reparations debt, then went on to claim that Trump supporters aren't angry because they're rabid conservatives - it's because of...wait for it...economic and despair over their loss of global military status. No overlap there at all.
Don't give up your law job. I suspect this kind of wilful ignorance to the obvious through endless and questionable hair splitting is exactly what you need to defend people you know are guilty.
10 Mar 2016 12:16:08pm
An excellent article which goes to the heart of the reason for the anger in America- an anger which has and is spreading all through the Western world.
The lady who shirt fronted Turnbull yesterday was expressing the anger felt by Australians.
'He play the cards on racism, misogyny, inclusion/exclusion, demonisation of The Other in whatever from is momentarily convenient to manipulate the elevated emotion of the mob he has attracted".
Is that not what Hitler did?i And is there not an insignificant number of American who believe in their 'exceptionalism" as the Aryans did?
One hopes there are a greater number of 'good people" who will not fall for his 'Trumpeting" and will not remain silent as the good people of Germany did.
We have our fair share of mob mind sets - one Tony Abbott honed into and to the dismay of many one which Malcolm Turnbull has not sought to counter.
There is an interesting battle going on between the failed economic liberalism of the industrial/military/ financial complex which has brought the world to it knees and alternatives of Sanders- Corbyn- Trump and Cruz.
One knows where Hillary stands- she is funded by Wall Street- she is part of the establishment, as is our Prime Minister,
The alternatives have yet to be detailed. It is all very well to be against a failed ideology but the alternative needs to be designed and communicated.
That is where Trump, Cruz, Sanders, the UK's Corbyn and our own Shorten need to step up and fill in the vacuum.
10 Mar 2016 12:23:26pm
You write; "He plays the cards of racism, misogyny, inclusion/exclusion, demonisation of The Other in whatever form is momentarily convenient, to manipulate the elevated emotions of the mob he has attracted and keep his face plastered all over the news. He wants to be president."
Is this not exactly what Hitler did? You, sir, have demolished your own argument.
Action and Reaction:
10 Mar 2016 12:26:30pm
This is a very interesting analysis of the situation. How ironic that the man 'the mob' turns to is actually the absolute epitome of the broken system they have had for decades. He is a super-capitalist, exactly they type of person who has caused all of America's problems. He knows how to play the crowd, but he doesn't have the tools to fix the problems. If anyone has the tools it is Bernie Sanders. He represents the 'little people'. He understands their problems and he understands what needs to be done to fix them. If the 'mob' would just take some time to think about things, instead of giving Trump a big 'Sieg Heil', America might be able to start fixing some of its problems.
10 Mar 2016 12:29:48pm
The US has been reflective of nazi Germany for over a decade now, and Australia has not been far behind.
10 Mar 2016 12:34:43pm
A confusing, misguided article which actually has done more to convince me there are disturbing similarities between the two than to demonstrate that comparisons are inapt.
Hitler inflamed nationalistic Germans into thinking they needed to rise up, pretty similarly to how Trump promotes a wall building, oil keeping 'make America great again' American nationalism.
"... an unemployment rate of about 30 per cent. It had been bankrupted by the First World War, the reparations bill imposed by the Allies, and then the Great Depression."
Is exactly the same as:
"The anger in America [that] has been building for decades..." from the "...sense of irretrievable loss and hopeless, helpless despair..." in areas such as the rust belt.
And any differences are clearly semantic, in the same way that you would be being trivial to suggest that blaming Jews for bad economic circumstances was different to Trump's declarations that Mexicans are rapists and that their illegal immigration is the reason for the US's problems. Surely you see that?
10 Mar 2016 12:36:29pm
Trump is a jerk, but he is a jerk of America's own making.
The GOP have spent the last 15 years focusing on wedge issues, trying to find ways to split groups apart. That's how GW Bush won.
The problem is that it also gave rise to splinter groups like the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, and now Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz. People are angry with the establishment - and its also why Marco Rubio cannot get a look-in anywhere.
The thing is though, Republicans will never see the White House with either Trump or Cruz as the nominee, they are too polarizing and too radical. They will garner the angry vote, but that won't be enough to get a win.
10 Mar 2016 4:15:49pm
Obama is a jerk, but he is a jerk of America's own making.
10 Mar 2016 12:43:46pm
This is the think about democracy. If a person is getting popular support they are usually taping into a seam of popular concern.
By dismissing the popular person as a raciest, sexist, or any other "ist" you then don't have to listen to engage with or explain the popular concerns.
By dismissing the people who have those concerns you entrench them in their position and make conversation discussion impossible and make it impossible to convince them of your point of view.
10 Mar 2016 12:45:05pm
This appears to be a very conflicted article full of contradictions.
On one hand, the author tries to argue for all the factual reasons why the bulk of American voters appear to be rebelling against the established corporate and political classes.
On the other hand, he is saying they have turned into a "mob", with a mentality devoid of rationality and objectivity.
So which is it? Have the majority of American's got factual and objective reasons to back the "outsiders" or have they all just turned into a crazy mob? You can't argue it both ways.
Rather than deliver a clear message, the article reads more like an outlet for a multitude of ideological views and opinions.
10 Mar 2016 1:35:24pm
They want a leader.
They want someone to actually do something for them.
Billy Bob Hall:
10 Mar 2016 12:56:38pm
There effectively nothing in common.
Even a zombie would be able to work that out.
10 Mar 2016 12:56:48pm
Watch what happens when The Don gets turfed, either in a shafting at the Republican convention or in the presidential election. Vive la revolution...!
Still like to see Sanders V Trump. That would be hilarious. WWIII would start right there.
10 Mar 2016 1:01:42pm
Trump is the USA version of Silvio Berlusconi. A flamboyant capitalist egotist appealing to the disaffected masses. That did not work out so good for Italy.....they were just sick of corrupt professional politicians and wanted a corrupt private citizen for a change.
Fortunately for the world Italy was not the owner of enough militarized nuclear weaponry to dissolve the earth 10 times over, plus the Italians did not really want to rule the world.....
10 Mar 2016 1:13:34pm
Hitler-like salute...what a load of crap. Hasn't anyone ever heard that the customary way of making a binding pledge is to "raise your right hand and repeat after me..."??? Or haven't these clowns ever been willing to commit to making such a pledge?
10 Mar 2016 1:28:16pm
He is a great man with a great family. Its why the cultural marxist media despises him.
10 Mar 2016 1:30:12pm
As bad as Hitler was I do think he is unfairly maligned at times by those of the left who are obsessed with him. I suppose breaking a treaty with their idol Stalin did it. After all as bad as Hitler was he wasn't as bad as Stalin. Hitler did not kill as many for starters or create as much fear in his own population. Yet Stalin never rates a mention in these sort of comparisons. But I suppose Stalin is loved and admired by many who strangely forget the millions he killed, his hatred and the persecutions of others he committed or do they admire ther persecution, murder and vilification of others who they perceive as their 'class enemies.' I think we all know the answer to lefts attitudes towards others so if Trump was perceived as being from the left his failings would be ignored even if he really wanted to murder others or would it be class cleansing which is acceptable to those of the left.
10 Mar 2016 2:09:23pm
"As bad as Hitler was I do think he is unfairly maligned at times by those of the left who are obsessed with him. I suppose breaking a treaty with their idol Stalin did it."
"No I think it was the Enabling Act of 1933 that did it, it gave Hitler unrestrained power and the first concentration camp was created at Dachau that same year. His regime killed or imprisoned 10s of thousands of intellectuals and communists, anyone who might be a threat, like on the Night of the Long Knives in June 1934.
Hitler ordered the massacre of the left-wing Strasserist faction of the Nazi Party (NSDAP), along with its figurehead, Gregor Strasser and leaders of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the paramilitary Brownshirts, and prominent conservative anti-Nazis such as former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher and Gustav Ritter von Kahr, who had suppressed Adolf Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.
10 Mar 2016 3:51:28pm
It is probably also to try to cover for the fact that Hitler's Nazis and their accompanying ideology were predominantly to almost exclusively from the left of politics. By pretending that Nazism is an ideology of the right, the left avoids scrutiny of their policies as potentially being akin to those of Hitler. Thus for example, Hitler's policies in relation to capital gains and other "unearned" income have a lot in common with Labor's approach; the primary difference being that Hitler was for taking the lot, whereas Shorten just wants to take as much as he can get away with.
The other difference was that Hitler was smart enough to just use these leftist policies to attract in supporters; he was never dumb enough to implement them. On the other hand, I am sure Shorten will.
10 Mar 2016 4:42:50pm
Spud give it up, Hitler's Nazis were ultra-right Fascists, not socialists. Hitler did not nationalise industry, in fact his war preperations were financed by that most capitalist of instruments, a Ponzi scheme.
He took orders and deposits for his people's car, the KdF-Wagen but never delivered.
The Third Eye:
10 Mar 2016 4:50:35pm
The Holodomor, the man made famine to stave the Ukraine ordered by Stalin, and the work of the death squads are well documented along with the identity of the key figures. However, as you imply it is rarely spoken about and certainly rarely studied.
If the principles of the Nuremberg trials were applied to all parties then there would have been many more brought to justice for war crimes, and not just the Soviets.
The left are in complete denial of history and unfortunately truth is the victim when history is politicised.
10 Mar 2016 1:32:36pm
"Trump's audience is angry. So angry, it can barely see through the red fog. That anger, as I've explained, is real and it has cause."
I love it when a left wing minority author explains the reasons behind the right wing majority angst. It shows the level of fantasia they live in.
Well being one of the latter I will tell you why people are angry, its because of the left wing idealism, politically correct, mysandrist bullying that we are all now subject to.
The systematic degradation of a people at the behest of loud mouth whinging minority groups who care for nothing but themselves, appreciate nothing they have received at the expense of those who they complain about, and through arrogance fed by ignorance set about destroying the safety and proud nation our forefathers have built.
It is no coincidence that the decline of the west has come about at the same time these left wing, multiculturalist views have become the norm! Without a strong west the problems of the world will 10 fold.
10 Mar 2016 4:29:44pm
Thanks for clarifying that: so it is racism and misogyny, and all because you cannot stand for anyone else to have equal rights to yours. How sad you must be, wallowing in misery and hate.
10 Mar 2016 4:35:56pm
So they are angry because of left wing idealism, politicallyl correct and mysandrist bullying.
Nothing to do with the fact the disappearance of jobs, middle class, livable wages, honesty, integrity and all the other values which made a 'good life.
I think it is you who refuses to see the truth who is living in fantasy land.
10 Mar 2016 5:32:20pm
"Nothing to do with the fact the disappearance of jobs, middle class, livable wages, honesty, integrity and all the other values which made a 'good life"
What do you think has caused those issues?
As for honesty and integrity, a little displayed by the left wing side would be a change!
10 Mar 2016 6:04:54pm
Predatory capitalism. Certainly not left wing idealism .
10 Mar 2016 1:33:43pm
Comparing Trump with Hitler shows just how sick the socialist minds have become.
Trump could not possibly cause as much havoc as the present incumbent has - nationally and internationally.
Obama's racial healing has been disgusting.
10 Mar 2016 2:59:19pm
The only havoc was caused by Republicans who blocked supply and any attempt at reform. Obama meanwhile got on with, delivered universal health care, raised school academic standards, legislated pay parity for women, legalised same-sex marriage, saving the US auto industry. adding nearly four million jobs, reduced unemployment to 5% and the Bush legacy deficits by two thirds.
The Third Eye:
10 Mar 2016 1:36:52pm
No mention of the fact that after the Nazi's came to power there was a huge turnaround in the economic fortunes of the country, which was not a result of a war economy, but left the rest of the world behind. There are some very important lessons here if only we can keep rational when discussing it, but we have always been handicapped by a fact illustrated by what Churchill stated, "the winners write the history."
I agree with the comparison of France 1789, the people understand how the system works and who it benefits, change cannot happen with a mere change in president, the establishment needs to fall.
10 Mar 2016 4:31:38pm
You mean war and conquest and the murder of six million innocent men, women, and children are to be morally discounted by an economic turnaround? Nice version of rationality.
10 Mar 2016 1:45:12pm
If Ronald Reagan could become US President then I guess that even Trump could get elected.
If Americans are upset at Obama's inability to get legislation past the Republican majority, they are going to be pulling their hair out at Trump trying to get issues past both Democrats AND a Republican House that are not happy with him.
10 Mar 2016 4:35:50pm
Reagan wasn't stupid, and he'd been governor of California previously. He may have slid into dementia earlier than anyone admitted and may have been a bigot and presided over the creation of a tremendous deficit and engineered the rise of the religious right that eventually gave us the Tea Party and the Trump golem, but he wasn't crass, he wasn't stupid.
But I agree: neither a continued Republican Congressional majority nor a Democratic-controlled Senate (it'll be a long time before they take back the House) will cooperate with the Trump agenda.
fed up senior:
10 Mar 2016 1:46:50pm
Get used to it. The rise and fall of empires is well documented. From my personal exposure on 2 recent visits to the US the "people" are capable of mob behaviour, have a sense of entitlement, have lost all contact with the political class and do not understand the rest of the world. When the British and French empires dissolved they did so gracefully in the main. Both societeis and long and essentially evolutionary developments. The US borne of revolution and civil war less so and its dissolution may therefore be more violent for us all.
10 Mar 2016 4:37:22pm
It took decades of armed struggle to "dissolve" French and British colonies in Africa and southeast Asia.
10 Mar 2016 2:05:46pm
It is interesting to speculate as to what a Trump Presidency may mean to Australian politics. Trump is very much non-establishment, non conformist and against the excesses of political correctness. I suspect we need just such a creature in Australia.
If Trump succeeds in the US, just watch the rise of "me too's" in Australia and Europe.
Hopefully the days of political correctness and being frightened of shadows may be coming to an end. Replaced with robust actions by robust people. The chaos emerging from this reformation will create opportunity and drive growth.
10 Mar 2016 2:05:47pm
I like the parallel with the French Revolution. As you say, the upper class brought / will bring it on themselves.
10 Mar 2016 2:08:53pm
A couple of points. America is not Australia - the US has around the lowest social mobility in the rich world, about half that of Australia, It's about the same as tjhe UK, and we all know about the depth of the British class structure. Some would argue that this low mobility is evident in the American fascination with celebrity. Perhaps white Trump supporters are not all "collateral damage" racists since they have black popular culture to contend with, the most successful in history and of course the galling fact that of a black president who, for that reason, is deeply hated by a substantial element of Trump supporters and the wider population.
10 Mar 2016 2:11:53pm
Yes, and the same can happen here in Australia unless the current Federal government and it's far right-wing conservative members don't disappear for good at the next election.
10 Mar 2016 2:52:39pm
The grubby hand of Trump fits seamlessly in glove of US Imperialism, just a new phase of all out aggression. None of the commentariat have perceived that economic war and trade war against China follows inevitably from an actual war, they are two sides to the same coin. Or vice versa, first the US pulls back from investing in China and then commences an embargo and global war against China's interests. Trump the hawk wants a pivot to Mexico, he will also break apart NAFTA and seek perpetual war with Mexico, outright invasion of Venezuala, he will ramp up military spending, all industrial production will flow back to the US since the US will have few, if any allies left. Unemployment will vanish, ww2 was the solution to the great depression. Trump is no maverick, but a top shelf politician there for a reason.
Clinton the warhawk is just a different strategy, the ponderous von Moltke buildup. Hillary has openly stated that she seeks the dismemberment of the Russian Federation. Clinton is a 'Russia first' politician and it follows on from the Obama strategy. For example the US is building illegal airfields in Syria, its all about a slow buildup around oil fields and numerous threats on Russia's border, it's the death by a thousand cuts strategy. The major energy plays will be Central Asia, Artica and Africa and the pathological Mrs. Clinton will seek to spread her forces like a wall street broker spreading his share options, with most of it in military stocks.
None of this is any good for Australia, which, after all is a Nation that thrives in peace, makes no money from arms exports, is, in fact a major importer of arms. Australia should seek energy self reliance in dangerous times. We should import the most sophisticated weaponary from around the world and seek to reverse engineer it, should be need that knowledge.
10 Mar 2016 3:06:45pm
The comparison that I prefer is the 1983 movie, "The Dead Zone." Martin Sheen played the Trump character.
10 Mar 2016 3:11:33pm
"...he's a shameless populist demagogue with no regard for facts, law, morality or humanity."
Shame ! Forgotten to mention that he has "NO policies" ! Building a wall, as tall as one possibly imagine, to keep the Mexican Amigos away is no policy. Worst of all, asking the Mexicans to pay for it amount to just being silly.
Sure, Trump is able to list all the grievances, and feed on them, to enthuse the supporters. However, to actually be able to fix them, he needs policies. So he dumps on the establishments, but I thought he is actually one of the players in that elite group? How did he make his $4 Billions?
Trump certainly is baiting the lower class which so happens to be form the majority of the society, and I believe also bore the blunt of inequality in USA. Remember what he said about his supporters came from the "very educated" and the "not very educated"? So the middle class, the ones who are well educated, but are copping it left, right and centre, didn't figure in Trump's ledger. He is taking USA to the bottom of the pit, and the mobs follow him.
Hitler did the same with the Jews, the homosexuals, the trampled minorities such as the Gypsies. He identified them as the source of the Germans' pains and suffering, and tell them to "go get them". The mobs, long suffered from poverty and humiliation, are only too keen to help out Hitler's ambitions.
Trump identified the immigrants, especially the Mexicans in particular, for USA's weakening standing in the world. Drugs brought in by the drug cartels rotted American society, so he claims, with substantial validity. However, I thought there is a "supply and demand" going on there? If the Yanks stop taking the rubbish sent over the border, would there still be a problem? Similarly, if the Yanks stop swapping guns for drugs, will the drug cartel see any point in messing around with drugs?
I do believe, whether you like it or not, politicians like Trump will use the "cowboys and Indians" tactic whenever it suits them. Cowboys good. Indians bad. Now that you know who the baddies are, go get them boys !
Remember our very own Pauline Hanson? She harnessed the same groups of highly vocal, but with not much substance. She also identified the baddies, that being the Asians. Now she is on to Arabs and Muslims.
We are in such a fun time, innit ? You bet you are. You bet I am !
10 Mar 2016 3:39:17pm
Michael, the changing political landscape can only benefit the Democrats.
10 Mar 2016 3:48:23pm
Trump's family name is Trumpf he is of German descent recently as 1900s. He can be easily compared to hitler for his style. He is most definitely a fascist in the way he conducts himself. He has openly shown disdain for the rule of law and democracy. The only thing that separates him from these fascists is a matter of degree . Perhaps he is more benign but he certainly fits the category
10 Mar 2016 3:52:30pm
Well well well as much as people are complaining, this is democracy in action. On any other day many would say democracy is the only way. WOW how things change!
10 Mar 2016 3:59:09pm
could it just be that they are both older white men and that demographic controls the media?
Just a tick:
10 Mar 2016 4:57:11pm
Michael Bradley is spot on. The present political classes have every reason to be scared as were the royalists in revolutionary France (1789). Today it is the obscenity of the (as Eisenhower referred to it) military industrial complex and its demonstrated excesses. Then it was Marie Antoinette who gave voice to her views by contributing the famous "let them eat cake" when the poor clamored for unavailable bread. In this regard it would be instructive to read the trilogy of the American political development since WWII written by Professor Chalmers Johnson. Particularly instructive would be his book "Nemesis: the last days of the American Republic." It is lazy to dig around Hitler and Mussolini. To understand the present American situation it would be more fruitful and profitable to dig around the issues raised by Chalmers Johnson. In the meantime their is very little hope of that consequently the rather furious political expressions found at Trump rallies. As Bradley notes correctly look to France 1789.
10 Mar 2016 4:59:50pm
I wonder if Michael Bradley has spoken to anyone in the "mob" of "dumb racist swill". Interest in Trump is piqued by the caricatures drawn by the mainstream media, which are so extreme as to invite scepticism, so people want to see for themselves. They listen to what Trump has said in its context and see as absurd the claims that him calling Rosie O'Donnell fat means that he's a misogynist, or that he thinks all Mexicans are criminals and all Muslims are terrorists, etc. The MSM then gets frustrated and ups the ante, and now it's gone the full Godwin. The real story here is that the MSM has so failed its readers that whatever it says about Trump, readers think the opposite is probably closer to the truth.
10 Mar 2016 5:01:07pm
I'm glad this article points out that Cruz is a far worse prospect than Trump. Cruz is the genuine far-right article, Trump is a... whatever Trump is on the day. At least Trump criticised George W Bush for the incursion into Iraq, proving no-one can get it wrong all the time (except George W Bush, maybe)
What's happening in the US is that after decades of disparaging the role of Government, the Republicans - and their voters - are finally getting the candidates they deserve. Stupidity, xenophobia, self-interest, etcetera, etcetera. May they tear themselves apart and disappear into the bowels of history.
I've met a lot of decent Americans. They were embarrassed by Bush, they're probably embarrassed now. But Hitler? Fascism? Come on. You'd have to know nothing about history to really believe that.
10 Mar 2016 5:07:40pm
I can see the Canadians building a wall to keep the Americans out, if any of them other than Sanders moves into the White House!
10 Mar 2016 5:13:13pm
Evolution requires as much faith to believe as believing that God created everything. Man invented evolution to explain away God but come on. You are all pathetic so call educated? A you sure?
If you so believe you are a product of randomness then you have to believe that morality, right or wrong is relative, evolved and a mean to an end. Most likely develop by a society as a social tool to keep itself together. Killing for example is only wrong depending on a particular society's evolved belief.
Society who deem it wrong and should not therefore get angry or interfere or said its wrong when another society deem it acceptable to use killing for their own end. After all we're product of randomness.
There's no moral code, no universal truth, there's no absolute right or wrong.
A father decide to kill his daughter because he disobey him? Why is that wrong if that's his evolved belief is the only way to keep his family in order? Isn't that what other animal do as well? What makes you believe what you believe is the correct one since all belief evolved and relative?
Why is racism wrong then? Isn't that just your belief to an end and not the other person? If that's the case why do you think that's wrong? Answer me that so called educated and I may be I can believe you.
why do you feel sorry when someone is hurt? Intelligent? What urge you not to kill you neighbor and take his new car? intelligent? The next person is just as intelligent as you but he kills his neighbor and took his car. Why you acted differently? Why is you action considered moral and the other not? Isn't both a justified by evolution survival of the fittest?
Evolution is a joke because it raise more questions than answer. I laugh at people who claimed to be so educated and believe in evolution! You don't have any clue what you're talking about.
10 Mar 2016 6:28:17pm
Ah, 'Evolution Questions' - which side are you on?
As far as I can tell there are TWO eternal truths.
10 Mar 2016 5:14:40pm
The greens and left wing parties are more facsist because they err towards totalitarian. We saw the gillard govt try to shut down the freedom of the press by trying to legislate approved political positions with a best interest test which is code for if we don't like your idea or opinion we will deem it dangerous and illegal. Trump is surging, and to a lesser extent sanders, because they are talking about the issues that concern Americans. Wages for low income people have gone backwards in real terms since 20 years ago. Illegal immigrants and the people that employ them are the cause of this. Muslims are terrorising muslims and non muslims alike all over the world. That is why that is on the agenda. Sanders is offering free college. Many young americans like this policy. By comparing Trump to Hitler people are being ridiculous. Hitler killed 5 million Jews. Trump is on record as wanting a two state solution. Islam is nazism. What was that the Iranians wrote on the missle the other day.
10 Mar 2016 6:26:46pm
Nathan, you have a point there. The Iranians with nuclear warheads - such a worry!
Though with a possible President Trump, who will have his finger on the nuclear button, we could all perish.
No more global warming - just a nuclear winter...
11 Mar 2016 9:56:15am
"left wing parties are fascist"....."Islam is nazism"
If you don't understand what words mean then you probably shouldn't use them
10 Mar 2016 5:46:53pm
I have felt it too.
10 Mar 2016 6:07:35pm
It is a shame that commentators and the media do not see it because one billionaire did and he said keep this up (i.e. No equity or justice) and we will have a revolution.
10 Mar 2016 6:10:18pm
Like Clive Hamilton I much prefer the unpredictability of Trump, to the absolute predictability of Cruz.
10 Mar 2016 6:17:05pm
American's seem to create their own politics, it involves taking issue with topical events or injustices or highlighting local media issues involving racism or social inequality. It comes about because of the lack of enthusiasm to edify national identity. Once the American flag is removed, the 50 odd States thrive individually with parochial identities of their own running independent economies that compare with many developed countries for GDP, they barter and trade with each other and have an autonomous Para Military Police and Judiciary to protect their State borders. Without some sense of consensus for the United States as a collective it is possible for interlopers like Donald Trump to be all things to all people, it's just a process of finding a common thread that appears to be of concern to American's everywhere. American's are a victim of their own cultural isolationism and self satisfied avarice they do not see further than the lives they covet and the narrow belief structure they conform to.
10 Mar 2016 6:18:01pm
Once we get a free trade deal with India we will be able to enjoy legal services at 30% of the current going rate. Once this happens Mr. Bradley will understand.
10 Mar 2016 7:06:30pm
You do not need a free trade deal. Accountancy and legal firms already get work done in India and the Philippines for less than %10 an hour- but charge their Australian clients out at $250+ an hour.
In 1997 when commenting of the downsides of globalisation Sir James Goldsmith said ' the poor and working poor in developed and developing countries will subsidise the rich in both'"
Do you understand Ralph?
10 Mar 2016 6:42:23pm
Another Guthrie-inspired opinion piece. If I wanted to read crap like this I would have clicked on news.com.au. Please keep Aunty free of your capitalist propaganda, Michelle.
10 Mar 2016 6:44:01pm
I don't know about Trump being Hitler, but I am seeing a lot of nazi ideals being sprouted.
1920-30:- the world in the grip of an economic down turn where the perpetrators were getting away with it. The costs of previous wars have been building up. We get scapegoats being put forward on who caused these problems ( not the real cause ). Many so-called leaders agreeing with them.
2000-10 ongoing:- the world in the grip of an economic down turn.......
10 Mar 2016 6:57:21pm
"..... a putative leader comes along who speaks the language of their rage and promises to speak brutal, impolitic truth to that power; then if that leader understands the emotional levers of his audience, he can turn it into a mob and wield its force for his own ends."
Perhaps a more frank interpretation of this would be that Trump may not himself be a bigot of the kind he appears to be, but rather a cynical manipulator playing on citizens' baser emotions to further his political ambitions.
Lifelong Republicans I have heard speak of his campaign from within the USA are saying that, weird as this feels to them, they'll vote for Clinton and cheer when she wins if the only alternative is Trump.
Erick Quang :
10 Mar 2016 7:11:50pm
Prosperity for the world once Donald trumps Clinton and becomes the best president the US has ever had.
10 Mar 2016 7:36:04pm
This analysis is pretty much spot on.
10 Mar 2016 7:38:58pm
According to the song, Hitler had only one left ....
Mr Trump has already discussed his small, well-manicured hands - if invited, I'm sure he'll apprise us all of how he compares in that region.
10 Mar 2016 8:09:13pm
The comparisons to Hitler relate to Trump's blatant fascism. Your argument is, itself, lazy and one sided. You have a specific agenda, which is to disprove a link between Trump and Hitler and, of course, you can do it because...hindsight. About 24% of America's population is 'working poor'. People with no hope of getting ahead and who are feeling disenfranchised. Not so different to Germany in the 30s. The racism, crowd hysteria, anger at black people and muslims are all exploited blatantly by Trump. Dismissing the link between Trump and Hitler is naive at best, and potentially very dangerous.
10 Mar 2016 8:09:13pm
In the late 1930's British intelligence made a psychological profile of Hitler which although over looked at the time turned out to be prescience. Hitler would be around for the applause but retreat when things got tough.
I predict Trump will turn the White House into a bunker. We will see Credlin's M. O. write very very large.
10 Mar 2016 9:19:18pm
Oh please. What swill.
The parallels, accurately spelt out here, are precisely why this IS a fascist uprising comparable to Hitler. No one is realistically suggesting this will end in genocide or quests of world domination, but the anger, despair, desperation and mob mentality are all there for Trumps taking, which he is doing so with a flair not unlike Hitler, as Michael rightly points out.
This is a self defeating argument. It is a legitimate comparison. Just because the context and goals of Trump are different does not negate this fact.
What a waste of print. Blow me down...
10 Mar 2016 11:08:45pm
Well done, Michael - you have absolutely hit the nail on the head. As well as France, circa 1789, may I also suggest looking at Russia, Circa 1917 as a precedent. Both the French and Russian revolutions offer a crucial lesson in the art of successful government: look after your peasants, and for God's sake, whatever you do, on no account should a government ever spook them. There are few things in this world more dangerous than a hungry, frightened, angry mob, something Louis and Nicholas both had to learn the hard way.
With successive governments that have lied to them, talked down to them, stood by and watched while they have been shamelessly exploited by big business, is it any wonder that many people are frightened - frightened of not finding or keeping jobs and not being able to get by, while the rich have it better than ever, At the risk of coming across as a socialist, which I'm not (I'm actually - I'd like to think - a reasonable conservative), the Donald Trumps of this world are empowered by the indifference of the elite to the plight of the peasants, as was the case in France and Russia.
The key to beating Trump is by actually taking care of the American peasants and reassuring them, and believe me, trump DOES need to be stopped. This would involve the elite being a little more humble and generous.
10 Mar 2016 11:55:32pm
The leftist media are really are scared stiff that another conservative politician is going to rule in the world. In Poland Kaczynski, in Hungry Orban they all are being branded fascists only because they strongly and effectively oppose to the left. This time Hilary Clinton is going to loose and the united forces of modern socialism are shaking with fear. This is a good herald. The new winds of change are coming. The pagan and godless European Union is crumbling up. Wow.
11 Mar 2016 3:07:00am
What is really sad is that Bradley thinks he is actually in touch with US reality but, like every has a bottom, Bradley also has opinions. The only thing is that no matter which way one looks at it, his stinks no matter how much perfume one applies.
11 Mar 2016 8:14:18am
How does the comparison between Hitler and Trump differ from "any other politician" and Hitler - seems to be a prerequisite for the job.
11 Mar 2016 9:27:04am
Bradley's column is so deeply disappointing, it beggars belief. The obtuse oversimplification of America as a country of the rich elite exploiting the masses is so blase, so mediocre, so self-indulgent, it reeks. Yes, many points are valid. Yes, much is wrong. Yet to extrapolate therefrom statements such as "The key to beating Trump is by actually taking care of the American peasants and reassuring them, and believe me, trump DOES need to be stopped. This would involve the elite being a little more humble and generous."
The irony is that Bradley's mob-logic bears within itself an inherent elitism - he the sage outsider who declares masses an irrational, unthinking mob.
While Bradley may experience a certain level of self-satisfaction and self-aggrandisement from his contrived prose, it does nothing to further constructive debate on the issues society faces on a global scale. Income inequality, to name only one, is NOT a singularly American concern. (And to those who are swift to counter that America has outsourced this malaise to the world - how many of you own shares, direct or indirect in the companies that if not further, then at least do not work to alleviate these problems).
As we seem to have sunken to a level of platitudes and dubious historical references, how about a reminding ourselves that the healthy democratic process is based on constructive debate. As such, Bradley's column does nothing to further that. Quite the contrary. A fact arguably reinforced by the nature of most of the comments here.
Unsurprisingly, Bradley fails to address the simple fact that Trump supporters do not represent a majority. Yes, Bradley makes some very valid comments on some key issues Trump successfully plays on. Yet how Bradley extrapolates from that to a sweeping damnation of a country, is nothing more, and nothing less than the application of exactly the same demagogy Trump applies.
Alas, addressing issues in a manner that actually help us move forward doesn't make for a 'sexy' column.
11 Mar 2016 9:33:12am
Agree the establishment must look inside, they wont, its about preserving their privilidge and money/power, the thought of that loss is where their fear arises.
Trump is not dumb but not so smart as to knowingly manipulate- he's stumbled into 'what works in this market' as modus operandi crass and shallow opinionation happen to be what a lot of disaffected voters enjoy hearing at in this moment, more luck than artifice for mine
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Source : http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-10/bradley-what-trump-does-and-doesnt-have-in-common-with-hitler/7233930