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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Mom, Dad…Why Did You Allow It To Happen?

I asked that question when I was an adolescent. We had just learned about a part of the youngest history. In fact, it was just 20 years earlier that WWII had come to an end. Thanks to the Allied Forces.

But back to my question: WHY??
The answer is simple: Media, mostly newspapers at the time. but also Radio, was dominated and controlled by an emerging demagogue. His name was Adolf Hitler, and he wasn’t even born in Germany, but became a German citizen as an adult. General education in the population was low.  People were dissatisfied with their government, the economy and generally nobody helping them out of their misery.

I just came across the following article which made my old question look so up-to-date, and it seems that future generations will have to ask that same question again.


By David Leonhardt 
One day, Americans who were too young to have followed the 2016 campaign will look back and try to make sense of it. They will want to know how such a dangerous person could have gotten so close to the presidency — a man who spoke of abandoning our allies, admiring foreign despots, weakening constitutional rights, and serially molesting women.

Those future adults may also pose a more personal question to their elders:

Mommy and Daddy, what did you do in response to Donald Trump?

It will be a fair question. The reality is, Trump could still win. It is unlikely, yes, but the gift he received from a surprisingly bumbling F.B.I. shows that campaigns aren’t over until they’re over.

With seven days left, it is not too late for anyone alarmed by Trump to get involved. As it happens, Trump himself has pointed toward the best way to do so. Again and again, he has attempted to undermine democratic legitimacy, be it inviting foreign interference or flirting with voter intimidation.

The right response to anti-democracy is more democracy. It’s also the way to defeat Trump. His paths to the presidency depend on large third-party vote shares and low turnout.

Fortunately, we know a lot more about how to encourage democratic participation than even a decade ago, thanks to a flowering of research in psychology and political science. Here, then, is a how-to guide for fighting Trumpism:

First, obviously, you should vote. You knew that, but many people who intend to vote become waylaid — by a traffic jam, a sick kid or a work meeting. Make a detailed plan now, about when and where you will vote.

Voting plans increase voter turnout. In an experiment by David Nickerson and Todd Rogers, involving tens of thousands of phone calls, some people received a vague encouragement to vote. They were no more likely to vote than people who received no call. Other people received calls asking questions about their logistical plans — and became significantly more likely to vote. The questions nudged them.

Second, tell other people about your plan, and ask about theirs. The power of peer pressure increases voter turnout. One aggressive experiment mailed people a sheet of paper with their own turnout history and their neighbors’. A more gentle experiment presented Facebook users with head shots of their friends who had posted an update about having voted. Both increased turnout, as have many other experiments.

You don’t need an intricate effort to influence people, though. Post your own voting plan to Facebook, and ask your friends to reply with theirs. Text or call relatives in swing states and ask about their voting plans. Do the same when you see friends.

And when people tell you their plan, don’t just nod and smile. Say that you expect to hear from them after they’ve executed their plan. “Social pressure is mighty persuasive,” says Carolyn DeWitt, president of Rock the Vote.

Third, with the people you feel most comfortable, consider taking the risk of talking politics. I’m well aware of how awkward the subject can be. I come from a close and politically diverse family, and we avoid politics at most gatherings.

But this election is different. Trump threatens American values, threatens America’s interests and — as is clear from the financial markets’ dire view of a Trump presidency — threatens the economy.

It’s worth reminding undecided voters in your life about who he is: what he has said about prisoners of war and the disabled, how he has humiliated women, how he has promoted online racism and anti-Semitism. Almost everybody loves somebody who is part of a group that Donald Trump has demeaned.

If you do talk politics, you’ll have a lot of company. In each of the last three presidential campaigns, at least 40 percent of adults tried to influence someone else’s vote, according to the American National Election Studies.

12 comments:

  1. Many Americans like Donald J Trump. As an American, the last and wrong person to hold our Oval Office is another Clinton. Many Americans well remember the Clintons, not just one - but both. We don't need, nor want them. They are dishonest, mean and cruel as well. Let's not forget, the sex that was held in our oval office when Clintons were in the WH the last time. The fact that Hillary shamed the women who came forward leaves HER no room to talk about the people's choice, Donald Trump. As an American, I am tired, wore out from working 18 plus hours a day trying to provide just simple basics that must be skimped on because most of my earnings go to taxes, which are WASTED and spent on illegals. So, as an American, I ask you- the northern neighbor to pray that Clinton does not win the election because we as a Country will be NO MORE.

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    1. I guess that makes it alright to vote for a man who is not only conspiring with the enemy, but also has expressed the most awful opinion about women, and coloured people, a man who has incited to violence, who is so loudmouthed that even people in Europe and the rest of the world are scared to death by the prospect of having him anywhere near the nuclear codes. F""king women across the table makes HIM a great role model for your kids too. I am very sorry to tell you that there are extremely few Canadians who would ever support a candidate like DJT for the highest office in the country, and that includes me. We might not have the greatest Prime Minister of all times, but at least he's not a villain.

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    2. I'm very confused. If you are paying most of you income in taxes,(more than 51%?) Your income must be really high! Even Trump doesn't pay that much. Your definition of "simple basics" must be much different than mine.
      I sure don't advocate voting for Hillary either, but history is doomed to repeat itself when we don't learn lessons from it. The only difference between Trump and Hitler is their names.

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  2. I think you are perhaps listening to too much media. The Clintons are big bribers, they pay people well. They do beg favors for favors. There is NO PROOF of several things you state. Thank goodness my kids are adults and they remember the last of the Clinton sex scandals well, they remember the impeachment hearings well and yes, they were taught past history too. Everyone should be afraid because if Trump wins the election, he and other Republicans are going to put an end to a number of things that are actually hurting us Americans. We do not need to be paying our government over half of each dollar we earn. We do not need to support illegals in our Country. What does Canada do with illegals??????? We do not need SOCIALIZED Medical Care or a SOCIALZIED Country for that matter. So many of us are tired of supporting people who do not support our Country. Just remember, when you travel to the USA, even for a simply shopping trip - I worked hard, my disabled family member went without something as simple as an A&W root beer float to pay my federal taxes that helped pave the damn highway you travel to the store of your choice! I and millions more, want Trump as the next President because we are SICK OF THE SAME OLD PEOPLE DOING NOTHING BUT COLLECTING BIG PAY IN WASHINGTON DC.

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    1. If you are sick of the same old people, at least vote for someone who appears to be honest. Gary Johnson would be a much better choice.

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  3. Come on...no proof you say? Trump himself has stated that he grabbed women by the P.....He even apologized for using these crude words and he also stated publicly that Mexicans are rapists and that women need to be treated as shit. He talks about HIS OWN daughter being a piece of ass. And you want that man to represent the United States of America??? You gotta be kidding. The U.S. is the laughing stock of the whole world right now. Dictators of the world, like Kim Jun Un and Putin are looking forward to play Trump like a puppet who will make America weak again.

    I do understand your frustration with greedy politicians though. But you can find them in every government around the world. If you look for complete honesty you gotta find yourself a different planet, because earth is not the right place to look for it.
    You don't like socialism? Do you know what it is like to live under socialism? Have you lived in another country? The U.S. and Canada are both countries where socilaism is entirely absent. I have lived in Norway for 25 years and if there ever was a socialist country in the western world it is Norway. Most astonishingly, their economy is one of the best in the world. For years they have been and still are ranking in the top layer of the best countries to live in. Yes, I follow with all media - worldwide. If YOU don't receive your information from media, and I mean not ONLY FOX NEWS, then I don't know how you got to your conclusions. I have never said that Hillary will make a super president, but I think this time it is about to save the country from destruction and a villain.
    We disagree over a lot of things but I want to thank you for this exchange.

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  4. I would just like to add one thing about the state of great country. Sunday evening I watched a show on CNN with Anthony Bourdain. He visits different cities all over the world and generally look to find out what is transpiring.
    This show, he was in Houston Texas. About 1/3 of the population consists of immigrants from India, Africa, Central America, Mexico, and Vietnam. These folks all came here 20-40 years ago. None had a penny to their name, nor could they speak a word of English. Most of the now have started businesses, or have good jobs. They own homes, have children. They are all fluent in English and most of their children have earned degrees and make good living. So many of us are unwilling to do what theses immigrants did. Now we have at least one candidate who would discourage the types of opportunity we have taken for granted.

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  5. Peter and Bea'
    I fully agree with your analysis and have voted accordingly. People who believe that Hillary would purposely use her private emails to harm our citizens are wrong in my view. Trump is a loose cannon and does in my view correlate with Hitler.

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  6. Peter and Bea,
    I agree with you completely, it is so sad that there are so many so blind that will not see. I have not seen such a spoiled brat and bully that is Trump. Please my southern neighbours, think very,very carefully and think very deeply before giving your vote to this egomaniac called Donald Trump. Your very life and country is at stake.
    Elaine May on Vancouver Island BC Canada

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  7. Hi Peter and Bea,
    Well, at least you're already in Canada! Great topic.
    The comments here so far show how polarizing this election is. So many valid issues to consider on which way to vote: the general Democrat vs. Republican tradition issues, tax policy, immigration, spending (how about the deficit...?), foreign policy. But all overshadowed by character concerns, with supporters of both sides equally vehement that the other is awful or evil. If Clinton is so awful, then Republicans should have come up with a viable candidate who's not potentially evil.
    Within my side of the family, they're split. Funny though my mom used to vote Dem, and Dad GOP. Now they're split the opposite way.
    On Annie's side, also split. Parents and oldest siblings are Trump, and us youngers are probably taking the Hill.
    In our family discussions, it got a little heated. The hilter analogy was high in the discussion, vs. and Hillary can't be trusted and we'll turn socialist it'll be too late, Trump will have be surrounding himself with smart people. Haven't seen any hoped for positive effect from the smart people yet.

    Dale

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  8. It'll be okay neighbors, we're only up to 2 horsemen. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/24/introducing_the_trump_apocalypse_watch.html

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