2020 Presidential election

infection

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Effort matters. If voters feel that the admin would have made a good faith effort and that the virus was simply too overpowering no matter what we would have done, more quarter would have been given and leniency would have been better. This would have reflected in the poll numbers in the confidence of handling a crisis.
And you don't think people would have fundamentally viewed this through an entirely different lens from the get-go? The popular opinion would be that Trump was just trying to protect America? Or would people skew more toward he was playing politics with fear to distract from his failings and impeachment, that he was trying to stoke fear in the American populace for political gain, and that he was exercising executive power like never before seen? Do you think everyone would have jumped behind Fauci (who nobody knew of prior to March) as an expert that represents science, and not viewed him as a goon that Trump is using as a front to exploit a national emergency for political gain?
 

Wes Mantooth

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People cling to leadership during times of crisis - they're even willing to forgive bad mistakes (see Cuomo in NY). You just have to display qualities of a leader.

Trump could have sewn up the election in March if he just went on TV and been straight with people and said "listen, we're probably going to get our *** kicked over the next couple months, but we're going fight like hell to get through this and we're going to do everything we can to mitigate this." And then turn things over to the experts.

But his ego wouldn't let that happen. He would minimize, deflect, shift blame, undermine his own people, say one thing and then tweet something else 3 hours later and then finally wash his hands of the whole thing while simultaneously professing to have all the answers - and in the end that's put him in the position he's in now. Not CNN or MSNBC or the liberal media - he has no one to blame but himself
POTY right ****ing here.
 

One Brow

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And you don't think people would have fundamentally viewed this through an entirely different lens from the get-go? The popular opinion would be that Trump was just trying to protect America? Or would people skew more toward he was playing politics with fear to distract from his failings and impeachment, that he was trying to stoke fear in the American populace for political gain, and that he was exercising executive power like never before seen? Do you think everyone would have jumped behind Fauci (who nobody knew of prior to March) as an expert that represents science, and not viewed him as a goon that Trump is using as a front to exploit a national emergency for political gain?
It's a little sad top see you trying to argue that, if your guy had done the right thing, everyone would be for doing the wrong thing. When Trump signed the First Step Act, there was no significant criticism from the left (except for it perhaps not going far enough). They haven't been hounding him to be more aggressive in foreign military matters. If Trump had gotten ahead of the curve, he would have been vindicated instead of reviled.

Very few people are reflexively opposing Trump. It just seems that way because he is so very often wrong.
 

infection

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It's a little sad top see you trying to argue that, if your guy had done the right thing, everyone would be for doing the wrong thing. When Trump signed the First Step Act, there was no significant criticism from the left (except for it perhaps not going far enough). They haven't been hounding him to be more aggressive in foreign military matters. If Trump had gotten ahead of the curve, he would have been vindicated instead of reviled.

Very few people are reflexively opposing Trump. It just seems that way because he is so very often wrong.
I don't think it's as simple as saying that he'd just get **** because he's Trump. You yourself acknowledge the myriad of ways in which our cultures impact our perceptions and cognitions. With any issue, there's always a plethora of evidence for and against numerous issues, but our mind tends to filter things in and out to make what we're seeing more consistent with our underlying worldview and biases. I acknowledged this recently with regard to Cuomo, stating that there's a lot of nuance regarding his failures. And, honestly, the actual data behind it is truly awful. Despite that, I've weighed in with my experience on why simply criticizing him off the (admittedly awful -- an understatement) data regarding COVID is too simplistic. But people on the right are happy to highlight this. Perhaps even many people not politically inclined. But it neglects a number of very relevant issues. But on the left he's viewed very favorably. To suggest that this is the case purely because of the data is not a position that can be supported in any iota. So people are mostly coming to these conclusions (whichever side of the line they fall on) based on pre-existing notions that are influenced strongly, among other things, by politics and media. Regarding the First Step Act, you can point to no criticism, but was there much praise? I think it was ignored, mostly. COVID is a lot harder to ignore, as it's currently impacting all of our lives, and has so for the past 4 months, so there's no choice for anyone to ignore that. I think the idea that "had Trump done ______" means this would have never gone political is being fairly generous. And I think it's hard to argue that I possess such a belief out of political convenience, as I have no history of crucifying any political leaders on the other side of the aisle, and my most recent example has me (sort of) providing a level of defense for a known Democratic politician. But there's a lot of data on COVID, and lots of good (meaning positive data) but it gets no traction. I don't have any doubt that the amount of discussion those favorable things would get would change to a pretty reasonable degree if we were to change a couple variables in this equation. Unless, of course, you believe the country's collective values are completely independent of any potential biases. In that case we are a much more pure and altruistic society than you have previously argued.
 

Avery

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And you don't think people would have fundamentally viewed this through an entirely different lens from the get-go? The popular opinion would be that Trump was just trying to protect America? Or would people skew more toward he was playing politics with fear to distract from his failings and impeachment, that he was trying to stoke fear in the American populace for political gain, and that he was exercising executive power like never before seen? Do you think everyone would have jumped behind Fauci (who nobody knew of prior to March) as an expert that represents science, and not viewed him as a goon that Trump is using as a front to exploit a national emergency for political gain?
If Trump would have stepped up and led and continued to lead, independents would have been willing to say 'I may not like the guy, but he's dealt with it the best he could so maybe he's finally turning the page.' That matters in November. Republicans would follow him anywhere and Democrats are going to hate him no matter what he does - but Indy's win elections.

In a lot of ways, Covid could have been the lever that actually made Trump look like a president. It was a massive opportunity for him to finally move past the rhetoric and the brand and take the next step. It was his golden ticket.

But he pissed it away because at the end of the day, he's not and will never be ready for primetime.
 

One Brow

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Regarding the First Step Act, you can point to no criticism, but was there much praise? .
Since it was a bipartisan effort, there was little controversy, and so little coverage. However, I read a few left-leaning blogs, and I saw a decent amount of praise.

I don't have any doubt that the amount of discussion those favorable things would get would change to a pretty reasonable degree if we were to change a couple variables in this equation.
I think we just disagree about which variables. If Trump had taken a more proactive approach in the beginning, he'd probably be getting a lot of credit for those positive things, whether or not he did anything to earn it (much like Presidents get praise or blame for an economy when that is largely out of their control). If he had come out strongly in favor of masks two months ago (falling in line with the change in the CDC recommendations), would we be seeing the the enormous amount of mask resistance from conservative this month?
 

infection

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If he had come out strongly in favor of masks two months ago (falling in line with the change in the CDC recommendations), would we be seeing the the enormous amount of mask resistance from conservative this month?
No, but likewise I don't think we'd see as strong of a push. The push for masks gets a wind at its sails because of what it represents from a psychodynamic perspective. And also because people are pushing back on masks. It's kind of like Cy. He will push back and dig in on an issue purely as opposition. If a sizable group of conservatives weren't out there acting in defiance of masks, would there be such a push back? I'd bet it'd be much smaller. Of course, you could say that the push back exists only because of their resistance, but I'm speaking more toward if the same number of people weren't wearing masks, just that they weren't being loud about it and they weren't making "freedom!" arguments. In fact, I've argued before that people pushing back on masks is reactionary to the hysteria. In essence, there's a shouting match, and each side is ratcheting up more and more, and neither are being all that productive or effective, yet each person on each side sees the supreme importance of what they're shouting about, but they're only shouting in response.

To steer this away from this specific scenario, I think a good read is this link regarding psychodynamic psychopharmacology ( https://www.austenriggs.org/sites/default/files/resources/1108PT_Mintz_22-24.pdf ). This is fairly simple, and is specifically in relation to psychiatric issues, but the general sense is pretty broad, and often represents where I may come from on a number of issues. Ultimately most things that play out as conflicts in our personal lives as well as anything on a national level, often have these underpinnings that are greatly impacting how we're approaching the problems, but ultimately the problem at hand is far divorced from what our underlying conflicts are, we just happen to transpose these principles into arguments where we see different variables in our environment fitting certain templates. It's problematic when I apply this to any sociopolitical issues because if I apply it to one side, it's viewed as heavily influenced by partisanship, but when I apply it to the otherwise, nobody has an issue because we see eye-to-eye.
 

infection

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If Trump would have stepped up and led and continued to lead, independents would have been willing to say 'I may not like the guy, but he's dealt with it the best he could so maybe he's finally turning the page.' That matters in November. Republicans would follow him anywhere and Democrats are going to hate him no matter what he does - but Indy's win elections.

In a lot of ways, Covid could have been the lever that actually made Trump look like a president. It was a massive opportunity for him to finally move past the rhetoric and the brand and take the next step. It was his golden ticket.

But he pissed it away because at the end of the day, he's not and will never be ready for primetime.
I would only agree with part of this. I've always thought that people on the left were going to be in for a rude awakening come November 2020, because they've doubled down entirely on the reasons why Trump was elected and spent a great deal of time trying to find alternative answers (and thus not address the real issues). I don't think he's done himself many favors these past few months. I don't know where this all goes from here, but I don't have any predictions on the election. Had the election happened in February, he would have won. I think the most damage isn't really COVID, but instead the racial issues. But I think the racial conflict and protests have captured opinions in a way that now all the dysphoria regarding COVID can be looked at in a new light. But I digress. I think he could have handled a number of issues regarding the racial issues much better. But on the flip side, he had come out early supporting protests (though this was never covered) and denouncing what had happened. But this issue continued to be pushed, and he hasn't handled it all that well. I think with a number of independents, these things will matter. Perhaps to a degree if he would have not given anyone to make this an either/or issue regarding the virus, he would have had more success. But nobody cares that Fauci had said that we didn't need to worry. I don't think Fauci should receive criticism for that because there's so little we know at the time. Trump perhaps shouldn't have gone off the cuff with some speculation, but even if he hadn't, I don't think that would have changed much. I do believe, however, if he had come out of the gait balls-to-the-wall against COVID, people on the left would have found themselves the skeptical ones regarding the implications of the COVID response, and conservatives would have been more supportive, especially as this would be one more tool to bludgeon the CCP.
 

NAOS

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I'd be fairly interested in seeing that alternate reality play out. My suspicion would lead me to believe that people would have a very different view of what's happening and the data than they do currently. Especially as this would likely be seen in light of him attempting to use this as a diversion from impeachment. If it were originally him coming out of the gate saying to take this serious, saying that things would be really bad, and pushing out people fomenting fear and exerting executive power like we've never seen to 'control' the virus? I'd strongly suspect you'd see a complete inversion in who's arguing which side of everything. Especially as early on with COVID (back in January and early February) it was primarily the far right using it as a beating post against the CCP.
I think there would have been some pushback on any fearmongering from Trump and his administration initially, but I think the Left sits (in general) with a better relationship to the facts when it comes to the dynamics of a viral outbreak. I see no possible reality where they resist good public health practices simply to oppose Trump and Trumpism.
 

infection

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I think there would have been some pushback on any fearmongering from Trump and his administration initially, but I think the Left sits (in general) with a better relationship to the facts when it comes to the dynamics of a viral outbreak. I see no possible reality where they resist good public health practices simply to oppose Trump and Trumpism.
But that presumes that the situation is framed through the lens of 'good public health practices.' I'm not suggesting any denialism of the reality of COVID from the left. Just as you're really not getting total denialism from the right (yes, you've got some fringe people, but they're not really relevant and nobody could name any names). You do have people who are presenting many different angles on COVID who, because they're not taking what would be considered more mainstream opinions, are lumped superficially as a "denier," or something of the sorts. But there's a lot of mixed data out there. And it wouldn't be totally unreasonable for the left, in the event that Trump was peddling more doom and gloom regarding COVID and advocating more shutdown and more federal reach, for them to highlight certain facts about COVID, such as seropositive results, the drastic reductions in case fatality rates, the fact that influenza is much more lethal in younger age groups, the fact that new cases and deaths have drastically separated themselves, etc., etc. Nobody would have to be engaged in any kind of denialism of the reality of COVID, just that Trump's (in this hypothetical) approach could have serious political motives, and that he's exploiting a national emergency, and peoples' fears, for his own political gain.
 

One Brow

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No, but likewise I don't think we'd see as strong of a push. The push for masks gets a wind at its sails because of what it represents from a psychodynamic perspective. And also because people are pushing back on masks. It's kind of like Cy. He will push back and dig in on an issue purely as opposition. If a sizable group of conservatives weren't out there acting in defiance of masks, would there be such a push back? I'd bet it'd be much smaller. Of course, you could say that the push back exists only because of their resistance, but I'm speaking more toward if the same number of people weren't wearing masks, just that they weren't being loud about it and they weren't making "freedom!" arguments. In fact, I've argued before that people pushing back on masks is reactionary to the hysteria. In essence, there's a shouting match, and each side is ratcheting up more and more, and neither are being all that productive or effective, yet each person on each side sees the supreme importance of what they're shouting about, but they're only shouting in response.
I absolutely agree there would be much less of a push for masks if there were no push against masks, much like there aren't major pushes for vaccines because the anti-vaccine movement is relatively small (and because it's more obvious when someone has not been vaccinated than when someone is not wearing a mask). However, if we had an anti-vaccine POTUS, and we see a large media response to regular Presidential anti-vaccine comments, and of course counter-protestors who aren't really anti-vaccine but need to support their President, is the best solution to throw up our hands and say this is inevitable from the psychodynamic perspective, or to acknowledge the effects of leadership on people and their level of engagement?

None of this is happening in a leadership vacuum. Much of the push back comes from following the lead of respected politicians and media figures. When the President is telling people that SARS-Cov2 will disappear in the summer and Covid19 is not that dangerous, and the message is echoed by the conservative news media, that creates additional emotional attachments to anti-masks sentiments, and can turn people from annoyed to aggrieved.

It's problematic when I apply this to any sociopolitical issues because if I apply it to one side, it's viewed as heavily influenced by partisanship, but when I apply it to the otherwise, nobody has an issue because we see eye-to-eye.
Bad medicine is a problem from politicians on the left and on the right, and we should be able to discuss it in a bipartisan fashion.
 

Avery

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It's always easy for us on the sidelines to play monday morning quarterback and the reality is that pretty much every process or project ever undertaken has opportunities for improvement.

This one just looms particularly large thus the opportunities are going to be magnified greatly.
 

NAOS

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But that presumes that the situation is framed through the lens of 'good public health practices.' I'm not suggesting any denialism of the reality of COVID from the left. Just as you're really not getting total denialism from the right (yes, you've got some fringe people, but they're not really relevant and nobody could name any names). You do have people who are presenting many different angles on COVID who, because they're not taking what would be considered more mainstream opinions, are lumped superficially as a "denier," or something of the sorts. But there's a lot of mixed data out there. And it wouldn't be totally unreasonable for the left, in the event that Trump was peddling more doom and gloom regarding COVID and advocating more shutdown and more federal reach, for them to highlight certain facts about COVID, such as seropositive results, the drastic reductions in case fatality rates, the fact that influenza is much more lethal in younger age groups, the fact that new cases and deaths have drastically separated themselves, etc., etc. Nobody would have to be engaged in any kind of denialism of the reality of COVID, just that Trump's (in this hypothetical) approach could have serious political motives, and that he's exploiting a national emergency, and peoples' fears, for his own political gain.
I feel like we’ve probably waded into a territory where there are a few things you really want to be true.

When we are speculating about a hypothetical of this type, I think the reasonable place to start, in our day and age, is from a very general view of the polar-left and the polar-right (which doesn’t assume that these categories subsume all people). You gotta start by opening up a difference—and the context of a viral outbreak provides the terms and conditions for creating the difference.

You’ve identified something you say is a presumption (the lens of good public health). Your whole analytical move feel seems strange to me. What are you trying to accomplish, exactly?
 

fishonjazz

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I'd be fairly interested in seeing that alternate reality play out. My suspicion would lead me to believe that people would have a very different view of what's happening and the data than they do currently. Especially as this would likely be seen in light of him attempting to use this as a diversion from impeachment. If it were originally him coming out of the gate saying to take this serious, saying that things would be really bad, and pushing out people fomenting fear and exerting executive power like we've never seen to 'control' the virus? I'd strongly suspect you'd see a complete inversion in who's arguing which side of everything. Especially as early on with COVID (back in January and early February) it was primarily the far right using it as a beating post against the CCP.
Agree to disagree.
Him showing honestly, sincerity, humility and leadership would be a great thing. I for one would love to see it.

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fishonjazz

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And you don't think people would have fundamentally viewed this through an entirely different lens from the get-go? The popular opinion would be that Trump was just trying to protect America? Or would people skew more toward he was playing politics with fear to distract from his failings and impeachment, that he was trying to stoke fear in the American populace for political gain, and that he was exercising executive power like never before seen? Do you think everyone would have jumped behind Fauci (who nobody knew of prior to March) as an expert that represents science, and not viewed him as a goon that Trump is using as a front to exploit a national emergency for political gain?
I don't see how trump just being honest and consistent about corona and listening to the experts equals exercising executive power like never before seen.

I would have loved to listen to fauci after trump came out and honestly and sincerely spoke with humility and consistency. Much better than listening to Trump talk on a daily basis as if the virus was no biggie and trump is the smartest and best ever at dealing with such things.


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fishonjazz

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It's a little sad top see you trying to argue that, if your guy had done the right thing, everyone would be for doing the wrong thing. When Trump signed the First Step Act, there was no significant criticism from the left (except for it perhaps not going far enough). They haven't been hounding him to be more aggressive in foreign military matters. If Trump had gotten ahead of the curve, he would have been vindicated instead of reviled.

Very few people are reflexively opposing Trump. It just seems that way because he is so very often wrong.
This.
If trump were to not act like a douchebag then I would like that. Duh.

It's just not really Trump's thing to not be a douchebag.

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Gameface

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I'm just so proud and thankful to be in a nation that has a President who can pass a cognitive test, even though it was very hard for them.

Interestingly Trump doesn't think many other people can pass a test that is NOT designed to score how awesome you are, but instead is intended to identify the possibility of brain damage or a cognitive disorder like Alzheimer's or other form of dementia. The guy thinks he earned "bonus points" on a cognitive evaluation.
 

fishonjazz

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I'm just so proud and thankful to be in a nation that has a President who can pass a cognitive test, even though it was very hard for them.

Interestingly Trump doesn't think many other people can pass a test that is NOT designed to score how awesome you are, but instead is intended to identify the possibility of brain damage or a cognitive disorder like Alzheimer's or other form of dementia. The guy thinks he earned "bonus points" on a cognitive evaluation.
It is quite remarkable how proud he is of passing a test that most normal children can probably pass. And he is the freaking president. Wtf

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