Social Question

JLeslie's avatar

Do you find it ironic that the people who want more government are horrified by Trump?

Asked by JLeslie (56036points) March 13th, 2018 from iPhone

I’m on a thread on Facebook where some of the people are declared socialists, and many of the people are very left Democrats. Many of them are talking about the government providing housing in this particular thread.

I’ve seen them other times on Facebook talking about wanting gun ownership to be much lower in America, but yet they also seem terrified Trump and his people will start rounding up not only illegal immigrants, but Jews, blacks, you name it.

So, they want more government, but don’t seem to consider for a second that the people controlling the government scare them to death.

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38 Answers

Zaku's avatar

I think I see what you are getting at, but no, I don’t find it ironic.

Above all, I think Trump is horrifying no matter how I try to look at him. He’d be horrifying to me even if all of his policies matched my own, because he’s disgusting even before I consider the politics. He’s misogynistic, abusive, narcissistic, obnoxious, offensive, greedy, deceitful, arrogant, obstinate, self-contradictory, insensitive, etc.

Next, I’d point out that “they want more government” is what some people who have reducing government as a main objective think accurately describes Democrats/socialists/leftists, etc., but that’s not the intention of the people I know who align or identify with those. They tend to care about issues, and be willing to let government address them, but the amount of size/power the government has doesn’t tend to be a major thing they are concerned with. They want government agencies to do things because they want those things done, not because they want big government for its own sake.

It’s a bit like me saying it’s ironic that Trump supporters say they want a strong America but they want to make it hard for people to immigrate who would make America stronger. Or that a wall along the south border would make us weaker because of the environmental disaster it would be, making our country poorer by damaging its non-human ecosystems.

As for Trump, going beyond his personal disgustingness, I could go on all day about what I’m horrified with about his ideas, statements, policies and appointments.

For example, his appointments to government offices. He’s consistently given them to people who were big-money donors, aren’t qualified, and are picked for an agenda that often involves undermining the organization they are appointed to run (q.v. public education, environmental protection, etc). That goes far beyond not wanting big government, adding corporate corruption and preventing agencies from doing their jobs.

Then there’s that I’m an environmentalist first and foremost. Need I go into details? There isn’t enough time in the day…

As for the size of government, I really don’t give that much of a flip about that, so it’s almost not even on my radar. So I may seem ironic to people who think size of government is a paramount issue, but I don’t. I see corruption of government as a big issue, and Trump looks like a non-stop bonanza of corrupt corporate giveaways to me, and many of those involve sabotaging regulatory agencies.

I do consider that the government is corrupt and frightening, and I don’t really want more corrupt government power in certain areas, especially the free reign given to surveil the population like it’s an enemy, security theater, corporate-agenda military adventures abroad, and the use of military-style police, or using police to quell protests. But I do want very strong environmental protections, public education, and action against abusive corporations. But all of that is about specific issues for me, and not about size of government.

thisismyusername's avatar

@JLeslie: “So, they want more government, but don’t seem to consider for a second that the people controlling the government scare them to death.”

I’m not going to speak for your facebook friends.

I’m a socialist. Wanting “more government” doesn’t reflect anything relevant to anything left/right or capitalist/socialist. Much of the work on the left is fighting against the government’s spying powers – which have passed with help from the Democrats. The Democrats have been enabling the Trump administration, which is really just a traditional Republican administration, all along.

Regarding gun ownership – the gun debate doesn’t interest the left all that much because the debate is superficial. But are there socialists who feel that gun ownership is important? Sure. But most people realize that guns are going to do sh*t against a government with tanks and missiles.

What specifically are you asking here? Are you saying that there is some contradiction among those that believe that housing should be a right and the fear of government? I don’t know what you’re talking about.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Trump is such an anomaly, he really can’t be considered in such a question.

thisismyusername's avatar

^ His policies are not an anomaly.

MrGrimm888's avatar

That’s true, but his rhetoric, and behavior are. I’m used to the GOP fucking me. Trump insists that he fucks me with the lights on, and lots if unwanted kissing…

flutherother's avatar

A government more responsive to its people’s needs is what many would like to see whether that be in housing, healthcare or restraining the powers of big business. It doesn’t follow that such a government would be interested in “rounding people up” and so there is no irony.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Anything can be abused. Trump is destroying the world. So should we ban government, like ARs?

JLeslie's avatar

What I’m getting at is how what we want possibly can backfire.

I prefer fewer guns, stricter laws on guns, I much prefer living in communities that are not gun oriented, and I’ve lived in both. I hear people say the second amendment is about protecting your property and protection from the government. I actually know someone indirectly who survived the Holocaust, because a neighbor took their family in and stood up to Nazis with firearm in hand when they came to their home. They got lucky and the Nazis walked away. I don’t remember which country it was in. So my question is, are we frightened America could have some activity like that or not? If not, if we don’t think it could happen, then let’s not call Trump another Hitler. He might be a nightmare in many ways, but I’m not sure we should be throwing white supremicist and Hitler around. I don’t argue he has associated himself with some supremacists thought.

As far as housing. I like the idea of safe housing, and safe neighborhoods for that matter, for all. But, if the government takes over all housing, and let’s say we get some politicians in charge of housing who don’t have great intentions, then is there too much government control over our lives?

I am a Democrat, I lean left on most issues, but I also get nervous that some democrats, and especially socialists, don’t look at where things maybe could go wrong. The American government has some crazy shit going on. Now, we see someone like Trump voted in. It could happen again.

I think to be very socialized, to have it work well, we also need to trust that our government is good, not corrupt, not going to favor some groups over others.

MrGrimm888's avatar

I don’t throw “white supremacist,” or “Hitler” around.

Trump has had to go to extreme measures to deserve the analogies. And he and his party both deserve the attention of such terrible people. They are a cancer. Simple…

thisismyusername's avatar

@JLeslie: “As far as housing. I like the idea of safe housing, and safe neighborhoods for that matter, for all. But, if the government takes over all housing, and let’s say we get some politicians in charge of housing who don’t have great intentions, then is there too much government control over our lives?”

I’m not even sure where to go with this. It seems that you may not have much access to anyone on the left. Are you concerned that the “government” is involved in building roads, providing unemployment insurance, running a police and fire force, running medicare, etc? Really, I think you’d need to be more specific here.

@JLeslie: “I am a Democrat, I lean left on most issues, but I also get nervous that some democrats, and especially socialists, don’t look at where things maybe could go wrong. The American government has some crazy shit going on. Now, we see someone like Trump voted in. It could happen again.”

Democrats are the problem. A huge problem. The left has been fighting them for 30+ years. And the Democrats decided that Trump was preferable to shifting even the slightest left, so they ran Clinton, who was the weakest and most right-wing candidate. They gave us Trump and only have issues with him re: his manners.

Whatever it is that you have an issue with Trump about, the issues didn’t start with him. They have been around for 30+ years and have been bipartisan efforts. There is no real disagreement on core issues between Trump/Republicans and Democrats.

@JLeslie: “I think to be very socialized, to have it work well, we also need to trust that our government is good, not corrupt, not going to favor some groups over others.”

Nope. There are many flavors of socialism, and many involve no state at all. Keep in mind that private, corporate power is far more terrifying than government power to many of us. With government, you at least have a theoretical chance of effecting change.

I’m a bit all over the place, but I really don’t know if you have a focused question here. I think you might need to talk to someone left of center about specific issues to see where we stand. The Democrats are a center-right party, so you’re likely going to have to speak to some non-Democrats.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Pretty much everyone with a brain is horrified by Trump, including many, many conservative republicans.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Horrified may have been the consensus a year ago, but the 400 plus day evil clown show is now merely grindingly tasteless routine.

rojo's avatar

I don’t see it as such. From a personal perspective, I like some of what he is doing (for instance, cutting through the bullshit and talking directly with KJU) but me opinion is that he is not the man for the job. He is a thoroughly disgusting individual with no moral or ethical base.

And, it is not a question of how much government (for me) but the direction in which the government is going and who is in control of said government that are the points of contention.

flutherother's avatar

What is entrusted to us is this; that “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg 1863.

gorillapaws's avatar

The Democratic establishment has become infested with neoliberals. They rigged the primary against Bernie, they actually pumped up Trump in the primaries because they thought he’d be easier to beat than the alternatives, they are continuing to play very dirty against progressive Democrats in the primaries. 16 Senate Democrats just fucking voted to deregulate the banks including Hillary’s VP pick, Tim Kaine. Why should people bother to vote for Democrats when those politicians are just going to vote like Republicans?

Neoliberals have demonstrated a complete failure of leadership and policy and are a bigger hinderance to progress than if they all switched to the Republican Party where they belong. The Democratic establishment would rather loose to a Republican than see a progressive win. I’m not exaggerating. If they keep this shit up, we’re looking at 2 terms of Trump.

Progressives don’t want “bigger government” we want oversight, people enforcing rules that make the playing field fair, we want true equality of opportunity so the very best of us can succeed which results in the best economy. This includes preventing people and companies from externalizing costs onto the public.I don’t want the government owning every industry, but I think it should run the payments for healthcare, It should break up many of the largest corporate conglomerates, It should reverse Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications act of 1996 that was an absolute train wreck for our democracy. It needs to break up the banks and limit the risks they can take with the public’s money. It needs to ensure Net Neutrality and break up our ISPs, allowing for local municipalities to offer competing internet services. It needs to get rid of the privatization of our prisons, and kill the charter school garbage.

If you fix all of that and you won’t have to worry about another Trump.

seawulf575's avatar

There are many people that just can’t accept that the politicians they like could actually screw them over, even when there is ample evidence that it has happened repeatedly throughout history.

Zaku's avatar

@seawulf575 Do you see yourself as getting screwed over by Trump?

Jaxk's avatar

Sounds like a lot of people being intentionally obtuse. The more things you want the government to do, control, or give you the bigger it gets. We used to have a tiered system with local, state and federal governments. We have been pushing everything to the federal level for years and now have each of these levels competing with each other for both revenue and control and growing in size and scope. You all want to haggle with yourselves over the label liberal, progressive, socialist. Hell, they’re all big government ideologies. The beauty of this country used to be that government was limited by the constitution. Now we’ve bastardized it to the point that it’s only limited by your imagination.

An old saying, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Government is the ultimate power for any society. You can’t have it control everything and not be corrupt.

thisismyusername's avatar

@Jaxk – You realize that “big government” is a meaningless term, right? It also might help if you keep in mind that the left generally considers private power to be a threat.

This “question” is so vague and not really a question. But using loaded buzzwords like “big government” doesn’t do anyone any favors.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie Your fear that things can go terribly wrong under oppressive government are fully justified. @Jaxk’s statement on the oppressive expansion of federal reach at the expense of state and local control is also legitimate. But what I believe you miss is the fact that things are already terribly wrong and growing worse. Like the frog in the pot ours is a crisis developed through a creeping increase in the temperature of imbalance. And I think @Jaxk misses the reason that the federal branch of government MUST assume ever more responsibility for our welfare. It is the sole entity with an unlimited credit card. State and local governments are broke and find it ever more difficult to meet their fundamental obligations. Why? Where is the money? The housing crisis in the country is clearly NOT going to be solved by the private sector because there is no percentage in housing the expanding army of destitute people in the country. All of us know instinctively that there is no legitimate excuse for a nation with the wealth of the United States to tolerate cities with sidewalks crammed with tents and shopping carts while
BMWs and Mercedes whizz indifferently by. Why the growing destitution? WHERE’s THE MONEY?

seawulf575's avatar

@Zaku Let’s say I see the potential being there. We have taken a government of the people and for the people and let it morph into a people for the government. Trump is just another version of that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@seawulf575 Trump is definitely not about people for government. Trump is for Trump and NOTHING else. He’s too thick to even wrestle with the concepts of government of or by the people. But like any selfish baby, he fully understands who the government and every thing else is for. Wanna guess as to who that is?

gorillapaws's avatar

@Jaxk “You all want to haggle with yourselves over the label liberal, progressive, socialist. Hell, they’re all big government ideologies.”

You are so wrong about this. Neoliberals are basically what Republicans were in the 1980’s minus the social conservative stuff like homosexuality, racial equality, abortion, etc. It’s arguable that Clinton was further to the right than Trump in the campaign. I think you’ve bought into the bogus framing of right v. left from unreliable sources. Bernie is only moderately left of center for example. See this example chart.

thisismyusername's avatar

^ GA

One of the reasons why the “big government” vs “small government” discussion is meaningless is that it doesn’t map to reality.

Let’s take many on the left’s desires to defund ICE, reduce the military budget, stop funding brutal regimes across the globe, and limit governmental spying and surveillance. All of these call for less spending. And many “small government” proponents support expanding funding of these very things.

Even within the culture war domain, there are “small government” proponents that want a larger role of government within our lives and a reduction in privacy (limiting reproductive freedom, anti-terrorism efforts, etc).

So, the discussion is fairly meaningless. There are various opinions on what the role of government should be. Should it be to offset the undemocratic nature of private power to some degree? Should it be to provide the basics, such as healthcare, like the rest of the industrialized world?

So, leave “big government” out of it. There is no contradiction here. We can simultaneously fight against unjust government actions and institutions while calling for government to do good things.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just remember Trump don’t like rules (Constitution), doesn’t believe in delegation (talks directly to foreign countries instead using of USA diplomats), knows more about ISIS than all the generals and thinks the USA should move to a President forever.

The guy is clueless as to what should be a President duties; yes he’ll shake up government but he keeps picking on Kim Jung-un we have Bombs going off in Hawaii or sides with Russia & Putin anytime someone like May in UK stands up against Putin for the appparent killing of a person in England.

seawulf575's avatar

@stanleybmanly Really, the same could be said about Obama, Hillary, Bush II, Bill Clinton, Bush I, Reagan…and on and on. I think to run for president you have to be pretty egocentric. But any time you get big government, it stops being about the people and starts being about the government. Look back in history and across the globe and you will see it again and again.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 Do you have any fears of Big Corporations? i.e. as long as it’s private you’re 100% ok with whatever it is they want to do?

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws No, I really don’t. I find that American companies are greedy and I think there are many things that could be done to improve their efficiency. But I don’t fear big corporations. I think the difference is that if a big company is doing something I don’t like, I don’t have to patronize their goods or services. I don’t have to support them.

gorillapaws's avatar

@seawulf575 What if it’s health insurance, where you only find out you don’t like them until AFTER they deny your coverage for something that could save your life? At that point they don’t want your money because they’re going to loose money on you. It’s cheaper for you to die.

What about when companies merge so many times that you effectively have no other options in your location? Comcast or Verizon? Both have some of the worst ratings by the public, but thanks to mergers many people don’t have a choice, unless they want to move to a different location just for Internet.

What about when a big company does damage to you or your family like DuPont did in NC and you have very little recourse? You can sue, but they’re either going to crush your with million-dollar lawyers, or force you to settle for pennies on the dollar.

seawulf575's avatar

@gorillapaws All those things you mention are fine examples. If an insurance company doesn’t want to cover me, I can go to another one. Worse case I can apply to the VA or medicaid/medicare. There are options. Dying is one. I personally don’t have a lot of fear of death…we all die in the end. As for Comcast or Verizon….there are options there as well. You can go to DirectTV or Dish Network for your viewing pleasures, you can go to any of a number of cell phone providers instead of Verizon. Again…I don’t have to deal with them. And I don’t.
When big companies do damage to society, yes it becomes difficult to get satisfaction. I have some knowledge of the case you cited. Here’s the hard part about that case….you can’t really point to actual damage that was done. I don’t want odd chemicals in my drinking water, but after dumping it for 40 years, there still hasn’t been any rash of health issues. In fact, when it first hit the news, there wasn’t even a valid test for the chemical. But this is still a case of an industry impacting our environment. yet there are actions coming against them and the issue is cleaning up. So things have happened. But I still don’t fear big businesses because of things like this. I just think they need to be watched due to the greed aspect.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Medicare and Medicaid are blocked by GOP members in some states. Mine being one. I’m not a veteran, so…..

Just saying.

Big private corporations, or big government. It seems we have to chose from one, or the other. At least we have some control over the government, or who is leading it. Greed motivates both, but politicians also care about reelection. So there’s a small way to check them.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for all the answers so far.

Some thoughts:

I am afraid of corporations having lots of power, and especially in terms of monopoly, oligopoly, and collusion. Competition does not always occur, often times we get collisions, ESPECIALLY, in the healthcare arena. It’s immoral. See, either you pay me to heal you or you are in misery, or worse you die. For my magic you will pay me a whole bunch of money. It’s criminal. It’s gouging.

As far as comparing housing to streets and other things run by the government, I’m not sure it’s the same, but I see the logic. Maybe I care too much about where I live, and I also see where government housing historically sucked, and then there are some examples of it working out. It’s a risk.

Generally I don’t mind more central government as opposed to local government regarding things that I feel have to do with equality, and equal treatment. Medicaid should be federal in my opinion. My aunt was on Medicaid, and part of the reason we were reluctant to move her is she would lose her Medicaid and have to reapply in the new state. It makes me sick. She was in pain every day, my sister lived near her, but she was getting tired of being the main care giver in the family.

My aunt wanted to move out of the city. I feel like my aunt would have been happier and in less pain the last years of her life if we had had fewer obstacles. She worked most of her life, her social security was a decent number, and her Medicaid basically paid for her aide who came for 6 hours a day to cook, clean, shop, bathe her, help her walk a little with her walker, and take her to appointments. Jesus, why should a state line keep a loved one from receiving that sort of help?

Pandora's avatar

I think you have it wrong. No one really wants more government. But it would be awesome if the government we had ran efficiently and effectively.

We have a ton of government that is just a waste of taxpayer money. Just look at Congress. Big company tax breaks. Why not make them earn it through job training for those who can’t afford to go to college. It would make more skilled workers, and the government doesn’t have to provide loans that may never be paid back. These young people are working and earning a wage and more readily able to pay taxes instead of struggling to pay off their school loans to banks and make ends meet. We are in need of skilled teachers. Well think of how many leave the field because they can’t afford to pay back their loans and raise a family. This is probably why teachers complain so much about pay. After a mortgage, a few kids and medical and paying off a school loan that is more than many mortgages, there is nothing left for things like food or insurance.

And some programs are a waste of money because they don’t go far enough to fix what needs to be fixed. It’s a bunch of band-aides for things that require a more intensive program.
degree but suddenly they do? Why?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I’m all for having more vocational training whether it be through school or apprenticeship, but how about instead of talking about college loans and debt, we ask why is tuition so high?! Something is wrong. Some universities, good universities, still have reasonable tuitions, why can’t they all? Here’s the thing, some young adults have no desire to go to college, or even will have a difficult time getting through college, but everyone who wants to go, and who can do the work, should be able to. College is much more than just learning about a specific subject and career. Especially, if someone is lucky enough to go to a school that has people from many different backgrounds, or out of state, or even out of country. The exposure a college education can give, the experience, is also part of the whole package.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie I think the reason colleges are expensive it to stay competitive that have to offer the newest and greatest and best. Just the name of certain colleges can open doors that others do not. But one of the highest cost to colleges is drawing out the education into 4 or 6 years by requiring a person finish electives. Make electives a personal choice and watch those school years drop to by two years. Also even an inexpensive collage can cost. Food and board can easily by 12 thousand or more a year. Then throw in books and tuition and there may be another 12 thousand. By the end of 4 years, that is 96 thousand. Now add that horrible interest rate that is designed to actually double the cost and in some cases triple it over the years because you can waive the cost till you can find a job to help pay back this mortgage. Colleges are part of the problem. The rest is the banks.

LostInParadise's avatar

I read that most of the increase in college costs are administrative. The money is definitely not going to faculty.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora Maybe there is some sort of middle ground, but I think requiring some electives is a good idea, and I think it is a good part of the American University system. It’s how young adults explore interests in academics that they might not have been aware of. The first two years is in pre-requisite classes, and also electives. We can’t easily do away with prerequisites if that knowledge is important for the classes in the student’s major. I hear a lot of students come to college and need to take high school level courses to get up to speed, so that puts them a little behind. Of course, some student already have AP credits and that put them ahead. I can see arguing for a 3 year coursework rather than 4, but I can’t see getting a 2 year degree that would be the equivalent to what a 4 year college degree is today.

As far as competing. Maybe some of the high tuition is because of money spent on competing, but I really am not sure. I think it’s a while host of things. I don’t feel like anyone really looks into it. I don’t trust the excuses.

CrazyVinny's avatar

The irony is lost to anyone that can make the difference between “more government” and “more bad governement”.

This question is like asking “Isn’t hypocritical of people who wants governement to disappear to support Trump that wants to increase subsidies (in form of tax deductions amongst others) to big corporations, start trade wars using custom tariffs and balloon the already ridiculous military spending, all clear examples of governement encroachment?”

It’s ironic only if you don’t consider that these people do not share your ideas;
Ideas like, for instance, gun ownership having anything to do with restraining the governement power.

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