And the world didn't end after all
What era does MAGA refer to? More 'socialist' times?

If we ignore all this political crap will it just go away?

Unfortunately, no. 

I have friends that never get involved in politics, not even to follow events in the news or discuss them with friends. Never mind support a party or run for office. Their choice, but they live in a world controlled by politicians, so are giving up any control they might have on a lot of things. Many of them still complain though.

Other friends had been trying to keep up to date with the political circus, especially in the US, and have now thrown up their hands in despair. Hopefully, they will be back.

For myself, I think our purpose, if we must have one, is to enjoy life, to learn and improve ourselves, and to leave our bit of the world a slightly better place when we die.  So I follow politics for the enjoyment of watching the antics, and to learn about it. Stephen Harper taught us all about prorogation, Trump about impeachment, Iowa about caucuses, and Boris Johnson - well, I'm not sure. Right now, it's the US that has my focus.

I don't discuss politics that much, especially with people not sharing my views. I know that's wrong, but I sit left of centre, and have found most of the right of centre people I talk to have ideas based more on emotions than facts. They are running more on a belief system, which one can't refute, any more than you can convince a Mormon the real god is not theirs, but Vishnu. And I can't be bothered anymore to try, other than learning where they stand and moving on. As long as you aren't harming anyone, I'm fine with people believing in whatever they want, be it gods or the evil of all corporations or the existence of UFO's. 

Except, in the US, where Trump and his supporters are harming people, and democracy.  Not that I can do much directly here from Canada, but I can at least stay informed and spread the word.  Which raises the issue - how to stay informed? Where can you get reliable information from?

Trump himself sends out a stream of information via his Twitter feed, but I consider it a source of continuous #FakeNews. I have subscriptions to the Guardian Weekly and the Washington Post, and follow Google News for links to various site/stories. But it takes time to filter through it all and decide which information is reliable. This chart examines the bias of various news sources, but you have to trust the methodology they followed, described here. Or at least read what it was. I deliberately ignore sites on either edge of the spectrum. I just can't be arsed.  

 

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Sam Steele

I started out left of center, like you. Then I saw more of the world, and it changed my mind.

I don't care much about WW2, it was just an example of how we can know lots of true facts and still fail to understand what really happened.

Does it matter if every one of the Washington Post's war stories can be fact-checked, when they entirely left out some of the most significant events of WW2 in order to shape their readers' view of the world?

They are doing the same thing now, and yet you rely on them.

Ravens

Let's be specific here - I did a Google search for fact checking of Trump's SOTU, and got a list of sites. Two are:

US News https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2020-02-08/ap-fact-check-trump-dems-and-the-state-of-disunion

Washington Post - https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/04/fact-checking-president-trumps-2020-state-union-address/

I watched his speech. These sources lay out a list of facts that contradict almost every claim he made - are they all wrong?

What did they leave out that says I should not rely on them?

Sam Steele

They've left out the context.

Uber is to urban transportation as Amazon is to retail as Trump is to politics. They are all category disruptors. They arrived on the scene with a new business paradigm that completely disrupted the existing players in the space, who cannot compete without undercutting their entrenched business models.

Trump's innovation is his spontaneous, tell-us-what-you-really-think, reality show politics. Using Twitter, he answers every critic and well-wisher immediately, and criticizes every opponent whenever he thinks it necessary. He talks to the world directly, not through the traditional filter of reporters and newspapers and networks. Amazingly, it has worked! I'm sure he had no idea these techniques would be so successful.

Trump came out of nowhere to defeat more than a dozen establishment Republicans for the nomination. That's why establishment Republicans hate him. Then he pulled off the biggest political upset of all time (you can fact check that if you wish) by beating the Hillary Clinton machine, which is why Democrats hate him.

He has only been in office for three years, and he has had to fight to get the smallest pieces of his election platform enacted. And yet, on the most important issue of war and peace, where his differences with the war mongering Hillary Clinton and 90% of all American politicians are the greatest, he has made a good start. He ended the war in Syria started by Obama; he has almost extracted the U.S. from the war in Iraq started by Bush and continued by Obama, by getting the Iraqi's to ask the U.S. to leave (no other way would be accepted by U.S. politicians); and he has started no new wars in spite of (because of?) his bluster and bravado.

Trump is campaigning 100% of the time because he has no other choice -- his enemies are everywhere in high places. So if his SOTU address sounded like a campaign speech or an Oprah giveaway show, consider that it was made while he faced removal from office by apoplectic Democrat politicians, with plenty of Republican politicians ready to turn on him at any moment. He has to appeal directly to the people of the USA, and hope enough of them will vote for him one more time. That's his innovation, and so far it has worked.

Sam Steele

As you know, the entrenched business model of politics is back room deals, party machines and selling your legislative vote to the highest bidder. Except for Bernie Sanders, who they are desperately trying to suppress like they did in 2016, the Democrats still cling to this model. I think we'd be better off if it failed.

Ravens

I think that is also the model for the Republicans, as well as may political parties around the world. Democracy is on the wane, replaced by government by the highest bidder, supported by the deep pockets of the 1%. I agree we need something different, but I can't see an alternative that stands a chance of replacing it.

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