Clean Power

Published on June 13th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan

178

Could The US Really Elect A Conspiracy Theorist?

June 13th, 2016 by  

It’s unclear whether Donald Trump really believes any of the conspiracy theories he pushes, or if he just uses them to attack things he doesn’t like, but he pushes so many that it’s clear he 1) really is so gullible and conspiratorial or 2) is just that keen to play on conspiratorial thoughts in others. Either explanation should raise a big red flag for a presidential candidate in Yosemite Sam’s house, let alone across the United States.

I had the title and intro written for this even before The Donald’s most recent outburst and conspiratorial nonsense (suggesting that Obama somehow personally didn’t stop the Orlando nightclub shooting because he’s sympathetic to radical ISIS terrorism and that Obama is protecting Hillary Clinton from going to jail — not to mention that one of his top political allies and a longtime friend is claiming that a Michigan-born Clinton aide could be a “terrorist agent” or “Saudi spy”).

Nope, the article stemmed from some other recent conspiracy theories pitched by Trump (I don’t even remember which ones), which led me to thinking about his conspiracy theories regarding global warming and wind power. Look at this whopper if you haven’t run across it yet:

Trump global warming

No, this was not photoshopped. This is a real tweet.

Yes, 4 years ago, Donald Trump claimed that global warming was invented by the Chinese. Yep, thousands of non-Chinese climate scientists and other scientists who have independently evaluated the science behind global warming have somehow been duped by the Chinese — it’s all just a hoax. Yes, never mind that global warming has been a documented concern of climate scientists since the 1950s (or earlier) and the basics of greenhouse gases trapping heat and warming up the earth is basically undisputable physics (with the term “greenhouse effect” used back in 1901, and the science behind it being developed as early as 1824).

It’s absurd that anyone could think that the Chinese invented the concept of global warming in order to weaken US manufacturing — completely and utterly absurd. And the crazy thing is, this quote from Donald Trump has been mentioned numerous times, including this year, and Trump hasn’t retracted the statement.

Regarding wind turbines, Donald has fought wind farms near his golf courses and developments on a number of occasions — in Scotland and California, for example. It’s unclear if his only issue with them is that he thinks they’re ugly, or if it’s tied to some other matter — perhaps that he just hates to see society progressing? (Change can be tough for some people.) In the following tweets, though, you can see that Trump has used the same tactics against wind farms as he used to wipe out his competitors in the GOP presidential primary:

Trump Wind 1 Trump wind 2

Trump is quite talented at throwing insults and spreading fear, and he has targeted wind power time and time again with these tactics. This hasn’t worked with courts, but it seems to be quite effective when it comes to roping in US voters.

Back to the theme of this article, an embarrassing (and, one would hope, eye-opening) part of Trump’s anti-wind talk (er … tweeting) again loops back to the promotion of wacky ideas that certainly don’t befit a president. In 2013, in his “who needs to look at the details” haste and his hate for wind power, Trump retweeted an infographic that was created to make fun of people who believe in “wind turbine syndrome.” He apparently didn’t realize he was making fun of himself with the tweet.

If his belief in wind turbine syndrome (or feigned belief in it) was an exception, it would be embarrassing enough, but the problem is that it’s essentially the norm with Trump.

But here’s the thing: The public is woefully uninformed. 31% of Republicans recently polled by Gallup didn’t even know that the GOP currently has majority control of Congress. Note that the global warming conspiracy theory above has nearly 30,000 retweets! A large portion of the population does believe conspiracy theories like Donald peddles on a consistent basis. Approximately 20% of the population thinks President Obama is Muslim. Approximately 25% of the population can’t identify from which country the USA gained independence (hint: pay attention to the language you’re reading). Approximately 26% of the population doesn’t know that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Could the United States elect a flame-throwing conspiracy theorist who thinks (or tweets that he thinks) “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive” and who promotes the nonsense of “wind turbine syndrome?” Unfortunately, it’s a genuine possibility. So, 1) get out and vote, and 2) help to inform other members of society, and encourage them to make smart decisions in life and in politics.

Related: Global Warming Videos (Best, Funniest, Most Inspiring)


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



  • super390

    I think if someone running for president insinuates the incumbent is secretly trying to help Islamic terrorists “win”, he is a conspiracy theorist:
    ***
    “We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump continued. “And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot—they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can’t even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable.”

    • Bob_Wallace

      Or a person with so little character that he or she should never be allowed to hold a public office.

  • Peter

    The first tweet did at least result in one of my favourite Twitter replies ever.
    https://twitter.com/BoredElonMusk/status/645240530083971072

    • Haha 😀 Didn’t see that.

      Just followed the account. 😀

  • sault

    People need to realize that the Media has a yuuuge incentive to make this election look closer than it actually is. Literally a billion dollars in ad revenue or more depends upon people tuning in to catch the latest details in a supposedly “close” election. If it is clearly going to be blowout months before the election, a lot less eyeballs will be glued to the screens and the clickbait articles about the horse-race of the election will be a lot less popular.

    There is no way somebody like Trump, who is so unpopular with every key demographic the GOP needs to improve upon vs their 2012 performance, can win in 2016. Barring a swift downturn in the economy (looking less likely before the election with each passing day) or a massive terrorist attack, the fundamentals of this election aren’t going to change. To win, Trump would have to run the table on every swing state, especially ones like Colorado, Nevada and even Virginia that have large Hispanic populations. Needless to say, his 85% unfavorable ratings with Hispanics makes this very unlikely.

    While we should stop worrying about a President Trump, we should not stop working as hard as we can to defeat him and the party that enabled him to spew so much of his hate around the country. We need to run up the score in November so bad that it sends a clear message to the country and to the rest of the world that we are not a nation that approves of paranoid bigots with severe inadequacy complexes. The GOP needs to experience such a devastating loss that they have no choice but to excise Trump and his fellow travelers from the party and the Conservative Movement as a whole.

    So don’t just stay at home just because we have the presidential election in the bag. Even if you’re in a comfortably “blue” or “red” state and think your vote doesn’t matter. The popular vote totals and percentages from this election will echo throughout history and the difference between even a 5% victory vs a 6% victory is yuuuge! And don’t forget U.S. congressional elections, state legislature elections and even all the way down to school board elections. If enough republicans lose their seats because of the backlash to Trump, we will have slayed the know-nothing beast that lurks in our politics for a generation. Get out to vote, volunteer for your local democratic party, help get friends and family informed on just how dangerous this Trump guy is. I’m stepping off my soapbox now, so we’ll see how all this turns out in November.

    • super390

      Gerrymandering + minority voter intimidation = America is not a one-man one-vote country.
      The Republicans prepared that table, and Trump stole it from them.

    • Omega Centauri

      There is also the chance of a blackswan swaying undecided. We are in fact living through a potential blackswan event right now (Orlando). The future is very uncertain at the moment, we can’t be too sure about which way its gonna go.

      • sault

        Luckily, Trump is sticking his foot in his mouth so hard over Orlando and highlighting just how ill-prepared he is for the presidency. We are sometimes a reactionary country, but in the grand scheme of things, we are not that dumb of a country.

  • James Adams

    Let’s vote for Hillary, she tells us all the lies we want to hear.

    • I’m not going to say she isn’t a politician who tries to understand what the people want and respond in a way that gets their vote, but I’d also say it’s clear from her years in service that she tries to help the people in numerous ways, and is interested in stopping global warming and increasing US global competitiveness in the fastest-growing industries, which happen to be in cleantech. All stuff I support.

      I’m not a fan of her foreign policy, but it is clearly better than Trump’s proposed foreign policy (which could start a 3rd world war).

      I’m not a fan of her approach to the banking/finance industry, but think it would be better than Trump’s.

      I’m not a fan of her support for fracking, but at least she is gung ho about renewable energy and cleantech, which Trump hasn’t said a kind word about, despite the fact that wind turbine technician is the fastest-growing job in the US and solar jobs are a huge benefit to the country as well. Not to mention the importance for cutting pollution and stopping global warming.

      • James Adams

        Please focus on the technology, not the politics.

        • I appreciate the feedback, but I think ignoring the politics, which are strongly tied to the technology, would be neglecting to perform our duties.

        • super390

          I wonder if every magazine in Germany in March 1933, about automobiles, about soccer, about business, about philosophy, about everything that people read about had put out a cover saying, “Stop Hitler!”, it would have mattered. Maybe.

    • Omega Centauri

      The Hillary lies meme is well beyond the reality, she is more honest than most politicians, at least when talking about policy. Having to defend her wayward husband does compromise her. Her other problem is her lawyer impulse to never say yes/no, but instead give a list of contingencies.

      • super390

        Everyone in the system gets corporate money. It’s hard to suspect they’re not being bought unless they continually work against corporate power. Clinton’s been expected to become president so long that her access has been bought out for the next 8 years. So when I hear her make token condemnations of the oligarchy I suspect she doesn’t mean it in her heart.

        Literally, James Adams, I’m voting for her because I think she’s slightly less likely to put me in a concentration camp for my leftism than Trump, and much less likely to incite a mob of supporters to burn down my house. Corporate style, man.

        • Omega Centauri

          I here you. I’m not so worried about her being economically bought off, I think she will be relatively class neutral. But her foreign policy greatly concerns me.

  • mike grant

    I logged on expecting a discussion on TRUMPHUCKER and climate change denial. Immediately, as the incident in Orlando has shaped our thought process, and Omega Centauri’s argument that media shaping ad homonym emotional thinking instead of rational thought processes rings true and the thread turned to gun control. Maybe another day, eh? The election draws closer. Fascists need never occupy the White House and today I heard the short fingered vulgarian has decided that the Washington Post no longer fits his model of responsible journalism. Will this web site be next? Focus on the extremism that faces the world. In TRUMPHUCKER’s world, everyone could be the next “other”….. This world is not 1920’s Germany.

    • Yes, strange times, and I’m feeling more responsible than normal for my role in the media, small as it may be.

      • mike grant

        Thank you for what you do. I read but seldom post here. The world needs ample clean energy. Responsible journalism is the cornerstone of free expression and freedom of the press is essential to a free people’s ability to progress through information. Some things that TRUMPHUCKER has espoused have led rational people to realize that he will be a threat to our freedom of information.

        • Thanks! Appreciate that a lot. I’ve been struggling a bit with our influence lately… so is nice to hear.

          And I agree. back in my sociology days, I was convinced that involvement in politics was a fundamental duty we all shared. Similarly, the media has a fundamental duty, and it seems the mainstream media has dropped the ball on several important topics. Doing what we can to help fill the gaps and improve society.

  • Greghall

    Zach – Your leading premise describing trump as conspiratorial demands a balanced response. Understand first of – I am not a trump (drumph) supporter in the least. I have no respect for any political candidate who’s rhetoric is so divisive and thoughtless. However, trump obviously possesses more information than what is exposed in conventional (corporatized info outlets) media circles.

    g. bush coined the term conspiracy theory in response to 9/11 evidence proposed by scientists outside the primary politic group-think. I’ll end by asking this one simple question:
    Can you tell me what g. soros and/or the kock bros (I know koch bros but I like the implications of my spelling) are spending $1bn – one billion dollars on this election cycle. Don’t guess, that would be conspiratorial…

    • Hello, not sure if I understand all of your points correctly, but 1) Note that Donald doesn’t have email. Yes, he has access to experts if he decides to get in touch with them, but I wouldn’t guess that he uses his resources to do so.

      Not sure what you mean by Bush coining the term conspiracy theory, which has been around since 1909 (or earlier): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

      I definitely agree there is collusion, corruption, conspiracy taking place in US politics, and politics in basically every country. I think the term is used more to talk about conspiracies that are outrageous and presumably incorrect, like Trump is doing, but maybe I’m wrong.

  • NRG4All

    This suggestion is only for those that will not vote for either Presidential candidate. I have heard some people say they will just stay home. My suggestion is that they write in someone. Write in your name, your pet’s name, anything. Thus, when all the votes are tallied the “other” category will ensure the winner won’t have a majority, but a plurality. This may cause the winner some thought to restrain themselves, knowing that most of the country did not vote for them.

    • Omega Centauri

      “winner some thought to restrain themselves”
      Very funny. We are talking about first class narcisists here, not ordinary people.

      • super390

        Yep. Being under 50% of the total didn’t restrain Reagan worth a damn. Maybe it moved Clinton to the right, but not on the issues that won Perot 20% of the vote.

        • Omega Centauri

          It may even run the other way. If I were elected (not running) with under 50%, I’d be in a hurry to get my agenda passed while I still have the power to do so.

  • Larry

    Donald Trump has found the free advertising button on the U.S. media machine. He comes forth with irrational and inflammatory statements on a daily basis and the media whores scoop it up and publish it like it was gospel truth. I no longer listen to most of the Trump trash as it’s simply too irritating.

    • Yes, the media has an important role here, and I think it’s been failing. I’m not sure how long that will be the case, as Trump continues to demonize the media and banish companies that aren’t nice to him, but I think it has been a big part of the story.

      And hence this articles and others that I’m sure are forthcoming…. It would be negligent of us, imho, to not try to better inform and motivate the public on this election, as well as others. We are in charge of collecting information and giving it back to the population in forms that are digestible and salient. Hopefully we can do our work in a more and more satisfactory manner.

    • super390

      Yep. It’s amazing that no one got it to work before. Apparently only a billionaire has the credibility to attack the billionaire class, and even then he has to be a trash media celebrity or it will take too long to get hundreds of millions of bread & circus consumers to know his name.

    • Omega Centauri

      It attract eyeballs, and that equates to profits. Thats all that matters.

  • AaronD12

    Okay, Zach, I get it. Americans are idiots. Just because we’re trying our damnedest to become the movie “Idiocracy”… 🙂

  • J.H.

    I think Trump has had too many Alien Encounters

    • Adrian

      Oh, he’s fine with aliens when they’re cleaning the rooms of his hotels for sub-minimum wage.

  • Marcel

    This is unfortunate… too bad the choice in America is either democrat or republican. Such a bipolar system. What if you don’t want either?

    The worst part of it is that this guy obviously has some sort of personality disorder or something wrong in his head.

    • Adrian

      Jill Stein, Green Party…

      • Omega Centauri

        I voted for her last time around. But, I bet she gets less than 1%, its basically a throwaway vote. When I told my wife I voted for a woman candidate, she had never heard of Jill.

    • You can try to build a grassroots movement for change (think Tea Party, Green Party…) and if it becomes big enough, it can change the platform on one or more of these major parties. The Tea Party was quite successful at that. The Green Party, not so much, but the future is still the future….

      • Adrian

        Well, except the Tea Party was quickly co-opted into an astroturf arm of Koch Industries…

        • Yes. Or even originated there? I’m not clear on how it actually came about.

          But my understanding is that it was in decent part grassroots frustration with the GOP that made it so strong. That said, millions of dollars from the Kochs to defeat moderate Congresspeople and replace them with Tea Partiers shouldn’t be underestimated.

          • super390

            The grassroots frustration came from the very delusions that the right-wing movement had manufactured among middle and working-class Whites. While normal people weren’t looking, people like Limbaugh were promising their audiences to “take out the trash”, code for mass persecution of those minorities they scapegoated as the cause of “Real Americans'” falling wages. You can’t keep making promises to wipe out Blacks and Mexicans and gays and Moslems and feminists and atheists and socialists and environmentalists and scientists and soccer and hipsters, etc etc etc without finally delivering. They want a Final Solution now.

          • Yep, Rush inspired this politician: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/michele-fiore-congress-las-vegas-nevada-213960

            And am afraid to know how many others.

        • Omega Centauri

          I thought it was a Koch project in the first place. With Trump its gotten out of control.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Pretty sure what you say is right. And recently the Kock’s said they were pulling back their support of politics.

          • What’s hilarious is that Trump co-opted it from the Kochs.

      • Omega Centauri

        We would have the same problem that Canada and Britain were having. If you get two leftish parties and one right party, the the right wins control of government. Canada just got rid of Harper….

        • super390

          Yes. The lesson of right-wing extremism is that you must take over an existing party. In effect it’s economic oligopoly transferred to politics; GM and Ford are too big to fail because too many people will just refuse to buy anything at all in a financial crisis rather than shift to new brands.

    • Ivor O’Connor

      Gary Johnson. Almost at 15% now.

      • Bob_Wallace

        He stands a good chance of getting the Republican Trump protest vote. The Republicans who won’t vote for either Trump or Clinton.

        • Ivor O’Connor

          And the Bernie protest vote. For instance I would vote for Bernie but not Hillary.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Ah, another so-called left of center person who is comfortable with Donald Trump as president.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Please, no insults.

          • Bob_Wallace

            You are right of center?

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Ah, another so-called left of center person who is comfortable with Donald Trump as president.

            Do you really not see all the little insults sprinkled in there? Let’s just stop before we start up again!

      • Is he really that high now? Wow.

        • Ivor O’Connor

          He needs that 15% in real polls to be included in the debates. I’m not sure which are the real polls but he’s not there yet.

  • Adrian

    If you’re looking at Trump statements on wind from a few years ago, remember that at the time he was fighting against an offshore wind farm near his Scottish coastal golf course – he didn’t want the view to be “ruined.”

    Trump says what is best for Trump at any particular instant.

    • True. But he also fought them in California (and I think elsewhere) and as far as I know, has never said anything nice about them. Seems to be one of those things that he’s prejudiced about just from the superficial look of them being different.

  • J.H.

    I wounder how many people (republicans) would fall in line behind Trump if he told them that the earth is flat ?

    • Ha, scary to even wonder about.

    • Frank

      It might be flat today, and round tomorrow, and luckily, Trump can feel when it changes, and he tells it like it is.

    • Ivor O’Connor

      About the same number that believe in religion.

  • Are Hansen

    The USA seem like a fantasy novel or a joke seen from Europe. The way society is organized (or not), by the intense fear of doing things together that the rich and wealthy has been successful in installing, the (incorrect) view that every man is an island and can manage alone. What a lonely society! People demonstrating AGAINST free health care?!? Europeans are shaking their heads in disbelief.
    Also weird how a modern industrial society can have a population with so low knowledge and awareness of their world. The USA seems very old-fashioned in many ways, and to me it is glaringly obvious that its organization impedes it from efficiently solving many of its problems.
    Of course, it’s not that Americans are inherently more stupid than the rest of us – people are people everywhere – but the strange way the USA was created and developed

    • super390

      Yet we keep getting away with it. The US can keep pushing down wages at home, while its corporate masters become ever more powerful, and gain ever more influence over the world economy. Its currency kept getting bailed out by Saudi, then Japanese, then Chinese mass purchases in a desperate battle to keep their exports affordable to ever-more impoverished and indebted Americans. China puts on shows of military strength to keep up patriotism, but it avoids any number of ways the overpriced, muscle-bound US military could be cheaply challenged around the world. Almost as if China realizes that Washington is the perfect sucker: its own ideology has militarized its imperative to force the Third World into a Western capitalist mold, sending troops to the worst places on Earth to pacify the natives for safe exploitation by Exxon and Monsanto… except that conditions end up so bad that only Chinese hustlers have the guts to move there with their gold-filled briefcases and build sweatshops.

      It seems we will keep getting away with it until, like Apartheid South Africa, the world forces its investor class to turn off the tap. More likely, the US crashes from an unrecoverable error like Trump and takes most of the world with it.

      • Omega Centauri

        A Trump victory would probably ensure a rapid economic collapse, even more so than Brexit. Loss of trust by investors, and overseas embargoes of anything American would be sure to follow. Already employers have become leery of hiring because of political risk.

    • Omega Centauri

      Its a selective stupidity. Mainly a lack of critical thinking. Emotional tribalism dominating discussion. I think its our media system -which is 99% run for big business profits. Raw anecdotal emotionalism instead of news. It connects gullible eyeballs to advertisers. We want immediate emotional gratification, not facts or careful analysis. I think it mainly stems from thousands of hours of (mis)infotainment.

    • Dan Hue

      There is no such thing as “free health care”. What you are talking about is socialized medicine, which is health care financed through the tax system (people pay more in taxes, but almost nothing in health insurance), and we (in the US) will warm up to it eventually. The fact that most industrialized nations spend about 10% of their GDP on health care, vs. 17% and counting in the US, with equivalent results, will help make the case. The US GDP in 2015 was 18.5 trillion, so 7% of that would be well over 1 trillion. Right there, we can solve all our budget problems.

      • Ivor O’Connor
        • What’s ridiculous is that half of the country would seemingly ignore this chart if presented with it, and would ignore the explanation for how we got here, simply because they are so tied into their groupthink and have been influenced so heavily by self-serving biased media and politicians.

      • Omega Centauri

        That’s a numeric argument, seems at the level of politics we don’t do math.

    • Bob_Wallace

      The United States sits between two oceans, a fringe of people to our north who are quite similar to us, and extensive deserts to our south. If you live in Europe you can drive two hours and visit three different countries. I can drive two hours and not get out of the county I live in.

      Americans are physically isolated.

      Over the last half century the US has produced most of the movies and TV shows the rest of the world has watched. We’ve seen a little bit of Brit humor, mainly on what we used to call our “educational channel”. We see essentially nothing from other European countries or countries anywhere in the world.

      We’ve been the big dog when it came to military might. We’ve had the strongest economy. Much of the world’s innovations started here. We haven’t had a big need to pay attention to the rest of the world.

      All that has created cultural isolation.

  • Ivor O’Connor

    I tend to think more highly of conspiracy theories. What is coming out of Trump’s mouth is idiocy that resonates with a large section of America. People are very angry with the system. No universal health care, education, or social net. Double speak out of every politician. People want to tear it down. Trump’s blatant idiocy matches what they think of our political system. He’s a good fit and may become our president…

    • Brunel

      American voters also think that Bernie would turn USA into Venezuela and not Canada.

      • super390

        Most American voters have no idea what Canada is really like. Bernie would be a centrist there.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I don’t think that’s the case at all. Essentially every left of center person agrees with Bernie’s goals. And I’ve heard no one who I consider ‘center’ speak against Bernie.

        (The issue with Bernie for every left-leaning person I know is not his goals but a feeling that he lacks the skill set to accomplish any of them.)

        • Brunel

          Bernie is anti-Wall Street.

          Even Trump is not owned by Murdoch. But I do not know to which extent Trump is controlled by the establishment.

          • Bob_Wallace

            I don’t get the feeling that Trump has any real connection to big banks and financial institutions. He’s kind of a two-bit developer who finds a piece of real estate, gets someone to build something on it, and then sells it on to someone else. He’s not big time.

            Can you imagine people with real money spending time around this buffoon?

  • egriff5514

    Yes, they can…

    UK is now close to pulling out of EU…

    why? Immigration.

    and I have heard multiple people in UK regions interviewed saying that’s their reason for ‘out.’

    Then when asked they say ‘No, there aren’t any immigrants round here…’

    • Brunel

      Maybe they visit a major city and see the overcrowding?

      • egriff5514

        Seriously, they don’t… we are talking working class OAPs here, for example. Not big urban explorers
        going only on tabloid newspaper information.
        (there is one heck of a lot of the UK with little or no migration)

    • wattleberry

      I blame fudge; it’s fattening too.

  • vensonata .

    This is getting downright eery, isn’t it? It is crossing the line into fiction. At first Trump was dismissed with a snort. Now, the impossible is looming. Here is what you may start hearing: “I hope Trump does get in so that the whole crazy show falls apart, then we can start from scratch after the collapse”.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I’ve been hearing a version of that from both the extreme right and extreme left for a long time.

      Nihilism comes in red and blue….

      • Ivor O’Connor

        Nihilism (/ˈnaɪ.ᵻlɪzəm/ or /ˈniː.ᵻlɪzəm/; from the Latin nihil, nothing) is a philosophical doctrine that suggests the lack of belief in one or more reputedly meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism, which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value.[1] Moral nihilists assert that morality does not inherently exist, and that any established moral values are abstractly contrived. Nihilism can also take epistemological, ontological, or metaphysical forms, meaning respectively that, in some aspect, knowledge is not possible, or that reality does not actually exist.

        Political nihilism, a branch of nihilism, follows the characteristic
        nihilist’s rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions; in
        this case the necessity of the most fundamental social and political
        structures, such as government, family, and law. An influential analysis of political nihilism is presented by Leo Strauss.[12]

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nihilism

        • Bob_Wallace

          That’s not what nihilism means in a political sense. Try this one –

          “a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility”

          The far right currently wants to drown the government in a bathtub. The far left tends to drift off into anarchy and an attitude of “burn it all down and something better will spring up”.

      • vensonata .

        We will soon hear the “collapse” sentiment from the more moderate left. In 2008 we came within an inch, the cause being endemic delusions of money for free. It can happen again with naive Trump doctrines being acted on and finding out that the line between television show catastrophe and your real life neighborhood dystopia, has melted.

        • super390

          I would only support collapse if I had a suite of institutions in place that could take over and rebuild quickly. There was a time when unions were social organizations, when the working class had many forms of community and could contemplate the risk of revolution. All of that was destroyed, what Marx called “the commoditization of all relationships”, so that people would be helpless to the demands of the investor class. Some countries have deliberately chosen to default on their foreign debt so that they could screw over their bankers and bosses and rebuild the economy from the bottom up, but I don’t think Americans have the skills to make that work.

          • Bob_Wallace

            We could look around and find people to put into office that fixed things for us.

            We’ve had a good run with Obama. If he had backing rather than opposition from Congress he could have accomplished a lot more. We’ve got to find more candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken and Barney Franks and help them win.

          • I would love to see Al Franken run for president. He is wonderful, and has the entertainment background to dazzle voters and win them over.

            Of course, Warren is high on the future presidential candidates list. Would love to see her step into that, and seems she is interested in it now. Naturally, I’m hoping she’s picked for VP.

            But in any case, yes, we need people like this in Congress. And we need to work for that, rather than just tune in when someone like Trump is running for president.

    • “This is getting downright eery, isn’t it?”
      Yes, it is.

      “It is crossing the line into fiction.”
      Sure feels like it.

      Two great reads that help to explain what so many of us thought was impossible:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/06/13/3785001/alexander-hamilton-donald-trump-republic/

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/28/3762742/trump-rhetoric-2/

    • Carl Raymond S

      The Guardian has a way with words, and two that I’ve read this week are perfect: braggadocio, and pedagogue. It comes across in every line he utters – it’s in his “I talk, you listen” tone. That’s not how it works; we talk, they listen.

    • Omega Centauri

      That’s what I was saying about the nomination. But there is no telling when/if the downfall will come.

  • Shiggity

    He will use any combination of words that will increase his own net worth / the net worth of his backers.

    There is no ‘real’ anymore. Politicians basically mold sentences together based on real time stock tickers.

    They’re almost not even people anymore, but human / corporation pseudo half breeds. The nation state system is obsolete in the wake of a global financial system and billionaire power.

  • Kieran Delaney

    Oh goodness..it’s “Dubya” all over again…

    • Similarities:

      1) I thought Dubya had no chance of being elected since he had basically failed at major career step.

      2) I thought Dubya had no chance of being re-elected because of major “missteps” that I thought were obvious enough to the public.

      3) I thought Trump had no chance of winning the GOP primary, or even coming close, since … well, is an explanation really needed here?

      But Dubya taught me to not assume too much regarding the thoughtfulness and research of the public.

      • Larry

        As P.T Barnum so eloquently said: “There’s a sucker born every minute”. Never underestimate the capability of the American electorate to stoop to new lows.

        • And… this one from Einstein, or not: “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about th’universe!”

    • Ivor O’Connor

      Or Reagan or Nixon…

      • What are you talking about — Reagan is a hero.

        😉 /s

        • Adrian

          🙂

          If he ran today, he’d be tossed out for being a hippie liberal.

          • Omega Centauri

            Thats what I keep saying about Nixon.

        • Ivor O’Connor

          I did everything I possibly could to keep Carter in office. It was very painful to me when Reagan won. About the same as seeing Darth Vader win…

          • I can imagine.

            Love Carter. He gets a lot of criticism and negative stereotyping, but he is my favorite president in modern history, and I think he had a lot more influence than people give credit.

            Unfortunately, it seems macro effects outside of his control wore away his popularity, as well as the typical “showman” presidential candidate who dazzles without nothing more than personality and gets the vote. Seems to be one of the biggest factors if not the biggest factor in almost every election…

            This year, we somehow don’t have a Reagan, Clinton, or Obama personality … but I guess Trump is endearing to any racist and xenophobic people.

          • super390

            Reagan was the one who made me start to give up on the Republican Party. But once I saw the process that he oversaw to keep moving the country further and further to the Right of what he claimed were his policies, I went very far to the Left indeed.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Actually it was more painful because Carter through in the towel before the election ended. Could you imagine if the Luke Skywalker just admitted defeat when he saw the death star?

        • Greghall

          Are you aware reagan’ only real employment career before elected pres. was that of a lifeguard before becoming an actor. Which do you believe most exemplifies his political career…, snicker, lol

          • Bob_Wallace

            Actually, Reagan was president of the Screen Actors Guild, a labor union, for seven years and Governor of California for eight years.

            He started out as a liberal Democrat and fan of FDR but turned right out of a fear of Communism.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Thought he was also a baseball announcer.

  • m2cts

    The previous contestants in the Republican camps were little difference.

    • I’m not going to argue with that.

      Trump puts into words what many GOP leaders think but won’t directly say because they know how offensive it is and have a sense of the repercussions.

      However, there are other Republicans who are probably logical, thoughtful, good people. They fall in line because they have to if they want to remain elected officials in the party. I think it’s time for them to break rank on important topics, and hoping this will stimulate that.

      The story right now is that some are breaking ranks due to the most extreme of Trump’s comments, but most others are just saying, “well, it’s okay, he just had a bad week” or “he just forgot how to say it in the proper way.” These camps should be divided, because the Republican party has been hijacked by extremists and they are harming the country a great deal, and the world as well.

    • super390

      I really, really hated those guys, but Trump is different. The old guys cynically took existing racism and sexism and molded it into loyalty to the White male business & religious elite. This allowed said elite to betray ordinary Americans endlessly in the pursuit of short-term profit via globalization, while their followers were relentlessly indoctrinated to blame down, not up. Well, Trump blew up the deal the worst way possible; he’s taking those followers for himself while doubling down on their certainty that more inequality is the solution. That is the fascist solution for the problems of capitalism: not less inequality, but inequality based on rigid, brutal tribal supremacy. Which includes guns.

      We’re not talking about rational economic policymaking anymore. We’re talking about the kind of leader who encourages his cultists to replace big government with lynch law. Rwanda, Indonesia, Kristallknacht. Many of the rich realize that this could finally lead to blowback from the victims that would end hyper-profitable business as usual.

      So even the extent that the rich are willing to deal with environmental issues (the point of this website) will get thrown under the coal-powered bus. This is old White men having a collective nervous breakdown and going postal, the Samson Option, if we can’t own the country forever we will make sure no one else can have it either. The worst possible mentality for obtaining sacrifices for environmental repair.

      • Greghall

        I am with you entirely. Thank you for reminding me why I open the Cleantechnica webpage each morning. I believe I am looking for hope that clean energy industries are progressing and that nothing has happened to divert an exponential rise in new clean energy tech. All while fully cognizant politics is inextricably linked with the spectrum of American/international business and business venture’s.

        I believe most of us here are expressing fear and anxiety with regard to politics resulting from trump’ rhetoric and rightly so…, I also believe our opinions are still taking shape even while we agree trump’ speeches are difficult to fathom he does speak with a conviction I think the majority of Americans envy and support with reservations.

        Personally I cannot listen to him, mostly I see his megalomania is in control of word choice and sociopolitical position.

        I only hope we as Americans learn from this and will incorporate some of the good trump ideas and leave the remainder for historians to discuss.

        Peace thru Compassion and Education

      • True.

        OTOH, his blatant prejudice is splitting the party by those who actually support those things and those who were willingly to overlook them because of other ideologies and motives. It could be the perfect storm for finally demolishing the cynical and prejudiced GOP stance … or it could be something worse…..

  • Omega Centauri

    Unfortunately the answer, is yes we could. Critical thinking is just so uncool. And the media has trained us to be overly emotional thinkers. Now we get nonstop traumatic stories from the latest horror show in Orlando. A traumatized nation is unlikely to be able to make rational choices, yet that is what draws eyeballs to screen, so that is what we get.

    • Yup….

    • Carl Raymond S

      That’s one aspect of the USA I (and 24 million other Australians), will never understand. The rational choice is gun control, but America is hung up on the idea that the second amendment cannot be wrong, despite being written in 1791, way before the invention of the modern assault rifle.
      Amend the second amendment so that everybody has the right to own a musket – as intended – and nothing more powerful. Problem solved.

      • Omega Centauri

        Oh how I wish it were so simple. The real reason for the 2nd amendment was far more sinister however: slave states wanted to maintain armed slave patrols against the possibility of escaped slaves or even of a slave revolt. Now a maximalist interpretation has become a sacred cow for a good portion of the population.

        • Carl Raymond S

          Whatever the reason for the 2nd, the solution is that simple. I know it’s a sample size of one, but it worked for Australia. If you want to read the full story, google “Howard response to Port Arthur massacre”. Short version is that a crazy guy shot 35 men, women and children in April 1996. It shocked the nation. Our new Prime Minister introduced strict gun control laws, and bought back 600,000 guns. We haven’t had a repeat.

          • m2cts

            The US currently has between 245 and 360 million guns in private hands, roughly one for every man, woman, and child.

          • Carl Raymond S

            I don’t know if Australia offered market value, or a percentage of, but yeah, it’s going to cost each taxpayer a few hundred bucks, to save 30,000 lives per year. I have four kids, three go to nightclubs and the other I expect will when older. I’d pay it.

          • S Herb

            My impression is that the NRA yearns for an ideal relationship between citizen and government as currently best realized in Somalia.

          • Ha. Taking the arguments to their logical conclusions….

          • super390

            I think they claim they want Blacks to have the same gun rights as Whites, but they are the first to smear Blacks as terrorists merely for the crime of protesting the cops and White vigilantes gunning them down for no reason. I think their goal is less like Somalia than Apartheid South Africa, where the armed mob takes over where the “limited government” leaves off.

          • S Herb

            But there are potentially mobs with differing interests. I see it as going in the direction of partly cooperating and partly clashing militias, a sort of tribal reversion. That was what ‘Somalia’ was meant to mean.

          • Jesus….

          • egriff5514

            so also in the UK – Hungerford and Dunblane are about the only large scale incidents in half a century…
            Each resulted in bans on guns.
            Now vanishing small chance of being shot in UK

          • Omega Centauri

            Over here examples of countries with strict gun laws that have had incidents are burnished as proof that gun control doesn’t work. As long as the chance of an incident is still nonzero with any proposed plan, that plan is defeated as worthless.

          • Brunel

            What gun was it.

          • Carl Raymond S

            You will have to google, or ask somebody who finds guns remotely interesting. Something with the word ‘automatic’ in there. Presumably designed to kill more people faster than a musket.

          • Roger Lambert

            Australia didn’t have a 2nd Amendment, so – no, it’s not that simple.

          • Carl Raymond S

            Laws are made to serve the people. If the law is wrong, change it.

          • Greghall

            I am nor sure where and how slavery fits on the timeline of an American armed militia and 2nd amendment provisions for an armed citizenry/militia’ however the idea is originally a direct result of Early American fears king george and/or others may amass an army on American soil whose primary purpose is the direct overthrow of a growing American politic.
            Have any of you heard of Maj. General Smedley Butler…, well, in 1938 Maj. Gen Butler approached the HUAC (providing evidence) and a complaint he had been approached by a group of wealthy industrialists and had been offered $5 million dollars (USD) a 500,000 troops with intentions to march upon Washington (the seat of America’s Democratic Republic) with full intent to take over the Federal Government. America’s early example of too big to fail – politicians downplayed the assertion…, this is documented.

            I love the assessment of political nihilism. Although I tend to agree in that I I do not require laws, political rhetoric, family and social memes simply because I am a sentient being and thereby have a profound appreciation and respect for physical and emotional limits observed in others. However in addition to “Social Constraints” a reminder in writing serves to reassure me others get it…, even before thought.

          • super390

            But at the time of the Revolution the militias already existed because of the agendas of the colonists: war with the Indians and defense against slave rebellions. That was what our sainted ancestors were; invaders and thieves. Because they existed, they fit well into an ideology of colonial autonomy against an unresponsive London government. The question is, how much of the credit for successfully ejecting that government was due to successful guerrilla warfare versus Washington’s belief in his Continental Army? This was a political and ideological dispute in those days because there was no Executive Branch, only a Continental Congress whose representatives were biased in favor of their state militias and treated Washington and his men shoddily. Ironically, this enraged his officers into plotting to overthrow Congress, and he had to talk them down in a famous speech.

            Of course, it’s very possible that militias can do things now that they couldn’t 240 years ago. War changes all the time. I just suspect that the people pushing this militia movement are not interested in eliminating the government, but in eliminating modern laws as to who counts as a citizen underneath it.

          • Greghall

            Yes militias were formed well before the Continental Congress. Some may argue the militia’s arose from groups of slave owners and their hired assassins but what then explains the inclusion of local militias throughout the northern states in early Colonial America as well.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            But at the time of the Revolution the militias already existed because of the agendas of the colonists: war with the Indians and defense against slave rebellions. That was what our sainted ancestors were; invaders and thieves.

            Well said.

            I wonder how similar they are to Koch brother TEA Party members?

        • Keanwood

          Do you have a source for that? I’ve never heard that angle on the issue before.

          • Bob_Wallace

            It doesn’t ring true to me. The Bill of Rights was adopted in 1791. Slavery was common with our founding fathers.

          • super390

            But that’s exactly the point; in 1791 slavery was still legal in most Northern states. Southern militias were used both to oppress Indians and Blacks. These militias were so often founded by the rich – and dominated by their agendas – that the term “Colonel” went from being the rank of a militia regiment commander to a sort of title of nobility in the South. The more slaves you owned, the higher you were in the social hierarchy and the more likely that the private gunowners of your community were under your control through the militia. And the South was more politically powerful so it got its way a lot.

            I think slavery is a huge part of the reason why American and Canadian gun culture is so radically different. Canadians (like rural people in most 1st World countries) see guns as slow-firing weapons for hunting animals. America’s gun culture has always had a large place for the hunting of one’s fellow men. It’s become our Peculiar Institution.

        • Roger Lambert

          The courts have said the 2nd Amendment protects individual gun ownership for more than 100 years. And they have also said it didn’t. It’s a mixed bag – but that doesn’t mean the 2nd is all about slavery. And it does not mean that the Founders even contemplated for a single second that individuals should not have the right to own guns – the very idea would have been absurd to them.

          • super390

            It’s more complicated than that. Pistols were very expensive before mass production. The Founders weren’t facing a citizenry armed with concealed weapons; the ones who were farmers had rifles that could hardly be fired more than twice a minute, but the government had cannons full of grapeshot. There’s a book whose title I can’t recall that examined the process by which big gunmakers like Colt in the 19th century mainstreamed pistols into American culture using advertising.

          • Omega Centauri

            And the reload process left the person is a very vulnerable position for that minute. Also powder could get wet and become useless. In battles of the time it was frequently fire one shot, then use the bayonet.

          • Roger Lambert

            This line of argument is moot – the law is crystal clear that modern popular guns – such as semi-auto pistols and semi-auto assault weapons are absolutely protected for personal possession and use for personal protection. That semi assault rifles are protected is the quintessence of irony – they became popular as a statement against gun control to some extent. Now, it is their very popularity which guarantees that they are protected!

            And you are wrong about the cannons – the government did not have them – they were kept in armories by the militias (which were simply able-bodied citizens). A standing army was unconstitutional back then.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Seven states put regulations of some sort on semi-automatic weapons. Restricting magazines to 10 rounds is the most common.

            The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to those regulations.

            I don’t find a ruling from the SC that OKs private ownership of semi-automatic weapons. They have allowed the ban of specific semi-automatic weapons to stand.

            Clearly there is a Court supported limit to the type of guns private individuals can own. Fully automatic weapons are barred. Some semi-automatic weapons can be barred. Large capacity magazines can be barred. The question going forward is whether the ability to fire large numbers of rounds in a short period of time could be further restricted.

      • Ivor O’Connor

        Many people, myself included, believe the second amendment was to prevent folks like George Washington from rounding us all up in leg clamps, removing our shoes, and forcing us to fight their enemy. With guns we can shoot those who try to force us to go to war. Has not worked out very well given our history with the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and now our countries love affair with the military in general. So it’s probably best we get rid of the 2nd amendment since it has done more harm than good. It won’t happen though for numerous reasons.

        • Carl Raymond S

          Never say never. The world is shrinking and world’s best policy will eventually prevail. Look at gay marriage. 15 years ago I’d have thought Ireland would be the last to adopt. Within six months Australia will adopt marriage equality, and that’s because so many other countries have made us look recalcitrant.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            When best policies do eventually prevail they’ll outlaw marriage!

            Until then let everybody equally suffer.

        • Greghall

          I don’t know about all that…, maybe a little supposition involved there. In any case, the greater than 3 million firearms in possession of a relatively trained citizenry is a considerable deterrent, helping to maintain a reasonable facsimile of political countenance of fairness, these days.

          • A deterrent?… Seriously? What do you legitimately think the US government is going to do that would be solved by 3 million Americans having guns? (And let’s acknowledge the obvious points that guns at the hands of criminals kill innocent people every day in “normal” crime, guns accidentally kill kids frequently as well, and guns have allowed a ridiculous number of mass shootings in the country.)

          • Greghall

            Zach – please, I believe I am on your side. But just in case are you forgetting the effect the French Underground had on influencing outcomes… what about Russia’ inability to defeat the Afghani’ dare I call them militias? How are the US and Allied forces doing in the middle east?

            Be careful when using wiki to corroborate your opinions about history including word usage. Although I suppose the first literary (preserved/archived) posting of the “conspiracy theory” concept was 1909 the sentiment/fear predates the bible. The concept of evil conspiring against good is probably as old as language itself.

            I’ll concede/accept that g. Dubya b. alluded to and redefined the sentiment in a modern context with a heightened sense of immediacy and doom. But who’s paying any attention now or ever?

            I am surprised though to find trump even getting a mention in a CleanTechnica discussion. I suppose he is out there…

          • OK, I guess I wasn’t clear on your point. Dubya didn’t change anything for me on the idea of conspiracy theories. I’m not aware of any big effect he had on the topic. And I was just confused and responding to the idea that he coined the term. Naturally, the concept has been around for about as long as humans….

          • Greghall

            Zach – I am avoiding your real question because I do not believe most Americans are willing to even hear/read my full opinion (I may have to write a book) most would claim mine is apples to minerals logic although both are relevant. Although what I espouse is death to dying results from/with acceptable risks…

            Our government is fully and knowingly to some involved in a campaign of successive approximations. Whereby, civil liberties are being systematically reduced…, have you noticed arrests for protesting have risen beyond exponentially. I believe over 400 were arrested in a recent DC act of civil disobedience? This alone must not continue. I love America because of our potential to progress in expressions of freedom – I worry this is not a priority with any consensus in American politics today…

          • super390

            Tea Party protesters never get arrested. The DC protesters were leftists, as were the Occupy people who were crushed by “liberal” city police forces and mayors. Out West gun cultists seem to break the laws and terrify people in ways that would get a Black teenager riddled with bullets.
            And Trump figures into this because he is allowed to get away with anything he wants in his demagoguery and incitement; he even joked that he could shoot someone in the street and get away with it. In truth, he’s daring his followers to save America by threatening the lives of those he blames for all its problems. I should not have to point out where this has happened in the past.
            So the reduction of civil liberties seems to be deeply tilted in favor of those who believe that America is not unequal enough. The people who own America may find those bigots distasteful, but like the plantation owners in the past who half-secretly propped up the KKK, they shared an end game of a government that is the servant only of a Master Race.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            As a kid our neighborhood would participate in huge BB gun fights. I got one in the eye-socket once and had to wear a patch for a few months. It got scary though when some kids would take real rifles and shotguns out. Nothing ever happened with real guns but they were often pointed and fully loaded.

          • Holy cow. WTF!?

          • Ivor O’Connor

            You grew up in Europe Zach. Things were quite different in the south west countryside for rough and tumble kids. Now days with all this parental supervision where kids no longer go off and play all day by themselves the past seems like a twilight zone episode.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Zach is from Florida.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Oh, I thought he was from Poland. My bad.

          • No, no, no 😀 I grew up in Florida. 😀 I moved to Poland for a lady ~8 years ago.

            I remember some kids playing with BB guns, and stories from my dad about playing with them in perhaps a more dangerous manner. I don’t remember any stories about kids playing with real guns!

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Ahh, so that’s why I thought you were from Poland.

          • 😀

            Most people think I live in LA or Silicon Valley. Am frequently told that. At least you know where I live! 😀

          • Ivor O’Connor

            lol, I’m so honored!

        • Greghall

          Ivor – I’ll only add a few choice facts.
          1. Machiavelli 1469-1527 was a strong proponent of local armed militia’s.

          2. the concept of a militia, of an armed local citizenry was synonymous with all men regardless of wealth or station in the community throughout all of Europe.
          3. the militia concept was an import with all colonial Americans beginning during the Columbus era and onward.
          4. the idea that the south was responsible for the 2nd amendment is ludicrous – that’s liken to asserting the New England people are responsible for the creation of donnie trump.

          The south may have held out for specific language in the Constitution’ 2nd Amendment but they did not write the Constitution nor the 2nd Amendment. I have no doubt there were concessions made in writing each Amendment to the Constitution before ratification.

          The point for me is we must continue with a well armed militia e.g. local men and women intent on defending The American People from enemies both foreign and domestic and defend our Constitution.

          Oh hell…, its late, I’m done. Pleasant Dreams.

          • Ivor O’Connor

            Omega put some links in most of which I read before he linked them. Search these comments for “A few google hits:” and take a read. It changed my mind.
            As for your points:

            1) Yes…

            2) Yes…

            3) Yes…

            4) Militia had been the group responsible for preventing slave uprisings since the start of our country. Hence the terminology “militia” as can be seen in Thomas Jefferson’s hand.

            I don’t think our right to bare arms has done us squat. Look at how easily Washington walked all over us going from cottage to cottage putting us in leg irons and removing our shoes. Washington got away with this despite everybody having weapons. (Though in his diary he did say he feared his starving freezing conscripted army more than the English.) Most of the blacks joined the English. From this perspective authorizing the militia, mainly responsible for enforcing slavery, to carry guns was not about protecting individuals from getting conscripted to do the bidding of the people with money.

          • Bob_Wallace

            “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

            OK, let’s assume there’s some need for citizens to protect themselves from their government. I’m not interested in debating about the likelihood might be, so let’s just deal with what reasonable compliance might look like.

            The 2nd says “well regulated Militia”. Let’s restrict the really dangerous weapons to well regulated Militias. Set up training programs for any who want to be ready to be called to action. Give them weapons training and organize them. Do what the US military does and keep those weapons safely secured until such an event happens which would call for their use.

            Give people, in general, the ability to own guns but restrict those guns to something like shotguns, rifles and pistols with three shot magazines.

            During phase one make it a felony with an automatic prison sentence for possessing a high capacity weapon in public. Make it a felony with an automatic prison sentence for selling, loaning or giving a high capacity weapon to another person.

            After a few years, when we’re seeing almost no high capacity weapons carried in public then start a buyback program leading up to it being illegal to possess a high capacity weapon.

            Remember, if you need to fight off the US Marines you can haul your butt down to the county militia armory and get your AK-47 and hunker down behind the barricade.

      • I and many other Americans can’t make much sense of it either. Ivor’s explanation of the origin of the amendment is my understanding of it, but seriously, who is going to defend themselves against the US military these days? The idea that some guns stuffed in our closets are going to do so is ridiculously absurd. And the harm being done by them in the meantime is insane.

        (Edit: I had not heard of Omega’s explanation, but it makes a lot of sense, sadly.)

      • Adrian

        We need to make sure (as individuals, you can’t trust the military because they work for the government) that King George doesn’t send the redcoats back in and make us subjects again.

        Also, FEMA camps, Jade Helm, nutter conspiracy of the week…

        • Greghall

          …you forgot 2bn hollow point bullets?

          • super390

            The military has armor that easily stops expanding bullets. However, they would be useful in the kind of civil wars we actually see today, lightly-armed death squads going door to door to ethnically cleanse their neighborhoods. That’s the reality that people who talk about fighting the government won’t tell you – because they already have their death lists drawn up.

          • Greghall

            Wow, didn’t see that coming.

          • super390

            Whoops, I didn’t realize you were talking about the Federal government’s supposed stockpiling of police-used exotic bullets. I meant that lots of would-be militia guys ALSO have hollow-point bullets that won’t work against soldiers, but will work against “community organizers” and “communists”. The Internet will be used by everyone to draw up death lists, not just the government.

    • Hans the Elder

      Not the forget the district voting system which over-represents conservative rural areas plus gerrymandering (google operation REDMAP)

    • Robert Pollock

      At the risk of sounding alarmist, I’m thinking some of this is evolution. Lemmings run over a cliff when their population can’t feed itself, I wonder what the individual Lemmings are thinking? That what they’re doing is right? Maybe, they run on instinct, we have the ability to reason.
      We look at the hordes of ignorant peasants from undeveloped countries as a threat to society generally and ourselves in particular. We might be about to ignore our current climate situation. But in the long run, who’s ignorance could send this whole place over the cliff? And could we do it with premeditation? You bet, the only answer to why would we, at that juncture would be, evolution. We win the Darwin thingy.

      • Greghall

        I would simply suggest to you…, whatever you are. Some people do not care a whit about becoming wealthy or least of all “politically correct.” In fact I don’t believe your anthropomorphic hate speech would even raise an eyebrow.

        What you espouse is liken to hate speech…, I can only guess your apparent ignorance is a result of something you heard or were told somewhere.

        I believe and hope we are writing about real people here…, because I have two graduate degrees does not diminish my humanity as foremost in my belief system and I would hope I always seek to promote others from that premise.

        • super390

          I think collective self-criticism is necessary and healthy and far too rare. We have too much evidence that people will contemplate mass suicide; the success of Mutually Assured Destruction required it. We should have kids in our high school study the uncomfortable questions: why haven’t there been MORE terrorists or fascist regimes that we’ve already had?

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