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Which is worse: Four more years of Trump or the Democrats winning the trifecta? If the Dems control both houses, Biden in the White House might do more damage than Trump. I'm still undecided (and voted for Jorgensen).

@gmcgath

What is the most egregious damage Trump has done in your view?

@AtlasFreeman Tough call. The two worst cases of economic damage that come to mind are his tariffs and his eviction ban. A Democratic president might have done something even worse on the latter. The worst damage to human rights has come from his expanding the powers of DHS, and that could be the greatest long-term risk.

@gmcgath Trump winning, no doubt. He is dismantling the rule of law, without which we have no society, just a jungle of violence. It's hard to imagine a D society worse than a lawless society.

@billblake2018
Biden's own administration enacted warentless spying on every american, extra judicial assassination of American citizens, and imprisoned more journalists under the sedition act than all former presidents combined. It's so weird to me that anyone can think biden is the lesser evil here. Also, and more to your point, dem mayors aren't stopping their riots, but often egging them on; why would a biden win stop the lawlessness? It might very well just empower the 'jungle'.
@gmcgath

@incognitum @gmcgath It's weird to me that people can attribute to one person that which is done by others. There was no "Biden administration", VPs are mere appendages for the most part. Obama and Congress deserve the blame for the things you described. And Biden is not responsible for the actions of governors. So, if you have a criticism of Biden, *base it Biden's actions and statements, not the actions of others*.

/1

@incognitum @gmcgath
Also, you misunderstood what I mean by rule of law. A society has rule of law when its government operates within its charter--which, in our case, is the Constitution and the laws and norms that flesh out its skeleton. The rule of law has always been shaky in America and has been greatly eroded lately, but we still have it.

/2

@incognitum @gmcgath Trump does not accept the rule of law; he regards it as an impediment to gratifying his whims. Biden, by contrast, believes that the rule of law is what would give him power. Though he would undoubtedly flout it, he won't try to dismantle it, which is what Trump is doing.

/3

@incognitum @gmcgath A Biden win "merely" means that we continue our slow slide into bankruptcy and tyranny, with the crisis likely in the 30s. A Trump win would also continue that slide but would *also* have a real risk of America becoming an outright dictatorship within his presidency.

/end

@billblake2018
Any abuses of power by the administration he was the 2nd highest official in happened with his full knowledge and consent. Not whistle blowing on the illegal spying on every American was biden's action. He did not resign in protest over *his* administration (it bore his name right under Obama's on every ballot cast to elect them) starting 5 new wars. Biden was not an unwilling bystander, and he defends that administration's actions now, rather than speaking against them
@gmcgath

@billblake2018
Good clarification, I thought you meant the civil unrest. As far as I know, trump brags about his wild schemes to abuse the rule of law, gets them jammed up in the courts, and then abides by the courts' decisions slapping them down. The previous administration (that bore Biden's name alongside Obama's) hid their abuses from scrutiny so as to allow them to fester and grow uncontested. That seems far more destructive of respect for institutions in my opinion.
@gmcgath

@incognitum @gmcgath Trump's bragging isn't the problem, though it is a telling symptom--it demonstrates his personal contempt for the rule of law. And Trump does not abide by court decisions. That's from the people in his administration, many of whom still have some respect for the rule of law. But many of them *don't*. So, for example, the separation of children from their parents at the border was a direct violation of court orders.

/1

@incognitum @gmcgath The problem isn't Trump's personal lawlessness, it is his corruption of govt and the people in it. We now have AG Barr, once respectable, now supporting Trump's lawlessness. We have Rand Paul, with his once libertarian leanings, all in with statism--because it supports Trump. We have the Republicans, who failed to remove Trump--for all the wrong reasons. We have the replacement and removal of IGs--and so no oversight to rein in corruption in the agencies. I could go on.

/2

@incognitum @gmcgath But, another point--you're confusing abuses of the rule of law for destruction of the rule of law. When, for example, an official uses his office for personal gain, that's an abuse of the rule of law. When that becomes *acceptable*, the rule of law is gone. With mere abuses, the rule of law still exists to potentially right the wrong. When the rule of law has been destroyed, it's anything goes.

/3

@incognitum @gmcgath A fair reading of American history can only reveal that American governments have *always* been corrupt. Yet, until recently, corruption hasn't done any real damage to America. Quite the contrary, corruption gets unmasked and then became the impetus for applying the rule of law to prevent that particular corruption.

/4

@incognitum @gmcgath Political power has been understood, not as a legitimate means to personal gain, but as a means of improving the polity. But once political power becomes *nothing more* than the means by which one group asserts its power over others, once there is no rule of law that places even nominal limits on what government may do, we have nothing but tyranny.

/5

@incognitum @gmcgath Trump, by normalizing the use of political power for personal gain, is *far* more dangerous than any number of merely corrupt individuals, whether that corruption is manifested in greed or in extrajudicial killings. The Republic can--and has--survived generations of abuses of the rule of law. It cannot survive rejection of the rule of law. The rule of law will probably survive a Democratic administration; it almost certainly will not survive a Trump administration.

/end

@billblake2018
The creeping corruption has taken only a handful of generations to get the feds involved in virtually every action americans perform between waking and sleeping, it hasn't self corrected. It's not clear that trump is abusing the office more than others, but letting people see the abuse in real time seems to be forcing some actual push back. It might not be bad for the rule of law if the locus of legitimacy to rest at the state level once more.
@gmcgath

@incognitum @gmcgath You did not address my actual argument and you continue to harp on irrelevancies. We can't have a fruitful discussion so long as you do that.

@billblake2018 @gmcgath
I'm not defending trump here, only saying he's just not worse than fdr or wilson. I didn't say you're not entitled to your opinion, or that you are wrong to think he is; I just said it's weird *to me* that libertarians would think that. Perhaps what is unproductive is trying to convince me it's not weird *to me*. Generally I appreciate your posts when they show up in my feed, I don't want this to get ugly. Thanks for engaging and have a great night!

@incognitum I'll agree that FDR and Wilson were worse, and the prospect of the Dems controlling both houses and the WH is scary. The one good thing about Trump is that he's incompetent. He doesn't know how to follow through on a power-grab scheme.

Yet he has followers. My neighborhood is full of signs supporting him. Most of the Republicans in the House and Senate are cowed by him. The GOP is in ruins as far as standing for freedom is concerned. It's bad whether he wins or loses.

@incognitum @billblake2018 There was no Biden administration in my universe.

There are plenty of concerns about Biden. He was a principal architect of the Patriot Act. He bragged about introducing 60 new death penalties. But let's stick to reality.

@gmcgath
Officials, not even elected ones, such as cabinet & chief of staff are often referred to as members of 'the administration', so maybe there's a legal distinction here I'm missing, but in common parlance your view that he was not in an administration seems to be the one that diverges from reality. Certainly we know he was in the room with obama and giving unmasking orders to spy on political rivals, not an unwilling bystander in his administration's abuses of power.
@billblake2018

@incognitum @gmcgath He didn't make the decisions, he can't take the blame for them.

@billblake2018
The options are
A) he was an active participant in the abuses (as we know is the case in crossfire hurricane)
or
B) if he found them too distasteful to participant in, he was at least able set aside both his personal scruples and the rights of *every single American* to advance his own agrandizment.

It's not at all clear that to me that B is less of an indictment than A.
@gmcgath

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