# Taking an unpopular position here...

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So I've noticed our politics section is pretty staunchly anti-Trump (I haven't been active here in a while so correct me if this isn't the case) . I'll be frank. I voted for Donald Trump and continue to support most but not all of his policy initiatives.

Seeing as how there doesn't seem to be much right wing representation here I'd like to open the floor for anyone to pick my brain as to why I would support such as horrible (insult Trump smear here).

I'd like to keep it civil. I know this is an emotionally charged topic so as rational people let's debate as such.

I could write a long diatribe about why I support but I think it'd be less boring and more engaging to allow others to pose questions about why I support any given position or quality.

So. Let's hear it. What would you like to know, if anything, from a real life scientifically minded Trumpite who has all his teeth?

Edited by mississippichem
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Thanks for doing that, I think having different views represented is quite worthwhile. However, I do think that outlining your primary reasons (or maybe a pro and cons-type of list) for voting Trump would be a good starter as there are so many bits and pieces there.

Two questions though, do you feel that he is on the right track in the issues that are relevant to you (and which are these). Are you at all bothered that he puts people in charge of agencies such as the EPA that are rather obviously trying to dismantle the organizations whilst ignoring or denying scientific consensus?

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How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

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Thanks for doing that, I think having different views represented is quite worthwhile. However, I do think that outlining your primary reasons (or maybe a pro and cons-type of list) for voting Trump would be a good starter as there are so many bits and pieces there.

Sure. I guess that would prevent people shooting at moving targets. I'll start with a bit of background that shows where my viewpoints originate so my defense of policy can be interpreted in the correct light.

I've always been of the opinion that the Republican party is composed of three primary factions, Evangelicals, Nationalists and Libertarians. As a staunch atheist I don't have much love for the Evangelical wing of the party (this includes certain facets of the Tea Party as well). I tend to lean Libertarian from a philosophical stand point but pragmatically I think Nationalism has much to offer.

As far as Trump himself goes from my viewpoint:

Pros:

-Attitude: Ironically the thing that makes so many on the left cringe is precisely what has excites the right wing base. I was not a fan of Bush, McCain or Romney (No where near far right enough for my taste, statist, leftist and Neo-cons with Christian rhetoric if you ask me) but the left mercilessly characterized these candidates as evil, hateful, bigoted fascists. Trumps attitude and demeanor, in my opinion, accept the fact that the left will never be okay with any candidate who is right of Hillary Clinton. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, was not an evil man, a fascist or a bigot but that did not stop him being characterized as that anyway. I believe that Trump acknowledges this and in turn says things in an inflammatory manner to at least appear strong on an issue whereas other conservatives go on an apology tour across media networks. It's refreshing to see someone so steadfast in their believes that they really don't care much about how they are characterized.

-Negotiation: I do not claim that Trump is a genius in any department except this one. His actions on foreign policy since Inauguration speak well to this. All throughout the campaign he ranted and raved about how China is "ripping us off" and is a currency manipulator. Shortly after inauguration he a had a phone call with the President of Taiwan which is a diplomatic slap in the face to the mainland Chinese regime. During his dinner with President Xi Trump was informed of our Tomahawk missile attack on Assad. All of this sets up a narrative in the Chinese leadership's mind that this new US president is decisive, bold and unafraid of diplomatic fallout in order to achieve his larger policy goals. Now we see the Chinese taking an aggressive stance against North Korea which is unheard of in recent US history. My hypothesis is that we are seeing the Chinese respond to a scenario where Trump has put pressure on them through other channels. In order to look strong the Chinese must respond to the North Koreans. It is this kind of savvy that impresses me. He seems to attack these types of problems in a very nonlinear way that is proving to be quite effective thus far in foreign policy. Also see his comments about NATO being obsolete. He has since backed down but not before receiving pledges to contribute additional funding from other nations and a refocus to the problem of Islamic terror in the west.

-The Wall: Hungary built one and illegal border crossings went to almost zero (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_border_barrier the graph is quite illustrative). Similar happened in Israel. Many debate about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of said wall but for me it is more a message to the wider world that America has an inherent right to control its borders and other nations have an inherent responsibility to control theirs. Making Mexico pay for the wall is trivial considering all the trade that crosses our borders. We can tax remittances and level tariffs until the difference is evened out. I'd like to delve into this issue much further if anyone wants to press me on it.

-Regulation: I'm simply of the opinion there is too much of it. I work in a sector where we sell polymer products to the US government and I personally witness thousands of dollars go out the door daily due to regulatory burden. I can go on for days on this one so I'll save it for the debate.

-Trade: US manufacturing is a shell of what it used to be on the world stage. I'm very much in favor of bringing as many of these jobs back as we can as they primarily contribute to greater quality of life in the poor and working classes. I think this is also a backdoor key to solving many of our entitlement issues. Many argue that technology has taken these jobs rather than outsourcing. I believe the truth lies somewhere in between. However I certainly think that continuing to run an enormous trade deficit with the developing world is not the answer.

-Military: I'm one for building it up. This is a core right wing issue and often not worth debating. I'll leave it at this: I think some power will always have dominance in the world and I'd much rather it be the United States rather than Russia or China for many reasons.

-Militant Islam: As a good atheist am I'm against all faiths, but not all faiths equally. I will likely get a lot of flak for this comment but I feel as though Islam is in general a particularly violent ideology born out of racism, classism and ill repute for women. I take a hardline stance against these things as I find them antithetical to our way of life. I'm not for an all out Muslim ban but in light of my views on Trump's negotiation tactics I think this was a solid opening bid to get some sensible reforms with respect to high risk immigration.

​Cons:

​-He occasionally says a few things that are "facepalmworthy". I stand by Rosie O'Donald being disgusting though. She's objectively gross

-As a fiscal conservative a one trillion dollar stimulus unnerves me a bit.

-I am much further to the right than Trump on Healthcare. I would not repeal and replace Obamacare. I'd merely repeal and then open state lines for competition and then wish everyone good luck. I have philosophical issues with healthcare being a fundamental human right.

Two questions though, do you feel that he is on the right track in the issues that are relevant to you (and which are these). Are you at all bothered that he puts people in charge of agencies such as the EPA that are rather obviously trying to dismantle the organizations whilst ignoring or denying scientific consensus?

I do feel he is largely on track with respect to foreign policy. I am concerned that some Neocon will talk him into full blown war in Syria which I think would be irresponsible. I'm fine with continued missile strikes wherever we need them as they cost almost no American lives. Him getting the Chinese to work with us on North Korea was enormously impressive to me.

Healthcare and tax reform need to be addressed pronto. I will not accept the excuse of "congress wasn't helpful" in 2020.

The roaring stock market and insane levels of consumer confidence have shown me how powerful rhetoric can be. I'm dreading paying capital gains on my abundant winnings next year.

With respect to the EPA and deregulation I think these organizations are extremely bloated and are out of control. Scott Pruitt has spent a lifetime attempting to dismantle the EPA and as such I think he is an ideal candidate for the job. It is the very nature of organizations which are not profit driven to expand themselves the only way in my opinion to even keep an organization from expanding further is to actively downsize it. I understand the scientific consensus on climate change but fail to understand the sense of political urgency around it. Even at a 100% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions we still will have the developing world emitting for quite some time. I think the only solution is innovation in the energy sector. It is an established fact that one of the greatest predictors of quality of life is carbon footprint. I am unwilling to reduce the quality of American lives now in the hopes that the other 120 or so countries will simply play by the rules in good faith. Once an energy source becomes pound for pound or dollar for dollar more efficient than fossil fuels I believe the market will massively self correct as the only thing certain in life is that entities tend to act in their own self interest.

In retrospect it appears I took your question about the EPA to refer to climate change. If not please forgive me. I think the above sums up my view on many of these issues fairly well though.

Thanks for your interest in a good discussion

How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

How goes it iNow? Been a while.

If you'd give me an example of a reneged promise I'll be glad to show you the error of your ways

False statements? How about that time Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia? It was intense no?

Seriously though as written the question is too broad. Give me a few examples and I'm sure we'll take this to the mat if I remember your debate style at all.

Edited by mississippichem
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False statements? How about that time Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia? It was intense no?

Why is it that at the first moment of a genuine assault on a person's political candidate of choice, rather than either defending the individual's statements, or establishing that said statements were not false, their first response is to attack the next leading candidate? I have absolutely no shits to give about Hillary, I do about Trump, yuhknowbeingthepresidentandall.

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Why is it that at the first moment of a genuine assault on a person's political candidate of choice, rather than either defending the individual's statements, or establishing that said statements were not false, their first response is to attack the next leading candidate? I have absolutely no shits to give about Hillary, I do about Trump, yuhknowbeingthepresidentandall.

This was a good natured jab at iNow who I have a history of political debates with.

If you'd like to give an example of a false statement by Trump I'd be glad to address it.

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Taking an unpopular position here...

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How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

I cannot speak for the OP's rationale, but blatant hypocrisy is the Republican MO in my opinion. Democracy be damned, so long as liberals are oppressed.

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How goes it iNow? Been a while.

Indeed. Things are well. Hope the same for you. Was nice seeing your username in the post feed today.

If you'd give me an example of a reneged promise I'll be glad to show you the error of your ways

Well...

• He said he wouldn't bomb Syria. This week he did.
• He said he'd keep a hiring freeze on federal employees. This week he lifted it.
• He said he'd instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator. This week he said they're clearly not.
• He said our deficit with China is $504 billion. It's actually$310B
• He said Yellen colluded with Obama to fake the economic numbers and this week talked about how much he likes her and low interest rates and how serious a person she is.
• He said he'd not take vacations or go golfing if he were president, that he'd rarely leave the WH. He went again this week (and has gone at least 19 times despite being in office only 80 days).
• He said he's against the Export-Import bank and that it's totally unnecessary, then this week came out in support of it.
• He said NATO is obsolete bc it didn't address terrorism, but it actually always has and now he's saying it's not obsolete
...and that was just THIS week. There are others like:

• He said he'd drain the swamp then filled his cabinet with half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives and brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history
• He said he'd divest from his finances and put his businesses into blind trusts but didn't.
• He said he'd share his tax returns and didn't
• He said he'd build a wall and now his secretary of homeland security says that's not gonna happen
• He said he'd use US steel for the Keystone pipeline but instead it (and other active infrastructure projects) includes tons of foreign steel
• He promised not to tweet anymore once becoming president yet still does
• He said the jobless claim numbers are bullshit, but now they're not
• He says he won the biggest electoral college landslide since Reagan. In fact, almost every single president since Reagan won more than Trump
• He said that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the election. It's likely less than 100
• He said his was the largest inauguration crowd in history. It wasn't.
There are scores more lies and broken promises. I mostly went back only the last few weeks, and I'm sure others will present themselves during his 1,375 days remaining in office.

That's all irrelevant to my point, though. It's also irrelevant how you or I happen to feel about his various stances and whether we happen to agree or disagree. Let me remind you of the actual question I posed.

I asked: How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

False statements? How about that time Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia?

My understanding was that this discussion is about our president. Please clarify in what way is Hillary relevant? While she won the popular vote by 3 million votes she lost the election itself and is not our president, so really that seems to be a rather obvious red herring that I have no interest in chasing.
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If you'd give me an example of a reneged promise I'll be glad to show you the error of your ways

In the civilized world (no less a science forum), alternate facts are not discussed. They are dismissed.

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1. He said he wouldn't bomb Syria. This week he did.
2. He said he'd keep a hiring freeze on federal employees. This week he lifted it.
3. He said he'd instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator. This week he said they're clearly not.
4. He said our deficit with China is $504 billion. It's actually$310B
5. He said Yellen colluded with Obama to fake the economic numbers and this week talked about how much he likes her and low interest rates and how serious a person she is.
6. He said he'd not take vacations or go golfing if he were president, that he'd rarely leave the WH. He went again this week (and has gone at least 19 times despite being in office only 80 days).
7. He said he's against the Export-Import bank and that it's totally unnecessary, then this week came out in support of it.

1. He said he'd drain the swamp then filled his cabinet with half a dozen Goldman Sachs executives and brought into his administration more billionaires, CEOs and Wall Street moguls than in any administration in history
2. He said he'd divest from his finances and put his businesses into blind trusts but didn't.
3. He said he'd share his tax returns and didn't
4. He said he'd build a wall and now his secretary of homeland security says that's not gonna happen
5. He said he'd use US steel for the Keystone pipeline but instead it (and other active infrastructure projects) includes tons of foreign steel
6. He promised not to tweet anymore once becoming president yet still does
7. He said the jobless claim numbers are bullshit, but now they're not
8. He says he won the biggest electoral college landslide since Reagan. In fact, almost every single president since Reagan won more than Trump
9. He said that 3-5 million illegal votes were cast in the election. It's likely less than 100
10. He said his was the largest inauguration crowd in history. It wasn't.

Good to hear you're doing well. I edited your response and added numbers to make this easier to follow (that and I've gotten lazy with all the quote tags).

Part I

1) Fair enough he did.

2) Did he specify the time period for which he would keep the freeze in place? I was not aware he did.

3) Subtly matters here. He said precisely this: "Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!" which is distinct from "China is not a currency manipulator". And indeed why would he call China a currency manipulator while they are helping us address our foreign policy goals? Additionally China strengthened their currency in response to the election (http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/04/china-steps-in-to-support-yuan-again-as-trump-inauguration-nears.html ). In this case the threat of labelling them a currency manipulator is both a bargaining chip in itself and pressure to actually strengthen the currency.

4) I believe you are correct. I'm not knowledgeable enough in the particulars of the metrics used to argue for his number over yours. Though as many things are in economics you and I both know there is likely some reputable source out there who claims it is 200 billion or 1 trillion or any other value really. Trump may be wrong on the number but I believe the crux of his argument, that our trade deficit with the developing world is too large (and we are therefore leaving manufacturing dollars on the table), is sound.

5) I am not a fan of US monetary policy for the last long time. I too am disturbed by his flip flop on this issue. I suspect he is appeasing her to prevent a sudden rate hike. We should've had this rate hike in the last four years and I think it's convenient that it's only being discussed now with a Republican in the Whitehouse.

6) This is an accurate characterization of the scenario. Many of the arguments attached to it on the left and the general hysteria all these types of argumentsthey produce are non-productive (I thought the right wing criticism of Obama golf time was just as silly) but yes he did criticize Obama for that and did do the same thing if not even to a greater degree.

Part II:

1) Everything you say is true but I think not necessarily damning to his claim to want to "drain the swamp". "Drain the swamp" is sufficiently vague as to be interpreted many different ways. If he installs congressional term limits, continues to resist cooperate campaign money, seriously reduces the administrative burden on small business and investigates corruption within intelligence agencies then I think he will have still gone quite some way to draining the swamp. Goldman Sachs is a sufficiently large organization that painting the entire company's workforce as part of "the swamp" required you to make value judgements on their actions where you are likely not privy to their career history. Being a billionaire is not equivalent to being corrupt. Gates, Soros and Buffet are all large contributors to left wing politics as the Koch brothers are to the right. Are you willing to characterize them as part of the swamp?

2) I wasn't aware he made the specific claim of intending to put it in a blind trust. I could be wrong here as this is a confusing issue considering the legal definitions of trusts and what constitutes "blind". I will concede that giving the company to your sons is hardly "blind".

3) He said he would share his tax returns after they were no longer under audit. They are still under audit. The fact that they may always be under audit makes this statement of his disingenuous perhaps but certainly not a lie.

4) I think this is early judgment at best. The deal was that he would construct a southern border wall during his presidency. Their will be a myriad of speculators and pontificators who will pretend to know what will happen between now and the time the wall gets built. Fact of the matter is the biding process is under way. My company has been receiving specification inquiries for the exterior coatings on the wall. We'll have to wait and see here.

5) Point conceded. He did put it in the executive order but there was already foreign steel ready to go to the jobsite. Promise broken here plain and simple.

6) Did he? But then what would you guys have to rage about? Seriously though I'd like to see this. I never heard this and I follow politics quite closely.

7) In context of the statements he made he was actually acknowledging his inconsistency here. Almost joking about it even. However, If you don't believe the stated value for jobless/unemployment (let's not conflate the two as many do) it does not necessarily follow that you don't believe the direction they are moving. He can think jobless rates are much higher than stated and still believe they are going down.

8) You got him there. This was inaccurate no matter how you slice it.

9) I think the jury is still out on this though I agree that the number will likely be much lower than 3 million. He got too greedy with this statement. Wrong here.

10) This depends on how you read the statement. With respect to online, TV and in-person viewers it was. If you take it to mean in-person attendance it was not. I believe the quote was that it was the most "watched" inauguration of all time. Keep me honest here though as my memory may not serve and I may be conflating his statement with Sean Spicer's.

That's all irrelevant to my point, though. It's also irrelevant how you or I happen to feel about his various stances and whether we happen to agree or disagree. Let me remind you of the actual question I posed.

I asked: How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

My understanding was that this discussion is about our president. Please clarify in what way is Hillary relevant? While she won the popular vote by 3 million votes she lost the election itself and is not our president, so really that seems to be a rather obvious red herring that I have no interest in chasing.

I'm willing to defend this. The topic of the thread is why I voted for/supported Donald Trump. Given the context I believe that pointing to dishonesty by other politicians is fair in the spirit of establishing a baseline for what a reasonable level of dishonesty is. Unless you wanted to waste a vote we were given two choices and I chose mine with full knowledge of the other alternative. The fact that I believe my candidate may or may not be more honest than the other I think is relevant.

In the civilized world (no less a science forum), alternate facts are not discussed. They are dismissed.

I feel many intelligent people fall into the trap of dismissing the notion of "alternative facts" out of hand. I think it is a subtle form of sexism against Ms. Conway. She fits the trope of a blonde ditz and as a result she is painted as an idiot when in fact she is the first female campaign manger to win a successful campaign. She is also an experienced pollster.

We accept alternative facts all the time. Even in formal contexts. A court room a defense attorney may claim "He's a wonderful contributing member of society who loves his family." The prosecutor responds with alternative facts "We found him with the murder weapon fleeing the scene of the crime". Both of these sets of facts can be fully true simultaneously. One is merely "alternative" as it is presented from a different source with a different motivation for doing so.

Another case in point is that there are several metrics for measuring thermodynamic quantities such as the enthalpy of a chemical reaction. Without the context of what technique was used and with what instrument you could have a scenario where two quantities contradict but are both fully valid in their respective domains. For example measuring the sublimation point of a solid with Differential Scanning Calorimetry versus Thermal Gravimetric analysis. You WILL get different results yet they can both be fully valid. Multiply this by about 10000000000 in a soft subject like politics.

Well if they can conjure up about 20 other people to debate then it might be a fair fight /sarcasm.

I asked: How do you feel about his tendency to lie and make obviously false statements, and what allows you to trust him despite him so consistently reneging on his promises?

I just realized I didn't hash this out enough. His tendency to get numbers wrong can be annoying however I think the brunt of his argument is often sound and in many contexts the actual value in question is irrelevant. As a reality TV star he understands the value of optics. Notice how he makes a tall claim and provides no evidence at first "Obama wiretapped me. Sick guy. Sad!". The immediate narrative on main stream TV is "No he didn't you have no evidence". Then notice how it evolves to "Well there was surveillance but it wasn't a wiretap". In this way he draws attention to issues that are not covered. The ethics of it is questionable but the net effect is him accomplishing his goal of getting narratives out in the media that aren't covered. Now the narrative on the wiretap has evolved to justifying why the surveillance was necessary and other ways to defend Obama/Lynch/Rice. Fact of the matter is that a President from an opposing party surveilled the campaign of a major party candidate. This should be an outrage.

I'm not yet willing to concede any major promises being broken. I do not see any official policy position that has been reversed. Yes some passing statements have been re-voiced under changing cicumstances but I truly believe he fully intends to see through to completion many of his major policy goals.

He is not a candidate like any other. Everything he says seems to be part of a negotiation and I interpret accordingly in that light.

Edited by mississippichem
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With respect to the EPA and deregulation I think these organizations are extremely bloated and are out of control. Scott Pruitt has spent a lifetime attempting to dismantle the EPA and as such I think he is an ideal candidate for the job. It is the very nature of organizations which are not profit driven to expand themselves the only way in my opinion to even keep an organization from expanding further is to actively downsize it. I understand the scientific consensus on climate change but fail to understand the sense of political urgency around it. Even at a 100% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions we still will have the developing world emitting for quite some time. I think the only solution is innovation in the energy sector. It is an established fact that one of the greatest predictors of quality of life is carbon footprint. I am unwilling to reduce the quality of American lives now in the hopes that the other 120 or so countries will simply play by the rules in good faith. Once an energy source becomes pound for pound or dollar for dollar more efficient than fossil fuels I believe the market will massively self correct as the only thing certain in life is that entities tend to act in their own self interest.

In that context, do you agree with the budget cuts to limit research into climate drivers? Even if we assume that reducing the apparatus (such as e.g. personnel) would be desirable, do you think that research funded by EPA, DOE and other agencies is a good move (note that a chunk of the respective budget is used to fund industrial and academic research)? Or do you think that research in these areas should be reduced?

More to the point, do you think that the proposed changes are evidence-driven with the goal to meet certain metrics (and if so, any idea which they might be?) or do you think it is more ideology-driven, with trying to reduce overall involvement of Government in research? If one thinks that reducing government funding is a good idea, who else should do it? Especially considering that various studies indicate a huge net revenue for each research dollar spent.

On that note, what do you think about the overall propositions in terms of research and research funding? There are deep budget cuts that threaten many research programs and may put USA's role as science juggernaut in jeopardy in the long run.

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I have no interest in battling every comment. My point was that he lies... a lot... and I asked how you can trust him given this.

You've acknowledged multiple lies and reneged promises which implicitly means that you stipulate my foundational premise. Let's leave it there, ok?

Being a billionaire is not equivalent to being corrupt. Gates, Soros and Buffet are all large contributors to left wing politics as the Koch brothers are to the right. Are you willing to characterize them as part of the swamp?

Another irrelevant red herring. None of them are members of his cabinet or even his administration.

He said he would share his tax returns after they were no longer under audit. They are still under audit. The fact that they may always be under audit makes this statement of his disingenuous perhaps but certainly not a lie.

Here's a list of some of the multiple times he discussed it without the "once they're no longer under audit" caveat (a caveat that every tax professional and even the IRS itself admits is complete nonsense): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/times-donald-trump-release-tax-returns-article-1.3061868

My favorite is when on Hugh Hewitts show in February 2015 he said that he would certainly release his tax returns if he ran for president, saying he had no objection to the idea.

https://youtu.be/SIMDkxoS1as

Did he [say he'd stop tweeting if elected president]? But then what would you guys have to rage about? Seriously though I'd like to see this. I never heard this and I follow politics quite closely.

Sure. Here ya go:

"Riffing on his latest attacks on Ted Cruz and John Kasich for "colluding" against him in a last-ditch bid to deny him the necessary number of delegates to secure the nomination and force a contested convention, Trump regaled his Warwick, Rhode Island, audience with a reference to his morning Twitter activities.

"You know, I tweeted today, @realDonaldTrump. tweet," Trump said.

He added, "Don't worry, I'll give it up after I'm president. We won't tweet anymore. I don't know. Not presidential".

I'm willing to defend this. The topic of the thread is why I voted for/supported Donald Trump. Given the context I believe that pointing to dishonesty by other politicians is fair in the spirit of establishing a baseline for what a reasonable level of dishonesty is.

There's a difference between a politician saying things that are hollow or trying to appeal to both sides of an issue and Trump plainly lying or claiming not to have said something despite video playing right beside him literally showing him saying that exact thing.

It's a "who ya gonna believe? me, or your own lying eyes?" situation.

During the campaign, Trump only said things that were true or mostly true a staggeringly low 9% of the time and even now as president still lies 70% of the time.

http://www.politicususa.com/2017/04/02/30-trump-earn-false-false-pants-fire.html

Again, though. I'm not interested in nipping away at each individual claim. AFAIC, my point's been made and more than amply supported with evidence.

Cheers.

Edited by iNow
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In that context, do you agree with the budget cuts to limit research into climate drivers? Even if we assume that reducing the apparatus (such as e.g. personnel) would be desirable, do you think that research funded by EPA, DOE and other agencies is a good move (note that a chunk of the respective budget is used to fund industrial and academic research)? Or do you think that research in these areas should be reduced?

More to the point, do you think that the proposed changes are evidence-driven with the goal to meet certain metrics (and if so, any idea which they might be?) or do you think it is more ideology-driven, with trying to reduce overall involvement of Government in research? If one thinks that reducing government funding is a good idea, who else should do it? Especially considering that various studies indicate a huge net revenue for each research dollar spent.

On that note, what do you think about the overall propositions in terms of research and research funding? There are deep budget cuts that threaten many research programs and may put USA's role as science juggernaut in jeopardy in the long run.

This is an issue on which I depart with the administration's attitude somewhat. I'm quite hard line against carbon taxes and carbon dioxide limiting regulations but I am not so much against researching into the heart of the matter. I think additional knowledge on such an important topic (whether you feel it is real, not real, important or unimportant I think everyone can agree we DO need to know) is never a bad thing. Any knowledge we gain can give us insights into whether or not to stop wasting money on climate change or spend additional money on climate change.

As someone who blew through many dollars of the US Navy's money to develop a polymer resin system that likely never saw the light of day I do have a somewhat skeptical attitude toward government funding of science that can be accomplished by the private sector. It can, in my opinion, even be a way to give large corporations cooperate welfare by the public bearing the financial burden of high risk research which I find unfair to the taxpayer.

In cases where the research is important to national interests and cannot in the near future be monetized I believe the government has a role here as the private sector simply doesn't handle these things well. This would include climate change, deep space, cosmology, high energy physics, vaccines and fundamental science questions. Ironically (for someone of my profession) I think the government funds too much chemistry and engineering though. The resin system I worked on wouldn't have been touched by a manufacturer for a variety of technical reasons and it should be that way seeing as how it didn't work all too well. Having the burden of showing profit to shareholders is an efficiency check when the technology or science can be capitalized on in the near future but is an impediment when you need fundamental questions answered.

All that to say that I disagree with his general attitude toward government research funding but I see how it has merit in some cases that don't involve fundamental science or urgent national interest. Government spending always tend to rise with time though and having one administration trim it back doesn't seem so frightening as I have no doubt it will inevitably creep back up.

Good question.

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I don’t really have a dog in this fight, I could enjoy arguing either position, but I do have an affinity to push the biggest rock. I just wanted to point out a few things that I feel are relevant here.

The first one is the guy is no dummy. The second is he has competed against some of the toughest people in his chosen field of battle and has been measurably successful at it.

I believe it’s no coincidence that his behavior in both business and politics so far looks to be taken from The Art of War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War

He seems asymmetrical in his business history or politics. In other words; he appears unpredictable, maybe even crazy to some.

I believe this is no accident, the whole “he’s crazy” “he’s a big fat liar” line of describing him is one dimensional and seems not only rather wrong in many ways, it’s kind of humorous. It’s mostly only usable by his opponents to be spooned to their followers, foreign or domestic.

A lie is told for a certain strategic advantage. The moral component can be set aside for terrorist and foreign enemies. The domestic consumer should understand the difference, and in regards to domestic politics, it’s always been a liar’s game for the win. Any outrage about it appears to many like me as naive or even politically motivated.

Right now everyone who considers him their opponent, whether it is political or militant considers him highly unreadable. In The Art of War this is one of the primary tenants or goals.

I have a rather high opinion of Obama as a person, really an honest, stand-up person in my opinion, but completely predictable to his/our opponents. Something that The Art of War BTW teaches you to avoid.

The terrorist, N. Korea, China and Russia unfortunately appear to not have worried very much about Obama, or even Bush or Clinton in many respects, for that matter.

Remember the phrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, it is likely Trump has been operating by this his whole professional career; I would assume it is at play right now in every conceivable way.

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Claiming you have no interest in battling every comment (though a good tactic that I've used before) won't fly here with me. I conceded points where you were correct and I'd expect the same from you rather than glossing over the entirety of my rebuttals as "so you admit he lies?".

I have most certainly acknowledged multiple lies or mistruths but I'd be willing to argue that they are not that far removed from the norm. "You can keep your doctor and your plan as well". "Iraq has weapons of mass destruction" etc.

I'll admit the man clearly is not a precise orator and is a bit of an exaggerator but to paint him as a pathological liar and as some form of snake oil salesman I think is wholly disingenuous. His policy positions have been largely consistent from the 1980s until now as many interviews and writings detail at great length.

Another irrelevant red herring. None of them are members of his cabinet or even his administration.

This is neither irrelevant nor a red herring. You specifically cited filling up his cabinet with billionaires and Goldman Sachs employees as evidence that he had broken his promise to drain the swamp. You cited neither a specific billionaire nor a specific instance of swamp-like behavior. Establishing that billionaires and Goldman Sachs employees are not automatically part of "the swamp" is entirely within the scope of your claim.

He added, "Dont worry, Ill give it up after Im president. We wont tweet anymore. I dont know. Not presidential.

Fair. I stand corrected

During the campaign, Trump only said things that were true or mostly true a staggeringly low 9% of the time and even now as president still lies 70% of the time.
http://www.politicus...pants-fire.html

By what metric and whose authority? If you put forth CNN as an unbiased metric by which to judge whether or not a conservative candidate is lying or not then will you also allow me to cite Breitbart or Fox news in a similar situation (Even though I wouldn't)? I'm not even entirely sure how one determines what percent of the time someone is lying. Is this accessed sentence by sentence? Clause by clause? If you call my phone now and ask me what I'm doing and I say "nothing" does that count since I'm technically typing?

We don't have to argue every point in your list to death but hand waving it all away when I even honestly conceded ground is a bit unfair.

Touché though friend. You gave me a loaded question, I forced you to get specific. You forced me to play defense and I in turn concede some ground. You called me out on a fallacy and I called you out on fallacious assessment of a fallacy. I forgot that the debate here at SFN is fairly high quality when compared to the slums that comprise much of the internet. Glad to be back.

Cheers

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In that regard I would say that it is pretty difficult to predict which findings are going to open up new venues. Even experts have trouble predicting impact of proposals, so I see at as a general challenge. In fact I would not be against more unfocused research spending as a means to figure out novel problems (though that may generally fall under fundamental research).

However with regard to research spending, as a portion of the federal budget the R&D funding has declined since the 60s and pretty much plateaued since the 80s. Which is a bit worrisome considering the increase in college graduates.

Concurrently investments by industry has increased massively, but obviously the focus there is mostly applied and proprietary research, leaving fundamental funding in the dust.

So overall, there is not really a funding creep, if anything it is either steady or declining, (according to some figures the inflation adjusted research budget of the NIH has decreased over the last decade for example). I can dig out some more tables if needed, but would you consider a revision of the assumption that research funding is in a constant uptick (at least as function of budget)?

Edit: meant as rely to post #15

Edited by CharonY
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I don’t really have a dog in this fight, I could enjoy arguing either position, but I do have an affinity to push the biggest rock. I just wanted to point out a few things that I feel are relevant here.

The first one is the guy is no dummy. The second is he has competed against some of the toughest people in his chosen field of battle and has been measurably successful at it.

I believe it’s no coincidence that his behavior in both business and politics so far looks to be taken from The Art of War. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_War

He seems asymmetrical in his business history or politics. In other words; he appears unpredictable, maybe even crazy to some.

I believe this is no accident, the whole “he’s crazy” “he’s a big fat liar” line of describing him is one dimensional and seems not only rather wrong in many ways, it’s kind of humorous. It’s mostly only usable by his opponents to be spooned to their followers, foreign or domestic.

A lie is told for a certain strategic advantage. The moral component can be set aside for terrorist and foreign enemies. The domestic consumer should understand the difference, and in regards to domestic politics, it’s always been a liar’s game for the win. Any outrage about it appears to many like me as naive or even politically motivated.

Right now everyone who considers him their opponent, whether it is political or militant considers him highly unreadable. In The Art of War this is one of the primary tenants or goals.

I have a rather high opinion of Obama as a person, really an honest, stand-up person in my opinion, but completely predictable to his/our opponents. Something that The Art of War BTW teaches you to avoid.

The terrorist, N. Korea, China and Russia unfortunately appear to not have worried very much about Obama, or even Bush or Clinton in many respects, for that matter.

Remember the phrase “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, it is likely Trump has been operating by this his whole professional career; I would assume it is at play right now in every conceivable way.

Nothing much to add here other than I agree largely with your assessment. This guy clearly cares very little for daily polling numbers and characterizations of him as being this or that. He's playing a high stakes game where being unreadable and highly flexible are enormous advantages. I'm sure the Chinese and Russians are beside themselves with not being able to anticipate his next move.

I'm a very results oriented person. I couldn't care less if he lied about this or that. At the end of eight years where does our country stand in the world and where is it headed? That is what I care about. I'm sure Donald Trump is a pompous ass and maybe even an intolerable person but I think his strategy is on point when you look at it through the lens of Sun Tzu or Machiavelli. I think we are dealing with a pragmatist here with right wing leanings rather than a rigid Republican ideologue. He did spend most of his life as a Democrat.

In that regard I would say that it is pretty difficult to predict which findings are going to open up new venues. Even experts have trouble predicting impact of proposals, so I see at as a general challenge. In fact I would not be against more unfocused research spending as a means to figure out novel problems (though that may generally fall under fundamental research).

However with regard to research spending, as a portion of the federal budget the R&D funding has declined since the 60s and pretty much plateaued since the 80s. Which is a bit worrisome considering the increase in college graduates.

Concurrently investments by industry has increased massively, but obviously the focus there is mostly applied and proprietary research, leaving fundamental funding in the dust.

So overall, there is not really a funding creep, if anything it is either steady or declining, (according to some figures the inflation adjusted research budget of the NIH has decreased over the last decade for example). I can dig out some more tables if needed, but would you consider a revision of the assumption that research funding is in a constant uptick (at least as function of budget)?

Edit: meant as rely to post #15

I would consider a revision. In fact I've not been aware of this NIH data previously. I'm not yet willing to extend that to all funding but I see you may have a point and perhaps have proven one of my starting assumptions wrong.

I still heir on the side of spending less though. Being over 20 trillion in debt with sluggish GDP growth (and abysmal GDP growth when you account for inflation and increases in debt) is hugely unnerving to me and many on the right. Your original question was a topic that was a determining factor for me (clearly) but I'll at least do some further reading and perhaps reconsider my opinion.

I realize it is quite difficult (nigh impossible) to predict the impact of proposals before beginning work. I'm just not convinced that academia is doing things in a manner efficient enough to warrant additional funding. After beginning science in private industry the contrast between here and academia is very stark. Projects that do not deliver on the stated goal by the stated time under the stated budget are almost certain to be scrapped. With enough scrapped projects in a row you are soon looking for another job. As someone without a PhD I'm a bit hazy on the intimate details of the grant writing and funding process so I don't wish to pretend to have knowledge I don't but I remain skeptical that academia is the best avenue with which to tackle these large questions. I'm not quite sure how much I should distinguish between academia proper though and other government bodies such as NASA, the NIH or NOAA as I have limited to no experience with these agencies. I know all three of them both fund research within academia and also conduct their own in house.

I'll read more about this. If there is no funding creep then it will be quite unique in the population of government expenditures that don't creep up over time!

I should add that I'm a lot more tolerant of spending on hard science questions that later lead to greater quality of life in the population as opposed to the "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin and what is their racial/gender/economic make-up while doing so" social science surveys studies.

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I can provide figures on R&D funding and if you have any questions with regard to the grant process, I am more than happy to share. One thing of note is that the competition is fierce in academia. Typically success rate are around 10% and most of them are going to those that already have grants. Meaning that if you are unsuccessful in securing funds, you can end up in a quick death spiral which, from what I have heard from colleagues in industry is to some extent even less forgiving as you can end up there despite hitting all the metrics.

So for young researchers (i.e. assistant profs with no records of funding) some mechanisms have success rate below 2%. I am aware that there is some perception out there that academic research gets to waste a lot of money, but truth of the matter is that unless you are successful, you are likely to penny pinch a lot. In that regard it is closer to underfunded start ups in operation.

While social sciences has a bad rep in some circles I will say that a) their research is usually much cheaper and b) some of the studies are of significant impact in terms of how to apply things that we find out in STEM. And considering the big division that apparently comes up every time gender or ethnicity comes up, I am happy that someone is trying to gather data that we could use as a basis for discussions, rather than, say, yelling at each other.

There are structural advantages of industry, of course, but they are generally a function of not being that cash-strapped and being able to rely on a work force rather than having the mandate of training students (on top of doing research). On the other hand, there is no else that would do research that has not immediate payoff.

Edited by CharonY
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This guy clearly cares very little for daily polling numbers and characterizations of him as being this or that.

Hogwash. If polls are bad, he claims they're fake. If polls favor, he gloats.

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So I've noticed our politics section is pretty staunchly anti-Trump (I haven't been active here in a while so correct me if this isn't the case) . I'll be frank. I voted for Donald Trump and continue to support most but not all of his policy initiatives.

Seeing as how there doesn't seem to be much right wing representation here I'd like to open the floor for anyone to pick my brain as to why I would support such as horrible (insult Trump smear here).

I'd like to keep it civil. I know this is an emotionally charged topic so as rational people let's debate as such.

I could write a long diatribe about why I support but I think it'd be less boring and more engaging to allow others to pose questions about why I support any given position or quality.

So. Let's hear it. What would you like to know, if anything, from a real life scientifically minded Trumpite who has all his teeth?

OH MY GOD!

I'M NOT ALONE!

Hogwash. If polls are bad, he claims they're fake. If polls favor, he gloats.

Evidence?

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One more:

"[The jobs number] may have been phony in the past but its very real now."

This is neither irrelevant nor a red herring. You specifically cited filling up his cabinet with billionaires and Goldman Sachs employees as evidence that he had broken his promise to drain the swamp.

My point was about his promise of draining the swamp yet doing the opposite, so let's focus there.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/us/politics/trump-appointees-potential-conflicts.html?_r=0

President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.

(...)

In at least two cases, the appointments may have already led to violations of the administrations own ethics rules. But evaluating if and when such violations have occurred has become almost impossible because the Trump administration is secretly issuing waivers to the rules.

(...)

Even the federal governments top ethics official, Walter Shaub, who runs the Office of Government Ethics, is being kept in the dark.

Theres no transparency, and I have no idea how many waivers have been issued, Shaub told the Times.

Did you see that? He's issued scores of waivers for violations of conflict of interest and ethics rules.

Trump also signed an executive order in January eliminating an Obama rule mandating that lobbyists could not accept jobs in federal agencies they had lobbied.

He promised to protect the little guy and to remember the "forgotten" yet signed an executive order eliminating the fiduciary rule for investment advisors (after all, why should a person who gets paid to help you manage wealth care about your financial wellbeing...that's just silly, eh?).

Hmm... what else? Oh yeah! On a Friday (2 days ago), he reversed a long policy of transparency by deciding to no longer release WH visitors logs.

Gosh... can't you just hear the loud swooshing sound of that swamp being drained?

Edited by iNow
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If you'd give me an example of a reneged promise I'll be glad to show you the error of your ways

False statements? How about that time Hillary landed under sniper fire in Bosnia? It was intense no?

Seriously though as written the question is too broad. Give me a few examples and I'm sure we'll take this to the mat if I remember your debate style at all.

You asked for iNow to provide examples of Trump's lies restricting them to "promises" and implying you'd show that it isn't the case, "error of your ways". iNow obliged.

1) Fair enough he did.

2) Did he specify the time period for which he would keep the freeze in place? I was not aware he did.

3) Subtly matters here.

4) I believe you are correct.

5) I am not a fan of US monetary policy for the last long time. I too am disturbed by his flip flop on this issue.

6) This is an accurate characterization of the scenario.

Part II:

1) Everything you say is true but I think not necessarily damning

2) I wasn't aware he made the specific claim of intending to put it in a blind trust.

3) He said he would share his tax returns after they were no longer under audit.

4) I think this is early judgment at best.

5) Point conceded.

6) Did he?

7) In context of the statements he made he was actually acknowledging his inconsistency here.

8) You got him there. Thi

9) I think the jury is still out

10) This depends on how you read the statement.

You conceded that in fact several of the lies iNow listed were in fact lies. So iNow's point was made and the "error" you referenced is with you and not with iNow.

Claiming you have no interest in battling every comment (though a good tactic that I've used before) won't fly here with me. I conceded points where you were correct and I'd expect the same from you rather than glossing over the entirety of my rebuttals as "so you admit he lies?".

Having already proved their intial statement which you attempted to dismiss why should Inow feel compelled to go line by line? You even jab a bit calling it a "good tactic". The question to you was "How do you feel about his tendency to lie", you already conceded he lies, so why do we need to go lie by lie. You have made the answer to iNow's question obvious.....you don't care about the lying. And that is fine. You are entitled to feel that way but there is no point is beating around the bush about it and wasting others time debating the merits of the varies lies in an attempot to justify your dismissive position.

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