No, the fact that this was a strategy put forth by Trump’s own SecDef is not a “digression.” I’m not sure why you’d use that word. Unless you’re arguing that Mattis is window dressing, and Trump isn’t actually listening to the leaders he himself chose to lead the military.

Nope, not suggesting that.

To suggest that the strategy suggested by the Sec Def is unimportant or, put differently, that it doesn’t matter that Trump happened to advance a strategy put forth by Mattis, is a level of conspiracy theory thinking (completely unsupported by fact or even logic) that I don’t abide.

Didn’t suggest that, either.

This is so… so frivolous that it’s difficult to respond.

I am not particularly sure what you find “frivolous” about it, since it was a debate so front and center in the previous election. Trump, Sanders, Rand Paul, (Ron Paul before him), and to a lesser extent Ted Cruz, all advanced the idea, to various degrees, that the “post-WW2 order” which requires massive levels of US spending to maintain, may NOT require as much intervention and investment as it has in the past.

Your reaction (shocked, utterly shocked!!!) that anyone would suggest paring back the projection of American power is rather typical of the neocons. So, unsurprising. The common tactic to avoid engaging in a debate you are uncomfortable with is to assert that the contrary position is so absurd it’s not worth discussing.

The notion that American military power is pivotal and critical and crucial to world stability is not some “deep state,” conspiracy-style idea.

Nobody said that it was. The speculation involved the extent to which the entrenched majority opinion on this matter would act to influence a president who is suspicious of their views.

It is literally the entire post-WWII world order and the reason we have seen such relative peace in that past 80 years. It is the out-in-the-open US policy. It is why our military is so many times larger than the several next-largest in the world. This isn’t some great secret being advanced by a small, powerful, unseen cabal.

Obviously.

I don’t know why you’re setting this apart. It’s a restatement of the prior sentence. If you’re saying that use of chemical weapons, regardless of by whom and where and whether there has been aggression toward the US, always demands US response “on moral grounds,” then indeed, you’re arguing that the US is morally responsible for policing the world.

Nonsense. One can quite easily take the position that the use of a WMD is a special case that cannot be tolerated, while also taking the position that parties ought to settle their differences on their own, sans-WMD.

Which is contrary to what you’ve just said you believe should be the case, and really only serves as an ad hoc justification for what Trump has done. Flip, flop.

Nobody flipped. Read again.

What domestic programs cut by Trump’s budget are you “agreeing” with cutting, precisely? All of them? You agree with cutting out lead remediation from the HUD budget? Homeless housing? Community block grants that fund such things as Meals on Wheels, school lunch programs, and after school programs? You think that all of these are useless?

I believe that the majority of programs can be more efficiently managed by the states rather than the Federal government. After all, the less powerful the central government, the less dangerous an authoritarian president. :-)

Chuckles? How old are you?

Older than you. Clearly.

School choice doesn’t much matter when schools are so deeply defunded, haphazard, and unregulated that they are not meeting any standards…

Schools are the one major function which is already funded and managed by the states, not the federal government. If they are “underfunded”, then take it up with your local state.

But, more to the point, you’ve immediately deflected to the debate over school choice, which is besides the point; the point is that authoritarians look to assume control, not hand it back. School choice hands it back.

Deregulating the private sector in order to personally profit and allow one’s friends and cronies to personally enrich themselves is precisely what authoritarians and oligarchs do.

Straw man. I never suggested deregulating it for that purpose. But, same comment. Deregulation to whatever extent is an anti-authoritarian priority, not an authoritarian one.

And what are you talking about, “beholden to the law, instead of being beholden to government authority”? As an attorney, this sentiment is entirely inscrutable.

Terribly sorry. The general notion is that one should prefer a justice who follows the law, rather than (a) personal opinion, (b) the President, © social justice sentiment, (d) popular opinion, etc. Do you not agree? And wouldn’t you also agree that an authoritarian president would want a justice that would take their marching orders from him?

(You want a good example of authoritarianism in this regard, take a look at what Erdogan did to the Turkish judiciary after the unrest last summer. I happened to be in Istanbul when all that went down. Very interesting.)

Add to that his desire to drastically expand military control, delegitimize literally every source of information and news that disagrees with or criticizes him, trying to delegitimize a co-equal, independent branch of government like the judiciary because he happens to dislike their rulings (and please keep in mind that this has worked among his supporters — fully half of them believe that he should be free to disregard judicial rulings that he doesn’t like), is precisely what an authoritarian does.

Sighs. This is pretty much where all the debates I’ve been in on this topic end up. The bottom line seems to be that Trump talks like an authoritarian, promised to govern like a non-authoritarian, and so far, hasn’t governed like an authoritarian.

I’d suggest to you that actions speak louder than words, but you may disagree.

You need to actually inform yourself instead of consuming whatever conspiracy theory media sources are feeding your paranoid and entirely inaccurate world view.

Oh, stop assuming things as fact which are not in evidence. I don’t consume “conspiracy theory media sources” at all. I just don’t happen to think that a neocon “deep state” colluding to influence an inexperienced president would be all that surprising.

You think that’s paranoid? Really? I’d say you’re a bit naive.

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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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