Discussion Group Issues
Bill Schrader Pavilion
18 January, 2017
12 noon to 13:30
C A D E B F
A – Will Donald Trump start a second term? (See Below)
B – Should the western Democracies use torture to get essential information in the war on terrorism?
C – This brief article claims we dislike hypocrites because it makes us look good, not because we think they are so bad or rare. Is the article correct? Is this kind of psychology reliable and useful?
D – This group is generally happy with living in Mexico, but what do you most miss that you enjoyed back home? Speak even if you realize “it” cannot be here.
E – A four year old article attributes significant blame to the generals for the mess in Iraq and Afghanistan. In contrast to the (military-led) soul-searching after Vietnam, it argues that the top echelons, taking advantage of the politicians need to be pro-troops, ignore “General” incompetence. Why else, for instance, are top general rotated after a pre-determined tour, if not to obscure blame? Agree?
F – Are some activities – healthcare, education, national defence – best run by the government? Are others – car making, pharmaceutical research, banking – best run by the private sector? Any principles?
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Will Trump run, and win, again:
This is a complex question and requires a framework in which to locate probabilities. I offer this framework in order to channel your opinions so we can all probe more deeply.
This drama has four actors (ordered by uncertainty); the public, the Democrats, the Republicans, and Trump.
The public will support him so far and then change, or not, as events unfold. All other actors will try to influence the public.
The Democrats have few chances for a pre-election exit by Trump and can only prepare a winning slate for 2020 and brush up their lawyers to fight an upcoming round of gerrymandering in states and protect minority voters’ rights. Note that the better they do, the stronger the Republican support for Trump until 2020 starts.
The Republicans, and their principal donors, have embraced Trump as the opportunity to implement an oligarchic dream-world. They will likely support him until they feel that he will loose the next election. This means that unless Trump becomes ill, or blunders both legally and with the public, they will support him. (This does not preclude a certain amount of independence to protect their brand.)
Trump, except for his psychology, has the most options. So:
a – Will Trump get tired of the job and quit. __%
b – Will (can?) the Republicans not accept him as a candidate for 2020? __%
c – Will Trump be convicted of a past or future felony, and mostly on his own, be forced out? __%
d – Will the Republicans find him so unpopular, that they will engineer his removal to save their brand? __%
e – If he runs, will he win? __%
Note that the probabilities will add up to the likelihood he does not make it, not necessarily 100%. Does the framework leave something out.