RIP Ronald Reagan

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El Vez
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RIP Ronald Reagan

Postby El Vez » Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:01 pm

It has just been reported that Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, has passed away at the age of 93 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Due to the effects of the disease, he spent much of the past fifteen years in seclusion following the end of his second term. Regardless of anyone's politics, his tenure as President was enormously influential.
Last edited by El Vez on Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby spooky girlfriend » Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:02 pm

Yeah, DrS saw that just a few minutes ago. It's been a long time coming. I surely hope I don't spend my last few years the way he had to.

RIP

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Postby martinfoyle » Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:23 pm

Morrissey broke the news to us at the start of his encore just about an hour ago. He said 'I'd like to tell you that Reagan died while we were on stage. The pity is that it was'nt George W. Bush'. It got a rather indifferent reaction from a fairly timid crowd. Not a great show, still there were some highlights, with that surreal ending. I think most people thought it was a weird joke.

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Postby BlueChair » Sat Jun 05, 2004 5:55 pm

Hopefully Reagan's long bitter suffering and death from Alzheimers will make Republicans a little more sympathetic toward stem cell research.
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Postby selfmademug » Sat Jun 05, 2004 10:01 pm

Yes, BC, a last bit of hypocracy for that administration on its way out.

Curse me for saying so if you like, but I'll say it anyway (as I did for Nixon, not that it stopped the lionizing of him): good fucking riddance.

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Postby SoLikeCandy » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:29 am

But, don't you kinda think the "riddance" would have been better 20 years ago?

For the past 10 years, Reagan was nowhere near the man he was when he was in office. Perhaps his illness was God's (or whoever's) way of letting the man forget the monster he once was. May God have mercy on his soul and the souls of his family.

As for G-Dub, he still has all his faculties (as inadequate as they are). No mercy on him.
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Postby Stripped Jack Naked » Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:09 am

The unfathomable hate and spite of the left creeps out from the posts of a few here.

First, El Vez recounts (cautiously, and always with a keen focus to what is politically 'safe') historical accuracy. He posts with forethought and honesty. The WORLD became a much better place because of the retired actor from California. Bluechair makes a profound and thoughtful argument supporting stem cell research. Perfect timing, and well put, even though the subject is mired in issues that are troubling. Nonetheless, these posts are fitting epitaphs to the passing of a one-time world leader.

Two other posts are inhuman, and repugnnant in their message. It is so typical of the hard left to hit an issue when it is down. There are two American Presidents in the modern era that have had the courage to face a world that was on the verge of global collapse and attempt to change it for the future of ALL, including the great country of the United States of America. Reagan and George W Bush. There is an old saying, you can always tell the pioneers...they are the guys with the most arrows in their hats. Reagan and George Bush have lots of arrows to pluck out of their hats, but they either forged ahead or continue to pursue a goal that is pure in its sincerety...to stop the spiral of global collapse at the hands of a few zealots who would have world domination or nothing at all.

I do not agree with all of the positions, the politics, and the words of either of these leaders. However, I completely agree with thier missions and their convictions. To spit on another human when they are gone is subhuman and a pitiful indicant of insecurity and captures everything that is wrong with the "Hate America First" mob on the far left.

Get the fuck out the country. We don't want you here.

I suppose this position will again have me banned from the board, as I was stripped of my last password and disallowed to enter to record my opinions. Multiple requests, PM's, and emails to the administrator went unreturned. I was censored, so that the left did not have to be subjected to the harsh words that I TYPED on an anonymous forum.

Kill the messenger.

You guys know exactly who I am. Blue, you are free to exercise your power to again have me deleted from contributing. Time will bear out the truth. I hope we have the time to see our children live, and thrive, in a free world. It ain't gonna happen by joing hands and signing Kumbaya.

It takes courage. And strength. To find, flush out, and destroy those that wake up every day hoping to destroy me, you, and our children. Someday, after a few more very hard lessons, you will understand, and remember that someone had the courage to think it through, and state their opinion in site of the vitriolic attacks that assuredly will follow.

I have turned the other cheek.

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Postby Pov » Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:26 am

But Jack, how do you really feel? :D

While I agree with Jack to the extent that I find some of the comments offensive, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I wouldn't tellsome one who offends me to get out of the country. In the US, we're supposed to believe in free speech, even if sometimes that speech offends us. By the way, on this board I wouldn't necessarily know which country I was telling someone to get out of.

I was in college and grad school most of the time that Reagan was president and I disagreed with many of his policies and positions. However, you can't deny that he left his mark on the country, which IMHO is the sign of great president. He could claim a lot of the credit for the fall of the old Soviet Union and the end of the cold war. He also brought about a fundamental shift in the country's economic policies, whether for good or bad remains to be seen, IMHO.

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Postby martinfoyle » Sun Jun 06, 2004 9:41 am

Stripped Jack Naked wrote:
Get the fuck out the country. We don't want you here.

I suppose this position will again have me banned from the board, as I was stripped of my last password and disallowed to enter to record my opinions. Multiple requests, PM's, and emails to the administrator went unreturned. I was censored, so that the left did not have to be subjected to the harsh words that I TYPED on an anonymous forum.

Kill the messenger.

You guys know exactly who I am. Blue, you are free to exercise your power to again have me deleted from contributing. Time will bear out the truth. I hope we have the time to see our children live, and thrive, in a free world. It ain't gonna happen by joing hands and signing Kumbaya.

It takes courage. And strength. To find, flush out, and destroy those that wake up every day hoping to destroy me, you, and our children. Someday, after a few more very hard lessons, you will understand, and remember that someone had the courage to think it through, and state their opinion in site of the vitriolic attacks that assuredly will follow.

I have turned the other cheek.


Blue, leave this guy in. He's refreshing. I well remember Reagan addressing the Irish parliament in 1984 and a bunch of left wing MPs walked out. Reagan remarked that they were lucky to live in a country that allowed that to happen. In the same spirit we should let Jack express his views.

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Postby BlueChair » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:12 am

Interesting. I don't remember taz or I banning anybody from this board. I can check the IP, however, and see that it is someone who left the board at his/her own accord.

As for your message of "Get the fuck out of this country", I already am, but as for my friends in the The United States of America who don't support the current administration, I say this:

The United States is a democracy.

This is supposed to mean that people can speak freely about politicians past and present. This is what makes your country different than your enemies, like Cuba. There's a great quote by Theodore Roosevelt that goes something like "It is un-American to be afraid to speak out against your own leaders." I think we have a lot to learn from the things people said in the early 1900s.
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Postby lapinsjolis » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:27 am

I think death is a time for prayer for those who pray and reflection for those who don't. Certainly it's a realization how fleeting and trivial politics really are and how those who long for peace seem to want it for the masses but not individuals. No one deserves mercy-thus it's mercy. I pray for the dead, the country and kinder enemies.
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Postby pip_52 » Sun Jun 06, 2004 10:38 am

When you say "<i>we</i> dont want you here" are you speaking for all Americans or just for the right?

Being an American isnt about blind allegiance, and its also not about being shamed or intimidated into not expressing your opinions. Thomas Paine once said it is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government. If you believe your government is doing wrong, it is your duty as a citizen in this democracy to step forward and say so. Having said all that, you have the right to say how you feel as well, but <i>Im</i> offended by the sentiment that anyone who disagrees is somehow un-American and should leave the country.

I wasnt even old enough to vote until long after Reagan left office, but his tenure sort of defined my childhood, and Im sorry that he had to suffer through his last years.

"I may disagree with what you have to say, but I shall defend, to the death, your right to say it." -Voltaire

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Postby selfmademug » Sun Jun 06, 2004 11:59 am

Reagan has been and will be eulogized up and down; I hardly think a bit of dissent will hurt him or his family. As I don't believe in an afterlife, I can and would wish no particular ill of the dead, and SLC is right, the 'riddance' happened before he left office. Speaking ill of the dead is another matter, especially when world leaders, not ordinary people are concerned. Will I get in trouble for saying the same of his buddies Marcos and Pinochet? Reagan caused massive amounts of suffering and death worldwide, proportionately more than any other president since Nixon, I would say (though of course there is no measuring such things objectively) and I have no qualms in saying he got more than he deserved by being able to forget the evil he inflicted on this world.

The people who died by his fucked-up policies will not get the mercy or the respect he is now getting. To say nothing of the healthcare.

Leave the fucking country? You wish, dear. Sorry. I fly an American flag in front of my home. Much as it would like to think otherwise, the right does not own patriotism any more than it owns 'family values' (an obscene Reagan appropriation if ever there was one). Nor does it have sole ownership of pragmatism or the balls to stare down evil in this world.

I knew my post would upset people but I don't care. My opinion remains that he was an awful human being. I repeat, good riddance.
Last edited by selfmademug on Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby selfmademug » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:15 pm

Stripped Jack Naked wrote:Someday, after a few more very hard lessons, you will understand, and remember that someone had the courage to think it through, and state their opinion in site of the vitriolic attacks that assuredly will follow.

I have turned the other cheek.



I have to admit this made me laugh out loud.

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Postby lapinsjolis » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:24 pm

I understood everyone, trust me. That anyone's demise or misfortune is a cause for joy is a sad thing to me. Whether you believe in the afterlife, the afternoon or after dinner drinks, a man's frailty and death could serve as a meditation on vainglory or the ultimate futility of the powerful. I just think interior peace is the only way to exterior peace and (hokey as it is) starts with you.
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Postby maria » Sun Jun 06, 2004 12:50 pm

Good grief! I can't imagine anyone censoring SJN for expressing his views. What makes me a little ... tired and depressed to read this style of hyperbole is that it shows few people ever really learn from any mistakes of the past ... it's all SO repetitive, designed to rehash hoary old absolutes and ultimately so damn pointless. I suppose it's better to do it this way, if we must, than to go out and start shooting or bombing each other. But for me, it only renders up rehashes of arguments already well thrashed out, and ones where where noone ultimately wins. So let them have their say....

But when all's said and done, I'm with Lapin Jolis on this one. What's done is done. Press onward and make the best of that instead of tearing skin and hair about things you can do nothing about.

"All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing"...

May I add to that epigram of a parliamentarian I greatly respect the thought that there are many ways for good men/women to take action without a need for a loss of respect for anyone else.
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Postby bobster » Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:05 pm

I'm surprised no one's mentioned "Tramp the Dirt Down" so far. Too obvious, I guess. (Or maybe Stripped Jack Naked did -- I couldn't quite bear to read the entireity of his post.)

To me, that song remains one of my all time favorites because it really captures some, though not all, of the feelings one has at a moment like this.

The fact of the matter is that Reagan -- much more than Margaret Thatcher -- led a government that fostered mass murder by U.S. proxies from San Salvador to South Africa to Baghdad (our "tilt" toward Iraq that we were told didn't exist). He gambled with the fate of the very planet with a "spend-'em-to-death" policy that, had the leaders of the Soviet Union not been significantly saner than the leadership of the current Republican Party would have certainly led to the death of us all. He got lucky and merely lost our social safety and, very luckily, we got peace -- if you call the current state of the world peace.

Domestically, he led to a country and culture where, not to put too fine a point on it, no one gives a shit about anything or anyone. Gigantic companies routinely treat customers as if they don't matter and they're employees as if something below lice. History is beneath bunk -- especially if it reminds us that we are less than perfect. The country I see now is a worse, colder, meaner, less interesting place than the country I was born into and most of that is the result of Reagan and the culture he fostered.

Still, I believe that Reagan was a nice but very shallow man, who truly believed in what he was doing. I'm sure he believed that the death of all those thousands of Salvadorans was regrettable but neccessary to defeat what he believed was a greater evil. I am sure he believed that the poor are hurt by government programs, even ones that work.

I am sure most of his supporters feel the same way if they had to survive on Walmart wages, or if they were in Latin America and knew people who'd been killed or subjected to tortures that make Abu Garaib seem fairly mild. The fact that America only footed the bill for most of this, while pretending not to know what was happening is not an excuse.

We Americans tend to hide behind a false innocence, pretending not to know what we really do. I would ask that Strip Jack Naked and all other Republicans read "The Quiet American", or at least see the movie, to try and grasp a bit about the way the rest of the world sees us.

The answer to the question: "Why do they hate us?" lies within the need to ask the question in the first place.

Still, I can't fully blame Reagan. Bobcat Goldwaith's joke about why he couldn't hate Reagan ("You don't blame Ronald McDonald when you get a bad hamburger") is an oversimplification, but he did build a sort of moat of deniability around himself, and I'm sure he never felt he was doing anything wrong.

The man he defeatd, Jimmy Carter, on the other hand, may not have been a great politician, but he was a truly great human being. Many of his policies were well to my own right, but he actually bothered to at least think about human rights, even if his own administration didn't always folllow through -- at least it didn't act with the complete disregard for hte rights of people, especially poor or-skinned ones, to the left of Barry Goldwater that the Reagan administration did.

Is this hatred? Am I guilty of being venomous for remembering this o
n the day of man's death. I didn't wish him ill, but dying doesn't erase the past.

Reagan was clearly the most effective (which is different than "best")leader we've had since FDR. Like FDR, Reagan managed to shift the entire political landscape in his own direction. The political "center" pre-Reagan is now the so-called left -- which is pure, political genius. Americans like to be centrists, so if you make the right the center, then, voila, everyone's a conservative even if they don't know it.

I have been saying for years that what I wished we had a Democratic Reagan. In the American political system, people don't vote for ideas as much as they vote for people, and as a person Reagan was darn likeable and commanding. He did what needed to be done. He even helped raise some children who seem like pretty cool people.

Just a shame that most of what he did devalued life.
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Postby selfmademug » Sun Jun 06, 2004 1:32 pm

Thank you Bobster, as ever. Indeed I did think of TRAMP THE DIRT DOWN. And you're utterly right to make the point that it's not as if he personally brought about all that evil, he was only the main and most visible party to it. Still, if you place yourself in the crosshairs of history and world power and choose to do with that position what he did, well, there's some major responsibility there.

It's not as if I said I'm glad if he suffered-- though that kind of thought passes my mind, I do consider that wrong. I only said I'm happy he's gone, which is my right. The onslaught of public mourning sickens me because that same mercy was absent for the many people for whom he caused intense and truly obscene suffering. It's my right to mourn the loss of understanding and humanity that that gulf represents.

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Postby SoLikeCandy » Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:17 pm

I talked to my dad about Reagan's death yesterday, and he said something that kinda made me laugh, but also made me sad, too: "chances are that in the end, he was a stranger to the man he was when he was in office."

I think that is a mercy. I would never to speak ill of the dead (unless the dead were single-handedly responsible for the harm of me and mine). Like Pip, I was kid when Reagan was in office--not even 2 years old when he was inaugurated. My first-hand experience with his government, then, isn't much. I did, however, grow up to inherit the poisoned legacy of him and his administration, and the policies he created are being played out once again by his henchman's son.

The whole point of my first post was that Reagan, in his sad and thieving illness, was robbed of more than his ability to live on his own--he was also robbed of the memory of the terror he dealt to his own countrymen, as well as the rest of the world. Only the 'right' would praise him for his actions while in office. The rest of us, however, have to at least grudgingly admit that he was a man who did the best he could under the circumstances. The road to hell, etc.

So, I don't say "good riddance" to the soft, sad old man who died yesterday. He didn't do shit to me. His other personality, however, fucked up my country (yes, beloved Jack--MY country, as well as yours).

While I haven't been as open in the past, I still firmly believe in people speaking their minds. If anything, free speech lets us find out who to stay the hell away from.
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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:32 pm

There's already one spaceman in the White House...watcha want another one for?

tamp down the dirt *LOL*
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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:44 pm

On a serious note, Reagan lived longer than most people...especially those without social benefits or health insurance. Yeah he pushed the cold war into a weapons race that broke the back of the Soviet Union, but he also bankrupted the US in the process, using a false trickle down economic theory that screwed the country for many years! Imediate gain while mortgaging the future, which is what all leaders do. But who's even to say that Reagan was anything more than a "face man" for his advisors. He is a symbol of intolerance and American crap propaganda.

The "if you don't like it, get out of the country" deal is the same one used by the racisistic Danish Peoples Party.......it does not hold water. I don't believe in sensorship in any way, shape or form............but ya gotta take the heat............and that is an ignorant statement. By the way, I "got the fuck out" and am quite happy! I am frankly disgusted by the policies of the US...............besides they have much better looking women here and you can smoke dope and whore without legal problems :lol: Now try to tell me that Reagan is cool! He was a dork.
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Postby El Vez » Sun Jun 06, 2004 5:18 pm

I think that it would be an invaluable experience for every able-bodied U.S. citizen to live in another country for a year. My time in South Korea did so much to teach me sensitivity and respect towards cultures that are quite different from my own. Part of what frustrates me so greatly with the current administration's handling of Iraq comes from the lessons I learned as a foreigner. I realize that this is straying from the topic of the thread I started but Dan's comments about both Reagan AND George W. Bush compelled me to respond. Bobster presented a dissertation on Reagan that is light years beyond what I can offer but I do have a few points, which I think are valid, about why this administration will fail in Iraq unless it makes a dramatic shift in its policies and the execution of said policies.

1. When Bremer took over the occupation in Iraq he had all of three staff members who spoke Arabic. This is monumental arrogance on our administration's part. How can you reasonably expect to play a lead role in the changing of a country's political guard when you do not know the language? I can tell you from experience that you will wind up like Bill Murray in Lost In Translation depending on translators who have a habit of turning everything into bland as oatmeal boilerplate. Somewhat related to this debacle is the uphill battle the CIA has been faced with when it comes to finding trained, experienced operatives who will spend years undercover in primitive, foreign terrain. Niall Ferguson, a British historian who wrote Colossus: The Price of America's Empire, reported that when he asked a CIA operative about this problem, the operative gave the following response: "Operations that include diarrhea as a way of life don't happen."

2. Despite rhetoric stating that the U.S. will "stay the course" in Iraq, our administration's actions have, from the very beginning, contradicted this. Rumsfeld kept the initial invasion force small because it was not expected for there to be much resistance especially after Saddam was toppled. Shortly before the war began, word from the Pentagon was that the occupation (not just the invasion but the whole residency) would last sixty to ninety days. The invasion part of the plan itself nearly lasted that long. When violence continued to surge after Saddam was removed from power, Bush & Co. were pressured to revise their proposed timetable. Until recently, the administration insisted on cutting troops from active service in Iraq only to be more or less forced to increase troop numbers to give the impression that things are getting under control just before the June 30th handoff.

3. I find it interesting that Bush says that we will pay any price to continue our resolve to liberate Iraq and yet there has been no nationwide tax hike to cover the bill. I'm willing to bet that this has something to do with keeping Middle America quiet. Bush can give all the lip service in the world to John & Jane Doe's children who fall in the line of duty to assuage their grief and anger but once he starts cutting extra money from their paychecks you can set an egg timer to how long he's going to last. He knows this or at least Cheney and Rumsfeld grasp it so they've kept it off the table as an option. There has also been a continual downplay by the administration as far as our casualties, and the likelihood of more casualties, are concerned. When asked to speculate on the duration of the U.S. military's occupation in Iraq, an Army officer recently told the The Washington Post that we'll be in Iraq for at least another five years, "taking casualties" the entire time. This does not jibe with what we're being told by Washington brass. What I'm getting at is that we were sold one very false bill of goods as to what we were in for with this quagmire.

4. We're not making any friends. We got rid of the Baath Party members, then turned Fallujah over to one of Saddam's generals. Before the war, the intention was to put Chalabi in and let him run the country. Didn't quite turn out that way, did it? We've pissed off the Shiites, who were the ones we expected to welcome us, and yet have done nothing to establish a connection with the Sunnis to offset this damage.

5. We are making this shit up as we go. Recently, when asked by a reporter from the New York Times if the administration has a plan for the handover, Richard Luger, a Republican who is also the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committe, replied "Not yet."

The actual cost for what our administration is saying it wants to do in Iraq is much, much higher than what it seems willing to pay or ask us to pay because they know the answer to that one. It seems profoundly out of touch to me for anyone to think that this is going to be anything but a protracted, expensive, casualty-filled and largely thankless task if we actually do it right. We don't have a very successful track record with protracted, expensive, casualty-filled and largely thankless tasks.
Last edited by El Vez on Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:19 pm

EL VEZ...would I be correct in boiling down you theory to::::WE'RE DOOMED?? :lol:
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Postby El Vez » Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:28 pm

Copenhagen Fan wrote:EL VEZ...would I be correct in boiling down you theory to::::WE'RE DOOMED?? :lol:


No, you are a little off. I may be doomed but I am certain that you will continue to go about happily nailing Nordic blonde goddesses or at least giving us that impression.

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Postby maria » Sun Jun 06, 2004 6:47 pm

What El Vez is saying makes complete sense. As an outsider, I can't understand is why there isn't a greater populist outcry in the US against this terrible war. To state the obvious, aside from the unfortunate Iraqis, it your US citizens, mainly young with a whole lot to contribute to their undoubtedly wonderful, vibrant nation than to be chewed up by a futile, botched, unjustifable war. When the early days of the war passed with no sign of the weapons of mass destruction, it seemed clear that it had all been a very unbrilliant mistake. Perhaps we're missing the outrage at this end of the world, but why aren't people demonstrating on the streets all through the US, as happned with Vietnam, at having their country's might so abused? What about the families who've already suffered losses? Aren't they white-hot with rage at having loved ones needlessly taken from them? Is it blind faith or apathy that allows such obvious doubt to be cast on the good name of the most powerful nation in the world? Are people simply waiting for their chance to express their rage in the next election? If this threat were to happen on my doorstep, I'd be chaining myself to railings and unfurling protest banners...
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