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Thread: 2019 American Political Scene

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    It is not a myth. He did beat her. Whether it was fair and square or not depends on how much the Russians were actually involved in undermining the elections. But the Electoral college argument is getting old. It is not as if Hillary found out she needed to win the EC after the election was over. She always knew that just getting the most votes overall wasn't enough and she needed to win the EC. If she didn't pay enough attention to that and manage her campaign accordingly, then it is her own fault.
    I'm not defending her or her campaign strategy. She ran like an idiot and she lost like an idiot...in the Electoral College. It's when people try to claim that "...the American people" this or "...the American people" that, or for example:

    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    She also had sky high disapproval ratings, bad enough that a random celebrity TV show host beat her.
    That's what I'm talking about. Her approval or disapproval ratings didn't mean jack shit. Not when the elephant in the room is called a Nearly 3 Million Vote Deficit For Trump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    The voices will be far more shrill if he just dies suddenly (even of natural causes) than if he merely loses an election.
    No doubt. But conspiracy theorists and their ilk are going to jump on literally anything that doesn't conform to their twisted worldview.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    And it may not stop at voices alone.
    True, we could see another Timothy McVeigh or Ammon Bundy pull an act of mass murder or armed "protest". Fortunately the chances of anything more than that are slim-to-none.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firestorm View Post
    Bad for his ego maybe, but it will be a lot healthier for the country as a whole if a demagogue like Trump is repudiated at the ballot box rather than in the judiciary or elsewhere.
    And once again, he was already repudiated at the ballot box. Soundly repudiated. 2,868,686 ballots worth.

    But it's not the ballot box that put him in office nor will keep him out for another 4 years. It's the Electoral College. The people of this country Do Not Matter when it comes to who sits in the Oval Office. They Never Have.

    Yeah I'd love to see Trump defeated in the Electoral College (he'll claim that the whole thing is rigged of course) and sent packing, but the only thing to make that happen is the Democratic Party...and we all know what a sad fucking joke that is.

    Which leaves Trump and criminal record to finally stand before the judiciary.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  2. #62
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    High hopes from politicians/political-parties are fallacious. They are like a bunch of monkeys who work with the notion of 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours'. They claim, but hardly ever work for the people and their choices.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    High hopes from politicians/political-parties are fallacious. They are like a bunch of monkeys who work with the notion of 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours'. They claim, but hardly ever work for the people and their choices.
    ^^This needs to be carved in granite and put in the center of every village, town, city and metropolis on the planet. And especially in every last voting booth, staring the person in the face.
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

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    Item: For the first time in history, the six biggest Wall Street banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — made $100 billion in profit in a year. “They have Republican tax cuts to thank,” wrote Bloomberg. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...for-first-time)

    Item: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wants To Raise Taxes On The Rich — And Americans Agree,” by Janie Velencia, FiveThirtyEight, https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...ericans-agree/. Specifically, a 70% rate on taxable earnings above $10 million. And, before the purveyors of fake news steer us astray, the rate is not meant to be punitive. No one is suggesting people earning over $10 million should be punished. Rather, the new funds would finance green energy initiatives. (Democrats have this odd tendency to propose ways to pay for policy, unlike “some people.”) Oddly enough, a new poll by The Hill and Harris X found that 59% of registered voters like the idea, including 45% of GOPers, 60% of independents and 71% of Democrats.

    .
    .
    .

    (For the record, I recognize that corporate profits are not the same as taxable personal income.)
    Trust me?
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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    And once again, he was already repudiated at the ballot box. Soundly repudiated. 2,868,686 ballots worth.

    But it's not the ballot box that put him in office nor will keep him out for another 4 years. It's the Electoral College. The people of this country Do Not Matter when it comes to who sits in the Oval Office. They Never Have.
    Joe, I'm not following you. The EC is determined by votes. You can argue whether any State has too few or too many EVs but there is no arguing the people of a voting State determine who the State should vote for in the Oval Office.

    If based on pure votes alone, you would have a dictatorship of the majority and that is exactly what your Founding Fathers were trying to avoid. In the Parlimenatary System, it is extremely common for a Prime Minister not to have majority popular vote. It's called a Minority Government where two Parties must unite in order to govern the country. Hell, we don't even determine who is the PM. The Party Membership determines that. The PM is just another guy running in a local election to gain his seat in Parliment.

    There's good and bad with any system but I'm failing to see where you find fault with the current EC system. It is working as intended. Albeit with unintended consquences.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 19 Jan 19, at 04:00.

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    Joe, I'm not following you. The EC is determined by votes. You can argue whether any State has too few or too many EVs but there is no arguing the people of a voting State determine who the State should vote for in the Oval Office.

    If based on pure votes alone, you would have a dictatorship of the majority and that is exactly what your Founding Fathers were trying to avoid. In the Parlimenatary System, it is extremely common for a Prime Minister not to have majority popular vote. It's called a Minority Government where two Parties must unite in order to govern the country. Hell, we don't even determine who is the PM. The Party Membership determines that. The PM is just another guy running in a local election to gain his seat in Parliment.

    There's good and bad with any system but I'm failing to see where you find fault with the current EC system. It is working as intended. Albeit with unintended consquences.
    only -partly-. the EC system was designed to both offset the power of the larger states AND act as the elite balance against the democratic mob. according to Hamilton:

    The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.
    i'll leave it to everyone here to judge if the EC worked well in THAT regard.

    in fact the EC as originally designed was already unraveling in the Founding Fathers' lifetime. both Madison and Hamilton were dismayed by the fact that the electors in the Electoral College became a part of the partisan system-- they thought that electors were going to remain non-partisan and would be able to judge candidates on merit alone.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    Joe, I'm not following you. The EC is determined by votes. You can argue whether any State has too few or too many EVs but there is no arguing the people of a voting State determine who the State should vote for in the Oval Office.

    If based on pure votes alone, you would have a dictatorship of the majority and that is exactly what your Founding Fathers were trying to avoid. In the Parlimenatary System, it is extremely common for a Prime Minister not to have majority popular vote. It's called a Minority Government where two Parties must unite in order to govern the country. Hell, we don't even determine who is the PM. The Party Membership determines that. The PM is just another guy running in a local election to gain his seat in Parliment.

    There's good and bad with any system but I'm failing to see where you find fault with the current EC system. It is working as intended. Albeit with unintended consquences.
    only -partly-. the EC system was designed to both offset the power of the larger states AND act as the elite balance against the democratic mob. according to Hamilton:

    The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue.
    i'll leave it to everyone here to judge if the EC worked well in THAT regard.

    in fact the EC as originally designed was already unraveling in the Founding Fathers' lifetime. both Madison and Hamilton were dismayed by the fact that the electors in the Electoral College became a part of the partisan system-- they thought that electors were going to remain non-partisan and would be able to judge candidates on merit alone.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  8. #68
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    "The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications."

    Hmm something is clearly not working.

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    I think not many is going to change in 2019 compared to 2018. Same people, same politics.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    High hopes from politicians/political-parties are fallacious. They are like a bunch of monkeys who work with the notion of 'you scratch my back, I scratch yours'. They claim, but hardly ever work for the people and their choices.
    I pretty strongly disagree with this. Most of what the federal government is national defense, redistribution, and income security. Most state governments spend tons of money on public education and health care.
    They serve interest groups, and there is corruption, but you just need to compare modern Western democracies to where we were at 500 years ago to see how responsive modern government actually are to their populations, and how much they DON'T just serve the interests of the elite/themselves. I find it especially hard to think of any President solely serving their own interest in particular. Trump comes the closest, but even he strikes me more as my father-in-law incompetently trying to solve problems with Fox News knowledge than just trying to make money. Even if he does do corrupt things in office as well. Obama and Dubya in particular strike me as deeply committed to the office and doing what they thought was best, even if it personally cost them respect.

    You shouldn't expect a ton from politicians because governing is legitimately hard, especially in a nation of 300 million people, and there are no obvious answers to modern questions. If there were obvious answers, they'd pretty much already be enshrined in our common culture, like "people should be allowed to vote" and "slavery is wrong" (and try selling that to a bunch of Ancien Regime nobles)
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Joe, I'm not following you. The EC is determined by votes. You can argue whether any State has too few or too many EVs but there is no arguing the people of a voting State determine who the State should vote for in the Oval Office.

    There's good and bad with any system but I'm failing to see where you find fault with the current EC system. It is working as intended. Albeit with unintended consquences.
    I will absolutely argue that EC vote distribution is badly skewed...particularly when it's theoretically possible to win the Oval Office with a mere 22% of the popular vote. "That's not democracy, that's indefensible".

    And, as Eric and Snapper already pointed out

    The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. ~ Alexander Hamilton
    TwentyFiveFortyFive

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by GVChamp View Post
    I pretty strongly disagree with this. Most of what the federal government is national defense, redistribution, and income security. Most state governments spend tons of money on public education and health care.
    They serve interest groups, and there is corruption, but you just need to compare modern Western democracies to where we were at 500 years ago to see how responsive modern government actually are to their populations, and how much they DON'T just serve the interests of the elite/themselves. I find it especially hard to think of any President solely serving their own interest in particular. Trump comes the closest, but even he strikes me more as my father-in-law incompetently trying to solve problems with Fox News knowledge than just trying to make money. Even if he does do corrupt things in office as well. Obama and Dubya in particular strike me as deeply committed to the office and doing what they thought was best, even if it personally cost them respect.

    You shouldn't expect a ton from politicians because governing is legitimately hard, especially in a nation of 300 million people, and there are no obvious answers to modern questions. If there were obvious answers, they'd pretty much already be enshrined in our common culture, like "people should be allowed to vote" and "slavery is wrong" (and try selling that to a bunch of Ancien Regime nobles)
    Modern questions are solvable with the help of science, but the right wants to keep their head stuck up their ass and see conspiracy where there is none. In 71 years, the lane that leads to my home hasn't been paved. The answer to that is methods of accountability, alongwith all weather roads, and a little zeal for the betterment of the country/people. My earlier post was related to the political/social/economic developments in India in the last 5 years, somehow it fits the narrative in your country too. Bipartisanship in politics is pretty much non-existant and politicians are a bunch of thugs that modern democracies have legalized to exploit their own citizens.

    Expectations. Hmmm. Expecting 24 hrs stable power supply isn't demanding the hearts and lungs of our politicians. Expecting good motorable roads, clean drinking water, better healthcare, equality on merit, and many such ironies isn't demanding the lives and limbs of our politicians. That is what those idiots had promised in the first place, when they came to beg votes from us the citizens.

    300 million? US is 1/4th of our population, with almost 20X of our economy. Now you know why people like me are having second thoughts about democracy and its effectiveness.
    Last edited by Oracle; 21 Jan 19, at 05:46.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    I will absolutely argue that EC vote distribution is badly skewed...particularly when it's theoretically possible to win the Oval Office with a mere 22% of the popular vote. "That's not democracy, that's indefensible".
    That is democracy. That scenario means that 78% of the population did not vote. And the right to vote includes the right to NOT vote. The EVs are bound by State Laws. They are NOT Washington DC's to issue as they see fit.

    What is indefensible is a bunch of people who did not vote are now screaming bloody hell about a government they did not vote for because they were too lazy to go out and vote.
    Last edited by WABs_OOE; 21 Jan 19, at 06:04.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Modern questions are solvable with the help of science, but the right wants to keep their head stuck up their ass and see conspiracy where there is none. In 71 years, the lane that leads to my home hasn't been paved. The answer to that is methods of accountability, alongwith all weather roads, and a little zeal for the betterment of the country/people. My earlier post was related to the political/social/economic developments in India in the last 5 years, somehow it fits the narrative in your country too. Bipartisanship in politics is pretty much non-existant and politicians are a bunch of thugs that modern democracies have legalized to exploit their own citizens.

    Expectations. Hmmm. Expecting 24 hrs stable power supply isn't demanding the hearts and lungs of our politicians. Expecting good motorable roads, clean drinking water, better healthcare, equality on merit, and many such ironies isn't demanding the lives and limbs of our politicians. That is what those idiots had promised in the first place, when they came to beg votes from us the citizens.

    300 million? US is 1/4th of our population, with almost 20X of our economy. Now you know why people like me are having second thoughts about democracy and its effectiveness.
    Oracle

    Democracy is the ONLY way forward. Imagine what India is now, compared to what it was in the '80s. India has gone from a sense of hopelessness to one where at least people are optimistic. I agree with you that change is really slow, but whatever you see now is due to greater participaton, not because of more power in the hands of the government. If you still are not convinced about democracy, ask yourself who you would trust as a dictator - Modi? Mamata? Laloo? Kejriwal?
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    That is democracy. That scenario means that 78% of the population did not vote. And the right to vote includes the right to NOT vote. The EVs are bound by State Laws. They are NOT Washington DC's to issue as they see fit.
    I am not sure I can agree with this. I understand that apathy is sadly part of human psyche and the "oh I am not interested in politics" type people and can to some extent respect that choice (or ignorance in some cases). However I cannot bring myself to believe that if only 22% of the people vote and the 'winner', who may get 10-12% of the peoples vote has any "mandate" to use Government to enact changes that the vast majority may deeply dislike. Winning an election should confer a mandate; a right and duty to implement the changes the politico has proposed but when you do not get a majority of the votes (as Trumpkin and which I believe happened in the UK twice) I would prefer that the election goes to another round.

    Regarding astralis quote this again is problematical; do you respect the rank/Office or the person? I mean obviously is someone is abusing their rank or Office neither is warranted. But in the military or Civil Service (or a company maybe) you are promoted by your seniors who you have worked with/for on an almost daily basis. In a democratic election most voters will never meet the people they vote for and know nothing about them.

    Having said that I feel the two greatest threats to democracy that 'populist' victories have highlighted are the danger of lies which the press report and repeat without comment such as "Farage/Trumpkin/whoever says we will all be better off if we do x" which is blatantly false but which becomes almost a slogan. A good example was Trumpkin's "Mexico will pay for the wall", another was the famous bus during the UK/EU referendum promising 750m extra per week if UK left the EU. Plainly lies which were repeated time and again.

    The other problem is transparency in funding of campaigns. There is now a criminal investigation into the funding of UK 'Leave' campaign and the NRA, which itself received funding from Moscow (hence the Butina arrest - who by the way is not really a redhead), to the GOP should also be a matter of concern.

    I do not claim to have solutions to solve these problems but it might perhaps be worthwhile for our democracies to assemble some experts to look at them and make recommendations that can further safeguard the threats we now see arising to liberties.

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