American Democracy

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Just the sheer incompetence on display in the Iowa caucus…

Hey they at least had a Paper backup. Which is better than most election systems :-p

Caucuses are dumb. They are super fun to watch and be a part of but ultimately are undemocratic, and are riff with dumb situations that end up working against the will of the voters.


If the coverage I’m reading is anything to go by they’re so ableist as to transcend ableism. They take hours out of your weeknight. Involve lots of moving around, shouting, getting large amounts of people to follow complicated instructions and, boredom because you’ve gotta stay put while this part of the process completes.

I don’t think it can realistically be participated in as an able-bodied person with small children, let alone any number of disabilities.

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Damn, if only we knew why they kept them when they tried to rework the primary process a while back. Alas, it will forever be a mystery.

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Update to the previous post.

Really good code switch (although that’s not unusual)


It seems that Nevada is trying a weird form of ranked choice voting in their “early caucusing” effort. Maybe the way to sell ranked choice to the general public is to say “Hey, it’s like a caucus, if your first choice isn’t going to make it, this lets you have some backup!”

Let’s see if it works out.

" The voter, once they begin the actual voting process, is then asked to rank either their candidates one to five in order of preference on a ballot.

That preference list is unique to caucuses and is done so that if the voter’s top choice does not reach viability in their caucus site on caucus day – that means they usually have 15% of the room supporting them – their support can go to their second or third choice. Voters can express support for up to five choices in ranked order. For example, if a voter who voted early puts former Vice President Joe Biden as their top choice but Biden is not viable in their caucus site on Saturday, their second choice will be counted upon realignment.

The voter, once finished, signs their ballot."


I’m skeptical because caucuses by and large are awful - the last thing we need are more versions of Iowa - but I can take it as a way to introduce the concept of ranked-choice to a resistant public.

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My concern is the last minute feel of the change and the rule that you HAVE to fill in three bubbles for it to count. We’re looking at a potential for a lot of spoiled ballots.

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Worry about it when it actually happens.

You can’t half-ass a Dagon H. Either give enough leadup to inform the public of the change or put it on the form in big bold letter. Imagine how much chaos could have occurred if the actual Dagon H campaign had only waited till the day before to say “oh hey we’re driving on the right side of the road tomorrow!”


Just a reminder, as we all fall into conspiracy theories about our own side and snipe and Never whatever about a particular person. The real opponent isn’t just sitting there waiting for us to finish.


Awhile back I heard this guy Anand Giridharadas on some podcasts.

He was promoting a book he wrote that had strong consideration for GeekNights book club. I’m probably just going to read it anyway.

Over time, I saw more and more attention to what he had to say, and just this week he completely busted out. Much bigger time names and people are quoting, retweeting, and elevating what he has to say.

It really took off when he got this huge opinion piece printed in the New York Times.

And then he responded to the comments on that article on a live stream.

And now they’re even letting him on television to drop some bombs.

Just another one of those times you feel like someone is saying the things you were already thinking, only with infinitely more eloquence.

He’s pretty good. Admittedly I do take his stuff with a grain of salt, after watching him jumping on the “Mayor Pete fixed bread prices in Canada because he was an intern at McKinsey!” train, without ever mentioning that he made a fortune as an executive consultant at McKinsey with far more power and oversight than Buttigieg ever had as an intern, where his father was also an executive(And still is, IIRC).

But, I don’t think that takes away from the fact that he’s generally pretty good - after all, to lose a little trust in someone, you have to trust them in the first place. And he’s definitely a very good writer to boot, he knows how to keep your eyes on the page.


Join your local political groups :-p


Very good article. Although I wish they brought more attention to the fact that alienation from your community and atomization due to liberal ideology has helped create the culture of all bark no bite politics. It’s spot on that well educated, well off citizens can be highly politically engaged while not politically active, but encouraging them to wield collective power is only half the battle. If you want to criticize the current political environment you also need to provide people with opportunities and support to collectivize.