American Democracy


#21

The county is largely populated by African Americans. Hmmmm…


#22

#23

It’s like Voting state official are trapped in the Truman show. They think the entire universe should be 50’s suburbia.


#24

The Republican party understands that their ideas will won’t survive truly open elections. Disenfranchisement is a long running project of theirs and this particular moment is their opportunity to make a sprint. They aren’t wasting it.


#25

This is fascinating.

It’s an article about a study. The article is fascinating, the study I’ll read later. It may be the beginning of my disengaging from politics, still voting, obviously, but less of the firehose into my eyeballs.


#26

While what the study says may be true, this op-ed greatly misinterprets the data.

Yeah, there people on the far left and far right who are the most engaged and active are a minority of people. Everyone else is less educated and cares less.

That doesn’t make the stances of the far right any less evil. It doesn’t make the progressive platform any less correct. In fact, it means we need to fight even harder to make sure all these less educated centrist people who would rather avoid conflict than fight for justice do not drive us toward some compromise with the far right.

There is no compromise on basic human rights.


#27

Not disagreeing with you, obviously, I just didn’t realize how disengaged most people were. Also how acceptable it was to be disengaged. Obviously I want basic human rights and I’ll vote for them consistently and forever (or I’ll abandon the states, I’m learning I have the option to move to
Europe and keep my job, could be cool to be an expat again).

The thing that is a personal revelation is how… meh most people are. How most agree that both sides need to compromise more, they agree both that hate speech is a problem and that political correctness has gone too far.

It reads to me like permission to care less. I’ll only be more like most people, whereas right now I’m less like most people.


#28

This is not news to me. We’ve been talking about bread and circuses since Roman times.


#29

I don’t know how accurate this study is in regards to a middle 80% being meh about politics. My experience living in South and southeastern Virginia is most people I interact with are deeply far right and love Trump and everything he and the Geriatric Old Pricks do. They bring it up as a matter of course that liberals are evil Obama is a Muslim and Nancy Pelosi is Satan. Maybe I’ve just been in those pockets of deep red and elsewhere people are meh but I haven’t met many people who didn’t care. It’s been one way or the other.


#30

Having also lived in rural parts of Virginia, I can say there’s a fair amount of people who claim they don’t care, but they actively do their best to avoid politics as much as possible. They’ll go back to saying “All politics are bad” or “I’m not a politics person” and maybe a crack of conservatism will peak out of them. But some people just flat out want to avoid it cause it’ll depress the ever-living hell out of them if they even acknowledge America’s fucked political landscape and they want to avoid any uncomfortable conflict in person.


#31

As far as I can tell, those “categories”… Immigration, sexual harassment, white privilege, Islamophobia… are all ribbon issues. That’s not to say they’re not important, but they seem cherry picked to get people fighting… while the “economic issues” and election reform are not on the board. Effectively selling out the public sector by deficit spending and privatizing all the profits in every way imaginable is all to castrate the democracy. Regulatory capture. Populating all executive positions with people inherently interested in destroying them.

I’m pretty sure most of us here end up voting the same way, but I feel like talking up these angles is playing into their hands. All four of those categories are also “fear issues” for old white male boomers that think they’re under attack (and they should be, but that’s beside the point). Hit their base with fears that are appropriate to their demographics - republicans want to take away their social security, medicare, etc…


#32

My read on the point the article is making says that a winning party would disengage from many hot button topics in the current way, do what it can to uphold a positive message, and just be decent. A lot of the issues that have people riled up on the extremes are extreme case issues, so is there a way to develop a brand identity that is good and just but doesn’t have to get stuck in the same points of debate?

Another theory I’ve had recently is that people are sick of parties but any party that comes forward is essentially just another platform that addresses the same talking points so people can compare and contrast. Meanwhile good people end up associated by default of their views with one party or another and many people would agree with the candidates and give them the vote save for the D or R next to the name.

So I ask this: could a party thrive that basically said “we are have high standards and are smart. Vote for one of our members because we are smart, and not because of any particular party line.” They don’t have official platforms other than they expect members to follow a code of ethics and conduct in office and demonstrates a record of voting in way reflecting the values and wellbeing of their constituents. The party won’t care how any given representative votes in any given session, as long as it is In keeping with the baseline code of ethics and the laws of the land and demonstrates due dilligence. This party would officially have no expectations on which way to vote just expectations of quality in decision making for those who they endorse and support.

Does anything like this exist? Would it make sense? Like in theory a few successful elections and good funding for the candidates that are chosen could have some notable people jumping ship from the Ds and Rs to run as “associated independent representatives” or whatever.


#33

It would make perfect sense if the issues were just reasonable every day disagreements like what should the zoning law be, or should the school budget be plus or minus a few dollars here or there.

The problem we have is there are fundamental disagreements on core philosophy that are beyond compromise. Basic human rights for all people is non-negotiable, yet is the position of the most extreme left.

People who disagree a little bit can be in a party together. People who don’t agree in basic human rights and justice can not get along with those who do not.

I’m reminded of this tweet from the other day.


#34

I’m not sure most of us vote the same way, mostly because most of us live in different countries and states.


#35

Lets see who can be the most pedantic this time.


#36

See this all sounds well and good until you ask what those “hot button topics” are, and consider there are millions of people affected by those topics:

Ninety-one percent of Progressive Activists say sexual harassment is common, while only 12 percent of Devoted Conservatives agree.

Sexism

Ninety-two percent of Progressive Activists say people don’t take racism seriously enough, compared with 6 percent of Devoted Conservatives.

Racism

Eighty-six percent of Progressive Activists say life’s outcomes are outside people’s control; only 2 percent of Devoted Conservatives agree.

Poverty

Progressive Activists are nearly three times as likely to say they are ashamed to be American as the average voter.

Foreign military action (among other things)

My counter argument to this is the Rational / Atheist movement. A whole lot of “smart” people drowned in a putrid mess of the above ISMs. In short, social markers of intelligence are highly correlated with privilege. People whose intelligence is over-valued by themselves and society are more prone to disregarding experiences that differ from their own. Which results in highly respected egotists who lack empathy outside their limited range.

  • Voter repression is a problem
  • FPTP voting system is a problem
  • Geographic instead of interest-based representation is a problem
  • Campaign finance is a problem
  • Corruption is a problem
  • A culture that nurtures baby sociopaths on systemic propaganda is a problem

Frankly, my guess is that the domestic reach of the American government to continue diminish (failing infrastructure, privatization, budget cuts, unregulated police forces) and hybrid corporate governance to fill the gaps, until corporate feudalism.


#37

Okay!

This time you weren’t talking directly to me, I was just throwing in a comment from the sidelines. I didn’t use your one mistake to dismiss or ignore the rest of your post or your other points, unlike some other people in other discussions. In a thread called “American Democracy” it doesn’t matter how people outside of America vote, so that’s a sign that I might have been making a joke not a criticism of your wider point.


#38

"Following an announcement Monday from the Treasury that the federal government ran a deficit of $779 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, the Democratic staff on the Senate Budget Committee released a report showing that the federal government would be running a surplus today if not for four Republican policies.

Without the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enormous post-9/11 defense buildup and two rounds of costly, regressive tax cuts, the federal government would be running a $156 billion surplus instead of a $779 billion deficit. The Trump Tax Cuts – which coupled permanent corporate tax cuts with temporary individual tax cuts – added $164 billion to the 2018 deficit.

The Bush tax cuts contributed $488 billion to the deficit in FY 2018, the Trump tax cuts added $164 billion, the direct costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ran up $127 billion and base defense increases led to $156 billion in spending."


#39

West Virginia’s preferred method of democracy? A fucking mobile app that relies on blockchain.

I’m straight up over it at this point. Ya know what, earth? Fuck you.

Relevant https://xkcd.com/2030/


#40

I’m looking to some of the more politically studious of this thread to confirm some of the claims made in this video.