Sounds about how I remember it. As I said, political sausage making. I’m not proud of all these strategies, but if we can’t get elected, we can’t govern.
Yeah, that’s a dirty tactic.
But we’re in the shit, somebody’s gotta shovel it.
Going high gets us child concentration camps.
But don’t stop holding us accountable either, because I am absolutely an authoritarian and tend towards jackbooted thuggery (and I’m actually good at being a jackbooted thug) if left unchecked. That’s the best way to keep the whole thing honest.
I honestly don’t think there’s a good answer here.
On the one hand, the situation is so bad that I’m almost willing to do whatever is necessary for “our” side to win and govern.
On the other hand, engaging in these types of strategies is a race to the bottom. Liberals and Progressives want to win elections because we disagree with what Republicans are doing. We think their laws and policies are amoral, unethical, and sometimes even evil. But in order to win, we have to do amoral and unethical things ourselves?
If we do win using these methods, what happens next? How do we put the genie back in the bottle? What will we do when Republicans resort to even more amoral and unethical tactics? Do we go lower as well? At what point does that make the entire government amoral and unethical because the ends, any ends, justify the means?
In 2013, Harry Reid, the Democratic Senate Majority Leader triggered the “nuclear” option of eliminating filibusters on judicial nominees by lowering the requirements from 60 votes to 50. While Liberals applauded this move at the time, in 2017, Mitch McConnel, the current Republican Senate Majority Leader, used that as an excuse to do the same thing for Supreme Court nominees. That’s how we got Neil Goresuch on the Supreme Court. Goresuch is going to be on the Court for the next 25-30 years.
Now, you can easily argue that McConnel would have done this anyway, regardless of what Reid did in 2013, and that McConnel took the even more drastic step of holding up Merrick Garland’s Supreme Court nomination, but my point is that the gradual erosion of norms and traditions, even when they benefit you in the short term, will harm you later on.
I know this is a terrible analogy, but if you’re playing a boardgame and the other player is cheating, if you cheat as well, what’s the point of playing the game? It ceases to be a game at all and just becomes a vehicle for cheating.
I realize that because of my personality, or because of my job as a lawyer, or maybe a combination of the two, I tend towards being more “lawful good” than others on here, but if we’re willing to do unethical things in order to govern ethically, how do we keep everything from getting even worse?
At some point, we have to say enough is enough and hold ourselves to some kind of standard. To go back to the boardgame analogy, we don’t have the luxury of telling that cheating player that we won’t play games with him or her anymore. For better or worse, we’re stuck with that player.
You’re not making me wanna play. As a yuppie, with dual Canadian, US citizenship, Vancouver or Toronto are starting to look real good.
I stay because this is my home. I’ve spent more than 2/3 of my life here and running is cowardly. I think I can do more good here than there anyway. I guess the question here is “what does doing good look like?”
The distinction I make is that we’re not talking about how we’re governing. We’re playing a game of who can get more people to show up. A game where almost anything goes and the winner takes all the marbles. I expect better from our politicians.
You can’t use unethical means to elect politicians and not expect that to bleed over into how the politicians actually govern. The Trump campaign, and now the Trump administration, is the perfect example of that.
Unfortunately, we have to play. We have no choice. We can’t get up from the table.
Can and will.
I honestly hope you’re right.
I mean I might make an argument for ethical door knocking, if literal Nazis weren’t cutting into my project car time.
It starts with something as seemingly innocuous as basically lying to people when you knock on their doors. But what’s the next step? And the step after that? Eventually, the “do anything to win” mentality leads to voter suppression, fraud, gerrymandering, etc.
“We have met the enemy and he is us.”
“We have to burn the village to save it.”
I mean I am literally in “we need to burn the US to save it” mode.
Even if I believed that were true (I don’t), I’m worried that after we burned the village down, any rebuilt village would be even worse.
That’s why I’m against a new Constitutional Convention. As imperfect as our current Constitution is, I honestly have no idea if we’d even keep the protections we currently have in a new one. Same thing with our government. As flawed and bad as our current government is, I can think of a lot worse possibilities.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t try to fix things, but I’m unwilling to take the Nihilistic view that the US is completely unsalvageable.
Slippery slope fallacy. Just because there could be a slope doesn’t mean there will be.
I’m against murder. I’m against war in most cases.
When the Nazis occupied France, their murder was justified. The war against them was justified. When the Nazis were no longer a thread, the murder stopped being justified.
We use the tactics we need to use to fight the rise of fascism. They become once-again unjustifiable if fascism is no longer a serious threat.
It’s not a fallacy. It’s what has literally happened with the Republicans. They keep slipping down the slope more and more in order to try and gain and maintain their hold on power.
Good. I don’t think it’s completely unsalvageable either, but we’ve got some folks working hard to make it that way. Hence my acceptance of dirty tactics. But yeah, we do have to stay vigilant that we don’t become the monsters.
Just some examples of the slope:
Slaves can’t vote
Jim Crow laws to prevent Black people from voting
Document ID laws to prevent minorities, POC, and poor people from voting
Lack of funding for additional polling places in predominantly minority voting locations
Other voter suppression techniques
Repealing important parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Controlling state legislatures and passing laws to limit Democratic governor’s powers
Threatening to impeach state supreme court justices when they hold above laws unconstitutional
Claiming massive unsubstantiated voter fraud in order to suppress the vote
Inserting questions into the census asking about citizenship to try and skew the census results
How the hell is that not a slope?
That slope has primarily existed in one core group of people, who are currently represented primarily by one specific party.
And is that because Republicans are inherently more dishonest and amoral than Democrats or because Democrats have, at least up until now, held to various standards of ethics to prevent themselves from slipping down that slope?
I would argue that both parties are capable of amoral and unethical actions. It is the rare person who can resist that temptation.
Yes. Look at what they consider a victory. No immigrants and less rights for minorities.
And there’s no value in setting up an equivalency. If a Democratic supermajority gets corrupt, we start punching again. It’s pretty simple.
Right now, the entire GOP platform is anathema to reason. It’s dangerous. It’s deadly. It is beyond saving.
Punch until there’s no more nazis, then stop punching. If nazis return, resume punching.