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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

It's a pretty well known fact that Japan is pretty Xenophobic and very sexist. It doesn't matter what the US did to Japan 80 years ago, when japan is still putting them down and putting up "no foreigners allowed" banners. Japan (and many other highly developed nations) can be pretty freely sexist and xenophobic and there really doesn't seem to be any collapsing economy. Holding up foreign relations does not justify their discrimination at all. 

Japan also is heavily violent towards people of difference, so uses fear mongering and threats like Russia to keep the population from acting up in ways contrary to the beliefs of the government.

 

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Also, since when does saying "having jobs is increadibly important" mean "equality is some small side issue"?

Was referring more towards your point that it's bad to have issues like race on a equal pedestal to any other political issue being discussed, but k. Never once was I trying to discredit or lower the importance of jobs, moreso pointing out that simply having more jobs available won't suddenly fix issues that are systematically engraved into society as history has showed. Not to mention the way society has currently tried dealing with issues like racism, sexism, islamaphobia, homophobia, hasn't really changed much for the better in those groups, and does come off like people treating those like issues that don't matter overall.

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Are you only satisfied if your rights are treated as the most important thing that affects everything and everyone?

Didn't I literally say not long ago that I wasn't asking for all the attention to be on issues like this? I just think that the current approach to how we're looking at these issues and dealing with them is shit, and so a better way to discuss these issues and let anyone join in on the conversation is needed. 

 

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Jobs are solid, and affect everything and everyone, the rights of gay people only affect 10% of the population, and not all of that 10% may have any problems. You cannot expect something that affects a fairly small minority to be as present and shown off as something that affects the vast majority.

Yes, but jobs don't always play equally, like I said having jobs doesn't help everyone when the system at its core treats minorities like lessers. The rights of gays effect more than just 10% I may add as allowing more rights for groups like them can see benefits or positive results in other communities as well. Like I've pointed out, better treatment of groups can result in things like economic growth in plenty of different ways. That 10% can still make a positive impact on numbers. Plus, like I've said, many minorities groups are on the rise in numbers. People ask for physical reasons why they should give more attention to groups like them, and help, ask what's it it for them, and I've given reasons, only for them not to be considered or looked at.

And 10% I'd say is style a fairly hefty amount of the population(especially if this is just gay and not LGBT as a whole) being effected. And making their situation a focus that deserves some attention I'd say is fair. Any group imo suffering or being mistreated by society should get attention to some level no matter the size.

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

That majority also including black and gay people (which is really all you seem to be talking about when you say minorities).

I've countless times brought up women, trans, Muslims and Mexicans but ok.( I am black and gay so naturally those will be the groups I associate with the most.)

 

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

It's just the greater good taking higher precedence. 

Uh huh. 

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Equality within jobs is a subcatogory in that, and is pretty much one of the most important aspects of equality. I'd honestly prefer to put equality within jobs above social justice

Equality within jobs is a product of social change. Equal treatment in other areas is just as important and needed. You can't have equal treatment in jobs if other categories are not being fixed. Pay, living conditions, location, etc. You need those. Otherwise it's not actually indicating change within the community so much as begrudgingly doing it. Look at the legalization of same sex marriage for example. Doesn't seem it was so much the changing of peoples hearts, and more they felt forced into doing it.

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Also, is it just me or are you actually supportive of Trumps border control? You certainly sound like it.

Border control and me talking about it since it IS a heavily discussed topic =/= me supporting it. And does not mean I'm specifically referring to Trumps views and policies regarding it.

 

Honestly I think a way to mitigate this situation would be to have one key general topic of "social change" that lumps all these separate issues into one category. Cause by themselves I agree to a degree they unfortunately don't grab public interest long, however together as one general point to discuss, they do have a large hold. You then have Hispanics, blacks, women, Muslims AND the LGBT working together AND already "privileged" people can look at the issues one at a time and find ways to help each of them as best they can.

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40 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Japan also is heavily violent towards people of difference, so uses fear mongering and threats like Russia to keep the population from acting up in ways contrary to the beliefs of the government.

And now Japan is a heavily violent, threatening country that is something akin to Putins Russia. Putting aside how absurd this is, this has absolutely no relevance to anything I was ever saying. 

40 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Was referring more towards your point that it's bad to have issues like race on a equal pedestal to any other political issue being discussed, but k. Never once was I trying to discredit or lower the importance of jobs, moreso pointing out that simply having more jobs available won't suddenly fix issues that are systematically engraved into society as history has showed.

Since when does jobs equal any other political issues? My point was that it's silly to think that issues on equality, which can be so ridiculously vague and have a fairly limited audience, are as important as issues such as lack of jobs which affect everyone and is more solid. Also, past =/= present. You cannot use the past as proof for present events or beliefs because things change a lot. 

40 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Yes, but jobs don't always play equally, like I said having jobs doesn't help everyone when the system at its core treats minorities like lessers. The rights of gays effect more than just 10% I may add as allowing more rights for groups like them can see benefits or positive results in other communities as well. Like I've pointed out, better treatment of groups can result in things like economic growth in plenty of different ways. That 10% can still make a positive impact on numbers.(not to mention gays rights can often result in positives in other groups, bumping up that percentage likely) 

As I said, working pay falls within the category of working towards creating better jobs. I sincerely doubt it effects more than 10%, when not even all gay people would benefit from a lot of the gay rights movements in other states. Maybe they can impact the numbers, but would it be enough to make it a issue comparable to lack of jobs which affects practically everyone? Is it something that absolutely everyone has to care about? The public is more than just a fraction of the gay community, and they want public issues to take precedence over super specific LGBT issues. 

And you're hugely exaggerating the economic benefits. Britain never had such amazing and overwhelming econimic benefits when they decriminalised homosexuals or gave foreigners equal pay. These things weren't put overtly in the spotlight neither, because there were just other more relevant issues to the majority of the public. 

40 minutes ago, KHCast said:

Equality within jobs is a product of social change. Equal treatment in other areas is just as important and needed. You can't have equal treatment in jobs if other categories are not being fixed. Pay, living conditions, location, etc. You need those. Otherwise it's not actually indicating change within the community so much as begrudgingly doing it. Look at the legalization of same sex marriage for example. Doesn't seem it was so much the changing of Orioles hearts, and more they felt forced into doing it.

You have fun pretending you're a sociologist. First of all, if you actually want any change, you'll have to give people the chance to rise up and change things. Jobs actually allow this. Better jobs allow people to have more flexibility on the social ladder, which'll allow you to challange social issues. 

Honestly, why are you trying so hard to make it seem like discrimination is an economic issue that affects absolutely everyone? It's far more specific, and it's just ludicrous to expect everyone to care about very specific issues that just doesn't effect much of the population. Jobs affect everyone, so more people care about it. It's not hard to understand. You can't put a highly specific issue on the same level as a widely and hugely affecting issue. 

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3 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

Can we at least agree that discrimination is an important issue that needs addressing regardless of how it affects the economy because these are bloody human beings we're talking about?

Nobody said otherwise. 

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Saying something is one thing. Implying something is another. I learned not to take what people's words at face value years ago. What do you think this sounds like?

1 hour ago, Christmas Dreams said:

Jobs are solid, and affect everything and everyone, the rights of gay people only affect 10% of the population, and not all of that 10% may have any problems. You cannot expect something that affects a fairly small minority to be as present and shown off as something that affects the vast majority. That majority also including black and gay people (which is really all you seem to be talking about when you say minorities). It's just the greater good taking higher precedence. 

Cause to me it sounds like "jobs affect more people than gay rights, so jobs are a more urgent issue".

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9 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

I learned not to take what people say at face value years ago. What do you think this sounds like?

Cause to me it sounds like "jobs affect more people than gay rights, so jobs are a more urgent issue".

We're talking about representation, not urgency. Jobs affect practically everyone, so it will get more representation. I don't see how that's putting anything or anyone down. Gay rights in America are not the biggest issue in the world. 

Honestly, I'd put talking about muslims before it. Since Muslims are actually threatened to be pushed out of America, are heavily discriminated and there's a lot of bad tensions between America and other Islamic nations right now. It's a worldwide issue. 

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Just now, Christmas Dreams said:

We're talking about representation, not urgency. Jobs affect practically everyone, so it will get more representation. I don't see how that's putting anything or anyone down. Gay rights in America are not the biggest issue in the world. 

Why even bring representation up in the first place? How many people are affected shouldn't make a difference? Even if gay rights in America "aren't the biggest issue in the world," they're still an issue.

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3 hours ago, KHCast said:

Except doing the opposite of pro rights seemed to work for republicans.

Of course. It's a lot easier to be a reactionary than a progressive.

We don't get to play by the same rules as the GOP. The GOP can harken back to an old order or glorify the existing one; we have to propose an alternative.

And quite frankly, with how well the dominant groups fare under the status quo, there's little incentive to change it. The GOP only has to defend it. We have to argue our way won't harm them and will benefit them in the long run.

In fact, this is precisely why democratic thinkers like Locke were saying revolution was unlikely even if the right to start one was recognized; people take the path of least resistance unless the status quo is really, really awful (as it was when FDR came in and radically altered the political landscape).

23 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

Can we at least agree that discrimination is an important issue that needs addressing regardless of how it affects the economy because these are bloody human beings we're talking about?

Absolutely. I don't think anyone's in disagreement here on this. We're mostly just disagreeing on the finer points of how to address it.

15 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

Cause to me it sounds like "jobs affect more people than gay rights, so jobs are a more urgent issue".

To me it sounds like "Humans are prone to being self-interested and taking the path of least resistance, so anti-discrimination policy should factor this in." Privilege does not enable malice, but negligence. As someone who doesn't live in Africa, I am free to not pay attention to its issues. In much the same way, people without a stake in the issue are free to ignore racism, sexism, etc.

Consider this: practically everyone agrees in the abstract to it being a noble thing to donate organs. And yet... organ donation rates are far higher when it's opt out as opposed to opt in. We can demonize those who don't make a point to make themselves an organ donor, or recognize the mental laziness most people feel and plan policy around this (in this case, replacing opt in with opt out donation).

Back to the point of discussion, the key is to craft a platform that doesn't make people feel they have to choose between minority rights or economic growth (which this election did). The ideal platform has a "tide that lifts all boats" approach.

Of course, this goes back to the need to abolish capitalism. Capitalism's innate interest in an impoverished class is a fertile ground for discrimination and such ideas as "whiteness as wealth."

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10 minutes ago, Dizcrybe said:

Why even bring representation up in the first place? How many people are affected shouldn't make a difference? Even if gay rights in America "aren't the biggest issue in the world," they're still an issue.

Because that's what the original topic was?

It's an issue, but it's not a nationwide issue that effects almost everyone such as creating jobs. Not everyone cares about it, because people have their own issues, so its not good to shove it in everyones face. Or what Noelgilvie said basically. 

That was literally it. 

PS: I have no idea how you could abolish capitalism in America. Definitely not now, it's only been 15 years since the Soviet Union died. 

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7 minutes ago, Noelgilvie said:

Back to the point of discussion, the key is to craft a platform that doesn't make people feel they have to choose between minority rights or economic growth (which this election did). The ideal platform has a "tide that lifts all boats" approach.

This is something I could get behind. As I agree that both are problems that deserve attention and fixing. Choosing and prioritizing and leaving certain groups in the dust until the others are finished doesn't gel well with me. 

In other news, I was looking around online, and found some interesting benefits of equality that should be looked at. This is from a uk study, but I assume similar applies to the US. Explains how bettering conditions for groups like women, blacks, Muslims, LGBT, etc can better everyone's overall lives.

 

Why bother?

The evidence1 suggests that if we halved inequality in the UK:

  • Murder rates could halve.
  • Mental illness could reduce by two thirds.
  • Imprisonment could reduce by 80%.
  • Teen births could reduce by 80%.
  • Levels of trust could increase by 85%.
  •  

http://www.mutualresponsibility.org/science/study-shows-equality-benefits-everyone-rich-and-poor

this one is also a good one to add.

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Looks like creating jobs was more important than I thought. Possibly the most important issue in America to my surprise. 

Quote

Creating jobs—and making sure they are the right jobs—will be how we lift millions of people out of poverty and into the middle class, how we empower billions of women and young people, and how we develop a strong, secure, and robust 21st century global economy.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/news/2012/11/15/45121/creating-just-jobs-must-be-our-top-priority/

http://economicgrowthdc.org/the-hows-and-whys-of-job-creation/

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Let's synthesize the two posts above: economic inequality causes massive damage, with or without regard to demographics.

While minimal inequality would not completely eliminate racism, sexism, etc. it would curb a great deal of damage. A society that is largely equal, for example, will have far less crime, and by proxy, less policing and chance for stratification in law enforcement. The amount of resources formerly marginalized groups now possess gives them a defense against revival of stratification.

We are brought back to the central long-term goal: the elimination of capitalism in favor of something else. Social democracy is not a viable alternative on a global scale; while it works for cultures like Scandinavia's that have a strong sense of social responsibility, it fell apart quickly in Britain and the United States due to our individualistic cultures. My proposal would be to take our love of the free market and transition it to a love of a cooperative economy, where each workplace is run by its workers. Some inequality would remain, but it would take a huge dent as billionaires evaporate.

"Nobody would start companies." That's what government funding is for. Before one cries inefficient socialism, let's remember the shitload of money the government poured into technology over the course of the Cold War and onward. Venture capitalists didn't make America a tech giant. The government throwing piles of money at people with bright ideas did.

We of course, also must embrace a common class consciousness. This is why I'm very cautious around such things as "white privilege" and the like. While it is of course true that there are privileged groups, emphasizing this runs the risk of deepening the divide. It is more fruitful to consider the loss nearly all people suffer under the capitalist order, and how all but the wealthiest will benefit from its replacement with an alternative.

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Welp, there goes any chance of peace in the Middle East.

Quote

Donald Trump's Israel ambassador is hardline pro-settler lawyer

Donald Trump has named as his ambassador to Israel a pro-settler lawyer who has described some US Jews as worse than concentration camp prisoner-guards.

David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who represented the president-elect over his failing hotels in Atlantic City, served Trump’s advisory team on the Middle East. He has set out a number of hardline positions on Israeli-Palestinian relations, including fervent opposition to the two-state solution and strong support for an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

He has called President Barack Obama an antisemite and suggested that US Jews who oppose the Israeli occupation of the West Bank are worse than kapos, Nazi-era prisoners who served as concentration camp guards.

Liberal Jewish groups in the US denounced the appointment as “reckless” and described Friedman – a man with no experience of foreign service – as the “least experienced pick” ever for a US ambassador to Israel.

Yossi Dagan, a prominent Israeli settler leader and friend of Friedman, welcomed the news, describing him as “a true friend and partner of the state of Israel and the settlements”. Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, said Friedman had “the potential to be the greatest US ambassador to Israel ever”.

An indication of how Friedman views Israel came in a 16-point action plan he issued with another Trump adviser in November. It included “ensur[ing] that Israel receives maximum military, strategic and tactical cooperation from the United States” and a declaration of war on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and pro-Palestinian campus activism.

Friedman, 57, has worked with Trump for more than 15 years and advised the president-elect on the Middle East during his election campaign. He represented Trump after the umbrella company for his three Atlantic City casinos, Trump Entertainment Resorts, went into bankruptcy in 2009.

He said he was looking forward to taking up his post in “the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem”, indicating Trump’s determination to overturn years of US policy and move the embassy from Tel Aviv. The change would be a potentially explosive gesture in the Middle East, as the status of Jerusalem is one of the issues in the long-stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Also controversial is Friedman’s presidency of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions, an organisation that supports a large illegal West Bank settlement just outside Ramallah.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/trump-israel-ambassador-david-friedman

This decision to appoint a man with views more extreme than Netanyahu, coupled with Trump's apparent wish to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, are very worrying. How can Americans like Trump struggle so hard to see how their country's one-sided support for Israel may have ramifications in regards to how their country is viewed across the Muslim world? Are they looking to encourage new generations of terrorists and extremists?

We have an incoming administration of climate change deniers, mega-donors, very recent ex-military officials, extremists, and people who cannot be said to believe (or even identify) the missions of their departments. Very disturbing.

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10 minutes ago, Patticus said:

Welp, there goes any chance of peace in the Middle East.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/trump-israel-ambassador-david-friedman

This decision to appoint a man with views more extreme than Netanyahu, coupled with Trump's apparent wish to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, are very worrying. How can Americans like Trump struggle so hard to see how their country's one-sided support for Israel may have ramifications in regards to how their country is viewed across the Muslim world? Are they looking to encourage new generations of terrorists and extremists?

We have an incoming administration of climate change deniers, mega-donors, very recent ex-military officials, extremists, and people who cannot be said to believe (or even identify) the missions of their departments. Very disturbing.

It makes me wonder if this is some kind of conspiracy at times, with the extremists putting themselves into positions of power to keep the conflict going eternally so they can keep the public in a state of fear, thus increasing their own power for the sake of "security" and "protecting against the *insert minority that isn't pure white heterosexual Christian male* threat".

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http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-purple-america-wants-from-trump-1481675070

The WSJ broke down this year's electoral results, and has drawn the conclusion there are three kinds of voters, stemming beyond Party affiliation: those who want to reform and reduce government through term limits, strict campaign finance, tight lobbying restrictions, etc. (largely voted for Trump); those who believe the government is fundamentally sound but needs some corrections (largely backed Clinton); and the swing vote, those who want the expansive scope of government protected, but want serious reform to eliminate waste and corruption.

The swing vote is estimated at about 25% of the electorate (those favoring minor reform are about 20%, down from 43% in 1997, while those wanting to tear the government apart are up to 43% from 17% in 1997). They gave Trump the reins, and are just as likely to take them away if he continues down his path of corruption.

The things "priority setters" - the swing vote - can be classed as wanting are: 1) protection of most government programs. Not just old people programs like the Tea Party types, but also the EPA, FDA, ACA, etc. 2) Limits on campaign finance, in direct opposition to the GOP's embrace of Citizens United, 3) Stronger ethics in government. They see both parties as largely lazy, incompetent, etc. and also want to see how Trump will end his conflict of interest with his businesses, 4) Elimination of redundant federal posts to improve efficiency, 5) reform of federal hiring to increase merit, 6) reduce the scale of government failures like the response to Katrina or lack of early warning to Flint residents about lead in their water.

This helps explain why a considerable number of Obama voters went over to Trump. Obama regularly invoked language about government reform, but eight years of little progress on the issue made people feel that maybe Trump could do better.

12 hours ago, CD Sanic said:

This was tweeted on Sanders' Twitter feed yesterday

 

Between this and the #Resist hasttag that's being thrown around, i've been wondering, Is it possible to stand up to the Trump administration?

Absolutely. Beyond abstract ideas like freedom of expression and assembly, there are numerous avenues of peaceful resistance. Groups like the ACLU are planning to devote considerable resources to battle any civil liberties violations of the Trump administration, for example. Our strong federal structure makes it so the states can resist the federal government fairly effectively; we are seeing this in refusal to comply with marijuana laws. Trump can dominate the federal government all he wants, but the federal nature of America makes cities and states a bulwark against the worst. Regardless of what view one takes on the Constitution, the role of states in the effectiveness of federal programs cannot be understated.

And as always, there's the point to turn out in 2018 (and 2017/2019 where applicable) and vote for those who resist Trump. Leading into that, some small things: one should make sure everyone's aware of voter ID laws, and encourage everyone to get a voter ID. The good news about voter ID laws is they lean very heavily on the affected people not being too interested in politics. if they make a point to keep an ID for voting (never mind the convenience of having one), the laws lose a lot of their teeth.

Really, in short: be politically active and aware. Trump's looking more like a hyperactive child than a Machiavellian tyrant at the moment, and this means his administrator is in trouble if the masses stand up to it.

3 minutes ago, Patticus said:

Welp, there goes any chance of peace in the Middle East.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/15/trump-israel-ambassador-david-friedman

This decision to appoint a man with views more extreme than Netanyahu, coupled with Trump's apparent wish to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, are very worrying. How can Americans like Trump struggle so hard to see how their country's one-sided support for Israel may have ramifications in regards to how their country is viewed across the Muslim world? Are they looking to encourage new generations of terrorists and extremists?

We have an incoming administration of climate change deniers, mega-donors, very recent ex-military officials, extremists, and people who cannot be said to believe (or even identify) the missions of their departments. Very disturbing.

This administration is going to be a shitshow. Trump and his cronies are going to rob this country blind.

I can only hope he'll be a new Hoover, overseeing a transition to such a destructive form of capitalism that a leftward political revolution ensues.

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http://abcnews.go.com/US/dylann-roof-found-guilty-33-counts-federal-death/story?id=44209346

Dylann Roof - the Charleston church shooter - has been found guilty on all 33 crimes in federal court.

There has been no official sentence (the jury needs to hold a separate trial to decide death or life imprisonment), and he also still has to stand trial in state court.

It's great news that he's been found guilty. Hopefully he'll get life imprisonment, since capital punishment is a waste of taxpayer money (and I think giving the state license to kill people causes more problems than it solves - glorifying killing, racial disparities in executions, reinforcing the idea justice requires killing people (read: more complacency in police shootings), etc.).

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I always found it really weird how the quirks in the American system allow somebody to get the death penalty twice. As we all know, people generally only die once. Regardless, I am glad that that scumbag got convicted, whatever the court decides the appropriate punishment to be.

I'm also glad this got sorted before Trump becomes president. With Sessions in the Supreme Court, Roof could've felt empowered to take it to the Supreme Court since Sessions would be sympathetic to his reasoning behind the attack-- not to mention that laws could be passed in the meantime, of course condoned by Trump, that make it harder for justice to be served.

On 12/16/2016 at 7:59 AM, Noelgilvie said:

And as always, there's the point to turn out in 2018 (and 2017/2019 where applicable) and vote for those who resist Trump. Leading into that, some small things: one should make sure everyone's aware of voter ID laws, and encourage everyone to get a voter ID. The good news about voter ID laws is they lean very heavily on the affected people not being too interested in politics. if they make a point to keep an ID for voting (never mind the convenience of having one), the laws lose a lot of their teeth.

A note on this: There are a lot of rural areas that don't have access to places to get any IDs, let alone a voter ID. And most of them are, as you might expect, in red states like Texas. The actual machine for making IDs is about $700-$1,600 on top of whatever it costs to buy the ink, blank cards, electricity, etc. needed to keep it working and the costs of the standards and checks that the government will invariably impose upon voter ID facilities. That's not very cheap, especially when buying more than one machine or building more than one facility to prevent ridiculously long waits, a stampede, or another product of overload at one ID facility. Thus, if voter IDs are imposed as a form of voter suppression, its imperative to find a way for outsiders get ID makers into the areas that don't have access to them, as those areas often can't afford to get access to them on their own. A charity of some sort would be helpful.

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13 hours ago, Mad Convoy said:

A note on this: There are a lot of rural areas that don't have access to places to get any IDs, let alone a voter ID. And most of them are, as you might expect, in red states like Texas. The actual machine for making IDs is about $700-$1,600 on top of whatever it costs to buy the ink, blank cards, electricity, etc. needed to keep it working and the costs of the standards and checks that the government will invariably impose upon voter ID facilities. That's not very cheap, especially when buying more than one machine or building more than one facility to prevent ridiculously long waits, a stampede, or another product of overload at one ID facility. Thus, if voter IDs are imposed as a form of voter suppression, its imperative to find a way for outsiders get ID makers into the areas that don't have access to them, as those areas often can't afford to get access to them on their own. A charity of some sort would be helpful.

A lot of those rural areas likely vote Republican, I would imagine?

As I recall, voter ID laws are most destructive since they tend to disenfranchise large amounts of people in urban centers - Democratic strongholds. Many city residents do not have state-issued ID because they do not drive (given the mass transit options).

But hey, this is just like the poll tax: something that targets minorities just as much targets the poor (the grandfather clause didn't apply to poll taxes either). It's actually eerily similar; the poll tax wasn't that expensive, but had to be paid well in advance of elections before most people gained an interest. In much the same way, people are expected to register to vote and have an ID earlier and earlier, even though the cost of an ID usually isn't that much. Of course, it's easily seen as an unnecessary expense if one isn't too interested in voting or if one is extremely poor.

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6 hours ago, Noelgilvie said:

A lot of those rural areas likely vote Republican, I would imagine?

As I recall, voter ID laws are most destructive since they tend to disenfranchise large amounts of people in urban centers - Democratic strongholds. Many city residents do not have state-issued ID because they do not drive (given the mass transit options).

But hey, this is just like the poll tax: something that targets minorities just as much targets the poor (the grandfather clause didn't apply to poll taxes either). It's actually eerily similar; the poll tax wasn't that expensive, but had to be paid well in advance of elections before most people gained an interest. In much the same way, people are expected to register to vote and have an ID earlier and earlier, even though the cost of an ID usually isn't that much. Of course, it's easily seen as an unnecessary expense if one isn't too interested in voting or if one is extremely poor.

You'd be surprised. A fair amount of rural areas are well aware that, well, the Republicans suck due to having to experience the worst the party has to offer on a regular basis. Its just that they aren't well represented because, you guessed it, voter suppression. (This is again very common in Texas since the state government essentially owns the elections and has made it so that only Republican fundamentalists that don't represent what the majority wants are put into leadership roles) Their Republican leaders don't have much interest in getting machines out there because it doesn't benefit them to do so and on top of that have gerrymandered wherever they can to prioritize only rural towns that vote Republican.

You are right though, this does target minorities as much as the poor. Gotta kill two birds with one stone, I suppose. :/ Though if I am to draw upon personal experience, in America there's pretty much a cultural obligation to learn how to drive at some point, and with that comes a license. On top of that, thanks to some manipulations on the part of GM back in the 1920s that we have yet to fully recover from, access to good quality trains is more limited in America than it is in, say, Europe so people pretty much drive everywhere unless they're extremely poor and live in a city.

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11 hours ago, AxelPrime said:

Is anyone gonna watch the Electoral College Vote tomorrow?

Can't say I'll have the pleasure, but I'll be popping over to the Politico and BBC News sites from my desk at work, and on my breaks, to see if there are any updates.

I hope to see a record number of Faithless Electors (read: electors going against their state's popular vote) today, despite (or because of) the massive pressure the GOP has been putting on them. I don't expect Trump's election to be voided though, but attention needs to be drawn to how broken the whole system is, and how much it needs to be revised - popular vote contingencies put in place, electors to be non-partisan, no laws telling them who they have to vote for except perhaps in x or y exceptional circumstances, etc.

I worry that all that'll happen as a result will be a nationwide spate of crackdowns on faithless electors, though.

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It's unfortunate. If we can't get a popular vote amendment, we could at least have one that says a person must win both the Electoral College and the popular vote. It's a compromise, just like Congress: a candidate not only must represent the majority of nationwide voters, but focus on key states. Economic and democratic interest are both accounted for in this model.

In the event of a broken vote, a second election should be held, preferably a runoff. As we've seen with how narrowly electoral vote-only winners lead, it's extremely likely a second election would break the gridlock, especially if you eliminate spoiled votes.

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