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The General 'Murican Politics Thread

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1 hour ago, Volphied said:

Uh, No? Trump has not become an establishment Republican, nor has Bernie become an estabilishement Democrat. They can't since their supporters would have eaten them alive if they did it.

So you mean literally exactly what happened when Trump started filling cabinet posts and administrative positions with established GOP bigwigs to start pushing NeoCon talking points as policy and Bernie threw his entire weight behind a diametrically opposed candidate in the hopes that enough of his followers would go along just because he asked nicely?

 

1 hour ago, Volphied said:

Honestly, maybe instead of getting, as you said, pissed at some Germans for not liking Americans, you should try to understand why they might dislike Americans. My theory: to them, Trump represents the quintessential "ugly American".

So because they feel Trump is reinforcing stereotypes they already held, it's fine to transfer them on to regular Americans. Can I then think that they are just snobbish, self-important Europeans then?

 

1 hour ago, Volphied said:

But the Presidential system is much worse when it gives one party full power from the Congress to the Presidency.

As seen by how Trump was elected, incumbent Democrats were swept out of office fairly consistently despite expecting major gains because of how unpopular Trump was leading the GOP to have the most power it has had in government since around 9/11, and Republicans have spent the past 6 months (after talking for half a decade about how they were going to basically undo everything Obama did that they didn't like and had plans in place for doing so)... spinning their wheels and mostly doing nothing but infighting against themselves and against Trump.

 

 

Because, as the couple of the years when Obama had everything stacked for him when he was trying to pass Obamacare should have already shown, people being part of a party does not mean that they are beholden to all of the current whims of the party.

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After the US was established, it went on to export its political system to South America. Almost all South American countries mimic not the parliamentary systems of post 1945 Europe, but the Presidential system of Modern USA.

And the 20th century in South America was marked by these presidential systems imploding into dictatorship.

And no, they didn't all fall to tanks and coups.... there were dictatorships created by free elections that put into the Presidential palace a populist who hated the press and judges.

South American banana republics are perfect comparisons for why the US political system is in danger, you're right.

 

1 hour ago, Volphied said:

It's called democratic backsliding. And the US is experiencing it right now. Please watch this video that explains it better than I can in this post

Man, all of the reasons why the US is fucked, and in a convenient six minute video!

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http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/03/politics/chris-christie-beach/index.html

Chris Christie found using a beach he closed to the public due to budget concerns. His defense? "I had announced I was going there anyway."

I think the odds of New Jersey going Democrat just went up a little.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/02/politics/white-house-gender-pay-gap/index.html

The pay gap between all men and women in the Trump White House is 80%, as opposed to the national 82%. This is because women fill the lower-ranked positions at higher rates than men. There is no control for experience, but I don't think anyone would be surprised at there being a glass ceiling in a Trump White House.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/01/politics/trump-voter-fraud-kobach/index.html

Trump receives criticism from 30 states about voter fraud... his rebuff?

"What are you trying to hide?"

The finest police state logic. Trump's request was as follows:

"The Trump administration's Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity sent all 50 states a letter Wednesday requesting data from the their voting rolls, including the full names of registered voters, dates of birth, party registration, last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting history."

Of course, even Republicans are refusing to cooperate, with the Secretary of State of Mississippi saying of the request, "My reply would be: They can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from. Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state's right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes."

Connecticut's Secretary of State has said she will share publicly-available information, but not private information, while also requesting the Commission reciprocate with full transparency of its meetings, memos, what its goals are, etc. Maximum trolling.

Mitch McConnell's comments remain unchanged: he pays lip service to the idea voter fraud exists in some form, but think it's absurd to spend federal money on investigating it since it didn't have enough of an effect on federal races.

3 hours ago, Volphied said:

Modern Germany has. Why do you continue to compare Modern USA to Weimar Germany? Do I compare Modern Germany to Robber Baron era America?

To establish Germany has hardly had a rosy history with democracy, and it took getting defeated in two massive wars to get the system they have now. I'd be doing the same thing if the Japanese were bragging about the strength of their democracy. A democracy they only have because they lost.

3 hours ago, Volphied said:

But those Germans never said that Germany was always a beacon of Democracy. Where are you coming up with this?

Generally, when you are critical of someone else, you almost inevitably have a higher opinion of yourself. No one wants to be a hypocrite.

Given Merkel is being hyped up as the leader of the free world, meanwhile, I'd assume that's not a view exclusive to outsiders.

3 hours ago, Volphied said:

But the Presidential system is much worse when it gives one party full power from the Congress to the Presidency.

Which is now a historical oddity. The President's Party can expect to bleed hundreds of seats over the course of his term. The average President is at his strongest in his first two years.

The current system is a bit weird because the GOP used computers to mass redistrict in 2010. But that's not an argument to get rid of the Presidency. That's an argument to get rid of single member and/or FPTP districts.

3 hours ago, Volphied said:

After the US was established, it went on to export its political system to South America. Almost all South American countries mimic not the parliamentary systems of post 1945 Europe, but the Presidential system of Modern USA.

And the 20th century in South America was marked by these presidential systems imploding into dictatorship.

And no, they didn't all fall to tanks and coups.... there were dictatorships created by free elections that put into the Presidential palace a populist who hated the press and judges.

While I would err on the side of caution with adopting a Presidential model in many countries as it can easily go wrong, I think it's fallacious to imply they're all going to go this route.

There are many key differences between the USA and Latin America.

For starters, a guy named George Washington. Despite forming a republic from the barrel of a gun, he wasn't interested in politics and quickly went into retirement. When he briefly came out, he conducted himself with enormous civic virtue that set an example future Presidents were expected to follow.

A lot of Latin American states did not have this benefit. Simon Bolivar is remembered as a hero, but a look at his history seems to indicate he was a powermonger. This is the big difference between him and Washington - while both men had ideals of free states, one was humble and the other was not. Because Bolivar was so interested in having power himself, he didn't set a "Washington precedent" like the USA has.

Add this to the slew of socioeconomic and cultural issues of Latin America - like frequent wars between the various independent states - and you have a recipe for strongmen to routinely take power. You cite populism as a cause; this often goes hand in hand with military glory.

As for the modern era, well, that becomes far more intertwined with American imperialism. The world wars should have laid the foundation for Latin America to have strong economies and strong democracies, but the Cold War meant the USA wasn't terribly interested in democracies. We see these scars to this day.

3 hours ago, Volphied said:

It's called democratic backsliding. And the US is experiencing it right now.

Also, this video came up before The President of the United States of America made this tweet

Yes, the President is normalizing violence against the press.

Yes, this is concerning.

No, this doesn't indicate we are doomed.

For every person willing to defend every single one of Trump's strongman actions, there are two or three who are critical. His own Party is increasingly voicing dissent with his behavior even if they back some of his policies. The courts continue to hamstring him even when they agree with him on certain topics.

Let's not act like it's all Trump's fault either. The #PunchNazis people think they're doing society a good thing, but they are also normalizing violence. "Well sure it's Nazis" one will say. But this assumes every "Nazi puncher" is perfectly rational and will make the right call in every situation. What starts as "Nazi" can gradually widen to "anyone with a crappy opinion on race relations." It's the same way "the press can't be trusted" has been widened into "it's okay to attack the press" in some people's minds. We say slippery slope is a fallacy, but it's actually very real, because you only need a handful of people to have a failure in judgment to create a headline which has society-wide political effects. The guy who shot at the GOP legislators was hardly representative of the Sanders camp or anyone in the opposition, but it was quickly seized on and very possibly had an effect on the US House races days later.

It needs to be established: no private citizen gets to engage in violence unless they are immediately, directly threatened or someone else is.

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51 minutes ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

It needs to be established: no private citizen gets to engage in violence unless they are immediately, directly threatened or someone else is.

That's why we got the new Wolfenstein game coming up. So we can have our Violent Nazi beatings while also not engaging in needless violence!

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The article's mention of pivot counties is interesting. Areas that voted for Obama twice only to flip to Trump.

Economic populism really is a message that can bring the city and the country together, because no matter where you are, the idea you deserve healthcare and not worrying about starvation between jobs appeals to nearly everyone; it says a lot the GOP and its allies have to really on slippery slope arguments that social programs lead to Stalinism in order to try and diminish their appeal. Trump ran on economic populism and it pushed him over the finish line, but as 2018 and 2020 near, any failure to deliver on that populist message could posit the Democrats to take back those voters who gave him a chance.

Full speed ahead progressivism will work in the cities, but it probably won't work in the country. Fortunately, rural and suburban voters aren't a lost cause; they just need a message that appeals to them. Democrats support the government spending necessary to ensure everyone gets healthcare. Democrats support the government spending necessary to develop the countryside or help people relocate and retrain themselves to get jobs elsewhere. Republican tax breaks sound great on paper, but those are meaningless if you don't already have money to your name. When you see Trump's budget proposals cutting support for rural infrastructure, there is a potential wedge here to steal the rural vote from the GOP.

The GOP has been able to sell itself on race issues and win because it's easy to spin the current system as somehow being anti-white; many whites see programs such as affirmative action or help in sanctuary cities (it's key to note a lot of the aid immigrants - undocumented or not - receive actually comes through American-born children, though the "anchor baby" issue is nonetheless overblown) and are convinced they've been rendered second class. A broad platform of socioeconomic justice would establish that all Americans regardless of color or location deserve education, healthcare, and opportunity. The Democrats' piecemeal approach to socioeconomic justice has been more practical, but it's also easily weaponized as somehow favoring one group of people or the other. There's similarly no reason a pro-life and social justice platform can't work together, given the huge number of abortions that happen because of poverty. The sane opinions of GOP Senators like Collins and Murkowski on Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, indicate that a slightly increased Democratic caucus would be in a position to bring about real social change.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/03/politics/kris-kobach-letter-voter-fraud-commission-information/index.html

44 states have refused to comply with the voter fraud's commission request. The request, for those unaware, was for voters' full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas."

Given the GOP controls 33 Governorships and 29 Secretaries of State, this is a national humiliation for Trump and Pence.

His Tweet implying those who did not cooperate were engaging in illegal activity probably did not help his cause. He is rapidly learning the limits of the Presidency in a federal system with separation of powers.

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White people thinking they're second class always gets me laughing since they're still the most thriving and successful group overall in the country even with those programs for struggling groups in place, with most of the higher ups in charge being of that group. It implies those other groups are getting the same level of equal treatment on all fronts(including basic rights in some situations). Really goes to show the gap between what minorities see and what whites see, especially thanks to privilege. The fact we have to go to cold hard economics to even have a chance at "unity"(in a sense. I don't think that will fix a lot of the general issues regarding racial discrimination, homophobia, etc, look at history even when America's economy and was hitting its boom and job losses were at its lowest. ) is a bit sad to me. I don't even think unity in that sense = understanding and empathy of others and a genuine desire to better life for everyone and put them in the same boat. Moreso just that we NEED to come together in this sense to better ourselves as a basic functioning society 

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2 hours ago, KHCast said:

White people thinking they're second class always gets me laughing since they're still the most thriving and successful group overall in the country even with those programs for struggling groups in place, with most of the higher ups in charge being of that group. It implies those other groups are getting the same level of equal treatment on all fronts(including basic rights in some situations). Really goes to show the gap between what minorities see and what whites see, especially thanks to privilege.

As it goes, privilege is invisible to those who have it.

The old defense of states' rights is "you can always move to another state." This ignores the severe financial and emotional costs of a move.

State laws are useful as laboratories, not alphas and omegas of authority.

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The fact we have to go to cold hard economics to even have a chance at "unity"(in a sense. I don't think that will fix a lot of the general issues regarding racial discrimination, homophobia, etc, look at history even when America's economy and was hitting its boom and job losses were at its lowest. ) is a bit sad to me. I don't even think unity in that sense = understanding and empathy of others and a genuine desire to better life for everyone and put them in the same boat. Moreso just that we NEED to come together in this sense to better ourselves as a basic functioning society 

I mean basically, yes.

The New Deal achieved a lot with economic populism but it was ultimately built on a ton of pandering to segregationists. We're quite fortunate we don't have quite as bad a hand as FDR, Truman, etc. did. We may have to err on the side of caution with using colorblind language, but that's a far cry from literally excluding whole classes of employees from government benefits for the sake of limiting nonwhite access to them.

This is the basis of modern democracy though. We reach a broad consensus on a few things and then fight to the metaphorical (that is, electoral) death over everything else. We're all pretty cool with freedom of speech, religion, etc. in most cases but we squabble over the legality of hate speech or the ability of churches to discriminate in employment, for example.

In much the same way, we're probably not going to get full racial, economic, etc. justice any time soon, but we can move a little bit closer by establishing a new normal.

Obamacare is looking to be the new normal, a slight step above what we had before, though there is still a long road ahead. Similarly, the broad support for things like police body cameras and marijuana legalization presents an opportunity to begin rolling back racial disparities, even if we can't get rid of them completely without many generations' worth of work.

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http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/06/politics/senate-health-care-plan-recess/index.html

We are up to 10 GOP Senators who are no votes on the current healthcare bill.

It's unlikely McConnell will pass much of anything without serious amendments. Honestly, his best bet is to work with the left, not the right, as he'd probably find it easier to win over moderate Democrats than the far right GOP.

Speaking of CNN. This is a fairly left wing thread, so let us, in the interest of equal opportunity, call out crappy behavior on our side of the fence.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/04/politics/kfile-reddit-user-trump-tweet/index.html

CNN low key threatened to dox the man who created the wrestling gif of Trump attacking CNN.

I don't care what the guy's motivations were. He's a private citizen and shouldn't have his information published by news outlets (and if they did, I'd fully support the man suing CNN). In much the same way, of course I disapprove of Trump making the Tweet in the first place, but what else is new?

Of course, this is exactly why sites like Politifact warn us that while CNN is the most trustworthy of the major outlets in relative terms, it's still bad in absolute terms. It should never be fully trusted or treated as saintly. Those on the left, furthermore, must remember the media exacerbates things like racial issues in this country, so they will always be an ally of convenience to the left at best.

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8 hours ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

Speaking of CNN. This is a fairly left wing thread, so let us, in the interest of equal opportunity, call out crappy behavior on our side of the fence.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/04/politics/kfile-reddit-user-trump-tweet/index.html

CNN low key threatened to dox the man who created the wrestling gif of Trump attacking CNN.

I don't care what the guy's motivations were. He's a private citizen and shouldn't have his information published by news outlets (and if they did, I'd fully support the man suing CNN). In much the same way, of course I disapprove of Trump making the Tweet in the first place, but what else is new?

Of course, this is exactly why sites like Politifact warn us that while CNN is the most trustworthy of the major outlets in relative terms, it's still bad in absolute terms. It should never be fully trusted or treated as saintly. Those on the left, furthermore, must remember the media exacerbates things like racial issues in this country, so they will always be an ally of convenience to the left at best.

That's... pretty low, CNN.

Also <CNN is the most trustworthy? I would've said the New York Times or the Washington Post.

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The man who made the gif openly took credit for it. He paraded around his association with the image and his pride in the fact that his Emperor validated him for awhile. On top of this, he has an extensive history of virulent bigotry against black and brown folks- I'm talking about threatening to stab Muslims, you know, shit that happens. Considering this is a story about Trump, excessively violent white supremacy (something I think in and of itself is a public interest matter), the slightly fascistic war between the White House and journalism, and the President's historic use of social media rolled into one big ball of dumbfuckery, CNN decided to run the story and then reached out for comment because that's what news stations do.

Upon being contacted, said meme maker shat his pants at the thought that his job could potentially and rightfully attach him to his hatred of others, apologized, and disappeared. They reported that he apologized and, unlike what would have happened in any other situation where a previously private citizen does something so outlandish that it gets national attention and they get named anyway, they were nice and left his real name out because of the apology; however they said that if he continues to insert himself in the story, they reserve the right to run any follow-ups as they normally would. This doesn't mean that he isn't allowed to continue being a racist shitbag online. It means that, if for some stupid-ass reason, he continues inserting himself into the national spotlight on the basis of the context relevant to the initial story, then CNN is going to run any such stories like they would have otherwise-- No second chancies. And while everyone continues to worry about the future and life of the middle-aged bigot thretening to stab Muslims and shoot niggers (who Reddit and white supremacists have suddenly made into a 15-year old boy, because why not make him more empathetic?) CNN's page was like this only hours after the fact. They don't particularly care.

Regardless, what CNN did wasn't a threat to dox (doxxing is the malicious release of the entirety of a person's private info (legal name, address, phone number, SSN, credit card info, relatives, etc.) for the express purpose of initiating a personal harassment campaign; all any news station ever does is release a name and maybe a general area of residence, with the exception of cases like high-risk persons like whistleblowers or minors that are the victims/sometimes perpetrators of a crime); it's nothing more than a reiteration of their journalistic right to name people involved in a news story, a right they didn't invoke because they took the shitarse bigot's apology at face value.

But hopefully people shitting on them for being nice to the shitarse bigot makes them go "fuck it" next time and they just start making normal news stories that just so happen to bite these dickholes in the ass, especially since I'd at least like to know where these fuckheads are so I can stay away from/avoid them if they're potentially around me. Fuck these Trumpsters-- Be better people.

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On 3. 7. 2017 at 6:07 PM, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

To establish Germany has hardly had a rosy history with democracy

But the same can be said about America. Or are we pretending that a democracy that banned women, poor people and slaves from voting was a proud period of American history?

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and it took getting defeated in two massive wars to get the system they have now.

For America it took a bloody civil war to realize that slavery is bad and massive civil unrest to realize that maybe black people should be allowed to vote (and this is still not understood in many US states). Oh, and there's yet ongoing controversy over whether their lives matter at all.

So I hope you understand why many people believe that there's no hope in improving the situation without first tearing down the whole system. Hey, you said so much when you in another post said that "we're probably not going to get full racial, economic, etc. justice any time soon, but we can move a little bit closer by establishing a new normal."

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While I would err on the side of caution with adopting a Presidential model in many countries as it can easily go wrong,

Could you elaborate on why you think so? Why you think that some nations shouldn't copy US system? (For the record, I'm of the opinion that NO nation should have the US system, but I've never heard anyone say that the US system is somehow nation specific)

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When he briefly came out, he conducted himself with enormous civic virtue that set an example future Presidents were expected to follow.

A lot of Latin American states did not have this benefit. Simon Bolivar is remembered as a hero, but a look at his history seems to indicate he was a powermonger. This is the big difference between him and Washington - while both men had ideals of free states, one was humble and the other was not. Because Bolivar was so interested in having power himself, he didn't set a "Washington precedent" like the USA has.

Honestly, I feel that many Americans have an overly romantic and idealized view of George Washington. Yes, he was a humble man full of virtue... as long as you weren't one of his runaway slaves. Washington was obsessive about getting back the thieves who dared to steal their bodies and run away with them.

Simon Bolivar on the other hand considered slavery to be "the worst human indignity". So I'd say that Bolivar was a better man than Washington. And the millions of enslaved people of both North and South America, would agree too. For them, being a slaver wasn't some small detail that can be ignored. Having absolute power over human beings is what a true "powermonger" looks like.

Anyway, how's the first meeting between Trump and Putin going?

Welp. How soon until we learn that Trump handed over to Putin both Eastern Europe AND Alaska?

Guess someone should inform the FBI.

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2 hours ago, Volphied said:

But the same can be said about America. Or are we pretending that a democracy that banned women, poor people and slaves from voting was a proud period of American history?

No one is pretending anything. It's just that none of that should really matter because "the most shameful moment in American history" was actually a month ago when Trump didn't join the Paris Agreement.

2 hours ago, Volphied said:

So I hope you understand why many people believe that there's no hope in improving the situation without first tearing down the whole system

I hope you can come up with a bit better justification why other than "people in the one major country in Europe that apparently hasn't elected fascists en masse in the past decade says Americans suck."

2 hours ago, Volphied said:

Honestly, I feel that many Americans have an overly romantic and idealized view of George Washington. Yes, he was a humble man full of virtue... as long as you weren't one of his runaway slaves. Washington was obsessive about getting back the thieves who dared to steal their bodies and run away with them.

Simon Bolivar on the other hand considered slavery to be "the worst human indignity". So I'd say that Bolivar was a better man than Washington. And the millions of enslaved people of both North and South America, would agree too. For them, being a slaver wasn't some small detail that can be ignored. Having absolute power over human beings is what a true "powermonger" looks like.

Man, in a long list of hot takes, that may very well be the hottest.

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This is disturbing...

The article he's talking about is this..

https://www.apnews.com/0b2164e7e55f437dbbbb3674f93befe6/GOP-voters-blame-Congress,-not-Trump,-for-lack-of-progress

I heard a lot of people saying that that Democrats show try to appeal to people outside their base but looking at this, Republican voters seem happy with the world burning around them.

Do they really need them in order to win elections?

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4 hours ago, CD Sanic said:

This is disturbing...

The article he's talking about is this..

https://www.apnews.com/0b2164e7e55f437dbbbb3674f93befe6/GOP-voters-blame-Congress,-not-Trump,-for-lack-of-progress

I heard a lot of people saying that that Democrats show try to appeal to people outside their base but looking at this, Republican voters seem happy with the world burning around them.

Do they really need them in order to win elections?

It's not necessarily that Dems need to win over Republican voters, but win over moderate voters that went for Trump over Clinton for much of the same reasons others went for Clinton over Trump, and have since come to regret it. Moreover, the Trump Regrets Twitter page suggest that there are Trump voters that have realized he's a fraud, and these are the people Dems have actually something resembling a chance of courting. Some of them, at least.

Honestly, the notion that Dems should try to round up conservative voters is a silly one, and I'm being nice in saying that. The only thing a Democrat can do for a Republican is shut the fuck up, and no amount of sweet-talking or attempts to reach some sort of "compromise" is gonna change that.

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11 hours ago, CD Sanic said:

I heard a lot of people saying that that Democrats show try to appeal to people outside their base but looking at this, Republican voters seem happy with the world burning around them.

It's moreso that unless one didn't like Trump to start with, he technically hasn't been a disappointment in pursuing his policies. He's kept a lot of his promises with his Executive Orders, and strangely, he's like a bizarro Obama in this manner: a politician who doesn't really achieve that much, but nonetheless does his best without the support of Congress.

Trump would probably see things turn against him if he was actually passing sweeping policy changes with Congress' assistance. Instead he's being dragged down by the courts and party infighting.

11 hours ago, CD Sanic said:

Do they really need them in order to win elections?

Really depends on where they are. Democrats don't need to win 100% of the seats, just 50%+1 in the House and 60 in the Senate.

That basically means they're going to want to have outreach in 30 states and make a strong push for the Governorships of states with large numbers of seats, like Florida.

Ultimately though, the Democrats just need higher turnout. Most elections will have a conservative bias because conservatives are more likely to vote. It's why Democrats simply can't afford to compromise on things like same day registration, wider early voting periods, etc. It will force them to pander to a base that isn't representative of American interests otherwise.

After all. This conservative bias is likely the primary reason we get insane proposals like overturning Roe v. Wade when 75% of Americans support it staying in effect.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

But the same can be said about America. Or are we pretending that a democracy that banned women, poor people and slaves from voting was a proud period of American history?

Of course not. But the word "democracy" is always fickle because we have a bad tendency to judge past democracies based on our modern expectations.

Athens is widely praised as a democracy for its time, even though it wouldn't pass the modern test at all.

In much the same way, the USA, for all its issues, has seen a gradual expansion of the franchise and rights over its relatively short history. Our system has never outright collapsed like many others have at some point.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

For America it took a bloody civil war to realize that slavery is bad and massive civil unrest to realize that maybe black people should be allowed to vote

Actually, I think many people were increasingly on the same page with regards to slavery by the time of the Civil War. This is why the Confederate elites sold the war to common Southerners as one of states' rights, liberty, whatever instead of "defend the handful of rich people who have scores of slaves."

This is of course also ignoring the fact racism and abolitionism were close friends. Many in favor of abolishing slavery weren't Civil Rights activists, but people eager to destroy the Southern economy and ensure the dominance of the North. Go figure, it's no surprise that the Confederacy had little trouble rallying the masses against the Union considering by now the federal government had a history of trying to disadvantage the South for the benefit of the North. A regular white Southerner likely had no stake in slavery either way, but they would absolutely want to preserve it for the sake of the South's economic power in addition to any racial views they had.

As soon as slavery was gone, Jim Crow and private sector discrimination took right over. The only thing that really changed was the South lost a huge economic advantage it traditionally had, and it has never really recovered it, continuing to lead our country in poverty and low HDI.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

(and this is still not understood in many US states).

Key to factor in here that many white people in support of voter ID laws, felon voting restrictions, etc. legitimately think it's a must-have policy, because it seems to make so much sense on its surface.

They don't even need to be overt racists. They're very often people who deny racial issues still exist. They see the body of laws and are convinced everything is fine and dandy, and the only thing determining success or failure in life is one's choices.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

So I hope you understand why many people believe that there's no hope in improving the situation without first tearing down the whole system. Hey, you said so much when you in another post said that "we're probably not going to get full racial, economic, etc. justice any time soon, but we can move a little bit closer by establishing a new normal."

And I don't think any new normal is going to come by tearing down the system. The system is built to last, and it's not going to crash down without violent revolution.

We're going to see slow, steady changes. We'll see states slowly adopt instant runoff ballots. We'll likely see the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact go into effect sometime in our lifetimes. We'll see voter ID laws and political gerrymandering weakened or struck down entirely. And so on.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

Could you elaborate on why you think so? Why you think that some nations shouldn't copy US system? (For the record, I'm of the opinion that NO nation should have the US system, but I've never heard anyone say that the US system is somehow nation specific)

Presidentialism has a lot more arguments against it than for.

It seems to work fine for the USA, but it's an entrenched system and has stood the test of time relative to many other democracies. Other countries starting from scratch have more options to choose from.

My defense of US presidentialism is less because of the Presidentialism itself and more because honestly there are plenty larger issues in America's political structure than the Presidency. All we'd need is a law requiring one serve at least several years of political office and bam, we wouldn't have any more Trumps.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

Honestly, I feel that many Americans have an overly romantic and idealized view of George Washington.

Depends how you mean.

He lost most of his battles, yes. He owned slaves, yes.

He also respected civilian control of the military and established the ideal people should not crave power.

In the age of Trump, I'd say that's a very praiseworthy attribute no matter their flaws.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

Yes, he was a humble man full of virtue... as long as you weren't one of his runaway slaves. Washington was obsessive about getting back the thieves who dared to steal their bodies and run away with them.

Slaves he ended up freeing in his will (at least those he personally owned). Many of the slaveholding Framers were well aware of the hypocrisy of slavery, as well.

Anyway, I said civic virtue. Washington set in stone a positive precedent that political power should not be craved. That is, again, damned praiseworthy in the Trump era. Consider this: the precedent was honored for most of American history, and only broken by FDR. We swiftly passed term limits for the Presidency.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

Simon Bolivar on the other hand considered slavery to be "the worst human indignity". So I'd say that Bolivar was a better man than Washington. And the millions of enslaved people of both North and South America, would agree too. For them, being a slaver wasn't some small detail that can be ignored.

I'm sure there are plenty of small details about their heroes that would tarnish them by the same token. It's why historical empathy is a useful attribute.

The real value of historical figures is what their actions caused long after they were dead, not the historical figure themselves.

You could be a saint, but if you destroyed the socioeconomic landscape of your country, I'm not going to hold you highly.

Humans aren't perfect nor immortal. The only thing that matters in the end is what legacy we leave.

On 7/7/2017 at 2:41 PM, Volphied said:

Having absolute power over human beings is what a true "powermonger" looks like.

The British Empire also condemned slavery (after helping jumpstart the African slave trade). They were among the worst colonizers in the history of humanity.

Anyway, you're shifting the goalposts here. We're talking about the governance of a polity as a whole.

When I see American Presidents gladly handing over power to each other compared to the civil wars and consolidation of power that befell many Latin American states, I can't be blamed for drinking to it.

 

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9 hours ago, Lord Liquiir (Ogilvie) said:

Of course not. But the word "democracy" is always fickle because we have a bad tendency to judge past democracies based on our modern expectations.

Athens is widely praised as a democracy for its time, even though it wouldn't pass the modern test at all.

In much the same way, the USA, for all its issues, has seen a gradual expansion of the franchise and rights over its relatively short history. Our system has never outright collapsed like many others have at some point.

This "gradual expansion of the franchise and rights" was brought by cataclysmic events, that each time threatened to completely destroy the US. For many Americans, the brutal years of the Civil War could only be described as an collapse of the idea of a one united nation, and the US was mended back together only through violence and occupation. The Reconstruction was then seen as an collapse of the old order for many Southerners, and the violent end of the Reconstruction and its replacing by Jim Crow was seen as a collapse and backsliding of rights for the freed slaves.

FDR's policies helped improve the life of many millions of (white) Americans... but this was only done after the economy already collapsed due to the Depression. Black people were given the right to vote and segregation was removed... but again only after civil order collapsed into violent riots. And there's a fine line from the election of Trump to the Souther Strategy of Nixon. The history of the US is the history of how it struggles to deal with its original sin.

 

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And I don't think any new normal is going to come by tearing down the system. The system is built to last, and it's not going to crash down without violent revolution.

We're going to see slow, steady changes. We'll see states slowly adopt instant runoff ballots. We'll likely see the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact go into effect sometime in our lifetimes. We'll see voter ID laws and political gerrymandering weakened or struck down entirely. And so on.

I sincerely hope so. But if Trump gets to nominate two more monsters to the SCOTUS (and there's a very high chance he might be able to) and the country backslides on all of the voting related issues, the chance of a violent revolution to remove an obviously broken system will dramatically increase.

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Presidentialism has a lot more arguments against it than for.

It seems to work fine for the USA, but it's an entrenched system and has stood the test of time relative to many other democracies. Other countries starting from scratch have more options to choose from.

Again, it works fine and has stood the test of time if you're white. One of the revealing things about Trump's election was hearing many black people talk with amusement about the terror many white liberals felt. They were quick to point out that for black Americans, the system almost never worked for them. Trump was just one more white racist president in a long history of racist president. White liberals are afraid now only because there's now a president who will treat many white people the same way previous president solely treated blacks: by making their vote worthless through gerrymandering, by threatening violence on them from his supporters, by passing rights that will rob them of their rights.

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My defense of US presidentialism is less because of the Presidentialism itself and more because honestly there are plenty larger issues in America's political structure than the Presidency. All we'd need is a law requiring one serve at least several years of political office and bam, we wouldn't have any more Trumps.

We'd still have McConnell's and Ryan's and Pence's. On the other hand, an actual smart and non-shit person would be denied just because he didn't hold an office before. I actually know of at least one non-US President who never held office before being elected, yet has so far acted like a mirror image of Trump.

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Slaves he ended up freeing in his will (at least those he personally owned). Many of the slaveholding Framers were well aware of the hypocrisy of slavery, as well.

Anyway, I said civic virtue. Washington set in stone a positive precedent that political power should not be craved. That is, again, damned praiseworthy in the Trump era. Consider this: the precedent was honored for most of American history, and only broken by FDR. We swiftly passed term limits for the Presidency.

Basing your government on unwritten "traditions" is a terrible flaw. Half of the stuff Trump is doing right now would be impossible to do had the US not were clinging on all these traditions. And there's no guarantee that they will be eventually patched the same way term limits were.

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I'm sure there are plenty of small details about their heroes that would tarnish them by the same token. It's why historical empathy is a useful attribute.

The real value of historical figures is what their actions caused long after they were dead, not the historical figure themselves.

You could be a saint, but if you destroyed the socioeconomic landscape of your country, I'm not going to hold you highly.

Humans aren't perfect nor immortal. The only thing that matters in the end is what legacy we leave.

The way Washington was "weary and frustrated by slavery" (a term actually used by American historians), reminds me of how McCain is today "worried and disturbed" about the excesses of Trump's rule. The Civil Was his direct legacy, caused by his unwilingness (or fear?) to bet his universal approval on pushing for the abolition of slavery. Any adult slave who resided in Pennsylvania for more that six months became free, so Washington deliberately sent slaves out of the state to circumvent the law.

"Washington developed a canny strategy that would protect his property and allow him to avoid public scrutiny. Every six months, the president’s slaves would travel back to Mount Vernon or would journey with Mrs. Washington outside the boundaries of the state. In essence, the Washingtons reset the clock. The president was secretive when writing to his personal secretary Tobias Lear in 1791: “I request that these Sentiments and this advise may be known to none but yourself & Mrs. Washington.”

This is a very proto-Trumpian view of how laws work.

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When I see American Presidents gladly handing over power to each other compared to the civil wars and consolidation of power that befell many Latin American states, I can't be blamed for drinking to it.

This ignores the fact that many of those civil wars and consolidations of power were either caused by US interference; or began as a reaction to US domination.

In essence, those US presidents had a dim view on democracy and the "handing of power" outside of the US.

With Platt Amendment in place, Roosevelt pulled the troops out of Cuba. This action was met with public unrest and outcries for annexation, with reasons ranging from "U.S. interests" to "dominant white race". The Indianapolis News said, "It is manifest destiny for a nation to own the islands which border its shores." A year later, Roosevelt wrote "Just at the moment I am so angry with that infernal little Cuban republic that I would like to wipe its people off the face of the earth. All that we wanted from them was that they would behave themselves and be prosperous and happy so that we would not have to interfere."

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7 hours ago, Volphied said:

Black people were given the right to vote and segregation was removed... but again only after civil order collapsed into violent riots

No, it didn't. Stop making shit up.

 

 

You might also want to check when black people were given the right to vote, since contrary to what you're implying about it happening around when segregation was outlawed... that... um... wasn't when it happened.

7 hours ago, Volphied said:

I actually know of at least one non-US President who never held office before being elected, yet has so far acted like a mirror image of Trump.

I'd hope so, since one was already posted in this thread quite recently in response to your assertion that political extremism is only on the rise in America.

7 hours ago, Volphied said:

The Civil Was his direct legacy, caused by his unwilingness (or fear?) to bet his universal approval on pushing for the abolition of slavery.

Because it wouldn't have worked, and it should be extremely obvious that it wouldn't have worked. George Washington wasn't an idiot enough to try, nor were any of the founding fathers (all but a couple of them not being particular fans of slavery); even if you are out of your mind enough to act like they should have just told half of the states to cripple their economies and take on a massive amount of what would essentially be the equivalent of refugees after emerging from a fucking 7 year war and before the country's government was even fully established.

 

7 hours ago, Volphied said:

Any adult slave who resided in Pennsylvania for more that six months became free, so Washington deliberately sent slaves out of the state to circumvent the law.

"Washington developed a canny strategy that would protect his property and allow him to avoid public scrutiny. Every six months, the president’s slaves would travel back to Mount Vernon or would journey with Mrs. Washington outside the boundaries of the state. In essence, the Washingtons reset the clock. The president was secretive when writing to his personal secretary Tobias Lear in 1791: “I request that these Sentiments and this advise may be known to none but yourself & Mrs. Washington.”

This is a very proto-Trumpian view of how laws work.

"Proto-Trumpian" because whoever wrote that excerpt was also an idiot who just likes to make things up if they are sorta based on truth?

Washington didn't develop anything, since so many people had already been doing exactly that that the Act of Gradual Abolition was amended 8 years later specifically to disallow the practice. Which as it happens was three years before Washington supposedly recorded this secret diary entry to Lear, who was the one who told Washington about it in the first place (on advice from the Attorney General). Incidentally, all members of Congress were exempt from that law in the first place; so Washington probably would have been too if he had decided to take it to court.

 

 

Instead he just ignored the law rather than take advantage of a loophole that didn't exist any longer, and claimed residency of his home state as a backup; as most people in the federal government outside of Congress did when the capital was in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

One final thing:

7 hours ago, Volphied said:

an obviously broken system

Just shut the fuck up with statements like this. You've spent the past two pages repeating this horseshit as if it was fact based on literally nothing but some some OpEd pieces, some YouTube videos that you agree with and a fucking opinion poll about how much Germans think Americans suck; all the while ignoring anything that doesn't fit in with your confirmation bias. Some of the stuff you've claimed with a straight face has been so completely and blatantly incorrect and exaggerated beyond the realm of reality on the rare occasions it started out true that it's a wonder you expect people to take any more of them seriously.

 

If you don't start actually debating in this thread with some modicum of intellectual honesty, you're taking a break from this forum. Once again, this isn't a Huffington Post comment section; so you can stop acting as if anyone who has a wrong opinion needs to be pilloried for not meeting up to your standard of European enlightenment. Especially when you're not actually checking to see if whatever you're spouting isn't easily researched nonsense.

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So the New York Times got a hold of emails basically confirming that Donald Trump Jr. was contacted by a senior Russian government official, offering to 'incriminate' Clinton.

And proving that he's one stupid-ass motherfucker, Junior decided "what, those emails? They're no big deal" and released them himself. He tried to justify the whole thing by saying "digging up dirt on political opponents is completely normal", nevermind the source is a pretty big fucking deal. Regardless of what came of the whole thing, he basically proved without a shadow of a doubt that the Trump Campaign was colluding with the Russian government on some level, and also likely a violation of campaign finance laws as well.

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24 minutes ago, Candescence said:

he basically proved without a shadow of a doubt that the Trump Campaign was colluding with the Russian government on some level, and also likely a violation of campaign finance laws as well.

He proved without a shadow of a doubt that he was chomping at the bit to do exactly that (and also is even more of an idiot than most people probably already suspected); but the article doesn't support the idea that the Trump Campaign actually utilized any of the information, or was even aware of his moronic escapades to get what little he claims he got until recently.

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2 minutes ago, Tornado said:

He proved without a shadow of a doubt that he was chomping at the bit to do exactly that (and also is even more of an idiot than most people probably already suspected); but the article doesn't support the idea that the Trump Campaign actually utilized any of the information, or was even aware of his moronic escapades to get what little he claims he got until recently.

Well, various legal experts have commented that it's still blatantly illegal, regardless. But apparently the email data that still hasn't been released is also linked to other Trump campaign persons, including Jared Kushner.

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Because the Trump campaign always has been reliant when it comes to taking the moral ground. Even if it's not a blatant "clearly they took the bribe" it's not hard to, given the administration we are talking about, fill in the blanks vs act optimistic that they didn't. And it's yes, still illegal either way, whether they worked with them or no I think should be the biggest thing to take from here

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1 minute ago, KHCast said:

Even if it's not a blatant "clearly they took the bribe" it's not hard to, given the administration we are talking about, fill in the blanks vs act optimistic that they didn't.

Which would be fine if what I was responding to (and in fact specifically quoted to respond to specifically) didn't say "basically proved without a shadow of a doubt that the Trump Campaign was colluding with the Russian government on some level."

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Just now, Tornado said:

Which would be fine if what I was responding to (and in fact specifically quoted to respond to specifically) didn't say "basically proved without a shadow of a doubt that the Trump Campaign was colluding with the Russian government on some level."

Hmm, fair point. If anything, it's just another brick to the dumbshit wall even if it's another dead end.

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It is darkly hilarious just how much an idiot Trump Jr. is though. He hears "dirt on Clinton from the Russian government himself" and he immediately responds "how high;" and a year later he basically talks like his biggest regret is that he didn't get anything good?

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How much more компромат can the NYT possibly dig up?

Today's bombshell was particularly juicy although I feel that nothing anyone digs up is going to do much to these clowns, they just seem to endlessly move on and on 

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