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Davian93
08-11-2016, 09:49 AM
Given the ridiculous length of the current thread, I thought it was time for a reboot (preferably with a female lead!)

GonzoTheGreat
08-11-2016, 09:54 AM
So you're the designated token female, Dav?

The link to the previous thread (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8831).

ShadowbaneX
08-11-2016, 02:48 PM
Let's go with Grace Park. She usually gets the job of the "male character changed into a female character" during show reboots.

Terez
08-11-2016, 02:49 PM
So you're the designated token female, Dav?

The link to the previous thread (http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=8831).
I can't rep you.

I also can't vote for anyone in this poll. Hillary will probably win, but that answer is too easy.

ShadowbaneX
08-11-2016, 04:42 PM
That's not how Elections work. They work by picking the person you hate the most and then voting for the person that will ensure they don't get into office.

ShadowbaneX
08-11-2016, 10:21 PM
By the way (since this might become relevant in the near future) do you guys have your time travel passwords set up?

If you don't know a time travel is a password (phrase, act, song) only you know (NEVER SHARE IT WITH ANYONE...ANYONE) in case your future self has to travel into the past in order to fix a problem. I mean if someone that looks like you, but a little order shows up, and starts saying things like, "aliens invade and Clinton just surrenders. Trump is insane, but he's our only hope for fighting them off!" you're probably not going to believe them.

That said, if you've got your time travel password, and they know it, then you know that they're (probably) on the level and this isn't some creepy crazy doppelganger trying to blow you up in order to prevent you from saving the world.

While you're add it you should set up a few more. One is the opposite, as my friend called it, the kill code. This one is in case you're compromised, and you should do your level best to stop your future self. This likely involves some covert monitoring of your future self and hostages.

There's also a pair that's needed if something happens to you. Like if you get hurt, or cut off, or otherwise can't make the trip back. In that case you need another pair of passwords to tell the person that's being sent back in your place. Again, one for help and one as a kill code.

Terez
08-12-2016, 03:35 AM
That's not how Elections work. They work by picking the person you hate the most and then voting for the person that will ensure they don't get into office.
I live in IL; the state will go for Hillary no matter who I vote for. The only people whose votes matter are people who live in swing states. Like Dav, who is moving to CO. Or Verin Mathwin aka Mat (long time no see, here at least) who lives in Ohio. I can't remember if we have any Theorylanders in Florida, which is the other big swing state (with OH). I think SP is in NC, which is kind of swingy. All of those people are voting for Hillary. None of the rest of us matter.

GonzoTheGreat
08-12-2016, 06:31 AM
If enough people in Texas vote "no Trump" then that state might go nowhere at all. That'd be amusing, wouldn't it?

ShadowbaneX
08-12-2016, 07:10 AM
Elections are sad enough, T, try to take some humour whee you can...

Kimon
08-12-2016, 07:34 AM
Elections are sad enough, T, try to take some humour whee you can...

Elections are only sad when the republicans win. I just find it odd that I'm nigh certain that Terez will vote for Tammy Duckworth (and likely whichever dem is running as the house rep where she lives), but not for Hillary. It's like saying that sure you're rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State, but you hope Ohio State injures your quarterback.

GonzoTheGreat
08-12-2016, 08:18 AM
Hillary Clinton is the Michigan quarterback? I'm not sure it explains a lot, but it is definitely something I've never heard a Republican complain about, so it might actually be true.

Kimon
08-12-2016, 08:34 AM
Hillary Clinton is the Michigan quarterback? I'm not sure it explains a lot, but it is definitely something I've never heard a Republican complain about, so it might actually be true.

The analogy does fit on a number of levels. The two teams are rivals that hate each other. Michigan is blue (maize and blue, but you get the idea), like the dems. Ohio State is red (technically scarlet and gray, but...), like the republicans. Michigan is very liberal. Ohio State is conservative. Michigan is the more prestigious, more research oriented university. Ohio State, to their credit, unlike the Republican Party, has in recent years vastly improved their prestige and their academic standing, but they still aren't Michigan. Michigan is a wolverine, rather than a donkey, but the donkey is a fricking awful mascot, not surprising however, as its only our mascot because Andrew Jackson was a jackass. The Buckeyes mascot is a buckeye, which while not an elephant, and a silly mascot, is admittedly still a better mascot than an elephant. And, of course, like a football game, there are really only two teams involved. People may like Gary Johnson or Jill Stein more, but they are not really in the game. Voting for either of them is like rooting for Northwestern to win the game between Michigan and Ohio State.

Terez
08-12-2016, 10:25 AM
Elections are only sad when the republicans win. I just find it odd that I'm nigh certain that Terez will vote for Tammy Duckworth (and likely whichever dem is running as the house rep where she lives), but not for Hillary. It's like saying that sure you're rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State, but you hope Ohio State injures your quarterback.
Politics is not a team sport for everyone. I don't have a strong identification with the Democratic Party, not strong enough to vote for a candidate I dislike as much as Hillary, though I admit I'd probably do it if I was in a swing state that Trump had a chance in hell of winning.

I like Tammy Duckworth; she's not perfect but she's pretty good. As a candidate she's nothing like Hillary. I know she endorsed her, but realistically it's not like she had a choice.

Davian93
08-12-2016, 10:37 AM
Politics is not a team sport for everyone. I don't have a strong identification with the Democratic Party, not strong enough to vote for a candidate I dislike as much as Hillary, though I admit I'd probably do it if I was in a swing state that Trump had a chance in hell of winning.

I like Tammy Duckworth; she's not perfect but she's pretty good. As a candidate she's nothing like Hillary. I know she endorsed her, but realistically it's not like she had a choice.

I just wish Tammy would stand up for veterans is all. Why does she refuse to stand like that?

ShadowbaneX
08-12-2016, 10:41 AM
Elections are only sad when the republicans win. I just find it odd that I'm nigh certain that Terez will vote for Tammy Duckworth (and likely whichever dem is running as the house rep where she lives), but not for Hillary. It's like saying that sure you're rooting for Michigan to beat Ohio State, but you hope Ohio State injures your quarterback.

No, this is a sad election. Clinton may be the progressive candidate, but her Presidency will still be a disaster. A mitigated disaster, but still a disaster. I can only imagine how much harder the Republicans will double down (trpile? Quadruple?) on the on the obstructions and general running of the US government.

For reference, I think that Trump would be an unmitigated disaster and would rather the laws be amended so that Clinton's term I'd 25 years rather than have Trump for a single year, but it's going to be a mess.

At least for Canada's horrible elections it was a robot vs. a man with no personality. You guys have two caricatures.

ShadowbaneX
08-12-2016, 10:43 AM
A guess: timing. Things are already chaotic out there. If she throws down now she might get lost in the whirlwind. Perhaps in 2020 or 2024 she can throw down and make her move.

Davian93
08-12-2016, 10:45 AM
Let's be honest, it wouldn't matter who the Dems ran, the GOP would be nothing but obstructionist from start to finish. That's all they know how to do anymore.

ShadowbaneX
08-12-2016, 11:57 AM
Let's be honest, it wouldn't matter who the Dems ran, the GOP would be nothing but obstructionist from start to finish. That's all they know how to do anymore.

Yes, but I think they're going to try extra hard with this one.

Kimon
08-12-2016, 12:41 PM
Yes, but I think they're going to try extra hard with this one.

All that Obama was able to get done was back when the dems still controlled congress. The dems controlled congress when Lilly Ledbetter and the ACA were both passed. Likewise when Kagan and Sotomayor were nominated and confirmed. Since the republicans won the house and the senate, all they have done is hold a dozen hearings on Benghazi and threaten to shut down the government every year. They've blocked everything, even attempts to do anything after Sandy Hook, and had the audacity to assert that Obama didn't even have the right to even nominate a new justice to replace Scalia. Bernie's supporters blame Obama and Hillary for not getting enough progressive reforms done, but it wasn't because they were somehow conservative, it's because the republicans control congress. Which democrat, Bernie or Hillary, is in power doesn't matter as regards how much intent to obstruct the republicans will possess. They will obstruct everything unless congress is again placed into the control of the only responsible party.

There are things that the president can do w/o congress, but not legislation, and certainly better to get nothing done there, than to face the insanity of letting the republicans control both congress and the presidency, which won't only mean dangerous legislation and pointless wars, but will also soon mean very long republican control of the supreme court as well.

Rand al'Fain
08-12-2016, 07:07 PM
It should be noted, Utah may actually go 3rd Party (Johnson of the Libertarians).

ShadowbaneX
08-13-2016, 12:25 PM
I would think that for the first couple of years they'd probably be about the same, but if in two years they manage to hold onto Congress and could actually see them carrying through on their threats to shut down the government.

Davian93
08-14-2016, 08:40 PM
Current polling for Utah is around as follows:

Trump: 37%
Clinton: 25%
Johnson: 15%



Its definitely possible that Utah will go Libertarian but its more likely that he'd split the vote with Trump and Hillary would sneak through with a 35-40% win.

Ivhon
08-15-2016, 12:34 PM
I looked last week and TX was the 3rd most vulnerabe red state (after NE's weird district and SC). But Jill Stein and the Berniebots have decided that despite the outrageously high latino population, the striking down of the voter suppression laws and everything else, that there is no chance of turning TX. So they're all going to vote Green Party (which is a fiasco, if you read about their convention...bunch of hippy dithering feel-goodedness) and make sure that TX stays red.

Granted its a long shot, but flipping the biggest red state? Just gonna give up? Clinton isn't. Im seeing commercials. Never saw an Obama add here.

Kimon
08-18-2016, 10:19 PM
I looked last week and TX was the 3rd most vulnerabe red state (after NE's weird district and SC). But Jill Stein and the Berniebots have decided that despite the outrageously high latino population, the striking down of the voter suppression laws and everything else, that there is no chance of turning TX. So they're all going to vote Green Party (which is a fiasco, if you read about their convention...bunch of hippy dithering feel-goodedness) and make sure that TX stays red.

Granted its a long shot, but flipping the biggest red state? Just gonna give up? Clinton isn't. Im seeing commercials. Never saw an Obama add here.

Jill Stein apparently has a problem with both vaccines and wifi...

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/16/politics/jill-stein-vaccine-gmo-science/

Being concerned about GMOs is one thing, but when her running mate calls Obama an "Uncle Tom", and she's on the record herself raising concerns that schools shouldn't have wifi because it's radiating our kids, it's time to reassess whether Gary Johnson is really the nuttier 3rd party candidate.

Kimon
09-08-2016, 05:05 PM
So, assuming that Gary Johnson has to take at least a somewhat substantial hit in support for pointing out just how uninformed he is, who do we think will benefit, Hillary, or Trump?

http://www.npr.org/2016/09/08/493098154/watch-in-morning-interview-gary-johnson-asks-what-is-aleppo

Anyone else wishing that Mike Barnicle would have had the chance to have asked Trump this instead? Does anyone really think that Trump would have had a clue yesterday where, or what, Aleppo is? Anyone wondering if he would have a clue what Raqqa and Mosul would be if asked?

As for the other third party candidate, Jill Stein no doubt was hoping that her own recent shenanigans would get more press...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2016/09/07/arrest-warrants-stein-green-party/89965374/

I don't think much of any of us really support the pipeline, but let's be honest, do any of us really think that the pipeline is much, if any, worse (and maybe would be better) than transporting it by train, because that's the alternative.

Ivhon
09-13-2016, 01:21 PM
Jill Stein apparently has a problem with both vaccines and wifi...

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/16/politics/jill-stein-vaccine-gmo-science/

Being concerned about GMOs is one thing, but when her running mate calls Obama an "Uncle Tom", and she's on the record herself raising concerns that schools shouldn't have wifi because it's radiating our kids, it's time to reassess whether Gary Johnson is really the nuttier 3rd party candidate.

Oh, he's not. The whole Green Party is a circus. And Jill Stein is the lead clown. Which is sad, since ideologically I'd much rather see Green than Libertarian. But the party is about as organized as my 3 year old's preschool class with no teacher.

Kimon
09-13-2016, 03:49 PM
Oh, he's not. The whole Green Party is a circus. And Jill Stein is the lead clown. Which is sad, since ideologically I'd much rather see Green than Libertarian. But the party is about as organized as my 3 year old's preschool class with no teacher.

This is definitely a year that makes one wish that the 22nd Amendment had never happened.

Kimon
09-14-2016, 05:27 PM
It's still a long way off from the actual election, and these polls do overlap with a pretty awful weekend for Hillary, but Trump still has a far better chance of winning than any of us seem to want to admit.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/14/donald-trump-is-up-5-in-a-new-ohio-poll-and-leads-in-florida-that-isnt-enough-yet/

Addendum:
It will be interesting to see what effect Powell's leaked emails have. They are kind of a mixed bag, however, as he really seems to dislike both Trump and Hillary.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/09/powell-emails/499946/

He does at least exactly mirror the sentiments of most of us on the left concerning Benghazi...

“Benghazi is a stupid witch hunt. Basic fault falls on a courageous ambassador who thoughts Libyans now love me and I am ok in this very vulnerable place,” he wrote to Rice in December 2015, though he added, “But blame also rests on his leaders and supports back here. [Under Secretary of State] Pat Kennedy, Intel community, DS and yes HRC.” Rice agreed.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/colin-powell-emails-clinton-trump-rumsfeld-228158

This unfortunately also seems to encapsulate the entirety of Hillary's problem winning over voters...

"I would rather not have to vote for her, although she is a friend I respect," Powell wrote. "A 70-year person with a long track record, unbridled ambition, greedy, not transformational, with a husband still d---ing bimbos at home (according to the NYP)."

Ozymandias
09-19-2016, 04:48 PM
I live in IL; the state will go for Hillary no matter who I vote for. The only people whose votes matter are people who live in swing states. Like Dav, who is moving to CO. Or Verin Mathwin aka Mat (long time no see, here at least) who lives in Ohio. I can't remember if we have any Theorylanders in Florida, which is the other big swing state (with OH). I think SP is in NC, which is kind of swingy. All of those people are voting for Hillary. None of the rest of us matter.

I actually sort of disagree with this sentiment. Popular vote may not matter in terms of who gets elected, but the momentum a politician can get from a sweeping popular vote victory can be turned into legislative action. If Hillary Clinton won 62% of the popular vote or something, that's a mandate. Most GOP politicians won't care about that, but on a macro level a few will have to sit up and take notice about where sentiment will be in 2 or 4 years when its their turn to run again. Yes, gerrymandering has made almost all seats on both sides of the aisle safe, but in places like Virginia or North Carolina, slow erosion may mandate a slight liberalization of Congressmen and Senators.

Kimon
09-19-2016, 05:25 PM
I actually sort of disagree with this sentiment. Popular vote may not matter in terms of who gets elected, but the momentum a politician can get from a sweeping popular vote victory can be turned into legislative action. If Hillary Clinton won 62% of the popular vote or something, that's a mandate. Most GOP politicians won't care about that, but on a macro level a few will have to sit up and take notice about where sentiment will be in 2 or 4 years when its their turn to run again. Yes, gerrymandering has made almost all seats on both sides of the aisle safe, but in places like Virginia or North Carolina, slow erosion may mandate a slight liberalization of Congressmen and Senators.

She's not getting anywhere near 62% of the popular vote. She also is not currently leading in polls in Ohio, Florida, Iowa, or North Carolina, and is essentially tied in Nevada. If Virginia slips...

Illinois should be safe, but I still feel that to vote third party the question shouldn't be certainty over which way your state will go (unless you're living in a certain red state, like Mississippi or Utah, in which case, sure, go ahead and vote for Stein, but in a blue state, make sure it stays blue), but whether or not you really don't care which of the two real candidates win. If you don't see a difference between Hillary and Trump, then resort to the protest vote (as that's all voting for Stein or Johnson is). But if you think that Trump is significantly worse than Hillary...

And let's be honest, can anyone really think that Jill Stein or Gary Johnson are qualified? If it was Bill Weld on the top of that Libertarian ticket, it would be one thing, but Stein and Johnson are idiots.

Frenzy
09-19-2016, 06:55 PM
i love how everyone blames the 3rd party voters for their candidate's downfall. And fail to see that, by their logic, democracy is a farce if a few thousand voters in Florida who "protest voted" 3rd party are entirely to blame for Dubya. Fuck that logic.

on another note, i found this (http://brainstatic.tumblr.com/post/143214746355/why-exactly-are-the-republicans-so-obsessed-with) interesting analysis of how current 2-party presidential politics can be traced back to RFKs assassination.

Kimon
09-19-2016, 08:08 PM
i love how everyone blames the 3rd party voters for their candidate's downfall. And fail to see that, by their logic, democracy is a farce if a few thousand voters in Florida who "protest voted" 3rd party are entirely to blame for Dubya. Fuck that logic.


We can pretend that voting third party has some innocent intent, but it still is essentially an act of sabotage. If we had a parliamentary system, and if Gore and Nader then, and Hillary and Jill now, could form a coalition govt after the election, then voting third party would be different. But we don't. When only red or blue can win, voting green isn't done with an intent (at least not a reasonable intent) at victory. The greens aren't getting seats in parliament if Jill Stein crosses a certain percentage threshold. Neither is Gary Johnson. Certainly neither of them has any chance whatsoever of winning the election. So all one is doing by casting a vote for either is attempting to send a message. And both of those third party candidates are stealing votes that likely would have gone to Hillary, and thus those votes are helping Trump. If those voters don't mind the idea of Trump being president, then sure, by all means, they should vote for Jill or Gary. We saw the danger of even a few such saboteurs back in 2000, and that was with a republican candidate that just seemed stupid, but otherwise a decent human being. Now the other guy is Trump.

Rand al'Fain
09-19-2016, 08:58 PM
We can pretend that voting third party has some innocent intent, but it still is essentially an act of sabotage. If we had a parliamentary system, and if Gore and Nader then, and Hillary and Jill now, could form a coalition govt after the election, then voting third party would be different. But we don't. When only red or blue can win, voting green isn't done with an intent (at least not a reasonable intent) at victory. The greens aren't getting seats in parliament if Jill Stein crosses a certain percentage threshold. Neither is Gary Johnson. Certainly neither of them has any chance whatsoever of winning the election. So all one is doing by casting a vote for either is attempting to send a message. And both of those third party candidates are stealing votes that likely would have gone to Hillary, and thus those votes are helping Trump. If those voters don't mind the idea of Trump being president, then sure, by all means, they should vote for Jill or Gary. We saw the danger of even a few such saboteurs back in 2000, and that was with a republican candidate that just seemed stupid, but otherwise a decent human being. Now the other guy is Trump.
Hard to call it an act of sabotage when the front runners are like they are this time around.

Only the Democratic and Republican parties should be blamed for nominating such unpopular candidates and thus, sabotaging themselves.

Kimon
09-19-2016, 10:08 PM
Hard to call it an act of sabotage when the front runners are like they are this time around.

Only the Democratic and Republican parties should be blamed for nominating such unpopular candidates and thus, sabotaging themselves.

Trump is disgusting, but he really isn't very dissimilar from every other Republican. He just is more open about his racism. What they hide behind euphemisms he simply says openly. That makes him more brazen, but is he really any different from all those republicans who made their one goal to blockade all legislation that Obama attempted to pass? Who sought to convince themselves that he was Muslim? A foreigner? Trump is but the charlatan saying what they want to hear. If they were really bothered by what he was saying they would have disavowed him like the dems did Wallace.

And Hillary? What really is supposed to be the legitimate grievance there? Her emails? Benghazi? Neither of those are real issues. How can one both laud Bill and revile Hillary? If dems think that Bill and Barack were both good presidents, then having a problem with Hillary is illogical. The only real difference between her and them is that they are both charismatic. Now, on the other hand, if like Nader, they truly see no difference between the dems and the republicans, if they truly think that Bill, Barack, and Hillary are all just the same as the Younger Bush, Cheney, and Trump. Then they should vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, and presumably think that Hillary would be no better than Trump, and thus be fine with a Trump presidency.

I'm guessing that a significant percentage of those Nader voters in Florida back in 2000 regret how they voted. Sure Gore was boring, and Hillary is paranoid about her privacy. But Gore still clearly would have been a better president than the Younger Bush. Moreover, he clearly would not have stuck us with Roberts and Alito. Iraq was a costly mistake, but nothing compared to dealing with those two schmucks on the court for the next 20 years. It's the court that matters, not which candidate is willing to demagogue more on free trade.

Rand al'Fain
09-20-2016, 06:09 PM
That's just it. Clinton is literally gifted with everything she could possibly need to oust Trump, yet she's stuck in a dead heat with him. Obama and Biden gave her a boost in the polls when she became the official nominee, and has since lost nearly all of it.

She's practically the opposite of charismatic, to the point where she's bleeding support. Is she unqualified? She has more government experience than most, even had the benefit of being in the White House with Bill. Yet, she can't get any separation from Trump without major help.

Trump on the other hand, as much as I despise him, is, if nothing else, charismatic and leaps on every opportunity he can to discredit his opposition. The man literally takes his playbook from "1984" and "Brave New World", as well as from Hitler too. Despite this, he is remaining neck and neck with Clinton.

Me? I'm done with both parties. Out of spite, they will block each other from getting anything of note done. Listening to them, one group is nothing but "commie bastards" and the other filled with "redneck racists".

Kimon
09-20-2016, 07:58 PM
She's practically the opposite of charismatic, to the point where she's bleeding support. Is she unqualified? She has more government experience than most, even had the benefit of being in the White House with Bill. Yet, she can't get any separation from Trump without major help.

Trump on the other hand, as much as I despise him, is, if nothing else, charismatic and leaps on every opportunity he can to discredit his opposition. The man literally takes his playbook from "1984" and "Brave New World", as well as from Hitler too. Despite this, he is remaining neck and neck with Clinton.


This does underscore how important charisma is today in politics. Hillary's politics are indistinguishable from Obama's, yet while he would win this in a landslide, her chances, at least at present, look like a coin flip. It's also why we can't expect the debates to change things. She is more knowledgeable, and more thoughtful than Trump, but he's the better showman, the more natural politician. And it does beg the question, considering how much the republicans hate Obama, it does carry an obvious implication, especially considering how ridiculously high the support is for third party candidates this year compared to the norm. The problem isn't that Trump is doing better than expected, he's still only getting republicans. The problem is that all the republicans seem to be essentially supporting him, but Hillary still can't consolidate the dems. Or to be more specific, the problem is still the Bernie Bros.

Me? I'm done with both parties. Out of spite, they will block each other from getting anything of note done. Listening to them, one group is nothing but "commie bastards" and the other filled with "redneck racists".

The dems worked with Reagan. They worked with the Elder Bush. They even worked with the Younger Bush. Keep in mind the dems controlled the House for the entirety of Reagan and the Elder Bush's presidency, and controlled both the House and the Senate during the Elder Bush's presidency. And never were they remotely as obstructionist, nor certainly as disrespectful of any of the three as the republicans have been especially of Obama, but also of Bill Clinton. It's not the dems that have poisoned the well.

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2016, 03:51 AM
The problem is that all the republicans seem to be essentially supporting him, but Hillary still can't consolidate the dems. Or to be more specific, the problem is still the Bernie Bros.The Democrats knowingly and deliberately picked a candidate that they knew very well was not capable of getting voters out through enthusiasm; now they're whining that the voters lack enthusiasm.
Isn't it at least somewhat possible that this was predictable in advance?

It's not the dems that have poisoned the well.But it is the dems who will cooperate with Trump to dish out that poison to the public if Clinton fails to become charismatic.

Voting third party at least offers some hope of breaking out of this cycle; voting one of the two big parties means choosing to continue it.

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 05:51 AM
The problem with the American system is that no matter who the actual candidates are it's always reps vs dems. Whenever one party screws up and loses voters the other gains. The screw up brings harm to the nation as whole but from the other party's point of view they are getting more voters so the damage is a good thing. The well is poisoned and people just keep on drinking while arguing over who did it. "Their guy is worse than our guy so vote for us" is a working strategy for American elections. If you had even one more party on an equal footing, every rep and dem candidate would have to prove themselves better than their two opponents instead of just bad mouthing their one opponent. When one party screws something up the other two parties would have to fight each other for the voters and work at fixing the mess to get them. The third party would make things better just by existing. "They poisoned the well" doesn't get you any votes when another party says "Here's how we detox the water".

So if you are an American vote for a third party and convince your friends to vote for a third party. The competition will make both major parties work harder and that will improve your nation.

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2016, 06:25 AM
So if you are an American vote for a third party and convince your friends to vote for a third party. The competition will make both major parties work harder and that will improve your nation.Alternatively: vote for the "not quite as bad" option yet again, hoping that eventually for some reason the race to the bottom will end. Or, of course, give up on the whole business, stop voting and leave the decision making to the increasingly extremist wackos who do still care.

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 06:41 AM
Alternatively: vote for the "not quite as bad" option yet again, hoping that eventually for some reason the race to the bottom will end. Or, of course, give up on the whole business, stop voting and leave the decision making to the increasingly extremist wackos who do still care.

I was offering them a solution they've never tried. Yours are the ones they keep trying even though they don't work.

GonzoTheGreat
09-21-2016, 07:04 AM
As GWB said: if you do not succeed at first, try, try again. That's what the Dems are doing: following Dubya's sage advice.

Why they trust him in such matters is not quite clear to me, I grant.

Kimon
09-21-2016, 07:20 AM
The problem with the American system is that no matter who the actual candidates are it's always reps vs dems. Whenever one party screws up and loses voters the other gains. The screw up brings harm to the nation as whole but from the other party's point of view they are getting more voters so the damage is a good thing. The well is poisoned and people just keep on drinking while arguing over who did it. "Their guy is worse than our guy so vote for us" is a working strategy for American elections. If you had even one more party on an equal footing, every rep and dem candidate would have to prove themselves better than their two opponents instead of just bad mouthing their one opponent. When one party screws something up the other two parties would have to fight each other for the voters and work at fixing the mess to get them. The third party would make things better just by existing. "They poisoned the well" doesn't get you any votes when another party says "Here's how we detox the water".

So if you are an American vote for a third party and convince your friends to vote for a third party. The competition will make both major parties work harder and that will improve your nation.

We have had brief times of transition, where one of the two parties dies, but we've never had three simultaneously viable parties. First there was the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans. Then the Federalists and the Democrats. Then the Federalist Party died, and was eventually replaced by the Whigs, which eventually became the Republican Party. That same dichotomy, of Republican vs Democrat has held since the 1840s, albeit the base of power, and the stance of each flipped beginning in the early 1900s (due to the Roosevelts), and then completed in the '60s (due to the Civil Rights Movement and the Dixiecrats defecting en masse to the by now very sourthern and very conservative republican party, completing that party's shift from its original progressive and northern foci). The natural equilibrium has always been binary. That might well seem insane, and foolish to an outsider. It's certainly appears quite different from the tapestry of parties that one sees at present in your parliament in Finland, but it is what we have. Voting third party won't result in a permanent shift towards three stable parties, it will only produce a momentary shift, creating the greater surety of the dominance in the present election of the stabler of the two original binaries, here clearly the republicans, and hence the election of Trump. We've seen the same effect before - most notably with the election of Woodrow Wilson, but also, more recently, with the election of Bill Clinton. The former caused by Teddy Roosevelt and Taft splitting the republican vote, allowing a weak democrat (Wilson), to win. The latter with the Elder Bush and Perot splitting the republican vote, allowing for the election of Clinton. The situation now is not as fractured as either of those, but Hillary is still losing a significant percentage of what normally would be democratic voters to both Johnson and Stein (mostly college kids - the Bernie crowd). And this feels very much like what happened in 2000 with Nader, which allowed for the narrow election of the Younger Bush. Johnson and Stein are both polling much better than Nader, and thus even against an incredibly weak republican opponent (Trump), hemorrhaging that much support (likely about 8-10% of what she, or at least a typical democrat, should at least be receiving) to the third parties, and we have Hillary in dire straits, and are staring at the very real possibility of repeating the one effect that political history in America demonstrates as the outcome of temporary third party viability. But that viability never lasts, and for good reason, as it's not difficult in those situations to recognize that it was that splintering that caused disaster for either the left or the right, and that the splintering only benefits the other side, not the side wishing that their defection would somehow benefit the cause of their own side.

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 09:27 AM
So basically through out your political history you just won't learn the most basic lessons and insist on shooting at your own feet. Tell me again why oligarchy is worse than democracy and why America is the better of the two choices. I'm fairly sure that either democracy is just as bad or America is effectively not a democracy but an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy.

Kimon
09-21-2016, 12:27 PM
So basically through out your political history you just won't learn the most basic lessons and insist on shooting at your own feet. Tell me again why oligarchy is worse than democracy and why America is the better of the two choices. I'm fairly sure that either democracy is just as bad or America is effectively not a democracy but an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy.

We are an oligarchy, Naz. We might occasionally pretend otherwise, but our system was modeled on the Roman Republic, not the Athenian democracy.

The struggle between the two parties for us even mirrors the struggle that was seen in the Republic - the optimates (republicans) and the populares (democrats). I for one think that one descent into civil war was enough, no need to even more accurately reflect the path that the Republic took. That however does seem to be more the path that the extremists (tea party and bernie bros) on each side seem intent on leading us down once again. And to be blunt, you don't have a stake in this game, Naz. You can watch us descend into chaos safely from afar. Trump will be bad for the world, but he won't have anywhere near as much of a devastating effect upon Finland as he will on us. And that's all voting third party achieves - Trump. A strong third party merely nets the plutocratic demagogue. It pushes the country to the right, not to the left. One would hope that after seeing this same pattern play out numerous times in the past, that we would not make the same mistake again now.

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 01:16 PM
We are an oligarchy, Naz. We might occasionally pretend otherwise, but our system was modeled on the Roman Republic, not the Athenian democracy.
Now that you've got backwards. I few individuals might see that, but the vast majority believes that you are a democracy. You might say that they are naive, but is it any better being one of the cynics? Naive don't have the experience. Cynics have the experience but didn't learn from it. Hard to say which are worse.
The struggle between the two parties for us even mirrors the struggle that was seen in the Republic - the optimates (republicans) and the populares (democrats). I for one think that one descent into civil war was enough, no need to even more accurately reflect the path that the Republic took. That however does seem to be more the path that the extremists (tea party and bernie bros) on each side seem intent on leading us down once again. And to be blunt, you don't have a stake in this game, Naz. You can watch us descend into chaos safely from afar. Trump will be bad for the world, but he won't have anywhere near as much of a devastating effect upon Finland as he will on us. And that's all voting third party achieves - Trump. A strong third party merely nets the plutocratic demagogue. It pushes the country to the right, not to the left. One would hope that after seeing this same pattern play out numerous times in the past, that we would not make the same mistake again now.
Everyone has a stake in this. Not perhaps on the same scale, but it is there. And in the long run the true problem is that a country that could do a lot more good on a global scale insists on either doing the reverse or getting applause for doing nothing at all.

Kimon
09-21-2016, 04:14 PM
Now that you've got backwards. I few individuals might see that, but the vast majority believes that you are a democracy.


In terms of the nuance between the two meanings, it's difficult, if not impossible, to deny. Ours isn't a system, nor could it (nor could the Roman Republic) have been from a simple logistic standpoint, one, like at Athens, where all citizens (well, male citizens anyway, female citizens lost their right according to myth after the first vote, though they still accepted the result of that first vote, and kept Athena, and not Poseidon, as their patroness) could enter the Ekklesia and vote. Nor certainly one, where for the sake of pure democracy, most (essentially everything but the 10 yearly generalships) offices were assigned by lot rather than by election. So ours is not a pure "rule by the people". We, like the Republic, have "rule by few". It's not quite as pronounced, nor as exclusive, as the old Roman system, but power is still isolated in the hands of the few, and while we don't have just a few families (endless strings of Cornelii, Claudii, Julii, Sempronii appearing over the centuries repeatedly holding consulships) holding the highest offices almost exclusively, nor are novi homines as rare and notable for us as they were for them, but keep in mind the Elder Bush wasn't the founder of that political dynasty, his father, Prescott Bush, had been a senator as well. Gore's father, like him, had been a senator. Romney's father had been governor of Michigan. JFK's father, Joseph Kennedy, had been the US Ambassador to Britain, and his grandfather had been mayor of Boston. Heck, the Roosevelts and Rockefellers were both about as patrician a clan as one could find in America. So, sure, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were both novi homines, but most men and women who rise that high in politics here, as in Rome, do so due to familial connenctions that helped pave their own rise to power.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Roman Republic wasn't without its faults, but it worked well for a long time. We luckily don't possess the same poison that corrupted and then killed the Republic, as unlike with late Republic Rome, it's still the state that is paying the soldiers, and not their generals. That one innovation made by Marius, more than any other, is what killed the Republic. It took 60 years for the poison to complete the job, but that was 60 years of nearly endless civil war between Marius' first consulship and the Ides of March. The other poisons were, unfortunately, similar ones to what is corrupting us. The Republic's two other most significant problems were the extension of Italian Citizenship (seems eerily similar to our immigration reform and amnesty debate, and also to the continuing, perhaps unsolvable, problems surrounding civil rights and racial violence/inequity), and growing wealth disparity. The Gracchi were assassinated while trying to conduct land redistributions and debt reforms (eerily similar to the Kennedy brothers) to address the latter. So was Clodius, whose career looks quite similar to Bill Clinton's, right down to the similarity of the scandals. Certainly the Bona Dea Scandal seems a very Bill Clinton type situation. Bill did at least, luckily, escape Clodius Pulcher's fate. Clodius' enemies did really hate his widow though. And while Hillary becoming Sec of State for Obama, isn't quite the same as Fulvia marrying Antony, Fulvia did convince Antony (not that he really needed much convincing as he really hated Cicero himself as well) to find a very dramatic and creative way to exact their vengeance upon Cicero - not that I'm actually suggesting that Obama should chop up Trump and staple him piecemeal to the rostra, but that should give you an idea of just how much more violent their downhill spiral was. Makes for interesting history, but not something that one would wish to experience firsthand...

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 06:50 PM
All of which is something the average American is not aware of. How is that "occasionally pretending to be a democracy"?

Kimon
09-21-2016, 07:26 PM
How is that "occasionally pretending to be a democracy"?

Well, every four years around half of eligible voters (it was 55% of those eligible in 2012) vote for president, and for whatever other candidates happen to be running at that same time. Far fewer tend to show up for non-presidential votes, especially if it isn't even one of the senate seats in contention. That is certainly far less involvement than Athenian citizens had in their democracy. Far less than many Romans had as well. After all, one of their main assemblies was the Comitia Centuriata, which was the army sitting as an assembly. And while most of the real power was with the magistrates and the Senate, the Centuriate Assembly directly elected consuls and praetors (the command level offices - offices with imperium), and only it could declare war, and it served as the highest court of appeal.

In contrast, I doubt most Americans could even say with certainty, or necessarily even care, who their House rep even is. But then that is why we have political parties, so that you can have a reasonable expectation of how someone will vote even without knowing them. That might sound awful, but keep in mind the alternative. There often is a slate of judges that one votes for alongside president, house rep, and usually one senator when one enters the booth to vote for president, and typically one hasn't the slightest clue who any of them are, nor the slightest clue as to personality, stances, or politics for any of them. They are just a name, and unless you are a trial lawyer, little incentive to take the time to bother to read up and learn anything about them, and even if one wished to do so, unless you just happened to know them privately, or had appeared before them either as an attorney or as a defendant, one is likely to be able to gather much, if any, useful information on them. Voting for them is thus little more than a crap shoot. If they had to declare party affiliation, it would make that choice much easier, and much more informed.

Nonetheless, the key factor here is that we have clearly outsourced the running of government to oligarchs. We vote for them, and we have a constitution that binds them and shapes the process, but it is still an oligarchy, albeit a constitutional oligarchy.

Nazbaque
09-21-2016, 08:09 PM
Which the majority doesn't realize. To them the pretense is a constant not a once in four years occurance.

But even so that isn't what makes the difference. It's not how often people vote but what effect the vote has. You don't vote for what the nation does just for your state. Basically that means that if you didn't vote for the winning party in your state you might as well have not voted at all. How many voices unheard is that?

GonzoTheGreat
09-22-2016, 03:35 AM
We luckily don't possess the same poison that corrupted and then killed the Republic, as unlike with late Republic Rome, it's still the state that is paying the soldiers, and not their generals.Your government (mostly the Republicans, of course) is working on this. A well known example is Blackwater (which has changed its name a number of times in the last decade, because of their reputation), but there are plenty of others. But there are plenty of other mercenary companies which are taking over the jobs of your soldiers.

Nazbaque
11-09-2016, 07:12 AM
Told you.