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Old 02-27-2019, 03:25 PM
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A Centrist Lost in 2020


As a centrist with both conservative and progressive leanings I feel like I am part of a growing middle that will be lost in 2020. It seems like every person I know, every newscast or commentator i watch and forum i read gets painted with a "team color" of blue or red with no in between.

I recently took the quiz at isidewith.com for grins and my results clearly show my concern. My party affiliation spread between democratic, green, socialist, Libertarian and GOP was 7%

Why can't we find some common ground in our politics and policies? I know some issues are colored by money more than belief (Global Warming vs Fossil Fuel industries and lobbyists comes to mind)

But why can't you be against the border wall but agree that maybe you do need a state ID to vote? Maybe spending 2 billion on high tech surveillance is common ground on border security.

Why can't there be acknowledgement that the Rich do pay a lot of taxes (Thank you) as opposed to marking them all as evil, while going after the billions that are sheltered offshore by Amazon, Netflix, Apple, etc.?

Why can't you be PRO law enforcement while also supporting 100% body camera adoption and acknowledging that both racism, mistakes and corruption do exist?

Why can't a non-violent felon vote in elections? They are still citizens and stripping away those rights does nothing to normalize a criminal into a productive citizen.

I despise Trump "as a horrible human being" who has clearly shown himself to be both corrupt, dishonest and arguably racist. Yet I am continuously bewildered by Trump supporters who "seem" to genuinely think of Trump an honest, fair and smart man who is just a victim of "fake news".

But on the other side of the aisle we have a Democratic party that is going (IMO) too far left... to the point that I (and I believe millions of others) feel left behind. While I think someone like Joe Biden would do a good job, my fear of the ultra-left AOC party of the future scares the heck out of me TBH.

At this time I truly have no idea how to vote in 2020

* Global Warming - 100% agree that global warming is VERY and can only /facepalm at the deniers - most of which - are either clueless voters or incented by the fossil fuel industry directly or downstream.

* Education - I fully support free college education. The Student loan epidemic casued by Sally Mae privatization until 2010 was predatory at best and full blow corrupt at worst. No unbiased review of the facts can support any other conclusion. And while we are at it, how about implementing a combination of teacher testing standards, common core AND large pay increases for one of the most important jobs in America (Note - I am not, never was and have no family members in education).

* Single Payer Healthcare - While I agree the government sucks at handling many programs and waste is generally increased. That inefficiency is vastly outweighed by the corruption and greed of privatization. While I still support the Adam Smith laissez faire economic model in many areas, healthcare and retirement are not among them.

* Gun Control - I own guns. I support the 2nd amendment but cannot understand the conservative logic that anyone (Dems) will take away your guns. It is hyperbolic and
republican scare tactic. While I think criminals will - 99% of the time - get guns regardless of any controls, if better background checks and some safety standards (fingerprint locks for example) keep one child of shooting themself or others, the time cost is worth it. And automatic weapons, there is no argument for this IMO.

* I support our military and defense budget (mostly for our servicemen and new technology) but acknowledge we have wasted billions of dollars that could have been used to help our citizens.

* Decriminalization of Drugs - From Harry Anslinger to Richard Nixon to Jeff Session this "War on Drugs" is one of the most ridiculuous and wasteful efforts in American history. I do not use drugs (other than alcohol from time to time) but this issue has ALWAYS been a pawn for Racism (Ansligner) and Anti-War Counter Culture (Nixon). The prison privatization explosion and our backwards thinking of rehabilitation show a sad state of understanding and rationalization.

For anyone interested there is a great interview with Johann Hari that is so reasoned and thoughtful I find it hard for anyone but hardline oldtimers and those incented with jobs in drug enforcement to disagree.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDpjvFn4wgM&t=4745s

Long post, but very cathartic for me. Wondering if others feel as I do or if everyone here is firmly on their team.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:37 PM
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You're never going to find a candidate that lines up 100% with your values, but except for maybe Voter ID, your positions seem to line up with the mainstream Democratic Party.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:44 PM
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Yes. You should be comfortable in the Democratic Party
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:55 PM
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I honestly can not understand why you would vote Republican at all given your listed views. You might think of yourself as a centrist but you're actually not.
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Last edited by Grey; 02-27-2019 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:05 PM
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I honestly can not understand why you would vote Republican at all given your listed views. You might think of yourself as a centrist but you're actually not.
He is. And the Democratic Party is a perfect centrist fit for darn near everything he listed. America, which only has two political parties for all intents and purposes, has a right-wing party and a centrist party. The "AOC"-left constituency of the Democratic Party is not the mainstream. If you think the Dems should be more centrist and less progressive, feel free to get in on the conversation and steer the party. Those of us on the left will be happy to fight back, mind you, but that's fine.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:16 PM
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I honestly can not understand why you would vote Republican at all given your listed views. You might think of yourself as a centrist but you're actually not.
You raise a good point, thanks for all the feedback.

I definitely like to think that I do align more with the democratic party but reflecting on my post I probably posited an incomplete view of my political leanings.

Some of my more conservative leanings include:

* I am pro tax reform (flat/consumer) - not likely to ever happen though
* I do not support healthcare for illegal immigrants
* I do support improved border security w/o the wall but understand the debate
* I generally (with some exception) disagree with affirmative action
* I do not support Univseral Basic Income
* I actually support increased tariffs on some countries
* I disagree with foreign terrorists given constitutional rights
* I am only ever so slightly against travel bans from terrorists countries
* I am pro-drone strikes against terrorists countries even realizing the casualties (keeping our soldiers safe being paramount)

I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.

Last edited by chargerrich; 02-27-2019 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:20 PM
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AOC is just one new member of one House of Congress. It's the Republicans, for their own reasons, who are presenting her as the new "face" of the party. She is savvy enough to be able to leverage that fact for her own purposes. As far as I'm concerned, she is just a down-payment on balancing off some of the far-right loons that the Republicans have elected and may just help drag the center back to, well, the center.

Last edited by E-DUB; 02-27-2019 at 04:22 PM. Reason: Adding additional thought.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chargerrich View Post
I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.
How much of this fear is legitimate, and how much is it that this is what the GOP wants you to think?
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:30 PM
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From the OP, you definitely sound like a Democrat to me. Seriously - which of your listed positions do Republicans agree with? As for your second list of points -- aside from Affirmative Action* and the flat tax idea, which of those points are Democrats against? Obama LOVED drone strikes, for example.

*Can you describe exactly what you are against, by the way? It seems to me that quite often people who are "against" affirmative action are "against" the straw man that politicians on the Right have convinced people Affirmative Action is, rather than any real policy.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:31 PM
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From reading through your stance on the issues, you fit very comfortably in the modern Democratic party. Most of your worries about the Democrats seem similar to the mostly-fictional representation of the party common on right-wing infotainment (radio, Fox News, etc), rather than reality -- while there are a small number of very hard-left Democrats, the most popular and powerful Democrats in the present (Obama, Biden, Pelosi, all or nearly all Democratic senators and governors, etc.) are very close to you on the issues.
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Old 02-27-2019, 04:45 PM
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There will be two candidates.

Vote for the one who is not named Donald Trump.

That is all.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chargerrich View Post
You raise a good point, thanks for all the feedback.

I definitely like to think that I do align more with the democratic party but reflecting on my post I probably posited an incomplete view of my political leanings.

Some of my more conservative leanings include:

* I am pro tax reform (flat/consumer) - not likely to ever happen though
* I do not support healthcare for illegal immigrants
* I do support improved border security w/o the wall but understand the debate
* I generally (with some exception) disagree with affirmative action
* I do not support Univseral Basic Income
* I actually support increased tariffs on some countries
* I disagree with foreign terrorists given constitutional rights
* I am only ever so slightly against travel bans from terrorists countries
* I am pro-drone strikes against terrorists countries even realizing the casualties (keeping our soldiers safe being paramount)

I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.
Yeah you’re well inside the Democratic tent. And well outside even the wide lawn outside the GOP tent.

Oh there will definitely be items that you and most other Democrats disagree about. But not as many as you may think and there is more room for that disagreement in this tent than the other.

What are your three most important issues? Which party hits two out of three of those or more?

Pretty sure it’s D.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:41 PM
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Why can't we find some common ground in our politics and policies?
The other side is irretrievably evil. You can't find common ground with child-eating, old folks-euthanizing, corporate-weaseling devil-worshippers.

I remember Warren Hinckle (onetime editor of Ramparts) mentioning how he enjoyed drinking at cop bars, as he found many of his leftist buddies to be insufferable on such occasions. So maybe a solution is to go out drinking with people of differing political philosophies.
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:44 PM
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I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.
Quote:
Originally Posted by E-DUB View Post
AOC is just one new member of one House of Congress. It's the Republicans, for their own reasons, who are presenting her as the new "face" of the party. She is savvy enough to be able to leverage that fact for her own purposes. As far as I'm concerned, she is just a down-payment on balancing off some of the far-right loons that the Republicans have elected and may just help drag the center back to, well, the center.


Yeah, this. As an observer from Canada, the US has been pushed so far to the right, that even if the AOC boogeywoman was true, it would likely take decades of the Democrats being in sole control of all branches of the US Government to move things far enough to the left that anyone outside the US would think you have a leftist government.

Just take a look at UHC, which you say you support. Both Presidents Clinton and Obama spent most of their terms trying to revamp the current US system, and the best they could do was Obamacare, which was originally a Republican plan to begin with.

Do you really think that anything AOC has proposed will be easier than that?
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Old 02-27-2019, 05:58 PM
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The thing is also, that too many people seem to think the sum total of their input into the processes of a democratic state begin and end at voting. They don't. Good (small-d) democrats continue to lobby, write, petition and otherwise bother their representatives in between elections to guide their behaviour.

If you're that concerned about voter registration, vote Democrat, as it covers you in everything else, and push hard on registration with your representatives after.

I mean, the alternative seems to be voting R, and being broadly content with voter registration but finding yourself having to push on a whole litany of other things.


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Old 02-27-2019, 07:06 PM
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* I disagree with foreign terrorists given constitutional rights
Most of your stuff is solidly in the Democrats positions and actively opposed by Republicans, so I have no idea what your difficulty is. The one thing I quoted isn't actually anything that should be called 'centrist', it's authoritarian opposition to the fundamental principle of the rule of law. You're saying that the government doesn't need to follow it's own laws when dealing with certain classes of people. Sadly it's not an uncommon position, but I can't agree with calling 'screw due process, just torture 'em and hang 'em if you want to' any sort of reasonable middle.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:17 PM
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What are your three most important issues? Which party hits two out of three of those or more?

Pretty sure it’s D.
You are correct...

Healthcare
Education
Global Warming
Defense
Net Neutrality
Killing the War on Drugs
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:25 PM
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There will be two candidates.

Vote for the one who is not named Donald Trump.

That is all.
Yeah. I don't know how many times we'll need to say this, but there is only one issue in the 2020 campaign. Will this person beat Donald Trump? Whoever the person is, whatever the policies they advocate, wherever on the political spectrum you think they are, doesn't matter unless they beat Trump. The country is not going to change overnight. Bills will still have to go through Congress. Money will still have to be found somewhere. Foreign threats will still loom. The courts will still be stuffed with Trump appointees. If AOC herself were magically made President the country would still move only a tiny bit left on a small number of issues.

Stop looking at the headlines. Ask yourself what you and the country will get if Trump wins and if the Congress goes back to being controlled by Republicans. Then ask yourself what you and the country will get if a Democrat wins and the Congress is controlled by Democrats. If you see a better outcome with the latter, vote Democrat. Vote the party, not the candidate. Parties govern and parties matter, far more than individuals.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:23 PM
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>Gun Control - I own guns. I support the 2nd amendment but cannot understand the conservative logic that anyone (Dems) will take away your guns. It is hyperbolic and republican scare tactic.

Except for the Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein who have stated that, plus some Dopers. Most gun grabbers have learned to not say this outright.

Fingerprint locks? I have a bedside safe with one. It takes several tries most of the time during the day in bright light.

Automatic weapons? Do you mean semi-automatic, or are you unaware of the 1934 National Firearms Act and its successors?

No, you're not a centrist; you just think you are.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:54 PM
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I mean, the alternative seems to be voting R, and being broadly content with voter registration but finding yourself having to push on a whole litany of other things.

And of course, the whole "voter registration" bugaboo ignores the position that lots of Democrats actually hold: "Okay, make a state ID mandatory, but make those IDs easy to get for any citizen". The real problem isn't the requirement for ID, it's that getting a valid ID is quite difficult (deliberately so?) in many jurisdictions, for certain "types" of people.



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No, you're not a centrist; you just think you are.


And consider this input from the other side. If you disagree with him on this one issue, you might as well be a fucking commie.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:04 PM
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>Gun Control - I own guns. I support the 2nd amendment but cannot understand the conservative logic that anyone (Dems) will take away your guns. It is hyperbolic and republican scare tactic.

Except for the Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein who have stated that, plus some Dopers. Most gun grabbers have learned to not say this outright.

Fingerprint locks? I have a bedside safe with one. It takes several tries most of the time during the day in bright light.

Automatic weapons? Do you mean semi-automatic, or are you unaware of the 1934 National Firearms Act and its successors?

No, you're not a centrist; you just think you are.
Not only that, but according to Fox News, the Democrats are going to grab your meat! Sean Hannity told people to put meat into their freezers now because it might be valuable some day!*

*He might have had his tongue in cheek, but Fox in fact has said that Democrats will ban meat multiple times on multiple shows.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:20 PM
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>Gun Control - I own guns. I support the 2nd amendment but cannot understand the conservative logic that anyone (Dems) will take away your guns. It is hyperbolic and republican scare tactic.

Except for the Democrats such as Dianne Feinstein who have stated that, plus some Dopers. Most gun grabbers have learned to not say this outright.

Fingerprint locks? I have a bedside safe with one. It takes several tries most of the time during the day in bright light.

Automatic weapons? Do you mean semi-automatic, or are you unaware of the 1934 National Firearms Act and its successors?

No, you're not a centrist; you just think you are.
The Feinstein quote was in reference assault-type weapons, not guns generally. Those saying otherwise are guilty of "you didn't build thatism".
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Old 02-27-2019, 11:16 PM
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... No, you're not a centrist; you just think you are.
It brings up a very interesting point - who are the moderates (centrists) today and what positions do they tend to hold?

And of course we have "Survey says!"
Quote:
Moderates, according to the poll, aren't tuned-out or ill-informed, but they tend to see both sides of complex issues—for example, they want the government to do more to help the economy, but they worry that it may be ineffective or counterproductive. They see both parties as overly ideological and wish politicians would compromise more. A plurality are Democrats, but they see themselves as slightly right-of-center ideologically, and one-third say they vote equally for Democrats and Republicans. And they are surprisingly young and diverse: Self-described moderates represent a 44 percent plurality of Hispanic and nonwhite voters and a 42 percent plurality of the Millennial generation ...

... 40 percent of moderates consider themselves Democrats, while just 21 percent are Republicans and 39 percent are independents. (This finding jibes with the conventional wisdom of a GOP whose increasingly doctrinaire conservatism has alienated much of the middle of the electorate.) About a quarter of moderates say they always vote for Democratic candidates, and another 18 percent do so more often than not; 9 percent of moderates always vote for Republican candidates, while 12 percent vote for Republicans more often than Democrats. A solid 33 percent are swing voters who say they vote equally for Democrats and Republicans. ...
The poll goes on to list the positions they tend to hold.

You are in that mix, to the right on some and the left on others.

Another fun way to divvy ourselves up is the Pew Political Typologies. Take their quiz! No "centrist" label there. Instead these groupings. (As much as I think of myself as only slightly Left of center I fall out as "Solid Liberal" ... not so much so compared to some here.)
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Old 02-28-2019, 03:55 AM
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But why can't you be against the border wall but agree that maybe you do need a state ID to vote?
Canadian checking in here to say perhaps you have a Canadian point of view about this. We have voter ID but it is incredibly broad to the point where anyone who is trying to vote should be able to come up with one of the things on this long list:

http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx...t=index&lang=e

If the US had voter ID rules along those lines, no one would have an issue with it. However, my understanding of voter ID rules in the US is that they are weaponized to prevent black people from voting due to the fear/knowledge that if they had the unquestioned right to vote Republicans might never win another election, ever.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:11 AM
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Just chiming in to agree that you are well inside "the Democratic tent." The idea that an intelligent citizen with moderate views like yourself would even consider voting for a Republican is very disheartening to me.

I'll comment on some of your points.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chargerrich View Post
... Why can't we find some common ground in our politics and policies? I know some issues are colored by money more than belief (Global Warming vs Fossil Fuel industries and lobbyists comes to mind)

But why can't you be against the border wall but agree that maybe you do need a state ID to vote?

Why can't you be PRO law enforcement while also supporting 100% body camera adoption and acknowledging that both racism, mistakes and corruption do exist?

Why can't a non-violent felon vote in elections? They are still citizens and stripping away those rights does nothing to normalize a criminal into a productive citizen.

While I think someone like Joe Biden would do a good job, my fear of the ultra-left AOC party of the future scares the heck out of me TBH.

At this time I truly have no idea how to vote in 2020
...
Most of us Democrats would be happy to support photo ID for voting if there was a sincere effort to make such IDs readily available to citizens. Instead the exact opposite is the case: the Republican Party institutes policies deliberately intended to suppress likely Democratic votes — they've said as much in so many words. As just one example, IIRC one state accepts gun permits as voter IDs (likely R voters) but rejects government-issued university student IDs (likely D voters). @ OP — Do you support GOP efforts to suppress Democratic voters?

Do you have a cite that Democrats are "against law enforcement"?

As for AOC's "ultra-left" ideas: Single-payer healthcare is an idea whose time has come. ... But spending many tens of thousands on free college education for each and every American? I agree this sounds like a bad idea. Spoiler alert: It's not going to happen anytime soon!

At this point in America's political development, there are many citizens trapped in a FoxNews bubble, or embittered by their hatreds. I wish these bubble dwellers would talk to someone like you and become more sensible. But when I read your intelligent views, and then still see "At this time I truly have no idea how to vote in 2020", it makes me very very sad and confused.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:36 AM
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Yeah. I don't know how many times we'll need to say this, but there is only one issue in the 2020 campaign. Will this person beat Donald Trump?
I insist on a broader perspective. Mike Pence would be the second-worst President in American history. So would Paul Ryan or whatever ape the GOP is likely to put forth.

In fact, with the GOP now fully embracing all manner of criminality, racism and support for kleptocrats, it is imperative that Democrats be given charge of the White House and Congress.

My own centrism is closer to the views of Mitt Romney — at least the old Mitt Romney before he was forced to prattle the right-wing line to keep his GOP membership — than to the views of many on the Democratic left. But the Democrats could run Bozo the Clown and I'd still vote against the Rs even if they accidentally ran someone like Romney.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:39 AM
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It brings up a very interesting point - who are the moderates (centrists) today and what positions do they tend to hold?

And of course we have "Survey says!"
I have a little bit of a problem with that framing, specifically, the "see both sides of an issue" part. It's a framing very vulnerable to Overton Window movements. Most issues have far more than two sides.

For example, there's minimum wage.
1) Republicans say we should keep the minimum wage where it is.
2) Democrats say we should increase it significantly.

There's plenty of room for debate there, and a "moderate" might recognize both sides.

But there are other positions:
3) Libertarians want to abolish minimum wage entirely.
4) My hardcore leftist friend wants to set it specific to a corporation, such that the minimum wage must be no less than 20% of the highest wage in the corporation. He also wants to require that certain jobs, just as banking and investment, may only be paid minimum wage.
5) Some monarchists want to bring back involuntary servitude.
6) Universal Basic Income complicates all of these arguments.

If I think the current minimum wage is far too low, and that it should be raised dramatically, and then indexed to local cost-of-living, does that make me non-moderate? Only if we confine ourselves to looking at the first two options. Compared to my hardcore friend, I'm moderate AF.

Lemme make sure my sig file shows.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:15 AM
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I have a little bit of a problem with that framing, specifically, the "see both sides of an issue" part. ...
And indeed their "both sides" framing is not so much borne out by the meat of the data. Maybe it would be fairer to state that they are a heterogenous group that look at issues through more than one lens. Of course, pretty much by definition, they are less ideologic.

No shock that the order of party ID among moderates goes D>I>>R but that most can minimally be swung to vote for specific Rs depending on the race and the candidate.

There is no question to me that centrists and moderates can only look at today's power landscape and conclude that today's GOP in power is an existential threat to moderate governance. At the same time the polarization of the landscape is without question. Grains of salts assumed, just run the Pew's data animation to see it visualized.
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Old 02-28-2019, 08:26 AM
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There was a great op-ed in the Washington Post the other day about the false morality of the centrist position. It says it better than I could.

Quote:
As the country has polarized over the past five decades, the center has real political appeal. With the two parties sorted between conservatives and liberals and with a political press that practices both-sides coverage and paints each base as equally extreme, centrism and moderation seem to offer a way out of polarization and partisanship. And it promises something more: a politics driven by neutrality and civility, not crassness, passion and demonization of the opposition....

...it explains why remaining neutral can feel like taking a principled stand. This is the logic of those who advised a “go-slow” approach in response to the civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. And indeed, of those who respond to the Black Lives Matter movement with the rebuttal “All Lives Matter.” It is the logic of calls to prioritize civility in public exchanges and of the insistence on seeing moral equivalence on both sides of every debate.

These responses are available only to those who are not, themselves, marginalized. And they are, as Martin Luther King Jr. warned when he criticized white moderates, the refuge of those who are “more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefer a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.”


https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlo...=.b6e4195d0f79
  #30  
Old 02-28-2019, 08:56 AM
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I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.
As a Canadian, your "hardcore progressive/socialists" are as threatening as warm milk.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:09 AM
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The meaning of the word "socialism" is quite obviously changing (or has already changed) -- none of the prominent "socialists" in the Democratic party (Bernie, AOC, etc.) are advocating for government control of most of the economy. We already have a hybrid economy, with some sectors dominated by the government but most in private hands. They're arguing that this hybrid economy move a bit closer to the Canadian/Western European model, with universal health care and a few other shifts towards more government involvement.

There are no proponents of the Cuban or Venezuelan model in the Democratic party. There's nothing to be afraid of, unless you find Canada scary.
  #32  
Old 02-28-2019, 09:15 AM
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Some of my more conservative leanings include:

* I am pro tax reform (flat/consumer) - not likely to ever happen though
* I do not support healthcare for illegal immigrants
* I do support improved border security w/o the wall but understand the debate
* I generally (with some exception) disagree with affirmative action
* I do not support Univseral Basic Income
* I actually support increased tariffs on some countries
* I disagree with foreign terrorists given constitutional rights
* I am only ever so slightly against travel bans from terrorists countries
* I am pro-drone strikes against terrorists countries even realizing the casualties (keeping our soldiers safe being paramount)

I think my fear is the old guard democrats will give way to more of the hardcore progressives/socialists which I find every bit as scary (for very different reasons) as the far right.
These are more conservatives but I think overall you're in the conservative wing of Democrats and are far far to the left of any Republican. Republican moderates have been hunted to extinction, you clearly aren't one of those

As far as this list goes,
Tax reform/flat tax. This is way too conservative for my tastes, when there is so much income inequality it makes no sense to me to tax all at the same rate.

Healthcare for "illegal immigrants". Except for life-stabilizing care at ERs, the undocumented currently don't get healthcare. I think you're worried about a "problem" that doesn't exist.

The wall- I'm with you I think. Enhanced border security does not need a new wall, except where determined to be effective.

Affirmative action- I'll be more on your page when racism is less a core part of the American culture.

Universal Basic Income- It's something I would be willing to consider and perhaps try first at the state level.

Tariffs on some countries- the countries don't pay the tariffs, American consumers do. I'm more a free trader.

Constitutional rights for terrorists- I'm afraid we're poles apart. Every person on US soil has constitutional rights, no matter where they come from.

Travel bans from terrorists' countries- not with you. I'm for vetting all international visitors to some degree.

Drone strikes- not comfortable with the thought that American lives are so special that we can wave away due process before killing others.

All in all, you're a Democrat, in my opinion. I would probably disagree with you more than most but still I am much closer to your views than any Republican figure I can think of.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:16 AM
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Most of your stuff is solidly in the Democrats positions and actively opposed by Republicans, so I have no idea what your difficulty is. The one thing I quoted isn't actually anything that should be called 'centrist', it's authoritarian opposition to the fundamental principle of the rule of law. You're saying that the government doesn't need to follow it's own laws when dealing with certain classes of people. Sadly it's not an uncommon position, but I can't agree with calling 'screw due process, just torture 'em and hang 'em if you want to' any sort of reasonable middle.
I would argue you are potentially taking my comments out of context, but that is likely fair game since I did not elaborate. I think US citizens are and should be given rights that are exclusive to their citizenship.

That does not mean I support terrorists having zero rights and I think some of the stuff coming out of Gitmo was horrific. Basic human rights should be afford to ... well all humans ... but I think everyone can agree that is a lower standard than US citizen rights.

In my humble opinion, giving a terrorist the same rights as a US citizen would arguably cripple attempts to fight terrorism. I do not think US taxpayers should pay for defense council but I also think "basic human rights" if followed would prevent torture and "hanging them" as you said.
  #34  
Old 02-28-2019, 09:29 AM
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4) My hardcore leftist friend wants to set it specific to a corporation, such that the minimum wage must be no less than 20% of the highest wage in the corporation. He also wants to require that certain jobs, just as banking and investment, may only be paid minimum wage.
Number 4 specifically is a near perfect example of why the ultra-progressive/socialist movement scares the HELL out of me. I realize the odds of this actually ever happening make my wish for a flat/consumer tax look optimistic but that their are people in our country that really believe a blue collar entry level worker should make only 20% less than the highly skilled and/or executives?

That is - to my way of thinking - every bit as crazy as about anything the right has thrown out.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:41 AM
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Number 4 specifically is a near perfect example of why the ultra-progressive/socialist movement scares the HELL out of me.
You should well be scared, because I didn't mention that my friend is the new Democratic senator from Wyoming, and sits on the Department of Labor oversight committee.

OF COURSE HE DOESN'T. He's just some schmoe who used to run a gaming store and now I don't even know what he does for work. He has like zero political power. That bit I posted? He posted that on Facebook specifically to contrast himself against progressives/liberals/neoliberals who hold actual political power, to show what a real hardcore leftist wants.

Being scared of people like my friend makes absolutely no sense. It's like being frightened of a toothy deep-sea monster. Yeah, that deep-sea monster may be willing to feast on your flesh, but it's never, ever, ever going to get the chance.
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:41 AM
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Number 4 specifically is a near perfect example of why the ultra-progressive/socialist movement scares the HELL out of me. I realize the odds of this actually ever happening make my wish for a flat/consumer tax look optimistic but that their are people in our country that really believe a blue collar entry level worker should make only 20% less than the highly skilled and/or executives?

That is - to my way of thinking - every bit as crazy as about anything the right has thrown out.
Well then that is concerning. I can't find a proposal to do such a thing but I'm not looking that hard.

Forbes did have an article where they point out that in 1950 typical CEOs made 20x the average salary of their workers.

In 2018 they made 361x the average salary of their workers where the average production worker earned ~$38,000

So a 1950's ratio would have a CEO earning $760k instead of $13.7 Million.

I can understand how a legal framework imposing compensation ratios would be offensive.
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  #37  
Old 02-28-2019, 09:43 AM
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Number 4 specifically is a near perfect example of why the ultra-progressive/socialist movement scares the HELL out of me. I realize the odds of this actually ever happening make my wish for a flat/consumer tax look optimistic but that their are people in our country that really believe a blue collar entry level worker should make only 20% less than the highly skilled and/or executives?

That is - to my way of thinking - every bit as crazy as about anything the right has thrown out.
Your math is wrong -- he said 20% of, not less than, the highest salary. So if the janitor makes $15 an hour, the CEO doesn't get to make any more than $75 an hour.
  #38  
Old 02-28-2019, 09:44 AM
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I would argue you are potentially taking my comments out of context, but that is likely fair game since I did not elaborate. I think US citizens are and should be given rights that are exclusive to their citizenship.

That does not mean I support terrorists having zero rights and I think some of the stuff coming out of Gitmo was horrific. Basic human rights should be afford to ... well all humans ... but I think everyone can agree that is a lower standard than US citizen rights.

In my humble opinion, giving a terrorist the same rights as a US citizen would arguably cripple attempts to fight terrorism. I do not think US taxpayers should pay for defense council but I also think "basic human rights" if followed would prevent torture and "hanging them" as you said.
Can you enumerate any specific rights that a US citizen has but a terrorist should not?
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Old 02-28-2019, 09:54 AM
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Can you enumerate any specific rights that a US citizen has but a terrorist should not?
I believe these would apply but IANAL

* Court appointed (and paid for) defense council
* Taking the 5th amendment
* illegal search and seizure
* Illegal wire tapping
* Presumed innocence (yes I suspect many would disagree on this one)
* Right to confront witness(s)
* Right to Jury trial of your peers
* Double Jeopardy (again controversial, but i think if new evidence is found on terrorist activites, that terrorist should be held accountible and not released because of this US Citizen right).
  #40  
Old 02-28-2019, 10:06 AM
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I believe these would apply but IANAL

* Court appointed (and paid for) defense council
* Taking the 5th amendment
* illegal search and seizure
* Illegal wire tapping
* Presumed innocence (yes I suspect many would disagree on this one)
* Right to confront witness(s)
* Right to Jury trial of your peers
* Double Jeopardy (again controversial, but i think if new evidence is found on terrorist activites, that terrorist should be held accountible and not released because of this US Citizen right).
Everyone can agree that a terrorist is a vile human being who deserves whatever's coming to him. The problem is, how do you determine who is a terrorist and who isn't? The purpose of these rights is not to protect criminals, it's to protect innocents who are accused of crimes.

For example. Let's say the US army apprehends some Arab guy in Afghanistan. They suspect him of being a terrorist. Should they just hang him, right on the spot? What if he isn't a terrorist, but a Chinese Ugyhur Muslim who came to Afghanistan to escape persecution by the Chinese regime, and is being handed over to US forces by his racist Afghan neighbors? This happened in the real world. To twenty two people, none of whom actually had anything against the United States (until they were held in captivity for years and years with no trial, that is).

Do they deserve the rights you mentioned? Even though they aren't terrorists?
  #41  
Old 02-28-2019, 10:13 AM
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I believe these would apply but IANAL



* Court appointed (and paid for) defense council

* Taking the 5th amendment

* illegal search and seizure

* Illegal wire tapping

* Presumed innocence (yes I suspect many would disagree on this one)

* Right to confront witness(s)

* Right to Jury trial of your peers

* Double Jeopardy (again controversial, but i think if new evidence is found on terrorist activites, that terrorist should be held accountible and not released because of this US Citizen right).
How do you determine who is a terrorist?
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Old 02-28-2019, 10:17 AM
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How do you determine who is a terrorist?
See if they weigh the same as a duck? Or is that how you determine who is a witch?
  #43  
Old 02-28-2019, 10:58 AM
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I believe these would apply but IANAL

* Court appointed (and paid for) defense council
* Taking the 5th amendment
* illegal search and seizure
* Illegal wire tapping
* Presumed innocence (yes I suspect many would disagree on this one)
* Right to confront witness(s)
* Right to Jury trial of your peers
* Double Jeopardy (again controversial, but i think if new evidence is found on terrorist activites, that terrorist should be held accountible and not released because of this US Citizen right).
So what you're saying is that you think the government should just be able to slap the label 'terrorist' on anyone, including citizens of the US and allied countries, and just torture, imprison, or kill them on a whim, with no need to prove anything at all or follow any kind procedures beyond a kangaroo court in which the defendant can be tortured and forced to testify and isn't allowed to confront witnesses. And if somehow that circus doesn't get a conviction, they can just keep holding show trials until one produces the right result. Yeah, that's extreme authroitariansim, and if you don't see why 'the government can just call someone a terrorist, then do whatever to them because if they're a terrorist the government doesn't have to prove anything or follow any laws whatsoever' might be just a bit of a problem, then consider that I would regard anyone who expresses such views as a terrorist, and think how that might affect you.
  #44  
Old 02-28-2019, 11:17 AM
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So what you're saying is that you think the government should just be able to slap the label 'terrorist' on anyone, including citizens of the US and allied countries, and just torture, imprison, or kill them on a whim, with no need to prove anything at all or follow any kind procedures beyond a kangaroo court in which the defendant can be tortured and forced to testify and isn't allowed to confront witnesses.
That's not at all what he said.
  #45  
Old 02-28-2019, 11:47 AM
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So what you're saying is that you think the government should just be able to slap the label 'terrorist' on anyone, including citizens of the US and allied countries, and just torture, imprison, or kill them on a whim, with no need to prove anything at all or follow any kind procedures beyond a kangaroo court in which the defendant can be tortured and forced to testify and isn't allowed to confront witnesses. And if somehow that circus doesn't get a conviction, they can just keep holding show trials until one produces the right result. Yeah, that's extreme authroitariansim, and if you don't see why 'the government can just call someone a terrorist, then do whatever to them because if they're a terrorist the government doesn't have to prove anything or follow any laws whatsoever' might be just a bit of a problem, then consider that I would regard anyone who expresses such views as a terrorist, and think how that might affect you.
* You apparently have not read any of my comments stating that terrorists should have human rights that prevent torture and killing.

* I do not claim to be an expert on international law, but I would posit that there are one to perhaps many international human rights laws or wartime codes of conduct, et al. that could be adopted for terrorist suspects/crimes.

* How on Earth could you surmize "Including citizens of the US" from anything I have stated? Talk about lost in translation...

* And I may be wrong, but determining if one is in fact a US citizen should be fairly easy.

Somehow - for reasons I fail to understand - my comments that terrorists should not be given the same rights as US citizens has been twisted to mean that terrorists should just be tortured and killed at will... something I have CLEARLY stated is both wrong and undesired from my vantage point.
  #46  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:09 PM
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...
4) My hardcore leftist friend wants to set it specific to a corporation, such that the minimum wage must be no less than 20% of the highest wage in the corporation. He also wants to require that certain jobs, just as banking and investment, may only be paid minimum wage.
Does anybody that we've ever heard of hold these views? Or anyone who holds an elective office higher than dogcatcher?

It seems rather pointless to debate who is kookier: Alex Jones of Infowars or Dorkness' "hardcore leftist friend." The important difference is that important Republicans including the present President of the United States take talking points from Alex Jones, while I've not seem the preposterous quoted proposal even in the stupidest Yahoo blogs.

@ OP — You responded to this "hardcore" viewpoint as though it weren't just laugh fodder. Is this what American "centrists" now think our politics come down to? Trying to choose between Alex Jones and Rush Limbaugh on the one hand, and Josef Stalin and Pol Pot on the other hand?
  #47  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:23 PM
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* And I may be wrong, but determining if one is in fact a US citizen should be fairly easy.

Somehow - for reasons I fail to understand - my comments that terrorists should not be given the same rights as US citizens has been twisted to mean that terrorists should just be tortured and killed at will... something I have CLEARLY stated is both wrong and undesired from my vantage point.
Hypothetical: you're a tourist in London. You're in a crowd of people, and suddenly one of them accuses you of picking his pocket. Should you have the right to a trial and having a defense attorney or should they be able to say "he's not a citizen, lock him up and throw away the key"?
  #48  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:27 PM
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I think the digression into legal (not human) rights of non-citizen is masking a general trend toward agreement with most non-GOP policy points.

I would say that adhering to a high standards of rights isn't to so much help criminals as to keep yourself honest when applying the massive powers of a modern state.
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Last edited by Grey; 02-28-2019 at 12:27 PM.
  #49  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:32 PM
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* You apparently have not read any of my comments stating that terrorists should have human rights that prevent torture and killing.

* I do not claim to be an expert on international law, but I would posit that there are one to perhaps many international human rights laws or wartime codes of conduct, et al. that could be adopted for terrorist suspects/crimes.

* How on Earth could you surmize "Including citizens of the US" from anything I have stated? Talk about lost in translation...

* And I may be wrong, but determining if one is in fact a US citizen should be fairly easy.

Somehow - for reasons I fail to understand - my comments that terrorists should not be given the same rights as US citizens has been twisted to mean that terrorists should just be tortured and killed at will... something I have CLEARLY stated is both wrong and undesired from my vantage point.
The point is, if terrorists don't have the presumption of innocence or the right to a defence attorney, can't we accuse any non citizen of being a terrorist, and then lock them up? Did you see my response to your post? I don't think I mischaracterized anything you said.
  #50  
Old 02-28-2019, 12:39 PM
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It seems rather pointless to debate who is kookier: Alex Jones of Infowars or Dorkness' "hardcore leftist friend."
Having just watched Alex Jones on JRE #1255 I can say with some definity that Alex Jones is either the bat shit craziest person on planet Earth or a master showman the likes we have not seen since PT Barum.
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