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Old 07-21-2019, 06:06 PM
Dr. Drake is offline
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Say Trump is defeated. How do we actually fix things?


Hypothetical: Trump loses in the 2020 election to the candidate of your choice, by a decent enough margin. He goes quietly into the night or has a stroke or whatever: as of January 2021, Trump is no longer a player on the American stage. The Dems manage to take both houses of Congress by whatever miracles necessary.

This sort of presumes you don't support the R position, but I'm always happy to hear from people that do. If you want to imagine a non-Trump R future, by all means post it. The main thing is to discuss the practical path to making America functional again.

What does it take to reconcile? With each other (D/R polarization) and with the world (our relationship with the allies)? Will we get back to the old way of governing by compromise and then consensus, or is McConnellism the new normal?

I ask because a lot of people seem to think the country will magically reset if Trump is defeated, but I can't get past the way we've neglected important cabinet positions and the civil service in general; the 60 million people who voted for him the first time; the really ugly racism we've seen on a large scale; the way we've pissed off our allies; the backsliding on our already pitiful efforts to mitigate environmental damage and climate change. My feeling is that nobody is politically courageous enough to lead, no one willing to do the work necessary to repair the damage, and there is an incessant demand for easy answers and entertainment among the public, and no appetite for even short-term sacrifices.

I've been living outside the US for 10 years, and even though I visit frequently and read US media, I don't think I really understand what it's like in America these days. What's the way forward, following your best-case election scenario?
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:22 PM
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  • Pardon Edward Snowden, apologize to him and thank him on behalf of the American people.
  • Make it harder for the US Gov to abuse the espionage act against whistleblowers
  • Transition into a mixed healthcare system
  • Create a pathway to citizenship for existing illegal immigrants
  • Stop violating the constitution and human rights laws by punishing asylum seekers
  • Join back into the Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Join back into Paris Agreement
  • Decrease military industrial complex funding and offset the cost of existing or new social programs
  • Expand social security, combine the two trusts, change from CPI-W to CPI-E, and add an additional tax on people making 250k+, and tax capital gains and dividends as income over 250k (basically just pass Bernies SS expansion bill)
  • Force background checks on firearms sells, and close the gunshow loophole
  • Cut foreign military aid to israel's right winged extremist regime.
  • Pull out of any deals we have with Saudi Arabians that may in anyway be helping them genocide yemen.
  • Disband the war on drugs, reduce/remove mandatory sentences, and drop all drug possession charges to misdemeanors.
  • Release everyone sitting in jail for non-violent drug charges
  • Legalize marijuana, mushrooms, and make Heroin legal for medical use (to weed addicts off, like they did in switzerland where it proved effective)
  • Sue the living fuck out of pharma companies that pushed far too many opioids onto small communities, and crack down on Doctors over prescribing pain killers.

Just some things I thought of off the top of my head.

Edit: Also redo everything Trump undid, mainly in regards to EPA, environmental policies and regulations, etc... I would pass 3 regulations for every deregulation trump did. And I'd make sure they all target the rich.

Last edited by Barack Obama; 07-21-2019 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:27 PM
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You're right that Trump is a symptom--though one that has become a malignant tumor on its own. The first step after Trump is to disabuse ourselves of this bullshit myth that the nation is "deeply divided." That's the narrative which the Republican Party hoisted on large swaths of the nation because it was the only way they could survive. This contrived narrative has served them well--and it has especially served Trump. It doesn't help that the media keep mindlessly repeating it over and over again, until it has become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:35 PM
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Barack Obama, is it likely that those things would actually happen even under a D president and D congress? I think signing up for the Paris Agreement would be huge, but I don't see any appetite among the Dems to do so, nor to change our relationships with the Middle East players. Maybe Iran, but they have to be willing to go back and I'm not sure they are.

I guess what I'm asking about is a realistic path given an unrealistic election result. I'm glad to hear that the polarization is exaggerated.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:45 PM
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Barack Obama, is it likely that those things would actually happen even under a D president and D congress? I think signing up for the Paris Agreement would be huge, but I don't see any appetite among the Dems to do so, nor to change our relationships with the Middle East players. Maybe Iran, but they have to be willing to go back and I'm not sure they are.

I guess what I'm asking about is a realistic path given an unrealistic election result. I'm glad to hear that the polarization is exaggerated.
Imo centrists will be forced to realign themselves with the left, or will be voted out. At the moment centrists in the democratic party are essentially watered down GOP members. The fact we have Democrats voting 70% of the time with Trump and the GOP is just astonishing, and if theres one realistic path we could take that is voting them out.
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Old 07-21-2019, 06:45 PM
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We are living in a fork in the timeline that occurred on April 15, 1865. If we want a stable, multiracial democracy, then we have to make it back to the other timeline.

What does that mean as a practical matter? It means making sure every adult citizen can vote (looking at you, Florida). It means repairing once and for all the original sins of slavery, and if we cannot, then doing everything we can to shape our polity so it does not discriminate on the basis of household wealth. It means abolishing or minimizing antiquated institutions designed to protect agrarian interests, like the Senate. It means abandoning colonialism—including among other things making Puerto Rico a state. It means taking those actions necessary to ensure that the sons of the confederacy never again attack democracy to win their way to power.

The Cold War and the rise of Saudi Arabia have been a long diversion from 1945 to present. But the underlying current is the failure of Reconstruction. Time to set it right.

Last edited by Richard Parker; 07-21-2019 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 07-21-2019, 08:34 PM
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Say Trump is defeated. How do we actually fix things?


I'm not sure the US still has any allies. I think you have treaties with other nations, but I'm not convinced we're still your allies, in light of the US's clear policy of disfavouring democratic countries and improving relations with autocrats and dictators.

The United States formally declared Canada to be a threat to the national security of the United States. After you did that, how can you expect us to be your ally?

At best, we have treaty relations with you, which the US could unilaterally break off at any time.
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Last edited by Northern Piper; 07-21-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:21 AM
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I'm not sure the US still has any allies.
I think the UK is still an ally of the US. Which, given our international standing at the moment, probably doesn't count for a great deal...
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:26 AM
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From a practical standpoint, most of Trump's big moves are executive orders. A new president can undo those by 12:30 on 1/20/21 with subsequent executive orders. Such bothers me at a 'good governance' level but there we go.

How do we actually fix things? Stop aiming at employment by sucking up to corporations and put in place things that relieve individual anxiety. Use the Affordable Care Act as an example. After being quite unpopular, it's not consistently over 50% approval and the trend is strong. Why? Because it relieved anxiety on the part of some large subset of voters.

Try to repeat those things for people. Make them less concerned that they're not cared for and considered disposable by their government. Ease healthcare anxiety. Ease housing anxiety. Ease debt anxiety. Once those things are in place defend them for 10 years or so to allow public opinion to get used to them and watch things settle in.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:58 AM
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The United States formally declared Canada to be a threat to the national security of the United States. After you did that, how can you expect us to be your ally?
The two countries remain allies, so I guess it was a reasonable expectation. You seem a little unclear on what an "ally" is.
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Last edited by RickJay; 07-22-2019 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:02 AM
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I'm not sure the US still has any allies.
Formally, yes, nothing has changed. But there's nobody who still trusts the US electorate not to do something bonecrushingly stupid and hateful on Election Day, and throw generations of world-building away. When Trump is gone, the Deplorables will remain.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:47 AM
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Countries never really trust one another. Britain's electorate is providing the world with a remarkable clown show right now, and I used to assume they were the most sober and boring electorate in the world.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:40 AM
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Countries never really trust one another. Britain's electorate is providing the world with a remarkable clown show right now, and I used to assume they were the most sober and boring electorate in the world.
In some ways, what's happening to Britain is even more shocking than the slow-motion deterioration of American politics. The collapse of Britain's political mainstream has been breathtakingly sudden, or at least it has seemed that way from here. Maybe we weren't paying attention.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:09 PM
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The only thing to do is to give parties back their power. Primaries makes it so the most extreme members of the party choose the candidates. This means candidates have to be extreme and have to avoid compromise that anger the extremists.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:09 PM
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Only 51% voted for Brexit (and a much smaller one for UKIP), and only a minority voted for Trump. The ignorant minorities were always there (even in Canada, btw) and we always knew it, but we just didn't recognize their size and perniciousness until they reached the top. We assumed that ignorance-fighting is one way, and that they'd gradually recede in strength as they came to realize their former error. I think we know better now, but maybe we don't yet.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:11 PM
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Say Trump is defeated. How do we actually fix things?


Maybe offer reparations to those impacted by the camps.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:17 PM
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From a practical standpoint, most of Trump's big moves are executive orders. A new president can undo those by 12:30 on 1/20/21 with subsequent executive orders. Such bothers me at a 'good governance' level but there we go.
At least we've stopped hearing how it was "tyranny" any time Obama issued one. Or have we?

The damage this Resident has done has been widespread, certainly, and the responsible-image problem will be long lasting - but the actual damage has not really been all that deep or hard to reverse, even though some desperate families may never be reunited. Civilization, aka The Deep State, has so far kept him mostly under control. I'll take that back if he starts a war with Iran, of course, as he already has nearly done.

The greater problem has been the Senate, where McConnell is, like Trump, more a symptom of the party's rot than a cause of it. If the body stays under Reflexive Regressive control, without even residual recognition of its proper role in our system anymore, it will continue to hold us back even more strongly than under Obama or Clinton.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:19 PM
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The only thing to do is to give parties back their power. Primaries makes it so the most extreme members of the party choose the candidates. This means candidates have to be extreme and have to avoid compromise that anger the extremists.


My solution is the exact opposite: Take as much power as possible away from the parties. The vast majority of the problems we're seeing arise from the Republicans deliberately using their control over things like determining electoral districts to enhance their power at the expense of the Democrats.

It's beyond ridiculous that the US allows partisan political committees to determine the fundamental rules of their own elections. At every level of government that the Dems can take control from the Reps, they must bite the bullet and re-write the rules to eliminate this sort of thing, and establish objective rules for how things should run. Eventually culminating in a Constitutional amendment enshrining this for all time*.

This will almost certainly take a couple of decades to do, but it has to be done.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:39 PM
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The first thing, obviously, would be to identify what exactly HE broke. There's a fair bit of stuff out there that predated him, or even Obama or Bush II that people are wanting to change.

The second thing would be to prioritize them.

The third would be to actually follow through on legislation/executive orders to actually accomplish them.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:42 PM
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My solution is the exact opposite: Take as much power as possible away from the parties. The vast majority of the problems we're seeing arise from the Republicans deliberately using their control over things like determining electoral districts to enhance their power at the expense of the Democrats.

It's beyond ridiculous that the US allows partisan political committees to determine the fundamental rules of their own elections. At every level of government that the Dems can take control from the Reps, they must bite the bullet and re-write the rules to eliminate this sort of thing, and establish objective rules for how things should run. Eventually culminating in a Constitutional amendment enshrining this for all time*.

This will almost certainly take a couple of decades to do, but it has to be done.
The problem with this idea is that currently Republicans control the Presidency and the Senate which are both immune to gerrymandering and the Democrats control the House which is where all the gerrymandering occurs at the federal level.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:44 PM
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Here’s a few things I’d do if I was President (if Marianne Williamson can run, so can I!):
  • Set up an independent, non-partisan commission to draw congressional districts. Gerrymandering is probably the single biggest contributor to partisan gridlock, because politicians in safe seats can only be primaried from the extreme right (if it’s a Republican district) or extreme left (if it’s Democrat). This means politicians in those districts have absolutely zero incentive to compromise.

  • Abolish the electoral college. Maybe it once served a purpose. I dunno. Today, it’s nothing more than a institutional impediment to representative Democracy. Al Gore got 500,000 more votes than GWB, but he lost because of the electoral college. Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump, but she lost because of the electoral college. This is just flat-out insane. The electoral college is anti Democratic. Period. It needs to be scrapped and replaced with a simpler representative system which guarantees that the candidate with the most votes always wins.

  • Get rid of voting machines and replace them with paper ballots. Most places don’t have voting machines, but quite a lot of places do. In this day and age, voting machines are just a liability. I heard a story a while back about a hacking competition in LA. Two teenagers were able to successfully hack a voting machine in little over ten minutes. We don’t need ‘em, and paper ballots are safer. This should be an absolute no-brainer.

  • Make Election Day a paid federal holiday. Right now, the fact that voting takes place on a work day disproportionately penalises minimum wage workers who get paid piss all per hour and can’t afford the time off. These people may still not vote anyway, but at least it’d be entirely their choice.

  • Demand states scrap photo-ID requirements to vote/register. I’m not necessarily averse to the notion of providing some form of ID (maybe a bank statement, or utility/cell phone bill with your name and address on it or something), but photo ID laws disproportionately target low income voters and, despite the best efforts of the Republican Party, no-one has ever produced a shred of solid evidence that voter fraud is even a thing.

  • The Supreme Court is fucked. It’s not impartial. On the big issues, they nearly always vote on party lines. An idiot like me shouldn’t be able to predict Supreme Court decisions in advance with near unerring accuracy, but I can. How’s that possible? The problem is that every solution I’ve heard could spark a SCOTUS “arms race”. It’d be nice if Democrats could add a tenth seat and stick Merrick Garland on it, but then the Republicans could do the same next time they’re in power. Before you know it, the court would have 500 judges and no-one would give a shit. I think the best solution is to impose term limits of 20 years per justice. If one justice quits, the President can reappoint another. If any more quit during the same Presidency (not term, Presidency), the replacement should be chosen by unanimous consensus of the other Justices. That process will take as long as it takes and in the meantime the Justices don’t hear cases and don’t get paid. Hopefully, that’ll incentivise them to pick moderates.

  • Immediately re-enter the Paris accords and the Iran nuclear deal.

  • Reduce the military budget by 10%, and let the generals figure out where the cuts should go. The US Military Budget is larger than those of the next nine most powerful countries combined. Chopping 10% off isn’t going to make anybody less safe. Then, use those savings to invest in green energy, build sea defences, offset CO2 emissions and otherwise prepare for the impending climate crisis. Global heating will inevitably cost more lives and damage more property than terrorists ever could, so it’s a better use of that money.

Last edited by Unreconstructed Man; 07-22-2019 at 01:46 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:45 PM
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The first thing, obviously, would be to identify what exactly HE broke. There's a fair bit of stuff out there that predated him, or even Obama or Bush II that people are wanting to change.

The second thing would be to prioritize them.

The third would be to actually follow through on legislation/executive orders to actually accomplish them.
Your number three is what prompted this discussion. There are some good ideas in this thread, but I am not seeing a realistic pathway to most of them even with the Democrats in power.

My concern is that get, at best, four years of respite. Undoing the executive orders will be easy; any substantive change will be so hard that I don't see how it happens.
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Old 07-22-2019, 01:54 PM
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Your number three is what prompted this discussion. There are some good ideas in this thread, but I am not seeing a realistic pathway to most of them even with the Democrats in power.

My concern is that get, at best, four years of respite. Undoing the executive orders will be easy; any substantive change will be so hard that I don't see how it happens.
Part of the challenge is, how do we change the political culture, and how do we respond to broader cultural changes that are occurring within our society at a dizzying pace?

One major pain in the ass as I see it is the increasing power that Big Tech companies have to really disrupt and destroy any chance at social harmony. Anyone looking at Facebook right now should see that they're increasingly a malevolent actor, but they're not alone. How do we stop them? How do we stop major corporations that want the power to rule the world?

I was not initially in favor of breaking up Big Tech, but the more I think about it, the more I am starting to understand what their game is, I'm for it. They're basically the Standard Oil and "Ma Bell" of today, and they have to be controlled. Or we will sustain fatal damage culturally, economically, and politically.

That's just a start though. We also have to reverse the criminally wrong Court rulings that gave us unregulated dark money funding of campaigns.
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Old 07-22-2019, 02:58 PM
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Imo centrists will be forced to realign themselves with the left, or will be voted out. At the moment centrists in the democratic party are essentially watered down GOP members. The fact we have Democrats voting 70% of the time with Trump and the GOP is just astonishing, and if theres one realistic path we could take that is voting them out.
Yes, please join with me in voting that traitorous D Ben McAdams in UT-4 out of office.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 07-22-2019 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:10 PM
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Part of the challenge is, how do we change the political culture, and how do we respond to broader cultural changes that are occurring within our society at a dizzying pace?

One major pain in the ass as I see it is the increasing power that Big Tech companies have to really disrupt and destroy any chance at social harmony. Anyone looking at Facebook right now should see that they're increasingly a malevolent actor, but they're not alone. How do we stop them? How do we stop major corporations that want the power to rule the world?

I was not initially in favor of breaking up Big Tech, but the more I think about it, the more I am starting to understand what their game is, I'm for it. They're basically the Standard Oil and "Ma Bell" of today, and they have to be controlled. Or we will sustain fatal damage culturally, economically, and politically. ....
I'm interested in hearing your idea about how one would "break up" Facebook. What did you have in mind? When they broke up Bell, it was into a half-dozen or so regional companies. You going to do regional Facebooks? facebook.ca, facebook.tx, and facebook.ny? And do you imagine these regional actors would be any less malevolent?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 07-22-2019 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:37 PM
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We can't.

Bush may have been an accident. Trump is a sign something far deeper and darker is at work.

The reality is a huge % of Americans are so loyal to the concept of America being a white Christian nation that they'll abandon every other principle they have to support anyone who supports identity politics. The world isn't ignorant of this fact. You can commit treason, be a child molester, be grossly incompetent, be a criminal, assault democracy*, destroy alliances, ignore science, etc. It doesn't matter. As long as you support the idea that whites are better than non whites, men are better than women, Christians are better than other faiths and native born Americans are better than those born in other nations you're all but guaranteed 60 million votes.

I'm not saying every trump voter is a racist. But identity politics is a big part of the modern gop. All the stuff they pretended to care about like deficits, free trade, competence, etc trump does the opposite and his voters don't care.

All we can do is wait for demographics to replace the older voters with younger voters. Younger voters are not as concerned with identity politics. The rest of the world will look to China and western Europe to lead while America fights a cold Civil War over identity politics. Maybe in the 2030s the world will be ready to let America lead again. But the 2020s are a lost period for American leadership.

*technically this is a feature, not a bug of the modern gop.
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Old 07-22-2019, 03:44 PM
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I'm interested in hearing your idea about how one would "break up" Facebook. What did you have in mind? When they broke up Bell, it was into a half-dozen or so regional companies. You going to do regional Facebooks? facebook.ca, facebook.tx, and facebook.ny? And do you imagine these regional actors would be any less malevolent?
You ask a fair question, which I'm not sure I have the answer to. But it seems maybe the place to start would be to separate some of the smaller businesses (i.e. Instagram, etc) so that they can function independently. But you're not wrong to ask the question: is it realistic to break up, FB or Big Tech, and what would be the result? Maybe simply threatening to break them up would force them to capitulate on relenting to more regulatory oversight, particularly where e-commerce, taxation, and data protection are concerned.
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:24 PM
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Imo centrists will be forced to realign themselves with the left, or will be voted out. At the moment centrists in the democratic party are essentially watered down GOP members. The fact we have Democrats voting 70% of the time with Trump and the GOP is just astonishing, and if theres one realistic path we could take that is voting them out.
I guess that could work if New York and California voters were allowed to vote for all states.
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:34 PM
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Your number three is what prompted this discussion. There are some good ideas in this thread, but I am not seeing a realistic pathway to most of them even with the Democrats in power.

My concern is that get, at best, four years of respite. Undoing the executive orders will be easy; any substantive change will be so hard that I don't see how it happens.
As far as I can see, the main changes are stuff that would be relatively easily reversed- some might even happen as a course of a Presidential change (new Cabinet secretaries would hopefully reverse nonsense like no climate change discussions, for example). The executive orders are another.

As far as actual legislation is concerned, that's going to take more than just getting Trump out of office- you'll have to get Congress to pass some kind of remediation legislation, and that might be a heavier lift than a new President can pull off on some issues.

I really don't think what we're seeing is the results of rural bigots and assorted assholes from everywhere. I recently took a road trip that went through a lot of rural territory, and it was pretty eye opening. Not in the sense of "What assholes these hicks are!" or anything like that. If anything, it was exactly the opposite. Everyone was really nice, welcoming, polite, etc... And they were overwhelmingly white and rural.

What I see every day in Dallas is so out of the pale to them, that it may as well be science fiction. Not to bash North Platte, Nebraska, but the place is about 25,000 people with 250 black people. 1%. And only 10% of the population was under the poverty line, but median income was not high either. Basically it was very white, lower middle class and rural. Most everything that we debate to the point of nausea around here is about as relevant to them as stuff I might read on CNN about goings-on in Ukraine or Argentina. Or really about as relevant as me reading about increases in ag diesel taxes or fertilizer. I mean, it *might* manifest itself as higher prices at the grocery store, but that's far from a done deal.

I think the first step on fixing things in a larger fashion would be to engage in a concerted effort to show how people in Bushwick, NY, Sunnyside in Houston, North Platte, NE, San Diego, CA and rural Maine have things in common beyond income taxes, a common postal service, and the same flag. That would go a long way toward maybe finding some common ground, which is what is needed to remedy the problems we're experiencing.
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Old 07-23-2019, 05:14 AM
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I think for the dems to have any credentials they need to be realistic and find issues that while not popular with the far left, we all might agree on.

The first is we must have strong borders and illegally coming here will not be tolerated. You will be sent back across that fence. Not because we are racist or insensitive but because we have enough problems right now with homelessness and poverty and trying to provide social services and overburdened infrastructure, we cant take on anymore people. No it wont be pretty having ICE raiding here and there and detention facilities still arent going to be Holiday Inns but it is necessary.

Next, if we are going to have a national healthcare system (and I hope we do) we should go all out and do it right but be honest and let people know that a national system will be just as tight fisted with money as an insurance company is and there will be tax increases on everyone.
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:55 AM
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Most of the things mentioned in this thread arenít permanent problems. They can be fixed, broken again, and then fixed again. The big problem is climate change. There is a limited time frame for fixing things, most likely a few decades. I donít know how to convince enough people to make the sacrifices that need to be made in order to solve the problem, but if we donít I think it means the end of civilization as we know it some time in the next hundred years. Here are my proposed solutions, some of which might only require a better educated public but some that would require real sacrifice.

1. Replace coal and natural gas power plants with nuclear fission power as safely and quickly as possible. I realize that the uranium supply is limited, but even 30-40 years of a world running on uranium instead of coal might be enough to turn things around.

2. Make the vast majority of cars run on the now nuclear powered electricity rather than on gas.

3. Continue research into more advanced solar and wind methods to generate electricity while we also keep working on the nuclear fusion that will hopefully arrive by the time we start running out of uranium.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:21 PM
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The biggest problem seems to be that we don't agree on what the problem is and so we have to do that before we can fix it.

I think the problem is hyper partisanship which makes it impossible to compromise and arrive on solutions. Thus the solution is to empower the moderates by giving more control of candidate selection to parties, and more federalism which will allow state governments more power.
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Old 07-23-2019, 01:37 PM
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The biggest problem seems to be that we don't agree on what the problem is and so we have to do that before we can fix it.

I think the problem is hyper partisanship which makes it impossible to compromise and arrive on solutions. Thus the solution is to empower the moderates by giving more control of candidate selection to parties, and more federalism which will allow state governments more power.
Good list... I'd add to it and remove the power to draw legislative districts from the state legislatures, and are placed in some sort of nonpartisan board.

I'm starting to be convinced that gerrymandered districts are a big part of our problem, in that they don't reflect the actual makeup of the populace.
  #34  
Old 07-23-2019, 01:56 PM
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....

[*] Abolish the electoral college. Maybe it once served a purpose. I dunno. Today, itís nothing more than a institutional impediment to representative Democracy. Al Gore got 500,000 more votes than GWB, but he lost because of the electoral college. Clinton got 3 million more votes than Trump, but she lost because of the electoral college. This is just flat-out insane. The electoral college is anti Democratic. Period. It needs to be scrapped and replaced with a simpler representative system which guarantees that the candidate with the most votes always wins.
.....[*] Make Election Day a paid federal holiday. Right now, the fact that voting takes place on a work day disproportionately penalises minimum wage workers who get paid piss all per hour and canít afford the time off. These people may still not vote anyway, but at least itíd be entirely their choice.

[*] Demand states scrap photo-ID requirements to vote/register. Iím not necessarily averse to the notion of providing some form of ID (maybe a bank statement, or utility/cell phone bill with your name and address on it or something), but photo ID laws disproportionately target low income voters and, despite the best efforts of the Republican Party, no-one has ever produced a shred of solid evidence that voter fraud is even a thing.


....

[*] Immediately re-enter the Paris accords and the Iran nuclear deal.
...
The President has no power to do so, and it's pretty much impossible. It would take 3/5th of the states to agree. Since half the states benefit from it, they wont agree.

I think that would lower voter turnout, not increase it. And today, every voter can take paid time off if they can't get to the polls during work hours, it's the law.

Yep, and dump the racist Real ID.

I am not sure if Iran was dealing fairly on that, trump might have been right.
  #35  
Old 07-23-2019, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by puddleglum View Post
The biggest problem seems to be that we don't agree on what the problem is and so we have to do that before we can fix it.

I think the problem is hyper partisanship which makes it impossible to compromise and arrive on solutions. Thus the solution is to empower the moderates by giving more control of candidate selection to parties, and more federalism which will allow state governments more power.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump View Post
Good list... I'd add to it and remove the power to draw legislative districts from the state legislatures, and are placed in some sort of nonpartisan board.

I'm starting to be convinced that gerrymandered districts are a big part of our problem, in that they don't reflect the actual makeup of the populace.
I agree with both of these comments.
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Old 07-23-2019, 03:36 PM
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America - its leaders and its people - should undergo a deprogramming and be disabused of their absurd claim to be uniquely great, exceptional, or the envy of the world, and all their similar platitudinous bullshit.

The US was unique, a quarter millennium ago. Now, not so much, except in its nostalgia for what never really was.

More importantly, Americans should finally realize that "Freedom and Liberty"TM are not the exclusive purview of the US. Belgium is free, Canada is free, New Zealand is free . . . Or, as Aaron Sorkin so nicely put it:
Quote:
(It's) seventh in literacy, twenty-seventh in math, twenty-second in science, forty-ninth in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, third in median household income, number four in labor force, and number four in exports. (The US) leads the world in only three categories: number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real, and defense spending, where we spend more than the next twenty-six countries combined, twenty-five of whom are allies.
Sorkin didn't mention the 'Happiness Index' which may be the real metric of a nation's greatness. The US? 18th. Costa Rica? 13th. Canada is 7th, and the countries of 'socialist' northwestern Europe are 1st through 6th. Go figure.

Only when Americans realize they are not only not the greatest, but are not even great, can they start to become so.

Last edited by KarlGauss; 07-23-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:02 PM
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...

Sorkin didn't mention the 'Happiness Index' which may be the real metric of a nation's greatness. The US? 18th. Costa Rica? 13th. Canada is 7th, and the countries of 'socialist' northwestern Europe are 1st through 6th. Go figure.

Only when Americans realize they are not only not the greatest, but are not even great, can they start to become so.
The USA is a very big nation. It cant expect to be #1 in those things, and I doubt if it was #1 even during the 50's. Bigger nations run towards the middle, that's how statistics goes. Many of those nations dont even have the population of a middlin US state.

America is the Greatest World Power.
  #38  
Old 07-23-2019, 07:20 PM
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I'd start with filling all of the positions that Trump has never bothered with. Replace Devos, Rick Perry, Ben Carson, etc. with good people and give them free rein to get to work.

I'd get a green new deal going. Put people to work, pay them a good wage and give them access to health care. You would see a transformation in this country if we did that. IMO

We need infrastructure and big ideas in health care. We need to increase the tax rate on the wealthiest in order to support this country. We need a reasonable plan for immigration and gun control.

We need SMART people in charge.
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Old 07-24-2019, 01:15 PM
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Rehire as many experienced diplomats, scientists, etc. who resigned from Federal agencies as possible. And reverse any policies that encourage resignations (e.g., moving the Bureau of Land Management out of Washington).
  #40  
Old 08-01-2019, 12:32 AM
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You can't. Because of your ideological blinders, you simply don't know what you're doing.

Last edited by The Plutonium Kid; 08-01-2019 at 12:33 AM. Reason: corrected a typo
  #41  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:08 PM
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The Founding Fathers were brilliant in implementing the system of checks and balances, but it never occurred to them that one half of one branch would completely abdicate their responsibility, and collude with the other to implement a corrupt agenda. We have to fix that.

The amount of power held by the Senate is alarming...I think it can be rectified simply by bringing back the filibuster for all legislation and appointments. Make them come to a consensus that can be supported by 60%.
  #42  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:22 PM
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The Founding Fathers were brilliant in implementing the system of checks and balances, but it never occurred to them that one half of one branch would completely abdicate their responsibility, and collude with the other to implement a corrupt agenda. We have to fix that.

The amount of power held by the Senate is alarming...I think it can be rectified simply by bringing back the filibuster for all legislation and appointments. Make them come to a consensus that can be supported by 60%.
Then, even if the Dems got 51 in the Senate, no SCOTUS seats would be filled.
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:34 PM
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Then, even if the Dems got 51 in the Senate, no SCOTUS seats would be filled.
Somehow the system worked until just recently.
  #44  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:08 PM
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Somehow the system worked until just recently.
Until Mitch, you mean, yes.
  #45  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:57 PM
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Until Mitch, you mean, yes.
It was Harry Reid that first "went nuclear" and removed the judicial filibuster
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:10 PM
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You’re both right: Reid and McConnell ruined the Senate. It may take a constitutional amendment to fix it.
  #47  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:13 PM
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It was Harry Reid that first "went nuclear" and removed the judicial filibuster
Yes because Mitch broke the system. Prior to Mitch a president could get qualified candidates through the senate even in spite of the existence of the filibuster. So as jsc1953 said, the system worked. Now, as DrDeth stated, if the filibuster was reinstated no Democratic judcial nominee would ever be confirmed. You can thank Mitch for that.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 08-02-2019 at 09:14 PM.
  #48  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:47 PM
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Yes because Mitch broke the system. Prior to Mitch a president could get qualified candidates through the senate even in spite of the existence of the filibuster. So as jsc1953 said, the system worked. Now, as DrDeth stated, if the filibuster was reinstated no Democratic judcial nominee would ever be confirmed. You can thank Mitch for that.
Reid invoked the nuclear option in November 2013. WaPo reported:

Quote:
As this Congressional Research Service report documents, Reid filed cloture on 20 district court nominees in 2011 and 2012 ó but Republicans relented on 19 of them and the motion was withdrawn, leading to a single easy confirmation vote.
What exactly was broken about the system that confirmed something like 200 of Obama's judicial nominees prior to Harry Reid's going nuclear?
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