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  #51  
Old 05-19-2020, 02:46 PM
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You're only making excuses for yourself as you help Trump to a second term.
That's ridiculous. Did you miss the part about how my state is going Trump no matter what? My vote is irrelevant. Trump is getting all the electoral votes from my state. That is true whether I vote for Biden, myself, whoever the Libertarians nominate, or don't vote at all. Trump gets no benefit from me.
  #52  
Old 05-19-2020, 04:02 PM
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That's ridiculous. Did you miss the part about how my state is going Trump no matter what? My vote is irrelevant. Trump is getting all the electoral votes from my state. That is true whether I vote for Biden, myself, whoever the Libertarians nominate, or don't vote at all. Trump gets no benefit from me.
In that case, everyone's vote is irrelevant. We've had one time when the vote came down to a few hundred, but the next closest is tens of thousands.

The idea of democracy is that we have to treat it as though we actually care about the outcomes. Part of suffrage is vigilance. Democracy cannot survive an apathetic electorate.
  #53  
Old 05-19-2020, 04:50 PM
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In that case, everyone's vote is irrelevant. We've had one time when the vote came down to a few hundred, but the next closest is tens of thousands.

The idea of democracy is that we have to treat it as though we actually care about the outcomes. Part of suffrage is vigilance. Democracy cannot survive an apathetic electorate.
Do you not understand the way the electoral college works?
  #54  
Old 05-19-2020, 05:15 PM
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That's ridiculous. Did you miss the part about how my state is going Trump no matter what? My vote is irrelevant.
And Clinton was a shoe-in in 2016.

You never know.

Recent elections have literally come down to a coin toss.

Trump losing the popular vote even though he won the EC also sends an important message or, at the very least, annoys the ever loving shit out of him.

And if your vote truly does not matter then why vote at all?
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  #55  
Old 05-19-2020, 05:22 PM
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And if your vote truly does not matter then why vote at all?
Because I have friends running in down ballot races most years.

And if you knew what state I'm in, you'd know there is no chance whatsoever that
any Dem beats Trump here. I'm not entirely convinced Jesus would beat Trump here. If Trump only wins one state in the whole election, it would be this one.
  #56  
Old 05-19-2020, 06:14 PM
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Because I have friends running in down ballot races most years.

And if you knew what state I'm in, you'd know there is no chance whatsoever that
any Dem beats Trump here. I'm not entirely convinced Jesus would beat Trump here. If Trump only wins one state in the whole election, it would be this one.
The popular vote may not mean anything for who becomes president but if people keep getting elected who lose the popular vote that lends pressure to changing the system.

And again, it will annoy Trump which is worthwhile all on its own.
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  #57  
Old 05-19-2020, 08:52 PM
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And again, it will annoy Trump which is worthwhile all on its own.
Biden knew full well he was writing off some votes when he praised Beto like that. Mine was one of them.
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  #58  
Old 05-19-2020, 10:04 PM
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Biden knew full well he was writing off some votes when he praised Beto like that. Mine was one of them.
Single issue voter.

I'll remind you of this any time you express any political opinion unrelated to gun rights.
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  #59  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:09 AM
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Single issue voter.

I'll remind you of this any time you express any political opinion unrelated to gun rights.
Aren’t most Democrats single issue voters this year? Every issue, from UHC to Wall Street reform, to education, to electoral reform, to climate change, to criminal justice reform, to anything else you can think of, has been subordinated to the simple imperative; “Get! Trump! Out!”

I think what’s annoying you isn’t that Oakminster is a single issue voter, but that the single issue he cares about is one you deem unimportant. Well... I’m guessing he probably feels similarly about you.
  #60  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:58 AM
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A politician is not an issue. That's a silly comparison. Most people who oppose Trump do so due to multiple issues. It's certainly dozens for me. Almost every issue I can think of.
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  #61  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:12 AM
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A politician is not an issue. That's a silly comparison. Most people who oppose Trump do so due to multiple issues. It's certainly dozens for me. Almost every issue I can think of.
And on what issue is Joe Biden your best representative? I mean, if your issue is Medicare for All, your best representative would've been Bernie Sanders. If your issue is Wall Street Reform, your best representative would probably have been either Bernie or Elizabeth Warren. If your issue is UBI, no doubt you'd have wanted Yang. If your issue is judicial reform, you could've probably done a lot worse than Pete Buttigieg, who was the first candidate to suggest adding more judges to the SC. If your issue is criminal justice reform, then former AG Kamala Harris would've probably been the natural choice. On the issues, nearly every candidate could credibly claim to be far superior to Joe Biden.

But all of these candidates were roundly rejected by Democrat voters. Why? Because Biden, despite standing for nothing specific (or perhaps because he stands for nothing specific) was deemed the most "electable", the most likely to beat Trump.

There are a lot of Bernie fans on these boards (I'm one of them) and many of us have spent the last couple of months repeatedly asking "Why Biden?". The answer, from almost everyone, is the same: "I don't like him. He isn't my first choice. But he'll beat Trump, and that's all that matters." You're as familiar with these posts as I am, so I trust I don't need to cite them.

This tells me that Democrats don't particularly care what kind of agenda Biden tries to enact. They only care about getting Trump out of office. Joe Biden, if he wins, could spend the next four years doing absolutely nothing about anything, and the majority of Democrats would probably be satisfied, because he would've already done the one thing they nominated him to do; get Trump out of office.

To me, that makes simple victory a single issue. I can't see how you can view it any other way.
  #62  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:38 AM
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Nope. Removing the current occupant of the white house would make things a whole lot better on a lot of issues.
  #63  
Old 05-20-2020, 06:40 AM
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And on what issue is Joe Biden your best representative? I mean, if your issue is Medicare for All, your best representative would've been Bernie Sanders. If your issue is Wall Street Reform, your best representative would probably have been either Bernie or Elizabeth Warren. If your issue is UBI, no doubt you'd have wanted Yang. If your issue is judicial reform, you could've probably done a lot worse than Pete Buttigieg, who was the first candidate to suggest adding more judges to the SC. If your issue is criminal justice reform, then former AG Kamala Harris would've probably been the natural choice. On the issues, nearly every candidate could credibly claim to be far superior to Joe Biden.

But all of these candidates were roundly rejected by Democrat voters. Why? Because Biden, despite standing for nothing specific (or perhaps because he stands for nothing specific) was deemed the most "electable", the most likely to beat Trump.

There are a lot of Bernie fans on these boards (I'm one of them) and many of us have spent the last couple of months repeatedly asking "Why Biden?". The answer, from almost everyone, is the same: "I don't like him. He isn't my first choice. But he'll beat Trump, and that's all that matters." You're as familiar with these posts as I am, so I trust I don't need to cite them.

This tells me that Democrats don't particularly care what kind of agenda Biden tries to enact. They only care about getting Trump out of office. Joe Biden, if he wins, could spend the next four years doing absolutely nothing about anything, and the majority of Democrats would probably be satisfied, because he would've already done the one thing they nominated him to do; get Trump out of office.

To me, that makes simple victory a single issue. I can't see how you can view it any other way.
"Must beat Trump" is just a way to sum up "Trump is so bad on these dozens of issues that replacing him with someone better on most or all of these issues is the most important factor". So yes -- Democrats care about the issues and the agenda -- it must be better than Trump so the country doesn't go down the drain.

I also preferred Bernie. Unfortunately, most Democrats disagreed (and many actually disagreed on the issues -- in my understanding, Biden's position on the issues is actually mostly in the middle of the Democratic party).

If Biden is elected, I plan to advocate for Biden to take the "correct" stance on all the issues, as hopefully will all Democrats. "Must beat Trump" is not remotely a single-issue stance, any more than "must retake the Senate" is a single-issue stance.
  #64  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:00 AM
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People can vote on any issue they want. If Oakminster wants to vote solely on what he perceives are gun rights, that's surely his right. I confess to being a single issue voter in the primary this year- that single issue is winning the White House in November. Like most Democrats, it's my estimation that Joe Biden is the best candidate. Would single payer health care be better? Probably. But it isn't going to happen absent 60 Democratic Senators so chasing that great white whale isn't a very good strategy. Do we want to rein in Wall Street? Sure. But having Warren on the ticket would scare Wall Street so shitless that they'd move heaven and earth to defeat her in November. We've got a guy who in every measure on every issue is infinitely better than Dolt45. We've got a guy who might actually carry enough weight downticket to flip the Senate. I wasn't about to throw that away in pursuit of empty pipe dreams.
  #65  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:56 AM
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Do you not understand the way the electoral college works?
I do understand how it works, and I do not see how your accusatory question here is at all related to what I said here.

I don't know if you are old enough to remember the 2000 presidential election, but that came down to 537 votes in Florida. The more recent one came down to a few tens of thousands in a couple states. Those were the closest elections in recent history.

If your point is that your vote doesn't matter, my point is that with the EC, almost no one's vote ever matters.

Which is why our votes only matter in the aggregate, which is why, since no individual vote matters, every vote matters all the more*.

Sure, it's complicated, but we're running a country here, not a garage band.


*not to mention your cavalier attitude toward democracy can very well inspire people who are in places where their vote is more strategically located to share in your apathy towards our experiment in self governance.
  #66  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:29 AM
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There’s about a million Iraqi widows and orphans who’d likely disagree with you on that.
I'd forgotten about them so I guess you're right, Trump isn't so evil after all.

What to do, what to do; after all a number of Democrats, including Biden, voted for that little misadventure as well so their hands aren't clean, either.

Guess I'll sit this one out and wait for that perfect candidate next time around.

Last edited by DesertDog; 05-20-2020 at 09:31 AM.
  #67  
Old 05-20-2020, 10:28 AM
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I don't know if you are old enough to remember the 2000 presidential election, but that came down to 537 votes in Florida. The more recent one came down to a few tens of thousands in a couple states. Those were the closest elections in recent history.

If your point is that your vote doesn't matter, my point is that with the EC, almost no one's vote ever matters.

Which is why our votes only matter in the aggregate, which is why, since no individual vote matters, every vote matters all the more*.

Sure, it's complicated, but we're running a country here, not a garage band.
I sympathize with your sentiments, but Oakminster's arithmetic is correct. Some small numbers are smaller than other small numbers.

Everyday I take a pill which reduces the risk of chest pains that day by about 1%. Suppose the chest pain carries a 2% risk of heart attack. The pill then reduces heart attack risk that day by about 0.02%. I want to take that pill.

Each Floridan in 2000 had about the same 0.02% chance (or even more) of swaying the election. (I wonder if Florida's turnout has since gone up, now that they know how important voting is.)

Is 0.02% a small number? Yes and No. Would you board an airplane if told the risk it would blow up in flight was 0.02%?

Oakminster's chance of swaying the Presidential election is about 0.00000000000000007%. It shows innumeracy to think that number is in the same ballpark as 0.02%.



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Originally Posted by Unreconstructed Man View Post
Aren’t most Democrats single issue voters this year? Every issue, from UHC to Wall Street reform, to education, to electoral reform, to climate change, to criminal justice reform, to anything else you can think of, has been subordinated to the simple imperative; “Get! Trump! Out!”
Wrong.
  #68  
Old 05-20-2020, 11:21 AM
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None at all.

I refuse to get sucked into the premise that I must vote "against" someone rather than "for" someone else. In our current situation, why is it MY fault if the Democrats can't choose not to provide a candidate that I would be proud to vote for as opposed to their usual "probably not worse than their guy" strategy? Screw that.

It is easy for me to envision the Best Candidate Evarrr looking at the situation and realizing D & R are the same wine sold in different bottles, deciding to run as an independent, and splitting the votes in BOTH parties to secure a nation-unifying win. That opportunity is totally lost by breathing the air the current arrangement blows to us. Donald Trump didn't win because I voted for Johnson. He won because half the country thought he was a good idea, or at least a better idea than flaky Gary or voting in favor of the concept of dynastic rule. None of that shit is my fault.
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No one alive has voted for a 3rd party for president as anything more than a protest.
That's retarded. You clearly have no idea how variable the human psyche is from one person to another, or understand that people have different motivations and priorities than you.

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  #69  
Old 05-20-2020, 02:04 PM
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2008 was the first time I didn't vote third party. So I've never really felt this way. In 2000 and 2004, maybe the worse option got/stayed in but that was only with hindsight. my vote didn't make a difference either way. 2016 the worse option got in but again no real difference. Maybe this is because I grew up with an open mind and no real party ID and I arrived at my first votes based on the issues and neither major party platform was more than 50% correct and the individual candidates weren't either. For local races I think I've voted for every party, except for any nazi parties that may have garnered ballot access.
  #70  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:00 PM
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I refuse to get sucked into the premise that I must vote "against" someone rather than "for" someone else. In our current situation, why is it MY fault if the Democrats can't choose not to provide a candidate that I would be proud to vote for as opposed to their usual "probably not worse than their guy" strategy? Screw that.
Vote your conscience in the primary.

In the general there are only two choices that have a serious chance at winning. All the other choices won't come within light years of winning.

Does that suck? Sure it does. I hate it too and I wish it were different.

It doesn't change the math though no matter how righteous you get about it.
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Last edited by Whack-a-Mole; 05-20-2020 at 03:01 PM.
  #71  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:14 PM
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In our current situation, why is it MY fault if the Democrats can't choose not to provide a candidate that I would be proud to vote for as opposed to their usual "probably not worse than their guy" strategy? Screw that.
I just don't understand this sort of position. When you're faced with a decision between two outcomes, and it's abundantly clear that exactly one of those two outcomes is going to transpire, what do you gain by bitching and moaning that you wish there was a better outcome available?

People in debates like this also have a weird tendency to treat the democratic primaries as if they were a conscious action of a single person. It's one thing if I'm a chef and I'm coming up to you to offer you breakfast and I personally and deliberately chose the two dishes you can choose between, and they're both awful. It makes sense then for you to be upset at me for being such a bad chef and coming up with bad options. It might not do you any good, but if you get pissed off at me, well, it might be a dick move, and it's not necessarily the case that I will have the ingredients and know-how to make better food, but at least it's relevant. At least you're upset at someone who was in fact directly responsible for the choices that face you. It's possible I'll learn my lesson, and next time, provide some food that you're more interested in.

But primary elections aren't like that. They're enormous complicated procedures with zillions of inputs working with and against each other on a huge number of different axes. If you don't like Biden much, is that because "the democrat party" in some sense failed you? Who is responsible for that? What did they do wrong? What can they do better next time? If you reject Biden, will that in any meaningful way provide feedback that will cause the dems to nominate a candidate you like more, next time? How could it? How do they know whether you're rejecting Biden for being too far left, vs too far right, vs whatever?


All you're doing by drawing some metaphorical line in the sand and saying "I will only vote for candidates who pass this line, no matter what, no matter who they are running against" is absolving yourself of your responsibility to act as a responsible citizen, and use your vote to move the country in a direction you like, as best as you can.
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  #72  
Old 05-20-2020, 03:43 PM
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Thank you for sharing your differing opinions about whether or not to use strategy in an election, whether to look long or short term. For my part, the only mind I can read is my own. I know what I like, and what I can and can't live with. Sometimes I can't live with the D or the R choice and the I looks … well, not worse anyway. To nevertheless choose D or R based on the presumption that's what everyone else is gonna do betrays not only myself, but everyone else who was similarly conflicted and chose the I. Nobody likes anything new until everyone else does--so somebody's got to go first. Americans are quite accustomed to betraying themselves, but what if that were to change? How does it change if not by individuals refusing to continue to do it?

Does this mean Trump is potentially my fault (Had Colorado not gone Blue anyway)? Of course it does. And I'll wear that, because I consider myself to be one member of one group--Americans. He's a terrible man and a worse POTUS, and he is no longer just a hypothetical brick through the window. But he remains only an echo of the collective voice of a massive chunk of our population. He, in all his debauchery and treachery, is what has been on our minds for a long time now. He's just a symptom. Aiming my vote to stifle who he represents seems wrong and needlessly divisive to me.
  #73  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:23 PM
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still cannot figure out why Biden is best to beat Trump. I guess people like a guy who has not had a regular job since Nixon was president. Experience is important but you don't need 40+ years in DC to be president.
  #74  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:26 PM
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So tell me about how amazing it was the last time we elected a non-career politician.
  #75  
Old 05-20-2020, 04:27 PM
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Vote your conscience in the primary.

In the general there are only two choices that have a serious chance at winning. All the other choices won't come within light years of winning.

Does that suck? Sure it does. I hate it too and I wish it were different.

It doesn't change the math though no matter how righteous you get about it.
And then be careful what you wish for. Look at how many parliamentary governments get snarled with so many micro parties fighting over tiny niches.
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  #76  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:01 PM
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That's ridiculous. Did you miss the part about how my state is going Trump no matter what? My vote is irrelevant. Trump is getting all the electoral votes from my state. That is true whether I vote for Biden, myself, whoever the Libertarians nominate, or don't vote at all. Trump gets no benefit from me.
Oddly, trump got very excited and claimed massive fraud when it was shown that he lost the Popular vote. The dems could claim a mild but not very relevant moral victory in winning the popular vote. So the popular vote mattered to both sides.

So, no, your vote is never irrelevant.
  #77  
Old 05-20-2020, 05:04 PM
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..

In the general there are only two choices that have a serious chance at winning. All the other choices won't come within light years of winning.

Does that suck? Sure it does. I hate it too and I wish it were different.

...
You want the USA to be more like GB or Israel, then?

Multiple parties is no guarantee of a less sucky choice.
  #78  
Old 05-20-2020, 07:30 PM
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I just don't understand this sort of position. When you're faced with a decision between two outcomes, and it's abundantly clear that exactly one of those two outcomes is going to transpire, what do you gain by bitching and moaning that you wish there was a better outcome available?
In 2016 when Bernie announced that he was challenging Clinton for the nomination, I was convinced that he had been convinced to do so by the DNC for the purpose of creating newsworthy buzz to get Clinton mentioned in newscasts during a primary season that would otherwise have seen coverage dominated by Republican primary candidates. I'm still not sure that wasn't the case.

But he did far better than I expected. I think he did far better than he expected too.

I have a dream that some day an independent or third-party candidate is going to get enough votes that the Democratic Party as a whole is going to realize that there is a substantial appetite within the party for something other than milquetoast candidates and a good number of independents who either agree, or more likely, would be attracted to a candidate who actually had inspirational beliefs or even just represented something different than the normal frick and frack candidates they get. Obama had some of that going for him. So did Trump.

Since the 90s, the DNC strategy has mostly been to run inoffensive candidates and to move rightward in the hope of convincing right-leaning independents to vote Democratic The result has been to push the Republicans even further right and to move the government that way politically, even as the populace has moved left and become more stratified. It wasn't that long ago that you had to work hard to find a Democrat who said they supported gay marriage, and then the Supreme Court made it the law of the land, and suddenly every one of them had "really been in favor of it all along." The DNC's favored "third-way" politics are no longer a sustainable way of moving in the political direction I favor.

If everyone accepts that they must vote for whatever candidate the DNC selects to appease unregistered Republicans, nothing about this thing I disfavor is ever going to change. Why would it? I reject your premise that a vote is only a decision between two outcomes: candidate R or candidate D. I want to believe it also has some small effect in the selection of candidates in future races. We need those third-party voters, not for the election with which you are most immediately concerned, but for the next one and the one after that. If lessons need to be learned from losing, so be it.

I've never voted third-party, but I wouldn't discourage those who do.
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Old 05-20-2020, 07:32 PM
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So tell me about how amazing it was the last time we elected a non-career politician.
Trump's problems have nothing to do with him being a non politician. His problem is that he is a narcissist and he's a bully.

There have been plenty of people who were elected without having political experience and they did good jobs. One example is Eisenhower.
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Old 05-20-2020, 08:23 PM
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I've been noticing a rather disturbing trend here and in some other threads, mostly in the Pit. It's the tendency to talk in terms that imply that Biden is somehow deserving of our votes, that anyone and everyone owes it to him and the country to vote for him regardless of personal feelings.

Responsibility? Being absolved? A vote for a third-party candidate is comparable to drunk driving? (Full disclosure, I will most likely not vote third-party. There is only one thing that would make me do so, and this isn't the thread to discuss it.)

People, nobody owes Biden shit, OK? If they think he's a lousy candidate, they are under no obligation, legal or moral, to vote for him. Biden is not owed your vote any more than Trump is owed the votes of his base. Biden and Trump both have to EARN the votes. If that leads to four more years of Trump (and while I hope I'm wrong about that, I think that's what's going to happen), well that's what America wants.

Really, it's the way that every presidential election in my lifetime going back to 1968 has worked. People who are pissed off at the status quo owe no loyalty to the person giving it to them, and, in fact, voters tend not to give it to them if they feel they have a choice. In my lifetime, incumbents have been beaten in presidential elections three times since '68, and I don't even really count 1976. 1976 was a weird year. That leaves 1980 and 1992, and what did Reagan and Clinton have in common? They were dynamic. They were different. They were popular, charismatic, and new, and they found a way to convey that newness into their message. They ran rings around their stodgy, ineffectual opponents, and whatever you can say about Trump, the man is not stodgy. Trump does one thing--one thing--very, very well, and that is sell the image. You might not like that image, but folks, he's good at putting it out there. Voters as a whole might vote along party lines, but they won't vote along loyalty lines. Not to you, not to the country, not to anyone else.

And maybe that's for the better. Think about it: If it were that easy, if the whole key to getting rid of a shitty incumbent were to find a slightly less shitty challenger, then what would be the motivation to get fresh blood into the races to begin with?

As someone from another message board put it so eloquently: "If your opponents run a guy who couldn't beat a gong, what's to stop your side from running a gong?"

Again, I might be wrong. Trump might lose. But if so, it'll be the first time the incumbent loses against a total goofball in my lifetime, and I'm almost 55.
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Last edited by Linty Fresh; 05-20-2020 at 08:27 PM.
  #81  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:31 PM
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I've been noticing a rather disturbing trend here and in some other threads, mostly in the Pit. It's the tendency to talk in terms that imply that Biden is somehow deserving of our votes, that anyone and everyone owes it to him and the country to vote for him regardless of personal feelings.

Responsibility? Being absolved? A vote for a third-party candidate is comparable to drunk driving? (Full disclosure, I will most likely not vote third-party. There is only one thing that would make me do so, and this isn't the thread to discuss it.)

People, nobody owes Biden shit, OK? If they think he's a lousy candidate, they are under no obligation, legal or moral, to vote for him. Biden is not owed your vote any more than Trump is owed the votes of his base. Biden and Trump both have to EARN the votes. If that leads to four more years of Trump (and while I hope I'm wrong about that, I think that's what's going to happen), well that's what America wants.

Really, it's the way that every presidential election in my lifetime going back to 1968 has worked. People who are pissed off at the status quo owe no loyalty to the person giving it to them, and, in fact, voters tend not to give it to them if they feel they have a choice. In my lifetime, incumbents have been beaten in presidential elections three times since '68, and I don't even really count 1976. 1976 was a weird year. That leaves 1980 and 1992, and what did Reagan and Clinton have in common? They were dynamic. They were different. They were popular, charismatic, and new, and they found a way to convey that newness into their message. They ran rings around their stodgy, ineffectual opponents, and whatever you can say about Trump, the man is not stodgy. Trump does one thing--one thing--very, very well, and that is sell the image. You might not like that image, but folks, he's good at putting it out there. Voters as a whole might vote along party lines, but they won't vote along loyalty lines. Not to you, not to the country, not to anyone else.

And maybe that's for the better. Think about it: If it were that easy, if the whole key to getting rid of a shitty incumbent were to find a slightly less shitty challenger, then what would be the motivation to get fresh blood into the races to begin with?

As someone from another message board put it so eloquently: "If your opponents run a guy who couldn't beat a gong, what's to stop your side from running a gong?"

Again, I might be wrong. Trump might lose. But if so, it'll be the first time the incumbent loses against a total goofball in my lifetime, and I'm almost 55.
You forgot one thing: every 3rd party candidate in your lifetime has been a loon, a white supremacist or both
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  #82  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:36 PM
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You forgot one thing: every 3rd party candidate in your lifetime has been a loon, a white supremacist or both
I didn't forget it at all. Let's take a look at what I wrote in my post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Right there in the post, dale
And maybe that's for the better. Think about it: If it were that easy, if the whole key to getting rid of a shitty incumbent were to find a slightly less shitty challenger, then what would be the motivation to get fresh blood into the races to begin with?
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  #83  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:51 PM
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Since the 90s, the DNC strategy has mostly been to run inoffensive candidates and to move rightward in the hope of convincing right-leaning independents to vote Democratic
This is where I think you're completely looking at things wrong. You're assuming that the eventual DNC nominee is the result of a considered strategy.... effectively the old smoke-filled-room still functioning, except that somehow that choice has to be enforced on millions of primary election voters.

And it just doesn't work that way. Not that the DNC doesn't have a fair bit of influence, mind you. But the reason that Hillary was the unstoppable nominee in 2016 was not because the DNC got together, thought "hmm, what's the best strategy for winning the election? oh, hey, genius idea guys, let's pick a centrist to appeal to the center. OK, now, hmm, who do we have that fits that description? Oh, Hillary Clinton! OK, Hillary it is". Rather, Hillary was the inevitable candidate because of her decades of influence. If the only similarly popular and well-known figure in the dem establishment had been 25 units left of Hillary on the scale, it's not like DNC would have consciously decided not to "let" that person win the nomination because they were at the wrong place on the left/right scale.

Also note that your theory is that if enough people vote progressive, the DNC will suddenly notice and nominate a more left candidate. Well, in 2016 a buttload of people voted for Bernie. So why then did the DNC not nominate a more left-leaning candidate in response to that in 2020? Because they're hidebound idiots who are too stupid to realize that a more left-y candidate would have appeal? Of course not... in fact, I think that to the extent the DNC could be said to be "thinking" something, they were probably thinking "jesus fuck I wish there was a popular somewhat-left-ish-but-not-too-far young candidate who would get people fired up". And, hey, look, who was running and hyped up early in the race? Kamala Harris... Cory Booker... to the extent that the DNC as a hive mind was trying to force someone down our throats, I think it was someone in that mold far ahead of Biden.


To sum up, the whole "casting my vote for a progressive will send a signal to the DNC and pull future dem nominees to the left" falls apart when you look at how chaotic and unpredictable and uncontrolled the process is that actually results in the dem nominee each year. There's not someone there listening to your signal and responding.
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  #84  
Old 05-20-2020, 09:47 PM
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I've been noticing a rather disturbing trend here and in some other threads, mostly in the Pit. It's the tendency to talk in terms that imply that Biden is somehow deserving of our votes, that anyone and everyone owes it to him and the country to vote for him regardless of personal feelings.

Responsibility? Being absolved? A vote for a third-party candidate is comparable to drunk driving? (Full disclosure, I will most likely not vote third-party. There is only one thing that would make me do so, and this isn't the thread to discuss it.)
I do think that any reasonable citizen has a responsibility to vote for Biden. But it's not because you owe a vote to him. Or to the democratic party. Or to me. It's because you owe it to the country to do your civic duty.

Imagine a city in a valley with 1000 residents where periodically a flood is going to come down and threaten to wash the city away and kill everyone. And in order to prevent the flood, a wall of sandbags has to be built. Experience shows that it takes somewhere around 550 sandbags to build that wall, and each person in the city has time to carry one sandbag up and put it in the wall when the flood warning arrives.

Now, I'd argue that every citizen of the town has a civic responsibility, a responsibility to his neighbors, to carry a sandbag. And that's true even though there's only a tiny chance that any one person's decision to carry a sandbag or not will be the decisive factor in whether or not the wall fails.

Furthermore, suppose that the previous mayor had been urged to invest some money and build a permanent wall that would protect the city forever. And instead he had taken that money and blown it all on hookers and blow, and publicly said "hey, the sandbag things has always worked, I'm sure it will work again". And he's clearly arranged things so that people carrying sandbags is in some sense a victory for him, proving him to be right. And you're like "hey, I don't like that guy, I don't like the choices he gave us, I wish he'd done things differently... why does he think I owe it to him to carry a damn sandbag?". Well, you don't owe it to him. But you still owe it to your townspeople.


Trump is the flood. And our votes are the sandbags.
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  #85  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:06 AM
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Trump is the flood. And our votes are the sandbags.
Got a better one.

Trump, his appointees and his enablers are the shit-covered meth monkeys running through the apartment building we all inhabit, attacking residents, setting fires, caging children and tearing down strategic pieces of the structure. Biden is a qualified building manager with a group of volunteers willing to chase the monkeys out. And we have a small group of residents with bullhorns and a portable DJ setup in the rec room broadcasting helpful rhetoric: “Hey Joe, nobody owes you the $8/hr contract to clean up all the shit, take care of the monkeys, find and repair the damage and make building improvements almost half of the residents won’t understand or approve. -You gotta earn that kinda trust.”

After all, we have choices; there’s a plumber over there with a team of pot-smoking lemurs; she’s promised lavender lights in the hallways! And any way, we’d survive another four years of those meth monkeys, we’ve gotten by so far. (Besides, Joe’s been managing buildings for so long there’s a long list of maintenance decisions in his employment history many of us just don’t like AT ALL.)

Those of us shaking our heads at all of teh stupid being broadcast are getting tired of countering it, but it looks like we’ll need to stay on our own soapboxes until the building votes on a new management plan. The problem is just that stupid is loud and simple; responsible and pragmatic require some effort from the listeners.
  #86  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:18 AM
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I dunno, man, that plumber with the pot-smoking lemurs has my attention. For lavender lights, I'll clean the monkey shit up myself.
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  #87  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:21 AM
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Sorry, if you don’t have the haz-mat accreditation we can’t let you near that shit. And you gotta bid for the subcontract. The lemur gang’ll probably get to that after all the lights are set up.
  #88  
Old 05-21-2020, 06:58 AM
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Sorry, if you don’t have the haz-mat accreditation we can’t let you near that shit. And you gotta bid for the subcontract. The lemur gang’ll probably get to that after all the lights are set up.
Great, fucking liberals!! That's it, now I'm a single-issue voter. I'm behind whoever promises me pot-smoking lemurs. THAT'S what's going to save the world.

And also, I just got into a big fight with Mrs. Fresh, because she says that if I install lavender lights in the living room, she's kicking me out and changing the locks, and I'll have to live in the shed for a week, again!!!

So thanks a lot, xenophon! Thanks for screwing up my life!

I swear, between you, Corona, OSHA, secular humanism, my third ex-wife, and the state-appointed psychiatrist whom I've gotta Skype every week, life is just so much more complicated than it needs to be!
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  #89  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:43 AM
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"Must beat Trump" is just a way to sum up "Trump is so bad on these dozens of issues that replacing him with someone better on most or all of these issues is the most important factor". So yes -- Democrats care about the issues and the agenda -- it must be better than Trump so the country doesn't go down the drain.

I also preferred Bernie. Unfortunately, most Democrats disagreed (and many actually disagreed on the issues -- in my understanding, Biden's position on the issues is actually mostly in the middle of the Democratic party).

If Biden is elected, I plan to advocate for Biden to take the "correct" stance on all the issues, as hopefully will all Democrats. "Must beat Trump" is not remotely a single-issue stance, any more than "must retake the Senate" is a single-issue stance.
Okay, so let's test this. Let's say there are two Democratic candidates, and you get to choose one of them to go up against Trump.

Candidate A is going to fight for the issues you care about, and he's going to work hard to reverse the damage Trump has caused. You know (because it's a hypothetical and I say so) that he has a 75% chance of beating Trump.

Candidate B is going to do absolutely nothing. Like, he's going to put his feet up on the President's desk, crack open a beer, and just stay there like a barnacle for four years. Nothing will get any better, but nothing will get any worse either. But he's guaranteed to beat Trump.

Which candidate do you pick? Also, would your answer change if candidate A had a 99% chance of winning?

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  #90  
Old 05-21-2020, 07:49 AM
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Y'know, in all seriousness, if we average citizens were capable of repairing and reversing the damage from bad government without using better government to do that, then we wouldn't need to vote. But government is a MMPMSG (Massive MultiPlayer MeatSpace Game), and POTUS gets to choose most of the players with the game controllers. And gets to nominate the judges. And if his team is part of the game design team, he gets to set a lot of the rules. So it's really less about POTUS and more about who he's gonna listen to and put in those game chairs, and whether he's going to sign off on good or bad design changes.

(Hot damn, I enjoy analogies! I should slow down on these, it can't be healthy.)
  #91  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:12 AM
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I do think that any reasonable citizen has a responsibility to vote for Biden. But it's not because you owe a vote to him. Or to the democratic party. Or to me. It's because you owe it to the country to do your civic duty.

. . .

Furthermore, suppose that the previous mayor had been urged to invest some money and build a permanent wall that would protect the city forever. And instead he had taken that money and blown it all on hookers and blow, and publicly said "hey, the sandbag things has always worked, I'm sure it will work again". And he's clearly arranged things so that people carrying sandbags is in some sense a victory for him, proving him to be right. And you're like "hey, I don't like that guy, I don't like the choices he gave us, I wish he'd done things differently... why does he think I owe it to him to carry a damn sandbag?". Well, you don't owe it to him. But you still owe it to your townspeople.


Trump is the flood. And our votes are the sandbags.
(ellipses and bolding mine)

Wrong. Absolutely, one-hundred percent wrong. This is an argument for voting for Trump, not Biden.

Leaving aside the practical consideration that no citizen would pack another sandbag in this situation if he or she had any other viable alternative, the whole reason we have free elections is to prevent this kind of leader from getting into the White House to begin with. Are you seriously arguing that the moral and civic choice is to knowingly put a corrupt, drug-addled whoremonger into a leadership position (in terms of your analogy)? Are you sure this is the only way to solve the problem? How could you then condemn a Republican for voting for Trump?

In your analogy, any citizen who could would justifiably leave the village to its fate. And if the flood came down and took everyone else out? Well . . . maybe this is what Henry Kissinger was talking about when he said that we had to destroy the village in order to save it.

Or . . . maybe we should learn to clean up our own messes before the Republicans render the entire argument moot.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:25 AM
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Oftentimes, in these "third-party voters, why don't you realize what you are doing is bad?" threads, I think many people, especially on the political left, fail to understand that some third-party voters genuinely perceive both parties (Democrat and Republican) as being equally bad.

They seem to think that these third-party voters are deliberately trolling, or, "Surely you can't really believe that? You must be joking."

They start out with this assumption that "Our party (D or R) is genuinely superior to the other side, why can't you see that? You must be kidding if you think they are equally bad."
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:28 AM
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I would think that the large majority of people who did so, did so with the knowledge that they were basically throwing away their votes and, by not opting to vote for the lesser evil, helped the greater evil to obtain the most powerful office in the world.
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  #94  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:37 AM
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I would think that the large majority of people who did so, did so with the knowledge that they were basically throwing away their votes and, by not opting to vote for the lesser evil, helped the greater evil to obtain the most powerful office in the world.
Then it's our job and our responsibility to convince them to do otherwise, Jasmine, because while truth might have a liberal bias, cold hard reality has been swinging right these past few years.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:42 AM
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Velocity, the Democratic party, for people who still believe in having a rational basis and ethical foundation for legislation and executive action, is genuinely superior to the Republican party. Where those of us on the political left have a beef with third party voting, it's with the 'fellow lefties' who recognize the pathology of the Republican party but think the Democratic party is insufficiently different or that only a more radical party platform will produce real change, both of which are wrong -the first factually and demonstrably, and the second strategically In Our Humble Opinions.

I don't recall anyone responding who asserts that third party voters in these threads are simply trolling -although there are actual trolls on social media pushing apathy and alienation, so that exists in reality.
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Old 05-21-2020, 11:43 AM
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Oftentimes, in these "third-party voters, why don't you realize what you are doing is bad?" threads, I think many people, especially on the political left, fail to understand that some third-party voters genuinely perceive both parties (Democrat and Republican) as being equally bad.
Certainly, all the arguments I have made have been assuming that the person I'm arguing with is a progressive who loves Bernie, tolerates or dislikes Biden, and realizes how supremely and uniquely awful Trump is.

If someone genuinely thinks that Biden and Trump are close to equally bad, my arguments will mean nothing to them. That said, I really truly believe, deep down, that the vast majority of people who say they think Biden and Trump are equally bad don't really, truly believe that -- although maybe they've convinced themselves they do. Rather, they adopt that position to justify their desire to be smarter and more elite than the sheeple by voting for a 3rd party. If nothing else, Biden and Trump are so very different, and Trump is such a totally unique figure in so many ways, that is' vanishingly unlikely that any reasonable person would come up with a fairly comprehensive and sensible scale for measuring decency of candidates, put Trump and Biden on it, and genuinely come out with the same rating.
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  #97  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:45 AM
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Then it's our job and our responsibility to convince them to do otherwise, Jasmine, because while truth might have a liberal bias, cold hard reality has been swinging right these past few years.
Racism; sexism; elitism; political bribery, and a dedication to the agenda of the rich, corporate fueled plutocracy that actually runs this nation is "cold hard reality", and dedication to human rights, health, and welfare are a "liberal bias"? I don't think so.
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  #98  
Old 05-21-2020, 11:56 AM
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Oftentimes, in these "third-party voters, why don't you realize what you are doing is bad?" threads, I think many people, especially on the political left, fail to understand that some third-party voters genuinely perceive both parties (Democrat and Republican) as being equally bad.

They seem to think that these third-party voters are deliberately trolling, or, "Surely you can't really believe that? You must be joking."

They start out with this assumption that "Our party (D or R) is genuinely superior to the other side, why can't you see that? You must be kidding if you think they are equally bad."
Two vast political parties being exactly "equally bad"?

How often does a coin land on the edge? OK, now how often does someone say "Both parties are both equally bad"?

The statements of this "equality" are vastly exaggerated. The probability is almost zero.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:09 PM
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Racism; sexism; elitism; political bribery, and a dedication to the agenda of the rich, corporate fueled plutocracy that actually runs this nation is "cold hard reality", and dedication to human rights, health, and welfare are a "liberal bias"? I don't think so.
On the other hand, the candidates who support racism, sexism, elitism, political bribery, and a dedication to the agenda of the rich getting voted into office . . . and by and large getting their way is most certainly cold hard reality. Political concepts aren't reality. The candidates who (a)support them and (b)win elections most certainly are.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:11 PM
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Certainly, all the arguments I have made have been assuming that the person I'm arguing with is a progressive who loves Bernie, tolerates or dislikes Biden, and realizes how supremely and uniquely awful Trump is.

If someone genuinely thinks that Biden and Trump are close to equally bad, my arguments will mean nothing to them. That said, I really truly believe, deep down, that the vast majority of people who say they think Biden and Trump are equally bad don't really, truly believe that -- although maybe they've convinced themselves they do. Rather, they adopt that position to justify their desire to be smarter and more elite than the sheeple by voting for a 3rd party. If nothing else, Biden and Trump are so very different, and Trump is such a totally unique figure in so many ways, that is' vanishingly unlikely that any reasonable person would come up with a fairly comprehensive and sensible scale for measuring decency of candidates, put Trump and Biden on it, and genuinely come out with the same rating.
Be that as it may. Ratings don't put a candidate into office. Votes do, and once again, looking at history--another cold hard reality--the votes just don't come in for a guy like Biden running against an incumbent.
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