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The myth of an ending: why even removing Trump from office won’t save American democracy

braces_for_impact

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A good read, and a pragmatic look at the state of our democracy and how the end of the Trump presidency won't fix our problems.

I think this article is spot on, and I find myself saddened by the state of our political system. Until recently, I've been pretty optimistic about our country, but I'm becoming increasingly the opposite. Discuss.
 

Emily Lake

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He's got some good points in there. The dissatisfaction with the way US government functions has been present for a solid chunk of my life. I know I've been secretly desiring a Guy Fawkes style reboot of Congress for about 20 years now. We've got old, entrenched, life-long politicians in power, who mainly focus on keeping their seat rather than serving the public, who are susceptible to special interest groups and corporate agendas that help them finance their constant focus on the next election, and who are so busy fighting the other party that none of them are interested in fulfilling their obligations to the American public.

It's part of why I'm not really all up in arms about Trump being president. Sure, he's horrible... but to me so are all the other options. When I spend each election voting for the lesser evil, it really hammers home the fact that they're all evil. Trump is just more of the same old shit. Hell, he might be slightly better, if only because at least he's a new scent of and I was tired of the prior odor. When all you've dealt with is dog shit... sometimes pig shit is a refreshing change for a short stint.

All this shit stinks. Hey, that's a new kind of shit! I mean, it's still shit, but at least it's a slightly different kind of shit! This is exciting, we get to try out some new shit for a while! :p
 

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Missing from that article is a simple truth:

The motivation for political change is rooted in economics, and right now things are for the most part pretty good. Unemployment is low. Stock market is high. Consumer confidence, the housing market, gas prices all seem to be hovering in positive territory and there's no indication that it will all come crashing down in the near term. Are there problems? Of course. The rich are getting richer at the expense of the rest of us, Trump's robber baron administration is kneecapping any sort of regulation which might stave off the inevitable economic downturn, and Congress couldn't start a fire if you gave them two sticks and a gallon of gasoline, but the voters that matter - white, older, middle class - are to borrow a term from the article muddling through.

The Tea Party wouldn't have happened if the unemployment rate in 2010 had been under 5 percent and the boomers' 401k accounts hadn't been halved. The anger over the trillion dollars worth of stimulus was misplaced, but real nonetheless, and that anger was swiftly hijacked and turned into a massive Congressional win for the GOP. Now, many of those same Tea Party folks in Congress just signed off on a tax cut that will cost more than the stimulus, and the old white middle class voters aren't concerned one tiny bit.

I myself am an older, white, middle class voter. I got a few extra bucks in my paycheck due to the tax cut, my house is worth almost what it was at the peak of the market before the crash, and while some of the funds I've got money in have taken a hit lately, it isn't bad. Someone in my position who wasn't all that politically engaged would probably give at least a passing grade to Trump and his band of merry idiots. And should the Mueller investigation come out with a long list of impeachable offenses, it won't matter as much to the average citizen because of the dual cliche's of fat, dumb & happy, and bread & circuses.

We'll get our political revolution when the economy comes crashing down (again) and Joe Six Pack is out of a job (again) but not before.
 

Malintent

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As a bank robber empties the safe deposit boxes, global warming remains unaffected.
As a rapist tortures a person to death, the stock market remains positive.
As a terrorist murders dozens of people, millions of children are still receiving an education.

so.. everything is just fine.
 

Elixir

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We'll get our political revolution when the economy comes crashing down (again) and Joe Six Pack is out of a job (again) but not before.

If the rethuglicans are truly skilled at one thing, it is manipulating the timing of economic downturns to their advantage. It will be the Democrats' fault, no matter what. That's why they assented to giving away 1.5 trillion dollars to the top 1% and the corporations they own. It wasn't because they need the grateful votes of the top 1% - the Repugs already know they're fucked come election day, since their boy toy has made such a mess of things and is such a national embarrassment. But shortly after election day the chickens will come home to roost, and either taxes will go up or services will be cut or both - Joe sixpack will feel it and it will be 100% the Democrats' fault.
 

rousseau

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I've repeated this comment many times at this forum, but imo the core issue in the US is how far to the right it's political spectrum leans. Conservative policy leads to sub-optimal social outcomes, and sub-optimal social outcomes make the problem worse. So I think what we're seeing is the culture of the U.S. taking it's course on a less than ideal trajectory.

Granted, I also think we're seeing something of a hollowing out of many Western economies, and so some of the issues in the U.S. aren't isolated to you, but at the same time your political system seems to be less suited to deal with change than many other governments. Polarization maybe?
 

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He's got some good points in there. The dissatisfaction with the way US government functions has been present for a solid chunk of my life. I know I've been secretly desiring a Guy Fawkes style reboot of Congress for about 20 years now. We've got old, entrenched, life-long politicians in power, who mainly focus on keeping their seat rather than serving the public, who are susceptible to special interest groups and corporate agendas that help them finance their constant focus on the next election, and who are so busy fighting the other party that none of them are interested in fulfilling their obligations to the American public.
Old and entrenched. I hate it when doctors don't quit after 8 years. I hate it when engineers don't quite after a couple of terms.

Term limits aren't the problem. It is the us v them issue and then the GOP is fucking nuts and has been using propaganda for over three decades issue. The GOP has been having issues with reality since Nixon and it keeps getting worse. And their followers have been swallowing crap on AM radio and Fox News for decades and it is impossible to get through. That people actually thought the economy was worse in 2016 than 2008 just shows how bad the misinformation is.

It's part of why I'm not really all up in arms about Trump being president. Sure, he's horrible... but to me so are all the other options.
No, no, no, and no. I'm sick of people not being able to handle observing differentials. Trump isn't just fucking over the US, he is fucking the reputation of the US for tradea/negotiations/agreements. You can't just step outside of treaties and expect it won't hurt down the road.
When I spend each election voting for the lesser evil, it really hammers home the fact that they're all evil.
Yes, Obama is just as bad as Trump.
Trump is just more of the same old shit. Hell, he might be slightly better, if only because at least he's a new scent of and I was tired of the prior odor. When all you've dealt with is dog shit... sometimes pig shit is a refreshing change for a short stint.
What a bunch of meaningless platitudes.
 

marc

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Removing Trump won't fix everything, just like removing a tumor does not mean you are cancer free. Further treatment is needed to get rid of the cancer, or other tumors can come up. But removing the tumor is still an important step in recovery.
 

Emily Lake

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What do you think things in the US will be like in 20 years or even 50 years?

Depends on whether you believe that a change in social perspective, biases, and generational beliefs are likely to have an influence on who gets elected. In 20 years, I expect little to know change. Mostly some continued pendulum effect vacillating between Republican and Democrat partisanship. So pretty much the same kind of bullshit we see now, either in a relatively stable oscillation or in escalation (I don't expect any decrease in a 20 year span).

In 50 years, however, I expect to see a meaningful change in the platforms of both parties. In 50 years time, we will have had a generational shift in the people being elected to office. The people who will be in their 60s and 70s in 50 years are only in their teens and 20s now. They're going to carry their formative experiences with them into office in the future. And I would expect that to drive evolution of the parties.

I don't know whether I would consider it a good evolution or a bad evolution... but change will be change.
 

Emily Lake

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Old and entrenched. I hate it when doctors don't quit after 8 years. I hate it when engineers don't quite after a couple of terms.

Term limits aren't the problem.

I don't think I was particularly clear on this. It's not term limits that are the problem. It's politicians who have made a career of being a 'powerful politician' rather than being a 'public servant'. It's the never-ending cycle of campaign and re-campaign and pandering in order to retain one's seat as a politician that is the problem.

In my opinion, I think we'd have better overall outcomes if there were no term limits on representatives and senators... but if they were subject to a recall by their constituency either on an annual basis, or by special referendum. I could see an argument for using the same approach with the presidency, but I'd have to give it more thought.

As for the rest of your responses... You're perfectly welcome to provide your own beliefs and opinions on the matter, but I'd really appreciate you not passing judgment on others who hold differing opinions.
 

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I thought that the article made a few good points about liberals deluding themselves over how easy it would be to fix everything by getting rid of Trump, but it seemed to fall short in delivering on what its title promised. That is, it did not make a strong case that American democracy was in some kind of death spiral. It is true that there are lots of systemic problems with American democracy, but that has always been true. Democracy has always been a work in progress. The author did point out some needed reforms (e.g. replacing the electoral college system with democratic elections and eliminating the filibuster) and some that I thought weren't such great ideas (e.g. eliminating midterm elections by giving all politicians the same term in office and electing all of them at once).

The reality is that Donald Trump has not finished damaging the US government, so getting rid of him is imperative. I am convinced that Mike Pence will make a terrible president, but he will at least render US government policy more predictable to enemies and allies. And he will give us more stability. Presidents do not have absolute power, and there is going to be a strong backlash against Trump, if the spate of recent special elections is any indication. Americans were fed up with dysfunction before, but the current situation is far worse than it was when a Republican Congress was just doing everything in its power to stymie a popular president. This one is far from popular. The main point that the article got totally right was the point that we need to keep our heads and figure out how to muddle through this presidency, which is not going to go away for months, if it goes away at all before 2020.
 

Koyaanisqatsi

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The article does not take into account two primary factors: 1) There was no significant ideological shift to the right (Hillary won the vote) and 2) the effect of removing Trump (however it may be accomplished) will have an even larger “collective consciousness” impact than we felt on Election Day. It will be a righting of what should not have gone wrong in the first place and that is a very powerful sea change.

Pence will be the lamest of lame duck Presidents presiding over our first treasonous administration. He will not just have no mandate, he will likely face a Congress that will have no part of his Trump-infestation. We will likely win back the House (if not the Senate as well) and anything Trump-connected—except for the irrelevant 10% radical nazi fringe—will be scrambling to distance themselves from his stench.

It’s not like he will just walk out with his head held high. He’s a wannabe mob boss and a privileged little bitch who will fight dirty to the very end—his ego never allowing him to accept his downfall—and show his ass again and again and again until all but the irrelevant core screams, “ENOUGH!”

All the evidence anyone needs in support of this was Ryan’s hasty exit before all that shit starts hitting the fans. He’s one of the most sniveling of the rats and he knows exactly what is coming. And is planning on running in 2020 accordingly; getting out now so that he can avoid the shit show and come back around as the more “moderate” Republican later.

ETA: The other fundamental claim the article gets wrong is perhaps the most lazy canard of late; that a dissatisfaction with the “establishment” has been brewing. Horseshit. That dissatisfaction was a false narrative first borne of the Occupy nonsense (itself a publicity stunt for a Canadian parody magazine). They in turn saw the flames they had fanned in the mirror radical left and used that and the new social medium to run Sanders on a false equivalency narrative that Trump likewise was running on.

Two sides of the same coin—both fueled by Russia and the GOP noise machine—to shut out the true choice of America as a whole. Yes, Hillary, as the votes (both counted and contested) conclusively prove. In short, extremist exaggerations from both sides of the radical fringe that normally—prior to the internet and the newly ascendant mainstream news source now being fucking facebook—would have been rightfully ignored and soon forgotten as footnotes.

Sanders stayed in a race he knew he could not win as early as March. Why? It served no other purpose but to damage Hillary and help pave the road for Trump electoral.

The only ones diassatisfied were white people and the reason they were dissatisfied has more to do with latent and overt racism—along with a heaping helping of ignorance—than anything ideological.
 
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Emily Lake

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Sorry Koy... but your post reads very much as a narrow-field partisan view.

It seems to essentially be... "Clinton is the very best, she was awesome! And anyone who didn't think she was awesome is either a rube who's been conned by the evil GOP-Russia consortium or they're racists! It can't possibly be anything else because Clinton and the entire DNC are awesome!"
 

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Until we have publicly-funded campaigns, elected politicians will do what donors want instead of what voters want.

Since donors want different things than voters want, this will probably end in something like the French Revolution. The wealthy won't stop screwing everyone else over for financial gain until the roving pitchfork-wielding mobs are at their doorstep. Even if they tried to reverse course, they spent so many decades and billions indoctrinating right wing voters that they would not be able to turn the ship around in time to avoid politics descending into chaos.

Even if every wealthy person and large corporation agreed that government needs to help the voter instead of the elites, Republican voters would continue voting to make things worse because they were told that voting that way will make things better for them. The only way to avoid driving the whole nation into a ditch would be to convince millions of Republican voters that they are wrong, and I just don't see how that's possible. Decades of indoctrination have made them completely immune to facts or reason.
 

braces_for_impact

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Decades of indoctrination have made them completely immune to facts or reason.

Project much?

Just as bad huh? I don't think so. There's an element of spin to every administration, every political party. People know this. They expect it. Some even keep that foremost in their minds and hold their skepticism even when "their side" is in power. Unfortunately, the GOP of the last 2 decades, along with FOX news, has made "narrative" more important than facts, and without those facts, a proper discussion cannot continue, much less begin. It's too easy and convenient to scream "just as bad" which is all the right can seem to do these days. Hell, they're still trying to get their fill of the Hillary fetish, for the next election! If you cannot see the difference between spin and outright lies. If you cannot see that the right decries "Fake news!" even as they construct and spread more of it - by far than anyone else, then you are part of the problem, despite your protestations.

The tax cut is a perfect example, or even better the mega-omnibus that was recently passed. Even when the right manages to get it's act together and pass something, it's a horrible Frankenstein monster that should have been aborted early. There are large problems with our democracy. Trump isn't a cure or even a bandage, he's euthanasia. While many of his followers claim to wish to watch the great burning, I suspect, like everything else, they are ignorant of what that actually means and will come to regret their decision. I agree that his small vocal base will not waiver. As long as Trump makes with the racism, they will remain loyal to him in lock-step, off the cliff.
 

Trausti

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Decades of indoctrination have made them completely immune to facts or reason.

Project much?

Just as bad huh? I don't think so. There's an element of spin to every administration, every political party. People know this. They expect it. Some even keep that foremost in their minds and hold their skepticism even when "their side" is in power. Unfortunately, the GOP of the last 2 decades, along with FOX news, has made "narrative" more important than facts, and without those facts, a proper discussion cannot continue, much less begin. It's too easy and convenient to scream "just as bad" which is all the right can seem to do these days. Hell, they're still trying to get their fill of the Hillary fetish, for the next election! If you cannot see the difference between spin and outright lies. If you cannot see that the right decries "Fake news!" even as they construct and spread more of it - by far than anyone else, then you are part of the problem, despite your protestations.

The tax cut is a perfect example, or even better the mega-omnibus that was recently passed. Even when the right manages to get it's act together and pass something, it's a horrible Frankenstein monster that should have been aborted early. There are large problems with our democracy. Trump isn't a cure or even a bandage, he's euthanasia. While many of his followers claim to wish to watch the great burning, I suspect, like everything else, they are ignorant of what that actually means and will come to regret their decision. I agree that his small vocal base will not waiver. As long as Trump makes with the racism, they will remain loyal to him in lock-step, off the cliff.

No, no. Just because someone has a different viewpoint than you does not mean you are smarter or they are dumber. Smart people voted for Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Johnson. Dumb people voted for Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Johnson. The reasons people vote as they do are as varied as there are people. It is arrogant and snobbish to cast those who differ politically from you as stupid; no doubt, they view you the same way. I give you, Obama voters:



 

Copernicus

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Sorry Koy... but your post reads very much as a narrow-field partisan view.

It seems to essentially be... "Clinton is the very best, she was awesome! And anyone who didn't think she was awesome is either a rube who's been conned by the evil GOP-Russia consortium or they're racists! It can't possibly be anything else because Clinton and the entire DNC are awesome!"

Actually, koy barely mentioned Clinton in his post, but you may be carrying over some baggage from previous interactions with him. The fact is that Clinton did win the popular vote by a narrow, but decisive, margin. And there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Russia did use trolls and bots in an attempt to swing the election to Donald Trump and that Trump used a lot of racist tropes during his campaign. There is plenty of objective evidence out there to support those facts. The fact that koy mentioned those things was not the same thing as saying that Clinton and the entire DNC were awesome.
 

Emily Lake

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Until we have publicly-funded campaigns, elected politicians will do what donors want instead of what voters want.
That's a pretty good point. Now if we could only convince the politicians to put forth and pass a bill that makes campaigns publicly funded....

That's where I end up wanting to burn the whole thing down. There are several very simple, straightforward, pragmatic things that could be done to make the situation more palatable and make the government function better - changes to the voting system to eliminate FPTP, getting rid of gerrymandering, rebalancing the population element of House representation, making campaigns publicly funded, limiting the amount of time that can be spent campaigning for election... and many others I'm sure. But to get any of those to happen, they need to go through congress... and our congresscritters are unlikely to approve them because they all benefit from the current system. :(
 

Elixir

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...rebalancing the population element of House representation...

I think it would be more important to deal with Senate representation, where the 580,000 rednecks who live in Wyoming have as much representation as the 40,000,000 lib'ruls who live in California... THAT is why Trump is able to advance his idiot agenda, appoint car-salesmen to lifelong judicial positions etc.
 

braces_for_impact

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Just as bad huh? I don't think so. There's an element of spin to every administration, every political party. People know this. They expect it. Some even keep that foremost in their minds and hold their skepticism even when "their side" is in power. Unfortunately, the GOP of the last 2 decades, along with FOX news, has made "narrative" more important than facts, and without those facts, a proper discussion cannot continue, much less begin. It's too easy and convenient to scream "just as bad" which is all the right can seem to do these days. Hell, they're still trying to get their fill of the Hillary fetish, for the next election! If you cannot see the difference between spin and outright lies. If you cannot see that the right decries "Fake news!" even as they construct and spread more of it - by far than anyone else, then you are part of the problem, despite your protestations.

The tax cut is a perfect example, or even better the mega-omnibus that was recently passed. Even when the right manages to get it's act together and pass something, it's a horrible Frankenstein monster that should have been aborted early. There are large problems with our democracy. Trump isn't a cure or even a bandage, he's euthanasia. While many of his followers claim to wish to watch the great burning, I suspect, like everything else, they are ignorant of what that actually means and will come to regret their decision. I agree that his small vocal base will not waiver. As long as Trump makes with the racism, they will remain loyal to him in lock-step, off the cliff.

No, no. Just because someone has a different viewpoint than you does not mean you are smarter or they are dumber. Smart people voted for Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Johnson. Dumb people voted for Trump, Clinton, Stein, and Johnson. The reasons people vote as they do are as varied as there are people. It is arrogant and snobbish to cast those who differ politically from you as stupid; no doubt, they view you the same way. I give you, Obama voters:





Where did you see I was calling Trump supporters stupid? I know calling people on the other side of the aisle elite snobs is part of your schtick, but that wasn't what I posted. Perhaps we should add "reading comprehension" along with the other problems I mentioned, like spreading fake news.
 

Emily Lake

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...rebalancing the population element of House representation...

I think it would be more important to deal with Senate representation, where the 580,000 rednecks who live in Wyoming have as much representation as the 40,000,000 lib'ruls who live in California... THAT is why Trump is able to advance his idiot agenda, appoint car-salesmen to lifelong judicial positions etc.

The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.
 

Tom Sawyer

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Ya, neither of those groups actually represent your interests.
 

coloradoatheist

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...rebalancing the population element of House representation...

I think it would be more important to deal with Senate representation, where the 580,000 rednecks who live in Wyoming have as much representation as the 40,000,000 lib'ruls who live in California... THAT is why Trump is able to advance his idiot agenda, appoint car-salesmen to lifelong judicial positions etc.

The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

Yeah and we're finding out if democracy can really work on the scale of 300+ million people and 50+ state interests. At the time it was only 13 states and our government was never meant to do much more than defense and make sure the states played nice in the sand box.
 

Jimmy Higgins

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...rebalancing the population element of House representation...

I think it would be more important to deal with Senate representation, where the 580,000 rednecks who live in Wyoming have as much representation as the 40,000,000 lib'ruls who live in California... THAT is why Trump is able to advance his idiot agenda, appoint car-salesmen to lifelong judicial positions etc.

The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.
The Senate represents the en masse citizens of a state. Senators are voted for, not appointed anymore.

- - - Updated - - -

Decades of indoctrination have made them completely immune to facts or reason.
Project much?
Trump supports thought the economy in 2016 was worse than 2008. There isn't a metric out there to support that unbelievably incorrect observation. That is an "opinion" that can only be caused via misinformation.

- - - Updated - - -


For better or worst,I think both political parties would agree Trump has been politically disruptive. And that is a start.
And you do have to start somewhere.

The 1 % are at least on notice. And if Bernie gets himself elected next time they will really see some writings on the wall.
Jebus! Will you wake up? Firefly is not coming back...

... I mean Bernie Sanders is not getting elected President. For better or worse (for the worse!) if given an option between Leftist verses Asshole, America is morely likely to elect the asshole. Also, Sanders is very old.
 

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Sanders stayed in a race he knew he could not win as early as March. Why? It served no other purpose but to damage Hillary and help pave the road for Trump electoral.
Clinton didn't lose because of Sanders. Sanders stayed in because he was winning primaries. Not enough to win the nomination, but enough to finally give the left wing an illusion of a voice (illusion of a sound?). He did drop out, he did back her fully after getting a good deal of his platform into the DNC platform.

Hillary Clinton was hounded by 30 years of anti-Clinton propaganda that finally gave the GOP the mother of all payoffs and by getting burned in the only gamble she has taken politically... going to Georgia and Arizona for the landslide victory. Had she stuck with Virginia and Florida as the most exotic states and campaigned WI, PA, and MI more, she probably would have won. She nominated white bread to be her running mate which had very limited benefits. Also, the FBI really did her no favors, from the fake Clinton Fndn "indictment" story and Comey needing to come out twice about the email investigation due to shady shenanigans from the right.
 

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...rebalancing the population element of House representation...

I think it would be more important to deal with Senate representation, where the 580,000 rednecks who live in Wyoming have as much representation as the 40,000,000 lib'ruls who live in California... THAT is why Trump is able to advance his idiot agenda, appoint car-salesmen to lifelong judicial positions etc.

The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

No, the House doesn't. By your logic, it actually represents the interests of a myriad of small congressional districts, a great many of which are gerrymandered to represent Republican interests.
 

Elixir

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The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

Yeah and we're finding out if democracy can really work on the scale of 300+ million people and 50+ state interests. At the time it was only 13 states and our government was never meant to do much more than defense and make sure the states played nice in the sand box.

...and the population was relatively evenly distributed between the "colonies" at the time, at least compared to Wyo vs CA.
 

Copernicus

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The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

Yeah and we're finding out if democracy can really work on the scale of 300+ million people and 50+ state interests. At the time it was only 13 states and our government was never meant to do much more than defense and make sure the states played nice in the sand box.

...and the population was relatively evenly distributed between the "colonies" at the time, at least compared to Wyo vs CA.

Historically, Hamilton worried that truly democratic elections could easily result in the uneducated, poorly-informed masses voting a demagogue or incompetent into office. So he came up with the idea of elite "electors" as representatives appointed by the people to make a more rational decision. And representative state governments were empowered to install senators so that, again, there would be a buffer between uninformed voters and their senators. Over time, the system evolved to take the decision away from electors. Most states automatically assign all of their electoral votes to the candidate whose political party dominates in a statewide election, even when the candidate fails to win an outright majority. Ironically, the electoral college system ended up choosing the incompetent demagogue over experience and competence in 2016. And states now routinely elect senators by popular election rather than appointments by state officials. Although nothing in the Constitution suggested that the Senate should have filibusters or that political parties should be able to game the system, those are aspects of our political reality today.

My point is that it is inaccurate to think that the modern US system works in the way it was originally envisioned. What we have is a mutated version of that vision, and it produces abominations like the makeup of the current federal government in Washington.
 
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coloradoatheist

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The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

Yeah and we're finding out if democracy can really work on the scale of 300+ million people and 50+ state interests. At the time it was only 13 states and our government was never meant to do much more than defense and make sure the states played nice in the sand box.

...and the population was relatively evenly distributed between the "colonies" at the time, at least compared to Wyo vs CA.

But the compromise they came up with the division of government was to make she concetrated areas didn't completely overrule less ones. They never believed in a full democracy.
 

bilby

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...and the population was relatively evenly distributed between the "colonies" at the time, at least compared to Wyo vs CA.

But the compromise they came up with the division of government was to make she concetrated areas didn't completely overrule less ones. They never believed in a full democracy.

'Full democracy' is, like all purely ideological systems of government, shit.

The assumption that 'more democracy' is synonymous with 'a nicer place to live' has generally been true throughout history; but only because democracy to any degree was rare.

There are lots of things that should be decided by expert bodies, or even by individual experts, where replacing that decision making process with democracy leads to bad outcomes. The election of judges, district attorneys, and other specialist roles in government, is one such instance.

Democracy is what you do when all other options are even worse than asking idiots their opinions, and taking the average. Doing it any more than is necessary to avoid dictatorship is generally a poor idea.

But many people in the west (and particularly in the USA) seem to take the very simplistic view that if a little democracy is good, more must be better. Indeed that assumption is so common and widespread that it's very rare to see it questioned at all. Usually it is just assumed that more democracy is automatically a good and desirable end, and that the only discussion should be on the details of how to achieve it.

That the founders of the US strongly felt otherwise is clear. It's a shame that people today seem less inclined to think long and hard about just how widely it is wise to apply democratic ideals.
 

Elixir

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...and the population was relatively evenly distributed between the "colonies" at the time, at least compared to Wyo vs CA.

But the compromise they came up with the division of government was to make she concetrated areas didn't completely overrule less ones. They never believed in a full democracy.

'Full democracy' is, like all purely ideological systems of government, shit.

The assumption that 'more democracy' is synonymous with 'a nicer place to live' has generally been true throughout history; but only because democracy to any degree was rare.

There are lots of things that should be decided by expert bodies, or even by individual experts, where replacing that decision making process with democracy leads to bad outcomes. The election of judges, district attorneys, and other specialist roles in government, is one such instance.

Democracy is what you do when all other options are even worse than asking idiots their opinions, and taking the average. Doing it any more than is necessary to avoid dictatorship is generally a poor idea.

But many people in the west (and particularly in the USA) seem to take the very simplistic view that if a little democracy is good, more must be better. Indeed that assumption is so common and widespread that it's very rare to see it questioned at all. Usually it is just assumed that more democracy is automatically a good and desirable end, and that the only discussion should be on the details of how to achieve it.

That the founders of the US strongly felt otherwise is clear. It's a shame that people today seem less inclined to think long and hard about just how widely it is wise to apply democratic ideals.

Seems to me that you're advocating for some kind of hybrid democracy/aristocracy, and I think that's roughly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Problem is that today, the less populated states are generally full of uneducated redneck racists (the FF didn't worry about racism, since everyone knew at the time, that blacks were not human), not intellectually and educationally privileged "aristocrats" as was the case when the Union was founded.
 

Koyaanisqatsi

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Sanders stayed in a race he knew he could not win as early as March. Why? It served no other purpose but to damage Hillary and help pave the road for Trump electoral.
Clinton didn't lose because of Sanders.

I would argue differently. Without Sanders’ zombie campaign, there would have been more than enough time, resources and focus to address the actual enemy and most of what led to Clinton not being President. Two primary factors—racism and sexism among white Democrats—would have still been an issue difficult to surmount, but a unified party would have had an additional six months to address them in stark relief against Trump.

There would have been no bitterly divisive civil war that both the Trump camp and the Russians fostered, manipulated and benefitted from; no false equivalancy nonsense; no “Hillary didn’t have a message” bullshit (since there would have been no slightly left of Hillary opponent pulling the Price is Right strategy); and, perhaps most important of all, no “Comey effect” as the reason it was arguably the single largest impactful event on her taking the Oval was due to the unusually large percentage of undecideds voting last minute. More than enough, in fact, to have single-handedly caused the minuscule percentage shift in PA, MI and WI that cost her the Oval.

Sanders stayed in because he was winning primaries. Not enough to win the nomination

Then he should have got out of the race. Winning the nomination is the only purpose of the primaries. I’ll repeat that. Winning the nomination is the ONLY purpose of the primaries.

but enough to finally give the left wing an illusion of a voice (illusion of a sound?)

Nonsense. Sanders only “voice” was promising unicorns out of one side of his mouth while stating categorically out of the other side that he knew it wasn’t possible for him to deliver any unicorns. It was, at best, the same old fringe radical nonsense that is in every Democratic primary, only before social media—which only promotes negativity effectively—no one ever pays it any attention except the irrelevant radical fringe.

Both parties have radical fringes. In this election, it was those fringes that were shifted to Center stage due exclusively to the weaponization of the new mainstream media source (i.e., social media), which had never before been utilized in this manner. Obama’s campaign was the first modern day campaign in this regard, but the medium was in its genesis. It wasn’t until Putin, in fact, realized its potential in Russia that he hit upon its use in America. And the irony is, he got the theory from us; he just put into practice.

He did drop out

He most certainly did not. He stayed all the way to the bitter end, escalating his attacks, while being a knowing puppet of the Russians. But more importantly, he stayed knowing that he never—at any point past March—could have won. It served no purpose other than his overinflated ego. There never was a “revolution.” That was a completely fabricated political narrative that preyed upon a liberal messiah ideal that in turn only appealed to an otherwise insignificant minority of primarily young college-educated kids just awakening into the body politic. Political virgins, if you will, who were easily swayed by fantasy rhetoric that allowed them to ignore the fact that Sanders’ policies—at least those that even he would admit had any hope of being implemented—were essentially the same as Hillary’s, only just slightly to her left.

Hence the “Price is Right” strategy. Hillary wanted a $12 min wage, so Bernie said $15. Thank kind of thing. By bidding a dollar more than whatever Hillary argued for, Sanders could positing himself in the center, but still take advantage of the rhetoric of pretending to be the more “progressive” candidate and the irony is that it wasn’t Hillary that moved farther right; it was Sanders who has moved farther and farther right his whole career, culminating in where he stands now; to the right of Hillary advocating that the Democratic Party abandon its anti-abortion and minority focus and instead go after white working class.

he did back her fully

Way too little too late and definitely not “fully.” He skated a fine line between all-in with a wink and a nod to say he’s really not all-in.

after getting a good deal of his platform into the DNC platform.

By “good deal” you mean slight modifications to what was already the DNC platform.

Hillary Clinton was hounded by 30 years of anti-Clinton propaganda that finally gave the GOP the mother of all payoffs and by getting burned in the only gamble she has taken politically... going to Georgia and Arizona for the landslide victory. Had she stuck with Virginia and Florida as the most exotic states and campaigned WI, PA, and MI more, she probably would have won.

A commonly asserted hindsight trope that is disproved by simple logic and the available information at the time.

She nominated white bread to be her running mate which had very limited benefits.

But also no detriments, which is what she was going for more than anything else.

Also, the FBI really did her no favors, from the fake Clinton Fndn "indictment" story and Comey needing to come out twice about the email investigation due to shady shenanigans from the right.

Agreed, but again, had Sanders bailed when he should have—when it was clearly mathematically impossible for him to win—then the impact of those events would have been severely negated, because it was the late voting undecideds that were the most impacted by such ploys. And the only reason they would be undecided that late in the game would have had to have been due to the lasting damage done during the primary civil war, that not only wasted time, resources and focus but also had Democrats fighting Democrats and Democrats fostering the same false equivalency lies insisting—VERY LOUDLY AND ANGRILY—to their friends and family all of the lies the GOP manufactured and the Russians pushed.

You had both barrels of the shotgun firing at Clinton for months leading up to the general—and then a repeat of everything the Russians/Sanders camp had been attacking her with (and more, of course as a result of the responses to what they had attacked her with) in the general—and one side of that barrel was being gleefully fired by Democrats.

Again, what happened was the normally and rightfully dismissed radical left suddenly being moved center stage and given the loudest megaphone. After all the smoke cleared in the primaries, Sanders only managed to move about 5% of registered Democrats. That’s it. That’s what it was all along. But due to the new medium, that 5% mole hill became a mountain.
 

Emily Lake

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The Senate doesn't represent the interests of the citizens, it represents the interests of the States. The House of Representatives represents the interests of the citizens... at least, hypothetically.

No, the House doesn't. By your logic, it actually represents the interests of a myriad of small congressional districts, a great many of which are gerrymandered to represent Republican interests.

Technically, yes, you are correct. I was speaking more to the intended role of the House versus the intended role of the Senate. Senate is supposed to represent the voice of the states as semi-autonomous entities, whereas the House is supposed to represent the will of the population semi-independently of the States. This House is based on the distribution of populations, and Senate is based solely on the count of States.

But yes, you're quite correct... The House represents the interests of weirdly shaped gerrymandered fillets of the population, and in no way actually effectively represents the citizenry.

- - - Updated - - -

My point is that it is inaccurate to think that the modern US system works in the way it was originally envisioned. What we have is a mutated version of that vision, and it produces abominations like the makeup of the current federal government in Washington.
Agreed.
 

Emily Lake

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But the compromise they came up with the division of government was to make she concetrated areas didn't completely overrule less ones. They never believed in a full democracy.

'Full democracy' is, like all purely ideological systems of government, shit.

The assumption that 'more democracy' is synonymous with 'a nicer place to live' has generally been true throughout history; but only because democracy to any degree was rare.

There are lots of things that should be decided by expert bodies, or even by individual experts, where replacing that decision making process with democracy leads to bad outcomes. The election of judges, district attorneys, and other specialist roles in government, is one such instance.

Democracy is what you do when all other options are even worse than asking idiots their opinions, and taking the average. Doing it any more than is necessary to avoid dictatorship is generally a poor idea.

But many people in the west (and particularly in the USA) seem to take the very simplistic view that if a little democracy is good, more must be better. Indeed that assumption is so common and widespread that it's very rare to see it questioned at all. Usually it is just assumed that more democracy is automatically a good and desirable end, and that the only discussion should be on the details of how to achieve it.

That the founders of the US strongly felt otherwise is clear. It's a shame that people today seem less inclined to think long and hard about just how widely it is wise to apply democratic ideals.

:D Anyone who has had to try to get actual work done through a large cross-functional committee should be well aware that full democracy frequently comes up with bad ideas, poorly executed solutions... and does so at glacial speed.
 

Trausti

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But the compromise they came up with the division of government was to make she concetrated areas didn't completely overrule less ones. They never believed in a full democracy.

'Full democracy' is, like all purely ideological systems of government, shit.

The assumption that 'more democracy' is synonymous with 'a nicer place to live' has generally been true throughout history; but only because democracy to any degree was rare.

There are lots of things that should be decided by expert bodies, or even by individual experts, where replacing that decision making process with democracy leads to bad outcomes. The election of judges, district attorneys, and other specialist roles in government, is one such instance.

Democracy is what you do when all other options are even worse than asking idiots their opinions, and taking the average. Doing it any more than is necessary to avoid dictatorship is generally a poor idea.

But many people in the west (and particularly in the USA) seem to take the very simplistic view that if a little democracy is good, more must be better. Indeed that assumption is so common and widespread that it's very rare to see it questioned at all. Usually it is just assumed that more democracy is automatically a good and desirable end, and that the only discussion should be on the details of how to achieve it.

That the founders of the US strongly felt otherwise is clear. It's a shame that people today seem less inclined to think long and hard about just how widely it is wise to apply democratic ideals.

:D Anyone who has had to try to get actual work done through a large cross-functional committee should be well aware that full democracy frequently comes up with bad ideas, poorly executed solutions... and does so at glacial speed.

Occupy Wall Street
 

Emily Lake

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Seems to me that you're advocating for some kind of hybrid democracy/aristocracy....

I'd settle for a re-engineering of a representative democracy. We just need to define some realistic and more robust guidelines for how those representatives are selected and what their roles are.
 

Emily Lake

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:D Anyone who has had to try to get actual work done through a large cross-functional committee should be well aware that full democracy frequently comes up with bad ideas, poorly executed solutions... and does so at glacial speed.

Occupy Wall Street
Also a good example of full democracy failing to make headway.
 

coloradoatheist

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Seems to me that you're advocating for some kind of hybrid democracy/aristocracy....

I'd settle for a re-engineering of a representative democracy. We just need to define some realistic and more robust guidelines for how those representatives are selected and what their roles are.

I guess returning to the purpose of the Constitution and the understanding that trying to solve problems for 300 million people isn't the answer. Move democracy to the local and state governments and only have the federal govt do small things.

In terms of taxes, it should be 5% or so at the national level and the other levels at the state govt.
 

Copernicus

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Seems to me that you're advocating for some kind of hybrid democracy/aristocracy....

I'd settle for a re-engineering of a representative democracy. We just need to define some realistic and more robust guidelines for how those representatives are selected and what their roles are.

I guess returning to the purpose of the Constitution and the understanding that trying to solve problems for 300 million people isn't the answer. Move democracy to the local and state governments and only have the federal govt do small things.

In terms of taxes, it should be 5% or so at the national level and the other levels at the state govt.

I think that the purpose of the Constitution was exactly the opposite--to move representative democracy away from local and state governments. That was the situation we had under the deeply flawed Articles of Confederation, which almost brought about the demise of the Continental Army during the Revolution. The fundamental idea was to give the federal government broad powers of taxation and governance--to form a strong union rather than a loose confederation of states.
 

bilby

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'Full democracy' is, like all purely ideological systems of government, shit.

The assumption that 'more democracy' is synonymous with 'a nicer place to live' has generally been true throughout history; but only because democracy to any degree was rare.

There are lots of things that should be decided by expert bodies, or even by individual experts, where replacing that decision making process with democracy leads to bad outcomes. The election of judges, district attorneys, and other specialist roles in government, is one such instance.

Democracy is what you do when all other options are even worse than asking idiots their opinions, and taking the average. Doing it any more than is necessary to avoid dictatorship is generally a poor idea.

But many people in the west (and particularly in the USA) seem to take the very simplistic view that if a little democracy is good, more must be better. Indeed that assumption is so common and widespread that it's very rare to see it questioned at all. Usually it is just assumed that more democracy is automatically a good and desirable end, and that the only discussion should be on the details of how to achieve it.

That the founders of the US strongly felt otherwise is clear. It's a shame that people today seem less inclined to think long and hard about just how widely it is wise to apply democratic ideals.

Seems to me that you're advocating for some kind of hybrid democracy/aristocracy, and I think that's roughly what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Problem is that today, the less populated states are generally full of uneducated redneck racists (the FF didn't worry about racism, since everyone knew at the time, that blacks were not human), not intellectually and educationally privileged "aristocrats" as was the case when the Union was founded.

More for a hybrid democracy/meritocracy; and I am thinking more widely than just the USA.

The problem with meritocracy is preventing the wealthy and/or powerful from turning it into an aristocracy, by declaring wealth or power to be a proxy for merit. The value in democracy is in preventing that from happening. But unfortunately it tends to do so at the cost of also preventing genuine meritocracy, as the public are by definition not qualified to assess the merits of candidates.
 

SimpleDon

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A good read, and a pragmatic look at the state of our democracy and how the end of the Trump presidency won't fix our problems.

I think this article is spot on, and I find myself saddened by the state of our political system. Until recently, I've been pretty optimistic about our country, but I'm becoming increasingly the opposite. Discuss.

I agree that this article is spot on. I am congenitally optimistic but have become increasingly dismayed at the direction of our democracy, which is spiraling down to authoritarianism. But before we can start to think about what we can do to fix our democracy we have to know what broke it and why.

This started a long time ago and has been building over fifty years or more. The steps that got us to this point;


1.
Convincing a large part of the electorate that the government that pulled us out of the Great Depression and that along with the Soviet Union saved the world from fascism is incompetent and not needed.

1.1
This was accomplished by leveraging the opposition to the civil rights legislation, through the age-old racial appeal that the black and brown people are genetically inferior coupled with the modern twist that the government is going to elevate these inferior people above the racially superior population.​
1.2
This is embodied in the ideas that black and brown people are on welfare or want to be on welfare and that the poor deserve to be poor because of their failures as parents and their lack of initiative.​
2.Convincing some people that the economy would operate better if the federal government left it alone, that the market is capable of self-regulation and would bestow the greatest degree of social justice on the greatest number of people if it was left alone by the government, all of the market failures of the economy are due to the interference of the government.

6.
Convincing some people that the government should be run more like a business, that businessmen could run the government better than the politicians and the government bureaucracy run it.

7.
Convincing some people that higher wages can only mean higher prices and inflation, therefore anything that supports higher wages is evil incarnate, things like the minimum wage and unions.

8.
Convincing some people that profits are desirable and necessary, that there is no such a thing as excessive profits, making profits for the shareholders is the sole reason that corporations exist, that profits don't increase prices and can't cause inflation, unlike wages.

9.
Convincing some people that free trade is necessary and inevitable, the lower cost of imported goods is a greater benefit to consumers than the cost of a few jobs, that supply and demand setting prices to prevent anyone from earning excessive profits from offshoring jobs.

11.
Convincing some people that American industry needs more H1B1 visas for foreign workers because they can't find enough people to fill the positions that they need, at the salaries that they want to pay, and paying more will just increase inflation.

12.
Convincing some people that inflation is a greater evil than unemployment and that increasing interest rates is the best way to fight inflation by creating unemployment in industries that depend on debt; housing, automobiles, appliances, etc., except for inflation in the stock market, bonds, derivatives and real estate, this inflation that we call "capital gains" is a good thing.

13.
Convincing some people that illegal aliens are going to take their jobs and that other countries send us their worse people, criminals and such, that the illegals vote illegally, en masse, which is why we need to pass tight tighten voter id Iaws even if it does disenfranchise some legal voters, because even one illegal vote makes a mockery of our democracy.

14.
Convincing some people that all of the mainstream media intentionally lie to push their liberal, one world agenda, that many of the universities are hotbeds of socialism that indoctrinate their students to support it, both groups tearing up the traditional values that have made this country great.

[td="align:right,width:80"]
3.[/td]
[td]Convincing some people that this self-regulating free market is predicated on the "natural" values of goods, services and especially labor wages and any monetary values above the natural values are responsible for disruptions in the economy like inflation and recessions.[/td][/tr]
[td="align:right,width:80"]
4.[/td]
[td]Convincing some people that the worse interference by the government in the economy is through the imposition of regulations, especially those that impose costs on to the operations of businesses, for things like controls for the mitigation of pollution, forced overtime pay, the government's obsession with food, drug and workplace safety, building codes, the overly restrictive child labor laws and regulations that attempt to prevent innovations in the financial sector to make capital more widely available and cheaper through competition, like the derivatives that made so much mortgage money available in the first seven years of this century.[/td][/tr]
[td="align:right,width:80"]
5.[/td]
[td]Convincing some people that there is nothing that is accomplished by the government that couldn't be done better and cheaper by private, for-profit business, i.e. the free enterprise system.[/td][/tr]

[td="align:right,width:80"]
10.[/td]
[td]Convincing some people that either everyone is baffled why income inequality continues to grow or that the continuing increase in income inequality is probably due to some unknown and apparently unknowable new structural change in the economy, probably having something to do with the greater education requirements of today, but again, who can say?[/td][/tr]
The problem is all of these are wrong. Well, profits are desirable and necessary, but currently are excessive.

We have to push-back on these false beliefs, all of which I have seen repeatedly expressed on this discussion board.

Have I missed anything?

Have I constructed a strawman that is overly harsh on the unnamed "some people" who have been deceived into believing such things?

If so which ones are part of the strawman and how should they be phrased?

Or are these thing true in the whole or in part?

Which ones are true and why?
 
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