# Weakening democracy lol

#### JohnG

##### Senior Member
I think woke is the revolution eating its own children. Woke is the tail end of the rise of feminism and civil rights. The easy pickings have been plucked. If we want further equality we are going to have to do things that are not easy to identify, nor guaranteed to work. Woke is the frustration of the lack of progress, instead of pointing the guns outward towards shared enemies, the guns are pointed inward and the progressives start attacking themselves. The woke ethical standards are now so high that nobody qualifies. Certainly not the people claiming to be woke.

I consider myself progressive and I did not hear about woke through conservative channels. I heard it about it in progressive circles. People who identified as woke.

I have no doubt that it fits nicely into the conservative narrative and it makes perfect sense that they took it and ran with it. It doesn't make it wrong. Sometimes even the evil people say something true.

That all seems pretty vague. I can give you a very specific example of a fabrication of wokeness and it's effectiveness as a political tool by the right.

4 days ago a Virginia Rebublican won his election for governor. Surveys indicate he won that race, fueled by women, who voted based on education issues, specifically CRT in schools.

He focused on that issue during his campaign and it worked.

Only thing is there is zero CRT being taught in Virginia schools. It was just another fear tactic that the "Woke" progressives are going to ruin their lives. I know this is anecdotal, but it's very typical.

There are some very serious culture undercurrents going on in the USA. I don't think wokeness is one of them. I think the issue you are confusing it with is online echo chambers. They exist for every kind of nut imaginable.

It's not mutually exclusive. Conservatives can use dog whistles, taken out of context, to garner support while the same term inside the liberal camp can mean something different.

Also, conservatives are bound to misunderstand the nuances of a liberal concept. I'm convinced that those republicans had replaced CRT with "white man bad". Not entirely wrong. But misses nearly everything CRT is about. And that's fine. We shouldn't dumb down our internal language just because there are idiots on the other side who won't get it. Everybody is made smarter by using clear unambiguous language. If somebody is hellbent on misunderstanding you, there's nothing you can do to fix that.
RW political messaging is hampering the US moving forward. They are going to forever pay $200 for a vial of insulin because they can't stomach the idea of paying into a universal health care system that might help someone they don't "approve of". In Canada, our national radio station has been pretty good (not perfect) at educating people about the downsides of letting stigmatized minorities wither from lesser opportunities, and the human and economic costs of doing that. The basic concepts of what is happening (and why) aren't hard to grasp - it's the solutions that are complicated. Many people do a great job laying it out. However, there is a great interest in using it as a political divisive tool and the social and economic concepts are being countered with a narrative of victimization. Fox News is the most watched news feed and Tucker Carlson has the most watched program among adults aged 25 to 54. Its hard to cut through their relentless griping about how vulnerable groups are causing all America's problems. Now that it's a proven successful business model, it doesn't get any easier. #### Swammerdami ##### Squadron Leader Staff member I just noticed this thread and was slightly surprised to see I'd not posted. Briefly: OP is wrong, very very wrong. 100% wrong. He has it backwards. There is definitely such a thing as too much reductionism! Sometimes I wish I'd memorized the names of the major fallacies of reasoning; then I could just post a 2-word response, probably in Latin. Instead I will explain Fallacy #5 with examples. @ OP, do you find the following reasonable? "I stubbed my toe and that didn't hurt much, so go ahead and chop off my arm. Same-same." "A year ago my local newspaper published a letter from some moron or liar. So go ahead and bombard every American household with bullshit, some of it carefully constructed by the Kremlin. Same-same. Sure, millions of voters are stupid enough to be duped, but that's their fault, not mine." These caricatures do not form a long well-reasoned essay. But I've posted essays and links to essays on this topic before. Google knows where they are. Horse, water, drink? #### DrZoidberg ##### Contributor I think woke is the revolution eating its own children. Woke is the tail end of the rise of feminism and civil rights. The easy pickings have been plucked. If we want further equality we are going to have to do things that are not easy to identify, nor guaranteed to work. Woke is the frustration of the lack of progress, instead of pointing the guns outward towards shared enemies, the guns are pointed inward and the progressives start attacking themselves. The woke ethical standards are now so high that nobody qualifies. Certainly not the people claiming to be woke. I consider myself progressive and I did not hear about woke through conservative channels. I heard it about it in progressive circles. People who identified as woke. I have no doubt that it fits nicely into the conservative narrative and it makes perfect sense that they took it and ran with it. It doesn't make it wrong. Sometimes even the evil people say something true. That all seems pretty vague. I can give you a very specific example of a fabrication of wokeness and it's effectiveness as a political tool by the right. 4 days ago a Virginia Rebublican won his election for governor. Surveys indicate he won that race, fueled by women, who voted based on education issues, specifically CRT in schools. He focused on that issue during his campaign and it worked. Only thing is there is zero CRT being taught in Virginia schools. It was just another fear tactic that the "Woke" progressives are going to ruin their lives. I know this is anecdotal, but it's very typical. There are some very serious culture undercurrents going on in the USA. I don't think wokeness is one of them. I think the issue you are confusing it with is online echo chambers. They exist for every kind of nut imaginable. It's not mutually exclusive. Conservatives can use dog whistles, taken out of context, to garner support while the same term inside the liberal camp can mean something different. Also, conservatives are bound to misunderstand the nuances of a liberal concept. I'm convinced that those republicans had replaced CRT with "white man bad". Not entirely wrong. But misses nearly everything CRT is about. And that's fine. We shouldn't dumb down our internal language just because there are idiots on the other side who won't get it. Everybody is made smarter by using clear unambiguous language. If somebody is hellbent on misunderstanding you, there's nothing you can do to fix that. RW political messaging is hampering the US moving forward. They are going to forever pay$200 for a vial of insulin because they can't stomach the idea of paying into a universal health care system that might help someone they don't "approve of".

In Canada, our national radio station has been pretty good (not perfect) at educating people about the downsides of letting stigmatized minorities wither from lesser opportunities, and the human and economic costs of doing that.

The basic concepts of what is happening (and why) aren't hard to grasp - it's the solutions that are complicated. Many people do a great job laying it out. However, there is a great interest in using it as a political divisive tool and the social and economic concepts are being countered with a narrative of victimization.

Fox News is the most watched news feed and Tucker Carlson has the most watched program among adults aged 25 to 54. Its hard to cut through their relentless griping about how vulnerable groups are causing all America's problems. Now that it's a proven successful business model, it doesn't get any easier.
"hampering the US moving forward."

The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.

If progressives fail to convince voters to vote for them, then perhaps we should work on our arguments?

The degree of democracy of a society also isn't based on the amount of boring-as-fuck media people are willing to suffer through. If the progressive message isn't fun to listen to, we'll just have to work on our delivery. Seriousness and humorlessness is NOT the same thing. This is something us progressives can learn a thing or two from the conservatives.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.

Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.

Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)
The Nazi Party only garnered 43.7% of the vote. As you wrote They managed to win a majority of seats by joining with another party to form a government.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.

Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)

### Adolf Hitler's rise to power​

(Summarized from above) The Nazi Party only garnered 43.7% of the vote. As you wrote They managed to win a majority of seats by joining with another party to form a government. Even then it is only because President von Hindenburg of Germany feared anarchy if he didn't acknowledge this coalition as winners they never would have won power.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.

Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)

I was not referring to that particular historical event. Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Which is the opposite of democracy.

I only posed a hypothetical. But fascists have historically gotten into power lawfully.

In the 2012 Egyptian election Mohammed Morsi won on a openly anti-democratic Islamist Muslim Brotherhood ticket. He got 40% of the vote and created a coalition together with Al-Nour (30% of the vote) an even more bonkers anti-democratic Islamist party. Together they got 70% of the vote on the promise to make a one party islamist state. That was a free and fair election. The will of the people had spoken.

In 2010 Fidesz took power in Hungary in a free and fair election. They won again in 2014. A free and fair election. At this point they voted for constitutional changes to game the parliament in favour of Fidesz. This could only have succeeded if Fidesz won the 2018 election. The people cast their vote, Fidesz won and free and fair elections were history. Next Hungarian elections are next year. Who wants to bet against Fidesz winning?

The take away from this is that people do sometimes value things other than democracy as a greater good.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.
Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)
I was not referring to that particular historical event. Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Which is the opposite of democracy.
You didn't refer to that particular historical event. I did.

But I'm curious why you state that Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Before we proceed I think we'll need clarification of why some fascist takeovers are coups and some are not. . In accordance with German law, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Mr. Hitler to be Chancellor and later issued the Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat.

Is your insight that 44% is less than 50%? What about the 2016 U.S. election where Trump prevailed with 46% to Clinton's 48%? Anyway, Hitler's coalition got 52% in the 1933 elections.

52% is more than 50%. Where's the coup? Are you the arbiter of whether or not a particular election is "exactly how democracy should work"?

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
It is a problem with democracy -- if one votes to shut it down, then restoring it can be difficult.

As to Fidesz, it was hard to predict that Fidesz would try to tweak the electoral system so that it would be hard to defeat. Likewise with Nazism. There was no hint that it would end up outlawing all political parties but it itself, even its coalition partners.

That reminds me of a monarchist objecting to some ex-monarchy republics having provisions in their constitutions that forbid the re-establishment of monarchy. It would be hard to undo such a re-establishment.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.
Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?

(If you nit-pick that the Nazi coalition won only 44% of the vote and had to mount a "Stop the Steal" campaign to obtain complete control, you lose.)
I was not referring to that particular historical event. Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Which is the opposite of democracy.
You didn't refer to that particular historical event. I did.

But I'm curious why you state that Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Before we proceed I think we'll need clarification of why some fascist takeovers are coups and some are not. . In accordance with German law, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Mr. Hitler to be Chancellor and later issued the Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat.

Is your insight that 44% is less than 50%? What about the 2016 U.S. election where Trump prevailed with 46% to Clinton's 48%? Anyway, Hitler's coalition got 52% in the 1933 elections.

52% is more than 50%. Where's the coup? Are you the arbiter of whether or not a particular election is "exactly how democracy should work"?

I think what makes a democracy is the populations general attitude towards politics. In authoritarian regimes people don't talk about politics. It's not safe to. And their opinion doesn't matter anyway. In authoritarian regimes political discussions among the citizens is reduced to poking fun at their leaders in various ways.

The Pro-Trump Capital Hill riot does prove one thing. Americans feel empowered. They feel that their voice matters. And that's the primary hallmark of a well functioning democracy. I was in Egypt during the revolution. The Egyptians on Tahir square who rose up to topple Mubarak were prepared to die. Maybe not all of them. But they were warriors going to battle. They didn't wear war paint and dressed in a parody of native American dress. They didn't have humorous t-shirts.

A lot of people in well functioning well run democratic societies don't care about politics and can't be bothered to vote. In democracies people only get engaged in politics when they feel something is not developing in the right direction. So apathy and cynicism isn't necessarily a sign of a democracy not working.

Hitler exploited a legal loophole to topple the very institution his main job was to protect. That's a coup. Just because something is legal, doesn't make it morally right, or even in the spirit of what the law was intended to do. The entire point of laws is to direct people into constructive endevours that act to make the world a better place. I think few people think Hitler managed to do that.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
It is a problem with democracy -- if one votes to shut it down, then restoring it can be difficult.

As to Fidesz, it was hard to predict that Fidesz would try to tweak the electoral system so that it would be hard to defeat. Likewise with Nazism. There was no hint that it would end up outlawing all political parties but it itself, even its coalition partners.

My Hungarian ex-wife explained it to me. People think in dichotomies. In Hungarian politics the divide is between socialists and the conservatives. In 2006 this guy won the election for the socialists.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferenc_Gyurcsány

It turned out that he was a Putin puppet, sold out his nation, cooked the books and was generally, the worst possible prime minister a country can have. It all exploded in his face in a public manner. In the 2010 election the voters swung heavily to the right, just because they hated this guy so much. Fidesz was the leader of the conservative block, so managed to nab power. And that's the whole story. All they need to be is NOT massive traitors to their nation, and they will always look better than the socialists preceding them. It's not a hard competition to win.

That reminds me of a monarchist objecting to some ex-monarchy republics having provisions in their constitutions that forbid the re-establishment of monarchy. It would be hard to undo such a re-establishment.

But constitutions can be changed. If there's enough popular support for something it will happen. What matters ultimately in a democracy is the will of the people. Actually, that's also what ultimately matters in a dictatorship. If people's basic needs aren't met no ruler is safe.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.
Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?
I was not referring to that particular historical event. Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Which is the opposite of democracy.
You didn't refer to that particular historical event. I did.

But I'm curious why you state that Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Before we proceed I think we'll need clarification of why some fascist takeovers are coups and some are not. . In accordance with German law, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Mr. Hitler to be Chancellor and later issued the Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat.

Hitler exploited a legal loophole to topple the very institution his main job was to protect. That's a coup. Just because something is legal, doesn't make it morally right, or even in the spirit of what the law was intended to do. The entire point of laws is to direct people into constructive endevours that act to make the world a better place. I think few people think Hitler managed to do that.

Can you be more specific? As I say, Hitler's Party won the Parliament; Hitler was appointed Chancellor in accordance with their constitutional processes. What "loophole" are you talking about? And anyway, is a "loophole" a "coup"?

Many or most democracies have idiosyncrasies. U.S. has the peculiar Electoral College which leads to R's becoming President despite the D winning the popular vote. Does this mean Trump won in 2016 via a loophole? Or via a coup? Google thinks "coup" is "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government." Do you have a different definition? (You do seem to have a Humpty-Dumptyish approach to definitions. What do you think a "Jewish temple" is again?

I'm trying to understand your "That's exactly how democracy should work." Was Trump's election "exactly how democracy should work"? Why wasn't Hitler's?

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
has the numbers in its table "NSDAP federal election results (1924–1933)"

DateFractionRankSeatsNotes
1924 May6.5%632 / 472H in prison
1924 Dec3.0%814 / 493H released
1928 May2.6%912 / 491
1930 Sep18.3%2107 / 577After financial crisis
1932 Jul37.3%1230 / 608H Presidency cand
1932 Nov33.1%1196 / 584
1933 Mar43.9%1288 / 647H Chancellor

Adolf Hitler was *not* directly elected leader, and his party did *not* win a majority of votes in any election where it had competition. Instead, it got into power by making a deal with the German National People's Party (DNVP), a nationalist-conservative party: - "National conservatism is a nationalist variant of conservatism that concentrates on upholding national and cultural identity. National conservatives usually combine this patriotism with conservative stances promoting traditional cultural values, opposition to immigration, and family values."

In the middle of 1933, the Nazis outlawed all political parties but theirs. That included the DNVP, and the DNVP meekly shut itself down.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
The topic was NOT Hitler's rise to power; it was Dr. Z's definition of "coup" and how to determine "exactly how democracy should work." There is reason to believe that GOP voter suppression has affected many elections in "red" states, and quite possibly even the 2016 Presidential Election. But the suppression measures were passed under the authority of "democratically elected" bodies. Is that exactly how democracy SHOULD work?

#### lpetrich

##### Contributor
So it's not a real coup if it's done from within? There is a name for that sort of coup: (translation of Spanish autogolpe). It's when a democratically elected leader makes himself dictator, and the article listed Adolf Hitler as an example, and Donald Trump as an attempted example.

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
The measure of success for democracy isn't the degree of socialism in a society. If a majority of the people would vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis as such got into power that isn't a failure of democracy. That's exactly how democracy should work.
Just to make sure I'm following you, there is a well-known historical instance when a majority of the people DID vote for the Nazi party and the Nazis (as such) DID get into power. It happened in Germany in 1932. Is this exactly how democracy "should" work?
I was not referring to that particular historical event. Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Which is the opposite of democracy.
You didn't refer to that particular historical event. I did.

But I'm curious why you state that Hitler grabbed power in a coup. Before we proceed I think we'll need clarification of why some fascist takeovers are coups and some are not. . In accordance with German law, President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Mr. Hitler to be Chancellor and later issued the Verordnung des Reichspräsidenten zum Schutz von Volk und Staat.

Hitler exploited a legal loophole to topple the very institution his main job was to protect. That's a coup. Just because something is legal, doesn't make it morally right, or even in the spirit of what the law was intended to do. The entire point of laws is to direct people into constructive endevours that act to make the world a better place. I think few people think Hitler managed to do that.

Can you be more specific? As I say, Hitler's Party won the Parliament; Hitler was appointed Chancellor in accordance with their constitutional processes. What "loophole" are you talking about? And anyway, is a "loophole" a "coup"?

Many or most democracies have idiosyncrasies. U.S. has the peculiar Electoral College which leads to R's becoming President despite the D winning the popular vote. Does this mean Trump won in 2016 via a loophole? Or via a coup? Google thinks "coup" is "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government." Do you have a different definition? (You do seem to have a Humpty-Dumptyish approach to definitions. What do you think a "Jewish temple" is again?

I'm trying to understand your "That's exactly how democracy should work." Was Trump's election "exactly how democracy should work"? Why wasn't Hitler's?
No democratic country on Earth is perfect. They're all riddled with exploitable loopholes and exploits. They're also all different, can into existence in different historical contexts, have different economies and different cultures and ethnic compositions.

The ones that are stable have found a recipe that works. The ones that aren't haven't. I can't be more specific than that.

USA is an extremely well functioning democracy. It has problems, yes. But they all do.

USA has gamed the voter power and given more weight to less populace States. If they didn't US politics would be California, Texas and New York and the opinions of the rest of the country would be irrelevant. This would be bad. That's why Trump won in spite of only getting 46%.

In EU the voting power of small states is disproportionaly high. This is necessary, or no small state would join the EU.

So many people are rigidly hung up on democratic principles so that they forget about pragmatism. Nobody should give a shit about what should work. They should care about what actually works.

#### Swammerdami

Staff member
The ones that are stable have found a recipe that works. The ones that aren't haven't. I can't be more specific than that.
Is it a yes-no thing? Or is there a gradation between perfect democracy (if you think there is such a thing) and severely flawed democracy? If the latter is your opinion, then you have a nuanced view not dissimilar from my own.

Where you confuse me and make your message ambiguous is with phrases like "exactly how democracy should work." Trump and his QOPAnon allies use immoral trickery or non-democratic means to obtain electoral victory, and so did Adolf Hitler. Is it your position that one of these rises to power was EXACTLY how democracy SHOULD work and the other was exactly how democracy should NOT work?

If you DO perceive NUANCE, do you see that your diction misleads?

Had you posted what you did but without the word "exactly", I would have skimmed your post, agreed to disagree, and moved on. Perhaps I'm too pedantic but that adverb struck me as so absurd I felt I had no choice but to respond! If, on reflection, you now realize that that adverb was a bad rhetorical flourish that detracted from more nuanced thought, then you can recant and we can move on. (But I won't hold my breath!)

USA has gamed the voter power and given more weight to less populace States. If they didn't US politics would be California, Texas and New York and the opinions of the rest of the country would be irrelevant. This would be bad. That's why Trump won in spite of only getting 46%.

Two points:

(1) If the U.S. had a popular vote for President, as many would find preferable, do you see that this would NOT give New York and California special power? Each vote in California would have the EXACT same weight as each vote in Rhode Island.

(2) Portugal has different culture and traditions from Spain. It makes some sense that Portugal has its own voice in the EU, rather than being lumped in with Spain. Do you think North and South Dakota have sufficiently diverse cultures so that each needs its own electoral advantage? Is there a good reason why Rhode Island gets 2 Senators and the similar region of Southeastern Massachusetts does not? Almost 4 centuries ago, Rhode Island was started as a refuge from the authoritarian Puritanism of Massachusetts. Rhode Island's founder embraced Baptism. Do you think religious schism still separates Rhode Island from its Bristol County neighbors? (Spoiler alert! Rhode Island is now the most CATHOLIC of all the 50 states! )

If you want to argue that Yes, North Dakota and South Dakota have different cultures and so somehow merit the extra political power, all I can do is laugh. And point out there is more cultural variation just in Northern California than in the entirety of Flyover Land put together!

#### DrZoidberg

##### Contributor
The ones that are stable have found a recipe that works. The ones that aren't haven't. I can't be more specific than that.
Is it a yes-no thing? Or is there a gradation between perfect democracy (if you think there is such a thing) and severely flawed democracy? If the latter is your opinion, then you have a nuanced view not dissimilar from my own.

Where you confuse me and make your message ambiguous is with phrases like "exactly how democracy should work." Trump and his QOPAnon allies use immoral trickery or non-democratic means to obtain electoral victory, and so did Adolf Hitler. Is it your position that one of these rises to power was EXACTLY how democracy SHOULD work and the other was exactly how democracy should NOT work?

If you DO perceive NUANCE, do you see that your diction misleads?

Had you posted what you did but without the word "exactly", I would have skimmed your post, agreed to disagree, and moved on. Perhaps I'm too pedantic but that adverb struck me as so absurd I felt I had no choice but to respond! If, on reflection, you now realize that that adverb was a bad rhetorical flourish that detracted from more nuanced thought, then you can recant and we can move on. (But I won't hold my breath!)

In politics everyone thinks their side is rational and that the other side is swindled by demagogues. The truth is of course that it's a bit of both on both sides.

What sets liberals and conservatives apart is basic values.

I can recommend The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt. He interviewed liberals and conservatives and asked them about their basic values. This book spells it out.

Fundamentally it comes down to how "fairness" is defined.

I'm a big believer in systems design and implicit nudging.

Either a system is self correcting and people acting within it makes it more stable over time. Or it becomes less stable over time.

It's also important to stay humble. Its entirely possible that the secret sauce that makes democracy so successful in the modern age, has eluded us all. The real reason democracies work might be something so subtle and left field that nobody has thought about it yet.

There's no shortage of democratic experiments that failed. In hindsight we're guessing what the problems were. But we don't really know. Not really.

USA has gamed the voter power and given more weight to less populace States. If they didn't US politics would be California, Texas and New York and the opinions of the rest of the country would be irrelevant. This would be bad. That's why Trump won in spite of only getting 46%.

Two points:

(1) If the U.S. had a popular vote for President, as many would find preferable, do you see that this would NOT give New York and California special power? Each vote in California would have the EXACT same weight as each vote in Rhode Island.

(2) Portugal has different culture and traditions from Spain. It makes some sense that Portugal has its own voice in the EU, rather than being lumped in with Spain. Do you think North and South Dakota have sufficiently diverse cultures so that each needs its own electoral advantage? Is there a good reason why Rhode Island gets 2 Senators and the similar region of Southeastern Massachusetts does not? Almost 4 centuries ago, Rhode Island was started as a refuge from the authoritarian Puritanism of Massachusetts. Rhode Island's founder embraced Baptism. Do you think religious schism still separates Rhode Island from its Bristol County neighbors? (Spoiler alert! Rhode Island is now the most CATHOLIC of all the 50 states! )

If you want to argue that Yes, North Dakota and South Dakota have different cultures and so somehow merit the extra political power, all I can do is laugh. And point out there is more cultural variation just in Northern California than in the entirety of Flyover Land put together!
1) the current US electoral system is the result of the civil war. Maybe don't fuck with until after the next civil war. Obviously things have changed since then. What was sensible and fair then, isn't now. But how are you going to change it now, without starting that civil war we're trying to avoid?

2) cultures shift gradually across Europe. I argue that borders between European nations can be drawn anywhere in Europe. Its all arbitrary.

The reason why we don't lump Portugal and Spain together in the EU is because its easier not to. There's no other reason. Its just practical this way