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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#20521 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-October-06, 09:55

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-06, 08:55, said:

I think it is now widely understood that "De-fund the police" was a slogan of world-class stupidity. Immediately the explanations came out that this did not mean we should de-fund the police. The recent ploy of Dems to help nutjob Republicans such as Maryland's Cox win the primary really pi**es a lot of us off, and it suggests the Dems feel that they can't win against a sensible R opponent. Among other objections to this ploy, it might backfire. Again, it's idiotic.


Here's the thing Ken

You are ALWAYS going to be able to find something that pisses you off.

Some folks on the Left said "Defund the Police"
One particular group decided to throw some money to support Cox.

So, if you want to look for excuses to get upset about immaterial *****...
Go for it.

But none of this is actually relevant to any of the real issues that are impacting the country.

You want to know what pisses me off?

The fact that you never show any actual interest in policy positions or the like or invest any time / effort in looking at these, preferring instead to go go pearl clutching over irrelevant minutia.
Alderaan delenda est
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#20522 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-October-06, 09:56

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-06, 08:55, said:

I think it is now widely understood that "De-fund the police" was a slogan of world-class stupidity. Immediately the explanations came out that this did not mean we should de-fund the police. The recent ploy of Dems to help nutjob Republicans such as Maryland's Cox win the primary really pi**es a lot of us off, and it suggests the Dems feel that they can't win against a sensible R opponent. Among other objections to this ploy, it might backfire. Again, it's idiotic.


Here's the thing Ken

You are ALWAYS going to be able to find something that pisses you off.

Some folks on the Left said "Defund the Police"
One particular group decided to throw some money to support Cox.

So, if you want to look for excuses to get upset about immaterial *****...
Go for it.

But none of this is actually relevant to any of the real issues that are impacting the country.

You want to know what pisses me off?

The fact that you never show any actual interest in policy positions or the like or invest any time / effort in looking at these, preferring instead to go pearl clutching over irrelevant minutia.
Alderaan delenda est
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#20523 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-06, 11:47

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-October-06, 09:56, said:

Here's the thing Ken

You are ALWAYS going to be able to find something that pisses you off.

Some folks on the Left said "Defund the Police"
One particular group decided to throw some money to support Cox.

So, if you want to look for excuses to get upset about immaterial *****...
Go for it.

But none of this is actually relevant to any of the real issues that are impacting the country.

You want to know what pisses me off?

The fact that you never show any actual interest in policy positions or the like or invest any time / effort in looking at these, preferring instead to go pearl clutching over irrelevant minutia.


If the things that upset me also upset others and if this upsets enough people enough to swing some elections, it could be a mistake to think of these matters as irrelevant minutia. The 2016 election should have been won by HC. It wasn't. If the only explanation Dems can find for this is that they did everything right but people were just too stupid, too lazy, too whatever, then they might want to think again.

There are votes out there that should but don't go to Dems. I am recommending some self-reflection on why this happens. Blaming others, either blaming opponents for their deviousness or voters for their stupidity, only goes so far.

As for my interest in policy positions, take inflation as an example. My position is that I want someone who understands economics far better than I do to be making the decisions. Surely he/she will not call me for advice. I want someone who thinks the effects on the middle class, the struggling class, etc are more critical than the effects on the rich, but I also want the long-term effects on the country to be taken into account. I hope to trust their judgment.
In a similar manner I want someone smarter than I am to formulate immigration policy, and someone smarter than I am to decide on the best moves in the problems in Ukraine.
Sure, I have some general ideas about where we should be headed., but I don't plan to drive the bus to get us there.

I am speaking of bringing the country back together. It is true that I am often astounded at how much more some people know than I do, including people from other countries discussing US politics. But casual conversations at lunch and elsewhere lead me to believe I am at least somewhere in the upper quarter of the population in my knowledge of issues. This means that to win an election the candidate must appeal not only to me and others like me but to people with less experience and less time to invest. My example for this goes back to 1960. I got married in June, I started grad school in the fall, I worked for NASA in the summer taking all the overtime I could get (and it was quite a bit). In the fall wife started classes at the Minneapolis School of Art. We were extremely short on cash, there was a lot to do, I tried to follow the debates and all that stuff but I didn't understand then and I don't understand now just what the issues were about some off-shore islands near China. I did my best and then I voted. There are lots of people now like I was then. Enough to swing an election. It is best not to needlessly antagonize them.

I have no intention of apologizing for my ignorance, nor, for that matter, of bragging about my knowledge. We all choose how to spend our time. Candidates who wish to win must cope.
Ken
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#20524 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-October-06, 14:21

If these were “normal” times would be inclined to agree with Ken; however, this is a crisis point and if that means doing anything necessary to prevent any Republican from winning then so be it. If it backfires, there was nothing to salvage anyway and it’s time to expatriate unless a Christian theocracy is your ideal government.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20525 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-October-06, 14:21

If these were “normal” times would be inclined to agree with Ken; however, this is a crisis point and if that means doing anything necessary to prevent any Republican from winning then so be it. If it backfires, there was nothing to salvage anyway and it’s time to expatriate unless a Christian theocracy is your ideal government.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20526 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 06:20

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-06, 11:47, said:

If the things that upset me also upset others and if this upsets enough people enough to swing some elections, it could be a mistake to think of these matters as irrelevant minutia. The 2016 election should have been won by HC. It wasn't. If the only explanation Dems can find for this is that they did everything right but people were just too stupid, too lazy, too whatever, then they might want to think again.


Just understand, the way to deal with this is to treat you - and the rest of the voting public - in the same way that Fox News does

Dumb down the conversation
Ramp up the culture wars even more
Substitute meaningless slogans for policy
Distract people with bread and circuses

If this is what you want, it can most certainly happen

Democracy requires some degree of responsibility on the part of the public

Much of the country seems to have forgotten about this.
Alderaan delenda est
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#20527 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 07:41

View Posthrothgar, on 2022-October-07, 06:20, said:

Just understand, the way to deal with this is to treat you - and the rest of the voting public - in the same way that Fox News does

Dumb down the conversation
Ramp up the culture wars even more
Substitute meaningless slogans for policy
Distract people with bread and circuses

If this is what you want, it can most certainly happen

Democracy requires some degree of responsibility on the part of the public

Much of the country seems to have forgotten about this.


Added: Much to my surprise I find this got posted. I spent some time thinking about it, clicked to post it, I got some spinning dots and then a note that it had timed out. While doing some errands I figured the robot disagreed with me and anyway a short version would be better, here it is:
I disagree with your description of me.

But now that my post has appeared, I will leave it here. But the short version above might be best.


Of the four listed topics, dumb down, and so on, I support none of them. I understand that you think I do, but I do not.

I am saying that Many voters have only limited time, and yes also only limited interest, for a detailed discussion of policy. And it is not hard to find places where that applies to me. On the PBS Newshour they have been advertising an upcoming series on gun violence. I forget the name of the show and I don't plan to watch it. I have some thoughts about gun violence, some personal, some more theoretical, I have expressed some of them, I have discussed some of them with family and friends, but I don't plan to watch the show. I don't think of that expressing my views without first watching the PBS as dumbing down the conversation. I would be very surprised if it contained important information I was not already aware of, at least in general terms.

My fundamental point in my recent posts is this: Dems should be doing better in races than they have been. Of course there are many reasons. But one reason is that the leadership seems to be very poor at understanding the effect of some of their positions and how these positions are presented. When things go wrong in my own life I can always find someone to blame, but I find it far more useful to search for mistakes that I have made. I am recommending that the Democratic leadership give some thought to that approach.

When I was 16, in the summer I drove over to the university to sit in on a college course in physics. No credit or anything, I just did it. I would not have sat in on an econ class or a poly sci class. when I was ten I loved fishing, when I was 20 I loved water skiing. People have interests and not everyone is going to listen to the hearings of the Jan 6 committee. For example, I didn't. In 2016 I thought Trump was by far the worst choice either major party had ever nominated, at least during my lifetime, and my opinion of him has only become more intense. So I should spend more time hearing that he is a scumbag? I got that long ago. I feel I spent way too much time watching the Nixon hearings back before he resigned. At some point we know all that we need to.

I gather you feel I lack the proper degree of responsibility. I disagree, and I very much think that people who know me would also disagree with this assessment of me. I will have to live with that being your view of me, but I want to make it clear that I disagree.

I am not promising to drop this discussion, but it's hard to see how I can be any clearer than I already have been. We will probably go on disagreeing about my sense of responsibility and why things are in such a mess right now.
Ken
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#20528 User is offline   akwoo 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 14:34

I agree with hrothgar that democracy requires some responsibility on the part of the public.

The evidence tells me that humans do not have that amount of responsibility, and it would be better for us to nuke ourselves into oblivion so that God can start over.
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#20529 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 15:05

There is a wide range of opinion in the water cooler on what it means to be a responsible citizen? Please say it isn't f^cking so.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#20530 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 15:13

View Posty66, on 2022-October-07, 15:05, said:

There is a wide range of opinion in the water cooler on what it means to be a responsible citizen? Please say it isn't f^cking so.


Relax. I suppose we could take a poll, but let's not.
Ken
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#20531 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 17:52

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-06, 08:55, said:

There are quite a few of us who long for a return to sanity on all sides.


To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, "Gentlemen, include me in."
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#20532 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-October-07, 21:33

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-07, 07:41, said:

Added: Much to my surprise I find this got posted. I spent some time thinking about it, clicked to post it, I got some spinning dots and then a note that it had timed out. While doing some errands I figured the robot disagreed with me and anyway a short version would be better, here it is:
I disagree with your description of me.

But now that my post has appeared, I will leave it here. But the short version above might be best.


Of the four listed topics, dumb down, and so on, I support none of them. I understand that you think I do, but I do not.

I am saying that Many voters have only limited time, and yes also only limited interest, for a detailed discussion of policy. And it is not hard to find places where that applies to me. On the PBS Newshour they have been advertising an upcoming series on gun violence. I forget the name of the show and I don't plan to watch it. I have some thoughts about gun violence, some personal, some more theoretical, I have expressed some of them, I have discussed some of them with family and friends, but I don't plan to watch the show. I don't think of that expressing my views without first watching the PBS as dumbing down the conversation. I would be very surprised if it contained important information I was not already aware of, at least in general terms.

My fundamental point in my recent posts is this: Dems should be doing better in races than they have been. Of course there are many reasons. But one reason is that the leadership seems to be very poor at understanding the effect of some of their positions and how these positions are presented. When things go wrong in my own life I can always find someone to blame, but I find it far more useful to search for mistakes that I have made. I am recommending that the Democratic leadership give some thought to that approach.

When I was 16, in the summer I drove over to the university to sit in on a college course in physics. No credit or anything, I just did it. I would not have sat in on an econ class or a poly sci class. when I was ten I loved fishing, when I was 20 I loved water skiing. People have interests and not everyone is going to listen to the hearings of the Jan 6 committee. For example, I didn't. In 2016 I thought Trump was by far the worst choice either major party had ever nominated, at least during my lifetime, and my opinion of him has only become more intense. So I should spend more time hearing that he is a scumbag? I got that long ago. I feel I spent way too much time watching the Nixon hearings back before he resigned. At some point we know all that we need to.

I gather you feel I lack the proper degree of responsibility. I disagree, and I very much think that people who know me would also disagree with this assessment of me. I will have to live with that being your view of me, but I want to make it clear that I disagree.

I am not promising to drop this discussion, but it's hard to see how I can be any clearer than I already have been. We will probably go on disagreeing about my sense of responsibility and why things are in such a mess right now.


I know you are right that many - probably most people do not dig deeply into candidates or policies. Here, then, is are my question for you: 1) How do these people decide for whom to vote? 2) What could the Democrats do to coerce these people to vote for Democrats?

Note, I am not interested in what you think the Democrats are doing wrong. What steps are required to win over people who don't really care and who only hear A) Republicans will cut your taxes and B) Democrats will raise your taxes?

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20533 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 06:29

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-October-07, 21:33, said:

I know you are right that many - probably most people do not dig deeply into candidates or policies. Here, then, is are my question for you: 1) How do these people decide for whom to vote? 2) What could the Democrats do to coerce these people to vote for Democrats?

Note, I am not interested in what you think the Democrats are doing wrong. What steps are required to win over people who don't really care and who only hear A) Republicans will cut your taxes and B) Democrats will raise your taxes?



I am shortly going for a walk with friends so this answer will be brief and a bit off the top.

A couple of technical points. You can't coerce people to vote at all, and it is tough to explain what I think is right w/o at least implying what I think is wrong.

But here is something WaPo did a long time ago that I think was right. They decided that when they were reporting on a crime they would not mention the race of either the perpetrator or the victim unless it had some relevance to the story. So if they wanted assistance in finding the perp they could say he was about six feet tall, about 200 pounds and, let's say, spoke with a Norwegian accent. But otherwise skip his height and skip his Norwegian accent. It's a matter of what we are to focus on.

Here is a recent example of something from PBS Newshour that aggravated me (so, yep, it will be something I think was not done well). They were discussing new inflation numbers and noted that inflation was tough on Latinos and Blacks They then had a guest, who well into his talk explained that this was because Latinos and Blacks are disproportionately lower income groups. Think of the focus. A white guy listening to this can easily conclude that the people doing this story have no interest in him. They could have started with noting the serious effect the sharp inflation rate is having on people of limited means and then, if they wish, go on and mention that this group is disproportionately Black and Latino. The fact that the limited means group is disproportionately Black in Latino is relevant, but in a story about inflation it affects everyone in the limited means group so make the initial focus on that.


The general principle might be this: People are apt to vote for Candidate X if they think Candidate X has an interest in their well-being. If Candidate X has no interest in their well-being then that's tough. But Candidate X should not phrase things so that he unintentionally leads the voter to believe he has no interest in them unless they are in some minority group.

More later.
Ken
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#20534 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 08:54

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-October-07, 21:33, said:

I know you are right that many - probably most people do not dig deeply into candidates or policies. Here, then, is are my question for you: 1) How do these people decide for whom to vote? 2) What could the Democrats do to coerce these people to vote for Democrats?

Note, I am not interested in what you think the Democrats are doing wrong. What steps are required to win over people who don't really care and who only hear A) Republicans will cut your taxes and B) Democrats will raise your taxes?



OK, it was a nice walk. Here is another thought.

Accept that people are on a continuum. There are people who do not read Paul Krugman regularly but still are more attentive than simply thinking of Dems that Dems raise taxes and Reps cut taxes. That's where the votes are. For example. I was chatting last night with a friend from my childhood days who still lives in Minnesota. We spoke a little about politics. He mentioned that as he thinks through his past he figures that if he looked through all of his votes over the years about half would be for Dems, about half for Reps. And no, it was not Ds when he was young, and now Rs. So Dems need to not write him off, and not act as if they have written him off.

Overall, my thinking is that somehow we used to be better at this. We were not so quick to pigeonhole people.
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#20535 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 09:47

View Postkenberg, on 2022-October-08, 08:54, said:

OK, it was a nice walk. Here is another thought.

Accept that people are on a continuum. There are people who do not read Paul Krugman regularly but still are more attentive than simply thinking of Dems that Dems raise taxes and Reps cut taxes. That's where the votes are. For example. I was chatting last night with a friend from my childhood days who still lives in Minnesota. We spoke a little about politics. He mentioned that as he thinks through his past he figures that if he looked through all of his votes over the years about half would be for Dems, about half for Reps. And no, it was not Ds when he was young, and now Rs. So Dems need to not write him off, and not act as if they have written him off.

Overall, my thinking is that somehow we used to be better at this. We were not so quick to pigeonhole people.


Haven't they pigeon-holed themselves?

Do you sincerely believe any of the votes for Trump in 2016 would have swung to Hilary if she had not made her comment about "deplorables"? I do not think so. The people who latched onto that idea wanted to be cast as outlaws, and they weren't voting for Hilary anyway. But it did probably rile up people to vote.

I watched a show probably in 2019 where they were interviewing Trump voters who had previously voted Obama. One man said he voted for Trump to give him a chance as in four years he could be voted out. I think this man was misguided. I don't think he voted Trump but un-voted Hillary.

It used to be that the parties were responsible for weeding out candidates that were too crazed to be in office. That ship has sailed, and especially the Republican side although the only difference is super-delegates with the Dems.

We are now paying a price for indifference. How people receive information is critical to their belief systems. Rational Americans have to try to overcome irrationalism. I'm not sure how to do it.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#20536 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 11:33

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-October-08, 09:47, said:

Haven't they pigeon-holed themselves?

Do you sincerely believe any of the votes for Trump in 2016 would have swung to Hilary if she had not made her comment about "deplorables"? I do not think so. The people who latched onto that idea wanted to be cast as outlaws, and they weren't voting for Hilary anyway. But it did probably rile up people to vote.

I watched a show probably in 2019 where they were interviewing Trump voters who had previously voted Obama. One man said he voted for Trump to give him a chance as in four years he could be voted out. I think this man was misguided. I don't think he voted Trump but un-voted Hillary.

It used to be that the parties were responsible for weeding out candidates that were too crazed to be in office. That ship has sailed, and especially the Republican side although the only difference is super-delegates with the Dems.

We are now paying a price for indifference. How people receive information is critical to their belief systems. Rational Americans have to try to overcome irrationalism. I'm not sure how to do it.


Maybe I could regard you as a test case. I am claiming that if you take any large group of people, say the 2016 Trump voters, there are vast differences among them. Do you reject this as a possibility? And, if there are vast differences, then some of them would have voted for Trump no matter what, but some considered voting for Clinton but in the end chose Trump. A week or so back we were having lunch with a friend and she was talking about having to vote for the least bad choice. I believe (but did not ask) she regarded Biden as not as bad as Trump.

Do people belong in pigeonholes? No. Some Trump voters really would vote for him if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue. Others are open for discussion. I do not think of myself as a fuzzy-headed idealist but I believe people are complex and people change.

As to how Clinton might have won, if she (or you) cannot think of anything that she might have done better, if the only explanation is the awfulness of voters, I regard that thinking as very incomplete.

When I think about people, I think Barbara Stanwyck had it right in The Lady Eve. She was speaking to Henry Fonda and it was about women, but it can apply generally: "The good ones aren't as good as you think they are, and the bad ones are not as bad, not nearly as bad." Ok, some really are as bad, or even worse, than you think they are. But not all.

Sorry if this all sounds too idealistic.



Ken
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#20537 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 12:35

I think most experts who have analysed the 2016 election have concluded that the single largest factor in Clinton losing was the Comey announcement. Which goes to show that in modern politics, creating dirt is far more effective than any policy discussion. Those that think otherwise are generally living in a naive fantasy or optimism. People vote based on emotion, not logical thought. Generally, the easiest emotion for a politician to generate is outrage. This is at the heart of American politics for both sides but it probably represents over 90% of the talking points from the GOP. The effectiveness can be seen from one of the worst characters ever to stand for POTUS winning one election and only narrowly losing the next. The counter to this is not discussing political policy.
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#20538 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 13:58

View PostGilithin, on 2022-October-08, 12:35, said:

I think most experts who have analysed the 2016 election have concluded that the single largest factor in Clinton losing was the Comey announcement. Which goes to show that in modern politics, creating dirt is far more effective than any policy discussion. Those that think otherwise are generally living in a naive fantasy or optimism. People vote based on emotion, not logical thought. Generally, the easiest emotion for a politician to generate is outrage. This is at the heart of American politics for both sides but it probably represents over 90% of the talking points from the GOP. The effectiveness can be seen from one of the worst characters ever to stand for POTUS winning one election and only narrowly losing the next. The counter to this is not discussing political policy.


But this still leaves us with a view of "No reason for Hillary or other Dens to ask what they might have done better, it was all due to the awfulness of opponents and the stupidity of voters". Ok, the world can be, often is, awful and voters, including myself, can make bad choices. I still recommend, when things go wrong in an election or in anything, that those who did not like the outcome reflect on what they might have done better. Of course such reflection will not always pay off, but I regard it as worthwhile. I do not regard it as naive to think that it's a good idea to do this, even if only might, not at all surely, help in the future.
Anyway, I am becoming repetitive so think of this as a response even when I don't post it again later.
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#20539 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 15:45

Let's not forget that H. Clinton actually won the election. By millions of votes.
The already rigged electoral system in the USA is now suffering from 'white panic' as demonstrated by the resurgence of 'replacement theory'.
If the goal posts keep shifting and getting closer together so that only true MAGAhats can win, then Trump (or some other Stalin look-alike) will be elected.

Then New York will become a Gulag and it'll be off to the re-education camps or a one way trip out of the window of a tall building for the non-believers.


non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#20540 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2022-October-08, 17:31

View PostGilithin, on 2022-October-08, 12:35, said:

I think most experts who have analysed the 2016 election have concluded that the single largest factor in Clinton losing was the Comey announcement. Which goes to show that in modern politics, creating dirt is far more effective than any policy discussion.


A close 2nd in 2016 was the relentless (and baseless) investigations on Benghazi, and going further back, the Whitewater investigations during Bill Clinton's time as president. Basically, Trump's campaign was based on "lock her up", vague and meritless campaign pitches that Trump was the outsider non-politician that could clean house in Washington, and a racist and xenophobic appeal in his build the wall campaign. In an election that was decided by a fraction of a percent of the total vote in a handful of swing states, these were enough to change the entire election outcome.
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