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

#21181 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-October-21, 20:14

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-October-21, 14:39, said:

The danger is that 91% of the Republicans in the House majority were willing to make an insurrectionist who was in on the planning and an active participant in the planned delay tactics the speaker, which would have made presidential elections moot and no way to eradicate enough gerrymandered seats to make significant changes. So yes we are pretty well screwed when half the voters back Putin and Orban.


The situation is bad, Calling the situation bad is being realistic. That is not the same as saying I have lost all hope, I haven't.


The way out will have to involve everyday people. I think there are a lot of us seeking a way out. What will not happen is everyone suddenly realizing Ken is a great guy who is absolutely right about things. But maybe enough could say Ken is a bit weird, but I think we can get along anyway.

I have friends who are more liberal than I am, maybe quite a bit more, and I have friends who are more conservative than I am, maybe quite a bit more so. We not only don't need to obliterate each other, we don't even need to persuade each other to see things our way. Life has always been like that. Some people are just weird, they see things differently than I do, but hey, we seem to be able to get along.

This fundamental aspect of life seems to be in a state of collapse. It's in all our best interests to get it back together.


Ok, I know, this all sounds more than a little hokey. Sometimes we need a bit of hoke.
Ken
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#21182 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-October-21, 22:19

American politics reminds an outsider of a bunch of school children fighting over the last sandwich at a buffet.


So-called political parties command no loyalty to a platform and no loyalty to any internal party decision-making process.
People getting elected because "they seem like a solid person to me" is not a basis for successful governance.

The failure of the "Well they really seemed sensible when I cast my ballot" method of voting is well-documented everywhere outside of politics.
Michael Lewis has written numerous books on the topic.

When a US political party finally catches on to the idea that discipline and a strong platform with a sharp focus on the well-being of voters (economic and social) is crucial to electoral success congress will continue as the living embodiment of Plato's Ship of Fools.







Non legit hoc
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#21183 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-22, 07:18

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-October-21, 22:19, said:

American politics reminds an outsider of a bunch of school children fighting over the last sandwich at a buffet.


So-called political parties command no loyalty to a platform and no loyalty to any internal party decision-making process.
People getting elected because "they seem like a solid person to me" is not a basis for successful governance.

The failure of the "Well they really seemed sensible when I cast my ballot" method of voting is well-documented everywhere outside of politics.
Michael Lewis has written numerous books on the topic.

When a US political party finally catches on to the idea that discipline and a strong platform with a sharp focus on the well-being of voters (economic and social) is crucial to electoral success congress will continue as the living embodiment of Plato's Ship of Fools.

I wish it were so simple. There continues to be an assault on free thinking by groups claiming they do so as free speech advocates, who disavow teaching any type of critical thinking. On top of that we have created information bubbles where information is slanted to the point of being political propaganda. These problems have led to gerrymandered districts where it is now virtually impossible to have free and fair elections between parties but a one-party primary to see who can be most angry. There are indeed a large number of people that are everyday types, as Ken pointed out, but unless they become active in politics and expand their information sources and learn critical thinking all of a sudden it is almost impossible to count on any change in voting patterns. It's pretty clear that the U.S. is now an oligarchy, or very near, and without some type of super-majority of fair-minded people elected to offices both on the state and national level I don't see how this experiment can self-correct for generations.

The well-received book, How Democracies Die, points out that in today's world democracies die slowly over time and from the inside out, and American democracy is dependent upon its norm, not laws or the constitution, but in essence electing reasonable people who accept opposing viewpoints as legitimate if misguided. We are no longer electing those people and won't for who knows how long? Nothing will be accomplished without a decades-long commiitment to save liberal democray and it is difficuolt if not impossible to get our modern sociieties to believe in delayed gratification and look at the long range picture.








"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21184 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-October-22, 09:00

View Postpilowsky, on 2023-October-21, 22:19, said:

American politics reminds an outsider of a bunch of school children fighting over the last sandwich at a buffet.


So-called political parties command no loyalty to a platform and no loyalty to any internal party decision-making process.
People getting elected because "they seem like a solid person to me" is not a basis for successful governance.

The failure of the "Well they really seemed sensible when I cast my ballot" method of voting is well-documented everywhere outside of politics.
Michael Lewis has written numerous books on the topic.

When a US political party finally catches on to the idea that discipline and a strong platform with a sharp focus on the well-being of voters (economic and social) is crucial to electoral success congress will continue as the living embodiment of Plato's Ship of Fools.




I will go at this in an oblique way. I know it is easy to romanticize the past, but I recall a happy childhood and ask how things have gone so far off the track. Maybe the short version is this: Neither of my parents had ever heard of Plato or a Ship of Fools, but they lived responsibly and did their best to vote responsibly.

It's not just Plato and it's not just my parents. I was a 17-year-old high school senior when my psychology teacher, Mr. Tighe, suggested that I write my term paper on Freud. I asked "Who is Freued?" The text talked a lot about B.F.Skinner, I knew who he was, but if there was a chapter, or a page, on Freud I missed it.

I could catch and clean fish when I was 5 or so, I could operate the outboard motor when I was around 9, I had a shotgun when I was 12 and went hunting, I bought a car with money I had earned when I was 15 and rebuilt the engine but Plato and Freud were out of my mental environment. I knew who Pluto was, but not Plato.

Ok, a good childhood but what's my political point? In 1952 Adlai Stevenson was running against Dwight Eisenhower. My father belonged to the carpenter's union, unions supported Dems, my parents liked Ike. Neither parent could discuss political theory but there was a war (ok, a "police action", whatever the hell that was) going on in Korea and Ike was the guy to fix it. So my parents, and many others, voted for Ike.

The world is full of people who want to do the right thing but they do not spend a lot of time with political details. You mention Michael Lewis. I have heard of him, maybe I even read something of his once, but I don't remember. Think Taylor Swift. I am pretty sure she is a singer, possibly I have heard one of her songs, but I can't say which one. There are a lot of people that I guess I am expected to know something about but I don't. Still, I vote. I was a Stevenson supporter in 1952. I recall he was a governor of Illinois, but don't ask me for details.

There are a lot of good people out there who are pretty light on political theory. I think many of them are feeling abandoned by both parties.





Ken
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#21185 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-22, 15:49

View Postkenberg, on 2023-October-22, 09:00, said:

I will go at this in an oblique way. I know it is easy to romanticize the past, but I recall a happy childhood and ask how things have gone so far off the track. Maybe the short version is this: Neither of my parents had ever heard of Plato or a Ship of Fools, but they lived responsibly and did their best to vote responsibly.

It's not just Plato and it's not just my parents. I was a 17-year-old high school senior when my psychology teacher, Mr. Tighe, suggested that I write my term paper on Freud. I asked "Who is Freued?" The text talked a lot about B.F.Skinner, I knew who he was, but if there was a chapter, or a page, on Freud I missed it.

I could catch and clean fish when I was 5 or so, I could operate the outboard motor when I was around 9, I had a shotgun when I was 12 and went hunting, I bought a car with money I had earned when I was 15 and rebuilt the engine but Plato and Freud were out of my mental environment. I knew who Pluto was, but not Plato.

Ok, a good childhood but what's my political point? In 1952 Adlai Stevenson was running against Dwight Eisenhower. My father belonged to the carpenter's union, unions supported Dems, my parents liked Ike. Neither parent could discuss political theory but there was a war (ok, a "police action", whatever the hell that was) going on in Korea and Ike was the guy to fix it. So my parents, and many others, voted for Ike.

The world is full of people who want to do the right thing but they do not spend a lot of time with political details. You mention Michael Lewis. I have heard of him, maybe I even read something of his once, but I don't remember. Think Taylor Swift. I am pretty sure she is a singer, possibly I have heard one of her songs, but I can't say which one. There are a lot of people that I guess I am expected to know something about but I don't. Still, I vote. I was a Stevenson supporter in 1952. I recall he was a governor of Illinois, but don't ask me for details.

There are a lot of good people out there who are pretty light on political theory. I think many of them are feeling abandoned by both parties.


How politically adept do you have to be to know Trump is a disaster who should never hold a public office?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21186 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 07:50

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-October-22, 15:49, said:

How politically adept do you have to be to know Trump is a disaster who should never hold a public office?


Of course. So what is happening? My take:

There are many people who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party. Voting for Trump is an extreme and disastrous overreaction, but there we are. Is there a way back?
Ken
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#21187 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 09:15

View Postkenberg, on 2023-October-23, 07:50, said:

Of course. So what is happening? My take:

There are many people who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party. Voting for Trump is an extreme and disastrous overreaction, but there we are. Is there a way back?


Yes, if the Democratic Party decides to implement policies & uphold commitments made by their leaders and which a plurality of Dem voters voted for.

Even those policies that you or I may disagree with (e.g. student debt relief)...
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#21188 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 09:31

View Postkenberg, on 2023-October-23, 07:50, said:

Of course. So what is happening? My take:

There are many people who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party. Voting for Trump is an extreme and disastrous overreaction, but there we are. Is there a way back?

The vast majority of people voting for Trump are not doing so because of disenchantment with Democrats but because they see him as the one most sharing their values. You can see this in more or less every poll of likely GOP voters. The simple truth is that a very large chunk of the American electorate are more concerned about rights being given (or rather taken away, since in theory they already have them) to non-whites, non-Christians, women and immigrants than they are about national security or democracy. If you think that the solution is for Democrats to reach out to this group, such as by embracing Jim Crow era laws then you are missing the point. The answer is not to allow a minority of Americans to dominate the majority. There is no way back beyond education, which is impossible so long as those that believe in Crow values are in control of the syllabus and libraries for half of the country.
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#21189 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 09:49

View Postkenberg, on 2023-October-23, 07:50, said:

Of course. So what is happening? My take:

There are many people who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party. Voting for Trump is an extreme and disastrous overreaction, but there we are. Is there a way back?


I can only follow with what comic Ron White says: you can fix breasts too large or too small; you can correct crooked teeth; you can get liposuction for the stomach. But you can't fix stupid.

If someone who is not stupid does something stupid (like vote Trump once) and then resents being called stupid, that person is simply acting like a snowflake when they should hang their head and smile and acknowledge their stupid choice. But I also submit there are plenty of stupid people who don't know how bad voting for Trump is or was and will do so again.

Stupidity, though, does not explain bias and racism and all the other non-white , non-christian isms haunting our country. Those are learned behaviors. The goal should be to prevent that type of educaiton being taught to innocent minds, if possible. The only way I know to counteract that is through public education. Why else did the right attack schools over decades as leftists enemies.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21190 User is offline   PrecisionL 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 12:43

View PostGilithin, on 2023-October-23, 09:31, said:

The vast majority of people voting for Trump are not doing so because of disenchantment with Democrats but because they see him as the one most sharing their values. You can see this in more or less every poll of likely GOP voters. The simple truth is that a very large chunk of the American electorate are more concerned about rights being given (or rather taken away, since in theory they already have them) to non-whites, non-Christians, women and immigrants than they are about national security or democracy. If you think that the solution is for Democrats to reach out to this group, such as by embracing Jim Crow era laws then you are missing the point. The answer is not to allow a minority of Americans to dominate the majority. There is no way back beyond education, which is impossible so long as those that believe in Crow values are in control of the syllabus and libraries for half of the country.


And you know this how?
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#21191 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-23, 15:14

View PostPrecisionL, on 2023-October-23, 12:43, said:

And you know this how?

Because I understand how to read statistics?
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#21192 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-24, 18:40

View Postkenberg, on 2023-October-23, 07:50, said:

Of course. So what is happening? My take:

There are many people who are disenchanted with the Democratic Party. Voting for Trump is an extreme and disastrous overreaction, but there we are. Is there a way back?


That could explain 2016. No way it explains 65 million votes in 2020. It's pretty simple to look at history. US is highly white Christian nationalist, or white nationalists, almost 40 per cent. In other words gullible.
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#21193 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 17:13

Well the fascists now control the House.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21194 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 19:36

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-October-25, 17:13, said:

Well the fascists now control the House.

Sadly Mike Johnson was very much at the forefront of actions supporting the attempted coup. It is a sad reflection of the GOP, and of America more generally, that such a person is now Speaker of the House. Genuinely a dark day for your country and for the whole of Western democracy. Please try very hard not to put this man and Trump in charge of Washington at the same time. The consequences do not bear thinking about.
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#21195 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 21:10

View PostGilithin, on 2023-October-25, 19:36, said:

Sadly Mike Johnson was very much at the forefront of actions supporting the attempted coup. It is a sad reflection of the GOP, and of America more generally, that such a person is now Speaker of the House. Genuinely a dark day for your country and for the whole of Western democracy. Please try very hard not to put this man and Trump in charge of Washington at the same time. The consequences do not bear thinking about.


The only good news is the next Congress will be sworn in on January 3, three days before the certification of the electoral college vote so it is imperative for Democrats to regain the House.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#21196 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2023-October-25, 23:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-October-25, 21:10, said:

The only good news is the next Congress will be sworn in on January 3, three days before the certification of the electoral college vote so it is imperative for Democrats to regain the House.

You can't swear in without a Speaker, right?
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#21197 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 06:37

View PostGilithin, on 2023-October-25, 23:01, said:

You can't swear in without a Speaker, right?

Your point is well taken. The goal now of the GOP is to abolish the peaceful transfer of power so who knows what will happen.
The courts cannot save us - they have no mechanism of enforcement, no army.
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#21198 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 17:03

View PostWinstonm, on 2023-October-23, 09:49, said:

I can only follow with what comic Ron White says: you can fix breasts too large or too small; you can correct crooked teeth; you can get liposuction for the stomach. But you can't fix stupid.

If someone who is not stupid does something stupid (like vote Trump once) and then resents being called stupid, that person is simply acting like a snowflake when they should hang their head and smile and acknowledge their stupid choice. But I also submit there are plenty of stupid people who don't know how bad voting for Trump is or was and will do so again.

Stupidity, though, does not explain bias and racism and all the other non-white , non-christian isms haunting our country. Those are learned behaviors. The goal should be to prevent that type of educaiton being taught to innocent minds, if possible. The only way I know to counteract that is through public education. Why else did the right attack schools over decades as leftists enemies.

Telling people that they're stupid isn't going to help. We saw that during the Clinton campaign with her "deplorables" comment.

I don't think the Trumpists are stupid, any more than the followers of cult leaders like Jim Jones and Charles Manson were. They're often disillusioned or disappointed, and these charismatic people promise a solution to their problems, so they go along with it.

And what keeps them in power is the psychological phenomenon of cognitive disonnance. Once someone has made an important decision, it becomes part of their identity. Admitting that it was a mistake is very difficult, so instead they double down on the reasons why they think the decision was correct. Trump is very good at taking advantage of this, by telling his followers what they want to hear.

This is why so many of them were willing to accept the Big Lie, it justifies their support for him.

Overcoming these natural tendencies takes a lot of psychic energy that most people are simply not willing to do.

Social media algorithms are also adept at taking advantage of this. It just keeps feeding people information that they want to hear, which produces a feedback loop that pushes people to the extremes and foments divisiveness.

#21199 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 17:36

Cognitive dissonance for sure.
Introduced by Leon Festinger at about the same time that the World Bridge Federation formed.
Here's the summary from a paper (The effectiveness of unanticipated persuasive communications) by Allyn and Festinger from 1959 illustrating the problem.

Jane Allyn and Leon Festinger said:

Eighty-seven high school students who were in favor of allowing teenagers to drive with few restrictions were presented with a communication advocating strict control of young drivers. One group was given an orientation to attend to the speaker's opinions and was informed of his topic and his point of view in advance; the other group was given an orientation to evaluate the speaker's personality and was not told the topic of the speech or the speaker's point of view. It was found that subjects who were forewarned of the nature of the communication changed their opinions less and rejected the communicator as biased to a greater degree than unprepared subjects. Differences in amount of opinion change between prepared and unprepared subjects were greater among those holding extreme opinions initially

Non legit hoc
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#21200 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2023-October-26, 21:53

View Postbarmar, on 2023-October-26, 17:03, said:

Telling people that they're stupid isn't going to help. We saw that during the Clinton campaign with her "deplorables" comment.

I don't think the Trumpists are stupid, any more than the followers of cult leaders like Jim Jones and Charles Manson were. They're often disillusioned or disappointed, and these charismatic people promise a solution to their problems, so they go along with it.

And what keeps them in power is the psychological phenomenon of cognitive disonnance. Once someone has made an important decision, it becomes part of their identity. Admitting that it was a mistake is very difficult, so instead they double down on the reasons why they think the decision was correct. Trump is very good at taking advantage of this, by telling his followers what they want to hear.

This is why so many of them were willing to accept the Big Lie, it justifies their support for him.

Overcoming these natural tendencies takes a lot of psychic energy that most people are simply not willing to do.

Social media algorithms are also adept at taking advantage of this. It just keeps feeding people information that they want to hear, which produces a feedback loop that pushes people to the extremes and foments divisiveness.

I don’t expect it to help. People who voted for Trump twice will not change their minds. I doubt they would respond better to suckers instead of stupid.

There is only one group trying to destroy democracy and it isn’t the Democratic Party.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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