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YABO713

An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter

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^ No doubt purity activists exist in both parties. But I won't let my world view change based on the extremists.

 

Progressive purity on the left pisses me off.  These people would rather give an election to someone like Trump than to get views a bit more moderate than their ideals.  They are stupid voters.

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Yeah, I actually just posted in the Dem thread about how they should offer to give Trump his wall and try to get a bunch in return, but the danger is in ticking off those idiots in their base who don't understand what leverage is. It's all the same thing.

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^ No doubt purity activists exist in both parties. But I won't let my world view change based on the extremists.

 

Progressive purity on the left pisses me off.  These people would rather give an election to someone like Trump than to get views a bit more moderate than their ideals.  They are stupid voters.

 

i.e. Jill Stein unwilling to admit that she took votes away in Wisconsin.

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Republicans have done a better job of holding their coalition together.  Regardless of anyone's purity stances they find a way to win elections.  Democrats have some work to do rebuilding theirs.  Labor is their core constituency and they have alienated it.  Meanwhile certain issues like abortion and gun control chase away voters who agree with the Democratic platform on everything else.

 

^ No doubt purity activists exist in both parties. But I won't let my world view change based on the extremists.

 

Progressive purity on the left pisses me off.  These people would rather give an election to someone like Trump than to get views a bit more moderate than their ideals.  They are stupid voters.

 

Voters are not stupid.  Ever.  That is the most destructive thing we can possibly say.  Voters hate being called stupid.  It is not unreasonable to believe that if we express contempt for them, we must not have their best interest in mind.

 

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/01/11/terry-goodin-rural-democrats-indiana-216273

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I don't know of that's actually true.  I think there us some splintering on both sides.  I think there will be a political realignment soon.  I'll keep trying to recruit moderate voices like yabo to come to the Democrats. 

 

We don't bite yabo.  I Promise.

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^^I think it's honorable what you are going for, but I disagree. If you are running for office you should never say that voters are stupid. If we are having a discussion on an internet forum, we can say some voters are stupid. That doesn't mean that their concerns are false, it doesn't mean they deserve rotten things to happen to them, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try to empathize with them, but they can still be stupid in a strategic sense.

 

It's easy to call the other side 'stupid' for disagreeing with you but that isn't actually a true example of stupidity. Choosing Trump over Hillary because she isn't left enough, and you like Jill Stein, is actual stupidity, sorry to say. Voters who, if their Senator votes for some compromise bill that gets some good, some bad, who then call them a RINO/DINO and want to burn them at the stake is stupid. Or who don't want to vote for a politician who they disagree with on ANY issue. If everybody had to agree with their congressman 100% on everything before voting we'd need literally 300 million people in congress. It's dumb and it's a case of expectations from politics that don't match reality at all. Better education in civics could help this problem. Teach people that you shouldn't expect politics to be pure, emphasize compromise.

 

It's also false to say that Republicans figure out a way to keep winning even though purity politics. They've lost many winnable elections because of purity contests, and even though they control a lot in the moment they are not a healthy party and Dems should not look to duplicate their strategies.

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As a voter if I'm all for unlimited access to abortion and my choices are Yabo and a hard line pro lifer and my protest vote allows Yabo to lose,  then I am stupid strategically speaking.

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As a voter if I'm all for unlimited access to abortion and my choices are Yabo and a hard line pro lifer and my protest vote allows Yabo to lose,  then I am stupid strategically speaking.

 

I hear ya. But every vote counts as one vote. Unless a candidate loses by one vote, well, you're vote was meaningless anyhow.

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Nonetheless, the purpose of this thought experiment (and I'm being 100% candid here) would be to find unique ways to make a more informed and qualified electorate.

 

As long as there are swing blocs of one-issue voters, I don't think we have a compelling argument to claim that our electorate is well-informed.

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As a voter if I'm all for unlimited access to abortion and my choices are Yabo and a hard line pro lifer and my protest vote allows Yabo to lose,  then I am stupid strategically speaking.

 

I hear ya. But every vote counts as one vote. Unless a candidate loses by one vote, well, you're vote was meaningless anyhow.

 

a seat in the VA assembly (which determined control of the assembly) was decided by pulling a name out of hat because of a tie.  If any of the winner's voters stayed home he would've lost.

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It's also false to say that Republicans figure out a way to keep winning even though purity politics. They've lost many winnable elections because of purity contests, and even though they control a lot in the moment they are not a healthy party and Dems should not look to duplicate their strategies.

 

In the aggregate, despite a loss here or there, Republicans are dominant-- so thoroughly dominant that it begets future dominance.  It will take us a generation of success to undo what they've been doing.  The Democratic party has never been this unhealthy in our lifetimes.  It has been clobbered at almost every turn and has no realistic plan for a reversal.  And demographic trends are not as promising as Democrats seem to expect, as some of the party's current positions are even more alienating for immigrant and minority voters than for the traditional union worker base.

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It's a little of both, 327[/member] you are correct that the Democrats are at quite an historic low point (especially in statehouses) but I think you underestimate the power of the pendulum. Actually, all indications point to a pendulum swinging faster than ever.

 

I still stand by the opinion that Democrats and Republicans are by definition different, and trying to copy and apply the entire GOP playbook would be another historic mistake. In spite of their short term electoral success, Republicans are not a healthy political party. At least at the federal level, the only reason they've won elections is lies about Obama, which they will get their comeuppance for. Sure it's great short term strategy but horrible long term.

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^ meh.  The pendulum swings.  In 2009, it seemed that the GOP was dead.  Dems had a super majority in the senate and overwhelming majority in the house. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_U.S._states

 

Super majority?  Not so.  Republicans successfully obstructed Obama throughout his presidency and have been rewriting state laws almost unabated since the early 90s.  With President Clinton's help, they rewrote the federal laws too.  That pendulum you speak of does not swing randomly or automatically-- someone has to push it, and our side seems to have forgotten how.

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^ The pendulum swings, but I think in general the US is still a center-right leaning country. with slower social change than Europe. Even over the last 100 years, when the Dems led Congress, the country was center right with a large coalition of Southern Conservative Democrats in the voting bloc.  In the last 23 years, Congress has been controlled by the GOP for 19 of them. The white house has been more Democratic but statehouses in General have moved move GOP during that period. There was a brief time in the 2002-2008 period where they moved left a bit, but in general they have stayed rightward.

 

The pendulum will swing back, but the bigger question will be whether the Dem gains will be sustainable or not. What helped Dems to big gains back in the 30-80s was the fact they focused on jobs and the American worker. When they focus on overly progressive issues, like transgender bathrooms and a hyper focus on climate change, they lose the average American voter and their gains wont be sustainable.

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^^ Dude, 2 election cycles Democrats controlled everything at the federal level until the first midterm.  The same pattern that always continues.  Hell, even in the 2016 election dems made minor gains in both chambers and are slowly flipping seats in special elections.  The pendulum is swinging.

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^ meh.  The pendulum swings.  In 2009, it seemed that the GOP was dead.  Dems had a super majority in the senate and overwhelming majority in the house. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/111th_United_States_Congress

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_party_strength_in_U.S._states

 

Super majority?  Not so.  Republicans successfully obstructed Obama throughout his presidency and have been rewriting state laws almost unabated since the early 90s.  With President Clinton's help, they rewrote the federal laws too.  That pendulum you speak of does not swing randomly or automatically-- someone has to push it and our side seems to have forgotten how. 

 

Step 1:  Treat voters with honor and respect, even when we don't like what they say.  They will never open their minds to our positions as long as they feel we view them with contempt.  That's not stupid, it's just human.  It's not at all unreasonable to believe that someone who speaks ill of you does not have your best interest in mind.

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^ The pendulum swings, but I think in general the US is still a center-right leaning country.

 

I don't disagree. The pendulum swings around the center, whatever that center may be. The center may shift over time, and the pendulum swings back and forth around the shifting center much faster than the center shifts. There's no question we're further to the right of Europe on fiscal issues - for social issues it's a bit of a mixed bag, and "Europe" is far from being one entity on those questions.

 

I strongly disagree with your placing climate change as a fringe, losing issue for the Dems. It's highly generational, unfortunately, but incredibly mainstream for millenials and younger... much like net neutrality. Dems are ahead of the curve on this issue. Why older Americans such as some of my own flesh and blood prioritize saving 42 cents on a light bulb or on their electric bill over the long term habitability of the planet is beyond me, but even they are starting to come around.

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Super majority?  Not so.  Republicans successfully obstructed Obama throughout his presidency and have been rewriting state laws almost unabated since the early 90s.  With President Clinton's help, they rewrote the federal laws too.  That pendulum you speak of does not swing randomly or automatically-- someone has to push it, and our side seems to have forgotten how.

 

So back to the main point, are you saying that Democrats should adopt the GOP playbook? Much of the recent GOP playbook has been highly reactionary first and foremost, which works for reactionary "populist conservative" campaigns but isn't going to work for progressive campaigns. Two totally different products, they can't be sold in the same way.

 

This is not to say there are no small things here and there that Dems can learn from Rs, but on the whole, they should not try to steal the playbook.

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^ meh.  The pendulum swings.  In 2009, it seemed that the GOP was dead.  Dems had a super majority in the senate and overwhelming majority in the house. 

 

Are you down4cle[/member] ... I may or may not have had a dozen "the pendulum swings" arguments with him/her

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Nonetheless, the purpose of this thought experiment (and I'm being 100% candid here) would be to find unique ways to make a more informed and qualified electorate.

 

As long as there are swing blocs of one-issue voters, I don't think we have a compelling argument to claim that our electorate is well-informed.

 

The electorate is what it is. If a single issue outweighs every other issue in importance to an individual, then they should vote accordingly.

 

Likewise if you're a member of a political party and disagree with the direction it is going I see no problem with a "protest vote" cast for the other party.

 

In the end an informed voter is only as good as the available candidates.

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^ meh.  The pendulum swings.  In 2009, it seemed that the GOP was dead.  Dems had a super majority in the senate and overwhelming majority in the house. 

 

Are you down4cle[/member] ... I may or may not have had a dozen "the pendulum swings" arguments with him/her

 

This isn't a secret.  When the website went down I couldn't log in under my old name because I don't have access to my old email.  I was going to attempt to be less trolly with this name but I have failed already but I am trying harder.

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Here is an opportunity for someone to shed some light on me... a poor wretch in darkness...

 

I was catching up on the news last night and saw that Chelsea Manning has some formidable support from the Left in her bid for US Senate. I grew angry... and my mind raced through the very subject of this thread.. "Why are these supporters - who are clearly allocating their support based on Chelsea's ability to troll Trump - entitled to a vote of the same value as mine?" A radical and angry thought, I get it.

 

Nonetheless, now that I have cooled down. Can anyone offer me an explanation as to why you would support Chelsea Manning politically. She is a convicted traitor and pardoned felon. Her pardoning was the single biggest issue I took with Obama over his 8 years, to be honest. Can anyone tell me why you would support her when she has been convicted of crimes against our country and also has no political experience? Is it because "its high time for some trans representatives!" If that is your answer, please just don't even bother responding to this inquiry.

 

Pitch me, I am looking to be sold. Why is there any support for Chelsea Manning?

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This fella still seems to have plenty of support from the right.

 

 

 

So, other than whataboutism.... Can anyone pitch me?

 

You're mistaken. It's not whataboutism, it's precedent. People will rally behind wrongdoers when they identify with the "noble cause" that person represents.

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This fella still seems to have plenty of support from the right.

 

 

 

So, other than whataboutism.... Can anyone pitch me?

 

You're mistaken. It's not whataboutism, it's precedent. People will rally behind wrongdoers when they identify with the "noble cause" that person represents.

 

So, I mean, I'm still not being pitched on why to support her.

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This fella still seems to have plenty of support from the right.

 

 

 

So, other than whataboutism.... Can anyone pitch me?

 

You're mistaken. It's not whataboutism, it's precedent. People will rally behind wrongdoers when they identify with the "noble cause" that person represents.

 

So, I mean, I'm still not being pitched on why to support her.

 

Not sure you're going to find any Manning supporters on this forum. Then again, if her stance on all of the issues is identical with yours we're back to the question of how much a political candidate's character should weigh in one's choice.

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Super majority?  Not so.  Republicans successfully obstructed Obama throughout his presidency and have been rewriting state laws almost unabated since the early 90s.  With President Clinton's help, they rewrote the federal laws too.  That pendulum you speak of does not swing randomly or automatically-- someone has to push it, and our side seems to have forgotten how.

 

So back to the main point, are you saying that Democrats should adopt the GOP playbook? Much of the recent GOP playbook has been highly reactionary first and foremost, which works for reactionary "populist conservative" campaigns but isn't going to work for progressive campaigns. Two totally different products, they can't be sold in the same way.

 

This is not to say there are no small things here and there that Dems can learn from Rs, but on the whole, they should not try to steal the playbook.

 

In many ways I mean the opposite, since the constituencies differ, but some aspects of GOP strategy make sense for everyone.  Controlling the terms of the discussion is one of them.  For example it's not a death tax, it's a handout tax. 

 

In the broader sense, their strategy of motivating the base has been more effective than our strategy of ignoring our base and trying to convert theirs.  Trump combined both approaches, but he was only able to steal our votes because we had already forsaken them.

 

Chelsea Manning does not represent the way forward for Dems.  Forget identity and focus on character.  Policy is important too.  Voters really do care what you stand for.

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^I've long thought that any discussion of the estate tax should include at least one reference to Paris Hilton by the Democrats.

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^ The estate tax is hard for either side to really defend.  On the GOP side, the argument it is hard to justify repealing the estate tax because of people like Paris who did nothing to earn it and giving what amounts to laughing heirs a windfall is not necessarily great policy.

 

However, on the Dem side, it is hard to justify the double taxation and the fairness of it when the amount of money generated to the treasury is rather insignificant. Essentially, the estate tax is strictly a punitive measure because it really does not go to pay for roads, services and public goods given how insignificant the revenue is to the federal treasury.

 

Personally, I feel the GOP tax plan did get it right on the estate tax. I think an outright repeal would be a mistake given the nature for laughing heirs and the like but having a low threshold estate tax that really generates little income for the treasury does not accomplish the overall goal of taxation and is seen as a puntitive measure designed to punish those who did well from rewarding their heirs. 

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