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Thread: The US fragile democracy Exposed

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    The US fragile democracy Exposed

    All it took was one narcissistic, morally bankrupt president and democracy was close to being subverted. And still might be. The Republican party has completely caved in to Trump, trying to throw out the voting results, luckily the judicial hasn't (so far). It feels like we are just a few political judges away from nullifying the voters. Thus the end to the Great Experiment.

    Now that Trump has shown that such behavior has no consequences will this become the norm? Until we finally cross the line.

    It would be nice to think maybe congress has learned a lesson and will work to fix this threat but situation is so Rep vs Dem that I'd be surprised if they could even pass a kidney stone.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I think that a perfect example of the slimy side of the GOP is Ted Cruz. Trump had all sorts to say about him during the primaries, including that he rigged/stole the election in one state where he won easily. Is Cruz's support for Trump's claims of election tampering/fraud now an admission that similar accusations during the primaries were also true? I very much doubt that. Although I doubt that you could ever get him to say it outright, Cruz would have to admit that Trump has a history of lying about election tampering/fraud. I'm sure that he'd say that it doesn't matter because of all the evidence that exists this time, except there is no such evidence. Many in the GOP decided that Trump had the power so they had to stick to him no matter what. I imagine that they didn't expect the destruction of American democracy and now it's tool late for many of them to care. That's not to say that there isn't any soul-selling on the other side but it's certainly been revealed for all to see in the GOP. Far too many simply will not see though, because, for all their talk of freedom, all they really care about is the freedom to make others do as they want.

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    Super Moderator dday9's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Before 2016 I had voted Republican in every election since I turned 18 (first election in 2010). I had been forming my political views and was already starting to question the status quo of the Republican Party, mainly on social issues like drugs, marriage, and immigration.

    But another major factor was that throughout my teenage years the Republican party was the party that claimed fiscal responsibility, but then did nothing when they secured the majority. My perception was that the Republican party held more of a corporatism ideology than a laissez-faire ideology.

    The straw that broke the camel's back was when Trump secured the nomination with his so called "populist" platform. At that point I realized that I only lined up with the Republican party (at most) 40% of the time, so I decided to look around. I thought about voting for Johnson with the Libertarian party, but he came off to me more as a moderate Republican and I had just left the Republican party so I didn't vote for him. I ultimately voting for Evan McMullin purely because he had the best shot of winning a state outright (it was Utah and he got 21.54%) plus he wasn't a Democrat or a Republican.

    I've ultimately joined the Libertarian Party after the 2016 election because I feel like I line up with them on most issues, but I still don't feel "at home" so to speak.

    This is all a lead up to my main point, which is that the Trump phenomenon will have lasting effects I fear for the many years to come.

    What is bizarre is that the Republican party has solidified around the Republican party, really bolstering the Trump populism ideology whereas the Democrat party (in my opinion) has some very serious cracks. On one hand you progressive Democrats who love the label of socialism who are winning solid blue seats with 60+% of the vote and on the other hand you have moderate Democrats who (in all likelihood) lost their seats because of the stigma of that same label. I don't know many die hard Biden supporters went out and voted, but I sure know of a ton people who wholeheartedly voted against Trump. 2024 is going to be just like 2016 and 2020, and I'm not looking forward to that.

    TLDR - US politics is screw for the coming decade.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Root and branch reform is what you need. That is one thing you will never get.

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    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    It's scary how many people would take a bullet for Trump.... And the number of plain ol Americans that are also following the Qanon spell is really sad.

    The old saying about "If you saw it on the Internet - it must be true" is getting out of hand.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    This isn't about the two parties, since they publicly joined in opposition to Trump last summer. The duopoly's duplicity is now right in your face, and its opposition to populism and people in general couldn't be stated more explicitly.

    Trump is an unpleasant figure and an embarrassment. The "cigar" the duopoly handed out expecting it to explode in peoples' faces and guarantee coronation of Queen Hillary the First. Surprise, surprise... it blew up in their own faces.

    Along comes 2020 after a 4 year campaign to bury Trump. Yet even if you assume the elections were not tampered with to an unprecedented extent the vote still came out at an effective tie, not much different from 2016. This time along with glaring irregularities like the wildly mismatched down-ballot results.

    There is something very strange going on with the process, but proving what appears impossible.

    Even when you discount the crazies on both sides of the electorate though, we are left with a deep divide between the gullible globalists and the PO'd populists. One faction willing to abdicate their own best interests to corporate domination and the other becoming more desperate each day to wrest power from the establishment.

    I don't see this changing until actions over the next 4 years enrage the "left" enough to finally join with the "right" in opposing the duopoly. This would have already happened long ago if the propaganda machine wasn't so effective, especially in the way it used Sanders and his crowd as mouthpieces in an effective sheepdogging enterprise.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    but situation is so Rep vs Dem that I'd be surprised if they could even pass a kidney stone.
    Technically, passing a kidney stone is NOT easy.

    One thing I like about this forum is that discussions like this include all kinds of sides, and they are well stated positions.

    @DDay: You're just too young. Back in the 80s and into the first part of the 90s, Conservatives were truly fiscal conservatives. That may have been largely because they were also the minority party in Congress. It's easier to be for fiscal restraint when it's not YOUR objectives that aren't being funded. Still, there were some real fiscal conservatives like Warren Rudman (senator from New Hampshire while I was growing up there). This led to the Graham, Warren, Hollings deficit reduction act that still has some echoes to this day.

    It all ended in the 90s when the Republicans under Gingrinch took control of the house, and the final nail was added once W won the White House. At that point, fiscal responsibility from that party went out the window. Up till then, they could reasonably tar the Democrats with the label of "Tax and Spend". They stopped saying that by the 2000s when they replaced "Tax and Spend" with their own version, "Borrow and Spend", which is utterly worse.

    Up into the 90s, I called myself a fiscal conservative. Now, I may still be, but since the "conservative" party is no longer the party of fiscal conservatives, I'd just call my self a deficit hawk and leave it at that. I don't call myself that loudly, though, at these times, because with an interest rate as low as we currently have, deficit spending ain't what it used to be.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R Jones View Post
    It's scary how many people would take a bullet for Trump.... And the number of plain ol Americans that are also following the Qanon spell is really sad.

    The old saying about "If you saw it on the Internet - it must be true" is getting out of hand.
    It is scary, I have a hard time believing that many people are gullible enough to believe the things he says. But here we are, with seemingly intelligent people like Dil still drinking that kool-aid

    "Yet even if you assume the elections were not tampered with to an unprecedented extent the vote still came out at an effective tie" 51.4% to 46.9% , over 7,000,000 more votes for Biden, is not an effective tie.

    He want to believe Trump so badly that even in the face of all departments calling this the most secure election ever, he can't bring himself to except the truth. It's scary that so many people are more than willing to throw our democracy away just so their side would win.

    Republican or Democrat, I could care less, as long as at the core you believe in America and democracy. Our country is at war with COVID and all we get from our president is Me Me Me.

    Still we have groups of Rep politicians trying to get states to reject the election results without any evidence of fraud.

    So the people and the politicians are on board with throwing out democracy, the only thing holding it together is the judicial system. That worries me.

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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Democracy is only ever as robust as the public opinion that supports it. It's not a problem of the US (though it's been clearly on display there recently), it's a problem for any democracy.

    When Trump won in 2016 a lot of people on the left (including myself) comforted themselves with "there's only so much damage he can do" and "we've got checks and balances". Those platitudes feel like they've been largely disproved over the past 4 years and over the last 2 months in particular. And while I think the GOP have been more naked in gaming the system, I don't feel the Dems are immune from it either. I get that independents are tempting at a time like this but if you think they wouldn't do the same you're fooling yourself. They have exactly the same lack of integrity as any other party - they just haven't had the opportunity to display it yet. The purpose of any political party is not to uphold democracy, it's to hold power and they will do whatever they can within the confines of what public opinion will allow them to get away with.

    The problem you're seeing in the US is actually nothing to do with the mechanics or democracy, it's a function of the polarisation of opinion in the US. It's got to the point where people on either side have become so entrenched in their position that they refuse to even engage in debate with someone from the other side of the fence. Your political parties are not the cause of that, they're a reflection of it.

    I honestly don't know how you fix that. I'm not even sure what the cause is. I've seen all the usual culprits: social media, mainstream media, the education establishment... I'm not convinced any of them fully explain the problem.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Yeah, I agree with all that, but if I was to put some money on it, most would be on social media. I'm not saying that it is something inherent in social media that is the problem, I'm saying that social media opened up an opportunity that the creators of social media didn't understand. Others have certainly figured it out, though, and are taking full advantage of it.

    This is the way it always works. The first computer viruses were trivial, harmless, and insignificant. Then they became nuisances, and then damaging, but by now...they're mostly about making money for somebody, one way or another. The same is happening with social media. At first it was just rumors spreading like simple viruses, then it became damaging rumors spreading, and now it's about spreading rumors for the purpose of making money. I heard that some of the leaders of the anti-vaxx movement have been making increasing amounts of money over the last few years. As it turns out, scaring people is a good way to get them to spend....what a suprise!!! Who would have guessed....well, now we know.

    You can gain power or money or both by dividing the population. Kind of like a battery: There's no work done if the solution is evenly mixed, but pull the poles apart and you can tap that differential to run something. With the population, the range of views was always there, they've just been separated more effectively, and social media has been explicitly good at that.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Interesting responses, enjoyed reading them.

    The purpose of any political party is not to uphold democracy, it's to hold power and they will do whatever they can within the confines of what public opinion will allow them to get away with.
    It's not the job of the party but in my mind it is the job of the people we elect. The fact that what you said is true and it seems to be accepted without protest is a sad statement. I complain, like most people, about politicians but at the root, if this is a democracy, then it's our fault because we elect them. So, I guess when you see so many people willing to believe in things like QAnon or Deep State election fraud, I shouldn't be surprised by anything. Now I'm really worried!!! lol

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    It's not the job of the party
    It may sound pedantic but separate "Job" from "Purpose". They're job is to govern the country to the best interests of the populace. They're purpose is to hold power.

    Also, separate "politicians" from "party". Politicians are a mixed bag of opportunists and idealists, most are somewhere between the two. But parties were created with the expressed purpose of holding power. They were an attempt to form an unassailable voting block of similar interests to ensure they got elected where fractured groups of politicians who coalesced around individual issues would be side lined. Indeed, the very act of joining a political party compromises a politicians integrity. It represents an acceptance that they may have to sacrifice some of their principles in the hope of finding a broadly like minded group of individuals that will help them further other principles. This is true of any coalition, which is all a political party is.

    That might sound like I'm really down on political parties but I'm not. They're an inevitable consequence of the negotiation process and which is, in turn, fundamental to democracy. (Democracy tends not to function very well without them - it descends into short termism and stagnates.) But I do think it's important that we see them for what they are. It's why I support proportional representation over first past the post systems. It accepts that parties are inevitable but defuses power away from any single party and therefore shifts it toward the politic as a whole. It enfranchises you and me. It does come with it's own problems though.

    That's really just academic debate though. The important point is sort of what you said here: "if this is a democracy, then it's our fault because we elect them". I think that's broadly right but I think it's unfair on the individual. We're only presented with the choices we're presented with and we have to make those choices based on the information we have been given. There's very little we can do to control either of those inputs. Perhaps we can do more to search out information (and should) but it seems to be increasingly difficult to ascertain the veracity of any of it. I know people tend to cite social media on this but the mainstream media has always attempted to manipulate our opinions regardless of truth. So have our education systems, our social circles, even our parents.

    I think what has changed isn't social media but it does coincide and enforce. I think we've simply polarised, perhaps to the point of no return. I feel like game theory has cut in and we've reached a point where attempting to work with someone who's views diverge from our own has become counter productive to our own interests. I.e. If I'm on the right and you're on the left, if I compromise and you don't then you "win" and I "lose". I think that's the calculation that's been going on in the heads of the electorate for the past 20 years or so (perhaps longer) and that drives us all steadily toward the extreme. Instead of compromising to find win-wins we simply pull harder and create lose-lose.

    That's what I don't have an answer to because I think that calculation is actually pretty accurate. And while I think the outcome is pretty awful, I can't dispute its logic.

    Edit> Actually, I can think of a solution but it's not a palatable one. It's an existential external threat that forces us to compromise and work together. You'd have though a world wide epidemic would have been enough but evidently not sooo... Martians, I guess. We need Will Smith to step in.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Dec 8th, 2020 at 04:37 AM.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    All it took was one narcissistic, morally bankrupt president and democracy was close to being subverted. And still might be. The Republican party has completely caved in to Trump, trying to throw out the voting results, luckily the judicial hasn't (so far). It feels like we are just a few political judges away from nullifying the voters. Thus the end to the Great Experiment.

    Now that Trump has shown that such behavior has no consequences will this become the norm? Until we finally cross the line.

    It would be nice to think maybe congress has learned a lesson and will work to fix this threat but situation is so Rep vs Dem that I'd be surprised if they could even pass a kidney stone.
    It really is enlightening how much of our presidential "norms" are based on trust. If the president just wants to ignore them there isn't much that can be done about it. Especially if the presidents base and party go along with it.

    It would be nice to think maybe congress has learned a lesson and will work to fix this threat but situation is so Rep vs Dem that I'd be surprised if they could even pass a kidney stone.
    Sadly true...
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The British found out with Brexit that their system of government is based on norms. That norm has to be one strong guy. Cheers to that, of course.

    The problem I have with the game theory argument is: Why now? Politics have been going on in the US for a couple centuries. That's hardly a long time in the grand scheme of things, but the polarization that we've seen has truly grown in just the last couple decades. I'd say that it started with Lee Atwater in the 80s, yet it seems unlikely that nobody thought of the value of polarization prior to that. It did precede social media, though, so social media can't be the underlying cause. What social media may be able to do is be the shaft connecting the cranks. Prior to this, they may have been marginalized. You might say that they were this pissed on cranks now driving the engine of society. Still, even with social media there were holes that took just the right plugs to spark an explosive reaction in the combustible silos of society. Once you do that, a fair amount of heat and energy can be generated for whatever purpose.

    Anyways, I'm exhausted, now, so I'll leave it there.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    What changed was accessibility. Previously you had gate-keepers of information. Publishers. Mostly newspapers... then came radio... then TV... then the internet... now everyone is a "publisher." Everyone's got an opinion. Worse still, everyone's got a conspiracy. And for every conspiratist out there, you've got at least 100 willing to believe that it might be true. There's no filter anymore, it's proliferated to a point that it's saturated the "market" and become so readily available so quickly, it spreads faster than a COVID virus. I'm sure the anonymity of the internet doesn't help either.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The British found out with Brexit...
    Yeah, we certainly did, and I think that demonstrates rather well that this is not a problem exclusive to the US. The rest of the puns in that sentence were headed straight off a Cliff.

    Why now?
    If I was to hazard a guess it's the lack of an external threat. No more cold war, no world wars... if you live in the West there's really been nothing that significantly threatens your safety for half a century. I guess you could cite terrorism but, really, that happens "elsewhere". Our economies have had problems in the last decade but the material impacts on individuals don't come close to comparing to the twenties. Climate change really only exists in the abstract for most of us at this stage (which is not to say it doesn't exist as a reality - just that it doesn't yet affect our daily lives). I'm honestly struggling to think of a single cause in the last fifty years that we could all rally behind and I'm struggling to think of a previous time in the information age when that was true. Covid's the one exception I can think of and I'm wondering why that didn't act as a cause for us to pull together. Actually, in the UK (and I think the rest of Europe) it did. I think it would have done in the US under any other president which could mean you're just further down the road of polarisation than we are.

    I think TG is correct about the lack of gatekeepers too, which I guess you could call an effect of social media.

    Mostly I think the tendency to polarise has always been there but we've recently had a coincidence of factors that's allowed it to reign unchecked. There are no factors left to pull us back to compromise.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I'm honestly struggling to think of a single cause in the last fifty years that we could all rally behind and I'm struggling to think of a previous time in the information age when that was true
    Just in my lifetime...the Korean, Viet Nam, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iran II wars. The influence may have been negative but they affected the whole country.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    the Korean, Viet Nam, Iran, Afghanistan, and Iran II wars
    None of those directly affected the population at large though. They affected the soldiers who were sent to fight (which, even for Vietnam, was actually a tiny percentage of the population) and bunch of foreign folks who it's easy to not care about. They were viewed in the abstract and that means they can actually be more divisive than unifying. I think you'd need something that actually threatens the life (or lifestyle) of the man in the street... because he's the one voting. I'm thinking something on the scale of WW2.

    Mind you, as I type this I wonder if I'm viewing that through a European lens. After all, I don't think even WW2 really threatened the US population at large in the same way that it did Europeans. Although Pearl Harbour perhaps moves it into that category - I guess I should defer to you guys on that.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I disagree a bit...Viet Nam roiled the entire country and divided people in a way I haven't seen until the recent divisiveness. Politics changed quite a bit over it, there were riots across the country, and for many years the willingness of the U.S. to engage militarily was affected. Just go to the memorial in Washington D.C. and you can sill see the impact. It even led to a mass presidential pardon for the Americans that fled to Canada. Kind of like what Trump is going to do for his gang.
    Last edited by TysonLPrice; Dec 9th, 2020 at 06:31 AM.
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Viet Nam roiled the entire country and divided people in a way I haven't seen until the recent divisiveness
    That's what I was trying to get at when I said "They were viewed in the abstract and that means they can actually be more divisive than unifying".

    To get the population at large to rally behind a cause you'd need a threat that's significant enough to overcome their moral compass. That wasn't the case with Vietnam where, for large sections of the population, their moral compass overcame their fear of the Vietnamese. "Pacifists" (scare quotes because I'm utterly misusing that word) felt able to dissent from the government position because they didn't feel directly threatened by the war. Had their been a real threat of the Vietnamese actually invading the US I don't think it would have been a divisive conflict, it would have been unifying. There wouldn't have been protests.

    A couple of things I should state because they may be coming across wrong: I'm not advocating for such a threat or saying it would be a good thing - nor am I trying to make a silver linings argument. I am saying that such a threat would act as a unifying force simply because nobody would dissent from it. Neither am I condemning those who protest against war (I've been one of them) - when a threat isn't extant enough to directly threaten your way of life your moral compass can steer you, as it should.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    That's what I was trying to get at when I said "They were viewed in the abstract and that means they can actually be more divisive than unifying".

    To get the population at large to rally behind a cause you'd need a threat that's significant enough to overcome their moral compass. That wasn't the case with Vietnam where, for large sections of the population, their moral compass overcame their fear of the Vietnamese. "Pacifists" (scare quotes because I'm utterly misusing that word) felt able to dissent from the government position because they didn't feel directly threatened by the war. Had their been a real threat of the Vietnamese actually invading the US I don't think it would have been a divisive conflict, it would have been unifying. There wouldn't have been protests.

    A couple of things I should state because they may be coming across wrong: I'm not advocating for such a threat or saying it would be a good thing - nor am I trying to make a silver linings argument. I am saying that such a threat would act as a unifying force simply because nobody would dissent from it. Neither am I condemning those who protest against war (I've been one of them) - when a threat isn't extant enough to directly threaten your way of life your moral compass can steer you, as it should.
    I see your point...
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I see your point...
    I do apologise. I'll do my fly up immediately.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    There was a much more immediate thread from Germany during WWII but not even many Americans remember it unless you live along the gulf coast. There was a lot of activity by U-Boats in the Gulf of Mexico; mostly around Florida, but for example the Robert E. Lee was sunk just outside of New Orleans.

    I have heard FD's point before made by several conservatives that were never Trump-ers, but I don't know if I agree with it or not. There is not any hard proof one way or the other and, call it naivety, I really do not want to believe that a whole country can only be unified by one major existential threat.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I really do not want to believe that a whole country can only be unified by one major existential threat
    It is probably pushing it to call the Al-Qaeda 9/11 attacks "one major existential threat", although it seemed like it that day, but that brought the country together for a short period.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    There is not any hard proof one way or the other and, call it naivety, I really do not want to believe that a whole country can only be unified by one major existential threat.
    Yeah, that is a harder case to make when we have a worldwide threat and we are far from unified. I'd like to blame it all on Trump but not sure I can honestly do that. I think he has made the division worse and another president could have unified a large part of the population. Having a segment of the population being discontent is normal, even in 1918 pandemic there were anti maskers, they were called mask slackers. lol

    The US has never been unified not even in WWII. We were definitely about as close as we ever got. I haven't paid a lot of attention to politics until recently but I see the major growth in the polarization starting in Obama presidency when the Republican took control of the Senate. They absolutely wouldn't work with the Dems and since Trump took office they been trying to destroy anything he accomplished. Trump has made the polarization grow and also turned it into a more volatile divide. But isn't a country not being unified one of the prices you have to pay to maintain democracy.

    That being said, I sure would like to see the divide shrink and the tone become more moderate. Dude can't we all just chill. lol

  26. #26
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Vietnam was mentioned. That certainly did roil the country like no subsequent war. There's likely a reason for that which was left out: The draft!

    What the draft did was create a situation where the whole population had a dog in the fight. You were either dodging it, sucked up into it, resisting it, or trying to ignore it, but it was there. It impacted the US and especially the military for a couple decades afterwards. Wars with a draft tend to focus the attention. Wars without drafts are fought by volunteers, and can be ignored by anybody inconvenienced by them.

    My mother always advocated for some kind of national service. It couldn't be military service because we simply can't use THAT many service members. We couldn't equip them, dress them, feed them, or make any productive use out of them. However, it doesn't have to be military, it could be something like the CCC or any of the other TLAs of the depression era. This would do a couple things. For one thing, it would bring about more civic engagement. If this also led to something akin to the GI bill, it would advance the living standards of a whole lot of people. Another thing it would do would be to sharpen the focus for everybody. As it stands, in the US, there is NOTHING that you are truly obligated to do. If you want to be a total leech on society, you can be. You can even complain about not being able to leech enough. If you want to get ahead, you can do that, too, as long as you have the means. If you don't have the means, you may not get any assistance, which means that your lot may never be all that great. Some kind of public service could tighten the contract between the people and the society. You give a couple years and you get assistance. If you choose not to avail yourself of that assistance, that's your right, but you still give a couple years.

    It'll never fly, though.
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    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I really do not want to believe that a whole country can only be unified by one major existential threat
    Just to be clear, adversity is not the only thing that could unify a country but is a very powerful unifier. It's the most powerful one I can think of and that's why the lack of it is my best guess (and it is just a guess) for why the US is so polarised at the moment. E.g. A really, REALLY great leader can unify a nation and there are plenty of examples from history but it's much harder and much rarer.

    It is probably pushing it to call the Al-Qaeda 9/11 attacks "one major existential threat", although it seemed like it that day, but that brought the country together for a short period.
    I was thinking that was a really good example. The attack didn't just unify the US, it unified the whole Western world. Even Russia and the Chinese were sending messages of support.

    I think that's because it was perceived as an extant threat, even if it wasn't truly an ongoing one. In the days and weeks following 9/11 there was a feeling that "they could get any of us at any time". As time passed and further attacks on that scale failed to materialise the threat became more abstract and by the time of the Iraq conflict it felt distant enough that people's reaction was dictated by their moral compass rather than fear. Notably the Afghanistan invasion, which occurred much sooner after 9/11, had very strong support - at least when it started.

    I see the major growth in the polarization starting in Obama presidency
    I've often heard people cite the Reagan era or the Clinton scandal but I honestly don't know enough to hold an opinion. It feels like the sort of thing you really have to have lived in the US to have a feel for.

    The draft!
    I feel the draft would have positioned the government as the enemy rather than the Vietnamese, at least from the perspective of a typical US civilian. If the Vietnamese military had presented a threat to actual US soil I doubt the draft would have been any where near as divisive.

    My mother always advocated for some kind of national service
    Some countries in Europe do it and I reckon you're mother's a wise old owl. When I speak to friends from those countries I find that they resent doing it... but they're usually grateful for having done it.
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  28. #28
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    This isn't in the same vein as the other posts but I consider it an attack on Democracy. Texas has filed a lawsuit to invalidate the votes of four swing states that voted for Biden using the concept of originality. The contention is voting irregularities and last minutes changes to election laws diluted their votes. I think the game plan is if you can get it in front of the Supreme Court Trump's picks will swing the election his way. Using originality does that.

    From what I've read it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell but it does demonstrate the lengths republicans are willing to go to "steal" the election. I use that word deliberately because that is their chant in Georgia - "stop the steal". I don't think they see the irony in what they say and what they do.

    I think someone mentioned it but it looks like the courts are all that is between our democracy and "King Trump".
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  29. #29
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    From what I've read it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell but it does demonstrate the lengths republicans are willing to go to "steal" the election. I use that word deliberately because that is their chant in Georgia - "stop the steal". I don't think they see the irony in what they say and what they do.
    It seems the norm that, if Republicans are loudly accusing someone else of doing something, you can be pretty sure that that's what they are doing themselves.

  30. #30
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by TysonLPrice View Post
    This isn't in the same vein as the other posts but I consider it an attack on Democracy. Texas has filed a lawsuit to invalidate the votes of four swing states that voted for Biden using the concept of originality. The contention is voting irregularities and last minutes changes to election laws diluted their votes. I think the game plan is if you can get it in front of the Supreme Court Trump's picks will swing the election his way. Using originality does that.

    From what I've read it doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell but it does demonstrate the lengths republicans are willing to go to "steal" the election. I use that word deliberately because that is their chant in Georgia - "stop the steal". I don't think they see the irony in what they say and what they do.

    I think someone mentioned it but it looks like the courts are all that is between our democracy and "King Trump".
    Sadly several other states.... sigh... including the SC AG has hitched their wagon to this as well... and Lindsey Graham... jeezees.... went to bed feeling physically sick, woke up emotionally sick... it may be time to move out of SC.

    -tg
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  31. #31
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    Sadly several other states.... sigh... including the SC AG has hitched their wagon to this as well... and Lindsey Graham... jeezees.... went to bed feeling physically sick, woke up emotionally sick... it may be time to move out of SC.

    -tg
    Ted Cruz has volunteered to be the lawyer. CNN has been replaying the clips of him vehemently calling Trump a pathological liar and a narcissist like the nation has never seen before. Trump disparaged his wife and linked his father to the Kennedy assassination. All the defense has to do is play that clip.

    I rest my case
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  32. #32
    Super Moderator FunkyDexter's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The Supreme Court has been refusing to hear these cases though. Is this one those or is it yet another one? (I've honestly lost track at this point).
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  33. #33
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    The Supreme Court has been refusing to hear these cases though. Is this one those or is it yet another one? (I've honestly lost track at this point).
    I think part of that reasoning is in their case. By a state suing another state it can go straight to the Supreme Court. I think the hope is the republicans on the Supreme Court will hand it to Trump. I say "republicans on the Supreme Court" deliberately. They like to call themselves "constitutionalists". I don't care how much lipstick you put on that pig; they are republicans.
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  34. #34
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The Supreme Court has been refusing to hear these cases though. Is this one those or is it yet another one? (I've honestly lost track at this point).
    No, it's a new one, directly filed by the State of Texas (well the attorney general to be more specific), its yet another long-shot lawsuit that throws together a bunch of rehashed arguments many of which have already been thrown out by previous courts.

    It would be extremely surprising if this case even gets heard by the Supreme Court. I am not convinced they expect to win though even if they got there, they are just trying to throw as much crap as possible hoping that enough sticks and will disrupt the next government and also keep Trump Supporters agitated.
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  35. #35
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    No, it's a new one, directly filed by the State of Texas (well the attorney general to be more specific), its yet another long-shot lawsuit that throws together a bunch of rehashed arguments many of which have already been thrown out by previous courts.

    It would be extremely surprising if this case even gets heard by the Supreme Court. I am not convinced they expect to win though even if they got there, they are just trying to throw as much crap as possible hoping that enough sticks and will disrupt the next government and also keep Trump Supporters agitated.
    Of course it is a new one but I think they are using some of the same arguments as the PA case. The real meat of it is the PA irregularities, if allowed to stand, diluted their votes.
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  36. #36
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The problem Trump has with going to Court is he actually has to have evidence rather than accusations.

    All I have seen so far in terms of evidence is die-hard trump supports signing affidavits saying that "Honest I saw corruption", and then repeating it in unofficial noncourt-based hearings where they cant be held to account and properly cross-examined for there so-called evidence. If they had any real evidence at all that fraud had occurred they would have presented it in court already.

    Trump has alongside his court effort apparently been speaking to republican state legislatures in the swing states asking them to ignore the popular vote and put forward their own slate of electors to the electoral college.

    If we are talking about fragility in a democracy this is the one area where it seems to me that the US system could do with fixing, some states require by law for the state to put forward the votes as decided by the public.

    There has been ample time for legal challenges and recounts, and once that process has played out and the states have certified their votes then surely all States should have that same legal requirement to put forward the public vote and to remove any partizan action from the process.
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  37. #37
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Yeah, as the others noted, this is a new one. By one State suing another, it goes straight to SCOTUS rather than having to go through the lower State and Federal Courts... it's an end game. And it's a long shot. It gets them to the door, but it doesn't necessarily get them in the door. My guess is that SCOTUS will see it for what it is, a long-0shot, hail-mary, end-game, run-around that has the same baseless arguments that the previous cases have had and as a result will refuse to even hear it. Or, maybe in a surprise move, they do hear it, and still throw it out, making it permanent. That's the thing, by not hearing the cases and ruling on them, they continue to leave life in them. But if they were to hear it, then rule on it, that's it. End of game. End of story. There is no appeal. But they would have to have standing first, and from what I hear, they don't even have that. So... I dunno.

    -tg
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  38. #38
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The real meat of it is the PA irregularities
    They already presented those so-called PA irregularities in the lower level courts they are nothing new, which is a massive problem for this case. For the Supreme Court to decided to take the case they are supposed to have to agree that it can't be solved in other courts. These arguments have already been heard in other courts and been dismissed.

    What I find interesting is that apparently, it needs 5 justices to agree to take the case in order for it to even go to the Supreme Court, considering the recent PA case which is very similar was thrown out with zero justices agreeing to hear the case its seem highly unlikely that this one will be heard.
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  39. #39
    Wall Poster TysonLPrice's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by techgnome View Post
    Yeah, as the others noted, this is a new one. By one State suing another, it goes straight to SCOTUS rather than having to go through the lower State and Federal Courts... it's an end game. And it's a long shot. It gets them to the door, but it doesn't necessarily get them in the door. My guess is that SCOTUS will see it for what it is, a long-0shot, hail-mary, end-game, run-around that has the same baseless arguments that the previous cases have had and as a result will refuse to even hear it. Or, maybe in a surprise move, they do hear it, and still throw it out, making it permanent. That's the thing, by not hearing the cases and ruling on them, they continue to leave life in them. But if they were to hear it, then rule on it, that's it. End of game. End of story. There is no appeal. But they would have to have standing first, and from what I hear, they don't even have that. So... I dunno.

    -tg
    I think their argument for standing, as flimsy as it may be, is the Texas election was affected because their votes were diluted by the other states allowing invalid votes to count.
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  40. #40
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    That fits: Texas has little man syndrome.
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