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I read the news today (oh boy) - Current world events
5 February 2020
9.52am
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50yearslate
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Wow. I am really surprised Biden didn’t get more votes, and tbh I’m disappointed Warren didn’t get more either. 

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5 February 2020
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Ron Nasty
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The conspiracy theories seem silly to me. You'd have to have virtually every person sending in their results via the app that didn't work in on it, or else you'd have a string of Democrats up on the screen and all over social media declaring their were no problems reporting the numbers from their precinct. It's just the stupidity of not pre-testing everything was working right before it going live.

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5 February 2020
3.34pm
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One minute ago, Trump was acquitted of his crimes.

One minute ago, I lost faith in the world (though i knew it was coming)

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5 February 2020
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Props to Romney (there's a sentence you'll rarely hear me say). 

 

It's literally sickening the lack of justice that exists.

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5 February 2020
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YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

While i think Trump's a terrible president, i'll take him over Mike Pence any day and even if Mike was a better president, impeachment is only supposed to be used in bipartisan cases, of which this clearly was not since many Democrats were talking about impeachment before Trump was even sworn into office.

Now that we're all done with that, hopefully Trump can help us make America great again by losing the election.

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6 February 2020
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50yearslate said
Wow. I am really surprised Biden didn’t get more votes, and tbh I’m disappointed Warren didn’t get more either. 

  

I think the general impressions of Biden's support were always a bit overblown. He obviously has enormous name recognition, but I think most people realise the issues once they look a bit more closely at his record. As for Warren, I liked her initially but after the recent debacle with Bernie and her disappointing healthcare plan I lost respect for her. She's never seemed to be that charismatic a speaker, either; sadly I feel like Trump would come out on top of any debate through sheer vulgarity, even if she's far superior to him on the substance. 

Ron Nasty said

The conspiracy theories seem silly to me.

I wish I had your trust in the American political establishment. To me, the constant media pushing of certain moderates candidates coincides far too perfectly with the way the whole thing unfolded. It's played out perfectly for Pete: declare an early victory, have that backed up by the results from areas with high support, and then let the media move on so that the actual results don't add to Bernie's momentum.

Plus, consider the fact that his campaign donated $42,000 to the development of the app, which is dodgy and at the very least weird. 

The Hole Got Fixed said
One minute ago, Trump was acquitted of his crimes.

One minute ago, I lost faith in the world (though i knew it was coming)

Meh. The crimes he was actually tried for, whilst being a definite abuse of power, only serve to remind me how absurd the liberal worldview is sometimes. Trump can detain thousands of immigrants in camps with horrific conditions, cut social security reducing millions to poverty, show a blatant disregard for our environment, cozy up to human rights-violating dictators and tyrants, and continue the US's destructive imperialist foreign policy, and the establishment won't bat an eyelid. Yet this Ukraine phone call issue, whilst definitely serious and worthy of indignation, is somehow the only one of Trump's many transgressions that actually warrants accountability. 

The suffering of millions worldwide is considered a perfectly normal and tolerable feature of everyday life for these people; to them politics is nothing more than spectacle, with the personalities of those in power being seen as more important than the real-world consequences of their actions. If Trump (or any president, Obama included) were actually to be held accountable for the worst of what they have done, then I'd be interested in impeachment, but right now it seems like little more than a symbolic gesture of useless 'resistance' just like the sarcastic clapping and speech-ripping. 

Wooo, controversial post. Why do I do this to myself a-hard-days-night-john-6a-hard-days-night-john-6

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6 February 2020
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Honestly, I’m done caring. I knew he’d be acquitted. The world’s been going steadily downhill since 2016 (or maybe I’m just growing up) and at this point I just can’t bring myself to care anymore. He’ll probably win this next election too, and then Mike Pence or a similar fella will probably win the two terms after that. What can you do? There’s nothing you can do. I can’t do it anymore.

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6 February 2020
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QuarryMan said
Trump can detain thousands of immigrants in camps with horrific conditions, cut social security reducing millions to poverty, show a blatant disregard for our environment, cozy up to human rights-violating dictators and tyrants, and continue the US's destructive imperialist foreign policy, and the establishment won't bat an eyelid. Yet this Ukraine phone call issue, whilst definitely serious and worthy of indignation, is somehow the only one of Trump's many transgressions that actually warrants accountability.

Maybe the Republicans won't but the Democrats call out Trump on all of those issues, even when he doesn't deserve the hate.

50yearslate said
Honestly, I’m done caring. I knew he’d be acquitted. The world’s been going steadily downhill since 2016 (or maybe I’m just growing up) and at this point I just can’t bring myself to care anymore. He’ll probably win this next election too, and then Mike Pence or a similar fella will probably win the two terms after that. What can you do? There’s nothing you can do. I can’t do it anymore.

  

Don't worry, there's still a chance to beat him in 2020. We just have to make sure either Bernie or Yang win the primaries and we have to take Trump seriously. Had we done this in 2016, Trump would've easily lost.

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6 February 2020
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Dark Overlord said

Maybe the Republicans won't but the Democrats call out Trump on all of those issues, even when he doesn't deserve the hate.

No, the Democrats do it too. Obama did most of what I listed, and for the other issues the establishment Democrats typically just play lip service to progressive goals whilst continuing with the same old policies behind the scenes. In fact, many of the very worst things to have happened in the USA in the last seventy years have been Democrat policies, such as the 1994 crime bill, foreign policy under Obama etc

50yearslate said
Honestly, I’m done caring. I knew he’d be acquitted. The world’s been going steadily downhill since 2016 (or maybe I’m just growing up) and at this point I just can’t bring myself to care anymore. He’ll probably win this next election too, and then Mike Pence or a similar fella will probably win the two terms after that. What can you do? There’s nothing you can do. I can’t do it anymore.

Don't give up! Good people losing hope is exactly what they want to happen. As far as I know you can't vote yet, but you can still donate, canvass and phonebank for the candidate of your choice*, and also try to convince your family and friends to support them too. Just one person spending a few hours volunteering can do a huge amount. 

* Pssssstttt that candidate should definitely be Bernie a-hard-days-night-george-10

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6 February 2020
4.52pm
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All of this stuff is getting me more interested in politics. I think the key thing regardless of politics is to get people to vote.

 

One thing that I think would be good would be for election day to be a national holiday.

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6 February 2020
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Or a weekend, like Australia

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6 February 2020
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Making it a national holiday sounds like a great idea to me. I think the US democracy could really benefit from that, as well as publicly funded elections, automatic voter registration, much stricter regulation of lobbying, and an end to gerrymandering. 

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6 February 2020
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^plus a free day off, sounds good

In re DO’s post: why the heck does it have to be Bernie or Yang? I don’t have a problem with Yang but I really don’t think he has much of a chance. As for Bernie, I’d prefer a president with a better chance of surviving a full term. At this point Warren is probably my favorite but she’s probably too radical for most folks... a shame.

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7 February 2020
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Heh, no problem. 

On the candidates, I like Yang but I also don't think he has much of a chance. He's got some interesting ideas and he's definitely raising the profile of automation as an issue, which is important, but I don't think his time has come yet. 

On Bernie, the heart attack scare was a concern but if you compare him to any of the other major candidates bar Pete, he has far more energy and is still extremely sharp for his age, particularly compared to Biden who is barely functioning cognitively at this point. Running a presidential campaign is an enormous amount of effort; if Bernie wasn't physically capable then he probably wouldn't be doing as well as he is now. Plus, on policy, record and ability to beat Trump, he's untouchable. 

I liked Warren myself, but she sadly would get absolutely massacred by Trump in the campaign - she has a pretty awful record of consistently lying about stuff, and her platform isn't populist or progressive enough to reach across the aisle like Bernie is capable of.

Also, I disagree that being radical is a bad thing in this political climate - remember that Trump won in 2016 on a very radical right wing platform. 

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7 February 2020
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My own feeling is that if the Democrats were to decide to go with Bernie, you'll just give Trump four more years.

The US is a more right-leaning country than those in Europe, and - while the way Trump conducts himself and carries his office is a disgrace - his policy platforms are more in line with a right-leaning country than Bernie's policy platforms. There are many Republican Presidents who have been elected whose policies have been to the right of the mainstream views within the party at the time but have taken the voters with them, but hard to think of ANY Democrat President who has significantly moved the country to the Left.

We have been playing the same game in the UK with Corbin, far further to the left than Bernie - though not in terms of UK political history, bringing in lots of enthusiasm from younger parts of the electorate by the force of their ideological arguments and ideas but without a hope of taking the top job because while they have their very vocal supporters, their politics do not appeal to the majority of the electorate.

I've lived long enough to remember Labour leaders as radical as Corbin is (Michael Foot in the early '80s comes to mind), and watched them lose to those very much on the right every time; I'm struggling to think of any Democrat President who's been as far left within the Party as Bernie is, and I see no way the country will swing far further to the left than it has in its history.

It is a saddening thing but it is far easier to get elected from the radical right than the radical left in almost every country in the world, and those on the left that do get elected are most often just a little to the left of centre in that country.

Too many Americans are too fearful of the extreme left to vote Bernie.

Bernie's great if you want a banner to wave declaring there are better ways to organise and develop a society but no good if you want the Presidency, and the job of any political party is - or should be - to get elected.

I also wanted to pick up on a point DO made about impeachment; he suggested that impeachment should always be bipartisan and should not be attempted without it being so. That has only happened in one instance, Nixon, and he resigned before the charge was brought because he recognised the way the wind was blowing. The two previous impeachment trials of Presidents - Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton - saw the vote go exactly down party lines; in fact, that made this impeachment rather unusual compared to the previous two times it's been used - with Mitt Romney we saw, for the first time, a member of the same party as the President being impeached finding him guilty.

In that way, it's easily argued that this was, despite all its flaws, the most bipartisan impeachment there has been, and opens the question whether impeachment can ever work when a President's party holds the Senate, as has been the case with all three impeachment trials that have happened.

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7 February 2020
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I hate political parties, I hate them so much. Who decided they were a good idea? Who thought that would result in good decisions for the country? Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about but I think politics would really be simpler if we didn’t have political parties.

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7 February 2020
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I disagree @Ron Nasty . I think if anything the last few years have shown that politics isn't swinging exclusively in one direction or the other; rather, it's becoming more polarised at the extremes. Populism and anti-establishment sentiment have been the defining traits for quite a while now, because the ideological norm for decades (essentially, neoliberalism) is failing the majority of the population, and so more extreme alternatives are becoming more appealing. There are two main ways you can tap into this feeling - firstly, through right wing nationalism, attacking the elites based on their globalising policies, or alternatively through left wing class-based politics, attacking the elites on the basis of their control of the economy, mass media and government. 

It's not 2008 anymore; a corporate centrist candidate who talks in impressive sounding platitudes yet doesn't actually offer any real solutions isn't going to be able to build any significant voter coalition outside of coastal, city-dwelling liberals. The reason is simple - their worldview (which holds that Trump is the root of all evil and all that is necessary is simply defeating him and returning the Obama years) is completely incompatible with the lived experiences of the vast majority of Americans. If what the centrist Democrats offered was what the country actually wanted, then they wouldn't have voted for Trump. Going for the 'safe', status quo option simply doesn't work in American politics anymore - in the past twenty years, every single status quo candidate offered by both parties (Gore, Kerry, McCain, Romney, Clinton, and soon to be Biden) has failed. 

And then there's the wealth of evidence that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate to take on Trump - he has the broadest, most dedicated and most diverse support base, he has been able to out-fundraise his rivals without accepting any big money donors, he is the most liked and trusted member of Congress by far, he has the most consistent record on all the important issues, he comes across well to Republican voters (if you don't believe me, watch his Fox News town hall appearance where he had the audience cheering and chanting for taxing the rich, Medicare for all and getting Trump to release his tax returns) and he beats Trump in polls across the country, not just in Democrat strongholds.

I'd also question the validity of the Corbyn comparisons - yes, they are both left wing populists, but I think most of us had known for a long time that Corbyn would not win the election, because him and the Labour Party had been far behind the Conservatives in polling for years, despite being the opposition. Corbyn has a pretty terrible reputation amongst the British public, too, and as a canvasser for Labour in December the absolute #1 response I got from people telling me they weren't voting Labour was their dislike for him as a leader and as a person. This couldn't be more different from the situation in the USA, where Bernie is literally the most popular politician in the country, famed above all else for his remarkable consistency and conviction. 

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7 February 2020
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Ron Nasty said
I also wanted to pick up on a point DO made about impeachment; he suggested that impeachment should always be bipartisan and should not be attempted without it being so. That has only happened in one instance, Nixon, and he resigned before the charge was brought because he recognised the way the wind was blowing. The two previous impeachment trials of Presidents - Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton - saw the vote go exactly down party lines; in fact, that made this impeachment rather unusual compared to the previous two times it's been used - with Mitt Romney we saw, for the first time, a member of the same party as the President being impeached finding him guilty.

In that way, it's easily argued that this was, despite all its flaws, the most bipartisan impeachment there has been, and opens the question whether impeachment can ever work when a President's party holds the Senate, as has been the case with all three impeachment trials that have happened.

Good point. However, i think it's worth pointing out that Johnson was 1 vote away from being impeached and was so unpopular that he couldn't even win the primaries, whereas they couldn't even get a simple majority against Clinton and Trump and both remain quite popular among their party.

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7 February 2020
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QuarryMan said
Making it a national holiday sounds like a great idea to me. I think the US democracy could really benefit from that, as well as publicly funded elections, automatic voter registration, much stricter regulation of lobbying, and an end to gerrymandering. 

  

On idea for that last point is to have an algorithm do randomized districts. What are your thoughts on computerized districts?

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I would be a very vocal supporter of computerised districts. It would mean the politicians can't try to target one seat based on its demographics, rather the demographics may not fit into a box perfectly.

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