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Author Topic: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter  (Read 2436 times)

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Offline 327

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2018, 01:51:53 PM »
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.

Offline freefourur

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #91 on: January 16, 2018, 01:53:53 PM »
^ 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. 

Offline mu2010

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2018, 02:07:04 PM »
It's a little of both, @327 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.

Offline 327

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2018, 02:25:58 PM »
^ 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.

Offline Brutus_buckeye

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2018, 02:27:21 PM »
^ 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.

Offline freefourur

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #95 on: January 16, 2018, 02:30:12 PM »
^^ 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.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 02:32:30 PM by freefourur »

Offline 327

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #96 on: January 16, 2018, 02:30:32 PM »
^ 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.

Offline freefourur

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #97 on: January 16, 2018, 02:33:32 PM »
^ I don't understand step 1.  No body running is treating voters with contempt. 

Offline mu2010

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #98 on: January 16, 2018, 02:38:20 PM »
^ 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.

Offline mu2010

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #99 on: January 16, 2018, 02:43:36 PM »
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.

Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #100 on: January 16, 2018, 02:48:11 PM »
^ 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 ... I may or may not have had a dozen "the pendulum swings" arguments with him/her

Offline surfohio

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #101 on: January 16, 2018, 02:49:00 PM »
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.

Offline freefourur

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #102 on: January 16, 2018, 03:02:47 PM »
^ 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 ... 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.

Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #103 on: January 16, 2018, 03:33:02 PM »
^Haha I did not know that! Love that I am starting to recognize people's personality just by the writing - UO will do that to you I suppose

Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #104 on: January 17, 2018, 08:56:01 AM »
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?

Offline surfohio

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #105 on: January 17, 2018, 09:04:39 AM »
This fella still seems to have plenty of support from the right.


Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #106 on: January 17, 2018, 09:05:18 AM »
This fella still seems to have plenty of support from the right.



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

Offline freefourur

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #107 on: January 17, 2018, 09:12:57 AM »
Nobody should support her.  But stupid voters exist as I've mentioned before.

Offline surfohio

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #108 on: January 17, 2018, 09:15:27 AM »
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.

Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #109 on: January 17, 2018, 09:18:14 AM »
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.

Offline surfohio

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #110 on: January 17, 2018, 09:28:22 AM »
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.

Offline YABO713

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #111 on: January 17, 2018, 09:45:06 AM »
^Ahhh great point @surfohio

Offline 327

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #112 on: January 17, 2018, 10:36:57 AM »
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.

Offline X

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #113 on: January 17, 2018, 03:26:45 PM »
^I've long thought that any discussion of the estate tax should include at least one reference to Paris Hilton by the Democrats.

Offline Brutus_buckeye

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Re: An Inquiry into the Qualifications of an American Voter
« Reply #114 on: January 17, 2018, 04:30:50 PM »
^ 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.