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Tags Alt-Right , fascism charges , racism charges , Richard Spencer , Steve Bannon , Trump supporters

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Old 28th November 2016, 08:09 AM   #161
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Consider the following situation.

Take Trump and remove the racism, while leaving the incompetence, egotism, ignorance, short temper and so on. Call him T-minus (Trump minus racism).

On the other side, take a competent person, Hillary, if you'd like, or Obama. In either case, add a mild racism: a personal dislike of a certain race, say. A distrust of Asians, or something. Call this H-plus, for Hillary plus racism, but racism in a weak form, and if you think Hillary is a weak candidate, feel free to imagine a better candidate.

In that case, I'd vote for H-plus over T-minus. And this case isn't so ridiculous, now that Trump has actually won an election. Surely, we can imagine a candidate just as bad as Trump, but without the racist rhetoric. And surely we can imagine a decent candidate with some unfortunately racist view.

So, if you prefer, we may leave behind the fanciful nuke-lobber scenario and talk about H-plus and T-minus. And, in my view, Trump is a dreadful candidate even aside from any racism, and I'd vote for a competent person with mild racist tendencies over Trump.

Is that better?
And which of the two candidates is advocating first strike use of nuclear weapons in this hypothetical ?

If the choice is racist Hillary (though how a racist managed to get chosen as the Democratic Party candidate is another puzzler) and Donald Trump minus the racism then I would:
  • Vote third party, write in a non-racist Democratic Party candidate or spoil my ballot
  • Vote Democratic Party the rest of the ticket - as long as those candidates aren't racist
  • Ponder how the party which draws much of its support from minorities managed to select a racist - not least because the superdelegates didn't seem to be doing their job right
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:16 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
As I have said a couple of times, it's not as simple as this. Trump has several traits I consider deal-breakers, among them his corruption and his obvious stupidity. In the case you described, I would vote third party.
Thereby increasing the odds that T-minus wins.

I can understand your position: a vote means this is a person you support. I used to have that position. When that position leads to disastrous results, however, I've come to think that it is better to include the outcome of my vote in my decision to vote for this or that candidate.

In terms of prudence (enlightened self-interest), my current position is almost certainly correct (unless your principles matter more than the harm done to you and the rest of the nation, in your estimation). In terms of moral principles, the situation is less clear. My position is the no-brainer winner for utilitarians, I think.

I am not a utilitarian, however.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:18 AM   #163
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Thereby increasing the odds that T-minus wins.

I can understand your position: a vote means this is a person you support. I used to have that position. When that position leads to disastrous results, however, I've come to think that it is better to include the outcome of my vote in my decision to vote for this or that candidate.

In terms of prudence (enlightened self-interest), my current position is almost certainly correct (unless your principles matter more than the harm done to you and the rest of the nation, in your estimation). In terms of moral principles, the situation is less clear. My position is the no-brainer winner for utilitarians, I think.

I am not a utilitarian, however.
Your position might work in extreme hypotheticals, but not in the real world. In the real world, your approach normalizes racism and all the other negative traits that should be deal breakers.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:19 AM   #164
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
And which of the two candidates is advocating first strike use of nuclear weapons in this hypothetical ?
The point of this hypothetical is to make it more plausible, partly by taking nuke-lobber out of it. The nuke-lobber is, I hope, very unlikely. After 2016, who the **** knows if he's unlikely?

Quote:
If the choice is racist Hillary (though how a racist managed to get chosen as the Democratic Party candidate is another puzzler) and Donald Trump minus the racism then I would:
  • Vote third party, write in a non-racist Democratic Party candidate or spoil my ballot
  • Vote Democratic Party the rest of the ticket - as long as those candidates aren't racist
  • Ponder how the party which draws much of its support from minorities managed to select a racist - not least because the superdelegates didn't seem to be doing their job right
I'm presuming that party doesn't matter, if the choice is between a Trump-like charlatan and a competent who is mildly racist.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:24 AM   #165
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I'm presuming that party doesn't matter, if the choice is between a Trump-like charlatan and a competent who is mildly racist.
It kinda does when considering the feasibility of your hypothetical. At some point the scenario becomes sufficiently unlikely as to be

"Who would you vote for, a competent but racist bigfoot or a non-racist unicorn whose other policies aren't 'deal-breakers' but which you oppose ?"

Under those circumstances I would vote for the third party chupacabra because even though they don't stand a chance, the other two candidates are equally abhorrent to me (though for different reasons).
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:24 AM   #166
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Your position might work in extreme hypotheticals, but not in the real world. In the real world, your approach normalizes racism and all the other negative traits that should be deal breakers.
My position is that racism is an extremely negative trait in presidential candidates, one which is disqualifying in most contexts (in almost all contexts, if we exclude the more limited forms of racism). I don't normalize a damned thing.

But I do assert that racism isn't literally the worst trait a candidate can have. Oh, it's among the worst, depending on degree. But there are other considerations that can lead to one voting for a racist despite loathing racism.

That's not normalizing. That's simply being clear that a truly awful trait is not always the literally worst trait imaginable (and that traits individually matter less than the whole package).
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:25 AM   #167
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
The point of this hypothetical is to make it more plausible, partly by taking nuke-lobber out of it. The nuke-lobber is, I hope, very unlikely. After 2016, who the **** knows if he's unlikely?



I'm presuming that party doesn't matter, if the choice is between a Trump-like charlatan and a competent who is mildly racist.
You keep saying "mildly racist". What do you mean? Is it just a single race the person doesn't like?
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:26 AM   #168
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
My position is that racism is an extremely negative trait in presidential candidates, one which is disqualifying in most contexts (in almost all contexts, if we exclude the more limited forms of racism). I don't normalize a damned thing.

But I do assert that racism isn't literally the worst trait a candidate can have. Oh, it's among the worst, depending on degree. But there are other considerations that can lead to one voting for a racist despite loathing racism.

That's not normalizing. That's simply being clear that a truly awful trait is not always the literally worst trait imaginable (and that traits individually matter less than the whole package).
It normalizes it to the extent that it gives an 'out' for Trump voters. They can say "well, Trump might be racist, but Clinton is worse". In fact, that's exactly what they are doing. That's what I dislike. That's how it's normalizing racism. It excuses it.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:27 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It kinda does when considering the feasibility of your hypothetical. At some point the scenario becomes sufficiently unlikely as to be

"Who would you vote for, a competent but racist bigfoot or a non-racist unicorn whose other policies aren't 'deal-breakers' but which you oppose ?"

Under those circumstances I would vote for the third party chupacabra because even though they don't stand a chance, the other two candidates are equally abhorrent to me (though for different reasons).
I want to take party out of it, because this sort of reasoning shouldn't be about right-thinking liberals vs. wrong-thinking conservatives.

Racism occurs on both sides of the aisle, surely (though not to the same degree or frequency).

Anyway, racism is one of many traits we're speaking of here. The idea of a deal-breaker is either underdefined or naive.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:28 AM   #170
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
You keep saying "mildly racist". What do you mean? Is it just a single race the person doesn't like?
I don't know, maybe they're happy to employ black people but only in roles which require an excellent sense of rhythm and/or lovely white teeth.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:31 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
You keep saying "mildly racist". What do you mean? Is it just a single race the person doesn't like?
No, he's only racist from 8 to 5.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:33 AM   #172
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
You keep saying "mildly racist". What do you mean? Is it just a single race the person doesn't like?
One has very mildly racist tendencies, for instance, if they like racist humor but otherwise interact quite normally with minorities.

One has mildly racist tendencies if they have personal prejudices about other races which do not affect public policy directly, but which are known to the public (otherwise, this wouldn't be relevant for an election). If it's common knowledge that one called, say, East Asians untrustworthy, then one is at least mildly racist.

It's not about the number of races, obviously, since I take it that a desire to exterminate even one race is rather worse than mild racism. I'm thinking instead of the public version of the uncle who occasionally embarrasses you by his stereotypical utterances.

Trump is not mild in this respect, since his policies are based on his stereotypes regarding Mexicans and Muslims (not a race, yes, yes).
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:33 AM   #173
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I want to take party out of it, because this sort of reasoning shouldn't be about right-thinking liberals vs. wrong-thinking conservatives.
You may wish to, but it's an important factor if we're to assess whether it's a possible set of circumstances or merely mental-masturbation in order to score internet points.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Racism occurs on both sides of the aisle, surely (though not to the same degree or frequency).
No doubt, but I've yet to see evidence that, in the current-day US, a racist (or more specifically someone who expresses racist views, I suppose that someone could be racist but keep that secret by never speaking of, or acting on, those views ) could become the Democratic Party candidate.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Anyway, racism is one of many traits we're speaking of here. The idea of a deal-breaker is either underdefined or naive.
Is your view, and one I and many others disagree with. For me there are a few things which would absolutely stop me voting for someone.
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Old 28th November 2016, 08:37 AM   #174
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
It normalizes it to the extent that it gives an 'out' for Trump voters. They can say "well, Trump might be racist, but Clinton is worse". In fact, that's exactly what they are doing. That's what I dislike. That's how it's normalizing racism. It excuses it.
Absolutely, I excuse them, except for the utter ignorance of their excuse.

If it were the case that Clinton was the supervillain they imagine, then they should have voted for Trump. It requires considerable ignorance to imagine that she is this mastermind, and thus their choice was made in ignorance, but not because racism doesn't matter.

Of course, many use the supervillain-image as a cover for their acceptance of racism. So what? That's how it goes. We all often excuse our bad choices by rationalizing, but that doesn't mean rationale wouldn't be correct if the facts were correct.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:01 AM   #175
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
You may wish to, but it's an important factor if we're to assess whether it's a possible set of circumstances or merely mental-masturbation in order to score internet points.
Score internet points? By taking a position that seems, on the face of it, so controversial that people think I'm defending racism?

For ****'s sake, that's a hail-Mary pass if ever I seen one.

Quote:
No doubt, but I've yet to see evidence that, in the current-day US, a racist (or more specifically someone who expresses racist views, I suppose that someone could be racist but keep that secret by never speaking of, or acting on, those views ) could become the Democratic Party candidate.
I think that's right. But the point I'm trying to make is not partisan in principle, and it applies to traits other than racism.

Quote:
Is your view, and one I and many others disagree with. For me there are a few things which would absolutely stop me voting for someone.
Well, at least Argumemnon agrees with me that there should be very few traits (e.g. being pro-nuke-lobbing) "absolutely" stopping one from voting for someone. He may correct me if I've misread him.

In any case, you've said "racism" is one such issue, but you don't seem to make any difference between genocidal racism, separatism and personal prejudices. I think it's unlikely that every degree of racism ought to exclude one from public office.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:10 AM   #176
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
One has very mildly racist tendencies, for instance, if they like racist humor but otherwise interact quite normally with minorities.

One has mildly racist tendencies if they have personal prejudices about other races which do not affect public policy directly, but which are known to the public (otherwise, this wouldn't be relevant for an election). If it's common knowledge that one called, say, East Asians untrustworthy, then one is at least mildly racist.

It's not about the number of races, obviously, since I take it that a desire to exterminate even one race is rather worse than mild racism. I'm thinking instead of the public version of the uncle who occasionally embarrasses you by his stereotypical utterances.

Trump is not mild in this respect, since his policies are based on his stereotypes regarding Mexicans and Muslims (not a race, yes, yes).
I think it could be argued that the person in question is not racist, but insensitive, and could possibly be reasoned with to come out against racism. If that's not the case, it's not a case of "mild racism".
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:14 AM   #177
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Score internet points? By taking a position that seems, on the face of it, so controversial that people think I'm defending racism?
Who ?

So far in this thread I have seen people suggest that for them racism is a deal-breaker and you:
  • Throw a hissy-fit because you thought you were being attacked, selectively snipped and whatnot
  • Suggest that people are naive if they have certain principles that they refuse to compromise

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
For ****'s sake, that's a hail-Mary pass if ever I seen one.
You keep suggesting scenarios in which you think that voting for the person who is moderately racist is the rational course of action through some kind of electoral "squeeze play". I keep trying to point out that those scenarios don't appear to be remotely likely and in any case there are other options apart from voting for one of the two candidates you propose.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I think that's right. But the point I'm trying to make is not partisan in principle, and it applies to traits other than racism.
Then why keep bringing up racism ?

Oh, I remember, its because people in this thread, myself included, were saying that even if people who voted for Trump were not racist themselves (though no doubt some were), their willingness to vote for Trump meant that (Trump's) racism was not a deal-breaker for them.

I get that you think adhering to deeply-held principles to the extent that there are certain things that are "deal-breakers" for any candidate is naive, I disagree.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Well, at least Argumemnon agrees with me that there should be very few traits (e.g. being pro-nuke-lobbing) "absolutely" stopping one from voting for someone. He may correct me if I've misread him.

In any case, you've said "racism" is one such issue, but you don't seem to make any difference between genocidal racism, separatism and personal prejudices. I think it's unlikely that every degree of racism ought to exclude one from public office.
.....and as such it would appear that you are somewhat tolerant of racism

edited to add.....

There's no shame to it, a recent election has shown that at least 47% of the US population who bothered to vote are also at least somewhat tolerant of racism (and I suspect a significant proportion of the rest of the US population is too).

For some people, a candidate not professing their religious beliefs is a deal breaker, or being unfaithful to their spouse, or taking money from banks for making speeches - I am at least "somewhat tolerant" of all those behaviours in a candidate but I wouldn't dare to suggest that I'm a better person than someone with a different set of "deal breakers", or indeed with no "deal breakers" at all.

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Old 28th November 2016, 09:16 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I think it could be argued that the person in question is not racist, but insensitive, and could possibly be reasoned with to come out against racism. If that's not the case, it's not a case of "mild racism".
Tell me, then, what you mean by racism. Perhaps we are misunderstanding one another.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:17 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Score internet points?
See how annoying it is when you're on the receiving end?
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:19 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Tell me, then, what you mean by racism. Perhaps we are misunderstanding one another.
Racism is usually defined as the belief in the inferiority of another race or of other races compared to one's own.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:19 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Tell me, then, what you mean by racism. Perhaps we are misunderstanding one another.
The belief that humans from certain genetic pools, with a certain amount of melanin are better/worse or more/less evolved, and/or that people belonging to different such groups would do better to be kept apart and not mingle, especially sexually.

It can also be ascribing certain traits to different groups, such as 'lazy' or 'good at math'.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:22 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Who ?

So far in this thread I have seen people suggest that for them racism is a deal-breaker and you:
  • Throw a hissy-fit because you thought you were being attacked, selectively snipped and whatnot
  • Suggest that people are naive if they have certain principles that they refuse to compromise
No, I have certain principles I would not compromise, so I don't think it's naive to have such. Not voting for a racist isn't such a principle, just because I can imagine something worse than some degrees of racism. (Obviously, when we get to genocide-level racism, for instance, it's hard to imagine much worse!)


Quote:
You keep suggesting scenarios in which you think that voting for the person who is moderately racist is the rational course of action through some kind of electoral "squeeze play". I keep trying to point out that those scenarios don't appear to be remotely likely and in any case there are other options apart from voting for one of the two candidates you propose.
Argumemnon and I decided our disagreement was merely semantic by explicitly discussing what "deal-breaker" means. Perhaps you should tell me what it means for trait X to be a deal-breaker to you, and then we'll decide whether improbability matters.

Quote:
Then why keep bringing up racism ?

Oh, I remember, its because people in this thread, myself included, were saying that even if people who voted for Trump were not racist themselves (though no doubt some were), their willingness to vote for Trump meant that (Trump's) racism was not a deal-breaker for them.

I get that you think adhering to deeply-held principles to the extent that there are certain things that are "deal-breakers" for any candidate is naive, I disagree.
Right, so let's discuss what "deal-breaker" means when you use the term.

Quote:
.....and as such it would appear that you are somewhat tolerant of racism
Yes, absolutely, in the sense that racism is a terrible thing, but in its less extreme forms, there are worse things. In that sense, I am somewhat tolerant of racism.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:25 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
See how annoying it is when you're on the receiving end?
I don't throw accusations of "scoring internet points" around lightly. I apologize again for accusing you, but your out-of-context quotation really struck me as intentional.

I can live with such ridiculous accusations that I'm scoring internet points by what? Saying that racism isn't literally the worst feature in the world? Hardly a way to score points. I'm not trying to appeal to racists, for God's sake. I'm trying merely to make an obvious point: there are even worse things, depending on the degree of racism.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:28 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Racism is usually defined as the belief in the inferiority of another race or of other races compared to one's own.
Okay, let's suppose that a candidate regards East Asians as less hygenic than the rest of the world. Let this be the view of H-plus. I'd vote for her over T-minus.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:29 AM   #185
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Argumemnon and I decided our disagreement was merely semantic by explicitly discussing what "deal-breaker" means.
It means that unless there was some force majeure* I could not vote for that individual.


* - discussing the nature of that force majeure is once again going to take us into the realm of pointless hypotheticals. Here in the real world, and living in the UK, I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where adhering to my "deal-breakers" would result in an outcome so dire that I would be compelled to vote for a candidate who "broke the deal" so to speak.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:30 AM   #186
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
The belief that humans from certain genetic pools, with a certain amount of melanin are better/worse or more/less evolved, and/or that people belonging to different such groups would do better to be kept apart and not mingle, especially sexually.

It can also be ascribing certain traits to different groups, such as 'lazy' or 'good at math'.
Great.

So, tell me this.

Take Trump minus racism, take Hillary plus the view that Asians are good at math, T-minus and H-plus, respectively.

I'd vote for the "racist" H-plus over T-minus happily. You?
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:31 AM   #187
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Great.

So, tell me this.

Take Trump minus racism, take Hillary plus the view that Asians are good at math, T-minus and H-plus, respectively.

I'd vote for the "racist" H-plus over T-minus happily. You?
Is voting for neither an option ?
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:33 AM   #188
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Is voting for neither an option ?
Jill stein got more votes in some states than Hillary lost by, so . . .
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:35 AM   #189
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It means that unless there was some force majeure* I could not vote for that individual.


* - discussing the nature of that force majeure is once again going to take us into the realm of pointless hypotheticals. Here in the real world, and living in the UK, I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where adhering to my "deal-breakers" would result in an outcome so dire that I would be compelled to vote for a candidate who "broke the deal" so to speak.
Okay, as I told Argumemnon, when I say, "deal-breaker", I mean there is no set of (imaginable) circumstances in which I would vote for a candidate with that trait.

Your notion of force majeure is a little vague, but I presume that it makes the term weaker than mine. In that case, we have little difference.

But I will say this: I'd vote for a slightly racist Hillary long before I'd vote for a non-racist Trump. That's a no-brainer for me. A Hillary who holds certain racist views (somewhat more than the white majority, say) would bother me a whole lot less than a completely non-racist Trump-like character.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:37 AM   #190
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Is voting for neither an option ?
Sure, but it does not help decide who wins. I'd rather that H-plus wins over T-minus, personally.

If we aren't in a close election in which our state is really, really close, abstaining makes perfect sense. If our vote really might make a difference, one oughtn't abstain, in my opinion.
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:43 AM   #191
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Okay, as I told Argumemnon, when I say, "deal-breaker", I mean there is no set of (imaginable) circumstances in which I would vote for a candidate with that trait.
It depends on what you mean by imaginable. The scenarios you've brought up so far seem to be very far-fetched - a strictly binary choice between two candidates, one of whose racism has been perfectly tailored to just squeeze above a minimum threshold and another whose negatives are carefully designed to avoid all "deal-breakers".

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Your notion of force majeure is a little vague, but I presume that it makes the term weaker than mine. In that case, we have little difference.
Why do you presume this ?

I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where I could be forced to vote for a candidate who has "deal breakers" - this is why I refer to force majeure.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But I will say this: I'd vote for a slightly racist Hillary long before I'd vote for a non-racist Trump. That's a no-brainer for me. A Hillary who holds certain racist views (somewhat more than the white majority, say) would bother me a whole lot less than a completely non-racist Trump-like character.
And I would vote for neither and I would also despair at how the parties I could support managed to select such thoroughly unsuitable candidates
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Old 28th November 2016, 09:59 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
It depends on what you mean by imaginable. The scenarios you've brought up so far seem to be very far-fetched - a strictly binary choice between two candidates, one of whose racism has been perfectly tailored to just squeeze above a minimum threshold and another whose negatives are carefully designed to avoid all "deal-breakers".
Is this not imaginable? You don't think that this could happen?

Imaginable does not mean probable.

Quote:
Why do you presume this ?

I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where I could be forced to vote for a candidate who has "deal breakers" - this is why I refer to force majeure.
Pardon my misinterpretation, then. Sorry. Should have understood your use of "force majeure".



Quote:
And I would vote for neither and I would also despair at how the parties I could support managed to select such thoroughly unsuitable candidates
Even if your vote might make a difference? Sorry, but I can't imagine sitting by and letting the obviously worse candidate win, just because the better candidate has some truly unfortunately racist attributes. If the better candidate is better despite the racism, and the difference is stark (which it must be, if the racism doesn't overwhelm the other considerations), then I'd damned well better vote for the racist.

But we seem to be repeating ourselves. In sum, and please correct me if I misstate your position:

(1) I would vote for a racist in those rare circumstances in which the racist candidate is better than the opposition. In this judgment, of course, the degree of racism matters, as well as other factors.

(2) You would never vote for a racist, no matter the circumstances and no matter the potential harm expected from not voting for the racist.

Do you agree with the above?

If so, we are done. I have a few comments, which you may reply to. These are a little broad, and unless you want me to respond to your replies, I will not. Fair enough?

COMMENTARY FOLLOWS:
In some circles, claiming that one is committed to (2) might be called virtue signalling (a term I despise). I might call it posturing, if I didn't think that you were committed to it. I think you are. I think also that it is indefensible except according to the most devoted deontological ethical theories.

Certainly, it cannot be defended prudentially, unless one has a really unusual set of personal preferences.
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Old 28th November 2016, 10:15 AM   #193
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Is this not imaginable? You don't think that this could happen?
I can imagine plenty of things that can never happen. I can state with certainly that I will never be forced into a binary decision for a significant election between two candidates who both have deal breaking characteristics.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Imaginable does not mean probable.
I'm not even suggesting probable.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Pardon my misinterpretation, then. Sorry. Should have understood your use of "force majeure".
Well it is the dictionary definition

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Even if your vote might make a difference? Sorry, but I can't imagine sitting by and letting the obviously worse candidate win, just because the better candidate has some truly unfortunately racist attributes. If the better candidate is better despite the racism, and the difference is stark (which it must be, if the racism doesn't overwhelm the other considerations), then I'd damned well better vote for the racist.
Even if my vote would make a difference - if both candidates are disqualified by my "deal breakers" then I would vote for someone else

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
But we seem to be repeating ourselves. In sum, and please correct me if I misstate your position:

(1) I would vote for a racist in those rare circumstances in which the racist candidate is better than the opposition. In this judgment, of course, the degree of racism matters, as well as other factors.

(2) You would never vote for a racist, no matter the circumstances and no matter the potential harm expected from not voting for the racist.

Do you agree with the above?.
I do, but I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where this is realistically the choice I would face.

Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
If so, we are done. I have a few comments, which you may reply to. These are a little broad, and unless you want me to respond to your replies, I will not. Fair enough?

COMMENTARY FOLLOWS:
In some circles, claiming that one is committed to (2) might be called virtue signalling (a term I despise). I might call it posturing, if I didn't think that you were committed to it. I think you are. I think also that it is indefensible except according to the most devoted deontological ethical theories.

Certainly, it cannot be defended prudentially, unless one has a really unusual set of personal preferences.
So far I have been participating in the electoral process for over 30 years and in that time have probably voted in over 50 elections of various types (including candidate selection, national, local, European and Welsh assembly elections) and at no point in time have I been in a position where every single candidate has been disqualified by one of my deal-breakers - in some cases none have. I have however excluded a some candidates who I might otherwise have voted for.

By all means position yourself as the voice of reason (and pat yourself on the back for it) because you are prepared to compromise your principles in an imagined election and accuse others of virtue signaling (if you hate the term so much why bring it up ?) or naivety if they say that they are not.
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Old 28th November 2016, 11:23 AM   #194
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I do, but I cannot conceive of a set of circumstances where this is realistically the choice I would face.
In this election in the U.S., we had one candidate who was utterly dreadful. We had another candidate who was, from my perspective, less than ideal but perfectly acceptable. I cannot any longer suppose that every election would have one perfectly acceptable candidate.

Your situation is better, no doubt. The fact that third parties here are irrelevant, and have been for a very long time, is a damned shame.

I can easily consider situations that would arise in which a mildly racist candidate is the better candidate. The fact that LBJ, for instance, held racist views but was instrumental in passing the civil rights legislation (if my history isn't mistaken) makes me think that some racist tendencies are not deal-breakers.

Quote:
So far I have been participating in the electoral process for over 30 years and in that time have probably voted in over 50 elections of various types (including candidate selection, national, local, European and Welsh assembly elections) and at no point in time have I been in a position where every single candidate has been disqualified by one of my deal-breakers - in some cases none have. I have however excluded a some candidates who I might otherwise have voted for.

By all means position yourself as the voice of reason (and pat yourself on the back for it) because you are prepared to compromise your principles in an imagined election and accuse others of virtue signaling (if you hate the term so much why bring it up ?) or naivety if they say that they are not.
Sorry for bringing up "virtue signalling". I shouldn't have. I think it's nonsense, for the most part. Posturing certainly occurs, but I shouldn't accuse my verbal opponents of such. It was a moment of weakness, I guess.

And I've never said anything about compromising my principles. On the contrary, everything I've said is consistent with my principles: racism is very bad, but not literally the worst thing in the world, depending on degree. All of my claims are principled.
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Old 28th November 2016, 12:07 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
I can imagine plenty of things that can never happen. I can state with certainly that I will never be forced into a binary decision for a significant election between two candidates who both have deal breaking characteristics.
You're tempting fate, here.
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Old 28th November 2016, 12:14 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
Great.

So, tell me this.

Take Trump minus racism, take Hillary plus the view that Asians are good at math, T-minus and H-plus, respectively.

I'd vote for the "racist" H-plus over T-minus happily. You?
I would seriously question H-plus about her conviction that Asians are good at maths. If she could demonstrate that it was just something that slipped out of her and that she doesn't hold racist beliefs, I would vote for her. Otherwise I wouldn't.

You're really running with this, aren't you? When I say deal-breaker, I mean deal-breaker.
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Old 28th November 2016, 12:15 PM   #197
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
You're tempting fate, here.
My personal view of what is plausible has changed a hell of a lot this year, I tell you what.

Donald *********** Trump. Can't *********** happen. No *********** way. It's a *********** joke.

God help us.
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Old 28th November 2016, 12:21 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
My personal view of what is plausible has changed a hell of a lot this year, I tell you what.

Donald *********** Trump. Can't *********** happen. No *********** way. It's a *********** joke.

God help us.
Yeah. I can't even say "let's just hope it won't be that bad" because every time he picks someone new for his government, it's just as bad as I anticipated.

Now, unlike some others I'm not predicting the end of democracy or nuclear war, but I think you can bet that minority and women's rights will be set back significantly.
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Old 28th November 2016, 01:02 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by Argumemnon View Post
Yeah. I can't even say "let's just hope it won't be that bad" because every time he picks someone new for his government, it's just as bad as I anticipated.
I can't say that. I could have imagined worse choices. I don't know much about Haley, for instance, but that she implicitly argued against Trump and then got chosen for a cabinet position is encouraging. That Romney, a more or less decent guy who was explicitly anti-Trump is encouraging.

But choosing a cabinet and listening to them are two different things, and Trump values an echo chamber, so we'll see. I am not optimistic.

Quote:
Now, unlike some others I'm not predicting the end of democracy or nuclear war, but I think you can bet that minority and women's rights will be set back significantly.
I think that's a fair bet, especially if by "women's rights" you mean "abortion rights". I don't know that he'll set back pay equality, for instance, but he could.

ETA: You'll sponsor me if I defect up north, I assume.
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Old 28th November 2016, 01:06 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
ETA: You'll sponsor me if I defect up north, I assume.
I do need an additional personal servant.
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