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Old 10th May 2022, 12:13 AM   #1
uke2se
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Any chance to turn the US into a democracy?

I am pretty sure I already know the answer to the question in the title, but I'd like to see it discussed. What would it take for a return of democracy to the US? By democracy, I mean majority rule by consent of the goverened with actual ways to remedy grievances through elections.

As I understand the US system, it seems utterly broken, unless you view it as an oppressive system more akin to a theocracy or a so-called "managed democracy" like Russia or Hungary. I don't think that the US is quite there yet, but it's heading in that direction and I don't see an off-ramp.

I know the usual answer is to "vote", but given the fact that some votes count a lot more than others and a lot of people aren't given a chance to vote, that seems like a less than helpful suggestion. So, how do you guys plan to stop this decline into authoritarianism? Anyone got any useful ideas?
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:25 AM   #2
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The core idea of Separation of Power into Selfish Institutions that would guard their own power against the others is solid and works well... as long as it is not actively subverted by outside institutions.
The corrosive that is hollowing out US democracy is the Two Party System, because Parties hold control over multiple Institutions at once, causing them not to behave in their own interest, but in that of the ruling Party.

The obvious, and easy, fix is to kneecap Party Politics by abolishing First -past-the-post elections and have campaigns financed by the taxpayer instead of Special Interest.

It's the obvious thing to do, which is why no one is discussing it seriously.
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:26 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The core idea of Separation of Power into Selfish Institutions that would guard their own power against the others is solid and works well... as long as it is not actively subverted by outside institutions.
The corrosive that is hollowing out US democracy is the Two Party System, because Parties hold control over multiple Institutions at once, causing them not to behave in their own interest, but in that of the ruling Party.

The obvious, and easy, fix is to kneecap Party Politics by abolishing First -past-the-post elections and have campaigns financed by the taxpayer instead of Special Interest.

It's the obvious thing to do, which is why no one is discussing it seriously.
How do you see this happening in the US? What needs to happen for this to come about and is there any way to get there?
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
How do you see this happening in the US? What needs to happen for this to come about and is there any way to get there?
I do have (blind) hope, because, ironically, voters both on the Left and the Right don't feel represented by their elected leaders;
and the Middle only exists because of Apathy, not because of a conviction that Middle Ground between the Parties is the best: Moderates just want to avoid Civil War Part 2. They all want an overhaul of the way we elected representatives, and they all want more transparency and accountability.

Voters on both sides of the spectrum think they could gain influence on the topics that matter most to them if Party Leadership could be side-lined in the nomination/election process. And the only reason why we don't have an actual Third Party is because the system makes abstaining/voting 3rd Party the same as voting for your opponent.

We do have some States already doe Ranked Choice Voting, apparently with great success, and in the true sense of "laboratories of democracy", this could spread to other States as well - but it will take many election cycles to do so.

As always, I have hope for the US, simply because there are so many easy gains to make, once we can agree to actually Drive the Car instead of wasting all out efforts to fight about who gets to sit behind the wheel.
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:59 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I am pretty sure I already know the answer to the question in the title, but I'd like to see it discussed. What would it take for a return of democracy to the US? By democracy, I mean majority rule by consent of the goverened with actual ways to remedy grievances through elections.

As I understand the US system, it seems utterly broken, unless you view it as an oppressive system more akin to a theocracy or a so-called "managed democracy" like Russia or Hungary. I don't think that the US is quite there yet, but it's heading in that direction and I don't see an off-ramp.

I know the usual answer is to "vote", but given the fact that some votes count a lot more than others and a lot of people aren't given a chance to vote, that seems like a less than helpful suggestion. So, how do you guys plan to stop this decline into authoritarianism? Anyone got any useful ideas?

The US does not elect Presidents by majority rule, and the Electoral College is nothing new. As far as people "not being given a chance to vote", give me a break. More like, "idiot slackers not making a real effort to do so, and then complaining". If a legal voter can't find a way to vote in the US, they are clearly so stupid that they shouldn't be voting in the first place.

By far the biggest complaints about the Electoral College and suppressed voting come from loser Democrats. They think this system needs to be changed every time they take a loss with the current one. The fact of the matter is, these losses are caused by their own political ineptitude.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:16 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
The US does not elect Presidents by majority rule, and the Electoral College is nothing new. As far as people "not being given a chance to vote", give me a break. More like, "idiot slackers not making a real effort to do so, and then complaining". If a legal voter can't find a way to vote in the US, they are clearly so stupid that they shouldn't be voting in the first place.

By far the biggest complaints about the Electoral College and suppressed voting come from loser Democrats. They think this system needs to be changed every time they take a loss with the current one. The fact of the matter is, these losses are caused by their own political ineptitude.
LOL. Would the reason it's the Dems who complain about some states having an outsized electoral advantage possibly be because it's always the Dem candidates who win the popular vote but lose the election? You know damn good and well if the situation were reversed you'd be bellyaching about it.
Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:17 AM   #7
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
The US does not elect Presidents by majority rule, and the Electoral College is nothing new. As far as people "not being given a chance to vote", give me a break. More like, "idiot slackers not making a real effort to do so, and then complaining". If a legal voter can't find a way to vote in the US, they are clearly so stupid that they shouldn't be voting in the first place.
Actually, the EC is already on borrowed time, with the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation...rstate_Compact ) probably getting adopted with in the next decade to enshrine a defacto Popular Vote for President.


Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
By far the biggest complaints about the Electoral College and suppressed voting come from loser Democrats. They think this system needs to be changed every time they take a loss with the current one. The fact of the matter is, these losses are caused by their own political ineptitude.
yeah, sure, it's ineptitude when one Party gets a Majority in the the State when they only get 40% of the vote, but the other Party has to get at least 60%.
Republicans are playing The Election Game on Easy Mode, and have been for decades and decades - no wonder that their representatives are so underqualified.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:20 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Stacyhs View Post
LOL. Would the reason it's the Dems who complain about some states having an outsized electoral advantage possibly be because it's always the Dem candidates who win the popular vote but lose the election? You know damn good and well if the situation were reversed you'd be bellyaching about it.
Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP.

And we all know damn good and well that if the situation were reversed, Dems wouldn't be bellyaching about it.

That is what makes the complaints laughable.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:28 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
And we all know damn good and well that if the situation were reversed, Dems wouldn't be bellyaching about it.

That is what makes the complaints laughable.
We've never had the chance to find out, have we? Convenient for you. The reason Republicans love it is so blatantly obvious that no one with a shred of integrity or intellectual honesty would say otherwise.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:34 AM   #10
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I think we could get most Conservatives and at least a majority of Progressives onboard with Quadratic Voting: it's a system allows voters to have more influence on votes that matter a lot to them by abstaining from others.
It's just hard to explain in a Fox News type format.
The solutions exist that are not zero-sum for one party or the other, but which give the average voter more of what they want and less of what they don't.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:38 AM   #11
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Could we please ignore the person who isn't interested in anything else but gloating over the death of democracy in the US? I was hoping to hear more action-plans and ways to move forward rather than wishes and aspirations. Anyone have a plan of action?
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Could we please ignore the person who isn't interested in anything else but gloating over the death of democracy in the US? I was hoping to hear more action-plans and ways to move forward rather than wishes and aspirations. Anyone have a plan of action?

Nobody is "gloating over the death of democracy in the US". You have started with a false premise, but one that disgruntled Dems will surely embrace. I imagine that was the goal.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Could we please ignore the person who isn't interested in anything else but gloating over the death of democracy in the US? I was hoping to hear more action-plans and ways to move forward rather than wishes and aspirations. Anyone have a plan of action?
First of all, there are no quick-fix solutions, because Dems would need to have a majority willing to nuke the filibuster before something significant can happen on the Federal Level.

Let's remember that Alito's turd is the result of 50 years of both grassroots and billionaire sponsoring effort - we should set aside at least 10 years to build a movement to overhaul elections, and find a coalition of sponsors willing to stick it out that long.
The emphasis must not be on results, but on building a system capable of progress and self-correction; ironically, the less specific we can be about political goals, the better the chances to avoid kneejerk resistance.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Nobody is "gloating over the death of democracy in the US". You have started with a false premise, but one that disgruntled Dems will surely embrace. I imagine that was the goal.
...because the US never was a Democracy?
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:25 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
...because the US never was a Democracy?

Partly, yes. Even if you use the term in a colloquial sense, there have not been changes in how the system functions, largely. There are just some newer and louder complaints, typically from the losing party.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:40 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
First of all, there are no quick-fix solutions, because Dems would need to have a majority willing to nuke the filibuster before something significant can happen on the Federal Level.

Let's remember that Alito's turd is the result of 50 years of both grassroots and billionaire sponsoring effort - we should set aside at least 10 years to build a movement to overhaul elections, and find a coalition of sponsors willing to stick it out that long.
The emphasis must not be on results, but on building a system capable of progress and self-correction; ironically, the less specific we can be about political goals, the better the chances to avoid kneejerk resistance.
I would agree that the US is likely to be looking at a long time of increased suppression or removal of rights and that change through normal means will take a long time. However, that would mean a lot of people will suffer and die as a result, mainly women, POC and LGBT+. Chances are also kind of big that there will be no way for a movement like you describe to acheive any change through democratic means. Look at Navalny, for example. He tried and got put in prison for it, along with his supporters. The US is a good way towards becoming like Russia is today.

I'm thinking about other types of actions that you could be taking right now. Organizing an active resistance to the theocratic take-over. I know that there are people doing this right now, but I feel that it should be more mainstream. Is anyone here involved in any type of organizing, like for example gathering funds and means to smuggle pregnant women to Canada for abortion, or for hiding POC or LGBT+ people? If not, you might want to get involved. You should also start thinking about organizing your work-place for general strike purposes.

Another way to acheive something is to take a page from the fascist play-book and start mustering at places like school council meetings. Also, start sending heaps of letters to your elected representatives, and if you live in a state or county or municipal area that is GOP governed, think about running for office or at least sponsor someone to run for office and then do whatever it takes to get/get that person elected.

Also, get out into the street and shout. Disrupt ordinary life. Do this, but do it smart by organizing first so that you can keep yourself and your family fed.

This all seems like a lot of effort, but I'm afraid that you'll soon be out of chances.

ETA: Changed "letter-bombing" to "sending heaps of letters", as I mistranslated the word in my head and it came out as an act of terrorism
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I would agree that the US is likely to be looking at a long time of increased suppression or removal of rights and that change through normal means will take a long time. However, that would mean a lot of people will suffer and die as a result, mainly women, POC and LGBT+. Chances are also kind of big that there will be no way for a movement like you describe to acheive any change through democratic means. Look at Navalny, for example. He tried and got put in prison for it, along with his supporters. The US is a good way towards becoming like Russia is today.

I'm thinking about other types of actions that you could be taking right now. Organizing an active resistance to the theocratic take-over. I know that there are people doing this right now, but I feel that it should be more mainstream. Is anyone here involved in any type of organizing, like for example gathering funds and means to smuggle pregnant women to Canada for abortion, or for hiding POC or LGBT+ people? If not, you might want to get involved. You should also start thinking about organizing your work-place for general strike purposes.

Another way to acheive something is to take a page from the fascist play-book and start mustering at places like school council meetings. Also, start sending heaps of letters to your elected representatives, and if you live in a state or county or municipal area that is GOP governed, think about running for office or at least sponsor someone to run for office and then do whatever it takes to get/get that person elected.

Also, get out into the street and shout. Disrupt ordinary life. Do this, but do it smart by organizing first so that you can keep yourself and your family fed.

This all seems like a lot of effort, but I'm afraid that you'll soon be out of chances.

ETA: Changed "letter-bombing" to "sending heaps of letters", as I mistranslated the word in my head and it came out as an act of terrorism

"Many people will suffer and die". "Smuggle pregnant women to Canada". "Disrupt ordinary life". "Do whatever it takes to get that person elected". "Take a page from the fascist playbook".

Interesting. This sounds like a way to sow the seeds of...something.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:03 AM   #18
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More realistically, and more likely to protect the weakest, Dems should lean in hard into the "Laboratories of Democracy", making an undisguised push to attract workers and companies from Red States, but cooperate as much as possible with each other.
Set standards for election, healthcare, public housing etc., in short, be the example of what they would like the US to be on the Federal Level.

The times when you could shame politicians are long gone.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:03 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Partly, yes. Even if you use the term in a colloquial sense, there have not been changes in how the system functions, largely. There are just some newer and louder complaints, typically from the losing party.
Really? You listen to Republicans whine about attacks on "the American Way" and you think it is the Dems who complain. A bunch of more self-serving, anti-democratic, my way or the highway individuals than the current GOP representatives at every level you'd be hard pressed to find. Hell a majority of them (when they are asked to express their opinion) still believe that Trump won the last election despite losing by 8 million votes and in the Electoral College. Given the situation with the Tory Party here in the UK and populist movements across Europe it seems to be very much a right wing problem, far more than on the progressive side of politics.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:36 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I am pretty sure I already know the answer to the question in the title, but I'd like to see it discussed. What would it take for a return of democracy to the US? By democracy, I mean majority rule by consent of the goverened with actual ways to remedy grievances through elections.

As I understand the US system, it seems utterly broken, unless you view it as an oppressive system more akin to a theocracy or a so-called "managed democracy" like Russia or Hungary. I don't think that the US is quite there yet, but it's heading in that direction and I don't see an off-ramp.

I know the usual answer is to "vote", but given the fact that some votes count a lot more than others and a lot of people aren't given a chance to vote, that seems like a less than helpful suggestion. So, how do you guys plan to stop this decline into authoritarianism? Anyone got any useful ideas?
Your basic issue is that majority rule only works if either the country isn't significantly split on anything fundamental, or the groups who are disenfranchised can be ignored. In the best case when there are fundamental splits, you hope they are distributed amongst groups that are small enough that they can be ignored and are different enough that they can't combine. Having culturally diverse, non-integrated immigrant groups helps with this. That way, they can be played off against one another. This is the Amazon argument for a diverse workforce being less likely to unionize. If the minority group is significant, you don't want them to be concentrated into a majority anywhere so that they can get a taste for self government.

If you have the situation of the modern US, where there is a significant split where the group you want to disenfranchise can't be ignored, then your problem reduces down to the practical question of how you crush them. It's really just a question of having the will to do it.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:42 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
More realistically, and more likely to protect the weakest, Dems should lean in hard into the "Laboratories of Democracy", making an undisguised push to attract workers and companies from Red States, but cooperate as much as possible with each other.
Set standards for election, healthcare, public housing etc., in short, be the example of what they would like the US to be on the Federal Level.

The times when you could shame politicians are long gone.
This is essentially setting up "sanctuaries" in blue states. I agree that, in order to protect the persecuted, this would be a good idea. However, the question is how we get there. What do we need to do? What steps do we take? I feel that we need practical solutions.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:48 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
This is essentially setting up "sanctuaries" in blue states. I agree that, in order to protect the persecuted, this would be a good idea. However, the question is how we get there. What do we need to do? What steps do we take? I feel that we need practical solutions.
I think the solution is to organize locally, co-opt and foodbank style, create and maintain mutual aid groups that do not think primarily politically, but only for the benefit of its members. And keep in contact if other such groups in your city and state.
Then, once you have a critical mass in local politics, make the politicians come to you and tell them what you want in return for your support.

What we have to get away from is asking politicians for help and waiting for them to provide it - assume you will get nothing, and then you might actually get something.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
I think the solution is to organize locally, co-opt and foodbank style, create and maintain mutual aid groups that do not think primarily politically, but only for the benefit of its members. And keep in contact if other such groups in your city and state.
Then, once you have a critical mass in local politics, make the politicians come to you and tell them what you want in return for your support.

What we have to get away from is asking politicians for help and waiting for them to provide it - assume you will get nothing, and then you might actually get something.
Right. This is very much in line with how I'm seeing this.
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
This is essentially setting up "sanctuaries" in blue states. I agree that, in order to protect the persecuted, this would be a good idea. However, the question is how we get there. What do we need to do? What steps do we take? I feel that we need practical solutions.

"Protect the persecuted". This just keeps getting better.

Your vision of the US seems distorted, to say the least.
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:38 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
"Protect the persecuted".
What aspect of that bothers you so much?
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:45 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
More realistically, and more likely to protect the weakest, Dems should lean in hard into the "Laboratories of Democracy", making an undisguised push to attract workers and companies from Red States, but cooperate as much as possible with each other.
Workers and companies are already moving from states they find unattractive to states that they find attractive.

But for some odd reason, it's primarily from blue to red, not red to blue.

Quote:
Set standards for election, healthcare, public housing etc., in short, be the example of what they would like the US to be on the Federal Level.
Blue state policies are largely failures.
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:46 AM   #27
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No more political donations buying politicians would go a long way to having government for the people.
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:46 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
No more political donations buying politicians would go a long way to having government for the people.
True. How do we go about making that change?
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Old 10th May 2022, 04:50 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
...

But for some odd reason, it's primarily from blue to red, not red to blue.

....
You really find it puzzling why this is happening?
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:00 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Susheel View Post
You really find it puzzling why this is happening?
Not at all. I think TGZ probably does, though. Either that, or he's come up with some rationalization detached from reality to avoid having to confront the problem that Democrat-dominated states don't actually live their professed values, and they can't blame Republicans for it.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:02 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Workers and companies are already moving from states they find unattractive to states that they find attractive.

But for some odd reason, it's primarily from blue to red, not red to blue.
got some recent data for that?
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:04 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Not at all. I think TGZ probably does, though. Either that, or he's come up with some rationalization detached from reality to avoid having to confront the problem that Democrat-dominated states don't actually live their professed values, and they can't blame Republicans for it.
Or...how about these factors?
1. Loose environmental regulations to be adhered to
2. Weak employee protections
3. Sops and tax benefits
All this can translate to lower overheads and higher profits.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:15 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Susheel View Post
What aspect of that bothers you so much?

Who are we protecting? The "many" women, LGBT, and POC that will "suffer and die", according to the OP? Are we protecting the women that will need to be "smuggled to Canada for abortions", according to the OP?

Originally Posted by uke2se
Is anyone here involved in any type of organizing, like for example gathering funds and means to smuggle pregnant women to Canada for abortion, or for hiding POC or LGBT+ people?

I mean, "hiding POC or LGBT+ people"? Seriously? What news source is pushing this this narrative? This is more of a dystopian fantasy than any developing reality in the US.

And they say Republicans are the party of fear-mongering.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:17 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
True. How do we go about making that change?
Well you had a shot but blew it.
https://berniesanders.com/issues/money-out-of-politics/
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:30 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Noted, but not particularly helpful right now.

ETA: Just to clarify my purpose in posting this thread - I'm looking for what can be done given current circumstances, including the fact that many Democratic politicians (if not most) have shown no active interest in attempting to save democracy. What can the small person do, first to protect themselves and their loved ones, and aid in protected those who are and those who will become persecuted, and also to reform US politics so that it works for the people as a proper democracy?
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:43 AM   #36
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No political system can survive ~40% of the population being THIS intentionally wrong for affect.

The United States has not suffered a political or governmental or societal collapse (or at least not directly, it's suffered all of those things but those are symptoms) it has suffered an intellectual one.

And I'd caution against other countries, from the glorious perfect socialist utopias of Europe to the iron fisted totalitarian regimes and everyone in between putting on too high of airs about. Your political systems will not survive an intellectual collapse any better than ours is doing.

I don't care how good your political system is design. If ~40% of your population wakes up one morning and decides being intentionally wrong and daring the system to stop them is the easiest route to getting what they want, you will have problems.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:47 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
got some recent data for that?
Yes.

Did you actually think things had changed, or were you just hoping I couldn't find anything recent?
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:48 AM   #38
uke2se
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
No political system can survive ~40% of the population being THIS intentionally wrong for affect.

The United States has not suffered a political or governmental or societal collapse (or at least not directly, it's suffered all of those things but those are symptoms) it has suffered an intellectual one.

And I'd caution against other countries, from the glorious perfect socialist utopias of Europe to the iron fisted totalitarian regimes and everyone in between putting on too high of airs about. Your political systems will not survive an intellectual collapse any better than ours is doing.

I don't care how good your political system is design. If ~40% of your population wakes up one morning and decides being intentionally wrong and daring the system to stop them is the easiest route to getting what they want, you will have problems.
I understand what you're saying, and I also understand that quite a bit of it is in affect, but people didn't just wake up and decide to be wrong. They were instructed, over many years, just how to be wrong.

That said, what can you do about it? The stage of grief you need to hurry up and get to is acceptance. That's when you get productive.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:50 AM   #39
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I believe there's a fundamental flaw in the nature of democracy: it brings power to the people, a large portion of whom are motivated more by self-interest than the ideals of democracy, so that portion will use the power they gain through democracy to democratically hinder democracy. Democracy resets itself to un-democracy, in other words. And it will continue to do so in cycles forever until/unless human nature significantly changes so that self-interest isn't a stronger motivator than democratic ideals.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:50 AM   #40
Ziggurat
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Originally Posted by Susheel View Post
Or...how about these factors?
1. Loose environmental regulations to be adhered to
2. Weak employee protections
3. Sops and tax benefits
All this can translate to lower overheads and higher profits.
Oh, I'm sure they help motivate some corporations. But that's not an attraction for individuals who choose to move on their own. Many people choose to leave blue states because of the failed policies of those blue states, which my prior link gave some insight into. You can ignore those factors if you want to, but that won't make them go away. Nor will any of this lead to the mythical red-to-blue migration TGZ hopes for.
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