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Old 10th May 2022, 09:41 AM   #81
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Our constitution is bad, and the cultish devotion to it is crippling. Americans still talk in glowing terms about our system of "check and balances", even though that system is a dismal failure that alternates between failing to produce a functioning government and providing no meaningful checks at all. The US-style presidential system just...doesn't work.

We're heading towards a legitimation crisis, if we aren't in one already. Maybe when institutional trust bottoms out we can take a page from the founding fathers and try again. But, yeah, Hungary-style Potemkin democracy seems like a reasonable prediction. Breaking up the country would probably be preferable.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:01 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
A bit off topic, but jeez... what happened to Florida?

While the republicans won Florida in the last couple of elections, the results were close, and Obama did win the state twice. So its not some deep red hell-hole, at least at the federal level.

Yet state-wise, the republicans have held on to the office of the gov. for decades. (And the republicans they pic are not some moderates, but often the worst of the worst right-wing lunatics, like Deathsantis and Discount Voldemort before him.)
Cubans?
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:03 AM   #83
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Also DeSantis is trying to be the next Trump. He's not actually doing a lot that's super-popular in Florida. He get's wins because the Democrats don't give a crap about state level elections and have stood by and watch the Republicans gerrymander everything to hell and back.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:04 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
It's... complicated. Bear with me.

Okay as we've discussed at length on this board the whole Red State/Blue State thing is absolute nonsense. America is rural red and urban blue. A big city in Texas is (nearly) exactly as blue as a big city in California and a rural area in California is (nearly) exactly as red as a rural area in Texas.

Two things in Florida break that. Florida has huge swaths of ultra-conservative wealthy retirement communities which means Florida functionally has blue cities (or at least things that function as them if you simply must be pedantic) and a lot, not all but a lot, of Florida's Left is made of immigrants from Central America and they are goddamn terrified of anything that sounds too much like Far Left politics so every time a Democrat accidently, on purpose, or accidently on purpose says something that sounds like they are sucking Castro's communist schlong, the Democrats lose a lot of support in the uber-important Miami-Dade metro area.

So basically Florida has dense urban clusters of red (mega-sized retirement communities that function like small cities) that nobody else has and a sizeable demographic of a very different type of Left Leaning voter.

Add that to Florida just being a traditional swing state anyway and... there you go.
I actually went looking for counter-examples to this in a past thread. What I found were rural counties on the TX-Mexico border, New England, the Mississippi valley, and rural counties in New Mexico are sometimes "blue". Only a couple of urban counties were counter-examples ie Oklahoma City is (barely) red.

Florida has moved red I believe because of a shift in politics of Cuban immigrants.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:08 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Our constitution is bad, and the cultish devotion to it is crippling. Americans still talk in glowing terms about our system of "check and balances", even though that system is a dismal failure that alternates between failing to produce a functioning government and providing no meaningful checks at all. The US-style presidential system just...doesn't work.
It wasn't supposed to produce a functioning government in the way it is expected to now. Most issues were supposed to be decided at the State level. All that would be needed to fix it is to reduce the size of the federal government and devolve down to the states. The incentives mean that that isn't going to happen though.

Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
We're heading towards a legitimation crisis, if we aren't in one already. Maybe when institutional trust bottoms out we can take a page from the founding fathers and try again. But, yeah, Hungary-style Potemkin democracy seems like a reasonable prediction. Breaking up the country would probably be preferable.
You had a far more culturally uniform country in 1776 and everybody had room to expand. It's much closer to a zero sum game today. Making compromises when you are a bunch of people coming together around a shared project that is going gangbusters is way easier than when you are a divided people looking at stagnation and the possibility of decline.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:09 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by lobosrul5 View Post
Florida has moved red I believe because of a shift in politics of Cuban immigrants.
Pretty much. Like I said everytime a Democratic can't help but go "Ya know maybe Cuba isn't such a bad place to live" you can kiss half the votes of anyone in Florida who's name ends in a Z goodbye and that's a lot of people.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:21 AM   #87
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:29 AM   #88
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Pretty much. Like I said everytime a Democratic can't help but go "Ya know maybe Cuba isn't such a bad place to live" you can kiss half the votes of anyone in Florida who's name ends in a Z goodbye and that's a lot of people.
And just yesterday DeSantis established November 7 as "Victims of Communism Day". Definitely not a self-serving play for the Cuban vote. It's just a coincidence that it falls on the day before election day.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:31 AM   #89
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Yeah so basically Florida a weird sizable "Left" demographic that has a very negative reaction to a specific something that the Right can attack and the broader national "Left' is sometimes seen as sympathetic to.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:44 AM   #90
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yeah so basically Florida a weird sizable "Left" demographic that has a very negative reaction to a specific something that the Right can attack and the broader national "Left' is sometimes seen as sympathetic to.
Why would Cubans be a "Left" Demographic? The Latino vote swings Democrat, but they seem like they warmed to Trump between 2016 and 2020... and it's, what ... about 60/40 Democrat now?
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:46 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
Why would Cubans be a "Left" Demographic? The Latino vote swings Democrat, but they seem like they warmed to Trump between 2016 and 2020... and it's, what ... about 60/40 Democrat now?
Well because their other option is a party of racists who hate them for not being white people who had the decency to be born here (even the ones who were) so ya know... lesser of two evils.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:50 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
It sounds like you are assuming that Trump just showing up to campaign in California/New York would have an impact.
Of course it would have an impact. That's the entire reason politicians do campaigning: because it has an impact.

Quote:
Not a perfect situation, but better than the one we ended up with.
I don't think you have correctly diagnosed the problem to begin with. Start by figuring out why blue states fail to live up to their own stated objectives.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:52 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I don't think you have correctly diagnosed the problem to begin with. Start by figuring out why blue states fail to live up to their own stated objectives.
Now that is an interesting question.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:56 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
It wasn't supposed to produce a functioning government in the way it is expected to now. Most issues were supposed to be decided at the State level. All that would be needed to fix it is to reduce the size of the federal government and devolve down to the states. The incentives mean that that isn't going to happen though.
Well, no. "Checks and balances" failed almost immediately due to the rise of political parties, which the authors of the constitution failed to anticipate or account for (even as they were working on organizing them). The idea that Congress is a coherent interest group, such that it will act in its own self-interest, is just kind of silly. Of course that's overwhelmed by far more cohesively aligned political values. The early history of this country is one constitutional crisis after another, culminating in a civil war. Let's face it--those guys didn't especially know what they were doing. How could they?

Since we transitioned from these United States to the United States in the wake of the civil war, our system of government, devised as it was to balance representation in terms of the most important political divide of its day (that between North and South), is alarmingly antiquated and ill-fitting. As Jefferson said, "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:59 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well because their other option is a party of racists who hate them for not being white people who had the decency to be born here (even the ones who were) so ya know... lesser of two evils.
I'd thought this was on the basis of who the demographics naturally voted for, rather than who they would vote for if they agreed with the Democrat world view. Surely all demographics are Democrat demographics if one assumes that?
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:04 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Well, no. "Checks and balances" failed almost immediately due to the rise of political parties, which the authors of the constitution failed to anticipate or account for (even as they were working on organizing them). The idea that Congress is a coherent interest group, such that it will act in its own self-interest, is just kind of silly. Of course that's overwhelmed by far more cohesively aligned political values. The early history of this country is one constitutional crisis after another, culminating in a civil war. Let's face it--those guys didn't especially know what they were doing. How could they?

Since we transitioned from these United States to the United States in the wake of the civil war, our system of government, devised as it was to balance representation in terms of the most important political divide of its day (that between North and South), is alarmingly antiquated and ill-fitting. As Jefferson said, "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
And yet, here we are, stuck with a supreme court quoting a 13th century judge to justify taking away civil rights.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:17 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Well, no. "Checks and balances" failed almost immediately due to the rise of political parties, which the authors of the constitution failed to anticipate or account for (even as they were working on organizing them). The idea that Congress is a coherent interest group, such that it will act in its own self-interest, is just kind of silly. Of course that's overwhelmed by far more cohesively aligned political values. The early history of this country is one constitutional crisis after another, culminating in a civil war. Let's face it--those guys didn't especially know what they were doing. How could they?
The civil war is based on the divergence of interests of different states. I agree it happens early (de Tocqueville can see it coming in the 1830s), but the difficulty isn't about political parties. The issue as I see it is with power than being drawn to the centre, such that the Federal government became supreme, and that coming into conflict with the states.

Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Since we transitioned from these United States to the United States in the wake of the civil war, our system of government, devised as it was to balance representation in terms of the most important political divide of its day (that between North and South), is alarmingly antiquated and ill-fitting. As Jefferson said, "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."
Indeed. The reason for the civil war is the states having sufficient regional autonomy that they supported independent elites that were not dependent on the federal government for their position and were capable of organising a rebellion. The solution is to deny these segments of the population the opportunity to to rise to the point where they are able to organise as a political block by making states politically irrelevant. Effectively complete the work of Lincoln.

I mentioned de Tocqueville before. He talks about the position of the South with respect to slavery. One of his thoughts is that effectively there are two choices, one is to attempt to maintain slavery indefinitely... the other is complete liberty which he thought would only work happily if they bred away the racial divide. To some degree I think that is the situation with respect to red vs blue. Does blue America want to blend red with America into some kind of purple? If not, is subjugation the answer? I don't see there being any more willingness now than in 1860 to degrade the power of the federal government to the degree that would be required to live separate but equal.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:56 AM   #98
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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.
That's only true if you ignore what Democracy is. This misguided view seems to come from people who think the US is a Republic, but don't know what a republic is either.

A republic can be summarized as "government by the people, for the people, in full sight of the people". With the increasing power of special interest groups and the prevalence of backdoor deals outside public scrutiny the US is anything but a republic.
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Old 10th May 2022, 12:06 PM   #99
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The whole "But it's a Republic!" thing is a massive red herring that only comes up, like everything else the Right talks about, when it serves their purpose at the one moment in the argument.

One only has to imagine the glass shattering shrieking that would be emanating from our usual suspects here in the board if the United States was 60% Republican and a 40% Democratic Minority had gerrymandered themselves into power and was federally funding a Planned Parenthood on every corner.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:00 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by mumblethrax View Post
Our constitution is bad, and the cultish devotion to it is crippling. Americans still talk in glowing terms about our system of "check and balances", even though that system is a dismal failure that alternates between failing to produce a functioning government and providing no meaningful checks at all. The US-style presidential system just...doesn't work.

We're heading towards a legitimation crisis, if we aren't in one already. Maybe when institutional trust bottoms out we can take a page from the founding fathers and try again. But, yeah, Hungary-style Potemkin democracy seems like a reasonable prediction. Breaking up the country would probably be preferable.
And what, pray tell, would you put in place of the Consitution?
Sounds to me that your problems with the Constution is that it puts limitations on GOvernment power.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:08 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Pretty much. Like I said everytime a Democratic can't help but go "Ya know maybe Cuba isn't such a bad place to live" you can kiss half the votes of anyone in Florida who's name ends in a Z goodbye and that's a lot of people.
This.
De Santis "VIctims of Communism" is a blatent attempt to sew up the Cuban vote, but that does mean Communism has not been a total disaster whenever tried. De Santis is exploiting a ligit issue for politicla gain...which is what Demogogues do.
I agree that too many progressives view Cuba through a ..excuse the expression..rose colored lens. Michael Moore is a good example.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:10 PM   #102
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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?
I think you might better turn your attention to those here who have already basically given up the fight toi wallow in angst. I expect such behavior from a 17 year old moody teenager, but am aurprised that so many mature sketpics indulge in this behavior.
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Old 10th May 2022, 01:57 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And what, pray tell, would you put in place of the Consitution?
Sounds to me that your problems with the Constution is that it puts limitations on GOvernment power.
Why exactly are you assuming that if someone is criticizing the constitution, its only because they favor government overreach? Its possible that someone wants to keep much of the same basic freedoms that they currently enjoy, but just want to clarify somethings/improve some of the mechanisms/eliminate the dumb things.

As for "what to put in its place"... many other countries have created their own constitutions. Its not exactly rocket surgery. Heck, they could even keep the same basic template that they have for the current constitution, but make a few changes:
- Get rid of the second amendment. Even if it might have made sense 2 centuries ago to have people willing to fight tyranny, in today's age, those people who have guns are probably the ones that are in favor of tyranny in the first place
- Enshrine additional rights in the constitution: Privacy, voting, etc. (Some may have not existed, others may have only been deduced from other rights)
- Fix the mechanisms by which the senate and presidency are elected. (e.g. use popular vote, make the senate a little more reflective of population sizes)

The U.S. has 2 centuries of experience, seeing what does and doesn't work. Leverage that to come up with something that works better.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:07 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Why exactly are you assuming that if someone is criticizing the constitution, its only because they favor government overreach? Its possible that someone wants to keep much of the same basic freedoms that they currently enjoy, but just want to clarify somethings/improve some of the mechanisms/eliminate the dumb things.

As for "what to put in its place"... many other countries have created their own constitutions. Its not exactly rocket surgery. Heck, they could even keep the same basic template that they have for the current constitution, but make a few changes:
- Get rid of the second amendment. Even if it might have made sense 2 centuries ago to have people willing to fight tyranny, in today's age, those people who have guns are probably the ones that are in favor of tyranny in the first place
- Enshrine additional rights in the constitution: Privacy, voting, etc. (Some may have not existed, others may have only been deduced from other rights)
- Fix the mechanisms by which the senate and presidency are elected. (e.g. use popular vote, make the senate a little more reflective of population sizes)

The U.S. has 2 centuries of experience, seeing what does and doesn't work. Leverage that to come up with something that works better.
How are you going to change the Constitution? There is no way you are getting the necessary super majority. That's why all changes to the constitution of the sort you desire have been made via the SC discovering them to already be in the Constitution since FDR bullied the court into submission back in the 30s.

If you want to be able to rewrite the Constitution to get what you want, you need to be able to do it with a bare majority which would effectively mean the Constitution could be rewritten at will by the party with the popular vote. Why have a Constitution at that point? You can do it already by just stacking the Court with activist judges.

It's been said lots of times that constitutions, when they work, really just formalise the broadly held opinions of the people of a country. The problem in America at the moment is that no such boardly held consensus exists.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:36 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
How are you going to change the Constitution?
Oh, I agree... the constitution is not going to change. Not in this political climate. And unlikely in the next century or 2 either.

Unless of course the U.S. suffers a complete and catastrophic collapse, allowing the survivors to rebuild in a way that makes better sense (including creating a better constitution.

But someone asked "what to replace the constitution with", so I provided a possible answer. If they had asked "can the constitution be changed" I would have answered "probably not".
Quote:
It's been said lots of times that constitutions, when they work, really just formalise the broadly held opinions of the people of a country. The problem in America at the moment is that no such boardly held consensus exists.
the problem is not just that there is no 'broad consensus', the problem is that the constitution actually seems to be at odds with anything that could help build that consensus.
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Old 10th May 2022, 02:41 PM   #106
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No chance of turning the US into a democracy. Not without a complete revolution. Our system was not designed with true democracy in mind and I see no mechanism to make it so.

I also see no desire from our "very happy to be ignorant" populace. The damage is done no matter who is in power. Too many people like it this way, or have been brainwashed into thinking they do.

The USA is a sinking ship.
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Old 10th May 2022, 03:12 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
And what, pray tell, would you put in place of the Consitution?
Sounds to me that your problems with the Constution is that it puts limitations on GOvernment power.
Corporatocracy with wage slaves and trashing the environment is glorious capitalism though.
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Old 10th May 2022, 05:56 PM   #108
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I keep going back to our information sources needing to be more controlled. But there's no big urge to do this from the ignorant masses, people rightfully skeptical of censorship, and the propagandists who benefit from it.

The American (per)version of freedom of speech is the problem.
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Old 10th May 2022, 06:21 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
I keep going back to our information sources needing to be more controlled. But there's no big urge to do this from the ignorant masses, people rightfully skeptical of censorship, and the propagandists who benefit from it.

The American (per)version of freedom of speech is the problem.
Quality universal education, childhood nutrition, living wages for parents all give kids a fighting chance to become informed participants in democracy. But oh noes thats socialism.
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Old 10th May 2022, 06:54 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Quality universal education, childhood nutrition, living wages for parents all give kids a fighting chance to become informed participants in democracy. But oh noes thats socialism.
Thanks Fox News and conservative talk radio!
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Old 10th May 2022, 07:21 PM   #111
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No not a chance the senate is broken and the Recent Supreme Court Justices were practically installed By Vladimir Putin, The United States is dead or atleast brain dead.
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Old 10th May 2022, 10:08 PM   #112
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If the US hasn't teetered over the brink yet, it's getting close. The cross-bearing Christo-Fascists are on an accelerationist bent. Their zeal makes up for their lesser numbers. The inert, somnolent, sufficiently distracted/entertained/comfortable majority seem to not fully perceive--let alone appreciate--the danger. "It can't happen here."

Right now, the primary effort must, for the moment, restrict to an almost maniacal drive to get asses off the couches and to the polls this November. A resounding rout must be dealt to the anti-democracy Party if the American Experiment is to have a chance at continuance. A chance.

And some intrepidity and expedition on the part of the lethargic (I hope it's no worse than that) DOJ would go some ways toward a refurbishment of insituational legitimacy.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:17 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
The civil war is based on the divergence of interests of different states. I agree it happens early (de Tocqueville can see it coming in the 1830s), but the difficulty isn't about political parties. The issue as I see it is with power than being drawn to the centre, such that the Federal government became supreme, and that coming into conflict with the states.
Madison saw it coming immediately after the constitutional convention, and Jefferson correctly predicted that there would be a civil war (well, "violence and destruction") over slavery in 1820. But I'm not attributing the civil war to the rise of political parties; I'm attributing the failure of institutional checks and balances in the federal government to the rise of political parties. Once that happened, the alleged self-interest of our weird de facto tri-cameral system gave way to orthogonal interests. It's just a bad design. The civil war, in contrast, represents a failure of the entire constitutional project. A big problem, evident in the constitution itself, is that the North was willing to make major concessions to preserve the union, which incentivized the South to demand further concessions and accelerated segmentation.

Quote:
Indeed. The reason for the civil war is the states having sufficient regional autonomy that they supported independent elites that were not dependent on the federal government for their position and were capable of organising a rebellion. The solution is to deny these segments of the population the opportunity to to rise to the point where they are able to organise as a political block by making states politically irrelevant. Effectively complete the work of Lincoln.
It's an interesting idea, but I don't see how it could happen.

Quote:
Does blue America want to blend red with America into some kind of purple? If not, is subjugation the answer? I don't see there being any more willingness now than in 1860 to degrade the power of the federal government to the degree that would be required to live separate but equal.
The answer appears to be no. The US is undergoing a kind of self-similar demographic sorting, where people increasingly tend to live next to like-minded people at every level of organization, which exacerbates our political divisions and also makes resolving these divisions by separation kind of implausible, even if their were any real willingness to do so.

One thing I do think would help would be multi-party elections. This would probably reduce the tendency of members of one party to see the other as a hated enemy, rather than a political rival. But that's another "Ok, but how does that happen?" remedy.

We're in a bad place. At some point I'll probably have to vote with my feet.

Last edited by mumblethrax; 10th May 2022 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:20 PM   #114
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A new Civil War could happen for the same reason the invasion of Ukraine could happen: one side believing that War would be easy and decisive, because the other side is weak-willed and decadent.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:33 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Sounds to me that your problems with the Constution is that it puts limitations on GOvernment power.
No, it doesn't.
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Old 10th May 2022, 11:45 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
A new Civil War could happen for the same reason the invasion of Ukraine could happen: one side believing that War would be easy and decisive, because the other side is weak-willed and decadent.

But if we have a new Civil War, will we still need to smuggle pregnant women into Canada for abortions, as mentioned earlier on by the OP? What about setting up funding so we can hide POC's and LGBT individuals, so that many won't suffer and die? What about the safe havens for the persecuted?

More importantly, how can we stem the tide of the christo-fascists? And most importantly, we must remember that the USA is a sinking ship! What are we going to do about that? And we can't forget the importance of those Cubans in Florida...this is key.

A lot of important issues have been raised here. How do we bring them all together and form a cohesive action plan so that we might "save" our "Democracy"? That is the goal, right?
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:21 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
But if we have a new Civil War, will we still need to smuggle pregnant women into Canada for abortions, as mentioned earlier on by the OP? What about setting up funding so we can hide POC's and LGBT individuals, so that many won't suffer and die? What about the safe havens for the persecuted?

More importantly, how can we stem the tide of the christo-fascists? And most importantly, we must remember that the USA is a sinking ship! What are we going to do about that? And we can't forget the importance of those Cubans in Florida...this is key.

A lot of important issues have been raised here. How do we bring them all together and form a cohesive action plan so that we might "save" our "Democracy"? That is the goal, right?
sorry, were you trying to make an argument?
Or does is it just an exercise in "owning the libs" ?
What you are doing sounds awfully like mental masturbation to me.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:22 AM   #118
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I'm going to attempt again to steer this conversation in the direction I intended when I posted the thread, even though I understand why it is a tough ask.

The status quo in the US has never been tenable for a significant minority of the population. This group is now set to be expanded to a possible majority. Given this fact, what are you doing or planning to do about it? I'm not asking what you would wish the people in Congress would do about it, but what you are going to do about it, or what you could do about it.
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:31 AM   #119
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I'm not asking what you would wish the people in Congress would do about it, but what you are going to do about it, or what you could do about it.

I'm going to vote Republican, of course.

What are your plans?
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Old 11th May 2022, 12:39 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
I'm going to vote Republican, of course.

What are your plans?
why?
seriously, why?

What do you expect the next Republican Administration to do that would be beneficial to the country as a whole, or even just the people in Red States?
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