Author Topic: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?  (Read 1732 times)

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #120 on: January 11, 2022, 07:35:34 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

Dismalist's comment says it all: Trump called for more votes to be found, that's what politicians do, no big deal! Of course, Dismalist doesn't clarify that Trump's call for more votes was a literal phone call in which he put pressure on the Georgia secretary of state to magically and, presumably illegally, create votes. No big deal! Trump also made unfounded claims of fraud that sparked a riot, but hey no biggie! The Republican party has become largely radicalized, but hey that's just politics! Let's move on!

No political order lasts forever and America's democratic system will inevitably fall apart. The question is when. We can just ignore it and say "nothing to worry about" when there is an attack on democratic institutions, but sooner or later those attacks will be successful. I hope this thread ages poorly and the current and ongoing attacks don't amount to anything this time, but the general apathy of the public and insistence by conservatives (including moderate conservatives) that we look away are not good signs.

little bongo

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #121 on: January 11, 2022, 07:50:54 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

Dismalist's comment says it all: Trump called for more votes to be found, that's what politicians do, no big deal! Of course, Dismalist doesn't clarify that Trump's call for more votes was a literal phone call in which he put pressure on the Georgia secretary of state to magically and, presumably illegally, create votes. No big deal! Trump also made unfounded claims of fraud that sparked a riot, but hey no biggie! The Republican party has become largely radicalized, but hey that's just politics! Let's move on!

No political order lasts forever and America's democratic system will inevitably fall apart. The question is when. We can just ignore it and say "nothing to worry about" when there is an attack on democratic institutions, but sooner or later those attacks will be successful. I hope this thread ages poorly and the current and ongoing attacks don't amount to anything this time, but the general apathy of the public and insistence by conservatives (including moderate conservatives) that we look away are not good signs.

This. Well put, Sun_Worshiper.

marshwiggle

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #122 on: January 11, 2022, 08:06:04 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)
 
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apl68

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #123 on: January 11, 2022, 08:08:18 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.
The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light;
A great light has shined upon those who lived in the shadow of death

And the Word became flesh, and lived among us

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #124 on: January 11, 2022, 08:11:09 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

marshwiggle

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #125 on: January 11, 2022, 08:15:40 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.
It takes so little to be above average.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #126 on: January 11, 2022, 08:29:02 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Well, that's not my opinion on all of this. I'd be very happy to see Republicans run a sane candidate in 2024 - one who doesn't rile up their constituents with dangerous conspiracy theories or try to delegitimize the electoral process. I can think of a few people along these lines and while I probably wouldn't vote for any of them I would be fine with them winning the election.

In terms of solutions, I'd like to see policies to put guardrails on state-legislatures and to clarify the role of the VP.  I think the latter is possible, but unlikely, while the former will certainly not happen at this point.

Sun_Worshiper

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #127 on: January 11, 2022, 08:39:20 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.

I agree with much of this, regarding Democrats. As I said in my opening post and elsewhere, both parties have exacerbated the problem. Rs are a much more significant danger to democracy at the moment, but it could be Ds in the future that use the tactics Rs have been polishing. That's one of the many reasons that conservatives should be on board with addressing these issues.

Istiblennius

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #128 on: January 11, 2022, 08:51:02 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Slipperly slope logical fallacy. Seeking to replace the current iteration of the in-thrall to Trump/minority rule power over principle, party over country Republican party with something that is more like the Republican party I grew up with - (Bob Dole was my senator before I could vote, and my first vote cast was for him in a presidential primary) is not the same as trying to seek a one party system.

pgher

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #129 on: January 11, 2022, 09:42:22 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.


There are all kinds of things, including those you've listed, that merit concern. However, if the proposed solution is to effectively operate as a one-party state, then that makes "democracy" just some sort of window dressing. In several decades, as I have told my kids many times, there has not been a single election (at any level) where I was entirely happy with my choice. That s reality.

As far as Trump and others' efforts to interfere in the democratic process, obnoxious as I find them, I feel that the best thing the Democrats could do is to move forward and present an ethical alternative that reflects the views of the majority of the electorate, rather than doing the same kind of thing as Trump and doubling down with the more extreme elements in their own party.

One thing to note: Trump was the best thing that happened to much of the media, whose rating$ $kyrocketted as every day people would tune in to watch the train wreck. The worst thing for them would be to get a Republican candidate who was as charismatic as Biden.

They have a vested interest in keeping the focus on Trump for the audience, whether that is in the best interest of the country and/or democracy or not.
(Court cases for Jan.6 rioters can proceed whether the media covers them or not. How much news coverage they get depends on how many eyeballs they can generate, not on how intrinsically "important" they are.)

Who proposed the bolded is the solution? It certainly wasn't me.

As apl68 indicated, any party that views the other as inherently evil and who must be prevented from holding power by any means possible is essentially proposing that.

Slipperly slope logical fallacy. Seeking to replace the current iteration of the in-thrall to Trump/minority rule power over principle, party over country Republican party with something that is more like the Republican party I grew up with - (Bob Dole was my senator before I could vote, and my first vote cast was for him in a presidential primary) is not the same as trying to seek a one party system.

I believe we are best served by two parties who have different approaches, but a shared love of ALL Americans and a mutual respect for each other's legitimacy. That's not what we have today.

apl68

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #130 on: January 11, 2022, 10:07:36 AM »
My main takeaway from this thread is that it is impossible to convince conservatives that one party doing everything it can - including fomenting violence, telling blatant lies to the public, and pressuring election officials - to overturn the results of a free and fair election is something that merits concern. We've come to a point where, for much of the American population, everything that happens in the political world is just politics.

I acknowledge your concern.  It is deeply concerning that so much of the Republican party and its supporters are still in thrall to Trump.  Let's be fair--the real Trump nuts, the ones storming the Capitol and generating fake news and trolling anybody and everybody (Including the Fora's own resident troll) are in the minority.  But the majority has failed to forcefully repudiate that minority, and that's simply not right. 

Here's the thing, though--part of the reason why so many conservatives feel a need to hang together despite everything is because they are deeply, deeply afraid of what could happen to them if they don't.  And it is not right to dismiss their fears as nothing but the product of brainwashing by fake news.  I get my news from mainstream sources.  And in these mainstream sources I saw a failure in some quarters to repudiate the widespread political violence that occurred last year with BLM.  I've seen calls on the opinion pages of the NYT to unseat certain Republican members of Congress--democratically elected members of Congress--in the belief that they don't deserve to be there.  I've seen substantial segments of leftist opinion positioning themselves to claim that the midterm losses that they likely face this year are the result of elections stolen through voter suppression and gerrymandering--in other words, denying that election results are legitimate. 

Loss of support for the democratic process is not confined to one party.  It's more acute among Republican supporters, yes, but it's not limited to them.  Democracy can only function if the different factions within it recognize each other's fundamental legitimacy, even if they disagree.  And I don't see either of the principal partisan sides in the U.S. doing that anymore.  Neither Republicans nor Democrats seem willing to accept that the other side might have a right to win elections.  The other side is evil, and has no right to wield power, and can only have succeeded because they did something to steal the election. 

Hate is ultimately a product of fear.  The more the two sides fall into this mutual fear and loathing, the more they will hate each other.  Hate hurts democracy, and everything else.

I agree with much of this, regarding Democrats. As I said in my opening post and elsewhere, both parties have exacerbated the problem. Rs are a much more significant danger to democracy at the moment, but it could be Ds in the future that use the tactics Rs have been polishing. That's one of the many reasons that conservatives should be on board with addressing these issues.

Yes!  The whole idea of democracy is, or should be, that everybody is committed to making it work, disagreements on various things notwithstanding.
The people who lived in darkness have seen a great light;
A great light has shined upon those who lived in the shadow of death

And the Word became flesh, and lived among us

mamselle

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #131 on: January 11, 2022, 12:19:44 PM »
More hope (for those who don't just come to this thread to bellyache):

   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/madison-cawthorn-trump-republican-north-carolina-voters

NC's Republicans are doing something about the issue.

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mahagonny

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #132 on: January 11, 2022, 01:26:52 PM »
More hope (for those who don't just come to this thread to bellyache):

   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jan/11/madison-cawthorn-trump-republican-north-carolina-voters

NC's Republicans are doing something about the issue.

M.

Let's make a deal. We'll give up Madison Cawthorn and you give up Maxine Waters.
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Ruralguy

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #133 on: January 11, 2022, 01:56:43 PM »
Why would you want Democrats to give up Waters? She's close to retirement. Make Dems give up an up and comer like AOC.

mahagonny

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Re: How are you feeling about the state of American democracy?
« Reply #134 on: January 11, 2022, 01:59:19 PM »
I was thinking of someone who is outright subversive. Maybe AOC qualifies. OK, Kamala then.
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