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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18521 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 07:31

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-15, 07:06, said:

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This could lead to an interesting discussion. For now, I will give a few first thoughts.

Absolute first thought: Did my parents succeed in raising me to not be an asshole, as Melinda Moyer thinks of the term? Reviews are mixed.

Competing for first thought: I was 6 when we dropped the bomb on Hiroshima and then on Nagasaki. My parents did not tell me of this. If kids who see The Sound of Music should be told of the Nazis at age 7, should I have been told of Hiroshima when I was 6? Note in particular that teaching what happened in pre-war Austria is history, telling me about Hiroshima would have been current events. I learned about it later, but I was not told when I was 6. When I was 11, I followed the Korean War daily on the papers. 6 and 11 are very different ages. I saw the movie Key Largo with my father when I was 9. I don't recall being given any lesson about either the war or about criminal gangs afterward. Did my father fail in his parenting role? He also took me to see Bambi when I was 4 or so and said nothing afterward about the evils of hunting. Oh well, an opportunity lost.

I very much liked The Sound of Music, it is the only Julie Andrews movie I can think of that I did like, but if we are to teach realism I suppose then Joanna Pearlstein's children should also have been told that the von Trapps left Austria by getting on a train to Italy. Or we could just let them enjoy the story. We can also explain later that Cinderella is not actually true. My five year old granddaughter likes Uncle Wiggly, and her 2 year old sister is trying to learn how to play it. That's enough for the moment. Nazi history can come later.

Wenner Moyer is quoted as saying "If states ban the teaching of critical race theory, as conservative lawmakers in many are attempting to do, or if schools don't provide consistent education about racism and discrimination, it's imperative that parents pick up the slack,"
This sounds like she is advocating that CRT should be taught in schools. Often the response to criticism of teaching CRT in the schools has been that, except fr law schools and other settings with older students, CRT is not being taught in the schools and the conservatives, when criticizing the teaching of CRT to youngsters, are griping about something that nobody is doing or is planning on doing.

My parent did not teach me "the world is at least fifty percent terrible, and that's a conservative estimate." I figured that out for myself, maybe with a little help from reading and such. I saw Moulin Rouge when I was 13, a "woman of the streets" explains about her life to Toulouse-Lautrec "I was 12 before I learned that the whole world doesn't smell like it does where I grew up" Maybe not an exact quote but it's the idea.

All this aside, I might give the book a try. I expect to disagree with a lot of it.

If someone had presented my mother with a book "How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes" , she would have laughed and then thrown it in the trash. Seems right to me.


My mother taught first grade for over 20 years and she claimed that kids matured at vastly different rates - some were ready for school at age 5 and 6 while others were still babies at that age. She always advocated for not starting kids in school too early.

I am always impressed with the thinking you describe about yourself when you were young - I guarantee I could not have matched it at the same ages. I doubt there is any one-size-fits-all way to raise a child - or choose when they are ready to learn.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18522 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 08:38

View PostWinstonm, on 2021-July-15, 07:31, said:

My mother taught first grade for over 20 years and she claimed that kids matured at vastly different rates - some were ready for school at age 5 and 6 while others were still babies at that age. She always advocated for not starting kids in school too early.

I am always impressed with the thinking you describe about yourself when you were young - I guarantee I could not have matched it at the same ages. I doubt there is any one-size-fits-all way to raise a child - or choose when they are ready to learn.


I think a very important thing for young people is the chance to change. We have to hope they don't make irrevocable mistakes and guide them not to, but we need to allow as much choice as possible and then to allow a different choice later.

I have stories of my limitations as well. One of my favorites, when I was 15 or maybe 16: A friend suggested that I ask Judy M out, his girlfriend had said that this might be a good idea, and so I did. We went to see The High and the Mighty. After the movie I explained to her several errors that John Wayne had made and how I would have handled matters differently. She never went out with me again. Sixteen-year-old girls were much more emotionally advanced than sisteen-year-old boys, or at least more than this sixteen-year-old boy was. I very much agree with your mother.

We have to find ourselves.

I suppose I remember, I hope with reasonable accuracy, the pleasant parts of childhood. But all in all, it was pleasant. I want the same for others. That's pretty much my starting point.
Ken
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#18523 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 14:08

From Who Speaks for the Negro by Robert Penn Warren (1965)

Warren: What do Negroes want?

Aaron Henry, NAACP president, Mississippi chapter: What you got.
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18524 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 14:26

I've been watching some CNN and MSNBC and the talk is about Covid-19 and the books about Trump's final days.

The thing that bothers me most about the final days of Trump is not that he tried to organize a coup to stay in power but that there are so many Americans who are OK with that attempt - the same ones for the most part who have refused the Covid vaccine, I'm betting. That's a lot of people. I have heard the number 100 million.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18525 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 16:08

Voting is compulsory in Australia.
People don't think about it much, but a consequence is that there is a joint sense of responsibility for whoever is in office.
The second important aspect of our system is that there is preferential voting - you put a number next to each candidate, and if your first choice is not one of the top two, your vote is given to your number 2 choice.
This process continues until one candidate has 50% +1 of all the votes.
If there is a tie, a coin is tossed.


This approach eliminates nearly all of the BS that happens in most jurisdictions around the world.
It would certainly prevent an idiot like Trump from being elected.


We do have a Senate just like the USA. Paul Keating described it as undisciplined swill - but we are stuck with it ATM.
We also have our share of MTG's and Gaetz's and Jordan's - these people are everywhere.


It is a truth, universally acknowledged, amongst politicians that about 33% of people will always vote for the same party - no matter who is in it.


In the USA, only 33% of the eligible voting population voted for Trump in 2020. These people are rusted on - they will never change.
The same is true on the other side.
It seems to me from a distance anyway that entrenched interests (many the children of slave-owners) truly believe that the "right to vote" must be "earned".
When one looks deeper, this "earning" concept usually means being white.

If you don't have universal voting, you don't have democracy.
Trump didn't destroy it; he's the raw untreated sewage that emerged from a system designed to entrench vested interest.
In that way, the US system is the same as the rotten borough.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18526 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 17:31

Ezra Klein at NYT said:

It Seems Odd That We Would Just Let the World Burn

The good news is that the worst of the climate crisis seems less and less likely. We are on track for 3 degrees of warming, measured in Celsius, not 4 or 5. But 3 degrees is still a catastrophe of truly incomprehensible proportions, visited primarily upon the world’s poor by the world’s rich. We are engineering a world that is so much worse than it need be and that will be lethal for untold millions.

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#18527 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 19:47

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:


It is a truth, universally acknowledged, amongst politicians that about 33% of people will always vote for the same party - no matter who is in it.



This looks to be a clear statement but on second thought I am not sure. The problem is with "always". People vote when they are 20 and they vote when they are 80. They vote for presidents, senators, governors, etc. A third of the voters, throughout their lifetime and regardless of the office and regardless of who is running, just go in and vote for the same party always? That would not apply to me and I cannot think of anyone I know that I think it would apply to. But I have been wrong before.
Is there evidence for this? It would seem tough to get evidence.
I guess if the other two thirds are willing to at some point consider something else then there is hope, but I really would have thought most people, at least once in their lifetime, would stray from party loyalty.
Maybe we need a Kinsey report on the faithfulness of voters.
Ken
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#18528 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-15, 23:38

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-15, 19:47, said:

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This looks to be a clear statement but on second thought I am not sure. The problem is with "always". People vote when they are 20 and they vote when they are 80. They vote for presidents, senators, governors, etc. A third of the voters, throughout their lifetime and regardless of the office and regardless of who is running, just go in and vote for the same party always? That would not apply to me and I cannot think of anyone I know that I think it would apply to. But I have been wrong before.
Is there evidence for this? It would seem tough to get evidence.
I guess if the other two thirds are willing to at some point consider something else then there is hope, but I really would have thought most people, at least once in their lifetime, would stray from party loyalty.
Maybe we need a Kinsey report on the faithfulness of voters.


The problem in the USA is that one-third of eligible voters don't.
This means that the electorate is mainly comprised of two groups of rusted-on die-hards.
Voters at the extremes tend to be as loyal to their party as they are to their football team.
How else can one explain the current loyalty of millions of voters to a man with the intellectual capacity of a prairie ball?
I once stood for parliament in South Australia as the Labor (Democrat) candidate in the safest conservative seat (District) in the State (Bragg - named after the Physicists).
At the time of the election (1993), the State-owned Bank had just collapsed under the Governance of the Labor party. The party vote had never been so low.
There was an 11+ swing against Labor, but I still secured 21.3% of the 92.7% turnout.
State-wide, the result was 30.37% of the primary vote to Labor
So this is where I get the data.


There is more - it's all available on Wikipedia.
The absolute rock bottom vote for each major party is about 30-40% - no matter the election.


A Kinsey report may be a good idea since, in the end, we all get...


There is the additional problem of systemic impediments to voting in the USA - such as polling day being on a Tuesday and the lack of an independent Federal voting commission to ensure lunatics can't prevent the citizens from being enfranchised.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18529 User is online   awm 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 01:48

While in principle I could see voting for a moderate Republican if the Democrats nominated someone with serious corruption issues, in practice this has never come up for me and the most I’ve strayed from a straight Democratic ticket is to decline to vote in a few races where I really disliked the candidate.

So I guess I’m one of these people who always votes the same way! To be honest, the modem parties are a pretty clear sorting (not like 30+ years ago where there was often little daylight between the most liberal Republican and the most conservative Democrat) so people voting on policy basis will often be straight ticket voters.

The people who don’t vote are often very disconnected from the race and from national issues and just inducing them to vote might not make anything better.
Adam W. Meyerson
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#18530 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 02:13

View Postawm, on 2021-July-16, 01:48, said:

The people who don't vote are often very disconnected from the race and from national issues and just inducing them to vote might not make anything better.


If everyone doesn't have a say the risk that loonies will take over is very high.
Anyone with any experience of student politics knows what I mean.
The importance of having all voices heard is that it brings moderation into the body politic.
Apart from disinterest, there are many reasons that people don't vote.
In Australia, there is normally a bit of queue but we don't have to wait more than 20-30 minutes tops.
The images of people waiting for hours at polling stations in the USA is anti-democratic.
The stuff that 3rd world dictatorships are made of.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18531 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 05:13

Trump’s ‘Team Kraken’ gets a smackin' by Michelle Cottle at NYT:

Quote

Monday’s virtual proceedings did not bode well for Team Kraken. U.S. District Court Judge Linda Parker expressed skepticism bordering on dismay about some of the evidence and experts from the original case. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen an affidavit that has made so many leaps,” she marveled at one point. “How could any of you as officers of the court present this affidavit?”

Generally speaking, it’s not a good sign when a judge is characterizing one’s evidence in terms such as “fantastical,” “speculative,” “bad faith,” “obviously questionable” and “layers of hearsay.” Judge Parker brushed back Ms. Powell’s assertion that the complaint’s 960 pages of affidavits proved “due diligence,” countering, “Volume, certainly for this court, doesn’t equate with legitimacy or veracity.”

The hearing ground on for six hours, with so much back talk and smack talk that the court reporter had to ask the participants to tone things down so that she could do her job. At day’s end, all parties were given two weeks to submit additional arguments.

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#18532 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 06:12

re: party line voting - I voted for a guy who ran as an independent for my county board in a special election in 2014 and in two regularly scheduled elections in 2014 and 2018. Here independent = moderate Republican. He won the first two races because he opposed a controversial street car project. He lost the third race in the blue wave of 2018. My observation is that the county board was somewhat more effective when he was on it. He worked well with his Dem colleagues and was able to nudge the board to be somewhat more fiscally conservative. A lot of other Dems voted for him too but not so many as to call into question p's 33% assertion.
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#18533 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 07:54

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-15, 19:47, said:

This looks to be a clear statement but on second thought I am not sure.


I am not too sure why you take any of that seriously. There are easy counter-examples to pretty much every statement:


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

Voting is compulsory in Australia.
People don't think about it much, but a consequence is that there is a joint sense of responsibility for whoever is in office.


There is very strong evidence that women in Australia are increasingly frustrated and turned off by the way politics in the country work. Far from "a joint sense of responsibility", the evidence points towards women being disenfranchised by the entire system. Why would a system that alienates >50% of its electorate be seen as positive?


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

The second important aspect of our system is that there is preferential voting - you put a number next to each candidate, and if your first choice is not one of the top two, your vote is given to your number 2 choice.

This approach eliminates nearly all of the BS that happens in most jurisdictions around the world.
It would certainly prevent an idiot like Trump from being elected.


The country that has used a single preferential voting (more commonly called ranked-choice voting or just ranked voting) system for the longest continuous period is Malta. One of the 2 main parties there is the NP (Partit Nazzjonalista). Although it has moderated somewhat in the last 10 years, this party is still regarded as one of the most extreme from the European Christian Democratic (US: conservative) movement and was even explicitly modelled on Mussolini's PNF. Given that American politics are typically more extreme than Maltese, the idea of ranked-choice voting eliminating the possibility of a populist leader coming to power stretches belief.


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

If you don't have universal voting, you don't have democracy.

First of all, while it is often stated that Australia has mandatory voting this is not strictly true. It is true for white Australians of course but indigenous (Aboriginal) voters are exempt. Imagine the uproar if Republican states introduced bills mandating voting for whites but exempting non-whites!

On compulsory voting more generally, the largest country currently using it is Brazil. At the last election fully 21% of voters did not vote and a further 9% were null or invalid votes. The result of the election was a win for Jair Bolsonaro. Those who follow international news will recognise the name - his nationalistic, populist policies along with the severe downplaying of covid have earned him the nickname of the "Brazilian Trump" in some quarters. If I were creating a voting system for a new country, I somehow doubt that this would be the one I would choose as a model.


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, amongst politicians that about 33% of people will always vote for the same party - no matter who is in it.

In the USA, only 33% of the eligible voting population voted for Trump in 2020. These people are rusted on - they will never change.
The same is true on the other side.

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 23:38, said:

The problem in the USA is that one-third of eligible voters don't.

The absolute rock bottom vote for each major party is about 30-40% - no matter the election.


This is the part where I feel like scratching my head. The turnout figures are mentioned and yet, despite this, the 33% voting for Trump somehow get conflated with the 30-40% of the actual voters who turned out for unpopular candidates. The problem here is that 30% of 2/3 of the electorate is 20%. If someone wrote that 20% of the electorate on both sides were die-hards that always voted for their party then this would be reasonable, although even here one would need to address the question of changes in party-affiliation, something that has happened more dramatically in the US than almost any other democratic country in the world. Better to say that 20% of the electorate at any given time will always vote for their current party affiliation but now we are watering down the supposed point being made so far as to be more or less meaningless.


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

It seems to me from a distance anyway that entrenched interests (many the children of slave-owners) truly believe that the "right to vote" must be "earned".
When one looks deeper, this "earning" concept usually means being white.

When one looks deeper one sees that the voter suppression goes to any group that the Republican party thinks will vote overwhelmingly against them. This is less about race per se and more about winning. Just as gerrymandering to minimise the impact of massed urban votes is about retaining control rather than racism. It is true that non-whites are one of the easiest groups for Republicans to disenfranchise but there are also specific groups of whites that they try to discourage from voting. While the voter suppression is often couched in racist terms by the Left, it is best not to confuse the two motivations.


View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 23:38, said:

How else can one explain the current loyalty of millions of voters to a man with the intellectual capacity of a prairie ball?


The loyalty to Trump is not a strict party affiliation. Liz Cheney is also a die-hard Republican and has much stronger conservative credentials so your logic would assume that she is just as popular. She is not!

The thing to understand about the modern Republican party ("modern" being since the permanent shift to the Southern strategy) is that they are less a party of conservative politics and more a party of protest. What they want from their politicians is fight. It matters less what they are fighting about as that they are seen to be fighting for them. Say what you want about Trump's intellectual abilities, his public persona is very much that of a fighter. This is what makes him so popular with the Republican base.
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#18534 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 10:07

View Postpilowsky, on 2021-July-15, 16:08, said:

Voting is compulsory in Australia.
People don't think about it much, but a consequence is that there is a joint sense of responsibility for whoever is in office.
The second important aspect of our system is that there is preferential voting - you put a number next to each candidate, and if your first choice is not one of the top two, your vote is given to your number 2 choice.
This approach eliminates nearly all of the BS that happens in most jurisdictions around the world.

No, instead it introduces all the BS involved with that, and the "helpful" explanations that convince your voters to not actually do it (warning: Australien (sic) attitude to language. There's a PG version around, for those who want to protect their kids from seeing or hearing the words that everybody knows is being said).

Quote

It would certainly prevent an idiot like Trump from being elected.
No, like most of the rest of the parliamentary systems, the idiots just become PM after the guy you elected gets turfed out in a "confidence crisis" 6 months in. And since we have a majority, you get to decide if it was a good idea - in 4 years or so.

Also see (same warning), or most of the rest of the Honest Government Ads.

side note: WTH do you post with? Ubersoft Werd exported to HTML, then cut and pasted into the reply box? It's obnoxious to edit.
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#18535 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 10:23

A brief excerpt from Gilithin:

Quote

Better to say that 20% of the electorate at any given time will always vote for their current party affiliation


Yes, this is closer to my own experience.


Also, the world changes (yeah, no kidding). Thoughts:

I moved from Minnesota to Maryland in 1967. I am pretty sure that in Minnesota I had never registered as a Republican or a Democrat. I also am pretty sure that I voted for the Republican Elmer Andersen for governor in 1960, but even if I am wrong about that I am positive that my choice was in no way a matter of party politics.
Another example: In 1952 my parents supported Eisenhower, a Republican rather than Adlai Stevenson. They also participated in a frequent Friday night poker game with the Es and the Hs. It is absolutely impossible to imagine that their decision to vote for a republican instead of a democrat would have led to them being excluded from the game.


We have gone off the tracks. Again I can say no kidding. We have to worry about having a Trump supporter and a Biden supporter at the same dinner party. Yes, I think it's the Trump wing of the Republican Party that has escalated this beyond understanding, but we have to find a way back.


Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how today differs from the time of my youth. Change happens, I hope we can cope with it.
Ken
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#18536 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 11:46

Traditionally (okay, 2005, on the 'net, that's "traditional"), it's 27%.
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#18537 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 12:28

View Postmycroft, on 2021-July-16, 11:46, said:

Traditionally (okay, 2005, on the 'net, that's "traditional"), it's 27%.

First of all, 91.3% of statistics quoted on the 'net are made up on the spur of the moment, as was this one. Secondly, the two examples from that page are instructive: in the first Keyes got 27% of a 71.34% turnout, which works out at 19.26% of the electorate. In the second, Jones scored 25.92% of the vote; I cannot locate the turnout figure for this district but unless this safe seat, midterm election somehow managed ~75% or higher, it is also going to be under 20%.
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#18538 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 13:45

View Postkenberg, on 2021-July-16, 10:23, said:

Another example: In 1952 my parents supported Eisenhower, a Republican rather than Adlai Stevenson. They also participated in a frequent Friday night poker game with the Es and the Hs. It is absolutely impossible to imagine that their decision to vote for a republican instead of a democrat would have led to them being excluded from the game.


The Democrats and Republicans were much closely aligned in the 50's and 60's with the exception of Southern Democrats aka Dixiecrats and Republicans. For example, the 1964 Civil Rights bill.

The vote in Congress:

The House of Representatives:

Southern Democrats: 8–83 (9–91%) – four Representatives from Texas (Jack Brooks, Albert Thomas, J. J. Pickle, and Henry González), two from Tennessee (Richard Fulton and Ross Bass), Claude Pepper of Florida and Charles L. Weltner of Georgia voted in favor
Southern Republicans: 0–11 (0–100%)
Northern Democrats: 145–8 (95–5%)
Northern Republicans: 136–24 (85–15%)

The Senate:

Southern Democrats: 1–20 (5–95%) – only Ralph Yarborough of Texas voted in favor
Southern Republicans: 0–1 (0–100%) – John Tower of Texas, the only Southern Republican at the time, voted against
Northern Democrats: 45–1 (98–2%) – only Robert Byrd of West Virginia voted against
Northern Republicans: 27–5 (84–16%) – Norris Cotton (NH), Barry Goldwater (AZ), Bourke Hickenlooper (IA), Edwin Mecham (NM), and Milward Simpson (WY) voted against

If you are keeping score, the Republican party at the time was more liberal than the Democrats!!!

These days, the Southern Democrats are all Republicans, and basically all the Republicans have become radicalized anti-democracy conspiracy mongers.
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#18539 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 14:04

Hmm, I throw out a random link in a "the difference between a .200 hitter and a .250 hitter is one hit in 5 games" bunfight, to a site where the end of the introduction is literally "Rogers later stressed that the phrase was a joke, not some serious statistical proposition", instead of actually trying to argue a side.

I think "Whoosh" is the current expression (but probably 2 years old by now).

Oh, and this number was not, in fact, "made up on the spur of the moment." Stupid though it was, it was a number actually taken from something real.

And if you're arguing "only 70% turnout", then unless you're Australian (Hi, Pilowsky!) you know, and you know that your audience knows, that "70% turnout" is what should be *expected* in elections (with off-term elections getting lucky to get 50%). So, arguing that the other 30% don't hold that belief because they didn't vote it is - creative.

But I'm still not getting into this seriously; as I said, wondering if it's one person at every table that wants to kill me and my friends so they can make that little bit more money, or whether it's one in two tables, is either a distraction or a bunfight, and I don't need either.
When I go to sea, don't fear for me, Fear For The Storm -- Birdie and the Swansong (tSCoSI)
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#18540 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-July-16, 14:10

On stopping someone like Trump - and Henry Ford?

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Americans rarely pause to consider just how bizarre the presidential nominating process has become. No other major democracy routinely uses primaries to choose its political candidates, nor did the Founders of this country intend for primaries to play a role in the republican system they devised. Abraham Lincoln did not win his party’s nomination because he ran a good ground game in New Hampshire; rather, Republican elders saw in him a candidate who could unite rival factions within the party and defeat the Democratic nominee in the general election. Today’s system amounts to a radical experiment in direct democracy, one without precedent even in America’s own political history.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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