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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:16 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Humans have a natural tendency to tribalism and clannishness and the parties do everything in their power to foster that tendency so I don't blame the voters as much as the system designed to take advantage of voter's weaknesses.

V-man, you may not personally see the 3rd parties as any better but more options for candidates means more options for voters which is most certainly a good thing. And even if none of the 3rd parties suite your views, they are more likely to truly represent many more peoples positions than our current, wildly over-simplified "two solutions fit all" system. The way that our tendency towards clannishness is fostering extreme political divisiveness is IMO the most dangerous thing happening in our country right now and breaking up the political monopoly of our two parties should be seen as a good in and of itself.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:31 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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Have to agree with Yov here. Even if there's no 3rd party candidate to suit your views, you need to create an environment where a decent one could be elected, should they eventually turn up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:56 pm 
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Meanwhile...
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Alatar wrote:
Have to agree with Yov here. Even if there's no 3rd party candidate to suit your views, you need to create an environment where a decent one could be elected, should they eventually turn up.

I agree with this statement, at least in theory.

Pundits have been saying for a while that Trump may end up splitting the Republican Party, taking the so called populist element with him. I find this farfetched for many reasons, but that would be one way to a multi party environment.
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
Túrin Turambar wrote:
I actually think the problem lies in the voters rather than the politicians.


I don't disagree, although an argument can be made that voters are limited by who actually runs for office.

I can't quite agree with that. Sure, ultimately the voters are the problem, but the state of, specifically, Republican voters is the result of a careful and well-funded process. Not necessarily the exact expected result, perhaps, but definitely not an accident.

P. S. Democrats just seem to be a natural train wreck.

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‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:26 pm 
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Wrong within normal parameters
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Having a bunch of parties might work for a large body like Congress where there are hundreds of seats, but when we're talking about a single office like the Presidency, it just doesn't make sense. For one thing, the situation is unstable. If you start with a dozen parties and they all have roughly equal levels of support, any two could guarantee victory by merging and doubling their vote. Soon, there are only two left. And even if you prevent this somehow, you end up with a system where each narrow special interest has its own party, and the choice before the voters is which minority should call the shots. A two-party system at least forces both to attempt a big tent.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:30 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Dave_LF wrote:
If you start with a dozen parties and they all have roughly equal levels of support, any two could guarantee victory by merging and doubling their vote.


Unless by merging the anger their supporters since they no longer represent their views as well giving competing parties an opportunity to appeal to any of their disenfranchised voters.

(Or we could live in the magical fantasy land where we vote for people based on their individual ideas and qualities and not by what party they have chosen to associate themselves with. And also, unicorns.)

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:36 pm 
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I don't see that countries with multi-party systems come up with any better candidates that two-party systems. It comes down to the people, not the labels. Bill Bradley was someone that I was very willing to support, whether he was called a Democrat or not. But he was not willing to play the political game to the extent necessary to win at all costs, thus he never got enough traction as a presidential candidate, even though he was clearly (to my mind) superior to the other options. That would not have changed outside the two-party system.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Well, having always lived under a multiple party system I see it as huge advantage, because it avoids extremes, tends towards compromise and avoids the concentration of much power in one hand, as it usually goes along with a non-presidential system.

But actually I only wanted to thank Túrin for that link. Great read!

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:35 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
It comes down to the people, not the labels.


And more parties means more people, making it more likely that one you like is actually in the mix. Even if it were still to remain voting between the lesser of evils, I'd still rather vote for the lesser of multiple evils instead of the lesser of just two.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:56 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
It comes down to the people, not the labels.


And more parties means more people, making it more likely that one you like is actually in the mix. Even if it were still to remain voting between the lesser of evils, I'd still rather vote for the lesser of multiple evils instead of the lesser of just two.

I agree with yov more than I agree with V. Labels carry an awful lot of weight. I suspect that many Republicans now in Congress would have acted and voted quite differently if they did not feel bound by the party.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Frelga wrote:
Everything confusing about Republican politics in 2017 stems from the assumption that GOP is committed to any sort of democratic process. Thesis - the GOP is dedicated to seizing and maintaining power for the benefit of a handful of wealthy donors, relies on the voters that will trust only party-approved information sources, failing that engages in blatant vote suppression and manipulation, and incites racial and religious hatred to mask problems caused or exacerbated by their policies. Is there anything about 2017 that does not fit that explanation?

I would welcome evidence to the contrary, as long as it is based on facts.


This is exactly how conspiracy theory advocates act -- they advance elaborate theories full of nefarious motives that seem to fit all the facts while ignoring more mundane explanations. ( You know, such as incompetence and having a loose cannon in the White House. ) The burden of proof is always on the person questioning the conspiracy theory, not on the person advancing it, because -- everything fits!

Oh, how about this?

Thesis -- the Democrats are dedicated to seizing and maintaining power for the benefit of a handful of special interest groups and silicon valley and Hollywood elites, relies on the voters that will trust only party-approved information sources ( the liberal mainstream media), failing that engages in blatant voter fraud and illegal voting, and incites anti-white, anti-male and anti-Christian hatred to mask problems caused or exacerbated by their policies. Is there anything about the last 25 years that does not fit that explanation?

I welcome evidence -- no wait, I don't. I don't need evidence to the contrary because it's hyperbolic partisan garbage.

And I'm not going to waste any time countering your garbage with evidence.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:02 pm 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
Yes, there is.

Black voters did it. They can do it again.


This is simply wrong. A misreading of the facts.

Why am I so forceful about this? Because this is the exact kind of wishful and blinkered thinking that caused so many people to think Trump had no chance last year. The blue wall and all that. It's echo-chamber stuff. I'm so sick of this crap.

Do you really think that higher black turnout is enough for Jones to win re-election in three years or whatever it is? If he runs against a normal GOP candidate?

Conservative voters did it. Enough of them stayed home because they were disgusted by Moore or they voted for a write in or they even voted for Jones. That was by far the biggest factor in the election. A normal senate election in Alabama in the last generation would have at least a 20 point margin in favor of the GOP. I think Trump won by 28 or something like that. There is simply no way for any amount of higher Democratic turnout to make up for that without a profound shift in how conservative voters behaved.

I'm not denying that without higher black turnout a very close election might have gone the other way. I think that black voters and the Jones campaign should be proud of this. But -- it wouldn't have even been a close election without the behavior of conservative voters. That is the biggest electoral story here.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:21 pm 
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"Conservative voters did it. Enough of them stayed home because they were disgusted by Moore or they voted for a write in ord they even voted for Jones. That was by far the biggest factor in the election. A normal senate election in Alabama in the last generation would have at least a 20 point margin in favor of the GOP. I think Trump won by 28 or something like that. There is simply no way for any amount of higher Democratic turnout to make up for that without a profound shift in how conservative voters behaved."

If the stat Frelga posted is accurate then Moore did win white votes by about 20 points and black voters did indeed make up for that. I'm not sure how that can be read differently. If it was up to the white voters, Moore would have won by a landslide. It seems plainly factual to me to say that it was black voters who caused Moore to lose. Again, assuming those stats are accurate.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:25 pm 
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I think there is almost no chance that Jones will hold on to the seat in 2020. As for who did it, you are both right. Black voters did it by coming out in larger than expected numbers. Conservative voters did it by coming out less than expected numbers. Women did it by going for the Democratic candidate in a larger than expected number. Moderate GOP voters did it by crossing party lines. And with all that, Jones just barely won, against candidate that was far outside of the GOP mainstream before any of the sexual misconduct allegations came to light. The Alabama GOP will almost certainly run a more mainstream candidate in 2020 and handily defeat Jones. At least that is what I expect will happen.

x-posted with yov. A normal GOP candidate would have won the white vote by a far more substantial landslide.

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 Post subject: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Yov, Those stats don’t count people who stayed home. It’s the classic self selection problem - people first chose whether to go in to vote or not, and out of those who chose “yes to voting”, x chose Jones and Y choose Moore.

If I had time to dig out numbers of total people by race who were eligible to vote, assuming we have the right numbers of those who voted & Their race, I could do a proper statistical analysis, and tell you which factor had a greater effect.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:33 pm 
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For Jones to win, he needed both a massive Dem turn-out and a weak GOP turn-out. He got both. If more conservatives had felt motivated to vote for the GOP candidate, the GOP candidate would have won. As it was, the GOP candidate was incredibly polarizing and not even palatable to his own party.

So, in short, since I x-posted with everyone, I agree with Faramond, Inanna, and Voronwë.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:36 pm 
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Faramond, by "do it again," I didn't mean re-elect Jones. I agree that that is not at all likely to happen. I meant do it in other elections. Such as the next presidential election.

If black turnout had been unenthusiastic, Moore would have won despite discouraging his base.

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Or how about... everyone who voted for Jones, or stayed home instead of voting for Moore, "did it"? It was a combination of factors, and changing any one of those while leaving the others alone could have changed the outcome.


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:46 pm 
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As big as this victory is for Democrats, it is also deeply discouraging. Even though Roy Moore is basically human garbage, he still came very close to winning.

It's possible that this victory will encourage more minority voters to turn out, but it's just as likely to motivate those who stayed home because they assumed that Moore would win without them having to bear the moral responsibility.

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:53 pm 
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I don't see how any of that stuff changes the basic fact that if it was up to the white voters, Moore would have won by a landslide.

Quote:
As big as this victory is for Democrats, it is also deeply discouraging. Even though Roy Moore is basically human garbage, he still came very close to winning.


:agree:

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 Post subject: Re: The Cost of Virtue
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:00 pm 
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yovargas wrote:
I don't see how any of that stuff changes the basic fact that if it was up to the white voters, Moore would have won by a landslide.

That's true and maybe interesting, but it's just one of a bunch of different stories you could tell based on different breakdowns. e.g. Moore would have won by a landslide if it were up to voters who describe themselves as "very conservative" (I assume), therefore it's the moderate and liberal Republicans who are to thank. Is this story more true or meaningful than the other?


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