13 votes

The biggest political party in America you've never heard of

23 comments

  1. [10]
    vord
    Link
    I think this video does an excellent job of explaining why inspiring voter turnout is far more important for any party than to focus on 'appealing to the center.' Meta: Placing in news, as it's...

    I think this video does an excellent job of explaining why inspiring voter turnout is far more important for any party than to focus on 'appealing to the center.'

    Meta: Placing in news, as it's highly relevant to current events, but if there's a better place, please move it. Political discussion not directly relating to current events doesn't seem to have a great category to sort it in currently.

    7 votes
    1. [9]
      NaraVara
      Link Parent
      Logically I don't see these as either-or. We assume that inspiring turnout means being bold and visionary, but isn't it also likely that the turnout is weak because the uninspired non-voters are...

      I think this video does an excellent job of explaining why inspiring voter turnout is far more important for any party than to focus on 'appealing to the center.'

      Logically I don't see these as either-or. We assume that inspiring turnout means being bold and visionary, but isn't it also likely that the turnout is weak because the uninspired non-voters are not voting because they are actually true-neutrals and dislike boldness on either side?

      1. [8]
        vord
        Link Parent
        I'm reminded of quotes from the Neutral President in Futurama: I contend that nobody is really neutral, if anything they are conflicted or jaded by the status quo and don't vote because they don't...

        I'm reminded of quotes from the Neutral President in Futurama:

        I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
        All I know is my gut says maybe.
        If I don't survive, tell my wife, "Hello."

        I contend that nobody is really neutral, if anything they are conflicted or jaded by the status quo and don't vote because they don't see a point. That's where bold inspirational policy helps ignite people.

        2 votes
        1. NaraVara
          Link Parent
          I agree this is a hypothesis, but I'm not sure it's actually validated by anything empirical and there are tons of other explanations that are just as, if not more plausible. For example, maybe...

          That's where bold inspirational policy helps ignite people.

          I agree this is a hypothesis, but I'm not sure it's actually validated by anything empirical and there are tons of other explanations that are just as, if not more plausible.

          For example, maybe bold inspirational policy might motivate them, but isn't it also likely that they're just cynical about anything actually working out? In that case, bold policy proposals wouldn't ignite them at all, they would need to actually see results. But results don't happen on a campaign, they happen during governance while nobody is listening or paying attention so nothing on a campaign would actually motivate them, you'd need to be doing that organizing work outside of campaigning/election season.

          2 votes
        2. [6]
          Loire
          Link Parent
          I would contend that that is probably incorrect. Neutrality doesn't strictly mean "meh". It might mean that no party, no matter how "bold" matches my political position. It might mean something...

          I contend that nobody is really neutral if anything they are conflicted or jaded by the status quo.

          I would contend that that is probably incorrect. Neutrality doesn't strictly mean "meh". It might mean that no party, no matter how "bold" matches my political position. It might mean something like, say, Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate for me and mine, to the point where he will likely bring and end to my career and financial destitution to my life and those around me, but I believe so strongly in the dangers of Trumpism, and the need for Americans to have universal healthcare, that I remain "neutral" on the choice. There are many reasons for neutrality in the current political context.

          2 votes
          1. [5]
            vord
            Link Parent
            I guess, but IMO that's not really neutral, it means not really taking a stand because you are conflicted. I realize this may be a rhetorical button-pushing example, but I'm going to address it...

            I guess, but IMO that's not really neutral, it means not really taking a stand because you are conflicted.

            It might mean something like, say, Bernie Sanders is the worst possible candidate for me and mine, to the point where he will likely bring and end to my career and financial destitution to my life

            I realize this may be a rhetorical button-pushing example, but I'm going to address it anyhow. If your career and financial stability depends on not enacting the policies that Bernie is aiming to implement, then you're part of the problem that Bernie is trying to fix.

            Would I shed a tear for a single military contractor that gets put out of business due to improved diplomacy and stopping endless wars? Hell no. If your career ends in the name of social progress, so be it.

            4 votes
            1. [4]
              Loire
              Link Parent
              I apologize for being part of the problem, but there is no industry in this country where someone can make a living wage that isn't problematic.

              I apologize for being part of the problem, but there is no industry in this country where someone can make a living wage that isn't problematic.

              2 votes
              1. [3]
                vord
                Link Parent
                Therein lies the root cause for many of our societal ills. Improved workers rights, higher minimum wage, and disconnecting healthcare from employers will all make tremendous progress on that...

                no industry in this country where someone can make a living wage that isn't problematic

                Therein lies the root cause for many of our societal ills. Improved workers rights, higher minimum wage, and disconnecting healthcare from employers will all make tremendous progress on that front.

                I make a living wage by helping public institutions manage their computers. I could make more money working in health insurance, the financial sector, or for the military...my skills are 100% transferable, but I choose not to for a variety of reasons, not least of which are the moral implications.

                3 votes
                1. [2]
                  Loire
                  Link Parent
                  Thats wonderful, and I am happy for you. But, to bring it back around on topic, if Bernie were to step out and say, "our deficit has become disastrously high under the Republican's and must be...

                  I make a living wage by helping public institutions manage their computers. I could make more money working in health insurance, the financial sector, or for the military...my skills are 100% transferable, but I choose not to for a variety of reasons, not least of which are the moral implications.

                  Thats wonderful, and I am happy for you. But, to bring it back around on topic, if Bernie were to step out and say, "our deficit has become disastrously high under the Republican's and must be brought under control for our children's future" and promised to cut funding you know was earmarked explicitly for employing people like you, would you still be all aboard, or would you be "conflicted"?

                  Because I am typically of the "for the greater good thinking" but after (just pulling from my own personal experience) 6 years of being a broke university student, then twi years of menial work while job hunting, I'm not quite ready to lose my career for a single policy that won't actually benefit America. Hence the conflict. At what point does my desire to see Americans have universal healthcare and a livable minimum wage supercede that single issue?

                  And hence we get back to the neutral voters. Voting for Sanders would be bad for me. It would be bad for my family and most of my friends. None of us are the 1%, we are the middle class, but it would still hurt us deeply. How could I justify supporting him in that scenario even if I theoretically agree with the need for a politician like him?

                  2 votes
                  1. Kuromantis
                    Link Parent
                    In that case it depends on whether someone like Bernie has a plan for people like you to get out of your problems if he enacts the policy that will affect you so badly. (Which I admittedly doubt...

                    In that case it depends on whether someone like Bernie has a plan for people like you to get out of your problems if he enacts the policy that will affect you so badly. (Which I admittedly doubt past giving you free college so you can find something else to work in without crushing debt, since the only candidate seriously concerned with people like you was yang.)

  2. [12]
    timo
    Link
    It's appalling that it is so difficult to participate in the US democracy. But it is also quite clear that these laws and rules are made to deter people from voting. Automatic registration when...

    It's appalling that it is so difficult to participate in the US democracy. But it is also quite clear that these laws and rules are made to deter people from voting.

    Automatic registration when you become 18 is such a no-brainer. Even now, during the primaries you are required to register to vote so far ahead. It really isn't feasible for the many people that don't plan that far ahead.

    Americans really need to take a good long look at other countries and copy the good stuff. And especially Americans that aren't young and/or actively engaged online.

    6 votes
    1. [11]
      vord
      Link Parent
      Oh and closed primaries are still a thing, so if you don't want to tie yourself to a party, you get excluded from having a say in who is running.

      Oh and closed primaries are still a thing, so if you don't want to tie yourself to a party, you get excluded from having a say in who is running.

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Open primaries are stupid. If you want to have a say in who gets nominated by a party you need to put your big kid pants on and join that party. It's not like you have to pay dues or are...

        Oh and closed primaries are still a thing, so if you don't want to tie yourself to a party, you get excluded from having a say in who is running.

        Open primaries are stupid. If you want to have a say in who gets nominated by a party you need to put your big kid pants on and join that party. It's not like you have to pay dues or are restricted to only voting with the party you're affiliated to. It literally costs you nothing.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          vord
          Link Parent
          I disagree that it costs nothing. It adds a layer of bureaucratic nonsense that encourages further tribal behaviors. If I have no input on the other party's candidates, why should I ever consider...

          I disagree that it costs nothing. It adds a layer of bureaucratic nonsense that encourages further tribal behaviors.

          If I have no input on the other party's candidates, why should I ever consider voting for them?
          Perhaps if everyone had a seat at the table for both parties, the continual polarization would diminish a bit.

          6 votes
          1. [2]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            You literally just check a box while registering to vote. It's, like, a 4 question form and the hardest part of it is needing a valid drivers license number or proof of address. You barely have...

            I disagree that it costs nothing. It adds a layer of bureaucratic nonsense that encourages further tribal behaviors.

            You literally just check a box while registering to vote. It's, like, a 4 question form and the hardest part of it is needing a valid drivers license number or proof of address.

            If I have no input on the other party's candidates, why should I ever consider voting for them?

            You barely have input on your own party's candidates. Do you really think you voting as one of the ~3 million other people in a primary process, and then having that vote condensed through some arcane formula to count as a delegate to a convention, means you've had any meaningful "input?" Your contribution, individually, means nothing. It only counts for anything in the aggregate.

            Perhaps if everyone had a seat at the table for both parties, the continual polarization would diminish a bit.

            What exactly do you think is the purpose of a political party? Do you feel like you need to have a seat-at-the-table with the boards of Coke and Pepsi before deciding on which soft-drink to buy?

            1. LukeZaz
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              The tribal behaviors aspect is a big issue, though. We shouldn't have political parties at all, let alone be required to get recruited into one just to vote. I genuinely don't understand how this...

              You literally just check a box while registering to vote. It's, like, a 4 question form and the hardest part of it is needing a valid drivers license number or proof of address.

              The tribal behaviors aspect is a big issue, though. We shouldn't have political parties at all, let alone be required to get recruited into one just to vote.

              You barely have input on your own party's candidates. Do you really think you voting as one of the ~3 million other people in a primary process, and then having that vote condensed through some arcane formula to count as a delegate to a convention, means you've had any meaningful "input?" Your contribution, individually, means nothing. It only counts for anything in the aggregate.

              I genuinely don't understand how this is supposed to be a counterpoint; all it seems to suggest is that, since you have little input already, having even less input elsewhere doesn't matter.

              What exactly do you think is the purpose of a political party? Do you feel like you need to have a seat-at-the-table with the boards of Coke and Pepsi before deciding on which soft-drink to buy?

              This feels incredibly dismissive. The only purposes I can see for political parties are to divide people into groups based on nothing more than vague collections of beliefs, so as to benefit those running said party. If that is indeed their intention, it's yet another reason they should cease to exist. Furthermore, having a say in how things are run is the point of elections to begin with, so I don't understand why you seem to be putting it down.

              3 votes
      2. [6]
        json
        Link Parent
        If it's an open primary, what's to prevent someone who is a staunch Party A follower from voting for a spoiler candidate in the primary for Party B? Is there anything to prevent them voting in...

        If it's an open primary, what's to prevent someone who is a staunch Party A follower from voting for a spoiler candidate in the primary for Party B?
        Is there anything to prevent them voting in each primary for both parties?

        (I'm not from USA so actually would like to know how it works.)

        1 vote
        1. [5]
          vord
          Link Parent
          Even if people can vote for both parties, there isn't a good incentive to vote for anybody other than the best option for them. Party A members will vote for their preferred member of party B,...

          Even if people can vote for both parties, there isn't a good incentive to vote for anybody other than the best option for them. Party A members will vote for their preferred member of party B, such that if their party doesn't win, they at least had an opportunity to shut out someone completely undesirable.

          Open primaries are critical to eliminating the 'vote for lesser of two evils' problem. Having to properly court a broader audience than just your hardcore supporters in a primary means that unpopular extremism will be harder to foster.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            json
            Link Parent
            Why not scrap primaries and party endorsement and just have a single vote for the presidential candidate? Ideally one that is not first past the post.

            Why not scrap primaries and party endorsement and just have a single vote for the presidential candidate? Ideally one that is not first past the post.

            3 votes
            1. vord
              Link Parent
              Yes, that would be ideal. But we're a long way from that in the USA, so taking steps in the right direction is a great start.

              Yes, that would be ideal. But we're a long way from that in the USA, so taking steps in the right direction is a great start.

              1 vote
            2. [2]
              MrCheezyPotato
              Link Parent
              Because the votes would be too spread out. 11% vote for A, 25% vote for B, 30% vote for C, 34% vote for D That means D is the most popular, right? Wrong. B could be overall the most popular,...

              Because the votes would be too spread out.

              11% vote for A,
              25% vote for B,
              30% vote for C,
              34% vote for D

              That means D is the most popular, right? Wrong. B could be overall the most popular, pleasing more people, but the reason they didn't win is because the 11% of people thought that A was slightly better than B in their personal opinion, but they would have gone with B had they had A not been there.

              I hope I'm explaining this well enough

              1. json
                Link Parent
                If it were Single Transferable Vote or another form or ranked voting then that would solve your issues.

                ideally one that is not first past the post

                If it were Single Transferable Vote or another form or ranked voting then that would solve your issues.

                1 vote
  3. arp242
    Link
    I think a big problem here is that people are fed up with politics, and I'm not sure what a fix for that would look like. This is not a new problem or unique to the US. Personally I think a lot of...

    I think a big problem here is that people are fed up with politics, and I'm not sure what a fix for that would look like. This is not a new problem or unique to the US.

    Personally I think a lot of it has to do with TV and media, which make politicians look like bickering teenagers instead of well-educated adults because that, you know, gets more viewers. It just gives the impression of "oh, those idiots in DC, doesn't really matter who is in power". It also feeds back to the politicians themselves, who will now try to "karmawhore" for the TV.

    I'm not sure if there is a fix in our current democratic system. I think we (Western Society in general) need to seriously rethink out implementation of democracy. Some countries are worse off than others, but even the at its best it's not going very well. Unfortunately a lot of people conflate "democracy" with "representative democracy.

    3 votes