Both Sides!

You could work to improve one of the parties; while denying power to the one you definitely don’t want to have power over you.

The assumption that an alternative is better is simply an unsupported hope. And all of other options will also be flawed and need to be improved.

Unless you’re naive enough to believe in angels.


It’s a quintessentially aristocratic perspective. Republicans and billionaires don’t hate bureaucracy because it’s convoluted, as their beloved tax loopholes show. They hate it because it provides some constancy rather than being run according to their whims.

How will the emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?

Fear will keep the local systems in line.


This. Voting in a general election is the baseline minimum effort for taking part in one’s government, it isn’t the beginning and the end of representative democracy.


The structure of the US government produces a two party system. Whenever a third party wins- it’s the new duopoly. Picking a new party doesn’t change that structure.

When people say they don’t like the duopoly - but want a new party to be in the duopoly - they like the duopoly. They just want to get rid of one of the existing players.

What’s interesting is - that they never seem to want to get rid of the Republicans.


Sure they do. It’s just that the only way to get rid of the Republicans is to get rid of the Democrats first because the Democrats don’t have what it takes to get rid of the Republicans. (/s, /s, a thousand times /s!)


You can make a strong case that this is exactly what’s happened - Republican voters have replaced the conservative half of the US duopoly with far right extremists. What remains of the old Republican party hasn’t quite gotten the message that it’s been eaten from the inside out by something younger, dumber, and meaner than itself; it lies where it fell - moribund and bleating little noises of protest while the parasitic wasps that hollowed it out boil incoherently around it and light the whole joint on fire.


There’s plenty of criticism of Biden and the Dem Third Way establishment on this BBS, with very little pushback from anyone. There’s also acknowledgment here of unfortunate realities: the duopoly system we’re stuck with; the broken-by-design campaign finance system; and 40-plus years of conservative propaganda creating an atmosphere where Dems have to appear to tack centre. So your claim is the same old virtue-signalling BS we’ve seen from brocialists, the same old puerile contention that both parties are the same.

Cory is a realist. He’s firm in his goals but also understands what we’re all up against.


Name one viable option that does not effectively support the fascists. We don’t have to like the fact that we are in a deeply embedded two-party system, but we ignore this fact at our peril. The fascists are not going to vote Libertarian or whatever, so every progressive-leaning vote the goes to the Green Party or any of the others, or just not participating at all, is effectively passively supporting the fascists. No, the Dems are not the ideal option, and I sincerely wish that there was a viable, truly progressive party option. But as things sit right now, my first priority is to make sure there are no fucking Nazis running my country, state, county or town. If that means I vote for someone I disagree with 50% of the time, I’m OK with that. Because the option is someone who wants people I love dearly dead.


It’s our first-past-the-post voting system that does that. Let’s get ranked choice or approval voting or anything where you can express a preference about more than just a single candidate and we’d be way better off. Third parties would no longer be “spoilers”.


It’s also a legacy that goes back to the party-averse foundation of the country. They wanted no parties but, that being impossible in a democracy, they ended up stuck with only two.

One thing the two parties do have in common is their determination that any form of ranked choice voting never comes to pass on the state or federal level, for exactly the reason you describe.


… even inside the Republican Party, it’s always some liberal’s fault


(I tried to Edit To Add to my previous post, but Slow Mode says no.)

This is the CGP Grey video that got me onto the anti-FPTP soap box

It’s part of a short voting system series


Wow. So it was meritocratic anxiety the whole time, not white supremacy and generalized bigotry. I sure am glad David Brooks is here to explain things.


I managed to find a pearl amongst the muck!

This is the only part worth noticing in that opinion piece by Brooks:

In 2020, Biden won only 500 or so counties, but together they are responsible for 71 percent of the American economy. Trump won over 2,500 counties, responsible for only 29 percent.

That is a useful comparison to keep in the back pocket.


Next on the list of Never Trumpers who don’t get it was gonna be Bill Kristol—but maybe he does get it


Every once in a while George Will or Bill Kristol will write something I don’t completely disagree with, and then I have to break out the Voight-Kampff device to make sure that I haven’t been replaced by a very convincing android.

I wish it would happen more often though, because it reminds me that the other side of the aisle wasn’t always a dystopian mirror dimension.

Or maybe it always was and I’m just nostalgic for a time when I didn’t know any better. :thinking:


… . The hope of some of the French revolutionaries was that paperwork would rationalize the state, that it would depersonalize power and destroy the corrupt networks of aristocratic influence. Kafka quotes from a 1791 French administrative directory that advised that “letters of recommendation will be perfectly useless” in petitioning the government and “might even become dangerous, in that they can foster the belief that one is soliciting a favor or a grace that one does not have the right to obtain through justice.” As Kafka puts it, “A world of privilege was becoming a world of rights; the personal state was becoming the personnel state.”…


Well, my own state has a Green Party senator who was formerly governor, Independent, Green and Libertarian officials in several state and local positions, and we’ve gotten a trumper-heavy population to go along with both ranked choice voting and a state healthcare exchange- So I’m reasonably sure it’s possible since, you know, we’ve actually been doing it. We also have the same kind of poor, white, rural, conservative demographic that seems to spawn hate groups, and yet we seem to have them largely kept in check. We might not have fully broken the duopoly, but we’ve been successful enough that it’s really time to give up the whole “you shouldn’t vote for them because they can’t win because no one votes for them” circular argument.

Seriously- After the DEMOCRAT spoiled the election and gave us our own minitrump, Maine responded by instituting ranked choice voting. After Clinton, the Democrats blamed everyone but their own shit candidate and doubled down on third way centrism. You keep saying that there’s no viable alternative, but Maine is doing it right now. We’ve been doing it.

The bottom line for me is that this kind of fear based voting and commitment to status quo half measures is exactly what allowed our current problems- Nazis included- to bloom and fester in the first place. We can not fight that by continuing to feed it.

And I understand that this is the root of our disagreement: You believe that by fighting for alternative candidates instead of Democrats, I am weakening the resistance against the Nazis. I believe that you are doing that by supporting a slowly degrading status quo. We agree on the goals here- But I think your methods are ultimately counterproductive even if they seem more effective in the short term.

And even that is side stepping my big concerns which are macroeconomics and climate change- Which again I see as folks on this thread trading long term survival for short term safety- But I’m literally past the point of discussing those topics rationally anymore. That leads straight into WE ARE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE IF WE DON’T TAKE DRASTIC ACTION YESTERDAY territory that will just put me in a frothing state of blind rage and terror that’s way beyond civil discussion.

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Congrats on having rank-choice voting! It’s great that some states are getting this done.

But it’s not a circular argument in places that still use first-past-the-post voting systems. As you pointed out, spoilers exist in that system. So don’t tell those of us in other states that we’re imagining it.


Very few states have rank choice voting, or any option beyond FPTP. That being the case, if 10% of progressive votes go to Green party or other third parties, the Nazis win. I find it hard to believe that this is the outcome you desire, but it is the one you are very vehemently arguing for. Again, we have a 2 party system, and will for the forseeable future. The Dems are center to center right, not my favorite, but the other choice is to let fucking Nazis win, which leads to the dehumanization and death of family and friends i love dearly. I will vote Dem, and do so eagerly, if for no other reason than it means life or death for folks who are not straight, cis, white men with money. This is sufficient reason for me. Insisting on purity is an argument from privilege. To many of my people do not have that privilege. If yours do, good for them, but maybe think of those others.