Both Sides!

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.


With all due respect, that is exactly how I feel about you. I believe you are sincere, and I believe that you are very afraid for yourself and your loved ones, and I agree that that is a real and valid concern- One which I also share. Fuck- I’m not even saying your argument is wrong, I’m saying it doesn’t go past the now.

Because I am also convinced that perpetuating the two party system (admittedly one of several factors) only serves to reinforce the conditions which created those dangers in the first place. My chief disagreement with you is that I don’t believe we can actually end the Nazis as long as the power structures which incubated them are still intact. If we continue to empower the moderate Democrats, then yes, I agree we will beat the Nazis for a little while, and they will pop up again, and we will have to beat them again, and the cycle continues until our biosphere is no longer inhabitable because we were so busy fighting century old fascist bullshit that we did fuckall about climate change. I’m not discounting the threat- I’m saying that your solution isn’t one. It’s a bandaid over an untreated infection.

All I can think of is someone staying in an abusive relationship because they are legitimately worried their partner will kill them if they try to leave. Yes, if they leave they will probably try- And if they stay, they will eventually succeed. It’s choosing between a genuine risk of getting killed versus a long term certainty of it.

Again, I feel like we agree on the goal, which is to eliminate the Nazis and keep our people safe. My problem with your argument isn’t the motivation or the intention, or even whether it will help- It’s that I firmly believe it is trading our own short term safety at the expense of the next generation’s survival. My approach is absolutely not without flaws or inherent dangers, but I genuinely believe yours gets more of our people killed over the long run and I can’t accept that.

And again, the third party solution I’m arguing for is something we’re already doing in Maine of all places. Like, it’s hard to describe just how much of a backwater red state this is outside of the southern coast. We’re still doing it. I drive past dozens of trump 2024 flags every day, and we still managed RCV before New York or California. Better alternatives are absolutely possible right now, if people would just do it.

One day Mal-2 asked the messenger spirit Saint Gulik to approach the Goddess and request Her presence for some desperate advice. Shortly afterwards the radio came on by itself, and an ethereal female Voice said YES?
“O! Eris! Blessed Mother of Man! Queen of Chaos! Daughter of Discord! Concubine of Confusion! O! Exquisite Lady, I beseech You to lift a heavy burden from my heart!”
“I am filled with fear and tormented with terrible visions of pain. Everywhere people are hurting one another, the planet is rampant with injustices, whole societies plunder groups of their own people, mothers imprison sons, children perish while brothers war. O, woe.”
“But nobody wants it! Everybody hates it.”
At which moment She turned herself into an aspirin commercial and left The Polyfather stranded alone with his species.


Ohhhhhh, you’re arguing that all other states should change to rank-choice or similar AND THEN vote for the best candidates instead of just the better of the two main parties?!

In that case, we agree. That was not clear because you never said the first part out loud. It sure sounded like you were suggesting we vote for third parties WITHOUT changing our voting systems first.