Politicians aren't all the same, even if they all do terrible things

And Kennedy shouldn’t have been happy with the compromise Nixon offered.

But in retrospect he definitely should have accepted it.


Every choice is a compromise. Making a choice - based on what is in front of us - is in no way forgoing future choices and actions that will improve other choices.

Does anyone seriously think that Trump and a Republican dominated Congress will make your country and our world better than the alternative? Because that’s the choice at the moment.

By all means keep holding elected Democrats feet to the fire and keep pressuring them to make better choices. Activate, organize, campaign, lobby whatever. But still make a choice like a fucking grownup. Having a hissy fit because the choice isn’t perfect is just a way of martyring yourself (and your country) on the altar of perfection.


What does that mean? It sounds like you think once your vote is cast you are powerless. If casting your vote is all you do, then you’re right, you’ve only put one or two bits of information into the system. You can’t really expect it to deliver your paradise plan on a silver platter.

So why not hold your elected representatives accountable? I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how. Donate. Volunteer. Dig up the dirt. GOTV. Write letters. Stage a demonstration. If you do none of these things, but continue to complain… then you’re letting the Democrats get away with whatever they want.


Another relevant question is, while we rejected the ACA and waited for “real reform,” how many would have died or gone bankrupt? And were the people holding out for the perfect solution the same people who would have been suffering in the meantime?


I like this article. I think many liberals in America too often let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and hold their elected officials to impossible standards of political (and moral!) purity. It might surprise some readers to know that Justice Stevens, who until his recent retirement was the bastion of the Supreme Court’s left wing, was, and remains, staunchly against flag burning. Does that mean he’s effectively dead to those of us on the left who believe in flag burning as legitimate, government-protected speech? Of course not – because he’s positively contributed so much more that condemning him on a single issue isn’t sufficient to wipe away everything else he’s done.

In practice, politics involves horse-trading and it involves compromise. The relevant question isn’t, “Should we surrender some ideal we value in exchange for something else?” but rather, “What ideal should we exchange?” To begin with the premise that no politician should be compromising is to misunderstand politics. Instead, we should be focusing on what we’re willing to compromise on, and that’s where the devil gets into the details.


In American politics, having the option not to vote for a candidate on principle is a luxury based on privilege and location. At this stage of this particular election, liberal and progressive voters who plan on using that luxury in November are better off not flaunting it.


You’re at risk for verifying the post at hand.[quote=“Brainspore, post:7, topic:86227”]
It is no exaggeration to say that many Americans owe their lives to the frustratingly limited improvement that was the ACA.

How many millions of newly insured Americans did the law create as of 2016? 2015 was 17 million. Sounds pretty successful in that regard.

Seconded. Hard.


The next time someone, anyone, tells you that Canadians hate the Medicare system, tell them that there’s one way that a political party in Canada can make 100% sure that it doesn’t get elected: promise to get rid of Medicare.

Even Harper wouldn’t have dared.


I hear anecdotes from Canadians that their health care system is terrible because they have to wait a long time for things. But would they actually give it up?

Politicians aren’t all the same, even if they all do terrible things
People. People aren’t all the same, even if they all do terrible things.

Part of accepting am imperfect world is accepting imperfect solutions.

Ideological purity just makes you a martyr.


But is the essay addressing “halfway solutions” or “halfway politicians”?

Yes, there are halfway solutions, but that’s not the same as dismissing a person as ‘no good’ because they did something bad in addition to doing good things. It’s unlikely most of us are ever going to have a politician we agree with 100% of the time.


It’s an interesting piece.
In my mind, it all boils down to whether said politician does more harm than good overall.

From a UK politician focus, as that’s what i’m more aware of:

-Even David Cameron, a politician who IMHO has been the worst PM in recent history (even topping Thatcher) has some good points. After all he did allow gay marriage through. But considering that is the only plus point i can think of, he utterly fails overall.

-Tony Blair. Even if you utterly ignore the Iraq debacle, he still did more harm than good, even if he did do a fair bit of good. He laid much of the solid foundations/groundwork for the recent cruelties of Tory governments, particularly against the poor and vulnerable.

-Corbyn, i’m not fully supportive, but he espouses more good than harm so far, so he still has my support overall (NB: that said, not enough for me to be a member) In particular his refusal to want to change the absurdly undemocratic UK voting system is a big negative for me, but the positives outweigh that.

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I didn’t vote in 2000. It remains one of my deepest regrets.

So, according to logic, politicians aren’t the same terrible?

P.S. Everything is fucked, man?

Man, that’s a bummer. It was clooooooooose.

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She says, “This kind of response often has an air of punishing or condemning those who are less radical, and it is exactly the opposite of movement or alliance building.” That assumes that’s the goal of many or even most on the left. Most want to exclude the imperfect, not create an alliance. Americans on all sides crave drama more than anything else, more than nicotine, fat, or sugar. And it’s much more dramatic and exciting to disapprove than to compromise. Thanks to Democrats in the WH, we get a little more comfortable, get over the immediate crisis, then we want more drama. And, explicably, Republicans take over and, lo and behold, create more drama.
Even those on the Left who decry American Exceptionalism have an equivalent belief, that we are exceptionally entitled to be the central character in our TV drama.

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I think making assumptions about another’s goals is inherently selfish and entitled, for you are assuming your goals are same. Aren’t goals individually determined? How are alliances made? Aligning goals. How do you align goals? Assume or ask? I suggest asking first, assuming never, because nine times out of ten, you’re wrong when you assume. I have been.

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Honestly, I think the US antipathy towards universal healthcare is more based on deep cultural differences between the US and the rest of the world than a PR campaign. As a Canadian, you’d pry my universal healthcare out of my cold dead hands, but honestly, I think that the majority of Americans would be unhappy with the compromises that universal healthcare requires.

For example, the outcry of Americans of all stripes against HMO’s dictating what treatments were acceptable and simply refusing certain levels of care because they are too expensive made it clear that Americans aren’t really ready for universal healthcare, which can most closely be considered a HMO from which you are not allowed to opt out of.

I consider offering universal healthcare to all citizens is pretty much requirement of a civilized society. But cultural differences are cultural differences, and I strongly suspect the majority of Americans (who have adequate health insurance) aren’t prepared to give up the considerable benefits of their rather expensive healthcare system simply to ensure that all their fellow countrymen are covered. It doesn’t require a massive PR campaign to persuade people to keep a system that they rather prefer anyway.

I think America should provide healthcare to its citizens as a military add-on program, perhaps then we’d buy it. As a liberal humanist American, I don’t understand, at all, not even the feeble fiscal arguments, why we don’t provide free healthcare for the betterment of our noble, greatest on earth, society. Our America would be stronger and more vibrant if we did. Do you know why we don’t? Profit.

Profit isn’t everything.

I doubt most Americans are benefitting.

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