Calling all Trump Supporters and MAGAs

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well the thing is that in America the vote for presidency are being distorted on purpose by the electoral college. India, the biggest democracy on the planet, has such a college too - but it can have up to 4896 members instead of 538 in America.

Most other democracies either use one of these two approaches to elect the head of the government/state,

a) direct vote by the people, like in France,
b) direct vote by the members of the parliament, like in the United Kingdom.

In 2016 the Washington Post ran an article about "Is the electoral college fair?", and came to the conclusion that it misrepresents, but not as much as some people might think so. But still California, where around 12% of the US population lives, has not so much weight as it otherwhere would have maybe. That's the idea behind it, to give smaller states a fair voice.

Anyway, this article is also enlightening, where they calculated the outcome of all elections since 2000 using different approaches:

a: direct election by popular vote, outcome would be 2000 Al Gore, 2004 George W. Bush, 2008&2012 Barack Obama, 2016 Hillary Clinton
b: share votes in the electoral college, quite interesting, because in 2000 Al Gore would have 262 votes, 13 Nader, 263 Bush, so both of them would need some support of Nader's camp,
2004 clearly George W. Bush, 2008&12 Barack Obama, 2016 268 Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson 2, McMullin 1 and Trump 267. So neither Clinton or Trump would become president wihout some support.
c: using the parliament to vote: 2000&2004 Bush, 2008 Barack Obama, 2012 Mitt Romney.
 

Innula Zenovka

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And, if 80 percent of the population lives in urban areas, why is it so damned difficult to elect a progressive government?
It's all in Marx and Engels, 150 years ago:

The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.

The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated population, centralised the means of production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments, and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier, and one customs-tariff.

The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?

They got their future predictions badly wrong (and Lenin and later Stalin mangled them even more) but their basic insights into the operations of capitalism seem quite sound.

In this reading, capitalism sees agricultural land simply as a resource to supply food that can be sold at a profit to feed the industrial (and now business and IT) workers, who operate the systems and produce the goods that generate more profit.

Rural and agricultural areas, in consequence, become treated like any other third-world country ("shithole countries," as some American politicians have called them), ruled over by corrupt colonial administrators and governors who run them for the benefit of the colonialists and exploit them any way they can, while trying to keep the rural proletariat in line by fomenting intercommunal hostility and by congratulating the favoured group on how much better they are than their despised rivals.

I've recently been reading a fascinating book by the historian Mark Mazower, Hitler's Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe. Hitler's determination to bring up the living standards of Germans to something similar to those enjoyed by Americans is well-known, as is the debt the Nazis owed to American eugenicists and the legislators who had provided model legislation to prevent from having any offspring (or, indeed sexual relationships at all) those whom they considered unworthy of reproducing themselves.

What's perhaps less well-known is that he saw Poland, Ukraine and Russia west of the Urals as unclaimed fertile land, ripe to be cleared to the indigenous inhabitants by genocide or neglect, and given to German pioneers to farm on their own homesteads, possibly with the assistance of some Ukrainian or Polish slaves, and the remaining Russians and Ukrainians kept confined to their own reservations or confined to Siberia and Russia east of the Ural mountains.

He himself apparently frequently made the comparison with American expansion west of the Mississippi.

It's also very interesting indeed to read the arguments that went on within the SS at a very senior level about planning for life after a German victory. Apparently there was a huge, and continuing, fight between the racial purists, who wanted their vision of a monocultural Aryan Germany, where German farmers and pioneers farmed the land, and the more pragmatic planners who argued that this was all very well in theory but, as a matter of simple economic fact, a victorious and expanded Germany could look forward to self-sufficiency in food, or an advanced industrial and service-based economy with a standard of living to rival that of the USA, or to a racially pure and Aryan Reich, but not to all three at once.

That rather reminded me of more contemporary debates on both sides of the Atlantic.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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I disagree. The USA have a whole arsenal of betraying their voters at their disposal, like e.g. gerrymandering, really bad voting machines, and deleting voters in the electoral registers for invented reasons. For example Jeb Bush in 2000 deleted ten thousands of black voters, because he claimed they've commited crimes and were convicted, which is enough in Florida to loose the right to vote. Of course all of this was just invented. Millions of votes are never counted every election as well.

Or in New York City when the candidates back then were Clinton and Bernie Sanders, there were in Brooklyn alone 126.000 people deleted out of the registers, which would have preferred Sanders. And so on and on... the methods are something you would expect in Paraguy under Stroessner, but not in America.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast for example thinks, that the Interstate Crosscheck was abused by GOP to delete voters which would have not voted for Trump; anyway according to him over 7.2 million voters are in this list:


Palast also talked with Obama about his elections; Obama was aware about the theft of votes, Palast says, in the million range. Therefore Obamas plan was to have such a high majority, that this theft doesn't matter. Palast himself estimates it to be in the six million range.

And so on and on... just read this books by Greg Palast:
 
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Kara Spengler

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God bless you thread drift!!!

Not being sarcastic, I just love it.
I was in a class the other day and during a lull tried explaining SLU/VV1 to the instructor and how our threads drift (especially given the high proportion of people who are pretty deep in the weeds on different things here). I do not think I was very successful.
 

danielravennest

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I am quite sure that the people of Detroit for example are quite a lot different compared to New York. Just because somebody lives in an urban area doesn't mean that he's progressive by default.
Quite so. My brother lives in New York City, and listens to right-wing talk radio.
 

Kara Spengler

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Data caps are definitely BS, especially on mobile. Which is part of why I am skeptical of the idea that 5G will replace everything including your home connection.

20-25GB is a joke for anyone who uses their mobile, and it's even more of a joke on the shared plans they have now.

I will say though, even with 5 people who stream a LOT, we barely hit the 1TB cap level.
What gets me is storage limits on cloud services. Usually it is in the 5 GB range. I have single files that are larger than that.

If it is some random cloud storage, fine. What irks me is when it is someplace like Apple, where they already have a customer base that has paid a pretty penny to enter the ecosystem. Situations like that should have a base cap like a TB or 2.
 
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Spirits Rising

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What gets me is storage limits on cloud services. Usually it is in the 5 GB range. I have single files that are larger than that.

If it is some random cloud storage, fine. What irks me is when it is someplace like Apple, where they already have a customer base that has paid a pretty penny to enter the ecosystem. Situations like that should have a base cap like a TB or 2.
That crap is why I still use physical media of some sort as my go to for backups or data transfer/storage. I really do need to upgrade and replace the Western Digital external HDD I have right now too - it's a My Passport 1TB unit I bought to replace my ailing (hell it failed before I could finish the final chunk of data transfer - thank Goddess I had a recent backup of that chink on a friend's 4 TB unit) 1TB MyBook (fell over several times, several power drops thanks to crap neighborhood wiring)! I'd love to get a three or four TB unit as a replacement but the bloody things get expensive at that size.

I wouldn't have to worry quite so much if I had a decent remote storage solution I could toss the data at on a temporary basis.
 
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Kara Spengler

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Well, of course just because an area is considered an urban one it doesn't mean everyone there is a Democrat or Progressive. However, it seems to me indisputably the case that, at least in the USA, the large cities -- New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, Houston and so on -- are always considerably to the left of the less densely populated rural areas.

One of the arguments in favour of the electoral college, as I understand it, is that if the President were elected by a straight popular vote, then at least in recent years the Democrats would have won every presidential election easily simply on the strength of the majorities in New York, LA, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago and maybe one or two other big cities, no matter how anywhere else voted.
That argument never made any sense to me. It is basically the minority going 'wah! the group with the most votes won!' ..... how is the group with less votes winning supposed to be better?
 

Kara Spengler

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Brenda brings up a very good point here. Some city cores are being gentrified, often by older people that once fled to the suburbs but now that they are older, have more money and are empty-nesters are moving back into the city in big, expensive condos/high-rises being built for them. I know that it's happening here in my city.

That is bound to change the voting makeup of urban areas, as well.
Gentrification does some strange things too. DC prides itself on its music. One place had been playing that music for years. A condo came into the area and a tenant sued for the store to stop. Instant conflict between locals and the invaders/gentrifiers.
 

Innula Zenovka

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That argument never made any sense to me. It is basically the minority going 'wah! the group with the most votes won!' ..... how is the group with less votes winning supposed to be better?
It's generally thought a good idea, though, to ensure that in large and diverse countries or associations of states, the largest ones don't dominate the show.

The EU's voting rules, for example, on the Council of Ministers (Heads of Government of all EU member states) are drawn up so that, in matters where the rules don't require unanimity, the most populous states aren't able to get measures through without the support of several smaller countries (otherwise France, Germany and the UK would have run the show pretty much unopposed for the last 30 years).

It's a valid concern, but the Electoral College doesn't seem to be much of a solution. Mind you, if you start reconsidering how to elect a president, it might be a good idea to revisit the president's role at the same time, and consider ways of how get rid of him or her in an orderly fashion if necessary, and also to consider the roles of both houses of Congress.
 
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Kara Spengler

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It's generally thought a good idea, though, to ensure that in large and diverse countries or associations of states, the largest ones don't dominate the show.

The EU's voting rules, for example, on the Council of Ministers (Heads of Government of all EU member states) are drawn up so that, in matters where the rules don't require unanimity, the most populous states aren't able to get measures through without the support of several smaller countries (otherwise France, Germany and the UK would have run the show pretty much unopposed for the last 30 years).

It's a valid concern, but the Electoral College doesn't seem to be much of a solution. Mind you, if you start reconsidering how to elect a president, it might be a good idea to revisit the president's role at the same time, and consider ways of how get rid of him or her in an orderly fashion if necessary, and also to consider the roles of both houses of Congress.
It came about as a compromise with slave states.
 

Brenda Archer

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I disagree. The USA have a whole arsenal of betraying their voters at their disposal, like e.g. gerrymandering, really bad voting machines, and deleting voters in the electoral registers for invented reasons. For example Jeb Bush in 2000 deleted ten thousands of black voters, because he claimed they've commited crimes and were convicted, which is enough in Florida to loose the right to vote. Of course all of this was just invented. Millions of votes are never counted every election as well.

Or in New York City when the candidates back then were Clinton and Bernie Sanders, there were in Brooklyn alone 126.000 people deleted out of the registers, which would have preferred Sanders. And so on and on... the methods are something you would expect in Paraguy under Stroessner, but not in America.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast for example thinks, that the Interstate Crosscheck was abused by GOP to delete voters which would have not voted for Trump; anyway according to him over 7.2 million voters are in this list:


Palast also talked with Obama about his elections; Obama was aware about the theft of votes, Palast says, in the million range. Therefore Obamas plan was to have such a high majority, that this theft doesn't matter. Palast himself estimates it to be in the six million range.

And so on and on... just read this books by Greg Palast:
This is true, and part of why I think it’s possible the coup has already happened.

What Innula is saying is also true.

Meanwhile, many people are glued to media and waiting for someone else to be the one who does something.

If someone actually does do something, however ill-advised, they get smeared by the comfortable people who are sitting in armchairs, in nice living rooms, glued to some screen.

When the resistance is too small and too naive, real action tends to land people in jail, where they are useless.

If everyone gets mad enough that mass civil disobedience is a matter of course, it gets better on the ground, but dismantling our police state will probably require some human sacrifice and I can in no way speak lightly of that or of what it means to assist in it, even just to give moral support.

Meanwhile liberal states and cities need to keep building their own rules for doing things their own way, and let the resulting lawsuits between local and federal government force enough media coverage that people see it happening.

Bernie’s machine is an example of the process in microcosm. Little towns in Vermont are direct democracies. When a town meeting legally votes in some resolution, the fascists lose their fallback of claiming it’s an unlawful opinion.

Old leftists tried to seize the means of production. That’s still helpful, but new leftists must seize their local governments.

This is also the fort we must grab to push back at police corruption.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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It came about as a compromise with slave states.
Yes, but that doesn't make the concern invalid. All states of any size have to address the problem of ensuring that smaller or less populous regions or groups of regions don't find themselves effectively locked out of the political process.

I'd say the problem is greatly exacerbated, though, by the fact that the US Constitution concentrates so much power in the hands of person, the President.

To my mind, it's not the kind of problem that can be solved by fixing only one aspect of it, but you can't really do much about the power of the President without doing something about the power of Congress, too.

So at this point, we're rewriting the whole US constitution, which might be an interesting intellectual exercise but seems, in practice, to be the sort of enterprise that would make Brexit look pretty easy and non-contentious, so we're back where we started.
 

Brenda Archer

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I’m only against a Constitutional Convention because the Domininionists want it and god knows what they would do.

I still think we could fix it by giving statehood to DC and PR.
 

Katheryne Helendale

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I'd say the problem is greatly exacerbated, though, by the fact that the US Constitution concentrates so much power in the hands of person, the President.
The President really doesn't have an inordinate amount of power. According to the Constitution, Congress is responsible for keeping him in check. The problem with this particular presidency is that Trump has vastly overstepped the limits of his power, and the GOP-controlled Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, has let him do it. McConnell in particular is guilty of dereliction of his Constitutional duties, and the people who put him in power are perfectly okay with that.
 

Kara Spengler

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The President really doesn't have an inordinate amount of power. According to the Constitution, Congress is responsible for keeping him in check. The problem with this particular presidency is that Trump has vastly overstepped the limits of his power, and the GOP-controlled Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, has let him do it. McConnell in particular is guilty of dereliction of his Constitutional duties, and the people who put him in power are perfectly okay with that.
Exactly, our checks work except when they do not. For example, the supreme court can override things .... but since it is not like it has troops they have no physical way to enforce rules if a president refuses to accept their rulings. The same with the legislature, it is assumed they will not be pawns of the executive branch.
 
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