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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #40839

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    (I haven’t yet read Unseen’s The Republicans Want a Right-Wing Dictatorship, which sounds at least somewhat related to my thoughts, below.)

    In the 50/50 US Senate split, one party represents 40-something million more Americans than the other party. Not counting state representatives, this senate count carries unequal representation over to the electoral college in national elections. Because the US Constitution favors less populated states by allotting each state two senators, regardless of its population size. This is also why red states misleadingly fill up most of the country’s election maps with the color red, and it’s one reason why some of our less educated or shallower thinking Americans erroneously believe that red states represent the majority of Americans… “Come on, just look at red vs blue on the map!”.

    Furthermore, since political parties get to run their elections at the state level, most states have chosen to apply their electoral votes in a winner-takes-all party-line fashion, and we all know how we’re historically stuck with only two viable political parties, in every state. (I.e. two parties have a monopoly on our politics and policy decisions, unlike parliamentary systems in other countries where multiple parties can come together into coalitions, by definition usually representing an actual majority of the population.)

    So we Americans, per our Constitution, have *always* been subject to binary, winner-takes-all divisiveness in our politics and elections. Our most contentious issues, when discussed, tend more to be in black and white, right or wrong, left or right terms, rather than having discussions where people can see both sides of their issues and have home that there are ways to compromise with each other. Compromise is not impossible in two-party systems, but strict, institutionalized two-party competition restricts cooperation of parties, in an almost Darwinian fashion of “survival of the most powerful and greedy”. Like sharks that have been around for many more millions of years than other animals, the most greediest and least scrupulous politicians grab the most power for the sake of power, instead of for the sake of their American constituents.

    Gerrymandering, also an institutional process that’s still allowed to dominate our two-party/one-party system — because politicians like to have the power to manipulate vote counts to their advantage — further solidifies and permanentizes a single party’s hold on power.

    So it seems that, in our so-called liberal democracy, our democracy is not just defined better by the term “republic”, but also by the tradition, ala single-party political inertia, that we are “beholden to permanentized one-party power”, that tends to favor incumbents, by flawed, long-term design. I believe we are STUCK with this system of divisiveness and political greed, until we can come together to find some new, creative workaround that doesn’t just evilize each other. We are, after all, mere human beings that must communicate more, more respectfully and more effectively with each other, and we *care* more about each other regardless of the nature of our politics and our *politicians*, before we succumb to destroying each other just because of black-and-white, right-or-wrong, uncompromising political hubris.

    American Liberals, by their nature, tend to be at a disadvantage here, because our idealism errs in favor of tolerance, progressive social thinking, and less demonization of each other. Obviously, there are exceptions to these generalizations, but look around and take stock of where most of the hate and political arrogance is coming from. IMO, we cannot win these political contests by participating in and winning the arrogance and hate wars. They say that “Freedom isn’t free”, which often becomes a mantra for going to war, but I see this mantra more as “The cost of freedom includes the obligation to set good examples”, rather than forcefully dominating others. This is NOT an easy task!

    American Conservatives conserve tradition (and quarterly profits) above social issues. We don’t have longer-term programs like comprehensive and widely accessible public health care to the same extent as other, civilized countries. I’m not sure why I’m mentioning this, other that to point out how differently our parties decide what we should or shouldn’t be spending tax dollars on, although it’s clear (to me) that they currently demonstrate their shamelessness and arrogance of holding onto political power by first denying Obama’s SCOTUS appointment, then appointing their own choice of three justices in the next, Trumpian administration. This, when the majority of Americans voted for the other party instead of Trump.

    Personally, I want to learn more about how we survived our McCarthy Era, because that’s very much how I’m visualizing our current Trump Era.

    #40985

    Belle Rose
    Participant

    Ugh, let’s face it. I knew the day Trump became the Republican nominee he would rip this country to shreds. It has been heartbreaking to watch our people’s ignorance play out these last several years. Mexico here I come! As soon as my son graduates I’m OUTTA HERE!!!! 😂

    #40988

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I think Trump represents the dark side of human nature.  The evangelicals sold their soul to the Devil because he promised them power and influence.  William Lane Craig says that since they followed President Carter, who turned out to be weak, it’s OK to follow Trump, who was known to be selfish, corrupt and destructive, which doesn’t wash.

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