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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Is the Republican party conservative? on: October 21, 2016, 01:38:40 pm
I don't know about "conservative" seeing as that that is an incredibly broad and poorly defined term (even more so than "liberal" which at least has - or rather, had - an actual, at least vaguely coherent (though still with many quite different meanings in practice, over time and place) theory of politics behind it) which only make a lick of sense in specific contexts - of which there are obviously countless different possibilities.

However, the Republican Party is certainly right-wing, and the far-right influences are increasingly noticeable and aggressively asserting themselves these days. So that's the only thing that we really can say for sure without getting into tiresome political label games.
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Socially Liberal, Fiscally Conservative or the reverse? on: October 21, 2016, 09:48:53 am
using "fiscally liberal" to describe left wing economics is beyond bizarre.

Not if you want to equate left-wing economics with financial irresponsibility. Which of course, is the whole point.

Anyway, I've said this before, but people who describe themselves as "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" are usually just Republican voters who don't want to look like bigots.
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Evangelicals without Standards on: October 19, 2016, 11:10:22 am
An Evangelism movement borne out of post 60's boomer hedonism that promotes the self, and self fulfillment and a 'personal' relationship with God above all things, without standards? Surely some mistake.

Those definitely are defining features of the late 20th/early 21st century white* evangelical Protestant movement as a whole, but the kinds of evangelicals who are voting Trump (and honestly, some of those whom have voted Republican all this time -  though many of the latter definitely have more obviously selfish economic reasons on account of their social class) put much more emphasis on not-so-subtle racism and sexism, nostalgia for the Confederate States of America and the pre-civil rights era, and aggressive nationalism.

These are the voters who are more "cultural" or "political" evangelicals -  in that their (white) culture and (right-wing) politics trumps (no pun intended) their religious convictions (to the extent that they have any genuine or remotely consistent religious convictions). These are the voters who believe that Obama's Presidency is illegitimate and that the election is rigged against Trump. And if the opinion polls from the primaries are anything to go by, many of Trump's most hardcore white evangelical supporters aren't even reliable in terms of church attendance. So much for "consistency.."

*Note the conspicuous absence of black, Latino, Asian, and other non-white evangelicals in this discussion. It's almost as if race is relevant here...
4  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Why are working class whites so often defined as "whites without a degree?" on: October 18, 2016, 02:13:49 pm
Specifically a Bachelor's degree. By this definition, many business owners and lower-level and even middle-level management types (particularly older/retired ones) are "working class' in spite of the fact that they have higher-than-the-median incomes and own decent amounts of wealth and property.  And the majority of those of this demographic who vote Republican are not only white, but white men.  And they also tend to be rural/exurban, Southern (or in regions with significant Southern/"American" ancestry), evangelical Protestant, married/married-with-children...you get the idea. Lots of variables other than not having a Bachelor's degree that can contribute to white people voting heavily Republican.

Furthermore, many people (including many white people - particularly the younger generation) with university degrees have relatively modest incomes - and some are outright in or near poverty. And even those who aren't are often far from economically secure, especially considering how the Great Recession and the recent exacerbation of economic inequality in general have made it very difficult for young people in general to build wealth (even taking into account the fewer working years that they've had in their lives so far). And even many of those young people who are both highly educated and high-income spend much of their income on basic living expenses i.e. rent, food, etc. (considering that prohibitively expensive major cities/metros are where the highest-paying jobs are concentrated these days...). So while many of the young, highly-educated and high-income people are indeed in a far better position to be well-monied and economically secure as they progress in their careers, their lives right now don't necessarily reflect that reality (and that's not even going into the albatross of student-loan debt...).

Not surprisingly, most of the people whom I described in the previous paragraph are quite liberal, and skew the Democratic Party's advantage among college-educated whites in presidential-year elections (note the qualification; Republicans have been winning college-educated whites in recent midterms precisely because so many of the younger, less economically secure voters sit out those elections).

Finally, even granting the fact that yes, many less-educated, modest-income whites do vote Republican (and again, usually overlap with all more most of the most conservative demographics, especially in recent decades), I'm not at all convinced that this is the "base" of the Republican Party. Considering that the most reliably Republican voters (and not just in presidential elections, and not even just in presidential primaries, but at all levels of government in aggregate) skew wealthier, propertied, white-collar professionals/managers/businessmen/self-employed, and yes, college-educated  - and that all of this is even more true of the major donors who bankroll the Party - it's hard for me to take anyone who thinks that "working class whites" are the "base" of the 21st century Republican Party seriously.

Unless, of course, one has ulterior motives...why are do many college-educated, economically secure (white) pundits - of all political stripes - in the major urban centers of the United States promote a simple meme about a certain segment of Republican voters that is, at best, very complicated (and even flat-out wrong in some cases)? It's almost as if certain people want the "disreputable" or "deplorable" Right (see: Donald Trump's supporters) to fit a certain caricature that exists mostly, only  in their minds ...

makes u think
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: New Clinton email leaks on: October 17, 2016, 08:25:51 pm
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Trump suggests that voting non-citizens made Dem/Obama victories possible on: October 17, 2016, 08:24:32 pm
Completely within the mainstream of Republican voter opinion.
7  General Discussion / History / Re: Has there ever been a LESS QUALIFIED Republican nominee than Donald Trump? on: October 11, 2016, 07:01:20 pm
8  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Opinion of GNOSTIC CHRISTIANITY on: October 11, 2016, 03:44:09 pm


9  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / "Spiritual but not religious" and "I'm not religious, I just follow Jesus!" on: October 11, 2016, 12:09:31 pm
These two viewpoints are strikingly similar in many ways.

Both are, at the very least, suspicious of traditional (Christian) religion and all that that traditionalism entails; denominationalism, more formal/traditional liturgy, confessionalism, an emphasis on religious communities' historical roots, and so on. Both put personal (emphasis) on spiritual "experience." Both are extremely individualistic - which, amusingly, leads to the situation where everyone ends up doing the same thing substantively in spite of superficial differences in personal expression and stylistic preferences. Both are rooted, fundamentally, in American evangelical Protestantism (and, despite the ahistorical consciousness of their adherents, both certainly have historical roots that go as far back as the Second Great Awakening). And both have grown rapidly in popularity within the past four or five decades in the United States, and among the same demographics, more or less: young, white, middle-class "seekers" who feel, for one reason or another, alienated from the historical local/regional cultural traditions (or frankly, what's left of them) of the United States.

Finally, neither perspective is particularly original or clever, although I'm sure many of the people who say these buzzwords feel otherwise. But from my perspective, secular, Western New Age "spiritualism" and contemporary, non-denominational, "I only need Jesus!" evangelical Protestantism are two sides of the same coin. And that coin is so utterly ignorant of history (even its own) and so lacking in self-awareness that it's actually rather hilarious. Though still obnoxious, of course.

Just remember: the Jesus movement started in the late 1960s and 1970s on the West Coast (particularly in places like San Francisco). As if we needed any more evidence...

10  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: Which state is more socially conservative? New Hampshire or Maine? on: October 09, 2016, 01:03:07 pm
Maine. The Republican base in New Hampshire is well-heeled exurbanites, and not, generally, the jmfcst kind.

Not that those are by any means mutually exclusive, of course.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Is "Hot micgate" Trump's 47% moment? on: October 07, 2016, 10:51:30 pm
They let you do it.

That's consent.

You must be quite a hit with the ladies.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Congrats, not-completely-deranged Republicans on: October 07, 2016, 09:41:07 pm
Your party's nominee is well on his way to self-destructing completely by November.  You have a chance to redeem your party, however; my only word of advice is that those of you who haven't already need to run as far, far away from this explosive diarrhea as humanly possible or risk losing any hope of a near-term political future in presidential elections (at the very least) that hasn't already been snuffed out by this campaign.

Godspeed, GOP friends and adversaries alike!
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why do so many white supremacist leaders and groups proudly support Trump? on: October 04, 2016, 02:55:21 pm
Seems odd that the presidential nominee of one of America's two major political parties is getting the unashamed endorsement of actual Nazis/Stormfronters/Klansmen, etc. I don't remember many of these people endorsing or even voting for Mitt Romney, John McCain, or George W. Bush, for example.

That's funny, because I certainly do. The Republican Party has been an instrument of white supremacy for a long time.

Point taken, but it's never been as widespread and explicit as it is now. And unlike in previous elections, not only are the proud white supremacsts enthusiastically voting for and endorsing the Republican nominee, but a very significant number of them are actively working to get him elected, whether through volunteering or joining leadership and staff positions at all levels of his campaign. That, I am convinced, is unprecedented for a Republican nominee.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Why do so many white supremacist leaders and groups proudly support Trump? on: October 04, 2016, 10:30:00 am
Why is that so surprising? Huh

Honestly I'm curious re: the below:

I know that there are some Trump supporters here so I'm sure that they can explain to me why this is the case.
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Why do so many white supremacist leaders and groups proudly support Trump? on: October 04, 2016, 10:13:38 am
From the outset of his campaign, Trump has been endorsed by various white nationalist and white supremacist movements and leaders.[483][484] On February 24, 2016, David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon, expressed vocal support for Trump's campaign on his radio show.[485][486][487][488] Shortly thereafter in an interview with Jake Tapper, Trump repeatedly claimed to be ignorant of Duke and his support. Republican presidential rivals were quick to respond on his wavering, and Senator Marco Rubio stated the Duke endorsement made Trump un-electable.[489] Others questioned his professed ignorance of Duke by pointing out that in 2000, Trump called him a "Klansman".[490][491] Trump later blamed the incident on a poor earpiece he was given by CNN. Later the same day Trump claimed that he had previously disavowed Duke in a tweet posted with a video on his Twitter account.[492] On March 3, 2016, Trump stated: "David Duke is a bad person, who I disavowed on numerous occasions over the years. I disavowed him. I disavowed the KKK."[493]

On July 22, 2016 (the day after Trump's nomination), Duke announced that he will be a candidate for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana. He commented, "I'm overjoyed to see Donald Trump and most Americans embrace most of the issues that I've championed for years." A spokesperson for the Trump campaign said Trump "has disavowed David Duke and will continue to do so."[494]

On August 25, 2016, Clinton gave a speech saying that Trump is "taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party."[495] She identified this radical fringe with the "Alt-right", a largely online variation of American far-right that embraces white nationalism and is anti-immigration. During the election season, the Alt-right movement has "evangelized" online in support of racist and anti-semitic ideologies.[496] Clinton noted that Trump's campaign chief executive Stephen Bannon has described his Breitbart News Network as "the platform for the alt-right."[495] On September 9, 2016, several leaders of the alt-right community held a press conference, described by one reporter as the "coming-out party" of the little-known movement, to explain their goals.[497] They affirmed their racialist beliefs, stating "Race is real, race matters, and race is the foundation of identity."[498] Speakers called for a "White Homeland" and expounded on racial differences in intelligence. They also confirmed their support of Trump, saying "This is what a leader looks like."[498]

Richard Spencer, who runs the white nationalist National Policy Institute has said "Before Trump, our identity ideas, national ideas, they had no place to go", while the chief editors of the Neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer stated "Virtually every alt-right Nazi I know is volunteering for the Trump campaign.[499]


Seems odd that the presidential nominee of one of America's two major political parties is getting the unashamed endorsement of actual Nazis/Stormfronters/Klansmen, etc. I don't remember many of these people endorsing or even voting for Mitt Romney, John McCain, or George W. Bush, for example.

I know that there are some Trump supporters here so I'm sure that they can explain to me why this is the case.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: When will America have a presidential election... on: October 02, 2016, 06:40:41 pm
When the Republican Party stops being a dangerously misanthropic and nihilistic party of demagogues and returns to being a functional party that has even a sliver of respect for human life* - even if they and the Democrats passionately disagree with each other on many policy issues, as I'm sure they will continue to do so indefinitely.

*As opposed to their current sanctimonious posturing about being "pro-life" even though they have repeatedly demonstrated that they range from being rather indifferent to the suffering of members of the socially disenfranchised and marginalized to actually actively wanting people to suffer out of some perverse desire for "punishment' that easily crosses into the sadistic.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Seriously, my fellow lefties... on: October 02, 2016, 06:27:52 pm
OK, can we stop with this now? It's clear no one is being convinced and I don't think more holier-than-thou posturing and creative name-calling is going to change things. It's especially silly considering that, if you want to argue for voting on purely rational grounds, you will lose. Pretty much everybody who has studied the issue agrees that the only "rational" vote is not to vote at all. So we've got to accept that anyone's reasons for voting are fundamentally emotional. That doesn't mean there isn't a right choice to an election (and yes, in 2016, this choice is clearly Hillary), but it means it makes no sense to call people "selfish" or "special snowflakes" when they are just doing what they think is right.

I think there's a quite a bit of room between "voting on purely rational grounds" and "not voting for the only candidate who has any chance of stopping a psychopathic admirer of despotic regimes from gaining power", but that's just me.

Regardless, the world doesn't revolve around me, you, or anyone else's concept of an ideal candidate. Sometimes, we have to suck it up and do something that we may not necessarily want to do for the greater good - or, in this case, so that the entire world isn't burned to the ground. This isn't hard thing to figure out.

And for those who say "the lesser of two evils is still evil": even if that applied in this case (and I'm not convinced that it does; Clinton may be immensely frustrating but Trump is unambiguously horrific to the point of being unthinkable) the principle of triage demands that the more urgent wound/danger/threat to the body (or in this election, the world) that can potentially be successfully treated ought to take priority. And the priority in this election is recognizing that the world cannot survive a Donald Trump Presidency and act accordingly. I'm not joking.  He's absolutely unprecedented in American history, and seeing as the United States is the most powerful country in the world, and the President of the United States is the single most powerful person in the world...well, the conclusion draws itself.

America and the world can (and in all likelihood, will) survive a Clinton Presidency, even if either or both suffer to one degree or another. And even granted all of that, there will still likely be some undeniably positive things about a Clinton Presidency. None of this can be said about Trump, certainly not with any degree of confidence.

What I'm saying here is that I'd rather vote for the person who at least attempts to put out the fire - regardless of how ineptly or corruptly - rather than the person who has repeatedly promised to pour gasoline on it. But apparently a lot of people disagree. *shrug*
18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Don't vote for Johnson because ISIS is Nader's fault on: October 02, 2016, 02:37:52 pm
I blame George III for ISIS

No George III - No American Revolution - No America - No Bush

You mean President George III, AKA George W. Bush? It settles it: no Bush means no Bush. Shocked

Wouldn't he technically have been George II? Tongue
19  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Don't vote for Johnson because ISIS is Nader's fault on: October 02, 2016, 02:35:20 pm
The "both sides are equally terrible" crowd seriously need to get over themselves. And they need a reality check as well.

PS: I think the mere possibility of a Donald Trump Presidency is absolutely a great reason to vote for Hillary Clinton. Unless, of course, you think that it makes no difference whether the US elects Clinton or a petulant, thin-skinned, unqualified, racist, misogynistic, psychopathic, and willfully ignorant manchild who is a documented serial fraud/con man, makes George W. Bush look intellectually formidable and accepting of inconvenient facts, and would quite plausibly bring the US as close if not closer to nuclear war than the Cuban Missile Crisis did.
20  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: How do ex-Catholics vote? on: October 01, 2016, 02:43:41 pm
Likewise I really doubt that many Catholic to Mainline Christians are country club Republicans like the stereotype might suggest.

Catholic-to-mainline converts? Who converts to mainline Protestant denominations these days?  Wink

(Other than perhaps some more liberal-minded Catholics, I think that mainline Protestants converting to Catholicism is more of a thing. For example, many of the Episcopalians who value the Catholic aspects of traditional Anglican doctrine and practice would be among that group, just as many of the Episcopalians who value the Protestant aspects of traditional Anglican doctrine and practice convert to Evangelical and/or non-Evangelical traditional and confessional Protestant groups. And both of these groups within the Episcopal Church are often politically and socially conservative. Hence, why so many of them are leaving the denomination. Tongue ).
21  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of white people having fun in North Korea on: September 29, 2016, 03:54:55 pm
Anything beginning with "opinion of white people" = HP

Racism is fun!
Huh Who's being racist?

Edgy, as always!

LLR, I don't think you'd actually believe that, but how would the same joke with a different race be received?  Rightfully horribly, as should this.

     It is true; it says something about public perception of race when whites are the only group of people that it is socially acceptable to make fun of based on their skin color.

Let me know when making fun of white people is paired with centuries of violence, intimidation, disenfranchisement, and publicly and socially sanctioned discrimination that has destroyed and continues to destroy (or at the very least, adversely affect) the lives of an entire social group.

This concern trolling about "reverse racism" is utterly tiresome.
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of white people having fun in North Korea on: September 29, 2016, 03:50:53 pm
ITT: white people thinking that they can be victims of racism too

The whole (modern) concept of "race" is historically inseparable from the ideology of white supremacy. And furthermore, the notion that racism exists against white people is self-refuting because the concept of "whiteness" is likewise historically inseparable from the ideology of white supremacy. And for there to be supremacy, there has to be the opposite of supremacy: subjugation, marginalization, oppression.

Those who are socially (because race is socially mediated) considered "white" and accept that designation but simultaneously deny that white supremacy and racism in American society are inseparable are being intellectually dishonest. And whites who claim to be victims of racism themselves are not only being dishonest, they are also insulting those who experience actual racism and oppression. But I'm sure this post will be either ignored or attacked by those who would rather not have their precious feelings hurt by someone pointing out social and historical reality.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Blue collar whites are not registering at high levels, Hispanics may be surging on: September 29, 2016, 03:14:43 pm
"Blue collar" whites =/= Trump's base.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Johnson: Lincoln was a third-party candidate in 1860 on: September 29, 2016, 11:52:16 am
3rd Party candidate has never won? Hmm...Abraham Lincoln?


The stupid...it burns...
25  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: The Democrats are the party of the rich (the Bloombourgeoisie) on: September 28, 2016, 09:37:40 pm
My social circle are households which are net worth ranging from around $5 mil to $20 million

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