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Unread 10-12-2016, 09:44 PM   #301
Aerozord
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He wasn't saying be an expert, just have a basic understanding of politics, governing, and economics. Anyways, the issue with what you said is, that means the democratic process is inherently broken. Atleast at this point. If people cannot be informed, because lets be honest finding a non-bias news source is next to impossible, than voting doesn't have much ability to do good. Voting uninformed is either habitual, random, or determined by which candidate has better marketing.

Sure you have a say in how things work but that doesn't mean your participation in the process was a positive influence.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 11:58 PM   #302
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An "ideal" government has never and will never exist. The Democratic system IS inherently broken, and so is every other form of government we've come up with.

The good part of it is, everyone has a say, so if a group of people are having a bad time they can make waves. The bad part is, collectively, people are both "stupid" and really good at finding loopholes and generally ruining everything. Luckily all sides are doing this so we're betting it all on everyone cancelling everybody else out.

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Ideally we'll eventually reach a point where neutral, unbiased Artificial Intelligence ensures meritocratic appointments to all government positions.
A group of people will have to program that artificial intelligence, and they will ruin it.
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Unread 10-13-2016, 12:07 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by MasterOfMagic View Post
A group of people will have to program that artificial intelligence, and they will ruin it.
Maaaan, don't ruin my dreams!
Personally, I think a lot of our anti-AI attitude in movies and whatnot just stems from paranoia and a fear of the unknown, and once we actually have sufficiently decent AI, they'll be awesome and not generally try to overthrow us and establish themselves as robot overlords
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Unread 10-14-2016, 03:23 PM   #304
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Abit off topic but I had a thought. Shouldn't voter fraud be treason? Yea I know legally it isn't, but you are undermining the government by doing it so isn't that by definition treason?
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Unread 10-14-2016, 08:30 PM   #305
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No, Aero. That is not the definition of treason. Tax evasion is not treason. Failure to cut my trees to city code is also not treason.
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Unread 10-15-2016, 01:40 PM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guy View Post
No, Aero. That is not the definition of treason. Tax evasion is not treason. Failure to cut my trees to city code is also not treason.
cutting down your tree isn't actively opposing the government, though refusing to obey eminent domain would be. Though a quick google search, it appear the punishment for tax evasion and voter fraud is comparable.
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Unread 10-15-2016, 07:04 PM   #307
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Aero: 'Treason' isn't just a matter of government subversion -- if it were, then basically anything we'd do that would be against the government's best interests would classify as 'treasonous', and that's dangerous talk.

Treason requires an action of active betrayal and it covers only extreme acts that threaten a nation's sovereignty for a reason. The United States Constitution is even more rigorous than most other nations' in restricting the definition of treason to cases that apply when you're aiding the enemy in times of war.
For these reasons, it's fairly unlikely, for example, that Edward Snowden would be formally and legally accused of 'treason' if he were extradited here. That wouldn't stop many media sources and many politicians from labeling Snowden a traitor, insofar as the common label differs from the legal term (anyone can call you a 'traitor', doesn't mean you actually committed 'treason') but it'd be hard to prove that Snowden deliberately intended to 'give aid and comfort to the enemy' through whistleblowing, as if he was some kind of covert ISIS ally.

Similarly, it's worth noting that lately, the only treason cases tend to be applied against U.S. citizens who committed acts of terror on behalf of foreign entities (ISIS, Al Qaeda, etc.) or who aided and abetted foreign national terrorists.
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Unread 10-17-2016, 10:37 PM   #308
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Dreadful we were always at war with Eurasia

I'm starting to wonder if general voters can state three reasons for their chosen candidate that are positive, involve no mention of other candidates, and contain no mudslinging.

It often gets joked that party lines are combat lines. I feel like that's more true than not this time.

edit: the hackneyed phrase of "lesser of two evils" with respect to voting also comes to mind
but
like
Which one will fuck our country up the least in the next four years? and why is that a seemingly valid decision criteria?!
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Last edited by synkr0nized; 10-17-2016 at 10:40 PM. Reason: left out explicitly stating which candidate I am definitely NOT for, as this isn't about my vote specifically
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Unread 10-18-2016, 04:30 AM   #309
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WTF The false equivocations of Hillary and Trump as both 'very bad' infuriates me

Quote:
Originally Posted by synkr0nized View Post
I'm starting to wonder if general voters can state three reasons for their chosen candidate that are positive, involve no mention of other candidates, and contain no mudslinging.

It often gets joked that party lines are combat lines. I feel like that's more true than not this time.

edit: the hackneyed phrase of "lesser of two evils" with respect to voting also comes to mind
but
like
Which one will fuck our country up the least in the next four years? and why is that a seemingly valid decision criteria?!
1: We're overdue for our first female President and that milestone, in and of itself, would be worth pursuing even if Hillary was running against a white male clone of her with identical credentials and the same personality.

2: Even though I disagree with her on many substantive issues, there's no doubt that Hillary's the smartest policy nut we'd have in the White House since FDR or Nixon. But she's a Democrat centrist with better values than Nixon, so she has that going for her. Really, I mean this a genuine compliment -- no matter how much I may disagree with her on any particular issue I'm at least quite pleased with the knowledge that Hillary knows her stuff, knows exactly what she's talking about, and has researched and studied every eventuality of every consequence. Our disagreements subsequently stem from my unwillingness to accept certain centrist, moderate, 'hawkish' values she holds dear, but it's still a net positive that I have faith in her ability to analyze situations and make solid, if somewhat unexciting, decisions in the vast majority of cases.

3: Hillary's pro-choice.

4: She was a bit late to the party, but there's no reason now to question that Hillary is an ally of the LGBT community.

5: She favors sensible regulations related to gun control and would almost certainly go even further towards limiting the scope -- if not outright repealing -- the second Amendment if it was politically not-suicide and feasible in this country to do so.

6: Hillary and her team of foreign policy experts have correctly deduced that Putin and Russia are assholes, the biggest present-day threats to American interests abroad, and are willing to oppose them to such an extent that Putin's practically declared war on her candidacy and is willing to intervene to stop her.

7: Hillary will not dramatically slash the budgets of important federal agencies like the EPA, or work to hinder federal agencies from regulating as they should. Given that the vast majority of government work is handled by these agencies and not the President or his/her staff, it's worth noting that a vote for Hillary isn't just a vote for her, but a vote for the continued day-to-day operations of the federal government as a whole in providing all the services we desperately need; infrastructure, combating climate change, education...

8: Hillary will not abolish Obamacare, which is vitally important to provide health insurance for millions upon millions of people in this country.

9: Hillary acknowledges the existence of both explicit racism and implicit racial bias, which is important in any leader in a multiracial country like ours that's struggling with issues stemming from white privilege and the oppression of various minority groups. You'd be surprised how much she sounds like a stereotypical internet social justice warrior on various social topics. (And I mean that as quite a compliment, inevitable Tumblr jokes aside.)

10: In regards to prison issues, Hillary wants to limit mandatory minimums in sentencing and she wants to end private prisons -- or, failing that, at least significantly curtail their profit motives. Those are both good positions.

11: In October 2015, Hillary came out and directly advocated the termination of any and all prison sentences throughout the country as a result of marijuana possession. I suppose it'd still be illegal in most states under her, but that's an important policy position too, given how marijuana sentencing is so disproportionate against minorities.

12: She wants to dedicate $100B per year to climate change mitigation and adaptation and that is incredibly important to communities in coastal areas that will be severely impacted by climate change. She also wants to make substantial investments into the solar industry and other renewable sources of energy -- her claim of half-a-billion solar panels strikes me as ambitious but hey, at least she has a plan.

I'm not going to angrily try to convince progressives to like Hillary. I find it's a strenuous battle to do so, in large part because she's one of the more moderate figures in the party with centrist views that don't fit the increasingly progressive growth of the Democratic party, but it's unfortunate to reflect upon how many progressives actually buy into attacks that stem from conservative sources on her just because they dislike her.

Forget about comparing her to Trump, she'd be a decent President in her own right. Better than George W. Bush by a country mile, and not significantly different than Obama, who's been a flawed President but who has restored America's economy, provided major victories for liberals and generally made the right decision more often than not when push came to shove.

If Hillary really represents four more years of Obama's administration -- and it's surprisingly accurate to view her in that light given the sheer number of Obama administration folks she'd retain in some capacity in Washington (just as Obama brought back many of Bill Clinton's, as well as recommendations from Hillary to fill out his staff) -- it's really worth reflecting on how that totally is not a terrible thing on its own merits, and would be an objectively decent outcome even if Republicans nominated a Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush or John Kasich this year and not a Donald Trump.

Like, please -- progressives, just read her actual policy positions on the issues. Don't just say you dislike her without doing a modicum of research. She isn't that bad! She's not great, either, but it's bizarre how many progressives I know are treating her as a significant step down from Obama. Neither she nor Obama are true proto-socialists in the style of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren with the potential to revitalize and revolutionize the left, but they're pretty standard, ordinary left-of-center Democrats who'll generally make things better and not make anything worse in your day-to-day life.

It isn't a matter of two awful possibilities, with one of those awful outcomes being less awful than Trumpageddon.
It's Trumpageddon versus an altogether decent Democrat who'd materially improve our lives if she were President.
Sure it ain't perfect -- perfection is rarely an option we're ever given in any facet of life -- but atrocious drone strikes in places like Yemen aside, it's a status quo the world as a whole can live with.
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Last edited by Solid Snake; 10-18-2016 at 04:34 AM.
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Unread 10-18-2016, 03:03 PM   #310
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Too many paragraph breaks, 3/10 possible SnakeWalls™ (SnekWall?) but points for measured rational arguments and sincerity
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