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James K

James is a government policy analyst, and lives in Wellington, New Zealand. His interests including wargaming, computer gaming (especially RPGs and strategy games), Dungeons & Dragons and scepticism. No part of any of his posts or comments should be construed as the position of any part of the New Zealand government, or indeed any agency he may be associated with.

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129 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Republicans are going to Republican whether they are Trumpists or not. Time and time again, I have seen this from Republicans:

    “I deplore Trump but cannot vote for the Democrats unless they take on the 2012 Republican Party platform.” Then there are the Republicans who agree with Trump but wish he was just not so gung-ho or coarse about it. People who might find concentration camps for kids queasy but also don’t want to encourage what they call “illegal immigration” and what I call refugees seeking asylum. They often perform impressive mental backflips to not understand asylum and refugees or a concept or dismiss the claims as false.

    I can’t say that the past few years has been leaving me feeling warm and fuzzy over the right. Good on Amash for leaving the GOP but the number of true #NeverTrumpers can seemingly fit into a small conference room at the Muncie Marriot.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Consider this, how badly would a Democratic President behave before you’d vote for a Republican candidate? Would Japanese internment have stopped you from voting for FDR?Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to James K says:

        Since any Republican President during WWII also would’ve done internment, I don’t see that as disqualifying.

        Speaking personally, as a social democrat, I’d never vote for a right-leaning candidate since I disagree with 100% of their political positions, but if the Republican Party was like center-right parties across the world, I wouldn’t have abject fear of them in power.

        Like, if lived in New Zealand, I wouldn’t like the National Party, but I wouldn’t think it’s the end of the world if they lost an election and I wouldn’t think anybody that voted for them was a terrible human being.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      No, F*** Castro. He is a piece of shit for doing this. He makes Trump look like the good guy.Report

      • You’re aware this is all public information available from the FEC?Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Michael Cain says:

          I am. That does not excuse what he did in any way. We have seen shooting of Republican politicians, republican politicians beaten in their own homes. If we want to go to a more positive place politically, where we can actually work across the aisle as most here say they want, then you cannot in any way condone this vile shit.

          If Dems want to be the party that should be in charge, they need to start acting like it. Not like a bunch of thugs inciting a mob.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniel's, Supporter Of Elizabeth Warren in reply to Aaron David says:

            This could lead to someone publishing the names of Warren supporters.

            Wouldn’t that be a nightmare!Report

          • Avatar JS in reply to Aaron David says:

            Hmm. Billboard with gun sights hovering over freshman Democrats: Constitutional protected speech “What’s not okay about it?”

            Tweet listing donors taken directly from FEC filings: “What a piece of shit. We can’t in any way condone this vile shit”.

            Interesting pair of statements you made 6 minutes apart.

            I’m confused as to where the line between “Oh that’s okay” and “this is vile shit” is. Would it have been okay if Castro had just placed targets on those donors? Is it the gun imagery that moves it from “vile shit” to “okay”? I would have thought gun imagery is more likely to “incite a mob of thugs”, as you put it, but as I don’t own a gun perhaps they have a calming, soothing effect I’m unaware of.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Aaron David says:

            When Citizens United was decided the supremes and supporters of their decision kept saying that transparency was the antidote to the possibly corrupting influence of money. Money was speech, so more speech, transparent speech was the answer. Cynics at the time pointed out that we weren’t getting a whole lot of transparency since rich folks and even other govs can easily find ways to donate secretly. Well this thing here is transparency, the kind that the supremes said was the answer.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

            To more seriously answer your question:

            Example #1 is constitutional but vile.

            Example #2 is that actions have consequences. This is publically available information. Rep. Castro is just making it easily accessible. If they want to give money to Trump fine but they don’t get to impunity and anonymity as well. People have a right to make informed decisions based on all knowledge.Report

            • Avatar Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              This is just the extension of the freakout over “free speech” on the Right.

              Basically, the Right wants to be able anything they want, donate to whatever right-wing politician they want, and support whatever terrible policies they want, then play the victim if anybody actually criticizes them for any of that.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Michael Cain says:

          All doxxing is based on information which can be found by members of the public.Report

          • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to DensityDuck says:

            How is it doxxing? This information is available from the FEC. They are not donating under pseudonyms. But it’s okay when you are Republican runs deep in the blood I guess.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              It’s very easy to get all kinds of information these days Saul (especially if you know someone’s real name). That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to share it in a public way meant to spark outrage. Let’s not pretend that this was just some innocent thing he did.

              And just so I am clear, I would be just as appalled if a Republican had done it.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              “well that’s not like DOXXING doxxing” is certainly a takeReport

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Saul Degraw says:

              The ENTIRE POINT of the FEC requiring this information is to have it easily available to the public.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                If it’s easily available then why is he amplifying it to his social media followers?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                For the same reason that the Congressional Record is not widely read.
                Is it unfair to quote from it to amplify a Congressman’s statements?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                So you leave political comments on a public chatboard. If I choose to put up a billboard near your neighborhood with some choice quotes, have I don anything wrong?

                I get that the information is available, but putting that information on blast and then doing the ‘what me?’ routine is juvenile at best.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Isn’t a Congressional staffer now serving something like five years for Doxxing members of Congress during (I think) the Kavanaugh hearings?Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to George Turner says:

                I don’t know but I am good with that. I’ve been doxxed before and it was horrible. They threatened my kids and my job. I don’t take this stuff lightly.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                You’re talking to a guy who posts with his real name and photo, so I’m a poor one to ask.

                And as has been pointed out elsewhere, the entire logic of allowing unlimited money in campaigns was that transparency would allow the public to know who is fueling them.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                You’re the perfect one to ask because you make that information ‘easily available’. I would argue that your brave to post here under your real name but it’s also reasonable to expect these conversations to remain here at OT. Me putting them on a billboard crosses into doxxing IMO.

                I’m all for transparency. But I’m also for not using platforms to amplify what is already out there, especially in a negative way.

                Our local political cartoonist gets plenty of letters to the editor complaining about his cartoons. I like his work, but obviously it’s meant to be provocative so push back is to be expected. A few weeks ago a guy sent a letter to the paper that was published, and the cartoonist perceived the letter as racist. So he used his Facebook page to point people’s attention to it. Needless to say, they said some not so nice things and a few people said they knew the guy and were going to make sure others knew about what he said. THAT was crossing the line.

                Playing around with social media and signal boosting is a very dangerous game that I have zero tolerance for.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                There is nothing I say here that I won’t say in public. I might say things here in a more heated manner, but the content remains the same.

                If someone sends a bigoted screed to the local paper, but then gets upset if people find out about that — well what does that say about that person? They want to deploy hate without consequences?

                Certainly bigots want to be able to pick and choose when to present their bigotry. They want to deploy it selectively, to be bigoted when it is safe, but retreat behind pretense when they might face consequences. Obviously they want that. There is no reason we should let them.

                Also note that being “outed” as a bigot is utterly different from being outet as a gay person. I understand very well why bigots and their allies want to conflate those two things. We shouldn’t let them.Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to veronica d says:

                There’s political discourse, which always rolls on, where people wildly denounce or insult blacks, communists, Mexicans, Italians, papists, No-nothings, unions, bosses, Apaches, Southerners, Yankees, gays, or racists. And then there are the moments that history starkly remembers when some idiot escalates to “Hey! I found one! Somebody get a rope!” That’s what Doxxing is.Report

        • Avatar KenB in reply to Michael Cain says:

          The issue isn’t the thing itself, it’s the perceived intent (and/or perceived possible outcome) that causes the disagreements. Imagine how reactions would change on both sides if a Trump-supporting politician posted a list like this of anti-Trump voters in the immediate aftermath of an apparently politically-motivated shooting? It’s all about thinking the worst of our opponents.

          And I can’t point to a specific instance but I have a vague memory that something very like this was done by a GOP politician with similar reactions from (some) folks on the left. EDIT — maybe not a politician, but at least a prominent conservative/republican..Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to KenB says:

            “I have a vague memory that something very like this was done by a GOP politician with similar reactions from (some) folks on the left.”

            Sarah Palin and Gabrielle Giffords, maybe.Report

            • Avatar KenB in reply to DensityDuck says:

              It’s not what I was thinking of, a little different than this specific situation but certainly in the same ballpark of “least charitable interpretation” and over-simplistic cause-effect analysis.Report

      • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Aaron David says:

        My point is proved.Report

        • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Saul Degraw says:

          That you can’t see the difference between loathing someone’s protected political speech and inciting a mob shows me that you and your party are not better than the other team.Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

            I think you just have a cultural misunderstanding.

            South of the border, jobs are often contingent on supporting the right person for office. If you don’t vote how they tell you to vote, you will likely get fired, because if they didn’t want your vote, they wouldn’t have given you a job.

            Worse is having money and supporting the wrong candidate, because your influence, money, and reputation might mislead others into making the same mistake. So that’s a definite red flag that has to be dealt with directly. “Nice daughter you have there, be a shame if something happens to her.”

            So what we have are people in Julian Castro’s district who aren’t supporting Julian Castro. Would it be a shame if something bad happened to them as a result? They need to realize that they’re in his district, and should express all the proper loyalty and gratitude, or they should move somewhere else. Canada perhaps.

            Every traitorous anti-Castro voter, every Trump supporting anti-Hispanic racist (which is the same set) should be singled out and dealt with until order and harmony are restored, so that the Castro family can rule for generations, bringing prosperity to all the loyal campesinos, just like politics in Mexico.Report

          • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Aaron David says:

            Which is which?Report

          • Avatar George Turner in reply to Aaron David says:

            #impeachJoaquinCastro is trending, or not trending, on Twitter. (Twitter puts their thumb on the scales in these dust ups.)

            It seems to have been started by a comedian named Terrence Williams, who seems quite upset. I think his message has 530,000 views.

            The comments seem to be a civil war in microcosm.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      three rageposts in a row, but he censors the swear word because he wouldn’t want people to feel offended or anythingReport

  2. Since we’re talking the US, where the ballots are long, worth mentioning that many people might interpret “don’t vote” as quite different than “don’t vote for president.” Every US House seat is up. One third of US Senate seats. In most states, a lot of state legislative seats. In some states, initiatives and referendums on policy questions. Just because someone might be torn over Trump doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t fill out the rest of the ballot.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Cain says:

      The size of ballots is really long in the United States. In San Francisco besides the normal positions (President, U.S. Rep, Senator, Mayor, Board of Supervisors, State Assembly, State Senate), I get to vote for the City Attorney, the County Assessor, and the Sheriff. Plus school board, community college board, DA, Public Defender, and retention elections for the Superior Court. There are probably positions I am forgetting. This really is too much.Report

      • You left out the dozen or so state and local ballot initiatives :^)

        More seriously, yes, we almost certainly have too many layers of government, and have elections for too many of the positions. Changing that’s an enormous undertaking, though, involving both state and local constitutional changes.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Michael Cain says:

      That’s a fair point Michael, my logic should be applied vote by vote and not ballot by ballot.Report

  3. Avatar JoeSal says:

    Just for the record, how is New Zealand faring in the area of O’Sullivan’s first law?

    All that personal freedom stuff holding up ok, or have yall made a lot of your population criminal through lawfare?Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to JoeSal says:

      Well, our restrictions on abortion are going to be reduced, assisted dying is being debated, and it looks like our urban planning laws might be under review, so I think we’re doing OK on the personal liberty front.

      I mean the recent ban on plastic bags in supermarkets was something we could do without, but all-in-all we’re not doing too bad.Report

  4. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    From the OP:

    “But, and I cannot emphasise this enough, you are under no obligation to vote for one of the main parties…If you can’t stomach the Democratic nominee, but are unwilling to tolerate Trump then look elsewhere.”

    Several of us have expressed the sentiment on this site that we will vote third party if the Dems don’t nominate a candidate we can support. We have been told that voting for a third party candidate is an endorsement of Trump despite this:

    “A total of 138 million people voted in the 2016 US election, the human brain cannot comprehend a number as small as 1/138 million. To give you some context for your odds of changing the election result, 37,461 people died in road accidents in the US in 2016, representing a bit over 102 deaths per day. It is almost certainly the case that many more people died in road accidents going to the polls than actually affected the result. For you to believe your vote has an appreciable affect on the result of the election, you would also have to believe that you are in serious danger of death travelling to get there.”

    We have also been told that everyone knows we’re all going to end up supporting Team Red in the end or that we just want the Dems to embrace an older GOP platform. Well, yeah, that’s sort of how politics work. You look for a candidate you have some agreement with and pull the lever. But I think the proof here is that folks like Saul don’t really see this election as a referendum on the Democratic platform. It’s a referendum on Trump. He wants us to give the Dems a pass on actually having good ideas this time because they are Not Trump. I’m not sure if he has just so embraced the idea of Trump being an existential threat that he doesn’t care what the other side actually wants to do, or if he’s trying to backdoor a Democrat into the Oval Office. Either way…gross.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Why is our excitable Saul more of an exemplar of liberals and the left than more temperate commentors here? Why is AoC and the squad representative of the Democratic Party whereas Connor Lamb and the 50-80 congress critters like him aren’t?Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      If you think I am the left most edge of politics, there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I didn’t say that, but you have been spending a lot of digital ink telling all of the conservatives that we are going to vote for Trump and we will always ‘Republican’. Jesse is far more liberal than you, but it seems like you’re kind of experimenting with being an angry liberal and not just a Left Coast elitist, so that’s cool I guess. Sometimes it’s fun to role-play.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        I’m thinking about a better quip for someone on the left-edge, more along the lines of “I’m so collectivist that if I moved further left I’d have to join an ant colony.”Report

    • Avatar atomickristin in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      I feel less able to vote third party (which I’ve of course as a libertarian I’ve done many times in the past) since a very vocal argument has been “but Hillary won the popular vote!”

      If we’re in the realm of using popular votes to take the pulse of the nation – and Dems seem insistent upon doing so – I cannot and will not vote third party knowing that my voting 3rd party may be used to draw conclusions about my beliefs/desires that are not accurate. I do not want the policies of the far left Democrats enacted, period, end of story, and I won’t allow my vote to be twisted into a mandate I am not giving.

      Thus, even though my vote in Washington State is wasted since it’s a blue state, I feel I must either vote for a Democrat I can stand, or Trump. If the Dems win I want every objection to their policy on record in the public’s vote. If Trump wins via the electoral college I want as many popular votes to be recorded as possible.Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to atomickristin says:

        “If we’re in the realm of using popular votes to take the pulse of the nation – and Dems seem insistent upon doing so – I cannot and will not vote third party knowing that my voting 3rd party may be used to draw conclusions about my beliefs/desires that are not accurate.”

        This. Dems have this idea that the popular vote reflects some kind of collective will that we should feel beholden too. The only reason any of us are wringing our hands is because we know that if we don’t vote Dem we’ll certainly make the mistake of announcing it here and we also know how that will go with some of our Left-leaning fellow commenters.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to atomickristin says:

        Kristin is nailing it here. From the actions of the Dems over the last week of so, I want nothing to do with them politically. They are not showing that they are the moral force needed to correct some sort of free-ranging evil, which is what they are basically accusing the right of. Indeed, with many of the people in this thread praising the actions of Castro, thus tacitly endorsing doxing and other forms of political violence such as Antifa, they are showing they are every bit as awful as they claim Trump to be. And in some cases, worse.

        I am going to vote my conscience, not someone else’s. And if that is the Libertarian candidate, then I am happiest. If that is Trump, I am OK with that.Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to atomickristin says:

        I appreciate this approach, and my third-party votes over the years have been for a similar reason, but I wonder if there’s ever been any measurable effect (outside of political debates) of that kind of argument. At the end of the day, it’s the winners who have the power and they’ll use whatever they can to justify going full steam ahead– IIRC, even GWB found a way to claim a mandate for his policies after the 2000 election.Report

  5. Avatar KenB says:

    This idea that one’s vote is worthless if the margin of victory is >1 and so you shouldn’t be too bothered about who you vote for seems to be particularly common among libertarians/classical liberals, but it’s not a sensible way of looking at it. It leads to the absurd conclusion that if Candidate A beats Candidate B by one vote then everyone’s vote for candidate A mattered but if A beats B by two votes then *no one’s* vote mattered.

    A better way to consider it is that every vote increases the probability that the given candidate will win. Typically for a statewide election (note that your 138 million nationwide number is irrelevant due to the EC), the amount of that probability increase is quite small, but the amount isn’t known until after the election’s over. Ironically, if the campaign to convince people that their votes are meaningless were incredibly successful, the outcome would be that the value of each of the few votes still actually cast would become quite a bit higher.Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to KenB says:

      I’ll second this. I usually vote Dem, but didn’t for Clinton in ’16, because I live in a very safe blue state. It’s tough to move the needle in a presidential race, but downballot races can be real nailbiters. We had a few aldermanic races here decided by a couple dozen votes.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to KenB says:

      This way of analysing election came from my Policy Economics classes at university, so its not just some libertarian idea.

      And in both of your examples only one vote mattered, whichever person that pushed the winner one vote over who came second. If every other vote were discarded the end result would be the same. That we cannot identify which voter it was precisely is neither here nor there.Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to James K says:

        Well, I wasn’t saying it was a libertarian idea per se, just that for whatever reason most of the people I’ve seen making this argument have been libertarian bloggers/professors. I’m libertarianish myself, so that bit wasn’t intended as a criticism, just an observation.

        Anyway — not only are votes not ordered, a given vote that provides the margin only does that because of the other votes that were cast. I think in the case where, say, A beats B by 1,000,000 votes to 800,000 votes, it’s more sensible to say that 800,001 of the A votes “mattered”, or else perhaps that all million votes ended up being worth about 80% of their maximum value. This is really just another collective action thing — a single individual’s action is virtually worthless but a large group of individuals doing the same thing has impact. If I prefer candidate A but don’t vote, I’m just free-riding on the votes of others.Report

      • Avatar KenB in reply to veronica d says:

        There’s a large element of that to be sure, but I think there’s also a game-theoretic aspect to voting. Would be interesting to see a model with an assumption of no cultural incentives, just accounting for different people’s cost of voting, strength of preference, and threshold of predicted vote value, and see what happens to participation over time under various levels of candidate differentiation.Report

  6. Avatar CJColucci says:

    Several people here insist that Trump is awful and say they will not vote for him in 2020. When they say they will either stay home or vote third-party, I take them at their word, think that is the best we can hope for from them, and am happy to take what I can get. There’s no reason to think they will ever vote for any Democrat who could conceivably contend for the nomination, and I’m OK with that. If they want to jerk off or vote their consciences, for those who see a difference between the two, I’m OK with that as long as I don’t have to watch.
    But some folks won’t accept live and let live. They tease us by setting out conditions on which they might consider doing something of some marginal political value — voting for the only general election candidate that can take the White House other than Trump — and expect us to take them seriously. And it always amounts to the same thing: I’ll gladly vote for the Democrat if the party nominates a Republican. Mayor Pete has it right. No matter who the Democrats nominate, the nominee will be painted as an evul, gun-grabbing, baby-killing soshulist. And from the point of view of the teasers, they are probably right. It gets old.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

      Since I resemble those remarks – let me just say that I sent in my paperwork to register as a Democrat for the Kentucky primaries next year. My wife and I have donated to two different Democratic presidential candidates so far and I’m engaging with their campaigns. I’ve very serious about considering all of them and I will vote for the one I think is the best next spring.

      Whether or not they will get my general election vote is a whole other thing. And to be honest, I’m starting to think third party isn’t a great option either because I’m holding my nose with the libertarian candidates too (sorry Jaybird!). As someone suggested, leaving that section of my ballot blank might end up being the most principled thing I can do.Report

      • Avatar North in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        Welcome to the party Mike. Even if it’s for a short duration we’re lucky to have you both.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to North says:

          Thanks! It will be the first time since 1999 that I have had a (D) next to my name. It will be nice to actually participate in the primaries.Report

        • Avatar George Turner in reply to North says:

          I’m confident they’ll both end up writing in “Coach John Calipari”, which says a lot about the Democrat’s positions this cycle.

          In the rest of the state he could brag about his true blue Kentucky loyalty, while in Louisville he could say his plan was the best way to make UK go with another drunk loser like Eddie Sutton or BIlly Gillispie.Report

      • In my state, you don’t have to register to vote in the primary. You just have to go to the polls and tell them which ballot you want. Or so I understand–I’ve never voted in the primaries. I hate the idea of voting in the primaries. However, if the Republicans have a credible challenger to Trump who is in some ways better than Trump, I might very well vote in the GOP primary.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to gabriel conroy says:

          If the GOP ran a credible challenger to Trump I would have a tough decision to make. I want to weigh in on the Democratic nominee, but I love the idea of denying him the nomination. Of course, I also like the idea of discovering bigfoot, so yeah, I dream big.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to CJColucci says:

      How dare Democrats decide they want their own agenda instead of becoming Republicans circa 2012?Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Saul, you are welcome to whatever agenda you want. You’ve already stated that you don’t think you need Centrists and moderate conservatives to get elected. Good luck with that strategy.Report

      • Avatar James K in reply to Saul Degraw says:

        Conversely, why would Republicans turn into Democrats simply because they don’t like Trump?Report

        • Avatar CJColucci in reply to James K says:

          The point some of us have been making is precisely that, protestations to the contrary, they won’t. And we’re tired of the tease.
          That said, I believe in the possibility of redemption and will welcome converts. It’s just not the way to bet.Report

          • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to CJColucci says:

            Why do they need to be converts? What happened to building a coalition? This seems to be one of the biggest failings of our government verses a parliamentary system. Everyone has to pick a team and if they don’t, they are viewed with suspicion by all sides.

            On this site you have several right-leaning folks being open about how they want to vote for a Democrat but are struggling with certain things. We used to celebrate that kind of transparency of thought. Now they have you chirping in their ears and telling them it’s all a game. What if you actually talked through those concerns with them instead of reminding them why they don’t like liberals?Report

  7. Avatar Saul Degraw says:

    Stephen Ross, owner of Equifax and Soulcycle is now in trouble for holding a Trump fundraiser even though his core consumers are not Trump voters.Report

  8. Avatar Damon says:

    Welp…this was fun reading..especially the comments. 138 Million voted…..or 100M didn’t if I did my math right. That’s a lot of people who didn’t vote….

    I’m one of them. I believe I’m like a lot of folks….washed my hands of the entire thing. Each party is one side of the same coin. I will say however that the TDS is much more entertaining then the ODS the repubs had. It’ll continue that way until someone actually starts shooting. Most likely it’ll be antifa beating the crap out someone and that guy will pull a gun and kill a few antifa. Then things start getting interesting.Report

    • Avatar James K in reply to Damon says:

      Well, as far as I’m concerned that’s a perfectly valid voting choice to make. I certainly respect someone who, having thought about, decided that not voting is the right course than someone who just votes on autopilot.Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Anyone who doesn’t write in my preferred candidate is aiding and abetting hate.Report

  10. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    I don’t disagree with your conclusions here but I would note that it’s the result of applying an individualistic analysis to an inherently socially collective process. Is it really the proper frame of reference?

    And in reference to your comment above, libertarians can be just as bad about this as anyone. I was witness to many online debates in the 90’s where the question was “Vote Republican or waste a vote on the libertarian who can’t win?”

    This is why I’m an advocate of IRV/STV and multi-member districts.Report

  11. ” but I can’t vote for them anyway and there’s a limit to how far I’m willing to insert myself into a foreign election.”

    I say we launch an investigation into New Zealand trying to influence the election on social media. It wouldn’t be the same as our current New Red Scare, but we gotta start somewhere.

    More seriously, I really liked your post. I voted for Clinton in 2016 primarily as a repudiation to Trump. Otherwise, I would have voted 3d party. I’ll likely vote Democratic in 2020 barring some unforeseeable circumstance. But it won’t be a vote for the Democratic party or even for that particular Democrat.Report

    • Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m going to avoid Putin myself into your electoral process.Report

      • I’m not buying it. My theory is that you embedded yourself onto the Positive Liberty community about 10 years ago just so you could troll Ordinary Times for the 2020 presidential election. OT didn’t exist yet, but you knew. You knew.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to James K says:

        I happen to own a really nice “ushanka”, the common Russian fur hat with the ear flaps that fold up like they wear up north. I ordered mine from Amazon and it was made in Belarus. It also came with a big Soviet pin for the front. I’ve also got a nice KGB pin for my coat.

        When I got to vote in 2020, how can I not wear the hat and speak with a Russian accent when I chat with everyone else in line? I just regard it as an inevitable and humorous thing I’m going to have to do, working without a script to entertain everybody.Report

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