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Nukatha August 7th, 2016 10:02 PM

Decision 2016
Us Americans have an election coming up in November, and I was looking for a place to hold a civilized discussion on the matter.

Personally, I've always voted Republican in past elections, as they were in general the party of smaller government. I can say that throughout the whole Republican primary season, I told myself that I would vote for the Republican, as long as it wasn't Donald Trump. I see Trump and Hillary as two sides of the biggest problem in American politics: Cronyism.
Hillary gets boatloads of money from God knows who, and Trump loves supplying politicians with funds if it means his business ventures come out ahead.

As it stands, I'm planning on voting for Gary Johnson.

So, if anyone wants to have a nice name-calling free discussion on our options this time around, let's have at it!

ollie August 7th, 2016 10:46 PM

Re: Decision 2016

Originally Posted by Nukatha (Post 2104873)
... nice name-calling free discussion...

I love both careful hyphen use and nice free discussions, you numpty. :p

(I won't be eligible to vote this November, but I might in 2020. Look for Vermont to swing ever-so-slightly leftwards then, for all the difference it will make on the national stage.)

Joseph Sweeney August 7th, 2016 11:20 PM

Re: Decision 2016
A fish fact I bet you all didn't know is that I happen to like every fish I have eaten thus far. Curious, yet not so well known fact, if you ask me. :p


Joseph Sweeney August 7th, 2016 11:27 PM

Re: Decision 2016
This is the wrong thread...

~JS, move along

Arch-vile August 7th, 2016 11:52 PM

Re: Decision 2016
I've planned on doing a careful analysis of the third party candidates myself. I'm not happy with either of the main nominees, and I think it would send an important message if a third party candidate(s) gets a good percentage of the votes. What I really want to see is the implementing of multiple votes - as in, I don't just vote for Trump, or Hillary. I vote saying "I'd be okay with any of the following individuals for president: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, etc. I think that would be a good way to eliminate the extreme power of the two-party system without abolishing or replacing them with other parties as has happened in history.

lefton4ya August 8th, 2016 02:22 AM

Re: Decision 2016
In the original constitution before the 12 amendment had the person with the top vote be president and the person with the 2nd highest vote be vice-president. I think we should repeal the 12th amendment or make a new amendment that goes back to this - as ridiculous as it sounds it would be good for America if for Hilary and Trump one was president and one was vice-president as their infighting would force congress to make a more decisive roll on bills on its own without presidential involvement (the original intent of the executive-legislative balance). On those lines, I have decided to pay attention to the senatorial and house of representative races, and which ever party I think will have the majority of representatives in congress, I will vote for the opposite as president. The whole purpose of this is to prevent filibusters and attempt to encourage more cooperation in congress when creating bills, knowing that you would need 2/3 or more of congress to pass something to override a presidential veto. However, I may have a tough time deciding a president if I think the congressional seats will be close.

Nukatha August 8th, 2016 10:55 AM

Re: Decision 2016
I think there is a very real possibility this time around of enough people voting for the Libertarian that Johnson could receive a handful (somewhere between 1 and 20) electoral votes. If Clinton and Trump split the rest of the vote almost evenly, it is entirely possible that no one candidate wins outright, which would send the top 3 presidential candidates to the House of Representatives, and the top 2 VPs to the Senate.

Now that would be fun.

wriggz August 8th, 2016 11:42 AM

Re: Decision 2016
It is unfortunate that the deck is very much stacked against change. Gerrymandering, lax campaign funding rules, a two party national debate system, and First past the post voting, all encourage the status quo.

I'm afraid it will just be another "The King is dead, all hail the King (or Queen)" situation.

Dad_Scaper August 8th, 2016 03:56 PM

Re: Decision 2016
There are reasonable criticisms to be made of Clinton, and I've made some of them. At the time we voted in Maryland, she and Sanders were both choices a reasonable person might make. He, a populist firebrand from Vermont, without much practical experience, particularly in foreign policy. A lifetime of devotion to civil service. In Europe, he would be a moderate; by American standards, he is on the left.

Clinton, on the other hand, has a lifetime of experience. There has never been, in my lifetime and perhaps the lifetime of anyone now breathing, someone who had a better breadth of experience than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States. She has relevant experience from the legislative and executive branches and from service at the state level as well. There was not a person in either party's primary season who could match her experience, nor - as Obama said at the convention - has there been an actual President who was more qualified than she. Certainly not himself, having served only as a Senator, nor any of his predecessors, who had served (FTMP) as governors in the recent few decades.

Her policy positions seem to be somewhat to the right of Sanders, but not much. She has been somewhat more hawkish than he, and I expect that to continue. The many, many criticisms of her have been mostly baseless witch hunts: Benghazi, TravelGate, and so on. You could, for each, find something done during the W. administration that was similar or far more dramatic, that did not lead to similar outrage then. You didn't like TravelGate? Where was your outrage when the US Attorneys were let go? You don't like deleted emails (which the FBI found was blameless), where were you when tens of thousands of emails were mysteriously deleted during an active investigation under W.? You don't like that an American diplomat died in a hostile country during the Obama administration? Where were you when American diplomats died other times?

I'm not saying she was blameless for each of those things - though I do believe she was, w/r/t Benghazi - an investigation costing the United States millions and millions of dollars, with no reasonable likelihood of discovering anything new and useful, and which did not discover anything new and useful - nor am I saying she was not. I am just observing that the *number* of scandals surrounding her is irrelevant to me, because most of those "scandals" have zero weight. It's math: 0 + 0 + 0 + 0 + 1 = 1. I'll give you 1 for the recent email thing, but only one. It's barely a blip.

Anyway. She skews slightly to the right of Sanders, and in another country would also be considered a moderate. She is not as charismatic as Sanders, nor does she make solutions to our problems sound simple. But perhaps that's because solutions to complex problems are not simple, and that distinction might be why she has tended to come out slightly more truthful than he is when Politifact compares them side-by-side.
Not that Sanders is still in it, but he's a useful benchmark for a discussion of Clinton, because he recently competed against her and it's fresh in people's minds.

As you can see from the above chart, Donald Trump has been scored as a person responsible for many falsehoods. Similar charts comparing him to other Republican candidates, earlier in the primary season, showed him as a purveyor of more falsehoods than Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson, to name just two. He does not tell the truth. His manner of persuading the American people to vote for him involves belittling people with nicknames - Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, etc. - and re-tweeting things that appeal to him, without regard for their provenance or their truth.

His policy positions appear to range from impractical and unfeasible (building a wall across the border with Mexico) to outright un-American (banning Muslims from entering the United States). He pulls and reuses campaign material from known hate groups, and endorses violence at his rallies. He does not appear to be able to let go of criticism, allowing even minor distractions - a crying baby at a campaign event, a 10-minute speech from a civilian at the Democratic National Convention - to push him to responses that do not appear to be thoughtful, respectful, compassionate, or polite. As Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recently said, in response to Trump referring to her as a "joke," "if he can't take criticism from 'a joke,' what's he gonna do when somebody real comes for him?"

If the "real somebody" is reasonably adept at manipulating a person like Trump, then Trump may very well play into his hands.

It is also publicly verifiable that Trump's campaign has already left behind a trail of unpaid vendors and service providers, and in his business affairs he has decades of history of fraud, bankruptcy, and abandonment of his debts and his associates. As Michael Bloomberg (billionaire, and former mayor of New York) said, in his endorsement - remember, as an Independent - of Clinton: "Trump says he wants to run the nation like he's run his business. God help us."

Quoting the Houston Chronicle, which has a decades-long, almost unbroken string of endorsements for Republican candidates for President, which has *already* endorsed Clinton: "These are unsettling times, even if they're not the dark, dystopian end times that Trump lays out. They require a steady hand. That's not Donald Trump."

For myself, I absolutely reject the false narrative that these are two sides of the same coin. You may not like Clinton as a candidate, but the fact is she is qualified for the office, just as Obama - a former Senator - and Bush - a former Governor - were qualified. She is, in fact, more qualified than both. All three said or did things during the campaign season or earlier in their lives that might cause a reasonable person to hesitate before pushing the button bearing his or her name on election day.

She might not be your preferred choice, but she can be trusted to be an experienced person trying to do a good job as President of the United States. You can say she favors moneyed interests, and there may be some truth to that, but she has fought for civil rights, access to health care, and other middle-class issues over the years, and there's no reason to think she will stop doing so. She is a qualified candidate. I can extoll her virtues at great length, and acknowledge that she has some drawbacks.

There's no reason to think that Trump is even aware of how little relevant experience he has. Consider that he recently assembled a team of economic advisors to help him put together an economic policy, and only three of the thirteen members have actual experience in economics. He does not have relevant experience in government administration, and he does not appear to be interested in addressing the fact that he has no relevant experience. That is dangerous, and it is coupled with his temperament, which I discussed above.

His decision not to release his own tax returns stands in intriguing contrast to his unprecedented demand that President Obama release his birth certificate, though there was no credible reason why Obama should, and in fact he already had (IIRC, Trump was demanding the "long form," when Obama had already release the short form, though the Governor or Secretary of State or whatever of Hawaii had already vouched for it, and there had never been credible evidence that Obama had been born anywhere else). A tax return would be particularly important for a self-proclaimed businessman with ties to foreign banks and foreign powers and private businesses, but the American people are denied the opportunity to see it, notwithstanding Trump's own unsupportable demand to see the current President's birth certificate.

I can have this discussion as either "vote for Clinton because she will be a fine President, she is qualified for the job, and the criticisms of her are either completely or almost completely unfounded," or as "vote for Clinton because she is at least competent, and her opponent is a danger to the nation, and she is not. A drowning man may prefer a motorboat, but he would certainly be content with a life preserver." Either way, I'm arriving at the same clear choice.

My :2cents:, without name-calling.

vegietarian18 August 8th, 2016 05:15 PM

Re: Decision 2016
This is the first election that I get to vote in. I was a big Obama fan in 2008, since he was from my home state, and liked him in 2012 too. I'm a lot less of a Clinton fan, especially in the current political climate, but that's okay since my vote will not really matter for electoral college purposes. Fivethirtyeight has Illinois at a 98.4% chance to go to Clinton, behind only California and New York.

I'm not really a third party fan though either this year. Gary Johnson is at least a reasonable libertarian but their party ideals are way far from mine. Jill Stein is the opposite, where I like the party ideals, but the implementation and current platform is pretty poor (opposition to nuclear energy when it's the most cost-effective way to preserve energy for the future).

And Trump is Trump, as D_S laid out above.

So, I mean, I guess I don't have to vote but that seems like a waste. At least there is a few more months, and my vote is for principle rather than outcome anyway. I just don't really feel engaged since IMO this election is being fought over irrelevant issues.

Rich10 August 8th, 2016 05:42 PM

Re: Decision 2016
Sorry DS, I see a lot that I don't like with Hillary.

I think that the Clintons have shown remarkably bad taste for people who are very politically ambitious. After Hillary became Secretary of State, Bill Clinton's speaking fees increased dramatically. Also, Bill received fees from groups with matters before the state department. It wasn't illegal, but it just shows incredibly poor judgment.

The Clinton Foundation has received contributions from a variety of sources. From the Washington Post (not exactly a right leaning publication), "And many of the foundation’s biggest donors are foreigners who are legally barred from giving to U.S. political candidates. A third of foundation donors who have given more than $1 million are foreign governments or other entities based outside the United States, and foreign donors make up more than half of those who have given more than $5 million." and "The role of interests located in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Argentina may spur questions about the independence of a potential commander in chief who has solicited money from foreign donors with a stake in the actions of the U.S. government." The percentage of funds that go to charity has been estimated at between 6% and 94% in various sources. I have no idea which is more correct. I'm sure this isn't illegal, but again it shows very questionable judgment.

When I have emails in my job, I have to use work issued equipment (and I don't do government work). I can lose my job if I don't. With government secrets at stake, Clinton used poor judgment (at best).

As for all of the other "scandals" that she finds herself in, I don't know if this is just smoke and mirrors of if she is untrustworthy. But she does seem willing to tell any lie if it benefits her in any way. Remember the "sniper fire" in Bosnia that turned out to be a small girl giving her a kiss? Unfortunately for her, she's not nearly as good a liar as Bill.

Finally, my taxes usually go up under a Democratic party president. I'm guessing that Hillary will not be an exception to this.

So, a vote for the Republican candidate would seem easy if only Donald Trump wasn't a walking disaster area. Lets see now:
  • A ban on Muslims entering the country
  • A fight with the parents of a soldier who died fighting for our country
  • Having seemingly no knowledge of current event
  • Threatening to abandon NATO allies
  • His statement that Russia won't go into Ukraine
  • Asking Russia to spy on Hillary Clinton
  • Calling for the torture of ISIS members, carpet bombing of civilians and the killing of ISIS members families
  • Did he really ask repeatedly why we couldn't use nuclear weapons?
  • Jail for women who have had an abortion
That's off the top of my head. I'm sure that I've missed a few other boneheaded statements.

Despite what the left tries to say about Trump's business acumen, he runs a successful company. I'll grant him that. But he doesn't seem to know the facts, seems to say a lot of very stupid things, and is seemingly so thin-skinned that he can't let anything go. I just can't vote for Trump.

Who's that libertarian candidate again???

Dad_Scaper August 8th, 2016 05:53 PM

Re: Decision 2016
I am aware of the speaking fees and the Clinton foundation. It's one of the demerits on her slate, and one of the reasons I thought Sanders was appealing.

As for taxes, I read recently that traditionally "blue" states tend to have (1) higher taxes and (2) higher standards of living. Or something like that. I don't need lower taxes, I need the taxes I pay to *do* something. I want the police to come when I call; I want my children and my neighbors' children to be taught by competent teachers. I want the Office of the Attorney General to have an effective Consumer Protection Division; I want public health services to combat infection. All those things contribute to my standard of living, and if my taxes are higher than those in Tennessee, I'm ok with that. I don't want to live in Tennessee.

(edit: Or, for instance, Missouri. Local municipalities, unable to raise enough money through taxes, apparently fill their coffers by imprisoning poor automobile drivers and holding them & their licenses ransom. Let's not pretend that taxes are the only way that money goes from people & businesses to the government, or that the government does nothing with it. For instance, your federal government has spent untold millions wasting time on attempting to repeal the ACA and investigating Benghazi in the House. And investigating Planned Parenthood. You think all that is free? And North Carolina has invested money & time into gathering its legislature to protect the state's bathrooms from undocumented & imaginary horrors. None of that is free! Don't tell yourself the lie that Republicans are more responsible with your money than Democrats. Both are capable of wastefulness; give me someone who has administrative experience & a good head for management.)

Regardless of those speaking fees and the Clinton foundation, I believe that her career as a public servant indicates an intent to continue as a servant of the public.

And I didn't say that Trump does not have "business acumen." He does run a successful business. However, you can't do with the American government what he does with a business: bankruptcy, betrayal, racism, fraud. That's his legacy as a businessman, though if you're counting dollars you may still call it "successful." You can't, for instance, willy-nilly abandon your treaty partners, or insist minorities conform to your prejudices, as the Chief Executive of the company that is the United States of America.

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