Concise and to the point. Thanks.
In a sense the Two Party System is mandated by the Constituion, not directly, but indirectly with the system set up where winner takes all, including only having a plurality when there are more than two viable candidates running and having this weird Congressional system with a separate Executive, a system no other democracy has adopted, opting instead for a Parliamentary system with a Prime Minster that allows multiple parties.
We need to change the system. Several things will help. First is instant run-off, which can be done state by state. The other is direct voting for the President, which also can be done (and is being done) state by state with each state giving its electoral college votes to the winner of the popular vote (insuring that the states don’t do this until enough have done so to insure the popular vote winner will win.)
Another thing, much more difficult, is to treat political parties as what they claim they are, private organizations, and get rid of governmental support in limiting ballot access to them and paying for their primaries. If the state is going to pay for primaries, then they all should be open. Otherwise make parties pay for them themselves or do caucuses.
Parties could do primaries themselves by mail in ballots. They don’t seem to have a problem mailing out endless material to everyone on their mailing list for fundraisers. They could mail out ballots to all their members. But then all parties nominees would all be on the general election ballot, whether they are large with millions of members or small with only a few hundred. Size shouldn’t matter.
How would maximizing the power of Republicans to draw legislative districts help anything? Because that is the choice, as I described here:
That’s how YOU define “the choice.” You define it that way in order to cover for YOUR loser sell-out Democratic Party, and their well-documented decades-long trajectory toward Trump.
You say whatever you say in order to have NO ACCOUNTABILITY for the “leadership” of your corporate sell-out, hopeless loser, do-nothing to address the actual critical crises of society and ecology, Democratic Party.
KC’s thinking here is the problem. Let me explain why.
This argument may make sense IF every voter is someone who frequents articles and comments like this, someone who thinks about politics every day, someone who actually even follows what’s going on in political circles enough to even know what gerrymandering is and how the states redraw the districts every ten years and who controls the state legislature and governorship are the ones who decide.
But the mass of voters aren’t like this. They have a set of political beliefs and values and will vote in elections if inspired. Otherwise they will just not bother because “It makes no difference, they’re all crooks.”
Now, note, you don’t have to agree that it makes no difference or that both sides are all crooks to understand that many voters feel that way. Thus it is up to the party to inspire the voters to vote.
When voters don’t vote it is not the voters fault, no matter how much party apparatchiks and devoted party faithful want to blame them. It is always the party and/or the candidates fault.
The simple truth is that we got in this mess in 2010 because the Democratic Party and Obama failed their base in the previous two years and they were simply not inspired or motivated to vote in the midterms. If Obama had lived up to his promises, if he’d made a transparent process the norm, if he hadn’t sold out to Big Pharma, if he hadn’t lied about his support for the Public Option, if he’d actually had done a New New Deal instead of NeoLiberal recovery package for the Great Recession that was half the size it should have been and too much wasted in tax cuts, which resulted in the rich getting richer, then voters would have turned out. Instead they shrugged their shoulders and went about their business.
The formula you suggest has proven to fail. Right wing Democrats will always lose to right wing Republicans in the total count. Things will not change until the Democratic Party fully reforms (not just putting lipstick on a pig faux reform.) That won’t happen until the Party finally wakes up from losing too much and the base finally kicks the dogs out or the party collapses giving room for a new major party that is truly a worker party arises.
I know, 2018 and 2020 may not be enough time for that to happen. But who’s to blame for that? People making the same argument since 2010 as KC is now making. If 2018 and 2020 are too soon for the changes to happen that we need, then we need to work to see that 2030 isn’t. But KC’s argument means we’ll be in a worse place in 2027 with a losing NeoLiberal party even more corporate and right wing facing an even more fascist supremacist party committed to trickle down.
But there’s a chance. If the Democratic Party doesn’t really reform by 2018, then help it really crash in 2018 so it just might happen in 2020 (or it totally collapses and a new major party for working people is a contender in 2020.)
I love all these metaphors about how the Democratic Cabal should be “revitalized” or “restored” after this “autopsy”.
The usual action taken after an autopsy is burial., and exactly so: this party must be destroyed in its present form, and replaced with either a party that runs real primaries, or a coalation of cooperative parties from the real left.
Not every candidate has charisma, is inspiring, or runs the awesomest campaign mistake free. In my red district, I’m represented by one of the least charismatic people in the world. What’s different, is that conservatives in my district vote for him anyway. When he was primaried a few years back, he was pilloried for being too liberal. They came out for him nonetheless in the end because they knew he was “better than the liberal.” People in my family who voted for his primary opponent voted for him. They understood that power runs by controlling institutions, and his nominal vote for the Ryan Budget in the House was more important than his “liberal” leanings (basically, he wasn’t as anti-immigrant as his primary opponent).
You aren’t showing anybody up by letting Republicans draw more noncompetitive districts. You are just locking in right wing power expecting change to appear when conservatives will have set themselves up to make sure the only change that does happen is from the right. That’s the whole point of gerrymandering and getting people on the courts who will vindicate one’s preferences. Conservatives understand this despite their disagreements.
I can’t believe I have to write this. There is no magical one day. If you live in Virginia, you will be deciding the composition of your legislature and members of Congress this election. In a closely divided country, in a closely divided state, this is the reality. Conservatives aren’t going to draw competitive districts after 2020, they are going to draw non competitive ones in their favor.
I do agree not everyone thinks like this, but that’s why I am writing it.
Again, you change the subject. The point is not that “not every candidate has charisma, is inspiring.” The point is your Democratic Party is idiotic, BECAUSE it is sold-out corporatist non-responsive to REAL needs of people, communities, and the environment.
You endlessly defend them by raising the red flag of the Republicans, because you are purposefully NEVER going to seriously account for the SOLD-OUT, CORPORATIST, LOSER Democratic Party “leadership” that has helped steer us to this critically precarious position.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought Obama’s two terms in office were encouraging the thought the Democrats could become the party of diversity. Obama’s other asset was he was basically an outsider to national Democrat Party. In 2016, Democrats selected Hillary, a consummate party insider, as the candidate. She did not inspire the voter turn out needed to get the extra margin of votes needed to defeat Trump inh the general election. Then a thoroughly corrupt Electoral College.voted for Trump despite going against the majority of the voters in their districts, and despite Clinton having 2 to 3 million votes from the American people.
In short, if Democrats want to take back control of congress in 2018 and elect a Democrat president in 2020 they are going to have to inspire a huge voter turn out instead of the voter apathy that was expressed in 2016. Too many Democrat and left of center voters just didn’t show up. America needs a party of DIVERSITY in stark contrast to the sexist, racist Trump Republicans.
You mean, the sold out party that retained the Senate and won the Presidency just 4 years ago? Or, the party that won 52% of the vote in Wisconsin in 2012 but didn’t garner any legislative or congressional seats despite the majority? Was the latter because they sold out, or was it because Republicans gerrymandered the state and passed laws making it harder to vote? I’d sure like to know, wouldn’t you?
Diversity is an important component of social justice, but on its own it is no answer to the pressing problems of people, communities, and ecology.
The fake “diversity” of the sold-out Democratic Party gave us the sold-out corporate insider Hillary Clinton. Her being a woman DOES NOT ADDRESS the real crises that we all face in our lives and communities, and that fact was crystal clear to millions and millions of USAns.
We need a party that forthrightly REJECTS corporate rule and the financialization and marketization of everything. We need a party that forthrightly CHAMPIONS real democracy, real equality, real accounting for social and ecological crimes and injustices, and real solutions to the murderous economy, the collapsing ecology, and the grossly distorted society.
You completely ignored the point I made. The people who will decide things don’t hear what you’re saying. They’ll never hear it, even if you repeat it until your blue in the face. Trying to convince people to vote for the Democratic candidate with the argument you are making is a losing one. It is basically the same argument used by Hillary as to why people should vote for her- because voting for the other guy is so horrible in its consequences that people should be very, very afraid.
But that message doesn’t inspire the mass of people who will only vote FOR something, not AGAINST something. Until the Democratic Party changes that mass of people will not see any reason to vote for them. They will not hear your argument and your argument ends up being an excuse to not change the party this cycle by refusing to vote for corporatist warmongers, which is the only thing that might change the party.
So you end up with a smaller and smaller party faithful hearing your argument and acting on it and a larger and larger mass of people out there saying, “A pox on both houses.” But you see the GOP doesn’t alienate it’s base; it plays to them and so they are inspired.
You are trying to sell a losing strategy. Maybe you’ll get enough to win Virginia. But I doubt you and your strategy will win the 2018 election in state houses across the nation.
No, he wasn’t. He may have been sold that way. But the reality is that he was groomed by the insiders from way before he was chosen (annointed) to be the keynote speaker of the 2004 convention.
He was actually encouraged to run in 2008 by the insiders/establishment who test ran his campaign with a book tour. I believe the plan was to get him a national audience and either prepare him to be Hillary’s VP choice or the runner up who’d be seen as the logical candidate for 2016.
So they sold him as the outsider and to their shock, he did better than Hillary in Iowa and won over the Blacks and changed up their plan. Now he became their main candidate in 2008, still sold as an outsider, and Hillary became the logical choice for 2016.
Look, I was tricked in 2008. But by the middle of 2009 I knew better. Wiser folk than me were telling he was a big con before the election. Us people with the will-to-believe took a while to realize what they were saying was true. Some never did.
Have you got any evidence that any Electors were put in with their states giving the majority vote to the other candidate? There were some unfaithful Electors, but they were from Hillary states and they voted for Colin Powell.
No reasonable candidate will fare well when the RePooplican redistricting committees have said farewell to fair elections . . .
SFAIK, the problem is that the electoral college DID follow the directive of the majority of the voters in their own districts, or — as required in many states — all voted for the winner of the majority of votes statewide. The intention of the framers of the Constitution was that the people would select the wisest among them as electors who would then gather together to choose the best possible president, but now they are in most cases pledged ahead of time to a particular candidate. Although not in the U.S. Constitution, many states have laws which require their designated electors to vote according to their district or statewide results. What IS utterly corrupt is the DamnocRatic party’s system of DNC-controlled Stupor-Delegates rigging the Primary.
AMEN I too fell for the “Hope” schtick in 2008, but by 2012 (and in 2016) was writing in “Bernie & 'Beth”.
I didn’t miss your point at all. Hence, my example from my own district, and my Congressman who was in a close primary because he was viewed as not playing to his base. The base still came out for him in the end though, just as Gillespie’s base is turning out for him despite a tough primary.
My point is a concrete policy one. I don’t expect Northam or any Governor to make that their theme, and from what I understand, he hasn’t. I was responding to a comment because I feel it’s important to consider as a voter, especially if you want an independent candidate to have a shot in your legislative or congressional district. If you feel it’s not, that’s okay.
I voted Stein in both '12 and '16. But I’ll vote Socialist Party USA in '20.
Only if they stop blaming the Russians in a desperate (and dangerous) effort to divert attention from their many failings. They’ll let the world burn rather than admit they have become big business’s accomplices.
I don’t believe we can. Democrats have been financed by hard working blue collar workers who hunt and fish for recreation, 80% of Democrats own GUNS. Under liberal democrats fish and game have all but disappeared and forests are in worse condition with access being hampered beyond use. They saved california seals now numbering in the tens of millions eating one third their body weight per day they are so overpopulated they’ve grown way beyond their traditional habitat and are endangering Orca, shellfish and Pacific Northwest Salmon and Steelhead, which by their own study will be depleted beyond recovery by 2032. The reintroduction of wolves in limited numbers turned into the slaughter of 6,000 elk instead of the Buffalo they claimed, which are still over populated and no hunting permits are allowed. The protein families counted on has been attacked by pricing it out of reach the average family only to be exploited by the wealthy. Democrats are the best thing that ever happened to the rich, millions of roadless acres are only accessible by helicopters, Land previously enjoyed by average people is now their private play ground, most land we used can not even seen by people who pay the lions share of the taxes in this country. Twenty percent of the Arrogant Democrats say none of this is negotiable and take corporation money to stay in power. Labor was the basis of the Democrat Party it has abandoned us to become the Liberal Party. They are childish Self Serving deceitful Loud Mouths who claim to represent the working man but are clueless what that VOTING BLOCK is willing to put up with while helping their liberal causes. Every time they’re challenged they don’t have intellectual arguments they resort to insults. Union Money is going to wherever there’s support for trade unions after being crapped on by democrats who think they are the only choice. We have to rebuild after Neo Liberals allowed Trump to destroy everything we’ve worked for so we may as well do it with a Bearniecrat party. Neo liberals are as Narcissistic as Donald Trump only wanting to fight, argue and promote animosity exactly like Mitch McConnell.
You keep (purposely?) MISUNDERSTANDING Guild’s “advice”: he said to REGISTER as a Green, indepedent or for another third party. VOTING is a race-by-race ISSUE.
This is what I was responding to. I just offered the Virginia’s gubernatorial race as a case for doing just what you are saying, even if only for the future of having an independent vote matter. If Republicans have sole control over drawing districts like they did last time there, there aren’t going to be many competitive districts left. That’s the only point I was making.