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The Republicans’ Long, Negative Campaign


The Republicans’ Long, Negative Campaign

Ruth Conniff

It has long been established that negative campaigns discourage voter turnout. Political mudslinging doesn’t just hurt the targets of the attacks. It turns people off, which results in less voting, especially by those who are least inclined to vote—“shrinking and polarizing the electorate,” as political scientists Shanto Iyengar and Stephen Ansolabehere put it in their classic research on the subject.


The Republicans Long Negative Campaign Is Almost As Long As The List Of Trump’s Lies!


I think the low voter turnout in the US compared with other developed countries is due to the the large number of minorities in the US, particularly Hispanics who traditionally have a low turnout, and because voting is held on Tuesday rather than on weekends when working doesn’t interfere with voting. Many voters also somehow do not comprehend that this election is basically a referendum on whether the US should become a fascist country or remain a democracy. They simply do not understand what is going on and therefore do not comprehend the importance of voting. Republicans will not benefit by low vote turnout per se but manly by low voter turnout by minorities, particularly African Americans and Hispanics. The Republicans count on high turnout by older white males and evangelicals.


The author assumes the tipping point is in relation to repugs actions and that alone decides whether voters go to the polls. I disagree, I’m sure it is a factor, but in my opinion, the actions of the dem party is just as important to voter apathy. The repug’s efforts to disenfranchise left leaning voters has had success, but with enough voter turnout, a lot of their efforts could be overwhelmed with shear numbers. Those numbers won’t happen until the dems give the people someone to vote for, or a workers/green party becomes successful. The dems providing mostly corp. candidates only adds to the repugs success.


But the d-party can’t let voters down, dontcha know?

It’s only voters who can let down the d-party.

Meanwhile, here in MI, I see countless negative ads by both parties on the rare occasions I watch TV. And in my opinion, the Repub ads are way more effective. They sure worked for Trump against Hillary here in 2016.


Totally agree with your point, the DNC has been–like its Republican counterpart–bought and paid for by corporate/elite cash and people don’t see any real difference between the two. In fact, some programs, such as social security and medicaid/care, are likely only cut by a Democratic president since if a Republican tried to do this an outrage would result. Examples: President Bush floated the idea and got a strong backlash, but not much happened when Obama offered to put social security on the chopping block. A good thing the Republicans got greedy and turned him down.


The mid-term turnouts are below 30% in some states. That hasn’t de-legitimized a thing, Dan.

On the other and, I could see boycotting the vote combined with mass agitation, protest, and unrest outside of electoral politics…


I rush to remind you that in smoke-filled rooms, the r-party is hatching new initiatives to suppress turnout as we speak.

And in other smoke-filled rooms, d-party operatives are hatching ways to offer republican-lite policy that also suppresses turnout.


On the national level, I can’t argue with you.

Locally, I see shifts in my School Board and City Council making a noticeable difference.


You can’t be serious, right? A huge portion of the history this country surrounds limiting voting rights. Not voting is exactly what elites want. Hell, the constitution limited voters to white men with property, basically the then elites.

I truly don’t get this idea. It has zero relation to history or logic.


Your hypothesis is that no matter which Democrat or Republican was in office over the last 100 years, we’d be more or less where we are now. I find that idea completely lacking in any historical analysis I have heard - whether from the left or the right. Sure I have my complaints about things FDR, Truman, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and Obama did as well as all the Republicans, but they clearly aren’t identical and if we had been wise enough to elect some of the best options (McGovern in my opinion) we’d be on a very different trajectory right now).

You should agree to compromise - stop advocating non-voting, advocate for people voting either your party (Green I believe) or a write-in. I and @KC2669 will continue to advocate for voting for the better Democrats in the primary always, and for the Democrat in the general when the Republican might win usually (even I couldn’t stomach doing it in some cases).

If I’m sure about anything in politics, it is that politicians want your vote. Maybe they think with enough money they can always get it, but sometimes they are wrong. They don’t give a shit about you if you are a non-voter. If in the 2018 and 2020 elections, the same percentage voted D and R as before, but 95% of the people voted (with the new voters voting Green or write-ins), you can bet they will be some very scared politicians running around trying to figure out what to do next. I would prefer that infinitely to what we have now.


To add, we want progressives in positions of power, right? I’ve said this before, I’ll say it again, we can make that happen this election. Here’s four great reasons to vote: Bernie Sanders chairing the Budget Committee in the Senate, Jerry Nadler chairing the House Judiciary Committee, Maxine Waters chairing Finance in the House, and Sherrod Brown running Banking in the Senate. I’ll add a fifth, Raul Grijalva, a Sanders endorser in 2016, chairing Natural Resources in the House, an important environmental oversight committee. They will hold a gavel, call witnesses, subpoena documents, and work on legislation in addition to crafting portions of the budget they have jurisdiction over.

Progressives are in line to run powerful congressional committees. If you don’t vote, you are deciding to abrogate power, not exercise it.


I suppose if you want to convince more people here, you’d want to add evidence to show that out of those 5 cases you mentioned, it is reasonable to assume 1 or 2 would actually happen. Probably helps to cite the number of progressives who have chaired in the past when the Democrats held the Senate (which unfortunately, I am not optimistic about happening this election, maybe 2020 - I’ll be celebrating if I’m wrong).


So, each house of Congress is typically run on the basis of seniority regarding committee assignments. All of the names listed are senior committee members, called ranking members, on their respective committees. If Democrats held the House and Senate, they’d all be chairs as we speak. Unless they swap one chair for another or seek a new committee assignment, generally they will be seated as chairs in a new Congress, as recommended by the caucus. So, for example, Maxine Waters is ranking member of Financial Services because of her committee tenure and her selection by the Democratic caucus (it’s a bit circular, but seniority has its benefits).

There’s almost no reason to speculate about their committee status, unless a ranking member chooses different. If you think the caucus would push Maxine Waters out of a super powerful committee chair assignment after 37 years in Congress, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. She puts her ranking status in her bio for a reason, after all.

The only potential chair that I could see not being seated is Bernie Sanders, and that’s because I could see him wanting a different committee assignment. It was rumored prior to this session he wanted to be on Labor.


It seems like the vast majority of americans have given up on the democracy and are not voting. They have probably been discouraged by the politicians and government we have gotten over the past 38 years. It is a dangerous thing to give up and become totally discouraged. The republicans have taken advantage of this by getting their smaller base to vote and therefore put them in power. This is all very troubling and one doesn;t know where it all leads but I don’t think it is for the good and things like Trump are a result. People really need to stand up or they are going to pay in ways they never imagined.