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  1. #14626
    Get Off My Lawn. Maynerd's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RhodyYanksFan View Post
    This is a must read. I'd love to hear everyone, but particularly Maynerd's, take on it.
    It's a good read.

    But another way of thinking about our founding compromises is to think about the fears that led to them. The threat to the United States of America has always been disunity. At the time of the founding, the strongest and most politically important identities were state identities, and the central tension was between those who feared the (white, male) public and those who trusted it, and so we built a system meant to calm those divisions.

    Today, the strongest and most politically important identities are partisan identities. We don’t talk about big states and small states, but about red states and blue states. If there is a threat to American unity, it rests not in the specific concerns of Virginians or Alaskans, but in the growing enmity between Democrats and Republicans.
    That's superbly stated, and the bolded is an absolute condemnation of politics in America today.
    “If the competing groups are states, you need a set of rules to make sure that competition is fair,” says Mason. “If the competing groups are parties, you need a set of rules to make sure the partisan competition is fair.”
    Easier said than done. Whichever party loses power or influence is going to claim the competition is unfair. I fear evening the stakes for two political parties will only result in a new set of competing groups: urban vs. rural. Move toward a more democratic system, and the power coalesces in the cities. How does the rural area regain that power? Economics. Shipping a pork chop to New York or a gallon of gas to LA is going to cost 10 times as much, because that's the only way the rural citizen's voice will be heard.
    Republicans control the US Senate despite winning fewer votes than Democrats...
    Absolutely meaningless. North Dakotans vote for who they wish to represent them. Should a California voter have any say in this whatsoever?
    ...Electoral College...
    You already know where I stand, and why. With a 'majority rules' popular vote, there's no way a Presidential candidate will invest a nickel in securing the votes from citizens in states that don't border an ocean. Iowa, Montana, and New Mexico will become irrelevant, and subservient to the voters of New York, Chicago, and LA. That would be more democratic, but would do a vast disservice to our republic.

    He recommends statehood for DC and Puerto Rico, as well as breaking up California into seven states, each with two senators; packing the Supreme Court with more justices so liberals can crack its conservative majority; replacing winner-take-all elections in the House with ranked-choice voting and expanding the size of the body to 870 members; passing a raft of voting rights reforms; and more.
    Statehood for DC: disagree. Having a single city become a unique state is unprecedented. If you want to fix DC's representation, fold them into Maryland.

    Statehood for Puerto Rico: Strongly agree. Long overdue.

    Breaking California into seven states: Who gets to decide? If that could be done with the snap of a finger, what's to prevent Texas from breaking into 20 states with 40 Senators?

    Packing the Court: This was a terrible idea and naked lust for power when FDR tried it. Still is.

    Ranked choice voting: Intriguing. Not sure how this would work. I honestly need to learn more before I could comment.

    Expanding the size of the House: Strongly in favor. The House is supposed to represent the people based on the size of the citizenship, and the Senate by geographic means. As the population increases, keeping the size of the House constant diminishes the intended disproportionality of the House. If it was greatly expanded, the additional seats would go to the population centers, and not to North Dakota and Wyoming.

    Raft of voting rights reforms: OK. I guess. My idea of voting rights is that if you're an 18-year old citizen, you have the right to vote in your home district. Protection against voter fraud is important, but protection of that individual's right to vote is far more important.

    I agree with (and I'm saddened by) his basic premise: that our division today is more based on a two-party system than geography. As you know, I dislike both parties, and believe that blind party-line adherence (both among our elected representatives and citizens in the polling place) represents the greatest threat to our nation today.

    We need, as a Society, to STOP Red vs. Blue politics, and start assessing issues based on their own merit, rather than which party proposed the legislation. We need to stop generalizing the evil intent of the other party. We need to start being Americans first, and not Virginians or Oklahomans, and definitely not Republicans and Democrats first.

    "But what people tend to forget...is that being a Yankee is as much about character as it is about performance; as much about who you are as what you do."
    - President Barack Obama

  2. #14627

    Re: Non-Presidential News Stories That Don't Deserve Their Own Thread Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ojo View Post
    "When the people shall have nothing more to eat, they will eat the rich."
    One of my favorites.
    "A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
    -- Declaration of Independence

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