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StarTopic US Politics |ST| The Kyrsten Sinema-tic Universe

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you however did dismiss the issues of the people who were getting droned on. explicitly.



just in case you forgot

James, you are LITERALLY putting words in my mouth. LITERALLY, by saying this. I didn't dismiss this, but rather the fact it hasn't been reduced to zero, is still harming and AFFECTING people. Harm reduction would imply the harm has been removed or at least indicate the thread of harm has been gone. Instead, it's still ever present and still harming and killing hundreds of thousands of people. That is still a failure here.

Please STOP putting words in my mouth, my god.
 
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For ignoring the staff post and making a hostile post with an egregious comparison equating Palestine to Hamas, and a history of similarly gross posts, you have been permanently banned. -BF, TC, Kar, NF, ID, LA, NGP, PS, BLG, MB, MN
Voting is only effective if the government actively respects the will of the people. Our governments don't. And our entire systems are broken. As mentioned, voting will NOT fix this.
I just have to jump in and say this:

If the issue is of the Israeli Palestine conflict, then you need to know that America's actions do respect the will of the people. The majority of Americans support Israel, and by a pretty large margin as well. Hamas only has support here in America by about 20% or so.

So, if this is indeed something that you want to change, in a democracy, you have to change the mind of the people who elect these leaders. Supporting Hamas is an unwinnable position here in the US, until enough people change their mind. You cannot put the cart before the horse in a democracy, that has literally never won anything or made any progress in nearly any democracy. So if you want something done, you have to change the mind of the American people first.

Biden is not a fascist, and he has always more or less represented your average American's views, for better or for worse. He is probably about as democratic as they come, and has done mostly everything he campaigned on.

And the things that he hasn't, was because of a corrupt Supreme Court and the plague of republican stupidity.

Biden has never been one to step outside the will of his voters, and I understand that is frustrating, because he will never be a president that takes a step far out of line or to pursue unpopular ideals(even though it's the right decision). However, Biden is actually one of the most progressive president's since FDR, since the voting base has been consistently moving left since 2012.

So yeah, if you want to change the US's response to the conflict, you have to change the majority of Americans minds about the conflict first. That's simply how democracy works.

I can say, if you vote for the other guy, you will never get a chance to even attempt to change the majority of Americans minds. But that is of course up to you.
 
The majority of Americans support Israel, and by a pretty large margin as well. Hamas only has support here in America by about 20% or so.
This was conducted in February. That was before Israel started murdering UN Aid Workers, before international organizations came out against them, before it was revealed Israel made up stories about Hamas killing babies, before it was revealed Israel was bombing civilian centers and killing babies and raping captured Palestinians/UN aid workers. I’d be surprised if the data is still the same.
 
Hamas only has support here in America by about 20% or so.

So, if this is indeed something that you want to change, in a democracy, you have to change the mind of the people who elect these leaders. Supporting Hamas is an unwinnable position here in the US, until enough people change their mind.
This framing of support for a free Palestine as “supporting Hamas” is a false equivalency that we don’t need to buy into, in the same way that criticism of modern industrialized society does not make someone the Unabomber. I wouldn’t employ the association so freely without interrogating what purposes it might serve.
 
I just have to jump in and say this:

If the issue is of the Israeli Palestine conflict, then you need to know that America's actions do respect the will of the people. The majority of Americans support Israel, and by a pretty large margin as well. Hamas only has support here in America by about 20% or so.

So, if this is indeed something that you want to change, in a democracy, you have to change the mind of the people who elect these leaders. Supporting Hamas is an unwinnable position here in the US, until enough people change their mind.
‘Wanting the relentless killing of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians on the off chance a member of Hamas gets caught in an airstrike on a refugee camp or hospital to stop’ is not the same thing as ‘supporting Hamas, a terrorist organisation’.

Wanting a military tooled up with AI targeting systems to be able to tell the difference between civilians/children and enemy combatants isn’t an unreasonable position to ask of any government. If 35,000+ western civilians ever died in retaliation to a terrorist attack, on top of a hundred thousand more injured, an entire generation of kids traumatised and multiple cities and their entire civilian infrastructure from food to water, fuel and healthcare all just leveled, that government would have serious questions to answer in any reasonable court of human rights.
 
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However, Biden is actually one of the most progressive president's since FDR, since the voting base has been consistently moving left since 2012.

There's a lot to tackle in your post, with Brock and Embers covering part of it (FAKE EDIT: PixelKnight covered some additional stuff on this as well), but I do wanna comment how this is absolutely not factually true. I wanna use one specific issue and comparison to when he was Vice President to Obama.

First off, Obama was to the right and we need to acknowledge this, but one of the few policies he was good about was the situation with Cuba. I have a lot of criticism for Obama, and this is one area he was (mostly) good on. The thing is, Biden has not rolled back any of these changes that Trump did and (I'd need to find the source on this), but from what I recall, he doubled down on Trump's policies for Cuba and even threatened people with No Fly and Deportation if they traveled to and from Cuba from early 2010s. His administration has also actively voted against removing sanctions and restrictions against Cuba.

Biden is absolutely further to the right than Obama on this alone and to say he's the most progressive president/administration, is just a falsehood outright.
 
Supporting Hamas is an unwinnable position here in the US, until enough people change their mind.

supporting hamas is an unwinnable position because its a clown's position in the west to begin with lol

i can understand folks in palestine feeling like hamas is their only hope, but outside observers have no reason not to condemn hamas for what it is, an antisemetic terrorist group. one that exists in its current form largely thanks to israel's leadership. hamas is exactly what netanyahu wants because its whats given him an excuse to wipe gaza off the map.

this isnt the type of rhetoric to use.
 
Others commented better but:

I can say, if you vote for the other guy, you will never get a chance to even attempt to change the majority of Americans minds. But that is of course up to you.
Funny, people are saying they're going to vote for Trump? Really? Where?

Furthermore, the time to change people's minds is by protesting, by showing, by revealing to the world the horrors happening to Palestinians every day. You know, like how it's usually done.
 

Since the only reason polling was brought up was to justify why Biden shouldn't go outside the will of the people to help Palestine (I'm sorry, "Hamas" according to that poster) it also seems reasonable to figure out which Americans disapprove of the genocide.
Independents have shifted from being divided in their views of the Israeli military action to opposing it. Democrats, who were already largely opposed in November, are even more so now, with 18% approving and 75% disapproving.


Republicans still support Israel’s military efforts, but a reduced majority -- 64%, down from 71% -- now approve.
Oh, it's people who will vote for Trump who most want the genocide to continue, and not Biden's constituents.

Anyway, we shouldn't really need polling to answer the question of whether or not it's acceptable for Biden to aid in the extermination of a whole ethnic group, nor should anyone be engaging in the idea that his potential voters broadly support it.

As an aside, the idea that Biden does things strictly by the will of the people is laughable propaganda. I'm sure the will of the people made him support a private prison company trying to ignore New Jersey law to detain more immigrants.
 
For ignoring the mod post and continuing to make needlessly inflammatory posts, you have been banned for 1 month. Ban elevated to 3 months due to ban appeal doubling down on original post. -BF, Kar, TC, NF, ID, LA, NGP, PS, BLG
Biden is not a fascist, and he has always more or less represented your average American's views, for better or for worse.
The average American is a fascist
 
I can say, if you vote for the other guy, you will never get a chance to even attempt to change the majority of Americans minds. But that is of course up to you.

So I completely missed this until just now, but I could be misunderstanding you here, but I never, ever, said I'd vote for Trump. That is far from what I've said. I'm just simply not voting for anyone in the presidency (or if I do, possibly third party). I cannot in any good conscious vote for anyone. I've laid out my reasons why, and I'm sticking to them. I'm not trying to convince anyone, but rather trying to explain from my view point and as to why I feel the voting on the national scale, is a broken system, but I never ever once stated I would vote for Trump.

Reminder, there are options: Third party, write in, or simply not voting for the presidential candidate. Just because someone says they aren't voting for Biden, does not mean a vote for Trump. And if you are remotely implying that "no vote or third party/write-in vote is a vote for Trump", then you (and others for that matter) need to rethink your things for a bit as to why someone would choose this and the answer is not "You're wasting your vote and allowing the other guy to get in", trust me on this.
 
Biden’s political history is one marked greatly by neoliberal policies of deregulation that would absolutely earn him the ire of a Roosevelt. He’s done more damage to the welfare state over decades than whatever supposed good he’s done as president. It’s honestly weird how liberals spin Biden as a historical progressive, but if they have any opinion about a progressive leader in the global south, it’s usually something like “I heard they are a populist authoritarian“ or some such. Which is exactly what American oligarchs used to say about the Roosevelts long ago.
 
Lots of great responses that I want to dig into. But I want to reiterate that I am not in approval of the US's actions, merely stating that America is not a fascist country. And I am in reality stating that the US response to Israel is pretty inline with the American people. That in reality is the thing that needs to change is the people before administration change. With that said:
This was conducted in February. That was before Israel started murdering UN Aid Workers, before international organizations came out against them, before it was revealed Israel made up stories about Hamas killing babies, before it was revealed Israel was bombing civilian centers and killing babies and raping captured Palestinians/UN aid workers. I’d be surprised if the data is still the same.
That is very true, and the protests seem to be doing even more work. I still highly doubt it's a majority to work with though.

Since the only reason polling was brought up was to justify why Biden shouldn't go outside the will of the people to help Palestine (I'm sorry, "Hamas" according to that poster) it also seems reasonable to figure out which Americans disapprove of the genocide.

Oh, it's people who will vote for Trump who most want the genocide to continue, and not Biden's constituents.

Anyway, we shouldn't really need polling to answer the question of whether or not it's acceptable for Biden to aid in the extermination of a whole ethnic group, nor should anyone be engaging in the idea that his potential voters broadly support it.

As an aside, the idea that Biden does things strictly by the will of the people is laughable propaganda. I'm sure the will of the people made him support a private prison company trying to ignore New Jersey law to detain more immigrants.
That is a great point, however, democrats have painted themselves in being a big tent party. Aimed to please everyone, kind of in a horrible way in transitional pieces during times of public sway. Again. I am merely stating that Biden has always been a barometer for the middle. Not necessarily that it is a good thing.
Others commented better but:


Funny, people are saying they're going to vote for Trump? Really? Where?

Furthermore, the time to change people's minds is by protesting, by showing, by revealing to the world the horrors happening to Palestinians every day. You know, like how it's usually done.
That is indeed how it's usually done, and what I would expect from a democracy.
So I completely missed this until just now, but I could be misunderstanding you here, but I never, ever, said I'd vote for Trump. That is far from what I've said. I'm just simply not voting for anyone in the presidency (or if I do, possibly third party). I cannot in any good conscious vote for anyone. I've laid out my reasons why, and I'm sticking to them. I'm not trying to convince anyone, but rather trying to explain from my view point and as to why I feel the voting on the national scale, is a broken system, but I never ever once stated I would vote for Trump.

Reminder, there are options: Third party, write in, or simply not voting for the presidential candidate. Just because someone says they aren't voting for Biden, does not mean a vote for Trump. And if you are remotely implying that "no vote or third party/write-in vote is a vote for Trump", then you (and others for that matter) need to rethink your things for a bit as to why someone would choose this and the answer is not "You're wasting your vote and allowing the other guy to get in", trust me on this.
I myself am much more consequentialist than you, but I respect your thoughts on the matter too. You definitely are moreso a virtuist, and that is something we cannot ever reconcile.

However, I do think that you are missing the fact that for the majority of issues in America, politicians across history have indeed represented well. Our politics is rather well functioning according to American idealogogy, sans our broken supreme court.

It's just a simple fact that people were misled in the 80s, corporations put a stranglehold on the country, and the rest has been history. But it wasn't without the will of the American people. Luckily, those people who were in the height of their political power in the 80s are dying, and some sanity is starting to come back as younger generations have to face the consequences for those actions.

To put a TLDR: I am not saying that your feelings on the matter are incorrect. However, if you know what the actual problem, you can have a way better idea to change it. I say this from someone who grew up in a shit hole state, to a state that is consistently getting better, more prosperous, and way more financially aligned. I did the work to fix it, now I get to reap the benefits.
 
I just want to jump in and address this because I am Jewish, but specifically a Jewish communist that is anti-Zionist with Israeli family. I am not necessarily disagreeing with most of your points but I want to put in some of my own context and viewpoints.

The simple truth of the matter is, from where I'm standing, large portions of the Jewish community have been captured by reactionary thought and refuse to seriously interrogate the realities of Zionism and Israel/Palestine. Our communities, our synagogues, our institutions have been tied to billion dollar campaigns that furthers colonialism and genocide. This is a very difficult thing for people to come to terms with, especially a group of people like us who have been taught the history of our oppression and are raised from birth to believe that Israel is our holy land. Palestinian liberation, however, should not be secondary to our community's comfort. "Zionism" does not exist in a meaningful context nowadays outside of how it is used to further Israel's actions. Liberal Zionism whitewashes Israel's image and gets people to tacitly approve these actions while looking away at the truth of what they are doing.

Palestinian liberation movements also should not prioritize the sensitivities of American Jews who live relatively comfortable lives separated from ongoing violence that you see in occupied territories. If American Jews are upset about "from the river to the sea," they should take a good hard look at why that is, and what life is like for people in occupied Palestine. If we are to be a group of people that celebrate freedom, equality, and justice, we must start with accepting that our communities have looked the other way on this occupation for decades now. But as is, the simple truth is we have been conditioned to accept this as the status quo. Most of the world supports Israel and sends them billions of dollars in aid. If the status quo is so fragile that a few slogans and words can tip the balance, then that certainly means something needs to change. I can say personally I have been at multiple protests and every time I am there, Palestinians come up to me and thank me for being there. Palestinians extend a ton of grace to Jews and are very delicate with us even though, frankly speaking, I would be somewhat sympathetic to them hating Jews more when the country that is killing them waves a flag with a Star Of David. The strength and bravery of the Palestinians is incalculable. They are not just numbers or bodies, they are living, breathing people with thoughts and friends and families and dreams and I think that gets forgotten a lot. They are the most important people to listen to on this topic, far more than us, that is sure.

We are seeing young Jews breaking away from being ardently pro-Israel. I personally have seen the rift in my family firsthand with younger Jews disagreeing very strongly with older Jews on this topic. That is good. But the issue is that the older, more religious, wealthier Jews are the ones that have the power in our communities and continue to push Zionist thought. And then the current President of the United States is aiding and abetting this genocide, which we all know. So I don't really have a lot of sympathy for people who are wishy washy on what is going on and act like "it's complicated" while crying foul at any pushback on this stance (I'm not saying that's you, but it's something I see a lot) when they have near-universal institutional support and are, in my opinion, being coddled. I'm not going to go into their house and trash their things unlike what the settlers did to Palestinians' homes but I am not going to treat them with kid gloves if they choose to discuss this with me. I've already had family members share harsh words with me on this stance that I won't repeat. I am not going to choose unity with my community if it means ignoring and accepting genocide.

I'm not an expert as to what a free Palestine looks like or what you do with the settlers - that isn't really up to me. However, I will support Palestinian liberation no matter what despite everything in my upbringing telling me otherwise. I hope that one day other Jews can come to the same conclusion.
Yeah, I do pretty much agree with everything you've said. For every Jewish friend who's said something in support of Palestinians, I can think of ten horrible things I've heard from extended family or community members. For every positive thing I can say about the Jewish community, I can think of ten negative ones. I only didn't because then I'd only be repeating what tons of people have said in this thread already, but I'll reaffirm it all now.

Amidst all the criticism of Israel's government, I sometimes think people let its citizens off too easy. From my experience, tons of Israelis support these attacks on Palestine. Even John Oliver did a segment on the conflict a few months ago and kept stressing that Israelis hate Netanyahu too, and all I could think of throughout the entire episode was "Yeah, but it's for entirely different reasons! You're giving them way too much credit!"

And you're also absolutely right that this Zionist propaganda machine is backed by a billion dollar industry. There are organizations whose entire purpose is to contact news outlets to try and combat their coverage. There's a whole bloody program dedicated to sending thousands of foreign Jews to Israel every year for free, to get them to immigrate, enlist in the IDF or hook up with other Jews. Christ, it's even called fucking Birthright lol

In particular, your point about many Jews hiding behind the excuse of "It's complicated." I'm with you there 100%. It's really not complicated at all. Israel's history is a mere 76 years long. idgaf about some ancient Jews who lived there thousands of years ago. It's like if someone came to your house, said their great great great great grandma used to live there, and then tore it down. "It's complicated" is nothing more than a shield used by cowards trying to obfuscate the matter.

But at the same time, Jews have faced persecution throughout history. Actual antisemitism is still alive and well in many parts of the world. Some bad actors have also latched on to the protests as a cover. In some cases, it's not just mere comforts that are being risked. But of course, I'll never ever say that it's anywhere near what Palestinians face, every single day of their lives.

To be honest, it's hard for me to square certain parts together. I have a lot of thoughts that are almost contradictory in a way. On the one hand, I see the fear in some Jews who advocate for peace but feel that their very existence is being attacked. Yet on the other, I believe that a majority of Israelis, and many Jews in general, actually support the Palestinian genocide. My emotions will have me believe that tons of Jews just want to coexist in a two state solution, yet my head tells me that most do not. I don't want to polarize the Jews who may yet be on our side, but at the same time I recognize that it could be a misplaced effort, because they might very well be an inconsequential minority in this conflict. Thinking about it more, these contradicting feelings might be taking hold for me because of the circles I hang out in. I actively push away the hateful, racist nationalists and only really talk to a handful of friends about this stuff anymore, so the fears I see manifesting in the latter end up weighing disproportionately in my perception of how Jews feel about the war.

Last thing I wanna touch on though, is your last paragraph and how we talk about potential solutions. I think we do need to consider these things, even if we won't individually have a direct hand in shaping the future, because a poorly implemented solution could very well end up with the situation getting flipped. We don't need to spare any considerations for the old, bigoted shitheads who are entrenched in their supremacist views, but if we can broach the topic more constructively with those who have not yet been fully molded by the propaganda, we still have a good shot at bringing more and more of them to our side. Though again, I will never chastise anyone for how they actually speak about the subject. I know all too well how exhausting it can be to try and reason with certain people over and over, to seemingly no avail.
 
I apologize in advance, I had a lot on my mind.
Your goddamn right.

But my question is now what? How do you hold a government responsible or enact good change when you don't have a side you can believe in or support? This is a question Ive been pondering for my own personal self and still don't really have answer for.
Honestly, I can make suggestions, but I think (and I'll expand on this further down) the damage has mostly been done at the federal level and is irreversibly broken by the design of both main parties. That may explain why there is a sense of hopelessness in both yourself and others.
Getting deeply involved in state/municipal policy and electoral races can stem the tide more than federal political action will, as those races are so sparsely paid attention to that a large cohort can swing results in any particular direction and gives potentially more options for finding better candidates to run, but federal politics has frequently sucked up all the oxygen among the electorate and that presents both a problem and an opportunity for those who still want to believe in electoralism.
Just as an example: The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would have shut Trump out of the White House the first time by forcing the winner of the national popular vote to get all electoral college electors in states that ratified it (effectively nullifying the electoral college), but it's a state-led effort, and if state legislatures weren't going Democrat, that generally meant it wasn't happening (and even that wasn’t a guarantee). Before the 2016 election, states who signed onto it had 60% of the necessary electors to make it the de facto law of the land that the winner of the national popular vote won the presidency. Since Trump's election, that has jumped to 77.4%. And it's because this compact has majority support in the US and people were electing governors that partly campaigned on a promise to make it happen.

But beyond that, it's time to build more robust community assistance and mutual aid programs that exist outside government regulation and funding rather than relying on it, as the government (both federal and state) are not reliable partners in community welfare anymore.
Obviously I don’t agree. Not much else to say. Taking not voting to its natural conclusion, worse and worse bad actors will enter politics stripping the government and its people of its rights and resources. Which we’ve seen. You not voting doesn’t stop the government from existing or those levers of power from being meaningful. It certainly doesn’t teach anybody a lesson other than you are not a reliable voter. You can be tired of democrats - I never liked them - but I can be tired of cynicism masked as enlightenment which encourages disengagement and self disenfranchisement.


Apparently you root for the government to crumble and then say, “well it was all their fault they didn’t woo me.” There seems to be this notion that if people are upset at those arguing that voting is meaningless they therefore don’t also put any blame on democrats if they lose. No idea why. There’s no contradiction holding both thoughts.


Right. And then there’s the outright denial of any accomplishments like the ones you listed as well as his dramatically improved climate policies or student debt forgiveness (which people dismiss because he wasn’t actually able to wave a magic wand), or as you pointed out being able to appoint a Justice, never mind the hundreds of historically diverse lower court judges he’s appointed.
When not aiding and abetting a genocide and reflecting the majority desire of the nation is described as "wooing the electorate" instead of "doing the bare minimum humane thing to do that people would expect of a decent human being", it may be worth re-evaluating that position, because it’s Not a Good Look™. But regardless of that...

I don't even disagree with your assessment of what not voting would lead to, nor do I want to see the result of that, what with all the suffering that entails, but let's be clear on a few things.

When people are coming in and saying "not voting is a vote for Trump", as several individuals did in this thread, it comes with an implicit suggestion that they must endorse Biden. Some folks who didn't like Hilary Clinton as the candidate voted 3rd-party, and they were raked across the coals if not outright vilified for it with the same exact argument, so it's not an argument made to encourage voting as is being claimed, it's an argument to vote and to vote the only "correct" way. So pleading for people to vote because it's the only means we have to communicate entirely misses the point, because a vote that isn't for Democrats or Republicans is treated exactly the same by these people as not voting at all and the very legitimate threat of public shaming for expressing dissatisfaction with the political dichotomy actually either scares potential voters into making a choice they hate to reject a choice they hate more, which will eventually disenfranchise said voter through a different kind of guilt and shame, or disenfranchises them right from the outset. The intentional undermining of 3rd-party options throughout the history of US politics has largely been to preserve two-party hegemony and keep current dynamics in place, but even when people want to vote but express their exasperation at the dichotomy provided by the 2 main parties and vote 3rd-party, it's not seen as more credible than an abstention by the 2 main parties or no small number of their supporters, which is willful ignorance on their part. The notion of being labelled an “unreliable voter” that you mention gives the game away, because “reliability” is measured exactly the way I describe, as only any vote for their candidate/party regardless of their policy position, with no reflection on why someone would opt not to, just bucketing them as “unreliable” at best or silently enabling their opponent at worst. And yet, in spite of all of that, House and Senate elections show a statistically higher voter participation than there is for the presidency on a fairly consistent basis, particularly (but not always) among candidates who have something to say outside the party line... almost like standing for something instead of merely standing against something else might matter to people. But when Biden himself tells people not to vote for him if they don’t like his position on something, who’s really to blame if they don’t?

Because lest we forget the fundamental principle of a vote in an election: it is a personal endorsement of a candidate, full stop. Voting for Biden is an endorsement of everything he stands for, regardless if it's only done to stop Trump. And that endorsement includes actively aiding a genocide, a botched end to one of the US' forever-wars that left broken promises and up to 150,000 Afghani lives at risk of ending (on top of all those killed in said forever-war), a watered-down version of a milquetoast bill on climate action, minimal action on racial equity despite the rhetoric and the collapse of reproductive and trans healthcare (which, to be fair, some of which is not entirely on Biden but his entire party for not acting responsibly on these files when they had the complete opportunity to, along with centrist/conservative state legislatures and many "better things aren't possible" party obstructionists at the federal level… Manchin's ears must be burning right about now, but Biden's are, too, if you've seen his past voting record on some of those issues). So yeah, people are going to feel immensely conflicted and it’s easy to see why. And instead of resolving that conflicted feeling, people are more likely to negate it entirely. And there was a simple solution to that problem that no one once considered, despite what some people have been screaming at the top of their lungs for years. Democrats being ignorant of the political costs of their inactions and/or negative actions is not a new circumstance by any stretch. That these chickens are again coming home to roost at the most inopportune time and that those in power are begging those with the least amount of power to fix their long-standing mistake while having them make a huge moral compromise to do so is peak America.

The US does not need any help with voter disenfranchisement, elections in the US have seen utterly poor turnout by OECD standards and that has been a phenomenon dating all the way back to the 15th Amendment. And not all of that 35-50% of people not turning out to vote in the modern era can be levied against suppression tactics (especially when the most effective suppression tactic, incarceration, removes those individuals from the statistic utterly). This is to say that voter apathy/dissatisfaction is not some new phenomenon, it is a long-standing problem, the causes of which have not once been adequately addressed (though one could argue that engendering voter apathy is, in effect, a Democrat voter suppression tactic, especially when targeted against those further to the left of the party’s policy position, but that’s a whole other conversation). You'd think after more than 5 decades of this shit, someone would have flipped the script by now, but everything is the same as it ever was, ghoulish GOP candidate, only-good-by-comparison vote-entitled neoliberal candidate. This does not engender interest in politics, let alone voting.
You talk about my "cynicism masked as enlightenment" causing disenfranchisement, but there's nothing cynical or particularly enlightening about pointing out the unvarnished plainly-stated fact of how no one could ever do a better job of promoting self-disenfranchisement in the US than the US political system does (or many others for that matter, as the EU election results make plain).
That being the case, the 2020 election had a 66% turnout and that was the highest it has been since 1900 (a rather damning record, to be frank), an election that drew out people who typically abstained from voting on any given year on the threats of a 2nd Trump term. Those individuals wanted that vote to mean something. What they got was more of the same, but slower in some regards, the same speed with others (with all of Biden's expansion of Trump's policies, quite literally so) and the worst possible Democrat to be president during a flare-up in Israel/Palestine. People who don't usually vote to begin with stuck their necks out last election to get rid of Trump and many of them don't have any material benefit to show for it and are now feeling complicit in a genocide because of what the candidate they endorsed is doing, to boot.

Where I will agree is that not voting sends no signal on its own, you’re absolutely right there. That’s why a lot of people not voting aren’t just resigned to that being their only action. They’re at protests, voicing their opinions at town halls, etc, saying in no uncertain terms what they want to see from a Democratic president that they’re not getting now.
They’re doing it with Palestine. The response has been to get the protestors jailed, to discredit them, to say they’re an astroturf movement, to say the thing they’re protesting doesn’t exist, to undermine the United Nations' efforts to hold Israel to account using every lever at their disposal.
They’re doing it regarding Biden’s poor record on police funding and racial equity. The response was to say black people struggling with the decision to support him based on his record aren't black back during the last election, to discredit BLM protests, to say what black people are asking for can never happen while expanding funding of the heavily-militarized and incarceration-incentivized police force in direct opposition to their preferred outcome.
Women have been doing it for decades. The response was to sleep on the issue until SCOTUS overturned Roe, basically when the damage has been done.
Trans people have been asking to be protected for decades, and while there is finally some movement there at the 11th hour, trans activists aren’t thrilled that their rights are being used as a cudgel to silence dissent for other objectionable acts by the administration, acts that they themselves find reprehensible.

When you’re being as clear as possible about why you might not vote for Biden (or any other centrist in any other nation, for that matter) and this is the response they get, the onus is on the Democrats for sticking their fingers in their ears and being willfully ignorant, to chase “reliable” voters who would “vote blue no matter who” and more than willing to compromise on their principles while the party drifts further right with each passing year. Outside of outright violence, folks choosing not to vote couldn’t be any more clear about why.

But, just for the sake of argument, let’s say folks do what is being asked and elect Biden. Will they not be asked to do it again in 4 more years yet again, sacrificing more and more of their principles on the altar of keeping the GOP from power? This discussion is evergreen for a reason, and it’s not because of the electorate. People want to put their foot down, but the enemy at the gates isn’t going away and are being told to stand down and hold their noses.

The core problem here is that the Republicans aren’t going to disappear in the face of defeat. Republicans give the most hateful and bigoted in America what they want. Democrats love talking about needing “a strong Republican Party”, they mention it every chance they get, but then ask the electorate to defeat it when they get their wish on a monkey’s paw? Please.

Republican voters will always get what they want, their party has the resolve to not moderate their position, emboldened to go further with each win, and have now gone as far as to not moderate the tone with which they communicate their position. Until the same can be said of Democrats instead of endlessly kowtowing to people in the centre (or those to the right who are never going to), this existential threat will never go away and Americans are fighting a battle they will eventually lose without something changing, and it's a change that no one capable of making happen has demonstrated any interest in. Whether it happens now or 4 years from now when the lesson still isn't learned seems mostly a matter of delaying that outcome, not preventing it. So people are choosing to act now, to make demands of their candidate now, and to use their singular method of leverage, to do the one thing that might motivate a course correction by withholding a vote. not resign themselves to whatever Biden wants to do in the next 4 years.

Until these existential problems are addressed, this election will resolve nothing, only kick the can down the road. And people are losing faith that anything will change unless there's some applied pressure, since protest and making their voices heard has been clearly insufficient. There's only one tool left in that toolkit, and people are less and less afraid to use it. Yes, even if the chips don't fall where they want them to.
People proclaiming that "harm reduction doesn't matter!" when only one side in this election wants to enact Project 2025 are asinine.

Some of us want to continue living in a non-theocratic, democracy controlled state, where lgbtq+ people have rights and protestors aren't fucking deported or sentenced to prison. Thanks.
Elect Biden and Project 2025 suddenly becomes Project 2029. This isn't like the Mayan calendar, no one averted apocalypse if 2025 passes and Republicans aren't in power to enact their will. And I don't have faith that Democrats will somehow see the light and make a better candidate choice that better aligns with what people want to see from a president in the modern day. So we will be right back where we started 4 years later. People can only hold their nose for so long before they pass out. You'll never keep the GOP out of power forever unless something changes and there's no appetite for that in the Democratic Party, so... there's no reduction of harm to be had, at best you're getting harm deferral.
At the start of the Trump administration, abortion was a protected right. Now it isn't. That wasn't an inevitability, that was a direct result of the election, and now the Supreme Court is fucked for a generation.
Point of order: it was a direct result of not codifying it into law when there was a chance to, the election was just the outcome of that choice. And one could argue that the structure of the Supreme Court with lifetime appointment, no oversight and no means to pull a judge from the bench has meant it was fucked from its very inception, but that's outside the scope of what you were trying to impart with that comment, I understand.
A conservative-heavy Supreme Court was always a possibility, and I'm surprised actions were not taken with that in consideration.
 
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To be honest, it's hard for me to square certain parts together. I have a lot of thoughts that are almost contradictory in a way. On the one hand, I see the fear in some Jews who advocate for peace but feel that their very existence is being attacked. Yet on the other, I believe that a majority of Israelis, and many Jews in general, actually support the Palestinian genocide. My emotions will have me believe that tons of Jews just want to coexist in a two state solution, yet my head tells me that most do not. I don't want to polarize the Jews who may yet be on our side, but at the same time I recognize that it could be a misplaced effort, because they might very well be an inconsequential minority in this conflict. Thinking about it more, these contradicting feelings might be taking hold for me because of the circles I hang out in. I actively push away the hateful, racist nationalists and only really talk to a handful of friends about this stuff anymore, so the fears I see manifesting in the latter end up weighing disproportionately in my perception of how Jews feel about the war.

Last thing I wanna touch on though, is your last paragraph and how we talk about potential solutions. I think we do need to consider these things, even if we won't individually have a direct hand in shaping the future, because a poorly implemented solution could very well end up with the situation getting flipped. We don't need to spare any considerations for the old, bigoted shitheads who are entrenched in their supremacist views, but if we can broach the topic more constructively with those who have not yet been fully molded by the propaganda, we still have a good shot at bringing more and more of them to our side. Though again, I will never chastise anyone for how they actually speak about the subject. I know all too well how exhausting it can be to try and reason with certain people over and over, to seemingly no avail.
I think the only thing I can do, as a Jew living in America, is speak my truth and be consistent and honest about it and hope that in due time people will come to my side. Until then, my energy will go towards supporting Palestinian causes and anything that will raise awareness for them. An unfortunate side effect of this I think is young progressive Jews are going to be alienated by the more outwardly genocidal rhetoric espoused by these institutions and synagogues and those communities will inevitably shrink. Maybe one day the older Jews in our community will realize this, maybe not. At the end of the day, I can only control my corner of the world so I will do what I can rather than try to sway people that might be outside of my direct sphere of influence.

I will say I only came to much of these conclusions after meeting a person who grew up in Israel, moved to America, and was voraciously outspoken about Israel's crimes and Palestinian liberation. If this conversation was happening a decade ago my stance on this would possibly be very different. Unlearning this kind of thing did not happen overnight, naturally. Meeting a person like that made me realize if they can come to this conclusion despite their upbringing, I can too. Maybe we can continue to influence each other positively like this and that will cause more change. I can only hope so.
 
it's an argument to vote and to vote the only "correct" way. So pleading for people to vote because it's the only means we have to communicate entirely misses the point, because a vote that isn't for Democrats or Republicans is treated exactly the same by these people as not voting at all and the very legitimate threat of public shaming for expressing dissatisfaction with the political dichotomy actually either scares potential voters into making a choice they hate to reject a choice they hate more, which will eventually disenfranchise said voter through a different kind of guilt and shame, or disenfranchises them right from the outset. The intentional undermining of 3rd-party options throughout the history of US politics has largely been to preserve two-party hegemony and keep current dynamics in place, but even when people want to vote but express their exasperation at the dichotomy provided by the 2 main parties and vote 3rd-party, it's not seen as more credible than an abstention by the 2 main parties or no small number of their supporters, which is willful ignorance on their part.

here's the thing tho man, we're in a niche thread about politics on a niche message board about children's video games with a few hundred people on it. the only people bothering to come in here are going to be politically plugged in enough that i expect them to understand the cold, unfeeling mathematical reality behind the united states' busted presidential election process. voting 3rd party in a presidential election has the same outcome as not voting.

voting for third party choices, or even just more progressive folks running within the democratic party, during local elections is not something i would ever condemn. that's to be celebrated! thats something we desperately need.

maybe your dyed in the wool #bluenomatterwho #stillwithher people would condemn it, but thats lost cause shit lol

the concept of "blame" is a weird thing here. while i do put the blunt of the blame on clinton for running an absolutely dogshit campaign and currently condemn biden for... a great many things (we could be here all day lol) there is certainly a modicum of blame for trumps first term on people who know how the system works and knew their efforts to buck it would be futile but still voted third party out of some kind of personal morals or whatever. it comes off as especially selfish to me, to vote for who makes you feel good instead of following the numbers and voting for the least bad candidate that actually has a chance at winning.

like this is picking between having to eat 5 scoops of poop and 10 scoops of poop abstaining from engagement with the reality of the process isnt not eating the poop, either. its just letting a bunch of other people pick the 10 stack for you lol


Elect Biden and Project 2025 suddenly becomes Project 2029

yes, this is a good thing yeah. in 2029 a bunch more boomers will be dead, all of gen z will be of voting age and i think even some of the older gen alpha kids will be too. these are important potential voting blocks filled with people who are overall, at least in the us, view things like socialism more favorably than people in my generation (millennial) and those before me.

there's absolutely nothing wrong with the idea that it's worth it to continue kicking the can down the road in hopes we can meaningfully affect change. if we actually let project 2025 come to pass it's basically over lol
 
As a Brazilian, let me just step in to say: Please don't fuck it up, Americans. I don't want our local far-right lunatics to gain strength on account of the most powerful country in the world electing, once more, its own far-right lunatic.
 
just gotta say it isn't a particularly inflammatory opinion that the average american, assuming they buy into the ideology/version of history peddled by the state, is a fascist, or at least is sympathetic of certain parts of fascist ideology
 
just gotta say it isn't a particularly inflammatory opinion that the average american, assuming they buy into the ideology/version of history peddled by the state, is a fascist, or at least is sympathetic of certain parts of fascist ideology
Agreed. It isn't too surprising considering this is a country built on white supremacy and colonialism. I think people assume fascism takes the form of fire breathing goose steppers when in reality it is an inevitable undercurrent of capitalist nation states, particularly those characterized by racialized polarity.
 
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