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There Can Be Little Meaningful Discussion Without Facts

Discussion in 'American Politics' started by mark46, Jan 17, 2021.

  1. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There has been an enormous change in our country in this century, some would say the last 5 years. Fro most Republicans, there is now no such thing as a fact, only opinion. Often, they have discussed alternative facts.

    In the world, we have had these situations since we argued with regard to whether the earth was flat and at the center of the universe (and long before that).
    ================
    I will try not to "debate" ideas or statements with those for whom for whom all facts are considered opinion.
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    In the public arena, we must stand up and realize that there are objective facts.

    This last election was the fairest in the history of the United States (otherwise all the House members elected would certainly reject their own elections and require a new election for their seats). Trump appointees have testified to this fact before Congress. ALL the states have met and certified the elections in their states. 60 courts have rule on whether their was any significant fraud. And now, the US Congress has voted to accept the certification by the states.
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    AND YET, 80% of Republicans believe that the election was fraudulent and that Trump won in a landslide (after all, Trump says this is true).
    ==========
    LET"S BE VERY CLEAR
    Biden and the Senate Democrats will make zero effort to work with these folks, particularly those who voted to overturn the election. Democrats will try to work with at least 15 Republicans who want to work toward compromise legislation, certainly including McConnell. Of course, this is more difficult in the House, where the lives of those who oppose the insurrectionists are in danger.
     
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  2. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    As a rule of thumb, superlatives are a pretty good clue that someone is just making up crap.
     
  3. Pommer

    Pommer Autodidact polymath

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    Like a certain impeached President is wont to do?
     
  4. nonaeroterraqueous

    nonaeroterraqueous Nonexistent Member

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    Yeah, he loves to make up crap. Leftists and Trump are very similar.
     
  5. Greengardener

    Greengardener for love is of God Supporter

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    I had reason to flip radio channels for several hours last week so I caught both right and mainline media news and talk shows. I heard both sides sticking to several main talking points as I listened across several programs and speakers, so I questioned whether anyone really thinks for themselves these days. It appears somewhere between a third and half the country is not completely convinced that everything is cool. I would hardly expect silent compliance from any disappointed Americans, including those in the right-to-far-right camp. To be honest, I'm not convinced that shoving a one-sided media concert on them is going to convince all the conspiracy-theorists that there's nothing to be concerned about. The mainline media is clearly drawing unreasonable conclusions and expecting agreement from the disappointed right-leaning Americans. In the 2016 election, I remember American Democrats were voicing their concern and disappointment, even accusing that there was Russian collusion in the election results, which was reasonable for a disappointed people and worth looking into. I think that was pretty well explored during the first impeachment. I was hoping there would be a larger investigation into the vote integrity issue so reasonable, concerned Americans could see better evidence for vote integrity and be convinced. In an environment like what we have going on now, it'll be hard to actually have a conversation and come to a compromise.
     
  6. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Why should there be a larger investigation this time when the concerns of the last time resulted in tighter voting processes and there is even less real indication of fraud this time?

    BTW, the primary concern of foreign involvement in the 2016 election was not particularly about the voting process, but about the campaign process. It was actually Trump who raised questions about the voting process.
     
  7. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I'm not so sure this is true. Some of the early legislation is based on a concensus of what economists think is needed to restart the economy, and facilitate vaccination. That doesn't need to be ideological unless people want to make it that way.

    A major priority a bit later will be infrastructure. In the recovery after 2008 both Republicans and Democrats claimed they supported this, though it doesn't appear that Republicans were willing to do anything about it.
     
  8. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My point was that Biden doesn't needs the votes of the extremists in the Senate. They can go along with the Democrats should they choose, but they won't have a seat at the compromise table unless McConnell insists.

    Unless McConnell is obstructionist, I can see several pieces of legislation passing
     
  9. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    To preface, I do think the last election was fair. People voted, the votes were counted (and recounted in many places) and courts overwhelming rejected any notion to the contrary.

    However, the very concept of "fair", in and of itself, is subjective and not objective. Some folks would say that the mere fact that we have an electoral college system that, in essence, make some peoples' votes count more than others is unfair by its very nature. But, within the system we have, this last election was fair. I don't know that saying "fairest in history" is something that can be quantified. I don't see it as being any more or less fair than any other presidential election.


    The talking points about "objective facts", beyond the scope of election results, is something that's been used as a little bit of a gaslighting technique by some ideologues on both sides.

    Basically, they prop up their own viewpoint on a subjective topic as synonymous with "objective fact" (usually by shopping around with someone who has expert credentials who agrees with them), and then when someone from the other side debates against it, they accuse them of being "ignorant of the facts".
     
  10. stevil

    stevil Godless and without morals

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    The Democratic party and members had no idea about Russia and the Trump Campaign ties until after news broke of the FBI investigation. Trump fired Comey in an attempt to stop the investigation. The Republican acting AG then commissioned a Special Council to continue this investigation.

    Neither investigation had anything to do with the Democrats.
     
  11. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    are these not objective facts?

    Isn't the dispute relating to this election being fair measured by whether the votes were counted, and the degree to which voters had access to the voting box?

    Of course, we can debate whether the system can be more "fair" in the sense of whether the system meets our values. That is different form asking whether the election was fair.
     
  12. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The head of the cyber security branch of government studied the process and tried to prevent problems worked to make this election fair for many months, with updates to Congress. When he testifies, we need to consider his judgement more than mere opinion to be valued the same as yours or mine.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
  13. stevil

    stevil Godless and without morals

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    There really is no dispute.

    D Trump has made bold unsupported undetailed allegations of widespread voter fraud.
    His lawyers have commissioned and gathered lots of affidavits and come up with unsupported allegations such as the one about the Dominion Voting systems.
    All of these allegations brought to the courts were thrown out due to lack of evidence.

    Trump fans are still claiming widespread voter fraud, citing things such as Dominion Voting systems which have already been thrown out of the courts due to lack of evidence.

    The people making the allegations don't have any evidence to support their case, they don't even care that they don't have any evidence. They will continue to make these unsupported allegations for the rest of their lives.
     
  14. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    But my question was surrounding "what constitutes fair".

    The concepts of secure/accurate and fair have overlap (as most people would suggest and that lack of security and accuracy would be unfair. However, there are more aspects of it that would contribute to what one may consider "fair"

    For instance, the example I used regarding the electoral college.

    As I mentioned, I personally feel the election fair, accurate, and properly vetted. I was simply pointing out that "fair" is a subjective concept.
     
  15. DaisyDay

    DaisyDay blind squirrel

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    No, although there were investigations into the Russian collusion allegations by the Republican House, the Republican Senate and the Republican DOJ, the first impeachment wasn't about that at all, but about the "quid pro quo" strong-arming of the Ukrainian president.

    The 2020 election results were monitored, counted and recounted. Even though Donald had been claiming fraud for months before the election, his claims were based on fantasy.
     
  16. SimplyMe

    SimplyMe Senior Veteran

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    I feel like you are conflating two different ideas, by trying to confuse the use of the word, "fair." Per Google, "Fair" (when used as an adjective) means, "in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate." So, when talking about a "fair election," the clear meaning is that the election was run in accordance to the rules or standards.

    Now, yes, you can talk about if the election laws are "fair" -- but you've changed the context and use of the word (from an adjective to an adverb), to use Google again, "trying to achieve unjust advantage." So yes, there are arguments that can be made that both sides are trying to create election laws that will give them an "unjust advantage" -- but talking about "fair elections" is not using that definition, since "fair" is not being used as an adverb.

    Now, to be "fair," you can actually claim that Pres. Trump and his allies have stated that it was not a "fair election," as well as that the "election was not fair." On one hand, Trump's allies have claimed that it was not a fair election -- that Democrats "cheated" and counted invalid ballots to help Biden win. Now, to this point in time, the evidence supports that it was a fair election. While there have been claims of wrongdoing, the evidence has been looked at in numerous court cases, by state and local law enforcement agencies, by state election officials (often Republican officials and bipartisan groups of officials), by Secretaries of State and Governors (often Republican), by the FBI -- whose director said it was a fair election, by the DoJ led by William Barr -- who stated it was a fair election, and by Trump's appointees in Homeland Security ("the most fair election in history").

    Now, Republicans have also claimed the election was not fair -- that states changed the rules "illegally." The best example of this is the Texas lawsuit -- only because it has almost all the "election rules were unfair" arguments rolled neatly into a single suit. Now, while the Texas suit was denied, for lack of standing, what gets ignored is that all the "unfair rules" were tried in other courts -- both in the states and appealed to the Federal courts. In every case, the courts ruled that the changes did not change the results of the election; that even if the changes were not made "properly," that they didn't make the election less fair or change the result -- and that changing the rules after the fact would be unfair. Instead, in a couple of instances, the courts ruled that a couple of "changes" need to be addressed again prior to the next election.

    And it is worth pointing out, while the Supreme Court did not hear the Texas case, they did hint that they would have not granted Texas the relief they were wanting -- they would not have changed the results of the election even if they had heard the case (again, remember that the state's issues had already been appealed to the Supreme Court prior to this, so they were aware of what Texas was trying to claim and had ruled on it already).

    It is likely also worth pointing out that the International Groups that observed the election -- while they found it was a fair election (the rules were properly followed and the vote count was legitimate); though they did see some issues, though more in attempts by observers to intimidate the vote counters.
     
  17. ThatRobGuy

    ThatRobGuy Part of the IT crowd Supporter

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    Saying that the election results were counted with a high degree of accuracy, and that courts dismissed any challenges asserting any claims to the contrary are objective, there are tangible proofs of those things.

    Obviously debunked claims about hacked voting machines, covert operatives throwing away ballots, etc... should be dismissed as they have zero basis in fact and were just made up by pro-Trump conspiracy theorists.

    But as I noted, many folks may have other aspects besides technical aspects that they're factoring in forming their own opinion on what's "fair".

    Actually, I like the way this author for Medium describes it.
    upload_2021-1-18_16-1-27.png

    Now, if one wanted to make a claim that "it was highly accurate" or "it was the most heavily reviewed", then those are tangible metrics one could make a case for.


    Saying "it was the most fair of all time" comes across like either a poor choice of words (attempting to convey a subjective concept rather than an objective one), or it comes across as people trying to "needle the other side" just a bit by attaching a superlative to a process that ended in the defeat of their opponents.

    I've spoken with more than a few folks on the right, who didn't buy into the conspiracies, who acknowledge the election results were accurately counted, but the feel that the point of unfairness was the big push toward system of voting that they already knew months in advance was going to much more popular with the younger demographics which skewed heavily to the left.

    About 4 in 10 registered voters plan to cast their ballot by mail-in voting, according to a Pew Research survey.

    Supporters of Democratic candidate Joe Biden overwhelmingly favor mail-in voting when compared to Trump supporters.

    Of the registered voters who plan to cast their ballot, 51% of Biden supporters say they will vote by mail, whereas 39% of Trump supporters said they will do the same. An estimated 50% of Trump supporters will vote in person on Election Day, whereas only 20% of Biden supporters plan to do the same.



    Obviously, the age demographics played a role in that. The 18-35 age group heavily favored democrats, the Trump demographics skewed a little older. So, it stands to reason that younger people are going to feel more comfortable hopping on the internet to fill everything out in order to get their mail in ballot requested, and go through all of the steps to submit it properly, as to where a lot of older folks aren't going to be in that same boat, and just prefer to do it "the old fashioned way" where they go to the polling place, give their name, and a poll worker tells them what they need to fill out in the booth... Obviously, the "old fashioned way" (which many in the 65+ age group are more comfortable with) came with certain complications this time around due to the pandemic.

    Not that any of that would've changed the outcome, Biden won by a pretty significant amount...but none the less, it's just to highlight that there's more that goes into a person's perception of "fairness" than just accurately counting and reviewing the votes that were cast.
     
  18. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You seem want to deal with semantics. The Republican objection related to the fairness of the election had to do with election fraud. We are in agreement with regard to those claims and to the methods used by Republicans.

    If you wish, we can yet again have a discussion with regard what the best system of elections would be, and even on the basis on how we might make that decision.

     
  19. Pommer

    Pommer Autodidact polymath

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    The Election was “fair” in that everybody was under the same rules, (in their respective states, or Commonwealths).
    If one side, say, was burdened with having to go to a polling place to exercise their franchise rather than the safe and relative ease of voting through the mails, then one could argue that the former group had a harder time making their voice heard.

    Who would punish their own voters thusly?
     
  20. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    LET'S BE CLEAR

    The states have many, many options as to how they run their elections, and in how they decide who has there electoral votes.

    A state can now choose, by statute, to always commit its electoral votes to the candidate who had the highest national popular vote. Many Democrats favor this. In another generation, they might not. Our founders didn't want this system, preferring compromise between the power of the small and the larger states.

    Mechanically, using the popular vote would likely lead to no final answer for many months in a close election. The current system essentially ends when the state and the courts decide individual states or congressional district. Imagine a close election where a few thousand votes anywhere in the country could determine the election. There would be thousands of court cases.
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    Two states have a system where electoral votes are by congressional district in addition to being statewide (matching how the electoral vote system is set up). That system seems very fair, and in keeping with the compromise of the founders.
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    If folks want a constitutional amendment to move toward popular vote of the president, let them pass the amendment.
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    FOR ME, I accept a system where elections and election methods are decided by the states. If a states wants to allocate by congressional district, then that it is fine.

    Where the federal government can and should step in is with regard to legislation regarding discrimination, voting fraud, redistricting, voter suppression, access to the voting booth and other such items. If voters had "fair access", the system would be much better. HOWEVER, some would still want
    to abolish voting by state. IMO, they probably should get rid of the Senate while they are at it. Surely, it isn't fair for California and Wyoming to have the same number of senators. Or, perhaps it is indeed fair, part of our system of checks and balances.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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