Vote Early - Vote Often !

Reopened October 2019 - includes archived threads from pre-2019

Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby toucana on September 3rd, 2020, 3:30 pm 

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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby TheVat on September 3rd, 2020, 5:25 pm 


(The Washington Post)

Colby Itkowitz and
John Wagner
September 3, 2020 at 10:04 a.m. MDT

President Trump on Thursday sought to clarify remarks in which he suggested voting twice, saying in tweets that he was instead urging those who vote by mail to follow up at their polling place to make sure their mail-in ballots have been counted.

During a trip to North Carolina on Wednesday, Trump suggested that those who vote by mail “then go and vote” in person as well. Intentionally voting twice is illegal, and in many states, including North Carolina, it is a felony.

“Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “On Election Day, or Early Voting, go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).”


More from the report....

Trump’s comments Wednesday generated enough confusion that the N.C. Board of Elections issued a statement saying that it is a Class 1 felony to intentionally vote twice. The board also noted that it is illegal to solicit someone to vote twice.

In a statement, Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the board, also discouraged voters from coming to the polls on Election Day to verify that their mail-in ballots had been counted.

“The State Board office strongly discourages people from showing up at the polls on Election Day to check whether their absentee ballot was counted,” Bell said. “This is not necessary, and it would lead to longer lines and the possibility of spreading COVID-19.”
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby TheVat on October 31st, 2020, 5:02 pm 

As we stand within 75 hours of the closing of the polls on the eastern seaboard of the USA, it might be of interest to look at some contrasting perspectives on how this madness will all play out. These both come from political scholars who write with clarity.

https://newrepublic.com/article/159841/ ... trump-coup

(this one's fairly optimistic about the institutional restraints on any potential impulses towards fascism)

http://thebulwark.com/the-trouble-with- ... -argument/

(This one makes the case that we mustn't be too complacent, and that not all alarmism is misplaced.)

Though I'm not a drinking man, I am fairly certain I will murder a few beers in the coming week. Depending on how soon a candidate reaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win, it may be Friday before a clear winner is established. My premonition, based on probably very little insight, is that those in possession of a champagne bottle should probably leave the cork in on Tuesday.
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby toucana on October 31st, 2020, 8:07 pm 

TheVat » Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:02 pm wrote:
Though I'm not a drinking man, I am fairly certain I will murder a few beers in the coming week. Depending on how soon a candidate reaches the 270 electoral votes needed to win, it may be Friday before a clear winner is established. My premonition, based on probably very little insight, is that those in possession of a champagne bottle should probably leave the cork in on Tuesday.

Some music to go with those beers:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwcKwGS7OSQ
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby charon on October 31st, 2020, 10:15 pm 

Trouble is, of course, that they don't always lose... not by a long chalk.
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby charon on October 31st, 2020, 10:23 pm 

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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby toucana on November 1st, 2020, 9:03 am 

Some very good insights in that piece Charon.
There’s a great line from the philosopher Hannah Arendt, I think in her book about totalitarianism, where she says that fascists are never content to merely lie; they must transform their lie into a new reality, and they must persuade people to believe in the unreality they’ve created. And if you get people to do that, you can convince them to do anything….

Part of what fascist politics does is get people to disassociate from reality. You get them to sign on to this fantasy version of reality, usually a nationalist narrative about the decline of the country and the need for a strong leader to return it to greatness, and from then on their anchor isn’t the world around them — it’s the leader.

It was Hannah Arendt who also produced a memorable quote about the “Banality of evil” as she reported for the New Yorker on the experience of watching Adolf Eichmann, the logistical planner of the Holocaust in the witness box when he was on trial in Jerusalem in 1961.

https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-hannah-arendt-really-mean-by-the-banality-of-evil

This also reminded me of a comment by the American journalist and radio broadcaster William L. Schirer who worked in Germany as a correspondent for CBS throughout the 1930s, and later covered the Nuremberg war crime trials in 1946.

The remaining intimate collaborators of Hitler lived a bit longer. I went down to Nuremberg to see them. I had often watched them in their hour of glory and power at the annual party rallies in this town. In the dock before the International Military Tribunal they looked different. There had been quite a metamorphosis. Attired in rather shabby clothes, slumped in their seats fidgeting nervously, they no longer resembled the arrogant leaders of old. They seemed to be a drab assortment of mediocrities. It seemed difficult to grasp that such men, when last you had seen them, had wielded such monstrous power, that such as they could conquer a great nation and most of Europe. (pp 1023-24) - The Rise and Fall of The Third Reich (1960 - Simon & Schuster)

http://elibrary.bsu.az/books_400/N_389.pdf
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby charon on November 1st, 2020, 10:11 am 

I don't see Trump sitting there fidgeting nervously, he'd be as pompous as ever claiming it was all a fix, etc, etc.
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby Dave_C on November 1st, 2020, 11:03 am 

Interesting article Charon. I like that it's relatively unbiased... (relatively).
Some great comments as always toucana.

I have plenty of good friends who support trump, though I rarely ask why. Never ends well. These are good people, honest people who would always go the extra mile to help you out. Not fascists' at all. The person inside is not the 'deplorable' individual per Clinton comment whatsoever. At least, for the folks I know. We've all seen the other side though, the retired folks in the golf carts yelling for "white power", the 'proud boys' and other fringe elements that support trump. There's plenty of YouTube videos showing the crazy side of his supporters. But I think the broad brush used to paint his supporters misses the reality.

I'd suggest that the majority of his supporters are actually good people who have similar tendencies towards viewing leadership. I read this article that looks at common characteristics in trump supporters and I think as long as I read it with an eye to removing the bias that's been written into the article, it does provide some insight. For example, calling respect for authority a "syndrome" seems disrespectful to people who genuinely see law/order as an important part of our society. I have to agree. And when people use perfectly legal protests to cover their actions when they vandalize and loot, I think these people have lost their rights to peaceful demonstration. The idea of "social dominance orientation" is also a bit disrespectful in that I see these people having a realistic awareness of social status as opposed to those who try to respect everyone as an equal. Social status is real and even those of us scientifically minded recognize the authority and 'status' of those others in the community who have contributed so much and are clearly to be respected for their opinions on matters falling into their area of expertise. Finally, the part about "relative depravation" is interesting. I would tend to agree that most people, regardless of their income, believe they deserve even more. But this, I feel, also points to the problems created today by the disparity in wealth which seems largely institutionalized.
https://www.rgj.com/story/opinion/voice ... 618475001/

With the exception of prejudice, I don't see any of the other 4 traits as being necessarily objectionable. I do think the other 4 tend to agree well with the personality traits I see in those friends of mine who support trump. One friend of mine pointed out that division in the nation already existed far before trump came along and he's right. The caveat being of course, that trump goes in there with construction equipment to pry open and leverage that division so he might gain more power.
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby Serpent on November 1st, 2020, 1:05 pm 

charon » November 1st, 2020, 9:11 am wrote:I don't see Trump sitting there fidgeting nervously, he'd be as pompous as ever claiming it was all a fix, etc, etc.

Hitler didn't either - just the henchmen. I can certainly see Mnuchin, Barr, Scalia and Miller in rumpled heaps of dejection. The head bombast takes a dramatic exit - whether leaping off the balcony or parachuting to safety, some collateral damage is left behind. These same henchmen, who don't want to be left on that balcony, might prevail upon him o take the prudent route, but I'm not counting on it. (Neither are they. Did you notice the euphoria in those ranks after the second debate? He was magnificent! So presidential! He didn't throw feces at the moderator!)
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Re: Vote Early - Vote Often !

Postby TheVat on November 1st, 2020, 2:49 pm 

Dave_C » November 1st, 2020, 8:03 am wrote:. I read this article that looks at common characteristics in trump supporters and I think as long as I read it with an eye to removing the bias that's been written into the article, it does provide some insight. For example, calling respect for authority a "syndrome" seems disrespectful to people who genuinely see law/order as an important part of our society....


Dave C -- this comment drew my attention to a topic that's been fermenting in my head a while, namely that of bias. I want to start a thread to address some of the issues around labeling bias, properly defining what it is, and also looking at the term when it's used to glibly criticize an opinion (i. e. simply calling an opposition statement "biased" without providing any factual rebuttal or basis for using the term)

I will make this an OP post on that new thread-to-be, and get the ball rolling with a couple comments...

Some descriptions are seen as biased, especially by those who disagree with the description, but only facts and agreed-upon criteria can resolve if the bias is real. Take the statement, "Trump is a chronic liar. "

Now, if all parties agree that chronic lying is a serious harm when it's found in a public official (the sort of office from which we expect transparency and fealty to facts), then all parties agree that sentence must be backed with solid evidence, because the stakes are pretty high. And we must state some criteria for calling someone a liar.

So, we look at professional factcheck organizations (I selected nonpartisan organizations) that range from a tally of 15,000 to 25000 falsehoods coming from the POTUS. That would be something like a minimum of ten lies a day. That would seem to fit a fairly universal definition of the term liar, and would fit also with clinical definitions of pathological liar, in terms of numbers, of how often the behavior manifests, and of how often they slander or libel others or falsely characterize science, the law, history, etc.

So far, then, my example sentence seems to be congruent with an objective reality, and therefore calling the writer of said sentence biased would not be warranted. But, and this is my opening question, what happens when the reader of that sentence goes ahead and ascribes bias to it?

I think the issue will remain important long after 2020, as social media continue to grapple with partisan organizations that post misinformation about opposition candidates, etc. How do they fact-check competently and fend off accusations of having bias themselves?

I do agree that "syndrome" in Dave"s example would seem prejudicial in any discussion about people who respect a social institution and its authority. (I find more problems like this in interview formats than in straight reporting) If there were undue respect, however, that grew out of a cult of personality for one person, that might be a different matter, and we would need facts and well defined terms to address such a situation.
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