Do you find it concerning that we really have no political choices these days?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Seattle, Dec 5, 2023.

  1. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm thinking about the next Presidential election. Do we really have any choice? It's pretty much like voting for Hitler or for someone who isn't Hitler but whose policies you don't like.

    Yes, I understand that there will be some who are satisfied with Biden but many don't think that Biden knows what he is doing regarding inflation and the economy but there is no choice since the alternative will be Trump.

    It makes a mockery of the process when you can't vote for the other party to show displeasure with the current administration.

    If you like the current administration, great. I think that's a minority and yet I think (hope) Biden will get a majority of the votes but only because the alternative is Trump and not because a majority are approving of his policies.
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Support Haley in the primaries and hope Trump is behind bars before November?

    I agree it looks self-indulgent of Biden to have walked back from his original suggestion that he would be a one term president. People seem to be worried they may get Harris by default if he conks out. What happened to that Bottygig guy?
    Pinball1970 likes this.
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  5. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    I'm not fond of voting against a candidate, rather than for one. But I've voted third party before and that didn't work out.
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  7. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    I just wish RFK Jr. had stuck with running as a Democrat candidate. Which would have made a preposterous Presidential choice already darkly/absurdly humorous even vastly more so if Bobby could have miraculously toppled Biden in the primary.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    I think the real key, here, is who people would want and why.

    As it is, there are ways this choice looks kind of normal: On the Democratic side is someone liberals will accept, on the Republican side is dangerous antisociality promising ruin. And over the last forty or so years, what this means is that the reason everything sucks so much is that everyone is trying to either compromise with or exploit traditionalism. In other words, voters have done this to themselves.

    Meanwhile, your politic has kind of been stoking societal problems. You know, like supporting prejudice and bigotry in law enforcement↗, or lamenting that people shouid just grow up and be responsible↗. Because, you know, the last forty years of that stuff has worked out so well.

    For your part, you're referring to a self-imposed dualism between "pretty much like voting for Hitler" or voting for "someone" whose policies you probably won't ever like. Remember, it's not so much "Democrats", but the needs of local Democratic voters. Why Biden instead of Warren? Ask Democratic voters in South Carolina. Or consider New York City: Why a cultist with a shoe fetish? Because he's a cop; that's the point of compromise. They could have had a black law enforcer for mayor if they chose the other Democratic candidate, but she was a woman, so they said no; or maybe she wasn't corrupt and authoritarian enough for New Yorkers, so they said no. In any case, it's not so much a "Democrat" thing as a Big Apple thing. New Yorkers needed a compromise point between the conspiracist vigilante who happens to be white and a black woman, so they picked a corrupt cop.

    Still, though, if it wasn't Biden, your choice would be between "pretty much voting for Hitler" and "someone who isn't Hitler but whose policies" you don't like even more than Biden.

    Flip-side: What would you actually be hoping for? If Republicans are determined to recycle the infamies of history, what do you actually want of the other candidate?
  9. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I'm not quite sure what to say. This is posed as a cliche pretty much. Yes, on the Democratic side is someone liberals will accept. On the Republican side is someone some conservatives will accept. Voters did this to themselves.

    Sure, you could say this about any politic topic at any time in history but it doesn't add anything to any conversation to do so.

    None of this is related to the thread topic. It seems to be a personal comment directed at me, but OK, fine. My "politic" hasn't been stoking societal problems. I don't support prejudice and bigotry in law enforcement. People should just grow up and be responsible, that always does work out well.

    I assume the 40 years is a reference to Reagan. Again, so far this is a rant that you could (and have) post at any time about anything and has little to do with this thread.

    Yet another rambling paragraph not really about the thread topic unless in the most cliche sense of "all politics is local". OK, true but it doesn't add much to the conversation. Real estate is about "location, location, location" but would I really need to say that in a conversation about real estate unless I was really just being lazy and trite?

    Maybe you're getting a clue here as to how to keep your diatribes a little shorter. Just leave out the non-essential parts. That's also a key to good writing in most any style.

    What I would like from Biden would be to be financially responsible and not contribute to the national debt, inflation and to not blatantly try to buy votes via student loan debt relief enacted unilaterally, passing major legislation after just increasing the money supply dramatically due to Covid, etc. You don't fight monetary inflation with more monetary inflation.

    He started off OK by being the "caretaker" that most people elected him to be before he got way off track. Regarding Warren, I'd like to see her fall off the face of the planet.

    From the current Republicans, unfortunately, I don't expect anything. As you say, the voters are doing it to themselves and I can't change all of those voters. I would like to see more backbone on that side and I'd like to see all of the more traditional Republicans take over from the crazies and be more responsible. I'd like to see the public debt get back below, let's say 75% of GDP.

    However, all I can really do is to be responsible and take care of myself and if everyone did that, the political clown show would matter even less than it already does.

    From you, I'd like to see more than trite cliches and more specific improvements, whatever those are from your point of view. It's lazy to just sling mud, don't you think? It's also lazy to be so verbose but actually say nothing.

    Sure, you don't like Reagan, everyone is a racist, you don't like how things are going. You don't really talk about what you do want, which we know isn't capitalism but you rarely, if ever, really address that. Why is that?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2023
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    This is what every politician ever has done. They buy farmer's votes with ethanol subsidies. They get states to support them by getting military contracts for that state. They get companies to contribute to them by giving them subsidies, tax breaks and sweet deals on government infrastructure support. They buy the votes of xenophobes by building walls. They buy the votes of veterans by funding the VA.

    Indeed, voting for someone who will benefit them is one of the arguments used to get people to the polls.

    I disagree with the Biden student loan plans as well; he could have a similar effect with a much lower financial impact by simply converting them to zero interest loans with the same repayment schedules, subsidized by the government. 75% lower cost, similar relief. But that's just his version of what every politician does.
  11. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    I don't disagree. His has just been more blatant, IMO, and in the face of the record debt and inflation. The timing, if nothing else, is just very poor.

    No one knew what to do about Covid. Trump tried to ignore it, then used government funds (to private companies) to quickly develop the vaccines. I can't really fault him for that. He started the "stimulus checks" and sent them to everyone. I can't really fault that initially as it looked like Covid would be a much bigger deal for the economy.

    Biden took over and got the vaccines widely distributed, again, kudos. After the market took a nosedive and recovered in two months, after it appeared that most people would be able to work from home and those who were actually laid off would be paid more by not working than by working is where I start to disagree, strongly.

    The end of the stimulus checks were not needed, PPP was not needed, but a leader has to make decisions and it's easy to second guess.

    However, it was always obvious that all this was going to be inflationary. It's the definition of inflationary (too much money chasing too few goods). He shut down production and then flooded the economy with money. Of course there is going to be inflation.

    The Fed denied the problem, then said it would be temporary and finally admitted that something needed to be done. At that point they had waited too long and then raised the interest rate too fast.

    Even then you could say, no one is perfect and they were doing their best to respond to Covid.

    Passing all the bills after that was just pouring gas on a fire and it belies any economics knowledge or they just don't care. Politician or not, at that point, IMO, it went beyond being a typical politician spending money to get reelected.
  12. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Seems like an easy choice, then. You don't want Hitler, do you? Are you willing to have a Hitler if it means you get to vote for policies you like?
    As far as I am aware, the US economy is on the up and up at the moment, due in part to good economic management by the Biden administration. The average perception of how the economy is doing, on the other hand, is practically the opposite. Apparently, the information usually lags the reality by about six months or so for the average American voter. So, when we're talking about who to elect six months from now, you might want to look back on this conversation as you reassess the state of the economy, then not make the same mistake next time.
    If you're so keen on having a good Republican party, what you really need to do is to encourage as many people as you can not to put up with the clown car that it is at present, with a Head Clown at the controls, indicted on 95 separate criminal charges.
    Are you aware that there are Democrat voters as well as Republican voters? Maybe you don't get out very much.
  13. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It might be time for reading glasses James. No shame in that. I didn't say I'm considering voting for Hitler. It's an easy choice. It's not a pleasant choice. The point of the thread isn't to help me decide between Hitler and Biden or to help me decide period.

    You seem to not be aware of a lot so that might be the disconnect here. Do you think that you are adding anything to the spirit of this thread? (hint, you're not). Inflation is high and Biden continues to pour gas on that fire.

    I'm not "keen", that's a quaint use of language though. The point is that I'm not a Republican nor am I a Democrat. I have voted Democrat in the past but I'm not into either party.

    I'm not sure if you get out much or not or if you even know the difference. It's always a pleasure though when you contribute to a thread. I'm sure it encourages more discussion and a higher readership and thanks for your service as staff member.
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Inflation has peaked and is on the decline. Maybe a little research is in order?

    The rest isn't worth responding to.
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    The inflation rate is higher than when Biden took office. Maybe a little research is in order?
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I see. Rather than doing your research and responding to what I wrote, you thought you could try to inject an irrelevancy, while having a babyish dig at me.

    Please grow up.
  17. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Pot kettle
  18. TheVat Registered Member

    A lot of the inflation narratives re Biden policies seem to be partisan driven playing with numbers. Would be useful to listen to economists who keep trying to point out that key drivers of inflation like gas prices are largely driven by global market forces over which US presidents have no control. Other big upticks, like housing costs, have been driven by regressive local zoning laws, lack of affordable housing incentives to developers (again, mostly local), global supply chain issues, NIMBY politics, etc. Again, the President is not a magical being who can wave a wand and fix myriad global and local/state glitches. And he can do even less with a gridlocked Congress that will not work with him in good faith. Focusing on downstream elections would be far more productive in fixing these problems and unlocking Congress than making the president a scapegoat.
    James R likes this.
  19. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    It is true that in many cases the President isn't really in control of much of the economy and yet they always get the blame. So, in a sense it is what it is. However, it's probably more accurate to say that is a President isn't actively doing things to hurt the economy, the economy isn't really their fault.

    A President can have bad policies that hurts (doesn't help) the existing economic conditions. Doubling the currency and passing stimulation bills during a Covid crisis, is hurting the economy especially when it occurred after much of the Covid damage was done. This is just my opinion of course. It certainly isn't supporting Trump or the Republicans in any way. Again, it is what it is.
  20. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Regarding "affordable" housing, it's not a concept that you can really implement, long-term. The free market determines housing prices. Competition keeps a lid on them to the extent that is possible. Zoning is whatever people want. If their desires change, zoning changes.

    Housing is expensive because land is expensive and because (as you alluded to) of building code rules and regulations that can add cost. The government used to build government housing but they turned into "ghettos" so they came up with Section 8 housing where the government subsidized the rent in a regular apartment building (if the owner accepted that). Yet, that usually just turns the whole building into section 8 housing (other people moved) so that's no different than the old government housing. Not surprisingly, that turns into a "ghetto" with drugs and crime.

    Some try to address this with building "tiny" houses but in urban areas, the main expense is in the land so building a tiny house doesn't do much. They have tiny houses in trailer parks. Those turn into areas of drugs and crime as well.

    If someone is willing to move to a smaller city or town, land is much less and it isn't necessary to go out of one's way to build a tiny house.

    The only reasonable solution to affordable housing is to improve ones skills and/or education so that they can afford the market rates in an urban environment or to move to a smaller town where they can afford those lower (market) rates.

    It's like wealth inequality. There is nothing there to "fight" It is what it is. There is wealth inequality where there is wealth. Where there is no wealth, everyone is equal but poor.

    There is no such thing as "affordable" housing. There is just housing at market rates.
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Well, there's your problem! You're assuming you can't do without the free market.
    You seem to be under the mistaken assumption that being poor means you're almost inevitably a criminal and a drug addict. Maybe you should get out more.
    Well, I'm glad you've discovered the only reasonable solution, Seattle, while the rest of us blunder around in the dark. You have it all worked out. Well done.
    You probably think of "wealth" as simply the accumulation of money and goods above a certain arbitrary level. You're a textbook capitalist, it sounds like. All for the 1%. Are the 1% better people than the poor, in your opinion? It's basically laziness and self-indulgence that keeps people poor, right? Rich people deserve to be rich. It's the free market, you see.
  22. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Since you like giving advice, I'll give you some. It's not necessary to end every sentence with a sarcastic remark. It doesn't make your case stronger.

    You can also reply while still understanding that there are usually two sides (or more) to every argument. It's limited to act as it there is just your opinion and then the other side which is bound to be wrong. That's not reality, is it? It's not even an educated approach.

    It's also not conducive to civil conversation.

    Yes, I do think that the free market works better than the alternatives. Reality tends to bear that out.

    I'll also give you some more advice. It's not generally a good faith discussion when you go out of your way to read the other side's comments in the worst possible light.

    I didn't say or imply that the poor are criminals. I did point out the reality that when you get a group of poor people together in subsidized housing you tend to get crime and drugs because they are still poor and there will be a small fraction who use drugs and commit crime and they bring down the quality of life of the majority of the other poor people living in those buildings.

    That would be the historical record. It would be disingenuous not to recognize that.

    It doesn't matter why people are poor. Subsidizing housing doesn't make them less poor and it doesn't result in a pleasant and safe living environment in most cases.

    Therefore the way to not have to be in that environment is to find market rate housing that you can afford. To do that you move to a lower cost area or you improve your skills.

    It doesn't matter if that sounds harsh, or not compassionate or unfair because you can't eat "compasion". Being flippant or sarcastic doesn't make one right or even on the right side of an issue.

    In my opinion Ronald Reagan was a good President as was Barack Obama. I have lesser opinions of most of the rest in my adult life. That's a nuanced point of view. That's an educated point of view and not a team red or team blue mud slinging point of view. It's also not the only point of view. One could make a good case for a completely different point of view.

    If someone made an educated point of view that came to a different conclusion I wouldn't end my response with, "you should probably get out more".

    Then again, I'm not trying to be a jerk. I took you at your word that you weren't trying to be one either. Was I wrong?
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Okay. Thanks.

    Your post just struck me as if you were coming from a place of looking down on certain people and blaming them for being poor. If that isn't part of your thinking, then I'm glad and I apologise for misunderstanding where you're coming from.
    I understand. In many cases, there's a right side and a wrong side. In other cases, there's a better side and a worse side.
    Right. The educated approach involves listening to what the other person has to say, considering the matter, possibly doing a little independent research, and then drawing tentative conclusions, all while keeping in mind that one can always be wrong.
    It's more of matter of how strongly you want to push your free market ideology. You sound like you have a very libertarian attitude to the free market - like there should be little, if any government regulation, checks or balances. But maybe I'm wrong about that. Maybe you think that some checks and balances are warranted. Just not to the extent that you support public housing, rent assistance or similar programmes to help the needy.
    I agree. It will be pleasant to hear you add nuance to your previous comments, which seemed rather harsh on the poor, to me.
    A certain fraction of rich people use drugs and commit crimes, too, you know. Those people tend not to live in such high-density housing, so maybe that's the real problem, not how rich somebody is or isn't? Or maybe crime and drugs are the real problem.
    Most people will agree it's better than living on the streets or in your car.
    That's getting more and more difficult these days, though, isn't it? The 1%ers are buying up all the land and property, leaving such things out of reach for a large number of people - even middle-income earners.

    You're against ghettos for the poor. So, what solutions do you advocate?
    Improving one's skills does not necessarily lead to riches.
    I don't follow. Why does it not matter if you're not compassionate, again? If you're rich, you don't need to be compassionate, because the market? Something like that?
    I agree, of course.
    Okay. We could discuss what you believe to be the major good things they each did, I guess. But it's getting off the topic, isn't it? But we're already off the topic with the housing discussion, anyway...
    Your assessment of what is good or bad from an administration is necessarily going to depend on what you most value in a government.
    No. I was just questioning your assumptions.

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