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Author Topic: In your honest opinion, who do you think has the best chance of becoming POTUS?  (Read 26914 times)

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Offline Cycle

Just so I can clear the air, and understand this (because I feel like we keep saying things and missing each other), what precisely is your argument against Bernie?  Why shouldn't we be voting for him compared to someone else?  (As if there is a someone else to vote for on the Democratic side.)

My issue with Bernie is that I see him portraying himself as something he is not:  a truth-telling, above-the-dirt activist who hasn't and won't ever play the game.  He's a politician.  And a darn savvy one.  He knows how the play the game and has been actively doing it--and rather well, actually.

I think his campaign is based on misdirection and deception--that he is inducing his supporters to do something using questionable strategies and tactics.  Like Trump and Clinton and Cruz.  People apparently can see Trump for what he is, Clinton for what she is, Cruz for what he is, but not necessarily Bernie for what he is. 

If you wish to support Bernie, more power to you, provided you are not doing so based on a misunderstanding of what he is and what his positions are:  e.g., free education for all, his tax plan is guaranteed to grow the economy, he's never changed his position on gay marriage, his $0 tuition plan will mean more people will be educated, Bernie's regime is good for everyone. 

When someone makes a pro-Bernie post based on something that I can confirm is a misunderstanding or inaccurate spin, I'll point it out.

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My issue with Bernie is that I see him portraying himself as something he is not:  a truth-telling, above-the-dirt activist who hasn't and won't ever play the game. 

A few questions to follow that.

One: what if he is exactly what he looks like?  (I know you probably have examples at the ready to say 'he's not,' but work with me.)  What if the image isn't a lie, he really is this way?  What then?

Two: so, you would rather have a candidate that's 100% honest about everything, rather than someone who uses tactics like you're attributing to the Sanders camp?

I think there's a very big problem with that preference when it comes to democratic-style government.  We essentially engage in a popularity contest whenever we have an election - though with things like the Electoral College, the effects of that contest are somewhat limited - so whoever says the most popular thing is typically the one that gets elected.

This works well when the voters you're dealing with are well-educated, and embrace civic virtues and duties.  The problem we have today, as is becoming increasingly illustrated, is we have a voting populace who are not well-educated, and who reject civic virtues and duties.

Part of this is due to the machinations of the political establishment, who've realized that dumb and uneducated people have this tendency not to ask questions and simply do what they're told by someone who seems to know what they're doing.  But part of it also lies with the voting populace themselves.  Benjamin Franklin (in an uncertain anecdote) replied to a woman who asked him "Well, Doctor, what have we got: a Republic or a Monarchy?"

"A republic, if you can keep it."

Whether or not this actually belongs to Franklin is not the point.  The point is that democracies, republics, representative forms of government, take work, and far more than authoritarian ones like a monarchy.  You have to stay up to date, informed, learn about logical fallacies and debate tactics, question who commissioned that latest study that says XYZ and whether or not they have an agenda.  Being a good citizen is not a spectator sport.  And whether it's because we're just too busy, or simply don't care, fewer and fewer people are engaging in the necessary behaviors to be a good citizen - when Lincoln said that we would live forever as a nation of free men, or die by suicide, he was essentially saying that whether the union goes on is up to the people.

And right now, the people aren't doing a bang-up job of it.

But you can't say that to people, because the immediate knee-jerk response to being told "you're lazy" is "no I'm not!"  (If nothing else, watching the Republicans should teach us that.)  Even if it is true that people are lazy, nobody will admit to it because then the typical response there is "then you have no one to blame but yourself."  The last 30-40 years of politics have been one gigantic, long-running game of hot potato, and the potato is blame.  Blame for why the country sucks so bad.  You'll see a lot of options - but the people, in general, has never been one.  (It's always specific groups of people, not the people themselves.)

To use a movie illustration, the movie Interstellar has a robot character - TARS - who has, I kid you not, an Honesty Setting.  TARS explains that his typical honesty level is about 90%, because 100% honesty could be seen as 'too brutal.'

Brutal honesty, 100%, from where I sit, would be to tell the populace 'this is your fault.'  Which would just result in mass rejections and get us nowhere.  What we have to do is get people back into the political process, we have to start producing good citizens again.

Offline Cycle

One: what if he is exactly what he looks like?  (I know you probably have examples at the ready to say 'he's not,' but work with me.)  What if the image isn't a lie, he really is this way?  What then?

Then he is the way he is.  What is the point of this question?

Two: so, you would rather have a candidate that's 100% honest about everything, rather than someone who uses tactics like you're attributing to the Sanders camp?

No.  I didn't say that. 

A question for you.  What if I am right, and Bernie is what I say he is?

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No.  I didn't say that.

Then can you clarify what you meant by saying that?

A question for you.  What if I am right, and Bernie is what I say he is?

If you are right, and Bernie isn't really what he portrays himself to be, then...okay, this is going to need some explaining, so let me lay it all out.  If you are right, then Bernie is the ultimate example of how the democratic process can be subverted simply by saying the right thing at the right time.  Bernie's positions are populist ones, ones that support the common man, a place for average Americans to rally behind him and push for a political revolution.  If he isn't sincere about those positions, if he is simply using the discontent of the people with the status quo in order to gain power for himself and whatever his real positions are, then that is Machiavellian manipulation on a nation-wide scale.

That so many people are capable of being fooled is the ultimate proof of how far we've fallen.  That we would rather back someone who lies to us but says the things we want to hear, rather than someone who tells the truth which can be uncomfortable.  If you are right, then Bernie Sanders, quite simply, is the ultimate distillation of everything that is wrong with voters today.


There is one thing I would like to say, though, in defense of both Sanders and Trump (!).  Whatever their failings, whatever their problems, both of them have managed one major thing - they have gotten people interested and involved in politics and governance again.  More than a right policy for corporate taxes, more than a gigantic wall, we need people who are engaged in the political process.  For me, at least, that is something praiseworthy for both of them.

Offline Cycle

Then can you clarify what you meant by saying that?

Sure.  You posed a question implying that/asking if I had taken the position that I would rather have a candidate that's 100% honest about everything.  I was clarifying that I had taken no such position.

There is one thing I would like to say, though, in defense of both Sanders and Trump (!).  Whatever their failings, whatever their problems, both of them have managed one major thing - they have gotten people interested and involved in politics and governance again.  More than a right policy for corporate taxes, more than a gigantic wall, we need people who are engaged in the political process.  For me, at least, that is something praiseworthy for both of them.

I agree with this.  Both Trump and Sanders have upended the nomination process and helped voters see that they have far more power than the "establishment" wants them to believe.  This is a good thing.

Offline TaintedAndDelish


Regarding Bernie's *free* college, we currently have *free* Kindergarten through 12th grade. Funnily enough, it costs tax payers an arm and a leg - Florida being the exception.

Offline elone

My issue with Bernie is that I see him portraying himself as something he is not:  a truth-telling, above-the-dirt activist who hasn't and won't ever play the game.  He's a politician.  And a darn savvy one.  He knows how the play the game and has been actively doing it--and rather well, actually.

I think his campaign is based on misdirection and deception--that he is inducing his supporters to do something using questionable strategies and tactics.  Like Trump and Clinton and Cruz.  People apparently can see Trump for what he is, Clinton for what she is, Cruz for what he is, but not necessarily Bernie for what he is. 



It is a good thing that people who support Bernie Sanders are able to look at him through eyes that are not a cynical as yours. Of course Bernie is a politician, everyone except Trump who is running for the office is a politician, and he is well on his way. Does being a politician somehow make one unfit for the office?  I do not see Bernie as some sort of evil genius bent on the nations destruction for his own benefit. Of all the candidates running, he would seem to be the most genuine.

What do you see as his reasons for running for office, just to fool the people or do you see some nefarious agenda that the rest of us are missing. Who in your opinion is the best candidate of the choices we are given, and why, or perhaps the best candidate we are not being shown? Or is no one qualified to be president in your eyes?

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Regarding Bernie's *free* college, we currently have *free* Kindergarten through 12th grade. Funnily enough, it costs tax payers an arm and a leg - Florida being the exception.

That's because we have the wrong paradigm for education.  We have this tendency to think that if we throw enough money at a problem, the problem will go away.  It's an understandable impulse - regardless of what you believe about income equality or lack thereof, the US is the richest nation on the planet - but our problems with education aren't something money can solve.  If we didn't have enough teachers, or enough schools, money might help to fix that.

Nations in Europe spend far, FAR less per student than the US does, and they still manage to get out better results than we do.  Why?  There's a list of things, but I'll hit the big 3.

1: Teachers in the US are demoralized.  Few professions today get second-guessed as much as teachers do, primarily by parents who think they would do a better job of educating their kids than the teacher would.  Teachers get dictated to by the state, by the federal government (by proxy), by people who just look at the test results and not the classroom.

2: The educational lobby - by which I do not mean teacher's unions! - has considerable power.  The people who write the textbooks, make the standardized tests - McGraw-Hill, Pearson, ETS - none of them have a business model structured around student success.  Because if the students were to succeed, then they wouldn't need the services of those companies anymore.  Profit cannot be a driving force in education.

3: The rise of the single-parent household.  BEFORE you castrate me for this, I want to make something very clear.  I understand that there are parents out there, working, trying to provide for their kids so they can have a better life.  I spent a year working at an inner-city high school, believe me, I met such parents.  They've got the values, the drive, the will to see their kids succeed so they can have a better life.  But it doesn't matter what values you have, if you never get the chance to parent your kid and pass those values on.  In a single-parent household, by and large the kid raises themselves, and I don't think it's too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that kids don't have the same priorities as adults.  That's why they need parents.

This problem, in particular, has a lot of different facets to it - beliefs about education, the ability of an adult to make a living to support kids, when and how they make that living...it's not a simple to solve problem.  And the much-heard solution of "well, if you can't afford kids, then you shouldn't have had them" is disingenuous to them.  Yes, they shouldn't have had them.  But they did, so what are you going to do about it?

The paradigm and circumstances for education have to be changed.  Otherwise it'll just be a gigantic money sink.

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What do you see as his reasons for running for office, just to fool the people or do you see some nefarious agenda that the rest of us are missing. Who in your opinion is the best candidate of the choices we are given, and why, or perhaps the best candidate we are not being shown? Or is no one qualified to be president in your eyes?

He is a politician.  He wants to be president.  He looked around and figured he stood a chance if he aligned with one of the two major parties.  He saw the circle jerk going on on the GOP side so he chose the Democrats. 

Offline Cycle

What do you see as his reasons for running for office, just to fool the people or do you see some nefarious agenda that the rest of us are missing.

He wants to implement a socialist system.  He wants to take from a specific group to give to another specific group of his choosing.  I see him fooling some people to achieve his goals.  I do not see his goals as good for the country as a whole, or even for a vast majority of individuals.  Contrary to what you state, I am not alone in this.  Nearly 9 million people have also found Bernie's goals inconsistent with theirs/the country's well being, or have seen flaws with him.

Who in your opinion is the best candidate of the choices we are given, and why, or perhaps the best candidate we are not being shown?

That varies from individual to individual.  Who is a good candidate for a particular voter depends on what that voter wants, needs, and desires.  This should be obvious.  Right now, I am not enamored with any of the remaining candidates.  Ultimately, I will choose the one that aligns best with the goals I want--goals which may differ greatly from the next person casting a vote.

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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That varies from individual to individual.  Who is a good candidate for a particular voter depends on what that voter wants, needs, and desires.  This should be obvious.  Right now, I am not enamored with any of the remaining candidates.  Ultimately, I will choose the one that aligns best with the goals I want--goals which may differ greatly from the next person casting a vote.


This is, by far, the most intelligent way to make the decision.  Peeves me no end when someone picks one issue to determine their choice and basically ignores everything else.

Offline elone

He wants to implement a socialist system.  He wants to take from a specific group to give to another specific group of his choosing.  I see him fooling some people to achieve his goals.  I do not see his goals as good for the country as a whole, or even for a vast majority of individuals.  Contrary to what you state, I am not alone in this.  Nearly 9 million people have also found Bernie's goals inconsistent with theirs/the country's well being, or have seen flaws with him.

That varies from individual to individual.  Who is a good candidate for a particular voter depends on what that voter wants, needs, and desires.  This should be obvious.  Right now, I am not enamored with any of the remaining candidates.  Ultimately, I will choose the one that aligns best with the goals I want--goals which may differ greatly from the next person casting a vote.

I have been leaning to socialism nearly as long as Bernie. I therefore like his goals of taxing the wealthy more to help those who are less fortunate. The 9 million number I assume is the number of people who have voted for Hillary.  This does not necessarily mean that they believe Bernie's beliefs as being inconsistent with their own or the country's, it might just mean they think Hillary is the best choice to beat the republicans, or that they recognize the Clinton name and not that of Sanders. Don't assume.

Hopefully everyone will vote for the candidate that aligns with their own goals, beliefs, or what they believe is best for the nation. We all have our opinions, but to denigrate Bernie because his beliefs are not the same as yours is just unjustified.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 10:51:28 PM by elone »

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3: The rise of the single-parent household.  BEFORE you castrate me for this, I want to make something very clear.  I understand that there are parents out there, working, trying to provide for their kids so they can have a better life.  I spent a year working at an inner-city high school, believe me, I met such parents.  They've got the values, the drive, the will to see their kids succeed so they can have a better life.  But it doesn't matter what values you have, if you never get the chance to parent your kid and pass those values on.  In a single-parent household, by and large the kid raises themselves, and I don't think it's too much of a stretch of the imagination to say that kids don't have the same priorities as adults.  That's why they need parents.

Expanding this one a bit - the fact that many families in such districts (I live in one - and I see the same problem from a slightly different angle)  have both parents working outside the house just to keep afloat - never mind being able to plan for even a community college.  I'd say it's a little more 'the rise of the latchkey child' than necessarily the 'single parent'.

Offline elone

He is a politician.  He wants to be president.  He looked around and figured he stood a chance if he aligned with one of the two major parties.  He saw the circle jerk going on on the GOP side so he chose the Democrats.

Actually Bernie announced his candidacy in April 2015, before Trump and some others. His announcement was not based on who was running as a Republican. Bernie has caucused in the Senate as a Democrat, mainly voted with the Democrats, so it is natural he would enter the contest as a Democrat. It also provided some opposition to the anointed candidate Hillary Clinton with her pro war positions. If he had chosen to run as an Independent in our two party system it would have been a lost cause from the beginning.

Offline TaintedAndDelish

I think the fact that the democratic party allowed Bernie to run with them negates any argument that he's not a real democrat or that he's playing the system. He's not hiding the fact that he's a "democratic socialist."

Online Cassandra LeMay

He wants to implement a socialist system.
You owe me a keyboard, Cycle.  :D I see nothing in Sander's platform akin to socialism, unless Norway, Sweden, Germany, and many other Western European countries are "socialist". But perhaps we are looking at this from different definitions of the term.

He wants to take from a specific group to give to another specific group of his choosing.
That is pretty much what every government does all the time. A government takes money from the people in the form of taxes, fees, tariffs, and whatnot and spends it. If that - in itself - were a reason not to elect Sanders you might as well advocate for the abolishment of government. As long as a single government employee is paid by taxpayer money, government redistributes money to a specific group. All that differs between him and others is where they would take the money from and where they would spend it.

I see him fooling some people to achieve his goals.
That is impossible to argue for - or against - as it is entirely subjective. But what I see (from my entirely subjective point of view) is Sanders raising issues that need to be addressed. Can he change it all if he becomes president? No. I very much doubt it. But the issues he raises need to be raised if change is to happen eventually. As far as I see it it's better to speak out loud about something than to just push it aside as "can't be helped". He may not achieve all he promises, but if he at least gets things on the right track that is a better start than someone might achieve who isn't even trying.

I guess you could say that means he fools people by making promises he might not be able to keep. But, again, that is something you can hardly hold against Sanders alone. The best any politician can realisticlly promise is "I will try", and yet they all leave out the "try" in their campaign promises. (I actually blame the media for this, who fail to tell people that there are no easy fixes, but that's another topic.)

I do not see his goals as good for the country as a whole, or even for a vast majority of individuals.
 
What exactly is the "country as a whole"? How many does it take to make a "vast majority"? How does that number compare to the "some people" you claim he is fooling? It is pretty much impossible to confirm or refute statements along such ill-defined terms.

Offline Cycle

I have been leaning to socialism nearly as long as Bernie. I therefore like his goals of taxing the wealthy more to help those who are less fortunate. The 9 million number I assume is the number of people who have voted for Hillary.  This does not necessarily mean that they believe Bernie's beliefs as being inconsistent with their own or the country's, it might just mean they think Hillary is the best choice to beat the republicans, or that they recognize the Clinton name and not that of Sanders. Don't assume.

Well, your preference for Bernie is obvious even before this post.  But your preferences are yours.  Not mine.  And mine, of course, dictate how I feel about him.

And I do assume that the people who vote for one candidate thinks that said candidate is better than the others on the issues and as a person.  It is far more reasonable for me to make that assumption than for you to make the baseless assumption that I am the only person who sees flaws in who Bernie is and what he is doing.

I think the fact that the democratic party allowed Bernie to run with them negates any argument that he's not a real democrat or that he's playing the system. He's not hiding the fact that he's a "democratic socialist."

Please read this post.  They couldn't keep him out.  So your argument is flawed.

All that [What] differs between him and others is where they would take the money from and where they would spend it.

Bingo. 

Well, actually, not just who and where, but how and how much as well.

That is impossible to argue for - or against - as it is entirely subjective.

Bingo again.  Several of you want to argue whether I should be holding my views of Bernie.  You can't win that argument since my views are my views.  So let's not waste time doing that, alright?

Instead, if you want to defend Bernie, don't bother attacking me.  Address the points I have raised in this and the other thread. 

For example, what do you think of Bernie now arguing that the superdelegates should support him even if he doesn't have the pledged delegate or popular vote lead?  Does that sound like he's flipping his position around to gain an advantage?  That he's playing the political game?  Do you agree with his new approach? 

Offline Mithlomwen

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If I may, I think that the discussion focusing on Bernie might be better for the Discussion of Dialogue forum. 

I believe the OP meant for this thread to have a more diverse discussion regarding all of the candidates, not focusing one. 

Offline Cycle

Fair enough.  I won't answer any more questions about my views on Bernie.

Edit:  I misunderstood what Mith meant.

« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 11:51:59 AM by Cycle »

Offline Mithlomwen

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That is entirely your choice. 

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Now for something completely different...

Back in September, the GOP candidates all signed a pledge that they would support whichever candidate became the nominee - that is, they would not attempt a third-party run or anything to that effect.

As of Tuesday, all bets are off.  Trump has stated that he no longer supports that pledge.

While not outright saying the same thing, Cruz and Kasich have both declined comment.

Offline Beorning

Personally, I"m pretty sure the American elections will come down to Trump vs Clinton. And I fear that Trump will win...

Offline TheGlyphstone

If the GOP could hold a united front, maybe. But with Oniya's announcement, they're chum in the water for the Democratic shark.

Offline Cycle

Cruz Rubio is apparently making a play to stay relevant.  Looks like he's hoping to keep his delegates so he can play power broker.


Edit:  Oops!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2016, 02:21:03 PM by Cycle »

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Cruz is apparently making a play to stay relevant.  Looks like he's hoping to keep his delegates so he can play power broker.


Might want to doublecheck yourself on that one, Cycle.  Names don't match up.

If the GOP could hold a united front, maybe. But with Oniya's announcement, they're chum in the water for the Democratic shark.

The GOP has a choice to make.  If Cruz and/or Kasich really do renege on their vow, then are they willing to accept that they will lose the election and the Democrats will win and gain control of the White House for the next 8 years?

I don't think they are.  The GOP has an amazing ability to come and unite behind the guy who they were desperately hoping was not the guy - 2012 demonstrated that.  They wanted anyone, anyone other than Romney to be the runner, but guess what?  And when the time came, they all lined up behind him.

Of the candidates, only Cruz is really in a position to actually do anything about it.  Kasich has Ohio (which is why he's still in the race) and a handful of voters from other states, compared to Cruz who actually has a handful of states to his name.

And this is assuming that Trump doesn't garner the ~500 candidates (about half of what remains) he needs before the convention.  Considering that the heartland - where Cruz has most of his victories - is running out of states, and that Trump has done well in the East, Trump is probably primed to capture the 9 remaining states there.  The real question, to me, is can Trump take California?  There's 172 delegates there, winner take all.  If Trump gets the 9 states I mentioned, PLUS California, then he'll either have the delegates he needs, or be very close to it.

And I think CA's Republicans would rather have Trump than Cruz.  At least Trump isn't a diehard social conservative.