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View Diary: Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation Poll: Democrats retake lead on generic ballot (133 comments)

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  •  Are you a troll, or just trolling me? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you literally not know the difference between a rhetorical and legal point? Obviously I don't want the vote taken away from anyone. And just as obviously, there are millions of people in this country mentally unfit to vote because they're too lazy and stupid to read up on the issues and on politicians' actual records.

    Yes, I do believe I'm smarter than most voters. I also believe that most people on this site are smarter than most voters, and that Dems are smarters than Repubs. Anyone who doesn't think so is probably a Repub and thus a troll.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:52:32 PM PST

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    •  Hey, welcome to Daily Kos Elections (0+ / 0-)

      If you stick around, you may get to know the regulars here without jumping to silly conclusions about their politics or intentions.

      I was reacting to your saying this:

      One of the great weaknesses of popular sovereignty is that stupid and self-interested people get to vote (and run).

      It struck me and continues to strike me as a very anti-popular sentiment, and one that, if you were in a sufficient position of authority and truly followed it to its logical conclusion, would lead to oppression and disenfranchisement of those you disapprove of and disagree with. Clearly, that's not actually what you want to do, but that's why you might think twice about expressing these kinds of elitist sentiments.

      I believe it was Winston Churchill - a right-winger but probably not dumber than you or me - who said that democracy was the very worst possible system of government, except for every other system known to mankind. And while I don't quite agree (governments are really a product of the Agricultural Revolution's creation of the concept of private property, as in "this is my land, not your land"), I imagine we'd both admit that it's very close to the truth.

      The problem of ignorant people is best solved by a good educational system, but your problem with people who disagree with you is a feature of democracy, not a bug.

      Signed,

      The Resident Right-Wing Troll :-Pffffffffff,

      MichaelNYC

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:21:12 PM PST

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      •  Regulars? (0+ / 0-)

        Look up my profile. I've been here a while, you might notice.

        Also, all of the founders, including liberal icon Jefferson, was against popular sovereignty, and refused to allow it, believing (correctly, it turned out) that many voters couldn't or wouldn't know enough about the issues to be able to make an intelligent choice, and thus be easily swayed by demagogues and their media mouthpieces (like, ironically, Jefferson himself, our first populist demagogue and world-class hypocrite). They have been proven to have been correct, even if, of course, that's no argument against popular sovereignty.

        We are a republic, not a democracy. The latter has only come gradually.

        And I don't have a problem with people who disagree with me, just those who don't make any sense when doing so, like nearly all Repubs these days.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:29:34 PM PST

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        •  Regulars on Daily Kos Elections (0+ / 0-)

          The founders were fundamentally wrong in their elitism, except inasmuch as they were elite in an intellectual sense and created a constitutional framework that, while quite imperfect, was deliberately made durable and flexible enough to be subject to amendments and reinterpretations when that was considered important enough.

          I appreciate your historical references, but I don't think we should act like it's only because people are stupid or ignorant that they vote for Republicans. Many of them have been sold a bill of goods, but I believe Lakoff has mentioned that Republican voters consider authority and belonging to a group more important than economic justice, etc., and therefore are voting their interests, albeit seldom their economic interests.

          Anyway, this type of discussion is really getting far afield from what Daily Kos Elections normally concentrates on. I just was taken aback by some of the anti-popular-sounding remarks you posted and engaged you on them, because I think what we say matters, and if we believe in democracy, we need to respect the popular franchise completely - for ignorant and stupid people as well as knowledgeable and smart ones - and seek to change people's minds through such means as persuasion and better general and civic education.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:41:17 PM PST

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          •  I wasn't aware that this was a DKE forum (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            And while I've heard this complaint before, I don't in the slightest believe that what unknown commenters like myself post here has ever had a negative effect on Democratic politics or the public image of the party. It's a public forum that's mostly for private discussions, an incubator for ideas and tactics and maybe morale building. No one's paying attention outside the community.

            And I don't agree that the founders were fundamentally wrong. On not giving everyone the vote, yes, but on the reality that a lot of voters are easily swayed political naifs, no. But as I wrote, that's no reason to not let them vote. Democracy means universal participation, or at least the right to do so unhindered, and an undemocratic republic is a contradiction in terms. Of course, the founders were wrong about a lot of things, as you know.

            Nearly half the country voted for Bush, one of the most unqualified people to run for the presidency ever, the first time. Over half did so the second time. I will live the rest of my life incapable of believing that most of them weren't idiots on some level, even accounting for the self-interested affluent assholes who wanted yet more of a free ride than they were already getting.

            As the saying goes, the US is a country founded by geniuses so it could be run by idiots. That hasn't always worked out so well.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 09:51:43 PM PST

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            •  In the pre-Civil War days (0+ / 0-)

              when voting rights were much more restricted, President Buchanan was elected, and I'd argue he was worse than Bush, as he precipitated the greatest disaster in the history of the country: The Civil War. I'm really unconvinced that elites ever can be counted upon to pick better leaders than the masses do, but I do respect the philosophical argument you're making.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:36:24 PM PST

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              •  There's a difference between being unqualified (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                for a job and being a failure at it. Buchanan was an accomplished politician who on paper at least was emminintly qualified to be president (wiki):

                Buchanan (often called Buck-anan by his contemporaries) was a popular and experienced state politician and a successful attorney before his presidency.[1] He represented Pennsylvania in the U.S. House of Representatives and later the Senate, and served as Minister to Russia under President Andrew Jackson. He also was Secretary of State under President James K. Polk. After turning down an offer for an appointment to the Supreme Court, President Franklin Pierce appointed him Minister to the United Kingdom, in which capacity he helped draft the controversial Ostend Manifesto.

                And yet he was one of our worst president if not the worst. Whereas Bush, the only president who might have been even worse, was vastly less qualified for the job. I can't think of anyone less qualified, including Reagan. Harding?

                And in case it's not obvious, I agree with you about elites. Churchill was right about that. In theory they may make better choices, but in practice they often don't, either due to overconfidence, or cronyism and corruption. But I still believe that millions of voters aren't intellectually fit to vote, even though they absolutely should be able to vote. Again, we're either a republic or we're not. Collective self-rule is collective self-rule, not selective self-rule.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:02:34 AM PST

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              •  Also, I hope/assume you realize (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                that I'm knowingly and deliberately engaging in hyperbole, both to vent and to make a core point. Obviously not all Repubs are stupid. Just the dumb ones.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:06:00 AM PST

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                •  After having had this discussion with you (0+ / 0-)

                  I do now understand and respect where you're coming from.

                  I would say that GW Bush, by virtue of having been Governor of Texas, had a paper qualification to be President. Barack Obama didn't have very much experience, yet anyone can say what they might about his policies and strategies - he is almost infinitely more qualified than GW. It's a fallacy to think that preexisting titles or types of experience prove that someone will be a good president. Nate Silver did a post on historian-acknowledged quality vs. prior experience among US presidents some time ago (perhaps while Bush was still in office). It demonstrated a lack of correlation, from what I recall. Lincoln was also relatively inexperienced, and despite some severe mistakes (such as relying on McClellan's advice), I consider him the greatest president the US has ever had.

                  Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                  by MichaelNY on Wed Nov 23, 2011 at 12:47:16 AM PST

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