Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Why voted for Hilary

 Here are excerpts from the even more in-depth follow-up article. Here he takes folks to talk for wild assertions:

If you want to take a different position than I did I think you should do that. But simply stating that you are against Hillary because she's a "pathological liar" or "war criminal" is not an argument, and it's not a position. It's just an insult pretending to be discourse. And while you are entitled to your opinions, you are not entitled to respect for those opinions. There seems to be some confusion on that point, and there really shouldn't be. Also, while I have a natural curiosity toward other people's views, if your main communication tactic is calling people names while hammering the "caps lock" key like you're playing a game of whac-a-mole, you can probably count me out.

I'm interested in people who take a position and then communicate it with logic and reason. In other words, people who actually try. And I'm particularly interested in those people open to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there are things they think they know that they don't. Because quite frankly, it seems clear to me that the Internet is full of people who know all kinds of things about Hillary Clinton that they don't actually know.

 I am sure that last statement about policy sent a bunch of people lunging for their keyboards in order to explain to me that Hillary Clinton's policies are exactly what they DON'T like about her. But it is very clear to me that this is not the case. The vast majority of messages and comments about HRC that I see consist almost solely of either personal attacks, false claims, childish conspiracy theories, assumptions of guilt by association or complaints about legislation passed by her husband decades ago. Almost none of the comments I see (or have received) even bother to address her current policy positions, and most of the small few that do either willfully misrepresent them, assume as a given that they are terrible or dismiss them altogether as mere political expediency. (Side note: I want to acknowledge that I have also received a number of reasonable and cogent comments. And I did very much appreciate those.)

Of course it goes without saying that in the world of social media, almost nobody bothers to back up such claims with even the most rudimentary facts or analysis. It's as if a meeting was held somewhere in which most of the country decided that when it comes to Hillary Clinton you don't have to do that. But I wasn't at that meeting, so if you'll forgive me I still kind of want people to show me how they know the things that they insist they know.

I LOVE this blunt message to young voters (who vote in very low numbers):

Speaking of not voting, I feel like I should address a few paragraphs to the 30 and under crowd, especially those that are Sanders supporters. So for all you young people, this section is for you. I've got some more graph candy above. Take a look, because there's going to be a short quiz. On the left you'll see agraph put together by the United States Elections Project, which breaks down voting by age over the last 30 years. Notice who's on the top and who's on the bottom? Notice how far to the bottom the bottom is? In the last 30 years of voting, the best your age group has ever done was in 2008, and you still didn't even break 50%. In mid-term elections you consistently hover at or below 20%, and in the 2014 mid-term election that put so many Republicans in office nearly 85% of you failed to vote.

So here's our quiz:

1) Do you think there is a single politician in the country who doesn't have a copy of this graph, or one like it?
2) When said politicians are deciding whose concerns to care about, do you think their eyes wander over this graph?
3) If senior citizens are on one side of an issue, and young people like you are on the other, who do you think gets their vote?
4) What percentage of Republican politicians use this graph as their screensaver?
5) When the GOP, especially at the state level, want to put up legislation that they know liberals (and especially young liberals) won't like, do you think that maybe they schedule it for mid-term elections?
6) When Hillary Clinton found out how much of Bernie Sanders' support was coming from young people, how many vodka martinis did she have to celebrate?

You know those old people you like to make fun of? The conservative, tea-party seniors who watch Fox News 24 hours a day and say crazy, racist shit at Thanksgiving dinner? Quick note on them: they vote. They always vote. They vote like it's a goddamn religion. Meanwhile, the vast majority of people in your age group couldn't find a voting booth with a state-of-the-art GPS stuffed up their ass. Take a look at the graph above again. See the information on the right? It was put together in 2014 by the Pew Research Center. At the bottom of all of those bars you'll see a segment called "Bystanders." This refers to people "On the sidelines of the political process who are not registered to vote and pay very little attention to politics." With seniors that segment is at only 3%. In your age group that same segment skyrockets to nearly 20%. Do you see a pattern developing here?

I realize that it's difficult to appreciate the value of historical perspective when you're too young to actually have any. But you know who does have a little historical perspective? Seniors. And maybe that's one of the reasons they are so serious about voting. Because unlike you, they've been around long enough to know that voting booths are the place where shiny new political movements go to die. And maybe they also know that rallies with twenty or thirty thousand people may seem amazing and powerful while you are at them, but voting is the real difference between a large political movement and a large political circle-jerk.

And in regard to so much of the attitude I'm seeing — No matter how much we plead for you to get involved and no matter how fiercely you are courted by politicians, the majority of you steadfastly refuse to express any interest in voting. And yet somehow there is no end to your bitter and entitled disappointment with the American electoral system. Really, it's like watching a bunch of vegans bitch about how pork doesn't taste as good as it used to. And quite frankly, it takes a particularly special pair of stones to vote this badly and then have the fucking gall to claim that your vote was suppressed. So here's your free wake-up call from Uncle Mike: nobody needs to go to the bother of suppressing your vote. You're doing that just fine on your own. Quite frankly, all anyone who's worried about the "youth vote" needs to do is let you be you.

History, as the saying goes, is made by those who show up.
You don't.

A great description of the complexities of governing:

Factions with strict ideological agendas love to pretend as if all policy issues, problems and solutions are simple and self-evident. But this is absurd. In truth, our world is now connected by an incredibly complex web of political, legal and economic relationships; a Gordian knot of competing agendas that can quickly take "simple" solutions to very unhappy places. Responsible politicians know this, and the law of unintended consequences patiently waits for those foolish enough to think otherwise. Which is why seasoned leaders like Hillary Clinton often favor nuanced and incrementalist approaches. These approaches are not particularly inspiring, to be sure. They also leave politicians like Clinton open to charges of avoiding necessary change or maintaining "failed" systems. But on the plus side they don't set the world on fire. And unlike the people screaming at you on the Internet, this is something that government leaders actually have to think about. Because at the level of leadership and decision-making we're talking about, even well planned and seemingly isolated decisions can sometimes turn pear-shaped in a very big way. Or did you not get the memo from Gavrilo Princip? [The Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914, sparking WW I]

Ideological purity may make you feel pretty good about yourself, but the people we place in positions of power don't have the luxury of living in that type of self-righteous ivory tower. They have to make decisions. They have to form policy. They have to make very tough choices, and they bear the burden of responsibilities that impact hundreds of millions of lives. The president is required, nearly every day, to make decisions on a scale that would leave most of us hiding under our bed, clutching a bottle of Klonopin. Even the most experienced holders of the office pay a price, and very few presidents come out the way they went in.

…Which is also why people in a position to know, those political "elites" everyone loves to hate these days, talk so much about "temperament" during election season. They know that while votes are what get you into the office, the necessary temperament is what enables you to actually function and get something done once you're there. And preferably without having a nervous breakdown. Which is relatively important, because as most experienced political operatives will tell you, having your president turn into Jack D. Ripper halfway through their first term is less than ideal.

A brilliant take-down of Con Man Don:

Which brings us to Donald Trump, a man so temperamentally unsuited to the office of the presidency that he makes Rick Perry look like Winston Churchill. Ignore for a second the unrelenting and unapologetic racism and misogyny. Turn a blind eye for a moment to the vacuous responses to policy questions, the ludicrous position statements and the clear sense that he lacks the slightest understanding of statecraft. Look past the fact that weeks before he even officially becomes the GOP nominee, he has already insulted and infuriated some of our most important trading partners and allies. And, if possible, set aside for just a moment the fact that he is so pathologically narcissistic that his first response to the worst mass shooting in our nation's history was to pat himself on the back, and his response to the historic Brexit vote was to point out that the British pound's worst collapse in decades was going to make him a lot of money.

Consider instead a temperament that falls so short of the mark that he can't even get a large segment of his own party's leadership to stop insinuating that he is mental. Ponder for a moment the reality that this buffoon who would be king is so intolerable that he is actually driving numerous prominent Republican leaders to join a "NeverTrump

His spot-on conclusion:

And yet even when presented with a candidate this horrible, and a campaign this far off the rails, there are a surprising number of progressives who insist that there is no real difference between Republicans and Democrats. Personally, it amazes me that anyone who has not been in a medically induced coma for the last sixteen years could think this. But it does happen. So if you are one of the few who are having a hard time seeing the difference, let me help you out.

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