Conservatives will use any shield they can to keep the truth of their intentions hidden, except when they don’t need to anymore. The GOP is now nakedly grabbing more for the rich and willfully harming those less well off. The Republican party is the party of Me, Me, Me.
They act as though taxes and government are designed to deny them their due. Thankfully most people can see through this. Democracy was designed to shield against the rich exploiting the poor. Not the other way around.
In “Inequality and Democratization,” the political scientists Ben W. Ansell and David J. Samuels show that this demand for political inclusion generally isn’t driven by a desire to use the existing institutions to plunder the elites. It’s driven by a desire to keep the elites from continuing to plunder them.
It’s easy to say that everyone ought to have certain rights. Democracy is how we come to get and protect them. Far from endangering property rights by facilitating redistribution, inclusive democratic institutions limit the “organized banditry” of the elite-dominated state by bringing everyone inside the charmed circle of legally enforced rights.
Democracy is fundamentally about protecting the middle and lower classes from redistribution by establishing the equality of basic rights that makes it possible for everyone to be a capitalist. Democracy doesn’t strangle the golden goose of free enterprise through redistributive taxation; it fattens the goose by releasing the talent, ingenuity and effort of otherwise abused and exploited people.
Ultimately, it’s the integrity of democratic institutions and the rule of law that gives ordinary people the power to protect themselves against elite exploitation. But the Republican majority is bulldozing through basic democratic norms as though freedom has everything to do with the tax code and democracy just gets in the way.
The Tax Bill Shows the G.O.P.’s Contempt for Democracy https://nyti.ms/2DcZp72
Some interesting and timely arguments for getting rid of the Electoral College.
it’s terrible for the rest of the country, which is rendered effectively invisible, distorting our politics, our policy debates and even the distribution of federal funds. Candidates focus their platforms on the concerns of battleground states, and presidents who want to stay in office make sure to lavish attention, and money, on the same places. The emphasis on a small number of states also increases the risk to our national security, by creating an easy target for hackers who want to influence the outcome of an election. Perhaps most important, voters outside of swing states know their votes are devalued, if not worthless, and they behave accordingly. In 2012, 64 percent of swing-state voters showed up, compared with 57 percent everywhere else, a pattern that persisted in 2016. What better way to get more voters to register and go to the polls than to ensure that everyone’s vote is weighed equally?
amending the Constitution is a heavy lift. A quicker and more realistic fix is the National Popular Vote interstate compact, under which states agree to award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The agreement kicks in as soon as states representing a total of 270 electoral votes sign on, ensuring that the popular vote will always pick the president. So far, 10 states and the District of Columbia have joined, representing 165 electoral votes. The problem is that they are all solidly Democratic, which only adds to the suspicion that this is no more than a partisan game. It’s not: When Mr. Trump is not making up stories about millions of illegal voters, he has argued that if the presidency were decided by popular vote, he would have campaigned differently and still would have won. He may well be right.
Let the People Pick the President https://nyti.ms/2jamIc7
A good look at the complexity driving the changes to party allegiance. The voters who went to Trump against their own best interest did so out of fear of the changing landscape. That fear is focused on race and immigration manifested from an underlying economic insecurity. Dems attempts to obliquely address the economic concerns gets easily beaten by the Right’s overt pledges to assuage racial and immigration fears.
When Trump stands up in front of his audience at rallies during the campaign and tells them he’s going to give them their country back, Trump is having a conversation about race. Our response is that we are going to raise the minimum wage — we are having a conversation about economics. We are playing checkers while Trump is playing chess. And he continues to do so as he focuses on things like Black N.F.L. players taking a knee. Until Democrats can inoculate against some of the heightened angst, most prominently found among blue collar whites, about the changing face of America, they will struggle to compete for white non-college voters.
Democrats Are Playing Checkers While Trump Is Playing Chess https://nyti.ms/2kJkIYL
A good look at the complexity of the potential breakdown in democracy here and abroad.
What makes the United States so distinctive? One reason may be that in recent years U.S. democracy has become appallingly dysfunctional. It suffers from 1) virtual paralysis at the top, as exemplified by the willingness of Congress to shut down the federal government, regardless of the damage to the country’s credit, after failing to get its way via normal procedures in a budget standoff with the White House; 2) massive increases in income inequality — greater than those found in any other established democracy, with most of the population’s real income declining during the past few decades despite substantial economic growth; and 3) the disproportionate and growing political influence of billionaires, as money plays a greater role in U.S. politics than in almost any other democracy.
Democracy Can Plant the Seeds of Its Own Destruction https://nyti.ms/2l0cJq8
Conservatives have been lying to their base for so long on so many subjects, and now it finally is coming back to haunt them.
Trapped by Their Own Lies https://nyti.ms/2yne9wR
A great explanation of what politcal moderates are and why we need more of them.
Moderates do not see politics as warfare. Instead, national politics is a voyage with a fractious fleet. Wisdom is finding the right formation of ships for each specific circumstance so the whole assembly can ride the waves forward for another day. Moderation is not an ideology; it’s a way of coping with the complexity of the world. Moderates tend to embrace certain ideas:
What Moderates Believe https://nyti.ms/2vkh1J0
Simple and well put. Ignored at all of our expense.
what makes America America is that it is built around an idea: the idea that all men are created equal, and are entitled to basic human rights. Take away that idea and we’re just a giant version of a two-bit autocracy.
Real Americans understand that our nation is built around values, not the “blood and soil” of the marchers’ chants; what makes you an American is your attempt to live up to those values, not the place or race your ancestors came from.
When the President Is Un-American https://nyti.ms/2vwdjPD