Leaving out your comments on my spelling, which I am aware of and has no bearing on the substance of the argument...
Alyrium Denryle wrote:Their (see what I did there? Oh, I did it again!) qualification in this case--at least with the modern monarchy--is that they have been groomed and educated to do it throughout their entire fucking life. Might you get a complete moron? Sure! You get that with elections too, just see Donald J. Trump, and he has a fuck-tonne more power than Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second has.
Yes, the careful grooming of the British monarchy does improve the odds of a good monarch, but at the end of the day, you have no guarantee that it won't be passed to someone who's a complete idiot, or psychopath, based on nothing more than heredity.
, if you just compare President Trump to Queen Elizabeth, then no shit monarchy looks like the better option. But that is really, really cherry-picking your examples.
Moreover, while I do not deny that the the monarchy has its advantages, nothing can change the fact that hereditary monarch is, fundamentally and by its very nature, anti-egalitarian, anti-equality, enshrining the idea that some people matter more than others based on birth. I could concede every other point I have made against monarchy, and I would still maintain my opposition proudly upon that one.
The ability to win elections and the ability to govern/legislate have nothing to do with each other, except in certain tangential skills, like the ability to favor-trade. Actual policy--which is what actually matters--is not tested by elections, hell, you cannot even necessarily get a reliable indicator of what policies someone supports in an election.
This I actually disagree with, to a point. The two skill sets are not synonymous, no, but I don't believe that I ever claimed they were. They do, however, overlap
considerably. Not just favour-trading, which (regrettably) is not
a tangential skill in politics, but in the ability to manipulate media and public opinion, and rally various factions and interests behind a common cause.
It is a fucking crap-shoot no matter how you look at it, and the only way you know anything about an elected official is from what they do in office. THAT is the real test of ability. At which point, they get a referendum on their job performance from the electorate who--if the US is any indication--is often so stupid that they literally re-elect the motherfuckers who send them into destitution.
Performance in office is the final and most important test, but you are oversimplifying.
The scorn you heap on the electorate I will address below.
It does not mean they are NOT better either. See above.
I'm sorry, is this supposed to be a rebuttal?
Yes, it is theoretically possible for a monarch to be better than a President. No shit. I never argued otherwise. That does not change the fact that monarchy places some people automatically
above others for no other reason
All forms of government are shit. The various democratic ones (and that includes a constitutional monarchy because ultimately the monarch is only still a monarch because the population wants them to be, and the monarch has no power to force the issue) are just the least-shitty of the lot. They have their little functional tradeoffs between them (we have more notional "equality", the brits have a reset button on their government if they really really need one), but they are pretty much the same in terms of the results for their population and their legitimacy
That seems to be another overgeneralization to me. Are you seriously arguing that there are no substantive differences between one democratic system and another?
This cynical "they're all the same" mindset is the fucking bane
of modern politics, in whatever form it appears. It is either dishonest or intellectually lazy thinking, which encourages apathy and discourages nuance in our political discourse. It is the same basic mentality which leads people to stridently insist that Clinton is just as bad as Trump, and if you want to look at cultural factors that make the election of a demagogue possible, I am convinced that this is a huge one, one that gets not nearly enough attention.
Really? Check your fucking privilege asshole. You are seeing democracy through rose-colored glasses. You have never had your civil rights voted on in a referendum. I rely on non-democratic institutions to protect me from democracy every fucking day. "Oh no! There is an unelected family of highly educated people with seldom-used arcane reserve powers in case of a constitutional crisis! Whatever shall we do?", I cry into the night while nine people who hold un-elected lifetime terms to the supreme court shield me from the second class citizenship democracy wants to foist upon me.
The judiciary are, however, appointed and approved by elected officials.
That said, you will get no argument from me on the importance of the judiciary in upholding the rights of minorities, something which is essential for a genuinely democratic system to function (that is, for everyone's voice to be represented fairly in government). In fact, I have often referenced the Judiciary as an appropriate check on abuse by the majority/protection of the rights of minorities in a democratic system.
I did not claim that democracy always leads to the best outcome, but I suspect that, if left unimpeded, it will do so more often than not in the long run, at least in our contemporary society. I do not have to be blind to the problems of our society to believe that democracy is, on the whole
, a good system.
Though I will point out that it is difficult to evaluate what our society would be like if governed by a fair popular vote, because the reality is nowhere near
I'm sincerely sorry if you took my position as indifference towards the persecution of homosexuals or minorities in general on my part. However, I must point out that I consider labeling someone "privileged" as a way of discrediting their argument a form of ad hominem (attacking the identity of the speaker rather than the substance of the argument).
You know who the american people elected in a perfectly fair vote over and over again in the senate? Jeff Sessions, Strom Thurmond, Mitch McConnell, Jeff Flake, the list goes on and on and on. I could go into state-wide governor elections as well. Michigan and Kansas are prime fucking examples there.
Not exactly representative of the American people as a whole, but only of specific states. I will note that my conception of a healthy democratic government does not place a great deal of weight on "States' Rights" (another one of those "protections" supposed to safeguard us from the choices of the ignorant unwashed masses, which usually just ends up being used as a tool for oppression), partly for this exact reason.
Admittedly, I'm a bit more sympathetic to the States' Rights argument given the current Federal government, but in the big picture, I'd say that its more often been a tool to deny civil rights.
Except for his re-election, numbnuts. He won that one clean.
What? You think I don't know that? Or that I'm trying to pretend otherwise?
Yes, he won his second election. The sole legitimately democratic Republican Presidential victory in my life time, but a wartime incumbent against a remarkably uncharismatic opponent, which was only possible because of his undemocratic and arguably fraudulent prior election.
In other words, if you stack the deck as much as possible in favour of the Republican, they can maybe just
manage, under the best possible circumstances
, to win the popular vote. Once out of the last seven races.
Bush was a horrible President, but I'm not exactly taking that as a damning indictment of the popular vote.
Not in the senate! And they could not do those things without majorities in state legislatures, which they won cleanly. Don't even get me started on their primaries.
The primary system is a miserable clusterfuck. I'm not sure how representative the primaries are of what people actually want. And no, I'm not alleging fraud/voter suppression, but their are lots of entirely legal ways to weight the scales. But I really don't want to rehash the DNC primary debate again
As to the Senate... gerrymandering may not have been a factor, but I wouldn't be surprised if voter suppression laws swung some close races.
Even if I did grant you that voter suppression and gerrymandering are the whole cause, the population in their districts, suppressed as they are, still literally vote for the people who are actively taking food out of their mouths and who want to poison them with coal fly ash. If the population had any sense, it would not matter how much minority voters were suppressed or how gerrymandered the districts are, because the people who DO vote would notice what their fucking interests are, and vote accordingly. They don't, because they would rather vote with their tribal loyalty and petty bigotries rather than the neocortex natural selection also gifted them with. But hey, those petty bigotries helped their ancestors slaughter opposing tribes and steal their women, why would they want to rely on the neocortex that ONLY brought us out of the paleolithic and gave us writing and civilization.
You are overgeneralizing again, taking the most bigoted and partisan elements of the electorate and treating them as representative of the whole, in a manner that I suspect would make the most snobbish aristocrat proud.
Ronald. Fucking. Reagan. Twice.
You will note that I never said "The people always make the right choice under all circumstances, no exceptions". But in recent American history (certainly within my lifetime), the popular vote, at the national level, has nearly always gone in the right direction overall.
Is that precise enough for you?
If the population were filled with even a majority of rational intelligent people, he would have lost in a fucking landslide, even with the electoral college; but it isn't. Forty six percent of the electorate voted for him.
If the majority was rational, he would have lost in a landslide?
You... do realize what a majority is, don't you?
And while 46% of voters
may have voted for him, their are a lot of people who simply didn't vote, which alters the percentages somewhat. In some cases because they couldn't (see above reg. voter suppression), and in other cases because they chose not to. The latter category did something stupid, but not nearly as stupid as if they had voted for Trump.
And frankly, I suspect that cynical attacks on the merits of democracy such as yours' contribute a great deal to the political culture that leads to so many people choosing not to vote.
That is a pretty significant hurdle, don't you think? Any prospective challenger has to contend with forty six percent of the electorate who will actually vote for "a rapist con man endorsed by the Klan". That is nearly half the population who are so blinkered by stupidity that they cannot be reached with competence and reason.
Forty six percent of people who actually voted
, once those who legally can't/are obstructed from doing so (who tend to be from predominantly anti-Trump demographics) are subtracted.
Our system is so broken that yes, the electoral college that SHOULD act as such a protection, no longer serves its purpose. The only branch of our federal government that approaches its job with anything even approaching competence and professionalism is the federal judiciary. The one branch where nary a popular vote is cast. Oh, and the civil service. No votes there either.
The Electoral College was always intended, at least in part, to be a tool of repression, to ensure that the voters of some states mattered more than others. This, of course, dates back to the days when the US viewed itself more as a collection of sovereign states than a united nation, and I would argue that it is now obsolete and counterproductive.
Other systems of government that have been tried (absolute monarchy, dictatorships etc) all turn out worse. But that does not mean that democracy is somehow inherently good, or that the voting public tends to make good decisions. It doesn't. They are just less bad that one person drunk on absolute power. That is a low bar.
We both agree that democracy is the best option, even if you view and describe it in more cynical terms. That said, I think you are too quick to dismiss the significant differences between one form of "democratic" government and another.
Regardless, it is deeply disheartening, albeit sadly predictable, that the "election" of Trump against the popular vote is being treated as some damning indictment of popular government. If we had actual
democratic government, all evidence indicates that Trump would not be President.
You have not refuted this. You cannot
refute this. And yet, people immediately default to "Its the peoples' fault".
Their seems to be this reflexive tendency to blame the ignorance of the people, rather than the abuses of the powerful, for the failings of the system, even in cases where statistical evidence shows that the latter, not the former, is primarily at fault
, and I honestly worry about what that says about our culture, and the direction in which we are headed.
Edit: I would also like to point out that I created a separate thread to discuss the monarchy vs. republic question because I was concerned that it might be going too far off-topic. Since you posted this here, I have replied to it here, and I trust that you will not hold me responsible for thread-jacking for doing so.
"Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that "all men are created equal." We now practically read it "all men are created equal, except negroes" When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read "all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy." - Lincoln.