The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas, Edi, K. A. Pital

User avatar
Eternal_Freedom
Castellan
Posts: 8587
Joined: 2010-03-09 02:16pm
Location: Bound in a nutshell
Contact:

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Eternal_Freedom » 2017-03-19 06:56pm

Broomstick wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:To me, its not any objection to the functionality of monarchy, but the fundamental problem of a system which puts some people over others on the basis of heredity.

A system which somehow had the benefits of monarchy without the inherent injustice of hereditary government would likely meet with little objection, at least as far I am concerned.

Do the royals really have that much of a huge privilege over other wealthy people? Well, yes, in a sense but the Queen (and now those who are acting in her stead at times as she ages) does have a pretty punishing schedule, she's not sitting in a parlor watching Netflix twelve hours a day. I get the sense that being of the nobility at any level means far less these days in the UK than it ever has before.

At least the British royals seem to have a strong sense of duty/giving back. Military service, William acting as a search and rescue pilot... far from a perfect situation but the past few generations seem to have a sense that they'd better be more than just ornaments if they want to keep their position in society.

Huh. Well, yeah, being American the whole hereditary privilege is somewhere between alien and repugnant. If Elizabeth II hadn't been so drawn to duty - she did, after all, engage in military service during WWII when she certainly did not have to do so, and got her hands dirty working as a driver and mechanic, not to mention her long reign of representing the UK - I think the British monarchy would have ended in the 20th Century. Don't recall Charles doing much of note (he might have without my noticing), but Princess Diana saw that her boys were raised with a sense of duty and, while waiting to inherit, they seem to be making some effort to be more than just playboys. As long as the British royals have some charisma and are not completely useless I suspect Britain will continue the tradition.


Charles spent a considerable amount of time serving in the Royal Navy as I recall - I think he reached Captain rank before leaving active duty. And as has been seen repeatedly in the 20th century, being a royal doesn't get you promoted any faster in the Navy.
"I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams" - Hamlet

“I’ve always thought the Yankees had something to do with it.” - Confederate General George Pickett, on being asked why his charge at Ghettysburg failed

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.

User avatar
Zaune
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5526
Joined: 2010-06-21 11:05am
Location: In Transit
Contact:

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Zaune » 2017-03-19 07:05pm

I just took a look, and Eternal_Freedom is right. He never saw combat but served as an officer on a couple of different warships before qualifying as a rotary-wing pilot and flying off the carrier HMS Hermes, then served a tour as the commanding officer of a minesweeper. In civilian life he's founded no less than seventeen charitable organisations and is the patron of several hundred more. He's also an active campaigner on environmental issues, the preservation of historic buildings and sustainable urban development. (Although if Poundbury is his vision for the community of the future then there were still a few bugs to iron out last time I was there.)
There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)


Replace "ginger" with "n*gger," and suddenly it become a lot less funny, doesn't it?
-- fgalkin


Like my writing? Tip me on Patreon

User avatar
Vendetta
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 10168
Joined: 2002-07-07 04:57pm
Location: Sheffield, UK
Contact:

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Vendetta » 2017-03-19 07:11pm

Broomstick wrote:Don't recall Charles doing much of note (he might have without my noticing), but Princess Diana saw that her boys were raised with a sense of duty and, while waiting to inherit, they seem to be making some effort to be more than just playboys. As long as the British royals have some charisma and are not completely useless I suspect Britain will continue the tradition.


Charles' military service was during peacetime, so he didn't have a chance to "do much of note".

Andrew was the one of that generation that was in active service during a war, as a helicopter pilot on HMS Invincible during the Falklands war.

Most of the male royals do military service, and have done for the last several generations. (Prince William's SAR role was done in the RAF. He's an Air Ambulance pilot now, donates his full salary for that to the Air Ambulance charity.)


Frankly, it's hard to be more than a lukewarm republican (much as Charles is a bit of a tit, complete woo-merchant), a far bigger issue is the unelected and partially hereditary upper house of parliament.

User avatar
Tribble
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2048
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-19 07:23pm

The Romulan Republic wrote: snip


You're against the Monarchy, and in another thread you mentioned you were also against nationalism in all of its forms. I'm curious as to where you would like to see Canada go, particularly since one of the defining characteristics of Canada is its gradual move towards full sovereignty and refusal to join in the great North American Union that is the USA (good luck convincing most Canadians to have an "ever closer union" with them). What exactly are you hoping to see? Trudeau's "post-national state" I guess? What exactly is that?
"I reject your reality and substitute my own" - the official Troll motto as stated by Adam Savage

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 24956
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Broomstick » 2017-03-19 07:59pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Its not even the material advantages, primarily. We spend far more tax money on far worse things. Its the simple concept of saying "This person matters more because of who their ancestors were." It is a fundamentally anti-equality, anti-democratic idea, and no matter how constrained the institution, or benevolent the current monarch, that can't ever really be erased.

Yeah, I see your point.

On the other hand, the royal princesses were NOT evacuated to Canada (as originally planned) during WWII and indeed were in residence at Buckingham palace when a bomb dropped in the courtyard, as opposed to many other London children who had been evacuated to the countryside (if I have all that correct and in proper sequence... if not please do correct me). So arguably there are times when it could actually work against one to be part of the royal family and you wind up at greater risk. Princess Diana made it a point to expose her boys to ordinary people and circumstances. So while the royals continue to be privileged they are a lot less so than in prior generations.

I could conceive of a role for a royal family where anyone wanting to remain in the line of succession and/or enjoy the privileges of being close to the throne have to make themselves useful or lose such rank and privilege, which might be a reasonable tradeoff. Or might not.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12012
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-19 08:46pm

Tribble wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote: snip


You're against the Monarchy, and in another thread you mentioned you were also against nationalism in all of its forms. I'm curious as to where you would like to see Canada go, particularly since one of the defining characteristics of Canada is its gradual move towards full sovereignty and refusal to join in the great North American Union that is the USA (good luck convincing most Canadians to have an "ever closer union" with them). What exactly are you hoping to see? Trudeau's "post-national state" I guess? What exactly is that?


Realistically? I have no idea.

In theory, I suppose I'd prefer a President elected by popular vote and... well, a North American Union is problematic because the US would be so utterly dominant... but definitely a greater degree of international cooperation. Though I'd be open to some sort of non-elected ceremonial figurehead if selected through some means other than heredity.

But in practice, Canada, for all its many advantages as a country, is so far from this ideal that I can't really imagine a clear path from here to their, and I don't expect it within a generation, if even in my life time.

Edit: And as a dual citizen of the US and Canada, I think I am in an unusual position to say that, as much as I love the United States, no one in their right mind would want to join with us while You Know Who is at the helm. :wink:
"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.

User avatar
Gandalf
SD.net White Wizard
Posts: 13938
Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Location: A video store in Sydney, Australia

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Gandalf » 2017-03-19 08:56pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Its not even the material advantages, primarily. We spend far more tax money on far worse things. Its the simple concept of saying "This person matters more because of who their ancestors were." It is a fundamentally anti-equality, anti-democratic idea, and no matter how constrained the institution, or benevolent the current monarch, that can't ever really be erased.


Amusingly, "who their ancestors were" only translates into who conquered and consolidated the best. People harp on about how the Windsors are so amazing because their ancestors served in the military. My ancestors did too. Then the British Empire killed some, enslaved others, and took all of their land. QEII's wealth comes from the blood of a lot of our ancestors.
"How you wanna raise a flag with a rifle
To make us want to celebrate anything but survival?
Nah, you watching tele for The Bachelor
But wouldn’t read a book about a fuckload of massacres?"

- A.B. Original, January 26

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12012
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-19 08:58pm

Gandalf wrote:
The Romulan Republic wrote:Its not even the material advantages, primarily. We spend far more tax money on far worse things. Its the simple concept of saying "This person matters more because of who their ancestors were." It is a fundamentally anti-equality, anti-democratic idea, and no matter how constrained the institution, or benevolent the current monarch, that can't ever really be erased.


Amusingly, "who their ancestors were" only translates into who conquered and consolidated the best. People harp on about how the Windsors are so amazing because their ancestors served in the military. My ancestors did too. Then the British Empire killed some, enslaved others, and took all of their land. QEII's wealth comes from the blood of a lot of our ancestors.


Yep. Treated as more important because they're descended from war lords- that tends to be how monarchy works.
"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.

User avatar
Gandalf
SD.net White Wizard
Posts: 13938
Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Location: A video store in Sydney, Australia

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Gandalf » 2017-03-19 09:07pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:
Gandalf wrote:Amusingly, "who their ancestors were" only translates into who conquered and consolidated the best. People harp on about how the Windsors are so amazing because their ancestors served in the military. My ancestors did too. Then the British Empire killed some, enslaved others, and took all of their land. QEII's wealth comes from the blood of a lot of our ancestors.


Yep. Treated as more important because they're descended from war lords- that tends to be how monarchy works.


Silly TRR, only foreigners are warlords. Our royalty has but a noble martial tradition, to unify the country and bring stability to the realm. Remember your place peasant! :P

I find it amusing how much people fawn over the royal family. They're like the Kardashians for people who think they're sophisticated.
"How you wanna raise a flag with a rifle
To make us want to celebrate anything but survival?
Nah, you watching tele for The Bachelor
But wouldn’t read a book about a fuckload of massacres?"

- A.B. Original, January 26

"I think it’s the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."
- George Carlin

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12012
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-19 09:17pm

I mean, as national leaders go, the current ones mostly aren't bad, as individuals.

But the institution... the institution is innately unjust.
"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.

User avatar
Tribble
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2048
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-19 10:21pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:Realistically? I have no idea.

In theory, I suppose I'd prefer a President elected by popular vote andbut definitely a greater degree of international cooperation.


And what kind of powers and procedures would you give said president? Do you want Canada to be a mini-USA? I am harping on this a bit because the differences between Canada's and the USA's political structure matters; it's not as simple as just tossing out the Monarch and electing a president, it would be a fundamental change as to how our government operates.

The Romulan Republic wrote:... well, a North American Union is problematic because the US would be so utterly dominant...


But doesn't that go against your idea that Canada remaining a separate nation and having a separate national identity is terrible? If you believe that nationalism in all its forms no matter what is bad, wouldn't the benefits of joining in a North American Union, even with the USA being completely dominant, outweigh all the evils that will continue to happen so long as Canada is a separate country and Canadians view themselves as a distinct group of people?

The Romulan Republic wrote:...but definitely a greater degree of international cooperation.


While the argument can certainly be made that all nations need to cooperate more particularly when it comes to the environment and humanitarian issues, that's a pretty broad statement. What exactly do you mean? Should we be signing up for things like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and CETA, just for the sake of international cooperation? Have our military fully subordinated to the UN?

The Romulan Republic wrote:Though I'd be open to some sort of non-elected ceremonial figurehead if selected through some means other than heredity.


That would be similar to the German model, which might work (though it is subject to political horse trading).

The Romulan Republic wrote:But in practice, Canada, for all its many advantages as a country, is so far from this ideal that I can't really imagine a clear path from here to their, and I don't expect it within a generation, if even in my life time.

Edit: And as a dual citizen of the US and Canada, I think I am in an unusual position to say that, as much as I love the United States, no one in their right mind would want to join with us while You Know Who is at the helm. :wink:


Well, you can't really have it both ways. Either the benefits of Canada being a separate nation state with a separate national identity outweighs the drawbacks overall, or it doesn't. Which do you think is the case? If you had to choose, would you prefer Canada remaining a separate country or would you prefer Canada joining in something like a North American Union, even if it meant being dominated by the USA and having the occasional Trump in charge, just for the sake of getting rid of Canadian nationalism? Or perhaps we ought to re-integrate with the UK and other Commonwealth countries and become the British Empire 2.0? Because let's be clear here - nationalism is as part of Canada as it is in many other Western countries, its why we deliberately choose not to be part of the USA and why we gradually moved away from the British Empire. If you think that is a bad thing fine, but then you ought to support Canada joining in a larger union with the USA, EU, or Commonwealth etc.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own" - the official Troll motto as stated by Adam Savage

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12012
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-19 10:31pm

This seems to be veering rather far off the original topic of the thread. Its an interesting discussion, well-worth having, but would you object to taking it to its own thread?
"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.

User avatar
Tribble
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2048
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Tribble » 2017-03-19 11:46pm

The Romulan Republic wrote:This seems to be veering rather far off the original topic of the thread. Its an interesting discussion, well-worth having, but would you object to taking it to its own thread?


Sure, why not?
"I reject your reality and substitute my own" - the official Troll motto as stated by Adam Savage

User avatar
Alyrium Denryle
Minister of Sin
Posts: 21731
Joined: 2002-07-11 08:34pm
Location: The Deep Desert
Contact:

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby Alyrium Denryle » 2017-03-22 04:14am

OK. First of all TRR, you need to fix your shit with respect to Their, There, and They're. Your grammar fucking hurts me. I've said it via PM, I am doing it now publicly. The people here for whom English is a second, third, or even fourth language use these words properly. For fuck's sake, you don't even get it right by chance.

The Romulan Republic" wrote:At least with a vote, their's choice, not merely the whims of fate. At least their is a theoretical option to take merit into account. At least their is some test of ability, even if its only personal charisma and skill as a campaigner (or ability to cheat the system), some merit beyond "I'm distantly descended from some ancient warlords through a millennia or so of inbreeding."


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.

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.

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.




And above all, it does not directly contradict the fundamental ideal that people are entitled to equality, does not implicitly enshrine the belief that one is not innately better simply because of who their ancestors were.


It does not mean they are NOT better either. See above.

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

And you know, as much as the scoffers at democracy like to portray the electorate as a bunch of semi-literate hicks, the voters tend to make decent choices when their's actually a fair vote.


*there's

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.

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.

George W. Bush? Lost the popular vote. Presidency handed to him by the Electoral College with an assist from the Supreme Court.


Except for his re-election, numbnuts. He won that one clean.

Congressional Republican majority? Would be smaller or outright gone without gerrymandering and voter suppression.


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.

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.

The electorate tends to pick, if not good people, at least basically sane and competent people, when trusted with the ability to do so.


Ronald. Fucking. Reagan. Twice.

It is the Electoral College, one of those "safeguards" against the ignorant unwashed masses exercising their voice in politics, that made a rapist con man endorsed by the Klan President. It sure as hell wasn't the will of the people.


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.

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.

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.

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.
GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Entomology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12012
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The secret plan for the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2017-03-22 05:21am

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.

And again, 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 than heredity.

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 that.

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, here.

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.


Return to “News and Politics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Atia, Esquire and 15 guests