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An Important Debate
A Matter of Prayer
Just Keep Going . . .
As always, more here.
Somebody Spent Some Time on This
And it was well worth it . . . check here.
Theology That Bites Back
As always, more here.
And it was well worth it . . . check here.
The problem is not with the electoral college per se, but rather with the arbitrary limit of 538 electors. The number of persons which are represented by a single congressman needs to be set according to some fixed number of people, and allowed to naturally grow to accommodate that number. Otherwise, you end up with states like Texas only having 12.67 tomes the electoral voting g power of a state like Vermont, despite having 19 times (and growing) the population, leading to Texas having a disproportionately low degree of representation in our representative democracy.
I think the fundamental issue is that some people think that individuals should have more or less voting power depending on which state they live in, and others don’t. It’s a fundamental disagreement.
There’s always this argument thrown out there, “but why should X state get X power”, as if a state were an entity who could make decisions. People vote, note states, and the popular vote people are the ones who believe that each person’s vote should count the same no matter where they live.
Jonathan, You are right that its a fundamental disagreement, though I would question whether most people discussing it actually care in principal about the organization, or if they jist see the current structure as an aid or inhibition to political power. By and large I think the proportional voting system is working as designed. It keep more populous states and regions from having as much power over less populated areas than they otherwise would. Rural areas in many parts of the country already feel extremely marginalized by urban voters and politicians and ending the electoral college would only deepen that… Read more »
I think there’s definitely room for improvements. No other portion of the original voting arrangement remains as limited as the electoral college is at this point. At least if you’re non-white, female, between 18 and 21, don’t own property, or have ever committed a crime. Doesn’t keeping the electoral college as-is also marginalize people by reducing their share of representation? The difference being that it marginalizes tens of millions in big states rather than marginalizing a few million in small ones?
However, the constitution was so constructed as a strategic compromise, and the final structure wasn’t the preference of the people who most wanted the constitution in the first place.
This is exactly right. We should always remember that the constitution is a compromise document.
This is a problem with some forms of originalism – often the text is vague in specific ways so all parties can assent to it. This does’t mean we shouldn’t try to parse the syntax in the language of the time, but it it does mean that we shouldn’t give commentary from one founder (Madison believed this clause meant…) undue weight.
In fact I don’t think Madison himself expected posterity to do that, not strictly anyway. Speaking of original intent, more flexibility in application was intended than originalists will allow. Contrary to states rights champions and some libertarians the point of the Constitution was very much to establish and therefore (by definition) empower (rather than to limit) a national government. I can say that was the point because it was the aim of the men who perceived the need, pushed the agenda, framed the debate, and drafted the document. The anti-federalists did not want a constitution that limited the power of… Read more »
A place doesn’t wield power though. People wield power. You’re saying that some people’s power should be diminished if they happen to live too close to lots of other people. And what you say about less populated or rural areas only applies to White people in those areas. Black rural voters continue to be almost completely marginalized at both the state and federal regardless of the electoral college. What the electoral college does, effectively, is pull power away from urban non-white voters and place disproportionate power in the hands of rural white voters while keeping rural non-white voters powerless in… Read more »
Jonathan, People wield power as subdivided and geographically distinct entities. Sovereignty isn’t invested only in atomized individuals spread across whatever arbitrary polity is electing an office. And different geographic areas very much have different knowledge and needs and the US constitution and the constitution of most states are set up to give some small weight to those needs. Take a classic example of Oregon. Portland and the northern Wilamette Valley contain the vast majority of the people, while the vast majority of the land is east of the cascades. The people of that area are mostly involved in agriculture and… Read more »
I’m not talking about local control or office (which you know I’m a big fan of), I said they were disenfranchised at the state and federal level. In the Electoral College, for example, all of the distorted representation towards rural voters is actually captured by White rural voters alone. I don’t see any state where Black rural voters get a disproportionate impact. And as Black urban voters are losing out due to the pro-rural weighting, the net effect of that kind of argument is to say that White rural votes should matter more, even if it means that all Black… Read more »
Jonathan, I know you aren’t talking about local control of offices, but the effects are largely the same. Due to the way our heirarchical systems work and the outworking of (largely necessary, in my opinion) post civil war changes to the infrastructure of governance, local office, local land use, local social services, local health codes, etc. are under the thumb of higher levels of government. It is therefore good and proper that those less populated places with no major cultural, media, or edcational institutional power, have a non-directly population-proportional way of influencing politics in the larger political institutions. Black folks… Read more »
Jonathan, To continue: I disagree that the giving weight to less populated areas only gives increased local sovereignty to white voters. Big swaths of rural Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and south Carolina are majority black, and large rural areas in south and west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and S. California are majority hispanic. Especially in Texas, these areas have been fertile testing grounds for ambitious hispanic men to gain and hold local office and rise through the political ranks. They also provide a bulwark for maintaining some of their distinctive local traditions. I haven’t followed the case you mention, but I’m… Read more »
There are definitely places where non-white rural voters are prevalent, but look at all the examples you named in reference to the electoral college. Every place you mentioned is one where at the state level the interests of rural White voters oppose and outweigh those of non-White voters (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and Arizona), or where the electoral college weight is disproportionately low (Georgia, Texas, Arizona, California). Only in New Mexico would rural non-White voters have any hope of disproportionate impact, and of course the small gains there are wiped out by the massive loses everywhere else. Compare… Read more »
Jonathan, is your argument that non-proportional representation is unfair because sometimes, or even frequently, it works out that rural white voters with a special set of interests get them protected, sometimes at the expense of black voters with different interests?
How is that objectively worse than strict proportional representation, where the interests of rural white voters will never again get a moment’s consideration from anyone because they will be outweighed by the interests of urban voters of every ethnicity, every time?
I thought most of us were fond of democracy because we consider having to submit to the will of the majority as being fundamentally more just than having to submit to the will of a priviledged minority. I think this whole conversation is fascinating because so many people can so clearly see just reasons for priviledging a disadvantaged minority when that minority is rural White people, even though rural White people have always had and will always have far, far, far more political power than black people ever will. Rural White people largely control the election of 30-40 senators. Black… Read more »
Gerrymandering isn’t some newfangled conspiracy that Republicans made up to exploit black people. The democrats do it to collect their voters – of whom black people are a major faction – into stable districts that will put them in office; republicans do it to collect their voters into stable districts that will keep them in office. Nobody is disenfranchising black people except insofar as that is a strong proxy for “reliable supporter of the other party”, and to state it otherwise is disingenuous.
Nobody is disenfranchising black people except insofar as that is a strong proxy for “reliable supporter of the other party”, and to state it otherwise is disingenuous. I actually left the motive ambiguous, but the effects are undeniable. How can you claim to be absolutely certain of motives? What are you basing it on? It’s obvious that your claim fails at least through the 1970s, when several state governments were still working to actively disenfranchise Black people specifically due to race, and had law enforcement and the judicial system actively supporting powerful vigilantes with those goals. The Voting Rights Act… Read more »
Black representation in the House is about proportionate to their population. Numbers of elected official aside, a case could be made that on a national level black people have an influence on policy disproportionate to their overall population. What could be said to both black Americans and rural white Americans is that when you are decidedly in the minority as a voting block with policy preferences distinct from the majority preference, you can hardly expect consistently satisfactory results. One thing you should want to do is ask yourself if you have a rational basis for identifying as part of the… Read more »
In the House, Black people hold positions just somewhat lower than their representative population, and rural Whites only somewhat higher. Gerrymandering of House seats had only had a major effect in this regard in a few states, though it has also reduced the opportunity for the Black population to affect other races. The House, of course is the only representative body. It is in the Senate, Presidency, and State Legislatures that Black people are heavily disenfranchised. I think the idea that Black people have an outsized effect on national policy is unsupportable. Where would you even think that effect would… Read more »
I think your original point was that, owing to our political structure, low population areas, which it happens are mostly white, have a disproportionate degree of national political influence – and I agree you have a point there. However, first consider the fact that you see a reason to specify *rural* whites, but when it comes to black Americans, just “black”. Are they really a monolithic block with no other identity, related to, say locality, or profession, etc.? If so, why should that be? Are the interests of rural southern blacks exactly the same as those of the urban black… Read more »
John, I specified “rural black” several times in the discussion. They are not a monolithic block and I acknowledged that repeatedly. However, I’m also pointing out that in most cases the political allies of rural black people are certainly not rural white people. Due to the legacy of intense discrimination in most states with rural black populations, rural black people are still going to have the most points of intersection with urban black people. And the issue with the Electoral College is that it adds to the ongoing disenfranchisement of one of those groups by diminishing the voting power of… Read more »
Okay, I do see one instance where you specified rural black voters and another where you made reference to non-white rural voters. In both instances you were responding to a point demo made about the existence of black and/or other non-white rural populations. Was there more that I missed? One point I made earlier was that when you’re in some minority and your policy preferences are specific to your minority, you’re not always going to get the results that you prefer. I would add, it is unrealistic, if not unreasonable, to expect that you would. When you are in a… Read more »
6 times, 3 Black rural and 3 non-white. The first two come in comment #224276, where I believe I was the first person to mention rural black voters at all. “Black rural voters continue to be almost completely marginalized at both the state and federal regardless of the electoral college.”“What the electoral college does, effectively, is pull power away from urban non-white voters and place disproportionate power in the hands of rural white voters while keeping rural non-white voters powerless in almost every instance.”“I don’t see any state where Black rural voters get a disproportionate impact.”“And as Black urban voters… Read more »
I found one more of each – kind of like Where’s Wally. I’ll take your word for the others. Still, the point is you, and to be fair, most people, regularly refer to “black voters” as if their race is only thing that does or should determine how they vote.
Wallace, Byrd, Thurmund, and Helms are all gone. If it is *still* true that “It’s not a stretch to suggest that both parties may be particularly inadequate in dealing with Black concerns.” maybe it’s time black voters consider that last possibility I suggested in the paragraph you quoted.
Jonathan had a thought: I thought most of us were fond of democracy because we consider having to submit to the will of the majority as being fundamentally more just than having to submit to the will of a privileged minority. Let’s see if it’s a good one: Plato, in The Republic: “And so tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.” James Madison, Federalist No. 10: “…democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have… Read more »
Yes, I purposely said “most of us”. I know not everyone feels that way, just like there are some people, both past and present, who explicitly think that a White majority in control is preferable to Black people having proportional power. I think, for example, that the League of the South, the Dixiecrats, and most of the people you just quoted would fight against any suggestions of proportional Black political power.
How do you know it’s that many?
“Most”? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
So out of Plato, Madison, Cincinnatus, Franklin, and Tyler, how many argued for proportional Black political power?
Your Marxist slip is showing again. The people I quoted did not discuss politics in terms of power and oppression. Why don’t you try getting your premises right for a change?
It’s just self-parody at this point.
Well, if that’s how you feel about yourself, then who am I to stand in your way?
I didn’t ask about gerrymandering or specific targeting. I’m talking about the electoral college. Many of us are fond of limited democracy, not the “two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner” model, which is what pure proportionality gets you. Minority (even if that means members of the ethnic majority with valid concerns that conflict with what a larger number of people want) interests need some level of protection. The hybrid model we have seems to be a good balance, though it isn’t perfect. Bad people distort things for bad purposes. You won’t find a system immune to that,… Read more »
But the electoral college doesn’t address the “two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner” issue for minorities at all. It makes them even less relevant than they already were. As I pointed out, there was no worry of rural White people being “the sheep” in that scenario as they already largely drive the election of 30-40 senators and numerous state legislatures. Rural White people already have a significant amount of power with which to defend their interests regardless of what happens with the electoral college. But Black people, who are actually the sheep whose interests need defending in… Read more »
How are black people marginalized by the electoral college, when their voting pattern matches white urbanites? They aren’t being marginalized, the excessive power of the voting bloc to which they belong is being mitigated so as not to marginalize people whose interests do not match those of urbanites. Your argument seems to be that you agree that balance is required, but that it is self-evident that the balance created by the Senate is “enough.” This is a technical and tactical disagreement, not really a fundamental one. The founders thought that since the election of a president is a distinct function… Read more »
You ignored everything I said about Black political interests not actually matching “White urbanites”. And the argument wouldn’t make sense anyway – you could use the same simplistic claim to argue that the electoral college isn’t necessary because the voting interests of White rural voters already matches White suburbanites. But we have already acknowledged that even though they may align in general elections, Black rural and Black urban and White rural voters all have interests that are not captured by the majority of the parties they happen to join. And I think the Senate already gives rural voters far more… Read more »
Jonathan, saying that “People vote, note states, and the popular vote people are the ones who believe that each person’s vote should count the same no matter where they live,” creates a subtle shift of frame that obscures the issue. It’s true that people, and not literally states, vote for the president. But that group of people is actually a small group of short-term representatives called electors. And those electors are chosen by the governments of the states (through the laws they enact). The fact that we see ourselves as voting “for the president” is a simplification based on the… Read more »
I’m not sure what you’re trying to add Mike. People do actually vote. That’s not a shift from what anyone is talking about. Everyone from the Democrats to the Republicans to the media of every ideology is constantly looking to polls to see what people are planning to do with their vote. No one is polling electors, because as you note their will is effectively irrelevant in the system as currently designed. In the current system it is the people’s will as apportioned by the electoral college math that determines who will be president. The actual will of the electors… Read more »
In the current system it is the will of the state governments to apportion electors based on statewide popular votes. The “people’s will as apportioned by the electoral college math” is a description of the result of the current norms, not of the system itself.
I’m just not seeing at what level that changes the discussion.
I think he is just pointing out that the system is working with according to its architecture (as modified). The popular sovereignty effects are by-products or that architecture, but they don’t get at the (only/primary) reason the architecture was put in place. It doesn’t invalidate your concerns but it is background information to keep in mind. This is a classic Chestertonian fence, any attempt to remove or adjust it should take account of the reasons it was put in place, and not just its opponents accounts of those reasons.
Demo, that’s definitely part of it. Another part is simply that California voters and Wyoming voters are not, on a basic level, voting at different weights for the same thing. They are voting for different things.
But as I’ve pointed out, Wyoming and other rural White voters already have a way of advocating for those different things via their massive disproportionate advantage at the Senate level, not to mention their control of many state governments. Whereas Black people are just as obviously a minority voting for different things, except they control the election of close to zero senators and zero state governments, in addition to being almost completely marginalized out of the electoral college. And I’ve never seen anyone here suggest in the slightest how Black people should even be given their fair representation. I’m not… Read more »
The all-or-nothing system does more than reward “wide support”. Trumps support in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan was effectively the same as Clinton’s. You can’t tell me that you can walk down the street and tell the difference between a state that breaks 48-47 for Clinton and one that breaks 47.2-47.0 for Trump. Margins like that are determined by random factors like the weather that day or the news stories that happened to hit the cycle that weekend. But the electoral college makes such arbitrary margins all-determinative. Even at the federal level a popular vote marginalized can be insignificant (see… Read more »
Your point about tight margins in swing states bolsters my point rather than dimishing it. Candidates forced to run campaigns sensitive to a number of politically mixed battleground states, and the result moderates their campaigns in (in my opinion) the interest of the nation. If the votes were not cast and counted as part of large political blocks (states) the emphasis would all be on capturing urban and close suburban areas as they have a large majority of voters.
I think the compromise system works pretty well, it makes no one happy, which means it is functional.
Even if your fear that they would only target urban and suburban areas is true, that would just be a counterbalance from how much all those places get screwed in the Senate elections.
Black people are a minority voting for different things than whom? Urban whites? Hardly.
Don’t confuse being forced to vote for the least-bad of two options with actual solidarity in views.
When I was replying to JohnM I found an article discussing the exact phenomenon I was talking about: They are so sick and tired of being sick and tired of Trump, there’s this almost unconscious feeling they’re going to go with the candidate that is more likely to beat him,” said Ron Lester, a Washington pollster who has spent decades surveying the attitudes of black voters. For many, Lester said, “that is probably a white male,” given their deep-seated belief “that America is still a very racist place and a very misogynistic place and that a candidate who doesn’t get… Read more »
I wasn’t asking about candidates, I was asking about interests. How do black people constitute a distinct voting interest bloc from the urban majority?
For example, from a recent survey: Nearly a fifth of respondents said they view the Democratic Party unfavorably, and 52 percent of respondents — more than 16,000 people — said that “politicians do not care about Black people or their interests”; another 35 percent said that politicians care about black people “a little.” So there are obviously a lot of Black people who feel that they are a distinct voting interest from the urban majority. In my experience, off the top of my head Black people care far more about racism, the wealth gap, police brutality and lack of accountability,… Read more »
“whose owner suggested that the best way to solve the root cause of racial strife would be to remove all Black Democrats from power, and no one even batted an eye.”
Would you mind citing that?
It was actually worse than I remembered – he not only said remove them all from power, but actually outlaw them from governance.
It’s not at all disingenuous to refer to that statement as his actual serious suggestion that the root cause of racial strife is allowing black Democrats in power, rather than a rhetorical bargaining proposition. /sarc
I fall for it every time. Every time I get sucked into these discussions as though you are an honest interlocutor. When will I learn?
It’s good that we periodically get these reminders that, while Jonathan might be a good training dummy to practice arguing against, he’s not truly interested in fair representation of his opponents or their arguments.
As opposed to Pastor Wilson, of course, right? Or fp, katecho, Dave, or any others among his most ardent supporters on this blog?
It’s mind-blowing to me that I immediately get attacked more for reporting that Pastor Wilson said that than Pastor Wilson does for saying it. But par for the course.
I will note, of course, that I am being attacked for unfair representation for a comment in which I accurately quoted the full paragraph of context, hyperlinked to the exact original essay, and didn’t place a single bit of gloss on the statement other than to report that he said it. You can try to suggest that Pastor Wilson was doing anything other than disparaging Black Democrats with that statement. That would be a tall order. But even if you tried to find some alternatively explanation, the idea that I am being dishonest by referring to, quoting, or linking his… Read more »
I guess no matter how many other examples I can give of Pastor Wilson disparaging Black Democrats in power, even calling them ghouls, thugs, saying that anyone who votes for them should resign from ministry, etc….you can always fall back on the “lol joking!” defense.
Jonathan, you have demonstrated a sufficient grasp of rhetoric in your own writing that it’s implausible to believe that you honestly mistook the rhetorical point Wilson was making there for a literal suggestion.
It’s inherently obvious that neither Pastor Wilson nor anyone else could ban all Black Democrats from political power. All of us are well aware of that this whole time. In that sense he didn’t “mean it”. It also seems obvious to me that Pastor Wilson is really saying that Black Democrats are a root cause of racial strife. There have been many other places where he has blamed either Black people in general or Democrats in general for racial strife, and as I already pointed out he has gone so far to describe Obama and others as “ghouls” or “actual… Read more »
Jane, you said:
Here’s an easy way to remember: Jonathan once claimed with a straight face that illegal aliens are more law-abiding than citizens.
Someone claimed that millions of illegal aliens had illegally voted in California, and his only evidence was his assertion that illegal aliens are naturally criminal and have no qualms about violating the law spuriously. I provided evidence that illegal aliens are actually less like to commit crimes than citizens (perhaps partially because the consequences are so much greater if they’re caught and partially because they are predominantly gainfully employed 1st-generation immigrants, which is a demographic with very low crime rates anyway).
You all can imagine which side fp sided with.
Jonathan, if illegal aliens were as law-abiding as you say they are, then they wouldn’t be here. I get that this is a difficult concept for you to grasp, so I would suggest you go to the dictionary for some help. You can start by looking up the words illegal and alien.
Then, with those definitions firmly in mind, look up 8 U.S. Code § 1325 and 8 U.S. Code § 1326.
Actually no, fp, that provably not how human nature works. The fact that people choose to move to a new country for a better life by no means dictates that the are predisposed to completely unrelated criminal acts. I already gave to the citations that proved it. Also, most undocumented immigrants haven’t even violated those statutes you listed, more often than not they’re visa overstays, which isn’t even a criminal offense. To claim that undocumented immigrants are more likely to commit voter fraud (or any other completely unrelated criminal offense) solely because they are undocumented goes against all evidence, is… Read more »
I’m glad you mentioned visa overstays. They’re also illegal. Look up 8 U.S. Code § 1202(g) and 8 U.S. Code § 1182(a)(9)(B).
Apparently, the phrase “rule of law” is foreign to you, as is basic logic. Typical Democrat. The ONLY way for an illegal alien to not violate the law is to not be here.
There’s no criminal offense listed in either of those laws, at least on Cornell’s copy (e.g. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182). They just make it more difficult to be legally admitted in the future.
fp, you just cited a rule, there’s no criminal violation. The only penalty is that the visa is void and there is some prejudice (depending on the length of overstay) in the issuance of future visas. It’s not even a misdemeanor.
Jonathan, civil laws are still laws. Aliens who overstay their visa are subject to deportation.
Whatever points you think you scored with repeating what Nathan Tuggy said is negated by the fact that many aliens who overstay their visas commit Social Security fraud, produce fraudulent and false statements, or impersonate a U.S. citizen in order to continue working. All of which are actual crimes.
By the way, in other bad news for the Democrat party: The majority of likely U.S. voters want those who overstay their visas to be deported.
While “civil laws are still laws”, if you want to claim that any who violates a civil code should be called a criminal, then you’ve just affixed the term to every one of us.
As far as the rest, you’re still exactly zero steps in the direction of proving that undocumented immigrants have been guilty of mass voter fraud or have any predisposition towards such.
So neither your failed attempt at being a grammar nazi nor your the original assertion are getting anywhere.
…if you want to claim that any who violates a civil code should be called a criminal, then you’ve just affixed the term to every one of us. Where did I say that a violation of civil laws was criminal? In light of your history of making false claims (for which you still haven’t done the moral and honest thing), your attempt to put words in my mouth comes across as just plain unconvincing. …you’re still exactly zero steps in the direction of proving that undocumented immigrants have been guilty of mass voter fraud… Nothing gets past you, does it?… Read more »
You said exactly that right here: Hey genius, has it ever occurred to you to think before you type? Illegal aliens are criminals by definition. There is no possible way that illegal aliens commit crimes at a lower rate than anyone, let alone the population at large, when every single last one of them broke the law to get here. You said that every last illegal alien is a criminal by definition, and you said that every one of them broke the law to get here. Now you’re admit that the bulk of them only broke a civil law to… Read more »
Now you’re admitting that the bulk of them only broke a civil law to get here… Pro tip: When trying to score on a technicality, be sure to get the technical details correct. Those who overstay visas didn’t break any laws to get here. You must really like choking on those gnats. You said: Time and time again it has been shown that immigrants commit less crime than the population at large, especially illegal immigrants… Pop quiz: If you call someone out on not differentiating between border-jumpers and visa overstays when refuting a claim, but you yourself fail to differentiate… Read more »
Let’s remember, fp started this whole worthless diversion in an attempt to claim that I’m not an honest interlocutor in conversations. Also, the vast majority of citizens do not commit crimes? You’re wrong, again: “70 percent of American adults have committed a crime that could lead to imprisonment.” “70 percent seems low to me. Once you factor in illegal drug use, crimes of recklessness (which seldom are detected because no harm accrues), downloading, DUI, failures to report income, and the scores of relatively innocuous offenses that just happen to carry the possibility of jail time in some jurisdictions, I’d be… Read more »
Let’s remember, fp started this whole worthless diversion in an attempt to claim that I’m not an honest interlocutor in conversations. Nope, it was Jane who said you’re not an honest interlocutor. I merely gave her an easy way to remember. You got offended. Remember the protip I gave you earlier. Also, the vast majority of citizens do not commit crimes? You’re wrong, again Three things: 1) The point of the article you linked is that there are far too many laws on the books, a point with which I agree. But that’s not why you linked the article. 2)… Read more »
Of course, you ignore that your claim “the vast majority of citizens do not commit crimes” would likely be disproven by overt crimes such as drunk driving, illicit drug use, and knowing tax fraud alone that a large proportion of citizens have committed at least one of which at some point in their lives. Not to mention underage drinking, assault, trespassing, etc. You were wrong, and you were obviously wrong, but you chose to shift the goalposts to a different issue yet again. So far as your ridiculous goalpost shift, it was quite obvious that your playing around with 72%… Read more »
You said, Of course, you ignore that your claim “the vast majority of citizens do not commit crimes” would likely be disproven by overt crimes such as drunk driving, illicit drug use, and knowing tax fraud alone that a large proportion of citizens have committed at least one of which at some point in their lives. Would likely be disproven? You now hedging your bets because you may be discovering the hard data doesn’t support your assertion? If you’re able, follow along: As of 2017, there are approximately 244 million people age 20+ in the United States. Per the Politifact… Read more »
Virtually every single thing you said is either false or misconstrues the argument. You argue as if I had said the majority of Americans commit each one of those crimes, when I said the majority of Americans have committed at least one of those crimes. (Drunken driving and illicit drug use alone will get you to a majority). You cite the # of illegal drug users in a year when we were talking about having done it at some point in their lives (130 million Americans over 12 have, that’s almost a majority by itself and certainly becomes one when… Read more »
So, in order to approach a majority of American adults being criminals, you have to not only give the law a “strictly technical reading”, you have to cast a very wide net. A net that includes 12-year-olds. And a bunch of one-timers. Yup, that person who smoked pot once in college, but has been an upstanding member of the community is exactly the same as the border-jumper who’s been deported twice, but is now back and living in the States. He exactly the same as the visa-overstay who committed Social Security fraud and lied on documents to take a job… Read more »
fp linked a 3-year-old argument solely to “provide an example” of me not arguing honestly. It’s now shown that his first and central claim in that argument, that all illegal immigrants are criminals by definition, was absolutely false. In that argument, he repeatedly insulted me for not admitting that I was wrong, when it turns out that he was wrong. He demanded repeatedly that I apologize for not admitting that illegal immigrants were criminals by definition, yet he continues to be unwilling for repent in any way for repeatedly using derogatory language and insults towards me when I failed to… Read more »
fp linked a 3-year-old argument solely to “provide an example” of me not arguing honestly. It’s only one of many. I picked that one because your claim was a fantastic example of patent absurdity. It’s now shown that his first and central claim in that argument, that all illegal immigrants are criminals by definition, was absolutely false. If I changed only one word — criminals to scofflaws — the claim would be absolutely true. But the fact of the matter is, there are very few illegal aliens who aren’t breaking criminal law, and every last one of them are breaking… Read more »
So now that you’ve been proven so completely wrong that you’re claiming the opposite, will you do the “moral and right thing” now? You claimed that every illegal alien was a criminal by definition, then in defense of that claim you had to cite a civil code with no criminal penalties, then when we pointed that out you tried to claim that you hadn’t done such a thing, called me a liar, and then demanded I do the “moral and right thing” by apologizing for a claim that still is clearly correct. And the worst part is that NONE of… Read more »
So now that you’ve been proven so completely wrong that you’re claiming the opposite… So completely wrong about what? And proven by whom? Do you even know what you’re talking about at this point? …will you do the “moral and right thing” now? Do you even know what the moral and right thing is? I noticed you still haven’t corrected the record after the several false claims you’ve made. You know what they say about pointing fingers… You claimed that every illegal alien was a criminal by definition… Sure, after you claimed that illegal aliens commit less crime than the… Read more »
a. Dave’s claim that illegal immigrants commit massive amounts of voter fraud because they don’t care a bit for following any laws is still ridiculous, untrue, and without the slightest bit of support. b. Your claim that illegal immigrants are criminals by definition is still wrong. c. You still have not made any apology for the numerous insulting remarks you made towards me based on your own wrong statement, which included: Hey genius, has it ever occurred to you to think before you type? Illegal aliens are criminals by definition. There is no possible way that illegal aliens commit crimes… Read more »
Then explain why I get upvotes, while you get downvotes.
Because very, very few people on this site use upvotes or downvotes at all. Neither one of us got more than 1 upvote or downvote anywhere in this discussion of illegal immigrants and most of our statements have 0.
As others have noted before, the few people who regularly use upvotes/downvotes on this site use it to express personal animosity or pick sides. It isn’t a meaningful measure of how the majority of commenters/readers actually feel about the quality of a particular argument.
For example, you virtually never see someone get a combination of upvotes and downvotes in an argument, as if some comments were good and others bad. They either have only upvotes, or only downvotes in any particular argument, which indicates partisanship more than anything else.
You downplaying the voting system here doesn’t change the fact that you blundered when you said “everyone”. The mere fact that I get upvotes and you don’t is enough to disprove your silly assertion. That’s the point. You’re on a conservative site, where it’s safe to assume the majority of commenters/readers here are conservative. Yet you, as one of the few leftist commenters here, seem to think you’re on solid ground when you declare how everyone knows I’m such a horrible, rotten person and no one agrees with me. Not only is it ad hominem, it is nothing short of… Read more »
In 2015, Kobach received from the legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its Secretary of State such authority. By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All… Read more »
You do realize I’m not addressing voter fraud, right? Do try to stay on topic.
How can you ignore the topic and then accuse me of not staying on topic? Voter fraud was the only topic being discussed. This is the exact sequence: Dave’s claims: Dear readers, apparently Jonathan has missed the massive voter fraud in America. You haven’t visited California where illegals are authorized to get drivers licenses and can if they desire sign up to vote via motor voter. No is checking the voter registration closely in that state, so, yes illegals will be voting for the DNC. (jilly checked and proved that was absolutely false) Jonathan’s response: So you believe that illegal… Read more »
And yet, for some odd reason, I keep getting the upvotes, while you don’t.
I agree: Your claim that illegal aliens commit less crime than the population at large was foolish. It was foolish then, and it’s foolish now.
And I just remembered that not only are most undocumented immigrants the result of visa overstays, but a substantial portion of the rest were brought over the border by their parents, usually at very young ages, and wouldn’t even be deemed to have criminal culpability. The % of illegal immigrants who actually would be determined to have committed a crime is quite low indeed. And that’s besides the fact that crossing a border illegally has never been proven to have the slightest correlation to voter fraud or any general predisposition for criminality.
Jonathan proclaimed, matter-of-factly:
On the one hand, strictly speaking, the various felonies that the large majority of illegal immigrants appear to routinely commit consist almost entirely of ways to conceal the fact that they are present illegally, and thus could reasonably be wrapped up in a single category of, well, “deliberately maintaining an illegal presence in the country”. So it doesn’t necessarily have a lot of bearing on any other crimes. (If you squint somewhat charitably, this may even have been the actual assertion made by Jonathan: that, besides the crimes committed in the course of illegal immigration per se, there’s no other… Read more »
I’m a little lost on what your last sentence means. The conversation started when Dave claimed, with zero evidence, that illegal immigrants in California were responsible for massive voter fraud. His claims for how they could get away with it were then proven wrong by Jilly. As I pointed out, one of the hardest anti-immigration and anti-voter fraud zealots in the country, Kris Kobach, asked for special permission to pursue voter fraud in Kansas after having repeatedly claimed throughout his career that illegal aliens were committing voter fraud in massive numbers. In his 8 years as Kansas AG, during which… Read more »
Jonathan, every black vote for the California electors counts the same as every white vote for the California electors. Every black vote for the Wyoming electors counts the same as every white vote for the Wyoming electors. You mention gerrymandering, but you can’t gerrymander the electoral college. State borders aren’t redrawn like that. You seem to object to protections for small states in general, but you frame it in racial terms. Tell me, if the black population was more evenly distributed across the country, such that Wyoming and Kansas had the same proportion of black and white population as California… Read more »
I frame it in racial terms because in the “two wolves and a sheep” justification for the electoral college, it’s difficult to think of a more obvious sheep in American history and present reality than racial minorities. If the Black population were more evenly distributed the electoral college would still create the same problems. Their voice would still be diminished in the large states and marginalized in most of the small ones. The root issue is that the electoral college only does its supposed job of helping “minorities” if those minorities control states. Rural White people control a lot of… Read more »
The purpose of the electoral college and the senate are both to protect small states, not racial minorities. These compromises were forged in an era when in every state blacks either couldn’t vote at all, or were too small a portion of the electorate to matter. Set aside the racial issue for a moment. Imagine that that the US is 100% white. Or 100% black. I don’t care about the racial composition. Set aside the electoral college for a moment, too. Let’s look purely at Congress. The House and Senate were formed as a compromise between large and small states.… Read more »
Yes, you are right that the compromises were forged in an era where black people couldn’t vote and thus their position as stakeholders was completely ignored. That’s exactly how bad compromises are forged. The idea that means that we should accept that system, rather than work to change it, doesn’t follow at all. I think the House/Senate balance would be a good compromise if states were uniformly or randomly distributed. In that case the Senate would do its job of representing regional interests that might get obscured in the House, without creating more problems than it solves. Unfortunately, states aren’t… Read more »
Jonathan, it’s only as arbitrary as the concept of geographically bounded government itself is. States aren’t merely “representation units” for the federal government; they are actual governing entities which enact and enforce the majority of our day-to-day civil and criminal law. A citizen of the US who lives in Indiana does not have representation in the federal government as a citizen-at-large of the US. He has representation in the federal government as a citizen of Indiana, one of the constituent states of the US. That said, the fact that you view state divisions as arbitrary does explain your views on… Read more »
You’ve just circled back to the original argument. This is exactly where we started.
Some people think the states should be empowered, other think that everyone’s vote should be equally important. Those who only wish to empower the states cement into place a reality where Black people across the country remain largely disenfranchised in favor of rural White states.
I keep trying to discuss the issue of federal representation without regard to race, and you keep trying to shove the racial issue into it. Is there truly any point in discussing racial disparities if we can’t even discuss what the process should be like in the absence of racial disparities? You keep trying to discuss calculus while we don’t even agree on algebra.
I already explained the issue in comment #224407, which holds when there is any intra-state imbalance of interest and power regardless of whether it is racial or otherwise. What I said there was that the Senate/House divide would work if states were homogeneous and evenly distributed, or heterogeneous and sufficiently varied. But they’re not, so it doesn’t. So long as there are intrastate divisions at least as large as interstate divisions and systematic biases in how states are distributed, the electoral college system is bound to cause as many issues in disenfranchisement as it solves. The issue always circles back… Read more »
Jonathan, let’s take a step even further back for a moment. Would you agree with the principle that the general policing power and general regulatory power should rest as locally as practical, and that more distant governments should have an overriding but more limited authority to deal with conflicts between multiple local authorities? And that all levels of authority should guard and protect against abuses of power from both above and below?
Yes, and the fact that this needs to be applied to the state level, not just the federal level, is where the issues lie.
Oh, I agree that the principle should be a applied all the way down. That which can be handled appropriately at the county and municipal level ought to be, rather than defaulting to state level. And in particularly large counties or cities, further subdivisions may be needed. But how about this scenario: Suppose you have interest groups A and X, split between a city and a rural area, each with a local government, and with a regional government over both at once. The city is 80% A, and 20% X, while the rural area is 80% X and 20% A.… Read more »
Again, that’s fine at that level of simplicity. Imagine instead that there are three groups with different interests. Say Shia at 50%, Sunni at 30%, and Christian at 20%. Now let’s say many individual subregions are 70% Sunni and 30% Christian. And let’s say that the subdividing mechanism at that level actually gives the majority more power, not less. So Sunnis hold 80% of power at the state level and they desire to use that to subjugate the Christians. Normally, the Christians would appeal to the Shia at the higher level to protect them, and together they’d form a powerful… Read more »
With your scenario, though, it at least leaves open the option of the Christians moving to more mixed localities where they are better able to wield their own limited influence. And suppose that in your scenario, many Christians congregated and formed an area that had a local Christian majority. Wouldn’t they want protections for local control at that point? I’ll certainly grant that local control can be abused. But I don’t see any reason to believe that it’s more likely to be abused than distant control. And there are more options to flee local abuse than there are if the… Read more »
Your claims to me only seem to work on a theoretical level. In reality, Middle Eastern Christians have tended to suffer more from local abuse than state-level abuse. Even the ugly dictators (the Saddam Husseins and Bashar al-Assads and the rotating Egyptian tyrants) have had a reputation for protecting Christians. I’ve seen the same in India – the worst persecution happens at the village level, but there has been enormous violence at the state level, and the protector of minorities has always been the federal level. Similarly, Black people in the USA have suffered more from community-level abuse than state-level… Read more »
I’ll certainly grant that many of the worst abuses of blacks in the US have been local (though higher levels of government have certainly not been innocent). But by the same token, the national government has been used to force legalized abortion, and more recently the homosexual agenda, on states that wanted nothing to do with them. I stand by my claim that abuse comes from both directions.
The Electoral College has two effects. One is the voting proportion skew you highlight here, the other is changing the presidential election from one big election to 51 FTTP smaller ones. So what if we eliminate the skew and set the number of electors to population divided by fixed number? Well I did the math for the 2016 election. I used two options for the elector per population number. One was based on the highest population state(CA) and the other was based on the lowest population state(WY). I did insist that each state have at least 3 electors, which means… Read more »
Precisely. I think there is great value in having national elections appeal to more than dense urban areas. And I think it important that the agricultural and resource extraction economies have some political clout. I know thete are good counter arguments, but this comes down to fundamental beliefs about how power should be apportioned and not “fairness.”
With the hollowing out of the hinterland, this debate is only going to get nastier.
Yes, because the Electoral college doesn’t just disadvantage people in large states, but the all-or-nothing nature also disadvantages substantial minorities in all states. The result being that Black people can comprise nearly 40% of the population in a place like Mississippi and still have virtually zero influence on the presidential election.
A 40% percent voting block, if they are engaged and unfied, is extremely powerful. It is silly to say they have 0 influence, if they were engaged and speaking with one voice they would determine every election.
Demo, I usually really respect your opinion, but you’re talking like you don’t know Mississippi. A 40% voting block can not decide elections when there is an equally engaged and unified 50% voting block in the same state, specially when that 50% voting block already holds all the power. Mississippi is 37% Black. Even assuming that they bring 95% solidarity to any issue, all else being equal that only gives them 35% of the vote. In reality they have under 30% as the Black population trends younger and has a higher number of people disenfranchised than the population at large.… Read more »
I have no doubt about the historical headwinds against black voters in Mississippi, but I think you are painting a bleaker picture than reality. In 2018 Espy (D) lost by less than 7 points while black turn out was around 30%. If blacks would have turned out at 60% he would have won. The non-hispanic white pop. in Mississippi is ~56% and their demographics are shifting. A more energized black (especially if they could get the small hispanic minority in board) voting block could shift pretty much every election.
Where are you getting those claims of 30% turnout? Looking at the census numbers for 18+ Black population (800,000) and number of disenfranchised Black voters (over 130,000), I’m only getting about 670,000 eligible Black voters. Espy got 420,000 votes, of which about 350,000-370,000 would have been Black votes. That would be well over 50% turnout among eligible Black voters – am I missing something? Even if you bumped Black turnout up to 60% he still would have fallen just short, and that’s in the middle of the gigantic blue wave that hit in 2018. Add into the equation that it… Read more »
Jonathan, I retract the claim until I can find my source again. I havent had much time to look but the best I can find right now is a 48.7% black turnout in 2012. It stands to reason that midterms would be lower, but I dont currently have a good source. The 48.7 article comes from a Kevin Drum article defending Justice Roberts statement that black voters have a higher turnout in Mississippi than in Massachusetts. I revall vividly a source showing bkavk turnout in Mississippi which peaked around 2008 in the high 30s and fell again, but I can’t… Read more »
The 49% Black turnout in 2012 sounds right, as Obama lost 55% to 44%. The jump up to (by my estimate) about 52-55% Black turnover in 2018 is what helped bump Espy up to 46% from Obama’s 44%. I can’t find exact turnout numbers but I found a press release from the NAACP congratulating the record-breaking Black turnout that allowed Espy to get that close and detailing the numerous get-out-the-vote efforts that were made. Now, turnout in the low-50s doesn’t sound massive, but as I said it is the state with the highest level of voter disenfranchisement in America and… Read more »
There are no official exit polls for the runoff, but there were in the original midterm election. Espy only got 15% of the White vote in the original midterm. https://edition.cnn.com/election/2018/exit-polls/mississippi/senate-special-election Hyde-Smith got 60% of the White vote, and another 24% went to Chris McDaniel. McDaniel is a right-wing Republican talk shot host whose #1 issue that he ran on that year was a promise to preserve the Confederate flag on the Flag of Mississippi. He put the flag all over his campaign materials, spoke at Confederate conferences, and made demeaning statements about reparations and race in several media appearances. His… Read more »
As another data point, the AP Votecast results showed Espy got 21% of the white vote and 83% of the black vote in the initial election. https://www.nola.com/national_politics/2018/11/public-hanging-remark-puts-spotlight-on-mississippi-senate-race.html ETA: The actual vote totals are interesting too. McDaniel received 155k votes in the inituak, but Hyde-Smith only got a 97k bump in the runoff (Espy got 33k more votes in the runoff, about 14k of those likely came from Bartee). Most likely that means some of McDaniels voters stayed home, and Espy managed to get new turnout. Regardless of how it split, 58k fewer voters went for republicans in the runoff –… Read more »
Those results seem very unlikely. Where else would 17% of Black voters go? Those results have Espy doing twice as well as Obama with White Mississippians while horribly underperforming even the typical White Democrat among Black Mississippians. In a potentially historic election for Black people with multiple White Republicans to pull the White voters, that’s…virtually impossible. AP votecast is a brand new after-the-fact, postcard-initiated survey, meant to account better for early voting and absentees. Its drawback is that people are notoriously unreliable when reporting whether they voted. Since non-voting day voters are minimal in Mississippi, this might be one where… Read more »
Jonathan, 14k or so voted for Bartee, those were presumably mostly black. Also, the under 30 group went espy as a cohort, half of those people were underage in 2012, you are likely underestimating demographic and age cohort effects. Futher some black folks clearly bote GOP, this is likely for cultural reasons and black Mississippians are historically very opposed go abortion and gay marriage. But – for my main comment – your framing here “more White people in Mississippi pushing against Black interests than there are Black people” is an adversarial framing that is unwarranted. Are some white Mississippians voting… Read more »
Bartee only got 1.6% of the vote, most of that being Black still only accounts for 3-4% of the Black vote. According to the AP that leaves 13-14% of Black voters going for Republicans. In Mississippi. With a strong Black candidate on the Dem side of the race and two pro-Confederate candidates on the Republican side. In the same world where Doug Jones just won a Senate seat because his opponent could only pull 4% of the Black vote in neighboring Alabama. I’m sorry, there is no realistic world where Mississippi Republicans pull more that much of the Black vote.… Read more »
Jonathan…Wait! States don’t kill people(except criminals) – people kill people.
When law enforcement officials engage in a wide-ranging conspiracy to kill people, in order to fulfill the same objectives that the state is pursuing, and the state refuses to prosecute those murderers even though their identity and the clear evidence against them is public knowledge, solely because they agree with the motive of the murderers, then I think it’s fair to lay those killings on the state’s door.
Wow, came to this “discussion” late and reading through the comments section I only have one thing to add. Isn’t there a term for someone who boils every issue down to race? Oh yeah, I remember…its RACIST.
I’m pretty sure that’s not actually how that word works. But I take it you’re more the “status quo has worked out fine for us so the rest of y’all better shut up” type?