Democracy Malfunctioning, But What Moral Alternative Do We Have?

Cheer down, Democrats, says David Newquist in another pessimistic but read-worthy essay on the decline of Democrats and democracy in South Dakota and nationwide. Dr. Newquist says the unhealthy results of our elections suggest we need to find an alternative to choosing our leaders by the vote of an irrational majority:

Increasing numbers of voters are repulsed by the entire political enterprise as it has been conducted of late, and the Democrats have contributed to the growing perception that democracy as it is practiced is not working.  People who do politics are perceived as not very nice people–ignorant, irrational, biased, and mean.

There are alternatives to Democrats and Republicans, and informed people are exploring them.  Brennan suggests “epistocracy” which means governing by the knowledgeable.  American democracy has lost the belief and trust it once had.  The election of Trump has proven that Americans are as susceptible to moral and intellectual failure as the Germans of the 1930s.  American democracy, as we have come to understand it, is going out of business [David Newquist, “Why You May Not Have Noticed That America Ended,” Northern Valley Beacon, 2017.11.09].

Epistocracy, philosopher kings… I would love to be governed by the best and brightest, as we were just a year ago by the Obama Administration. But how do we establish a fair system in which only knowledgeable people vote and govern? What objective standards could we use to say to any citizen, You’re not smart enough to vote or run for office?

I have difficulty coming up with any such objective standard to exclude citizens from government. Smart people can govern well, but they can also come up with smarter corruption scams. Purportedly intelligent graduates of good universities can govern chaotically and selfishly. I know darn well some people are too stupid to pick a President, a governor, or a mayor, let alone be one, but I dread trying to write that personal assessment into law, or opening the door for other ill-intentioned lawmakers to write their intelligence standards into law in ways that would unfairly discriminate against immigrants, poor people, Indians, senior citizens, people with disabilities, manual laborers, people who work the night shift, or other groups whom certain political interests might want to ban from voting and serving in government.

I can’t take away the voting rights of 63,000,000 Americans just because I think their votes for Donald Trump prove they lack the intellect necessary to run a democracy. The results of the 2016 election may call into question the reliability of democracy to produce good government, but what practical and moral alternative do we have?

Unless someone can provide me with a fair literacy test, education standard, or other rule that would reliably identify intelligent, reliable decision-makers without allowing unjust discrimination, I have to hold to democracy as the only just political system. We are all sinners; we are all prone to error. But what little dignity we fallible humans may have, each of us has equally. Each of us deserves an equal say in our fate. Even if the fate to which that equality leads us undoes us all, we cannot surrender our equal say or take that equal say away from our moral equals.


111 Responses to Democracy Malfunctioning, But What Moral Alternative Do We Have?

  1. mike from iowa

    https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/09/trump-voters-polling-election-244644

    Wingnuts do the exact opposite of what they claim their beloved lord and saviour commanded them to do. They lavish wealth on the wealthy and try to kill off the poor and yet Democrats are equally to blame? Bulloney!!!

    The only difference between ISIS and wingnuts is the manner in which they prefer killing off infidels. Wingnuts are far crueler letting people die of starvation, freezing, and succumbing to easily treatable maladies by robbing Americans of the safety net and handing those dollars to the koch bros.

    You have been warned before not to give an inch to wingnuts.

  2. Donald Pay

    I’m not too much worried, yet. I think we are all philosophers who sometimes lose our way. That’s why democracy has to have an underpinning of principles (the rule of law is one) and structure (checks and balances, etc.) that can serve us when demagoguery takes hold. Most people come to their senses after a short time, and figure it out. It’s the true believer in ourselves and in others that worries me most. Then it’s a contest between our principles and our structures and tyranny. We hope our principles and our government structures are strong enough to stand against a tyrannt who appeals to too many true believers.

    But people can’t be complacent. Priniciples and governing norms are under attack, just as they were in Weimar Germany. They have to confront the evil before us. Whether it is the anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim haters in Aberdeen or the anti-gay haters who would strip others of rights, hate must be confronted.

    People have tried Trumpism, and only a third or so are willing to continue. The others saw through Trump from the beginning, or have come to their senses. There are correctives anyone can do: vote, propose solutions, get active, petition, confront hate. Others are structural: impeachment, get rid of the electoral college, make sure everyone can vote, stop gerrymandering.

  3. David Newquist

    I hasten to comment that an epistocracy is Jason Brennan’s recommendation, not mine. I am skeptical of such a premise for the same reasons you provide. On this anniversary of Kristalnacht, however, I do ponder whether the forces of ignorance and malice are not overtaking us. The mass shootings are an expression of that malice, which has become an identifying characteristic of our country. Whereas the six-gun had the mystique of being an equalizer, the AR-15 symbolizes the value system and intent of one of our political parties.

  4. Roger Elgersma

    Democracy has the ability to swing the pendulum back quicker and with less bloodshed than most any other type of government. Remember the worst disaster of someone covering up their crime, Richard Nixon. The voter replaced him with a Baptist Sunday school teacher, but only after he won by a landslide. Voters may not always be the most intelligent, but they have a gut feeling of what would be different when different is necessary. Voters also only have the choices on the ballot. Choosing between two that you do not like is not a stupid voter. It is an opportunity to run yourself. Since the human being is never perfect, democracy at least lets the most minds working together at once to make the basic decision of are we going to keep going this direction, or are we going to make a change now.
    It is imperative that we have ethics laws etc. to stop coverups of corruption. It is hard to blame the voter if the crooks get by with covering up their cheating. We need more investigative reporters like Angela Kenneke and bloggers like Cory Heidelberger.

  5. mikeyc, thats me!

    The Democrats need a clear leader to step up and take the reins. We need another JFK.

  6. Angela Kenneke, who is a very pretty young woman, used to be a hard news reporter but now she’s more of a national enquirer reporter. Mr. H is a fine young blogger, indeed.

  7. Mike from Iowa- Democracy in America by Tocqueville would be an excellent read for you. When people are stratified by money and not patronage, something new emerges: middle-class anxiety I hear your frustration however you must first understand those people and meet them where they are at. Democrats which used to be the party of the middle class has abandoned the middle class. The cultural and economic bubble within which they live renders them oblivious to the anxiety that surrounds them. The voting map of the 2016 election, with its vast expanse of Trump-supporting counties, suggests how pervasive this anxiety is.
    Once, the Democrats were the party of the middle class, attentive to how it might be lifted up—or at least, kept from falling. But during the 2016 election, the Democrats offered the middle class nothing—Americans counted only insofar as they belonged to this or that identity group. And when the Democrats lost, they blamed white members of the middle class who voted for Trump and who had had enough of identity politics. Among Democrats, only the defeated Bernie Sanders stayed focused on the middle-class crisis, refusing the bait of identity politics.

  8. Roger Cornelius

    Angela Kennecke is one of finest investigative reporters this state has seen in sometime. South Dakotans should be proud of her work.
    It is my contention that those that disagree with Angela are those prone to National Enquirer and Fake News headlines.

  9. Roger Cornelius

    With every presidential election there is a segment of society that fears Democracy can’t survive with the winner chosen. President Obama withstood these claims for 8 years and yet we are still here, not thriving, but still here.
    There are reported numbers as high as 90,000,000 of eligible voters that do not vote. An estimated 26% of eligible voters elected Trump and archaic electoral college helped him. Trump’s approval rating is still around 36% and holding steady, which should speak for itself
    Like Donald Pay I don’t fear the death of democracy, Yet!
    The problem with democracy is that so many Americans don’t vote and when we don’t vote we get the likes of Trump.

  10. Robin that is why I didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. The Clinton’s corrupted the Party.

  11. bearcreekbat

    Maybe I am a bit confused, but I thought Democrats offered the voting public a lot of positive things, such as a continued and improved ACA, maintaining and improving on the economic growth achieved under Obama, maintaining the CHIP, protecting dreamers, a competent and experienced political leader, etc, etc.

    What else do you think the Democrats, including Hillary, should have offered the voting public?

    And other than demonizing and marginalizing entire religions, ethnicities, and race baiting, exactly what did the Republicans offer voters besides mere hyperbole designed to stoke anger and resentment?

  12. Roger Cornelius

    Jenny reminds me of 2008 primary election when Hillary was pitted against Obama.
    Hillary was my choice and I campaigned hard for her and was disheartened when she didn’t win.
    When Obama won the nomination, I had to suck up the loss and do what was best for the party and pledged my support to his candidacy.
    Obama was a superior candidate to Sen. McCain just as I thought Hillary was superior to McCain.
    My support for Obama wasn’t just about party, it was about doing the right thing for America.

  13. mike from iowa

    Which wingnut party took away unions from the middle class?
    Which wingnut party is taking away insurance from the middle class?
    Which wingnut party is preventing minimum wage from being raised?
    Which wingnut party is destroying public education?
    Which wingnut party is foisting large tax raises on the middle class?
    Which wingnut party consistently votes to allow more guns and more powerful guns to be paraded around in public?
    Which wingnut party wages a war on women?
    Which wingnut party ALWAYS favors the wealthy over the middle class?
    Which wingnut party has claimed they want to destroy America?
    Which wingnut party is fiscally irresponsible?
    Which wingnut party blamed the black guy for the decent economy they inherited when wingnuts and Russia stole the last election?
    Which………………….

  14. Roger Cornelius

    A full year after the 2016 presidential election Trump is still campaigning against citizen Hillary Clinton. Trump makes a serious mistake thinking that his campaign is government policy.
    Donna Brazille and Bernie Sanders supporters continue to provide red meat to Trump and the GOP for 2018. Trump is on target to campaign against Hillary in 2020 and issues that effect all our lives be damned.

  15. Francis Schaffer

    Ok do any of you believe there is any viable method to get all the money out of our election cycle? I believe money should only be allowed from people who can cast ballots. Putting forward better candidates would also help. Thoughts?

  16. Look at these ideas from other western countries. http://prospect.org/article/how-our-campaign-finance-system-compares-other-countries The United States needs to have all of this money in the campaigns to mask the corruption.

  17. A lot of democrats don’t want to face the truth about Hillary Clinton. Doesn’t the DNC rigging from Bernie bother any of you? Donna Brazile admitted it in her book.

  18. With Russian election involvement, there has to be no spending limits to launder the money from the Russian mob. trump has some proven affiliation with those guys and gals, Felix Sater should ring a bell. Of course, the Russian mob (Putin) also has been bought to light in Spain with their interference in Catalonia https://www.propublica.org/article/fighting-russian-mafia-networks-in-spain?utm_source=pardot&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=dailynewsletter Add the UK and Brexit and you start seeing how the whole thing comes together.

    Why hasn’t Jackley addressed the fact that Russian involvement was also here in the 2016 election, feller seems pretty quite about that. This election theft was in all 50 states, guess Marty does not view us here as part of the union.

  19. Roger Cornelius

    For how much longer must Democrats endure the saga of Hillary Clinton?

  20. On Dec. 12th, when Alabama sends a child molester to the US Senate rather than a Democrat, you can officially say Democracy is broken.

  21. Donald Pay

    Jenny, what was rigged, and how did that affect the outcome?

    Bernie tended to win in the states with party caucuses. These are run by the Democratic Party apparatus, and attract only the very committed, activist Democrats. Hillary tended to pick up her delegates in states that had primaries. These are run by state governments and have a much broader spectrum of participating voters.

    Now the Superdelegates are another matter, and I’d be willing to listen to evidence that those were rigged, but I understand that most of these delegates followed their states.

    I think nearly all of the Hillary people would have been right there with Bernie had he won the nomination. And we wouldn’t have perpetrated a year-long hissy fit that may have cost Hillary the election, because we lost. We certainly wouldn’t have worn our white priviledge as we voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson or left it blank, as we waited for “the Revolution.”

    We liked Bernie, and most everything he stood for. I’ve never heard anyone on the Hillary side say much bad about Bernie, except that he was overpromising what he could deliver if was elected. Kind of like Donald Trump.

    Bernie’s supporters, however, are a different matter. They were the main reason I voted for Hillary, in spite of my being more attuned to Bernie’s issues. I’m not a big believer in “true believers,” and too many of Bernie’s people were as obnoxious, if not racist, as the Trump supporters. I didn’t like it.

    I think, however, that Bernie would have beaten Trump, because Hillary supporters would have worked just as hard for Bernie as they did for Hillary.

  22. bearcreekbat

    Jenny, Brazile’s book came out well after the election, hence it seems disingenuous to use her comments as an excuse for voting against Hillary. Or were you aware of the campaign’s financial arrangement with the DNC before you voted?

    And I am curious – what “truth” are you referring to and how does that “truth” relate to the public policy positions that Hillary advocated?

    I realize there was a significant Russian propaganda machine working diligently in an effort to convince Americans that Hillary was the root of all evil. Democrats who decided to hate Hillary were most likely influenced by this propaganda and many still don’t realize today that they were duped by Russian propaganda. See e.g.,

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/01/us/politics/russia-2016-election-facebook.html

    Meanwhile Republican policy positions were explicitly aimed at harming several specific groups of individuals and families (Muslims, refugees, immigrants, Latinos, low income people, etc). Can you name a single Hillary policy position with similar goals of hurting groups of people?

  23. Roger Cornelius

    FOX News host Sean Hannity has a new BFF in Donna Brazile.
    What does that say about Brazile’s credibility?

  24. Roger Cornelius

    bear, you are correct about the Russian trolls influencing the 2016 election working both political parties.
    There were millions of American voters that have yet to realize that they were duped by Russian propagandists.

  25. Mike from Iowa- Let’s get a little history to start with. Politics was never intended to be a 2 party fiasco. The founding fathers in the Federalist papers 9 & 10 as well as George Washington warned that partianship would result in conflict , stagnation – Looks like they knew the future.
    Neither the Republican party nor the Democratic party had squat to do with the formation of Unions, better working conditions, holidays , or the new deal. Those were the result of a third party. The Third party was suppose to represent those on the far left, The Republicans those on the far right, and the Dems were supposed to be the moderation between the two.
    The Dems grabbed power over the third party in the 50’s took over and look where we are now .
    Read ” Listen Liberals or whatever happened to the party of the people”
    Yes Republicans bear most of the responsibility for setting the course and it’s highly doubtful that there is enough psychologists to cure them.
    But the time has come to understand that our current situation represents a failure of the Democratic party as well.
    Protecting the middle class was the one job assigned to the Democratic party and they failed .
    Sure they toss a bone to the middle class like being able to do class action suits against banks but not really thinking that is going to solve the economic demise of the middle class .
    ACA was written for and by healthcare and insurance companies because they are collasping- Fewer and fewer companies purchase healthcare insurance for their employees and if you are public sector forget it.
    Hospitals are collapsing even with insurance because the deductibles are so high you can’t pay them off. More and more communities have a drive of at least 50 miles for emergencies due to privatization and profit gain.
    Workers share of GDP fell under Democrats and is expected to stay there ( this means we are more in a junk economy )
    You don’t pay attention to politics if you haven’t realized the Dems just employed an anti minimum wage lobbyist-
    Women hit an all time low in wages under the dems
    ACA was written by and for insurance companies and healthcare because they are sinking under privatization- It doesn’t touch the leading cost of healthcare which is the deductibles. Hospitals still closed under the dems.
    Both parties are financially irresponsible anymore-
    Obama f*** the elderly and the single people
    Economy myths
    The only decent economy was and is for big businesses- Can’t understand why people defend this bs- the middle class did not and has not recovered-
    The U.S. economy’s power-law features, in which averages disguise massive inequalities in outcomes, go a long way in explaining how democrats can tell a story about the economy vastly different from republicans.
    A prime example is the pattern of income growth. Between 2009 and 2013, most measures of real personal income showed slow but steady improvement. Average hourly earnings for private sector workers grew about 7 percent. But what about the distribution? The top 1 percent saw its disposable income grow by 11 percent. Everybody else got close to nothing. For the bottom 99 percent, income actually declined through the first five years of the recovery. “So far all of the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.
    Education:
    Although some years saw nominal increases, funding levels for education dropped from year to year after adjusting for inflation in most cases. Overall, cuts to education spending – including to programs like Title I grants (6.8 percent), Impact Aid for districts housed on American Indian or federal lands (5.3 percent), the Advanced Placement program (38.4 percent) and civic education (100 percent) – resulted in an overall 19.8 percent decrease between 2011 and 2015.
    Stop wearing blinders Ok the Republican party starts this stuff and needs psychiatric help but other than that there is less than a degree of difference between the two

  26. bearcreekbat

    Robin, you seem knowledgeable perhaps you can answer the question I asked Jenny –

    Republican policy positions were explicitly aimed at harming several specific groups of individuals and families (Muslims, refugees, immigrants, Latinos, low income people, etc). Can you name a single Hillary policy position with similar goals of hurting groups of people?

  27. Roger Cornelius

    bear,
    Didn’t Independent candidate Bernie Sanders make the same kind of financial deal with the DNC that Hillary did?

  28. mike from iowa

    Wingnuts are solely responsible for the malaise in this country. They have destroyed the middle class. They support sending jobs overseas. They want to shut government down. They cut revenues so the government cannot function as intended. Then they block Democratic reforms. They attempt to block everything else and now they are repealing much of the good that Obama and Dems fixed in the last 8 years.

    I have heard enough non-sense about both parties do it or did it. Hell no they both ain’t guilty. Look at SD. Wingnuts run and ruin everything. Why blame Dems who can’t get elected?

    Roy Moore voters in Alabama say they would rather vote for Moore as a child molestor than ever vote for a Democrat. Democrats didn’t stoke those crazy people.

    You realize Dems had a filibuster proof congress for exactly four months of Obama’s first 2 years and look at how much they managed to do for the world. Then wingnuts blocked pretty much everything until they got control of congress and the messes really began to happen.

  29. mike from iowa

    On Tuesday, during a news conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wondered out loud whether Republican senators who had tweeted support for the idea of equal pay for equal work could be counted on to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014.

    On Wednesday, Pelosi got her answer.

    Despite weeks of heavy messaging, Democrats failed to get a single GOP vote as the third attempt in recent years to pass the wage equality legislation fell six votes short.

    Sure sounds like Dems are the bad guys. The wage gap between men and woman was at is narrowest in 2014 since 1960. Thanks to Dems. No thanks to wingnuts.

  30. A 27$ per person donation to Bernie almost started the revolution. Hillary and her corporate money rigged it.
    Bernie, with his wildly popular millennial following, would have beaten Trump in the general election by winning Wisconsin and Michigan. Bernie won those states in the Primaries.
    More millennials voted for Bernie in the Primaries than both Hillary and Trump combined…by a lot. I don’t blame Millennials for not wanting to vote on election day. They were probably just making a statement that crooked deals don’t win elections. Crooked leadership in the DNC shattered the Democrat Party. Own it and don’t make exuses for Hillary.

  31. bearcreekbat- The only fact that you have stated is Braziles book had nothing to do with the election outcomes other than that everything you state is from place of denial of what really lost the election.
    Sociologists and economists knew a Trump day was coming we just didn’t know when and had already been doing the research that disenfranchised them from both Republicans and Democrats.
    If you think that propaganda was deciding factor you are in denial- Economics and alienation had everything to do with Hillary’s loss- Long before the propaganda the people split off from Hillary’s camp.
    Liberals need to face up to their party’s portion of responsibility for Trump’s victory and stop blaming others- Victimstance is such a weak place to govern from

  32. bearcreekbat

    Roger, I don’t know if the Sanders campaign loaned or invested funds in the DNC. I read that Hillary or her campaign provided financial assistance to the DNC in exchange for control of many DNC decisions.

  33. mike from iowa

    They were probably just making a statement that crooked deals don’t win elections. Crooked leadership in the DNC shattered the Democrat Party. Own it and don’t make

    Sounds exactly like something Drumpf and Putin were telling each other over glasses of champagne in Drumpf Dump, New York a year ago.

  34. mike from iowa

    Wasn’t Sanders supposed to become a Democrat after all the considerations the DNC afforded him?

  35. mike from iowa

    We should start running new immigrants for office. It is for sure they know more about how this government is supposed to operate than the mangled apricot in the white house or most of his swamp crawling cabinet.

    Immigrants would tend to have a new found love and respect for America. When a large part of Americans can’t name the three parts of the government or even name a single Scotus justice, what do we have to lose?

  36. bearcreekbat

    Robin, I wasn’t very clear in my comment. I was thinking more about how Russian propaganda designed to demean, defame, and inculcate an irrational hatred of Hillary may have affected and continues to affect the judgment of good people.

    I am optimistic, however, that in light of this propaganda discovery fair minded folks will re-evaluate the factual basis for any negative opinions about Hillary.

  37. oh, robin-I don’t buy much of the dem bashing u r serving up. are u sure about all these talking points? e.g. “…2016 election, the Democrats offered the middle class nothing—Americans counted only insofar as they belonged to this or that identity group. …nothing, identity??

    And when the Democrats lost, they blamed white members of the middle class who voted for Trump and who had had enough of identity politics. white mc, women who voted for what husbands told them, had enough??

    Among Democrats, only the defeated Bernie Sanders stayed focused” focused…what, was HRC having a heart attack???

    if we can win w/ Bernie sure. u wanna try for 2024 too? let’s win, ok. you honestly think we wouldn’t be having progress, progress, progress every day if HRC hadn’t blown Wisc, Penn ect, and Comey didn’t submarine her, and Russians didn’t submarine all of us on the net in 2015-16 and donna, if Debbie, hadn’t submarined DNC or Donna gave HRC debate questions?
    do you have healthcare you are losing now? 800,000 DACA hostages. Iran agreement? Paris Agreement? Bears Ears? Diplomacy? Puerto Rico? Fossil fuels going bye bye? not now. we are in trouble in the short term unless Mueller saves us. Republicans are fighting for their political lives. They will do anything for 2018, 2020 wins. anything. Did you fail to vote for HRC and are part of the problem? yahdahyahdah

    HRC shoulda won. Bernie likely hadn”t a chance?

  38. Robin keeps mentioning the middle class being represented historically by Democrats. I would more call it the working blue collar voters have historically been Democrat. Middle class can mean a lot of different definitions to a lot of people.
    No one on here mentions the Clinton Foundation that has hundred of millions of dollars given to by lord know who. Hillary could never get away from that and also Benghazi. She just wasn’t a good candidate. Americans are sick of their Presidencies going to Families that feel entitled to it.

  39. Roger Cornelius

    I’m all for Independent candidates running for office, but why should they expect the support and votes of an established political party?
    If a candidate identifies as Independent they can choose to align themselves with a party such as Sanders does in the senate, but that is not an absolute commitment to the Democratic Party. They can freely abandon the Democrats for the republicans with little or not consequences.
    If you want to be a Democrat, be a Democrat.

  40. Roger Cornelius

    Whether you like Hillary or not, there is no escaping the qualifications she brought to the party. First Lady, U.S. Senator, Secretary of State and more.

    Jenny is starting to sound like a desperate FOX News contributor. Today FOX News was blaming Hillary for Roy Moore’s pedophilia. Always Hillary’s fault, you know.

    Go ahead and hate Hillary all you want, it does not change a damn thing today or tomorrow and certainly not in 2018 or 2020.

  41. Democrats have to realize also that immigrants can be a legitimate concern to voters, especially to people that live on Mexican border. There are stories we never hear about up here -rapes and murders by illegal immigrants – that are very legitimate. Immigration is expensive. We as Democrats like to cry racist to anyone that talks about limiting or stopping immigration and I think that is going the wrong route. People are sick of being called racist. I have been afraid to question that maybe we should lower the number of immigrants that enter the country every year but am afraid of being called racist.

  42. I like you Roger, so I guess we’ll just have to respectfully agree to disagree.

  43. Bernie is alright and sent the DNC a hundred grand, unheard of for sure so let us not knock the man who has done so much to bring young voters into the fold. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/21/bernie-sanders-money-democratic-national-committee-239821

    If anyone is upset about Bernie, curb your anger and think more in the line of BCB, always the voice of reason:

    ” I was thinking more about how Russian propaganda designed to demean, defame, and inculcate an irrational hatred of Hillary may have affected and continues to affect the judgment of good people.

    I am optimistic, however, that in light of this propaganda discovery fair minded folks will re-evaluate the factual basis for any negative opinions about Hillary.”

    Bernie Sanders did not send out facebook posts nor did he send out negative tweets. Bernie Sanders also put Hillary Clinton’s emails in a do not open box and moved on. BTW, still no word from our chief law dude, Marty Jackley on the Russian involvement in South Dakota politics. Guess he is cool with Borsch, 3 times a day.

  44. Roger Cornelius

    Jenny,
    I usually have great respect for your DFP comments, but now I worry about the direction you are going with you Hillary obsession.
    The 2016 election is over, we have bigger obligations, like removing Trump from office and getting more Democrats, particularly women, elected to all levels of government.
    Cory’s original topic of this thread is about the perils of American democracy that Trump has placed us.
    As Democrats we must safeguard our government and Constitution from a “lunatic old man”. Thanks Kim Jung Un.

  45. Jenny, most Texans are opposed to trump’s wall. http://www.businessinsider.com/most-texans-do-not-want-trumps-border-wall-2017-4

    Most Americans have been ginned up with hate for those other immigrants of which you speak, Muslims and Jews. Both are more or less equal in what Protestant folks are wary of. Toss in some Catholics (brown people) and you have exactly what you are thinking of. Thanks

  46. Putin now wants to delay the special election in Alabubba. Bad enough to support a pedophile but now the race has tightened and the party of Putin wants to delay the election.

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans scrambled on Friday to find a way to block Roy S. Moore’s path to the Senate, exploring extraordinary measures to rid themselves of their own nominee in Alabama after accusations emerged that he had made sexual advances on four teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

    Mr. Moore, meanwhile, remained defiant, insisting in a radio interview with Sean Hannity that he would stay in the race. He told Mr. Hannity, the Fox News host, who has endorsed Mr. Moore’s candidacy, that he “never had any contact” with Leigh Corfman, the woman who told The Washington Post that Mr. Moore touched her sexually when she was 14, though he did not deny dating some teenagers.” New York Times

    Republicans are more than willing to subvert the Constitution to stay in power. Only in Russia..er the new United States will you see this kind of blatant corruption.

  47. So are you calling me racist, jerry? See, you’re quick to cry racism when you don’t even know me. I could care less about anyone’s religion.
    Take the religion out of it and talk about the economics of it. There are a lot of people that need social services, immigrants included, and when budgets are so tight is it really practical to have millions of coming in every year?. Now I’ll get terrorized on here for even trying to question if it is economically practical to have millions coming in every year when we already have so many other serious problems to deal with. The opioid problem continues to be very costly. Healthcare costs keeps rising. We have hundreds of old public schools that should be torn down and new schools built. We have the Iraq war that will take decades to pay off. Injured veterans to take care of with PTSD, the assault weapon problem with mass shootings taking place every couple months now. The crazy unaffordable cost of college with kids leaving with record amounts of debt.
    Oh, but then if someone says maybe we should curb immigration since we have so many urgent problems, one is called a racist!

  48. Roger Cornelius

    If Bernie would consider registering as a Democrat I would not hesitate in giving him strong consideration in 2020.

    In the meantime it is being reported tonight that former President Obama’s Vice President is leaning toward taking on Trump in 2020.

  49. No, just seeing where you are coming from Jenny. From the article and many more like that one, Texans are not overly concerned about Mexicans, so there is that.
    Jenny, immigration certainly did not hurt wherever your family came from. What if those tables were turned and this country would have said that your people could not come here because we were in a war or some other reason. Immigrants make the economies work because immigrants work, it is that simple. Where have you ever seen immigrants sitting on their arse’s?

  50. Roger, Bernie Sanders had to be a Democrat to run in the primary with Hillary. Bernie Sanders was elected from his home state of Vermont as an Independent and he went back to representing his people that elected him as an Independent. If he runs again, who knows? Personally, I am not sure how this will all play out in 2020. As we are now seeing develop in Alabubba, maybe 2020 under republican rule, will be cancelled.

  51. If anyone actually believed that everyone should have an equal say, and an equal vote, then the Electoral College would never have been instituted and the popular vote would rule this day.

    Unfortunately, rural folks are largely conservative and believe that they deserve extra (undue) leverage vs the majority of Americans – so they love this electoral college thing – they actually NEED it or they wouldn’t have gotten their way with the last two nimrod conserva-Presidents.

    …And then big city Republicans come along and make it almost impossible for poor people to vote, for their own interests, in the city.

    And Republicans call ‘equality struggles’ ‘reverse racism’ because equal voting rights are the opposite of conservative values.

  52. Donald Pay

    Jenny and Robin are examples of the reason I wouldn’t go near Bernie, even though I probably had more in common with him on the issues than I did with Hillary. The are many reasons to criticise the campaign Hillary ran, but imaginary reasons pushed by the Russians just aren’t credible. Both of them are “true believers” of the type that guarantee bad impacts on democracy. Bernie and Trump had this much in common: their supporters just can’t believe their guy had any faults and everyone is colluding against him.

  53. Cory, I just need to quibble with you on one thing about your post.

    You refer to our democracy almost as if it is a ‘true,’ and perhaps good example of a ‘healthy’ democracy. However, I feel that the ways the GOP continues to hamstring and handicap American democracy are actually so effective that our far too conservative Republic continues to take leverage away from our democracy’s function – in terms of authority in governing.

    That’s all. THIS democracy is no longer the shinning city on a hill – lol :(

  54. Donald Pay you can’t cite me as a reason for not going near Bernie as I was not a Bernie supporter. Find your own reasons for not supporting someone without blaming someone else. Bernie and was never in it for the win so there was nothing to support , he could afford to talk about whatever his heart desired without having to worry about commitment to his platform. I never said anyone was colluding against him duh.
    The Russian ads were very real- the rest is sketchy as no one has ever been inside the DNC servers other than A Russian computer tech. So there is no evidence- I believe that most of the Russian issues are to use to keep 45 on a leash, as one of his fellow Republicans said Trump is now in a kill box. Which is meant as one wrong move and Trump can be impeached- Very effective way to reign in a rogue president.

  55. I will agree with you 100 percent Robin on the Russian ads. They have been proven over and over again to include South Dakota as a recipient as well. I actually was a Bernie supporter and have said so very clearly. When he lost, I became a Hillary supporter that then sent money to her campaign and voted for her without hesitation against trump.

    For those who still do not believe that the Russians hacked the DNC and corrupted the election process in a democracy, I am sorry for you. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/11/15952666/russia-dnc-hacks-timing

  56. Oh Leslie still have some pain from the loss I see. Your denial runs deep. Hillary ran on a campaign of denial as well, so it probably resonated well with you. Bernie supporters got a lot of butt hurt because they never understood the game, Bernie was not in for the win. Hillary spent her focus on immigration – She tried to convince 90% percent of the people that their lives were financially better which meant she was in not ready to discuss the fact that there is no economic recovery for the average citizen- a bunch of hat tricks were done with the economy so people could delude themselves but no serious recovery like wiping certain debts off credit reports so you could BORROW more money, extending car loans so you would go out and buy a new car . She did not acknowledge the pain of the middle class.
    Hillary ran Obama’s campaign and make me the first woman President people realized it hope and change didn’t work into action. She focused on anything but what the white middle class needed to hear.
    Your progressive Democrats are turning very red by the way- DNC just hired an anti minimum wage lobbyist because they need those corporate votes. Northam just said drill baby drill and even black balled his LT Gov for being an enviromentalist so dream about all those progressive polices that just don’t exist

  57. Bearcreekbat- Sorry I misunderstood your post.
    Hilary did not have any policy aimed at harming or bashing immigrants or other minority groups.
    It’s evil but one also needs to understand why he did it and what Hilary did in place of anti immigrant policies.
    The States are very unique in that we find it taboo to talk about the flaws in our economic system and flaws in our politicians – Just look at the above posts and I get accused of being for Bernie , against Dems and whatever else someone can fantasize without having a single stitch of knowledge about me or how I voted. Since someone is to blame and we hold politicians to some holy position , we have to make recessions the fault of someone. It’s normal during a bad economy for immigrants to get the blame from Republicans because hey can’t be us ,so when Trump let the cat out of the bag and told voters the truth which is you are no better off , he also had to find a group to blame for not being better off which with Republicans has always been and always will be immigrants, specifically brown immigrants . White illegals are also rampant yet are maintaining a protected status through all this. When the economy is good the Republicans are more than happy to extend certain legal rights to illegal immigrants You have seen it time and time again most notably in Wiemar Republic before WWII but also several times here.

    Hillary knows that the economics suck for the 90% but Dems never play the racial ticket- Dems were in a pickle because Trump acknowledged what we already knew ( though wrongly placed the blame) you can’t blame the Republicans 8 years and 3 rounds of failed quantitative easing later for a still failing economy so she just tried to pretend it didn’t exist.
    Yes Republicans handle economic downturns wrongly by targeting Immigrants – But also remember that except for his last year in office Obama’s deportation numbers were higher than Bushes.

  58. While big business outsources jobs and replaces people with robots and automation, Republicans blame unemployed people for not having a job. They blame the countries where U.S. companies outsource their jobs to increase their profit margins, instead of the companies who do it. They fault illegal immigrants but never the U.S. companies who employ them. In short, their logic is inconsistent with their goals.

    The GOP has grown so abusive to viable human thoughts that to be stuck in Bernie vs. Hillary and/or DNC is to (momentarily) forget just how bad Republicans have truly become.

    I like Tom Perez. I think I trust him, enough – for now. I think he’s got what it takes to heal the party. At the very least, the Dem Party is focused on marrying the interests of business with the changing needs of the people. Republicans make phony ‘promises’ about how tax cuts pay for themselves and trickle down really works.

    DNC is not broken; RNC is. Democracy is suffering in unprecedented ways. That’s what’s happening here.

  59. Who did you support for President if you did not support Bernie or Hillary, Robin? Donald, I didn’t know I had that much influence on someone – to not vote Bernie b/c of his supporters? I’ve always said it really doesn’t matter who runs for President. The whole system is rigged and has been since probably the beginning. Who runs the show – aristocratic families of the 1%. Just think Skull and Bones, a lot of Presidents have been members of it.
    National politics can be fun to talk about but regular people like us really have more influence over our local City Council.

  60. Hillary is not insaner than most, she was just more dangerous and lying. Plus, Mr. Clinton could not have been tolerated as the first man. I blame Hillary for much of Mr. Trump’s bizzarisms. Oust Trump. Hoist Pence.

  61. And jerry, of course my family benefited when it immigrated here over one hundred year ago. That’s not an argument. Immigrants benefited to the peril of the Native Americans who were forced to moved to Resevations with poor quality land after we slaughtered all their buffalo.
    Democrats are always good at shaming someone if they don’t agree with you. Don’t dare question immigration or you’ll be branded a racist. Don’t dare question Hillary for she’s a hero b/c she’s a woman.

  62. Jenny, you need to make amends after you slaughtered all their buffalo. You need to start making installment payments immediately, to the office of amends. Your only alternative is to hang out at the Hardees there by the Alex and dole out your amends as you see fit.

  63. Immigration needs to be fixed that is for sure, but not fixed by simply banning races and religions. There needs to be measures for legal immigration. We actually did have them for Muslim countries that were mired in climate change and civil war called vetting. 2 years or more before they could even consider immigrating to this country. Illegal immigration is what business owners crave though. This is a right to work state, so that means it is a right to pay you any damn thing they want to pay you for your services. Sure there is a poster that says what the minimum wage is for them to pay for “legal” residents. The illegal ones are the ones they want. No problems with providing any kinds of benefits either. Which brings me to this:

    For the record, the ACA needs and has needed to be upgraded with Medicaid Expansion for all 50 states being accomplished by nationalizing the entire healthcare system. There should be no way that Wall Street can profit off sick children and their parents. When you must make a quarterly profit in business that satisfies the feeding frenzy happening today on the markets, we all suffer.

  64. Mr. grudznick, splendid idea sir. Those poor folks are there for a handout as they have literally nothing but the clothes on their backs for the most part. Addicts are that down and out for sure. Something else that is equally as bad, take a look at the opioid epidemic that is sweeping not only poor communities across this immigrant settled land, but also affluent ones as well. With those folks, it is best to just hand it all over rather than a quarter of whatever it is you decide to shell out Mr. grudznick. These kinds of addicts will do damage to you if they do not get their synthetic heroin that is perfectly legal. Always remember, there, but for the grace of God, go I.

  65. I do not see the failure of democracy; I see the perversion of democracy by an artificially dihcotomic two-party system that has been overtaken by big money. The US democracy has suffered the same fate as the US economy – a methodical take over by the wealthiest.

  66. I hate when people blame the wealthy for the perversion of democracy. It is the fault of every citizen who sat on their hinny and did nothing who let this happen.
    Victimstance is so unattractive.

  67. Jenny really you need to think that one political group is better than another SMH you are exactly what the Founding fathers were afraid of. If you want an explanation of my statement please read the Federalist Papers 9 & 10.
    Stop making every conversation partisanship , this makes you part of the problem we are facing with stagnation. As long as someone doesn’t belong to your political tribe they don’t have a valid point ?

  68. mike from iowa

    Lawd, Robin, give it up. I pooled all my cash reserves and tried to buy me a congressweasel or at least a sinator. Ha ha. Fat chance. I don’t have enough cash reserves to buy a cup of coffee-even if I drank the disgusting stuff.

    The wealthy can lavish billions of free speech on all the pols they want to pervert democracy in their favor and even exclude my one person one vote.

    You free speech rights are getting to be a bore for me and I am sure a few others around here. Us losers can never win because we weren’t born fabulously rich like the people you seem to admire.

    I will no longer pay any attention to what you have to say. I can muddle my way through life wthout your insults and talking down to me. I has spoken!

  69. Adam – Merging business with the needs of people ? You have no idea how a business operates- It merging people to meet the needs of a business ! It’s gotten so out of hand that Businesses are now eating themselves alive. I double dare you to walk in the boardroom of any company and say that ! You would be fired before you unpacked your boxes.
    Business has only one goal and that is to expand at any cost- They don’t pay CEO’s or lobbyists $600 million dollar bonuses for meeting the needs of the people-
    The Dems have no plan- Perez clearly spells out that we cannot give Americans basic rights to access to healthcare, food, a roof over your head or a means to pay your bills, but we will continue to be the party of identity politics this means they have no clue on how to fix the economic mess. Just so the Republicans get equal time it’s the same thing but their identity politics is an all white nation and they posture this as their economic solution.

  70. bearcreekbat

    Jenny, I can certainly understand why you don’t want to be seen as a “racist.” Trouble is, when you label an entire class of immigrants as “illegals,” there doesn’t seem to be any other reason other than to demean them as a group, and you yourself know that you are focusing primarily on Latinos.

    You don’t call Kristie Noem an “illegal” even though she acknowledges frequent illegal speeding. Heck, you don’t even call mass murderers “illegals.” You save this derogatory label for Latinos and other immigrants, many of which have never committed any crime (overstaying a Visa is a civil violation, not a crime). You aren’t calling them “illegals” as a compliment, rather, you use the term as a demeaning insult, perhaps to suggest to yourself that you are better than them, or they are subhuman. Absent racism, I see no other rational reason to label people of a different race or nationality as “illegals.”

  71. Robin, you’re blowing so hard – you’re gonna run out of air if you’re not careful.

    Yeah, LOL, I ‘don’t know how business operates’ – says a complete stranger manufacturing character assassinations best they can. Robin has gone off the deep end.

  72. Jenny did a write in . I refuse to vote Democrat or Republican because 300 years of voting left or right has gotten us where we are today and to continue to vote that way is no different then beating your head against a brick wall 300 times thinking well maybe the next time it won’t hurt.
    I won’t vote green because Stein is an entitled little twit with no knowledge.
    Libertarian is Bat S crazy doomsday economics.

  73. Really Adam – all you can offer in a debate is an ad hominem ? apparently you don’t have any evidence to support your points in your original post- Perez flatly states No. We cannot guarantee health care to all as a right. No. We cannot revitalize the trade union movement, raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour and provide pay equity for women. No. We cannot effectively compete in the global economy by making public colleges and universities tuition-free. No. We cannot lead the world in combatting climate change and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels. So what are the Dems offering ?

  74. Robin, you missed quoted what I said (with your use of the word ‘merging’) and you’re doing it again by misrepresenting almost everything Tom Perez and DNC stands for.

  75. Roger Cornelius

    Robin’s accusations about Perez require a link to collaborate her comments.

  76. So basically the old hope and change speech again. I did notice that DNC is still talking about welfare programs enact change- Don’t get me wrong no one should have to do without but these welfare programs are failures of the highest degree and need revamping not more money ! Voting either Democrat or Republican right now is like asking an active alcoholic to watch your booze cabinet. You are asking the politicians who created the problem to fix the problem without admitting the problem and without offering amends after admitting the problem – Hasn’t worked well for the last 50 years so let’s bang our heads on that brick wall again because this person said it won’t hurt this time – It’s not me that has lost his marbles it’s the people who keep voting for the same people who created the the problem and expecting something different –

  77. “We cannot lead the world in combatting climate change and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels.” -Tom Perez

    Robin, you lied about what Tom Perez has said, but it’s just because you’re so angry at the system that your temper got the best of you… it happens to me sometimes too.

  78. Not the lying part though.

  79. bearcreekbat

    Robin, you say “these welfare programs are failures of the highest degree.” I have heard others make a similar claim. The goals of the programs have always been to improve the lives of children, indigents and disabled folks. In what way have they failed?

    Would a mom who is eligible for food stamps that help feed her children consider the food stamp program a failure?

    Would a homeless vet who receives welfare assistance enabling him to find work and a place to live consider the programs that helped him to be a failure?

    What about the indigent mom who lives in subsidized housing with her kids and uses her TANIF benefits to buy diapers and LIEAP benefits to heat her home and keep her kids warm in the winter – would she consider these programs to be “failures of the highest degree?”

    What about the who temporarily relied on welfare benefits to keep afloat until they found work and no longer need welfare, do you think they feel the welfare programs used temporarily are a failure?

  80. Tom Perez is correct. Taxpayers are now subsiding the failed nukes in Georgia as well as the failed power from coal. http://bettergeorgia.org/2017/11/09/stop-making-us-pay-for-georgia-powers-plant-vogtle-failures/

    We need renewable energy for jobs jobs jobs in order to address the climate change and our economic needs. Vote Democratic as if your life depended on it.

  81. Roger Cornelius

    Anyway.

    “The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion”.
    Molly Ivins.
    In the case of the current occupant of the White House, I would substitute “insanity” for confusion.

  82. Ruh oh Roger, the CIA confirms Russian interference in the election that helped trump. So who are we gonna believe, our intelligence service, The CIA, or Vlad Putin?

    “”The CIA on Saturday said its director, Mike Pompeo, “stands by” the intelligence community’s declassified report that concluded Russia ran an influence campaign aimed at helping President Trump win the White House in 2016.

    “The director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment entitled: ‘Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.’ The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” a spokesperson for the agency said when contacted by The Hill.”

    Where the hell is Marty Jackley on this invasion by the Russians in South Dakota politics? Why is he standing with the Russians?

  83. Roger Cornelius

    jerry
    I just read that the 17 members of our intelligent agencies all stand by the fact that the Trump campaign interfered in the 2016 election.
    Trump, while on foreign soil, had the audacity to call his highest level agency heads, “political hacks”.

    I’m waiting for Trump’s Russian scandal to hit South Dakota, where do you think it will first, jerry?

  84. Robert McTaggart

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/11/10/rick-perrys-trump-climate-proposal-coal-nuclear-energy-and-environment-shellenberger-nelson-column/822385001/

    You should want the current nuclear plants that emit no carbon to keep operating. Basically once they shut down the nuclear plant, it is gone, as is all of the clean power with it. Once they shut down the coal plant, they can bring it back later.

    Keeping nuclear going allows the economic forces to continue to reduce the use of coal in the power sector.

  85. Robin aren’t you the one that ran for state legislature? I’m not making everything partisan not anymore than anyone else here. No wonder you lost with your attitude. You are rather annoying you think you know everything and everyone else knows nothing. You are mad at the wrong people.

  86. Roger, there is this “”The Russian efforts against state and local databases were so widespread that top Obama administration cyber-security officials assumed that by Election Day Moscow’s agents had probed all 50 states. “At first it was one state, then three, then five, then a dozen,” says Anthony Ferrante, a former FBI cybersecurity official and member of the White House team charged with preparedness and response to the cyber intrusion. At that point, says Michael Daniel, who led the White House effort to secure the vote against the Russian intrusions, “We had to assume that they actually tried to at least rattle the doorknobs on all 50, and we just happened to find them in a few of them.” http://time.com/4828306/russian-hacking-election-widespread-private-data/

    The scandal has already hit South Dakota Roger. We are waiting for Krebs and Jackley to come on out from their undisclosed location and tell us, the people, the extent of this on Facebook and other social media. These two dingalings want to either be governor or a member of the House of Representatives, and they remain Putin supporters. Why is that the Attorney General of the State of South Dakota has gone mum on Russia? Why is it that the person who tallied the votes for the State of South Dakota has gotten bashful about Russian involvement in South Dakota politics?

  87. bearcreekbat, I love the “illegal” analysis; I will be stealing that to use every chance I get from now on. Bravo!

  88. Robin’s list of Perez’s no-we-cannots seem to all hinge on income inequality and the unfettered exploitation of corporate America. Maybe it cannot be the Democrats, but a tipping point will come for a real addressing of income inequality. Nothing short of that reckoning will save democracy.

  89. bearcreekbat – you’re henpecking me over my use of the word illegal. Sorry, I’m not a racist. I know you want me to be one since I am questioning whether continued immigration numbers can be sustained. Why can’t we have that conversation?

  90. Roger Cornelius

    There is a solution to the immigration problem, allow me to explain.
    It is called the rotation immigration program, here’s how it would work. Any 2nd or 3rd generation immigrant would have to return to their native country after 30 years thereby allowing new immigrants an opportunity to enjoy American riches.
    Or, we can have a Voluntary Immigration program whereby people that object to immigrants can simply return to their native land so they aren’t made to be uncomfortable.

  91. Roger, you rascal, you! I actually wouldn’t mind moving to my native land. I would be able to visit and explore more countries that way in Europe, and who doesn’t want to see the world!

  92. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNwC0sp-uA4

    Roam if you want to
    Roam around the world
    Oh girl dancing down those
    dirty and dusty trails

    Fly the great big sky see the great big sea
    kickin’ thru continents
    bustin’ boundaries

    (who wouldn’t want to!)

  93. bearcreekbat

    Jenny, you can be whatever you want to be – it really is none of my business. I’m just saying if you demean other human beings with derogatory labels you sound like a bully. And when you apply these derogatory labels to large identifiable ethnic groups you sound like a racist.

    When you label other human beings as “illegals,” you are not addressing an immigration problem, you are demeaning people you have never even met. While demeaning others might make you think are better than those you demean, it reveals to the thinking world a lot more about you than the people you derisively label.

  94. bearcreekbat

    o – thanks, I look forward to reading your future posts on the subject.

  95. Russian election meddling in Spain “According to Lesaca, “democratic systems have the obligation to investigate this evidence and implement systematic methods of monitoring and response in the face of presumed disruptions by foreign agents. Wars and international conflicts are already being fought among public opinion.”” https://elpais.com/elpais/2017/11/11/inenglish/1510395422_468026.html

    The whole western world is aware of the Russian meddling in their election processes as it has been implemented against them with much vigor. Here in South Dakota, we still hear nothing from the attorney general nor do we hear a peep about Russian attempts or actual intrusion in our system from Krebs. How can that be when it is know that all 50 states were tampered with?

  96. bearcreekbat

    There may be a second reason for demeaning entire groups of people with derogatory labels. Good people do not want to hurt other good people or break up their families. Good people don’t want to inflict pain and punishment, such as banishment or deportation, on other good people.

    Hence, they find it necessary to use derogatory labels that suggest the people that are being hurt by harsh immigration policies are not “good” people. Rather they are “illegal” people.

    Perhaps such labeling alleviates the guilt that would normally be experienced by good people who support policies that break up families and inflict fear and harm upon the daily lives of otherwise innocent men, women and children?

  97. There are a small percentage of people that come into the country not following the rules are there not? What do we call them? People that broke the law? Does that sound better? I have broken the law also by getting a few speeding tickets in my life.
    I guess I knew I was going to get ridiculed by bringing immigration up. I didn’t realize illegal was a bad bad
    Word. I agree I could have worded my statement better and not called all immigrants illegal. I apologize.

  98. bearcreekbat

    Thanks Jenny, I appreciate your recognition and apology. I concluded from your usual posting that you are a kind and caring person and thought that you might understand the hurt and harm from putting negative labels on others. And I suspected the last thing you would want to do is break up a family because one member committed the misdemeanor of bringing her kids to America in search of safety and a better life, or didn’t follow an administrative rule and overstayed a visa.

    The solution to the “immigration problem” is pretty simple in my view. We simply need to provide support and a means for innocent people to obtain whatever papers they need and help them obtain citizenship. That seems a much more humane solution than breaking up families, putting people in camps, and then banishing them from the only home many of their kids have ever known.

  99. bearcreekbat

    And I think the best thing we can call these people is fellow human beings who we would like to see become our friends and neighbors.

  100. Jenny, on immigration, cost, and democracy: immigrants appear to have come to South Dakota and America in greater numbers relative to “native”/citizen population in the 1800s and early 1900s and never swamped our social services or wrecked democracy. I would ease further out on my limb and contend that inclusive American democracy works even better when we keep including more new people.

  101. I am encouraged by the optimism in democracy’s ability to self-correct expressed by multiple speakers at the top. The Civil War was a terrible failure of democracy, but we pulled ourselves back together and expanded Constitutional rights to more Americans. The Depression and World War Two tested our economic and democratic institutions, but we found solutions that pulled us through those sequential crises and drew all of Europe toward more stable democracy.

    The Russians and our worse impulses conspired to produce a substandard President last year. That error happened not because democracy doesn’t work, but, thinking about what Roger Cornelius suggested above, because not enough Americans worked at democracy. The Electoral College contributed to that error by marginalizing Americans in South Dakota, California, and many other sure-bet states from the Presidential race and making it possible for each Trump vote to count roughly 4.55% more than each Clinton vote. Hamilton intended the Electoral College to check potential errors of the majority; instead, it overruled the sensible majority and installed a tyrant. I hesitate still to call for repeal of the Electoral College, since it will be easy for political opponents to claim I’m just saying that because my candidate lost the last election, but I could go with Adam in repealing the Electoral College as an unnecessary check on the democratic processes in which we should have faith.

  102. I accept Adam’s further quibble, that the American democracy I envision is not the practical American political system in which Republican elitists have erected numerous barriers to genuine democratic processes. Adam’s comment aligns with Roger’s observation about turnout, O’s observation about the wealthy co-opting our institutions, and my suggestion immediately above: the problem may not be that democracy doesn’t work, but that powerful elites are preventing democracy from working.

  103. Bearcreekbat -Wow quite a mouthful of snarky before I even said anything. Not at all where I was going but hey you have a phd in sociology so snark away rather than learning how it got ripped from those who need it.

  104. Roger Cornelius

    Jenny,
    When you got a ticket for speeding you broke a law, the act of speeding does not make you illegal.

  105. mike from iowa

    Drumpf’s latest judicial appointee is a thirty year old wasicu, three years out of law school, has never appeared in court as a lawyer and was rated “unqualified’. So Drumpf gives him a lifetime cushy job because it thrills Drumpf to the marrow to make a mockery of our Democracy. He also has several similar picks lined up. Mostly extremely young and unqualified whitey weasel wingnuts.

  106. bearcreekbat

    Robin, if you mean the Clinton/Republican Congress decision to change AFDC to TANF I would agree. I thought the AFDC was kinder and more beneficial to needy families. But the idea that any welfare system, such as AFDC or TANF can be improved does not suggest what exists before or after is a failure.

    TANF may be worse than AFDC but TANF is not even close to being a “failure.” Even though it can, and should, be improved, our welfare system is one of the more successful aspects of our western world. Just ask anyone that the system helped.

  107. Jenny – No I did not run for any office in SD – Of course I’m disgruntled I was raised hard core Democrat and we didn’t hope that the democratic party would be progressive , we demanded it be progressive , we did not vote based on the lesser of two evils. I have watched the Dems bend more and more to the doormat position until now where any nasty law or executive order that a Republican writes remains in place-At what point do we stop being a doormat? At what point do we fight back? When does the Democratic Party return to being the party of the worker ?

  108. Roger Cornelius

    Robin,
    Where were you last week when Democrats fought back and won in New Jersey, Virginia, Washington state and numerous lesser races around the country? That doesn’t sound dormant to me.
    The Alabama senate race has tightened with child molestation accusations against Roy Moore.
    Trump needs to keep talking and Tweeting, putting his foot in his mouth, and generally acting like the jackass he is, and Democrats can find the momentum they need to elect more Democrats at every level. Voting makes the difference, if Democrats don’t vote you can count on more of the same from republicans.

  109. Bearcreekbat- Yes , TANF is a failure it created more poverty than before. All these hoops to jump through and no real jobs that would lift them out of poverty, just force them to take any low paying job. Most people walk off from it and live crappy lives because the hoops are ridiculous on purpose.
    SD is really brutal in that it won’t allow anyone who has a full time invalid at home collect benefits if they just need a little extra help. Seems like it would be cheaper paying a little bit of benefit then a whole staff with benefits. Not to mention the invalid would be a whole lot better off being at home psychologically.

  110. Roger
    Doormat refers to policy not the number of people in a particular party who wins-
    The new Virginia Gov totally is the prime example of a doormat Democrat-

    Washinton had doormats in it’s Democratic party you saw Dems running though a Republican Caucasus .

    NJ we’ll see how that works out details are sketchy since he says he will raise wages and property taxes but wants to grow Venture capital – one is counterproductive to the other so we’ll see who pays for that.